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Expecting? We’ve Been Expecting You

Hello!  I’m Vanessa Merten, and I’ve been supporting expecting moms and partners with evidence-based information and resources to healthily and safely navigate pregnancy, birth, and newborn parenting since 2015.

With Over 150 Episodes of The Pregnancy Podcast in the Itunes store, available for free, I’ve created tons of valuable content for you.

To make things easier, I recommend you start with the following.

For any questions, email [email protected]

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  • 1st Trimester
  • 2nd Trimester
  • Birth
  • Q&A

Q&A: Safe Cleaning Products

Question “Thank you so much for the pregnancy podcast, I feel so informed as I make my way through my first pregnancy and I have…

Q&A: Postpartum Hemorrhage, Bleeding, and the Return of Your Period

Question “How much bleeding postpartum is normal? And how can you tell/measure? I’ve had two friends hemorrhage and have a life threatening situation, both first…

Q&A: Informed Consent

Question “Thank you for this podcast, it has been so informative. I have a question about informed consent. It seems like everything my doctor does…

Q&A: What is the Ideal Spacing In Between Kids?

Question “Thank you so much for this incredible resource! My son is now 6 months old and I am still listening to the podcast because…

Q&A: What is Pasmo and How Can You Avoid It?

Listen Now Episode Content and Overview Pasmo is a Spanish word that doesn’t have an English equivalent. It describes the reversal of labor once it…

Q&A: Waiting for Your First Prenatal Appointment

Question “Hi Vanessa, thank you so much for your podcast! After eight months of trying to conceive I finally got a positive pregnancy test! The…

Q&A: Weight Gain During Pregnancy

Question “Hi Vanessa, thank you for the amazing podcasts, I have been listening since I started trying to conceive and I am now 9 weeks…

Q&A: Baby Names

Question “Vanessa, I cannot thank you enough for this podcast! I have a question that may seem trivial but it is really stressing me out….

Q&A: Miscarriage

Email “I’m disappointed… Not in your podcast as I always found this a great resource and a go to while I was pregnant…But that we…

Q&A: Fertility

Question “Hi Vanessa, I love your podcast. I don’t know what I’d do without your thorough and evidence-based episodes. I would love to request a trying…

A Step by Step Guide to Creating and Writing Your Birth Plan

This book walks you through step-by-step, showing you exactly how to create a birth plan that will lay the foundation for the birth experience you want.  You will find short sections with evidence based information to help you decide what your preferences are from the time you start labor until you are home with your baby. There are sample plans for everything from a home birth to a planned cesarean and everything in between, so no matter what type of birth you are planning this book has you covered.  Plus, the master template includes everything you could include in your birth plan and it is super quick and easy to customize it to fit your preferences.

Check out a preview of the book

By the time you’re finished with this book:

You will be educated about everything that can impact your labor and birth.

You will be on the same page as your care provider, your partner, and anyone else who will be by your side when you give birth.

You will be confident in the decisions that you are making, and confident that you can create the birth experience you want.

You’ll also be prepared for whatever happens on the magical day that you get to meet your baby – even if things do not go exactly as you envision.

Your Birth Plan gives you the tools you need to prepare for your birth and be in control of your experience and the way in which your baby enters the world.

Birth plan template and samples included.

What people are saying…

“Before I read Your Birth Plan my husband and I were both terrified of birth and now we are prepared, ready, and excited about it.” – Lauren

“I spent hours looking at sample birth plans online and was so frustrated I was ready to give up on writing my own plan. I found your book and it was exactly what I needed. Thank you! – Alexis

“I had a good idea of what I wanted in my plan but I couldn’t come up with the right wording and it was three pages long. Thanks to the template in the book I cut it down to one page, reviewed it with my doctor, and am 100% ready to have my baby.” – Emily

Have a question about the Your Birth Plan book? Contact Vanessa.

40 Weeks Introduction

Listen Now Welcome to the 40 Weeks podcast! This episode is the introduction to 40 Weeks and will give you everything you can expect from…

Week 1-2

Listen Now Welcome to weeks 1-2 of your pregnancy! This week your body is preparing to get pregnant. Resources Included in This Episode Check out…

Week 3

Listen Now Welcome to week 3 of your pregnancy! This week your egg is fertilized and the journey of your baby begins! Resources Included in This Episode…

Week 4

Listen Now Welcome to week 4 of your pregnancy! This week your baby is the size of a poppy seed. Resources Included in This Episode Check out…

Week 5

Listen Now Welcome to week 5 of your pregnancy! This week your baby is the size of an apple seed or a peppercorn.  They are .05…

Week 6

Listen Now Welcome to week 6 of your pregnancy! Your little apple seed sized baby has grown to be about the size of a sweet pea. …

Week 7

Listen Now Welcome to week 7 of your pregnancy! By the end of this week, the embryo will more than double its length to a half…

Week 8

Listen Now Welcome to week 8 of your pregnancy! At a length of about .6 inches right now, or 1.6 centimeters, your baby has graduated from…

Week 9

Listen Now Welcome to week 9 of your pregnancy! Your baby has graduated from an embryo and is now officially called a fetus, which literally means…

Week 10

Listen Now Welcome to week 10 of your pregnancy! Your little baby has grown to the size of a prune or a cotton ball.  This…

Week 11

Listen Now Welcome to week 11 of your pregnancy! Your little baby has grown to the size of a Brussels sprout this week.  They are…

Week 12

Listen Now Welcome to week 12 of your pregnancy! Your little baby has grown to the size of a plum.  They are just over 2 inches,…

Week 13

Listen Now Welcome to week 13 of your pregnancy! Your little baby has grown to the size of a peach.  They measure almost 3 inches, or…

Week 14

Listen Now Welcome to week 14 of your pregnancy! Your little baby has grown to the size of a lemon this week, or roughly the size of…

Week 15

Listen Now Welcome to week 15 of your pregnancy! Your little baby has grown to the size of an apple or a baseball.  Your little guy or…

Week 16

Listen Now Welcome to week 16 of your pregnancy! Your little baby has grown to the size of an avocado.  Your little one is about 4 1/2…

Week 17

Listen Now Welcome to week 17 of your pregnancy! Your little baby has grown to the size of a pear.  From crown to rump, your baby measures…

Week 18

Listen Now Welcome to week 18 of your pregnancy! Your little baby has grown to the size of a sweet potato this week.  At week 18 your…

Week 19

Listen Now Welcome to week 19 of your pregnancy! Your little baby has grown to the size of a mango this week.  Your baby measures approximately six…

Week 20

Listen Now Welcome to week 20 of your pregnancy! Your little baby has grown to the size of a small artichoke.  Up until now we have…

Week 21

Listen Now Welcome to week 21 of your pregnancy! Your little baby has grown to the size of a pomegranate.  That little one measures 10 inches, or…

Week 22

Listen Now Welcome to week 22 of your pregnancy! Your little baby has grown to the size of a papaya.  They measure 10.5 inches, or 26.5 centimeters…

Week 23

Listen Now Welcome to week 23 of your pregnancy! Your little baby has grown to the size of an eggplant.  Your baby measures almost 11 inches, or…

Week 24

Listen Now Welcome to week 24 of your pregnancy! Your little baby has grown to the size of an ear of corn this week.  That little one…

Week 25

Listen Now Welcome to week 25 of your pregnancy! Your little baby has grown to the size of an acorn squash this week.  That little one is…

Week 26

Listen Now Welcome to week 26 of your pregnancy! Your little baby has grown to the size of a zucchini this week.  That little one keeps getting…

Week 27

Listen Now Welcome to week 27 of your pregnancy! Your little baby has grown to the size of a head of cauliflower.  This week, your little one…

Week 28

Listen Now Welcome to week 28 of your pregnancy! Your little baby has grown to the size of a kabocha squash.  Not sure what that kind of…

Week 29

Listen Now Welcome to week 29 of your pregnancy! Your little baby has grown to the size of a butternut squash.  Let’s put that into perspective.  Your…

Week 30

Listen Now Welcome to week 30 of your pregnancy! Your little baby has grown to the size of a large head of cabbage.  Your little is measuring…

Week 31

Listen Now Welcome to week 31 of your pregnancy! Your little baby has grown to the length of a bunch of leeks.  How long is that?  Your…

Week 32

Listen Now Welcome to week 32 of your pregnancy! Your little baby has grown to the size of a head of Napa cabbage, which is bigger than…

Week 33

Listen Now Welcome to week 33 of your pregnancy! Your little baby has grown to the size of a pineapple.  Your little one measures 16.7 inches, or…

Week 34

Listen Now Welcome to week 34 of your pregnancy! Your little baby has grown to the size of a cantaloupe.  Your little one measures 17.2 inches, or…

Week 35

Listen Now Welcome to week 35 of your pregnancy! Your little baby has grown to the size of a honeydew melon this week.  Your little one measures…

Week 36

Listen Now Welcome to week 36 of your pregnancy! Your little baby has grown to the size of a canary melon this week.  That little cutie measures…

Week 37

Listen Now Welcome to week 37 of your pregnancy! Your little baby has grown as long as a stalk of Swiss chard this week.  Just how…

Week 38

Listen Now Welcome to week 38 of your pregnancy! Your little baby has grown as long as a stalk of rhubarb this week.  Just how long is…

Week 39

Listen Now Welcome to week 39 of your pregnancy! Your little baby has grown to the size of a mini watermelon.  Your little one is measuring 19.6…

Week 40

Listen Now Welcome to week 40 of your pregnancy! Your little baby has grown to the size of a pumpkin.  Your baby is measuring almost 20 inches,…

Week 41

Listen Now Welcome to week 41 of your pregnancy! If your little one isn’t quite ready to come out yet, they are measuring 20.16 inches,…

Week 42

Listen Now Welcome to week 42 of your pregnancy! If your little one is still hanging out in your belly, they are measuring 20.4 inches,…

These resources are must haves! All products are items I swear by and have used or am currently using. Note: some of the links on this page may be affiliate links. If you have any specific questions about the products or services listed I would happy to chat about my experience with them.  Please feel free to email me at [email protected] podcast.com or contact me by clicking here.

Motherhood

Motherhood Maternity is the best resource for maternity clothes. There are some staples you will need for your pregnancy like jeans, leggings, and tops, plus they have an awesome selection of super cute maternity clothes for work and even dressier outfits for all of those holiday events coming up. I shopped here during both of my pregnancies and was really happy with the selection, quality, and the prices. I know it can overwhelming to think about not fitting into anything in your closet. It is 100% worth it to invest in maternity clothes because you are going to be so much more comfortable and the clothing is made specifically for pregnancy, which means it will have room for your growing belly and fit you well.

The Evenflo EveryStage car seat is an infant seat, convertible, and booster all in one and it has 10 different positions that will keep your baby or older child safe and comfortable. Evenflo’s EasyClick latch system makes it so easy to install and move it from one car to another. When it comes to car seats safety is a huge priority for me and this seat allows kids to be rear facing longer. The EveryStage car seat is well made, safe, and so easy to use. This is the only car seat you will ever need. Click here to check out the Evenflo EveryStage car seat and get a promo code to save 10%.

Mommy Steps makes insoles specifically for pregnancy. I use these everyday and love them! They have insoles for athletic shoes and ones for flats or boots. You can even heat them in your oven and mold them to your own feet to make you more comfortable and to prevent foot issues during pregnancy. Mommy Steps is offering an exclusive 20% off for listeners of the Pregnancy Podcast. Click here to check them out and enter the promo code FEET when you checkout.

Aeroflow is a company that helps you get a breast pump through your health insurance. There can be some hoops to jump through to get a breast pump through your insurance but Aeroflow does all of this for you and makes it so easy. All you need to do is fill out a form that takes just a minute. Aeroflow will contact your health insurance company, get the necessary paperwork from your doctor or midwife, then they will get in touch with you to help you choose the right breast pump. Click here to get started.

Want a great prenatal vitamin that has DHA? Zahler makes a really high quality vitamin that contains DHA. This is an excellent option if you want to knock out your prenatal vitamin and your omega 3s in one.

You can score 25% off on Amazon by entering PREPOD25 at checkout when you buy through seller Apex Nutrition.

Click here to order yours today.

Want a complete template you can customize for the birth you want?  I created the Your Birth Plan book as a step by step guide that makes creating and writing your birth plan super easy!

Your Birth Plan includes: explanations of everything you can include with all of your options, a complete template you can customize to your preferences, and sample plans for a home birth to a planned cesarean, and everything in between.

Amazon is my go to resource to buy everything.  Creating a baby registry on Amazon is a no brainer.  You can have gifts shipped directly to you, which is great for out of town family and friends.  You also get a 15% completion discount, anything you buy on your registry after your due date is 15% off.  Everything you could possibly need for your little one is on Amazon and the reviews make selecting the right products super easy.

The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding covers everything about breastfeeding!  It is a fantastic guide and a great reference tool you will use over and over again.  Definitely a must read to have a successful breastfeeding relationship with your baby.

Considering a natural birth?   Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth is full of encouragement and practical advice to help you be prepared for an unmedicated birth.  Ina May Gaskin is an invaluable resource for minimizing medical interventions and having a natural childbirth.

I went on a mission to eliminate chemicals from my home and use more natural cleaning products.  I am a big fan of The Honest Company and their products are really effective, non-toxic, and eco-friedly.  I use just about everything from the laundry detergent and stain remover, to dish soap and the multi-surface cleaner.

Building up a stash of milk?  These are the best breast milk storage bags.  I have used them for more than a year.  They work great in the fridge and especially for frozen milk.  I have used hundreds of these (I but up quite a sock in my freezer) and have had no issues.

Leaking happens.  These washable nursing pads are life savers!  They work great in the event you do leak milk and they are super comfortable to wear.  No special care instructions just pop them in the washer and dryer with your regular laundry.

The Honest Company delivers diapers and wipes right to your door.  On top of being convenient, they do not have any harsh chemicals, are bio-degradable, and they come in adorable prints.  Did I mention my son has never had a diaper rash?  These diapers are the best, I highly recommend them!

Love listening to podcasts for info on pregnancy and birth? Emily Wills is a doula who is blogging about pregnancy and birth podcasts to help you discover more great content.  Check out her blog here.

126: Morning Sickness

Listen Now Episode 126 Content and Overview Morning sickness is most often nausea that happens during pregnancy, and can be accompanied by vomiting. This does…

123: Cesarean Birth

Listen Now Episode 123 Content and Overview A cesarean birth is the birth of a baby via a surgical procedure called a cesarean section or…

117: Eating Organic During Pregnancy

Listen Now Episode 117 Content and Overview Your diet is a big contributor to your health and the health of your baby during pregnancy. It…

114: Labor Signs

Listen Now Episode 114 Content and Overview When you have made it through most of your pregnancy and are in the final stretch you enter…

109: Fever During Pregnancy

Listen Now Episode 109 Content and Overview Feeling under the weather is never fun, especially when you are pregnant. Combine that with feeling lethargic, shivering,…

103: Pregnancy Sleep, Tips for Better Sleep

Listen Now Episode 103 Content and Overview Sleep isn’t just the key to waking up feeling well rested in the morning. Quality sleep will also…

102: Pregnancy Sleep Issues

Listen Now Episode 102 Content and Overview Sleep is so vital to both your physical and mental health during any stage of your life and…

Q&A: Pregnancy Fatigue

Question “Hello Vanessa! Thank you so much for your podcast it is a lifesaver! I am currently 8 weeks pregnant and so far have been…

Q&A: Pooping During Labor

Question This week I am answering a question submitted from Kim.  She says, “”You talk about urinating during labor, but what about going #2?  Does…

89: Morning Sickness

Listen Now Episode 89 Content and Overview Morning sickness is most often nausea that happens during pregnancy, and can be accompanied by vomiting. This does not…

88: Your Due Date

Listen Now Episode 88 Content and Overview One of the first things you do when you find out you are pregnant is figure out when…

75: Eating Meat During Pregnancy

Listen Now Episode 75 Content and Overview Your diet has a huge impact on your health during pregnancy and the health of your growing baby….

46: Natural Hospital Birth

Listen Now Episode 46 Content and Overview If you want to have a natural birth that does not mean that you have to home birth….

45: Water Birth

Listen Now Episode 45 Content and Overview A water birth is a birth in which a baby is born to a mother laboring in a…

42: Home Birth

Listen Now Episode 42 Content and Overview It was not too long ago in our history that all births took place at home.  Over the…

40: Natural Birth

Listen Now Episode 40 Content and Overview Natural birth is a birth without medical interventions, particularly anesthesia. It is not some hippie ideology that rejects the…

37: Hospital Birth

Listen Now Episode 37 Content and Overview Hospitals have become the go to place to give birth in many countries.  About 98% of all births…

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