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I am a great big ball of anxiety when I travel, and particularly when I fly. My brain becomes a worry machine, listing all of the what-if questions one after the other, killing any and all excitement for my trip. So, needless to say, adding a baby to my travel scenario just about sends me over the edge. However, because I can’t avoid flying all together, and because driving is not an option as it’s the only thing worse than flying, I have come up with a few tips and tricks to help ease anxiety while flying with baby.

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"This tee worked perfect for my pregnant belly, but is flowy enough to keep out for my postpartum days. It's so comfortable. It's light, durable and very flattering."

PERFECT FIT- 
Loose fitting and long
The softest, breathable, stretchy fabric.

 

EASY TO WEAR - 
The side slits provide easy breastfeeding access and accommodate a pregnancy belly. You can lift just the front of the shirt to nurse, while the back stays down.This is the perfect complement to wear over your Undercover Mama tanks.

PURCHASE HERE

"This is one of the softest shirts I have worn! It's so comfortable but also really cute and functional which is a perfect combination for me." 

PERFECT FOR NURSING AND PREGNANCY!


-Same great hook & loop design-one hand nursing access
-Works with ANY bra
-The most flattering sleeve length
-Trendy stripe print, the softest breathable fabric
-Great for pregnancy and breastfeeding
-Longer length works great with leggings

 

EASY TO NURSE: just lift the panel and unlatch your bra, leaving the shirt attached to the flap. This One-step process eliminates having to dig through layers of clothing.

PURCHASE HERE

"I'm in love with this dress. It's amazingly soft comfortable and light weight. It has everything I need in a nursing dress."

PERFECT FOR NURSING AND PREGNANCY!

-Same great hook & loop design-one hand nursing access
-Works with ANY bra -The most flattering sleeve length
-Trendy stripe print, the softest breathable fabric
-Great for pregnancy and breastfeeding
-Dress it up or down, so many options

EASY TO NURSE!

just lift the panel and unlatch your bra, leaving the dress attached to the flap. This One-step process eliminates having to dig through layers of clothing.

PURCHASE HERE

 

These baby board books have a wonderful message about love. We picked our 3 favorites! These make great baby gifts.

1-You Are My I Love You

 

2-I Love You Through and Through

3-Wherever You Are My Love Will Find You

I’ve always had a weird relationship with makeup. In theory, I’m obsessed with its transformative properties and will tumble down a rabbit hole of makeup-related YouTube videos faster than you can say “smoky eye tutorial.” In practice, however, I don’t find myself wearing a lot of it on a regular basis. Partly because I hate the expectation that women need to wear makeup to look presentable (I think this whole #nomakeup movement is great) and, as a mom of two little kids that also works part-time, I just don’t have the desire to spend more than a few minutes staring into a mirror every day.

That said, I do my best to make those few minutes count. I’ve found that a bit of makeup can be a fun little pick-me- up when much of your life might not feel very glamorous and the long days (and nights!) of motherhood are showing on your face. So I’m always thrilled when I discover great products that maximize my simple beauty routine. Below are a few of my current favorites. 

 

NYX Hi Definition Concealer

If I had to pick only one item of makeup to wear, it would be under eye concealer. Brightening up that area and covering up my ever present dark circles really seems to lighten up my whole face. I’ve been on a quest to find the perfect concealer for years now, which basically means I’ve spent a small fortune trying to look like I consistently get 8 hours of sleep at night. And although I’ve tried products that cost three times as much and others that are specially formulated for the under eye area, I keep coming back to this NYX concealer. The coverage is great, it’s creamy and blendable, and you can’t beat the price.

NARS Miniature Blush/Bronzer Set in Orgasm/Laguna

I’d been using the elf knockoff version of this set for a couple of weeks when I stopped into Sephora to compare the two, and in my opinion the NARS version is worth every penny of the price difference. There’s a reason that Orgasm blush is such a cult beauty product, since it is indeed that perfect peachy pink that makes your face look slightly flushed and dewy, and the accompanying Laguna bronzer subtly warms up your face without making it look dirty or orange. Both products are silky enough to blend right into your skin without making it look dry or powdery, and the sleek miniature packaging is great for saving space in your makeup bag. I use this kit for quick contouring with this brush:

Real Techniques Retractable Kabuki Brush

Real Techniques brushes are one of the best beauty bargains out there, and this one is a great multitasker. You can use it for powder, bronzer, or blush and I’ve found that it works perfectly for applying bronzer in the hollows of my cheekbones for subtle contouring. Since I tend to do my makeup on the go a lot and keep all my essentials in one bag, I also love that this brush is compact and has a cap to keep it from getting dirty.

All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray

It’s a real bummer when you take the time to apply makeup only to have it rub off or fade within a couple of hours. I was skeptical of this Urban Decay setting spray when it claimed to extend the life of your makeup by 16 hours, but after using it I can definitely tell a considerable difference. Even after a long day of two little kids pawing at my face, my makeup still looks fresh and polished.

Simple Cleansing Water, Micellar 6.7 oz

If there is one product on this list that has been a total game changer for me, it’s this. I have always been super lazy about skincare and have slept in my makeup more often than I care to admit. Most cleansers or makeup removers make my skin feel funky, and washing my face just feels like way too much of a production when I’m bone tired at night. Enter micellar water. You can read all about the science and benefits of this stuff here, but the short version is that it removes makeup and cleanses skin in one easy step with no rinsing required. It also has zero fragrance or residue and doesn’t dry out my skin. I’ve been using it for a year and am completely converted. (Note: this brand also sells pre-soaked micellar wipes, which are fine in a pinch but I really prefer using it out of the bottle with a cotton pad).

What are some of your beauty favorites?

It’s not surprising that pregnancy and childbirth can take a huge toll on a woman’s body. A recent study reported that giving birth can be as taxing on a woman’s body as running a marathon, and in countries outside the U.S. it is common for women to seek out physical therapy to help them recover after having a baby.

I was fortunate enough to have relatively comfortable pregnancies, but a long labor and forceps delivery with my second baby left me dealing with intense hip and low back pain for the better part of a year. I tried seeing orthopedists, chiropractors, and physical therapists, as well as doing various stretches and exercises on my own, but nothing really helped. I was uncomfortable performing basic tasks most days, and could no longer do so many of the things I loved. In short, I was miserable.

Luckily a friend of mine that knew about my situation referred me to Susan McLaughlin at Align Health and Wellness. Susan is a Salt Lake City-based physical therapist that specializes in management of the pelvic floor and orthopedic dysfunction. Her approach to healing was so much more positive and simple than the other physical therapists I had seen, and within a month of doing the basic, relaxing exercises she gave me I felt significantly better and on the road to recovery. It felt like Susan gave me the tools to get back on track, and I cannot say enough good things about my experience with her.

In addition to one-on-one physical therapy sessions, Susan offers prenatal and postpartum workshops for women who are pregnant or have recently had a baby. These 3-hour classes will help you feel your best at this physically demanding time of life. Spots are still available in the workshops scheduled for June 2016; find out more information and register here. Be sure to enter the drawing at the end of this post to win a spot in the workshop of your choice!

One of my favorite things about Susan’s practice is her emphasis on self-care. Her blog is a wealth of information and useful exercises for any aches and pains you may have. Below are links to three posts she recommends for relief of sciatica, a common complaint for so many pregnant women:

Get Rid of Sciatica

How To Release Your Psoas

Gluteal progression for back, hip and knee health

Align Physical Therapy Giveaway

An electric breast pump can be one of a nursing mama’s most valuable tools. Even if you don’t need to bottle feed your baby often, a pump can help maintain milk supply, relieve engorgement, and serves as a great backup in case an emergency comes up and you are unable to nurse your baby.

I remember registering for baby items when I was pregnant with my first baby and having some serious sticker shock when I saw the price tags on the electric breast pumps. I knew that I needed to get one, so I figured I would just cough up the few hundred bucks.

Luckily a co-worker of mine was pregnant at the same time and, as we compared baby prep checklists, mentioned that our health insurance plan covered the cost of a breast pump. I called my health insurance company and a representative said that the cost of my pump would be covered if A) I got a prescription from my doctor and B) I bought the pump from a participating medical supply store. A bit of a hassle to be sure, but I was able to get a Medela double electric pump that has now lasted me through nursing two babies without any issues.

Although healthcare legislation requires most medical insurance plans to cover the cost of a pump, sometimes the process can be more complicated and time-consuming than my experience. And in any case, what new or expectant mother wants to spend her time filling out paperwork or making phone calls?

Enter Pumping Essentials. This company, run by moms, handles the logistics for you. All you have to do is fill out the registration form on their website, choose a brand of pump, and let Pumping Essentials take care of getting the prescription from your doctor’s office, filing the claim with your insurance company, and mailing you the pump.

Best of all, Pumping Essentials offers a free or discounted hands-free pumping bra (Simple Wishes is our favorite)  with every pump purchase, and provides discounts on other pumping and breastfeeding items such as pump/diaper bags, milk storage supplies, etc. So if you are in need of a breast pump, visit pumpingessentials.com and let someone else navigate the insurance process for you.

A C-section is not something that every mom-to-be plans for. Though many moms, especially after their first child, opt for a C-section, for most it can come as a surprise. My husband and I just had our second child via C-section, and the whole experience including the recovery was much different than with our first who was delivered vaginally. I found myself coming home from the hospital feeling completely different, and needing different types of remedies to help my body recover. So whether you're planning a C-section or have to have one unexpectedly, here are some helpful tips to help your at home recovery.

1- PILLOWS 

Pillows are your friend. After my C-section, I surrounded myself with pillows. When you have a C-section, you quickly realize how much the core muscles engage during simple everyday acts, such as sneezing, coughing and laughing. If you hold a pillow over your stomach when you feel a cough or sneeze coming on it can soften the blow. Watching a TV comedy was not fun when every time I laughed I felt a twinge at my incision. So I kept pillows nearby and grabbed one when I started to laugh. The pillow trick also saved me from the pain when going over a speed bump or hitting a pot hole. You may also want to use a nursing pillow, such as a boppy, to prevent your baby from sitting right on your incision while you're nursing. This will stop any irritation and make nursing more comfortable.

2- ABDOMINAL SUPPORT

Wear abdominal support. While you're in the hospital, your doctors will most likely offer you a belly binder. Take it, use it, love it. Not only does it help train your belly to go back into position and shrink your uterus, but it can also give you the support you need to get up and move around. The doctor will tell you to get moving as soon as possible, but it's tricky when your abs are out of commission. The binder tightens around your core and makes it easier to pull yourself up. Once you've been home a few days, the hospital grade binder may be too large and cumbersome to wear, so you can switch to a pair of high waisted compression underwear, like these C-Panty High Waist C-Section Recovery Panty from Upspring Baby:

 

Both the binder and support underwear will also provide a barrier between your incision and your clothes, keeping it free from irritation.

3- SAY YES

Just say yes. Delivering a baby takes its toll no matter how it happens, and you cannot do it without family and friends for support. With a C-section you'll need help in new ways. For the first few weeks, you should plan to have someone else drive you around. Driving can be painful (remember the potholes and speed bumps?), and can tug at your stitches. You are also limited on what you can lift. Most doctors say no more than a baby in a carrier, but even that amount of weight can be difficult the first couple weeks. Having someone around to help with the lifting is a life saver. Bending over to pick things up will also be tricky so forget about cleaning by yourself. Let a spouse or others who offer take care of that. You may also want to schedule someone to help with other kids, especially if they are super active. Running and chasing a toddler is not gonna work when you're healing from a C-section. For your sanity and the sanity of your other children, organize play dates and outings with someone you trust. It will help to get your child's wiggles out and allows you time to relax. The people who love you want to help. Say yes when they ask, and you will be much happier.

We've teamed up with Upspring Baby to give away an Undercover Mama and a C-Panty!

C Section Giveaway

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