The Blog all for Mom
Jul 31, 2020
What I Wish I Knew About Nursing
Head of Ecommerce
1. Breastfeeding is hard and people will tell you that you cannot do it. You will be told that your nipples are not big enough. You will be told that you are not producing enough milk. And maybe some of that is true. But keep trying until you are satisfied. And then remember that you are a mama whether you breastfeed or not. Remember that skin to skin can be done at anytime. Take the time to bond while breastfeeding or not!
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2. Remember to try to enjoy your breastfeeding journey- no matter if it's joyful or painful. It is the path to bond with your lovely babes, and it's amazing to see them growing up in your arm!
3. It can be so hard at the start, and it isn’t natural and easy for everyone. We had 2 lactation consultants and a tongue tie before it clicked.
If you pump, don’t feel bad if you are an exact producer - not everyone has a freezer full of milk. I stopped pumping at 12 months and had exactly 2 bags of frozen milk left.
One morning you might realize you are no longer nursing a sweet tiny baby and instead nursing a toddler doing gymnastics
4. No one told me how hard it would be. I felt it was harder to nurse than be pregnant. It was exhausting and emotional. The first 2-4 weeks were by far the hardest but every week it got easier and easier. By 2 months in it was much easier and was one of the most rewarding things I felt I could do for my baby.
I do always tell my friends when they are in their first few weeks that sometimes breastfeeding might not be for you and thats ok. You need to do what is best for you and baby. However, as hard as it felt they all stuck it out and made it through.
Lastly 2nd time mom and soon to be 3rd I can say from my experience it does get easier with each child. You are more relaxed and equipped to handle the cluster feeding, your body and mind is more prepared than with your first.
5. I wish someone told me how physically and mentally challenging it was. You are their lifeline, their source for food. That adds a tremendous amount of pressure. Trying to navigate this new skill, while also healing from major surgery was a HUGE feat! I also had a hard time not knowing exactly how much she was consuming. Babies are smart and they will let you know when they are hungry. If you need help – ask for it! Lactation consultants are a great resource. If you need to supplement with formula – do it! Fed is best. You got this mama!
Associate Director, Marketing
6. Our baby fell off the growth chart when she was 2 months old and it was heartbreaking. I felt like I failed her, and failed at being her Mom. In between all the clogged ducts, blebs (yes its a thing, google it...and I'm sorry for those who suffer with these), salt water soaks, nipple creams, tears, and everything else...we somehow found our way to exclusive breastfeeding (going on 7 months strong with a healthy baby who is now in the 50th percentile for weight). #happyhormonaltears
For all the new mamas out there, I am with you wholeheartedly.
1. Believe in the magic that is in the bodily form of lactation consultants. They are incredibly helpful.
2. Get a Hakka silicone pump.
3. Learn how to hand express...its daunting but its so helpful.
4. Call your mom friends who have walked the road before you. They are a wealth of knowledge and will be able to help you!
5. If you have a partner, believe in the power of their help. They should be armed with the knowledge to support you. Snacks, water, emotional understanding and empathy.
Your body literally makes milk that keeps a tiny human alive.
Yep...we think you're doing pretty great, Mama.
Jun 24, 2020
Ask an OB: Labor During COVID
Image via @slayathomemother
We asked Karianne Silverman, M.D. Obstetrics + Gynecology to answer some of your most pressing questions. Here's what she said.
MAMAS please note: information on COVID-19 is changing daily. The below is a Q & A that took place on May 20th. Our team is working to provide the most up to date information as it becomes available.
1) What should I bring or not bring to the hospital?
Really, you don’t need to bring anything but yourself. Hospitals are equipped to provide you the necessary things to care for yourself and your infant during your stay. If you have items that provide comfort or you want to use, bring them. To my knowledge, there have not been restrictions regarding comfort items at present.
Some hospitals are restricting support persons from coming and going from the L&D unit once admitted to reduce contamination. IN addition, many of the typical food vendors inside hospitals have reduced hours or are closed. Check with your provider if your support person should bring food and drink for the duration of your stay. If you have a specific diet you follow, bringing your own supplies of food is a good idea to ask your provider about.
2) What changes can I expect when I arrive?
Most hospitals are screening patients upon entrance to the hospital multiple times including taking temperatures and asking questions regarding viral symptoms. Please don’t be annoyed or afraid. This is to identify and provide help to those who could be infected as well as to protect healthcare workers from infection. In addition, most healthcare workers are wearing face masks of some kind all the time during all patient interactions- ones involving suspected infection and ones involving no suspicion at all. Again, this is to provide them protection and in accordance with their hospital and various medical society guidelines.
Another big change is the restriction regarding support persons. Most hospitals are restricting the number of labor support persons to one. Many hospitals are even restricting the ability to switch out persons. So, in other words, the support person who arrives with a patient must stay and no substitutions are allowed. While this feels harsh and sad, this is not done with the intention to diminish or negatively impact your personal birth event. It is done to provide everyone as much safety during this pandemic as possible.
3) Will hospitals have space for me to give birth?
The short answer is yes. I have heard of some units in small hospitals being repurposed as units for COVID care. In these instances, patients who were supposed to deliver in these units have been routed to a different hospital for delivery at the direction of their OB/GYN or provider. However, I have not heard of any issues regarding lack of availability for inpatient labor care.
4) What effect does COVID have on breastfeeding?
In limited case series, there is no evidence of COVID virus being found in the breast milk of women who test COVID-19 (+). The current primary concern is not whether the virus can be transmitted through the breastmilk but rather whether an infected mother can transmit the virus through respiratory droplets during the time spent breastfeeding. A mother who is confirmed COVID-19 (+) or who is symptomatic and testing is pending should take all possible precautions to avoid spreading the virus to her infant including washing her hands and breasts before feeding the infant and wearing a face mask while breastfeeding or while using a breast pump to express milk. If possible, consider having someone who is well feed the expressed breast milk to the infant.
5) Is it safe for family to visit my baby?
This is certainly a difficult decision. Social distancing is important for everyone but especially for vulnerable populations which includes newborn babies. The beauty of postponing visits is that the infant will never remember when family first came to welcome he or she into the family. And adults can deal with disappointment, especially when in the best interest of a new and beautiful family member. So, family should be kept to a bare minimum around a new mom and newborn and when possible should be encouraged to schedule visits at a later date when this virus is less prevalent in society.
Jun 15, 2020
Happy Father's Day
featured image: @heylaphotography
Here's what our team has to say about the amazing dads in their lives:
2 Babes: Sloane + Olive
My husband, Luigi, is CRUSHING it at being a stay at home Dad to our 2 young girls Sloane (3 years) and Olive (9 months). Due to SIP for COVID, we sadly had to close our restaurant temporarily. I, however, have never been busier. Luigi has seamlessly transitioned to his new title of SAHD. He handles Sloane’s daily preschool Zoom classes, goes on nature walks, paints rocks and pine cones that they find on their adventures, bike and scooter rides, and set up a water park in our backyard all while balancing baby feeding schedules and nap times. He has created our new normal and made quarantine fun. Being a stay-at-home parent is not easy and he does it effortlessly and with a lot of laughs. Happy Father’s Day to this truly amazing Dad. We love you.VP OperationsAndrea Petrone
2 Babes: Solo + 1 On the Way!
Sean has always been an amazing father, but during SIP he’s really stepped it up. I’m about 17 weeks pregnant now and knowing how tired I’ve been he’s taken charge and has single-handedly gotten our 3-year-old out of the house multiple times daily. Whether it’s for bike rides, puddle jumping, or a casual 2-mile neighborhood walk, Sean makes sure that our crazy toddler is getting his toddler thrills somehow. Oh, and did I mention that he lets me sleep in every weekend? DREAMBOAT.Art DirectorDiana Won
1 babe: Ella + 1 On the way!
Chuck has always been a rad dad, but SIP has awarded us with so much extra time together. He’s really gone into dad overdrive working full time, taking shifts with our hyperactive toddler, cooking family meals, and satisfying all my crazy “nesting” desires at 8+ months pregnant. Being witness to his creativity in playing with our daughter has been such a delight. He’s built tunnel towns and ball drops out of cardboard boxes, dry ice fog machines, blanket forts and so much more. I can’t wait to see him grow into his new role of #GirlDadx2!
Dana Holliday Kraus
2 Babes: Giulia + Gemma
The only thing better than having Bill by my side is watching him be the ultimate girl dad. I’m so appreciative of the fun and adventure he brings to our lives!VP RevenueAnne Wiesman
1 Babe: Parker
This Father's Day will be Scott's first. I have never been more grateful for him in our entire 13 year long relationship. During these last few months postpartum, to say he has truly embraced his new title would be an under statement. Not only does he show up for our daughter each and every day with enthusiasm and love, but he has managed to have energy to still nurture and care for me. He cleans up the house, makes dinner, brings me water + snacks when I'm nursing, does the grocery shopping, and makes sure we are stocked up with everything we could possibly need with a new baby during a pandemic. He is my best friend, and I am so grateful to be able to call him Parker's Dada.
Associate Marketing DirectorJessica Jalowiec
1 Babe: Ozma
My husband has been working double duty, doing the majority of baby care while he works, since I started a new job the week before shelter in place went into effect.
3 Babes: Benny, Adela, + Levi
I thank him for being my rock, my favorite person on this planet who has this magical power of making every obstacle seem so easy.
Senior DesignerGabi Tabak
Extra Special Shoutout!
Happy Father's Day to our web ops guru who keeps .com running smoothly. One cat shirt + jiu jitsu move at a time...
Jun 11, 2020
Must-Know Labor Tips for Your Partner
By Liesel Teen, L&D RN
Prepping your birth ‘tool kit’ is an important step as your due date draws near. Becoming informed and educated about birth is one of the best steps you can take towards a more positive birth experience.
By doing things like reading pregnancy blogs and articles about birth (like this one!), spending time on pregnancy forums, and (hopefully!) taking a birth class, you’re doing so much to erase the unknowns surrounding birth.
One important aspect of your birth tool kit not to overlook? A well prepared partner!
Your support person can do SO much to help you have a more positive birth experience. That’s why I’m so excited to be here today to talk to y’all about preparing your partner for the birth!
I’m Liesel, an L&D nurse and the face behind Mommy Labor Nurse. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve witnessed partners feeling frustrated and helpless while their loved one endures the intensity of labor. I always do my best to give them tips in the moment, but YOU can help your support person prepare now.
I’m a big fan of getting partners involved in labor to help mom. Don’t let them be the helpless partner––show them that there’s actually a LOT they can do to help. Here are my top tips!
1. Learn how to apply counter pressure
One of the most effective and hands-on things your partner can do to support you in labor is applying counter pressure during a contraction. This is a totally natural pain intervention that so many mamas respond positively to. It can be especially helpful during back labor but is a good technique for everyone!
The idea is to apply firm, intense pressure to the sides of mom’s hips or the small of her back during a contraction. The counter pressure can do a LOT to relieve some of the contraction pain. When the pressure is hard and constant against mom’s hips it can also help fan out her hips just slightly and encourage cervical dilation. This one is a serious winner!
Have your partner practice the move ahead of time to get the positioning right and get the awkwardness of the angle out of the way. Mama can sit on a chair backwards, be on all fours, or drape over a yoga ball.
2. Remind mom to relax
The reminder to relax during the peak of a contraction can be powerful during labor. It’s said that the muscles around your mouth and the muscles within your vagina are oddly connected!
Ina May Gaskin, the famous midwife and natural birth advocate, recommends focusing on a relaxed jaw during contracts to encourage cervical dilation, and she’s definitely on to something. So have your partner remind you to relax (which, trust me, may feel impossible) because it WILL help.
Keeping a relaxed mouth is actually one of my top 25 tips for a natural birth, be sure to check out the rest!
3. Help with changing positions
As your labor progresses, it can get pretty dang hard to change positions, especially once you hit transition! For example, going from standing over the side of the delivery table to all fours on the table as the urge to push begins can be nearly impossible without support. Make sure your partner is aware of this ahead of time so they can help out and even suggest positional changes.
This goes for any time during labor, too! Your partner can be a big help by suggesting changes or reminding you of other positions and options throughout your labor to help you progress. Sometimes mamas get stuck in their own heads and can’t be proactive about finding a means of comfort or making a change.
There are so many different positions you can do solo or with your partner. Learn about the best laboring positions to prepare together!
4. Keep the positive affirmations coming
Birth affirmations, in any shape or form, are an excellent tool for birth and a great way for your partner to feel like they are doing something. Sure, they’re nice to hear, but they can actually help you progress in labor too. Yes, seriously!
When someone tells you that you’re doing a great job, you get that “feel-good-feeling”, am I right? Well, that feeling is caused by oxytocin. And oxytocin is the SAME hormone that’s responsible for making you contract and progress further during labor. YES!
5. Prepare to back mama up
Another great way for your partner to support you is through advocacy! Make sure your partner knows your wishes and desires for your birth so that they can prepare to back you up. They can help ask questions, ask for clarification, get more support if you need it, and request space (when it’s medically safe).
One thing that I notice about mamas who have positive birth experiences in my unit? They have a super support person on their team. Your partner can be that person for you!
6. Most of all, follow mom’s lead
These labor tips for your partner will help them approach your birth with greater confidence and a sense of purpose. No partner wants to feel helpless as they watch their loved one go through labor. They need empowerment and education too!
But it’s important for your partner to always follow your lead. Everyone responds to labor interventions differently, and it will be most important for your support person to tune into you. They’ll need to pick up on your non-verbal cues and recognize what’s working best for mom. Then they can either keep doing that or make a change as needed.
Remember, no two labors are the same, and no two mamas respond to the same exact pain interventions. Reminders to relax, advocacy, trust and positivity are all essential components to the support that will give you a better birth.
Liesel Teen is a labor and delivery nurse (L&D RN), mama, the face behind the popular pregnancy Instagram page @mommy.labornurse and creator of the online childbirth class, Birth It Up. Birth is something she’s been passionate about for as long as she can remember, and she loves sharing her nursing knowledge to help mamas-to-be learn more about pregnancy and birth. She lives in North Carolina and is expecting her second baby in August 2020.
Mar 24, 2020 | Preparedness
6 Ways to Get that Elusive Pregnancy Sleep
If you find yourself eyes wide open at 2 a.m., wondering if you should reach for your phone, get up and make yourself a snack, or power up the kindle, you’re not alone. Any parent’s advice to a mama-to-be is, “Enjoy your sleep!” But guess what? Sometimes it’s just not that easy.
Even the soundest sleepers can become total insomniacs once the creation of life is on our to-do list. And there’s a whole host of reasons why. Maybe it’s because you have to get up to pee every two hours, or because your new nightly heartburn makes it impossible to lie down. Or maybe it’s the cramp in your leg, the ache in your back, or the ever-growing belly you’re trying to maneuver every time you want to roll over (or the tiny human inside that’s kickboxing your uterus!).
And it doesn’t stop there. Our mind can be as big of an insomnia culprit as our body. What will labor feel like? How many prenatal vitamins do I have left? Did I remember to put those crib sheets on the registry? Cloth or disposable? Sometimes we can easily spin ourselves out till sunrise. There’s no tried-and-true secret for sinking into a deep, undisturbed sleep while pregnant, but there are a few ways you can set yourself up for greater success.
With your growing belly, stretchy hips, and achy joints and muscles, getting comfy at night can feel like a pipe dream. But a body pillow can be a huge help. And there are so many different kinds—S-shaped, U-shaped, wedge-shaped, and more—so if one isn’t right, don’t let it stop you from trying out another. Find one that gives you support where you most need it, whether that’s between your knees or under your neck or belly.
Lavender essential oil has been shown to alleviate anxiety and up sleep quality. Add a few drops to a diffuser and let that little machine mist you into dreamland. Or skip the diffuser all together and just go straight for the oil: add a couple drops of lavender oil to your pillow case before you go to sleep, or dab a drop or two on your wrists or temple.
When we’re having trouble sleeping, even a little bit of light (from a streetlamp, a bathroom light, or even a smartphone) can feel like a floodlight. If you’ve never been an eye mask person, now might be the time to try it—wearing one is the easiest way to you may just wonder why you went so long without one.
Yeah, we know you know—meditation makes everything better. But it’s kind of true! Especially when it comes to sleep and the mental acrobatics anxiety makes us perform. You can start small, really small, with just a couple of minutes a day. But see if you can keep it up, we swear it gets easier.
Here’s another one you’ve probably heard, but that’s ’cause it truly works—a bit of exercise every day has been shown to improve sleep. We’re not saying to benchpress your weight after you put your PJs on, but getting your body moving during the day will help it slow down at night.
They’re not just for babies! Having some soothing, consistent noise in your bedroom at night—hello ocean sounds!—can help lull you to sleep and then keep you there, by drowning out external noise and keeping your brain in a state of calm.
Aug 2, 2019 | What To Wear
Step One: Start By Canvassing
There are a lot of unknowns when it comes to pregnancy, but one thing is certain: your belly’s only getting bigger, and a lot of the clothes you wear now will probably stop fitting over the next nine months. But that doesn’t mean you need to buy a whole new wardrobe! Here’s our gem of a closet curation strategy, so you don’t have to start with an empty rack.
And because every brilliant idea deserves an acronym, here’s ours: CCE or Canvass, Collect, Enhance (...then of course, pass-On)
The first step is canvassing, and it’s actually pretty fun. Set aside some time and take a good look at your closet and the pieces you wear the most. While it’s true that your number one jeans probably aren’t long for this pregnancy life, you likely have a number of items that are, even though they’re not deemed “maternity” clothes. You just need to look at them with your new mama-to-be eyes, and see which items can make room for a little growth.
Here are a few items that make especially good transition pieces:
Maxi dress: The empire waist of most maxis make this type of dress especially reliable for easing into your pregnancy style.
Loose or boxy button-down: These beauties are great for getting dressed early in pregnancy (and you’ll rely on them again, when you’ve got a baby to breastfeed!). Any button-down that’s on the loose or boxy side can probably be worn untucked until you just can’t button it any more.
Sack dress: You probably rock a sack dress when you’re going out for a big meal, right? Which is what makes it absolutely perfect for dressing a brand-new bump, especially if you want to keep it under wraps for a while.
Drapey tee/knit: Tees that aren’t tight or knits that have some stretch to them will be some reliable go-to’s as your belly starts to grow.
Aline dress: Cute, comfy, and usually with just enough room for a belly that’s popped.
Loose jumpsuits: A one-piece makes dressing for the day so easy, which is exactly what you want during pregnancy. A loose or flowy jumpsuit fits this bill to a tee, and depending on the cut, you might be able to wear it right through to the end!
See? You probably have more maternity options than you thought, and now you know exactly what you need. But you still don’t have to hit “add to cart” yet. The next steps in CCEP are just as important, so click here to read about them!
Jul 31, 2019 | What To Wear
Step Two: Collect From Other Mamas
Now that you’ve canvassed your closet and figured out which of your items will work with your growing belly, it’s time for the next step in the CCE plan: Collect. Because here’s the thing about maternity clothes—you don’t need them forever! Mamas are always unloading items, most of which are in excellent condition, it’s simply the nature of products made for pregnancy (and babies, tbh). Even mamas who plan on having another kid pass pieces along, because they’ll surely come back around and who wants to store them in the meantime?
So tap the mamas in your life to see what you can borrow, which will leave you a bigger budget for the fun stuff (like your dream baby shower dress) and the regular use items (like a nursing bra and your everyday activewear).
What to ask for?
There are a few key items that nearly every new mama will have worn during her pregnancy that she probably doesn’t have a need for anymore. Maternity jeans and work pants don’t have much of a closet shelf life after the fourth trimester, so see if anyone has a pair or two to give away. Certain tops and T-shirts are also pretty pregnancy specific, so see if you can collect a few of those too. Once you ask for one item though, be prepared to be offered others!
Who to ask?
Start with your friends who have recently had babies. They’ll be the ones most likely to still have these items on hand. But don’t stop there. Tap any family members too (a sister-in-law, a second cousin, a young aunt perhaps?). From there you can hit up any co-workers who’ve returned from maternity leave, and guess what? Even strangers will be happy to hand over their pregnancy clothes, sometimes you just have to ask.
How to ask?
When it comes to friends and family, you might not even have to ask—mamas might just offer! But of course you can ask via text, email, or just the old-fashioned way, in person. The magic of the internet is great for putting your requests out there. Join a mom group or two on Facebook and post there, or simply use Instagram and Twitter, and don’t be surprised by unexpected responses, the sisterhood of motherhood is powerful!
Okay, so now that you’ve canvassed and collected, what’s next? Read on for the second half of our closet curation strategy, CCE. Click here to learn how to Enhance your maternity wardrobe.