Everything you need to know during pregnancy including: comfort, exercise, prenatal care, loss and more.

Acupuncture in Pregnancy

Will Acupuncture Help My Pregnancy Symptoms?

By Christie Collbran | April 8, 2024

Pregnancy can sometimes feel like a mix of pleasure and pain. On the one hand, your body is a literal miracle machine. You’re creating new life, and my, don’t you glow!  But on the other hand…  Maybe the reason you’re “glowing” is from all the lovely morning sickness sweat. Or now your back is hurting,…

Postpartum Birth Control Guide, pills on top of a calendar with a pencil

What’s Best For My Body? Your Personal Postpartum Birth Control Guide

By Christie Collbran | March 12, 2024

You’ve made it! You’re finally no longer pregnant. I know at one point you convinced yourself you’d be pregnant forever. Your baby is here, and now you can breathe a sigh of relief. But, not so fast… You’ve recently survived labor and navigated a roller coaster of emotions. Now you’re in the newborn stage…neck-deep in…

Gender disappointment, magnifying glass looking at boy or girl symbol

Gender Disappointment: You’re Not The Only One

By Christie Collbran | March 4, 2024

For some this may be a taboo or controversial topic, but let’s go there together. We are all having a human experience and it’s okay to be authentic about our feelings.  As a Mom of two amazing boys, who are now 17 and 11, these young men mean more to me than anything in the…

Pregnant women holding leg in pain, pregnancy ailments

6 Common Pregnancy Ailments and Easy Remedies to Help

By Christie Collbran | January 13, 2024

Pregnancy is a beautiful time in your life. You are growing a living, breathing miracle inside your body. Trust me, your body is amazing. Don’t forget to soak in this moment and reflect on how much your body is doing. I know it can be hard to focus on that.  Mostly because… While your body…

Pregnant Mom looking at belly - prodromal labor

Am I Going Into Labor? Understanding Prodromal Labor

By Christie Collbran | January 1, 2024

Coming to the end of your pregnancy can be such a challenging task. Not only are you done being pregnant, but the inevitable question rears its head:  When will I go into labor?  Most of your pregnancy goes by in the blink of an eye. But the last month of pregnancy is a different story. …

A Mom Holding her Hand to her head - "Mommy Brain"

Is “Mommy Brain” Actually Real? New Moms Need Real Answers

By Christie Collbran | December 18, 2023

You woke up today with a lot of things to do. You have housework, a doctor’s appointment, and a million other things.  Then this happened: You made coffee but you can’t remember where you left it.  It’s in the microwave. Your husband called and you told him you lost your phone.  You’re talking on it.  …

pregnant couple in the third trimester

Third Trimester Checklist: What to Do in the Third Trimester of Pregnancy

By Christie Collbran | December 11, 2023

Congratulations you made it to the third trimester of pregnancy! You are on the homestretch, the excitement is palpable, and your baby’s arrival is just around the corner. To help you have a smooth transition, we’ve compiled a comprehensive third trimester checklist just for you.  Go here to see our First and Second Trimester Checklists. …

Baby items - pregnancy after loss

Pregnancy After Loss

By Christie Collbran | October 28, 2023

Losing a baby through miscarriage or stillbirth is one of the hardest things any parent will ever go through. When I was pregnant with my 2nd child, I went into preterm labor at 17 weeks. Having made it to the 2nd trimester we had already announced the pregnancy to friends and family. My husband and…

Woman embracing another women in a therapy group, recovering after a traumatic birth experience

Recovering from a Traumatic Birth

By Christie Collbran | October 16, 2023

Childbirth is a powerful and transformative event, but sometimes the experience can be traumatic. Things don’t always go as planned and the feelings you have during and after the birth can be emotionally challenging.  On a personal level my first baby’s birth was very difficult and I experienced a degree of PTSD afterwards. I worked…

Pregnancy After 35, Advanced Maternal Age, man hugging pregnant woman

Pregnancy After 35 | Advanced Maternal Age

By Christie Collbran | October 2, 2023

One day you’re 34 and feeling fine, but as the clock strikes midnight on your 35th birthday the switch is flipped and your fertility takes a nosedive, right? Forget gradual changes – your ovaries throw a little party and the DJ starts spinning “Last Dance.” Your eggs decide to pack their bags and head for…

Pregnant Mother holds belly, Braxton Hicks Contractions

Braxton Hicks Contractions: The Prequel to Labor

By Christie Collbran | September 4, 2023

Braxton what?! If you’re on this page, chances are you’ve heard whispers about Braxton Hicks contractions and today, we’re going to demystify them for you.  What are Braxton Hicks Contractions? Braxton Hicks contractions, also charmingly known as “practice contractions,” are the dress rehearsal before the real show. They’re your uterus’s way of flexing its muscles…

IV during labor, Group B Strep Test, GBS

The Group B Strep Test and Its Role in Labor

By Christie Collbran | July 10, 2023

One of the numerous tests and procedures to deal with during pregnancy is the Group B Streptococcus (GBS) test. This is a routine part of prenatal care and July is International GBS awareness month. So, in this blog post, we will shed light on what to expect regarding your GBS test and the results.  What…

Mom looking at pregnancy test

Understanding the Hormones of Early Pregnancy

By Christie Collbran | June 18, 2023

Pregnancy brings about incredible changes in your body, driven by a beautiful dance of hormones. Understanding the hormonal changes in early pregnancy empowers you to embrace this transformative period. In this post, we will explore these hormones, their functions, and how they can affect you along the way. Firstly, what exactly are hormones? Hormones are…

Rh Antibody Testing

Understanding Prenatal Rh Antibody Testing

By Christie Collbran | June 6, 2023

During pregnancy you may encounter various prenatal tests and new or complicated terminology. Your doulas are here to help you understand this information. One such test is the Rh Antibody Screening. Let’s break it down and highlight the important points you should know.  What is the Rh antibody test?  This test aims to identify specific…

taking blood pressure of a pregnant mother, monitoring for preeclampsia

What is Preeclampsia?

By Christie Collbran | May 1, 2023

Preeclampsia is a complication that happens in about 1 in 25 pregnancies in the United States. While it’s a serious condition, it’s important to remember that with proper care and monitoring, many women with preeclampsia can still have a healthy and safe birth. So, what is preeclampsia?  Preeclampsia is a condition that typically develops after…

Nutrition During Pregnancy

Nutrition During Pregnancy: Nourishing Yourself and Your Baby

By Christie Collbran | March 13, 2023

We all understand that nutrition during pregnancy is important. Pregnancy is a time of immense growth and development for your baby, and proper nutrition is vital to ensuring that your little one gets the best possible start in life. Not only does good nutrition help support your baby’s growth and development, it also plays an…

Your Prenatal Care, A woman gets an ultrasound in early pregnancy

Prenatal Care: What to Expect

By Christie Collbran | January 22, 2023

Regular prenatal checkups are an important part of staying healthy while pregnant. During these visits your doctor, nurse or midwife will monitor your baby’s development and do routine testing to find and prevent potential complications. This is also a good time to ask questions and learn important information related to your pregnancy, labor and birth.…

Choosing an OB/GYN or Midwife, a care provider sits with a family

Choosing an OB/GYN or Midwife (Hospital, Birth Center or Homebirth)

By Christie Collbran | January 16, 2023

Is an OB/GYN or a Midwife the best choice for your prenatal care? How do the different options affect where you will give birth? There are many factors to consider when choosing your prenatal care provider and your birthing location. In addition to taking into account your personal health history, it also comes down to…

Pregnant Woman on a phone call, when should I call my doula?

When Should I Call My Doula?

By Christie Collbran | January 2, 2023

You’ve decided to hire a doula to help you have a better birth experience. Great plan! So, now you are asking, when should I call my doula? Or, how do I best use her services? There is no wrong time to call your doula for help and guidance. When you hire Buddha Belly Doulas, we…

how doulas support dads and partners

How Doulas Support Dads and Partners

By Christie Collbran | November 12, 2022

I can’t tell you how many clients I call to follow up with after they use our birth doula services who say, “My husband wasn’t convinced we needed a birth doula, but after delivery he said we could never have done that without her.” Whether you are first time parents, or adding another child to…

introducing your pet to your baby

Introducing Your Pet to Your Baby

By Christie Collbran | November 7, 2022

Your pet is a cherished member of your family and should be included when big changes are happening. Here are some helpful tips to eliminate stress and concerns when you bring your newborn home.  Start preparations before your baby arrives. In all of the excitement of preparing for your new baby, you might not have…

hyperemesis gravidarum

Hyperemesis Gravidarum (Severe Morning Sickness)

By Christie Collbran | November 1, 2022

What is Hyperemesis Gravidarum?  Some degree of nausea and vomiting is normal during pregnancy. In fact, about 70 – 80% of women experience this. However, extreme and persistent nausea and vomiting while pregnant is referred to as hyperemesis gravidarum (aka HG). This condition is rare and occurs in only about 2% of pregnancies.   HG is…

Pregnant Mom Swimming, Exercise

Exercise During Pregnancy

By Christie Collbran | June 11, 2022

One of the most exciting chapters of your life has begun. You’re pregnant! Life is about to change, and so is your body. Exercise can not only help you stay in shape, but also help prepare you for labor and delivery. Did you know that exercising is safe and healthy for most pregnant women, even…

Dental Health and Your Pregnancy

Dental Health and Your Pregnancy

By Christie Collbran | April 29, 2022

Noticing sensitivity with your teeth or a little pink on your toothbrush now that you’re pregnant? In my experience as a certified dental assistant, and a mother, I was often asked, “Why are my gums bleeding now that I am pregnant?”  “Why are my teeth more sensitive during my pregnancy?” Or “Is it safe to…

A Poop Emoji Next to a Toilet representing pregnancy constipation

Constipation During Pregnancy

By Christie Collbran | February 19, 2022

Picture this. I was pregnant with my third child and having a hell of a time during the first 15 weeks. I was working full time, exhausted, eating poorly, vomiting often and to top it off I hadn’t pooped for 5 days.  Pregnancy constipation is defined as having fewer than three bowel movements a week.…

Breast-feeding and Birth Control

Breastfeeding and Birth Control

By Christie Collbran | January 21, 2022

We believe it’s just as important to understand your options and feel empowered in your decisions about birth control as it is for giving birth. In this post we share insight into breastfeeding as a form of birth control, called the lactational amenorrhea method (LAM).  Is breastfeeding my baby an effective form of birth control?…


Second Trimester Checklist: What To Do in the Second Trimester of Pregnancy

By Christie Collbran | October 19, 2021

Congratulations, you’ve made it to the second trimester! Hopefully you are settling into this new life of being pregnant and the exhaustion and nausea has decreased. Maybe you’re even starting to feel that second trimester boost of energy. We’ve put together a helpful checklist for you to use as you navigate the next several weeks…


First Trimester Checklist: What To Do in the First Trimester of Pregnancy

By Christie Collbran | August 31, 2021

The first trimester is exciting! Congratulations, you’re pregnant! And now your mind is probably swirling as you think of all the things you need to do. For this reason, we’ve prepared a first trimester checklist to help you get through your first twelve weeks of pregnancy. 1. Remove stress from your life.  Yes, this is…


My Surprise Breech Baby and Tips

By Christie Collbran | April 29, 2021

My first baby was breech and was born via an emergency c-section. We only discovered he was breech when I was well into labor, which is pretty unusual. “I think we need to head to the birth center,” I told my husband. At 37 ½ weeks pregnant, I had gotten up in the middle of…


Adventures in Morning Sickness

By Christie Collbran | November 23, 2020

Morning Sickness. If that isn’t a misnomer, I don’t know what is. Morning Sickness, or as I like to call it, All Day Sickness, should really just be labelled pregnancy nausea and vomiting. A lot of pregnant folks experience it and there are various different degrees of severity. It can happen in the morning, or…

When will my period return

When Will My Period Return after Pregnancy?

By Christie Collbran | July 31, 2019

Lovely bonus of pregnancy? No periods! Unfortunately, at some point postpartum, your period will return. But when? Breastfeeding suppresses menstruation at least for a while. For some mothers, there may be an absence of menstruation for weeks, months, and even years while still breastfeeding. Some mothers will even need to completely wean before they see…

5 Things a Women’s Health Physical Therapist Can Help With

By Christie Collbran | May 14, 2019

We recently met with Christina Noonan, a local Tampa Physical Therapist who focuses on women’s health. We learned all about the services she provides and are happy to share more information here in our latest guest blog post: As we all know, having a baby is not an easy task. It is also not easy…

Pregnancy Diabetes: What Is Gestational Diabetes?

By Christie Collbran | January 31, 2019

What is Pregnancy Diabetes / Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM)? According to Stanford Children’s Health, pregnancy diabetes, gestational diabetes mellitus or GDM, is “a condition in which a hormone made by the placenta prevents the body from using insulin effectively. Unlike type 1 diabetes, gestational diabetes is not caused by a lack of insulin, but by other hormones…

Why Does My Belly Hurt So Much?

Ack! Why Does My Belly Hurt So Much?

By Christie Collbran | February 8, 2018

Many pregnant women suffer from a specific discomfort during pregnancy caused by the round ligament. This pain is usually felt low on the front of their abdomen, near the pubic bone, and may continue towards their groin. It may be felt on one side or both. The round ligament connects the uterus to the groin,…

Advice from a Tampa Doula

There Isn’t An App For That

By Christie Collbran | December 13, 2017

Smartphones have brought a great deal of convenience and access to information into our lives. Who doesn’t always have theirs with them, in very close proximity? It’s so handy to look up random bits of info, like how many cups are in a pint, Google the name of that actor or settle a bet with…

prepare older sibling for baby

Six Steps to Prepare Older Siblings for New Baby

By Christie Collbran | April 28, 2017

Are you adding a new baby to your sweet little family? Preparing older siblings for the arrival of the new baby can be fun and joyful but it does require some preparation. Here are our tips to prepare your older siblings to life with a newborn. 1. Give older siblings some time and grace. Change is…

Babymoon Vacation

Babymoon: One Last Hurrah before Baby

By Christie Collbran | January 15, 2017

I sat on Caspersen Beach, just south of Venice Beach, Florida, in a beach chair, my toes slowly curling and uncurling through the sand, under a tropically-hued umbrella, leisurely reading one of the installments in “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” series. Perhaps I easily return to this blissful day, seven years ago, because it…

afraid to give birth

I Was Scared to Give Birth

By Christie Collbran | December 8, 2016

Second pregnancies go so fast. Between keeping up with my toddler, Annie, a career and busy family life, before I knew it, I was eight months pregnant. At first, I felt sad that I hadn’t had a moment to be “present” mentally while growing this new baby. Then one day, I was driving home from…

comfort measures for varicose veins

Comfort Measures for Varicose Veins (updated July 2022)

By Christie Collbran | November 9, 2016

How to find comfort through a pregnancy with varicose veins, my tips below! About 28% of women will develop varicose veins in pregnancy. While they are mostly harmless in the short term they can cause pain and discomfort. Here are my recommendations and best comfort measures to try if you are dealing with varicose veins in…

varicose veins in pregnancy

Varicose Veins in Pregnancy

By Christie Collbran | November 8, 2016

This is part one of a three part series on varicose veins in pregnancy and beyond. If you’re like me, before I had varicose veins I had no idea what they were, why I had them or why they hurt so bad! Background: Blood vessels have two directions of transportation throughout our body. Arteries carry…

prenatal yoga

Why Prenatal Yoga?

By Christie Collbran | May 18, 2016

During my last pregnancy, I attended prenatal yoga classes at Yoga Village in Safety Harbor and I was really happy that I did. I got more out of it than expected. Here are some reasons to consider prenatal yoga. 1. Relief from common pregnancy discomforts. As your body transforms, more weight and stress is put…

Chiropractic Care in Pregnancy

How Chiropractic Care Helps with Pregnancy and Birth

By Christie Collbran | May 11, 2016

We are happy to introduce Dr. Savy Ford of Blossom Chiropractic in St. Pete. She is our guest blogger for today’s post sharingMany of our clients have had positive results through chiropractic care from reduced discomfort in pregnancy to assistance with a slow to start or stalled labor. Let us know if you are looking for a recommendation for a chiropractor…

These Are Days You'll Remember

These Are Days You’ll Remember

By Christie Collbran | September 15, 2015

Pregnancy. Our future. The hope of something magical and joyful. The near certainty of falling in love with the most beautiful person you’ve ever seen, your newborn baby. Despite the aches, pains, burps and stretch marks, pregnancy is a glorious time. I recall being so full of excitement, hope, love and joy with the growing child…

Pregnancy & Infant Loss

My Pregnancy Loss

By Christie Collbran | May 26, 2015

This is my personal story about pregnancy loss and it may be triggering for some. After my first son was born via emergency cesarean with a special scar, I longed for a VBAC and peaceful happy birth experience. Four and a half years later I was pregnant again. Soon after discovering I was pregnant the morning…