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This Doula's LA-Based Baby Registry Is All About Postpartum Care + Style
Updated on
June 18, 2024

This Doula's LA-Based Baby Registry Is All About Postpartum Care + Style

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This Doula's LA-Based Baby Registry Is All About Postpartum Care + Style.
This Doula's LA-Based Baby Registry Is All About Postpartum Care + Style

I’m Jane, an LA-based creative director, birth & postpartum doula, and soon-to-be mom of three. I’m born, raised, and now raising my own family here in Los Angeles, which has—thanks to the Hailey Bieber Strawberry Glaze Smoothie at Erewhon (plus a childcare and housing crisis)—earned the honor of being the second most expensive city to live in the US. While the price tag isn’t exactly ideal for what’s becoming a comical number of mouths to feed, there’s a lot that makes parenting here pretty magical, including proximity to mountains, desert, beach and the almost year-round luxury of getting out and enjoying them.

LA has changed a lot in the almost four decades I’ve resided here (and not just because there was only one Erewhon when I was born), and with it, so has my increasingly scrappy approach to preparing for a baby. Mom math means that rising costs of living + expanding family = getting creative about free and affordable activities, and spending an unquantifiable amount of time in the car schlepping to and from them.

As such, this registry reflects my POV as a seasoned LA mom embracing alllll the hand-me-downs, leaning on tried-and-true workhorses (hi Doona and Stokke), and splurging on my own postpartum experience. Because—and quick maternal health plug here—did you know that your uterus grows to 500x its normal size over the course of pregnancy and that the 4th trimester is just as much about your own healing as it is troubleshooting the right sleepsack for your baby? Anyway, here are my biggest must-haves for an LA mom of (almost) three—for both baby and me.

Postpartum

If you have friends who’ve given birth, then they’ve probably whisper-yelled at you to stock up on those iconic hospital mesh undies. And they’re not wrong. It’s no accident (diaper pun intended) that this is the #1 item on my list. Get yourself a few pairs and marvel at the beautiful mess, err mesh, of this new chapter of your life!

What’s more quintessentially LA than a leopard-print clad mom on a hike with her newborn whilst clutching an iced latte? I’ve lived in my second-hand Hatch bike shorts this pregnancy and am shamelessly angling for a fresh pair.

This time around, I’m skipping inessentials like wipe warmers and bottle sterilizers in lieu of prioritizing my own postpartum healing. Chiyo delivers nutrient-dense meals that combine Eastern food therapy with evidence, and promote rest and recovery after birth (aka your own personal Erewhon).

Not to be all woo-woo and push a supplement regimen, but the evidence clearly shows that postpartum is one of the most nutritionally depleting stages of life. Ritual’s clean pea protein and traceable postnatal vitamin help support increased nutrient needs during this wildly demanding season, especially if you’re lactating or bodyfeeding. (Disclosure: I work for Ritual.)

Giving birth has been compared to running a marathon, and yet most of us don’t prioritize proper recovery. A postnatal massage is both luxury and a necessity, and I’m planning on having one locally, at Pasadena’s Sparrow’s Nest.

Feeding

After 40-ish weeks of tetris-ing together outfits and settling for an unseasonable spandex tube dress in January, I’m eager to simplify postpartum dressing. This jumpsuit is chic enough to venture out into public, while simultaneously whipping a boob out for a feeding.

I’ve supplemented, I’ve exclusively breastfed, I’ve wept in the ER with mastitis and a 103.5 degree fever. I’m a sucker for Swehl’s inclusive mission, trippy branding and real-talk tutorials. A thoughtful gift for anyone embarking on the heroic task of figuring out feeding for the first or third time.

This sturdy, Scandinavian chair is the gift that keeps on giving. I registered for it with my first, and have used it for the last 6.5 years.

On the Go

When it comes to reasons to NOT have kids, my disdain for gear tops that list. And yet, here we are. Meet the Doona: an all-in-one car seat + stroller (translation: fewer things). Ideal for airports and planes, road trips and loading and unloading your snoozing baby from the car as you trek across town to various geographically undesirable kid birthday parties, appointments and errands.

If you haven’t heard, LA gets hot. As a sun-worshiping Leo, I was initially excited about welcoming a summer baby, but was woefully unprepared for how limiting that might actually be when met with the suffocating heat. If you’re going with the Doona, this simple sun shade attachment is a must for on-the-go naps and absorbing that mood-boosting Vitamin D.

If you haven’t been gifted this carrier, are you even an LA mommy influencer? This crunchy yet modern accessory is the ultimate indulgence. To be clear, I won’t be splurging on it nor expecting anyone else to. But if there’s a mystery patron in the audience, please stand up.

Diapering

In the first of many snubs, my third baby gets what Pinterest has generously dubbed a “nursery nook” in mom and dad’s bedroom, functionally outfitted with this wipe-down-able changing pad atop our mid-century West Elm dresser. Sorry, baby, I promise we’ll figure out a more permanent situation for you soon-ish.

I’m not a diaper loyalist, and I change brands depending on fluctuating factors like convenience, crunchiness and budget. Coterie’s clean products are expertly designed for those nerve-wracking newborn days when baby’s butt skin still seems so pure. You know, before they’ve eaten a mystery puff off the airport floor in the middle of a global pandemic and you start justifying everything as “good for their microbiome.”

It’s surprisingly hard to find an unfussy, gender neutral diaper bag that gets the job done and suits the aesthetic preferences of both me and my partner. This functional, no-frills Herschel set is ideal for the on-the-go, in-the-trunk, pull over-NOW diaper change moments.

If you live in a space with multiple rooms, a well-designed caddy to store spare diapers, wipes and cream are a must, as sometimes the couch or living room floor are the most convenient spot for a quick change. Pro-tip: stash postpartum supplies and snacks in it for easy access in those early days.

Health & Safety

After a recent hospital stay with my toddler who had a gnarly case of bronchiolitis, I’m not playing around. As diligently as you may handwash, when the dark forces (aka 27 superstrains of school germs and LA’s trash air quality) conspire against your entire household, this compact and dishwasher-safe humidifier will help you put up the good fight.

Hi, I’m in my germaphobe era. I’ve actually never owned an air purifier, but trying to keep a first grader (the kind who fibs about washing his hands after devouring a bag of spicy Cheetos at the poorly ventilated indoor trampoline park) from contaminating his newborn sister feels like the right time to introduce one to our regimen.

Outdoors

Early parenthood in Los Angeles is 30% mom friend meetups in the park, a rite of passage calling for a variety of weather-and-drool proof gear, like this oversized picnic blanket that easily wipes down and folds up. Water resistant with loads of cute patterns to choose from, you’ll be set for a day of sunshine and tummy time.

Whether you’re camping, beaching, or entertaining in your own backyard, this easy-to-assemble pop-up tent is the ultimate hack for a day of outdoorsing. We brought it on a camping trip to Joshua Tree, and found ourselves able to attempt adult conversation while our littles played safely inside the enclosure.

Clothes & Accessories

The earthy hues are a welcome respite from the sleeping moons and dancing avocado prints you’ll probably be showered with, but what’s really great about these swaddles are their breathable bamboo fabric and multipurpose use—from burp cloth to stroller cover to park blanket and everything in between.

Some days you just wanna get out of the house with a little less gear and drama. This handy stroller organizer moonlights as a wearable fanny pack—large enough for keys, a paci, a few diapers—and don’t forget the snacks.

Toys & Activities

Start ‘em young on Los Angeles history and culture, with this brightly illustrated board book highlighting some of our city’s classic features, including taco trucks, tar pits and palm trees.


Jane Helpern

Mom doing brand and birth-y things in LA

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