Women’s Wellness Maven | Founder of Mama Glow | Author
Author of the best-selling book Mama Glow: A Hip Guide to a Fabulous and Abundant Pregnancy and creator of Mama Glow, Latham Thomas is the go-to-guru for a modern holistic motherhood journey. She is leading the forefront of the Maternal Wellness Movement as a birth coaching doula, pre/post natal yoga teacher, nutritional specialist, and devotee of radical self-care. She is a highly sought out lifestyle expert and has appeared on the Dr. Oz Show, Fox News LIVE, CBS News, and featured in a myriad of magazines including: Essence, Fit Pregnancy, and Vogue.com. Recently she was named a “Soul Teacher” of Oprah’s Super Soul 100! Her second and highly anticipated book, Own Your Glow: A Soulful Guide to Luminous Living And Crowning the Queen Within, will debut this September. This woman sparkles!
Hello Latham! Thank you for sharing your glow with us! Tell us about how you discovered your calling to guide women to live passionate and luminous lives in their motherhood journey.
When I was only 4 years old I witnessed my mother, aunt and great-aunt all pregnant at the same time due within a month of each other. I was fascinated by the process and was always listening to my mom’s belly and monitoring my sister’s fetal kicks. My five-year old cousin and I would stuff Cabbage Patch dolls under our dresses and pretend to deliver each other’s babies. Little did I know at the time that my dramatic play would become the seed for my passion for women’s reproductive health and the birth process.
When I became pregnant with my own son, who is now 13 years old, I noticed there was such a gap between the client and the practitioner experience. I saw a need to celebrate the experience of pregnancy and motherhood, to elevate birth. There was a need for hand-holding and support that didn’t really exist in the way I envisioned it. I’ve been inspired since the day I gave birth to my son Fulano.
Mama Glow, maternal wellness, and wellbeing isn’t an interest, it’s a lifestyle, a rubric to live by. I committed myself to growing a brand that served a larger purpose—to transform the way women perceive their bodies, to help women reclaim their bodies as sacred and give birth in an empowered way on their own terms. When my baby was sleeping, I would dream up ideas, write, and work on what would become Mama Glow. What started off as meet-ups and a film festival turned into a booming practice. I grew the following organically by just spreading inspiration and love, giving a peek into my world. My son often reminds me, that it was he that inspired Mama Glow, and he is right.
Our brand mantra is: Mama Glow is an abundant, radiant energy that comes from within. Birth is our rite of passage, and Mama Glow is our birthright—to walk in grace, power, and wisdom, to have understanding, reverence, and trust in our bodies. The act of standing in your power ignites a force within that glows from the inside out. It’s a personal style that reflects confidence, beauty, radiance, and balance.
As a writer and inspiring creator, how do you fuel your innovative vibes to continue to light your imagination and illuminate your path?
I am a self-care evangelist, constantly preaching about the benefits and necessity of taking time for oneself. As women, we’ve been programed to put ourselves last and ignore ever present signals from the body about our wellbeing. Self Care is part of my gospel. I preach about Glow Time.
I’m about cultivating rituals and reveling in radical self-care as a pathway to empowerment. Slowing down to celebrate and love yourself, whether that’s a hot bath, a foot rub, a full body massage, taking a hike or simply logging off of social media and reading a good book. The moments we spend on ourselves and by ourselves are magical.
I make space for glow time at various parts of the day- for instance in the morning I aim to rise up early around 5:30 or 6am and take my time to get ready. I move slowly, have a meditation moment a little prayer. During the day I might unfold my yoga mat and stretch it out at my office or get a manicure and 10 minute massage then get back in to the office. This keeps me in a space where I can be a vessel for creativity and I can serve others.
I also engage in practices that resonate with my wellbeing. So I have a deep listening practice. When I feel called to sit down and write- I write, that is part of the reason why it took me so long to complete this second book. I don’t force anything- it’s not in my nature. I am constantly inspired by the creative matrix that is the divine feminine. The feminine is my fuel and my inspiration. I have abundant idea flow and creative energy because I honor and utilize my intuition- my GPS and I replenish with self-care.
When inevitable negativity creeps in, what tools do you use to turn it around to create a spiral upward instead of a spiral downward?
Life blesses us with opportunities to tap into the tools we cultivate during prayer, on the yoga mat, on the cushion… We are all allowed to have a bad day and express our emotion- in fact, it is healthy to do so. But dwelling in this space of despair can lead you further down a narrowing path toward depression. I believe in the power of movement as a tool to help release energetic blocks as well as emotional tension in the body. I often dance, practice yoga and free movement to help turn things around and boost my mood. I call upon my sister circle for support- I have a handful of friends who I know I can call on to listen and let me release when I feel frustration. I sing as it helps me get things off my chest and move sound vibrational energy through the body. I meditate for clarity and pray for solution. When my fiancé was sick and fighting cancer, having gratitude for tiny victories was so important.
I remember attending church in Harlem one Sunday and the preacher said, “Whenever you feel like you hit rock bottom, remember that God made those rocks.” And that to me says it all. When you are feeling in a rut, see it as an opportunity, the only way is up.
What are your favorite “Three Glow Tips” for embracing our womanhood, honoring our dreams, and becoming the best version of ourselves?
Don’t Just Think It, Ink It! Writing down our goals and desires has a peculiar way of activating them in the world. Keep a journal so you can write down all of your goals, milestones, gratitudes and what you are feeling. It gives the universe a clear indication that you are ready to take your thoughts to the next level and spin them into action.
Practice Phone Fasting: It’s really easy to get caught up in social media and textual relationships. Tune all the digital chatter out of your life for one day- perhaps a Sunday. If the thought gives you a panic attack, then try half a day. Phone-fasting includes iPads, computers, gaming, etc. Take that time to tune inward, be with yourself, with family, go for a run, spend time doing what you love with who you love, and take time to appreciate the precious moment that is the present.
Schedule Your Life Around Your monthly Cycle. Do you follow your menstrual cycle? Learning to honor your feminine cycle can help promote harmony. Use your cycle as an opportunity to rest, slow down and nourish yourself. In the days leading up start to thin out your schedule. Minimize the number of meetings you take, social outings and go really easy on exercise. Adjust your diet and take more time to dream and relax leading up to your cycle to prevent PMS and symptomatic periods. Map out your month and plan out the big things- working around your monthly menses. Slow down on your list of tasks so you can feel rejuvenated on the other side of your cycle and prevent burn-out.
BONUS: Establish a Glow Time Practice: Of course! Everyone needs respite and retreat. Establish a ritual practice of self care, which consists of slowing down and paying homage to you. This could be a massage, yoga, meditation, pedicure, a hike, baking, or my favorite… a nice hot bath by candle light. Make this a regular part of your routine- not an emergency revival.
As the author of your life, what is a luminous day in the life of Latham?
My days change so often depending on what is happening at Mama Glow but constants are waking up early to move my body before everyone else wakes up. Taking a few moments for meditation and reflection. Making breakfast for my son and although I used to be able to walk him to school, now he insists on walking alone. I head to my office by subway or walking, if the weather is good and often from there clients come visit or I do home visits in different parts of the city. At Mama Glow we offer nutrition support, yoga, birth doula services so I am likely supporting clients in one of these ways. We also do ritual work and support women who are on the childbearing continuum who may not have gotten pregnant or who may have experienced loss. I am blessed to support these women with healing rituals and using a variety of modalities to help them reconnect and establish faith in their bodies and the sacred birth process.
Sometimes I am attending a birth and weekly I teach a prenatal yoga class that’s been described as “the best prenatal workout in NYC”. I like to support up and coming doulas and women in the birth field so I carve out some time for mentoring too.
Dinners are spent with family. My son, fiancé and I love to eat together, I have them wash the dishes. We love to pile into my bed and play board games. It’s a great way to connect with my teenage son who like many teens wants to be on the phone.
When you look at a photograph of yourself when you were younger, if you were to write a letter to her, what advice would you give her knowing what you know now?
My advice would be set healthy boundaries in place. One of the biggest lessons I have learned is to check-in within first. I used to be a people pleaser and eager to say “yes”, often at the expense of my own agenda. And now I simply make decisions based on whether something feels good and aligned and if it doesn’t I just politely decline. I take the time to feel in my body whether or not the request resonates before I say yes to anything. It’s just a way of allowing my intuition to show through and reveal the answer to me. I don’t have to weigh my options or the pros and cons- I can simply feel my way through- all of us can do this. The innate wisdom is here for our benefit.
You have an incredible list of accomplishments with the recent addition of being a “Soul Teacher” of “Oprah’s Super Soul 100.” What an honor, congratulations! Tell us about this experience:
I grew up, like so many of us have, watching the Oprah show with my mom and grandmother. It was a ritual that took place daily after school- we watched the Oprah show religiously. Oprah was part of all of our lives. I always knew I would connect with her and one day. I have had brief opportunities to meet her over the years. And I am deeply moved and honored that she would acknowledge my work in the wellness, women’s health and birth movement and help amplify the importance of our work by including me in this list. The day I found out I was part of the Super Soul 100 was back in March of 2016. I remember they sent two letters, one that was penned by Oprah herself. I was beyond thrilled. And meeting her was a magical experience. I was listed amongst friends like Zendaya who is my little soul sis from Oakland, Lin Manuel Miranda, India Arie, Iyanla Vanzant, Tony Robbins, Luvvie Ajai and more. We were invited to spend a weekend with Oprah for the Super Soul Sessions then attend an amazing brunch at OWN and a photo shoot that ended up in the O Magazine September issue.
While I am ever thankful for the acknowledgment, it doesn’t change anything about who I am at my core and how I show up in the world to serve. I am always a woman who’s focus is on advancing other women- helping them across the threshold and witnessing them at their most vulnerable and their most powerful. Having Oprah’s endorsement opens doors that may have previously been shut. As a woman of color in the wellness space there are already so many impediments and road blocks in place that I hurdle over on a regular basis and when you get support from a mentor or someone you really look up to it can help move the needle.
“It wasn’t until I was pregnant that I became overly conscious of how much I only wanted to have positive things around me; people, food and energy! I also saw how easy it is to think of birth as a series of decisions that someone else is making for us. But we women are powerful and almighty and Mama Glow helps show us just how empowered we can be all the way throughout this glorious time in our lives!”
~ Alicia Keys // Grammy award winning recording Artist
Cameron Diaz recently released her new book “The Longevity Book.” Longevity to me is a daily practice of choosing to be a student of life, an athlete of fun, and be a healthy lifestyle designer mixed with a heck of a lot of perseverance. What does longevity mean to you?
I agree with you, we are lifetime students of life. And longevity I believe is about being perennial- everlasting. I look at my grandparents who grew up in times of segregation and have lived to see the first African-American President, who didn’t grow up with television and who now carry smart-phones and are proficient with texting and emjois. They have had to adapt to an accelerated pace of living that has only increased as they have gotten older. I think that they stay current and relatable by keeping a hand on the pulse of culture- not rejecting it but adapting to it.
To live a life of longevity I believe you need tools to help surrender when you are feeling swept into the current of accelerated living. Being here for the long haul is all about becoming a student and steward of your body, mind, and spirit so that you can fulfill your life’s mission. Learning to listen to the wisdom of the body is the greatest gift. Longevity is about surrender- not forcing your way, but making space, holding space and being present, it’s about embracing the energy of ease.
Any final thoughts, words of advice, or a favorite quote for our readers?
I’d like to share a little about my forthcoming book, Own Your Glow: A Soulful Guide to Luminous Living and Crowning The Queen Within. It’s a calling to all women to awaken the divine and tap into our power source. Everything in society tries to turn us against ourselves, we turn our backs on our bodies, harbor self-hatred.
This book is an elixir, a formula for standing in your truth and using your feminine edge to design a life worthy of YOU. There is a sensual, textured, prescriptive, grown-ass woman-ness that laces the book.
I use the wisdom of Mother Nature and her cyclical lunar phases, folklore and the Triple Goddess as it relates to your menstrual cycle, I decode our sacred anatomy and pleasure center, I help women reconnect with their primal dreams and take glownership of their aspirations and goals. I invite women to slow down and move with intention and embrace self care as a critical ally in their success. I weave in invocations, rituals, meditations and reflections throughout the book, which is organized in 3 Portals- Evoke, Ignite, and Embody. I can’t wait for everyone to have it in their hands.
Thank you Latham for sharing your positive vibes! We appreciate you and your glowing, sincere presence!
With BIG LOVE and light,
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Affectionately described by many as a yoga scientist, Amanda Kriebel is an innovative Doctor of Physical Therapy and Yoga Teacher who humbly claims to be a student of life. Contact her to schedule and appointment in person or via Skype. Learn more about her and her exclusive videos: www.awarenesspt.com | Facebook | Instagram @amanda.kriebel | YouTube Channel