Thursday, September 25, 2008

Childcare Must Haves - Videos

Educational Videos:

Leap Frog - Letter Factory (toddlers can have it down at 2)
Talking Words Factory (3-4)

Rock n Learn - Colors, Shapes and Numbers (toddlers)
Phonics I & II (3-4)
Spanish I & II (for older kids, but the litte ones love it and pick it up)

I can't recommend any of these high enough. These are instrumental in helping my kids have their phonics down by age 3 and reading by the age of 4.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

At the Hospital

1. You can fire your nurse! Seriously. If she’s being unsupportive have your coach request another one.

2. If they keep wanting you to have an epidural, have your coach keep insisting that you don’t one and ask them to lay off about it. If you want one, you’ll let them know.

3. This is your experience and no one else’s, don’t let anyone take that away from you! Including your spouse/mother/nurse.

4. Have your coach insist to the nurses that you not be on your back anymore than necessary. This position is NOT conducive to labor.

5. You CAN refuse an IV unless there is a need for antibiotics. Even though they will give you many arguments for one. It is basically a precaution at this point. If it becomes a necessity, they can put one in at that time. If you need an IV, request the best person at it do it. A nurse poking a needle around on you is not good for relaxation and focus.

6. Set the mood immediately. According to YOUR preferences, have the lighting lowered, the temperature set, music put on, etc. while they have you hooked up for the initial monitoring.

7. Again, DO NOT WALK! If they want you to, get on your exercise ball, lean over onto the bed, and rock sideways. Same movement with minimal effort plus the ability to relax and focus. This is the position you need to be in whether in the shower, tub, on the toilet, in a chair or beside your bed on your ball! A forward squat.

8. Keep going pee and doing a full squat every hour. It is your coaches responsibility to monitor this.

Early Labor

1. Ignore it. Seriously. The longer you can ignore it and keep your mind on other things, the better. Your body will simply go about its business. The longer you can deal with contractions without intervention (massage, music, shower, etc.), increases endorphins within you and extends your ability to handle it well.

Do move about as necessary or sit on an exercise ball, leaning forward onto a sofa arm and rock sideways back and forth. This produces the same motion as walking.

2. DO NOT WALK! Labor is a marathon and you don’t want to tire yourself out!

3. Breathe deeply, the baby needs the oxygen as once it‘s in the birth canal the cord gets compressed.

4. Keep your shoulders and hands relaxed. Consciously do this.

5. Stay home as long as possible. 99% of women will still have at least 2 hours in the hospital once there, and just the move and admitting process breaks your concentration and slows labor for awhile. The farther along you are when you get there, the faster it will go once you get back into your groove. The move to the hospital (if going) will be uncomfortable. Don’t give in to it and ask for an epidural until you’ve had time to settle in and regroup and see how it goes from there.

6. Eat. They won’t let you once you get to the hospital and you’ll need your energy.

7. Go to the bathroom every hour even if you don’t feel like it. The sensation will diminish once labor begins, but a full bladder blocks the baby and increases labor time. Same with a full rectum, so eat lots of fiber during your last month!

8. Every time you go to the bathroom, use the sink for support and do a full squat. This will help spread your pelvis.

9. Shower just before you leave. The warm water will help relax you for the move.

10. As you do the move, let your coach worry about EVERYTHING. Loading, unloading, admitting, etc. You need to stay focused and relaxed as much as possible.

Natural Childbirth

I’ve had natural childbirth twice. The 1st time went very well, but the 2nd time I had down to an art, which I would like to share. Several points haven’t been mentioned in any website, book or other media that I have found. I have a plethora of nurses in my family who provided info, so this advice is from reputable sources, although as with any advice pertaining to your health, always check with your doctor. I’ll give it in stages.

1. Sitting on an exercise ball during your last trimester can add up to an additional 1cm spread on your pelvis BEFORE giving birth, speeding things along. Sitting on one, leaning forward, automatically uses gravity to force the baby’s heaviest part (head) down and the second (back) to come forward. If you do this regularly, the baby will become accustomed to this position and will eventually engage, or seat, in the proper position for birth. This means that the head becomes caught within the pelvis ensuring no breach birth (BAD if doing natural). This is also the perfect position for giving birth. as it uses the baby’s weight and your contractions to the most benefit in effacement and dilation. This position can be achieved by simply leaning forward in the shower or tub, or spreading your knees on the seat and leaning over a chair back. Most women who sit on a ball regularly the last trimester efface earlier.

2. As mentioned by others, the ability to relax is paramount. If you can’t relax, your body goes into “fight or flight” and views it as being not an ideal time to give birth and shuts down the process. Practicing relaxation during the last trimester is necessary. Choose soothing music and listen to it every night as you practice relaxing, including deep breathing, which is necessary to keep the baby oxygenated during birth, while falling asleep. This will condition your body to relax when it hears that music and to keep your breathing more under control.

3. Plan. A good support system of two people (in case someone has to pee at some point) is vital. Your job is to give birth. Their job is to ensure that your wishes are followed (advocate), that you have what you need when you need it, and to keep all distractions away. In natural childbirth, your coach doesn’t just sit around, but is actively involved in the process. You MUST be able to focus on the birth. Supply a birth plan to the hospital and ensure that your OB understands and supports your wishes.

Buying for Baby

1. Don’t over do. New babies only sleep, eat, and poo and you really only need items that facilitate these activities for the first couple months. Parents are the only necessary toys.

2. Invest in an excellent NEW car seat. Never buy or borrow this item!

3. Use those baby showers for big-ticket items that you will need later: Exersaucer, stroller, highchair, crib, swing, toys, books, diapers (they are in size 3s the longest), formula (if you will be using), and college funds. Along with the fun stuff that‘s not really necessary.

4. Babies need a lot of onsies, bibs, and diapers. That’s all the clothing they really need in warmer weather.

5. In cooler weather, long onies, bibs and diapers are all they really need besides a snowsuit.

6. Cute clothes cost a lot of money, get ruined by spit-up and poop blowouts, are outgrown almost immediately and are usually not as comfortable for the baby. Just a couple show-off outfits are fine.

7. In choosing a nursery theme, think long term. A nature theme can be extended for a little boy until middle school, but a babyish theme won’t last beyond 2, and those 2 years go by so quickly that you’ll be shaking your head wondering why you bothered.

8. If you obtain used items, always check them out on the product recall registry! You’d be surprised at the name brands that have been recalled for major health risks. One of the nice things about getting something from Craig list or eBay is that you can check out the product first before committing to buy. You can’t do that easily at a garage sale unless you have a web compatible phone with you. Which is a good idea.