Are you weaning this Halloween?!  LOL!  See what we did there?  But, in all seriousness, weaning can be rough for both you and baby.  So, it never hurts to begin weaning with some helpful tips in your back pocket.  The suggestions below may help with your weaning strategy, but it’s important to remember that every mom, baby and breastfeeding relationship is different.  What worked for your friend, your sister or your mom, may not be what ultimately works for you.

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Image from Pinterest.

When is the Best Time to Wean?
This is the age-old question.  And thankfully, there is no right answer.  Every mama must make a decision that works best for her, her baby and her situation.  Even the American Academy of Pediatrics is a little ambiguous on when the right time is.  Their recommendation is to breastfeed exclusively for the first 6 months of life and then to breastfeed along with solid foods for at least another 6 months.  The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding for 2 years.  Ultimately, breastfeeding itself, as well as weaning, is a personal decision.  Every mama should make the call on what feels right.

Is it Best to Quit Cold Turkey or Gradual?
Most mamas find that it is easier to gradually quit rather than cold turkey.  It is gentler on the baby and avoids painful engorgement for mama.  Sometimes mamas do have to quit breastfeeding suddenly for various reasons – like a new medication that would pass through to breast milk – so of course, it can’t be done.  But, if you’re able to do a more gradual approach, you will probably have a more positive experience overall.

Is There a Time to Avoid When Weaning?
It’s definitely not a good time to begin weaning if there is anything out of the ordinary going on at home.  If you are moving or changing child care or anything that may add stress to a small child.  It’s also a good idea to postpone weaning if you or your child is ill.  It may be difficult for either of you to handle the transition if you’re not feeling up to par.

What are Some Effective Methods for Weaning?

Give Up One Feeding at a Time
Begin by eliminating only one feeding.  Choose a feeding in the middle of the day or a time not near napping or sleeping.  Avoiding times when your child seeks comfort will help the transition.  Follow your new breastfeeding schedule for a few days to a week or once your child has adequately adjusted to it.  Then eliminate another feeding and do this for the next week.  Continue doing this until you’ve eliminated all feedings and effectively transitioned your child to a bottle or cup.  The last feeding you give up should be the most important one to you and your child.

Don’t Offer, But Don’t Deny
As you’re eliminating feedings, the gentlest way to approach it is to just not offer a feeding.  If your child asks for it anyway, allow it.  This will definitely slow the process down, but will allow your child the desired comfort when needed.

Distraction
As you’re trying to eliminate feedings, you can offer your child a distraction to help.  Substituting a favorite snack is a great way to help in the transition.  A sippy cup of milk or something else nutritious will help them to get used to getting their nutrients from other sources.  You can also distract your child with a favorite activity – a trip to the park or time with a new toy.  Cuddling up with a new book might also be a good distraction, as well as provide a new source of closeness and comfort.

Shortened Nursing Sessions
If eliminating nursing sessions seems hard for you or your child, try instead to begin by shortening nursing sessions.  You can gradually cut the amount of time the child nurses until the session is eliminated.

What Can You Do to Ease Engorgement?
If you’re gradually weaning, you shouldn’t experience any engorgement.  But, sometimes moms do have to quit breastfeeding abruptly.  This can lead to engorgement.  The discomfort shouldn’t last very long, but if you do experience it, there are several things you can try to get relief.  Many mamas swear by putting cold or frozen cabbage leaves in their bra.  The cabbage leaves help to relieve the inflammation and decrease milk supply.  A bag of frozen vegetables also works well.

What Can You Do to Help Baby Cope?
There’s no doubt that abruptly stopping breastfeeding will be hard for your baby.  You may have to use a little trial and error for a method to best help your baby cope.  If your child is older, you can explain things on their level, for example “Mama’s milk is all gone.”  Try implementing other methods of comfort for your child like rocking, reading or snuggling.  It may help to help to have your partner handle some of the comforting or bedtime for a few days.

Not Quite Ready Yet?
Perhaps you’re not quite ready to wean yet, but only need some added comfort.  Preggers Nursing Bra, Sleep Nursing Bra and Nursing Tank are all seamless and super soft providing the ultimate in comfortable support during your breastfeeding.

 

Weaning can be hard, but try not to stress.  If you can, take it slow and make the best of it for everyone.  We wish you luck in your endeavors this Hallow-“Wean” or whenever you choose to wean your little one.

2017-fall-buyers-guide

Preggers by Therafirm Light Support Maternity Tights are featured in the Fall 2017 Buyer’s Guide issue of Pregnancy & Newborn.  As the crisp fall air settles in, you’ll want to be sure to have a pair (or five!) of Preggers Light Support Tights.  Not only will your legs stay warm and your outfit be fashionable, but you’ll experience the amazing benefits of true gradient compression, which will help to reduce and prevent swelling and energize tired and achy legs!  Thanks P&N for introducing your readers to benefits of Preggers and Therafirm legwear!

Read more about Preggers legwear benefits here!

No need for compression, right?  If you have a good pair of support hose, that’s all you need?  Because compression and support hose are the same thing?

Wrong!

There are actually some very big differences between support hose and compression hose.   In fact, there is even a difference between compression and gradient compression.  Let’s break each one down.

Support Hose

In the world of hosiery, support and control mean the same thing.  An example of this would be like control top pantyhose.  Basically, you have a garment that smooths out abdominal bulges and bumps for a more flattering look.  But the difference is only cosmetic.  The garments don’t actually provide any of the health benefits of compression, nor do they provide support to the legs or feet.

What about items beyond hosiery – like support garments and shapewear.  There are some significant differences here, too.

Compression

Support garments, shapewear and athletic compression are all examples of what is known as all-over compression, or compression that has the same amount of “squeeze” throughout the whole garment.

Support Garments

Here’s where things get a little confusing.  Although support hose generally refer to hosiery like control top pantyhose, support garments are a little different still.  Support garments, or garments that typically cover the abdomen or torso area of the body, actually offer much-needed support for the wearer, as well as gentle shaping.  Preggers Maternity and Postpartum Support Garments are great examples of these.

Shapewear

You’ve surely seen these items from time to time.  Shapewear, like control-top pantyhose, are meant to slim and shape the waist and body by squeezing bulges and bumps.  They’re like the modern version of a corset or perhaps a bodysuit.

Athletic Compression

Athletic compression is another good example of all-over compression.  A popular trend among professional and amateur athletes alike, athletic compression helps to give athletes extra stability and support.  The types of garments can really be anything, including socks, pants, shirts or sleeves.

Gradient Compression

A gradient compression garment takes the cake, as these items provide the most health benefits – especially for pregnant mamas.  Gradient or graduated compression is tightest at the ankle and the pressure decreases gradually as it moves up the leg of the garment.  The graduated element is what makes gradient compression so healthy, because it promotes circulation, energizes tired, achy legs and helps to prevent and reduce swelling.  Pregnant mamas know how beneficial that can be!  All Preggers legwear products offer a level of gradient compression.

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Compression Levels

Our products are available in four different compression levels – known as mmHg or millimeters of mercury.  The levels are aptly named Light (10-15 mmHg), Mild (15-20 mmHg), Moderate (20-30 mmHg) and Firm (30-40 mmHg).  Most people, including pregnant women, can wear Light compression to promote better blood flow and to energize tired achy legs and feet, without the direction of a doctor.  Anything higher than that, however, should be at the advice and direction of a physician.  A physician who knows your individual condition and history can correctly diagnose issues that may benefit from higher compression levels.  Your doctor will also know best as to which compression level is right for you, as well as to ensure you are properly sized.

 

Disclaimer: This article is meant to be informational.  Always follow the advice and recommendations of your doctor.  Consult your doctor before doing anything that you feel might be risky.

 

July 14 is National Mac and Cheese Day.  Did you know there was a National Mac and Cheese Day?  I didn’t, but what a delicious comfort food to celebrate – especially for those Preggers mamas.  Is anyone out there craving Mac and Cheese?  Below are some scrumptious recipes to help satisfy those cravings.  Make some now and enjoy OR save it for National Mac and Cheese Day!

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Classic Baked Mac and Cheese

From www.foodnetwork.com

Ingredients:

  • Kosher salt
  • 8 ounces of fusilli or other short pasta
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for baking dish
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk, heated
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 ½ cups shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
  • 1 ½ cups shredded gruyere cheese

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil; add the pasta and cook until al dente.  Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then drain the pasta.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking, 2 minutes, then whisk in the milk.  Add the bay leaf, nutmeg and 1 teaspoon salt and simmer, whisking occasionally, until thick, 8 minutes.  Remove the bay leaf and stir in 2 cups cheddar and the gruyere.  Stir in the pasta and the reserved cooking water to make a loose sauce.  Butter a 2-quart baking dish; add the pasta mixture and top with the remaining ½ cup cheddar.  Bake 15 minutes.

So, that’s a classic baked Mac and Cheese, but sometimes you want something a little more reminiscent of your childhood.  So, here is an American Mac and Cheese recipe.

***

American Mac and Cheese

From www.foodnetwork.com

Ingredients:

  • Kosher salt
  • 8 ounces of elbow macaroni or other small pasta
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
  • 1 ½ cups grated mild yellow cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup diced processed cheese, such as Velveeta
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil; add the pasta and cook until al dente.  Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then drain the pasta.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat; whisk in the flour, mustard powder and cayenne and cook, whisking, 1 minute.  Whisk in the evaporated milk and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thick, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the cheeses, then the pasta and just enough of the reserved cooking water to make a thick sauce.  Season with salt and black pepper.

***

The website www.foodnetwork .com/recipes/articles/50-mac-and-cheese-recipes takes these two basic recipes and details how to jazz them up a little bit.  With varieties including French Style, Barbecue Style and Bacon Chipotle, there’s really something for most tastes.

These sound delicious and I truly love Mac and Cheese. I’ve kind become a Mac and Cheese snob of sorts.  I prefer unique and delicious additions to your typical Mac and Cheese.  This recipe from www.delish.com is my absolute favorite!

Cornbread-Topped Apple Macaroni and Cheese

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Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup of butter
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 cup of diced yellow onion
  • 2 cups of store-bought cornbread muffin crumbles
  • 2 cups of uncooked elbow noodles
  • ¼ cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup of half-and-half
  • 1 cup of whole milk
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • ½ teaspoon of black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1 pound brick of extra sharp cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • 1 ½ cup diced Granny Smith apples (or other tart apples)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Melt 2 tablespoons of butter and heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat.  Add onion and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.  Add cornbread crumbles, stir to combine, and remove from heat.  Set aside.

To prepare macaroni and cheese, begin by bringing a large pot of salted water to boil.  Add noodles and cook according to package directions for al dente.  Drain well and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, melt remaining ¼ cup of butter over medium heat.  Add flour and cook about 2 minutes or until rue is golden.  Slowly whisk in half-and-half and milk; stir until mixture has thickened and slightly darkened, about 3 minutes.  Season with the salt, pepper, and cinnamon.  Slowly add grated sharp cheddar cheese, a little at a time, and stir until completely melted.  Remove pan from heat.  Mix in reserved noodles and apples.  Stir until well combined.  Pour pasta mixture into a greased 2 ½ quart casserole dish and top with reserved cornbread mixture.  Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until bubbly, and golden on top.  Remove from oven and allow to cool 10 minutes.  Serve warm.

***

Yum!  Delicious!  Make some now and freeze it to save for after the baby is born.

Crackle!  Boom!  Pop!

Are you ready for the 4th of July?!  Make sure your maternity wardrobe is ready, too.  For this U.S.A.-inspired outfit, we decided to dress it down a little bit.  And what says American more than a comfy t-shirt and some jean shorts?  Add a Preggers Maternity Support Band to help support your growing bump.  Finish it off with a pair of cute and comfortable flip flops and some American Flag jewelry and accessories.  You’ll be ready for backyard barbecues and fireworks, galore!

Born in the U.S.A.

Sweet Summer Baby Blues

Keep it cool this summer with a light and airy cotton maternity blouse.  It pairs sweetly with a simple jean skirt.  A pair of Preggers Leggings will help keep your legs feeling energized without adding a lot of extra hot material.  A pair of flat sandals and some matching accessories – in baby blue . . . or pink – will round out your outfit nicely.

Baby Blues

Dressing it Up, But Keeping it Cool

Need to dress it up for all those summer weddings and graduations? You can stay comfortable and cool in a casual summer dress.  The right accessories will add all the “dress” you’ll need.  A black and white striped dress with an adorable black sunhat and black and white bag will make a perfect statement at any summer celebration.  Don’t forget to add a pair of Preggers leggings to keep your legs healthy and feeling great.

Incognito

 

As both a Mom and a Daughter, I completely believe in homemade Mother’s Day gifts.  I love getting these sweet gifts from my kiddos and I totally love giving them to my mom and my mother-in-law.  Sometimes the creativity is just not flowing, though, and I look all around for new ideas.  This year the Knit-Rite/Therafirm team got some inspiration from our own products.  The best part is, we were able to use products from several of our brands to create these adorable sock bouquets.  They’re cute and easy enough for the kiddos to do, too.  Watch our demonstration video below!

List of Supplies Needed:

• Socks of multiple colors, shapes and sizes
• A pair of tights, pantyhose or a piece of fabric of similar size and length
• Rubber bands
• Safety pins
• Your favorite vase

We used some discontinued colors of our Preggers and Therafirm brands, as well as current colors of TheraSport, SmartKnitKIDS, SmartKnit and Therafirm.  Happy bouquet making!

Pregnancy naturally can add a lot of stress to your everyday life.  For each person it’s different, but stresses can include anything from trying to make healthy decisions to worrying about the health of your baby.  Maybe you’re deciding if you’ll go back to work after the baby is born.  Or maybe it is selecting the right daycare.  Should you breast or bottle feed?  Which hospital is the right choice?  What makes a good pediatrician or car seat or crib?

You are truly turning your life upside down, so it’s easy to feel an increase of stress.  Most doctors say a little stress is okay, but that you should try to avoid chronic stress as it can have developmental effects on the baby.  Easier said than done, though, right?  How about a few ideas to help alleviate some of the stress.  Try one of these on for size!

 

  1. Eat Well – Don’t let the idea of it stress you out more, but eating well can truly help to alleviate some stress. The Boy Scouts have a motto that works well here: “Do your best!”  So, try to add healthy food to your diet, but don’t sweat it if you do eat some unhealthy items or if you don’t get all the good stuff you need.  Just do your best.  Omega-3 fatty acids can help you to reduce depression.  If you’re craving sweets, try some fresh fruit or make a fruit smoothie.  It’ll satisfy that sweet craving, as well as give you some important vitamins.Bagel w/ Fruit
  2. Exercise – When you’re lugging around that baby belly, it’s the last thing you want to do, right? Well, it can actually make you feel better and alleviate some stress.  Swimming is a really great choice, as it doesn’t put extra stress on your joints.  Plus, the weightlessness feels great!  And if you’re experiencing your third trimester during July and August, that cool water feels amazing.
  3. Watch a Funny Movie – You heard that right! Take an afternoon off and enjoy a good belly-laughing comedy!  Laughter is so good for the body and soul!  It releases your natural “feel-good” body chemicals – endorphins – which promote a sense of well-being and can temporarily relieve pain.  Laughter decreases stress hormones and it can increase immune cells and antibodies.  Write yourself a prescription for Funny Movie Night every week!
  4. Cut Back on the Unnecessary – We know how much you have a need to make everything perfect for your new arrival. That’s natural.  But, decide what must be done and what can wait.  There’s no need to give yourself extra stress by trying to complete things that will wait.  For example, it is okay to wait to put together the high chair – it will be several months before you need it anyway.  Or, the nursey pictures don’t have to be hung before baby gets here.  He or she won’t see them right away anyway.
  5. Have a Good Support Network – Ask a few friends or family members for help in completing tasks both before and after the baby arrives. They can help complete things that have become too difficult in your final months.  But, also talk to them about things you anticipate needing afterwards.  Knowing that you have a few trusted companions that you can rely on for things you need will help relieve some stress.
  6. Relax – Okay, what we really mean is try some relaxation techniques such as prenatal yoga or even meditation. Prenatal yoga can help you prepare your body for labor by stretching and toning muscles and regulating breathing.  Meditation is an easy way relieve some stress.  And it doesn’t take much time, either.  Just 10 minutes each day can help to control the day’s stresses, but it also decreases anxiety, improves cardiovascular health and helps you to achieve greater relaxation.yoga
  7. Sing or Play Music – It’s okay, you don’t have to be good at it. Singing and music helps to control cortisol (the stress hormone) levels.  So, sing to yourself, to your family or if you’re feeling brave plan a karaoke night with your partner and some friends!ID-100138497
    Image courtesy of marcolm at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
  8. Take a Childbirth Class – Nothing makes your feel better than being prepared. And the best way to be prepared for a new baby is to take childbirth classes to help you become familiar with what to expect.  Classes can help you practice breathing and relaxation techniques.  You can learn about pain management options and when it is appropriate to ask for what type of relief.  And, you can even learn about some of the basic things that might surprise you after birth or once you leave the hospital with your new little sweetheart.  Being prepared has a way of relieving a little bit of stress, too.

 

We hope that one of a few of these tips will help to relieve some of your pregnancy stresses.  Welcome to motherhood!