I know I am not the only mom who had a hard time finding a good nursing bra. If this is for you lady, then keep reading – I’m talking my personal experience with nursing bras!

Since I had the baby I feel like my rib cage expanded and its wider, my cup size increased and the shape of my breast changed. As frustrating as it is, these are all normal things to experience for a nursing mama.

When I look for a good bra I look for: support, comfort, underwire, no uniboob, no back boob, reasonable price, refund policy (just incase), soft material but also thick enough not to show nipples though. Sorry if it’s tmi, but those are important to me. When I look at a company, I want the best return policy, just in case and remember its always a good idea to get professionally measured at 2 months postpartum and at 6-9 months postpartum.

But in case you are a DIYer girl, here is a link to see a video on how to find out your size. 

Sleeper bra

My first nursing bra was from Amazon. A still use it as a sleeping bra, its soft and gives me good support during the night, but it’s not enough during the day. The material feels nice, it handles the wash well, I bought the pink one and its lost some color since washing it but I still like it. During the first 2-3 weeks this served as a good transition bra for me. Ultimately it’s not a fantastic fit for the day look because I didn’t find enough support for during the day and this one has a thin material that would show nippling.

Demi Cushioned from Motherhood Maternity 

This is my favorite when you want a seamless look. It is easy to wear under clothes that show lines and lace material through, also any see-through type shirts, this bra is great! I find that it runs small, I would order a size or two bigger then what you normally would wear. The band tends to be very tight so order a size up again. The material is soft and it wears well. This is my favorite bra from Motherhood Maternity and the only one I’d recommend. (I tried 4 from this store)

Jessica Simpson Underwire Bra 

The only thing I like about this bra is the price. On a scale of 1 to 10, I would give it a 6. It’s not bad, I still wear it when I need to, but if it was gone out of my closet magically I wouldn’t miss it. It is underwire and the cup material is thicker then I’m used to. What I don’t like is how it shows the lines of it under clothing – especially if it’s a smooth material top. A perk of this bra is that it gives you rounder-ish shape and the shape of the cup stays just the way it is. So if you feel like you need to have the girls stay in nice shape, this will be a good fit.

Third Love Underwire Nursing Bra

This bra definitely impressed me. I had my eye out for the regular line undergarments this company has, and when they came out with a nursing bra, I jumped right on it! I think this one runs a size smaller, but the best part is that you have 100% satisfaction guarantee, they take good care of you! You have to click the link to check it out but I just love the front clasp and the softness of the cups. This bra fits me best out of all of the ones I’ve tried. No side boob, no back cleavage, no weird tight spots anywhere, so it has my vote! When I got the package I love the little tag that says “the best bra is the one you never think about” – what a great moto to have!

Heidi Klum Lace Bra no underwire

I called this one my sexy bra. For the first few months motherhood is so far from glamorous. Spit in clothes and hair, dry shampoo, showers once a week or sometimes two times a day, diapers upon diapers, and just so much pulling and tugging on your body that it’s hard to remember that you are a graceful, beautiful creature underneath that new title mommy. About 4-6 weeks postpartum is when I found this bra and it made me feel all womanly, feminine and sexy again for the first time in what felt like ages. I love the lace and how soft it is! I love the lace detail even when you pull the side down to nurse – that’s probably my favorite thing about it! There are about 5 extra clasps at the end so it accommodates your body changes and the fact that you can loose weight and this bra transitions with you! Heidi sure know what she’s doing with this design, comfort and function! This is my second favorite bra out of these 5!

 

I hope you found this review helpful! This is my personal experience, so take what you need.

P.s. I tried some bras from Target and Walmart and had really bad experience. They didn’t properly, fell apart quickly and just didn’t work for me. You know, the kind of bra you put on and immediately it sounds like you need some wd40 to oil up those corners (or whatever is making that squeaky noise every time you move an arm).

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After I had the baby everyone started telling me this is your “new normal” so get used to it. Get used to this life as if it’s going to be BAD, as if I should expect it to be a punishment. Punishment for love? (I mean, we all know where babies come from)

Frankly, I do feel waves of guilt and feelings of “this is my punishment” crawling their way into my mind slowly and it’s a conscious effort to keep that space clear from negative emotion. Ok, so most days I fail at keeping the attic of my brain clean, but so what, it doesn’t mean I should give up, it means I should fight harder.

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This week I learned something about myself. Not that I didn’t know it, not that I had never heard it before, I just learned it. I mean really learned something about myself that made me feel all empowered and like I am getting to know this new ME, at this stage of my life. I just sat there marveling at this quality and I think I am going to continue getting to know me and instead of getting down on all the failures, I will attempt with all my effort to build on my strengths instead.

This week as I reflected on some circumstances of my life, I learned that I am resilient. So many times I’ve fallen down, been disappointed, yet I still stay positive and keep trying. The thought of completely giving up has not registered long enough to become reality. This is huge news to me. It means a great deal of self empowerment and a true encouragement.

If I was honest though, at the same time this week an overwhelming feeling came over me when I was painting my nails. There is one thing I NEED – to be able to walk into a grocery store or shake anyone’s hand before a business meeting with a nice looking manicure. So about a month or two ago I started doing my own mani/pedi. I wash dishes, cook, constantly wash my hands – so it means doing my nails every other night if I’d want to keep my manicure fresh. Who’s got time for that?! I really got fed up – because while baby is down for the night, I’d rather cuddle on the couch with my husband then wait for the nail polish to dry.

So instead of feeling all beat up about my new normal – I am now going back to get my manicure done and embracing womanhood – because its empowering. Because when my baby boy is growing up I want him to know that a woman isn’t meant to do it all, she is meant to be the best at the role she was designed to do. I want him to know she is beautiful and graceful at every moment of joy and every moment of diaper spill all over the floor. I want him to know a woman who builds a life on her strengths and isn’t destroyed by her failures.

Yes, I am aware that the new normal is having a little human cry for you from early morning until night, and then in the middle of the night, tugging on your body parts expecting food every two hours, without considering that you may be hungry too, since it always happens as you are about to sit down to eat. The new normal is pregnant – but not too pregnant so people can still look at you and say “awe, you’re all belly”. Then in 3 months you’re expected to loose the baby weight, go back to work, have him sleep through the night and roll over (what if your baby doesn’t want to yet?) There is the house, dishes (every day), meals to cook (every day), clean floors, shower and washed hair at least 2 times a week, change all the diapers, put on makeup (every day), give time for your husband, spend time with friends.. I know I am missing a lot more on this list as every mom’s to-do list is different, but seriously, can we just stop and celebrate how resilient a woman’s body is?

You allow your body to go through so much and experience the joy of giving birth (whoever says that by the way never had to go through it without the drugs), then you bring the baby home to experience the “New Normal”.

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Let me just say that after 5 months of this new normal I think that WE – The Woman – are pretty freaking amazing. Let me just stop for a paragraph and tell you – husband, girlfriend, sister, co-worker – go celebrate your woman, especially if she is the mother of your offspring. Let me stop and tell you that if you’re not celebrated and you’re too exhausted to ask for it and demand it – you are amazing, you are resilient and you are beautiful. Your every effort will not go in vain, even though dishes in the sink and the pile of laundry on top of the dining room table remind you of the better version of you there once was. Be the best you today. Be the best version of you for your baby and for your husband, but most of all – be the best version you can be for yourself.

The new chapter of life where quiet frankly you – the mom – are the hero, the lifesaver is a great kind of normal, not a punishment.

Today, I will let the dishes sit for a little longer so I can hold my baby in my arms and take in every sigh, smile and every cuddle he will give me. Today, I will not let the Instagrammable world of expectations become the reality for my life. I will let the love of God allow me to love myself for who I am, and my every imperfection to be able to truly love on my family and friends.

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p.s. if you are a new mom, kudos, you did it. Not feeling me on this one yet? Just wait until month 4 – after three months of cluster feeding and growth spurts, I really think it gets a LOT easier!

 

Stay fabulous!

xoxo

L.

Can you stop time please!? My baby boy keeps growing and getting so long! I am sitting here looking through his newborn photos and catching baby fever just starring at my own baby!

Motherhood isn’t what I thought it would be.

I have 10 siblings, and being the oldest, I of course thought that having kids would be just like having to babysit all the time. Even though I am babysitting all the time, 24/7, being a mom is so much more then that! No one prepares you for the struggles and certainly no one can prepare you for the love that grows towards another human being.

I loved my pregnancy journey and I love being a mommy to a beautiful baby boy! As I sit and think back to my favorite pregnancy moments, I went back to my third trimester photoshoot.

P.s. take pictures earlier, maybe around 32-35 weeks if you are pregnant. I felt amazing but looking back at these now I am amazed at how big my belly was and how just huge I looked!

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Thank you for following my pregnancy journey! It was the busiest time of our life, but also one of the absolute best!

After taking a little bit of a break, I’m back and excited to share with you my favorite baby things, baby moments, experiences, set backs and celebrations!

Make sure to follow me on Instagram! CHECK OUT our story of day to day things and shout out when you find me on Instagram!

love,
L.

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I secretly hope every woman goes through this.

As I look back at these photos, taken by my talented friend, I am thinking back of the mess inside my own head as soon as the first trimester was over. My first trimester was just like a cloud over my life and I barely remember it now because I was so sick and so out of it. As soon as I started to feel like a human again, I felt like the rug was pulled under my feet and I had to figure out who I was all over again.

I was worried about everything. My ability to be a mother, time management, being able to cook and take care of the household things like I normally would, and then there is work, my business, involvement in the community and friendships I still want to continue to nurture. I felt overwhelmed because all these thoughts of “how will I be able to do all this and take care of a tiny human” were inside my own head.

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It felt like an identity crisis, and I believe it was. Naturally so, as your world is turned upside down, you are going to question your every move and thought.

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I hope I can encourage every woman out there who feels an identity crisis coming on because of whatever life circumstances, it’s normal, and it doesn’t last long. I also hope that sharing my process helps someone else to stay encouraged and keep going through the process.

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I talked to a couple of my friends, who are also moms and have gone through what I was going through at the moment (that is key!). Allowed their encouragement and advice to sink in and process. I prayed, took long walks and allowed the thoughts in my mind come through one by one dealing with the pain and the changes as they came emotionally and physically. I got through that little chapter of my pregnancy and came out confident in what I my future will hold.

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No more freaking out. At least not until I’m in labor. Then I can’t speak for what I will feel.

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Here is what I learned in the second trimester of my pregnancy: 

 

Identity crisis is ok. Just as long as you don’t get stuck there too long and seek help.

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Talking to people who love you is good. Even when talking about it is unbearably hard.

 

Becoming a mom is not going to change the woman I am. It just adds to the woman I am.

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Being a mom isn’t going to stop me from living the life I always wanted. It just asks for some adjustments in life and maybe a couple of detours.

 

I still can make a difference in the world. I will. Especially by raising a child who is an incredible human being and becomes the man God already designed him to be! Somehow the thought of helping a helpless little human become amazing makes up for everything!

 

On another note, can I just stop for a moment and say that I think what a woman’s body goes through is incredible! This has been the hardest my body has worked in my entire life, and it created a miracle I am about to meet very soon. The way God created this process, a process when the love of two people creates a life, is astonishing to me. I think its beautiful. I am so thankful to have been picked to carry a life inside me!

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I am no less of a woman then I was before I was pregnant. My identity didn’t change because my life circumstances are changing. I am more then I was before.

 

I believe that there is so much more to me now then just a wife, just a business owner, just a sister, just a girl. I didn’t know you can grow so much within such a short time and I fully believe change is a necessity to live life to the fullest!

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Thanks to my friend Elysia for letting me play dress up and take these beautiful pictures. I felt amazing and she captured the feeling exactly! These hills and fields of Pensilvania are gorgeous!

Dress is from asos.com

Makeup and hair done by me, all Mary Kay of course and my favorite ‘perfect nude’ lipstick for my skin tone in Mary Kay gel matte lipstick in Mauve moment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My first sign of pregnancy was weeks before I took the test. One day my skin turned crazy, my face started to sweat more and my foundation would glide off my face within an hour of putting it on.

Now that I am entering my third trimester, feeling good and getting back to work, I’d like to share my personal experience so far and what I’m using for skin care at each stage.

Of course the first thing I did was look into my skin care routine. NO! I went through all of my foundation options Mary Kay had to offer, I used finishing sprays, powders and just about anything else! Nothing made a difference. It was after 2 weeks of a struggle that I even did the unthinkable and went to look at other company’s foundation options. NOTHING helped. My skin was sweaty, red, blotchy, and the foundation wouldn’t stay on.

3 weeks later I found out I was pregnant.

1st Trimester

My skin was awful the entire time. I was sick, almost bedridden until about week 15. I could barely wear makeup because it irritated my eyes. Eyeliner was difficult to wear since my eye lids just seemed to sweat everything off.

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One of my favorite photos of our family and the belly starting to grow! 

My philosophy was to keep it simple.

Wear makeup only when needed and take it off after.

Remove items that are not safe for pregnant women from the skin care routine.

Listen to your body, your skin and pay attention to how your skin reacts. Everyone’s experience is very different!

My skincare routine 1st trimester: 

2nd Trimester

LOVED my second trimester.

Not only because I had more energy, could wear makeup again, could get my hair done and just feel like a human, but also because I could feel the baby move and it made this whole experience so much more fun and real.

Am I the only one who started to feel pregnant, like really feel it, when I could feel the baby kick inside and see the image of that same kick on the ultrasound machine?

Making a baby is a lot of work on your body, so this trimester I started on more skincare for my body, toning lotion, essential oils and more moisturizing to prevent (as much as I can those dreaded stretch marks).

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Half of how you feel is in your outfit. I am committed to dress up, wear heels (whenever possible) and look my best because when I do, I am feeling better about the growing belly, and about all the other experiences along the way! 

Get a good pregnancy massage (if your doctor is ok with it) and take some time getting pampered at the spa with a facial or mani/pedi. Gentle facials with very basic exfoliation is good for your skin at this point!

I noticed my skin changing for the better, if I had a pimple, it would go away within a day and I could add more of my supplements and vitamins for my skin. Its also when I started to use my cleansing facial brush again. Everyone’s experiences are different, so pay attention to how your skin feels and what it can handle, consult a doctor or dermatologist when in doubt.

My skincare routine 2nd trimester:

3rd Trimester

I am still at the beginning of my 3rd trimester, but so far I am happy with how its been. I get tired more, can’t put my socks on standing on one foot (even though I still try, probably because I forget that I have a belly in the way) and have more restless dreams then before.

My skin has been back to normal for the last month or so that I am able film more makeup tutorials and feel like myself again. My face seems to be filling in more so I have to look for more tricks with contouring and using a lot more of bronzer to get rid of my double chin and wide cheeks…

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Baby keeps growing. What a miracle. 

One of my now favorite things is using Grape Seed oil to moisturize my body, and to help with preventing Stretch marks. So far I don’t have any stretch marks at all, I’m thankful and hoping this continues till the end!

I haven’t taken time to exfoliate my skin much, outside of my regular cleansing routine, so I am excited to get back to my microdermabrasion routine, it will be just once a week until I’m comfortable that my skin can handle it well.

My skincare routine 3rd trimester:

all of the above in the 2nd trimester, all of my usual pre-pregnancy makeup &:

Pregnancy skin care NO-NOs:

First of all, consult your doctor about a recommendation on what is safe for your pregnancy. I am not a doctor, but here are some things to stay away from that I found in my research and study as a beauty consultant.

Second, ALWAYS check expiration dates on your personal beauty products at home and new ones you buy, anything with sunscreen and many vitamin infused products will have an important expiration date!

Beta hydroxy acids – basically anything that has medicine for acne prone skin.

Chemical Sunscreen – Avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, octocrylene, oxybenzone, oxtinoxate, menthyl anthranilate and oxtocrylene.

Dihydroxyacetone – you can find this one in spray tanning products and is harmful when you inhale it.

Formaldehyde – you can find it in hair straightening treatments, nail polishes and eyelash glue.

Retinol – Vitamin A, retinoic acid, retinyl palmitate, retinaldehyde, adapalene, tretinoin, tazarotene and isotretinoin. It’s amazing for skin repair but is harmful to the fetus!

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I hope you find this helpful in your pregnancy journey and you don’t have to do as much research on your part! Thanks for sticking around and reading a bit about my skin journey so far!

Stay fabulous!

 

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