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You are a woman of many incredible roles and soon to officially add “Mom” to this list. You’ve shared in the past that your family has a legacy of brave women. What is one thing that you hope to teach your baby girl that you learned from the courageous women in your family?
Brittainy Taylor: I want my daughter to know we came from a legacy of women that took chances. We make choices, a privilege many women in our history didn’t get to experience, especially in Thailand. My grandmother knew she wanted differently, hopped on a plane to Philadelphia to spend a life with a man from the US Air Force she met during a war in a small village hospital, only exchanging letters for a year after, speaking a language she didn’t know, and with no idea what would happen. My grandfather’s family are also humbled immigrants from all over Europe, so you could say we came from a line of dreamers and chance takers.
In my 20’s, I hopped on a similar flight, lived and traveled to different places meeting amazing people, figuring out where to spread my wings and plant my roots outside of my hometown. I want her to know I support, in fact, I'll require this little woman to do the same in her life however that looks. I also want her to know that scraped knees and bruised hearts are a part of that journey. Choices and chances taken don’t always lead to the direction we hoped - but that’s the beauty in the mystery of them - and in those moments I hope she discovers the power of lessons learned.
I hope she knows growth isn’t a singular direction, but much more like how a tree grows branches in all directions as it grows tall. I hope each age is a long branch with sprouted leaves that touch each piece of the atmosphere and she lives a full life.
I hope she never loses touch with her culture either; our Thai heritage and our family roots all over, I believe, is what makes us so connected and committed to understanding all the other cultures around us. We are not just our backyard.
The day is done, work laptop is closed, and the shoes are off. What is your form of self-care after a busy day?
BT: Lately it’s been a lot of meditation after the work day! As a part of my birthing journey, I have chosen a method called Hypnobabies, using powerful meditation and hypnosis to assist me as I go into a very natural birth. As a kid, exams or sporting events would really stress me out, and I found solace in the quiet moments.
Before baby, it looked like a walk around the neighborhood with the dogs to a park bench, or looking out at some type of water (lake or ocean) depending on where I was, or a warm bath just listening to the water sloshing. I’m even the one that likes driving windy roads through forests in silence!
For me decompressing is shutting off, like a factory reset. I used to take yearly trips to hike parts of the Pacific Crest Trail, something I’ll no doubt include my daughter in as she’s older. Especially working in technology, I want to be as far from it as possible to truly relax.
Did your skin change from pre-pregnancy to now, and what is most important to you when searching for skincare products?
BT: My skin didn’t change much with pregnancy (besides growing!), baby has been really good to my body. I think it’s a tribute to all the plant-based whole foods that I craved from pressed green juices, smoothies, and a whole lot of peaches! I knew that baby would need nutrients from me, and that as she grew, that could change the appearance of my skin so I did my best with healthy foods and supplements. Then, I really looked for wholesome, natural products I could grow with for my skin. In fact, I used Matrescence Hydrating Oil LONG before I even saw my belly pop, and attribute using it to never having that “itchy belly’!
Routine became a way for me to connect with baby too. As I rub the [Matrescence] oil in, I talk to her so much that she wiggles when we do it!
For other products, knowing that the face is so delicate especially with changing hormones, I really looked for extremely gentle products. The body is going through enough changes, so I made sure the products I chose for my skin didn’t disrupt or agitate. Clean, low to no fragrances, use of pregnancy safe ingredients, and I made sure to hear from other mamas too with similar skin types as well as friends who work in the industry to point me where I wanted to go for my skin.
You’ve highlighted the importance of the mom/expecting mom community on your Instagram [@brittainytaylor]. How has this community of women supported you throughout your pregnancy journey? And on this topic of awesome ladies, do you have any plans for Galentine’s Day?
BT: Womanhood is such a wonderfully complicated, empowering and humbling, emotional rollercoaster. I could tell you, the “me" ten years ago did not know I’d be here. Ten years ago, I was focused on my career, being wildly strong and independent, wanting to have the freedom to do whatever I wanted, when I wanted. There’s so much truth in that quote about how your twenties are your “selfish” years, and wow did I go for it. In that I attracted those similar types of women, and learned so much from those relationships. Silly to think during this wonderfully complicated, emotional phase of expecting motherhood that I wouldn’t find myself going through that again.
It’s been really wonderful to learn something brand new with other parents from so many walks of experience. New and expecting first time to fifth times, mothers going through IVF or adoption, mothers experiencing loss and others with their rainbow babies, mothers who’ve paved the way with their experiences and created businesses to help others like pelvic floor therapists, to sleep training, to safety techniques.I even follow the mom’s now who make parenting a bit of comedic relief because you have to laugh through it!
It’s wild because for the first time, I saw a community open up I hadn’t fully embraced, and though I always knew I wanted to be a mother, I thought it meant “giving” up something. Now I feel like it’s simply giving more.I can’t wait to share in adventures, raise my little own wildly independent, strong and brave woman of my own. I can’t wait to teach her and show her the world. I can’t wait to be her mother, and I am so thankful to have a huge community already to ask questions and share with, answer questions and give advice to. For Galentine’s Day, we’re all spending the day at a spa - this mama needs a prenatal massage!
What advice can you give to other expecting moms experiencing their first pregnancy in terms of body-positivity and self-love?
Embrace the change. It’s true what they say, “your body will never be the same”. Like it’s a bad thing?! Do you KNOW what your body is accomplishing, just as you nap? One thing I did was dig into all the apps and read weekly what my body is building, what my baby is growing, and I reflected on it and wow did it help my perspective. Your pregnancy is one of the most internal and greatest experiences of your life, I truly believe that. With all of the highs and lows too, from the moment you knew, you and your little Peanut share a journey together. As you see the changes, embrace them. Your body is working in overdrive - yes sometimes that comes with morning sickness, pains, sleepless nights, skin changes, stretch marks, new curves.
Turn this to positive - the morning sickness comes with building a healthy placenta, pain waves are POWER waves as our body re-regulates to accommodate multiple human beings sharing a single space together. Sleepless nights are so we prepare for the nights when baby needs us outside of the womb. Skin changes are a roadmap to maybe needing something - the largest organ in the body speaks through breakouts or dryness to tell us what it needs. Stretch marks are story lines of how your body has carried you, the new curves and changes to weight is your body’s response on how best to care for this baby while also carrying you - and honestly how sexy is a new curve?
Nature, life, our bodies, they all tell a story of how to adapt to a change, and that is a beautiful story.
Hold your body and thank it for keeping you and your baby (or babies) safe. Tell yourself one thing you love about the change daily.Today, I changed my thoughts on my raised, darkened, bumpy nipples and thanked them for preparing so well to get ready to feed my baby because I want to have a positive breastfeeding journey. Change is inevitable for growth. Change is beautiful. Change is powerful. Embrace the change.