Tag Archive for 'Nursing'

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What to Wear In the Hospital When You Have Your Baby

Whether you have a planned C-Section or are planning for a natural delivery, be prepared with your hospital bag packed well ahead of time. Here are some essentials to help personalize your hospital stay and make the job of having a baby away from home more comfortable:

Pack Granny Panties

If you are having a C-Section, your incision will be right at the bikini line, which is precisely where most low cut panties elastic bands will hit. You don’t want to irritate a scar with rubbing at this incision point or cause you any pain. High rise panties totally miss this point and will not irritate your bandaged incision. Even with a vaginal delivery, you will have much more comfort in a high rise roomy panty that can hold big pads, which btw, is what you will be living in for at least the first few days as your uterus contracts and you heal from birth.

Bring Your Own Hospital Gown

 

1 in the Oven Hospital Gown1 in the Oven has some wonderful cotton Hospital Gowns in both short and long sleeve. These gowns are far more flattering than the ones you get at the hospital and have built in slits in the front pleats for nursing access. They come in some beautiful pastel shades and now in organic cotton as well.

 

If you want a more classic Delivery Gown, but not with the boring washed out pattern you get at the hospital, take a look at the Dear Johnnies collection. Their Delivery gowns are all made of 100% cotton and come in an array of beautiful patterns which differ by name. Dear Johnnie LucyThey are also sized as S/M and L/XL which helps in attaining a better fit than the one size fits all you get at the hospital. These gowns are designed to be worn during surgery, labor delivery and outpatient treatment. They also have snaps along the shoulders which make for easy nursing access without opening in the pleats which is nice when you are not nursing and don’t wont to worry about “popping out” which is often a problem with the typical hospital gown.

Bring a Wrap Robe

Whether it is summer or winter, hospitals can be chilly. If you are planning on staying a few days, as most of us are required to do following birthing a child, you may want to bring a robe to knock the chill off. Robes are great to throw on over your hospital gown if want to pace the hallways or greet visitors in your room. You will feel far better and more in control in your own robe then huddling in hospital blankets. You will also look 100% better for your first photos with your newborn. Wrap robes work the best, particularly maternity wrap robes, as you can adjust the size to what fits the best and is most comfortable. Also, wrap robes are perfect for discreetly and comfortably nursing your baby. Check out Bellabumbum’s selection of 100% cotton maternity robes.

Bring Some Music

Unfortunately the business of having babies is not a quick event for most of us, particularly if it is your first child. Make your stay more enjoyable and help pass the time (and the pain) with your personal selection of music. Chances are your mood may shift dramatically throughout the hours that you labor, so pack a variety of DVDs that vary from slow to faster beat. You will not be in the mood to wear a headset or ear phones, so make sure you bring a regular DVD player. Also pack music that you may enjoy postpartum as you will probably be at the hospital for a few days and will most likely quickly bore of the limited channels available on hospital room TVs. You may want to pack some soothing music that your baby will enjoy as well and even to help him (and you) sleep.

Bring Your Own Pillow and Boppy

Hospitals are not in short supply of pillows but no pillow is quite as good as your own pillow and it is the surest way for you to get quality rest. Also bring a couple of pillow cases as the hospital’s will probably not fit right and you may need to change your pillow case while you are there as postpartum women are prone to night sweats during the early weeks. If you plan to nurse your baby, remember to bring a boppy as this rounded nursing aid can greatly help your baby’s nursing positioning and your personal comfort when you are trying to establish a latch in those first days of nursing.

Coming prepared to the hospital with your own things makes delivery and recovery that much easier and your whole birthing experience all the more personal. Not everyone can have a home birth, but you may as well allow yourself the comforts of home during your stay in the hospital.

Why Buy Formula When You Can Nurse For Cheap!

 The next time you think twice about investing in a quality nursing bra or indulging in a fashionable nursing top, hestitate no further. The yearly cost of breastfeeding is in the range of $3,000, that’s about $50 a week! It will take you a lot of nursing bras to surpass that cost, plus it is better for your baby’s health, as well as your own. Not to mention, the added side benefits of weight loss as breastfeeding burns around 500 calories a day, that’s 20 calories for the production of just 1 ounce of milk, without even setting foot on a treadmill! Add exercise and healthy eatting to the equation and your back in your pre-pregnancy body in no time!

A recent style conducted by the Schneider Children’s Hospital revealed that unfrozen refrigerated breastmilk retains its benefits for at least 4 days. This is longer than the common notion promoted by doctors who recommended 48-72 hours. This study which involved 36 new mothers whose premature babies were being treated in the neonatal intensive care unit, found that there was vitually no change in the nutional integrity or bacterial presence of their breastmilk for up to 96 hours. Dr. Richard Schanler, chief of neonatal medicine at Schneider Children’s Hospital, hopes that study will shift the paradigm for hospitals everywhere by allowing women to store their unfrozen milk up to 4 days for the neonatal care which has even stricter rules due to the immunity of premature infants.[1]

The Human Milk Banking Association of North American has suggested that human milk remains viable refrigerated for up to eight days. Dr. Schanlar and his colleagues recommend storing milk in glass containers or plastics BPA ones and refrigerate at a temperature of 39 degrees Fahrenheit or cooler. They also recommend placing milk in the rear of the refrigerator.

This study gives working women and moms on the go one more reason to breastfeed. Pumping and feeding can be more challenging to plan out and nobody wants to “pump and dump” milk that their baby can’t drink in time, especially moms that have to travel away from their babies several days at a time. Now moms can be assured that pumped refrigerated milk, even up to 8 days old, contains all the necessary nutritional ingrediants and far more than frozen breastmilk thawed out and certainly more than fresh formula.

Although freezing breastmilk is an alternative storing method and certainly effective for longer time periods, there is also a destruction to the infection-fighting cells and nutrional losses.

“Certain immune components, proteins and enzymes are decreased in frozen milk” Dr. Schanler states.

Most babies prefer the taste of fresher milk, but even thawed out breastmilk is nutrionally superior to manufactured cow milk formula and much cheaper. If you have a caretaker, make sure you instruct them with the proper guidelines for gently thawing out milk that has been frozen. Here is the recommended procedure and Storage Times for Human Milk from the AskDrSears.com site. [2]

  • Defrost milk by holding it under warm running water.
  • Or, place the container of milk in a bowl of warm water on the kitchen counter. As the water cools, replace it with more warm water until the milk is thawed and warmed to body temperature.
  • Do not heat expressed human milk on top of the stove. It’s too easy to overheat it this way. Do not boil!
  • Do not heat expressed human milk in a microwave oven. Even if the overall temperature of the milk stays below body temperature, there may be “hot spots” where the milk is overheated and some of its beneficial properties are destroyed. The uneven heating can also be dangerous when the bottle is given to baby.
  • Human milk, like any milk that is not processed or homogenized, tends to separate when stored. The cream rises to the top. Swirl the bottle gently to mix the layers.
  • Human milk has a thin, bluish look to it, quite different from either homogenized cow’s milk or the grayish color of infant formula. Your baby’s caregiver may need reassurance that this is normal.

STORAGE GUIDELINES FOR HUMAN MILK

These guidelines are for mothers who are expressing milk for a full-term healthy baby. Use clean containers, and wash your hands with soap and water before expressing. or pumping. When providing milk for a baby who is seriously ill and/or hospitalized, check with healthcare providers for instructions.

Where stored

Storage temperature
(degrees Fahrenheit)

Storage temperature
(degrees Centigrade)

How long

At room temperature 60 degrees F 15 degrees C 24 hours
At room temperature 66-72 degrees F 19-22 degrees C 10 hours
At room temperature 79 degrees F 25 degrees C 4-6 hours
In a refrigerator 32-39 degrees F 0-4 degrees C 8 days
In a freezer compartment inside a refrigerator     2 weeks
In a self-contained freezer unit of a refrigerator     3-4 months
In a separate deep freeze with a constant temperature 0 degrees F -19 degrees C 6 months or longer

SAVE? OR DUMP?

Type of Milk

Save or Dump?

Why

     
Milk remaining in the bottle that has been offered to baby Use for next feeding, otherwise discard. Bacteria from the baby’s mouth may have entered the milk during the feeding. This may lead to bacterial contamination if it sets too long (though as yet there is no research available).
Milk that has been thawed Save in the refrigerator for 24 hours after thawing, then discard. Do not refreeze. Milk that has been frozen has lost some of the immune properties that inhibit bacterial growth in fresh refrigerated milk.
Milk that has been kept in the refrigerator for eight days Transfer to storage in the freezer, or discard. Bacterial growth is not a problem, but milk sometimes picks up odors or flavors from the refrigerator or the container.

 The bottom line is it is worth your time to breastfeed or pump and feed your baby for at least their first year. You can be assured your refrigerated breast milk is not only safe for your baby but far superior than any store bought representation. You can also feel good about saving money on formula in allowing your baby to reap the health benefits of your 100% natural and organic breast milk.

References:

  1. Ricks, Delthia. “Study finds breast milk has longer shelf life than previously thought” Physorg.com. January 2, 2010, Accessed January 24, 2010.
  2. AskDrSears.com, “Storage Guidelines for Human Milk”



[1]Ricks, Delthia. “Study finds breast milk has longer shelf life than previously thought” Physorg.com. January 2, 2010, Accessed January 24, 2010.

[2] AskDrSears.com, “Storage Guidelines for Human Milk”

Take Control of Your Birth

As you due date approaches you may gaze longingly at the calendar hoping to fast-forward time to that magical date that your doctor and every online due date calendar has bestowed upon you for the “big day.” Although only about 5% of babies are actually born on their due date, it’s nice to have a target in mind so you can at least organize your life and feel some control over your body and your future. As you get increasing closer to your due date in the last trimester, oftentimes the due date anticipation can become overshadowed by due date anxiety, particularly for first time moms. We all hear the birth horror stories of long hours of pushing, last minute c-sections and the overall agonizing pain of labor which can hit anytime in those final weeks and days. We hope and pray we will have some control of the details surrounding our babies introduction to the world and that it can be as pleasant of an experience as possible if not a joyful one.

Well, it turns out we do have more control than we think. Women’s bodies are actually designed for childbirth and for having a child naturally, should we choose to do so. If we opt in advance, or even last minute, for some additional medical assistance in the way of labor induction or painkillers, that’s ok too.  The nice thing is that we do have options; we can plan a homebirth, a birthing center birth or a hospital birth. We can opt for a midwife, a doula, and/or a doctor and whatever company we want in the room. Our husbands can be trained as a birth partner to share in the experience and help us through our hardest moments as well as share in the triumph of our baby’s birth. We can train in Lamaze, yoga, hypnotism and any number or breathing, self-visualizing and relaxation techniques. Gyms have countless classes for expecting women, salons have special prenatal massages and yoga classes have created an industry around expecting and postpartum mothers and their newborns.

The biggest obstacle for most expecting women is themselves and not trusting in their bodies for labor and delivery. Doctors are there to help and monitor us through labor if we go with a hospital birth, but they cannot birth our baby. It is our bodies that nourish and birth our baby and perform the contractions necessary to carry out this process. It is easy to feel that once we put that hospital gown on and get hooked up to monitors that we no longer own our bodies or our birthing process, but we do.

 The best way to seek control over the birthing experience is to create a Birthing Plan. Know and map out in advance what your ideal birthing scenario would be. Decide who you would like present at your birth, obviously where you would like to give birth. Should you opt for a home birth you will need to make those preparations with a midwife well in advance. You should know exactly what essentials are needed for that for a home birth down to the details of bedding and clean-up and a back-up hospital plan should you need more help as our labor progresses and in case any emergency that should arise.

Many women planning hospital births are further helped by a Birth Plan that they can review in advance with their doctor and loved ones who will support them during labor. Your husband or birthing support members may need to help communicate their needs during the labor process, so having your “team” on board with your exact wishes will provide your with further assurance and emotional support. It will also help you relax as you approach your due date and enable you to visualize and anticipate your labor in a positive way.

The next important step is to pack your hospital bag well in advance. Pack all the props your need for labor support including your favorite CDS and music mix, tennis balls for back message, change of clothes for during and after labor, a camera for those first newborn photos, nursing bras and possibly nursing pajamas or nighties to wear at the hospital for after you have or baby.  Also pack for your baby including the baby sleepers, socks and blankets (as well as your carseat!) so your can feel your baby is your own and not the hospital’s and also to make those first pictures all the more personable and memorable.

Overall, the more action you take in advance to plan your birth and your early postpartum days from readying your baby’s nursery to “coaching” your doctor, midwife and loved ones on your preferred birth plan, the more in control and relaxed you can be for your big day. Remember, your body is your best friend, so set the stage for it to do what it is designed for in the most relaxing, personal and friendly setting possible and you will be rewarded.

BelaBumBum Nursing Pajamas and Sleepwear

Finding the perfect pair of maternity or nursing pajamas, or discovering the loungewear that will keep you comfortable throughout the day, is a very important task. First of all, with any pajamas, pregnant or not, you want to feel comfy and at ease so that you can sleep through the night. Once you are pregnant or nursing, any bit of sleep becomes more precious and vital, making your choice of pajamas even more important. Secondly, you want to find a pair that looks great so that you feel great. Luckily, Belabumbum Maternity has discovered the perfect way to combine comfort and style in maternity and nursing sleepwear, as well as in daily loungewear. As a busy expectant or nursing mom, you can feel relaxed while still feel cute and sexy!

For sleepwear, one of my favorite designs from Belabumbum is the Maternity/Nursing Chemise. With these gorgeous nighties, comfort and style are the main focus. 100% cotton gives them a great feel. For easy and discreet nursing access, clips and a double layer of fabric are provided. This makes midnight nursing sessions easy. Another great feature is the adjustable straps, which allow you to fit the chemise specifically to your body, elevating the level of comfort and practicality. Aside from being comfortable and practical, they have made these chemises incredibly stylish. Cut with the always flattering empire waist, the smallest part of the body is accented as the rest of the chemise flows gently away from the body. The Cotton Dot Lotus Nursing Chemise is accented with a lace ribbon and dainty polka dots, creating a fun and fresh look. The Flower Maternity/Nursing Chemise comes in a beautiful olive floral design, giving a sophisticated yet relaxed appearance. Overall, if you want to be practical yet feel wonderful, the Maternity/Nursing Chemise is the way to go.

If you are looking for something that can be worn day or night, try one of Belabumbum’s robes. They are amazing! A huge favorite is the Maternity/Nursing Cotton Lace Robe. This one comes in the cute dotted pattern, just like the chemise, and looks fun and fresh. With super soft and lightweight fabric, this robe is great for layering. One of my personal favorites is the Maternity/Nursing Kimono Lace Robe. The fabric is so soft that you will never want to slip out of it. I love the lace trim around the neckline and hemline. It adds a hint of sophistication and sexiness that so often sleepwear is missing. Hitting at the knee, this kimono style robe is incredibly practical and versatile. It has easy and discreet nursing access which makes it great for late night nursing or early mornings as you get the day started. If you are not pregnant and know someone who is, I would highly recommend the robes from Belabumbum as a gift that any expectant or nursing mother would love.

A final popular product is the BelaBumBum Maternity/Nursing Cami. This camisole is great for so many reasons. First of all, it is comfortable and practical. The soft fabric feels great against your skin while the easy nursing access (by pulling aside the fabric) and built in shelf bra provide practicality. Secondly, this camisole has a very flattering cut. The babydoll style emphasizes the narrowness underneath the chest, and the cute tie at the front adds a unique touch. Finally, I love this top because it looks great paired with anything from sweatpants to your favorite pair of jeans. It can be dressed up by throwing a cute blazer over the top!

Overall, Belabumbum Maternity designs many great staples for the mother’s wardrobe. Whether you are pregnant or nursing, you can be sure to find something that works for you!