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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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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BabyFest 2017

Our 2017 expo is over and our hearts are full!

The venue this year was on Babies in Bloom’s very own doorstep, with over 50 tents and booths lining our sun drenched street. We can’t tell you what it meant to us to peek out of the window at 9.30 AM and already see a long line of glowing mamas-to-be, their partners and other excited family members waiting to get in.

To all our visitors: thank you for letting us be part of your growing family’s exciting journey.

And to our wonderful exhibitors: thank you for all the support, wisdom, reassurance and encouragement you shared with our guests.

Together, we formed quite a village at BabyFest 2017. A place where no question was too foolish, no fear went unheard and where judgement simply wasn’t tolerated. Because we know that no two families are the same – each will tell their own beautiful story in their own special way.

For those that couldn’t make BabyFest this year, you can still visit some of our booths virtually!  Check out our BabyFest 2017 Facebook event page. A roaming camera at the event filmed live action at booths to give those at home a sneak peak of some of the wonderful products and services showcasing at the event.

We also dare you not to smile when you see the Groovaroo impromptu flashmob dance that took place on the street. It’s AWESOME! Check out the baby snuggling dance moves here  – plus take a look at the new Baby TULA ‘Free to Grow’ carriers being used (usable from 0+ – 4 years!). Groovaroo classes are hosted regularly at the boutique – check out our events calendar for more info.

For many, the expert talks are always an expo highlight. This year, we had certified babywearing educators showcasing the different types of baby carriers out there in the market, as well as Jennifer Aprea from Spray Pal answering all sorts of questions about cloth diapering. Our car seat safety expert Katie, was also on hand to explain the latest laws to parents and help them choose the right seat for their family.

‘Meet the Midwives’ is also an annual favorite. These local midwives couldn’t love their job any more and have delivered thousands of beautiful babies between them. They know more than anyone that how you birth matters and are committed to delivering a personalized experience to each and every family to help them have the birth they have always dreamed of.

If you missed the talks, don’t worry! The boutique regularly hosts classes and workshops on these topics and much, much more – from lactation and hypnobirthing to first aid and sleep coaching. You can also book car one-on-one seat safety checks with Katie via the boutique – free if you purchase a seat from Babies in Bloom. Again, just visit our events calendar page for more details.

So, while we’re sorry you couldn’t all make it down to BabyFest 2017, it’s never too late to join the Babies in Bloom family. Our doors are always open – hope to see you soon!

 

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Packing Your Birth Center Bag

packing birth center bagSo, there’s only a handful of weeks left before you welcome your little one in to the world. Excitement doesn’t even begin to cover it!  You might also be wondering… “What do I pack in our birth bag?”… especially if it will be your first experience in a birth center.

It’s common to stay at a birth center around four to six hours after the birth, meaning you won’t need to pack as much as you might for a longer hospital stay. There are also more home comforts at a birth center – from full kitchen facilities to bath tubs to soak in – which again can influence what you might want to bring with you.

To help you get started, we’ve pulled together a recommended checklist for you. Use it as a rough guide and simply add to the core list to personalize it for you and your partner. Remember, if you have any questions or worries, don’t hesitate to call your birth center – they are there to help you get the birth you’ve always dreamed of!

Things to pack for you:

  • Your birth plan
  • Insurance card and phone number
  • Comfortable clothes (and shoes / slippers) to wear during labor, (and perhaps a sports bra / bikini top if a water birth is your preference)
    • Top tip: if you are planning a photographer to capture this special arrival, think solid block colors and minimal logos for both you and your partner
  • Headband and hair ties to keep hair out of your face during delivery
  • Favorite drinks – think juice, coconut water or electrolyte drinks – and nourishing snacks for both labor and postpartum.
    • A lot of birth centers like ours, have cooking facilities for you to use, so you can even some of your home cooked favorites with you for a well-earned post labor treat!
  • Essential oils and massage oils
  • Back labor massage tools
  • Rice sock / heating pad
  • Books, magazine, games for relaxation
  • Hand-held fan
  • Your preferred toiletries  – we’d recommend some soothing lip balm too.
  • Glasses / contact lenses and solution
  • Phone / camera / video camera, plus chargers
  • Call list (if you’re old school and like to have a hard copy)
  • Music player – for your relaxing labor playlist
  • A fresh nightgown, nursing bras and spare old dark underwear for post delivery
  • Maternity pads
  • Comfortable going home clothes
  • Loose change for unknown expenses, like parking fees. Just in case.

 

Things to pack for Baby: 

  • A few different outfits and hats – including accessories for newborn photos, plus the outfit you want baby to go home in
  • Blankets, including a swaddle blanket
  • Cloth diapers (if choosing to go cloth) or disposable diapers
  • Wipes
  • Burp cloths
  • A gift from baby for big brother or sister for that precious first meeting
  • Infant car seat
    • We’d advise playing around with the seat prior to baby’s arrival, just to ensure you feel confident installing the seat in the car, as well as securing baby safely in the seat. If in doubt, go to a car seat inspection spot for installation support.

Just to be super prepared, you might also want to pack a hospital bag in case of transport, consisting of additional spare clothes, pads, toiletries, diapers, wipes etc.
We hope this helped. Good luck mamas to be, you will be great. You’ve totally got this!

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