From Bejiggly to Bellefit (GIVEAWAY ALERT!!!)

During pregnancy, you spend 9 months (or an eternity if you are April the giraffe) watching your body expand in ways you didn’t think possible.

With both of my pregnancies I pretty much peed on a stick and as soon as the tests were positive, I had offensively huge boobs, my waist was gone, and the “birthing hips” emerged.

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Approximately 7 months

I’m also petite, ringing in at a whopping 5 foot 1, so there’s only so much real estate on my body. I tend to show later – like after 18/20 weeks, but once that happens I basically can’t breathe because my stomach is up to my throat.

With my first pregnancy, eight plus years ago, I gained a total of 25 pounds and hung on to the last 8-10 pounds for about a year. I blame it on living in Boston at the time and needing insulation from the cold. I knew nothing of post-partum girdles and corsets back then. Nothing.

My most recent pregnancy was MUCH different. First of all, I was 39 and I honestly feared how my “advanced maternal age” would affect weight gain and weight loss. Plus, at 32 weeks I got thrown for a loop when I was put on bedrest for the remainder of my pregnancy because of some spotting. Up until that point, I clocked an hour on the treadmill (just walking) every. damn. day…trying to maintain an active lifestyle.

Still, with life as a mom, running a very energetic 8-yr-old from school, to dance, to playdates, etc., coupled with a two hospital visits, a first trimester of dry heaving and puking, and a dash of someone looking down on me saying, “she’s been through the ringer…let’s throw her a bone”, I only managed to gain a total of 18 pounds and still birthed a healthy, 8-pound, baby girl.

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I had the balls to allow a film crew in my house to film something for our alma mater (Go Gators) at nine months preggo, even though it’s a known thing that the camera adds 10 pounds.

All of that being said, I turned 40 just two weeks after delivering, and that was looming in the back of my head. EVERYTHING is harder when you’re older, including losing baby weight. Thankfully, you lose a significant amount on the table, which provides a nice running start. But then this thing happens to your body. In minutes you go from having a hard round belly filled with a baby, to an empty one that is so bejiggly (don’t fake the funk, mamas), that you don’t even know what to do with it. And it happens no matter how much weight you’ve gained. It can be a confidence killer.

This is where I discovered the magic of Bellefit. And it is magic, IF you use it as directed.

I received a bundle, which contained a dual-closure girdle and a corset. The website is great and walks you through exactly what size to order, but I did speak with a real person because I was cocky and thought I for sure would need a small. Pffft. Spoiler alert – I was wrong.

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With this bundle, you get two sizes so that you basically ease into wearing it and tighten it as you go along. So I started with a large girdle and worked my down to the medium corset. I had no idea how long it would take to see results, nor when I should tighten things up, so I just went with what felt right. I began wearing it the day I was discharged from the hospital (two days postpartum), from the moment I woke up to the second I went to bed. I did not sleep in it (although some people do). There’s also an accompanying free app that helps track progress. (Sidenote: My phone used to be filled with nothing but an iTunes account brimming with 90s hip-hop and multiple photo filter apps to give the appearance of Botox. Now it’s filled with apps to track baby weight loss, the last time I fed my child, and live baby monitor feeds.)

Then….when I had a photographer in my home to do a newborn shoot/family photos seven days after delivery, something happened that rocked my world. I took my favorite AG skinny jeans out of my closet and had a stare down with them. In my head, this voice was saying, “Back away from the skinny jeans…you are only setting yourself up for disappointment.” But I flicked that voice off and started one leg at a time…fast like pulling off a band aid. And…They. Effing. Fit. No shimmying, no lying on the bed, nada. They slid right on like I hadn’t skipped a beat and I wanted to cry.

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That’s when I started to do measurements. I’ve never been one to weigh myself or attach a number to anything physically, because it messes with my sanity. I much prefer to judge how I’m doing based on how I feel, look and how my clothes fit. So busting out the measuring tape and scale was out of character for me, but I felt like I needed cold, hard, quantifiable evidence that this was really happening. It went something like this…

11 days pp

one month pp

2 months pp

Here are some other deets and a timeline for my experience.

2/8/17: (two days postpartum) I started wearing the dual-closure girdle on the looser hooks. You will have to lie down to get it closed at first, and it is tight. But not debilitating tight. It actually feels really good and supportive keeping you all sucked in. It feels good from a posture perspective too.

My experience was definitely faster than I anticipated. On day 4, I no longer had to lie down to get it closed. That was so motivating, I did the jig in front of my mirror.

2/18/17: Graduated to tighter hooks on dual-closure girdle without lying down!

3/6/17: (one month postpartum) This is when I measured my hips. At 39 weeks pregnant, my hips were 41 inches. At one month postpartum, wearing Bellefit, I was at 38 inches and graduated to the medium corset on the looser hooks. And hips don’t lie…ask Shakira.

3/25/17: Graduated to tighter hooks on corset and continue to wear it presently and track my progress.

Guys, even my newborn can’t believe it!

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A few more things to know.

This is NOT one of those Kardashian-esque waist trainers. It’s a legit post-partum support system made of medical grade materials.

I wear Bellefit like its my religion. It’s the first thing I put on when I wake up, after I pee holding one child with the other one yelling at me to pour her milk. I am better at sticking to my Bellefit regimen than I am at remembering if I brushed my teeth or put on deodorant before I head to the carpool line (#newmomprobs).

Speaking of peeing…In the interest of full disclosure, I am telling you now to allot time to get the hooks undone before you have to pee. Even if you are the queen of kegels, sometimes you are ready to pee before you realize it. Don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about, mamas.

*****GIVEAWAY TIME!!!*****

Bellefit is, without question, one of my favorite things on the planet and their customer service is just as good as their products. They’re supportive and knowledgable and, such an awesome company. So awesome, as a matter of fact, that they are allowing me to give away a Bellefit bundle (1 Bellefit Corset & 1 Bellefit Dual-Closure Girdle, retail price $254!) to one lucky reader!

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To enter, head over to my Instagram (@whineandcheezits) and follow the directions on the post there. It will be the one with the picture from this post of me wearing my skinny jeans and shocked look, because I live for that picture and that moment.

You can also receive $20 off your Bellefit order, using the promo code RACHEL20. So really, everyone is a winner!! Use this link to order >> https://www.bellefit.com/a/6/

The Bellefit Bundle giveaway is open through Friday, April 14th and the winner will be announced on Instagram shortly after.

Good luck!!

Bellefit Postpartum Girdles and Corsets

How Moms Are Like Superheroes – New for HuffPo

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Did you  know that as a mom, you totally hone superhero-like skills that you probably never knew you even had?!

It’s true.

Read all about it in my latest article for the Huffington Post.

CLICK HERE TO READ >> http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/58caaf07e4b0e0d348b340ea

 

NEW Yo! Momma: Navigating the Co-Sleeping Trap

Who’s ready for another collabo with my boys over at Daddy Mind Tricks!?!?

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Welcome to our monthly joint venture we like to call, Yo! Momma. We open up the mailbag to answer the questions from our most faithful readers and bring definitive resolution in the age-old battle of the sexes.

We do so in the only way we know how: with zero filter and 100-percent brutal honesty.

In our last edition, we took on the topic of contributing more around the house and how to avoid looking like a bumbling, stumbling, moronic father figure that a TV sitcom would proudly feature.

In the latest edition collaboration of the best parenting bloggers on the Internet, we’re discussing the idea of co-sleeping and how it can wreak havoc on a couple’s opportunities to enjoy a little sexy time.

You ask. We attempt to answer … and then Rachel from Whine & Cheez(Its) drops some knowledge on your ass to provide the feminine point of view that we all truly need in our lives.

Welcome to another edition of … Yo! Momma.

My wife is all about the co-sleeping with our 13-month old and I’m ready to resume irregularly sexy time stuff. How the hell do I get the kid out of our bed so I can finally have some fun with wifey?

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Pete: Welp, this sounds like the perfect chance to get a little creative outside of the bedroom, if you ask me. We don’t have to hit the time machine on sex life and travel back to the days of missionary position only pleasure under the lights before retreating back to our separate beds after an evening of the Donna Reed Show.

Not having enough sex in your own bed at night because your kid is in the way? Turn up the heat on some daytime fun whenever you can get the chance. Hire a babysitter and get it on in a Burger King bathroom like Humpty (Shock-G) from Digital Underground. Ship the kid off to family member for a night. Get a hotel and fuck like rabbits all over some freshened towels.

My point: don’t be afraid to find some creativity in the game of romance.

Now, that being said, why the hell is your toddler still sleeping in your bed and not in his or her own? Handle that. Perhaps a romp or two in your kitchen while the kid is watching Sesame Street in the other room will help unload some stress and provide clarity into how to get this little one doing 10-12 hours nightly in another bed.

Putting first things first, though – have a conference with wifey, get on the same page about the sleep training situation and get out of the hell that is co-sleeping with a toddler … before your little general can no longer stand tall and proud.

Rachel: First of all – back the fuck up. Chances are she’s not co-sleeping because she enjoys that hot furnace of a baby body all up on her, with sporadic kicks to the gut, arms across her face and a general disrespect for personal space. She’s basically at her “personal touch” limit.

Navigating the ever-changing sleeping patterns of an infant/toddler (among all of the other shit) is no joke and can make you feel like you’re taking crazy pills and hallucinating from sleep deprivation. She’s also probably bombarded by those passive-aggressive “sanctimommies” on the regular, about how their little angel was sleeping alone, through the night at 6 days old. That’s always super fun.

Bottom line? She’s fucking exhausted and tending to a child in those first few years leaves little time for rest, and yes even regular sexcapades. She wants to have sex with you, I promise (unless you’re a raging asshole). She’s just trying to figure it all out. Maybe instead of making her feel like all you want is to boot the kid from the bed so you can knock some boots, show some compassion.

Ask her what you can do to help with the transition. Offer to take another feeding. Do things proactively … sink filled with bottles? Clean it. Running low on diapers? Grab them at the store. Show her you are all about the co-parenting thing and that she has a partner, not just a sex-deprived spouse.

Nothing is more of a panty dropper than a partner who’s understanding AND all-in and hands-on with the kid stuff. It will happen. I promise.

Now it’s YOUR turn. Do you have some more questions for our crackpot team of experts? Drop us a line in the comments section, or hit us up on email at DaddyMindTricks [at] gmail.com and maybe we’ll feature your question in the next edition of Yo! Momma.

New Year, New Perspective – NEW from Lifestyle Magazine

My January article for Lifestyle Magazine (page 15) is all about a New Year and New Perspective.

Particularly…PEACE. And not just the kind of peace you have when you get to pee alone.

 

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Happy New Year!!

xx

Rachel

Bedrest and Birthmarks

Pregnancy is no easy feat. Even despite that, I will never take it for granted. My first pregnancy was a walk in the park and as uneventful as they come. This one – 8 years later – is an entirely different ball of wax. There are a ton of details and stories around it that provide enough for a series of blog posts and will likely come later when I have a chance to breathe (in 18 years).

In addition to the raging obligatory nausea that can often accompany the first trimester, I have the unbearable heartburn that makes me feel like my esophagus might just fall out or burst and that at any moment I may even breathe fire like a fucking dragon. I’ve also experienced more “major” stuff this time around.

dragon

First, was my stay in the hospital with kidney stones almost two months ago. Just FYI this was the WORST pain I have ever experienced in my life (and I say that having pushed a baby out of my vagina). And guess what they can do for kidney stones in a preggo…NADA!

Because the options are basically blasting with radiation and surgery, all they could really do for me was offer pain meds to keep me comfortable, IV fluids, and wait for them to pass. Annnnddddd, that’s the first time my baby in utero and I did drugs together – specifically dilaudid and demerol. It was a real rager.

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On the heels of that shitshow, I ended up back in the hospital this past weekend with another issue that now has me on bedrest for the remainder of my pregnancy. At this point I feel like SLS and I should have a wing named after us, or at least be giving tours to expectant parents. On the bright side, my mom was there and that ALWAYS provides the levity I need to help me momentarily forget that I am hooked up to an IV, a fetal monitor and being pricked more times than a porn star on a busy day.

First, when my OBGYN came in the room, my mom thought she was just one of my friends she’d never met because she was sans lab coat and didn’t look all doctory. Instead she came in on call, dressed normally, wearing makeup, with her LV messenger on her hip. They were instant besties and hugging 60 seconds later. Then my high risk doctor happened to be there and my mom could NOT get over his shoes – which were those horrible shoes that look like gloves for your feet that nobody should ever wear, especially if you want to have sex ever again.

shoes

She was like the cat who swallowed the canary, or that SNL Kristen Wiig character who can’t handle surprises, waiting for him to leave so she could discuss.

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But really, the best part of the whole day came when the conversation turned to sex. My husband, best friend/sister-wife and I were talking about sex during pregnancy, to which my mom chimes in…

“Please, NOBODY should be having sex during pregnancy. It’s not good for the baby. The baby doesn’t need to be poked around.”

“Mom, you know that’s not really humanly possible, right?”

“Rachel, it’s not good for the baby. Plus, all that poking?!? How do you think babies get birthmarks?”

Drops mic. Exits stage.

It was at that point that my husband was laughing so hard in the corner he literally couldn’t breath. I was laugh/crying real tears. And my mom was dead serious and not understanding why we found it so funny.

She continued with, “Well, it hasn’t been disproven!”

Sidebar – I feel it’s important for context to also point out that my mother has a master’s degree in education and taught (wait for it…wait for it) health and sex education. Boom!

My husband then pointed to a birthmark I have had on the top of my chest my whole life and said to her, “Sooooo….is that where this came from?” She just looked at it, squinted a little and pretended she’s never seen it, shrugged and changed the subject.

No matter what, this woman can ALWAYS take the tension out of a situation and make you pee from laughing. I almost think there’s a viable business idea somewhere in here where we can rent her out to people in grim or serious situations who need a distraction in the form of a stand-up comedienne who doesn’t even know she’s performing.

Here we come Shark Tank…

The Nightmare Before Christmas & Hanukkah – NEW Parental Advisory Podcast!!

Did you miss us???

Then you’re going to be stoked for the latest episode of the Parental Advisory Podcast with my brothers from another mother – Pete & Mark from Daddy Mind Tricks.

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We’re covering all of the nightmares before Christmas and Hanukkah (or as I call it, Jewish Christmas…because c’mon let’s get real, that’s basically what it is.)

We’re kvetching about all of it – from Thanksgiving to New Year’s to Black Friday and everything in between.

Ch-Ch-Check it out.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN >>> bit.ly/iTunesPAP

 

 

Girl’s Weekend 2016

Every year around this time, we take a girl’s trip. But this one isn’t filled with shots, debauchery and hangovers. It’s much more wholesome. It involves my main squad, a couple of mice, dogs, and ducks.

It’s the annual Disney trip with my mom and daughter and it’s ALWAYS filled with blog content – mostly because my mother is there. This was a big one because it’s the last one with just the three of us, before I evict another daughter from my uterus and add her to the wolfpack.

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The trip always starts the same way – with my mother shoving her selfie-sticked iphone in our faces trying to capture our “road trip” song. We film a few different melodies and then never post any of them because she thinks she’s ugly in all of them and stares at her phone with squinty eyes asking, “Is that what I really effing look like?!?”

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Rather than go into a whole narrative of the trip (because that would take DAYS), I’m going to bless you with the highlight reel.

  • Within 5 minutes of entry to the hotel, my mom was already besties with a young, unsuspecting lad at the front desk (Dominic), who had no idea the stuff he’d be comping in 2 days. She already managed to get the $30/day valet fee comped because I’m 7 months pregnant and there was no self-parking (which was true, btdubs).
  • We didn’t wait more than 8 minutes to get keys to our room from Dom, because I’m 7 months pregnant and my mom has “sugar diabetes” (pronounced Wilford Brimley style aka diabeetus).
  • On venturing out to the Boardwalk on night one, a lovely family stopped to offer their photography help when they saw our selfie struggles. When the woman opened her mouth and said “Do y’all need some help?”, my mother, the super sleuth said, “Oh! You’re from Texas?!” (because y’all = Texas). The woman politely responded, complete with the “bless your heart” tone, “Um, no, that would be Mississippi.” Dammit mom, so close!
  • We got ice cream on the way back and after grilling the 16-yr-old serving us about the great no sugar vs. no sugar added debate, my mom got her cone. Only to lose a scoop right there on the counter as she was paying. They felt bad and gave her a redo, however, when my mom was dancing, at the request of my daughter, she did a fancy triple axel move and lost a scoop mid-twirl. I tried not to pee my pants, but it’s hard because I am pregnant. Then her and my daughter did the next logical thing when you drop a scoop – waited patiently for someone to step in it. Oh the life lessons my child gains from these trips.
  • Finally, it was time to retire to our hotel room, but the fun is not over until the fart-noise fiesta. That’s right! It’s become tradition (my daughter’s favorite actually) for her and my mom to make fart noises with their mouths and try to out do each other. I always imagine the people sharing a wall with us, wishing they were overhearing loud hotel sex instead.
  • Because my mom is the poster child for Type A people across the globe, she literally could not take the hotel clock being set to the wrong time and had to right this atrocity before going to sleep. Cut to around 1am when the alarm clock was going off every 20 mins or so (because she’s super tech savvy). And not just going off, but at the loudest volume possible with only static to hear for miles. Every. 20. Minutes. I literally almost ripped it out of the wall, but it was tangled with about 50 other cords behind the nightstand and I had to turn the lights on to figure out how to undo whatever she did.
  • Then it’s on to the character breakfast, where all my kid wants is to see my mom pull Pluto’s tail. This is tricky though because the characters walk around with handlers to thwart these very things, so she has to be sly.
  • We spent the first part of the day at Magic Kingdom where I read on my ipad as they went on rides and were beyond exhausted for part two of the day, at Animal Kingdom. When we got to AK, my mom was not satisfied with our parking spot and made me drive up to the guardhouse to tell the man…yup you guessed it, that I’m 7 months pregnant and she has a broken toe (also true) and can we park any closer? We got waved to the “med lot” which ended up backfiring because it’s too close to the entrance for the tram to pick you up but still a little bit of a walk. Karma, mom. Karma.
  • As soon as we entered the park, my mom marched right over to the first kiosk selling mouse ears and overpriced water to ask if there was any way “someone could drive us to the entrance of the first ride we had a fast pass for because her daughter is 7-months pregnant, she has a broken toe AND sugar diabeetus”. They looked at her with a loss of words expression, “um, no ma’am, we don’t do that”.
  • Back at the hotel, we had already fed my child kid food and went to sit in a steakhouse to have a real meal. My daughter was so fried she fell asleep, in my lap as we were waiting for dessert, so they gave it to us to go and comped it. My mom did the jig – she wasn’t even expecting perks until checkout when she met with Dom again.
  • Repeat paragraph about fart noises.
  • We had our last character breakfast before hitting the road, but not before my mom gave Goofy a piece of her mind for not having a tail she could pull to delight my daughter.

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Look how defeated he looks.

It was a trip filled with laughter that could (and will) make you pee your pants and I love the memories my daughter gains from these girl’s trips. Colored memories, but memories nonetheless.

Next year, we’ll roll four deep and begin to corrupt another precious little girl showing her our version of the happiest place on earth.

 

 

Making “Parent” Friends – New Parental Advisory Podcast Episode

Who’s ready for episode 5 of the Parental Advisory Podcast? 

On this one, Daddy Mind Tricks and I talk about the struggle of making parenting friends – and some other stuff, because let’s face it…we like a good tangent.

bit.ly/iTunesPAP

Check it out!!!

 

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Fright Night – NEW for Lifestyle Magazine

Halloween is coming!

Are you ready for the slew of Elsas that will invade your neighborhood with their ill-fitting wigs and Olaf-shaped candy receptacles (guys, for real, when will the Frozen thing be over?)

Check out my latest article for Lifestyle Magazine Boca/Delray (Page 21) and get the scoop on a few Palm Beach County Halloween Happenings.

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Not My First Rodeo

Last time I was pregnant was almost eight years ago. Here I am again, growing a human inside me but things are a little different. Most obviously, the fact that this is my second marriage which means I have two baby daddys. Guys, I’m basically like a rapper now.

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Now, with another little girl cooking, it’s hard not to notice the differences from the first time around.

While I was not even a little bit neurotic during my first pregnancy, I was much more on the ball with a lot of “stuff” that accompanies pregnancy.

1. YOU BASICALLY CAN’T EAT OR DRINK ANYTHING

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There are so effing many rules. No deli meats, no soft cheeses, no wine (FML), no sushi, no advil, and the list keeps growing. As a mother, wine and advil are usually staples, so that hurts. During my first pregnancy I adhered to EVERY rule without deviation. I just felt like even though I knew they were super conservative and I probably wouldn’t harm my fetus with a Boars Head Honey Maple Chicken Sub from Publix (great…now I want one), I didn’t think anything was worth messing with the rules, archaic or not. God forbid something DID happen, it would be a mindfuck of epic proportions and I would carry guilt forever. I have enough since I’m Jewish, so I didn’t need to roll the dice. I’m a strong motherhustler, so there’s nothing I can’t do without for 9 months.

Except coffee. So this time around I do have one cup a day and I’m not ashamed. Mommy’s sanity is crucial to a functioning household and coffee helps achieve that. Also, I pretty much needed ginger ale intravenously during the first trimester of this pregnancy and I opted for diet (OH THE HORROR!! I KNOW!). But I’m sorry, I think it’s like splitting hairs to determine what’s worse – the amount of sugar I would have ingested in regular versions compared to the “diet” version demons.

2. MY BABY IS THE SIZE OF A WHAT?

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Yes, the first time I was  dutifully subscribed to those emails I would get each week informing me that my child was the size of a kumquat or some other exotic fruit. I read each one diligently about what body part was forming and what was happening in my womb. This time, however, I have literally lost count of how many times I have called my OBGYN to ask how far along I am. Not kidding.

3. EAU DE BUG SPRAY

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This whole Zika thing is a maje buzzkill for a pregnant chick, especially one living in a Zika hotbed known as South florida. This one scares me, because even doctors are skittish about it since there are so many unknowns. So…that means I have spent tons of money to douse myself in CDC approved bug spray every time I leave the house so I can have peace of mind. But wait, there’s more. Because this gem of an epidemic can be sexually transmitted, my husband is also forced to get in on this trend. No spray, no lay. There was nothing even close to this during my first pregnancy.

Those are some of the major differences but there are also some striking similarities.

  1. THE HORMONES

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I cry at the drop of a pin. Yes, I am emotional non-pregnant and admittedly a crier, but this is next level shit. It happens out of nowhere sometimes and once the floodgates open there’s no stopping it. It also happens when I get upset or frustrated (just like during non-preggo life), but again, it’s MUCH more severe. Like when the people my husband hired to put plywood up for the last “storm” (Hurricane Matthew) that threatened us, failed to deliver at almost the 11th hour and I had a full-on exorcist level melt down. I sufficiently scared the shit out of SLS, which is why he looked at me in the eyes and told me there would be wood on the windows if he had to “drive to fucking Naples to get it”. And he delivered (thankfully without having to make that drive).

2. I’M PREGNANT, NOT BLIND

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I still hate maternity clothes and basically stick to t-shirts and jeans because I think the people who design them are fucking high. In what universe does ANY pregnant woman look good in horizontal stripes and strategically placed bows and things that awkwardly blouse around your growing bump like a potato sack? It’s ridiculous.

3. I DRAW THE LINE AT CHARACTER ONESIES

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One of the biggest similarities from pregnancy number 1 to 2, revolves around baby clothing. There is so much cute stuff to outfit your baby. But for everything I love, there are ones that I seriously cannot stand. I’m probably the minority in this and I recognize that, but I HATE HATE HATE anything emblazoned with a cartoon character like mickey, minnie, pooh, etc. I also have a similar dislike for items that say things like, “Daddy’s Little Girl” or “If you think I’m cute you should see my mom” or “What happens at Grandma’s stays at grandma’s”. And I love a good graphic tee! But unless it’s truly clever and witty, it will never touch my child’s body. I didn’t dress my kid in that stuff the first time and it ain’t happening this time either. While maternity clothes may still suck, baby clothing designers at least have continued to step up their game for sure.

Above all, pregnancy brings a lot of opinions and perspectives (which is precisely why we aren’t sharing names before she’s here so stop asking) and a shit load of unsolicited and even passive aggressive advice – “You’re doing THAT during pregnancy.” That will never change…you just have to be good at ignoring it and doing your thing. Do what YOU feel is right and listen to your doctors, not the internet. Eat what you want, wear what you want, dress your kid how you want.

It’s your uterus, mamas. Am I right?