What’s in My Hospital Bag the Second Time Around

 What's in my hospital bag the second time around- First time advice from a second time mom! C-section hospital bag check list

Hospital Bag Packing List

How ironic is it that just one year ago I wrote a blog post titled “If I Could Repack My Hospital bag” and here I am… repacking a hospital bag!

Just three more weeks until we are scheduled to meet our second little girl! I packed a lot of non-essentials the first time and learned a lot about what you really need and what you do NOT need when you head to the hospital. Here’s the details on what I’m packing this year for the hospital!

What to Pack for Mama

Robe

An absolute must have for the hospital! I’m packing two this year, one that I was ok with getting dirty and special ones for pictures with my girls (insert heart eye emoji here). I knew of a few brands that had matching robes and swaddles for baby, but I wanted Emmy to be included! I searched high and low for a shop that could make outfits for all three of us!

Emmy and I got pretty excited the day our robes came and tried them on for size!What's In my Hospital Bag The Second Time Around. I learned alot after having my first daughter with what I REALLY needed when it came to making the big trip!

We ordered a matching swaddle and headband for little sis too! You can order them from Comfy Mommys Etsy shop here.

What's In My Hospital Bag The Second Time Around... I learned alot after the birth of my first daughter as so what you ACTUALLY need!

Nursing Bras

I know I have mentioned these bras dozens of times on my blog, but I really do love them! I’ll be taking the Kindred Braverly nursing bras with me again! The reason I think I favor these bras so much over others is because of how thick the band is. It comes down low in the back which gives me extra support.

I also packed a regular nursing bra just in case.

Slippers

I’ll be delivering in November so with the cold weather I’ll be taking my Ugg slippers. I think I have had them for about 10 years now and always love pulling them out when the cooler months come!

I will also be taking a pair of those $2 Old Navy flip flops for the shower.

ChapStick

So I’m not sure how much I will use my ChapStick this time around since I am not laboring, but I depended on it so much last time that I can’t risk leaving it behind.

When you are in labor for a long time and constantly mouth breathing, your lips get very dry. Now I know I won’t be able to eat or drink the day of my C-section so I assume that may caused them to be chapped? Either way, mint flavored Chapstick is so refreshing!

Clothes for coming home

I had a hard time with this one. Last time, I delivered in July so I woke a Maxi dress home. It was great because it left my C-section incision without irritation from a pant waist. This year, it will be much cooler. So I decided to just take leggings and a oversized, light weight, long sleeve t-shirt. I will honestly probably just wear my slippers home, but packed my go-to mom shoes just in case.

We live about 5 minutes from the hospital (if even that) so I can change back into my robe and comfy clothes quickly!

My Own Towel

Hospital towels are like sand paper. If you have the room, take your own. It’s just one more thing that will make you feel comfortable.

Toiletries

Besides the obvious items like toothbrush and toothpaste, a few of my must have items: dry shampoo and Colgate Wisps. Because I am having a C-section, I will not be able to walk for some time, meaning I will not be able to get up and brush my teeth. It drove me CRAZY last time. So I’m taking these nifty little disposable toothbrushes with me!

What's In my Hospital Bag The Second Time Around

Just as a side note: to save space, I did spend about $10 and purchase travel sizes for all the necessities (shampoo, toothpaste, etc.) I also figured in the event that baby comes early, I don’t want to have to remember to grab my deodorant, body wash and all the other bathroom items. I would rather just be prepared and have it all ready to go!

Button Up Pajamas

Last time I took nursing night gowns and they were very difficult to breastfeed in. This time, I’m taking night gowns and 1 pajama and shirt set that button up the front. It will make is to much easier for baby to breastfeed!

My Camera

I recently took the plunge and bought myself a big girl camera. I did not take NEAR enough photos when Emmy was born (or what I did take came out looking terrible on my iPhone) and I really regret it. With the camera pack I bought, it came with a ton of extras, including a carrying bag. I have it ready to go with an extra battery, extra memory card, a few different lenses and other gadgets. I am really looking forward to being able to capture some of my OWN photos of my little one!

Extra Long Phone Charging Cord

I had to spend a night in the hospital at 35 weeks with this pregnancy and one of the things I noticed was there was no outlet even remotely close to my hospital bed. So I ordered a phone charger with a 10 foot cord (it actually came with 2, so Jay gets one too!)! With having Emmy away from us for so long, I just really wanted to be sure I could have my phone close by at all times!

What to Pack for Baby Daddy

sweater

They keep the hospital cooooooold. Like poor hubs teeth were chattering last time. He had to ask his parents to stop by our house and bring him warmer clothes when they first came to meet Emmy. I personally didn’t think it was THAT bad (blame the extreme rush or hormones) but I was also under a lot of blankets in bed.

pillows

Much like the towels, hospital pillows suck. Take a few extra so that he can get a good nights rest. If you are worried about them getting dirty, buy a few cheap cases that you can throw away.

Snacks

Trail mix, protein bars, anything quick and easy is best! My husband is OBSESSED with Belvita crackers so we packed a few of those as well. Last time we took enough to feed a small arm, this time we are toning it down… a lot.

A little daddy gift

Luckily, my husband doesn’t read my blog… if he did I wouldn’t be able to share this! All of us girls have our cute little matching robes so I wanted to get something fun for him too, so I ordered him this baby daddy t-shirt. He will probably act all cool and play it off when I give it to him, but I know he will love it and secretly be really excited to wear it. I’ll update with picture of him in it once I’ve got them!

What to pack For Baby

Boppy pillow

This was one of the BIGGEST life savers my first time around. My IV cords made it very difficult for be to get a good handle on baby when nursing. Especially when it came to switching sides. The boppy made it so so so much easier!

Coming home outfit

I’m getting a little emotional even thinking about it. This year, we are taking the same coming home outfit that we took for Emmy last year. It isn’t anything soo special, just a onesie, leggings and jacket, that way no matter the weather, we are prepared!

Halo Swaddlers

I did not discover the Halo Swaddlers until Emmy was around 2 months old. We unfortunately had to throw all of hers away after she outgrew them (thanks diaper blowouts) and so I was sure to order 2 in every size for new baby. While I love the good ol’ fashioned hospital blankets, these are just so much easier to maneuver and stay in place no matter how many times you pass baby around.

Pacifiers

We are a binky family! I used them to soothe Emmy until she was about 3 months old and plan to do the same with #2. We also are going to be using “ellie” again to help keep the pacifier from falling out of baby’s reach.

A few other things to note that we are doing differently from last year:

  • My husband and I are packing ONE rolling suitcase bag. Last year we each had an over the shoulder bag and it was just too much work (for him, not me 🙂 obviously)
  • Last year, I made Padsicles. Obviously, with knowing I will be having a C-section, I’m not making them. If you plan to delivery vaginally, I would definitely suggest making a batch! You can see the DIY instructions here

How To Get Better Sleep While Pregnant

It’s no secret that getting a good nights rest while pregnant can be tough. You’re huge. You’re hot. You only have 1 choice of sleeping position. It’s tough stuff. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but once baby gets here, you will most likely be sleeping less (read: you will ABSOLULETLY be sleeping less). So it’s important to rest up while you can and build some good habits to help you catch more ZZZ’s.

How to get better sleep while pregnant

 

  1. Taper off the water drinking as night time approaches

As pregnant woman, we know the importance of drinking water throughout the day. I’m guilty of looking at the clock at 5 PM and thinking “I’ve only had two glasses today!” so I’ll run to my fridge and fill up my mego preggo drinking mug and start chugging for the next few hours. This leads to me needed to get up multiple time after laying down to go to the restroom.

Aim to have you water drinking goals completed BY 5 p.m. so you can give your body plenty of time to work through the fluids before bed time.

2.Turn down the temp

While pregnant, your body temperature is an average of 2 degrees higher than it is when you are not pregnant. Add on the sheets and covers and it can get pretty steamy when bed time rolls around. Crank down the AC 2-3 degrees (or more if your little heart desires) to make yourself comfortable enough to get some rest.

3. Wind down 30 minutes before bed time

Start prepping your body and mind to relax. No more cell phone, iPad or TV time within 30 minutes of the time you plan to crawl into bed. These type of things keep your mind active and it can be tough to wind down and get your mind set for bed time. Try something else to relax yourself such as a warm bath or a good read.

4. Use calming oils and drops

I’ve been a huge fan of the lavender scents in my diffuser since I hit my second trimester (read more about safe essential oils during pregnancy here). I have also come to love Good Night from Birth Sing Botanicals.

Good Night for Pregnancy Insomnia

You may think the bottle looks familiar… it should! If you’ve read my post on how I increased my breastmilk production in 48 hours, you know that I give most of the credit to Let There Be Milk, also from Birth Song Botanicals. These drops are 100% natural and contain chamomile, valerian root and other pregnancy safe herbs. When I take the drops, I feel like it’s not only easier for me to get relaxed and comfortable, but I am able to actually STAY asleep, versus waking every 45 minutes like I usually do!

5. Make your bed comfy

As you probably know, sleeping flat on your back becomes a pregnancy no-no around 24 weeks. But sleeping on your side isn’t always the most comfortable. Whatever it is you need to make your side of the bed as comfy as possible, GET IT! For some, it’s extra pillows. I splurged this pregnancy and bought a Snoogle. It’s this massive wrap around pillow that basically leaves a small 2 foot section of the bed for my husband but it is OH SO PERFECT for me!

Snoogle pregnancy pillow. The BEST pillow to help you sleep better while pregnant

6. Keep naps short and sweet

If you are fortunate enough to get in a nap during the day, try to keep it under 45 minutes total. Anything more than that could end up making it harder to get a solid nights sleep.

7. When all else fails, remind your body how tired you are.

Instead of just lying there tossing and turning, get up and do something. Sometimes just a simple trip to the kitchen for a little drink of water really brings on my drowsiness and makes it much easier to fall asleep once I return to bed. Don’t go crazy and start baking a three-tier cake, but do something small to get your mind off the task of getting some rest.

 


 

DIY Stretch Mark Cream for Pregnancy

Homemade stretch mark prevention cream for pregnancy

I’ll admit I was VERY concerned about stretch marks with baby #1. Now with baby #2, I haven’t worried as much, mostly because baby #1 keeps me so occupied that I don’t have the time.

So my stretch mark prevention routine has had to be short and simple this go around. Since I found out I was pregnant around 6 weeks gestation, I started using stretch mark cream. Originally, I  had ordered this cream, but after my first tub ran out in just about a few weeks time, I decided to make my own!  I had most of the products in my house already but did have to order a few to complete the recipe.

Be sure to also read up on what measures you need to take from the inside to prevent stretch marks. (hydration and proper nutrition also play a huge role!)

What I love most about this recipe is you can really add anything else you would like into it. You can add lavender for scent (also helps with stretch mark prevention), shea butter or cocoa butter. I’ve also heard that Sweet Almond oil works wonders. Just be sure to research any products before adding to make sure they are safe during pregnancy!

  • 1 Cup Organic Coconut Oil (purchased from local grocery store but you can order online here)
  • 1 Tablespoon Vitamin E Oil (for my first batch I used Vitamin E capsules I had on hand already and just poked a hole in them to remove the liquid. It took forever though and was really messy so I ordered a small bottle for my second batch)
  • 1/2 tbsp. Frankincense Oil (ordered online here)

To make:

Put 1 cup of Coconut oil in microwave safe bowl and heat for 10 second, it will become a clear liquid. Add Vitamin E Oil and Frankincense. Stir well and add to whatever jar you would like to store the cream in. Place in refrigerator for 40 minutes.

Once you remove from the fridge, the cream can be stored at room temperature. The oil will harden again but turn to liquid form after just a few second in your hand which makes it easy to spread.


What’s in My Hospital Bag the Second Time Around
How To Get Better Sleep While Pregnant
DIY Stretch Mark Cream for Pregnancy

How You Can Make Money As A Stay-At-Home mom

11 ways to make money as a stay at home momma

(psst…don’t forget to click the  pin it button on the image above so you can easily reference this list down the road!)

Whether you’re staying home with one kiddo or ten, it’s common for us stay-at-home mommas to want to being in a little extra cash. Here’s a list of 11 opportunities to help increase your income each month.

Blogger

There are bloggers out there who make over 150k per month! There are THOUSANDS who make over 10k per month. A beginner blogger can easily bring in 5k with proper training. I personally make full-time income from my blog

Let me give you a little more insight into my experience that helped me start this blog:

  • Website building experience: none. Unless you count adding the glittery effect to my MySpace back in 2005.
  • Online Marketing Experience: also, none.
  • Graphic design experience: none.
  • Blogging experience: Obviously, none.

But I was determined to start! So I researched. And I took courses. And I read eBooks. And I worked my little blogging butt off for a solid 3 months to get things up and running. Heck, I still work hard! But it’s paying off!

I’d love to help you get your blog started! You can visit my website dedicated to helping other achieve their blogging goals at The Basics of Blogging.

I have 2 eBooks I have written to share my strategies I used (and still use daily) to run a full-time income blog.  You can read more about them and download them here.

Virtual Assistant

Many business owners and bloggers will hire a VA to complete work that they are not able to do, yet they are not to the point where they need to hire a full-time employee. Some of the services may be minor, such as answering emails, updating their calendar or transcribing. Some VA’s offer more specialized services in social media management and up keeping customer management systems.

The great thing about being a VA is you can start small, aim to learn new skills with each client and really expand your knowledge base as you go.

VA’s usually charge by the hour. I have inquired to many and have found ones who charge anywhere from $15-$30 per hours, although I’m sure more experienced VA’s could charge more.

Tip- If you are serious about starting a VA role, I would highly consider building a website to showcase yourself! You will want to have a page that highlights your skills, a list of services you offer, some details about what sets you apart from the competition and a contact page. It’s super easy to build for free! You can view the free tutorial I wrote on how to start a blog here.

 

eBates

I’m sure you can’t wait to tell your husband this… but you can get PAID for shopping. Chances are, you have heard of Ebates. They pay out quarterly and some moms report payments of over 4k each quarter!

Let’s say you have a dog. At the time of this post, PetSmart is in the “double cash back” category. So you purchase your dogs food, maybe a few toys, some treats, you get 6% cash back on it! A few other notable names: Macy’s American Eagle, J Crew! I’d suggest signing up just to see which stores are there that you are already shopping at! You can sign up here!

Freelance Writer

If you’ve got a passion for words than this could be perfect for you! While it may take some time to build up your portfolio and make the right connections, there is a lot of money to be made in Freelance Writing! Elna Cain has an awesome tutorial and free course on her website here.

Transcribing

If you consider yourself a good listener, have a high command in the English language, and a decent typing speed, then transcribing could be great for you! Companies will either pay you based on the project or by the minute of audio. You will need to have a few minor pieces of equipment to do this from home (computer, headphones and foot pedal, which you can find on Amazon.)

TranscribeMe hires brand new transcribers with no previous experience.  They pay by the transcription and pay weekly!

 

Survey Taker

Taking Surveys won’t bring in full-time income, but it can bring in a bit of extra cash. SwagBucks and SurveyJunkie  are two of the more popular programs and you can complete the surveys from you phone most of the time! They range in length and you do have to qualify for them based on what type of information they are looking for.

Amazon Virtual Locations Employee

It’s no surprise that the LARGEST online retailer in the world has a ton of remote location jobs! While some of them are super specialized, a majority are customer service based position. At the time of writing this post there are exactly 199 jobs posted on their virtual locations page!

Publish eBooks

If you have an expertise in any area, you have the potential to write and sell eBook! The possibilities of topics are endless and there are a ton of ways to create, market and sell your eBooks!

I created all of my eBooks for free and use a third-party host to help me take care of the transactions and delivery of the products. Amazon has a super easy platform for selling eBooks if you do now own your own website.

Etsy

If you have any sort of crafty talent (I’m not ashamed to say I have ZERO!) than you should be sharing your skills with the world and selling your materials on Etsy! The possibilities are endless! A friend of mine just posted a picture of the gift she purchased her husband for their one year anniversary off of Etsy- A Hand Stitched Family Portrait. How cute is that? Some talented human is making those from home! There are some small fee’s to sell you products on Etsy, but they are minimal! More details here.

Photography

This is a skill I wish I had SO BADLY! It’s such a great way to make money while being very creative! Plus, you are helping others capture memories that will last forever!

Starting a photography business does take skill, work and equipment. To start your business, you may have to do some work for free in order to build up your portfolio. Be sure to pick a target audience that works for your schedule. Weddings will mean you work on the weekends, but doing newborn or children’s photos could mean squeezing in a shoot time during the day.

I know a lot of photographers that have their studio set up in their homes for added convenience.

Start a at-home day care

The more the merrier, right?

If you feel there is a need in your area for more day care options, take some time to see if this could be right for you. There will be some technicalities and documentation you will have to sort out (depending on your state), but it is a great way to bring in ALOT of extra money if you are already staying home with one baby!

Rosemarie of The Busy Budgeter has an awesome guide to starting your own. Check it out here.

Have any opportunities to add to the list? Comment below and share!

Be sure to read these money saving tips too:


The 4 Nursing Bras Every Breastfeeding Mama Needs

The Four Nursing Bras every Breastfeeding Mama Needs

As your due date nears, I’m sure you are stocking up on all things baby, but there are some things you need to stock up on for mama too! Here’s a list of the four types of nursing bras you should have on hand!

Sleep Bra

Now that you are producing milk, sleeping bra less is not really an option. You’ll wake up in a puddle of your own milk if you don’t have nursing pads in. So you’ll want something comfy that doesn’t make what little sleep you may be getting any less dreamy.

My pick: I love the Kindred Braverly bra. These were all I wore when I was in the hospital and I was SO thankful I packed them in my hospital bag. I think what makes them so great is how low they come on my back. I have also experienced a wide variety of breast size from milk coming in and then leveling out and this bra has worked through them all.

Sports Bra

You probably won’t be doing a lot of “sporting” in those first few days after pregnancy, but as the weeks pass, you may get out and take baby for a walk around the block. Once you’ve been cleared by your doctor, you may even be back in the gym! Make sure you have a large enough sports bra for your more endowed chest and one where you can easily feed baby before, after or even during your work out.

I always prefer something that comes up a little higher on my chest while working out. My recommendation: The Gratlin Womens Nursing Sports Bra. This bra comes low on the sides of my boobs (a lot like the Kindred Sleep bra) that just makes everything feel a bit more supported. I have a nursing sports bra from a big name maternity store with just a wee bit of fabric underneath and my breasts almost always fold right over it and have no support.

 

Underwire

Before any of you freak out that I am suggesting this, hear me out. I understand this is somewhat controversial. Some believe that the underwire can cause lack of blood flow which will in turn hurt production. But I believe ANY bra that doesn’t fit properly could also do this. There is no direct evidence linking wearing a underwire bra to low breast milk production. But for ANY bra you pick out, you want to make sure it fits properly.

I purchased all of my nursing bras from Motherhood Maternity, and I spent a pretty penny on them. It’s one of the 5 big buck baby items I don’t regret splurging on.

I have been wearing my nursing bras for over a year now. I’m not even breastfeeding anymore but I love the way they fit! While I ordered every other bra online, I think it’s important to try on your every day bra in store to make sure it fits properly.

 

Pumping bra

When I was searching for a hands free pumping bra, I remember thinking “Do I really need this? Can’t I just hold the parts while I pump?”. I am so happy I didn’t listen to my hesitations because YES, YOU DO NEED THIS!

Being able to pump hands free saved my sanity. I can’t even begin to list the tasks I did while pumping. I would do my make up, blow dry my hair, fold laundry, answer emails. The list of possibilities is endless. And as a new mom, being able to knock out things on your to-do list while also pumping makes you feel like a superstar.

I ended up with two pumping bras. One was awful, it was basically just two a bunch of strings that were supposed to hold my pump parts in place but they never did. I seriously only used it once.

My Suggestion: Simple Wish Zip up Hands Free Pump Bra. The main reason I loved this bra was convenience.  I would simply pull the flaps of my bra down (like I would if I was nursing baby) and start pumping.

It can be tricky when picking a size when it comes to breastfeeding boobs. They change size like 100 times in the first 3 months after baby comes. Again, that is why I highly recommend this bra. You can adjust it up to 10 inches!


How to Increase Your Milk Supply in 48 Hours
Breastfeeding and Alcohol- How much is OK?
Is My Baby Getting Enough to Eat?

25+ Baby Cribs Under $250

25+ Baby Cribs Under $250

I’m officially in my 6th month of pregnancy! Unlike my first pregnancy where I had the entire nursery complete by the end of the first trimester, I definitely feel like I need to get a move on things! I have bedding and décor picked out, but still searching for the perfect furniture set.

As usual, I want to find great quality, cute items at a great price. So I’ve pulled together 25+ cribs for under $250!

P.s. you also have to check out our glider guide!  


Camden 4 in 1 Convertible Crib by Child Craft. Available here.

25+ Baby Cribs Under $250


Monarch Hill Ivy Standard Crib by Little Seeds. Available here.

25+ Baby Cribs Under $250


Eddie Bauer Hayworth 4-in-1 Convertible Crib by baby Relax. Available here.

25+ Baby Cribs Under $250


Quinn 4-in-1 Convertible Crib by Fisher Price. Available here. 25+ Baby Cribs Under $250


New Haven 4-in-1 Convertible Crib by Delta Children. 6 color options. Available here.

25+ Baby Cribs Under $250


Del Mar 5-in-1 Convertible Crib by Fisher Price. Available here.

25+ Baby Cribs Under $250


Westbourne Crib  by Viv + Rae. Available here.

25+ Baby Cribs Under $250


Sierra Ridge Terra Standard Crib by Little Seeds. Available here. 25+ Baby Cribs Under $250

 


Chesapeake 5-in-1 Convertible Crib by Dream on Me. Available here. 25+ Baby Cribs Under $250


Carter’s by DaVinci Kenzie 4-in-1 Convertible Crib. Also comes in white. Available here.

25+ Baby Cribs Under $250


Jenny Lind 3-in-1 Convertible Crib with Conversion Kit by DaVinci. Available here25+ Baby Cribs Under $250


Charlotte 5-In-1 Convertible Crib by Dream on Me. Available here.

25+ Baby Cribs Under $250


The Brooke Crib by Viv + Rae. Comes in NAVY BLUE TOO! Available here.25+ Baby Cribs Under $250


Delaney 4-in-1 Convertible Crib by Child Craft. Available here.  

25+ Baby Cribs Under $250


Stork Craft Tuscany 4-in-1 Convertible Crib by Stork Craft (5 color options). Available here.

25+ Baby Cribs Under $250


Carter’s by DaVinci Morgan 4-in-1 Convertible Crib. Available here.

25+ Baby Cribs Under $250


Carter’s by DaVinci Colby 4-in-1 Convertible Crib with Trundle Drawer. 3 color options. Available here.

25+ Baby Cribs Under $250


London Stationary 3-in-1 Convertible Crib. Available here.

25+ Baby Cribs Under $250


Bailey 4-in-1 Convertible Crib by Dream on Me. Available here. 25+ Baby Cribs Under $250


Charlotte Traditional Crib by Fisher-Price. Available in gray & white. Available here.

25+ Baby Cribs Under $250


Check out more baby gear posts below:

The 4 Nursing Bras Every Breastfeeding Mama Needs
25+ Baby Cribs Under $250
Baby’s First Halloween Costume Ideas

 

 

Questions You Must Ask During a Hospital Maternity Tour

 50+ Questions You Must Ask During your

General Hospital Questions

  • Where is the best place to park and entrance to use when we arrive at the hospital? Are there only certain entrances that are open during late night hours?
  • Where should our guests park when they come to visit?
  • What are the food options for my partner and our guests? What are the hours of these options? Can we bring in outside food?
  • Is there wireless internet available in the hospital?

Be sure to also check out:

The Not So Beautiful Side of Pregnancy. Gross things no one talks about.

Room Logistics

  • Are there separate sections for laboring mothers and post-delivery? If so, are the spaces private or shared?
  • If shared, is it possible for me to request a private room? Is there additional cost for a private room?
  • Are all of the rooms similar to the one being shown on the tour?
  • On average, how many woman are checked into the labor and delivery floor each day?
  • Is the L&D floor ever full? If so, what happens?
  • Is there a space for my partner to sleep in my room with me?
  • Is this a teaching hospital? If so, can I request that students or residents not be active in my labor and delivery?
  • What are the food options provided for mothers?
  • Details on the NICU Unit- what level NICU is it? Where is it located?

You might also like:

Labor and Delivery Questions

  • Are mothers initially examined before checking in if their water has not broken? If so, where does the exam take place? What are the requirements to be checked in? Do you have to be dilated to a certain point?
  • Once I am checked in, who will be allowed in the labor room? Partner? Midwife? Family? Is there a limit as to how many people can be in the room?
  • Am I able to eat or drink while in labor? What are the options?
  • What pain management options are available here?
  • What percentage of births at this hospital are natural, with no pain management intervention?
  • Who should I give my birth plan to?
  • If my birth plan includes equipment that you do not provide at the hospital, can I bring my own?
  • Are there any common requests seen in a birth plan that are not allowed at this hospital?
  • Can I play music in my hospital room?
  • Am I able to control the lighting in the room when the Doctor is not performing exams?
  • What type of fetal monitoring is offered at this hospital? Do you have wireless and if so, it the mother able to be mobile while on wireless?
  • Am I able to bring my own labor and delivery gown or do you require we use hospital issued?
  • What are the policies on skin-to-skin? Can it happen immediately after birth? For both natural birth and c-section.

Be sure to read:

If I could repack my hospital bag

Postpartum Questions

  • In the case that my baby needs to be examined after birth, will he or she be taken out of my room? In what scenarios would I be separated from my baby?
  • What medications or shots does your hospital give as standard practice? How can I elect out of these for my baby if we are not comfortable with it?
  • Is there a lactation consultant on site 24 hours a day?
  • Do you provide breast pumps in the case that they are needed?
  • What is the hospitals views on formula feeding? Do they support it?
  • In what cases would my baby not be with me immediately following delivery?
  • Are those circumstances different if I have a C-section?
  • How soon will I be able to do skin-to-skin with my baby?
  • How soon will I be able to eat after delivery? (if not able to eat during labor)
  • What are the visiting hours? Is there a limit to the number of people? Are children allowed to visit?
  • What type of security is there to keep me and baby connected?
  • What type of security is there for non-patients entering the maternity wing?

Time to chime in mama’s! What other questions are on your mind that you are anxiously awaiting to ask the hospital?


The Third Trimester Checklist

The Third Trimester Checklist. Every thing moms-to-be need to do!

I cannot believe that I am saying this, but I am nearing my third trimester. How is this even possible? I feel like it was just yesterday that I was announcing we were expecting!

But here we are! The big day will be here before I know it. I’ve always been the list making type, so I’ve put together a list of the big things that need to be taken care of in these last few weeks:

Pack your Hospital Bag

It’s the most important bag you will ever pack! Read up on what I would change if I had a chance to go back and re-pack mine here.

Prepare baby’s Car Seat

You want to be able to take your time installing to be sure you have done it properly. You will also want to give yourself enough time to have it inspected to make sure it is 100% safe for baby. Do this around your 34th week of pregnancy.

Have a pediatrician selected

You will have to provide this information to the hospital before leaving. More importantly. you want to give yourself time to pick the best one. Check out our guide to selecting one here.

Clean House

You may not need to technically “add” this one to your list. As a mama to be, your natural nesting instincts will kick in and you will want to clean top to bottom. Be sure you are using cleaning items that are safe for you and baby and don’t hesitate to reach out for help if needed.

Wash baby clothes

Always leave this for last. The gifts will continue to flow in and you want to wash and organize all at once to make it easier on yourself. Make sure you are using detergent that is safe for baby!

Contact your Insurance

Every insurance company and coverage plan has their own policies. With my first child, I called didn’t have to do much before hand, but I still made the call to let them know when I was being induced. They gave me some information on how long I could stay, where I was with my deductible, etc. However, for my second baby, my new issuance requires pre-authorization for my C-section which is a whole drawn out process I have already started. Make the call early on in your third trimester to make sure you give yourself enough time to get any extra paperwork complete.

Preregister at the hospital

This one goes hand and hand with #6. When it’s go time for baby, you don’t have time to fill out paperwork, provide copies of insurance and ID. Pre-registering makes it so you can walk in and get the baby delivery show on the road.

Prepare Parents Room for Baby

While baby’s nursery is probably already cute as can be and fully stocked, do you have your room ready for baby? He or she will be sleeping close by you for up to the first year. You will need to make sure you have all that important supplies close by to keep you from running back and forth between baby’s room. We even went so far as to move baby’s glider into our bedroom so I could feed comfortably in the middle of the night.


More pregnancy Reads:

The {Not So} Beautiful Side of Pregnancy

The Not So Beautiful Side of Pregnancy. Gross things no one talks about.

Pregnancy. A time when you are supposed to feel like a gorgeous, human making, glowing goddess, Right? Well, yes, at times you will. But at other times you may feel not so stunning. While pregnancy can be beautiful and breath taking, it can also be gross. The thing is, no one really talks about the gross stuff. Sure, morning sickness is well known. But there is a whole lot more to it than just that. So let’s get is out in the open and talk about the not so beautiful side to pregnancy.

Bloating and gas

During pregnancy, a pleasant little hormone called Progesterone is on the rise. You are going to here about this hormone ALOT in this post. Progesterone loosens up the gastrointestinal muscles leading to lots of gas. And it may, er, smell worse than usual. Prepare yourself. And maybe your husband.

Acne

A hormone called androgens is to blame here. It is responsible for making your skin a bit more oily in the first and second trimester which can lead to acne. You can try out all natural remedies such as Apple Cider Vinegar. I have been using this since I first found out I was expecting and have been pretty surprised by it’s effectiveness. I mixed 2 parts ACV with 1 part water. I added it to a small spray bottle and use nightly. Simply spray a small amount on cotton ball and apply to face. The smell vanishes in just a few minutes!

Hair. (as in body hair, not the kind on your head)

This is one of those bitter sweet parts of pregnancy. While your locks may have never looked more luscious, you are also sprouting hair in other places that you may have never seen before (hello there, chin whisker).

Constipation

Progesterone, so nice to see you again. We warned you. He’s back again to loosen up those much needed digestive tract muscles, leading to a bowl movement back up. There are foods you can eat to help move things along as well as some gentle, non- stimulating stool softeners. Check with your doctor to see what the best avenue is to get things going again.

Hemorrhoids

Doesn’t the word itself just make your cringe a little. Yeah, me too. For some women, this may not occur until after labor and delivery, but for some, they can come earlier due to constipation and your expanding uterus. Luckily, they will ease up after baby is here, but may have small flare ups for some time. Lucky us! I would suggest pre-ordering some witch hazel soaked pads to have at home after delivery. They will help reduce the inflammation in the hemorrhoids and make them less painful.  You can find them on Amazon here. If you are planning on making your own post-delivery “padsicles”, you can use the witch hazel from that recipe too!

Bleeding Gums

One morning, you are going to spit into the sink after a brush and it’s going to look like you may have just finished a boxing match. And lost. But your bleeding gums are not something to be concerned about. Much like #7.

Nose bleeds

Again with the bleeding. Your increased blood supply can cause your expanded ( and more delicate) blood vessels in your nose to rupture more easily. While it can be scary, it’s usually not cause for concern and can be stopped by just pinching the nose for 20-30 seconds. Reach out to your doctor if they nose bleeds occur frequently or last for longer than a few minutes.

Heart Burn

Get the Tums ready. Heart burn during pregnancy sucks. The same hormone that is relaxing your digestive tract is also causing your muscles in your esophagus to relax, meaning they aren’t controlling the acid as well. A glass of milk always helps.

Skin Tags

You’re body is working overtime to grow all these wonderful little body parts for baby, and in the mean time it might grow a little extra skin for you too. Skin tags are likely to pop up in high friction areas. They are harmless and unless they are really bothersome, can be left. It they drive you bonkers, see your dermatologist about having them removed.

Sweat

So much sweat. Again, your body is working like a machine set to overdrive to make that baby. This may lead to sweaty pits. And sweaty boobs. And face. And anywhere else that may seem unpleasant.

Alright mama’s, it’s time to chime in! I want to know what items you think are missing from this list. What gross things happened to you during pregnancy that you weren’t expecting?


Check out more pregnancy reads:

What’s in My Hospital Bag the Second Time Around
How To Get Better Sleep While Pregnant
DIY Stretch Mark Cream for Pregnancy

The Pregnancy Must Haves

Pregnancy Must Haves from Swaddles n' Bottles

Welp,  baby #2 is on the way! Little Emmy is beyond ecstatic to be a big sister (read: she has no idea how much her world is about to change) and Jay is convinced we are bound to have nothing but girls! All the while, I am over here trying to prepare myself for the months ahead. The morning sickness has been making itself very present (all day, every day) since about 6 weeks and my body is already starting to ache! As soon as the test came back with two pink lines, I began gathering my pregnancy must -haves. Here’s what I will e depending on over the next couple months to make this wonderful experiences even more wonderful!

Prenatal Vitamins

As soon as the test came back positive, this was the first thing that went through my mind! I need to start taking vitamins! Luckily, I had about 10 days of supply left over from Emmy and was able to order more on Amazon. Of course, there are dozens of brands of prenatal vitamins that will do the trick, but always make sure they have DHA! This brand has been my go-to now for both pregnancies. I like that they are soft gels and easy to swallow. Find them here.

Natual Prenatal Vitamins with DHA

Fight Morning Sickness

The morning sickness may only last for a few months, but it makes its presence very strong in that short time. I did an entire post on all my favorite snacks and home remedies used to fight morning sickness with Emmy. While I continued using these methods for baby #2 (including the Pink Stork Morning Sickness Tea)  I added in a few new Pink Stork products as well. My new favorite: the aromatherapy necklace. It’s basically a diffuser you are able to wear around your neck! Pink Stork has an awesome essential oil just for morning sickness and it works wonders! I never wore my necklace at night, but I would use the same essential oils in my bedside diffuser to help with the 4 A.M. nausea that seemed to happen every. single. night! A few other products I used daily were the Prenatal Probiotic (for general gut health), Cocolaurin and the Away Bars. The Away Bars were basically protein bars for pregnant woman! They don’t contain any drugs or unnatural foods that you might find in other protein bars.  I was a little worried that they were blueberry flavor (didn’t sound good to my pregnant appetite), but it was surprisingly mild and tasted a lot like a blueberry muffin!

Pink Stork Away Bars to Fight Morning Sickness

Pink Stork Away Bars- Blueberry Flavor

The Pink Stork Aromatherapy Necklace. I placed a few drops of their essential oils onto the lava rock inside the necklace and the small lasts all day!

The Pink Stork Aromatherapy Necklace. I placed a few drops of their essential oils onto the lava rock inside the necklace and the small lasts all day!

Pregnancy Pillow

To my dismay, my hip and sciatic nerve pain returned WAY earlier than I had first encountered when pregnant with Emmy. Isn’t it funny how one of the biggest symptoms your feel in your first trimester is exhaustion, yet you cannot sleep to save you life?! I tossed and turned all night in my first trimester attempting to get comfortable and ease the pain in my back. The pain almost completely disappeared when I started using the Snoogle. I actually learned about this product before I was pregnant through Facebook. A friend posted how it was the only relief she could find in her third trimester. With Emmy, I had used one of those straight body pillow and with the little relief it had provided, I had written off pregnancy pillows all together thinking they didn’t work. Wrong. This one seriously works! Plus I love how many different ways I can use it. I’m currently using it with the long part across my stomach. Once I hit the point that I can no longer sleep on my back, I plan on flipping it to keep me from rolling over in the middle of the night.

The Snoogle- Sleeping Support for the expectant mama

 

Belly Support Band

As baby gets bigger, the bump gets heavier. Around 6 months, I started wearing a maternity support band with Emmy. It really relieved a lot of pressure from my back. I bought one that sat below the belly (like this one) and it was not visible under my clothes.  I have also seen them at Babies R’ Us as well! Make sure it is adjustable in size so you can continue to wear it as you grow and BREATHABLE! When you add your maternity pant waist and a shirt ON TOP of the band, it can get very hot quickly if it is not a breathable material.

Tummy Butter

Ahhh, the tiger stripe scars that come with pregnancy. They are your warrior stripes that show you have done a task only a woman can do and created life. But it’s still nice to try to combat them from taking over! This pregnancy I am giving Tummy Butter a try! I like the fact that the products are 100% natural. Did you know it only takes 26 seconds for toxins to make their way into your blood stream? That fact was enough to make me decide I wanted to play it save and go the natural path. You can find it here.

Tummy Butter- a 100% natural stretch mark prevention cream

*30 week pregnancy update: while this product ended up working great, I decided to start making my own stretch mark cream! Get the recipe here.

Water Bottle

If you aren’t a water drinker, you better get used to having to down allllot of h2o everyday. It’s a great way to fight stretch marks and also essential to healthy breast milk production once baby is here.  With this pregnancy, I found that anything other than ice cold water didn’t sit well. It would usually make me pretty nauseous. So I ordered an Artic cup and  special straws for it. It seriously keeps my water cold for like 12 hours straight. I keep it on my night stand and it is so nice and refreshing in the middle of the night. I aim to drink about 5 full cups a day. Some days it happens and some days is doesn’t, but I can definitely say I am drinking more than I used to!

Maternity Leggings

These are not just a pregnancy must have, they are a mom life must have. I own more pairs of leggings than I ever have before! While I’ve got a bump, I practically live in my Blanqui Maternity Leggings. Motherhood Maternity also makes a great pair and they are a fraction of the price of the Blanqui brand! Maternity leggings are also great for after baby comes and you are breastfeeding. They hide your belly well in the case that you have to lift up your shirt when it comes time to feed!