Ten Lessons I Want to Instill in My Kids

As life pushes ahead there are often things along the way we see as valuable.  I found this on Facebook this morning.  These are important lessons.  Save them somewhere for a refresher when you need it.  Your babies will be learning from you the moment they are born.  Keep what you believe to be significant close.  Live what you believe.   You will be glad you did.

Ten Lessons I Want to Instill in My Kids

If you made a mistake, apologize

If you are thankful, show it.

If you are confused, ask questions.

If you learn something, teach others.

If you are stuck, ask for help.

If you are wrong, fess up.

If you love someone, tell them.

If you trip, get back up.

If someone needs help, help them.

If you see wrong, take a stance.

One of Tim McGraws songs, ‘Humble and Kind’ fits this bill beautifully.  Find it on YouTube

Enjoy!                    JUDY

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Exercising During Pregnancy

As with so much of life, pregnancy is simply another stage.  Pre-pregnancy and postpartum (after birth) are steps in the process.  If you plan to be pregnant, doing exercises to prepare your body is a wise move.  After your baby arrives continuing to stretch, do light walking, and stress reducing exercises are a great help.  Many community centers offer mommy and me classes that provide these kinds of exercises.  This kind of time with other new mommies proves to be wonderful both physically and emotionally.  You do not feel like you are the only one dealing with whatever today’s challenge turns out to be.  Life as a new mommy can be a wild ride, doulas, friends, and family should be a big part of the fun!

What most doctors will tell you is continue exercising at the level to which you are accustomed (through most of your pregnancy).  This means, if you are already a regular tennis player, continue, carefully.  I remember with my third pregnancy, it wasn’t that I was ready to stop playing tennis at eight months, it was that no one else wanted to play with me for fear of causing me to fall.  Do not take up a possibly injurious sport like tennis or biking after you become pregnant.  Leave that for later.  However, continue what you are already doing.  If you have questions talk with your OB, midwife, or physical therapist.  The goal is to keep moving.  Take the stairs instead of the elevator.  Go slow, but keep moving.  Walking is the best. Swimming is the same kind of opportunity, very low risk for injury, exercises your entire body, feels great!  Keep cool…..  enjoy!

JUDY

 

Exercising During Pregnancy

https://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/exercising-during-pregnancy

Doing regular physical activity has health benefits during pregnancy and also helps to prepare the body for childbirth. However, it is important to modify or choose a suitable exercise program because pregnancy affects the body’s response to exercise.            Exercising during your pregnancy doesn’t have to be strenuous to be beneficial.                 Be sensible about the level of exercise that you do. Consult your OB, midwife, physiotherapist or healthcare professional to make sure the exercise routine is not harmful for you or your baby. If the pregnancy is complicated (such as expecting more than one baby, high blood pressure, heart disease, pre-eclampsia, or risk of premature births) it is best to talk with your specialist.

Exercise tips

Don’t exhaust yourself – a light to moderate exercise program should be the aim. You may need to slow down as your pregnancy progresses or if your maternity team advises you to. If in doubt, ask questions. As a general rule, a light to moderate level should allow you to hold a conversation as you exercise when pregnant. If you become breathless as you talk, then you’re probably exercising too strenuously.

If you weren’t active before you got pregnant, don’t suddenly take up strenuous exercise. If you start an aerobic exercise program, tell the instructor that you’re pregnant and build up say begin with no more than 15 minutes of continuous exercise, 3 times a week. Increase this gradually up to 5 30-minute sessions a week.                                          Remember that exercise doesn’t have to be strenuous to be beneficial.

Exercise tips when you’re pregnant:

  • Always warm up before exercising, and cool down afterwards.
  • Try to keep active on a daily basis; 30 minutes of walking each day can be enough, but if you can’t manage that, any amount is better than nothing. If you haven’t been active or are overweight, start with 3-4 days spread across the week.
  • Avoid any strenuous exercise in hot or humid weather.
  • Drink plenty of water and other fluids.
  • If you go to exercise classes, make sure your teacher is properly qualified, and knows that you’re pregnant and how many weeks pregnant you are.
  • You might like to try swimming because the water will support your increased weight. Some local swimming pools provide aquanatal classes with qualified instructors.
  • Walking is a great exercise — it is a moderate aerobic activity but will have minimal stress on your joints. Other good choices are swimming, low-impact aerobics and cycling on a stationary bike.

Exercises to avoid

Don’t lie flat on your back, particularly after 16 weeks, because the weight of your bump presses on the big blood vessels and can make you feel faint and reduce blood flow to your baby.

  • Don’t take part in contact sports where there’s a risk of being hit, such as kickboxing, football or rugby.
  • Don’t take part in horse riding, downhill skiing, ice hockey, gymnastics and cycling, because there’s a risk of falling.
  • Don’t go scuba-diving, because the baby has no protection against decompression sickness and gas embolism (gas bubbles in the bloodstream).
  • Don’t exercise at heights over 2,500m above sea level until you have acclimated. This is because you and your baby are at risk of altitude sickness (a decrease in oxygen).  If you live at a higher elevation you are already acclimated to the altitude.
  • Don’t do repetitive high impact exercise, or with lots of twists and turns, high stepping or sudden stops that cause joint discomfort.
  • Don’t do exercise where you get too hot. Your body’s temperature is slightly higher when you are pregnant. Intensive exercise may cause your core temperature to rise to an unsafe level for your baby. Limit your exercise to moderate intensity, drink plenty of water, wear lightweight clothing and only exercise in cool, well ventilated places (no spas or saunas).

Exercises for a fitter pregnancy

If you are pregnant, try to fit the exercises listed below into your daily routine. They will strengthen your muscles so that you can carry the extra weight of pregnancy. They’ll also make joints stronger, improve circulation, ease backacheand generally help you feel well.

Stomach-strengthening exercises:  (cat and cow yoga positions)

As your baby gets bigger, you may find that the hollow in your lower back increases and this can give you backache. These exercises strengthen stomach (abdominal) muscles and ease backache.  Use a towel or small pillow to support your back if needed:

  • Start in a box position (on all fours) with knees under hips, hands under shoulders, with fingers facing forward and abdominals lifted to keep your back straight.
  • Pull in your stomach muscles and raise your back up towards the ceiling, curling the trunk and allowing your head to relax gently forward. Don’t let your elbows lock.
  • Hold for a few seconds then slowly return to the box position.
  • Take care not to hollow your back; it should always return to a straight/neutral position. Do this slowly and rhythmically 10 times, making your muscles work hard and moving your back carefully.
  • Only move your back as far as you can comfortably.

Pelvic tilt exercises

Stand with your shoulders and bottom against a wall.

  • Keep your knees soft.
  • Pull your tummy button towards your spine, so that your back flattens against the wall; hold for four seconds and release.
  • Repeat up to 10 times.

Pelvic floor exercises help to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor, which come under great strain in pregnancy and childbirth. The pelvic floor consists of layers of muscles that stretch like a supportive hammock from the pubic bone (in front) to the end of the backbone.

Read more on pelvic floor exercises.

Sources:Mayo Clinic (Pregnancy and exercise: Baby, let’s move!)

RANZCOG (Exercise during pregnancy)

The Royal Women’s Hospital  (Active pregnancy)

 

 

 

Recognizing Stress Points During Pregnancy

Being pregnant can bring up a range of emotions for you, including feeling anxious or stressed, but this is completely normal. Stress is a normal reaction to a major change (such as pregnancy). In some cases, stress may even be good for people because it can push them to take action in the face of new challenges. However, too much stress can be overwhelming and could even lead to health problems both for you and your baby.

Make sure you take some time to do what you enjoy, such as reading, watching TV or your favorite hobby.

What can cause stress in pregnancy?

For some women, finding out that they are pregnant can be a stressful experience in itself. You could feel like you have lost control or don’t have enough resources to manage what you’ll be experiencing. Other things that could cause stress in pregnancy include:

  • waiting for the results of your antenatal tests
  • previous negative experiences with a pregnancy, birth or motherhood such as a miscarriageor death of a baby
  • having a pregnancy that is unplanned
  • dealing with the physical changes of pregnancy
  • having a complicated pregnancy
  • being a single parentor teenagerand wondering how you will cope
  • experiencing difficulties in your relationship, which could include family violence
  • being overloaded with advice from other people
  • experiencing financial difficulties
  • moving house
  • changes in your job
  • grief, such as a death in the family
  • drug and alcohol problems
  • past anxiety, depression or other mental illness

If more than one of the above are happening to you at the same time, you could experience even more stress.

How can stress affect my baby and me?

Chronic (ongoing) stress can affect your own health or wellbeing, and can include experiencing:

  • headaches
  • problems sleeping
  • fast breathing and a racing pulse
  • obsessive thoughts
  • worry or anxiety
  • anger
  • eating problems (too much or too little food, or the wrong types of food)
  • trouble relaxing or winding down

Chronic stress could also cause problems for your baby. These can include effects on your unborn baby’s growth and the length of gestation (your pregnancy). They can also increase the risk of problems in your baby’s future physical and mental development, as well as behavioural issuesin childhood.

Reducing stress while you are pregnant

It’s important to look after your mental wellbeingduring pregnancy, just as it’s important to look after your physical health. When you are feeling well, content and happy, you are better able to manage stress. When your stress is managed, it is not likely to have any serious effects on you or your baby.

To reduce stress, you could try the following:

  • Pay attention to the triggers that make you stressed and notice what happens when you feel stressed.
  • Try to slow down, rest and don’t put too much pressure on yourself.
  • Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet to help keep you and your baby healthy.
  • Talk to someone you trust about your concerns and how you’re feeling.
  • Take part in regular exercise, suitable for pregnancy.
  • Do yoga, meditation, breathing, or relaxation through classes, or using apps, videos or podcasts.
  • Engage in a favourite distraction activity such as reading, watching TV or a hobby.
  • Accept people’s offers to help you.
  • Spend time with people who make you feel calm and ask for help when you need it.

Further help

If you need more help to manage your stress, you can contact:

Sometimes the health professionals you talk with may not have enough time to answer all of your questions or talk through all of your concerns. If you need to discuss any issues further, call Pregnancy, Birth and Baby on 1800 882 436 to speak to a maternal child health nurse for advice and support.

Sources:

American Pregnancy Association.      (How to treat stress naturally)

Australian Family Physician.     (Chronic stress)

beyondblue.    (What to expect during pregnancy)

Centre for Community Child Health.   (The First Thousand Days – an evidence paper)

Centre of Perinatal Excellence.    (Stress in pregnancy)

Centre of Perinatal Excellence.   (Relaxation strategies in pregnancy)

Raising Children Network.   (Stress and pregnancy)

https://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/stress-and-pregnancy

Please Consider Not Changing Your Residence In The Last Trimester of Your Pregnancy!!!

Over the past year I have worked with several new mommies who delivered weeks or even months before their due dates!  For those of us in the infant industry, due dates are a fluid thing anyway.  A due date is a guess as to when your baby is due.  There is the formula derived from when you last menstruated, etc., but for the most part a due date is simply a guess.  Two weeks either side is normal.  Going much past two weeks after your due date is frowned upon because your placenta and amniotic sack begin to deteriorate.  Yet, I have a close friend who went two weeks over with each of her pregnancies. Her average pregnancy is forty-two weeks. Two weeks early is not a big deal, in 99% of cases.

Anyway, as I started to say, several of the families I worked with over the past year, who delivered several weeks early, had one thing in common:  They had recently changed their residence.  One was due to a flood in their home, others simply chose to change their domicile.  They wanted more room, to be closer to family, etc.

My take on the matter:  Moving is very high on the psychological stress table. #3 in the attached studies.  We rise to the occasion, doing what we need to do to get the job done, without realizing how greatly we are taxing ourselves.  The exhaustion, decisions, confusion, and on and on take way more out of us than we realize.

When you are pregnant you are in a compromised state.  This does not mean you are weak or sick, however you are more vulnerable in many ways.  You are building another human being.  This other being takes what they need from you physically.  They have to in order to survive.  Emotionally you are gearing up for the biggest change in your life; total responsibility for another human. Everything in your life is affected.  It is huge.  To add more stress to this simply is not wise.

Streamline your life when you are pregnant.  When planning  to become pregnant put other major life changes on hold.  Focus on this one.  Enjoy your pregnancy, rest when you are able, remove as much stress as possible for the mix.

There will be times when pregnant women have no control over their move.  It will just have to happen, ie. the family with the flood in their home, they had to move out for repairs, an essential job change, an emergency, etc.   If this is you, do all you can to find peace.  Hire others to lift boxes, etc.  Do what ever you are able to delegate.  Leave the unnecessary decisions and jobs until after your baby arrives.  For a planner like me this sounds excruciating, so I can totally relate with the difficulty.  However, delivering too early brings another whole set of difficulties, some even life threatening.  You are choosing the lesser of two evils.  Choose well.

JUDY

Stress Evaluation Tools

The Top 5 Most Stressful Life Events

https://www.uhhospitals.org/Healthy-at-UH/articles/2015/07/the-top-5-most-stressful-life-events

Everyone experiences stress, but many don’t know how to manage it. When major life stressors come up, it’s important to handle them properly to avoid getting hurt. The top five most stressful life events include:

  • Death of a loved one
  • Divorce
  • Moving
  • Major illness or injury
  • Job loss

It might feel like stress is an emotional issue – something that lives strictly inside your head. But stress can become a physical issue as well, especially when dealing with the most stressful things in life.

 

Dartmouth University stress affecters

{These are not specifically for pregnancy.  However, they are good indicators of what adds stress to our lives.  Don’t freak out, just look over the list and be aware of which issues are obvious in your life.  Take steps to remove those that are unnecessary. Enjoy your pregnancy and the first year of your baby’s life.  Leave the stressors for later on.}

https://www.dartmouth.edu/~eap/library/lifechangestresstest.pdf

Life Change Index Scale (The Stress Test)

Event

Impact Score

page1image2887616

My Score

Death of spouse

100

Divorce

73

Marital Separation

65

Jail Term

63

Death of close family member

63

Personal injury or illness

53

Marriage

50

Fired at work

47

Marital reconciliation

45

Retirement

45

Change in health of family member

44

Pregnancy

40

Sex difficulties

39

Gain of a new family member

39

Business readjustment

39

Change in financial state

38

Death of a close friend

37

Change to a different line of work

36

Change in number of arguments with spouse

35

Mortgage over $20,000

31

Foreclosure of mortgage or loan

30

Change in responsibilities at work

29

Son or daughter leaving home

29

Trouble with in laws

29

Outstanding personal achievement

28

Spouse begins or stop work

26

Begin or end school

26

Change in living conditions

25

Revisions of personal habits

24

Trouble with boss

23

Change in work hours or conditions

20

Change in residence

20

Change in schools

20

Change in recreations

19

Change in church activities

19

Change in social activities

19

Mortgage or loan less than $20,000

17

Change in sleeping habits

16

Change in number of family get-togethers

15

Change in eating habits

15

Vacation

13

Christmas approaching

12

Minor violation of the law

11

Total

Directions If an event mentioned above has occurred in the past year, or is expected in the near future, copy the number in the score column. If the event has occurred or is expected to occur more than once, multiply this number by the frequency of the event.

 

Scoring The Life Change Index

The body is a finely timed instrument that does not like surprises. Any sudden change stimuli which affects the body, or the reordering of important routines that the body become used to, can cause needless stress, throwing your whole physical being into turmoil.

The previous chart will give you some idea of how to informally score yourself on Social Readjustment Scale. Since being healthy is the optimum state you want to achieve, being sick is the state of being you most want to avoid.

 

Life Change Units.                                   300+;                      150-299;                   less than 150

Likelihood Of Illness In Near Future: about 80 percent, about 50 percent,  about 30 percent,

The higher your life change score, the harder you have to work to get yourself back into a state of mental and physical good health.

T.H.Holmes and T.H. Rahe. “The Social Readjustment Rating Scale,” Journal of Psychosomatic Research. 11:213, 1967.

What the Medical Establishment Thinks About Marijuana Use During Pregnancy & Lactation

In an effort to provide you the most comprehensive information on what the medical establishment  believes about pregnancy, lactation, and the use of marijuana here is a second article on the subject.  If you are considering the use of marijuana as you are carrying a child or breastfeeding please research this information and more.  The general consensus is there simply is not enough definitive research on the topic to legitimize safely using it.  Long term studies have not been conducted to the satisfaction of the medical establishment.  Read, think, speak with those whom you respect, come to your own decision.

JUDY

Marijuana Use During Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/prenatal/Pages/Marijuana-Use-During-Pregnancy-Breastfeeding.aspx

As more states legalize marijuana for recreational or medical use, a growing number of women are using the drug while they’re pregnant or breastfeeding. Some even seek it out for severe morning sickness after seeing internet claims that it can ease nausea. But, is it safe?

The Risks: What We Know Now

No amount of marijuana has been proven safe to use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Research is limited, but the studies that have been done provide enough cause for concern.

Where we stand

Therefore, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) clinical report, “Marijuana Use During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Implications for Neonatal and Childhood Outcomes” recommends women who are pregnant or breastfeeding avoid marijuana use. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) also recommends that obstetrician-gynecologists counsel women against using marijuana while trying to get pregnant, during pregnancy, and while they are breastfeeding.

FACT: With marijuana now legal for medical or recreational use in more than half of U.S. states, statistics show its use rising. Marijuana use among pregnant women rose from 2.3% in 2002 to 3.84% in 2014, nationally, representing a 67% increase.

Marijuana and the developing brain

  • Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)―the compound in marijuana mostly responsible for its psychoactive effects―has been shown to cross the placenta and enter the brain of the developing fetus during pregnancy. Once in a baby’s system, according to the AAP clinical report, it can “hijack” normal nerve cell growth that happens in the developing brain.

Possible effects of prenatal marijuana use

In some studies, prenatal marijuana exposure has been linked with increased tremors and startle reflexes in newborns and a possibly higher risk of substance use disorder and mental illness among teens and adults. Other studies identify possible links between marijuana exposure and a child’s neurodevelopment and cognitive functions such as problem-solving skills, memory, visual perception, behavior, attention, executive function, and impulse control.

The AAP is calling for additional research so that we can better understand how prenatal marijuana exposure affects our children―at every stage of their lives.

Today’s marijuana: stronger than before

  • Another concern is that child growth and behavior differences possibly linked to marijuana use during pregnancy are largely based on studies conducted when the average THC concentration in the drug was much lower than it is today. Samples studied have more than quadrupled in THC levels since the 1980s. Whether marijuana is smoked, vaped, or consumed in edibles and drinkables, the amount of THC reaching a fetus and newborn may be a lot higher than in the past.

Marijuana use and breastfeeding

  • If you are breastfeeding, don’t use marijuana. You may pass the chemicals from marijuana to your baby through breastmilk. A study in the September 2018 Pediatrics confirms earlier findings that THC can transfer into breastmilk. The AAP also reminds that a mother’s ability to care for an infant may be impaired while using marijuana.

Other Considerations:

Marijuana vs. tobacco

  • Studies show that between 48% and 60% of marijuana users continue during their entire pregnancy, thinking it’s safer than tobacco. However, research also shows that when marijuana is smoked, carbon monoxide blood concentrations in the pregnant woman are 5 times higher than those when tobacco is smoked. This can mean less oxygen to be available for the fetus.

Passive or secondhand smoke can be as much a concern with marijuana as it is with tobacco. Studies show infants can be exposed to marijuana by inhaling it when the drug is smoked near them.

Marijuana and morning sickness

  • Chemotherapy-related nausea is a qualifying condition in most states with legalized medical marijuana. Although many women experience nausea during pregnancy, the use of medical marijuana in this specific case has never been studied or determined to be safe.

Child welfare law

  • The Child Abuse and Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) requires all states to have reporting policies and procedures for when newborns and other children are exposed to illegal substances. Because marijuana is still illegal under federal law, CAPTA applies to marijuana exposure in all states regardless of the legal status of marijuana use by adults in each state.

Controversial Topic:

Often, in the field of infant care, there are topics about which many disagree.   Currently the major medical authorities with in our industry do not recommend the use of marijuana for women who are pregnant or lactating.  There are no doubt individual practitioners and doctors who believe this this practice to be acceptable.  However, announcing this publicly would not be wise.  Over the next few entries I will be providing articles evaluating this topic.  Please review them and come to your own conclusion.  I would love to hear your thoughts.

JUDY

 

PREGNANCY, LACTATION AND MARIJUANA USE

THE MARCH  OF DIMES

https://www.marchofdimes.org/materials/MOD-Marijuana%20and%20Pregnancy-Factsheet%20February%202019.pdf

The use or abuse of either illegal or prescription drugs during pregnancy can affect health outcomes for both mother and infant. In 2013, 19.8 million individuals reported using marijuana within the last month.1 With the rise in legalization of recreational and medical marijuana across the United States, there is potential for increased use among pregnant women. The prevalence of marijuana use during pregnancy ranges 2-27% depending on the population and method of detection.1

Marijuana refers to the dried leaves, flowers, stems, and seeds from the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa, and can be smoked, consumed or inhaled as vapor (“dabbing”) to produce a high. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main active chemical in marijuana. Some evidence has shown that babies who drink breast milk containing THC absorb and metabolize THC.1,2 However, there is inconsistent data on the ability of THC to cross the placenta during pregnancy and the specific effects of marijuana use on infants during lactation and breastfeeding.4

March of Dimes recommends that women do not use marijuana during pregnancy or breastfeeding. There is no known safe amount of marijuana use during pregnancy.  Some research as found an association between marajuana use during pregnancy and poor birth outcomes including preterm birth, stillborn, low birth weights and impaired brain development.  However, other studies have not found these assiciations   The specific effects of marijuana on pregnancy and the developing fetus are uncertain, in part because some individuals use other drugs, including tobacco, alcohol, or illicit drugs that are associated with adverse outcomes.  The March of Dimes recommends that women who are pregnant contemplating pregnancy should not use marijuana.  Additional research is needed to further examine how use of marijuana impacts risk for poor outcomes for women and infants.

March of Dimes opposes policies and programs that impose punitive measures on pregnant women who use or abuse drugs.

In some states, policymakers have proposed punitive measures for women who use or abuse drugs during pregnancy. The March of Dimes believes that targeting women for criminal prosecution or forced treatment is inappropriate and will drive women away from prenatal care vital both for them and their children. Health care providers should counsel women about the potential consequences of marijuana use during pregnancy.

References:
1. Metz, T., Stickrath, E. Marijuana use in pregnancy and lactation: a review of the evidence. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 2015;1-18
2. Conner et al. Maternal Marijuana use and Neonatal Morbidity. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology(2015), doi:10.1016/j.ajog.2015.05.050.
3. CDPHE. Marijuana Use During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Findings Summary. August 2014.                                                                                                                                     4. Committee on Obstetric Practice. Marijuana Use During Pregnancy and Lactation, Committee Opinion No. 637. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology(2015); 126:234- 238

Massage Therapy for Pregnant and Postpartum Women

8 BENEFITS OF PRENATAL AND POSTNATAL

                       MASSAGE THERAPY

https://fabworkingmomlife.com/8-benefits-prenatal-postnatal-massage-therapy/

DECEMBER 11, 2017 BY JULIE

When women are pregnant their bodies go through a multitude of changes.  Water is retained, skin and muscles are stretched, hormones change.  Each pregnancy is different, but all bring great changes physically and psychologically.  Pregnant women find massage a wonderful means of gaining comfort during these many changes.  Below you will find lots off practical ways massage contributes to healthy pregnancies.                       JUDY

PRENATAL MASSAGE THERAPIES:

These are the massage therapies that you experience while you’re pregnant and they don’t just benefit you, but the baby as well. Following are some of the benefits of prenatal massage therapies:

  • Reduces back pain

A backache is the most common issue almost all pregnant women suffer from; regular prenatal massage can help you get rid of back pain.

  • Reduces edema

You will generally see all the pregnant women out there with swollen hands and feet as well as the swollen belly, the best cure for this is, again, prenatal massage. Ditch those anti-swelling medications as they may harm the child and get prenatal massage therapies.

  • Better sleep

Due to lots of hormonal changes going on inside the body, many women find it hard to sleep at night, and they remain uneasy and uncomfortable throughout the night. Prenatal massage improves the quality of sleep to a great degree.

  • Reduces muscle tension and headaches 

Most women complain about stretched muscles in pregnancy. Prenatal massage therapies are proven to be very beneficial for muscle tension and the usual pregnancy headaches that are mostly caused because of hormonal changes and stress.

 

POSTNATAL MASSAGE THERAPIES: 

These are the therapies that you take after giving birth to your child. They bring along amazing benefits for you, help with weight loss and shapes your body more than any other thing. Following are some great benefits of postnatal massage therapies:

  • Pain relief

Recommended Post:  How to Prevent Headaches and Migraines in summer

Giving birth is not an easy thing. After delivery, the body is mostly achy and you are all in pain. The postnatal massage therapies help in relieving the pain and make you feel a little more comfortable with the physical changes your body has gone through.

  • Regulates hormones

Pregnancy is all about raging hormones, and lots of hormonal changes; postnatal massage therapies are proven to be the best remedy to regulate the hormones. Instead of drugs, try this simple and home remedy of postnatal massage.

  • Improves breastfeeding

Regular postnatal massage is very helpful in improving breastfeeding. For all the women who suffer from low milk production issue, postnatal massage is an ideal solution.

  • Stress reduction

Another great benefit of postnatal massage is that it reduces stress. There are many women out there who are suffering from postnatal depression, and they take over-the-counter drugs to cure this disorder. It can be easily treated with getting postnatal massage therapies on a regular basis.

 

THE MANY ADVANTAGES OF SKIN TO SKIN CONTACT FOR MOMMIES!

The benefits of skin to skin contact from both mother and baby continue to amaze the scientific establishment!

As the data comes in, scientific findings show us that skin to skin contact is not only important for newborns immediately after birth and beyond.  It is also extremely helpful both physically and psychologically for mommy!  The list of benefits goes on and on.  Mommies who practice skin to skin contact with their newborns heal more quickly.  They have improved milk supply.  They tend to be healthier mentally!  All in all skin to skin contact improves health and wellness for mommies and babies.  Please look into this subject.  You will find incredible support!

 

FROM THE NUROO WEBSITE:    CLOSEST TO MOM, BEST FOR BABY

Benefits for Mothers

  • REDUCES THE RISK OF POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION

Kangaroo Care increases the levels of maternal oxytocin, which serves to restore mom’s pre-pregnancy hormonal levels and reduce the risk of postpartum depression.

  • INCREASES MILK PRODUCTION

Studies have shown that moms who practice Kangaroo Care from the start are more likely to continue exclusive breastfeeding when they bring baby home. The surge in maternal oxytocin and prolactin levels in the early hours after birth appear to have long-term effects in increased milk production. Moms who experience breastfeeding difficulties are likely to see near-immediate improvements by practicing Kangaroo Care for at least 60 minutes per session, 1-2 times a day.

  • SPEEDS UP RECOVERY TIME

Increased levels of maternal oxytocin are released while mom is holding baby in Kangaroo Care, which in turn…

  • Reduces blood pressure
  • Lowers cortisol levels (stress hormone)
  • Reduces postpartum bleeding
  • Increases pain tolerance

 

  • PROMOTES PSYCHOLOGICAL WELL BEING

The increased levels of maternal oxytocin, a natural hormone that creates a “relaxation and well-being” response, aids in mom responding with nurturing and affectionate behaviors toward her baby. Mom is more sensitive and aware of her baby’s needs and feels more confident about her parenting skills.

 

How Much Skin to Skin Contact Can Benefit Your Newborn!

Below find many very foundational benefits of skin to skin contact for newborns scientifically proven over decades of study.  Read up on this phenomena as your baby’s due date approaches.  It is amazing how simply taking the time to sit and hold you baby close can make such a huge difference in their well being and yours!

Enjoy and have so much fun!!!  Happy parenting!!!

JUDY

 

FROM THE NUROO WEBSITE

HTTPS://NUROOBABY.COM/SKIN-TO-SKIN/

CLOSEST TO MOM, BEST FOR BABY

THE SCIENCE BEHINDthe Practice of
SKIN-TO-SKIN CONTACT

Over 40 years of research has proven that in the early months of life, Skin-to-Skin contact, also referred to as Kangaroo Care, creates remarkable benefits for you and your baby.

Positioning baby on your bare chest, for an uninterrupted 60 minutes, triggers a hormonal cascade that delivers the following advantages:

  • Accelerates:  BRAIN DEVELOPMENT

Skin-to-Skin contact is a multi-sensory experience. Holding baby on your skin increases the development of essential neural pathways, which accelerates brain maturation. In addition, research shows that kangaroo’ed babies spend more time in quiet sleep, which enhances organizational patterns in the brain and decreases baby’s stress responses.

  • Soothes:   REDUCES CRYING/STRESS

The direct connection with your skin during Kangaroo Care soothes baby so much that babies’ cortisol levels (stress hormone) are measurably lowered after only 20 minutes of being held Skin-to-Skin. And, remarkably, their pain is reduced when held Skin-to-Skin. As a result, babies who experience regular Kangaroo Care often cry less and appear less agitated.

  • Regulates:   BODY TEMPERATURE

Maintaining body temperature is essential for young infants who do not yet have the skills to keep themselves warm. Nature takes care of that through a process known as thermoregulation. Within minutes of being held Skin-to-Skin, the mother’s breasts automatically adjust to cool baby down or warm him up, in response to what baby needs. And if you have twins, mom’s breasts can act independently to take care of multiple babies at once.

  • Improves:   QUALITY OF SLEEP

Development of mature brain function in infants depends on the quality of their sleep cycling. During Kangaroo Care, most infants fall asleep easily, and achieve what is called “Quiet Sleep”, a natural deep sleep for 60 minutes or more. This is important, because research points to Quiet Sleep as one of the most beneficial for accelerating brain patterning and maturation.

  • Enhances:   IMMUNE SYSTEM

Baby’s immune system is stimulated when placed Skin-to-Skin. Mom’s mature immune system passes antibodies through her skin and breast milk to baby. Being on mom’s skin also increases baby’s skin hydration, which provides a protective barrier from harmful bacteria entering baby’s skin.

  • Stimulates:    DIGESTION & WEIGHT GAIN

Kangaroo Care reduces cortisol + somatostatin in babies, allowing for better absorption and digestion of nutrients, while lessening gastrointestinal problems. With a reduction of these hormones, their bodies preserve brown fat (healthy fat babies are born with), helping to maintain birth weight and keep a warm body temperature. As a result, baby’s body does not have to burn its own fat stores to stay warm, resulting in better weight gain. After just one hour of Skin-to-Skin, the infant’s digestive system is restored to the right balance for optimal GI function.

  • Synchronizes:     HEART RATE & BREATHING

Simply put, through Kangaroo Care, baby’s body learns to self-regulate, resulting in a regular and stable heart beat and breathing pattern. 75% of sporadic breathing and slow heart rate episodes are reduced through Skin-to-Skin.

  • Encourages:    BREASTFEEDING BEHAVIOR

Studies have shown that newborns held Skin-to-Skin immediately after birth are TWICE AS LIKELY to breastfeed within the first hour than swaddled newborns. 60 minutes of Skin-to-Skin increases feeding frequency and raises prolactin levels in mom, a hormone critical for maintaining an adequate milk supply.

Info. on Newborn Sleep

It is always interesting to pull out the infant sleep articles and study.  Everyone and his brother has an opinion about how newborns should sleep.  Personally I find that newborns sleep constantly.  The article below says newborns sleep 14 to 17 hours a day.  Have you ever heard of newborn who is awake 10 hours a day?  Most newborns will barely wake to eat.  Often that is one of the major difficulties for new parents.  Baby sleeps through everything!!  Yet, I am of the belief that it is good to digest as much information as possible prior to coming to a decision regarding major topics.  Sleep is one of those gigantic issues with which each of us must grapple.  So hear goes…….. 

https://www.whattoexpect.com/first-year/newborn-sleep.aspx

Knowing the ins and outs of your baby’s sleep habits and patterns is key.

Whoever coined the term “sleep like a baby” didn’t know much about them, because newborns are restless sleepers, hungry every few hours, and rarely, if ever, make it through the night without waking up. If you’re worried your newborn’s sleep habits, remind yourself of these facts — then relax and enjoy that adorable child of yours.

Newborn sleep basics

It helps to remember a few tenets of newborn baby sleep so you don’t tear your hair out when you’re up in the middle of the night time and time again:

1. Little ones vary in their sleep needs. Newborns up to 3 months old need 14 to 17 hours of sleep, and infants up to 12 months need 12 to 16 hours (including naps). But before you decide your baby is sleeping way more (or way less) than that, remember that quality sleep matters too. So if your baby seems healthy and well-rested, don’t get too hung up on how much or how little he sleeps.

2. Newborns need to eat around-the-clock. Newborns have very tiny tummies, so while it would be nice to load up your baby with breast milk or formula at bedtime and not hear from him til morning, it doesn’t work that way … at least not yet. Newborns need a snack at least every two to four hours; a five-hour stretch is actually considered a full night’s sleep for a baby this age.

So how do you know when your baby’s whimpers, snorts and occasional night wakings are a call for food? The key is to learn to differentiate between “feed me!” sounds and all the rest so you can respond quickly when he’s truly hungry (with the hope that, after a little treat, he’ll drift back to dreamland quickly) or let him stay sleeping if he’s asleep.

3. Newborns are restless sleepers. While older children (and new parents) can snooze peacefully for hours, young babies squirm around and actually wake up…a lot. That’s because around half of their sleep time is spent in REM (rapid eye movement) mode — that light, active sleep during which babies move, dream, and maybe wake with a whimper. Don’t worry. As he matures, his sleeping patterns will too, with fewer REM cycles and more periods of deeper, quieter sleep.

4. Newborns are noisy sleepers. Irregular breathing that may include short pauses and weird noises is rarely cause for alarm, but it can freak new parents out. Here are some facts on your baby’s respiratory development to put things in perspective: A newborn’s normal breathing rate is about 40 to 60 breaths a minute while he’s awake, though that may slow by half once he’s asleep. Or, he might take shallow, rapid breaths for 15 to 20 seconds followed by a total pause in which he stops breathing entirely for a few seconds. You can blame all this on the immature breathing-control center in his brain, which is still a work in progress.

Study resources: