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Episode 093. Elevating Pregnancy with Expecting Wonder Author Brittany Bergman

Episode 093

Perfectionism is not just impossible in parenting but it is deeply at odds with our goals.

When I read the book Expecting Wonder, it isn’t what I expected. I’m not 100% sure WHAT I expected but it really showed me that I came into a pregnancy book with expectations. I don’t know whether I thought it was going to be a story version of What to Expect When You’re Expecting or what…but I ended the book a different person. (Even as a non-pregnant person who has birthed three babies, I shut that book and felt heard & known in a way I haven’t before). Today’s conversation with the author Brittany Bergman will really show you why.

This book is a must read for moms who are expecting, who have had babies, and really anyone in the childbirth community. Brittany takes on modern motherhood culture messaging and names some of the major issues plaguing moms and thoughts around pregnancy. She also makes space for stories, listening, grace, growth, honesty faith, slowing down, self-compassion, instinct, and intuition. I’d love to see this book at the top of the list for new mamas over many of the other popular ones out there.

I love Brittany’s focus in her book. She sees pregnancy so much more than what is presented to us. It’s sold as a season that is hyper-focused on the physical — the growing baby, a woman’s growing body. We’re told what changes to expect, what to eat, what to do, and what not to do. But pregnancy isn’t just a means to an end of getting a baby into the world. It is a deeply transformative process for us as we become mothers. If we can lean into all the feelings pregnancy brings up — not just joy and gratitude, but fear, loss, and even sorrow — we can collaborate in the process of creating new life, for our children and for ourselves.

We swim in the deep end in this episode! It’s like Brittany and I met by the pool for the first time and decided to jump in the deep end and not get out for two hours. I could have talked with her all day…and I feel like you’ll feel the same, like you just want to stay in the deep end with her and listen all day.

Brittany’s Bio: Brittany L. Bergman is an author who is passionate about telling stories that provide refreshment, connection, and encouragement to mothers who don’t want to lose sight of their identity. Her essays on motherhood have been featured in a variety of publications, including TODAY Parents, Motherly, Coffee + Crumbs, and The MOPS Blog. She lives in the suburbs of Chicago with her husband, Dan, and their two children. By day, she is a copy editor of nonfiction books at a publishing house. Her first book, Expecting Wonder, is about the identity-level transformation we experience as we become mothers.

In This Episode, Brittany & I Talk About:

  • Her new book Expecting Wonder
  • Her career changes
  • The information we wish we had during our first pregnancies
  • Encouragement during pregnancy
  • There is no one size fits all answer for anything—including pregnancies
  • The transformation that happens during pregnancy
  • Personal expectations in pregnancy
  • Societal expectations during pregnancy and how they affect our personal ones
  • “The night her marriage almost ended” with the nursery decorating
  • Intuition in motherhood
  • Birth plans
  • A sense of purpose and rest
  • Noticing without distraction
  • “the days are long but the years are short”
  • The role of distraction in our lives as moms
  • Being honest about pregnancy and how we feel about it
  • When pregnancy feels hard
  • Living in overwhelm but feeling like we can never admit it
  • Being honest and gracious with ourselves as moms
  • The desire for a break will leak out of us
  • Taking a step back and intentionally taking a break
  • Making (& breaking!) rules for ourselves
  • Limiting rules about motherhood: society rules and personal rules
  • Rules give us a sense of safety and control
  • Our self-worth is more than just our ability to follow arbitrary rules
  • What happens when we lean into “rules” instead of faith
  • The role of faith in motherhood
  • Control is NOT the answer
  • Where our peace comes from as moms
  • The measurement systems we’re using to see how we “measure up” as moms and women and people
  • Connection born out of vulnerability
  • Miscarriage
  • Confronting our “what ifs”
  • We’re usually not disappointed when we are our true selves around other people
  • Being more forward with who we really our
  • Shame as a mother
  • Self compassion
  • Opportunities for healing in pregnancy and motherhood
  • The role of vulnerability in self compassion
  • Maternity clothes
  • Those first moments after giving birth
  • Being body confident
  • Our kids pick up on everything
  • Control through cruelty
  • Our relationship with our body
  • The power of daily affirmations
  • Our self work isn’t wasted
  • Baby registry
  • Societal messages about how to prepare for baby
  • Aligning our actions with our values
  • The pressure of the baby registries
  • Positive for our product obsessed culture
  • Borrowing baby items
  • Instincts and intuition
  • Attunement into our motherhood instincts
  • Mother’s intuition as a soul-based muscle that we strengthen over time
  • Listening + alignment = intuition
  • “Perfectionism is not just impossible in parenting but it is deeply at odds with our goals.”
  • Experiencing shame as adult
  • Embracing our humanity as women and moms first
  • Parenting five-year-olds
  • Untangling the knot of motherhood
  • The caricature of the perfect mother
  • Brittany’s Secret Sauce: honesty, flexibility, curiosity, presence, and accepting what is
  • How flexibility can serve us as parents
  • We are allowed to change our minds
  • Letting go of the notion of a static self
  • Positioning ourselves as learners in motherhood
  • Life long learning
  • Positive parenting
  • Smartest person in the room syndrome
  • Accepting our limits – pregnancy showing that our bodies are also serving our babies
  • Pain as a signal to pay attention
  • Charting our course to meet our children
  • Sharing our birth stories
  • How we can show up and listen to other birth stories while processing our own birth stories
  • Redemptive birth

Brittany’s Links: Website, Instagram, Sign up for her weekly email: Arm Chair Chats and
Book: Expecting Wonder

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MUTU System: Thanks to MUTU System for supporting today’s episode of Elevating Motherhood. MUTU is a medically recommended, online exercise program that is designed to support mothers postpartum. And it’s not just for moms who have new babies. I started using MUTU 2.5 years after my third baby was born. My hip issues and unresolved diastasis recti were continuing to get in the way of my exercise attempts and everyday comfort level. I decided to do something about it and MUTU was the support I was looking for. I started to experience relief after just a week of using the program. I highly recommend it as a way to boost your strength and confidence! It’s gentle, do-able, effective—and you can use it at home. Buy it once and it’s yours for life. There’s more information over at And you can hear more from the founder and CEO Wendy Powell in Episode 41. Go check it out!

Naupaka: Thanks to Naupaka for supporting today’s episode of Elevating Motherhood! Naupaka is an ethical online boutique based on Maui that is committed to ethical and fair trading practices. All of their products are either Fair Trade Federation certified, WRAP certified, and/or made or printed in the USA. This beautiful, philanthropic boutique carries gifts & products for you and your whole family—they sell women’s, men’s, and children’s clothing, jewelry, decals, phone stones, and home décor. Go check them out at Be sure to use the code LORIBETH10 for 10% OFF your purchase. (I’ll link to that in the show notes!) Head over to after the show. You’re in for a treat!


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