Baby's First Feed

By: Kajan Doyle

Trends in infant feeding have come and gone with the generations. The formula generation of the 70’s and 80’s gave way to the “Breast is Best” revolution. But which one is right? Turns out they both are. Today’s general thinking is Fed is Best. Moms-to-be should trust their instincts and their baby when it comes to nutrition. Birth and Post-partum doulas can help you with facts and info on both, and provide tips and techniques that use feeding as a time to bond with your baby. Doula’s are also a great resource for setting up a good feeding schedule starting at baby’s birth.  Here’s some helpful tips for both bottle and breastfed newborns.

2018-07-19_11-57-32.png

Follow your baby’s cues: Rooting is the first sign your baby is hungry: pecking with their mouth (just like a chicken) looking around, open mouth and tongue thrusting are the first signs of hunger. The second sign, a full out wail, so it’s helpful to get good at recognizing #1.

Don’t Shower before feeding: Your baby recognizes your sent from birth. At feeding time they’ll recognize you and relax when taking the bottle which can help with digestion, so try to shower right after your baby has eaten.

Shed the shirt: Or at least unbutton it: Skin to skin contact aka kangaroo care has been shown to boost levels of oxytocin, aka the love hormone which helps with bonding, making feeding time all that more special. Eye contact also helps with bonding, so try to minimize distractions like visitors and television during feeding time.

 

Tips for Breastfed Babies:

Start Right Away:  When you’re able to hold your baby after the delivery is a good time to start breast feeding.  Most newborns instinctually root around for the breast and your doula can help get the baby to latch.  At the beginning, your body produces small amounts of colostrum aka liquid gold, a super nutrient that helps help protect your baby from infection, provides immune support and super concentrated nutrients.  Don’t worry about supply, your body will only produce a small amount of colostrum in the first 24 hours, but your baby’s stomach is also very tiny - waste not, want not.

See Then Do: Attend a breastfeeding support group in your third trimester La Leche league meetings are nationwide and seeing it in action will help you when it comes time to do it yourself.

Ask for Help: You might want to consider seeing a lactation consultant or taking a breastfeeding class before baby to understand the mechanics of breastfeeding.  Once your baby arrives, most hospitals and birthing centers will have lactation consultants on hand so don’t be shy, ask for help and don’t be afraid to go back to the well for more than one consultation. Nurses on maternity wards also receive training and are available in the overnight hours, and of course many doulas are also Certified Lactation Consultants. 

 

Tips for Bottle Fed Babies:

Keep it Clean:  No matter what bottle or formula you’re using make sure to clean your bottle thoroughly after use.  Expensive sterilizing products can be helpful but aren’t necessary. A good wash and a few minutes in boiling water (Medela recommends 10) is all you need to sterilize bottles before their next use.

Don’t commit:  You may have your heart set on Dr. Browns feeding set but don’t throw that receipt out quite yet.  Some babies are particular about the bottle they will take. (mine went through 8 different types before finally declaring she liked the Lanisoh mOmma). It’s actually the bottle nipples that babies exhibit preferences for and it should be chosen based on your baby’s needs. Breastfed babies may need a nipple that mimics their usual sucking techniques, while fast eaters may need a slow flow nipple to prevent gas and digestion problems.  Have a few different bottles and nipples ready, just in case you have a picky eater on your hands.

Ready is Best: At least at 2 am when you haven’t slept… If you’re prepping your bottles yourself consider having a stash of the 2oz ready to drink formulas on hand.  While more expensive than the large liquid or powdered options, they’re perfectly portioned, ready to go, and don’t require the brain power needed to properly mix powdered formula, or the time needed to reheat refrigerated liquids. Another option is a formula system. It’s like a Keurig for baby formula. Khloe Kardashian uses the Baby Breeza, in case you want to feed your baby like the rich and famous, you can get it here.


Check back next week for info on self-care for nursing moms.

 

Summer Safety For The Pregnant Lady

By: Kajan Doyle

Being pregnant during the dog days of summer can be a uniquely horrific experience. Swollen ankles, sore feet, sun sensitivity can have you running for the hills, or at least a dark airconditioned bedroom; but before you move your fridge in and camp out here’s some easy fixes to make life bearable during the hot summer months:

SummerSafety.png

Pregnant Lady Problem: Heat
Pregnant ladies run hot! It’s normal to have a slightly elevated temperature due to hormones and metabolism changes. Add on the heat and you can become down right uncomfortable.

Pregnant Lady Fix:

  1. Swim: Not only does swimming lower your body temperature, it takes the weight of your feet allowing for a few minutes of relaxation for overused joints and muscles.
  2. Keep a Cold Wet Wash Cloth with Peppermint Oil Handy: Apply to the back of your neck, wrists and ankles.  The cold cloth will help bring your temperature down, and the cooling properties of the peppermint will help you feel cool on even the hottest days. Store it in a zip lock bag in your fridge for up to a day. 
  3. Stay Inside: There’s no relief like the cool hum of air conditioning. On especially hot days, stay inside as much as possible and keep a large frozen water bottle handy, taking sips of the ice-cold water as it melts.

Pregnant Lady Problem: Swollen Feet
Water retention, added weight, and overuse are just the beginning, add in the heat and summer can be killer on your feet.

Pregnant Lady Fix:

  1. Ditch the Flips: Flip flops can be a pregnant lady’s best friend, they’re cute, and mostly they’re easy to slip on and off. They can also be harmful with overuse. If you plan to be on your feet for the day, or if you have pain, you may need something with a little more support on your overextended ligaments.  Try a supportive sandal, they offer the open breeze of a flip flop with a bit more support. Try these from Andre Assous. The elastic back makes them a breeze to get on and they have a nice padding, an added benefit
  2. Roll with It Baby: In addition to elevating your feet above your heart for 10 minutes at a time, improve the circulation in your ankles with rotation exercises. Sit with one leg raised. Rotate your ankle 10 times to the right, then to the left. Then switch legs and continue to repeat this 10 times.

Pregnant Lady Problem: Staying Hydrated
Staying hydrated is one of the most important things you can do during pregnancy.
It’s water that helps bring nutrients to your growing bump, replenishes amniotic fluid and so many more important processes during pregnancy.  Ask your practitioner about how many ounces you should be taking in during a day.

Pregnant Lady Fix: Don’t love water? Try this no calorie light lemonade!

LightlemonadeBFSummerSafety.png

Pregnant Lady Problem: Sunburn
Sunburn is the add it on problem to the other summer safety issues.  Pregnant women are even more prone to sunburn due to hormone fluctuation.  It can be a factor in dehydration, heat sensitivity, sleep and more!

Pregnant Lady Fix: Don’t stop with sunscreen. Make sure you stay in shaded areas, and wear a hat whenever you will be outside for any length of time.

There has been some debate whether chemicals in sunscreen contain hormone disruptors Read about it here.  While the jury and the science is still out on this, any sunscreen is better than none when you’re pregnant so apply, apply, apply.

 

A Birth Bag for Every Mama

By Kajan Doyle

The end is in sight! Soon, you will hold the tiniest, most perfect human and all will be well with the world. As your third trimester wanes on it’s time to start thinking about what to pack in your birth bag. Hospital or birth center, minimalist or over-packer, we’ve compiled three birth bags that will fit your mama style. Plus, a bonus checklist of must haves for birth and recovery.

The Minimalist Mama
For the sleek and streamlined the bag and products do double duty, and will fit your life long after you are home with baby.

MinimalistMamaBag.jpg

The Bag: The OG by Lo and Sons $206.50
Why it’s Great:  If The life-changing magic of tidying up was a bag, this would be it. 
What’s in the Bag: 1. Cosabella 3-piece maternity pajamas $155 This three-piece set includes a matching robe, perfect for visitors and pictures.  2. Tieks $175 These ballerina pink flats fold up for quick storage and are a great slipper alternative, bonus you can also wear them home. 3. Ursa Major Face Wipes $24 Hardworking, multi-tasker, cleans, exfoliates, soothes and hydrates all at in one step.  Bonus, they’re individually wrapped so you can take just enough for your birth. 4. First Aid Beauty:  Hello FAB Coconut Skin Smoothie Priming Moisturizer $28 Iridescent and moisturizing, this all in one moisturizer enhances your glow and evens out texture. Use alone or with the Triple protection skin tint.5. First Aid Beauty: Hello FAB Triple Protection Skin Tint $34 6. Tata Harper Volumizing lip and cheek tint in Very Charming $397. EO deodorant Wipes in Lavender $17 Natural and organic these individually wrapped wipes work and smell great. 8. Mezzone Charger $14.99 This palm sized charger has two USB ports, to charge your phone and tablet simultaneously.

Mother Earth
Nurture and nature friendly, these small footprint products are sweet, effective and eco-conscious.

MotherEarthBag.jpg

The Bag: Terra Messenger Bag $46.99
Why it’s Great: Made of organic cotton, this roomy and colorful piece is perfect (unless of course you’re re-purposing one you already have.)
What’s in the Bag: 1. Vertly Lip Balm in Rose $22 Vertly's standout ingredient, hemp-derived CBD is a powerful skincare ingredient that has analgesic, anti-inflammatory and calming properties.2. Neal’s Yard Remedies set $40 Includes Wild Rose Beauty Balm, hydrating White Tea Facial Mist a Beauty Sleep Concentrate and face mask. 3. Druthers Socks $20 Made from organic, recycled cotton, oh and they’re cute and cozy. 4. Boob Nightdress $29.50 Stretchy and made from sustainable materials, this short sleeve nightdress is a dream come true during pregnancy and nursing. 5. Bear Naked Wipes $12 Infused with argan oil, aloe vera, chamomile, and cucumber, these biodegradable wipes are luxuriously soft and kind to tender eyes and skin. This product also gives back, a portion of every package of Bear Naked Wipes sold supports  the Polar Bear SOS initiative. 6. Eden’s Garden Essential Oil Set $31.95 Many doula’s incorporate essential oils into their practice, in fact, A study published in Complementary Therapies in Nursing and Midwifery* found that aromatherapy was effective in reducing labor anxiety, fear, and in some cases, pain. Try Frankincense to calm, Clary Sage for muscle tension, Peppermint for cooling, and Lemon for nausea. 7. Native Deodorant $12 Safe, effective, non-toxic this small batch deodorant offers a variety of curated scents. Try the coconut vanilla.

*https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11033651

Baby Beauty
Everything plus the kitchen sink offering all the comforts and amenities of home… and then some!

BabyBeautyBag.jpg

The Bag: Scout Weekender $54
Why it’s Great: Lightweight, foldable but still has the durability and capacity for all your stuff.
What’s in the Bag: 1. Beauty Burrito for all your makeup essentials and then some. 2. T3 Featherweight The size of a travel dryer the power of a professional. 3. C.O. Bigelow Rose Salve: The classic, provides moisture and a lovely pink hue.4. Milkmaid Goods Robe: $64.95 Pretty, comfy and forgiving, it’s picture perfect for pre/post birth and beyond. 5. High Fidelity Portable Speaker  $39 6. Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber detox hydra gel eye patches $48 Revives and refreshes tired eyes. 7. La Mer Glowing Vitality Set $245 The perfect pick me up for stressed out skin, La Mer’s miracle broth will bring your skin back to its pre miracle baby days. 8. Scout Overpacker: $44 For all the extra hospital goodies like diapers, pads, and more. 9. Kindred Bravely Pajamas in Berry $49.99 These soft, full coverage pajamas are a must have for new moms. Pretty enough for pictures and featuring a comfortable elastic waistband for an easy transition from pregnancy to motherhood. They also feature a 2-layer top for easy breastfeeding. 10. Secret Freshie in Paris Rose  $4.97 Travel friendly size and discreet to keep at the ready 11. OleHenriksen So Nurturing Wipes $15 Gently sweep away dirt, oil, and makeup, leaving skin fresh and moisturized and helping to reduce visible redness.
12. Ugg Joni Shearling Slide $129.95
 

Our easy packing checklist with all the basics for your birth.

BirthBagChecklist.png

Birth Focus At The Baby Show

By Kajan Doyle

The New York Baby Show came to town last weekend and brought with it, great speakers, products and  how-to’s.  Featured seminar topics included pregnancy, birth, health and wellness, and there were tutorials on cloth diapering, babywearing and breastfeeding. All in, over 200 baby and child focused brands were in attendance.

babyshow.jpg

Birth Focus was there with many of our affiliated doulas, meeting parents-to-be and answering questions about birth, doula care and the benefits of a Doula in helping you achieve your vision for your birth.

BFDoulasforPost.jpg

Did you know? 

HowCanADoulaHelpMeforBlog.jpg

Missed the New York Baby show, or interested in some of these topics? A doula can be a great resource for all things birth and baby. Don’t miss our Meet the Doulas Events. From birth to breastfeeding these “speed dating doula events” are a great way to learn more about Doula care and the great doulas from Birth Focus



 

We're Headed To The New York Baby Show

By: Kajan Doyle
 

Meet the Doula Team Behind Birth Focus, and Learn How a Doula Can Help You Before, During and After Your Baby’s Birth!

Join us at the NY Baby Show, Saturday May 19th, and Sunday May 20th from 10-4

With over 200 top pregnancy, baby, toddler, and family brands from all over the world, as well as local goods and services, the show offers an incredibly helpful education for everything baby.  Shop for baby gear, attend seminars, relax in one of two specialized lounges and takeaway key insights from the experts in birth and baby care.  

At the Birth Focus booth #404 you can:

·         Meet Birth Focus Directors:  Meredith Coronato and Sara Dick

·         Learn about Doula care and how we can help you with your vision for your birth

·         Sign up for our Meet The Doulas Events 

·         Have all your questions about Doula care answered

·         Hire a doula!

Learn More and Get your tickets today
newyorkbabyshow.com/