Diaper Bag Essentials – What Every Mom Needs To Carry

October 15, 2014

 Diaper Bag Essentials

A tote, satchel or clutch may be your handbag of choice now, but once your baby arrives those fashionable beauties will be tossed aside in favor of the mini van of handbags – the diaper bag. If packed correctly, your diaper bag will rival Mary Poppins’ carpetbag, due to its contents ability to fill an empty belly, soothe a fussy baby to sleep, and treat ailments of any size.

Selecting the right diaper bag is important, so keep the following in mind when registering or shopping for your go-to bag:

  • It must have enough space to hold all essential items
  • It should be compartmentalized so that feeding supplies can be kept separate from medicines and skincare products
  • It should require no more than a simple wipe down to clean and
  • It should be made of flexible material so that it can be tossed, tucked or thrown into the smallest of spaces. A few of our favorite diaper bag brands are Diaper Dude, Skip Hop and Lock & Key Leathers.

Diaper bag essentials may vary if you’re a soon-to-be mom of multiples, or if baby will join a big brother and/or sister upon arrival; however, the following staples are the same for every parent:

  • Diapers: If using cloth diapers, be sure to pack a wet bag or plastic bag to store used diapers
  • Baby wipes: For bums, hands, faces and everything else that needs a good cleaning
  • Diaper cream/ointment
  • Tissues
  • Nursing shawl/blanket for breastfed babies
  • Infant formula and bottles for formula fed babies
  • Burp cloth
  • Bottle (or cup) of water
  • Hat: A wide brim hat for spring/summer and a fitted cap for fall/winter
  • Sunglasses
  • Nine Naturals Natural SPF 32 Sunscreen:Sunscreen should be used all year round on the whole family. Natural Suncreen SPF 32 is safe for mom, baby & the whole family.
  • Pacifiers
  • Teething toys: Not needed right away, but come in handy for entertaining
  • Small books and toys
  • Blanket: To cover your baby if (s)he falls asleep (can also be used during breastfeeding to eliminate the need for a nursing shawl)
  • Nine Naturals Repairing Body Balm: Great for adding moisture to chapped lips and skin
  • Snack: Pack a KIND bar or Mamma Chia pouch in case you don’t get a chance to eat a full meal when out and about
  • Extra set of clothes for baby

Your diaper bag is only helpful to you if you keep it stocked with the necessities. So, at the end of every day, replace the amount of used diapers with the same number of fresh ones, swap out a dirty outfit with a clean one, and wash any toys/pacifiers/teethers that were dropped and/or placed on grimy surfaces.

Short and Sweet

October 13, 2014

chocolate recipes from Sweet Brooklyn Truffle Co.

Article & Photo courtesy of Well Rounded NY

Indulge with these 3 decadent chocolate recipes from Sweet Brooklyn Truffle Co. founder Lisa Rapaport.

So you want to make chocolates to give somebody you love a little treat for Valentine’s Day? Or you need a quick fix just because it’s Tuesday? Even if you’re feeling too pregnant to be on your feet in a hot kitchen, or too tired from feeding a new baby round the clock, don’t let that stop you from indulging!

Here are three recipes so simple your kid could help make them, and so delicious you won’t want to share. Stash these recipes away for later… I promise your bump will one day walk and talk. Once they do, they can absolutely join the fun with these easy recipes that are all about mixing, scooping and licking the bowl!

A word about chocolate: I like Guittard chocolate chips, but another brand is fine as long as it’s made with cocoa butter. Each of these recipes starts with tempered chocolate, which is heated and then cooled to create shiny, crisp confections. You can do it in the microwave, or on the stove.

Here’s how:


What you’ll need:
1.5 cups chocolate chips (dark, milk or white)
1 rubber spatula
1 oven/microwave safe glass bowl
1 small sauce pan (for stove top option)

Place 1 cup of chocolate in glass bowl, set remaining half cup aside
MICROWAVE: heat on low heat for 30 seconds, stir, repeat until totally melted. OR STOVE: put 1 inch water in small sauce pan on low heat, fit glass bowl with chocolate on top of pan to make a double boiler, stir constantly until totally melted
Remove melted chocolate from microwave or stove, set glass bowl on top of dish towel on counter. Gradually add in remaining half cup of chocolate, stirring until it totally melts.

WARNING: Whatever you do, don’t get the chocolate wet. On the stove top, make sure your double boiler has the glass bowl completely cover the pot so no water escapes over the sides. And whether you temper on the stove or in the microwave, it’s really important to place the bowl on a dish towel when you’re done. This absorbs any moisture on the outside of the bowl and keeps water from getting in there while you mix the rest of the chocolate in.

Now, you’re ready to add ingredients! Each of the recipes are one-bowl wonders. You’ll need parchment paper, a cutting board, a sharp knife and the same spoons you use to eat cereal. For the last recipe, you’ll also need an immersion blender or food processor. Each recipe makes two to three dozen pieces, depending on how large you make each piece.


1 batch tempered milk chocolate (instructions above)
5 ounces peanut butter pretzels (prefer salted but your call) diced
1 handful of salted roasted peanut halves

Mix diced peanut butter pretzels into tempered milk chocolate
Place parchment paper on the counter or table, use books to hold down the sides if it curls
Scoop small dollops on to the parchment, making circles about 1.5 inches across
Place one half peanut in center
Let cool 2 hours on counter, then stick in fridge if not eating right away


1 batch tempered milk chocolate (instructions above)
3/4 cup dried apricots, diced very small
3/4 cup crystalized ginger, diced very small
1/2 cup almond slivers (or slices)

Mix diced apricots and crystalized ginger into tempered milk chocolate
Scoop small dollops on to parchment, making circles about 1.5 inches in diameter
Place 3 to 5 almond slivers on top, fanned out from center of circle
Let cool 2 hours on counter, then store in fridge if not eating immediately


1 batch tempered white chocolate (instructions above)
1 batch tempered semisweet chocolate (instructions above)
1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
1 cup almond slivers (whole almonds fine)

Using immersion blender or food processor, pulse coconut flakes into fine powder, set aside
Using immersion blender or food processor, pulse almonds, set aside
Temper semisweet chocolate, mix in ground almonds, and scoop on to parchment to form circles about 1.5 inches in diameter. Let cool one hour
Temper white chocolate, mix in coconut, and scoop on top of the cooled semisweet chocolate circles
Let cool 2 hours, then store in fridge if not eating immediately

For more information about Sweet Brooklyn Truffle Co., contact: sweetbklyn11211@gmail.com

This article is by Lisa Rapaport courtesy of Well Rounded NY.  Conceived with love by former magazine editors Jessica Pallay and Kaity Velez, Well Rounded NY aims to be the singular pregnancy resource for city-savvy moms-to-be. Through reviews, profiles, expert Q&As, local guides and more, Well Rounded curates the New York City pregnancy and helps its readers come to terms – and term! – with pregnancy in the city.

Things We’ve Read: Week of October 6th

October 12, 2014


Baby Born To Woman Who Got Womb Transplant (HuffPost): One woman received a womb transplant from a close family friend and gave birth to a healthy baby boy.

Cancer Treatments in Pregnancy Safe for Offspring, Small Studies Find (US News): Two small studies suggest that children whose mothers undergo cancer treatments during pregnancy are not at increased risk for mental development problems.

These Kids And Pets Hate Taking Baths, Try to Avoid Them By Being Adorable (HuffPost): Top tactics to get out of taking baths.

What Happens When You Find Out You’re Pregnant and Have Breast Cancer on the Same Day? (Healthline): One mom’s story of her pregnancy while undergoing treatments for breast cancer.

What Every Parent Needs to Know About Enterovirus D68 (HuffPost): Enterovirus includes a range of more than 100 viruses that often cause nothing worse than a cold.

Funniest Parenting Tweets (HuffPost): Hilarious quips by parents on Twitter.

Why Motherhood And Management Mesh (And 4 ‘Mom-Savvy’ Leadership Tips) (Forbes): How utilizing “mom management” methods can positively develop your employees.

10 Apps to Make Your Parenting Life Easier (Washington Post): Parenting assistance conveniently accessible on your smartphone.

Julian and Kelly McMahon on Parenting and Their App for Kids Encouraging Positive Visualization (HuffPost): Actor Julian McMahon and wife, Kelly, have written a children’s e-book and developed an adjoining app for positive visualization before bedtime.

Parenting On Different Pages (HuffPost): Advice on which steps to take in order to get on the same page with your partner in parenting.

Parenting: Pouring the foundations of learning (Herald Tribune): Prepping your child for their new learning and social adventure in preschool.

BPA Exposure During Pregnancy Linked To Lung Problems In Children (HuffPost): A study officially links interaction with BPA during pregnancy to lung dysfunction in children, such as wheezing.

12 Nutrition and Fitness Tips to Help You Sail Through Pregnancy (Yahoo Beauty): Tips on staying healthy for you and your baby while pregnant.

Pregnancy Mental Health Series: Mood Disorders During And After Pregnancy

October 9, 2014

Pregnancy Mood Disorders

While Postpartum Depression is the most common post pregnancy disorder, it is only one of six perinatal mood disorders (PMADs), each presenting with distinct symptoms that require unique attention and treatment. Pregnancy mood disorders can be categorized as:

 The BIG Five Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMADs)

  • Antepartum or Postpartum Depression
  • Antepartum or Postpartum Anxiety Disorder
  • Antepartum or Postpartum Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Postpartum Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Antepartum or Postpartum Psychosis

Please note, any woman can develop a PMAD, but having a personal or family history for the disorder prior to pregnancy, or having experienced symptoms in a prior pregnancy or postpartum period increases the chance of having an episode during or after pregnancy. Please remember that ALL of PMAD’s reviewed below are readily treatable with appropriate medical intervention and support.

Antepartum or Postpartum Anxiety Disorder

Pregnancy and the postpartum period are often times fraught with some degree of anxiety. Women are given constant reminders by friends, family, physicians and books of what they should or should not be doing. What happens when you eat something while pregnant only to realize that it was on the ‘forbidden’ foods list? What about if the baby has a funny looking rash?

Anxiety, that’s what happens. However, for most women, this anxiety can be tempered and controlled, and does not overwhelm their lives. Roughly 6% of pregnant women and 10% of women during the postpartum period will develop a clinically significant anxiety disorder such that the anxiety overpowers the ability to calm down.

Symptoms of antepartum or postpartum anxiety may include, but are not limited to:

  • Constant worry
  • Feeling of dread that something bad is looming
  • Racing thoughts
  • Sleep and appetite changes
  • Inability to relax and sit still
  • Physical symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, hot flashes and weakness

Antepartum or Postpartum Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

3-5% of new moms will experience OCD either during or after pregnancy. OCD manifesting in pregnancy and postpartum can be especially scary, as women often feel they are ‘going crazy,’ or are ‘bad mothers’ by virtue of the repetitive, sometimes violent and always disturbing thoughts and images running through their minds. These are called ‘intrusive thoughts,’ given their consistent and upsetting nature. Intrusive thoughts primarily focus on harm coming to the fetus or baby.

Examples of intrusive thoughts:

  • What if I put the baby in the microwave?
  • What if I drop the baby?
  • What if I stab my belly or the baby
  • What if I put the baby in a pot of boiling water?

These thoughts are petrifying, but having intrusive thoughts means NOTHING about a woman’s excitement about pregnancy, her ability to mother or how much she loves her baby. Having intrusive thoughts is not a risk factor for harming a child.

Some women respond to the obsessions with compulsive behaviors that function to minimize the anxiety caused by the intrusive thoughts. Examples include hiding all the knives in the kitchen, or avoiding the kitchen all together. These actions can similarly overwhelm a woman’s life and impair her ability to function.

Postpartum Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

1-6% of new moms will exhibit some or all the symptoms of postpartum PTSD. A woman’s perception of her delivery, rather than medical facts surrounding the delivery, dictate the risk for development of PTSD.

Symptoms of Postpartum PTSD may include (but are not limited to):

  • Re-experiencing of the perceived trauma
  • Flashbacks
  • Nightmares
  • Avoidance of people, feelings, thoughts, and places that elicit memories of the event
  • Persistent anxiety

Postpartum Psychosis

0.1-0.2%% of women who deliver will experience a postpartum psychotic episode.  Postpartum psychosis typically presents within days of delivery, and is considered a variation of bipolar disorder. Women with a history of bipolar disorder, and/or a history of previous postpartum psychotic episodes are at the highest risk for development of postpartum psychosis.

Postpartum psychosis is a true medical emergency that requires swift intervention, often including psychiatric hospitalization for the mother’s and her infants’ safety. Women with postpartum psychosis have lost touch with reality, and in that state are at risk for killing their babies (infanticide) and/or suicide. There is a 5% chance of suicide and/or infanticides for women experiencing untreated postpartum psychosis because they are acting based on delusions that they believe to be real, but are inherently irrational.

Common signs and symptoms of postpartum psychosis include, but are not limited to:

  • Hyperactivity
  • Decreased or complete lack of sleep for days without associated fatigue
  • Visual or auditory hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that do not exist)
  • Failure to appreciate what is real from what is not real
  • Mood swings
  • Communication difficulties
  • Paranoia and fear

These are not “bad” mothers or “awful” women, as they are often portrayed to be in the media; instead, these are ill women who require treatment. Given the profound seriousness of this diagnosis, anyone who may be experiencing such an episode must be evaluated by a professional immediately. Postpartum psychosis is the most dangerous illness experienced by women after pregnancy. If you feel a loved one is experiencing postpartum psychosis, please call 911.

Until next time, take care of yourself and be well.


If you or a loved one is experiencing a perinatal mood or anxiety disorder, please speak to your healthcare provider and ask for referrals to specialists in your area for treatment.

  • Various modes of therapy and medications are available to treat all of the mood and anxiety disorders related to pregnancy and the postpartum period.
  • Support groups can be very helpful, as can reaching out to friends and family.
  • Postpartum Support International (PSI) provides local referrals, support, and information. You can access the website at Postpartum.net or use the PSI warm line: 1-800-944-4PPD(4773).
  • The National Suicide Hotline and website can be beneficial if you or a loved one are experiencing thoughts of self-harm and/or of suicide: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) / www.suicidepreventionlifenet.org

Dr. Carly SnyderCarly Snyder, M.D. is a Psychiatrist in New York City with a focus and expertise in Reproductive Psychiatry. Dr. Snyder is the Clinical Course Director for the Reproductive and Perinatal Psychiatry Program at Beth Israel Medical Center. She holds faculty appointments in Psychiatry and Obstetrics and Gynecology at Beth Israel Medical Center, and a teaching appointment at Mount Sinai Medical Center. Dr. Snyder serves on the Board of Directors for Postpartum Support International, and is a member of the Women’s Mental Health Consortium in NYC. Dr. Snyder also sees patients in her private practice located on the Upper East Side of New York City. She received her undergraduate degree from Emory University, attended NYU School of Medicine and completed residency at Beth Israel Medical Center, with additional sub-specialized elective training at Weill Cornell’s Payne Whitney Women’s Program.

Dr. Snyder treats women experiencing emotional and psychiatric challenges at any age. Her approach uses a combination of traditional psychiatric methods with integrative medicine-based treatments to optimize the whole body, mind and well-being. Dr. Snyder provides individualized treatment that focus on improving a woman’s physical and emotional health. In addition to more traditional psychiatric modalities, she has extensive experience treating patients with natural supplements, either alone or in combination with pharmacotherapy. For more information, visit Dr. Snyder’s website, blog and follow her Twitter.

A Nighttime Beauty Ritual for Moms-to-Be

October 8, 2014

A Nighttime Beauty Ritual for Moms-to-Be

It’s the end of another long day and you’ve been busy growing a brand new person—you’ve officially earned the right to be exhausted. But resist the urge to fall into bed without a proper nighttime beauty routine.

Devoting a little bit of time to a few extra steps and the right safe, all-natural products, will help ensure a better night’s sleep – which can be elusive during pregnancy. You’ll wake up looking and feeling gorgeous.

Enjoy A Calming Shower: A warm shower is a wonderful way to wash away daily stresses and relax your body for sleep. Your body temperature also drops upon entering a cooler bedroom after a warm shower –signaling your brain that it’s time to sleep. Nine Naturals Citrus + Mint Nourishing Pregnancy Shampoo and Conditioner are the perfect choice for keeping your hair healthy and shiny during pregnancy. Follow up with the Citrus + Geranium Soothing Pregnancy BodyWash to naturally nourish dry, itchy skin.

Follow With Facetime! (Hah, Not That Kind): If a glance in the mirror has you flashing back to the eighth-grade dance where you sported your very first pimple, you’re not alone! 1 in 2 women can develop acne during her pregnancy. Thus, it’s more important than ever to remove all traces of makeup before you hit the hay each night. Use a gentle all natural cleanser that’s oil-free, alcohol-free and non-abrasive. During the day, steer clear of touching your face or trying to squeeze or pop blemishes. If acne persists, find a dermatologist or esthetician who is familiar with prenatal skincare.

Lie Down & Moisturize: Hydration is particularly important during pregnancy! It helps minimize itchiness and maximizes your belly’s recovery from all that growing! Nine Naturals Vanilla + Geranium Belly Butter is a great way to show your belly some extra love. It’s formulated especially for pregnancy, with capuaçu butter to help regulate your skin’s health and shea butter to heal skin and restores its supple nature. Be sure to do this every night to replenish your skin’s moisture. Don’t forget to moisturize your feet as well, as cracked heels are a common pregnancy plight.

Hydrate From The Inside Out: Chance are, your ankles are pretty swollen, especially during your final trimester. Drinking plenty of water and keeping your body hydrated can help reduce some of the swelling. Keep a keep a glass of water on your nightstand (Hey, you’ll probably be getting up four times in the night to pee anyway).

Relax: It’s called beauty sleep for a reason. Power down your phone, tablet and computer. Take some deep breaths, meditate, or read a book to help you peacefully drift off to sleep.

Things We’ve Read: Week of October 1st

Pregnancy News Nine Naturals Things We've Read


Study: Recessions Can Postpone Motherhood Forever (ABC News): A study has found that experiencing a recession during early adulthood can affect women’s decisions to ever become mothers. 

Parenting: Bedroom Can Be Launching Pad To Development (Herald Tribune): How using your child’s interests in designing their bedroom can boost independence and creative development.

Welcome Bellabeat, The Fitbit For Pregnancy (Design & Trend): Bellabeat has released three new product devices to women wanting more holistic insight into monitoring their pregnancy health.

Labor Secretary Thomas Perez On Maternity Leave: We Aren’t ‘Serving Our Women’ (HuffPost): Labor Secretary Thomas Perez speaks up for pregnant women in the workforce and the lack of maternity leave support provided in the U.S. in comparison to many other countries.

Lifestyle Changes ‘Could Prevent Half Of All Cases Of Diabetes During Pregnancy’ (The Guardian): How making certain healthier choices prior to pregnancy can offset gestational diabetes.

Tiger Mom, Hold That Growl (TIME): A new study has shown that the Chinese “tiger parenting” method is actually not as superior in results as once believed.

Another Reason For Kids to Cover Their Mouths: Pediatric Stroke Risk (Yahoo Health): Certain children might be at risk of stroke after developing colds or flu infections.

Breastfeeding May Boost a Mom’s Health as Much as Her Baby’s (Yahoo Health): A study has shown that breastfeeding for seven to 12 months can be be healthy for a woman’s heart in multiple ways.

This Amazing Pregnancy Story Will Make You Cry Happy Tears (Cosmopolitan): One month before having her uterus removed, a woman gets the surprise she always hoped for.

British Family ‘Totally Amazed’ To Have A Girl For The First Time In 100 Years (HuffPost): After four generations, the Silverton family has welcomed its first girl to break a hundred-year baby-boy streak. Baby Poppy joins her ecstatic parents and two older brothers into the world!

5 Best City Strollers

October 6, 2014

Article and Photos courtesy of Well Rounded NY

5 great city strollers that 5 former Bump Envy beauties are hitting the city with this summer.

This week, we’ve shared some of the best strollers for real life in the city. And it doesn’t get any more real than by using our former Bump Envy beauties as test drivers. We captured their pregnancies on our site back when, and now they’re some of the newest baby experts on the streets of NYC. Since we like keeping our site, ahem, Well Rounded, we wanted these very different women to tell us how 5 of these very different strollers matched up with their lifestyles.

So in case you missed it we wrapped the 5 best city strollers into one nice package for you to dive into and share with your friends. Each has a full story (and photos!) so click on through to get a good look at how it would fit into your city life.

And as always, we want to hear what you think! Tell us about your favorite stroller for city life below.


babyzen yoyo stroller

Mom says: “We do a ton of traveling, since both our families live a plane ride away, and I’m always trying to find space-savers that we can take on the road. The BabyZen is luxe enough to be my city stroller too, meaning one less baby product taking up space that I don’t have.”


bugaboo buffalo

Mom says: “As a mom constantly on the go, I look for a stroller that’s lightweight and comfortable to push around all day, a stroller that can roll smoothly onto the ferry to Dumbo and not squeak as we stroll through the Impressionist wing at the Met. This stroller moves smoothly while allowing your wrists and back to be comfortable–and best of all, your baby is pampered in a beautiful, roomy and shaded, cushioned bassinet. I’d go so far as to say this stroller is ergonomic perfection. Who wouldn’t want their baby to have the smoothest ride possible? It’s just an added plus that all your groceries can fit underneath.”


britax affinity

Mom says: “The air-filled tires made for a super smooth ride and was incredibly easy to maneuver. I also loved the leather-like trim on the handle–it reminded me of a chic sports car!”


maclaren mark ii

Mom says: “The generous sunshade on this stroller really impressed me, and it was super lightweight. I could definitely see myself running around town with this stroller. I also loved the bright orange color!”


orbit g3 stroller

Mom says: “The orbit was such a luxurious ride. I loved taking my newborn out in it. What most impressed me was how intuitive the Orbit’s design was. Wondering how to turn the seat around, I put my hands where I felt they should go, and lo and behold, a click and it was done. Joy! When I wanted to remove the belly bar, my hands instinctively went to a certain spot, and there was the mechanism. Click. Done. The design is so smart that way, and the execution of each function is so easy. That easy organic nature is the greatest luxury of all for a busy mom on the go.”

This article is by Kaity Velez courtesy of Well Rounded NY.  Conceived with love by former magazine editors Jessica Pallay and Kaity Velez, Well Rounded NY aims to be the singular pregnancy resource for city-savvy moms-to-be. Through reviews, profiles, expert Q&As, local guides and more, Well Rounded curates the New York City pregnancy and helps its readers come to terms – and term! – with pregnancy in the city.

Our 5 Favorite Facial Oils

October 3, 2014

If you thought facial oils were only used to heal extremely stressed skin, think again! Facial oils are all the rage in the beauty industry and have been used for years to hydrate skin, prevent blemishes and even fight fine lines and wrinkles. In fact, our very own CEO & Founder Grace swears by facial oils and considers them to be an essential part of her beauty routine.

So what’s to love about facial oils? Your skin has a natural balance of both water and oil. Cream moisturizers are helpful, but they are usually water based (or a mix of oil and water) and don’t do much to restore the oils in your skin that get stripped when you wash your face. Using facial oils provides your skin directly with the oils it needs to stay properly hydrated and your body can’t produce on its own. Facial oils help restore to your skin its natural balance of oil and also locks in hydration better than water-based creams. A beauty treatment that combines both facial oils & creams is your best bet for perfectly healthy, glowing skin. We rounded up our favorite natural (and pregnancy safe) facials oils to solve all of your beauty problems:

Eminence Organics Yarrow Oil ($24): This oil is great for sensitive non-oily skin and designed as a soothing + healing agent. Yarrow oil nourishes, balances, and moisturizes  while wheat germ oil enriches and nourishes the skin.
Stark Skincare Neroli Midnight Oil ($68): This nighttime treatment is worth falling for. Made for dry, dehydrated skin than can be acne prone, Neroli Midnight Oil is made from precious seed oils such as antioxidant-rich raspberry. Evening primrose treats hormonal skin issues such as acne and oat and cucumber seed oils calm and soothes skin.
Vered Organic Botanicals Therapeutic Balancing Face Oil ($68): This is the oil to use if you have acne prone skin. Master esthetician & herbalist Vered Back has been curing her clients of blemishes & acne with her secret formula for years. The oil balances sebum production with anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial ingredients and is actually a little miracle for "bad skin." You'll wish you had started using it sooner.
RMS Beauty Beauty Oil ($74): One of our favorite oils, RMS Beauty Oil goes on smooth and gives your skin that perfect glow (with or without makeup). Antioxidant, brightening, and rejuvenating botanicals are infused in luxurious vanilla scented oil making it a powerful anti-aging treatment that also happens to be the perfect makeup primer. Excellent for combination, oily, and blemish prone skin types.
RODIN Olio Lusso Face Oil ($150): This wonderful facial oil is made from a blend of 11 essential oils derived from flowers and botanicals. It's perfect for anyone seeking hydrated skin and a luminous complexion.

Top Cosmetic Chemicals To Avoid During Pregnancy

October 1, 2014

Top Cosmetics To Avoid During Pregnancy

A dash of makeup can be the perfect pick-me-up when you’re pregnant, but are the products you’re using safe for you and your baby? Women who use makeup daily absorb about five pounds of cosmetics through their skin every year, so it’s a good idea to make sure women know what they’re using. A growing number of studies raise concerns about the potential cancer-causing and hormone-disrupting effects of the most common chemicals in cosmetics and their effects on developing fetuses.

Using Nine Naturals pregnancy safe haircare and bodycare products is an easy way to cut these chemicals out of your beauty regimen! To help you avoid these worrisome chemicals in your makeup too we’ve rounded up a list of the worst offenders.


  1. What Are They: Parabens are the most widely used preservative in cosmetics, intended to stop the growth of bacteria in your products. An estimated 75-90% of cosmetics contain them in low doses, but they build up in your body over time and with frequency of use. Parabens are endrocrine disruptors (chemicals that act like hormones and disrupt the reproductive system) and may cause reproductive disorders in babies as well.
  2. How To Spot On Labels: Parabens are listed with a prefixes such as propyl-, isopropyl-, butyl-, methyl-, ethyl- and isobutylparabens. Parabens are also lumped under the vague term fragrance as well (see below).
  3. Common Products: Make-up, moisturizers, hair care and shaving products.


  1. What Are They: Phthalates are a common chemical plasticizer used as preservatives and fragrance-enhancers in over 72% of beauty products. Phthalates are considered a probable carcinogen by the World Health Organization and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
  2. How To Spot On Labels: Phthalates are hard to identify, but look in ingredient lists for phthalates listed as DBP (di-n-butyl phthalate), DEP (diethyl phthalate) and fragrance/parfum.
  3. Common Products: Nail polishes, deodorants, perfumes and cologne, aftershave lotions, shampoos, hair gels and hand lotions.


  1. What Are They: Scents added to products. To protect trade secrets, companies are permitted by the FDA to withhold fragrance ingredients, so consumers can’t rely on labels to know what hazardous chemicals comprise these “fragrance” or “parfum” ingredients.
  2. How To Spot On Labels: Easy to spot, check ingredient lists for the terms fragrance or parfum.
  3. Common Products: Fragrance is in almost all personal care products, including cosmetics, skin care, hair care, deodorant, and more.

1,4-Dioxane (can be listed as itself or included in PEG Compounds)

  1. What Are They: A chemical carcinogen, 1,4-dioxane is created when ingredients are processed with petroleum-derived ethylene oxide.
  2. How To Spot: Avoid products with the following ingredients: sulfates, myreth, oleth, laureth, ceteareth (or any other -eth), polyethylene, polyethylene glycol (or PEG), polyoxyethylene, or oxynol, or phenoxyethanol.
  3. Common Products: Products that create suds (such as shampoo, liquid soap, bubble bath), hair relaxers, others.

PEG & PPG Compounds

  1. What Are They: PEGs (polyethylene glycols) are petroleum-based compounds that are widely used in cosmetics as thickeners, solvents, softeners, and moisture-carriers, commonly used as cosmetic cream bases. They also often contain the carcinogenic compound 1,4-dioxane (see above).
  2. How To Spot: Look for ingredients such as PEG, PPG, polyethylene, polyethylene glycol, polyoxyethylene, or oxynol, phenoxyethanol, myreth, oleth, laureth, ceteareth
  3. Common Products: Cream bases, foundations, moisturizers, hair products.

Coal Tar Dyes

  1. What Are They: The most common synthetic colors in cosmetics and hair dye are made from coal tar. P-phenylenediamine is a particular coal tar dye used in many hair dyes. Darker hair dyes tend to contain more phenylenediamine than lighter hair dyes.
  2. How To Spot: Coal tar dyes will be labeled as FD&C or D&C, followed by a color (C.I) and a 5-digit number, such as CI 75000. Also look for aminophenol, diaminobenzene, phenylenediamine.
  3. Common Products: Lipstick, eye shadows, and any brightly colored cosmetics.

Petroleum & Petroleum Distillates

  1. What Are They: Petroleum, aka crude oil, and its derivatives are in many of the cosmetic products we use every day. Mineral oil, petroleum jelly, and petrolatum are all common by-products and are all fossil-fuel-derived substances that make their way onto our medicine cabinet shelves.
  2. How To Spot: Look for ingredients such as Petroleum, petrolatum, mineral oil, petroleum oil jelly, propylene glycol, and isopropyl alcohol as well as Fragrance/Parfum (see above).
  3. Common Products: Lip gloss, lipsticks, foundations, mascaras, moisturizers, cleansers, shampoos, and hidden in Fragrance/Parfum in many others.

DMDM Hydantoin & Bronopol

  1. What Are They: DMDM Hydantoin & Bronopol are cosmetics preservatives that decompose and release formaldehyde, which the International Agency on Research on Cancer lists as a known human carcinogen. Other applications of formaldehyde include production of resins used in wood products, vinyl flooring and other plastics, permanent-press fabric, and toilet bowl cleaners.
  2. How To Spot: Look for DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, methenamine, quarternium-15, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate.
  3. Common Products: Makeup bases, foundations, moisturizers, shampoos, hair conditioners, skin care products, moisturizers, bath products.


  1. What Are They: These silicone-based compounds are used in cosmetics to soften, smooth, and moisten. Siloxanes are classified as endocrine-disruptors and potential reproductive toxicants.
  2. How To Spot: Look for ingredients ending in “-siloxane” or “-methicone.”
  3. Common Products: Lipsticks, lotions, hair care products.

DEA-Related Ingredients

  1. What Are They: DEA (diethanolamine) and DEA-compounds are used to make cosmetics creamy or sudsy. Since one form of DEA (cocamide DEA) is mixed with coconut oil, some brands claim it’s a “natural ingredient,” but it is not. DEA is also used in oil refineries to “scrub” hydrogen sulphide from process gas emissions.
  2. How To Spot: Look for DEA (diethanolamine), cocamide DEA, lauramide DEA, MEA (monoethanolamide) and TEA (triethanolamine), coco diethanolamide, coconut oil amide of diethanolamine, lauramide DEA, lauric diethanolamide, lauroyl diethanolamide, and lauryl diethanolamide.
  3. Common Products: DEA is mainly found in creamy foundations, moisturizers, sunscreens. Cocamide and lauramide DEA are found in soaps, cleansers, and shampoos.

Retinyl Palmitate & Retinol (Vitamin A)

  1. What Are They: These powerful substances, found in some antiaging moisturizers, are lauded for helping reduce wrinkles and improve skin tone.  Excessive amounts of Vitamin A can cause severe birth defects if women are exposed during pregnancy.  New evidence shows that when applied to sun-exposed skin, these compounds can break down and produce free radicals that can damage DNA and cause skin cancer.
  2. How To Spot: Scan labels for Retinyl palmitate and Retinol.
  3. Common Products: Lip products, foundations, daytime moisturizers, sunscreens.

To look-up the safety of specific products, the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep cosmetics guide is an invaluable resource.

Swaddling 101

September 29, 2014

baby swaddling

Article & Photo courtesy of Well Rounded NY

No need to worry about wrapping up your little burrito — it’s easier than you think.

Affectionately known as the baby burrito, swaddling is a great way to soothe your baby’s existential pains during the first few months.

The compact environment created by swaddling suggests the snugness of the womb, helping babies gain their worldly bearing while holding on to the in utero sensation they are so comfortable with. Swaddling also helps babies — and you! — sleep more soundly and for longer stretches by decreasing startle-reflex awakenings.

These are 3 methods of swaddling that I recommend to clients:

The Traditional
The key to executing this ancient method is finding a blanket with a with a fair bit of stretch. My go-to blanket is Woombie’s Old Fashioned AirWrap Blanket. These blankets are stretchy and vented (keeping babes cooler), they come in great colors, and hold up in the dryer. Swaddle Designs and aden + anais also make nice swaddling blankets.

The traditional swaddling method is as follows:

1. Spread the blanket out flat, with one corner folded down.
2. Lay the baby face-up on the blanket, with her head above the folded corner.
3. Straighten the left arm, and wrap the left corner of the blanket over the body, tucking the blanket between the right arm and the right side of the body.
4. Then tuck the right arm down and bring bottom corner of the blanket up and over the body/right arm pulling the blanket snug behind the right side of the the body.
5. Finally, wrap the right corner of the blanket over your baby’s body, until only a small bit of the blanket remains.
6. Tuck any remaining blanket fabric behind the back.

This method takes some practice, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be set. The trick is to roll your baby gently from side to side as you tuck the blanket over and underneath their back. Make sure not too wrap your baby too tightly, allowing her hips to move somewhat freely. Wrapping the hips too tightly can lead to hip dysplasia.

The Structured Swaddle
If you are struggling with the traditional method, the a structured swaddle is a good alternative. Pre-fabricated swaddles, such as The Miracle Blanket, perform the same function as a swaddle but has only two basic steps, making it fail proof. Babies also have a harder time wriggling out of them.

The Sleep Pod
One of the newest additions the market is a sleep pod consisting of a pod-shaped piece of fabric with a zipper, which runs along the length of the pod. To use the sleep pod, just unzip it and place your baby inside. Swaddling, done. Woombie, makes a great sleep pod with an opposable zip, making changing diapers without waking your baby a breeze. One side note about sleep pods: they aren’t as taut as the other two swaddling options, so if your baby is a mover, I recommend sleep pods for naps during the daytime and structured swaddle or traditional swaddle for the nighttime.

However you decide to bundle up your little one, safety should be a top priority. The American Academy Of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that you place your baby on their back to sleep, and monitor them to be sure they doesn’t roll over while swaddled.

Swaddling is effective up until about two to three months of age. After that, babies intentionally start to roll over in their sleep. At this stage swaddling should be discontinued, allowing their hands to be free so they can roll back over and support themselves. A sleep sack, like The Halo SleepSack, is a great interim option when you graduate from swaddling. Essentially a wearable blanket, it’s similar to a sleep pod, but it allows the arms to be free, so they can support themselves. It’s a great alternative as the AAP recommends keeping blankets out of your baby’s crib until their at least 12 months old.

Happy Sleeping!

This article is by Erica Chidi courtesy of Well Rounded NY.  Conceived with love by former magazine editors Jessica Pallay and Kaity Velez, Well Rounded NY aims to be the singular pregnancy resource for city-savvy moms-to-be. Through reviews, profiles, expert Q&As, local guides and more, Well Rounded curates the New York City pregnancy and helps its readers come to terms – and term! – with pregnancy in the city.