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Insta Love: Gaelyn Jenkins

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Sometimes we find ourselves liking someone’s photos in our Instagram feed and have no idea how we or they even got there. More often than not they’re either a mama or pregnant, or in the case of Gaelyn Jenkins, both! Now a mama to not just one but two boys as of just one week ago (welcome to the world Elliot Floyd Jenkins!), we thought why not put a little more on her very full plate by asking her to tell us a little bit more about herself. Here this Los Angeles-based design director and blogger answers the big questions about being a working mom, how she prepped her first son for baby’s arrival and, of course, what brands really worked for that gorgeous bump of hers. Here’s what she had to say. Tell us about your maternity style. My maternity look has always been about maintaining my personal style without breaking the bank. A lot changes when you become a mama and I think it’s important to maintain your sense of self. Even if that means just dressing and feeling like your old self. I found that a lot of times maternity items are much like wedding items in that they’re marked up for no apparent reason. Having a blog has kept me motivated to stay looking cute which in turn made me feel good through my pregnancy. What has your pregnancy experience been like this time around? Honestly, I will tread lightly as I'm sure no one who's had a rough pregnancy wants to hear it- but this pregnancy has really been pretty easy. With my last pregnancy I had some pretty bad swelling and it turns out I had slight preeclampsia but it wasn't confirmed until I went into labor. This time around, I expected that I would be dead tired seeing as how I'm working full time and have an almost 2 year old. But all things considered, as far as being 38 weeks pregnant goes, I think I've got it pretty good. Will the boys be sharing a room? We just bought our first home a few months ago and although the boys will be sharing a room, we're really excited about the amount of space they will have. Our previous place was a teeny tiny little bungalow under 600 sq.ft and our sons room was about the size of a walk in closet. In our new place, I think the boys room is the biggest bedroom in the house! Due to limited space at the time, we bought a mini crib off of a friend for our first son and it just happened to be orange. While I never would have initially picked it, it did help shape the nursery inspiration. I tried to keep things fairly sophisticated and neutral in their room but the orange brings in little pops of fun childlike whimsy. We created a couple gallery walls that include a lot of colorful pieces, many of them done by our talented friends which makes them feel extra special. What are some of your favorite belly friendly brands? I like to mix and match a lot of non maternity pieces into my wardrobe with budget friendly finds from places like Old Navy, Gap & Target. But I do think a few things are worth investing in. ASOS maternity makes some amazing jeans. The Blanqi underbust support tank was a lifesaver this pregnancy. I was hesitant to spend the money at first but I literally wore it almost every single day. Being petite, a belly band never did anything to actually keep my pants up. But the Blanqi tank did, and it also offered back/belly support. I was able to wear my non-maternity jeans well into the third trimester. Also, I think its worth spending a little on a good little black dress. This time around I got one from Ingrid & Isabel and it's heavenly. It's a silky soft stretchy cotton blend that I can dress up or down and best yet, I can wear it post baby because its nursing friendly. How have you been prepping your first son for the new baby's arrival? We've tried prepping Oliver for the arrival of the new baby primarily with books. I think he might be just a touch too young to really understand what is happening. But we got a lot of books about being a brother or about "the new baby" and we try to read them often. He had a little boy busy doll (has zippers and velcro and buttons etc) and when he got it I referred to it as "his baby" but he never really cared for it or paid it much attention. After having more exposure to the books about baby he referred to the doll as baby, so here's hoping that a little bit of it is sinking in. Why is working important to you? I work a full 9am-6pm five days a week as a Design Director at a graphic design firm. Having a toddler and working full-time while pregnant can be tiring, but personally I love being a working mom and I think it keeps our whole family sane. I've had the privilege of designing for notable brands such as Nike, Coca-Cola, Herman Miller, Disney and more, and that is something that not only I'm proud of but think my kids will be proud of too!

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By: Justine LoMonaco

From the moment my daughter was born, I felt an innate need to care for her. The more I experienced motherhood, I realized that sometimes this was simple―after all, I was hardwired to respond to her cries and quickly came to know her better than anyone else ever could―but sometimes it came with mountains of self-doubt.

This was especially true when it came to feeding. Originally, I told myself we would breastfeed―exclusively. I had built up the idea in my mind that this was the correct way of feeding my child, and that anything else was somehow cheating. Plus, I love the connection it brought us, and so many of my favorite early memories are just my baby and me (at all hours of night), as close as two people can be as I fed her from my breast.

Over time, though, something started to shift. I realized I felt trapped by my daughter's feeding schedule. I felt isolated in the fact that she needed me―only me―and that I couldn't ask for help with this monumental task even if I truly needed it. While I was still so grateful that I was able to breastfeed without much difficulty, a growing part of me began fantasizing about the freedom and shared burden that would come if we bottle fed, even just on occasion.

I was unsure what to expect the first time we tried a bottle. I worried it would upset her stomach or cause uncomfortable gas. I worried she would reject the bottle entirely, meaning the freedom I hoped for would remain out of reach. But in just a few seconds, those worries disappeared as I watched her happily feed from the bottle.

What I really didn't expect? The guilt that came as I watched her do so. Was I robbing her of that original connection we'd had with breastfeeding? Was I setting her up for confusion if and when we did go back to nursing? Was I failing at something without even realizing it?

In discussing with my friends, I've learned this guilt is an all too common thing. But I've also learned there are so many reasons why it's time to let it go.

1) I'm letting go of guilt because...I shouldn't feel guilty about sharing the connection with my baby. It's true that now I'm no longer the only one who can feed and comfort her any time of day or night. But what that really means is that now the door is open for other people who love her (my partner, grandparents, older siblings) to take part in this incredible gift. The first time I watched my husband's eyes light up as he fed our baby, I knew that I had made the right choice.

2) I'm letting go of guilt because...the right bottle will prevent any discomfort. It took us a bit of trial and error to find the right bottle that worked for my baby, but once we did, we rarely dealt with gas or discomfort―and the convenience of being able to pack along a meal for my child meant she never had to wait to eat when she was hungry. Dr. Brown's became my partner in this process, offering a wide variety of bottles and nipples designed to mimic the flow of my own milk and reduce colic and excess spitting up. When we found the right one, it changed everything.

3) I'm letting go of guilt because...I've found my joy in motherhood again. That trapped feeling that had started to overwhelm me? It's completely gone. By removing the pressure on myself to feed my baby a certain way, I realized that it was possible to keep her nourished and healthy―while also letting myself thrive.

So now, sometimes we use the bottle. Sometimes we don't. But no matter how I keep my baby fed, I know we've found the right way―guilt free.

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

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Learn + Play

"Baaa-beee Shark! Doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo, Baby Shark! Doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo, Baby Shark! Doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo, Baby SHARK!..." Just when you got that song out of your head, something triggers it again, and, doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo… Baby Shark comes floating right back.

It follows you everywhere—to the store, to the bathroom, to bed. When you wake up in the morning, it doesn't take much to trigger its return—especially if you're still tired. And no matter how hard you try to unhear it, it just won't spare you another verse.

All of this happens for a reason—we are wired to learn by repetition throughout our life.

It may make some of these refrains a bit sweeter to know that the part of the brain that helps your baby learn to talk is the same part at work when you get a song stuck in your head. Called the Language Acquisition Device (LAD), it is the theoretical section of the brain thought to account for children's instinctive ability to acquire and produce language. As adults, we retain these LADs to enable us to learn things like a musical instrument or a second language.

In the LAD part of the brain, input, or what is heard, is processed through vocalization and repetition, which turns it into output, or the process that lays down neural networks and commits information to memory. This is why as parents we naturally reinforce the sounds our baby makes with intonation (melody), exaggeration, and repetition, "often reacting to early vocalizations as if they were intended to communicate something, responding in ways that are thought to promote communicative development," according to Snow and Ferguson.


When you get a song stuck in your head, it's called Involuntary Musical Imagery (INMI). Just like when your baby sings and makes sounds and you echo them and add words to activate their LAD, INMI is your own LAD being stimulated, producing the output necessary to process information and store it as a memory as if you were learning something new like a second language, or in this case, the song repeating in your head. ...Doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo.

Humans are the only species to have language and sing.

There is anthropological evidence that homo sapiens sang (non-linguistic vocalizations) before speaking, according to anthropologist Frank B. Livingstone in Current Anthropology. The evolutionary basis for how we are wired to acquire language can explain why both unique capabilities work in concert when it comes to the LAD.

Neurologists have discovered that music is processed in the same area of the brain as language. Based on this, researchers "have hypothesized that by engaging and stimulating the LAD, a song may act as an activator or strategy in the development of language," from infancy to adulthood. And in learning language, infant vocalizations resemble singing more than speech. So when we naturally adjust the way we speak and sing to infants and small children we are actually teaching them to speak.

In a study out of Western Washington University, it was found that if a song continued to play in someone's head immediately after listening to it, that song was likely to return as an intrusive song within the next 24 hours. Hello, Baby Shark.

Additionally, it was discovered that intrusive songs return during times of low cognitive activities that require less problem solving, thinking and reasoning (when the output can more likely be processed), like folding laundry or spacing out when you are overtired. A-hem. ...Doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo.

It was found that the opposite can happen, too. Overloading our brains with challenging activities, like grocery shopping with toddlers or actively trying to block a song out of your head, can increase the frequency of that intrusive song as well. This can be explained by the Ironic Process Theory, where attempts to suppress a thought actually can cause an increase in the frequency of that thought.

Consciously attempting not to think about something is a mental control strategy known as thought suppression. This strategy can be successful under certain conditions, but it often promotes an increase in the accessibility of the thought to our consciousness. In other words, this theory suggests that if you consciously try not to think about Baby Shark, by thinking about it, an unconscious, automatic search for the song ironically results in a failure to not not think about it, producing the very state of mind you least desire.

This happens especially during times of stress, distraction, time urgency, or other mental load (...um, parenting). And this can be extrapolated to other parts of your life, not just Baby Shark. ... Doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo.

So, basically, your attempts to gain mental control may actually create the unwanted mental state you were trying to avoid. (Fun fact: this happens more to women than men.)


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If there's one item that people claim is *so* worth the price-tag, it's a Dyson vacuum. The cordless tools have become essentials in homes, cleaning up messes quickly, all without the hassle of a cord.

If you've avoided purchasing one because of the high cost, you're in luck! They're having a sale on Amazon right now. Some of the most popular vacuums and air purifiers are up to 40% off.

Dyson Cyclone V10 Lightweight Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner, $379.99

dyson vacuum on sale

Arguably the most popular of the Dyson family, and marked down 20%.


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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Beyoncé's new Netflix documentary Homecoming hit the streaming service today and gives us an honest look at how difficult her twin pregnancy was.

"My body went through more than I knew it could," she says in the film, revealing that her pregnancy with Sir and Rumi was a shock right from the beginning, and the surprises kept coming.

In the film she reveals that her second pregnancy was unexpected, "And it ended up being twins which was even more of a surprise," she explains.

Homecoming: A Film By Beyoncé | Official Trailer | Netflix

The pregnancy was rough. Beyoncé developed preeclampsia, a condition that impacts about 5 to 8% of pregnancies and results in high blood pressure and the presence of protein in the mother's urine. Preeclampsia poses risks to both the mother and the baby. People who are pregnant with multiples, like Beyoncé was, are more at risk to develop preeclampsia, and the only real cure for the condition is to give birth, which proved to be another medical challenge for Beyoncé.

"In the womb, one of my babies' hearts paused a few times so I had to get an emergency C-section," she shares in the film.

Thankfully, Beyoncé made it through her extremely difficult pregnancy, but the physical challenges didn't end there. The road to rehabilitation for the performer was difficult because, as she explains, she was trying to learn new choreography while her body was repairing cut muscles and her mind just wanted to be home with her children.


"There were days that I thought I'd never be the same. I'd never be the same physically, my strength and endurance would never be the same," Beyoncé recalls.

We know that becoming a mother changes us in so many ways, and in Homecoming, Beyoncé shows the world the strength that mothers possess, and rejects any ideas about "bouncing back."

Becoming a mother is hard, but it is so worth it, and Beyoncé isn't looking backward—she's looking at a mother in the mirror and loving who and what she sees. "I just feel like I'm just a new woman in a new chapter of my life and I'm not even trying to be who I was," Beyoncé said in the documentary. "It's so beautiful that children do that to you."

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Warmer weather is finally here, mama—and that means it's time to switch up the family's wardrobes. 🙌 If you love matching with your little, or are determined to *finally* get those family photos made this spring or summer, we're obsessed with these mommy and me matching sets.

Here are some of our favorite mommy and me matching outfits for spring. 😍

1. Ivy City Co Jumpsuits, $42.00-$62.00

mommy and me matching jumpsuits

This linen set is perfect for transitioning from hanging out at home to dressing up for days out. Plus, plenty of space for growth!


2. Madewell x crewcuts Denim Set, $55.00 and up

mommy and me matching denim set

We're obsessed with the '90s vibes these sets give. Now to decide which to choose—denim jacket, shorts, or dress?


3. Old Navy Floral Midi Dresses, $10.00-$22.50

Old navy mommy and me matching dresses

Nothing says spring quite like florals. The whimsical prints are dainty and the rayon fabric is breathable for those warmer days. Shop mama's version here.


4. PatPat Matching Family Swimwear, $19.99 and up

matching family swimwear

Match with the entire family with this pinstripe set. We love the one shoulder look, too!


5. Keds x Rifle Paper Co Sneakers, $44.95-$79.95

mommy and me matching shoes

Twin with your little in these embroidered canvas sneakers. Bonus points for a rubber outsole so no slipping. 👏Shop the version for mama here.


6. Lily Pulitzer Shift Dresses, $58.00-$198.00

Lilly pulitzer matching dresses

Still not sure what to wear for Easter or that summer soirée? Pick up these matching shift dresses for the most beautiful family photos. Shop mama's version here.


7. Maisonette x marysia Swimwear, $57.00 and up

Mommy and me matching swimwear

These are definitely splurge-worthy, but we can't get over how adorable they pair together.


8. PatPat Gingham Dresses, $17.99-23.99

mommy and me matching gingham dresses

These will be your go-to pick for every outing this spring and summer.


9. Old Navy Striped Oxford Shirts, $13.00-$22.00

matching striped oxford shirts

A relaxed oxford is a staple in everyone's closet. It's versatile enough to dress up or pair with denim for a more laid back look. Shop mama's version here.


10. Pink Chicken Garden Dress, $72.00-$198.00

pink chicken matching garden dress

Whether you have a spring wedding to attend or want something flowy to wear for vacation, we adore these garden dresses. Bonus points for working for maternity wear, too.


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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