Thursday, October 06, 2005

Modern Tots

I remember watching Trading Spaces and I had my favorite designers. I liked the clean and simple rooms that Vern and Laurie created. I didn't care for Frank's country-ish tones nor did I care for Hildi's wacky unpredictable designs. Having a preference for what kind of decor you like really says something about you as a person. Think about your house - how is it decorated? If you happen to enjoy modern items - furniture, design - you might enjoy Modern Tots. Modern Tots has everything from furniture to bedding to accessories to lighting to storage for infants to teens. Some of the larger items are expensive, but there are some nice not so expensive priced items. Everything is colorful and bright and there's a lot of clean lines. So if you think you're a modern kind of family and have some bare spaces in your house or nursery, take a look at Modern Tots.

I am personally a fan of these shoes in the picture above. Aren't they cute?

Bug and Bean

I got an email awhile back about another blogger who very stylish, hip and modern looking announcements and invitations. Who is this? Bug and Bean Photography Design. I LOVE the look of their announcements. They are truly classy and would look so great in a silver frame! Here is a little more about Bug and Bean: Bug and Bean was something that I had dreamt up while pregnant with my daughter. But as many of us know, life gets busy and our dreams are left to collect dust in the back of our minds. Now four years, a bug, a bean, and most recently a bubba later, my dream has come to fruition. I decided to take a chance and here I am. Bug and Bean is a small photography and design studio located in Northern California. We specialize in custom photo announcements and invitatons of all sorts. Our designs are simple and sleek and refreshingly stylish. We want our cards to reflect your personal style. Working together we can refine one of my designs, or work to create your own unique design. This is what I love to hear - business savvy ideas that come to you when you're pregnant! And what's great is pregnant mothers creating for other pregnant mothers. I always trust something that comes from someone who *knows* what they are doing. Plus Nancy's designs are super cute. And because Nancy is so kind, if you order from her and refer PregnancyWeekly - you will receive a 10% discount on card orders. Just be sure to note pregnancyweekly10 when you fill out your order form. So check out Bug and Bean today!

Back in Full Force

Hi everyone, It's Kat. Yes! I'm back to the blog! I apologize for the long unexplained absence. To make a long story short, my computer was hit by a HUGE amount of viruses and I had to disable my email address to prevent it from affecting my computer. And we had a family emergency which extended my maternity leave. But I am back and for those of you who are PregnancyWeekly subscribers, you might have noticed a change from your basic text version to HTML newsletter - I think they look fabulous! And we are asking for guest writers again! So if there's a pregnancy subject you want to share with the world, please email me at: kat [at] pregnancyweekly.com I hope all of you are doing well - I have been playing catch up - seems like everyone has given birth these days so it's time to recruit some newbies who are expecting. :) So please send an email/leave a comment and let me know how you are doing. Or maybe you want to vent about TomKat's pregnancy? And a big thank you to Claire and her assistant for filling in for me while I was gone. Happy Pregnancy Thoughts to you all.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Start Spreading the News

Part of the excitement of the first months of pregnancy is sharing the joy with the people in your life. Here are a few ideas as to how you might do so: -Call your Mom and tell her to set another place at Thanksgiving dinner next year. -Sit down with your Dad and discuss college costs. When he asks why you're so interested all of a sudden, tell him. -Go shopping with your best friend and lead her into a maternity store. -Invite the neighbors over for cocktails and drink milk from your martini glass. They will figure it out. -Throw a dinner party. When the time for dessert arrives, bring out a cake with the big announcement written in frosting. -Throw a party with a baby theme. Let your guests arrive and do the math for themselves when they notice what you're serving and how your living room is decorated. -Bring the party into the office, a book group meeting, a family gathering. -Wear a Baby on Board tee shirt to the company picnic. -Write your Mom, and any other mother you admire, a thank you note for showing you how to be a good mom. End the note with your announcement. -Send out this year's Christmas card with a picture of you, your partner, and a blank space, signing it with your name, your partner's, and TBA. -Send out an email survey to your friends and family, asking for their advice, name suggestions, and good wishes. Be creative and announce your pregnancy in such a way that the people you love will get as excited as you are! How did YOU share the news with friends, family and coworkers?

So You Want to Give Birth At Home...

Just over a century ago most babies were born at home with or without an attending obstetrician, aided by an army of grandmothers, aunts and close female friends. As the years went by, more women starting having babies in hospitals. They were usually under heavy sedation, dad was in the waiting room outside, the baby was delivered in a very sterile almost surreal environment, and when mom woke up several hours later she learned whether she would be buying pink or blue. With the advancement in pain management, labor/delivery techniques and mothers' desire to "experience" the birth of their baby, rather than sleep through it and their desire to have dad in on the event, today most expectant mothers are fully alert during labor and delivery. Dad is right by her side coaching and calming his laboring partner as they wait for their little one to arrive. The mechanics of childbirth have come so far that now expectant parents are taking advantage of advanced prenatal care and specially trained medical professionals and are opting to step back in time choosing to have their baby at home. Home births are on the rise as more parents wish to deliver their babies without drugs, in a familiar setting where they can be more in charge of the action. Advocates of home birthing believe pregnancy and childbirth should be treated as a normal physiological process not as a medical emergency. All the experts on home birth agree that if you want to have your baby at home, it is imperative that an experienced certified nurse-midwife or a qualified physician attend the birth. The best way to plan your home birth experience is to seek out a certified nurse-midwife or physician with experience delivering babies in non-medical settings. There are many reasons people choose to give birth at home, and most have more to do with feelings than statistics. Conception, pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding are wonderful, natural processes and when asked, most women are reluctant to see labor as a "medical" event. For some expectant mothers going to the hospital to have their baby brings on feelings ranging from extreme anxiety to alienation when they enter labor and delivery at their hospital. For some, just being in a hospital can affect their ability to concentrate and achieve the tranquility and state of mind needed to manage contractions on their own. They feel distracted by strange surroundings and the monitoring equipment. Many moms are stressed by interruptions from hospital staff, even the distress of other laboring mothers. Home birth isn't for everyone. Only healthy mothers-to-be with a normal obstetrical and medical history and who haven't had a previous cesarean section should consider giving birth at home. Expectant mothers with any medical or pregnancy complications such as high blood pressure, excess amniotic fluid, multiple gestation or any other compromising condition should not consider home birth as an alternative to a standard hospital delivery. Safety of mother and baby are always the overriding concern when considering the option of delivering your baby at home. First and foremost every expectant parent wants to hear "you have a HEALTHY baby girl or boy" but delivering a healthy baby is not the only measure of a satisfying and successful childbirth experience. Childbirth is one of the most intense emotional, as well as physical experiences, for any couple. The sheer power and joy of birth can survive a negative experience but all too often something is lost if the experience was stressful and traumatic due to hospital procedures and medical staff. Many new parents report more satisfaction and fulfillment from a home birth rather than a traditional hospital delivery. Home birth gives expectant parents important psychological advantages. Many parents decide they just don't want to give birth in a hospital or medical environment. Some expectant mothers want the peace and sense of control that a home birth can provide. A home birth allows you to deliver in the comfort of your own home, in your own bed, where you can avoid unwanted medical intervention. Experts and new parents alike feel that home birth provides tremendous opportunities for bonding, because your baby is not whisked away for standard hospital procedures or to spend the night in the nursery. Expectant parents have complete control over the environment and who attends the birth, including other children, relatives, and friends. F or second time parents, the home birth experience has even more to offer. Seasoned expectant parents have more of an idea what to expect during labor and delivery and older children are spared the double whammy of a new baby and an absence of mom and dad. Research on home births shows that mothers, whose babies have been born at home, seem to find that the home birth makes it easier for their older children to accept the new baby. No parent can know how a toddler feels meeting a new brother or sister for the first time in hospital. For young children, especially, that first meeting can be one of excitement, frustration and angst all rolled into one because here is their mommy, in a strange bed, in a totally strange place, and the new baby has her all to itself. There are drawbacks to be considered if you are thinking that a home birth may be for you. Of course, the most obvious drawback is that not everything a hospital offers will be available at your home. If complications develop or the delivery becomes an emergency situation, you may need the expertise of the hospital staff and certain equipment. For this reason, it is best to only consider labor and delivery at home if you are within 20 minutes or less of the nearest hospital. You must have reliable transportation and you need to know the most direct route to the hospital. Having a safe and satisfying home birth experience will depend a great deal on the expectant mother choosing a well-rounded and experienced certified nurse-midwife or attending physician. When you're choosing a home-birth midwife, ask about her education, her credentials, and her experience with home births, as well as how she handles complications. Ask what equipment she will bring to your home. You will want to discuss what type of care you can expect for your baby right after the birth. Make sure that the nurse-midwife you choose will take care of postpartum procedures such as tetracycline or erythromycin ointment for your baby's eyes and suctioning of mucus. Most experts agree that you should choose a nurse-midwife who has delivered at least 50 to 100 babies and is well schooled in resuscitative techniques. Experts also recommend that you establish a relationship with a pediatrician in advance and take your newborn in for a visit as soon as possible after the birth. If you are considering a home birth, talk to other parents who have given birth at home and find out what they liked and did not like about their care giver but don't wait until a month before your due date to start your homework. Another detail you'll want to take care of well in advance of the birth of your baby is help at home. If you're considering a home birth, be sure to line up some help for after the baby comes. With a home birth, you won't have all those extra hands provided by the hospital nursery. Talk with family and friends and schedule them in advance to come and stay for a few days. Another option would be to hire a postpartum doula. These professional baby/postpartum mother nurses can be pricey but well worth the investment if you don't have an abundance of family and friends close by and especially if you have other children to care for in addition to your new arrival. For more information on the how to prepare for a home birth, you can contact The American College of Nurse Midwives (ACNM) in Washington, D.C. at (888) M-I-D-W-I-F-E. They can direct you to home-birth resources, including a list of certified nurse-midwives, in your area. You can also visit the ACNM website at www.midwife.org. Another resource is the Midwives Alliance of North America. They can be contacted at 316-283-4543 or visit their website at www.mana.org. You can also contact The Association for Childbirth at Home International at 213-663-4996. They act as a clearinghouse for home-birth information, resources and support for expectant parents exploring the home birth option. Anyone have a home birth and want to share their experience/advice? Leave a comment!

Can I highlight my hair if I'm pregnant?

This is one of hte top ten questions when it comes to hair care and pregnancy. Here are some tips for managing your hair. Fuller, thicker hair is one benefit of pregnancy for some women and a myth for others. Pregnancy hormones can affect every woman's hair differently; for some, the increased estrogen causes their hair to grow thick and fast, while others find that their hair goes limp and even falls out. To encourage healthy hair, make sure you eat well and get all the essential nutrients. Your hair is part of your skin system, so the healthier you are, the healthier and more beautiful your hair will be. Even if you are one of the lucky ones who experiences increased hair growth, it may behave differently than your pre-pregnancy hair. Dry hair may become oilier, oily hair may become dry, curly hair may become straight or vice versa. Your hair will take perms and coloring differently, and may also grow in areas where you may wish it didn't, such as your face, abdomen, back, and legs. Hair loss during pregnancy may be the result of iron, iodine, or protein deficiencies, which can also cause your hair to become dry and brittle, and grow in lighter than your normal color. Many pregnant women don't get enough iron, especially women who are experiencing severe morning sickness and are not getting proper nutrition. Foods that are particularly good for your hair include yogurt; fresh fruit and vegetables; cold pressed oils; pumpkin, sunflower, and sesame seeds; whole grains like brown rice and oats; and almonds, figs, and dates. To combat undernourished hair, massage your scalp for five or ten minutes every day to stimulate circulation. Every few weeks, turn this into an aromatherapy massage by adding a few drops of essential oils (such as lavender, neroli, patchouli, sandalwood, or ylang ylang) to a half-cup of warm vegetable oil. Massage the oil onto your scalp and hair ends, then wrap your hair in a warm towel and relax for ten minutes. If your hair is dry, wash it less frequently; your natural oils are good for your hair and scalp and washing it twice or three times a week is more than enough. When you do shampoo, use a mild low-detergent shampoo and a moisturizing conditioner. Whenever possible, let your hair air dry since blow drying and curling irons increase dryness and damage. Many pregnant women want to try a new hairstyle that is easy to manage, which often means they decide to cut their hair short. But short hair may actually be harder and more time-consuming to style than long hair, which can be pulled back into a clip or ponytail. Also, a drastic change may not look as good with your face shape as you had imagined. Remember that your face shape may change as your pregnancy progresses and you put on weight. Long, straight hair can create the illusion of a slender face. If you usually color your hair, talk to your obstetrician about any color treatment you are planning during your pregnancy. Some animal studies have shown that a few of the chemical compounds in hair dyes can cause birth defects. However, in many of these studies the animals were exposed to extremely high doses of the chemicals, more than a woman would ever come in contact with while coloring her hair every month or two. T he Organization of Teratology Information Services, which provides information on potential reproductive risks, says that coloring your hair during pregnancy is probably safe. Most experts agree, however, that it's best to wait to color your hair until after your first trimester - and you may not be able to stomach the smell of the chemicals during your first few weeks anyway. To limit the absorption of any chemicals into your bloodstream, avoid processes that touch the skin and scalp, such as single-process coloring. Highlights are a good alternative since they involve painting sections of your hair with permanent color, which does not come into contact with your scalp or skin. When styling your hair during pregnancy, make the most of however your hair has decided to behave. If it is straight and limp, work a volumizing product through hair at the roots and blow dry upside down to increase volume. If you have curls, tame any frizzies by working in a curl-defining product and letting it dry naturally. If you're not sure what to do, consult with your stylist on how to maximize your new pregnancy hair. Once you have given birth, don't be alarmed if your hair - be it limp or full - begins falling out in handfuls. Most women experience increased hair loss between 3 and 6 months after giving birth. Your hormones are simply returning to normal and it may take a couple of growth cycles (several years) before your hair completely returns to normal.

TomKat Pregnant

TomKat expecting a baby? Looks like it's true. Now, I know we should all be happy for them. We should, seriously. My only question is...if Katie gives birth and has PPD, what will Tom say? Vitamins, Katie! Vitamins. What do YOU think?

Monday, October 03, 2005

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

The month of October not only brings in fall colors, pumpkins and trick-or-treaters - it is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month. There is a great article on WebMD which goes over the science, what you can do, what males should do and some inspiration for those affected. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, aside from skin cancer.During 2005, an estimated 211,240 new cases of invasive breast cancer areexpected to occur among women in the U.S., and an estimated 40,410 women are expected to die from breast cancer this year. Companies are starting to Think Pink this month. From Target to Red Envelope, many companies are offering pink products that with purchase, they will contribute a percentage of proceeds to places such as the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. You can of course support directly by making contributions to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation or the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. If we can keep helping and hoping to find a cure, we might even make it one day. And mark your calendar: October 21, 2005 is National Mammography Day. Make your appointment today.

What's All The Fuss About?

How cute are these baby tees? I'd like to introduce you to Fuss - a company I discovered from Daily Candy. I'm a fan simply because this is literally a mom and pop run company and because they hail from the Bay Area. (See the Golden Gate Bridge in the background?) They offer super cute clothes for the wee one and even tees for you mommas out there. Happy Shopping!