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There is so much out there for pregnant people and their babies. So many gadgets, books, videos, websites, advice....it can be a lot! After having three children of my own and working as a postpartum doula, I am here to give you my top 5 favorite things that will make your life easier and feed your soul. I'd love to hear what your favorites are, too!
Where-oh-where were these when my kiddos were born?!
On a recent overnight postpartum shift baby wore these adorable footie pajamas that were not only super soft, but were free of buttons, snaps and even zippers! Instead they featured magnetic closures that made middle-of-the-night diaper changes super easy!
If you've ever wished for having an extra hand while multi-tasking as a parent, this is for you! The bökee is a bottle accessory that allows you to fill bottles (and sippy cups) one-handed. You can use it to prepare a bottle of formula, pour pumped breast milk into a bottle, twist apart pump accessories, and more - all while keeping baby in your arms. If you've ever had to set down a crying baby while making a bottle, or spilled precious breastmilk from a bag while transferring, you know how beneficial an extra set of "hands" can be! Click here for a video on the benefits of using a bökee.
When my kids were babies I was the queen of the swaddle. All three of them liked to be swaddled in various ways and for various length of time. I always prided myself on my swaddle skills and in the early days was excited to show new parents how to use this technique on their newborns. But, along with everything else that changes over time, there are so many easier ways to swaddle a baby now! While swaddling with a basic swaddle blanket is still a good skill to have, it can be frustrating to properly get right as a first-time parent and easy to get wrong when sleep deprivation has taken over. I've seen many swaddle blankets in my time as a postpartum doula and I really like the Halo sleepsack. The design allows you to unzip the lower half for an easy diaper change without having to unwrap baby, eliminates the worry of loose blankets, roomy on the bottom half so baby's legs can move freely, adjustable to find best fit for your baby, and best of all, easy for anyone to use!
If you are planning to breastfeed your baby, a Haakaa is a great purchase! It is lightweight, silent, easy to clean, portable, and best of all, you can use it alongside breastfeeding your baby. Place baby on the breast and suction the Haakaa to the other breast to collect the milk that would otherwise simply be absorbed into your nursing pads. (Note: While the Haakaa is an amazing product, there may be situations where it is not right for you/your baby. If you are having trouble with breastfeeding, seek out a lactation consultant and be sure to let them know if you have been using the Haakaa).
Did you know that over 90 percent of new moms experience 'scary thoughts? Karen Kleiman, founder of The Postpartum Stress Center, has authored this amazing book addressing these common thoughts. She offers simple, effective advice with a dose of humor. It's like talking to a trusted friend who just 'gets it' and is there to support you all the way. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.