Tag Archives: mom

Meet Our Friends at Village Obstetrics™

We want to introduce you to our friends at Village Obstetrics™ and the wonderful support and care that they provide their patients. We partnered up with them for a Q&A to give our readers an opportunity to learn more about their impressive work.

Q: A big part of Village Obstetrics™ mission is to follow a minimally invasive approach. Why is practicing this important to your mission, and what have you seen as benefits for your patients with this approach? 

A: We see newly pregnant couples who are concerned about interventions meddling in the natural process of pregnancy and birth. And it’s true that the medical profession has become concerned about the high rate of unnecessary c-sections. So, our approach is one that respects the natural process but uses modern medicine and technology to check and see how the natural process is unfolding. If everything looks good, our job is to stay out of nature’s way, but if there’s a storm brewing our job is to figure out together with our mom what the best course of action is. Minimally invasive obstetrics is doing the least necessary to get the job done and it yields low rates of c-section with well-informed satisfied moms.

Q: What are the benefits of unmedicated v medicated birth or c-section? Is there a time in the birthing process where its too late to get an epidural?

A: Birth has lots of variables – the size of the baby, the individual pain tolerance, the length of the labor, the strength of the contraction, head position and on and on. So, it’s fair to say that keeping an open mind is especially important as you approach birth. In general, for first time labor we have seen great benefits from trying to get as deep into labor as possible before getting medications for pain relief. At that stage if you want an unmedicated birth we see how much further you have to go and if its not too far, you typically will make it without medication. Alternatively, if you are at the end of what you can manage and you still have a long way to go, or if you plan on an epidural, that’s a great time to go ahead and get relief.

After you’ve already had a vaginal birth and you are in labor with the next baby, then you need to decide sooner if you want an epidural or not. Probably when your pain is still manageable but now starting to get your attention (say a 6 out of 10 on the pain scale) then it’s time to either get the epidural or commit to finishing it as an unmedicated delivery. The last part of labor could be very fast with second or third babies and there might not be enough time to get an epidural if you wait until pain is an 8 or more out of 10. With the first vaginal birth however, its almost never too late to get an epidural because the progress of labor is much slower usually. Many of our moms now also consider using Nitrous Oxide which is available at our hospital as an alternative to epidural or to maintain control until getting the epidural later.

Q: New patients have lots of questions both pre- and post-birth. How do you help new moms and dads with the transition of becoming parents?

A: One great new addition to the information for new moms and dads is Dr. Worth’s new book, “The New Rules of Pregnancy: What to eat, do, think about, and let go of while your body is making a baby”. We are so proud of her! So many of the existing guide books are so packed full of information that they can be overwhelming and even scary. We needed an expert to sift through those big books and pull out the key information and present it in a format where you can take in a little information at a time while keeping it positive and with beautiful uplifting illustrations that provoke imagination and calm. Dr Worth made that happen and we hope you give it a read. Beyond that we intentionally structured our practice for only pregnancy and birth care. We unapologetically exclusively devote all our time and talents to this important field of obtetrics. Not doing gynecology and well woman care allows us the time to really get into questions and controversies in our office visits. We also hold our own free of charge birth class for our clients that we call our “Pregnancy Chit Chat” – it’s a group Q&A with their doctors. We also reply to our clients e-mails and we try and provide continuing community education speaking, blogging and posting whenever we are invited to by groups involved in pregnancy and birth care.

To learn more about Village Obstetrics,™ click here.

VillageOB

Written by Taylor Bell, Marketing & Social Media

Finding Life Balance as a Mom

This week we present a guest blog writer, Jolynn Jaekel, who tells her story about becoming a mom, and her journey of balancing life and motherhood. Read her relatable and impressive story below!

Our mom was home with us while our dad went to work until I was in high school and even then, we had our grandmother to take care of us when mom went back to work. I grew up thinking that’s how it was done, but not certain that’s what I’d choose. Nothing about my path was traditional.

Here’s the Cliff’s Notes version… graduated college with a journalism degree; moved to Los Angeles and became an entertainment publicist; loathed LA; moved home to New Mexico; moved to New York City for a PR stint and confirmed I didn’t love PR but I did love New York; moved back to New Mexico to “figure it out;” rediscovered my love of acting; and then moved back to New York and became a professional sometimes working actor who taught fitness for survival. Whew!

So, when I finally got married and pregnant, I was hustling hard and knew no other way. BUT the second I looked into my daughter’s baby blues, everything changed. And it kept changing.

Before she arrived, I “knew” I’d be a better mommy if I was working out of the house. But then she came, and I realized I “knew” nothing. When I returned to work after my eight weeks of unpaid maternity leave, I couldn’t stand being away. I raced home as soon as I could, eliminating all non-parenting activities. It took both my husband and I plus two part time childcare providers to cover our crazy schedules with no family around for support. So, we moved to just outside of Washington, D.C., where one of my sisters lives.

We decided that initially, I would be home with our daughter. This was what I had been longing for, to be present for every single moment. At first, I reveled in the stay at home mom culture. We were busy with playdates, story time at the library, exploring every museum, farm, nature center and kids’ music performance, and finally making the crafts I’d pinned long ago. I got to be with my baby girl all the time. I was also alone with my baby girl a lot of the time. My husband’s hours had always been long, but now I was keenly aware of how long. My husband was receiving well deserved accolades at work but at home no one cheers you on for doing a great job cleaning a dirty diaper or gives you a promotion for keeping your child alive and well fed. It is the hardest job you’ll ever love. And I LOVED it, but I had no balance. I had cut myself off from everything I had known before motherhood and I began to notice.

I also began to realize it was time to go back to work because living on one salary in a city just as expensive as New York would not cut it, but where to begin and how to make it work? Fitness seemed like the most flexible place to start. I developed a mommy & me fitness program that let me teach a few classes with my daughter by my side. I eventually became a group fitness director at a local boutique gym which had on-site child care. It felt good to be back in the workforce without compromising my time with her. Then the gym eliminated child care. Time for Plan B.

We needed an additional income and I needed something of my own. I took a leap of faith with something I knew nothing about and previously had no interest in trying;  a home-based sales business. Turns out, what I had prejudged as totally wrong for me, was the perfect solution to my complicated equation. It gives me the flexibility to maintain our mommy & me adventures, while I get to flex my atrophied mental muscles AND bring in a salary. It’s given me something else I realized I desperately needed, a community of like-minded women who are courageous, smart, inspiring and supportive of my journey no matter how many twists and turns it takes.

Here’s what I know for sure. I AM happier when I have something to focus on that inspires me outside of the incredible gift of our daughter. I AM a better mommy when I have balance. I DO love my job as her mommy and am so grateful to not have to miss a moment, but I’m glad I’ve found a way to have some moments of my own too.

Jolynn Baca

Written by our guest blog partner, Jolynn Jaekel
Photo taken by Shauri Dewey

Moms + Yoga – The Perfect Combination

We all know the cold and dreary winter days will soon be upon us, and finding motivation to get out the door gets more and more challenging. Sometimes it’s a matter of finding the right activity to give you that extra push, and for me, that activity is yoga.

Meet Allegra McBane-Sanchez, a certified yoga teacher in the Greenwich, CT area who specializes in prenatal, postpartum and mommy and me yoga, as well as vinyasa and gentle practices for moms and non-moms alike. She teaches group and private sessions at various local studios, and partnered with us to share her yoga-knowledge through the Q&A below.

Q: Yoga is a great resource for moms and soon-to-be moms to stay healthy throughout their pregnancy. What are some benefits of prenatal yoga for soon-to-be moms? 

A: Pre-natal yoga can be a highly beneficial part of pregnancy. The physical benefits of practicing poses that offer a supported way to open up, to stretch, and also to strengthen can help your body more comfortably grow for your developing baby. The mental benefits of connecting deeply to your body and to your breath can help you to more peacefully navigate pregnancy, birth and new motherhood. In prenatal yoga, we focus a lot of awareness on breath work as a tool for expectant mothers to stay present in their bodies throughout their pregnancy and as an integral tool in the labor and birth experience.

Q: Why is it important to continue to practice yoga post-birth? 

A: A postpartum yoga practice can help reconnect new moms to the changes they have experienced in their bodies through pregnancy and birth. A thoughtful postpartum yoga practice can help moms regain strength in their cores, pelvic floors, and throughout their bodies; it can reconnect them to their breath and to their own innate strength; and, it is also an opportunity for a new mom to check in with her body, mind and breath as she adjusts to the demands of new motherhood.

Q: How does mommy and me yoga help bond mom and new baby? 

A: Mommy and me yoga is one of the most rewarding classes to teach. Offering a space for moms to be with their little ones while also caring for themselves is a very beautiful thing to witness. Babies enjoy the touch of their moms as they gently massage and stretch the babies, and moms enjoy incorporating their babies into movement and poses that benefit their physical and mental health. The babies respond positively to calm breath and gentle movements – it brings them a sense of calm as well. It’s also a really nice opportunity to meet other new moms and find a community while doing something good for yourself and your baby.

Q: What are some things you’ve learned from practicing yoga? 

A: This is hard to answer because, really, yoga has changed my life. It has changed the way I view my own body, my own relationship to my child and the way I interact with others. I have had a yoga practice for nearly 20 years but it was only after I gave birth to my son, that yoga became something more than a chance to stretch and strengthen. The challenges that many new mothers face: hormonal changes that impact our mental health, physical changes that impact our ability to do what we previously did, and the profound shift when we become responsible for another person’s life, can take its toll. I turned to yoga as I navigated the transition to new motherhood and not only did it provide me with more physical strength and flexibility than I have ever had before, but the focus on breath work and the practice of being present in my body in the moment that I am experiencing has taught me how to be a more engaged and conscious parent and has taught me how to view my life through a lens of gratitude and patience.

Allegra Sanchez 

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

Do You Have a Birth Plan?

As I get closer to delivery (only five more weeks), my husband and I were advised by my OB to review a series of questions and “what if” scenarios. I found a detailed check list on The Bump, which provided a great starter template. But you have to keep in mind; plans don’t always go the way you envision. So, play out a few different scenarios so you are not surprised, or caught off guard!

Here are some interesting things they brought up that I didn’t really think about:

  1. Do you want the lights bright or dimmed?
  2. Do you want interns present from the birth?
  3. How do you prefer to spend your first stage of labor (i.e., in a bath tub, walking around, with music or in silence)?
  4. During delivery, how do you want to be positioned (i.e., stand, squat, lie on side, lean on partner)?

 

And here are some really important questions to ask yourself and consider:

  1. Would you like labor augmentation? Do you even know what that is?
  2. What kind of pain relief do you want to use? There are a lot of options.
  3. What level of fetal monitoring do you want?
  4. After delivery, what do you want to do with the umbilical cord and placenta?
  5. What if you have to have a c-section. Read about options and recovery. You have decisions here too (i.e., want your partner there, want to see the baby come out via mirror)?
  6. Print out your plan and keep it in your hospital bag. It’ll be a nice source of comfort.

 

**Fun fact: Lindsay had her baby only one week after writing this post! Good thing she had her birth plan (and this blog) all set.

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Written by our Founder & CEO, Lindsay Bell

Finding Harmony With Your Child

We recently got the chance to partner with Emily Chamberlin and Christopher Diaz, co-founders of Heart to Harmony, an organization centered around connecting parents and caregivers to their children through various techniques. Learn about their teachings through our Q&A below, and by stopping by their space on the Upper West Side!

Q: What is the mission behind Heart To Harmony? What kinds of things do you hope your members takeaway from your classes? 

 A: Our mission is to create a harmonious atmosphere, where families and their babies can find a deeper bond within themselves and with their child. Our participants leave class feeling uplifted and encouraged emotionally, physically and spiritually. Parents and caregivers will acquire knowledge of children’s songs, baby and me exercises and breathing techniques to do at home. These tools can be used in or out of the class to calm the mind, relieve stress and connect on a deeper level with their child.  

 Q: What types of classes do you offer? Can people of all ages register to take a class? 

 A: We offer a Baby and Me exercise and mindfulness class for ages 4 weeks to new walkers that focuses on connecting with your child through the breathe, guided imagery, singing and simple fun baby and me exercises.

 Q: Where did your passion/inspiration come from to start up Heart of Harmony? 

 A: Our inspiration came from our shared desire to create a unique program for families with little ones to meet, bond, have fun and find community. Our love of teaching, working with kids and connecting on a deeper humanistic level with others is the spark that ignited Heart to Harmony. 

Q: How can prospective members sign-up for a class? Are the class schedules flexible? 

A: Those interested in joining our Heart to Harmony family can e-mail us (chrisandemily@hearttoharmony.com) to schedule a 10 minute meet and greet prior to joining class. This meet and greet is required so that we can get to know each family on a more personal level. 

Families can sign up for a class through the “Register for class” section on our website. Payments online are made through PayPal. Cash and VENMO are also accepted prior to class.

Special discount offer for Bell Family Company families: Receive a 25% discount on your first class with Heart to Harmony! Just mention this blog and your BFC member info when signing up. 

For a great promo video to learn more about Heart to Harmony, click here!

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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

Reclaim Your Health and Increase Your Joy

Make 2018 the year of taking control of your physical and mental health. Whether you’re looking to eat healthier, increase your energy level, or shine a little more light at the end of this motherhood tunnel, Thrive Hive Wellness is here to help.

See what all the buzz is about through our Q&A with Jennifer Khalaf, Founder of Thrive Hive Wellness.

Q: It sounds like an important lesson you learned in your journey was making time to focus on yourself as a woman, and not just your role as a mom. Why is it so important for moms to take time to focus on themselves, too? 

A: Mothers are incredible and have the ability to give and care for others on a level that always amazes me, but no matter how happy we are to do it, I don’t believe you can pour from an empty cup.

Before we have children we have many components that make up our sense of identity – our passions, our careers and our relationships, to name a few. After we have children, there is often a shift in “who we are” and how we define ourselves. Many of us feel that we lose the woman we once were and have a hard time making this new woman a priority – either because we don’t have enough time and/or resources or because we feel guilty being away from our family.

I believe we all deserve to be happy and take care of ourselves – both in terms of nutrition and in terms of self-care. Self-care is not a luxury, it’s essential to your health and happiness and it looks different for everyone – it doesn’t mean you have to get a weekly facial! For me, it can be anything from a workout I enjoy to getting tea with a friend.

It’s important to remember that while “mama” may be our most cherished name, it’s not our only one. We are wives, sisters, friends, coworkers, neighbors etc. and we deserve to fulfill our passions and interests. When we don’t nourish our bodies and minds, it often takes away from other areas in our lives. A fulfilled mama, is a happy and present mama and at the end of the day, that’s good for the entire family.

Q: What are some of the plans/services you offer moms looking to join, and how can they join? 

I work with moms in a variety of ways – I customize programs based off each client’s goals. For some women that may be focusing on nutrition to fit their bio-individual needs and lifestyle and for others it may be helping them work through areas of their lives that they’re feeling stuck or unfulfilled. We work together twice a month over a 3 or 6-month period (either in person or via video conference) and take steps each week towards making the changes to get them to where they want to be. Sustainable change takes time and let’s be honest when something goes wrong in the family, it’s mama to the rescue! These programs allow for the inevitable (a sick child, a school break, etc.) to happen and not sideline the progress they worked hard to achieve.

In addition to one-on-one coaching, I also offer family nutrition consultations, cooking demonstrations and pantry makeovers where we go through the family’s cupboard and swap out not-so-healthy staples with healthier alternatives that are equally delicious, but more nutrient dense.

To work with me or for a complimentary consultation, you can reach me through my website, or by email at jen@thrivehivewellness.com.

Q: What are a couple key takeaways moms will get when joining Thrive Hive Wellness? 

I recognize that every woman is different and it’s why each of my clients receives support tailored to their unique strengths and challenges. As such, their takeaways depend on their goals, but every client gains a better understanding of what foods support their bodies and gives them energy and balance. Additionally, they are equipped with tips and tools to help them make more space for themselves and feel more joyful and present in every aspect of their lives.

Motherhood is crazy and amazing all at the same time and sometimes we need a little reminder that our health and happiness is important too. If we know how to keep filling up our cups, we’ll have plenty to pour into our families!

Thrive Hive

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

Breath Confidence from EATWHATEVER®

I have a habit of liking foods that tend to leave my breath a little less desirable. I’m looking at you everything bagel.

It’s especially alarming when I’m out in public with friends or significant other, and I need to keep myself within an arms length distance so they can’t smell my breath.

To solve the bad breath problem, I tried out Eatwhatever® . Eatwhatever®  is a revolutionary breath freshener that assures confident fresh breath in two quick steps—swallow a gel, suck on a mint. Unlike other breath fresheners, Eatwhatever® works in your stomach AND your mouth. It’s all natural, vegan, gluten free, kosher certified and made in the USA!

I was lucky enough to team up with Jacqui Rosshandler, President of Jacquil LLC, and creator of Eatwhatever®, to try both the peppermint and ginger flavors. They were both great!

What I was really impressed by was the ginger flavor. One night I had an upset stomach, and remembered I had a stash of Eatwhatever® mints in my cupboard. I took a ginger gel cap followed by a mint, and my stomach felt much more at ease minutes later. An added bonus for expecting moms, the ginger flavor does wonders for helping with morning sickness and nausea.

To snag some of the Eatwhatever® products, checkout their website. And for those dog lovers, checkout Woofmints! Now both you and your pup can stay kissable!

EatWhatever

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

The Woman Inside the Mom

It’s important for moms to focus on the woman that lives inside being a mom. It can be easy to forget about who you are and what you want when you are caught up playing the role of mom, and looking after your little one(s).

Beyond Mom is a community of over 6,000 creative and productive women that focus on seeking Self within motherhood. We had the chance to get to know Randi Zinn, author, mindfulness and wellness expert, and founder of Beyond Mom, to learn more about this great organization.

Q: What was your greatest influence or drive to start up Beyond Mom?

A: Intuitively, I knew that I wouldn’t be happy just focusing on motherhood. I love my kids beyond measure but somehow inside I knew that if I was fueling myself and giving to the world, I would be a better mother. I met so many women who felt the same way and I wanted to create a space that honored this perspective and encouraged it. Plus, I want to show my kids what it looks like to work hard and go for your dreams. Just the other day, my son asked why I had to leave to go to an event for my book, and I told him that I wanted him to know that he could write a book one day….he seemed to like that answer.

Q: The name Beyond Mom is great! Why is it so important for moms to realize that there is value in life “Beyond Mom”?

A: When we shed all the titles, the expectations, the daily schedules and to-do lists, there is an essence that is made up of the truth of who we really are. The more time that we are in touch with that essence, the happier we really are because then we are in the flow of our lives. Our culture tells us that we should look perfect, act perfect and raise perfect children, and yet, tells us that we’re selfish for nurturing and investing in ourselves. I’m hoping Beyond Mom changes that cultural mindset….quickly.

Q: What are the most successful ways Beyond Mom works to support/encourage moms and their individual pursuits?

A: I hold regular events to bring women together for information, inspiration and community – I think magic happens in real time! What is most successful though are the day long retreats that I hold for moms to refuel themselves with yoga, meditation, discussion, speakers, and best of all, free time. Moms desperately need time to themselves and rarely get it. I’m super excited that our first Urban Day Retreat is happening on February 10th here in NYC and there’s still some spots left! Sign up here and invest in yourself and you will experience the rewards!

Q: You’re also the author of the recently published book, Going Beyond Mom. What are a few tips readers will learn by picking up a copy for themselves?

A: My book walks a woman through the layers of who she is and the layers that most typically experience upheaval as a mom. I walk you through how to rebuild these parts of yourself so you feel more solid and are able to be more present in all parts of your life – especially if you want to launch an idea. (second part of the book). A few of my favorite tips: move your body – moving your body reminds you that you are alive (very important when you are exhausted), use mindfulness techniques to calm mental overwhelm and intense emotional reactions, make sure the community in your home (anyone who walks in to help keep your home and kids safe and happy, is aligned with your values and overall needs, surrounded yourself with like-minded, inspiring people, and befriend change! (don’t struggle against change – accept it – and experience the unexpected beauty on the other side). How to do all of the above? Buy the book and dive in!

Beyond Mom_edited-1

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell

The Best Childcare Advice

What’s the best childcare advice? To not feel bad about taking care of yourself!

This mom guilt thing has to be better managed and supported. Aim to find someone that you can confide in! My mom gives the best advice on everything.

Look to get some type of help immediately post baby. My mom spent the first month with me when I gave birth – she acted as my baby nurse. I think every mom needs to have a parent, assistant, sitter, or baby nurse there for the first four weeks. It doesn’t have to be around the clock, or expensive. Especially if you are working or have other kids running around.

Here are some benefits:

1. Helps you recover faster and heal
2. Helps provide support and help with the baby
3. Makes you feel taken care of and gives you someone to talk to if you have questions

Don’t wait! Try to get the process of searching for someone started early to save on stress. And don’t forget to do your research. Some moms could change everything once the baby arrives.

If you get a direct referral it’s much easier. Typically, if the referral is an excellent sitter, or a great judge of character, they will refer someone just as great. Try using an agency or a group of some sort (HINT: Bell Family Company)! If you don’t, you’ll be running your own company (sourcing, vetting, checking references, etc.). Groups or companies know all the rules, and have staff to vet through all of those things for you.

Golden rule: Treat others as you want to be treated. I think this is more important than ever for both the nanny and family. It’s amazing how a nanny that is given a coffee in the morning from her family will be more than willing to take the dog out for an extra walk, or how the family that lets the nanny leave early because she baked cookies for the family for their party that night.

And don’t forget, Bell Family is here to help with making childcare a breeze! Contact us today to book a sitter or nanny!

Linds-Brooks

Written by our Founder & CEO, Lindsay Bell

Raising a Bold, Brave, and Self-Reliant Boy

Have you ever wondered what motivates and drives your son in his everyday life? Teaching empowerment and belief in oneself is important, and it’s something parent’s can learn about in an upcoming event in New York City.

Join author and psychologist Dr. Adam Price,  for an event explaining how to teach your son to persist when challenged, and to develop the critical self-regulation skills necessary for success. He will also decode ‘boy world,’ explain why some bucks are “too cool for school” and give you the tools to raise confident, emotionally strong men.

On Wednesday, November 15 (6:30 PM until 8:00 PM), take part in the event by registering with HRP Mamas. Don’t wait – the Tuesday event is already sold out!

For full event and registration details, click here.

Hes_Not_Lazy_COVER

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell