WHOA MAMA! Meet the Moms behind Mama Lana Box

What does a pregnant woman crave more than a dozen red velvet cupcakes? To be pampered. Meet Mama Lana, the latest in monthly subscription boxes specifically for moms-to-be. Here we chat with Anna and Lauren about their philosophy and passion for supporting fellow mompreneurs.

Meet Anna and Lauren, Co-Founders of Mama Lana

Q: What sparked the idea of Mama Lana Box?
A: Lauren: Over the holidays last year, we were sitting together around the breakfast table in Carpinteria, California, talking about our dreams.  Anna had been trained as doula (a birth coach) and wanted a way to share her expertise and passion for pregnancy with mamas that were too far away for her to personally visit.  I’m in business school – and at that point, I’d fallen in love with small, entrepreneurial, women-owned businesses, and hoped to learn how to support them.

Anna: As we gabbed, there must have been magic in the air along with the smells of cinnamon buns — because we came up with Mama Lana!

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Q: What were the biggest challenges you faced when developing Mama Lana?
A: Anna: One major challenge is creating a box that reflects the individual and diverse experience of each expecting mama.  Because each pregnancy is different, not all mamas-to-be need the same products.  However, there are some similarities: all mamas want to feel loved and inspired not only for the good work that they are doing (growing a whole new human life!), but also for the incredible transformation that they are undergoing, as a person.  All mamas also deserve touches of luxury and extravagance — pregnancy is not for sissies!  We have curated our boxes to reflect these shared experiences.

Lauren: A second major challenge is that pregnancy is so personal, and there are many different philosophies and beliefs about it.  Expecting mamas and their partners are very passionate about their pregnancy beliefs!  It is essential to us that our boxes respect all of the choices that the mamas and their partners have decided is best for them and their baby.

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Q: What are the guidelines you follow when choosing products to include?
A: Lauren: First, our products must be top notch. We never settle for second-best.  Our boxes are not paid advertisements or filled with teensy samples.  Our Council of Experts, led by Anna, carefully choose the highest quality, most luscious product for our mamas, formulated for that month of pregnancy.

Anna: We also want to make sure that our products are good for the world, as well as the mama.  After all, we want to make sure that the world is in great shape for the new babies coming into it!  We look for skin care products that are organic, natural, and responsible, such as Bella B.  We also love products that give back — especially to other mamas, such as Global Girlfriends. We also donate a percentage of each box to Madre, a nonprofit that advances women’s human rights internationally. We believe that when you help mothers, you help the world!

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Q: Who are your dream clients?
A: Anna: Any pregnant mama out there! We have worked hard to create a well-rounded box that we hope appeals to all tastes. Our boxes nourish and celebrate the “whole pregnant woman”, and we pride ourselves on the fact that we are not tailored to a certain “type” of mama-to-be. Pregnancy is a transformational time, and it unifies all women who go through it. Our boxes are meant to honor every journey, and honor every woman walking the path of pregnancy.

Lauren: Totally agree there. We also love the idea of others celebrating mama – and have found that all sorts of folks love gifting our boxes to pregnant women. Whether it’s the mama-to-be’s partner, sibling, mother, auntie, best friend, work acquaintance, or grandparent, we’ve seen it all. This box is designed to be a rockin’ gift from anyone to a pregnant woman/new mama.

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Q: Do you try and support fellow momprenuers? If so, what have been you favorite products and why?
A: Lauren: We love momprenuers!  Given a choice, we will choose mompreneurs over any other.  We think that mamas are the smartest, most innovative people around, and one of the great joys of building Mama Lana has been meeting all these amazing companies run by mamas.  Additionally, no one understands the needs of our pregnant mamas-to-be like mamas themselves.  For example, we love Knocked Up Nails, the brainchild of “The Funtrepreneur” Ashley Judge, because only a mama who had experienced the joys — and the less-than-joys — of pregnancy would be able to create such slyly clever names for preggo nail polish colors.  Vosges Haut-Chocolat brings a sense of style and elegance to their sweets, inspired by the founder’s creative experiences as a mama.

Anna: Lauren is spot on – mompreneurs are the best! I’d also add that mamas often have wisdom that has been passed down through generations of previous mamas, such as Raegan Moya-Jones, the founder of Aden + Anais. When Raegan shared traditions of swaddling babies in pure cotton muslin, originally from her native Australia, she gave us all beautiful cloth for our babies. And Solmate Socks was named after the founder’s mom, Sunny, who taught the founder how to knit when she was nine years old. Women’s wisdom is timeless, and mompreneurs have a beautiful way of harnessing that and sharing it with the world. At our core, we think mamas are so inspirational! (Can you tell we’re excited?)

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Q: What are a few pregnancy products you couldn’t live without?
A: Lauren: Well, I guess the cat’s out of the bag! My husband, Will, and I were blessed with a new pregnancy just about the same time that Anna and I were starting off with Mama Lana.  As the business grows, so does my belly!  I’m currently in my second trimester, feeling a lot better and amazed at how my belly grows every day (it seems like)! So hmmm…products…(1) In the first trimester, I was pretty sick — so I ate a lot of Preggie Pops.  A LOT of them.  Sometimes they were the only things that got me through meetings in law school. (2) Nowadays, since my belly is stretching, I really love Earth Mama Angel Baby’s Natural Stretch Oil.  It feels amazing against my stretching skin and helps to moisturize without leaving a strong scent (my nose is still pretty vocal these days). (3) Throughout my pregnancy, I have always drawn strength from Anna’s Blissful Birth Cards, which are enclosed in every box.  I love Anna for so many reasons, but even if she weren’t my sister, I would still get so much inspiration from the coaching, support, and love written into every card.  These days, my favorite card is probably the Turtle: “Slow and Steady” is the mama mantra.  Sometimes I feel like nine months lasts forever.  Anna’s Turtle card helps me remember that I’m doing good work, even if it feels like it’s taking a long time.

Anna: Can you believe I’m going to be an auntie? Lauren is just rocking it right now…growing a business and a baby FROM SCRATCH. Love you sis! OK – I’m a doula, so I love lots and lots of pregnancy products. But from my personal experience with my two pregnancies, a few stick out for sure! (1) BellyBars. I was so, so sick. I just felt like I had a perpetual stomach flu for three months. BellyBars were seriously some of the only things I could keep down. And I felt so happy knowing that I was getting some excellent nutrients for me and baby.  (2) Zutano hats. You know the ones – those incredibly soft ones with the little bear ears? Seriously, during my pregnancy I became a swooning softy at anything baby-adorbs, and Zutano’s infant hats topped them all. Seeing the teeny size of the hat made my baby seem more real to me – picturing his/her little noggin hanging out. And also, dressing up my child like a cute little animal was one of my main reasons for making babies. (3) Mother’s Special Blend Soap. Thank GOODNESS for this stuff. My skin was so sensitive, so itchy, and so prone to breakouts. Ugh. This soap smelled divine, and calmed and smoothed my skin. Sigh of relief.  (4) Purple Leaves Red Cherries. Seriously, this book is incredible. I recommend it it all of my doula clients. Once I had my babies, this was my go-to book for reflection and inspiration.

One Mama Lana Box is $59 and the full box service for all nine months of pregnancy is $459. Please visit Mama Lana for more information.

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BEST IN SHOW: MUST HAVE PRODUCTS FOR MOMS TO BE & NEW MOMS

With the spate of maternity and new mom gear on the market, it is easy to get overwhelmed. So, I took a swan dive through the marketplace and selected a few must have products to help you-and your new baby-look and feel your best. Believe me, the smallest details make the world of difference.


1. SMART STASH: emergency diapers at the ready
Diaper Buds $5.99 for 8ct.

2. DROOL WORTHY: four chic bibs in one, perfect for busy parents and stylish kids
Bebe Au Lair Quib Bibs $14

3. MATERNITY MOXIE: Must-have pregnancy kit with luxe pampering essentials
Citrus Lane Pregnancy Pampering Kit curated by Amy Tara Koch $65

4. NEW RULES!: Dr. Laura Jana’s comprehensive guide for new parents
Heading Home With Your Newborn by Laura A. Jana & Jennifer Shu

5. SLEEP SAVVY: Guru Dr. Marc Weissbluth shows you how to get baby to stack Zs
Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth

6. HEAVEN SCENT: The safest lavender-spiked cleanser for pregnancy
Belli Skincare Pregnancy Body Wash $15

7. BOOBY TRAP: Is it a bottle? A breast? Tough to tell and that’s a good thing
Mimijumi Not So Hungry bottle $13.99

8. AU COURANT CAR SEAT: The most adorable, safe, easy to carry  infant car seat
Britax Chaperone Carseat

9. GREAT CHOICE: Cord blood banking equals parental peace of mind
Viacord Cord Blood Banking

10. NURSING NIRVANA: Where (breastfeeding) fashion meets function
Leading Lady Nursing Lace Bra $31

11. PREGGO PANTIES: Sexy. Sexy. Sexy.
Belabumbum Maternity Lace Boyshorts $29

12. STROLL IN STYLE: Super stylish, lightweight stroller
Baby Cargo Stroller $150

13. HEDGE ON THE WEDGE: Get out of the preggo dumps in these sustainably sourced kitten heel wedges that come with seven ribbons to transform your look
Mohop Shoes Mid Cherry Peep toe $164

14. MOLTO MAXI: A smooth-as-silk maternity dress that can be dressed up or down in a snap
Ingrid & Isabel Athena Maxi Dress $148

15. FLIRTY & FABULOUS: The genius “Momshell” dress is perfect for pregnancy and beyond
More of Me Maternity Momshell Dress $170

16. SWELL STYLE: Jumpers are on trend. Hatch’s version accommodates a burgeoning bump and can be worn-belted-after baby
Hatch Maternity Jumper $258

17. SLEEK & CHIC: A black stretch camisole bodysuit perfectly flatters a pregnant body
Bashful Bump Maternity Camisole Bodysuit $44

18. SPACE SAVER: Rollable bibs are great for the on-the-go mom
Tommee Tipee Easy Roll Bibs $6.99 2pk

19. PURE RELEIF: Cootie free skin cream to naturally relieve baby’s eczema and assorted skin irritations
Episencial Soothing Cream $10.99

20. THE SKINNY: Destination Maternity translates the colored denim trend seamlessly into maternity with their secret fit belly.
Joe’s Jeans for Destination Maternity Chelsea Secret Belly Fit in Lollipop $185

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BUMP IT UP APPROVED BABY SHOWER GIFTS FOR MOM

 
 

The baby shower is a curious event. It is often at this moment  that moms- to- be are subtly notified that they-the stars of this infant making production-take back seats to their child . Each and every gift- onesies, feeding utensils, booties and receiving blankets are for the baby. And, mamma (this bizarre put –on- the- back- burner feeling is a precursor to life as a mom) is ignored. So, if you really want to make a mom-to-be happy, offer up something that will  make her feel beautiful, sexy and pampered.

Pish Posh Mommy: Pull String Valencia Bag, $34.99

“Pish posh mommy carry alls are a must-have for Type-A women who crave organization tout le temps. Versatile and chicm these printed carryalls–complete with a pull string pouch, a diaper clutch, a fold up diaper pad, a ‘wet bag’ for bathing suits or soiled clothes–can be dropped into my pures, my beach bag ot just plopped in the car”

The Belly Bandit, $55.95

Wearing a compression garment like The Belly Bandit  for 6-8 weeks after childbirth helps reduce uterine swelling and bloating. Celebs like Angelina Jolie, Gwen Stefani and Halle Berry rave about this modern day girdle (www.bellybandit.com) which comes in 5 sizes and three styles (I love zebra!).  

 

Belli Pregnancy: Complextion Perfection Duo, $34.00

  

 Get radiant with BELLI SKINCARE’s (free of chemicals, parabens and dyes) genius complexion duo which exfoliates, moisturizes, protects and evens out skin tone. A mama-to-be must have!

Belly Button Boutique: Mom’s First Days Kit, $70

Coming home from the hospital after giving birth is painful. Literally. Belly Button Boutique’s MOMS FIRST DAY kit has all of the essentials –cooling breast soothers, nursing pads, hipster panties, Feme pads-to keep a new mom (relatively) comfortable

MAMA MIO: Beat the Heat Bump It Up Pregnancy Style Kit, $75.00

 

Mama Mio’s Pregnancy specific skincare products go that extra mile to ensure that products are free from synthetic colors, parabens, sulfate detergents, petrochemicals and a host of known irritants. Developed by a triumverate of British supermamas, Mama Mio has put a playful spin on the woes of maternity with “Boob Tube” Bust Cream, “Tummy Rub” stretch Mark butter and “Lucky Legs”. And, the kit comes with a copy of my book!

You Lingerie: Azalea Orchid Bra, $ 29.99 and Panties, $14.99

Channel your inner sexpot with YOU maternity and nursing lingerie unique features include: 

-Soft cups ( no underwire) to accomodate size and aid in prevention of breast infection

-discreet one handed maternity nursing clips

-4 hook back allow added length for expanding rib cages

 

 Ms. and Mrs. Labor and Delivery Survival Kit, $45.00

A collection of delivery room essentials to soothe and support mom on D DAY: disposable camera, lip balm, stopwatch, back massager, etc.

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