Prior to Zyan’s arrival I knew I wanted an arsenal of amazing tools to use as a new mama. Hippie stuff that made me feel good inside & out, old recipes that assist in healing and a little room for sexy tucked inside a long list of granny panties and milk stained tank tops. I knew I would need certain items to be sure I kept in line with my spiritual nature, self care & sense of style.
It’s only been a few weeks, but I already know which items are working and which I probably didn’t need to purchase. Each persons version of self-care is unique and what works for me may not be your perfect recipe, so I’ll be sure to include a list of items I bought but haven’t used at the end of this article as well – just in case they feed your soul!
Here are my 22 favorites (as 22 is my favorite number). Dig in and enjoy!!
1) My essential oils
The last few weeks of my pregnancy I discovered essential oils from a student/friend of mine. I had signed up under another company last year and never really did anything with them as it just didn’t resonate. After a lot of research and many questions, I found a new company I loved and really dug in. I knew I wanted some oils to assist me during delivery so I talked to my friend and got myself a small package.
Needless to say I’ve been obsessed (and during my recovery, the nurses were coming in just to SMELL our room :)) — I use our diffuser every day and couldn’t be happier that our apartment is sans diaper smell! I’ve created recipes that I used for my recovery, used tea tree oil on his umbilical cord, lemon oil in my sink to give the disposal a little lift and I treated Apollo’s collar twice after his “skunk incident.” I know this is now a lifestyle I’m digging into fast – so if you’re interested just let me know and I’ll hook you up!!
2) My Himalayan salt lamp
We use it at night as a nightlight for changing Zyan, as well as for its natural properties. It aids in creating a calmer and more energetically aligned atmosphere. Our world is full of positive and negative charges and as we have so much technology, we have WAY TOO MANY positive charges out there (cell phones, computers etc). Negative charges are found in nature – waterfalls, green grassy hills and the beach. A Himalayan salt lamp can bring more negative charges into your atmosphere and create a more balanced environment. Check them out!
3) Babyganics hand sanitizer. Aveeno bath products. Natural anything I can.
After reading an unfortunate article
about the CEO of Johnson & Johnson… I decided to forgo the adorable and typical route of baby shampoo. We first tried Honest Company’s hand sanitizer and their diapers and I’ll be honest: not for us. It was sticky and the diapers were a bit flimsy. We immediately made the switch to Babyganics
and now own their hand sanitizer and laundry detergent. I LOVE Aveeno,
but when we run out we may make the shampoo switch someday as well.
4) The panty situation
Let’s take a quick moment to discuss undergarments and postpartum recovery. Here’s all you need to know in a nutshell:
1) Nothing about recovery is sexy. Wear the mesh undies in the hospital, just trust me on this. I thought I was going to rebel, but for the few days I was there, they were heavenly.
2) Purchase yourself some throw away granny panties. Remind yourself often that these will be THROWN AWAY.
3) Purchase yourself some cute big girl panties as you may be needing these the weeks after recovery, but not the throw away panties….because (and I must emphasize this), they will be THROWN AWAY.
4) Set yourself some amazing and fun goal!
My personal goal is to be back rocking my regular ole’ undergarment situation as soon as possible & to have a rocking hot pink bikini in time for next summer. I already purchased a boudoir photo shoot for early next summer and plan to hit some awesome and fun fitness goals on my way to getting there. My theory is that instead of a number on the scale, I want to feel a certain way. Radiant. Sexy. STRONG. My pink bikini is the embodiment on this idea and so instead of telling myself I want to have “X” number on the scale, I’m going to obtain my goals in terms of how I want to feel and what I want to wear!
5) Pads for everything
This is another one of those “unmentionable” things in pregnancy….but again, just trust me. Get disposable pads for everywhere you could imagine needing them, make padsicles, buy frozen pads for nursing (the ones that double as a heating pad when needed) and know you cannot have enough.
6) Witch hazel
At the hospital they gave me “tucks” and I had already made padsicles at home. If you really want to know what they are, go search pinterest. Disclaimer: unless you’re currently pregnant, you probably don’t want to know
7) Mascara (with a drop of lavender oil inside).
As a yoga teacher, I often don’t need or wear much of anything else, but the effort of getting dressed and putting on mascara is divine. When I first opened this new wand, I added a single drop of lavender inside of it and every time I go to “doll up” it smells delicious and brings a smile to my face. It may sound silly, but taking the time to have a real shower and put on fresh clothes and a fresh face can change your entire day.
8) Nursing scarves, tanks & covers
Again with the whole “sexy back” thing… nursing can be adorable if you have the right accessories. I am a sucker for an accessory and now-a-days they have such cute stuff out there to make nursing socially acceptable and keep you looking adorable. I currently love the Jessica Simpson
tank tops (and the nightgown for this warm weather). I’m not a huge fan of the other nursing tank tops as I don’t think they offer enough support.
9) Muslin swaddles
Muslin swaddles could be my brand new obsession. Since we brought Zyan home, I realized immediately that neither of us enjoyed cotton swaddles. They made him uncomfortable and the muslin is a much softer material. I started using the cotton swaddles as temporary changing tables on the go as well as various other tasks (spit up cloths etc) instead of being a swaddle. The switch was seamless and I love them so much, I even bought him a custom made one on Etsy that has his name on it!! Oh the joy.
10) Boppy pillow
One of my teachers and good friends gifted us with the Boppy pillow
during our baby shower. She signed it from herself AND from hubby, which made me giggle a touch as not many women at the shower included their husbands. She told me that he helped her pick it out and then begged to have one of his own for home as it’s such a comfy pillow!!
We use it for reading, feeding, tummy time and much more!
11) Water bottle with a straw & convenient snacks
As a nursing momma, I need convenience. I have two water bottles with straws and an arsenal of delicious and easy to eat snacks. Although I’m learning to become ambidextrous while eating, it’s always much easier to have snacks that I can just grab. At the moment I’m loving apples & hazelnut butter. Justin’s chocolate hazelnut butter comes in packets as well as the jar, so we pick them up whenever we are at the store. It’s easy for me to squeeze it out with my teeth if I’ve been nursing for a long time and need something delicious & healthy on the go!
12) Breastfeeding app
We just downloaded the first free one we found and I love it. When it’s 2am and you’re not sure what side or even where you are, it’s a great way to keep track of yourself and baby.
13) Brand new stitch fix order
This past week I received my first Sitch Fix order!!! I put my account on hold while I was pregnant (they do have maternity clothes, but I opted to wait). I couldn’t wait until it arrived and was thrilled when I got two cute new tops for fall!! I love my Stitch Fix and now that shopping is made even harder, it’s the perfect avenue for getting new things to wear. I love it so much, that I do have a referral code. If you want to join in the fun, click on this link
14) Postpartum fitness
I cheat. I’ll admit it, I 100% cheat and listen to exactly what I’ve been told by my practitioner. I was told I could walk and do simple stretches… in my mind this means daily (or every other day) I can do a few simple suns and that my walking can increase daily.
As I said, I cheat because I know my body. I am doing exactly what I was approved to do…. meaning that yesterday due to my small increases, Zyan and I walked 2.5 miles. This isn’t recommended unless you know your body, know you’re recovering well and have permission.
Let’s just say that the moment my 6 week approval comes, I will be in a headstand to celebrate! I’m so itchy and trying my best to not do much…
15) Moby wrap
One of my favorite things to do with Zyan is snuggle, but I could do it all day long and not get anything done at all if I chose to! Lately I wrap him up in the Moby Wrap
and we walk down to the local coffee shop for a cup of Jo’. It gets us outside in the fresh air, allows me to log a brisk walk and gifts me with a delicious cup of coffee, all while snuggling my little love.
Baby wearing is the best, yo! Seriously.
16) Setting clear boundaries
This is a skill I have learned slowly over the course of a number of years and something I am now really good at. I set clear boundaries and when someone asks to come over at a time that won’t work for us or wants to come over with a cold, the answer is a strict no thank you. I suggest a time that would be better for our nap/feeding schedule (which we are still learning together of course).
I am also not afraid to kick people out of my home or tell them I need to leave someplace earlier than planned. Not only am I caring for baby boy, but I am also still recovering from childbirth and need to respect both of our bodies. Set yourself some very clear boundaries and if you need help, have your mom/husband/best friend guarding the door to tell folks (kindly) that visitors are either limited or not welcome for the day.
17) Mantras. Meditation. Reiki.
I have been using every yoga tool I have in my box in the last few weeks and have only stepped onto my mat a handful of times. I’ll be writing a whole article on how to practice yoga without a mat this week as it’s made such a huge difference in my life. When we nurse and he can’t settle, I listen to mantras or practice reiki on both of us. When we need to wake up and PLAY, we listen to faster yoga music…. and when it’s time to rest but not sleep, we meditate with crystals and lots of essential oils in the diffuser.
18) Writing work emails and articles while we nurse (NOT while he sleeps)
Don’t be surprised if you ever receive an email from me at 3:45am. Most of my social media I write at 2:00am and schedule it to be posted at 9:00am. I rely on technology to help me keep my business afloat without it affecting my sleep!
19) Making my husband a priority
We have already started planning our anniversary trip. My parents are taking Zyan overnight for the first time and I couldn’t be happier to be planning this evening with him. In addition to making sure we get a little time to ourselves, I make sure I make him a priority. Last night I created a recipe we used to love when we first got married. It took me over an hour, between feeding and changing, but I did it! It was delicious and a simple reminder of us as a couple. We also make sure we take the time to say hello when he comes home from work and keep in touch during the day
a) Making Apollo a priority
Number 19 has an additional priority: Apollo. My handsome little man needs attention as well and I try my best every day. If we can’t go for a walk, I make sure to shower him with extra treats and snuggles. He’s always allowed with me on the bed while we nurse and has been the perfect big, furry brother!
20) Accepting help, food and love. Always.
During our first week as parents, Apollo decided to attack a skunk, which emulates how funny and messy parenthood can be. Fortunately we were at our in-laws when it happened, so he stayed overnight and they bathed him twice. I then texted my friend Shannon who owns the daycare he attends and we took him for two baths with the groomer. I have NO IDEA what I would have done without the help.
Same goes for all of the delicious food we have received, the times my mother in law drops by to hold Ziggy-man so mama can take a 2 hour nap mid-day or the afternoons I spend with my parents and brother who come over to keep me entertained and eat up every moment with the newest addition to the family.
We are certainly blessed to have such amazing friends and family around and I don’t think I could thank them enough for the rest of our lives… we love you!!!
21) Portable everything. Except the Mamaroo.
Everything that we put on our baby registry was convertible and/or portable. Our bassinet has a changing table and becomes a pack-n-play when he’s older. Our car seat fits snug into the stroller. The crib can turn into a toddler bed. The BabyBjorn folds into a thin sheet of wire & cloth so we can bring it to grandma’s house. The portable bassinet folds so tightly that we will bring it to India next year to use in the hotel. EVERYTHING IS PORTABLE (except the Mamaroo
– but that’s amazing so just go get one now anyway).
22) Nap time.
At the moment we are very slowly figuring out this whole schedule thing. I know when his witching hour is and when I need to nap prior to that. I have already found out when to nap and when to write or clean… it’s an interesting rhythm that changes from day to day, but nap time is essential.
This is a huge list of my favorite things and all of the links are my referral links, but it’s just because I love it all so much — you know I’m always honest with you. In addition to the list of things I have loved, below is a small list of stuff we haven’t used, didn’t enjoy or won’t use for their actual purpose.
Honest company anything
(I don’t like the sticky feeling or the smell of these products)
(I used them, but made way too many)
(we use the swaddles as a back-up and always have more than one on hand)
Motherhood has been an interesting journey these past few weeks and I love how much I have been learning! It’s different every day, but I am starting to see small patterns arrive. It’s always blissful and amazing (even in the moments when I’m literally shit on…) I am loving every single second of this new journey and am so excited to share a tiny glimpse into my new world.
Love you all lots!