Tag Archives: pregnancy

Review: Belly Bandit’s Upsie Belly

There’s an old wives’ tale that says if you’re carrying your baby low and all out in front, you’re expecting a boy. Well either that’s completely opposite for me, or the doctors have been way off for the past 8 months. Let’s hope it’s not the latter because there’s a lot of pink going on in our house.

While carrying all out in front has its benefits, it also puts tremendous strain on your lower back. Every time I get up (or bend down, or roll over, or walk …) I get shooting pains through my sciatic nerve and have to hobble around like my 90-year-old grandmother. Still, I scoffed when my doctor suggested I start wearing a maternity support belt. She described it as “this harness that goes over your shoulders and under your belly,” and all I could picture was a Pepsi delivery guy. Ummm, no.

Photo via Bellybandit.com

But a couple of months ago, the pain got the better of me and I caved. I tried on several different versions at the maternity store and settled on the Belly Bandit® Upsie Belly. It was by far the most expensive one there ($70 as compared to $25-40 for the others), but I chose it for several reasons:

1. It was the most comfortable one I tried on- and when you’re hugely pregnant and uncomfortable enough as it is, this is incredibly important.

2. Of all the different types, this one was the least obvious under my clothes.

3. The design was simple- going around the back and securing under the belly- in a way that didn’t make me feel like I needed an engineering degree to put it on everyday.

The best compliment I can possibly give the Upsie Belly is that I wish I hadn’t waited so long to get it. It has been a lifesaver these past couple of months! As soon as I put it on, I feel instant relief in my back and support for my belly.

Is it invisible? No, of course not. I don’t usually wear it with dresses (it’s much easier to hide with pants and a top), and there are some shirts where it’s more obvious than others. But for the most part, it’s discreet enough that people don’t even realize I’m wearing it. It’s definitely more hidden than the stark white over- and under-the-belly contraption I tried on while shopping, that’s for sure.

I don’t normally wear the Upsie Belly to work because I sit at a computer all day. When sitting for long periods, the belt puts added pressure on my lower belly, which is both uncomfortable and makes me have to pee even more than I already do. But when I know I’m going to be on my feet, I never go without it. Not only does it help to alleviate my sciatic pain, but it lifts my belly up just enough to give me some relief from the pelvic pain and pressure that I’ve been experiencing.

If your doctor has recommended that you invest in a support belt, I would highly suggest at least trying on the Upsie Belly. Yes, it’s more expensive than most, but for me, it has been worth every penny. I think if I had opted to save the money and get one of the other ones (which were more uncomfortable and more obvious), I wouldn’t wear it as much as I do the Upsie Belly.

Preparing for Delivery Day: Quick Tips and Helpful Hints

May is Pregnancy Awareness Month, so today’s post from guest blogger, Katie Moore, is in honor of all mamas-to-be. Katie’s blog,  Moore From Katie, covers all things mama and baby, so be sure to check it out!

Bringing a new life into the world takes a lot more planning than simply prepping the nursery.  Healthcare, both pre- and post-delivery, should be the main focus of every pregnancy. There are several standard steps you can follow to help make sure you are ready for delivery day.

Find the right doctor

It may be necessary for you to interview several doctors before finding one that has a similar birthing philosophy.  Some doctors offer scheduled cesarean procedures while others opt for natural childbirth whenever possible.  Be sure to research patient opinions and board certifications on any doctor up for consideration.

Decide where to have the baby

Unless you live in a rural area, there are probably several different options for birthing facilities near you.  There may be a birthing center that serves your local area, a hospital with a maternity ward, or even a midwife who specializes in home births.  It’s important to plan ahead with your doctor or midwife to determine the location for your delivery.  Not every doctor/midwife has privileges at every hospital.  Keep discussions open about the options in advance to avoid unpleasant surprises when the day comes.

Write up a birth plan

Before ever stepping foot into a birthing center or hospital, it’s a great idea for you to have a birth plan drawn up that details your preferences for labor and delivery.  Generally less is more, so the plan should not be too complex but should provide a general outline for how you want your labor and delivery to be handled.

Pack a bag

Putting together an overnight bag for the hospital stay is another must.  Make sure to pack a at least one change of clothes for yourself, clothing for your baby, a toothbrush, breastfeeding paraphernalia (if you plan to nurse), slippers and entertainment in the form of a book, music or movie.  For a more comprehensive packing checklist, click here.

After the birth

There are some other considerations to take into account immediately after the baby is born.  For example, is the baby going to be vaccinated?  Will the baby be fed with breast milk or formula?  Will you be collecting the baby’s cord blood for cord blood banking?  Knowing the answers to these questions in advance can save you a lot of stress.  Vaccinations are universally performed in the hospital, often within hours of birth.  If the hospital is not notified in advance that a baby should not be vaccinated, it is likely the infant will be vaccinated almost immediately.  Of course, no mother can know in advance whether breast-feeding will be successful, but you can decide whether or not you are going to try.  If you decide to bank your baby’s cord blood for future medical treatments, it should be collected soon after delivery, so the hospital will need to be aware of your plans in advance. Forward thinking and early planning can help make delivery a breeze and allow you to spend the first few hours after birth blissfully cuddling your new baby rather than making stressful but important decisions.

Katie Moore is a blogger who discusses maternity, motherhood, prenatal health, childbirth and other topics within this niche.  Visit her blog,Moore From Katie, or follow her on Twitter @moorekm26.

Top 10 Not-So-Perky Parts of Pregnancy

I was looking back through the archives of my family blog that I started to chronicle my pregnancy and my daughter’s milestones for our families and came across this post that I wrote in July 2010, when I was 8 months pregnant. It made me laugh out loud to remember some of the things I was experiencing at this point, especially No. 10 (I could have sworn my water broke at one point only to realize I’d just sneezed a little too enthusiastically).

I figured I’d share it to give my fellow mamas a laugh and provide a moment of solidarity to my pregnant followers. I was right about No. 1 by the way, that definitely didn’t get better when the baby came, at least not for many, many months!

Top 10 Not-So-Perky Parts of Pregnancy

10. A sneeze is no longer just a sneeze. It now involves a mad dash to the bathroom and a quick prayer that you haven’t horrifically embarrassed yourself in front of all of your coworkers (or the other customers at the grocery store, or the people trying to eat at the table next to you. . .)

9. One word: HEARTBURN. I had never experienced this before my pregnancy, and I now fully understand why people complain about it so much.

8. Having nothing to wear. Oh, I have maternity clothes. But now half of those pants don’t even fit. It’s a humbling experience when your maternity jeans are too small.

7. Body parts sticking out of my abdomen. I always heard people say “You can even see an actual foot poking out, it’s so cool!” However, “cool” is not the word I would have chosen. I think “painful” is a more apt description. I am certain this little gal thinks she’s going to make her appearance through my belly button.

6. And that’s another thing- my innie is now an outie (and has been since about month 5). It shows through my shirts! People have said to me “Oh look at your belly button, it’s so cute!” Again, not the adjective I would have chosen.

5. Sciatica, bruised tailbone (from falling down the stairs-ouch!), muscle pain, OH MY! There isn’t a massage long enough to cure all of my back ailments.

4. Bathroom (ahem) issues. . . too much, too little, bad timing, you name it. . . I can’t wait until everything works properly again!

3. Can’t. Breathe. I get winded walking from the mailbox to the house, let alone trying to walk a crazy beagle for 30 minutes in 95 degree heat and 100% humidity. Thankfully, the hubby has taken pity and relieved me of my dog walking duties.

2. Medium rare steak, cold deli sandwiches, sushi, ice cold Pacifico. . .all the lovely things that are currently off limits. Forget yucky hospital food. When this baby girl is born, I want a cold turkey sub, Diet Dr. Pepper, and a side of spicy tuna rolls!

1. No sleep. What with the aching hips, copious bathroom breaks and constant tossing and turning, I’m averaging 2 hour stretches between interruptions. I think it’s God’s way of preparing new mothers because, unlike everything else on this list, this ailment will not go away along with the pregnancy. But at least then I’ll be getting up for a much better and cuter reason than having to pee!

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