Bump Squad mama Courtney shares her favorite pregnancy and mama care products.
It's so easy to get lost in the excitement of preparing for baby the moment you find out you are expecting. The day-dreaming of planning the nursery, buying all the adorable itty-bitty baby clothes, and all things baby sets in. But what about mom? Aside from prenatal vitamins, combating morning sickness, eating a healthier diet, and keeping up with doctor's appointments - I don't think many moms put a whole lot of thought into how they are going to take care of themselves. It has only taken me being pregnant for the 5th time to realize the importance of self-care and self-love. This time around, I decided to not only be excited for this sweet little babe in my belly, but for myself and truly appreciate the miraculous work my body is doing!
I've come to realize there are many ways for expecting mamas to take full advantage of their pregnancies and treating themselves. Whether it's prenatal yoga classes, massages, or joining a mommy group - there is something for everyone. One of the big things I've been doing this go-around is setting aside "me time" as often as I can. As a mom of three other kiddos, two of which are toddlers, it's not always easy to do that. Usually when I get a moment to myself, I am consumed with my to-do list. The dishes in the sink calling my name, the crumbs on the floor my dog decided not to eat, or the mountain of laundry that is only growing. How in the world am I supposed to take 20 minutes to do something I actually WANT to do? My answer…just do it, but also being sure to fully commit to that time. My personal favorite is taking a nice warm bath with soothing bath salts, sipping a cup of tea or devouring some Ben & Jerry's, and finishing up with rubbing Earth Mama's Belly Oil all over my giant belly. It's my time to clear my mind and focus on this precious life my body is growing.
Another thing I chose to do this pregnancy was apply for the Earth Mama's Bump Squad 2.0. It seemed like a big opportunity that I didn't want to miss out on! It was a chance to become part of a team with other pregnant mamas, who are on a path to safer products, supporting one another during this joyous and sometimes challenging journey, and sharing our experiences using Earth Mama products with others. It has been all I could have ever of dreamed of! I have been surrounded with so much love and support these last 6 months, in addition to being provided with a wealth of knowledge on how to truly take care of ourselves and babies through all natural, organic products. And, as we approach the end of our pregnancies, we learn it doesn't stop there - the postpartum period is just as important. If it weren't for this group and the amazing women behind Earth Mama, I don't know if I would have known just how vital mom's healing and recovery is after baby is born. With my other pregnancies, as soon as baby was here, all my time and energy went into this little life I created and pretty much neglected my own needs. I never asked for help outside of my husband and tried to go back to life as it was prior to being pregnant. I know now that I cannot put my needs on the back burner. In order to for me to be able to legitimately provide and care for my newborn, I need to make sure I am well cared for too.
Thankfully, Earth Mama has made that so easy by providing a free Lying-In Plan through their website. "Lying-In" may be a new term to you, as it was for me. What is Lying-In? "The period of time for a postpartum mama to heal and bond with her newborn. It’s a time to take care of the mama that made the miracle, and heal her body and soul while she gets to know every crease, dimple, and the sweet scent of her brand new baby. Earth Mama encourages a modern lying-in, one where we acknowledge the realities and expectations of a modern mama with the realities of a healing postpartum body and the expectations of a brand new baby!" (EarthMamaLyingIn.com) Head over to their home page to learn more about Lying-In and how to create a plan of your own!
One of the last ways I've decided to focus on self-care and love is to pamper myself. I found in my previous pregnancies I was so hesitant to buy anything maternity related or spend money on something I was only going to get to use for a short time. But with this being my last pregnancy, I figured I deserved to treat myself! I have done this by investing in particular personal care items, certain clothing items, and even a monthly pregnancy subscription. Prior to being pregnant, I was signed up for a monthly subscription for organic feminine care products that also included other goodies to help comfort you during your time of the month. But since I became pregnant, I obviously wasn't going to be needing pads or tampons for a while, so I decided to sign up for Bump Boxes. It's a monthly subscription of healthy products tailored to a pregnant woman's due date and delivered right to my door. It's been such a fun way to treat myself, try new products specifically for pregnancy, and have something to look forward to each month. And what's even better, they even include Earth Mama products in some of their boxes! Woo!!
Below I've put together a list of some of the other items I've chosen to pamper myself with this pregnancy (besides ice cream and cookies). I know that not everyone can afford or justify buying some of these items, but they are things I've really come to enjoy and be thankful for, especially in my third trimester. What's important is that you find what brings you joy and taking the time to really appreciate the hard work your body is doing!
Personal Care Items: One of the most important things we can do for ourselves and our wee little ones is to be sure the products we are using are safe and not full of dangerous ingredients/chemicals. Your mind would be completely blown to know that some of the big name brands that make the most popular personal care products are some of the most dangerous ones! As Earth Mama says, "what goes ON goes IN", so making sure we are mindful of what we put on our bodies, especially during pregnancy is essential. The list of products below are all from Earth Mama and are my favorites! (Don't forget to check out their amazing products specifically for postpartum too!)
Deodorant (I sweat so much more in my third trimester and early postpartum weeks)
Organic Nipple Butter (for breastfeeding)
Earth Mama Organic Herbal Teas: You really can't go wrong with any of their teas, but these are the ones I've tried so far and love.
Organic Milkmaid Tea (specifically for breastfeeding)
Merry Mama Co House Dresses - I've been living in these dresses during my pregnancy and they will be perfect for recovering from my c-section and nursing.
Savi Mom Maternity and Nursing clothes - I adore each and every piece I own from this shop. I am all about saving money and their clothes double as maternity and nursing friendly pieces.
Comfy cotton sports bras - Let's be honest, the girls don't like being confined to regular bras, especially with underwires. I found that buying roomy, comfy sports bras are my favorite for pregnancy and nursing…and won't break the bank! I get mine from Wal-Mart.
Comfy maternity undies- I am in love with HOFISH Women's Maternity Briefs Bamboo Fiber Under Bump Pregnancy Underwear from Amazon. I was searching for moisture wicking undies and found these.
The First Forty Days: The Essential Art of Nourishing the New Mother - Book by Amely Greenven, Heng Ou, and Marisa Belger - I've started reading this recently and have found it so inspiring and eye opening about the importance of caring for ourselves after having our babies.
Again, some of these things may not be for everyone, but hopefully can provide some ideas of ways to treat yourself during your pregnancy journey, because you deserve it! My hope is that I not only embrace the importance of self-care and self-love throughout the rest of my pregnancy, but that I apply it for years to come. This mom life is not an easy one, so it's important to be gentle with ourselves and treat ourselves as the amazing women we are!