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Before I became pregnant, I heard so many horror stories about pregnancy that I mentally braced myself for what I thought would be the most miserable nine months of my life. I quickly realized that the well-intentioned mamas who tried to prepare me weren't exaggerating about the physical and mental challenges of this extraordinary journey. (But, I’ve realized, they were leaving out a lot of the fun, surprising-in-a-good-way, amazing parts of pregnancy.)

The challenges are there—believe me. Nausea (and not just in the morning). Extreme fatigue. Body parts that ache 24/7. Food aversions. Labored breathing. Running to the restroom before I leave the house only to realize five minutes into a car ride that, yep, I needed to pee again.

Unsolicited comments on everything from the appearance of my bump to whether or not my husband and I were "trying" to why we weren't finding out the gender of our unborn child. The roller coaster of emotions—laughing one second then crying the next. A little voice of self-doubt whispering whether I truly have what it takes to be a good mother.

But the most shocking development of all is that I have never felt more empowered, powerful and confident in my own skin. And—dare I say it—I have never felt sexier than I do now at 20 weeks pregnant. ?


My growing bump is a source of pride. My husband makes it a point every single day to crouch down to kiss my belly and to marvel at the life we've created. I feel blessed to be able to bring a child into this world, and all of the other sacrifices pale in comparison.

Tracking my baby's progress each week has given me a newfound appreciation for the strength of the female body—beautiful in all its stages. There is something so liberating about focusing on the incredible feats it can accomplish instead of merely what it looks like on the outside.

It wasn't always this way, though. In the beginning, after confirming the life-changing news, I was euphoric but overwhelmed by the magnitude of it all. The reflection in the mirror felt as uncomfortably foreign and intimate to me as staring into a stranger's eyes.

With how-big-can-they-possibly-get breasts (little did I know...), painful acne, widening hips, and a bloated belly reminiscent of the freshman fifteen (it took a longer time than I imagined to develop that cute bump), I was taken aback by this traumatizing second puberty.

It was a far cry from my bikini-clad figure just a few months prior during our summer vacation in Europe. I was in that awkward in-between stage where old clothes no longer fit yet I was swimming in maternity items.

Two months after finding out I was pregnant, we celebrated my husband's best friend's wedding. I recall contorting and panting to get a floor-length black gown over my newly-earned curves, nervous my body would betray the secret that I held close to my heart.

Rather than playing it safe sitting in the corner, I abandoned all of my insecurities to dance the night away with my oldest and dearest friends, and indulge a little too much in the dessert hour (pregnancy does have its perks!). My happiness must have been palpable because a few people stopped in their tracks to tell me I had never looked better.

It wasn't until I surrendered control, and started owning the miracle within me that my mindset drastically shifted.

We don't lose our beauty overnight when we become mothers. If anything, it magnifies tenfold because of the life we are carrying.

We don't have to choose between being motherly OR sexy, fierce, career-driven, funny—we can still be *all* of those things. ? Even if our entire wardrobe now consists of leggings (FTW!) and underwire bras are a distant memory.

So mamas, the next time you get down on your appearance during pregnancy:

Remember that your body knows exactly what it’s doing to nourish and develop this remarkable little person that you have dreamed about for so long. (Ditch the scale—you don’t need a number to tell you what you’re worth.)

Remember that when your partner tells you that you look beautiful, you should believe them. Surround yourself with positive, supportive people and energy during this time.

Remember that you deserve to splurge on some maternity items that are super comfortable, fit well, and make you feel more like your fabulous self.

Remember that watching our bodies transform is so many things—confusing, awkward, wild, amazing, and empowering. It’s totally okay to loathe the process but love the hard-earned outcome.

Although you might not believe it now, one day you might look down at your tummy and miss those precious kicks and movements. ? It’s going to be over before you know it.

And, mama, mostly what I want you to remember is that motherhood looks amazing on you. ?

Who said motherhood doesn't come with a manual?

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If there's one thing you learn as a new mama, it's that routine is your friend. Routine keeps your world spinning, even when you're trucking along on less than four hours of sleep. Routine fends off tantrums by making sure bellies are always full and errands aren't run when everyone's patience is wearing thin. And routine means naps are taken when they're supposed to, helping everyone get through the day with needed breaks.

The only problem? Life doesn't always go perfectly with the routine. When my daughter was born, I realized quickly that, while her naps were the key to a successful (and nearly tear-free!) day, living my life according to her nap schedule wasn't always possible. There were groceries to fetch, dry cleaning to pick up, and―if I wanted to maintain any kind of social life―lunch dates with friends to enjoy.

Which is why the Ergobaby Metro Compact City Stroller was such a life-saver. While I loved that it was just 14 pounds (perfect for hoisting up the stairs to the subway or in the park) and folds down small enough to fit in an airplane overhead compartment (you know, when I'm brave enough to travel again!), the real genius of this pint-sized powerhouse is that it doesn't skimp on comfort.

Nearly every surface your baby touches is padded with plush cushions to provide side and lumbar support to everything from their sweet head to their tiny tush―it has 40% more padding than other compact strollers. When nap time rolls around, I could simply switch the seat to its reclined position with an adjustable leg rest to create an instant cozy nest for my little one.

There's even a large UV 50 sun canopy to throw a little shade on those sleepy eyes. And my baby wasn't the only one benefiting from the comfortable design― the Metro is the only stroller certified "back healthy" by the AGR of Germany, meaning mamas get a much-needed break too.

I also appreciate how the Metro fits comfortably into my life. The sleek profile fits through narrow store aisles as easily as it slides up to a table when I'm able to meet a pal for brunch. Plus, the spring suspension means the tires absorb any bumps along our way―helping baby stay asleep no matter where life takes us. When it's time to take my daughter out, it folds easily with one hand and has an ergonomic carry handle to travel anywhere we want to go.

Life will probably never be as predictable as I'd like, but at least with our Metro stroller, I know my child will be cradled with care no matter what crosses our path.

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


It's been more than a year since Khloé Kardashian welcomed her daughter True Thompson into the world, and like a lot of new moms, Khloé didn't just learn how to to be a mom this year, she also learned how to co-parent with someone who is no longer her partner. According to the Pew Research Center, co-parenting and the likelihood that a child will spend part of their childhood living with just one parent is on the rise.

There was a ton of media attention on Khloé's relationship with True's father Tristan Thompson in her early days of motherhood, and in a new interview on the podcast "Divorce Sucks!," Khloé explained that co-parenting with someone you have a complicated relationship with isn't always easy, but when she looks at True she knows it's worth it.

"For me, Tristan and I broke up not too long ago so it's really raw," Khloé tells divorce attorney Laura Wasser on the podcast. She explains that even though it does "suck" at times, she's committed to having a good relationship with her ex because she doesn't want True to pick up on any negative energy, even at her young age.

That's why she invited Tristan to True's recent first birthday bash, even though she knew True wouldn't remember that party. "I know she's going to want to look back at all of her childhood memories like we all do," Khloé explained. "I know her dad is a great person, and I know how much he loves her and cares about her, so I want him to be there."


We totally get why being around Tristan is hard for Khloé, but it sounds like she's approaching co-parenting with a positive attitude that will benefit True in the long run. Studies have found that shared parenting is good for kids and that former couples who have "ongoing personal and emotional involvement with their former spouse" are more likely to rate their co-parenting relationship positively.

Khloé says her relationship with Tristan right now is "civilized," and hopefully it can get even better with time. As Suzanne Hayes noted in her six guiding principles for a co-parenting relationship, there's no magic bullet for moving past the painful feelings that come when a relationship ends and into a healthy co-parenting relationship, but treating your ex with respect and (non-romantic) love is a good place to start. Hayes describes it as "human-to-human, parent-to-parent, we-share-amazing-children-and-always-will love."

It's a great place to start, and it sounds like Khloé has already figured that out.

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Kim Kardashian West welcomed her fourth child into the world. The expectancy and arrival of this boy (her second child from surrogacy) has garnered much attention.

In a surrogacy pregnancy, a woman carries a pregnancy for another family and then after giving birth she relinquishes her rights of the child.

On her website, Kim wrote that she had medical complications with her previous pregnancy leading her to this decision. “I have always been really honest about my struggles with pregnancy. Preeclampsia and placenta accreta are high-risk conditions, so when I wanted to have a third baby, doctors said that it wasn't safe for my—or the baby's—health to carry on my own."

While the experience was challenging for her, “The connection with our baby came instantly and it's as if she was with us the whole time. Having a gestational carrier was so special for us and she made our dreams of expanding our family come true. We are so excited to finally welcome home our baby girl."

A Snapchat video hinted that Kim may have planned to breastfeed her third child. What she chooses to do is of course none of our business. But is has raised the very interesting question, “Wait, can you breastfeed when you use a surrogate?"


The answer is yes, you sure can! (And you can when you adopt a baby, too!)

When a women is pregnant, she begins a process called lactogenesis in which her body prepares itself to start making milk. This usually starts around the twenty week mark of pregnancy (half way through). Then, when the baby is born, the second phase of lactogenesis occurs, and milk actually starts to fill the breasts.

All of this occurs in response to hormones. When women do not carry a pregnancy, but wish to breastfeed, they can induce lactation, where they replicate the same hormonal process that happens during pregnancy.

A woman who wants to induce lactation can work with a doctor or midwife, and start taking the hormones estrogen and progesterone (which grow breast tissue)—often in the form of birth control pills—along with a medication called domperidone (which increases milk production).

Several weeks before the baby will be born, the woman stops taking the birth control pill but continues to take the domperidone to simulate the hormonal changes that would happen in a pregnancy. She'll also start pumping multiple times per day, and will likely add herbal supplements, like fenugreek and blessed thistle.

Women can also try to induce lactation without the hormones, by using pumping and herbs, it may be harder but some women feel more comfortable with that route.

Inducing lactation takes a lot of dedication—but then again, so does everything related to be a mama. It's a super personal decision, and not right for everyone.

The important thing to remember is that we need to support women and mothers through their entire journey, no matter what decisions they make about themselves and their families—whether Kardashian or the rest of us.

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