Monthly Archive for November, 2009

Find Maternity Swimwear For Your Body Type

There are many cuts and styles in maternity swimsuits today which can be overwhelming to a first time maternity clothes shopper. Fortunately with the range of styles today, you can find the ideal suit for your pregnancy body. As with any swimsuit, the most important factor is fit. The following is a basic guide for some suits to consider if you are looking for specific features:

Exercise Swimsuit

If you are looking for a maternity swimsuit to swim laps in the pool and to function like a sports swimsuit, one pieces are always your best bet. The Prego Maternity Empire Tank is a great choice for maternity sport swimsuit. This suit has all the features you need for serious lap swimming in addition to excellent bust support. If you are looking for more of a fashion suit that you can also wear for swimming, the Maternal America 1 Piece Keyhole swimsuit is a good choice. This suit comes in a black and brown solids as well as season colors.

Hip Coverage

If hip coverage is a top priority for you in a swimsuit, there are a number of styles to consider. The BabyDoll style gives maximum hip and bottom coverage while also allowing plenty of room for an expanding tummy. Prego Maternity has both the Tank and Halter BabyDoll styles to choose from which come with over the belly bottoms so there is no chance of a tummy peeking through on land or sea. The Strapless Mini is another good choice for hip and tummy coverage while providing a more form fitting body and allowing a little more skin exposure across the shoulders. Prego’s Strapless Mini comes with under the belly bottoms and a detachable halter string for swimming.

Bust Support with Style

Bust support is often an important feature in a swimsuit for expecting women who have found they are suddenly much larger on top. Generally, a tank style strap will give better support than most halter styles. The Prego Ring-Kini style is perfect for accommodating larger busted women and providing more support with wide adjustable straps. If you have a preference for Halter Styles, look for one that has a higher back as well as higher coverage across the bust. The deep cleavage halter styles provides less support. Prego’s Sweet Heart Halter style suit has cinching across the bust and fits higher in the back to provide maximum bust support for a halter.

Show a Little Belly

If you are not quite ready to bare all in bikini but would like to show a little belly, the Tankini and Halterkini styles are a good choice. Maternal America has a 2 Piece Flutter Halterkini that is slightly see through with mesh material across the belly along with a side tie bikini bottom. This flirty style also has a convertible halter tie if you want to go strapless as well. Prego’s Dot Tie Halter, Halterkini and Tankini styles all have bellow the belly bottoms which allow a little belly to peek out, depending on how far along you are in your pregnancy. Also very popular is the Maternal America Jenni Tankini.

Show a lot of Belly

The good old fashion bikini is your best choice for maximum skin exposure. Today’s maternity bikini by top maternity brands is expertly engineered to fit your pregnant body with comfort and style. BellaBumBum makes a fabulous maternity bikini with vibrant patterned stripes and superior fit. Prego Maternity also makes a beautiful classic maternity bikini with a oval cinch design in the halter top and under the belly bottoms. Maternity bikinis are usually made with more stretch to hug your curves and stretch where you need it.

Cover up

While any swimsuit is going to show a bit of skin, if you don’t want to draw attention to your growing belly at the pool or beach then invest in a light tunic cover-up. Maternal America has several styles in beautiful swimsuit cover-ups that come in white or black. These cover-ups can also be worn casually with jeans, capris or shorts.

So don’t let pregnancy keep you away from the pool or beach this summer. Find the perfect maternity swimwear that compliments your body type and have fun in the sun!

What To Take To The Hospital When Having A Baby

The last thing you want to worry about when you go into labor, is trying to figure out what items you need to put in your hospital bag and trying to hunt them down before dashing to the hospital. Ideally you should have your hospital bag packed and waiting by the door by at least 2 weeks before your due date. That way, when the time is right, you can grab your bag and go without any last minute delays or worries.It is useful to have 2 bags for yourself: one for labor and one for your hospital stay afterwards including your baby item essentials. It is also helpful to have your labor partner pack a bag in advance for themselves and some helpful labor items.

Labor Bag for you:
- Your Birth Plan, if you have one.
- Maternity Bathrobe. This is particularly useful for early stages of labor as you may need to walk around the hospital to progress labor. After the baby you will also need some sort of cover up to a nightgown, particularly if it’s the hospital excuse for a nightgown, when you need to walk the corridors.
- Slippers and socks
- A clean nursing top or front-opening nursing nightgown if you prefer to bring your own
- Drinks and snacks and breath mints
- A straw, which will make sipping liquids easier.
- Toiletries (hairbrush, toothbrush, toothpaste, facial cream)
- Lip moisturizer
- Massage oils or lotions
- Eyeglasses (if needed)
- Cell phone and list of important numbers
- Magazines, music, word puzzles. Fun light reading to pass the time. Don’t bring heavy involved reading or work from the office! You are looking for fun and mindless distraction to pass the time. Remember, you will be productive enough in a few hours to make up for any unproductive activities during your labor waiting period!
- Maternity pads (nighttime sanitary pads), and spare maternity underwear.
- Nursing bras. If you plan to wear a bra during labor, it is helpful to have a nursing bra on already if you plan to nurse your baby. Usually you will be allowed to nurse right away after birth. Make sure you wear a very comfortable fitting nursing bra, not one with underwires.

For Labor Partner:
- Watch with a second hand to time contractions
- Camera/video camera if you want it and film/tape if needed
- Snacks, reading material
- Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste..)
- Change of clothes, particularly if they will be staying with you at the hospital for several days after the baby.
- Cell phone/phone card
- List of important numbers
- Dollar Bills for vending machine
- Water Spray/Mister for gentle cool-downs during labor.
- Tennis balls for back massage

Hospital Bag for your Postpartum Use:
- Front opening nursing nightie
- Comfy clothes to wear for leaving the hospital. Remember you are not going to be able to wear non-maternity clothes a few days after having your baby! So bring comfortable maternity clothing or transitional clothing. Also, if you have a C-section, the last thing you will want is any pressure on your tummy. A comfortable cotton elastic waistband that fits below the belly or that is designed to fold down bellow the belly for comfort is best.
- Easy fitting footwear
- Change of underwear and maternity pads for heavy bleeding after birth
- Nursing Bras (at least 2). Make sure these are easy fitting nursing bras that do not have underwire. Wear a nursing bra with plenty of room and stretch as you breasts may increase up to a cup in size when you milk comes in.
- Personal music player and headphones
- Magazines and easy reading material. You will be too tired for any heavy reading!

Hospital Bag for Baby:
Last but certainly not least you will want to pack a few things for the new baby:
-Properly installed infant car seat. This is a must if you want to take your baby home with you! Make sure you have your car seat professionally installed several weeks before you go to the hospital. Any fire station can install your car seat for you. An alarming number of car seats are not properly installed by parents.
- Newborn diapers
- Infant hat
- Receiving blankets
- Newborn sleeper or outfits
- Socks/booties

If you have all of these essentials ready to go in advance, you can have peace of mind that you are well prepared when the time comes to have your baby!

Nursing Suggestions

Breastfeeding is one of the greatest ways to bond with your baby while providing your baby with the best nutrition possible. While breastfeeding comes easily to some moms and babies, many women face huge challenges in making it through the early weeks. Here are some nursing FAQs to help you through the early weeks.

Disclaimer: Please note that the information in this article is not a substitute for consulting with your certified lactation consultant or with your physician. If you are encountering serious medical issues or having difficulties nursing, it is recommended to contact your physician or certified lactation consultant.

How often do I feed my baby?
Breastfeeding is a supply and demand equation. The more you feed your baby, the more milk you produce. Weaning happens naturally when you breastfeed less frequently and for shorter periods of time. In the early weeks it is important that you feed your baby every couple of hours to ensure you get an adequate milk supply. Also, your baby cannot drink more than several ounces at once, so he will need to feed more frequently

As your baby gets older, he can eat more at one feeding and go for longer periods of time in between feedings. Many lactation consultants recommend feeding your baby on demand in the early weeks. It is impossible to over feed a breastfeeding baby; they will stop nursing when they are full.

How can I tell if I am producing enough milk for my baby?
Milk production is the most universal concern with breastfeeding moms and their newborns. While it’s easy to track how much an infant is drinking with a bottle, you are often left guessing how much milk your nursing baby is consuming. The best sign is the number of wet and dirty diapers your baby has a day (generally around 8 wet diapers a day is a good sign) as well as weight gain.

Most pediatric offices will let you schedule a weigh-in if you are not sure if your baby is gaining weight. Also, look up your local lactation clinic as they usually allow free baby weigh-ins and often have free nursing clinics to help with latching on general breastfeeding help.

It is especially important that your little one nurses frequently in the early days and weeks to ensure your milk production supply is established at the right level. If your supply is lagging with nursing alone, then use a breast pump to increase your milk production. Pumping a few ounces several times a day 30-45 minutes before a feeding will stimulate your production.

In addition to nursing around the clock every few hours and on demand, you also need to make sure you eat well, drink lots of fluids and get as many “naps” as possible since a long uninterrupted night’s sleep is not possible. Have others do your household chores and help with the baby, don’t worry about having a clean house. Save your energy for the important job of nursing your baby. Your baby’s health is dependent on your health, so save your energy for your most important task of feeding your baby and producing milk (as well as recuperating from childbirth).

My nipples hurt when my baby nurses. What do I do?
Raw and cracked nipples usually indicate an incorrect latch. When you breastfeed make sure you position your baby properly with both of your bellies touching, so she is turned on her side. Find a comfortable bobby or pillow to make nursing more comfortable for both you and your baby. Milk let down is also associated with relaxation, so if you are in a cramped position, then it will be hard to relax.

Make sure your baby’s head and body is properly supported so her mouth can be squarely over the nipple. Ensure that your baby puts the entire nipple and most of the areola in her mouth. Listen for a rhythmic swallowing as she nurses and you will know you are on the right track.

If you still have pain and soreness even after adjusting your nursing style, contact a lactation consultant for individual training. It is well worth the investment for an individual consultation to get your nursing relationship started with the right technique. For immediate nipple relief you can try expressed breast milk on the nipple area after nursing and let nipples air dry. You can also try medical grade lanolin (if you are not allergic to wool) on your nipples. Soothie Gel Pads can be placed directly on your nipples and worn inside your bra for extra cushion and relief.

My breasts are hard and swollen. What can I do to get some relief?
Engorgement occurs in most nursing women about 72 hours after birth. The best solution is to nurse more frequently until your milk production adjusts. Before nursing, apply warm compresses to your breasts and hand express some milk so that your breast is softened enough for your baby to latch on. To help reduce swelling, apply cold compresses after and in-between nursing. Also, wear a supportive nursing bra 24/7 for support of swollen breasts.