Mini Diaper Changing Bag

Posted by Alina on Wednesday Feb 18, 2009 Under Baby Products

skip-hopWhen going out with my now 10-month old son, I prefer to carry as little with me as possible. One excellent product that I would highly recommend is called the Skip Hop Canvas Pronto. It is a compact changing pad with compartments. It has an outer zippered pocket and inner pockets for wipes and diapers. The changing pad has some soft padding on one side for the baby’s head. This is one of the few baby products that I use multiple times every day.

Recently, the zipper on the inner pocket broke. I wrote an email to the company to see if I can get a replacement, and got a very quick response. They emialed me a shipping label and a form to be filled out and shipped to them with the defective product. It sounds like I should be getting a free replacement in 2-4 weeks. So far, the customer service at Skip Hop has been great. I will write an update once the transaction has been completed.

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Posted by Alina on Wednesday Feb 4, 2009 Under pregnancy, useful tips

For the birth of our son, having a doula with us made for a great experience. A doula is a “trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth (birth doula); or who provides emotional and practical support during the postpartum period (postpartum doula).” (reference) Our doula met with us several times before the birth to help us come up with a birthing plan, provide educational materials, and explain to us what her role will be.

My labor was induced beccause I was past my due date, and the labor totaled 26 hours! To describe the experience as INTENSE, would be an understatement. My husband and I went through feelings of excitement, nervousness, anxiety, fatigue, hunger, frustration, pain, and many more that have since been repressed. Having a doula helped us to stay focused and at ease. She was very professional and reassuring. Our doula was quickly able to identify when a certain position was not working and coached us through different laboring positions to find which worked best to relieve the pain. She also gave me countless foot massages, because that seemed to help.

She helped us deal with the hospital staff by reminding us of questions we meant to ask them or things that we should ask about. She never spoke to the staff on our behalf, but I remember she and my husband developed some code words so that when she would say a certain word to him, he knew just what to ask of the nurse or doctor. Let’s face it, after being in labor all day and all night, not eating, and not sleeping,  the ability to think quickly on our feet seemed to disappear.

Aside from coaching us through the many hours at the hospital, our doula also shot some photos with our camera and was able to capture some amazing memories. She was able to photograph the moment when the doctor handed me my son, when my husband cut the baby’s umbilical cord, and when all three of us were cried for the first time as a family.

To learn more about doulas, how they train, and where you can find one, visit

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Nursing Bra

Posted by Alina on Sunday Feb 1, 2009 Under mommy products

I had a hard time finding a well fitting, comfortable nursing bra. On someone’s advice, I went shopping for some during my pregnancy, a few weeks before my due date. I found a couple of nursing bras that seemed to fit well at the time, however, after my son was born, I quickly dropped a lot of weight (water), and suddenly, I could not use them. My newborn son was quite demanding of my time and it was too difficult to go bra shopping in the early months.

Finally, I decided to visit The Upper Breast Side. This store was quite an experience. It’s run by a family of women. They were no-nonsense, no frills, straight down to business. It’s not a type of place where you go to browse, but it’s great if you need a nursing bra, a baby sling or a breast pump and are intending to buy. I came in, filled out a form and sat down on a bench. While waiting to go in for my fitting, I witnessed an interesting sling demonstration (for another shopper) and learned a few new tricks. Once my turn came up, I was escorted behind a curtain, where there was a bassinet to place my son and I was asked some questions, measured and fitted with excellent nursing bras. I ended up buying two. They are a bit pricey, $50-70 each, but I intended to nurse my son for a year and thought the comfort was worth it.

I would definitely recommend the Upper Breast Side (135 west 70th Street, NY, between Broadway and Columbus Ave). I would also recommend buying one cheap nursing bra before the baby is born, so that you have something, but if you are going to splurge, I would suggest waiting to see how your body changes after the baby arrives.

P.S.   If you do visit the store, they sell an inflatable My Breast Friend pillow, which is great for home and for travel, and which I was not able to find anywhere else. You can read more about it in one of my previous posts HERE.

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