Protecting Your Perineum & Reducing the Risk of Tearing


Worrying about giving birth and what your vagina will be like afterwards is completely normal. Naturally, most of us want to do everything possible to reduce the risk of tearing, so today we are discussing this very topic!

perineal massage

Grab your free download — Reduce Your Risk of Tearing

Still have questions? Submit them and we will do our best to answer all of them on our Facebook Live on 10/25/17 at 1pm CST. We’ll be discussing what you want to look for in a hospital, and warning signs to watch out for. Then we will be answering YOUR questions.

Have you taken our quiz?! I have been so surprised by the results so far! Where Should You Give Birth Based on Your Personality?

Tips for Pumping When You Go Back to Work

One of the biggest concerns for new moms after having a baby is whether or not the transition back to work will go smoothly. Worrying about the transition consumes an unfair amount of time that you should spend bonding and relaxing with your newborn. It is an added stress to worry about continuing to breastfeed and all that comes with arranging a pumping schedule and keeping up milk supply. The key to a successful transition is to create a plan and to find the breastfeeding cheerleaders in your life.

Create a Breastfeeding Plan

Much like a birth plan, writing down your key information and organizing the details of the transition is a big help. Here’s a template to address the major considerations you will encounter during the transition back to work. This includes a list of supplies to take with you, what to provide your baby’s caregiver, how to set up a pumping space at work, and how to talk to your employer about it. If you are aware of the potential obstacles, you will be able to navigate around them more easily when they pop up.

At Work Supplies Checklist

Pumping at work is sort of like camping. You want to make sure you have everything you need so you aren’t stuck without a tent in the rain – or without a set of nursing pads during an unexpected let down. Three weeks before you plan to return to work, make sure you have a full set up of supplies. An example of the things to gather:

  • Double electric breast pump
  • Extra set of pump supplies
  • Nursing pads
  • Pump cleaning supplies (i.e. wipes, soap, microwave steam bags)
  • Milk storage containers with lids
  • Milk storage bags
  • Manual hand pump (just in case your electric pump isn’t working or you have no power)
  • Cooler bag with ice packs

Every mom is different and some prefer to wear nursing bras and clothing designed for pumping, and some prefer to wear loose fitting or maneuverable clothes. It doesn’t matter what you decide to wear, as long as you can pump easily enough and you feel comfortable.

Breastfeeding Cheerleaders

These people are the ones that keep your spirits up when you’re feeling overwhelmed or are doubting your ability to continue nursing. They can be family, friends, other moms at a breastfeeding support group, a lactation consultant, or your doctor. Have their contact information ready in the event that you need a pep talk. It can be incredibly helpful to hear the stories of other moms who have struggled with breastfeeding — you can learn what they did to overcome the challenges.

Practice Makes Perfect

Your new routine will become second nature once you get started, but it may feel a little bumpy in the beginning. Practice using your pump in the weeks leading up to returning to work and start stocking your freezer with breast milk. Set up your pump like you would at work, imagining how you would store your pump and the milk you expressed after a pumping session. It is good to know in advance whether you will have access to an outlet, a sink, or a refrigerator so you can plan around it.

Don’t Plan to Pump in a Bathroom

The default pumping location used to be bathrooms, however, there are laws now that require companies to provide a private nursing space for mothers that isn’t a bathroom. While there are a few exceptions to the law, it is not too much to ask for a space that is NOT the bathroom. If your employer requests that you keep your pumping in the restrooms, kindly let them know that it is not standard practice anymore.

Going back to work can be a difficult transition for new moms, especially if you’re planning to pump throughout the day, however having a plan and a supportive team will make the transition smoother. Feeling confident in your plan to return to work will give you peace of mind. It is totally possible to have a successful back-to-work breastfeeding experience and we’re here to help you.

This guest post was written by Aeroflow Breastpumps. Aeroflow helps you get a breastpump for free through your insurance. For more information about Aeroflow Breastpumps, go to www.AeroflowBreastpumps.com.

Three Epidural Birth Stories

Inductions, Epidurals and Promdromal Labor Birth summary

Chelsea has had three epidural births in the hospital, each one a little different. With her first baby, she was induced a few days after 40 weeks and her son was born less than 8 hours later. With her daughter, she had a scheduled induction at 39 weeks, and was in labor 12 hours before her daughter was born. Chelsea experienced a few days of prodromal labor with her third baby, then went into labor on her own at 39 weeks. Chelsea gave birth to her third baby 7 hours after arriving at the hospital.

Chelsea Johnson Bio

Chelsea and her husband Dan live in Minnesota with their three children, Jameson, Ava, and Russell. Chelsea loves greasy cheeseburgers, baking desserts, and the color pink. She writes the pregnancy and parenting blog Life With My Littles, and is currently writing a book all about pregnancy that she hopes to publish next year. You can find her posting about motherhood on Instagram at @lifewmylittles and on her blog www.lifewithmylittles.com.
epidural birth

Resources

What to Expect Books, blogs written by other mamas, my own blog, the podcast Pregnancy Perfect, The Birth Hour, the app Baby Bump Pregnancy Pro, Instagram (for connecting with other mamas!)

Crane Humidifiers

This episode is sponsored by Crane Humidifiers. Crane’s colorful humidifiers are a nursery necessity to help relieve your baby’s tiny congested nose, which can make feeding and sleeping a struggle for both baby and mom. A happy baby is a healthy baby.  Crane is generously offering $10 OFF and free shipping on all of their 1 gallon adorable animal shaped humidifiers and drop humidifiers with the code BIRTH17 at www.crane-usa.com.

Get more info on newborn care including how to clean your humidifier at bundoo.com

 

Delaying Preterm Labor and Postpartum Complications – Ally Downey

Preterm Labor, Incompetent Cervix Birth Stories

Allyson experienced preterm labor with both of her children (as the doctors like to call it: “incompetent cervix”); so, the months and weeks leading up to her due dates were harrowing. But both children made it to 37 weeks and 6 days — and her labor was relatively uneventful for both, thanks in part to an epidural. She actually slept through much of her labor with her first baby, waking a couple hours before it was time to push. With her second, she Ubered over to the hospital without her husband, expecting to be sent home for a false alarm — but was instead told she was more than 5cm dilated. It was a busy night, and she kept getting bumped behind other patients in the line for epidurals because she was calmly reading People magazine and not terribly bothered by the contractions.

The relative ease of labor is where the similarities stopped. With her first, the placenta didn’t fully detach, which led to a brutal manual removal — and enough blood loss to keep her on one-to-one nurse watch in the L&D room for 6+ hours. By the time she got to the maternity ward, she’d bloated up like a balloon and could only sit down if there was a soft pillow and an ice pack underneath her. At home two days later, it wasn’t much better — and soon turned far worse. Late at night when her son was four days old, she thought she might be experiencing a psychotic break: lightning bolts of pain were shooting up her spine, and she couldn’t stop sobbing. Her doctor only agreed to let her wait until morning to be checked out because Allyson was certain she wouldn’t do anything to harm herself or the baby.

preterm labor birth story

The next morning, Allyson met her OB/GYN at her office — which was technically closed, but the doctor had come in so she could check Allyson. When she checked Allyson’s blood pressure a second time, the doctor looked alarmed and said, “We need to get you to the ER right away. This looks like preeclampsia.”

At the hospital, staff did an ultrasound, and saw that Allyson’s bladder was extraordinarily distended. They catheterized her, and immediately her blood pressure went to normal. She was so swollen from the birth that her bladder wasn’t emptying when she went to the bathroom.

Over the coming weeks, there were return trips to the ER and thrice weekly trips to a urologist. The issue persisted for weeks, and the residual symptoms lasted for months.

So with her second pregnancy, she was desperate to avoid similar complications — and terrified her problem would recur. She experienced similar pre-term contractions, needing to go on bedrest from 31 weeks, and she expected the worst from her recovery.

But it was radically different. The day after her daughter was born, her OB/GYN stopped by her room and said, “You’re doing great. If you’d like to go home today instead of staying a second night, you’re welcome to.”

At home, she was astonished to find she could walk and move comfortably — and she could even sit on a regular chair without needing a cushion. She and her husband took the baby and her toddler out to dinner the day after she got home from the hospital, and the following evening, they walked down to a cafe along the Hudson River for burgers. And every day, she felt better and better, until she was a fully-functioning-but-still-exhausted human being at four weeks postpartum, able to work on her start-up for 4 to 6 hours each day from home. She’d baby-wear her daughter to her midtown office with one day a week, and the other four days she’d work from home.

incompetent cervix birth story

Ally Downey Bio

Allyson Downey is an entrepreneur, MBA, writer, and parent who has built a career on the power of trusted advice. In 2013, she launched weeSpring, a Techstars-backed startup that helps new and expecting parents collect advice from their friends about what they need for their baby. weeSpring has received accolades from TechCrunch, Mashable, CNBC, and the Daily Mail, and it was heralded as “Yelp for baby products” by InStyle magazine.

She is also the author of Here’s the Plan: Your Practical, Tactical Guide to Advancing Your Career During Pregnancy and Parenthood, the pregnancy-and-parenting guide to your professional life. Her writing has been featured in The Atlantic, Time, Fortune, Fast Company, the Wall Street Journal, and others; and, she has appeared on ABC World News Now, Power Pitch on CNBC, and other outlets. Allyson has an MBA from Columbia Business School, an MFA from Columbia University’s School of the Arts, and a BA from Colby College. She serves on the board of Democracy Prep Public Schools, one of the country’s top charter management organizations, and lives in Boulder with her husband and two children. She can be found on Twitter and Instagram as @allysondowney.

Resources

Here’s the Plan: Your Practical, Tactical Guide to Advancing Your Career During Pregnancy and Parenthood
weeSpring
Expecting Better by Emily Oster
Work Pump Repeat by Jessica Shortall
Pregnant Chicken
Lucie’s List
Work It class on Motherly
Well-Rounded

Tools for Coping in Labor

Nearly every woman that labors in some capacity will need to cope with contractions unmedicated at some point. You aren’t automatically hooked up to an epidural the moment you feel that first contraction! So even if you are planning for an epidural, you will find useful tips in this bonus episode and free download!

tools for coping in labor
Grab your free download — Natural Coping Techniques and shopping list!

Still have questions? Submit them and we will do our best to answer all of them on our Facebook Live this week on 9/27/17 at 1pm CST. We’ll be discussing what you want to look for in a hospital, and warning signs to watch out for. Then we will be answering YOUR questions.

Have you taken our quiz?! I have been so surprised by the results so far! Where Should You Give Birth Based on Your Personality?

Adopting a Teenager and Having a Baby at the Same Time

After months of worrying that the adoption and birth would somehow happen the same day, Desmond was 9 days late. Corinne’s water leaked late at night, and she went to the hospital early the next morning. After spending 6 hours in the hospital with no progression, Corinne’s doctor fully broke the water bag. Corinne was hopeful there would be no additional intervention, and thanks to coaching from her Mom, and constant massaging by both her Mom and husband, she was able to persevere. After 8 hours of back labor, Desmond was born at 11pm. Ben ordered pizza and a turkey sandwich, Corinne’s favorite foods, and everyone lived happily ever after.

adoption and new baby

Corinne Horowitz Bio

Corinne and her husband Ben live in Minnesota with their two sons Andrew (17) and Desmond (7 months) and two dogs, CharlieBear and Gingerbread. They are licensed foster parents and adopted Andrew three weeks before Desmond’s arrival by birth. They plan to grow their family through a combination of foster care, adoption and biological children. Connect with her on Instagram or Facebook.

Brentwood Home

Go natural in the nursery with Brentwood Home! This family-owned company has been crafting mattresses and bedding essentials in Los Angeles for decades, using natural, ethically sourced materials that are safe for your family and the environment. Outfit your nursery with their top-rated crib mattresses, changing pads, and nursing pillows, made with healthy fibers like organic cotton and organic coconut husk. Visit brentwoodhome.com/birthhour and use the code birthhour for 15% off your purchase and thanks to Brentwood Home for sponsoring this episode!

Cesarean Birth & VBAC Birth Stories – Amy Morrison of Pregnant Chicken

Amy Morrison Bio

Amy Morrison is the founder of Pregnant Chicken, an online resource and blog for expectant and new parents featuring advice, information, and tips to keep your pregnancy fun.

In her former life she was a creative director at an ad agency but decided to quit and go freelance as an art director/graphic designer in 2004. She and her husband have two little boys (born in 2006 and 2008) and live in Toronto. She shares both birth stories in this episode—a cesarean birth and an Induction VBAC birth. Connect with her on Facebook, Instagram or PregnantChicken.com

Resources

Pregnant Chicken Pregnancy Calendar
Pregnant Chicken Resource Guide
Pregnant Chicken Newsletter full of great tips and info! Sign up!

QUIZ! Where Should You Give Birth Based on Your Personality Type?

Earth Mama Organics

At the end of this episode I talked to Westley about her favorite products from Earth Mama Organics, today’s sponsor. I’m a HUGE fan of their bottom spray and bottom balm!

Elle Rowley’s Four Hospital Birth Stories

About Elle Rowley

Elle made the first Solly Baby wrap in 2011 in the sewing nook of a little house in Salt Lake City after the birth of her second child, Solomon (hence the name Solly Baby).

After using migraine-inducing carriers that left her feeling like a packhorse with her first baby, Elle wanted something comfortable and chic to wear, that could not only best meet Solly’s needs, but also enable her to still chase after her toddler as well.

Elle worked while her babies were sleeping and while her husband, Jared, was finishing school – lining the living room with tape as cutting guides, experimenting with fabrics and sewing on her Craigslist serger design a wrap that was functional, beautiful and felt like her.

Today, Elle and Jared live in San Diego with their four children: Lucy, Solomon, Frances and Hazel.

Connect with Elle and Solly on Instagram and in their Facebook group, Solly Baby Village which is over 16K mamas strong!

Resources

First Forty Days
Bradley Method
Hypnobirthing

How to Handle Tricky Situations with Hospital Staff

Navigating Tricky Situations in Hospital Setting —Special ‘Know Your Options’ Series

When it comes to dealing with unsupportive hospital staff or conflicting information it can be easy to feel overwhelmed or stunned, especially in the moment.

Today Stephanie and I are talking about key phrases to use when you find yourself in one of these situations and other tips to keep in mind so you are prepared for all of the different potential scenarios. Stephanie is a doula, lactation consultant and certified childbirth educator so you will definitely want to soak in all of her amazing knowledge!

Grab your free download — How to Handle Tricky Situations with Hospital Staff

Still have questions? Submit them and we will do our best to answer all of them on our Facebook Live this week on 10/4/17 at 1pm CST.

Have you taken our quiz?! I have been so surprised by the results so far! Where Should You Give Birth Based on Your Personality?

Positive Induction Birth Story

Birth Summary

After a miscarriage, Anna and Kevin were thrilled to learn they were expecting a baby girl. Anna had a wonderfully healthy pregnancy (for which she largely credits the Pure Barre classes she took up until 41 weeks) and was hoping for an intervention-free birth. Baby girl Maggie, as it turned out, was in no rush to make her big debut into the world; and, as the days passed by without progression, Anna started worrying that an induction was in store and might throw off her birth plans. She ended up having to get induced, but Maggie’s birth was ultimately a far faster and better experience than Anna even knew to hope for.

Anna Keller Bio

Anna Keller lives in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, with her husband of six years, Kevin, who’s one of the two guys behind the men’s grooming company Fulton & Roark (fultonandroark.com). They have a 3-month-old daughter, Maggie, and a boxer mix, Fulton (who’s an excellent big brother to his little human sister). Anna works as the Marketing & Communications Manager for a before-and-after-school enrichment company, and also blogs about everything from pregnancy to baking to parenting to fashion at curiouser-and-curiouser.com. Anna also teaches Pure Barre, and introduces women to Beautycounter skincare and make-up products. Connect with Anna: on Instagram: @curiouserandcuriouserblog or her Blog and at the Beautycounter Facebook group.

induction birth story

Resources

Pure Barre
Natural Baby Doulas
Baby+Co. Winston-Salem
The Bradley Method
Podcasts: The Birth Hour, The Longest Shortest Time
Placenta encapsulation
Prenatal chiropractic visits
Parenting groups on Facebook
Aeroflow Healthcare – Get Breastpump for free!
The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding
Be Prepared: A Practical Handbook For New Dads

Free Downloads

Choosing an Evidence Based Care Provider

Questions to Ask When Touring Hospitals

Aeroflow Breastpumps

This episode is sponsored by Aeroflow BreastpumpsAeroflow helps new and pregnant moms qualify for breast pumps through their health insurance. They carry all of the major brands, including Medela, Spectra, Lansinoh, Evenflo, and more. Visit their website to get started today, and your dedicated breast pump specialist will take care of all of the paperwork for you, including getting a prescription from your doctor and filing the claim with your insurance. Go here to get started!