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If there’s one thing Freida Pinto has learned over the last year, it’s to be gentle with herself. The actress, perhaps best known for her breakout performance in the 2008 film Slumdog Millionaire, is also a first-time new mom — her son, Rumi-Ray, is 5 months old — and as she shares with SheKnows over Zoom, every day is new, and challenging, and rewarding.
“I’ve learned after being a mom for five months that you have to just take each day as it comes,” she tells us. “No two days are the same. And because babies change so much in the first year, you never really can get comfortable with the feeling of having arrived. You don’t really arrive — you’re constantly on the journey.”
Accepting that state of constant change and learning can be challenging for any new mom, and Pinto is the first to admit that when she tried to “put everything into a schedule and a box” during her early days of motherhood, it just made her more anxious. But “now that I’ve made my peace with it, it’s definitely easier,” she says.
Making that early transition into motherhood — often referred to as the “fourth trimester” — easier for other moms is yet another new role that Pinto has taken on, as Chief Impact Officer for Anya, a company that offers postpartum care products to help birthing people recover and heal after childbirth. Even before becoming a mom herself, Pinto felt there was a void in the marketplace when it came to products and services that bridge the gap for birthing people between pregnancy and parenthood, and with Anya, she’s helping to drive awareness as well as accessibility. She’s also more than just a face for the brand, she’s an avid customer — and from the brand’s nipple balm to body butter and more, Pinto shared the parenting essentials and wisdom that help her get through the day. Keep reading!
The podcast I’m listening to right now
Janet Lansbury’s podcast Unruffled. I’m loving this more than anything else right now because so much of parenting here in the United States is about competition and milestones and earlier is better. And even though I never subscribe to this mentality, it does kind of corrupt your thinking. In so many ways, Janet Lansbury is taking me back to my roots, and she’s taking me back to a place of a calm mind and a content mother, which then in turn leads to a content baby.
The books my baby is currently obsessed with
One is Alma
and the other one is The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse. I’ve been reading these two books, specifically Alma, since the day Rumi was born. It’s been part of our bedtime routine for almost five months now. I love Alma for many reasons — it really celebrates individuality and embracing uniqueness and being kind to other people’s differences. And I love The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse because every page has such beautiful stories.
What I’m currently reading myself
I’m actually not reading any book that’s parenting-related. About two months ago, after I was done with the first 12 weeks of Rumi being on planet Earth, I was telling a friend of mine that there was so much anxiety around, ‘read this book’ and ‘subscribe to this app’ and ‘do this and do that.’ And she said, ‘Just put them all away. Just put all of them away and see if that takes your anxiety away.’ And I did that and thank you, Martha Adams, for the most amazing advice. I’ve actually felt so much better, and ever since I put the books away, I’ve been able to rely on the most reliable of all resources and information, which is my instinct.
The beauty product I never leave the house without
Throughout my pregnancy and also postpartum I love using Ranavat products for my face: these Ayurvedic-inspired products have been my go-to. For my body, I cannot live without the Anya body butter. It’s so thick and luxurious and has this beautiful, subtle scent. But the best part is that it doesn’t stay greasy for hours. And specifically though postpartum, my Anya nipple balm goes wherever I go. I began using it on day one in the hospital and have not stopped throughout my breastfeeding journey. It’s so lightweight and soothing and was critical for me to help with nipple pain, especially in those early weeks of breastfeeding.
The apps that make my life as a parent easier
I’m not a big app person, but I have been using one called Huckleberry. Because we have my husband and my mum also caring for Rumi, we just want to know that we are all making sure that he’s getting fed on time, taking a nap when he needs to take a nap… We’re following his cues, but also using the app to help us.
The parenting accounts I love to follow
Funnily enough, I was following so many different parenting accounts when Rumi was born around sleep, around food, around breastfeeding, play, all of it, and then it just got [to be] too much. Now, I only follow this one account called Natural Born Parenting. I think it’s more about play and how to make play interesting, but also allowing free play as much as possible, not constantly manipulating and, you know, putting babies in positions that they don’t want to be in. And I take everything with a grain of salt. I don’t go too far with that and I don’t follow it completely or ignore it, either. The only parenting account that I should be following is my own heart.
My favorite subscriptions for my baby (and myself!)
My dear friend Shawna, who also just had her baby, gave me a Lovevery subscription for Rumi for a whole year and those boxes have been a lot of fun because there’s so much to play with for him. I also feel safe with Rumi putting everything in his mouth. The other very important subscription that I had for me was my Anya subscription. Too often new moms aren’t thinking about their own care after birth; Anya does that for moms. I love receiving my box each month with lovely products that support me and actually help me feel better. That has been critical to my recovery.
My favorite bath & skincare products for babies
I’ve been using California Baby because it’s fragrance-free and I’ve been using mostly fragrance-free everything for Rumi. I’ve been loving how Pipette feels on Rumi. Aquaphor
. Also So Good Butt Spray: it was given to me by the founder’s husband, and he told me that this saved his kids from having a diaper rash. That’s something that is always found now in my travel bag for Rumi. It’s got all of these healing properties, oils, and the blend is very, very calming. And he has never had a diaper rash!
The kid’s brands that I love
The clothing brand that helps me ‘mom’ in style
To get even more parenting recommendations, read about the other stylish moms featured in our Momsessed series.