Five Things You Should Take Advantage of During Your Hospital Stay

In case you haven’t heard: Having a baby is pretty expensive. While baby showers are a great way to come up with lots of baby essentials, you most likely won’t get EVERYTHING you need from your family and friends. That said, you can grab some really great essentials from the hospitals… FOR FREE. Here are my top five favorite things to take advantage of before leaving the hospital:

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Vernix: Magical Baby Goop & Delayed Newborn Baths

Vernix, formally known as vernix caseosa is the white, creamy, looking substance that newborns are born with. Most of us are inclined to look at it as gross, and when people hear that parents want to delay newborn baths because of it, its easy to think “WHAT?!” But, I’m here to tell you, its there for a reason, and its pretty amazing stuff.

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The Tea on Red Raspberry Leaf Tea

Red Raspberry Leaf Tea is often hailed as a uterus superfood, with the ability to induce and shorten labor, make labor less painful, ease morning sickness and reduce postpartum bleeding. Its been around since the 6th century, used as a common medicinal tea to ease PMS discomfort, diarrhea, and to lower blood pressure, for men, women, and children. But does it have any scientific validity, or is it just another old wives’ tale?

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Top 5 Reasons to Delay Cord Clamping

Since the 1950s, it has been standard protocol after delivery, for doctors to clamp the umbilical cord, immediately after birth. In 2012, the World Health Organization (WHO) began recommending that doctors leave the umbilical cord alone for AT LEAST one full minute, in order to improve health outcomes for both mother and baby. (The only exception to this recommendation being when newborns require positive-pressure resuscitation.) The benefits of delayed cord clamping include:

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Surviving the First Year of Motherhood

Its no secret that motherhood is the probably the scariest hood you’ll ever go through. From explosive diapers and nip-lash, to dangerously low amounts of sleep and hormonal imbalances, its clear: Mommin’ isn’t for the faint of heart. No matter how many books you read and classes you take, its really easy (and totally normal) to feel like you’ll never make it through the first year. In honor of both Mothers Day, and Mental Health Awareness Month, I teamed up with three moms to talk about how to survive the first year of motherhood.

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Doulas Are For Cesareans, Too.

Our society views cesarean birth a lot differently than it does vaginal birth. If you’ve had a cesarean yourself, you probably know EXACTLY what I mean. Without even meaning to, good-intentioned people can make comments that imply that belly birth is the “easy way out”, that you “got lucky” or perhaps most hurtful of all, that “the ONLY thing that matters, is a happy healthy baby.” I’m here to tell you that there’s plenty of room left in the equation to make sure that the mom who just risked her life to give life to her baby is also happy and healthy.

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The 411 on Baby Led Weaning

Baby-Led Weaning, or BLW for short, is a somewhat new approach to feeding infants, that has risen in popularity, especially in the U.S., over the last few years. It means almost exactly what the name implies, letting babies take the lead when it comes to eating food at the start of weaning. This means no purees, no baby foods, no mushing, or mashing, just giving baby the same sort of foods you and your family are already eating(with a few exceptions).

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Six Different Kinds of Birth Stories To Get You Inspired

When you’re pregnant, its common to hear birth horror stories, as well as everything that can possibly go wrong during labor. I think its incredibly important to surround yourself with POSITIVE stories about birth as you prepare to go through it yourself. I found six completely different birth videos from around the web that demonstrate that no matter how it happens: Birth can be beautiful.

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Birth Plans- A Doula’s Perspective

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If you’re pregnant, or have ever been pregnant, you’ll know firsthand that the advice you receive from those around you is often confusing and conflicting. It can be hard to tell, as you swim through the sea of unsolicited comments who is right and who is wrong.

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Dads & Doulas

Did you know that doulas AREN’T just there for the birthing person?

Doulas are there to help the entire family transition from pregnancy to birth, and from birth to life with a newborn. While dads don’t experience the physical toll mothers do during birth, they are in for the same emotional roller coaster, (usually while sleep deprived) and therefore also need support! A doula can provide support for dad in the following ways:

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