An electric breast pump can be one of a nursing mama’s most valuable tools. Even if you don’t need to bottle feed your baby often, a pump can help maintain milk supply, relieve engorgement, and serves as a great backup in case an emergency comes up and you are unable to nurse your baby.
I remember registering for baby items when I was pregnant with my first baby and having some serious sticker shock when I saw the price tags on the electric breast pumps. I knew that I needed to get one, so I figured I would just cough up the few hundred bucks.
Luckily a co-worker of mine was pregnant at the same time and, as we compared baby prep checklists, mentioned that our health insurance plan covered the cost of a breast pump. I called my health insurance company and a representative said that the cost of my pump would be covered if A) I got a prescription from my doctor and B) I bought the pump from a participating medical supply store. A bit of a hassle to be sure, but I was able to get a Medela double electric pump that has now lasted me through nursing two babies without any issues.
Although healthcare legislation requires most medical insurance plans to cover the cost of a pump, sometimes the process can be more complicated and time-consuming than my experience. And in any case, what new or expectant mother wants to spend her time filling out paperwork or making phone calls?
Enter Pumping Essentials. This company, run by moms, handles the logistics for you. All you have to do is fill out the registration form on their website, choose a brand of pump, and let Pumping Essentials take care of getting the prescription from your doctor’s office, filing the claim with your insurance company, and mailing you the pump.
Best of all, Pumping Essentials offers a free or discounted hands-free pumping bra (Simple Wishes is our favorite) with every pump purchase, and provides discounts on other pumping and breastfeeding items such as pump/diaper bags, milk storage supplies, etc. So if you are in need of a breast pump, visit pumpingessentials.com and let someone else navigate the insurance process for you.
A C-section is not something that every mom-to-be plans for. Though many moms, especially after their first child, opt for a C-section, for most it can come as a surprise. My husband and I just had our second child via C-section, and the whole experience including the recovery was much different than with our first who was delivered vaginally. I found myself coming home from the hospital feeling completely different, and needing different types of remedies to help my body recover. So whether you're planning a C-section or have to have one unexpectedly, here are some helpful tips to help your at home recovery.
Pillows are your friend. After my C-section, I surrounded myself with pillows. When you have a C-section, you quickly realize how much the core muscles engage during simple everyday acts, such as sneezing, coughing and laughing. If you hold a pillow over your stomach when you feel a cough or sneeze coming on it can soften the blow. Watching a TV comedy was not fun when every time I laughed I felt a twinge at my incision. So I kept pillows nearby and grabbed one when I started to laugh. The pillow trick also saved me from the pain when going over a speed bump or hitting a pot hole. You may also want to use a nursing pillow, such as a boppy, to prevent your baby from sitting right on your incision while you're nursing. This will stop any irritation and make nursing more comfortable.
2- ABDOMINAL SUPPORT
Wear abdominal support. While you're in the hospital, your doctors will most likely offer you a belly binder. Take it, use it, love it. Not only does it help train your belly to go back into position and shrink your uterus, but it can also give you the support you need to get up and move around. The doctor will tell you to get moving as soon as possible, but it's tricky when your abs are out of commission. The binder tightens around your core and makes it easier to pull yourself up. Once you've been home a few days, the hospital grade binder may be too large and cumbersome to wear, so you can switch to a pair of high waisted compression underwear, like these C-Panty High Waist C-Section Recovery Panty from Upspring Baby:
Both the binder and support underwear will also provide a barrier between your incision and your clothes, keeping it free from irritation.
3- SAY YES
Just say yes. Delivering a baby takes its toll no matter how it happens, and you cannot do it without family and friends for support. With a C-section you'll need help in new ways. For the first few weeks, you should plan to have someone else drive you around. Driving can be painful (remember the potholes and speed bumps?), and can tug at your stitches. You are also limited on what you can lift. Most doctors say no more than a baby in a carrier, but even that amount of weight can be difficult the first couple weeks. Having someone around to help with the lifting is a life saver. Bending over to pick things up will also be tricky so forget about cleaning by yourself. Let a spouse or others who offer take care of that. You may also want to schedule someone to help with other kids, especially if they are super active. Running and chasing a toddler is not gonna work when you're healing from a C-section. For your sanity and the sanity of your other children, organize play dates and outings with someone you trust. It will help to get your child's wiggles out and allows you time to relax. The people who love you want to help. Say yes when they ask, and you will be much happier.
We've teamed up with Upspring Baby to give away an Undercover Mama and a C-Panty!
There is a lot of baby gear out there these days and it's hard to know exactly what you need. We've put together a list of our favorite baby registry items to give you a little help.
This is a wardrobe staple for every Nursing Mama. Expand your nursing wardrobe with this purchase and make any shirt a nursing shirt!
We love this travel system because it rides smooth, is light, and compresses easily. It makes transporting a baby a little easier, and who doesn't want that?
These super soft pads soothe chaffed nipples, they are ultra-absorbant and stop leaks, and they are washable so you save money! Give them a try, you'll thank us later!
We love this carrier for so many reasons: great ergonomic design, fun colors that my husband could live with, and a forward facing feature that my baby loves! When he needs a nap, I still carry him facing me.
A great nursing bra that is also a pumping bra! It is supportive, easy to use, and turns any pump into a hands- free pump.
Every new mama needs an awesome diaper bag and we love Ju-Ju-Be and their newest collection of black and white prints makes you feel less like you are carrying a diaper bag and more like you are carrying a purse.
This doctor developed and doctor recommended nasal aspirator is amazing at keeping babies naturally snot free. Ingeniously simple Swedish design features a tube that is placed against the nostril (not inside). Parents use their own suction to draw mucus out of their child's nose. Sounds a little gross, but it is amazing!
8- Skwish Toy
One of our favorite classic toys, it skwishes and returns to its original shape. Perfect for little hands.
Who doesn't love a good book? This board book is based on the simplicity of objects outlined in black & white that can be easily recognized by babies in their daily surroundings. This is one of those rare books that will interest even a newborn.
One of our favorite blankets ever! The double layer cotton knit makes it super soft and we love the gender neutral designs.
Summer is coming y'all which means, tank tops and shorts are coming out! For the nursing Mamas that means the dreaded layers and a whole lot of sweat...but maybe not? I've got you covered girl ;) First off ALL of Undercover Mamas tanks are super breathable and lightweight meaning you're not going to get over heated. Plus they make a specific "Cool Mama" option! Second off they're perfect to dress up a tank and allow you to nurse without a problem wherever you are! I've put together 3 of my favorite tank looks with my Undercover Mama tanks right here, right now!
This post was written by Jess Oakes. You can find her blogging at Positively Oakes and enjoying her new journey of Motherhood with a Dr. Pepper in her hand ;)
Essential oils are natural aromatic compounds found in the leaves, stems, seeds, bark, roots, and flowers of plants and have a wide range of physical and emotional uses, including supporting a pregnant and laboring mother. DōTERRA Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade (CPTG) essential oils work great and Jennifer is here to give you some recipes to use as you prepare for labor. Always consult your doctor or midwife when using essential oils during pregnancy and labor.
Black Pepper has a warming effect to the touch and can help sooth anxious feelings.
Have your doula, midwife or partner mix 1-2 drops in 10-12 drops of fractionated coconut oil in their hands and massage it on your hips during back labor for a soothing warming sensation.
This essential oil possesses stimulating and purifying qualities, making it ideal for supporting healthy immune system function when seasonal threats are high. Wild Orange contains powerful antioxidants that help maintain overall health. Diffusing Wild Orange will energize and uplift the mind and body while purifying the air.
Diffuse 2-3 drops during labor for an energizing effect.
If no diffuser is available, place 1 drop in your palm, rub your hands together, cup them over your nose and mouth, and inhale.
LAVENDAR, FRANKINCENSE & HELICHRYSUM
These three oils have incredible properties that help our skin. All are known to help reduce skin irritation and imperfections, which make them perfect for preparing the body for labor and facilitating recovery postpartum.
Add 10 drops of each essential oil to 2oz of fractionated coconut oil in a glass container or glass spray bottle to apply with perineal massage daily starting around 37 weeks. The remainder can be used postpartum after daily peri washes. Using a glass spray bottle is the easiest way to apply postpartum.
Add 10 drops of each to 1/2c of raw shea butter and 1/2c of melted coconut oil. Whip together in a mixer, and apply to your growing itchy belly as needed.
Feel free to contact Jennifer, as she specializes in making each of these custom blends for expecting mothers. You can find out more about doTERRa essential oils and purchase undiluted CPTG oils here or email for further information firstname.lastname@example.org
* These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are intended to support general well being and are not intended to treat, diagnose, mitigate, prevent, or cure any condition or disease.
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Congestion in infants can make everyone miserable. Here are a few tools to help treat your infant's congestion to ensure your little one can rest a little more comfortably:
1- Humidifier- A cool mist humidifier will add moisture to the air which can help thin the mucus and ease the congestion.
2- Saline Drops- These natural drops moisturize the nasal passages and flush dust and irritants to get baby breathing easier.
3- Baby Comfy Nasal Aspirator - This is the most incredible congested baby product you will ever use. It uses your own suction to remove mucus from your baby's airways without damaging delicate mucous membranes. It sounds gross, but it definitely works! It is significantly more effective than the bulb syringe because your natural lung suction is so much stronger. Plus it is way more sanitary. Here's what the inside of your bulb syring looks like:
The design of the aspirator eliminates any possibility of contact with mucus and germs. It comes with two nose tips: standard and newborn. There are NO FILTERS to buy, it just uses a tissue!
BONUS: Breastfeed as much as possible to help keep baby hydrated. You can also put breastmilk in their eyes or nose to help clear up any infections