Sunday, May 31, 2009

Exhausted With a Newborn? Sounds About Right

Q: I have been breastfeeding my newborn since he was born 8 days ago. I am exhausted, and am not sure how I can go out in public, or have people over. Is it okay to pump for those types of occasions so early? Do I need to wait 3 weeks? I do not want the baby to like the bottle better than me, so that is why I am worried.

A: Congrats on your baby boy, and to you for going through the marathon of pregnancy and delivery. However your baby was born, you are recovering from a not-small event. Your body is going through huge changes, and dealing with the demands of a being that's totally dependent on you. Bottlefeeding won't actually change that (darnit!) :). I have four kids, and it's ALWAYS a shock how relentless the demands of the first months are.

Do you know how to nurse lying down? Since nursing at the beginning is pretty much what you do all day and night, get youself in a position to be half-asleep while doing it. Remember that your baby is heading into his 10-day growth spurt, and will be at the breast even more in order to build up your supply.

As for nursing in front of people, they're the ones who are at the home of a newborn, so it won't be shocking. I hate nursing covers with a passion (it looks like you accidentaly tucked in a tablecloth) and they're unnecessary. You don't even need nursing clothes. Just practice, which is hard to get in 8 days. Check out my blog for info on how to do it discreetly.

As for the pumping, until your body adjusts its supply at around 6 weeks, it's just adding more work to your already tiring day! And it's not any where as effeicient as baby. If you're lucky enough to have great household help or a hands-on, not-at-work hubby (which is the only way that considering pumping would save you time), have them make you food, buy you new clothes and otherwise pamper you like the princess you are. While you eat, nurse and watch tv or read. You're still a little bit pregnant, so be easy on yourself!

You are doing the best thing for your baby -- but almost more importantly, for you as well! Those hormones will help your mood, the contractions are making your uterus smaller, and the convenience (trust me) can't be beat. You need to talk to someone who's been in your boat, not just all your well-meaning friends and family who are visiting in their gloriously unattached, dressed-and-made-up states. Find a LaLeche League meeting or check out the Pump Station's support groups (in LA) and go.

Good luck -- you're the best parent for your child.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Hang In There, Baby!

Okay, you may be too young to remember this poster, but it was everywhere in the 70s, which is when my family moved to America from Jamaica. I love that it pretty much sums up how my husband and I feel at the end of a week like this one -- wrung out and barely hanging on! You may have had more than a few days like that since becoming parents, especially if you're a mom. No matter how well-prepared, mature and ready you were (like I thought I was), being responsible 24/7 for the care and feeding of a helpless little creature was a bit like being sucker punched.

But at least babies need us, right? Then they become toddlers and seem to spend all their waking hours either arguing with us ("Me do it!") or attempting to cause themselves bodily harm. Don't they get that throwing themselves into traffic, say, is just proving Darwin's case? Keeping them alive becomes even more physically exhausting than taking care of a newborn, which you hardly thought possible at the time. That whole sleep-deprivation thing wasn't even approved of without the presence of a doctor at Gitmo, and there you are, alone with a wailing mass of protoplasm who you have the responsibility of nursing every two hours throughout the night, without so much as a thank you, much less a watchful nurse with a clipboard who'll put a stop to the whole thing before you start hallucinating.

But I digress. I was trying to make you feel better. More to the point, I was trying to make myself feel better. Here's the money shot: if you have kids that aren't at full-time-school age, you are under siege. Not like in a real war, of course, but as real as it gets in LA's San Fernando Valley. So cut yourself some slack. Get off your own back. Realize that, although you may be out of the baby years, the light doesn't break into the murky shadows of the tunnel until they're safely in kindergarten. By then, of course, you may have done what we did, which is to re-up for another tour (man, this is a lot of battle imagery for a city girl. It was clearly a mad week!). We've had babies and/or toddlers in the house for almost twelve straight years. I wouldn't trade it for the world, but it is different on the other side. At least, that's what I hear. :)

Go snuggle with your honey and hug your kiddies. Work, stardom, fortune -- all those can wait. But once kindergarten starts, watch out, world!!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy Memorial Day!

Now that you're a mom, or about to be one, you may feel a little extra gratitude in your expanded heart for those who've fallen in service to this amazing country. I sure do. As we barbeque and swim our hearts out today, remember to say Thank You!

Monday, May 18, 2009

What Do You Really Think About One Hot Mama?

Friends, Romans, Countrymen:

My husband and I have worked for over ten years to make One Hot Mama a place to turn expecting and new moms into happy hot mamas. The good news is that all our hard work is paying off – we’ve just been notified that we’re a contender in Pregnancy & Newborn magazine’s Readers’ Choice Awards for Best Online Maternity Shop. If you think that we're all that and a bag of chips (man, I really need to get out more -- my slang is so last century!), hop on over to Pregnancy & Newborn's site and let them know.

Here’s where you register --

They then send you a confirmation email. After that, log in and look for “Enter The Readers’ Choice Awards” under" Welcome, Your Name Here!" and head over to vote.

Don’t have a baby and need help in some categories? Either leave them blank, or ask a friend. Since I'm your friend, I'll suggest a couple faves of mine.

There are 23 categories, and ours is the 20th, by the way -- don't leave before you vote for One Hot Mama as best online maternity boutique!

Categories I have strong opinions about are:

  • Jogging Stroller -- BOB!!! (not just because it's my hubby's name -- they rock!)
  • Diaper Bag -- Kalencom (adorable and reasonably priced)
  • Baby Shoes -- I love Robeez
  • Breast Pump -- Avent is the best.
  • Maternity Top/Tee -- write in Maternal America – it’s fab!
  • Maternity Jeans -- we carry the Maternal America jean and it’s super hot
  • Maternity Must-Have -- we have the BellaBand and love it! A real budget stretcher
  • Online Maternity Shop -- hint, hint, here’s where One Hot Mama comes in

The polls are open until May 31st, but just like in real life, the earlier you vote, the better! Also like in real life, you're only supposed to vote once.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Some Horrible Fashion Advice For New Moms

So I'm browsing the web this morning, and I see a cute article about how to do pregnancy chic -- cool, I'm all for helping women feel and look good. The author, Milly Smith, of course has a line of clothing, which is totally cute if you can spare over $300 for a dress. But here's the advice that had be seeing red:
DON’T OVERSHOP It’s important to be comfortable, and when I get home I
change into track pants and a T-shirt. After the birth you’ll be so sick of
wearing your maternity wardrobe that you’ll want to burn it.

Okay, maybe I'm not seething, but I do get annoyed that we are finally encouraged to be all maternal goddess-like when pregnant, but the minute you have the baby, shut up and stay home in sweats or pjs! We started One Hot Mama in no small part because of how invisible a new mom can feel, and dressing like the Invisible Woman is a sure way to be treated and feel like one.

Your maternity clothes are your friends in those first few months -- I wore my white maternity jeans for a full five months after my second baby was born, and they saved my life.
  1. I had something to wear
  2. I never forgot that I was donning temporary clothing
  3. We (and others) have so many cute outfits that work while you're pregnant AND while you're nursing that you'll get your money's worth. Think about your non-preggo wardrobe -- don't you break out the same ten items over and over again?
Yes, take time to get to know your newborn and have a babymoon and nap when baby naps and all that, but at some point, you'll want to leave the house. When that happens, it's not a crime to not want to look like a mother! Just because you are one, doesn't mean you have to dress like yours! :)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

My Maternity Retail Addiction

Poor Bob. He's my husband, and I gotta say, as hard as it must be to be married to me, it's gotta be harder to be business partners with me.

After ten years, I'm still trying to restrain myself each buying season, but it gets harder and harder when the clothes are so yummy. Want to see? This is the stuff that arrived just this week, and there's more showing up every day. And I'm supposed to restrict myself to basics, like lots of other maternity sites? Blech! Boooring! Not gonna do it. Of course, this habit doesn't really endear me to dear Bob, but I'm hoping that when you see the hot maternity swimsuits, hip nursing tops and great shower dresses, you'll agree that they're worthy of parting with your hard-earned cash. And then I will be forgiven. :)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Hot Maternity Swimsuit Arrives

Breaking News! Okay, maybe not stop-the-presses time, but this great tankini by Olian was featured in this month's Pregnancy & Newborn, and it just got to our store!

Order it here -- and I hope you had a Happy Mothers Day!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Extreme Birth Stories -- Extremely Lame

It was some trepidation that I clicked on a link at this morning to the Top 7 Worst Ever Birth Stories. Actually, the title of the article was Extreme Birth Stories -- they are neither.

Read them, and it will remind you what doulas and mothers who have "survived" natural childbirth already know -- the only person that HAS to be at your baby's birth is you. Sure, I have no desire to push while swinging from a tree (that was a mom who was being hanged for witchcraft; in other words, she had lots to worry about, labouring being just one part of that!) but the article goes to great pains to repeatedly say, just because these women and babies all survived outside the hospital, that doesn't mean that you will!!

That's right, ladies, nothing to see here, move along, get your epidural and shut up!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

One Hot Mama in Pregnancy & Newborn Magazine!!

We love being recognized for the cool duds we have for mamas and mamas to be, and this month's issue of Pregnancy & Newborn noticed that we are all about maternity swim!!

In the pic to the left, we have the Olian Maternity swimsuits on the bottom right and left, but take a gander at the top Belabumbum nursing and maternity tankini -- we have that as well, in solid red and in solid black. Sexy.

And here's one of our fave maternity swim cover-ups, although I like it as a top over an Everyday Cami from Ingrid & Isabel -- and we've been able to lower the price! That's right, "in this economy!" it's now $30!

Thanks to the great photos and stylists at this mag -- be sure to pick up a copy, and then head over to One Hot Mama to shop. The blue tankini will be on our site soon.