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Swaddling 101

>> Friday, July 29, 2011

Don't forget about the the ITZBEEN Pocket Nanny Giveaway. Click here to enter!

I remember so clearly my mom teaching me how to swaddle my baby dolls when I was little. Turns out swaddling real babies isn't always as easy, but, all that practice when I was little definitely paid off!!

Swaddling has turned out to be extra useful with my newest little one. She is just over 7 months old and I still swaddle her. She was the move-iest baby in the womb (Remember how she was still going from breach position to head down position up until a week before her birth?) And now she is the move-iest baby out of the womb. Her legs move around like they have a mind of their own, and unless I swaddle her, she has a hard time with feedings and with relaxing to go to sleep.

Why swaddle:

-Research shows that babies that are swaddled sleep for longer stretches of time.
-Research also shows that babies that are swaddled correctly are less likely to be affected by SIDS.
-When our babies were in the womb, they were feeling warm, tight, and secure. When they are born, they still crave that feeling, and swaddling is a great way for them to achieve that feeling.
-Swaddled babies have been shown to better soothe themselves back to sleep.
-Swaddling is a great way to try to soothe a fussy baby. It can help keep them in a state of calm.

How to swaddle:

This is a wonderful video on how to swaddle your newborn.

Because my little one likes to sleep with her arms stretched above her head, I've just adjusted this method by leaving her arms out.

What to swaddle with:

I have two favorite swaddling blankets.

The first is the hospital blanket. They aren't pretty or cute, but they are perfect for swaddling. I immensely regret not stocking up on more of them when the nurse told us to take all the blankets they had in our hospital room. Next time around I will definitely be picking out all of the big ones they have.

My second favorite is something I recently heard about (I'm probably behind on this one) but I LOVE the aden + anais swaddling blankets. Unlike the hospital blankets, these are super cute and come in lots of different designs. They are big (perfect for swaddling an 18 lb seven month old like mine) and lightweight (perfect for swaddling a seven month old like mine in the hot, hot heat of summer).

You can visit the aden + anais site here and if you look around online, you can find some good deals on them.


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Itzbeen Pocket Nanny Review/Giveaway

>> Thursday, July 28, 2011

You've just had your baby. You're in the middle of recovery, trying to figure out how breastfeeding is supposed to be "natural", you haven't slept for more than 45 minute increments here and there, and get emotional over everything. Not to mention post-partum blues and anxiety have left you feeling a little "out-of-it". If you're like me, you're not in the greatest condition to start needing to remember when you fed baby last, was it the left side or the right side? How long has he been awake- is it nap time yet? Oh, and when was he changed last? Not to mention if you're giving baby medicine, or YOU medicine....when was the last dose? Way too many things for my fried brain to remember. That's where the ITZBEEN Pocket Nanny comes in. I so wish I had known about this with my first two! ITZBEEN™ Pocket Nanny was developed by a new mom and dad who found themselves sleep-deprived and needing help to remember baby care details, such as when their baby last ate or napped. So, they created the ITZBEEN™: a multi-purpose nursery tool that helps new parents remember the basic details of baby care.
It has four timers that help you keep track of diaper changes, feedings, sleep or wake time, and anything else you may need to keep track of-all with the touch of a button. You can set any or all of the four timers on an alarm, which is one of my favorite parts! So for example, if you have a newborn and plan to feed him every 2-3 hours, you can set the feeding timer to go off after 2.5 hours. It also has a soft glow night light and a backlight display, which helps out during all of those late nights. One of my other favorite features is the nursing reminder to help you remember which side you nursed from last. The ITZBEEN Pocket Nanny is also great for sharing responsibilities with Daddy, baby-sitters, or Grandma. It quickly gives them a run-down of what happened when, and you can customize alarms to let them know when things need to be done. I absolutely love the Pocket Nanny; it makes life as a new mom so much easier! It would be a perfect baby shower gift as well! You can purchase it at http://www.shop.itzbeen.com/ for $24.99. It is also available in most major stores.

One lucky reader will win an ITZBEEN Baby Care Timer!

To Enter:

1. Visit ITZBEEN and comment on one of your favorite features of the ITZBEEN Pocket Nanny.

Extra Entries:

2. Multiple Entries-Share this giveaway with one of the "share buttons" at the bottom of this post. It's super easy to share to Facebook, twitter, your blog, or e-mail! (One entry for each way shared, and for each day shared)

3. Follow Milan Maternity on Facebook

4. Follow this blog

5. Follow Milan Maternity on Twitter

6. Post one of our buttons on your blog and leave the link (one entry for each)

7. Follow ITZBEEN on Facebook

8. Follow ITZBEEN on Twitter

Giveaway open until Monday, August 8, 11:59 pm PST. The winner will be chosen by random.org. Good luck!


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MM Birthday Giveaway Winner!

>> Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Thanks to everyone that participated in our birthday giveaway! It's so fun to see everyone modeling their MM clothes, whether pregnant, nursing, or somewhere in between!

We numbered all of the entries and a winner was chosen by random.org- The winner of $100 cash and $50 to MM is Aj Ceniceros! Congrats!

Also, congrats to Stephanie Aders Hansen for having the most "likes" on her pic! You have won $50 to MM!

Everyone that posted a pic gets a $10 e-gift code to Milan Maternity!

E-mail us at service@milanmaternity to claim your prizes!


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The when, what, and how of feeding your baby

>> Monday, July 25, 2011

Don't forget! Today is your last day to enter the Milan Maternity birthday party giveaway. Click here for details!

As a new mother, one of the things I was unsure about was what to feed my baby. When, what, and how much was completely unknown to me. Of course I could ask at doctors visits, but I wasn't sure what to do in the mean time. Plus I'd usually forget half of the stuff the doctor said before I even walked out of the doctors office. Taking notes during those visits probably would have been helpful, but my brain no longer functions at full capacity, so the thought didn't cross my mind.

Then I found an age-by-age feeding guide on babycenter.com
It is my go-to food guide when it comes to feeding my babies during their first year. It gives you signs of readiness for each phase, what to feed them, how much per day, and feeding tips. Even though I didn't follow their guide precisely, it was a huge help. I was so glad I found it and immediately bookmarked it so I could refer to it often.

So if you are like me, and need some help in that area, click here for baby center's age-by-age guide to feeding your baby.


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MM Birthday Party Giveaway Contest!!

>> Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Happy Birthday to us! We're having a party and we want everyone to come! Put on your favorite MM piece and take a photo, (we had SO much fun back in November when we did this, we just had to do it again!) and you could win our big birthday present...a $100 CASH CARD and a $50 MILAN MATERNITY e-gift card! And just for entering, we'll send you a $10 e-gift card code to use on your next order!

Here's how to enter the MM Birthday Giveaway:

Take out your favorite MM piece and take a photo! (Whether you're pregnant, nursing, done having babies, or somewhere in between, we want to see photos of all stages!)

Post it on our Facebook page by Monday July 25. Include your first name and what piece you're wearing. If you'd rather us post it, or if you don't have a Facebook account, e-mail your entry to service@milanmaternity.com

You may submit up to TWO photos (different styles)

All of the entries will be numbered and a winner will be chosen by random.org on Tuesday, July 26, and everyone else that entered will be sent a $10 e-gift code!

EXTRA ENTRIES and EXTRA PRESENTS- For EVERY 10 people that "like" your photo in our album, you'll receive an extra entry, with no limit! Also, the photo with the MOST likes, will win a $50 MM e-gift card!

I know what you're thinking...if you're like me, you never take photos of yourself, pregnant or not. It's time to change all that! So whether you're pregnant, nursing, in that transitional stage, or completely done with pregnancy and still loving your MM looks, send us a picture with you in your favorite piece. It doesn't have to be a full body shot. You don't even have to show your face if you don't want to! It can be whatever you want, as long as we can tell what your favorite piece is. So for those of you that already own some Milan Maternity pieces, it's time to dust off the old camera. For those of you that don't, now is the time to treat yourself! Through Friday, get 15% off your order with code "BIRTHDAY". Order your favorite piece and get your photo in by Monday!

Remember, there's no limit on how many extra entries you can get! Post your photo on our Facebook page, then SHOUT IT OUT to family and friends and get them to "like" your pic to earn those extra entries! Can't wait to see what you're wearing to our party!


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My favorite pregnancy book

>> Monday, July 18, 2011

Although I have mentioned that I wish I hadn't watched so many shows and read so much about the gory details of childbirth, there was one book that I absolutely loved! It's called "Great Expectations: Your All-in-One Resource for Pregnancy & Childbirth".

My favorite part of this book was the week by week guide for the changes that both you and your baby are making during the nine months of pregnancy. I would pick a day of the week to read about what my baby would be doing that week, and it was amazing to read about the amazing growth these little babies make in such a short period of time. And even though I read it through my first pregnancy, I enjoyed it just as much reading about the babies progress with my second baby as well.

It also talks about all the different medical tests you do during pregnancy, birthing options as far as birthing at home, birthing center, hospital, and all of your options for pain management during birth. It gives you information about what foods and medicines are safe and unsafe for pregnancy and explains all of the stages of labor. And it doesn't stop after that. It also has a guide for the first 6 months of your babies life, as well as a baby buying guide, which helps you figure out what you need for your baby and what is safest.

And the best part about this book is that it is positive and reassuring, and it didn't scare me like other things I read. If there was only one book that I could recommend to any expecting mother, this would be it. You can buy it here.


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Learn from my mistakes

>> Thursday, July 14, 2011

I say that if you can learn from others mistakes and not make the same ones yourself, then do it!! So just for you, I have compiled a list of things I wish I hadn't done when I was pregnant, so that you can make sure to avoid the same mistakes.

Things I wish I hadn't done when I was pregnant

-I wish I hadn't gotten a haircut. A trim, yes, that's fine. But I went in asking for several inches cut off. The man decided to disregard everything I asked him to do and he gave me a horrible cut. I cried. (I have never cried over a haircut, but when you already feel self-conscious about your changing body, a bad haircut is horrible!) I ended up going somewhere else and getting a really short cut that I still regret having had to do...3 years later! I don't think that pregnancy is a good time to make a major cut. Or at least not the time for spur of the moment decisions for haircuts.

-If I could go back to my first pregnant self, the one that gained over 50 lbs, I'd say "Hey, you!! You're pregnant and you're beautiful!" I shouldn't have been so hard on myself for my huge feet, cankles and hands. It's not like I had any control over that, so why give myself a hard time about it.

-Guess what. I so did not have to have the baby's room completely done by the time he was born. Let's be honest, he didn't even sleep in his own room until he was 7 months old. Sure it gave me something to do, but I definitely did not need to stress out about it.

-I shouldn't have read so much and watched so much about birth. Yes, it's wise to educate yourself about the birthing experience, but the real deal isn't as scary as the gory details they give in some books and on some tv shows. All I did was completely freak myself out.

-I really, really, REALLY wish I had said an emphatic "NO!" to my nephew when he wanted to walk from the capitol building in DC all the way to the Washington Monument. July, hotter than ever, 7 months pregnant. I knew that walk was longer than it looked, but I did it anyways. My feet were the size of watermelons by the time we were done. Definitely won't make that mistake again! Late pregnancy is not the time to make what feels like cross country treks!

And last, but most important:
-I shouldn't have told my husband I was pregnant. (Or anyone else for that matter.) Sure, people might figure it out eventually, but I'd be willing to take my chances. Nothing like being 38 weeks pregnant, feeling as huge as a house and being SO ready to have the baby, and having your husband asking you daily if the baby is coming yet. It's hard enough to deal with when other people do it. But when your significant other, who should be the one "safe" person keeps asking too, it makes you want to cause them bodily harm.


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Milan Maternity Vittoria Winner and Dress Discount for You!

>> Wednesday, July 13, 2011


The winner of the Milan Maternity Vittoria maternity/nursing dress giveaway is:

And the coordinating comment:

E-mail service@milanmaternity.com by Friday, July 15 11:59pm to claim it, or another winner will be chosen.

Didn't win this time? Get 20% off the Vittoria or one of our other dresses with code "DRESS20" through Saturday.


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When stains are as stubborn as a 3 year old

>> Monday, July 11, 2011

Today is the last day to enter the Milan Maternity Vittoria Dress Giveaway!! Enter here!

My husband and I have this running joke that if one of us is in the room with our kids when one of them decides to...do the deed, when the other person comes back in the room we say "They have a present for you." Clearly, that is not something I'd want wrapped up in pretty paper and a bow on my birthday. My husband, on the other hand, just can't say no to presents, so it works out well for me.

The worst, though, is the blow outs. Nothing was more terrifying to me as a new mother than when I put my son in a cute, new outfit, and he'd have a blow out. I was worried that either it would stain and the outfit would be ruined, or that it would be super hard to get it out. And for a while, it was quite the process to get the clothes clean and stain free.

But it turns out Billy Mays was right when he said that OxiClean is "the stain specialist!" What's easier than filling a soaking tub with some water and OxiClean and putting the soiled clothes in there? Very rarely has it not worked the first time, and if it doesn't I just wash it, then let it soak in some OxiClean again. (and it's typically my fault because I didn't have time to get the clothes soaking before the stain set in) I also put a scoop of it into every load of my kids clothes for good measure, and it helps get out those spit up stains that can show up later as yellow spots if you don't really get the clothes clean. My family members that own and operate dry cleaners even use it there, so it must be good. Not to mention that OxiClean is great for cleaning a million other things, which as a mother, we know that there are lots of spills and such to clean up after.

So if you are a new mom, or an old mom, and haven't figured out the best way to deal with all those stains yet, definitely give it a try.


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>> Thursday, July 7, 2011

Don't forget, the Milan Maternity Vittoria dress giveaway is still going until July 11. Enter HERE!

Sometimes maternity fashion can be a little tricky because not being able to wear all the things we want can get a bit frustrating, but that doesn't mean we still can't look good. Which is why it can sometimes be all about accessories, accessories, accessories.

One of the trends in accessories that is still in is scarves. I know what you are thinking. It's a million degrees outside, why would I risk heat stroke by wearing a scarf just to accessorize? Because there are some great, lightweight summer scarves out there, and scarves aren't just for bundling up a cold neck. Remember, these scarves are perfect not only for draping during the summer, but also as headbands and pony tail holders for those days when it's just to much effort to get your hair done. Or in my case, when it's just way too humid to let my frizzy hair go free.

Here are 5 of my favorite finds:

My favorite is this red rose scarf...in the UK. But don't worry. If you love it as much as I do, they do deliver to the US.

I also love this striped white and pink striped scarf at Ruche. It's so pretty, and light.

And the polka dot lover in me loves this ruched scarf from...Ruche.

And guess who loves paisley. This girl! And this one is so girly and pretty, I can't help but love it even more.

Last, but not least...nothing says summer like the color yellow. Which is why this scarf is so fabulous.
So go get yourself a scarf and liven up your summer maternity outfits. And even your nonmaternity ones, too.


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Prenatal Chiropractic Care

>> Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Don't forget about the Milan Maternity Vittoria dress giveaway. Enter HERE!

When I was pregnant with my son, about 5 months into my pregnancy I started having the most excruciating back pain IN THE WORLD! The only way I could get the pain to subside was to lay down. And seeing as how laying down 24/7 is impossible, I was in pain a lot. The midwives office I went to referred me to a couple of chiropractors and even though I was hesitant to go being pregnant, the pain was too unbearable to not give it a try.

Miracle of miracles, after a couple of weeks of going to the chiropractor, the pain was gone. I continued going to the chiropractor for the remainder of my pregnancy. It is said that going to a chiropractor during pregnancy decreases the length of delivery. HELLO!! Sign me up for that one!

Fast forward to my second pregnancy, where everything about it was different. Including the fact that I didn't have the excruciating back pain again. I was thankful, but kept wondering if I should go to the chiropractor anyways.
Then my pregnancy got to the point where the baby should be staying in the head down position, but she wasn't. And it wasn't just that she wasn't head down at most of my visits to the midwives office, but she would flip back and forth daily. I found myself a couple of weeks away from my due date with a baby that was doing somersaults in my belly!

This time I was recommended to a specific kind of chiropractor. One that was specifically certified in something called the Webster technique. According to americanpregnancy.org, it is an "adjustment which enables chiropractors to establish balance in the pregnant woman's pelvis and reduce undue stress to her uterus and supporting ligaments. This balanced state in the pelvis has been clinically shown to allow for optimal fetal positioning."

So I went in, and he worked his chiropractic magic (on his funky little pregnancy table that adjusted for my rather round midsection). My daughter did one more flip for good measure (which he told me she would do), then stayed head down the remainder of my pregnancy. It didn't take long after she was born for her to start flipping again, though.

I know going to a chiropractor isn't for everyone, but if you are experiencing back pain due to pregnancy, or find yourself in a situation similar to my flipping baby, you should look into it more. If you are wondering if it is safe, americanpregancy.org says "There are no known contraindications to chiropractic care throughout pregnancy. All chiropractors are trained to work with women who are pregnant. Investing in the fertility and pregnancy wellness of women who are pregnant or trying to conceive is a routine care for most chiropractors."

americanpregnancy.org also says that some of the potential benefits of chiropractic care during pregnancy include: maintaining a healthier pregnancy, controlling symptoms of nausea, reducing the time of labor and delivery, and relieving back, neck, and joint pain.

If you are interested in finding a chiropractor that is Webster technique certified you can search here for one in your area.


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Milan Maternity Vittoria Dress Giveaway!

>> Friday, July 1, 2011

It's GIVEAWAY time! Today we're giving away our newest dress, the Vittoria in Mocha.

This smocked maternity/nursing dress makes looking fabulous and feeling comfortable absolutely effortless. Easily dress it up or down. It works for all seasons; pair it with some cute pumps for summer and then boots for fall.

Nurse baby discreetly and modestly by simply moving over the outer layer and lift the inner nursing sheath.

Win it! Here's how to enter: (Leave a comment for each entry completed)

1. Share with us why you would love to win the Vittoria dress for this summer!

2. Multiple Entries-Share this giveaway with one of the "share buttons" at the bottom of this post. It's super easy to share to Facebook, twitter, your blog, or e-mail! (One entry for each way shared, and for each day shared)

3. Follow Milan Maternity on Facebook

4. Follow this blog

5. Follow Milan Maternity on Twitter

6. Post one of our buttons on your blog and leave the link (one entry for each)

Giveaway open until Monday, July 11, 11:59 pm PST. The winner will be chosen by random.org. Good luck!


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