massage

Mamas on Bedrest: Great Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

April 30th, 2012

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!

Gifts

Hot Mama Gowns

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!

The Shower Hug

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.

Maternity Boutiques

Maternitque

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!

Bedrest Butler

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.

Services

Massages

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!

Mani/Pedi

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.

Mamas on Bedrest: 4 Must Haves for Bed Rest

February 2nd, 2012

Recently I was contacted by a writer for the Huffington Post (yes, we’re headed for the big time, Mamas!!) and was asked,

“What would you consider essential for a mama on bed rest?”

I didn’t have to think very hard. Beyond a computer for internet access,  a tv and remote control and handy snacks, there are 4 things that I believe EVERY mama on bed rest needs. Since Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, consider giving mama one of these “Must Haves” to better her bed rest.

Help. While issues such as bleeding and preterm labor can occur emergently, the bed rest prescription often comes out of the blue and as a complete surprise to mamas. A mama arrives at the OB for what she thinks is a routine office visit, a complication is noted and then she is either sent home on bed rest or admitted to the hospital. From that point on, she is in reaction mode. She has to deal with her job, make arrangements for childcare, make arrangements for household care….Mama needs help. If you can assist mama with childcare, house keeping, shopping, or managing any of her other myriad of obligations, you will be bringing mama much needed relief.

Body Pillow. Pillow support is a must for mamas on bed rest.  At any given time I had about 6 pillows wedged around me, including a full body pillow, my “main squeeze” at the time. (Didn’t leave much room for the husband, but I was comfy!!) Body pillows have come a long way since my pregnancies but one that I like is sold by Special Addition Maternity and Nursing Store called the Snoogle (R). This large c-shaped pillow is long enough so that mama can wrap herself around the pillow and support her knees, hips, belly and neck. It is reasonably priced and can be shipped just about anywhere. Covers for Snoogles are also available. For tips on how to best position yourself while on bed rest, check out our videoblog on the subject.

Massage. Contrary to popular belief, being on bed rest is not fun nor is it restful or comfortable. Even with a body pillow for support, mamas develop various aches, pains and stiffness. Additionally, since they are not very mobile, they don’t have their usual circulation and may develop distal extremity swelling. If at all possible, I recommend that mamas on bed rest have massages at least once a month-2 times  a month or even weekly if possible (but that can be pricey, I know!!). A skilled prenatal massage therapist can not only soothe mama’s sore and achey muscles, she can stimulate circulation so that blood is flowing back up towards the heart and reduce swelling-especially in mama’s lower legs and feet. A skilled massage therapist can also massage to stimulate lymphatic drainage, again moving fluid out of the distal extremities (hands and feet) where it tends to pool.

Bedrest Fitness. Mamas on bed rest, like all mamas need to move. The problem is they are on restricted activity so most mamas have no idea what they can do. When I was facing bed rest, this was one of my major concerns, especially since I was a prenatal fitness instructor. So I produced Bedrest Fitness, a set of modified prenatal exercises for women on prescribed bed rest. To see a sample of what Bedrest Fitness is all about, click here. You can purchase a copy here.

So those are the 4 “Must Haves” for Mamas on Bedrest. Of course there are other things that will only make her bed rest situation better, but the aforementioned items are the minimum. Mamas, what are your “Must Haves” for a better bed rest? Be the first to Share your comments below and receive a gift card. We’d love to hear from you and your suggestion may be just what another mama needs.

4 Tips to Relieve Mamas’ (on Bedrest) Aching Back

September 21st, 2011

Christy (not her real name), mom to one of my son’s classmates is 32 weeks pregnant with her second child. She has just recently started having lots of lumbar/sacral discomfort and asked me what she can do for relief. I shared my recommendations with her, but I consulted with some other birth pros upon whom I rely on Twitter. If you are not following Desirre Andrews or @Preparing4Birth, you should be. Desirre is an awesome doula, childbirth educator, lactation educator, midwife assistant and the president of International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN). Jes von Henzke @Sadayagoga is a yoga teacher and practitioner who shared her expertise as well.

First things first. What’s going on? Well, at 32 weeks, Christy has a lot of Relaxin in her system. As you’ll recall, Relaxin is the hormone that relaxes the tendons and ligaments of the body. During labor and delivery, it enables the pelvis to freely move (separate) and allow passage of the baby  during delivery.

Additionally, Christy is experiencing a lot of stretching as her baby to grows in these last few weeks. The added weight from her belly is creating an opposing force on the muscles, tendons and ligaments of her spine, abdomen and pelvis as they work to stabilize her posture and support her pregnancy.

So what should Christy do? Here is what we came up with.

Maternity Support Belt. This was an invaluable article of “clothing” for both of my pregnancies. Being just 5 ft tall, once my belly became sizable (at just 16 weeks with my second!), my back began to feel the strain. With my daughter, my first pregnancy, she sat in my pelvis such that I developed sciatica at about 22 weeks and could barely put weight on my left leg. A friend referred me Special Addition a local maternity store here in Austin, for  a good pelvic/lumbar/sacral support. The great thing about Special Addition is that all of the sales clerks are doulas and lactation consultants with years of experience helping pregnant and new mamas. They fit me for a belt that was just perfect. Special Addition also has a wonderful online inventory and you can call and speak with these wonderful sales clerks and they can help you get the best support for your needs. (If you know of a great Maternity Boutique, tell us about them in the comments section. We’ll create a category in our resources section so that other mamas can benefit. Be sure to tell us why they are great so Mamas can make wise and informed choices!)

Prenatal Massage. Another lifesaver for me. When I was pregnant, I had a massage about once a month. It was so wonderful and relaxing. Additionally, a skilled prenatal massage therapist can work the muscles that are under stress due to the pregnancy without causing additional discomfort. Many doulas are also massage therapists. Again, if you know of a great therapist in your area, share the info in our comments section so other mamas can benefit.

Chiropractic Care. I didn’t do chiropractic care during my pregnancies, but I hear that chiropractic manipulations during pregnancy can be very beneficial. Be sure to choose a chiropractor who has skill and expertise manipulating pregnant women. Check out their credentials and get referrals whenever possible. Share a good resource in the comments section.

Muscular Movement. I actually taught prenatal aerobics during both my pregnancies (which nearly gave my OB a heart attack with my first-the most high risk!!). Moving and stretching enables the soft tissues most affected by the weight of the pregnancy to stretch and then to repair. Again, please try to stick with classes that are designed to accommodate the pregnant physique. And Mamas on Bedrest, we’ve not forgotten you. Online Bedrest Fitness begins with a free demo class on September 28th, 9:15-10:15 am CT. Send an e-mail to info@mamasonbedrest.com to register and receive login information.

Do you have other tips? Share them in the comments section below. Or if you’d prefer, send them to info@mamasonbedrest.com.

If you’d like to talk more about back pain relief, post a message on Twitter to @mamasonbedrest. You can also post a message on our Facebook Page.

To the left, pregnant with my daughter, maternity belt in place, 36 wks, 4 days. She arrived 36 wks, 6 days, 3 hrs and 57 mins shy of 37 weeks.

To the right, the day before I delivered my son, @39 wks via c-section. Maternity belt in place to support my 42 inch waist!