An Interview With Latham Thomas of Mama Glow
BY Gabrielle Bernstein
I’m so psyched to introduce you to one of my best friends in the world, Latham Thomas. This woman is a rockstar! She has impacted me in so many ways. As a world renown yoga teacher she has inspired my yogi journey, as a wellness guru she has influenced my eating habits and as a Doula she has inspired me to get my body baby ready! In this interview Latham opens up about health, wellness, fashion, sex and motherhood. Her glow shines through everything she does and I’m sure you’ll feel it through this interview. I’m so thrilled to share the goddess that is Latham Thomas!
What is the “Mama Glow”? – OR – How do 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.
What have you learned as a single mother?
I have learned that I could be self reliant, resilient, and smoking hot as a single mom. Being a single mom has been seen as a curse in our culture, but I see it as an empowering position and an honor. I am blessed to raise my son and be a positive example of hard work and thriving passion. I’ve poured all of my love into this little boy and he is soaring. I’ve learned to learned to embrace love that comes into my life and that I deserve divine partnership and don’t have to do it all alone.
You mention that your pregnancy was nothing like you read about it in traditional books. How was it different?
Well, my pregnancy was different in many ways- first off I never experienced morning sickness, I only gained 14 pounds (and my baby weighed in at 7 pounds 11 ounces at birth), I had so much energy and creative power, and was eating a vegan diet- which most books were condemning as a lifestyle choice. However my diet of vegan whole foods, coupled with my yoga practice kept me feeling and looking my very best. I had a quick natural labor and walked home with my son 6 hours after birth- it was surreal. There was never once a moment of fear, my midwife believed in me and I felt like I could do anything.
What was the driving force behind writing Mama Glow?
I felt compelled to write Mama Glow because I didn’t have a guide to work with when I was pregnant. I was figuring it out as I went along. I want women to not only feel supported and empowered but mobilized to take healthy action in their lives and make choices aligned with a positive set of beliefs. I wanted to promote green living, I wanted to share a different story, one that wasn’t fear based or hokey, one that spoke to modern women living in big cities and in suburbs to address all aspects of their self care- in the kitchen, on the mat, and in their lives.
Mama Glow is also the name of your business, what services do you offer and why did you give your book the same name?
Mama Glow is about supporting women as they explore optimal wellness. I offer nutrition counseling and culinary support, yoga, doula services, and events for women- expectant and new moms. I didn’t name my book after the company- I named it after a lifestyle- one that I live, I preach, and I teach.
For those women who are trying to conceive, what is your biggest piece of advice?
Stop “trying” and start being. Now what do I mean by that- procreation, like any other natural process does not require thinking, planning or strategizing- it’s really not about designing your sex life around when you are ovulating, it’s about practicing a lot with your partner, having a lot of good sex on a regular basis as a training ground to boost your fertility. With conception- its less about control and more about surrender, letting go, and being receptive, which happens when you relax and forget about the outcome, and focus on being in the moment. Embody the sexiness and have fun!
What are the building blocks of a successful pregnancy?
The building blocks to a successful pregnancy include: 1. preconception detoxification- which I outline in the pre-pregnancy section of the book, 2. a healthy plant based diet of whole foods with a focus on what I’ve termed “glow foods” for optimal wellness, 3. yoga or other dynamic movement supporting your joints, muscles and needs of your changing body, 4. mindfulness practice including journaling and meditation as well as an affirmation practice, this helps us to develop coping tools that will be helpful in our birth and motherhood, 5 glow time- take personal time to focus on you- that’s right be selfish, take baths, get a massage, get your hair blown out and your nails done, do a facial at home, relaxing and decompressing helps to reduce stress- putting yourself first is one of the most important things you can learn while pregnant.
We know that diet and exercise are key elements to a healthy pregnancy, but what do you suggest for emotional well-being?
This is a great question because so many women go through pregnancy feeling unsupported emotionally. I’m big on weeding your garden- clear out the emotional baggage, toxic habits, and people in your life so you can create a sacred space around you and your blossoming baby. I suggest finding support through your sister circle which is a group of chosen reliable friends some of whom have been through pregnancy already and can show you the ropes and can help you navigate new motherhood. Also I believe in eating a balanced diet to support a healthy hormonal balance, which can boost your mood too.
Why did you become a doula and what has your experience as a doula taught you? How has your background contributed to Mama Glow?
Becoming a doula seemed like a natural progression to my work. I was serving pregnant women in my prenatal yoga classes, many of them found that my soothing energy and sense of calm was just what they wanted when they went into labor. I applied for a fellowship and was trained as a doula with the Hudson Perinatal Consortium. My experience as a doula has influenced every aspect of my life, including my parenting. A lot of the principals echo teachings from yoga. I have learned to trust the process, go with the flow, watch and wait, listen, take a back seat and support each of these lessons are addressed in my book as well.
How does the Mama Glow plan work for women of different ages?
The Mama Glow plan is a comprehensive wellness plan that works wonders if you apply it properly. I am convinced that the adaptogenic qualities of the glow foods like maca, for instance work on balancing out the areas that need most attention. Whatever your age, you can embark upon this journey and if you do the work- you will see tangible results unfold. If you are having a baby later in life the Glitz, Glimmer, Glow Cleanse is essential for setting yourself up for success. It’s’ also a great plan postnatal, once you’re all done with breastfeeding if you have a few extra pounds to shed.
You work with a lot of celebrities and influential women? What has the response been to your work?
I’ve supported a lot of women in the course of my career and I am thrilled to have worked with some powerful mamas doing amazing work in the maternal space. Christy Turlington-Burns was a part of our first Mama Glow Film Festival, along with Victoria’s Secret Supermodel Selita Ebanks and fashion designer Rebecca Minkoff- who I had the honor of helping deliver- she also hosted my book launch with Fit Pregnancy and Morgan Stanley. I also produced the east coast premiere of Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein’s film More Business of Being Born, which was incredible. I hosted a Mama Glow event for Erica Reid, all about spreading the message and shining the light on issues in maternal and child health, I’m really aligned with people doing that work and making a difference.
There are several books on pregnancy, but Mama Glow is different. Why?
Mama Glow is unique in the layout, sections- before during, and after pregnancy, and then the information is grouped based on lifestyle focus- In the kitchen, On the mat, and In your Life- breaking information down into three sections making it easier to digest. It’s not just about the facts- it’s about you, taking a journey. I’m your glow pilot, helping to guide the process. In Mama Glow I talk a lot about the mind body spirit connection, but is also very grounded. I like to say it’s a little Sex and The City meets Deepak Chopra. It really addresses the needs of modern women who want to blossom during this transformative time- it’s a feel good book.
In the book you tell women to “Have Lots of Orgasms.” Why?
In short, orgasms help us to increase our fertility. You know that old adage, an apple a day….well it applies here too. When females climax the release of endorphins is very relaxing, it’s like a tranquilizer. Orgasms regulate your appetite and reduce cravings for junk food- so those of us who want cookies and ice cream all too often may be craving a different type of sweetness…in the bedroom. Orgasms can also help with pain and stress management. The uterus is a powerful player in fertility and gets a dress rehearsal for conception each time you have one. It’s also so important to get comfortable with every aspect of your body and be able to surrender- that’s required in pregnancy and labor too. So, with all that being said, if you can’t remember the last time you had an orgasm, time to do your homework.
Do you have tips for women on how to have hot healthy sex?
Get out of your head and into your body. If you have trouble with that, I have some suggestions:
• Pelvic pumps- which I go into detail with in the book.
• Get to know your own body- women have an erectile network that is complex and we should know what turns us on, not expect others to have to guess and figure it out.
• Take a hot class like Strip or S-factor to “turn you on.”
• Step into the goddess- embody the divine feminine, try on roles of iconic figures like Cleopatra, Shakti, Isis…now take that into the bedroom.
You have fierce style. Tell us about your fashion sense.
My fashion sense is elegant, chic, and urban. I like to mix luxury pieces with pieces I’ve found at Forever 21. I love to merchandise an out fit with jewelry from Mixology NYC or Dannijo. I’m into a good hat, and my scarf game is ridiculous- I own some of the most incredible scarves. Color is very important to me so I will always have color woven into my look even if I’m in all black- my nails will be some neon pink or orange.
My son says “clothes give you power” so I dress in a way that expresses how I want to feel- empowered, embodied, sexy, and elegant.
What’s next for you?
I’m doing some television- spreading the glow on the Style Network hit show- Tia and Tamera show where I am Tamera’s doula. I’m teaching, serving, and busy starting the next book believe it or not. It’s all about harnessing the glow power- but has nothing to do with pregnancy. I’m running my practice and keeping up with my busy son Fulano. Mama Glow isn’t just a book, it’s a movement. We are about creating change with women and reclaiming our health, our bodies, and our power from deep within- our glow.
Latham Thomas is a 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 and 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. Her practice provides support to pre/postnatal women along their journey to motherhood offering culinary and nutritional services, yoga and birth coaching services. She is co-founder of the Mama Glow Film Festival, a platform for maternal advocacy through film and philanthropy. Latham recently launched the Mama Glow Salon Series, a platform for birthing conversations around cocktails, panels and discussions. Bridging the gap between optimal wellness, spiritual growth, and radical self care, Latham Thomas is emerging as the go-to guru for modern holistic lifestyle for women during pregnancy and beyond!
Latham is a recurring guest on the Style Network hit show Tia and Tamera where she guides Tamera through a healthy pregnancy. A sought after nutrition and lifestyle expert, her television appearances include The Dr. Oz Show, Fox News LIVE, CBS News, ABC Eyewitness News, NBC-LXTV, and Inside Edition. She has been featured in the New York Daily News, New York Post, Time Out New York, Vogue.com, Whole Living, Essence Magazine, the cover of Experience Life Magazine, and VegNews Magazine. Latham contributes to: Positively Positive, The Daily Love, Huffington Post, Crazy Sexy Life, Mind Body Green and New York Family online. She lives in New York City with her son Fulano and their turtle Climby. Latham published her first book, “Mama Glow: A Hip Guide to Your Fabulous Abundant Pregnancy”, foreword by Christiane Northrup, M.D., in November of 2012 with Hay House. Latham is helping to green the planet one belly at a time. You can follow her on Twitter @GlowMaven.