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Iskra Lawrence’s Baby Prep List—Pancakes, Natural Deodorant & Saying ‘Not Right Now’

"My baby's in control of my body. Whatever's going to happen is going to happen."
Iskra Lawrence self care
Shutterstock. Design: Cierra Miller/STYLECASTER.

I think it’s natural to feel some level of guilt when you’re safe and in good spirits as a global crisis unfolds. Even if you’re doing what you can to help others, or in Iskra Lawrence‘s case—preparing to give birth, too—you wish you could do more, but also want to follow stay-at-home orders and be present for your loved ones. Plus, you’re expected to maintain a “normal” routine and sandwich in self-care, too. For lack of a better word, it’s…a lot.

But unsurprisingly, Lawrence continues to do what she does best—remind the masses that gratitude, self-love, and self-care apply to all circumstances. And she’s not just talking about therapy or exercise. Your favorite hair mask or board game counts too, especially right now.

“I definitely am lucky to be with family. I have a home and a garden and space so I’m very aware that even being able to self-isolate is a privilege,” the Aerie model and influencer recently told me. “My baby’s in control of my body. Whatever’s going to happen is going to happen.” Like most of us, Lawrence is sometimes overwhelmed by the amount of info that declares what you should and shouldn’t do for your body in times like these. The demands are even sharper when you’ve got a bun in the oven.

The whole “can I paint my nails?” thing is tricky, but some decisions, like switching to natural deodorant, were a no-brainer for the mama-to-be.

“I’ve always been concerned when it’s one of those products so heavy in the bad stuff and you don’t sweat. That’s kind of unnatural, too. I struggled with the first [natural] one I tried,” she said. “I remember I was like, no, it’s not for me. And then I luckily stumbled across Each and Every. And I was like, okay wait, I actually love the smell of this. I went all day and actually still smelled cute.”

This is just one of a few ways Lawrence is not only preparing for motherhood but prioritizing her wellbeing and mental health along the way. Ahead, and in her own words, she unveils more of her homebody must-haves, including a pancake recipe supercharged with collagen.

Embracing the Sweaty Pits

You know how you can get kind of dry irritation or rashes from rubbing? None of that. People obviously have gluten intolerances and you don’t even think about it. But if you’re putting that in your armpits, which is a place that absorbs a lot of ingredients and is near a lot of your nerve endings and glands, it can be really irritating. Each and Every doesn’t have gluten. It doesn’t have the aluminum. It doesn’t have parabens and sulfates and all the nasties.

So my armpits kind of actually feel more nourished and I know that’s a weird thing to say, but they’re not dried out.  For me, embracing the sweat a little bit and that feeling at the end of the day—like sniffing my clothes and thinking, ‘okay, I don’t have that B.O. smell’—was really important to me. And finding one that wasn’t leaving these horrendous white marks every time I changed.

Bathing in Oil

When you’re pregnant, you just listen to your body so much more. I guess it could be seen as an obsession, but I think it’s more fascination as your body is developing and growing this human. You’re just in awe of it.

I’ve used Bio-Oil
since I was 15, except instead of just using it on scars, I literally just soak my whole body in it now. I’ve been loving SheaMoisture; some of their products are absolutely incredible, like the shower gels
and some of their shampoos

Non-Stop Hair Masking

is more intense and SheaMoisture is more natural, so I like to switch between the two to make sure I’m not overloading. I’ll also do oil hair masks, especially since I’m home all the time and not going out anywhere. I throw a bunch of castor oil
or olive oil
or coconut oil
or a mixture in my hair.

My mom’s been trimming my ends so I’m very, very lucky. I recently saw a video of Jen Atkin showing how to trim your hair yourself and I was like, oh, my goodness, I’m so glad my mom did that for me because I would totally mess it up. I’ve been taking my prenatals which have biotin
. I’ve heard after pregnancy when you come off the prenatals and you start breastfeeding, that takes a lot of the nutrients away. So I’ve already invested in a postnatal tablet, which was actually hard to find.

I try to incorporate at least one collagen-infused meal a day.

Cooking With Collagen

I’ve always been a fan of collagen, but when I found out I was pregnant, people said it would help my skin even more, which obviously already has collagen in it. It really helps with that growth and the skin stretching and then also with the skin bouncing back afterward. So I try to incorporate at least one collagen-infused meal a day. That’s usually my pancakes in the morning.

I have a protein pancake mix that I order off Amazon and it’s by Metrix
. I probably put like, a half a cup, of that and then mix it with one egg and a little bit of milk to your consistency. I like mine quite thick. And then one tablespoon of collagen powder
. I add blueberries and maple syrup on top. Maybe I’ll add strawberries or oranges. That’s my favorite breakfast.

Phillip bought me a Crock-Pot
, which was great timing because I’ve just been putting chicken breast in there, slow cooking and having them with sweet potatoes. And we do salmon like every other night.

Practicing Gratitude

I definitely always talk about gratitude, whether it’s a mental checklist or something you keep on your phone. That’s a huge way to just check in with yourself and realign with priorities and your perspective. If you’re struggling with anxiety, go back to those little moments of joy. And they can be the tiniest little things. It could be your morning coffee or it could be that you got a nap in. All of those little things can outweigh the negative feelings that might be overwhelming you.

Saying ‘Not Right Now’

I sometimes get overwhelmed when my phone blows up a lot. I have this thing where I’m like, ‘Not right now,’ which could come across as rude, but I think everyone who knows me understands that I’m very protective of my time and space. If I can’t get back to you right now, it’s not because I don’t love you and care about you. I just have to prioritize my time and my mental health sometimes.

So sometimes that will mean I don’t want to look at my phone for a whole evening and we’ll play a board game
instead. I think that a lot of people are self-isolating and feel like their phone is the only way to connect with the world, so it’s important to give yourself space and distance as well and make sure that you can just ‘be’ sometimes. Or if you are self-isolating with someone, do activities that are offline.

My baby’s in control of my body. Whatever’s going to happen is going to happen.

Empowering Others

I’ve done a lot of work in helping raise awareness of infertility because one of my best friends and family members have experienced infertility. And I know how hard that can be. On social media, I’ve found some stories of infertility, but generally, it’s very hush-hush. A lot of women feel shame around it. They blame themselves and they blame their body when they struggle.

So because of that work, I look at my body and think, wow, this is something I assumed my body would be able to do. You can’t see it like that. You are fortunate enough to be able to conceive and that isn’t possible for everyone. It’s been the most empowering gift that I could ever get to experience.

Surrendering Control

It’s really focusing on the beautiful things that are happening and realizing that there’s obviously going to be side effects. I was oiling my tummy and I didn’t oil my thighs and my hips and didn’t realize you can get stretch marks through pregnancy on your hips. One day I was like, ‘Oh! Okay.’ Well, that’s where they appeared. It just seems, for me, such a small price to pay and so irrelevant when you’re doing something so beautiful.

And luckily, I have a partner who celebrates me and makes me feel beautiful, even though my skin has been doing crazy things and I got rashy redness on my face. I can’t obviously go and get a wax now and I can’t even reach my vagina.

I’m almost 99 percent sure it will never look the same as it did before, so you’re kind of just meeting all these new versions of yourself. And for some women, that’s terrifying because we like to have control and we like to control the way we look. I think that that’s one of the main things going into this journey. You have to surrender control and realize that your baby needs you and it needs its home and it’s going to do what it needs to do.

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