I am so grateful that I am still continuously amazed at the wonderful and inspiring mothers I come into contact with on a daily basis. Mothers who dedicate their lives to not only taking care of themselves, their little ones and their family, but do things in the world to benefit others. I am excited to introduce Shannon Vaughn, founder of Pursoma Detox Beauty, who has made it her life's mission to help and heal others, using the power of natural botanical ingredients that aim to detoxify you, purify you, combat the negative effects of daily radiation (Instagram anyone?!) and give people a chance to create a ritual that feels best for their well being and spirit, as often as they can find the time. 

Now, that we are fully experiencing winter in California, this is a great reminder to disconnect, relax and get in the bath! My favorite Pursoma product is the Digital Detox Bath


AO: What's one thing you wish you had access to before you started a family- be it in doctors, healers, community, pain management etc.

SV: When I was ready to even think of having a child I had already been doing so much to manage my own optimum health, that I just employed traditional and holistic heath advisors into advising me for my next body stage, which was to conceive, deliver, breast-feed and recover. 

AO: What are you surprised that no one ever talks about that happens to your mind or body before pregnancy or after pregnancy?

SV: No one tells you how tired you are going to be; they tell you sleep when the new baby sleeps and now I understand why, but that is almost impossible if you work. I went back to work 8 days after having my daughter and I really did not feel the full effects of how tired I was until 2 years later and I truly wonder how I got by, but I did.

Also no one tells you or really talks about possible incontinence, and repairing the stretched muscles from delivery. There is a very easy way to make sure everything on the outside goes back to normal, but on the inside you don’t get advice unless you go looking for it. I had a friend tell me about the pelvic floor muscles being able to be stretched and then straightened and put back right into place where they were pre delivery and luckily I have a johns Hopkins trained doctor right in my local area. This was life-changing knowledge and I am happy finally more women are changing the conversation to prevent vs. just have to heal.

AO: If you knew then what you know now, would you change anything?

SV: I would have carved out more time the first three months to be less connected to the outside world and spent more time at home as a new mother. I think its important to understand that is the most important job that requires full attention of the mother and baby in the beginning. 

AO: What has been the biggest surprise post pregnancy?

SV: I was amazed at how quickly my body recovered; I gained close to 40 pounds and lost it in 3 weeks. I had a post partum plan that I had organized before the baby came, so I think that was key, making sure I had the right food, enough hydration, emotional support and good doctors with all of that, I was able to get back to exercise in 6 weeks.

AO: How has your body amazed you on this journey?

SV: It amazed me that at each stage the body recognized that it was in a different state, it let me know, and then it asked for help and support to transition. After exactly one year of my completion of breast-feeding Esme, my body reacted really strongly to the hormonal switch, I got very sick and had a terrible infection in my eye. I had to have surgery to remove it, and felt extremely depleted for weeks. I went back on an aggressive recovery program and changed some of my food choices to help supplement me during this transition. My body needed additional support to get thought this change; within one month my period came back right on time and things were very much normal again. I am amazed at the human body and its ability to heal when listening to it.  


Shannon and daughter, Esme (2)