Tag Archives: newborn

Connect With Local Moms and Dads Through The Parent Collective

Expecting moms and dads often need one common thing – support. The Parent Collective provides just that by helping to establish connections with other expecting parents through classes that minimize stress, and ultimately, make people feel like they are in this together.

We had the opportunity to partner with Jessica Hill, one of the Co-Founders of The Parent Collective, to learn a little bit more about her, her company, and what makes TPC so special.

Q: What inspired or influenced you to create The Parent Collective? 

A: I decided to start TPC back in 2016 after hearing from countless friends that they spent their early months and years with their baby feeling lonely and isolated. Because I was lucky enough to have my boys in the UK and benefit from the NCT, my experience was wildly different, and I wanted to give a similar feeling of support through education to others. Quite simply – I don’t know how I would have gotten through the early months of my first baby without my village of NCT moms who got me out of the house, listened to me vent when I was struggling, swap strategies for dealing with the latest feeding/sleeping/illness issues that crop up, and filled countless afternoons with conversation and companionship. Everyone needs that support and I hope that TPC will fill this need.

Q: What are the variety of classes that you offer and what can parents expect to learn in each of them? 

A: We offer a prenatal class series for expectant parents and after babies arrive, we offer CPR & First Aid classes, postpartum support groups as well as a wide range of workshops and online content developed in response to participant questions.

Our prenatal class, which is our core offering, is a 4-week series and in it, participants will discuss:

  • Session 1: What to expect in labor and delivery
  • Session 2: Relaxation techniques to help you through the early stages of labor, options for pain management and C-sections
  • Session 3: Breastfeeding and bottle-feeding information and advice, including latching on, pumping, milk storage, getting on a feeding schedule, and how to manage problems that may arise
  • Session 4: Newborn care

Q: How are your classes unique to the classes at my local hospital?

A: The Parent Collective offers a new style of prenatal class which is designed to provide evidence-based information, foster open, judgment-free discussion and establish friendships among couples living in close proximity and due at the same time. We see ourselves as an alternative to other childbirth education classes and hope that couples taking the series will develop a social network through participation, gather playmates for the little ones on the way and of course, provide that crucial support system that parents so need.

I am always banging on about how important it is to have friends with babies the same age as yours. I absolutely realize that it is hard to make friends as adults but with pregnancy as the common thread, it can sometimes be easier. Mom and dad friends at every stage of the parenthood journey are super helpful, but friends who have kids the same age as yours are essential. No one can fully appreciate the daily trials of a newborn like your friend who is also navigating life with a newborn. From spilling preciously pumped milk to dealing with an explosive poo in-transit. When you are in it, these feel like total disasters. However, these stories will not elicit a visceral “gasp!” from a new parent, but rather a breath of relief as you realize another real person has experienced something similar – like, yesterday.

Parents need this camaraderie so you can enjoy/survive the early days (and hopefully beyond) together. Our classes allow parents to solidify these relationships before babies arrive, so you don’t have to work so hard once they do. You can already be texting from the hospital about the terrible food and a love you never thought possible.

Q: Who are some of the facilitators that women can expect to meet in your classes (background, experience, mission etc.)?

A: All of our facilitators are nurses and midwives who can offer our expectant parents an accurate picture of what to expect in the hospital. Most are also mothers who can provide that additional layer of support having experienced first-hand what a world-rocking experience having a baby can be. Here is the background of one of our facilitators as an example but you can view all of them here.

Allegra Gatti Zemel, RN, IBCLC

Allegra is a registered nurse, Internationally Board-Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), and mother of three. She holds a BA in English from UC Berkeley in California as well as a BS in Nursing from Columbia University in New York City. Allegra has 13 years of experience in hospitals, classrooms, and in-home care and instruction around Maternal/Child Health and specifically breastfeeding. Allegra works to help each person feel equipped and ready for the wonder, transitions, and joy of a new baby with special attention to feeding and bonding.

Q: Where are your locations and how can someone sign-up to learn more about The Parent Collective or join a class? 

A: We currently host regular classes in Fairfield County, CT, Manhattan, Long Island, NY, Bergen County, NJ and we will very soon be launching in Westchester NY.

TPC will also soon be launching our prenatal series as a webinar. Watch this space!

To learn more, visit our website and sign-up for our newsletter, which offers information for expectant and new parents, as well as the opportunity to connect with parents who live local to you and have kids the same age.

Jessica Hill
Jessica Hill, Co-Founder of The Parent Collective

Written by Taylor Bell, Marketing & Social Media

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

Parents of Newborns Are Exhausted – How Everyone Can Get More Sleep

Moms and dads alike suffer from a lack of sleep with newborns.

A mere 5 percent of parents with babies under six months old get the recommended eight hours of sleep each night. In fact, many aren’t even getting a few hours of uninterrupted sleep at night with 43 percent of new parents only getting an average of one to three hours of uninterrupted sleep.

Nighttime feedings, colic, diaper changes, and other needs can keep parents up at night. Even when the baby is sleeping, parents may lose sleep to other factors, including housework and worrying about providing a good life for their child.

Even for stay at home parents, the age-old advice of sleeping when the baby sleeps doesn’t actually happen: 41 percent say they can’t sleep during their baby’s naptimes.

New parents are so desperate for sleep that half of them would pay $100 or more for eight hours of uninterrupted sleep. One in ten says they’d pay $1,000.

Healthy Sleep for the Whole Family

Sleep deprivation is a fact of life when you have a new baby. Sometimes, the only way out is through. Most babies start sleeping through the night by six months, so there is an end in sight. But there are ways to get better rest and improve the quality of your sleep in the early months with your child.

  • Practice healthy baby sleep habits. When your baby sleeps well at night, so can you. Start healthy sleep habits early, maintaining a consistent bedtime and naptime routine. Follow predictable patterns throughout the day, such as wake, eat, play, and sleep, so your baby learns that after playtime comes time to rest. Make bedtime more restful than naptimes, allowing household noise and light to persist during the day to reinforce daytime cues. At night, reinforce nighttime cues by keeping your baby’s nursery cool, dark, and quiet.

  • Say yes to help. Accept offers from friends and family members who want to help. Don’t be too proud to let someone bring dinner, or do your dishes or laundry, or just hold the baby while you take a quick nap or practice self-care.

  • Go to bed early. Don’t feel silly about going to bed when your baby does. Even if it’s 8 or 9 p.m., you may need those hours to fit enough sleep into your night.

  • Take shifts or alternate nights. When both parents can’t sleep through the night, everyone suffers. Uninterrupted sleep is best, so you’re able to get into deep, restorative sleep rather than shallow, choppy sleep that isn’t as restful. Try taking shifts, such as 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., then 2 a.m. to 6 a.m., with one partner on call to get up and tend to the baby’s needs for the entire shift while the other can sleep uninterrupted. Or, take the one night on, one night off approach so you can get a full night of uninterrupted sleep every other night. These approaches work best when the sleeping partner is isolated and able to rest without being disturbed.

Focus on your health. When you have a new baby, self-care can fall by the wayside. But it’s important to keep up with healthy habits including diet and exercise when you’re sleep deprived so you don’t fall into unhealthy patterns. Splurge on a new mattress and enjoy those few hours of sleep all the more. Make time to get exercise, such as walking with your baby in a stroller or carrier, and pay attention to what you’re eating. Casseroles dropped off by friends and family might be delicious, but take a break and have a salad or smoothie now and then so you’re not suffering from sleep deprivation along with poor dietary choices.

Sleep-help

Article written by the team at The Sleep Help Institute.

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.

Basenette copy

Written by our Founder & CEO, Lindsay Bell

Find Your Pediatrician Through Battery Park

If you have a little bundle on the way, then that means it’s time to find a Pediatrician near you! And don’t wait, because your newborn will need to visit his or her Pediatrician in their first week of life.

We had the opportunity to learn more about Battery Park Pediatrics through Dr. Melissa Morrissey, in the Q&A below. Read up, and get your appointment scheduled today!

Q: What sets Battery Park Pediatrics apart from other offices?  

A: Battery Park Pediatrics is a welcoming place where children can receive comprehensive medical care. Parents enjoy our convenient location and open schedule, accommodating urgent and same day appointments when they most need us.

BPP quickly became popular soon after opening in 2011. Our office attracts not only local residents but also families from all NYC boroughs and New Jersey. We are ideally located close to the West Side Highway, express and local subways, both the Hugh Carey and Holland Tunnels, as well as walking distance from anywhere in Battery Park and Tribeca (including the Oculus and World Trade Center Transportation Hub).

At Battery Park Pediatrics you can expect prompt, personal, comprehensive care and access to a wide range of our recommended local and hospital based subspecialty providers.

Q: What moment in your life did you realize you wanted to be a pediatrician?  

A: As a young child in the second grade, I doctored my dolls and declared my intention to become a doctor. I remained undeterred despite facing the challenges of unrecognized ADHD, and a general underestimation of my commitment. I studied psychology and neurology, but ultimately gravitated to pediatrics. I have a natural empathy for children and parents. When I trained with Dr T Berry Brazelton, I discovered a kindred spirit and a mentor who, along with a personal study of temperament, has shaped my practice into something unique.

Q: Emergencies often arise with children; do you offer same day appointments to help with emergencies? Are you available on the weekend and after hours to help, too?

A: In 2018, we are expanding our hours. We are open 7 days a week and are open later on weekdays to accommodate the busy schedule of working parents and school age children. We are planning a community based initiative to educate new and expectant parents about infant behavior and temperament to guide their parenting style. We will maintain our high quality standards, seek to improve our efficiency and increase our participation within the community.

Battery-Pediatrics

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

NYC Pediatricians We Love

Did you know your newborn baby needs to visit the doctor during the first week of life? That means you need to have your pediatrician determined before the baby arrives. Ask your mom friends, ask your OB, and do your research to come up with a good list of local baby doctors (you’ll want them in walking distance if possible, so you don’t have to worry about taking a car).

We asked around, and here’s a short list of the pediatricians our families love:

  1. Battery Park Pediatrics
  2. West Side Pediatrics 
  3. Premier Pediatrics Brooklyn & Chelsea
  4. TriBeCa Pediatrics
  5. Carnegie Hill Pediatrics

 

We recommend making a consult appointment to each, and then making your decision after that. It’s a process, but you’ll want to have it done before your little bundle arrives.

Baby

Written by our Founder & CEO, Lindsay 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

Stop Using Infant Sleep Positioners

Although devices designed to make bed-sharing safer have become more popular, recent research has sided against such devices.

“The US Food and Drug Administration is reminding parents and caregivers not to put babies in sleep positioners. These products—sometimes also called ‘nests’ or ‘anti-roll’ products—can cause suffocation (a struggle to breathe) that can lead to death,” reads a recently published statement.

There are two styles in particular this relates to. One features raised supports or pillows (called ‘bolsters’) that are attached to each side of a mat, and the second one has a wedge to raise a baby’s head. Both positioners are intended to keep a baby in a specific position while sleeping, and are intended for infants under 6 months old.

The FDA has received reports of babies who were placed on their backs in these positioners, but later found in hazardous positions either within them or next to them. And more tragically, the FDA has received reports of suffocation-related deaths.

Remember, the safest sleep position for a baby is on their back on a firm surface free of any loose bedding, blankets, or stuffed animals.

Baby

This blog has been repurposed from TheBump.com

Training Thursday Vol. 14 – Swaddling

Welcome to volume 14 of Bell Family’s video training series, where each Thursday we release a video to help coach sitters on an array of childcare topics.

This week we are featuring a training video on swaddling!

Here are some quick how-to steps to keep in mind:

  1. Once the blanket is placed down on the surface (top folded down like a triangle) place the baby’s neck line in line with the top of the blanket.
  2. Wrap down, up, and then around the baby.
  3. Make the blanket secure around the baby’s body by tucking the remaining part underneath.
  • Tip: Look for a tag that is attached to the blanket. There is often instructions on the tag if you need a refresher.

In addition to our follow-along training video, you can read more details about How to Swaddle a Baby through parenting.com and the 5 Reasons to Swaddle Your Baby through Precious Little Sleep.

These videos are recommended to all BFC childcare providers to view for the latest techniques when caring for children. These videos were designed by our team comprised of long-time babysitters, full-time nannies, mothers, grandmothers, elementary educators, and social worker.

Swaddle

Note: Always follow the family’s instruction and care methods, and keep the family informed of everything with their baby.  These videos are not required to view, but a simple recommendation. For more information or for questions, please contact our office or read our terms.

New York Baby Show Highlights

At the end of last month, the annual New York Baby Show concluded, where our very own, Lindsay Bell, was a guest speaker.

This year, the event racked up its biggest numbers yet with 5,000 families registered! At the two-day event, both expecting and new moms had the opportunity to walk around the show to discover new products, take in seminars on bump and baby, and check out fun attractions such as the Cannon Step-And-Repeat and the respites (like the DK Reading Rest Stop).

This is a great event hosted every year by New York Baby Show. If you haven’t gone yet, next year is your year!

To see additional photos and coverage from the event, check out their Facebook page!

NY Baby Show

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell