Mother's Day is about more than flowers and brunch. It can also help set the tone for a year in which women feel more connected to community and find ways to care for their bodies and lifestyles.
"I hear from so many moms who forget to breathe, hydrate and take care of themselves in the smallest ways," said Kelsy Lynagh, creator of Mama on the Glow, a Los Angeles-based life-coaching service directed specifically toward mothers. "For new moms, there are the ups and downs of hormones and postpartum anxiety. And then there are mothers whose kids don't need them as much anymore, who feel they've lost their sense of identity and are seeking a new creative outlet. It's about finding the right tools."
Here are four diverse wellness ideas for women in all stages of motherhood:
Kate Middleton and Kylie Jenner may bounce back into shape five minutes after giving birth. But most women aren't so lucky. More important, women who have ever delivered a child should do very specific exercises, said pre- and postnatal fitness specialist Danielle Spangler, who teaches classes for soon-to-be and new mothers at several locations in the Beach Cities area. New mothers especially, she said, shouldn't necessarily jump back into exactly the same types of classes they were doing pre-pregnancy.
"A lot of abdominal muscles have been compromised and diving back in to regular classes isn't good advice," said Spangler. Her workouts, she said, are "corrective and functional in nature, with twisting, bending, and stretching in ways that prevent problems further down the road." Her classes also allow new mothers to take along their babies.
Various locations in Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach. Priced from $15 for a trial lesson. More information at daniellespangler.com
Lori Harder wrote "A Tribe Called Bliss," to help women form more close relationships with other women — especially in the face of new or impending motherhood.
"I wanted to ask the question: 'How do we break through these surface relationships and connect more deeply with one another?'" Harder said, adding that women with strong social ties live happier and healthier lives.
Through a series of exercises, Harder asks readers to examine what might be getting in the way of them creating lasting friendships. Particularly at a time when it should be easier than ever to connect with other like-minded women, Harder said, many feel "disconnected, confined, misunderstood (and) defeated."
Harder will hold a fireside chat at her Los Angeles book signing event Tuesday, May 15 from 7 to 9 pm at Wanderlust Hollywood, 1357 N. Highland Ave. $59 fee includes two copies of "A Tribe Called Bliss." Register at loriharder.com
Compression garments are every mother's best friend — especially the kind that help pull distended muscles back together. That was the aim behind Belly Bandit when it launched on Mother's Day a decade ago. To celebrate its ten-year anniversary, the company is introducing a new yoga and athleisure wear line, as well as nursing products and skincare, in addition to its core line of corset-style wraps that help flatten the tummy.
"We've redesigned the original Belly Bandit for more adjustability and how it feels against the skin," said Lori Caden, co-founder of the line, designed in conjunction with an OB-GYN. Caden said belly wraps are most effective when used until 12 weeks after birth. And designed for all women is its newer Mother Tucker line of slimming underclothing using compression technology. "It's shape wear designed for women of any age or stage," said Caden. "It's the art of holding in one's muffin top."
The belly wraps start at $50, and Mother Tucker clothing is $69 and up. bellybandit.com
And for moms who don't want to take nursing for granted, there's Legendairy Milk, herbal supplements that are said to boost milk production. The seven products in the brand serve different purposes, and all use organic herbs that in various traditions are relied upon to increase fat content in milk and generally improve the circulation and well being of pregnant and new mothers. Liquid Gold contains goat's rue, milk thistle and fennel seeds. Pump Princess is made from nigella sativa and dill. And Milkapalooza — with moringa, nettle and vervain — is also said to help with water retention, swelling and anemia. Prettily packaged, they're a fun, functional gift. Each month, a portion of the company's profits is donated to a family whose baby is in need of medical assistance.
And you know the rule: It's always a good idea to talk to your doctor about health concerns, and dietary changes. Priced at $19.50 per bottle, discounts for bundles. legendairy.com