Fox News Radio – We’re momming today with Lauren Simonetti – click image to link

We’re Momming Today” with Francesca Page, a new mom who went through a dramatic birth experience, delivering her baby nearly three months early and then living in the hospital for weeks on end.

This is a podcast about Mom. It explores motherhood in all its shapes and sizes. Whether it’s life as a working mom or a stay-at-home mom, we dissect the challenges, search for the solutions, embrace the crazy moments, and collect the treasures we find along the way. So grab a glass and come along for the nutty yet rewarding ride.

Gift for Her, Him and even Baby…

FOR HER

Rahua’s Customizable Daily Hair Kit – Customize your Rahua! Mix and Match these award winning shampoos and conditioners to suit your hair care needs and goals. Powered by plants and potent Rainforest grown oils, all hair types can finally find the perfect combination of shampoo and conditioner to help nourish, strengthen, hydrate, protect and maintain the health of the hair and scalp. Housed in a boxset designed with an Amazonian-inspired illustration. A great gift for those who loves travel size options or just options period!

Lively’s Jasmine Sea Sun Scent – Typically known for their Lingerie, Lively havealso released this beautiful fragrance in a candle, rollerball and perfume. Radiant from start to finish, jasmine sambac, sea salt, crisp pear, and sandalwood come together to empower you to be your most free and confident. This fragrance is paraben free, phthalates free, and truly feels like a beachy summers day in the middle of winter.

Olio E Osso Lipstick/ Lipstick Queen – Ladies love lipstick and Olio E Osso’s are designed to give you a lot of color without a long list of ingredients – their Crema Lipsticks and Lucente Lip Sheens are all-natural, waterless, and sustainably sourced. Lipstick Queen also has some sensational colors that transform, and textures and formulas that are moisturizing and feel comfortable.

Henry Rose Perfume – “I set out to see if it was possible to develop a line of fine fragrances proving you don’t need to sacrifice quality and sophistication for safety. And we did it!” – Michelle Pfeiffer Founder, Henry Rose. Henry Rose is a new clean fragrance brand. Designer Henry Rose has 5 perfumes in our fragrance base all launched in 2019 that smell rich and luxurious but also keep to clean standards. Their Discovery Set gives you A collection of all 5 fragrances in 2 ML sample sizes. You’ll also be emailed a $20 credit to apply toward your first 50 ML purchase.

Hey Honey Hand and Feet Holiday Set – Who doesn’t want their your hands and feet to feel hydrated and cared for, this hoilday season! Wrapped up in a cute box, Hands On is an intensely moisturizing hand & elbow cream that is infused with ingredients to soften and protect the skin from cracking. Regular use will leave your hands soft, smooth and ready for the day. Walk the Walk is a highly effective foot balm that softens, protects, and refreshes your feet while repairing your dry, cracked heels.

FOR HIM

Oars and Alps Holiday Face Kit – Give the man in your life the gift of looking well-rested and refreshed with this holiday gift box featuring Face + Eye Cream, the Wake Up Eye Stick and Solid Charcoal Face Wash. The face moisturizer and eye cream uses Aloe Leaf Juice and Vitamin E to fight free radicals, while the Wake Up Eye Stick uses caffeine to help de-puff undereye bags and the Solid Charcoal Face Wash uses other natural ingredients to dissolve deep-down dirt and help fight acne.

Go Travel Products – Perfect for the traveler in your life, Go Travel makes a range of handy products from locks to travel bags, packing cubes, adapters and everything in between. They even have products for kids too. A must buy gift is their Hybrid Universal Pillow made of memory foam top pillow with inflatable base, and packs down to 1/4 the size for travel!

Dra .Sunshine Head to Toe Organic CBD Oil -This luxurious CBD+ oil calms and restores your skin, and invigorates your senses for a refreshed, blissed and vibrant you. High performance with full spectrum CBD+ and rich in omega fatty acids for decreased inflammation.

BABY

Gunamuna Swaddle Sacks – Keep baby swaddled + warm for diaper changes, with arms in or arms out. The gently weighted gunaPOD® Swaddle Sack lulls baby into a comfort-induced sleep and offers a genius diaper-zip. The multi-functional design feels like a luxurious down comforter and evenly distributes the weight to mimic a calming hug, soothing baby to faster and longer sleep. That’s parenthood simplified!

Doddle and Co’s Pop Up Pacifiers – The Pop is specially designed to give you extra peace of mind when caring for your newborn. When it falls softly nearby, (like in their crib or baby seat) the bubble stays folded and ready to go. When it takes a larger tumble to the floor, the bubble pops up – saving the nipple from unwanted surface contact.

Dr Browns Bottles – Designed by a doctor in 1996, Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow® is the only baby bottle to feature an internal vent system that is clinically proven to reduce colic. Dr. Brown’s bottles also help reduce spit-up, burping and gas by eliminating negative pressure and air bubbles, help preserve vitamins C, A, & E by minimizing oxidation of breastmilk and formula, and provide vacuum-free feeding similar to breastfeeding.

Chatbooks – A great gift idea that is actually more for the grandparent than the baby! Create family photo books straight from your phone, starting at just $5. Plus, make Instagram photo books, Facebook photo books, prints, and cards that you can share with loved ones.

Feltman Brother Baby Clothing – For over 100 years, Feltman Brothers has been creating vintage style baby outfits for boys and girls, giving families the opportunity to create all those wonderful memories. Contributing to moments that can last forever with the timeless designs, portrait-worthy class and heirloom quality. Check out their gorgeous holiday rompers and dresses!

Make it easy on yourself parents!

Parenting is tough. No doubt about that. Here a few products to help you out on those days when you need all the help you can get!

DocATot (Delux)  – The Deluxe+ Dock from DockATot is the ultimate docking station for your newborn baby up to 8 months. This multi-functional design offers a comfy spot for diaper changes, tummy time, lounging, playing, cuddling, and napping. Lightweight and portable and easy to transport, this 3 lb machine washable wonder is well worth the price tag. Want to use it outside? No problem, the company also produces a nifty ‘cabana kit’ which includes a 50+ SPF UV-protected fabric hideaway bug screen and a retractable sun shade. The screen folds into a pouch and the kit also features a waterproof base protector.

Baby Brezza’s Formula Pro Advanced – Ever wondered what it would be like if you had a robot making your formula for you? Baby Brezza Formula Pro Advanced is the most advanced way to automatically make a warm, formula bottle instantly – it’s a true is a life saver (think 3am feeds in an instant.) No measuring, no mixing and no fuss. You can customize the perfect bottle for your baby by choosing 1 ounce increments between 2-10 ounces, 1 of 3 temperature settings or dispensing water only. It works with virtually all brands of formula and all bottle brands and sizes. BPA-FREE.

Hey Honey’s Trick or Treat CC2 Cream – The all-in-one solution for mom’s on the go, who want coverage with anti-aging skincare. Trick: Enjoy the complete and natural skin-perfecting coverage, use it all over the face and under eyes. Treat: Feel the benefits of an all-day, active moisturizing cream. Infused with the natural power of honey and propolis to give you both hydration (honey) and anti-bacterial treatment (propolis). Developed with Triple Pigment Technology, this CC cream moisturizes while disguising the appearance of skin imperfections.

Dr Brown’s Solid Feeding Products
Transitioning from all milk to food? No sweat. Dr Brown’s has a great range of products to help, including their long spatula spoons with comfortable long handle to reach the bottom of taller jars, and spatula edges to help wipe food from baby’s mouth. Their soft spout transition cup is also a must for solid feeding babies, with sturdy, contoured handles that make it easier than ever for little hands to get a comfortable grip and a spill-proof silicone spout valve that makes sipping easy for tiny mouths.

Solly Baby’s Fall/Winter Range – These are great for multi-use as a swaddle and carrier and fold up nice and small into any baby bag. Best part is that they come in great seasonal colors to match any of your outfits! Solly Baby wraps give you and your little one unparalleled closeness and comfort and are made from sustainable fabrics, environmentally-friendly dyes and Certified Lenzing Modal – making them super soft, eco safe and long lasting. 

The ultimate baby travel bag

What are the best baby products to travel with and why? As a mom on the go, I have been traveling with my 6 month-er since 4 months… on trains, plane and automobiles. I have had to get really good at having travel sizes, nifty tricks on hand and good products that do more than one thing.

So what will you find in my baby bag on the go?

Mommy makeup – Admitdly this one is for me but happy mommy is happy baby. If you’re anything like me, you love kissing your little one as much as possible…. but for affectionate and breastfeeding moms alike, you want to be careful what allergens could affect your baby. During my pregnancy I did some research into clean makeup brands and found ILIA Beauty. From concealers to tinted lip conditioners and multi sticks (one stick that does cheeks, lips and even eyes) they have you covered, both in convenience and organic clean ingredients that are safe for you and baby.

Swaddles and wraps – These are great for multi-use as a swaddle and carrier and fold up nice and small into my baby bag. Solly Baby wraps give you and your little one unparalleled closeness and comfort. Solly products are made from sustainable fabrics, environmentally-friendly dyes and Certified Lenzing Modal – making them super soft, eco safe and long lasting. 

Stack-able, hold-able baby bottles – Nanobebe has to be the best bottle solution since sliced bread, when it comes to storage and convenience. Not only do their bottles look and feel like a real breast, with a shape that baby can actually hold themselves –  but they also stack on top of each other! The bottles also heat 2x faster than normal bottles and all have a 360 degree venting system to reduce colic issues. They have pump adapters for easy pump right to bottle milk transfer AND have a cute little bag that you can pop a few in with a cooler right inside. Now that’s what I call smart.

Baby wash and baby cream – Whether you are the kind of mother who ventures for the kitchen sink or has some fancy blow up bath, you will need to take something to wash baby with. I am not a fan of anything that could irritate baby so brands like Little Green are great (not only because their products are nice enough that I even like to use them washing my own hair!) They have a whole ‘travel friendly’ line, including their Shampoo and Body Wash – mild and tear-free, with vitamin b and e to nourish baby’s skin harmlessly. Another great travel product is their Soothing Balm – a little stick of heaven for chapped lips, rashes or any irritated skin on the go. Both TSA friendly, they can slip right into that baby bag side pocket!


Burp clothes and bibs – When I am traveling, I just don’t have the room for a hundred burp clothes in my luggage or time to do laundry. I like to take a few snap up little bibs instead that pop right around baby’s neck. Dr Brown’s does a line of great soft little snap up bibs with teethers attached (think no velcro pulling on delicate baby clothes) that fold up nicely and fit easily into my bag. They come in some fun colors and patterns too, protecting baby and me from messes. If I have to wash them on the go, they can be easily hand washed a dry fast on a hotel towel rod. No mess, no stress.  


Pacifiers and teethers – Why do I feel like I can never have enough of these?!? Because I cant! There are so many great pacifiers out there now and this really depends on what your baby prefers, their age etc. Dr Browns does a range of great soft silicone pacifiers. I also like the little flexi-pacies Nonobebe does which are lightweight and ergonomic so the pacifier stays in baby’s mouth. Doddle and Co do some great teethers and are also known for their pacifier that ‘pops when it drops’ to save on constant cleaning. Having said that, if you have a wee extra bit of room and are looking for a nipple sanitizer on the go, it’s worth picking up BBLUv’s battery powered one!

Baby sunnies – Apart from looking cute as pie, sunglasses for little ones by Hipsterkid actually protect their eyes. Basically, these are the sunglasses we want for ourselves in mini-size. Get ready for your kid to steal the scene with 100% UVA and UVB protection, Polarized, shatter-resistant lenses and Flexible, durable frames – all of which also help protect your little one’s eyes for sun damage.

Pampering Mom & Dad

Mom and Dad deserve a pamper sometimes right? Dah! Of course we do. When it comes to having kids, particularly in the early years, we can 100% forget that looking after ourselves puts us in a better position to look after our little critters. So here’s what’s on my spoil mom and dad list (whether you buy them for yourself or your significant other!)

Dads

Oars and Alps – This natural men’s self grooming line caters to men who are active and on the go (great for travelers) These neat products are infused with Alpine Caribou Moss – a small mighty plant from Finland (backed up by ingredients like naturally aloe vera and volcanic sand) to aid everyday sweat, pollution and sunlight. Best part is, because they are clean, coming into contact with baby is totally safe.
Favorite products include their natural deodorant (which actually WORKS) and had a great earthy botanical scent along with their Essentials kit – for when you wake up looking (and maybe feeling) like the cast from The Hangover! Scrub away last night’s sins with their Exfoliating Power Cleansing Face Wash and depuff + cool under eye bags with the Wake Up Eye Stick. Follow those up with their ultra hydrating Face + Eye Cream and you’ll look like you got a full 8 hours of sleep, even if all you’ve had is a full cup of coffee.

Cremo – Typically known for their outstanding shave cream, this brand also does a great line of hair, body and cologne products too. Favorites include their Juniper and Eucalyptus 2-in-1 shampoo, for when you don’t have time to mess around. It leaves your hair perfectly clean and well-balanced, with a unique, sophisticated scent. It’s what you call the whole package.) Cremo’s Cedar and Cypress Bodywash is also a must, featuring the rich, powerful fragrance of refreshing blue cedar wood, aromatic cypress and a citrus zest, in a lightweight, concentrated formula that delivers a rich lather.

Moms

Earthly Body – I love that this brand is mommy baby safe – aiming to create the highest quality personal care products with naturally-derived ingredients whenever possible. So whether you are nursing or nurturing your little one, you can feel safe with their products. Even better, they strive to set an example by creating their products in an environmentally way (you go Mom, being an example to your little ones!) While they house a number of sustainable brands – a couple of my favorites are their Hemp Seed Hand and Body Lotion (a rich blend of Hemp Seed Oil and Argan Oil (leaving skin healthy, radiant, and smelling like heaven) or their CBD Daily Intensive Cream (perfect to rub on that lower achy back from a day picking up the baby or just the laundry!)

Lively Nursing Wear – Sexy, silky and sophisticated are not words you commonly use to describe nursing bras or maternity wear but this brand nails it. “Inspired by women with wild hearts and boss brains” this brand is delivering bras and undies that blur the aesthetic lines of lingerie, active, and swim, taking the best elements of high-style and comfort from each category. These gorgeous undergarments have established an entirely new category and POV of lingerie, a movement that they call Leisurée. I love the mesh trim bralettes and the choice of nudes to natural colors they offer, along with their great activewear pieces and bodysuits. A must have place to shop if you are lacking that oomph and body confidence you used to feel pre-baby.

Innersense – Nature is at the center of Innersense Organic Beauty – it’s perfect for the mom who wants to pamper herself with clean, pure beautiful haircare. These products are crafted from certified organic plant ingredients your hair will love in luxurious formulations that deliver hydration, health, moisture, shine and protection only Mother Nature can provide. Formulated from a rich, concentrated combination of Certified Organic plant ingredients like coconut, avocado and shea butter, these healthy ingredients leave hair clean, residue-free and naturally shiny and voluminous. A few favorites include their Sweet Spirit Leave In Conditioner and Refresh Dry Shampoo (for the days when we just don’t have time to wash that mom hair.) And what about our fading hair color when we don’t have time to hit the salon? Try their Color Awaken Hairbath for a little extra boost!

Pregnant woman on hospital bedrest gets a surprise maternity photo shoot – Featured in today.com

When it became clear that Francesca Page, then 27 weeks pregnant, was not leaving the hospital before she delivered her baby, she felt sad that she was missing out on some of the traditional mom-to-be experiences. But that sadness didn’t last long. A week into her stay, her sister, Georgina, threw Page a maternity photo shoot in the hospital. See full article here!

When it became clear that Francesca Page would spend the rest of her pregnancy in the hospital, her sister, Georgina, arranged a surprise maternity photo shoot.
When it became clear that Francesca Page would spend the rest of her pregnancy in the hospital, her sister, Georgina, arranged a surprise maternity photo shoot. 

Mommy & baby safe beauty (this summer)

When it comes to caring for baby, you also have to care for yourself. That means making sure that the way you look and feel is as non-toxic as possible. As a mother, or mother to be, what you put on your skin comes in constant contact with baby – from kisses to breastmilk. So what can you do to ensure that you and baby are safe without compromising your favorite beauty products? These brands have found the answers!

OSEA – Osea believes that non-toxic skincare is vital for long-term health, beauty, and radiance. These lucious products are powered by plant-based ingredients so effective they eliminate the need for harmful synthetic ingredients entirely. A top pick for mommys and mommys to be – expect 10/10 skincare without synthetic ingredients or chemicals. My current favorite is their Hyaluronic Sea Serum – lightweight, non-greasy moisture boosting serum smoothes wrinkles & fine lines and replenishes dry, thirsty skin. Hyaluronic Acid attracts up to 1,000 X its weight in water, strengthening the skin’s moisture barrier for visibly improved firmness and elasticity….say goodbye to that lack of sleep tired mommy skin with natural hydration!

ILIA – Ilia are carving out a new path in beauty, by balancing safety with product performance, choosing clean, effective ingredients that work. With roots in organic bases, vivid color, and active botanicals, it’s makeup infused with skincare. These products are made to enhance natural beauty in a natural way and are a go-to for moms who don’t have the time for a ‘ten step’ result and also want that natural glow without compromising what they are putting on their skin. This summer I am loving Ilia’s True Skin Serum Foundation and their Liquid Light Liquid – a unique gel based formula that illuminates, and gives a natural dewy finish to the skin. For a multi use pop of color with a lush scent, try their Color Haze  – a cleanly formulated cream based formula for cheeks and lip that can build in color intensity, or blend out to a soft wash of color. Products have no silicone, gluten, parabens, phthalates, sulfates, synthetic fragrances or synthetic dyes. 


VAPOUR – Vapour Organic Beauty was founded with the principles of performance and purity as first priorities and their makeup contains only natural, healthy, minimally processed ingredients: a minimum of 70% organic ingredients with the remaining 30% comprised of mineral pigments and essential oils. Their on-the-go multi use style sticks are wonderful for moms who need a beauty fix they can take with them, that is not harmful to them or baby. For the summer season, their Runway Mini collection is a must including everything you need to BYOS (stylist) using their bestselling Aura Multi Use shades for warm skin tones and cult-favorite Halo Illuminator..and it all comes in a gorgeous Artisan Makeup Bag.


HERBIVORE – Looks good, smells even better and is 100% safe for mommy. On top of all that every ingredient that Herbivore includes in their products is there for a specific therapeutic reason using highly concentrated, and effective formulas, created and tested on real people — never on animals and always from scratch. All of Herbivore’s products have an emphasis on organic, high quality, and food-grade ingredients and are ethically source the finest raw natural materials the earth has to offer. Aside of the fact that it has the same name is my daughter (Coco Rose) it’s also my favorite line of products at Herbivore. The CocoRose Lux hydration trio has it all for mommy – body polish, rose mist and lip conditioner that is like a sugary rose treat for mommys on the go. Other top choices include their Soaking Salts sets (for mommy relax time) and face oils like Orchid Oil that smell like paradise and provide protection against the visible signs of aging. 


PLUME – hair and lash science – As a mom, having time to put on a full face of makeup isn’t really a reality. However, if you are going to go naked faced, at least keep your brows and facial hair in check. Plume’s pomade and precision brush (100% vegan and cruelty free) promotes the growth of your brows while adding definition and color to your best feature. Their  Ash & Brow Enhancing Serum is also specially formulated by a master cosmetic chemist to promote the longevity and fullness of lash & brow follicles.  These combined with a set of their Precision Tweezers and your brows can take on anything the day throws at you!

Rahua Hair Products – Aside of the fact that these products smell like a tropical lush paradise, they are also derived from it. Rahua products are known for their pure ingredients and unparalleled performance. Straight from the Amazon rainforest these products contain the secret to fantastically long, lustrous hair – rahua oil. This ingredient, used for centuries on the gorgeous locks of the Amazonian women, can now be found in this line of innovative, plant-based products to heal, nourish, beautify, and transform. My favorite? Their hydration line of haircare, which makes me feel like I am bathing my locks in a 100% natural tropical pink smoothie.

Phlur Fragrances – Finally fragrance designed for skin, that avoid potentially toxic ingredients like parabens, phthalates and BHT, as well as possible endocrine disruptors. Vegan and cruelty-free, Phlur scents pack a punch in scent but avoid all the nasties. The brand gives you the option to have three samples sent for $18 so you can test out what you like. A couples popular ones are Sandara (calming and meditative, a spiritual journey inspired by a retreat into nature. Sandara most of all is a reflection of you, with notes of forest air, violet leaves, timur pepper, sandalwood, oak moss) and Hanami (a minimalist scent, for when less is more. Aquatic and floral, subtle and warm, with notes of fig, white florals, hazelnut, sandalwood.)

What being a NICU mom is really like – as featured in Parents Magazine

I delivered my baby girl two and a half months before her due date. The NICU became my everyday reality for six weeks. It was odd, surreal, and completely out of my control.

“You have a fever of 105!” the doctor exclaimed. I was sicker than I realized. And yet, all I could think about was seeing my newborn baby, who was born two and a half months before her due date. That was my first taste of motherhood, that moment I realized I wasn’t thinking only about myself anymore.
Almost two weeks earlier, I had gone to the hospital with what I thought was a backache. The pain turned out to be early contractions—I was 27.5 weeks. Doctors worried I had placental abruption, a rare but serious complication where the placenta detaches from the uterus. I was put on hospital bed rest and waited to see if I would stop bleeding and contracting, or if my little girl would have to be delivered.

They were some of the longest days of my life, essentially going into labor every night and fighting through each day to keep my baby inside me. But I tried to focus on the positives and block out the negatives. Every day, I was greeted by nurses who checked on me almost every two hours. I made friends, I had things from Amazon and Seamless delivered to my room, and I even participated in crafts. I also made daily walks down my one corridor, gripping onto my IV pole, to see the new babies, all the while knowing my little girl would not make it to full term.

My thoughtful younger sister even surprised me with an impromptu pregnancy shoot in the hospital, dragging a light reflector, a bag of wardrobe changes, a photographer, and even my dog in tow, to capture my pregnancy. She knew I would likely not be able to go home until after delivery.

After 10 days, a myriad of drugs, IV drips, magnesium, and steroids, the fight came to an end and my little girl decided enough was enough—as did my body. Within a day, I dilated past the point of no return, and at 6:10 a.m. delivered my 2.9-pound baby. The doctor said my placenta had completely fallen apart inside me.
I remember when my daughter came out, she cried and was breathing on her own, which was an incredible relief. But all I had was a quick glance; I didn’t get to hold her. She was quickly whisked off to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), and I was left to process everything for the first time.

The NICU became my everyday reality for six weeks. It felt almost like I was working as a nurse even though that wasn’t my job. It was odd, surreal, and completely out of my control. But I was not alone. Each day, I watched mothers walk in dazed, confused, crying, laughing, smiling, or sleeping slumped in a chair, as their babies sat in little boxes.

A strange part about having a NICU baby is how people react. The corridors of the postpartum area are usually filled with visiting families, balloons, and baby giggles, but when I arrived, that wasn’t quite the case. No one really knew what to do, bring, or even if they should be happy for me or feel bad.

See Parents.com for full article.


Starter Mommy Kit

I have finally landed back on my feet at home with my 2 month old and, but I couldn’t have done it without the help of a few very trusty products, which have been getting my through the ‘starter’ mommy days. Below I share some stand outs!

Sleep sacks Gunamuna Sleep Sacks are great and are a lifesaver both for chillier nights and for stroller rides. Acting as a baby sleeping blanket, these zip up around the baby but only to the chest, leaving a safe space for the baby to breath and move their arms. Soft, warm and easy to use – these will make your life easy when it comes to having the baby safely snugged.

Dress up clothing – It may be hard to imagine that you will have an excuse to dress up while your slumping around the house in milk stained jeans and diaper cream, but there will most likely be at least one opportunity to dress up your baby in the early months, even if just to take pictures. Feltman Brothers does a beautiful job of vintage-style baby clothes that are elegant and classic, and can be passed down through generations.

Baby bath – When it comes to bathing baby, the task can seem somewhat overwhelming to new parents. Stokke makes it easy, creating pieces like their flexi bath – a foldable baby bath suitable from birth to four years. The space saving design makes it easy to store and convenient to use at home or when traveling, and has features like the  heat sensitive drain plug. The plug works by turning colors, giving parents a visual cue, letting them know that the water temperature is getting warmer and needs to be checked.

Vitamins Wellements range of products provide supplemental vitamins and minerals, all while easing parents’ worried minds. All products are certified-organic and preservative-free, providing clean products for your little one and piece of mind for you.

Bottles – Even if you eventually decide to breastfeed, you will likely still need bottles at some stage and Dr Browns range really do the best job a bottle can do. Thier natural Flow® Options+™ Anti-colic Baby Bottles work best with the vent system in place but also provide an option when baby’s feeding develops to remove the vent. The best part is that their bottle nipples feature their own venting system that offers a feeding experience similar to most nipple-vented bottles.

Mommy makeup – If you’re anything like me, you love kissing your little one as much as possible…. but for affectionate and breastfeeding moms alike, you want to be careful what allergens could affect your baby. During my pregnancy I did some research into clean makeup brands and found ILIA Beauty. From concealers to tinted lip conditioners and multi sticks (one stick that does cheeks, lips and even eyes) they have you covered, both in convenience and organic clean ingredients that are safe for you and baby.

Swaddles and wraps – If you are considering purchasing these, Solly Baby wraps give you and your little one unparalleled closeness and comfort. The easiest babywrap for the coziest babywearing experience, their products are made from sustainable fabrics, environmentally-friendly dyes and Certified Lenzing Modal. Their wraps, swaddles and even sleep sacks, look and feel the part of a conscious yet comfortable mother.

The Hospital Bag

Those who are expecting might just find that the most important trip they eventually make is – to the hospital. Whether your delivery is planned or your baby comes when you least expect, it’s wise to have that bag ready to go. So what kinds of items should it include?

The bag itself – You can use just any old bag, but it needs to be compact, light and easy to grab when your rushing out that door to the hospital. Dange Dover does a range of really cushy, easy to pack bags with mini pouches and compartments inside that can keep all your goodies organized. Size wise, a good option is their London Carryall which does just that – carry all – oh and look good too.

Hospital Gown and Nursing PJs – I love the look and feel of Kindred Bravely’s Nursing and Maternity Lingerie Gown  – fun, fresh, flattering and feminine, it features a flattering empire waist, which allows room and conceals, easy clip down cups and a built-in bra offer light support for nighttime baby feedings. The same brand also does a Labor & Delivery Gown for $29.99 that comes in a variety of colors, so you can bring your own flare to the hospital.

Water Bottle – styrofoam cups aren’t the best for you or the environment but they are still the ‘go to’ for most water you get in hospitals. Opt instead to bring your own aluminum or bamboo bottle. Keeping cool and hydrated during delivery is key, so for something that insulates well consider Cornickle’s line of water bottles that are both nice to look at and a dream to drink out of.

Treats – Your’e having a baby so you should be allowed to treat yourself. However, choose options that will either aid in your delivery (think candy you can suck on) or snacks that pack some nutrition or energy. I love Hail Merry’s Bites made with shredded coconut, organic virgin coconut oil and heart-healthy fats from nuts.

Slippers/Slipper Socks – You will want these when walking around the hospital or even your room. Kindred Bravely does some super cute ones with fun inspirational quotes to make you smile and feel like a strong mama!

Cremes and Calming Oils – I am a big fan of aromatherapy during pregnancy. Hatch’s Pocket Spa Trio for $68 is a great way to carry a mini spa of ‘mama to be’ blended oils (ginger, eucalyptus and lavender) that do everything from energize to relax or aid sickness.

Pregnant paradise at home; creating your ultimate ‘zen’ retreat….

As much as I love getting away, it isn’t always possible for moms-to-be (especially towards the end of your pregnancy.) However, using some of my favorite products, I have found a way to create a personal retreat right in my home…..

Candles – There is no better atmosphere setter than a candle, and not just any candle. I am very particular about scent and aesthetic in my home. Alixx Candles candles artisanal craftsmanship, European elegance, and a refined sense of calm. Hand poured with delicate and refined French parfums, each scent transcends to the most beautiful and fragrant places in France. The artisanal glass vases in which the candles sit are mouth-blown in Europe and are in themselves pieces of beautiful art that smell and look wonderful.

Natural oils – Everyone has their own version of what oils or creams prevent stretch marks, and while there is no real sure answer, you can help your skin by keeping it supple and hydrated. Opt for the natural route (for you and baby) and pick up some products from Skinny and Company’s chemical free Raw Beauty Line. Raw Beauty will give you everything you need to moisturize, repair, and protect your skin naturally, and leave you smelling better than a tropical vacation!  All of their raw beauty products contain 5 ingredients or less, Chemical Free, and contain 100% virgin Skinny coconut oil.  

Pregnancy pillow – This one I could not live (or rather sleep) without. The Snoogle by LeachCo retails for less than $70 and will literally transform the way you sleep, sit back or relax. If you are like most people, one pillow throughout the night is just not enough. There’s the pillow that goes behind your back for support, the one between your knees for temperature control, the one for your head, and (if you’re pregnant) one more for tummy support. The Snoogle was uniquely designed to support your body from head to toe and make the pillow situation less complicated, and makes sleeping, sitting or curling up to read a book while pregnant, a million times more comfortable.

Essential oils/vaporiser – We do know that many mums-to-be find aromatherapy helpful in easing pregnancy niggles, and calming nerves… especially at a time when your sense of smell is so acute. A vaporizer is a great way to benefit from the affects of aromatherapy in a safe way when pregnant. Oils like lavender and lemongrass are a few of my favorites to set the ‘spa’ mood at home but only use a couple drops of essential oil at a time (they are strong) in your choice of vaporizer….And if you do use them in a bath, dilute the essential oil by mixing the drop with at least a teaspoon (5ml) of a base oil like Grapeseed oil or sweet almond oil.

A prenatal massage – It’s worth treating yourself to at least one of these while your pregnant, as your body and your mind will thank you. Massages are like mini-vacations in themselves but when your pregnant it’s crucial you have one catered to prenatal care, for safety reasons. My local massage spot, Earth and Sky Healing Arts, is the picture of ‘zen’ – not only evoking relaxation and wellness, but also catering specifically to pregnancy needs. Their prenatal catered massages are specifically designed with a focus on the hips, lower back, neck, and shoulders – to help cultivate a centered balanced state in preparation for labor, mentally and physically. Look for a spa location with WELL trained prenatal masseuses, where you can unwind in safe hands.