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 300 episodes of the Pregnancy Podcast, involving thousands of hours of research, 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]

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.

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…

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…

Q&A: Do I really need a written birth plan?

Question “”Is it really necessary to write out a copy of my birth plan and hand my doctor a paper copy?” – Jennifer Answer Additional…

Q&A: Prenatal Yoga

Question “Hi Vanessa, I have a question about doing yoga while pregnant: I’ve been practicing yoga for over 15 years. Living in northern New England,…

Q&A: Pregnancy & Hair Dye

Question “I was wondering what you think of getting some color in your hair whilst pregnant. I’m not dying my whole hair, just getting some…

Q&A: Stress From Family

Question “Since our wedding my husband’s parents have been putting a lot of pressure on us to have a baby.  After a year of trying…

Q&A: Pudendal Nerve Block

Question “Is a transvaginal pudendal nerve block recommended? Could it be used as part of a modified natural birth? Will it affect the baby or…

Q&A: Choosing the Right Baby Crib

Question “We’re searching for a baby crib. Not sure if we need spend money on a bassinet for the first few months. And most importantly, what…

Q&A: Evening Primrose Oil

Question “I just heard about evening primrose being a thing but none of my research has talked about it.  What can you tell me about…

Q&A: Induction

Question “I’m 40 weeks pregnant and felt a bit upset to hear my midwife encourage me to induce. She explained that anything after 41 weeks…

Q&A Single Umbilical Artery

Question “At my 20 week anatomy scan I was diagnosed with single umbilical artery. It seems to affect 1 in 100 pregnancies. I am so…

Q&A C-section Suture Methods

Question “I have a question about suturing after a C-section. Why did you request two layers? I read a lot of information about it, but…

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,…

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