Monday, May 7, 2012

Flying While Pregnant

We asked pregnancy experts what the must-know, essential tips for women who plan to fly while pregnant are. Our panel includes leading physicians, authors, travelers, and moms with first-hand experience on flying pregnant.

Should you fly?

• "In the first trimester you may be too nauseated to enjoy your time away. In the third trimester you may be too uncomfortable and not feel up for doing much of anything. Plus, there are flight restrictions for flying later in a pregnancy which can require a doctor’s note to board the plane." – Colleen Lanin,

• "Try contacting your primary care physician back home before reaching out to local help; your own doctor(s) know you better, and are just as reachable even with time zone differences. Of course, if it’s an emergency, seek emergency help. But if you are not sure if you need to seek care, calling your provider first can be very helpful – both in case it might be serious, and also if it doesn't sound serious and you might save yourself some aggravation." – Marjorie Greenfield, MD, author, The Working Woman’s Pregnancy Book

• "It’s best to travel in your second trimester (between weeks 14 and 28), when risks for pregnancy emergencies – like miscarriage in the first trimester or preterm labor in the third trimester – are lowest. Also, after 28 weeks it may be difficult to stay seated for a long time. After weeks 34 and 35, stay close to home so that you are close to your doctor and hospital." – Hansa Bhargava, MD, Pediatrics Medical Editor,

• "First and foremost, don't be afraid to travel. These are some of the last times you will be able to take a truly stress-free trip and it's important not to fear the experience. The memories of traveling with a baby in your belly will stay in your mind forever and prompt you to give birth to a true traveler." – Holly Rosen Fink, The Culture Mom

• "Let your doctor or midwife know your travel plans and they can do a risk assessment. Distant travel in the last month of pregnancy risks labor while you are gone and should be avoided if possible. Wear your seat belt while seated." – Janette Strathy, MD, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

• "If you're healthy and your doctor allows you to travel, you can fly until week 36 of pregnancy, or one month prior to your due date, according to the American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG). Generally, the second trimester is the safest." – Hope Ricciotti, MD, Harvard Medical School, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston

Choosing a flight

• "While I generally love direct flights, if you are flying long distance, two shorter flights may be better. That way, you can get out, stretch, eat a nice meal and recharge." - Jodi Grundig,

• "Book a refundable trip only because it is impossible to know how you are going to feel during every phase of a pregnancy. You might assume that the morning sickness will dissipate by the time the second trimester rolls around, only to find yourself even greener with sickness. Or, complications may arise unexpectedly that keep you grounded." – Colleen Lanin

• "Check to see what your health insurance covers before traveling, since not every plan will cover all expenses if you have an emergency when you go out of state or even to a local hospital that is outside of your health plan." – Hope Ricciotti, MD

• "Consider the “what ifs.” What if you go into labor early, on a plane? Will you be near a hospital or 911 services? If not, perhaps you can travel earlier or delay your trip." – Gwenn O'Keefe, MD,

Before you fly

• "Bring a small lumbar pillow for comfort. Travel times vary and the worst experience would be getting delayed and being very uncomfortable. That can cause a lot of stress. " – Tonia Sanders,

• "Make sure to let the airline know you are pregnant if you’re not showing. The airline can make the flight more bearable by letting pregnant women board earlier and/or be seated at an exit row to make getting up during the flight easier. " - Shannon Guyton, Site Editor,

• "Make sure you don't sit in the exit row and get a seat that reclines, with plenty of leg room. Sit in the aisle seat in case you need to make several trips to the bathroom." – Holly Rosen

• "Pack appropriately- Make sure all items that you need direct access to such as prenatal vitamins and important documents, are within reach during the flight." – Shannon Guyton

• "Try for an aisle seat. You'll be able to stretch out more, and it's better for getting up and down.'" – Jodi Grundig

Keep moving onboard

• "Wear your seat belt over your lower lap/upper thighs, on the hipbones below your belly. Keep it on as much as possible." - Hansa Bhargava, MD

• "Getting up and moving around frequently will help you stay comfortable and help ward off potentially dangerous conditions like deep vein thrombosis." – Lisa Mitchell,

• "Get up to walk around at least once per hour to keep up your circulation and guard against blood clots. Request an aisle seat so it's easier to get in and out of your seat, and do you don't have to bother anyone if they're sleeping." – Liz Borod Wright,

• "When I was 5 months pregnant with my first we took a vacation to Hawaii. It was about a 12 hour flight - I remember drinking plenty of fluids and taking short walks up and down the aisle. That really helped lesson the water retention." – Maghan,

Drink plenty of water

• "Staying hydrated means drinking lots and lots of water while at the airport and on the airplane. Of course, that is going to mean lots of trips to the bathroom, but that's okay, because the second key component to safe, comfortable air travel is movement." – Lisa Mitchell

• "Bring at least one large bottle of water; don't rely on the airline's beverage service." – Liz Borod Wright

• "Drinking lots of water means having to get up and use the washroom – thus stretching your legs and keeping the blood flowing." – Corinne McDermott,

Eating on board

• "Carry snacks with you - things like granola bars and snack mix generally travel well. While the airlines may have some food available for purchase, there is no guarantee it'll be healthy." – Jodi Grundig

• "Avoid gas producing foods before your flight." – Hansa Bhargava, MD

• "Avoid salty snacks." – Corinne McDermott

• "Minimize your salt intake, and not only on the flight; traveling means many restaurant meals which are loaded with sodium." – Marjorie Greenfield, MD

Make yourself comfortable

• "Maternity compression pantyhose are not as uncomfortable as they sound, and are great at keeping the blood flowing and reducing swelling as well. Stretch in your seat; elevate your feet as best you can on your carry-on luggage." – Corinne McDermott

• "You may be more sensitive to the motion of the plane, as many pregnant women are more sensitive to just about everything! To prevent nausea, try wearing Sea-Bands, which are wristbands with a plastic bead that puts pressure on your P6 acupuncture pressure point. You can put these on after you feel ill too." – Liz Borod Wright

• "If you are prone to nausea, wearing the sea bands around the wrist will help out. There is only pressure applied and no medicine to take so they can be used at any state of pregnancy." – Tonia Sanders

• "Always “listen to your body” and be sure to build some wiggle room in your travel plans in case you need to make accommodations due to how you’re feeling." – Marjorie Greenfield, MD

• "Pregnant women can be susceptible to colds. By having the vent at their seat directing air down directly in front of them, it can keep fresh air circulating away from them and hopefully decrease exposure to all the viruses their fellow traveling companions may have brought with them. Bring hand sanitzer. Bring a good book that will make the flight pass quickly!" – Janette Strathy, MD

credit goes to Martin Clinton for this piece at

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Fun in the Sun!

School’s out for summer! Forget homework—kids are ready to get out and play. Follow these tips to help keep your kids safe and avoid common summertime injuries.

Before heading out on your summer vacation, be sure to check out the latest car seat recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics. The new policy says toddlers should stay in rear-facing car seats until at least age 2, or until they reach the maximum height and weight for their car seat. It also says that most children will need to ride in a belt-positioning booster seat until they are 4 feet 9 inches tall and between 8 and 12 years of age. Children should ride in the backseat until age 13.

Be Hard Headed - Make sure your child is protected while riding his or her bicycle, rollerblading or skateboarding. Look for helmets that:

Are brightly colored

Fit correctly

Can be easily adjusted

Have a Consumer Product Safety Commission or Snell Memorial Foundation sticker inside

Don’t allow your child to wear a hat under his or her helmet, and replace a helmet if your child hits a hard surface while wearing it. A helmet’s ability to absorb shock decreases after it has sustained a blow.

Don’t Let the Bugs Bite - Bug bites are common in the summer and are usually harmless. However, in addition to causing that aggravating itch, bug bites can be painful. To ward off mosquitoes and ticks, use an insect repellent that contains 10 percent to 30 percent DEET, and reapply every two or three hours. Never use insect repellants on a child younger than 2 months old, and avoid using products that combine DEET and sunscreen. The sun protection factor in these products is less effective, increasing the need for reapplication and potentially causing overexposure to DEET.

Drink Up - Before kids play outdoors, they need to drink water to prevent dehydration. During outdoor play, children weighing 90 pounds should drink 5 ounces of cold tap water every 20 minutes to prevent dehydration.

To keep your summer safe with a free first-aid kid from Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at St.Vincent, visit

Monday, May 9, 2011

Little Out of Towners

Renting baby/toddler gear is a great way to reduce stress when travelling with children! How often have you been packing for a family trip and wished you didn't have to haul so much gear around? Children's gear can be cumbersome and takes up a tremendous amount of valuable space. Add to that the hassle of reassembling it all when you reach your destination and you have a stressful start to your get-away - not exactly the relaxing escape we all dream of; but gear is a way of life for the safety-conscious parent. Renting offers the perfect compromise; safety with the convenience of delivery and assembly!

One of our favorite gear-rental companies is Little Out of Towners, located in the Charlotte, NC; they serve the greater Charlotte area as well as the York, Chester, and Lancaster counties of South Carolina! They feature an expansive line of JPMA-certified rental items at reasonable prices and take great pride in providing rental items of the highest standard with respect to safety, cleanliness, and condition! Travelling outside the Carolinas? No problem - they have compiled an extensive list of independently owned and operated rental companies spanning the world over, complete with contact information and websites! The Little Out of Towners is truly dedicated not only to keeping your kids safe when you travel, but also to making travel less stressful and more enjoyable for families!

Below are a few guidelines for renting gear:

Get all pricing information up front, including rental fees, delivery charges, fuel surcharges, set-up fees, late fees, and cancellation fees and policies.

Be certain to clarify what type of equipment you will be getting. Different companies may define "toddler bed" or "portable crib" differently - don't be afraid to ask questions to ensure you will be getting the gear you need!

The renter should be able to provide you with the manufacturer's recommendations regarding age, height and weight for whatever product(s) you may require.

Be certain to verify that the company checks for equipment recalls. Even if they do, it never hurts to double-check, so always get the make and model of the equipment so that you may check for yourself at

Also, verify that their products are JPMA Certified. JPMA is the leader in product safety and usage; certification information is available at

Ask about the company's cleaning and safety-assurance procedures.

Bottom line: renting can save you time, hassle, and may even be cheaper than bringing your own items from home (once you factor in excess baggage fees, etc.) - so check out rentals for your next family adventure! Happy travels!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Snazzy Baby Knee Pads

With spring here and summer right around the corner, I know ALL of you want to be outside. Make sure you get a pair of Snazzy Baby Knee Pads - perfect for baby crawling around outside! Your baby will love the new and improved snug, soft, 4 layer cushioned oval Snazzy Baby Knee Pads. Made of the very best Neoprene material available. They are secured with Velcro straps ensuring a comfortable fit and a happy baby.

On SALE for $18.00

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Week at the Beach

The week at the break package is the perfect for a spring break or a long vacation in a sunny location lounging on the sandy beach with your baby. This package makes ordering so convenient by having everything you need with one click. You just need to add the formula, baby food, and snacks that are specific to your baby's diet, check out and you are ready to go. Visit week at the beach and purchase one today!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Plan for your next ski trip...

Whooga is widely recognized as the world’s fastest growing boutique brand of ugg boots. They stand proud as an alternative brand for chilli toes seeking something a little warmer than normal. They have achieve this legendary warmth and comfort with thermorfleece which offers a number of benefits over traditional ugg boots. - Whooga is an internationally trademarked brand - The fastest growing winter footwear brand for the past 4 years - A passion for fashion and creating the worlds warmest boots - We warm ten's of thousands of toes every single day.

I couldn’t agree more on the warmth and luxury of these boots. Whooga sent me a pair of Short chocolate ugg boots to review. For all those mom's out there that are looking for the most comfortable and warm boot I FOUND THEM!!!! From the moment I slipped them on I was in heaven. Whooga ugg boots warm your toes faster with lavishly thick thermofleece. Each pair of boots features luscious twin faced merino fleece, is double stitched for durability, shapes to the natural contours of your feet and is backed by our 100% satisfaction guarantee. Simply enter 2CW804687 into the gift card section of your shopping cart for 10% off.

When you buy them for your next ski trip don't forget to order - Week on the slopes for the kids! Perfect for a week long vacation at the slopes with baby in tow. This package makes ordering so convenient by having everything you need with one click. You just need to add the formula, baby food, and snacks that are specific to your baby's diet, check out and you are ready to go. A little something for you and baby!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Tiny Bites Food Shears

Tiny Bites Food Shears are fun and functional. They allow parents to safely, easily and efficiently cut their child’s food into small pieces to ensure safe consumption. They can easily turn any food into perfect “finger foods”, bite-sized pieces, easy-to-eat strips, fun shapes or sizes. Perfect for travel with your toddler.

Each Food Shear is 5 1/2" inches in diameter. The cutlery-grade stainless steel blades are 2 1/2" inches long. Dishwasher safe.

Comes in a package of 2.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Bundling up Baby

As you head out the door this winter, it’s important you keep your baby warm and safe.
Whether your infant is outside or in, knowing the proper way to keep your little one warm and dry is vital to his or her health.
  • Don’t forget a hat. Your baby’s head is a huge percentage of his or her body, so be sure to invest in a warm hat if you are headed outdoors.
  • Do layer up. Dressing your child in warm layers will keep him or her warm while outside. Consider dressing your infant in thermal underwear, long sleeved shirts, and gloves or mittens.

  • Don’t use loose blankets or pillows in the crib. Leaving your baby untended with a loose blanket, pillow or other bedding could lead to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). If you are worried about your infant being cold, dress him or her in a one-piece sleeper.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Breastfeeding During the Holidays...

Welcoming a child into the world is a joyous event, and now that your baby is here, you are busy taking care of him or her. Breastfeeding is a vital way you can connect with your infant immediately, but it can be hard to make time for this activity during the busy holiday season. While the holidays are a time to indulge, it’s important you eat properly.

If you are traveling, it may be hard to find time to breastfeed. Set aside one feeding and find a quiet place to feed, such as your room.

Family members might be tempted to give you advice or give your infant a treat. If you know your child is not ready for soft, solid foods, be sure to tell your family that and politely thank them for their advice.

While you may be tempted to skip a feeding here or there, don’t wait until your child is fussy or crying for food. Signs your infant is hungry include:

  • Moving head from side to side

  • Opening mouth

  • Puckering lips

  • Putting fingers or foot in mouth

  • Nuzzling against your chest

  • Stretching

If your infant exhibits any of these signs, try finding a moment to feed him or her. You and your husband know what is best for your baby.

Have a fun and safe holiday.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Happy "Healthy" Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is just around the corner. It’s meant to be spent enjoying time with family, as well as great food. Here are ways you can work with your family to prevent overeating and remain healthy throughout the holiday season.

Set a great example while still having a wonderful Thanksgiving feast this year:

1. Make a list and check it twice. Before heading to the supermarket, plan your Thanksgiving meal.

2. Bring the kids along. Have your children help you select fresh fruits and vegetables they’d like to try.

3. Use smaller plates. A small plate will fill up faster and help you and your children avoid grabbing more than you need.

4. Try it all. If you really want everything that’s being served, you may keep going back for more if you don’t satisfy your craving. Instead of getting full servings of each thing you’d like, have a small bite of each.

5. Veg out. Eat very small amounts of the heavy stuff and load up on a veggie tray, salad or roasted seasonal veggies, you’ll be doing great things for your health.

6. Don’t drink your calories. Choosing water, sugar free drinks, or skim milk can help to limit the excess in calories and weight gain that often occurs this time of year.

Enjoy your holiday week!!!

Reviewed by Lori Walton, R.N., B.S.N., pediatric weight management coordinator at Peyton Manning Children's Hospital at St.Vincent.