January 29, 2017

Baby Bonanza Giveaway

Sponsored By: 

StachrisBaby PreferredAmaraKylie's Crochet CornerLogic ProductsSimply Merino, and Handsocks

Hosted By: Love, Mrs. Mommy

Winner Will Receive: 

Over $248 in Baby Products from 7 Different Sponsors!

Plus, 6 out of the 7 prizes are Winner's Choice! Details are listed under the descriptions...
Stachris is a family business that is named after their children. They work closely with moms to figure out their needs and wants, so that they can make their lives a little simpler. (Who doesn’t like the sound of that?!) They strive to bring quality-driven products at affordable prices. The cherry on top? Their products are super cute and fashionable! Gotta love that! Winner will receive a Diaper Bag Gift Set and can choose the color/pattern of the Car Seat Cover Gift Set, a $118.96 RV!  Check out my review here!
Baby Preferred offers adorable, affordable, functional baby consumer products with innovative solutions to meet the needs of today's parents. We offer products such as carrier accessories, nursing pillow covers, Baby sleep helpers and more! Winner will their choice of either a Baby Carrier Cover, or Teething Drool Pads and Bib, both are a $34.99 RV!

They are a small family who is passionate about educating others about the amazing qualities of Merino wool. They wanted to dress their children in the best possible fabric, and therefore Simply Merino was started. Their range is very simple, as they wanted the natural qualities of the Merino wool to speak for themselves. The gowns and sleepers are wonderfully comfortable for infants and babies. And the two-piece sets they've designed can easily be worn as pajamas, thermal wear, or even as separates. It's an easy material to care for; simply wash and dry. Winner will receive a Merino Wool Mittens in their choice of size and color, a $13.00 RV! Check out my review here!

Kylie is a creative mama who loves to make and design new items for the entire family. She specializes in unique, boutique baby photo props, but she can't resist trying to make something for everyone, whether it be your sports fan dad, comic book loving brother, princess sister, or your fashionable mother. She is always open to custom requests, and there is a little love in every stitch! Winner will receive their choice of any product up to a $30 RV!


Logic Products 

Logic Products is now a mom-approved lifestyle brand that fully discloses all ingredients in every product. Logic Products are made in the U.S.A. using plant and mineral derived ingredients. Their eco-friendly product lines include; Natural HomeLogic, TotLogic, BarkLogic and LiceLogic and are available nationwide. They guarantee their products to be safe and effective so you can focus on what’s really important, your family. Winner will receive any one product of their choice up to a $16.95 RV!

Amara 

We all know how hard it is to make homemade baby food for your little one. Now, Amara brings you homemade, with all the nutrients, textures and tastes just like you would at home - but without the hassle. Winner will receive a taster pack of Amara Baby Foods including a sampling of our Tropical Mango; Oats n Berries; Banana flavors PLUS our superfood flavors Apple Maqui Berry and Kale Potato Mash, a $20 RV!


Handsocks 

Casey, a mother of 2, invented a product originally intended for warmth and it turned into so much more. Now used for protection of all types, Handsocks is dedicated to being experts in protection from scratching for newborn to 3T aged children. Winner will receive a pair of Handsocks in their choice of color; blue, pink, gray, green, or jungle. A $15 RV!

Open To US and must be 18+ to enter Giveaway Dates ~ 1/30 12:01 AM EST through 2/20 11:59PM EST

Remember to follow the blog using the social media icons at the top right, in side bar, to be the first to know of new posts and giveaways!

Good Luck Everyone!

Disclosure: Love, Mrs. Mommy and all participating bloggers are not held responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their prize obligations. Love, Mrs. Mommy received Stachris and Simply Merino products at no cost to facilitate the above-mentioned reviews. This giveaway is in no way endorsed or sponsored by Facebook or any other social media site. The winner will be randomly drawn by Giveaway Tools and will be notified by email. Winner has 48 hours to reply before a replacement winner will be drawn. If you would like to participate in an event like this please contact LoveMrsMommy (at) gmail (dot) com.

January 27, 2017

8 Postpartum Must Haves

Disclosure:  Affiliate links are used in this post.  Any purchase you make using these links supports this site.

1. Adult Diapers - The hospital will provide you big mesh underwear and giant pads, but the bleeding will eventually go down and you'll want something more convenient to wear under your clothes for the ride home. I highly recommend getting Depends. You should only really need one pack as after a few days the bleeding will turn more into a period like flow and then you can switch to just using over night or heavy flow pads (My favorite is Always Infinity Extra Heavy Overnight).
2. Tucks Medicated Cooling Pads - The hospital provided me some, but you will definitely need or want more. I tried the Target brand, bad idea, they are not as good as Tucks! Tucks are more moist and soothing. The Target ones felt dry compared to the Tucks. This is a case where the price does matter, so spend the extra couple bucks and get Tucks!

3. Freezer Meals - I read that having meals pre-made was a big help to many parents after the birth of their baby, so I made it a goal to stock my deep freezer around 4 weeks before baby was due, and am so glad I did! There is no time to cook with a newborn and whatever time you do get is spent doing laundry, washing dishes, etc! It is so easy and convenient to pull out something from the freezer and throw it in the oven. If you are lazy or don't have time to make freezer meals before baby arrives, stock up on frozen food from the grocery store, like pizza or lasagna. Trust me, you will want quick easy meals!

4. Post Pregnancy Underwear - You may have heard of using a postpartum girdle to help with shaping your belly, but I much preferred the postpartum underwear! Your belly will be flabby after birth, kind of feels like jelly. I found wearing the underwear helped me look slimmer, back to my old self, and it was more convenient than messing with some girdle or belt. My favorite is this one, sold at Motherhood Maternity, unfortunately it was a clearance item when I got them, but it looks like it has been replaced with a solid one, which you can find here. I recommend getting two sizes, as after birth the larger size will be more comfortable, but once you start losing the weight, you'll want to go to your regular size again. 

5. Epsom Salt - You will want to soak in a warm Epsom salt bath sometime after giving birth to help ease the pain in your bottom, especially if you tear during birth! My midwife recommended to do this at least once a day. You will also experience cramping as your uterus returns to normal size, more so if you are breastfeeding, and this can help ease that pain as well. (You will probably already have some on hand since this stuff is amazing during pregnancy as well for helping with leg cramps and other pregnancy aches and pains, but if not, you will want some for after birth!).

6. Pain Medication - Ibuprofen was a must have for me as I had a second degree tear. The hospital will provide it while you are there, but once you check out, you will have to get your own.

7. Stool Softener - This was only given to me once in the hospital, but my midwife said I could take Colace once a day once I got home. I found it was hard to make a bowel movement after giving birth, not so much painful, just for some reason I couldn't go for two days! Finally took some Colace and was able to go! Downside is it makes you super gassy.

8. Sweatpants, Leggings & Pajama Bottoms - After giving birth, these are the only types of pants you will want to wear. Jeans will not be comfy and you may not even fit into your old jeans yet. It can take a few weeks to a few months before you lose all that baby weight.


There are some other must have items, but I didn't include them in this list as my hospital provided them. They gave me plenty of perennial ice packs (ended up with extra), a few heating packs (which I never used), a peri bottle, extra mesh underwear, and giant pads (ended up not using them all!). If your hospital doesn't provide these things or as much, you may want to stock up on your own. My nurse was awesome enough to give us a big bag of supplies to take home, so I didn't need to buy more.

January 20, 2017

What to Pack in Your Hospital Bag?

What we did was use the diaper bag for baby and then used a carry on bag with wheels for our things. Pillows wouldn't fit in the carry-on, so they were in a separate big bag (highly recommend the Homegoods or Ikea sized bags!). The breast pump had its own backpack, so we carried that separately as well. We also had a cooler for snacks and drinks.

Also, note our baby arrived in December, so some of the items you will not need if born during a warmer season, like a car seat cover.

I have provided a list below of what we had packed and I have also crossed out whatever we ended up using, so you can see what we used and did not use to help you plan your own bag. I always tend to over pack since I prefer to be safe rather than sorry! However, it would have been nice to have brought less so we didn't have so many bags to carry! Luckily the hospital we delivered at lends you a cart to put all your items on and push to your car.

Here is what we packed in the baby's bag/diaper bag:
  • 2 Hats - didn't need as hospital gave us 2
  • 1 Set of mittens - didn't need as the shirts they use in the hospital have folded sleeves and so did the take home outfit we brought
  • 2 Pairs of socks - didn't use as hospital used blankets to swaddle and take home outfit had footsies
  • 2 Newborn outfits  - only used 1 for going home
  • 1 0-3 Month outfit - baby was just under 7 lbs, so didn't use
  • 2 Burp cloths - didn't use
  • 2 Receiving blankets  - only used 1 for going home
  • 1 Fleece blanket 
  • 2 Pacifiers and 1 pacifier clip - didn't use, not recommended till breastfeeding is established
  • Extra disposable newborn diapers - didn't need, hospital provided
  • Extra baby wipes - didn't need, hospital provided
  • Grooming kit (hair brush, nail clipper, etc) - didn't use
These items weren't in the bag but in our car ready to go!
  • Car seat base and car seat
  • Car seat cover
  • Infant head support for car seat

Here is what we packed in our bag:
  • 1 Robe for mom
  • 2 Nursing tanks
  • 2 Nursing bras  - Now this is one item I wish I had brought more of!
  • Disposable nursing pads - didn't need, milk didn't come in till day 3
  • Pajama bottoms for mom
  • Socks with grips for mom
  • Toiletries for both mom and dad (shampoo, toothpaste, etc - anything you would bring on an overnight trip basically)
  • Towel wrap for mom (for laboring in the tub) - didn't use, labor was too fast, didn't even labor in the tub!
  • Going home outfit for mom
  • Hair brush, hair ties, and bobby pins
  • Pajamas for dad
  • 1 extra outfit for dad 
  • Heavy overnight pads and adult diapers  - used only 1 for the trip home!
  • Camera
  • Suckers
  • Granola bars
  • Breath mints
  • Breastfeeding pillow (My Brest Friend)
  • 2 Pillows - we just used the hospitals
  • Breast pump - didn't use, found breastfeeding easier
  • Energy Drinks  - My husband drank one. I actually only had water.
As you can see we didn't use a lot of what we brought, mainly because I had a really quick labor and because the hospital provides so much! They even gave me a bag of supplies to take home! I also ended up wearing the hospital gown because postpartum bleeding is messy and I didn't want to ruin my own clothes. Plus the snaps made breastfeeding convenient.

Attribution: Image used in blog post photo does not belong to me and was found on MorgueFile.

January 13, 2017

Should I Have a Birth Plan?

Labor and birth are unpredictable so it may seem silly to try and have a plan. However, I felt it was good to have one because it gives your doctor a heads-up as to what you want, though always know it may not be what you need at the time. This way, when you are in labor and in so much pain, you don't have to worry about trying to voice your wants and needs. This is where also having a Doula can come in handy.

For us having the birth plan was more so for our Doula and midwife, so they knew what we wanted. When I was in actual labor, I totally forgot about the plan. I had 3 copies in our hospital bag, but when we arrived I was already 6 cm dilated and in too much pain to care about anything else, so they never got pulled out and placed on the counter for the nurses and doctors to see. 

However, most of what was in the plan were followed, thanks to my awesome Doula and midwife! So I think having one is worth it just so everyone in the room is on the same page, but just know that you might forget all about it when the time comes and be prepared for things to change.

I have included our birth plan below just so you can get an idea of what you might want to include in yours or talk to your doctor about. (It is always a good idea to talk to your doctor since your hospital or doctor may not allow or offer some of the options that mine did).

Our Birth Plan

Hospital Admission

 If medically possible I would prefer:
·        To delay the artificial induction of labor for a reasonable period of time and only after all natural methods have been exhausted.
·        To remain at home as long as possible before heading to the hospital.
·        To be assigned a nurse/hospital staff partial to natural birth.
·        To be allowed to drink and eat as desired.
·        To self-hydrate and decline IV.
·        To have only intermittent monitoring.

Labor
If medically possible I would prefer:
·        To have only my husband, doula, and necessary hospital staff present during birth. No students, residents, or interns present.
·        To wear my own clothes.
·        To have as few interruptions as possible.
·        To eat and drink as desired.
·        To be able to use a fitness/birthing ball.
·        Freedom to walk and move around.
·        Intermittent and external monitoring by Doppler only
·        To be able to change positions and assume labor positions of choice.
·        No vaginal exams unless medically necessary.
·        Freedom to labor in shower or tub.
·        No epidural, but am open to other pain relief suggestions if needed.
·        To have lights dimmed.
·        To be able to listen to music if I desire (I will provide).

Birth
If medically possible I would prefer:
·        To push as my body tells me or as suggested by a midwife.
·        To push without time limits as long as the baby and I are not at risk.
·        To birth in a side lying position or whatever position feels natural at the time.
·        Not to have an episiotomy, even if it means risking a tear.
·        To avoid the use of forceps and vacuum extraction.
·        A C-section to be the last resort – only if all other options have been exhausted.

Following Birth 
If medically possible I would prefer:
·        Immediate skin-to-skin contact.
·        Delayed cord clamping.
·        That father holds the baby after skin-to-skin for bonding.
·        To deliver the placenta naturally.
·        Local anesthetics for any stitches - if needed.
·        For doula and husband to be allowed to take photos using our cell phones or camera.
·        For husband to have unlimited access to my room and be able to stay the night.
·        To breastfeed as soon as possible with help from a lactation specialist and to use my breast pump at least once during my stay to learn how to use it correctly.
·        To have as few interruptions as possible during the “golden hour.”
·        To be given the option of pain medication after birth, such as Tylenol, for any pain or discomfort.
·        To be able to shower and change into my own clothes.
·        To be able to leave the hospital as soon as possible.

In the event of a C-section:
·        To be put under (not awake) during the procedure if possible.
·        For husband to be allowed to remain with me in the operating (if not put under) and recovery room.
·        For husband to hold the baby as soon as possible.
·        To be able to hold the baby and breastfeed as soon as possible in the recovery room.

For Baby
If medically possible I prefer:
·        Baby to remain with us in our room.
·        For baby to be in our sight at all times.
·        No antibiotic eye drops or eye ointment to be administered.
·        Hepatitis B vaccine shot to be given to the baby.
·        Vitamin K shot to be given to the baby.
·        Breastfeeding or pumped milk only.
·        We are expecting a girl, but if the baby is a boy, he will not be circumcised.
·        To allow vernix to absorb into baby’s skin, delay the first bath.
·        For either my partner or me (or both of us), with assistance, to give baby’s first bath.

If the baby is not well:
·        My husband and I would like to accompany baby to the NICU.
·        I would like to breastfeed if possible or be able to provide pumped milk.
·        We would like to be able to hold baby whenever possible.


Attribution: Image used in blog post photo does not belong to me and was found on MorgueFile.

January 6, 2017

What is a Doula?

What is a Doula?

A Doula, also known as a labor coach, is someone who helps you through labor and acts as an advocate for you. Usually, they are female and their main focus is supporting the mom during labor and childbirth. Some may even stay to help out afterward and many offer additional services such as Hypnobirthing and placenta encapsulation. If your partner is involved, the Doula will often work with them and teach them some pain relief techniques so they can take turns supporting the mom.

Doula's are great for anyone, but especially if you plan on going the more natural route. They will go over your birth plan with you so once you are in the hospital or birth center, they know what you want and will talk to your doctor for you. They basically act as the messenger between you and your doctor in order to follow your birth plan as close as possible, but remember things can change as birth is unpredictable.

I plan on giving birth in a hospital with a midwife, but all my midwives recommend having a Doula since they are not able to be with us 24/7 like a Doula can. It wasn't something we really considered until they mentioned it and it sounded like a good idea, especially since this is our first and we have no idea what to expect. Many of my family members, surprisingly, have had Doula's and highly recommend having one, so thus began our search for a Doula.

How to Choose a Doula?

First, I highly recommend using Doula Match to find a Doula in your area. Doula Match will search by availability for you due date and will give you profiles for all the Doula's in your area along with their price point. If not Doula Match, then my second go to would be family and friends to see who they used and recommend, or you can ask your midwives or OBGYN for their recommendations.

Doula prices range dramatically from as low as $100 to has high as $1500. This is because they often work privately so they can set their rates, and the higher the rate, the more experience the Doula tends to have. In some cases, you may qualify to have a free Doula, but that depends on if your area has a program like that available to you.

Once you figure out your price point, you will want to make a list of Doulas that fit your budget and research them. Once you find one you like, you will want to interview her to make sure she is a good fit for you and your family, and that you feel comfortable around her. I have provided a list of some interview questions below.

Doula Interview Questions
  • Why did you become a Doula?
  • How many births have you attended? What is your experience?
  • Do you have a backup in case you are unable to attend the birth? 
  • Do you offer a refund if you can't attend?
  • Are you able to help with breastfeeding?
  • What are your views on pain medication?
  • Will you meet at our home while in early labor or will you meet us at the hospital while in active labor?
  • Am I able to contact you at any time with questions?
  • How long will you stay after the birth?
  • Do you do prenatal and/or postpartum visits?
  • How do you work with and involve my partner during the birth process?
  • How many clients do you take per month?
  • How do you take payment? 
  • Would you be willing and able to take photos using our camera during and after the birth? 

Our Doula Experience

Our Doula was amazing and I am so glad we chose to have one. My labor went super fast and it was intense. I don't think I could have managed without her. She was there helping to relieve the pain and also advocated for us. This allowed my husband to stay by my side and comfort me, while she did everything else from grabbing ice chips to talking to the nurses. 

After the birth, she even ran out to get Epsom salt so I could take a bath later (recommended by the midwife to help with healing as I suffered a second-degree tear) since the hospital didn't have any on hand. She also took photos for us after the birth.

Overall I highly recommend having a Doula. Having that extra support makes the birth experience a lot better.