Posts Tagged ‘ new moms ’

Why We’re Loving These Photos of Postpartum Moms

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

The best I ever looked in my life were the months right before I got pregnant. How’s that for irony? When I found out I was expecting, I mourned the usual — sushi, brie, wine — but also reluctantly kissed my toned self goodbye. I had no idea what the next nine months would do to me, but I had a feeling it would involve stretch marks and saddlebags. And it did, a little. Having a baby also changed my boobs (not for the better), my hair (ditto) and even my shoe size (sigh).

That pregnancy throws a monkey wrench into our already complicated relationship with our bodies is no surprise. (My colleague Alesandra Dubin touched on it in her excellent essay on postpartum fitness.) But what few of us manage to remember in the throes of the fourth trimester is that it also makes us crazy strong. I know that seeing firsthand what my body is capable of doing has made me feel invincible, like some kind of warrior who’s been to the front lines and has lived to tell about it. And that has translated into an unexpected boost in self-confidence. So I have a little extra softness around the hips and a stretch mark around my belly button. So what? I created life, for pete’s sake!

Other moms are apparently feeling the love, too. Hilary Duff, Zoe Saldana, and Pink have recently spoken out about learning to embrace their new shapes. Earlier this month, Rachel Hollis, a mom of three, shared a bikini pic (caption: “Flaunt that body with pride!”) that promptly went viral. And thanks to a new online movement aimed at celebrating the post-baby body, a growing number of women are adding their voices to the chorus of self-acceptance.

Related: 6 Postpartum Body Issues — and How to Recover

The movement, #takebackpostpartum, was created by Texas mom January Harshe, who was fed up with seeing the hashtag #postpartum used in ads for stretch mark creams and weight loss remedies. The weeks and months after baby is born are tough terrain for a new mom — instead of focusing on getting toned, why not celebrate where she is now? To that end, she called for moms to take to social media (like InstagramTwitter, and Facebook) with shots of their changed bodies and lives. Stretch marks, lumps, sagging, wrinkles — in other words, all the stuff that magazine art directors would erase with a click of their mouse — are embraced for what they are: part of the journey of childbirth and motherhood. Every time I look at these photos, I can’t help but feel a sense of pride and respect for my fellow mamas — and myself. Here are a few of my favorites:

I want to hear from you: How has having a baby changed the way you feel about your body?

And don’t forget to sign up to receive our free Parents Daily Baby newsletter.

Bonnie Gibbs Vengrow is a New York City-based writer and editor who traded in her Blackberry and Metro card for playdates and PB&J sandwiches—and the once-in-a-lifetime chance to watch her feisty, funny son grow up. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.

Baby Milestones: Your Baby's First Month
Baby Milestones: Your Baby's First Month
Baby Milestones: Your Baby's First Month

Images courtesy of @TakeBackPostpartum via Instagram

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Zoe Saldana Wants to Help New Moms Get Fit!

Monday, April 13th, 2015

zoe-saldana

A couple of months ago, Zoe Saldana made her first public appearance since giving birth to twin boys Cy and Bowie in November. Though she was at the VES Awards to honor director J. J. Abrams, all anyone wanted to talk about was her body. “The Avatar actress’s toned arms and legs and slim waistline [are] certainly the envy of new mothers,” the Daily Mail enthused. Meanwhile, People.com reported she “looked twice as nice.”

By all appearances, it seemed like Saldana was yet another Hollywood mom who reclaimed her enviable figure mere days after giving birth. But as the A-lister revealed Friday on Facebook, looks can be deceiving. In a post so candid you almost forgot a famous person wrote it, the new mom discussed the “dramatic” changes pregnancy and childbirth wrought on her body: exhaustion, an out-of-whack thyroid, weak joints—you name it. “My body was really bent out of shape after the boys were born,” she admitted, likening childbirth to “a kind of trauma” the body experiences. (Preach on, Zoe.)

So two months ago, the celeb mama started the “slow,” “painful,” and “frustrating” process of rebuilding herself. Her reasons were many, but none included “squeezing into a tight red-carpet dress.” “Bouncing back feels impossible,” she wrote, “but I know it is important as a woman, and now a mommy, to not give up. I am determined to get my energy back and find balance for my body before these little guys start walking, and before I go back to work.”

Related: Body After Baby: 4 Things You Need to Know

To that end, she’s improved her diet and is easing back into exercise with the help of a trainer-friend. It’s a regimen many of us try when we reach our postnatal rock bottom. It’s a good one. It works, provided you stick with it. And if you’re taking care of a baby, it’s easier said than done. But Saldana has figured out that there’s strength in numbers, and that the collective sisterhood of mothers can be a pretty powerful resource to tap into. So she invited other new moms to join her in the quest to get healthy. “I know many of you have gone through this or are going through it as we speak,” she continued. “Let’s do it together. Let’s talk about it, hear each other out, and seek advice when we need it. …I will be sharing with you what I do, what I eat and how I feel about it in hopes that it will be of any help to you. Cool?”

Very!

I want to hear from you: How much are you able to focus on getting healthy and strong after baby? Plus: Sign up to receive our free Parents Daily Baby newsletter.

Bonnie Gibbs Vengrow is a New York City-based writer and editor who traded in her Blackberry and Metro card for playdates and PB&J sandwiches—and the once-in-a-lifetime chance to watch her feisty, funny son grow up. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.

Easy Exercises For New Moms
Easy Exercises For New Moms
Easy Exercises For New Moms

Image of Zoe Saldana courtesy of Facebook

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7 Doodles That Perfectly Capture a New Mom’s Crazy First Year

Monday, April 6th, 2015

Doodle Diary of a New Mom - Lucy ScottIf your days being a new mom revolve around explosive poop, surprising spit-up, uncontrollable crying, panic-filled freak-outs, breastfeeding in strange places, poop, and more poop, here’s the good news: you’re definitely not alone!

When Lucy Scott, a mom and illustrator, gave birth two years ago, she experienced the same monotonous-but-manic cycle that’s involved with raising a baby for the first year.

In order to preserve her sanity but also keep track of the crazy-sweet-cute-funny moments that are par for the course for a new mom, Scott started drawing her memories. What resulted was Doodle Diary of a New Mom: An Illustrated Journey Through One Mommy’s First Year, a book of over 120 funny images (with equally-funny captions) that perfectly capture the universality of motherhood.

Just check out the seven hilarious drawings from her book below — we’re sure you’ll relate with many, if not all, of these moments! What moments from baby’s first year would you capture in a doodle?

Doodle Diary of a New Mom - Change

Doodle Diary of a New Mom - Poop

Doodle Diary of a New Mom - Sleep Training

Doodle Diary of a New Mom - Spontaneous Trip

Doodle Diary of a New Mom - Car Ride

Doodle Diary of a New Mom - Breastfeeding

Doodle Diary of a New Mom - Date NightSherry Huang is a Features Editor for Parents.com. She loves collecting children’s picture books and has an undeniable love for cookies of all kinds. Her spirit animal would be Beyoncé Pad Thai. Follow her on Twitter @sherendipitea.

Photos featured from Doodle Diary of a New Mom by Lucy Scott, with permission of Running Press.

Nick and Vanessa Lachey: The New Parents Game
Nick and Vanessa Lachey: The New Parents Game
Nick and Vanessa Lachey: The New Parents Game

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Is It Too Soon for Eva Mendes to Give Baby Advice?

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

eva-mendesYou spend nine months getting ready for your baby. You read a few books, sign up for a newsletter or two, maybe even take a parenting class. But let’s be honest, nothing really prepares you for the gig. Being a parent is kind of like being asked to fly the space shuttle armed with nothing more than a thick instruction manual. We’re all just feeling it out as we go.

Which is why I almost stood up and applauded Eva Mendes for her recent comments on motherhood. The new mom told Women’s Health that she’s not quite ready to start dispensing parenting advice—yet. “I don’t feel like I’ve really earned the right,” she said in the interview (h/t People.com). “I want to respect all the moms out there. They’re going to be like, ‘You know what? You’re a few months in. Just shut up.’”

Well, I wouldn’t go that far. I think all of us have earned the right to talk about being a parent no matter how old our child is. But Mendes brings up a good question: When do you start feeling like a bona fide mom or dad, like you’ve experienced enough knocks and bumps with baby to give you your sea legs? At what point are you less a fish out of water and more a seasoned, diaper-wipes-paci packing pro?

Some mamas don’t take long to feel confident—six months in and Chelsea Clinton is already ignoring Grandma Hillary’s advice. But making that leap took me ages. Nearly two years, to be precise. Don’t get me wrong, my son and I did a lot of living in that time. We traveled all over the country together. We held hands when he caught his first snowflakes on his tongue. We snuggled in the emergency room after his first febrile seizure. We smiled at each other after he first kissed his now best friend Madeline on the playground. But I didn’t feel like I was in my motherhood groove until around his second birthday. At that point, I had two years of parenting under my belt, a toddler who could finally sleep through the night and, most importantly, a close-knit group of parent friends who were just as unsure as I was and helped me see that we were all learning on the job. I could breathe a little easier.

It sounds like Mendes is also finding some comfort among other new moms. In November, she confessed that she “finds solace” in the comments section of parenting sites. “Just knowing that I’m not alone out there and that other moms have gone through the same thing can at least get me through the night,” she told Violet Grey digital magazine. And my guess is, it won’t be long before she considers herself the pro she already is.

I want to hear from you: When did you start feeling like a bona fide parent?

Bonnie Gibbs Vengrow is a New York City-based writer and editor who traded in her Blackberry and Metro card for playdates and PB&J sandwiches—and the once-in-a-lifetime chance to watch her feisty, funny son grow up. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+

Rosie Pope Solves Your Parenting Dilemmas
Rosie Pope Solves Your Parenting Dilemmas
Rosie Pope Solves Your Parenting Dilemmas

Image of Eva Mendes courtesy of Shutterstock

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See Beautiful Photos of First-Time Moms

Friday, March 6th, 2015

Do you remember how you felt the first 24 hours after you had your baby? Maybe you were exhausted after a long labor and delivery. Excited to finally see and hold your little love nugget. Freaked out that you’re actually responsible for another person’s life. Or, simply, full of love.

Time has a funny way of softening a memory’s hard edges, but a photograph does not. In her forthcoming book One Day Young in Hackney, British photog Jenny Smith captured 40 new moms and their babies in the first 24 hours after birth (h/t Cosmopolitan.com). It’s a tender, unvarnished look at this most personal of times, when a woman takes her first shaky steps into motherhood. Some of the mamas look serene (and surprisingly well rested!), while others seem a little overwhelmed. But they all brought me back to that terrifyingly wonderful day when I cradled my newborn son and felt, if not yet love, a consuming desire to protect and nurture.

The book, which took five years to complete, was a labor of love for Smith, who says she just wanted to shine a light on the positive aspects of childbirth. “My aim was to capture the extraordinary bonding, warmth and strength between mother and infant,” she explains in a press release. “In fact the whole range of amazing emotions felt at that time, as the mothering instinct kicks in. I find the collection of images defiant and beautiful, challenging the expected vision of those first 24 hours, a pure celebration of what it means to be a mother.”

Here are a few photographs from the book—can you see yourself in any of them?

Also see: gorgeous celebrity breastfeeding photos and #selfies, and photos just-out-of-the-womb newborns.

Bonnie Gibbs Vengrow is a New York City-based writer and editor who traded in her Blackberry and Metro card for playdates and PB&J sandwiches—and the once-in-a-lifetime chance to watch her feisty, funny son grow up. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+

Playing With Baby: Tummy Time
Playing With Baby: Tummy Time
Playing With Baby: Tummy Time

Photos originally appeared in One Day Young by Jenny Lewis, published by Hoxton Mini Press, and featured with permission of Jenny Lewis

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