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Mother Essentials: Gabriela Babila of Matana Organics

Written by Katie Hintz-Zambrano

The importance of self-care became all the more apparent for Gabriela Babila when she was pregnant with her daughter, Natanya, 2 years ago. Then, a lightbulb went off. “As I honed in on my daily self-care habits, I became acutely aware of the harmful products I’d been putting on my skin. I struggled to find safe and effective skincare products to help manage all of the physical changes pregnancy could induce,” she explains. “Then, at 7 months pregnant, it struck me: All I had to do was look to my mother.” Gabriela’s mother, an immigrant from Honduras, was always making natural elixirs from scratch, as a remedy for a variety of ailments. Now, Gabriela is doing the same—albeit on a larger scale—with her mama-centric line, Matana Organics. At Matana (which means “gift” in Hebrew), all formulations are plant-based and organic, and free of all the bad stuff (parabens, phthalates, sulfates, fragrances, etc.). Below, the L.A.-based founder tells us more about the brand’s current offerings—including a Stretch Mark Oil and Postpartum Recovery Sitz Bath in the prettiest of packaging—amongst her other Mother Essentials.

All Terrain Stroller.We initially purchased this stroller for travel only, but now I take it with me everywhere! It’s super lightweight, easy to handle, and the perfect stroller for moms and toddlers on-the-go.” GB Pockit Air All Terrain Stroller, $159.95, The Tot.

Matana Organics Postpartum Recovery Sitz Bath. “A sitz bath is the perfect reason to take time for yourself right after having a baby. The overwhelming feeling of welcoming a new baby and healing from labor or a c-section can make finding time to recover difficult. Which is why we handcrafted good-for-you herbs to help with recovery. A few benefits include: reduction of inflammation, soothing irritation and itchiness due to hemorrhoids, reducing bleeding, relaxing your muscles, and so much more.” Postpartum Recovery Sitz Bath, $18, Matana Organics.

Matana Organics Stretch Mark Oil. “I’m 20 months postpartum and I still use our Stretch Mark Oil. It’s light, non-greasy, retains moisture, and nourishes my dry skin. Most of us tend to focus a lot of our skincare routines when it comes to our face, but we often neglect our bodies. Incorporating a vitamin-rich oil like ours is a great way to nourish the skin and avoid pesky lines, especially since I tend to fluctuate between weights (don’t we all!).” Stretch Mark Oil, $25, Matana Organics.

Dry Brushing. “There are so many benefits to dry brushing. It exfoliates the skin, increases circulation, reduces the appearance of cellulite, and it’s an overall skin detox.” Goop G.Tox Dry Brush, $20, Goop.

Rainbow PJs. “These are the cutest designs and we love how comfy they are. My daughter has a few different pairs but our recent favorite is their pink rainbow set, which was inspired by women’s infertility stories and rainbow babies. We love brands that offer quality products and support mothers by giving back and that’s Clover.” Rainbow PJs, $34, Clover Baby & Kids.

Signature Scent. “My go-to scent is Santal 26 by Le Labo. I like to stick to the classics and this might seem like a little splurge, but you’ll thank me later. It’s also makes the room feel more luxurious, even when you’re stumbling on the toys spread out all across your house.” Santal 26 Candle, $75, Le Labo.

Eco-Friendly Sippy Cup. “I love the reusable silicone straws in these cups—they’re super easy to clean.” Housavvy Stainless Steel Sippy Cup with Lid and Straw, $17.84, Amazon.

Hape Easel. “This is a great way to encourage children’s creativity and my daughter loves that she can use chalk, paint, crayons, and all her art tools. It’s also super easy to clean.” Hape Magnetic All In One Easel, $79.99, The Tot

Mommy & Me Style. “Who doesn’t love to match with their little one? This Australia-based clothing brand offers eco-conscious, unique fabrics and designs. I love that they offer matching mommy and me outfits and the fabric is truly quality.” Mommy & Me Outfits, $39, MLM Mini.

Hair Loss Remedy. “If you suffer from hair loss or hair thinning, look no further. I used this immediately post-baby (postpartum hair loss is real!) and it helped so much with regrowth and hair falling out in thinning areas. It’s organic, free of parabens, as well as synthetic fragrance and other icky stuff. So, you feel good about what you’re putting on you scalp.” O-Way Densifying Remedy, $75, O-Way.

Olli Ella Strolley. “A cute stroller and trolley convertible that my daughter pushes around the house. And when not in use, it doubles as toy storage!” Olli Ella Strolley, $135, Maisonette

Retinol. “I’ve been using Shani Darden Skincare before I became a mother. She’s the guru of all things skin and a known celebrity esthetician. It’s no wonder her retinol treatment and products are amazing. It helps treat acne-prone skin and reduces the appearance of fine lines. When I was no longer breastfeeding, I couldn’t wait to use it to help reduce blemishes and treat my hormonal acne.” (Note from Gabriela: Do not use retinol while breastfeeding). Retinol Reform, $88, Shani Darden.

Temporary Wallpaper. “When we moved into our home I really wanted to make my daughter’s room special, something that was budget-friendly and didn’t require hiring an expert. These DIY peel and stick wallpapers by Chasing Paper accent any room. I’m not the craftiest person and was able to do it myself. We’re now purchasing wallpaper for our powder room and I love that it’s not permanent.” Peel and Stick Wallpaper, $5/roll, Chasing Paper

White Noise Machine. “My daughter has been using a sound machine to sleep since she was 3 months old, and now she’s almost 2! It was recommended by our sleep consultant and helps lull babies to sleep and as they grow older, and so they associate the sound with bedtime.” Yogasleep Hushh for Baby Portable Sound Machine, $29.95, Target.

Podcasts. “My favorites right now are Goop, The Joe Rogan Experience, Birth Hour, and Skimm’d from the Couch. It really doesn’t matter what topic you listen to, the point is to make time to do things that make you feel more like a human and less like a mom. We all deserve ‘me time,’ even if it’s just for 30 minutes.” 

Working Out. “I always try to make time for fitness. Whether it’s attending a hot yoga class or going on the elliptical at the gym. Working out makes me feel good and gives me the energy to tackle the day.”

For more on Gabriela and her mother-centric company, Matana, head over to matanaorganics.com.

For more Mother Essentials, peep our past columns with Les Gamins founder Veronique Nguyen, Lonny editor Angela Tafoya, Wiley Body founder Vanessa Wade, DockATot’s Roma Patel, designers Anna Wallack, Cynthia RowleyRebecca Atwood, and Dana Haim, Olympian Alysia Montano,  cookbook author Hetal Vasavada, model and muse Slick Woods, children’s author Serena Minott, clean living expert Kristian Henderson, Oakland retail queen Sherri McMullen, wellness influencer Joanne Encarnacion, author LaTonya Yvetteand many, many more!

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