TIPS AND TRICKS OF THE TRADE

I realized that, after 14 years of attending births, I have several little “tricks” that I regularly tell my clients…and have learned some things that I think some birth professionals might like to know about!   While I will be sharing my ideas and experiences and such here with you, I WELCOME all of your pieces of brilliance that you are willing to share! Just comment to this post with your own ideas!

PARENTS
When your baby is first born (and for the first week or so of your baby’s life), smooth olive oil all over your baby’s diaper area (anywhere that will be under the diaper) every single diaper change. If you don’t want your fingers in it, then get a spray bottle and put the olive oil in a spray bottle and ‘spritz’ the oil on the baby’s bottom. Olive oil is good for their skin (unlike mineral oil which is what baby oil is) and it will keep that yucky tar-like meconium from sticking to their skin which will make diaper changes much faster and more pleasant for baby! Doesn’t have to be a special kind of olive oil – the kind you have in your kitchen is perfect!!

When you pump breastmilk into bags to freeze them…make sure to get all of the air out of the bag, then seal the bag, then lay the bag FLAT on something in the freezer until it’s frozen solid! Once it’s frozen, you can pick it up and stack it in the door (or wherever), stacking it upright like a deck of cards. If you do this, then you won’t end up with “balls of milk” in your freezer, it makes it much easier to thaw them out for using, they take up much less space in the freezer, and it’s much easier to keep them in an order and go through them to see dates/amounts for each bag. Frozen as ‘sheets’ of milk…it’s the only way to do it!

If your baby gets diaper rash – try my magic diaper rash cure! Buy a bottle of liquid anti-acid (any brand) and let it sit for a few hours so that it separates. Open it and pour off the thin liquid that is now on top…keep pouring it off until you get to the thick “chalky” part that has settled to the bottom half of the bottle. Make sure that baby’s bottom is really really clean (even if that means giving baby a bath) and then pour that liquid anti-acid onto the baby’s bottom when putting the diaper on…it will neutralize the acid that is in the baby’s urine/poop that is irritating the baby’s skin! I’ve never seen it NOT work within 48 hours unless the rash is actually a yeast infection.

PROFESSIONALS

Hydrogen peroxide is my friend….we call it the “blood eraser”. If there is blood on carpet or clothing or a bed, I just pour peroxide on it and it bubbles up and breaks up the blood and you can just blot or wash it away! I also keep a spray bottle of peroxide in my own laundry room at home – if I get a couple of spots of blood on my clothes, I spritz them as soon as I get home. If it’s really bad, I’ll literally soak my jeans (or whatever) in a bucket with a full bottle of peroxide for a little bit before tossing them into the wash. Yes, even jeans…the peroxide is safe even for jeans! Works like MAGIC!

My midwifery bag…is a rolling crafts bag (quilters bag)! In fact, here it is..

I tossed the top bag and just kept the bottom bag – and I love it!! It rolls, has lots of pockets and compartments…and the top zips open to a large open center for all of my larger things that I carry. Because it has a flat top (as you can see in the picture), I do stack other things like my scale and birth stool on top of it so I can just roll everything in and don’t carry anything! I love it! For my pharmaceuticals, I got a cosmetics bag – again, well organized and I love it! It zips open, lays flat, and has a built in “hook” to hang it if I want to. I love that I can just take this bag out and have all of my pharmaceuticals (including herbs) in one place and easily accessed. I also have certain things (like my dermabond) that will degrade in the Arizona heat that I don’t want kept in my car…and for those few items I got a small hard-shelled zipper-closed camera case that I carry in my purse.

So please share!! What are your little tips and tricks?

13 Comments

  1. Rose wrote:

    I saw an aide at the hospital smear a thin layer of baby shampoo on the baby’s feet before doing the foot prints. It didn’t seem to affect the prints at all and the ink came off nice and clean!

    Tuesday, February 9, 2010 at 11:21 pm | Permalink
  2. Diana J. wrote:

    We tried the olive oil trick this time, and it was GREAT – no having to sand-blast meconium off little baby rears. I am also a big fan of peroxide for post-birth clean-up. 🙂

    Here’s one off the top of my head which W. had us try this time – goldenseal powder for the cord stump instead of alcohol. Works like MAGIC and only needs to be applied a couple of times total instead of every diaper change. That stuff is powerful!

    Tuesday, February 9, 2010 at 11:25 pm | Permalink
  3. Diana J. wrote:

    Here’s one more – for afterpains, placenta medicine (raw, in smoothie) really works. I have problems with horrible afterpains, and placenta medicine really helped when OTC meds were useless.

    Tuesday, February 9, 2010 at 11:27 pm | Permalink
  4. Anna wrote:

    But do be aware if you use cloth diapers that the olive oil trick can and will ruin your diapers 😉 The oil coats the diaper and makes it water repellent instead of absorbent 🙂

    Wednesday, February 10, 2010 at 12:46 am | Permalink
  5. Lyndistine wrote:

    Another good oil for both baby and mama is coconut oil. Very good for the skin, and smells fantastic!

    Wednesday, February 10, 2010 at 1:03 am | Permalink
  6. Erika Obert wrote:

    One odd piece of “equipment” that I carry to births is a metal TV tray with the tray removed. The stand is perfect for putting a black garbage bag over to make an open top garbage can.

    I also carry a bottle of hand sanitizer. Once we ink baby’s feet, we use the hand sanitizer (which is just gel alcohol after all) and a baby wipe to remove the ink. Works like a charm and is much easier than liquid alcohol.

    To soothe a sore perineum, we soak some newborn diapers in either witch hazel or postpartum sitz bath and freeze them. Mom uses these just like a maxi pad.

    Can’t wait to read what everyone else has to share!

    Wednesday, February 10, 2010 at 8:08 am | Permalink
  7. Jen S wrote:

    I adore your blog. 🙂 If you have folks who are not doing the olive oil on the new baby’s bottom, we learned from a nurse in the hospital that a dime sized dollop of Johnson’s baby wash on a wipe will clear off the meconium without any harsh wiping or scrubbing, then rinse with warm water on a wash cloth.

    Wednesday, February 10, 2010 at 11:28 am | Permalink
  8. elfanie wrote:

    Rose: Did the footprints dry the same with the shampoo on the feet first?? That sounds like a great tip…but I want to make sure that the ink on the paper still dried okay and didn’t smudge/smear? (which is why I don’t use the NeatFeet footprints…because they always remain slightly wet and smudge even months/years after you do them) I use a gel-ink pad because it dries instantly….

    Wednesday, February 10, 2010 at 11:34 am | Permalink
  9. elfanie wrote:

    ANNA:
    I always recommend using disposables for the first week because not only will the olive oil damage them…meconium will stain them. I know that they’re ‘just diapers’, but most people spend a small fortune on them and don’t want them stained. Once the stool turns yellow, then there’s no need for oil OR disposables. =)

    Wednesday, February 10, 2010 at 11:36 am | Permalink
  10. Shari wrote:

    Great post! Can’t wait to read all the tips :o)

    Wednesday, February 10, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Permalink
  11. Diana J. wrote:

    Hey, Stephanie & Rose! W. did that baby shampoo trick with G’s footprints, and it worked great – just ask her about it. A thin rub of baby shampoo on the feet, then the ink, do the prints, and wipe everything off with one swipe – worked beautifully. I’d forgotten about it till Rose mentioned it.

    Friday, February 12, 2010 at 11:10 am | Permalink
  12. Genet wrote:

    We did the olive oil thing and prefold cloth diapers from the beginning. Running the diapers through a soak cycle with a cup of vinegar took the olive oil (and any bacteria) out.

    I also love hydrogen peroxide for poopy diapers with a baby who’s eating solids. It attacks the bacteria right away and therefore keeps the diaper pail smell down, and it usually prevents staining.

    Of course, elimination communication/potty whispering is an even more exciting way to lessen the poopy diaper load. 🙂

    Friday, February 12, 2010 at 9:45 pm | Permalink
  13. Kelli wrote:

    I use BioKleen Bac-Out (from Whole Foods, Sprouts, ect) for bedwetting accidents and it worked great on cloth diapers (just a squirt in the washing machine)and at the bottom of the diaper pail. My son’s mattress may have stains but a few sprays of bac-out and at least there’s no odor but a faint yummy (real)lime scent.

    Thursday, March 4, 2010 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

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