The 10 Best Gifts for New Moms
 
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Finding the best gift for a new mom should be a relatively easy task, however if you find yourself looking for the perfect gift for the new mom in your life, you may find that most new mom gifts are actually geared towards the baby, not the mother. At Duo Diary, our postpartum wellness journals are designed with mom in mind. We know that moms need to take care of themselves first, but somehow, this notion is still an afterthought. That's why Duo Diary is much more than just a baby feeding diary - there’s a page for baby….and a page for mom.

The ‘page for mom’ is missing in almost all postpartum products, which are mostly primarily baby focused. Mom is completely missing from the equation. Giving moms permission, access & tools to take care of herself is basically revolutionary at this point. So, we want to highlight other ‘revolutionary’ products that would make the best gifts for a new mom after she brings home a baby.

 

The 10 Best Gifts for New Moms

1. Postpartum Exercise Membership

There are a few women-led companies out there that are focused solely on helping women regain function after childbirth so that they can get back to their normal activities in a safe way. The catch is that most new mamas don't even know companies like this exist, so gifting a new mom with a membership (all programs are online and done at home) to one or more of these companies is a great way to ease her back.

Restore Your Core

Mutu System

Momma Strong

Abs, Core and Pelvic Floor by Natalie Hodson

 

2. Motherbees

An LA-based company, Motherbees offers LA- local food delivery focusing on foods for healing from childbirth like soups, teas, recovery and more. And for those who aren't local to LA, Motherbees founder Heng Ou wrote "The First Forty Days: The Essential Art of Nourishing the New Mother" filled with recipes and traditions and "the lost art of caring for a mother after birth" (available on Amazon).

 

3. Postpartum Subscription Boxes

Since subscription boxes are a thing these days, we're happy to see that some companies are taking 'pregnancy' subscription boxes into the 4th trimester. Many companies now offer boxes JUST for a new mom:

Alively

The Stork Bag

Ecocentric Mom

Bump Boxes

NaturAli

 

4. Mama Glow Glow Time Collection by Good Medicine Beauty Lab

New moms are often concerned about what they eat, but did you know that what you put ON your body is important, too? Aside from feeling incredibly luxurious and decadent, this line at Good Medicine Beauty lab was created just for mamas, and is safe for pregnant & nursing women.

 

5. Bone Broth Herbs

There's a reason the Motherbees book (#2 on this list) has lots of broth recipes- bone broth is warming, feels nurturing, grounding, and calming at a time when a new mother needs it most. Urban Herbs is upping the bone broth game through their Nourish The Mama herbs that can be added to bone broth, using a blend of Chinese herbs thought to help women recover from childbirth. Make sure you check with your healthcare practitioner/doctor before using these herbs. (And if you gift this to a mama, please, make the broth for her!)

 

6. Meal Delivery Service

Nourishment is so important for new moms, but making a healthy meal is damn near impossible when you have a newborn. Enter meal delivery services. Getting a new mom a gift card to any meal delivery service (NOT meal kits which require the mom to actually do the cooking) can often be EXACTLY what a new mama needs. Yes, you could just bake a lasagna, but lasagna isn't healthy or nourishing and many meal delivery services offer options for dietary restrictions and meals that can be truly healthy for a new mom. Try using The Google Machine to find local deliver services in your area that cater to moms (like Motherbees in LA or MaMeal in Chicago). Otherwise, consider gift cards to Doordash, Grub Hub, or Munchery.

7. Earth Mama Organics Postpartum Line

We love seeing companies that create products just for mom, and Earth Mama is a well known company that makes natural and organic products. While they have a large line of products for baby and pregnancy, they also have a postpartum line, made just for the new mama. 

 

8. Postpartum Doula

A new mom needs help, in any form, of any kind. Wondering what kind of gift to get a new mom? Consider gifting a gift card or certificate to a local postpartum doula, whose role is to help support the whole family's transition- not just focusing on baby. They may do a range of tasks from light housekeeping, meal prep, baby support, lactation support, to help with siblings. Find one in your area here

 

9. Postpartum Kits

Etsy is full of creative kits made with products to help soothe and nurture a new mom. You can find a plethora by simply searching for "postpartum" in Etsy, but here are a few:

SweetGum Botanicals

Plainville Homestead

Green Earth Naturals

 

10. Duo Diary Postpartum Journal

There are a million apps and baby journals out there that help new parents track all of their baby's feedings and diapers, but none of them take mom into account. Duo Diary knows how intimately intertwined mama and baby are, and we also know how common it is for new moms to lose track of her own health while she adjusts to focusing so much on baby. That's why our journals are designed with ample space for new moms to make sure they are healing OK, that they are getting the care they need, that they are eating, sleeping, drinking water, and other basic needs that seem to go out the window for new moms (showers, anyone?). We also offer an entire Resources area just to help mothers navigate the postpartum period and our blog is full of information like exercise for new moms, healing after childbirth, and interviews with cutting edge mama focused companies like Mothering Arts and Birthfit. You can buy our journals in the original one month journal or our new 3 month journal or 1 year pack. Go here to purchase one for the new mom in your life.

 

What are your favorite gifts to give a new mom? 


This blog pro­vides gen­eral infor­ma­tion and dis­cus­sion about med­i­cine, health and related sub­jects.  The words and other con­tent pro­vided in this blog, and in any linked mate­ri­als, are not intended and should not be con­strued as med­ical advice. If the reader or any other per­son has a med­ical con­cern, he or she should con­sult with an appropriately-licensed physi­cian or other health care worker.

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An Interview With: Mothering Arts
 
 

One of the central reasons why Duo Diary was created is to give new moms a space for self care in their newly-upended lives. Bringing home a baby is transformative, and in our society, new mothers are pushing themselves through grueling schedules and to-do lists, often without breaks for themselves to heal and be nurtured. This is all too common the case especially when a woman should be healing after childbirth- not judging herself or trying to do it "all." Duo Diary aims to change this by giving women a space to take care of herself in our journals, and by also highlighting companies that are helping women nurture themselves. When we stumbled upon Mothering Arts we knew we had found something special. Founded by Kerry Ingram, Mothering Arts is dedicated to helping new mothers thrive through in-person mothering circles, group leader training, online courses, and a wonderfully calming and supportive blog with activities and downloads to help new moms tune into self care ideas. With a focus on the wellness of mom and baby in her mothering circles, Kerry acknowledges that when a woman brings a baby home, she is at a time of immense need and support in her life. Mothering circles are a wonderful place for a woman to feel nurtured, talk to other moms, and well, feel like she is serving her new mom wellness. This month, we talked with Kerry to find out more about Mothering Arts and how they can help women like you. Read more about Mothering Arts below.

 

For our readers who may not know, could you please describe/explain what exactly Mothering Arts is?

Mothering Arts is a warmly designed training for women who believe in the power of community uplifting and nurturing the postpartum year. Our online group leader training supports women to confidently create local classes for mamas and babies.

 

How did you conceive of Mothering Arts?

Great question! I had been working as a Waldorf early childhood educator for many years before becoming a parent for the first time. Something I noticed in the school community was a general feeling of isolation and self-judgement from the parents. They were so hard on themselves! I started to practice the art of acknowledgment and to simply notice something about each parent at drop off each morning, it was well received by all. Many mornings I baked fresh muffins to share with parents as they dashed out the door, which were also well received.

When I became a parent, I fell into the pitfalls that I witnessed for so many years and was beating myself up all the time for not doing things "right" or "good enough". 

I joined a local parent and child class which was lovely, and very focused on the babies while the sleep deprived mamas were barely hanging in there. We wanted to feel nurtured so we could nurture our babies, some of us missed our own parents, we wanted to talk, share questions and cry, and we were hungry! In that moment I really understood the importance of a parent feeling well supported to be able to give freely to the needs of her child.

That night, pen went to paper and dreams sparked into reality. My tiny living room was the location of our first group of 5, and now over 70 mama-baby pairs have been meeting locally for nearly 6 years.

I created Mothering Arts as an answer to an old question, while tending to a need that my friends and I shared as new parents. After the local class was growing and growing, a friend asked if I would be willing to share my model and plan... and the Mothering Arts group leader training was born!

 

In what ways do you hope to help new mothers?

I think the way I try to support new moms most is through acknowledgement, listening and nurturing. Parents know their baby more intimately than anyone else, but so quickly we give away our wisdom and power to the advice of blogs, websites, books and other "professionals". We have so much to learn from each other, and from our special relationship with our child. I want to empower mothers to cultivate their unique art of mothering that aligns with her values and wishes for her child. Mothers need to feel heard and seen, the transformation into mother is extraordinary and should be honored in the eyes of her community. I also love to prepare nourishing foods and be hands-on with baby rocking, mama shoulder rubbing and delivering a cup of warm tea.

 

Can you explain or describe some of the offerings and tools Mothering Arts has for new mothers?

I think our local groups are the best tools we have, because that heart to heart connection can not be replaced through the internet. That being said, we do offer a few online classes, LOL, the irony. Our group leader training is my heart's work, finding the women in each community who feel called to work with this tender population and weave the webs of community.

We offer a Healthy Home Rhythms ($40) self guided course for families who would like to create a simple and balanced flow to everyday life. Folks love the step-by-step plan and the lovely printables in this course.

Our Mothering Arts Collective course is a monthly subscription ($30/month) that offers oodles of resources on how to align with your values, create your family culture and make moments that truly connect us as a family. This course is self paced through the month with a thriving and warm community of over 100 moms from all over the world. It's an active group with lots of support and sharing.

And of course our group leader training for those who feel inspired to nurture mamas and babies in her community.

 

What usually brings a mother to Mothering Arts?

In person: mothers want community. They want to answer the door with messy hair, dishes on the counter and know the person who walks in is there to be real. She wants to cultivate a community of deep connections and feel totally welcome to come as she is.

Our group leaders want to be a part of the change rewriting the story of how the postpartum year is observed in our culture. Our leaders are devoted to making space to slow down, to honor and create a community of support of new parents.

 

What do you wish more women knew about the postpartum period or the transition to motherhood?

It's ok to ask for help. Your mothering journey will not look like any one else.

 

What have you learned from some of the women you've worked with?

Each mother is an artist sharing an outer expression of an inner feeling. We are all so unique.

 

Where can our readers find out more and connect with Mothering Arts?

www.motheringarts.com

We have a free monthly muse~letter full of activities, self-care tips, recipes and thoughtful articles. Be sure to sign up on our home page.

You can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

An Interview With: BIRTHFIT

Here at Duo Diary, we are all about providing new mothers with tools and resources to make healing after childbirth easier. Information about HOW to heal shouldn't be hard to access -and let's face it, most women don't even realize they NEED to heal. There are so many questions women have after having a baby: breastfeeding and pumping tips, pubic symphysis symptoms, diastasis recti,  self care ideas for new moms, what exercises are best for postpartum women. While many women have these questions and so many more- there is not nearly enough information readily available at the fingertips of new moms. We aim to help change that by highlighting companies whose purpose is rooted in helping pregnant and/or postpartum women. This month, we are SUPER excited to be sharing BIRTHFIT- a company focused on helping moms get and stay strong using their four pillars: Fitness, Nutrition, Chiropractic, and Mindset. BIRTHFIT has many online programs, as well as access to Regional Directors across the country, so that you can access the BIRTHFIT knowledge no matter where you live.  We recently chatted with BIRTHFIT to find out more about what they do and how they can help women like you. Read more about BIRTHFIT below:

Explain what Birthfit is and why it was started:

BIRTHFIT is an educated, empowered state of readiness - specific to childbirth - that is achieved through an evolved practice in fitness, nutrition, chiropractic, and mindset.  BIRTHFIT is a movement that was created to change the way the world views birth.  Our goal is to cultivate awareness and enhance education through the Motherhood Transition by developing and producing one of a kind BIRTHFIT experiences through in-person classes and distance learning so that women have the space to make their own informed, intuitively guided choices.  

What types of women/situations do you work with most frequently? What usually brings a client to you?:

Women come to us when they decide that they want to experience an empowered, educated Motherhood Transition.  Anywhere between preconception through any point postpartum, the transition into motherhood deserves attention as well as intention.  We see women throughout this transitional time period typically because they want guidance on movements during pregnancy, details on core and pelvic floor health, or are looking for a total approach to taking care of themselves as they grow and nurture other humans.  We typically see women because others have told them about BIRTHFIT, and we love those referrals. 

What are some examples of programs or services that you offer?:

We offer courses in person as well as online.  We work with women in person through our various BIRTHFIT Regional Directors, who offer the BIRTHFIT Prenatal Series (a childbirth education course), BIRTHFIT Postpartum Series Breath & Flow and BIRTHFIT Postpartum Series (unique group rehabilitation courses), consultations, prenatal training, and community events; we also work with coaches and professionals to introduce them to BIRTHFIT at our seminars.  This year we're opening up the annual BIRTHFIT Summit for a one day community event as well!  We offer online support through programs such as Before the Bump, Prenatal Programming, and Postpartum Programming; as well as consultations with our team and webinars on various topics.  We have a ton of free content via our blogs, webinars, podcast, and YouTube channel.  

What are some of the most common misconceptions that you see about postpartum recovery and exercise in pregnancy/postpartum?:

There are so many misconceptions.  Essentially, society has everything backwards: we think of pregnancy as a fragile state and postpartum as the "bounce back" time.  In reality, pregnancy is the ultimate expression of female fitness and the postpartum period is when women need extra care, support, and patience.  Pregnant women are incredibly capable, and their exercise routines can reflect that in an intentional way.  Melissa Hemphill (the BIRTHFIT Coach lead) likens activities during pregnancy to putting a fork in a microwave: just because you *can* do something doesn't mean it's a good idea.  But we don't modify movements for pregnant women; instead, we train intentionally with the pregnant body in mind.  Our workouts aren't just about moving around with a bump: we train to prepare for labor and to enhance core stability throughout pregnancy.  

On the postpartum side, there's this idea about some magical six-week green light.  Research tells us that ligaments take approximately 280 days to heal, and there are plenty of ligamentous changes that happen during pregnancy; to only take six weeks to allow your body to recover is crazy!  But unfortunately, a lot of women are instructed to suck in their belly in order to strengthen their core or heal a diastasis, when this couldn't be further from the truth.  We teach core stability based on the principles of Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization and the developmental kinesiology of how all humans learn to move.  Sucking in, pulling the belly button to the spine, and other similar cues are all the opposite of how humans stabilize appropriately.  (I suppose a succinct answer to your question would be "everything"!)

What do you wish women knew about postpartum recovery?:

I wish more women knew how important it is to recover completely.  I wish they knew that chiropractic care and pelvic floor physical therapy are essential and I wish that these appointments were as automatic as the six-week postpartum check-up that women go to their OB or midwife for.  

We divide the postpartum period into four phases: 

0-2 weeks is the co-regulation period

2-6 weeks is the recovery period

6-12 weeks is the rehabilitation period

12 weeks-12 months is the rebuilding period

That's a year worth of intentional recovery that we emphasize.  Many women expect to be "normal" within six weeks, and don't have the guidance or information from their support system to expect otherwise.  We're doing ourselves a disservice by not taking the time to heal, reset, and nourish our bodies in the postpartum time period.  

What have you learned from the women you've worked with?:

Every single woman that we encounter has something to teach us.  The most valuable lesson I've learned is to simply be patient and allow moms to express themselves how/when they're comfortable.  Some women need and want to share things immediately, while others need some time and space to reflect before diving in.  I think the most valuable lesson I've learned has been getting rid of "shoulds" in the Motherhood Transition.  Each woman is on her own journey, and we're just here to support them through that. 

How would you like to see pregnancy & postpartum care change in the US?:

In a word: drastically.  Like I said, we have things reversed.  I would love to see pregnant women celebrated for their incredible vitality and life-giving capabilities.  I would love to see postpartum women nurtured and supported by their communities, providers, and society in general.  I see this happening through education, and we're already noticing the differences within our communities where BIRTHFIT is represented.  We are working on uniting birth practitioners in the BIRTHFIT Professional Seminar so that there isn't such a disconnect.  We've brought OBs, PTs, and DCs together with nutritionists, doulas, coaches, and childbirth educators; together we're changing the way that women receive care throughout the Motherhood Transition. 

Where can our readers find out more about Birthfit?:

We love connecting with people!  Ideally, we'd meet women through our Regional Directors (there are almost 100 of us!).  You can find a BIRTHFIT Regional Director near you at www.BIRTHFIT.com.  There you can also look for a BIRTHFIT Professional or BIRTHFIT Coach to work with.  You can sign up for our online programs, subscribe to our newsletter, read up on our blog, watch our free webinars, or hop over to the BIRTHFIT Podcast!  And, of course, you can follow us on social media @BIRTHFIT!  We would love to connect with you soon! 

 

This blog pro­vides gen­eral infor­ma­tion and dis­cus­sion about med­i­cine, health and related sub­jects.  The words and other con­tent pro­vided in this blog, and in any linked mate­ri­als, are not intended and should not be con­strued as med­ical advice. If the reader or any other per­son has a med­ical con­cern, he or she should con­sult with an appropriately-licensed physi­cian or other health care worker.

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Nurturing the Four Lower Senses for Babies and Parents
Reprinted with permission from motheringarts.com

How can we support babies in the first year? This question has swirled around me for many years, and I've finally come to an answer that feels right:

In ways that are unique as each family.

Ah, it feels wonderful to not only say that, but to believe it all the way to my bones. With thousands of opinions and parenting techniques (including Steiner-based) surrounding parents at any given moment, how can we learn to trust our own inner voice? It is your unique connection with your child, listening to your inner voice and your family/community culture that will truly set the stage of how the first year will unfold. If we believe that each human has a path of destiny, we can feel a sense of freedom that we don't have to do follow any recipes, rather, we can write our own. When we focus on deepening our relationship with our child, we can cultivate our unique art of parenting.

The guiding phrase that I find most supportive to share with parents is one held dearly by LifeWays North Americarelationship based care. 

Relationship based care is dynamic, it's co-created by parent and the child in the present moment and is changing along with the needs of the child and parent (or caregiver). Using relationship based care as a guiding principle, you can create a unique experience of how you and your baby can receive nurturing in the first year, in a way that is rooted in authenticity. In the LifeWays training we celebrate the diverse ways we practice care-giving while remaining connected by shared values.

Parents are wired to nurture their babies, we devote ourselves in love to these little beings around the clock to nourish their bodies and spend hours gazing at their bright eyes. We want their baby to feel loved and nurtured, and on the other side of the coin, often times parents are receiving little nurturing themselves. It's a tall order to offer an experience of true nurturing and care when we ourselves are not experiencing that kind of feeling...and somehow, we still manage to continue extraordinary care-giving. Imagine if we were feeling a bit more balanced and abundant in our ability to nurture?

Here is where we can look to the four lower senses, as indicated by Rudolf Steiner, as vital nutrients for your baby and for you. Why not experience these vital nutrients as a parent alongside of your baby?

Many online sources will give you a wider breadth of understanding if you would like to learn more about the four lower senses. You can click here to read a well written article on the twelve senses by Carrie from the Parenting Passageway. 

 

Nurturing the Sense of Life

Ways to cultivate a sense of well-being, nourishment, health and security.

For babies:

  • Nourishment - milks and foods that are offered with tenderness and gratitude. Click here to download a free meal blessing collection.
  • Protecting baby's senses- a peaceful and stress-free environment
  • Sleep- create a rhythm and ritual that both of you love
  • Time in nature- everyday get outside and take in the magic of mother earth
  • Connection- when baby cries out, acknowledge his/her needs with voice and/or touch. Create a moment of connection before transitions

For Parents:

  • Nourishment- take the time to prepare foods that help you feel vibrant.
  • Rhythm-create a rhythm through the day, add in rituals for your family and also some just for you. I have a morning ritual that is just for me. Click here to print our free calendar of kindness to weave in a simple daily act of gratitude and kindness for each day of December.
  • Rest- I know that for some it's a tall order with babies, and it's also possible to be restful without sleeping. Find the things that cultivate peace in your heart and make time for those activities.
  • Joy- do the things that bring you joy! If you need a reminder, write a list of three things right now that make you feel alive...then put them in your daily rhythm. You will find me dancing in my kitchen just before dinner prep.
  • Time in nature- get outside and enjoy the birdsong everyday.
  • Connect with others- cultivate nourishing relationships and ask for support when you need it.

Nurturing the Sense of Touch

Ways to cultivate sensations, a feeling of your space in the world and connection.

For Babies:

  • Cuddles- touching your baby supports growth, boosts immunity and oxytocin (the feel-good hormone), and creates bonding.
  • Dress baby warmly- under woolens and under silks are a great base layer of natural fibers to create a second skin of warmth for baby.
  • Time in nature- yes, nature again...touch the grass, the water, the snow, the crunchy leaves and let the sounds and smells of nature touch your baby's heart.
  • Touching games- from a caress to a tickle, babies love to be touched. Touching games are fun way to create moments of joy, bonding and help with transitions in your daily rhythm. Click here for examples of touching games to share with your baby.

For Parents:

  • Touch- Hugs, cuddles, love-making, massage and partner dancing are all ways to boost our oxytocin and nurture ourselves.
  • Quality clothing- Keep yourself warm, wear fabrics and shoes that feel good.
  • Create time to feel "touched"- Go to a concert, a play or a museum to let the arts touch your heart...or participate in the arts yourself.
  • Time in Nature- Walk with bare feet, sit with your eyes closed, swim and dig your hands into the soil.

 

Nurturing the Sense of Movement

Cultivate a sense of how you move through the world with your proprioceptive system.

For Babies:

  • Trust your baby-Were babies able to sit before bumbos? Were babies able to walk before walkers? YES. Your baby will find his or her way into movement in a unique way. Trust in his capacity to blossom into movement, it's the in-between silly movements that are building the foundation to get to the "benchmarks".
  • Create a safe space for free movement- create a safe space that baby can wiggle, roll and explore and you can relax knowing the dog is up out of the way.
  • Lap games- Another opportunity for connecting in your own way and bringing moments of joy and play to your day.
  • Time in Nature- Pack a little bag of what you might need (extra clothes, diapers, snacks, a blanket, etc) and get outside to explore. Your little one will show you a whole other world that is three inches off the ground.

For Parents:

  • Listen to your body- What does your body need? Rest, gentle movement, something playful or vigorous exercise? Pause and check in with yourself and then make time to give your body what it needs.
  • Body Gratitude- Your body is a miracle! It is full of systems that work in unison to keep us moving, digesting, breathing and millions of other gifts. Say thanks every now and then, and maybe do something nice like take a herbal bath or get a massage.
  • Time in Nature- This seems to be the balm to all that ails! Go for a walk and soak in the sights and sounds. Try at sunrise or sunset, the earth offers quite a show at these in-between times.
  • New physical experiences- try something new and wake up new muscles and brain pathways. I started rollerblading last year and besides looking a bit ridiculous in all my protective gear, I'm having a blast.

 

Nurturing the Sense of Balance

Also known as the vestibular system, this cultivates a sense of where you are in relation to other things; up or down, left or right and behind or in front.

For babies:

  • Rocking- How many hours have we spent rocking our wee ones? It's soothing to both of us and stimulates the vestibular system.
  • Rolling- Babies will find their way to rolling and roll clear across the kitchen floor which supports their sense of balance in a fun way.
  • Organic positions- Have you seen your baby in a side plank while wiggling a toy? I once saw a professional athlete who imitated his baby's movements for 5 minutes and then gave up because it was too difficult. Baby's are amazing in the ways they move, just give them opportunity to move freely, and they will initiate an expert level series of balance moves...follow along if you dare.
  • Create a daily rhythm- You are the weaver of context for your baby. Create balance with a rhythm of rest and activity, lullabies and meal blessings cue what comes next and create a balanced feeling day.

For Parents:

  • Create a nourishing rhythm- We need a balance of work and play, of social time and time alone. Notice when you need to let things go and slow down.
  • Tune into Mother Nature- She is the greatest weaver of context, showing us when to be more outward and when to be more inward. Follow her lead and create family celebrations that represent your family values and your sense of place.
  • Balancing Movements- Try to incorporate spacial dynamics, yoga, Qi Gong, dance or pilates that challenge you to find stillness within.
  • Clear Clutter - Life can feel off-balance when we are overwhelmed with too much stuff. Choose a few times of year to clear space, including a busy schedule.
  • Neck Rolls- Parents with babies, this one is for you. Many hours are spent gazing at our sweet peas in our arms, roll your neck around through the day to balance your neck and shoulders.

Think of ways to weave these four senses into your day, not just for baby, but for you as well. Each family has an art of living, each is unique and speaks volumes of the bond and story of your relationships. Be yourself. I'd love to hear from you in the comments.

Ingram-10.jpg

Kerry Ingram is the creator of Mothering Arts. She supports women to create nurturing circles for moms and babies in the postpartum year in their own town. Kerry thoughtfully weaves together her experience and education as a Waldorf and LifeWays early childhood educator, postpartum doula, mother, foster parent and community catalyst into the Mothering Arts vision. You can learn more or join one of her online offerings at motheringarts.com

Kerry IngramComment
10 Self Care Ideas For Busy Moms
 
 Photo by  Dominik Martin  on  Unsplash
 

Self care is such a buzz word at the moment, which isn't a bad thing- its about time something that revolves around stress relief and taking care of yourself is a 'thing.'  But sometimes, self care ideas either don't serve us in a positive way, or they are unattainable or unrealistic. And while we all love a good glass of wine and a nice warm bath, not all self  care looks like a Pinterest photo. It can take many forms- from recognizing your worth to demanding better to taking a break- it's all important to our overall mental health and wellbeing. 

As mamas, self care is incredibly important. So here are ten tips that can have big affects on your wellbeing - a self care plan for the modern mama.

1. Say NO

For whatever reason, women are socialized to be people pleasers. An act of self care is to start training yourself to say no to others in the interest of serving yourself.  Bottom line, start making room in your schedule for you, not for others. 

2. Go to bed early and on a schedule

Research shows that an early and consistent bedtime and wake time have profound affects on our health. Consistent good sleep habits affect emotional health, problem solving, irritability, productivity, weight, and many other chronic and serious health conditions. The common knowledge is that our circadian rhythms dictate a 10pm-6am window as optimal, but some sleep scientists say genetics plays a big role, as does age. So play around with times and find what works for you. 

3. Demand more from your partner. 

Like "self care", "emotional labor"  or "mental load" are current big buzz words that have gained a lot of traction this year. And with good reason - new research shows it is oh so real and has a measurable affects on women. This one is hard, because it is one of the most important on this list, but that also means it's one of the most difficult to implement or change. The bottom line is that as a mom, you are now taking on significantly more, and these responsibilities (both actual and mental load-type of responsibilities) should be shared as much as possible. Every family is different and dynamics play a huge role but consider some small steps you might be able to take to start sharing this load with your partner in a more equal way. That may mean having some difficult conversations, but this is your health, and sometimes difficult conversations can lead to big changes. 

4. TAKE time for yourself.

Ever notice how some people just seem to have boundaries set firmly in place for themselves, they don't seem to be beholden to anyone else's expectations, and they just take time they want or need? Be like them. Unapologetically take time for yourself. Don't ask permission from your partner, don't make sure all your ducks are in a row first, just go and take some time. This might start off with leaving the room for 15 minutes to read a magazine article or something. You shouldn't need permission to take a break. Just freaking take it. 

5. Turn off screens an hour before bed.

This goes back to #2. Those blue lights our phones and ipads and TV's emit? They are oh-so-bad for our sleep - not to mention the anxiety created from scrolling through the latest political news on Facebook. Turn screens off an hour before bed to give your brain a chance to chill out before hitting the pillow and do something old fashioned like reading a book. With pages. 

6. Exercise for your mood

This means listen to your body, not your exercise calendar. Are you having an extra busy week? Not sleeping great? Fighting a cold? This might not be the best time to go out and do that 5 mile run that's on your calendar. This also depends on where you are in your menstrual cycle. Try using the Flo Living myFlo app to track your periods - this app also tells you how your hormones at different times in your cycle affect exercise. 

7. Drink a lot of water

Dehydration is super common, especially for moms who are pulled in a million different directions throughout the day. But it can have real and immediate consequences like fatigue, hunger, and sluggishness. Hydrating throughout the day is key- carry a water bottle (preferably glass or stainless steel) and keep track of how much you are drinking in your Duo Diary to make sure you are getting enough- particularly if you are breastfeeding!

8. Get off Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or your social media drug of choice

There is some research suggesting that social media usage may lead to less happiness and life satisfaction. But you already knew that. So don't bother reading Great Uncle Earl's latest political diatribe or the 'my life is perfect' post from that person from high school you haven't talked to since high school. Cutting out social media is harder than it sounds- the research also suggests that it can show addictive qualities - so try weaning yourself off, or going cold turkey on a 'digital cleanse.' 

9. Stand Up For Yourself and Your Health

As mamas, particularly when you are a new mama, you come into contact with LOTS of people who have you and your child's best interest at heart, but whose advice may not really serve you in the best way possible (such as the common "you just had a baby, this is normal" advice). If something doesn't sound right, feel right, or most importantly- resolve your issue or give you an answer- keep demanding more. This goes for any healthcare practitioner you come into contact with after having a baby! They see a ton of people and are overwhelmed, (we can all relate to the 'rushed doctor appointment') so you'll need to demand more if you aren't getting the information you need to be healthy. 

10. Journal

The health benefits of journaling are well documented, and a little can go a long way. No, you may no longer have 30 minutes of uninterrupted writing as a mom, but even just jotting down the one nagging thought that's bugging you can help. This is why Duo Diary is designed with a big ol' notes section on the page for mamas- journaling for yourself is part of your health. So grab your Duo Diary and get writing!

 

5 Tips to Heal After Childbirth
 
 

There is a common misconception that after you have a baby, you’ll walk out of the hospital in your skinny jeans or white dress a la Kate Middleton and hop right back into your old life, just with a baby. In this magic world, there is no need to question how to recover from childbirth, things just sort of...snap back to normal...right?

Having a baby suddenly enter your life is a massive upheaval. There is the emotional and identity upheaval, but there is also the physical aspect- you have just gone through one of the most intense physical events a human being will go through, and the fact is, you will need some time to heal from birth.

Newsflash, Childbirth is Hard

Yes, healing. Childbirth is physical. Physical like training for and running a marathon. And, like a marathon runner, you need to rest and recover after the race. No matter what society tells you, those skinny jeans will wait for you once you’ve taken the time and space to allow yourself to heal and recover.

How to Help Yourself Heal After Labor

After a big change like bringing home a baby and childbirth, there needs to be a period of adjustment, of being kind to yourself, and most importantly, of healing.

Not really sure where to start to? Here are 5 things to help you heal after childbirth:

Rest

At this stage, the name of the game is to do everything you can to just...rest. Yes, this is a crazy but oh-so-necessary thing to suggest with in-laws visiting, a newborn, and maybe other children to take care of, but it's important. Which brings me to the next item on our list:

Ask for Help

Let me repeat that because modern-day women seem to have been socialized to carry the load all by themselves - ASK FOR HELP. It does not mean you are less than, can’t handle it, or anything else. It just means you are human and like every other woman who has ever given birth in that we ALL need help. If you live near family or close friends- ask them to help a bit for a few weeks while you regain your strength. Otherwise, do what you can- if you can afford to pay a babysitter for a few hours here and there so you can rest, do it. If that’s not possible, consider asking a friend to come by and give you a break for a bit. And if you don’t have any of this possible...

Find a Support System

Often a support system is in the form of local friends and family. But since many people now live away from family, we’ve got to get creative about where we find support. The key is to find people who can help you if needed, that you can vent with or get advice from- anyone who makes you feel like you aren’t alone in this new world. A few key tricks:

  • Local mommy & me groups: can often be found through OBGYN offices, local ‘pumping and breastfeeding’ stores, or a local kid or baby store.
  • Meet ups: meetup.com has tons of other moms looking to meet up with moms, often free and local.
  • Facebook Groups: Facebook moms groups are ubiquitous now- there is almost definitely a Facebook group for moms in your local area, often which can serve as a virtual support system and sometimes translate into real life meetups.
  • Apps: And yup, there’s an app for this, too. Check out these apps for moms to meet each other. 

Physical Healing

Do not jump right back into exercise! For the love of coffee, do not do this. At least not for awhile- let your body heal, listen to it, and do what feels good/OK and your doctor has cleared. Yes, you are itching to start moving and start feeling like YOU again after your body has been taken over for 10 months, but giving yourself some extra time will go a looong way. Jumping right back into exercise could potentially exacerbate issues that haven’t yet reared their head, like diastasis recti, or symphisis pubis dysfunction, or just not being ready. 

Nutritional Healing

Food can be one of our biggest tools for healing. Seeking out the advice of a nutritionist at this time in your life can go a long way (like a one-on-one phone session with a Flo Living counselor, which specializes in women’s health). There are also lots of bloggers out there aimed at helping moms be their healthiest. Not skinniest, not ‘fit -mom’-est, but healthy and nourished with recipes for meals for new moms. And companies like Motherbees, From Mother to Mother and Osso Good Bone Broth have recipes and broths to help nourish new mothers.

And, of course, using a journal to manage your postpartum health can be a huge help. Duo Diary's second edition is out now, head over to our shop to find out more. 

 

 

This blog pro­vides gen­eral infor­ma­tion and dis­cus­sion about med­i­cine, health and related sub­jects.  The words and other con­tent pro­vided in this blog, and in any linked mate­ri­als, are not intended and should not be con­strued as med­ical advice. If the reader or any other per­son has a med­ical con­cern, he or she should con­sult with an appropriately-licensed physi­cian or other health care worker.

This post may contain affiliate links.

Black Friday Roundup: The Best Black Friday Deals for Moms
 
 http://annetteferrarophotography.com/

http://annetteferrarophotography.com/

 

It's Thanksgiving weekend, and you know what that means - it means in most cases, all you mamas have likely been busy prepping for Turkey Day here in the US (why do we know this? Because kin keeping), but we’re hoping you get some time to yourself this Black Friday. No, not to start checking off items on your family’s shopping list (cough kin keeping cough) but for YOU. Yes, YOU. What’s Black Friday without some good Black Friday Sales meant to help new moms in new motherhood, right? So here are the best Black Friday sales for moms- sales from companies that we love because they support postpartum moms in helping them to heal, feel good, or are just practical. Sales that have nothing to do with your partner or your baby or anything else but caring for yourself. The bonus? All of these companies are women-led. Happy shopping!

 

Duo Diary Black Friday Sale

Part of Duo Diary’s mission is to help women take charge of their health and to demand better care for themselves postpartum. To celebrate all you do, we’re giving you 40% off all orders now through Cyber Monday. Simply shop and save using code BLACKFRIDAY at checkout.

 

Good Medicine Beauty Lab

If you follow us on Instagram you may recall recently seeing a post about Good Medicine Beauty Lab’s new collaboration with motherhood maven Latham Thomas called Glow Time, safe for pregnant & nursing mothers. This line (along with a lot of their other nurturing, self-care inducing, natural, icky-free products) are on sale for 40% off for their Gratitude Sale (that has a much better sound than “Black Friday Sale” doesn’t it?) Simply use code “Gratitude” at checkout.

 

Mutu System

As an affiliate, it's no secret that we love Mutu and are so excited to see that Mutu’s programs are 33% off from Black Friday- Cyber Monday. Mutu System’s programs are a great resource for proper exercise and healing issues like diastasis recti for postpartum women (of any age or no matter how “post- the partum” you are); Use code BF33 to get discounts. 

 
 

 

Life in Play Company

Despite every new mom’s best intentions that she’ll never carry a diaper bag and will just use her favorite, fashion-friendly bag, reality sets in pretty quickly that your favorite trendy handbag can't handle the new load of stuff once the baby comes. And let’s face it, diaper bags typically look and feel shlumpy and those are words no new mom wants used to describe something she is wearing. Not feeling like yourself is a big deal for new moms, and small things like being able to wear your own clothes or use your own handbag sound trivial but can make a big difference in keeping a sense of normalcy in your now-upended life. Enter Life in Play Company, who created a simple-yet-genius idea to create a diaper bag insert that slips right into your favorite handbag. Enjoy 35% off your entire order using code SAVEBIG

 

Restore Your Core

There are a few different programs out there geared towards helping new moms heal their physical bodies after having a baby. Restore Your Core is another program aimed at helping to empower new moms to feel better.  It's a 12 week program made up of functional exercises aimed at healing your core after having a baby. The program is on sale now through Cyber Monday. (No code needed, just shop!)

 

Our second edition is out now! Shop now-->

This blog pro­vides gen­eral infor­ma­tion and dis­cus­sion about med­i­cine, health and related sub­jects.  The words and other con­tent pro­vided in this blog, and in any linked mate­ri­als, are not intended and should not be con­strued as med­ical advice. If the reader or any other per­son has a med­ical con­cern, he or she should con­sult with an appropriately-licensed physi­cian or other health care worker.

This post may contain affiliate links.

Confused About Postpartum Symptoms? This Can Help...
 
Take Charge of Your Health with Duo Diary
 

When you have a baby, you at some point become privvy to all the postpartum secrets that no one talks about- you know, what happens after giving birth. Conversations with other new moms are dominated by diapers, sleep, breastfeeding, nipple shapes (yours and the bottle’s), and mostly, all the postpartum symptoms that are now part of our new normal (like diastasis recti).

Or are they?

Common or Normal?

Recently, I was talking with a girlfriend who had a baby. She nodded in knowing recognition as I described pelvic girdle pain symptoms (also known as SPD or symphysis pubic dysfunction) and suddenly we were comparing brands of postpartum belts (I can assure you, postpartum belts were not in our vocabulary before having a baby). Like lots of new moms busy and focused on taking care of their new baby, she brushed off her symptoms and hoped it would go away. Luckily for her, it did.

Lots of women out there experience some really common symptoms that get ignored- by themselves or by their doctor. It’s as though we are led to believe that common means it’s normal. But most of the time, postpartum symptoms are not normal.

Take my friend. She was told she’d “just had a baby and it would go away.”

It’s also part of why Duo Diary was created, so that women can start to demand better care for themselves after they have a baby. Postpartum symptoms shouldn’t just be “a new normal.” They should be addressed. Just because lots of women experience symptoms after having a baby doesn’t mean it’s normal (remember, common ≠ normal). It actually probably means that in America, we’ve got a massive problem caring for postpartum women.

Dr. Google to the Rescue?

My friend and I talked about how we spent hours googling our issues, hoping to find any blog or website that would a)explain what it was and b)how we could make our symptoms go away. Depending on the symptoms, sometimes we could find answers and sometimes we couldn’t.

In my case, I began keeping notes in my first Duo Diary ‘prototype’ (= a notepad) about my symptoms, when I experienced them, what triggered them, what seemed to make them feel better. I googled the patterns I noticed in my notes, and finally marched into my OB’s office one day armed with my Duo Diary and a list of potential ailments I thought it could be. She patiently went over each one with me, listening as I rattled off symptoms that I had jotted down and the potential ailments Dr. Google had found. This helped us pinpoint specific issues that were getting overlooked.

How to Take Charge of Your Health

After that appointment, my OB gave me a prescription for a women’s health physical therapist (also called pelvic floor physical therapy) and I finally started to get the help I needed. (You can find a PT in your area through the links on our Resources page).

This is when I realized the power of journaling for postpartum women. The hard fact is, there isn’t a great safety net for postpartum women in the US, so it is up to us and those around us to be our own safety net. Is it unfair? Yup. But that’s why products like Duo Diary exist (and also why we love promoting other women-led companies that are just for mom)- to help us moms be our best, healthiest, and happiest selves. 

Our second edition is out now! Shop now-->

This blog pro­vides gen­eral infor­ma­tion and dis­cus­sion about med­i­cine, health and related sub­jects.  The words and other con­tent pro­vided in this blog, and in any linked mate­ri­als, are not intended and should not be con­strued as med­ical advice. If the reader or any other per­son has a med­ical con­cern, he or she should con­sult with an appropriately-licensed physi­cian or other health care worker.

This post may contain affiliate links.

How This Little Tool Can Help You Feel Better After Having a Baby
 
 

When I first had my baby, I imagined I’d take it easy for the first few weeks, then get right back into workouts after I was cleared for exercise at my 6 week checkup. At my checkup, I was cleared- and as a runner, boy I could not wait. I had felt incredibly off since giving birth and wanted to feel like "me" again after having a baby. So, I jumped right back in, anxious to lose the baby weight.

First, I started doing things like yoga and some simple weight exercises. Then, out of desperation to 'feel/look like myself again,' I had the genius idea of jumping into a hard core strength and conditioning program I had used for years that had always helped me lose weight. It’s also a program that is meant for athletes or people who are already fit.

Not so great for a lady who just had a baby.

 
postpartum exercise
 

It didn’t take long before the loosey-goosey feeling I had in my joints gave way to actual pain- in my hips, my back, my groin muscles...pretty much everything hurt. This time I chalked up the postpartum pain to the "I just had a baby, this is normal" explanation so many women give themselves, not realizing that none of it was normal. Common, maybe - but not normal.

How to Take Control of Your Postpartum Health

By this point, I was writing down a lot of health info for my baby, so I started jotting down my postpartum pain symptoms in the same journal. When I felt them, what seemed to trigger them, what kind of pain it felt like. 

Around 4 months postpartum I finally went to my OB because I had reached the point where daily function was really difficult, really painful, and my journaling didn't lie- I wasn't feeling great. I showed her my journal, and she suggested I go see a women's health physical therapist.

So I went.

It turned out I had a whole host of issues- some rare (osteitis pubis, common in hockey players and soccer players...and apparently the occasional lady who just had a baby), some common (diastasis recti). But what I gained from going was an education on what actually happens to your body after having a baby, how important postpartum care is, and the tools to start healing.

I now know there are many women out there who are unknowingly suffering because they just don’t know what is normal and what isn’t after having a baby.

This is why I started Duo Diary - I wanted to make sure other women were becoming more aware of their health after having a baby, too. (A little self care goes a long way!)

So how do you make sure that you are doing things that are healing and safe for your postpartum body? How do you know if you might have something going on that needs addressing?

This is where a Duo Diary can help you. Here are some tips on what to write down in your journal so that when you go to a healthcare professional, you know exactly what to tell them: 

Do you hurt after sitting, standing, walking, wearing certain shoes?

Are you in pain? What kind of pain? Throbbing, aching, stabbing?

What's your pain level? 

Do you feel sort of weak, or just not like your old self physically but can't really figure out why?

Pay attention and jot down what feels off, what specifically doesn't feel like "you."

Having this info is a goldmine when you walk into a doctor or physical therapists' office. These are all details that can help your providers figure out what your issue is and get you on track to healing. 

What have you noticed since having a baby?

 

This blog pro­vides gen­eral infor­ma­tion and dis­cus­sion about med­i­cine, health and related sub­jects.  The words and other con­tent pro­vided in this blog, and in any linked mate­ri­als, are not intended and should not be con­strued as med­ical advice. If the reader or any other per­son has a med­ical con­cern, he or she should con­sult with an appropriately-licensed physi­cian or other health care worker.

This post may contain affiliate links.

The Truth About That Post Baby Tummy Pooch
 
 Photo by  Jenna Norman  on  Unsplash

Photo by Jenna Norman on Unsplash

 

When most women have a baby, things aren't feeling anywhere near normal for a long time. That's normal. 

Many women also go months of not feeling good, of feeling "off," and of being told this is their new normal now that they've had a kid. 

That's not normal. Common, maybe. But not normal.

Listen, weird things happen to your body when you have a baby. That's not a surprise. What is a surprise is how little women are educated on what actually happened or is happening to our bodies. 

One really common, yet often overlooked condition? Diastasis Recti. 

What is Diastasis Recti?

A quick explanation: diastasis recti is a separation of your abdominal wall. And as we all know, your abdominals make up part of your "core," and without a strong and fully functional core, everything (and I mean everything) is off. 

According to Mutu System, a functional exercise program for new moms (of which we are so obsessed we are an affiliate), diastasis recti occurs when: 

"the linea alba (mid-line connective tissue) is stretched and weakened at the front of the abdomen...the 'gap' narrows naturally in the days and weeks following childbirth, but often doesn't come back together completely on its own, resulting in instability and weakness of the core and a 'pooch' stomach or 'mummy tummy'."

Confused? Here's a handy infographic, courtesy of Mutu:

In other words, your core muscles just aren’t functioning properly- and this can create many other often treatable symptoms that might otherwise seem unrelated to your core (no matter what Depends tries to sell you).

How To Heal Diastasis Recti

First things first, find a women’s health/pelvic floor physical therapist that specializes in postpartum physical therapy. (You can search the directory listed on our RESOURCES page). Second, there are numerous at-home postpartum exercise programs out there that aim to help women heal their diastasis recti through specific exercises.

Last, don’t panic. So if you’ve got a Duo Diary, start jotting down any symptoms that just don’t feel right and take your journal with you to your OB and postpartum physical therapist.

Then, you’ll get on the path to healing and feeling better in no time.

More resources:

http://www.pelvicpainrehab.com/diastasis-recti/2306/fix-diastasis-recti/

https://mutusystem.com/mutu-system-blog/diastasis-recti-its-not-just-about-muscles

https://mutusystem.com/mutu-system-blog/you-can-have-a-flat-tummy-and-a-small-diastasis-recti-i-have

This blog pro­vides gen­eral infor­ma­tion and dis­cus­sion about med­i­cine, health and related sub­jects.  The words and other con­tent pro­vided in this blog, and in any linked mate­ri­als, are not intended and should not be con­strued as med­ical advice. If the reader or any other per­son has a med­ical con­cern, he or she should con­sult with an appropriately-licensed physi­cian or other health care worker.

This post may contain affiliate links.

The Story Behind Morskap- A Postpartum Health Site
 
woman looking out.jpg
 

By guest blogger Yana, creator of Morskap, A Postpartum Health Site. You can find out more by visiting morskap.com

In the course of incubating a new human, I discovered a sea of helpful (though not ideal) resources on how to become pregnant, surviving pregnancy and labor, and taking care of a new human who is limited to a binary means of communication (to cry, or not to cry, that is the question). What I felt missing was a resource specifically focused on postpartum recovery.

Having gone through the biggest bodily and emotional change of my life, I had lots of questions:

  • How long before I heal given my mode of delivery?

  • What exercise can I do in the meantime?

  • What special postpartum exercises (kegels?) should I do and when? Are there helpful equipment for that?

  • Which things will never go back to normal?

  • What’s the most flattering and comfortable clothes to cover this beast in?

  • Is it normal to feel [choose your own adventure]? Is it normal to still feel that? How about now?

  • OMG breastfeeding! So painful and everyone talks about it as if it’s wonderful and beautiful. Can I skip it? Is it taboo to even ask?

  • How do you best split parenting responsibilities with my partner?

  • What are some things to think about when going back to work?

  • What emotions to expect around all of the above issues?

Some of these questions I’ve talked with other moms about, but I found that the answers varied based on things like preexisting health, how each pregnancy and labor went, the personality of the mom, her partner, and the baby. I live in a city where women often don’t have children until they feel like they are in a good place in their careers. So my network of moms wasn’t large enough to cover each possible scenario. Some things I just wasn’t comfortable discussing in person. In the beginning, I didn’t feel like talking with anyone. I felt like I didn’t have the time to do it. Searching for answers online seemed like a good idea, but it turned out to be too time consuming. There was sooo much noise!

So I created a consolidated resource for questions around being a new mom: morskap.com. This resource explains why new moms may be sweating a lot at night, why running may not be a great idea if experiencing pelvic pressure, and lots of other things that I and some of my friends were curious about after birth. I thought that it may be helpful to other moms that don’t have the time or inclination to search for the best answers. New moms are grappling with caring for a little one, possibly trying to go back to work, and generally staying optimistic (remember: every fifth mom suffers from postpartum depression!).

Hope you find Morskap helpful and feel free to reach out to me at yana@morskap.com if you have feedback.

5 Companies That Love New Moms
 
Photo of a pregnant woman
 

When you have a baby, the whole world seems to conspire to make sure you have everything you'll need in pregnancy, and everything you'll need for your new baby to arrive.

What they don't seem to have covered is what you'll need for YOU.

It's no secret that postpartum health care in the United States is...well...lacking, to put it nicely. The baby industry is just another symptom of that massive problem- postpartum health for moms is overlooked once the baby arrives. But the baby care industry is a $10.8 billion dollar industry.

But what about an industry for the mom?

What about moms that are dealing with postpartum health issues or struggles of any kind? This is a huge purpose for Duo Diary. Of course new babies need to be cared for, but guess what? So do new moms! 

So we wanted to give a huge shout out to other companies that focus JUST on mom. Companies that have not forgotten about YOU. You are, after all, the one who did (and are still doing) all the heavy lifting, not to mention probably trying to recover from the single most traumatic natural event a human body can go through- childbirth.

Here are 5 businesses focused on mom's postpartum health after baby. Got a company you love that loves moms? Leave it in the comments!

MotherBees: The First Forty Days Book

A book about how new mothers can help themselves heal (or how those around them can support them) from birth through nourishing food and traditions. It's subtitle says it all: "The Essential Art of Nourishing the New Mother." Yes, it IS essential! Inside you'll find recipes, ways that you and those around you can care for you, and tons of great info all about caring for new mama. It's an excellent baby shower gift for any first time mom. 

Mama Mio Skincare

This skincare line has it all - decadent feeling creams for every phase of your pregnant and postpartum body (you can literally shop by trimester and postpartum phase), from oils to belly butter rubs. Safe for use during pregnancy and breastfeeding, it's all free from yucky stuff like parabens, phlalates, xenoestrogens, and petrolatum. The best part? This stuff works. 

Oh Baby! Fitness

Starting or getting back into an exercise routine is often a big need and want for moms after they are cleared for exercise, but the challenge is: how the heck do you exercise with a baby? (This question could be applied to anything post-baby: "How the heck do you (insert any task) with a baby?") Oh Baby! Fitness has figured out a way to enable pre and post natal women to exercise, safely and properly for whatever phase they are in, without having to worry about childcare because baby is incorporated into class. A national organization (check to see if Oh Baby! Fitness is in your state), they've got mama's wellbeing at the top of their list: classes are led by pre and postnatal certified instructors, and medical clearance is required to participate. Did we mention they have an OB, PT, RN, experts in pelvic issues, counselor, dietition, and pediatrician as advisors? This is a company that has thought through all the details for new mom exercise. 

The Motherhood Center of NYC

Yes, this is only in NYC, sadly, but hopefully this type of center will catch on. The Motherhood Center is exactly what it says- a center for mothers, with day programs for women with PMADs (perinatal mood and anxiety disorders), counseling, classes and support groups that range from support, breastfeeding, postnatal fitness with focuses on the unique issues that affect postpartum women’s bodies, and tons more. All with an on-site nursery, because one of the hardest things about a new mom taking care of herself is that she often doesn’t have someone to help care for her baby while she does. This center is lightyears ahead and as far as we know, one of the only ones like it in the country. 

Birth Fit

Located in Venice, CA but with Regional Directors across the country, Birth Fit is truly dedicated to changing the game for women who are trying to get pregnant, women who are pregnant, or women who have had a baby. Their four pillars- fitness, nutrition, chiropractic, and mindset- help women rock each of these phases in a healthy, fully functional way. You can sign up for a consultation with a Regional Director to discuss your situation and goals, check out their free webinars, podcast, blog and tons more. 

Of course, don’t forget that Duo Diary is an integral part of your healing from childbirth, and a great way to get some focus back on YOU.

What companies do you love that love mommas?

This blog pro­vides gen­eral infor­ma­tion and dis­cus­sion about med­i­cine, health and related sub­jects.  The words and other con­tent pro­vided in this blog, and in any linked mate­ri­als, are not intended and should not be con­strued as med­ical advice. If the reader or any other per­son has a med­ical con­cern, he or she should con­sult with an appropriately-licensed physi­cian or other health care worker.

This post may contain affiliate links

Duo DiaryComment
New Journals are Here!
 
 

Like most new products, Duo Diary was created out of a need- a need for me as new mom to track my own health while I also tracked my baby's. A need to be able to somehow, someway take care of my own health while I learned how to take care of my tiny little human. A need that I could not find anywhere. 

So I created it. And the original Duo Diary was born- the first wellness journal for new moms to get themselves started on healing, recovering, and managing their postpartum health while also monitoring their baby's health points like feedings, diapers, and sleep. 

Duo Diary has gotten tons of great coverage from top mommy bloggers and tons of great feedback. This also helped me realized that the idea of helping new moms heal and recover after childbirth is just not a common concept. A pregnant woman is the recipient of the best society has to offer - love, adoration, help, assistance, encouragement, wishes and tools for health and feeling well. But once the baby comes, the focus shifts solely to the baby and mom is sort of forgotten. There is no safety net for the health of a new mom the way there is for the newborn. Unfortunately, this happens at the most vulnerable time in her life, the time in her life when she needs nurturing the most. 

Our second edition of Duo Diary addresses this. Inside you'll find many more tools to help you nurture yourself, to remember yourself in this process, and to encourage you to care for yourself while you care for your baby.

There is ample research showing the positive benefits of journaling. You may think you won't have time for it when the baby is here, but you'll soon find that you can't live without it. From not having to remember how many wet and dirty diapers your baby has had when the pediatrician asks (and they will ask!) to remembering the last time you ate, journaling in short bursts can have huge affects.

Still unsure? Consider that you can easily start feeling healthier for less than a cup of all that coffee you are suddenly drinking (the sleep deprivation struggle is real!). Duo Diary is an affordable, easy way to make sure you are the healthiest mama you can be, so that you can be the best mama you can be. 

Duo Diary is available in our original one month version and in our new second edition with more bells and whistles to get your self care recovery journey started. Check out our shop and get yours today.

This blog pro­vides gen­eral infor­ma­tion and dis­cus­sion about med­i­cine, health and related sub­jects.  The words and other con­tent pro­vided in this blog, and in any linked mate­ri­als, are not intended and should not be con­strued as med­ical advice. If the reader or any other per­son has a med­ical con­cern, he or she should con­sult with an appropriately-licensed physi­cian or other health care worker.

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5 Ways This Ancient Technique Can Help You After Having a Baby
 
Duo Diary Postpartum Journal.jpg
 

Up until recently, the whole world was obsessed with doing everything online - there is literally an app for everything - and the idea of writing things down seemed downright archaic. Pshaw, who writes with...pen and paper?

But lately you may have noticed, the good ol' pen and paper are making a comeback. The benefits of journaling are well documented, Bullet Journals are all the rage, walk into any Target or even Anthropologie and you'll see stacks of guided journals for everything from lists to worry journals to walls and walls of Moleskines

It's a thing now, in case you didn't know.

Why Writing Things Down is Making a Comeback

Apps are great and all, but it seems people are realizing that when things are put into an app, they stay there, hidden away in your phone. 

Not so with journaling.

Journaling has been around for thousands of years, from Roman Emperors to Middle East and ancient East Asian cultures. The health benefits of journaling are well documented, helping to improve everything from blood pressure to sports performance. 

It's also one of the easiest, most important things you can do for your health after you have a baby. Here's why:

How Journaling Can Help You Postpartum

  • Writing things down may help with memory recall and information processing. So, you know, when your pediatrician starts to drill you about the number of dirty diapers your kid has had in the last 24 hours you might actually remember, despite not having slept for 3 months.

 

  • Journaling is known to help anxiety, depression and other mental health issues. Since postpartum depression and anxiety affect a reported 11-20% of women who give birth each year (that's 600,000 women per year according to the CDC, and those are only the reported cases), journaling is something new moms should definitely consider doing.

 

  • Journaling may help with physical pain. Researchers believe that it can help strengthen your immune system. Given the sheer physical load a woman's body goes through in pregnancy and childbirth (and recovery and breastfeeding), regular journaling may have a profound affect on your physical wellbeing after having a baby.

 

  • Food journaling is shown to help aid in weight loss. And for moms who are dying to feel like themselves again, this can be a huge help. If you are a breastfeeding mom, writing down what you are eating can also help pinpoint potential food sensitivities (like dairy) that may be affecting your baby through breastmilk. 

 

  • It helps "clear the field." A simple to-do list or action items can get all the thoughts swimming around in your head out and onto paper, freeing up that mental space for all the other mental loads of parenthood.

I know what you are thinking, who the hell has time to write in a journal between poopy diapers and spit up duty? The good news is journaling doesn't have to be all or nothing - a few minutes or seconds here and there throughout the day can have big effects. So grab your Duo Diary and get writing - it's one of the easiest things you can do to feel great after having a baby. 

This blog pro­vides gen­eral infor­ma­tion and dis­cus­sion about med­i­cine, health and related sub­jects.  The words and other con­tent pro­vided in this blog, and in any linked mate­ri­als, are not intended and should not be con­strued as med­ical advice. If the reader or any other per­son has a med­ical con­cern, he or she should con­sult with an appropriately-licensed physi­cian or other health care worker.

This post may contain affiliate links

3 Women Owned Companies That Will Help You Regain Function After Childbirth
lose baby weight

Everyone likes to imagine that after you have a baby, your stomach magically shrinks back to pre-pregnancy size, you magically lose the baby weight, pop on those skinny jeans, and saunter out of the hospital feeling the same as you did 10 months ago.

Except, not.

Look, there is a whole lot of stuff no one tells you about how to recover from childbirth (we’ll save that for another post), most of all being that your body does not know what the heck just happened. And guess what? It doesn’t really want to figure it out. At least not for awhile.

You just spent the last 10 months not feeling like yourself, and have now entered...more time of not feeling like yourself. You are DYING to get back into your old clothes, and no, it’s not vain or caving to society’s unrealistic demands of bouncing back after baby. Let’s get real: you want to know what to do to lose the pregnancy weight because you want to feel like YOU again.

But we also know you can’t just jump right back into spinning classes or other workout routines. Getting back into workouts post baby takes time, and most importantly, function. 

Because one of the things no one tells you about having a baby is that you lost function. A lot of it. And if you want to start exercising again after having a baby, getting back that core function first is important, or things can get dicey real quick. There are, thankfully, a few fabulous women-led companies out there that are completely focused on helping you regain function.

So, once you are cleared for exercise by your doctor, here are 3 bad-ass companies that will help you get on track:

Restore Your Core

A system created by Lauren Ohayon. A gentle, practical program to help you reconnect with many of the areas you’ve probably lost connection with. Slower paced and thorough, she gives you the complete foundation you need before you even think about doing any other type of exercise.

Mutu System

This is probably our favorite (full disclosure, we are a Mutu affiliate because we are so obsessed). This program was designed by Wendy Powell after two challenging births and recoveries. She trained, researched, got certified, and now helps other women around the world understand what changes have happened to their bodies after having a baby and how to get back function. Includes a 12 week program complete with simple daily core exercises, along with ‘intensives’ done a few times a week to burn calories. Want to know how to lose the baby weight in your stomach? This program nails it.  

Momma Strong

A whole package of exercises for postpartum -exercise- cleared mommas who want a little more intensity. Her library is full of programs to help heal diastasis, get the core stronger, plus daily 15-20 minute videos of higher intensity workouts meant to burn calories, but not in a way that will re-injure or make things worse.

What postpartum programs have you tried and loved? Drop it in the comments below!

This blog pro­vides gen­eral infor­ma­tion and dis­cus­sion about med­i­cine, health and related sub­jects.  The words and other con­tent pro­vided in this blog, and in any linked mate­ri­als, are not intended and should not be con­strued as med­ical advice. If the reader or any other per­son has a med­ical con­cern, he or she should con­sult with an appropriately-licensed physi­cian or other health care worker.

This post may contain affiliate links.

How to Get Your Body Back After Having A Baby
 
Get Back in Shape After Baby
 
This blog pro­vides gen­eral infor­ma­tion and dis­cus­sion about med­i­cine, health and related sub­jects.  The words and other con­tent pro­vided in this blog, and in any linked mate­ri­als, are not intended and should not be con­strued as med­ical advice. If the reader or any other per­son has a med­ical con­cern, he or she should con­sult with an appropriately-licensed physi­cian or other health care worker.

If you Google, "how to get your body back after having a baby" you'll get a whopping 13,700,000 results. "Do this exercise to shed pounds!" "Eat this or don't eat that to get back to your pre-baby weight!"

Most likely, very few of these results will say "how to heal your body after childbirth" or "do these exercises to regain pre-baby function!"

Look, wanting to get back to your pre-baby weight is a real and valid concern. Women want and need to feel like themselves again after the life-changing upheaval of having a baby.

But what if, instead of revering celebrities who walked a runway 8 weeks after birth, we focused on allowing a woman to heal, then start exercising in a way that's appropriate for whatever hand she was dealt in childbirth so that ultimately, she can be even stronger. 

You will (WILL) get back to regaining your identity and pieces of yourself (physically and mentally), no matter how far off that may feel right now. But instead of pushing through pain and dysfunction to do it, let's flip the narrative so that "getting your body back after having a baby" means instead to regain function, heal, and re-learn how your new body works in the post-baby world.

So here's a NEW list- instead of "drop pounds now" lists, here are 4 ways to REALLY get your body back!

1. Find a Physical Therapist

But not just any physical therapist- specifically, look for a physical therapist who specializes in women's health issues, sometimes called a "women's health PT" or a "pelvic floor PT." You should be able to get a referral from your OB, but sadly this is often not the case- so if you aren't finding that avenue helpful, then check out our RESOURCES page to find some directories. You'll quickly come to understand why this is standard care for postpartum women in many other countries, like France. 

2. Eat For Your Nutritional Needs

First and foremost, work closely with your healthcare provider! The point is, your needs are probably different than they were before having a baby, particularly if you are breastfeeding. Try this, this, and this article for a helpful starting point. Some cultures even believe you should consume certain foods to help with the healing process - try checking out The First Forty Days by Heng Ou for more on this. If you can afford it, find a nutritionist to help you on this path (find one on our RESOURCES page).

3. Core City

OK, everyone knows you aren't supposed to exercise prior to getting clearance from your doctor, but what about after? How much, and what, should you do? You should discuss this with your healthcare provider, but there are many programs out there specifically tailored to postpartum women. These programs vary but all are focused on helping postpartum women regain function in their core musculature, healing diastasis recti, and restoring pelvic floor function - all important aspects that should be functioning again before you start 'regular' exercise. Try Restore Your Core, Mutu System, or Hab It. (Know of other programs? Leave a suggestion in the comments.)

4. Self Care

Say what now? You've got a newborn and probably haven't showered in two days, and now you are supposed to worry about self care? Look, self care doesn't have to mean taking 30 minutes to do a face mask in your bathroom (although it can). Self care can be really simplified - sometimes, it's about taking 5 minutes to sit down and enjoy a cup of tea while flipping through a magazine without feeling guilty or worrying about all the other things you want to get done while the baby is napping. Maybe it means taking 5 minutes to journal in your Duo Diary, or maybe it means calling a friend. Get creative- a few minutes here and there of YOU TIME can go a long way. (Here's a great list to get you started). 

How did you help yourself heal after childbirth?

 

This blog pro­vides gen­eral infor­ma­tion and dis­cus­sion about med­i­cine, health and related sub­jects.  The words and other con­tent pro­vided in this blog, and in any linked mate­ri­als, are not intended and should not be con­strued as med­ical advice. If the reader or any other per­son has a med­ical con­cern, he or she should con­sult with an appropriately-licensed physi­cian or other health care worker.

This post may contain affiliate links

5 More Mommy Must Haves

Last month we talked about 5 Mommy Must Haves that we wish someone had told us about when we were registering. But of course, there are way more than five amazing items to help a new mom's life be a little bit easier. Along with a one year supply of Duo Diary, these items would be great shower gifts for any mom-to-be in your life! So, here are 5 MORE mommy must haves!

 
baby registry gifts
 

The Sound Sleeper App

Last month we talked about the wonders of a sound machine for a baby that's sleeping. This app is a miracle for parents who are in the newborn/infant phase and need that "4th Trimester" white noise on a moment's notice. The beauty of the app is it's portability - you can lull baby to sleep on walks, car rides, etc. 

 
baby registry gifts
 

Fischer Price Rock N Play

The Fischer Price Rock n Play has a cult following in many mommy circles, and for good reason. The snuggly, slightly upright design seems to help even the most colicky babies sleep.

 

My Breast Friend Nursing Pillow

 
 

This pillow is just better than any other nursing pillow out there- it's made from a firm foam and covered in a removable and washable soft cover. There's also a belt that you can wrap around your waist so it sits snug exactly where you need it, and baby can rest on it while feeding. The firmness of the foam makes a huge difference - there's less fidgeting to get into the right position, and the belt allows you to hoist it up higher (unlike a regular nursing pillow that sits on your lap), which helps with not feeling so hunched over. Plus a little pocket to keep water or your Duo Diary, these folks thought of everything. 

 

Sleep Sacks & Swaddles

If you want to swaddle but can't get it to stay, sleep sacks (great for sleeping) and other swaddles are a SUPER easy way to keep baby swaddled. The Halo Sleep Sack is great for nights when baby is still too little to have any blankets in their crib but you still want to keep them warm. Want a swaddle that just wraps your baby without you figuring out how to fold, place, and tuck properly? Ziggy Baby, Swaddle Me, and the Woombie all have great options. 

 

Yoga Pants 

Yes, you may have dreams of being a stylish mom who looks put together and wouldn't be caught dead in sweats, but there is nothing better than having a good pair (or 2) of yoga pants on hand. And not pre-pregnancy ones, either- a brand new pair that is comfortable for your body now. There are a million brands out there now, from the more expensive Lululemon to the midprice range Fabletics to Old Navy. (Just trust us on this one!)

What were your mommy must-haves?

Duo DiaryComment
Don't Visit Your Friend Who Just Had a Baby Without Doing One of These
 
Postpartum Care
 

If you are reading this, chances are you've had a baby, or know someone who has. (Otherwise, you are really lost on the internet). Anyone who has ever had a baby gets bombarded with people who want to come visit and meet the baby. All well and good, except for the fact that during this 'visit' one of the parties is recovering from one of the most major events a human body can go through, and most likely doing so with a smile on their face. 

But sometimes visitors mean well and plain old just don't know what to do to help. If you've never had a child, how would you know what needs this person you are visiting has? You can't! I get it. People don't understand why having a baby suddenly means you don't have time to eat, shower, sleep or any other REALLY BASIC HUMAN NEED. But that's OK. You don't need to understand it, just know that it's real. Oh, it's so real. And when your basic sense of human-ness is missing from your day to day life, it is a really amazing thing to have one of those needs met. So here's a list of helpful things you can do when you visit a friend or family member who just had a baby.

1. Bring food. Lots of it. Frozen. 

Since sleep and feedings are now the absolute #1 &#2 things on the mind of the person who just had a baby, eating starts to fall somewhere down the list to, I don't know, #5 or #6. So when you open your freezer and find a meal that you can just microwave and shove down your throat before the baby's next feeding, it is THE greatest thing in the world. Chili is a really easy one to make and to bring- it cooks easily in your crockpot, then freezes easily in one or two cup servings that a new mom in your life can easily reheat for herself. 

2. Bring Snacks in Bags or Jars. 

Its a giant joke that nature has played on new moms- nursing moms need to eat a lot of healthy calories, but they don't have any time or energy to make any of those kind of calories. Also, sitting down and eating a meal becomes a bit of a foreign concept for awhile so snacking becomes a great way to keep a nursing mom's blood sugar steady throughout the day, while allowing more opportunities for healthy calories and fats. The catch? She doesn't have time to make snacks. Homemade granola is one of the easiest - you can put it in a mason jar or ziploc bag that a mom can just keep nearby. Another great option is trail mix- nuts, dried fruit, dark chocolate, etc. Or lactation cookies (they are real and they are fabulous). 

3. Bone broth

It's said to restore, warm the body, and help a new mom recover and heal. Bone broth is high in minerals and proteins and, as long as you are using pasture raised/grass fed bones, high in healthy fats at a time when a new mom needs all of these things in spades. Bone broth is also super easy to make- time consuming, since it needs to simmer for 12-48 hours, but easy (literally, throw some bones, veggies and an acid like lemon in a pot and that's it. Here's an official recipe from the good folks at Motherbees), so cook up a batch and freeze in individual cup size servings for the new mom in your life to reheat in a mug and easily sip. You could also buy bone broth from companies like OSSO GOOD, which happens to have a bone broth called "Nourish the Mama" with Chinese herbs. Need I say more?

4. Bring a gift FOR THE MOM

Most visitors who show up with gifts bring gifts for the baby, which is fantastic, but in the spirit of remembering to care for the new mom, try bringing a gift JUST for the new mom. Sometimes it's a gift to help feedings, to help her with something baby related, but in the end it's something that will make her life easier. A Duo Diary is one of the best gifts you can bring for a new mother because it is one of the only products out there that easily combines the baby's wellbeing with the new mom's. There are also gifts like the book from the aforementioned Motherbees, "The First Forty Days" which help guide a new mom's nutrition for the first 40 days postpartum. 

5.  Offer to watch/hold/feed the baby so she can go take a shower and maybe even a nap

What a new mom needs more than anything (whether she knows it or will admit it) is nurturing, being allowed to heal, and given some nourishment to get her through the hard first few months. Try doing one (or all!) God bless you. If you do all, God bless you. That woman is lucky to have you in her life!) of these items for a new mom in your life and see how much they appreciate it...whether they are too tired to show it or not. 

5 Mommy Must-Do's After Having a Baby
 
Mommy must do's after baby
 

Here in the United States, we are enamored with pregnant women. There are salves, creams, workouts, massages, drinks, foods and a whole slew of other products all geared towards the pregnant woman. Pregnancy and a pregnant woman's self care is a $266.6 million dollar industry. As it should be. There should be a ton of products and services available to make a pregnant woman's life easier and more comfortable, because despite the images of glowing pregnant women we are fed in magazines and in the media, pregnancy can be really, really hard and uncomfortable.

And then. Then you have the baby.

And this all goes away.

It seems that in our society, when a woman has a baby, she is left a little bit to fend for herself. The next industry is all about baby- nursing pillows, nursing cookies, bottles, swings and other devices, but there really isn't an industry that is focused on a postpartum woman's self care. Sure, she gets a 6 week checkup, but that number is arbitrary and often is the ONLY stop on the self care train for a postpartum woman. 

This gap is one of the HUGE reasons why Duo Diary was created. A new mom shouldn't have to fend for herself after bringing a child into the world, whether through birth or adoption. Bringing home a baby is a massive upheaval physically and mentally. At Duo Diary, we aim to help this transition be a little bit easier by encouraging new moms to take care of themselves. We also recognize a few areas of care that can help a new mother immensely in those early weeks and months. In fact, a Duo Diary can be a great compliment to some of these services. 

The catch? These all cost money. A lot of money. And are not covered by most insurance. Which is why most moms -even those that can afford it - don't splurge on services like this. In our view, these should be a given, not a special treat for those that can afford it. (Heck, most new moms probably don't even know these things exist!). But the below services can really help a new mom get on the right track with her health. So if you are looking for a unique shower gift, consider gifting one of these services (along with, of course, a year's supply of Duo Diary!) 

1. A Postpartum Doula

Postpartum Doulas help new mothers with the transition into motherhood by supporting a new mother with things like breastfeeding, bonding with baby, help and guidance with the new baby, and many even offer light housekeeping and will run errands. You can find a postpartum doula in your area (if available) here

2. An IBCLC

Breastfeeding is really, really hard. It can be a massive struggle for many women, physically and emotionally. An International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC) can help a new mom navigate this process by teaching them techniques, checking latches and looking for tongue ties or other potential issues, and providing support in helping a new mom succeed at breastfeeding. Find one here.

3. A PostPartum Exercise Program

A new mom has very specific changes that have occurred to her body that also need to be healed properly- jumping right into a 'regular' exercise program as soon as you get the clearance to exercise just isn't a good idea as it can exacerbate conditions that may have arisen during pregnancy and labor, and don't address the structural changes that occur to a woman's body. There are quite a few exercise programs out there that are geared specifically to postpartum women and healing issues like pelvic floor function and diastasis recti. Mutu System, Restore Your Core, The Tummy Team, Hab It, and Fit2B are all programs dedicated to helping a postpartum mom heal. You can contact these companies about purchasing a gift program for a new mom. 

4. Moms Groups

Moms groups can help with the transition into motherhood by giving a new mom a safe place where she can discuss concerns, experiences, learn, and connect with other women having the same shared experience. This is especially vital and helpful for new moms that don't live near family. Many moms groups are offered at your local 'pumping and feeding' store, churches, hospitals, schools, or other places. Here's a great article on what they entail and how to find one.

5. A Pelvic Floor Specialist

Let's get real, your pelvic floor takes a beating during pregnancy and labor, and it is also one of the most important structures for your daily function. News flash: leaking and peeing when you sneeze or exercise are NOT NORMAL and CAN BE FIXED. Easily. Enter the pelvic floor physical therapist. A pelvic floor physical therapist helps 'retrain' your pelvic floor to function properly and can often address issues that affect other areas (like your hips or diastasis). You can find one here, or refer to this article

What services do you wish you'd known about when you had a baby?

This blog pro­vides gen­eral infor­ma­tion and dis­cus­sion about med­i­cine, health and related sub­jects.  The words and other con­tent pro­vided in this blog, and in any linked mate­ri­als, are not intended and should not be con­strued as med­ical advice. If the reader or any other per­son has a med­ical con­cern, he or she should con­sult with an appropriately-licensed physi­cian or other health care worker.

This post may contain affiliate links

5 Mommy Must Haves

As a first time mom, it's hard to know what products out there really work to make your life easier, and which ones don't. A lot of moms end up registering for a bunch of stuff that they never use, and as the months go on they realize that the things they use the most are the things they never registered for. So here's a list of the top baby products you'll wish you'd known about before bringing home baby!

Most babies and toddlers hate having their nails clipped or filed and this product will solve all of your nail woe issues. A battery-operated device with various file stages (i.e. softer file for when your baby is tiny and the nails are softer, a harder file for a they get older). Simply turn it on and place it on the nail, this little doo-hickey does all the work for you in half the time. 

This is the water bottle that you'll notice is ubiquitous in mommy groups and playdates during the period when your child is learning how to drink out of a sippy/straw cup. It's the only cup we found that holds up to being thrown around a lot and is toddler-tested to not leak. 

Once your baby starts sleeping, you'll pretty much do anything to keep things going that way, one of which is introducing a sound machine. Some sleep books say to introduce a sound machine to help your baby fall asleep. We say introduce a sound machine so that your baby will stay asleep. This sound machine is amazing at keeping random outside noises less jarring. 

This is the single greatest invention, ever, in the history of the world. OK maybe not, but anything that buys you a little extra sleep each night is worth it, and these diaper liners, which adhere to your baby's diaper (like a maxi pad) absorb extra wetness, keeping your baby comfortable and dry for longer at night (translation: they'll sleep longer).

Baby Logs and Journals

Baby logs can be a lifesaver for many a new mom, as learning how to breastfeed and/or pump can be overwhelming. Most new moms are also suffering from severe sleep deprivation, which is way more than just a cliche- sleep deprivation can make it hard to recall basic details like how long ago you fed your baby, which side you fed on, how many ounces they had in a bottle, or how many wet and dirty diapers your baby has had- all important questions the pediatrician asks at each well visit. Having a readily-available notebook like a Duo Diary can help a new mom keep track of all of this- with Duo Diary being the ONLY journal that also includes the mother's health! (Here's more on how baby logs can be helpful)

What are your mommy must haves??