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Probiotic Skincare for Pregnancy and Postpartum

Why expectant and new moms should add yogurt to their skincare routine

Probiotic Skincare for Pregnancy and Postpartum

I’ve long been a fan of probiotics — the good bacteria that helps your body stay healthy. In addition to trying to eat foods that contain it naturally, I keep a bottle of a probiotic supplement in my fridge and pop 2 capsules every single morning before I eat anything. I’ve found this helps with digestion, immunity, and overall health.

So, being the product junkie and health nut that I am, when I heard about probiotic skincare, it piqued my curiosity instantly. Not only are there several brands that specialize in probiotic-centered products, there are many brands that have special probiotic lines and products. And many that are, in fact, safe for pregnancy and do wonders postpartum.

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Since putting good bacteria on your skin is in, I decided to do a little research and give you the deets on probiotic skincare from the very people who created this new beauty trend.

Here are 5 things you should know about probiotic skincare.

  1. Probiotics work magic for your skin. You probably know how probiotics work to balance your gut bacteria. Well, the same friendly microorganisms can be beneficial for your skin, too. Whether it’s in a mist form (like True Botanicals’ Nutrient Mist CALM ) or in an oil (like One Love Organics’ Oh Mega Calming Chia Oil ), good bacteria helps your skin battle the bad bacteria that cause breakouts and irritation. The result is more balanced, less inflamed skin, which during pregnancy is no small feat!

  1. Probiotic skincare products don’t need to be refrigerated to stay potent. Many probiotics require refrigeration to keep their health benefits going (hello yogurt!). For example, many of them are naturally sensitive to heat and moisture. Heat can kill organisms and moisture can activate them within pills, only to die due to lack of nutrients and a proper environment. That said, there are many kinds of probiotics that do not need to stay in the fridge, and thanks to science and technology, beauty companies can keep their probiotics going without having to worry too much about room temperature. Dr. Roshini Raj, co-founder of probiotic-centric brand Tula, says, “probiotic yeast and some of the spore-forming bacteria, such as Bacillus Coagulans (contained in our Overnight Skin Rescue Treatment ), and other naturally resistant strains do not require refrigeration,” says Dr. Raj, who’s also a board-certified gastroenterologist. “While most supplements and probiotic-rich foods contain live bacteria cultures, the probiotics in TULA products have been lysed (broken down) to release only their most useful elements, which means they are no longer living and do not need to be refrigerated.”

  1. Topical probiotics are safe during pregnancy. Your body goes through so many changes during pregnancy, including your skin. Many pregnant women suffer from skin sensitivities that they've never experienced before. And these problems aren’t always easy to remedy. Thankfully, probiotics can help and, according to current research, are safe to slather during pregnancy. “Probiotics are generally a form of safe bacteria that’s found naturally in our bodies, so [safety is] typically not an issue for pregnant women, especially used topically,” says Tata Harper, founder of the eponymous brand. “However, it’s always best to consult your doctor.” One of my favorite probiotic-centric brands, Mother Dirt, has a simple and light probiotic AO+ Mist that promises to improve skin clarity in just 2 weeks of use.

  1. Mix yogurt in your probiotic masks for better results. Masks are a great way to add probiotics to your skincare routine. And if you’re looking to boost your probiotic use, some products offer the opportunity to add live cultures to the mix -- yogurt, that is. The mask by RL Linden, a women-owned and operated company out of Colorado, contains yogurt powder and even suggest mixing the mask with organic Greek yogurt instead of just water or honey. Combined with the active cultures in the yogurt, the powdered probiotics in the mask pack a powerful punch, and the rose scent in incredible. If mixing up your own mask feels like too much effort, Tata Harper’s wonderful Purifying Mask is ready-to-use straight from the jar, and doesn’t need to be refrigerated. It contains Lactobacillus, which is a healthy strain of bacteria that helps balance your skin. “Products containing live cultures, like milk and yogurt, need to be refrigerated while products using freeze-dried organisms like supplements and tablets are generally more stable,” Harper explains. “They, like our Purifying Mask, should still be kept out of extreme heat or moisture.”

  1. It’s easy to take off the skin. Still nervous about trying something new? One of the best things about probiotic skincare is that it’s pretty easy to try, and even easier to un-do, if you decide you don’t like something about it. “If for some reason you don’t want it on your skin anymore, just wash it off with soap,” says Robin Magnuson, a representative from Probiotic brand Mother Dirt. “AOB are very sensitive to soap so washing will quickly and easily remove it.”

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I felt lost as a new mother, but babywearing helped me find myself again

I wish someone had told me before how special wearing your baby can be, even when you have no idea how to do it.

My first baby and I were alone in our Brooklyn apartment during a particularly cold spring with yet another day of no plans. My husband was back at work after a mere three weeks of parental leave (what a joke!) and all my friends were busy with their childless lives—which kept them too busy to stop by or check in (making me, at times, feel jealous).

It was another day in which I would wait for baby to fall asleep for nap number one so I could shower and get ready to attempt to get out of the house together to do something, anything really, so I wouldn't feel the walls of the apartment close in on me by the time the second nap rolled around. I would pack all the diapers and toys and pacifiers and pump and bottles into a ginormous stroller that was already too heavy to push without a baby in it .

Then I would spend so much time figuring out where we could go with said stroller, because I wanted to avoid places with steps or narrow doors (I couldn't lift the stroller by myself and I was too embarrassed to ask strangers for help—also hi, New Yorkers, please help new moms when you see them huffing and puffing up the subway stairs, okay?). Then I would obsess about the weather, was it too cold to bring the baby out? And by the time I thought I had our adventure planned, the baby would wake up, I would still be in my PJs and it was time to pump yet again.

Slowly, but surely, and mostly thanks to sleep deprivation and isolation, I began to detest this whole new mom life. I've always been a social butterfly. I moved to New York because I craved that non-stop energy the city has and in the years before having my baby I amassed new friends I made through my daily adventures. I would never stop. I would walk everywhere just to take in the scenery and was always on the move.

Now I had this ball and chain attached to me, I thought, that didn't even allow me to make it out of the door to walk the dog. This sucks, I would think regularly, followed by maybe I'm not meant to be a mom after all.


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14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$179

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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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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