Posts Tagged ‘mybrestfriend’

Breastfeeding Products That Helped

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in New Mom Experience, Other Recommendations, PRODUCTS

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Also read:

Birth Story Part I
Birth Story Part II
Reflections on Birth Experience
Breastfeeding Journey
Follow Up to Breastfeeding Journey

Finally, the post so many people asked about. Breastfeeding Helpers: What I used that I found helpful during the initial weeks of breastfeeding.

You always have to try things out before you find what works for you, so here’s what worked for me. Pay attention to the section WIN IT or scroll down to the bottom of the page for  4 different giveaways of some of these products.

Let’s start with

BOOKS

Before I gave birth to Alexis, I read a few books on breastfeeding to be a little more prepared for what I was about to do. As I wrote in my Breastfeeding Post, they were a huge help.

The two books that I liked the most and found the most valuable were: The Baby Bond (The science behind what’s really important when caring for your baby) and Breastfeeding Made Simple (Seven Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers).

The first book (The Baby Bond) isn’t a breastfeeding book per se, but it talks about breastfeeding A LOT. The benefits, the studies, the science, the bonding- it’s just an amazing resource that I recommend anyone pregnant read. It talks about the benefits of breastfeeding BEYOND what everyone has heard of. It cites amazing studies on how cow’s milk is creating long lasting problems in our babies due to their leaky intestine in the first few months of life. Problems that we can’t exactly see or can’t connect to dairy until you look at the long term studies. This book is the reason I gave up dairy until Alexis is 6 months old ( aside from the fact that I plan on going fully vegan once I am no longer breastfeeding)

Breastfeeding Made Simple is a 100% breastfeeding book that covers the early weeks along with the rest of breastfeeding, problems, issues- EVERYTHING! This was my favorite breastfeeding book. It’s simply written but not dumbed down. I read it before Alexis came, to be ready, and went back to it multiple times during the initial weeks of breastfeeding. As a matter of fact, I need to read it again to see if it has any tips for babies who are in that stage of distracted nursing, because we’ve been “battling” that for a few days.

BUY THEM:

The Baby Bond  $11.35
Breastfeeding Made Simple $11.67

PUMP

The pump I used is a Simplisse Double Electric Pump. I am actually very happy with it. I remember being somewhat terrified picking pumps during pregnancy. Admit it, they look kinda scary! Little did I know that pumping would be kinder on my nipples than my baby itself. You can read about Simplisse pump here, but here’s the jist.


The inside of the cups are made out of this nice soft and almost “fuzzy” plastic that feels good on your skin and isn’t cone shaped, so  the sucking is much gentler than I expected, yet does the job.  You can select 10 speeds and 5 different pressures and adjust them after you elicit a let down based on how comfortable you are. To me, the cups felt so soft and gentle that I would just stay on speed 10 the whole time to get it done faster. I know it varies from person to person but the pump would empty my breasts in less than 10 minutes on speed 10. You can pump both breasts or choose to only pump one. The cups are super easy to assemble and clean ( I throw them into a steam sanitizer, but you can use your  dishwater, or plain old soap and water as well). It also comes with a portable bag full of stuff that would be AMAZING for moms who have to pump on the go:

  • 2 Extra Collection Bottles w/ Storage Caps
  • Insulated Cooler Bag
  • 2 Ice Gel Packs
  • Wet Bag for used parts
  • 10 Breastmilk Storage Bags
  •  4 Disposable Breast Pads

I actually really like their storage bags and have used them all up already. And for what it’s worth, the bag is not all that bad looking, like some, so you won’t be embarrassed carrying it around.

Simplisse actually has a ton of other great products and I am very happy I discovered them.

BUY IT: Simplisse Breast Pump $181.77

WIN IT: FREE Simplisse would like to give away a free pump to one of  The Art of Making a Baby readers. See Rafflecopter Giveaway at the bottom of the post for details.

NIPPLE CREAMS

I tried and used 3 different nipple creams and found all three very good for different stages of breastfeeding and different preferences.

One of the most important things for me was to make sure the nipple cream was safe for my baby to ingest and preferably with organic ingredients.

Motherlove nipple cream

PROS: Organic, incredibly soft and smooth, smells good and is very moisturizing.  It feels like a cloud on your finger. Comes in a small convenient jar. I love using it when my nipples feel dry and when I know I can walk around topless for a bit. Received ZERO toxins on EWG Database.

CONS: The only problem I found is that because of how moist it is, if you put a bra on immediately, most of it gets transferred to the bra. If you can wait a few minutes, then it’s not an issue.

WHO SHOULD BUY: If you prefer a soft feel of a moisturizer, this cream is for you.

BUY IT: Amazon $7.35 for 1 oz

Zoe Organic Nipple Balm

PROS: Food grade and organic. It is a VERY thick cream, so it’s perfect for protecting your nipples from clothing. I found that once my nipples healed a little bit and I didn’t need to walk around topless so that no fabric touched them, this cream was awesome. I put a thick layer of it and put a bra on immediately. It protected my tender skin from rubbing on my clothes, but because of how it stuck to your skin, it didn’t really rub off on it.
CONS: Because of how thick and sticky it is, I’d be worried about putting it on cracked raw nipples, because you really need to rub it in. But it’s awesome, once your nipples have healed a bit.

WHO SHOULD BUY: If your nipples aren’t rubbed raw and cracked, this will protect them and moisturize them at the same time without sticking to clothes.

BUY IT: Zoe organics $18 for 2 oz
USE CODE prebabyblog to get 15% off till Friday

WIN IT: Scroll down to the bottom of the post for details and enter in Rafflecopter giveaway of Zoe Organics Nipple Cream

Simplisse Nipple Cream

PROS: Very very light, comes in a pump which is the more hygienic way of using a nipple cream (reduces risk of infection from changing diapers), lanolin free and safe for baby and mom, glides on smooth and fast, dries off really well.
CONS: Not organic like the two above, maybe too light for some women.

WHO SHOULD BUY: If you don’t like the idea of sticky, gooey or wet creams and want something light that will dry off immediately, this is it.

BUY IT: Simplisse Nipple Cream  $10.37 for 60 pumps.

 

NIPPLE SHIELDS

I had to use a nipple shield for the first 5 weeks and was really afraid I would never be able to breastfeed without one. Here’s what worked for me:

Initially I was given a nipple shield at the hospital. It was the Medela brand 20mm shield. I did like the shape of it and how well it stuck on the breast, but it did have a few issues. First of all, it has a MASSIVE nipple. Alexis would sometimes choke on it and I saw that she didn’t enjoy having such a big nipple in her mouth. She would end up sucking on the nipple itself, rather than learning how to latch properly. However, it is very thick, so it does a good job protecting the nipple from the pain. So if you have extreme pain, you simply have no choice but to use it. It beats breastfeeding without it.

 

However after the initial few weeks, as my nipple were getting better, I started using the Simplisse Nipple Shield. It is very thin, paper thin, so it doesn’t reduce the pain as much as Medela, but if your pain is not severe, you’ll be better off using the Simplisse one. It feels more like skin, so the baby enjoys it more. It doesn’t have a humongous nipple, but I wasn’t crazy about the square shape (I wonder if there’s a reason for it). It has many more holes in it than Medela, and they are much smaller. All in all, it felt much more natural breastfeeding with the Simplisse nipple shield. So I’d recommend getting a Medela one for the first week  of breastfeeding and then try to switch over to the Simplisse one when the pain starts getting better, if you do end up using a nipple shield. I also read that some LCs recommend the Simplisse one as a way of weaning yourself and the baby off the Medela shield.

BUY THEM: 

Medela 20mm shield $10.20

Simplisse Nipple Shield $5.52

BOOBIE CREAM

While I am a huge fan of Boob Tube by Mama Mio and am planning on using it religiously once Alexis gives me 3-4 hours between feedings, so that it would get absorbed before she goes to feed again, I did struggle to find a moisturizer for my breasts that I would feel comfortable with Alexis accidentally ingesting it. Boob Tube is 100% pregnancy safe, but I just don’t know that it’s ok for a baby to EAT IT :)

For the first several overwhelming weeks I didn’t even think about a need to moisturize anything but my nipples. That is until I looked in the mirror one day and realized that what I thought were veins on my breasts were actually stretchmarks. (Gasp!) I luckily avoided any stretchmarks during pregnancy and still cannot believe my belly and thighs are 100% free of stretchmarks ( thank you Tummy Oil from MamaMio).  However, I just didn’t think I had to worry about my boobs past the time when my milk came in ( and to be fair, with a baby that would wake up every hour at night to eat that was the last thing on my mind). I didn’t want to use any moisturizers because I didn’t really find  a 100% safe one aside from the Tummy Oil, but the Tummy Oil has SUCH an amazing scent that would totally mess with my mommy scent and it’s recommended that you keep yourself free of fragrances so that baby could recognize you better in the beginning.

So one day, I was in a hurry and my boobs felt so dry that I grabbed the first thing on the counter that happened to be the Extreme Cream by Zoe Organics. It’s meant as a intensely hydrating cream for baby’s sensitive skin and eczema that’s so common at that age. Alexis didn’t have any dry spots aside from the initial dry skin on her eyebrows that this cream promptly cleared up, so the jar was sitting on my counter barely touched.  I thought: “Hey, it’s organic, meant for babies and smells nice like the nipple cream I am already using. Why don’t I use them for my breasts?” OH-MY-GOD! It was heaven! The cream goes on like butter. Like take a stick of butter out of your fridge ( you shouldn’t be eating butter anyways, lol) and smear it all over your dry skin- that’s how it feels. It just dries a lot faster than butter would. It’s smells amazing and yet doesn’t have any added fragrance. And Alexis loved it the first time she nursed. She just kept running her fingers back and forth on my buttered boob in a very purposeful manner. It was so cute! I became a quick convert and used it every day until I ran out yesterday. Now I’m really upset I didn’t order it sooner, because it’s not sold on Amazon and I can’t get it with Prime, like I usually do.

BUY IT: Zoe Organics Extreme Cream $18.00 for 2 oz
USE CODE prebabyblog to get 15% off till Friday

WIN IT: Scroll down to the bottom of the post for details and enter in Rafflecopter giveaway of Zoe Organics Extreme Cream

BREASTFEEDING PILLOWS

I use two different breastfeeding pillows. Here’s my take on them.

MyBrestfriend

 

The very famous MyBrestFriend pillow is everything you’d want a breastfeeding pillow to be once you’re a seasoned pro. It’s shaped nicely to fit around your midsection and supports your baby’s curves.  It has a pouch for a bottle of water or your precious cell phone that will save you from boredom during sleepy midnight feedings. It comes with an organic cover for those who are health conscious, as well as an array of cute colorful conventional covers. It has an adjustable clip to fit any shape and size. It flips backwards for easy access to whatever it is you need to do in between feedings. Basically, it’s a well thought out pillow that has been created to help nusring mothers feel more comfortable while breastfeeding. If your baby eats for very long times, this is a MUST HAVE.

BUY IT: Amazon $34.88

WIN IT: MyBrestFriend would like to give away a nursing pillow to one of the readers. Scroll down to the bottom of the post for details.

 

SIMPLISSE GIA PILLOW

 

This is more of a quick feeding pillow for me. Alexis was never a slow feeder. She was in, she ate, she was out. No sucking for comfort, no taking too long. Her initial feedings were 12-15 minutes at most and now she goes for 5-8 minutes on average. So at this point I need a pillow that  I can grab on the go and not mess around with, and throw it aside when she’s done eating so that I can burp her and, if lucky, put her to sleep. Gia does the trick. I love that it’s machine washable, so that’s the first thing I did to remove any kind of residue from the manufacturing. It has a sloping egde to raise your baby’s head a bit, which also helps with reflux. It’s soft and curvy and light. I would take Alexis, grab the pillow, put it on my lap along with Lexi, and then when it wasn’t comfortable anymore ( Lexi tends to squirm a lot), I’d toss it aside. So I found it very convenient especially considering the quick feedings Lexi would have.

BUY IT: Gia Pillow $33.30

BREAST PADS

I tried cloth re-useable ones, a few different brand ones that I don’t remember the names of and finally ended up using Simplisse Pads that I liked the most. They are thin, they have a rougher side to stay put on your clothing and a soft cotton side for your breast. They hold a surprising amount of leaked breast milk, while staying somewhat inconspicuous beneath the clothing. I just ran out of a box of 60 of them and I’m definitely buying more.

BUY IT: Simplisse Breast Pads $9.99 for 60

BREAST SHELLS

LOVED THESE THINGS! When my nipples were at their worst, any touch of clothing to them meant agony, but I couldn’t walk around topless because it was uncomfortable without some sort of support. I even cut out holes for nipples in some of my bras but somehow that didn’t do it (plus I wasn’t digging looking like a cheap hooker). These things saved me! These are basically cups with a hole for a nipple in them and holes for air, so that your nipples weren’t rubbed by clothes and were able to air out. I would use the Motherlove nipple cream and put these things on under my support bra. They are a bit visible under clothes and my husband called me “Robo-boobs”, but it was such a relief to be able to wear a bra and not deal with nipple pain, that I didn’t care. Plus, when I was breastfeeding, these cups would catch the leaked milk from the other boob. Definitely recommend. Supposedly they help small and inverted nipples too, and I do seem to remember it making a difference for my small nipples.

BUY IT: Simplisse Breast shells $11.79 for 2 pack

MILK SUPPLY HELPERS

This is my favorite category, because it’s TASTY! I used two things to help raise my milk supply during the time when Alexis was feeding a lot and didn’t seem to get enough.

Of course, the traditional Mother’s Milk tea that I drank religiously every day. The taste is kind of funky, but that was the least of my troubles at that moment, so I didn’t even notice. What “sweetened” the strange taste of the tea were my favorite Milk Makers Cookies. I had read about them on a blog months ago, back when I was pregnant, and thought it was a great idea. I am actually salivating right now just writing about them. The idea of these lactation cookies was started by a mother of  three, who needed help keeping her milk supply when she went to work. So after experimenting with different recipes, she finally found one that tasted delicious and contained oatmeal, brewer’s yeast and flax seed that are known to act as galactogogues. Just 1 cookie a day can increase your supply, but, let’s be honest, who can limit themselves to 1 cookie a day. I know I couldn’t. Not at the time when I was in pain, a new mother and hungry as a wolf. Milk makers come in a dairy-free version which is really cool of them. So I had a few bags of the dairy-free oatmeal raisin cookies and, not being a fan of oatmeal, I loooooved these. They had a touch of cinammon, I actually liked the faint taste of brewer’s yeast and they were so perfectly chewy. Oh man, today is NOT a good day to write about cookies, since it’s the first day that I am watching what I eat and exercising, which means I am dying to cheat and have something sweet.


So back to the cookies, I think they also make for a great excuse: “Honey, but I need them for my MILK SUPPLY!”. You know I used that line on my hubby!  I will order more when I need a boost in my milk supply or if we ever have another baby, that’s for sure.
BUY THEM: 1 month supply $49, starter pack$19.99
WIN THEMScroll down below for details and enter in Rafflecopter giveaway of 1 month supply of Milk Makers (YUM!)

 

 

 

 

So these are the things I used in the first 6 weeks of breastfeeding and still use some of them. Feel free to enter the 4 giveaways below to win the pump, extreme cream, nipples cream, nursing pillow and lactation cookies.

BREASTFEEDING GOODIES x 4

BELOW ARE THE GIVEAWAYS RULES
and Mandatory Entries: {read carefully}

There are two mandatory entries for each giveaway, after which you will have additional entries available,
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UPDATE: You can now log into the Rafflecopter through Facebook or just by using your name/email.

If you have a blog, there’re 2 entries each worth 10 points ( post our button on your blog’s sidebar and blog about the giveaway)

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Disclosure:  I was not compensated for this post. All opinions are 100% my own. Some of these items for sent to me for a review

 

 

Pregnancy Must Haves and Photo Recap (2nd Trimester Issue)

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in HEALTH, Health and Fitness, My Pregnancy, Other Recommendations, PREGNANCY, PRODUCTS

As I continue musing on my 2nd trimester, I find it amazing how many more discoveries I’ve had since I got pregnant. Having been very prepared for pregnancy, there were still things I was finding out and figuring out in the first trimester, and just when I thought there was nothing new to find or learn, I’d stumble upon something else that is better or something I haven’t thought about, things that I wish I had known about in the 1st trimester.

So I thought it’d be fun to write a little bit about the 4 new items that I found very useful or helpful or better than anything else on the market during the 2nd trimester. And, our generous sponsors will actually give you an opportunity to win 3 out of 4 items I’ll be talking about, so don’t forget to enter when you’re done reading, if it’s something you like.

Mama Mio Skin Care

If you’ve been reading for a while, you might remember that I thoroughly researched pregnancy safe skin products and was going into pregnancy using only what I considered safe and having eliminated anything harmful. At that moment I was using Belli Skin Care line, which is a good and effective line of pregnancy products that is 100% teratogenically tested (teratogen= substance that causes birth defects) . Some time in my 1st trimester as I continued reading and researching chemicals in food and beauty products, I started realizing that what I was using previously, while teratogen free, is not exactly 100% safe and natural. The fact that something doesn’t cause birth defects doesn’t mean it won’t make other less obvious changes in your baby. Sodium Laurel Sulfate (SLS) for example, isn’t considered a teratogen, however it mimics a hormone, called oestrogen, and may be responsible for health problems, such as menopause, PMS, breast cancers, low male fertility, aside from the fact that it can be contaminated with dioxane, a known carcinogen. And nothing that mimics hormones is a good idea to use during pregnancy since the whole pregnancy is lead and governed by the correct expression of hormones. Well, SLS is literally everywhere. If it’s some sort of cleaning or foaming product, like a face wash, you’ll see Sodium Laurel Sulfate as one of the top ingredients.

I don’t know how about you, but while pregnant, I really didn’t want to risk it. So I’d spend hours trying to find products that didn’t have these lesser known or not so obviously harmful chemicals.I did find a good product in each necessary category and you can see the line up here. However, the issue was while they were 100% safe and good for you, I wasn’t crazy about how well they worked or smelled. But I figured I’d survive with limp hair and stinky oily stomach until my baby is born! ( I couldn’t help but post this picture on the left. We took it for ourselves because we thought it was funny, but I think it really shows how big my belly has gotten, much more than you can see in a static picture. It amazes me sometimes: I have a big firm belly with our daughter inside!)

So that was until I bumped into Mama Mio products. By now  you can tell, I am very serious about safety when it comes to pregnancy- any new product I buy, I dissect all the ingredients to make sure they’re acceptable to me. Their products clearly state that they are ALL paraben free, petroleum free, phthalates free, sodium laureth and sodium lauryl sulphate free, colourant free, synthetic fragrance free and xenoestrogen free. Sounds amazing, doesn’t it? However, I was still concerned about the fragrance. See, the word “fragrance” is where most skin care companies can hide all the nasty stuff, since fragrances are protected by copyright law ( or whatever it’s called when it comes to beauty products). You’re not required to disclose the content of the fragrance(perfum). So whenever you see that on your bottle of cream, you could be slathering yourself with parabens, petroleum, carcinogens, etc, unless the package says otherwise. So after looking more into what Mama Mio’s fragrance was all about, I found the best answer I could expect. Gravida is Mama Mio’s “amazing essential oil fragrance; a blend of 10 pregnancy-safe, pregnancy-specific natural oils which smells gorgeous to even the most sensitive of noses”. Sounds great! I also didn’t stop there. Once I got the products, I went over the ingredient list to makes sure there was nothing else I didn’t like the sound of and everything was perfect.

So I’ve been using them for almost 2 months now and I gotta tell you, there’s No Natural Skin Care Line I’ve used that compares to their products! I am a customer for life!

I’ve been using the BBB Kit (Boobs, Bellies, Bottoms), that includes Tummy Rub Oil, Boob Tube and O-Mega Wonder-Full Balm.

Tummy Oil is by far my favorite! First of all the smell is HEAVENLY! Throw away your Mother’s Blend Oil, because it doesn’t stand a chance. I remember hating the smell of Mother’s Blend in the first trimester and putting up with it in the 2nd. With Tummy Rub Oil, I look forward to my nightly routine. Even my husband keeps commenting on how good I smell after I apply it and he’s not really a smell guy. I still don’t have a single stretchmark and my belly has been growing much faster this past month, going from almost nothing to a big baby belly. I’m almost out of the oil, but I know I’ll be ordering another bottle very soon. Sometimes, when I lie down to relax after a tiring day, I put a little bit of the oil on my wrists and pillow just to have the smell around me, it’s so calming!

Boob Tube smells just as good ( a slightly different fragrance) and I am not sure if I’m hallucinating but I could swear my boobs are firmer and have more tone. Even if it’s all my imagination, I know the skin around them has never looked better. I should probably start applying it around my upper chest and neck too, since it’s a Bust and Neck firmer (something I just realized lol)

Omega Wonder-Full Balm is a one stop rescue balm. I use it on my lips, my elbows, my knees, dry spots on my tummy, my belly button when it feels stretchy. It smells amazing (again), hydrates and heals the skin instantly. And the bottle lasts FOREVER.

Some other items worth trying are cooling Lucky Legs for tired legs relief ( don’t have problems with legs since I’m home most of the time, so I haven’t tried that yet), existing stretchmarks and scars remedies (will definitely buy those if it ever becomes an issue), cellulite cream ( A must for me after pregnancy, along with Toning Serum). You know how when you find the right company and the right products that work for you, you no longer care about the price, it just makes sense to continue using them- Mama Mio is that line for me. Luckily, their prices are reasonable.

I’ve been kind of neglecting the rest of my body, leaving it dry and unexfoliated, because I couldn’t find anything safe enough, but with my next order, I’ll be buying the Body Oil or Cream and the Exfoliator to take care my horribly dry skin in all places other than boobs and tummy. Will report later on how these worked out for me.

If you’d like to try some of these products, Mama Mio is giving away a full sized set of Mighty Moisture Day & Night Moisturizer, Goodbye Stretch Marks and a Boob Tube to 1 lucky reader ( enter at the end of this post)

MyBrestFriend Body Pillow

A few months ago as I was starting to have to sleep on my side and was feeling very uncomfortable, I started looking for a body pillow. I asked people on the blog, I read a few review on Amazon, I balked at the $100 price tag of some of the body pillows. So I slept with 5 different pillows for as long as I could until I got an actual pregnancy body pillow. One thing I was looking forward to in a body pillow is the little ledge for your belly. I felt like it was sagging down and pulling on my back, like it needed support. It made a HUGE difference to have the little wedge between the bed and my belly. It felt more supported and comfortable and the light dull backache disappeared almost overnight. Aside from that, I didn’t really know what to expect in a body pillow. It took me a few days to get used to it and find the perfect position for my body.

See, I like things between my legs (hahaha- that’s what got me into this pickle). No, seriously, when I sleep on my side I almost always need something between my knees and ankles. It started when I was modeling and was so thin, it was simply uncomfortable to have no padding (read: fat) between my bones when they lay atop of each other. At this point, I am not sure if I’m just used to hugging things with my legs or bones are still an issue, but I know I’ve always needed a pillow between my legs. I find that this pillow doesn’t give me enough surface area for my long legs when sleeping in a bent position, so I still have to have an additional standard pillow between my knees. However, if you’re the kind of sleeper who doesn’t like bulky things around you, this pillow will be utter perfection. What I do like is how it’s long enough to reach my ankles and support them and thin and light enough not to make me sweaty at night. It took me a few days to find a good position for my head and now I LOVE it. The little rounded pillow at the end is supposed to support your head and I find it so cuddly and comfortable.

So my current set up is as follows: big shapeless body pillow behind me to prevent me from turning over to sleep on my back at night. MyBrestFriend pillow up front with the rounded corner under my head, belly wedge under my tummy and the bottom end of the pillow supporting my ankles, plus an additional pillow between my knees. This is THE best set up I have found and the best sleep I’ve had. I rarely wake up with back pain and if I do, it’s mostly because I turned to the other side in my sleep and somehow didn’t bring the body pillow with me.

You can win a body pillow from MyBrestFriend by entering the giveaway below.

Belly Armor

I really really wish I knew about this particular item BEFORE I got pregnant, so that I had it with me from day 1.

You know how most of our lives are spent at our computers? You’re obviously sitting at one reading this. Or you might be reading the post on your cell phone. I’m sure more than half of you work at a computer. Either way, we’re constantly exposed to low levels of radiation from all the daily items we use. The information is now coming out that cell phones used without a headset cause tumors. I haven’t heard much about laptops and desktops but I know it’s not good to have one on your lap. This has bothered me for quite a while since all of my work and most of my hobbies involve a computer. Like I said before, I am ok with taking a small risk when it comes to my own health out of laziness or whatnot, but the second we knew we were pregnant, it changed completely, because everything that I am exposed to, even in low doses could harm that little human being inside me during sensitive periods of development.

Oh how I wish I knew about the company called Belly Armor in my first trimester. They make products that protect your belly from all the radiation that we’re exposed to daily. According to their website “the past 25 years of research has evidenced several potential health hazards during pregnancy from radiation, including birth defects and genetic disruptions, miscarriages, autism, childhood leukemia, and cancer. Because scientists have shown that cell growth and DNA replication are disrupted by radiation, pregnancy and early childhood represent the highest risk for exposure.” The funding for studies like this is limited, because the effects take years to show up, so it’s almost impossible to measure, just like most research in prenatal programming and exposure, but to me as a pregnant woman, bent on protecting my child while it’s in the womb, it is a definitely step to take. Belly Armor has three products: the Belly Blanket, the Belly Tee and the Belly Band. They are made out of cotton and a RadiaShield lining that protects you against 99.9% of radiation. I even tested that. I wrapped my cell phone in the blanket and it instantly lost signal. I have both the blanket and the band.

I find the blanket perfect to have around the house. Whenever I sit down with my laptop (which I always have on a special lap pillow), I put the blanket over my belly. EVERY TIME! It just feels so good to know that Alexis is protected from radiation, something that has always been in the back of my mind up until now. The blanket comes in cute colors and has a convenient pocket for a cell phone. Before I had the blanket, I also found myself “accidentally” putting my iphone on the top of my belly (using it as a shelf) when I needed my hands free for something and then instantly realizing that and putting it aside. Now with the blanket, I can actually rest it there for a couple of seconds while I’m reaching for a glass of water or clicking a link without freaking myself out. So almost every evening, after a long day, you can see me in this position, with my laptop and my Belly Blanket

The band on the other hand is ideal if you work at a computer and can’t or don’t want to bring your blanket with you. It’s much more comfortable to have a band on when you’re sitting at the desk. It also does the double duty of supporting your belly. Sometimes, when I know I’ll be on the go all day, I just put the band on and I don’t have to worry about bringing my blanket with me. The band fits perfectly under any maternity clothes and is very inconspicuous. So I figured, if you’re gonna buy a belly band, you might as well get one with protection. I got it in a slightly bigger size knowing that in the last two months my belly will have to catch up and grow quite a bit.

I am really happy I get to use these, even though I only have a few weeks left, but I know that with the next pregnancy, I will be using both from day one. My friend whose sister is pregnant instantly ordered one as soon as she saw mine. It’d make a great gift for a pregnant woman.

To win a BellyBand or Belly Blanket, enter the giveaway below.

Organized Pregnancy

The final item that I found very useful is this book: One Year to an Organized Life with a Baby. Again, in this case I wish I had found it sooner, but better late than never. It’s a book that takes you through a whole year week by week, starting from 9 weeks pregnant to postpartum, helping you prepare everything for the arrival of the baby and the changes that will take place.

The author goes over things that need to be bought, things that could wait, places, rooms and closets that need to be organized, space that needs to be made, preparations for maternity leave and returning back to work, financial preparations- basically everything that would ideally need to be taken care of before a baby comes, without cramming it all into the last few weeks of pregnancy like we all tend to do. Each week she gives a “project”, along with valuable tips and tricks of organization. I read through to 32 weeks and have been following her advice on many levels. The book is also an AMAZING motivational tool that will get your nesting butt off the couch and itching to properly prepare for a baby! Definitely a must read, especially if you lack organization or love organizing ( both apply to me :))

BELOW ARE THE GIVEAWAY RULES
and Mandatory Entries: {read carefully}


There are two mandatory entries, after which you will have additional entries available,
and 1 daily entry for which you can come back to enter daily.
The winning entries will be verified and the winner disqualified if the action is not found or if the mandatory items are not fullfilled.
Make sure to notate how you’re following the blog in the extra info field (entry #1). The entry won’t count if that information is missing.
Please make sure to visit Mama Mio and/or MyBrestFriend and/or Belly Armor (or all three)and comment on what items you’d like to win is to be eligible to win (entry #2). The comment is to be posted to this blog post.
The giveaway is open to US residents only. See the rafflecopter widget for additional terms and conditions.
All comments will be moderated and will appear once approved.

If you have a blog, there’re 2 entries each worth 10 points ( post our button on your blog’s sidebar and blog about the giveaway)

{If you’re not sure how to use to enter, feel free to watch this video tutorial or email me at contact {at} prebabyblog {dot} com
Otherwise, make sure to read everything carefully. Click the DO IT link first, then I’VE DONE IT once the action is completed}


Disclosure: Some of the items above were sent to me for free in exchange for my honest opinion.