Dear Diary

_DSC0220

First off, apologies for the late gift guide posting – growing a human in my body has really impacted my time management as of late!

The good news is, you so do not need a big excuse like Christmas to treat the moms-to-be and new moms in your life. Whether someone you know has just announced, is waddling through their third trimester and getting a little bit impatient (hem… me), or basking in newborn bliss these people in your life are working hard, and it’s so important not to forget about treating them! Of course baby clothes and cute felted rattles are always appreciated, but a gift that says “I see you and I’m here for you” specifically for the moms in your circle? That’s a special gift that isn’t as often received.

This guide includes some of my very favourite purchases from the past 8 months, plus the top items on my wishlist right now. I’ll be doing a more practical guide to dressing the bump and the essentials I couldn’t live without while expecting, but this guide is more about those special surprises that remind a new mom you still care about the her that’s hiding behind that bump or baby.

And remember, when in doubt, bring FOOD!

_DSC0223

RAOPGiftGuide1

The Goods //

1. Nurture by Erica Chidi Cohen
2. Love Wellness Do it All wipes
3. Woodlot Palo & Rose everyday mist
4.‘Mama’ gold necklace
5.Love Wellness Good Girl probiotics
6. Moodbeli Bliss Booster
7. Hatch Nipple + Lip balm
8. Hatch Belly Oil
9. Moonbath bath tea
10. The Every Bodysuit by Knix
11. Woodlot essential oils
12. Hatch cashmere sock bundle
13. BBhugme Pregnancy Pillow

A few more of my personal favourites //

Blanqi maternity and postpartum supportwear
Maternity teas by New Moon Tea co.
Mama bird t-shirt

Services and Instant Gifts //

Mom Box or The Womb Box – Who doesn’t love a good curated gift box?
A West End Mamas Gift card – prenatal yoga, massages, acupuncture; if you can name it, they do it!
At home beauty services from Wink and Wave – send some pampering direct to mama.
Postpartum visits from an awesome Doula (like Birth Boss!) – good support is priceless.
Sprout Collection Subscription – the best way to look cute and save on maternity wear when expecting!

And you can find so many more great ideas at Mother Mother shop!

_DSC0227

Dear Diary

potionsheader

We hear it all the time in hashtags and Instagram captions, but my goodness, being pregnant really does show you how crazy mysterious and magical women’s bodies can be. Watching my body shift, stretch and grow in ways I never thought possible over the past 6 months has been a total trip, and understanding how to slow down and listen to its new demands hasn’t been easy for someone as go-go-go as I am.

I also haven’t been the best about following all of the pregnancy “rules”. Turns out the internet will tell you almost anything you can think of is risky when carrying a child – food, spices, herbs, scents, essential oils, if you can name it and there’s a warning about it. My first trimester I was terrified, constantly searching every single ingredient and giving up some of my favourite teas and tinctures. The more I monitored and read, the more nervous I became… it felt like unless I was eating exclusively processed, packaged junk food I was totally doomed.

The thing is, I started to realize the most unhealthy thing I could possibly be full of was fear. I started doing more research, and it turns out the internet warns against a lot of ingredients simply because their effect hasn’t been studied on pregnancy. Kombucha, for example, is often not recommended because it contains a tiny amount of alcohol, but a lot of women believe the healthy bacteria outweighs any potential negative concerns. Still, I wasn’t truly confident in my decisions until I read Nurture by Erica Chidi Cohen.

I haven’t been big on pregnancy reading, but if you’re going to buy one book, this is the one to invest in. Erica is all about trusting your body and using common sense to make decisions instead of being lead by anxiety, and it helped me get comfortable with the idea that I know best for my body and my baby. Sushi for example, is almost always flash frozen now, killing the bacteria pregnant women are warned of, so as long as you pick a busy, popular restaurant that doesn’t leave fish sitting out, you’re probably totally fine. Same with cold pressed juice – buy fresh from a reliable source and there’s very little chance bacteria has had enough time to grow!

With newfound confidence, I started experimenting with different ways to keep calm and carry (baby) on, like adaptogenic smoothie recipes and essential-oil boosted epsom salt baths. Stress has been my number one enemy this pregnancy – I’m so happy to be where I am, but I’m constantly on edge, all too often frustrated with work issues, friend conflicts and disappointment in myself. Hormones can be hard to handle, and I also stopped taking anti-depressants when I conceived which has been more of an adjustment than I expected. All that in mind, being a mother is about adapting, and I’ve worked hard to take care of myself with these potions and rituals that create time and space for my changing body and mind.

*I am not a doctor, and though these products and potions worked great for me, make sure you check in with your midwife/doula/care provider before trying anything new!

_DSC6490

_DSC6486

Moodbeli Powders //

Hot chocolate has been my biggest craving by far this pregnancy, and I wanted to find something healthier than Carnation brand powder with mini marshmallows. I came across Moodbeli and instantly fell in love – their tonics are all SO delicious and can be brewed hot or mixed into a smoothie. Like a milky taste? Try adding some of their “Cloud Powder” to your cup – it’s like a plant-based cream. The best part about this brand is every product is rich with vitamins and minerals, for example the Bliss Booster is high in iron + calcium, and tastes like spicy hot chocolate to boot.

My favourites //

Cloud Powder
Bliss Booster
Ceremony Tonic

_DSC6507

_DSC6500

Moonbath //

I have yet to find a pregnant lady who didn’t swear by taking baths – it’s a great way to take the weight off of those tired bones and let all that stress go. I’m all about soaking up fancy, indulgent baths, but I love the idea of adding a bit more meaning and healing in the mix. Moonbath checks out on both fronts, with super pretty packaging and aromatherapy-focused ingredients that aim to evoke specific strengths. All natural and thoughtfully crafted, I especially love brewing the Nasty Woman bath tea when I’m feeling a bit too hormone-heavy.

My favourites //

Nasty Woman Bath Tea
New Moon Bath Tea
Milk and Honey Bath Salt
Sacred Smoke Smudge Blend

_DSC6466

_DSC6446

Fleurs //

I first found this brand through Hello Mellow, an awesome local wellness shop that sells all sorts of healing products. Yes, the Fleurs brand contains CBD, which has not yet been comprehensively studied on pregnant women, and though the amount absorbed from these creams and teas that actually makes it to baby is minute, I have personally only used them very sparingly since becoming pregnant. A lot of women are medicating with full-on CBD oil for pregnancy nausea and aches nowadays, but to be on the safe side I plan on using these products more regularly after birth. This is a personal choice, and I definitely look forward to more well-researched data about CBD and pregnancy in the future, because it really can be so helpful!

Pregnant aside, this local brand is seriously amazing. Each tea bag is carefully dosed to provide non-psychoactive relief, and their pain potion has been a lifesaver in the past when I got stress headaches that nothing else seemed to touch.

My favourites //

CBD pain potion
Stress roll-on
Organic CBD teas

_DSC6484

Herb and Nectar Tea //

If the unknowns of CBD aren’t your thing, I’m also a huge fan of Herb and Nectar Tea. They use a lot of herbs that are on the “risky” list, but their Divine Feminine Blend has been one of my absolute favourites to sip this past 6 months – it’s not only safe for pregnant women but encourages uterine strength and is high in iron and magnesium. I also recommend their high quality, pure Cacao Tea, which basically makes a cup of the most decadent rose cinnamon hot chocolate you can possibly imagine. Make sure you order ahead of time, as each jar is hand blended fresh!

_DSC6551

Some other spirit-boosting favourites //

Tarot cards by Labyrinthos
Lohn Candles
Palo Santo from Cardea Auset
The Strength in our Scars poetry book by Bianca Sparacino

_DSC6545

_DSC6497

_DSC6472