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Remembering to take a daily vitamin always seemed negotiable: You ate kale for lunch. You feel healthy. You… just can't remember. Then pregnancy enters the picture and everything changes.

For vitamin novices, though, talk about a steep learning curve when you study the label on most prenatals. When she was expecting her first child, Ritual's founder, Katerina Schneider, was struck by the realization that many of the unnecessary and questionable chemicals and additives she was trying to remove from her home were ingredients in the vitamins she was supposed to take.

Determined to find a better way for herself, her children and others, Schneider founded Ritual on the core belief that better ingredients make for better vitamins. After starting the company with their Essential for Women multivitamin, the team at Ritual developed Essential Prenatal to further fulfill Schneider's mission to support women through every life stage.

And the name truly says it all: Each capsule contains nutrients expectant mamas and their babies need in the forms that work best in the body.

From the non-GMO, vegan-friendly nutrient forms to the new convenient format that's essenced with a lemon peel extract for a more enjoyable experience—here are four reasons why the prenatal was just reborn.

1. It rethinks traditional prenatal ingredients

Vitamins and minerals are good, so more vitamins and minerals must be better, right? Not so. An increasing number of studies indicate there is a "toxic consumption" threshold when it comes to some nutrients, including those often found in prenatals, such as folic acid, the synthetic version of folate that's often used in supplements.

By focusing on what expectant moms and developing babies really need—and are often otherwise missing from dietary consumption—the team at Ritual found the ingredient list should be significantly shorter than that on the back of other prenatal labels.

While most prenatals require women to take 5-7 large, often nauseating pills to satisfy all their nutrient needs, Essential Prenatal's two, small, once-daily capsules combine oily and dry ingredients all in one offering a more pleasant experience. It's one of the first prenatals of its kind to combine DHA Omega-3 with Choline, (along with the other essential nutrients you need), all in delayed-release capsules.

2. Get started with prenatals earlier than you think 

The fact that you can feel good about taking Ritual's Essential Prenatal was no accident, either. By making it their mission to create a multivitamin that is tailored specifically for women, they hope women who have pregnancy on the horizon can be educated on the importance of prenatals and make it part of their daily routine before even becoming expectant mamas:

Because key fetal and neural tube development takes place before many women even know they are pregnant in the first 28 days of pregnancy, and because about 45% of pregnancies in the US are unplanned, you'll want to start taking a prenatal sooner than you might've thought.

Ritual's survey of available research shows taking a prenatal vitamin at least three months before conception could occur is ideal. If you're even open to pregnancy (aka: you're doing the thing and off birth control), Ritual's prenatal is for you.

3. Create space for better quality

The market offers very few clean prenatals with no unwanted excipients—in other words, with nothing artificial or controversial, free of GMOs, and organic whenever possible. Essential Prenatal contains critical nutrients for mom and baby in clean and absorbable forms.

Ritual's in-house scientific team goes to great lengths to find the very best ingredients for each of their vitamins, and, as a result, you can trace exactly where each item on the label originated. (For example, next time you're in Ogden, Utah, stop in to say 'hi' to the iron supplier!)

There's absolutely no skimping on the quality, either. In fact, each $35 bottle of the Essential Prenatal includes $250+ worth of nutrients.

4. Making vitamins that work for everyone should be a no-brainer, right?

We all purchase vitamins under the impression they are actually benefiting us. The problem is, this isn't always the case: Research shows approximately 40% of women are unable to properly process folic acid—a key ingredient in prenatals that is linked to supporting neural tube development—and therefore unable to send the benefits along to their baby. By instead using MTHF folate (a methylated folate), Ritual's prenatal extends the benefits to every mama.*

Ritual added every ingredient thoughtfully, which makes them one of the first to combine omega-3 DHA with choline in the time-release capsule to support baby's brain development. By finding better alternatives—like the first vegan-certified vitamin D3, gentle iron, and lemon-essenced no-nausea design capsules tolerable for most women—they are making it easier not just to stomach the vitamins, but to actually feel good about taking them.

If you're open to pregnancy, trying to get pregnant or are currently pregnant—learn more here and get started on your new Ritual with a simple delivery.


This article was sponsored by Ritual. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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It's time to go shopping for your little ones mama. Not long ago we shared the super sale on Hunter boots for us moms, and now the super colorful and water proof boots are on sale for kids! Perfect timing as Spring is approaching and there will be a lot of puddle jumping in our futures.

The sale is up to 50% off in select styles, but in all the colors of the rainbow! We don't know how long the sale will last so act fast because some sizes are already on low stock!


Here are our favorite styles to shop from the sale:

The original grab handle boot in light blue

Original Kids First Classic Grab Handle

Originally $55, the original Grab Handle boot is 50% off right now.

$28

The classic gloss boot in blue

Original Kids First Classic Gloss Rain

Originally $55, the original Classic Gloss boot is 40% off right now.

$33

Chelsea boot in yellow 

Original Big Kids' Gloss Chelsea Boots

Originally $75, the Chelsea boot is 40% off right now.

$45

The original grab handle boot in pink

Original Kids First Classic Grab Handle

Originally $55, the original Grab Handle boot is 40% off right now.

$33

The classic gloss boot in yellow

Originally $55, the original Classic Gloss boot is 40% off right now.

$33

The camo boots

Original Little Kids Storm Camo Rain Boots

Originally $75, the camo boot is 50% off right now.

$35

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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Jessica Simpson's life seems perfect. She has three beautiful kids, a wildly successful career, a seemingly solid marriage...she has it all, at least as far as we can see. But recent revelations prove that no one really knows what anyone else is secretly dealing with—and Jessica, by her own admission, has been struggling with alcohol issues.

The singer-turned-business-woman recently sat down with TODAY's Hoda Kotb, and it will air on NBC's TODAY Wednesday morning.

"I had started a spiral and I couldn't catch up with myself…and that was with alcohol," Jessica explained. "I would say it openly to everyone. 'I know. I know, I'll stop soon. I'll cut back'," Jessica continued when asked if she realized things were getting out of control. "For me to cut back, like I'm an all or nothing girl, and so I didn't know it was a problem until it was...I completely didn't recognize myself…I always had a glitter cup. It was always filled to the rim with alcohol."

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She's hardly alone. The rise of #winemom phenomenon is well documented and many parents struggle with substance abuse problems. But Simpson's story proves there is a way to get your life back.

Simpson quit drinking in 2017 after she found herself unable to get her kids ready for a Halloween party. She says she'd started drinking before 7:30 in the morning, before accompanying her husband, Eric Johnson, to a school assembly for their oldest daughter. Later that night she was unable to get her kids dressed in their Halloween costumes. The next morning she was so ashamed. Feeling like she had failed her kids she slept until they left the house, then got up and drank some more.

That episode was her tipping point. She quit drinking (as did her husband, Eric Johnson, who supports her in her sobriety.)



As parents, we know how overwhelming the demands can be...and how easy it is to sink into habits that don't ultimately serve us well. For Jessica, the way to heal was to sever her relationship with alcohol.

"I had to give [drinking] up," Jessica said. "I'm not going to miss another day. I'm not going to miss another Halloween. I'm not going to miss another Christmas. I'm going to be present."

News

Babies come with a lot of stuff. And when you're out and about, a roomy, comfy diaper bag is the place for everything you need to be prepared for whatever the day throws your way. But is a cute, trendy diaper bag that doesn't scream, well... DIAPER BAG, too much to ask? It's not, mamas.

We've rounded up our favorite diaper bags that don't actually look like diaper bags, but instead like the cute, super stylish bags you might have carried before the days of finding crushed up puffs at the bottom of your purse.

These bags prove you can get the job done, mama—and look darn good while doing it.

Freshly Picked City Pack

Freshly Picked City Pack

This simple, modern backpack can easily take you from a day at work to dinner with the kiddos. We love the hardware details, the lightweight design, and the hidden back pocket.

$150

Vogshow Waterproof Bag

Vogshow Waterproof Diaper Bag

A sleek look, plus a padded laptop compartment, anti-theft and insulated pockets and magnetic buttons instead of zippers. 🙌

$34.99

Skip Hop Travel Bag

Skip Hop Travel Bag

With a large zippered main compartment, there's plenty of room to keep all of the things. We love the adjustable straps—you can wear as a backpack, cross-body, messenger bag, or attach to the stroller.

$99.99

Companion Quilted Backpack

companion quilted backpack diaper bag

Are you off to sit on the beach for a few hours, or taking your toddlers to the zoo? No one will be the wiser, mamas. We love the quilted look, padded straps, and roomy interior.

$178

Mommore Diaper Backpack

Mommore Diaper Backpack

With a water resistant exterior, wet clothes pocket and a main compartment that completely opens up, you'll love having this to tote around.

$34.99

JJ Cole Brookmont

JJ Cole Cognac Diaper Bag

As stunning as it is functional. It has 15 pockets and a removable liner on the inside so you can easily clean up messes in no time.

$99.99

Little Unicorn Boardwalk Tote

If you're looking to keep things simple + stylish, mamas, this is the bag for you. It's versatile, functional, and will get tons of use well past the diaper days.

$69.95

Presidio Vegan Leather Diaper Tote

Presidio Vegan Leather Diaper Tote

This stunning tote would make the perfect on-the-go bag. It comes with a changing page and a couple pockets on the inside to keep everything organized. Don't forget to personalize it!

$99

Ticent Tote

Ticent Diaper Bag

With nearly 500 reviews, this one has incredible ratings. It offers multiple pockets, including an insulated one for snacks or bottles. The waterproof cotton material is ideal for those inevitable spills.

$30.99

Fawn Design Original

Stylish and versatile, this bag can be worn as a cross body or as a backpack. It's roomy without being bulky, and has a total of 10 pockets for awesome storage.

$159.99

Skip Hop Greenwich Backpack

No one would ever know this bag is packed full of baby's items. 😉

$69.99

Rosie Pope Highbury Hill

Highbury Hill Diaper Backpack

If you're looking to up your style, this chic backpack will help you get there. Lots of inner pockets and zippered compartments make it simple to organize your stuff, and the top flap and wide opening make for quick + easy accessibility.

$159.99

Babymel Robyn

Babymel Robyn Diaper Backpack

We love everything about this effortlessly stylish faux leather backpack. It's easy to wipe down, converts to a cross body bag, and even comes with a changing pad and drawstring bottle holder.

$90

Petunia Pickle Bottom Pathway

Petunia Pickle Bottom Diaper Tote

This two-tone canvas bag could not be prettier. We love that it easily stands upright when set down, and that it's super functional as a diaper bag yet super stylish as an everyday purse.

$159

Skip Hop Duo

Skip Hop Duo Diaper Bag

The timeless stripes on this 11-pocket bag means it will never go out of style, and the durable cotton canvas means it will stand up to years of use.

$70

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

Shop

Frustrations and emotions were at an all time high for both us. I was worried that my lack of patience would get the best of me, leaving her feeling let down and frustrated with me on her new journey of becoming a “big girl." And selfishly, I was tired of washing wet underwear. For her part, my daughter was tired of being asked for the hundredth time if she needed to use the potty.

We both were feeling a little defeated in this new adventure.

I have found too often as a mother that I expect my child to respond new things, like to potty training, as fast and as close to the last blog post, book or opinion I heard or read. What I have learned is that no two children are alike and the moment I release my expectations for where mine should or should not be, we are both brought back to peace and patience.

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So maybe a break was all we needed to start fresh the next day. We headed to our favorite spot by the lake and had a picnic. My daughter munched on popcorn and chatted away about the weather and pinecones, and listened for the sounds of helicopters—which you hear quite often living on an aviation military base.

Sometimes in the daily struggles of motherhood I have noticed that I can forget who I am and the strength we possess as mothers. It may not come easily at first, but I grow with each new day. Even potty training—this mundane human activity that is emotional and (quite literally) messy, teaches me much about the meaning and purpose of motherhood.

Potty training has taught me a huge lesson on patience. Patience to be present, to pay attention to what is right in front of me. To be encouraging, to not rush the process, to not place expectations on timing or play the comparison game we often play as mothers.

Patience is needed in every area of parenting and potty training is just one way where we can see as parents where our patience is wearing thin.

I have found that it's when I come from a place of patience and presence that I can then glean wisdom from those messy, mundane, time-consuming tasks of potty training, and find that the waiting, sitting and hours of time spent in the bathroom gives me an opportunity to be present in my child's world.

Whether it be the grocery line, a traffic jam, or cleaning up wet bedding, I learn the art and joy in the small and big moments in motherhood. Giving our children space to fail and try it again as many times as it takes encourages them that they too can cultivate the gift of patience in there own tiny lives.

My daughter speaks to me everyday, inviting growth that sometimes feels really hard and frustrating, she provokes patience to be felt and sensed through every minute of the day. And for this I am grateful. Because to truly live and be present in my child's world means “I learn from her, and she learns from me." Even in potty training.

Our children have so much to offer to who we are as individuals and they have so much to teach us. In fact, I have come to live for these exhausting, beautiful, and downright messy moments in time. When I push myself to embrace them, rather than just find them frustrating, I stretch and grow and evolve. I become the mother I hope to be.

And to you mama, whether in the midst of sleepless newborn nights or toddler tornados or the midst of potty training, may you find strength as a mother, as a wife, and as a person to let go of any expectations or judgements you place upon yourself.

May love and gratitude fill our hearts and peace be with all of us on the journey that motherhood is.

Life
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