The Importance of Taking Probiotics during Pregnancy

I was first introduced to probiotics when my youngest daughter was about 2 months old. She was colicky and very uncomfortable. My husband and I were pretty desperate for anything to help her and to give us a break from having to constantly bounce her to keep her happy. Our pediatrician told us that probiotics had been shown to help babies’ colic symptoms and suggested that we give them a try. At the time, there was a nationwide shortage of infant probiotics but we were determined and paid twice as much as normal. We were a little skeptical when they arrived but we started giving them into her pumped milk. After a couple weeks she started to show a lot of improvement. We continue to give her probiotics two years later.

After reading some of the statistics on probiotics, we thought they would be a great addition to our boxes. If you’re like me, you may be a bit skeptical of putting just anything into your pregnant body. I’m definitely not one that is quick to jump on board with the newest fad things just because someone on social media tells me to. So after doing a good bit of research, I could only find benefits from the use of probiotics in pregnancy, and not any negatives. One of the most interesting studies I read was in The Natural Medicine Journal. It showed that women who took probiotics in pregnancy were less likely to develop gestational diabetes than women who didn’t.

The probiotic that we include in our Mama Bird boxes is a hyperbiotic from PRO-Moms. These are great because they have a long shelf life and don’t require refrigeration (like many probiotics do), help strengthen both you and your baby’s immune system, and are really helpful for some of those very unpleasant pregnancy symptoms… like constipation.

Since starting my kids on probiotics, I’ve used them off and on over the last couple of years. I’m now currently pregnant and reaping all of the benefits of using probiotics in pregnancy. A couple weeks ago, I got a UTI and had to take antibiotics. The probiotics helped with the unpleasant stomach related side effects of the antibiotics. You can now say that I am a believer and I can truly say they help.

5 Places to Babymoon on a Budget

A babymoon is a wonderful idea if you are looking to have one last fling before your little one arrives. A babymoon is a perfect way for you and your spouse to get away and enjoy yourselves before burp rags and pacifiers are your new favorite accessory.

If you google vacations before delivery or babymoon there are a lot of results but they are usually very expensive. If you are like us when we were pregnant, we tried to save and penny pinch as much as possible in preparation for your baby. We have compiled a list of our favorite cities across the US, and used HomeAway vacation rentals to keep the cost low since one of the biggest expenses when traveling is lodging.

There is a babymoon for every mom! If you are a lay-on-the-beach-and-read-all-day kind of girl or if you like to hike in the mountains, there is something for you.

Number 1: Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville is a great artsy, mountain town. If you like great views and eclectic people, Asheville offers a laid-back Southern vibe.
Where to stayWe love this secluded mountain home.
Where to eat: Get your donut craving fix at Hole. Donuts and pregnancy pretty much go hand-in-hand.
What to do: Go for a short hike, check out the adorable downtown, or go tour the beautiful and massive Biltmore estate just outside the city. This town is the babymoon for everybody!


Number 2: Chicago, Illinois


The windy city has a lot to offer a pregnant mom who loves history, nostalgia, and architecture. If you enjoy sports, during the fall you can catch a Chicago cubs and Bulls game during the same trip. Or if you prefer retail therapy there are many great places to shop.


Where to stay: This adorable 2 bedroom is located less 2 miles from Wrigley, museums, and the Magnificent Mile.
Where to eat: Get your fried chicken fix at Honey Butter Fried chicken on North Elston Ave.
What to do: 
Even though riding a Ferris wheel seems like something more for kids, there is something romantic about it. It’s also one of the only rides you can get away with while pregnant. Enjoy the ride as you take in the views. $6/person. Enjoy all that Chicago has to offer for history and architecture because your kids will not care about that for a long time. Take a ride on a double-decker bus and get a fun tour of the city.

Number 3: New Orleans, Louisiana

The Big Easy is a great place to get away to. It’s filled with character. If you love live music and amazing food, then this is the perfect babymoon spot for you. Take a stroll around Jackson Square or hop on the trolley and take a tour of the most
beautiful homes.

Where to stay: This beautiful bed and breakfast is everything southern and perfect for your New Orleans stay.
Where to eat: When in New Orleans, you must eat beignets at Cafe Du Monde. What pregnant girl can say no to fried pastries covered in powdered sugar?
What to do: Go for a walk through the ancient moss covered oak trees at Audubon Park. Pregnancy and NOLA’s humidity don’t always mix well, step into the Aquarium of the Americas for a cool down. If your are adventurous, go on a swamp tour via fan boat!


Number 4: San Fransisco, California
 

Known for it’s hilly landscape and beautiful weather, San Fransisco would be a great place to visit for your babymoon. Take a ride on the city’s cable cars, go for a picnic by the Golden Gate Bridge, or take a tour of the famous rows of colorful vintage homes.
Where to stay: This cozy, modern flat located on the edge of the city would be a perfect place to stay on your trip. The price is great at just $163 per night. 
Where to eat: San Fransisco is full of greatplaces to eat on your babymoon.  Tartine Bakery, Blue Bottle Coffee, and more! Lets be honest, when you’re in your third trimester nothing sounds better than a whole pizza. We recommend you check out Del Popolo roaming pizza truck. Check out their website on where they will be located.
What to do: What pregnant girl would say no to delicious chocolate? Go for a tour at the Ghiradelli Factory and satisfy your sweet tooth. You can also check out the fun and eclectic area of China Town, or if you’re looking for something a bit more serene, you can take a relaxing walk on the beach.

Number 5: Austin, Texas 

It’s the city that we live in so we obviously love it, but we also love to get a hotel downtown and vacation in our hometown. The food is great, the music is great, and the people are great(obviously). The weather is great, but you may want to plan your trip in the cooler months since everything seems hotter when you’re pregnant.

Where to stay: For $110 a night, you can stay in this cute house, located close to downtown and in a beautiful neighborhood.
What to do: Catch a movie at the famous Alamo Drafthouse, where you dine in while watching your movie. There are also a lot of good outdoor activities to keep you busy, like beautiful Barton Springs, a natural spring with water temperatures of about 60 degrees year round to help cool off your pregnant belly in the Texas heat.

 

Hospital or Birthing Center? Choosing the Best Place to Deliver your Baby

 

There are so many things to think about and research after finding out you’re pregnant. Some things that probably never even crossed your mind, like choosing a car seat out of the 2 billion options that are out there, things that you should or definitely should not eat while pregnant, and choosing where to deliver your baby. For me, it always seemed like a no-brainer, I would deliver my first baby at the local hospital and assumed I would do the same with any other pregnancies I would have in the future.

In my first delivery, I was fairly happy with my hospital experience overall and loved my doctor and most of my nurses.  I had a textbook labor, epidural, pushing for 20 minutes or so, meeting and loving on my baby, etc. There were a few little things that bothered me with my hospital stay: I wasn’t able to drink any water once I got into the delivery room (which I did five minutes before going into the room and was perfectly fine), I also didn’t love being hooked up to an IV and machines during and after labor, and I felt like I had kind of had to ask permission when it came to having my baby in my room as opposed to the nursery. I know that every hospital has different rules and procedures, and the things that I didn’t like about my hospital may not have happened in a different one.

When I found out I was pregnant with my second daughter, I planned on delivering her in a hospital as well. This time around, my doctors were a group of midwives that I loved so much and I strongly trusted their suggestions. About halfway through my pregnancy, one of my midwives asked me if I would be interested in delivering at their new birthing center. My initial thought was “yeah right, that’s way too granola for me”, but the more I thought about it and researched, I started to like the idea more and more.

The freedom and control in delivering in a birthing center were very appealing to me. The only concern I had was what if something went wrong and I needed to get to a hospital. I didn’t want to put my baby or myself in danger, but conveniently for me the hospital was right across the street from my birthing center. With the comfort being near the hospital, and the fact that I had a healthy pregnancy, I made the decision to try the birthing center. I absolutely loved my experience with delivering in there and I would go with the same route if I get pregnant in the future, but I  wouldn’t say that it’s the perfect choice for everyone.

There are a lot of things to consider when picking the place to deliver your baby…

1) Choose what you feel is safest for you and your baby:

If you’ve had a complicated pregnancy or are wanting to use pain medication of any kind, I would highly recommend going with a hospital birth. Don’t think that if you go with a hospital birth that you won’t have any say in how your labor goes, write a birth plan, but always know that the baby really will only come out on his/her terms whether you have a birth plan or not.

2) Do you want a more intimate setting to deliver your baby?

If you are definitely committed to a labor without any pain medication and want a more personal place to bring your baby into the world, then you should research your local birthing center options. Hospitals can definitely be an intimidating place and if you’re like me, having a home birth is even more intimidating, so a birthing center may be a good middle ground. With my birthing center, I was able to go home just a few hours after having my baby. I was really happy to be home for our first night together and not be woken up extra by machines and strange noises. Although I think a lot of my comfort had to do with being a second-time mom, I probably would’ve been a lot more hesitant to take a few-hours-old baby home if it were my first time.

3) The rise of home births

Home births seem to be making a bit of a comeback now. I obviously can’t speak from experience on this one, but I know some women who have chosen a home birth and couldn’t imagine delivering any other way. If you’re home is your safe place and you’ve talked with your doctors about it, then a homebirth might be a good option for you. Some doctors and midwives will bring all the equipment right to you so you don’t have anything to worry about.

Whichever way you choose to bring your baby into the world, just do what makes you feel safe and relaxed. If you’re relaxed and comfortable, then your baby will be too. Labor is hard, and it’s important to be in a place that helps you even if it’s just the littlest bit. With so many decisions to think about it is important to remember that no matter if you have your baby in bathtub, hospital room or in an Uber on the way to deliver, you will be a great mom to a beautiful baby!