With 9 years and 10,000 prenatal clients, Sara Lyons knows a thing or two about providing women with birth support. In 2010 she founded Glow® Birth & Body in Oakland, CA and last year, she launched The Birth Deck by Glow®, bringing her years of knowledge into the labor room with families all over the world. She now lives with her husband and two young children in NYC. We caught up with Sara to chat about family, motherhood, being bi-coastal, of course, how she stays organized.
Both Glow® Birth & Body and The Birth Deck are centered around supporting mothers, which we fully support! Can you share a bit about your journey?
I started working with pregnant families straight out of college in 2004 as a massage therapist specializing in a prenatal massage while I was living in Australia. I had the opportunity to learn from the owners of Body Freedom Urban Retreat about everything from birth support to HR. The experience was invaluable is what inevitably helped me launch my own center in Oakland. I'm excited to announce that we'll be opening Glow® in Chicago later in 2019!
The Birth Deck by Glow® is designed for those preparing to have their first baby. For those who haven't seen it, what can they expect?
Thank you for the love! The Birth Deck by Glow® is a compilation of the 50 most useful childbirth comfort techniques in the Glow® arsenal. After working with thousands of clients at Glow®, there are some clear winners in the comfort game and they can be broken up into four categories: Movement, Massage, Mindfulness and General Support. Each card in the deck illustrates a different technique and cards can be pulled at random throughout labor. The cards can also be used to prep for labor as part of your birth education. We’ve found that even if you read books and took classes, come game-time, a lot of that knowledge goes out the window and reminders are necessary.
You work with women in such a special stage of their lives - what is your favorite aspect of what you do?
The bridge to parenthood is a shared journey, something that impacts all of us no matter where in the world we’re birthing or adopting. I love witnessing this transformation that can bring people to their knees and lift them higher than the sky from one breath to the next. It’s a raw process that nothing can fully prepare you for and education really only comes through community. The healthiest way to experience the transition is with the help and guidance of others. Even when it feels like all the advice is judgement, it’s really just people wanting to help you do it better than they did it, to give you the advice they wish they’d gotten the first time around. I love being an impartial sounding board and resource for families all over the world.
With two different businesses (one based in Oakland while you're based in NY) and two little ones - how do you manage to keep it all together?
My time is always stretched. Always. As a business owner with employees relying on me, I often feel like I have many more children than the ones living in my apartment. I rely heavily on my calendar (I use iCal), Trello (a project management app) and focused advanced planning. Anything that gets left to the last minute will undoubtedly be stressful.
Every night I look through my calendar for the following day and then at the coming days. I make a list of must-do communications and tasks to work through first thing once my kids are out the door. Secondly, I make or tweak the longer term projects that I am going to work on throughout the day between meetings and calls. And INSTACART is everything.
My husband and I have a vast childcare network that spans from daycare teachers to babysitters to neighbors. While the flexibility of my professional role allows me to be fairly available for my kids generally, it also means that I’m signing online after their bedtime in NYC to catch up with what’s been happening in California. Opening Glow® in Chicago this coming Fall will add another layer of communications and travel but it’s worth it for the overall flexibility.
You have the ToteSavvy Deluxe and we'd love to know how you pack it on any given day to help keep yourself organized.
My ToteSavvy Deluxe makes everything in my life easier and therefore better. Part of my night-before planning includes the items that need to come along with me. Living in NYC means that my purse is my trunk. Everything I *may* need must be on my body.
My master list that gets tweaked by the day:
- Water bottle in the long pocket (duh)
- A hearty snack in the cooler zip (super duh)
- Kindle for the subway & Moleskines for notes on notes on notes in the medium wide pocket
- Lip stuff x 3 (another duh) in the little pocket
- Airpods in another little pocket
- Fave pens and a pencil in an inner long pocket
- Computer glasses in an inner long pocket
- Tape measure for planning the Chicago Glow® Birth & Body space in small pocket