It’s amazing how many new products and innovative baby solutions have come onto the market since we had our first baby seven years ago.
5 S’s Soothing Smart Bassinet
When parents ask me what book to read to prepare for taking care of a newborn, I always recommend Happiest Baby on the Block (or even the dvd if you are too sleep deprived to read a book!). We used the 5 S’s (swaddle, side or stomach position, shush, swing, and suck) technique with both of our kids and it was a life saver when they had an inconsolable evening! So when I saw the SNOO bassinet from Dr. Knapp who wrote the Happiest Baby on the Block at a baby show a couple of years ago (before we were ever expecting), I was intrigued. Yes at first glance, the straight jacket in a cradle was a little odd looking but learning more about the product and it’s intuitive design and then remembering how badly my arms and neck would hurt after doing the swinging/side position myself for hours on end, I was sold. This is a high ticket item but if you consider the price of a night nanny or you know, your sanity, it might be worth it. Some stores are also piloting a program for renting the SNOO for a monthly fee which I think is genius!
Swaddles with Different Positioning Options
I am all about swaddling and with our first two babies, we swaddles as long as humanly possible! I was excited to learn about a few new designs that give babies a little more freedom of movement while still leaving them feeling super secure. We’re excited to try these from Love2Dream.
Handy Changing Station Products
Skip Hop has this genius diaper caddy that has a touch light so you can see your supplies at night without turning on a bright light. I’m also super excited to use their changing pad that doesn’t require covers and can just be wiped clean. I remember going through like 5 covers a day sometimes and even just giving up and laying a towel down!
We are also using a diaper pail for the first time ever and I’m so excited. I love that this one can hold cloth or disposable diapers and can use regular trash bags or the handy tear-off refills that Dekor makes.
Eco-Friendly Teething Toys that Won’t Mold
We had the infamous giraffe toy with our first two but after seeing one too many of those cut open to reveal mold, I threw that thing away. I was excited to discover Oli & Carol Natural Rubber Toys which are not only non-toxic, handmade from natural rubber but there are no holes whatsoever so they won’t get bacteria build up in them even when using them as bath toys!
I remember teething necklaces for moms being very new on the scene when I had my first two kids. Mostly handmade shops on Etsy and such and most weren’t really my style. I’m loving how some of the new designs look like jewelry I’d actually wear and this is one fun little item for me that I’m excited about! This brand also makes adorable teethers like this taco (every Austinite baby needs one) and this bubble tea!
This hands free and cord free wearable breast pump is another product that I remember seeing the first announcements about and being so excited that innovations around breastpumps were finally being taken into consideration. I will be working from home and won’t be pumping very often but when the Willow team reached out about sending me a pump to try, I knew I wanted to give it a go and can’t wait to report back to all of you!
Our whole house is wood flooring so I knew I wanted a rug to soften up the nursery both for sound control and coziness. We’ve had so many rugs get destroyed by our kids that I was hesitant about it though. I was super excited to try a rug that can be thrown in the washing machine from Lorena Canals AND I also found a small faux sheepskin rug that is also washable! Cozy but still super practical for a baby/toddler? Sign me up!
We also found a really cozy faux sheepskin run to layer on top of this rug that is also washable!! I’ve wanted to add a sheepskin accent rug to the room but couldn’t figure out how it would stay clean in a nursery that would eventually belong to a toddler! I was so excited to find these on Instagram and at a really affordable price point and with different size options/colors.
Breathable Crib Mattress
This is actually our first time owning a crib so I wasn’t really sure what the benefits were of the different mattress. I knew I wanted non-toxic and waterproof and this breathable mattress from Newton fit the bill with the added benefit of being super safe for baby. Even if they are sleeping face down (obviously not recommended), they can breathe easily. Read more on their website.
Diaper Bag with a Mission
These custom made diaper bags are so beautiful and I love the mission behind the company to hire women who have various barriers to employment to make each bag by hand. Read more about the company and design your own bag!
I’m so glad I stepped out of my comfort zone and did a solo maternity session while we were on our family vacation “babymoon” in Kauai. I was only 27 weeks along but had a pretty big belly already with this being baby number three and I love seeing this stage of my pregnancy captured on our trip. We have a family photo session coming up this weekend and I’m now 37 weeks aka moving much slower and feeling much bigger so it will definitely be a different vibe!
My photographer in Kauai was Mallory Francks who is so talented! She really specializes in creating moody and sensual images. Looking back, I kind of wish I had had Richard come to the session too because we don’t really have many intimate style couple images and Mallory is SO great about making you feel comfortable and giving direction for those of us who are not natural models! If you’re in Kauai for a babymoon or just on a trip with your honey, I’d highly recommend booking a couples session with her. Follow her on Instagram to see what I’m talking about!
All images by Mallory Francks Photography
9 Things I’m Loving Right Now
Just for fun sharing some of the things that are getting me through this pregnancy. I can’t believe I’m already in the third trimester!
Coconut Chia Seed Pudding for a Sweet Treat
I’ve become obsessed with coconut chia pudding since trying it in Hawaii. I use 1 cup coconut milk (the kind from the carton in the fridge section) and 4 tablespoons chia seeds with 1 tsp vanilla extract. Put it in little jars and let it sit in the refrigerator over night then I top it with bee pollen, a tiny bit of sea salt and granola. It’s the BEST grab n go breakfast or sweet treat during the day!
Collagen Powder for Extra Protein
It’s so hard to get all the protein you need in pregnancy (at least for me!) so this tasteless powder is a great way to squeeze in some extra grams without even noticing. Just mix it in your tea and have a glass in the evening. There are actually a lot of studies about the benefits of collagen and how most of us aren’t getting nearly enough.
Young Living Frankincense Essential Oil for my Skin
My skin absolutely freaks out in pregnancy and while breastfeeding and this has been a game changer for me. I just put a drop in my moisturizer (morning and night) and also have a homemade roller that I made from my Young Living Starter Kit with Frankincense, Lavender and Copaiba that my Young Living team calls the Glowstick because so many people have gotten amazing skin support from this combo! Learn more about getting started with Oils in this post.
Floradix for my Iron Levels
I have been singing the praises of this supplement since my first pregnancy 7 years ago when I found out I was anemic and was able to quickly bring up my iron levels with Floradix. Recently when I was sick and off of Floradix for a couple weeks, my iron levels dropped and I’m so glad I am back on it. Also helps my energy levels! You can also add in Chlorophyll which helps your body build red blood cells as well.
Kindred Bravely Simply Sublime Pregnancy/Nursing Tank
I’ve been a fan of the Simply Sublime bra in busty sizing for awhile and am so glad they came out with the tank for us bigger busted ladies recently! Comes in several great colors and it’s my go to top for around the house! I’m also obsessed with their maternity panties. Use code BIRTHHOUR20 for 20% off!
Young Living Lavender and Valor Essential Oil for all the Emotional Support
Read more about my journey with using Oils for Emotional Support on my wellness Instagram account @bumptobabyessentials, particularly this post. I’ve relied HEAVILY on YL oils throughout my pregnancy and am so so grateful for them. I’m always happy to answer any questions about getting started with oils, it’s a total passion project for me.
Earth Mama Organics Perineal Balm for Hemorrhoids
This is a not-so-fun side effect of pregnancy that I’ve dealt with off and on ever since having my daughter almost 7 years ago. I now use this balm as preventive as well as treatment on the regular. Definitely a must have along with their spray for postpartum as well.
Staying hydrated during pregnancy (especially in the summer) is so important and once baby arrives, I tend to become a camel while breastfeeding. Give me all the water! My yeti cup is my best friend that I bring everywhere and always have by my side. I like to use the straw top because I find that I drink way more often that way.
Birth Hour Mamas Group
Last but not least, I’m LOVING our listener supporters group. I’ve been sharing pregnancy updates in the form of audio journal recordings and have also received so much love via our private FB group! Seriously the best group of all time, thanks ladies!!
Buying maternity clothes is so different than any other type of clothing you buy because you know you’re only going to wear them for a short time. Yet, many maternity clothes are actually MORE expensive than your regular clothes. This time around I knew I wanted to mostly focus on clothes that would be comfy for my pregnancy (all during hot Texas weather months) and still be useful for postpartum.
My Requirements for Maternity Dresses
- Comfortable for pregnancy
- Flattering Postpartum
- Unexpected Bonus (can hide bump in early pregnancy!)
These are the brands and dresses that I am loving the most! I’ve been so surprised by how many more options there are than there were 5 years ago when I was expecting my son. I’ve got some great coupon codes for you here too!
My favorite item from Loyal Hana is the Cybelle dress which I have in navy but it comes in a million colors. The flowy-ness of this dress is pure perfection—even at 21 weeks, I can still get away with looking like I’m not pregnant so if you are trying to keep pregnancy under wraps at work or elsewhere this is the perfect dress. It’s lightweight and breathable and has very discreet zippers for nursing (genius!). Oh, and did I mention, pockets! They also have lots of nursing-friendly tops that I have my eye on. They are actually offering 15% off your entire order with code TheBirthHour15 so hop on over and check out their options. Find them on instagram @loyal_hana.
This small business is hitting on all of my requirements and they take the comfy one to the next level! I’m absolutely obsessed with this dress (the v-neck will be perfect for nursing). I have it in dusty rose but I want it in every color! I also love this tunic —looks so cute on my bump but will also be so flattering postpartum. Finally I know it’s not in the dress category but these leggings are the most comfortable I’ve ever worn and the only under-the-bump leggings I’ve ever found to be cute (aka no weird muffin top bulging). They are also offering a 15% off code BIRTHHOUR if you want to check out their entire collection. I have a feeling I’ll be getting a few more items before the end of my pregnancy. Find them on instagram @matronsaint.
Ok, this company is so cool! Humble Hilo not only sells beautiful handmade and unique Guatemalan textiles, they also have an amazing social mission. When you buy from them, YOU get to choose to support projects in child nutrition, education and literacy for women, and microfinance loans for women to start their own small business. They have adorable shoes for kids and adults, gorgeous bags and my new favorite item, the hilo dress (with pockets!!) I have the noche pattern and can’t wait to get the matching mini dress for Adelaide (launches this week!). I love the pattern options for hiding stains (and baby spit up). They are offering 10% off with code THEBIRTHHOUR and you will want to check out their entire site and instagram @humlehilo.
I love the basics bundle option from Storq and these are my more form fitting maternity clothes this pregnancy. They are solid, basic and comfy for every day wear but can also pass as dressy when needed. I also have a couple dresses outside of the bundle and the first time I put on this dress and this dress I literally said out lout “damn!” because I thought I looked so sexy! And that’s really saying something because this was during the beginning of my pregnancy when it’s not totally clear whether you are pregnant or just ate too much pizza for lunch. These two dresses are super stretchy but don’t have ruching so they aren’t obviously maternity wear and could be worn post pregnancy as well. I’ve worn the long sleeve one to a wedding and the tank on several date nights with my hubby. Also super happy to report that they just announced that all new products they make will come in sizes 0 through 2X/22 (going up to 3X/26 in the Fall). They created 15 codes for 15% off when you use THEBIRTHHOUR at checkout. Find them on instagram @storq.
Did I miss any of your favorites? Share in the comments!
Ok, so let’s talk nausea!
Everyone and every pregnancy is different when it comes to nausea—some of you might be queasy off and on for a few hours, while others wonder why it isn’t called “all day sickness?!” A lucky 24% of women don’t get nauseous at all and then they might worry why they aren’t having this symptom!
Thankfully, there are essential oils available that can help those of us who do get nauseous while pregnant and are looking for relief.
8 essential oils for nausea and morning sickness
Lemon essential oil, like all citrus oils, is very uplifting and really helpful for women suffering from aversions to smell during pregnancy that are causing nausea. Simple open a bottle of lemon and take some deep breaths or try using Lemon (and Citrus Fresh) in your water. Young Living’s vitality oils are safe to ingest and just one drop in your water can make a refreshing drink when it’s hard to keep much of anything down.
Lavender is the jack of all trades when it comes to essential oils and can be used for SO many things during pregnancy. It’s super relaxing and calming and great for sleep support. It can also be calming to an upset stomach. Create a roller with lavender and apply it directly to your tummy or behind your ears. Lavender is also great to diffuse to bring feelings of relaxation and help you rest when you’re feeling exhausted and queasy. If you’ve never smelled the Lavender from Young Living you are missing out! It is so much more potent than any other brands.
3. Fennel Seed
For hundreds of years Fennel was used for digestive support and for balancing hormones during a woman’s menstrual cycle. So, it makes sense that it would help with hormone-related nausea during pregnancy. During my pregnancy, I used a blend from Young Living that contained fennel called Digize. I made a diluted roller and would rub it directly on my abdomen. If you’re experiencing smell aversions, fennel may be too strong of a smell for you.
Peppermint essential oil has so many great uses during pregnancy including helping with smell sensitivities. You can simply open the bottle and sniff it or diffuse it along with a citrus, like lemon or orange. If you are using Young Living’s Peppermint Vitality which is ingestible, you can also apply one drop to your tongue and press your tongue to the roof of your mouth. Be sure to avoid contact with your eyes.
Note: Some people choose to avoid peppermint in late pregnancy because it can be used to reduce milk supply but I personally used it up until the end and had an abundant milk supply. Use your best judgment and consult your care provider.
You’ve probably already heard that ginger helps with motion sickness, nausea, and general stomach discomfort. My mom used to always give me gingerale when I was sick as a kid—not sure if it actually helped but it sure felt special in a house where sodas were never allowed. But, Ginger essential oil is amazing for nausea. You can diffuse ginger essential oil, use it in a roller and apply topically to your tummy, or even put Ginger Vitality from Young Living in a capsule and take it when you feel nausea coming on.
Digestion issues are pretty common during pregnancy and Digize, a blend of Tarragon, Ginger, Peppermint, Juniper, Lemongrass, Anise, and Patchouli oils, is great digestive support for nausea. Create a roller with Digize and use it during your first trimester on your tummy when you’re experiencing morning sickness. You can also use Digize Vitality oil by putting a drop on your finger and applying to the insides of your cheeks.
Spearmint essential oil is a gentler alternative to peppermint and can be used without concern for affecting your milk supply in late pregnancy. Use it in the same ways you would use peppermint—diffuse, rub behind your ears or under your nose or put a drop on your tongue. Be sure to avoid contact with your eyes.
Thieves Oil is a popular blend for immune support and when you’re suffering from nausea and having trouble keeping down nutritious food, an extra boost for your immune system during pregnancy is never a bad idea. Thieves contains Clove, Lemon, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus Radiata, and Rosemary. Several of those oils are recommended to use with care and caution during pregnancy.
Also ensure you dilute Thieves and use it in moderation, rather than daily. Try making a 10ml roller with just 10 drops of Thieves essential oil and coconut oil and apply it to the bottoms of your feet or simply open the bottle and inhale. The scent of Thieves is really lovely (reminds me of the holidays) and can be great for smell aversions as well.
Tips for Morning Sickness
Here’s a few ways I’ve found helpful to deal with nausea.
- Eat smaller meals and snacks more frequently, rather than 3 big meals. Try to eat whole foods but if all you can stomach are some starchy carbs, go with it and hopefully it won’t last more than a few weeks! Potatoes are great for many women.
- Eat first thing. If mornings are worse for you, keeping snacks (like plain crackers) by your bed to eat first thing in the morning before even getting up can help! Also eating protein before bed that takes longer to digest can help.
- Don’t let yourself get hungry! Eat before you’re hungry, even if it’s a small snack.
- Eat mild foods that are more tolerable for your body. Spicy, fatty, or heavy foods may not sit as well, and take longer to digest. I love sandwiching protein in between really bland carbs like a croissant or tortilla.
- Stay hydrated. Lots of water is vital during the entire pregnancy, but sip it often throughout the day rather than chugging huge amounts at a time. Keep a water bottle nearby at work, in your car, and at your nightstand. Consider adding electrolytes as well.
- Experiment with your vitamins. Sometimes prenatal vitamins can affect queasiness so pay attention to whether you feel worse after you take yours and experiment with different prenatal vitamins if necessary. Try taking your vitamin right before bed rather than first thing in the morning, and see if it helps.
- Exercise. It sounds counter-intuitive, but sometimes a walk outside can do wonders. Breathing fresh air, enjoying the sunshine and having a good time can help take your mind off of your tummy and lift your nausea.
- Avoid Stress. I know, it’s easier said than done but aside from hormonal changes, stress/emotions are another potential cause for nausea.
- Invest in Quality Products:
- Be sure you’re getting enough B vitamins, particularly B6. If you have the MTHFR mutation, you’ll need a methylated version.
- Tea: Anything citrus-y or with ginger is great. I love Earth Mama’s Morning Wellness Tea.
- Sea Bands: many women swear by these and I did have success with them on a road trip when I was extra queasy.
2 things to consider before using essential oils
Not every oil works the same for everyone
Essential oils are a great supplemental option to your wellness routine during pregnancy and if you’ve suffered from pregnancy induced nausea or “morning sickness” then you know that you are likely willing to try anything to help ease the symptoms. Of course, essential oils are not a replacement for medical care and should be used as a complement to the care you receive from your doctor or midwife. If you are experiencing extreme nausea and vomiting you definitely need to let your care provider know.
Always consult your care provider
During pregnancy, it’s always a good idea to run any concerns by your care provider. You can also seek the advice of an aromatherapist or a midwife or doula that have extensive experience using essential oils with pregnant women.
2 places to purchase essential oils
Local health store
Most local health stores and even many grocery stores carry essentials oils. Unfortunately, not all essential oils are created equal. The regulation around essential oils is pretty nonexistent so companies can claim to have a 100% pure essential oil when actually it’s packed with synthetics or diluted.
Through Young Living!
I had used several essential oils brands prior to getting pregnant and I didn’t realize the difference in quality between many oils you find on the shelves or online versus Young Living oils. You can tell a difference right away when you smell Young Living essential oils and their Seed to Seal commitment was what really sold me on exclusively using their oils. I’m actually visiting their lavender farm in Utah this month!
The best way to get your essential oils through Young Living is by becoming a wholesale member so you can order for yourself, whenever you want at the wholesale discount of 24% off. To become a member all you need to do is purchase a premium starter kit once. It’s a pretty great deal because you get a diffuser and 12 of their most popular oils including many of the ones mentioned here (peppermint, lavender, digize, lemon, and thieves are all included!).
Find out more
If you want to know more about how we are using essential oils in our life, you can check out this post. And if you’re ready to get started using essential oils with Young Living, check out this post on everything you need to know about the Starter Kit.
How I got started with Young Living
I honestly never take on things like this (The Birth Hour keeps me plenty busy!) but the YL team that I had the opportunity to join (and that you can join too!) is so fun & full of knowledge that I couldn’t resist joining them after watching so many friends move up through the ranks all while having a blast!
I’ve been actively using the oils in my daily life so much (especially during my pregnancy) that it only made sense to get on board and start sharing my experience. And to be totally frank, working solo on the podcast was getting a little isolating and I am loving having a group of friends both online and locally to share mutual goals with.
I’m a terrible salesperson and had no desire to become one but through our team’s free mentorship program I learned that it’s really all about sharing rather than selling. That I could do! I was using the essential oils and products so much throughout the day that I simply started sharing more of my day with friends in my daily life and on Instagram.
The other cool thing is that you don’t have to pay anything up front or keep any stock of products, all you are doing is sharing your referral link and helping people get their starter kit so they can experience all of the most popular oils while also getting their own access to the wholesale prices of 24% off everything Young Living makes!
My first new members were my friends and family that would come over to my house and ask what that amazing smell was or where I got the awesome hand soap in the bathroom etc. Everything I had learned in the mentorship was pretty spot on—the people that love you and already trust your taste will be interested in the things your are using and loving! I was hooked!
With a Young Living business you can:
- Get your products paid for
- Be your own boss and have more time with your family
- Earn up to six-figures a year (You will see so many REAL examples of this on our team! Truly inspiring!)
- Work alongside an amazing community of women leaders and entrepreneurs
- Earn an income that is a direct result of your own efforts and hard work
- Grow real wealth and residual income through the well established business model of network marketing
If you are passionate, team spirited, self-motivated, and looking to make a real change towards financial freedom, our community would love to welcome you to the team! We have all the resources and tools you need to start growing your very own Young Living Essential Oil business including graphics and photos free for you to use, premade oils classes for you to teach, ebooks, ongoing trainings and education, and best of all, a vast community of support and friendship. Honestly, my favorite part—it’s truly so much fun to work alongside these women and celebrate each others successes no matter how big or small!
The Business Opportunity with Young Living
Have you fallen in love with Essential Oils and now you want to share with others? With Young Living you can turn that passion into a real income! Our team’s primary mission is to give you the tools and education you need to succeed on your wellness journey with essential oils but we also recognize that making healthy changes in your home doesn’t come for free! Investing in high quality tools such as essential oils, non-toxic household items, supplements and vitamins takes money.
We equip each of our new members with resources and tools including an online mentorship, and tons of guidance from those who have been right where you are. The beauty of a Young Living business is that it’s designed to foster a community of support. That means that when you decide to grow your business with Young Living and enroll as a distributor, you get free and unlimited access to all of our team resources and community support groups and anyone that you enroll under you will get the same!
What makes Young Living different than other MLMs?
OK, yes I was turned off by the idea of joining a network marketing or multi level marketing business because of all of the horror stories I’d heard. At the same time, I had friends in my real life that were seeing huge successes with their Young Living Businesses! A couple of people on my upline showed me their actual paychecks so at least I knew the money was real right off the bat. Even though I trusted them, I wanted to make sure and do some research of my own.
So the big concern with MLMs is that they are a scam or a pyramid scheme, right? Since the only startup cost was to get my starter kit, which I already had (and loved!) and only cost $165, I wasn’t too worried about being scammed. I already knew the products were high quality and worked for me and my family, so again I wasn’t worried about scamming people with crappy products!
In order to earn full commissions you do need to be on the Essential Rewards program spending $100 a month but I was already doing that, because, again, I loved the products and loved all of the perks of this monthly autoship program (free stuff, points back, etc!). We were switching out conventional products for non-toxic, plant based products in our home and loving the changes we were seeing so this was also a no brainer for me. We started getting our cleaning products, supplements, shampoo, etc. all from Young Living. Plus, how many startup businesses can you link of that can get off the ground spending only $100/month?!
Ok, so the pyramid scheme thing. All MLMs are designed in a way that when you look at your team it does resemble a pyramid and Young Living is no different. However, I don’t view this as a scheme because our team is all working together to help one another succeed. One thing unique to Young Living is that they allow you to strategically place your members in different areas of your organization so your upline can actually help YOUR team grow by placing people that enroll with them into your team. So, when those above you are doing well, it actually helps your business and of course every person who joins your team also helps those above you.
We all grow together and supporting each other is definitely the vibe I saw immediately once I joined our private team groups on Facebook. It’s actually pretty remarkable how supportive those groups are and how inspiring the women I work with are. It’s so rare to come across a big online community of women with ZERO cattiness or mommy wars behavior. Of course I can’t speak for every Young Living team out there but the team I joined has become a group of lifelong friendships.
So how much are people actually earning with a Young Living Business?
How much you earn in your Young Living business is entirely up to you. Some members are content to earn a few extra hundred dollars a month, while others are looking to earn six-figure incomes and beyond. Again, my favorite part is that when those above and below you succeed, you succeed too! It’s definitely a team effort and you never feel like a salesperson out there alone.
Below you’ll see the average monthly income earned by the nearly 1.75 million Young Living members worldwide. Last updated in 2018. Our team is all about helping you reach your goals, whether that be to hit Silver in 6 months, or reach Diamond in 3 years. We have the tools you need to succeed and women who have gone before you and done exactly that!!
I’m currently a Silver leader with Young Living and I’ve been doing the business for a little over a year. My goal is to hit diamond within four years which would be so life changing for my family. First goal for me is for my husband to be able to quit his job and give us the freedom to do more things together as a family.