Eating During Labor

Eating During Labor

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Wait...I can't eat a snack while I'm in labor?

Many hospitals and birth centers are still on the fence about eating during childbirth. Some medical professionals fear that eating can create some risks for the stressed and birthing mom, while others are adamant that it's the best way to keep your focus and energy up. 

You can be in labor for 2 hours or 15 hours.

Everyone's body is different. 

When our bodies are under stress during labor, breathing can be erratic while we try to relax. For many women, this makes eating tricky while they're in labor. If you breathe in small amounts of food or some liquid, it can enter the airways and cause dangerous infections and complications. This is especially a risk if you are needed to be placed under general anesthesia for a cesarean. Aspirating food can even develop into pneumonia in serious cases. 

The fear of aspirating during birth still keeps many hospitals and doctors in favor of a strict no-eating policy. 

While the concern about aspirating is a real one, more research is appearing in the realm of "delivery dining" and many more professionals are encouraging mothers to snack. 

Clear broths, jello, applesauce and other easy to eat and digest foods are still the recommended choice of doctors and nurses, however more birth centers are leaving it to the parents to choose what and when they eat during labor, as well as a myriad of other birth preferences

Why eat during labor?

Doctors still aren't encouraging laboring women to eat large or heavy meals during labor, but small meals and snacks are becoming more recommended. For some, dietary needs are more important than just hunger. For diabetics, blood sugar is a constant need for balance and not eating for long periods of time can cause some serious medical concerns for mom and baby.

Getting the right balance of food is also being recommended to help women get the sustainable energy they need to have a healthier and often shorter or more comfortable births. 

Local Hospitals that Allow Labor Snacks

If you're expecting and interested in incorporating intermittent snacking into your birth plan, some of our local birthing centers are there to support you. Baptist Health Floyd in New Albany, Indiana and the University of Louisville Hospital in Kentucky are both letting parents choose light meals during labor. If you're curious about your hospital's limitations on food in the delivery space, just ask your birth team! 

While the risks for aspirating while in labor are small, they still exist. 

Talk to your doctor, midwife or hospital about your birth preferences and see if energy sustaining snacks are options for you. The choice to snack is up to you. 

It's your birth experience and you're empowered to make the decisions that will help you and your family be more comfortable and confident when the big day finally arrives! 

 

 

Summer Recipes for Kids

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On those hot summer days we'll bet the last thing you want to do is spend time cooking a big family dinner. 

We're all for convenient and easy meals that can appeal to even the pickiest eaters at our dinner table. To help parents make a menu that won't break a sweat, we put together some of our summer favorites that are simple and semi-homemade. 

You might even have some tasty leftovers to pack in your poolside picnic the next day! 

Photo Courtesy of Cooking Light

Photo Courtesy of Cooking Light

Ham and Cheese Pizza

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 4 ounces fresh baby spinach
  • 1 (8-oz.) prebaked thin pizza crust (such as Mama Mary's)
  • 1/4 cup lower-sodium marinara sauce (such as Rao's)
  • 4 ounces lower-sodium deli ham, diced
  • 2 ounces shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, torn
  • 1/2 cup julienne-cut Fuji apple
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 500°F.

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add spinach; cook 3 minutes or until completely wilted, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.

Place pizza crust on a sheet of parchment paper; spread marinara sauce evenly over crust. Arrange spinach, ham, cheddar, and mozzarella evenly over sauce. Place pizza on parchment directly on oven rack; bake at 500°F for 9 minutes or until cheese melts and begins to brown. Remove from oven. Top with apple and peppers; drizzle with remaining 2 teaspoons oil. Cut into 8 wedges.

Photo Courtesy of My Recipes

Photo Courtesy of My Recipes

Broccoli Mac and Cheese

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces uncooked large elbow macaroni
  • 2 cups chopped broccoli florets
  • 1 1/2 cups 1% low-fat milk
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 center-cut bacon slice, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons unsalted butter
  • 4.5 ounces reduced-fat cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)

Directions

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Add broccoli during the last minute of cooking; cook for 1 minute. Drain.

Combine milk and next 5 ingredients (through salt) in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk until smooth.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add bacon; cook 4 minutes or until crisp. Add butter to pan; swirl until butter melts. Add milk mixture to pan; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in cheese. Add pasta mixture to pan, stirring to coat.

Photo Courtesy of Cooking Light

Photo Courtesy of Cooking Light

Pretzel Crusted Chicken

Ingredients

  • 5 tablespoons yellow cornmeal, divided
  • 1/4 cup 1% low-fat milk
  • 3 teaspoons Dijon mustard, divided
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup finely crushed unsalted pretzel twists
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 chicken breast tenders (about 1 1/4 pounds)
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1/4 cup canola mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Directions

Preheat oven to 375°.

Place 4 tablespoons cornmeal in a shallow dish. Combine milk, 2 teaspoons mustard, and egg in a separate shallow dish, stirring with a whisk. Combine pretzels, remaining 1 tablespoon cornmeal, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, sugar, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and pepper in a third shallow dish, stirring with a whisk. Lightly dredge chicken in cornmeal, dip in milk mixture, and dredge in pretzel mixture, pressing gently to coat thoroughly. Lightly coat chicken with cooking spray.

Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add chicken; cook 3 minutes or until browned. Turn chicken over, and place pan in oven. Bake at 375° for 7 minutes or until done.

While chicken cooks, combine mayonnaise, yogurt, chives, lemon juice, remaining 1 teaspoon mustard, remaining 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, and remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Serve sauce with tenders.

Photo Courtesy of My Recipes

Photo Courtesy of My Recipes

Potato and Carrot Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups grated carrot
  • 2 1/2 cups grated baking potato
  • 3 ounces all-purpose flour (about 2/3 cup)
  • 1/2 cup grated onion
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup whole-milk Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons honey

Directions

Preheat oven to 325°.

Place carrot and potato on paper towels; squeeze until barely moist. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, onion, garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper, and eggs in a large bowl. Add potato mixture; stir to combine.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 2 teaspoons oil; swirl to coat. Heap 3 tablespoons potato mixture into pan to form a patty; flatten slightly. Repeat procedure 5 times to form 6 patties. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook 6 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Place pancakes on a baking sheet; keep warm in oven. Repeat procedure twice with remaining oil and potato mixture to yield 18 pancakes. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Combine remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, yogurt, curry, and honey in a bowl. Serve curry sauce with pancakes.

Comfort Measures for Labor

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Let's face it, giving birth isn't exactly a stroll through the park. 

For mothers looking for a drug free birth, comfort measures are everything. Our bodies go through a lot of changes during the delivery process and moving in different positions can alleviate some of the discomfort. 

Hey sweetheart, help me out here.

Dad's and partners, do your part! 

Having your partner lend a helping hand in coaching you through each transition, it can encourage them to feel more confident along the way. Practice some of these labor positions with your other half before the big day comes to be as prepared as can be. 

If you're expecting and expecting a doula, she'll be there to walk you through each position before you head into labor. With baby on the way you can re-position your body to alleviate some tension on your pelvic floor, back and hips.  

Photo: ChildbirthConnection.com

Photo: ChildbirthConnection.com

Rock a Bye Baby 

As a southern mom to be, a rocking chair is no new invention. Use this comfy chair to your advantage by elevating your feet and gently rocking. The motion will help your mind focus through discomforts and elevating your feet will take strain off your back and promote circulation. Sometimes it's even helpful to sit on a cushion or a heating pad. 

Photo: ChildbirthConnection.com

Photo: ChildbirthConnection.com

Slow Dance

We'll call this one "The Waiting Waltz." Your partner can hold or massage your back and rocking back and forth to music helps get your blood flowing and your weight better distributed between contractions. Listening to your favorite slow songs can also help you focus and recenter your mind away from discomfort to put you more at ease.

Photo: ChildbirthConnection.com

Photo: ChildbirthConnection.com

Have a Ball

A big exercise ball is your birthing best friend. Balancing on the ball, rocking or using it to support you while you stand can help your baby descend and take some pressure off your hips and lower body. Many women also use a peanut shaped ball between their legs to align their hips and help get the ball rolling on baby's arrival. 

Photo: ChildbirthConnection.com

Photo: ChildbirthConnection.com

The Climb

It's not the mountain, it's the climb! Climbing stairs slowly helps distract you from discomforts and encourages your baby to position properly. Your partner can lend a helping hand keeping you focused and motivated while you power through your contractions.

Every birthing body is different. 

What works awesome for some laboring moms won't work for others. Don't be hesitant to test new positions and techniques to alleviate some or your delivery discomfort.  

Summer Vacation Tips for the Mom to Be

Pregnancy is a Trip.

Summer vacations always come with their fair share of challenges, but when you add a pregnancy to the mix, things really heat up. 

Literally. 

Just because you're spending your summer counting down the days to your baby's arrival, doesn't mean you can't plan an incredible summer vacation and keep your cool while doing it. Sometimes you just need to get away from the hustle and bustle to relax. We put together some of our favorite travel tips for expectant moms to help you stay cool while you enjoy a few days away to relax.

You Are Now Free to Move About the Cabin

It's a huge misconception that flying is off limits while you're pregnant. If you aren't counting down the last couple weeks to go, air travel is safe for you and your baby. Many airlines limit air travel for passengers that are within their last 4 weeks of their due date so if your destination involves a plane trip, you'll need a note from your doctor clearing you for travel. 

To stay more comfortable on board, splurge for the extra legroom and park your seat as close as possible to the restroom for ease of use. Don't be shy to bring the pillows or blankets you need to situate yourself comfortably in the seat or wear shoes that are easy to kick off when you need some extra breathing room. Connecting flights are usually better because it gives you a chance to stretch your legs and fuel up along the way. 

Layer Up Buttercup

Dressing in layers is an absolute must for traveling mom's to be. Whether you're cooped up in the car, plane, train or boat it can be tough to stay comfortable or rest when you're too hot or have the air conditioning turning you into a Popsicle. Dress in flowy, breathable layers that are lightweight enough to keep you cool but can give you some relief if you catch a chill.

Rest Up

While it's fun to go zooming around on roller coasters at a theme park, your pregnant summer days are better spent at a slower pace. Incorporate plenty of breaks into your itinerary and even some naps along the way. It'll be less stressful on your mind and body if you don't plan an action packed day out and you save plenty of time to change your mind, explore or even catch some shut eye. After all, it's your vacation

No matter where you choose to vacation, some relaxing days away can be just what the doctor ordered.

Always pack your birth plan and even a few baby items just in case, and you'll be ready for a fun filled vacation with your family and friends. 

Now the only question is, 

Where to?!

Fourth of July Fun in Louisville

Summer is here and it's star-spangled. 

We're gearing up for some Fourth of July fun with our family and friends and even though the holiday is falling on a Tuesday, it's not getting in the way of our city's celebration. 

Independence day isn't all about hot dogs and hamburgers, it's an opportunity to let our patriotism shine bright and recognize all the things that make America a beautiful place to be. 

If you're not sure where to celebrate all things red white and blue with the kids, we've put together a few of the events and activities that are always a hit with our family for you to visit. So grab your sparklers and head down to Louisville's Fourth of July celebration!

Jeffersonville Independence Celebration 

Kids love fireworks but it can be tough to keep them from getting fussy while crowds flock to waterfront park for a good view. The Jeffersonville Independence Celebration is a complete family fun day that'll tire out your tots for a relaxed evening of food, fun and fireworks. Families can enjoy inflatables, live music and games as well as the best view of the fireworks that light up the Ohio River. Pack some snacks, a sweatshirt, bug spray and some lawn chairs and head on over for one of the coolest

Bullitt Blast and Shepherdsville City Fair

If a hometown Fourth of July is what's putting some spark in your sparkler, the Bullitt Blast is sure to be an absolute family favorite. There's carnival rides for your thrill seekers, activities for kids and some incredible food to fill those bellies. There's something for everyone at Bullitt Blast and it's an all-day affair that's sure to tire out the kiddies before catching an awesome view of their impressive fireworks show over the Salt River at nightfall. 

Crescent Hill Art & Music Festival

Would it really be a summer celebration without a festival to wander through? The Crescent Hill Art and Music Festival is a hit with flea-market and art loving families in the Louisville area where you can catch a live music performance and get inspired by some incredible local artists. There's tons to see at this annual event and it's the perfect place to sprawl out on a giant blanket and enjoy a Fourth of July picnic party together. 

Jeffersonville's Main Street Parade

Jeffersonville's appropriately named Celebrating Freedom Parade includes everything you could possibly love about a Fourth of July celebration packed into a high-spirited parade down main street. This parade is a fun way to kick off the weekend's festivities as it steps off just before lunchtime. After the parade slows to a close, there's food, games and live music to keep you going at Warder Park. We've never met a kid that doesn't love a good parade and when you're clad in red, white and blue it's hard to not be excited to celebrate Independence Day with your family, friends and neighbors at this exciting parade.

There's no shortage of stars and stripes around Louisville this year.

However you're enjoying the official holiday of summer, remember our service men and women that make sacrifices to keep our Independence a celebration every day. From the Doulas of Kentuckiana family to yours, we wish you and your loved ones a happy, safe and healthy Fourth of July as you begin your summer with tons of fun. 

 

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