Archive for April, 2012

It’s nice to have a pal you can crash with.

 

Breastfeeding Miles was a struggle for the first 2+ weeks. He is a fussy eater and often didn’t latch properly. Randall was determined to make it work, even after some extremely frustrating days, both for the mom and baby. We’re glad she did though, as it now seems to be Miles’ favorite activity.

From what we’ve learned there are numerous benefits to breastfeeding. According to studies in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, The Washington Post, Scientific American and the BBC have all said that breastfeeding leads to higher IQ. The increase ranges anywhere from 3 to 10 points higher depending on the study. They aren’t exactly sure why, whether it’s the milk itself or the bond with the mother, but all the studies show that breastfed babies score higher on cognitive tests than their formula counterparts.

Here is Miles enjoying a meal.

Hanging out on the comfy bestever bear. If you noticed, I sneezed and hiccuped almost exactly at the same time. I am a baby of many talents!

During pregnancy carbohydrate cravings are common, especially in the third trimester.  Many pregnant women are now using Agave to help their sweet cravings since it is “natural” but is it a health product?

An interesting fact is that agave is actually more detrimental than high fructose corn syrup.

Using high fructose corn syrup is a cheap way to sweeten foods. It was developed to help food companies cut costs. Whereas real sugar is 50 percent glucose and 50 percent fructose, high fructose corn syrup is approximately 40-45 percent glucose and 55-60 fructose, and not the natural kind like in fruit.

When you consume a large percentage of this type of fructose, it gets processed directly by your liver, which not only increases your triglyceride levels, but causes fatty liver, increased hunger levels and a plethora of other health issues you would rather avoid. High levels of fructose make your brain deaf to leptin, the hormone responsible for making you feel full.

With agave, the percentages are altered more significantly – the syrup is 85-90 percent fructose and 10-15 percent glucose. The agave plant goes through heavy processing in order to concentrate it into a sweet syrup. Rather than being natural, as we’ve been led to believe, it is actually a processed food, often with few quality controls.

If you need a little sweet, add a small amount (1 teaspoon) of 100% cane sugar or honey. Your liver and baby will thank you.

Excerpt from:  Healthy You, Healthy Baby:  A Mother’s Guide to Gestational Diabetes

 

It has been a struggle getting little Miles to his birth weight but finally he did!  6.8… Finally! We have been feeding him every 2 hours, which has been exhausting and hard because we were always waking a sleeping baby. Sometimes it felt like we were forcing him to eat so it was emotionally taxing.

The breast feeding is starting to be a bit easier. In the past couple of days he has been latching on pretty quickly. I was using pillows to support him but was straining my back. Finally I am able to use My Best Friend Travel Nursing Pillowand it has been a back saver and also, it gives Miles a perfect position for my boob! I couldn’t use it until my C-section wound healed a bit.
So it seems some of my big hurdles are coming to a close… Although, I am sure there will be more to come! HA! :)

 

Mom gave these big eyes to me. I think they’re pretty cool!

Miles is now starting to focus on things for extended periods. He likes looking at faces, ceiling fans and his grandmother introduced this panda rattle. She said he even tried swinging at it a couple times!

What can I expect in the hospital if I go into pre-term labor?

If you develop symptoms of preterm labor such as uterine contractions or irritability before 37 weeks your obstetrician will recommend that you go to labor and delivery for observation.  When you arrive to the hospital you will be place on a fetal monitor to see how often you are contracting.  An intravenous line will be placed in your veins to give you hydration since a common cause of uterine activity is due to dehydration.  The nurse will check your cervix to see if you are dilating or if your cervix is thinning.  If your cervix is changing and/or you are having regular and frequent uterine contractions you are in preterm labor.  Depending on your gestational age you may be given a tocolytic which is a medication to relax the uterus and see if the contractions will go away.  The tocolytic can be given intramuscular, in your muscle, or intravenously, through your veins.  Often, intravenous hydration and the use of tocolytic stop the signs and symptoms associated with preterm labor.  You may be sent home on bed rest until you reach 37 weeks of pregnancy.   It is at 37 weeks that the lung development of the fetus is complete and it would be safe to deliver.

One of our pregnant models, Jessie Ross, lives in Venice, CA. This Free People tunic top from Bloomingdale’s allows her to be comfortable by the beach, without suffocating her midsection.

This abstract print color-blocked dress isn’t maternity but it stretches perfectly around Randall’s 8-month old belly. You can find it at Nordstrom by Donna Ricco for only 118 dollars! Wear black heels for evening or creme flats for daytime!

I don’t want to jinx myself but I think we might have turned the corner in regards to breast feeding. My breasts don’t feel like a piranha is attached to them and he hasn’t struggled to much with latching on. I think part of the problem was we needed to feed him every two hours for him to get to his birth weight and his eternal clock is set more at three hours. It felt like we were force feeding him and most of the time it took forever to wake him and keep him awake. Now that he has more weight on him he is stronger and more able to keep awake. We shall see but it has been a good day with less emotional stress! YAY!

 

Last night I got 5 hours sleep! Wow, about a month ago I would say I was sleep deprived, now I feel like I am rested!!! Haha!!  Have the times changed! :)

We have experimented with different bottles and Miles likes the Dr. Brown’s Bottle, Most of my girlfriend’s recommended that bottle so I am happy he liked the nipple on that one because it does prevent a lot of air from getting into his little tummy. Thankfully, he doesn’t spit up that much. :)

While Superman is really cool, I think I have a new favorite superhero. I’ve been training hard on it already, as you can see here. I even turn color when go into Incredible Hulk mode.

Is epidural anesthesia advised during labor or is an non-medicated labor an option for us?

This is a personal preference for each pregnant woman and the couple as a whole.  If you decide you want a form of pain relief during labor, I personal advise my patients to choose an epidural since it is only a nerve block and therefore doesn’t affect the fetus during labor.  The patient loses the pain sensation to the area of the uterus so you do not feel any pain from the strong force of uterine contractions. Lighter dosed epidurals are called “walking epidurals” and are used for those women that prefer less sedation.  You do not have any problems feeling drugged or foggy as you would with Intravenous sedating medications.  With an epidural, when the time comes to push the baby out you still can feel the rectal pressure that assists you in pushing effectively.

If you are interested in a non-medicated delivery, I suggest you learn the various alternatives that will assist you in handling the pain associated with labor such as breathing techniques, meditation,  hypo-birthing, yoga positions and other modalities that help you deter focusing on the pain associated with labor.  Ultimately it is you and your partner’s decision.  I encourage plenty of research and open and honest conversations with your obstetrician.

Although we have been led to believe that juice is healthy, the body interprets juice the same as it does soda – too much sugar.  What’s wrong with a little OJ in the am during pregnancy?

Lydia Bazzano, MD, PhD, studied more than 70,000 women nurses for more than 18 years. Her study showed that women consuming even one or more cups of juice per day had a 24 percent increased risk of gestational diabetes.

Similar studies have shown women drinking juices or sodas have increased risk of weight issues and gestational diabetes.

Healthy To-Do: Safe beverages during pregnancy are water, sparkling waters, iced or hot tea (1-2 cups per day) and milk. Ban juices, sodas, sweetened coffee drinks and anything containing sugar, fake sweeteners, etc. Your body and baby will thank you.

This is an excerpt from Healthy You, Healthy Baby:  A mother’s guide to gestational diabetes by Susan B. Dopart – coming June 1st, 2012

 

Our cat Izzy is now the Secret Service for Miles (minus the Colombian sex scandal).

When I go in the front yard with him, Izzy sits at the end of the walkway keeping watch. Someone walked by with a large dog and Izzy didn’t budge from her post. Normally she makes herself scarce if there’s other large animals around.

When I grow up I’m going to be Superman. After my nap, of course.


What is a Perineal massage?

Perineal massage is the practice of massaging a pregnant woman’s perineum around the vagina in preparation for childbirth. Perineal massage can be done by the pregnant woman or her partner.  You should be in a comfortable place, sitting or reclining that allows you to access the skin around the vagina. It can be done for 10-20 minutes a day during the last 4 to 6 weeks of pregnancy.  Typically, perineal massage is done using massage oil or a water-based lubricant, which lubricates the tissue making it softer, more supple and improving is flexibility. The idea is to attempt to prevent tearing of the perineum during birth, the need for an episiotomy or an instrument delivery such as a vacuum or forcep fetal extraction.  Clinical trials show that perineal massage is effective in reducing vaginal episitomy’s in about 6 percent of the cases.

Miles is 2 1/2 weeks old and it has been the most amazing and exhausting experience! The C section was a little bit more painful than I anticipated. I had my appendix taken out years ago and I thought it would be a similar experience but I was wrong. I didn’t bounce back like I thought I would. I am just now starting to feel better but to be really honest, I didn’t really rest very much so that might have a lot to do with it.  There was just so much to do and I had to keep everything in order… once again…me being a producer!

Miles is heaven. He is absolutely perfect. He looks so much like his ultrasound pictures. It’s amazing how exact the screenings are now. He is a pretty chill baby…. hence the name Miles! He is still a sleepy baby and that is the challenge with breastfeeding and also, I am having some latching problems which is very frustrating for both of us. I am going to have our lactation consultant come out again to help us establish a better experience for both of us. We had to introduce the bottle because he was not gaining weight, the result has been good with the weight gain but not so good because he has become a bit lazy and fussy at the boob. We will prevail!

Here are some of my favorite pictures of Miles after a bath….

 

Check out this sweet wicker bassinet and rocking stand.

Now I can hang out with mom while she works at her desk!

The days are blending together with all the frequent eating, burping and poopy diaper changes (I’ve spared you a picture of the last part). We tried a different bottles, but he didn’t like any of them until we got to the Dr. Brown’s.

Miles has a very calm and sweet disposition, except when it comes to eating. He likes to thrash around with his arms and legs, and then grabs onto the nipple like a piranha. Eventually he calms down though. He tends to thrash around again when being burped.

 

Taking a break at the end of the day with my bud Miles.

My baby is sleeping and looks like he’s praying.

Dad is helping me out with my speech skills.

Mom gave me a manicure today, filing my nails that were getting long. Still waiting for the facial and wax treatment. Maybe next time. :)

I’m glad we watched Harvey Karp’s The Happiest Baby on the Block before Miles was born. His techniques actually work when Miles gets fussy. Although from this picture you might think Miles was looking at me and thinking “What the heck are you doing?”, he fell asleep shortly after.

Many pregnant women ask this question.  In fact, statistics show that only 15 percent of pregnant women exercise since they view it as risky.  However, multiple research studies show exercise in early pregnancy can reduce risks of complications, improve sleep, and reduce anxiety.  Exercise has also been linked to an easier labor and delivery.

Exercise is not only safe during pregnancy but is highly recommended to prevent complications such as gestational diabetes, and preeclampsia. In fact, James Clapp, M.D., author of Exercising Through Your Pregnancy(2002), and medical research expert in prenatal exercise as well as a professor at Case Western Reserve University has done extensive research on how exercise lowers complications
from pregnancy and improves outcomes.

His research shows that regular weight bearing exercise during pregnancy lowers markers of insulin resistance and blood glucose concentration during and immediately after exercise.

A 2008 study by Dr. Clapp showed that women who voluntarily maintain their exercise regimen during pregnancy continue to exercise over time at a higher level than those who stop.  They also vast reap benefits following their pregnancies such as:

  • Gaining less weight in the future (7.5 pounds versus 22 pounds)
  • Deposit less fat (4.8 pounds versus 14.7 pounds)
  • Have increased fitness
  • Have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease even during the peri-menopausal period.

If you are a high-risk pregnancy, exercise may not be an option.  It is always best to get your doctor’s approval for the type and modality of exercise that is safe for you and your baby.

Respect for your baby’s health and yourself begins prior to getting pregnant.  Begin your pregnancy with a balanced eating and exercise program, and maintain that balance throughout your pregnancy.

Research shows that exercise during pregnancy reaps huge rewards, both for you and your baby!

 

So the other night we had a lactation consultant come over and help me with breastfeeding. It has been a challenge but I am determined to concur it! We hired an amazing woman named Jennifer Dawson, she is a RN and lactation specialist for Dr. Jay Gordon who is a nationally recognized pediatrician, nutritionist and lecturer.

Little Miles gets very frustrated when he is trying to latch on and when he does, it is excruciating. He has a grip like an alligator eating his prey and he is incredibly strong. She said he had a high plate and a short tongue but he would grow into this, in the meantime, she showed me different positions that might help my comfort level. She also said I first needed to get comfortable then bring the baby to me. She spent about 3 hours going over different points and recommendations.  The next day I had a better latch, it was still a little painful but manageable. Since then she has checked in with me everyday and I must say, it’s a great support to have.

One of the fun things about being a baby is all the things you get to do. Hiccuping is one of my favorites, especially after gulping down some milk!

When he’s awake, Miles is quite alert. I know newborns can’t see more than a few inches in front of their faces, but Miles seems to make eye contact, even if for a brief moment. He also reacts when you rub his cheek or his belly. It’s like having a toy. A living, breathing, eating and pooping toy. Coolest toy ever.

Are home births safe? What is the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology’s (ACOG) position on home births?

Many pregnant women often ask me about the safety of home births.  The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology  (ACOG) is the non-profit organization of women’s health care physicians advocating the highest standards of practice for practicing Ob/Gyn’s.

The ACOG recognizes that both labor and delivery “while a physiologic process, clearly presents potential hazards to both mother and fetus before and after birth.”  The ACOG’s statement continues to specifically state that “these hazards require standards of safety that are provided in the hospital setting and cannot be matched in the home situation.” They contend that “the hospital is the safest place to give birth because capabilities of the hospital setting and the expertise of the hospital staff are immediately available if a complication arises suddenly.”

The ACOG supports those actions that improve the experience of the family while continuing to provide the mother and her infant with accepted standards of safety available only in hospitals. These safety standards are outlined by the American Academy of Pediatrics and ACOG. Women considering home births should research the standards of the midwifery or birthing organization to which the birth attendant belongs.

On the other hand, the American College of Nurse Midwifery is more flexible, supporting home births within certain defined parameters. They refer to this as a “planned home birth.” They support the provision of protocols by hospitals, physicians, and insurers which define strict guidelines for the care of patients at home.

As one mother wrote in her concerns with a home birth, “Things can go wrong in childbirth regardless of where you give birth,” But the difference between home birth and hospital birth lies in having quick access to care should an unforeseen complication emerge.

For those women that are interested in having a “home birth” labor experience, I advocate that both goals of a minimally physician guided birth with comfort and privacy can occur in the safety of a hospital environment.

It seems that my Truitner family has a fascination with my nose. Ian pokes my nose all the time. This is something he has done since we first met. Now it turns out baby Miles likes Mommy’s nose too! Check out the video.

Nose Feed from Ian Truitner on Vimeo.

It’s been one week and I am finally starting to get a little better. I have been in quite a bit of pain but it’s all worth it because of this amazing gift that I have received. Breast feeding has been a challenge so tonight we are hiring a lactation consultant to figure out what is the problem and to relieve this pain. My milk came in on the 2nd day so I was quite lucky with that. I am producing like a cow! Lucky Miles…. and believe me, he knows it. He is ferocious when he is on the breast! We have been fingering feeding when my breasts are to sore which has been a God sin. Hopefully, I will get it all worked out tonight.


 

Copyright 2011 Stylin Lady + Baby