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!

Rub a Tum Tum – Prenatal Massage

Posted April 17th, 2012 by Lullabelly

 

Before you found your self knocked up, you used to indulge in a spa day here or there complete with a soothing massage.  Now that you’re a human incubator, you’d love to take off for a little mama-to-be time at the nearest spa, but you may be wondering if it’s safe to get a rub down.

 

You’re in luck, because not only do experts say a massage during pregnancy is safe, studies have shown that prenatal massage can reduce anxiety, relieve muscle aches and joint pain and get this…improve labor and newborn health. Yay massage!

 

But before you slip out of that robe and slippers and onto the massage table, know this:

 

       Choose a massage therapist that is certified in prenatal massage – they’ve received special training and know how to address specific pregnancy needs and how to handle sensitive lady bits.

 

       Side-lying is the best position for a pregnant woman during a massage – confirm with the therapist prior to your appointment which position they place clients during the massage.

 

       Be aware of pressure points – certain areas on the ankles and wrists can stimulate the uterus.  If you’ve been experiencing pre-term contractions alert your therapist.

 

       Wait until your first trimester is over to make an appointment – many facilities won’t offer a massage to a woman who is still less than 12 weeks pregnant because of increased risks for miscarriage in early pregnancy.

 

Of course speak with your doc before getting a prenatal massage, especially if you are having a high risk pregnancy, preeclampsia, per-term labor or are experiencing severe swelling, high blood pressure and sever headaches.

 

Otherwise, go for it! You’re baby bump will thank you!

What to Look for When Purchasing a Musical Pregnancy Belt

Posted September 20th, 2011 by Lullabelly

 

In the past, if you wanted to play music for your unborn baby, you’d “belly up” to your sound system’s speakers or place headphones around your middle.  But today, prenatal music belts make it easy as pie and leave you hands-free when playing music for your unborn, womb-housed baby.

 

Pregnancy musical belts are a small investment ($50+ per belt) and there are several models on the market today, so you want to be sure you are purchasing the one that is right for you.

 

Here is what to look for when buying a musical pregnancy belt:

 

Comfort

 

One of the most important aspects of choosing a musical pregnancy belt is to make sure that you are comfortable wearing the device.   The material should be soft against your skin, adjustable and lightweight as to not irritate your delicate skin.  The belt should also fit well enough that you can go about normal daily activities (like walking the dog or doing light housework) without worry of the belt falling down.

 

Style

 

You can wear your prenatal music belt under or over your clothes.  If you are the fashionista type, you’ll want to be sure your musical belt reflects your personal style when you rock it over clothing.  Musical belts come in all shapes, sizes and colors so be sure to investigate the available options.  Lullabelly prenatal musical belts, for example, are available in five different color options – perfect for accessorizing! 

 

Sound Quality

 

Of course you want to be sure you are providing your baby with the optimal listening experience while keeping her hearing and ear development safe.  Lullabelly utilizes safe sound level technology where the maximum volume level is similar to a mother and father speaking or singing aloud to their baby in the womb.  

 

Plus, you want to be sure that the belt you choose is compatible with the portable musical player you will be using (iPod, CD/MP3 player, laptop, etc.), so check which systems each belt supports.

 

Reputable Company

 

Like any product intended for prenatal use, you want to be sure that you are buying from a company with a strong reputation that makes quality products and offers excellent customer service.

 

Prenatal music belts are a great way to bond with baby and reduce stress during pregnancy, use the above guide to pick the belt that fits best with your lifestyle…. and style too!

Should I Get a 3D/4D Ultrasound During My Pregnancy?

Posted September 13th, 2011 by Lullabelly

 

Just can’t wait a whole nine months to see your little one’s adorable face? Are the 2D ultrasounds of your baby’s profile not enough of a glimpse inside? If yes, you may be interested in getting a 3D/4D ultrasound.

 

Chances are your doctor/ultrasound technician won’t offer you this upgraded technology as it is not part of routine pre-natal care. Now many private ultrasound technicians have set up shops to offer what they call “Elective Prenatal Ultrasound” sessions.  There are also chain 3D/4D ultrasound facilities that provide this service on a regular basis- check your local Yellow Pages or Google it online.

 

While your initial ultrasounds are typically covered by insurance, be reminded that these special 3D/4D sessions are not; in fact, they can cost $60-$200+ depending on the packages offered. You typically walk away with photo and video keepsakes of your growing baby that you can share with your family and friends (and to post on your Facebook page too, of course!).

 

However, there are a few things you should know before making an appointment at your nearest 4D ultrasound provider.

 

  • THIS DOES NOT TAKE THE PLACE OF AN ULTRASOUND AT YOUR DOCTOR’S OFFICE! A routine ultrasound examination should be performed with your regular medical practitioner prior to a 4D ultrasound to confirm gestational age and evaluate for fetal anomalies as well as fetal anatomy. Once your baby’s vitals are cleared, then ask your doctor if it’s okay if you do this novelty ultrasound as well.

 

  • At this time there are no known risks to you or your baby from having a 3D/4D ultrasounds, but experts say that exposure to ultrasound should be limited to one hour at a time, important advice to heed indeed.

 

  • If you plan on having the 3D/4D ultrasound examination, you should be between the 26th and 32nd week of pregnancy for optimal image results.

 

  • Remember, insurance does not cover the 3D/4D ultrasound because it is an elective procedure. Be ready to pay up – ah, the price we moms pray for a sneak peak at our bundles of joy!

 

While 3D/4D ultrasounds have become a fun way of getting to know your baby before your due date, the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine and the FDA discourage the non-medical use of ultrasound for entertainment purposes.  Sure, the medical experts take the fun out of it, but it’s important to weigh the fun with expert advice so you can give it proper thought before booking your appointment at the nearest corner ultrasound shop.

 

Did you do a 3D/4D ultrasound? What was your reason for doing or not doing one?

A Few Ideas to Better Bonding with Your Unborn Baby

Posted August 23rd, 2011 by Lullabelly

 

Just as you’ve had emotional needs during your pregnancy (hormonal roller coaster anyone?), your unborn baby has emotional needs too.  Your baby needs to be loved and acknowledged, even before birth. The nurturing starts the first day you find out you’re pregnant. 

But how can you begin forging those early pre-natal mother-child bonds while baby is still cooking in the womb? Here are some ideas from our team of mom experts:

1.)  Talk to Your Baby – As you move from one activity to another during your day, talk to your baby as if s/he was right there with you in a stroller or in your arms. A great way to “talk” to your baby is to start reading some of your favorite children’s books to your baby. It’s never too early to start! (Also, ask Dad to read stories to baby; he, too, can begin bonding while baby is in the womb!)

 

2.)  Touch Your Tummy –Touch and gently massage your tummy often.  You can do this while talking to baby, or just to let the little one know you are there. Even if baby doesn’t “feel” your touch, such activity can trigger maternal feelings before baby arrives.

 

3.)  Play Music – Playing gentle, soothing music will help you and baby relax and bond.  You can play music through your stereo, or you can strap on your Lullabelly musical pregnancy belt and dance to your favorite songs with baby.

 

4.)  Play Games – When your baby kicks, gently poke back. See if they will kick again in the same spot or kick in another spot. It’s like a game of hide-n-seek and another way to forge a special bond with baby before s/he is born.

 

5.)  Write Letters – Writing letters to your baby can be a great way to begin the nesting process and begin bonding with your baby. Write about your wishes for baby, how you’re feeling at any given time, etc. Keep those letters in an album and read them to baby while in the womb and as they grow up. You will have created a special keepsake to enjoy forever.

 

Remember, prenatal bonding is personal and you should do what you feel best connects you to your little one. For many women it is a process rather than a single moment.  Doing little things – such as talking to your baby, dancing together and reading stories – throughout the nine months will build and strengthen your already powerful mother-child relationship before birth and beyond. Happy bonding!

A Primer on Packing in Proper Pregnancy Nutrition

Posted August 16th, 2011 by Lullabelly

 

Now that I’m a baby incubator again, I know it’s more important than ever to make sure I’m doing everything I can to maintain proper nutrition.  I try to eat well and exercise when I can.  But between exhaustion and a few unhealthy cravings, I know I need to fill in some of the nutritional gaps. 

Early on in my pregnancy, just the sight of a pre-natal vitamin sent me running for the toilet.  (Really, how do they expect nauseous mommas to choke down those horse pills?). After doing some homework, I learned just how important those pills can be, so I’m doing what I can to take a big gulp and send those important nutrients down the hatch.

Pregnancy asks a lot of a woman’s body, here are some helpful body boosters you might be missing:

Iron – Anemia is common during pregnancy.  Moms-to-be often require additional iron.  A supplement might just do the trick when spinach and steak don’t quite cut it.

DHA – Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the risk of pre-eclampsia, postpartum depression and preterm labor while building baby’s brain, retinas and nervous system.  Of the three fatty acids, DHA is the most beneficial in baby’s development.

Folic Acid – It’s wise to start taking a folic acid supplement even before you conceive; the vitamin plays a central role in building and preventing neural tube defects.

Don’t worry, you don’t have to swallow a lot of pills to pack a punch.  Most prescription and over-the-counter pre-natal vitamins come fully loaded with the vitamins you need, plus some extra perks like a stool softener to deal with pesky constipation. 

And if you really can't handle a big pill, pre-natal vitamins do come in gummy form, which are much easier to handle and makes you feel just like a kid again chewing your vitamins!

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.

Six Questions With Jennifer Wolfe of Prenatal Vinyasa Yoga

Posted June 21st, 2011 by Lullabelly

 

 


Jennifer Wolfe is a Registered Yoga Alliance Vinyasa and Prenatal Yoga instructor, Certified Master Clinical and Medical Hypnotherapist, Certified Doula, Childbirth Educator, Reiki master and a Mom!  We sat down with Jennifer and asked her six questions about herself, business and life.

 

1. Please tell our readers about yourself!

 

Prenatal Vinyasa Yoga was born in 2000 after the birth of my daughter Sydney. I found yoga in 1996 and began teaching shortly after. However, when I found out I was pregnant a couple years later, my body was craving the same flowing practice I had been doing before pregnancy but I found that most prenatal yoga did not give pregnant women the option for vinyasa (flow) yoga. So, I became a doula and developed Prenatal Vinyasa Yoga for women who want to continue vinyasa style yoga safely while pregnant. Right away I realized the demand for this style of yoga was very high. I grew from one to ten full classes a week in the first year. A couple years later, I opened Dolphin Yoga & Doula Center which was dedicated to pregnant and postpartum women's fitness and education. 

 

2. What did you do before Prenatal Vinyasa Yoga?

I started my career as a Hypnotherapist, Reiki Master, vinyasa yoga teacher and a doula. I am a Master Hypnotherapist and teach Childbirth Hypnosis and Pain Management at the Palo Alto School of Hypnotherapy in addition to running Jennifer Wolfe Yoga and Dolphin Doula.

 

3. Tell us about your other business – Dolphin Doula.

Dolphin Doula offers a unique experience for pregnant women to get in touch with their bodies and learn about their individual potential for coping with and enjoying their pregnancy, childbirth and transition to motherhood.

 

As a doula, I have attended over 400 births and more than 10,000 hours of labor. At Dolphin Doula I train and certify doulas and childbirth hypnotherapists and, along with my partners (Tracy Stettner and Melissa Edling), run two doula groups who service women and families in the entire San Francisco Bay Area.

 

4. What have been some of your greatest successes? Greatest challenges?
I made my first DVD due to students requests – to be able to practice at home. However, when I put the DVD on Amazon.com I received an outpouring of positive feedback that wasn’t expected. In the first year it shot up to the second best selling prenatal yoga DVD on Amazon.com and was positively reviewed in The New York Times. The success of the DVD's eventually brought me my most rewarding work, which is the creation of my teacher training program and traveling to other countries to train yoga teachers in my prenatal style. The people I have met and lives I have touched and been touched by have been life changing for me and I feel blessed every day to get to do the work I do.

 

My greatest challenges have been in juggling doula work and teaching. Doula work is so rewarding yet unpredictable, and at the peak of my doula career I had 10 to 12 births a month. I could be gone, for a birth, anywhere from 4 hours to 3 days! The choice for me to cut down to only a few births a year was difficult for me but the only way I could travel and grow Prenatal Vinyasa Yoga to where it is today. I continue, however, to be able to provide doula services by training doulas, thereby spreading my techniques and unique style through my students.

 

5. For mom-to-be’s out there, what is your advice (or tips) for having a healthy, active, stress-free pregnancy?

 

My advice to pregnant moms is to stay active! It is so easy to use the "condition" of pregnancy as a reason to let yourself discontinue any physical activity. They often think they are just too tired or weak to exercise. The truth is that in my experience working with thousands of pregnant women, those who do at least 15 minutes of exercise a day will feel more energetic, have less fatigue and feel stronger. They also tend to eat healthier because they notice how good it feels when they are taking care of their bodies and their babies. 

 

The other advice I would give is to take care of how you are sitting especially during the last trimester of pregnancy. Avoid chairs that have you in a reclining position rounding your back. This position might feel restful in the moment but will encourage improper positioning for your baby potentially leading to longer more uncomfortable labors. For more information about baby positions visit www.spinningbabies.com.

 

6. What’s next for Jennifer Wolfe Yoga? Any big plans for 2011 or 2012?

2012 Promises to be an exceptional year for Prenatal Vinyasa Yoga. We are kicking off our 85-hour Prenatal Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training in October of this year and taking it international in early 2012. We are planning more trips to South America and the Far East as well as expanding our U.S. and North American presence. Additionally, for the first time, we are bringing doula trainings outside of the U.S., helping to establish doulas in places where there were none or few before.

 

 

**SPECIAL**

As a special thank you from Jennifer Wolfe and Lullabelly, we are offering a 20% discount on the Complete Prenatal Vinyasa Yoga 2DVD set.

Please visit http://www.jenniferwolfeyoga.com/discount.html

Prenatal Yoga: We Know It’s Good for Mama, but Is It Good for Baby Too?

Posted May 17th, 2011 by Lullabelly

 

Yoga can help moms stay physically and mentally toned throughout their pregnancy; however, expecting moms need to make modifications to ensure the safety of themselves and their unborn babies. Remember “Namaste” is about connecting your mind, body and soul for you and your baby – so you want to do what feels right and natural…with some instruction of course.
 
Here are some tips to making worry-free prenatal yoga workouts work!
 
Downward Dog? Some moves are okay and some are not. Let your instructor know you’re pregnant and ask him/her to modify poses for you during the class. Skip poses that have you lying flat on your back or on your belly. Modify moves that require deep back bends or jerky twists. You may also want to skip deep stretches. The connective tissue around your pelvis is softened during pregnancy, making you more prone to injuries.
 
Drink Up! Staying hydrated is key to a positive workout for mom and baby-to-be. Sip your water bottle throughout class and steer clear of hot yoga classes that can cause your body to overheat.
 
Breathe Easy. Yoga can teach you breathing techniques you can carry with you into the delivery room, so take special note of these special techniques. Focus on taking deep, purposeful breaths throughout the class. Proper breathing techniques can put your mind at ease and release any accumulated tension and stress.
 
Yoga Tunes: Help your baby relax too by playing calming, relaxing yoga-style music. A musical pregnancy belt allows baby to hear the calming music and feel the soft rhythms while in the womb.
 
Remember, there are special prenatal yoga classes designed specifically for pregnant women. If you can’t find one near you, buy a DVD or simply attend your regular yoga classes and ask the instructor for proper modification.
 
Did yoga help keep you mentally and physically fit throughout your pregnancy? Tell us more.
 

©2009-2011 Lullabelly, LLC
Visit www.tectite.com for free FormMail.