Kanika Chadda Gupta

Pregnancy

My Hospital Essentials

 

After three kids and two pregnancies, I’ve learned exactly what is needed on d-day (aka your baby’s date of delivery!) During my twin pregnancy, I hurriedly packed a bag at 3 am when my water broke. Talk about hectic! But with baby #3, I was better prepared since I knew what was useful during my stay and what wasn’t. This video is all about my hospital bag essentials.

Here’s a list of products for mom and baby.

Products for Mom:

Products for Baby:

I am a minimalist so didn’t want to overpack with items that weren’t necessary. What items did you pack for your big day that I didn’t mention? Leave them in the comment section below. Thank you Mamas!

Pretty Mommies Skincare Review

During my first pregnancy with my twins, I was literally on a scavenger hunt to find natural products for my skin. I quickly discovered that the beauty brands I swore by my whole life were jam-packed with chemicals (Retin-A, hydriquinone, etc.) and even the so-called “organic” mainstream options had long ingredient lists and weren’t completely free of harmful additives. Here’s a list of the skincare ingredients to steer clear of when pregnant.

After spending hours doing research online, asking 20 questions of my doctor during visits, and calling hotlines like the La Leche League International for breastfeeding mothers, I finally nailed down a skincare regimen comprised of 100% organic products which produced optimum results. Watch my YouTube video on my natural skincare routine here.

In this article, I’d like to highlight a skincare collection made specifically for expectant and breastfeeding mothers, which happened to be a game changer for me. It’s called Pretty Mommies and has been recognized as the #1 physician recommended pregnancy skincare line. Founder Gina Gordy launched the collection because she suffered from acne, melasma, and sensitive skin during her own pregnancy. Real talk – not everyone is lucky enough to flaunt that “pregnancy glow.” She said that “as her belly got bigger, my breakouts and hyper-pigmentation worsened.” Soon after, she made it her mission to provide safe, effective skincare products to expecting women. She used her industry connections with top cosmetic chemists, leading physicians, and labs to create Pretty Mommies.

When I came across the site, I called the customer service line and actually spoke to Gina on the phone. I asked her what made her formula so unique, and she explained that her products do not contain soy or soy peptides. Soy mimics estrogen in the body and should not be ingested or used topically when our hormones are raging from pregnancy. Most organic products on the market use soybean oil, but it should be avoided. In addition, many skincare products contain sodium lauryl sulfate, which is a known skin irritant. Pretty Mommies uses vegetable glycerin instead, which is non-toxic, colorless, and odorless and has antimicrobial effects to heal wounds and restore elasticity. Another common chemical is oxybenzone, a sunscreen found in almost all SPFs out there. It’s a synthetic estrogen and hormone disruptor and studies have shown links to low birth weight in babies. Pretty Mommies uses a chemical-free sunscreen made of pure non-nano zinc oxide that has been micronized so it cannot penetrate the skin. I was sold. 

When I tried the 3-step system, I was really impressed with the results. The cleanser, “Let’s Be Clear,” is a gentle exfoliant and leaves skin feeling soft and hydrated, not to mention, it has a clean, all-natural scent from fruit/vegetable extracts. The “Truth Be Told” skin enhancer is a multifunctional moisturizer and feels as smooth as silk when you rub it into your skin. It helps brighten and reduce inflammation. Lastly, the “Protect & Reflect” sunscreen gives you superior broad UVA/UVB protection (SPF 32) and fills lines, wrinkles, and pores without clogging them. When I got the occasional pesky zit, I dabbed a bit of the sunscreen on there and it was gone by morning like magic. Amazing!

Pretty Mommies sent me the 3-step skin care system for my honest review (the first package I bought lasted a whole year which is worth the price tag!) and I have to say, I’m happy to be sharing this with expecting mothers out there. I would never endorse a brand I didn’t personally believe in; in fact, this is my go-to skincare line because I can’t imagine going back to using brands that use chemicals and parabens now.

I have a special promotion for you, my dear reader! You receive 20% off your first order using my link –  click here. Let me know how Pretty Mommies works for you in the comments below. I’d love to hear your stories and help in any way I can! PrettyMommies.com.

Soon to Be Party of Five!

It has caught us by surprise that after our twins, I am now expecting baby #3. A lot of friends have warned, advised, and damn-near scared me about what it’s like having three kids under the age of two (the twins and our littlest one will be 18 months apart), but my husband and I are bracing ourselves for the adventure that lies ahead. 

Here are a few checklist items we got started on since we found out the good news:

Organizing our Hand-Me-Downs. Since we have boy-girl twins, we already have every single piece of clothing (blue or pink) along with toys and essentials for each milestone from newborn on up. Whew! I organized the twins’ clothes in separate bins (I love these Container Store Long Underbed boxes), which I labeled (0-3 months, 3-6 months, etc.). Easily being able to find what we need will be super handy when our baby arrives.

Be Prepared for Anything. Since this isn’t my first rodeo, it’ll be interesting to see the nuances of this baby’s needs vs. our twins how our twins were at that age (e.g. will the child take to a pacifier or not? Will he/she sleep through the night? Will he/she take to breastfeeding?) I am prepared for anything. Our twins are already so different, whether they’re gravitating to various toys (Suhana loves books, Krish likes playing with his toy basketball and soccer ball) or soothing mechanisms (Suhana likes to be held with her hair stroked and Krishie prefers his pacifier and falling asleep being rocked in the glider), so we know baby #3 is going to come with his/her own personality and preferences.

Go On a Couple’s Getaway. We aren’t doing a babymoon since we don’t want to the leave the kids for too long, so my husband and I are doing a mini spa retreat over a weekend. I can’t wait to relax, indulge in prenatal massages, and relish our adult conversation which won’t be centered around questions like, “did you remember to order the size 5 overnight diapers for next month?”

Book a Family Vacation. We are booking our very first beach vacation this summer prior to the baby’s arrival. Our twins were only 6-months-old last summer and weren’t quite sitting up so we avoided taking them to the beach. (Can you just picture them doing tummy time in the sand. No thanks!) So this year, I am very excited to be taking them on this trip where they’ll to explore unchartered waters (literally!) and we enjoy quality time as a family. 

If you all have any tips on what else to do prior to baby #3 arriving, please leave them in the comments below. Any advice is welcome! Thank you for you good wishes!

Will I Ever Get a Good Night’s Sleep?

 

You are tossing and turning and hate that you can’t sleep on your stomach anymore. You undoubtedly wake up 5 times a night to pee. You have probably even contemplated dragging your air mattress into the bathroom. I’ve been there. It gets better. And as everyone says, your broken sleep pattern during pregnancy prepares you for the sleepless nights to come when your baby (or babies!) arrive.

Since I was giving birth to twins, my bump grew fast. However, I wasn’t as uncomfortable as friends suspected. I didn’t get swollen feet. I didn’t experience morning sickness. I wasn’t nauseous. (Okay, I’ll stop rubbing it in.) My point is that discomfort isn’t inevitable. I made sure to continue working (paying close attention to my posture while sitting at my desk), went to the gym three times a week, and took naps when I could. My work outs actually made it easier to fall asleep since I was so tired by the end of the day. When I slept, I put a small wedge pillow under my belly and a regular pillow in between my knees. I had spurts of restful slumber, which happened to be in the early mornings from 5:00 am onward, and the most vivid dreams. They were surreal. Find what works for you whether it’s a full-body pillow or smaller pillows scattered throughout the bed.

Above all, keep a positive attitude and you’ll breeze through each week. You are creating a human life (or multiple lives) inside you – organs are forming, tiny little limbs, the works! So allow yourself to rest whenever you feel tired and stay hydrated. It works wonders.

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