Category Archives: Mom

Selfless Acts Mama’s Did to Make Their Child’s Lives (and Their Own) as Normal as Possible in 2020

Who isn’t going to remember 2020 as the year of firsts? Mama’s everywhere were forced to put their creativity caps on and think of ways to entertain their child(ren) at home – myself included! Take a look at some of the awesome ways mama’s made staying home the cool thing to do.

My neighbor has kept all of her kids home since March due to COVID, and as a result, she completely transformed her home office into a classroom. She built cubbies to make the kid’s lockers (like they would have had at school), ABC’s are hanging on the wall, there is an art center and library with hundreds of books. It’s truly amazing!

Another mama who is keeping her 7-year-old twin’s home from school for the first semester, put together a deal with Grandma to offer a two-day-a-week ‘boarding school.’ The twins packed their bags and spent the night at Grandma’s house for two days, and completed all virtual learning at her house. New face, environment, relief for mama and a fun trip!

Two other moms put together a regular playdate where their toddler boys switch off homes and hang out for two hours twice per week. This helped to get some socialization for the boys and some time away for mama. The kids hang out upstairs with a regular babysitter in a fully stocked playroom filled with games, books and activities.

Mama’s are struggling as we hit the end of the year, but killing it at the same time. Their hard work to make their child’s lives as ‘normal’ as possible during the pandemic is the reason why 2021 needs to be the year of the mama. We have a light at the end of the tunnel, but if you need support, motivation or guidance, please reach out to us for childcare help.

Looking to hire a babysitter or nanny? Bell Family Company provides fully vetted on-demand babysitting, including full and part time nannies, baby nurses, temporary care, help with virtual learning, and more! Learn why BFC is the best childcare agency, with childcare providers available across the U.S. (on-demand service available in the tri-state area). Contact us today to hire!

Seven Survival Tips for the First Weeks of Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is natural and beautiful. It’s also physically exhausting, mentally grueling and at times pretty uncomfortable. But while it may not be a breeze, there’s a lot you can do to make breastfeeding easier on yourself. These self-care tips help new moms get through the first weeks of breastfeeding successfully.

At the Hospital

You’re eager to welcome your new arrival, but have you thought about your first breastfeeding session? Breastfeeding for the first time is intimidating – this is new for both of you and there’s a lot of pressure to get it right ‑ but there are a few things that help it go smoothly.

Dress for success: Hospital gowns aren’t the most comfortable garment. Pack a comfy change of clothes in your hospital bag, including slippers, a robe, and a soft labor and delivery gown to replace the scratchy ones the hospital gives you. Look for a gown that offers easy access for nursing and skin-to-skin contact as well as the functionality your doctors and nurses need for postpartum monitoring.

Let your baby take the lead: When given skin-to-skin contact as soon as possible after birth, most babies will breast crawl and root in order to latch. However, some babies are too sleepy to latch right after birth and others may not be interested in eating much at all the first day. Don’t worry if your newborn doesn’t breastfeed right away. Instead, focus on providing as much skin-to-skin as possible and let your newborn nurse when ready.

Ask for a lactation consultant: If your newborn still hasn’t latched after the first day, talk to a lactation consultant. There are a variety of reasons babies may not latch right away, from position to prematurity, and most hospitals have lactation consultants on staff for this very reason.

The First Two Weeks

The first weeks at home are a blur of sleeping and feeding as new mothers recover from birth and get acquainted with their baby. During this time, your newborn will feed practically non-stop thanks to a teeny tiny stomach. Use these tips to keep your breastfeeding routine manageable and your baby well-fed.

Create a cozy nursing spot: Breastfeeding is easier when everyone is comfortable. Set up a nursing area with seating, a nursing pillow, breastfeeding essentials, and snacks and entertainment for yourself. Experiment with breastfeeding positions to find what’s most comfortable for yourself and baby.

Keep your baby accessible: Putting a newborn down to nap in the nursery every time will have you running back and forth all day. A bassinet or mini-crib in your home’s living space makes frequent nursing less of a hassle. At only 38 inches long, mini-cribs are significantly smaller than standard cribs, making it easy to squeeze one in wherever you need it.

Use a sling to free up your hands: If you’re feeling captive to your nursing newborn due to cluster feeding, use a sling or baby carrier that lets you nurse while multitasking. While it takes practice to get the right position, learning to nurse while babywearing is a great skill for breastfeeding mamas to master.

Relieve breast pain: It’s normal for breasts to become heavy and tender when milk comes in. This usually goes down within a day or two, but some women’s breasts may become engorged. In addition to a supportive, well-fitted nursing bra, warm and cold compresses relieve engorged breast pain. Use a warm, moist compress before nursing to increase milk flow and cold compresses after nursing to reduce swelling and inflammation. Some women even use cabbage leaves for relief!

Breastfeeding is incredibly beneficial for babies, but it takes a lot out of new mothers, especially in the first weeks after birth. If you’re struggling to take care of yourself while breastfeeding your new addition, let a baby nurse or night nurse from Bell Family Company lend a hand. A night
nurse can help you get the rest you need while caring for your newborn so your breastfeeding journey gets off on the right foot.

Photo from Unsplash.com

Written by guest blog writer, Leslie Campos, Well Parents

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

Making Your Back-to-Work Plan, The Pumping Edition

We recently teamed up with Jennifer Mayer, founder of Baby Caravan, and Birth Doula for over 12 years, to get her advice about mothers who are going back to work and are committed to breastfeeding and maintaining their pumping schedule. Read below for her thoughts and suggestions, and to start your back-to-work plan.
For many mothers, the return to work is filled with lots of stress, concern and worry. Leaving your new baby in the arms of an entrusted caregiver and returning to work is never easy. For moms who are committed to breastfeeding, creating a good pumping
plan is a huge asset.
Breastfeeding is all about supply and demand. In order to produce enough milk for your child’s feedings, it’s essential that you pump on a regular and consistent basis. Many moms are concerned about their supply when they return to work, since they will be away from their baby. It’s true that the pump is not quite as efficient to remove milk as compared to your baby, and your supply may decrease. However, there are a few things you can do to keep your supply up while pumping at work.
1) Make A Schedule: The most important thing when pumping at work, is making sure you pump on a consistent basis. Usually pumping at least twice while you’re away (every 4 hours), and ideally three times while you’re away (every 3 hours) will be often enough. To ensure your pump sessions occur, schedule them into your daily schedule if possible.
2) Have a Dedicated Pump Spot: Some offices have lactation rooms already available, and other places of employment do not. If possible, speak with HR prior to returning to work to sort out where you can pump when you return to work. Make sure it’s not a bathroom!
3) Grab Your Gear: You’ll likely want to have one pump at the office, and another at home. Prepare for your first day by bringing an extra set up pump parts as back-up, and extra shirt (just in case!) and extra storage bottles. You’ll also want to bring a cooler bag to transport your milk home in. We love the Pack-It coolers.
4) Breastfeed When You’re Home: One way moms ensure to keep up their supply is to nurse often when they are home with their baby. Depending on how well your little one is sleeping at night, you may want to feed more often in the evening and in the morning hours. On the weekends you can spend time nursing to boost
your supply and have lots of bonding time with your baby.
Some workplaces are more supportive than others when it comes to pumping at work. Hopefully your employer respects how important and beneficial breastfeeding is.
However if you’re the first employee to pump at work, or your employer isn’t very supportive, here are some ways to create a pump friendly environment.
1) The Law is Your Friend: At the federal level, mothers are also protected but for just one year: “Section 7 of the FLSA requires employers to provide reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for one year after the child’s birth each time such employee has need to express the milk.”
2) Design a Lactation Room: If you’re able to, design a lactation room for your company. You’ll want to include essentials like access to a sink, fridge for storage, cubbies to hold gear, a desk or table to hold laptops and pumps, comfortable chairs, wipes, and a community board. If you need a temporary space check out companies like Melk and Mamava.
3) Educate: If you’re one of the first moms who’s pumping, your boss and colleagues might just be unaware of all the benefits. Gently educating them on the health benefits of breastfeeding for babies and moms could go a long way toward acceptance.
I hope these tips help you as your prepare for your transition back to work. Pumping is certainly a commitment that takes time and dedication. Yet for many moms the satisfaction of providing breast milk for their babies while they are away at work is worth all the effort.
Baby-Caravan-D3S_6742
For more information about Jennifer and Baby Caravan, click here.

The Best of NYC Mom Groups

Are you new to the city, raising children on or near the Upper East Side? Do you need a new mom network, or some fun and easy suggestions for activities with the kids?
We gathered a great list of  NYC mom groups to help meet local moms and make playdates with children the same age as your own.
Our top three UES centric things to do with kids:
1. The Craft Studio
2. My Gym: Lincoln Center
3. The MET
Need more? Kidz Central Station is a great spot to search for classes all over Manhattan and Brooklyn for ages infant and up, and Mommy Poppins, “Top 50 Things to Do for NYC Families” has great suggestions, too!
Happy Mom-Grouping!
SistterMoms
Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

Positive Affirmations to Inspire Mom

If your calendar alert didn’t go off reminding you that Mother’s Day is this Sunday, then consider this your official reminder.
Mother’s Day is a great time to remind moms everywhere how much they are valued, loved, and appreciated for all of the things they do. It’s important for moms to relax and reflect on all the joys motherhood brings, and appreciate the hard work they achieve each and every day.
With special thanks to Personal Creations, they provided a list of 52 Positive Affirmations to Inspire Mom, in a recent post on their website. This is a great read for moms, not only on Mother’s Day, but all days of the year! Personal Creations also provides some great printable pages to go along with the read.
Happy Mother’s Day to all of the moms out there!
“There’s no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one.” Jill Churchill
Mom_group copy
Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

Have a Birthing Experience Like an A-Lister

Giving birth to your newborn child is one of life’s most precious things to experience (or so I’ve heard). That doesn’t go without saying that there are some not so precious things that occur during labor. To spare everyone of all the glorious details, let’s instead talk about how giving birth can be one of the most luxurious experiences of your life!
You’ve heard it here first; labor can be an experience where you feel like a queen, and it may leave you never wanting to leave that hospital room again.
In an article published by parents.com, they introduce some of the most luxurious birthing suites in the US. That’s right ladies, think spa treatments, 24-hour concierge service, and a private chef! It’s time to leave the roommate life behind, and experience a birthing experience as Amal Clooney would.

  1. Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center
    Birthing suites are designed to look like the outdoors! Oh yeah, your food is delivered by a tuxedo-wearing “food ambassador.”
  2. Rose Medical Center in Denver
    Birthing rooms have private bathrooms with Jacuzzi bathtubs, rocking chairs, and flat-screen TVs. To be totally low key, VIPs can enter one of the luxury suites, and be offered the services of a private chef.
  3. Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles
    If a three-room suite isn’t enough, mom can treat herself to an in-suite manicure, pedicure, or haircut. Celebs like Kourtney Kardashian, Rachel Zoe, and Victoria Beckham have given birth here, so start planning your totally casual celeb run-in now.
  4. The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City
    Enjoy your luxury suite overlooking Central Park and have your newborn wrapped in muslin cotton swaddling blankets. And no mom leaves without a postpartum massage!
  5. The Women’s & Children’s Hospital at Centennial in Nashville
    How about a 24/7 concierge service to handle your requests? From making sure your car gets an oil change to delivering food from Nashville-area restaurants – can we say VIP?

 
We provided the top five luxurious birthing suites. For the remaining five you can read the full article, here.
Lindsay_Brooks
Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell

Lessons Mothers Should Teach Their Daugthers

Think about some of the lessons your mother taught you while you were growing up. Do you teach those same lessons to your daughter?
It’s something that is very interesting to think about. I look back at my upbringing and the lessons my mother has taught me, and I wonder if these same lessons were taught to her by her mother, and her mother before that. Just when, and how long has this lesson been apart of the family?
I recently read a post through Big City Moms that touches on this subject. They present 31 lessons that all mothers should teach their daughters, and it makes for a great read!
Below are some of the important lessons moms hope to impart on their daughters:

  1. “That she is beloved and precious…worthy of respect and love.” — Kristel Acevedo 
  2. “That in life you will have smiles, tears, good and bad days, so always have a plan to go to, but to laugh more and don’t sweat the small stuff. Be proud of who you are.” — Sheila Bohnett
  3. “To be content, secure, and kind.” — Meg H.R.
  4. “Always know your worth.” — Amy Fraser Tackabury
  5. “The same message my parents instilled in me: to have the confidence to pursue your dreams and work hard, and your parents will always be there to support you, no matter what.” — Joy Symonds
  6. “It is not your job to make people happy. You can do nothing about how other people feel, only your response is up to you.” — Jessica Lemmons
  7. “To know that if Jesus walked this earth (as GOD) and couldn’t keep everyone happy, there is no way we as mere humans could. And it isn’t our job. Find what it is that you were made for and go for it!!! And to not take frustrations and stress out on your body but to love your body. You only get one!” — Bonnie Byrd
  8. “The friends you choose will play a big part in who you become so surround yourself with people you admire. And love yourself, imperfections and all.” — Tasha Newcomb
  9. “The “handyman” skills my mom learned from her mom and in turn taught me. I love being able to fix, build, and install things myself! Dated a bit, but my grandma told my mom “when it breaks, your husband will probably be at work, and when he gets home, he’ll be too tired. So your best bet is fixing it yourself.” — Sarah Huston
  10. “That her stubbornness will take her great places in life, if only she uses it the right way.” — Laura Delagarza Gruenwald

 
For the full list, check out the Big City Moms website!
Court_girls
Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell

Get to Know Maternity Mentors

Maternity Mentors is a program designed to help parents navigate life’s greatest challenge through tailored sessions, e-communications, and classes to help mentor new parents.
We recently had the opportunity to talk to Millie Gillon, the face and creator behind Maternity Mentors. Read below to learn more about her and the impressive guidance offered by Maternity Mentors.
Q: You mentioned you spent countless hours researching online boards, articles, mom’s groups, medical journals, etc. What resources helped you the most to answer your new mom questions?

A: CDC, American Medical Association, and combining information from countless blogs, boards, and articles around topics ranging from postpartum care, cloth diapers, to first foods, educational development, and beyond. I feel like I earned a PhD. in new parenthood from all of the research I did during late night nursing sessions. 

Q: Why should moms turn to Maternity Mentors as a trusted resource? What sets you apart from an expecting mom’s network?

A: Maternity Mentors is an experienced resource that works 1 on 1 with expectant moms to deliver the best resource for all maternity issues. The mom’s network is composed of mainly mothers’ first hand accounts, whereas Maternity Mentors is a combination of experiential and clinical resources to help.

Q: Why is having a mentor during pregnancy so important? Does Maternity Mentors stay with the mom throughout the entire pregnancy? Can a mom turn to their mentor after the baby is born?

A: Most new parents are focused on the labor and delivery experience, but few focus on the intricacies of parenthood beyond countless ads focused on buying merchandise that they really do not need. A mother about to go into labor is vulnerable from experience. While there are plenty of resources she can turn to (friends, family), none are directly committed to new parents and the baby/babies. The mentorship experience is about focusing on the new parent(s), and baby’s wellbeing. 

Guide to Raising a Happy, Healthy Mom

The Mother’s Matter blog recently posted an article that talks about how to raise a happy, healthy mom. One big influential factor they highlight is sleep (or lack of) amongst moms.
This post offers three tried and tested tips that can help moms and dads catch a few extra zzz’s.
1. Sleep more = Sweat more.
A study published in Annals of Behavioral Medicine, revealed that a home-based, individual aerobic exercise program can reduce fatigue (both physical and mental) in women with postpartum depression. A second study revealed that a group of postnatal women who practiced in-home Pilates, were found to have lower levels of physical and mental fatigue than their non-practicing peers.
2. Wanna sleep? Apply the pressure.
Licensed acupuncturist and owner of Four Flower Wellness in Chicago, Ashley Flores, speaks to the restorative potential of acupressure for new mothers. Instead of using needles, the treatment is administered with the fingers. Flores suggested that applying acupressure to the Pericardium 5, 6, and 7 points (found on the inside of the wrist) can be especially useful before going to sleep.
3. Eat your way to a good sleep.
The foods a new mom opts for can make a difference in helping cope with a chronic case of depleted sleep. Nutritional Consultant, Patricia Daly, BA, DipHE, NT states that one of the best ways to stave off physical and emotional fatigue is to keep blood sugar levels even throughout the day. Complex carbohydrates such as whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta, and brown rice are preferable to their white counterparts.
For the complete article and to see more from Mother’s Matter, click here.
Happy_Healthy Mom
Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell