New mamas are often so focused on a tiny human or two that they don’t take time out for self care. “Sleep when baby sleeps” they say. What they do not say, oddly enough, is “do the washing when the baby does the washing” Or “vacuum when the baby vacuums”. But taking that time out for yourself, especially when baby goes for a nap, is vital for your sanity. The washing, the vacuuming, it will wait. Maybe what they should say is “recharge when the baby recharges.” Doing small things for yourself will help keep you feeling balanced, and potentially even ward off postpartum depression. (So says my shrink, and he’s a pretty smart guy!) So get painting those nails, mama! Happy belated Mother’s Day to you!
Here’s a wee list of the things that have seen me through the most sleepless yet rewarding period of my life. It’s also a little microstudy of my favourite online retailers. Online shopping has been my saving grace! The postie knows me by name now, I think he’ll deserve a six-pack at Christmas.
If you choose to shop via the links below, (Nourished Life, Adore Beauty, Chemist Warehouse, iTunes apps, Amazon US) you will- at no expense to you- help me run this ol’ blog. The products I mention are genuine favourites.
Nourished Life shipping: Free if you join, which is also free!
1} Badger Nursing Balm $14.95
This stuff saved my nipples during those first days and weeks. I’d heard that nipples can go rogue, but never expected the sheer epicness of my nippleage. Seriously, they were giant scabs in place of my otherwise regular nipples. That is, until I used Badger Nursing Balm. #lifesaver US Amazon: Badger Organic Nursing Balm – Sunflower & Coconut – 0.75oz
2} Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar from $8.95
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has long been known* to have close to miraculous properties. And as a new mama, miracles are more than helpful! I’ve been taking a measure of ACV at night as it is purported to keep blood sugar down. US Amazon: Bragg Usda Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar, 32 Fluid Ounce
3} Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Soap, Lavender from $12.95
For the times when I don’t have an opportunity to ‘indulge’ in self care, sometimes just getting clean will have to do. And nothing seems to leave me feeling cleaner than Dr. Bronners. It doesn’t appear to dry my already dry skin out, but then I wouldn’t use it on my face. (I’m a water-only-on-the-face gal.) Read the packaging for an interesting journey. US Amazon: Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Liquid Soap (8 oz, Lavender)
Shipster retailer (See note below)
4} Essie: essie nail colour – tart deco $14.95
My old go-to nail polish was Revlon Colorstay. Until, that is, I discovered Essie. Affordable, great range. I paint one coat when I feel I need a pick-me-up. In fact I just painted my nails in Eternal Optimist. Pretty nails brighten my days. Even coverage, super quick drying time. Really forgiving of terrible applicators. US Amazon essie nail polish, tart deco, coral nail polish, 0.46 fl. oz.
My Mama is an Clinique mama, so I grew up with their range. It may be at the higher end of the spectrum price-wise, but it really works overtime on my dry and sensitive skin. Using it means I don’t resemble a parched river bed. Working it into my routine feels restorative in more ways than one. US Amazon Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief 1 oz/30 ml
Shipster retailer (See note below)
6} Tooshies by Tom Pure Baby Wipes $4.99 ($5.99 RRP)
Baby wipes on a Mama list? The thing about these wipes is that they smell delicious. They are a treat for the olfactory senses. That’s enough for me to make sure they are always on the shopping list. For me, not so much for Jack!
7} Life Space Probiotic for Pregnancy and Breastfeeding $29.99 ($41.99 RRP)
I started taking this probiotic while pregnant, as I had planned to go on The Clever Guts Diet: How to Revolutionise Your Body from the Inside Out before finding out we were expecting, which has a focus on pre- and probiotic foods, but that’s not recommended while pregnant, so I thought I’d do something nice for my guts instead. Now that our breastfeeding journey is over I’ll do my research as to the best probiotic for my health concerns. But for now I’m working through these, and I’m pretty sure they make my tum sing! US Amazon: Life-Space Probiotic For Pregnancy & Breastfeeding 60 Caps
8} Swisse Pregnancy Ultivite $18.99 ($34.95 RRP)
While feeding I was a little concerned that my diet wasn’t providing Jack with enough nutrients. Continuing to take these multis gave me a little peace of mind. Now that I’m no longer feeding they help me feel a little better about my lacklustre diet. Jury’s out as to whether they give me more energy. Let’s just say they do.
9} Life Space Pregnancy and Breastfeeding DHA+ $27.99 ($39.99 RRP)
My last nutrient worry for Jack was that I don’t like fish, so he was missing out on essential DHA. That worry was alleviated by taking this product, and relieving that stress made this mama feel more confident on the feeding journey.
10} Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Orthodontic Soothers $9.49 ($11.00 RRP)
Another for-baby-but-also-for-mama purchase. A soothed baby is a soothed mum. Need I say more? US Amazon: Tommee Tippee Closer To Nature Everyday Pacifier, Blue, 0-6 Months, 2 Count (Colors will vary)
11} Oxfam Fair World Blend Ground Coffee
So these links are not affiliate links, I just wanted to share my favourite coffee. This coffee gives back to the producers fairly, which is ideal. Unsure if you should buy direct from Oxfam or through your local supermarket? Oxfam recommend you lean toward your local supermarket, as this helps keep their product in store and their message out.
12}Thankyou Nappy Balm $8.49
Another socially aware product, also not an affiliate link, but a product that gives back. Good for baby but also good for mama, this balm is super effective on sore skin, which I have had a fair bit of due to the fact that I’ve been killing off the good bacteria on my hands with sanitisers.
Life Changing Apps
13} Evernote FREE or Paid
Evernote is an app that helps me brain-dump my to do lists, my 3am ideas, my medical history, everything. Need to document something? Evernote’s your platform. I have Evernote on all my devices, and I’m not sure how I managed without it. I’m currently using the free version.
14} Rainbow Baby Journal Free or Paid -Android only.
I think this is the best baby tracking app around. It made it to this list as in my tired state I am terrible at remembering the minute details that are nappy changes and paracetamol doses. The tracker was especially good at recording breastfeeding.
Late night/early morning feeds can be lonely. Have someone keep you company by listening to podcasts! Some of my favourites: Love to Sew, Parenthetical Science, Lady Startup, How I Built This, The Design Files Talks.
Special mention: Shipster 2 months free, then $6.95 per month.
This is more of a public service post than an affiliate link. I’m not getting paid to tell you about Shipster, but it’s such an awesome deal. Check out the Shipster retailer directory. If you make more than one purchase online per month from any of these retailers, I suggest you sign up! I make multiple purchases a month from Chemist Warehouse alone. Provided you spend more than $25 and your parcel isn’t too big, shipping is free. If you are a comfortable online shopper like me, and in Australia, Shipster is the way to go!
Happy shopping, mama!
*A note on apple cider vinegar: The science is not 100% in on the alternative uses of ACV. I was chatting with a Scientist Friend of mine about the drop, and she recommended this Vice article. What I do know is that if I consume carbs and follow up with ACV I don’t see the super high blood sugar readings I have come to expect from pasta overload. Please don’t take this as medical advice, as my little science experiment is not really reflected in the results of any medical journal published study. After reading the article Science Friend recommended I’m slightly cautious about recommending ACV, but I’d love to hear if you have experimented with it, and how it impacts your body.