Dr. Shani Cooper: Pregnancy, Birth, and Private Practice in 2020 — Episode #177

by Jan 30, 2021Podcast, Small Business, Wise Women's Council

Dr Shani Cooper is a Naval Veteran, Licensed Acupuncturist and Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, who began studying the human body in 2010.

She is also the parent to Sage, an eight-month old who arrived in the world bright and early, two months before his estimated arrival window!

Shani joined us last year in The Wise Women’s Council when she was pregnant with her little one, who you will hear and enjoy in the background of this recording. I asked her if she’d join us to talk about what WWC was like for her navigating pregnancy, childbirth, and growing in-person business practice, and a pandemic.

Over the next few weeks, I’m doing a short series on the podcast talking to people who went through The Wise Women’s Council last year. If you’re curious, thinking about joining us, or you want to hear from other people about the program, look for episodes #176 through #181.

Leadership doesn’t have to look like what we see around us. Leadership can be messy and it’s our job, as women, as people carving out a new future, to chart a new path of leadership that might not look like the masculine models we’ve been steeped in so far. For us here at Startup Parent, that includes leadership throughout pregnancy, leadership alongside and because of parenting (not in spite of it), and leadership with a whole-hearted perspective of what life brings our way.

“I think that anyone going through the parenting journey (and, if you’re honest with yourself, anyone who goes through this journey is coming out at the other end as a different person than the person that you started with)—that transition needs support. You need other people.” — Dr. Shani Cooper

Dr. Shani Cooper: Pregnancy, Birth, and Private Practice in 2020

The Startup PARENT Podcast — Episode #177

  • “I needed some sort of group of people that I could work with—who were at different stages of this journey. I needed people who had done it, who had been successful—and who had not been successful, even, but who had found ways to redefine their path and learn and grow.”
  • “I think that anyone going through the parenting journey (and, if you’re honest with yourself, anyone who goes through this journey is coming out at the other end, not the person that you started with)—that transition needs support. You need other people.”
  • “When enrollment came up for WWC, it was beautifully timed. My business was in that spot of thinking, ‘Now I can start looking for the next echelon of coaching type support, and I deserve it, so that I can get to the next level.'”
  • “Applying to the Wise Women’s Council was kind of a no-brainer for me.  It was perfect timing, I was moving into my second trimester. It had business, sisterhood, crew, I thought—let’s go, Let’s do this.”
  • “I was ready to have a team and a crew—I’m a big fan of villages. I feel like you need a village for your business, a village for your family, a village to get through your life. That’s why I joined. I was hungry for the Wise Women’s Council.”
  • “I want to make sure that I say this—I have this clear memory of being in the hospital, post-birth, and finding with Wise Women’s Council, a group to Zoom on a Saturday (I think it was a Saturday? Days have no meaning, really). I was able to find a level of support that I don’t even know that I needed. It gave me life in that moment. I didn’t feel alone. I didn’t feel isolated (or as isolated as I could have felt, being alone in a hospital in a pandemic). Having other folks, having the opportunity to be seen, to be heard, to be supported. It made this crazy, insane situation a little more bearable.”

Come join us in The Wise Women’s Council

If you are navigating pregnancy or parenting while you are also leading a company, managing a team, or starting out on your own in entrepreneurship or small business, come check out The Wise Women’s Council. Every year, we gather a group of people journeying through the challenges of business leadership. 

The Wise Women’s Council is a leadership incubator for professional business women who are also pregnant, parenting, adopting, or trying to conceive. If you’re navigating the challenges of business while also planning or managing a family—then we are your people.

Apply to join us in the next leadership cohort: Read all about the program and submit your application to join us in an upcoming cycle of the program here.


We're a weekly show that releases new episodes most Mondays at 5:30 A.M. Find us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play, or whenever you listen to podcasts. If you'd like to get new episodes delivered to you by email, sign up for the weekly newsletter with insights, strategies, and new ideas for working parents. If you'd like to sponsor the podcast, feel free to reach out.  Lastly, if you like what you hear definitely leave us a review on iTunes. 

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Our private Startup Parent Facebook Community is for working moms navigating all things parenting, business, career, and children. We also have a brand-new Linked In Parenting Group for folks of all genders to join and share resources on parenting and business. Join us in one or both groups.


Every year, we gather a group of women together to talk about pregnancy, parenting, marriage, partnership, work, business, children, and all the things that come up during this challenging season of life. Applications are now open. 



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Sarah K Peck

Founder, Startup Parent

Sarah Peck is a writer, startup advisor, and yoga teacher based in New York City. She’s the founder and executive director of Startup Parent, a media company documenting the stories of women’s leadership across work and family. She hosts the weekly Startup Parent Podcast and Let's Talk, her second podcast. Previously, she worked at Y Combinator backed One Month, Inc, a company that teaches people to code in 30 days, and before that she was a writing and communications consultant.

She’s a 20-time All-American swimmer who successfully swam the Escape from Alcatraz nine separate times, once wearing only a swim cap and goggles to raise $33k for charity: water. She’s written for more than 75 different web publications and and has delivered speeches and workshops at Penn, UVA, Berkeley, Harvard, Craft & Commerce, WDS, and more.