Archives for May 2014

Pacifier Pros and Cons for New Moms

Pacifier Pros and Cons for New MomsWhich side of the fence do you stand on concerning babies using pacifiers? Some moms feel strongly again allowing their little one to use a pacifier for fear of nipple confusion or increased fussiness while other moms are relieved to use them as tools to provide peace and quiet while in public or napping. If you haven’t made up your mind one way or another yet, we’re proving some basic facts about pacifiers that might help you decide if the soothing tool is good for your baby or not.

Across the board, most experts agree that your baby should not use a pacifier before his or her first month if you’re breastfeeding. Until a consistent nursing pattern is established, there is a worry that your little one will have a hard time sucking and gaining weight if also using a pacifier. After your newborn has begun to consistently gain weight (something best noted by newborn check-ups) and you feel confident that his or her nursing skills are in place, it’s ok to start using a pacifier. Evidence that mixing a pacifier with breastfeeding will cause nipple confusion is inconclusive, so if you’re worried that your little one’s breastfeeding success will be compromised by using a pacifier, take careful note of how your wee one likes to suck and if they are prone to continue rooting or sucking after nursing. Pacifiers are not appealing to every baby, so being aware of your baby’s patterns is a good start to see if a pacifier is the right choice.

The biggest accolade pacifiers receive from researchers is that there is strong evidence to suggest that if a baby uses a pacifier while sleeping, then their chance of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is less than an infant who sleeps without a pacifier. The explanation lies in the fact that if a baby falls asleep while sucking on a pacifier their consciousness is more alert and can help them wake up instead of being at risk to SIDS. There is also evidence that the sucking motion creates more airflow for baby’s breathing. Again, this research is not fully conclusive and many experts are quick to note that if a baby stops using a pacifier while asleep, you should not force it back into your baby’s mouth.

One more thought on introducing a pacifier to your baby: they can be wonderful stress-savers while out in public running errands with your little one. Sometimes when you’re juggling a full grocery cart in the checkout line, you’re not going to be able to give your little one your full attention. A pacifier can help calm your baby until you get out of the grocery store and into a space where you can give your wee one your love and affection. There’s a risk of relying too heavily on a pacifier’s soothing elements, though. Be careful that you don’t mask real causes of frustration or anxiety by popping in the pacifier each time your baby whines or cries. A pacifier can help with fussiness during a car ride home, but it should not act as a stand-in for your love and care.

What do you think, moms? Did you let your child use a pacifier? Let us know why or why not in the comments.

Forgetfulness During Pregnancy: How Pregnancy Brain Affects Your Memory

Forgetfulness During Pregnancy: How Pregnancy Brain Affects Your MemoryLet’s see if any of these actions resonate with you, a mom-to-be: forgetting where you parked your car, misplacing your keys at home, trailing off mid-sentence in a conversation with your husband, or leaving laundry in the washer because you forgot to switch it to the dryer. Sound familiar? You’re probably experiencing Pregnancy Brain, the forgetful quality that many women take on while expecting.

Even though it doesn’t sound real, Pregnancy Brain has been proven to affect pregnant women based on hormonal and brain cell changes. In your third trimester, for example, studies have shown that pregnant womens’ brain-cell volume temporarily decreases. Coping with out-of-control hormones distracts from keeping your memory clear and focused as well. And if you’re not getting regular, satisfying shut eye—and let’s be honest, no pregnant woman is getting a full night’s rest—then it’s no wonder that pregnant women suffer from impaired memories.

What can you do to combat Pregnancy Brain? Try to anticipate the important activities that populate your schedule and religiously update your smart phone with calendar entries. This is the best time to set alarms and alerts for meetings and doctor’s visits so you can avoid missing anything important. If you’re going to the grocery store, make a quick list to follow so you won’t remember that you missed picking up a gallon of milk when you’re already halfway home. Even if you’re normally the multi-tasking queen, try and finish one project before moving onto the next. Not only will this help you slow down and not feel overwhelmed (emotions and hormones have a nasty way of compounding stress), but you’ll feel in control of your schedule and life.

Just remember: Pregnancy Brain is real and afflicts many pregnant moms-to-be just like yourself. So take it easy on yourself and try to give yourself plenty of time to accomplish each task at hand. Your brain will go back to normal once your baby is born, so it’s not as if you’ll be finding your keys in the freezer on a routine basis! The full night’s rest might not return as quickly, though.

Do you remember suffering from Pregnancy Brain? Share your stories in the comments!

Getting Pregnant in your 40s: What to Expect

Getting Pregnant in your 40s: What to ExpectChances are, you’ve met or know a first-time mom in her 40s. A few decades ago, this was not as common as it is today. While overall fertility has not changed for a woman living in her 40s, the fertility treatments available to women who want to start a family later in life are more effective than before. Are you considering a late start to your own family? We’ve got some facts and insights into what pregnancy and raising a baby in your 40s will be like if that’s the path you want to follow.

When you reach your 40th birthday, your chances for naturally getting pregnant have decreased heavily from your earlier years. It’s a startling statistic, but less than 1 percent of women 40-44 have babies. Conceiving without the help of hormone therapy depends largely on your overall health, fitness, and if you’re trying for your first baby. To increase the likelihood of getting pregnant in your 40s, make sure to practice good eating habits and exercise regularly. These aren’t pregnancy guarantees, but being healthy will not lessen your chances. You’re more likely to develop gestational diabetes or experience issues with hypertension during pregnancy, so practicing good habits and taking nutritional supplements (folic acid!) will help keep issues at bay.

If you do get pregnant and deliver in your 40s, it will be harder for your body to return to its former state than before. Sagging breasts, stretch marks—these are unavoidable body changes for moms at any age, but you’ve already lost a lot of elasticity due to age. If you’re struggling to conceive naturally, approach a doctor about donor eggs and other fertility options sooner rather than later, because after 45 your chance for conceiving through IVF drops significantly. Miscarriage rates increase as you enter your 40s, so talk to your doctor about progesterone hormone therapy or other ways to try and maintain a healthy pregnancy.

What other factors do you bring to the table as a more mature mother—by your 40s, you’re at a financially more sound point than you were in your 20s (no more Ramen for dinner!) and you have a deep pool of personal experience to draw patience for parenting. You’ve given yourself time to grow into your own person, most likely with a stable, long-lasting marriage or partnership, and you’re able to offer your child more comprehensive stability. While you might not be as energetic as a younger mom, your feathers will not be as easily ruffled by tense, emotionally-draining situations, simply because you’ve lived through more experience.

Physically speaking, getting pregnant in your 40s is the most challenging time to do so. Our best advice is to start preparing early into your fourth decade, because your fertility will drop quickly as years pass. Getting in touch with a fertility specialist will help you know what options you and your partner have should you have trouble conceiving naturally. If you do get pregnant, you’ll have to monitor you and your baby’s health closely, because the risk of complications goes up with age.

As a mom at any age, what matters most is the love and unconditional care you provide for your baby. We’re happy to support moms of any age at Loving Moments.

Pregnancy Cravings: Which Celebrity Moms Shared Your Crazy Cravings

Pregnancy Cravings: Which Celebrity Moms Shared Your Crazy Cravings

Photo by Gage Skidmore via flcikr

Did you watch actress Mila Kunis’ interview with Ellen DeGeneres last week? The petit, very pregnant actress admitted to Ellen that vinegar-based foods had taken over her pregnancy cravings: specifically, sauerkraut and pickles. Ellen attributed Mila’s specific pregnancy cravings to her Ukrainian heritage, and at one point during her show’s interview, Ellen had sauerkraut and pickles delivered to the star. What crazy foods have other pregnant stars sought out in the past? We’ll reveal what kinds of foods celebrity moms craved and see whose cravings matched your own!

If you had pregnancy cravings for sweets, ice cream, and other candies…

You’re just like Pink, who craved Sour Skittles, Sour Patch Kids, and Key Lime pie when pregnant with her daughter Willow in 2011. Pink’s not alone in the sweets department: Hilary Duff wanted gooey marshmallow snacks while pregnant with her son Luca, Princess Kate Middleton craved Lavender Shortbread (which sounds as lovely and dainty as the princess herself!), and actress Drew Barrymore admitted to swinging through the drive-thru window for satisfying ice cream cones during her last pregnancy. You’re in good company if you reached for a tub of ice cream during your own pregnancy!

If you had pregnancy cravings for savory or spicy treats…

Hot chili sauce drizzled on ice cream? Sounds crazy, but that’s one of the savory treats Beyonce reportedly had pregnancy cravings for while pregnant with Blue Ivy. Jennifer Connelly dipped pretzels in cream cheese to satisfy her pregnancy cravings and Nicole Ritchie couldn’t get enough of the Japanese staple wasabi, even though she admits to disliking the hot green paste while not pregnant.

If you had pregnancy cravings for bizarre foods or combinations…

Buttered Pop tarts? Sounds good in theory, but not something we’d like to try anytime soon! Jessica Simpson craved buttered toaster snacks while pregnant with her daughter Maxwell. New mom Kerry Washington couldn’t get enough gluten-free pizza to satisfy her pregnancy cravings, which isn’t a strange food, but it’s such a healthy craving that it seems out of the ordinary! Kardashian sister Kourtney admitted to making a mayo and relish sandwich to quell an out-of-control pregnancy craving, and was relieved that she only wanted the strange combo once!

What was the craziest pregnancy craving you had while pregnant, moms?

Mother’s Day: What Gifts SpokesMom Danah Bordner Gives to her Daughters

Danah's daughter Taylor is excited to be a big sisterLoving Moments by Leading Lady SpokesMom Danah Bordner loves being a part of the LPGA tour and makes every effort to travel with her family to tournaments if possible. For Mother’s Day, Bordner shares which parts of Motherhood make the biggest impressions on her daughter Taylor, and what steps Bordner can take to ensure that both of her daughters are raised with the best values. We hope you get a chance to relax this Mother’s Day Danah, you’ve definitely earned it!

Being a mom is hard work, and being a working mom is even harder. It is truly a juggling act balancing my tour commitment with parenting, but I have to remind myself that nothing is ever more important than the love and wisdom I can give my child.

We are excited to be expecting another daughter in August. I know Taylor is going to be a great big sister. But, before I give birth, it’s important now to teach Taylor respect and kindness because pretty soon she will have to share the stage with her baby sister. I’m sure our patience will be tested, but it’s how you deal with those particular situations as parents that truly teach your child how to deal with growing up. After all, they learn by watching you!

With Mother’s Day around the corner, I’m thankful for my mother who taught me many valuable lessons in life that I can now share with my daughters.

Happy Mother’s Day to Danah and all of our Loving Moments moms!

Celebrity Baby Round Up: Spring Deliveries for Proud Famous Parents

Celebrity Baby Round Up: Spring Deliveries for Proud Famous ParentsJust in time for Mother’s Day—do you know which famous moms-to-be have delivered their own little stars? We’re taking a look at the newest, littlest group of Hollywood royalty to arrive. From movie stars to sports legends, a lot of talented celebrities are welcoming babies into their families!

Kristin Cavallari and Jay Cutler

It’s a boy for The Fabulist’s Kristin and husband, Chicago Bears quarterback, Jay Cutler. The happy couple welcomed son Jaxon Wyatt Cutler on May 7th. The little man weighed 7 pounds, 11 ounces and joins older brother Camden. Kristin posted a picture on her personal Instagram account to announce her baby’s birth; judging from the sweet sheepskin booties and blue knit hat, Kristin’s son Jaxon is going to be one stylish baby.

Drew Barrymore and Will Kopelman

Funny actress Barrymore gave birth to her second daughter on April 22th. As a woman with a masculine first name, Drew continued the tradition and named her second daughter Frankie. We think it’s a great, unique name without being off-the-wall! Even though her daughters are still very young, Drew has big plans for their futures. In a recent interview with Redbook, Drew told the magazine that “I would really like to raise kids to do summer jobs and intern, and understand that if you are supposed to be somewhere at 3 o’clock, you need to be there at 3 o’clock.”

Bruce Willis and Emma Heming-Willis

Bruce and his second wife Emma welcomed their second daughter on May 5th. Evelyn Penn is Bruce’s fifth daughter (he has three adult daughters with ex-wife Demi Moore). Congratulations to the proud papa!

Roger Federer and Mirka Federer

This international tennis superstar and his wife Mirka welcomed their second set of twins, both boys, to the world this week. The couple is already parents to identical twin 4-year-old girls. What are the odds of two sets of twins? We’re not sure, but we’re willing to bet these happy parents will have their hands full for the foreseeable future.

Kerry Washington and Nnamdi Asomugha

The ultra-private Scandal actress and her NFL husband quietly celebrated the arrival of their little girl, Isabelle Amarachi, on April 22nd without the typical fanfare of a celebrity baby. The first-time mom is resting quietly at home with her new daughter.

Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis

Traditional baby names are definitely in style this spring, because you don’t hear the name Otis Alexander too often! The engaged pair welcomed their first son this past Easter. Proving she retained her sense of humor during delivery, Olivia tweeted from the hospital “Ladies and Gentlemen, Otis Alexander Sudeikis has LEFT the building (I’m the building).” We’ll miss Olivia’s glamorous pregnancy style but look forward to her little one’s chic ensembles to come!

Celebrating National Nurses Week

Celebrating National Nurses WeekMay 6th, 2014 is the beginning of National Nurses Week, an important week-long celebration that reminds us of the hard work nurses across the country do to keep us healthy and safe. For new moms in particular, nurses play a critical role during delivery and in the NICU center. From helping preemies grow steadily to holding a mom’s hand during labor until her husband arrives as the hospital, nurses provide essential care we wouldn’t want to go without. So we’re sending a big thank you to nurses across the country and the globe!

It’s hard not to tear up reading this emotional blog post, “Dear NICU Nurse,” from A Hand to Hold on the Preemie 101’s website. One mother shares her NICU journey and deep appreciation for the neonatal nurses that work as a team to care for her baby. In light of this week’s celebration, we’re including a link to the post here. If you have a friend or a loved one who works as a neonatal nurse, be sure to thank them this week for their hard work caring for some of the tiniest patients in the hospital.

National Nurses Week is also a great time to start the breastfeeding conversation with any nurses you might know or work with. Even though breastfeeding rates are up across the country, only 49 percent of moms in the United States are breastfeeding exclusively after 6 months. Gently share your concerns and wishes with your lactation consultant if you’re currently in a breastfeeding class and have a game plan about what common hurdles you might face nursing the first week after delivery. Being educated about common breastfeeding concerns will help you feel confident about your decision to nurse in the hospital even if you face difficulty at first. Make sure that you have open communication with your nurses and doctor about your breastfeeding needs; with encouraged conversation, we hope to see nurses continue to positively impact our US breastfeeding rates!

Happy National Nurses Week!

Postpartum Depression Felt in New Fathers Too

Postpartum Depression Felt in New Fathers Too Becoming a new parent (especially for the first time) can be a period of rough transition for some moms and there are important signs to watch for if you think you or a loved one is affected by postpartum depression. New fathers are also prone to feeling symptoms of depression too, a new study shows, and can display features of postpartum depression that linger up to five years after the birth of their child.

While raising a baby is a time of immense joy and excitement, it also presents new schedules, responsibilities, and the pressure of learning how to parent on the fly. The study, which was conducted by researchers from Northwest University and appears in Pediatrics magazine, also notes that younger men (around 25 at the time of their child’s birth) experience symptoms of postpartum depression that have a 68% chance of increasing over the next five years. This statistic applies to men who live at home with their partner and child; interestingly, men in the same category who live separately from their partner and child but still parent are less likely to experience depression with the same intensity or longevity.

A new baby changes the environment a couple once knew and coping with those changes, along with parenting expectations, is one way to help combat postpartum depression. Flexible schedules, freedom to go out on a whim, a full night’s sleep—all of those lifestyle features are put on hold when raising a newborn, and this perceived loss of control can be hard for a dad to accept. Keep the lines of communication between you and your partner open and honest as a way to save both of your sanity; admitting that he needs time to himself does not make any dad a lackluster father, so being appreciative of each other’s feelings and congratulate each other on the little things that make you great parents.

If you’re worried about your partner or another new dad you know, seek advice from a doctor or counselor that can recommend what steps you should take to help. Knowing that other new parents feel the same as you or your partner do can help, but sometimes it takes a licensed professional to administer the proper care to help combat postpartum depression.