Mother’s Day is just 2 weeks away.
Sometimes mamas on bed rest feel a bit apprehensive about celebrating Mother’s Day. What if something happens and the outcome isn’t good? I had a friend for whom this was an issue. She had 2 miscarriages prior to becoming pregnant with her now oldest child. Her family refrained from throwing her a baby shower until she was ready to deliver to “make sure this was going to really happen this time.” I was appalled at their lack of sensitivity. A mama is a mama and even for those little souls that didn’t make it, my friend was and is their mama.
But enough negativity. You are a mama! It doesn’t matter if you are on bed rest. It doesn’t matter if this is your first or 5th pregnancy. If you have a baby in your belly you are a mama!
In your honor, I am happy to highlight some of the fabulous mama made products here on Mamas on Bedrest & Beyond’s website, some mama friendly websites and mama friendly services. If you know and love a mama on bed rest, consider pampering her with one of these fantastic mama friendly items or services. You’ll not only make your mama’s day, but you’ll also be supporting other mamas as well!
Hot Mama Gowns are the “baby” of “Hot Mama” Deidrea. After the birth of her daughter in 2006, she was less than thrilled with the standard hospital garb. Determined to create gowns that would not only make mamas feel “hot”, but would also be extremely comfortable and sensible, Deidrea created “Hot Mama Gowns”. Created out of 100% cotton, all the gowns come in beautiful colors and prints, allow easy access for breastfeeding and most of all are really lovely! Click here if you’d like to purchase a “Hot Mama Gown” for the Hot Mama in your life!
This is the one item that I wish I had had when I was pregnant and nursing my babies!! We mamas all know what it’s like when our breasts feel too heavy for our chests and we know how a warm soothing shower can start our milk flowing. The Shower Hug is a soft Terry Cotton wrap that mamas can wear over their breasts for added support and comfort. If you are just lounging, the Shower Hug provides support and comfort. In the shower, if you do happen to have milk letdown, the shower hug provides added comfort. They come in a wide variety of sized. Click here to purchase and learn more.
This mama owned website provides natural pregnancy, maternity and baby products. They have everything from belly balms to belly supports, nursing tops and baby items and accessories. Tara, the owner has done a wonderful job assembling fine products, so if you are looking for something for a mama or mama to be, please consider purchasing from a mama!
This is a new online boutique owned and operated by Mom and daughter duo Pamela Marie and Kelly. After Kelly spent 63 days on hospital bed rest with twins, she knew first hand how invaluable the love, support and gifts from family and friends were. To that end, Kelly and her mama Pamela Marie have created a wonderful online shop with a variety of wonderful gifts for mamas on bed rest.
Massages are an invaluable gift for any mama or mama to be-on bed rest or not! But for mamas on bed rest in particular, because they are not up and about, it’s important to maintain their circulation, lymph drainage and muscle stimulation. A full body massage from an experienced prenatal massage therapist can stimulate circulation and lymph drainage reducing venous stasis and edema (pooling of blood in the feet and lower legs and swelling in common lingo!), stimulate muscles, reduce aches and pains of pregnancy and ease tension and stress. Check your local listings for massage therapists in your areas. Many are portable and willing to do home visits!
When I was setting up this business, one thing that I wanted to be able to provide to Mamas here in Austin is in home Mani/pedis. However, I learned that because of issues of hygiene and sanitation, at least here in Texas, cosmetologists are not able to provide in home Mani/pedis. But those rules don’t hold true for friends! If you have a friend of family member who is on bed rest, offer to do her nails for her! Go to her house, soak her hands and feet, gently rub them with fragrant lotions and paint her nails for her. I guarantee that you’ll both have a wonderful time and you will have provided your friend with an invaluable experience of loving kindness.
Today I heard from two mamas who had been on bed rest with their children discuss how sad and lonely and isolated they felt while they had been on bed rest and that these feelings persisted well into their post partums, typically lasting up to one year. Listening to their stories inspired me to begin thinking about how to support mamas on bed rest even more in an effort to stem this tide of potential post partum depression and PTSD.
As I pondered how I would like to go about increasing support to mamas on bed rest, I had the awesome opportunity to attend the second annual spring reception for one of my favorite non-profit organizations, Hand to Hold. The mission of Hand to Hold is,
To provide comprehensive navigation resources and support programs to parents of preemies, babies born with special health care needs and those who have experienced a loss due to these or other complications.
I am a HUGE fan of this organization, as it steps in and provides the support and resources necessary for parents of preemies. I first became involved when I interviewed the founder and executive director Kelli Kelley for an article that I was writing back in 2005. She shared with me then,
I don’t want another mother to go through the pain, isolation, frustration and desperation that I felt when I had my son. (born at 24 weeks and who spent 4 months in the NICU).
Since that day some 7 years ago, Kelli has been on a mission, garnering support and forging ahead with programs and services for parents of preemies.
We have often talked about collaborating to bring much needed services to mamas on bed rest. The time has come. As I looked in awe and admiration at what Kelli has created, I realized that similar programs and services need to be in place for mamas on bed rest. So here we go ladies!
But I want to hear from you. I need your stories and experiences so that I can craft the most perfect and most suitable programs and services for Mamas on Bedrest. When you were on bed rest, what did you most desire? What did you wish you had known? What would you have liked from your health care providers? What did you need when your bed rest journey was over? Share it all and leave no little detail undisclosed. The only way that we can craft the perfect program for mamas on bed rest is to have the crucial input from Mamas on Bedrest. So please share your stories with me. Help me to help other mamas not suffer the isolation, fear and depression that is so prevalent with the bed rest experience. Kelli Kelley has made a HUGE impact in how parents of preemies experience the birth and subsequent lives of their children and we can do the same for Mamas on Bedrest. But it’s going to take your input. Share your experiences in the comments section below and thanks so much for helping me to realize my vision of easing the burden of bed rest.
April is Cesarean Awareness Month.
I have really mixed feelings about cesarean sections. Having had 2 cesarean deliveries and knowing that at least in the case of my first one, it pretty much saved my life and the life of my daughter, I can’t be entirely “anti-cesarean section”. But in the United States thousands of women have cesarean sections for bogus reasons and that is what this movement and month of awareness is really all about.
So what are the facts about cesarean sections?
- Cesarean deliveries are one of the most commonly performed surgeries in all of medicine. The other most commonly performed surgery is a hysterectomy.
- Cesarean deliveries currently account for some 32% of all deliveries in the United States annually.
- Originally, Cesarean deliveries were intended to birth a fetus when the mother was dead or dying. It has since evolved to be indicated for “large babies”, uterine/placental/vaginal issues, fetal distress or shoulder dystocia
- According to MedScape, The leading indications for cesarean delivery are previous cesarean delivery, breech presentation, dystocia, and fetal distress. These indications are responsible for 85% of all cesarean deliveries.
I think that most of us would agree that in a healthy mother and baby, a vaginal birth is the way to go. However, in an effort to “control the situation and avoid complications” or to “avoid the pain” or “avoid going into labor at an inconvenient time”, mothers and doctors often schedule a cesarean section “to be on the safe side”. This is the impetus behind the International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN) and its supporters. ICAN and other organizations hope to raise awareness amongst women that cesarean sections are to be the exception to vaginal birth when it is unsafe for mother and baby to undergo vaginal delivery. And while most of us agree with that statement, thousands upon thousands of women often mistakenly believe that delivering vaginally will be unsafe or them and their babies and opt for the cesarean delivery.
Probably the most common reason for cesarean birth is repeat cesarean delivery. There used to be a saying, “Once a cesarean always a cesarean.” Thankfully this is no longer the case. Because of the risks associated with cesarean sections, more and more practitioners are beginning to look at VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean section) as an option. One has to understand, a cesarean delivery involves cutting the abdominal and uterine walls, creating defects or weaknesses at the sites of the cuts and places for scar tissue to develop. The greatest concern is that in a VBAC, these areas won’t hold and the uterus will rupture causing hemorrhage and risking the lives of both mother and fetus. However, data is showing that this risk of uterine rupture is not as great as previously thought and that women who have repeat cesarean sectioins are at even greater risks. Additionally, in very healthy women having uncomplicated pregnancies and birthing with a skilled practitioner, VBAC’s are quite safe.
Another common reason for cesarean delivery is “large baby”. This is probably the most disputed reason for cesarean delivery and the most controversial. Who hasn’t heard stories of the 5 foot woman delivering an 11lb baby vaginally, or the 5ft 10 inch woman who had difficulty delivering a 5lb baby and required a cesarean section? Size of the baby is rarely the issue, but more aptly the position of the baby in the pelvis, the shape of a mama’s pelvis and how well mama and baby are faring during the delivery process.
Cesarean sections are also more common during labor inductions. When labor is allowed to start and proceed spontaneously, babies have time to adapt and progress along the birth canal. Normal birth proponents continually state that when a baby is not ready to be born and labor is induced, the baby is rarely in the correct position in the birth canal, the baby often becomes distressed as a result of the uterine contractions, the labor fails to progress and then a cesarean section is performed.
So how does a mama decide whether or not a cesarean delivery is best for her?
- Do your research. Know the indications for cesarean delivery
- Talk with your health care provider. Know (as much as possible) the position of your baby in the uterus, consider the gestational age of the baby
- Consider your obstetrical history. If you have certain complications, you may be more likely to require a cesarean delivery. Talk with your health care provider to assess your risks.
It’s a really tough decision. Even today, some six years after my last cesarean section, I often wonder if I should have tried to deliver my son. (my second child). But I had a list of obstetrical complications that would have made a VBAC quite risky. For women without my dicey history who are considering a VBAC vs. a cesarean delivery, I say, do your research, “be aware”. Only once you’ve fully informed yourself and spoken with your health care provider can you make an informed decision about whether or not to have a cesarean delivery.