Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Who is your Mom-Guide?

As a new mom you know nothing. You don’t have the experience or knowledge to know what is wrong with your child. Baby Crawfish is seven months old. I can’t believe it. It is flying by!  I feel like I am getting a handle on this mommy thing. Either I am getting better at it or she is getting easier…probably a little of both.

I could not have made it to this point without the help of my Mom-Guide. The person who you call to find out if poop is supposed to be that color and for a pep talk when you have not slept in two days is your Mom-Guide. Your Mom-Guide is one of the most important people who helps you during your pregnancy and helps to form you as a mom.

Your Mom-Guide has blazed the trails of mommy hood before you and is a wealth of knowledge. Of course your own mom is a resource but not like your Mom-Guide who is up-to-date on the latest products, baby rules and will tell you that not every day of pregnancy is blissful.

I found out this weekend that I know more than I think I do. I have become a Mom-Guide to those behind me on the mommy hood path. I was helping a newly pregnant cousin cope with morning sickness and had flash backs to my good friend helping me through the same thing.

 I remembered how important my Mom-Guide was to me and that is was my duty to pass on the role of Mom-Guide. It was a major milestone in my mommy career.

Take a moment today to thank your Mom-Guide!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Battling The Diaper Need

Can you imagine not being able to go to work because you can’t afford to buy diapers to send your child to nursery school? Can you imagine cleaning used diapers because you can’t afford new diapers?

1 in 3 American moms struggle with diaper need. Of course this tears at a mother’s heart but the baby also suffers. If mom can’t provide a new clean diaper this means that baby is kept in wet, dirty diapers for extended period. Through research Huggies has found that as a result, these babies are more likely to experience signs of irritation and discomfort, cry more, and suffer from worse diaper rash.

“Imagine everything it takes to be a mom. Now imagine it without diapers,” Huggies.

The Huggies Every Little Bottom campaign which is designed to combat the diaper need has donated over 22.5 million diapers so far. With the average infant using 6-10 diapers a day totaling about $75 a month this is a strain on families especially now as gas prices are soaring and food prices are rising.

At the recent Mom 2.0 Summit held in New Orleans, Huggies was on the ground informing moms about the program. Moms that retweeted about the Huggies Every Little Bottom campaign helped to donated over 3,000 diapers to babies in need in the New Orleans area through Second Harvest Food Bank.  

Please join them by supporting the Huggies Every Little Bottom campaign. Learn more about the program or donate diapers. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Use Marketing Powers for Good Not Evil

This is an old post that was very popular, that I am reposting with an update. The couple who were fundraising have been blessed with a child! Check out her blog post with the story of how it happened.

Originial Post:
Mommyhood is an amazing and exhausting experience. I wish that everyone, who wants to, could be blessed with the experience. It breaks my hurt to think of a childless mother.

A Facebook friend I went to college with posted on her wall to buy Burpies for Babies. As a mommy who loves to check out baby gear, I clicked the link and was surprised at what I found.

The link goes to a couples blog which details their path to become parents through adoption. Burpies for Babies is a way that they are raising funds to help pay the costs for an adoption.

For just $10 you can get a handmade (and very cute) burp cloth to help this couple from Shreveport, Louisiana. I don't know this couple but hope you can join me in helping them to achieve the most rewarding job of being a parent.

Check out their blog for more of their story and to purchase a Burpie for Babies. Also like them on Facebook.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Baby Book as a Travel Guide

As a baby gift, I received the New Orleans baby book by Lil Squirts. The book was done by a local company to highlight a baby’s firsts, New Orleans style. The pages include first trip to the Audubon Zoo, French Quarter Fest, Mardi Gras, City Park, CafĂ© du Monde and even my first evacuation.

 Hubby and I are having way more fun completing the pages than Baby Crawfish is I am sure. We are experiencing the city as tourists in our own town. We are making our way through the pages and doing some things for the first time ourselves. We have taken her to the lakefront, the Audubon Zoo, Oak Alley Plantation, Southern Yacht Club, LSU, Mardi Gras, St. Patrick’s Day Parade and the Racetrack and she is only 6 months old.  I am sure when she is older we’ll have to do it all over again so she can actually remember.

Almost every weekend we are doing something new and completing a new page. We are having fun experiencing things as a family. As parents we are working out the kinks in getting around with a baby. At Oak Alley we fed Baby Crawfish just before the mansion tour began. Our thought was that she would be full and quiet on the tour. In reality it gave her a full belly and when the Baby Bjorn is tight around her belly it turns in to spit up. Normally this would be no issue, but around 200+ year old antiques…nightmare. I was so worried the whole tour but lesson learned.
photo by Hubby

This past weekend we went to the Audubon Zoo. Both Hubby and I have so many great memories there from our childhood so we became members. The membership gives us unlimited visits to the zoo each year so we can go for an hour or a day. Baby Crawfish got to feed a giraffe, which we called Sophie (see old post for background, http://bit.ly/g9Fvay). She also made friends with an alligator.
photo by Hubby. No the picture quality is not bad, the alligator just keeps a messy room.

As summer is kicking off I invite you to introduce your baby to her city. Do what the tourists do and go where they go. After all they are getting to experience the best of the city. Be a tourist in your own town.

Monday, April 11, 2011

A prenatal massage that edited motherhood

This came my way via @TomMartin. When I read it all I could do was respond, "wow".

Written by Ashley Bond   
Wednesday, 30 March 2011 20:22
A few weeks ago, I sat down on a bench to rest my weary legs.
This was my view.

It was a beautiful day in Telluride, where I spent a week with dear friends and family.
The idea of a ski "vacation" while 5 months pregnant and two kids in tow created a lot of anxiety for me. The dreadful anticipation of a long flight, playing musical beds for 6 nights and being left behind to babysit the kids all day while everyone else skied was reason enough to just stay home with the baby and send my husband and 4yo packing.
But I went anyway. And everything was fine.
Since I couldn't/wouldn't ski, I had to create my own vacation. And for me that meant a chance to be alone, come and go as I please, treat myself to a fabulous cut and highlight and indulge in a 90-minute massage.
So I booked a babysitter for a few hours everyday and took what was mine.
I snapped this picture 10 minutes before I had one of the most powerful experiences of my life as a mother.
I've had at least 50+ massages in my lifetime. It's one of my guilty pleasures. I don't buy expensive shoes (anymore) and I don't shop (anymore). I splurge on babysitting, Thai food and really good massages.
I did my research and found a therapist who seemed to have a good handle on things. Her name was Diana Marshall. Booking a massage without a referral is a risk but I was desperate. My body ached from travel, pregnancy, parenting and general over-exertion.
I also had an uncomfortable tightness on the left side of my belly. My OB said I was fine but I couldn't help worry that there was something wrong with the baby.
So I went in for my massage. I told her what I wanted and in a joking way asked her to use every tool in her toolbox to make me feel better: deep tissue, Thai massage, Prenatal massage and Craniosacral Therapy (whatever the hell that was...but it was on her website and looked pretty good).
She nixed the Thai massage because of pregnancy limitations and went for the deep tissue. Out of the all the massages I've had, this was by far the best one yet.
The last 20 minutes, she asked me if I'd like her to do some Craniosacral work and try to "tune into baby" to see if there was anything baby wanted to tell me.
Ummmm, ooookay?
Her hands cradled my head and with the lightest touch and slightest movements, my mind and body became quiet. It was the most still I had ever been. I felt like I was floating. I had no thoughts. It was peaceful.
Once I settled into the stillness, she moved to the baby. She went strait to my left side where the tightness was, put one hand over it and the other beneath it. She used the same techniques. I never mentioned anything about my left side.
Out of the blue, she asked me if I had been a "cord baby", as in "were you born with the cord wrapped around your neck".
I asked her why she was asking and she said that she had the sense that the baby was holding on to something. That the baby was tense, uncomfortable.
Oh, crap.
I snapped back into reality for a moment and started to worry: Wait a second. Maybe I DON'T want to know what baby has to tell me. What if baby tells me something is wrong? What if baby tells me something is wrong with ME!
But it was too late. I was in. I had to listen to what my body (and baby) had to say.
"No." I said. "To my knowledge, I was not a cord baby."
She continued working.  I felt the baby fall into the same stillness. Diana said that if I'd like to ask the baby if there was anything it wanted me to know, now would be the time.
Oh, god. Weird...but why not.
So I tuned in and sent the message...and the baby sent one right back:
"Let go."
All of a sudden a flood of emotion poured out of me, my eyes drowing in tears. I knew exactly what this message meant.
I just cried.
But then I regrouped. And when I found my stillness again, I did it.
I let go.
Then I felt the baby move. It drifted away from the tightness and floated across my entire belly as if to finally stretch out and relax for the very first time.
This was a sobering moment for me. It was in this moment that I gained a deeper understanding of motherhood. I realized how my own anxieties, fears and insecurities affect not only the little person growing inside of me but the ones growing up right before my eyes. I got it. We're connected.
I let go of a lot that day. And I have since made a conscience effort to be kinder to myself, to let go of unrealistic expectations, to forgive, to enjoy life a little more, to rest. I owe it to myself and I owe it to my children because if I want them to live peaceful and joyous lives, I must do the same.
Afterwards I sat with Diana for a while to process exactly what just happened to me. She talked to me about Craniosacral Therapy, how it works and how it is being used to address not only pre/postnatal issues but also pediatric issues such as colic, chronic ear infections, learning disabilities, behavior problems, autism, attention deficit issues and more.
This was mind-blowing to me.
Craniosacral Therapy was developed by an Osteopathic Physician and biomechanics professor named John E. Upledger. The therapy has to do with releasing restrictions in the soft tissues that surround the central nervous system. You can read all about it at www.upledger.com and I've listed some more resources below.
This type of therapy is used to treat a whole host of issues in adults (headaches, back pain, depression, sinus congestion, TMJ) but what I am most interested in learning more about is how it is used to treat infants (tramatic births, colic, reflux), children (learning disabilities, sleep problems, ausitm, ADHD, cerebral palsy, genetic disorders), pregnant women (stress, past emotional/physical trauma, discomfort) and postpartum women (realignment, muscle rehabilitation, c-section recovery, traumatic delivery).
Unfortunately, there are very few resources here in New Orleans; however, I did manage to locate ONE person who, believe it or not, is actually a leader in the field of Pediatric Craniosacral Therapy. We are playing phone tag at the moment. I hope to connect with her and gather some more information to share with nolaParents so that anyone interested in exploring this alterntative therapy for themselves or their children can do so.
 Check out the article on nolaParent.com.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

If you have a tag line, live your tag line

Everyone knows that pregnant women are crazy but I would say that new moms are crazier. The combination of exhaustion, recovery and uncertainty means that you don’t know your own name much less what to do with a new baby.

So many things have changed since your mom has had a baby. A new mom must rely on their gut and the pediatrician. My pediatrician team at Ochsner Heath System is my navigator to this new baby world. I say team because it is not just the doctor that helps you, the nurses are key.

Ochsner’s tag line Healthcare with Peace of Mind is exactly what I have experience from day one of my pregnancy from the OB’s office to the hospital stay and now on to the pediatrician. The doctors and nurses are outstanding but they are only as good as the company. Ochsner is a company who is living the tag line from the bottom up. This is evident from everyone I have interacted with from the lady who greats you at the elevator in the hospital and on to the person who schedules the appointments for the pediatrician.

On a random day of flooding in New Orleans, Baby Crawfish decided to get sick as a dog. Without power at home and at the doctor’s office. I didn’t know what to do. I was feeling alone and unsure of what to do to help my child as her tears were making my heart hurt. I pulled out my phone and tweeted @OchsnerHealth. Within seconds they responded and reassured me and helped me to secure a doctor’s appointment as soon as the power was restored. In the moment it was all they could do, but it was more than enough to make me happy. Having that appointment was the light at the end of the tunnel. I knew that in a matter of a few hours I would be getting Baby Crawfish the care she needed… Healthcare with Peace of Mind.

I did my homework to find the right pediatrician that was a good personality and parenting fit for Baby Crawfish and I. When finding your pediatrician, make sure to get feedback from friends and family prior to the baby arriving. Meet with the prospect pediatricians and make sure you agree with their stance on vaccines, feeding and care. Take notice of their interaction with you. You want to feel empowered and not belittled as a parent. Also meet the other pediatricians in the office, if your doctor is not in the office or out of town you will need to rely on them.

All pediatricians are not created equal make sure your family is receiving Healthcare with Peace of Mind. Thank you to my Ochsner team for being there for us!

This is not a paid endorsement. 

Friday, April 8, 2011

Pink Ponies: A Marketing Case Study

I came accross this video a few months again, but wanted to share it because I think it is just fabulous. A a PR girl turned mom it worries me that I will think like this :). An advertising agency applied a marketing plan to a kid's birthday party.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Attention Facebook Shoppers.

Baby clothes are just cute. Buying baby clothes is better than buying clothes for yourself because they are tiny, cheaper and always fit. Unlike shopping for a post baby body which is never fun and always leaves me in a bad mood for sure.

Facebook shops are a virtual craft fair, similar to www.etsy.com. Most are stay at home moms with a sew machine and a crafty eye using it for a part time gig. These shops sell anything from monogrammed bloomers to personalized sippy cups. If you want to get your child’s name on it, there is a Facebook store that has it.  Baby Crawfish won’t have the same outfit as the kid two cribs over at nursery because mommy didn’t get it from the mall.

There are several things that make these shops such a success. First, it is free. There is no fee associated for the seller such as with ebay.com or etsy.com. Second , usually these vendors are in your Facebook network and there is a mutual friend connection so you “know” them.  Next, these shops are set up on a social network so there are “like” functions and the wall feed for a built in promotion system.

There are two styles of Facebook shops. Both use the Facebook picture albums to showcase their merchandise. There is the standard order system where you pick your color, size and design. All of the items, fonts, designs, etc each have their own a picture album for you to browse and create your item. The second is an auction system. These shops announce a time that new inventory will be posted and there are limited quantities. The first set number of people to tag their size and contact information to the Facebook picture wins that item in the auction. 

All transactions are done through Pay Pal keeping it safe and secure for both parties. The items you purchase can be shipped to you for a minimal fee of a dollar or two, or you can pick them up during "pick up hours". 

Even Facebook shops have sales! Every so often an album is posted featuring the discounted merchandise. Weekly giveaways are a must. Most of the shops that I frequent hold a weekly freebie giveaway. All you have to do it comment on the freebie picture of the week and you are entered…simple.

The only thing these shops lack is a frequent buyer program… ;)

My favorite Facebook shops are:

Happy Shopping!