Superwomen Who Make Mother's Day Special

Summary

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Happy Mother's Day to all the amazing moms in our Tiny Health community. You make our world go around. And while we celebrate motherhood in a roundabout way on the regular, today's extra special because we're sharing a behind-the-scenes peek at our Tiny Health team. 

From our founder's story to a matrescence deep dive to mom hacks from our team, we're tapping into the women we know best to give motherhood the spotlight it deserves. 

We're also raising a glass to the rich and meaningful community we've cultivated since launching two years ago. There's nothing like a birthday to put things into perspective. And for us, nothing does that better than the story that sparked this whole adventure.

Meet Cheryl, our fearless founder 

Cheryl Sew Hoy with family
Cheryl Sew Hoy, founder and CEO of Tiny Health, with her family

“In 2020, I watched my little girl, Charlie, born via C-section, wrestle with eczema, restless nights, and food sensitivities. Her itchy skin, dietary triggers, and constant sleep disruptions took some joy out of those first few years of motherhood. Interestingly, my second child, born via a vaginal delivery, didn't face any of these issues. The contrast in their health was so striking that I threw myself into the research to find out why. Early on, I stumbled upon an alarming statistic: nearly half of U.S. children suffer from at least one chronic health condition. 

I followed my curiosity into the fascinating world of the gut microbiome and quickly learned its profound impact on everything from immunity to long-term disease prevention, especially during the first 1000 days of life. A year later, I started assembling a team of microbiome scientists who led us to a breakthrough: Tiny Health developed the first at-home gut health test for babies in 2022. Since then, we've supported over 25,000 families! Our dedication to improving early life health for our children and future generations grows stronger every day.”

Matrescence: aka the new mom roller coaster ride 

In 1973, medical anthropologist Dana Raphael, Ph.D., introduced the term matrescence to describe the process of becoming a mother. She observed that in American culture, we often say "a child is born," whereas others say "a woman gave birth." Dr. Raphael thought shifting focus away from a mother's experience hijacked her perspective. And if there are crickets instead of national discourse, opportunities for support and resources fall by the wayside.

The transition to motherhood is hard. While there are storybook moments of pure joy, the amount of work required for this life stage is exhausting even to think about. Why aren't more people discussing how it rearranges your worldview and alters your molecules so you must rediscover yourself? 

Because motherhood affects every area of your life, from your health, home, and friend circle to your finances and career, it's the biggest of big deals. If the saying ‘we're souls, not roles’ holds true, mammas need love and support from every possible direction. And we're here for it all. Like you, many of us are growing and adjusting through emotional and physical changes. 

New moms with strong and empathetic support systems navigate this rite of passage more easily. If your motherhood journey is isolating, check out our favorite ways to love yourself during this ever-expansive transition.

8 self-care tips for moms

Mom power: the forces of nature on our Tiny Health team

A thousand stories of motherhood inspire our mission at Tiny Health and remind us why we do what we do. Our team is no exception—these mamas inspire us every day with their brilliant minds and uncommon ability to keep all the plates in the air, all the time—with genuine grace. 

And while working with a remote team means we often see each other on Zoom, their loveliness translates. Trust us.  We think it does here, too. We asked them for their favorite parenting hacks, mom advice, and supportive resources. And we hope you find something meaningful to take away from their POV. 

Motherhood hacks we swear by

mom holding daughter
Kimberly with daughter, Sophie

“We've had a hard time with arguments during transition time with my three-year-old, Sophie. There are tears and yelling when we're trying to get out the door. So last fall, I bought her a rainbow timer. It's beautiful. The colors change as time goes by. At first, she just liked playing with it and seeing the rainbow. But now, every time we need to change activities, we let her know the number of minutes, and she gets excited to set her timer and sit it next to her. When the timer goes off, she pops up and is ready to move to the next activity. Game changer!" - Kimberly

"Having five little kids (all seven and under), I love having systems in place that help them "help themselves." This means we have a little chart they can reference with pictures of our daily rhythms. They know when we'll do XYZ (though they will still ask a dozen times, haha). Also, making their clothes accessible, placing cups and dishes at eye level for them to grab, putting snacks in a spot they can reach, etc. That way, when I am nursing a baby or caring for one of my youngest, they can do things independently and feel confident in the process, too!" - Leah

Tiny Health mom with baby planting garden
Leah with her daughter, Etta

"My twin girls are 2.5 right now, and every day, they want more independence to test their boundaries. One thing that has made things easier for us when they're resisting a transition between activities and we need to move things forward is setting expectations and giving them a choice between two things. For example, if we have to leave a fun activity like the park, we might say: 'We have 2 minutes. Do you want to go down the slide one last time or go on the see-saw?' Giving them an update, plus a choice, gives them a chance to wrap up what they want to do and ease the transition to the next thing." - Cat

Catalina with identical twin daughters Paige and Brooke

"As a working mom, I've found it so helpful to outsource a couple things—subscribing to a healthy meal kit so I can cook a few great meals from scratch each week without all the energy spent planning and shopping, and having a cleaner come once a month. It was hard at first to ‘splurge’ on these things, but they've been so worth it."  - Hannah 

Daytime and nighttime routines 

"My biggest hack is getting an automatic wifi shutter; it disconnects my home's wifi at midnight, so everyone has to stop working and go to bed then." - Cheryl 

"My toddler hops into bed with me every morning when she wakes up, and we read a book before the day starts. It's my favorite part of my day."  - Ritika

Tiny Health toddler holding baby sibling
Ritika’s little ones: Alia ‘holding’ Vikram

“Bedtime with my son is always a special time for us. I love to cuddle with him in bed and recap the best parts of our day. I make a point of telling him what I’m most proud of him for that day and how lucky I am to be his mom.” - Katie

How do you carve out “me time”?

"I schedule it in: I have a workout class and a woodshop class that is scheduled and on the calendar. That way, I know I always have some dedicated time each week to do things I'm interested in." - Ritika 

"Once a week, I have a girl's night where I am off bedtime duty and either go to a coffee shop to knit or meet up with one of my besties (pedicures, couch chats, sushi, or a walk always fill my cup!). My husband has a guy's night once a week, too. This has helped us show up better for each other and our family." - Leah

“Since the pandemic, I schedule an outdoor walk with one of my best friends each week. It's in our calendars as a recurring meeting, so we're less likely to go weeks or months without seeing each other! It checks so many boxes - social interaction, getting out of the house, time in nature, exercise, and a momentary break from mom responsibilities.” - Hannah

Must-try traditions 

"I hug my kids every day and ask them to count to 20, and that's part of the fun. Sometimes, they count too fast or too slow, but it's always goofy. It adds so much laughter to our family. I also make a point to hug my partner for 20 seconds in front of the kids to show them that mommy and daddy love each other, too, and they're not the center of the universe. The length of the hug matters more than the number of them. Twenty seconds have been proven to decrease cortisol (stress) levels, increase oxytocin levels, and facilitate bonding." - Cheryl 

"My little one is just six months old, so we're still figuring out our family traditions. But one thing we love doing together is hanging out in front of the mirror. Every day, I bring her over and blow her a kiss." - Pame

Tiny Health mom with infant daughter
Pame with daughter Madeleine

"My favorite activity to connect with my kids is biking or laying on a picnic blanket in the yard while they play. I feel very grounded when I'm out of the house (with the dishes, laundry, and messes out of sight, haha!) and in nature. Being outside with them allows me to tap into "play" and embrace a window of rest when I am naturally a "do-er." - Leah

“Kitchen dance parties. It's so fun seeing my kids' dance moves evolve as they grow. It can get pretty nutty.” - Hannah

Advice to live by

“When your kids are driving you crazy, think about yourself 30+ years from now, and imagine how much you'll wish you could go back in time to one of these crazy moments." - Jennifer 

Tiny Health mom with two twin sons
Jennifer flanked by identical twin sons Marco (left) and Leon

“When things get a little stressful, and they will get stressful; remember all you can do is love him - just be there for him, and let him know he’s loved.” - Katie

"One of the best things another mom said to me is, 'It's okay to ask for help and accept help.' As someone who considers herself really independent, this was harder than I expected. And even though I believe ‘It takes a village to raise a child,’ I don't want to be a burden to others. But I found that people often wanted to help but didn't know how. Being vulnerable about my feelings helped me get the help I needed. It also strengthened my relationships. Letting others in doesn't make you weak; it makes you a stronger part of a community—one that is made better by lifting each other up." - Cat

"I think temperament is set from birth, so try to embrace your children for the unique individuals they are from the get-go and enjoy them! Also, you are the best mama for your kiddo - lean into that!" - Leah

Any shifts in your perception since joining Tiny Health?

"There are far more natural and holistic ways of nurturing our children. Additionally, being immersed in a supportive environment where mothers share their experiences and knowledge has challenged some myths and misconceptions surrounding motherhood. I've learned that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to parenting and that it's okay to embrace imperfection and seek help when needed." - Kristhine

Tiny Health family
Kristhine (center) with Gavielle, Gabrielle, Garielle, and husband, Jay

"It's been incredibly helpful to revisit some of our blog posts and action cards through the lens of a mom. Plus, since my baby was born via C-section, I knew her gut microbiome probably didn't have the best start. I did a Tiny Health Baby Gut Test. Based on her results and the recommendations I received during my consult call, she's now on a specific probiotic for cases like hers. I'm really excited to see how her gut improves!" - Pame

Share a moment when you felt deeply supported as a mother

"I lost my own mom shortly after becoming a mom, and it can be really hard knowing how much she would be supporting my family if she were still here. But I have the most amazing sisters and Mother-in-law. During my busiest and most stressful times of the year, they show up, help with childcare, and make nutritious meals for me when I need them most. It always makes me feel so loved and supported because I know it’s how my mom would help if she were still here." - Katie

"After giving birth to my twins (babies number 4 and 5), our beloved family and friends brought us meals for an ENTIRE MONTH STRAIGHT. I usually 'turn in' postpartum, and I really like a quiet, slow recovery with minimal guests, etc. Our support system took me by the hand, carrying me through one of the most challenging times in my life. People would shoot us a text that dinner was on the porch, or 'We're going to Costco, what do you need?' or 'Let me take the big kids to my house for a playdate while you rest'… it was so, so incredible, and certainly a contributing reason I didn't slide into a deep PPD." - Leah

“When I was expecting my first, a friend hosted a baby shower for me and had every woman in attendance sign up on the spot to bring us a meal. For over two months after my daughter was born, another mom brought us a meal and checked in on me two or three times a week, which meant so much because our parents live in another state and couldn't come help us out as we adjusted to life with our daughter.” - Hannah

Tiny Health family
Hannah with her husband and two children, Greta and Judah

The more you know…

And because being a mom is the most all-consuming thing you'll ever do, here are our most popular blogs and helpful resources to empower you on your journey.

For mom’s health

How Long Does It Take For Good Bacteria To Restore After Antibiotics?

Is Douching With Vinegar Safe?

Drinking Alcohol and Gut Health: Does Alcohol Kill Gut Bacteria?

The Best Probiotic Supplement For Your Gut

A Tiny Case Study: Supporting the Vaginal Microbiome to Build a Family

For baby’s health

How To Introduce Solid Foods And Optimize Your Baby's Development

4 Types Of Common Food Allergies In Babies

When can babies have greek yogurt and more - a probiotic yogurt guide for mom and baby

A Tiny Case Study: How Beneficial Bacteria Can Support a Peaceful Night’s Sleep

Support your sister moms

We hope you've found these mom insights, hacks, and resources helpful. Remember, on the days you feel alone, you're not. We're on this rollercoaster journey together, celebrating the highs and supporting each other through the lows. Let's keep the mom love going strong, whether sharing this blog, lending a hand, or giving a shout-out to a mother going through a hard time. Every. Little. Bit. Counts. You've got this. And we've got you.

Want to pass on a sanity-boosting mom hack? Tag us on Instagram and use the hashtag #tinyhealthmomhack.