The first few weeks of breastfeeding can feel quite overwhelming. It’s a learning time for both you and your baby, each of you getting a feel for each other.

Your baby is slowly discovering how to breastfeed and find comfort outside the security of your womb. You are learning how to communicate with your baby and offer comfort and nourishment. 

Be patient with yourself and your baby; it will get easier, particularly once your milk supply becomes established. Having questions is normal. Trust your instincts, but also try to prepare yourself by understanding what to expect in the first few weeks. Below we’ve compiled some breastfeeding basics and tips from Day 1 to Week 6.

What to Expect

  • Your milk production grows from about 1 ounce (30 mL) to about 30 ounces (900 mL) between Days 1 and 40.
  • Most mothers start to make noticeably more milk starting around Day 3 or 4.
  • Your baby should be back to birth weight by 2 weeks. You can then expect baby to gain about 7 ounces (210 g) per week or 2 lbs (900 g) per month.
  • Most babies feed 8-12 times per day, but not at set times. They may bunch feedings close together for part of the day (cluster feed).
  • Your baby may want to feed again soon after breastfeeding. This is normal in the beginning.
  • By Day 3-5, baby’s black stools (meconium) turn first green, then yellow. You can then expect 3 or more yellow stools every day.
  • Also, expect 5-6 or more wet diapers a day by Day 5.
  • If your breasts feel very full, breastfeed more or express milk. This will make you feel better, not worse.
  • Most babies sleep for one 4-5 hour stretch each day. This may not happen at night, unfortunately.

Fun Facts

  • A baby’s stomach stretches from the size of a shooter marble on Day 1 to a chicken egg by Day 10.
  • Babies may take one breast at a feeding, or they may need to feed on both breasts. Let your baby decide.
  • Drained breasts make milk faster. Full breasts make milk slower.
  • Breastfeed only if possible. Avoid pacifiers and any other liquids

General Breastfeeding Tips

  • Breastfeed whenever your baby wants to. You’ll know it’s time when your baby’s head turns from side to side with an open mouth. Or when she puts her hand to her mouth.
  • Ideally, don’t wait until your baby fusses or cries. When upset, it’s harder to feed well.
  • Use a position that feels good for you and your baby.
  • Learn to sleep while you breastfeed. Practice during the day.
  • If breastfeeding hurts, get help. A small change in how your baby takes the breast may be all you need to feel better.
  • Find a mother’s group near you and spend time with other breastfeeding mothers. We are stronger together!

You Know You Have Plenty of Milk When

  • Baby is gaining weight well on breast milk alone.
    • 0-4 months: 7 ounces (210 g) a week or 2 lbs. (900g) a month

When to Seek Help

  • If breastfeeding hurts.
  • If your baby loses more than 10% of birth weight or after Day 4, gains weight too slowly.

Even when breastfeeding is going well, you may experience some of the following:

  • Your baby has fussy times – Most babies do.
  • She wants to feed again soon after breastfeeding -Most babies do.
  • She wants to feed more often – This adjusts your milk production
  • Your breasts no longer feel full – Usually at about 3-4 weeks
  • She wants to feed less often or for a shorter time – Babies get faster with practice
  • Frequent night feedings – Babies need to do this to get enough milk
  • She will take a bottle after breastfeeding – Babies like to suck, this might not be related to milk supply
  • You can’t express much milk – This skill takes practice

One thing that we can not stress enough is, be patient with yourself. Breastfeeding is natural but it’s also a skill, and like all skills there is a learning curve involved. You are not expected to know it all and there is no shame in asking for help and reaching out. Seek out the support you need.

Nancy Mohrbacher, IBCLC, FILCA, Lactation Consultant, Ameda Breastfeeding Products
Coauthor of Breastfeeding Made Simple: Seven Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers

The pain experienced during labour is different for every woman and can vary pregnancy to pregnancy. Preferences on how to manage that pain also differ, and each expecting mom will have her own ideal plan. Researching the available options is an important step in preparing for your labour.

What is TENS for Labour?

If you would prefer to avoid drugs or other medical interventions and are opting for natural labour pain relief, a TENS machine may be just the thing for you. TENS stands for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. The machine itself is a small box with a clip on the back that you can attach to your clothing. It releases little pulses of electrical energy.

How does a TENS machine work?

women on exercise ball with TENS pads on back

Leading out of the box are four wires connected to sticky pads. Ideally, your birth partner will place the pads on your back for you. Put one pad on each side of your spine, at about bra-strap level. The remaining two pads should be placed further down your back, near the base of your spine. The pads are covered in a gel to help the electrical pulses pass through your skin more easily.

There are dials that allow you to adjust and control the frequency and strength of the pulses. There’s also a boost button for you to hold in your hand and press when you want maximum output from the machine to help you with a difficult contraction. Always follow the instructions that come with your TENS machine.

How does a TENS machine reduce pain?

There are several theories on what makes a TENS machine effective. One is that the electrical pulses prevent pain signals from reaching your brain. Another is that the pulses stimulate your body to release its own natural, feel-good substances, called endorphins.

It’s most likely that various factors interact to make TENS work. It may give you a feeling of control over your contractions, it may help you to feel less anxious, and it also may provide a distraction from your contractions.

When and how should I use TENS?

TENS seems to work best and give you the most effective pain relief when you start using it at the very beginning of your labour. TENS machines are available to rent or buy, so will be able to use it at home before you transition to the hospital (if you’re having a hospital birth).

It generally takes about an hour for your body to respond to the electrical impulses by releasing endorphins, so start using it when you’re getting regular contractions or backache. You may find your machine works better at relieving your back pain rather than abdominal pain.

Start with the controls at their lowest settings and gradually turn them up as your contractions or back pain gets more intense. You can use the boost button at the peak of your contractions for a little extra relief.

What are the advantages?

  • It’s portable and non-invasive.
  • It’s under your control.
  • It’s easy to use.
  • You can keep moving while using it.
  • You can use it for as long as you want and then take it off. There are no lasting side-effects.
  • It’s safe for your baby.
  • You don’t need an anesthesiologist, doctor or midwife to administer it, so you can start using it as soon as you want to.
  • It can be used for a home birth.

What are the disadvantages?

  • You will need someone to help you put the pads on.
  • It may only help in the early stages of labour.
  • It may be difficult to find a TENS machine in your area. (http://www.motherschoiceproducts.com/) you can purchase or find a store.
  • It may have to be removed if your baby’s heart has to be monitored electronically.
  • If you want to use a birthing pool or have a bath, you can use TENS before you get in the water, but not when you are in the water.
  • It can make it more difficult for your birth partner to massage your back, which can be an effective form of pain relief.

Useful tips

· Don’t give up right away if you think your TENS isn’t doing anything. It usually takes at least an hour of using it for your body to build up endorphins in response to the stimulation.

· Take the pads off every three hours and reapply the gel to ensure good contact with your skin.

· Keep mobile. Moving around during labour helps women feel more in control and should, therefore, enhance the effect of TENS.

· If you don’t feel like it’s helping you, take it off and don’t feel bad. You’ve lost nothing. All other forms of pain relief, both medical and non-medical, are still open to you.

Where do I find a TENS machine?

You may need to call a midwife clinic to track a TENS machine down. Or if you are lucky enough to have an obstetrical physiotherapist in your town, try calling her office. Your doctor or midwife should be able to help you track one down; ask for their help during a prenatal appointment.

Once you find a TENS machine, the midwife will show you how to use it during your labour. Prices will vary but generally hang around $100. You can usually find TENS machines at midwife clinics, select pharmacies, or online.

Simple Steps to Keep Your Ameda Breast Pump Clean

Keeping your breast pump clean is not time consuming. But there are a few things you can do to simplify your pump care — so you can spend more time with your new baby.

Sanitize Your Ameda parts Before the First Use

Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. If your pump kit package is not marked « sterile, » put all the pieces that come into contact with your milk in a pot, cover them with water, and boil for 20 minutes before using the pump for the first time. It is best to let the parts air dry so make sure you have a bit of time for this. With an Ameda pump that would be the bottle, flange (part that goes on your breast), clear valve, and silicone diaphragm. All Ameda pumps use the same kits so this will apply to any personal use pump or rental/hospital pump. Unless your doctor or hospital has told you otherwise, there is no need to do this again.

Everyday Cleaning of Your Ameda Breast Pump

With an Ameda pump, you don’t need to boil, microwave or wipe your pump pieces with disinfecting wipes on a regular basis. After every use, rinse the pieces that come in contact with your milk with cool water then wash them in warm, soapy water (using mild detergent), rinse with clear, warm water, and air dry. You can also clean pump parts in the dishwasher. You may want to get one or more extra pump kits and wash them all once at the end of the day. That way you don’t need to wash your parts every time you pump.

To clean your pump motor or bag, just wipe it with a clean, damp cloth. This is also a good way to clean the outside of your pump tubing if milk drips onto it.

No Tubing Care

For mothers using a pump with tubing, any moisture in the tubing can contaminate their expressed milk with bacteria, mold and viruses. That’s why Ameda breast pumps have Proven Airlock Protection™. During pumping, Ameda’s diaphragm keeps the air from your pump from coming in contact with your milk. For mothers using a breast pump without a barrier at the flange there is a chance to get moisture in the tubing. Any moisture in the tubing can contaminate expressed milk with bacteria, mold and viruses Ameda has the world’s only breast pump with a proven protective barrier.

Adapted from Nancy Mohrbacher, IBCLC, FILCA, Lactation Consultant, Ameda Breastfeeding Products
Coauthor of Breastfeeding Made Simple: Seven Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers

Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is a common, complex, and distressing problem that has a profound impact on individuals and society. It frequently presents as a result of a disease or an injury; however, it is not merely an accompanying symptom, but rather a separate condition in its own right.

Worldwide, the burden caused by chronic pain represented by conditions such as low back pain and osteoarthritis is escalating. Measuring years lived with disability, lower back and neck pain have consistently been the leading causes of disability internationally, with other chronic pain conditions featuring prominently in the top 10 causes of disability.

It affects between one-third and one-half of the population of the UK, that’s just under 28 million adults. The overall cost to the UK economy of back pain alone was estimated to be £10,668 million in 2000.

Chronic pain reduces your ability to take part in daily life activities and can create many difficulties in your professional and personal life. Quality of life and mental wellbeing are heavily impacted and can lead to sleeping problems and disorders, anxiety, depression, and deterioration of close relationships.

Treatments For Pain

Over the past few decades there has been a dramatic increase in use of prescription opioids for chronic pain, despite concerns about their adverse effects and potential for addiction.

Many healthcare professionals and researchers have expressed the need for non-pharmacological treatment options. TENS therapy is a safe option that comes without any serious side effects and/or complications. It is widely accessible, affordable, and allows you to take control of your treatment in your own home.

The Evidence For TENS

TENS provides relief for pain from a wide variety of causes. Clinical research over the past 20 years has provided support that it works by intercepting pain signals travelling to the brain and promoting the release of endorphins. In addition, TENS therapy can often be used in addition to other treatments if desired.

Through our clinical evaluations for our TENS machines, our quality and regulatory team has assessed over 100 clinical research papers on TENS and its ability to provide pain relief. The following are short extracts and conclusions from these papers that have inspired us and confirm the effective of TENS.

  • Using TENS As First Line Of Pain Relief May Reduce The Need For Postoperative Opioids. In Addition, TENS Appears Preferable As The First Line Of Treatment Due To Its Association With A Shorter Time Spent In The Post Anaesthesia Care Unit (PACU) If The Patient Responds To The Treatment.
  • Effect Of TENS On Patients With Acute Low Back Pain Is Beneficial.
  • The Addition Of TENS To The Physical Therapy Program Was Seen To Make A Significant Contribution To Clinical Recovery In CRPS Type 1.
  • TENS Can Reduce Postoperative Pain In The Early Hours After Inguinal Hernia Repair Surgery.
  • TENS Is A Valuable Strategy To Alleviate Post-Thoracotomy Pain.
  • TENS Is A Safe, Non-Invasive, Easy-To-Administer Therapy To Use For Chronic Facial Myalgia.
  • Pain And Fatigue Were Further Improved When Two Active Devices Were Simultaneously Applied At The Low Back And Cervical Area, Reflecting Its Usefulness As Adjuvant For Fibromyalgia Pain.
  • TENS Has Shown A Significant Improvement On Neuropathic Pain In Diabetic Neuropathy.
  • TENS Is An Effective, Easy To Use And With Minimal Side Effects In Patients Suffering From Trigeminal Neuralgia Not Responding To Conventional Therapy.
  • TENS Promoted Significant Postoperative Pain Relief.
  • Our Study Results Suggest That TENS Is An Effective And Safe Non-Invasive, Non-Pharmacological Treatment Modality. It May Be Preferred As An Alternative Method In Pain Control In Postpartum Women After C-Section Delivery.

In summary, TENS is a simple, safe, and effective pain relief method for those suffering from various pain conditions.

Blog sourced from TensCare UK.

Dimpleskins Naturals products were started from the kitchen of Jen Casey (CNP, Holistic Nutritionist), in 2001. After the birth of her first child, Jen noticed that chemical-free products were not readily available in the marketplace at the time. So, with her background in Make-Up Artistry, Aromatherapy, and Holistic Nutrition, she began to develop her own balms and salves. Originally Jen just intended them for her own use. But as she began to share them with friends, word spread. Soon moms everywhere were starting to make Dimpleskins Naturals their go-to product and it was featured in magazines and winning awards.

Still today the original formulas have not changed. They continue to use natural, chemical-free and organic ingredients and Dimpleskins Naturals has signed the PETA pledge, promising that their raw ingredients and finished products are cruelty-free. All of Dimpleskins Naturals products are manufactured in British Columbia and distributed across Canada.

Bum Bum Balm Diapering Salve

Pure, unbleached, Canadian beeswax provides a nice barrier on the skin, helping to keep moisture away, while organic calendula oil provides natural healing properties for rashes. All you need to do is apply it to diaper area as needed. It’s zinc-free and won’t ruin your cloth diapers.

It’s made of: coconut oil, pure unbleached beeswax, organic jojoba oil, apricot kernel oil, organic calendula oil (infused in sunflower oil), cocoa butter, vitamin E oil (derived from pure soybean oil), and pure lavender essential oil.

Basically Bare Everywhere Balm

Finally, an unscented balm to use all over the body, from lips to tiny toes! It’s not just for baby, this balm is for those who prefer no scent and like one product for the entire body. Contains all natural and organic ingredients, including organic calendula oil to help soothe roughness and itching due to dry skin.

The ingredients are: pure beeswax, coconut oil, Apricot kernel oil, organic jojoba oil, organic calendula infused sunflower oil, cocoa butter, vitamin E (tocopherol)

Sweet Cheeks Body Balm

A delicious blend of pure lavender and vanilla oils make this balm an essential for dry skin, chapped cheeks, and hands. Also works perfectly as an after-bath massage balm on baby. It’s 100% natural and cruelty free like all Dimpleskins Naturals products.

Ingredients: coconut oil, pure beeswax, organic jojoba oil, apricot kernel oil, cocoa butter, vitamin E oil, pure lavender and vanilla essential oils.

Boo Boo Goo Soothing Salve

Great on bug bites, eczema, scrapes and boo-boos of all kinds. A combination of pure and organic essential oils that are recommended for use on children aged 1 year and up.

What’s in it? Coconut oil, pure beeswax, organic jojoba oil, apricot kernel oil, organic calendula oil (infused in sunflower oil), cocoa butter, vitamin E oil, pure lavender, geranium and tea tree essential oils.

Get your Dimpleskins Natruals from the Mama Bear Shop today.

Prenatal Ease is a line of products that help mothers from pre-conception through breastfeeding. Offering supplements, nourishing creams and oils for stretch marks, Prenatal Ease takes care of you and your baby’s bodies. These carefully formulated vitamins and high-quality, plant-based skin care use both science and traditional herbal remedies. Want to know more? Here we do a roundup of their products and what they are made of.

The Prenatal Ease Vitamins

Prenatal Ease Preconception

Prenatal Ease Preconception is a multivitamin specially formulated for women trying to get pregnant. The scientifically-based formula contains 23 essential vitamins and minerals to prepare your body for conception.

It’s a good idea for you to try to build up nutritional stores before getting pregnant as certain nutrients are important in helping to support women’s reproductive health. Prenatal Ease Preconception contains zinc, selenium, choline, inositol, iron, and vitamin D; all which contribute to fertility and the regulation of hormones.

The formulation also has powerful antioxidants such as beta-carotene, E, and C, to help neutralize free radicals that are generated from normal processes like ovulation, oocyte maturation, implantation, and embryogenesis. It also has beta-carotene, which is a precursor to vitamin A and is difficult to take too much of, unlike pure vitamin A.

Prenatal Ease Preconception also has the full suite of vitamin B complexes. Studies show that vitamin B12 can help the chances of ovulating while vitamin B6 has a role in helping with implantation and early placental development. Each capsule also contains 800 mcg of folate to help prevent neural tube defect. It has everything you need for a pre-conception vitamin.

Prenatal Ease Stage 1

Prenatal Ease Stage 1 is a prenatal multivitamin specially formulated for pregnant women in their first trimester (weeks 0-13). It contains 20 essential vitamins and minerals to support your developing baby, including vitamin B6 and ginger to help alleviate morning sickness and provide digestive comfort. It’s also recognized by The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC).

During the first trimester all the baby’s major organs take shape and your body will also undergo significant hormonal changes to accommodate the new baby. As a result, this is when you will start to notice common symptoms of pregnancy such as breast tenderness, fatigue, increased vaginal discharge, and morning sickness. Prenatal Ease Stage 1 does not use any drugs to help with the morning sickness but uses premium grade ginger.

Ginger has been used for thousands of years by many cultures and is known to be effective in treating motion sickness, postoperative nausea and morning sickness. Ginger is also recommended by The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC) in managing morning sickness.

Some studies have suggested that the high levels of iron in many “one-size-fits-all” prenatal multivitamins might be another cause of morning sickness. With the biggest demand for iron being in the second or third trimester where your blood volume increases dramatically; having vitamins tailored to your pregnancy stage can be helpful.

Prenatal Ease Stage 1 contains just enough iron for a healthy pregnancy, but not high enough to cause morning sickness, and constipation. Prenatal Ease Stage 1 follows all the latest recommendations by The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada for supporting prenatal health and helping to alleviate morning sickness.

Prenatal Ease Stage 2

Prenatal Ease Stage 2 is specially formulated for pregnant women in their second trimester (Weeks 13-26). This advanced formula is scientifically based and contains 19 essential vitamins and minerals to support and nourish both mom and the growing baby. It contains important vitamins like A, B, C, D & E to support your immune system and that healthy pregnancy glow.

During the second trimester, all the baby’s major body systems are in place and will continue to grow. Their skeletal system will begin to strengthen, creating a greater need for calcium. Prenatal Ease Stage 2 provides significantly more calcium and vitamin D than Stage 1 to help both of you get the calcium you need.

Luckily it is during the second trimester when morning sickness and fatigue start to settle down. As the baby matures, there is an increase in blood volume and blood flow to the womb to nourish the baby. Prenatal Ease Stage 2 provides just the right balance of iron to support increased blood production, but not enough to cause side effects like constipation.

Stage 2 contains powerful antioxidants such as vitamin A, E, and C, carefully balanced for the second trimester. These antioxidants help neutralize free radicals and are also critical for the formation of many different systems.

Prenatal Ease Stage 3

Prenatal Ease Stage 3 is a comprehensive multivitamin formulated for pregnant women in their third trimester (Weeks 26-40). This scientifically-based formula contains 21 essential vitamins and nutrients with a special herbal blend to help prepare your body for giving birth. It contains important nutrients like calcium, iron, vitamin B, D and K to maintain your vitality and keep you healthy.

During this phase, your baby begins to gain weight rapidly by storing fat and other minerals like iron, and calcium. Blood flow to your womb increases significantly to accommodate your baby’s growth spurt. Prenatal Ease Stage 3 ensures that you get the right levels of iron and calcium to support your baby’s growth.

Some mothers may experience abnormal blood sugar levels during the third trimester. Prenatal Ease Stage 3 contains essential minerals like chromium to help your body maintain normal blood sugar levels and glucose metabolism.

Many moms suffer from indigestion, bloating and constipation during this time due to the extra progesterone being created by your body. Progesterone helps to relax your muscles, but it can also relax the muscles in your gastrointestinal tract. Prenatal Ease Stage 3 contains peppermint to help relieve indigestion and bloating and it contains just the right amount of iron so that it doesn’t aggravate constipation, but still satisfy your body’s needs

Prenatal Ease Nursing

Prenatal Ease Nursing is a comprehensive multivitamin specially formulated for new moms who are breastfeeding. Containing 21 important vitamins and minerals essential for nursing your growing baby this scientifically based formulation will help replenish your body’s store of vitamins B, C, D, E & K, and iodine lost during nursing. It is a rich source of plant-based vitamin A, beta-carotene.

Breastfeeding can be nutritionally demanding on your body. A typical mother will need to consume an extra 500 calories to meet her body’s energy requirements. Your vitamin and mineral requirements will also change during this time. Many minerals like iron, zinc, and calcium need to be replenished as they are consumed by your baby for their growing body. Prenatal Ease Nursing will provide you with all the essential minerals and vitamins that are lost during breastfeeding.

Vitamin A is essential for the proper development of the baby’s eyes, heart, ears, limbs, bones, skin, and immune system. Unfortunately, newborns have very low levels of vitamin A and get all of it from breast milk. Prenatal Ease Nursing is a rich source of beta-carotene, a source of vitamin A. One of the benefits of taking beta-carotene instead of vitamin A is the difficulty of overdosing. Your body will only create more vitamin A from beta-carotene if you need it.

When babies are just born, they are deficient in vitamin K. Vitamin K is essential in making sure blood clots properly. Because of this once the baby is born they will typically receive a vitamin K injection. In addition to this injection, babies will continue to absorb vitamin K through breast

milk. Taking Prenatal Ease Nursing will help ensure you and your baby will get the necessary vitamin K.

Prenatal Ease Omega3 DHA

Prenatal Ease Omega 3 DHA is the perfect companion to all the Prenatal Ease products. You can take it before, during and after pregnancy. And it is great for dads too, especially when trying to conceive.

Omega 3 fatty acids are essential to your nutrition and can only be obtained through diet. The richest sources of Omega 3 are from oily fish, but unfortunately most women do not eat the recommended amount. Prenatal Ease Omega 3 DHA provides you with all the recommended Omega 3 fatty acids. Our fish oil is first made from fish that is naturally low in contaminates and then it is further purified through molecular distillation. They are then tested in house and by a third-party laboratory to ensure maximum purity and quality.

Within the Omega 3 fatty acids, the two most beneficial fatty acids are DHA and EPA. DHA is essential to fetal growth and development and is particularly important to visual and cognitive development. EPA supports the development of the cardiovascular, immune and inflammatory system. Studies also show that EPA is essential in helping the transportation of DHA through the placenta to the baby and it helps DHA get through the fetal cell membrane. Many studies have shown the benefits of taking both EPA and DHA together. Each serving of Prenatal Ease Omega 3 DHA has both DHA and EPA to ensure you get the maximum benefit of the Omega 3 fatty acids.

The Fight Against Stretchmarks

Stretch marks are partly related to the rapid weight gain and expansion of the abdominal wall. The collagen and elastin fibers in the dermis are rapidly thinned and stretched. The Prenatal Ease Belly Therapy line is designed to repair and nourish the stretching skin and sooth the itching that can occur during this process.

Prenatal Ease Ultimate Oil

Ultimate Oil is formulated with a nutrient-rich botanical blend to improve the skin’s appearance of stretch marks and relieve itchy, dry skin. It contains nourishing oils of Borage, Rosehip and Calendula, and highly purified extract of the Centella Asiatica herb and is packed with nutrients including Vitamin E, Gamma-Linolenic Acid (GLA) and Ferulic Acid. This advanced formulation promotes skin elasticity and resilience. When it is applied it is instantly absorbed, leaving your skin noticeably nourished.

Prenatal Ease Ultra-Nourishing Cream

The Belly Therapy Ultra-Nourishing Cream was designed to repair and nourish the stretching skin. It is made with a special blend of plant-based ingredients to promote skin’s elasticity and improve the skin’s appearance from stretch marks.

It has both Shea and Cocoa butters to alleviate chapping and itching due to dry skin and helps to protect the skin’s moisture barrier. The blend of highly purified extract of the Centella Asiatica herb and nourishing oils of Borage, Rosehip and Calendula helps to repair and revitalize skin. This advanced formula is non-staining and penetrates deep into the skin, leaving it nourished, soft and supple.

Prenatal Ease Hydrating Lotion

The lightweight and non-greasy lotion is made with a special blend of plant-based ingredients to help improve the skin’s appearance from stretch marks.

Like the Ultra-Nourishing Cream, the Hydrating Lotion contains both Shea and Cocoa butters to protect the skin’s moisture barrier, along with a highly purified extract of the Centella Asiatica herb and nourishing oils of Borage, Rosehip and Calendula to help repair and revitalize skin. This advanced formulation is light and non-staining and upon application the skin is instantly hydrated and refreshed.

by Claire Smith

After hearing so many positive birth stories with using TENS, from mums and midwives, I felt reassured knowing I had my perfect mamaTens machine ready and waiting. I was hoping for a natural birth following an emergency caesarean with my first baby.

Two days before my due date, I was sitting with my friend, late in the evening, chatting and feeling really relaxed, when I felt my water break. My friends face made me laugh when I told her, “I think my waters have gone”, her eyes went really wide and she said, “shall I make you a cup of tea?!”

Knowing its best to start using TENS as early as possible during labour we stuck the pads on my back, and I started using the machine on the first programme, A, increasing the intensity so I could feel a gentle pulsing. We called the hospital and they asked us to visit, in order to monitor my progress for a little while, to make sure all was well with me and the baby. After an hour I was relieved that the midwife was happy for us to continue with my labour at home. It was around midnight, and I was only getting a few small twinges, so my husband took himself off to bed. But I really did not feel like sleeping and wanted to keep upright and moving around, so with my TENS machine attached to the neck cord, I slowly walked around, packing and repacking my hospital bag several times. I felt so calm and relaxed and with it being the middle of the night it was lovely and peaceful.

As my labour progressed, I increased the intensity of the TENS machine and used the boost button to help me through the contractions. When you press the boost button, the stimulation changes from a pulsing feeling to a more constant buzzing, then when the contraction has passed you turn the boost button off to return back to the pulsing. Having this to focus on really helped me when my contractions became stronger. I switched the TENS to programme B, which is similar to A, as it works by building your endorphins, but the feeling of the stimulation is slightly different. Having the back-lit screen was also helpful, so I could see what I was doing with the machine when pottering about in our dark bedroom.

At Around 6.30am my contractions became strong and frequent; it was definitely time to make our way to the hospital. When we arrived at around 7am I was so happy to hear I was 9.5cm dilated! Still using the TENS machine, now along with gas and air, our beautiful Chloe arrived at 8.16am!

I was so happy I could enjoy those first cuddles and spend time skin to skin with my precious new baby, and able to hold my little one straight away. With no side effects from the pain relief, I could really enjoy the moment.

It was an amazing birth experience, very different from my first and the recovery time was very different too. We were able to go home the same day.

My tips for using TENS, practice with the machine first and start using the machine as soon as you can during labour. And remember you can also use it for general back pain from 37 weeks and to help ease any after pains.

Blog provided by TensTalk with TensCare.

Going into labour and having the perfect birthing plan takes a lot of time and preparation. There is tons of advice floating around over the web and undoubtedly friends and family will have advice to share with you as well, however, there is no one solution that fits all. All women are different and should be celebrated as such.

We have compiled a list of 5 drug-free pain relief options during childbirth so you can decide how to feel better naturally.

Hypnotherapy

Often to numb out the pain we try to shift our focus somewhere else. This is the foundation of the hypnotherapy approach. In its essence, the practice is self-hypnosis that relies on finding distractions that provide support. In succeeding to do so, tension, pain and fright will be numbed by concentration.

The thought behind this drug-free pain relief method is based on a study that proves correlation of fear and muscle tension. Entering labour being frightened will force your body raise adrenaline levels, which will in turn cause tension of the cervix and muscles.

Unlike most drug-free pain relief in labour practices, hypnotherapy doesn’t rely on outside forces and gives you full control over its effectivity. Common practices to prepare women for childbirth such as breathing and visualisation classes are aimed at usage of hypnotherapy.

TENS Machine

TENS translates into Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation and is a medically proven drug-free pain relief measure, widely used in different stages of labour. A Maternity TENS machine is a small stimulator that runs on a battery. It sends barely noticeable electric impulses to override the pain signals to your brain through your skin, using self-adhesive pads.

TENS machines are most effective when used in early labour; they not only help you manage your contractions but also give you support in maintaining mobility. TENS equipment can be used by virtually anybody, with an exception to those suffering from epilepsy, heart rhythm disorders or those using a pacemaker.

Massage

Humans generally find comfort in touch. And, of course, physical contact is just as important in labour. A touch of someone dear naturally makes us relax. Muscle tension is what stops production of endorphins, thus making contractions more painful than they should be.

Studies and research shows that women that were massaged during childbirth had shorter labours and had a lower probability of developing postnatal depression. Additionally, they weren’t as anxious and had experienced less pain. Other findings showed that something as little as handholding or patting does miracles to one’s ability to cope.

Water Birth

When it comes to drug-free pain relief in labour, water birth is one of the oldest practices. Our affinity to water begins in the womb, where we spend 9 months in water, and thus babies can swim upon being born – and it is genetically ingrained in us to naturally relax when our body is submerged.

Even in labour water is able to help you relax, and thus release more endorphins that contribute towards relaxation and taking the edge off of pain. Being relaxed means having more control over your pacing and reserving energy for when you actually need it.

Reflexology

Last but not the least on our list of drug-free pain relief methods is reflexology. It is an alternative medicine practice consisting of applying pressure on different spots of one’s feet to stimulate various body parts.

It is usually done by a trained specialist that knows the right spots to stimulate which helps by releasing hormones that can speed up labour. This can be practised either as a one-off or continued in timed intervals, contributing towards a feeling of calm and helping ease the pain.

It is important that all expectant mothers consult with their health care practitioners when deciding on the right pain-relief option for them, ultimately it is about selecting the right

environment and solution that will help you feel better naturally and assist you in welcoming your new bundle of joy.

Blog provided by TensTalk with TensCare.