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goings on in the world of pregnancy and the time thereafter


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April 19, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

10 Questions About Bed Rest

One in four pregnant women are placed on bed rest annually.  That is approximately 700,000 women.  Its a measure that doctors prescribe when they feel that the baby and/or mother is at risk for complications during the pregnancy.  It can be a sudden and sometimes devastating turn of events in an otherwise healthy pregnancy term.  For BellyButtonBoutique owner Karla Trotman, bed rest meant 2 weeks in the hospital on 24-hour monitoring where should could only leave the bed to use the restroom and to shower.  Some women must spend their entire pregnancy in bed.  Darline Turner-Lee is the founder of Moms On Bedrest & Beyond.  She took the time out of her busy schedule to give us an in depth look at the emotional and physical side of a pregnancy prescribed to bed rest.

1.  Why would a pregnant woman have to be on bed rest?

Pregnant women are prescribed Bedrest when they are at risk for going into preterm labor (defined as labor before 37 weeks of pregnancy). Common causes of preterm labor that would require a woman to be placed on bed rest include incompetent cervix (cervix dilating and shrinking in preparation for delivery before it’s time for delivery), placenta previa (placenta presenting first at the opening of the birth canal) Uncontrolled Gestational Diabetes, uncontrolled hypertension/pre-Eclampsia/Eclampsia, poor fetal growth, A multiple pregnancy (twins, triplets, etc..), vaginal bleeding, premature rupture of membranes (early water breaking) history of pregnancy loss.

2.  Are there different types of bed rest?

The bed rest prescription varies depending on the situation. Sometimes a woman will be asked to stay close to home, not drive and not do any heavy lifting or strenuous activities, yet she can work on a computer and putter around her home. Some women will be on “house arrest” where they have to stay at home, either in bed or on the sofa, keeping their feet up and not doing any vigorous activity, getting up only to go to the bathroom and are only allowed to shower once daily. Then there is strict bed rest when a woman has to remain in bed and get up only to go to the bathroom (No Showering!), and very strict bed rest where she has to remain in bed on her left side and use a bedside commode.

3.  What are the emotional effects of bed rest on a woman?

Bed rest is very emotionally draining. Remember, a woman is placed on bed rest to protect both her health and the health of her baby. So many people chide a woman on bed rest with, “Girl, I wish I could lie around all day! Relax and enjoy it! Take advantage!”

Bed Rest View

But it’s pretty hard to relax when you know that you may be losing your baby. So many women on bed rest have had a difficult time getting pregnant and have often lost other pregnancies. In another example, a woman with very high blood pressure that is being refractory to treatment is often very worried that she may have a stroke or other life threatening complication where she could die or be very much impaired. There is a lot of anxiety and guilt because women often feel it’s their fault that the complications are happening. Often it’s no one’s fault, just something that happens. This is often not a fun time but one that is very stressful-the opposite of what is desired.

4.  What are some things that women on bed rest can do enhance their mood?

I always advise women on bed rest to stay cheerful. Listen to music, read good books, watch favorite movies. This is a great time to journal or to start a scrapbook for your little one. Gather lots of family info and photos and put it together for the baby.

Mostly, get as much interaction as possible. There are lots of great online forums women can join and chat with other women on bed rest. This seems to be one of the best ways women pass time, share hopes and fears and support one another.

5.  On your website you mention how exercise is very important while one is on bed rest.  Can you elaborate?

Pregnancy is a state of volume overload, meaning that there is more blood in a woman’s circulation and more fluid in her body. The added strain on the circulatory system puts pregnant women at risk for developing blood clots, mostly in the legs as they are the furthest from the heart. These clots can cause inflammation in the blood vessels where they develop and infection. If these blood clots dislodge (embolize) they can travel to the heart, lungs or brain and be fatal. These dangers are compounded in women on bed rest because not only do they have the additional fluid volume of pregnancy, they are immobile. (Ever notice that your feet swell on a long ride?? Same thing! Women on bed rest are at increased risk of developing blood clots in their legs and at increased risk of embolism that could result in a heart attack, pulmonary embolism or stroke.

While it seems crazy, women on bed rest must exercise. Since they cannot walk around, they have to move their limbs and contract their muscles to keep the blood circulating to avoid the aforementioned complications. Also, keeping their muscles active and toned will enable them to regain their physical function once they are able to be up and about.

6.  How can family members support loved ones on bed rest?

Take care of the household duties so that she is not worrying about them; help with children, pets, community obligations. Stop by and clean her house or bring a meal. Offer to run errands or to take her children out for a day of fun (remember, they have lost the mommy that they know as well!) Mostly, visit. Being at home alone on bed rest can be very isolating. We have all experienced times when left to our own devices we think up all kinds of crazy scenarios. Unfortunately, some of the scenarios a woman on bed rest may be imagining may not be too far fetched. Visit her, sit with her, listen to her, and don’t dismiss her worries and fears. If you don’t know what to say, just listen and acknowledge her feelings. Throw her a party or a shower. Anything that will lift her spirits and keep her calm is good.

7.  What are the top 3 items a woman should have by her side during this time?

I actually came up with 4 things:

  1. A telephone
  2. The TV Remote
  3. A laptop computer
  4. A cooler or small fridge with snacks and drinks.

8.  On your website you offer services to help moms on bed rest in the Austin, Texas area.  Have you thought about partnering or franchising in other cities?

I would love to have a Mama on Bedrest & Beyond in every major city in the country! We really don’t do enough to support women and families and when a woman is not able to fulfill her regular obligations, it really impacts the family. The mission of Mamas on Bedrest & Beyond is to support high risk pregnant women and their families during a very difficult time by maintaining as much “normalcy” as possible.

9.  Why did you start your business?

I had 2 high risk pregnancies and had no local support. I am originally from the Northeast and my husband is from the east as well. We are the only ones here in Texas. When I had problems with my pregnancies, both my mom and mother in law were trying to figure out how they could come and support me. With my first pregnancy, they were both still working and could not spare what could have been weeks away to care for me. Home health Agencies in the area cater only to the elderly or those with injuries or severe debilitation. When I called, I was told that pregnancy, even a high risk pregnancy, would not be covered. Luckily for me I did not end up on bed rest (my daughter was born early and I worked with my OB to avoid bed rest with my son because I had no local support), but I knew that I could not be the only person who lived far from family and had high risk pregnancies. So I decided to fill the gap.

10.  What is the one thing that readers should take away regarding bed rest?

Bed rest is anything but restful and is often very stressful. When a woman is placed on bed rest, she worries about her own health, the health of the baby and how she will meet her obligations. Anything that friends and family members can do to minimize her stress, to keep her spirits up and to keep her life on an even keel will be greatly appreciated.

Darline Turner-Lee is the founder of Mamas On Bedrest & Beyond, a subsidiary of Next Step Fitness, Inc*. She brings nearly 17 years of experience as a physician assistant, ACSM Certified Clinical Exercise Specialist and perinatal fitness instructor to the business along with extensive personal experience. Turner-Lee was pregnant every year between 2001 and 2006 with the exception of 2003. She has has 4 conceptions, 2 miscarriages, 2 high risk pregnancies and 2cesarean births.She has the unique perspective as a clinician and as a high risk and older mom (who gave birth at 37 and 40 respectively) which enables her to meet the unique needs-both physical and emotional-of high risk pregnant women. Turner-Lee’s vision for Mamas on Bedrest & Beyond is to change the way that clinicians, friends and loved ones care for high risk pregnant women.

March 23, 2010 Posted by | Bellybuttonboutique, complications, karla trotman, parenthood, pregnancy, Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Happy & Healthy Mom Fair Philadelphia

Please go to for details regarding this event.

March 13, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 2 Comments

The 9 Deadliest Mommy Sins

Inspired by Rich Santos from Marie Claire’s article (, I decided to create a list of The 9 Deadliest Mommy Sins (because a 10th one was too hard to think of)…

Image: Maggie Smith /

1. Friend Abandonment – You get married and have had a child or two and realize, I haven’t talked to my girlfriends in 3 years.  Most friends that have traveled down the same road of love/marriage/baby carriage will understand.  The ones that are single will not.  In their minds you have moved off to Pleasantville, USA, never to be heard of again.  To them you are only as good as the last happy hour you attended.  So before you send that Snapfish link of 175 bathtub shots of your kids, you might want to start with a simple phone call.

2.  Email Forwards – Sending someone an email forward is not keeping in contact.  Even if its “National Girlfriend’s Day” or a long poem about how “Good Friends Like You are Hard To Find”.  Nothing is more annoying than receiving a flurry of email forwards (blind copied at that) about how special you are and never receiving one piece of personalized correspondence.  Send a text, a note card with 9 words on it or even a 30 second phone call that says, “I’m at the park with the kids and I don’t have much time, but wanted to let you know that I miss you and we should put a date on the calendar”.

3.  Bragging – OK, so your baby is pulling up 5 weeks ahead of schedule.  Perhaps he can now eat with a fork and knife.  Save those Einsteinian stories for family members who ask.  Everyone doesn’t need to know that Junior potty-trained himself.  Especially if no one ever asked.

4.  Pretending – Motherhood is hard.  You don’t have to pretend to be a perfect Stepford wife.  Admit your struggles and pains.  It not only makes you more endearing, but you are more likely to find someone to either commiserate or help you find a solution to some of your issues.

5.  Keeping Up With the Joneses – Daycare costs thousands.  Those Gymboree classes cost more than my monthly membership at LA Fitness.  I’m not ashamed to admit that I can’t afford to buy much for myself these days.  But those who pretend to live a flamboyant lifestyle, but are secretively stressed finacially are only fooling themselves.  DON’T lease a Lexus SUV for 3 years if can’t afford it.  Your kids will destroy the car and you will have to pay more money when you turn it back in.  You don’t need Tom Ford sunglasses when your kids are going to bend the arms back on them and eventually break them.  Little Emma does not need a Burberry coat for preschool.  She needs a 529 savings account.  You are only rich when you live BELOW your means.

6.  Raising Wild Animals – If you are unable to control and properly discipline your children you are at risk for raising a wild animal.  These wild animals wind up going to school with my children.  My children try to mimic the same behavior at home and then I have to deal with it.  Teach your children, while they are young, to be respectful and kind.  Your job as a parent is to guide them and nurture them.  We are raising human beings, not jackals.

7.  Be The Overwhelmed Mom – Mommy needs a cocktail every once and a while…well, this mommy does.  So when I am feeling particularly overwhelmed, I ask for help.  I’m blessed in the fact that my husband can handle both of our children all day, if need be.  Some people are not in that position, but perhaps a mother’s helper can assist.  A mother’s helper is a 12 or 13-year old neighborhood child that can play with your kids (while you are still in the house) and help you out when you need a hand.  Every mom needs to have personal time.  Even if its just a moment in the bathroom without someone busting in asking, “Mommy, what are you doing?’.

8.  Avoid Having A Date Night – Do you still like your mate?  If you want to continue (or start) liking one another, you should really take time for just the two of you…and no, 10 minutes before you both pass out in bed doesn’t count.  Yes, we are in a recession, but there are tons of really inexpensive things that you can do together.  All relationships need to be nurtured.

9.  Lack A Spiritual Center – I’m sure this is controversial, but I will speak from personal experience.  If it had not been for God, I’m sure I would choked all of the people who annoyed me in life.  I have been a Christian since birth.  Went through the whole cycle of disbelief and doing things my own way and saw how it wreaked havoc on my life.  When I got up off of my face and had my encounter with God, there was only one way for me to live my life, which is how I and my entire family operate.  I don’t know what your beliefs are, if any, but I do know that without a spiritual compass of some sort you are directionless.

* Disclaimer, I am not an expert, just a mom with an opinion.  I’d love to hear yours – good, bad or indifferent.

March 4, 2010 Posted by | Bellybuttonboutique, karla trotman, parenthood, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

10 Questions About Belly Casting with Doula Jennifer Mossholder

1.  Why do women get belly casts done during pregnancy?

A lot of women chose belly casting to preserve a moment in time that won’t be repeated again.  Even if they were to get a cast done of another pregnancy, the cast they chose to get on that day at that hour represents a moment frozen in time.  It is really a beautiful reminder, post-pregnancy, to look at.

2.  How did you get into belly casting?

A doula I worked with was very artistic and used to handle all the belly casting.  She passed away and I felt the need to carry on the art.  It is great to have an arts and crafts project to work on for myself, but I love to work with the shapes and curves.  It is almost sacred to work on these casts for “my moms”.

3.  What area(s) of the body are typically cast?

That is entirely up to the client.  People have had just their bellies done – some have had from their shoulder to their thigh done.  The bigger the cast, the more challenging the work for me.  I am always up for a challenge!  It is important for the mom to realize some areas (like wrapping around shoulders and thighs) are more difficult and delicate and may not “work” in the final process.

4.   What exactly is the process?

I sit down with each mom prior to casting, ask what they envision and work with their budget.  After I have a good idea of what they want we proceed with the actual casting.  I ask that they use Vaseline to cover all the parts of their body I am going to cast so it comes off easily in the end.  If they want the cast to dip on the lower belly or thigh areas I really recommend shaving those areas as some hair may get pulled off.  When applying the Vaseline, I tell them to pay special attention to their navel and nipples.

5.   Is the process uncomfortable?

It is messy but not uncomfortable.  I used medical grade gauze with the plaster already in it so it is much stronger than the kits you can buy on line.

6.   How long does it take?

I work very quickly since the plaster dries in about 10 to 15 minutes and starts to separate from the skin.  I precut all the strips of plastered gauze.  The better the mom holds still and the better prepared I am makes for a faster casting process.  The clean up is the long part.

7.   What chemicals or materials are used on the body?

Aside from Vaseline or another petroleum based topical and the plaster nothing else is used.  If the mom has concerns about the dust from the dry gauze being inhaled she can wear a surgical mask, but this option has never been utilized by my clients.

8.   What should one look for when trying to find someone to cast their belly?

Someone with experience.  Ask a lot of questions!  Ask if the artist about pricing so you are not surprised about hidden costs.  Be sure to ask if you are just getting an impression or if the person casting you is going to reinforce the plaster and deliver the cast back to you at a later date.  Thoroughly discuss design options and ideas, but in the end realize this is a fun process.  You can always decorate the cast yourself.  There are several images on the internet to get insipred by!

9.    What do you do with the cast once its complete?

Many clients hang the cast in the nursery (I advise against hanging it over the crib or changing table; some casts are very heavy due to size and may injure your baby if it falls off the wall.)  Some moms like to decorate the cast themselves with the new baby’s footprints or have a decoupage project.  The possibilities are endless.  The only limit is your imagination.

10.  Is there a process for preservation?

I seal all the casts with clear gesso but like a cast you would get if you broke an arm (before the fiberglass casts) they do have a shelf life.  Once you are done displaying the cast, I would recommend wrapping the cast in acid free paper and storing it in an air tight container (box or bag).  The basement or attic are bad choices unless they are finished portions of your home.  Extreme temperatures and humidity increases the risks of degradation.

Jennifer Mossholder has been a certified doula since 2003 and has extensive hospital and birth center experience.  She has encountered every situation from natural midwife births to OR Cesarean birth.  An Associate Member of PALM; Pennsylvania Association of Licensed Midwives, a Member of the American Pregnancy Association, Chapter Co-Leader of ICAN of Southeastern Pennsylvania and she serves on the Steering Committee at the Bryn Mawr Birth Center.  She is also a frequent contributor to CAPPA Quarterly and The Expectant Mothers’ Guide.

Jenn just celebrated her 100th birth in December 2009!

February 6, 2010 Posted by | Bellybuttonboutique, karla trotman, pregnancy, Uncategorized | , , | 1 Comment

What are your top 5 New Year’s resolutions for getting healthy and fit in 2010?

So all mommies want to get their bodies back into shape after having the baby. But whether you are pregnant or not, we should all strive for top health and fitness. It wouldn’t be fair for me to ask yours without sharing mine:

1. I love sweets, so I am going to cut down on that drastically. Sugar = Fat

2. I am going to shoot for hot yoga every other week. Every week is a commitment that I know that I cannot make.

3. Gym in the AM at least 3 times per week

4. Fridays with the kids will be more active.

5. Cut down of french fries, my favorite accompaniment to all dishes beef.

So what spurred this entry (double entry in one day)? Twitter Moms!  This contest made me think about how close we are to February and how spring is around the corner. They are giving away Your Shape w/Jenny McCarthy for Wii.  Perhaps if I win, I will look like Jenny too…one day.


January 26, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments on Philadelphia’s 10! Show

Tips For New Moms

1.  At the hospital, ask for a postpartum abdominal binder.  They usually give them to you after a c-section, but will give you one after a normal delivery if you ask.

Postpartum Abdominal Binder

2.  At your 6 week postpartum appointment ask your doctor to to check for diastasis rectiDiastasis means separation and in this case, your outer most abdominal muscles are separated and behind held together by a thin connective tissue.  You outer most abdominal muscles support your back and your internal organs.  It can be repaired using the Diastasis Splint and the Lose Your Mummy Tummy DVD and supplemental products.

Diastasis Rehab Gift Pack

3. Don’t be afraid to take the recovery products that you use in the hospital home with you. The sitz bath, peri bottle, cold packs, disposable underwear, dibucaine ointment, tucks pads, etc…you WILL want them. Besides, they are going to charge you for it anyway!

January 20, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Your Go-To Maternity Dress for the Holidays! sells products of comfort and support for pre- and postnatal women, so when I saw this dress at a tradeshow, I HAD to add it to my store.  The 6 Way Maternity Dress is your go-to item for the holiday season.  6waydressIt is basically one dress that you can wear six (though I have counted ten) different ways.  Then throughout the holiday season you can wear this dress to every cocktail/holiday party by re-arranging, draping and twisting it into a different style.  Grab some chunky jewelery to glam it up or make is simple and sophisticated with diamond studs.

November 16, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Finally, A Store For Pregnant Women Over 25!

I had my first baby when I was 30. A dinosaur when you consider the clothing options that are available to women when they are pregnant. My days of skin tight maternity had left the building and moved on for good. This is why I was so happy to hear about Belly Couture in Lubbock, Texas! They are for pregnant women over the age of 25! They offer EVERYTHING! There is a crave bar for mommy, a gated play area for the kiddies, a diapering and nursing area and the best part of it all, a giant TV for daddies!

November 10, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

10 Things Every Pregnant Woman Should Take To The Hospital That ISN’T On Your List

First delivery, we weren’t nearly as prepared for the hospital as we could have been. I googled “the list” of what one should bring. I made due and survived on the bare minimum. By the time our second baby arrived, we were seasoned pros. Here are some comfort items that you will want to have with you during your post delivery stay:

1. Your own pillow. The hospital pillows are thin and hard. After pushing a child out of my body I want to luxuriate in comfort, not on a bale of hay covered with a 125 thread-count pillowcase.

2. Portable DVD Player – While people are visiting you, chances are they will hijack the remote and ignore you after a while. That is when you pull out the DVD player and pop in a movie of choice. Instant entertainment!

3. Inflatable bed – for your partner/spouse/labor coach. They will thank you when they see the option that the hospital provides.

4. Shower shoes – no explanation needed.

5. Super Duper Extra Absorbent Mattress-Size Maxi Pads – Hospital issue pads are no match for what you will be up against.

6. Photo outfit for the baby – They take pictures day 2 or 3, so bring something cute!

7. Your own towel and wash cloth

8. Maternity clothes for the ride home – Many women think that they will be skinny after giving birth. Think again.

9. Blankets/jacket/outerwear for the baby – The baby is coming home with you and depending on the climate that you are living in, the baby blankets that the hospital gives you isn’t enough.

10. Breast pump – the hospital has lactation consultants. May as well take advantage of the advice while you are there.

October 21, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment