On Thursday, October 30th we gathered at the Motherhood Center for our Baby Bump Social.  We welcomed guests into our newly renovated space with some mocktails and tours of our space. From there, moms relaxed with complimentary chair massages from our amazing team.  Our guests mixed and mingled, grabbed some refreshments, and took their seats in our yoga room to hear from our panel of experts.  

Our panel was introduced by our President & Founder, Gabriela Gerhart. The panel consisted of:

Amanda Benetz, Newborn Care Expert

Dena Rogge, Pregnancy 101, Newborn care, and Childbirth Education.

Renee Bowling, Breastfeed Expert and In-Home Lactation Consultant

Loretta Caddigan, Prenatal and Postnatal Fitness

After the panel was introduced the room was opened up for questions. Below are some of the questions and answers from the session.  

When should I start sleeping on my left side during pregnancy?  The general consensus from our panel was that from 20 weeks on it’s best to aim to sleep on your left side. The reason for this is for better circulation and to keep baby’s heart rate as even as possible.  

How long can I be on my back during pregnancy? For example, if I’m working out?  It’s best to spend as little time as possible fully down on your back. You experience times in prenatal yoga when you are reclining, but you are using props to elevate yourself. It depends on each person’s body, but stop being on your back if you start to feel physical symptoms including lightheadedness and dizziness. The reason to avoid being on your back as your pregnancy progresses is because it cuts down the circulation to the baby due to the weight of the uterus pressing down the vena cava, one of your major arteries.  This is also why it is recommended that you sleep on your side.

What is an induction massage?  Induction massages are an option for moms who are at 39 weeks or farther in their pregnancies. The massage therapist works on pressure points that trigger labor and are generally avoided during pregnancy. It isn’t so intense that you would necessarily know what is happening, but it sets the body on a natural path if the body is ready for labor. If the body just isn’t ready it probably isn’t going to happen, but the massage will still feel good!

What can you do about acid reflux?  After a certain point, the baby is getting so big that they are pressing up against the stomach and other organs. A few ways you can help alleviate symptoms are sitting up and elevating yourself.  Avoid eating very fatty or spicy foods and try to eat smaller meals. The good news is that birth should take care of it!

What is a Postpartum or Baby Doula?  Doulas are there to support and guide parents whether it’s during pregnancy, birth, or during the postpartum period. They are non-medical individuals. A baby doula is someone who comes to the family’s home once the baby is born to help the family in any way that they need.

How does a night nanny work?  We have an eight-hour minimum for overnight help. Within that night nannies can come anytime that works for your schedule. A lot of times they come earlier the first few nights and then start to taper off from there. Some clients will want their night nanny with them seven nights a week for a few weeks, or a few months. Others may want them for maybe a few nights a week for a few weeks.  Or sometimes we have clients who call us as needed in the afternoon really exhausted to ask if they can get help that night. We have a large team of caregivers so we can be pretty flexible and accommodating.

Do you recommend any food you should eat during pregnancy to improve lactation?There isn’t really anything to do during pregnancy, but after the baby is born there are good foods to support a mother’s milk supply. Some of these include rolled or steel cut oatmeal, flaxseed, brewer’s yeast, chickpeas, papaya, pumpkin seeds, and just a really well-rounded and healthy diet.  

If my mom had a hard time with breastfeeding should I be concerned?  No! We don’t know exactly what went on before. It’s a good sign if mom gets good changes in her breasts during pregnancy. Tender breasts and growth are positive signs that milk supply will be where it needs to be. 

Can you still have success with breastfeeding if baby has to go to the NICU?  It can be harder as a lot of NICU babies can’t breastfeed at all. They are fed through tube feeds and then they start bottle feeding. It takes a lot of effort and energy for babies that are born early to feed so they start with the bottle and then they offer the breast. When possible, the nurses in the NICU try to have the moms come in and breastfeed as much as they can. However, just because your baby is in the NICU it does not mean your breastfeeding journey is over, it may just take a little bit more work and support to make it happen.

When buying a breast pump should I be concerned about having an open or closed system?  Not if it is for personal use. Hospital-grade pumps are closed systems because multiple people use them.

How do you transition to going back to work and create a back supply of milk for baby?  If you are trying to create a back supply, it is great to pump after baby feeds so you aren’t taking away from baby and you signal your body that you need just a little bit more. You will start small, but this way you will have enough back supply for those first few days when you go back to work. Following that the rule of thumb is you will breastfeed when you are with baby and pump when you aren’t. 

We concluded the event with our door prize raffle. Congrats to all of the winners! A huge thanks to our panel and to everyone who came out to our Baby Bump Social. If you have any questions about childbirth, newborn care, or lactation, be sure to check out our education classes taught by some of the experts who were on our panel. If you weren’t able to make it to the event, we would be happy to show you around the Motherhood Center whenever it is convenient for you and answer any questions you might have!