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version 2.2 september 2007 eat... sleep... poop... repeat. a journey to motherhood & the first six months ............ CAUTION: unsolicited advice included take it or leave it the very best advice is to just find what works for you, and enjoy every moment and milestone. ............ having recently survived the first six months of motherhood, trying a little bit of everything, i wanted to share my findings with other mamas from the perspective of being helpful, not critical Look for the rattle throughout this little document and you will find corresponding editable spreadsheets and helpful extras on the enclosed CD that go with that topic. this is a work in progress, so if you have a suggestion, interesting tidbit or amazing discovery, please fill me in! firstname.lastname@example.org eat. top ten power foods for pregnant and nursing women. BERRIES DARK LEAFY GREENS These colorful fruits top the charts with their Dark leafy greens, such as kale and collards, are antioxidant content and have been shown to nutrient powerhouses, containing calcium, fiber, help with brain, eye and vascular health. and vitamins A and C, and also rate high on the Antioxidants are compounds that protect antioxidant scale. Dark leafy greens are also an cells from free radical damage. Free radicals important source of folic acid. The U.S. Food are highly reactive particles - induced by and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends such things as cigarette smoking, sunlight and that all women in their childbearing years excessive exercise - that damage cells throughout consume 400 micrograms (or 0.4 mg) of folic the body by triggering oxidative reactions. Berries acid every day to help prevent neural tube defects also provide fiber, which is beneficial for pregnant in their children. Other foods high in folic acid women. include oranges, beans, asparagus, avocado, and One way to ensure you are eating the berries. Many vitamin supplements contain folic acid recommended servings and variety of fruits as well. and vegetables is to eat a colorful diet. Most Dark leafy greens are an easy-to-absorb experts agree that the colors in foods, also source of non-dairy calcium. This is because known as phytochemicals, impart numerous they contain the optimal phosphorus to health benefits. As a general rule, have at calcium ratio to enhance calcium absorption. least three natural colors on your plate at Important exceptions to note are spinach and each meal. Swiss chard, which contain compounds called oxalates that interfere with calcium absorption. AVOCADO Although spinach and Swiss chard are nourishing foods, do not think of them as a significant source Enjoyed by many due to their smooth texture and of minerals. Eat with a little fat for better absorption mild flavor, avocadoes are an excellent source of of nutrients. Add a little vinegar for optimum potassium, folic acid, and vitamin C. Nutrient-dense availability of minerals. avocados also contain healthy monounsaturated fats. Other Non-Dairy Sources of Calcium: Fortified orange juice, sesame seeds, almonds, dried Avocadoes contain significant quantities of the fruit, corn tortillas, tofu, sardines with bones, antioxidant lutein, which has been shown to legumes, fortified foods and supplements. be beneficial for eye health. FATTY FISH SWEET POTATOES Fatty fish, such as salmon, sardines, black cod, Sweet potatoes have a stellar nutrition profile. They anchovies, herring and trout, provide omega-3 fatty are an excellent source of vitamin A (as colorful acids, which are the primary components of brain beta carotene) and a good source of vitamin E. tissue and are vital for brain and visual development. By eating sweet potatoes with a little fat, you will Studies have shown women who eat fish during increase the absorption of nutrients, including pregnancy have children with better visual acuity, beta carotene. Be sure to eat the skin for higher IQ, better in language and communication added nutritional benefits. skills, and decreased rates of allergies and asthma. The FDA recommends that pregnant and LEGUMES lactating women have no more than 12 ounces Legumes, or dried beans, are a vegetarian source (2 servings) of low mercury fish a week. of protein and are fiber-rich. Many varieties are Pregnant and nursing mothers are also advised an excellent source of iron, folate and magnesium. to avoid larger, long-lived fish with more dark meat These are an important source of minerals and - particularly tuna, shark, swordfish, king mackerel nutrients for vegetarians. and tilefish - as they contain high mercury levels In a recent study, certain colored beans — including which may harm a baby’s developing nervous kidney beans, pinto bean, and black beans — were system. As an alternative to eating fatty fish, fish oil found to contain high levels of health-promoting supplements that have been processed to remove antioxidants. contaminants are available. LAMB NUTS An excellent source of vitamin B12 and a good A satisfying, versatile and nutritious food, nuts source of highly accessible iron and zinc, lamb provide fiber, vitamin E and magnesium. Specific provides important nutrients for pregnant women. types of nuts have their own nutrition specialty; Zinc, in particular, is vitally important for growth for example, walnuts have omega-3 fatty acids and and development, because it is required for cell almonds provide calcium. division, DNA/RNA synthesis, and protein synthesis. Although nuts are high in fat, they contain primarily Adequate zinc levels also ensure optimal bone monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat, and have growth in developing babies and are necessary for not been shown to promote weight gain when eaten immunity. Because zinc is difficult to absorb from in moderation — about a small handful five times a plant foods, you may consider supplementing if week. You can also try a variety of nut butters like following a vegetarian or vegan diet. almond butter and cashew butter. Minerals compete with each other for absorption in the small intestine. It is best to eat calcium-rich foods and zinc-rich foods For further information on these powerfoods and at different times for optimal absorption of recipes, visit http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/ these important nutrients. healthinfo/wholebaby/powerfoods.html Vegetarian sources of zinc: legumes (especially adzuki, navy beans, and split peas), nuts and seeds (especially pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and THINGS TO AVOID! cashews), whole grains (fortified cereal and wheat During pregnancy, the foods you eat have an effect on germ), fortified soy foods, supplements. your developing baby. It is important to be aware of foods that may present hidden consequences. Avoid these YOGURT foods when pregnant and nursing: The need for calcium increases to Unpasteurized dairy products and unpasteurized approximately 1300 milligrams a day juices, which may contain bacteria dangerous to a during pregnancy. If you are not obtaining developing baby. this quantity from your diet or vitamin supplement, your body will meet your baby’s Anything containing Caffeine-including green tea, calcium needs by pulling from your own supply, alcoholic beverages and cigarettes. which makes calcium-rich foods like yogurt, dark leafy greens, sardines with bones, and calcium- Green tea contains a compound — epigallocatechin fortified orange juice important at this time. gallate — that blocks the enzyme necessary for folic acid to be utilized in the cells. Folic acid is needed for In addition to calcium, yogurt is a beneficial cells to divide, which is especially important during the fermented food that provides probiotic bacteria, critical periods of growth and development during the which promotes intestinal and immune health first trimester of pregnancy. Without folic acid, cell for baby and mom. Probiotic bacteria are division is slowed down. In fact, inadequate intakes cultures of beneficial bacteria found in of folic acid have been linked to an increased risk healthy gut microflora. Yogurt, probiotics and of giving birth to an infant with neural tube defects. fermented foods help us to keep our intestinal While green tea can be beneficial at other times, ecosystems healthy. to be safe, pregnant women should avoid green tea throughout their pregnancy. EGGS When it comes to value and high quality nutrition, Raw or undercooked meat, poultry and seafood, including eggs are a good choice since they contain important oysters and sushi, which can carry parasites or foodborne nutrients for pregnant women, including vitamin illness. A, iron, and protein. Protein needs increase by 10 Some species of fish, including tuna, shark, swordfish, king grams daily for pregnant women, and an adequate mackerel and tilefish, due to their mercury content. protein intake often helps to temper sugar cravings. Note that most of the nutrition in eggs is found in Processed foods and “junk foods” with artificial flavors, the yolk. colors, preservatives and hydrogenated oils, especially For extra nutrition, look for DHA-enriched eggs. fried chips and French fries. Trans fat-containing DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid important for brain hydrogenated oils prevent the synthesis and inhibit the development. The chickens that produce these eggs utilization of the long chained omega-3 fatty acids-EPA have been given a special fed containing marine and DHA-that are vital for brain development. algae, which increases DHA levels in the egg. sleep. get plenty of it before baby comes. A few tidbits to study and sleep on, before baby arrives. I also recommend signing up for a weekly update email from babycenter.com or similar. I really enjoyed reading about baby’s development in the womb and what was going on inside me. So interesting and miraculous. Exercise is Key. In addition to Kegels, Yoga, Pilates and Swimming are all great choices for prenatal fitness and keeping your pelvic floor strong for birth and easier transition back to your own body once baby is born. NATURAL SOOTHERS B Vitamins and Ginger can soothe morning sickness and nausea. Increase your B Vitamin intake and try some Ginger Tea or nibble on some candied Ginger. Raspberry leaves have been used for thousands of years to encourage easy childbirth and stimulate milk production. Try a Raspberry Leaf tea. PRENATAL INTERVIEWS It’s worth it to interview several OB’s, Doula’s, Midwives and Pediatricians during this 40 weeks. It is important to choose providers that you feel comfortable with. Other things to research and get in the works? Childcare, Education Savings Funds, Life Insurance and a Will. at 4 months in the womb, babies can hear ... sing them a song! I still sing Go to Sleep Little Baby from the Oh! Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack almost every night. It works! What can you do to make life Domestic maintenence easier once baby arrives? Here’s a Create a Chore Calendar checklist (for watering plants, etc.) Get a tune up/oil change for car Stock up on household supplies: Take your pet to the vet Dish Detergent Mild Laundry Detergent Personal Care Healthy Frozen & Canned Foods Get Prescriptions Filled Healthy Snacks Schedule Hair and Dentist Appts. Napkins Paper Plates Baby Items Paper Towels Keep all instruction manuals and Pet Food receipts for baby gear in an easily Plastic Ziplocs accessible folder Shampoo Toilet Paper Plan birth announcements and Toothpaste pre-address envelopes Streamline your finances Prepare the Nursery balance the checkbook buy stamps Wash and fold all baby’s clothing set up bills for auto-pay and linens get online banking access Here starts my buy-for-baby list and my suggested brands and notes. I have included a blank version of this chart on the enclosed disc so that you can keep tabs on your own search for the perfect baby gear. The stars mark can’t-live-without things. ITEM BEST BRANDS NOTES NURSERY BASICS we chose the stokke sleepi b/c it converts from bassinet, stokke, oeuf, netto, duc- to crib, to jr bed, having the potential to last to 3+ years of Crib age. a con would be that it is “egg” shaped so sheets are duc, litto, ooba specialized. love it nonetheless. Smoke Detector NURSERY EXTRAS phillips the hightest rated one that has a “walkie-talkie” like feature and many others, but it is expensive. i would Baby Monitor phillips, mobi, angelcare be sure and check customer ratings on the one you are looking at. there are ones being sold in europe that look better, but i can’t seem to find them for sale to the US. stokke, arm’s reach, in hindsight, I would have gone for a cradle instead. it’s all Bassinet/Co-Sleeper about motion with the little ones and sleep. those mama’s lullaboo, cariboo that have a co-sleeper love it. CD Player munchkin munchkin makes an iPod dock for the crib pottery barn kids, i think combining this as a topper for a dresser/chest Changing Table makes the most sense eGiggle crane makes fun ones such as a frog or a pig and they are Humidifier crane ultrasonic, so no filter to change. though i hear a vaporizer is really best. Laundry Hamper good for keeping you and baby asleep once you finally make it to dreamland. cloud b makes an on-the-go sleep * Noisemaker brookstone, cloud b sheep which is great for travel. brookstone is expensive but has more sounds. sleep is priceless. Nightlight this is completely baby-dependant, but nice, no essential Pacifiers soothie, avent, koeka ... if they work for your baby, koeka makes a tiny blanket to help prevent losing it & keep baby happily sucking i like the slipcovered dream rocker b/c the cover is pottery barn kids, removable and washable. i felt like the common wooden * Rocking Chair/Glider nurseryworks, gaiam gliders are two narrow and less comfy for nursing. definitely invest $10-20 in a swiss ball, made for exercise, but excellent for bouncing baby to sleep when all else fails brand is not important, but we had a memory foam wedge with two pieces to hold baby in place, but check Sleeping Positioner zakeez.com out this Zaky thing. they are truly those extra hands that mama is always wishing for! LINENS Crib/Bassinet Sheets gus&max, posh tots Recieving Blankets baby gap, under the nile nice thick organic cotton Waterproof Mattress Pad Crib Set/Bumper dwell baby babybonkie, miracle an absolute must, one of the five S’s! especially for the * Swaddling Blankets blanket, swaddle houdini-babies that can wiggle out of even the best swaddle, which can startle them from a nice deep sleep designs, aden+anais Mobile haba, flensted Crib Mirror babies love faces, especially their own ITEM BEST BRANDS NOTES GEAR BASICS O.R.E., petunia pickle love the foldout, attached changer and the fun modern designs, i felt like my original diaper bag was too big Diaper Bag bottom, skip*hop, 2red- after the first six months and downsized to the versatile hens, fleurville skip*hop duo - love it. * Car Seat/Base britax, peg perego choose well here - this is your child’s life. lucky-baby/goo-ga style is great for certain positions and mobywrap, lucky-baby, stages, but over-all the mobywrap is hands down the most * Sling goo-ga comfortable and versatile. baby’s favorite spot is right next to mom and you still have two hands! HELPFUL EXTRAS nice to be free of lugging the whole diaper bag Quick Changer skip hop pronto sometimes, we keep ours in the stroller different than a sling, these have their advantages and applications as well, such as quick shopping runs and Baby Carrier ergo, baby bjorn even hikes or city adventures. i found the baby bjorn to be quite uncomfortable once baby got over 15lbs. Backpack Carrier deuter, sherpani for backcountry adventures, overnights, toddlers bugaboo, maclaren, i survived not having a travel system, but i can certainly Stroller/Travel System see the advantage to being able to snap the carseat on to bumbleride, bob, orbit the stroller and go. rule #1: never wake a sleeping baby! Car Sunshades the chariot is superior to the burley in design if you want to be able to convert from jog stroller, to bike trailer and Sport Trailer chariot, burley more, if you only need a bike trailer, save the expense and go burley love the bumbo seat, builds core and enables baby to sit Seat svan, bumbo seat up as soon as they have the neck strength lights and sounds, high-contrast patterns and textures are Activity Gym kushies, haba what to look for here different babies seem to show preference to the vast offerings in baby entertainment. some prefer the johnny Swing/Exersaucer/ evenflo, svan, haba, jump up, some an exersaucer, some like to swing or bounce and vibrate, borrowing these types of items to Bouncy Seat maclaren experiement or getting them used is a good route for these items, their value is fleeting and seemingly ever- changing as well. Pack N Play graco, phil & ted look for light and easy up/down Music putumayo manhattan toy, haba, watch out for certain plastics. love the organic cotton Rattles/Teethers teething veggies by under the nile under the nile melissa & doug, haba, don’t go overboard, mine is just as happy, if not happier, Toys with a spoon, my watch, a lint roller, or a penny or two in bilibo one of those plastic easter eggs too many good stories to list. goodnight moon and my Board Books many colored days by dr. seuss are favorites Storage/Toy Box without another idea where to list these items, they are itzbeen, days ago, modern mommy helpers. itzbeen makes a timer for all Gadgets of babys functions so you know how long it’s been! days strollometer ago helps keep up with baby food spoilage, and the strollometer keeps track of all the miles you’ve covered I always said I wouldn’t be “that” mom that parked her kids in front of the electronic babysitter. BUT ... From a VERY young age, babies are mesmerized by Baby Einstein DVDs, I use that to my advantage. Sometimes you just need to take a shower! ITEM BEST BRANDS NOTES FEEDING the birdseye cloth diaper is so soft and you can never have too many of these handy. they make cute ones, with * Burp Cloths gerber fun fabrics, but i think it hinders their usefulness, save them for outings so you know it is yours glamourmom, majamas, i liked the simplicity of the crossover style. the Nursing Bras/Tops glamourmom tanks have easy hidden access. bella materna i think in the beginning you have to use the disposable pads to make sure your milk supply is in and steady. i * Nursing Pads lilypadz found the lilypadz to be irreplacable once you are past that stage. great for nursing, tummy time and proping baby when Nursing Pillow boppy they are really small born free, think baby, it’s nice to pump and let dad feed sometimes. plastics Bottles should be watched here too medela, avent Sterilizer we just use the medela microwave sterilizing bags medela seems to be the brand of choice and we have Breast Pump medela been happy with everything they make Storage Bottles/Bags purelan 100% lanolin, don’t have to wash off before Nipple Cream medela feeding. crucial in the beginning to keep sore nipples at bay HELPFUL EXTRAS Dishwasher Basket munchkin Drying Rack skip*hop Insulated Carrier fleurville, skip*hop Bottle Brush these run the gamut, i found the soft cotton ones nice for Bibs drooling once baby gets to be about 4mos, so they don’t soak the outfit you just put on this was an essential in my bag so that i could actually get out of the house and feed anywhere on the go. * Nursing Apron/Poncho bebeaulait, L’oved baby somewhere around the 6mos mark it ceased to work b/c baby gets distracted by their surroundings and it was best to just be off by myself in a quiet calm feed-friendly spot love the tripp-trapp - another thing that grows with baby and comes in great colors, for on-the-go meals fisher High Chair svan, stokke price makes a good booster with a tray that goes in the dishwasher and the me too chair suspends on the table The 5 S’s as suggested by Dr. Harvey Karp in The Happiest Baby on the Block Swaddle Tight swaddling provides the continuous touching Swing Newborns are used to the swinging motions that were and support the fetus experienced while still in Mom’s womb. present when they were still in Mom’s womb. Every step mom Side/Stomach You place your baby, while holding her, either took, every movement caused a swinging motion for your on her left side to assist in digestion, or on her stomach to baby. After your baby is born, this calming motion, which was provide reassuring support. Once your baby is happily asleep, so comforting and familiar, is abrubtly taken away. Your baby you can safely put her in her crib, on her back. misses the motion and has a difficult time getting used to it Shush These sounds imitate the continual whooshing sound not being there. “It’s disorienting and unnatural,” says Karp. made by the blood flowing through arteries near the womb. Rocking, car rides, and other swinging movements all can help. This white noise can be in the form of a vacuum cleaner, a hair Suck “Sucking has its effects deep within the nervous dryer, a fan and so on. The good news is that you can easily system,” notes Karp, “and triggers the calming reflex and save the motors on your household appliances and get a white releases natural chemicals within the brain.” This “S” can be noise CD or Noisemaker which can be played over and over accomplished with bottle, breast, pacifier or even a finger. again with no worries. ITEM BEST BRANDS NOTES CLOTH DIAPERING i tried to do cloth and found it to be inconvenient and leaky (wet), but i think if i could have invested in the Diaper Covers fuzzi bunz, kissaluvs kissaluvs liners or fuzzi bunz, it would have yielded more favorable results Pre-Folded Cloth if this route works for you, the unbleached organic kind are probably best, or find a service near you to have them Diapers washed and delivered to your door now, i did discover something really different and * Something Different g diapers innovative - g diapers. these are really nice cotton wraps with flushable/compostable liners. check them out! DISPOSABLE DIAPERS pampers are the only ones we found to fit the tiniest * Newborn Diapers pampers swaddlers babies (under 10lbs) – i tried them all. they also NEVER leaked even with breastfed baby poop breastfed baby poop doesn’t really stink, so you may not Disposal System diaper champ need one of these right away BOTH Diaper Stacker Changing Pad Changing Pad Covers seventh generation, target soft cloth “sensitive” baby wipes are the best for Wipes the price, crappy wipes are no fun whan you have a big target poop to clean up diaper rash is inevitable at least once in baby’s life, we Diaper Cream weleda found the calendula creme to be best and have a home remedy for the worst of the worst (recipe on page 15) BATH never tried it myself, but they now make more of Infant Tub eurobath, washpod an upright “bucket” design for baby’s bath, looks & sounds innovative! Washcloths under the nile i thought these were the softest Hooded Towels Bath Wash california baby Shampoo burts bees i like the no-spill shampoo bar GROOMING keep a nail clipper or file in every nook and cranny! Nail Set baby’s nails grow so fast and then they claw their face and draw blood! Jason/Earth’s Best the extra rich calendula creme worked best, even on Lotion baby’s cradle cap Organic Baby apricot smells yummy and is good for right out of Oil burts bees, erbaviva the bath skin ask a pediatrician about using sunscreen on babies Sunscreen california baby, aveeno under 6mos. watch for parabens! A brand to stay away from in this category is Mustela. I loved it until I was informed that France is one of the few contries that allows cancer-causing Parabens in their products, bummer. ITEM BEST BRANDS NOTES WARDROBE Baby Hangers robeez/bobux are great leather shoes with fun designs for Booties robeez, zutano, bobux baby. zutano’s snap on fleece slippers are so soft. baby can’t kick or pull either of them off like socks smartwool, trumpette, babylegs aren’t truly socks, but are super fun and great for Socks gymboree, janie & jack, protecting knees during crawling stage. babylegs.net check for consignment stores in your area, this is a great Bunting/Snowsuit patagonia place to get this type of item Cardigan under the nile, gerber, Cotton/Knit Caps tea collection Cold Weather Hat everyone has a friend who knits these days, don’t they? under the nile, tiny birds can’t really have too many of these. i preferred the Long/Short Sleeve organics, gerber, old kimono/side-snap style to the over-the-head style for Onsies easier on/off navy, petit bateau the newborn size says “up to 7lbs” but they lasted until at least 10lbs. the elastic bottom was GREAT for the millions Pajamas/Gowns babyGap of diaper changes you do in the middle of the night with one eye slightly opened old navy, janie & jack, old navy is the best for good quality low cost clothes. babyGap and janie&jack offer nicer fabircs and things for Shirt & Pant Sets feathered baby, tea special occasions, they have really good deals when there collection is a sale going on. Sun Hat zutano, cabana life cloud b, zutano, david keep baby perfectly warm for sleeping, no blanket to kick Sleep Sack off or cause SIDS scares fussnegger, halo see kai run, stride rite, Shoes zappos.com has them all ecco, pedipeds, primigi if you plan on baby doing any type of water activity, which i recommend, an infant lifejacket is essential. make sure the “float” is only in front and behind the neck, this will PFD kent (amazon.com) ensure baby is positioned face up on her back in the water. kent is the only one i could find that seemed to be rated for infants under 20lbs. MEDICINE CABINET Zinc Oxide Thermometer Lotrimin Nasal Aspirator (Bulb) Hydrocortisone Oral Syringe Diaper Rash Creme (w/ Calendula) Heating Pad/Hot Water Bottle Tylenol Infant Drops Cotton Swabs Gas Relief Drops Nail Clippers Gripe Water Nail File Teething Tablets or Gel Tweezers Saline Nose Drops Cradle Cap Brush Dry Skin Lotion Boo-Boo Gel Pack (tiny tillia) ITEM BEST BRANDS NOTES REFERENCE + READING great for trouble-shooting, i recommend taking a class Nursing Mother’s during pregnancy so you’ll know what to expect, and take Breastfeeding advantage of any lactation consultant services at your Companion hospital we buy in to the whole attachment-parenting style for the most part, so the Sears books were helpful for us. you can The Baby Book (Sears), find any book that will tell you what you want to hear is Babycare Books Happiest Baby on the the right way. the right way is the way that works for you Block and your family. there is a happiest baby DVD out now that i’ve heard rave reviews about. especially good for the first 3mos. Let’s Sign, Early-Start Specific Books Potty Training No-Cry Sleep Solution, definitely find a sleep method that you agree with and Sleep Books find a book that will help you with that. no one book has Good Night, Sleep Tight the answer for you but they serve as a good baseline this one was personally empowering and gave me Childbirth Books Birthing from Within confidence as a mother that my body would know what to do when the time came Pregnancy Journal 40+ Weeks unique take on the search for a baby name, not just a list Baby Names The Baby Name Wizard of names to choose from MAGAZINES Junior: Pregnancy & Junior P&B is out of the UK, so the language is something Pregnancy to get used to, but I really liked the european perspective Baby, Fit Pregnancy Cookie, Junior: Cookie is a little on the upscale side, but i like to keep my Baby ear to the ground on the latest, hippest baby gear Pregnancy & Baby Wonder Time, Martha Both great for activities to do with your kids, art-related Preschoolers+ and otherwise. Martha is especially seasonal. Stewart Kids Parenting Child MEMORIES goodnight moon several favorite famous children’s books have a keepsake Milestone Book calendar which i found to be a great quick way to jot calendar down milestones as a busy mama Photo Album kolo Birth Announcements bird dog press of course i had to plug myself ;) Camera/Video Camera canon elph does both and is a great size Growth Chart eeboo I am an online shopper, so I have included a list of bookmarks for your surfing pleasure. To name a few favorites off the top of my head: Sparkability.net SpunkySprout.com MBeans.com eGiggle.com ModernSeed.com Oompa.com Amazon.com Wee Citizens poop. yes, it’s called labor, and you’ll be pooped. You can definitely worry too much over birth and labor. Now that I have experienced it, I for one spent way too much time pouring over information on this topic, probably out of fear. I wish I had skipped the birth plan and read more about what my path would The Birth Labyrinth be once baby arrived. trust your body – don’t hold on to fear – release On the next page, you will find my birthplan, which your emotions – let it happen went out the window as soon as the contractions started, but if you are still interested in formulating EARLY Labor 1-4cm one it can stand as an example and you can use the at home excitement included checklist to write your own. For the record, I usually lasts 12-18hrs listened to my body and gave birth on all fours: two efacing: thinning/softening of cervix pushes, done. Here are my notes from birth class, taught from a doula’s perspective. dialation: opening of cervix station: depthwise position of baby in the pelvis Be a part of the decision making process along the protect your energy way – during your pregnancy and during the birth take care of yourself process – don’t just let doctors and others tell you eat, walk, hydrate - TAKE A NAP! what to do, be informed and form your own opinions, it’s good practice for parenting. 4 - 1 - 1 When do you go to the hospital? Address your fears. Contractions 4 minutes apart PAIN “pain is fear escaping the body” Duration is 1 minute each Continuous for 1 hour focus on outcome factor in your mental state look to next moment laughter/music/art/chanting all other pain is something “wrong” ACTIVE Labor 4-8cm can be anywhere from 4-8hrs endorphins: laughter, exercise, toning, meditation position changes laborland: right-brained, intuitive massage, water, music, aromatherapy TRANSITION 8-10cm extremely intense typically this is the shortest lasting period mindset may change here affirmation, focus, ... soon to push Are you ready to push? let it build to feel pushy with EVERY contraction contractions will usually space out, you will have rest time. listen to your body the average first time mom pushes for 2 hours avoid tearing and episiotomy: start perineal massage at 36 weeks vitamin E oil, stretch and massage protein: 60-75g a day (reduce risk of preeclampsia) calcium (replace what baby depletes) HOORAY baby is out iron (help keep your energy up) APGAR score: 1min/5min vitamin c (strong cell membrane) based on: breath, reflex, color, muscle tone, heart herbs: raspberry leaf, nettles, oat straw placenta delivered within 45min hydrate, hydrate, hydrate baby starts rooting within 10-30min let them latch on! eat. some of my most treasured advice from another mama when i was pregnant was to read up on breastfeeding, it’s not as easy as it would seem. Breastfeeding is Best for Baby ... and You Mother’s Milk is the best and only food a child needs from 0 to 6 months. Breastmilk can help boost and infant’s immunity and has been shown to positively affect both baby and mom’s health. This perfect food is bursting with antibodies that sheild your newborn from ear, respiratory and other infections. First Foods : Starting Solids You can introduce solids between 4 and 6 Many herbs promote the flow of breastmilk. months of age, although it is advisable to Look for herb teas specific to nursing mothers. wait until closer to 6 because the earlier you Fenugreek is one herb that stimulates lactation. introduce other foods, the more likely you are to induce food allergies. Until baby is a year old, food should be Newborns typically eat 8 to 12 times in a 24- viewed as a way to explore new tastes and hour period. Breastfeeding works by Supply textures and join in mealtime, rather than their and Demand where baby tells your body primary source of nutrition. what she needs by feeding regularly and your body gets in sync. Before syncronization, Engorgement can happen and is painful. Try Start with foods low in protien and easy to continuing to feed as much as possible and hot digest, such as Bananas or Unsweetened showers or compresses can relieve some of Applesauce and other fruits. Next try the pressure until everything equals out. Vegetable like sweet potatoes, carrots, and Going the other direction, sometimes it can winter squash. After baby is tolerating these take longer for your milk to come in or you well and shows no sensitivity, try whole grain may have concern that there is not enough. If cereals such as oatmeal and brown rice. you nurse your newborn everytime they give you the cue, called On Demand Feeding, your After a year, when baby’s diet is more body will regulate and begin producing exactly developed, good sources of protein include what baby needs. Don’t let them fall asleep at yogurt, beans, and seed or nut butters (eg. the wheel, or pump if they can’t get organized tahini and almond butter) and become disinterested and everything will equal out sooner than you think. Rapley Method, popular in Europe seems to suggest skipping purees altogether Avocado Chunks : soft and slightly mashed Baby Carrots : well-cooked and thinly sliced Banana Chunks Beans : well-cooked and mashed Broccoli Florets : well-cooked Brown-rice Pasta : tossed with flaxseed oil Chickpeas : pureed O-shaped Cereal Pear Chunks : slightly mashed Sweet Potato : well-cooked Tofu Chunks sleep. this was and probably still is the toughest thing for us, ... that whole “sleep like a baby” saying is bogus. i wish that i had read up and made a plan for what to do when it became an issue. everyone told me i had to let baby cry-it-out, i didn’t believe in that theory, and i still don’t. sleep for us still isn’t perfect, but it is so much better and baby is learning to go to sleep on his own. ATTITUDE • PATIENCE • CONSISTENCY Sleep is not a state you can force baby into : Create an environment that allows sleep to overtake baby. TYPICAL BABY SLEEP CYCLE 20min initial REM light sleep <1hr deep sleep (3 Levels) 10min vulnerable period/re-entering REM sleep <1hr deep sleep (3 Levels) 10min vulnerable period/re-entering REM sleep (repeat) HOW MUCH DOES BABY NEED? Birth to Six Months : 14-18hrs Three to Six Months : 14-16hrs Six Months to 2 Years : 12-14hrs By Six Months : should be able to do 10-11hrs uninterrupted sleep at night By Seven Months : may drop to only two naps per day, instead of three SLEEP PHILOSOPHIES Ferber : let baby cry-it-out and check on them in increasing intervals Weissbluth : let baby cry as long as it takes West : sleep lady shuffle, teach them to sleep without you gradually with reassurance and slowly remove your presence Sears/Pantley : parent your child to sleep Develop a bedtime routine that gives consistent cues that it is time to go to sleep and stick with it. If you are patient, use the included spreadsheet to keep a diary of naps, activities, wakings and details, it will help you learn about your baby’s patterns and find problem spots to work on. cloud b is a company founded on helping babies sleep better, i love their sleep sheep, lullabags, and the twilight turtle. it’s worth reading the articles they have written on sleep. poop. not necessarily the most fun part of new parenthood, but it happens, and it’s nice to be prepared, especially when you get the surprise fountain. DIAPERS 101 We tried them all. And here’s what we found. CLOTH Traditional Cloth with Wraps : there are probably services in your area that offer packages for delivery and cleaning, it’s worth looking into, but the brand I tried seemed to leak a lot and caused even more laundry which was inconvienient. Fuzzi Bunz : some companies, like kissaluvs/ fuzzibunz make a super soft fleece diaper and then have wraps for water-proofness. it is a big investment for enough diapers to do this full- time, but i think this solves the leaky problem of traditional cloth. and disposables aren’t cheap. g diapers : now this is innovation! a cool cotton wrap with removable waterproof liner and inserts that are compostable and/or flushable. and it really works. Although it is difficult to gauge how many DISPOSABLE ounces of milk a breast-fed baby is getting, Pampers : best we found, and yes they are the you’ll know it’s enough if he seems satisfied most expensive. the only ones we could find to fit and has 6 to 8 wet diapers and 2 to 5 poopy our tiny <6lb baby. for at least the beginning when diapers a day. you are changing upwards of 10 diapers per day and the breasmilk poop is a bit on the loose side, Allow your child to get 10 to 15 min diaper- we never had a leak free daily sun without sunscreen to ensure Huggies : if there is explosive poop involved, go baby gets enough Vitamin D and a little dry- ahead and get the washing machine ready. you out time can save baby from diaper rash too. will have a mess. these will probably be okay once you start solids. DIAPER RASH Target & Luvs : didn’t fit well and have the same Sadly, I’ve never heard of any baby who problem as huggies escapes the first 6 months without getting Seventh Generation : these were probably 2nd this at least once. For everyday and mild favorite to the Pampers for their environmental redness, I love Weleda Calendula Diaper responsibility. A little less shapely than some of Creme (or anything with Calendula), but the others. when it’s bad, here’s the home remedy that will wipe it out: 2 parts Zinc Oxide to 1 part Hydrocortisone and 1 part Lotrimin mix and use small baby food jar or similar to store. Use up to 3x per day or put on right before bed and you will see quick results. you can learn a lot from baby’s bowel movements. it may be something you’d like to forget as soon as it’s over, but tracking input and ouput is sometimes helpful. love. of course this is the most important thing of all. but i don’t I leave you with this. It’s worth the read. have to tell you that, it will come naturally. Anna Quindlen, Newsweek Columnist and Author has this to say about Motherhood: All my babies are gone now. I say this not in sorrow but in disbelief. I take great satisfaction in what I have today: three almost-adults, two taller than I am, one closing in fast. Three people who read the same books I do and have learned not to be afraid of disagreeing with me in their opinion of them, who sometimes tell vulgar jokes that make me laugh until I choke and cry, who need razor blades and shower gel and privacy, who want to keep their doors closed more than I like. Who, miraculously, go to the bathroom, zip up their jackets and move food from plate to mouth all by themselves. Like the trick soap I bought for the bathroom with a rubber ducky at its center, the baby is buried deep within each, barely discernible except through the unreliable haze of the past. Everything in all the books I once poured over is finished for me now. Penelope Leach., T. Berry Brazelton., Dr. Spock. The ones on sibling rivalry and sleeping through the night and early-childhood education, have all grown obsolete. Along with Goodnight Moon and Where the Wild Things Are, they are battered, spotted, well used. But I suspect that if you flipped the pages dust would rise like memories. What those books taught me, finally, and what the women on the playground taught me, and the well-meaning relations -- what they taught me, was that they couldn’t really teach me very much at all. Raising children is presented at first as a true-false test, then becomes multiple choice, until finally, far along, you realize that it is an endless essay. No one knows anything. One child responds well to positive reinforcement, another can be managed only with a stern voice and a timeout. One child is toilet trained at 3, his sibling at 2. When my first child was born, parents were told to put baby to bed on his belly so that he would not choke on his own spit-up. By the time my last arrived, babies were put down on their backs because of research on sudden infant death syndrome. To a new parent this ever- shifting certainty is terrifying, and then soothing. Eventually you must learn to trust yourself. Eventually the research will follow. I remember 15 years ago poring over one of Dr. Brazelton’s wonderful books on child development, in which he describes three different sorts of infants: average, quiet, and active. I was looking for a sub-quiet codicil for an 18-month old who did not walk. Was there something wrong with his fat little legs? Was there something wrong with his tiny little mind? Was he developmentally delayed, physically challenged? Was I insane? Last year he went to China. Next year he goes to college. He can talk just fine. He can walk, too. Every part of raising children is humbling, too. Believe me, mistakes were made. They have all been enshrined in the, ”Remember-When-Mom-Did Hall of Fame.” The outbursts, the temper tantrums, the bad language – mine, not theirs. The times the baby fell off the bed. The times I arrived late for preschool pickup. The nightmare sleepover. The horrible summer camp. The day when the youngest came barreling out of the classroom with a 98 on her geography test, and I responded, “What did you get wrong?”. (She insisted I include that.) The time I ordered food at the McDonald’s drive-through speaker and then drove away without picking it up from the window. (They all insisted I include that.) I did not allow them to watch the Simpsons for the first two seasons. What was I thinking? But the biggest mistake I made is the one that most of us make while doing this. I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of the three of them, sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages 6, 4 and 1. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less. Even today I’m not sure what worked and what didn’t, what was me and what was simply life. When they were very small, I suppose I thought someday they would become who they were because of what I’d done. Now I suspect they simply grew into their true selves because they demanded in a thousand ways that I back off and let them be. The books said to be relaxed and I was often tense, matter-of-fact and I was sometimes over the top. And look how it all turned out. I wound up with the three people I like best in the world, who have done more than anyone to excavate my essential humanity. That’s what the books never told me. I was bound and determined to learn from the experts. It just took me a while to figure out who the experts were.
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