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What a Baby Food Expert Eats During Pregnancy

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Most of us don’t give much thought to what motherhood will look like until we’re pregnant (or trying to get pregnant). But Katie Sobel’s been prepping for nearly a decade, as one of the first employees at Plum Organics. Currently Plum’s Vice President of Brand Engagement and Marketing Communications, Katie helped develop the brand’s food philosophy, which is uniquely focused on palate development and supporting baby through the first 1,000 days. Now that she’s expecting her first baby, she’s putting her health and baby background to good use, honing her own pregnancy diet and prepping to feed her baby the healthiest way she can. Below, she shares what she’s been eating (and craving!), and opens up about the food moment she’s most looking forward to sharing with her own baby. What’s your pregnancy diet been like? As with many pregnancies, some of my digestive issues have flared up and it’s been challenging not to be able to turn to my usual tinctures and herbal concoctions given some of risks associated with adaptogens and herbs when you’re pregnant. I have instead tried to focus on warming foods (bone broths, cooked vegetables and tons of ginger tea) when I’m feeling a little out of sorts. I also believe that my clean diet has helped me to maintain good energy throughout my pregnancy. How has a decade in the baby industry helped prepare you for pregnancy? Well, it’s been great hands-on training, that’s for sure! I don’t know if I can officially claim that I’ve earned my MBA (“Masters in Baby Affairs”) but I’ve sure earned some credits. It’s been incredible to have a front row seat as the baby industry has evolved over the last decade, and to know that Plum team has played a big part of that shift. Back when I first started, the category was completely stagnant with the same bland baby food jars that had been around for 50 years. Today, there are so many amazing brands focused on the things that I value: beautiful design, reliable performance, clean ingredients & a strong mission. At Plum, we use a Human Centered Design process for all of our innovation, which means we take an empathic approach and really listen to our consumers. Over the years, I’ve had the benefit of having incredibly unfiltered conversations with new parents and it’s provided me with some eye-opening insights! How has being pregnant impacted your work at Plum? My background in culinary nutrition gives me a unique perspective when it comes to the products we develop and meeting the needs of our littlest consumers. I’m also one of Plum’s very first employees, so I’ve been able to rely on my deep knowledge of the brand. But for me, there was always a piece of the puzzle missing ... and that was being a parent. My pregnancy at Plum feels like a full circle moment. It’s been a bit surreal. I value empathy and try to operate from that place when it comes to our communications; my pregnancy has just made me that much more connected and aware. What have you been craving most during your pregnancy? I was fortunate that I never had bad morning sickness – just a few weeks of feeling queasy and having a strong aversion to what, at times, felt like almost everything! When I came out of that phase, the only specific craving I had was for an everything bagel with dill cream cheese. I don’t eat a lot of processed food and am gluten-free, but I was able to find this delicious product called Pagels. If you toast it realllllly well and use some of Ben’s famous cream cheese, it’s almost like the real thing. Does that count as indulgent? What’s been your daily pregnancy food go-tos? I’ve tried to focus on key nutrients during each trimester. Some weeks I’ve been successful, others have been harder. Now that I’m in my third trimester, I’m focusing on healthy fats. Baby’s brain is doing a lot of growing during this phase and essential fatty acids are critical. I’m not a vegetarian, but I’m incredibly picky about where my meat comes from, so keeping my protein up has been one of my biggest challenges this whole pregnancy. Luckily, my husband is an eager cook so he works hard to keep wild salmon, pasture-raised chicken and grass-fed beef in the dinner rotation. What's it been like learning to dress your body during this pregnancy? My pregnancy style is not too different from how I was dressing before. I like to keep things practical, which usually means a great pair of jeans and tops that can be layered and dressed up or down. Though I stick to simple, neutral toned pieces, I add components that offer a little bit of edge like a funky bracelet or interesting sneakers. And when I have an excuse to dress up, I look for good design and something unexpected like a unique shape or pattern. Every stage of pregnancy has brought its own set of style challenges. I’m petite so it’s easy for me to get lost in clothes if they’re not the perfect fit – and when you’re pregnant, you aren’t going to spend the money to get something tailored. I’ve also noticed that just when you start to feel good in your skin and embrace your new shape, it changes on you. I try my best to focus on the positive, which for me are the moments when I feel the most feminine. What food experience are you most looking forward to sharing with your baby? I am really excited to breastfeed. Every day I put it out in the universe that that will be something that comes easy for our family. I’m so fascinated by the communication that is happening between mother and child during this stage of nourishment; how the body on a daily basis is adjusting the composition of the breast milk to account for baby’s immunity and needs at that given moment. It’s so intricate and simply miraculous. Beyond that, I can’t wait for first foods. Even with so many new guidelines and progressive minds out there, too many parents still worry about mixing flavors and separating the introduction of new foods. My personal philosophy and Plum’s food philosophy is that complex flavors help thwart picky eating. In our house, we plan to use herbs and spices and mix and match as often as possible. I know how dedicated you are to nontoxic, healthy products. How has that impacted your baby prep? I feel confident I’ve got the food angle covered, but I’ve definitely learned a ton while searching for clean products outside of the food aisle. While they tend to be more expensive, I am impressed with how many great companies are making non-toxic & Green Guard Certified products and prioritizing communicating these benefits, which makes the whole industry more accountable. When shopping for products that will go on our baby’s skin, my go-to is definitely the EWG and their thorough rating list; I then scan first hand products reviews and write ups from some of my favorite lifestyle experts and natural parenting authors. For bedding, furniture and clothing my priorities are limiting extra chemicals (like flame retardants, formaldehyde etc.) and looking for natural organic cottons. Give us your top 5 registry essentials. 1. DockATot baby lounger: my friends have not stopped raving about this! 2. SNOO: my biggest fear is not sleeping, so here’s hoping! 3. Anything from BitteShop.com – all of their non-toxic toys (love the Oli & Carol rubber boats) and adorable clothing 4. Guava Family Lotus Bassinet and Pack & Play: love that it’s a travel system and is Green Guard Certified 5. Keekaroo changing table: easy wipe & clean surface that’s BPA-, PVC-, latex and phthalate free Katie is wearing: ASOS Maternity dress Dansko shoes Botkier bag & Other Stories hat (similar style) My husband, Aaron. Longtime love who is exceptionally good at carrying my things! Photography by Ren’ee Kahn Bresler for Well Rounded. Shot on location at Whole Foods in Gowanus, Brooklyn.

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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.

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After quite a wait (he was born last week) Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have finally revealed their baby boy's name and it isn't what the internet was expecting.

While Kim had previously hinted at the name Robert, after her late father and her brother, the couple went with a name that makes sense given Kanye's new Sunday Services.

Baby number four for the Kardashian-Wests is called Psalm West, his mom announced via Instagram.

Psalm is the fourth child for Kim and Kanye, who are already raising 5-year-old North, 3-year-old Saint and 1-year-old Chicago.

Welcome to the family Psalm!

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Back in the day, when I saw my mom sporting a fanny pack, I cringed. I was a tween, and my mom was utterly embarrassing with her nylon belt bag. Flash forward a couple of decades and as I juggle four kids at a playground while my tote keeps slipping off my shoulder, I find myself thinking, "Maybe, just maybe, my mom was onto something."

And I'm not the only one. That's right friends, fanny packs are BACK. Why? Well, for celebs and fashion-types, it's because everything that was once old must always be reincarnated.

But for us mamas, there is one simple resounding answer: The bag is incredibly convenient. It allows us to have our hands free—to, ya know, change a diaper or put a bandage on a knee—and it also forces us to pare down the litany of items we'll throw into our purses before we head out the door. Like, those ten extra snacks or a juice box or a coloring book — the items that result in your purse suddenly weighing 50 pounds.

Oh, and this just in: You can also sling a fanny pack around your body, now. We've got options!

Is it the ultimate mom bag? Listen, we're not going to say it is. But we're also not going to say it's not. Catch our drift? And if you see yourself in a mirror while sporting your new belt bag, we dare you not to start singing, "I'm too sexy for… my fanny pack."

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Shop our favorite patterns and styles below, some of which start as low as 6 bucks.

Dagne Dover Ace Fanny Pack, $85.00

Dagne Dover Ace Fanny Pack

This just in: We all need more neoprene in our lives! We're loving the yellow lace design detail, and the fact that this one has a key clip and card holder inside, too.

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Pam & Gela Leopard Print Belt Bag, $105.00

Pam & Gela Leopard Print Belt Bag

We're just going to say it: One can never have too much leopard in their closet. This one will definitely spice up your daily jeans and t-shirt outfit.

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Herschel Supply Co. Fifteen Belt Bag, $30.00

Herschel Supply Co. Fifteen Belt Bag

Durable? Check. Fun colors? Check. Cute Herschel logo badge on the front? Check.

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Lululemon Everywhere Belt Bag 1L, $38.00

Lululemon Everywhere Belt Bag 1L


Yes, you need a sporty fanny pack, too. This one is perfect when you're heading to Saturday morning yoga.

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Sun Squad Cooler Fanny Pack, $6.00

Sun Squad Fanny Pack Cooler Grapefruit

A insulated fanny pack that keeps snacks cool? Amen!

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State Crosby Fanny Pack, $42.00

State Crosby Fanny Pack

Proof that fanny packs can be uber-hip (and sleek!) at the same time.

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No Boundaries Fanny Pack, $5.97

No Boundaries Fanny Pack

This sweet-pea pattern screams, "Spring!" and at this price, we might buy two.

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Lola Los Angeles Moonbeam Belt Bag, $28.00

Lola Los Angeles Moonbeam

We're loving the nylon fabric and cool Lola badge on this one, which also comes in black, red and maroon.

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Tee Shirt and Jeans Janie Fanny Pack, $11.99

Tee Shirt and Jeans Janie Fanny Pack

This one had us at pompoms. Oh, and that price. Sold!

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MZ Wallace Metro Belt Bag, $145.00

MZ Wallace Metro Belt Bag

Moms everywhere love MZ Wallace for their crazy parenting-friendly totes, and turns out they make an equally utilitarian belt bag in a variety of fun hues and patterns.

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Gucci Ophidia Small Suede Belt Bag, $1,390.00

What's that? You only wear designer bags? Fear not, they've adapted to the fanny pack trend (except they refer to the style as a "belt bag,") and this Gucci stunner will transition seamlessly from the park to date night.

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Clare V. Perforated Leather Fanny Pack, $299.00

Clare V. Perforated Leather Fanny Pack

The epitome of cool-girl bag brands, Clare V. has brought its chic aesthetic to the fanny pack category, and we couldn't be happier about that. We adore the perforated leather of this bag, as well as the high-contrast zipper.

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Jansport Fifth Avenue Fanny Pack, $17.00

Jansport Fifth Avenue Fanny Pack

If we're going to go the fanny pack route, we might as well go the whole way, right? Right. And nothing screams "90s!" like a Jansport bag. The good news is they haven't raised their prices too much in the past two decades.

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Nike Benassi Just Do It Fanny Pack Slide Sandal, $50.00

Nike Benassi Just Do It Fanny Pack Slide Sandal

Okay, okay, this isn't a true fanny pack per se. It's better! It's actually two amazing '90s trends packed into one perfect product. We give you... the fanny pack slide!

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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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Mornings can be so rough making sure everyone has what they need for the day and managing to get out the door on time. A recent survey by Indeed found that 60% of new moms say managing a morning routine is a significant challenge, and another new survey reveals just why that is.

The survey, by snack brand Nutri-Grain, suggests that all the various tasks and child herding parents take on when getting the family out the door in the morning adds up to basically an extra workday every week!

Many parents will tell you that it can take a couple of hours to get out of the house each morning person, and as the survey found, most of us need to remind the kids "at least twice in the morning to get dressed, brush their teeth, or put on their shoes."

According to Nutri-Grain, by the end of the school year, the average parent will have asked their children to hurry up almost 540 times across the weekday mornings.

We totally get it. It's hard to wait on little ones when we have a very grown-up schedule to get on with, but maybe the world needs to realize that kids just aren't made to be fast.

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As Rachel Macy Stafford, the author of Hands Free Mama, Hands Free Life, writes, having a child who wants to enjoy and marvel at the world while mama is trying to rush through it is hard.

"Whenever my child caused me to deviate from my master schedule, I thought to myself, 'We don't have time for this.' Consequently, the two words I most commonly spoke to my little lover of life were: 'Hurry up.'" she explains.

We're always telling our kids to hurry up, but maybe, maybe, we should be telling ourselves—and society—to slow down.

That's what Stafford did. She took "hurry up" out of her vocabulary and in doing so made that extra workday worth of time into quality time with her daughter, instead of crunch time. She worked on her patience, and let her daughter marvel at the world or slow down when she had to.

"To help us both, I began giving her a little more time to prepare if we had to go somewhere. And sometimes, even then, we were still late. Those were the times I assured myself that I will be late only for a few years, if that, while she is young."

It's great advice, but unless we mamas can get the wider world on board, it's hard to put into practice. When the school bus comes at 7:30 am and you've gotta be at the office at 8 am, when the emails start coming before you're out of bed or your pay gets docked if you punch in five minutes late, it is hard to slow down.

So to those who are making the schedules the rest of us have to live by, to the employers and the school boards and the wider culture, we ask: Can we slow down?

Indeed's survey suggests that the majority of moms would benefit from a more flexible start time at work and the CDC suggests that starting school later would help students.

Mornings are tough for parents, but they don't have to be as hard as they are.

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If you've ever shopped at Vineyard Vines you know two things. One, it's simply adorable. Like, the stuff that Nantucket dreams are made of. Stripes, checks, plaids and pinstripes in soft pastel hues for the entire family. Even the dog.

And second, you know that in order to achieve such a crisp, cool East Coast vibe that will look oh-so-perfect in your professionally-shot family photo you'll have to pay. Nope, that wee whale logo is not cheap, folks. How much are we talking? In the range of $50 for a boys button-down shirt or $70 for a girls madras dress (to be fair, it does have flutter sleeves and holy cannoli it might just be worth the price tag!). The good news is that we can verify the quality is top notch—my two sons regularly receive my nephews' hand me downs and even after being worn by four boys, they're still in top-notch condition.

Needless to say, for those of us with a penchant for prep on a tighter clothing budget, the news of Target's Vineyard Vines collaboration was music to our ears. We've actually tried the product and we're drooling... over the styles, the quality and the prices! Comprised of more than 300 pieces, the collection is priced from $2 to $120, with most of it costing below $35.

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Let's say it together, friends: Yassss!

Check out our favorite pieces for the whole family below.

Vineyard Vines for Target Women's Sleeveless Ruffle Tie Waisted Midi V-Neck Dress

Price: $35

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Vineyard Vines for Target Baby Ruffle School of Whales Sleeveless Bodysuit

Vineyard Vines for Target Baby Ruffle School of Whales Sleeveless Bodysuit

Price: $12

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Vineyard Vines for Target  Boys' Short Sleeve Polo Shirt

Vineyard Vines for Target  Boys' Short Sleeve Polo Shirt

Price: $16

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Vineyard Vines for Target Men's Striped Swim Trunks

Vineyard Vines for Target Men's Striped Swim Trunks

Price: $25

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Vineyard Vines for Target Girls' Striped Scoop Neck Romper

Vineyard Vines for Target Girls' Striped Scoop Neck Romper

Price: $20

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Vineyard Vines for Target Toddler Boys' 1/4 Zip Pullover Sweatshirt

Vineyard Vines for Target Toddler Boys' 1/4 Zip Pullover Sweatshirt

Price: $16

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Vineyard Vines for Target Women's Blue One-Piece Swimsuit

Vineyard Vines for Target Women's Blue One-Piece Swimsuit

Price:$35

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Vineyard Vines for Target Women's Women's Gingham Long Sleeve Shirtdress

Vineyard Vines for Target Women's Women's Gingham Long Sleeve Shirtdress

Price: $35

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Vineyard Vines for Target Throw Blankets & Pillows

Vineyard Vines for Target Throw Blankets & Pillows

Price: $25-$30

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Vineyard Vines for Target Pet Accessories

Vineyard Vines for Target Pet Accessories

Price: $6-$11

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