• Babywearing 101

    Taking the guesswork out of babywearing with an expert and educator.

    babywearing 101

    Article & Photo courtesy of Well Rounded NY

    While we’re huge fans of babywearing thanks to its countless benefits for baby and mama, we also know that it can be easier said than done. For many a first-time mama, a carrier can be confusing and complicated–throw in a crying baby during that first try, and well, there just might not be a second.

    But don’t give up, mama! Just like birth and breastfeeding, babywearing is much easier when you’ve got a little knowledge going into the process. So to help get you ready for your own babywearing journey, we asked Sarah Longwell-Stevens, babywearing educator and owner of Small Things NYC , to answer some of the most common babywearing questions out there.

    When can you start babywearing? Is there a required weight or age?
    From birth! Generally if the doctors cleared the baby to come home from the hospital, they are usually fine to put in a carrier. Most carriers have a lower weight limit of 7 lbs. That is the lowest limit most manufacturers will allow. While I think some fabric carriers are probably still safe for a smaller baby because they get custom fit as they are put on, I would definitely respect that limit if you are learning. Also, you want to give yourself some time to recover from pregnancy and birth. Generally, if you are able to hold your baby’s weight, you are able to wear them. Babywearing is a physical skill though and just like some people need a little hands-on breastfeeding, getting some help in how to use your carrier can make a world of difference.

    When can you babywear until?
    Until you can’t or don’t want to carry them anymore! That will be a different age for everyone depending on their needs for it. Most families wear their babies anywhere between 3 months to 3 years, but all families are different! Three years sounds big and heavy but you build the strength gradually as you go. Plus you don’t need to go to the gym! There are carriers for preschoolers and older that are fantastic for families with children in wheelchairs.

    How do you know if baby is breathing?
    You can feel it! The nice thing about babywearing is the baby is right there and we pretty naturally lay our hands on their bodies. The rise and fall of their chest is easy to feel. To ensure a clear airway in any device you put your baby in just make sure their chin isn’t laying on their chest–you want to be able to get a finger or two in between.

    What’s the most ergonomic positioning, no matter what carrier you are wearing?
    We like to see babies supported in the same way we would naturally hold them upright in our arms. High enough to kiss the top of their head, a finger between their chin and chest, and their knees a little higher than their bottom in a squat position. Ideally the fabric of the carrier will reach from the back of one knee to another. This helps to support the baby in the squat and makes carrying them much more comfortable for the parent. Just changing that one thing can make a baby feel 10 pounds lighter!

    How do you know if you’re doing it right?
    I always like to do a head to toe check for the positioning elements above when they are first put in the carrier. But another good question is: “Do I feel comfortable being hands free?” Usually when I see babies poorly positioned in a carrier, I see the parents holding them around the carrier supporting their body in a more ideal position. If you don’t feel hands-free, get some help adjusting the carrier. Even if you feel like the baby is secure if they are in the carrier in a way you would never hold them in your arms (like down by your hip), then don’t do it. The carrier should feel like holding.

    Any babywearing no-nos?
    Babywearing and most sports are not compatible—horseback riding, biking, skiing, rock climbing and so on. If you wouldn’t feel safe doing it while holding them in your arms, I wouldn’t do it. Be careful with hot liquids and cooking, both are probably safer with a baby on your back if at all. Babywearing in cabs is particularly dangerous because you feel like they are secure but in an accident their weight will exceed the upper weight limit of the carrier several times over. You also don’t want to experience whiplash with your baby’s head right under your chin.

    Can you babywear part time?
    People have been using a wide variety of carriers to care for babies for thousands of years in every nook and cranny of the planet. It is a way to get things done and a great tool to have at your disposal. Like all tools, you might find you have more use for it than others and it will be more suited to certain situations. Not all babies need or want to be held all the time.

    Can anyone babywear your baby? Does it provide the same benefits for Dad, Grandma or caregiver?
    Absolutely! Babywearing can be a great way for anyone to form a close bond with your baby. In many cultures, babies are passed around and everyone wears them. We tend to have smaller, more nuclear families, but there are still great benefits to other people wearing your baby. It is a really great tool for anyone who might care for your baby as it can still have that same centering effect and can help a baby adjust to new caregiving environments.

    Can you babywear twins?
    Yes! I recommend that you get comfortable wearing one baby in a carrier at a time first, but it is totally possible to wear both babies at the same time. You want to really be aware of each baby individually and feel comfortable with how your carrier works first. I prefer using one carrier per baby so that when possible you can share the load with a partner. It is a more flexible arrangement than a carrier that only carries two. Find a carrier you like, learn how to use it, and when you feel ready get some help on how to wear both.

    Is it safe to breastfeed while babywearing?
    Yes! Especially in the city, babywearing can be a lifesaver if you need to feed your baby in an awkward time or place. It can be especially amazing for second time mamas who are trying to keep up with the activity of an older child. It is another advanced skill and one that gets way easier after about three months. You want to get comfortable breastfeeding and comfortable using the carrier separately before you start trying to put the two skills together.

    How do you choose the right carrier for your baby and lifestyle?
    I really recommend trying them on with your baby or with some weight in them. I bring weighted dolls to people so they can feel what a baby will feel like if they haven’t had their baby yet, or they are feeling nervous about using their real baby right off the bat. It is so hard to get a feel for what you will like without trying it first. Buying a carrier is really a lot like buying jeans–they all do the same thing but everyone has their preferences in terms of the very small details.

    This article is by Jessica Pallay, courtesy of Well Rounded NY.  Conceived with love by former magazine editors Jessica Pallay and Kaity Velez, Well Rounded NY aims to be the singular pregnancy resource for city-savvy moms-to-be. Through reviews, profiles, expert Q&As, local guides and more, Well Rounded curates the New York City pregnancy and helps its readers come to terms – and term! – with pregnancy in the city.

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  • Things We've Read: Week of Feb. 1st, 2016

    Things We've Read | Nine Naturals

    What Facebook Found Out By Studying The Parents On Its Site (Fast Company): Today's parental landscape - more connectivity, and a greater need for some "me" time

    5 Big Takeways From A New Study Linking Personality Type to Parenting Style (Upworthy): "Each personality type has its own unique parenting strengths."

    On The Hunt For Natural Beauty Products For Women Who Actually Like Makeup (Fast Company): Natural beauty product blog/guide from the creators of Beauty Lies Truth - beauty without compromise, a cause we also stand behind!

    Unplanned C-Sections Have Unexpected Benefits, Study Finds (Yahoo!): Findings from this study show that babies born via a planned C-section have more health problems than those born vaginally or via emergency c-section.

    A Breastfeeding Deduction, And Other Tax Breaks For Parents (Huff Post): Here are several deductions/credits to consider and ask your accountant about this tax season!

    7 Things That Happen To Your Body When You Get Pregnant (Yahoo!): Pregnancy is a new experience, here's a heads up on what to expect when you're expecting

    Mom Combats Gender Stereotypes With #StillABoy Campaign (Huff Post): "A boy who wears pink is #StillABoy, just like a girl who wears blue is still a girl"

    How To Raise A Creative Child. Step One: Back Off (NY Times): "You can't program a child to become creative...if you want your children to bring original ideas into the world, you need to let them pursue their passions"

  • Smile For The Camera Mama - Maternity Photoshoot Tips From Nine Naturals & Photofaire

    Maternity Photoshoot Tips When Pregnancy

    If you’re expecting, the thought of a stranger documenting your growing body may be nerve-wracking. However, with the right maternity photographer, you can comfortably capture the beautiful bond between a mother and her child even before your baby arrives, in ways you never could have imagined. To bring your fantasy photoshoot to life and get the best bang for your buck, try these top maternity photoshoot tips from our friends at Photofaire:

    CHOOSE THE RIGHT PHOTOGRAPHER.

    1. Given the inherent intimacy of the occasion, choose a photographer who is not only skilled artistically, but also someone who you feel completely comfortable with. This is especially important if you plan to bare your growing belly. Ask friends and family for photographer recommendations or connect with a local photographer on Photofaire. Go through photographers’ portfolios and keep an eye on artistic direction, posing, set design, and more. It’s all about you, so don’t be afraid to have your own vision.
    2. Schedule a short phone conversation with each potential photographer to get a better sense of his/her style and personality and don’t be afraid to ask any question regarding the shoot, including what the total investment will look like. For example, does the amount include photo session, makeup, retouching, digital photo files, and more? Walking in and out of the shoot with total confidence in what to expect will help relieve butterflies--channel that inner Chrissy Teigen, mama!

    PREP & PRIME

    1. To capture belly at its roundest before it gets difficult to move around, schedule your session at the 30-week mark. This is important because the photoshoot typically last 1-2 hours and you don’t want to be (or appear) fatigued.
    2. Try to wear something snug and stretchy to accentuate your beautiful curves and stick to solid or simple. This will keep the focus on your belly and give the shoot a timeless feel. If you plan on baring belly, apply lotion at least an hour prior to the shoot. This will give it a soft glow. But be wary of wearing anything too tight, as it could leave behind marks on the skin.

    In the end it is all about you and how the experience makes you feel, but don’t forget about your partner (or other children). They are part of the welcome crew after all. Involve them as much as you can--it can make the experience that much more special. And don’t forget to tag us using #NineNaturals! We can’t wait to see that beautiful bump!

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  • Photo Keepsake Gifts for Parents

    5 ways to make keepsakes out of your favorite pictures of your kids.

    photo keepsake gifts for parents

    Article & Photos courtesy of Well Rounded NY

    Like most parents, I love taking pictures of my daughter and capturing the special moments in our lives. Over the course of the last three years, I’ve taken thousands of photos that have been unceremoniously thrown into a neatly organized cloud – sound familiar? Finding the time and energy to bring the photos to life in a creative way is definitely where I fall short, but thankfully there are so many options available for busy (and tired) parents.

    With the holiday gift-giving season in mind, we’ve compiled a list of awesome options for capturing and displaying timeless memories in the form of photo books, digital time-lapse videos, wooden calendars and more! Here’s 5 ways to make keepsakes out of your favorite pictures of your little ones.

    Tweed Wolf Photo book

    1. Tweed Wolf Photo Book
      Tweed Wolf is a fully customizable “Do-It-For-You” photo album service. The album-creating process begins by using Tweed Wolf’s photo uploader (or mail in a flash drive) and then a team of experts steps in to “cull, curate, edit, design and produce” a gorgeous hardcover photo album. Tweed Wolf offers a one-of-a-kind keepsake and the opportunity for parents to cross an item off the to-do list without spending a lot of their own time (signature package retails for $270).

    Artifact Uprising Custom Wood Calendar

    1. Artifact Uprising Custom Wood Calendar
      If you’re looking for a unique photo gift, look no further than Artifact Uprising’s customizable Wood Calendar. The 12-month photo calendar can be created directly from AU’s app and is placed on a 5 x 7 wooden clipboard with a magnet for easy hanging. The refreshingly simple, yet cool design is not only functional, but a beautiful piece of art to look at each day (retails for $29.99).

    Jessa Flynn Productions

    1. Jessa Flynn Productions
      What could be more timeless than a maternity, newborn or family video shoot? Jessa Flynn Productions creates stunning 1-5 minute videos to capture the unforgettable moments in your life. The final videos include color correction and are professionally edited with music. The video packages include two HD DVDs and an Instagram ready version to share seamlessly with family and friends (packages start at $500).

    Blinkbuggy

    1. BlinkBuggy
      BlinkBuggy is a service for parents who want to digitally “capture, store, access, and share family memories.” BlinkBuggy’s latest TimeLapse feature allows you to upload weekly videos of your baby and turn them into a short video at the 1-year mark – the service will even remind you to take the videos! The BlinkBuggy family just launched a new photo-sharing app called BlinkPix that prints and ships 5 photos a month to two households of your choosing (BlinkBuggy subscription plans range from $0-$5.99 per month and a BlinkPix subscription is $9.99 per month).

    Parabo Press: Accordion Zine Photo Magazine

    1. Parabo Press: Accordion Zine Photo Magazine
      Parabo Press, a new app from the team at Photojojo, allows you to create unique and effortlessly cool photo prints straight from a smartphone. One of our favorite products is the playful and gorgeous Accordion Zine photo magazine that features 14 photos of your choice and a marble, gold-foiled-printed cover. The accordion design is great for displaying photos for any type of festivity, including birthday parties and baby showers.

    This article is by Anna Julien, courtesy of Well Rounded NY.  Conceived with love by former magazine editors Jessica Pallay and Kaity Velez, Well Rounded NY aims to be the singular pregnancy resource for city-savvy moms-to-be. Through reviews, profiles, expert Q&As, local guides and more, Well Rounded curates the New York City pregnancy and helps its readers come to terms – and term! – with pregnancy in the city.

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  • Things We've Read: Week of Jan. 25th, 2016

    Things We've Read | Nine Naturals

    Five Things You Need to Know About Zika (CNN): The CDC is warning against travel for pregnant women to affected countries

    Canada Is Adopting One of Finland's Greatest Ideas: Baby Boxes (Upworthy): Baby boxes are coming to the US too, via a pilot study in Texas.

    Meet Zum, An On-Demand Ride Service For Kids (Fast Company): Like Uber for kids.

    Six Steps to Teaching Children About the Stock Market (NYTimes): Start with the basics, the fundamentals of saving, spending and giving.

    How the U.S. Almost Had Universal Child Care (Twice) (Fast Company): The US had a government-funded child care system in the 1940s, but since then it has done next to nothing to care for children under 4.

    'Baby Brain' Could Actually Make Women Smarter (Good Magazine): Motherhood improves women’s strategic thinking, judgment, and empathy

    The Emotional Post-Birth Selfie That's Resonating With Moms Everywhere (Huff Post): What 24 hours postpartum looks like

    Why It's Critical For The Next Gen To Be Tech Creators Not Consumers (Wired): "If you can create the technology you want, you can create the future you want, too."

    How Vroom Is Using Brands To Help Early Childhood Brain Development (Co Create): Partnering with brands to give parents tips to build important connections

  • Going With Your Birth Flow - Labor Preparation Tips From Nine Naturals

    Prepare For Child Labor During Pregnancy

    In order to have a positive birth experience, many new parents are deciding to “go with the flow,” believing that this will keep them relaxed and positive by remaining flexible. However, it's still important to do some prep before birth! Getting educated about what happens during birth, asking questions, expressing  any lingering fears/concerns to your birth team, and discussing higher level birth preferences with your partner will make the process a lot smoother. Like all big decisions, especially for coordinating birth, it’s important to do research. Here are a few tips to make sure you remain in YOUR flow:

    Ask questions

    When it comes to birth, many successful and outspoken moms-to-be surprisingly don’t ask questions. Not asking questions is like running a marathon without being prepared. To avoid being overwhelmed in any stage and quickly agreeing to unnecessary interventions, ask questions and know your options--ask as many questions as you can before as well as during the labor.

    Consider Hiring a Doula

    Hospitals are busy and overcrowded, so hiring a doula can facilitate the birth process. The doula can help ease the pressure on the birth partner and keep them fresh for the moments closer to birth. The doula can also help with little things like paperwork and the bigger things - like decisions that come up in the delivery room. A doula helps with preparation and relaxation for both you and your partner by providing information and keeping you aware. Some studies have shown that continuous support from doulas during childbirth may be associated with decreased use of pain relief medication during labor, incidences of C-sections, length of labor, and negative childbirth experiences.

    Take a Childbirth Class

    Attending a childbirth class will help to inform and prepare you for what to expect during labor and delivery. Learn more about baby’s development, warning signs that something may be wrong, breathing and realization techniques, and pain relief options during labor. Additionally, it will help you familiarize yourself with medical terms and common hospital protocol.

    Look out for your own best interest

    One major appeal of the “go with the flow” mentality is the stress-free aspect. . However, the more information you have going into your birth and the more control you have during your birth, hopefully the more relaxed you will be and the better your birth will go. For example, educate yourself on the signs of labor and your options for how you can labor while you are in the hospital (i.e. -the fact that you can move around when you want to, or that you don’t have to lie down to give birth). With more knowledge, whether it be from a doula, a class, or personal research, you will feel more empowered throughout the birth experience.
    Birth is an amazing experience. Take it into your own hands and go through it at your flow.

    Stephanie Heintzeler is a German educated midwife, US Doula and Certified Lactation Counselor. She owns The New York Doula Concierge with a team of 20 doulas.
    Find out more at www.thenewyorkdoula.com

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  • Well Rounded Recipe: Scrambled Eggs with Reds & Greens

    A pregnancy perfect breakfast or brunch.

    healthy scrambled eggs recipe for pregnancy tomatoes vegetables

    Article & Photo courtesy of Well Rounded NY

    Breakfast or brunch, as we all know, is the most important meal of the day. Not only does it provide us with the right fuel and nutrients we need for sustained energy levels throughout the day, it also helps with better metabolism, digestion and our overall mental and physical well-being.

    For the perfect start to your pregnant day, we’ve created a delicious, simple and healthy scrambled eggs dish with three green and three red vegetables. On the red side, you’ll find Spanish onion, capsicum and mini Roma tomatoes, while our greens include spinach, zucchini and basil leaves. All you need is a chopping board, sharp knife, bowl, whisk, frying pan, and wooden spoon, and you will be able to serve up an amazing brunch that will be enjoyed by all your guests…and you!

    This recipe is for 4 people, however you can halve or double the amount if you require less or more portions.

    Ingredients:

    • 5 x organic eggs
    • 1 x red Spanish onion, finely chopped
    • 1 x red capsicum, finely chopped
    • 100 x grams mini Roma tomatoes, cut in half
    • 100 x grams spinach leaves, washed
    • 2 x zucchinis, finely chopped
    • 4 x fresh basil leaves
    • 1/4 x cup milk
    • 1/4 cup x olive oil
    • salt & pepper to taste

    Directions:

    1. Heat olive oil in frying pan and add onion, capsicum and zucchini. Lower to medium heat and sauté for 4 minutes.
    2. In the meantime, whisk eggs with milk in a bowl and set aside.
    3. Add spinach and tomatoes to fry pan and sauté for another minute.
    4. Add egg mixture, salt, pepper and basil leaves and cook on low heat for 3 minutes or until eggs are cooked light and fluffy (stirring constantly and gently with wooden spoon).
    5. Cut in quarters and serve.

     
    This article is by Penny Zalalas, courtesy of Well Rounded NY.  Conceived with love by former magazine editors Jessica Pallay and Kaity Velez, Well Rounded NY aims to be the singular pregnancy resource for city-savvy moms-to-be. Through reviews, profiles, expert Q&As, local guides and more, Well Rounded curates the New York City pregnancy and helps its readers come to terms – and term! – with pregnancy in the city.

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  • Things We've Read: Week of Jan. 18th, 2016

    Things We've Read | Nine Naturals

    Watch Elmo and the Sesame Street Cast Turn Corporate (Fast Company): What does "synergy" really mean, anyway?

    The Most Whimsical Children's Rooms and Nurseries (Vogue): Sporting some serious room envy right here...

    Chrissy Teigen Gets Candid About Her Pregnancy Body (AOL): "My belly is bigger than my butt!"

    The Problem of the Default Parent (City Dads Group): "Maybe the best approach is to rethink as many defaults as possible, especially when it comes to parenting."

    Stunning Photos Of What Children Play With Around The World (Refinery29): Exploring the world of play in 58 countries around the world

    One Little Change In How You Talk To Your Kids Can Help Them Be More Successful (Upworthy): Instill a growth mindset - praise your child for how capable they are of learning

    Dad Transforms Newborn Into Iconic Heroes In Epic Snapchats (Huff Post): Follow Snapdad on Tumblr and Facebook for more epic snaps

    Protect Your Child's 'PDF': Playtime, Downtime and Family Time (NYTimes): "Saying yes to 'PDF' is worth saying no to something else"

  • Nine Naturals Ingredient Story: Calophyllum Inophyllum (Tamanu) Oil

    Calophyllum Inophyllum (Tamanu) Seed Oil

    At Nine Naturals, we’re on a mission to make beauty simple, smart and safe for moms and moms-to-be. Integral to that is understanding our ingredients’ science and benefits. Today’s Nine Naturals Ingredient Story, featuring Tamanu Oil, is part of an ongoing series featuring the natural, plant-based ingredients behind our high-performance beauty products.

    Extracted from the nut of the Calophyllum Inophyllum (Tamanu) tree—deemed sacred by Polynesian natives—tamanu oil helps to heal wounds and promote the generation of new tissue—a process known as cicatrization. Predominantly used to naturally combat skincare issues, including acne, anti-aging and scaring, tamanu oil is also considered a powerful first aid remedy for use on burns, cuts, insect bites, and blisters.

    The Science and Extraction of Tamanu Oil

    Cold pressed from the sun-dried nut of the yellow-skinned fruit of the Calophyllum Inophyllum (Tamanu) tree, which is indigenous to Southeast Asia—but profuse in East Africa, South India, Sri Lanka, and the Melanesian and Polynesian islands—this dark green, fragrant oil is unrefined and rich. Tamanu oil has been researched since the early 1900s for its many skin benefits. It contains many lipids and fatty acids, that are also found in the protective cell membrane and the intercellular matrix that holds layers of skin cells together. The three most abundant fatty acids in tamanu oil  have unique, beneficial properties. Linoleic acid is quick-drying and acts as an anti-inflammatory. Oleic acid is rich, locking in extra moisture. Stearic acid helps water and oil mix to prevent all the many fatty acids in Tamanu oil from separating, create a smoother application without the need to shake.

    Tamanu Oil's Benefits for Skin and Hair Care

    Tamanu oil has a high capacity for absorption, making it an ideal skin and hair conditioner.  Cold weather, indoor forced heat, and an ever-growing bump can leave your skin itchy and flaky, so rub pure tamanu oil—or a natural product that features the oil—into your epidermis to calm the irritation. To remedy damaged hair and promote healthy hair growth, apply tamanu oil to your roots before bedtime to allow the fatty-acid laden natural elixir to deeply penetrate each follicle down to the hair bulb, and then simply cleanse in the morning with a gentle shampoo.

    Why Nine Naturals Loves Tamanu Seed Oil

    Tamanu oil's moisturizing and healing properties make it a star ingredient in our skincare line. Reap its full range of benefits in our luxurious Natural Belly Oil. Its fast-absorbing formula, which also includes coconut oil, jojoba seed oil, and vitamin E, moisturizes and calms irritation without leaving skin feeling greasy.

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  • Prepping Your Body for Birth

    Train your body physically and mentally for the big day.

    birthprep

    Article & Photo courtesy of Well Rounded NY

    Preparing your body for pregnancy and birth is comparable to getting ready for a marathon-meets-Tough Mudder! Although every birth is unique, a healthy, fit mother has strength and flexibility to her advantage to push her baby out like a pro. The birthing experience will be taxing on your body both physically and emotionally, so the more “training” you can do beforehand, the better. Below, find 5 great tips that will help you physically and mentally prep for birth.

    Physical Prep:

    1. Squat it out. If I were to choose one exercise to perfect, it would definitely be squats because they help prepare for a natural delivery. Whether you play with a TRX squat, a yoga Malasana squat, or a weighted goblet squat, make sure you get low, and wherever the toes go, the knees should follow.
    2. Learn to Swim. Swimming takes 90% of the body weight off when you are waddling around winded during your later months of pregnancy. Learn how to swim now, and your body will thank you down the road! Spending time belly down also helps position the baby for a natural birth at 36 weeks pregnant, when you are praying your baby doesn’t flip breeched.
    3.  Untwist Asymmetries. Do you do any of the following? Turn to look at your computer screen, carry a side shoulder purse, or jut one hip out? Unbalanced movement causes a twist in the spine and pelvis. Why is it important? Two ligaments attach the uterus to the pelvis, and any twist in the pelvis will create torsion of these ligaments. If there’s a twist in the pelvis and uterus during labor, the baby will have difficulty descending and may end up facing the front of the mother leading to immense prolonged back labor. It’s important to get assessed by a chiropractor to help optimize the structure and function of your body leading up to getting pregnant.

    Mental Prep:

    1. Meditate Daily. Meditation helps us to let go of our extraneous thoughts and habits, allowing us settle into a safe and calm space. The same is true during labor; if we let go of fear and expectations, we drop into a primal, grounded space during contractions and stay present between contractions. Our patients at the Urban Wellness Clinic who meditate daily tend to deliver their babies like rock stars! Our favorite meditation guides include Headspace,  a friendly app with short 10-minute meditations under the guidance of Andy, a gentle British bloke; and Art of Meditation  with Elena Brower, an innovative and accessible online offering created by my favorite NYC yoga instructor. Find the same time of day to meditate, this helps ease in creating a new healthy habit. Just start, there’s no better way to break procrastination than sit down, close your eyes and breathe.
    2. Belly Breathe. Place your left hand on your chest and right hand on your belly, and take a breath. Where did you send the majority of your breath? If it was all in your chest, welcome to the stressed out club of NYC’s dysfunctional breathers, don’t worry there’s hope. The natural breath is mostly belly expansion as we breathe in and the belly softening to the spine as we breathe out, and the sternum (chest bone) will travel forward but not upward.

    Tips for belly breathing:
    -Place the tongue on the roof of the mouth 1 inch behind the teeth,  this helps access belly breathing.

    -Focus on the exhale. This is when we actually breathe, when there is an exchange of oxygen to the blood stream.

    -Low hum on the exhale. This engages the vocal cords and core muscles will sync up the diaphragm on the exhale.

    Get belly breathing down now. During pregnancy, the baby grows which pushes up on the diaphragm and leads to using neck muscles to breathe and reflux. Lastly, the pressure action of the diaphragm is essential in creating force for progression and pushing out your baby in second phase of delivery.

    This article is by Emily Kiberd, courtesy of Well Rounded NY.  Conceived with love by former magazine editors Jessica Pallay and Kaity Velez, Well Rounded NY aims to be the singular pregnancy resource for city-savvy moms-to-be. Through reviews, profiles, expert Q&As, local guides and more, Well Rounded curates the New York City pregnancy and helps its readers come to terms – and term! – with pregnancy in the city.

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