Meet Latham Thomas, maternity lifestyle maven, wellness and birth coach, and yoga teacher on the vanguard of transforming the maternal & women’s wellness movement. A graduate of Columbia University & The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Latham is the founder of Mama Glow, a holistic lifestyle hub for women to explore their creative edge through wellbeing. She lives in New York City with her son Fulano and their turtle Climby. Latham recently published her first book- “Mama Glow: A Hip Guide to Your Fabulous Abundant Pregnancy”. Therefore, it made complete sense for me to get to know her better!
Hi Latham, first could you explain me a bit more what exactly a “Doula” is? I had never heard of the word until I became pregnant, and didn’t hire one.
Yes, a doula is a care provider who provides emotional support, advocacy, and education to the birthing mother and couple. She is a skilled practitioner who provides education and attends the birth making sure the mother is as comfortable as possible.
How did you end up becoming a doula, or shall I say, pregnancy coach?
I didn’t have one at my birth either but when I started working with prenatal women, they all wanted me to attend their births. I was working in a nutrition capacity, yoga, and it was the natural progression to my business model. Plus I love being present at births- it’s magical.
You are all about embracing pregnancy and I LOVE that. I absolutely loved that moment of my life (hence this website!). What is your main advice to any new expecting mom?
Surrender to the process, it’s divine and it is a once-in-a-lifetime event. I also LOVED being pregnant with my son and I believe pregnancy is a time to shine, celebrate yourself, love your body, take excellent care of yourself and glow!
What would be the best way to stay in shape during pregnancy? I know you teach yoga, but would you suggest anything else? Any other great way to pamper yourself?
I believe yoga is one of the best ways to get in touch with your body, stay fit, and prepare your body for the demands of labor. I also really enjoy dance: Belly Dance and African Dance can also be great for pregnant moms. The key is to do things that feel good and make you feel radiant.
For pampering- I suggest massages, and warm baths- this is part of your “glow time” routine.
What about after having the baby, what would be the best workout to get your body back?
Getting back to the pre-baby body is something so many moms are concerned about. The number 1 tip is breastfeeding- it burns up to 600 calories a day and is the optimal nourishment for your baby. It also contracts you uterus back to its normal size. In terms of workouts though I like spinning, functional training, kickboxing and adequate rest. Don’t start working out until at least 6 weeks postpartum so the body can heal.
What about eating? Especially for breastfeeding moms who have to be very careful to eat enough!
I have a chapter in my book that focuses on food for breastfeeding moms. Adequate protein, nuts, seeds, salads, whole grains, and healthy fats like avocado are the best for a breastfeeding mom. Super foods like goji berries, acai, and spirulina, walnuts, really help to fortify the body as it undergoes milk production.
I found pregnancy to be very easy, especially being my first pregnancy, and I started to realize that it is mostly after the baby that we need to look after ourselves the most, yet we don’t have much time or energy for this. Do you have any quick tips or quick fixes to feel better, or rested, when becoming a new mom?
I had an easy pregnancy too. But you are right, the self care is so important. Eating well and staying well hydrated is key. Green juice saves my life, it builds the blood and balances the mood so you can feel and look radiant. Take time for yourself to do what you love, visit a friend, see a new film, get a facial. One of my favorite relaxation poses is leg drain– legs up the wall. You lie on the floor or on your bed with your legs at 45 degrees up the wall to allow the blood and lymph to drain down to the heart. Hanging out here 20 minutes a day is equivalent to taking a 2 hour nap!
You are a single mother in NYC, with a successful career and your own business. How do you manage to do it all so well? I have not met your son yet, but he is so well educated (he thanked me right away for the shoot!), well done for that too!
Haha, being single in the city has it’s perks. When I am dating I am never in a rush because I am already fulfilled- I have my son, my career, and I love my life, so I am not rushing to include a man into the mix. I am always juggling, never completely balanced- it’s dynamic equilibrium I suppose. I am protective of my time and only do what I love. My son is my light– I pour all of my love and energy into him and it shows. He is fully expressed and happy and is my greatest success and gift to the world– a happy healthy and loving little boy.
Can you describe a day in your life? You live uptown in Harlem, and your son goes to school downtown– how do you organize your schedule between taking him to school?
I start the day with meditation and prayer, then I wake Fulano with tickles. We have breakfast, I make his lunch and we head to school. I usually go to clients around town and in between or on my light days I go to Soho House to work. I haven’t completely gotten the scheduling right, some days I am behind.
What would be the perfect day together with Fulano?
The perfect day together with Fulano is one where we wake up and have a pajama dance party with Fulano deejaying, play then go to the museum and eat at his favorite restaurants– Bar Pitti or Candle 79.
What are your favorite things to do together?
We love to cook together, that’s one of Fulano’s favorite things to do. We watch Curb Your Enthusiasm or The Office together. We love making collages. We both love to dress up.
Style tips now– on the cover of your book Mama Glow, you are wearing a body conscious mini dress with very high heels– very similar to me pregnant! What was your favorite pregnancy look? Were you dressed like on your book cover?
Ah yes, I wanted women to be inspired to look chic which is why there are fashion illustrations throughout the book. There is nothing like it on the market. I dressed in fitted dresses and skirts, I loved my heels (and flats at the end of pregnancy). I wasn’t sacrificing my fashion for 9 months.
Did you give in to maternity clothing? What about maternity bras? Do you have any specific or favorite addresses for future mommies?
I never gave in to maternity clothing because there was nothing to wear back then. For maternity bras I trust Bravado, although I only wore them when I was nursing. I love Vanessa Knox maternity– she makes ultra-chic maternity and ready-to-wear looks that are comfortable and flattering for the mama-to-be. I also love the Love Shack Fancy dress by Rebecca Cohen— it is so gorgeous! I love that Pippa Vosper has Maternally Chic in the UK– which I constantly reference for maternity fashion, and you have your site that can help women feel beautiful and like they have options.
How would you define the “Mama Glow”
Mama Glow is a certain radiance that overcomes a woman who is happy, healthy, and feeling fulfilled in her life. I associate the glow with lifestyle choices aligned with wellbeing– it can be witnessed in beaming bright eyes, vibrant skin, shimmering hair. Most of all Mama Glow is an attitude, a way of carrying oneself– owning your fierce power and femininity, and embracing the awesomeness of motherhood.
Thank you so much Latham!
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Photography by Paul Maffi
Special thanks to ABC Carpet and Home