Archive for the ‘New Mothers’ Category

Awesome Gifts for Pregnant Women

Tuesday, December 13th, 2016

awesome gifts for pregnant womenIf a woman on your Christmas list is pregnant this year, you may find yourself having a difficult time shopping for her. Typical gifts often are not ideal for a pregnant woman. Our clothing size is ever changing and will continue to change post-baby. So steer clear of clothes or items to remind her she is getting bigger with every Christmas cookie she eats.

To help you find the perfect gift for the expectant mama on your shopping list, I have found several great items that I want to share with you. Here are some awesome gifts for pregnant women!

I love these compression socks from Vim and Vigr. There are so many fun patterns to choose from. Wearing compression socks during pregnancy can help prevent swelling, help support good blood flow, and prevent annoying leg cramps. These socks are also just perfect for after baby is born. I know with my previous pregnancies the swelling came on much worst after the baby was born. And who doesn’t want to wear pretty socks while hanging out at home or in the hospital snuggling your new bundle of joy!

awesome gifts for pregnant womenWhile on the topic of swelling–Anna Naturals Shrink My Feet Salt Soak makes a perfect stocking stuffer. This product has a light scent as to not over power those sensitive noses pregnant women tend to suffer from. Pair this foot soak with Anna Naturals Shrink My Feet Massage Oil for essential oil relief for tired and swollen feet. I love that both of these products are all natural–just as the name suggests.

Another great gift idea for any pregnant mama is a great water bottle. During pregnancy women need to drink lots of water. Nursing mothers also need to drink tons and tons of water. It is difficult for new moms to remember to drink water as we are busy tending to our newborn’s needs. A solid, spill proof water bottle can be a huge help in making sure you take in enough fluids. I like Pura Sport bottles. They are made of stainless steel and free of BPA/BPS. We have enough to worry about with a new baby, we don’t need to worry about toxins leaching into our water. I personally love the fact that these are dishwasher safe. awesome gifts for pregnant women

Those are just a few great gift ideas for the pregnant mama in your life that can all be found at Mom’s Milk Boutique. Check in often, as the sales and freebies can help you save a bundle this holiday season.

Affton Walden is a mother of three with number four due in February. She keeps busy enjoying life as a wife and mother.

New Mom Gift Guide

Thursday, December 8th, 2016

screen-shot-2016-12-05-at-12-19-13-pmI recently became a new mom for the third time. I welcomed my sweet little baby girl, Audrey Faith, just two weeks ago. I shop regularly from Mom’s Milk Boutique and have discovered a few products that are must-haves, in my opinion, for the new mom this holiday season. Prepare to be amazed.

Milk Makers Cookies: Every nursing mom can use a boost to help with her supply and every woman can use a cookie now and then. I recently purchased these cookies in the oatmeal chocolate chip flavor. They cost $21.99 and 10 cookies come in the over 1 pound bag. The cookies are already made, which is great for a new mom who has her hands full. The key ingredients, including brewer’s yeast and flax seed, in the cookies can help with milk production. There are 220 calories per cookie, so you can eat them without feeling guilty. I usually eat a cookie after my kids go to bed, and they do not disappoint. I have noticed they help with my milk supply, too.

Eco Sprouts Coconut Stick: I purchased two of these sticks after a friend recommended them for my hospital bag must-have list. I was a little skeptical, but I am so glad I bought them. I bought one for baby and one for me. This stick is huge and costs $11.99 on Amazon.com. It can easily be thrown into a hospital or diaper bag. I have used it for those first days of sore nipples in the hospital and for a diaper rash healer for Audrey already. It is cloth diaper safe, so no worries there. It can be used for many other things and smells like yummy coconut. I have also heard it works great for those first meconium diapers, as well.

Earth Mama Angel Baby New Momma Bottom Spray: I bought this spray on a whim, but it has been my favorite postpartum item so far. It comes in a bottle and costs $14.95. The spray is a cooling perineal mist that helps after baby arrives. It pairs great with any products your hospital or midwife encourage you to use down there after delivery. It is said to help with vaginal soreness and even hemorrhoids. It contains witch hazel, lavender, and peppermint essential oils. It smells like a cucumber. It is amazing, my friend. I use it regularly for any discomforts.

Boba Wrap: Every new mom needs a baby carrier for those moments when baby just needs to be close but mom needs to do something, too. I have used my boba baby carrier wrap with all 3 of my littles from birth and on. This carrier is perfect for babies from birth until 18 months and retails for $49.95. I have it in a pretty floral print, but it also comes in solid colors. It isn’t hard to figure out how to use and is perfect for keeping a little baby close and safe, while you need your hands. It stores easily in a bag and is machine washable, which is great with a baby who regularly spits up on you. I use this carrier at home daily to clean, get ready in the mornings, or just put my little one in when she doesn’t want to be put down.

So with the holidays approaching, here are some fun and useful new gifts for the new mom in your life. It amazes me of all of the new products available to moms. Find some that work for you and try these out!

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of three in Arkansas where she highly endorses all of these amazing products at the holidays and year round. 

Getting Over the Fear of Not Making Enough Milk While Breastfeeding

Monday, November 21st, 2016
getting over the fear that you aren't making enough milk

“When a baby is hungry, he tends to clench his fists tightly and bring them toward his face. If he falls asleep hungry, his fists usually stay clenched. But when he gets milk, he relaxes starting with his face. Then his shoulders relax, and finally those fists unclench. Eventually they’re as limp as the rest of him. Thing of his hands as a built-in fuel gauge.” p.120 Womanly Art of Breastfeeding

When my son was first born, we had a difficult time figuring out breastfeeding. It was challenging and stressful for both of us. In the very beginning, he lost weight instead of gaining and was extremely fussy. I contacted my acupuncturist and told her I thought my milk supply had decreased significantly. I didn’t think that I was making the amount that my baby needed and didn’t know what to do because my goal was to breastfeed until he was 12 months old. She had me come right in and she worked her magic with her needles to help get the milk flowing again, if it was true that I was having issues with my milk supply.

The amount of milk that a baby consumes while breastfeeding can be such a mystery, especially if they are exclusively breastfed like both of my children who refused bottles. It can be nerve-wracking wondering if an extra fussy baby means that they are actually starving because they are not getting enough milk. Since it was my first experience with breastfeeding, I was always seeking proof that my body was making the correct amount of milk that my baby needed.  These are some ways that eventually helped me feel confident that body was doing the job that it was supposed to, so I could get over my fear that I was not producing enough milk:

  • At breastfeeding support groups, lactation consultants weighed my baby right before I breastfed him and then immediately after.  The number of ounces that he gained was proof that he was consuming a good amount.
  • Regular wet diapers proved to me that the process was working.
  • Appropriate weight gaining was on track and was proven at regular doctor check-ups.
  • Pumping milk into baby bottles to maintain a back-up supply showed me the number of ounces that my body was producing.

With my second baby, I learned to trust the process and reminded myself regularly that my body knew how to do it and would get the job done.

Sarah Cole is a stay at home mommy to two busy toddlers.  She nursed both of her babies until they were almost 2 years-old.  Now, she wonders if her picky eaters are getting enough food at each meal.

How to Get a Break This Holiday Season

Tuesday, November 15th, 2016

How to Get a BreakI know the feeling of being at breaking point. I’ve had three children in four years. Our budget is tight and can’t afford childcare for the sake of self-care. I’ve worked a full-time job with on-site on-call hours as well as stayed at home with the children. I’ll note I do not have to manage additional challenges of a partner away for long periods, being a single mother, or behavioral, physical, or other particular attributes that some parents must balance in caring for their children. Here’s what has helped me find breaks, sometimes just five minutes in the day, and sometimes more.

Get off Facebook or whatever your social app of choice is. Social media and apps are a great resource as long as they add to your life. Checking for the umpteenth time if I received an email or looking every time my phone dings with a notification wastes time I could use getting a few minutes of solace. When I discipline myself to check my email minimally (maybe once a day or once an hour, depending on your work and situation), I somehow find a half-hour a day because of the five minutes here and there I save. Delete the app, limit the notifications, or simply put your computer and smart devices away for periods of the day to give yourself some space to breathe.

Write down your gratitude. Keep track of when you do get a break. I get more moments to myself than I realize. This is not to say I don’t deserve them, nor is it to deny that I may need more. Somehow, though, being aware of my time allows me to really feel the reprieve those breaks offer, even in retrospect. I keep track of the moments as the day passes. Try on a post it or in your planner or whatever system works for you. At least use a few slow moments of the day or in the evening to reflect back. This doesn’t have to be a time-consuming chore. Write down a word or phrase (e.g., “all napped at same time” or “15 minutes of quiet Legos”).

Reassess expectations. Figure out what you really need to find a little peace to really get your break. My oldest can help fold or put away the clothes, even though the result is a tad wrinkled, and the toys don’t have to be separated and stored exactly as I’d like so long as they are mostly put away. Also reassess what a break means. Can it be just 2 minutes of quiet? Does it need to be two hours completely away? Likely it’s both, sprinkled throughout the week.

Figure out what pushes your buttons. You can make the most of your break if you understand what you need a break from. My children can be around all day and I’m fine but them sitting on me, or breathing on me, really taxes my need for space. I also ask for “breaks” from requests. I don’t approach the kitchen until a certain time, so they are learning to wait until I’m ready for breakfast requests. Lunch is served at a certain time. This cuts down on the endless requests for food and snacks through the day. You can also put approved snacks within reach of little ones for self-service. Once you know what you need, you are better equipped to get it.

Reach out, and be direct about your needs. I do not claim to know your relationship with your partner, friends, or parents. Given your particulars, speak honestly and clearly about your need. Speaking passively or generally may not prove as effective as speaking clearly. For example:

“I’m so tired!”

Versus

 “Grandma, I’m exhausted with all the sleepless nights from infant teething. Do you have a day coming up when you could watch the kiddos for a few hours?”

Take what’s offered. Even if it’s not exactly what you want, accept it. If you just can’t bear to put your children in someone else’s care, stay home but go in the other room. If your children still come to you, put up a gate, put in earplugs, and let go or take a walk around the block. For me, leaving the kids at home with my hubby means coming home to a messy kitchen or living room, which is more stressful than not getting time alone. So I prefer they go on an adventure to the park. You can also voice how the messy kitchen doesn’t really give you a break, or have them clean up once you return. You can also just accept that whoever offers the help—hubby, parent, friend, church lady—may not be the finely tuned multi-tasking machine that you are. If getting a free hour or two means cleaning up a little extra later, it may be worth it to you.

Let go. You cannot have the space, break, or reprieve if you’re unwilling to let go. I can’t need the break but also need everything to be exactly as I would do it. Someone may pout for a little while, the shirts may not be folded as you would like, or they might get a greasy dinner instead of the well-balanced meal you would provide. If you want a break, you have to actually take a break. Enjoy it.

Lynette is a mom of three children from 7 months to age four. She has cloth diapered all three since birth and enjoys all things eco-friendly and mindful living.

Best Places to Breastfeed in Denver

Monday, November 14th, 2016

Denver is one of the most breastfeeding friendly places I have been.  If there’s babies, there’s moms breastfeeding!  The following are my favorite places to take my girls (and while they were still nursing, to breastfeed).

Denver Zoo 
Our favorite place to stop for a snack at the Denver Zoo is a bench watching the giraffes. I spent many breaks feeding my younger daughter while my older daughter enjoyed the giraffes and her crackers and fruit.  If you’re looking for a less public location to breastfeed, there are many less-traveled exhibits that you could nurse by. The zoo offers large family restrooms in a few locations that have chairs inside that they advertise as being breastfeeding friendly.  As I refuse to nurse in a restroom, I can’t speak on the usefulness of these areas for breastfeeding. The family restrooms are, however, great when you have a potty-training toddler and a baby that needs a diaper change!

Denver Botanic Gardens
When I was a new mom to one, I enjoyed exploring the York Street Gardens. There’s plenty of benches in the shade and off the main trails to take a quick nursing break, while enjoying the landscaping. There’s a “secret” bench in a bamboo patch that was my favorite place for a break. Across the street, the Mordecai Children’s Garden is a perfect place to go if you have multiple children. My older daughter enjoyed running around and exploring while I was nursing my younger daughter. There are multiple areas that offer benches or picnic tables in the shade.

Storytimes at the Denver Public Libraries
Denver Public Libraries have four levels of storytime (Baby storytime, Toddler storytime, Preschool storytime, and All Ages storytime).  Not only did I meet many of my mom friends through Baby storytime, no one bats an eye if you start nursing your child. With 26 locations across the city, it’s easy to find a storytime that meets your scheduling needs.

JeffCo Open Space Parks and Trails
One of the best things about living in Denver is how quickly you can get out of the city for a hike.  Many of the JeffCo Open Spaces are only a half an hour to 45-minute drive from the city.  You’ll see all kinds of people taking advantage of the trails, including many moms and families.  Whether you choose to nurse at the trailhead at a picnic table or during your hike, you’ll be able to enjoy beautiful scenery while feeding your baby.

These are just four of my favorite places to take my kids and some of the best places to breastfeed in Denver.  Denver also has a great Children’s Museum, Museum of Nature and Science (that has an awesome kids zone), plenty of shopping, and lots of restaurants to enjoy.  No matter what you feel like doing, you’ll easily be able to find a good place to nurse your child.

Becky Nagel is a stay at home mom to two girls, a three year old and a one year old, in Denver, CO who enjoys cooking for her family, running, and hiking.