• A is for After-pains

    You just had a baby! Congratulations!

    The contractions and pain should be over, right? Not so fast...

    Afterpains (also known as involution) can be just as painful as when you were in labor.   While your uterus is shrinking back to its normal size, you may feel short, sharp, cramps in your abdomen a couple of days after giving birth, often while nursing. Your uterus is contracting and that helps it expel lochia (discharge of blood, mucus, and uterine tissue) and it helps your uterus get back to the right size. 

    Some first-time moms don't always feel them, but women that have had multiple children are more likely to feel them intensely. The hormone oxytocin, which is released by breastfeedingskin-to-skin contact with your baby and a few other things is what gets your uterus to contract.  Believe it or not, this is a good thing. Your body is going through the healing process, but that doesn't mean its enjoyable! 

    Thankfully, this will hopefully only last 5-7 days.   It feels different for every woman and is often worse with each subsequent pregnancy, but you can absolutely experience some relief. Talk to your doctor about the possibility of taking an anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen. 

    If afterpains last longer than a week or you notice increased bleeding, foul smell or anything you feel is "off", contact your doctor or go into the ER.

     


  • Lets Talk About Tummy Time

    We've all heard how important it is to place your baby on their backs for sleep. In the crib, pack n play, stroller, car seat, swing - babies are on their backs a whole lot. Having intentional time on their stomachs, while awake, can help with developing strong neck muscles, shoulder muscles and core muscles. It can also help them work on their motor skills. With all that said, it’s clear that tummy time is important!

    You can start having tummy time with your baby almost right away, for a few minutes at a time. When your baby is a newborn start with thirty seconds or one-minute sessions. Pro tip: Don't do it right after they eat. You'll thank me later. 

    We hear "my baby hates tummy time" a lot and we get it!

    But guess what? You're not alone! Most babies don't like tummy time at first.

    Consistency is key, as well as a gradual introduction to it. When they're two weeks old, start laying them flat on your chest or your legs when they're together. Do it for 30 seconds a few times a day and then gradually lengthen the time, then move them to the floor on a blanket or play mat - keeping all tiny toys out of reach. 

    The reality is, with all the advice in the world, your baby might still dislike tummy time. Not being able to move in the way they are trying to or not being able to get the toy that’s just out of reach can be frustrating for them. Tummy time not being your baby's favorite activity doesn't mean it should be avoided, though. A lot of babies don’t like getting their diapers changed, but we know it's the best thing for them, so we do it anyway. Normally, its quick and painless and then they can get on with what they really love to do. The same goes for doing tummy time with your baby. 

    A few ways to make tummy time more enjoyable:

    -Lay down next to your baby on the floor.

    -Stay with them and talk to/reassure them throughout their tummy time experience.

    -Do it multiple times a day for short periods of time.

    -Place a soft book in front of them on the floor and read it to them

    -Get them a fun, interactive play mat like this one here or a tummy time toy like this one from Crate&Kids

     

    Tummy time is an important part of your baby's growth and development. And while, they may hate it now, that could always change, and tummy time may become their favorite activity. Or not – and that’s OK.


  • 5 Things to Do While Waiting to Have Your Baby

    Waiting for labor to begin can be stressful; you cannot wait for your little bundle to arrive and you might find yourself feeling impatient. Maybe you're overdue or maybe you have a week or two left until your due date is here - either way, the anticipation is brewing! 

    It is absolutely normal to feel "done" during the last few weeks of pregnancy. Counting down the days until your due date or counting the days past your due date are both very normal. The last month of pregnancy can really feel like it lasts an eternity!

    Finding ways to pass the time is key. If you're sitting around staring at the clock, time is likely to go by very slowly.

    Here are five things you can do while waiting for your baby to arrive:

     

    1. Practice Some Self-Care

    Whatever that looks like for you is what is important. Many people choose to get a pedicure during the last month of their pregnancy because it can feel so good. Get your hair done, buy something new, book a massage or pick up a new book to read (or all of the above)! Practicing self-care can help reduce the stress and anxiety of waiting while also serving as a distraction.  

     

    2. Plan a Night Out

    Having something to look forward to other than a new baby can be exciting and can help distract you. Plan a night out with your friends or a romantic night with your partner. Plan to try a new restaurant, go dancing or catch a movie you've been wanting to see! With everything, make sure to rest if you need it and stay hydrated. 

     

    3. Organize 

    Wash baby clothes and put them away, organize baby's space before their arrival so that way it's all set up the way you want it! Doing this can take up time, which is great! It can also be great to take the time to rearrange the kitchen, living room (seek help with big furniture, of course) and your bedroom too. Bringing the baby home to a space that feels refreshed and organized can help alleviate a little bit of stress! 

    4. Prepare Freezer/Crockpot Meals 

    Sometimes when you have a baby, friends or family put together a meals-on-wheels or meal-train. People bring you hot dinners for a week or so after baby's arrival. It can be very helpful and a huge blessing! Adjusting to having another person in your family, healing, hormone adjustments and possibly returning to work (or your partner returning to work) can take a long time. Preparing freezer meals (like these here) can serve as a distraction while you're still pregnant but can also be a HUGE help postpartum. You don't need to stand at the stove cooking all evening, instead you simply dump the freezer bag into the crockpot and turn it on for the appropriate amount of time. Some people like to prepare enough to last a few weeks after baby comes, while others prepare enough to do a few freezer meals a week, over a month or so.

     

    5. RELAX + REST

    Try and remember that your baby will be here soon (even though it feels like forever)! Resting and relaxing can feel hard to do! Wanting to pace around your living room, do lunges and go on a ton of walks to get baby out are normal feelings and desires and you can totally do those things, but resting is so important! You are about to do the hard work of labor and feeling rested when it begins can be really nice. You don’t want to be completely wiped out before labor begins. Take this time to relax and to rest! 

    Remember to take this time for yourself and do the things you want to do that you may not have the time to do for a few weeks or more after the baby’s arrival. Remember to talk with your provider about any concerns you have or changes you notice.

     

    & remember, you won't be pregnant forever. 



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