pregnancy

Smart Ways to Save Money When You’re Expecting a Baby - Kanika chadda-gupta

Smart Ways to Save Money When You’re Expecting a Baby

Smart Ways to Save Money When You’re Expecting a Baby 1500 1004 Chase Jennings

Smart Ways to Save Money When You’re Expecting a Baby - Kanika chadda-gupta

Having a baby can be stressful for a number of reasons, but financial matters tend to top the list of concerns for expectant parents. The costs of pregnancy prep can really add up! New parents are often overwhelmed by the amount of stuff they need to buy and may find it challenging to afford everything on a tight budget. Thankfully, there are several great ways to cut your household expenses and save money on your baby essentials, so you can grab all those necessities that your little one will need.

Save on Nursery Supplies

As you stock up on baby supplies, keep an eye out for store sales and clearance discounts. You can save a lot of money by shopping around for the best prices on each item you need instead of getting everything from one store. This is a great way to reduce the cost of pricey nursery gadgets like sound machines and video monitors. Best Buy is an excellent place to find deals on electronic nursery essentials, and you can save by searching online for deals before shopping. In this Best Buy shopping guide, Rakuten recommends saving even more by becoming a My Best Buy member, getting free shipping on orders over $35, and shopping the Deal of the Day. If you find a good discount, consider picking up some other helpful electronics like a humidifier and smart thermometer to keep your baby happy and healthy.

Start a Budget

If you don’t have a household budget, now is the time to start one. A budget will help you plan for your expected expenses and ensure that your savings remains intact as you collect everything you need. Start by tracking your spending habits in a spreadsheet, notebook, or budgeting app and identify your problem areas—like shopping, eating out, or entertainment. Look for monthly expenses that you can cut out or reduce as well.

Take Advantage of Gift Registries

Before buying baby supplies yourself, it might be worth it to wait and see what you get from others. Set up a baby registry with a few different stores to let your friends and family know exactly what you want. Parents.com recommends against using your baby registry to ask for luxury items or supplies you don’t necessarily need, like a wipes warmer or bottle warmer. Instead, register for essentials that you would buy anyway. You can never have too many diapers and burp cloths! Many stores offer registry completion discounts to help you buy anything left on your registry after your baby shower or due date, so it can’t hurt to fill your registry up with everything you need.

Search for Gently Used Items

Remember, you don’t have to buy everything brand new. According to Babygaga, certain baby essentials—like clothes and toys—are perfectly fine to buy used as long as you check that they’re clean and safe. You can save big bucks by purchasing these items from consignment shops, thrift stores, and online marketplaces. You may even be able to use baby gear for free by renting from companies like Medela. Just keep in mind that some things are important to buy new, including a crib, car seat, and stroller, to ensure they meet current safety standards.

Smart Ways to Save Money When You’re Expecting a Baby - Kanika chadda-gupta

It’s no secret that having a baby can be costly, but you don’t need a bottomless bank account to make things work. Try not to let financial concerns hamper your new baby excitement. Find ways to cut costs and save on essentials, so you can afford everything you need to welcome your new little bundle of joy.

036: Brooke Cates — Redefining Pregnancy Health & Fitness

036: Brooke Cates — Redefining Pregnancy Health & Fitness 1024 512 Kanika

As women, our bodies are constantly evolving. From our teenage years and puberty to our prime in our 20s and 30s to our pregnancy bods and postpartum. So it makes sense that our workouts should evolve as our bodies needs change. We must focus on the areas that need the most attention, have the correct form and cadence to each workout (sets/reps), which prevents injury and allows us to achieve those results we are seeking.

Brooke Cates, Founder & CEO of The Bloom Method, is a Pre & Postnatal Fitness & Health Expert, as well as a Diastasis Recti & Core Rehabilitation Specialist. Brooke created The Bloom Method with a desire to empower women through movement before, during and after their pregnancies. Recognizing gaps in both the mainstream and pregnancy fitness world, she created a method that consists of diastasis recti rehabilitation and prevention exercises, labor training, functional exercise movements and innovative core techniques that are designed to keep women strong and thriving through pregnancy and into motherhood. The Bloom Method is the recommended fitness method trusted by Doctors, Chiropractors, and Pelvic Floor PTs. In 2018 Brooke took The Bloom Method online with Studio Bloom, making it the first ever Pre and Postnatal virtual fitness studio. Since then thousands of women have experienced empowered pregnancies, birth and now experience a deeper connection to their body, movement and exercise than ever before.

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034: Lori, Jodi, and Kari Caden — Sisterpreneurs of Shapewear

034: Lori, Jodi, and Kari Caden — Sisterpreneurs of Shapewear 1024 512 Chase Jennings

Lori Caden Belly Bandit Thats Total Mom Sense with Kanika Chadda-Gupta

Lori Caden is the COO & Co-founder of Belly Bandit,® a company dedicated to helping women look and feel their absolute best before, during and after pregnancy.

In 2008, Lori along with her two sisters, Jodi and Kari, introduced the Belly Bandit® Belly Wrap, a postpartum compression wrap that revolutionized the body after baby marketplace. Doctor-recommended and mom-endorsed, the Belly Wrap modernized the ancient practice of post-pregnancy belly support and quickly turned Belly Bandit® products into a new mom must-have.

Since its launch, the company has seen tremendous growth. It has evolved from its signature product, the Belly Bandit® Belly Wrap and expanded to include solution-based maternity wear, intimates, activewear, and a complete line of compression shapewear, the Mother Tucker® Collection. Belly Bandit® products are sold in more than 1,000 retailers nationwide and over 80 countries worldwide. Their success has earned Lori and her sisters the moniker, Sisterpreneurs of Shapewear.

I am so excited that I not only have Lori on the show today, but her sisters Jodi and Kari are here too. Ladies, welcome to “That’s Total Mom Sense!”

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My Hospital Essentials

My Hospital Essentials 1800 988 Kanika

 

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

Pretty Mommies Skincare Review 1496 981 Kanika

PrettyMommies was my skincare line of choice during both my pregnancies and hereafter, so I am proud to be partnering with the brand to offer my readers 20% off their first order. To redeem, click here

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.

My First Mother’s Day

My First Mother’s Day 3600 2400 Kanika

Dear Krish and Suhana,

It’s because of you, I’m a mother. Unlike the other facets in my life from my career to how I maintain our household, I thought I could plan exactly when I wanted to take on this role, but the universe had different plans and you took us by surprise. These three months have been the most fulfilling in all our lives. You have given us newfound purpose and the will to keep striving, the intention to be kind human beings, and hope for a brighter future. 

I still remember the day I surprised your Papa with the news that I was pregnant. It was our 3-year wedding anniversary and we were on our way to Cape May, New Jersey. I kept this big secret the entire 3.5-hour car ride. When we got to the lovely bed and breakfast on the beach, I surprised him with a card and a small box. I told him to turn on his phone and record the moment. This wasn’t unusual since we recorded the moment he proposed to me too. When he opened the box, he found a ring of plastic baby keys. You see, Papa keeps many spare keys at home just in case we have house guests and he gives them a pair so they can truly feel at home. In my card I wrote, “Don’t worry. I already made spare keys for our new addition.” He was ecstatic. We hugged and cried and basked in what was to come.

Ten weeks later, we went to our first ultrasound appointment. The technician wanted to make sure there was a steady heartbeat. “Sounds good.” She said. “Um, wait a minute, I hear something else. There are two heartbeats. You’re having twins!” She brought in our doctor to take a second look and lo and behold, she was right. We stared at each other in the dark room in total shock. I can still hear the cadence of the heartbeats in my head. We’re going to be a family of four! A few weeks after that, we found out that we were having a boy and a girl. “We EACH get a clone??!” We were so excited.

I took my pregnancy in stride. I didn’t complain once. I wanted you both so badly and wanted to be strong from the get go. We kept the fact that we were expecting twins our little secret. Part of me wanted to protect you against the evil eye of others and another part was just nervous as hell at how things would pan out. On the day of your delivery, I was alone at home. At 3:00 am, my water broke. Papa was on the west coast in Seattle for work. We thought we had at least a month to go so agreed it wasn’t a big deal if he traveled, especially since he doesn’t travel often to begin with. I called him in a sweat. “Jaan, my water just broke.” He couldn’t believe it, “You’re kidding!” and then quickly got into problem-solving mode. “Ok. Now what?” I said we should call the on-call doctor, then Dada & Dadi to take me to the hospital, and then Nana & Nani so they could drive from Maryland to New Jersey. Everything progressed like clockwork. It was a rainy night in January, which reminded me of Lord Krishna’s birth and how his father Vasudeva waded through the river during a torrential storm to leave him with his dear friends Nanda and Yashoda in Gokul. He and his wife Devaki made the ultimate sacrifice for their son. That is why we named you Krish. Suhana, we came up with your name because it’s similar to your dad’s – Sunil. Anyway, I digress. Dada and Dadi drove me the hospital, I walked right up to the maternity floor and when the doctor did a sonogram, she said I was contracting. I couldn’t feel a thing. She said, “We have to operate on you within an hour. Baby A is head down, Baby B is breached. We’ll be doing a C-section.” Monu masi was by my side by then and said she would scrub in. I was rolled into the OR, had an epidural (which was the most painful thing ever!), and soon after felt calm since I was numb from the waist down. The nurse asked me what I wanted to hear on Spotify and I told her to play Jagjit Singh bhajans. “J-A-G-J-I-T…” I spelled it out for her. Another nurse said we could do a video chat with Papa, so Monu opened up Google Hangouts and called him. She panned the phone so he could see the 2 doctors and 10 nurses hovering over me, the curtain that demarcated the surgery, and my smiling face (in my silly hospital gown and blue cap). I was feeling drained from the series of events and asked the doctor, “Will I be able to sleep?” She responded, “It’s going to go by fairly quickly sweetie.” As the song, “Hey Govinda, Hey Gopala” resonated the room, we immediately heard crying. Krish, you were out at 7:24 am. Two minutes later, we heard Suhana’s cries. That was it. Monu Masi squeezed my hand and we both welled up with tears. All of our lives were forever changed.

Your Papa took the first flight out and got to the hospital around 6:00 pm that day. He was in awe when he saw you both. When I held you skin to skin, you two held hands on my chest and ever so slightly moved your tiny fingers. It was the most beautiful sight. Thankfully your Papa and I have photographic memories; We can recall every instant since your birth. We are so thrilled to be your parents and feel humbled that we get a chance to learn and grow with you day by day.

Happy 1st Mothers Day to you, my sweet children.

Love always,

Mummy 

Just Breathe

Just Breathe 2000 1338 Kanika

 

How many weeks pregnant are you? Whether you just found out the big news (after peeing on every single brand of pregnancy test out there. Yes, that smiley face is looking back at YOU!) or if you’re in your third trimester and are ready to pop, please take a second to BREATHE.

I’ve suffered from asthma ever since I was nine years old, and when I became pregnant with twins, breathing got so. much. harder. Instead of overdosing on my Ventolin inhaler, I met with my physical therapist who taught me breathing exercises to strengthen my lungs. I ended up having a c-section so never did experience the “hee hee hoo” of labor, but this regular practice will be useful when push comes to shove. Literally.