Tag Archive for: maternity
It baffles my husband that I go to CVS 4 to 5 times a week and spend on average 1 hour doing absolutely nothing. Simply put, CVS is my happy place. I can lose myself in the aisles, I stop by the cooler and pick out an ice cream that I eat while reading magazines, cruising the seasonal product displays, talking to the photo technicians, oh yes I lose myself in this store. Don’t get me wrong, I am a professional shopper, I love Hermes, Nordstrom, Target, Michael’s (Harlow’s Happy Place…that’s another Blog) Whole Foods you name it, I am in some kind of retail outlet daily, but none bring me bliss, peace and a sense that I am a million miles away from my life like my beloved CVS.
Two years ago during my bed rest journey CVS became a major part of my survival. During one of my last hospital stays which was the longest and most difficult, I fell in deeply love with CVS. I was in the penthouse suite (the nurses fought for me to get this maternity room) corner suite, great view from a very large window, extra seating area, end of the hall, lots and lots of privacy, it was great and depressing. Confinement of a healthy woman, a woman who is not sick, a woman who’s only physical issue is that for some reason pregnancy is difficult, is in a nutshell torture. Day after day I would sit in my room, watching the cars go by, looking at the beautiful sky and sunny days that I couldn’t enjoy, and looking across the street at my beacon of hope, bright red letters CVS screaming my name. I would think about all the aisles in the store, the peanut butter filled pretzels that I loved, the endless nail polish colors that you can try on in the store, all of the candy that sits under the register and the magazines that I would read while standing in the longest lines ever, behind shoppers looking for coupons or signing up for an Extra Care Savings Card. I would have given anything to stand in that line. That became my dream. I would dream about having a healthy happy newborn baby, and shopping in CVS. It sounds simple and ridiculous to people who haven’t experienced bed rest during pregnancy. I dreamed that I would break out of the hospital shop CVS and return with all kinds of goodies for my hospital room, without anyone ever knowing. CVS became my happy place, my goal, I knew that I would get out of that hospital one day and my life would be “normal.”
Anytime my world gets busy, my daughter has a case of the Terrific 2′s of if I just need time to myself to think, I find solace in CVS. I like walking in and the clerks know my name, I feel like Norm on Cheers, I love the sales on seasonal items, I love the candles that I smell over and over and never buy, I like picking up cards for my niece because she still loves to receive a piece of mail sent from Texas. Resting Mommies have to find something that they can hold on to, and make small goals and know that once bed rest is over there is an amazing baby and life waiting for you.
- Dedicated to Resting Mommy Jessica D. expecting a beautiful daughter in October 2013, this is her 2nd bed rest pregnancy #Superwoman
You hear the tales of crying babies and sleepless nights from your friends who’ve gone before you, but no one ever told you about the sleepless nights leading up to the baby’s arrival. What’s up with that? Well, aside from increased trips to the restroom and just needing more sleep in general, some women don’t notice much of a change while pregnant. For those less fortunate, the twice-a-night feedings will be a welcomed relief once baby makes his appearance. Whether you’ve just found out you’re preggo or you’re in your third trimester and wondering just how much bigger baby can possibly get, here are six tips to implement in hopes that you’ll get some well-needed sleep tonight.
Cut Out Caffeine
You know that you shouldn’t be drinking alcohol now, but severely limiting, or altogether cutting out, sources of caffeine such as soft drinks, coffee, tea and chocolate is also something to consider. If you can’t cut them out of your diet, restrict them to mornings so that the caffeine will be out of your system by nightfall.
Make Your Bed Comfy
If you’re in need of a new mattress, now’s the time to really shop by mattress brand to find the one perfect for you. A high-quality mattress will give you the rest and comfort you need. You’ll also want to stock up on comfy pillows — including a full-body length one — to use to prop up your legs, wedge between your knees or support your lower back while sleeping on your side.
Take a Power Nap
If you find yourself dozing off after lunch, implement nap time by setting your alarm for no more than 30 minutes. This will give you plenty of time to get enough sleep and wake up feeling refreshed. A nap might sound enticing come 4 p.m., but try your best to resist and know you’ll be sleeping soundly later on.
Turn Out the Lights
Begin your evening sleep routine by turning off the television, computer and other electronic devices that emit light. Light makes it difficult to fall asleep since it suppresses melatonin production, which is the chemical process needed to make you feel drowsy. By dimming your overhead lights and not having your eyes focused on a screen, your body will be able to prepare for sleep more easily.
Create an Evening Routine
Your baby books tell you that babies thrive on routine, but so do adults. Once you turn off your electronics, make yourself a cup of warm milk or have a light snack, if you need it, and relax by taking a bath, doing some light reading or spending quality time with your partner.
Keep up a Moderate Exercise Routine
You don’t need to slack off on exercise since you can do low-impact exercises like swimming, walking, prenatal yoga or water aerobics with your doctor’s permission. A special report from Harvard Medical School says thatregular exercise will help reduce leg cramps and improve your sleep. Plus it will keep you from ending up with too many post-baby pounds to sweat off.
Even if you were a user of medicinal sleep aids before becoming a mother-to-be, it’s important to steer clear of them now so they don’t harm your little one. TheBump.com suggests adding natural vitamins and minerals to your diet through foods or supplements. Calcium and potassium can help relieve leg cramps and can be obtained through a homemade smoothie made from banana and milk or yogurt. Always be sure to talk to your medical professional before adding supplements to your diet.
Elizabeth Lopez - Originally from Detroit, Liz is an automotive-engineer-turned-full-time mom living in the Atlanta area.
Thank you to our Guest Blogger Liz for such meaningful and helpful content!
Give birth like a star: Inside A-list maternity suites
We all know Kate Middleton will be getting the royal treatment when her baby’s born next month. What do you expect? The woman’s a duchess.
But even commoners (with enough cash) can deliver their little ones in royal style, thanks to an uptick in swanky maternity suites.
“A lot of hospitals are trying to go that way now,” says Stephanie Johnson, founder and CEO of Bed Rest Concierge, a Dallas-based company that can turn your everyday hospital room into a birthing center fit for a queen. “We all want a little piece of what Beyoncé and Jessica Simpson are having. Patients aren’t just looking for quality rating now, they’re looking for amenities.”
Not to mention post-birth mani-pedis. Hankering for a luxury birthing experience? Curious as to how the other half lives? Then check out the upscale delivery digs at these facilities:
For a little over $4,000 a day, you can rent a three-room, two-bath Deluxe Maternity Suite at this Los Angeles hospital which has served many a Hollywood celeb, including Kim and Kourtney Kardashian, Kate Hudson and Victoria Beckham. (For those on a “budget,” a two-room, one-bath suite can be had for just $2,847 a day.)
Suites feature recessed lighting, soft colors and comfortable birthing beds — some come equipped with full-sized tubs. Other amenities you can expect (additional fees may apply): a refrigerator stocked with juice and bottled water, flat-screen TV and WiFi, deluxe food service for two (with both vegan and veggie meals), complimentary hotel-style robe, hair stylist, manicures and pedicures, parking and a personal doula to assist during the childbirth process.
Lenox Hill Hospital
This New York hospital made headlines when Beyoncé and Jay-Z reportedly paid $1.3 million to rent out the entire maternity floor in preparation for the birth of daughter, Blue Ivy. Contrary to those reports, though, the hospital’s executive director claims the pop music celebs were actually housed in an executive birthing suite and billed the “standard rate” for those accommodations.
So what is the standard rate for a luxe birthing suite and how much bling do you get for your buck? New parents can expect to pay $850 to $2,400 a night for the suites, which feature blond wood floors, dark wood cabinets, luxurious linens, plush robes, plasma screen TVs, Wi-Fi, and a concierge who is more than happy to arrange for a mani-pedi, hair cut, or massage for mom or go shopping for onesies in the middle of the night. But wait, there’s more! The hospital also offers deluxe 24-hour food service featuring everything from rack of lamb to lobster to New York cheesecake to wine. Other amenities that all parents can appreciate: a newborn security system, a one-to-one nurse-patient ratio during active labor, emotional support services and — smile! — baby pictures.
Mount Sinai Medical Center
New parents can also get their posh on at Manhattan-based Mount Sinai Medical Center, where Gwyneth Paltrow gave birth to son Moses in 2006. Luxurious multi-room birthing suites with a full view of Central Park run $4,000 a night, but the private rooms ($650 to $850 a pop) are also a sweet deal, even though your view may be downgraded to the courtyard.
Amenities for the new mom and dad include hotel quality rooms with luxury sleeper chairs, flat screen TVs, free wireless Internet, spa-inspired private baths with Italian tile and decorative mirrors, massage therapy, mani-pedis, photography services, tea and cookies at 2 p.m. each day and a “bedside mobile boutique” that practically lets you shop in your sleep.
The Portland Hospital
The only fully private maternity hospital in the UK, London’s plush Portland Hospital is one of the facilities experts are eyeballing as a possible delivery site for the new royal baby. In addition to stellar obstetric care, Portland offers both private rooms and suites with a full range of “hotel services,” including 24-hour room service and personal shoppers. Additional perks (at additional cost) include a birth announcement in the Times, a private photo shoot (every year until your child turns 18!), membership in the exclusive Portly Panda Club and even a gold, silver, lead, crystal glass or bronze casting of your baby’s hands and feet.
Don’t happen to live near an elite birthing facility? No problem. For the right price, Bed Rest Concierge will bring the luxury to you. According to owner Stephanie Johnson, her clients – who include TV stars, athlete’s wives, socialites and even the daughter of a former president – have asked her to trick out their maternity suites with all kinds of goodies including 50-inch flat screen TVs, Egyptian cotton bedding and custom pillows and enough distilled water to fill a birthing tub.
Other swanky extras new moms have requested: in-room chef services, aestheticians to perform facials, mani-pedis and other spa treatments, and ice cream and cupcake delivery at 2 a.m.
Natalie Helms, a 27-year-old mom who delivered twins seven months ago at Dallas’ Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, says she used the service to arrange for 24-hour room service, meal delivery from a favorite restaurant, new towels, new linens, and a handful of aesthetic services.
“I wanted to make sure I had everything I needed,” she says. “I had my hair and makeup done and got a wax before delivery. When I came out, they made sure my face was correct before any pictures were taken. It was an out-of-pocket expense, of course, but this was my first time having babies. I wanted it to be seamless and wonderful. I wanted all the comforts that I have at home.”
Helms says having a bit of luxury in her hospital room put her at ease and made the birthing experience much less stressful.
“It’s the only way to deliver,” she says. “I wish this was standard in all hospitals. Not just for the women who can afford it, but for all women.”
Who she is: Stephanie Johnson, CEO and Founder of Bed Rest Concierge, mom to Harlow, public speaker, business mentor, author, and bed rest expert.
Why we love her: Because she parlayed a potentially hugely unpleasant experience (the 26 weeks she spent on bed rest while pregnant with her daughter Harlow) into a business designed to help women through the same experience with planning, support, guidance, and pampering. Oh and after a 30-minute coffee date with her, we left feeling like we could do anything. Her confidence and energy are utterly and completely contagious
Herewith a peek into Stephanie’s world…
On her iPod: Jill Scott, Miguel, and Elmo’s Alphabet
What she’s reading: Joel Osteen’s I Declare: 31 Promises to Speak Over Your Life
Always in her handbag: The Louis Vuitton stays full of size 4 Huggies diapers, MAC Lipglass, Prada perfume, Marc Jacobs Sunglasses (I buy the same style over and over), Goldfish crackers, Granola bars, two cell phones, (mine and Harlow’s Elmo phone) calculator (still an accountant by nature), and my manuscript.
Her mealtime haunt: Harlow and I love Bob’s (Omni and Lemmon Ave). They are accommodating, super kid friendly, and they know us by name. never feel out of place taking her to dinner there at 8 p.m. Mom friendly!
Her favorite family outing: We love the Arboretum, Cole Park so we can play and look at puppies, and spending a lazy Sunday afternoon at Whole Foods — Harlow loves the balloons and samples, and I get a treat listening to the music…it’s really a meet and mingle for moms.
Her tip for balancing work and family: Remember that “having it all” doesn’t mean “doing it all.” Adding help to your daily life creates more time that you can spend with your babies. I don’t get any more mommy points by doing three loads of laundry, running all over town crazy, and then being too tired to enjoy the moments I have with Harlow. I believe in and pay for help!