Aspen Birth Center Blog

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Working from home with your baby?

September 10, 2020



Working from home while caring for your baby or toddler is a balancing act and while there is no recipe for perfection, you can maximize your time to be more effective. Working from home doesn't have to be a trade off, you can do both!

1. Set clear expectations

Start by setting expectations for yourself. If you're expecting yourself to get as much work done as before when you were working from your office, it's time to lower those expectations (and then lower them again). While you can work from home successfully, it's going to look and feel a lot different than before. If you set your expectations too high, you could be setting yourself up for failure and no one likes the shameful feeling of guilt for not meeting your own standards.

After your expectations are dialed in, set realistic expectations with everyone else; that includes your partner, your boss/coworkers and even your children. Let your partner know that there are going to be times when you're going to need extra support. Remember to be super clear (your partner isn't a mind reader) with what you need from them.

Let your boss or coworkers know what they can expect. It's okay to be forthcoming and let them know there might be a crying baby or impatient toddler making noise in the background. Or that you might be working outside of normal business hours. Do set the expectation for when you'll be responding to emails, available for meetings and meeting your deadlines.

And set expectations with your children. While this is definitely harder to do with younger babies, you'd be surprised what toddlers can understand. Explain to them that you'll be working, get them their own pretend laptop and let them "work" alongside you. Toddlers love to be just like mommy!

2. Shift your expectations

No one is saying that you need to lower your expectations, it's all about shifting them so that you can get your work done and not feel guilty about it. If your baby is being extra fussy and you're having trouble making a deadline, talk to your boss about it or ask a coworker for extra help. You'd be surprised at how understanding people are. Most everyone is in this same boat, so try not to beat yourself up about it.

Accept unpredictability and learn to embrace it!

"Unpredictability is beauty of life. Struggle makes it interesting and worth living." - Bhaskar Sharma

3. Take breaks

It's okay to stop working and savor the moment with your little one. Take a break to play with your baby, build a block tower and then watch them laugh as you knock it down. Play a game of peek-a-boo. Read a story. Run around outside with your toddler.

Instead of waiting fighting for the perfect moment to work, embrace the interruptions and take a break. After play time, you'll come back to work time feeling energized and be able to focus better. It's about working smarter, not harder. You won't be a hero if you're burnt out.

4. Screen time is okay

Of course we would all love to limit screen time, even for ourselves, but sometimes it's just not realistic. While we don't recommend propping your baby up to watch 5 hours of TV so you can get work done, don't feel too guilty if you need to take advantage of technology to get some work done. 

Feel better about screen time by downloading some educational or creative apps. You can also set timers that limit screen time so you won't have to worry about the full day passing by. Remember to take it easy on yourself.

5. Take advantage of downtime

If you can work while your baby naps, that's a great way to get in some uninterrupted thinking time. And there's also a window after nap time where babies and toddlers are easily entertained (i.e. fresh off their nap and happy). Take advantage of this window and set up a safe space for them to play alone so you can continue to get work done. Once they've started to get a little fussy, pause your work and come back to it later. Focus on enjoying the moment with your baby, work will always be waiting.

And don't forget to use Happi Tummi to help calm and soothe fussy babies. It's also a great way to relax your toddlers before nap time. When your toddler is calm, you'll have the chance to get more work done -- calm toddler + happy mommy = win win!

Blog taken form : https://happitummi.com/blogs/news/tips-for-effectively-working-from-home-with-a-baby

Submitted by Heather Knott, RN-IBCLC

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Traveling with your Family During a Pandemic

July 16, 2020


Travel during pandemic is stressful! But reasons arise why you may need to make a trip with your little one. According to Experts at the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), travel increases your chances of getting and spreading COVID-19.

Health experts don’t yet know if one type of travel is safer than other, e.g., a car or plane trip. Airports, bus, gas and train stations, as well as rest stops, can all be places where you can be exposed to coronavirus in the air and on surfaces. It’s hard to keep your distance, for example, in an airplane or on a crowded train.

If you have to travel during pandemic, this is no time to be disorganized: Research your destination, create packing lists and pad your itinerary with extra time throughout your journey. Check local travel and weather warnings at noaa.gov, and for international restrictions at http://travel.state.gov, where you can also apply for passports and visas.

  • Wear a mask, watch your distance from other (stay 6-feet apart or more) and wash your hands often with warm soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and avoid touching your face or your baby’s face
  • Wash your hands after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing and always before touching your face, or eating, and preparing to nurse your baby
  • Carry and use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol; when using hand sanitizer, it’s important that you rub your hands together until they feel dry
  • Cough or sneeze into a disposable tissue or into the crook of your elbow
  • Avoid eating inside buildings; instead, pick up food at drive-thrus, curbside at restaurants or buy in grocery stores and eat in your car, a park or another outdoor location
  • Pack disinfectant wipes where you can access them at all times, especially if you’re going to be turning baby’s car seat or stroller over to others at airports and bus or train stations
  • Pack enough medication for the full length of your trip; especially if you or baby uses prescription medications

Fly

When it comes to flying, it’s best to wait until baby is 3-4 months old before flying to avoid challenges to their vulnerable immune system. Check to see if your carrier has any age restrictions regarding infants.

You can carry frozen or fresh breastmilk through airport security, although it will be scanned for safety. Also bring unopened snacks and empty water bottles you can fill once through security as there may be no snacks on board. Check with TSA.gov for any updates to the rules before flying.

Go hands-free

Most airlines will gate check your stroller or car seat for free, and it will be waiting for you as you exit the plane post-flight. Keep disinfecting wipes at the ready to clean the surfaces of these items before using them with your baby. If you’ve purchased a seat for baby, they must ride in a government-approved car seat. Look for the sticker on the seat that says: “This restraint is certified for use in motor vehicles and aircraft” printed on it, or it won’t be permitted on-board. It’s likely your steward will look for this.

If baby’s riding on your lap, a sling or backpack carrier may help you carry them through the airport but you’ll have to put it away during takeoff and landing. Help baby clear their ears on take-off and landing by getting them to swallow frequently, either with a pacifier, bottle, or by breastfeeding.

Lodging

If you’re staying at a hotel or home rental, ask about the facility’s COVID-19 prevention practices before you go, such as is there extra cleaning and sanitation occurring. Stay in places that allow you to avoid contact with employees with features like:

  • Online on in-app reservation and check-in
  • Mobile room key
  • Contactless services, including room service
  • Online or in-app payment and check out

Ask if employees are required to wearing face coverings at work. If you have to interact with employees, ask if the facility features plexiglass barriers at check-in counters, and physical distancing signs in the lobby–these features ensure the hotel or lodging is taking your health and safety seriously.

Packing list

You’re packing for two (or more!) Aside from the obvious clothes and accessories, don’t forget these essentials:

    • Extra diapers, wipes and a change of clothes in the diaper bag (especially needed if your checked bag gets lost or delayed!)
    • Antibacterial wipes
    • Disposable gloves for disinfecting hotel rooms (including door handles, lights, levers, remote controls, window covering controls, bathrooms)
    • Moisturizer and baby-friendly sunscreen
    • Medications you or baby is taking
    • Your driver’s license and/or passport, baby too if traveling international
    • A recent photo of your baby  
    • Emergency contact sheet: include relatives, friends, your pediatrician and your destination information
    • Duct tape for baby proofing hotels or houses where you may be staying, e.g. for electrical outlets
    • Small first aid kit with infant acetaminophen (get dosing chart from your pediatrician)
    • New toys your baby hasn’t played with yet  
    • Favorite snacks or pacifiers

Bon voyage!

By Summer Hunt, ELS
Healthy Mom & Baby -AWHONN
Posted by Heather Knott, RN-IBCLC
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Some Good Nutrition News

June 4, 2020



Craving some good news and positivity?

Amid lockdowns, people are eating healthier, cooking their own food, and consuming more fruit and vegetables, according to preliminary results from a worldwide Corona Cooking Survey.

Based on analysis of answers to the survey by 11,000 people in 11 countries, consumers reported fewer purchases of microwave-prepared foods, and fewer purchases of sweet and salty snacks.

“Consumption of salty, fat and sweet products usually goes up when people are under stress, but during the pandemic this heightened craving has been fulfilled in many countries with home-baked delicacies,” said Charlotte De Backer, chairman of FOOMS, a research group on food and media at U. Antwerp.

Furthermore, the study, conducted by the University of Antwerp in collaboration with U. Ghent and U. Leuven, is revealing that as more people rely less on Lean Cuisine and Stouffer’s, the act of cooking in their kitchens has become more of a habit as workers are banished from their office buildings and spend more time at home.

The good news, De Backer told Reuters, is that some of these eating habits are likely to outlast the pandemic, because in many countries lockdowns lasted longer than the six weeks it takes to form a new habit.

The thousands of people who took the survey in Belgium reported that they had reduced stress and frustration about cooking, as well as feeling bolder and more creative in the kitchen post-COVID-19. Time preference was also changed, with people feeling that cooking didn’t require an intolerable amount of effort anymore.

File photo by Marco Verch, CC license

Personal nutrition has apparently improved, as the purchase of fresh, frozen, and canned vegetables and fruit across all countries went up. Also notable is the fact that people say they are wasting less food, eating more leftovers, and planning meals in advance.

CHECK OUT: Publix Supermarkets Are Buying Food From Struggling Farmers So They Can Use it to Feed Families in Need With restaurants closed and people forced to grocery shop, De Backer posits they may be aligning more with healthy eating habits as fewer opportunities exist for impulse buying or eating unhealthy foods.

In regards to why people are wasting less food and eating leftovers, De Backer says it could correspond with a participant’s fears of food shortages, as grocery stores around the world suffer from empty shelves.

The researchers have been delighted because their peers in at least 30 countries have now joined the survey, to get even more data from around the world. Results won’t be available until June.

FOOMS regularly posts updates on the Corona Cooking Survey research on their Facebook page, while anyone can contribute to the science by taking the survey on the U. Antwerp website.

Article taken from The Good News Network:

Cook Up Some Positivity By Sharing The Invigorating News With Your Friends On Social Media…

Need more positive stories and updates coming out of the COVID-19 challenge? For more uplifting coverage, click here.

Posted by Heather Knott, RN-IBCLC
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Free ZOOM event: "Breastfeeding and Safe Sleep in the Age of COVID-19"

May 22, 2020



'Breastfeeding and Safe Sleep in the Age of COVID-19'
Free Zoom Event June 11th

You are invited to a free Zoom event for new and pregnant Colorado parents! Join us on June 11th at 1 pm to learn how to navigate your journey to provide the best start for your new family despite these uncertain times. 

Rocky Mountain Children’s Health Foundation is the home of the Mothers’ Milk Bank, The Best Start Program, and Patient and Family Assistance. These three programs provide valuable support to families in times of crisis and change. For over 35 years, Mother’s Milk Bank has been a safe and trusted source of donor human milk and breastfeeding advocacy and support. The Best Start Program provides critical education for new parents and a free safe sleep space. These crucial programs have joined together to create a live, virtual session to help you in these unprecedented times.

Knowledgeable presenters from Rocky Mountain Children’s Health Foundation will discuss ways to prepare for breastfeeding during the COVID crisis, overcoming breastfeeding challenges with potential limited support, and using donor human milk as a bridge during the first few days of baby’s life. Staff from the Best Start Program will address safe sleep and free safe sleep resources for all Colorado families. Each family will be sent helpful parenting items and resources after attending the event.  Please register below to reserve your slot to help you prepare for your parenting journey – no matter what the world serves up!

Learn More and Register

Sponsored by: Mother's Milk Bank of Denver
Rocky Mountain Children's Health Foundation

5394 Marshall St.| Arvada, Colorado 80002
303-839-6782
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