Gabriele union and dwayne wade new baby
Gabrielle Union/Instagram

Giving birth or adopting a baby is a big deal. So is becoming a step-parent to an older child. Whether it's your first child or fifth, the magic that happens when you welcome a new child into your heart and your family is incredible. It's also incredibly hard... but a supportive partner can make it easier.

Mothers have a hard time bragging about themselves, but when we see ourselves through our partners' eyes we can see how strong we are. That's why we love it when celebrity dads marvel over the women who made them fathers and support them on their postpartum (or post surrogacy or adoption) journeys.

Check out these heartwarming stories of super supportive celebrity partners.


Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson

After witnessing the birth of his daughter Tiana in 2018, Johnson found himself changed for the better. "I was raised and surrounded by strong, loving women all my life, but after participating in baby Tia's delivery, it's hard to express the new level of love, respect and admiration I have for [wife Lauren Hashian] and all mamas and women out there," the former WWE star wrote before giving some advice to other men out there.

"Word to the wise gentlemen, it's critical to be by your lady's head when she's delivering, being as supportive as you can.. holding hands, holding legs, whatever you can do," he wrote. "But, if you really want to understand the single most powerful and primal moment life will ever offer - watch your child being born. Its a life changer and the respect and admiration you have for a woman, will forever be boundless."

Dywane Wade

NBA-star Dwyane Wade is so supportive of his wife Gabrielle Union, and his support was so important as the couple struggled through IVF treatments and eventually turned to surrogacy.

"I'm watching her do things to her body and to herself that it's getting to the point where it's not healthy," he told Oprah of the couple's infertility struggle after their daughter Kaavia was born through surrogacy. "And as I always told her: 'I want this baby just as much as you do, but I married you, and you are the most important thing to me.' So it came to a point where, you know, I started to feel a certain way about that because I didn't want something to happen to her.'"

Because of Wade's support, Union was able to make the choice to pursue parenthood in a way that did not continue to harm her body or her mental health.

Wade has also publicly commended Union on how she has been able to be a forgiving partner and an incredible step-mom to his older kids.

"I put you in an impossible situation and somehow you helped me come out of it stronger," Wade wrote in a Mother's Day post. "Thank you for the Mom that you already are to our miracle, Kaavia. Thank you for stepping in and raising those boys just like they were your own. Thank you for forgiving me. Thank you for the daily photo shoots. Thank you for FUN. Thank you for. Adventure. Thank you for keeping it sexy. Thank you for pushing me to be a better businessman. Thank you for helping me become a better son."

Andy Grammer

After welcoming their second child in April 2020, Grammar praised his wife Aijia Lise on Instagram, writing: "I watched my GODDESS of a wife @aijiaofficial labor for 18 hours and deliver her like a champion. I caught her with my own two hands in the tub and it was a profoundly beautiful experience. I am so blessed."

Steve Kazee

Two months after Steve Kazee and Jenna Dewan welcomed their son, the actor raved over his personal superwoman in a post for Mother's Day. "At first glance this may seem like a strange picture to choose to show my love and appreciation for you on this Mother's Day but upon closer inspection you can see why it is the absolute perfect picture for the occasion," Kazee captioned a picture of Dewan pumping. "Here you are at 9pm after a long day of feeding one child and wrangling another. Here you are pumping even more milk. Here you are after two months of doing that same thing every single day. Here you are exhausted and delirious. Here you are not knowing what day it is. Here you are under a quarantine in the middle of a global pandemic. Here you are in the middle of true adversity."

Kazee continued: "And...here you are...smiling. Like you always do. It's no surprise to me. This is how you do everything. You smile and you make everything around you better. You have given me the most wonderful little boy I could have ever asked for. You have given me the most amazing (soon to be) step daughter. You have kept me smiling through all of this even when I struggle the most. These are extraordinary times and you are a shining example for the rest of us, especially me, of what to strive for in this life. You are an incredible mother. Our children are lucky to have you. No matter what this world brings you are always ready for it. Always with grace. Always with a smile."

Alex Rodriguez

While Alex Rodriguez and his fiancée Jennifer Lopez don't share biological kids together, the two are both proud parents from previous marriages. Rodriguez and Lopez have both been open about their journey to blending their families, and there's no doubt that the singer's motherly ways have positively impacted the former MLB player's life.

In a post for Mother's Day 2020, Rodriguez honored Lopez, writing: "For me, #MothersDay is just another reminder of how amazing Jennifer is with our kids EVERY DAY. And that's never been more apparent than during these last couple of months at home. Watching her be a loving mom to all of our kids has been an experience I will never forget. This time at home has been challenging for so many. The hardships and uncertainty have changed how we all look at things as we search for a new normal. But in many ways it also has brought all of us closer together as families and that is a true blessing. I hope the same is true for all of you."

Ryan Reynolds

During an appearance on Late Night With Seth Meyers, Ryan Reynolds gushed over how wife Blake Lively was able to keep her sense of humor during labor with their first child, daughter James. "She was a mercenary," he said. "She was pretty much making jokes the entire time."

At his Hollywood Walk of Fame Ceremony in 2016 Reynolds said to Lively: "You make everything better—absolutely everything in my life better. You've given us two of the most incredible children that I could ever hope to have. You've made me the father of my dreams when I thought I only had fun uncle potential."

Prince Harry

Hours after Meghan Markle gave birth to baby Archie, Prince Harry shared a sweet message with the world. "I'm very excited to announced that Meghan and myself had a baby boy early this morning, a very healthy boy," he told reporters outside the hospital. "Mother and baby are doing incredibly well. It's been the most amazing experience i could ever have possibly imagined. How any woman does what they do is beyond comprehension but we're both absolutely thrilled and so grateful for all the love and support from everybody out there. It's been amazing."

Eric Decker

Eric Decker has praised his wife, singer Jessie James Decker, on multiple occasions for carrying their three children. "Mommy sure knows how to grow some babies!!" he wrote in April 2018 following the birth of their youngest child, Forrest.

On Mother's Day 2018 he wrote: "The abundance of love you give these babies makes me wanting more! Ha. Our kiddos are happy, silly, sweet, smart, confident and beautiful because of you @jessiejamesdecker."

John Legend

John Legend is always ready to rave over wife Chrissy Teigen. He once snapped a photo of himself sitting next to Teigen while she pumped in the car on the way to dinner, writing: "I know it's Father's Day and all but my wife is pretty awesome. She's taking me to dinner but still on mommy duty."

His support for Teigen should be a model for all other dads. When she had postpartum depression he knew she needed help before she did and helped her get it.

"John was there when the doctor gave the diagnosis and, of course, he already knew," she said in 2017.

And when the couple lost their third child, Jack, in 2020, Legend was by his wife's side in the hospital throughout the final days of her complicated pregnancy.

Seth Meyers

Meyer's wife Alexi Ashe was "incredibly calm" as she birthed their son, Axel, in the lobby of their New York City apartment in 2018, he recalled during an episode of his late night talk show. "Just the speed in which she took this guy and had him on her, and I was watching," he explained. "The kid's gonna be fine forever because of her. She's really amazing,"

[Editor's note: While this article is about heterosexual relationships, we support the continuation of efforts that support all families, including parents in same-sex and gender non-conforming relationships. We also acknowledge that single parents work exceptionally hard to ensure that their children have the best outcomes and that the absence of a father or partner does not automatically preclude children from healthy and happy lives. We stand behind all families.]

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When you ask any two mamas to share their experience with breastfeeding, you are bound to get very unique answers. That's because while the act of breastfeeding is both wonderful and natural, it also comes with a learning curve for both mothers and babies.

In some cases, breastfeeding won't be the right path for everyone. But with the right tools, resources and social support systems, we can make progress toward the American Academy of Pediatrics' recommendation to continue breastfeeding through the first year of a child's life. After all, breastfeeding helps nourish infants, protects them against illnesses, develops their immune systems and more. Not to mention that mothers who breastfeed experience reduced risk for breast and ovarian cancer, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.

With National Breastfeeding Awareness Month this month, it's a great time for mamas (and expectant mamas!) to gather the supplies that will support their feeding journey—whether it looks like exclusively breastfeeding, pumping or combo-feeding.

Customflow™ Double Electric Breast Pump

Designed for regular use, this double electric breast pump allows mamas to customize the cycle and vacuum settings that work for them. The 100% SoftShape™ silicone shields on this pump form-fit to a wide range of breast shapes and sizes—which means more comfortable, more efficient pumping. And every pump comes with two complete Dr. Brown's Options+ bottles, giving you everything you need to go from pumping to feeding.

$159.99

Dr. Brown’s™ Breast Milk Collection Bottles

There's no need to cry over spilled milk—because it won't happen with these storage bottles! Make the pump-to-feeding transition simpler with Dr. Brown's Milk Collection Bottles. The bottles adapt to Dr. Brown's electric pumps to easily fill, seal and transport, and they work with Dr. Brown's bottle and nipple parts when your baby's ready to eat. (Meaning no risky pouring from one bottle to another. 🙌)

$9.99

Breast Milk Storage Bags

With an extra-durable design and double zip seal, your breast milk will stay fresh and safe in the fridge or freezer until it's needed. Plus, the bags are easy to freeze flat and then store for up to six months, so your baby can continue drinking breast milk long after you are done nursing.

$9.99

Silicone One-Piece Breast Pump with Options+™ Bottle & Bag

Here's something they don't tell you about breastfeeding ahead of time: While feeding your baby on one side, the other breast may "let down" milk, too. With this one-piece Silicone Breast Pump, you don't have to let those precious drops go to waste. The flexible design makes pouring the milk into a bottle stress-free.

$14.99

Dr. Brown’s® Manual Breast Pump

No outlet in sight? No worries! With this powerful-yet-gentle Manual Breast Pump, you can get relief from engorgement, sneak in some quick midnight pumping or perform a full pumping session without any electricity needed. With Dr. Brown's 100% silicone SoftShape™ Shield, the hand-operated pump is as comfortable as it is easy to use. Complete with Dr. Brown's® Options+™ Anti-Colic Wide-Neck Bottle, a storage travel cap and cleaning brush, consider this the breastfeeding essential for any mama who has places to go.

$29.99

Options+™ Anti-Colic Baby Bottle

With the soft silicone nipple and natural flow design of these bottles, your baby can easily switch between breast and bottle. Clinically proven to reduce colic thanks to the vent, your baby can enjoy a happy tummy after feeding sessions—without as much spit-up, burping or gas! By mimicking the flow and feel of the breast, these bottles help support your breastfeeding experience.

$7.99

This post is sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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7 hacks for simplifying after-school snacks

Prepping delicious and nutritious foods shouldn't take all day.

When you're in the middle of the school year and managing a family, each minute of time becomes very precious. Sometimes that means healthy food choices in the household can take a backseat. But don't stress it, mama. Prepping delicious and nutritious choices for the kids to munch on doesn't need to take all day.

Remember to keep it fun, simple and interactive! Here are tips for simplifying after-school snacks once and for all:

1. Prep snacks on Sunday

This simple trick can make the rest of the week a breeze. Tupperware is your friend here, you can even write different days of the week on each container to give the kids a little surprise every day. I really like storage with compartments for snack prep. Personally, I slice apples, carrots or cucumbers to pair with almond butter and hummus—all great to grab and go for when you're out all day and need some fresh variety.

2. When in doubt, go for fruit

Fruit is always a quick and easy option. I suggest blueberries, clementine oranges, apples, frozen grapes or even unsweetened apple sauce and dried fruit, like mixed fruit. It's fun to put together a fruit salad, too. Simply cut up all the fruit options and let the kids decide how they'd like to compile. Prepped fruit is also great to have on hand for smoothies, especially when it's been sitting in the fridge for a few days—throw it in the blender with some nut milk and voila.

3. Pair snacks with a dip

Hummus is a great dip to keep on hand with lots of versatility or you can grab a yogurt-based dip. Easy and healthy dippers include pre-sliced veggies, baby carrots and multigrain tortilla chips. Plain hummus is a great way to introduce seasonings and spices too—shake a little turmeric, add fresh basil and you'd be surprised what your kids will take to.

4. Have high-protein options readily available

Snacks with high protein, like cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, hard boiled eggs and jerky will fuel kids for hours. One of my favorites is a turkey stick, which is a fun addition to the hummus platter. Just slice into bite-sized pieces. I love cottage cheese because it can go savory or sweet, use as a dip with your prepped veggies, or drizzle pure maple syrup and sprinkle with berries.

5. Always keep the pantry stocked

Monthly deliveries keeps the pantry updated without a trip to grocery store. Many kids are big fans of popcorn, granola and pretzels. We like to DIY our own snack packs with a little popcorn, pretzels, nuts and whatever else is in the pantry so there's always something different!

6. Make cracker tartines

I love the idea of replicating popular restaurant dishes for kids. Here are some of my favorite snack-sized tartines using any crisp bread, or favorite flat cracker of your choice as the base. There are no rules and kids love adding toppings and finding new combinations they love.

  • Avocado crackers: Use a cracker and then layer with thinly sliced avocado, a dollop of fresh ricotta cheese topped with roasted pepitas or sunflower seeds.
  • Tacos: The base for this is a black bean spread—just drain a can of black beans, rinse and place into a wide bowl. With a fork or potato masher, lightly smush the beans until chunky. Spread onto your cracker and top with tomato, cheddar cheese and black olives. Try out a dollop of super mild salsa or some lime zest to introduce some new flavor profiles.
  • A play on PB&J: Smear peanut butter, almond or a favorite sun butter on the cracker. I like to get a mix it up a bit and put fresh fruit (strawberries, blueberries and tiny diced apples) and a little bit of dried fruit sprinkled on top.

7. Pre-make smoothie pops

The easy part about meal prep is the prep itself, but knowing exactly how much to make ahead is tricky. Freeze a smoothie in popsicle molds to have a healthy treat ready-to-go snack. They're super simple to make: Add any fruit (I like apples, berries, pineapples and mangoes) and veggies (carrots, steamed beet and wilted kale) to a blender with your favorite nut milk until you have consistency just a bit thinner than a smoothie. Pour into your trusty reusable popsicle molds and then into the freezer to make an ice pop so good they could eat them for breakfast.

Family Foodies

15 toys that will keep your kids entertained inside *and* outside

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

Keeping kids entertained is a battle for all seasons. When it's warm and sunny, the options seem endless. Get them outside and get them moving. When it's cold or rainy, it gets a little tricker.

So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of the best toys for toddlers and kids that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, many are Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these indoor outdoor toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.


Stomp Racers

As longtime fans of Stomp Rockets, we're pretty excited about their latest launch–Stomp Racers. Honestly, the thrill of sending things flying through the air never gets old. Parents and kids alike can spend hours launching these kid-powered cars which take off via a stompable pad and hose.

$19.99

Step2 Up and Down Rollercoaster

Step2 Up and Down Rollercoaster

Tiny thrill-seekers will love this kid-powered coaster which will send them (safely) sailing across the backyard or play space. The durable set comes with a high back coaster car and 10.75 feet of track, providing endless opportunities for developing gross motor skills, balance and learning to take turns. The track is made up of three separate pieces which are easy to assemble and take apart for storage (but we don't think it will be put away too often!)

$139

Secret Agent play set

Plan-Toys-Secret-agent-play-set

This set has everything your little secret agent needs to solve whatever case they might encounter: an ID badge, finger scanner, walkie-talkie handset, L-shaped scale and coloring comic (a printable file is also available for online download) along with a handy belt to carry it all along. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Stepping Stones

Stepping-stones

Kiddos can jump, stretch, climb and balance with these non-slip stepping stones. The 20-piece set can be arranged in countless configurations to create obstacle courses, games or whatever they can dream up.

$99.99

Sand play set

B. toys Wagon & Beach Playset - Wavy-Wagon Red

For the littlest ones, it's easy to keep it simple. Take their sand box toys and use them in the bath! This 12-piece set includes a variety of scoops, molds and sifters that can all be stored in sweet little wagon.

$17.95

Sensory play set

kidoozie-sand-and-splash-activity-table

Filled with sand or water, this compact-sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$19.95

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Foam pogo stick

Flybar-my-first-foam-pogo-stick

Designed for ages 3 and up, My First Flybar offers kiddos who are too young for a pogo stick a frustration-free way to get their jump on. The wide foam base and stretchy bungee cord "stick" is sturdy enough to withstand indoor and outdoor use and makes a super fun addition to driveway obstacle courses and backyard races. Full disclosure—it squeaks when they bounce, but don't let that be a deterrent. One clever reviewer noted that with a pair of needle-nose pliers, you can surgically remove that sucker without damaging the base.

$16.99

Dumptruck 

green-toys-dump-truck

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyard or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? It's made from recycled plastic milk cartons.

$22

Hopper ball

Hopper ball

Burn off all that extra energy hippity hopping across the lawn or the living room! This hopper ball is one of the top rated versions on Amazon as it's thicker and more durable than most. It also comes with a hand pump to make inflation quick and easy.

$14.99

Pull-along ducks

janod-pull-along-wooden-ducks

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$16.99

Rocking chair seesaw

Slidewhizzer-rocking-chair-seesaw

This built-to-last rocking seesaw is a fun way to get the wiggles out in the grass or in the playroom. The sturdy design can support up to 77 pounds, so even older kiddos can get in on the action.

$79.99

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$79.99

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$24.75

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

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Even 5 hours of screen time per day is OK for school-aged kids, says new study

Researchers found screen time contributes to stronger peer relationships and had no effect on depression and anxiety. So maybe it isn't as bad as we thought?

MoMo Productions/Getty Images

If you've internalized some parental guilt about your own child's screen time usage, you're not alone. Numerous studies have shown that exposure to significant amounts of screen time in children leads to an increased risk of depression and behavioral issues, poor sleep and obesity, among other outcomes. Knowing all this can mean you're swallowing a big gulp of guilt every time you unlock the iPad or turn on the TV for your kiddo.

But is screen time really that bad? New research says maybe not. A study published in September 2021 of 12,000 9- and 10-year-olds found that even when school-aged kids spend up to 5 hours per day on screens (watching TV, texting or playing video games), it doesn't appear to be that harmful to their mental health.

Researchers found no association between screen usage and depression or anxiety in children at this age.

In fact, kids who had more access to screen time tended to have more friends and stronger peer relationships, most likely thanks to the social nature of video gaming, social media and texting.


The correlations between screen time and children's health

But those big social benefits come with a caveat. The researchers also noted that kids who used screens more frequently were in fact more likely to have attention problems, impacted sleep, poorer academic performance and were more likely to show aggressive behavior.

Without a randomized controlled trial, it's hard to nail down these effects as being caused directly by screens. The study's authors analyzed data from a nationwide study known as the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study (ABCD Study), the largest long-term study of brain development and children's health in the country. They relied on self-reported levels of screen time from both children and adults (it's funny to note that those reported numbers differed slightly depending on who was asked… ).

It's important to remember that these outcomes are just correlations—not causations. "We can't say screen time causes the symptoms; instead, maybe more aggressive children are given screen devices as an attempt to distract them and calm their behavior," says Katie Paulich, lead author of the study and a PhD student in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience. Also worth noting is that a child's socioeconomic status has a 2.5-times-bigger impact on behavior than screens.

Weighing the benefits with the risks will be up to you as the parent, who knows your child best. And because we live in a digital world, screens are here to stay, meaning parents often have little choice in the matter. It's impossible to say whether recreational screen time is fully "good" or "bad" for kids. It's maybe both.

"When looking at the strength of the correlations, we see only very modest associations," says Paulich. "That is, any association between screen time and the various outcomes, whether good or bad, is so small it's unlikely to be important at a clinical level." It's all just part of the overall picture.

A novel look at screen time in adolescents

The researchers cite a lack of studies examining the relationship between screen time and health outcomes in this specific early-adolescence age group, which is one of the reasons why this study is so groundbreaking. The findings don't apply to younger children—or older adolescents, who may be starting to go through puberty.

Screen time guidelines do exist for toddlers up to older kids, but up to 1.5 hours per day seems unattainable for many young adolescents, who often have their own smartphones and laptops, or at least regular access to one.

Of course, more research is needed, but that's where this study can be helpful. The ABCD study will follow the 12,000 participants for another 10 years, following up with annual check-ins. It'll be interesting to see how the findings change over time: Will depression and anxiety as a result of screen time be more prevalent as kids age? We'll have to wait and see.

The bottom line? Parents should still be the gatekeepers of their child's screen time in terms of access and age-appropriateness, but, "our early research suggests lengthy time on screen is not likely to yield dire consequences," says Paulich.

Children's health

Mom and gorilla bond over their babies at the zoo: ‘It was so beautiful’

The new mothers shared a special moment at a Boston zoo.

Franklin Park Zoo/YouTube

Motherhood knows no bounds.

When Kiki the gorilla spotted a new mom and baby visiting her habitat at the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston, she immediately took a liking to the pair. Emmelina Austin held her five-week-old son Canyon to the glass so Kiki could get a better look.

The gorilla spent nearly five minutes happily pointing and staring at baby Canyon.


Emmelina's husband captured the sweet moment on his phone, in a video that's now gone viral.

Mother shares unique maternal bond with gorilla (FULL VIDEO) www.youtube.com

Why was Kiki so interested in her tiny visitor? Possibly because Kiki's a new mom herself. Her fifth baby, Pablo, was born in October.

Near the end of the video, Kiki scooped up Pablo and held him close. The new moms held their baby boys to the glass and shared a special moment together: just a couple of mothers, showing off their little ones.

"When I walked into the zoo that day, I never could've imagined that we would have had that experience," Austin told ABC News. "It was so beautiful, and we walked out just over the moon."

We can't get enough of the sweet exchange. There's something special about sharing your little one with the world. Mothers of all ages, races–and it turns out, species–understand.

Our favorite viral mama + kid videos