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Archive for the ‘pregnancy’ tag

April 8th, 2014 at 9:03 am

Apps for Expectant and New Parents


Baby on the way? Congratulations! Such an exciting, expectant, and nerve wracking time, especially if it’s your first. So much to learn, so much information about what to do and not to do. It can be overwhelming. But, while there’s no app for the hard parts, there are plenty of apps that can help you prepare.

Hello Baby app for iPhone  is a great way to learn about all of the stages of growth of your baby during pregnancy. It’s full of images and information that can help you understand the magic that is happening in the womb.

There is also the What to Expect apps for both pregnancy and the early years. This trusted series of books has been invaluable for so many of us as we navigate all of the stages of babyhood.

Sprout ($4, iPhone only) is another really helpful app for information and tips on pregnancy, weight tracking, prepping for doctor visits and what to know about all that’s happening to your body right up to timing your contractions.

Baby Bump is another app that not only provides information on your pregnancy but also has a social networking component so you can share your experiences with other moms-to-be.

And if baby is here, how about something to help with nursing, and tracking your newborn’s progress in those critical early weeks and months? WebMD Baby  provides many resources and really useful information about sleep, growth, feeding, and milestones to help you through the fraught early days of caring for your child.

I wish these apps were available when my kids were born, especially in the middle of the night when you just didn’t want to call mom, again!

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September 5th, 2013 at 6:36 pm

Maternity Photoshoots



Over the years maternity photoshoots have grown in popularity. Whether it’s your first, last or in-between pregnancy, it’s one of the most special times of your life and the photos will capture memories that last a lifetime. It’s incredible to see the changes your body goes through. If you’re interested in doing one, here are some things to consider.


Maternity photoshoots are offered by many professional photographers, and there are some who actually specialize in maternity and newborn photography. If you’re looking to go this route, some offer packaged prices for shooting your baby belly before birth, and your newborn bundle of joy after!


You can do your own maternity shoot with the help of a good camera with a self-timer or just a friend or family member. You can do a shoot all in one day, or you can take a set of photos each month and watch how your belly grows!


You can do a maternity shoot wherever and whenever, but it’s nice to plan ahead and figure out what type of shoot you’re really looking for. Some nice settings are the beach, a nice field with flowers, a decorated nursery, etc. Some moms-to-be choose to do gender-based themes or cute concepts like a mommy pin-up or a couples maternity shoot!


Props can be a really fun way to get creative with photoshoots. Tiny baby booties, your sonogram, balloons, etc. are all nice additions to photos. You can incorporate blue or pink props to signify the baby’s gender, or if you’ve already picked a name you can make a sign or letters as well.

The important thing is to HAVE FUN! Did you or will you do a maternity shoot?

Check out our “Parenting Photography” Pinterest board for maternity shoot tips and ideas!


Photo Credit: Lavendamemory on Flickr


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July 24th, 2013 at 10:17 am

Pregnancy Fitness


It’s important for both you and your baby to stay fit and healthy while you’re pregnant, but your growing belly and dietary and exercise restrictions will likely prevent you from sticking to your typical routines. The right exercises can actually prevent or lessen common pregnancy discomforts, such as backache and fatigue. Here are some pregnancy exercises that will help you feel your best during this special time! Remember to drink a lot of water, and not push yourself or your body too hard.

Keep in mind, you should always consult your doctor before you start any type of exercise during pregnancy.


The best part about swimming is you’re not burdened by any weight gain, no matter what trimester you’re in. This gentle exercise can relieve swollen ankles and back pain. Stick to easy, fluid movements… no butterfly stroke!


Prenatal yoga is hot right now. Many studios offer classes and there are a number of DVDs available for you to use at home. It’s the perfect way to help you relax your tense muscles and mind. Avoid any type of hot yoga and use your best judgment, avoiding any moves that don’t feel right or seem too aggressive.


An easy and convenient exercise for pregnant women. This is something most people can do throughout their pregnancy, even up to the day of labor!

Kegal Exercises

This “invisible” exercise will strengthen the muscles that help you during labor and delivery.

Light Strength Training

Light weightlifting workouts, modified for pregnancy, can be an excellent way to keep your “problem areas” at bay while your bump grows. Avoid heavy weights, lying flat on your back, and overdoing it. Check out for some great exercise demonstrations and instructions.

What type of pregnancy fitness do you engage in?


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January 24th, 2013 at 11:01 am

Introducing Baby to the Family Pet


Most of us with pets consider them to be a part of the family… sometimes even our first “babies” (or “fur babies”). It’s quite an adjustment for them when we suddenly have another little bundle that takes up a lot of our time, energy, and affection. Having babies and pets living under the same roof requires some planning, both before you deliver and when you first bring your newborn home. Here are some tips for making sure you all become one big happy family!

Before Delivery:

Research the hazards

Diseases can be transferred from your pet to you, and from you to your unborn baby. You may have heard of the dangers of the cat’s litter box. If you are pregnant and cannot have someone else change the litter, wear rubber gloves.

Prepare your pet

  • If your pet has any obedience or training issues, now’s the time to address them. Consider a training class at your local pet store or do some training research to handle it yourself. Be consistent and firm and keep treats on hand! Doing so will ensure your pet will listen to you when your baby is home.
  • Make sure you keep their coats washed and nails trimmed to avoid scratching and shedding issues.
  • Schedule a vet visit before your due date to make sure they are up to date on vaccinations.
  • Familiarize your pet with the smells and sounds of a baby with baby powder and audio of babies crying (you’d be surprised how animals react to new sounds and smells!).

After Delivery:

  • Have a family member bring home a blanket or item of clothing the baby has been wrapped in, and let your pet smell it. Some pets will enjoy sleeping with it once they are familiar with it.
  • When you come home from the hospital, your pet will likely be excited to see you. Let someone else hold the baby in another room while you greet your pet calmly and show it love. Once they are calm and collected, bring the baby in and carefully let them see and smell him or her. Give them treats for good behavior around the baby.
  • Always supervise interactions between your child and your pets. While you may be convinced your pet would never hurt them, it’s important to remember that they sometimes don’t know their own strength or roughness.
  • Try to stick to your pets’ routines as best as you can. It may be difficult so enlist your family members to help if necessary. Remember to give them lots of love and affection and involve them in your new baby’s life.
  • Sometimes it’s best to wait to introduce your new baby to your pet. Birds, reptiles, rodents and some other caged animals require different care than a cat or dog. Keep them separate until your child is old enough to understand the proper way to hold and care for them.

Did you have any problems introducing your bundle of joy to your pets? Share some of your own tips and tricks!

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October 4th, 2012 at 3:10 pm

Packing for Labor and Delivery Part 2: Mom’s Bag


Yesterday I wrote about the baby bag, now it’s mom’s turn.

Comfort is a big deal during labor and after delivery. Most moms agree that loose, flowy clothing works best and is easier for breastfeeding. While you’ll be spending a lot of time with your baby, you’ll still need to keep yourself occupied while they’re in the nursery or sleeping. Again, the hospital will provide you with a lot of things such as nursing pads, sanitary napkins, etc. but some like to bring their own. Here’s what we recommend your bring in your mom bag:

  • Flip-Flops/Slippers
  • Socks
  • Underwear
  • Nursing bra/sports bra (depending on whether you’re planning to breastfeed or not)
  • Comfortable outfits (2-3) – pajama bottoms, stretch pants, loose t-shirts, etc.
  • Snacks/gum
  • Toiletries – shampoo, conditioner, soap, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, lotion (travel-size items are perfect and can be thrown away after use)
  • Hairbrush, hair elastic, headband
  • Hand sanitizer (perfect for when your visitors want to hold baby!)
  • Camera/camcorder (with extra batteries or charger)
  • Magazines/books/word games
  • MP3 Player/Tablet
  • List of phone numbers (anyone you might want to contact to make the announcement)
  • Signed copy of your birth plan
  • Chapstick
  • Pen


  • Bathrobe
  • Hair Dryer
  • Journal
  • Wipes
  • Makeup
  • Cell phone charger
  • Nipple Ointment
  • Nursing Pillow
  • Pillow from home

Sometimes labor happens at the most unexpected times, so it’s a good idea to keep this bag in your car in case you’re out somewhere and don’t have time to grab it from home before you go to the hospital. It’s also a good idea to keep the phone number and address of your doctor and hospital in your purse in case of an emergency, and plan a hospital route. If you have kids or pets at home, have a plan in place for who will take care of them when you go into labor and leave them with any important information they might need. Make sure you have a rear-facing infant car seat ready to go as well.

We want to know… do you have any packing tips for moms-to-be? Was there anything you forgot to bring to the hospital? Was there an item you were SO GLAD you had with you?

Photo Credit: monicasecas

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May 5th, 2011 at 5:00 am

Christine’s Baby Countdown Post – Week 2


Hi all! It’s me again, Amy Zimmerman, the editor of Have You Herd? The Christine Baby Countdown continues – no baby just yet. We are going to continue the interview format giving you a peek into the goings on in Christine’s growing family. Remembering those final days of pregnancy, it is very easy for me to come up with questions for our dear friend Christine. She is so cool third time around but she is very ready to see her little girl on the outside. Feel free to send any questions in the comments that you would like me to ask Christine in the coming weeks. And of course we will keep you posted on the baby’s arrival!

What is your hospital plan for when you go into labor? Get there…fast! Seriously, that is my biggest concern. Once I am there I put myself in the hands of my doctor and the labor and delivery nurses. They are all wonderful.

You mentioned that your husband does not work that close to home, do you have a fill-in coach in case you need to get to the hospital before he can get there? My sister-in-law has graciously offered to be a stand in until he arrives. I have my parents and in-laws at the ready to pick up my kids from school if necessary and bring me to the hospital.

How many times have you clocked how long it takes to get to the hospital from your house? Well this is my third delivery at this hospital so we have this pretty down by now. The only wild card is time of day. This hospital is not close (about 20 minutes away) so if late at night we take one route and rush hour we need to take another…

How many traffic lights are there? (c’mon… I know you know!) The first route has lots of lights at least twenty… the second route has four (but potential for heavy traffic).

How many hours of labor did you have with son #1? Eleven hours

Son #2? Three hours

Is there an office pool for your delivery date? Yes…they sent it over to me.

If yes, did you enter? They sent it to me after they had already filled it out… I guess they thought I would have an unfair advantage lol.

Do you have an outfit picked out for the baby to come home in? Of course I do :) with matching hat and blankets.

Is it pink? Yep!

You can follow Christine on twitter @clopez19, please feel free to reach out to her.


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April 28th, 2011 at 3:00 am

Christine’s Baby Countdown


Hi all! Let me introduce myself. I am Amy Zimmerman and I am the editor of Have You Herd? The reason I am taking over here for a while is that Christine is in the final countdown to her due date (May 17th) and as you can imagine, blogging is not exactly on the top of her list right now. For the next few weeks – till the baby is born and for a little while after – we are going to mix things up here on her column. We will be using an interview format giving you a peek into the goings on in Christine’s growing family. Remembering those final days of preganancy, this set of questions was very easy for me to compile (seriously, who ever forgets swollen feet!). Feel free to send any questions in the comments that you would like me to ask Christine in the coming weeks. And of course we will keep you posted on the baby’s arrival!  Here goes:

When is your due date? 5/17

How many times a day do people ask you that? Everywhere I go and everyone I see asks me! Oh, and then there are the facebook people and the phone calls and text messages that I get.

On average, how often does your 3 year old ask when his sister is coming? He doesn’t ask when, but the clever little guy does ask if the doctor is going to take the baby out.

How are you filling your days waiting? Laundry, reading, more laundry and preparing food and snacks for my sons every 15 minutes (seriously they dont stop).

Are strangers rubbing your belly? Thank GOD no.

How many hours did you sleep last night? Last night was good – I got a full eight hours!

The night before? That was not such a good night… three hours sleep.

And your husband, how many hours did he sleep? He is sleeping just fine!  He is getting at least seven hours every night.

What is the single most important thing you think about in the middle of the night? Right now, I have been playing out the hospital/labor process and remembering how it was with both of my boys… and hoping my husband is home (and not at work) when I go into labor… oh and hoping I make it to the hospital on time.

Is it harder or easier the third time around? It is easier mentally this time. I am very comfortable and relaxed about welcoming this child.  I am not worried about caring for her or how the boys will adapt. I know it will all work out fine. Physically it’s harder, though. I am more uncomfortable and tired this time. Plus, I have two others that I need to care for, reducing my relaxation time tremendously.

What would you give to see your toes right now? Lol!  Actually I wish I couldnt see them… my feet are swollen now.

What color are most of the clothes you bought for the first girl? Although I swore I would not do it, there is a pink explosion in her closet.

What day of the week is it? (this is a trick question and will get harder after the baby is born)…  I just typed Thursday…but its Wednesday (oh no… baby is not even born yet!)

You can follow Christine on twitter @clopez19, please feel free to reach out to her.



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April 21st, 2011 at 5:00 am

Preparing for Baby… What About Mom?


Baby clothes washed and folded – check

Hospital bag prepared – check

Nursery set up – check

What a great feeling to have everything ready for the new baby, but have you thought about yourself? If not, now would be a really good time to prepare for what you will need and want after the baby comes. It’s also a good time to do some things to make yourself feel good in these final days of pregnancy. Once your baby arrives you will be consumed with her care and the days will go by quickly. You may not have time to do the little things for yourself, so here are some suggestions:

Get your hair cut: this would not be the time to make any drastic changes but it is a good time to have your hairdresser give your hair a good trim or shaping.

Manicure & Pedicure: there is nothing like some nice looking hands and feet to lift your mood, especially since the weather is getting warmer and flip flops may be the only things you can fit on your feet. You may not be able to see your toes but others can! Pick a nice bright color to cheer you up…. I went for a bright red!

Postpartum Clothing: do you really want to live in oversized tee shirts and sweats after the baby is born? Aren’t you ready to lose the maternity clothes? While you may not want to make a big investment in post-baby clothing, a few keys items may be a good idea. Why not pick out some new tops that are forgiving in the waist area? I went with some nursing tops that are both fashionable and in vibrant colors. Leggings are a great choice to wear with longer tops and are very comfy. Pair this with a new pair of sandals and you can hit the grocery store in style.

A Postpartum Exercise and Diet Plan: its never too early to start thinking about getting back into shape. While crash dieting and hardcore exercise should not be considered, there are some things you can start doing right after the baby is born (under your doctor’s advise and guidance, of course) to get you back in shape.

Stock Up on the Essentials: some items that you will likely use more of when you come home from the hospital include: toilet paper, paper towels, paper plates (who wants to wash dishes?), diapers, baby wipes. Buy extra now so you will not have to worry about it later.

Meal Planning: you will likely not be cooking too much in those early days. Cooking extra now and freezing food will be a blessing after the baby is born. I have also been purchasing extra non-perishable items at each shopping trip so I am prepared later.

It is easy to get so wrapped up in baby preparations that we forget about ourselves. Taking good care of yourself and planning ahead are  essential to parenting success.

You can follow Christine on twitter @clopez19, please feel free to reach out to her.




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April 14th, 2011 at 1:00 am

Mom’s Love Times Three

I was sitting with my youngest son the other day having some quiet time and I had a fleeting thought. How could I possible love another human as much as I love this little boy?

This brought me down memory lane to when I was preparing for his birth four years ago. Before him, it had just been my older son and I for six years, my first baby and the love of my life. As the birth of my new baby approached I was very worried about how I would feel about this child. Would I be able to love him the same as his brother? Was I capable of having such profound feelings for two?

So my second child arrived and he had me at hello. One look at that little face and I was smitten. As time went by I realized even though both of these boys came from me they were very different as were my feelings for them. The worries I had during my pregnancy faded as I got to know this new little guy. He was completely opposite of his brother, from his blond hair to his demeanor. My feelings for him were different and that was okay.

Now that I had two children to care for the bonding process was different as well. I had to divide my time and attention between them. Some things that did help me to bond with my son was spending some alone time with him. My older son was in school and family members took him for “special big brother outings”. During this time I was able to nurse uninterrupted, play and just simply tend to my little one’s needs. When both children were with me I started to teach my son how to be a big brother and had him help me with simple tasks like a diaper change.

Motherhood is such a wonderful opportunity. We get a glimpse at how perfectly we are designed but also the opportunity to learn about ourselves and what we are capable of. Now, as I wait for my third to arrive I am feeling much more relaxed. I know my little girl is going to show me things about myself that I did not know existed. I am going to feel things I have never felt before….and things I have.

I am so excited to love and bond with my new baby.

You can follow Christine on twitter @clopez19, please feel free to reach out to her.




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April 7th, 2011 at 1:00 am

Pregnancy and Its Effect on Every One Else

There have been numerous books, articles and blogs about pregnancy’s physical and psychological effects on the mother. What about how it effects the people we pregnant moms face in our day to day routine?

It is particularly interesting to see how people act when faced with the baby bump. A kind smile and a well wish from a random stranger to reminiscent stories of that person’s own experience with pregnancy and motherhood. Yes, we are quite the ice breaker in line at the local store. Some people are kind,while other people view our expectant state as permission to say anything. Here are some examples:

The “your still pregnant!” person – this is the male or female that feels your pregnancy is lasting an eternity and wants to remind of you of that every time they see you.

The Prophet – this is the person that can predict your baby’s gender and other vital statistics based on how you are carrying.

The War Story Mom – this special lady is always at the ready to share her personal horror story of labor and delivery to any first time mom that she meets. Advice when you encounter this woman is to stick your fingers in your ears and sing LA LA LA in order to drown out any sound coming from her mouth.

The News Breaker – this is usually another female who is not part of your inner circle. She will kindly ask you how many months/weeks along you are and then let you know HOW HUGE you are for only being XX months/weeks. Love her.

Of course, these offenders are not always strangers; they can be family members and friends. This is where most of your “advice” comes from. It can range from what you should be eating (think husband saying “should you really have that ice cream?”) to Mom telling you what to dress the baby in.
Pregnancy is a time for preparation. The characters that we meet during the journey have lessons to teach us, helping us develop the most important skills needed for motherhood; patience and to have a sense of humor.

You can follow Christine on twitter @clopez19, please feel free to reach out to her.




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