SIDS, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month

babiesinbloom_kelseysmithphotography2015printresolution300ppinativefile-29While SIDS rates in the United States has decreased by over 50% in the past two decades, SIDS sadly remains the leading cause of death for U.S infants 1 month to 1 year of age.

That’s what makes the month of October so important – it’s SIDS Awareness Month, a month where social and professional communities join forces to support families who have lost a child to SIDS, as well as drive wider, overall awareness of it.

It’s every parent’s worst nightmare to think about SIDS, let alone face it. It’s terrifying because there is still so much we don’t know about it. But what we DO know is that there are things we can do to help reduce risks. Information and education are key.

We can all do our bit this month – and beyond. We can support by sharing experiences, hard facts, advice and recommendations. Sharing, be it in person or via social media, can make a difference.

So, if you see campaigns for safe sleep practices or safe environments for babies, read it. Talk about it. Post about it. Pass it on.

If you know a new mom, or mom-to-be, respectfully make sure they are aware of the risks of things like bed sharing and loose bedding.

If someone else is looking after your child, make sure you talk to them about safe sleep practices and be sure that person agrees to follow safety recommendations. It’s easy to assume they might already know about it, but the truth is, it is a subject that’s difficult to talk about, or that many people avoid.

Talking about it is NOT about scaring anyone. Or preaching to them. It’s not about patronizing them or being disrespectful. it’s about support and preparation. It’s about empowering parents and caregivers to make the best, safest choices for their baby.

It’s all about keeping the conversation going! It really can help save lives. 

A helpful resource on SIDS is the American Academy of Pediatrics ‘Parents Guide to Safe Sleep’, available here.

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It’s Cord Blood Awareness Month!

cord-bloodWhile we all sit here scratching our heads, wondering how on earth it is July already (just 24 weeks until Christmas FYI eeek!), we also really wanted to help raise awareness and understanding of cord blood, as July is Cord Blood Awareness Month.

Perhaps you have had experience in cord blood banking or donation? If so, this is the month to share your story. It could change someone’s life. It could stop this potentially life-saving blood from being thrown away as medical waste after delivery. Post your story on Facebook, tweet it, blog it, tell your friends over coffee. July is the time to remind women everywhere how incredibly rich and powerful our bodies really are.

Or perhaps you or someone you know is currently pregnant and just starting to think about cord blood? Or perhaps you haven’t heard about it? Or even considered it before? Either way, we hope our little top line summary below helps inspire, inform and continue this all important conversation, both this month and beyond!

What is cord blood?

Cord blood is the blood that’s left in your baby’s former lifeline – your umbilical cord – once the baby has been delivered and the cord is cut. It can be collected and stored for years for future medical use. It is completely safe for mom and baby and may also be collected following a C-section delivery.

Why collect it?

Umbilical cord blood is a precious source of stem cells that are unique to your baby and family.  The Cord Blood Registry describe stem cells as the body’s ‘master cells’ – they can mature and regenerate into the cells that form all tissues, organs and systems in the body. Stem cells have been used for decades in lifesaving treatments for diseases such as leukaemia, other cancers and blood disorders. There are in fact almost 80 serious diseases that a baby’s cord blood can be used for today. The ability of stem cells to repair damaged cells and body tissue is also offering hope to people with conditions that currently have no cure, like brain injury, infant stroke, and juvenile diabetes.

Collecting and storing a baby’s unique, rich cord blood can offer parents peace of mind. No one likes to think about future illnesses, nor can we predict them, but it can be reassuring to know, that if stem cells are ever needed, cord blood is available.

How do you store cord blood?

You can either donate cord blood to a public bank to help others with medical needs, or you can store it in a private family bank exclusively for your family, should they ever need it. With private banking the cord blood can be collected anywhere you deliver your baby. A kit containing the necessary materials to perform a cord blood collection is mailed directly to you (or you can ask your doctor). All you have to do is simply bring the kit to the hospital with you, and a medical professional will conduct the cord blood collection. It will then be shipped to a processing facility where the cord blood is stored.

So there you have it. The topline details. Modern medicine really is amazing isn’t it? We know this is an important decision for your family, so for more detailed information, please visit: http://www.cordblood.com/

Remember, you have to make the decision about cord blood banking BEFORE your baby is born, so it’s never too early to start researching and talking about it with friends and family.

 

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Curious or Confused About Cloth Diapers?

cloth diapersIf you are considering cloth diapering, it is first important to “tune out the noise” said Kim Rosas, from Dirty Diaper Laundry at our recent BabyFest expo.

Wise words.

The current sheer volume of information and opinions about cloth diapering can be overwhelming for parents. You have brands telling you different things, let alone public forums and Facebook groups. Then you have all in ones, all in twos, pockets, pre-folds and varying washing rules to get your head around….

It can sometimes feel like another language.

It can feel like people are talking at you and not listening to you.

And more than often, it can feel like another mini parenting battlefield.

For those who are considering cloth, perhaps you’ve heard the following once or twice….or maybe even had these thoughts yourself?

“Oh, the smell is worse!”

“They’re difficult and take hours to wash”

“I’ve heard they’re uncomfortable”

“It’s super expensive”

“Day care won’t allow cloth diapers”

And so on.

The truth is, the cloth diaper landscape has changed so much. A lot of these negative misconceptions are now outdated. We’re not talking about your Grandma’s diapers anymore – cloth diapers are not what they once were. They can be modern, colourful, breathable, effective and practical (think simple snaps or velcro closures), as well as eco-friendly and cost effective.

Rosas was at BabyFest to tackle ongoing misconceptions about cloth. As a passionate advocate for cloth, she was keen to stress that you CAN personalize your own cloth diapering experience. It isn’t a one-size-fits-all kind of system. If you want to do it, you can choose a way that makes YOU comfortable and suits YOUR lifestyle – even if that means doing it part time if your day care won’t do cloth.

Another favorite quote of ours from Rosas at BabyFest was when she spoke about disposables leaking:

“Whether you are using cloth or disposables, you’re dealing with poop anyway. That’s just a fact. With cloth, you get to choose your involvement with poop.  But when you use disposable diapers, it chooses you!”

An interesting way to look at it, huh?

Now we don’t preach right or wrong ways at Babies in Bloom – we support YOUR way. We all have our reasons for what suits us and our families’ best. If cloth diapers aren’t for you, no worries. There is no judgement here. But for those who are interested, or those currently feeling a little intimidated or confused by cloth, then why not  join our Cloth Diapering 101 class at the Babies in Bloom Boutique?

On the first Saturday of the month at 11am, we connect parents and parents-to-be that want to use cloth, or who are simply cloth curious, with parents who have chosen cloth. It’s your chance to ask the questions and hear real first-hand experiences of different brands and different styles – the good and the bad. This isn’t about a hard product sell. We have one simple goal – to listen and help you make sense of all the “noise”.

Hope to see you there!

 

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Healthy Birth with a Midwife

“We have forgotten that childbirth is a natural process.” Most of the births in the United States are low-risk. Midwives – in a hospital, birth center or home birth setting – are the perfect care provider in a healthy pregnancy. “Midwives are well-suited to help women achieve the births that they want because we want you to be successful.”

Learn more about midwifery care and healthy birth…

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