The Real Definition of Babymoon

Think of babymoon and you’ll most likely picture a glowing mama-to-be on vacation with her partner, trying to squeeze in as much rest as possible BEFORE the new baby arrives.

But did you know that that kind of babymoon is a new thing?

The original babymoon is postpartum. It used to widely mean a ‘laying in’ period of home rest AFTER childbirth. A calming period where mothers heal and where parents take the time to bond with their new arrival alone.

The pace of modern American life doesn’t always allow for this kind of ‘lying in’ time does it? Though it is still common practice in some less-manic cultures throughout the world. There’s a pressure….no, almost expectation… for mothers nowadays to ‘bounce back’ shortly after birth. Don’t even get us started on the ‘yummy mummy’ pressure….

I mean, raise your hands if you had your first visitors within 48 hours of giving birth? Yep, us too. While it’s so heartwarming to see the eagerness of friends and family to meet your new baby, it’s also exhausting having to entertain and host visitors so soon – whatever type of birth you’ve had!

You might feel pressured to get dressed for starters. Probably do a quick tidy up. Go and buy some nibbles. Make coffee etc. And when visitors have gone, there is the clean-up to do. All on little to no sleep and in-between nursing and diaper changes.

Now, a ‘lying in’ period isn’t for everyone. We know plenty of moms whose worst nightmare would be to stay at home doing nothing – and that’s perfectly ok too. If you need to do the housework to stay sane – do it! A happy mama is an honest-to-herself-mama.

But, there are also many moms out there who don’t like the idea of having to juggle normal life with motherhood straight away. Some want to take things slowly and focus on establishing nursing, as well as building strength and confidence. You pick your pace, no one else.

For those pregnant mamas out there who do like the sound of babymooning – here’s an important PSA:  BOOK YOUR BABYMOON. RIGHT NOW! Pick up your phone and block out your calendar. Just do it.

DO NOT let others guilt trip you. Even parents and in-laws. This is your time. To process your birth experience. To heal. To cuddle. To love. And to learn.

It’s a good idea to manage your friends and families expectations in advance. Message them all ahead of your due date to let them know that you and your partner would appreciate the time to yourselves in the early weeks. Let them know that you will be touch when you feel up to visitors.

And when you ARE up for visitors, don’t be afraid to ask for things. Ask them to come at a time that suits you and baby, not a time that suits them. Ask them to bring food. Even ask them to do a chore or two while at the house. Real friends honestly won’t mind and will probably appreciate being told what you need from them. While they have come for cuddles, they’ve also come to support you at the start of this crazy ol’ journey we call parenthood.

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If There Is Just One Thing You Do This Month, Do This…

It’s September and the school runs are back in full swing. While we are all talking about how ghastly the morning traffic is, it’s also the perfect time of year to talk about car seat safety, because September 17 – 23 is National Child Passenger Safety Week.

This means you’ll be seeing and hearing a lot of hard hitting statistics flying around. Stats like: Car cra

shes are the leading cause of death of children 1 to 13 years old.

It’s easy (and normal) to not want to think about such gut wrenching facts, so more than often we switch off as a method of emotional self -defense. But the truth is, the BEST defense is ALWAYS knowledge.

That’s the real idea behind National Child Passenger Safety Week – NOT to terrify parents, but to inform and support.

But we get it – parenting 2017 can feel like a LOT of noise. And we’re not just talking about inside the home! We live in a world where parents feel judged and are made to second guess their choices on a daily basis. Opinions, be it welcome or unwelcome, are constantly being fired towards us, through media as well as face to face interactions. It’s really hard to know what to tune in to right now isn’t it? Are people trying to help me or just sell me something?

But when it comes to child passenger safety, getting an expert opinion is ALWAYS a good idea. Because right now, there are currently hundreds of parents driving around with their kids in the wrong or poorly fitted car seat. It’s certainly not because they can’t be bothered, it’s simply because they just don’t know they’ve got it wrong.

There are parents out there who spent hours doing research online and in shops to find exactly the right seat, only to then install it incorrectly, reducing effectiveness.

There are parents who purchased the right seat, and who installed it correctly, but haven’t yet realized that their child has outgrown the seat, because darn, our kids grow so fast right under our noses!

Laws change. Cars change – do you know for sure that you have reinstalled the seat in your new vehicle correctly? Let’s be honest, car seat installation can get tricky!) Even care givers change – is Granny and Grandad using the car seat correctly in your absence?

So, your job this National Child Passenger Safety Week is to MAKE THE TIME to do a little car seat check-up.  In fact, it’s National Seat Check Saturday on September 23rd, so put the date on the calendar.

  • First, go online and get up-to-date with the latest CA laws to make sure you are following them correctly.
  • Then, dig out the instruction manual for your car seat (or find it online) and pay careful attention to the recommended weight / height restrictions – is your child in this bracket? If you’re eager to move your child to the next seat, remember, each time you “graduate” your child to the next seat, there’s a reduction in the level of protection for your child. It’s best to keep your child in each stage for as long as possible.
  • Also, look online for installation videos from professionals, plus details of how the harness should sit for a proper fit – is your harness currently snug enough? Do you put the chest clip at armpit level? Do you know why you should?
  • Finally, where possible, we highly recommend getting a professional safety inspection from a qualified child car seat safety technician like our wonderful Katie here at Babies in Bloom  – she has had hours of training and hands on experience with all types and brands of car seats. Check out her recent TV appearance on CBS 8 here, where she highlights the most common user errors she encounters. You can book consultations with Katie at Babies in Bloom here.

It’s not that much to do for huge peace of mind is it? So go on, have a car seat check-up this month and know for sure that you have the right seat for your child, fitted in exactly the right spot in your car. And don’t forget to share what you learn with anyone else who may look after your child!

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The First Trimester

While you may not even be really showing all that much by the end of your first trimester, it’s absolutely incredible how much happens behind the scenes in those first 12 weeks. This is the time where your little one grows faster than at any other time of your pregnancy – from a little poppy seed at 4 weeks to a whole lime at 12 weeks! By the end of the first trimester, your little lime’s bones, muscles and organs have been formed and is even practicing swallowing. WOW!

With all this magic happening inside at super speed, it’s no wonder that the first trimester is so loaded with side effects and symptoms. It’s a physical and emotional learning curve for any mom – be it her first time or fifth, as every pregnancy is so different. For those planning a baby, or those in the early stages of pregnancy, here’s a quick overview of some of the most common symptoms to expect in that first trimester – starting from as little as six after conception.

Light Bleeding: While any sight of blood can be alarming, it’s thought that around 25% of pregnant women experience slight bleeding or spotting during their first trimester.  The most common cause of this is implantation bleeding – a sign that the fertilized embryo has implanted in the uterus. This usually occurs 6-12 days after conception, around the same time as your cycle, so many often mistake it for a lighter, regular period. Of course, for anything beyond light spotting, or pains in your abdomen, your health care provider should be consulted immediately.

Sore Breasts:  Boobs are extremely hormone sensitive and because of all the progesterone and hCG in your body after fertilization, your blood volume increases which makes your breasts swell. The good news is, this swelling normally fades after the first trimester as your body adapts to the changed hormone levels. Now’s a good time to start thinking about maternity bra shopping though – you’re gonna need a bigger bra!

Discharge: a thin, milk white discharge (or leukorrhea) is pretty common in the first trimester too. It’s annoying, but it’s completely normal. You can use panty liners (tampons are a no-no) to feel a little more comfortable, but if it changes color or becomes foul-smelling, it’s important you trust your mama bear instincts and contact your healthcare provider.

Extreme Fatigue: With so much growth and development in this trimester, your gears are running high. The wealth of progesterone in your body is thought to have a sedative effect and while blood volume is increased up to 50% to provide baby with blood, extra iron is needed to make baby’s blood cells. This iron is often taken from your supply, leaving you low – and therefore low on energy. Your doctor should give you a blood test during your first prenatal visit to check your iron levels – if you are too low, you can get a supplement.

Constipation: While that added iron supplement, might provide more energy, it can also be a cause of constipation in the first trimester.  That and the fact that your intestine muscles are working slower because of those darn progesterone levels. You might have to look in to upping your fiber intake – and don’t forget to drink extra fluids to keep things moving down there.

Morning sickness: Nausea and vomiting is thought to affect up to 85% of moms-to-be. TBH, we aren’t even sure why we still call it morning sickness, as we all know it can strike at any time. Hormones are again to blame – too much human chorionic gonadotropin in your system. Moms-to-be find themselves in the early weeks repelled by certain tastes and smells while hyper-craving others. Whatever it is, it can be rough! Some people swear by eating smaller meals during the day. Some people swear by ginger.  Some swear by B6 while some go completely unaffected. There are no rules here, just trial and error. Take it easy and keep reminding yourself that this will soon pass. For those that can stomach regular meals, remember in trimester one that you only need an extra 150 calories a day – the whole “eating for two thing” is more wishful thinking here!

Acne: Thanks once again to a hormones overload, your skin might also start to produce more oil which can lead to acne break outs. There’s no real way to avoid this unfortunately – just don’t fuel it by piling on oily moisturizers and make up and ALWAYS consult with your health care provider before using any medicated gels or lotions.

Acne? Vomit? Discharge? Constipation? First time mamas might be thinking ‘pregnant glow my big toe!!’ The first trimester is probably not what you imagined. And while it’s beyond exciting, the symptoms are more than likely also making it REALLY difficult to keep the baby news under wraps in those first 12 weeks. We know it’s hard mamas, but try to remember in one of your dark vomit fuelled hours that, YES your body is being put through the hormonal ringer right now, but all these symptoms are a great sign that baby is growing and doing well. Your body is doing an incredible job, just like you will when your little lime fully cooks and finally arrives.

 

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Sex After Baby

sex after babyCue bad (like, really bad!) 90’s dancing.

Let’s talk about sex, baby
Let’s talk about you and me
Let’s talk about all the good things
And the bad things that may be….

And by this, we mean let’s talk specifically about sex AFTER baby. The good, the bad and the plain ol’ feeling ugly.

How long did you wait? Or for those currently pregnant, how long do you think you will wait after birth to have sex….?

Don’t worry, this isn’t a test. While most healthcare advisors recommend somewhere in the range of four weeks to six months postpartum, it’s not concrete. In truth, it might be earlier, or it might be a lot longer – it all depends on when you feel ready. Both physically and mentally.

When it comes to sex, the majority of us will opt to use humor to talk about it. Because it’s not easy to talk about sex seriously is it? We blush. We avoid. We conceal. We hold back.

Well not today!

We’re going to say what we’ve all thought or have been thinking- and say it out loud. THINKING ABOUT SEX AFTER HAVING A BABY CAN BE SCARY!

Post birth, while you KNOW your body is amazing, you also don’t really KNOW your body anymore. Not only does it feel different and look different, there’s that fear that anything ‘down there’ is reeeeally going to HURT! Let’s be honest, we’re still a little traumatized from the first bowel movement fears after birth, let alone thinking about letting anything in! And for those who experienced tearing and stitches, the anxiety about sex pains can be further heightened. Ladies – we hear you! All of you.

The truth is, it may well feel a little awkward and uncomfortable at first – one of the reasons is your estrogen levels drop right down after birth and remain low while nursing – this can lead to vaginal dryness. So first’s things first, don’t go in expecting perfection – ideally go in after a small glass of wine, loaded with giggles and lots of lubrication! Tell your partner about your fears– let him know that you are worried about discomfort, so that you can set the right pace for you.

Of course all of the above assumes that you are both ready and raring to give it a go. Many take longer to get to this point and that’s ok too. Did you know that the oxytocin that is released when you are nursing suppresses your libido? There’s that, and then there is the lack of sleep, the diapers, the nursing, the stretchmarks you are so paranoid about…. it can all culminate to a very unsexy cocktail called ‘Not tonight Sweetheart!’! This cocktail far from puts you in the mood.

If this is how you feel right now, then big hugs from us. Please believe us, this too shall pass. Just like you feel you may never sleep again, be able to 100% focus again, or get in to those old jeans again – eventually you do! You WILL have good sex again – it just takes time, patience and honesty with your partner. Keep him emotionally and physically updated to ensure he doesn’t just feel plain old rejected.  You WIILL find your confidence again. In fact, to end on a high, many moms actually say that they enjoy sex MORE after kids. Perhaps they feel more empowered by their bodies. Perhaps birth awakened something in their bodies. Perhaps it’s all the fun quickies that you have to weave in to your parenting routine, (because you have to take the moments when you can, and if it’s 1:20 in the afternoon, then so be it!). Whatever it is, know that post birth you will be desirable, you will be desired and you WILL feel your own desires return. Be patient with yourself, and most of all, be kind to yourself!

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