Designing Motherhood's Story

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I am Margaret Marshall. In 2013, as I sat in birth preparation class with my husband listening to how I would likely have a difficult time bonding with my child if I had a c-section, I was struck by a funny feeling. I looked at my husband and he looked at me. The information we were given didn’t strike either one of us as unbiased or even scientific. I went home and called my mom, who immediately eased my worries. She reassured me that however my baby came into the world, we would bond.

After we hung up the phone I went into research overload. I found (for myself) there was not one specific resource that was particularly right for me. Over time, I saw that other friends were also struggling trying to adhere to one doctrine or another.

I began to realize women and men need and deserve another option that was not presently accessible. 

Parenting is a very individual and intimate process: while we need guidance and resources, we need open encouragement to find our own voice in this new and deeply personal context too.

This can be done through unbiased coaching and facilitation without judgment.

After a decade in the business world, I have decided to switch gears: our mission is to help women discover a holistic approach to modern motherhood.

Certified by

American Heart Association

Gottman Institute

Yoga Alliance

BA from the University of Vermont

I developed Designing Motherhood to assist parents in mindful preparation of childbirth, motherhood, fatherhood and partnership.

I have seen too many woman traumatized by doctrines and cultural “norms” (i.e. breastfeeding pressure, natural birth pressure, returning or not returning to work, dealing with depression, preparation of their bodies and minds for motherhood, and fertility issues).

My practice stems from my compassion and a desire to assist women in mindful parenting and personal happiness.

Support Plans, Coaching and Training Options

Selecting positive examples and approaches from throughout the world, I have created a fully customizable program that recognizes the individual first, without discussing dogmatic prescriptions as integral.

We are on this journey together. I coach you in the lessons I have learned and studied. We develop your personalized process. One that is going to eliminate much of the noise that comes with many current childbirth and mother preparation models. This program is the opposite of others that shame mothers by prescribing specific methods.  

Do you desire guidance and connection to the best information and resources, yet still feel lost in the sea of conflicting recommendations out there?

Do you feel strongly there is no place for your “mother’s intuition,” heart or personal desires along this process, leading you to avoid guidance and feel further isolated?

Do you feel overwhelmed by parenthood and need open-minded coaching?

Designing Motherhood is right for anyone who is willing to be open and honest, who wants to prepare for welcoming a child and mindful parenting on their own terms.

What to expect:

Motherhood and preparation for motherhood can leave your mind running in circles.

Coaching will help you gain focus and clarity.

  • Write birth plans

  • Organize registry

  • Recognize that it’s okay for things to go perfectly imperfect

  • Care less about other people’s opinions; Discover your own voice in motherhood

  • Eliminate the noise of friends, family, too many books or websites and drill down to your individual needs

  • Recognize your strengths

  • Build and utilize a support system

  • Return to work prepared

  • Learn how to become the CEO of your household

  • Bringing Baby Home workshop (tm)

This is a time when you will be faced with making many big decisions about your body. Coaching will provide you with objective and compassionate support. These are zero pressure guidance systems designed to empower you.

  • Help you find liberation to discover, own and be proud of your birth and motherhood choices.

  • Guide you in quickly creating support systems in your area, ie; I am not a doula but will find you the best one

  • Refine infant feeding intentions: providing formula and breast feeding research

  • Experience Pre & Post-natal Yoga

  • Obtain CPR American Heart Association Certification

  • Navigation through natural childbirth, c-section, adoption, surrogacy  choices

Hormones pre and postpartum, the life changing event of having a baby and parenting all come chock full of intense emotions. This practice enables you to welcome baby with love and confidence.

  • Learn how to trust your "gut" and use common sense

  • Guidance in how to be gentle with yourself

  • Pre-Postnatal depression awareness

  • Relieve feelings of anxiety, overwhelm, weakness, nervousness, loss of connection with self and others  

  • Toolkit for communication for those closest to you

Flexibility to your schedule. With the exception of CPR training all offerings can be done remotely.

  • Ability to prepare for you and baby on your own terms and no need for childcare due to remote sessions.

+ Margaret's Bio ...

I started to recognize a need for a different type of childbirth/parenting education while preparing for the birth of my first child in 2014. As I embarked on my motherhood journey I met mom’s who were either on the giving or receiving end of judgement. After sitting around asking, why does motherhood have to be this way? I began to realize I needed to create something to end the stigma that many of us face (lactation issues, birthing methods, postpartum depression, staying at home, going back to work, disposable diapers vs cloth). Having lived abroad for nearly a decade, I discovered a variety of positive motherhood support systems. I returned to the USA in early 2015 and knew it was time to put my ideas into action. I believe strongly in the power of helping women through the process of mindful and knowledge based decision making that is right for each individual. I have been a practitioner of yoga for a decade and will receive my yoga teacher certification in May 2017. I am grateful to be trained in CPR/Heimlich, and I, encourage every parent to become CPR trained for the safety and security of their family and friends. I am certified as Gottman Bringing Baby Home (BBH) Program Educator. BBH Workshops ™ are designed to help parents to be and new parents learn skills and techniques for a successful transition into parenthood.

Before creating Designing Motherhood, my work focused on supporting growth for entrepreneurs and medium size enterprises through unique combination of community outreach, online platforms and event management both in New York City and South East Asia. I now live in Fairfield County, Connecticut with my husband, young daughter and two kitty furbabies that I rescued while living in Singapore. When I am not focused on my family I can be found planning gourmet meals, partaking in civics discussions, and hatching out travel plans. I am a believer in Yin and Yang. Admittedly, I am a viewer of Bravo and a listener of NPR. Lastly, and most importantly I must give credit where credit is due, to my own mom. Without her wisdom, honesty, and common sense I would not be the mom today.

Margaret is a graduate of the University of Vermont.

+ Matthew's Bio ...

Matthew Kostelnik, American Heart Association Heart Saver & BLS trainer

My strong interest in science lead me to attend Holy Name Nursing school in Teaneck, NJ. In 2014 having spent eight years working in the Emergency Room at Holy Name I switched gears to focus on medical training. Taking a position with Insitute for Simulation Learning at Holy Name. I have a passion for providing high quality CPR Heart Saver and BLS training.

When I am not teaching others I can be found taking in nature and spending time with my goddaughter and young niece.

Frequently asked questions

Click on the following questions to view answers.  

+ When should I contact Designing Motherhood?

If you found your way to this website, it probably means that it’s time to contact us. Together we can explore what your needs are.

+ Is my partner able to be involved in the process?

Absolutely.

+ Where are you located?

Designing Motherhood is located in the New York metro area. We welcom remote clients with the exception of CPR training.

+ Are you a Doula?

No, we are not doulas, but can help you find the best one for you.

+ Do you work with groups?

Yes, in the areas of Yoga, CPR training and Bringing Home Baby Workshops ™ Group motherhood coaching can be considered on a case by case basis

+ I am a or going to be a single parent does Bring Home Baby apply to me?

Bringing Home Baby Workshops ™ has been designed work all parents and their support systems. It's meant to help with communication between adults taking care of child(ren).

+ I need CPR (AHA Heart Saver or BLS) training for.... Do you only work with families?

Designing Motherhood is able to provide CPR training to anyone who require (re)certification. Whether it's planned in advance or last minute CPR certification we are able to work with you.

A business that puts mother first.
— SN

Testimonials

Thank you for your support and listening skills.
— JC
Having the taken CPR with Designing Motherhood we feel better prepared to welcome our baby.
— KW