Childbirth Care Kit for Moms

Childbirth Care Kit | Mommy Miracles

November 26th was my sister’s birthday. She was scheduled to have her third baby two days later. I admit that I was completely clueless about what to get her for her birthday. I didn’t want to get her anything pregnancy related, because she was nearly done being pregnant. I didn’t want to get her clothes because as any Mom knows, our bodies change shape and size during those months following delivery. I didn’t want to get her something for the baby because, well, her birthday should be about her, especially when so much about the days following her birthday will be about the new baby. I wanted her to get something that she could use on her birthday and during the following days, and I wanted to find a gift that would make her feel special and pampered.

Childbirth is one of those things that can bring women together. We seem to be bonded together by it and we’re fascinated with it even before we experience it first hand. We want to share our stories after we’ve experienced it. We want to advocate for one another and compete against one another and do whatever we can to help make other experiences better. We’re connected by this experience, even if we don’t share the exact same circumstances.

Amy and I are connected in sisterhood, but we’re now also connected in motherhood. Up until very recently, she was pregnant with her third baby. I am pregnant with my third baby. And while we have different experiences – she started her motherhood journey two years after I did; she has delivered by cesarian section, I’ve delivered vaginally – we render these differences obsolete because motherhood trumps it all. We’re both Moms.

We all have women like this in our lives – women who are as close as sisters. And when these women go through childbirth, we want to hold their hands through it, even if it can only be metaphorically. We want to know when labour starts and how it is progressing and how everyone is doing after. And we want to celebrate our sister in her journey.

So, for Amy’s birthday, I made her a Childbirth Care Kit. The care kit was all about her. I knew she would get lots of things for the baby in the days surrounding the birth. I wanted the care kit to be useful from the day she opened it (on her birthday, two days before she was scheduled to have the baby), to her time in the hospital, to the days following at home.

The best thing about a care kit like this for pregnant women leading up to their delivery date is that while it is entirely appropriate and wonderful for first time Moms, it is also something that can be gifted to women who have had children before. Most, if not all of the items inside the care kit will be helpful regardless if the mom is already stocked up on these type of items. Also, the care kit is appropriate for Moms no matter how they deliver their baby. So if you’re wondering how to help a Mom who is about to go into labour, regardless of whether it is her first time or her fifth time, this might be the perfect thing.

Childbirth Care Kit | Mommy Miracles

What to include in the Childbirth Care Kit for Moms:

Fuzzy socks/Slippers

I swear by fuzzy socks during childbirth. There’s something about the hospital room and epidurals that call for something warm and cozy on your feet. Bonus points if these socks have non-slip grips on the bottom so that Mama can walk around safely while labouring in the delivery room, even without shoes.

Slippers are another great option, especially for the days after the baby is born, but even sometimes during childbirth as well (assuming you don’t mind getting some fluids on them). In the days after giving birth, there is a lot of getting in and out of bed to tend to a baby between periods of rest, and slippers are an absolute must, (though fuzzy socks with grips could just as easily do the trick too).

Hand Cream

Hospitals can feel very dry. Make sure Mama has something nice at her disposal to help dry hands during and after childbirth. For the sake of the baby and everyone else in the near vicinity, especially in a hospital setting, go for a hand cream that is only lightly scented or unscented.

Nail polish

Who knows if the new Mom is going to have time to paint her fingers (or the ability to reach her toes) in the days surrounding her delivery, but somehow a little bottle of colour manages to make a Mom feel so amazing. Between the time required to paint them and let them dry and the lingering effect of feeling slightly put together, nail polish can give a new Mama a much needed boost. And if she can’t find the time to use it around the new baby, she can always use it later when she has a chance.

Nipple Cream

If the new Mom is going to be breastfeeding, nipple cream is an absolute must! I remember before I gave birth to my first baby thinking that I would just run out to the drug store if and when I needed nipple cream. I soon realized that I definitely needed it and I needed it at a time that I wasn’t able to just jump into the car and pick some up. I sent my Mom out during one of those first postpartum days. Don’t let your Mom-friend go into her postpartum days without it. Give yourself bonus points if your care kit includes a fancy nipple cream that you can’t just pick up at the local drug store. Specialty baby shops will be able to suggest their favourites.

Reusable breast pads

It is likely that most new Moms, whether they choose to breastfeed or not, will need to use breast pads for a time after baby is born to control leaks. While you can always pick up disposable breast pads at the drugstore, having a few reusable ones is always nice. They’re good to have around in case you run out of disposables, earth-friendly Moms will want to use them all the time, and they’re more comfortable than disposables.

Lip balm

Remember how dry hospitals can be? Get a nice, easy to apply lip balm for the care kit.

Snacks

In the hours following childbirth, Mamas get ravenous. And sometimes (good) food just isn’t easy to come by, especially in a hospital situation. Include some of the new Mom’s favourite snacks, or send some fresh baked goods to take to the hospital.

Coffee/Tea/Hot Chocolate

You know your new-Mom friend best. Include something that she’ll be able to enjoy either in the hospital or during the surrounding days. A Starbucks gift card is a great idea. So is a comforting loose leaf tea. (You can even get teas specifically for breastfeeding Moms!). I probably would have gotten my sister a Starbucks card if the nearest Starbucks wasn’t over an hour away from her. Instead, I included a gourmet hot chocolate by one of my favourite hot chocolate brands. While she won’t be able to make a mug of it during her hospital stay, I sure hope she can enjoy it now that she’s home with my new little nephew.

Magazine(s)

There is a lot of waiting around when you’re in labour. Sometimes the best thing to pass the time is a magazine to quickly flip through without expending much mental energy.

Book

I found that I took to reading a lot after my babies were born as I spent a lot of time sitting and nursing. E-readers are absolutely amazing for this, and if your friend has one, consider including a gift card for an ebook of their choice. If your friend only reads physical books, include a gift card for a bookstore if they’ll be opening the care kit early enough to pick a book themselves, or pick up a book that you would recommend they read. I was lucky. My sister had asked for a specific book on a Christmas wish list, so I was able to get her a book that I know she wants to read.

Pack it Up

Find a cute tote bag or box to pack up the care kit. It is ideal if it can easily be transported to and from the hospital.

Childbirth Care Kit | Mommy Miracles

What are some of things that you would have loved to be pampered with for your childbirth experience?

(If you’re the pregnant Mama about to go into labour and this list is helping you think about what to bring to the hospital, check out this hospital packing checklist).

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Getting to Know You

I remember Cameron’s face scrunching up a few minutes after I ate a spiced cookie during our 3D ultrasound with him. I remember how he used to dance in time to the music each week when we went to listen to our friend play music at the local pub. I remember how active he was, so active that he’d make me feel nauseous. I remember him jumping at loud noises when we went to the movies.

These memories are all from those nine months that he spent inside of me, before I even got the chance to kiss his little face for the first time.

Now my biggest boy is picky with the food he eats. He loves music and dancing and has always wanted to bust a move when a good beat is playing. He runs non-stop. I can’t make him slow down, sometimes not even at bedtime.

Getting to Know You | Cameron | Mommy Miracles

I remember how Gavin moved less, quieter in comparison to my first pregnancy. He was born 12 days after his due date and refused to drop even when I was in labour, without a whole lot of convincing.

My (current) littlest boy has been snuggly from the moment he finally emerged from my womb. He’s quieter than his brother, and calmer, still. He is always eager for a hug or a cuddle. Gavin is sensitive and reacts better to quieter voices. And he’s incredibly stubborn. So stubborn that he breaks out his loud voice for those times when things don’t go his way.

Getting to Know You | Gavin | Mommy Miracles

I hold onto these memories, these introductions to the boys whom I have the pleasure of spending these years with. I couldn’t know that the baby who moved to the music would love to dance or that he’d be a little boy named Cameron with puffy hair and big green eyes and a determination that stems from just enough competitiveness. I couldn’t know that the baby I would count kicks with was just a little quieter than I was used to. That this little one who didn’t want to leave his Mama would be a little boy named Gavin with straight hair and big brown eyes who just wants to stay close and who has a wicked sense of humour.

But now I know.

I know that I was privy to these little tidbits of their personalities, even when they were still in my womb so that when they were born, I already knew them. I can talk about my pregnancy experience with each child, but only I get to experience these babies in ways no one else can. I have the opportunity to watch and see how their little prenatal quirks will develop into the people they are today and in the future.

This baby inside me now doesn’t have a name. We don’t know the baby’s sex. But I do know that this baby moves and jumps to the sound of the brothers. This baby starts to wiggle when I’m riding on the bus and goes crazy when I eat something sweet. This baby quiets down at night. This baby is less active than Cameron was, but perhaps a little more active than Gavin. These are the little things, things only I feel, that introduce me to this baby a little more. I don’t know what they mean or what they’ll become. I don’t know whether this baby is a boy or a girl and I don’t know what name we’ll know this baby by. I don’t know what this baby’s hair will look like or what colour this baby’s eyes will be or whether this baby will be competitive or stubborn or snuggly or a dancer or laugh out loud funny.

What I do know is that someday I’ll look back on this pregnancy and realize that I am getting to know this child even now. I will watch a completely unique personality forming and I’ll remember little clues from this pregnancy that point to who this child is.

Getting to Know You | Ultrasound of Baby 3 | Mommy Miracles

*Ultrasound at 29 weeks, 5 days pregnant*

I feel privileged to experience these early introductions to my children through pregnancy, but I also look for opportunities to help my family get to know this new little part of our family growing inside of me. Telling my family what the baby is doing and letting them feel the kicks and watch the movements is a key part in that. I am so grateful that UC Baby Halifax gave us yet another opportunity to get to know this beautiful little baby as a family. We went back for a second visit in November to see how the baby has grown. I wrote about our first visit here. The Halifax location of UC Baby very kindly offered me these ultrasound sessions complementary so I could write about the experience. Check out their Christmas deals if you’re looking to get a 3D ultrasound this month.

Getting to Know You | Mommy Miracles

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The Weather Outside is Frightful and So Is Our Skin

How to keep skin from getting dry in cold weather | Mommy Miracles

My babies have sensitive skin.

With the cold, dry weather coming, I am anticipating another winter of skin issues, just like all the previous winters since having children. Everyone who struggles with dry, sensitive skin knows that things get bad at this time of year.

In the winter, my children’s hands crack. Their cheeks stay constantly rosy because of how dry they are. Their lips chap. We’ve also dealt with unexplained hives on both of our children, though that isn’t unique to the winter.

Mamas like me know we have to take strong action to combat the winter dry, sensitive skin woes. Sometimes combatting dry, chapped, winter skin isn’t just about the products we choose to use. It is about our everyday actions. These tips will work for the whole family, from the very littlest babies to Mom and Dad!

Don’t linger in the tub

Ironically, more tub time can contribute to dryer skin. Feel free to skip a few daily baths, and try to keep tub time to 10 minutes or less. Focus on getting clean instead of soaking and don’t use hot water.

Moisturize

Since baths can dry out skin, moisturize afterwards and try to keep up a moisturizing regime every 12 hours. Don’t forget about those lips! If you notice your child has dry lips, add lip balm to your nightly routine. My kids have their own tubes in their toothbrush drawer and apply every night after they brush.

Humidify

We all know what a dry house feels like in the winter. Consider getting a cool-mist humidifier for your child’s room or something a little bigger for the house. The outside air is damaging enough for our skin, make your inside air a little more soothing.

Stay hydrated

Staying well hydrated can do wonders for our skin too. Encourage little ones to keep drinking! While I know some people think sippy cups aren’t great for childhood development, I am all for encouraging children to walk around during the winter with non-spill cups full of water so that they can take sips whenever they want. If you’re breastfeeding, try to breastfeed a little more often to encourage this same hydration. And don’t forget to stay hydrated yourself!

Change diapers often

Trust me on this one – a bad diaper rash can be hard to get rid of (I have a recent trip to the pharmacy about this very issue to back my statement up). When your children are already experiencing skin issues, it is important to be extra careful to avoid diaper rash. The best way to do this is to take soiled diapers off quickly and to even encourage bare bum time. Use a trusted barrier cream to keep the wetness off the skin, even before signs of rash show up.

When you are purchasing trusted products to keep skin feeling healthy and soft in the winter, consider that you might want more than one option for ease of use. I have hand cream at my desk at work and beside my bed at home (I need some for my purse). My favourite lip balm can be found on my desk, by my bed, in my purse, and in my car. I have a glass of water going wherever I am, and it might be great to also have a sippy cup for the kids in the rooms they hang out in most.

Do you suffer from dry skin in the winter? What are some of your best tips and tricks for dealing with them?

Thanks to Disney Baby for sharing some of these great tips with me. I am a Disney Baby Mom which means I am sent blogging topics and great Disney products for baby.

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