Friday, March 30, 2012

Fairhaven Health Nursing Giveaway

We have ANOTHER giveaway for my baby's birthday month (it looks like they'll overflow into April)!

Fairhaven Health is an incredible resource for TTC, Pregnancy, Postnatal, and Nursing supplements and other products. I have been taking Nursing Blend Breastfeeding Supplements and loving them. 

They are a complete prenatal vitamin PLUS herbal blend for milk production.  I'm not a big fan of the flavor of nursing teas so this is great to me because I just take this capsule instead and don't have to choke down some gross tea.  They have helped me to keep up my milk supply which hasn't been easy as of late- I am entering my second year as an exclusive pumper and my supply has been slowing.

These pills are NOT safe during pregnancy.

We're hosting a giveaway for a nursing product from Fairhaven Health. One winner will get to choose from one of these products:

-Nursing Blend Breastfeeding Supplement
-Nursing Postnatal Breastfeeding Multivitamin
-Nursing Time Tea
-Nipple Nurture Balm

Check out their site to see which product will best fit your needs: Fairhaven Health

Enter to win here:

Thursday, March 22, 2012

DivaCup Giveaway!

We're continuing the month long celebration of my beautiful baby's
first birthday with another giveaway!


We're giving away a DivaCup!
DivaCup boxes

I absolutely LOVE my DivaCup! It is SO easy to use and saves me a TON of money!  I'll admit I was a little intimidated, maybe even scared, when I first decided to try the DivaCup, but I learned quickly that there is NOTHING to be scared of!  It was so easy to use and the discomfort I feared so much was nonexistent. I couldn't feel it at all and kept forgetting I was even using it.  It is SO much more comfortable than wearing a tampon. I am officially converted!

Plus:
It's latex-free, BPA-free, and plastic-free

Has no dyes, colors or additives

It's Comfortable and Reliable

It's clean, convenient, and easy-to-use

It can be worn for up to 12 hours at a time


Learn more about DivaCup on their site: http://www.divacup.com

Find out where DivaCups are sold in your area with their Store Finder
Or buy online Where to Buy

I was not paid for this review.

Enter to win your own DivaCup below.

And, don't forget to enter our other giveaways going on right now:
Unbound Birth eBook Giveaway
EverythingBirth.com Gift Certificate Giveaway


Monday, March 19, 2012

Everything Birth Giveaway

I absolutely LOVE this site! The name says it all, you can literally get EVERYTHING you will need for birth, baby, and more!

EverythingBirth.com carries:

~The BEST cloth diapers
~Baby Care Items
~Baby Clothes
~Organic Baby Toys
~Menstrual Care Items
~Pregnancy Tests
~Birth Kits
~Birthing Tubs
~Herbal Care
~Breastfeeding Supplies
~Baby Carriers
~And MUCH, MUCH more!

Check out all of the great things they have to offer for yourself:
everything birth

everything birth

We're giving away a $20 Gift Certificate for EverythingBirth.com to one lucky reader!

Plus, we'll give away a bonus $5 Gift Certificate to a second winner!

Enter Here:


Sunday, March 18, 2012

"Unbound Birth" eBook Giveaway



If you have ever though about having a Natural Birth this is the book you want to start with.  Unbound Birth by Jennifer Yarbrough is a quick read with a great message: You CAN have the birth you want no matter where you choose to birth.

Why should you read Unbound Birth? Here are three key reasons:

1. It is Empowering.  This book is extremely empowering and uplifting, giving you the tools and the encouragement you need to begin your journey toward a Natural Birth. 

2. It is an Awesome Resource.  This book includes tips for getting the birth you want, lists of amazing books and resources to help you achieve the birth you want, tips for a healthy pregnancy, and a guide to create your birth plan.

3. It is Honest.  This book includes Jennifer true and honest birth stories.  She doesn't sugar-coat her birth experiences, but tells the true accounts and how she was able to have the births she wanted.  She admits that birth is work, but that it is incredibly rewarding work. 

Overall, this book will give you an HONEST idea of what you can expect from birth and helps give you the encouragement you need when starting that journey to your best birth ever!

Buy the book Here on Unboundbirth.com.
And, check out the Unbound Birth website for even more great resources and info!

One lucky reader will win a copy of the Unbound Birth ebook!

Enter Here to Win:

Friday, March 16, 2012

Birth Day Thursday: My Birth Story

I decided that I would post Birth Day Thursday a day late this week because today my amazing little boy turns one and I wanted to celebrate his birthday by sharing the story of his birth. 



Here is my birth story in my own words:

"I was having some cramps since the night before (March 14th), but they didn't really feel like much more than period cramps. I thought it was most likely false labor since my EDD wasn't until March 25th. Thank God I decided to pack my hospital bag anyway!

The contractions continued through the next day and began getting a little more painful and a little more regular. We waited until contractions were 5ish minutes apart and lasting about a minute to call Dr and head to the hospital, this was around 7:30pm. We took our time getting to hospital since I figured I probably had another 12 hours before my baby was actually going to be born, we even stopped at the gas station.
When we got to the hospital I still didn't think the contractions hurt enough so I figured they would send me home. We got to the hospital's Alternative Birth Center at around 8:30pm and went through triage where they discovered I was only at 2 1/2 cm and were considering sending me home. They had me walk for an hour and after that I was only at 3 1/2, but they decided to let me stay, it was now about 10:30pm.
I was laboring at the Alternative Birth Center at Providence Hospital and they had jacuzzis in the room so I got in there. I was in there for about 20 min when my contractions went from a like a 2 to about a 9! I got out of the tub and they had me moving all over the room trying different things to keep labor going quickly! I sat on a birth stool and spent some time in the shower with the warm water running on my belly. They checked me again and by this time I was at 8cm (only about 1-2 hrs later at around 1am) I wanted to push SOOO bad, but they wanted me to wait until I was fully dilated. After another half hour or so they started considering breaking my water, then it broke on its own. Finally, I was able to push! It was such a relief, it felt like I was releasing all of the pain from laboring. It didn't hurt at all and I only pushed for about 20 min. Joseph Thomas was born at 2:32 am on March 16th! I was only at the hospital for 6 hrs and they almost sent me home!
I was at a hospital Alternative Birth Center so I had no drugs at all before or during the delivery AND it was never pushed on me. Even in my most difficult parts of labor the midwives were very encouraging and never suggested drugs. After the birth Joey and I were both very alert because we didn't have any the groggy side effects you can get from drugs. Joey was looking all around, no one could believe a newborn could be so alert! I was able to walk around and I was wide awake.
It was as close as you can get to a home birth, but I still had the knowledge that I was already at the hospital if there was an emergency. I was able to drink (and eat if I wanted, but didn't) and walk around through the entire labor. I also labored, delivered and postpartumed all in the same room (which had a queen size bed that my husband was able to stay with me in). It was an incredible experience! I truly cannot wait to do it again someday!"

Thank you all so much for allowing me to share my story with you!


Happy 1st Birthday Joey! Mommy loves you!



Thursday, March 15, 2012

Baby B #4: Belief in Baby's Cries

This week we get to Baby B #4: Belief in Baby's Cries. This is such a key element of Attachment Parenting because it really gets to the core of what AP is all about, forming a strong bond and solid lines of communication with your children. Crying is a baby's way to to communicate, so if you ignore that you are not encouraging the lines of communication between you and your baby.

Despite what many baby trainers will try to tell you, babies cry for a reason, not to manipulate.  Talk to the parents you know that listen to and respond to their baby's cries.  They will most likely tell you that they learned to distinguish their baby's different needs by their different cries.  A baby's cry is a language all its own and Mom and Dad are the translators.  The best way to get your baby to cry less is NOT to let them "cry it out" until they learn to "self soothe".  The best way to get your baby to cry less is to learn your baby's different cries and respond quickly and appropriately. 

On the "Cry it Out" note, why don't we quickly talk about what crying it out REALLY teaches your baby.  Think about it this way... If your three year old came up to you crying and said he was in pain would you ignore him and wait until he "got over it"?  Of course not! You would try to figure out what was wrong and help him with it.  If you ignored your three year old when something was wrong he would stop coming to you for help.  This is what you are actually teaching your baby when you let them "cry it out".  They are not learning to self-soothe/sleep better, they are learning that crying doesn't work.  It doesn't illicit the response they need so they stop trying to get your attention.  They have not become a calmer baby, they have simply given up.

The fact is that some babies just cry more than others. If this is the case for you here are some tips that you can use that don't involve making them "cry it out":

1. First, and most important, look for any medical causes for the crying.  Reflux and allergies (either to formula or something in your diet if breastfed) are two very common problems that fussiness in babies.

2. React calmly to your baby's crying. This is especially helpful in older babies.  If your baby starts crying it isn't always best to rush over and scoop up your baby.  Sometimes, the best response is to simply make eye contact with your baby and say "You're okay, Mommy's here".

3. Use your best judgement about what you can teach your baby to handle on their own.  Young babies are pretty helpless, but as your baby gets older they will be more capable of handling problems on their own.  Observe your baby and learn when you need to step in to help a fussing baby and when you should hold back and let your baby figure things out on their own. 

4. Sometimes babies are just going to cry and there isn't much you can do about it, but it still helps a baby to know that they don't have to cry all alone.  Don't take this burden alone.  Let Daddy step in. or another close family member, so you can step away to calm and relax so you don't get overwhelmed by your baby crying.

Overall, the most important thing to remember is that babies cry to tell you something, so listen and respond.

Source: Attachment Parenting by Martha and William Sears


Come back next time for Baby B #5: Bedding Close to Baby

Friday, March 9, 2012

Lunette Cup Giveaway

This month my beautiful little boy is turning one!  
To celebrate I will be hosting a few giveaways.

To kick things off we are giving away a Lunette Cup to one lucky reader! One reader will win a Lunette cup in their choice of Color and Size!

Why do I love the Lunette cup?

It's Easy!  It is so much easier to only have to worry about emptying out my Lunette cup a couple times a day than constantly changing pads and tampons.

It's Healthy!  Unlike pads and tampons the Lunette cup doesn't mess with the moisture and pH levels in your vagina and it doesn't breed bacteria, so it is way more hygienic!

It's Cheap!  I know what you're thinking, "But it's $40!", but that will pay itself back within just about a month and then every month after that it's PURE SAVINGS! No more restocking the medicine cabinet with pads, tampons, and liners!

It's Eco-friendly! This one's a no-brainer, if you aren't going through a MILLION tampons and pads every year then they aren't ending up in a landfill.

It's Pretty! It comes in four awesome colors! I have Cynthia, the purple cup, but it also comes in Selene (blue), Diana (green), and Aine (coral). Each Lunette Cup comes with a pretty matching silk bag for storage! And best of all Lunette is the only FDA approved colored cups in the US, which means they're safe to use!

And most important of all...

It Works! It collects everything so you can feel secure to go about your normal activities. Then, when it is time to empty it, it is so easy to remove because of the longer easier to grab antenna!

Check them out for yourself!
Lunette Cup Website

Enter Here and you can win your own Lunette Cup!
Contest ends Sunday, March 18th!

Baby B #3: Babywearing

Baby wearing is exactly what it sounds like, wearing your baby in a baby carrier.  Whether it's in a sling, wrap, or a front carrier, put your baby on and go about your day.

Besides making getting your chores done around the house easier, it makes running errands and traveling easier too.

What are the benefits to the baby though? Here are just a few:

1. Makes Nursing Easier: Your baby is always in close contact with you

2. Makes Discreet Nursing Easier: With baby wrapped in your arms at all times nursing can be done with baby right in the carrier with no one the wiser

3. Enhances Speech Development: When carried, your baby is right on your level to not only hear, but see what you are saying. 

4. Teaches Baby About the World: When babies are carried they are in a "quiet alert" state and are more able to observe the world around them.

5. Helps with Vestibular Connection:  "The gentle motion a baby experiences during babywearing stimulates the vestibular system, and scientists are finding that this stimulation helps babies breathe and grow better, regulates their physiology, and improves motor development."

Source: Attachment Parenting by Martha and William Sears
So, how do you babywear?
Step 1: Find the perfect carrier for you. Go to a store and try on the different carriers to see what works best and feels right for you and your baby.
Step 2: PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE.  Babywearing can take time and practice to get used to (for both you and your baby).
Step 3: Enjoy wearing your baby!

Here are a few suggestions for great carriers:

Wrap Carrier

Moby Wrap Baby Carrier -Moss - Moby Wrap  - Babies"R"Us
Moby Wrap

Front Carrier
ERGObaby Organic Green Baby Carrier - River Rock - ErgoBaby  - Babies"R"Us
ERGO Carrier

Sling Carrier
 Karma Baby Organic Cotton Twill Baby Sling - Black (XS).Opens in a new window
Karma Baby Sling

Come back next time for Baby B #4: Belief in Baby's Cries!

Baby B Bonus: How to Make a Wrap Carrier

It is so easy to make your very own wrap carrier for so much less than buying one. Plus, you can select the fabric type and pattern that suites your needs and style!

Here's how to do it:

1. Go to a fabric store and purchase 5-7 yards of fabric.   (If you are very small or short you will need less, while bigger or taller mamas will need more fabric). 

Choose the right fabric for you:

Knits- More stretch so they are great for small babies since it is easier to "pop" baby in and out quickly. Most knits are non-fraying so they don't even need to be hemmed! The negative is that they aren't very good for bigger babies because of the stretch and require lots of readjusting.

Woven: These are usually much lighter and therefore cooler to wear.  They also have less stretch than knits so they are great for bigger babies.  These will typically fray at the edges so they will require hemming.

Fleece: The stretch is about that of the woven fabrics, but fleece does not require hemming. However, fleece will only be comfortable in colder months as you will get pretty hot wrapped in fleece.

2. Cut the fabric in half lengthwise. You should be left with two sheets of fabric 5-7 yrds long and about 20-30 inches wide.

3. If you purchased a fabric that doesn't require hemming then VOILA, you're done! You have two wraps all ready to go.  If your fabric does fray, hem each side...now you're done!

TIP: To easily find the middle of the fabric sew a patch or tag right in the center.  This will make it easier to find the middle of the fabric when wrapping it!  I just cut a big heart and sewed it right in the center of my wrap.

 


Don't need two wraps... Use the extra fabric to make a bag to carry your wrap!

Now you can go enjoy snuggling with your baby!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Birth Day Thursday: Kaye's Story

This week is the birth Story of Kaye’s second child, Mori. Her first birth was not the experience she had hoped for, but when she became pregnant for the second time she decided to have the birth she had always wanted.

This is her story in her own words:

“At 25 I gave birth to my first Daughter at the local hospital. I was pushed towards a hospital birth by my midwife as it was the "safest" option for a first time Mum.

The hospital was short staffed and I was left alone in my room, terrified and in pain. I ended up having pethadine against all of my plans for a natural birth. My little girl, Tora, weighing 8lb 2oz was born. No one showed me how to latch her on so between us we worked it out. I breastfed Tora for over 2 years so we obviously got it right somehow!

When I fell pregnant with my second Daughter, Mori, I was determined to have a natural birth. I had moved to a small village since having Tora and this meant I had a new midwife.

As I prepared for my booking in appointment I ran through arguments in my head about why I wouldn't give birth in a hospital. I thought I would have to fight for the right to birth my way but to my delight, my midwife asked me where I would prefer to have my baby! There was no doubt in my mind that Crowborough birthing centre was my first choice. I had been born there 30 years earlier and knew that natural birthing was encouraged and supported.

 I awoke on 31st December 2010 at 6am. My waters had broken! I phoned the centre and they told me to go in when I felt I was ready and having regular contractions.

When I arrived I was welcomed in and taken to my room. Once I was there my contractions slowed down and then gradually stopped. I was told that if I hadn't given birth by 1am they would have to transfer me to the hospital. I was devastated and sat on the birthing ball and sobbed for an hour or more. The midwives tried to comfort me but with the fear of hospital looming over me my contractions didn't return.

It felt like days had passed but in reality it was just a few hours. The staff changed over and the new midwife came in to introduce herself. She said she had some advice for me but didn't want to sound odd. She went on to tell me that nipple stimulation tricked the body in to thinking the baby had been born and was feeding which would make my womb contract.

I only had 2 hours left to make progress towards birth before they had no choice but to transfer me to the hospital, so once she had left the room I gave it a try.

Within a couple of minutes I was overjoyed to feel an intense contraction, as I continued the contractions came faster and stronger.

I decided it was time to get into the birthing pool. The warm water soothed the contractions and supported my body but I couldn't seem to push hard enough when the time came.

One of the midwives suggested I got out and sat on the birthing stool for a short while to help my baby move down. With a midwife on each side I climbed out of the pool and sat on the stool. Suddenly gravity gave me a helping hand. I gave three big pushes and my baby was born. The midwife passed her straight to me. I held her as she let out her first scream. I whispered to her "Mummy's here, Mummy's got you"

Mori was born at 12.28 1st January 2011 weighing 9lb 7oz.

I moved to the bed and waited for the umbilical cord to stop pulsating as I latched Mori on for her first feed.

I felt so happy to have had a beautiful natural birth and can't wait to do it all again!”

Kaye, thank you so much for sharing this awesome example of a mommy taking charge of her birth!