Tag Archives: pregnancy

Pre-Conception: Tips to Prepare for Pregnancy

Are you and your significant other thinking of getting pregnant? Have you given any thought to what you should do to prepare your body for pregnancy? Today’s post will walk you through some steps that will help prepare you and your body for baby!

Having a baby can be one of the most joyous times in your life, but before you have that baby, you need to conceive. Have you ever wondered what the important information is, when you’re trying to get pregnant? Well, wonder no more, I’m here to share what you need to know before conception!

If you’ve been thinking of getting pregnant for awhile, then I’m sure you’ve noticed how much information is available for those who are already pregnant and what to expect, there’s not so much out there on tips for preparing for conception. However, I want you to feel confident in your knowledge and be ready to take on any of the challenges that conceiving a baby can bring. I can’t prepare you for everything, but my hope is that by sharing these tips, you’ll be better prepared on what to expect.

Pre-Conception Tips to Prepare for Pregnancy - Baby Doodah

Are You Prepared?

I’m sure you’re well aware that having a baby is a huge responsibility, but I want to make sure you understand the things that are most important when it comes to conceiving. Things like your weight, blood pressure, your finances and caffeine intake, become even MORE important because you want to be as healthy as can be, for that soon to be, bundle of joy. You can certainly have a baby at any stage in your life, but I want to provide you some tips on how to be most prepared.

Tips for Women Trying to conceive

  1. Schedule a pre-conception visit with your OB-GYN. Before even beginning the “fun” of conceiving, you want to make sure that everything is working properly, that your blood pressure is at a safe level, that you have not contracted any STDs, also things like your blood sugar levels, or your weight – are important. By making and keeping this appointment, be well prepared for the long (and exciting) road of pregnancy. Remember, most of the symptoms listed above are treatable, so see your doctor and make sure you’re healthy!
  2. Check to ensure the medicines you take are safe. One other important note to consider when meeting with your doctor, is ensuring that the medicine you are already currently taking is safe to have in your system when you get pregnant, and throughout pregnancy. In some circumstances, you may need to try a different, safer medications.
  3. Start taking Folic Acid. Whether it is in the form of a multi-vitamin or all on its own, it is very important to ensure that your baby’s brain and spinal cord grow completely and develop correctly. You can read more about the benefits of Folic Acid here.
  4. Start tracking your ovulation schedule. Knowing when your body is ovulating will make it easier for you to know when the best time to get pregnant is. There are loads of apps out there, my personal favorite is Ovia from Ovuline. It has a super easy interface, and is very comprehensive, asking me questions on things I hadn’t thought of.
  5. Ditch the Birth Control! This one probably goes without saying, but just wanted to be sure and mention it.
  6. Stop drinking, smoking and doing drugs. Enough said!
  7. Make an appointment to see your dentist. Many women have issues with their teeth while pregnant because of the hormone changes in your body, they become more sensitive, shift, or can cause gum disease, so having ultimate gum and teeth health BEFORE baby is really important. Want more information on teeth and gum health during pregnancy? Check-out this post on Web MD, for more information.
  8. Aim for a healthy weight, or try to lose a few pounds. You do not need to be at your goal weight to have a healthy baby, Emmett is living testament to that, but you do want to try and maintain a healthy weight, or possibly lose a few pounds before actually conceiving. For myself, I began focusing on more mindful eating, and in the process lost some weight.
  9. Stock your home with healthy foods. If the junk food is in your home, you are bound to eat it. So, just keep it out! Keep only the healthy foods around, and you’ll make healthy choices.
  10. Finally, start the conception process!!

In Conclusion

Remember, every woman’s pre-pregnancy experience will be different. So, don’t stress out if it takes you a little longer to get pregnant, than it does a friend. Instead, enjoy your time as a childless couple, and enjoy the whole conception process. 😉

85 percent of American couples under 35, have a fairly easy time conceiving (pulled from fitpregnancy) – and if you are not part of that 85 percent, stress will not help conception. Taking time to ensure you are following the steps above and just enjoying the process, will.

Good luck and remember to have fun!

Your turn!

Have you started the pre-coneption process? Do you have any tips that helped you through everything? Please share in the comments below!

Or, if you’re already pregnant, what things have kept you healthy?

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5 Tips I wish I’d Know as a New Mom

Life as a new mom, can very difficult but You Can Be Better Prepared.

When you’re pregnant for the first time, and the days, weeks and months are slooowly creeping by, you are left wondering, am I prepared for this?

Oh momma, you’re prepared, but there are some additional things that other mommies may not have shared with you.

I had so many people say that mom’s don’t always share what actually happens after having a baby because they don’t want to scare women away. I say, to hell with that! Nothing would have scared me away from having a baby, but if I had known then, what I know now, my experience as a brand new mom might have been bit smoother.

5 Real Life Tips for New Moms - Baby Doodah(1)

Your Love for Your Newborn Will Grow and Change as a New Mom.

I’ve loved Emmett from the moment I knew I was pregnant. I felt him grow and move and kick inside the womb and there was an instant connection to him once he was born. However, I struggled in the beginning because when he was first in my arms, I felt affection for him but my heart wasn’t bursting with love right off the bat. There was nothing wrong with me, and there is nothing wrong with you, if you should feel this way.

This new, beautiful little bundle is coming in and changing your life completely, it doesn’t mean you don’t care for him (or her) or that you wouldn’t do anything for them, it simply means you need time to adjust. You have too much else going on in your life, that you don’t need to put added pressure on yourself to feel any differently than how you’re feeling.

Postpartum Depression (PPD) Isn’t a Joke!

Obviously, I knew going into having a baby that there was a chance that I would feel mopey or sad, but I completely underestimated how mopey and sad I’d actually feel. No one shares how bad it can be. Not one single other mom said to me, watch out for how you’re feeling after you have Emmett. Sure, I’d read about it, and my OB-GYN had mentioned it but I was in no way prepared for the swing of hormones that were racing through me. All of which, lead me to feel sad and ready to kill myself one minute and so undeniably blissful the next. I thought something was seriously wrong with me, that nothing would ever feel right again, which is probably why I had so many issues with #1. Thank goodness for my doctor, Seamus and a dear close friend, reminded me of what was going on in my body, and allowed me to cry to them without a lick of judgement. They only ever wanted me to feel better and I did, eventually.

5 REAL LIFE Tips for New Moms - Baby Doodah

 Breastfeeding Isn’t Easy, but You CAN Do It!

In the midst of dealing with the beginnings of my PPD, I was trying to get my newborn son to latch and nurse and gain weight. I knew before having Emmett that I would breastfeed him, but in the back of my mind I knew there was always formula if I needed it. I regret thinking this way, I should have never entertained the idea that formula existed and that my son might drink it, I believe this is what led to most of my trouble with breastfeeding, because I was always so willing to just give up.

Emmett’s first night was a tough one, he was latching but not really sucking because he’d fall asleep at my breast. The next night, was the night he went through his cluster feeds, he’d wake up and cry every 2 hours or so to eat. I was exhausted and just wanted to sleep, I almost admitted defeat and allowed him to be fed formula. Once again, thank goodness for Seamus, he gently pushed and encouraged me to keep doing what I was doing, reminding me that the next night would be easier and he was right. Each subsequent night got easier and easier, and now we’re old pros (yes, Emmett is still breastfed today at 13 months old).

I encourage you to reach out to support groups, lacation consultants and friends who have breastfed. Surround yourself with people who will support your desires, not belittle them or make you feel crazy for wanting to give your child the very VERY best, despite the extra effort it takes in the beginning.

Breastfeeding Will Likely Hurt in the Beginning but Your Body is Made to Adjust.

As with anything worth doing, it requires extra effort and perseverance. The first several times that Emmett would latch, it was wrong, but I didn’t know it was wrong. His mouth wasn’t open wide enough, which leads to a shallow latch and potentially cracked nipples. Thankfully our hospital had lactation consultants on duty 7 days a week, who were very VERY helpful. They watched Emmett latch, showed me what he was doing wrong and how to fix it, they shared the phrase, “shove with love,” which basically means that once you have the baby’s mouth open wide enough and your nipple inserted, to gently shove the baby on until you feel him latch. It worked like a charm and it was because of these women that I had such success.

The other thing is, it hurt a lot, in the beginning, but with patience and lots and lots of Medela Lanolin (I recommend you buy this now, if you plan to breastfeed), I healed and breastfeeding became a pleasurable time for me and my baby to spend together.

You will bleed lots and lots and LOTS!

Again, one of those things that people had mentioned to me but never quite stressed how bad it would be. The hospital gives you pads that resemble adult diapers, but in the first few days, even those you’ll soak through quickly. Most hospitals will load you up with pads before you walk out their door, but once you run out of those you’re probably wondering what you should buy next. I went with Stayfree Ultra Thin Overnight Pads and they worked perfectly! They weren’t the bulky pillows from the hospital, but they still soaked up so much blood, I never worried whether I was going to overflow it, which is a huge accomplishment considering how much comes out of you at a time.

There you have it, my top 5 things I wished I’d known before delivering Emmett. My goal isn’t to scare you, but to share what REALLY happens after birth, so that you’re prepared and can stop PPD in its tracks.

Your turn!

What tips do you wish you’d had before becoming a new mom?

Any questions you have that I can help you work through?


Emmett’s Birth Story (Part 5)

I was getting so excited! I knew that the hospital midwife was going to come and check how dilated I was and I was confident that I would be nearly 10 cms along (this is when it’s time to start pushing). Well, she checked and I was still just barely 4, which I had been since 8 am that morning. It was around 6:30 pm at this point, 7 is when the doctors switch shifts, I’ll explain why this is important shortly.

To give a little background, at my OB’s office there are 4 doctors and 2 nurse practitioners. Throughout your pregnancy you see each of the doctors and NPs randomly because you don’t know who your doctor will be at the time of birth. I of course had my favorites in the office so I was really hoping that I’d be fortunate to have one of them.

As it turned out my very favorite doctor was the doctor on duty all of Monday but she worked the morning shift and was scheduled to get off at 7. The doctor coming in after her was my second favorite (SCORE!) but I didn’t know this quite yet. My doctor came in and explained that I was currently maxed out on Pitocin and that I still wasn’t dilating very quickly. She stated that because I have high blood pressure that I would need to start considering that I may need a c-section. Seamus and I had discussed ahead of time whether we would be alright with a c-section and we agreed that we didn’t care how Emmett joined us, as long as he and I were safe.

The doctor was gone for probably 5 minutes when she and my second fav doc returned. They laid out my two options, 1- They could turn the Pitocin off which could cause my body’s receptors to turn back on and cause me to dilate further. They would check my cervix again at 11:00 pm but with this option there was a chance that I would STILL need a c-section. 2- I just went ahead and had a c-section. Since Seamus and I had decided we were okay with surgery and since there was a chance I may still need it anyway, we went ahead and chose to have a c-section.

From this point on, everything moved so quickly! By the time we had made the decision to go forward with the surgery, it was 6:30, there was an OR open and an anesthesiologist available. The nurse on duty started prepping me for surgery and gave Seamus a set of scrubs to put on for the operating room.

The anesthesiologist who I had for the actual section was different than did my epidural but was just as amazing. He was a soft spoken guy who at first glance you would assume he had no sense of humor but throughout the entire experience he’d crack these really funny underhanded jokes, it was great! He also took the time to explain what was going on and to reassure me, seriously where did my hospital get these guys, they were just fantastic!

I suffer from ocular migraines, so when the anesthesiologist was inserting the medication that I needed for surgery I started to get a blurry aura in my eye, a typical sign of an intense migraine coming. I made sure to tell him and I did start to freak out a bit because I knew the pain from a migraine would be tough to take on top of surgery, he assured me that once surgery was over that I would be given pain meds to alleviate anything I was feeling.

Before I knew it I was being wheeled into the OR and they were getting me all set for what was to come. I realized quickly that my favorite doctor as well as my second favorite were both in the OR. The doctor who was off at 7 had decided to stick around and assist with the surgery, I felt very lucky! At this point they have you move from one bed to another and then start setting the drape up over you. For most, a c-section is an awake surgery, so they put up a screen so that you are unable to see what they are doing to your body.

I may look like I’m asleep but I assure you that I am awake. I had my eyes closed because I was dealing with some intense nausea from the meds they had given me.

Once the drape was up and the meds had taken effect, my doctors poked me and asked whether I could feel what they were doing and whether there was any pain associated with it. With a c-section you feel them pulling and tugging and you feel pressure when the baby comes out but you should feel no pain.

Less than 15 minutes later, the doctor said, “Jillian you’re going to feel a lot of pressure now as we pull the baby out.” It was some pretty intense pressure but certainly nothing I couldn’t handle, especially knowing that at the end of it my baby would be in this world.

In case you missed them: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4.


Emmett Birth Story (Part 2)

After our last sonogram, I had my weekly OB appointment the next day. I’m not sure how other doctor’s offices work but with mine, when they call your name they take you back and do your weight, blood pressure and pee test and then take you back to your room. While the nurse was doing my pee test she goes, “So you’re going in soon, huh!?” She kind of threw me off because at this point, I still assumed I was going to 40 weeks. I mean, my doctor and I had discussed going a week early because of my BP but nothing had been set in stone but sure enough, they were planning to induce me at 39 weeks, which fell on Monday 7/23/12.

From our last sonogram

From our last sonogram











 When you are induced you go in the night before hand so that they can insert Cervidil, which will speed up the ripening of your cerivix. Since Seamus and I knew this would be the last day that we would just be a family of two we wanted to mark the occasion with a special lunch/dinner. We decided to go to the Irishman, which is located in Williamsville, NY.

The Irishman isn’t just another restaurant for us! It is is where Seamus and I had our very first date back in 2007 and also where we had dinner the night that he proposed, so it was only fitting that we commemorate our last meal as two, here. After our meal, our waitress asked me when I was due and I shared with her that I was going in that evening to be induced. She congratulated us and remarked that we had chosen their restaurant to have our “last meal,” so we explained why to her. It may not have meant anything to her but it means a lot to us to know that we’ve kept the tradition of our oh so special meals there.

We were scheduled to be admitted into the hospital at 7 PM and so we had several hours to kill before then. We came home and I puttered around the house, ensuring that I had everything ready in my hospital bag and also making sure we had all of the things we’d need for Emmett. I know everyone tells  you that the hospital provides everything for baby but since I’d never had a child before I wasn’t sure so I wanted to be prepared. In the end, everyone was right, they definitely DO provide you with everything you need while you’re there.

Our hospital bags!

Even after spending time a ton of time checking and rechecking our bags, I had so much time to kill before we had to head to the hospital. I was FULL of nervous energy but eventually the clock ticked by and it was twenty after 6 and time to GO!

To be continued…

In case you missed it – Part 1!

Emmett’s Birth (Part 1)

Emmett’s original due date was July 30, 2012 but because I struggled with high blood pressure throughout my pregnancy, I was scheduled to begin induction on July 22, 2012 at 7 pm.

Overall my pregnancy was really easy! The first trimester I was just incredibly tired, sleeping pretty much any time I wasn’t at work and wanting to sleep even when I was at work. When all the books tell you that you’ll be tired during that first trimester, they aren’t lying OR exaggerating.

I remember there was one evening that I got home from work at 5, laid down on the bed and fell immediately asleep. Seamus woke me up around 7 to eat dinner and once I’d eaten, I went directly back to bed until morning. But if I’m being honest, I didn’t hate the first trimester, I LOVE sleep and doing pretty much nothing but sleeping was A-OK in my book.

13 Weeks

The second trimester went by without anything, other than Emmett growing as he was supposed to be, happening. My blood pressure was high but they were just treating it with meds. There would have been more concern over my BP if Emmett was showing a small size during sonograms but he wasn’t, he was right on track. They did not diagnosis me with preeclampsia because they were not finding any protein in my urine but continued to keep a close eye on my BP and Emmett’s growth.

25 Weeks

Once the third trimester rolled around, I was beginning to feel sluggish again. My knees were starting to kill me because of all the added weight of baby but there weren’t any complications. Most individuals only have 3 sonograms throughout their pregnancy but because of my BP I had almost 1 a month from 18 weeks, like I said previously they wanted to ensure Emmett’s growth was on track.

When you have high BP and are pregnant what can happen is that your baby may not get enough blood and oxygen from the placenta. “Preeclampsia seems to start because the placenta doesn’t grow the usual network of blood vessels deep in the wall of the uterus. This leads to poor blood flow in the placenta.”

Emmett and I were fortunate enough that this is not what was occurring for me. I have always had high blood pressure, way before getting pregnant (it runs in my family) so it was probably more the added weight of carrying the baby rather than the placenta not being developed in the usual way that caused my BP to skyrocket.

Every time we’d go in for a sonogram, the sonographer would tell us that he was a BIG baby and at our last one they said he very well may be a 10 lb baby if we go to term, well we went 1 week early…

38 Weeks

(This picture was taken the week before we went into the hospital.)

To Be Continued…

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