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Jul 2017

Packing Your Hospital Bag: Our Checklist

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We know planning for that all too exciting hospital trip can be a bit overwhelming, mama.  Especially if it’s your first time!  But we’ve got your back–we’re here breaking down the items you’ll actually need in your hospital bag, to survive labor and beyond!

FOR MAMA

Comfy socks:  Yes, the hospital will provide you with socks for your stay.  However, most times they don’t stay in place, and can add more frustration than help for mamas that are already going through a lot!  Instead, pack a pair of socks you know you love and will be comfy in that hospital bag.  Just make sure they have no slip material on the bottom!  Try this pair here.

Underwear:  You will likely stay in the underwear/undergarments the hospital provides for you during your stay.  However, we do suggest having a fresh pair to wear home from the hospital.  Trust us, you’ll want to be wearing your own when you leave!

A maxi or shift dress:  You likely won’t be spending much time in the hospital getting dressed for the day.  And when you leave, you’re not going to be wanting to wiggle into a pair of pants!  Instead, opt for a loose fitting, comfortable dress, like a maxi or a shift dress.  Not only will it be easy to get into, but you’ll have less trouble moving around!

Robe and nursing bras:  As mentioned above, you likely won’t have a lot of energy to put into getting dressed each day at the hospital.  Most of your time will be spent in the bed, or meandering around your room.  We suggest bringing a comfy robe, and a nursing bra.  This will give your new little one ease of access …


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Jul 2017

Our Top 10 Picks for Babymoon Destinations

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While pregnancy is beautiful in every way, we know it can get exhausting, mama!  And can feel overwhelming to realize how rapidly you’re approaching motherhood.  Enter: The Babymoon.  Your 2nd trimester is the ideal time for you to plan a getaway!  After morning sickness has subsided, and your bump hasn’t grown difficult sizes, you’ll find the perfect time to set aside a vacation for you (and maybe your partner!) to get away to refresh, digitally detox, and reconnect before baby arrives!  See below for our top picks!  Pack your bags, mama, you’re headed to Relaxation!

Tropical Getaway

Breezes Bahama: Nassau, Bahamas 

For a classic take on the babymoon, this beautiful tropical retreat is a great way to take your mind off the stress of upcoming events!  Rock that bump in a bikini and dive into one of the resort’s many pools, or even relax in one of the spacious cabanas.  Ahhhh….isn’t that better?

 

Punta Placer: Oaxaca, Mexico

Take some time to turn it all off, mama.  These beachfront bungalows invite guests to enjoy a stay with no TVs, no wi-fi, no cell reception.  Instead, put your focus on the out of this world activities available: sea turtle swimming, rainforest hikes, and luxurious massages.  We guarantee you’ll come back refreshed, renewed, and ready to take on motherhood.

 

Ritz Carlton: Amelia Island, Florida 

Who doesn’t love a good trip to Florida, mama?  Not only does the Ritz offer incredible prenatal massages, but also a Pregnancy Craving Menu to delight all of your cravings and needs!  How can you top that?!

 

Small Town Charm

White Elephant: Nantucket, Massachusetts  

For the mamas that aren’t feeling tropical, this adorable resort will be right up your alley, and comes with it’s own babymoon package!  Enjoy …


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Jul 2017

Trying to Conceive: Weird Fertility Tips

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So you’ve gotten it down, right, mamas?  You know how to track your cycle, how to make sure both you and your partner are eating right, so now all that’s left is to get it on, right?  Not so fast!  Did you know there are other assorted weird things that can both boost and hurt your fertility?  Don’t stress–we’ve got you covered!  Below we’re breaking down exactly what can help boost your fertility, as well as things to avoid as they can hurt your fertility.

Things to Help Fertility

Put more focus on breakfast:  Clinical Science published a study in 2013 that claimed that eating a hearty breakfast can boost fertility for women that have an irregular cycle.  The researchers focused on women with PCOS ( polycystic ovary syndrome), which is a hormonal imbalance that interferes with the development and release of a woman’s eggs.  They divided these women into two groups:  one group consumed just over half of their calories at breakfast, the other half consumed just over half their calories at dinner.  Three months later, the former group had a much higher rate of ovulating.  So go on and order that extra helping of pancakes, mama!

Get more creative than missionary:  We’ve all heard it: getting down with your partner on top results in the best sperm placement.  However, some ob-gyns say otherwise!  No position has an advantage over the others, so get comfortable with what feels best!  What really matters, mama, is what you already know:  the timing and frequency of sex.  During your fertile period, it’s suggested to have sex once or twice a day!  So, go on with your bad self, mama!

Increasing folic acid intake:  We know you’ve …


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Jul 2017

Trying to Conceive: Fertility Nutrition

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Did you know that what you do (and don’t!) eat can have a big impact on your chances of fertility?  Not even just you, but your partner as well!  We know it can seem daunting to find information on what is and isn’t okay with all the sources out there, so we’re breaking fertility nutrition down for you, mama!

FOR WOMEN

When you’re trying to conceive, there are a number of nutrients your body requires to perform at its optimum fertility point.  Each nutrient offers a different advantage to your reproductive system.  Folate and Vitamin A are important in reducing neural tube defects and stimulating ovulation–try yams for this!

A glass of milk each day offers vitamin D and calcium which can lower your risk of ovulatory infertility, and lean proteins like chicken or salmon are full of iron which can boost fertility if eaten twice a day.  While none of these are guarantees, mama, trying to add more to your diet can only increase your chances!

 

FOR MEN

Make sure your partner is also minding his p’s and q’s with his diet!  Adding zinc, omega-3, and fatty acids to his diet can increase testosterone and sperm count–he can manage this simply by munching on pumpkin seeds!

Vitamin C is also great at helping your man in the bedroom, as it boosts sperm quality.  Have him add citrus fruits, tomatoes, and berries to his daily diet.  And to keep that better sperm swimming and not sluggish, increase vitamin A intake with carrots, red peppers, and apricots.

 

FOR BOTH OF YOU

Some nutrients in foods can boost reproductive activity for both you and your partner!  These double-duty foods are great additions to your diet any time, but especially when …


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Jul 2017

Mocktails: Our Summer Favorites!

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In the hot, hot days of summer, sometimes all we can think about is kicking back with a cold one!  But when you’re pregnant, you can feel like you’re really missing out on all the fun drinks of summer.  Think again, mama!  Today we’re introducing you to one of our favorite pregnancy indulgences: mocktails.

Mocktails are exactly what they sound like: cocktails that contain no alcohol.  They’re perfect for expecting mamas, and anyone else who wants to enjoy a refreshing beverage sans liquor.  Since they’re family friendly, you’ll love being able to make pitchers for everyone to share!

Creative Mocktails

The Gracious Wife

The Blackberry Lemon Spritzer

This tangy but sweet drink is perfect for any summer outing!  Easy to make and family friendly, we promise this will become a fast favorite!  Just combine lemonade, lemon soda, and blackberries in a large pitcher.  Muddle the blackberries to release their flavor and chill!  For the full recipe, click.

Lauren Caris Cooks

Grapefruit Ginger Spritzer

We love this mocktail because it’s refreshing and can help curb nausea!  This spritzer is packed with ginger, which is known for treating upset stomachs and morning sickness–talk about double duty, mama!  Simply fill the glass with ice, then 1/3 of the glass with grapefruit juice.  Top off the other 2/3 with ginger ale, then add mint and cherries for garnish!  YUM.  Find the full recipe here.

Wit & Delight

Rosemary Blueberry Smash

Not only is this drink pretty and visually appealing, but it’s absolutely delicious!  Not super sweet, this is perfect to accompany dinner al fresco!  Muddle blueberries with rosemary and honey syrup.  Add lemon juice and ice, and shake.  Strain and drain over fresh ice, then garnish with blueberries and a sprig of rosemary! …


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Jul 2017

Trying to Conceive: Ovulation

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So you’ve decided to get pregnant!  This is one of the most exciting decisions for a couple to make, but isn’t always an easy road, whether it’s your first or your fifth.  We’ll be here on the blog breaking down the ways to try and make the path to parenthood as easy as possible.  The important thing is to realize that no matter how quickly or slowly it happens, you are not alone.  So with that in mind, let’s chat about ovulation, mama!

 

 

The best thing you can do to give pregnancy the best shot is to know and track your cycle!  It’s important to know and understand your body so that you can make sure you’re trying at the times you’re the most fertile!  Ovulation is the one time a month your body releases an egg for fertilization.  Around this time is the best time for you and your partner to light that flame!  But how could you possibly know when that time is?

 

Knowing Your Cycle

Unless you already know your cycle like the back of your hand, the best way to learn it is by keeping a menstrual calendar (ideally for a few months!) to get an idea of what’s normal for you.  The “average” menstrual cycle lasts for about 28 days, which would most likely mean you’d be ovulating on day 14.  If you need some additional help tracking your ovulation and cycle, we offer an Ovulation Calculator as a free resource!  Simply input the date of your last period and your average cycle length, and you’re set!  Click here to start.  

 

Ovulation Tests

If you’re looking for a more physical clear-cut answer, you can pick up Ovulation Prediction tests …


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Jun 2017

Pregnancy Announcement: Ways to Tell Your Big News!

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There are very few things more exciting than finding out you’re pregnant…except announcing the news to everyone else!  We know you’re absolutely itching to spill the beans, so once those 10 weeks have passed, we’ve got you covered for your pregnancy announcement!

Simple and Sweet

We love the announcement ideas below because they stick to the important thing–your soon-to-be little one!

Tulips and Tangerines Photography

 

We love this pregnancy announcement because it showcases the sweet love you have for each other while yelling your happy news in huge letters!

 

The Moss & Rose; Alyse French Photography

 

For parents-to-be that don’t love being in front of the camera, try this floral announcement on for size!  We are obsessed with the way the tiny socks and sonogram are incorporated, too.  So cute!

 

The Little Umbrella

 

Who doesn’t love baby books?  This sweet photo lets the book and your tiny bump do all of the talking for you.  Short, sweet, and to the point.

When You Have a Furry Firstborn

We will always love our fur babies, so make sure to give them a shout out in your pregnancy announcement!  They’re just as excited for their new best friend.

Source: BoredPanda

 

We love this sweet pup who’s reading up on how to be a great big brother but also still get his treats!  Sure to get a laugh, this sweet photo pays a tribute to your first baby.

 

Style Me Pretty

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feline friends deserve some love, too!  We love this one because, let’s be real, cats don’t pose.  Just set your sweet announcement in front of that whiskered face and voila!  Instant adorable.

 

Funny and Cute

We love pregnancy announcements that offer a good laugh.  It takes some clever thought, but your friends and family …


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Jun 2017

5 Tips for Traveling While Pregnant

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By guest blogger Mary Alusin

A lot of pregnant women get really worried about whether it’s OK to travel or not. Generally, it is safe to travel by air, road, and sea during the first 8 months of your pregnancy. It basically depends on the situation of the mother. In fact, most airlines allow expectant mothers to board the plane a month before their due date.

However, traveling in the last month usually requires a doctor’s approval. If your OB says it’s fine for you to travel, then go ahead, but with caution. But if your doctor says it may compromise your pregnancy, then just reschedule your plans. It is for the safety of both you and your unborn child. But if you’re really itching to travel toward the end of your pregnancy, then here are five travel tips you should take into consideration.

 

Being comfortable should be a priority

By plane

When traveling you should make yourself as comfortable as possible. Bring pillows so that you can have something to lean on wherever you are. You can also ask your airline to get you a seat that is not too far away from the restroom. This prevents you from walking long distances. In addition to that, be sure to hold yourself steady when you are standing up at any time during the pregnancy.

 

By car

If you are traveling by car, be sure to get comfortable as well. Sitting in the back is preferred as there’s more space to stretch and change position when your back gets tired. Also, be sure to travel in a car with airbags. It’s always much better to be safe than sorry.

 

By ship

Although it’s uncommon, traveling by sea is also allowed …


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Jun 2017

Trying to Conceive: Our Guide

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You’ve given it some thought. Some thought? You’ve spent hours daydreaming. You’ve been creeping the Facebook walls of pregnant friends. You keep asking to babysit your sister’s 2-year-old. It’s time to make a baby. Trying to conceive can be difficult and frustrating, but that’s why we created this guide!

Happy Woman With Pregnancy Test

Visit the Doctor Before Trying to Conceive

Okay, let’s step back for one quick second before you start making the sparks fly. You and your partner should pop into the doctor’s office (one menstrual cycle before you get down to business) and learn everything you need to know about your family’s past pregnancy experiences and health history. Get your immunizations up to date, and get on a prenatal vitamin. Trying to conceive moms need a steady intake of folic acid, a building block of baby’s early developmental brain tissue.

Watch the Scale

If you plan on getting pregnant, you should prepare your body. After all, carrying a baby around all day is hard if you’re not used to exercise! Plus, labor is made considerably easier and safer if you are more physically fit. If you’re heavier, spend a couple of months working towards a healthier goal weight. But being too underweight can be just as dangerous as too overweight, so try to hit a healthy middle ground before you start trying to conceive. Check out our blog on pregnancy weight gain for more!

Get Pregnancy Safe

You’re trying to conceive, that means you need to make some lifestyle changes. First, go through your makeup bag and check the ingredients of your favorite items – you’ll be surprised how many beauty products actually contain dangerous chemicals. Then take a peek in the fridge. You’ll want to start avoiding foods that …


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Jun 2017

Caffeine During Pregnancy: Is It Safe?

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Are you a caffeine queen, mama?  There’s nothing better than a fresh brewed cup of coffee to start your morning.  Because, after all, coffee makes the world go round!  But what about during pregnancy?  How much is safe, if any?

 

It’s no surprise to anyone that caffeine is classified as a stimulant.  An adult can consume a significant amount because the body will metabolize the caffeine and then get rid of it.  However, when pregnant, it crosses the placenta and enters into the amniotic fluid around baby and baby’s bloodstream.  Because they are still developing, they cannot process the substance like you can.

In fact, there was a large study done that found that mamas that consumed more than 300mg a day were at a much higher risk of giving birth to babies that were very small for their gestational age.  Which isn’t good, mama!  So then, can you have any at all?

Ideally, it’s best to kick your caffeine habit to the curb when carrying your little angel.  Aside from the potential growth issues your baby could face, caffeine (especially in coffee!) causes production of stomach acid, which can increase heartburn.  Which we’re sure you have plenty of already!  Additionally, caffeine contains compounds that make it hard for your body to absorb iron.  This isn’t good, because expecting mamas are already low on iron!

However, if you’re not sure how you could possibly survive without your java in the mornings, or you suffer from migraines without, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists suggest that 200mg of caffeine a day can be considered safe.  That equates to about one 11oz cup of black coffee!  To take care of your body too, make sure that you …


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Jun 2017

Maternity Swimsuits You’ll Love

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The pool party doesn’t have to stop when you walk in, mama!  When it’s hot out and you’re pregnant, nothing sounds better than a dip in the cool water, am I right?  Don’t hide behind layers of clothing–we think you should take the chance to flaunt that bump with one of these adorable maternity swimsuits!

For the mama who wants some coverage:

We really love this maternity swimsuit from Target because of its sweet chevron print!  Plus, it adds comfortability and coverage for mamas that love dressing their bump, but don’t want to bare it all.  Snag it here for $32.99!

 

That pregnancy glow is stunning on you, so show off your style in this swimsuit from Nordstrom!  We love the vintage charm it has with the adorable bow-tied top, and you’ll love that it has boning for extra support. You can pick one up here for $93.

We are absolutely obsessed with this swimsuit.  We love the super tropical design, and how it accentuates that adorable growing bump of yours!  You’ll want to snatch up one of these–it’s on sale now for $42.45!

For the mama wanting to bare that bump:

Maybe maternity swimsuits just aren’t for you, mama, and that’s okay!  Below are the cutest (pregnancy friendly!) bikinis that we’re crushing on.

Off the shoulder pieces are all the rage right now, and it’s easy to see why!  This bright swimsuit from Splendid has adorable ruffles to cover growing chests while giving your bump all the space it needs!  You’ll love how chic it accessorizes your baby belly!  Grab it up here for $58.80.  To see it modeled as maternity, check out this blog post here!

This twist front bikini is great because it offers much needed support with its …


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Jun 2017

Yoga During Pregnancy: Is It Safe?

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Namaste, mama!  It’s no surprise to anyone that practicing yoga has become increasingly popular over the past few years, and for good reason!  Yoga boasts many health benefits, including weight loss, increased flexibility, and increased overall mental and physical health.  But is it safe for you and your growing baby?

Absolutely!  Now, more than ever, you mamas will need that consistency and stability in your life.  If practiced carefully (as with all exercise during pregnancy) the benefits will continue from 1st trimester through labor and beyond!  See below for a trimester by trimester look at practicing yoga safely and effectively.

First Trimester

If you are already a practicing yogi, make sure you alert your instructor of your pregnancy.  He or she will be able to adequately modify moves to help you continue your mastery throughout your pregnancy!  If you are not, consider joining a prenatal class–not only will it be tailored specifically to your pregnancy, but it’s also a great way to meet other moms-to-be to walk through your journey with!

There will not be too many restrictions this early on in your pregnancy.  However, as with any physical exercise, it is especially important for expecting mamas to drink a lot of water before, during, and after to make sure to stay hydrated!  Additionally, take this time to make sure you are focusing on your breathing–breathing deeply and regularly.  Setting this habit early will help you throughout the rest of your pregnancy.  Mainly, mamas, start really listening to your body, and knowing its boundaries!

What to avoid: Deep twists and core work (aside from planks!).

 

Second Trimester

Around this time, the pregnancy hormone relaxin has really started to work, and you will feel extra flexible and mobile–don’t …


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