Doctor, doctor…picking the right provider and hospital

No doubt you have seen your doctor several times during this pregnancy.  And I would suppose that you like him or her fairly well, or you wouldn’t go back. At least, that is what I would hope. Do you know who will be delivering your baby? It’s important to at least partially get to know the staff at your doctor’s office as well as their roles.  Could you, and do you want to be delivered by a midwife, an obstetrician, or a primary care/family doctor? Do you even know what yours is?  It’s important to ask these questions and find out the answers before it’s time to say “push!”.   Continue reading “Doctor, doctor…picking the right provider and hospital”

Fun Facts About February Born Babies

Winter is always a great time to have a baby and February is no exception. Above the equator winter offers expectant mother’s an opportunity to stay cool and refreshed instead of hot and sweaty like those humid summer months. February is the shortest month of the year so it would only stand to reason that fewer babies are born during this month. February has only 28 days, except for the leap year thrown in every four years. The true term is intercalation which is the insertion of a time interval, one day, to align the phases of the moon and seasons. For all you February babies, the Latin for your month is februum and it is translated as purification. This is due to a purification ritual that was held in Roman times on the 15th of the month, always on a full moon.

Some of the events around the world shared with babies born in February are Black history month, the Chinese new year, and of course our favorite, Valentines Day. February children have the birthstone of the amethyst and their flower is the primrose although some would disagree and say it is the violet. It is not a surprise then that the color for February is purple. Purple is he color for the season of Lent and Advent which makes sense because these seasons usually begin in February. Pancake Day, fat Tuesday or Mardi grass are all events that normally fall in the month of February but sometimes end up in March.

The Zodiac sign for February is Aquarius until mid month, the 18th and then it changes to Pisces. For the Aquarians, this sign literally means water carrier and it is the eleventh astrological sign of the zodiac. The babies born in the first 18 days of February posses strong and attractive personalities. Buying any books on a strong willed child might help in understanding your little Aquarian. These guys are frank, speak what is on their mind and very self assertive. The Pisces on the other hand are very compassionate, selfless and sympathetic. Pisces means circle of life and is the twelfth astrological sign of the zodiac. Two fish are the symbols for this sign. They are more weak willed and are easily led. There is quite a difference in the two zodiac signs of February children.

For a few fun facts about February, it is the national cherry and chocolate month, which is good for the celebration of Valentines Day. Several of the founding fathers of the United States of America were born in this month. George Washington, the first president of the USA and Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president were just two of them. And finally, February 2nd is ground hog day where thousands of people gather in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania to see if the ground hog produces a shadow when he crawls out of his hole. For some reason people believe that if he does produce a shadow there will be six more months of winter. Go figure.

Top 9 Holiday Survival Tips for Pregnant Mothers

Tips while Pregnant During the Holidays

Having a little human being living and growing inside you can eat up lots of your energy and enthusiasm – in fact, it can totally drain any pregnant mommy of her vigor at times when it’s least expected. If you’re one of those pregnant women this year, you probably already know how even a short walk from the bedroom to the kitchen can flush all the wind out of you. It’s harder during the holidays, even if you’re one of the most balanced and even-keeled pregnant women ever. Add in a few dozen pregnancy hormones playing up to the mixture, and we’re headed for big trouble. With Christmas and New Years on its way, we thought it would be the perfect time to share our top holiday survival tips with the pregnant girls out there! These will make it much easier to get through the chaos and madness that comes with the holiday season.

  1. Chill, cut down, and relax! This should be the first and foremost on your thing at the moment. Cut your ‘to-do’ list into a quarter. All your cookies don’t need to be homemade from scratch. While you’re running from one store to another and popping into a dozen friends’ homes, do not forget to just sit down and catch your breath. Amongst the millions of holiday chores on your mind, take out some time to ‘chill,’ even if it’s just lying back in the car for a few seconds.
  2. Eat frequently and eat healthy. While hopping from one holiday party to the next, try nibbling on some crackers to keep away that morning sickness, which you must have realized by now, does not happen exclusively in the morning. Eat mini meals at regular intervals throughout your day, instead of scarfing down a heavy holiday dinner meal. You will thank us for this tip when that heartburn stays away next morning. Heartburn can be very bad during pregnancy.
  3. Be nice to yourself. This holiday is a fantastic opportunity to adopt some proper self-care routines. You’ve got time on your hands. Make use of it and set some health boundaries. Healthy Mom= Healthy Family. Furthermore, you will want to show your children the best way to take care of their health and body.
  4. Be selective when choosing which celebration parties to attend. Try to only accept that invitation that really matters to you. This will allow you to fully enjoy the occasion and prevent you from ending up burnt out. For the invites that you do give a nod to, keep your activities at bay and don’t overexert yourself. For example, rather than being worried about whether you’ll hurt your hosts’ emotions by taking your leave a few hours earlier than expected, remind yourself that your primary priority is to take care of you and your baby. In fact, even if the celebrations are being held at your own residence, feel free to put up your feet for a while. Instead of you waiting on the others, let them serve you.
  5. Say ‘yes’ to help. One of the most harmful assumptions of motherhood is the myth that ‘I need to be able to do everything by myself. It’ll show that I’m weak if I ask for help.” Believing in and acting according to this myth will build on your postpartum depression. Make it a habit to accept help. It’s good and healthy, and most definitely not any sign of weakness.
  6. Develop ‘temporary thick skin’ for your baby’s sake. Give your mind and body’s comfort precedence over what people think when it gets too tough. As you attend a number of holiday parties during this season, you will meet up with friends and relatives that might have not spoken to you in months or even years. It may be Great Aunt Edna who’s got an unbeatable habit of passing nasty comments. Simply ignore such comments, instead of getting worked up over it. The extra stress and tension is really something you can do without while pregnant.
  7. Gift Giving (with some extra thoughtfulness). A number of guests feel unusual walking into a holiday gathering without a gift. If you’re a member of that club, why don’t you bring in some sparkling juice to the party, rather than an alcoholic beverage you won’t be able to enjoy?
  8. Accept Support. With the holiday and hormones teamed up, your mood will shift gears from happy to depressed in seconds. Fight of this emotional rollercoaster by seeking and accepting the help you need – whether it’s personal or professional. Pay some visits to a certified therapist if you think they’ll be able to help you clear up the rough times you’re facing. Don’t be shy. If your ups and downs in mood are interfering with your regular activities, maybe the best choice to be made for both you and your baby’s sake is consultation with a health practitioner that you can place your trust in. It may be anxiety or pre-natal depression that you’re dealing with. Such conditions do require treatment although not always medicines. It could just be a concrete action plan to help you get back into your shoes again.
  9. Glamour up! Someday, you’ll again fit into that sexy formal glittery gown on New Year’s. For the time being, enjoy the pregnant glow no one else at the party’s got. Celebrate the growth (it means you’re well and healthy). Go out shopping and don’t be afraid to splurge on a dress that makes you feel beautiful and confident. Show off your gorgeous baby bump through a loose flowing or tight fitting top!

What’s your top holiday tip for pregnancy? What’s that one thing that gets you right through the holiday blues? Leave us a glimpse of your thought in the comment section below.

10 Great Baby Books Every Pregnant Woman Needs to Read

Pregnancy is one of the most special times in the life of any woman.  Her body goes through a myriad of changes–a full-on, non-stop  package of changes for 9 months.

It comes with both anxiety and the unbounded joy of bringing forth a fresh new life into this world.  We also find out the growing discomfort of all the body changes presents an additional set of challenges throughout the pregnancy.

No woman will forget these 9 months of her life  ( I know I never will!),  no matter how many times she goes through it.  This can also be a time filled with questions, anxiety, and nervousness for the father-to-be.  So what’s the best way to deal with all these changes to your physical and emotional body?  The answer is simple: Information.  You’ll want to be backed with all the information and support you can get.  Now, the online revolution has made everything, including pregnancy information, very “digital”.  But I’m still going to say, nothing can beat a good old book, packed with wisdom and advice of childbearing.  So grab a copy, curl up with your partner, and settle down for a peaceful evening with two steaming mugs of coffee  (decaf, of course for the mom to be)!

To help you with some great information, we’ve put together our Lil’ Baby Cakes list of the 10 great pregnancy bestsellers (definitely not to be missed):

1. What to Expect When You’re Expecting by Heidi E. Murkoff

What to Expect When Your Expecting

This one just had to make it to the top of our list.  It’s a book for the new moms of the new era.  It’s THE most thorough pregnancy book written in a friendly voice.  Dozens of questions like week-by-week fetal growth, pre-conception, and carrying multiples are answered.  Even issues with current trends in lifestyle like belly piercings, tattooing, and aromatherapy, are discussed in relation to your growing baby.

2. Your Pregnancy Bible by Anne Deans

Your Pregnancy Bible

It’s been around for years, and now it’s available in a new and revised version! It’s been written by an accomplished team of specialists and is filled with basically ALL that parents-t-be need to know – from the first trimester right down to the birth and care of your beloved newborn.  Emma’s Diary calls it, “The most comprehensive pregnancy manual on the market.”

3. The Girlfriends’ Guide to Pregnancy by Vicki Lovine

Girlfriend's Guide to Pregnancy

In this one, the gun-loving author shares with her readers her personal experiences with pregnancy and also relays parts of her friends’ pregnancies. Definitely a good read if you’re looking for something a little toned down, yet still informative. She believes the best way a woman can learn and cope with all the challenges that come with pregnancy is through a fellow woman who has gone through the same process. Any questions an expectant mother may have from morning sickness to tender breasts have been answered.

4. Maitland Maternity by Marisa Carroll

Maitland Maternity

This is a fictitious and exciting story about a a mother and her pursuits for love. If you’re looking for a change from the regular informational tone, you should try this novel.  It tells the tale of a stubborn protagonist who ignores letters and heartfelt mementoes from a mother who gave her and her brothers and sisters up to adoption, 25 years too late. Simultaneously, Lana’s tribulations with raising her child with a foreign lover teach her how the decisions made in love aren’t necessarily easy all the time.

5. Baby 411 by Denise Fields and Ari Brown M.D.

Baby 411

This book is in its’ 4th printing. It contains over 500 pages of useful information to guide the new mom in the care of the newborn . Tips about health, sleep, and nutrition are covered using a question and answer format which makes it easy to maneuver through the book and pick out the most timely topics. You’ll keep this as a ready reference as you begin the transition from being pregnant to becoming a mom. Lastly, the book features a decent glossary of terms and some reference pages that contain growth charts and additional recommended reading material.

6.  Belly Laughs by Jenny McCarthy

Belly Laughs

You’ll simply adore this Jenny’s tone of writing. Fun, yet jam-packed with everything you need to know about pregnancy and child birth. Furthermore, this book has made it possible for women to discuss issues problematic issues such as hemorrhoids and bowel movements that occur during childbirth. Such topics have always been left unspoken in the dark ages, as it was not “lady like” or proper.

7.  The Pregnancy Journal; a Day-to-Day Guide to a Healthy and Happy Pregnancy by A. Christine Harris

The Pregnancy Journal

This book gives mothers the opportunity to write down their experiences right from conception to birth. You get to see the physical changes as well as those of the unborn baby on a daily basis. I know women have different opinions about keeping a journal so this may not be the best choice for everyone. But for me, I personally think over the years, this can be a timeless resource to go back and read to revisit some years down the road.

8.  The Bloke’s Guide to Pregnancy by Jon Smith

Bloke's Guide to Pregnancy

Finally something for our expecting daddy! If you or your partner are looking for some information and advice from a male point of view, this is your book. It’s been based on real-life stores and interviews from more than a 100 fathers. It’s going to teach the father-to-be what to expect, how to deal with it, and maybe even love the experience along the way.

9.  Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin

Ina May's Guide to Childbirth

In this book, Ina May Gaskin, one of America’s top midwives, shares with you all the hidden secrets and wisdom relating to childbirth. Sharing a treasure box full of information that only comes from 3 full decades of experience, Ina gently takes you through everything from why the natural birth method is preferred to realizing the beauty of the experience. It tells you the true facts about what happens during labor and gives you invaluable tips. If you’re looking for those things your doctor didn’t necessarily tell you, this is a must-read.

10.  What to Eat When You’re Expecting by Dr Rana Conway

What to Eat When You're Expecting

With the help of this book, women learn more about the best foods to eat during pregnancy, not only better for her, but also to the advantage of the unborn baby. I know that nutrition can be hard to focus on when your body is doing “flip-flops” all the time but with some effort this book can really help with a critical part of your pregnancy.

I hope that these fantastic top-selling pregnancy reads help you and your partner to make your pregnancy journey as smooth and easy as possible. Maybe your favorite book is not on the list. If not, feel free to add a comment with your favorite and let’s make this post grow to be a resource for all the new moms-to-be out there. I know I had plenty of resources to read when I was pregnant, so I wanted to at least try to offer a starting list based on today’s most popular reads. Happy reading!

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 .