Bellybuttonboutique's Blog

goings on in the world of pregnancy and the time thereafter

Shiatsu Corrected My Pregnancy Sciatica

I remember jumping up out of bed in serious pain. There was a nerve that was shooting pain up the back of my thigh and into the deep tissues of my buttocks. I was pregnant and thought, RLS? My husband thought that there was something wrong with the baby and I explained to him what I was feeling. He tried to massage away the pain, which really didn’t help. Eventually I took Tylenol and fell back asleep. Nightly the pain would return. Stretching didn’t work. I knew that I was taking all of my vitamins, including calcium. Water was not the issue. I finally asked my doctor, what is going on? She said that it was a sciatic nerve and it was perfectly normal during pregnancy. Normal is fine, but I surely was not fine with being in pain on a consistent basis.
I told EVERYONE about my sciatica in hopes of finding someone who went through the same issue. I asked how I could obtain relief. Many people had no idea. At the same time I was working full-time and putting together programs for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month at my company. During the process I wound up conversing with the owner of The International School of Shiatsu . I even told her about my pain! She asked me if I had ever had shiatsu and explained the benefits. I asked her, “can it fix this sciatic nerve issue that I am having?”. The answer was yes. I couldn’t get to that school fast enough! I worked with a woman named Diane who is based in New Jersey, but teaches students at the school. She is trained to work with pregnant women. For those of you not familiar with shiatsu, its like a massage with acupressure. Your body will be stretched and moved around during the process. It does not hurt and its not strenuous. I actually started falling asleep after the first couple of sessions. It really relaxed my body and improved the quality of my pregnancy.
If you are having sciatic nerve problems during your pregnancy, I would invite you to contact a shiatsu practitioner. Make sure that they are certified to work with pregnanct women. You will not be sorry.

November 19, 2009 Posted by | Ailments, pregnancy, sciatica | , , , , , | 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

Why I Loved My Doula

I wanted to schedule a c-section because pushing a baby out of my body scared me to death.  We have all seen the movies where the woman is on the table dripping with sweat.  She is screaming and wants to give up.  Then finally she makes one last desperate push and the baby is delivered.  The woman collapses in exhaustion and lifts her tearful head to catch a glance at her new baby…NOT ME!  The thought of choosing my child’s birth date was appealing to me.   A c-section just seemed…neater…cleaner.  My husband was against it.  After weeks of discussion and researching I came across and article on doulas.  Basically, a doula is someone who helps the mother throughout her pregnancy, delivery and postpartum.  I LOVED the idea of a “pregnancy concierge” as I called it and said to my husband, if you want me to push I’m going to need a doula.

I went to google and found a couple of people in my area.  I sent some emails and decided that I would meet with two people.  One woman was a mother to six children.  She was very earthy and homeopathic.  She didn’t believe in drugs (epidurals) and I knew right then and there that we could not have a good relationship.  I didn’t even want to meet face to face.  The next woman came over to my house and met with me and my husband.  Her name was Ursela.  Its not often that you meet someone and feel instantly comfortable with them.

I had many issues with my first pregnancy:  gestational diabetes, pre-term labor, bed rest (in the hospital), couldn’t sleep, couldn’t get comfortable.  Forget taking a class AT the hospital.  By the time I got home from work I barely got the key out of the door before falling asleep.  Luckily, Ursela was available to answer questions (at all hours of the day or night), give advice and hold private classes for me.

The day that the baby was born Ursela was in the hospital herself.  She sent her backup Denise who was AWESOME!  Denise was waiting at the hospital fully uniformed with name and title “DOULA”, so that the staff knew that she was MY advocate.  When I was having contractions and got sick of my family members talking, Denise picked up on it and asked everyone to keep there voices down.  When I needed ice, she was there.  When I freaked out after hearing a woman scream a blood curdling plea to God, she explained that the woman was breathing AGAINST the pain and calmed me down.  When the epidural was ready for insertion it was Denise who I leaned on and was coached by.  When my baby’s heart started decelerating it was my husband who accompanied me into the O.R. for my emergency c-section.  But Denise was waiting for me in the recovery room and she stayed with me until the baby’s first feeding.

At home, I was still not getting that whole breastfeeding thing.  I called Ursela and she did a lactation consultation and rented a hospital grade pump to me.  She continued to call and check up on me.  To this day we are friends.  Having a doula was the best decision that I made and I suggest it to all of my pregnant friends.  I knew that I would have questions that google couldn’t answer for me or that I would forget before my next doctor’s appointment.  I knew that nurses would be in and out of the labor room.  I knew that my mother would be sitting in the corner doing a Sudoku puzzle while I was laboring.  So I trusted my gut.  And I am glad that I did.

September 29, 2009 Posted by | c-section, complications, pregnancy | , , , , | 1 Comment

5 Things I Learned AFTER Having A Baby

I started my online store because I didn’t want women to suffer through pregnancy as I did.  Reading the typical books and spending the 8-9 minutes in during my OB/GYN appointments didn’t totally prepare me for what I was going through.  So, to narrow it down, here are 5 things that I wish I knew prior to having a baby that I learned afterwards.

1.  Noppies – You can wear these pants from the minute that you find out that you are comfortable until after the baby is delivered.  The price tag is a little scary, but considering that you will live in these pants, I would suggest getting 2 pairs.

2.  Pillows – I tried to be cheap and buy a regular body pillow.  It wasn’t the same.  I invested in a wedge pillow for the 1st and 3rd trimester and a body pillow for when I really needed comfort.  I also bought a lumbar pillow for work.  Now there are pillows for resting on your belly!  I am a stomach sleeper and would have LOVED this!

3.  Spider Veins – With the added weight and pressure there is a chance that you will develop spider veins.  Luckily compression hosiery is available and they don’t look like grandma tights!  Now-a-days compression hosiery look just like trouser socks and sheer stockings.  They do not snag as easily and they hold up better.

4.  Diastasis – WHO KNEW that your ab muscles stretch open in order to make room for the baby.  And sometimes they don’t return back to where they started.  This is why women sometimes still look pregnant when the baby is 4 years old.  Good news is that this can be repaired with abdominal splinting and exercises.

5.  Breastfeeding HURTS – yes, it hurts.  I thought that it was going to be the most automatic and natural thing for a new mother to do.  IT IS NOT.  Breastfeeding is hard and frustrating.  Your chest area will become sore and its not fun.  Its one of those things that you have to decided whether or not you are going to go through with it.  If you decide to do it, you push through the pain and eventually it gets better.  Eventually it becomes second nature and is really easy.  For moms who have trouble getting out of be (like me), its wonderful – no bottles to warm up at 4 AM.  But if you can’t push through the pain, believe me, I understand.  Now there are products designed to help you through this time period.  My personal favorite is the Shower Hug.  Its great for stopping leakage at night, protection your chest in the shower and for abdominal support right after the baby is born.

You can find many of these products plus other items to help you through your pregnancy and postpartum period at

September 28, 2009 Posted by | pregnancy | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Pregnancy isn’t comfortable

I have a three and a one year old.  They are the joys of my life, but their entry into my world was not cool.  Nausea, stretching of the skin (ouch), gestational diabetes, bed rest, gaining tons of weight, inability to sleep, hot flashes…it was not pretty.  In my mind, I was going to be super cute with a baby bump and long wonderful hair and great skin.  My reality, I tipped the scale at 198 lbs, my hair was out of control and I sweated all of the time!  When I went online to find products that would make my life comfortable, I found next to nothing, so I suffered.  Eventually, I went on to hire a doula.  She made my life a thousand times better.  She was like a pregnancy concierge!  I called her often and she pointed me all the right directions.

Second pregnancy I harnessed the information that I had and did more independent research.  I didn’t want all of my knowledge to go to waste.  I knew that other women were suffering as I did,  so I started:  We sell products of comfort and relief to pre and postnatal women.  Nine months is a long time to be uncomfortable!

July 9, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment