Baby is on the way, so now is the time to put together your wish list!  Shopping for a new baby can sometimes be overwhelming, so use our convenient registry guide to help you sort through the mountains of baby gear.

You can also build your own registry using Amazon. Be sure to fill it with a selection of useful things for baby AND mom!

Pregnancy
  • Good Gradient Compression Hosiery
  • Comfortable shoes
  • 3-5 versatile pants/short/skirts
  • 5-8 maternity shirts
  • 1-2 maternity dresses
  • Pregnancy pillow
  • Preggie pops!
  • Cocoa Butter
  • Support Band
Nursery
  • Crib
  • Crib Mattress
  • Dresser
  • Rocking Chair
  • Baby Monitor
Baby Bedding
  • Crib Sheets – at least 2, but 3-4 is better
  • Mattress Pad – again 2-4 is good
  • Receiving Blankets – 4-6 (lightweight for summer babies, heavier for winter ones)
  • Baby Quilts – 2
Diapering
  • Changing Table w/ Cushioned Pad
  • Diaper Pail and Liners
  • Functional Diaper Bag – Go for lots of compartments, easy access to necessities, and light on the feminine features (you want Dad to be willing to carry it, too)
  • Diaper cream – 1 tube for now since you may need to switch brands depending on what works best for your baby
  • Wipes – Unscented are best on delicate skin. Get a whole case of these things. You’ll seriously use them.
  • Washcloths – Soft baby ones are best
  • Diapers – Have a couple of boxes on ready because you won’t want to run out in the middle of the night when you’re suddenly out of them. It’s a great idea to have some Size 1 on hand because most kiddos won’t stay in the Newborn ones long.
Bath Time
  • Baby Bathtub
  • Baby Soap
  • Baby Shampoo
  • Baby Lotion
  • Hood Baby Towels – 2-4 are good, many times they come in 3 packs
  • Wash Clothes – Soft baby cloths, separate from the diapering ones
  • Laundry Detergent – Scent and dye free is best
  • Baby Bath Seat – For when baby is old enough for the big bathtub
  • Knee Saver – Trust me, you’ll need this for bathing baby
Breast Feeding
  • Nursing Bra
  • Sleep Nursing Bra – Make sure it’s super soft and seamless
  • Nursing Pads
  • Nipple Cream
  • Nursing Pillow
  • Electric Breast Pump
  • Bottles – 4 oz and 8 oz – You won’t need as many as you would for a bottle-fed baby, but you’ll want some
  • Nipples – assortment of flow levels to use as baby ages
Bottle Feeding
  • Bottles – 4 oz and 8 oz – at least 10-12 of each
  • Nipples – assortment of flow levels to use as baby ages
  • Bottle Warmer
  • Formula
General Feeding
  • Burp Cloths
  • Pacifiers – Several as these tend to get lost fairly easily
  • Bottle Brush
  • Baby Spoons
  • Baby Dish
  • Snack Cups
  • Sippy Cups
  • High Chair
Health and Grooming
  • Baby Nail Clippers
  • Baby Thermometer
  • Baby First Aid Kit
  • Assortment of Medications – Acetaminophen, ibuprofen, gripe water, gas drops, etc.
  • Bulb Syringe
  • Petroleum Jelly and Sterile Gauze (for circumcised boys)
Baby Gear
  • Infant Carrier Car Seat
  • Convertible Car Seat
  • Baby Swing or Bouncer Seat
  • Stroller – Choose based on your needs – full size, lightweight, umbrella, jogging, etc. – You may want to get more than one for different baby stages
Baby Clothes
  • Onesies
  • Pajamas
  • Blanket Sleepers
  • Socks and Booties
  • Hats
  • No-Scratch Mittens

*** The time of year your baby arrives will alter your baby’s clothing needs

 

 

 

 

 

July is National Cord Blood Awareness Month.

When a mama is pregnant with a little one, there are so many decisions that she and her partner must make – big ones, little ones and everything in between.  But, one decision that pregnant mamas may not know much about is Cord Blood Banking.  Cord Blood Banking is honestly a lifesaving decision.  So, before you check yes or no to this decision, read a little bit more about it.

 

What is Cord Blood?

So, what is cord blood?  Well, quite literally, it is the blood leftover in a baby’s umbilical cord and placenta after birth.  Cord blood is really special, because it contains the powerful stem cells that are used to develop a baby’s organs, blood, tissue and immune system during pregnancy.  Once the cord is clamped and cut, your baby no longer needs the cord blood.

Cord blood is already special because of the important role it has for a baby during development, but now because of the awesome powers of science, cord blood has another equally amazing role.  The stem cells in cord blood have a unique ability to rebuild a healthy immune system damaged by disease.  Today, it can help treat nearly 80 different diseases.  Researchers have even begun expanding its uses in clinical trials to help treat conditions such as autism and brain injuries.

 

Who Can Benefit From Cord Blood?

Cord blood has been successfully used to treat several types of cancer, blood disorders, bone marrow failure syndromes, metabolic disorders, and immune deficiencies.  When blood is collected at a baby’s birth, it can be stored and used to treat future diseases and conditions for not only the newborn, but for any matching siblings, as well.  Depending on the disease or condition being treated will determine if the banked blood is more useful for the baby itself, or a sibling.  A parent can also choose to donate cord blood allowing donation and transplantation to the general public – kind of like a basic blood donation.

Researchers are now working with cord tissue, as well.  They hope that their work will lead to treatments and cures for diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, liver fibrosis, lung cancer, and sports injuries.

 

History.

In the world of medical science, the history of cord blood banking seems to be truly in its infancy.  It’s crazy to say it, but nearly all of the advancements have occurred during my lifetime!

The first ever report on cord blood stem cells was published in 1974, and this became the springboard for this new science.  In 1983, Dr. Hal Broxmeyer and his colleagues proposed using stem cells from cord blood for transplant.  A short 2 years later, Dr. Broxmeyer discovered transplantable stem cells in human cord blood.  It’s a major breakthrough.  And only 3 years after that, the first successful cord blood transplant is performed.  The patient is a 5-year-old boy suffering from Fanconi Anemia, a rare inherited disease affecting the bone marrow.  Cord blood was used from the boy’s newborn sister.

By 1992, the first public cord blood bank opened, the New York Blood Center.  A year later, a 1-year-old child is cured from acute leukemia after a cord blood transplant from an anonymous unrelated donor.  The blood came from the newly opened public bank.  In 1995, the first successful cord blood transplant is performed for an adult leukemia patient.

In 1998, the National Marrow Donor Program launched a cord blood program.  Also, a cord blood transplant is used to cure sickle cell anemia.  By 2004, Congress was involved passing and funding the Health & Human Services Appropriations Act to create a National Cord Blood Program.  The state of Illinois took it a step further passing legislation mandating birthing women be given the option to donate their baby’s cord blood to a public bank free of charge.  In 2005, Congress passed the Stem Cell Research & Therapeutic Act creating a national inventory of high-quality cord blood samples.

In 2007 cord blood is identified as being able to help metabolic disorders.  Research also shows that it is comparable to the matched bone marrow.  In 2008, researchers discover a way to enhance the growth of stem cells from cord blood after transplantation.

And as we’ve rolled through the second decade of the 21st century, the advancements in medical treatment with cord blood stem cells is literally multiplying.  Last year, the number of cord blood transplants around the world reached over 30,000.  This science has truly come a LONG way!

How to Bank:

There are a number of private banks around the country with varying costs to bank your child’s cord blood.  There is usually also an annual fee to store your cord blood.  Many hospitals in states around the country will also collect your baby’s cord blood for public donation.  Public donation is free.  You may have to fill out a detailed questionnaire outlining the health of you and your partner.

This is just scratching the surface on learning about Cord Blood Transplantation, Donation and Banking.  To gather the information above, I read from the following sources below.  There is abundance of additional information in each of these sites, so if you would like to look more into Cord Blood Science, please visit one or all of these sources.

 

** Sources:

  1. https://www.viacord.com/
  2. https://www.americordblood.com/
  3. https://www.fatherly.com/
  4. https://bloodcell.transplant.hrsa.gov/

My daughter was born during one of the hottest summers I can remember in my hometown of Kansas City.  So, technically it wasn’t the hottest summer on record, probably wasn’t even close, but it felt like it to me.  I do remember repeatedly pulling out my phone and snapping pics of the thermostat on my dashboard when it showed temps reaching 103; 105, even 108 degrees!  That’s hot when you’re not 9 months pregnant.

The first weekend the pools were open, I loaded up my son and headed for the cool heaven of the water.  After 30 minutes of this oasis, I looked over and noticed my son’s blue lips as he chattered, “cccan we ggggo home nnnow, Mom?” Of course, even in the hottest weather, a recently filled pool can still be pretty cold.

So, since a pregnant mama can’t live at the pool until the baby arrives, what can she do to stay cool?  Try a few of these tips to get you through the hot summer.

Stay Indoors in the Air Conditioning When You Can

I know, I know, easier said than done, right.  But, when the temperatures are really high, it’s best to stay in where fans and air conditioning can keep you more comfortable.

Plan Outdoor Tasks Early and Late in the Day

Well, you can’t stay in forever, right?!  When the temperatures are expected to be really high, try to plan any of your outdoor activities for the early morning or evening.  Doing all your necessary outdoor excursions when the day is the coolest will help to minimize time when the heat is the most uncomfortable.

Wear the Right Clothes

Wearing lightweight and loose clothing will help keep you cool, as well.  And it’s best to leave the dark colors at home, too, since they will absorb more of the heat.

Wear Compression for Swelling

The heat will inevitably make you swell.  Help cut down on the swelling by wearing compression.  Preggers by Therafirm has several lightweight options that won’t add a bulky layer to contribute to the heat.  Lightweight Maternity Footless Tights or Maternity Trouser Socks are both great options.

Drink Lots of Water

Everyone from your doctor to the checker at the grocery store is telling you that right now, right?  But trust us on this one – it’s great advice.  The last thing you want to do it to become dehydrated.  So, get yourself a sturdy refillable water bottle and don’t leave home without it!

Cooling Towels or Spray Bottles

Water isn’t always readily available, but it is a perfect way of cooling off.  You can carry a spray bottle with you to spritz yourself when you feel yourself getting too hot.  Or, you could try a cooling towel.  This towel is designed to cool you instantly and will stay cool for several hours.

Use Gel Pads

If you have trouble sleeping, try sleeping on a gel pad.  These pads help cool your body while you sleep.  You can put one in an office chair, too, to help cool you on the job!

Swimming

And of course, take advantage of any pool time you can get.  Not only is the water cool and soothing, but immersing yourself in water will help to alleviate some of the pressure on your back, hips and joints that your precious little bump gives you.  Swimming was truly the best relief I could find when pregnant with my summer baby.  I think I would have spent the last couple of months living in the water if I could have.

 

We hope these tips help you to keep cool while you wait for your little one to arrive!  Happy summer.

Why is it that so many people forget their manners around pregnant women?  Whether it’s a well-meaning coworker or that friend from church, their remarks can really sting, no matter how good their intentions may have been. This is especially true when you’re a sensitive, hormone-addled mom-to-be!

To save everybody some discomfort, here’s a list of things you should never say to a pregnant woman.

Are you sure you’re not having twins?

This. Is. The. WORST. It’s a not-so-subtle way of saying, “You look enormous.” Why would you ever tell a woman she looks big? What is the matter with you?

 

“OMG, you’re so small! You barely look pregnant.”

For a good portion of my pregnancy, I was small and had a barely noticeable belly. I would always get comments about other pregnant bellies being bigger than my pregnant belly. So here is the thing – just as you shouldn’t comment on how big a woman is when she’s pregnant, don’t remark on how small she is either. You might not think this one is as insulting, but it can make a first-time mom worry about whether she is measuring too small for her baby’s gestational age. Rule of thumb: Don’t make any comments about a pregnant mama’s size – trust me 🙂

“Wait Until… The Sleepless Nights/The Birth/You Have A Toddler!”

This one ALWAYS gets me! Guys, pregnancy isn’t a competition. I’m sure sleepless nights and toddler years are tough, as well as sending kids off to University. But, I’m not doing that right now. I’m pregnant, and every so often I would like to be able to have a moan about my aching back/how tired I am/my clumsiness without being dismissed as naive.

You look like you’re really ready to be done.

This is another way of saying, “Gosh, you look terrible.” It’s right up there with telling someone they look tired. Unless a person has just finished a marathon, or hosted a junior high slumber party, you shouldn’t tell them they look tired. Same goes for telling a pregnant woman she looks ready to be done.

 

You look farther along than five/six/seven/eight months. I’m sure you’ll go early.

Yes, I’m sure my doctor, who went to medical school, totally got the estimated due date wrong. Thanks for the help – I’ll make sure we revise the chart to reflect your completely off-the-wall opinion on how big my belly is.

 

You look like you’re ready to pop!

… you in the nose… 😉

Being pregnant is one of the most special times in a woman’s life. Not sure what you should say the next you are ready to time you’re chatting with a pregnant woman?

Keep it simple:

You.

Look.

Great.

That’s it. Works for postpartum women, too. Oh, and pretty much everyone else.

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My final countdown is on!!! I have less than 5 weeks until my due date with my first baby, so, I thought I would share a few of the things that have helped me get through this pregnancy, well, almost! Now, let me say, every pregnancy and person is SO different.  Some mommies don’t swell while others don’t have pelvic pain. These have been two of my biggest issues.

Below are the three items that made a difference in my pregnancy and I would definitely recommend them to my amputee preggo mommies. (And, I have even included equivalents for my non-amputee mommies.) These are products from Knit-Rite, the parent company of Preggers.

  1. Soft Sock. Well, I actually needed this product before I even got pregnant. Soft socks are used like any other socks.

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You wear your socks under your shoes; I wear my soft socks under my socket. Soft Sock fibers wick moisture away from the skin and inhibit odor. The best part is that they feel soft and cuddly worn next to my skin. For me, this is very important, since my skin is much more sensitive now that I am pregnant.

And for my non-amputee mommies, SmartKnit socks are made from similar materials for all those same wonderful reasons.

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2. Shrinkers. Like most pregnant women, I’ve gained weight during this pregnancy. Duhh, this is the only time in my life where it is acceptable and expected!!! I am going to do it, guys. Happy Holidays! LOL! But more than anything, I swelled, a lot! I stopped wearing my wedding ring, and my limbs inside my prostheses were definitely more than snug. Unfortunately, I can’t just buy bigger clothes to fit or wear compression tights/socks to help with the swelling. After talking with my prosthetist, he suggested that I wear Knit-Rite shrinkers.

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No lies here – I wore the shrinker all night like I was told. The next day I was able to fit into my socket without forcing myself into it. I was sooo happy! It’s not pleasant when you can’t fit into your walking legs – trust me!!! The compression prosthetic shrinker is usually used for control or prevention of edema following amputation surgery, for limb volumetric maintenance, to minimize hypertrophic scarring and to give compressive support for pain relief. But in my case, it definitely helped with my pregnancy swelling and I hope it will continue for the last 5 weeks!

As for my non-amputee mommies, I recommend Preggers maternity support leggings and our Core-Spun socks! They will give you the same effect as the shrinkers while looking fabulous. Aren’t you lucky? 😉

 

3. Preggers Maternity Support Bands. This is one we can all use!

Since I didn’t gain THAT much weight during this pregnancy, I didn’t think I would have too many back or pelvis issues. Boy, was I wrong. When I was about 33 weeks pregnant, I woke up with so much pelvic pain that I could barely make it to work. I kept thinking something was wrong with me, and I ended up visiting my OB/GYN . She said that this is a normal pregnancy issue, and I just need to wear a belly band to support my belly and hips. There are many types of belly bands out there, but of course I wore a Preggers by Therafirm Maternity Support Band.

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This seamless garment is made from super stretchy fibers and expands during the varying stages of pregnancy. The supportive band helps ease back discomfort and provide active moms additional abdominal support. And yes, after wearing one of these maternity support bands for a few days, my pain started to go away! It’s amazing how a simple material that supports just a tiny bit of your belly can relieve pain from your back and pelvis.

I can’t imagine finishing the last 5 weeks of my pregnancy without all of these products. Like I said earlier, every pregnancy is different and not all of these products are right for everyone. But they are right for me, and they might be right for you too! Give them a try!

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Today’s women have the luxury (can we call it a luxury, really?) of choosing when they begin their families.  Of course, this is not disregarding fertility issues that women (and men) of any age may face, but reasonably healthy parents can typically expect that they can build their families in their 20s, 30s or 40s.  Everyone always says that every woman and every pregnancy is different, and this is true.  But, there are things that you can plan to expect depending on what decade in life you are making your family.

Having a Baby in your 20s

Is it the right time?

It might be.  Biologically speaking, your body is primed and ready for pregnancy.  Conception is typically pretty easy in your 20s.  Most women will conceive within 2 months of trying.  Most medical risks are at the lowest points, including the risk of miscarriage, Downs syndrome, and other medical risks that lead to the need for a Cesarean.

Another positive to having children in your 20s is that you are still very youthful.  Things like feedings every 2 hours or chasing after an active toddler are much easier for a 20-something than a 30- or 40-something.

Financially speaking, 20-somethings may not be in as stable of footing as their 30- and 40-something counterparts.  But, the other side to this coin is that when the children are all raised and gone, you most likely have the health, the means and the ability to have a very active and fulfilled lifestyle.

Is it the wrong time?

It might be.  Although, parents in their 20s might be winning in the biology category, they probably aren’t in the financial column.  Many couples may be attending college or graduate school.  Or, they may be at the beginning stages of careers where money is tight, time off is a luxury they can’t afford, and daycare, formula and diapers are . . . well, dear God, no one mentioned how much these things are, right?!

Another thing to consider is what your friend-set is doing.  Are you in a group of other mommies-to-be or are your friends frequenting happy hour?  If your friend group is typically on the go, how will you feel when a sick child or lack of sitter prevents you from joining them?

Having a Baby in your 30s

Is it the right time?

It might be.  Your body can still hang – at least for the early part of your 30s – but your medical risks do start to increase, especially after 35.  Although, it might be a little harder to conceive than someone in their 20s, it shouldn’t be too bad.

The energy level is still pretty good in your 30s, too, but those active toddlers and feedings every 2 hours will definitely wear on you more now than in your 20s.

Parents in their 30s have typically finished their educations and have become at least somewhat established in their careers.  Financially speaking, they are usually a little more stable.  The daycare, diapers and formula become a little bit more manageable (but seriously, those things are way too expensive!).

What about your friend group?  Some of your friends might have done the early parenthood thing and some of them still might not be ready.  But, it’s a safe bet that most of them diving in to the parent pool right about now.  This makes for a ready-made support group, play-date group and a pool of resources for advice and babysitters. Win!

Is it the wrong time?

It might be.  To be honest, most of the characteristics we looked at point to your 30s being the right time for most.  But, we’ll hold to the adage that everyone is different, so there certainly may be reasons why your 30s is the wrong time for you.

Having a Baby in your 40s

Is it the right time?

It might be. Once upon a time, pregnancy this late in life was pretty rare, but we’re fortunate that lots of women in their 40s can choose to become parents now or whenever suits them.  The numbers of pregnant women in their 40s have drastically increased in the last few decades, as women have become a greater presence in the workforce and science and technology have allowed women to delay parenthood with too much cause for concern.  That said, if you haven’t yet joined the parenthood club yet, and it’s something that you want to do, it’s definitely time to get going.

Let’s be honest, the financials are probably as good as they’re ever going to be.  You’ve probably also watched many people around you build families.  You’ve learned what works and what doesn’t, so you’re well prepared for what to expect.

And most of the older parents I know tend to be wiser, calmer and more patient with their children, which are decidedly wonderful qualities to have when it comes to raising your children into well-adjusted adults.

And, what about the friends group.  Well, if your friends all had children in their younger years, they probably have kids that are looking for babysitting gigs right about now.  Win!

Is it the wrong time?

It might be.  Have you ever heard the saying about “having your cake and eating, too”?  Whenever this one is used, it never really works out to be a good thing.  In this case, it’s having that successful career AND having the perfect family all in good time.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out for the best.

We as a society have accepted 40-somethings starting families as a pretty normal thing, but biology hasn’t quite gotten the message yet.  Women in their 40s have a much harder time conceiving since fertility rates have decreased significantly in the previous decade of their lives.  It isn’t impossible, though, and a healthy woman in her 40s can actually have an easy time sometimes. Her risk of complications with pregnancy, however, increases, as she has a higher chance of Cesarean, Downs, miscarriage and a number of other medical complications.  But, that doesn’t mean that a 40-something can’t have a perfectly healthy pregnancy.  It’s just something to consider.

And the friends group?  Well, a friend of mine told me the other day that she is so happy that she can go to Target by herself now and leave the children at home unsupervised.  Yes, it is liberating when they can fend for themselves.  And now when your friends are all getting together for that winery tour, you might find yourself supervising the preschool field trip to the zoo instead.

As a 40-year-old mom with a 2-year-old and a 12-year-old, I’ve definitely noticed that the toddler stage feels a little harder than it did a decade ago.  Maybe I just don’t remember the challenges a two-year-old throws at you.

When is the Right Time?

That’s really the beauty of it.  There is no right or wrong time.  Everyone is different with different goals, priorities and life circumstances.  Your family is what you make it – whenever you choose to make it.

 

Layout 1Preggers by Therafirm Comfort Nursing Bras are featured in the 2018 September issue of Pregnancy & Newborn.  Convenient nursing and a seamless silhouette make the Preggers Comfort Nursing Bra a functional and comfortable option for mamas.  This super soft bra features an easy clip down design for discreet nursing. Thanks P&N for introducing your readers to benefits of Preggers and Therafirm legwear!

Read more about Preggers benefits here!