7 stretch mark creams that will soothe your growing belly

Pregnancy is a great time to get into the habit of giving your skin a little extra love on the daily.

7 stretch mark creams that will soothe your growing belly
Earth Mama/Hatch/Mustela

When you're pregnant, it's hard to fathom the changes that are taking place inside your body. You're growing a person, a whole new organ to support it and the organs that belong to you are shifting and making way by the minute.

Suffice to say, a lot happens on the outside too. Most notably, an ever-growing belly. And as your belly expands (and eventually contracts), you might find yourself with a few new badges of honor–stretch marks.

What are stretch marks?

First things first. Stretch marks are natural! From growth spurts in puberty to pregnancy, stretch marks are scars that can occur any time skin changes rapidly. When they first appear, they're often a darker hue (which depends on your skin tone), raised and itchy. Over time, they fade and sink but can remain visible nonetheless. And while no amount of stretch mark cream, oil or magical potion can prevent or erase them, using a stretch mark cream throughout your pregnancy can help improve skin elasticity and nourish your skin as it grows.

When should you start using stretch mark cream during pregnancy?

If you've already got a moisturizing ritual, great! Keep it up. If you occasionally slap on some moisturizer when your legs look ashy, pregnancy is a great time to get into the habit of giving your skin a little extra love on the daily. Throughout pregnancy your belly, boobs, hips, thighs and bum will likely need a little extra attention. All those hormones can affect skin in a variety of uncomfortable ways and keeping it hydrated can help. That said, there's no set date to start using stretch mark cream, but many of the formulas on the market are suitable for use before, during and after.

What should you look for in a stretch mark cream?

Mostly, it's personal preference. If you're sensitive to fragrance, you can find plenty of fragrance-free options. Look for formulas with gentle but nourishing ingredients like nut butters (cocoa, jojoba oil and shea) and coconut oil to moisturize, vitamins A and E which heal and protect the skin, and botanicals like calendula to soothe and calm irritated skin. Most importantly, while retinol can be an effective treatment for damaged skin, do not use retinol during your pregnancy.

Rest assured that everyone has stretch marks. (Literally. Everyone.) There is nothing you need to do about them if you don't want to, nor should you feel vain if you want to address them. If you're the latter, we've done the research to help you find a formula that works for you.

Read on to discover the top-rated and most-loved stretch mark creams for pregnancy!


Earth Mama Organics Belly Butter

Earth Mama Organics Belly Butter

Thicker than regular lotion but not as heavy and greasy as most body butters, Earth Mama Organics Belly Butter is a top-rated favorite among pregnant and postpartum mamas. The all-natural formula contains organic herbs and oils like shea butter, calendula and olive oil which are traditionally used to help soften skin and encourage skin's natural elasticity. The emollient lotion absorbs quickly and easily, leaving behind a light citrusy scent that's gentle on morning sickness sensitivities and we love the convenience of the pump top for easy application.

Reviewers say: "AMAZING!! I bought a bottle early on in my pregnancy and started using it daily when I was 4 months pregnant. I didn't really start showing until the end of the 5th month, but I wanted to prep for stretch marks as much as I could. I'm currently 8 months pregnant and have ZERO stretch marks. I put it on my boobs too and they have not been itchy in months. The smell doesn't bother me and there isn't lasting residue like oil. My belly skin hasn't been irritated (itchy or hurting from stretching) and I give all credit to this butter! Do yourself a favor and buy! 100/10 would buy forever!"–AC

$21.99

Palmer's Cocoa Butter Massage Lotion for Stretch Marks

Palmer's Cocoa Butter Massage Lotion for Stretch Marks

From the price to the efficacy to the dreamy cocoa butter scent, Palmer's Cocoa Butter Massage Lotion for Stretch Marks is a long-time favorite for good reason. The OG stretch mark lotion (which also happens to be Amazon's #1 best-selling maternity skin care product) is made from a blend of rich cocoa butter and shea butter to soften, smooth, and plump skin along with the requisite Vitamin E to support moisture retention and help repair damaged skin. It's also packed with lutein to prevent damage as your skin stretches, and argan, almond and coconut oils to moisturize and pamper your expanding belly. Together, this symphony of powerhouses can treat as well as prevent the stretch marks that come from pregnancy or otherwise! And because it's so wallet-friendly, you can slather it everywhere from your boobs and belly to your butt and thighs without blowing the budget.

Reviewers say: "LOVE this lotion!!! Not only does it deeply moisturize my growing pregnancy belly but it is a perfect all-over moisturizer as well. I have zero issues with stretch marks and itchiness when I use it. This lotion has a medium consistency thickness that is NOT greasy, spreads and absorbs well, and has a nice very, very light scent. Also a little bit goes a long way. Since using this all over I have noticed better skin tone on my legs along with less noticeable leg pores (which has been a long time problem for me). It also has helped my dry heels and edges of big toes more than any other lotion I've tried. I have also tried the "cream" version of this lotion and honestly I don't notice much of a difference between the two other than thickness. I'll be sticking with this lotion!"–ThatOneGirl

$5.29

Mustela Stretch Marks Cream

Mustela Stretch Marks Cream

Mustela, the French family-owned skincare brand, always delivers when it comes to clean, non-toxic products for mamas and babies. Their EWG-Verified Stretch Marks Cream cream is packed with plant-based ingredients like avocado peptides to comfort skin, shea butter to moisturize and nourish and galactoarabinan, an effective plant collagen that is extracted from harvested larch trees to help promote skin elasticity. It's velvety and fast-absorbing and safe to use even while breastfeeding.

Reviewers say: "This is the best stretch mark cream I've used throughout my pregnancy. My husband bought me a variety of items to try and most of them were so greasy and thick that my belly would get so hot at night I couldn't sleep. This cream goes on smooth and is thin but great coverage at the same time. It has helped me although my doctor said that stretch marks are more genetics than cream. I've continued to use this cream throughout my pregnancy and I like it it's so smooth and light. I've purchased multiple refills and recently purchased other postpartum care from them as well. I love the brand and would highly recommend this to all other expecting mothers!"–Jennifer

$21.99

Body Merry Stretch Marks and Scars Cream

Body Merry Stretch Marks and Scars Cream


Like a prenatal vitamin for the skin, this botanically-charged cream is packed with powerful ingredients to nourish and protect while your body changes. The gentle but powerful formula includes everything from organic shea and cocoa butters to Vitamins E, C, B3, and B5 to hydrate and firm skin while reducing the appearance of marks and scars. It's thicker than a regular moisturizer so a little goes a long way. It also dries up quickly and is not sticky, so you don't have to wait too long to get dressed after applying.

Reviewers say: "After researching stretch mark prevention cream for pregnancy, I decided to purchase the Body Merry Cream. I love that it is all natural and there are no chemicals in the cream. The cream itself is very thick and moisturizes really well. The smell is interesting- it almost has a chocolate/coconut smell but I don't mind it. If you are looking for something super moisturizing and all natural- I highly recommend this cream!"–Amazon Customer

$26.99

Bio-Oil Skincare Oil

Bio-Oil Skincare Oil

With nearly 100K ratings on Amazon and a huge fanbase of folks who swear by its efficacy, you've likely run across the award-winning Bio-Oil Skincare Oil by now. The holy grail oil is a uniquely formulated blend of powerful, natural oils like Vitamin A, Vitamin E, chamomile, sunflower, and lavender Oil to reduce inflammation, improve elasticity and also help renew skin. Because of this, it's used as both prevention and treatment for existing marks and scars in pregnancy and otherwise. (Many reviewers use it to treat acne scarring since it's non-comedogenic and won't clog pores. Who doesn't love a good multi-tasker?) Not everyone loves the scent which can be described as faintly old-ladylike but it does fade quickly.

Reviewers say: "I used this was when I was pregnant, and now using it for multiple different things. It moisturizes face and neck, helps to minimize scarring & stretch marks, and I also use it on my psoriasis!"–Shnon1

$21.99

Hatch Belly Oil

hatch-belly-oil

Not everyone is a fan of oils given their reputation for being greasy and pore-clogging. But forget what you've been told and hop on the bandwagon if you haven't already. Super-hydrating and oh-so-indulgent, the right body oil can easily take the place of lotion or become the star of your moisturizing regimen. One of our favorites for pregnant bellies? Hatch Belly Oil. The easily-absorbed oil is rich in nutrients and quick-drying so you don't have to stand around for ages waiting to get dressed and leaves skin feeling soft, supple and totally pampered. The non-greasy formula is made with soothing calendula to calm irritated skin, sweet almond oil to heal and hydrate and grapefruit peel to deliver a subtle, citrusy scent. And we have to say, it looks stunning on your dresser or countertop as well.

Reviewers say: "Just started using this product. I had a dream that the bottle was going to be the size of my thumb lol I was wrong, it's a nice big glass bottle with a glass dropper. It has a faint scent of grapefruit. It soaks into my skin quickly leaving it soft and supple but without any greasy residue. I was a little hesitant at first because of the price but I'm very happy with this purchase. :) I got through my first pregnancy with no stretch marks so prayers for no stretch marks this go around!! Lol" SC

$58

Burt's Bees Mama Belly Butter

Burt's Bees Mama Belly Butter

Natural, unscented, and inexpensive, it's no wonder Burt's Bees Mama Belly Butter is a favorite among moms. The luxe and creamy texture helps soothe itchy bellies while nutrient-rich moisturizers like shea, jojoba and cocoa butters deeply hydrate parched and stretching skin.

Reviewers say: "This is my first pregnancy and my itchy stomach was KILLING me! I tried a couple lotions before looking for one specifically for pregnancy, and I tried a couple that had good reviews, but this is by far my favorite! I keep one at home and one at work, but luckily it's not something you need to keep reapplying because it works! Feels great and helps a bunch so that I'm not scratching (trying to keep the stretch marks to a minimum). Love it!"–Jessi211

$12.99
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When you ask any two mamas to share their experience with breastfeeding, you are bound to get very unique answers. That's because while the act of breastfeeding is both wonderful and natural, it also comes with a learning curve for both mothers and babies.

In some cases, breastfeeding won't be the right path for everyone. But with the right tools, resources and social support systems, we can make progress toward the American Academy of Pediatrics' recommendation to continue breastfeeding through the first year of a child's life. After all, breastfeeding helps nourish infants, protects them against illnesses, develops their immune systems and more. Not to mention that mothers who breastfeed experience reduced risk for breast and ovarian cancer, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.

With National Breastfeeding Awareness Month this month, it's a great time for mamas (and expectant mamas!) to gather the supplies that will support their feeding journey—whether it looks like exclusively breastfeeding, pumping or combo-feeding.

Customflow™ Double Electric Breast Pump

Designed for regular use, this double electric breast pump allows mamas to customize the cycle and vacuum settings that work for them. The 100% SoftShape™ silicone shields on this pump form-fit to a wide range of breast shapes and sizes—which means more comfortable, more efficient pumping. And every pump comes with two complete Dr. Brown's Options+ bottles, giving you everything you need to go from pumping to feeding.

$159.99

Dr. Brown’s™ Breast Milk Collection Bottles

There's no need to cry over spilled milk—because it won't happen with these storage bottles! Make the pump-to-feeding transition simpler with Dr. Brown's Milk Collection Bottles. The bottles adapt to Dr. Brown's electric pumps to easily fill, seal and transport, and they work with Dr. Brown's bottle and nipple parts when your baby's ready to eat. (Meaning no risky pouring from one bottle to another. 🙌)

$9.99

Breast Milk Storage Bags

With an extra-durable design and double zip seal, your breast milk will stay fresh and safe in the fridge or freezer until it's needed. Plus, the bags are easy to freeze flat and then store for up to six months, so your baby can continue drinking breast milk long after you are done nursing.

$9.99

Silicone One-Piece Breast Pump with Options+™ Bottle & Bag

Here's something they don't tell you about breastfeeding ahead of time: While feeding your baby on one side, the other breast may "let down" milk, too. With this one-piece Silicone Breast Pump, you don't have to let those precious drops go to waste. The flexible design makes pouring the milk into a bottle stress-free.

$14.99

Dr. Brown’s® Manual Breast Pump

No outlet in sight? No worries! With this powerful-yet-gentle Manual Breast Pump, you can get relief from engorgement, sneak in some quick midnight pumping or perform a full pumping session without any electricity needed. With Dr. Brown's 100% silicone SoftShape™ Shield, the hand-operated pump is as comfortable as it is easy to use. Complete with Dr. Brown's® Options+™ Anti-Colic Wide-Neck Bottle, a storage travel cap and cleaning brush, consider this the breastfeeding essential for any mama who has places to go.

$29.99

Options+™ Anti-Colic Baby Bottle

With the soft silicone nipple and natural flow design of these bottles, your baby can easily switch between breast and bottle. Clinically proven to reduce colic thanks to the vent, your baby can enjoy a happy tummy after feeding sessions—without as much spit-up, burping or gas! By mimicking the flow and feel of the breast, these bottles help support your breastfeeding experience.

$7.99

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

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7 hacks for simplifying after-school snacks

Prepping delicious and nutritious foods shouldn't take all day.

When you're in the middle of the school year and managing a family, each minute of time becomes very precious. Sometimes that means healthy food choices in the household can take a backseat. But don't stress it, mama. Prepping delicious and nutritious choices for the kids to munch on doesn't need to take all day.

Remember to keep it fun, simple and interactive! Here are tips for simplifying after-school snacks once and for all:

1. Prep snacks on Sunday

This simple trick can make the rest of the week a breeze. Tupperware is your friend here, you can even write different days of the week on each container to give the kids a little surprise every day. I really like storage with compartments for snack prep. Personally, I slice apples, carrots or cucumbers to pair with almond butter and hummus—all great to grab and go for when you're out all day and need some fresh variety.

2. When in doubt, go for fruit

Fruit is always a quick and easy option. I suggest blueberries, clementine oranges, apples, frozen grapes or even unsweetened apple sauce and dried fruit, like mixed fruit. It's fun to put together a fruit salad, too. Simply cut up all the fruit options and let the kids decide how they'd like to compile. Prepped fruit is also great to have on hand for smoothies, especially when it's been sitting in the fridge for a few days—throw it in the blender with some nut milk and voila.

3. Pair snacks with a dip

Hummus is a great dip to keep on hand with lots of versatility or you can grab a yogurt-based dip. Easy and healthy dippers include pre-sliced veggies, baby carrots and multigrain tortilla chips. Plain hummus is a great way to introduce seasonings and spices too—shake a little turmeric, add fresh basil and you'd be surprised what your kids will take to.

4. Have high-protein options readily available

Snacks with high protein, like cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, hard boiled eggs and jerky will fuel kids for hours. One of my favorites is a turkey stick, which is a fun addition to the hummus platter. Just slice into bite-sized pieces. I love cottage cheese because it can go savory or sweet, use as a dip with your prepped veggies, or drizzle pure maple syrup and sprinkle with berries.

5. Always keep the pantry stocked

Monthly deliveries keeps the pantry updated without a trip to grocery store. Many kids are big fans of popcorn, granola and pretzels. We like to DIY our own snack packs with a little popcorn, pretzels, nuts and whatever else is in the pantry so there's always something different!

6. Make cracker tartines

I love the idea of replicating popular restaurant dishes for kids. Here are some of my favorite snack-sized tartines using any crisp bread, or favorite flat cracker of your choice as the base. There are no rules and kids love adding toppings and finding new combinations they love.

  • Avocado crackers: Use a cracker and then layer with thinly sliced avocado, a dollop of fresh ricotta cheese topped with roasted pepitas or sunflower seeds.
  • Tacos: The base for this is a black bean spread—just drain a can of black beans, rinse and place into a wide bowl. With a fork or potato masher, lightly smush the beans until chunky. Spread onto your cracker and top with tomato, cheddar cheese and black olives. Try out a dollop of super mild salsa or some lime zest to introduce some new flavor profiles.
  • A play on PB&J: Smear peanut butter, almond or a favorite sun butter on the cracker. I like to get a mix it up a bit and put fresh fruit (strawberries, blueberries and tiny diced apples) and a little bit of dried fruit sprinkled on top.

7. Pre-make smoothie pops

The easy part about meal prep is the prep itself, but knowing exactly how much to make ahead is tricky. Freeze a smoothie in popsicle molds to have a healthy treat ready-to-go snack. They're super simple to make: Add any fruit (I like apples, berries, pineapples and mangoes) and veggies (carrots, steamed beet and wilted kale) to a blender with your favorite nut milk until you have consistency just a bit thinner than a smoothie. Pour into your trusty reusable popsicle molds and then into the freezer to make an ice pop so good they could eat them for breakfast.

Family Foodies

15 toys that will keep your kids entertained inside *and* outside

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

Keeping kids entertained is a battle for all seasons. When it's warm and sunny, the options seem endless. Get them outside and get them moving. When it's cold or rainy, it gets a little tricker.

So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of the best toys for toddlers and kids that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, many are 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 indoor outdoor toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.


Stomp Racers

As longtime fans of Stomp Rockets, we're pretty excited about their latest launch–Stomp Racers. Honestly, the thrill of sending things flying through the air never gets old. Parents and kids alike can spend hours launching these kid-powered cars which take off via a stompable pad and hose.

$19.99

Step2 Up and Down Rollercoaster

Step2 Up and Down Rollercoaster

Tiny thrill-seekers will love this kid-powered coaster which will send them (safely) sailing across the backyard or play space. The durable set comes with a high back coaster car and 10.75 feet of track, providing endless opportunities for developing gross motor skills, balance and learning to take turns. The track is made up of three separate pieces which are easy to assemble and take apart for storage (but we don't think it will be put away too often!)

$139

Secret Agent play set

Plan-Toys-Secret-agent-play-set

This set has everything your little secret agent needs to solve whatever case they might encounter: an ID badge, finger scanner, walkie-talkie handset, L-shaped scale and coloring comic (a printable file is also available for online download) along with a handy belt to carry it all along. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Stepping Stones

Stepping-stones

Kiddos can jump, stretch, climb and balance with these non-slip stepping stones. The 20-piece set can be arranged in countless configurations to create obstacle courses, games or whatever they can dream up.

$99.99

Sand play set

B. toys Wagon & Beach Playset - Wavy-Wagon Red

For the littlest ones, it's easy to keep it simple. Take their sand box toys and use them in the bath! This 12-piece set includes a variety of scoops, molds and sifters that can all be stored in sweet little wagon.

$17.95

Sensory play set

kidoozie-sand-and-splash-activity-table

Filled with sand or water, this compact-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.

$19.95

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

Foam pogo stick

Flybar-my-first-foam-pogo-stick

Designed for ages 3 and up, My First Flybar offers kiddos who are too young for a pogo stick a frustration-free way to get their jump on. The wide foam base and stretchy bungee cord "stick" is sturdy enough to withstand indoor and outdoor use and makes a super fun addition to driveway obstacle courses and backyard races. Full disclosure—it squeaks when they bounce, but don't let that be a deterrent. One clever reviewer noted that with a pair of needle-nose pliers, you can surgically remove that sucker without damaging the base.

$16.99

Dumptruck 

green-toys-dump-truck

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyard or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? It's made from recycled plastic milk cartons.

$22

Hopper ball

Hopper ball

Burn off all that extra energy hippity hopping across the lawn or the living room! This hopper ball is one of the top rated versions on Amazon as it's thicker and more durable than most. It also comes with a hand pump to make inflation quick and easy.

$14.99

Pull-along ducks

janod-pull-along-wooden-ducks

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.

$16.99

Rocking chair seesaw

Slidewhizzer-rocking-chair-seesaw

This built-to-last rocking seesaw is a fun way to get the wiggles out in the grass or in the playroom. The sturdy design can support up to 77 pounds, so even older kiddos can get in on the action.

$79.99

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.

$79.99

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.

$24.75

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

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Even 5 hours of screen time per day is OK for school-aged kids, says new study

Researchers found screen time contributes to stronger peer relationships and had no effect on depression and anxiety. So maybe it isn't as bad as we thought?

MoMo Productions/Getty Images

If you've internalized some parental guilt about your own child's screen time usage, you're not alone. Numerous studies have shown that exposure to significant amounts of screen time in children leads to an increased risk of depression and behavioral issues, poor sleep and obesity, among other outcomes. Knowing all this can mean you're swallowing a big gulp of guilt every time you unlock the iPad or turn on the TV for your kiddo.

But is screen time really that bad? New research says maybe not. A study published in September 2021 of 12,000 9- and 10-year-olds found that even when school-aged kids spend up to 5 hours per day on screens (watching TV, texting or playing video games), it doesn't appear to be that harmful to their mental health.

Researchers found no association between screen usage and depression or anxiety in children at this age.

In fact, kids who had more access to screen time tended to have more friends and stronger peer relationships, most likely thanks to the social nature of video gaming, social media and texting.


The correlations between screen time and children's health

But those big social benefits come with a caveat. The researchers also noted that kids who used screens more frequently were in fact more likely to have attention problems, impacted sleep, poorer academic performance and were more likely to show aggressive behavior.

Without a randomized controlled trial, it's hard to nail down these effects as being caused directly by screens. The study's authors analyzed data from a nationwide study known as the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study (ABCD Study), the largest long-term study of brain development and children's health in the country. They relied on self-reported levels of screen time from both children and adults (it's funny to note that those reported numbers differed slightly depending on who was asked… ).

It's important to remember that these outcomes are just correlations—not causations. "We can't say screen time causes the symptoms; instead, maybe more aggressive children are given screen devices as an attempt to distract them and calm their behavior," says Katie Paulich, lead author of the study and a PhD student in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience. Also worth noting is that a child's socioeconomic status has a 2.5-times-bigger impact on behavior than screens.

Weighing the benefits with the risks will be up to you as the parent, who knows your child best. And because we live in a digital world, screens are here to stay, meaning parents often have little choice in the matter. It's impossible to say whether recreational screen time is fully "good" or "bad" for kids. It's maybe both.

"When looking at the strength of the correlations, we see only very modest associations," says Paulich. "That is, any association between screen time and the various outcomes, whether good or bad, is so small it's unlikely to be important at a clinical level." It's all just part of the overall picture.

A novel look at screen time in adolescents

The researchers cite a lack of studies examining the relationship between screen time and health outcomes in this specific early-adolescence age group, which is one of the reasons why this study is so groundbreaking. The findings don't apply to younger children—or older adolescents, who may be starting to go through puberty.

Screen time guidelines do exist for toddlers up to older kids, but up to 1.5 hours per day seems unattainable for many young adolescents, who often have their own smartphones and laptops, or at least regular access to one.

Of course, more research is needed, but that's where this study can be helpful. The ABCD study will follow the 12,000 participants for another 10 years, following up with annual check-ins. It'll be interesting to see how the findings change over time: Will depression and anxiety as a result of screen time be more prevalent as kids age? We'll have to wait and see.

The bottom line? Parents should still be the gatekeepers of their child's screen time in terms of access and age-appropriateness, but, "our early research suggests lengthy time on screen is not likely to yield dire consequences," says Paulich.

Children's health

Shawn Johnson says a TSA agent 'groped' her while traveling with breast milk


"I can honestly say that was one of the worst experiences I have," Shawn Johnson East wrote on Instagram.

Shawn Johnson/Instagram

Shawn Johnson East had "one of the worst experiences" she's ever had recently while traveling. In a now-expired series of Instagram Story photos, Johnson East is calling out a TSA agent for alleged harassment.

She explains that she was trying to take breast milk through a TSA checkpoint when the incident occurred.


"To the lady at the TSA security checkpoint having a bad day... I'm really sorry you have had a bad day but take it out on me was unnecessary," she wrote in one post. "I can honestly say that was one of the worst experiences I have had."

To add to the stress, Johnson East says she was returning from her first kid-free trip by herself since the birth of her second baby, Jett, back in July.

"We as mamas have a duty to our babies and a right in this world to carry breast milk through security. Having you public[ly] humiliate me in proving to you it was actually breast milk was against my rights. To then be groped and yelled at in public was excessive," Johnson East, wrote in another post. "I know you were doing your job, but so was I."

TSA guidelines state that breast milk is "allowed in reasonable quantities" and that you don't need to be accompanied by your baby or child in order to travel with it. And just like any other liquid, it must be removed from your carry-on during the screening check.

Johnson East has been candid about the transition from one baby to two and how hard it is.

"I had some very, very low moments in those first couple of weeks, just because I missed my baby girl and I wanted to make sure she knew she was loved," Johnson East said earlier this year. "It's just that rough transition of splitting your heart and sharing it, and trying to show your love to your babies equally."

It's extremely unfortunate that a new mom experienced not only the standard duress of traveling while breastfeeding, but also alleged harassment on top of it. Sending solidarity and peaceful thoughts her way.

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