An Interview with Hunter Clarke-Fields, Mindfulness Mama

Hunter Clarke-Fields of the Mindful Mama Podcast spent years as a stressed out mom. She says she “muscled through” her first natural birth. She spoke with me about discovering a better way.

Hunter shared tips for birth and parenting, overcoming fear, finding time for self-care, and for practicing self-compassion when parenting squeezes you.


When I asked about her birth experiences, Hunter told me:

“I have a tendency toward anxiety and I have a tendency toward being sensitive so the first birth was really intense. I just remember hanging on to my husband and being like, ‘Get this out of me. I’m done!’ and using my muscles to push through. My second birth I thought, ‘Ok. I can do this. I can learn from it. I can make it better. I had a whole different attitude, like, ‘I can practice.’ It was a whole different experience. It was pretty awesome. Very gentle.”

As a mom of two, Hunter knows how challenging it can be to find time to practice. She suggests:

“Create a habit even if it’s super small like a three minute sitting meditation practice and a two minute yoga practice. Something that’s your own, where you’re staking a claim in the ground to your self care. It’s so essential. You’re saying, ‘This is my time. I’m going to cultivate this time. I’m going to create a habit where I deliberately care for myself. Where I’m very deliberate about nurturing my good seeds and about sending myself love and compassion.

If you can build something that’s really small but consistent, as your child grows and you can shave more time, that will feed you even more enormously. As they get to be two years have your practice where you can come and you can start to reduce that stress response. You can reduce that reactivity.”

I asked Hunter to say more about self-compassion for parents. She said,

“We are so hard on ourselves as moms. We are a continuation of our parents and of our grandparents and of our culture. We are an amalgamation of all these things we’ve absorbed throughout our life.

We may decide, ‘Ok, I want to parent in this certain way and yet because we are a continuation our parent’s voice may come out of our mouth. We don’t realize when that happens– it’s not your fault. It’s not your fault that you were conditioned and you have suffering and you may have said something unskillful. You can choose to be a peaceful parent and then you’re going to make mistakes. You’re going to mess up. You’re going to yell. And being hard on yourself and being blameful and shameful upon yourself is not the way to start to shift towards more compassionate parenting.

The way to shift towards more compassionate parenting is to actually use those moments where you’re inevitably going to make those mistakes and offer yourself compassion. You’re not going to be in the habit of offering it to your child if you can’t even be in the habit of offering it to yourself.

When you have an orange and you squeeze it, what comes out? Orange juice. Not pineapple juice, not cranberry juice or apple juice. When we’re in those moments when we are squeezed as parents, and you’re going to have so many of them… When you have those moments when you’re squeezed, what’s inside is what comes out. We have to practice that compassion inwardly.”

You can listen to the whole interview here.

You can find Hunter, the Mindful Mama Podcast, free resources, and more at

ZenBand- A Perfect Accessory for GentleBirth (with discounts!)

Blooming Wellness was kind enough to send me one of their ZenBands to review, and it did not disappoint!

What is a ZenBand? Blooming Wellness explains that it is “A trendy boho-styled headband made with cool, lightweight cotton that comes with removable, flat speakers on the inside.” You can also get some of the company’s ZenTones to help with stress, anxiety, sleep, and more.

I already knew what I would be using my ZenBand for, though– to listen to meditations and hypnosis sessions from the GentleBirth App!

I was wondering how they would look in person. The models on the site definitely have the hippie chic look that I don’t quite pull off as a mom of two, tired and covered in spit up. I was pleasantly surprised to find it pretty cute, even over my 3-days-without-a-shower mom bun (and yes, that is a nursing baby. See my post on finding time for mindfulness)!


I was really impressed with the sound quality– much better than the ear buds I usually use. The band was comfortable. It didn’t get too hot or sweaty and the fabric is soft and stretchy.

The ZenBand  would be perfect for preparing for birth with the GentleBirth app. A lot of parents wonder if it’s ok that they fall asleep during the hypnosis sessions and it totally is. You’ll know the information is “getting in” when you start to feel excited about labor and birth! The ZenBand made it even easier for me to relax and follow along with GentleBirth trainings because I wasn’t thinking about the headphones– I was more able to just focus on the sounds and words.

It would also be great during labor itself– It could keep your hair out of your eyes while you listen to affirmations and you wouldn’t have to deal with long annoying ear bud cords. You can even spritz some essential oils on it.

The only improvement I would suggest is to make a Bluetooth headphone option. It would be nice to not have to worry about the phone and cord while sleeping. Currently, Blooming Wellness doesn’t recommend wearing the ZenBand through the whole night, and this would solve that issue.

Side note– these would be great for doulas too since they can double as an eye mask! You could use them when listening to some relaxing music and blocking out light at 2 pm when your client is sleeping and you’re trying to get some rest too.

I would definitely recommend the ZenBand. If you’re interested, head to Blooming Wellness and use the code Zen for 15% off. Be sure to head to the GentleBirth site as well for a free seven day trial of the app!