Tia Mowry has sure been one busy mama! She and her sister, Tamera, recently launched their new product line NEED, featuring healthy, all-natural products for moms and moms-to-be. The line’s first product, Milky!, is a lactation-enhancing herbal tea.
Tia opens up to Celebrity Baby Scoop about NEED and Milky!, her own issues with breastfeeding, and her son Cree, almost two. The Sister, Sister star also shares how “excited” she is about taking Cree to Disneyland for his upcoming second birthday!
CBS: Tell us about your new product line, NEED, healthy products for moms and moms-to-be. And tell us all about the first product, Milky!, a lactation-enhancing herbal tea.
TM: “NEED is a brand my sister and I created that we’re both extremely passionate about. When both my sister and I were pregnant, there were certain things we ‘needed’ that we felt weren’t available. We live an organic, holistic lifestyle and believe in natural products. However, a lot of times these products are expensive or lack in style, taste, etc. The list goes on and on.
Milky! was one of the first products we decided to come out with, because I couldn’t breastfeed as long as I wanted to. I could only breastfeed for three months and my milk ran dry…I was devastated. There were things on the market that I could use, but they weren’t practical for moms. When you’re a mom, practicality is so important. We said to each other, ‘You know what, let’s come up with a herbal supplement that has all of the natural ingredients and herbs women have been using for years for breast milk supply, and make it practical.’
Milky! is an herbal supplement filled with herbs like chamomile, fenugreek, fennel, and rooibos, which all help in the breastfeeding process. It’s a 2.5 oz. jar that you take morning and night. You can drink it cold or hot, and you can simply put it in your bag when you are traveling. It’s not something that you have to drink four cups of to see results.
We are so excited about Milky! and NEED. Milky! is available at all Destination Maternity stores and A Pea In A Pod, and you can also get it online at NeedBrands.com. We are also launching a new product called ‘Stretchy!’ that is an all natural stretch mark cream that smells divine.”
CBS: Was breastfeeding difficult for you? Did any issues with breastfeeding play a role in your experience with postpartum depression?
TM: “Breastfeeding was very difficult for me. Like I said, you are extremely stressed when you’re a working mom and you don’t have as much time to breastfeed as you would if you weren’t working. Of course you can pump, but sometimes women just can’t create enough milk. That is what happened to me; I was working long hours and was very stressed, and my milk decided to dry up.
When you’re working and your milk starts to dry up, you can simply down Milky! and your breast milk can go from two ounces to five ounces after just taking it morning and night for four days. Milky! is not only for women who are running out of milk; moms can also take it right after giving birth to keep the milk flowing. One of the main reasons we used chamomile is that when you’re working, you’re stressed. Chamomile helps relax moms and when moms are relaxed, the milk flows freer. This in turn helps babies also relax and latch on correctly, and it’s a great bonding experience for both mom and baby.
In regard to whether breastfeeding affected my experience with postpartum depression, I actually didn’t have postpartum depression; my sister was the one who was afraid of postpartum depression, because she had been depressed before. I did experience ‘baby blues,’ which my doctors had given me a heads up about. Before that, I didn’t know about it at all. The only thing I knew about was postpartum depression, but no one ever told me about ‘baby blues.’ I did experience it…after I had Cree, my whole life changed. It’s a sudden change and not a gradual one. You’re kind of put in this survival state, because you’re not getting any sleep and you’re not going out as much as you used to. You’re exhausted and your life really revolves around the baby; you’re no longer a priority. It’s normal for a new mom to get a little down.
I honestly believe that breastfeeding helped me with the ‘baby blues.’ I always felt happy when I breastfeed Cree, because I felt like I was providing him with the best thing I could give him. Breastfeeding made me feel good about myself, and the bonding experience was like no other. Sometimes I want to have another baby just to breastfeed again!” [laughs]
CBS: Tell us about some of the other products we can expect from NEED.
TM: “The NEED brand is not just going to focus on postpartum products; we want to extend the brand all the way until the kids are in preschool. We have MamaNeed, which contains Milky! and Stretchy!, and we also want to do a BabyNeed line of natural baby bathing products like shampoos and washes. We also want to do ToddlerNeed and DaddyNeed, where we can design and bring forth products that moms and dads need throughout their parenting journey. Everyone deserves to enjoy the benefits of natural and organic products, and we are going to offer natural products at affordable prices.”
CBS: How is Cree doing? What is he into? Does he like to play with Tamera’s son, Aden?
TM: “Aww! Oh my gosh, Cree is almost two-years-old and I can’t believe it…it’s happening so fast. Cree is into everything and he’s incredibly smart; he is taking Spanish classes now! I am pretty impressed with my child. Puzzles are a big favorite of his, and he also really enjoys when I read to him. He still loves the process of reading and he also loves swinging on his swing set in the backyard and playing on the slide.
We are also really excited about taking him to Disneyland when he turns two. I told my family that there will be a photo taken featuring all of us wearing Mickey Mouse or Minnie Mouse ears for his birthday! [laughs] We are going to have a lot of fun and I’m really looking forward to it.
My son is so funny; he loves to laugh and smile. He’s saying a lot of things and has a great vocabulary. He’s saying really crazy words, and his favorite phrase is ‘uh-oh!’ [laughs]
He knows Aden by name already. I’ll point to Aden and say, ‘who’s that?’ and he’ll go ‘Aden!’ Aden is so fascinated by Cree and watches every move he makes. Cree is so helpful; if Aden is crying, Cree will say, ‘uh’oh!’ and put the pacifier in his mouth.
Over Memorial Day Weekend, we went to a strawberry and blueberry farm and Cree and Aden were just living it up. You can tell already that they really love each other.”
CBS: What are your greatest rewards of motherhood? What are your biggest challenges?
TM: “That is a great question and as you ask me that, my heart just fills with so much joy. Being a mother is the biggest blessing I’ve ever been given. My son has taught me a lot about myself; he taught me things I’m really good at and also things I need to work on. He is my motivator and I really learn from him. I think that’s really rewarding. I learn about myself, I learn about life, and I learn how to stop and smell the roses. My son helped me learn how to find laughter and joy in the simple things.
I think the biggest challenge is getting Cree to sleep! [laughs] He is still co-sleeping, but he’s doing very well. He starts off in the toddler bed and then crawls into mommy and daddy’s bed in the middle of the night. I think getting the kids to sleep throughout the night is the hardest. Functioning without enough sleep is also a challenge, and you’re also a worrywart. I constantly worry about everything.”
CBS: Do you think that women can REALLY “have it all?” Why or why not?
TM: “Yes I do. I think that it’s all about trying to prioritize, and that’s the hardest part about finding the balance. You have to ask yourself, ‘What is my priority?’ There are certain women that have different priorities. It’s all about figuring out what your priorities are, what’s working in the household, and what’s not working in the household. It’s important to have a partner who’s very supportive of women having it all and wanting to have it all. It gets a little difficult if you don’t have people around you that support you. Thank god I have a very supportive husband who encourages me to live out my dreams, achieve my goals, and be a mother. I personally believe we can have it all, it’s about trying to find the balance and prioritizing.”
CBS: With Father’s Day around the corner, we have to ask, what makes your hubby a great dad?
TM: “Aww, that’s such a great question! No one has ever asked me that. What makes my husband a good dad is that he’s very aware. Let’s say I’m exhausted from working all day. He’ll see that and say, ‘You know what, Tia? I’ll go ahead and take care of Cree and give him a bottle when he wakes up in the middle of the night. Why don’t you go to the other room and get a few extra hours of sleep?’ He’ll also say, ‘Alright Tia, go take a nap. I’m going to take Cree to the park.’
I think ‘considerate’ is the best word to describe my hubby. That’s what makes him a good dad. He’s aware and he also takes the time to play with Cree. He’s very proactive, which I think is awesome.”
CBS: What are some of your favorite ways to spend the summer?
TM: “Oh my gosh! I love to travel during the summer. I love just being by the beach, sipping on pina coladas, and watching Cree play in the sand and get his diaper all soggy from the water. [laughs] I like simple stuff like that. I really like just hanging out in the backyard. It’s so fun to make lunch, sit on a blanket, and play outside. Those are really great moments. I also love going to farmer’s markets in the summertime, because you can hang out with family and browse fruits and vegetables, and there are also kid’s rides.”
CBS: What’s up next for you?
TM: “Tia & Tamera airs July 14th at 8:00 p.m. central. We’re really excited about this new season. I know it sounds cliché, but it really is bigger and better! My sister and I really focused on our differences this year, and it was definitely a conscious decision we made. Everyone always thinks that we are alike because we’re twins. We wanted to show people that twins are not always alike, especially my sister and I. We work together, but we’re very different. I also have a Fox Search Light film with Paula Patton coming out called Baggage Claim. I am really excited to be a part of that. I am also on a show called Instant Mom, co-starring Michael Boatman, which airs on NickMom and Nick At Night. It’s all things mommy! Of course, I’ll also be building the NEED band.”