Archives for December 2007

Maternity Photography: No more “cutsie”

I’ll never do another cutsie!” vows this photographer. Cutsie maternity shoot, that is. “I want all my clients to be as uninhibited as this one!”

Apparently, “cutsie” is just another word for clothed??

Pregnancy is not a Disability

I was at the airport once, waiting to board my flight, and I overheard a pregnant woman (not even a very pregnanty woman) asking the flight attendant if she could pre-board, as she was pregnant. The stewardess looked at her and said dryly, “I’m sorry honey, pregnancy is not a disability.”

You gotta admit that’s true. On a different note, this blog entry entitled Newsflash: Pregnancy is not a Disability, a self-affirmed male chauvenist blasts his congresswoman for being pregnant.  He’s not very popular at this blog. It’s actually quite amusing.

Newborn skin care: Dry skin, pimples, and all!

My sister is in love with my 3-week old son, but her new nickname for him, “Pimple Face,” is starting to get on my nerves. Alas, baby acne is a common occurance. It usually shows up a few weeks after birth, and there’s not much you can do about it except wait for it to disappear.  (It actually does seem to be clearing up, thankfully!!)

Other common skin concerns you might experience with your newborn are dry skin, cradle cap (dry, scaly skin on his scalp), and heat rash (red pimply rash). You can click on these links for more info on how to identify them and treat them (or not treat them, as the case may be.)

iVillage says: “Babies don’t get very dirty, so you don’t need to bathe your baby every day if you keep the face, head and diaper area clean. Wipe your baby’s face and head gently with a soft, wet washcloth or dampened cotton balls. Be sure to get into all skin creases, especially where dribbled milk might collect. And clean your baby’s bottom well with each diaper change. ” According to BabyCenter, newborns don’t need to be bathed more than once or twice a week. (Oh good, so I haven’t been a negligent mother!) Here are some more good baby bath tips and guidelines.

Pregnancy, Obesity, and Salt

I did not check into this at all, but it sounded interesting, and if it can help anyone experience a healthier pregnancy (and life in general), it’s worth passing along…

Theres a blog dedicated to Obesity and the Salt Connection, and they have an entry here on obesity and pregnancy. The premise is that pregnant women are at increased risk from obesity because of hormone changes during pregnancy (namely estrogen). “To avoid unhealthy weight gain and many other health problems, it is very important that pregnant mothers keep their salt intake low…” Read more here.

Postpartum Depression takes on a twist with twins

Here’s a heartbreaking article I read about postpartum depression: ‘I only loved one of my twins’: The shocking confession from a depressed mother.

Luckily for Sophie Richards, she was able to seek and get help. This story has a happy ending, but so many women struggle alone, and sadly they and their families are suffering.

By the way, although depression is commonly associated with women after birth, it is common during pregnancy as well.   Click here for more information on postpartum depression and where to seek help when necessary. You can also look at Mayo Clinic’s website or the American Academy of Family Physicians.

Gorgeous Maternity Dresses for the Holidays

Just becuase you’re pregnant, doesn’t mean you won’t be going out on the town this holiday season. For all you pregnant mamas looking for something special to wear, here are some hot options, for every syle and budget:

Ascot dress, $450, from MomsNightOut:

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Or something similar from Target for only $27.99 (Liz Lange Jaquard Metallic Dress):

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Speaking of Target, here’s a sweet little black dress ($19.59):

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DueMaternity has another little black dress that’s a bit more daring, with a burst of holiday color around the waist ($114):

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Something comfy, curve-hugging, pretty & purple from Motherhood.com ($34.98):

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Want something really glamerous? Here are my two favorites from A Pea in the Pod… a glorious red chiffon ($325):

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…And this Liquid Metallic Mini Dress:

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Your toddler and new baby: How to prevent jealousy

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I dunno, Esther seems pretty thrilled with her new baby brother these days.  I was told to beware of the jealousy, but my 2-year old was SO excited to have a new baby in the house. When we first brought him home, she could barely contain herself and kept pointing at him and shrieking in delight, “Baby! Baby! Baby!” She didn’t even take notice that I had returned after a 3-day absence!

But we still have to keep an eye on her around the baby. “Gentle” is the new byword in the house, but either she’s still figuring out what that means, or she’s choosing to ignore us. “I love baby so much!” she’ll declare. She love to hug him (seem more like a choke hold to me), hold his hand (is it supposed to be twisting that way?), give him toys (ouch! Not in his eye!), and give love pats (smacks?).

Bringing home a new baby can be traumatic for an older child. Dr. Spock uses the following analogy to explain the jealousy:

Imagine that your husband comes home one day with another woman. He announces: “Dear, I love you as much as I always have, but now this person is going to live with us, too. By the way, she is also going to take up a lot of my time and attention because I’m crazy about her. She is more helpless and needy than you are anyway. Isn’t that wonderful? Aren’t you delighted?”

I’d be less than delighted too! So what can you do to prevent or overcome these feelings?

The first thing is to actually identify when your older child is jealous. It might not always manifest itself as verbal or physical abuse of the new baby. Often a child knows that hitting the new baby is not tolerated, so he may take out his anger in a variety of other ways.

Parenthood.com identifies 13 Signs a Sibling is Jealous of the new baby including clinging, thumb-sucking, regression in toilet training, resisting bedtime, abuse of pets, and avoiding contact with the baby. 

iVillage gives some helpful advice on how to deal with a child who acts out and is rough with the baby. BabyWorld also has a good list of tools, including preparing your toddler before the baby arrives, how to manage the “first meeting,” and acknowlaging his feelings.

Elizabeth  Pantley (author of The No-Cry Sleep Solution) offers some practical suggestions for keeping jealousy at bay. In “How do I deal with Jealous Sibling,” she lists 12 ways to relate to your toddler and make them feel loved, needed, and included. She points out the importace of “hovering” when your toddler and baby interact to make sure the baby is safe, while at the same time demonstrating the proper way to treat a little baby. Children tend to treat babies like dolls, and have a hard time understanding how to be “careful” unless we show them (without yelling “No, no! Be more careful!” every five seconds). Praise when your toddler does something right will get you farther than admonishing him every time he does it wrong. She also explains how to give your toddler extra love, be supportive, get him involved, and make him feel special.

Returning to Work after Baby… in a word: Agony

With an 11-day old baby in my arms, it’s hard to think about leaving him with a babysitter one day to go out and work. It’s hard to imagine anyone can love your baby as much as you do, dote on him, and replace the tender loving care of a mother. Luckily for me, I can work from home and keep an eye on the baby at the same time (though how much work I’m acutally getting done is disputable.) Not everyone is that lucky…

Natalie Lue at DollyMix talks about her mixed feelings on returning to work after maternity leave. “I’m going to say something that I know a lot of women are afraid to admit: I actually like being at home with my daughter and in an ideal world, I’d stay home. There, it’s been said. Now don’t get me wrong, I am ambitious, I’m intelligent… and it is important for my brain to be stimulated, but the thought of my daughter spending four days a week with another woman for her to depend on makes my stomach go into a knot... The thing about maternity leave is that it flies by so quickly that before you know it, it’s time to go back to work… Now with just over four weeks to go, I wonder should I abandon cooking and cleaning and savour my last bit of freedom before reality sets in?”

On the one hand, it will be nice to get back to the challenge of new work projects and the camraderie of her coworkers. On the other hand, there’s that feeling of missing out… not being around to watch her grow and develop, observing the big and small milestones, and being The One your child depends on to care for all her needs.

We know that it’s not feasible for all women to stay home and take care of their little one. But for all those women enjoying their maternity leave, that baby while you can, and savor the time you can spend wiht her now. These are precious days that you can’t get back again.

Advice from HR for the job-seeking pregnant woman

Do you need to tell a potential employer that you are pregnant?

According to Evil HR Lady, “It is illegal to discrminate against someone because of her pregnancy. Therefore, if they wouldn’t hae hired you because of the pregnancy they would have been violating the law. Therefore, you do not have to feel any guilt, as they could not legally consider it anyway.

(This isn’t to say that people don’t actually consider it, they do. But, legally, they shouldn’t.)

I look on pregnancy as a great thing, so congratulations! Keep in mind, though, that you won’t be eligible for FMLA, as you won’t have been an employee for a year before the baby is born…”

Read more here.

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