Category: Maternity

Love That New Baby Smell

Posted on Jan 1, 2014 by 1 Comment

My youngest child just turned ten and my youngest grandchild started school this year. It’s been awhile since I enjoyed that new baby smell.

Oh, guys can have their new car smell. I think there is even a car scent thing you can have put in your car to keep it smelling new. Still, it has nothing on that undefinable, indescribable new baby smell. It is just Heaven.

Well, here’s an interesting idea from a study in Frontiers in Psychology. According to research, that newborn baby smell kicks the pleasure center of a mom’s brain into overdrive. It is literally intoxicating, and it doesn’t matter whether that baby is yours or someone else’s.

Researchers studied 30 women, half who had recently given birth and half who had never had a baby. The women were in a brain scanner and then surrounded with the smell of a newborn baby or fresh air. All of the women reported that the newborn scent was wonderful but the response in the brains of the mothers was much more intense than in the brains of the women who had never given birth.

They suspect that research with men will result in similar conclusions.

It’s no wonder that many women experience a sharp drop in libido after birth! Their pleasure centers are satiated. The research just proves something that I always knew was true. Babies are crazy addictive.

Do you think that the research is valid? Do you have a thing for that newborn baby scent.

photo credit: comedy_nose via photopin cc

Ballerina Dances Through Her Pregnancy

Posted on Dec 24, 2013 by No Comments

Exercise during pregnancy is good for you and for your baby. Often pregnancy means modifying our routine, but ballerina Mary Helen Bowers has danced throughout her pregnancy with her doctor’s blessing and documented her ever-changing body on Instagram.

Sometimes when I hear about women weightlifting, or running a marathon when pregnant, I just about can’t comprehend it. I was a walker and watched my diet and that was enough for me!

The rule of thumb is that if you are active before pregnancy, you can continue that activity in moderation. For Bowers, who danced 10 years with the New York City Ballet and now runs a company by the name of Ballet Beautiful, her pregnancy was naturally incorporated in her routine.

“I’ve really been amazed by how active I’ve been able to be and how much my body has been able to do. It’s a beautiful time. You feel connected to your body on a level like never before.” – Mary Helen Bowers via Today.

Her company is more than a dance studio, though. The 33-year-old offers ballet-inspired fitness training which features targeted exercises designed to sculpt and tone. Bowers has used these moves to maintain her strength and grace as a ballerina and she offers online classes and streaming Blast videos along with her live classes.

This is one form of “exercise” that strengthens the core, is not hard on the joints, and helps to sculpt muscles. I’ve always admired the willowing ballerina form, and while I don’t see myself looking quite like that, I think I may just look into her online classes to see if that can work for me. If you watch her video it is inspiring!

Photo credits: Pregnant Model 71

Cook Up a Baby Shower

Posted on Nov 28, 2013 by No Comments

Having had eight kids, I have had a lot of baby showers held in my (and my baby’s) honor. They almost always go the same way whether it is the first child or the fifteenth.

There is a meet and greet as the thing gets started, then there are a few games, then cake, then opening gifts. Sometimes the last two are switched. It’s great to get things you are going to need and it’s even better to feel the love of your friends surrounding you.

Once the baby shower is done and you have fourteen boxes of newborn diapers and 167 onesies, life gets back to your new normal. That usually means hectic.

One of the most difficult things about a new baby, to me anyway, is getting a meal on the table. Once I started throwing baby showers instead of showing up at them, I decided to have a different kind of shower entirely. No gifts.

Not one box of diapers, not one onesie, and not even a game of get the pacifier in the baby bottle. The shower was held at the new mom’s house and we brought meals for the freezer. Thirty women attending a baby shower with two freezer meals each is two months’ worth of meals that can be put on the table without any stress at all.

Ask Questions

Of course, there are things you have to know. Make a sheet with the following questions on it and then get the new mom to answer them. Give a copy to each attendee as soon as possible.

  • What kind of freezer do you have and how much room is in it currently?
  • Are there any food allergies in your house?
  • Are there any foods or ingredients that your family dislikes?
  • Are there any special dietary rules?
  • Do you have favorite foods?
  • Do you have a microwave (Odd as it seems, some people don’t!)

Create Meals

Have everyone who is coming write down what they are making so you don’t end up with 47 batches of spaghetti. Here are some tips for making it work —

  • There are plenty of freezer recipes on the Internet. Just Google terms like, once a month cooking, make ahead meals,  freezer meals, OAMC and you should have a plethora of recipes to choose from as well as some excellent how-to articles.
  • If freezer space is very limited, you can freeze many meals flat in a large freezer bag. When stored, it takes up a lot less space than a casserole dish!
  • Try to keep the containers square or rectangle. It’s really hard to store round containers in a freezer if you are trying to be efficient.
  • Write the instructions on a 3 x 5 card, slip it into a small freezer bag and freeze it in with the food. The small freezer bag will protect the card and the instructions will be easy to find and follow.
  • Use containers that don’ t have to be given back. Aluminum pans, freezer bags, or glass casserole dishes that cost a dollar at a garage sale all work great.

Have Fun

There’s just something about having this type of baby shower that was always even more special than a regular one. Still serve cake, still laugh and have a good time, but leave knowing you gave the new mom the best gift of all — a little extra rest.

photo credit: Gamma Man via photopin cc

Did Cosmetic Surgery Help Kim Kardashian Weight Loss?

Posted on Nov 26, 2013 by No Comments

Kim Kardashian is tweeting mad over rumors that she underwent cutting-edge cosmetic procedures to get her figure back following the birth of her daughter.

The 33-year-old Kardashian has said she’s lost 50 pounds since the birth of North West by following the Atkins Diet, but a Life & Style magazine report suggests she didn’t achieve that weight loss without some extra help. The magazine reports that they have proof that the star has been getting secret cutting-edge cosmetic procedures to get her figure back.

According to Life & Style’s source, the reality star has been seeing the Beverly Hills cosmetic surgeon, Dr. Simon Ourian, at the discreet and upscale Epione clinic in Beverly Hills where they say she’s had work done including a fat-reducing ultrasound procedure on her stomach that costs up to $5,000 a session as well as fillers and Coolaser treatments that chill the skin and then use light pulses to vaporize skin cells. This procedure is used to removed stretch-marks, saggy skin, scars, and wrinkles. According to the insider source, the Epione clinic can also use ultrasound to melt a layer of fat just beneath the skin.

Kim says it’s not so, and tweeted “I am very frustrated today seeing reports that I got surgery to lose my baby weight! This is FALSE.”

I don’t know what’s true, but I do know this is the price people pay for celebrity. If she’s getting treatments to lose weight, it could put a dent in the rumored post-baby weight loss book she’s said to be writing. Even if she isn’t writing the book I can understand why she wouldn’t want to have that news burn a path throughout social media.

Women want to be a “natural” beauty and once you have work done, that’s no longer the case. While Kim has another rumor battle to fight, the thing I learned from all of this is that there may be hope for getting rid of stretch marks after all. Never thought Kim Kardashian’s life could have taught me something that might have some value.

Photo credits: ModaMob

MamaNatalie Birthing Simulator a Realistic Training Experience

Posted on Nov 21, 2013 by No Comments

The MamaNatalie birthing simulator kit is designed to train medical professions and midwives for live births that range from “normal” to complex scenarios. It looks somewhat like a backpack and straps onto the operator who plays the role of the expecting mom.

I say operator because the person wearing this birthing simulator actually has control over the scenario and can respond to the student’s performance. This includes bleeding, positioning, delivery of the baby, delivery of placenta, fetal heart sounds, uterine compression and more.

This kit includes the whole nine yards for a realistic birthing experience. It’s more than a fake baby bump. It includes fake baby with umbilical cord attachment, fake bodily fluids, and of course fake blood. All you need to do is add water. The baby even cries upon delivery!

The only thing missing is the labor pains, but I’m sure with the right operator this can be faked as well.

This tool has been used since 2010 in the Helping Babies Breathe training program in Tanzania where it has contributed to a reduction of newborn deaths by asphyxia by 47%. When one of these birthing simulators is bought in a high-income country, the company donates a kit to a child-saving initiative in a country that can’t afford them. They’ve already donated more than 1,000.

This simulator offers a realistic opportunity for birthing attendants and midwives to practice obstetric and newborn care. The kit was conceived by Laerdal Global Health which also makes CPR dummies.

The birthing simulator kit teaches trainees how to respond to potential complications during childbirth. It includes features like head articulation, umbilical pulse, the baby’s heartbeat and more. The transition from this training experience to real-life delivery will be a minor one. I think it’s a brilliant tool.

Photo credits: Laerdal Global Health

Exercise While Pregnant and Boost Your Baby’s Brain

Posted on Nov 19, 2013 by No Comments

I listened to music while pregnant because some studies said it might make my baby smarter, but there still isn’t any real conclusive research to back that up.

However, there is new research which was presented by researchers from the University of Montreal at the Neuroscience 2013 conference in San Diego on November 10. It showed that moms-to-be who exercise as little as 20 minutes 3 times a week during their pregnancy can advance a newborn’s brain activity.

The study randomly assigned 60 women into one of two groups. One group was given an exercise regimen to follow and the others were not. The women kept exercise logs and used pedometers and accelerometers which let the researchers track their level of activity more accurately.

When the babies were born, the researchers recorded the newborns’ brain activity for the first 8 to 12 days. The results showed that the babies whose moms exercised had brains that were more fully developed.

We’ve heard for years that exercise is good for us while we’re pregnant, and now we learn it is good for our babies, too. I did exercise while pregnant, but that was because I was trying to manage my weight. I have to admit, I never would have thought it had anything to do with my children’s brains!

The current recommendations by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists advises women to exercise moderately for about 30 minutes almost every day. This can help alleviate backaches and improve sleep and even mood. Now this study shows it also brings about improved brain function in newborns.

While this is promising, more study is needed…like following these babies in life to see if the effects continue with accelerated development as they mature. If they do, we could looke at exercise during pregnancy as part of college prep!

Photo credits: Patrick Feller

Best Baby Shower Games

Posted on Nov 18, 2013 by No Comments

We recently threw a baby shower for my brother-in-law and his wife, who had their first baby this Halloween. I’d almost forgotten how much fun it is to throw a baby shower. I must admit, aside from buying baby presents, my favorite part is choosing which games to play.

There is just something so great about everybody who loves you coming together to shower you and your baby to be with gifts and lots and lots of love. My absolute favorite moment was watching my daughters help their great, grandmother understand what was going on in each game. There is just something very special about a 6 and 9-year-old who can split their time between explaining a game of Just Ask Mama to an 85-year-old and making sure their pregnant aunt had a cold beverage and was comfortable at all times.

I was a proud mama and thanks to the games I chose, I was a laughing one too.

Here are my three favorite baby shower games.

Just Ask Mama

You’ll Need : Note cards 
and pens.

Distribute note cards and pens to the guests. 
Tell each guest to write down a question a new mom would have, such as “How do you breastfeed a baby?” or “How do I take my baby’s temperature?” Then, have everyone turn the card over and pass it to the guest to her right.

Have each person write down the answer to her original question on the back of her new card, without ever turning over the card and seeing the new question. When everyone is done, have them take turns reading the question-and-answer combos out loud i.e. question: how do I take my baby’s temperature? Answer: Stick nipple in baby’s mouth and leave until they are full.

The guest whose Q&A combination gets the most laughter, wins the game.

Dirty Diapers

Place several types of melted chocolate candies in newborn-sized diapers (I like to mix with baby food to make it look even grosser and more real. A Payday and peas look way too real to be believed.) Make sure you have many types and consistencies represented: milky, creamy, nutty, caramel-filled, and the like. Number the diapers.

Give each player a note card with corresponding numbers. Pass the diapers around and have each person sniff and even lick ( if they prefer) the gooey ‘poo’ centers in order to guess which brand of candy bar is in each diaper. The person who guesses the most correct poopie diapers wins the game.

This game is hysterical. Make sure to take lots of photos of the guests; the faces are priceless.

Diaper Derby

Divide your guests into teams and hand each team a roll of toilet paper. Give the teams three minutes to wrap a team member up in a mock diaper. The team with the most creatively/best diapered ‘baby’ wins. As I said we had some elderly women in attendance, so I had to step in and play this game to avoid anyone breaking a hip.

I have to say, it was one of the funniest things I’ve ever done. My sister was the “baby” and all of my years of being a mommy paid off. Apparently I am some sort of diapering savant because I wrapped her up in a matter of seconds. Where the other players diapers were ripping, I kept wrapping and we won.

The photos are hysterical. This is a must play for all baby-showers that I throw from now on.

What is your favorite baby shower game to play?

Photo Source: The TRUTH about Motherhood

Jimmy Fallon and Wife had Baby Via Surrogate

Posted on Nov 7, 2013 by 1 Comment

About 10 years ago, I ran into an acquaintance at the post office. I was surprised she was pregnant. She was a single mom to a 7-year-old daughter and finances were tight. We chitchatted and I asked when she was due. When she said in about a month, I said, “You’ll have your hands full.”

She said, “Oh, the baby isn’t mine.”

My brain had a hard time catching up with what she said…what she meant. She was a surrogate and carrying that baby for a couple she knew. They were paying her more than she would normally make in a year, and she was still able to work, too.

I had a similar reaction when I heard Jimmy Fallon and his wife Nancy who is 46 used a surrogate. Originally, when I learned her age, I thought how lucky they were that she was still able to get pregnant. But when Jimmy Fallon sat down with Savannah Guthrie to talk about Emmys and his new daughter, Winnie, he admitted “My wife and I had been trying for a while to have a baby. We tried a bunch of things. So we had a surrogate.”

The couple has been married since 2007 and they agreed not to tell anyone they were expecting until after the baby was born. Fallon admitted the process was emotional and that he and his wife wondered who to tell or who would be mad at them.

Many of his coworkers had no idea the couple was expecting until they announced the birth of Winnie Rose Fallon on July 23.

They are some of the happiest parents in the news, and it wouldn’t be possible without the woman who was willing to carry their child as a gestational surrogate.

I personally don’t think it is something I could do. I’m afraid I would get attached to the unborn child over the 9 months, but I’m thankful for those who can and do serve this role to help couples become parents.

Photo credits: WorldReportOnline

Touching a Woman’s Pregnant Belly Against the Law in Pennsylvania

Posted on Nov 6, 2013 by 1 Comment

I’m one of those people with a strong sense of personal space. I’ve never been one to reach out and touch someone else’s baby bump, so when I was pregnant it surprised me how many people thought it was okay to touch my growing stomach. While this can be annoying, it’s more than that in Pennsylvania. It is illegal and falls under the state’s harassment law.

The issue came to the forefront when a Central Pennsylvania man was accused of repeatedly touching the bellies of pregnant women and was threatened with criminal charges. Some reported that there was a new law on the books regarding this touchy issue, but it is actually an old statute.

According to attorney Phil DiLucente, who spoke with Pittsburgh’s WPIX about the touching of pregnant bellies, “That’s very common that pregnant women have to go through that. The only problem is when you harass, annoy, alarm in the act of touching, then it’s a violation, a harassment charge. Simply stated, it’s always been the law. It always will be the law.”

Wouldn’t you think common sense would dictate the touching of someone’s belly? For example, if the mom-to-be invites you to feel the baby kicking, or you ask permission to touch the baby bump, then it would be fine. Otherwise, some women feel awkward and others feel it is rather invasive.

In Pennsylvania, charges can be pressed if the touching gets out of hand.

This has become a hot issue on social media platforms. Up till now, there hasn’t been any clear-cut etiquette and the threat of criminal charges being filed has really sparked debate on both sides of the issue. I endured belly touching during my pregnancies, but I didn’t have anyone that was “out of hand” about it.

I’d love to hear what you all think on this issue.

Photo credits: Schwangerschaft

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