Amherst Postpartum Resources
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As you prepare to welcome a baby into your family there are so many things to consider. Am I taking good care of my body and preparing it for birth? How do I know which swaddle blanket to buy? How do I plan for postpartum wellness as I transition into parenthood? How can I manage my house and take care of a newborn? When is a good time to start childproofing or saving for college?
We gathered our favorite local resources in one convenient place.
Planning for a baby is no easy task and there are so many products on the market. Here are our favorite suggestions from baby must haves to music classes.
Some of our favorites for when baby arrives include:
Baby Connect: This is an easy way to track data about your newborn.We’re talking about all-in-one information on height, weight, growth, sleep, mood, activities, medicine, photos, etc. You can also have several authorized users for each child, including teachers, daycare staff, nannies, doctors, etc.
Eat Sleep: Probably the biggest sources of drama or confusion for first-time parents are eating/sleeping schedules. This is one of the simplest apps for keeping track of your baby’s all-important eating and sleeping habits.
White Noise Baby: Speaking of sleeping … this helps get your newborn to sleep. Noises include car ride, vacuum cleaner, and types of animals. You can also set it in Baby Mode so that naptime won’t be interrupted.
We are huge fan of glass bottles. These are my top three:
Set up a few changing stations in key rooms around your home with baskets filled with diapers, wipes, burp cloths, diaper rash cream, tissues, hand sanitizer and a few extra outfits. This will save you endless trips to the nursery!
Yes, you really do need to make a plan for diapers!
Invest in a quality brand such as the Honest Company to prevent leaks. Plan on having at least one package of the newborn size and at least two packages of size one. You can always fold a bigger diaper to fit a smaller baby but you can’t stretch a small diaper to fit a bigger baby!
Not any diaper pail will do. There are tons on the market but only a few hold up to my standards -- or, in other words, they don’t offend my nose. I can’t stand walking into a house and the first thing I smell is a dirty diaper. The Diaper Dekor is tried and true but I’m really starting to love the Ubbi diaper pail is made of steel for the ultimate odor control.
Butt Ointment. Yup I said it, butt ointment. The best way to prevent diaper rash is to use a barrier. My favorites are A&D ointment and Aquaphor. Buy them in the tubes, less mess than using the tubs. You can easily squeeze some onto baby’s butt instead of dipping your finger into the tub, which always creates a much bigger mess. I get at least 3-4 tubes to start with. If your baby does get a rash then I would recommend Diaper rash and thrush or Triple paste.
Formula and Gas
Breastfeeding isn’t for everyone,and thats ok! The decision to choose the best formula for your little one can be overwhelming. My favorites are Holle or Hipp that ship from the US, Earth’s Best formula or Honest Organic Formula it has far less sugar than similac or other popular brands.
Most babies experience some sort of gas pains -- and some babies more frequently than others. My favorite remedy is Gripe Water, it’s good idea to have it on hand for when baby comes home. My clients always get surprised with the amount of gripe water in one dose, but this stuff really works! (Here’s a hint: it works well for adults too.)
Helping you get through the night
All households should have a humidifier. You never know when you are going to need it and it’s usually in the middle of the night when you figure out that you need it now. My favorite brand is Crane. If you decide not to get one ahead of time and find yourself in a jam with a stuffed up baby, steaming up your bathroom is the next best thing.
Getting a good baby monitor is essential if you live in a multi-level house or if you are the kind of parent that needs constant peace of mind that your little one is ok. I like both video and voice monitors and the decision really depends on what works best for your family and budget. My top three video monitors are Nest camera which you can access right from your smart phone. The thought of setting that up can be overwhelming, Level Up Your Home helps you get everything set up and running smoothly. Then there is the Infant Optics or the Motorola Baby Monitor. If you are one of those parents that really worries about SIDS or won’t sleep because you will watch your baby’s chest rise and fall with every breath, then the Owlet is for you!
A White Noise Machine is the most effective sleep aid for babies, helping them cry less and sleep better. It is recommended to have the white noise machine at least 6 feet away from where baby is sleeping.
Get some Zzzzzz's ......... sleep is so important for recovery. Try to nap every time your baby naps in the first few weeks. If you are one who doesn’t manage well without sleep then hiring Nightingale Night Nurse might be something to look into!
Swaddling is so important and we are a huge fan of it! I’ve worked with over a hundred babies and I think I can count a total of three who didn’t like to be swaddled. Babies love it and need it to sleep well. There are tons of options that work for most parents. Here are my top 5 favorites: Little Unicorn Swaddle Blankets, Miracle Blanket, Swaddle Me, Gunapod Swaddle Sack and if swaddling really isn’t your thing then Magic Sleepsuit is a good option.
Prepare for teething
It will happen sooner or later and you bet your buttons you need to be prepared! Highlands teething tablets and camillia homeopathic remedy work wonders together! Soaking a washcloth in chamomile tea, folding it in quarters, then freezing it flat makes for a wonderful soothing teething tool! Babies love how it tastes and the chamomile helps calm your little one!
A gentle hands on therapy that can help with birth trauma, colic, gastrointestinal pain and reflux, constipation, head shape issues and developmental delays.
Revolution Community Bodywork
525 Mass Ave | Acton MA, 01720 | 978.263.4959
Tongue & Lip Tie
If your baby has a tongue or lip tie, it’s no laughing matter. It can interfere with breastfeeding and milk production. Seeing a professional in tongue and lip ties sooner than later can be a life saver for both mom and baby. Learn more from our blog on When you’re all tied up.
Lexington Smile Studio - Dr. Fawn Rosenbury, DMD FAGD
922 Waltham St, Suite 202 | Lexington, MA 02421 | 781.861.7645
Kid Care Dental P.C. - Dr. Martin Kaplan, DMD
1613 Central Street | Stoughton, MA 02072 | 781.341.0320
Feeling confident in your parenting decisions, looking for the perfect family home or saving for college can feel overwhelming. Here are our favorite local resources.
New Mom groups
We all know going somewhere for the first time with a new baby can be awkward, but let’s face it, all new moms go through this. A new moms group is a great way to escape from isolation and connect with other local moms.
If you are like me and are terrible at remembering to take pictures even though you have a beautiful camera sitting on the shelf collecting dust, then scheduling a photo shoot with a professional photographer once or twice a year is a must! If you are considering Newborn photography, your baby is only little once, and they grow so fast and you only have a short window to document your little bundle.
Sarah Prall Photography captures meaningful memories through fine art photography that help tell your family’s story. They started off as wedding photographers, but have grown with their clients watching them grow from a couple into a new family. Photographing every milestone along the way. Promessa Studios offers in-home photo sessions, capturing those first few weeks at with your new baby. 413.835.1578
Imagine feeling confident that the parenting decisions you are making daily are in line with your family’s values. Beth will help you discover what is currently working in your family and build on this, evaluating the systems you have in place and helping create a plan of action to attain the family life that you desire. Working with Beth is a uniquely personal way to support yourself in the day to day as you raise your children.
*Beth does her parent coaching over the phone.
We all know the decision to have children has a huge impact on our life and finances. Getting proper financial plans in place is essential.
Diana V Smith
81.556.0050 | Diana.V.Smith@ampf.com
Staying healthy during your pregnancy is so important. Learn how chiropractic care, yoga, acupuncture and massage can help your body handle weight gain and prepare for birth.
Acupuncture is a technique for balancing the flow of energy that flow through pathways in your body. It can help to alleviate morning sickness, get baby in an optimal position for birth, help soften the cervix and induce labor.
27 Brewster CT | Northampton, MA 01062 | 413.222.8616
There are many hormonal and physical changes that happen during pregnancy and 50% of women will experience some sort of back, hip or joint aches and pains throughout their pregnancy. Seeing a chiropractor regularly can help align your hips making more room for baby to get into an optimal position for birth.
Amherst Family Chiropractic
228 Triangle Street, Amherst MA 01002 | 413.549.1500
The power of touch can help moms to be get better sleep, strengthen their immune system and reduce stress and anxiety, Some studies show that women who have regular prenatal massages throughout their pregnancy have a higher chance of reduced pain during childbirth. (sign me up!)
30 Boltwood Walk , Amherst MA 01002 | 413.658.5782
Prenatal yoga is a key ingredient to a happy and healthy pregnancy. It can help improve sleep, reduce stress and anxiety, increase strength, flexibility and endurance of muscles used in childbirth, decrease lower back pain, and help relieve headaches and nausea.
17 Kellog Street, Amherst, MA 01002 | 413.256.0604
104 Russell Street, Hadley MA | 413.586.3504
Adding a baby to the mix can be stressful, simplify your life by getting organized and finding the right support with household chores, pets, baby proofing and more!
Adding a new baby to a household with a dog can be overwhelming for you and your dog. Dogs that don’t get enough exercise or attention can exhibit destructive behavior because of boredom. Hiring a dog walker to come once a day for the first weeks can be a huge help!
Getting down on your hands and knees to scrub the toilet while eight months pregnant and chasing a toddler, is challenging and exhausting. It’s ok to just need help with the everyday things. Having someone come in once or twice a month and tackle bathrooms, dusting and vacuuming can be a huge help.
Your to do list before baby arrives is a mile long. The spare room needs to be cleaned out and turned into a nursery. Everyone loves the idea of “finally” getting organized but planning and executing are two different things. Sometimes the only way to get it all done is call in the professionals.
Designing a nursery that is both beautiful and functional is no easy task. With Pinterest it’s easy to come up with color schemes and furniture layouts. But as I have learned I can’t always “nail it”. Interior Designers offer a range of services, from creating color schemes and giving furniture and organizing ideas to fully overseeing the project from start to finish.
Caring for yourself postpartum is absolutely key to a healthy transition to new parenthood. Discover our favorite local resources to ease your postpartum recovery.
Prepare with a breastfeeding class and find an experienced friend or family member for extra support.
In terms of the physical “things” you need, I suggest having nipple cream, gel pads,The Ultimate Book of Breastfeeding Answers, breast pads (these are the best on the market!), cabbage leaves (to help ease the pain of engorgement) and coconut oil (great nipple moisturizer and antifungal barrier) all on hand before baby comes. Buy a few nursing tanks ahead of time (Target has some great options), but hold off on buying nursing bras until after the first couple weeks of breastfeeding when your breasts have reached their new size.
Breastfeeding in public can seem scary, but with covered goods, they’ve got you covered! It’s a nursing cover, carseat cover, cart cover and a scarf all in one!
Picking out the right breast pump and having it before your baby arrives is so important! It can help with your milk supply in those first few weeks! There are so many pumps on the market and your insurance will cover one! My two favorite pumps are Medela or Spectra S2. If you’re not sure how to figure out what pump is best for you, then Acelleron can help and they handle all of the insurance paperwork for you. The best part, they overnight the pump to you! Bing, bang -- you’re done!
Some of us are fortunate to never leak during our breastfeeding journey. Then there are women like me with breasts like Niagara falls if I hear any baby cry. I always wore black in public, since it was less obvious to see wet spots on my chest. Oh how I wish I had known about Marley’s Monsters then, they are the BEST breast pads ever and you can support a mom by buying them!
Eating healthy foods, including vegetables, fruits, protein and whole grains is so important while breastfeeding. Your body needs more calories than it did while you were growing your baby on the inside. Stock up on snacks that are easy to eat with one hand. You will be surprised how hungry you get every time you sit down to nurse. Say yes to anyone that is offering to make or buy food for you. Better yet, ask a friend to set up a meal train for you.
Think carefully about what foods you are eating if you are breastfeeding. Most babies are sensitive to gassy foods like broccoli, cabbage, garlic, pineapple (bummer) and anything really spicy, along with the milk proteins in dairy. Baby’s intestines can take time to adjust to new foods, and can result in a very fussy baby.
Nursing Station and Pillows
You will spend a lot of time nursing or feeding your new baby, so setting up a few nursing/feeding stations around your home can be a huge help. Find a comfy chair -- i.e. one that you can imagine spending countless hours in. Have a little table within arm’s reach with a basket filled with water and snacks that are easy to eat with one hand, breast pads, your phone, charger and a good book on tape.
Nursing Pillows -- again there are so many on the market! It really comes down to personal comfort. Here are a few of my favorites to look at:
Healing tips for down under
Stiz bath spray is the bomb and must have for your lady bits. Let’s be honest sometimes, delivery can be a little rough on your vaguna. It will help heal your lady bits heal in no time! Be prepared and have it on hand before you give birth, if you don’t use it you can always gift it to a friend.
Make your own vaginal Ice packs ahead of time. Soak the middle section of large pads with witch hazel and freeze in a large ziplock bag.. These can be made as early as a month before your due date. When you come home from the hospital your sore bottom will thank you.
This doesn’t really have to do with prepping for baby, but ... have you thought about Placenta encapsulation? Taking your dried placenta as a pill can help reduce bleeding, support good milk supply, speed up recovery, boost energy, replenish depleted iron levels, and relieve postpartum blues.