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“Becoming a mama is the best reason you’ll ever have to take care of you.” This pretty much sums up the interconnectedness of wellness and motherhood.
Motherhood can be overwhelming, exhausting, and all-consuming. It's easy to get caught up in the endless cycle of taking care of everyone else, and neglecting our own needs in the process. At first it may seem counterintuitive, but prioritizing self-care is crucial for tackling the challenges and demands of motherhood. When we take care of ourselves, we're better equipped to handle the physical, emotional, and mental stress that comes with the role. It makes us more patient, more resilient, and then more able to enjoy the precious moments with our kids.
But the benefits of self-care don't stop with us! When our children see us prioritizing our own health and well-being, it sets the stage for a lifetime of good habits for them. They learn that taking care of themselves is important, and that it's okay to prioritize their own needs. They see that self-care isn't selfish, but rather a vital part of being a happy, healthy human.
How can we prioritize self-care as busy mamas?
It might look different for each of us, but a good place to start is just taking a few minutes each day to do something that makes you feel good: carving out time for exercise, getting enough rest, nourishing our bodies with healthy foods, pampering ourselves, making time for activities that bring us joy or asking for help when we need it.
At the core of our mission is our belief that every mother deserves access to wellness in their parenting journey. This month in particular, I must acknowledge the challenges that Black mothers face, that negatively impact our wellness. Disparities in accessing quality healthcare and systemic racism have led to Black women being up to four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications compared to white women. These disparities persist regardless of income or education level. There is an urgent need for systemic changes in the healthcare system. We will continue to support organizations like the Black Mamas Matter Alliance - organizations at the forefront of raising awareness and advocating for interventions. By working towards solutions, we can create a world where all mothers have access to the resources and support they need to thrive, regardless of their race.
We also want to recognize the importance of wellness among those who have struggled on their path to motherhood. The journey to motherhood can be complex, with different experiences and challenges. We each arrive here in different ways. Our mission and commitment is to support women through this journey, and to create a safe space for all the challenges and experiences to be shared without judgement. We want our members to be able to connect with others who have faced similar challenges, and have access to helpful expert resources. By acknowledging the struggles and offering empathy and understanding, we aim to foster an inclusive and supportive community.
Our brand was built from the desire to bring you products that have both mama and baby in mind; products that can be safely used before, during, and after pregnancy. What you put on your skin can have a significant impact on your wellness; at Matrescence, we put your health first. As the largest organ in your body, your skin plays a vital role in protecting you from harmful substances, regulating your body temperature, and eliminating toxins. The average woman uses up to 12 different personal care products every day — many of which contain toxins and endocrine disruptors, which can interfere with your hormonal balance and lead to reproductive issues, by affecting fertility and overall health.
It’s not surprising then, that during pregnancy or when trying to conceive, most women become more mindful of skincare and personal care choices and opt to avoid products that contain potentially harmful ingredients such as parabens, phthalates, and synthetic fragrances.
Taking care of your skin also has the added benefit of boosting your confidence and self-esteem, and positively impacting your mental health as a mother. We take our product ingredients seriously, and we have an extensive list of over 2000 no-no ingredients, including reproductive and developmental toxins that are sometimes still present in many natural and organic brands. The EU bans around 1,400 of these harmful chemicals, while the US only bans roughly 12.
As a prenatal wellness expert, a lot of the advice I gave to clients was around nutrition and fitness, but it wasn't until I stumbled upon the study conducted by the Environmental Working Group that I realized a critical aspect was missing from the conversation. The study found that newborns had an average of 200 chemicals in their umbilical cord blood, including mercury, lead, and other harmful toxins that were passed from the mother to the baby during pregnancy. This highlighted the importance of using safe and clean products during pregnancy and beyond to protect both the mother and the baby.
My hope for our community this month is that we can all take a closer look at our daily habits, and strive to make healthier and more conscious choices that can benefit our well-being. As we seek to highlight the importance of prioritizing wellness and self-care, I hope you remember that taking care of yourself is necessary, and gives us the tools we need to be the best mamas we can be.