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Jul 28, 2019 | Social
But have you been to a sip and see? It’s the latest baby-related shindig that’s gaining momentum, and it might just be the most fun yet.
Unlike a baby shower, which is hosted by someone else, takes place pre-birth, and where the mama-to-be is the guest of honor, a sip and see, which originated in the South, is a fun and easy way for friends and family to meet the new babe. It’s typically hosted by the parents and has more of a casual open-house vibe than a set party schedule. Food and beverages (the “sip”) are involved, and obviously it’s the brand-new little one who gets all the attention (the “see”).
Though there’s lots of celebrating leading up to baby, post-delivery can feel like you’re just trying to maintain. Hosting a sip and see not only gives your friends and relatives the chance to meet your little one on your terms (during your designated hours!), but it can also remind you that you’ve got a loving group of people ready to support you when needed, something that’s easy to forget during those isolating, sleep-depriving 2 a.m. feedings.
The beauty of a sip and see is that you have total control over when to have it, who to invite, what to serve, and the party’s vibe in general. But, as a new mama figuring out life with a newborn, this can also be the drawback. So just remember that hosting a sip and see is totally optional. It should feel fun, and the planning should be as stress-free as possible. It’s best to wait a couple months or so after delivery, until you feel ready to host and when baby’s immune system is a little more robust.
Most sip and sees are co-ed, and take place over several hours with guests dropping by and leaving as they please. Make it easy on yourself by simply emailing invites, and what you serve is up to you, whether it’s a full brunch, lunch, or dinner spread; a table full of snacks; or simply a dessert bar. The sip part should be easy too: a mimosa or bloody Mary bar is great for early in the day, pitchers of margaritas or some other batch cocktail are always a hit and make the prep work lighter, or just fill a cooler with some beer and have bottles of wine on hand. Hate games? There’s no need to play them! But if you want to, that’s totally up to you too. If you’ve already had a baby shower, you probably want to make this party gift-free, so don’t feel the need to include your registry on invites (but that doesn’t mean guests won’t bring presents anyway).
Above all, just remember that no one’s expecting the party of the year, they just want to meet your babe and that means you can enjoy a few hands-free hours catching up on life outside of feeding schedules and diaper blowouts.
Jul 28, 2019 | Health
It’s common knowledge that vitamins are an important part of prenatal care, but one look at the supplements aisle at your local Whole Foods and it’s easy to feel a bit overwhelmed by all the options. So what vitamins do you actually need, and when do you need to take them?
If you’re planning a pregnancy, start taking a prenatal vitamin before you conceive. This will help get nutrients to the egg as it matures. Think of it kind of like getting your house in order before a guest comes to stay—you want their visit to be as hospitable as possible!
Folic acid: At this point, folic acid is the most important supplement to take as it helps prevent defects—like spina bifida—in the neural tube, which develops into the baby’s brain and spinal cord. Take a folic acid supplement, or a prenatal vitamin that includes 400–600 mg of folic acid daily.
If you haven’t been taking a prenatal vitamin, don’t worry, it’s not too late. Start taking one when you learn you’re pregnant. In addition to folic acid, which is still crucial during the first 12 weeks, there are a handful of other vitamins that you want to be sure you’re getting.
Iron: Iron helps your body make extra blood for the baby, delivers oxygen to you both, and prevents anemia, which can make you feel insanely tired and also cause early delivery. Be sure you’re getting 27 mg per day.
Vitamin D: Our main source of vitamin D is exposure to sunshine, and since most of us use sunscreen daily, most of us are also vitamin D deficient. But because of its importance in supporting calcium absorption, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting at least 600 IUs a day.
DHA: DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid that helps support fetal brain and eye development. Aim for 200mg–300 mg per day.
Calcium: When you’re pregnant, your body is taking calcium from your own teeth and bones to help build your baby’s, so be sure you’re getting 1,000–1,200 mg a day.
Many prenatal vitamins don’t include this much calcium, so you might want to consider taking an added supplement.
After the first trimester, folic acid is no longer a crucial vitamin to take, since your baby’s spine has formed. If you’re taking a separate folic acid supplement, you can stop. If it’s included in your prenatal vitamin, it doesn’t do any harm to continue taking it. The other vitamins and minerals mentioned above should be taken throughout your pregnancy.
Though vitamin A is important to your baby’s development, ingesting an excess of preformed vitamin A (the kind found in supplements as well as animal products like liver and eggs) can cause birth defects. Pregnant women should keep their intake under 10,000 IUs, which, unless you’re pounding liver pâté shouldn’t be an issue (for comparison, you’d have to eat 40 eggs in a day to hit that max). The type of vitamin A found in fruits and vegetables, known as carotenoids, is A-ok, so feel free to knock back those mangoes and sweet potatoes like they’re going out of style.
When choosing a prenatal vitamin, be sure to source your supplements from a reputable source that is FDA approved, so you know exactly what you’re getting. While supplemental vitamins are helpful, nutritious foods are always going to be the most healthful way to nourish yourself and your growing baby—getting on top of your daily supplements doesn’t give you free rein to eat nothing but garbage day in and day out.
And while the daily allowances mentioned here are average amounts widely recommended by medical professionals and health institutions, it’s always helpful to check with your doctor, to address your specific needs.
Jul 28, 2019
Jul 28, 2019 | Preparedness
When those first contractions hit, you know what you don’t want to be thinking about? YouTubing car seat installation tutorials or finding someone to feed the dog while you’re away from home. Going into labor just doesn’t leave much space in your brain for those kinds of details, so it’s best to tackle logistics beforehand—the peace of mind is worth it! Even if you’re a master procrastinator, your baby might not be, so giving yourself a deadline for these tasks at least two weeks before your due date is a great goal to have. And you know what? The world won’t end if you don’t get everything squared away before delivery. You’ll just figure it out on the go, which is a good taste of new parenthood anyway.
But here’s a helpful checklist so you’ll know what to do (or at least be aware of what you’re not doing—the fewer surprises the better!).
This one is the easiest to put off, but unless you want to end up in the maternity ward without your favorite robe and nothing but hospital soap to wash your post-delivery face with, you might want to make it a priority. You don’t need much, just the essentials and whatever else will make you feel comfortable and at ease, whether it’s a snuggly pair of socks, or your favorite rosewater face mist. Check out our hospital bag checklist here, for suggestions.
Hang out in a hospital parking lot long enough, and it’s almost inevitable that you’ll spot a flustered partner checking and re-checking the infant car seat they’ve just installed. It doesn’t have to be this way! Install your car seat ahead of time (don’t forget the newborn insert!), and you can ensure that it’s all buckled and secured exactly as it should be, for the safest transport of your baby’s first ride.
If you want to see a few offices and meet a handful of doctors in order to choose the one that feels right for you and your family, this might take a bit longer than you think. Many pediatricians hold open houses at particular times, or you can schedule individual appointments. Throw in the question of insurance coverage, and you might need more than one first choice. But taking the time to choose one beforehand will mean the first doctor your baby sees right after delivery will be someone you trust and feel comfortable with.
Maybe you packed your hospital bag and installed the car seat, but when you get home with baby realize you have nothing clean to put this sweet newborn in! Be sure to wash your crib sheets, bath towels, and newborn clothes beforehand, so that doing laundry isn’t the way you spend your first day at home.
News travels fast, especially when it’s this good! But you and your partner don’t want to be the ones having to share it with everyone when you’re recovering from delivery, figuring out breastfeeding, and basically making constant heart eyes at the tiny human you’ve just met. Tell the few people closest to you, and designate a point person or two that can communicate to the rest of your friends and family members. This is also a good time to think about who you want in the delivery room with you (if anyone!), and who you’ll want to see just after birth, ’cause pretty much everyone is going to want to see you, but that doesn’t mean you have to roll out the welcome wagon.
If you have any pets, any other children, or even any houseplants that you’ll need caring for while you’re away from home, designate someone who can be on call and ready to step up when the time comes. In fact, designate two people, so you have a backup if necessary. Make sure each person has a key to your house ahead of time, and all the instructions they’ll need.
If there’s one thing most new mamas are, it’s famished. Labor and delivery is grueling work, and constantly breastfeeding a newborn means you’ll need all the sustenance you can get. Rather than putting your favorite takeout spot on speed dial, set up a meal train beforehand, that can kick in as soon as you get home. Your friends and family will want to help, and this is the perfect way for you to get fed, and for them to support you.