Wednesday
Apr102013

My Agonizing Decision To Take Prescription Medication For Severe Morning Sickness

Kate Middleton is English Royalty, but I bet she didn’t feel very Royal when she was hospitalized recently for severe morning sickness. I can sympathize with her because I too had the kind of morning sickness that literally brought me to my knees.

Desperate for help, I went to my OB/GYN for advice. I practically crawled into her office with my husband, Barry, holding me up for support. I need some relief, fast. 

At about 8 weeks pregnant with my second child, I was desperate.  My morning sickness began promptly at 6 weeks and immediately became unbearable. Extreme nausea and vomiting plagued me all day and night. When I stood up, I got dizzy and threw up, even if I hadn’t eaten. I was exhausted from the lack of sleep and was subsisting on bread and juice.

I’d had similar symptoms with my first pregnancy 2 ½ years earlier, but I’d managed to keep working full time and quell the symptoms with the Relief Band, a pulsing wristband that looks like a watch. At exactly 12 weeks, my symptoms disappeared.

This pregnancy, however, the vomiting was so severe I couldn’t move without throwing up. It was like being on a boat in the middle of the ocean with 20 foot waves causing the boat to tilt and rock. I took a leave of absence from work and stayed in bed, unable to do anything, including care for my 2 year-old daughter.

My OB/GYN took one look at me and said, “you need help or I’ll have to check you into the hospital.”

“What are my options?” I asked.

My doctor explained there were prescription medications, Zofran and Phenergan, which would take away most—but not all – of my symptoms of morning sickness. She told me that while she felt the medications were safe, they were only prescribed in the most severe cases, like mine.

Of course, my first question was about the health of my unborn baby. Barry wanted to know if there could be any harm to the baby, including birth defects. My doctor responded that studies had shown these drugs, which had been on the market for some time, to be safe in animal studies, but nothing could ever be ruled out because no studies had been done on pregnant women. No researcher would ever risk the health of a pregnant woman or her unborn baby, she told us.

“I’ll take the prescription,” I said.

Worried sick and filled with anxiety, I walked slowly to the pharmacy located on a lower floor of the medical building. My head was spinning with scary thoughts about the baby’s health. I was physically and emotionally exhausted. I hoped relief was on the way.

Handing me two prescription bottles, in a stern, somber voice, the pharmacist, an older man with gray hair looked at me and said, “take these medications only if you absolutely must.”

As the pharmacist handed me the two bottles of pills with the stern warning, I almost collapsed. It felt like the choice between two seemingly unbearable options. Take the medications and feel better, but create a small risk to the baby. Or, continue on as I had been and risk my own health and sanity. Not a Hobson’s Choice, but pretty close.

I decided to take the medication. As I recall, within about a day or two, I began to feel a bit better. I was still nauseated, but I stopped throwing up. I started doing things around the house. My head cleared and I felt somewhat normal again. I didn’t return to work right away, but I was able to function again. I felt like I was going to make it. Of course, I worried constantly about the baby’s health.

Unlike Kate Middleton, I was never diagnosed with the condition hyperemesis gravidarum (an extremely severe form of morning sickness than can require hospitalization) because I may not have fit all the criteria, but I definitely had some of the symptoms.

As with my first pregnancy, at 12 weeks, my morning sickness symptoms went away. I immediately went off the medications.

I’m extremely grateful that my son was born healthy and happy at 8 ½ pounds. He’s now 9 years old and he’s just fine.

If I had to make the same decision again, I’d do it all over again. I tried to function with severe morning sickness, but my downhill slide was frightening to both my husband and me. I needed the help of the medications and they did what they were intended to do. If you find yourself in a similar unlucky situation, I hope my story helps you. 

Christina Simon is the mom of two kids, a son (9) and a daughter (12). She is the co-author of “Beyond The Brochure: An Insider’s Guide To Private Elementary Schools In Los Angeles” and writes a blog about L.A. private elementary schools. Christina’s work has been published in The Huffington Post, Salon.com, The Mother Company, The Daily Truffle, Macaroni Kid Santa Monica, Mommy Poppins and numerous other publications. www.beyondthebrochurela.com

Friday
Apr052013

10 Things to Pack For the Beach or Pool with Your Baby or Toddler

Packing for a trip to the pool or beach with your baby or toddler is never easy - there is so much to think about!  Here is our List of 10 Things to Pack for the Beach or Pool with Your Baby or Toddler

1. Sunscreen with physical blockers like Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide.  These sit on the skin instead of being absorbed by the skin, meaning they provide much better protection from the sun for sensitive skin. 

Two great ones to try are:

Sunny Sunscreen by Episencial (water resistant for up to 80 minutes, nice consistency, goes on smooth without a totally white streak as is common with zinc and titanium products) and

MD Moms Baby Silk BabySafe Sunscreen Towelettes (water resistant for up to 80 minutes, super easy to apply for even the most squirmy child, FAA approved for carry on baggage).

2. Swim Diapers.  These diapers are made to contain poop but they let pee soak through.  Pee in the pool?  Yes.  And you can also get pee in your car seat or stroller if you put the swim diaper on your child to drive or walk to the pool or beach.  Your best bet is to change your child once you get to your destination to avoid accidents - cleaning a car seat or stroller is never easy!

The Honest Company makes a swim diaper you can re-use and wash.  This seasonal item will be available soon in new prints!  Huggies Little Swimmers Disposable Diapers are the best disposable swim diapers whether you regularly use them or not!

3. Wet Clothes Zippered Bag.  A must for keeping the rest of your diaper or beach bag dry after leaving the pool or beach.  Place the entire wet clothes bag into the washing machine when you get home to keep it clean and smelling good!

Itzy Ritzy Zippered Wet Bag is an adorable wet clothes bag that is zippered to ensure there is no spilling in your bag!

4. Powder.  No one likes a sandy car or a sandy baby after you leave the beach.  Use talc powder to easily remove the sand from your child’s skin without causing any scrapes or boo boos.

Burts Bees Dusting Powder is talc free, 100% natural and will last for a long time!

5. Sand Toys.  Great for building sand castles, digging, shoveling sand and more!

Green Toys Sand Play Set, Green  makes a non-toxic sand toy kit that is fun and contains no BPA.

6. Hooded Towel.  Babies can get cold really quickly.  Once they leave water, a hooded towel will cover the entire body, including their head, where heat can quickly escape.  This will also make for easier changes from wet swim clothes and shield their entire body from the sun.

Pottery Barn Kids make great, durable beach and bath hooded wraps that won’t fray after a few washes and can be personalized for a great gift!

7. Swim Suits.  You can always use a regular bathing suit, but most are not going to protect you child’s sensitive skin from the sun’s rays.  Snapper Rock Children’s Swimwear blocks 98% of the sun’s harmful rays, are adorable and their Sun Suit is way easier to peel off a wet and tired baby than a top and botom.  Snapper Rock Sun Suits.

8. Water Safe Shoes.  If it goes to the beach or pool, it will probably get wet.  You don’t want to spend $45 on a pair of shoes only to have them ruined.  Bring water safe shoes that won’t be ruined by a trip to the beach, and also provide better traction on wet or sandy surfaces.

Crocs make adorable water-safe shoes for kids, and we love these special Lego versions of their classic shoes.  Pediped makes water-safe shoes for babies through 7 years old.  We love that they can be washed in the washing machine, and they are incredibly comfortable!

9. Wide-Brimmed Hat.  A wide-brimmed hat is essential for all children to have when in the sun.  Children’s skin is much more sensitive than adult skin and can burn quickly.  A wide-brimmed hat will provide complete protection for your child’s head in the sun, and a chin strap is a must.  Even a child who hates wearing a hat can keep this hat on for hours, and it won’t float away in water.

Snapper Rock makes a great Bucket Hat that is quick drying, lightweight and breathable.

10. Travel Blanket.  A large, travel blanket provides a safe surface for your child to sit, lay and play on anywhere.  Look for a large blanket with either a water-proof or resistant fabric, a large space or sides that don’t allow the blanket to blow away or blow sand into your child’s face.

The Monket Mat is a small, ultra-portable blanket you can use anywhere, but is perfect for the pool or beach because all four sides of the mat are weighted.  That means wind or a running child won’t cause the blanket to go flying, causing sand and other debris to fly onto your child.  We also love that the Monkey Mat comes in a carrying case to keep it clean, and it stays attached to the mat when opened.  Genius!

The JJ Cole Collections All-Purpose Blanket is water and stain resistant, and folds up neatly with a carrying strap.

 

Thursday
Apr042013

Got milk? How to naturally increase breast milk production

Breastfeeding your baby can be the most joyous experience. And it can be exhausting. And sometimes stressful. But in the end, it is still the most complete form of nutrition for your mini. The benefits are tremendous, here are a few:

-You create a bond with your new BFF

-It’s pretty cost effective (as in, free)

-You get to be a little lazier than your formula feeding friends. Baby cries, out comes the boob, baby eats. No measuring, mixing, warming, or washing bottles

-Babies become more resistant to disease and infection

-Lower your baby’s chances of being obese or having allergies                                       

-Lower risk of SIDS                    

-Increase your baby’s IQ      

-Reduce your risk of postpartum depression and breast cancer

-Lose weight gained during pregnancy more easily.

While there is no magic food to instantly increase breast milk production, there are foods and herbs that support milk production. These foods are called galactogogues. I want to point out that many women seek the help of medications and herbs because they feel their supply is inadequate, and many times that is not the case at all. As long as baby is putting on weight at the recommended rate, you are all good! Most women don’t need to DO anything. However, eating milk-friendly foods will help you maintain a healthy breast milk supply. Here’s a list of foods that have been shown to increase/maintain milk supply:

-Grains-
Oatmeal. Quinoa. Barley. Brown Rice. Millet. 

-Vegetables-
Asparagus. Spinach and any other dark, leafy greens. Carrots. Yams. Sweet Potatoes. 

-Fruits-
Apricots. Papaya. Avocado. Dates. Figs.                                                                                                                                                                       
-Nuts- (should be eaten raw)
Cashews. Almonds. Macadamia nuts.

-Spices, Seeds, etc-
Flax Seed. Ginger. Parsley. Garlic. Onion. Basil. Marjoram. Dill. Anise. Turmeric. Caraway. Pumpkin Seeds.

-Healthy Fats-
Salmon. Olive Oil. Butter. Flaxseed Oil. Sesame Oil. 

The foods you eat are not the only factors when it comes to milk production. Here are 4 things you should know about breastfeeding:

1. You may be producing 20-40 ounces of breastmilk everyday. Since breastmilk is mostly water, you need to increase the amount of water you consume to 10-12 glasses a day. Try drinking a large glass of water every time you feed, or at the top of the hour, every hour you are awake. 

2. Nursing requires an extra 500 healthy calories a day. So this is not the time to go on a calorie restricting diet. If you don’t give your body enough fuel, it won’t be able to work as hard to produce milk.  

3. On that note, your body also needs rest. It can be so exciting to be able to do stuff again. From hiking to shopping to working out, but don’t over-do it. Stress and exhaustion may lower your breast milk supply. 

4. Milk production works on supply/demand….the more the breast is suckled, the more milk it will produce. Your body will adapt to what you need so try pumping a little after each feed for 24 hours, it will be a good boost if you notice your supply decrease.                                                                                                                                                                                                      Allya Orlov is a Certified Health Coach, providing fitness, diet, wellness and nutrition counseling, bringing harmony and balance to both mother and child. All Club MomMe fans get a FREE initial consultation! Find out more at www.OrganicLifeWellness.com

Saturday
Mar162013

Accident Prevention: Guidelines for Children's Pool Rules by Age

With summer around the corner, parents everywhere are eager to introduce swimming to their little ones. On the other hand, some moms and dads are cautious to allow their children in the pool due to the understandable fear of accidental drowning.

But despite their anxiety, a new study reminds parents that supervised swimming or “Mommy and me” classes are a safe activity for children as young as 4 months. And the study also reveals yet another hidden benefit: it may increase your child’s intelligence.

Researchers at the Griffith Institute for Education Research in Australia found that children under the age of 5 who learned swimming skills were stronger in visual motor-skill development and more skilled at intellectual tasks like counting, listening or following verbal cues. In other words, swimming lessons may be crucial to the development of your child’s cognitive and physical development.

So here’s to a summer of fun in the pool – but not without the necessary precautions to make sure your little one stays safe.

SAFETY FIRST: POOL RULES FOR KIDS

When it comes to safety, children of all ages need pool rules and safety guidelines. And by making safety a priority, you can reduce your child’s risk of poolside accidents. Here’s how.

0 to 2 years

Babies should not be carried in slings or unapproved devices as they are dangerous in the water and can trap infants. Walking children must always have your physical presence available at all times. Even if your little one is a strong walker, do not allow him to use shallow baby pools without you by his side. Because infants can often prove unpredictable, it’s important to always remain within an arm’s length of your child.

2 to 6 Years

Toddlers and small children are often seen with floaties around their arms, eagerly splashing in shallow waters. While it’s generally fine to allow playtime in shallow water, you must always provide uninterrupted, adequate supervision at all times even if your child is a strong swimmer. Always require the use of a coast-guard-approved lifejacket during water playtime. Never forget that a floatie, tube, air mattress, noodle or other floatation device is NOT safety equipment and cannot be depended on to keep your little one afloat.

6 to 10 Years

Swimmers in the 6 to 10 years old category need adult supervision at all times, especially when they attempt to swim on their own without any assistance from floatation devices. Always be available on deck for your child, and do not allow your little one to swim into the deep end unless he is wearing his coast-guard approved lifejacket.

10 Years and Up

Many public pools require swim tests to ensure your child is able to swim without adult assistance. This includes your child’s ability to hold his breath under water, swim front crawl from the shallow to the deep end, tread water, and float on his back without assistance. You should always accompany your older child to the pool and never leave him unattended even if you consider your child a strong swimmer.

About Michael Pines

Michael Pines founded the Law Offices of Michael Pines, APC, in San Diego in 1992. He is an accident and injury prevention expert in San Diego, on a campaign to end senseless injury — one blog at a time.

Monday
Mar112013

Kristin Cruz interviews Club MomMe LA's Rachel Pitzel on KOST FM!

Click here to listen:  Club MomMe Founding MomMe, Rachel Pitzel chats with Kristin Cruz for The Sunday Journal

This weekend our special guest is Founding MomMe of Club MomMe, Rachel Pitzer. She created this amazing idea in her city, and now Club MomMe groups are popping up all over the nation. Her goal as a MomMe is to help Moms-To-Be become MomMe, and serve the community of moms by hosting a social & educational community for moms to come together.

Learn what motivated Rachel to start Club MomMe from her own personal experiences. We’ll talk about the importance of having a support group. Get to know the celebs & experts that work with Club MomMe. Find out how you can join & receive all of the benefits of being a part of this amazing club

Find a Club MomMe group in your area! Club MomMe is now in Chicago, Houston and Denver is popping up in April!

Share this wonderful network of mom’s with a momme or mom-to-be in your life. Interested in meeting more momprenuers like Rachel? We’ll be at Mom 2.0 Summit May 2-4 In Laguna Niguel, California. Come with! Always more for moms on Kristin’s Mommy Blog for Clear Channel radio online. Welcome to the club! 

And you can see Kristin in person at a Club MomMe event in late April…stay tuned you will NOT WANT TO MISS THIS EVENT!

Read more: http://www.kost1035.com/pages/publicaffairs.html#ixzz2NHsZl3o1