Stork Mama https://www.storkmama.com Candid motherhood guide to your best mom life Fri, 24 Jul 2020 19:02:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.5.3 10 Tips for Breastfeeding When Mom is Sick https://www.storkmama.com/breastfeeding-when-mom-is-sick/ Thu, 02 Apr 2020 13:52:30 +0000 https://www.storkmama.com/?p=26829 Are you worried about breastfeeding your baby when you’re sick? It’s natural to feel overwhelmed or that you may make your baby sick too. And you know what Mama it’s ok to have a good cry about it. Grab those tissues and let it all out. When you’re feeling run down your head is all […]

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Are you worried about breastfeeding your baby when you’re sick?

It’s natural to feel overwhelmed or that you may make your baby sick too.

And you know what Mama it’s ok to have a good cry about it. Grab those tissues and let it all out.

When you’re feeling run down your head is all over the place and breastfeeding your baby on top is a lot to cope with.

Can a Sick Mom Breastfeed her baby?

The great news is that in most cases breastfeeding will be beneficial for both you and your baby when you’re sick.

Your body will actively make antibodies to protect your baby. These will pass through your breastmilk like Mother Nature’s very own little vaccine with every feed.

The next step is for you to consider what changes you can make to your lifestyle to continue breastfeeding until you recover.

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Breastfeeding when mom is sick

10 Tips for Breastfeeding When Mom is Sick

1. Keep Breastfeeding

Unless you’ve been advised to stop breastfeeding due to medication or treatment, or your baby is vulnerable – Keep on breastfeeding.

The truth is that your baby has most likely been exposed to anything contagious for 1-2 days before you started to show symptoms.

When you’re sick you’ll worry about your milk supply going down.

Regular feeding is the best way to prevent this. That’s why it’s so important to continue feeding as much as you can.

2. Avoid Breast Weaning

Weaning from the breast when you’re sick is not the best choice to make.

You’re probably thinking it will be easier to use formula so you don’t have to deal with feeding your baby as you recover.

Unfortunately, sudden breast weaning comes with a whole lotta issues such as:

  • Fullness discomfort
  • Mastitis
  • Unhappy Baby

Those two complications of breast weening will make you feel so much worse without feeling sick already.

Mastitis is a pretty serious condition and can lead to hospital admissions for fluids and iv antibiotics. That could mean a lot of money spent on hospital bills and possible separation from your baby.

The third issue was your baby will likely become much more restless if you suddenly begin to wean from the breast.

Some babies do not adjust well to using bottle teats if all they are used to is your breast.

Even if your baby does take to formula consider that you might have to get up and out of bed to make up bottles or heat them up safely.

I know you’d rather be staying in bed with your breastmilk ready to go and at the right temperature.

3. Keep Baby Close

When you’re sick the best way to recover is to rest and relax with your baby.

That means gathering up all the supplies you need and stay in bed or a little nook in the house.

Focus on lots of skin to skin, cuddles and responsive feeding.

Do this will help you to release lots of oxytocin hormone which will supercharge your milk supply.

Plus studies have shown that oxytocin helps to strengthen your immune system as it blocks the stress of illness. It can also help you to get a better sleep if you’re feeling exhausted.

You’ll get to spend lots of uninterrupted time with your baby and find that they’ll be a lot calmer and easier to care for than separating yourself and mostly letting others care for them.

4. Maintain good hygiene

When you’re sick it’s always recommended you follow good hygiene to stop anything contagious passing on to others.

If you are coughing or sneezing need baby use disposable tissues and discard uses tissues into a wastebasket each time.

Try to not cough or sneeze on or near your baby, particularly their face.

Always try to wash your hands after coughing or sneezing with warm soapy water.

You can use alcohol-based hand sanitizer, however, limit this to 5 uses and then you wash your hands.

You may want to use a face mask to prevent the spread of germs, however, this isn’t necessary for most mild cold or flu-like illness.

Instead, try avoiding holding your baby close to your face or touching their nose or mouth with your hands.

5. Keep baby’s nose clear

Your baby may start to get a little snuffly if you’re ill. Their little immune system will be working overtime with your antibodies to make sure they don’t get ill.

It’s important to make sure that your baby doesn’t get totally blocked up as they need a clear nose to breastfeed.

You see, your baby breathes through their nose when they feed as their mouth should be full of boob.

As a mom, you’ll never go wrong with a nasal aspirator close to hand (this one is by far the best) for when your baby is sick.

If the thought of sucking up your babies snots grosses you out, then a good saline spray or a room humidifier (like this one) may help to ease congestion for your baby.

6. Use a silicone pump

Have you heard of a Haakaa pump?

These simple silicone pumps are amazing for quickly building a breastmilk stash with no effort.

Don’t let the word pump pout you off, they simply ‘catch’ the milk from your free breast. You literally have to suction it on and do nothing whilst you feed your baby on the other side.

Having that stash of breastmilk can come in handy for letting your partner feed your baby and give you a few hours extra rest.

7. Drink extra fluids

Whenever you’re feeling run down always go back to basics.

That means getting as much rest as possible and drinking water.

Keeping yourself hydrated when you’re ill and breastfeeding will massively help your milk supply remain high.

Dehydration will make you feel worse and will most likely lead to constipation too.

The symptoms of either of those conditions will make you feel awful.

So keep it simple and keep drinking.

8. Be medication aware

You’re probably worried about taking medication when your breastfeeding right?

Is it safe? Will It pass through your milk to your baby?

Simple pain relief such as Tylenol and ibuprofen are safe for you to take (as instructed on the pack) when you’re breastfeeding.

Also, most antibiotics are safe to take.

If your doctor prescribes any other medication remember to inform them you are breastfeeding.

There are some relief medicines you should not take (or at least discuss with your doctor) when your breastfeeding.

This includes:

  • Codeine
  • Decongestants
  • Aspirin

The Prescriber’s Digital Reference is a great resource. You can look up the safety of any prescribed or over the counter drugs and how safe they are for breastfeeding.

9. Take your vitamins

Your appetite is one of the first things to go when you feel sick.

The thought of eating something probably turns your stomach or makes your vomit as soon as it hits your lips.

When your diet isn’t at its best taking a multivitamin is a great way to get some nutrients into your body without much passing your lips.

Your body is amazing and will provide everything it needs for your baby from your milk. However, that means it takes from your supplies to give to your baby.

I highly recommend these multivitamins as they are easy on your stomach when you’re feeling unwell.

10. Gather Your Support

One of the best things you can do for you and your baby is to take it easy.

That means lots of rest.

If the thought of leaving the household for a few days gives you the fear then it’s time to gather your support.

That means asking your partner to do jobs that you usually would. Or even asking friends to bring around a cooked dish one night.

Your friends and family will be happy to help do an odd job here or there to help out.

If you’re unsure of where to start, check out my guide to 15 places you can get breastfeeding support.

Final thoughts

Breastfeeding when you’re sick can be hard.

I hope these tips will help make it a little easier for you and your baby.

If you found this article helpful and think it would help other breastfeeding moms, please share.

You got this Mama.

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12 Useful Miscarriage Recovery Tips for Pregnancy Loss https://www.storkmama.com/miscarriage-recovery-tips/ Sun, 08 Mar 2020 14:30:26 +0000 https://www.storkmama.com/?p=26814 If you’re reading a guide on miscarriage recovery tips it’s likely you’ve recently lost your baby. Mama, I am so sorry for your loss. As someone who has gone through this experience three times and I know right now you’re feeling devastated. I believe the isolation and loneliness of a miscarriage can be just as […]

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If you’re reading a guide on miscarriage recovery tips it’s likely you’ve recently lost your baby.

Mama, I am so sorry for your loss.

As someone who has gone through this experience three times and I know right now you’re feeling devastated.

I believe the isolation and loneliness of a miscarriage can be just as painful as the physical loss of your baby.

 It’s especially hard to cope if your pregnancy was in the early stages and no-one or few people around you knew.

I want you to know I’m there for you.

I made this guide for Mama’s who are experiencing a miscarriage but don’t quite know what to expect.

These miscarriage recovery tips are for you to know what to expect and take care of yourself during this hard time.

The emotional recovery of a miscarriage will last longer than your physical recovery. Take as much time as you need and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

I want you to know you are strong and you can survive this.

Miscarriage Recovery Tips

12 Useful Miscarriage Recovery Tips

1. Prepare for Miscarriage Symptoms

You’re going to experience cramping during your miscarriage.

If your pregnancy is very early on (less than 6 weeks) this may be similar to period pains.

If your pregnancy is further on you’re going to experience cramps which are a lot more intense than usual.

You may feel these cramps in your tummy, back, hips or thighs. I’d recommend you take painkillers to manage the pain.

For extra comfort, I’d recommend using a reusable heat pack which can cover these areas and provide you with some cramp relief.

2. Stock up on pads

It’s very important that you use thick pads to catch your bleeding after a miscarriage. Maternity pads or incontinence pants (like these) can be ideal.

You need to use thick sanitary pads not only because you’ll be bleeding heavier than you normally do, but you need to monitor your blood loss for signs of infection.

That means tampons are a no go. Not only can you not keep an eye on your blood loss, but they massively increase your risk of infection.

Plus thick maternity pads will offer some cushioning to your vagina which may be tender.

3. Prepare for heavy bleeding

Following on from managing the bleeding directly. It’s best to be prepared for just how much you might bleed.

The blood loss may also be quite erratic and catch you off guard when you’re least prepared.

I’d advise you keep a bag of spare underwear and clothes close by, should you need to change.

One of the most common time to have a heavy gush of blood is when you’re in bed.

Needless to say, you don’t want to be reminded of your miscarriage by a big stain on your mattress.

A quick option to keep your bed protected is to use an old towel for protection.

Honestly, I’d never have survived my miscarriage without using a waterproof bed pad (like this).

These pads are a godsend when your bleeding is at its worst, to manage big leaks. I even used one on my car seat for extra reassurance.

4. Keep taking your vitamins

If you were taking pregnancy vitamins, I highly recommend you keep taking them.

If you’re not taking a multivitamin, I’d highly recommend you start this one now. Your body is going to need all the nutrients and energy it can to help you to physically recover from your miscarriage.

Your immune system will take a huge hit, so don’t be surprised if you feel run down for weeks after.

Miscarriage may affect your appetite and impact on the nutrients you get through food. Keeping up with your vitamins will give your body what it needs to recover.

5. Take iron tablets

All that blood loss will have a big impact on your iron levels.

You may start to feel the symptoms of anemia such as

  • Extreme Tiredness
  • Racing heart
  • Short of breath
  • Cold
  • Dizziness

Your doctor may routinely take blood to check for this after a miscarriage. But if you want to avoid these symptoms I’d recommend you take an iron supplement.

Some Iron supplement can make you constipated and just generally feeling like crap. These are the iron tablet I recommend for women particularly if you’ve had a big blood loss.

Adding iron-rich food (Meat, spinach, lentils, broccoli) to your diet will help keep your iron levels high. To boost your uptake add in food rich in vitamin C.

6. Rest is Vital

You may want to start trying to distract yourself as much as possible from the physical and emotional side of your miscarriage.

I can’t stress how important it is for you to let your body rest.

Keeping on at your normal pace is going to leave you exhausted.

Your body is going through major trauma and just like any other health issue, it needs time to rest to help you to heal.

7. Gather your support network

This is a massively emotional time for you and your partner. It’s likely your other half will be feeling lost and unsure how to help.

Use each other for support. Asking them to help you grab a few items will make them feel useful when they feel they can’t do much for you.

It’s completely normal for either of you to have periods of feeling better and then suddenly having a mood crash. Talking through your feeling will work wonder for you both.

You may even want to talk with a close family member or a friend.

Keep your circle close to those you trust and know will have your back.

If you feel you need to talk to someone anonymously these are great support options

8. You may need surgery

This sounds terrifying and probably not what you want to be reading right now.

The important thing is to know what your options are after a miscarriage so you know what may be needed for your recovery.

Some miscarriage occur naturally and your baby will pass without any medical input.

You may require medication to help your cervix open and to help your baby pass.

The last option is a surgical procedure known as a Dilation and Curettage (D&C). This is usually carried out as day surgery.

A D&C is minor surgery which requires your doctor to open your cervix and remove any pregnancy tissue from inside your womb.

It’s likely you may need a D&C if your baby does not pass naturally or medication has not worked.

Your doctor is the best person to advise what treatment options you have after your miscarriage.

9. Be aware of warning signs

If you have no medical intervention to manage your miscarriage you’ll likely stay at home to recover.

During this time it’s important you are aware of red flag symptoms that mean you need urgent treatment.

Look out for:

  • Heavy red blood loss – soaking through a thick maternity pad every hour needs attention.
  • Feeling unwell/ fever– a fluey like feeling can be a sign of severe infection which needs treating.
  • Offensive blood loss – This is another sign of infection and likely you need antibiotics
  • Large clots – Golf ball-sized clots are not normal and need medical attention, it’s likely some tissue has been left behind. Left untreated this will cause further bleeding and severe infection.

I’d recommend keeping a small hospital bag ready with essentials such as clothes, underwear and money, just as a precaution that you may need to go to hospital as an emergency.

10. Take Time out

In addition to the rest, you need to take time out from your daily life to recover better.

If you already have a child its best to keep them in regular daycare or have someone babysit for a few hours to let you have time to recover.

If you work, call your employer and discuss what your options are. They may grant you some compassionate leave or even holiday entitlement.

 If you can afford to consider negotiating some unpaid leave if you have.

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks unpaid per year to care for their health, including miscarriage.

As always state law varies, you can find out what the law is in your state here.

11. Keep hydrated

One of the most basic things you can do during any kind of physical recovery is to keep yourself hydrated.

Your mind will be clearer, you’ll have more energy and you’ll prevent yourself from becoming constipated, especially when your activity levels are low.

Keeping yourself hydrated during your miscarriage recovery is important for helping your womb to shrink down and control your bleeding.

12. Avoid sex

Getting intimate may not be the first thing on your mind during such a traumatic time.

But it’s likely you’ll be wondering how soon you can start trying to conceive after your miscarriage.

You can ovulate around 2 weeks after a miscarriage, however sex this soon can increase your risk of internal infection.

The ACOG advises that you wait at least until you have another period before trying to get pregnant.

Remember that you may have recovered physically but have you recovery emotionally from your miscarriage. This is a huge consideration for you and your partner before trying for another baby.

I hope that these tips provide you with some degree of comfort during this awful time for you.

Miscarriage is never you’re fault. You may find it useful to know some lifestyle changes you can make to reduce your risk of a further miscarriage.

I wish you all the best with your recovery and hope one day you get to meet your Rainbow baby.

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Proven Postpartum Rest Secrets for Type A Moms https://www.storkmama.com/postpartum-rest-tips/ Tue, 18 Feb 2020 15:24:02 +0000 https://www.storkmama.com/?p=26794 Postpartum rest is two words that probably strikes fear into your heart as a Type A woman. Rest is not some you do well. You’re a let’s go get sh*t done, kinda gal, right? And yes that serves us well in life, however, it can also become a huge issue when you have a new […]

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Postpartum rest is two words that probably strikes fear into your heart as a Type A woman.

Rest is not some you do well.

You’re a let’s go get sh*t done, kinda gal, right?

And yes that serves us well in life, however, it can also become a huge issue when you have a new baby.

You’ve probably read a million times to slow down, relax, and sleep when your baby sleeps.

But what if that just isn’t you?

This guide is all about helping you to get that much needed postpartum rest and slowing down without feeling like you’re going crazy.

How much rest do you need after birth?

This will vary depending on the type of delivery and experience you’ve had.

You may be lucky and breeze through labor and have the lovely calming birth you always dreamed of.

Unfortunately, you may have a long road of physical or even mental recovery from your delivery.

Around 6 weeks postpartum is the textbook time your body will have recovered from your pregnancy.

But remember that doesn’t mean it will have completely recovered from your birth.

After birth, you’re going to feel pretty rough.

 Everything will hurt, you’ll be exhausted and all your baby will want to do is feed every few hours.

That’s why postpartum rest is vital to healing your body physically.

It’s no wonder that so many new moms end up with postpartum depression when they have no time to recover.

Postpartum Confinement

You’ve probably heard of your mom your grandma talking about ‘lying in’ when they had a baby.

This is a traditional practice when moms would have postnatal bed rest for around ten days to two months.

It’s something that quickly went out of fashion when women were needed for the workforce.

However, it also means the art of postpartum rest has long been forgotten.

Now I’m not saying you need to stay in bed for 2 months to recover from your birth.

Mainly because it’s a great way to go about getting yourself a DVT.

These tips should help get form postpartum rest after your birth.

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Postpartum Rest Tips for Type A Moms

9 Postpartum Rest Tips

1. Prep for Postpartum

You’ve probably already got your birth bag packed, your birth plan written and know your route to the hospital for when your contractions start.

But are your stocked up for your postpartum recovery?

You can read my list of postpartum essentials here.

But in addition to all the creams and sprays that will keep you feeling normal after birth, I’d highly recommend my guide to postpartum bed prep.

Let’s just say you’re gonna want to buy one of these lifesavers now.

2. Try breastfeeding

If you’re still undecided about how you’ll feed your baby, then I’m going to tell you about an amazing benefit of breastfeeding.

Nursing your baby naturally helps you to slow down.

That right. When you start to breastfeed you release a hormone called prolactin which makes you feel super relaxed and sleepy.

Isn’t that amazing that your body already has systems in place to make you slow down.

The prolactin hormone also helps you to get a better quality of sleep during the night.

If you’re unsure where to start check out my guide on breastfeeding prep during pregnancy.

3. Block of your calendar

You’re a type A, I know you do everything by your calendar or diary.

If it helps you feel in control you don’t need to give it up.

What you do need to do is book in times of rest as you would any other appointment or visit.

Make it big and take whole days off.

You don’t need to sleep, however, there is a lot that can be gained from sitting or lying in a peaceful room.

Use this time to read, have skin to skin with baby, write or watch trashy daytime TV.

Have just one or two days where you want to get things done, like that newborn photoshoot you’ve booked.

It’s all about investing your time well now so you can do more soon.

4. The Mess can wait

A home that’s clean and tidy is great, but it’s not good for your postpartum recovery.

Your first go to should always be that this is where your partner should be helping you out.

Family and friends can also lend a hand if they are offering you help. Take it, don’t be proud.

If you can’t quite hand over the control of housework, put limits on yourself.

Set timer to only allow yourself to do 10-15 minutes a day to keep it light.

5. Avoid the Visitor Trap

Make it clear to your visitor that you need to rest, you are not there to be a servant for them.

Don’t be afraid to excuse yourself to go for a nap or just to have some alone time with your baby.

Lots of visitors during postpartum recovery can be overwhelming. Having boundaries in place for those who want to visit will save you a lot of stress from trying to people please.

6. Get quality sleep

Being told to ‘rest when baby rest’ is not the most helpful tip when you’re a new mom.

Knowing how to get a better quality sleep will do you the world of good for your recovery.

If you’re breastfeeding my number one tip would be to buy a side-car crib (Grab the Amazons Choice Crib now). That way you can feed your baby through the night without having to disturb your sleep too much.

They are also great if you have a C-section or a sore back from delivery as you won’t need to bend over to lift your baby.

Lavender oil is known to have amazing effects on your postpartum sleep, bonding with your baby and stabilising your moods.

Using an aromatherapy diffuser in your bedroom at night is a simple and natural way to get these benefits.

7. Don’t ignore the red flags

I know you’re that type of person that just gets on with it. But ignoring red flags of postpartum recovery is dangerous.

This includes:

  • Bleeding
  • Increasing pain
  • Breathlessness
  • Mood changes

If you or your partner have any concerns seek medical help straight away. Don’t put it off. Being reassured everything is ok is better than leaving it until it’s too late.

Your mood changes can be a huge setback and you may experience unexpected emotions like anger and resentment to your huge life change.

Please seek help or talk to a friend if you’re worried about how your feeling.

8. Eat, Drink and be merry

If your breastfeeding you’re going to be hungry and thirsty pretty much all the time.

You can prep for your postpartum rest by making freezer meals in pregnancy.

You can also ask family and friends if they can bring over a dish to help out and stop you from reaching for the takeaway menu.

Hydration wise, always keep a big water bottle beside you (I love this one). This will help reduce fluid retention and keep you well hydrated when nursing your baby.

Dehydration can make your postpartum brain fog and tiredness a thousand times worse.

9. Keep on moving

If you’re a bit of a gym bunny you might want to lay off the heavy lifting for a few weeks.

That doesn’t mean you have to stop altogether.

Gentle exercises such as yoga, Pilates, walking and swimming will help you remain active without putting too much strain on your body.

Talking your new baby on a gentle walk is great to get you both fresh air. There may even be some walking group in your area to meet other new moms.

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14 Tips to Survive the Second Stage of Labor https://www.storkmama.com/second-stage-of-labor-tips/ Sat, 08 Feb 2020 20:24:50 +0000 https://www.storkmama.com/?p=26778 Those last few weeks of pregnancy can be really scary right? That’s because giving birth means facing your fear of the unknown. I’m telling you mama, whether this is your first or your fourth pregnancy, the anxiety you feel about what will happen during birth never passes you by. Let’s face it you know your […]

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Those last few weeks of pregnancy can be really scary right?

That’s because giving birth means facing your fear of the unknown.

I’m telling you mama, whether this is your first or your fourth pregnancy, the anxiety you feel about what will happen during birth never passes you by.

Let’s face it you know your birth is going to be hard work.

We’ve all heard the horror stories of the ‘ring of fire’, and doesn’t that just sound like literal hell.

The good news is that you can prep so you have some tricks up your sleeve to make your labour a lot easier.

This guide will focus on tips to help you survive the second stage of labor.

That’s the part when you reach 10cm dilation and you’re ready to start pushing your baby out.

You know the dramatic part that movies and TV shows love.

But let’s forget the drama. I find most moms like the second stage better than the first stage contractions as you feel like you’re actually ‘doing something’.

If you’re not quite ready for stage two click here to find tips on surviving the first stage of labor (that’s the slower part with all the contraction).

This article is great for your partner to read too as it can give them a better idea of what to expect during this part of labor and how they can help you out.

Ok, let’s get started.

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Second stage of labour tips for pregant moms to have a better birth experience.

 

14 Ways to survive the second stage of labor

1. Take raspberry leaf tea

The good thing about you reading this tip now is that you’re hopefully not already labor.

Or at least not pushing yet! I’d be super impressed if you were.

If you’re around 32-36 weeks pregnant I’d recommend you start drinking raspberry leaf tea every day.

If your pregnancy is high risk check this with your obstetrician first.

Raspberry leaf tea has been used for centuries to help with women’s issues and one of the benefits is to speed up the second stage of labor.

It works by stimulating the muscles around the uterus, so it’s best to hold off using it until the last few weeks of pregnancy.

Ideally, you’d start by drinking one cup a day until you build up to 3 cups a day.

I was really sceptical of using raspberry leaf tea with my first pregnancy but of all three of my labors the hardest one was the only one which I didn’t drink the raspberry leaf tea.

Perhaps that was just luck, but I know if I have another baby I’ll be sipping that tea as soon as I hit those 32 weeks.

2. learn to breath

This tip sounds so simple but honestly if you take one piece of advice from this guide, make it this one.

One of the things I’m constantly telling labouring mom is ‘remember to breath’.

Think about it, imagine you’re walking around the house barefooted and you bang your toes against a piece of furniture. What’s the first thing you do?

That’s right you inhale in and hold your breath. It’s an instinct.

When you feel the pain of contractions you tense up because you know the pain is coming and then you hold your breath.

Holding your breath actually raises your blood pressure and can make the contractions feel worse.

Once your baby’s head starts to emerge you want to slow down.

The best advice I’ve heard is to do small controlled breathes as I’ve your blowing out a candle.

Imagine it as if you’re blowing out the candles on your baby’s birthday cake.

It sounds silly but this controlled breathing during the second stage will relax your internal muscles and make it easier for baby to pass through your pelvis.

3. don’t be scared to poop

One of the biggest fear I hear from labour moms is that they will poop as they push.

I know it’s probably played on your mind since you found it was even a ‘thing’.

Let’s face it, no one wants to do a poo in front of a room of other people.

The reason you’re afraid of pooping as you push is you expressing that you’re afraid of losing control during birth.

Don’t listen to those people that say ‘your dignity will go out the door in labor’, because it absolutely doesn’t have to.

I will reassure you by saying that:

  1. Your medical professional will not care. It’s fairly common and they’ll be super discreet about cleaning it up quickly.
  2. Passing stools in labour actually means your pushing in the right place and freeing up room for your baby’s head to come out.

If the thought still scares the living daylights out of you then you can check out my guide on how to prevent pooping during birth.

4. get yourself in a good position

Birth positions have been a highly debated topic in birth circles for years.

There are benefits and drawback to all different types of positions during the pushing stage.

What we do know is that when women give birth without any interference they will instinctively stay in an upright position as they push their baby out.

I’d recommend an upright position if you don’t have an epidural as this can slightly reduce your second stage. This is usually standing, kneeling, squatting or sitting upright.

Any position that encourages gravity to help your baby out will make it easier for baby to get around the boney turns in your pelvis.

When you’re lying on your back or with feet in stirrups your working against gravity which is hard work for you and baby.

If you need to have an epidural the best position is lying on your side with your leg supported open. This will open up your pelvis and make room for baby.

Ask your birth centre what options they have for moms with an epidural as modern equipment like birth bars can help you to mobile but with support.

5. use a warm compress

When your baby’s head starts to emerge that’s called crowning.

Most moms will describe this as the ‘ring of fire’ because of the intense burning sensation you’ll feel down below.

This feeling is caused by your baby’s head stretching the skin around your vagina and perineum (that flat but of skin between your vagina and butt).

You may find that a warm face cloth or a compress held onto the perineum as you push will help to ease this pain.

Another great side effect of using a warm compress is that you reduce your risk of having any vaginal tearing as your baby is born.

If you buy the reusable perineal compresses you can use then for your postpartum recovery too.

6. make some noise

Giving birth is an extreme workout.

The thought of making weird noises in front of others may make you feel uncomfortable.

The good news is that making noise during labor can help relieve your pain. However, it has to be the right type of noise.

It may sound weird that there is a right and wrong type of noise to make, so let me explain.

Low, deep almost animalistic moans and grunts will keep your jaw loose which helps your body to relax, including your perineal muscles.

If you go full-on high pitched wailing, your body is going to go into fight or flight mode and tense your muscles.

You’ll find yourself making incontrollable grunting noises as you push your baby out.

Try to make sure these grunts are directed toward your bottom and not into your throat otherwise you’re gonna wonder why you’ve lost your voice the next day.

7. Avoid Directed Pushing

When your baby is ready to be born, you’re going to experience how amazing your body really is.

That means you won’t need to be told when to push because your body is going to do it automatically.

That’s right you’ll start to push uncontrollably and won’t be able to stop the sensation.

Some medical practitioners still like to give ‘directed pushing’ instructions. That means telling you to hold your breath and push for a certain period of time.

Although direct pushing isn’t all bad, it can really help if you have no sensation from an epidural.

If you haven’t had an epidural it’s best to follow your instinct and push when your body tells you to.

Carry on with instinctive pushing until your baby’s head begins to crown and then with supported pushing.

This means your birth attendant following your lead when you are pushing, but talking you through to keep you focused and in control.

That’s where you’ll need to use your candle breaths we discussed above along with little pushes.

It may be tempting to give one almighty push to get the birth over and done with. However, encouraging small controlled pushes will help your baby’s head to slowly stretch up your skin and reduce the risk they tear you a new one.

8. don’t clock watch

Giving birth can take a long time, especially if it’s your first baby.

I blame the media who make out that your water break and your baby arrives 5 minutes later.

During the first stage, you’re counting down the hours until you finally get told you are 10 cm.

That means you’re ready to push right?

Well not quite.

Everyone focused on their contraction getting them to 10cm, however you contracts also need to make sure you baby’s head is far into your pelvis.

If your baby’s head is still high up in your pelvis when you get to 10cm you’re going to exhaust yourself trying to push your baby out.

If this happens you’ll probably be giving time for your baby’s head to ‘labour down’. This is usually around 1 hour.

When you do start to push you’ll have less distance to push your baby down, but this can still take up to another 1-2 hours.

And so, even once you get to fully dilated you baby can still be another couple of hours away.

So don’t watch the clock, it will only stress you out.

9. let the epidural run low

Should you opt for an epidural, you need to remember that this will numb you from the waist down.

That means when it comes time to push you might feel nothing and have no idea if you’re pushing well.

Your birth attendant may let you do some practice pushes to see or feel if your baby’s head is moving lower as you push.

If they can’t see anything, feeling your baby’s head requires a vaginal examination which you may find too invasive.

Depending on the type of epidural you have it may be possible to let the medication run low without topping up before you push.

This can help you gain back some sensation so you to feel a little more and feel more in control and push better.

It’s best to discuss this with your caregivers as going too long between top-ups can you’re your epidural wear off completely meaning you’ll have little to no relief as you push.

10. No Routine Cuts

You probably already know that a vaginal birth means there is a risk that you may tear as baby’s head is born.

Some hospital will perform a routine vaginal cut (episiotomy) to try and prevent a severe tear happing.

This practice is outdated and studies have shown that a routine episiotomy can cause a larger tear. Plus you’ll need to have vaginal stitches, which you may never have needed.

Your birth attendant should be skilled at supporting you and your baby’s head to minimise your risk of tearing.

If you’re geeking out on labor tips you can check out my guide on how to prevent tearing during birth.

11. Try perineal massage

I like to think of labor as a marathon. Its intense work for a couple of hours and you do best by training first.

One area that gets a lot of attention in labour is the perineum. That small area holds a lot of muscles, skin and tissue that work hard during pregnancy and birth.

Perineal massage is a great way to prep this area for labor. In fact, it is known to reduce the risk of you tearing, bruising or needing an episiotomy during labour.

Your postpartum recovery will be so much better if you don’t have vaginal stitches, pain or more worryingly incontinence.

You can use natural massage oils to manipulate the skin and tissue around you perineum from around 34 weeks of pregnancy.

The idea is to use your thumbs to work in a U shape to soften and stretch the tissue. This should be done once or twice a week for up to 5 minutes per massage.

12. get your baby in a good position

We’ve considered your position for pushing but you need to think about how to get your baby in the best position for pushing.

Ideally when you begin to push you want your baby to be head down with their back facing toward your tummy.

The best way to encourage this position id by using optimal fetal positioning techniques in pregnancy and during labor.

The queen of these techniques is Gail Tully over at Spinning Babies.

Gail encourages you to keep positions that allow your baby to hammock in your tummy. This is done by keeping your bump forward most of the day and not lounging backwards.

Following Gail’s birth techniques can help you and baby to keep your baby in the ideal position which makes the second stage a lot easier for you an baby.

13. sort out your birth room

Have you given much thought to your birth room environment? Does it make you feel like your somewhere clinical or does it feel homely?

A birth room which appeals to your sense and makes you feel calm and relaxed will help boost your natural oxytocin levels for you to labor better.

You’ll have a better birth if your room is

  • Warm
  • Private
  • Quiet
  • Dark
  • Safe

Ideally, you’ll have a birth partner who makes you feel safe and secure. You can add little touches such as essential oils, wearing our own clothes and using your own pillows.

Try to keep chat to a minimum and make sure the door and curtains are closed.

Your birth provider should make the room warm for baby arriving.  Make sure they don’t turn up the room lights full whack. If they need lighting a lamp can direct light where needed whilst offering you a warm glow.

14. Get hands on

Once you baby’s head begins to crown you may instinctively want to feel what’s going on down there.

Feeling your baby’s head moving down can give you a boost that things are moving along.

If they thought of feeling your baby’s head is grossing you out, you can ask your care provider to be ‘hands-on’ during the delivery.

This usually means your Doctor or midwife will hold and guide your baby’s head to keep the speed of the delivery well controlled.

This is best used if you’re pushing too hard or your baby is simply coming too quickly and potentially causing a tear.

Studies have shown that hands-on alone doesn’t rescue your risk of tearing, however when using together with supported pushing a slow and steady delivery will reduce your risk of tearing.

I hope you found this guide useful and I’d appreciate it if you can share with any pregnant moms who would like it too.

If you have any tips you found got you though the second stage of labor please feel free to share them below and I’ll add them to the guide.

I wish you all the best for your labor.

Second stage of labor tips

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How to Cope with Leaking Breast Milk When Breastfeeding https://www.storkmama.com/leaking-breast-milk/ Fri, 03 Jan 2020 22:53:44 +0000 http://expressing-mama.com/?p=384 Leaking breast milk is a common occurrence for new moms, especially in the first few weeks after baby is born. Your body is trying to establish your supply and working out how much milk to make for each feed. Moms who have breastfed before tend to leak less or stop quicker than if it’s your […]

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Leaking breast milk is a common occurrence for new moms, especially in the first few weeks after baby is born.

Your body is trying to establish your supply and working out how much milk to make for each feed. Moms who have breastfed before tend to leak less or stop quicker than if it’s your first baby.

You may notice that you leak whilst feeding baby or sometimes even in between feeds. It’s common to drip or spray milk if you stimulate your ‘let down reflex’.

Leaking often occurs:

  • In the last few weeks of pregnancy
  • If you go too long between feeds
  • From the ‘free’ breast when nursing
  • When your baby cries, if you think about baby or see a photo
  • In the shower
  • During sex
  • Whilst sleeping

Leaking milk can be a slight inconvenience for some or can happen at inappropriate moments and cause embarrassment. The latter is more common if you have an overactive let down reflex or increase milk supply.

The unpredictability of leaking breast milk can be messy and frustrating for moms if it continues.

This guide will help you learn how to cope with leaking breast milk as a new mom.

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Top 10 Tips for Coping with Leaking Breast Milk

1. Wear Nursing Pads

For immediate protection from leaks, wearing nursing pads is the best solution. A breast pad will soak up any leaks and protect your clothes from wet patches. Check out our favorite nursing pads here.

Nursing pads are available as either disposable or reusable types. The disposable kind is convenient as they are single-use and require no maintenance. You will, however, need to purchase them on a regular basis which can add up over time. In an emergency cut a sanitary pad in half and it will do the same job.

Cloth (or wool) breast pads are worn once and then washed after use. Although they are more effort, they are a better option if you want to save money or be more eco-friendly.

Some moms aren’t too keen to wear nursing pads regularly as they can be quite bulky underneath clothes. The moist conditions can also leave you more prone to fungal infections, such as thrush, so remember to change them regularly.

2. Feed Regularly

If your breasts feel heavy and full, known as engorgement, they are more likely to leak. That uncomfortable feeling you get it a sign that baby needs to feed. By feeding regularly you should cut down on the number of ‘leaking’ incidents.

A crying baby is a late hunger cue and it’s important to learn and recognize a baby’s early hunger cues. Regular feeding will also prevent you from developing blocked ducts, mastitis or more serious breast abscesses. It will also help you to prevent future leaks by regulating your milk production quicker.

3. Express Your Milk

If you don’t have baby close by when you start to leak you may want to express your milk to prevent them becoming engorged. Even if you don’t own a breast pump, we highly recommend all breastfeeding moms learn how to hand express for these type of situations.

Hand expression is useful if you are able to nurse baby soon for example if you’re on a night out. If you are away from baby longer, for example at work, then you should look into buying a manual or electric breast pump to ensure you remove your milk as often as baby feeds.

Be careful not to pump too often as for some moms this can cause over-stimulation and make more likely.

4. Apply Pressure

A top tip lactation consultants teach to prevent leaks is to apply pressure to your nipples. If you feel the tingling sensation of your ‘let down’ cross your arm over your breasts and apply slight pressure by pulling inward towards your chest.

Check out the LilyPadz alternative breast pads which also work with this principle. They are thin clear silicon ‘pads’ which apply slight pressure to the nipple and prevent leaks. These are great as they are a lot less noticeable than regular bulky breast pads. You should continue to nurse or express regularly with these or they may not prevent leaks.

5. Tactical Clothing

A top tip from other moms is to ensure you wear either patterned or dark colored solid tops or dresses, especially in the early days. This will make it harder to see any wet patches on your top, and save embarrassment.

If possible try to keep a spare vest in your bag to quickly deal with any mishaps. Jackets, cardigans and infinity scarves are great ‘cover up’ alternatives if any leaks happen in public.

6. Catch it

The most common time you may leak is when you are nursing on one side and the other breast starts to leak. This happens as your hormones are stimulated from nursing baby and ‘set off’ both breasts.

If you are at home the best way to deal with this is to stick a towel or a muslin cloth over the nipple to catch any drips or sprays. The leaking should only last a few minutes at most, and then settle.

7. Collect It

Some moms can’t bear to see any breast milk being wasted during a nursing session. Instead of catching any ‘let down’ leaks with a cloth, try using breast shells or a Haakaa pump to collect the milk.

These are great if you leak a lot during a feed. The milk can be transferred from the shell into a collection bottle and stored in the fridge or freezer, just like expressed milk.

Simply pop the shell into your bra and the milk will drip in whilst you nurse baby. It’s not advised to wear these as an alternative to breast pads. One reason being that they would look a really weird shape in your top. The second reason is that they should be sterilized in between use, and milk collect between feeds is regarded as unsafe for feeding.

8. Use Ice

Research has shown that ice inhibits your let-down reflex. If you feel that tell-tale tingle, with full breasts, try placing an ice pack or cold compress on your breast to prevent leaks.

This method should only be used as an emergency preventative measure. This is a technique often used by engorged formula feeding moms as they wait for their milk to ‘dry up’ after birth. It’s best to nurse or express regularly if your breasts are engorged. Otherwise, you run the risk of decreasing your milk supply, as your body thinks baby doesn’t need so much.

9. Check Your Diet

You may be unaware that there are certain foods with ‘milk boosting’ properties. These foods are known as lactogenic foods. Check your diet to work out if you eat these foods often.

If you have a large intake of lactogenic foods and nurse or express regularly then this may cause overproduction. The first step would be to cut down on the responsible foodstuff and see if that makes a difference to how often you leak.

10. Night Protection

Leaking at night is common as your baby starts to sleep for longer periods. You can wear a sleep nursing bra with breast pads. Sleep bras are made from soft cotton with little support and made for comfort during the night. If you leak a lot consider doubling up with breast pads during the night.

If you prefer not to wear a bra whilst sleeping, an alternative is to lay a large bath towel only our side of the bed. This won’t stop any leaking but it will protect your mattress from the breast milk.

Some women may leak the whole time they breastfeed as up to 3 weeks after weaning. If you are ever concerned about leaking milk or it continues for longer, contact your doctor or lactation consultant for advice.

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5 Best Postpartum Underwear Reviews https://www.storkmama.com/best-postpartum-underwear-reviews/ Mon, 23 Dec 2019 10:00:56 +0000 http://storkmama.com/?p=359 Looking for the best postpartum underwear? Wait! Are you telling me I need special postpartum underwear? Nevermind using your regular panties. As your first layer of clothing, postpartum underwear will protect your tender tummy after birth and cope with your postpartum bleeding. During those tender few days, you want your choice to be the right […]

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Looking for the best postpartum underwear?

Wait! Are you telling me I need special postpartum underwear?

Nevermind using your regular panties. As your first layer of clothing, postpartum underwear will protect your tender tummy after birth and cope with your postpartum bleeding.

During those tender few days, you want your choice to be the right one.

What is the best postpartum underwear? Check out what other moms think.

ANY of the 5 Postpartum panties in the list are great options that you should be very happy with.

5 Best Postpartum Underwear Reviews

1. Fruit of the Loom Beyond Soft Panties

Pros: inexpensive, very comfortable, soft, durable, machine washable

Cons: big made, thin waistband

Our Verdict

The Fruit of the Loom Beyond Soft Briefs are a great inexpensive option for postpartum use. The cotton and polyester fabric is very soft and comfortable to wear. The full brief style makes them sit very high up on your tummy. This is perfect for that first couple of weeks until your tummy shrinks back down.

We found them suitable for using after both natural and C-section births. They are easy to wash and are suitable for the machine. For a great price, you get 6 pairs of panties in a range of nice modern colors. Beware as these pants do run large and they won’t shrink much in the wash.

2. Always Discreet, Incontinence Underwear

Pros: discreet, no need for pads, convenient, comfortable

Cons: scented, not eco-friendly

Our Verdict

The ultimate postpartum pants have to be Always Discreet disposables. These pants act like underwear and a pad in one. No need to deal with leaks or stains panties, just dispose of them once you’re finished. These are the best solution if you want convenience after having your baby. They are great to wear in the hospital until you get home, so no need to bring home dirty underwear.

The material is non-woven so no need to worry about pulling your stitches. They are also quite thin and discreet to wear. We would highly recommend these, even just for night use, so you don’t leak any blood onto your bed sheets.

3. UpSpring Baby C-Panty

Pros: protects your scar, helps to heal, reduces swelling, comfortable

Cons: expensive, sizing

Our Verdict

The Upspring Baby c-Panty are designed especially for women who have had a cesarean birth. The pants are compression grade to promote good blood flow and reduce swelling. They have an area of silicone gel lined right where your incision site. This is indented to help your wound heal quickly.

The pants sit high up, so your whole tummy benefits from the compression and your wound is protected. Moms who have worn these post section swear by them. The biggest concern was the price tag, but they are worth investing in at least one pair.

4. Intimate Portal Maternity Under Bump Panties

Pros: low rise, breathable cotton, comfortable, easy wash

Cons: not suitable for C-section, sizes run smallOur Verdict

These Intimate Portal Under the Bump Maternity Panties  are great if you don’t want full coverage. Unfortunately for some women, the postpartum period is a time you need to wear panties and pads, even if you don’t normally do so. This can make you feel uncomfortable. These panties are a great compromise. They offer little coverage with enough to support a maternity pad.

The band sits just under your hip line and is quite discreet under clothes. I wouldn’t recommend these if you have a C-section as you’ll have no protection over your wound. The breathable, cotton fabric makes them very soft and can aid the recovery of any perineal stitches. They come in a wide variety of colors and pretty patterns.

5. Kindred Bravely High Waist Postpartum Underwear

Pros: breathable fabric, soft and comfortable for vaginal and C-section births

Cons: sizes run small

Our Verdict

The Kindred Bravely High Waist Postpartum Underwear is one of the best options for all types of delivery. The material is so soft and easy to wear, which is great for vaginal or abdominal stitches.

These panties offer a good level of coverage. Plus they are also pretty cute compared to other options on the best list.

The material is breathable so that you won’t get hot and sweaty with them on. That’s really important to let air circulate around any wounds to help it heal.

I found this underwear offers a good level of support without being too tight. The seams are well made, and don’t dig in or roll down.

I do recommend opting for the size above your normal, as the leg hole fit is slightly smaller.

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The Best Postpartum underwear reviews for after birth.

Postpartum Underwear Basics

Types of Postpartum Underwear

Underwear comes in a range of styles each with their pros and cons. Let’s take a look at each type to find the one which suits you best.

Disposable

As the name suggests these are single use only underwear. You can buy them as a single mesh panty or as incontinence panties which double as maternity pads. This style is very lightweight to wear and convenient for use in hospital or night time. You don’t need to worry about washing them or dealing with bloodstained underwear or linen. This type is fine for short-term use, and we would recommend them for the first week after baby arrives.

Full Brief

A full brief panty can be work both when you are pregnant and once you’ve had baby. These pants are large and offer full coverage usually above your belly button. An elasticated fiber is a good feature as it allows the underwear to grow and shrink with you. Full briefs offer support all over your tummy as well as protecting a C-section would without seams rubbing. They also provide good support for maternity pads.

Compression

This type has a strong and supportive fabric which compresses your abdomen. These are similar to a postpartum girdle but with less compression. These can benefit you by improving your blood flow, helping your muscles to recover and reduce swelling. Compression underwear offers full-length coverage, reaching just underneath your breasts. This can be used as shapewear to smooth out your lump and bumps to get back into your regular clothing.

Hipster

No they don’t wear non-prescription glasses or have beards! They are a low rise style which sits on or below the hips. This type of panty gives a minimal coverage. For women who don’t want to wear underwear that cover their whole tummy, it provides enough fabric to hold a pad in place. This style is discreet and lightweight to wear. We don’t recommend this style for C-section recovery as the band may rub on your wound area irritation.

Fabric

Cotton

A common underwear fabric as it is soft and breathable. Cotton is a great option for preventing infection or caring for stitches. The downside of cotton it that it can stain easily.

Mesh

Mesh underwear is very light and thin. It doesn’t offer much support, but it can be thrown away after using.

Elastane

Also known as spandex, it’s a man-made poly fiber.  Elastane is well known for providing support and stretch to underwear. It is also known to be moisture resistant.

Microfibre

This is often a polyester or nylon blend. It’s well known for being soft and naturally wicking for sweat. It’s a great durable alternative to cotton.

Read: Best Postpartum Girdle For New Moms


Postpartum Underwear Buying Guide

Underwear is the layer of clothing that will come into contact with your skin. It needs to be comfortable, fit right and be practical. After birth you’ll be failing more tender than usual, you may even have an incision, and you’ll have to deal with post-birth bleeding.

Fit

The fit of your underwear will depend on the size and style you have chosen. Ultimately you want the underwear to stay in the places you would like it to. That means no riding up or rolling down, a common problem with plus-size underwear.  A tighter fit can provide support but may also dig in and be uncomfortable. A loose fit can offer comfort but may not be very discreet under clothes.

Cleaning

This is important as you’ll need to keep your underwear free from blood or bacteria.  You’ll want your underwear to withstand frequent washing and prevent staining.  Underwear which is machine washable, stain resistant and odor proof score highly.

Support

Consider the areas where you would like to provide support. You may want full abdominal support, especially for C-section to provide protection for your wound. Support may also slim you down to help you fit back into your old clothes. Even perineal support can help stitches recover. If you want minimal coverage, ensure the underwear provides enough support for a maternity pad.

Price

Like any underwear, you can get good performers for both budget and luxury price ranges. If you plan to wear the underwear through the end of pregnancy and postpartum, you should invest in a good pair. If you want short-term use, then inexpensive underwear may be suitable.

best underwear for after giving birth


Benefits of Postpartum Underwear

Support

Your underwear will provide support for your postpartum tummy or vagina. Women with cesarean or perineal stitches may fear them bursting open. Without good support, you will reduce that anxiety.

Protection

Coverage of your wound is important to prevent it being bumped, or stitches snagged. If your wound is seeping, underwear can help to keep bandages or dressing clean and dry.

Cope with Postpartum Bleeding

You’ll need to wear pads to catch your postpartum bleeding regardless of your delivery. Tampons are not recommended due to the risk of infection. Thick or large pads are recommended to deal with the heavy flow for at least the first week. You’ll need underwear to accommodate using these, as unfortunately, a thong won’t cut it.

Check out our reviews on the best postpartum pads to use after birth.

Comfort

Postpartum panties are made from soft fibers and elasticated. This helps them to fit like a glove, a very comfortable glove. Trust me; you don’t want to wear pants that dig into your most tender stomach or rub against your swollen crotch.

Save Your Lingerie

Do you use your nice lingerie when you’re on your period? Good lingerie is expensive, and you don’t want to be using it to get stained with blood or mishappen from maternity pads. Postpartum underwear will save your nice lingerie and you can even throw it away without feeling guilty.

Sweat Proof

Did you know that ‘Mom sweats’ are a thing after birth? You’ll sweat (and pee) profusely to get rid of all that extra water weight. That may mean you get an extra sweaty crotch or bottom. Sweat-wicking or breathable fabrics for your underwear can help to minimize any discomfort this will cause you.

Slimming

Postpartum compression or shaping underwear can help you pull in your tummy, waist, and hips. These areas can be a little flabby after birth as you gain weight to support your pregnancy and breastfeeding. By slimming them down, you can get back into your regular clothes and feel a little more human again after nine long months.

Postpartum Underwear FAQ

What is postpartum underwear?

You will wear postpartum underwear after birth. They are not regular panties. Postpartum underwear is will cope with:

  • bleeding
  • postpartum discomfort
  • vaginal  or abdominal stitches
  • support for your postpartum body

Regardless of what type of delivery you have, you’ll find a pair of postpartum underwear that will aid your recovery.

Do I need postpartum underwear?

No, You can use your regular underwear. However, I strongly recommend you buy postpartum underwear to avoid your regular underwear getting stained and misshapen. If you buy disposable  postpartum panties, you avoid having to buy extra postpartum pads and trying to remove stains.

Think of how much your nice underwear would cost to replace if they get ruined. The amount you’ll pay for postpartum underwear is a fraction of that price. It’s a bit of an upfront cost that will save you money in the long term.

Where to buy postpartum underwear?

You’ll probably find suitable postpartum panties in most big lingerie departments, pharmacies or grocery stores. I recommend you buy from Amazon.  They have a huge selection the lowest prices, and it’s a discreet service. Another big benefit to Amazon is they will let you return the underwear without issues, which other stores may not let you do.

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25 Postpartum Care Essentials: Ultimate Moms Recovery Guide https://www.storkmama.com/postpartum-care-essentials-moms-recovery/ Thu, 19 Dec 2019 13:00:00 +0000 http://storkmama.com/?p=492 Blood. Sweat. Tears. That pretty much sums up postpartum. Regardless of the birth you have, you’ll be sore, tired and want to be as comfortable as possible. I don’t want to scare you, because I know you’re at the stage of prepping for birth. And your focus is on what will happen during your labor. […]

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Blood. Sweat. Tears.

That pretty much sums up postpartum.

Regardless of the birth you have, you’ll be sore, tired and want to be as comfortable as possible.

I don’t want to scare you, because I know you’re at the stage of prepping for birth. And your focus is on what will happen during your labor. Or even making sure everything is ready for your little bundle of joy. But have you given any thought to your recovery after birth?

Let’s face it postpartum care is the forgotten ‘Cinderella’ period of pregnancy. Perhaps because you want to look forward to the positives, like an adorable new baby to squish and smell.

Mmmmmm ::new baby smell:: Sorry where were we?

Oh yeah, It’s all a bit taboo. Like periods. Nobody discusses it do they? I suppose it’s because most new moms are kinda embarrassed to talk about their leaky nips or swollen va-jay-jay.

Well, you’ve hit the jackpot because I’m a total pregnancy geek. And I love talking about postpartum. Actually, I most definitely overshare about postpartum and your bodily fluids.

I’m not gonna apologize for that. Because I think it’s essential for new moms.  I want you to know how you can prepare to make your postpartum easier. Nobody wants a slow postpartum recovery, right?

You need to know these things when you’re pregnant.

Why? Well, you’ll barely have a minute to yourself once your baby arrives. Make it a priority and prepare. Just like your birth plan or packing your hospital bag checklist.

I’ve gathered this list of items I think are pretty amazing for helping you to heal from birth.

Whether you are a first-time mom or a seasoned pro, I’ll prepare you for any postpartum leak, pain or surprises. Trust me you’ll learn something from this list you never knew happened after having your baby.

This guide is pretty awesome for new moms, so share the love and Pin it. That way you can come back to it later.

Let’s get started.

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Postpartum Essentials for New Moms. Check out my picks of the products that will make your postpartum recovery so much better. Everything to heal your postpartum body. Stork Mama

25 Postpartum Care Essentials

For All Moms

These are essentials all new moms will benefit from. They take care of those postpartum issues you’ll need to deal with regardless of the type of birth you have.

1. Maternity Pads

Regardless of the type of birth you have, you will bleed after birth. It’s caused by the shedding of your womb as it shrinks back to normal size.

Maternity pads help you absorb and monitor your blood loss to ensure its normal. They also provide cushioning and protection for tender lady bits and stitches.

Check out my best postpartum pad reviews .

2. Postpartum Underwear

The underwear you choose for after delivery needs to handle your bleeding and protect your tender tummy and vagina.

Postpartum underwear offers comfort and support for perineal and C-section wounds (These ones are AMAZING!). For super convenience try disposable underwear, which doubles as a maternity pad and underwear.

Check out my favorite postpartum underwear reviews.

3. Pregnancy Vitamins

Nothing beats a healthy diet for helping your body to recover from birth. However, new moms are often so tired it’s easy to forget to eat or slip into a routine of ordering takeaway. Supplementing with pregnancy vitamins ensures your body is getting the right nutrients to recover and support breastfeeding.

Check out my top rated prenatal vitamin reviews.

4. Stool Softener

It’s common for a new mom not to have any bowel movement for up to four days after delivery. This temporary constipation is the result of weak tummy muscles, swelling, hemorrhoids or fear.

A high-fiber diet and plenty of fluids are your first port of call.

However, if that’s not cutting it a stool softener or mild laxative can help get things moving along, and reduce your ‘first poop’ anxiety.

5. Postpartum Girdle

A girdle may seem like something your grandma wears, but it works. A special postpartum girdle offers physical support for your back and tummy after birth.

Other benefits include helping with split tummy muscles, improving posture, reducing swelling and supporting stitches.

A posttpartum girdle can also help smooth out your lumps and bumps to get you back into your regular clothes.

Check out my best postpartum girdle reviews.

6. Bed Pad

Your postpartum recovery will leave you feeling like you leaking from every orifice. Bleeding, leaking nipples, excessive sweating.

That’s right. Excessive sweating. Bet no one told you about that treat!

Protect your mattress from any nasty stains or smells with a protective bed pad like this one.

They are available as disposable or reusable types, which absorb any leaks during the night. Plus it saves you needing to change bed linen every day.

Want to learn more about protecting your bed from postpartum leaks? Check out my fool-proof strategy here.

7. Compression Stockings

Excessive postpartum swelling is another joy you may experience. At worst compression stockings will reduce the discomfort in your legs and feet.

At best, they can prevent you developing a deadly blood clot after birth.

If you’re less mobile or had a forceps, ventouse or C-section, your doctor may advise you to wear these for up to six weeks after delivery.

8. Kegel Kit

Now let’s get done to the real nitty-gritty, embarrassing side of birth recovery: weak pelvic floor muscles.

These are the muscles which cause stress incontinence, painful sex, and prolapse in later life.

Strengthen these muscles with a weighted Kegel kit. You won’t be able to use it until six weeks after delivery, but we highly recommend this to improve your future gynae health.

Check out my top Kegel exerciser reviews for use after birth.

9. Painkillers

Don’t underestimate how sore you will be after birth. This may be from your C-section wound, vaginal stitches, perineal pain, muscle strain, after pains or breast pain.

Don’t assume your doctor will prescribe pain relief, have some available at home just in case.

For mild to moderate pain opt for paracetamol (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil).

If you require stronger pain relief, you may need a prescription something like Percocet or Vicodin.

10. Water Bottle

Sometimes you need to remember to start with the basic to aid your recovery. This includes making sure you are drinking enough water at all times.

Make a large water bottle your best friend and it will pay off.

Keeping hydrated will improve your breast milk supply, reduce swelling, prevent headaches and improve your alertness even when tired.

Read: 9 Postpartum Warning Signs You Can’t Ignore

Postpartum Essentials for Vaginal Births

Natural, forceps and ventouse births are all classed as a vaginal delivery. Perineal care is a top priority as this is the most affected area.

You may also need to care for stitches due to tears or cuts. These items provide ease perineal discomfort and prevent wound infection.

11. Sitz Bath Soak

A Sitz bath is a shallow tub for the perineum (the piece of skin between your vagina and anus.

It offers many benefits, including improved hygiene, faster healing, and relief from pain, itching or irritation caused by stitches.

A postpartum sitz bath soak contains ingredients to reduce swelling and discomfort from delivery.

A shallow bath is suitable if the discomfort is mild. If the perineum cannot withstand your weight use it with a sitz bathtub on your toilet.

12. Donut Cushion

When your perineum is swollen and uncomfortable, it’s best to keep pressure off it.

A donut cushion helps you to sit down with any pressure on the perineum. This is a lifesaver if you have a tear or episiotomy stitches.

It also helps with relieving the discomfort of hemorrhoids causes the strain of pushing your baby out.

13. Cooling Spray

You’ll need to be prepared for when your bottom bits are hurting when you are out and about. Taking a sitz bath isn’t always convenient.

So try a cooling perineal spray to give your lady bits instant relief.

You may prefer a longer-lasting perineal balm however, they are best to use once swelling reduces as they can be uncomfortable to apply.

14. Numbing Spray

If a cooling spray just doesn’t cut it, then numbing spray is the way to go.

Numbing spray is a great option if your delivery has left you with perineal stitches or bad hemorrhoids. It helps to numb the area with a cooling sensation and also relieves the itchiness of stitches.

It works so well that some hospitals may even give you a can of this to take home with you.

15. Tucks Pads

All that fluid you have gained over nine months has to go somewhere, which means you’ll be peeing like a racehorse at first. The thought of having to wipe on such a tender, swollen and sensitive area may fill you with dread.

Witch hazel pads are a perfect alternative to harsh toilet roll.

They provide immediate relief from irritation and itching of stitches or hemorrhoids.

16. Peribottle

If you would rather use water rather than toilet roll or wipes to clean yourself, grab yourself a peribottle. Your hospital may provide you with a small, basic plastic bottle.

We recommend using a travel bidet type with a sprayer that can be directed at specific areas.

Use them when urinating to prevent your stitches or grazed areas stinging.

17. Perineal Cold Pack

Cold therapy is perfect for treating hot, swollen, tender areas on the body. Perineal cold packs are perfect for putting on top of a maternity pad.

They will instantly cool down the area and provide comfort and relief. They are available as single-use pads for short-term use, or reusable packs, which have washable covers.

18. Hemorrhoid Relief

Hemorrhoids usually develop in pregnancy and worsen with delivery. The strain of pushing causes blood vessels to dilate and piles to form.

Prepare for the worst with a hemorrhoid treatment. Popular treatments include creams, suppositories, and sprays.

If you want a more natural remedy try Butchers Broom.

Postpartum Essentials for C-Section Births

If you have a planned or emergency C-section, you will need post-surgery essentials. These items focus on wound care after delivery. These items will help heal your scar and prevent infection.

19. Scar Cream

It’s a given that your C-section wound will leave a scar on your tummy. The final appearance of the scar is down to your skin type and the surgeon’s skill.

However, a topical scar cream can be used, once the wound heals, to minimize the scar.

They work by hydrating the scar skin cells and encouraging new skin growth. This allows the old scar skin cells to shed and fresh skin to appear below.

20. Silicone Tape

The depth of a C-section wound can often cause the scar to become hypertrophic. This gives it a red, thick and raised appearance.

Good wound care can prevent this from happening. Studies have shown silicone tape  is very effective at reducing the appearance of scars.

This type of treatment is particularly good for preventing your scar widening over time.

Postpartum Essentials for Breast Care

Whether you choose to breast or bottle feed, your breasts will fill with milk after delivery. Breast care is essential to prevent any issues with breast discomfort or infections.

21. Nursing Pads

All new moms will leak breast milk a few days after birth. Nursing pads are like maternity pads for your breast, helping to absorb any leaks.

If you plan to formula feed, you only need a small supply, and if you breastfeed, you’ll need them until you stop.

Check out my guide to deciding between disposable or washable nursing pads.

22. Nipple Cream

It will take a few days for your nipple to ‘toughen up’ to baby’s constant feeding.

A nipple cream helps to create a moisture barrier for your tender nipple.

Good breastfeeding support  and nipple cream will help you speed up the healing of sore or cracked nipples caused by poor attachment or positioning.

Check out this guide to choosing the best nipple cream for breastfeeding.

23. Breast Therapy

Engorgement is one of those postpartum ailments all new moms have to deal with. Your breast will fill with milk if you choose to breastfeed or not.

Breast therapy pads can give you relief from engorgement. Heat them to encourage milk flow, or cool them to provide pain relief.

Click here for a guide to buying the best breast therapy pads.

24. Sleep Bra

As your breast fills with milk, it can make it uncomfortable to sleep. While you’re leaking, you will need to wear nursing pads overnight to prevent getting milk on your bed.

A nursing sleep bra is what you need. They are soft and comfortable with easy access to the breast for your baby if you are breastfeeding.

25. Handheld Massager


Breastfeeding engorgement is a real problem for all postpartum moms. Whether you choose to breastfeed or not, you’re gonna have engorged breasts at some point.

The best way to tackle engorgement is regular feeding. However, a good ol’ breast massage is a great way to keep those clogged ducts at bay.

The problem is that massage can hurt your fingers after a few minutes. This means your less likely to massage at the firm pressure your breasts need. That’s where a hand-held massager comes in handy.

A small hand massager , like this one, is fantastic for unclogging those ducts. You can even use it before a feed or pumping to get as much milk as possible for your baby.

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Postpartum Care Essentials for Recovery | Want to make a super quick postpartum recovery? Giving birth takes its toll on your body, so be prepared to let your body heal. You'll leak, bleed, cramp and hurt all over. Check out our essential kit to make your postpartum healing so much easier. Stork MamaPostpartum Essentials for New Moms | Postpartum recovery | First Time Mom | New Mom

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Learn Breast Compressions – An Essential Skill for Breastfeeding https://www.storkmama.com/breast-compressions-breastfeeding/ Sun, 03 Nov 2019 15:28:46 +0000 https://www.storkmama.com/?p=26729 I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of breast compressions, but if your breastfeeding it’s time you learn. Surprisingly a lot of new moms (or even experienced breastfeeding Mamas) don’t know about this technique. Breast compression is a great skill to add to your breastfeeding toolkit. Seriously it can help with so many breastfeeding issues. […]

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I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of breast compressions, but if your breastfeeding it’s time you learn.

Surprisingly a lot of new moms (or even experienced breastfeeding Mamas) don’t know about this technique.

Breast compression is a great skill to add to your breastfeeding toolkit.

Seriously it can help with so many breastfeeding issues.

I’ve created this guide for you to learn all you need to know about breast compressions and why it can save you a lot of tears on your nursing journey.

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Breast Compressions When Breastfeeding

What are breast compressions?

It’s pretty basic really and is as it sounds.

Compressing the breast, squeezing the boob, eating the boob sandwich.

Ok I made that last one up, but you get the picture, right?

Breast compression can be done any time after your milk ‘comes in’ which is around 3-5 days postpartum.

It’s just the name giving to a technique of squeezing the breast as your baby is breastfeeding.

You may be confused why you would need to do that, so let’s find out.

Why should learn breast compression when breastfeeding?

Jack Newman is a world-renowned lactation consultant who swears by breast compressions for:

Engorgement

Gentle breast compressions and massage while breastfeeding can help to prevent engorgement by emptying your breasts effectively.

Relieve clogged ducts/mastitis

When to have blocked ducts or mastitis compressions can help to keep the milk flowing and slowly ‘relieve’ the affected ducts as your baby feeds.

Increase hindmilk

Breast compression help milk to flow quicker; therefore, your baby takes in more milk during a feed. The longer your baby feeds effectively at the breast then they will get fattier calorie-rich hindmilk. This type of breastmilk help baby feel fuller for longer and help with weight gain.

Baby get more milk

If you struggle with long feeds or are just unsure how much your baby is getting, breast compressions will help. As technique helps improve milk flow and your baby will get more in a 20-minute feed that they would without using breast compressions.

Increase milk supply

When your baby drinks more milk during a feed, this signals to your body to make more milk. IF you are struggling with a dwindling supply, breast compressions can help you tell your body that your baby needs more milk.

Pump more milk

Expressing breast milk can be so time-consuming and soul-destroying when you’re a busy new mom. Doing breast compressions can help to mimic your baby on the breast and remove more milk during a session. It’s a technique that works really well if you only get small volumes with a breast pump.

Speed up feeds

As a new mom, you’ll have a busy life with lots to pack into each day. It’s all good when you have time to relax and feed but some days you just don’t. Breast compressions can help you to fit a good breastfeed into a shorter time. It’s a great skill when your baby is cluster feeding and just wants to be on you all-the-time!

Poor weight gain

If your baby is struggling to gain weight, there may be lots of causes for this. Usually, poor weight gain is caused by a poor latch, and this needs to be assessed first.

Breast compressions will help if your baby has a slow suck reflex or are sleepy and have little energy to feed.

Increasing the milk flow will help your baby to take in more calories without having to put in as much effort as they would on their own. This can save you from having to supplement baby with formula feeds.

Colic in the breastfed baby

When your baby is actively feeding, they are unlikely to fuss at the breast. Breast compressions really help your baby to focus on the ‘task at hand’ and not to get distracted during a feed. This can help to ease colic symptoms as it ensures baby likely to maintain a good latch. The reduction in fussing or crying can help to reduce air intake and discomfort from trapped wind during a feed.

Sore nipples

When you’ve got sore nipples, the thought of breastfeeding is terrifying. Sore nipples are usually always caused by poor attachment, so you need to sort that first.

 You’ll need to feed as they heal, so and breast compressions will help.

As the milk flows quicker, you can have a good feed in a shorter time. This means less friction on your nipple and more time for your nipples to heal without baby feeding.

Sleepy baby

When your baby doesn’t feed at the breast they aren’t being lazy, they simply lack the energy required to breastfeed. Breast compressions are an excellent way for you to help baby to get the milk they need (for energy) without having to work hard for it.

You’ll notice with each feed your baby will start to feed more effectively once they have the energy to do the work themselves.

How to do breast compressions while breastfeeding

1. Position and attach baby

Make sure you use a position that is comfortable for you and baby. Help baby to attach to your breast with a good deep latch.

2. Watch baby

Your baby should begin with short quick suck. They will then slow down to long slow sucks. You want to watch out for when your baby stops sucking. Their jaw will stop moving, and you won’t hear them swallow.

3. Hold your breast

Use one hand whichever is most comfortable for you. Cup around your breast in a C shape with fingers on one side and thumb on the other it doesn’t matter which way up. Finger can be positioned above and below or side to side, opt for the position that is most comfortable for you. Just be aware you may need to reposition to get a better flow.

4. Position your hand

I often find that breasts have a ‘sweet spot’ that differs with each mom. A good starting point is usually the middle of your breast tissue, but it will depend on your breast size. You’ll have to experiment with different positions to find your own. You want to keep your hand far enough away from your areola, so you don’t disturb the latch.

5. Press in

Apply gentle inward pressure on your breast form both your fingers and thumb. Again the amount of pressure will vary for each mom. The pressure should never be so hard it hurts. Remember your breasts will probably be sensitive the fuller they are.

6. Wait for the pause

You should notice baby start to suck again as you press on your breast. Don’t worry, it can take a few seconds. When you see them suck and swallow keep pushing in until they pause. When you get the pause, let go of the pressure.

7. Repeat

Your baby will begin suckling again after the pause, this is when you start the next compression. Continue this pattern until your baby stops actively sucking.

8. Offer more

Once your baby stops sucking on one breast, you can offer them the other breast. Repeat all of the steps above until baby stop sucking on that side.

Breast compression video

Help my baby isn’t sucking

If your baby doesn’t start to suck more than 10 seconds after the first compression, let go of the breast and try again.

If baby still doesn’t suck after the second breast compression, experiment with different hand positions on the breast or swap hands.

Remember you’ll eventually find your sweet spot, so keep it in mind for the next feed.

How to do breast compressions while pumping

When you are expressing milk, you obviously don’t have a baby to show you when to stop and start.

The best way to use breast compressions when pumping milk is to us a repetitive cycle which is similar to your baby feeding.

Some moms find it easier to hold for a set time, let go and repeat.

For example, compress the breast for 15 seconds, let go for 5 and repeat until the breast empties.

Some moms find it easier to work with the breast pump cycles.

For example, compress for 3 pumps and let go for 1 and repeat.

You don’t need to use breast compressions through the whole pumping session, but you may find the longer you use the compression, the quicker the session or, the more milk you get at the end.

Remember, compressing the breast should be firm but not sore.

When you press too hard while compressing, you are likely to block the milk-making hormones (oxytocin) which slow an excellent flow.

When to do breast compressions

You feel baby is not getting enough milk

Breast compressions will help your baby get more milk without having to work so hard during a feed.

Baby is losing weight

Your baby will get more calorific hindmilk which will help them to gain weight and more energy to feed effectively.

Baby is dehydrated

Your baby will get more milk which will rehydrate them and increase their energy to feed more.

Baby has green poop

This may mean your baby is getting too much foremilk and needs more hindmilk.

Baby has diaper rash

Again a foremilk imbalance can cause your baby to get too much milk with lactose sugars. Too much foremilk can cause a diaper rash as these stools are more acidic and irritate your baby’s skin.

You don’t get much when pumping

Using breast compressions helps your milk to flow better and yield more during a pumping session.

Baby always sleeps at breast

Your sleep baby needs more energy to feed, and breast compression means you can give them a helping hand to get those much-needed calories without using up all their energy to get them.

Baby has attachment issues

Breast compressions can assist you in getting a good latch for baby. You can read more about great breast hold for attachment here, and do compressions at the same time.

Long/frequent feeds

If you don’t have time for baby to have their usual 40minute feed, you can speed it up a little with compressions without compromising their intake. This is great for night feeds so you and baby can feed quickly and get back to much-needed sleeping.

Breastfeeding is painful

When your breasts are sore, you want to minimise the time your baby is at the breast to help them heal. Breast compressions are a great way to do this without affecting your supply, or the amount baby gets during a feed.

Relactation

If you are trying to relactate breast compressions are fantastic for signalling to your body to make more milk and increasing your supply quickly.

Benefits of breast compressions

Relieve painful issues

Breast compressions mean more calorie-rich milk for baby with less time at the breast. That sounds like heaven if your nipples are so sore from breastfeeding.

However, please see a feeding specialist to have your positioning and attachment assessed as well as potentially baby evaluated for tongue tie issues.

Improves milk supply

The more milk you drain from your breasts, the more milk your body will make. Its simple supply and demand as your body thinks your baby needs more milk to survive.

Saves time

Breast compressions help your milk to flow quicker and keep your baby focusing on feeding rather than casually grazing at the breast.

Prevents Formula supplementation

Whenever weight is slowed or static with your breastfeeding baby, a lot of professionals want to jump in with the formula. Using breast compressions can help you to either feed effectively at the breast or pump more milk in-between feeds to use that as a backup rather than reaching straight for the formula.

Build a bigger milk stash

If you plan to go back to work soon, then you are probably thinking about building up a milk stash for your baby.

Knowing how to use effective compression when pumping gets you on the right path to getting as much milk as possible for when you return to work. It’s incredible what load that will take off your mind.

Giving expressed breastmilk through the day can also help you to continue breastfeeding when you’re at home, long after your return to work.

Improves baby’s health

Breastfeeding has so many amazing benefits for your baby’s health. FI using skills such as breast compressions can help you to achieve that for longer, then your baby’s health will benefit from that now and later in life.

Extra sleep

Quick, effective night feeds are where it’s at when you are so sleep deprived you have no idea what day it is. Using breast compressions during the night is fantastic for achieving that while keeping your milk supply high.

Survive growth spurts

Growth spurts make you feel like you can get nothing accomplished as your baby needs to feed all the time. Breast compressions can speed up those much-needed feeds and help you to feel a little more accomplished and less of a feeding machine.

Survive the heat

Breast compressions are excellent during hot weather to help your baby to keep hydrated. Plus, as they speed up feeding time, you get the benefits of nursing your baby without the prolonged sharing of body heat which can be tip you over the edge when you’re already so hot.

Help you breastfeed longer

Using breast compressions can help with a lot of breastfeeding issues as we’ve discussed. One of the main benefits is it can really help prevent formula supplementation is often a nail in the coffin for many breastfeeding journeys.

Pumping at work

Using breast compression when your pumping will get you more milk and quicker. This is ideal if you have a time limit on a pumping break and the pressure is on to get as much milk as possible in that time.

Summary

To sum up, learning how to do breast compressions is a great technique for all breastfeeding moms. Whether it’s to fix a breastfeeding issue or to help baby along when you’re having a busy day, it’s a fantastic skill to have in your nursing toolkit.

If you found this guide helpful please share it with other breastfeeding moms to help them on their journey.

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The Best Unicorn Gifts for Babies https://www.storkmama.com/the-best-unicorn-gifts-for-babies/ Sat, 07 Sep 2019 13:59:16 +0000 https://www.storkmama.com/?p=26479 Are you searching for the perfect unicorn gifts for babies? Perfect, you’re in the right place. These are Stork Mama’s top unicorn baby gifts, all of which are a great pick and I’m sure you’ll find something you love. 10 Best Unicorn Gifts for Babies 1. Unicorn Baby Rattle How adorable is this JellyCat baby […]

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Are you searching for the perfect unicorn gifts for babies?

Perfect, you’re in the right place.

These are Stork Mama’s top unicorn baby gifts, all of which are a great pick and I’m sure you’ll find something you love.

unicorn baby gift

10 Best Unicorn Gifts for Babies

1. Unicorn Baby Rattle

How adorable is this JellyCat baby rattle? Not only does it have a super soft plush, but it’s very easy for baby to hold on to. The rattle sound is really soft so it can be used to entertain baby or lull them to sleep with a rhythmic beat.

2. Unicorn Diaper Bag

Be the envy of your mom friends with this awesome unicorn diaper bag. This bag is like the Mary Poppins diaper bag, it’s deceptively roomy inside but looks really compact on the outside. You can use it as a backpack or a handbag, so it will look the part wherever you take your baby.

3. Pacifier Buddy

Stop the frantic search for a lost pacifier with a little unicorn buddy to hold on to it. The pacifier comes with the unicorn toy. However, most pacifier brands will attach if your baby has a favorite. Your baby will love the comfort of having a toy to find their binky.

4. Unicorn Cuddle Plush

If your baby doesn’t use a pacifier, then this unicorn soother blankie is a perfect alternative. The sweet unicorn design is perfect for little hands to snuggle into when they need some comfort. Plus, as it’s small and portable, it’s perfect for your little one to smell moms scent if you are separated for a few hours, e.g. daycare, NICU.

5. Baby Aspen Simply Enchanted Unicorn Hooded Spa Robe

This Baby Aspen unicorn robe will make your baby look adorable. I mean wouldn’t you love to wear a unicorn robe is you had the chance? This unicorn robe is perfect for wrapping up your little one after the tub and settling them with some hugs and lovely unicorn stories.


6.  Unicorn Munch Mitt

 

If your baby constantly has their hand in their mouth then this Unicorn Munch Mitt is perfect for them. IT’s perfect for when your baby is teething as the soft, but textured edge will provide comfort for your baby’s sore gums. The soft jersey mitt will help to mop up some of that pesky teething drool and be soft enough for against your baby’s skin. These mitts are also great if your baby is tube feed and tends to pull on tubes during a feed.

7. Ecotribe Wooden Unicorn Swing

If you’re looking for an eco-friendly gift then this EcoTribe unicorn swing is ideal. The swing can be used indoors as cute nursery decor or outside for some fun garden play. This swing will provide hours of imaginative play involving royalty, castles and magic kingdoms. The age range is from 6 months, so it’s best to wait until baby can sit upright and unsupported before they can use this swing.

8. NoJo Unicorn Musical Mobile

Lull your baby t sleep with the dreamy NoJo Unicorn crib mobile. Your little one will become mesmerized by the darling plush unicorn slowly dancing in the sky above and soothing them into a peaceful sleep.

9. Labebe Unicorn Ride-On

Who wants a point when you can have a Labebe Ride On Unicorn? If your baby loves to rock back and forth, then they’ll adore this ride-on for their nursery. Not only is it very sturdy but the strap keeps them safe while looking like a little Princess the whole time.

10. Skip Hop Eureka Unicorn Baby Play Mat

Play mats are an ideal way for your baby to get play activities into their daily routine. Your little one will be enchanted by the bright colours, sounds and textures of this lovely Eureka Unicorn Activity Mat. This mat is ideal for overhead and tummy time play when they are babies, then provides a soft cushioned area for wibbly-wobbly play as they learn to sit by themselves.

 

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Easy Newborn Activities Guide for New Parents https://www.storkmama.com/newborn-activities-guide/ Mon, 17 Jun 2019 10:50:25 +0000 https://www.storkmama.com/?p=26577 Newborn activities are often the Cinderella of baby care. As a new parent, you’re probably focused on what your baby is doing the majority of the time: sleeping and feeding. I know you might even be thinking I’m a little crazy for suggesting your helpless tiny newborn can be active. First of all, they can’t […]

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Newborn activities are often the Cinderella of baby care.

As a new parent, you’re probably focused on what your baby is doing the majority of the time: sleeping and feeding.

I know you might even be thinking I’m a little crazy for suggesting your helpless tiny newborn can be active.

First of all, they can’t move much. Although you are very aware that they leave you exhausted all day long!

Your newborn baby can sleep up to 18 hours a day.

But that leaves at least another 6 hours of the day when they are awake. You’ll use most of that time for baby care such as feeding, diapering, and bathing.

However, you’ll likely find time on your hands where you actually don’t know what to do with your baby.

I also understand that sometimes you’ll be so exhausted from new parenthood that you can’t even think straight.

That’s where this handy guide comes in to help you.

Let’s look at the different ways you can keep your newborn baby active.

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Newborn activities guide

6 Newborn Activities For Fast Development

1. Sensory Play

As your newborn can’t yet move the best way to include sensory play is to place baby on the floor, ideally, on an activity mat or soft covering (I love this one).

Baby gyms are ideal for this kind of set up as they are designed to stimulate your baby’s senses.

Don’t just put your baby down and leave them too it. Interact with your baby and the toys to show to help become curious about play.

You don’t need to shell out lots of money to have sensory play with your baby. Simple tactile toys or objects with a variety of textures such as feather, fabrics, mirrors, and bubbles can be used to stimulate your baby’s senses.

Great ways to stimulate your baby’s sense during sensory play include

  • Gently touch your baby’s skin in various places
  • Moving the objects to different positions for baby to follow
  • Making noises with the objects

Praise your baby when they react movement such as a wriggle, kick, or grab. Positive feedback will let your baby know it’s good to move their body.

Stimulating your baby’s senses early in life gives them the confidence to want to explore as they grow.

I’d also recommend finding out what playgroups are available in your area. Weekly baby sensory groups are becoming a more popular and fun activity for you and your baby.

2. Tummy Time

If there is one activity to take away from this guide, I highly recommend that you practice tummy time with your baby.

Any good Physiologists will advise you it’s the one thing you should do to aid your baby’s movement from birth. Another benefit is that it prevents your baby from developing flat head syndrome.

Tummy Time strengthens your baby’s back, neck and arm muscles, which are all vital for learning to roll crawl and walk. You are giving them a head start if you practice regular tummy time from birth.

Some physios recommend you encourage your older children to continue tummy play as it’s so beneficial to their mobility. Starting this good habit early will prevent you from having to deal with the effects of poor posture caused by screen time as your baby grows.

For newborns, tummy time can be trickier as they have poor head control. I would recommend lots of skin to skin on your chest until your baby starts to hold their head up.

Once you’re both ready to progress to the floor, place a rolled up towel under your baby’s arms and entertain them for around 10 minutes on their tummy.

For a newborn baby, try this 2-3 times a day and build up longer periods.

Your baby may cry in this position at first; often it’s because they cannot see you. My advice is to keep close and continue for short bouts in the day. Their muscles will quickly strengthen, and they’ll find it easier each time.

3. Reading

Reading to your newborn is a fantastic way to spend your time together. You probably already know that reading is a great way to relax your baby, especially if you read to your bump during pregnancy.

What I love most about reading is that it can be used to stimulate your baby and act as a strong foundation for imaginative play.

When you use word combined with movement, it has a powerful impact on your babies learning by improving memory and language skills.

By over animating words, facial expression, and body language as you read, your baby is learning all about emotional, behavioral and social cues.

For your baby, it’s fun and entertaining while you develop their communication skills. It also allows you to let your hair down from the stress of being a new parent.

At first, it will feel silly as your baby will have no idea what you are saying. But I guarantee your baby will be captivated by the sounds, tone, and movements that you create from the words.  Your baby will learn to love books as they grow.

4. Baby Yoga

Practicing baby yoga is a great way for you and your baby to learn about moving together. It’s also a fantastic way for you to squeeze some gentle postpartum exercise into your busy day.

Yoga is a fantastic way for your baby to learn about movement through your gentle touch and interaction of guided rhythms.

Yoga teaches you and your baby confidence and builds strength. Another huge postpartum benefit is encouraging mindfulness to cope with your huge life transition to parenthood.

You can learn how to practice baby yoga at classes in your area, online classes or even free videos on YouTube.

If yoga isn’t your thing, you may find baby massage has many of the same relaxing and bonding benefits for your baby.

Both baby yoga and baby massage are great newborn activities which you can add to a bedtime routine for your baby to help them unwind.

5. Walking

Being active yourself is a great way to be a good role model for your baby.

Walking is a nice gentle exercise that most moms can do after birth (unless medically advised not to).

Again it’s another great activity which helps you and your baby to keep active during the day.

Being outdoors really helps to stimulate your baby with sights, sounds, smells, noise, and daylight. All of those experiences help your baby to start developing a better understanding of day and night which encourages healthy sleep rhythms as they grow.

I highly recommend using a baby carrier to walk with your newborn as it gives that added extra bonus of closeness.

You can use a newborn stroller if you prefer, but make sure it’s in a parent facing position. It’s important your baby is aware you are there, especially when outdoors, so they feel safe exploring all these strange new senses.

6. Dancing

Have you ever danced with someone and felt a powerful connection to them afterward?

The experience of touch and rhythm why dancing is the perfect activity for helping you to bond with your newborn.

Holding your baby as you move will give your baby the familiar sensation of being in your womb. That will make them feel safe, secure and loved.

Babywearing is an excellent way for you to put on your favorite music dance around your house with your newborn baby and relieve a little stress.

The magic of dance is that you can make it as stimulating or as gentle as you want.

Dance can help your baby to learn vital skills such as balance, coordination, and sequencing. Plus, if you like to sing along to the music, your baby will pick up lots of language skills.

How Active is Your Newborn Baby?

You may be thinking that it’s not important to introduce activities until your baby is older.

Lack of activity won’t harm your baby. However, introducing stimulation as early as possible is best for your baby’s development.

Now I’m not saying you have to constantly entertain your newborn with their every waking minute. Let’s be realistic, you’re exhausted and need to deal with things like that load of laundry that’s been piling up over the last few days.

Who knew a tiny baby could create so much laundry!?

What I am saying is you need to be mindful of times when your baby is experiencing prolonged periods of inactivity.

Recognizing these times can help you to add even 10 minutes of activities for your newborn into your day.

These are the most common periods of newborn inactivity that can build up quickly during the day.

Car seats

Have you ever thought about how much time your baby spends in a car seat?

From the moment you strap them in, run a few errands around the store and then drive back home it can quickly add up to a few hours every day.

It’s so easy with modern day travel systems you can simply click the car seat onto the stroller frame.

Surprisingly most parent also doesn’t know about the 2 hours rule that most manufacturers have for using a baby car seat.

A baby should not spend more than 2 consecutive hours in a car seat in 24 hours.

The main reason for this is due to:

  • Poor spine development
  • Chin to chest positioning causing restricted air flow
  • Overheating
  • Long periods of limited movement

The best way to tackle this by recognizing that your car seat should only be used for the car. For newborns, a bassinet stroller or a baby carrier is best when you are walking out and about.

Baby Bouncers

Unfortunately, our busy modern lives mean that placing your baby in a bouncer for a few hours allows you to get on with errands around the home.

It’s so easy to get caught up doing your normal day to day things that all those hours your baby spends in their their bouncer or swing chair start to add up.

Don’t fret about putting your baby down to get a few things done. Just remember the rule of a little interaction every hour if your baby is awake.

Taking baby out of the bouncer and interacting with them floor play or tummy time for a few minutes is great.

I recommend using a baby carrier and talking to your baby about the little tasks you are doing. It sounds silly, but it really works for connecting with your baby and helping them learn about their environment.

Screen Time

Tv’s, tablets, smartphones all make it so easy to have access to 24hr entertainment for your baby.

But excessive media use in children is causing huge problems with inactivity in children.

Did you know that apart from video chatting the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend no screen time for any baby under 18 months?

Starting good habits in early childhood is a great way to set rules and boundaries around media use for your baby, so it doesn’t become an issue as they grow.

How Often Should I be Doing Newborn Activities?

There is no set recommendation for physical activity for your newborn baby.

With that in mind, it is recommended that you don’t let your newborn go for longer than one hour of inactivity when they are awake.

The key for a newborn activity is doing it in short 10-minute bursts of play a few times throughout the day.

Try to slowly build up period of activity as your baby grows and can move around more.

The newborn activities I’ve recommended above are beneficial for your baby’s development. Although your baby may need to build up a tolerance for some activities.

If they show signs of overstimulation, stop and try again at a more relaxed time of day.

Starting and continuing the activities when it’s tough will pay off if you persevere with them.

I know it can be difficult to continue when you don’t see instant benefits. However, as your baby grows you will notice that your hard work will pay off with their development.

Avoiding Overstimulation

Activities for a newborn are a tricky balance because your baby can become easily overstimulated.

Too much activity can cause your baby to become unsettled. This can be caused by sensory overload including sounds, noise, and touch.

You may notice these cues soon after baby is born and you lots of friends and family over to visit. After being passed around for cuddles your baby can become unsettled after too much handling.

If your baby becomes overstimulated, they need some quiet time.

The best way to achieve this is you holding baby skin to skin so they can hear the rhythmic beat of your heart. This gives them the sense of calm they had when in your womb.

Baby Play Cues

Wrapping It Up

Adding a few newborn activities into your day is a fantastic way to boost your baby’s development from birth.

Keeping active has so many health benefits for your family.

It doesn’t need to be overwhelming for you or baby. Little and often is the key.

You soon find your hard work is paying off as you watch your baby grow and interact with you more.

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