Because it is no longer just about us! When we get pregnant, everything changes. We want to eat better, exercise more, maybe quit smoking. We don't drink alcohol. We sleep more, drink more water, and are motivated to make healthier choices. Why? Because when we have a baby, we will choose all of the things that will be the best for the little person who is coming into our lives. We suddenly become conscious of chemicals and toxins in food and body products that that we put in and on our bodies that can cause harm. We may see a naturopath, a chiropractor or acupuncturist for the first time. We get a massage. We are motivated and committed to the journey of becoming parents.
Natural Body Care for Babies
Choose products you know you can trust. Read the ingredients. One of our greatest sources for information on natural, healthy products for babies is the Green Mama, a natural living guru who is truly inspirational! A brand new baby’s skin is incredibly soft and perfect, having been protected in the womb by vernix, the world’s best moisturizing cream. When your baby is born, her skin is very sensitive to everything--even the air--which is why sometimes skin can get red and blotchy when they are just a few days old. Choosing a baby shampoo or body wash or massage oil made from natural, organic ingredients are safe for baby’s skin and can help with normal skin conditions such as cradle cap or dry, peeling skin.
Many parents think that cloth diapers are harder to manage and messier than disposable options, but the truth is that cloth diapers have come along way. Modern cloth diapers are easy, hi-tech, much cheaper, super cute, and are kind to both babies skin and the planet.
Disposable diapers are expensive. To get to potty training, you can expect to use 600,000 diapers costing between $2000 and $3000. All of these diapers go into a landfill and will take over 500 years to degrade. In contrast, a supply of re-usable cloth diapers will cost between $300 and $500. That set can last for up to 3 or 4 children!
Cloth diapers reduce your babies exposure to chemicals and create a healthier environment for your baby’s skin. Disposable diapers, in comparison, are packed full of gels and plastics including known carcinogens.
Cloth diapers are made from soft materials such as cotton, organic cotton, hemp or bamboo; which are comfortable against the skin, cooler to wear and provide better air circulation. This can mean that babies in cloth diapers are less susceptible to diaper rash. One other benefit of cloth is that you know when a baby needs changing. With a disposable, it is easier to leave a baby for too long in a diaper before changing.
Cloth diapers are made to be easy to manage and clean. Pins and fasteners are a thing of the past! Snaps, velcro, liners and waterproof fabric make them effective, leak-proof and easy to use. And of course all of the cute, creative prints make diaper wearing not only fun but fashionable too!
Or should we say lack of? Having a baby alters our sleep patterns like nothing else in the world. And it actually starts before they are born. It is a very normal occurrence to find ourselves wide awake at 3 in the morning in the weeks leading up to the birth. Awake, thanks to our wonderful hormones--special chemical messengers that are telling our body it is time to be awake and feed the baby. The lack of sleep in the early postpartum and the depth of the exhaustion we can feel, although normal, is something that until we experience it, can be hard to truly comprehend. Many times we have heard new parents exclaim how they wish somebody had told them how profoundly tired they would be. And although this may be true, and even if they had been told, it still may not have been something they understood. The truth is labour can be long and we don't know when it will start. Sometimes if it starts in the evening with mild contractions that do not allow us to sleep very well, and then becomes more intense sometime during the night, the clock can go round before we get the chance to really rest. And by then, our baby is in our arms and we are excited and too charged to sleep.
Breastfeeding begins and our need to be available 24/7 is undeniable. Your baby may be one that has a good long first feed and then settles for a long sleep, allowing mom and dad to catch up. There may be only a couple of feeds in what is often referred to the 'Day of Grace'--the time where all three of you: mom, dad and baby can sleep and recover from the birth. Or your baby may be one of the one that is born with a voracious appetite and there is only one place they want to be--at the breast. Once breastfeeding is established however, your baby will typically be feeding every 2-3 hours. So anytime we manage to get four or more hours of sleep in a row--is often considered the greatest gift ever!
"Sleep is out... tired is the new black!" - Amy Poehler, Actress & Comedian
Taking regular naps in the weeks and days before your baby is born becomes very important. You are laying down the reserves for the great work you are about to do. You are storing the energy that you will need for the labour and the early days and weeks after your baby is born. Once you have had your baby, one of the fundamental rules is: sleep when your baby sleeps because chances are if you stay up to get things done, when you are ready for bed, your baby will be ready to wake up. Sleep helps us cope better, allows us to be more emotionally stable, and allows the adjustment period to be smoother. It helps us be better parents. So even if you are not a napper--but can create the space for quiet time for yourself to rest when your baby is sleeping--you will be happier and able to enjoy your baby more than you dreamed possible.
Ask the Midwife
Being pregnant and having a baby comes with lots of questions. There is so much available information that it can sometimes be overwhelming.
Visit our Contact Us page and fill out our contact form with any questions you may have. We will be pleased to hear from you!
If you are a client of the Cowichan Midwifery Group, please call the clinic directly at 250-709-2040.