I’ll be honest. I had no real idea of how pregnancy and motherhood would affect me wholly. I knew, of course, my time would essentially become consumed by caring for another being, but I didn’t really think beyond that. And, being among the first of my friends to have babies, I didn’t really have anyone to tell me.
And, wow. When the proverbial “they” say everything changes, they are certainly not kidding around. Not only did my body obviously change from pregnancy, so did the texture of my hair (farewell my beloved wash-and-go waves) and the surface of my skin (extra sensitivity to sun exposure means more suns spots and discoloration, great). Not only did motherhood mean way less sleep and mental space to pay attention to self-care, that, in turn, meant dull and dry skin, feeling constantly stressed and overwhelmed, and being in a body whose muscles were begging for strength.
Motherhood changes your entire life – it also changes your entire identity, the way your brain works, and your physical appearance. It’s no wonder that, after having and loving kids, most mothers feel like they lose a sense of who they are. If everything changes, how could you not?
But, the internal process of discovering the new you is a wonderful, beautiful thing. After feeling the rock-bottom lows of feeling like I’d lost myself, I made a firm commitment to the new me – I promised to love this person and to treat her with the same devotion and care and intention that I show my family each day. My determination stemmed from my motherhood – feeling good about myself and within myself is the most important thing I can give to my boys, the most important thing I can offer to their childhood. They deserve to have a mother who is warm and calm and who glows with confidence from the inside out. And, I deserve to be a person I can feel proud of.
I made goals: be good to my skin, make my body stronger, exercise my mind through reading and writing, and eat in a way that made me feel good about myself. Then, I found the things that could help support my transformation: a high-quality Vitamin C serum and retinol, an exercise app that I love, a subscription to Audible (so I could “read” while commuting, washing dishes, and folding laundry) and high-quality supplements from HUM Nutrition to round out my diet and benefit my mind, body, and skin.
With so many options for nutritional supplements, it can be hard to decide what’s right for you. HUM Nutrition makes it easy: all of their products are gluten-free, non-GMO, sustainably sourced, pure and potent, clinically proven, and backed by Registered Dietician Nutritionists. You know you’re getting good-for-you ingredients in the most healthy and nutritious way possible. If that wasn’t enough, you can also buy them at Sephora, along with your favorite cleanser, mask, and serum.
What I loved most about HUM Nutrition is that their website and product labels make it super simple to choose what supplements are best for you. They even have a fantastic quiz that uses your health and lifestyle habits to provide product recommendations and offer support from highly trained RD nutritionists to get you started. The process is simple and convenient, and it gave me the confidence that I was making the right choices for my body. Here’s what I use:
Skin Heroes is a pre- and probiotic that is formulated to targeted problematic skin from the inside out. It has a proprietary blend of 9 strains of probiotic bacteria totaling 40 billion CFUs (Colony Forming Units) proven to support healthy skin cell turnover which helps clear breakouts and combat dryness. It also supports gut health and digestion, which, ahem, I’m sure has taken a turn after pregnancy and childbirth, amiright moms?
A week or so after I started taking Skin Heroes, I started breaking out a bit (which is abnormal for me) so I knew that the cleansing process had begun. I felt good that my body was being righted from the inside and felt even better to know that taking this high-quality pre- and probiotic would continue to improve the overall wellbeing of my health and skin. Weeks later, my face is clear and less dry than usual (which is saying a lot for winter in Chicago), my eczema spots have lessened, and my digestion is great.
In my 20s I made plenty of not-so-great choices for my skin (hello, tanning oil), and in my 30s, I am dealing with the consequences. While I try to manage the hyperpigmentation on the surface, I also am diligent about sunscreen to prevent more damage.
Turn Back Time contains PLE that helps get UV damage under control, and advanced age-defying antioxidants to fight off the free radicals that damage skin. It has a powerful combination of antioxidants and phytonutrients (like Turmeric and Green Tea Polyphenols) that help protect cells from aging and pollution and Polypodium Leucotomos, a South American fern, helps control the UV damage that ages the skin.
There’s no substitute for a great mineral-based sunscreen, but having a barrier that works from the inside gives me immense peace of mind that I am doing what I can to balance the environmental damage that wreaks havoc on us daily. And, turmeric is an excellent anti-inflammatory which aids in keeping my screen-related headaches to a minimum and my aging joints ache-free.
I don’t think anyone can argue that motherhood is stressful. There are always a thousand things going on at once and what seems like a thousand people needing your assistance at this exact moment and they cannot wait another second. Mothers are superheroes in every regard, but by no means are we perfect.
The height of stress and frustration in our household was leading me to become a person I didn’t want to be – losing my patience, failing to find any extra, and feeling constantly overwhelmed and out of control. It was not good for any of us.
Enter, Big Chill. Big Chill is made from the herb Rhodiola, found in the highest altitudes and coldest areas of Europe and Asia. It is known to increase the body’s capacity to adapt to stressful conditions, so you can keep a clear head during demanding conditions. Studies support the power of this little herb to significantly improve anxiety levels. For me, it seems to have made a difference in my abilities to manage, stay calm, and breathe during all of the chaos that two young kids bring.
Listen – there’s no one thing that can solve all of your problems or improve your entire life. There’s no one thing that help you discover who you are after motherhood. What you can do is make a concerted effort to better yourself in the ways you need and use the tools available to you to support your journey. What you can do is commit to yourself.
The impact of doing this in my life has been significant. My face shows signs of life, instead of looking sallow and tired. My body can chase toddlers and run up stairs and move furniture to build forts without feeling achy or worn down. My mind feels clearer and calmer – when stress arises, I can think about what to do without panicking or falling into despair.
I feel healthy and strong and whole. And, I’m a better mother for it.
You can take your own wellness assessment here and get 20% off your first HUM purchase by using EVERYMOM at checkout. How do you keep yourself healthy and whole as a new mom? Tell us below!