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5 Ways to Maintain Healthy Legs During Pregnancy

Maintaining a healthy circulatory system is so important – it helps to keep you active, strong and comfortable. Symptoms of poor circulation can include anything from tingly limbs and discomfort to the development of blood clots or deep vein thrombosis, which can be life threatening. Men and women of all ages should be proactive about their circulatory health, but if you’re pregnant, you will definitely want to read on!

There are lots ways, however, that you can prevent these possible complications and improve circulation during all stages of pregnancy! Here are five easy things you can do to make a big difference in your circulatory health for you and your little one:

  1. Stay well-nourished – What you eat has never been so important! According to WebMD, you should be eating a wide variety of healthy foods to get all of your needed nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Be sure to incorporate three servings of iron-rich foods per day to keep your red blood cell count up.
  2. Stay active – Make time for physical activity every single day, from mild work outs to walks around the neighborhood. (We know you’re tired, but you can do it!) You will also want to take regular breaks from sitting to walk around and stretch out, especially when traveling.
  3. Get comfortable – Even if you can still fit into your favorite pair of jeans for the first few months of your pregnancy, it’s important to wear loose and comfy clothing so that you don’t cut off your circulation.
  4. Put your feet up – Keep your legs uncrossed when sitting or lying and put your feet up whenever you can to help the blood travel back up the legs. This will feel good and help swelling and discomfort go down.
  5. Wear compression socks – VIM & VIGR’s compression socks can be your best friend during pregnancy – they’ll keep your blood flowing, reducing aches, pains, inflammation, spider and varicose veins and sluggishness. This is especially important during times that you can’t stretch or move around, such as when you’re sleeping or traveling.

Guest Blog by VIM & VIGR

Carry On! 6 Tips for Safe Babywearing

Is babywearing safe?  Absolutely yes! 

Babywearing is a practice that has been around for centuries throughout the world.  It offers many benefits for parent and baby.  With the many carseats, strollers and other devises introduced by manufacturers in the last few decades, is seems we have moved away from closer contact with our babies though babywearing.  Babywearing keeps your baby near you for bonding and comfort, and it is certainly a safe practice, but not frequently seeing lots of babies being worn can make us doubt and question our ability and the safety of babywearing. With these 6 tips for safe babywearing, some practice and maybe a helping hand from an experienced babywearer, you’ll feel confident in no time to keep your baby closer to you through babywearing.

  1. Keep Baby Visible – Keeping baby close enough to kiss allows the wearer to make sure baby’s face and nose are fee from fabric or skin ensuring baby has fresh air to breath.  It also ensures baby’s chin is not resting on his chest; therefore keeping baby’s airway open.
  2. Use a Properly Fitted Carrier – No matter what brand/type of carrier you have, insure it fits wearer and baby properly according to manufacturer’s instructions.  This will insure the wearer is properly supported.  It also insures for baby’s safety and head and neck support (while a newborn or while sleeping).
  3. Keep Baby Hip Healthy – You can insure hip-healthy development when baby’s knees are level or higher than baby’s hips/bottom, also referred to as “M” or “squat” position.
  4. Security – Inspect your carrier before wearing to insure all buckles, harnesses and stitching is secure.  Insure baby is secure in the carrier.  Practice in front of a mirror, over sofa or bed before venturing out and about.  Keep a hand on baby while learning baby wearing until you feel confident. 
  5. Purchase from a Reputable Manufacturer – Purchasing a carrier from a reputable manufacturer will insure your carrier meets all current US safety, testing and labeling standards.
  6. Practice Common Sense – Use common sense when babywearing.  Never drink hot beverages while wearing your baby.  Bend at the knee (not at the hip) and have a hand on the baby while picking something up.  Avoid babywearing situations where it would not be safe to carry an infant in arms.

So, pick up your baby….Keep Calm and Carry On!

by Deby Wells, IBCLC

Three Easy Steps to Avoid Holiday Weaning

As we approach the Holiday season, it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle-bustle and find ourselves overscheduled. As new parent, we find ourselves with a long list of people who want to spend time with our little new additions, and that can switch up our routine quite a bit. One challenge this time of year is what we as Lactation Consultants refer to as “unintentional weaning,” or “Holiday weaning.”

Perhaps you and your little one are used to spending multiple times a day sitting down together for a snuggle and a snack, but as our holiday schedule fills up with neighborhood gatherings, marathon cookie baking, holiday shopping, visiting the in-laws, school parties for older siblings and so on, we find ourselves missing feedings. And, as the next few busy months roll on, a missed feeding here and there, a bottle given without pumping to replace, or even a busy afternoon that condenses 3 feedings into 1 can really take a toll on your milk supply.

So, here are 3 things you can do to help keep you and your sweet babe on track for the breastfeeding timeline you want.

  1. Schedule time in your day to breastfeed and make the space to breastfeed on demand. Maybe this means shorter shopping trips or visiting places throughout your day where you will be comfortable breastfeeding. For some of us, that may mean latching our little one as we browse the aisles. And, for others, we prefer a quieter place where we can sit down with few distractions. Know your breastfeeding style and schedule your day to support that.
  2. Get a travel battery pack or car charger for your breast pump. Perhaps some amazing relative is offering to watch your little one while you play Santa’s helper, and you will be missing a feeding. If you have a way to pump in your car, then you have a cozy private spot to pump and protect your milk supply. Sounds like a great time to sip on a pumpkin latte in peace!
  3. Be an advocate for your and your baby’s breastfeeding time. If you are going to be away from home, scope out a good place for breastfeeding when you arrive, and let your host know what you need.

Momma’s, you are capable of amazing things! Breastfeeding is work but definitely worth it.  Here’s to a wonderful Holiday season and a good milk supply!

Wine with Your Valentine

Thinking of going out with your sweetie for Valentine’s Day but worried about having a glass of wine because you are breastfeeding? Fortunately an occasional drink is ok – with a little time management.

The level of alcohol in your milk will match your blood alcohol level. As you drink, the milk alcohol level will rise. As the alcohol leaves your bloodstream it will also be leaving your milk. Metabolism of alcohol varies by person and depends on other things such as what foods are eaten with the drink.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, while taking your own situation into account, the amount of alcohol in your milk will be negligible about two hours after your last drink. If you are safe to drive, you are also generally safe to breastfeed. But, of course, that can be difficult to self-assess.

There is no need to pump and dump your milk since the alcohol does not accumulate there. However, if you miss one of your baby’s feedings it would be best to pump to preserve your milk supply and relieve discomfort.

Some other considerations may affect your decision. Studies have shown that alcohol consumption can inhibit the letdown reflex. Some babies of mothers who consume alcohol every day have more trouble sleeping. Babies under three months have immature livers and will clear alcohol more slowly from their systems.

For a more detailed article and list of references visit:
http://kellymom.com/bf/can-i-breastfeed/lifestyle/alcohol/

Wishing you a lovely Valentine’s Day from the Special Addition Team!