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Should I Book a Newborn Photo Session?

Posted September 24th, 2013 by Lullabelly

 

Everyone loves those adorable photos of teeny tiny brand new squishy babies snuggled up and looking so angelic after they’re born.  Those photos are the result of well thought out newborn photo-shoots (and parents who planned ahead to make those newborn shoots happen!).

If you are considering booking a newborn photography session, here’s what you need to know:

Book Early: Book your session while you are in your second trimester because good newborn photographers get booked fast. Don’t worry if baby doesn’t arrive on time, newborn photographers usually hold space for you around your due date, not on an actual date.

Limited Time Only: The adorable little sleeping poses you see in those photos can only happen within the first few weeks after a baby is born – the period of time when all your baby does is sleep. The ideal age of your baby for a newborn shoot is about 5-12 days.

How Long Does A Shoot Take: A typical photo shoot lasts a few hours. That may seem like a long time to take a few photos of your baby, but keep in mind that baby will need to be nursed or comforted frequently. Plus there is time to set up each shot.

Wardrobe: Don’t worry about putting baby in a cutesy outfit. Most newborn photos are taken in baby’s natural state.

Choosing Your Photographer: Research a few local photographers. Check out their galleries and previous work to see if their style matches the look you are going for.

Remember you only have a finite period of time to capture that itty bitty baby. So go for it! You’ll never regret the gorgeous photos you’ll have as a keepsake.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yum Yum Pregnancy Smoothies

Posted September 10th, 2013 by Lullabelly

 

When I was pregnant, one of my favorite breakfasts, or snacks, was a smoothie.

Not only was this creamy, blended fruity beverage easy to suck down, but also it was a great alternative to ice cream sundaes, which are loaded with calories and lack nutritional benefits.

Smoothies can be kind of pricey when you buy them at a health club or specialty food shop, but they are so simple to make that you can easily mix one up at home for half the price. All you need is a blender, some fruit and a little creativity. Not only will you save money, you’ll save on calories and boost your nutrition too!

Here are a few tips for making your own smoothies:

  • Start with a good base! Water, milk, Greek yogurt, kefir, coconut water, fresh juice, almond and soy milk all make great healthy starters to any smoothie. Skip sugary frozen yogurts and ice cream.
  • What fruit suits your mood? Berries, cherries, bananas, melons, pumpkin, peaches – the possibilities are endless. Throw whatever fruit you crave, or in season, into your smoothie. You can’t go wrong.  Here’s a tip – frozen fruit helps thicken the smoothie and keeps it cold. So keep some frozen fruit on hand. Don’t forget that smoothies can be green – kale, spinach and other veggies are welcome additions to any smoothie.
  • Spice it up! Don’t forget to add flavor to your concoction. Vanilla, cinnamon, basil, cilantro and mint are wonderful ways to boost taste.

You certainly don’t need a recipe to blend up a smoothie, but in case you are looking for some inspiration, Mom365.com has seven pregnancy smoothies that are super healthy and full of nutrients for your growing baby!

Enjoy!

 

Belly Up to Pregnancy Beauty

Posted August 27th, 2013 by Lullabelly

 

Are you the mama-to-be that needs a little help with your pregnancy glow?  Wondering what beauty treatments are safe to do while pregnant before heading to the spa or salon?

We’ve broken it down for you so you can look your best without stressing if it’s safe.

Facials and Massages

With a few adjustments, you can still enjoy a spa day. Opt for a prenatal massage and be sure that your therapist has the right credentials to give you a proper pregnant rubdown. Avoid laying on your back and use lots of pillows for support.

If you’re getting a facial – choose a place that uses natural products. You want to limit the amount of chemicals you are exposed to while pregnant.

Cuts and Colors

Haircuts are perfectly fine to get during pregnancy. In fact, your hair might grow like crazy due to hormones and vitamins, so you might find yourself in the stylist’s chair more frequently.

However, you may want to skip the single process.  Highlights and ombre are okay, because the hair dyes won’t touch your scalp, but any heavy-duty coloring should be postponed for post-partum.

Teeth Whitening

Toothpastes that use natural whitening products instead of hydrogen peroxide to remove surface stains are okay.

Hold-off on whitening strips and pro treatments until after baby. Your gums may already be swollen and sensitive from pregnancy hormones and harsh chemicals may irritate them further. Plus your gums are a direct line to your bloodstream (and baby) and you don’t want to expose them to chemicals in the whiteners.

Tanning

It’s still unclear if dihydroxyacetone, the main ingredient in self-tanners, has any harmful effects on baby. It’s better to avoid self-tanning lotions and definitely do not use a tanning bed!

If you’re looking to artificially create the pregnancy glow – try body highlighters and shimmer powders. You can dust them on and easily wash them away.

It’s always best to play it safe when pregnant, so if you have a question whether to use a product or go in for a beauty treatment, always consult your doc!

The Magical Moment of Being Five Months Pregnant

Posted August 13th, 2013 by Lullabelly

 

There is something quite magical about being five months pregnant. You’re over the morning sickness. Food looks and smells appetizing again. And you are finally starting to sport a little bump, but you’re not waddling around and feeling huge yet.

Baby at Five Months

At five months pregnant your baby is the size of a sweet potato and getting bigger (and cuter) by the day. This is because baby’s arms, legs and trunk have caught up with the size of their head and they don’t look like a little alien any more. Hair, nails and even eyebrows are starting to sprout.  Baby is also starting to put on some weight.

Keep Your Relationship Strong

Since you’re past the first trimester, the secret is out that you are expecting and you are probably getting lots of attention. It’s important now to make sure that you bring your partner along on this journey and continue to grow a solid relationship. Make sure to bring your spouse with you on doc appointments, registering and other pre-natal prep classes. They’ll appreciate being included and it will give you some extra QT before baby.

Try This!

The bones and nerves in baby’s ears are finally developed enough to start functioning, which means baby can hear. What are they listening to? The blood coursing through the umbilical cord, your heartbeat and even your tummy growling. They can also hear your voice.

Make sure you are talking out loud to baby. Better yet, cue up your favorite tunes on your Lullabelly musical belt and sing along. Baby will love hearing you belting out Robin Thicke’s summertime hit Blurred Lines. Don’t worry, they won’t mind if you’re off key.

Sun Safety During Pregnancy

Posted July 23rd, 2013 by Lullabelly

 

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If you’re the type of mama that is bringing your bump to the beach this summer, be sure to practice sun safety.

While you’re not more likely to get sunburned due to pregnancy, you still want to use caution with sun exposure.

Pregnant women should be aware of hyperpigmentation, also known as melasma or mask of pregnancy, which can be caused by sun exposure and pregnancy hormones.

To help prevent melasma, avoid the sun when possible by wearing hats and other protective clothing. A combination of properly covering up with clothing and using sunscreen is more effective than just lathering up.

When it comes to sunscreen, all formulas are safe during pregnancy, however try to pick a sunscreen that uses zinc, rather than chemicals, to block the sun’s rays. Natural sunscreens have been known to cause less allergic reactions.

Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day (which you should be doing any way!).

Set a timer to remind yourself to take breaks from the sun if you’ll be outside for long periods of time. Spend a few minutes resting in a cool, shady place, listening to some tunes on your musical pregnancy belt, intermittently throughout the day.

If you do get sunburned, cool compresses can help. Try soaking a cloth in cold milk too!

Overall, my rule of thumb is to protect my skin as I would protect my baby’s skin – I don’t shortchange myself when it comes to sun safety. Plus, as a bonus, you’ll look younger longer because you’ll have less skin damage, which means you’ll be one hot mama for a long, long time!

Does Sex Really Induce Labor?

Posted July 9th, 2013 by Lullabelly

 

 

Young Naked Couple Embracing

With my first pregnancy, my water broke unexpectedly one week before my due date. I had no choice in the matter…my baby was coming. I never had the opportunity to try out all those silly ways to induce labor.

My second child was born exactly on her due date, but I started looking up every way to start labor beginning at 38 weeks. I was convinced the baby was coming early (since my first had), and I was done with being pregnant. 

I ate pineapple, cooked up an eggplant parmesan recipe famous for making women go into labor, walked circles around my neighborhood, and of course to my husband’s delight, had a lot of sex.

While all of the sex was a nice distraction and certainly helped my husband and I connect before the chaos of a new baby, it did not bring on labor. 

Researchers in Malaysia also agree. They studied 1200 women in late pregnancy, asking half to have sex frequently as a means of triggering labor. The others were told only that sex was safe during pregnancy.

While the first group had more sex (not a bad study to participate in), women in both groups still delivered around the same time – about 39 weeks.

Thus proving once again that a baby will come when it’s good and ready!

In the meantime, enjoy listening to the tunes on your Lullabelly musical pregnancy belt. Maybe all the dancing and grooving will induce labor – not proven – but fun to try no less!

Getting Ready For Summer – Tips for a Smooth and Hairless Pregnancy Body

Posted June 25th, 2013 by Lullabelly

 

Beach shell

Memorial Day marked the official opening of pool season across the country. That means it’s time to pull out the swimsuit – or perhaps go shopping for a cute new maternity suit (hint: Target has great maternity swim wear).

Of course baring it in a bathing suit means you probably need to do some all around mommy maintenance. But is your typical hair-removal routine safe to do while pregnant?

Here are some do’s and don’ts when it comes to removing unwanted body hair while pregnant:

Do’s:

Electrolysis – No research has shown yet that this hair removal technique is unsafe while pregnant.

Waxing – Is totally safe to do while pregnant. However, because you have more blood flowing to your skin in pregnancy – you’ll probably be more sensitive to the sting – especially in the pubic area.

Shaving – If the above methods sound a bit like torture – stick to the good old razor and shaving cream. But if you’re going to shave in the shower, ask your partner to help keep your balance. You may need to use a mirror too if your belly prevents you from seeing “down there.” Be sure someone helps you in and out of the tub, too!

Don’ts:

Depilatories: You’ll want to avoid any chemicals when removing hair. There is a risk that the chemicals will be absorbed through your skin, which is no good for baby.

Don’t sweat it! If you miss a spot, or don’t feel up to the task of shaving or waxing – I assure you that people will be looking at your cute belly and not your hairy lady bits.

Are You Afraid to Give Birth? Therapy May Help

Posted June 4th, 2013 by Lullabelly

 

friends shopping

When I was pregnant with my first child, I was very anxious about giving birth. When my other preggo friends would pop, I would ask them to give me ALL the details on delivery. I think hearing the variety of birth stories my have upped my nerves more than soothed them.

Then I asked my mom about giving birth, and her reply was, “If it was that terrible, your sister wouldn’t be here.” Good ol’ mom and her ever-practical advice.

It turns out I was not alone in the scaredy-cat department. According to new research out of Finland, up to 10 percent of moms-to-be are afraid of childbirth. However, the research points out that group therapy can help frightened women overcome their fears and have successful vaginal deliveries – instead of opting for scheduled C-sections to avoid going through labor.

The scientists followed women pregnant for the first time that had strong fears about giving birth and wanted C-sections. Nearly half of the women were assigned to receive group-therapy sessions devised to calm their fears.

During the sessions, the women visualized calm, peaceful births. At the conclusion of the study, 88% of the mamas went on to have a vaginal delivery – compared with the 77% of those who didn’t participate in group therapy. The group also reported a positive birth experience!

There’s a lesson in this study. Instead of focusing on the scary details, try thinking about the positive things, like having gone through a mother’s rite of passage and having a great reward after giving birth – your brand new baby!

Woof! Preparing Fido For Your New Arrival

Posted May 21st, 2013 by Lullabelly

 

Baby kissing dog

When I was expecting my first human child, I wanted to be sure my four-legged fur babies were ready for my daughter’s arrival.

Oliver and Pearl were my first babies. While they were sweet and good-natured dogs, I still wanted to maintain their good behavior when I introduced a new member to our family.

I scheduled a few sessions with a dog trainer before my due date. We worked on exercises for establishing control and dominance. Our trainer also gave me and my husband some pointers about how to bring baby home and introduce her to the dogs.

Three years later and a second daughter later, I’m happy to report that all my “babies” are happily coexisting!

Here are a few things I learned about preparing a pup for a new baby:

Basic Training: Our dog trainer worked with us on some basic commands and exercises – such as sit and stay. This established that we were in control over the dogs and that they will follow and listen to our instructions. If you skipped puppy training, now is the time to sign up for a doggy class before baby arrives.

Set the Scene: Put the swing, bouncer, high chair and any other baby gear out so your dog can get used to the new furniture. We would bring out diapers and blankets every day and let the dogs sniff them before our daughter was born.

Keep It Safe: No matter how darling your dog is or how cute and cuddly they can be, never leave your dog alone with baby.

Pay Attention: Your dog’s life will certainly change when baby appears. Make sure you take your dog out for its regular walks and he or she gets a bit of your dedicated attention.

Having a trained, well-loved and well-exercised dog will make all the difference in the world once baby joins the family.

How to Get Mama’s Sleep Schedule Under Control

Posted May 7th, 2013 by Lullabelly

 

Lullabelly Musical Pregnancy Belt

One of the first tasks a new mom must tackle is to get baby’s sleep schedule on the right track.  While at first it can be a little wonky, eventually baby will settle down into a nice routine.

However, according to a study from Rush University Medical Center, 67% of new moms report experiencing issues with their own sleep habits within the first year of their baby’s life.

I guess this isn’t so shocking considering that a new mom is getting up multiple times a night for feedings or to assist her waking baby during the first year (or beyond) of motherhood. All this “up in the middle of the night” business can throw a wrench in a mom’s sleeping patterns.

Before you turn to drastic measures to get your nightly Z’s back, here are some tips to put into practice for a more peaceful night’s sleep:

Walk Away from the Phone: While it may be tempting to check your email or Facebook just once more before bed, you’re better off powering it down and saving it for tomorrow. You’ll avoid stimulating your mind while you should be zoning out and the light that phones and tablets emit can disrupt melatonin – sleep hormone – production.

Implement a Routine: Baby gets a bath, stories and a song every night before bed, so what’s Mom’s bedtime routine like? Pick a nighttime ritual for yourself and stick to it so you train your body that bedtime is near!

Quit the Caffeine: If you are too wound up before bed, ask yourself when was the last time you had a latte. You might want to stop drinking coffee or other caffeinated beverages all together.

Too Bright: If your room is too bright, light is seeping in or the sunrise is waking you, install blackout blinds. They will keep your room nice and dark so you can get some much needed shut eye.

Hit the Gym: Studies show that exercise can regulate sleep patterns, but it’s hard for a new mother to cram gym time into her packed schedule. If you’re finding it hard to keep up with exercise, take baby along with you. A light jog, walk or even a mommy and me yoga session will keep you active and you won’t have to hire a babysitter.

Remember what works for putting baby to bed will probably help you when it comes to settling down for the night. Try a glass of warm milk, a book and a dark cozy room to help you drift off to dreamland.

 

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