Trend Alert: The Mama Moon

Indulge in some “you-time” before that baby arrives.

Trend Alert: The Mama Moon

We bet you’ve got a babymoon on your pregnancy checklist. A super-dreamy one filled with lazy days, colorful mocktails and a few dozen New York Times bestsellers downloaded on your Kindle. But the best laid plans often go awry when you’re pregnant -- maybe your partner (or your sister!) can’t get time off from work to join you, or getting your nursery in shape trumps a weekend of travel. And that dreamy babymoon becomes, well, a dream.

Which is why we’re calling a new trend: The Mama Moon. Yup, just one delicious day that’s all about you. Maybe even one that’s manageable enough to make it a reality every single week before baby arrives. Especially when our friends at Equinox have 25 NYC clubs (and 5 more opening this year) that offer class categories like yoga, barre, pilates, and amenities like full services spas, sundecks, an outdoor pool, a rooftop track (yes!) and plenty of spots to eat, shop and relax. And since select Equinox locations have Kids Clubs, this Mama Moon is something you can even continue after baby arrives.

So what would the perfect Mama Moon entail? How about working up a sweat, getting your yoga zen on, fueling up with a healthy meal, luxuriating at the spa and maybe even fitting in some shopping (for you, not baby!). All in one day.

We recently treated Nicole Silber, Registered Dietician at Middleberg Nutrition and pregnant New Yorker, to a Mama Moon at Equinox’s luxe East 74th Street location on the Upper East Side and got a lesson in how to keep your pregnant body -- and mind -- healthy with a Mama Moon at the gym.

Why is taking time for own health and fitness so important to you during pregnancy?

Once you become pregnant, you’re no longer just thinking about yourself anymore. As a Registered Dietitian specializing in pediatric and prenatal nutrition, I want to stay healthy and active during pregnancy because it will not only help me reduce unwanted pregnancy symptoms like achiness and swelling, prepare for birth and speed up postpartum recovery, but it also has many health benefits for my baby-to-be. Putting looks aside, not treating your body well and gaining too much weight during pregnancy can lead to some unwanted complications for mom and baby. If you make wellness and health a priority during pregnancy, you are more likely to continue that mindset after the baby.

What are some of your favorite things to do at the gym?

I am someone who likes to mix it up. I get bored of the same routine if I do it too much. Depending on my mood, I do a combo of cardio, stretching, classes (barre is a personal favorite) and strength training. I love classes (and Equinox offers more than 2,000 of them each week!) because they give you some extra accountability.

Why is it so important to take time for yourself before baby arrives?

Rumor has it you have very little “me” time after the baby, so it’s important to get in your time while you have it. Taking time to yourself can also help relax you, which has its perks for the baby too. I am a big believer that if you are stressed, the baby can get stressed. Sometimes it can feel self-indulgent to treat yourself, but you have to remind yourself that you are growing a human being inside of you and you deserve that extra splurge, whether be on a manicure, an indulgent massage at an Equinox spa post workout, a cab ride home, or even just a quiet walk by yourself.

Tell us about your perfect day to yourself during pregnancy.

My dream day to myself during pregnancy would definitely be screen-free since I’ve been really valuing shutting off. It would include some sort mix of exercise and stretching, getting some sun while sipping on a yummy cold drink – I’ve been majorly craving smoothies in my last trimester, and window shopping (for as long as my feet can handle). Oh, and I’d finish the day off with a prenatal massage – can’t forget about that!

A lot of women get nervous about hitting the gym during pregnancy - what advice would you give women to help them keep working out?

Listen to your body. What may have worked for your friends, or your personal trainer’s wife may not work for you. Every pregnancy is different, and every day may feel different. What worked last week may be too strenuous this week. Pregnancy is not a time to push your body, but to strengthen and prepare it for carrying and delivering a baby. So, it may be tempting to do that those extra 5 minutes or stay on the plank for the full 60 seconds, but it may actually cause more harm than good. Exercising is perfectly safe and recommended during pregnancy.

In general, some tips:

1). Do not increase the frequency or intensity of your pre-pregnancy exercise routine.

2). Drink lots of water before, during and after. Your body has a more difficult time regulating temperature during pregnancy, so hydrate and don’t overheat!

3). Eat before you exercise! For those used to hitting the gym on an empty stomach pre-pregnancy should now grab something small like a fruit or handful of nuts before working out because your body isn’t able to regulate blood sugar as easily.

But, always ask your OB for specific guidelines, and if you are working with fitness professional find ones that specialize in prenatal fitness.

What makes a good location for a healthy Mama Moon?

What I love about Equinox is the space. It is very appealing to be able to get in a good work out where there is also tons of room to get in a good stretch afterwards and you don’t feel rushed. It’s a nice perk that after the workout you can hydrate at the smoothie bar and get a massage all without leaving the building!

Photography by Evan Gubernick of 485 Creative. Nicole’s wardrobe provided by A Pea in the Pod.

*We are so grateful when brands support our content and community. This post was sponsored by Equinox. Join Equinox for an exclusive offer now!

We're so glad to live in a time when modern baby gear exists. Sure, no one is going to argue that having a baby is easy—but it can be easier with support from some gadgets designed to help your baby and put your mind at ease.

As you build your baby registry, look for products that go the extra mile to make your life a whole lot easier. For example, what's better than a bassinet? A bassinet that can rock by itself. And what's better than a traditional baby monitor? One that allows you to actually take a peek at your baby. Believe us when we say these upgrades can make all the difference.

Here are 10 baby gadgets that will make your life so much easier… relatively speaking, of course!

A bassinet to promote safe + sound sleep

HALO Innovations Bassinest Swivel Sleeper Essenta Series Nautical Net

The safest place for your newborn to sleep is in your room, but not in your bed. Thanks to the swivel function of the Halo Bassinest, you can easily tend to your baby during the night—which means more sleep for you, too. Trust us when we say that is the best gift you can give a new parent.


A smart swing for your baby

4moms mamaRoo 4 Bluetooth Enabled High-Tech Baby Swing - Classic

Believe it or not, many babies are born with strong opinions about how they want to be rocked, swung or shushed to calm down. With the mamaRoo's various motions and reclining positions, you'll be able to find a setting your baby loves when you need to free up your hands for a bit.


A complete travel system for car + sidewalk

Chicco Bravo Travel System - Indigo

No matter where the day takes you—or what mode of transportation you need to get there—getting a complete travel system for your baby will equip you for anything.


A swaddle you don’t have to wrestle

Love To Dream Swaddle UP Original

What do babies and Harry Houdini have in common? A knack for breaking out of tight constraints—which can be a headache when swaddling is the best way to help promote good sleep. Thanks to a breakout-proof swaddle that allows your baby to sleep with their hands up, you don't have to work up a sweat just to get your baby comfortably swaddled.


A nursery wherever you need it

Baby Trend Lil Snooze Deluxe II Nursery Center

During the early days of parenting (when you are feeding and changing your baby around the clock), having convenient access to everything you need with a go-anywhere nursery station can save you serious time and energy.


A little help for stuffy noses

Fridababy NoseFrida Nasal Aspirator

Up until the point years down the road when your child is able to blow their own nose, the sniffles can be a real struggle—but not with a nasal aspirator that makes it easy for you to get that snot out of their nose.


A way to keep an eye on your baby

VTech 5" Digital Video Baby Monitor - VM5251

Trust us when we say you'll sleep better when you know your baby is also sleeping soundly. That's why we're so thankful for modern-day video monitors, which allow you to check in on your sleeping baby without running the risk of waking them up when you sneak in for a peek.


A bassinet for hands-free rocking

Simmons Kids Silent Auto Gliding Elite Bassinet - Odyssey

Babies are soothed by rocking motions. But what does that mean for you if you can't rock them throughout the night? With an auto-gliding bassinet, they can comfortably drift off to sleep... and continue snoozing.


An easy way to contain diaper smells

Diaper Genie Expressions Pail

Sometimes it's the little conveniences that make a big difference in the quality of your day-to-day life. That's why a great diaper pail should not be undervalued: By containing the smell, you will save yourself dozens upon dozens of trips to the garbage can.


A white noise machine that pulls double duty

Hatch Rest Sound Machine, Night Light & Time-to-Rise

A phone-controlled sound machine may be something you never considered until now, but it will be a major lifesaver for years to come, especially as it can also function as a time-to-rise clock that promotes good sleep habits for your child.


And as for securing all these awesome products? Well, a Target baby registry is the way to do it. By creating your baby registry with Target, you will also enjoy their Year of Benefits registry program, which includes perks like a welcome kit with more than $100 in savings and samples, two 15% off coupons to complete your registry, and a full year of returns. The benefits are better than ever right now: Target just launched the Year of Exclusive Deals perk as one of its registry benefits, and this includes a year's worth of discounts on baby essentials (think diapers and formula) and comes complementary when you sign up for Target Circle.

Because while parenting may not be "easy," deciding to register with Target definitely is an easy decision. Start your Target baby registry now and enjoy shopping with a Year of Benefits featuring a Year of Exclusive Deals available via Target Circle, two 15% off coupons, a year of hassle-free returns, a free welcome kit and more!

This article was sponsored by Target. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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Motherly editors’ 7 favorite hacks for organizing their diaper bags

Make frantically fishing around for a diaper a thing of the past!

As any parent knows, the term "diaper bag" only scratches the surface. In reality, this catchall holds so much more: a change of clothes, bottles, snacks, wipes and probably about a dozen more essential items.

Which makes finding the exact item you need, when you need it (read: A diaper when you're in public with a blowout on your hands) kind of tricky.

That's why organization is the name of the game when it comes to outings with your littles. We pooled the Motherly team of editors to learn some favorite hacks for organizing diaper bags. Here are our top tips.

1. Divide and conquer with small bags

Here's a tip we heard more than a few times: Use smaller storage bags to organize your stuff. Not only is this helpful for keeping related items together, but it can also help keep things from floating around in the expanse of the larger diaper bag. These bags don't have to be anything particularly fancy: an unused toiletry bag, pencil case or even plastic baggies will work.

2. Have an emergency changing kit

When you're dealing with a diaper blowout situation, it's not the time to go searching for a pack of wipes. Instead, assemble an emergency changing kit ahead of time by bundling a change of baby clothes, a fresh diaper, plenty of wipes and hand sanitizer in a bag you can quickly grab. We're partial to pop-top wipes that don't dry out or get dirty inside the diaper bag.

3. Simplify bottle prep

Organization isn't just being able to find what you need, but also having what you need. For formula-feeding on the go, keep an extra bottle with the formula you need measured out along with water to mix it up. You never know when your outing will take longer than expected—especially with a baby in the mix!

4. Get resealable snacks

When getting out with toddlers and older kids, snacks are the key to success. Still, it isn't fun to constantly dig crumbs out of the bottom of your diaper bag. Our editors love pouches with resealable caps and snacks that come in their own sealable containers. Travel-sized snacks like freeze-dried fruit crisps or meal-ready pouches can get an unfair reputation for being more expensive, but that isn't the case with the budget-friendly Comforts line.

5. Keep a carabiner on your keychain

You'll think a lot about what your child needs for an outing, but you can't forget this must-have: your keys. Add a carabiner to your keychain so you can hook them onto a loop inside your diaper bag. Trust us when we say it's a much better option than dumping out the bag's contents on your front step to find your house key!

6. Bundle your essentials

If your diaper bag doubles as your purse (and we bet it does) you're going to want easy access to your essentials, too. Dedicate a smaller storage bag of your diaper bag to items like your phone, wallet and lip balm. Then, when you're ready to transfer your items to a real purse, you don't have to look for them individually.

7. Keep wipes in an outer compartment

Baby wipes aren't just for diaper changes: They're also great for cleaning up messy faces, wiping off smudges, touching up your makeup and more. Since you'll be reaching for them time and time again, keep a container of sensitive baby wipes in an easily accessible outer compartment of your bag.

Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that supporting Motherly and mamas.

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Talking to kids can come so easily. They have thoughts about everything and stories for miles. They see the world in a completely different light, and could ask enough questions to fill an afternoon.

But sometimes finding the right words for talking to kids can be really, really challenging. When choosing how to respond to the marker on the wall, or the seemingly unending why-can't-I battle, or in simply keeping healthy communication open with kids who don't want to talk, the words don't seem to come so easily.

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