Newborn and Postnatal Care: Old vs. New School

My parents are visiting the city in anticipation of their first grandchild. I haven’t seen them in months, so when I saw them, right away, my mom had a few things she wanted to give me, including cloth diapers! She didn’t yet know about my plan to use cloth diapers, so I thought it was amusing. I had no idea she used cloth diapers on us. Anyway, she went into her bag, and this is what she gave me:

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…the actual set of cloth diapers she used on me over 30 years ago! She had dozens of them. I was amazed she still had them. They were just pieces of flannel material. I explained to her that cloth diapering has come a long way and I showed her what I had. She had no idea that these “modern” looking diapers were also cloth. Anyway, I can still put these pieces of flannel to use by cutting them up and using them as inserts, since we’ll be using pocket diapers. Oh, I was also impressed that there was no staining whatsoever. She told me she washed everything by hand, immediately after changing. Ha! That won’t be me. Besides, I think fabric technology and detergents have come a long way to prevent as much staining as possible.

I asked my mom why she used cloth. Her reasons: less expensive, more comfortable for the baby, and less diaper rash. My reasons: less expensive, less waste, and promotes earlier potty training.

Another item she gave me was a long piece of cloth to be used to cinch my tummy after delivery. Not too long ago, I just learned about this technique. In Japan, it’s called sarashi, and apparently this technique is well known in the Asian culture. I had no idea. It’s a piece of fabric that’s wrapped around the abdomen, which is supposed to help women get their pre-pregnancy bodies back quicker. This was practiced for centuries.

Again, I explained to her that I had this already — not exactly what she was recommending, but I have what is now available in the market. Today, the Western culture has the same thing: the Belly Bandit or some sort of variation. Kourtney Kardashian actually made this particular brand popular by contributing to the design and making it fashionable.

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I asked my mom why she used one. Her reason: to tighten up/get rid of her excess the baby weight quicker. My reason: to tighten up/get rid of the excess baby weight (oh, and now they say it provides good back support while carrying or breastfeeding the baby).

It’s funny how some things never change — they just get fancier and more expensive.

Baby Consignment Store

A great way to save money on baby items is to purchase secondhand. Today, I stopped at a consignment store that just opened up nearby called Once Upon a Child. I don’t really need anything, but I thought I’d check it out anyway.

I was really impressed with the selection they had for children; they had clothes, toys, strollers, carriers, safety gates, costumes, nursery items, etc. Plus, everything was in great/excellent used condition. They also sold a few brand new items. From what I noticed, baby/infant clothing ranged from $1.50 to $15.00/piece and swings and bouncers started at $30. The clothing sizes ranged between newborn to 8 years of age.

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There were so many cute little outfits that I wanted to pick up, but I managed to fight the urge. At least I know where to go when I realize the baby needs a special outfit or mommy needs to freshen up his wardrobe :)

I’m Ready

I’m at 38.5 weeks and I’m ready as I can be for the little one’s arrival. It’s not that I want this pregnancy to be over with (not even close as I’ve enjoyed every moment of it); I’m just really excited to meet him.

I’ve prepared as much as I could–took classes (some useless ones), read books, did lots of googling, exercised consistently, packed my bags, have all the baby necessities, tied up all loose ends at work, etc. I’m now ready to just jump right into it and see what happens. No amount of preparation can make things easy, so let’s just get at it, little guy!

On Wednesday, my OB said the baby’s head was already very low and engaged (although only 1 cm dilated), which reduces the need for a c-section. That was good news as I’ve always wanted to try for a natural birth, meaning no epidural–no meds if possible. The most common reaction I get to this is a chuckle, which is completely insulting. The chuckle usually comes with ‘everyone says that but always end up taking drugs.’ Firstly, that’s a gross exaggeration as many women go epidural-free. And prior to epidural, women didn’t have a choice. Secondly, I’m not claiming that I’m better than others by denying the need, I’m just saying I’d like to give it a try. I don’t know what my pain threshold is, but if I can tolerate it, why not. No epidural would mean that I wouldn’t be bound to the bed, wouldn’t need a catheter, etc. If I can’t tolerate it, I’ll be open to options. And of course if medical intervention is required at any time, I’m not going to stop it. I’ve prepared myself (and my husband) for a natural birth but just like everything else, I have no clue what’ll happen.

But I’m ready. Until then, maybe I’ll bake to fill up the freezer or maybe I’ll sleep.