This one’s for our new mamas and mamas-to-be, and we’d first off like to say congratulations for embarking on what we think is life’s most meaningful (and challenging!) journey. Whether you’re five weeks pregnant or have a mini that’s one-month-old, these first few months can bring with them a medley of emotions, from happiness to confusion as you ask yourself, “Wait, how does one do this whole mama thing, anyway?” We’re here to reassure you that you got this, and that though we’re all just figuring it out as we move along, we know a few things that will make the beginning of this new path a little less intimidating. Here, we’ve put together your ultimate Maternity Guide, a roundup of some of our favorite brands, books, podcasts, and apps specially focused on expecting and new mamas experiencing this new lifestyle and trying to keep sane amidst it all. Read on for your maternity “cheat sheet”…
Brands We Love
As an expecting or new mama, you’ve probably thought a lot about one of the main essentials of nourishing your newborn: breastfeeding. Though many of us took it for granted until it came time to have the little ones suckle, breastfeeding can be more stressful for women than expected and it’s not always as easy as it’s made out to be. This is why mama and Ayurveda expert Anhoni Patel (or Mrs. Milk, as we like to call her!) created Mrs. Patel’s lactation treats and teas, based upon time-tested Ayurvedic recipes that have been handed down by mamas in her family for thousands of years. If you’re struggling with or are anxious about nursing, first: don’t feel guilty or bad about yourself, because it’s more of a common struggle than you think and, second: get yourself some of Mrs. Patel’s products stat for delicious, fenugreek (an herb to aid in milk production and postpartum healing) and antioxidant-filled supplements that will help you to nourish both baby and mama.
We really only have one word to describe Softsie: genius. Mama and Johns Hopkin’s-trained psychologist Natalie Feild first came up with the idea for moisturizer-infused baby clothes when her little one faced a perpetual battle with eczema as chillier days set in. Stressed to keep her little one covered and lathering up Abigail with lots of ointments and baby lotions every day to no avail, Feild found herself wishing that clothes came with already-built-in moisturizer. With no such product in the market, Feild devoted herself to creating clothing with three all-natural skin smoothers (Aloe vera, jojoba oil, and vitamin E) embedded into the yarns of the fabric, which ended up as the cure to Aibigail’s skin problems and the birth of Feild’s innovative company, Softsie. Softsie features adorably-designed footie pajamas, tops, bottoms, blankets, and hats for baby that will keep them stylish, supple, and supremely cozy all at the same time. Who knew such a thing could be real?
According to Matron Saint, “Motherhood and great style aren’t a contradiction,” and we couldn’t agree more. While in the past mamas-to-be felt pressured to hide their growing bellies, ashamed of the body changes they experienced during maternity, more and more mamas-to-be are embracing the bump — and that’s exactly Matron Saint’s mission. We love their simple, comfy, yet super chic designs made with expecting mamas in mind and to celebrate the beauty of bringing a baby into the world — clothing that works with and not against our changing bodies.
Mama and maternity-wear designer Peggy Enconomou was a born-and-bred New York gal and investment banker before meeting her husband while on a trip to Corsica and then embarking on a new chapter as a mama and wife in Tuscany, Italy. Now, she’s making maternity fashionable again with Teat & Cosset, Italian-made quality clothes made for breastfeeding without looking like “breastfeeding” clothes. Committed to crafting beautiful blouses, bottoms, tunics, and dresses that will be cherished by mamas long after they stop breastfeeding, Teat & Cosset is for the mama who thought she’d have to sacrifice style during motherhood.
We’re long-time fans of HATCH, a company that’s been outfitting not only ourselves but all of the mamas in our crew who want to stay stylish at every stage of the maternity journey, from before they give birth to when they’re raising two little ones. HATCH’s designs are simple, clean, and classic, and are meant to flatter your body and feminine curves throughout all of their changes. With our HATCH attire, we’ve been proving time and time again that mamas are indeed the chicest women we know. Check out their newly-opened storefront at 17 Bleeker Street to get shopping!
Contrary to what you might have been told, having a baby doesn’t have to slow you down. Actually, we think even new mamas need to have their fun, and Ergobaby’s carriers make staying active as a new mama possible, especially if you want to bring baby along for the ride. With a wide array of carrier styles depending upon what’s most comfortable for you and your partner, soft padded straps and waistbelt, and a hood for some extra privacy for baby, Ergobaby keeps your little safe and secure no matter your destination.
With the arrival of a new addition to the family comes the question of how to safely travel altogether. #1 in safety technology, Britax makes car seats and strollers that will take the stress out of transporting your little one, as they’re specially engineered to exceed federal safety standards and go through extensive safety testing prior to manufacturing.
Since your baby can’t use a blanket right away, we love the snuggly a sleep sack from Gunapod that offers parents and caregivers to way change a swaddled baby’s diaper without unswaddling or waking the baby! How amazing is that?! Featuring a cool Wunderzip design, you can simply place your babe inside the open sack, wrap the swaddle and Velcro closed, then zip baby into the sack. We love how this sack works with a wide range of sleeping preference and also allows parents to swaddle their own way–where you can opt to swaddle your baby with arms inside or outside the swaddle. Bonus: the swaddle is made with bamboo viscose that’s eco-friendly, hypo-allergenic, toxin-, BPA-, and phthalate-free. Awesome for sensitive skin types!
Preparing to bring your mini into the world is a journey (and a feat) worth documenting — while you might be anxious to get back to “normal”, this is a time you’ll want to look back at one day, we promise. This adorable pregnancy journal allows you to celebrate every milestone in your nine-months along with your partner, with pockets to insert photos, thoughtful prompts for jotting down your thoughts and helpful tid-bits, to pages to keep track of your appointments so you can minimize stress and stay excited about the arrival of your little one.
We’re big fans of podcasts because they keep us both entertained and learning during our forever-on-the-go lifestyle, even with baby in tow. “The Boob Group” is the channel to be listening to if you’ve got a growing belly or if you’ve just had a little one, especially if you’ve had even just a few questions about breastfeeding. Each episode focuses on a different FAQ asked by breastfeeding mamas, from Do I Really Have Low Milk Supply? to What are the pros and cons of nipple shields?, and provides open and honest discussion about these issues from a group of mamas who want to bare all about their experiences to help out other mamas in the throes of maternity. If you’re getting ready to pump, put some headphones in and listen up.
Have a little one on the way? Turns out there’s an app for that, too. We recently discovered Hello Belly, an app made for mamas-to-be that takes some stress – and adds some fun! – to the pregnancy journey. Hello Belly provides mama with daily tips and facts from medical experts tailored to each week of baby’s development — delivered in cute illustrations and a light-hearted style that keeps her and hubby informed about proper pregnancy while providing some laughs along the way. The app’s latest additions include more entertainment for mama, such as yoga video classes for some gentle activity and relaxation as well as 3D visualizations of what’s happening in the womb. Hello Belly’s helping make future mamas’ lives a little bit easier — all at a touch of their fingertips.
What mama hacks have you discovered recently? Share your favorite brands, books, apps, whatever with new mamas in the comment section below.