The benefits and risks of prenatal massage

For some women, the aches and pains of pregnancy seem to start as soon as they conceive.  Some women never complain and feel like they could run a marathon when they are expecting–others, well, not so much.  Trying to make due with a warm bath, and maybe even a maternity belt to help support your back and growing belly all work to a degree, but when you need more, many women turn to prenatal massage.  I never have been much of a massage gal, though I know that many people love it.  I have to say though, that I might have welcomed it during my pregnancies.   Continue reading “The benefits and risks of prenatal massage”

How Do You Know When You’re in Labor?

It’s perhaps one of the greatest questions every mom has–how will I know when I am in labor? When I was carrying my first child, I walked around for three weeks at 5 cm dilated, 80% effaced with a bulging bag of waters. If you don’t speak labor and delivery, that means I was facing every day with over half of my labor process already completed. Without a single contraction.    Continue reading “How Do You Know When You’re in Labor?”

Packing for the Hospital–Part 1

newborn baby
Your Newborn is Almost Here

It’s the typical scenario—a mother’s water breaks and in a panic an unprepared couple speed off to the hospital with only the clothes on their back. In reality, most babies will give their parents plenty of time to prepare for their arrival–but just the idea of a sudden start of labor can send the coolest of couples reeling.  Being prepared is the name of the game, and knowing what to pack and what to leave at home can help make the birth experience less stressful and more enjoyable for the entire family. Continue reading “Packing for the Hospital–Part 1”

Diaper Planning for Your Newborn

Baby in a DiaperMoms-to-be are always nervous about the new addition to their family. They ask many questions, and do in depth research on virtually everything pertaining to their growing belly. One of the most common decisions is what type of diapers should she use:   cloth diapers or disposables.  If disposable, should they be eco friendly or regular and then what brand?  Moms want what will work the best for their own circumstance. Some may consider their budgets, while others may consider convenience.  For my kids I used disposable diapers because it worked best for me.  I know there is lots of debate so let’s get the discussion started.

Cloth Diapers vs Disposable Diapers

If one considers a budget, cloth diapers will beat out disposables every time. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics from birth to six weeks babies should have five to six wet diapers and four soiled diapers per day. Calculations done by realdiaperassociation.org suggest that the average child will need 60 diapers per week costing the family $1600 over a two year period for disposables. Families who use cloth diapers can spend roughly $300 over the same time frame and have the advantage of using them for multiple children. Those on the disposable side of the debate will argue that cloth diapering can add to energy usage and laundry costs not to mention the extra time involved for laundering.  Another solution is a cloth diaper service which delivers to your home.  You can check this industry trade association for service providers.   Although this reasoning may seem sound, mothers with older children will admit that leaks and stool “explosions” will happen regardless if you are using cloth or disposable diapers, So extra laundry concerns may be a moot point.

So…Who Wins the Diaper War?

If considering convenience one could argue that disposables are much easier to use. For those who work outside of the home and use daycare providers they might not have the option of using cloth or only cloth diaper at home but send in disposables to day care. Others may argue that disposables are easier to handle because they do not have the extra laundry to contend with. Some families may choose this option because they do not have washer/dryer in their home and do not want to hand wash diapers or take them to a commercial laundry mat.

Many families have gone “green” and have started looking at diapering alternatives. While eco-friendly diapers are not as widely used as much as their counterparts; the “green” movement is making a huge impact across the nation.  Eco-friendly or natural diapers come in both disposable and cloth forms. Seventh Generation chlorine free diapers are available at most retail stores at around the same price as Huggies and Pampers brands. gDiapers offer several options for both cloth and disposable supporters. The gDiaper flushable inserts gives families many more options by allowing the family to flush the insert down the toilet, compost it, or just toss it in the garbage. gDiapers are a bit more expensive then traditional cloth diapers but for a family interested in an eco-friendly diaper this may be an attractive alternative solution.

Some studies estimate that 83% of families are using disposable diapers.  However nothing factual has been published in many years and many families do use both cloth and disposable depending on family needs.

Choose the type of diapers that best suit your objectives and priorities. Stock up those shelves with the right choice of diapers that fits your needs as obviously there are many diaper changes on the way once the new baby arrives.

Your comments are welcome.

Third Trimester Pregnancy Tips: What to Take in Your Hospital Bag

Getting Ready for Baby
Getting Ready for Baby

As your third trimester rolls around and your due date gets closer and closer, you need to start thinking about packing your hospital bag for the birth of your baby. It is important that you do this early enough as it is possible that you may go into labor a few weeks before your actual due date. Here is a list of items that I came up with that you should pack in your hospital bag so that you are prepared to welcome your little one into the world.

Camera – You don’t want to miss having pictures of the big event. Also be sure to pack an extra set of batteries for your camera as they always seem to go dead at the most convenient times.

Clothes For You – Some hospitals allow you to wear your own clothing while others will only have you wear the gowns with a robe. Be sure to bring along comfortable clothing such as pajama pants, sweatpants, t-shirts, and sweatshirts, as you are not going to be wanting to wear any tight or restricting clothing. Don’t forget plenty of undergarments and socks as well. You will also need clothes to wear home when you are discharged from the hospital. You will still be in maternity clothes, so don’t try to bring your regular clothes as they may not fit and leave you frustrated.

Going Home Outfit For Baby – Choose a cute outfit or sleeper for baby to go home from the hospital in. It is a good idea to have a newborn size as well as 0-3 months size to choose from. If it cold outside, be sure to include a coat or blanket to cover baby up with.

Toiletries – After giving birth most women like to be able to shower to freshen up and get a little rejuvenated. Remember to bring shower supplies and other toiletries as well.

Snacks – You don’t want to have to rely on the hospital to provide you with food, especially since you get quite hungry after giving birth. Pack a few healthy snacks for you and your partner.

Car Seat – Although you can’t pack this in your bag it should be installed in the car and ready to go as a hospital will not release a baby unless you have a car seat.

Some other items to include in your bag are:

  • address book
  • cell phone
  • insurance paperwork and cards
  • change for vending machines
  • slippers
  • hat for baby (if not provided by hospital)
  • baby blanket
  • cord blood kit

If you follow these tips you should be all set when it’s time to leave for the hospital.  Maybe you have some other ideas to share.  Feel free to leave your comments so that others readers can benefit .