A modern lifestyle brand redefining motherhood

I would describe myself as a 'cup is half full, happy in the morning before coffee' kind of gal. But after a second-trimester miscarriage, I was anything but those things. After losing my son, my world-view and disposition changed for a while. And when I became pregnant after my loss, with my rainbow baby, I had a mix of emotions.

Pregnancy after a miscarriage, infant loss or a stillborn baby is anything but easy. Many people have a perception that becoming pregnant (again) will make the pain of the loss lessen or go away. For me and mamas I counsel as a clinical psychologist, rarely, if ever have I seen this happen.

As a clinical psychologist who supports women after pregnancy loss, stillborn and infant loss, I can share this observation: Being pregnant after a loss is genuinely heroic. Nothing will rock a mama to the core more than losing a child, working through the grief and becoming pregnant again.

From my heart, here's my perspective on what you need to know about being pregnant after a loss:

1. Create space for grief

The process of grief is often a journey, it isn't something to work through methodically in a timely, structured way. Grief is messy, unpredictable, raw and uniquely expressed. I frame grief as a process with varying moments of intensity popping up in unexpected ways.

Grief can show up in surprising ways when a woman becomes pregnant after a loss—crying in the market walking by a baby, trying to hide physical changes of showing so you can keep the secret of being pregnant just a little longer, preoccupied with thoughts of something going wrong with this pregnancy.

If you experience grief that catches you off guard when you're pregnant, this is entirely normal. Be gentle with yourself and let go of any judgment. Grieving the baby you lost and feeling excited about the new pregnancy is understandable.

Allow yourself to experience the rollercoaster of emotions you may have without judging yourself or thinking it should be a certain way. Instead, accept what you are feeling and move through the grief as it happens.

2. Expect worry.

For mamas who've had a loss, anxiety can be off the charts intense, overshadowing joy. If you're experiencing significant worry during your pregnancy, please share how you are feeling with your medical provider.

When worry gets in the way of everyday activities or prevents you from sleeping, eating, or taking care of your family or functioning at work, it is time to get support. Reach out to your OB/GYN, midwife or therapist and discuss how you are feeling and how worry is impacting you, and your pregnancy. There is help, talk about it. (These powerful viral photos are changing the conversation about pregnancy and infant loss)

Over the years supporting mamas, I have found when women share with medical professionals their concerns and fears, the response is incredibly supportive, thoughtful and accommodations are made to help mamas work through grief during pregnancy. For some that may mean more frequent monitoring or appointments.

3. Know you might feel relief passing milestones.

A trend I've observed in myself and others is feeling a sense of relief when the current pregnancy moves past the gestational week of the pregnancy loss, such as seeing the heartbeat, heading into the second trimester, feeling the baby move and making it to the minimal week of viability for a baby. It is not uncommon to feel more worried, tense or be reluctant to connect to the pregnancy until passing the gestational week of the lost pregnancy.

4. Or be cautiously connected to the pregnancy.

Many women I've worked with after loss feel cautiously connected to another pregnancy. This experience is understandable. Being tentatively connected has a lot to do with protecting the current pregnancy.

Be kind to yourself if you notice feelings of disconnection, protection and fear. If any of these feelings persist or become disruptive to your everyday functioning, please reach out and talk to your medical provider.

5. Having guilt in unexpected ways.

Many women feel in some way responsible for the loss, but remember pregnancy loss happens for many reasons and is rarely, if ever, your fault.

Feelings of guilt during pregnancy after a loss can catch some women off guard. You may notice feeling guilty at times for being happy, excited or connected to the new pregnancy. Positive feelings during pregnancy can be stressful because there may be simultaneous fears of being disloyal or forgetting the baby you lost because you feel happy.

Here's what I want you to know: You can feel happy for the new baby and sad for the baby you lost at the same time; you can feel both emotions.

Just observe them and understand that a mother's heart is vast enough to feel a complex range of emotions from guilt to joy and everything in between.

6. Feeling like innocence is shattered.

Many pregnant women never worry about all the things that could go wrong in pregnancy. I bless them. I'm in awe of them. Maybe at times slightly jealous, wishing I could be like them.

I was never worry-free, blissfully excited and unaware of all of the things that can go wrong in pregnancy and delivery. After pregnancy loss, naïveté is shattered; you can never go into the next nine months casually.

Women who announce their pregnancy before the first trimester, have gender reveal parties or share on social media every sonogram can make your heart sink and your stomach drop. You think to yourself, "I don't know how they do that, I sure hope everything goes okay," as what-if scenarios' race through your mind. Know you're not unhappy for them, you have intense feelings of protection, a reminder of the reality you've experienced loss.

7. Prepare for insensitive comments.

Well-intentioned, yet often upsetting and hurtful comments from family, friends and strangers can hurt. We live in a culture and society uncomfortable with death.

We applaud those who've experienced loss for being strong, stoic and holding composure. Death makes people uncomfortable, and nothing makes a conversation more awkward than when talking about miscarriage, stillborn and infant loss.

What often happens is a change of subject or a platitude or phrase falling way short of being supportive, instead, inciting anger in a pregnant mama. Comments like, "Oh congrats on being pregnant again, now you can move on," or, "I know you feel sad, but the baby was never born and never could have survived, so it wasn't really something to connect to."

When someone says something thoughtless, remember, while it's directed at you, it has nothing to do with you. And, they just gave you a lens into their world of thoughts, beliefs and discomfort with pregnancy loss. Perhaps you could forward them what not to say to someone experiencing pregnancy loss.

8. Continued grief is normal.

Any woman who has experienced loss knows in her heart no other pregnancy or child can replace the one she lost. So there is a bittersweetness to pregnancy after a loss: Gratitude, excitement, anticipation, sadness and anger.

As you move through your pregnancy and welcome a new baby, there is a strange feeling of thinking or wondering: Would this new baby even be here if I hadn't had lost my other baby? What I have found helpful is to find a way to honor and remember the baby that was lost, a concrete gesture of keeping the lost baby part of the family. I wrote about our family tradition honoring my son here.

9. Embrace the new moments and challenges.

Children are a great distraction from grief. The blessing of being a mother when you have a pregnancy loss and become pregnant again is that you have to keep moving forward taking care of your family.

When I had a miscarriage, my twin girls were 2 years old. There was no time to slow down or take time to grieve. When I felt the tears or anger come on, I had to push through it and focus on the girls.

My daughters kept me so busy that some days all I could do was make it to their nap time. Other days, I dreaded nap time because I had to face those intense feelings in the silence. Somedays I would spend the entire hour and a half crying or agitated cleaning the house or napping myself because I felt so sad.

Another challenge of having children and going through loss and pregnancy is sharing the news with them. Depending on your child's age and if you've shared what's happened, be prepared for questions, lots of them.

Your child's questions may catch you off guard. Rest assured, this is entirely normal; your child is processing the loss and pregnancy in their own way. Don't be surprised to receive some variations of the following questions: Why did the baby die? Will this baby die too? How come the baby couldn't get better by going to the doctor? Where do babies go when they die?

My advice: Follow your child's lead, answer questions lovingly, knowing their curiosity isn't meant to upset you. They're trying to process in concrete ways the loss and pregnancy. And if you don't know the answer, it's okay to say so. When I am at a loss for how to respond, I ask my children, "What do you think?"

Whew, it's a lot to consider, isn't it? You are not alone in what you are going through and you will get through this. Reach out to supportive friends, family and medical professionals, talk about your feelings and move through the grief, worries, and embrace the joy and excitement. What I can share is this: rainbow babies are unique and teach us lessons we never knew we needed to learn.

My third daughter is my rainbow baby, and she is indeed the most loving child I have known. She has the biggest heart and has incredible love for everyone, especially animals. Perhaps she's like this because of birth order, genetics or parenting, but I've always wondered if it's because she's a rainbow baby. She brings hope and is a reminder that after incredible storms, rainbows do appear, permitting us to open our hearts to heal and grow in love.

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If you thought the arrival of your baby meant the end of fun, urban vacations, think again. With the right planning (and the right equipment), it's still possible to get up and go with your little ones on every adventure. That's why we love BABYBJÖRN Baby Carrier One, a soft, supportive baby carrier that's as comfortable for your baby as it is on your back.

And New York City is one of our favorite places to take it for a ride.

We partnered with NYC mama Neha Leela Ruch of MotherUntitled to share her favorite Big Apple hot spots for littles. If you and your family are headed East on your next vacation, here are the places you can't miss with kids.

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Neha with her family at the Union Square Greenmarket.

The Union Square Greenmarket

You'll love the ready availability of locally grown produce and handmade goods―your kids will love sampling the wares and taking advantage of all the conveniently located activities nearby. "I love the efficiency of the location on a slow morning!" Ruch says. After shopping, hit up the nearby playground, visit the Barnes and Noble kids' area across the street, or head to Union Square Play for a movement or dance class to burn off any remaining energy.

LeFrak Center at Lakeside

Another attraction worth the subway ride out of Manhattan is the LeFrak Center at Lakeside in Prospect Park. With year-round skating (ice in winter, roller in summer), a splash pad in the summer, and all of Prospect Park surrounding for more exploration, there's something to keep everyone entertained no matter when you visit.

The Seaglass Carousel
Have your camera ready for this stunning ride in the Battery Conservancy. Unlike a traditional carousel, the Seaglass moves riders on four turntables as LED light fixtures mimic the bioluminescence found under the sea. Take a ride before taking in the waterside views or having a picnic in Battery Park.

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Neha out and about in NYC with her BABYBJÖRN Baby Carrier One.

Domino Park

One of the newest parks in NYC, this Brooklyn-based hangout is sure to become a fast favorite of locals and travelers alike. The reclaimed-material playground teaches kids about the sugar refining process with silos and chutes designed to resemble the actual factory that used to reside on the park's location. There's also a Fog Bridge, sports fields, fountains, a dog park (in case Rover is along for the trip!), and more you can walk and explore with your little one in their BABYBJÖRN Baby Carrier One.

Central Park + Central Park Zoo

While there are plenty of reasons to visit Central Park on your New York City vacation, the convenience might be one of the biggest. Ruch says, "We grab coffee and treats from the Tavern on the Green to-go stand, walk east to the pretty carousel, and then onward to the zoo, which has a little kids' petting section for the smallest babies but also a pretty significant proper zoo with penguins, seals and bears."

Allbee Baby

With a nearly 100 year old story, this family operated business on New York's Upper West Side is the place to stop if you need something mid-trip. With a thoughtful curation of the best brands, it's full of solutions for parents and kids (as well as a selection of products from BabyBjörn)!

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Maman Café

Need a quick pick-me-up? Maman Cafe is a popular spot for your favorite coffee and a snack. "There are a handful of locations around the city, but each has a pretty feel while still being warm and welcoming," Ruch says. "It's an elegant part of the day even when I have two littles in tow." Snag an iced coffee and an almond croissant before popping your baby back in their BABYBJÖRN Baby Carrier One and heading off on your next adventure.

by CHLOE.

And when that moment comes in the midst of every trip where you realize everyone needs to eat something nutritious, by CHLOE is a great stop to find healthy options to satisfy everyone in the family. Vegan, plant-based, and all natural, it will keep you energized for the rest of your adventures in the City That Never Sleeps. (Make sure to try the avocado toast!)


Making the time to explore is one of the greatest gifts you can give your family―and yourself. And thanks to BabyBjörn, now everyone can come along for the ride.

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

Sometimes inspiration just strikes.

Diana, our Motherly Experts Editor, had a moment just like that. The result was magic. "I was tucking my middle guy in, and he was all toddler-perfect... lost in a sea of blankets, so cute and little, and I just had this moment of, "wow, one day he is going to be a grown up, and someone else is going to love him..." And the rest is history :)" These poignant moments of motherhood touch the heart in immeasurable ways...balh able bla

After the tears have dried, this unique story, inspired by the overflow of love in a mother's heart, stays with you for a loooong time and is bound to resonate in your heart fas long as a mother's love remains for her child, long after they've left home. That's motherly. And, that's Motherly.

"To the person who falls in love with my son" went viral.

This video, more than the sum of its parts, has provided an overall experience that has transcended its concept, writing, execution, quality of craft—and heart.

• It has been viewed 26,387,039 times.


• It has reached 58,287,532 people.


• It has garnered 2,363,086 social engagements (comments, likes, and shares).


This video elevates what is in plain sight to something timeless, universal, and memorable. Bound to live in the heart of anyone who views it, this video is destined for legend in the parenting community online. Our innovative strategy, tactics and creativity combine to succeed at truly engaging our community.

Motherly not only has over 3X the engagement of competitors in the parenting space but also across women's interest and lifestyle categories.

FACEBOOK FOLLOWERS VS. ENGAGEMENT RATE

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With a clean and direct design aesthetic, our content does not get lost in the overload that is so endemic to other brands. Our unique sense of honesty and our authentic and emotional content connect with our community of engaged Millennial moms across channels to deliver results that empower and inspire. Through the powerful lens of motherhood, our content generates mom-to-mom sharing and valuable conversation, unlike any other brand.




Meet Motherly.
We are a community–driven lifestyle brand redefining motherhood. Motherly occupies a unique position in the media landscape, sitting at the intersection of parenting, lifestyle and women's interests to address her entire life and connect her more fully.

At Motherly we have a voice.

We are the only positive, encouraging parenting site reaching and influencing Millennial moms when they are looking for and absorbing more information, products and services than during any other life transition. How we think, act, and express ourselves is why we have built such a strong community of mamas.

Our community engages across all platforms, at Motherly, on Instagram and on Facebook, because mamas are on the move.

Motherly supports mamas through their entire parenthood journey, delivering women-centric content that addresses her whole lifestyle through thousands of articles, images, videos and classes each month with Mom-to-mom insights, inspiration and empowerment.

Our innovative strategy, tactics and creativity combine to succeed at truly engaging our community.

With a clean and direct design aesthetic, our content does not get lost in the overload that is so endemic to other brands. Our approach to content and how it is presented crosses all platforms for a cohesive and truly branded aesthetic that is fresh, clear and direct, always light and enlightening.

With a unique sense of honesty, our authentic and emotional content connects with our community of engaged Millennial moms across channels to deliver results that empower and inspire. Through the powerful lens of motherhood, our content generates mom-to-mom sharing and valuable conversation, unlike any other brand.

Motherly not only has over 3X the engagement of competitors in the parenting space but also across women's interest and lifestyle categories.


FACEBOOK FOLLOWERS VS. ENGAGEMENT RATE

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Sources: Facebook Analytics 2018


The synergy of our compelling content, pure aesthetic and fully engaged community has afforded us staggering fan growth.

In October, 2017, we doubled down on our engagement strategy to reach our community with our innovative approach to content and realized a stunning fan growth of 442% over the following twelve months.



That "something" extra...

Through our social presence—encompassing concept, creativity, content, structure, visual design, functionality and interactivity—women are encouraged and have the confidence to know, "I've got this". As savvy, digital natives, Millennial mamas take Motherly everywhere for information, inspiration, and empowerment—we are the brand that helps her redefine what it means to be motherly, every day.

Vacationing with a baby isn't for the faint of heart. But while it typically means more luggage (hello, travel-friendly bassinets, clothes for all seasons, and more diapers than you can shake a boarding pass at!), it's still possible to have a fun, memorable adventure with your little ones―especially with the right equipment.

Our favorite family vacation saver? The right baby carrier, like BABYBJÖRN Baby Carrier One Air. The breathable, mesh design is perfect for a variety of climates, while the supportive construction will help you stay comfortable while you trek across your favorite destination.

One of our favorite family-friendly locales? Los Angeles. That's why we teamed up with LA mama extraordinaire Magin Birrenkott to share the best places to play in La-La Land when you have little ones in tow.

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La Brea Tar Pits and Museum
Perfect for your little dinosaur lovers, the famous Tar Pits and art museum feature something for everyone. Take the tar pit tour to learn more about excavation, or simply let the little ones run around the park to see the variety of sculptures. The museum features a Fossil Lab, atrium, and even a 3D theater to learn more. "You can have lunch and play on the grassy areas around the tar pits and fossil areas, as well as grab a coffee and stroll through the different art exhibits around the park," Birrenkott recommends.

Kidspace Children's Museum
Who says vacation can't also be educational? This incredible children's museum helps your little ones learn about everything from physics to biology―all through the power of play. Babies can face out in the Baby Carrier One so they'll have plenty to look at while staying snuggled up to you. Bigger kids will love experiencing the indoor and outdoor exhibits. Note: Several attractions feature water play, so pack a spare outfit for any kids who like to get messy.

Magin navigating a day out in LA with two little people and one free hand, thanks to the BABYBJÖRN Baby Carrier One Air.

Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens
Lions, tigers, bears...and more! The LA Zoo is home to a variety of animals from around the world―all of which your kiddos will love to admire. The bird show and giraffe feedings are especially popular hits. "Make sure to plan the short trek to the giraffes between 11:00-12:00 and 2:30-3:30. For $5 you get three branches and are able to feed them up close and personal!" Birrenkott says.

Move your little one to your back in the Baby Carrior One Air so they can get close to the action too. "We like to go at the very beginning since they can get full and sometimes walk away if there were too many people in front of you." After letting the kids run out their energy in the zoo, the Botanical Gardens make the perfect spot to relax and have lunch. "There's a beautiful grassy area that's quiet where you can set a blanket and enjoy the beautiful LA weather. And for us struggling tired mamas, there's a coffee shop that has the most amazing lattes and cappuccinos. Huge win."

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The El Capitan Theatre

More than just a must-see on your tour of Hollywood, the El Capitan Theatre is an excellent spot for family memories. There are "Tiny Tot Tuesdays" for families with younger children (AKA, no one will give you a dirty look if your kiddo wants to sing along...or just throws a tantrum mid-show), and all of the family-friendly movies feature something extra, whether it's live Disney cast members, gift bags, or extra effects like confetti. Check the website to find out what is showing during your trip.

Aquarium of the Pacific
If your kids are fans of Finding Dory, they're going to love the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. With everything from penguins to sea otters to sharks (not to mention millions of fish in every shape, size, color), there's something to catch the eye of everyone in your family. The aquarium also features seasonal festivals and events, so check the calendar during your visit to make sure you don't miss their best shows. As for your littlest family members, they'll enjoy a comfy ride through the aquarium in their carrier.

"Our weather is all over the place sometimes, but in the BABYBJÖRN Baby Carrier One Air, he didn't get sweaty at all!" Birrenkott says. "Plus, after two days of activities, my back is in one piece. I can babywear him all the time now!"

Traveling Tikes
Forget something at home? Traveling Tikes on Santa Monica Boulevard is the perfect spot to scoop up any baby gear that didn't make it into your suitcase―including the BABYBJÖRN Baby Carrier One Air for easier travel around town. One other store we love? KIDSLAND on Wilshire Boulevard.


Making the time to explore is one of the greatest gifts you can give your family―and yourself. And thanks to BabyBjörn, now everyone can come along for the ride.

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

If there's anything better than dressing your kids up in adorable holiday outfits, it's gotta be matching them.

We rounded up seven of our favorite looks for this season. 🎁

1. Classic Christmas for kids

Go crisp, clean, classic and Christmassy with a Short Sleeve Smocked Holiday Dress from Feltman Brothers.

Short Sleeve Smocked Holiday Dress, Feltman Brothers, $67.95

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Classic Christmas made modern for mama

Match your cotton cutie in a crisp and modern shirtdress that can last you far beyond Christmas.

Kowtow Monologue Shirt Dress, Garmentory, $93.00

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2. Nordic-themed sweater set

Get cozy + complimentary with black and red family sweaters that you can wear all winter long.

Oh Sno Happy Christmas Collection, Hanna Andersson, $68 - $92

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3. Matchy matchy mommy

A super-affordable option for the matchy matchy mama.

Emmababy Mommy and Me Matching Plaid Long Sleeve Shirt Dress + Princess Tulle Tutu Dress, $14.99

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4. Mommy + me tutus

Tutus make everything, including the holidays, a bit more magical. Grab a matching set to enjoy a twirl with your girl.

Mommy and Me Tulle Tutus, Etsy, $110.00

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5. The perfect plaid dress

Quick! This one is perfect, grab it fast.

Ruffle Trim Babydoll Dress for Toddler Girls, Old Navy, $20.00

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Mama's plaid

Mama deserves ruffles and plaid, too.

Relaxed Plaid Twill Classic Shirt, $24.00, Old Navy

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6. Best sweater set yet

Moms and sons can play match-up, too. Grab a sweater set you can return to the entire season.

Festivewear Sweater Sets, Boden, $55.00-$130.00

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7. Big blue

Light up the night with Santa's sleigh and a sleek little number for mama.

Festive Big Applique Dress, Boden, $48.00

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Blue for you, too

The perfect LBD (little blue dress).

Flippy Pencil Dress, Boden, $170.00

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Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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