Brittany Xavier is known for her impeccable style. She launched her fashion blog Thrifts and Threads back in 2013, and the rest is pretty much history. In addition to her website, she has 1.7 million followers on Instagram, 388K subscribers on YouTube, and 4.5 million followers on TikTok.
I love that Xavier keeps it so real on her platforms, too. She's talked about becoming pregnant at 19 with her daughter Jadyn, her family and home life, and so much more. Recently, she shared her pregnancy journey. She gave birth to her second daughter, Poppy, in August 2021. She has documented what it was like to be pregnant again 14 years later, her maternity style, what it's like to be a family of four, and her maternity and postpartum essentials.
I got a chance to chat with Xavier about her pregnancy and postpartum journeys, and she gave such honest and thoughtful responses. It's stuff that any expecting or new mom would find helpful. Take a look at what she had to say below, and shop some of her favorite essentials.
I have to imagine that your second pregnancy was so different from your first. What are the things that surprised you the most? What felt the same?
Yes, it was! This time around, I felt so much more tired and was worried about so many things I didn't worry about when I was 20 and pregnant. I was much more conscious of how I ate and took care of my mental health this pregnancy. When I was pregnant with Jadyn, I never had time to slow down. I worked full-time in retail and was on my feet for long periods of time. This time, it was nice that, when I was feeling run-down or extra tired, I was able to take that time to myself and rest.
How was prepping for Poppy's arrival? Was it very different from prepping for Jadyn's? I also assume that the gear is so different now than it was 14 years ago.
It was so different! I had a scheduled C-section with Jadyn, so I was able to prep exactly when I would have her. This time around with my VBAC [vaginal birth after cesarean], I was able to experience packing my hospital bag and waiting for labor to come, which was really exciting because that experience was something I felt I missed out on with Jadyn's birth.
The gear is so much better, especially the apps for tracking my pregnancy. (I didn't have a smartphone when Jadyn was born.) The pumps are so much nicer now. I remember pumping at work when Jadyn was a baby, and I had the loudest pump. I was amazed at how quiet and convenient they are now. I also am much more aware of ingredients and using products that have less possibility of irritation not only for Poppy but for our whole family. I use Branch Basics for our detergent and cleaning supplies and mostly Honest and California Baby for items on Poppy's skin.
You've been a family of three for so long, so how did you prepare to become a family of four?
We knew it was going to be an adjustment because Jadyn is so independent, and when we hang out, it feels, in a way… She's a young adult even though she's only 14. She loves to hang with us on the weekends, and we loved having the freedom to get up and go when we needed to. But after having eight years altogether and enjoying life with just the three of us, we were ready to expand and were hoping that would happen before Jadyn left for college in a few more years. The timing could not have been better for us.
And now that Poppy's here, how is everyone adjusting to being a family of four? Is there anything that also feels the same or familiar?
It's been very tiring due to lack of sleep but so amazing to experience the newborn stage with the support of a partner this time around. Again, I don't remember feeling this tired with Jadyn even though I was also working full-time, but at 20, I had more energy overall. I started Poppy on the same schedule I used with Jadyn, and I'll get flashbacks of Jadyn as a baby during the times with Poppy, especially because they are (were) such sweet babies. Their personalities remind me so much of each other. Jadyn has been so helpful with Poppy, always asking to help with her bath routine at night. I've loved bonding with her even more over the time we spend together with Poppy now, too.
What is it like having a newborn all over again? Are there any things you are having to relearn? Did you find yourself picking things back up like you had Jadyn yesterday?
Even though I breastfed Jadyn for a year, I felt like I had to relearn that again, and it was still tough even though I've been through it. At first, I thought I wasn't making enough milk, but I realized I wasn't giving my body a chance to adjust, and I also wasn't drinking enough water. Once I upped my water intake and started Poppy on her schedule, I felt like breastfeeding was coming back to me. I also forgot how small newborns are and how immediately obsessed I would be the moment I saw her. So much of Poppy's birth brought me back to how I felt at Jadyn's birth. I feel so blessed to be their mom.
What has your postpartum journey been like this time around?
I took off a solid two weeks from working when I got home, and I don't feel like that was enough time for me to fully regroup and adjust to life at home with a new baby. I'm so used to multitasking and doing the most, but it has forced me to know I can't do everything right now. I need to take it slow and put my baby first until we can establish our new routine. As far as physical recovery, it was much easier for me with a VBAC than a C-section recovery.
And you're still so busy with work and your brand. How have you been juggling everything? What have you been prioritizing?
Now that Poppy is 2 months old and sleeping through the night, it's been much easier to feel refreshed in the morning. During the day, I'm prioritizing being with her during her feedings and wake time, and we work while she naps and work some more after she goes to sleep for the night at 8 p.m. We have very little downtime during the week, which is why it's so important that on the weekends we prioritize family time. I didn't have the option to work from home when I had Jadyn, so it's not something I take for granted now.
What are your best postpartum tips for moms?
Give yourself the time to heal and soak up the time with your newborn. I would encourage others to really prioritize mental health and not take postpartum depression lightly if you're experiencing it. It's not something to be ashamed of. It's your hormones trying to rebalance, and everyone is affected differently during this time.
How have you been taking care of yourself and your wellness routine at this time?
It was important that I stayed fit and healthy during my pregnancy. My labor was fast, and I didn't have to push for that long because my endurance was up—that was really key. Trying to all of a sudden switch to a healthy lifestyle once the baby comes didn't make sense for me knowing how busy I would be with a newborn. Establishing healthy habits during the nine months of pregnancy made all the difference and has hugely helped in my recovery. I'm excited to have been cleared to work out again. It's so important for my physical and mental health. I follow the BodyFit by Amy YouTube channel. She has 20-minute postnatal workouts that I'm able to do at home.
As far as supplements, I'm taking encapsulated placenta pills for postpartum and Nutrafol, which is supposed to help with hair wellness after pregnancy. I lost so much hair when Jadyn was 4 months old, so I'm doing everything I can this time around to prevent that from happening again.
Overall, I'm trying to let myself heal and soak up this time when Poppy is so little and snuggly. I know it will be over before I know it, so I'm trying to take it all in and really enjoy it.
And can you share some of your favorite postpartum products?
I eat oatmeal every morning and fenugreek supplements to help with my milk supply, which has helped so much! I'm obsessed with the onesies from Tøy Baby Clothes, and I love diaper rash cream from Honest—I put diaper rash cream on Poppy every single time I change her diaper. I remember doing the same thing with Jadyn when she was a baby, and she never got a diaper rash because of it.
More postpartum favorites from Xavier: