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My firstborn was a Memorial Day baby, and let me tell you something: it’s hard to be pregnant in the summer in the city. Having a newborn in the heat of the summer is no picnic either! It’s not just that you have to endure 90+ degree temperatures while you are heavy with child. It’s also that if you are in the final weeks of pregnancy or have a tiny baby who has yet to be vaccinated, you may have no other choice but to stay in the heat of the city and miss out on all the summer fun to be close to your healthcare provider. But what if I told you that you could still experience exotic places, right in your very own apartment?

There are these magic potions, okay, beauty products that can evoke memories or imaginings for moms and moms-to-be who can't travel, but are craving an escape. The best part is that all of these are safe, natural products that contain no chemicals, artificial fragrances or other nasties. That’s right, you can use them, guilt free, while pregnant or around newborns. What’s more, the companies responsible for what we call “vacation in a bottle” are socially responsible, woman made and independent. They grow their own products or source them from around the world -- a farm in NY, a farm in Italy, a village in Ghana, a California studio, fruit and nectar from Hawaii!

If you feel like you’re in need of a break or an escape from city life, here are 7 beauty products for the wanderlust mom in you.

1. THE PHILIPPINES: Prim Botanicals, The Debauchery Detox Body Scrub

Shortly after my daughter was born, friends of mine went to a wedding in The Philippines (cue serious travel jealousy!). Suddenly, their Facebook photos were full of lush gardens, tropical jungles, and hidden waterfalls. I’ve been obsessed ever since, which is why I fell in love with Prim Botanicals, a brand developed by two women from the Philippines. It’s also one of the most fun, effective, luxe brands I’ve found! Their Debauchery Detox Body Scrub is full of moisturizing oils like Andiroba and Pracaxi, which reduce the appearance of stretch marks and target eczema and psoriasis -- two conditions that commonly flare up in pregnancy and postpartum. And it smells incredible! $39, Buy it here.

2. CALIFORNIA: May Lindstrom Skincare, The Jasmine Garden Botanical Mist

California dreaming? Only have time for a spritz of escapism? You need this moisturizing, soothing mist. You can layer it under moisturizers or use it on its own throughout the day to cool down, breathe in the delicious scent, or refresh makeup. Made by hand in Southern California, this mist will transport you in just seconds. $60, Buy it here.

3. GHANA: True Moringa, Hydrating body butter

This ethically-sourced brand will make you feel good about your purchase, and then all over again about your skin! This butter is particularly good for those who are sensitive to smells during pregnancy, as it’s not heavily scented at all. You could even use it on your baby! Moinga Oil and the other ingredients in this rich balm are great for minimizing the appearance of scars and stretch marks. Farmed in Ghana, made in Boston, owned by women, super-effective … can’t beat any of that! $28, Buy it here.

4. SOUTHERN UNITED STATES: One Love Organics, Gardenia + Tea antioxidant body serum

As a kid, I used to spend time with family in the southern-most tip of South Carolina every summer. This gorgeous, hydrating body oil, made just a few miles away in Georgia, immediately transports me back there in my mind, to the gardenia flowers of my youth. Super-moisturizing but fast-absorbing, it’s great after showers and can be layered under sunscreen for important antioxidant protection! $39, Buy it here.


5. ITALY: Bottega Organica, Nourishing Lip Balm, Vanilla

Pregnancy and breastfeeding can both be quite dehydrating, so it’s important to nourish your skin, particularly where it’s thin and fragile, like lips. This balm will banish cracks and dry patches. Developed by a geneticist, Bottega Organica harvests almost all its ingredients from its two farms, one in Italy and one in Upstate New York. You’ll fall in love with its delicate vanilla scent! $36, Buy it here.

6. CENTRAL AMERICA: Maya Chia, Super Couple Serum

This stuff is a miracle! Made with powerful antioxidant Astaxanthin and skin superfood Chia, this serum will fix just about any skin problem you could have. It moisturizes, minimizes fine lines, and reduces inflammation. The delicious scent always lifts my mood, plus Maya Chia donates a portion of the net profits to charitable organizations that help build schools and farms for the Maya people! $86, Buy it here.

7. HAWAII: Leahlani Skincare, The Bless Balm

Leahlani Skincare founder Leah is a trained esthetician, and in addition to feeling luxurious and smelling good, these products will truly help calm your pregnant/postpartum skin. I put The Bless Balm on my face at night, on my lips throughout the day, and on my poor, stressed cuticles anytime they need some love. Blue Tansy will help your hormonal skin, and Argan Oil and Shea Butter are full of beneficial nutrients. $48, Buy it here.

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Parents in New Jersey will soon get more money and more time for parental leave after welcoming a baby.

This week New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed off on legislation that extends New Jersey's paid family leave from six weeks to 12.

It also increases the benefit cap from 53% of the average weekly wage to 70%, meaning the maximum benefit for a parent on family leave will be $860 a week, up from $650.

It might not seem like a huge difference, but by raising the benefit from two-thirds of a parent's pay to 85%, lawmakers in New Jersey are hoping to encourage more parents to actually take leave, which is good for the parents, their baby and their family. "Especially for that new mom and dad, we know that more time spent bonding with a child can lead to a better long-term outcome for that child," Murphy said at a press conference this week.

The law will also make it easier for people to take time off when a family member is sick.

Because NJ's paid leave is funded through payroll deductions, workers could see an increase in those deductions, but Murphy is betting that workers and businesses will see the benefits in increasing paid leave benefits. "Morale goes up, productivity goes up, and more money goes into the system," Murphy said. "And increasingly, companies big and small realize that a happy workforce and a secure workforce is a key ingredient to their success."

The new benefits will go into effect in July 2020 (making next Halloween a good time to get pregnant in the Garden State).

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Whether you just need to stock up on diapers or you've had your eye on a specific piece of baby gear, you might want to swing by your local Walmart this Saturday, February 23rd.

Walmart's big "Baby Savings Day" is happening from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at participating Walmarts (but more deals can be found online at Walmart.com already and the website deals are happening for the rest of the month).

About 3,000 of the 3,570 Supercenter locations are participating in the sale (check here to see if your local Walmart is).

The deals vary, but in general you can expect up to 30% off on items like cribs, strollers, car seats, wipes, diapers and formula.

Some items, like this Graco Modes 3 Lite Travel System have been marked down by more than $100. Other hot items include this Lille Baby Complete Carrier (It's usually $119, going for $99 during the sale) and the Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat (for as low as $199).

So if you're in need of baby gear, you should check out this sale. Travel gear isn't the only category that's been marked down, there are some steep discounts on breast pumps, too.

Many of the Walmart locations will also be offering samples and expert demos of certain products on Saturday so it's worth checking out!

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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Any Schumer has not had an easy pregnancy. She intended to keep working, but if you follow her on social media you know she's been very sick through each trimester.

And now in her final trimester she's had to cancel her tour due to hyperemesis gravidarum, also known as HG. It's a rare but very serious form of extreme morning sickness, and on Friday evening Schumer announced she is canceling the rest of her tour because of it.

“I vomit every time [I] ride in a car even for 5 minutes," Schumer explained in an Instagram post.

Due to the constant vomiting she's not cleared to fly and just can't continue to the tour.

This is not the first time Schumer has had to make an announcement about HG. Back in November, just weeks after announcing her pregnancy, she had to cancel shows and again broke the news via Instagram.

She posted a photo of herself in a hospital bed with her little dog Tati, and spelled out the details of her health issues in the caption. "I have hyperemesis and it blows," Schumer wrote.

Poor Amy. Hyperemesis gravidarum is really tough.

Kate Middleton, Ayesha Curry and Motherly co-founder Elizabeth Tenety are among those who, like Schumer, have suffered from this form of severe morning sickness that can be totally debilitating.

As she previously wrote for Motherly, Tenety remembers becoming desperately ill, being confined to her apartment (mostly her bed) and never being far from a trash can, "I lost 10% of my body weight. I became severely dehydrated. I couldn't work. I couldn't even get out of bed. I could barely talk on the phone to tell my doctor how sick I was—begging them to please give me something, anything—to help."

Thankfully, she found relief through a prescription for Zofran, an anti-nausea drug.

Schumer probably knows all about that drug. It looks she is getting the medical help she obviously needs, and she was totally right to cancel the tour in order to stay as healthy as possible.

We're glad to see Schumer is getting help, and totally understand why she would have to cancel her shows. Any mama who has been through HG will tell you, that wouldn't be a show you'd want front row seats for anyway.

Get well soon, Amy!

[A version of this post was published November 15, 2018. It has been updated.]

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As a military spouse, Cydney Cooper is used to doing things alone. But when she delivered her twin daughters early after complications due to Influenza A, she was missing her husband Skylar more than ever.

Recovering from the flu and an emergency C-section, and trying to parent the couple's two older boys and be with her new infant daughters in the NICU, Cydney was exhausted and scared and just wanted her husband who was deployed in Kuwait with the Army and wasn't expected home for weeks.

Alone in the NICU 12 days after giving birth, Cydney was texting an update on the twins to her husband when he walked through the door to shoulder some of the massive burden this mama was carrying.

"I was typing up their summary as best I could and trying to remember every detail to tell him when I looked up and saw him standing there. Shock, relief, and the feeling that everything was just alright hit me at once. I just finally let go," she explains in a statement to Motherly.

The moment was captured on video thanks to a family member who was in on Skylar's surprise and the reunion has now gone viral, having been viewed millions of times. It's an incredible moment for the couple who hadn't seen each other since Skylar had a three-day pass in seven months earlier.

Cydney had been caring for the couple's two boys and progressing in her pregnancy when, just over a week before the viral video was taken, she tested positive for Influenza A and went into preterm labor. "My husband was gone, my babies were early, I had the flu, and I was terrified," she tells Motherly.

"Over the next 48 hours they were able to stop my labor and I was discharged from the hospital. It only lasted two days and I went right back up and was in full on labor that was too far to stop."

Cydney needed an emergency C-section due to the babies' positioning, and her medical team could not allow anyone who had previously been around her into the operating room because anyone close to Cydney had been exposed to the flu.

"So I went in alone. The nurses and doctors were wonderful and held my hand through the entire thing but at the same time, I felt very very alone and scared. [Skylar] had been present for our first two and he was my rock and I didn't have him when I wanted him the most. But I did it! He was messaging me the second they wheeled me to recovery. Little did I know he was already working on being on his way."

When he found out his baby girls were coming early Skylar did everything he could to get home, and seeing him walk into the NICU is a moment Cydney will hold in her heart and her memory forever. "I had been having to hop back and forth from our sons to our daughters and felt guilty constantly because I couldn't be with all of them especially with their dad gone. It was one of the most amazing moments of my life and I won't be forgetting it."

It's so hard for a military spouse to do everything alone after a baby comes, and the military does recognize this. Just last month the Army doubled the amount of leave qualifying secondary caregivers (most often dads) can take after a birth or adoption, from 10 days to 21 so that moms like Cydney don't have to do it all alone.

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