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How to Have a Stay-by-moon

6 steps to create your own indulgent pre-baby retreat.

How to Have a Stay-by-moon

As the founder of the Babymoon Experience, I'm an understandably proud proponent of the babymoon getaway. But between Zika and any number of obstacles to getting out of town, I understand why many mamas and papas-to-be may decide to stay put. Nonetheless, I think expectant parents deserve to treat themselves, which is why I want to help them put together a “Stay-bymoon” -- a mini pre-baby staycation dedicated to nourishing body and mind in preparation for the birth of your child. Based on the components that make the perfect babymoon, here are 6 essentials to creating your own private stay-bymoon experience.

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Movement. Attend a prenatal yoga class in your neighborhood. Prenatal yoga classes offer an amazing way to prepare your body and mind to give birth. Exercises are safe for pregnancy and help you cultivate the strength, flexibility and stamina needed for birth. I always coach my doula clients to hold a challenging yoga pose and practice whatever breathing or relaxation techniques they hope to use during labor while feeling the burn of the pose they are in. These classes are also a great way to make friends who are also going through pregnancy. The support of sharing experiences should not be underestimated.

Nourishment. Meet up with your partner or a friend after class for a nourishing meal. The body often craves the foods we need to best nourish ourselves, and women are especially intuitive during pregnancy and childbirth. Ask yourself what kind of food would feel most nourishing and satisfying right now? Let that be your restaurant guide. With the company of a loved one, the nourishment can seep in on multiple levels.

Pampering. Schedule a prenatal massage! Go there alone or ask your partner or a friend to join you. Pregnant bodies often reveal newfound tensions as a growing belly and baby can put a strain on your back, hips, and feet. That’s why a good massage can prove therapeutic. Even if you’re fortunate enough to be feeling great during your pregnancy, a relaxing massage will calm your nervous system and enhance blood circulation to benefit both you and baby.

Nature. Stroll through the park on your way to class or lunch, or go somewhere you can get a view of the river. If the weather is nice, find a grassy patch, take off your shoes and feel the ground beneath your feet. If that’s too crunchy granola for you, keep your shoes on, and simply enjoy the view and the sun shining on your face. Either way, connecting with nature is often grounding for people -- a way to decompress and take a break from the hustle and bustle of urban life. Additionally, you may consider that nature themes like ocean waves can often provide calming imagery for birth.

Education. Time for birth preparation. Maybe you’ll decide to curl up on the couch or at a cafe to read a chapter of a birth book you’ve been meaning to get to? If you’ve hired a doula, perhaps you’ll plan your prenatal visit. If you haven’t yet chosen a childbirth class, talk with your partner about signing up for one. Any step in the direction of educating and preparing yourself for the day you’ll meet your little one will feel great!

Connection. Do any or all of these activities with your partner. Spending quality time talking about what lies ahead will help you both feel connected. And when it comes time for birth, being affectionate and loving with each other will actually boost your natural oxytocin levels, the hormone of bonding that moves labor smoothly along.

Though I hope you’ll do them all, even if you choose just one of these experiences, enjoy giving yourself and your partner the kind of attention that will surely support you on the road to parenthood.

Yiska Obadia is a birth doula, acupuncturist and massage therapist practicing in NYC. She also teaches comforting touch for birth. To learn more visit www.yiskaobadia.com.

These are only the vitamins I give my children and here's why

It's hard to say who loves these more—my kids or me.

When I became a mama five years ago, I didn't put too much thought into whether my son was getting the right vitamins and minerals. From breastfeeding to steaming and pureeing his first bites of solid food, I was confident I was giving him everything to support his growth and development.

But then the toddler years—and the suddenly picky palate that accompanied them—came along. Between that challenge and two additional children in the mix… well, I knew my oldest son's eating plan was falling short in some vitamin and mineral categories.

I also knew how quickly he was growing, so I wanted to make sure he was getting the nutrients he needed (even on those days when he said "no, thank you" to any veggie I offered).

So when I discovered the new line of children's supplements from Nature's Way®, it felt like a serious weight off my chest. Thanks to supplements that support my children's musculoskeletal growth, their brain function, their immune systems, their eyes and more, I'm taken back to that simpler time when I was so confident my kids' vitamin needs were met.*

It wasn't just the variety of supplements offered by Nature's Way that won me over: As a vegetarian mama, I'm the picky one in the family when it comes to scanning labels and making sure they meet our standards. The trick is that most gummy vitamins are made with gelatin, which is not vegetarian friendly.

But just like the other offerings from Nature's Way that I've already come to know and love, the children's supplement line is held to a high standard. That means there's no high-fructose corn syrup, gelatin or common allergens to be found in the supplements. The best part? My two oldest kids ensure we never miss their daily vitamins—they are so in love with the gummy flavors, which include tropical fruit punch, lemonade and wild berry.


Nature's Way Kids Mulitvitamin


Meanwhile, my pharmacist husband has different criteria when evaluating supplements, especially when it comes to those for our kids. He appreciates the variety of options from Nature's Way, which gives us the ability to rotate the vitamins based on our kids' daily needs. By keeping various children's supplements from Nature's Way on hand, I can customize a regimen to suit my kids' individual requirements.

Of course, high-quality products often come at a higher price point. But (to my immense gratitude!) that isn't the case with Nature's Way, which retails for a competitive value when compared to the other items on the shelf.

Like all mamas, my chief concern is supporting my children's health in any way I can. While I see evidence of their growth every time I pack away clothes they've outgrown, I know there is much more growth that doesn't meet the eye. That's why, for my oldest son, I like stacking the Brain Builder gummy with the Growing Bones & Muscles gummy and the Happy & Healthy Multi. My 3-year-old also enjoys getting her own mix to include the Healthy Eyes gummy. And both of my older kids are quick to request the Tummy Soothe tablet when something isn't sitting right in their stomachs.* And I'll admit it: I've tried it myself and the berry blast flavor really is tasty!

Although my current phase of motherhood may not be as "simple" as it once was, there is so much to appreciate about it—like watching my kids play and sing and create with their incredible imaginations. Along the way, I've eased up on some of my need for control, but it does help to have this range of supplements in my motherhood tool kit. So while I may not be able to convince my son to try kale, having the Nature's Way supplements on hand means I do know he's right on track.*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.


This article was sponsored by Nature's Way. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

Our Partners

Every week, we stock the Motherly Shop with innovative and fresh products from brands we feel good about. We want to be certain you don't miss anything, so to keep you in the loop, we're providing a cheat sheet.

So, what's new this week?

Meri Meri: Decor and gifts that bring the wonder of childhood to life

We could not be more excited to bring the magic of Meri Meri to the Motherly Shop. For over 30 years, their playful line of party products, decorations, children's toys and stationery have brought magic to celebrations and spaces all over the world. Staring as a kitchen table endeavor with some scissors, pens and glitter in Los Angeles in 1985, Meri Meri (founder Meredithe Stuart-Smith's childhood nickname) has evolved from a little network of mamas working from home to a team of 200 dreaming up beautiful, well-crafted products that make any day feel special.

We've stocked The Motherly Shop with everything from Halloween must-haves to instant-heirloom gifts kiddos will adore. Whether you're throwing a party or just trying to make the everyday feel a little more special, we've got you covered.

Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:

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It's science: Why your baby stops crying when you stand up

A fascinating study explains why.

When your baby is crying, it feels nearly instinctual to stand up to rock, sway and soothe them. That's because standing up to calm babies is instinctual—driven by centuries of positive feedback from calmed babies, researchers have found.

"Infants under 6 months of age carried by a walking mother immediately stopped voluntary movement and crying and exhibited a rapid heart rate decrease, compared with holding by a sitting mother," say authors of a 2013 study published in Current Biology.

Even more striking: This coordinated set of actions—the mother standing and the baby calming—is observed in other mammal species, too. Using pharmacologic and genetic interventions with mice, the authors say, "We identified strikingly similar responses in mouse pups as defined by immobility and diminished ultrasonic vocalizations and heart rate."

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