Hey Dads – Know the Signs of Labor

Posted October 30th, 2012 by Lullabelly


With my first child it was very obvious when we needed to call the doctor and head to the hospital to have our baby. My water broke (more like popped) when we were sitting on the sofa watching TV. There was no mistaking that a baby was coming right away.

My second child was a bit different. I had contractions all day long (on my due date) and was insisting on brushing my teeth and going to bed even though my contractions were five minutes a part (and pretty strong). I was in denial, but my husband knew it was time to call the doctor and get to the hospital.

Because he understood the signs of labor and knew what to look for, I credit my husband for getting me to the delivery room before we had a baby at our house.

While Mom will be the one enduring the labor, it’s very important for Dad (or any partner) to understand the labor and delivery process so he can help the mama-to-be. Because I’m a living testament to the fact that sometimes moms don’t realize when they are experiencing labor, here are some tips of what to look for when mom is going into labor:


      Backache – Is Mom complaining about back pain?

      Mucous Plug – Did Mom come out of the bathroom and inform you that there was something brown or pink and mucous-y floating in the toilet?

      Contractions – Is Mom feeling stronger than usual contractions or cramps that come at regular intervals? Does she keep repeating that these feel different from the Braxton Hicks pains she had been experiencing prior? Are the contractions getting stronger and closer together?

      Water Break – Is mom leaking (or gushing) water that isn’t urine? (Not all women experience a water break – don’t let the movies fool you!)

If you suspect that Mom is in labor, call your doctor or midwife right away. Explain the symptoms or signs she is experiencing and they can confirm if it is labor and tell you what to do. And remember, make sure that hospital bag is packed a few weeks before your little one’s due date. You don’t want to be caught without one when it’s time to scurry to the hospital! 

PS: Make sure you grab your Lullabelly musical belt on the way to the hospital. For me, I enjoyed listening to the playlist I created just for baby and me – it relaxed me during a stressful time, that’s for sure!


Pre-Baby Education – What Classes Should You Take to Get Ready?

Posted October 23rd, 2012 by Lullabelly


Has anyone been watching the new season of “Giuliana & Bill” on the Style Network? They have been trying for years to have a baby and happily they were able to conceive via a gestational carrier. While they have already had the baby in real time, the latest season of their show documents the events leading up to their baby boy’s birth.

The episode I just watched sent them off to Bel-Bambini Baby Boutique in LA to register for baby. Quite frankly, they were absolutely clueless as to what they needed and quickly realized that while she wasn’t physically carrying the baby, they still had a lot of preparing to do to bring a child into the world.

If you’re feeling clueless when it comes to preparing for baby’s arrival, don’t worry, help is on the way!

Here are Lullabelly’s suggestions for classes you should take before the baby arrives:

Childbirth Classes: This is a must for any expecting mom. This type of class will prepare you for labor. A good class should include the following information:


      The signs of labor

      The normal process of labor and birth

      Techniques for coping with pain

      How your partner can help during labor

      When to call your doctor or midwife


Breastfeeding Classes: If you plan to breastfeed, or want more information on the process, you should sign up for a breastfeeding class.  A good breastfeeding class should be led by a certified lactation consultant and cover breastfeeding basics such as techniques, positions, pumping and how to store breast milk.

Basic Newborn Care Classes: If this is your first baby, or maybe you need a refresher on the basics of caring for a newborn, a baby care class is absolutely recommended. Look for a class that will teach you about diapering, bathing, infant behavior, sleep patterns and comforting techniques.

Taking a prenatal class will help you focus on baby and give you a bit of an education before baby comes. It will also give you the reassurance of knowing what to expect.

And when it comes to shopping for baby goods, like Bill and Giuliana did, well, you might have to just muddle through that one on your own!

Saying No Thank You to Unwanted Pregnancy Advice

Posted October 16th, 2012 by Lullabelly


From the moment you share the good news about your upcoming arrival, the pregnancy and parenting advice begins. From family and friends, to the grocery store clerk, everyone has something to say about your growing belly and how you should raise your child. Oh and don’t forget the weirdos who want to rub your belly – yuck!

At first, you may welcome the advice. Especially if you are a first time mama and new to the whole pregnancy and baby world. But by the end of the second trimester, you may be over the unsolicited comments and suggestions.

Here are a few tips on how to politely tell others to mind their own beeswax:

The Belly Rubbers: You know those grandma-types at the mall – they can’t resist a good belly grope. You could wear a t-shirt that says “off limits,” but that’s not very fashionable. When someone reaches out to touch the bump, stop them and ask if you can rub their belly too. That will freeze them in their tracks and cause them to think about the inappropriate behavior they were about to engage in. And what’s cool about that is they will probably never do it again! You just paid it forward to every pregnant woman they will cross paths with in the future.

Let Me Tell You About My Horrific Labor Experience: Mamas love to tell the story of their child’s birth (this Lullabelly mom is totally guilty of it). While a nice labor story is always reassuring to hear, a scary delivery story can cause a mom-to-be a lot of stress and worry.  When a mom wants to share her terrifying labor story, believe it or not, it’s coming from a good place. She is trying to educate. But go ahead and interrupt her and politely tell her that you appreciate what she went through, but you are already so anxious about labor. 

How Much Weight Have you Gained?: All’s fair in weight gain and pregnancy right? Wrong. If someone asks you how much weight you have gained, or asks if you are sure you’re not having twins – go ahead and say nothing. Your silence will speak volumes and they’ll get the hint their question was rude.

Everyone turns into Dr. Spock around a pregnant woman. If you are offered unwanted advice, feel free to kindly tell the know-it-all thanks, but you have done a lot of research and have your own plans. That will hopefully get them to give it a rest.

Eat This Not That Pregnancy Edition

Posted October 9th, 2012 by Lullabelly


Are you stressing about what is safe to eat now that you are preggo? Do you miss your favorite sushi rolls? Do you feel like every day there is a new no-no food added to the list?

Well, the Lullabelly team is here to set the record straight.  We’ve got you covered on some easy foods to substitute for the favorites you’ve been missing.

– Out for sushi with your girlfriends – order the California roll with cooked crab meat.

– At the deli on a lunch date with the hubby – skip the sliced meats and order a grilled chicken sandwich instead, or ask them to steam your meat until it’s piping hot.

– Does the cheese plate have Brie, Feta and Gorgonzola on it?  Skip the soft cheeses and opt for a yogurt instead.

– Need a cup of coffee to get going? Limit your consumption to no more then 2 or 3 eight oz cups of coffee per day. This means you can still enjoyr your cup of morning Joe.

– Ooh, that raw cookie dough sure looks good, doesn’t it?  Bake that dough first. Raw eggs are a no-no (which can be found in homemade Caesar dressings and eggnog). Also make sure your eggs are cooked through when you prepare them for yourself to enjoy.

– I really want a margarita! Ask your server if they can make a mocktail for you, or a similar-type drink that does not contain the alcohol. You’d be surprised how creative bartenders can get and you’ll still get to enjoy a girl’s night out.

Remember, it’s only nine months that you need to steer clear of these items for the safety of your baby. Once baby is out, you’re free to indulge again!


Do You Have the Mom Gene?

Posted October 2nd, 2012 by Lullabelly


The Lullabelly team just read about a new study conducted on female mice that shows there might be a genetic link to nurturing traits – or what they are calling the “mom gene.”

Researchers at the Rockefeller University in New York say they’ve found a single gene linked to key parenting skills. The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, took a group of healthy mice mothers and injected a molecule that silenced their estrogen receptor alpha in one specific area of the brain.

It turns out that once this particular gene was silenced, not only did the mommy mice not nurse or lick their little one, they wouldn’t even move the baby mice back into the cage or fight off strangers. To sum it up, the study shows that without this particular gene, these mice lacked the skills it takes to be a mom.

Of course, mice are not humans and what it takes to be a good mom in the human world is a lot different than in the laboratory.

It’s important to note that perhaps we are not simply born to be mothers and fathers, we are taught how to take care of our babies and children from our own parents and family members, society and even in the classroom.

So don’t sweat it if you don’t consider yourself to be a particularly maternal person, it doesn’t mean you won’t make a stellar mom!



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