Monday, September 23, 2013

Welcoming my new Money Hip Baby! (My Favorite Things for Pregnancy, Labor, and Newborns)

Well, this blog just hit a couple milestones. We reached over 10,000 views per month (thanks everyone for reading!) and... I just had another Money Hip Baby!
A little over a week ago I had my second baby, my first totally natural birth (to a 9-pounder, no less). It has been a beautiful experience. I am about 1,000 times less stressed this time around than I was with my first. So in celebration of this beautiful new baby, I thought I'd throw together a list of the things that have helped me the most throughout my pregnancy, labor & delivery, and recovery with a newborn.
I hope you enjoy (and that you'll add your own tips in the comments section)! By the way, if you haven't already liked our Facebook Page, please do so now!
My new little sweetie @ 5 days old. As you can imagine, I am completely smitten


1. The Waiting Game

I know due dates are
just a guideline. But there's something so demoralizing about watching that day come and go, especially when the skin on your stomach is down to one layer in places and rips every time you turn or bend. Yeah, I was ready for this little guy to come.
Me @ 38 Weeks
To help with my complete lack of patience, I created a little game. I call it "progressively more awesome weekends." When you reach the point where you simply can't stand the waiting anymore, sit down and plan a series of weekend dates full of fun stuff you wouldn't otherwise do. That way, it turns your frustration into a win-win. Either you have the baby or you go to that restaurant you love but can't otherwise justify the cost of, etc.

2. Bradley method--Husband Coached Childbirth ($15 from Amazon)

This birthing method was recommended to me by my friend Melanie who'd had a wonderful natural birth with her second baby. My husband and I read the book when I was pregnant with my first son, more out of curiosity than true commitment to wanting a natural birth. When I had my first baby, I had an epidural and without boring/grossing you out with the details, it was a less-than-pleasant delivery and recovery. It was bad enough to cause me to reconsider trying for a natural birth the second time around. I re-read the book (and printed this quick reference guide for my husband to review while I was in labor). I didn't take the Bradley classes, but I took another labor class that had a natural birth emphasis. Long story short, although pushing was horrible (my son was born posterior), it was only twenty minutes (I pushed 3.5 hours with my first) and everything else was awesome. Immediate bonding, great nursing, and an amazing recovery. I'm not against epidurals, but the Bradley Method worked for me.
p.s. I also used some breathing techniques from Hypnobirthing. I found the "breathe in slowly to the count of 20, breathe out slowly to the count of 20" to be especially helpful.

3. Read Birth Stories (Free) -

In addition to The Bradley Method, reading and hearing other people's birth stories was the most helpful thing I did to prepare for childbirth. On this site, you can search birth stories by type (home, hospital, particular methods--Bradley, hypnobirthig, etc.). I wasn't about to have a home birth, so I read all the hospital births instead. I played sports in high school and was a big fan of mental preparation. Reading birth stories was my mental preparation so when Game Time rolled around (and I was really in labor), I'd be ready.

-------LABOR AND DELIVERY-------

4. "Full Term" App (Free) - For Timing Contrations

This is the app I used to time contractions. I love how it shows the length of the last contraction and the averages for both the last hour and the last six hours. Although I hate timing contractions (I'd rather just breathe through them), I see it as my tool to get the labor and delivery staff to believe I need to be admitted.

5. Take Notes

Huge fan of note taking. And now with smart phones, it's so much easier. No pen required and you can do it one handed.
Labor & Delivery - When I wrote up the birth story for my first son, I had a hard time recounting all the details. So this time I took a few brief notes in between contractions with the time and description of what was going on.  My husband took over once I was in transition. It may seem silly but it's fun to have it all documented and it makes writing up the narrative so much easier.
Questions for Doctor - Anyone who is able to remember all their questions with little to no sleep, hats off to you. I like to jot down my questions as I think of them and pull out the list when I go to appointments. And there's something about writing things down that helps take that worry off my mind.


6. Bring Earplugs to the Hospital ($2 from Amazon)

When I had my first, I didn't sleep a wink in the hospital. Not a great way to start a postpartum recovery. A month or so ago, my sister-in-law mentioned bringing earplugs to the hospital. Brilliant. I prefer the Hearos or something similar (cheap and effective). They take some getting used to (I got used to them back when I was studying for and taking the CPA exam), but once you're comfortable with them, they're lifesavers. They were especially necessary this time around, as our mother/baby room was right next to a set of large doors that opened and closed constantly. My husband was staying in the hospital room with me, so whenever I really needed to rest, I'd ask him to wake me if the baby needed me, put in my earplugs and didn't wake up until the nurses came over and physically shook me awake. Yay for sleep!

7. "Nursing Timer" App (Free)

There are probably a million nursing apps out there, but "Nursing Timer" by Creaplay is great and it's (currently) free. It takes a bit to figure out how to use it, but once you do, it's simple and takes all of ten extra seconds per feeding session. If you ever mess something up, it's easy to manually edit. Eventually, I won't need this, but it's great for when they're little and you need to know how long it's been since their last feeding.

8. Swaddle Wraps (Sleep Sack Swaddle - $17 from Amazon, Summer Infant Kiddopotomus SwaddleMe - $10 from Amazon)

Sleep Sack Swaddle
Summer Infant Kiddopotomus SwaddleMe
I love Aden + Anais blankets for swaddling (my 2 year old is still in love with his "blankies"). However, for a baby who loves to be swaddled, but has the strength and agility of a ninja straight out of the womb, you need a little something more. That's what I love these.

9. Do Not Disturb Mode

Obviously this has been a very iPhone pregnancy/childbirth/recovery for me. I usually try to stay somewhat disconnected from technology (e.g. Usually, all phones/technology are outlawed from our room for better sleep). But when you spend hours nursing everyday, having a smartphone is handy. Don't get me wrong, I spend plenty of time just admiring and loving on my new baby (enjoying his rose petal-soft skin). But being able to get stuff done while I'm nursing has allowed me to get more rest when I'm not nursing. But what's to stop me from becoming a slave to constant notifications/calls/texts? From the time I went into labor, I switched my phone to "Do Not Disturb" mode and haven't gone back. Another bonus of having my phone with me is being able to whip it out to document fleeting moments like when my three-day-old newborn smiles at me.
Smiley at 3 Days Old

10. You Tell Me!

As always, #10 comes from the comments section. What has saved your bacon with your pregnancies/labors/newborns?


  1. Great job, Lisa! I also had an epidural with the first, had a stinker of a recovery & went natural with the rest. Keep on taking good care of yourself. Miles is darling. What helped me immensely after my pregnancies was letting go of expectations. Yes, there are women who go home from the hospital in their skinny jeans, women who bring their week old baby to church looking adorable and can have visitors over to their clean house. None of that was me. And that was OK. It was OK for me to be tired, moody, leaky and messy. I had just performed a miracle! That needs recovery time. Oh and Pink Grapefruit lotion from Bath & Body Works. The scent always gave me a lift & it was just about the only scent I could use and not have my babies refuse to nurse.

    1. Awesome tips! I'll have to check out that Pink Grapefruit lotion next time I'm there. I love the smell of grapefruit. And so true about the expectations. Don't you worry--I've been living in my pajamas and wearing zero makeup. :) I heard that tip from one of my baby prep classes: dress in a way to remind guests that you're still recovering.

  2. Not a comment, just a question I've been meaning to ask for a while actually. What is that book you read and were raving about years ago (like 3 years, last time I visited you) .... something about taking charge of your fertility?? Do you know what I'm talking about?

    1. Oh yeah, I should've added that as the best "pre-pregnancy" product. It's called Taking Charge of Your Fertility and I'm a huge fan. Obviously some people have issues that are greater than the scope of that book, but for most people, it's extremely helpful.

    2. I second that. Lisa introduced me to that and it was great for us.

  3. But also, congrats! He is so adorable and I am so happy for you! :)

  4. LOVED this post, Lisa! I usually read all of yours in advance of posting (because I am a blog co-author creeper like that), but I missed this one, so it was a fun surprise.

    Also, for the record, people, Lisa is amazing (responding to Money Hip Mamas emails 1 DAY after she gave birth?!)

  5. Great ideas! I especially love the idea of having fun things planned to do if you go past your due date. That's would've really helped last time around and I'll definitely do that next time. My favorite newborn tip is to use fels naptha, which is a super cheap bar of soap/detergent that is awesome for taking care of diaper blow out messes. I used it at least daily with both my babies and it worked way better than anything else I've found. Just rub some on the clothes with some cold water. I also used an epidural the first time around and didn't love it, so I used the hypnobirthing "self study course" for my second and loved it.

    1. Yes! Thank you, Carina! My aunt told me that stuff was amazing, but I totally forgot about it until now. Thank you for reminding me. I'm adding it to my shopping list right now.
      Glad to hear you liked hypnobirthing! I got the Bradley Method because I could get it free from my library, but I've heard good things about hypnobirthing as well.

  6. Um, you're amazing...and what a handsome little boy!!!


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