How many of you mama felt totally prepared in regards to self-care after the birth of your child? I know I wasn't - in fact, there was a lot that surprised me post-delivery that I hadn't really been forewarned about. Because of this, I made my sweet husband run to the drugstore to pick up things for me as I thought of them - witch hazel one afternoon, more pads later that night, etc.
After the birth of her second son, Ari Diaz realized she was feeling ill-equipped to take care of both her own personal needs while also caring for her newborn son. She realized if she was still feeling overwhelmed, then other moms must be too, and Ari took action and created Mama Care Kits. She wants to help shed light on the importance of self-care for women after birth, as well as to create a sisterhood where "women can openly talk about their post-pregnancy realities and support one another while doing so". We as mothers don't much talk about the realities of pre, during, and post-birth, which is a shame, because we all go through it!
I remember googling SO much to see if what my body was doing was considered "normal", because I figured someone would have told me or warned me about it beforehand - but nope! No one had said anything, and when I broached the subject with a few friends, they told me they 'didn't want to scare [me] off'. Ari wants Mama Care Kits to start that camaraderie and support in a very concrete way.
So what's in these awesome Mama Care Kits? A ton of goodies for new moms (although to be honest, I could have easily used most of these items until H was well over a year)! It doesn't matter if you're breastfeeding, formula feeding, or an alternative of either, these Mama Care Kits are a 'welcome to motherhood' kit that is about providing moms some reprieve and pampering.
Inside my kit was:
Inside my kit was:
- Black and White Striped Tote Bag. There are two options for your Mama Care Kit - one comes in a box, or you can choose to have it all in a reusable oil cloth mini tote. It's the perfect size to throw in your diaper bag on-the-go or breastfeeding basket at home, or even just carry around as-is since it's so cute! I can fit snacks, a few mostly necessities, disposable diapers or whatever I need that day, and the compact sizing means that it fits easily into my hand without being overwhelming. The best part about the tote may in fact, be the fact that it is washable and reusable! If that's not mama friendly, than I don't know what is!
- 4 Reusable Breast Pads. Breast Pad's five-ply reusable nursing pads help prevent irritation by wicking any moisture away from the skin, which I can promise you will make a big difference, especially overnight. They have a thin profile, so I wasn't able to see them through any of the tops I tried on, and they are made of super soft fabric, so they are comfortable to wear all day. Once again, they are machine washable and can just be thrown in with your regular laundry!
- Mother's Milk Tea. I didn't really struggle with a low supply, thankfully, but I did throw extra pumping sessions in while I was breastfeeding in order to donate extra breast milk to a few local mamas. I remember happening upon Mother's Milk Tea while I was in the grocery store after a long few days of H's cluster feedings. My pumping output was way down, and I wasn't quite ready to go the fenugreek pill route, so I grabbed a box and brewed some that night. Granted, this is anecdotal evidence, but my output increased by 2ish ounces (If I remember correctly) the next morning, and by the next evening it was up almost 4 ounces! If you're not a huge fan of licorice, try making a big vat of it and putting it in the refrigerator with some honey!
- Earth Angel Mama Baby Mint Herbal Lib Balm. I remember in the hospital before I delivered H, I literally almost went through an entire tube of chapstick because the air in the room felt so dry, and I felt so dehydrated. I thought it would be over once we got home, but breastfeeding only seemed to exacerbate the dry mouth and dry lips, so I always had lip balms on me everywhere I went.
- Lansinoh Samples and Coupons. As a breastfeeding mother, Lansinoh was easily one of the best purchases I ever made. This lanolin was by far the best that I tried in healing my sore nipples (was that TMI? Sorry.). H was a marathon nurser, and would have been attached 24/7 if I let him. I nursed on demand, and we co-slept, so that meant a lot of breastfeeding sessions, especially in the first few months. My LC recommended I switch to Lansinoh after I had been complaining to her that the generic stuff I had bought wasn't cutting it, and I personally found Lansinoh to be more soothing! As an added bonus, it makes for an awesome lip balm if you're in a pinch, and these trial sizes literally fit into any pocket!
- Organyc Wet Wipes. I would probably say that wipes were hands down the number one item I kept with me at all times. By the time H was about 6 months old, I had an extra set in each of our cars, in almost every room in the house, and in each of my bags, because there were far too many times in his first six months of life that he would have a blowout or an explosion of some sort and I would be wipe-less. These aren't just any regular wet wipes, though. Organyc's wipes are actually specially formulated intimate care wipes. They are so soft, and are alcohol free with no chlorine, no parabens, and no SLS, and the lactic acid in them helps to stabilize a woman's pH in order to avoid irritations. So these wipes are basically the holy grail of personal care!
- Organyc Organic Cotton Feminine Hygiene Products. Organyc's products are all made with a 100% organic cotton core and top sheet that are also breathable and hypoallergenic, so they are gentle enough for even the most sensitive of women's needs. Cotton can hold about 20 times its weight in liquid and is soft against your skin, and I can promise you those are two big key factors in deciding what postpartum care items you'll be wanting to use!
- Dickinson's Witch Hazel Towelettes. These are definitely not your normal towelettes. While they are marketed as a facial astringent wipe, they come in very handy postpartum to ease your lady bits. Yes, witch hazel is amazing for your skin and will help lift dirt, oil and impurities in your pores, but it also is amazing for the perineal area after you have your baby. These wipes would be easy to keep next to the toilet or tuck into your diaper bag on the go, and are far more gentle than using regular toilet paper. With hazel helps to gently and thoroughly cleanse and also helps reduce swelling and itching, and they have a wonderful cooling sensation which really comes in handy if you ended up needing stitches.
- Milk Boosters Coupon. I haven't had the chance to try Milk Boosters out yet, and now that H and I are done breastfeeding, it'll have to wait until the next baby, but I have heard great things about Milk Boosters. Milk Boosters cookies have all the "key ingredients that help our bodies to produce more milk", but will only do so in lactating women - so it's totally safe if your husband or child wants in on the treat. There are five different flavors of cookie options, sure to please any sweet tooth, while also helping to increase milk production! It's a win-win!
Ari says that Mama Care Kits are "more than a gift for a new mom. It’s a thoughtful expression of compassion. It’s welcoming a woman to motherhood. It’s telling a woman it’s important to take care of herself while also giving her the essentials to do so. It’s the act of putting the woman at the center of the mother-child relationship.
Healthy, happy mamas = healthy, happy babies."
I don't think I could have said it better myself! This sweet care package for new moms covers some of the most basic needs that I know I would have loved to have on hand after H was born to make recovery a bit more comfortable and less stressful. The best part about everything included in this kit is that it's all natural, so you can rest easy knowing it is all safe for both you and your little one(s)!
So, if you're heading to a baby shower or 'sprinkle', or know of a new mama or soon-to-be new mama, and are thinking to yourself "What is the best gift for a new mom?" or "what do I get the mom who has everything", then definitely check out Mama Care Kits for a practical, but beautiful gift that she is sure to love!
Make sure to follow along with Mama Care Kits and Ari on her Instagram, Facebook page and Etsy shop to keep up to date!
Do you know of any moms who could use this? What else would you add?
Do you know of any moms who could use this? What else would you add?