Review: Earth Baby – The Goodness Of Earth For Your Baby!

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A few days ago, I got to know about Earth Baby products. Being a person who believes in clean eating and living, I was naturally pulled towards these products that used natural ingredients. Also, I am sure it’s not only me, but being a more informed and aware generation, we are very particular about what touches our baby’s skin and what goes inside her mouth. And we don’t mind going that extra length and spending that extra buck if we know we will get what we are promised.

As I went through its beautiful website, I realized they don’t only have baby skincare and food products, but also a gamut of interesting products that will help a new mother take her first steps into motherhood. From nutritional snacks for the mothers like lactation inducing panjeeri and hunger satiating organic jowar/sesame ladoos to naturally dyed cotton nappies and jhablas, and herbal mosquito repellent and natural hand made laundry soap.

I talked to the concerned person at Earth Baby and expressed my desire to review a few of their products. They agreed, and sent me samples of a few of their products.

However, before I give the product review, I must mention that the soaps, coffee powder and sunni pithi powder were packed in paper bags, and not in plastic. Being an environmentally conscious citizen, I was mightily impressed. Only the apricots came in a plastic bag, which though initially I was upset, I realized it was needed because of the nature of the product. Also, the plastic bag was not the cheap use and throw kind, but a Ziploc bag which can be reused. So the Earth Baby team believes not only in nature, but also in protecting it. Full marks to the team!!

And, now here is the review of those products.

SOAPS

sopas

So, I got soaps. 3 mini soaps in 3 boldly coloured packaging (neither of the soaps contains colours, they are of natural colour).

Red packaged soap was Cow Milk and Sandalwood soap ideal for baby of 1 year and plus.

Blue packaged soap was Vetiver (Khus Khus) soap again ideal for baby of 1 year and plus, and,

Green packaged soap was for new born babies.

My daughter was excited on seeing these mini soaps, and called dibs on the Elsa (thanks to the movie Frozen, blue is not just light or dark, midnight or Prussian, it has a new tinge – Elsa blue) blue coloured packaged soap. She has been bathing with it for quite a few days, and she loves its smell.

I on the other hand took the soap covered in red paper and have been enjoying its mild flavour of sandalwood.

Verdict – These soaps neither boast of pretty colours nor bold fragrances, but that reassures me on the contrary. It means they are free of chemicals or even if I look at them with a cynical eye, they contain fewer chemicals than the ones available in the market.

BARLEY MALT CHICORY COFFEE

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I love coffee, but caffeine keeps me awake till the wee hours of the morning even if I have a cup at 4 in the evening. It has become a joke in my family that I can moonlight as a night guard on just an evening cup of joe. Well, this barley and chicory coffee has solved that problem. The other day, in a daring move, I made a glass of cold coffee using this decaffeinated coffee powder, and drank it at 5-5:30 pm, and I was still asleep by 10:30 pm.

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I am no new mother, but this coffee is ideal for new and lactating mothers as well as chicory promotes breast milk. It contains no caffeine, so no worries about caffeine finding a way into your breast milk and from there on being passed on to your newborn. Also, it relieves constipation (a mother who has had a recent episiotomy would understand its importance). It has anti-inflammatory and blood purifying properties.

Verdict – It tastes different (not like your regular coffee), but I like the earthy taste. I add some desi jaggery instead of sugar and enjoy my cup of brown wellness.

SUNNI PITHI BATH POWDER

sunnipithi

Indian moms bathe their newborns with a concoction of homemade powders. Earthy Baby has such a powder ready for your newborn baby of 1 week+. It contains chick pea flour, green gram flour, rice flour and turmeric. Green gram flour is supposed to remove excess body hair while turmeric improves the complexion and keeps skin infections at bay.

Verdict – I have been using sunni pithi powder to wash my face, as my 5 year old bathes on her own, and is not comfortable bathing with a powder. But, I like the powder as it gently exfoliates my skin. I have an excessive oily skin, and I find my skin fresh and moist (without the stickiness) after washing my face with this powder.

SULPHUR FREE ORGANIC DRIED APRICOTS

apricots

My husband and I are a big believer of clean eating. We use minimal salt and sugar in our everyday food, and promote the same in our daughter. We use molasses, jaggery, coconut sugar, dried figs, dates and dried apricots to flavour our beverages and desserts. However, till I read the label “sulphur free” on Earth Baby’s organic dried apricots packet, I didn’t even know that I had been eating sulphite laden dried apricots all this while. On googling, I came to know that sulphur dioxide is a preservative used in dried fruits like raisins, apricots and prunes. And if you are sensitive to sulphite or have sulphite allergy, it might pose a series of health problems like difficulty in breathing, wheezing, etc.

Verdict – Earth Baby’s organic dried apricots taste different and better than the ones available in the market. However, it is a little hard to bite for my 5 year old, so I have started soaking it in warm water for 1 hour and add it to her curd. She loves it. Also, it might be me being overobservant, but she has not complained of constipation once.

Apricots has a high fiber content that helps rectify constipation and acts as a mild laxative. It is also a good source of iron.

I am super impressed with the quality of Earth Baby’s products. My sister in law is expecting, and I have a very good mind to gift some of these lovelies to her and her newborn.

Meanwhile, I urge you to try them out and experience their goodness too!

PS: I will be launching a CONTEST shortly! Stay tuned!

9 Things No One Tells Us About How Hard Recovering From Childbirth Is Going To Be

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Pregnancy is all about eating right and how big your belly looks. But postpartum recovery poses serious challenges that no one ever talks about! Seriously, I am still pissed off with my mother and mother-in-law who didn’t say a word…NOT a word about this to me.

I am sharing with you things no one tells us about how hard recovering from childbirth is going to be:

1. Nether regions are messy and sore

A pain only a mother who has gone through a normal delivery will understand. The baby comes out of your ’vajayjay’ – that’s no little feat! Sometimes to facilitate easy delivery, the doctor makes a cut till your anus, and then stitches it up. This area, it goes without saying, hurts like nobody’s business. You can’t sit or lie down on your back. You need someone to apply anti-bacterial cream down there (don’t worry about shame…you will lose it somewhere during the childbirth and will never find it again), need to sit in hot tubs of salt or betadine, or sit on inflated rings to ease the pain.

2. Pooping is painful business

Peeing is still okay, but pooping is a nightmare, especially if you develop hemorroids. Once you sit to poop, you pray you never have to poop again in your lifetime. And, when you don’t feel like pooping, you wish you’d die than to have to poop the next time. It took me 4-5 months to recover from the episiotomy. Meanwhile, I visited a proctologist to know if I was the only one in this whole world who had this terrible pain, two different gynaecologists (I felt sure my OB/GYN was not giving me the complete picture) who didn’t tell me any different than what my OB/GYN had told me – that there was nothing wrong with me. And, of course, I had gulped down massive amounts of laxatives during this period.

3. Breastfeeding is not as easy as it seems

You might have fantasized about breastfeeding your little baby with all love and smiles. But, the reality is nowhere close to the fantasy. For let me tell you, a newborn might have latching problems, which means sore boobs for you. There were times in the initial one month, when I dreaded feeding my baby, and cried every time she cried for milk. It was such a painful business. As if feeding her wasn’t hard enough, my boobs would be hard and painful when she didn’t take a feed. I remember having expressed milk in the bathroom sink when once my daughter slept without taking a feed. It was so painful to see all that milk going down the drain, that I cried -which takes me to the next ill-effect of childbirth.

4. Hormones go for a toss

As if pregnancy isn’t hard enough, post pregnancy hormones are worse. You cry when there is something to cry about, but most times you cry for no reason at all. I remember crying for silly things that normally I wouldn’t even give two hoots about. My husband said I cried more than our baby did and started calling me a ‘cry baby’. To tell you frankly, I still haven’t recovered from my crying hormones completely, and can still cry at the drop of a hat.

Read more at – http://www.worldofmoms.com/blog/9-Things-No-One-Tells-Us-About-How-Hard-Recovering-From-Childbirth-Is-Going-To-Be/1162/2

I am a Mother and I am a show off

I had married quite late. By that time quite a few of my friends and family were already in the children’s way. Well, having a child spoils everything. The spontaneity and easy camaraderie between the friends. That’s what happened to me.

I called my friend to see if we could go for a movie.

“He has got a stomach upset. He’s been pooping all day. Sometimes it’s yellow and solid, and sometimes it’s green and runny.” I seriously felt like throwing up. Quickly murmuring some excuse, I hung up the phone. Did she need to be so vocal about it? For a long time to come, every time I thought of my friend, I had a horrible vision of green and black poop floating before my eyes. Ugh!

Then there were other friends who invited me to their homes thinking that as I didn’t have kids; I was probably missing out on all the fun.

“She has won the 1st prize in Poetry Recital. Baby sing, ‘Baa baa black sheep.’” And I sat through the recital of the nursery rhyme and even found it cute. But as soon as it’s over, it’s “now sing – Twinkle Twinkle.” “Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall?”

And it continued for another half hour after which thankfully The Baby got bored. But not before I had been thoroughly reminded of all the nursery rhymes I had ever learnt in my preschool. I felt like shouting, ok, I know your child’s talented but enough’s enough.

This one probably takes the cake. One of my favourite cousins, needless to say a mother too, visited us. No sooner had she come when my mother asked her, “How is the little one doing?” And oh, the dam burst.

“She is fine, but she hardly sleeps. Keeps me awake the entire night.”  Then she looked at me and said, “Wait till you have your own. You will realize what it’s like to stay awake night after night.”

And that was the day when she ceased to be on my favorite’s list. Did anybody ask her to bear a child, then why did she behave as if the whole damn world owed her?

With mothers, it’s always my child this, my child that. It’s so involuntary and unintentional, that most of the times they don’t even realize they are doing it.

The result: I started running away from anybody remotely mommy-like; stopped calling them and visiting them. I certainly didn’t want to be caught in the web of potty training, diapers, breastfeeding and other motherhood slang that they frequently used. Though my life was a tad uneventful like them, I was happy.

But then another thing hit me. Even though sitting in the protected zone of my house, I realized I still could not escape from the onslaught of mommies and their offspring. Oh, yes I am talking about the Social Media. Whether on What’s App or Facebook, all I could see were cute photos of kids. It was as if they were built specially for mommies to show off their pregnancy pictures, their birth pictures, pictures of their infants, toddlers, preschoolers and so on……

“My baby’s first gummy smile”

“My baby turned one, two, then five.” – I am sure it would continue till the baby has a baby.

“Her first doodle”

“See him sitting on his first ride”

“Oh, she’s swimming like a pro”

Seriously, sharing the tiniest details of your kids’ life may be interesting for you but it’s definitely not entertaining for the world. A few random pictures here and there are ok, but filling up your pages with them as if there’s no tomorrow is definitely a big no-no. You might lose a friend or two in the process, people may start running away from you.

I am a Mother and I am a show off

 

Think about it a little while I…”OMG, my darling daughter is looking like a princess in her new dress. Wait, that absolutely has to go on the Facebook.” 😉

I am a mother of a toddler, need I say more?

I remember those days of my pregnancy when experienced mothers would tell me, “Sleep all you want to, for once the baby comes, sleep will be a history” or “Oh, I want to forget those nightmare days of breastfeeding and diaper changing”. It seriously made me wonder what trap I was walking into.

Now that those days of breastfeeding and diaper changing are well behind me, I wonder why those ladies lied to me. Breastfeeding and diaper changing were the easiest part. Gets over in a year or two. But what has started now will stay for God alone knows how many years.

tired mother

Image: Pexels – NIKOLAY OSMACHKO

At 2, my toddler developed her taste buds overnight. She has more likes and dislikes about food than a grown up person. So all the things she loved to eat before now suddenly becomes the cause of her distorted face. So one day, she loves a certain food, the next day she won’t. At breakfast, she asks for eggs and the minute I give her she looks at me as if I have sprouted two horns on my head. Though I go by the saying that a child can never stay hungry, there are times when I doubt this. Because my daughter is more than happy to go without food if it’s not her favourite food which boils down to paneer, matar, paneer and more matar. So to keep her tummy full, I weave stories around her favourite animals that make her excited enough to eat her food.

Bathing her is another herculean task. Either she doesn’t want to bathe at all or she doesn’t want to come out of the bathroom and continue playing with water. So again, I need to smooth talk her into bathing or stop bathing. Phew!

Twice a day, my little daughter goes to the nearby park. She swings to her hearts content or so I think. An hour of sitting on the swing or playing on the slide is by no standards an inadequate time. But when it’s time to leave, she throws a tantrum. She wants more. So what do I do? I make promises of watching Barney’s on the TV or reading a story of Pepper.  I know, I know. Don’t think I am not ashamed of this. But a mother’s life is all about surviving.

Now she wants to watch Barney’s at 10 in the morning or 3 in the afternoon. So again a white lie. Barney’s has gone to school or sleep or play with friends.

And of course, nobody warned me that whether I shower, pee or poop, I shall always have a live audience before me.

I am a respectful person; friends and family take me seriously. But my little one challenges my credibility all the time. She won’t listen to me, giggle at me when I threaten her or completely ignore me as if I don’t exist. All of this when she hasn’t even hit her teens yet.

As time passes, I realize my job is not only to feed, bathe or play with my little one, but a lot more. I need to be a magician for quickly hiding anything objectionable (mobile phone, car keys, etc) under my ample bottom or the pillow or any place where she will not look for. I need to be a master story teller (ok, a liar, if you please) to distract her.  I need to constantly innovate and evolve because my child is growing smarter with each day. And on top of it all, I need patience. A lot of it. I have searched and searched, but disgustingly, no chemist stocks the pills.

So that’s my life as a mother to a toddler…so many jobs rolled into one. What do you do to keep your child happy?

My post-partum state of mind

As I pushed out my baby, I breathed a deep sigh of relief. The journey was over. But then how wrong I was! The journey had just begun. And so had my troubles. Apart from intolerable pain in the nether and other unmentionable areas, anytime crying, pooping and sucking baby and never-thinning crowd of people doling out advices, there was something that was happening to my mind. The changes were so subtle and so slow that they went unnoticed. I don’t know what had taken over me when my daughter was born, but it felt as if I had been possessed by some crazy malevolent spirit.

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I didn’t like people touching my new born (well, I am sure it happens with all new mothers).

I didn’t like the crowd of well-wishers that surrounded me all the time (though it wasn’t all the time, it certainly felt so as it happened especially when I was exhausted and wanted some quiet time alone).

I didn’t like the constant stream of advices, suggestions and horror stories from mothers of teens/grownups (though they were well-meant for most part, they were of another time, another era. I want to bring up my child my way; want to make my own mistakes).

So there were times when I sulked, when I was irritated and in foul mood. There were times when I ended up saying a few sharp words. And there were (most) times when I regretted them. As my husband and my mother-in-law were the two constant features in my life post-delivery, they usually found themselves at the receiving end. Though I am not proud of my unusual behaviour of those days, I now feel it was a depression of some sort. Of course, my apologies did the damage control but I believe the ever-changing hormones, the demands of a new born baby and the exhaustion made me do certain weird uncharacteristic things.

People give you a bucket full of advices when it comes to breastfeeding and new born care. But nobody talks about how the mind of a new mother is affected and how to take care of it.

Here is what you can do:

  • Read good books, comedy serials/movies that will help reduce some stress and make you enjoy.
  • Ask somebody trustworthy to take care of your child for sometime while you go for a stroll/exercise. The release of endorphins or the happy hormones will keep you in a cheerful mood.
  • Talk to your husband, confinement nanny, MIL or SIL, or anybody you trust to limit the number and timing of visitors. Tell them you need rest.
  • If you find that visitors still outstay their welcome, take matter in your own hands. Don’t be rude but lie down and pretend to be tired or lazy. Or better still, tell them it’s time for the baby’s feed. If they are smart enough, they will take the hint.
  • Make it a point to mingle with people a few hours of the day. The interaction will keep you stimulated and help people overcome your reticent behaviour.
  • If you make mistakes and utter rude words, own up. Apologize.
  • If after a few weeks, you still feel down, depressed and irritated all the time, talk to your doctor. There’s nothing wrong in seeking medical advice for post partum depression. It may help in averting larger problems in the future.

What were your post-partum experiences? Did you have a cheerful time all through?

My Womb Is Searching For My Baby

My womb is searching for my baby. Did it make your eyes go wide and your mind searching for some paranormal nuance in the text? Well, let me assure you it’s got nothing of that kind. As usual, there’s a little story attached to it.

As I started breastfeeding my newly born daughter, I experienced acute pains in the uterus. Though I felt them a lot over the next few days, it was especially unbearable while I was breastfeeding. Oh, they were bad pains. I had to stop feeding a minute or two till the pains subsided. It was as if I was having contractions all over again. Just imagine my horror. And I had thought no pain could touch me after that grueling labor. Huh, that’s me, a delusional mind.

newborn mama

But I went over the Internet and read all about it. Those pains were my uterus contracting. It happens over the next few days of child birth. It triggers faster into action as you breastfeed your child. And though the uterus starts shrinking at an alarming rate, it never comes to its original pre-pregnancy size.

Even after reading all this, I still happened to discuss this problem with my confinement nanny. Well, it had sort of become a habit with me. Also, it had something to do with the fact that the lady was like a walking encyclopedia (having an experience of 30+ years) who knew anything and everything that was to be known for newborn care and post delivery care.

Without a moment’s thought, she said, “Your womb had protected, nurtured and grown the baby for nine months. Now suddenly it is feeling bereft. So those pains are nothing but your womb searching for the baby.”

Though I knew that was not the case, I somehow liked her explanation better. It gave me a beautiful warm feeling. Before me, my womb was my baby’s mother. A mother is a mother from every inch of her body.

So tell me, did your womb search for your baby post delivery?

We Are Mothers…!!!

A recent snapshot of Brazilian super model, Gisele Bundchen, getting dressed by her small army of beauty technicians all the while breastfeeding her 1-year old daughter Vivian created quite an uproar in the digital world. Why? Beats me. May be because people felt she was being pampered or because she was still breastfeeding her child while at work? Whatever the case, it reeks of envy. Giselle looks sinfully hot (which no mother has a right to) even while half dressed, sans make up and feeding her child in a white terry towel robe. Here is a hot mama and though a super model, has her priorities right. Guys, just give her a break!

gisele bundchen -  we are mothers

It also prompted me to think whether the society in general just likes rapping a mother, because; well, just because she is a mother.

What nobody understands is that mothers are made up of special stuff.

We are Strong

We bear the child for 9 months happily and see our stomach or that special place below getting cut and stitched without a complaint.

We shed happy tears when the baby sucks painfully at our breasts.

We are never exhausted; we are always up to clean the baby, feed him and rock him to sleep.

We are ferocious

We fight for our kids with the neighbours, teachers and friends.

We are resilient

We take flak from people all the time; husband, family and society. And then from our kids; when they are in their rebellious teens or when later in life they ask, “What have you really done for me?”

We are Mothers, the chosen lot. We are born that way. We can take a lot, a helluva lot!!!!