Sunday, March 21, 2010




***mom·over (noun): mashup of "mom" and "makeover" minus the pressure to look like a total babe 24/7. (Unless that's what the mama wants, of course.) Holistic; encompasses mind, body and spirit. Nudges her to take primo care of herself, with zero guilt & tons of support. Beneficial to entire family.

Bring our your inner Momshell!

Okay, so every day since the baby was born has been a dirty sweats/no mascara/bad hair day kind of day. You don't need your mother to tell you it's time to lose that just-home-from-the-hospital-look before it sticks forever. You've got Dana Wood, patron saint of stylish new moms everywhere, to show you how to take world-class care of yourself -- drumroll please -- after the baby's born, and beyond!

In this sensibly chic guide, Wood reveals the secrets of surviving the emotional, physical, and spiritual challenges that emerge in that bleary-eyed, sleep- and time-deprived first year. In the trademark Momover style popularized in her eponymous blog, she provides the motivation you need to hop off the new-mommy self-pity train, and get with a new and improved post-baby program. What's more, she proves that doing it right by yourself is just another way of doing right by your baby.

***mom·over: Because centered, happy you = centered, happy baby!


Dana Wood is a mother, wife, and the writer of "Momover," an online column that explores the collision of age and first-time mommyhood. Currently the senior fashion features editor of W, Wood has served as the beauty director of W and the health and beauty director of Cookie. In her twenty-plus years of journalism, she has also written for numerous national publications, including Glamour, Harper's Bazaar, InStyle, Women's Health, Self, and People. Learn more about Wood and her her popular blog at She lives in New York, NY.

About the Foreword Writer
Veronica Webb is one of the world's leading supermodels as well as a television personality, journalist, author, actress, and prominent philanthropist for a number of important causes.


Tapping into Meditation to Tame Your Restless Mind by Dana Wood

I can't tell you how long "Learn to Meditate" has been sitting on my life-goals list. Not on my ho-hum to-do list, next to "schedule teeth cleaning" or "buy Huggies Pull-Ups." I'm talking about the biggie, the list that serves as the repository for my deepest desires for myself, like "Find Hubby" and "Have Baby." That's how important I consider meditation to my overall health and wellness.

So if it's so important, why haven't I tackled it before now? I guess I wasn't ready. Though I'm sure I could've benefited from meditation at earlier stages of my life, I was just too antsy to explore it (and yes, I see the irony in that). Another big reason is that I'd always assumed meditation required a lot of skill and knowledge. Not so. As it turns out, meditation is just like so many other things in life. Sometimes you just have to wade into the shallow end and start splashing around. "There's no 'right' or 'wrong' with meditation," says intuitive guru Michele Bernhardt, a multitasking healer, astrologer, and metaphysician who's produced several guided meditation CDs. (Learn more at her brilliant website, ''A big part of meditation is your intention."

So at least intend to give meditation a shot, and in the process, you'll be giving yourself the opportunity to relax, gain mental clarity, and connect with your spirituality.

Go with the Flow

As I said, I hope you don't take a page out of my book by contemplating meditation for a good ten years before actually trying it. To help you move your intention into reality and make the whole shebang that much more compelling, here's a list of tips:
  • Designate a sacred space: For me, it's my walk-in closet. I love the girl-power vibe -- the shoes, the dresses, the purses. Attached to my office, my walk-in is a key part of my "Dana Zone." I've stocked it with a few small pillows and a beautiful meditation mat Bernhardt gave me years ago. In one of my shoe cubbies, I've stashed a gorgeous sand timer, pictures of the ocean, candles, meditation CDs, and a player. Though pillows and candles are the norm, trick out your own sacred space with treasures that speak to you.
  • Create a ritual: This can involve repeating a mantra, listening to particular music (I like Gregorian chants, but you might prefer wind chimes, Tibetan bells, etc.), or inhaling certain scents. "I think, deep inside, most of us love a ritual," says Bernhardt. "So use sounds, a candle, or some kind of scentlike incense or myrrh. Patchouli is also perfect. With a scent, right away your body says, 'Okay, I'm ready.'"
  • Make sure you're comfy: Sorry, that means no Spanx. (Kidding. Sort of.) If you're not keen on sitting on the floor with your back erect and your hands on your knees, you can sit in a chair. Just make sure you're maintaining good posture, that you're positioned a few inches away from the back of the chair, and that your feet are on the floor. Kneeling is another possibility, though you might want to use a pillow for support.
  • Observe your thoughts without "feeding" them: We discuss how tricky this is below, but it becomes easier once you realize that it's all about detachment. For instance, if, midmeditation, you think about the fact that you need to take your DD to the doc, you say to yourself, ''I'm having a thought about needing to take the baby to the pediatrician." What you don't do is take that original thought to the next level, as in, "Next Tuesday afternoon might work" or "I hope the poor little doll doesn't need too many shots." Just let those snippets pass in and out without reaction.


"I've gotten much more deeply spiritual since I had my child. I trace it directly to being pregnant with him. I was introduced to the notion that our babies choose us as parents. Well, that terrified me to my core. So, I started an intense inner dialogue with my unborn child about who I really am, what kind of mother I hoped to be, my hopes and dreams, etc. To do that, I had to really dig deep and explore the whole 'Who Am I? Why Am I Here?' business. It got me on the path that has led to my becoming a meditation coach. I meditate daily and love it. "

-Katherine, mama of one


In MOM*OVER, Dana Wood focuses attention in a lightly amusing way on the new mother to help her return to some normalcy and feel wonderful again. It is so hard with all the attention that is paid by everyone, including Mom, to the new baby, that the mother leaves taking care of herself as the last one to attend to. Usually by the time she has a minute for herself, she is too exhausted to do anything but relax and nap. Yet, Wood points out that when Mom is happy so is the baby and so is Dad! But how is this possible? Well, Dana has some practical and helpful information that will help the new mother both physically and emotionally.

Filled with practical knowledge and helpful hints, Wood gives readers the support they need to get through the numerous hazards of being a new mom. She doesn’t sugar coat it but tells it with the realism that is necessary in order to leave Moms with no surprises if possible. Written in a conversational tone, Moms will feel like they have a friend on their side with Wood and as they balance the joy of the birth of this tiny miracle with the terror of being responsible for that baby, as well as taking care of the most important person in that little ones’ life…YOU! Wood’s purpose is to inspire Moms to shed their “but-I’m-a-new-mommy” excuse and instead work on becoming the new and improved Mommy and Wife. She proves that by taking care of yourself everyone will feel better in the long run--baby, Dad, and the new IMPROVED MOM!


Colleen Turner said...

Thank you for the review! My son is now almost five, but I remember those days of being so exhausted that you cannot even force yourself to take a shower some days, regardless of how dirty and unattractive you feel. I lucked out with having a wonderful and supportive husband, but not everyone else has that. I will have to check this book out.