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Are you an anxious mommy looking to buy a baby breathing monitor?

Welcome to the club Mama!

Those first few weeks of parenting a newborn are super hard, but oh. My. Word. No-one ever prepared me for how anxious I would be about putting my baby down to sleep.

That fear of not being able to watch over them as you sleep is quite frankly petrifying.

That is until the super duper baby monitor companies came along and said: “fear no more mamas we’ve got you covered.”

Let’s face it baby breathing monitors are a fantastic invention for stopping you staring at your baby all night giving you peace of mind.

You might even get some of your sleep back, without having to prod you baby to check they are still ok.

But before you start typing “Best baby breathing monitor” into Google, we need to chat.

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What does a baby breathing monitor do?

First, you need to know that there are lots of different types of baby breathing monitors on the market. You’ve probably heard of the most popular ones like the Owlet and the Snuza.

These monitors are really well made and use technology usually to sense at least one of three things for your baby:

  • Breathing movement
  • Oxygen levels
  • Heart rate

If any of these drop in your baby it could signal that they have stopped breathing.

What you may not know is that it’s quite normal for your baby to stop breathing for up to 20 seconds and then start back into a normal rhythm again.

Depending on what breathing monitor your use for baby, you may get a few false alarms if the sensor is sensitive to these breathing pauses.

Which, let’s face it, will be pretty annoying if you’ve jumped up in a panic at the breathing sensor alarm going off.

So just be aware that these devices may actually add to your anxiety if they continue to give you false alarms. Out of the current breathing monitors available to buy the Snuza Hero seems to have the least negative reviews for false alarms, I think that’s probably because one size fits all.

However, the Miku Smart baby monitor is new to the market but is getting fantastic reviews, and your baby doesn’t need to wear anything. Plus it saves you from needing to buy an extra baby monitor.

The downside is that it cost about the same as a lovely new crib, so you may want to add it to your Amazon baby registry and drop lots of hints to your family and friends.

SIDS Prevention

Another thing to remember about baby breathing monitors is that they will not prevent any incidence of SIDS.

It’s vital you know that any device that advertises that it will prevent or reduce your baby’s risk of SIDS is false advertising. If this were true the rates of SIDS would have fallen all over the world, and unfortunately, they have not. Even the AAP does not recommend sleep devices as a method of preventing SIDS (source).

The greatest risk of SIDS is within the first 6 months of a baby’s life. However, it can still happen up to a year old and very rarely over this age.

If you want to know more about creating a safe sleep space for your baby to reduce the risk of SIDS, head on over to my baby sleep space guide.

Although a baby breathing monitor won’t prevent SIDS or suffocation risk, what it can do is compliment your efforts to reduce your baby’s risk. Should something happen to your baby as they sleep, the monitor will alert you quicker to tend to them, which can save your baby’s life.

Related: A Sleep Positioner warning for new moms Before You Buy – The Most Important Question

There is one important question I need to ask you before you buy a baby breathing monitor.

What would you do if your breathing alarm went off and you found your baby lifeless?

Because ultimately, there is no point in buying one of these devices if YOU don’t know what to do once it has done its job, right?

You probably already know the answer is baby CPR.

But do you know how to do baby CPR?

Don’t worry you’re not alone. I’d say most parents who buy baby breathing monitors but don’t know what to do if they found their baby not breathing.

Yes, these devices are great, but they won’t start your baby breathing again, that’s your job.

Don’t worry though. It’s super simple to learn and an amazing skill for you to have as a parent.

You may need to use it on someone else’s baby and not just your own.

How to Do CPR on a Baby

This guide will walk you through how to resuscitate your baby if you find them without signs of life.

I would highly recommend taking a class in person, so you practice with a dummy baby and get feedback from a trained CPR practitioner. You can find classes available in your area here.

Step 1. Call For Help

The first step is to get professional there as soon as possible. Shout to get the attention of an adult in the house and get them to call 911. If you are alone, use a cell phone on speaker phone, so you can get help but start CPR as soon as possible.

If you don’t have a speaker phone, start CPR and do it for at least 1-2 minutes before stopping to call for help. When you need to move to a telephone, take your baby with you.

Try to make a mental note of the time.

Step 2. Check the surface.

Move your baby from their sleep space to a firm, flat surface where you can easily reach their chest and mouth. The floor is often the best place in a bedroom environment.

Step 3.  Move the head.

You want your baby’s head in a neutral position, so their airways are open. So when your baby is lying flat move their chin up off the chest, but make sure the chin isn’t pointing upwards.

Step 4. Start the breaths

Before you start, Look in your baby’s mouth, if anything is in the way gently remove it. Do not stick your fingers down your baby’s throat to remove an obstruction.

Take a deep breath in and place your lips over your baby’s mouth and nostrils, creating a tight seal. If you can’t get a tight seal, cover only the nose and close your baby’s mouth shut (for toddlers it should be the opposite way around).

Breathe out for one second and watch your baby’s chest rise and fall.

Repeat this, so you’ve done 5 breathes in total.

The start compressions

Step 5. Give Compressions

Before you start quickly check your baby’s head position and adjust to neural is needed.

Point your index and middle finger together (similar to the scout’s honor) and place it onto the middle your baby’s chest between their nipples.

Press quick and deep into your baby’s chest (at least one-third depth) and do this 30 times. For every second that passes you want to do two pumps.

The pace is steady so keep your finger on the chest the whole time. Let the chest fully rise between pumps.

Now give two further breaths like in step 4.

Step 6. Repeat

Continue a pattern of 30 compressions to 2 breaths until help arrives or baby comes around.

 IF you have adult help available, you may want to switch over as you can start to tire and compression become less effective.

Step 7. Recovery position

If your baby starts to breathe you need to keep them in a recovery position.

Pick your baby up and hold them on their side with their tummy facing yours. Slightly tilt their head downwards, so their feet are slightly higher on one side.

Continue to monitor their breathing.

Soothe and reassure them in this position until help arrives.

Baby CPR Demo

Infant & Toddler CPR - Surviving Infancy Video Guide - YouTube


Conclusion

I hope you’ve found this guide on baby breathing monitors useful. We’ve discussed how handy these devices are as a new parent.

But we’ve pointed out that baby sleep monitors can give off false alarms. Remember you are still responsible for creating a safe sleep space to reduce your baby’s risk of SIDS.

If you take away one thing from this article, it will be what you need to do if your breathing monitor alarm does go off and your baby is not breathing.

There is no point in dropping your hard earned dollars on these devices if you don’t know how to react to them.

 As parents, we hope that day never comes, but without a doubt knowing infant CPR can save your baby’s life.

And always remember, you’ve got this Mama.

The post Thinking about buying a baby breathing monitor? Read this first! appeared first on Stork Mama.

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Preparing to give birth is a big deal, right?

You want to make sure you know your options for giving birth but have you thought about what choices you have after birth?

You’re probably so focused on just getting through the labor and meeting your little one, that you haven’t given it much thought.

You’ll be trying to soak up every last detail of your child’s birth while being flat out exhausted. It’s unlikely you’ll notice the buzz of your nurse or midwife as they try to get all their post-birth tasks done.

One of those jobs will be to give your baby their first baby.

But, what appears to be a simple offer, can change postpartum outcomes for you and your baby.

What? A Bath?

Yes, really.

I’ve created this guide on delayed bathing for newborns to help you make the best decision for you and your family.

If you’re not quite at the stage of writing your birth plan yet, then pin this page so you can come back to it later, when you’re ready.

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10 Benefits of Delaying The Newborn Bath 1. Reduced infection

Did you know that your skin is the body’s biggest defense barrier against disease and infection? Newborns skin are epically vulnerable to our world as their immune system is so immature. Combine this with the fact that their skin is extremely delicate and you’re creating the perfect storm.

You’ve probably noticed new babies are often covered in a white substance. This is what we call vernix; it’s pretty much nature’s protective barrier for your baby. When you wash your baby, you’re taking away that protection, when you should try to leave it on as long as possible.   

Also, any baby wash will be made up of chemicals make up can disturb the natural balance of your baby’s skin. This can and make your baby more susceptible to skin infection or irritation.

And yes I’m talking about the ‘natural’ baby washes too.

2. Prevent dry skin

We’ve already discussed how amazing vernix is at preventing infection, but it’s also an amazing moisturizer for your baby’s skin. Once you feel it, you’ll realize it’s very similar to a thick skin moisturizer, except without the dollar dollar price tag.

Babies are often born with dry skin, especially when they are overdue. If you hold on the baby bath, you can simply moisturize the vernix into your baby’s skin to prevent their skin drying out.  Your baby’s skin will be so peachy and soft you’ll just want to gobble them up!

Also, this total isn’t scientific and just a nurse midwife observation, but I find that if you delay your baby’s first bath, they will hold on to that new baby smell for much longer. So if you’re a baby smell addict like me, you can thank me later.

3. Less Crying

So this vernix stuff seems to be getting all the credit for awesome baby things. But bathing your baby too soon will also remove amniotic fluid which has benefits too. This liquid, which is pretty much made up of your baby’s pee, has provided a cushion for your baby in the womb. However, it’s also packed full of proteins and cells that are vital to mom and baby.

In fact, studies have shown that when a baby smells moms amniotic fluid, it provides amazing comfort for the baby and reduces the amount they cry.

Trust me, if you find anything that soothes your baby’s transition in the world then utilize it. Plus if you and your baby have had a tough labor, a calm and settled baby makes the transition to motherhood much easier.

4. Improves breastfeeding

From what we’ve already discussed, you’ll know that it’s beneficial for your baby to keep those natural bodily fluids in place as long as possible. If you intend to breastfeed, you are nearly 10% more likely to succeed if you delay your baby’s first bath.

A big reason for that will be due to how responsive your baby is to these smells. They will help your baby to instinctively react to their surroundings and display reflexes such as rooting and suckling which will kick-start your breastfeeding journey.

5. Improve bonding

Have you heard of the golden hour after birth? This is the most magical time in a mom and babies life when you can connect through skin to skin, feeding your baby and explore each other through your senses.

This time is really about taking it all in for mom and baby, so you start to stimulate all those vital hormones in the brain that are the foundation for loving and warm relationships. This time should be spent cradled in the comfort of moms (or dads) arms and not being subjected to an unnecessary bath by a health professional.

In fact, the longer to can continue skin to skin care within the first 24hours without the disruption of a bath can provide a lot of benefits for your baby.

Related: Best Baby Wash for Newborns 6. Stabilizes blood sugar

Your baby has to make huge changes in their body to adjust to life outside your body. One of the major impacts is that they have to survive without a constant source of food from the placenta. Because of this, your baby’s blood sugars can drop quickly in some situations.

Your baby has already used up a lot of energy from birth, but bathing them can be cause them to cry and use up more energy. A loss of energy results in sleepy babies who are reluctant to feed, which makes the problem worse.

Once you combine this loss of energy with disrupted skin to skin and washing away reflex stimulating fluids, it’s no wonder your baby might not want to feed.

That then means going down a slippery road of painful baby blood sugar assessment; longer hospital stays, supplementation and disruptions to your breastfeeding journey. It seems dramatic, but a simple task like bathing your baby too soon can result in this cascade of intervention. Simply holding off on the bath for a few hours at least can prevent this, or at least it won’t contribute.

7. Regulate temperature

Inside your womb, your baby is very warm at around 34F (1C) warmer than your body temperature. Helping them to maintain their temperature when born is easy with lots of skin to skin.

If fact, keeping your baby warm is important for newborns as they lose a lot of heat from their large head, especially when it’s wet. Plus your baby can’t shiver, tell you that they are cold or move to a warm place. They will simply start to use up vital fat stores.

Bathing a baby too soon will lower their temperature from undressing, and loss of heat though evaporation. Just think of how you when you’re exposed to the room temperature when getting out of the bath or shower. That’s why you don’t want your baby to get a bath too soon.  

8. Decreased weight loss

Now that we’ve discussed the regulation of blood sugars and maintaining your baby’s temperature, we can talk about weight loss. It’s normal for your baby to lose around 10% of their birth weight in the first few days, but any more than this can be an issue.

Baby’s that have uncontrolled blood sugars disrupted breastfeeding or are unable to control their temperature are at higher risk of losing more weight. Again this may result in you needing to supplement or try adopt some exhausting pump schedule to up your milk supply to help your baby.

This may happen regardless of when your baby has their first bath. However, an early bath certainly causes interruption to baby’s instinctive feeding behaviors and can have a huge ripple effect on their development in those first critical days.

9. Less stressful for You

You may be lucky and have a baby who loves a bath, but otherwise, the first bath can be really stressful for you and your baby.

It can be really difficult to watch your little baby screaming their head off if the bath is stressing them out. You’ll want to comfort them as much as possible but probably won’t be able to until the bath is over. Even worse it that some hospital needs to bath baby in a different room, this separation can be quite distressing for you both.

The experience may also depend on your nurse’s attitude to bathing your baby. Nurses are well aware that baths cause baby’s temperatures to drop, so they are super-efficient at handling the bath, but they may be hurried with your baby to get things done swiftly.

If you prefer to have the bathing experience when you are all as relaxed as possible and can take your time, then hold off until you are both relaxed.

10. Improved postpartum healing

Delaying your baby’s first bath can allow you to have lots of skin to skin at the most vital time. This close contact helps you release the hormone oxytocin. This is what causes the awesome bonding we discussed above.

Natural oxytocin release also helps improve your milk supply, boost your mood, reduces your postpartum bleeding and return you uterus to its pre-pregnancy size. All of these can contribute to a quick postpartum recovery for you.

RELATED: How To Bath Your Newborn Baby at Home 5 reasons you don’t want to delay baby’s first bath

This guide is here to inform you about delayed baby bathing, but that doesn’t mean you need to feel pressured into holding off on your baby’s bath. Let’s look at some reasons you may not want to delay your baby’s first bath.

1. Body Fluids

We’ve discussed the benefits of body fluid for your baby, but that doesn’t mean you will be able to cope with them especially if it weirds you out. It’s ok if you want your baby cleaned down a bit before you hold them.

 I find that if the body fluids are an issue for you, then its best to as your nurse to clean baby up as soon as possible so you can hold your sweet little baby without feeling grossed out.

Even if you are super keen on delaying your baby’s first bath, there may be some unexpected material such as meconium (baby’s first poo) that may make you change your mind.

2. Faith reasons

Your religion may have birth ceremonies after birth with including a ritual wash. Washing your baby of bodily fluids may be required as part of your faith.

 It’s best to put this into your birth plan, so your health professionals are aware of any special circumstances for your family.

3. You want a demo

Bathing a baby can be really scary because tiny babies are wriggly and even harder to control when wet. Bathing a baby as a new parent can be petrifying.

If you have a short hospital stay, it’s only natural to have your nurse show you their technique before you go home. They may even give you their favorite tips for making the process easier. You can check out my method to bathing newborns here.

4. Pressure from family

Even if you are your partner are ok with holding off on the bath, a lot of new parents feel pressured to have their baby nice and clean for their first visitors.

I totally understand that you might want to show off your baby’s full head of silky hair and not have it caked in blood from your delivery.

In this case, instead of a full bath, your baby may benefit from a simple wipe down to remove the majority of the offending materials, and then it’s a win-win.

5. Tradition

Family tradition can play a big part in what you do after birth. You may have a family tradition of taking a photo of the nurse bathing your baby. Just remember you can still get this photo even if you delay the bath. However, it may be more important if you intend to have a short hospital stay.

Related: Best Baby Tub for Newborns 3 Reasons Your Nurse doesn’t want to delay your baby’s first bath

Delayed baby bathing is becoming more common in the hospital. However, some continue with the practice of bathing your baby soon after delivery. These are some reasons your nurse may not want to delay giving your baby a bath.

1. Risk of disease

The reason most hospitals started bathing babies was a universal precaution against disease for your baby. If you delay bathing your baby, and it may be hospital policy for your nurse to wear gloves while handling your baby until they have a bath.

2. They like bathing babies

Most nurses love bathing babies because it feels great to be able to teach new parents baby care skills. Plus I have to admit that once all the gunk is gone from their hair and it all fuzzes up, it is pretty darn cute.

3. Work pressures

It’s likely that your nurse may have other families they are caring for at the same time as you. This means there time is limited, and unfortunately, it may be more convenient to give a bath after birth than later.

Don’t be annoyed if you ask your nurse to bathe your baby later and she’s caught up doing something else.

Your nurse may need to prioritize their workload, and a baby bath will probably be pushed down the list of things to do when they are busy.

How long to delay baby’s first bath

Most hospitals are recognizing the benefits of delayed baby bathing and will wait at least 12 hours before bathing your baby. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommend waiting at least 24-48 hours until your first bath your baby.

Ultimately the choice is up to you, just remember to weight up the pros and cons to make a decision that is right for you and your family and let your caregivers know what you want.

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The post 10 Important Reasons To Delay Baby’s First Bath appeared first on Stork Mama.

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Has your face just suddenly dialed back to your teenage years now that you’re pregnant?

You thought that awful skin and big zit were behind you right?

Unfortunately, pregnancy acne is a common symptom a lot of mom have to deal with.

Even if you’ve never been prone to acne before, you may suddenly suffer from acne during pregnancy.

Thanks for that one Mother Nature!

Acne can be annoying, especially when everyone has told you that pregnancy will make your skin glow.

The only glowing you’re seeing is the bright red pimples shining like Rudolph’s nose.

Jokes Aside, pregnancy acne can be awful. Not only is it painful but it can really knock your confidence too.

I’ve written this guide to help you to treat your pregnancy acne. These treatments may not completely take your pregnancy acne away, but they will make an improvement to your skin.

Let’s do this

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What Causes Acne during Pregnancy?

You probably already know that pregnancy makes your hormones go crazy.

Progesterone is one of those hormones. Your progesterone levels start increasing around 6 weeks into your pregnancy. This sudden rise can cause your skin to start releasing more sebum (oil) than it normally would.

All that extra oil can cause your pore to become blocked, resulting in all those nasty pimples.

8 Ways to Cope With Pregnancy Acne

These tips will help to tackle the effects of all that extra skin oil. Unfortunately, your pregnancy acne won’t disappear overnight; it will take some work.

These tips may seem simple, but following them consistently will help to reduce the chances of a huge pimple breakout.

1. Cleanse Twice a day

Make it a priority to start looking after your skin. You’ll need to use a gentle cleanser at least twice a day, in the morning and at night.

Thoroughly remove any makeup before you go to bed.

Regular cleansing will help keep your excessing oil production under control. It will also remove any bacteria from your face and reduce the chance of large pimples.

2. Don’t Scrub

IT can be tempting to scrub your face to try and remove as much oil as possible. Unfortunately, this will only irritate your sensitive pregnancy skin further.

Plus using facial scrubs or harsh soaps can make your pregnancy acne worse. That’s because your natural oils are removed, and so your dry skin works extra hard to replace them.

Opt for gentle or natural products with few ingredients when possible. Don’t be afraid to switch brands.

3. Use oil-free products

I’d always recommend keeping your skin well hydrated with a good moisturizer before using other products. Remember dry skin will overcompensate by producing more oil.

Your skin will then benefit from oil-free products for the rest of your skincare regime. These will help to prevent the dreaded oil slick look throughout the day.

4. Change your pillowcases

You spend a lot of your day sleeping or attempting to when you’re pregnant. As your head rests on your pillowcase, they mop up all the sweat and dirt from your hair and skin.

All of that transfers back and forward between your face each time you sleep.

Buy a new set of pillowcases to rotate as you wash them every few days. Get into the habit of cleaning them more regularly than you normally would.

This simple trick can make a huge difference to your skin.

5. Tie up your hair

Have you noticed your hair getting thicker during your pregnancy?

That’s caused by the other main pregnancy hormone called estrogen. That means there is a lot more of your hair to get greasier and touch your face.

I’d recommend tying your hair back wherever possible. It means your less likely to touch your hair or face throughout the day.

If you tie your hair back as you sleep the oils on your hair won’t press against your skin as you sleep.

6. Don’t pick

Whatever you don, try to resist the urge to pick your pimples.

I know, I know that can be torture, I totally understand as a fellow pimple popper.

However, your run the risk of causing permeant scaring to your skin when you do this. Also you pregnant, immune system is less able to deal with the bacteria and other nasties on your fingertips and in your nails.

A good cover-up will become your best friend. Always remember to use cleanse hands or makeup brushes when applying it.

7. Eat and drink right

You already know that a good diet will help your skin.

It can be really difficult during pregnancy, especially if you have mad cravings or bad morning sickness.

Try to get as much fruit and vegetable into your diet as possible. Smoothies are a great way to do this.

Avoid too much sugar and fried foods, as these can worsen your acne symptoms.

The top it all off by drinking around half a gallon of water each day. This will prevent your skin from drying out and causing your skin to produce more oil.

8. See a doctor

If a good skin care routine and diet changes aren’t helping, then you need to see a dermatologist.

They will be able to discuss pregnancy safe treatments that will tackle your acne.

Treatment soften include:

  • Mediated washes
  • Antibiotic treatments
  • Light therapy

Your doctor will be able to advise the best treatment for you depending on the severity and your pregnancy history.

Related: 8 Annoying Pregnancy Skin Issues Acne Products to Avoid In Pregnancy Over the Counter Acne Products

The safety of over the counter acne products is unknown during pregnancy. It’s unlikely that the amounts that are absorbed are enough to harm your baby, but they also can’t be classed as safe.

Ingredient best to avoid during pregnancy include:

  • benzoyl peroxide
  • salicylic acid
  • Retinoids

Check that any acne product you use is free of these ingredients.

Acne Medication

Most oral acne medication should be avoided during pregnancy.  The most common include:

  • Isotretinoin
  • Spironolactone
  • Tazarotene

All of these medications are known to potentially cause birth defects.

If you’ve just found out, you are pregnant and use acne medication, discuss with your doctor if it’s safe to continue using it.

You may prefer to stop taking acne medication when trying to conceive or in the first trimester when the risk to your baby is higher.

6 Natural remedies for Pregnancy Acne

With all the uncertainty about how safe, certain acne products are, it may be best to go for more natural options. Check out this list of natural acne-fighting products to try for your pregnancy acne.

Tea tree

Using tea tree oil on your skin is an age old remedy for acne. This oil has antibacterial properties and will help to heal your skin.

All you need is a few drops of oil on a clean cotton pad. Dab it over the affected areas.

Don’t go overboard as too much can dry your skin out.

Zinc

Studies have shown that a good zinc supplement can help with mild acne.

Zinc is known to help with inflammation and fight of bacteria which can worsen your acne.

You may already be taking a pregnancy supplement which contains zinc so check to see if it meets your daily requirements.

A good diet of meats, nuts, and whole grains will help you to keep your zinc levels high.

Vitamin C

A good dose of vitamin C is perfect for fighting the redness caused by acne. Its properties also help to re-built healthy skin that has been affected by large breakouts.

Again your pregnancy vitamins may already contain your daily dose. Also, food containing Vitamin C will boost your daily levels Including broccoli, bell peppers, oranges, and strawberries.

A vitamin C serum is a great way to moisturize your skin overnight to prevent it from drying out after cleaning.

Probiotics

Poor gut health can be a reason for your pregnancy acne. Progesterone can slow down your digestive system causing a lot of issues for your gut.

An easy way to fix your gut health is to take a good probiotic supplement. They are well known for helping with acne symptoms.

A word of warning, your acne may get slightly worse for a few days as your gut bacteria corrects itself. Your skin should start to get better after a week or so of regular use.

Charcoal face mask

Activated charcoal is a safe and natural way to deal with your oily skin during pregnancy. The charcoal will help to draw the toxins and oil from your skin.

You can buy a charcoal face mask products or activated charcoal powder which you’ll need to mix.

Slater the mix all over your face and leave for around 15-20 minutes. Once you wash the mask off, you should moisturize to prevent your skin from drying out.

Witch Hazel

One of the best remedies to use for your acne is a witch hazel astringent.

It’s a triple threat for your acne by reducing inflammation, redness and mopping up excess oil. Using witch hazel can make it difficult for bacteria to grow which reduced your chance of infection.

Witch hazel also has healing properties which helps to recover and open pimples or scabs.

Pregnancy Acne FAQ How Long will my Pregnancy Acne Last?

It is common for pregnancy acne to develop as soon as you find out you are pregnant. The symptoms may start to lessen around 20 weeks as your hormones level out.

Unfortunately, you may experience acne through your whole pregnancy, especially if you have a history of severe acne.

The good news is that once your baby is born your hormones will return back to the way they were pre-pregnancy. Your skin should be seeing improvements by 6 weeks postpartum.

Can I still wear makeup with pregnancy Acne?

It’s still ok to wear makeup when you have pregnancy acne. However, you may want to keep it to a minimum rather than caking it on.

Switch to lighter coverage products to allow your skin to breathe.

Take off your makeup as soon as you no longer need to wear it. Give your face more time without makeup on than wearing it.

Also, remember to clean your makeup brushes regularly to remove any bacteria that is making your acne worse.

The post 8 Ways to Deal With Your Pregnancy Acne appeared first on Stork Mama.

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If you’re in the third trimester, you’ve probably already decided where you want to deliver your baby.

Or perhaps you had a very quick delivery with your last baby.

Have you thought about what to do if you don’t make it to your birth center in time?

Yes, I’m talking about laboring so fast that you accidentally deliver at home, also known as a BBA (born before arrival).

Fast or precipitous labor is uncommon, but they still happen. In fact, 1 in 200 babies are born before they arrive at the hospital.

You’re much more likely to experience this if you’ve already given birth. But even first-time moms experience it too.

Timing the trip to the hospital or a premature baby may take you by surprise.

Some babies hang around for no-one. They are born at home, in the car, in the ambulance or even at the side of the highway in rush hour traffic. You’ve seen the online videos right?

This guide is gonna tell you just what to do in case you don’t quite make it to the hospital n time. You might even want to print it out and keep a copy for your partner in case it happens.

There is a lot of information in this guide, so pin it to your baby or labor board, and you can come back to it later.

NOTE –  This guide is for women who are laboring outside of their planned place of birth. It is not for women who intend to free birth at home purposely without a trained professional to help.

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How to Handle An Unassisted Birth 1. Assess what’s Going on

Although this situation seems scary, the best thing to do is try and stay as calm as possible. Knowing how to handle the situation will get the best outcome if the medical staff are not around.

Are your contractions are coming every 3-4 minutes and lasting for around 1 minute? Then you’re in active labor. You may still have time to get to your birth center, especially if it’s your first baby.

When you’re unsure call your birth center, and they will triage you over the phone.

If you have a strong urge to push, stay put and use the following steps.

2. Call 911

If you think your baby is coming now, call 911 immediately. Don’t waste time by calling your hospital or midwifery unit; they’ll only tell you to call 911.

An ambulance will dispatch immediately. If you’re not at home, try to give as much detail of your location to make it easier for them to reach you, such as street signs.

They may ask a few questions such as ‘is this your first baby?’ or ‘how many weeks are you?’

If your baby’s head is appearing, they will be able to talk your partner through delivering your baby.

Unlock the door so that the EMT’s can access your home quickly.

3. Get a Helper

If you’re on your own, get someone who can help you out. At home, it’s best to try a female neighbor

Never get into a car and attempt to drive yourself to a birth center.

4. Heat the Home

Your baby needs a warm environment to be born into. At home turn the heating on if it’s cold or cool weather. If it’s hot weather, shut any windows and turn off the A/C or fans.

If you’re in a car turn the heating on and roll up the windows.

This is an important step, don’t skip it. One of the biggest risks to your baby is that they get too cold after delivery.

5. Gather a ‘Birth Kit’

Use items you have available to you in the home. If you are in the car try to take some of these items with you en-route to the birth center. That way you’ll be prepared if things change quickly.

A plastic sheet – trash bags, shower curtains or tablecloths can be used to protect your bed, carpet or car seats.

Lots of dry clean towels – Preferably warmed if possible, these are for drying your baby.

A warm blanket and hat – Again warmed if possible. These will be used to keep your baby warm after birth.

A large bowl or bag – You’ll need something to hold the placenta after it delivers. It’s very bloody so make sure your container doesn’t have holes.

6. Get comfortable

Use your plastic sheet, lay it down and sit on top. Don’t be tempted to go in the bath a sit can make it harder for the EMT to transfer you and can cause your baby to lose heat quicker.

Choose whatever position you feel most comfortable in. Lying on you left side is good to get the most oxygen to your baby.

7. Don’t push

Now I know you see all those movies where everyone is screaming ‘PUSH,’ but you need to resist.

Your body will give you an unbearable sensation to push. Rather than forcibly pushing down, try panting instead. Similar to how you would blow out candles on a cake.

Controlled breathing will allow your baby to delivery slowly to minimize your risk of tearing.

8. Delivering baby

Make sure your helper has clean hands. They should keep their hands close to your vagina ready to catch baby should they deliver very quickly.

Don’t worry if your baby’s head is delivered without the body. Don’t feel for cord and don’t pull on the head.

The body should be born with the next contraction. You or your helper should gently catch them.

9. When Your baby is out

As soon as your baby is born bring them up on to your tummy or your chest (depending on the cord length). Your baby will be wet and slippery and needs to dried quickly.

Give your baby a good, firm rub; this will help them to take their first breath and cry.

Your baby may be a little stunned, and you may need to do this for up to a minute. Most babies will cry before then.

There is a guide below on what to do if your baby doesn’t start to breathe after this time.

Put a hat on your baby, a blanket over you both and keep them warm with skin to skin.

10. The placenta

Now your baby is born you need to wait for the placenta to arrive. It can take anything from 10minutes to an hour. It’s also common for the placenta to become stuck after a quick labor.

Try putting your baby to your breast, if they managed to suck it will release hormones that help the placenta deliver.

Don’t tie off the cord or attempt to cut it. You’ll allow your baby to get as much vital blood and oxygen as possible. Cutting the corn can also leave your baby open to infection as your equipment won’t be sterile.

You’ll feel a few more contractions, and then the placenta will deliver.

Place it into the tub or plastic bag and keep it close as it will still be attached to your baby. The placenta needs to be inspected by a nurse or midwife to make sure it’s all out.

11. Once help arrives

You and baby will quickly be assessed to make sure there are no complications from birth. You’ll likely be transferred to hospital to assess if you need any vaginal stitches, deliver your placenta or to manage heavy bleeding.

Your baby is likely to be observed closely for signs of hypothermia. Keeping baby as dry and warm as possible will help prevent this.

The experience can be traumatic, and you or your partner may require a debrief session after the event. It’s best to talk about the events with trained staff.

If your baby doesn’t breathe

Remember to give your baby a good dry and rub for a minute to stimulate their breathing. Be firm like you would when you towel dry your hair.

The good news is your placenta is still attached, and your baby will get a flow of oxygen for around 5 minutes or when the cord stops pulsing.

If baby still appears blue, floppy and isn’t breathing:

  1. Wrap them up and lie them on a firm flat surface. Try to keep them warm.
  2. Tilt their chin slightly upwards, making sure that it’s not against their chest
  3. Cover your baby’s mouth and nose with your open mouth. Try to seal your lips on their face. Breathe out and into your baby for 2-3 seconds. Repeat those breaths 5 times. Make sure the chest moves up and down as you do this.
  4. Quickly check to see if your baby is breathing on their own. If they are then put baby back skin to skin, keep them warm.
  5. If your baby still isn’t breathing repeat the breaths and check for breathing for up to a minute. Start chest compressions.
  6. Place your first two fingers in the middle of your baby’s chest between the nipples. Press down quickly 3 times. Then do another breath.
  7. Keep doing 3 compressions to one breath until you baby breathes themselves, or help arrives.
The Law

It’s not illegal to have an unassisted home birth in the USA. In some states, it is illegal for a midwife to attend a homebirth, unplanned or not.

That’s why it’s best to call 911 for assistance in the case of an unassisted birth.

Your state may require an immediate check by a trained professional to obtain your baby’s birth certificate.

Unassisted Birth Videos

Baby child born in moving car in USA - YouTube

Accidental Unassisted Birth at Home - YouTube

Summary

Although the thought of an unassisted birth can be scary, your instincts will take over.

Your body is designed to have babies and is capable of doing it without help. The main aim of the game is to keep you and your baby as healthy as possible. That means getting a check-up from a trained professional as soon as you can.

Follow this guide, and you’ll give you and your baby the best outcomes, should you accidentally deliver before you get to tour planned place of birth.

You got this mama.

The post How To Rock An Unassisted Birth Like a Pro appeared first on Stork Mama.

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Is your pregnancy skin taking you back to your teenage years?

I mean everyone talks about having the pregnancy glow. In reality your pregnancy hormone are wreaking havoc with your skin.

Your poor skin goes through a lot of changes during pregnancy. Learning about these changes and how to work with them will give your skin a whole new lease of life.

Whether your skin is super sensitive or drier than the Sahara desert, this pregnancy skin care guide will help you.

I’ll discuss how to deal with skin issues in pregnancy, the best pregnancy skin products to use and what to avoid.

Now coping with your pregnancy skin doesn’t need to get you down. Follow these tips and you’ll have that elusive pregnancy glow in no time.

Let’s do this Mama

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8 Pregnancy Skin Issues 1. Sensitive Skin

Pregnancy is a prime time for your skin to suddenly become very sensitive. The sudden increase of hormones and rapid skin growth is the main culprits.

The best way to tackle sensitive skin in pregnancy is to switch to using gentle products that won’t irritate your skin. Your usual brand of products may do a sensitive or unscented range you can switch to.

Harsh tools such as exfoliators or cleansers need to go. A soft microfiber cloth is ideal for your sensitive skin.


2. Dry Skin

Has your skin got super dry?

Your pregnancy hormones are causing your body to lose moisture to your skin. Any water you take in is now being used by both you and your baby.

If your skin is very dry, that’s a sign you might be dehydrated. Your first step should always be to up your fluid intake. Make sure your drinking around 8 glasses of water each day.

I’d recommend using a moisturizer after washing your body or cleaning your face. Using a humidifier during the night will give your skin much needed moisture.


3. Oily Skin

Has pregnancy caused your skin to be slicker than Danny Zuko’s hair?

Oily skin is cause by overproduction of sebum in your glands. The cause? Yep you’ve guessed it, those pesky pregnancy hormones.

Regular cleansing in the morning and at night may help keep the grease at bay. However it may also make the problem worse for you.

If you’d want a solution for mopping up the oil, I’d recommend using blotting sheets.

You may also want to avoid using skin care products or makeup that is oil free. That way you’re not adding to the problem.


4. Pregnancy Acne

Have your skin transported you back to your teenage years?

Pregnancy acne is a common reaction to all that extra oil your hormones have made.

It can be so tempting to want to pick at your spots, but don’t. Your skin is much more sensitive and you can easily cause long lasting damage. Plus squeezing spots can leave you open to all sorts of nasty skin infections.

Avoid using over the counter acne products. The ingredients are often unsafe for using in pregnancy. A natural way to tackle the problem is a consistent skin care regimen.

If you feel your pregnancy acne is severe, my advice would be to see a dermatologist for a review.


5. Itchy Skin

Are you scratching your skin raw?

Unfortunately, your skin is stretched extremely fast during pregnancy. Your bump is probably the area most affected due to your growing bump. Your body hold on to a lot more fluid during pregnancy, which your skin has to deal with.

A good moisturizer is the best way to tackle to itching. An emollient with oatmeal can also be soothing for your skin.

You may also need to consider what laundry detergent you are using as it may be irritating your pregnant skin.

Itching can also be a sign of PUPPS (Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy) which is annoying but harmless in pregnancy. It can also be a sign of cholestasis, a condition that is dangerous for your unborn baby and needs to be medicated.

I’d strongly recommend getting any ongoing itch reviewed by your caregiver.


6. Pregnancy Stretch marks

Your body goes through many changes in pregnancy, but you’re probably praying you don’t get stretch marks. Unfortunately, it’s down to our genetic if you’ll get them or not.

These tiny pink stripes care caused by your rapidly growing skin. Although you can’t prevent them, you can minimize the impact they have.

Check out my top 10 tips for preventing stretch marks in pregnancy.

A good stretch mark cream or oil is ideal for helping your skin’s elasticity and preventing excessive damage. Keep up to your fluid levels and regularly apply your stretch mark cream to improve their appearance.


7. Pregnancy Mask

Has pregnancy caused random dark patches over your face? This is known as Chloasma or pregnancy mask.

A hormone imbalance is causing you to release too much melatonin to protect your skin against sunlight.

The best protection is to keep yourself out of the sun as much as possible. If you do need to go outdoors use clothing such as hats to shade your skin.

I’d recommend using a sunscreen with a high SPF to block as much UV light as possible. Reapply it regularly and keep your skin shade.

Pregnancy skin discoloration usually fades a few months after you give birth.


8. Redness

Is your skin super red and blotchy?

This is a common skin issue for pregnant women due to your increased blood flow. Your body is making 50% more blood in pregnancy; it’s no wonder your feeling flushed.

The best way to prevent redness is to avoid extreme weather conditions such as being too hot or too cold.

A good cooling skin product can keep the red patches at bay. Look for ingredients such as aloe vera or mint.

If you like to wear makeup, green tinted products will reduce the appearance of the redness under your makeup.


Skin Care Ingredients to Avoid During Pregnancy

There are certain ingredients in your beauty products to avoid during pregnancy. These products are known to be harmful to your unborn baby.

Your body will absorb these ingredients through your skin, so it’s best to avoid them while pregnant.

Benzoyl peroxide

This is an ingredient commonly found in acne products. It’s known to make your skin sensitive especially in sunlight. There is little evidence about its safety in pregnancy.

Parabens/ Bisphenols

These are used as preservatives in cheaper shampoos and body washes. They act similar to the estrogen hormone. This is thought to cause growth problems for babies (especially boys) if there is too much exposure in pregnancy.

Retinoids/retinol

This is a family of ingredients that should be avoided at all costs. These skin products are marketed as containing Vitamin A which is known to cause a birth defect if used in high doses.

Salicylic acid

A common ingredient in acne, cleansing, and exfoliating products. It the main type of acid not approved for pregnancy use.

Glycolic, lactic, and mandelic acids are alternatives that are considered safe for pregnancy.

Soy

Another ingredient that mimics the estrogen hormone. Too much usage is thought to increase the risk of developing pregnancy mask.

Hydroquinone

This is an ingredient used in skin lighteners. You may be tempted to use these types of products if you have a pregnancy mask. This ingredient is not recommended for pregnant women.

Summary

Pregnancy can do a real number on your skin. It can be totally depressing if you don’t get the coveted pregnancy glow and terrible skin instead.

This guide has discussed the top 8 pregnancy skin issues and how you can deal with them. Follow these tips, and you should get your pre-pregnancy skin back in no time

Remember to check those ingredients before you go using any new products during pregnancy.

You got this mama.

The post 8 Pregnancy Skin Issues And Incredibly Easy Ways To Fix Them appeared first on Stork Mama.

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Have you written your birth plan yet?

If you have or are about to, I bet you’ve put a lot of focus on coping with pain in labor.

Whether you’re a ‘give me all tha drugs!’ kinda gal or opting to go drug-free you know labor will be painful.

You’re focusing on what you want to prevent the pain, but have you thought about simple ways you could be making the pain worse?

It sounds really negative, however, it’s good to know what these things are. If you can avoid them, then you’ll cope better and require less pain relief.

I’ve created this guide to highlight the birthing pitfalls to avoid making during labor.

Let’s get started.

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9 Ways To Make Your Labor Pain Worse 1. Fear

It’s totally normal for you to be freaking petrified during birth.

I mean your whole life you’ve heard horror stories of moms pooping on the table or tearing from hole to hole, right?

Pretty much every birth on TV or movie has the mom screaming her head off.

The problem is that when you’re scared you become tense and breathe fast. Both of these reactions make the contractions feel a lot worse for you.

The fear also causes you to release stress hormones which can slow your labor and make you exhausted.

If your birth anxiety is severe, it’s best to speak to your doctor or a therapist beforehand. Cognitive therapy can help overcome your negative thoughts before labor starts.

Another option is to look into birthing classes in your area to teach you coping techniques. Hypnobirthing classes can be useful. I find mindfulness techniques are great for anxiety, and this book (I recommend the audio version) is a great read if this kind of techniques works for you.

This is a very powerful TED talk by world-renowned midwives Ina May Gaskin. It can be a bit hippyish in parts, but she makes some amazing points about modern birth culture.

Reducing fear of birth in U.S. culture: Ina May Gaskin at TEDxSacramento - YouTube

2. Caregiver mistrust

Trusting your caregivers during labor is vital to help you release birth hormones (oxytocin).

If your nurse, midwife or doctor makes you feel uneasy, then your body will react and not labor well.

The mistrust creates an environment of fear and tension which heightens your pain.

Your nurse or midwife should be able to assess how well you are coping and help you through this.

Ask yourself if you feel comfortable with the policies and routine procedures of your chosen caregiver. Have they made comments that make you feel uneasy during pregnancy?

Then its best to find the right caregiver for you before your labor starts.

You may also consider hiring a doula to support you through your labor. A doula is familiar with the birth environment and stays with you all the time. This is especially important if you give birth where your nurse cannot provide one to one care in labor.

3. Birth environment

Have you considered your birth environment during labor?

You probably know who your birth partner will be, but what about the thing that makes you feel more comfortable?

Surprisingly you feel more relaxed and less tense when you’re in a homely environment.

The problem is that most hospitals are very clinical looking.

There are simple changes that you can make to your birth room, so you labor better.

First off, make sure that only people you want to be there are there. That includes your birth partner and medical staff.

If you don’t want a student in with you, let your caregiver know. Also, make sure that any staff knocks before they enter the room. Constant interruptions to you your room may slow it down.

Lack of privacy and bright lightening won’t help your labor progress. Ask your nurse to pull the curtains and dim the lights for a nice relaxed environment.

You might want to bring some home comforts such as pillows or essential oils you use in your house.

4. Pitocin

Unless there is a medical indication try to avoid suing artificial hormones to start or speed up your labor.

Using an artificial drip for labor is associated with an increased need for pain relief. That’s because your contractions are forced and don’t have the same slow built up of natural labor.

If your pregnancy is low risk and you’re heading toward being overdue, read up on natural ways to induce your labor. A good membrane sweep is a great ‘natural’ option for getting you into labor without the need for hormones.

If you do require Pitocin use during your labor, consider how this will affect your need for pain relief. Don’t feel like you’ve let yourself down if you need something strong like an epidural.

5. Posterior baby

A baby who is lying ‘back to back’ is known to cause more pain in labor.

The reason is that your baby is pressing against your spine causing back pain. In this position, your baby doesn’t open your cervix as well as a front facing position. That can make your labor a lot longer.

You can check out my tips for turning your posterior baby before your labor starts.

The idea is that you keep your bump as front facing a possible. Avoid lying on your back or position that recline your pelvis.

In labor its best to keep upright and avoid being on a bed. This may be an issue if you need to be constant monitoring during your labor. Your nurse or midwife will be able to assist you in helping your baby to turn.

Posterior babies need time to turn in labor which can make your labor longer. Your caregiver may even suggest Pitocin to speed the labor up. Of course, altogether that can lead to a much more painful experience.

My advice would be to try and prevent your baby from turning posterior before birth.

6. Dehydration

I always find it amazing how easy it is to forget simple solutions to birthing problems.

It’s common to forget to eat and drink during labor, especially when your contractions ramp up.

Dehydration is a big factor for increasing your pain levels.

Your body relies on water to make the cells work as best as they can. When your body is dehydrated, your energy and focus will suffer, making coping a lot harder.

In fact, if your body is severely dehydrated, it can actually stop your labor. That may then lead to you needing iv drips or Pitocin.

The best thing to do is to keep hydrated as soon as your contractions start. Tell your birth partner its one of their jobs to make sure you keep your fluids up when you forget.

You don’t need to drink liters during labor, but enough to prevent thirst. Your body is working really hard, so give it the fuel it needs.

Ice chips are a great way to keep your fluid levels up. Plus they will help to cool you down and make you feel more comfortable.

7. Your Breathing

I’m gonna give you a tip I give to all the laboring moms I care for.

Master your breathing, and your labor will completely change.

Think of the last time you were in pain. Did you automatically hold your breath?

I bet the answer was yes.

Holding your breath is a natural reaction to pain. However its bad news for labor.

When you hold your breath, you deprive your muscles of oxygen which heightens your pain levels.

The same is true when you breathe to fast during your contraction. Your body reacts by panicking and making your feel faint and out of control.

Learning how to breathe throughout your contractions is a great skill for coping with labor. When you breathe properly, your muscles and your baby gets the vital oxygen they need.

Focus on your breathing to get through the contraction. It helps you be rhythmic and relaxed as your tummy tightens.

Using nitrous oxide (laughing gas) is very effective at providing pain relief and helps you to focus on taking long deep breaths.

Your birth partner can help to focus you by doing the breathing with you. Your nurse or midwife will also help keep your breathing under control if you start to panic.

8. Not Using Coping techniques

I know you’ll already have a plan for what medical pain relief you’ll use, but what about natural pain relief.

It’s not surprising to know that if you don’t have any coping techniques to use then, you’ll ask for the painkillers sooner.

Yes, painkillers are great for taking the pain away, but they can add unnecessary risk to your labor. That includes restricting your mobility, increasing your risk of assisted delivery or requiring Pitocin to speed things up.

Check out my guide to 10 natural coping tools for labor.

If you have the option, consider having a water birth. It’s ideal for relaxing you and is well known to reduce the need for further pain relief in labor.

You may also love using heat pads or having your partner massage your back during your contractions.

These techniques can also help you stay at home as long as possible which allows your labor to progress better.

9. Birth Positions

Whatever you do, stay off your back during labor.

I know that most movies you see have women delivering on their back. It’s the worst position possible for you and your baby.

Lying on your back put lots of pressure on your back focusing the pain on the area.

When you lie down, your body is working against gravity that helps your baby to move downwards. Therefore lying on your back is likely to make your labor last longer.

If you need to stay in a bed, make sure you’re sitting as upright as possible. Otherwise get up and move around the room to help your labor.

Don’t feel scared to rest; you can lie on your side with a peanut ball to give your baby room to move.

Make use of birthing balls and bed bars to help your body work with gravity, regardless of your situation during labor. Any good nurse or midwife will be happy to help you do this.

Summary

As you plan for your birth, keep in mind the things that can increase your pain.

You want to use as many natural coping techniques as possible to prevent intervention and the chance to have a natural birth.

This guide has highlighted the things that can make your labor pain worse, and how to resolve it.

You can do this Mama, go get the birth you want.

The post 9 Agonizing Ways To Make Your Labor Pain Worse appeared first on Stork Mama.

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Want to know more about baby tummy time?

It’s one of those parenting buzzwords that you’ve heard, but you’re not quite sure what it involves.

Tummy time plays a huge role in helping your tiny wobbly newborn develop into a curious crawling baby.

I know you want the best for your baby and tummy time is a great way to get them off to a good start.

This guide is to help answer all your questions about tummy time for your baby. That includes why you need tummy time, how to do tummy time and what to do if your baby hates it.

Now, this guide is crammed full of information that may be a bit overload to read in one go. I recommend you pin it to your baby boards to come back to it later.

Right, let’s do this Mama.

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Ultimate Baby Tummy Time Guide What is baby tummy Time?

Tummy time is an essential skill your baby needs to learn.

Just as the name suggests, it involves baby lying on their tummy, or prone position, rather than on their back.

Now that doesn’t mean plonking your baby down on the floor and leaving them to it.

The most important part of tummy time is that you must interact with your baby.

As the building blocks for movement, you’ll need to do Tummy time until your baby can sit upright without support.

Importance of Tummy Time for Your Baby

You may be wondering just how vital tummy time is.

I mean sometimes it just seems like there is no time in the day to get anything done, never mind a few hours of tummy time.

However, neglecting tummy time can have serious consequences for your baby’s development.

Without Tummy time your baby may show delays in essential milestones such as rolling, crawling, and social skills.

Another issue is the official advice have your baby sleep on their back.

Now your newborn baby can sleep up to 20 hours a day. That’s a lot of time spend with their head on a firm surface. This can lead to physical problems for your baby’s fast-changing body.

Benefits of Tummy Time

Let’s look at the benefits of tummy time for your baby.

Develop Muscles

Tummy time will develop your baby’s back, neck, shoulder and arm muscles. All of these muscles are essential to progress your baby’s motor skills for rolling, sitting and crawling.

Coordination

Interaction with your baby during tummy time help your baby to progress their hand-eye coordination skills.

Stretching

Babies can suffer from ‘twisted neck’ or torticollis due to womb positions, childbirth or prolonged lying on their back. Tummy time allows your baby to get a full stretch from the neck down the spine.

Prevent flat head syndrome

This is a condition which caused your baby’s skull to become misshapen. It usually develops at a few months old due to prolonged periods of lying down. Tummy time is a great way to avoid this happening to your baby.

Bonding

Lots of skin to skin in the early days helps parents to bond with baby. The touch releases a hormone called oxytocin which increases the bond between you and your baby.

Social Skills

The interaction you have with your baby during tummy time will help your baby develop social skills. It acts as a foundation for them talking, problem-solving and interacting with others.

When To Start Tummy Time

You’re probably wondering ‘when do you start tummy time?’

It seems scary to do it with a newborn baby right?

It’s normal to be reluctant to start doing tummy time early, especially when your baby has no head control. But that’s exactly why you need to start as your baby is born.

Getting your baby to feel safe and comfortable in a front lying position can help avoid any problems as they grow.

Start with lots of skin to skin on your chest (or your partners) and then progress to the floor.

Remember it’s not all about playing with your baby on the floor.

Tummy time is about getting back to the basics of parenthood and interacting with your baby.

Newborn Tummy Time Tips

These are our tips for tummy time with a newborn.

Skin to skin

Start your baby with tummy time early by having lots of skin to skin on your chest. The touch and sound of your heartbeat and voice will make your baby feel safe in this position.

It’s also a great way to establish your milk supply or observe baby for hunger cues.

Tiger in the Tree

This is a position when you hold baby lying across your forearm. It’s a great way to get baby used to tummy time and can help to relieve colic for your baby.

You’ll love this positions for singing lullabies to your baby as you can easily move them up and down to the rhythm.

Use a baby carrier

Busy family life means you won’t have the luxury of too many lazy days with your baby.

Consider using a baby sling around the house or when out and about. These are amazing for bonding, breastfeeding and just generally getting shiz done.

Using a baby carrier tackles the problem of flat head caused by excessive use of bouncers, car seat or strollers.

Laidback breastfeeding

A side lying position is great for breastfeeding during the night. This can lead to your baby lying on one side more than another.

A great ‘tummy time’ position is laid back or biological nursing. Your baby lies on your tummy as you lay on your back.

It’s a great position for mums with large breasts or a fast milk ‘let down.’

Take it slow

Use the first month to allow your baby to adapt to a tummy time position. At this stage, too much interaction can cause your baby to become overstimulated.

Making your baby feel safe and secure in a front lying position will help you to progress to adding interaction into the mix.

How to Do Tummy Time

Once your baby is around one month old, they become more curious about the world around them. You can begin to add a lot more interaction to tummy time.

Let’s look at ways you can interact during tummy time.

Floor Play

As your baby begins to stay awake more during the day, that’s when the fun begins. You’ll need to keep them entertained.

Start placing your baby on the floor on top of a play mat or pillow for up to a minute. Slowly build up this time as you interact more with your baby.

Try to make tummy time a part of your daily routine.

Switch sides

If your baby is unable to support their head remember to alternate the side you turn their neck to.

I’d also recommend switching the direction you lay them down in the crib for each sleep. Babies prefer to turn their head to the side of the room you are on. This will help to even out the pressure the crib surface has on your baby’s head.

As your baby begins to lift, their head remember to interact with them using your face, voice or toys, equally on both side.

Massage

Tummy time doesn’t need to be all about play; you can make it relaxing for your baby too.

Use some safe baby oils and massage their neck and back during tummy time.

Baby massage helps to improve blood flow to hard working and fast growing muscles.

Read your baby

It’s important to observe your baby and how they are coping with tummy time. Remember to take it slow.

If your baby seems distressed, stop immediately and try again another time. Read my tips below for knowing when to avoid tummy time for your baby.

Tummy Time Activities by Age

All babies are different. However, you may want to know roughly when your baby will reach certain milestones. Your interaction with your baby during tummy time will depend on their age and motor skills.

One Month

At around one month old your baby should reach these milestones:

  • Stares at Faces
  • Responds to sound
  • Smiling

Everything is still quite fuzzy to your baby as they can only see short distances. Try holding baby close to your face and speak to them.

They will recognize your tone and look in your direction. Smiling and making faces will help them to begin mimicking you.

Two months

During this month your baby should start to:

  • Follows objects
  • See Further

As your baby can now start to see further, it’s a great time to introduce toys. Noisy toys are great to help them recognize a difference between object and voices.

Use the toys and move them around, your baby will start to follow them bay moving their head around.

Help your baby adjust from skin to skin only to more floor time by getting down to their level.

Three to Four months

Your baby will start to move around more, and you’ll start to see:

  • Head control
  • Mini Push ups

Your baby will be able to interact a lot more during these months. This is a great time to encourage plenty of tummy time on the floor. An activity mat has lots of areas to hold your baby’s attention.

A soft mirrored toy will spark your baby’s interest.

Five to Six months

You’ll notice a huge change in baby’s abilities during these months. They’ll begin to interact with their surroundings more including:

  • Grasping
  • Rolling
  • Sitting

Your baby will begin to purposefully move their arms and leg around more. Help encourage them to coordinate with lots of movement to songs or reaching for a toy.

Continue with your regular tummy time routine until your baby can sit unsupported.

Help, My Baby Hates Tummy Time

Your baby may appear to dislike tummy time by crying every time you place them into position.

It’s important that your baby is ready for tummy time. Otherwise, they will quickly become upset.

Let’s look at times when it’s best to avoid tummy time.

Discomfort

Try to avoid tummy time after a feed. Imagine how you would feel lying on your tummy after a big meal.

This is particularly important for babies who suffer from reflux as it can cause your baby to vomit.

Tired

It’s important to introduce tummy time slowly. Its hard work and your baby may only tolerate a few seconds at a time.

The important thing is to persevere and build up the length of time your baby can manage.

Overstimulated

All the interaction of tummy time can sometimes cause your baby to become overwhelmed.

Try to avoid tummy time after you’ve had lots of visitors or a busy day.

Full Nappy

Always check baby’s nappy before you start tummy time. A changing mat can be a great soft area for baby to begin tummy time before they can support their head.

Safe Tummy Time

It’s important you make tummy time a safe activity for your baby. Check out these tips for safe tummy time:

Sleep

Never place your baby on their tummy to sleep. It’s a huge risk factor for SIDS.

Make sure your baby has a good air supply and is awake at all time.

Observe

Never leave your baby in a front lying without an adult present. Don’t leave the room for even one minute. Your baby may restrict their air supply or vomit which can be fatal.

Safe environment

Your baby’s tummy should always be placed on a firm surface during tummy time. A prop can be used for the chest and arms such as a rolled towel or pillow.

Always place baby on the floor and never or a raised surface where they can roll and fall.

5 Best Tummy Time Products

Tummy time is a great way to interact with your baby. Check out these items which can help make regular tummy time a lot easier for you and fun for baby.

Baby Carrier

We’ve already discussed baby carriersthat baby carriers are a great way for baby to get tummy time through the day. A mei tai or wrap style sling allows lots of skin to skin. The allow you to get on with your daily life while keeping baby close and having tummy time.

Tummy Time Mat

A baby play mat is a great way to transition baby onto the floor for tummy time. It provides a soft area for baby to play.

Activity mats often have lot of areas which are textured or noise to entertain baby.

You can even get mats deigned for Tummy Time with a slanted top or pillow to support your baby’s chest.

Tummy Time Mirror

Your baby loves to look at faces. Once they can hold their head up, place a play mirror in front of your baby. They will love to stare and interact with the cute baby smiling back.

A play mirror helps your baby to coordinate both sides of their brain for development.

Tummy Time Toys

Toys which stimulate your baby’s sight and sound sense will provide lots of stimulation. These are the senses which are developing before your baby learns to sit upright.

Tummy time toys which are soft, textured and noisy always go down a treat.  They’ll help you interact with your baby during the early days, and they encourage independent play as they grow.

Tummy Time Pillow

I always recommend you support your baby’s chest during tummy time with a tummy time pillow. Look out for an activity mat which has a cushioned area, or use a rolled up towel.

If you have a nursing pillow they are the perfect curved shape to support baby during tummy time. They can also be used to curve around your baby’s bottom as they learn to sit unsupported.

Tummy Time FAQ Am I too late to start tummy time?

If your baby is unable to unaided then it not too late to start tummy time. Start slowly, and you’ll see a big improvement with your baby’s progress.

How long should I do Tummy time?

Start with up to a minute a day in the prone position and build up every few days. Once your baby is around 4 months old, they should spend around 20 minutes a day having tummy time. You may need to reduce this if you baby is uncomfortable. It’s important to persevere and keep trying. Adding tummy time to your routine will make it become a habit for you and baby.

What if my baby doesn’t like tummy time?

Check that you are avoiding all the situations I’ve listed above which are known to make baby cranky. If your baby continues to become dislike tummy time even during ideal times, discuss with your care provider or doctor. There may be an underlying medical reason which requires follow up.

How Much Tummy Time does my baby need?

The key to tummy time success is constancy. That way your baby gets into the habit of the tummy time routine and is less likely to fuss.

The minimum time I recommend to new moms depends on your baby’s age. As a rule of thumb start with 30 minutes then add an extra 15 minutes each month.

  • Newborn – minimum of 30 minutes per day during awake periods
  • One month – minimum of 45 minutes per day
  • Two months – minimum of 1 hr per day
  • Three months – minimum of 1hr 15 min per day
  • 4 months – minimum of 1hr 30 per day
  • 5 months – minimum of 1hr 45 min per day
  • 6 months – minimum of 2 hours per day

Around 7-8 months your baby should spend most of their day sitting unaided or learning how to sit.

Summary

Tummy time is a great activity for parents and babies to learn.

There are so many benefits to your baby’s physical and social development. That gives your baby a great start to developing skills for life.

I hope this guide has covered all your questions on tummy time. If not leave a comment below and I’ll be happy to help out.

The post Master Baby Tummy Time Today – Essential Guide for New Moms appeared first on Stork Mama.

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Driving is something you do almost every day right? But do you know anything about driving while pregnant?

Now that you’re pregnant you’ve got to consider the impact of your lifestyle of your extra passenger.

I mean think about it, pregnant women are constantly bombarded with information. You know everyone has an opinion of what you should and shouldn’t do. What to eat and drink, how to work, what medications to take.

And the reason comes down to one word: safety.

But has anyone spoken to you about the risks of driving during pregnancy?

Probably not.

Do you know if it’s safe to drive? How to safely wear a seatbelt?

Car crashes are the leading cause of injury and death for pregnant women and unborn babies.

I feel it’s vital that you know about safe driving while pregnant. And that’s just what this guide is going to do.

The aim is to give you all the information you need to know to make an informed choice about what’s right for your family and lifestyle.

This guide is quite long so pin it to your pregnancy boards for you to read later. And if you find the information useful share it with your mommy friends.

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Guide To Safe Driving While Pregnant Is it safe to drive while pregnant?

Right, let’s get to the point.

If you’re feeling well during your pregnancy, it’s safe for you to drive.

You may even find you use your car more as your bump grows. Car travel can speed up your daily tasks, especially if you’re suffering ongoing pregnancy symptoms such as fatigue or pelvic pain.

If you’re diagnosed with any pregnancy complications, always check with your doctor if it’s safe to continue driving.

Seat Belts Should I wear a seatbelt when pregnant?

As your bump grows, you may wonder if it’s ok to use a seatbelt.

Unless you have a medical exemption certificate, you always need to wear a seatbelt when in a car. This includes being a driver or a passenger.

Safety tests have shown you are 3 x safer during a car crash when wearing a seatbelt compared to without one.

How to Wear a Seat Belt during Pregnancy

The NHTSA has safety guidelines to follow for using a seatbelt during pregnancy.

The safest way to wear your seat when pregnant is:

Shoulder belts: Place the shoulder belt over your shoulder but away from your neck. The strap should sit between your breasts.

Lap Belt: Place under your bump. The strap should rest over your hips and pelvic bone.

Tighten the belt, so it’s snug, yet comfortable.

Do not:

  • Place the shoulder belt behind you back
  • Place the lap belt over your bump
  • Sit upright and avoid reclining the seat
  • Use a lap-only seatbelt, swap places if you need to.

Seat belt Issues for pregnancy

The biggest problem with using a seatbelt during pregnancy is that they are not designed for pregnant women.

In fact, seatbelt design hasn’t changed much since the 1970’s. Back in the days when pregnant women didn’t drive a lot.

Each year there are 170,000 car crashes involving pregnant women. It’s estimated 3000 of those result in pregnancy loss. That doesn’t include the injuries to babies or pregnancy complications that result.

These injuries are caused by the pressure the seatbelt puts on your belly during sudden stops or impacts.

Seat belts do make your journey three times safer, but they are not without risk.

Seat belt Solution

I know that pregnancy is full of anxiety and now driving has just been added to your list.

The reality is 4.25% of women will experience a car crash during pregnancy. Learning how to avoid the dangers is what I hope you can learn from this guide.

Now you can start walking everywhere or taking public transport. But let’s face it, you’re a busy woman with things to do right?

Pregnancy Seat Belt Adjusters

You can buy seat belt adjuster that repositions the seatbelt off your bump and onto your legs.

Seat adjusters make using a seatbelt just as safe but more comfortable and remove the risk to your pregnancy.

The Tummy Shield is a crash-tested seatbelt adjuster designed for pregnant women. It’s the perfect solution if you need that peace of mind during pregnancy.

Yes, the tummy shield is expensive, but the investment is worth it for your unborn baby’s safety. Plus you can use it for more than one pregnancy if you plan on having more babies.

There are cheaper versions available on Amazon. These may be a better option if you’re on a tight budget. However, a quick read of the reviews will tell you that the tummy shield is the best option.

Airbags Using Airbags when pregnant

Airbags are a car safety feature to protect your body during a car crash.

They are safe to use and should not be turned off when you’re pregnant. Your airbag is much more effective when used together with a seatbelt.

Airbags can be seen as risky due to the force they open with during car impact. It’s common for airbags to cause minor injuries such as friction burn or finger/wrist sprains.

For pregnant women, this can be a concern as your bump sits you closer to the wheel.

Airbag adjustments for pregnancy

If your car has the option to turn off your airbag, keep it switched on.

You’ll provide the most protection for you and your baby during a car crash by using a seatbelt and an airbag together.

If you have an adjustable steering wheel tilt it up towards your chest. That means you airbag will open on your chest area rather than your bump.

Next step is to adjust your chair to sit as far back as possible while comfortable reaching the pedals. When you’re a passenger move the chair as far back as possible.

If your bump touches the steering wheel push it inward as far as possible. If you can’t move your steering wheel consider having someone else drive if possible.

Car Insurance

Pregnancy does not affect your driving insurance policy. You don’t need to disclose to your insurance company that you are pregnant. Your regular policy is still valid throughout your pregnancy.

You may want to inform your insurance company if you are diagnosed with any complications in pregnancy. The risk is that if you don’t and end up in a car crash, they may not pay out due to non-disclosure.

Driving through the trimesters First Trimester

Most concern about driving while pregnant are focused on when your bump is bigger. However, driving in the first trimester can be scary.

In the first trimester, your risk of pregnancy loss is highest, and you experience most pregnancy symptoms. Let’s discuss the issues.

Nausea

Morning sickness can make it difficult to drive. The sudden urge to vomit at any time of day can be tricky when you’re behind the wheel.

If you have severe morning sickness, it’s best to avoid driving until this passes in your pregnancy.

Fatigue

Tiredness is a common pregnancy symptom. If you’re finding it’s so severe, you can’t focus or concentrate, then avoid driving.

Tiredness is a major cause of car accidents. Don’t be caught short at the wheel if it’s affecting your pregnancy.

High-Risk Pregnancy

Your doctor may advise you not to drive if you have a high-risk pregnancy. This is especially important if you suffer from pregnancy complications that can result in low blood sugar, fits or visual disturbances.

Second Trimester

In the second trimester, your baby will start to grow out of your pelvis. This takes away the bony protection of the first trimester.

Let’s discuss some issues to consider in the second trimester

Growing Bump

As your baby grows, driving can become difficult. Make sure to make adjust your steering wheel, seat and seat belt.

I’d advice using a seat belt adjust like the Tummy Shield, to protect your baby in the case of an accident.

Leg Problems

Your circulation is affected by your growing baby. Try some foot exercises when your car is stopped. Rotate your ankles and wiggle your toes to improve the blood flow.

Your legs are prone to pain and swelling when you sit down for long periods in pregnancy.

Third Trimester

The third trimester and so close to meeting your baby. Your bump is big and now making it difficult to get in and out of your car. Keep in mind to keep adjusting your car seat to provide a safe space for you and your baby.

Optimal fetal positioning

The modern car seat is terrible for pregnancy posture and often cause back pain. Bucket seats tilt your pelvis and can cause your baby to turn into the posterior position.

I’d recommend using a seat wedge to take the pressure off your back and get your baby in the best postion. It’s also great for angling your bump away from the airbag.

Traveling alone

At this stage in pregnancy, it best to avoid traveling alone if possible. Sudden onset of symptoms or breaking waters can distract you while driving.

If possible try to be the passenger as much as possible during this trimester. It’s safer for you and baby in the event of a crash.

Postpartum

It’s completely safe for you to drive after birth. Although you may feel tired and very tender. Especially sitting down if you’ve had vaginal stitches.

C section birth

You should know that your car insurance policy is unlikely to cover driving for 6 weeks after a cesarean birth. The surgery increases your risk of injury if you’re in a car crash.

You should discuss your policy with your insurance company in the event you have a C-section birth.

Long Road Trips

There is nothing to stop you from taking a long road trip while you are pregnant.

Although I would suggest, you don’t make the trip alone.

The biggest concern on long road trips is taking regular breaks. It’s important to give your legs room to stretch.

It may seem easier just to keep driving and get the journey done, but it’s not a good idea. You greatly increase your risk of developing a blood clot if you sit for too long. That’s not a scare tactic, I’ve cared for women who this has happened to.

In fact, if you are driving for more than 4 hours I’d suggest wearing a pair of medical grade compression stockings (I love these ones). This improves your circulation and reduce your risk of developing a DVT.

7 Car Travelling Tips for pregnancy

Let’s face it, its unlikely you’ll give up driving during pregnancy. However, you should make small changes to your driving habits to reduce your risk of having an accident.

1. Stretch before

Leg cramps are common during pregnancy, especially after sitting for long periods. Gentle stretches before your begin driving can prevent the sudden onset of cramps which can cause distractions.

2. Pregnancy seat belt

Adjust your seatbelt to sit in the right position as you drive. That always means placing is under your bump and across your chest. A good seat belt adjuster like the Tummy Shield will take care of this for you.

3. Seat adjustments

Adjust your seat as your pregnancy progresses. You need to create space between the steering wheel and your belly. Also, keep your backrest upright and avoid reclining so your seatbelt fi close to your chest.

4. Eat and drink

Keeping hydrated and small snacks can stop the sudden onset of nausea or sickness. This is particularly important if you get stuck in traffic jams or have a long commute.

5. Regular Stops

If you’re driving for long periods of time make sure to take a break at least every hour. This will help the circulation to your legs and reduce your risk of blood clots.

6. Assess driving conditions

Always avoid road conditions that increase your chance of having an accident. This includes:

  • Driving at night
  • Poor weather conditions like rain, fog or snow
  • Bad lighting
  • Areas of high speed such as highways

I recommend you always keep a cell phone on you in case of an accident.

7. Keep car maintained

Regular check on your car will ensure it’s in the best condition for you to drive. Breakdowns can put you at high risk of an accident, especially on highways.

Make sure you have some breakdown cover and keep the contact details in your car.

What to do if you’re in a car crash

If you’re in a car crash, get yourself to a safe area if possible. Call 911 to inform them of the incident.

You need to get medical attention as soon as possible, even if you feel well.

A car crash greatly increases your risk of:

  • Pregnancy loss
  • Preterm labor
  • Placental abruption
  • Bleeding
  • Rhesus sensitivity (if you have rhesus negative blood)
  • PTSD

Your doctor will give you an assessment and make a plan for you. You will most likely need to stay for observation overnight, especially if you have a high-risk pregnancy.

Summary

Driving is something you’ll do every day, but it presents risks when you are pregnant.

This guide has shown you how to drive safely including seatbelt safety, airbag use and tips for driving during pregnancy.

Use these when you drive, and you’ll reduce your chances of a car accident or severe injury for you or your unborn baby.

The post Safe Driving While Pregnant To Protect Your Unborn Baby appeared first on Stork Mama.

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Want to how to help your C-section scar healing?

Where you’re still pregnant or have a planned C-section booked, it’s best to prepare before?

Even with the best intentions of a vaginal birth, you may end up needing an emergency cesarean.

Now I don’t really need to tell you how little time you’re gonna have with a new baby right?

That means less time to browse the internet for awesome articles like this. Plus pretty much neglecting yourself to care for your little bundle of joy.

This guide is for all pregnant moms, to prepare for a C-section postpartum. You can also check out my guide to caring for vaginal stitches after birth.

First, we’ll talk about caring for your wound, products you should stock up on and any questions you may have.

Ready? Let’s do this.

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C-Section Scar Healing Care Guide 1. Personal Hygiene Hand Washing

This one is a ‘basic’ step, but one which that’s easy for you to forget. Baby brain and all that!

I can’t stress how important hand washing is after birth. Your body is so exposed to infection, especially after surgery.

Plus you’ll be dealing with lots of baby poop, vomit and warm milk, which bacteria love. Your hands get dirty pretty quickly as a new mom.

Simple, regular handwashing is a must. Alcohol hand sanitizers are a great way to keep your hands sanitary too.

Wound Hygiene

Caring for your C-section car can be daunting, especially when it’s new. Check out these tips to help your C-section wound to heal fast.

Washing

Once the nurses remove your wound dressing, you’ll need to wash your scar daily.

It’s normal to have a postpartum belly overhang, which rests directly on your c-section wound. That creates a crevice that gets warm and sweaty and idea for bacteria.

I’d highly recommend using a mild soap or salted water until your scar heals.

The wound doesn’t need scrubbed, mainly since it will be tender. Try to use a soft facecloth which is only for your C-section wound to prevent the spread of bacteria.

You should also consider freshening up your wound through the day. This is important if you find the wound gets sweaty between washes.

Drying

After you wash, you need to make sure your wound is dry. Any damp skin is prone to bacteria.

It’s best to pat dry your wound with a soft towel. Rubbing hard will irritate your wound, and the fabric may catch on your stitches or staples.

A clean cotton t-shirt can be ideal for drying your wound. If your wound is too tender, dry it with a cold blast from your hairdryer.

After drying, try to give your wound time to air dry to promote healing.

Wound Treatments

There are lots of treatments that can be used to promote wound healing.

Honestly, I’d wait at least a week after birth to start using these types of products.

You need to give your body time to heal the wound naturally. Putting products directly on your wound in the early days may irritate and slow the healing process.

Once your wound appears to be healing well you can start to use home remedies to reduce scarring. Aloe Vera gel and Vitamin E capsules applied over your scar are great natural options.

Wound Pads

Your wound will be covered by a sterile dressing up to a week. Once this is removed your wound is then left to heal alone.

If you struggle to keep your wound dry or protected when the dressing is off I recommend using wound pads. Preferably sterile wound pads that you change regularly.

You simply place them over your scar for protection, comfort, and hygiene.

2. Comfort Underwear

The first thing you need to do is opt for underwear that’s suitable for c-sections.

You can opt for big pants that cover over the top of your scar. The other option is low cut panties that cradle under your scar.

The best choice is down you your personal preference for underwear. Remember the underwear you choose must be suitable to hold a maternity pad for a few weeks.

Clothing

Remember I said to let your wound air dry as much as possible? Well, when you do have to wear clothes its best to make them ideal for your wound.

Opt for loose-fitting clothes that don’t put pressure on your wound and allow air to circulate to your wound. These will help you keep cool and dry, especially if you suffer from the dreaded postpartum sweats.

Smooth materials such as jersey or cotton are ideal to prevent your stitches or staple form snagging on the material.

A nightgown may be more suitable for bedtime, to prevent pajama bottoms from rubbing over your wound as you sleep.

Movement

Movement after a C-section can be a big issue. You’re sore and to put it bluntly feel like your inside are about to fall out. These tips will help your C-section recovery as a new mom.

Rest

It’s essential you get regular rest after your C-section. More so if you labored a long time before an emergency cesarean. Your body needs to recover and heal your wound.

Mobility

Moving around with your C-section wound can be scary and sore. Try to move around as soon as possible after delivery. Staying in bed too long can make you feel stiff and sore.

Movement is especially important after surgery to improve your circulation and prevent you from getting a blood clot.

Caring for baby

A section can make caring for your baby so much harder. Ask for help with lifting heavy equipment such as strollers or baby tubs.

There are two products I recommend for C-section moms to recover better. The first is a co-sleeping crib for easier night feeds without lots of bending. The second is a nursing pillow to protect your wound as you feed your baby, whether your breast or bottle feeding.

Travel

You will not be able to drive your car for 6 weeks after a C-section, due to insurance reasons. When you do travel via car take care when using a seat belt. The belt will cover over your scar area. Any sudden stops can make the belt dig into your tummy.

I recommend using a folded hand towel over the lap belt to provide a small area of cushioning. That way if you do get into an accident the towel won’t affect the function of the seat belt.

Exercise

It’s best to wait until your postnatal check up to resume any pre-pregnancy levels of exercise. Gentle exercise such as walking, swimming or yoga is recommended once your scar heals.

Remember to stop and seek advice if you notice any pain or scar concerns while exercising.

You can start to do pelvic floor exercises as soon as you feel ready after delivery.

READ: 17 C-Section Recovery Essentials 3. Relief

Although they’re common, it’s easy to forget that a C-section is major surgery for you. These C-section scar healing tips will help you get some relief during your postpartum recovery.

Medication

Your doctor should prescribe you strong painkillers for pain relief after your C-section. My advice is to take them regularly in the first few days.

Yes, there will be times feel ok without them. But all it takes is a few hours of doing more to bring you severe discomfort.

If you can take it, I’d advise regular Advil to keep swelling down.

Homeopathic

If you prefer to go a more natural route for recovery, homeopathic remedies may help. Just make sure they do not interfere with any prescribed medication.

Some great homeopathic C-section remedies include:

Arnica

A common homeopathic remedy used for bruising and wound healing. You can take these as capsules or use in gel form and rub over your C-section scar.

I’d advise you to wait to use this after you’ve finished any course of anti-clotting medication as they may interact.

Aloe Vera Gel

Aloe Vera Gel is a great remedy to prevent itchy and swelling. Just like arnica, it can be used to rub over the scar wound.

Staphysagria

Staphysagria capsules are excellent for surgical healing. It may also help with postpartum depression caused by birth trauma.

Calendula

Calendula is perfect for C-section recovery as it’s antiseptic and promotes wound healing. It’s ideal if you want to prevent wound infection.

Thermal Therapy

Using thermal therapy is an age-old remedy to promote recovery and healing. The best way to do it after a C-section is with a thermal pad. This is how it can help you:

Cold

Cold therapy can be great for those first few days after a C-section. The cold helps to reduce swelling over your wound and provide relief from itchy wound healing.

Cold can also help reduce your postpartum sweats and prevent bacteria from growing near your wound.

Heat

Heat therapy can be great for long-term aches and pains from your C-section. Once the initial pain subsides, you may start to notice more muscular aches from delivery.

A warm pad or bath can encourage blood flow to your wound and promote healing.

4. Seeking Advice

Your caregiver should give your wound care advice and a follow-up plan before you go home with your baby.

Observe

Once your wound dressing is off, it best to check your C-section scar daily. You can do this as you wash it down. Try to have a look in good light and use a mirror if it’s difficult to see.

Sign to look out for on your wound are:

  • Severe redness, heat or swelling
  • Oozing pus
  • Areas extremely painful to touch
  • Offensive smells
  • Unhealed areas or ‘gaps.’

Also, monitor how you are feeling physically. Flu-like symptoms indicate you have an infection. Check my article for postpartum warning signs to keep you safe.

If you do notice any of these signs get a medical review immediately. It’s likely your wound needs to be examined and treated for infection with antibiotics.

Don’t put this off as postpartum infection can make you severely ill within a short period.

Follow up

It’s important you attend any postpartum follow up after birth.

Depending on the type of closure you had, this may be a few days after birth to remove stitches or staples.

You can discuss any ongoing issues with your C-section scar with your doctor.

It’s an ACOG recommendation for you to have a check-up at 3 weeks postpartum with a further check-up at 12 weeks post delivery

8 C-section care products

These are products I recommend you stock up on to promote good C-section scar healing postpartum.  These postpartum products will help keep you comfortable and help your recovery.

Underwear

Protecting your C-section scar is essential after your wound dressing is removed. The aim of the game is to keep your underwear line off your C-section wound.

The problem is most regular underwear sits right where your C-section wound will be.

You have two options: the big panties that go over your wound, or the smaller panties that go under your wound.

You want good quality underwear that will handle maternity pads and won’t pull on your stitches.

Tummy Pads

Once your baby is born your belly will look a little like a deflated balloon.

As your skin goes back to normal, it can create a little mom pooch. The excess skin hand over your C-section wound. Mix that in with the postpartum sweats, and it can be difficult to keep your wound dry.

I highly recommend sterile tummy pads. They also protect your wound if you’re nervous about anything banging your tummy as it heals.

These are great if you’re overweight or have a lot of loose skin from previous pregnancies or weight loss.

Wash cloth

Preventing infection in your C-section wound is essential for fast healing.

I always recommend C-section moms have a soft face cloth which is used only for wound cleaning. Trust me you’ll use it a few times a day in the first weeks.

That means no sharing with the family or using on using it on the rest of your body.

It cuts sown on your risk of passing bacteria into your wound. Plus a nice soft washcloth, like these ones, will prevent your stitches being irritated, pulled or snagged when you wash.

Thermal pack

Your C-section can leave you feeling swollen, bruised and achey.

I’ve discussed the benefits of thermal therapy for C-section recovery above. Having a thermal pack to hand is a great natural way to help your healing.

You’ll more than get your money’s worth with these thermal packs. They’re a great addition to your first aid kit as a new parent.

Vitamins

Not only will you be recovering from birth but also surgery too. The best way to aid you healing is to eat a healthy diet.

But let’s be realistic, you’re a new parent, and you’ll probably grab a few cookies between your 20th cup of coffee each day.

A good vitamin supplement can help you to get your recommend daily nutrients. You know for those days you choose a 20-minute nap over cooking a meal.

Scar cream

The appearance of your C-section scar will depend on your genetics and the surgeon’s skill.

Once your wound has healed you may want to aid the appearance with a scar cream.

These creams can provide moisture to your healing skin layers, to reduce the appearance of your scar.

Nursing pillow

Feeing your baby can be a bit of a nightmare when you have a C-section wound.

Your tummy is so tender, and you need to rest your baby on top of it.

I recommended all C-section moms get a nursing pillow, whether you choose to breastfeed or formula feed.

The pillow will cover a cushioned area over your tummy to support your baby and protect your wound.

Postpartum girdle

A favourite of C-section moms is a postpartum girdle.

These can provide a lot of support for your tummy muscles that feel like your insides will fall out weak.

I wouldn’t recommend using one until your scar has healed to allow for airing and good circulation to your wound.

C-section Scar Healing FAQ How long will it take my C-section scar to heal?

You C-section wound should be fully healed by 6 weeks after birth.

Usually, stitches or staples can be removed from 5 days after birth. Your wound should remain closed after they are removed.

Unfortunately, some moms may never have a fully healed wound and may suffer ongoing wound issues.

If you feel your wound isn’t feeling well discuss this with your doctor. You may be referred for further treatment to heal your C-section wound.

Why is My C-section scar itchy?

It’s common for surgery wounds to itch as they begin to heal. It’s caused by cut nerve endings and your body forming the scar.

Pubic shaving before the surgery can result in irritation as the hair grows back.

Make sure it’s not your clothes, detergent or toiletries that are irritating. Keep a close eye on your wound for signs of bacterial or thrush infection.

To ease the discomfort try using ice packs, soap-free body wash or a hypoallergenic moisturizer.

Try not to itch the wound as this can lead to slow healing.

My C-section scar is smelly, is that normal?

Your wound area may smell a little sweaty (like a tummy button smell) if you don’t wash it regularly.

If you are sweating a lot, you may need to wash it more than once a day. A quick wipe with mild soap and water will do.

If your wound smells really foul, it needs to be checked by medical staff immediately. This is a sign of infection, and most likely you’ll need to be treated with antibiotics.

My C-section scar feels Numb

Unfortunately, the numb scar feeling is normal after a C-section. Your nerve ending in this area are cut during the surgery causing this sensation.

You may eventually regain the sensation around your scar. However, you may also suffer permanent sensation loss around your wound.

If you are worried about your healing process discuss it with your doctor during your postpartum review.

What will my C-section scar look like when it heals?

This will depend on the type of incision your surgeon makes during delivery.

The most common is a lower uterine C-section. This will leave a thin scar around 6 inches long. The scar will be just on your bikini line where your underwear band rests.

A vertical scar will leave a thin scar around 4-6 along. The scar will go from below your belly button to your bikini line.

Rarely a combination of the both will be required. This will leave an inverted T shape scar on your lower tummy.

You may want to discuss what your doctor’s surgical preference is during one of your visits. That way you’ll know what to..

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What is the best pregnancy support belt?

Suffering from back or hip pain during pregnancy is awful right?

Your doctor or physiotherapist may have recommended you use a support belt. A good pregnancy belt will help to redistribute the weight of your growing bump.

You may see these support belts referred to as a:

  • maternity belt
  • pelvic support
  • pregnancy girdle
  • belly support
  • bump support band
  • belly band

Regardless of the name, they will take the pressure off your body and relieve the majority of the strain. Using a support belt can help you to bring a bit of normality back to your daily life.

But what is the best pregnancy support belt?

I’ve developed this guide to help you find the right support belt. Knowing what features to look for will help you get the most benefit from the support belt you choose. In this article, I’ll discuss

  • 5 Pregnancy Support Belt Reviews
  • Pros and Cons of Pregnancy Support Belts
  • Buying Guide
  • Comparison Guide
  • Pregnancy Support Belt FAQ

First, let’s start by looking at what bands are available on the market.

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5 Best Pregnancy Support Belt Reviews 1. NEOtech Pregnancy Support Belt

Pros: Comfortable, adjustable, breathable fabric, strong support

Cons: Poor Instructions

Our Verdict

The best selling option on the market is the NEOtech pregnancy support brace. You will notice immediate relief for your back or pelvis as soon as you start wearing this belt.

It’s made up of 3 different layers to provide support in all the right places as well as being comfortable to wear. The abdominal lift belt is a great feature as it gives redistribute the weight all over the bump rather than at the bottom.

Plus you won’t need to keep readjusting it as the strap prevent it from rolling down.  The belt is available in 5 different sizes from small to XXL and is adjustable to get the perfect fit for you.

2. AZMED Maternity Belt

Pros: Affordable, free birth book, comfortable, supportive

Cons: Sizes run large

Our Verdict

The AZMED Maternity Belt is an Amazon Bestseller option.

It’s a great all-rounder which will support your belly, hips, and pelvis. That means relief for all these areas.  This support belt is soft enough to wear throughout the day while proving the right amount of support.

It’s discreet enough to be worn under loose clothing. It’s really easy to put on and adjust to your size. We particularly like the back support as it corrects your posture and supports your back from lower back pain.

3. Babo Care Support Belt

Pros: Very Supportive, postnatal use, money back guarantee

Cons: sizing on the small side

Our Verdict

The Babo Care Support Belt is out best pick if you suffer from lower back pain.

The thick elastic support bands remove pressure from the sacroiliac joint that supports the lower back. It’s fairly slim line and  you can wear it under clothing without showing through.

The band is available as a ‘one size fits all’ and adjusts with a Velcro fastening. The design means you can use it as a postpartum belt to support your tummy after your baby is born.

4. Bracoo Support Belt

Pros: One size, comfortable, supportive, use in pregnancy and after birth

Cons: Wide on short torsos

Our Verdict

The Bracoo Support belt is a great all in one option. The belt is designed to fit from small size6 right up to a US dress size 18.

It’s made up of two separate bands which offer triple support over the lower back and hips.

The material is soft and comfortable to wear, especially when walking. With support to lift the abdomen, it helps to correct your posture.

The belt can also be used after birth as an abdominal binder.

5. GABRIALLA Elastic Maternity Belt

Pros: Discreet, comfortable, seamless,

Cons: Prone to rolling

Our Verdict

The GABRIALLA Elastic Maternity Belt is perfect if you’ve suffered from pelvic pain is a previous pregnancy.

You can start wearing it as soon as your bump appears to prevent pain. It’s a belly band style made from soft, stretchy material that expands with your growing bump.

It’s so comfortable to wear as it is seamless and has no tag to irritate you. It comes in 3 different sizes from small to large. There is a choice of three colors including nude, white and black so you can match most outfits in your closet.

>> How to Cope with Hip Pain during Pregnancy << Pregnancy Support Belt Benefits

A pregnancy support band should be used as a medical aid. Check out the other benefits you can get from using one regularly.

Pain Reduction

Support bands are often prescribed by physiotherapists to provide extra support for your growing bump. They help to redistribute the weight from your lower back and pelvis to areas higher up. This prevents the wear and tear of these muscles and ligaments causing you pain.

Pregnancy Conditions

You can prepare for extra strain on your body if you have any of the following conditions

  •     SPD or PGP
  •     Multiples
  •     Polyhydramnios
  •     Hernias
  •     Diastasis recti

Using a support belt as soon as you begin to ‘show’ will help ward off pain from your lax muscles.

Reduce Swelling

The constriction of support belts will help to improve your blood flow. Combine this with keeping hydrated, and you will notice a reduction in your swelling. This is particularly helpful if you are on your feet for most of the day.

Improve Posture

Pregnancy causes major changes in your spine to cope with the extra weight. You may notice you spine curves more, or your lower back flattens. Both of these changes can lead to pain as your muscle and ligaments adjust. A support belt can help you adjust your posture to your new shape.

Postpartum Use

Support belts can also be used after delivery to help your body recover. They help to minimize your bleeding and aid your uterus to return to its normal size. They can help give you a confidence boost by smoothing everything out so you can get into your regular clothes again.

Daily Activities

A pregnancy support belt can help you to return to doing tasks you had to give up because of pain. Everyday activity such as walking and walking up the stairs will be a lot easier with a support belt. Once you use one, you’ll wonder how you ever got by without it.

Disadvantages of Pregnancy Support Belts

Although maternity supports belts offer a lot of benefits, you should also consider the following drawbacks before you buy one.

Discomfort

When you are in pain, you will try almost anything to ease it. However some women find the support belts too hot or irritating to wear, and that just adds to the pain you are already in.

Reduced fetal movement

The restriction of some support belts can make it difficult to feel your baby’s movements. If you experience reduces fetal movements it important you contact a maternity center to have a check-up for your baby’s wellbeing.

Muscle dependency

Prolonged use of a support belt can make your muscle reliant on it. It’s best to do regular low impact exercise to build up your muscle strength. Aqua natal classes and pregnancy yoga are great options.

Pregnancy Support Belt Buying Guide

Let’s look at the features which may sway your buying decisions.

Style

Would you prefer an adjustable belt or a pull-on style. Belts with velcro fastening are great for adjustability, whereas pulling on bands rate higher for comfort.

Support

Check the areas that each belt provides support for. Certain belts will be aimed at the pelvis and hips, and other may have more support for the back. You also may only need light support or heavy-duty depending on how severe your pain is.

Sizing

Make sure you measure yourself to choose the correct sizing before buying. It’s also best to read other user reviews to see if the belts sizes run large or small. Most belts come in various sizes from small to extra-large.

Hygiene

If you plan to wear the belt for long periods of time, you’ll need to wash it regularly. Consider if it can be machine washed or hand washed only. If the belt is cheap enough, you should consider buying two to alternate between wash days.

Price

You’ll find pregnancy support belts to suit most budgets from $20 – $50. If you have the extra cash, consider investing in a durable belt. It can be used for more than one pregnancy if you plan to have more children.

Pregnancy Support Belt Comparison Guide

If you’ve narrowed your choices down to a few options and can’t decide, try using this comparison guide. We’ve selected features which offer important benefits. The support belt which offers you the most benefit it the best choice for you.

Comfort

Your belt should be as comfortable as possible to wear. You might want to wear it as much as possible, so that means it needs to withstand your daily activities. The belt should offer support and have features which prevent it from slipping or the material rolling down. It’s important to choose the correct size or one which adjusts to avoid discomfort from wear.

Durability

Your belt will need to be durable enough to provide support for your bump. Look out for good quality material such as mesh and strong elastic which withstand a lot of wear and tear. If the belt adjusts with velcro, read other reviews for the verdict on the Velcro strength. The belt may provide support, but if the velcro goes after a few uses, it won’t provide suitable support.

Ease of Use

When you have hip or back pain in pregnancy, you should avoid twisting and bending as much as possible. Your belt should be easy to put on, like a piece of clothing. If you want to wear it outside the house, it should be discreet under your clothes. Consider if it’s easy to take off if you start to get uncomfortable during the day.

Effectiveness

If you put on the belt and felt instant relief, you’ll know it’s effective. It should also make you feel like you are sitting upright in the correct posture. The belt should also make you aware of your seating positioning and will feel uncomfortable if you are slouching. This helps you recognize poor positioning which is putting the strain on your hips and back.

Pregnancy Support Belt FAQ When should I start wearing a pregnancy support belt?

You can start wearing a support belt as soon as you feel any symptoms of hip or back pain. The earlier you seek treatment for pain in pregnancy you will prevent ongoing pain. Most moms don’t need a band until the third trimester however you can use the bands at any time.

How long should I wear a maternity support band for?

It is advised you wear a support belt for a few hours a day. Constant wear can cause your muscles to become reliant on the band for support and weaken them. I suggest regular exercise and stretches to strengthen your muscles. After birth you should wear a support for around 12 weeks, then start abdominal strengthening exercises.

Do I need a maternity support belt?

A support belt isn’t just for hip and back pain. If you suffer from restless legs, swelling and leg or knee pain, then a support belt can help ease the symptoms. We don’t recommend a support belt if your pregnancy if ailment free, however, you may benefit from using it after birth.

The post Best Pregnancy Support Belt Reviews appeared first on Stork Mama.

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