• Heard of Belly Births and Masks? Plus Breastfeeding Takes the Spotlight!

    Some feel-good news in pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding.
    by Rachel Perez .
Heard of Belly Births and Masks? Plus Breastfeeding Takes the Spotlight!
PHOTO BY @guthappymama, @adaoraakubilo, and @hatchgal on Instagram
  • Mom nursing her toddler takes the spotlight in fashion campaign
    We love to cheer big brands when they show support for moms in a big way. And while this one wasn't really part of the plan, what a way to go with the flow. 

    In its latest ad campaign, Gap showed its love for breastfeeding after it included a photo of one of its models nursing her 20-month-old son (and wearing one of Gap's cotton sleep shirts, of course.)

    Gap's album post on Instagram first showed Adaora Akubilo, the Nigerian-American model, wearing the sleep shirt as she carried her son. Swipe left, and it's same mom-and-son duo, only she's sitting, and her son is nursing at her breast.

    While the toddler was part of the shoot from the beginning, breastfeeding was not, according to Adaora. Her son needed to feed, and as we all know, a hungry baby wouldn't care if he's in the middle of a shoot. The crew, however, was understanding, and the photographer just snapped the moment.

    According to Chicago Tribune, Adaora had no plans of breastfeeding beyond her child's six-month mark. But her son still wanted to breastfeed, and she enjoyed the bonding. While her pediatrician supported her decision, Adaora got weird looks like she was doing something wrong when she breastfed her almost 2-year-old.

    "I don’t want women to feel shamed," she said. "It’s so important to encourage mothers."

    Hopefully, Gap's decision to make the photograph a center of its campaign will normalize breastfeeding in public, and it's more than okay to breastfeed toddlers. 

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    Call them "belly births," not C-sections
    We don't know why there are people who raise their eyebrows at women who have Caesarean deliveries. A lot of moms who've had a C-section don't even ask for the surgery. To change the negative perception, a group of moms suggest calling it by another name: Belly birth.

    "To me, the term 'belly birth' is exactly what a C-section is. You’re birthing your child through your belly," California health coach Jordan Grissom told Babble. "[Many women feel] as though they’ve failed by having a C-section, and that’s just not the case. Using the term 'belly birth' pushes the point that we, too, have given birth. It’s just more inclusive," she explained. 

    Birth and postpartum doula and mom of four, Flor Cruz, who gave birth via C-section, struggled with the fact that she couldn't have a say in one of her childbirths. Saying she had a C-section meant doctors did surgery on her while saying she had a "belly birth" helped "normalize" the experience. "I find it serves as a bit of healing for families who had a belly birth. It connects them on a deeper level to the birth," she said to Babble.

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    Baby bump skin masks, anyone?
    You can shed off the preggy pounds, and the dark lines will eventually disappear. But stretch marks? Well, the moment you get them, they're there. They can get lighter over time, it won't completely disappear (unless you opt for cosmetic surgery). 

    Now a beauty brand is offering pregnant women another option to keep stretch marks at bay. Hatch Mama's Stretch Mark Minimizing Sheet Mask is a mask for a pregnant woman's belly. You use it as you would use a regular facial peel-off sheet mask. "This all-natural hydrating sheet mask was made for pregnant bellies to help minimize stretch marks during pregnancy and help soften inflamed scar tissue postpartum," according to its website

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    The mask contains aloe vera (the company calls it a "healing superhero") that soothes and reduce inflammation, and propolis. The ingredient, the mask claims, helps heal, rebuild damaged skin cells and help fade scars. 

    We are not sure if Hatch Mama's Stretch Mark Minimizing Sheet Mask actually works, but having a belly facial sure sounds like a fun idea.

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