Top 10 COVID-19 Resource Guide for Pregnancy, Childbirth and PostPartum Mothers

Times are tough. These days, none of us really know how to navigate the waters but for Pregnant Moms right now, this is scary. We are being told that we may have to deliver alone, we are worried about our children’s health (and our own) and we are constantly adapting to new policies and learning to accept the changes being made for us. There has been too much disappointment for Mamas that are being forced to cancel their baby showers and go it alone at appointments.

I am currently 7 months pregnant with our second child and I cannot begin to tell you all the fears and worries that have crossed my mind during this shelter in place. I was beginning to feel a bit lost and then I remembered something that my sister in law told me when she was going through her infertility journey. She said that a friend had told her “If you cannot control your own situation, I want to encourage you to try and help someone else.” So, this is my attempt to help other Pregnant Mamas out there who are dealing with all the “what-ifs” right now. The following list is compiled of ten resources that I hope will aid Moms in finding some sort of relief during this time.

#1 The Natural Mama Book

This was my Go-To Guide during my first pregnancy. A friend recommended the book and although I had a feeling that I would not be taking the all-natural birth route, it was nice to have all the information. In reality, you never know what is going to happen when babies decide to make their way into the world. My birth plan most definitely involved wanting an epidural or some kind of medical relief but this book prepared me for the possibility of delivering without any interventions. I also loved this book because it had a week by week guide to pregnancy (and was pretty spot on). My favorite part of this guide was the positive affirmations laced throughout the text. Those excerpts were just the boost of confidence I needed to get through each trimester.

mama natural

#2 LouLou and Company

Do yourself a favor and splurge on this one baby item. Head to the LouLou and Company website and get yourself a knotted Newborn gown. Styled for both boy and girl babies, this is all we dressed our first baby in for the first few weeks of life and I promise you this purchase is worth every penny!

The gowns are super soft, designed to dress baby from the bottom up and have little cuff fold overs to prevent those tiny scratches. Dads will love the knot at the bottom for middle of the night diaper changes and Moms will love that Dads are letting them get a few extra minutes of sleep. The founder/creator of Lou Lou, Karen, was a NICU nurse and is a mom of 4 who designed these gowns with moms and babies in mind so each detail has been meticulously designed for comfort and ease! I love all their products but this gown is my go-to for that 4th trimester!

lou lou and company gown

#3 Join your local Hospital Facebook Group

I delivered our first child at a North Texas Health Resource Hospital and I found that the Texas Health Moms Facebook Group has been a huge support system. Whether I needed consultation on lacatation, recommendations for registry items, fitness routines or simply questions about sleep patterns, this community provided answers and resources that Could not be rivaled. In fact, I have found the best advice to come from other Moms that are in the same stage of life and this group was a game changer for me.

#4 Dive into the magic that is Kati Terek’s Birth Story Blog.

Her Birth Story chronicles autobiographical encounters of real live birth stories from courageous women who chose to spill the tea on their experiences! Some of these birth stories are fairy tale-come to life retellings, some are harder versions to swallow but all of them are a beautiful ode to the process of bringing new life into the world. Each story has a different purpose. For some women, informing others is transformative. For others, simply to unburden the trauma or stress is therapeutic. The “Her Birth Story” platform’s purpose is to spread awareness and help Mamas prepare for everything from that first positive test to the tender days of newborn life.

Admittedly, Kati Terek says that her birth experiences were, although beautiful, quite scarring and she wanted an outlet. If you are a first time Mama and you want to read up on real birth stories instead of diving into YouTube videos, this Blog is your go to! And, did I mention that Kati is a talented birth, Fresh 48 and Newborn Photographer who loves nothing more than to capture those raw and real first moments with your bundle of joy. If you are a Pittsburgh native, Kati is your girl to go to for documenting those first moments. She captured her own Fresh 48 photos when her little guy made his appearance in the spring of 2019 and was kind enough to let me show them off below! Check it out! Her rates can be found at www.londynnkate.photography/.

#5 Sign up for Diaper Delivery Mamas.

A few I love and have used, Amazon, Hello Bello or Honest Company will deliver both wipes and diapers for every stage (even split sizes for Mamas with kids in diapers at different stages). Save your selves the time and energy (and cash) by ordering a Diapery Delivery service! Every month, they just show up. No carrying the boxes out of the store or having to remember when to go grab them at a PickUp. Trust me, this is worth it.

#6 Use your Natural Birthing Technique Experts!

A sweet friend of mine, Hannah Laboon, is a certified doula and has made her self available for questions from you Mamas that are worried about having to deliver alone due to new hospital visitor policies or how to conquer Home Birth, Natural Birth and all those crunchy Mama ideals!

She has sent me so many positive affirmations, information on prenatal yoga classes that are live streaming (@mamatotoretreat), support groups focused in coping skills (@forwardwellnesscounseling) and placenta encapsulation benefit details! She recently said “We [as women] are divine, feminine oracles of the universe” and hopes to help you come to terms with that truth! Find her on Instagram at @hannapropaganda or reach out on email at hannahschultz@ymail.com. She wants Mamas to know that they can reach out for support simply because she is a woman wanting to help, honor and support other women. Her goal is to provide pressure free communication and be a pillar of support in the birthing community. 

doula

#7 A Quicklist of Postpartum Items that will make your life so much easier when you bring that sweet new baby home!

Every Mama and each baby has different needs but I know that these items are the ones we will have ready to go when our second baby makes his way into the world!

#8 Tips for Taking your Own Newborn Photography!

Having a baby during a pandemic doesn’t make your birth any less special, it just kind of puts a meter on the amount of joy you are supposed to feel and that isn’t fair! New moms are having to cancel their baby showers, forego perusing the aisles of Buy Buy Baby and worst of all, are being forced to cancel their Newborn Sessions.

I cherished my Fresh 48 session with our firstborn and it has made me terribly sad thinking that I won’t get to have this experience with our little guy this summer so trust me when I say, I feel you! Those first few weeks with your babe is time you simply don’t get back. Once that baby leaves your belly, they just keep on growing and capturing those first details are such a sweet reminder of those crazy newborn days and the abundant amount of joy you feel when you bring that baby home.

Well, I found a solution for all you Mamas out there who are bummed about missing out on this milestone. Sabrina Gebhardt Photography, out of Fort Worth, Texas, has come up with a beautiful guide for Spring and Summer Mamas being forced to forego Newborn Photos. Check out her Photos below and you will see exactly why I am recommending you read her Guide! Her guide gives you tips and tricks for how to take your own Newborn Portraits. All you need is a squishy babe and some sort of camera and yes, your phone will do! sabrina-gebhardt-fort-worth-texas-documentary-at-home-family-photographer_2104-1022x1024**Photo Credit: Sabrina Gebhardt Photography*

#9 Meal Train

Oh Mamas, there is nothing worse than worrying about what’s for dinner or how you are going to concoct something when your new baby is having a fussy day. If your family or friends are looking for ways to help you/sneak a peek at your new baby through a window or door, please suggest meal train. Meal Train is an American crowdsourced platform designed with the intention to help schedule and organize home-made meal giving for those in need.

How does it work? Someone sets up the account (dietary restrictions can be included) and then that person sends out the invites to your loved ones who can then schedule a day to provide a meal and drop it off. Everyone who signs up can see what you are bringing and what day and time you will be there so no one overlaps! Dare I say this is a Must Have service for those first few weeks!

meal train

#10 For many families dealing with COVID-19 repercussions, Financial Resources cannot come soon enough.

This pandemic has stolen livelihoods and replaced any sense of security with fears about where their next meal is coming from or how their mortgage will be paid. If you are one of those people, please let me know. There won’t be any questions asked. You can simply email me at therustienailhead@gmail.com with the COVID BABY subject line and I will do my best to provide you with the help you need.

It would be my pleasure to unburden the load of worry from your shoulders. If I can help in any way, I will. I can try to provide you with information on how to sign up for WIC, where to find a food bank, how to seek religious/mental health counseling, safe shelter, gas for your car or diapers for your little ones. Whatever I can do, I promise that I will advocate for you. It takes a village and I will do my best to provide you with the information you need to build up that village for your family.

 

Cover Photo Courtesy of @StefanieRosePhotography 

 

Laurel Highlands Newborn Session | Meet Eliza |

Meet the newest member of the Tetkoski Crew, Eliza! This gang is no stranger to the blog. You might remember them from their first daughter’s (Ellie) Newborn Session or their Family Session with their sweet cousins while they were visiting in Texas. I was so happy to hear that their brand new addition arrived shortly before my arrival in Pennsylvania and that we would get a chance to meet this brand spanking new Family of 4!

At Day 15, Eliza is adjusting well. Like any second child, she is adapting to her new surroundings and all the hugs from her big sister. I arrived at the Tetkoski home and Ellie made sure to introduce me to her new baby and to show me that they would indeed be wearing matching dresses for their first photo shoot as a Family of 4.

While Mama fed Eliza, Daddy, Ellie and I headed out to their big and bright backyard for a few shots of Daddy with his firstborn. They have the most incredible backyard and loads of beautiful landscaping so this location would be a breeze for a backdrop.

One thing I love about coming home for Spring Minis in the Laurel Highlands is just how green everything is and their gorgeous backyard was no exception. Daddy kept joking that we were shooting in front of the weeds but I told him to just trust me. And, I am glad he did because this green against Daddy’s blue shirt, Mama’s glow and her ginger hair mixed in with two adorable babes made for some magical images!

Like any firstborn, Ellie sure does love her baby sister but she might be having a little trouble adjusting to sharing Mama with her new bestie. As we ran around the yard, I made sure to capture a few of Mama with her baby girl to allow Ellie some one on one time with her #1 Mama. They picked dandelions and blew wishes into the wind. Ellie was over the moon!

And, of course we had to get a few of Jesse with his sweet little love, Eliza. She seemed so very comfortable lying in Daddy’s arms. She kept smiling in her sleep and when she grabbed onto his finger, I was more than happy to capture such a sweet image of this baby doll and her Dad.

Because we had captured Ellie’s Newborn Portraits at their home as well, I made sure to recreate a few of the photos from that session. Above, that’s Carly’s Spring baby, Eliza, on the left and her Fall baby, Ellie, on the right. How sweet is that???

The humidity was getting the best of all of us and we decided so head indoors to Eliza could have the spotlight for a bit. At 15 days young, this sweet baby girl didn’t make a peep throughout her session. She just laid on her favorite blanket and gazed at the natural light streaming through their back door. It was the perfect spot to capture those blue eyes and keep little missy nice and warm! We captured her toes and her “guns” and even a few sweet moments with her big sister.

I have always said that my favorite part of this job is watching these little beans grow up and seeing this family expand brings my heart so much joy. Congratulations to the Tetkoski’s on their bundle of joy! I hope to see you guys for play dates soon!!

 

If you would like to book your unique Lifestyle Newborn Session or even a Fresh 48 contact Angelina at therustienailhead@gmail.com. I love capturing those first raw and real moments for families that reflect the miracle that is bringing a new baby home!

 

 

DFW Newborn Session: Meet Bridger Easton

Get ready to meet the most handsome baby boy! At just 30 days young, this tiny but mighty brute of a baby showed up with his Mama and Grandma for his Newborn Session and I can honestly say that I have never seen a one month old who was so active for his session. Ya’ll meet Mr. Personality, Bridger Easton!

You all might remember having seen his Mama’s Maternity Session at Grapevine Lake here on the blog. She was the goddess rocking the flower crown of delphiniums and flaunting her budding bump. If you missed it, check it out here. Seriously, one of my all time favorite Maternity Sessions. Amanda was poised and ready to meet her little man. Little did she know though, her baby boy would want to cook for a few more weeks!

Weighing in 7 pounds, 7 ounces, Bridger Easton made his way into the world during the wee hours of April 4th, 2019. He was born with a big and bold love for his Mama, the most handsome pout and a light dusting of brown hair.

BRIDGER_05.19-62

Grandma, Mom and Bridger arrived for little man’s Newborn Session on Day 30 and I can happily say, he rocked it. Donning a few simple outfits, we posed this little guy in a garden and in doors with a casual background. This session was all about focusing on Bridger’s perfect little details. I made sure to document everything from his toes to his nose and all the smirks in between.

As usual, these guys were a dream to work with. Mama made sure to come prepared and we had no hiccups with his session. Seeing that I love to capture the lifestyle inspired shots, or candid moments, I made sure to have Amanda jump in for a few photos with her little man. Thanks again to this sweet family. I look forward to seeing your little guy grow!

“Above all, love each other deeply.” Peter 4:8

If you would like to book your unique Newborn Portrait Session, inquire with Angelina at therustienailhead@gmail.com. I would love to chat about your bundle of joy and help capture those raw and reflective first moments as a family! Don’t forget that we also offer Fresh 48 Sessions here in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex!