On this page, you’ll find a few tips of what kept me sane during and after pregnancy. From clothing to furniture to accessories for my son’s nursery and my house, you can peruse some ideas of how to make this challenging, stressful time a little easier and much more enjoyable. Don’t forget self-care! A happy mom makes a happy baby!
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Pregnancy and Nursing Dress
Ladies, I was seven months pregnant when I started showing, but for some of you, it might happen sooner, especially when you’re not a first-time mom. At first, I was proud that I could still hide my growing belly, but at some point, I started buying those nice, stretchy maxi dresses to show off my bump. They were comfy and didn’t make you sweat in summer. And once my baby was there and I was pumping, I needed easy access to the milk maids. Under these Zattca dresses, you don’t even need to wear a bra. Just put baby to breast, and voilà!
Pumping Bra to the Rescue!
I admit it, without my Medela pumping bra, I would have been lost. Especially as a university professor, I needed both hands available to grade essays and assignments on my laptop, since I did not have maternity leave and was back in the classroom a week after my C-section. The pumping bra allowed me to pump for an hour in my office every three hours, and once I got to the NICU after and before work, I sat in front of my baby’s isolette and pumped for an hour every three hours, too, while reading to him. Once at home, my baby lay next to me while I was grading online while pumping. I was an over-producer and proud of it; one year of power pumping was only possible with this pumping bra that allowed me to do other things while providing the necessary milk for my preemie.
Using Care.com to Hire a Nanny
As a widow who works full time, I had but two choices; either, I had to live on my savings and give up being an Assistant Professor of English, a job I loved to do, or I had to hire a nanny. I used care.com to find and interview nannies, and all in all, Lyons Cub had three different nannies: Nancy, Sarah, and Sherri. I also found an occasional baby sitter and pet sitter on that platform. Our nannies were much more than just trusted caretakers for Lyons Cub; they were family friends and accompanied us on the most important journey in life, until I was able to relocate to where I have family, which we did when Corona struck.
Ordering Breast Milk Jewelry
What looks like a pearl is actually breast milk powder hardened in resin. Breast milk jewelry is a new trend and can be made at home from a DIY kit, or you can order it from an artist. After a year of exclusive pumping, this mommy treated herself to a ring and a necklace (which has hair from my baby in it). What a nice way to commemorate having nourished your growing human through all the pain of engorgement, clogged ducts, and mastitis; through the discrimination of nursing in public and the lack of quiet rooms where to nurse or pump, such as in most airports; and through the shame and disgust of having to feed your baby in public toilets. Treat yourself, mommies, when this difficult journey is finally over.
Are you a paranoid mom, too? Checking in on your sleeping baby to check breathing? Sounds familiar? Then, it’s time for a baby monitor. I got mine from smilism back in 2018. Pick something modern, with the size of display and the functions you want, and find a good place to install it. The baby cam will give you peace of mind if your baby sleeps in a different room (mine had his own bedroom and a Montessori floor bed that changed into a house bed when he turned one). If you’d rather have one with a sock, check out the Owlet. Especially if you have a preemie with lung problems, it might be a life saver.
Lyons Cub’s nursery was in the “ocean” theme, so everything was in blue hues; we had whale and ship wall hangings, nautical crib sheets, a whale mobile, and turquoise/blue/green/gray foam blocks and a foam mat to play on with Early Intervention. We also displayed portraits from his newborn and cake smash photoshoots.
Shortly before baby becomes a crawler, it’s time to baby proof your home. I bought five nice-looking wooden Munchkin baby gates for the bedrooms, the kitchen, and the stairway to the basement. They could be extended, so they fit every width of door frames. In addition, they were impossible for the tots to open, because only adults have the strength to press down on the release button. The cats jumped over them, and the adults could just step over them. When Lyons Cub was around 2 years old, he was able to climb over them, too. But by then, I had taught him how safely to climb up and down the stairs.
Staying Sane During Your Baby’s Hernia Surgery
Does your little need inguinal hernia surgery, too? In this post, I explain the difference between umbilical and inguinal hernia with pictures and tell how it went for my son. Of course, his hernia had to happen while on the plane to Europe for our summer vacation!! However, this also meant he got to stay for three days at an excellent German clinic, which let me sleep in his room for free. It was a minor surgery and is quite common in preemies; we were lucky his hernia required repair on the right side only (some babies have it on both sides). Lyons Cub recovered quickly and enjoyed the rest of his stay!
Reusable Menstruation Pads with Charcoal Bamboo Fiber
Sorry, gross topic. Whether or not you just had a baby (in the process and aftermath of which you will lose all kinds of fluids), AF is gonna rear her bloody head sooner or later, and when it subsides at a certain age, it might make place for some little leakage 😉 What can an ecologically-conscious momma do to preserve the environment and protect the landfills from plastic pads? Simple — invest in a handful of soft, nice, foldable (cute envelope!), colorful, reusable menstruation (or incontinence) pads. The charcoal bamboo fiber eliminates smells, and they feel super nice on the skin.
Herbatint 8C (light ash blonde) permanent hair dye
With 8 herbal extracts, you can’t go wrong 😉 Come on, mommas over 40, admit it, who’s getting the first grays??? I surely do, but I’m using Herbatint 8C, my little secret for shiny, ash blonde hair that takes a few years of stressful motherhood off me 🙂 During pregnancy and breastfeeding, I did not dye my hair, but afterwards, I wanted to feel pretty again! Come try this healthier, more natural but permanent hair dye to pamper yourself after all you went through…