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Savvy Tips and tricks learned along the way...

 
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Pregnancy

During my pregnancy, I add articles to this web site that describe helpful things I have encountered on my journey. I hope you can find useful information here that will help you during your pregnancy.

Pregnancy Resources

BabyCenter.com
babycenter.comThroughout my pregnancy, I have used BabyCenter.com as an educational resource for each week of my pregnancy. My husband and I have fun reading it together and looking at the colorful diagrams and photos they provide. They describe the size and the developmental progress of a baby each week in utero. They also have interesting computer generated videos of a baby's development as well as ultrasound and labor videos.

There are also many helpful articles that address issues like what is safe and unsafe during pregnancy. You can even browse their forums and read comments from other expectant mothers, such as what they are feeling and how they are dealing with issues that arise during pregnancy.

Books to read during pregnancy - These are some great books I have read and found very helpful during my pregnancy.

Pregnancy Health

Help for belly & breast itching

As your belly and breasts grow, they can get pretty itchy. Here are a couple of things that have been helpful for me:

  • Shea Butter - This is an incredible moisturizer that seems to last a long time. It really helps with the itching if you use it in the morning and at night. It has kept my belly looking beautiful.

  • Emu Oil - This is great for restoring your skin if you've already scratched it all up, which I did before I started using shea butter. Emu oil helped to heal the damaged skin and make it beautiful again.

Leg Cramp & Low Back Pain Relief

posted 8/28/2009

Herbal Heat PadWhen stretching, standing, or walking doesn't really get rid of leg cramps, I found that herbal heat pads work really well for me. I use the kind that takes a couple of minutes to warm up in the microwave, but when applied to my leg, it soothes the cramp almost immediately. I found this out because the cramps come especially when my legs get cold. One day, I put my cramping leg near a heater and found that it relaxed the cramp. Then I tried the heat pad, and it relaxed it even more. I use the shoulder heat pad because it is fairly large, and feels really good on my shoulders when they get tense. The heat pad also works wonders on my back, when I have lower back aches.

posted 10/14/2009

This heat pad also works really well for back labor pains towards the end of pregnancy. It is very soothing and relaxing.

posted 2/19/2010

Wow, this same herbal heat pad really comes in handy even in postpartum. It has been a great heat compress for relieving clogged milk ducts.

posted 3/5/2010

I also used this heat pad for warming up my baby's bassinette prior to putting her down in it. It was a tip I got from a friend of mine who used that technique to get her collicky baby to sleep. It worked wonders for my newborn, too. I could see how she relaxed into her bassinette as I put her down, as opposed to being startled as she usually would be when I put her down.

Baby Blessings Ceremony

If you are interested in getting your baby baptized but don't belong to any specific church, a nice alternative is a Baby Blessings Ceremony. You can also coordinate exactly how you want this to proceed, and you do not need to follow all the specifics used in any one religion. This is what we are planning for our little baby girl. Here are some ministers in our area who officiate these ceremonies. You may be able to find ones similar in your area. Just do a Google search on "baby blessings ceremony (insert your area)". This is a fun thing to start planning while you are pregnant.

Bible Verse for Baby

This is a beautiful bible verse that my Dad showed me. It would be a great verse to be read at the baby blessings ceremony.

13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
Psalm 139:13-16

Listen to Baby's Kicks, Heartbeat, and Hiccups

It is so wonderful to begin feeling your baby kick! It reminds me that the baby is alive and well. I love feeling my baby kick. It's also fun to listen to your baby using this Prenatal Heart Listening System. My baby's kicks are pretty loud and obvious, even at my 21 week time frame. But I'm still waiting to hear her heartbeat.

This device allows us to record these sounds and email them or put them on a web page. We are also going to buy some of those recording gizmos that you can put inside a scrapbook, and hopefully put these sounds on there. Using this device has been lots of fun for me and my husband, and I'm sure will become even more fun when we start to hear more of her!

Update 7/9/2009

I am now 6 months pregnant, and I have still not been able to hear my baby's heart beat with this device, just her kicks. Maybe I'm using it wrong, I don't know. Maybe there is a better listening device out there.

Update 10/14/2009

I finally got to hear my baby's heatbeat using this device! I had tried using it several times and couldn't get it to work. I recently stumbled upon the manual while going through some stuff around the house. The manual said to make sure to use the strap. I had stopped using the strap and was just using my hand to hold the device to my belly. According to the manual, that doesn't work. So I tried it again while in my 9th month, using the strap this time, and I was finally able to hear her heartbeat! Amazing! How nice it was to finally hear and record her heartbeat. Here is a clip of it:
By the way, the actual device I am using is this purple one, called Summer Infant Heart To Heart Prenatal Listening System, not the blue one shown above (my mistake).

Preparation for Baby

Here are some good articles to help you prepare for the your new baby.

Here are some good videos on baby care:

  • Baby's first sponge bath - video that demonstrates how to sponge bathe your newborn, while keeping the umbilical cord stub safe

Baby Care DVDs

posted 8/28/2009

These are some DVDs that I have watched or been told to watch, and have yet to watch, that are great for caring for your new baby.

Dunstan Baby Language -- Learn the universal language of newborn babies
I watched this DVD a couple of times. It is really interesting how they say you can hear certain sounds in the baby's cry that mean different things, like hungry, uncomfortable, needs to burp, etc. I'm not sure if it works for every baby, but I'm going to be listening for those sounds coming from my baby.
The Happiest Baby on the Block - The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Baby Sleep Longer
I watched part of this DVD and plan to watch the whole thing soon. I've heard good things from others who have watched this. It describes an idea that a newborn human baby is so immature compared other newborn animals. And that is is because newborn humans are essentially still fetuses that had to be born early because their brain becomes so large and wouldn't fit through the birth canal if it were allowed to develop fully. Anyway, that is why there is special treatment for the newborn "fetus" in what they call the "fourth trimester". It includes techniques on how to swaddle, hold, and comfort a crying baby.


posted 10/14/2009

My hubby and I finally watched the whole DVD of The Happiest Baby on the Block. It was really good and interesting. I like how the author demonstrates the various calming techniques several times, especially swaddling, so that you can learn them. We have yet to try them on our baby (since she hasn't been born yet), but when we do, I'll let you know how they work. I also read the book The Happiest Baby on the Block, which goes into a little more detail about comforting your baby. It is definitely an interesting read while you are pregnant and wondering about how to care for your baby.

3D/4D Ultrasounds

It's really fun to get a 3D/4D ultrasound of your baby! It is a little spendy, but it is worth it. You get such a great glimpse of your baby and what he or she will look like. Here are some of the pics of my little angel at 27 weeks:

     

I had them done at Baby Pictures Ultrasound in our area.

updated 8/29/2009

I love looking at her pictures. It has helped me through the hard times of my pregnancy to look at these. They just make me smile and warm my heart. I think I'm going to bring some of these pics to the hospital for my delivery. My friend told me that just focusing on holding your baby can help you mentally get through labor.

Baby Movies

posted 8/28/2009

Here is a list of funny baby movies to watch during pregnancy. I got these great suggestions from my brother.


Looks who's talking

Three Men and a Baby

She's Having a Baby

Nine Months
 

Junior

Father of the Bride 2
   


posted 10/14/2009

Here is another idea for a baby movie. It was my hubby's pic. It was a little weird, but cute in its own way.


Raising Arizona

Oh, and we also recently watched Father of the Bride 2. It was hilarious. I loved Martin Short's character on this one even better than the first Father of the Bride.

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