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Pregnant mommies in the summer are so beautiful: sandals, flowing maxi dresses and comfy bathing suits at the beach showcasing those adorable growing bellies. However, if your due date happens to fall in August, September or October you may be feeling like one (temperature) HOT mama this summer! Keeping cool during the dog days of summer is not only more comfortable for you, but it is also critical from a health standpoint. Expecting mothers should stay thoroughly hydrated and be careful not to overheat. There are some obvious measures you can easily take in order to beat the heat -- soak your feet in ice water, stay in the air conditioning whenever possible, and substitute your regular gym workout for a swim instead. But another measure that we often forget about is staying cool from the inside out. Incorporating certain foods into your diet will naturally keep you hydrated. So what is this perfect food for keeping cool? I polled about 50 pregnant moms, and the number one food they crave during warm summer months is….watermelon! Watermelon is made of 99 percent water so it is a super satisfying snack for hot mamas everywhere. It is also packed with Vitamins A, B6 and C and is the fresh fruit or vegetable with the highest content of lycopene. Lycopene is a very special and powerful antioxidant that helps prevent heart disease, cancer and even sunburns. If you aren’t exactly doing back flips to dig into swiss chard, spinach or lima beans (which are all great sources of potassium), consider having watermelon instead. Potassium is critical in electrolyte maintenance for the human body, especially pregnant mothers who burn an extraordinary amount of calories each day. Here are three watermelon recipes to keep you and your foodie-on-the-way cool and comfortable during these last few toasty summer weeks. Bon appetit to you and your bébés!

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Watermelon Juice

WATERMELON JUICE Ingredients: • 1 seedless organic watermelon (a small 5 – 6 pound watermelon works well) • juice of 1 lime Preparation: 1. Slice the watermelon in half and again into strips. Using a wooden spoon, scoop the flesh away from the rind and place in a blender. Discard the rind. 2. Blend the watermelon until completely pureed (approximately 1 minute). 3. Add the lime juice and blend another 5 seconds. 4. Pour into a glass and serve. Alternately, pour into a pitcher and place in fridge to chill. The juice will separate over time, so simply stir to combine prior to serving. The juice will last 3 days safely in your refrigerator. Yields 5-6 servings. Petit Pointer: Pour the juice into popsicle molds and voilà: watermelon ice pops!  

Fresh Watermelon & Mint Salad

FRESH WATERMELON & MINT SALAD Ingredients: · 1 medium (preferably seedless) watermelon, sliced into 1/2″ to 1″ cubes · 8 fresh mint leaves, rolled and sliced into slivers · 1 tbs extra-virgin olive oil · 1 small pinch of sea salt · 1 turn of freshly cracked black pepper · 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (optional) Preparation: 1. In a large bowl, mix the watermelon slices, mint slivers, extra-virgin olive oil, sea salt and pepper. 2. Roll in the feta cheese if desired. 3. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Yields 4 servings. Petit Pointer: Let the salad sit overnight so the flavors meld. It makes a perfect lunch the next day!  

Watermelon & Chia Seed Sorbet

WATERMELON & CHIA SEED SORBET Ingredients: · 4 cups watermelon juice (puree a small, seedless watermelon) · Juice of 2 limes · 4 teaspoons chia seeds · 8 fresh mint leaves, finely minced · Coconut nectar (optional) Preparation: 1. In a large jug, add the watermelon puree, chia seeds, lime juice and mint. With the lid on, shake vigorously for about 20 seconds. 2. Place in your refrigerator to allow for the chia seeds to thicken to a jelly consistency (1 hour up to overnight). 3. Pour the mixture into a freezer-safe container, close the lid and freeze for at least four hours. 4. Scoop into bowls and serve with coconut nectar drizzled on top (optional). Yields 5 servings. Petit Pointer: Sorbet will stay fresh in your freezer up to two weeks safely.

When I was expecting my first child, I wanted to know everything that could possibly be in store for his first year.

I quizzed my own mom and the friends who ventured into motherhood before I did. I absorbed parenting books and articles like a sponge. I signed up for classes on childbirth, breastfeeding and even baby-led weaning. My philosophy? The more I knew, the better.

Yet, despite my best efforts, I didn't know it all. Not by a long shot. Instead, my firstborn, my husband and I had to figure it out together—day by day, challenge by challenge, triumph by triumph.

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The funny thing is that although I wanted to know it all, the surprises—those moments that were unique to us—were what made that first year so beautiful.

Of course, my research provided a helpful outline as I graduated from never having changed a diaper to conquering the newborn haze, my return to work, the milestones and the challenges. But while I did need much of that tactical knowledge, I also learned the value of following my baby's lead and trusting my gut.

I realized the importance of advice from fellow mamas, too. I vividly remember a conversation with a friend who had her first child shortly before I welcomed mine. My friend, who had already returned to work after maternity leave, encouraged me to be patient when introducing a bottle and to help my son get comfortable with taking that bottle from someone else.

Yes, from a logistical standpoint, that's great advice for any working mama. But I also took an incredibly important point from this conversation: This was less about the act of bottle-feeding itself, and more about what it represented for my peace of mind when I was away from my son.

This fellow mama encouraged me to honor my emotions and give myself permission to do what was best for my family—and that really set the tone for my whole approach to parenting. Because honestly, that was just the first of many big transitions during that first year, and each of them came with their own set of mixed emotions.

I felt proud and also strangely nostalgic as my baby seamlessly graduated to a sippy bottle.

I felt my baby's teething pain along with him and also felt confident that we could get through it with the right tools.

I felt relieved as my baby learned to self-soothe by finding his own pacifier and also sad to realize how quickly he was becoming his own person.



As I look back on everything now, some four years and two more kids later, I can't remember the exact day my son crawled, the project I tackled on my first day back at work, or even what his first word was. (It's written somewhere in a baby book!)

But I do remember how I felt with each milestone: the joy, the overwhelming love, the anxiety, the exhaustion and the sense of wonder. That truly was the greatest gift of the first year… and nothing could have prepared me for all those feelings.

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

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As mamas we want our babies to be safe, and that's what makes what happened to Glee actress Naya Rivera and her 4-year-old son Josey so heartbreaking.

On July 13, the Ventura County Sheriff's Department announced the 33-year-old mother's body was found at Lake Piru, five days after her son was found floating alone on a rented boat. According to Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub, Rivera's last action was to save her son.

"We know from speaking with her son that he and Naya swam in the lake together at some point in her journey. It was at that time that her son described being helped into the boat by Naya, who boosted him onto the deck from behind. He told investigators that he looked back and saw her disappear under the surface of the water," Ayub explained, adding that Rivera's son was wearing his life vest, but the adult life vest was left on the unanchored boat.

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Ayub says exactly what caused the drowning is still speculation but investigators believe the boat started drifting and that Rivera "mustered enough energy to get her son back onto the boat but not enough to save herself."

Our hearts are breaking for Josey and his dad right now. So much is unknown about what happened on Lake Piru but one thing is crystal clear: Naya Rivera has always loved her son with all her heart.

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