Desperate Housekeeping for busy mums and dads

From one mother to another

Archive for the category “Pregnancy”

New blog! Hope to see you there!

Hi all!
As some of you know, I recently launched a new blog: Expat Mum in Luxembourg.

At the begining, I thought it would make sense to maintain both blogs, with separate themes, but quickly I figured it out that my themes are always around Family Life and Kids.

So, I decided that the new blog will be my new online ‘home’, with new and fresh ideas. As for the Desperate Housekeeping for Busy Mums and Dads, I’ll start to gradually migrate the best contents into the new blog as well.

Hope to ‘see’ you at the ‘Expat Mum in Luxembourg‘ blog and, please, don’t forget to “Follow It”.



C-Section – A hard recovery

A c-section recovery is way too longer than it is from a natural one. A cesarian is an abdominal surgery so, as any other surgery there is a recovery period that includes healing. In fact, our body needs about six months to fully recover from this type of surgery.

There are some tips to help you reducing the natural discomfort from the first days after a c-section:
– Use a pillow by your belly to help you laugh or caugh, so then you won’t fell so much pressure during these moments.
– Use an appropriate post-partum waistband under your clothes.
– Avoid drastic movements or hold heavy things.
– Walk a little inside your home and frequently change your body position to reduce wind
– Find your best position to breastfeeding your baby. Usually, it’s more comfortable to doing it when lying in bed.
– You may feel some discomfort when you go to the bathroom, especially after the second week. It will disappear during the healing process.
– If you’re feeling down or any strong sadness, please go and speak immediatly to your doctor. The earlier you avoid a post-partum depression, the less impact it will have in you and in your relationship with the baby.
– Ask your doctor about the usage of a specific skin regeneration cream to apply on your scar. In spite of being for life, there are good specialty products which help to minimize how t looks like.
– Whenever you feel itchiness in your scar, don’t scratch!! Please take a warm bath and apply a fat cream.
– You should also apply every single day a good moisturizing cream all around your belly to help your body to recover elasticity] and shape.

It’s really important that you remember that a c-section recovery is not only to heal the exterior of the skin, but also the uterus, several muscle layers, blood vessels, the fat and finally the skin.

During the first post-partum appointment your doctor will assess your body’s good recovery. He would also [aconselhar] about the right moment to initiate some exercises to help your body and, of course, your mind! 😉

Breastfeeding – Tips for Success

Being able to breastfeeding a baby is one the most rewarding things in life a woman can face (besides being a mother, of course!). I really don’t understand how is it possible some mothers simply decide not even try it. It is not only the best nutrition for the baby’s development, but also the best solution for the mother when recovering from the pregnancy. And it is so delicious seeing those little things becoming so relaxing after a good ‘meal’… 😉 Amazing!!

However, I understand that breastfeeding is not always easy and there are some crucial moments when you could face some strong doubts whether to continue or not:

Crucial Moment Number 1: The first moments with my baby. Am I going to be successfull doing it?

> At this point, you should accept all the precious help from the nurses at the hospital. They will be more than happy to help you and your little one at this first steps knowing each other.

> It is perfectly ok if your baby is sleepy. You’ll have to use your imagination to find the best way to awake him in order to breastfeeding every couple of hours.

Crucial Moment Number 2: How can I possibly know the best position to breastfeeding my baby?

> You won’t be able to answer this question from the first moment. Instead, you will learn it, gradually, with your baby. You should simply relax and use a trial-basis approach to each position until you feel you are quite confident doing it.

> Most important of all, you need to be comfortable! As well as your baby, of course!

20121113-144214.jpg Find out more in ABC Parenting

Crucial Moment Number 3. What should I expect from the first days of breastfeeding?

> I think those moments would really depends on each woman’s own experience. And even more between a first and a second baby. However, there are some common ‘stages’:

> Nipple sensitivity is one of those challenging moments. You could use some appropriate cream to moist the area (e.g. Bepanthene Ointment or Uriage Bariéderm). This would minimize cracked nipples or even bleeding.

> By day 3 or 4 after the birth, the milk ‘comes in’. By this time you should feel a heaviness in your breasts (this is quite a phenomenon, it always surprises me!!). Feeding as frequently as possible would be the best solution to avoid more discomfort. Also, a warm shower or hot gel pads would be very helpful.

What about the other moms in the block? Any other good ideas to share?

Maternity Bag

Yesterday, I started packing my maternity bag. I’m already 37 weeks pregnant, so I though It would be better not to risk more days without anything prepared! 😉

I’m calling it ‘Mom-For-The-Second-Time’ syndrome! During my first pregnancy,I did everything by the book, so at 28 weeks pregnant I had everything alreadry packed and prepared for the big day! This time, I thought about it, I mentally planned a bunch of details, but in practice, most of the things are being effectively done by now! So, I’m wondering what should be the third time… 🙂

Back to the main theme: The Maternity Bag. You should have in mind all the items you would need to stay 2 to 4 days in the maternity, as it would depend not only on the type of delivery, but also on the well being of the mom and the baby.

For the Mom:
– A briefcase with all your health examinations and notes done during pregnancy;
– A lightweight and dark colour dressing gown, as you will end up pacing hospital corridors, either in early labour, or later with your baby (to give him bath, for example);
-Some backless slip-on slippers, as it should be easy to get on and off;
-Some warm socks. Believe it or not, your feet can get cold during labour and during post-partum;
-2 or 3 colorful nightdresses with front-openings, as it will be helpful during breastfeeding time;
-2 or 3 Nursing bras;
Breast pads;
-A good lip balm, as your lips can dry out quickly on a warm labour ward and during breastfeeding time.
Something to help you relax or pass the time, such as a book, a magazine or even a tablet;
Hairbands or a clip, specially if you have long hair;
Toiletries and makeup items. Travel versions would save you some space. Don’t forget: deodorant, hairbrush, toothbrush and toothpaste;
Post-partum gridle;
Something nice and very, very comfortable to wear on the day you’ll leave the hospital. It will take a while for your tummy to go down, so you’ll probably still need your maternity clothes when you get home;
-You should also check with your hospital if you’ll need more items, as their rules may vary.

For the Baby:
-4 sleepsuits and vests;
-2 or 3 muslin squares, for mopping up any milk your baby brings up;
-2 pairs of socks or booties;
-1 hat;
-1 outfit for the trip home (all-in-one stretchy outfits are easiest);
-1 warm and soft baby blanket;
Jacket or snowsuit for winter babies;
Baby car seat;
-You should also check with your hospital if you’ll need more items, as their rules may vary.

For the Father or Birth Partner:
-A change of clothes and some comfortable shoes;
Mobile phone and charger;
-A digital camera to take photos or a short film of the early moments with your baby;
-Some snacks and drinks, so than he will be able to stay with you all the time, rather than leaving the room to search for food;
-A prepared text message to send to all of your friends and family after the big moment.

If you have other children, you should also leave some notes with their daily routine, special needs… So than whoever will take care of them will know how to maintain their day-to-day life, at least with minimal changes – A bigger change in their lifes is already coming home soon!!

If you have any pets, you should also arrange someone to take care of their needs during your absence.

Bodysuits Review

Today I’m going to talk about something aparently so simple as to choose the right bodysuits to your little baby.

It might seem really simple, but when it comes to wear a newborn or a really fussy little baby, it would help to have the easiest clothes to wear. Specially those pieces you have to wear them every single day!

That’s why I absolutely recommend to every new mom to buy only front-opening bodysuits. At least until their babies can sit by themselves. This would be of extremely help speacially during the first weeks, when you’re trying to handle all kind of doubts about dealing with a newborn.

Preparing your home to the new baby’s arrival

Nowadays there is an amazing variety of offers regarding the maternity theme. So, it’s really easy for you to be lost and buy more than you really need, or worse, be frustrated if you’re not able to buy everything. But, in fact, you do not need everything!!! In the past, lots and lots of babies were raised without having half of the ‘gadgets’ there are today. Here are some ideas about the great things to have from the first days:

1. To Sleep

  • A cot or crib. If possible, choose one with some little wheels, as it would be great during the first months to carry your little baby to the living room or other place of the house.
  • Cot bed sheets and waterproof matress protectors (2 sets, at least).
  • Cot bed bumper.
  • Soft blankets.
  • Swaddle baby blanket.
  • Sleeping bag.
  • Dummies/Soothers. Notice that it is really important not to give it to your newborn during the first days, so that he/she could better adapt to the mother’s breasts.

2. To Be Fed

  • Baby Bottles (if ou are breastfeeding your baby, you’ll just need 1 or 2 bottles, just in case you need to leave some milk for someone else to give to your baby).
  • Bottle cleaning brush.
  • Sterilizer. In fact, it is not essential to have one, since you can sterilize bottles and dummies in boiling water, but if you can have one, it’ll help.
  • Eletric breast pump. I really recomend to use the eletric version, once it’s really, really easier to use. It’s worth the higher price. It  would be usefull when you feel you need to take some milk from your breasts to aliviate the pression, or when you are taking antibiotics (this way you ensure the milk production continues), or even when you need to be away from your baby during a longer period of time.
  • Save and storage milk bags. You can save milk in the fridge for 48 hours, and store it in the freezer for 3 months.

3. To Care and To Clean

  • Bath tub. I love the Tummy Tub solution and I used it until my baby was around 8 months old. I really recommend it instead of the traditional bath tubs.
  • Soft bath towels.
  • Waterproof changing mat.
  • Disposable / reusable nappies.
  • Nappy Bags (you can also use some cheap disposable freezer bags).
  • Soft wipes.
  • Nappy cream.
  • Cleansing product.
  • Body milk.
  • Baby monitor.
  • Thermometer.
  • Nasal aspirator.
  • Water-filled baby teething rings.
  • Safety items (stair gate, wall plug socket covers, corner protectors…).

4. To Wear

  • Lots of bodysuits with front openings. You should only use the other ones once your baby seat by himself (around 4 months).
  • Lots of babygrows.
  • Leggings and pants.
  • Booties and socks.
  • Soft and easy-to-wear coats/jackets.
  • Hats and baby mittens.

5. To Go Out

  • Pushchair / Stroller
  • Car seat
  • Baby carrier. Personally I love slings, as it can also be used to instantly calm your baby at home When he’s a little fussy.

6. To Be Enternained

  • Swing / bouncer (preferrably with music and vibration options included).
  • Cot mobile (preferrable colorfull and musical).
  • Soft toys with lots of different textures and/or sounds.
  • Bath toys.
  • Portable changing mat.

What about you? Do you have any other essential items to add to this list? Please share with us!

Making yourself the happiest mummy-to-be

Once your belly starts to grow visibly, you might feel really uncomfortable every time you go to bed. You might find really helpfull to buy a breastfeeding pillow to sleep with. This would be a great investment, for 3 major reasons: first, you can use it during the pregnancy as a pillow to your belly and your legs (make sure you use it between your knees); secondly, you’ll be able to use it during breastfeeding and thirdly, you could use it to lay down your baby on the floor or later, to help him sit.

Breastfeeding Pillow

Be comfortable: once you begin to feel tight in your clothes, please do not be ashame of using some pregnant pieces, or likewise. For example, you can easily find in your regular shop some trousers with an elastic bandage within your waist. It will make all the diference.

Take care of yourself: even if you have other children, you should find some extra time to do the things you like the most: take a long bubble bath, go to the hairdresser for once, read a book, go to the movie…

Talking about movies… Please do not see too violent or too dramatic movies, only the happiest ones. Even in the happiest movie, you shouldn’t be surprised if you find yourself crying like a baby. Didn’t you hear yet about your hormones?!

Talk to your friends, specially the others who have already children. In this period of your life you’ll be amazed how important friendship is and how strong you’ll feel the good and the bad moments.

Stuff to deal before the big day

Health-related things to do

  • First thing you need to do once you discover you are pregnant is, obviously, find an obstetrician and make an appointment. This doctor will be your very most important person during the next 9 months (and a little more, until you recover totally). You should also inform yourself about your insurance benefits regarding maternity coverage, so then you can decide which hospital would be of your preference to deliver the baby.
  • Then, you might want to buy a book about pregnancy where you will be able to find more about each and every month and trimester. You will always want to know more about the next months, the next feelings… It’s perfectly natural. But please, do not stress with it too much, otherwise all of your feelings will seem much more intense then they really are!!!

Legal-related things to do

  • During the first trimester you might find handfull to inform about your legal obligations and benefits, as well as the timmings for each one. It surelly varies from country to country, and depends on your working and/or marital status.
  • You should find all about prenatal benefits, maternal/parental leave, child benefits…
  • If you are a working mum, by the fourth month at most you should inform your company about your pregnancy.

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