Seven Baby Items You Can Skip Buying

Baby showers, congratulatory gifts, registries-galore—there is so much to buy (especially during the nesting stage). But you might not need it all; even if the experts say you do! Save a few bucks and put them into your savings account instead with these tips on what not to buy.

expensive stroller.jpg

There are a few things that play into what you should buy to prepare for your baby.  The biggest thing being; advertising! Yup, those ads in the moms groups, or the commercials between your favorite shows, and even the social listening ads you see when you log into Facebook, play a big part in what you buy for your baby.

When you’re becoming a new parent (again too), you tend to be easily persuaded by advertisements. Claims that, the high-tech thingamabob is going to ensure your baby is extra safe, or that the luxury material on the whatchamacallit guarantees a baby that sleeps through the night, are everywhere. That’s how a ~60+ Billion dollar industry makes their money. Estimates say that new parents will spend approx. $12,000.00 on their first baby in the first year alone.

expensive bottle.jpg

By the time you’re done making the list of necessary purchases, you may think “Does my baby really need ALL of this?” or you might just unknowingly swipe the Babies-R-Us card (for the perks of course). I hope you read this before you swipe the card, it might save you some green and free up some garage space.

Here’s a list of items you most likely don’t need.

1. Changing Table a.k.a. That Furniture Thing You Pile Clothes On

weird changing table.jpg

When our son was born, we went out and bought a very aesthetically pleasing changing table, with shelves for necessary items like diapers, wipes, and a plethora of unnecessary items like a baseball themed “peepee cover” (you know, so you don’t get tagged while changing a diaper).

We really believed that the changing table was necessary, and we started using it immediately. But just as quickly came the sense that it was more cumbersome than useful. At night we had to get up, pick our son out of bed (we co-sleep), carry him to the changing table, wrestle out a diaper in a sleepwalker state of mind, then clean him and dispose of the evidence all while holding an awkward position between leaning in and leaning over. As time passed—like a few days, really—it became easier to stack a few diapers and wipes on the night stand, and change him in bed. The changing table eventually became the diaper rack/baby clothes pile holder/my work suit hanger (I know some of you know what I’m talking about). A couple hundred bucks that would have been better spent on more diapers; because that’s how diapers go.

 

2. Diaper Pail a.k.a. Diaper Silo

diaper pail.jpg

First of all, if your baby is being breastfed her diapers aren’t going to be as putrid as the Arm-N-Hammer filter says they will. It’s known that formula fed babies can make more interesting odors than breastfed babies. Regardless, like beauty in eyes, odors are in the nose of the smeller, and your baby’s diaper might make you suspect they’re eating nuclear waste.

Don’t run to BuyBuy Baby just yet though. Diaper Pails aren’t things that can really be reused, or re gifted, and when your baby is old enough and graduates the diaper stage, you’re going to send it to the dump. If you’re stuck on the idea of locking up some offending diapers in a diaper coffin, then go to Target, buy a lidded waste basket, some doggie business bags, and baking soda. Add baking soda to the bin, package the diaper in a doggy bag, and send it to diaper afterlife in the receptacle. Saved you some bucks, and you can still reuse all the items even after baby graduates the diaper stage.

 

3. A Crib a.k.a. Escape Practice

escaping crib.jpg

This one is based on sleeping choices. For us, we co-sleep. Not having a crib just makes sense. We started with a crib, and tried to get our son to enjoy his personal sleeping space. The only accomplishment was watching my son cry, and not getting enough sleep. We quickly felt we should try other things. We tried the bassinet for a while, and that worked well. As soon as he was strong enough to roll around in it, we moved him into our bed. Of course we did our research on co sleeping, and made some adjustments on our sleeping positons, but it worked great. We sold the crib, and invested in some waterproof sheets. Ha!

 

4. Shoes a.k.a. Giuseppe Juniors/Baby Jordans/Any Shoes

no baby shoes.jpg

Let’s make this one super simple… Your infant cannot walk! But what happens when he/she learns to walk? Great question! There is such a thing, that looks very cute, yet cost so little…socks (with bottom grips if you must), and they’ll work fine for the type of walking your little one will be doing. Now, if your 10 month old is found hiking a 5K, please purchase some baby hiking boots, and a shaving kit, as he’s probably the most interesting baby in the world. When you do get to an appropriate age/foot size, my advice would be don’t spend too much right away—those toes do grow fast. When they can fit in a shoe for at least 6 months, invest in some reinforced play shoes. Nikes will turn into spaghetti real fast.

 

5. Blankets a.k.a. Cute Fluffy Danger Blankies

nanas blanket.jpg

Save your baby from a hazard. Fluffy blankets can be heavy, insulating (overheating), and a choking hazard. Your safest bet is going to be a receiving blanket, or a swaddle blanket. These types of wraps are ventilated, appropriately insulated, and easy to clean. Thank Nana for quilting that awesome keepsake, and then hang it on the wall or keep it in the garage until she visits again.

 

6. Wipe Warmer a.k.a. Unnecessary Booty Luxury

wipe warmer waste.jpg

Have you heard of heat? Your hands give it off. Rubbing/holding a wipe in a closed hand can warm it right up. No fear of burns with this method. I’m not going to lie, if you happen to not warm the wipe in your hands long enough, the slight coolness may surprise your baby. Don’t worry though, they get used it, and it’s not torture. I’m sure your mom and dad didn’t have an electric wipe warmer, and you’re fine, but if you really want to spend money in the baby wipes section, use $100 bills.

 

7. Diaper Bag a.k.a. Mom's New Designer Bag

diaper bag.jpg

Well this one is a toughie too. I’m not saying to walk around the shopping mall holding baby in one hand, while carrying a diaper and wipes in the other hand. I’m suggesting (from experience), that a backpack (even one with only 2 compartments) is more than good enough. I saved a hundred bucks, when I went to H&M and bought a backpack with a drawstring, and button closure (like one of those hipster bags) instead of the dad bag I really wanted. In my defense, the dad bag was a manly diaper bag. If you pack logically; wipes, diapers, snacks, bottles, clothes, are pretty easy to access and manage. Most diaper bags aren’t anything more than a confusing puzzle of extra pockets with an outrages price tag. As our son got older, carrying extra clothes, and snacks is still very practical in our bag.

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Hopefully you save some money after reading this (you’re going to need it for that toddler urinal you’ve always wanted to buy). If you already bought some of these items, check with the store to see if they’ll take it back (even without a receipt they can sometimes give you store credit.)

As always, if you have any questions on this subject, or questions about Infant CPR, Childbirth Prep Classes, Doula Services, Placenta Encapsulation or Newborn Photography, you can CONTACT US HERE.

Follow us on INSTAGRAM HERE, and FACEBOOK HERE!

author:  Ernie Gochez, Newborn Photographer

Pump Up Your Pumping Skills

In this blog we have our in-house lactation expert, Jennifer Horne, explaining how you can make breast milk pumping easier and more manageable.

stressed about breast pumping

Pump Up Your Pumping Skills

Let’s face it, pumping is a lot of work. Besides the time it takes to actually pump, there are parts and bottles to wash, there’s your pump bag that needs to be prepared each day with supplies, and finally there’s the time to feed your baby. But for moms on the go especially working moms, pumping is a necessary part of breastfeeding.

Below are 5 tips to help you save time and make pumping more manageable:

1. Pump into the bottles your baby will use

This may sound obvious but have your baby drink out of the bottles that come with your pump. It will save so much time transferring milk and washing extra containers. Plus this will avoid the dreaded spillage of breast milk! If your baby won’t take the pumping bottle, try to see if your baby’s favorite bottle will screw into the pump. For example, the Dr. Brown bottles fit nicely into the Medela Freestyle pump parts.

custom bottle

2. Ease up on the part washing

Pumps come with many parts that need to be cleaned constantly. To save some time at work, buy an extra set of parts. Consider leaving one set at work just in case you forget them. Another time saver is to put your fully-assembled pump parts in the fridge (covered with a plastic bag) in between pumping sessions. This may not be ideal for all moms but for some it’s ok to skip a washing or two. However, at the end of the work day, all parts should be thoroughly washed and dried. Don’t forget that parts can be washed on the top rack of the dishwasher!

cleaning breast pump parts

3. Go hands free

They say women are the best multi-taskers so why not free your hands while pumping to get other tasks done. There are several pumping bras out on the market but you can also make your own. Simply choose a front closing sports bra and cut two small openings in the front. For smaller breasted women, you may be able to just slip your pumps into your regular nursing bra. Don’t forget to leave an extra shirt at work and avoid embarrassing milk stains.

discreet breast pump

4. Pump during your commute

If you have a long commute, consider pumping in the car. Most electric pumps have a car adaptor. You will want to do this with a double electric pump and go hands free.  Use a jacket, a large sweater, or even a scarf to keep your pump concealed while driving. You could even check out the latest technology in breast pumps, Freemie. The Freemie breast cups are compatible with most pumps and are easily concealed under your shirt. You can pump on planes, trains, and automobiles.

freemie breast pump

5. Consider upgrading your pump

Although most commercial double electric pumps will do a great job efficiently removing milk, if you truly need to boost your stash try a hospital grade pump (requires a prescription). Hospital grade pumps are typically more powerful and as a result they require a shorter pumping time. These pumps also tend to be much quieter. However, most insurance companies do not cover these pumps. The most cost effective way may be renting one from your local hospital or an online lactation store.

hospital breast pump

By Jennifer Horne, MBA, Certified Lactation Educator Counselor, Nursling Lactation

There you have it; hope this helps, and maybe inspires you to pump while you read our next blog.

We hope you enjoyed this post. If you would like to learn more about this topic or would like to take a breastfeeding class near you CLICK HERE! If you have questions you can CONTACT US HERE. Follow us on FACEBOOK HERE, and INSTAGRAM HERE!

How To Feed New Parents

If you think that brining a meal to new parents is a nice gesture, you’re right. But! It’s ALSO a sanity, energy, hair pigment saving act.

Making a sandwich, seems easy right? Well you ungrateful sandwich maker, try doing it while being a new parent.

vegitarian meal train ideas

You see, new parents aren’t like us, let me explain; if you’re reading this around lunch time, you can probably get up, walk towards the fridge, put something together and come back to finish this blog. Easy!

A new mom on the other hand, will be hungry (sometimes hAngry), while feeding her baby for the 10th time in the last 1 hour, still contemplating if she should risk eating or holding her pee or starting the baby cry-pocalypse, all while dad runs to Target to get more diapers because the baby is a professional pooper, both parents pushing past the fact that they haven’t had more than 2 hours of interrupted sleep (10 minutes here, 3 there), and by the time this thought is done, her baby is hungry again, and she still hasn’t been able to eat herself because making a sandwich requires more strength than the vessel she calls her body can produce at the moment. If you think that’s bad, it’s actually worse…But true!

mealt train ideas for new parents

Okay, you’re now convinced that you need to run out the door with your famous casserole in tow to save your new mom & dad friends, but HOLD ON! There’s a right way to save them and a wrong way to save them.

Let’s look at the wrong way first, before you get yourself on the bad list with your friends.

Don’t make it complicated. If they have to pillage their pantry for some rare spice like black pepper, or navigate the valley of frozen breastmilk in the freezer for some protein, then you’ve already failed them. Hoping they have what is needed to finish a dish is already too much, even if they have it, new parent brain syndrome blinds them of the location, especially if it’s under their nose. So forget about an ingredient bag from your local Wholefoods, or a build your own taco tray, they’re too busy building a wall of diapers around the nursery. Also, don’t expect you’re getting dishes, or cutlery back this year, maybe next year, but definitely not cleaned.

feeding new moms

Now let’s look at the right way.

Do make it so easy that on a scale of “1 to put food in their mouth for them”, you’re right under that “load the fork level.” For example; the meal should be balanced with the right amount of veggies, protein, bread/carbs, fruit, and hydration. Bonus points to the friends that bring dessert, and a craft beer for whoever isn’t nursing. Include a serving tray (one for each parent), or plate that you don’t care to get back, and is preferably disposable. Make sure you include the necessary tools, such as a fork, spoon, cup, napkins, wet wipes, knife, straw, etc.. There should be no prep need to consume this meal. Having leftovers earns bonus points.

And PLEASE, just drop it off, unless they specifically say the words “we’d like to consume this meal in your presence while you observe our child for the next 10 minutes, then you need to leave before things get real.”

You get the idea now. Great! Go forth savior of the savory…

Oh, you still don’t know what to drop off? Here are some ideas:

 

1.       Chipotle or a Homemade Mexican Bowl.

Include utensils, napkins, sauce, GUACAMOLE, and chicken (because it’s a safe bet). If they’re vegetarian, or Vegan, just hold the animal protein, cheese, and sourcream, and add some Sofritas and or Fajita Veggies. Add a drink, and don’t forget the chips!

Chipotle Mexican Bowl Breastfeeding

2.       Pizza (not frozen!)

Bring the paper plates, some parmesan cheese, red pepper, and one of those brownie boxes they serve at Dominos. Safest to go with a peperoni pizza, or cheese if their vegetarian.

Pizza While Pregnant

3.       BLT or ALT

Bacon Lettuce Tomato OR Avocado Lettuce Tomato. Both sandwiches can be purchased at your local grocery deli, or subway. A nice lemonade will pair well. If you are not “ripe avocado challenged”, and aren’t a bacon newbie, then go ahead and make the meal at home. Add some chips, or fruit, or fries, or all.

Best Meal Train Foods

4.       Breakfast Burritos

Yes you can eat breakfast food anytime, and probably should, but this early morning meal is sometimes forgotten by friends. Reclaim the best meal of the day by providing a one handed food that is sure to please Meatatarians, Vegetarians, and Vegans alike. You can provide, bacon and eggs, or potatoes + eggs and cheese, or tofu + potatoes and veggies. Bring some OJ, and a waffle. MMMMMmmmmmMMMM MMMMMMmmmmm!

Vegan Meal Train Ideas

5.       Snacks

Stay balanced on the healthy-garbage spectrum. Oatmeal cookies, baked chips, sparkling water, fruit salad, GUACAMOLE, chips and salsa, fresh squeezed fruit juice, etc.. Or just let them indulge in some flaming hot munchies.

Best Snacks For New Parents

 

You are now ready my Padawan. However if you still want to be safe about it, you can just visit their Meal Train page or have a close relative or friend (you can be that person) start one. Meal Trains are great because the subtly say “bring food, drop it at the door, text us when it is present, and we shall consume in peace. Thanks! We love you!” Meal Trains detail what food to bring, what to put in the garbage disposal, and any food allergies such as green beans (no one likes green beans). You can go to Meal Train Page Here to learn more.

Best Recipes For New Mom

Still confused? Hire a luxury chef, like Gordon Ramsey or Chef Boyardee. J/K. Order some Chinese delivery or other tasty food delivery. You can go to DoorDash.com Page Here to find out who delivers in your area.

If you’d like to learn more about this subject or Doulas and Natural Childbirth, please Contact Us Here. You can also visit our Instagram via @babylovencp. You can also visit our FACEBOOK HERE.

10 Interview Questions You Need To Ask Your Doula!

Hiring a Doula is a great idea, but can be a nerve-racking experience if you don’t know what questions to ask. Luckily for you, we’ve made a list of must ask questions you need to ask your Doula during the interview.

Best Doula In Orange County

Before you continue, you may want to read the following; What Is A Birth Doula? OR How Much Should I Pay A Doula? OR How Do I Choose A Doula?

Here are the top 10 questions to ask during a Doula Interview:

1.       Why Did You Become A Doula?

Do you want to really get to know your Birth Doula? This is the opening question you should be asking. Being a Childbirth Doula is demanding, physically, and emotionally; which is why most Doulas need to have a genuine passion for what they do. You should hear a refreshing answer as to why they became a Doula, and some sincere dialogue on why they continue to be a Doula.

2.       How Did You Become A Doula?

Here you get into the technical aspect. You’re going to want to know what certification or training they completed for this job. The answer should bring you comfort that you’re hiring a professional.  If you’re interviewing a Doula with no certifications, or formal training, then you need to ask what experience has made her well equipped to handle a birth.

best orange county doula

3.       How Do You Plan To Work With Me And Dad During The Birth?

You should aim to find out what her Doula style is, and how adaptable she is too. She may be very caring and soft in her natural style, and that might be exactly what you’re looking for, but you may also want someone who can switch to being a strong coach/advocate at a moment’s notice. You can ask about how she supports dad too.

4.       What Additional Training Do You Have? What Additional Services Do You Offer?

A Doula may have extra training that sets her aside from other candidates. The extra training may be useful prenatal, and/or postpartum.

Some of the training you’re looking for is; Bradley Method (childbirth educator), Placenta Encapsulation, Rebozo Certification, Infant Massage, Breastfeeding Consulting, Newborn Photography, Infant CPR, and maybe even Car Seat Installation.

bradley method doula

5.       Do You Attend All Types Of Births? Hospital Births? Home Birth? Birth Centers? Water Births?

You want to get a sense of how versatile your Birth Doula is. If you’re giving birth at a birth center, and your doula doesn’t attend births there, then that might be a deal breaker. If you are undecided, this can allow your Doula to make recommendations on the type and place of birth.

6.       Do You Have A Backup Doula? Can I Meet Her?

Life happens, and sometimes an emergency, like an accident, or health can delay and or prevent your Doula from attending your birth. You need to know if your Doula has a backup, and what exactly happens if a Backup Doula is needed. You may want to also meet the Backup Doula; your Doula should be able to coordinate that.

top 10 orange county doulas

7.       What Does Your Pricing Include?

You want to know how many prenatal visits are included, if any. You should find out when they are on call for you. This should open up a conversation on what tools they bring to the birth. Some Doulas offer aroma therapy, or a Rebozo (you can read about that here), they can also offer photography and Placenta services.

 

8.       Do You Have Reviews We Can Read? Do You Have A Website?

You can learn a lot about your Doula from her YELP and her WEBSITE. A Doula who considers herself a professional, will have an online portfolio with great reviews. You can also ask if they have a business Facebook, or business Instagram. If she doesn’t have a portfolio, ask if you can call her references.

top 10 doulas in OC

9.       What Is Your Fee?

Cha-ching. You need to know how much your investment is going to be. Doulas can charge anywhere from $950-$3,000 on average here in the OC area. Be sure to talk about payment options, and how your Doula can help you with HSA/FSA/insurance reimbursements.

best OC doula

10.   Did You Click? Is There A Connection?

This last question is really for you, but don’t be afraid to flip the script and ask her if she feels like you clicked too.

Above all, if you have a good connection, and you trust her, pricing, and a website might not be as big of a concern. By the end, you should feel like this process was less an interview and more of a good conversation instead.

Of course there are many more questions you can ask, like; what’s your spirit animal? But this should give you a good idea on the best questions to ask.

natural birth doulas in orange county

If you’d like to learn more about Doulas Click Here. If you have questions about childbirth, Contact Us Here, or comment/DM on our Instagram via @babylovencp. You can also visit our Facebook Here!

What Is A Rebozo And How Can It Help Me During Labor?

A Rebozo is a hand woven fabric that is traditionally used as a shawl and has been found to be very useful in labor with certain techniques applied. The Rebozo has been known to help laboring mothers save energy, push effectively, and reduce pain and discomfort.

Rebozo For Labor

While there are creative ways your Rebozo Certified Doula can use the Rebozo, we’ll go over the three most popular techniques here. You may want to ask your Rebozo Certified Doula to practice these methods during a prenatal visit.

1.       Rebozo Sifting

Have you ever panned for gold? Jiggled a cup of Jello? Similar concept; except what your jiggling is a lot more valuable than gold. This movement helps a laboring mom reduce the stress on her muscles and ligaments. It can also reduce the pain felt during contractions as the added pressure can be very comforting.

So how do you Rebozo Sift?

rebozo sifting

Simple; you’ll need a partner, like dad, your Doula, or your Midwife. If you’re using one person, they’ll wrap the Rebozo around your belly, while not crossing the ends. Think of a shoe shine rag. Then with both ends in your partner’s hand, you can get on all fours, or on your knees while leaning over a squat bar/birth ball. Your partner then, gently sifts/jiggles your belly side to side.

If you’re using two people, such as a Doula and your partner, each one of them will hold an end of the Rebozo while they sift your belly.

2.       Rebozo Anchor

A Rebozo Anchor can help you push more effectively. How? When your Doula has placed you in the proper position for the Rebozo Anchor you will feel the correct muscles activate for more efficient pushing.

What’s the proper position for a Rebozo Anchor?

rebozo for labor

Good question! Your Rebozo Certified Doula will wrap the Rebozo around her back while sitting, then she will instruct you to sit in front of her will holding one end in each hand. Then, as you feel a contraction and the urge to push you should pull on the Rebozo ends while your doula counters the movement (kind of like tug of war). The resistance you feel when pulling the Rebozo, will help you push down and help push your baby out.

This technique can be practiced very carefully, but should be reserved to the pushing stage of labor as you do not want to accidently create an onset of early labor. I would recommend only practicing this with a Certified Rebozo Doula.

3.       Rebozo Squat

A proper Rebozo Squat can help you gain all the benefits of squatting during labor, with the added bonus of saving you more energy! Let’s get right into how to Rebozo Squat.

Rebozo Squat

Your Certified Rebozo Doula will wrap the Rebozo around your back, while she holds one end in each hand. You will then start to squat when she tells you it’s okay. Your Doula will act as a counterbalance for you, effectively balancing some of the kinetic energy needed. This will result in an assisted squat that will reduce muscle fatigue to you.

So there you have it, three of the most popular ways to use a Rebozo during childbirth. If youre still unsure of how to use a Rebozo, ask your Doula if she is a Certified Rebozo Doula; if so, she will be able to help.

You can visit our Doula Page Here for more information on how I use a Rebozo during labor for my clients.

If you have any questions about this topic or natural childbirth, Doulas, etc., please Contact Us Here, or DM/Comment on our Instagram page via @babylovencp.

I'm Pregnant! Now What?!

All the excitement, fear (lets be real), and confusion is swirling in you, and making you double think everything you need to get done.

im pregnant, what do i do?

 Aside from jumping for joy, there are a few things that you should probably do. The following helps you get some of those things scheduled.

1.       Get In The Healthy Mindset

If you already have a healthy lifestyle, make sure you’re continuing your good habits, but don’t neglect a second look at your exercise and diet as you may be missing some key supplements such as folate or extra iron.

what should i eat when pregnant?

If you’re new to a healthy lifestyle, that’s okay too. It’s never too late to start making good choices. Some things you can do easily is reducing the amount of caffeine you drink, adding more water, eating extra protein, light exercise (see your midwife or obstetrician for advice), and even getting better (sometimes more) sleep.

You’re going to want to practice relaxation too, as a calm and centered you now, is a warrior when it’s time to push later.

2.       Choose a Midwife or Obstetrician

Midwife

Now; we are biased and do love the culture midwives bring to your birth, but there are many great obstetricians we know and love. Our advice; do your research!

You can start by calling your insurance company or visiting their “provider finder” site and making a list of the providers you’d like to interview. You can also check out Yelp and Google for the top midwife or obstetrician in your area.

3.       Find A Doula!

Read these articles if you have questions such as;

best doula in orange county
the best doula in orange county california

In the meantime, here is a simple way to answer this. Every expecting mother should hire a Birth Doula if possible. Birth Doulas provide necessary support during your pregnancy, and labor, and sometimes postpartum. Your Birth Doula experience is one you won’t regret, and their services can sometimes be covered by your insurance, HAS, or FSA.

To Find A Childbirth Doula Click Here. You can also use Yelp and/or Google to find Doulas in your area. The best Doulas are the ones who you feel a great connection with and are willing to grow their relationship with you… Like A Bradley Method Doula!

4.       Get Your Childbirth Education Classes Scheduled

best bradley method class in orange county

You’re probably reading this because it’s your first go around in the baby making business. Don’t worry, there are plenty of caring people who make it their business to teach you anything and everything you need to know.

Best Childbirth Class In Orange County

 

A well rounded class like The Bradley Method Of Husband Coached Childbirth will give you the best education on what to expect, healthy diet, labor practice, contraction timing, relaxation, mental and emotional preparedness, and partner (coach) involvement, and much, much more!

Consider booking early, as it gives you more time to practice the skills you’ll learn. If you’d like more information on Childbirth Classes, Click Here.

 

5.       Prepare To Announce The News

Don’t forget to tell dad first! Ha!

pregnancy announcement

Some moms like to tell their family and friends right away! Making a phone call, sending a text, or posting on social media are great ways to announce. But don’t forget, you only get to share the news for the first time, one time. So think about a cute way you’d like to do it too. You can hire a photographer to shoot some announcement photos, or create a clever card for mailing (Checkout Pinterest For More Ideas).

pregnancy announcemennt

You can also wait to announce the news until later. There are many moms that like to wait until their second trimester, and that’s okay too. It’s you and your baby, do what’s right for you.

There are plenty of other things you should also do, but we like to keep things simple here. Some other things we won’t go into detail are, talking about finances, going to the dentist, abstaining from foods or drugs that can negatively affect your baby, buying a car seat, etc.. This article was meant to help you get some of the basic things on your to do list.

If You have any questions about this topic or would like to learn more about natural childbirth, Doulas, Diet, etc., please contact us here, or DM/comment on our Instagram page via @babylovencp.com.

How To Prevent Tearing: The Easy Way!

There’s a pain out there (more like down there) that can rival that of a 100mph toe stub on a cold winter night. They call it the Perineum Tear! DUN DUN DUN!

But there’s a way to defeat this foe before you even have to push, and it’s actually pretty easy. The following is a list of three easy ways to prevent a Perineum Tear.

1.       Kegel:

This isn’t one of those exercises that requires you to get up at 5am, and lace up a pair of running shoes. You can actually do Kegels sitting, at the office, during breakfast, at a park, during a movie, buying groceries, you can pretty much Kegel anywhere, and we highly recommend you do. No spotter needed! Kegels is a real exercise to strengthen the muscles in your Vagina. But how to I perform such a move? Is it like twerking? Both great questions. Your midwife can show you how to do a Kegel, and possibly even how to do a twerk. You can also learn how to Kegel while taking your natural childbirth class; The Bradley Method! You can learn more about the Bradley Method Class by clicking the link!

How To Kegel While Pregnant

 

2.       Relax:

how to relax while pregnant

Do whatever gets you chilled out as often as you can. Learning to relax, can be useful, especially during a stressful time. The more relaxed you are the more in tune you are with your body and thus the more control you’ll have during labor. Having this control during labor can help you get through it quicker and thus reduce the risk of a tear. If you’re new at relaxing, or you want to pretend you’re new, employ your partner to practice relaxation techniques, and relaxation massages on you. If you’re gutsy, hand your partner a palm leaf and some grapes. Great tools for relaxing include essential oils, music (anything that calms you), ottomans, meditation, exercise, etc.

 

3.       Squat:

pregnancy squat

Every day is squat day. Squats can help you become more flexible, allowing you to get into better labor positions (see below), and can also help you strengthen the muscles necessary to help you push more efficiently. Why is pushing efficiently so important? Well aside from a short labor, knowing when and how to push helps you avoid unnecessary stress to the perineum. If you’re wondering how to properly squat while pregnant, click this link for a great video.

 

4.       Get In The Right Position:

Like satisfying a hard to reach itch, getting in the right position can sometimes be tricky. Lucky for you there are plenty of bears scratching their backs on YouTube. But for that person more interested in learning the right labor positions, you can learn plenty of creative and proven positions to labor while reducing stress to your Perineum. One way to learn these positions is by taking a natural childbirth class like this one! Or by researching labor positions that keep you from laying on your back with legs in the air. Gravity and baby weight aren’t the best combo when trying to avoid Perineum tears. One position that helps reduce Perineum Tears is the side position (see below).

labor positions

Last, but not least, avoid any interventions during labor if possible. Interventions such as Pitocin, vacuums, and even certain physical exams can increase the risk of a Perineum Tear. Your goal should be to have an as natural and intervention free labor as possible. You may want to hire a Birth Doula to help ensure you have the type of birth you want. Click the Doula link here to learn more.

If you have any questions about this topic or would like to learn more about natural childbirth, please contact us here, or DM/Comment on our Instagram page via @babylovencp.com

Your Newborn Is Hungry: Foods To Avoid!

Uhm… all of them… ha! But seriously, a newborn baby is going to get everything it needs to grow from breast milk.

No need to feed water or purees; breastmilk has an adaptability factor, which means it changes as you feed to meet your baby’s nutritional needs. Breastmilk comes in three basic stages, Colostrum, Foremilk, and Hindmilk. Each stage has the perfect balance of water, protein, minerals, vitamins, and fats—there is nothing missing from breast milk.

breastmilk

Breastmilk is even recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, as the exclusive food source for your baby for at least the first six months. Some mothers may choose to continue breastfeeding even longer with many studies pointing to breastmilk as an integral part of a toddler’s diet. We’ll discuss more about breastmilk in a later blog.

In the meantime, if you’re interested in Breastfeeding Workshops here in Orange County, click the SERVICES LINK HERE, and then click the BREASTFEEDING LINK.

Here is a list of two foods to avoid during the first 12 months, and possibly longer.

Honey

Honey For Infants

Although very nutritious, honey may also harbor bacterium that can lead to infant botulism which can become fatal. It’s not worth the risk while your newborn’s digestive system is still developing. It’s recommended that you avoid feeding your newborn honey for the first year.

Many parents who choose to introduce honey, prefer to offer their toddlers (1year+) raw honey. Raw honey is an unprocessed honey that is known to have more anti-bacterial properties than processed honey.

Cow Milk

Cow Milk For Infants

Yup! What was at one point the normal alternative to breastmilk, is now known to be too harsh for a newborns stomach to digest. Cow’s milk is designed to grow calves into half ton cows in as little as a year—this means that the amount of proteins and fats in cow’s milk is too concentrated for your newborn to digest and may in fact cause kidney damage amongst other future ailments.

Cow’s milk is still regarded for creating healthy bones in growing children, but new studies show that this may not be the case. Do your research before introducing dairy to your child.

If breastmilk is not an option, you may want to research alternatives such as coconut milk, almond milk, supplemented milk/milk formulas.

If you have any questions about Breastfeeding, nutrition during pregnancy, or childbirth classes, please CONTACT US HERE or DM/Comment on our Instagram via @babylovencp

How To Naturally Reduce Pain During Labor

Obviously childbirth is painful. Contractions can be powerful, the “ring of fire”—although momentary—does hurt, and back labor is more than uncomfortable.

labor pain

 

But! Don’t rush to an epidural right away. There are plenty of safe, and natural ways to reduce pain. Using one of these natural alternatives can reduce the amount of “drugs” that enters your newborn’s body, help you better understand what is happening to your body during labor, and help your coach become more involved in your labor and reducing your pain.

The following are three easy ways to reduce pain during labor the natural way;

Childbirth Preparation Classes:

Yep! Getting your schooling on! Knowing what your body is going through as it transitions into pushing, or why you feel pain from a posterior baby is a great way to take control of how you feel during pain.

Classes like The Bradley Method cover how to eat for a faster labor, exercises to strengthen your body for labor, and relaxation techniques to calm you and help you push through the pain.

In the Bradley Method, the belief is that childbirth shouldn’t solely be a mom thing. Instead, Husband/partner coached childbirth is the foundation of the course. Knowing that you’re Husband/partner will be involved in every aspect of your prenatal, labor, and postnatal journey will help you reduce stress and relax. The education you both receive will help you better manage the pain of childbirth.

If you’re interested in Childbirth Classes to help reduce labor pain, click our Class Link Here to learn more.

reduce labor pain with a doula

Aroma Therapy:

With a rise in popularity, Diffusers and Essential oils are a great way to reduce pain during childbirth. You may be asking; “How does aroma therapy work for labor?”, well easy… actually it’s pretty technical, but lucky for you we’ve condensed the info into an easy to understand explanation.

During Aroma Therapy, essential oil molecules are disbursed through a diffuser and inhaled. These molecules enter your body, reach the brain and affect the limbic system. The limbic system is responsible for emotions, stress, and hormone balance—all things that affect how you process pain in a good way.

If you’re still unsure how to diffuse, or which type of oils to use, research and experiment at home before going into labor. If you have a Doula, you can also ask if she provides aromatherapy. If you still have questions, click the DOULA LINK HERE to learn how we use essential oils during your labor.

Essential Oil Diffuser During Labor

Massage Therapy:

Specifically massage therapy that is performed by your partner. Whether your partner is an all-star foot therapist, or alternatively has sand paper hands that do more damage than you began with, all partners can learn how to give better massage during labor.

“How exactly does massage reduce labor pain?” I’m so glad you asked! Labor Massage therapy relaxes muscle tissue which helps reduce painful contractions and spasms. Reducing muscle spasms will also reduce nerve compression which in turn relieves pain signals going to your brain.

“What if my partner doesn’t know safe and effective labor massage?”, you’re in luck. Click the Bradley Method Class Link HERE to enroll and start training today! We’ll have that husband/partner of yours giving you the best massages and relaxation techniques on earth. There is also a class where your partner gets to feel a massage first hand (for learning purposes of course) ;)

Massage During Labor

Your Doula is also prepared to step in and use her massage skills to help you reduce pain during labor. If you still need to find a Doula, click this DOULA LINK HERE or click the BLOG to learn more.

As always, if you have any questions on this topic or any other topics we haven’t covered please feel free to contact us HERE or comment/DM us on Instagram via @babylovencp.

Your Childbirth Support and Doula,

Christy Gochez

How Much Should I Pay A Doula? AND WHY?!

That all depends on your knowledge of Doulas (what they do), the average going rate, and your budget.

How Much Does A Doula Cost?

First you have to understand what a Doula does for you. You can read our Blog “What Is A Birth Doula?” for more detail. In the meantime, here is a short list of what a Doula does:

1.       Emotional Support: Keeping you and your partner motivated

2.       Physical Support: like holding you up, moving you into different labor positions, etc.

3.       Educational Support: Protecting your birth plan, reducing unnecessary intervention, keeping you informed, etc.

4.       Provides Specialized Skills: Rebozo Training, Infant CPR, Placenta Preparation, Bradley Method, etc.

5.       Prenatal Visits: Check on you, baby, and your partner, PLUS game plan for your birth so that you are all on the same page

6.       A loving, caring great attitude

7.       ON CALL: 24/7 email, text and phone support leading up to your birth

8.       And much, much more

Next you have to understand the average rate in your area. Here in Orange County CA, rates will range from as high as $2,500 to as low as $1,100. With most Doula services making it hard to understand pricing by not listing it, and disclaiming that price varies depending on “situation”. To make it easy, click this DOULA link to see exactly what our services cost and what they include.

Now you have to get practical—what’s your budget? Can you shell out max dollar...do you want to? Are you already paying a pretty penny for the birth center, nursery, childbirth education, etc? You’re going to want to consider this before making payment. You may also want options on payment plans—some Doulas can offer payment plans. To learn about our payment plans, please contact us so we can make arrangements that fit your needs.

Let’s talk about reimbursement…like getting your Doula Dollas covered.

Your Doula cost expenses may be covered via your FSA (flexible spending account) and/or your HAS (health spending account) so long as it’s a covered expense and if your Doula bills you correctly. So this may be a way to financially acquire Doula services.

paying a doula

Remember this is all relative, some of you reading this are going to spare no expense, and some of you aren’t going to need to spend top dollar to receive the best care. At the end of the day, what matters most is your connection and relationship with your Doula. To read some reviews on what our Doula services are like from other parents, click this YELP link.

Now that you’re convinced you need a Doula, you may be asking “how do I choose a Doula?”

Easy, either click the DOULA link on our page or read our BLOG; “How To Choose A Doula”.

As always, if you have any questions about Doula Services, Childbirth Education, FSA/ HSA reimbursement, or anything else, please email us at christy.gochez@babylovencp.com or visit our Instagram and comment/DM us your questions to @babylovencp .

Christy Gochez

Can I Eat During Labor?

Do I currently have a craving? Is water wet? Do I perform better when I eat? Yes, gosh darn it, yes!

eating during labor

Eat! Acquire sustenance and fuel your body for the marathon that is labor!

Studies show that eating during labor can help stabilize what your body uses as energy sources (fat, protein, sugar) and can reduce the level of acidity in both your blood and baby’s blood, which WILL lead to more contractions (this is good) and a shorter labor (this is double chocolate chip cookie dough ice-cream good!)

So now you’re probably thinking what you can eat, and how you can sneak double chocolate chip cookie dough ice-cream into your delivery room. Let’s get serious though.

If you’re room or hospital provides you should at least pack a microwave meal or two, but most importantly you should pack snacks that are easy to digest, nutritious, and easy to pack. After all, you might have to be discreet as some Labor and Delivery staffs don’t like mom eating during labor (we’ll get into this on another blog later)

The following is a list of foods you may want to eat during labor:

healthy food during labor

 

Banana: comes with nature’s wrapper and can stay out for long periods of time. Great for increasing blood sugar too!

Berries: they’re tasty, and can be packed in a snack size Ziploc for easy access and disposal.

Baby carrots: they can sometimes come prepackaged and make for a crunchy snack that gets some vitamin A into you too!

Snack bars: Our favorite are the Larabar because they’re whole food based, and pack 28grams of carbs and 4 grams of protein.

Protein bars: Lenny and Larrys cookies are good pick but any easily digestible protein is a sure win.

Popsicles: bring a cooler with an icepack! A great way to hydrate and cool down too.

Peanut Butter: We like Laura Scudder’s Smooth and Unsalted variety, because there is only one ingredient; PEANUTS. Great with the carrot sticks or in a PB&J sandwich.

Trail mix: Whatever your heart desires.

Honey Sticks: easy to open and turns into energy very quickly!

 

DON’T FORGET TO HYDRATE!

Drink plenty of fluids, and have a sippy cup handy. You can fill the cup with water or a sports drink or with ice chips. I recommend going to 7eleven and buying a big gulp (what you fill it with is your choice) and using that as your water or ice chip cup. If you’re in a hospital; your Doula or your partner can ask for it to be filled for them so the staff can’t deny!

And we also can’t forget the postpartum food

snacks during labor

Orange juice (Bradley Method students get this one) and a nutritious high protein, good fat and carb meal such as oatmeal, grilled cheese, or ALT (Avocado, Lettuce, Tomato). After all, you’re going to need the nutrients to recover and as preparation for breast feeding.

As always, if you have questions about what to eat, how to deal with hospital staff, our Doula Services, The Bradley Method, or anything else, please feel free to ask us via contact button or our Instagram: @babylovencp.com

What is a Birth Doula? Bradley Doula? Natural Doula?

For many expecting mothers, the shear thought of going through labor for the first time (or again) induces an ominous fear of the unknown. What if it hurts? What if I can’t do it? What if I’m not strong enough? And for many expecting mothers, that’s it—the questions don’t get answered. Fortunately for you the word(s), Doula, birth coach, birth companion, and Birth Doula were thrown your way.

So what is a Birth Doula? Or Bradley Doula? Or Natural Doula?

best orange county doula

A Birth Doula is (aside from being the best person ever) an inspirer; your Doula will give you the support you need during labor to push through the pain, keep you motivated, and unlock a strength you didn’t know existed in you. All of this awesomeness is part of a Doulas job, but the true objective is to help you meet your little one as soon as possible in a healthy, and safe way.

A Birth Doula is a professional who has been trained and is certified to support you during a hospital birth, birth center birth, home birth, and water birth.

The best Doulas are typically ones that also have formal training in childbirth education such as The Bradley Method. Bradley Method Doulas are advantageous because they are with you during your three months of childbirth education, which gives you and your partner an opportunity to bond, and collaborate for the birth you want.

Let’s learn about the history of Doulas

The word Doula was first used in the 1960s to describe a woman who would tend and assist to a laboring mother’s needs during childbirth. The word comes from an old Greek word, Doule, which means female servant and was modernized and used in a study by Dana Raphael. In modern times; a Doula takes pride in serving her laboring mother.

However, Doulas have been around in many cultures for many years. Sometimes they go by the name Doula, other times they are a wise grandmother, a village expert, or a best friend. Whatever the case, they’re main focus is to serve the laboring mother. If you can imagine a mother consoling her daughter during labor, then it’s just as easy to imagine Doulas being around since the beginning of time.

top doula in orange county

You may be asking yourself; “What does Doula support look like?”, “What does a Doula do during labor/childbirth and maybe even after?”

Your Doula can support in various specific, and general ways. The following are examples. Sometimes your Doula will offer physical support in the form of holding you up while you’re laboring in different positions, or massaging your back in an attempt to turn a posterior baby. Sometimes your Doula will offer emotional support in the form of birth affirmations, or calming and directing your husband/partner down during a trying moment. Sometimes your Doula will offer educational support such as being your Bradley Method Educator, or helping you question/challenge a medical intervention through facts and logic. Your Doula will also be an advocate for you—it’s your birth, and your Doula will make sure it goes your way! Your Doula will also help you settle down and settle in when the baby is born, by helping you breastfeed, clean, gather items, prep your meal, or take some snapshots of mom, dad, and baby.

This all sounds great, but now you’re probably wondering “what is dad going to do?”, “how does my partner fit into this?”

Simple, Your Doula isn’t going to take your husband’s or partner’s place. Instead, your Doula will support your partner and husband to be a better coach for you during labor. A great and experienced Doula knows what her role is and everyone else’s role too. Your Doula will never overstep a boundary.

Doulas can be used in all types of birth, whether it’s a natural birth, water birth, conventional birth, un-medicated birth, vbac birth, medicated birth, hospital birth, roadside birth, placenta birth, etc.. Your Doula is prepared to help you in any and all situations.

best doula in Orange County

The word Doula evokes a proud and honorable feeling for moms and for the Doula herself. Your experience working with a Doula will leave a lasting happy impression.

If you’re interested in learning more about Doulas  and our Doula services we offer, please contact us at christygochez@babylovencp.com or DM us on Instagram via @babylovencp. We’re always excited to answer any questions you have.

3 Easy Games For Your Newborn Baby

Playtime! It isn’t just because it’s fun; playtime is also found to be beneficial for promoting healthy development in your newborn’s social skills, reasoning, motor skills, and parent-child bonds. In this day and age, most people think playtime involves an app on as phone--which may have its’ benefits--but let’s keep it real, direct play with a parent is way better. Here are three games that you can play with your newborn.

 

peek a boo with Newborn

Peek-A-Boo: Showing your newborn that your face can change will allow her to start to recognize you better. Practice those cross-eyed, tongue out, nostril flared faces and watch your baby be mesmerized by your odd beauty.

 

Sing to Newborn

Singing: Your newborn wants to imprint, he wants to know who it was talking to him in the belly for the last nine months. So give them a performance that is sure to leave a good impression—even if you’re not the best vocalist, your baby won’t know. Some song ideas are; Itsy Bitsy Spider, Twinkle Twinkle, Somewhere Over The Rainbow, and if you’re feeling it… “I said a hip hop, hippie to the hippie, the hip hip a hop and you don’t stop a, rock it out, bubba to the bang bang boogie, boogie to the boogie, to the rhythm of the boogie the beat” then drop that Fisher Price mic!

 

Pets and Newborns

Exploring: Let her feel new things like a washcloth, teething toy, rattle, spoon, sensory ball, etc.. Keep it safe and gentle, and you’re sure to kick start her brain development. Remember that everyday items to you are new and wondrous to her! Point to the trees outside, introduce your family and friends, or let them stare at the dog and cat playing in front of them. It will be fun for you to watch her eyes try and make sense of it all.

 

As you’re both enjoying each other and playing these games remember that your newborn can become overstimulated and playing gently and patiently will always give the best result. So have fun, and make a moment.

As always, if you have questions about any of our services, please contact us!

Photography provided by: @heyvegan for @babylovencp