Yay, you’re pregnant! Now what? It is so exciting to get that positive pregnancy test, but it can feel a bit overwhelming to navigate all of the different to-dos and stages of pregnancy—that’s why we are so thankful for tools like the Ovia® Pregnancy app that make life a little easier.
The Ovia Pregnancy app (completely free!) is your all-in-one pregnancy tracker offering you peace of mind as you reach pregnancy milestones, navigate symptoms, and plan for baby’s arrival. With Ovia Pregnancy, you’ll find answers to all of your prenatal questions — read weekly updates, find symptom relief, learn what’s safe to eat, share bump pictures, and even use a baby name feature! Your pocket companion for each trimester (and beyond)!
Many apps have the option to see the size of your baby each week but Ovia takes it a step further and makes it so fun to track! When I was pregnant with my 3rd baby, I absolutely loved seeing how big my baby was week-by-week with Ovia’s fun and unique size comparisons (like fruits & veggies, weird but cute animals, Parisian baked goods, and fun and games). My older kids would ask me every week to show them how big the baby was and would giggle over their little sibling that was the size of a gameboy or a croissant!
Every day on your Ovia timeline, you’ll also see a true-to-size version of your baby’s tiny hand and foot right there on the screen which really helps you and your family visualize the little human growing inside of you! You can also find the perfect baby name with the ‘My Baby Names’ feature. You can sort options by gender and first letter and make a list of all your favorites!
Aside from fun tracking features and baby name help, Ovia offers helpful tips like what’s safe to eat, what medications you can take during pregnancy, and how to find symptom relief by using their easy to use lookup tool.
I actually first discovered Ovia by using the Ovia Fertility app and love that Ovia has an app for every stage of the way — from cycle tracking to pregnancy to parenthood. The Ovia apps offer health tracking, features, and tools to help you navigate fertility, pregnancy, postpartum, and baby health.
Comprehensive & Evidence-Based Childbirth Course from The Birth Hour
I’m so excited to announce The Birth Hour’s signature online childbirth course. Know Your Options is THE most comprehensive online childbirth course in existence! In this course, we will take you from the final weeks of pregnancy through postpartum and newborn care covering all of the evidence-based information for all types of birth, no matter what you are planning!
If you are worried about navigating today’s birth system have maybe had a bad birth experience where your power was taken away from you in the past, we want to help!
But, despite doing your research, you’re still feeling overwhelmed and unprepared and that’s OK. We have totally been there too. There is still time to prepare and we are confident that we can help you achieve an empowering birth. This is our expertise and passion!
IMAGINE WHAT YOUR BIRTH WOULD LOOK LIKE IF…
You didn’t have to choose between an unmedicated birth and a hospital birth.
You’re informed in every single decision you and your partner make.
You feel empowered to speak up when it comes to how you labor and birth your baby.
Because THAT is exactly what this course will do: It gives you options so you can choose where and how to give birth based on all of the most up-to-date evidence based information available coupled with learning to trust your instincts and make decisions based on what is right for YOU.
What exactly do we cover? 12 Incredible Evidence-Based Modules + Bi-Weekly Zoom Calls
Module 1: Pre-Labor
Intro to decision-making & advocacy in birth.
What is evidence-based care, intro into increasing your odds of getting family centered care.
Last Weeks of Pregnancy.
Cervical exams: what they are, what they do/don’t tell us, when they are useful and when they are not.
How to tell the difference between labor and false alarms.
Module 2: Planned Cesarean
Gentle or Family Centered Cesarean. What is it?
Questions to ask your doctor to make sure you’re on the same page (includes free download).
Video of Gentle Cesarean.
Module 3: Early Labor
Overview of labor, divided into stages and phases. Normal variations of length of each stage.
Early Labor Coping Strategies.
Spontaneous labor: When to call your provider
Module 4: Induction
Why might your labor be induced?
How is labor induced?
What are some risks of induction, and how can you improve your odds of your induction ending in a vaginal birth?
Risks of induction/cascade of intervention.
Module 5: Active Labor
How can you cope with active labor?
When should you leave for your birth location (or ask the midwife to come)?
What should you pack, whom should you invite to be there, and how will you make your wishes known in labor?
Typical interventions upon arrival at birth location.
Module 6: Transition
How will you cope with the most intense phase of labor?
What pain medication options do you have?
Why might you need a cesarean during labor, and how can you reduce your risk of needing one?
Module 7: Pushing
How can you reduce your risk of tearing?
What breathing techniques and positioning are helpful in pushing?
What happens if your baby needs help getting out?
How can you best advocate for your preferences during labor?
Module 8: Baby’s First Day
What interventions might be offered to your baby in the first hours of life?
Immediate newborn procedures.
Hep B & Circumcision.
What is going on with the birthing person before and after the birth of the placenta?
How can you get off to the best start with nursing?
Module 9: Postpartum Recovery
What are the signs that a parent may be experiencing mood & anxiety disorders?
What are the essentials to have on hand for recovery after birth?
How can you plan ahead and make those first few weeks after birth easier on yourself?
Giving yourself time to heal and knowing when to call for help.
Module 10: Establishing Nursing
How to establish a robust milk supply.
Positioning and latching theory.
What tips and tricks can you try to make nursing as comfortable as possible?
What signs can you look for to know when things are going well or when you need to call for help?
Module 11: Bottle Feeding
What if nursing doesn’t work, or you don’t want to do it at all?
Choosing a formula and Safe formula preparation.
What is the best way to bottle feed?
How do you choose which bottles to use?
How and how much to feed.
What is paced bottle feeding?
Module 12: Newborn Care Basics
Why might your baby cry, and how can you calm them?
How do you decide where your baby will sleep?
How do you get your baby to sleep?!?
Newborn hygiene: diapering, bathing, dressing, nail trimming, snot sucking, etc.
PLUS Bigger-than-a-Bonus: Beyond the Latch: pumping, bottle feeding, going back to paid work + keeping your baby fed
Then, we’ve got you covered when you’re going back to work with an additional six module Beyond the Latch Course that you will get completely free as part of enrollment in the Know Your Options Childbirth Course!
This is an additional 6 Module Course designed to take the guesswork, worry, and stress out of maintaining your nursing relationship with your baby when you return to paid work.
We will help you:
Identify specific strategies for pumping, storing, thawing, and feeding human milk.
Troubleshoot ways to boost milk production.
Guide you in making plans with your employer, your baby’s caregiver, and your family.
Get organized with sample schedules and checklists.
Lifetime Access + MORE Bonuses!
Oh, and you get lifetime access to everything! I’ve actually already had a few mamas who are still in the trying to conceive phase sign up because they wanted to be sure to get in on the course while they can!
You’ll also get a thirty page Course Planner and Note-Taking Guide that you can print out to keep you and your partner on track throughout the course. All of the key takeaways from each lesson are included with space to jot down any questions you have along the way and make note of any essential info you want to remember down the road!
More than a dozen bonus downloads to help save you time along the way and get organized before going into labor—with everything from a hospital bag checklist to printouts for your fridge of who/when to call when in labor! After baby arrives, you’ll have even more invaluable bonuses as you prepare to soak up the 4th trimester with your new baby.
You’ve found out you’re pregnant and after the initial excitement (and sometimes shock!) wears off you start to wonder about all of the ‘do’s and don’ts’ of pregnancy. Some of those ‘don’ts’ like soft cheese, lunch meat, and caffeine may have you a little perplexed but one thing that most people know for sure is that you have to be very careful about alcohol consumption during pregnancy.
While giving up alcohol for nine months is a small price to pay to ensure a healthy start for your baby, it can be hard when you’re used to enjoying a glass of wine at the end of a long day or to mark a special occasion with friends.
We’ve tried quite a few non-alcoholic imitations here at The Birth Hour but have never felt confident recommending them because well, they just didn’t taste very good. This is where Surely comes in. Surely non-alcoholic wines actually taste like wine and they are delicious! Surely is made from natural ingredients and is low sugar and low calorie (30-45 calories per glass) which may be important to anyone who needs to monitor their blood glucose levels during pregnancy as well. Surely wines are also gluten-free and vegan friendly if those are important to you.
But the most standout feature of Surely is just how good it is and how much it tastes like real wine! It tastes like real wine because it is! Rather than bottle a poor wine imitation, Surely partnered with the finest winemakers in Northern California to make wine. Then, they use a dealcoholization process that removes the alcohol.
Surely spent nearly a year working with the best craft winemakers in California to make non-alcoholic wine that tastes amazing. They source grapes from premium California regions and carefully remove the alcohol to retain the natural aroma and flavor of the wine.
In addition to enjoying a glass of wine on the couch with your feet up at the end of the day, we especially love this option for special celebrations during your pregnancy. It would be so fun to have an assortment of Surely wines at your baby shower or take a bottle of sparkling rose on your babymoon to celebrate!
Birth Hour readers get 20% off + free shipping on all Surely products. Hurry, this is a limited-time deal that ends in 48 hours! Use code BIRTHHOUR at checkout to get your discount.
If you’re still skeptical, Surely offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all orders. If you don’t love it, they’ll refund you no questions asked. We can’t wait for you to try Surely wines and let us know what you think! Cheers!
Guest post written by Maria Sorrentino-Magnuson, BSN, RN (Labor and Delivery) – Clinical Lead at Wumblekin
There’s a lot to learn during a first pregnancy – and even in the second, third, fourth and so on with the rapid evolution of culture and technology. Here at Wumblekin, we are firm believers in the importance of education, but realize the seemingly endless stream of information (and ~helpful~ tips from everyone you meet) can feel a bit overwhelming. That’s why we recommend building your care team as early on as possible; medical professionals who can give you individualized care and guidance from first trimester through the fourth.
Who all is on/or can be part of a care team? Here’s a mini-breakdown of titles and roles:
OB/GYN is a little bit like a square and a rectangle. An OB (obstetrician) is always a GYN (gynecologist), but not all GYNs are OBs. An obstetrician is a physician who specializes in labor, delivery, and postpartum care. A gynecologist is a physician who treats the female reproductive systems including STIs, menstruation, and fertility.
Education/Credentials: Medical school; four years of residency in obstetrics and gynecology; board certification
Family Practice Doctor/Primary Care Physicians
A Family Practice or Primary Care Doctor provides general care for any person at any age – everything from rashes and sore throats to heart conditions – and refer out to specialists when indicated. Some Family Practice Doctors even deliver babies; they attend vaginal deliveries and call in an OB/GYN physician partner if a cesarean is necessary. Some are trained to use forceps or vacuums but many are not. If you’re planning to use a Family Practice Doctor for your delivery, it’s important to ask who they consult with if a labor turns high risk.
Education/Credentials: Medical school; three years residency in general medicine
Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist/Perinatologists
These specialists are trained to care for complex medical problems or complications in pregnancy, labor, or birth. If your medical history puts you in the realm of high-risk, this is the doctor you’ll want to have on hand.
Education/Credentials: Medical school; four years of OB/GYN residency; three years of a MFM fellowship
Most of us are fairly familiar with anesthesiologists – they’re the doctors who put you to sleep when you got your wisdom teeth out and made sure you didn’t feel a thing when it came time to part ways with your tonsils. In textbook terms, anesthetics are medications that block sensation (pain) or awareness. During labor & delivery, anesthesiologists provide epidural pain relief and help ensure the safety of mom and baby during cesareans or other surgeries.
Education/Credentials: Medical school; four years of residency; board certification
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist/CRNA
Instead of an anesthesiologist, you may have a nurse anesthetist to subdue any pain sensations. CRNAs are advanced practice RNs who are licensed to administer anesthesia. They can also treat and monitor surgical patients.
Education/Credentials: Minimum of a Master’s degree; extensive clinical training; board certification
If you are delivering at a teaching hospital you might find yourself in the care of Resident Doctors. These are doctors in the midst of their required years of – you guessed it – residency. First year residents are often called interns (see: Grey’s Anatomy). They diagnose and treat patients under the supervision of an attending physician and their level of independence and responsibility increases with time.
Education/Credentials: Medical school; in progress, residency
Medical Students are still completing their medical school requirements. They’re often in a more observational role. Typically, they use this time to practice interview and patient assessment skills.
Education/Credentials: In progress, medical school
Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM)
Not all midwives carry the same title – it varies based on education and credentials. Nurse Midwives have the most rigorous requirements (see below.) They primarily train and practice in hospital settings and partner with OB/GYNs for high-risk or C-section pregnancies. As specialized nurse practitioners, CNMs not only care for women during labor & delivery, they often see and treat patients from puberty through menopause.
Sometimes referred to as “direct-entry midwives”, Professional Midwives are only trained in out-of-hospital births. No college degree is required, but they must complete an apprenticeship to gain their credentials through the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM). CPMs are not legally recognized in all 50 states, so be sure to check your local legislation before finalizing your decision.
Education/Credentials: Apprenticeship (usually two years); NARM certification
Your nurse is likely to be the one you write about in your child’s baby book. The most hands-on part of the labor team, they are right by your side the whole time assessing and caring for both mom and baby, reporting any abnormal findings to the midwife or doctor – and occasionally performing the delivery if the doctor doesn’t make it on time. (Nurses are rock stars.)
Education/Credentials: Two or four-year undergraduate degree; state license
Labor Doula/Birth Coach
Derived from Ancient Greek, Doula translates as “someone who serves”. There to provide emotional and physical support and mitigate non-medical pain, Doula’s services range widely from one individual to the next, but include everything from warm baths, massage, and words of encouragement to placenta encapsulation, lactation support, and even birth photography – though their role stops short of clinical care.
Education/Credentials: No legal training requirement, most complete certification programs
Lactation Counselor and Lactation Consultants (IBCLC)
Breastfeeding is hard – if you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a million times (and you’ll probably find yourself saying it a million times more.) Lactation Counselors and Consultants can make it a whole lot easier providing support in the areas of latch, pumping, and supply. A Lactation Counselor, the highest breastfeeding credential, can also assist in more complicated challenges like NICU admission, oral/motor dysfunction, breast abscess, mastitis, and more.
Education/Credentials – Consultants: 45-hour training course/certification
An attentive care team personalized to your unique needs and wants makes a world of difference for both you and your baby. If you’re looking for guidance in establishing your own, follow us on Instagram @wumblekin and submit your questions to our weekly “Ask An L&D Nurse Anything” hosted by our team of Wumblekin Experts.
Wumblekin is a curated pregnancy, birth and postpartum box company that demystifies pregnancy with evidence-based education and expert-curated products for mom and baby. Pregnant women are busy and there’s lots of noise out there. We want to help women who feel overwhelmed with pregnancy, labor and birth go from panicked to prepared. Learn more at Wumblekin.com.
This is a guest post from Grace Greene, Count the Kicks Mississippi Ambassador, who also shared her experience in episode 512 of The Birth Hour.
My son is what Count the Kicks calls a “baby save.” He was born safely after I paid attention to his movement, noticed when something was off, and spoke up to my provider. His birth, and what I have learned about fetal movement since then, have propelled me to become an ambassador for Count the Kicks in my home state of Mississippi. The information about why it’s important to use kick counting to monitor your baby’s well-being is too important not to spread widely to expectant parents!
What is Counting Kicks?
Count the Kicks is an evidence-based stillbirth prevention program that
was started in Iowa in the early 2000s by five mothers who each walked through
the heartache of losing a daughter to stillbirth or infant death. Bound
together by their collective grief, they started Count the Kicks when they learned about public health research that
showed a 30 percent reduction in stillbirth by teaching pregnant women how to
monitor fetal movement during the third trimester of pregnancy. These mothers
agreed that their work would be worth the effort if even one baby could be
saved, but they have greatly surpassed that mark with their simple and
effective campaign. Since Count the Kicks
began in Iowa in 2008, their state stillbirth rate has been reduced by nearly
32% while the national stillbirth rate has remained
Stillbirth and stillbirth prevention are not often talked
about, even though a family is 10 times more
likely to lose a baby to stillbirth than to SIDS. According to the CDC, 23,500
babies are born still in the U.S. every year. This is one in every 167
pregnancies. Racial disparities exist as well, with stillbirth occurring in one
in every 94 pregnancies for Black moms, one in
every 191 pregnancies for Hispanic moms, and one in every 204 pregnancies for
white moms. Count the Kicks is
committed to removing these racial disparities in stillbirth by working to make
sure their important information about kick counting reaches all moms across
How to Count Baby’s Kicks?
So how does the program work? At 28 weeks (26 weeks if high-risk), all moms should download the FREE Count the Kicks app (it’s available in 12 languages on Apple and Android) or use their printable
paper chart and start counting their baby’s kicks daily. Pick a time of day
when the baby is normally active and time how long it takes to get to 10
movements. After a week or so, you will see a pattern of how long it takes your
baby to get to 10 movements. By knowing what is normal for YOUR baby, you can
quickly notice when something is off and contact your care provider to check in
on your baby. I remember thinking often in previous pregnancies that I wish I
could know if all was well with my baby. Thanks to the Count the Kicks campaign, moms can
easily check in on their baby and will be able to quickly notice if something
parents should count their baby’s kicks beginning in the third trimester. In
addition to being easy, low cost, non-invasive, and a great way to bond with
your baby, many moms report feeling less anxious, as they are reassured when
they monitor their baby. Most importantly, it can save babies. Count the Kicks has more than 60 baby
save stories on their website from moms who wrote in to share how Count the Kicks helped save their baby.
Misconceptions about Fetal Movement in Pregnancy
Some common misconceptions about fetal movement show why
it’s important to track movement daily. The first misconception is that babies
move less as they get closer to their due date. This is false! Babies might
move differently, and moms might feel less sharp kicking and more rolling, but
they will not move less as the pregnancy progresses. If you are monitoring
movement at the same time each day, it should take about the same time to get
to 10 movements. Babies will continue to move up to and during labor and birth
and won’t run out of room the bigger they get.
The second misconception is that it’s not really necessary
to count movements if a baby is always active. The truth is that even active
babies can experience distress, sometimes quickly and without other warning signs.
Tracking fetal movement daily will remove any guesswork from wondering if your
normally active baby has slowed down.
The third misconception is that if you can hear a
baby’s heartbeat on a home doppler, you don’t need to
worry about tracking movement. This is false because a change in the baby’s
heart rate is one of the last things to occur when a baby is in distress,
whereas decreased movement is an early warning sign and can alert you to a
problem much sooner.
The last misconception (and information that you will find
if you google fetal movement) is that a mom should feel at least 10 kicks in
two hours. This common misconception is based on outdated information about
fetal movement. The latest research shows that a mom should be focusing on
fetal movement in general and understanding their baby’s pattern, which you
will understand by using the Count the
Kicks app regularly. Every baby is different, and once you know what is normal for your baby, that is the metric
you should follow for determining if something is off.
Counting Baby’s Kicks & COVID-19
During this time of COVID-19
when we are all united and working towards not
unnecessarily burdening our health care system, Count the Kicks is a solution to take some of the pressure off.
Through the early warning system of counting kicks, there is a community of
moms who are in tune with their bodies and their babies and can let providers
know when something feels off. Some parents are worried about going to the
hospital or contacting their care provider during COVID-19, however all expectant parents should know that it is
important to speak up and check on your baby if you feel something is off. Even
in a pandemic, don’t don’t delay if you are concerned about your baby.
Count the Kicks has the incredible goal
of saving 7,500 babies a year in the U.S. If the rest of the country could
experience a 32% decrease in stillbirths as Iowa has done in the first 10 years
of the campaign, this goal would be reached. The truth about stillbirth is that
there can be warning signs if moms know what to look for. When armed with this
information, moms can feel confident to identify when a baby is moving normally
and will be empowered to speak up for their baby if something is off. I am
eternally grateful that I knew to call my provider when I noticed a decrease in
fetal movement and that my concerns were taken seriously. My son truly was in
distress and by acting quickly on his behalf, he was born safe and healthy.
Learn More about Counting Baby’s Kicks & Download Count the Kicks App
Want to learn more? Count
the Kicks has an academy
for expectant parents on their website
that is full of additional information about fetal movement, including videos
with more information from providers and moms who have used Count the Kicks during a pregnancy. For
providers they have a continuing education course, a provider academy with the
latest research on stillbirth and fetal movement, information on how to
implement the program in your practice, and the ability to order materials for
I would encourage you to first download the app and start
counting if you are pregnant, then follow Count
the Kicks on all social media channels to learn more about their campaign,
tell your expectant friends to download the app and start counting, and let
your provider know about this important program if they have not yet
implemented it in their practice.
Knowledge is power, and I hope you feel reassured and confident about your ability to monitor your baby’s movement during pregnancy and speak up if something is off.
This was a guest post from Grace Greene, Count the Kicks Mississippi Ambassador, who also shared her experience in episode 512 of The Birth Hour.
You may know that thanks to the Affordable Care Act of 2010, breast pumps are covered by most health insurance companies for free. But, you may also know that dealing with your insurance company for anything at all can sometimes be more work than it’s worth. That’s why The Birth Hour is proud to partner with Aeroflow Breastpumps to help you navigate this process.
3 Steps to Get a Breast Pump Through Insurance
Aeroflow Breastpumps has helped thousands of new and expecting moms find the perfect pump for her lifestyle. They offer all major pump brands including Medela, Spectra, Motif, Lansinoh, Ameda and more. And the best part, they take care of everything – including getting all required paperwork, dealing with your insurance company, and explaining your options in order to get your free pump shipped straight to your door.
Step 1 – Fill out a quick form with your info
Head over to Aeroflow Breastpumps website and fill out their completely FREE and easy, Qualify through Insurance form. On this form you’ll be asked for your name, email, due date, and insurance information.
Step 2 – Get Verified
Aeroflow does all of the legwork for you by determining your level of coverage through your insurance carrier and verifying your due date with your care provider. You will be assigned a breast pump specialist and they can assist you through email, text, or by phone—whatever is easiest for you.
Step 3 – Choose your Breastpump
You will be sent a link where you can view all of the breastpump options available to you for FREE. Aeroflow carries all of the major pump brands including Medela, Spectra, Motif, Lansinoh, Ameda and more. You can narrow down your choices based on brand or certain features you’re looking for (double electric, manual hospital-grade, hands free, battery operated, etc). Your breast pump specialist can help by recommending the best breast pump for your lifestyle and breastfeeding goals as well!
And, Aeroflow has free shipping on all pumps!
Getting a Breast Pump Through Insurance – FAQs
Getting a breast pump for free through insurance may seem too good to be true and if you still have some questions, here are some of the most frequently asked questions we see.
When will I get my breastpump?
It depends on your insurance company. Some plans require that you wait until 36 weeks to receive your pump while others allow it to be shipped right away. Aeroflow will find out this information and can let you know!
Do I need a note from my doctor?
Nope! Aeroflow will contact your care provider to verify your pregnancy and due date. They take care of everything!
Will I have to deal with contacting my insurance provider?
Nope! Aeroflow takes care of everything and you will never have to speak to your insurance company. If for some reason your insurance company isn’t serviced by Aeroflow they will give you instructions on who can help you.
What about breast pump accessories and resupply products?
When you go through Aeroflow, they will recommend supplies and accessories that will benefit your pumping experience and they will also determine whether select supplies and accessories are available for free under your insurance plan. My favorite part is that Aeroflow will contact you at regular intervals after baby arrives to send you free replacement parts!
Is it possible to upgrade my breast pump beyond what I qualify for through my insurance?
Yes! After your insurance information is verified, Aeroflow will send you a link that is personalized based on your coverage. It will show you which pumps your qualify for free and which ones you can upgrade to for an additional fee.
I’ve heard that some insurance companies also cover the cost of maternity compression garments. How does that work?
Yes, you may also qualify for free maternity compression garments like compression socks, maternity support band, and a postpartum recovery garment. Aeroflow will check your insurance information automatically to let you know! PLUS breast pump resupply products ranging from new bottles, tubing, and flanges to duck valves and pump membranes.