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Motherly @ Work features the stories and insights of modern women growing their careers—and their families.



Sarah Schaaf is one of those mamas.

She’s mother, wife, and Founder + CEO of Expectantly —a just-launched baby goods that pairs families with high quality baby gear to borrow for a specific amount of time (with the option to buy at the end of the rental if you love it.)

Expectantly is about to save your family a bunch of money (and storage space!) And Sarah is about to inspire you about how she makes it all work—

Why did you believe you needed to create Expectantly?


Sarah Schaaf: When my son was a few months old my husband and I realized how much stuff we had accumulated that we had barely used. Our garage looked like a high end baby boutique!

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I couldn’t get over how much money we had spent, and more importantly, how wasteful the whole process had been.

Even the items that he loved like his bassinet and swing had only been used a few months max, and it just seemed like a terrible waste in every sense.

So many parents were having the same experience we were having we decided to do something about it. We wanted to save parents time and money while conserving resources by creating a more modern paradigm for this industry. We’re the first company bringing this model to market and we couldn’t be more excited about it and the positive impact we hope it creates.

What was the need in the market?


Sarah Schaaf: Modern millennial parents are comfortable with the idea of sharing items with people they don’t know thanks to companies like Uber, Rent the Runway, Getaround and AirBnB. We wanted to bring that same concept to new and expectant parents with Expectantly.

We’ve partnered with the leading brands in the industry and buy our products direct from the manufacturers. We send them out to Expectantly clients (cleaning and authenticating them in between users) over an 18 month period, then we donate those items to charity.

We’re giving our clients the ability to have everything they want for their children without wasting precious resources on items they won’t use for an extended period of time. And we’re giving back to the Earth and our local and national communities. We’re thrilled that we’ve been able to bring a model to market that fulfills a need while also doing good.

Tell us about how your career to this point—how did you get here?


Sarah Schaaf: I worked as an attorney for 5 years at firms in downtown SF defending corporate clients in litigation matters before taking a position in Google’s legal department.

Even though I had been successful as an attorney I never felt totally fulfilled by the work I was doing. I left Google to go on maternity leave and started playing around with the idea of starting my own company.

I saw a need in the market that wasn’t being met in an industry that was long overdo for an update. I knew so many successful and smart entrepreneurs to lean on for advice and I live in arguably the best city in the world for innovation and entrepreneurship.

I figured that if I was going to take a risk in my career now was the time.

I met amazing co-founders and we decided to team up and start Expectantly. Since starting my own company I’ve realized I love the creative process in a way that I never found as a practicing attorney. It’s amazing how well the training I received as an lawyer has helped me in starting my own company. I definitely think everything I’ve done in my career so far lead me exactly where I need to be.

How are Millennial parents transforming their relationship with ‘stuff’? Is it Marie Kondo? Is it student debt? Urban living? Is something else at play in the culture that is driving us to want to live well with less?


Sarah Schaaf: Such a great question! I think it’s probably a combination of all those things as well as some other influences. I think millennials are much more aware than past generations of the idea of waste: wasted time, wasted money, wasted resources, wasted space.

Millennials are the generation of conservation in so many ways.

Since a very young age we’ve been used to the concept of recycling (and now composting) our trash and conserving water and resources during a time in which our planet is changing in a negative way at an incredibly fast rate.

Millennials are also a generation of people that are all about taking action and standing up for what you believe in. All of these beliefs along with the amazing ability the internet has given us to get and receive information at an incredible speed has made all of us experts in knowing exactly what we want and how to get it.

These days millennials want to be smart with their resources and just generally do good in the world, and that’s what Expectantly is all about. We buy our products brand new from our manufacturing partners and send them out to clients, using only non-toxic Method products to clean them between clients. After about 18 months in our client pool the items are donated to families in need through our charity partner Baby2Baby. We’re reducing waste, saving resources, and helping needy families. It’s definitely a concept millennials can understand and feel good about using.

What are your secrets for integrating work and family?


Sarah Schaaf: I’ll let you know when I figure it out!

Seriously though, it’s a constant work in progress.

When I’m with my son I make him my priority and just cherish our time together. I find if I try to multitask when I’m with him I just end up frustrated, so just giving in completely and being silly with him is so much more productive!

I have an amazing partner in my husband—he is such a team player and we really work together to make our household run. I count on him and he counts on me. I think it’s important for partners to give each other the time and space they need to be themselves outside of their duties as parents. Like my husband taking care of things on his own a morning or two a week so I can go to a spin class or me taking care of the evening routine so he can go for a run or meet up with friends.

We make sure to really enjoy our time together as a family and also give ourselves the space to do what we love outside the house, too.

We love hearing from other women about how they make it all work. Can you give us a little glimpse into a day-in-the-life?


At 6: 30 am. . . Getting out of bed to grab my baby out of his crib and get him a bottle. We snuggle and watch the news and I just try to enjoy my time with him before I’m out the door and gone for the day.

At 7:45 am. . . Trying to sneak in a quick workout at the gym or waiting for our nanny to arrive so I can rush out the door. If I’m at home I’m trying to entertain my little boy while also getting dressed and ready for the day, definitely no easy feat and I’m not always successful at it!

At 10:00 am. . . At the office working side by side with Chrissy or out at a meeting of some sort. Lately we’ve been spending a lot of mornings with our developer in web design meetings or at the Method offices discussing our exclusive partnership for our upcoming launch. Or investor meetings, I feel like I’m always in fundraising mode being the CEO of a startup. I find the mornings to be really productive for me and I’m always trying to make my way through at least one to do list.

At 1:00 pm. . . Late lunch or in a meeting. A lot of afternoons I’m with Chrissy and Thornton (my husband, one of my co-founders and Expectantly’s COO) at our warehouse space or going back and forth between our office and our warehouse (luckily they are only about 2 blocks apart). I also try to save phone calls for the afternoon so you might find me on the phone with our PR agency or one of our charity partners or sneaking in an afternoon cup of coffee between calls.

At 3:00 pm. . . Still at the office but thinking about what the heck we’re going to have for dinner and the logistics of how we’re going to get food on the table!

At 5:00 pm. . . Knocking off work and commuting to either the gym or the grocery store or an activity of some sort for my son (music class, swim lessons, etc.). I’m always trying to squeeze 12 hours of activities into a 10 hour day and some days it’s a real struggle to get it all done.

At 9:00 pm. . . Sometimes on my laptop getting a few more work tasks done, but usually on the couch snuggling with my husband and dog and watching something mindless on TV. I need a little bit of time after a long day to unwind and unplug, so it’s really hard for me to get in bed before 10 pm. But it’s worth it to catch up with my partner and mentally prepare myself for what’s coming up the next day.

Even though Expectantly is about living with less, it’s also about valuing high quality products. What are the amazing products you can’t live without as parents?


Sarah Schaaf: There’s no denying the value of procuring high quality items for your kids, especially for things you use constantly.

We love our OXO Tot Sprout high chair and our son uses it 3-5 times a day. It’s so intuitive and easy to keep clean and the design is super modern. We also can’t live without our Nuna Sena playard. We use it for travel and around the house—it’s so easy to fold up and pretty lightweight.

When my son was younger and eating baby food we used the Beaba Babycook almost everyday, but after a few months he had moved on to solids and we were done with that product.

I absolutely adore Method products—we use their products all over our home in almost every room to keep it clean and germ free and smelling amazing.

Do you have a mentor or someone you look up to that’s helped to shape you as a woman and a mother? Tell us how they inspire you.


Sarah Schaaf: It might sound a little cliche, but my mom has been the most powerful female influence in my life by far. She is also an attorney and always managed to excel in her career while being the most thoughtful and caring mother.

She has taught me so much about being present in whatever you are doing and being able to handle multiple roles at the same time.

She’s an amazing mother, wife, grandmother, friend and co-worker and I’ll be lucky if I’m able to accomplish half of what she’s done in her career and her family life.

Tell us about your children. How have they transformed your career?


Sarah Schaaf: My children have absolutely had a transformative effect of on the direction of my career. Our first child was a girl named Viviette. She passed away 2 days before her due date. Losing her was the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through and it changed the direction of my life in every way.

I decided that life was too short to spend time doing things that weren’t meaningful to me.

Losing her was a major inspiration in my decision to leave the law and start my own company. My son, Thatcher, is an absolute joy. We had him about a year and a half after we lost Vivi, and he’s been my inspiration everyday in moving forward with my dream of making Expectantly come to life. I can honestly say that if it weren’t for my children there is no way I would be in the professional situation I’m in now, and Expectantly wouldn’t exist.

What gets you out of bed in the morning and keeps you inspired and excited about life?


Sarah Schaaf: My son, my husband and our adventures! Just seeing the look on his face every morning makes me excited to wake up and get the day going.

Right now I’m in a place where I feel like time is passing too quickly! I want to slow down time and be present and enjoy every minute.

We’d love to hear—what would you tell other mamas who want to turn their passions into their professions?


Sarah Schaaf: The most important thing you can have in life and your career is passion for what you are doing. Without that, a job is just a job (and that’s okay too, especially if your job allows you to have passion for what you do in your free time.)

If you have passion for something that really moves you and gets you excited, then don’t waste another minute. Start doing what you need to do to make the transition.

I also highly recommend leaning on other women for advice and introductions to people that can help you with your goals. Most successful women have had someone help them get to where they are and are just waiting to repay the favor. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and lean on others while you make your way.

What are your big dreams for Expectantly?


Sarah Schaaf: We want to make Expectantly the new standard for how parents interact with the things they need for their growing families. We want to update and disrupt the existing standard in this industry. By allowing people to interact with the things they need in the way that they want, we want to make people’s lives more convenient and delightful while saving precious resources and helping families in need.

What do you hope your children learn from your career?


Sarah Schaaf: I hope my children learn that being happy is just as important as being successful. For a big portion of my career I was really focused on objective success and making money. Now I’m much more focused on being happy and doing something meaningful and fulfilling with my time.

And surrounding yourself with supportive people that you learn from and love working with is important, too.

You pick up a lot of qualities from the people you spend the most time with, so make sure they’re positive people with big ideas.

What does it mean to you to be “Motherly”?


Sarah Schaaf: Being “Motherly” is being a true supporter of other women and mothers, even if you have different parenting or mothering styles.

Being “Motherly” is also about persevering in the face of adversity and carrying on when things don’t work out the way you planned.

Sometimes life throws things at you that you didn’t expect, and I believe it’s our role as mothers to set an example for our kids and show them that we can be strong even if things are hard.

Sometimes being strong means asking for help or advice from someone else, and it’s important that we teach our children that, too. Similarly, I think the most flattering quality in any mother is being able to make adjustments in the face of change. After all, change is the only true constant in life, so being able to roll with it and adjust accordingly is the definition of being “Motherly” in my book.

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Pop quiz, mama! How many different types of car seats are there? If you guessed three, you're partially correct. The three main types are rear-facing car seats, forward-facing car seats, and booster seats. But then there are a variety of styles as well: infant car seats, convertible seats, all-in-one seats, high-back booster seats, and backless boosters. If you're not totally overwhelmed yet, keep reading, we promise there's good stuff ahead.

There's no arguing that, in the scheme of your baby and child gear buying lifetime, purchasing a car seat is a big deal! Luckily, Walmart.com has everything you need to travel safely with your most precious cargo in the backseat. And right now, you can save big on top-rated car seats and boosters during Best of Baby Month, happening now through September 30 at Walmart.com.

As if that wasn't enough, Walmart will even take the carseat your kiddos have outgrown off your hands for you (and hook you up with a sweet perk, too). Between September 16 and 21, Walmart is partnering with TerraCycle to recycle used car seats. When you bring in an expired car seat or one your child no longer fits into to a participating Walmart store during the trade-in event, you'll receive a $30 gift card to spend on your little one in person or online. Put the money towards a brand new car seat or booster or other baby essentials on your list. To find a participating store check here: www.walmart.com/aboutbestofbabymonth

Ready to shop, mama? Here are the 9 best car seat deals happening this month.


Safety 1st Grow and Go Spring 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat

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From rear-facing car seat to belt-positioning booster, Grow and Go Sprint's got you covered through childhood. Whether you choose the grey Silver Lake, Seafarer or pink Camelia color palette, you'll love how this model grows with your little one — not to mention how easy it is to clean. The machine-washable seat pad can be removed without fussing with the harness, and the dual cup holders for snacks and drinks can go straight into the dishwasher.

Price: $134 (regularly $149)

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Baby Trend Hybrid Plus 3-in-1 Booster Car Seat in Bermuda

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When your toddler is ready to face forward, this versatile car seat can be used as a five-point harness booster, a high-back booster, and a backless booster. Padded armrests, harness straps, and seat cushions provide a comfy ride, and the neutral gray seat pads reverse to turquoise for a stylish new look.

Price: $72.00 (regularly $81)

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Baby Trend Hybrid Plus 3-in-1 Booster Car Seat in Olivia

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Looking for something snazzy, mama? This black and hot pink car seat features a playful heart print on its reversible seat pad and soft harness straps. Best of all, with its 100-pound weight limit and three booster configurations, your big kid will get years of use out of this fashionable design.

Price: $72.00 (regularly $81)

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Evenflo Triumph LX Convertible Car Seat

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This rear- and forward-facing car seat keeps kids safer, longer with an adjustable five-point harness that can accommodate children up to 65 lbs. To tighten the harness, simply twist the conveniently placed side knobs; the Infinite Slide Harness ensures an accurate fit every time. As for style, we're big fans of the cozy quilted design, which comes in two colorways: grey and magenta or grey and turquoise.

Price: $116 (regularly $149.99)

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Disney Baby Light 'n Comfy 22 Luxe Infant Car Seat

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Outfitted with an adorable pink-and-white polka dot Minnie Mouse infant insert, even the tiniest of travelers — as small as four pounds! — can journey comfortably and safely. This rear-facing design is lightweight, too; weighing less than 15 lbs, you can easily carry it in the crook of your arm when your hands are full (because chances are they will be).

Price: $67.49 (regularly $89.99)

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Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat

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We know it's hard to imagine your tiny newborn will ever hit 100 lbs, but one day it'll happen. And when it does, you'll appreciate not having to buy a new car seat if you start with this 4-in-1 design! Designed to fit kids up to 120 lbs, it transforms four ways, from a rear-facing car seat to a backless belt-positioning booster. With a 6-position recline and a one-hand adjust system for the harness and headrest, you can easily find the perfect fit for your growing child.

Price: $199.99 (regularly $269.99)

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Graco SlimFit All-in-One Convertible Car Seat

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With its unique space-saving design, this 3-in-1 car seat provides 10% more back seat space simply by rotating the dual cup holders. The InRight LATCH system makes installation quick and easy, and whether you're using it as a rear-facing car seat, a forward-facing car seat, or a belt-positioning booster, you can feel confident that your child's safe and comfortable thanks to Graco's Simply Safe Adjust Harness System.

Price: $149.99 (regularly $229.99)

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Graco Snugride Snuglock 35 Platinum XT Infant Car Seat

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Making sure your infant car seat is secure can be tricky, but Graco makes it easy with its one-second LATCH attachment and hassle-free three-step installation using SnugLock technology. In addition to its safety features, what we really love about this rear-facing seat are all of the conveniences, including the ability to create a complete travel system with Click Connect Strollers and a Silent Shade Canopy that expands without waking up your sleeping passenger.

Price: $169.99 (regularly $249.99)

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Graco Snugride Snuglock 35 Elite Infant Car Seat

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With just one click, you can know whether this rear-facing car seat has been installed properly. Then adjust the base four different ways and use the bubble level indicator to find the proper position. When you're out and about, the rotating canopy with window panel will keep baby protected from the sun while allowing you to keep your eye on him.

Price: $129.99 (regularly $219.99)

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

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If I ever want to look alive before dropping my son off to school, there are two things I must put on before leaving the house: eyeliner and mascara. When using eyeliner, I typically use black liner on my top lid, a slightly lighter brown for my bottom lid, and then a nude liner for my water line. It works every time.

My mascara routine is a bit different. Because my natural lashes are thin and not the longest, I always opt for the darkest black I can find, and one that's lengthening and volumizing. For this reason, I was immediately drawn to It Cosmetics Lash Blowout Mascara. The new mascara is developed in partnership with Drybar (the blow dry bar that specializes in just blowouts) and promises to deliver bold and voluminous lashes all day long. I was sold.

Could this really be the blowout my lashes have been waiting for? It turns out, it was much better than most volumizing formulas I've tried.

For starters, the wand is a great size—it's not too big or small, and it's easy to grip—just like my favorite Drybar round brush. As for the formula, it's super light and infused with biotin which helps lashes look stronger and healthier. I also love that it's buildable, and I didn't notice any clumps or flakes between coats.

The real test is that my lashes still looked great at dinnertime. I didn't have smudges or the dreaded raccoon eyes I always get after a long day at work. Surprisingly, the mascara actually stayed in place. To be fair, I haven't compared them with lash-extensions (which are my new go-to since having baby number two), but I'm sure it will hold up nicely.

Overall, I was very impressed with the level of length and fullness this mascara delivered. Indeed, this is the eyelash blowout my lashes have been waiting for. While it won't give you a few extra hours in bed, you'll at least look a little more awake, mama.

It Cosmetics Lash Blowout Mascara

It Cosmetics Lash Blowout Mascara
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Here's how I apply IT Cosmetics Lash Blowout Mascara:

  1. Starting as close to lash line as possible (and looking down), align the brush against your top lashes. Gradually turn upwards, then wiggle the wand back and forth up and down your eyelashes.
  2. Repeat, if needed. Tip: Be sure to allow the mascara to dry between each coat.
  3. Using the same technique, apply mascara to your bottom lashes, brushing the wand down your eyelashes.
Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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Having children isn't always as easy as it looks on Instagram. There's so much more to motherhood than serene baby snuggles and matching outfits. But there's a reason we've fallen so deeply in love with motherhood: It's the most beautiful, chaotic ride.

Every single day, we sit back and wonder how something so hard can feel so rewarding. And Eva Mendes just managed to nail the reality of that with one quote.

Eva, who is a mama to daughters Esmerelda and Amada with Ryan Gosling, got real about the messy magic of motherhood in a recent interview.

"It's so fun and beautiful and maddening," the actress tells Access Daily. "It's so hard, of course. But it's like that feeling of…you end your day, you put them to bed and Ryan and I kind of look at each other like, 'We did it, we did it. We came out relatively unscathed.'"

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And just like that, moms all over the world feel seen. We've all been there: Struggling to get through the day (which, for the record is often every bit as fun as it is challenging), only to put those babies to sleep and collapse on the couch in sheer exhaustion. But, after you've caught your breath, you realize just how strong and capable you really are.

One thing Eva learned the hard way? That sleep regressions are very, very real...and they don't just come to an end after your baby's first few months. "I guess they go through a sleep regression, which nobody told me about until I looked it up," she says "I was like, 'Why isn't my 3-year-old sleeping?'"

But, at the end of the day, Eva loves her life as a mom—and the fact that she took a break from her Hollywood career to devote her days to raising her girls. "I'm so thankful I have the opportunity to be home with them," she says.

Thank you for keeping it real, Eva! Momming isn't easy, but it sure is worth it.

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My labor and delivery was short and sweet. I started feeling contractions on Monday morning and by Tuesday night at 8:56 pm my handsome baby boy was born. Only 30 minutes of pushing. Afterward, I was still out of it, to be honest. I held him and did some skin to skin and handed him off to my husband, my mother held him next.

When he was in my mother's arms, I knew he was safe. I started to drift off, the epidural had me feeling drowsy and I had used up all my strength to push this 7 lb baby out. My son's eyes were open and then I guess he went to sleep too. My mother swayed him back and forth. The nurses were in and out, cleaning me up and checking in on us.

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When yet another nurse came in, my mom said to her, "He wasn't latching because he wanted to sleep."

The nurse yelled, "He's not sleeping!"

The next 25 minutes happened in slow motion for me.

After the nurse said these words, she flung my son onto the little baby bed. I looked over and he looked a little blue. Then I heard the loud words of CODE PINK. In matters of seconds about 30 nursing staff descended into my room and crowded around my baby.

I couldn't even see what was happening. I tried to get out the bed but they wouldn't let me and after a couple of failed attempts one of the nurses look at me and said, "He's fine, he's breathing now."

Breathing now? He wasn't breathing before? Again, I tried to push my way to my baby, but once again I was told to not move. They had just performed CPR on my 30-minute old newborn and I couldn't understand what was happening even after a pediatrician tried to explain it to me.

I just started crying. He was fine in my stomach for 39 weeks and 6 days and now I bring him into this world and his heart nearly stops?

I was told he needed to go to the neonatal intensive care unit. I was confused, as I thought the NICU was only for preemies and my son was full term.

After what felt like an eternity we were finally allowed to see our son. My husband wheeled me there and we saw him in the corner alone. I saw the incubator and the wires, he's all bundled up.

The nurse explained all the beeping and showed me the heart rate monitor. He's doing fine. We go over the feeding schedule. I'm exhausted still. I stay with him until about 1 or 2 am. They all suggest I get some sleep. There's no bed in the NICU, so I head back to my room.

The next day was better, he doesn't have to be in the incubator anymore, but the wires remain. By that night or early the next morning, the wires in his nose come out and I try feeding him. I try pumping. It was painful.

He gets his first bath and he loves it. The nurse shampoos his hair (he had a lot!) and he seems so soothed. The nurse explains that because he's full term he doesn't need the same type of support in the NICU. She tells me my baby's strong and he'll be fine.

I look around. I see the other babies, the other moms. They could be there for weeks. And unlike me, the moms have to go home—without their baby.

Friday comes and by now he's done all his tests, blood work came back normal, all tubes have been removed and I get it. I get my going-home package. Finally. I get my instructions on doctor follow-ups and we finally get to go home.

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There have been a lot of iconic entertainment magazine covers featuring pregnant women over the years. Who can forget Demi Moore's bare baby bump on Vanity Fair or Britney Spears' similar nude pose on Harper's Bazaar?

Pregnant women on a magazine covers is nothing new, but a visibly pregnant CEO on the cover of a business magazine, that's a first and it happened this week.

Inc. just put The Wing's CEO Audrey Gelman on the cover and this is a historic moment in publishing and business.

As Gelman told Today this week, "You can't be what you can't see, so I think it's so important for women to see that it's possible to run a fast-growing business and also to start a family."

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She continued: "It's so important to sort of burst that bubble and to have new images of women who are thriving and working professionally while balancing motherhood … My hope is that women see this and again feel the confidence to take greater professional risks while also not shelving their dreams of becoming a mother and starting a family."

The Wing started in 2016 as a co-working space for women and has grown rapidly. As Inc. reports, The Wing has eight locations in the U.S. with plans for more American and international locations by 2020.

Putting Gelman on the cover was an important move by Inc. and Gelman's honesty about her early pregnancy panic ("I can't be pregnant. I have so much to do." she recalls thinking after her pregnancy test) should be applauded.

Gelman says pregnancy made her slow down physically, and that it was actually good for her company: "I had this realization: The way to make my team and my employees feel proud to work for me and for the company was actually not to pretend to be superhuman or totally unaffected by pregnancy."

We need this. We need CEOs to admit that they are human so that corporate leadership can see employees as humans, too. Humans need things like family leave and flexibility, especially when they start raising little humans.

There are a lot of iconic covers featuring pregnant women, but this one is different. She's wearing clothes and she's changing work culture.

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