Beach Essentials for Baby, Kids, & You

Mother is Eternal | Beach Essentials

Mother is Eternal | Beach Essentials

While my sister was here last week, we took a trip to Ocean Beach Park with our babies for the first time and let me tell you, trekking through the sand with two babies that can’t even sit up on their own isn’t all that easy. Wearing them in the sling is extra effort and I was constantly worried about where his face was in regards to the sun.

Overall, it was a great time so I’m here to share some things to make your beach trip much more enjoyable.

Beach Cart: This thing was a lifesaver. We were able to pile everything into it (aside from a couple chairs) and just push it onto the beach. It was a lot better than our initial plan of packing it all into our arms.

Beach Chairs: These fold up into a backpack to make carrying simple.

Shelter: I highly recommend grabbing one of these for your babies. It pops right up, mom or dad can fit to lay in it as well, and you’ve got instant shade and extra sun protection. It’s also lightweight, breathable, and easy to lug. We also bring it to the pool or outside in the yard. This one is great for older kids and adults.

Lip balm: I’m prone to dry lips when out in the sun for too long so I like to keep them hydrated.

Beach Bag: My sister’s diaper bag was large enough to double up as a beach bag as well.

Cooler: Can’t forget the snacks! Also remember to pack a whole bunch of water. Dehydration is serious especially on extremely hot days.

Sunblock: Keep your babies fresh skin protected with a mineral-based sunblock. Apply throughout the day to make it most effective. And adults, don’t forget yourself!

Towels: These are perfect to lay underneath the baby in the shelter or for use with kids and adults.

Sun hat: I never put sunblock on Maddox’s scalp so I insist on him wearing a hat. It keeps the sun out of his face and protects him from burns. And mom, here’s a great one for you.

Shovel & Pail: You can’t go to the beach without trying to make a castle, right? This set is great for the older kids.

Water Resistant Phone Pouch: Between the sand, kids, and water, the beach is a war zone for your phone. The great thing about the pouch is it’s touch sensitive and you still have your headphone jack available. It’s a life saver! Don’t have the funds or the time to buy one? Put your phone in a sandwich bag. It’ll do the same thing!

If you wind up with a sun burn, apply a little aloe. It’ll cool down the burn instantly and promote healing. What else helps make your beach trip more manageable?


Postpartum Must Haves for Mothers

Postpartum Care Must Haves | Mother is Eternal

During pregnancy, new mothers are focused on preparing for their new bundle. They are worried about the nursery, picking out clothes, creating a dream labor and delivery plan, and debating cloth or disposable. Rarely do mothers worry about the aftermath of birth and helping themselves heal.

Postpartum isn’t glamorous. It’s tender and harsh. We need to care for ourselves so we can better care for our littles. Preparing a recovery kit for yourself or for a friend will make the transition a little more bearable. It’s hard to be comfortable between the pain, the bloody puddle, a needy newborn, and lack of sleep. These are some things sure to ease the postpartum period.

Tuck’s Witch Hazel Pads
These were a lifesaver for me. I didn’t get hemorrhoids (thankfully) but they soothed the general pain and stinging. The coolness felt incredible against broken skin. You can also make your own.

Peri Bottle
HEAVENLY. I was so glad for its existence. I didn’t wipe for a while and merely dabbed toilet paper around. This helped not only relieve me of the sting, but also allowed me to clean off blood. Warm water works the best. The hospital usually provides you with one but they are cheap if you want an extra.

Ice Packs
These were such a relief and wonderful to help swelling. Check with your hospital. Some may provide these for you.

Another wonderful relief for the vaginal area. It definitely helped take away the burn, sting, and itch. My sister (who had a baby almost 3 months prior to me) hated it and never used it. It’s a strange cooling sensation so everyone will react differently. Most hospitals provide it for you.

Sitz Bath
Herbs are powerful tools from the earth. The herbal blends in sitz baths will help reduce swollen tissues, bring relief to tender areas, promote healing, and reduce the chance of infection. It’s a relaxing way to nourish your vagina and yourself. Take the time alone, breathe it all in and let it all go. Even as a new mama, you deserve a second to care for yourself. Here’s a recipe if you want to DIY!

Nipple Cream
I simply used coconut oil. Thankfully, my nipples grew accustomed quickly and avoided rawness but many mothers I’ve spoken with, have praised nipple creams. You can also make your own with this recipe.

Breast Pump
Your breasts will become swollen with fresh milk for your little nursling. A breast pump is your friend. It’s also great so you can start stashing away milk for when you finally decide you can handle being away from your little for more than 5 minutes at a time. I’m not an avid pumper so I simply use the manual Medela Harmony but I’d suggest investing in an electric. 

Breast Pads
You can either get disposable or reusable. I went through the disposables like crazy. Until your milk regulates, you leak an insane amount. We had breast pads strewn all over the place for the longest time.

Nursing Bras
I made the mistake of only purchasing one nursing bra. I was doing laundry less in the first few weeks so my bra was drowning in milk stains and milk scent. I highly recommend grabbing more than one. Eventually, I got 4 of these and this sleep one. The sleep one is SO comfortable, I practically lived in it. I don’t recommend anything with a wire. It’s extremely uncomfortable and even worse when engorged.

Comfortable Undies
Warning: do not, I repeat, do NOT wear your cute underwear. You bleed like a waterfall and it’s not worth risking all the underwear you love. Chances are if you have heavy-duty pads, you won’t. But to be on the safe side, grab a few pairs of basic underwear so you won’t feel sad if you need to toss them!

Herbal Tea
Red Raspberry tea is a great support for uterine care.
Milkmaid tea will help support healthy breastfeeding and increase milk production. 

Water Bottle
Hydration is extremely important. All your resources are gathering into your breasts for your baby and taking away from you! You need to keep up your hydration so you can take care of yourself and create milk for the nursling. I always carried my blender bottle around with me but any water bottle will do. 

Easy Snacks
Same as above. Your nutrients are being used up fairly quickly and you need to snack more often. Trail mixes, granola bars, fruits, crackers, and other finger foods are perfect for right now. Keep them near wherever you sit to feed your little one (bedside table, coffee table, etc).

Don’t worry about the dishes piling up or the clothes dirtying the floor. This time is crucial and belongs to you and the baby. It will get better no matter how tough it seems in the beginning. You’ll all naturally fall into a routine as baby grows. In the meantime, take whatever time you can to rest and recoup.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help, from friends and family. You don’t need to isolate yourself or do everything on your own now that you have a baby. Whether it’s someone bringing you a meal, or coming over to let you nap while they keep their eye on the baby, or someone picking up your house, or whatever it is: you do deserve it mama so don’t hesitate on asking.

Most importantly remember, be kind to yourself and go through the postpartum period gently. Love is at your fingertips and on the broken skin around your hips.

Postpartum Care Checklist
• Witch Hazel Pads
• Peri Bottle
• Ice Packs
• Dermoplast
• Sitz Bath
• Nipple Cream
• Breast Pump
• Breast Pads
• Nursing Bras
• Comfortable Undies
• Herbal Teas
• Water Bottle
• Easy Snacks
• Rest
• Help

Mother’s Milk

 Breastfeeding has been a sacred journey for me. It’s truly one of my favorite things about motherhood. To be able to nourish his body with my body is unfathomable. To be able to sustain life with my body is amazing. I feel I have been let in on an ancient secret between women and it’s beautiful.

I’m surprised at how natural it came to both of us and how natural nursing in public was. I thought I’d shy away, embarrassed. Worried about judgment. Turns out, I don’t care. It is what it is – natural and necessary. I’ve learned to become a nursing ninja with no nip slips. Those offended need to look within, question themselves.
These are our soft moments together. As one, once again

Scars of Love

tumblr_nqd9pw3QfL1qzvcg6o1_1280 How amazing a woman’s body is. Only 7 weeks ago, I carried 8lbs of a human life beneath my heart. Over the course of 9 months, a tiny seed turned into a baby boy. Now, my body has returned and healed, back to what it originally was yet somehow it has changed entirely. I have 3 small claw marks pressed against my belly and a faint line running through my middle. My scars have always been seen as a sign of strength and these will be no different. These are my proudest scars yet.

(taken from my instagram, featured on takebackpostpartum)

Postpartum Pondering

Motherhood breaks you open. Tears you into various directions. Giving birth to my son was the happiest, most ecstatic moment of my life. He’s my absolute world. Perhaps that’s why I’m feeling so down. Because nothing else seems to compare? I don’t feel myself. I feel broken. Both my body and my mind. I feel fragile like a porcelain doll that’s fallen off the shelf and the pieces are lying on the floor. I feel strange. I’m blissful yet sad.

The postpartum period for the past 5 weeks has increasingly become more difficult. Dave is working 90% of the time and the house has gotten lonely. All 3 of us have been exhausted and it has taken a toll on the entirety of the house.

One thing that needs to be remembered is so much joy comes with having a child. It’s an indescribable joy that cannot compare with anything else. With hormones flying off the wall and expectations of the postpartum period, it’s easy for sadness to stick like flypaper. And there’s no shame in this. There’s a natural high that slowly loses its potency after birth. It’s not because we aren’t anticipating other milestones with our child.. but because women are expected to resume regular scheduling almost immediately after giving birth. There is a pressure to jump back into the old routine and the old body as soon as possible. A pressure to feel complete and happy.

For many, it’s just not that simple.

At least not for me. It’s been overwhelming to have your body be so captive to a little human. I am the sole provider for my son. He relies on me more than anything or anyone else. My body nourishes him, my scent entices him, my hands clean, comfort, and change him, my eyes hold bags from our 5am feedings, my warmth from my body soothes him. Others can soothe him as well, but not like mama can. There is a loneliness it entails.

It’s not easy. Nor is it easy to admit that this period has been tough. Mentally, emotionally, and physically. I feel a sense of shame, guilt, and failure although I know I shouldn’t. But talking about it and letting it out has helped free me from it.

Your body adjusts to the constant lack of sleep, lack of showers, the diaper changes, milk, more milk, snuggle me, fussiness, hold me, don’t let me go, more milk, too much milk, spit up, more diaper changing, more milk, baths, more fussiness, too hot, too cold, skin-to-skin, I’m scared please hold me, I’m tired please hold me, just hold me, more milk. It’s an on-going, endless cycle to fulfill his needs. Your body adjusts to it all yet your mental and emotional state take time to catch up.

But I’m going to revel in the neediness of my baby. Because slowly, he’ll stop needing me as much. Slowly, he will unlatch from my breast. Slowly, he will unlatch from my arms. Slowly, my back will no longer be able to support his weight. Until then, I want to give all of me to him. I want him to know happiness more than he knows sadness. I want to ensure his life is full of positivity and love. I want him to know that even though this point right now is rough, scary, and new, I am here with him. In this moment. And every moment hereafter.

Motherhood is hard. It changes and transforms you. It’s okay to feel sadness or be depressed after giving birth. It’s nothing to feel guilty or ashamed about. It’s normal and you will get through it. You have made it to this point and you are strong. Please know, you are not alone.