Date Night Post Baby

“You still need to make time for date nights…..”

We’ve all read this somewhere. Heard it from someone. Maybe rolled our heavy eyes at the thought of it while folding the never-ending baby laundry and simultaneously nursing.

The truth is, it is HARD. Especially in the early months. Hard to find the time. Hard to find the energy. Sometimes hard to find the money. Hard to find the motivation. I mean, how many sleep deprived parents do you know that would opt for a night out vs an early night in if they got the offer of ‘free time?’

Yes, it is absolutely hard. But it’s not impossible.

It just takes more planning – because there is no more going out on a whim. But that’s ok, it’s something to really look forward to isn’t it?

It takes more determination – because you DO know deep down that it is worth it and that it will recharge you in the long run.

And it takes a lot more expectation management. Because most likely, it won’t be like pre-baby dates. There will be nerves (oh so perfectly normal!). Countless urges to ‘check-in’. There might be sitters to go back early for. And pay! And there will almost certainly be more yawns and less wine in anticipation of those early feeds, wake up calls and whiffy diapers. Baby and hangover = just not worth it!

But just because it will be different to pre-baby dates won’t make it any less special. Or essential. You are both finding your feet in this new life-changing role – and even though you might not think it, you are both doing just great! You DO deserve a break every now and then. A chance to recharge and reminisce on why and how you first became a happy couple, and then smile at how beautifully your story has evolved.

We certainly aren’t love experts, but have had our fair share of nerves, tears and hesitations, so from our experiences, here are a few tips on how to enjoy those first few post baby dates:

  • Choose a sitter you are completely comfortable with – a family member, a close friend, or a highly recommended sitter. Having utter faith in your sitter is essential in your efforts to relax and recharge. And don’t forget to set clear expectations BEFORE you leave on IF and WHEN you will be calling them OR want them to message you – this saves you racing home in a panic when you can’t get a hold of them, only to find them rocking your baby gently to sleep with their phone on silent in their bag.
  • Keep it simple – Date night doesn’t need to be fancy. It can be anything from dinner and a romantic stroll on the beach, to a local coffee, candy on a park bench or a Pokemon Go hunt! We won’t judge! It doesn’t matter, the important thing is you’re spending time together. And if you really aren’t ready to leave baby, then don’t worry. If you force yourself to go, you won’t enjoy it, so why not just plan a special dinner or indoor picnic at home once the baby is down?
  • Keep it local – You will feel better knowing you are only ten minutes from home if needed, so don’t stray too far the first few times. Build up your confidence.
  • Don’t put so much pressure on yourself regarding how you look – and that’s easier said than done in the early months when your body doesn’t feel like your own. Just remember, your body is your family’s life story. It is capable of amazing things and can and will change. And as for your husband, he watched in aww as you brought life in to this world – he thinks you are an absolute goddess, however you might feel about yourself right now.
  • Try not to talk shop – Ok. It’s completely unrealistic to say you won’t talk at all about your tiny new bundle. You are both smitten after all. But try and limit it. Use your date night as a chance to reminisce, gossip and reconnect over shared interests.

Have fun lovebirds! You deserve it.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestEmail to someone
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.

 

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestEmail to someone
Here’s to Best Friends!

Nothing tests a friendship like having kids right?

Between the endless feeding, changing, chasing and general ‘keeping them alive’ daily activities ….not to mention the overflowing laundry basket and constant cries of neglect from your vacuum, it can be a struggle to stay on top of friendships. Even your very nearest and dearest ones. The calls, the messages, the invitations, they all too often get buried in the beautiful chaos of family life.

Hands up if you feel, or have ever felt, like a terrible friend since having kids? Do you beat yourself up about it? Yep, us too. All the time. We’re pretty sure it’s part of the whole mom guilt thing we are all cursed with postpartum.

The truth is, it’s a tough juggling act. Sometimes the balls come crashing down.

We have all had those friends who backed off after birth, or took offence to the ‘M.I.A you’ post children. Those friendships fizzled out pretty quickly. You might also have those who complain at how ‘they never see you anymore’? Those who always expect you to travel with kids to them. Or those that harbor resentment when they see you popping up on Facebook on a playdate with your new ‘mommy friend’ or worse still….when you forget a birthday – thanks baby brain *face palm.*

And then there is pure gold. The ones that just get it. Your rocks. Your constants. Your saviours. Your BEST FRIENDS!

The ones who know that your silence isn’t selfish. That no contact doesn’t mean no love.

The ones that know that friendship is measured by much more than actual time spent together.

The ones who your kids see as family.

The ones who see through your smile and know when you need a shoulder to cry on.

The ones who will bring you over a fully cooked meal or simply watch the kids while you take a looooooong bath.

The ones who don’t make you feel boring when you are sitting in on a Friday night – of course they’ll join you and watch Coyote Ugly for the zillionth time!

This week, it’s National Best Friends Day (June 8th). So Mamas, let’s hear it for our best friends! They keep us strong. They keep us smiling. And they keep us sane. They show us what real friendship and sisterhood is all about and make us want to be a better friend.

We would be lost without them wouldn’t we? So amidst the chaos this week, just do your best to drop them a line to let them know how much you adore them. But if you forget, don’t worry, they’ll forgive you. Because they are THAT awesome!

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestEmail to someone
First Foods Around the World

babies in bloom first foodsWhat did you give your little one for his / her first meal? Pureed fruits? Vegetables? Meat? Oats?

And WHEN did you give it to them? Was Daddy there, too? Grandma? Auntie?

It’s a big decision isn’t it? A huge parenting milestone. Not to mention adorable / hysterical when it comes to the faces babies will pull when they try new flavors and textures for the first time. Trust us, if you are about to start weaning, get the camera ready!

While here in the US, it’s widely encouraged to breastfeed up to six months before introducing food, it is not the case for other countries and different cultures. It varies so much around the world– and it’s FASCINATING!

Did you know for example that a Tibetan baby’s first interaction with food is at FOUR days old? A piece of zamba – a mix of barley, wheat, corn, and peas, stirred, fried, ground in to flour and mixed with yak butter – is stuck to the baby’s forehead in a purity ritual.

Japanese parents start ahead of our six month recommendation too. Usually on the 100th day of the child’s life. At this stage, babies will often be presented with a dish called okayu, a rice porridge topped with dried fish and vegetables or mashed pumpkin.

In China, babies at four months will typically have moved on from breast milk to rice dishes paired with fish, carrots, seaweed, and eggs as well as blends such as chicken soup, pumpkin, ground pork and smashed eggplant. Jamaican parents often start at the four month mark too. Before morning milk, babies are given indigenous fruit blends – custard apple, mango, banana, papaya, naseberry – with honey.

And what about spices? When would you introduce those in to your baby’s diet? In India, at six months old, babies are introduced to khichidi – a vegetarian dish of rice and high protein lentils loaded with herbs and spices like cumin, cilantro, mint and cinnamon. Mexican parents also commonly opt to introduce spice young, sprinkling chili powder and lime on to apples, oranges and pears for baby.

Thought provoking isn’t it? What a colorful variety of dishes for the littles of the world!

Feeling emotional about weaning?

While babies of the world all eat differently, it is important to remember that all parents react to weaning differently too. While for some it is fun and exciting, it’s not unusual for others to have sad or uneasy feelings about this chapter.

There’s the ‘my baby is growing up so fast’ tears and anxieties about choking or allergies. As well as a sense of loss for many mothers who have breastfed and enjoyed that special ‘oneness’ with their child.

Some breastfeeding mothers even experience mood changes, which many researchers believe is down to hormones, because weaning brings with it a drop in prolactin and oxytocin levels. Prolactin, as well as being the hormone required for milk production, also promotes well-being, calmness and relaxation. Oxytocin, the hormone in charge of milk ejection, is also known as the ‘love hormone.’ When feeding decreases, or stops, so does the ‘feel good’ oxytocin.

Thankfully more and more research is being done into post-weaning depression. Support and awareness is growing. So remember, if you or someone you know has symptoms for longer than a few weeks, it’s important you speak with a doctor.

If you are interested in reading more about weaning around the globe, you can find the source of this article here.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestEmail to someone