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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.

Myths About Things to Avoid While Pregnant

Myth: You Should Not Get a Flu Shot
Fact: Quite the opposite, actually.  The flu shot is very important for pregnant women because if one was to become infected with the flu, they have a much higher risk of becoming very ill and a higher risk of dying from the flu than those who are not pregnant.  The immunities are also transferred to the baby which will help protect its delicate immune system during the first months after birth.  Some pregnant women worry that preservatives in the flu vaccine will hurt their unborn child, but studies show there is no evidence that the flu vaccine harms fetuses.

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Image courtesy of earlypregnancy.net

Myth: You Can’t Have Your Hair Colored While Pregnant
Fact: Chemicals from hair dyes are absorbed through the skin, but only in very minimal amounts, which are not harmful.  Play it safe by making sure you are having any chemical hair treatments done in a well-ventilated space with a fan.  And for those that are really worried, you can save all your hair treatments for the second and third trimesters.

Myth: You Shouldn’t Fly While Pregnant
Fact: Many pregnant women worry that radiation from airport body scanners and x-ray machines will harm their unborn babies.  But, have no fear.  The amount of radiation is very small will not harm unborn babies.  We are actually exposed to small amounts of radiation on the ground all the time.  So, go ahead and plan that babymoon.  Just make sure that you are safe and sound at home by 34 weeks, as that is usually when most doctors advice you cease travel.  Many airlines will also not allow you to board without a doctor’s note after 34 weeks.  You may run into some leg/ankle swelling while in-flight so make sure to pack some super-comfortable compression socks.

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Myth: Skip the Gym While Pregnant
Fact: If you’ve been a gym regular, there’s no reason to give it up.  It can actually be quite healthy for you and baby.  Just be sure to keep your workouts low-impact and avoid contact sports or any exercises done on your back.  Be sure to check with your doctor to make sure your routine is still safe.  You can help support your belly with the help of support garments or legwear.

Myth: Avoid Sleeping On Your Back
Fact: Doctor’s suggest that it is best to sleep on your left side since this sleep position is known to help increase blood flow to the uterus.  But, if sleeping on your back is more comfortable, there is no harm for your baby.

Myths About Eating While Pregnant

Myth: Double Up On Your Servings Because You’re Eating For Two
Fact: Not so fast!  Even though you are eating for two, you are not eating for two adults!  The average pregnant woman only needs an additional 300 calories per day to adequately nourish both mom and baby.  Normal weight gain should average around 25 to 35 pounds during the whole pregnancy.  Gaining too much can have lasting negative effects on the baby.

Myth: Don’t Eat Fish or Seafood While Pregnant
Fact: Fish is actually very healthy for both mom and baby, as fish contains high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which help with baby’s brain development.  Just make sure to stick with coldwater fish, salmon, shrimp or canned tuna, and avoid fish that are high in mercury, such as swordfish, shark, tilefish and king mackerel.

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Image courtesy of Darkkong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Myth: Eat Three Healthy Meals A Day
Fact: It is actually better for a pregnant woman to eat 6 or 7 small meals per day.  Eating small amounts of healthy food frequently will help keep your blood sugar in normal ranges.

Myth: It’s Okay To Have a Small Drink
Fact: Nope!  Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend that pregnant women completely avoid drinking alcohol.  There is no amount of alcohol that is safe during pregnancy.

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Image courtesy of Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Myth: Avoid Caffeine While Pregnant
Fact: Just say no to alcohol, but a little bit of caffeine is okay.  You will definitely want to limit the amount of caffeine that you consume, but most doctors say that 200 milligrams or less a day is perfectly safe.  This amounts to roughly one 12-ounce cup of coffee.

Myth: Avoid Cheese While Pregnant
Fact: No need to cut out all cheeses, but do avoid the soft, unpasteurized cheeses like Brie, feta and goat cheese, as these can carry food-borne illnesses.  Other cheeses are perfectly safe.

Myths About Baby’s Gender or Appearance

Myth: How High or Low You Are Carrying Determines the Baby’s Gender
Fact: There is no scientific fact behind gender playing a role in the shape and position of a pregnant belly.  The look of your bump is determined by the woman’s muscle structure and abdominal fat, as well as the baby’s position and size.

Myth: Craving Certain Foods Reveals What Gender You Are Carrying
Fact: Scientific fact is lacking in this one, too.  Every woman, baby and pregnancy is different.  Different food cravings have no bearing on the baby’s gender.

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Myth: Heartburn Means Baby Will Have a Lot of Hair
Fact: This one is certainly one of the more common myths, but heartburn and hair do not actually go hand in hand.  Many women who had heartburn have bald babies, while those who sailed through pregnancy without the hand on the Tums bottle have had babies with a full head of hair.

Myths About Labor and Delivery

Myth: Your Water Breaks When You Are In Labor
Fact: Sometimes a woman’s water breaks at that start of labor, but more than likely it is a further point through labor before it breaks.  Some doctors will even break your water to help labor progress further.  The bottom line is don’t wait for your water to break.  If your contractions are strong, regular and frequent, don’t wait.  Make your way to your hospital or birthing center.

Myth: Having an Epidural Increases Your Chances of Needing a C-Section
Fact: Studies show that getting an epidural to help relieve some of the pain of labor does not actually increase the risk of a c-section.  Every labor, childbirth, woman and baby is different.  Some may even find that the epidural help move things along.

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Image courtesy of americanpregnancy.org.

Myth: First Babies Always Arrive Late
Fact: While there is a greater percentage of first time moms that deliver late, this is certainly not the rule.  Your menstrual cycle is actually a more accurate way to determine when your baby will arrive.  If your cycles are shorter, you’re more likely to deliver early.  Longer cycles might indicate a later baby.  But, even this is not an exact science.

Myth: Your Second Childbirth Will Be Easier
Fact: Although your first childbirth experience is usually the longest, it isn’t always.  And the second and subsequent births may not always be easier.  Everything will depend on the baby’s position and condition, as well as anything that might be affecting your health.

Myth: You Will Feel An Instant Bond With Your Baby
Fact: Although many moms do feel the bond right away, others may be feeling too exhausted or overwhelmed.  If you don’t feel that bond right away, don’t worry because your bond will grow stronger before you know it.

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Myth: Your Delivery Will Be Like Your Mother’s
Fact: Although you may have a similar body structure as your mother, this is not the only factor in determining what type of labor and delivery you will have.  The size and position of the baby is the main contributing factor, as well as your health, lifestyle and any number of complications that you may be experiencing.

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.

shamrock-lucky-iconSt. Patrick’s Day is Thursday.  Many people due around certain holidays like to choose names that are inspired by the holiday.  Is anyone due this week and still looking for a name for baby?  How about an Irish name or a St. Patrick’s Day-inspired name?  Here are a few to help you along in your search:

Top Irish Names for Girls

 


shamrock-lucky-iconAoife
– Pronounced ee-fa, Aoife is another popular name in Ireland that means “beautiful, radiant and joyful”.  In Irish legend, Aoife is known as the greatest woman warrior in the world.

 

shamrock-lucky-iconCaoimhe – Having the same root and origin as the male name Kevin, Caoimhe means “gentle, beautiful and precious”.  It is pronounced kee-va.

 

shamrock-lucky-iconCiara – This one means “dark”.  It is pronounced kee-ra in the traditional Irish pronunciation, however see-ara is a pretty alternative.  It has held a spot in the top 5 of Irish baby girl names since 2003.

 

shamrock-lucky-iconMaeve – Another one inspired from Irish legend, Maeve was a great warrior queen of Ireland.  The name means “the cause of great joy” and is pronounced may-vee.

 

shamrock-lucky-iconSaoirse – Pronounced seer-sha, this one means “freedom and liberty”.  It has seen a rise in Ireland due to its patriotic feel.

 

shamrock-lucky-iconSiobhan – Siobhan is the Irish version of Joan and means “God is gracious.”  It’s pronounced Shiv-awn and is a very popular name in Ireland.

 

Top Irish Names for Boys

shamrock-lucky-iconAiden – A very popular one in the US, it’s also popular in Ireland as well.  Aiden means “born of fire”.  In Ireland, it is usually given as a nod to St. Aidan of Iona.

 

Darragh – Darragh means “fruitful” or “fertile”. It is pronounced di-re.  This name is very popular in Ireland for boys and girl, however the girls’ version is usually spelled Daire or Dara.shamrock-lucky-icon

 

shamrock-lucky-icon Liam – The Irish version of William is equally popular in Ireland as it is in America.  It means “strong protector”.

 

shamrock-lucky-icon Niall – This name means “passionate” and comes from another Irish legend.  It is pronounced nye-al and is similar to Neal or Neil.

 

shamrock-lucky-icon Sean – This is the Irish version of John and means “God’s gracious gift”.

 

St. Patrick’s Day Inspired Girls Names

shamrock-lucky-iconClover – An adorable reminder of the 4-leaf clover.  This name will give your baby girl a little bit of Irish luck.

 

shamrock-lucky-iconErin – This name means “peace” and is a poetic name for the country of Ireland.

 

shamrock-lucky-iconIreland – After St. Patrick’s adopted country, this one is a beautiful reminder of her birthday.

 

shamrock-lucky-iconPatricia – The female form of Patrick.  This name means “noble”.

 

 

St. Patrick’s Day Inspired Boys Names

shamrock-lucky-iconAnthony – Anthony means “highly praiseworthy”.

 

shamrock-lucky-iconCeltic – Pronounced kel-tic.  The Celts were the ancient people of Ireland and Celtic was their culture and language.

 

shamrock-lucky-iconJames – A popular name associated with Irish culture and St. Patrick’s Day.  Jamie is a very Irish-sounding nickname.

 

shamrock-lucky-iconPatrick – After the saint who brought Christianity to Ireland.  The legend regarding St. Patrick banishing the snakes from Ireland is probably just that – a legend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Any moms out there due around Valentine’s Day or President’s Day?  If you’re still looking for the perfect name, try these Valentine’s and President’s Day inspired baby names!

Baby Girl Names

EmoticonsAbigail – This one is a perfect way to add a Presidential and Valentine’s twist to a name.  Abigail Adams was the wife of 2nd President John Adams.  She and her husband exchanged more than 1100 letters over their lifetimes.

 

downloadElizabeth/Eliza/Betty/Bess – A beautiful classic with so many nickname choices.  Several of our first ladies have carried a version of this name including Bess Truman, Betty Ford, Eliza Johnson and Elizabeth Monroe.

 

downloadEdith – This classic was given some life with the adorable Despicable Me movies, but it was also the name of two presidential wives – Edith Roosevelt and Edith Wilson.

 

downloadEleanor/Ellen/Helen – So many first ladies have had a version of this name which means bright, shining light.  How appropriately some of them were named.  Ellen Arthur was a very talented soprano who performed at many New York benefits.  It’s hard to imagine FDR’s presidency without Eleanor Roosevelt, who redefined the role of First Lady.  Others were Helen Taft, Ellen Wilson, and Eleanor Rosalynn Carter.

 

downloadJacqueline – Every time I see this one, I think of the poise and grace of Jacqueline Kennedy.

 

imagesJewel – We loved this Valentine’s inspired name.  It’s sweet and feminine.

 

downloadKennedy – The Kennedys inspired their generation with hope and courage for the future.

 

downloadLaura – One of our more recent first ladies, Laura Bush carries a name that is truly a classic with a modern feel.

 

imagesLily/Rose/Violet – Flower names are classic and beautiful, but also becoming very popular, but unless you’re looking for something very unique, ones of these might be a great fit.

 

downloadLucretia/Lucy – Lucretia may be a bit dated, but Lucy is adorably sweet.  Lucretia Garfield and Lucy Hayes were two first ladies during the 1800s.  Lucy Hayes was a supporter of the temperance movement and was nicknamed Lemonade Lucy when her husband banned alcohol from the White House!

 

downloadMadison – Want to name your little daughter after the father of the U.S. Constitution?  Madison is currently a very popular name, but naming your child such would be an homage to our 4th President, James Madison.

 

downloadRachel – This beautiful name was held by Rachel Jackson, the wife of President Andrew Jackson.  When the future president and Rachel were married, she was actually married to someone else.  Her previous marriage had been unhappy and the two separated.  Assuming that her husband had finalized the divorce, she unknowingly married Jackson.  After it was printed in the newspaper that she was still married to her previous husband, Rachel finalized the divorce and quietly remarried Jackson.  Can you imagine if that happened today?

 

imagesRoma – This one isn’t as obvious as a Valentine’s Day name, but comes from St. Valentine of Rome.  It’s a more subtle way of naming your little one after the holiday.

 

imagesRuby – This name from the beautiful red stone is a classic that seems to be gaining in popularity.

 

imagesValentine/Valentina – Go for the obvious!  Val and Tina make great nicknames.

 

Baby Boy Names

downloadAndrew – Two of our presidents have been named Andrew – Andrew Jackson and Andrew Johnson.  Andrew Johnson was the Vice President under Abraham Lincoln and became President when Lincoln was assassinated at Ford’s Theatre in 1865.

 

imagesChristian – Did you know that it’s actually called St. Valentine’s Day and that it’s a Christian saint day?  Legend has it that St. Valentine was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldier who were forbidden to marry.  How romantic!

 

downloadFord – We like this one!  Simple and strong.  Gerald Ford became President after Richard Nixon resigned into the 1970s.

 

downloadFranklin – Franklin Pierce and Franklin Roosevelt were two presidents that held this name.  It might seem a little old fashioned, but provides an adorable nickname in Frankie.

 

downloadGrant – Grant is a popular classic for boy’s names.  It never seems to get old.  President Grant served from 1869-1877.

 

downloadHarrison/Harry – William Henry Harrison and Benjamin Harrison have been the only grandfather/grandson presidents so far.  And there’s also Harry Truman who shares a version of this great name.

 

downloadJackson – Jackson is a very popular name for little boys these days.  President Andrew Jackson was a military leader during several early American wars, including the Revolutionary War where he served as a courier at age 13 and was captured and held prisoner by the British.

 

downloadJames/Jimmy – More presidents (6) have carried a form of the name James than any other first name.  They include James Madison, James Monroe, James Polk, James Buchanan, James Garfield and Jimmy Carter.

 

downloadLincoln – You can’t go wrong with ever-favorite President Lincoln for your child’s name inspiration.  He made a lasting impact on this nation.

 

downloadPierce – We thought this one was a strong sounding name and very presidential.  Franklin Pierce served as president during the 1850s.

 

imagesRoman/Rome – This one is more subtle, but comes from St. Valentine of Rome.

 

EmoticonsTeddy – Here’s a great way to grab inspiration from Valentine’s Day and President’s Day.  Teddy Bears, a common Valentine’s Day gift, were so named because of President Teddy Roosevelt.

 

downloadThomas – Thomas Jefferson served as third president, but also wrote the Declaration of Independence.  Few presidents have been as insightful and eloquent as Jefferson.

 

downloadTruman – Take a stroll through Independence, Missouri and you’ll fall in love with the simple grace with which President Harry Truman and his wife Bess lived.  It’s too bad more of today’s politicians are not more like the Trumans.

 

imagesValentino/Valentin – A very obvious nod to the holiday or St. Valentine himself.

 

November is Children’s Picture Book Month.  Do you know why picture books are so important?  Picture books are the first introduction that children have to literature.  Many children develop a love of reading and books very early with their favorite stories and picture books.  They awaken the imagination, help children to develop language and teach them to be better listeners.

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This November, we want to inspire you to develop life-long readers of your children, so we’ve teamed up with our friends at Indestructibles to offer two lucky winners an Indestructible prize!  Indestructibles are picture books that babies simply cannot destroy!  They are chew-proof, rip-proof and drool-proof and are printed on a non-toxic, paper-like material.

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Our two lucky winners can choose 5 Indestructible books of their own.  And because we haven’t forgotten about mama, we’ll include a $30 gift card to Preggers.com.  Contest runs November 11 through November 16.

Enter to win!

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Breastfeeding Mamas

 

Image courtesy of Jomphong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

August is National Breastfeeding Month, and there is no shortage of controversy attached to this subject.  Some of the many include: Is breast really best, or is formula okay?  Can you breastfeed in public?  If you do, should you cover up?  How long is it okay to breastfeed?  Should employers provide a room for employees to pump?  Should women publish or post breastfeeding photos?  How old of a child is too old?  Should you use surrogate breastfeeders or use milk from a milk bank?

There are so many opinions on this subject that it seems best to leave them all at the door.  Breastfeeding and everything involved with it is a personal choice and one best made by each mama in hers and her child’s best interests.  That said, the team at Preggers thought that the National Awareness Month deserved a little recognition, as well as a few tips to help out those mamas that choose this route.

7 Breastfeeding Tips for Mamas

  1. Lactation Consultants – For some mamas, breastfeeding is easy and natural. But, that doesn’t mean it is for all mamas.  And that’s okay.  There are a number of things that can make breastfeeding challenging for mom and baby.  Lactation Consultants are great resources to help moms work through their challenges.
  2. Water – Drinking water is ALWAYS important, but most especially for nursing mamas. You can become dehydrated, which could affect your ability to produce milk.
  3. Food – You’re focused on making sure that your baby gets the nutrition and calories he needs, but it’s important to get enough for you both. Your baby will receive all the calories he needs from your breast milk.  If you do not consume enough for you both, you will be lacking in the nutrients and calories needed for your body to function.
  4. Create a Breastfeeding On-the-Go Plan – It is not realistic to think it will always be quiet and private unless you’re planning to park it at home for the next several months. Decide what will be your breastfeeding plan when you’re on the go.  Will you be comfortable with public breastfeeding?  Will you always be searching for a private place to go?  Will you use a cover?  Don’t be afraid to do what makes you most comfortable.  But, be aware that others may disagree.
  5. Pumps – You will probably want to invest in some sort of pump. Most likely you will be away from your child at some point before you’ve weaned him.  You’ll need a pump to prevent yourself from becoming engorged, as well as to ensure your baby will be fed while you’re away.  If you’ll be using it a lot – like a working mom – you’ll want a really good one.  Don’t skimp, as it will become very necessary when you return to the workforce.  If your moments away from baby will be few and far between, you can settle for a cheaper model or even a hand pump.
  6. Moisturize – It’s inevitable that your nipples will become dry and chapped at some point. Painful on its own, it’s even more so when trying to nurse an infant.  Make sure you have nipple cream on hand for these moment.  In a pinch, you can use olive oil or even your own breast milk.
  7. Nursing Bras and Tanks – You’ll pretty much live in these until you’re done nursing, so you’ll want to make sure you choose a few that meet all your needs. Fortunately, Preggers has options to match most needs.  Comfort and good support are key features for the perfect daytime bra.  Many women choose to wear a sleep bra through the night as well, opting for something with optimal comfort, but some support.  A fantastic third option is the nursing tank.  The right tank will provide good core support for a body that is gradually returning to its pre-pregnancy shape.  The easy access straps mean you won’t have to practically undress at each feeding.  A tank will also make a comfortable and nursing supportive “shirt” to wear under a zip-up sweatshirt, hoodie or cardigan sweater.

Preggers Comfort Nursing Bra – This everyday daytime bra is made from super soft and comfortable material.  Better yet, it’s seamless, so you’ll have no uncomfortable seams to rub and irritate.  A three-position back clasp and adjustable straps allow for a better fit.  A front clip makes opening and closing the cup effortless, even with only one hand.

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Preggers Sleep Nursing Bra – Look high and low and you won’t find a more comfortable sleeping option.  The Sleep Bra offers light support and is made of super soft and seamless material for the optimum comfort.  The smooth wide straps and high back help to keep it in place throughout the night.  Instead of clasps or clips, the Sleep Bra offers easy front access simply by pulling the cup down.

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Preggers Nursing Support Tank Top – This tank has so many great features.  It’s made of the same super soft and seamless material, but also offers great elasticity and compression for your torso.  It supports the abdomen and back to aid in recovering from pregnancy.  Nursing access is by an easy pull down front.  Classic black color is perfect for layering under a zip-up sweatshirt or cardigan.

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Fatherhood Playbook

Image courtesy of topstep07 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

As the dad, you might have been somewhat of a spectator for this pregnancy thing, but Coach is about to put you in the game.  So, since Father’s Day is right around the corner, the Preggers team put together a list of tips for new dads – think of it as your playbook.  Like football, parenting is a team sport and Mom needs you on the first string team.  Put on your helmet and pads and keep your eyes open for trick plays.  Kickoff will be here before you know it!

 

  1. Sleep – Forget about sleep. It’s nothing more than a fond memory.  It may return again in . . . well, it’ll never be what it was.  Your wife has probably already said goodbye to sleep, since housing your offspring often makes sleeping difficult.  And once Baby is here, he’ll be up every few hours to eat – meaning that someone will have to get up to feed him.  If you’re bottle feeding, you should take some of the feedings.  And when you finally reach the point where Baby sleeps through the night, you’ll be so ecstatic, you won’t even notice that you’ve forgotten what sleeping in feels like.  It might be years before you do this again.  PLAYBOOK ADVICE: People have always told moms to sleep when the baby sleeps, but this should apply to everyone in your house.  If your baby is sleeping, SLEEP.  It may be all you get for a while.
  2. Poop – You will spend more time talking about and dealing with poop than you ever imagined. Most parents remember the first time their child had a full blown blowout diaper – the kind the poop goes up the child’s back and out the leg holes of the diaper . . . probably ends up in her hair.  Just know that as you’re cleaning the poop off of everything within a mile radius, one day you’ll be laughing about this.  This and the 18,563 other poop stories between now and your child’s high school graduation.  Okay, we kid, you’ll get it figured out before that. PLAYBOOK ADVICE: Whether you’re going to the mailbox or across the country, always travel with extra diapers, extra wipes and extra clothes . . . for baby, but also maybe for you.  Never know when that blowout is going to happen or where the poop will end up.
  3. Vomit – The baby variety is known as spit up and the very young ones will do this quite a bit. Eventually, they get the hang of things and won’t spit up.  The really bad stuff is when they’re older.  And when one of them says to you, “Daddy, I don’t feel so good,” you have exactly 5 seconds to get your child over a toilet or trash can before the vomit explosion. 5. . .4 . . .3 . . .2. . . .1 PLAYBOOK ADVICE: Be prepared.  If it’s baby vomit, keeping a burp cloth handy is all you’ll need.  If it’s the child variety, I suggest keeping your child in close proximity to the toilet/bucket/trash can . . . and possibly wear a rain poncho.
  4. Crying – Baby’s cry, everyone knows this. But, sometimes it feels like the crying has gone on forever and will never stop. You’ve fed him and changed him and you can’t figure out what could possibly be wrong.  He won’t stop crying and he won’t go to sleep.  PLAYBOOK ADVICE: Strap your little one into his carseat and take him for a ride in your car.  It doesn’t matter where you go – driving around the block will work.  Sometimes the vibrations of the car engine will sooth your baby enough that they will fall asleep.  Hopefully, he’ll stay asleep once you decide to call it a night and head home.  But if not, don’t get frustrated.  Put him down in a safe place like his crib and step away for a few moments of peace.  He’ll be okay if it’s in a safe place and you haven’t gone too far away.
  5. Children’s Shows – Whether it’s princesses and ponies or ninjas and cars, your TV viewing is about to change . . . drastically! Your DVR may be full of episodes of The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad right now, but it won’t be long before you’ll be sitting down to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Yo Gabba Gabba and Doc McStuffins.  PLAYBOOK ADVICE: Embrace it!  Learn the names of the characters and talk about the episodes with your kids.  You’ll be the coolest dad ever!  We promise you, they won’t be stuck on these shows forever.  Their viewing preferences will improve with age . . . sort of.

Well that’s a good start to your Fatherhood Playbook.  But, a good playbook always needs new plays.  We encourage any experienced dads (and moms!) to add your Plays in the comments or on social media. #preggerspapasplaybook.

Happy Father’s Day, Dads – Rookies and Veterans – from the Preggers Team!