Motif Blog

Do Braxton Hick's Contractions Feel Different From Real Labor Contractions?

Almost every pregnant person has one question: “How will I know the difference between Braxton Hicks contractions and real labor contractions?” It’s normal to start feeling your uterus tighten with irregular Braxton Hicks contractions in the second trimester, often around 16 weeks of pregnancy. These practice contractions help strengthen the uterine muscle as it grows and helps your body get ready for birth. By the time the third trimester rolls around and you’re getting closer to your due date, most people are feeling Braxton Hicks contractions off and on throughout the day, which is a good thing! How your uterine muscle gets strong enough for real labor contractions will bring cervical change and help you give birth.

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Why Did My Flange Size Change?

Part of preparing for pumping is to figure out your flange size. First, let's discuss tips and tricks to determine how sizing works and how the flange you start with can change over time. Tools, diagrams, lactation professionals, and blogs cover this topic (one of the most asked-about topics!). Yet, one thing that remains underrepresented is the emphasis on the need to resize as the journey continues. This is not to insinuate that every mom will change flange sizes, but rather to be mindful in case the need arises! Like milk flow, breast milk supply thresholds, and the subtle changes in the composition changes, the breasts will also change, fluctuate, swell, harden, soften, relax and become more malleable. In this article, we will discuss the common times resizing is needed, what to look for to have a good size, and why it's important.

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How to Integrate Hands-Free Pumping Into Your Breastfeeding Journey

One of the best feelings in the world is to teach a mother how they can reclaim their life and feel human again while still maintaining goals they have set for themselves regarding breastfeeding and providing breast milk to their baby. But unfortunately, society is under so much pressure to learn the art of breastfeeding and pumping, with the growing understanding of its health benefits. Yet, there’s still much left to yearn for support in helping them make that happen. As a result, pumping can feel like a hassle.

One of the many ways to meet our goals is to free up our hands. Something as simple as providing nourishment for ourselves as we feed our baby should not be undervalued! There are ways to breastfeed hands-free, with the help of a sling or a carrier. If we need to pump and maintain our milk supply, this can be done hands-free, too!

Any pump can accomplish pumping hands-free. There are many options, from silicone hand pumps, wearable, and wireless breast pumps, to electric breast pumps, including battery-powered ones. We are excited to share our top tips on effectively doing this.

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Labor and Birthing Positions

Movement during labor is essential in helping to progress your labor and manage the intensity of the contractions. We often think of the baby making their way through the birth canal, and it’s true—they are certainly doing that! But two people are involved in the birth process—the baby and you. When you move, you help baby navigate the available space. If you think about pouring spices through a funnel, when they get stuck, you could put a spoon into them to stir them around and get them moving again, but you’d probably have better results by tapping the outside of the funnel: when you move the funnel, you help the spices move through the space. The same process works for birth! When you move yourself, particularly your pelvis, you enable baby to find its way through. 

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Using Your Compression Wear Postpartum

Compression garments are wonderful tools to have on hand, even after labor and delivery. Whether you gave birth by c-section or had a vaginal delivery, you may find that wearing a postpartum recovery garment helps you feel more comfortable. Let’s talk about the five best ways to use compression wear during your postpartum recovery.

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Breastfeeding and Weaning According to an IBCLC

Mothers may choose to wean for so many different reasons. First, it can be when teething begins, as it can be painful to endure if the baby bites before or after a feeding, health, or lifestyle need. You might want to finish your breastfeeding journey without justification, which is OK! Let's discuss all things weaning and comfort measures, regardless of the method or reason.

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Caffeine While Breastfeeding: How Much Is Safe?

Caffeine consumption is one of many practices mothers may have concerns about when deciding to breastfeed or provide breastmilk. What does safe consumption look like? With most things in nutrition, moderation is going to be key, caffeine consumption included! Common concerns with breastfeeding mothers and their caffeine intake range from how well your baby sleeps to how it affects the milk itself.

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How to Plan for a Home Birth + Free Birth Plan Template

When pregnant, one of the first decisions you'll have to make is who you'll see for your prenatal care. This is one of the most important choices you'll make because the provider you choose will also impact where you plan on giving birth to your baby. Most doctors or Ob/Gyns only deliver babies in the hospital. However, certified nurse-midwives (CNM) can attend births at birth centers, hospitals, or homes. Certified professional midwives (CPM) attend births at home and in birth centers. 

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How to Combine Breastfeeding and Pumping

Did you know you could both breastfeed and pump your breast milk? Is it necessary to do both? This greatly depends on your plans, your goals, and your situation. That’s right, as usual, this is another way breastfeeding is individualized! Let’s discuss how to “combination feed”, why you might do both, and ways to sustain this option.

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Does Breast Pumping Burn Calories?

Mom sitting in yoga pose with baby

The short answer to this is “yes!” but let’s get into why and how pumping breast milk burns calories, along with approximately how many are burned. Certain variables play into this, such as frequency of pumping sessions, amounts expressed, if pumping for one or multiples, and more.

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