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Five easy ways to choose wellness for the holidays

Someone once said, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.”  It is for many, but it also can be the most stressful time of the year.  With holiday parties, hosting family, being in charge of meals, shopping, wrapping gifts, etc, there can be a lot on your plate.  Thing is, it’s not replaced by anything you do on a daily basis. These tasks are compounded stresses atop normal daily activities.  If you feel like screaming your head off and trying to find a way to de-stress, here are some simple tips to follow that can take the edge off of the emotional stress and literally help to back away from the edge of the cliff….

Drink Lots of Water

Most illnesses begin with dehydration.  Headaches, cramps, muscles spasms and many more stress triggers all have the possibility to be avoided by hydrating yourself.  Hydration is key to wellness and is, in fact, one of the most important factors of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. A few ways to stay hydrated is:

  1. Take your water with you wherever you go in a water bottle or travel mug.
  2. Schedule your drinking times on your calendar as reminders to take a sip.
  3. Sip on water throughout the day instead of chugging a lug to catch up on the water you missed during the day.
  4. Eat lots of fruits and veggies that have very high water content.

These are just a few short tips that are easy to remember and are sure to keep you hydrated for wellness.

Get Adequate Sleep

Some say that 6-8 hours is best.  I say do what your body needs. Some days it may be 8 hours and some it may be 4 hours with intermittent naps in between.  Get in the habit of listening to your body and giving her exactly what she needs. There is no need to follow a standard because it only adds more stress if you’re unable to meet the recommendations.  The standard may not be for your body.

Do Something Unique

This is the time of tradition.  We probably purchase or pull out the same tree, same decorations, see the same people, etc.  Try something new. Perhaps, this holiday season you’ll find a restaurant open and eat there as opposed to cooking.  Maybe take a short trip to a place you’ve never gone before. Or, add a vegan dish to the dinner menu that would spark a great conversation and move everyone else in the direction of trying something new.  Traditions are great, but when we can be creative and implement new ideas in snackable chunks as opposed to removing the tradition all together, it opens up to many new possibilities and makes everyone happy.  Can you say, win-win?

 Get Outdoors

Have you ever hiked during the holiday season.  Maybe find an ice skating rink near you…grab the little ones and get in some fun before dinner.  A brisk walk around the neighborhood can boost vitality and clarity.

Find out what outdoor activities are near you and try getting some fresh air for a change.

Gift Yourself

We are sometimes so engulfed in the trenches of gifting to others that we forget to gift to ourselves.  Find out what you want, purchase it, wrap it and put it under the tree. It doesn’t matter that you know what it is.  The idea is to treat yourself with as much love, care and respect as you do others. You’ll be so glad that you did.

If the holiday season is far more stressful for you and these easy tips may not do the trick, seek some professional help.  Holiday times stir up lots of emotions and can be a very depressing time of the year. Love yourself through these times and by all means take great care of yourself.

Happy Holidays!

Team Providence Women’s Healthcare

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The Ultimate Hospital Checklist for Labor and Delivery

Some people want to pack the entire house, including the kitchen sink!  Don’t get carried away with packing extra, unnecessary items that may become more of a hassle than they are helpful.

Here’s a great list of 7 items that a Certified Nurse Midwife suggests to bring:

Bring a Bathrobe.  Moms like to have the comfort of having a bathrobe, particularly their favorite one from home to add a sense of comfort during her hospital stay.

Nursing Bra.  Nursing bras allows you the opportunity to be in your own attire and to breastfeed your baby, comfortably.

Comfy socks and slippers.  You may want to walk around during labor in something comfortable.  Everyone likes the non-stick socks from the hospital, but bring your own pair.  Keep in mind as well, whatever you bring, you will be going home with.

Outfit for You and Baby.  It’s safe to say that you wouldn’t want to walk out of the hospital in your gown.  Bring something comfortable for you and baby’s first outfit. Maybe you can match! Keep in mind that maternity attire may be necessary going home in the case that the stomach hasn’t reduced in size yet.  

If you choose to have photos taken at the hospital, bring a photo outfit for you and baby.

Diffuser with Oils. Essential oils are great healing companions to have during labor.  We have more info coming on the benefits of essential oils for mom and baby during before, during and after active labor.  Remember to pack the oils! There is nothing more useless than a diffuser with no oils. We don’t provide a diffuser or oils at the hospital.

Electric Candles.  If you would like to set a certain ambiance in your room, electric candles go well with diffusers.  Sensory items are great to help mom to relax during labor. We want to keep a safe environment for everyone in the hospital, therefore, flammable candles are prohibited.

Massagers.  Massagers are great for leg cramps and backaches.  There are a variety of massagers to choose from. You can order them from Amazon, or pick them up from any sports store or sports section at a department store.

Snacks, Snacks, Snacks!  It may be a long day or night, so packing snacks is imperative for partners.  Pack drinks as well so that everyone stays hydrated and full of energy.

Toiletries and Hygiene Products.  Pack your favorite hygiene products. If you’re going to use the hospital hygiene products, they will likely be hypoallergenic by companies like Johnson & Johnson Baby Magic shampoo and conditioner, etc. 

Comfortable Attire for Partners.  No one knows when the baby is going to come, therefore, no one knows where partners will be when the baby decides to arrive.  Be sure to pack a comfortable pair of clothing for your partner in case it is needed for delivery day.

Birth Plan.  If you’re wanting a specific plan for your birth, bring your birth plan written out so that we’re able to review it.  

Water Birth Certificate.  If you’ve attended a water birth class, please bring your water birth certificate. Before you close your suitcase, be sure it is there.  This will be the first item they ask for when you arrive.

Birthing Balls.  You are free to bring your own birthing ball to help during labor.  You can also bring a peanut ball. These are also provided at the hospital and used during labor.

Pillow. Blanket. Bath Towel.  Hospital pills are washed and reused.  They are plastic and can in some cases be hot and uncomfortable.  You may be more comfortable with your favorite pillow. Our bath towels are economic and smaller in size.  A bath towel from home may suit your needs more appropriately. You may also have a security blanket that would make you feel more comfortable.  Feel free to pack your fave blanket as well.

Be sure to pack you bags a couple of weeks or more before your due date.  You do not want to have to be in a position where you’re running around looking for items while the water is breaking.  Stay ahead and be ready!