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To be completely honest, we think pregnant mamas should get ALL THE GIFTS. But, in the spirit of not overdoing it, these perfect picks for the pregnant mama in your life (even if that includes you—we won't tell!) are our best finds this holiday season.

WANT

1. Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Nail Polish

You don't need to give up your manicure habit just because you're pregnant. OCC's professional-quality nail polish skips out on lots of chemicals but not on performance—it's quick-drying, chip-resistant and available in a slew of trendy colors.

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Nail Polish, Amazon, $10.00

BUY

2. Luxe Serenity Baskit

For some much-deserved relaxation, mama will love indulging in these pampering goods. From face masks to bath salts to a gorgeous throw, she'll love picking out something from this each evening.

Lux Serenity, Baskit, $187.00

BUY

3. GLOW Organics Pregnancy Bath Bomb

GLOW Organics are made from all natural ingredients and specially formulated for pregnancy. We love these bath bombs, as we'll take any excuse for some relaxing time in the tub.

GLOW Organics Pregnancy Bath Bomb, GLOW Organics, $6.99

BUY

4. Green Chef

During those last few weeks of pregnancy, the last thing mama wants to do is go grocery shopping or figure out what's for dinner. So, provide her some meals to take that off her to-do list. Green Chef offers a variety of plans to fit various lifestyles, from keto and paleo to gluten-free, that mama or her partner can make in about 30 minutes.

Green Chef, plans starting at $10.99 per meal depending on plan

BUY

5. Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream

Unbelievably creamy, smooth, off-the-charts-delicious ice cream available in tons of unique flavors and DELIVERED RIGHT TO YOUR DOOR. What else is there to say, really?

Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream, Jeni's, starting at $12.00

BUY

NEED

6. S'well Water Bottle

It's really important to stay hydrated while pregnant. We love S'well bottles because they're stainless, easy to clean, keep liquids cool for 24 hours or warm for 12, and are just downright pretty.

S'well Water Bottle, Amazon, $32.60

BUY

7. Leachco Snoogle Pregnancy Pillow

Ah, pregnancy sleep...you desperately need it, but you just can't seem to get any. Enter the Snoogle—part pillow, part total body support, and 100% awesome.

Leachco Snoogle Pregnancy Pillow, Amazon, $74.99

BUY

8. Birdling Overnighter Bag

We totally and completely 💜everything about this bag; it's style + functionality at its best. Use it now for your hospital bag, and after baby arrives for a diaper bag. And for a larger option, check out the Weekender style.

Birdling Overnighter Bag, The Tot, $175.00

BUY

WEAR

9. Seraphine 3 in 1 Maternity Parka

This jacket first caught our eye for its ingenious design for baby-wearing mamas in colder climates, and won our hearts with its incredible quality and comfort. We recommend buying in your usual, non-pregnancy size.

Seraphine 3 in 1 Maternity Parka, Seraphine, $229.00

BUY

10. Hatch-To-Hospital Box

The building block of any maternity wardrobe, this set of layering staples will become a go-to throughout your pregnancy up to the delivery. The full-coverage undies, nightgown, robe and socks are made specifically for soon-to-be mamas.

Hatch-To-Hospital Box, Hatch Collection, $248.00

BUY

11. Covered Goods Multi-Use Nursing Cover

We are big fans of any one product that can be used many ways. Wear this soft, stretchy nursing cover now as a cute scarf, and use it post-baby as a car seat, shopping cart or nursing cover.

Covered Goods Multi-Use Nursing Cover, Amazon, $39.95

BUY

12. Kindred Bravely Set

For a gift set, we love this one that's ready to go for mama's hospital bag. It includes: a robe, organic bamboo nursing pads, delivery gown, nursing and maternity bra, postpartum recovery panties, nursing and maternity nightgown and socks.

The Ultimate Hospital Bag Gift Set, Kindred Bravely, $114.99

BUY

13. Stitch Fix Maternity Subscription

Keep your maternity style fresh without ever having to leave the house. (Do you see a trend emerging here?) You can work with a stylist for a personalized look, subscriptions are easy to manage, and we love that price points range from totally affordable to splurge.

Stitch Fix Maternity Subscription, Stitch Fix, starting at $20 per month

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READ

14. The Happiest Baby on the Block

Although everyone may have a different school of thought on parenting books, there's really not much to argue about here. Dr. Harvey Karp's book is a must-read, providing sensible, easy to understand, and truly helpful infant 101. And if a book sounds too daunting right now—there's also a video!

The Happiest Baby on the Block, Amazon, $10.87

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15. Little Humans

It's never too early to start building your little one's library. From the creator of the popular Humans of New York blog, this photographic picture book is an ode to little humans everywhere.

Little Humans, Amazon, $9.94

BUY

16. The Mommy Shorts Guide to Remarkably Average Parenting

We love the wit and humor of the Mommy Shorts blog, and we're happy to say that the book delivers the same. It's a funny, relatable read that will get you excited for what's in store.

The Mommy Shorts Guide to Remarkably Average Parenting, Amazon, $13.56

BUY

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If you use U by Kotex tampons, you should check your box before your next period, mama.

Regular absorbency U by Kotex Sleek Tampons are being recalled throughout the U.S. and Canada. According to the FDA, defective tampons have been coming apart when people tried to remove them, "in some cases causing users to seek medical attention to remove tampon pieces left in the body."

The FDA notes that there have also been a "small number of reports of infections, vaginal irritation, localized vaginal injury, and other symptoms."

In a statement on its website, U by Kotex explains that the recall is specific to the U by Kotex Sleek Tampons, Regular Absorbency only. The Super Absorbency or Super Plus Absorbency tampons are not part of the recall.

The recall is for specific lots of the Regular Absorbency tampons manufactured between October 7, 2016 and October 16, 2018.

The lot numbers start with NN (or XM, for small, 3 count packages) and can be found near the barcode on the bottom of the box.

To check if your tampons are part of the recall, type your lot number into this form on the U by Kotex site.


The FDA says if you've used the tampons and are experiencing the following you should seek immediate medical attention:

  • vaginal injury (pain, bleeding, or discomfort)
  • vaginal irritation (itching or swelling)
  • urogenital infections (bladder and/or vaginal bacterial and/or yeast infections)
  • hot flashes
  • abdominal pain
  • nausea or vomiting

If you have a package of the recalled tampons you should not use them and should call Kotex's parent company, Kimberly-Clark at 1-888-255-3499. On its website U by Kotex asks consumers not to return the tampons to stores.

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I grew up watching the Fresh Prince of Bel Air so pretty much anytime Will Smith pops up on my Facebook feed, I click. (Also, I happen to live near West Philadelphia, so you know, there's a lot of theme song singing. My husband finds me hysterical.)

Anyway...

The last time I clicked on a Will Smith video, he was telling a story about when he went skydiving. He had made the decision to go with his friends, and then spent the whole night and morning leading up to it terrified, envisioning all the things that could go wrong.

When he was finally up in the plane, the guide explained that they would jump on the count of three. "One… two…" except they push you out on "two" because everyone throws their arms out and stops themselves at "three." So before he knew it, he was flying.

And he found it to be absolutely amazing.

He said, "The point of maximum danger is the point of minimum fear. It's bliss. The lesson for me was, why were you scared in your bed the night before? What do you need that fear for? You're nowhere even near the airplane. Everything up to the stepping out, there's actually no reason to be scared. It only just ruins your day… the best things in life [are] on the other side of [fear]."

Motherhood is skydiving.

If someone came up to you one day and said, "Hey. I have this job for you. You are going to grow a human in your body, kind of like it's an alien. And then that human is going to come out of your body—and that process is really intense. And then the human will be really helpless and you will have to turn it into a fully functioning adult with an important place in this world. Okay… go!"

You'd smile politely and walk run away as fast as you could.

Because if you think about it, the idea of doing all of that—motherhoodis pretty terrifying. The amount of responsibility and work is sort of incomprehensible.

The grand scheme of motherhood is scary.

The thing is, though, that the grand scheme of motherhood is actually made up of millions of tiny moments in which you will be a total boss.

Whether it's a jump-out-of-the-plane moment, or a get-the-toddler-out-of-the-car-seat moment, you will face it with bravery.

Remember, being brave isn't the absence of fear, it's being afraid and doing it anyway.

Being brave is taking a pregnancy test—and seeing that it's positive. Or seeing that it's negative, again.

Being brave is waiting for the adoption agency to call you and tell you that she's here.

Being brave is watching your body change in a hundred ways, and lovingly rubbing your belly as it does.

Being brave is giving your body over to the process of bringing your baby into the world—yes, even if you cry, or complain, or cry and complain. You're still brave. Promise.

Being brave is bringing that baby home for the first time. Oh, so much bravery needed for that one.

Being brave is giving that first bath, going to that first pediatrician visit, spending that first full day at home, alone, with the baby,

Being brave is your first day back at work—or making the phone call to tell them you won't actually be coming back at all.

Being brave is ignoring all the noise around you, and parenting your child the way you know is best for your family.

Being brave is letting go of her hands when she takes her first steps.

Being brave is sitting next to her and smiling when you're in the emergency room for croup—and then sobbing when you get home.

Being brave is bringing her to her first day of school—and going home without her.

Being brave is saying "yes" to her first sleepover and "no" to her first car.

Being brave is hugging her the first time her heart breaks, when your heart might possibly hurt even more than hers does.

Being brave is listening quietly when she tells you she plans to "travel the world."

Being brave is bringing her to her first day of college—and going home without her.

Being brave is watching her commit her life to another person, who is not you.

Being brave is watching her become a mother.

And one day, sweet, brave mama, you'll look back and realize that you just jumped out of an airplane—you raised a child.

All of the things that seemed terrifyingly impossible—you just…do them. One at a time. You will wake up every day a little bit braver than the day before. And before you know it, you can look back on any aspect of motherhood and realize that little by little, you just increased your flying altitude.

Things that was seemed daunting are handled with ease. Ideas that once seemed impossible have become your reality one thousand times over.

So yes, motherhood is incredibly scary. But you are incredibly brave.

One... two... jump!

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There's so much noise.

All. The. Time.

It feels like it's 24 hours, 7 days a week.

There's whining, crying, chatting, banging, tapping, scratching, singing, buzzing, yelling, snoring, crunching, schlopping, chewing, slurping, stomping, clapping, singing, laughing.

There's sound machines with crashing waves coming at me around every corner. There's a baby (doll) crying, and then my real baby crying. There's toys going off even when no one is playing with them.

There's requests, questions, demands, negotiations, plans, adventures, stories, performances—at all times.

There's ringing phones, alarms going off, voicemails, television theme songs (Daniel Tiger, I'm looking at you), Moana and Sing soundtracks playing. There's random loud videos playing when you're scrolling through Facebook and think you have your phone on silent.

I even hear things when there's nothing to be heard. Like the baby crying when I'm in the shower and she's sleeping. Like a bang from someone falling when everyone is fine. Like Imagine Dragon's 'Thunder' when it's not even on but it's stuck in my head because my daughter has requested to play it over and over and over.

At times, it makes me feel like I am going crazy. Like my brain doesn't work because I can't think clearly because the noise is all-encompassing.

This noise, paired with the never-ending, running-forever list of things to do in my head is one of the areas of motherhood that is hard for me. Really, really hard. It triggers my anxiety more than anything else does.

Sometimes, I just want to sit in silence. Alone. Not listening to anything or anyone.

Sometimes, I just want to hear myself think.

Sometimes, I just want the whining to stop.

Sometimes, I just want the brain fog to go away and never come back.

But what I've realized is that this is part of motherhood. Of my journey. Because, I have three children and it's never going to be quiet.

I need to get used to the noise, embrace the noise and know when I need to step back and take a break from the noise.

And I am used to the noise on some level.

I function fairly well on a daily basis getting work done and to-do lists checked off and taking care of my (loud, but wonderful) children. When all of the noise is overwhelming me, I've gotten into the habit of taking deep breaths and focusing on my task at hand.

It's not perfect, but it's something.

And I can definitely embrace the noise—especially the lovely noises of childhood.

Because when I think about it—is there anything better than hearing my 4-year-old belt out 'Thunder'?

Is there anything better than hearing my 2-year-old giggle uncontrollably?

Is there anything better than hearing the coos of my 3-month-old?

Is there anything better than hearing one of my daughters say "I love you, Mama"? Or "See you later, alligator"?

Is there anything better than hearing cheers from my kids to celebrate their siblings' accomplishment? ("Lucy went potty! Yay!")

Is there anything better than hearing your preschooler say "sh-sh-shhhhh" over and over to soothe her newborn sister like she sees her parents doing?

No, nothing is better. Not even silence.

But there will be days when it feels like it's too much. And I just want to say—

It's okay.

It's okay to want to sit in silence.

It's okay to look forward to the quiet that nighttime offers.

It's okay to admit to ourselves that sometimes the noise is too much.

And it's normal.

Our brains can only handle so much at one time. So, be gentle on yourself, mama. I know I'm trying.

I am learning to recognize when I need to step back and take a break from the noise.

I stay up late sometimes to enjoy the quiet—to listen to my thoughts.

I wake up early sometimes—to meditate and look inward.

I plan "me time" outside of the house—to spend time with myself and decide on choosing noise or not.

I hop in the shower when my husband gets home—to hand over the noise for a while and enjoy only the sound of rushing water.

There are moments of motherhood that challenge me—mind, body and soul. The constant noise is one of them. But these challenges will never beat me. I love being my children's mother too much.

So on the days when the noise is taking over, know that you're not alone. And know that peace and quiet is potentially just a shower away.


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This past year, I was diagnosed with depression. I was fighting what I believed to be a stubborn case of PPD. I thought things would get better as my baby grew, when I wasn't postpartum anymore. I was in denial, not receiving any kind of help, and definitely not getting any better.

Finally, I sought out help from a doctor and was diagnosed with clinical depression and am now receiving treatment. Part of this treatment involved visiting with a therapist for the first time in my life in hopes of combating the powerful force of negativity that has insidiously planted itself inside my mind.

I learned something significant in that meeting: that my thoughts were caused by something that was physically going wrong inside of my brain. Deep down, I believed I had been allowing the darkness—that it, too, was my fault. I found hope in that meeting, the hope of rewiring my brain.

I now know there are steps I can take to change how I think, to find the true me again. That is why I am going to take better care of myself this year. In fact, that's the only resolution I care to make.

My therapist advised me to do an exercise that's proven difficult for me. I literally have positive affirmations about myself taped to my bathroom mirror. My sarcastic side really fights this. I envision that I'm wearing a colorful collared shirt or sweater combination (a la Stuart Smalley) as I repeat these mantras to myself. The truth is they're a powerful counterbalance to the way I normally think about who I am.

Most people struggle with this at one time or another. I think we could all benefit from practicing a little self-love.

So for this year, I resolve not to make any resolutions about losing weight. I am at a healthy weight, and although I would love to re-lose the 10 pounds I lost when I began depression medication, I will instead resolve to replace the negative thoughts I have about my body with healthy ones.

My critical observations regarding my body began very early for me, as they do for most women. It may take some time, but I'm going to work on appreciating my body for what it can do, instead of worrying about how it appears to others.

I resolve to be the best mom I can be. And that is only possible when I work on taking better care of myself. For many years, I've devoted myself completely to my children, believing it was best for them. But you can't pull water from an empty well, and this past year my well went dry.

I resolve to take more breaks, indulge in some mental health days, and spend more quality time with my family.

Society is hard on mothers, so I'm going to pull a Taylor Swift, and "shake it off." I will ignore the negative commentators who feel compelled to troll my writings. I will look to the positive instead of dwelling on the negative.

I will support and seek to uplift other mothers. We should be each other's biggest fans, not harshest critics. I will stand up for those who are belittled, judged, or misunderstood.

I resolve to let go of past mistakes and less than perfect parenting moments. I will seek to learn from the past instead of dwelling on it. I will work on treating myself with more kindness, moving forward in hopes that my three boys will learn from my example and speak kindly toward themselves.

I will continue my treatment—even the daily affirmations—and be patient with my progress.

So here's to a new year and a new way of thinking, to not giving up, and to practicing kindness that begins from within.

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