What Types of Prenatal Music Should I Play for My Baby?

Posted November 29th, 2011 by Lullabelly

 

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, playing prenatal music for baby-to-be benefits both mom and baby.  It creates a wonderful bonding experience, reduces stress levels, enhances the stimulation of your unborn baby’s growing brain and improves sleeping patterns for a newborn baby (all great things, right?!).

 

So, let’s say you’ve purchased your prenatal music belt (hopefully a Lullabelly!) and now you’re wondering what type of music should baby rock out to?

 

Most pediatricians agree that any type of music is suitable for you and baby to enjoy.  It’s all about offering a variety of soothing and repetitive sounds for baby to groove to. 

 

Classical music is always a great choice. Particularly Mozart’s symphonies, because they mix the right amount of new sounds and repetition, says Roaslie Pratt, a professor of music medicine at Brigham Young University, in an article from BabyCenter.com.

 

However, you should skip the heavy metal, rap, grunge, hard rock and head banging songs.  Studies show that constant exposure to chaotic, discordant music may negatively alter the brain’s structure.

 

Listen to your own moods. If you’re feeling a little retro, choose Madonna or Elton John. If you want something more relaxing, choose Michael Buble or Josh Grobin. If you’re in the mood for something popular that you can sing along to, choose Maroon Five or Pink – or maybe even a little Flo Rida. Whatever the case, choose something you would enjoy and something you want to share with your baby now and later.

 

Oh, and if you’re getting tired of hearing that same old Beethoven selection, baby probably feels the same way too. Change it up, create a mix tape and most of all, have fun!

 

Rock on!

Building Baby’s Wardrobe – The Essential Items To Have on Hand

Posted November 23rd, 2011 by Lullabelly

 

Trust us, you’ll be getting gifts galore before and after your little one arrives.  A lot of those gifts will be cute little outfits that you can’t wait to dress baby in, many will be non-essential items like tutus and fancy dresses, which aren’t very practical for a newborn baby.  Plus, family and friends tend to buy clothing a few sizes up when gift giving and that means your tiny infant might not be able to fit in those clothes right away or the season might be off when it finally fits (i.e., your baby can’t wear a sweater in June!). 

 

If this is your first baby (or maybe your second but born in a different season), you’ll need to be prepared with some essential basics for baby’s wardrobe.

 

So what do you need to have on hand once you bring baby home from the hospital?  The Lullabelly team has put together a list of essential clothing items you’ll want washed and waiting for baby’s arrival.

 

 1.)  Lap Tees and Long Sleeve Shirts

 

2.)  Hats

 

3.)  Bodysuits

 

4.)  Pants or Shorts

 

5.)  Sweaters or a light jacket (depending on the season)

 

6.)  Socks

 

7.)  Swaddle Blankets

 

8.)  Sleeping Gowns/Footie Pajamas

 

9.)   Mittens (the kind that prevent baby from scratching his or her face)

 

10.) Rompers

 

Remember to keep it simple.  You’ll be changing diapers frequently so convenience and ease are keys to success.

 

You’ll also be doing tons of laundry and baby grows so fast, so don’t invest a lot of money in a lot of outfits.  Buying three to four of each piece with a few “going out” outfits should cover you until they grow into the next size.  One-piece shirts and socks are perfect for warm weather.  In colder weather, bodysuits with a pair of pants and socks work well.  Pajamas with feet are easy year-round option too.

 

 

If you are more the fashionista type and can’t stand the thought of a plain, white onesie – there are plenty of pieces made stylish with stripes, colors and patterns. Remember, basics don’t have to be boring! Have fun… but don’t go overboard on non-essentials!

OMG Is This Going to Hurt?! Labor (Pains) & Childbirth

Posted November 17th, 2011 by Lullabelly

 

 

Two years ago, when my water broke while watching TV with my husband on a Thursday night, I waited for the contractions to come roaring at me full speed ahead.  I thought that surely because my water had broken that I must be in the throes of labor.  All I had were some minor “menstrual-like” cramps and it wasn’t until hours later that the real deal (i.e., major labor pains) kicked in.  Then I asked for my epidural to get some relief and it was smooth sailing from then on.

 

Some friends I know had intense contractions from the start and the doctor needed to break their water for them at the hospital.  Some asked for epidurals right away to avoid pain altogether and others delivered au natural (what I call “au painful”).

 

You see, just like no two pregnancies are alike, the same applies to childbirth and labor (and that goes for the same woman too).  Until you go through childbirth, you won’t know where on the spectrum of pain (and tolerance) you’ll fall.

 

Pain: How much pain you’ll experience depends on a variety of factors, including the strength of your contractions, whether you were induced (drugs can cause stronger contractions), your baby’s size and position in your pelvis and the speed of labor.

 

Tolerance:  A combination of life experience and genetics determines your ability to withstand pain.  A social support (or lack of it), fear, anxiety and even the positive and negative labor stories you’ve heard can contribute to your perception of pain. 

 

Coping: If you know you have a very low tolerance for pain, you might want to consider lining up a doula or midwife.  Studies show that women who give birth with a support system in place report less use of pain medication, fewer Cesareans and greater satisfaction with their birth experience. If you already know you have a low tolerance for pain or that you don’t cope with pain well, you can always opt for an epidural and other labor-pain medications.

 

Alternatively, breathing and relaxation techniques can also boost your ability to handle pain.  You can sign up for Lamaze, Bradley Method or HypnoBirthing classes with your partner prior to D-Day to learn breathing, visualization, meditation and other strategies to help keep you calm and to minimize your pain.

 

The most important thing to remember about labor and delivery is that you should be flexible.  It’s great to have a birth plan and know what you want and don’t want ahead of time, but your little guy or girl may have other plans (and medical needs). Be flexible enough to listen to your body’s needs, trust your instincts and take-in various medical professionals’ advice. Doing so will ensure your labor and delivery are one of the best and most memorable experiences of your life. Good luck!

 

About the Contributor: Amy G. is the mom to a beautiful baby girl and pregnant with baby #2 (due January 2012). She is a regular contributor to The Belly Blog, a blog for pregnant women and is sponsored by Lullabelly, a prenatal musical belt.

Sex During The Third Trimester. Really?

Posted November 8th, 2011 by Lullabelly

 

In your third trimester, you may feel like a giant whale and barely have the energy to clean-up dinner (let alone make it). Not to mention, you may feel some anxiety knowing that a newborn is heading your way in just a few weeks.

 

All that said, sex is probably the last thing on your mind – right? – right! But skipping out on sheet time with your hubby means missing out on more than you think.

 

Research shows that the frequency of sex declines during the third trimester and does not pick back up again until three to six months after childbirth, usually when a woman’s body has healed and the newborn’s schedule begins to regulate at least somewhat.  Your partner may not like the sound of no sex for a half of year or more! 

 

If you’re nervous about having sex for the third-trimester, talk to your doctor about it. It’s likely it’s just your own anxieties and nothing more. Go ahead, give sex a try – and here are some good reasons to get busy sooner rather than later…

       Regular sexual activity has health benefits – including increased blood flow, cardiovascular health and stress relief. These benefits are very much needed to keep you healthy – mind and body!

 

       Sex keeps the family unit solid by keeping a husband and wife connected. Make sure you maintain a close physical relationship with your spouse – it has amazing benefits to you both!

 

So what can you do to inspire a little romance when you’re really not feeling that sexy? Here are some thoughts…

       Remember, you are still sexy to him.  You might not feel that way, but you are the mother-to-be of his child and he thinks that is super hot.  Just ask him.

 

       Schedule an adult “play date.”  Set aside a night to hold hands, kiss, laugh and cuddle.  Just being close will help stir things up and keep you physically, mentally and spiritually connected during this changing time in your lives.

 

       Don’t forget about him.  When the new baby comes, your partner may feel a little left out.  Schedule one day a month to be together – just the two of you. Get a sitter, go to dinner and spend time with each other.  You need the adult time too! Let him know you still think he’s hot by giving him a little smack on the butt while he’s doing diaper duty or a peck on the neck when he’s rocking baby (remember, little gestures of love will go a long way).

 

Remember, sex during the third-trimester is perfectly safe (always ask your doctor if you have any concerns or questions) and is one of your last times to connect with your spouse before that baby comes in your life. Go ahead, get it on!

Working Out While Pregnant – What You Need to Know

Posted November 2nd, 2011 by Lullabelly

 

Before I got pregnant I tried to hit the gym a few times a week.  Now that I’m barreling into my third trimester and more tired than ever, it’s definitely been harder to get motivated, but I still try to go at least twice a week. 

As my belly has grown bigger, I’ve noticed a lot more curious stares from the gym rats as I hit the elliptical machine or do a light round of weights and stretching.  They must be thinking I’m crazy for working out or should be at home on the couch with my feet elevated, eating all day.   But they are wrong! 

Working out while pregnant is a great thing to do for your body and baby-to-be.  And as long as you have clearance from your physician there is no reason to skip the gym for a whole nine months.  You may just need to alter your exercise routine a bit.

Here’s is what you need to know about working out while pregnant…

The Benefits:

       You’ll feel better – exercise boosts endorphins and can relieve backaches and improve posture.

       Reduces constipation – it keeps your intestines moving.

       Helps you sleep better – exercise relieves stress and anxiety, which can keep you up at night.

       Prepares your body for birth – it builds muscles and endurance for labor.

       Controls weight gain – maintaining fitness during pregnancy will help you regain your pre-pregnancy body back faster! Amen to that!

 Great Pregnancy Exercises:

       Dancing

       Swimming

       Yoga

       Walking

 Getting Started:

       If you exercised before you were pregnant, you can continue your fitness regiment and make adjustments as needed.

       If you did not exercise before pregnancy, begin slowly and build as you become stronger.  

       Dress comfortably and wear a supportive bra! You may need to get a new bra as your cup size has likely grown and your breasts may be tender. It may be well-advised to skip underwire bras if they hurt.

       Drink lots of water.

       If it’s hot outside, stay indoors.

       Listen to your body – if you don’t feel well, don’t continue with your routine. Take breaks and quit if you feel dizzy or faint.

 While you don’t have to train for a marathon during your pregnancy, it’s good to keep a light and easy exercise regimen throughout to keep your body and mind strong for the special delivery ahead. Good luck!

About the Contributor: Amy G. is the mom to a beautiful baby girl and pregnant with baby #2 (due January 2012). She is a regular contributor to The Belly Blog, a blog for pregnant women and is sponsored by Lullabelly, a prenatal musical belt.

 

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