Sunday, December 27, 2015

Say Goodbye to Back Pains and Hello to the Support You Need!

Ah the joys of pregnancy! You're glowing, your belly's growing... and with that, sometimes you develop back problems. Lucky for you there are now a number of support products to ease discomfort and let you progress with ease and style.

As your belly grows, you may find it uncomfortable and difficult to move with this sudden new weight. The Upsie Belly by Belly Bandit provides immediate relief, making it easier to increase your range of motion and daily activity throughout your pregnancy. Featuring revolutionary SecureStretch materials that mold to your body with just the right amount of tension. This allows for strong support and a stable fit while the exclusive soft-front closure allows you to move freely, without digging or discomfort. Because your baby bump is all the matters, Upsie Belly is created from ultra soft bamboo made from viscose materials.

Instantly relieves pregnancy discomforts:

- Minimizes stretch marks
- Adds back and abdominal support
- Helps relieve bladder discomfort
- Increases circulation and blood flow
- Eases sciatic, back and leg pain
- Provides extra support to hips
- Decreases varicose veins, hernias & hemorrhoids
- 12” of adjustability to grow with your belly
- Aids in post hysterectomy recovery.

The SOOTHING HOT/COLD PACK INCLUDED Fits conveniently into built in back pocket!

This band works DOUBLE DUTY! Use it AFTER you deliver for added comfort and relief. Simply turn the belt around and fasten it in the back so the hot/cold pack lays over your healing belly.

It's smooth and invisible under clothing, as well as machine washable, so you can wear it everyday!

If you have a history of back problems, or are carrying mutiples, or even if you just need stronger support, the Gabrialla Maternity Support Belt is what you've been waiting for!

This strong support belt creates warmth and increased blood flow to the lower back, thus encouraging flexible muscles and therapeutic healing. By providing support and compression to the hips, the garment helps to stabilize the weakened hip area and reduce pain. Belt helps maintain proper posture and prevent stretch marks.

The Gabrialla Maternity Support Belt is highly recommended by doctors as an excellent abdominal support and to reduce lower back pain. It promotes proper posture and balance while allowing you to continue an active lifestyle.

To purchase any of our pregnancy & postpartum products, feel free to visit us online or come by the store.

Visit us at:
16101 Ventura Blvd. Suite 230
Encino, CA. 91436
p. (818) 380-3111 w.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Raising a child with a healthy self esteem!

Nurturing your toddler's self-esteem is essential to boosting his self-worth and laying the foundation for your child's development as he tries things on his own. Self-esteem is believed to come from having a sense of belonging, believing that we're capable, and knowing our contributions are valued and worthwhile. As a parent, you want to ensure that your child develops pride and self-respect — in himself and in his cultural roots — as well as faith in his ability to handle any life's challenges - whether social or educational. Here are ten simple strategies to help boost your child's self-esteem:

Give unconditional love. A child's self-worth blossoms with the kind of no-strings-attached devotion that says, "I love you, no matter who you are or what you do." So go ahead and lavish your child with love. Give him/her plenty of cuddles, kisses, and pats on the shoulder. And don't forget to tell him/her how much you love them.

Discipline with love. Your child benefits the most when you accept him/her for who they are regardless of strengths, difficulties, temperament, or abilities. And if/when you do have to correct your child, make it clear that it's his behavior — not him — that's unacceptable. For instance, instead of saying, "You're a being a bad boy! Why can't you be good?" you can say, "Pushing (friend's name) isn't nice. It hurts and gives him an ouchie." This also allows your child to develop empathy.

Give undivided attention. Carve out time to spend one-on-one time with your child. This sends the message that you think s/he's important and valuable. It could just be a few minutes of talking/ reading/playing/interacting on some level while making eye contact and affirming your child's self worth. When you're strapped for time, let your child know it without ignoring his needs. Acknowledge them by saying something like "tell me about the tower you built with your legos, and then I'll make dinner."

Set limits. Establish reasonable rules for your toddler/preschooler - make sure it's something they can follow like eating snacks at the dinner table or cleaning up after playing. Be specific with your rules, if you tell him to put his dirty close away - make sure to tell him where they go (hamper) and make sure he understands that's the only place they go (ie not the floor or his bed). Rules give children a sense of security and stability. It may take constant repetition initially, but with some encouragement he will learn to follow the rules. If you're clear and consistent while show him that you trust him to do the right thing, he will.

Support taking healthy risks. Encourage your child to explore something new, such as trying a different food, finding a new pal, or riding a bike, etc. Though there's always the possibility of failure, without risk there's little opportunity for success. So let your child safely experiment, and resist the urge to intervene. If he's showing frustration with a task, don't try to "rescue" him. You'll build his self-esteem by balancing your need to protect him with his need to tackle new tasks.

Celebrate the positive. Everyone responds well to encouragement, so make an effort to acknowledge the good things your child does every day within his earshot. They'll enjoy hearing good things said ABOUT them as opposed to TO them. they'll get to bask in the glow of your praise and the person's heartening response. Be specific about what your your child did. This will enhance his sense of accomplishment and self-worth and let him know exactly what he did right.

Let mistakes happen. These are valuable lessons for your child's confidence. So if your child puts his juice too close to the edge of the table and it tips, encourage him to think about what he might do differently next time. That way his self-esteem won't drop and he'll understand that it's okay to make mistakes sometimes. Also, when you goof up yourself, admit it, so he sees adults make mistakes too but show him what you do to correct them. Acknowledging and recovering from your mistakes sends an important message to your child to accept his own shortcomings.

Listen well. If your child needs to talk, stop and listen to what he has to say. He needs to know that his thoughts, feelings, desires, and opinions are heard and matter. Help him get comfortable with his emotions by labeling them. Say, "I understand you're sad because you have to say bye to your friends." By accepting his emotions without judgment, you validate his feelings and show that you value what he has to say. If you share your own feelings ("I'm excited about going out to see a movie"), he'll gain confidence expressing his own.

Resist comparisons. Comments such as "Why can't you be more like your brother/sister?" or "Why can't you be nice like (a friend)?" will just remind your child of where he struggles in a way that fosters shame, envy, and competition. Sometimes even positive comparisons, such as "You're the best player" could be potentially damaging since a child can find it hard to live up to this image. If you let your child know you appreciate him for the unique individual he is, he'll be more likely to value himself too.

Find the balance between encouragement and praise.
Make sure to reward the task, not just the person to let your child know you acknowledge his efforts as well as his accomplishments. Provide the kind of support encourages progress — not just rewarding achievement. So if your preschooler is struggling to fasten his seat belt, you could say, "You're trying very hard and you almost have it!" instead of "Not like that. Let me do it." offer empathy and acknowledge his feelings. You can dole out the praise judiciously and offer encouragement liberally - it will help your child grow up to feel good about himself.

And for a bonus eleventh tip - enjoy your time with your kids. Really learn to appreciate the special moments - your kids already do!

A Mother's Haven takes pride in trying to help our "moms" with any issues, questions or concerns. We support your child rearing views and encourage mothers to trust their gut and feel empowered by motherhood. We're always here to be a listening ear and a shoulder to lean on. Feel free to give us a call at (818) 380-3111 or drop by the store.

Visit us at:
16101 Ventura Blvd. Suite 230
Encino, CA. 91436
p. (818) 380-3111 w.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Choosing the Right Belly Bandit for You

The Belly Bandit wrap is designed exclusively with a woman's post pregnancy body in mind. The seamless creation hugs your body for a comfy inconspicuous fit under most garments. The smooth, tagless design and latex free materials won't irritate most skins.

Among many of its benefits, you'll find that the Belly bandit:
- Provides a Slimmer Look Instantly
- Helps lose inches faster
- Reduces Discomfort
- Supports Back & Legs
- Adds Support While Breastfeeding
- Improves Posture

X-SMALL 28"-32" /71 cm-83cm
SMALL 33-37"/ 84cm-95cm
MEDIUM 38"-43" / 96cm-111cm
LARGE 44"-49"/ 112cm-126cm
X-LARGE 50"-57"/ 127cm-126cm

Due to the size and shape variations in women's bodies, it may be tricky to size yourself for a Belly Bandit. Correct sizing is essential for comfort and product effectiveness. Buying a Belly Bandit that is too large will not wear well under clothing and may affect end results. There is no exact science that fits all women, but don't fret, here are some tips.....

In the eighth month many women will be the same size as they will be post delivery. Simply measure the circumference of your belly starting at your belly button. Choose the corresponding band for your size.

Just prior to delivery simply subtract 3-5 inches from your belly measurement. Select the corresponding band for that size.

If you purchase your Belly Bandit after you give birth, simply choose the corresponding band for your belly size.


The Belly Bandit has been so successful at trimming down new moms' waistlines, they've expanded their brand to include a variety of styles.

The specialized graded elastic Bamboo Belly Bandit style helps to aid in tightening the belly, as well as the Original Belly Bandit, minimizing stretch marks and supporting core muscle structure. This is definitely a perfect balance of outstanding comfort and compression.

While another fantastic bamboo option - the Belly Bandit B.F.F will likely become your very best friend for 6-8 weeks after you deliver, the B.F.F. also stands for Body Formulated Fit. We listened closely to women around the world and combined their feedback. Utilizing a corset inspired construction and eco-friendly super-soft Promodal, our premier band features many unique fit and fabrication advantages.

The patent pending design creates the ability for mom to have two different panels of compression that simultaneously cinch the waist and conform to your body to create a natural silhouette – because we are all not built the same. As a fabric blend that comes directly from nature, Promodal offers optimum moisture management, smooth fiber structure to help avoid skin irritations, and a reduced growth of bacteria, to name a few.

The B.F.F. has been created and shaped just like a woman’s body, making sure both Mother and Mother Earth are happy.

Visit us at:
16101 Ventura Blvd. Suite 230
Encino, CA. 91436
p. (818) 380-3111 w.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Packing Tips for Traveling with Babies

Little travelers need a surprising amount of stuff! Here are some tips and a checklist of items that can help alleviate stress while traveling.

- Start preparing to pack a few days before you travel. Keep a running list of things to take, or put items out on a table or dresser as you think of them.
- Use a diaper bag with a waterproof lining and a shoulder strap.
- Be prepared for leaky diapers and baby spit-up on the airplane: Tuck an extra outfit or two for your baby – and an extra shirt for you – into your carry-on bag.
- Prevent leaks by packing medicines and toiletries in resealable plastic bags.
- Pack each of your baby's outfits in its own zipped plastic bag so you don't have to hunt around for tiny socks, shirts, and so on.
- Take your camera, battery charger, and an extra memory card.
- Take a clip-on reading light so you can read without disturbing your baby.
- Take the phone number for your baby's health care provider in case you have questions while you're on the road.

Packing Checklist
- Diapers - The rule of thumb is to take one for each hour you'll be in transit, plus extras in case of delays
- If you use cloth diapers, make sure to also take all your extra pads and cleaning essentials.
- Pad or blanket to put under your baby during diaper changes
- Blankets - Bring a few — you'll use them to lay your baby on, cover your baby, cover yourself if you're nursing, protect your clothes from messy burps, shade your baby, and more
- Nursing Shawl - if you're nursing
- Breast pump - some like the pump in style or freestyle for their convenient mobility while others prefer a manual handheld because it's smaller.
- Plastic bags - Carry a variety of sizes for storing soiled diapers, clothes, and blankets.
- Diaper rash cream. Those by Motherlove, and Earth Mama Angel Baby are among our moms' favorites.
- Wipes. Gaia Bamboo Baby Wipes are made from a soft bamboo cloth with natural and organic extracts to gently cleanse, soothe, and care for your baby's skin at changing time.
- Small bottles of disinfecting hand gel, body wash, and baby lotion.
- Tissues or Boogie Wipes
- Soothies and Extra pacifiers (if your baby uses one). Products like Sophie The Giraffe and the Caaocho Ball Rainbow Sensory Ball are an absolute must for the majority of our moms.
- A few of your baby's favorite toys. Haba and PlanToys make wonderful eco-friendly wooden toys that are high quality with no harmful additives and colorings.
- Clothes, socks, and booties or shoes - Two outfits per day is a good guideline.
- Washable bibs
- Sun hat and sunblock.
- Lightweight plastic feeding set with utensils, snack packs and baby food.
- If your baby's eating solid foods - Formula, water, and juice if necessary.
- Extra bottles, nipples, and sippy cups if appropriate
- Nightlight - Especially if you're staying at a hotel - this allows you to keep the lighting soothingly soft for middle-of-the-night diaper changes. It's also good if your baby uses one or in fact having anything familiar your baby will use to help him sleep.
- First-aid kit
- Baby pain reliever (for teething or ear aches) and supplies for treating minor injuries
- Sling/Wrap or baby carrier - Keep it lightweight - it's a wonderful hands-free way to keep your baby close in crowded places like airports.
- Portable crib or play yard - creates a safe place for your baby to sleep or play
- Inflatable baby bathtub - makes for an easier bath time at your destination
- Car seat for safer travel by car or plane
- Collapsible stroller that can be gate-checked or stored in the overhead bin of an airplane.

Visit us at:
16101 Ventura Blvd. Suite 230
Encino, CA. 91436
p. (818) 380-3111 w.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

How to Interact with a Newborn

I was pretty clueless when my daughter was born. In 2000 I had never heard of tummy time or Baby Einstein. I followed my instincts and spent my time with her holding her, singing to her, talking to her, lying on the floor with her, going for walks and of course nursing her and changing a lot of diapers! I even managed to give her a bath every so often.
When teaching newborn care classes many parents ask me what to do with a baby all day (and night) long. The obvious basic care of feeding, diapering, bathing and dressing are clear to them but what else?

Here are some ways to interact with your newborn:

hold her
massage her daily
 Touch is the most important sense in newborns. The more a baby is touched or held, the more it lowers her stress, promotes healthy weight gain, enhances her immune system and lowers her heart rate.

– do tummy time
 Tummy time has many benefits including strengthening the back and neck muscles, which will help her learn to sit up, crawl and walk. Tummy time may also help prevent a flat head caused by sleeping on her back. Start tummy time as soon as you get home from your birth place. A few times a day, lay her down on her stomach on the floor for as long as she will tolerate it. Roll up a cloth diaper and place it under her chest, as she gets stronger: this will encourage her to push up and strengthen her muscles. Lay on the floor with her and rub her back if she becomes fussy. Let tummy time last as long as the newborn is happy. If she gets too upset try again at another time.

sing to her
 Even if you don’t feel you have a great voice – your baby will love it!

talk to her
Newborns recognize their mother’s voice as soon as they are born and sometimes the partner’s as well. They will move their heads toward the origin of the sound. When talking to a newborn, be descriptive and use different voice levels. For example, when in the grocery store, tell her what you are doing, “I’m picking out three red apples to eat later.” Talking to her in descriptive ways engages her, teaches her about conversation and teaches her words. Begin this as soon as possible. People may think it is odd, but when the newborn is about a year old, she will understand many words and respond to them. This will make it easier to communicate with her and it is fun!

make eye contact
– get a mobile and bright-colored toys
A newborn’s vision is generally blurred, but she can see clearly about eight to fourteen inches in front of her. She is able to follow objects, but her eyes do not always work in tandem, so she may look cross-eyed at times. Newborns prefer black, white, and bright colors like red and yellow. They are also drawn to bull’s eye shapes like eyes and nipples. Newborns like faces especially and will also notice light, patterns, movement and shapes.

– go for walks
Getting outside is good for you both. It is a brand new environment for her to see, hear and feel. Wear her if you feel comfortable or use a stroller. You may find this helps her fall asleep also.
Finally, do what I did – follow your instincts! Trust that you are making good choices for your baby and family.

Lauren Ryan is a Supported Birth Childbirth Educator and Supported Birth Certified Doula who teaches childbirth education and newborn care at A Mother’s Haven and privately.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

8 Ways to Create the Best Birth Environment

I would have rather given birth at home, but between my insurance, being a first time mom, having a partner that was a little scared of the idea and living a mile off a dirt road that was very difficult to traverse in the rainy season, the hospital was where I needed to be. I was uncomfortable with hospitals because of past experiences with sick family members as many of us are. I was able to understand though that I was going to the hospital not because I was sick or anything was wrong, but to give birth.

While laboring at home you can mostly control the environment. No one is watching you or interrupting you, the temperature can be controlled, the lights can be adjusted, you can move around freely, take a bath or shower, light candles and go outside.

At the hospital your partner and/or doula can do their best to create an environment that works for you. By creating a birth environment that connects to the “old” part of the brain you will be thinking less, trusting your instincts and able to handle pain better because your body is releasing endorphins, which are the body’s natural painkillers.

Components of a good birth environment:
  1. privacy
  2. warmth
  3. low lighting
  4. access to water
  5. freedom of movement
  6. familiarity
  7. pleasing scent
  8. having nature present
Here are some ways to make these work in a hospital.

Privacy – Always close the door and pull the privacy curtain every time someone enters or leaves the room. Also, if there is someone there and you do not know who they are or why they are there, politely ask their name and how they will be helping you.

Warmth – Most hospitals have individual thermostats for each room. Many times they are set at 65 degrees so check it as soon as you get in the room and make it so the temperature is comfortable for the laboring woman. Also, ask for (or find out) where the heated blankets are and drape one over a laboring mom.

Low Lighting – Find out where all the light switches are and turn the lights off. If a care provider enters the room they will ask to turn on lights if they need to. Feel free to turn them off as soon as they are done.

Access to Water – Get in the shower or tub if provided and you are able too. Soak washcloths or small towels in cool and warm water and apply to the mom’s upper or lower back or chest and/or abdomen.

Freedom of movement – Don’t get hooked up to an IV unless it is medically necessary and if you are hooked up don’t be afraid to move around, your partner or doula can move the stand as needed. If you are hooked up to an EFM move around if you need too. If the sensors slip and are not picking up the baby’s heartbeat the nurse or your doula will readjust it.

Pleasing Scent – Make a massage oil with your favorite essential oil to be used during labor. You can also bring in a plug-in diffuser that you add essential oils to. Try filling a spray bottle with water and your favorite essential oil and spry the room and linens.

Having nature present – Open the blinds if you have a window to see outside if there is a nice view. Play nature sounds. Tape pictures of nature around your room or create a slideshow for a tablet or laptop.

If you are unsure what you are or are not allowed to do the hospital room just ask!

Lauren Ryan is a Supported Birth Childbirth Educator and Supported Birth Certified Doula who teaches childbirth education and newborn care at A Mother’s Haven and privately.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Is Your Child Ready For A Sippy Cup

Sippy cups can be a great way for your baby to transition from nursing or bottle-feeding to a regular cup. They can also improve hand-to-mouth coordination. When your baby has the motor skills to handle a cup but not the skills to keep the drink from spilling, a sippy cup can give him some independence while keeping cleanup to a minimum.

When should I introduce a sippy cup to my child?

Encourage your child to use a regular cup when you think he's ready. Some babies enjoy using a sippy cup as early as 6 months, and others aren't interested until after their first birthday. Most babies seem ready around 7 to 9 months, though.

What's the best way to transition to a sippy cup?

Some babies take to a sippy cup immediately, while others take a while to get used to the idea. Here are some tips to make the transition smoother:

- Start off with a soft, pliable, nipple-like spout, which will feel more familiar to your baby than a hard plastic spout. Some trainer cups offer a spout that's similar to the bottle, making for a smoother transition.
- Show your baby how to raise the cup to his mouth and tip it up to drink.
- Give it some time. Until your baby masters the technique, you may want to put water in the cup to avoid too many messes. Don't worry if your baby doesn't use the sippy cup properly for a while. It makes a fine toy, too!
- Try different models until you find one that suits your baby.

What should I do if my child refuses the sippy cup?

Give it time. Your baby may not be ready or may desire a different spout or type of sippy cup. Some babies even graduate from breast or bottle straight to a regular cup. If you'd rather your baby learn to use a sippy, though, whether for convenience or because you think it'll make a good transition – try these strategies that many parents have used successfully:

- Dip the tip of the sippy spout into the breast milk or formula and then give it to your baby. She may just need a hint! Babies 6 months or younger should get only formula or breast milk in the sippy cup.
- Show your baby that the spout is like a nipple (it needs to be sucked on). Try touching the tip of the spout to the roof of her mouth to stimulate the sucking reflex.
- If she drinks from a bottle, give her half of her formula in the bottle. When it's empty, switch to the sippy cup for the second half of the feeding (continue to hold her as you do when she's bottle-feeding).
- Offer your baby a straw. Some baby cups, like the ZoLi Bot Sippy Cup, come with built-in straws, and some babies find these easier to use than a spout (though others will give you a clueless look). If your baby does get the hang of sucking from a straw, she may then be better able to handle sucking from the spout.
- Switch beverages. Some babies will drink water or juice – but not breast milk or formula – from a sippy. Sometimes it's a matter of association (milk belongs in a bottle or breast). Never give juice to a baby 6 months or younger, and remember to limit juice for older babies and toddlers to no more than 4 to 6 ounces (a half cup or so) a day.
- Some parents have had success waiting to introduce the sippy cup until their baby is ready to start drinking whole milk (at age 1). Show her how. Get yourself a clean sippy and let your baby see you drink from it. Or have a sibling drink from a sippy in front of the baby. Sometimes all it takes is a little sucking noise (make it when you give her the cup) to inspire a baby to start sucking.

Shop around.

There are all kinds of sippy cups, with all kinds of spouts or funky handles and designs.

There are even bottles that transition from a regular bottle to a bottle with handles or to a sippy cup with a lid and straw or to a regular toddler cup. Sippy cups give your child a certain level of independence, so it's worth letting your baby test-drive several if the one in hand isn't working.

To spare your diaper bag any added mess, make sure to pick one that's spill proof. Then all you have to do is sit (or stand) back and enjoy this incredible milestone.

And to keep those sippy cups and toys from hitting the floor, snap and trap with this super cute (and safe) tethering device. The Lil Sidekick is long with DIFFERENT sized elastic loops on each end to accommodate any accessory. Just attach one loop to your stroller or car seat, and the other to your child’s sippy cup or toy, and you’re done!

Visit us at:
16101 Ventura Blvd. Suite 230
Encino, CA. 91436
p. (818) 380-3111 w.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Supported Birth Education

Your body already knows how to give birth - it just needs some preparation...

Supported Birth covers stages of labor, pain coping techniques, drugs, and cesareans as most typical childbirth classes do. What makes Supported Birth different from other Childbirth Preparation classes is that it is taught in an interactive and personalized way where couples will participate in discussions as opposed to only listening to lectures. Couples will use self-exploration and come out of class feeling empowered and positive about birth by learning there is no one right way to give birth. This class is especially good for women who have fears about giving birth and those attracted to the idea of natural childbirth.

This four week course educates women and their partners to make conscious choices about the birth of their baby based on a combination of technical knowledge, confidence in the natural biological process of birth, self exploration, and many different pain coping tools and techniques. Women and their partners will understand the importance of a woman’s need to feel safe & nurtured in her birthing environment. There is “no one right” way or method for giving birth.

Taught by Lauren Ryan, childbirth educator / labor and postpartum doula
Find out more about this class on Lauren's site

This 4-week series is offered every month on Tuesday nights from 7-10pm.

You can register for the Supported Birth series by calling the store at (818) 380-3111 or through the online registration page.

For class, soon-to-be parents should dress in comfortable clothing, as well as bring water and pillows.

Class 1
History of birth
Associations with birth
Partner’s strengths
Physiology (dilation & effacement)
First stage of labor
Pain coping exercise

Class 2
Pain coping exercise
Birth environment
Tools for dealing with pain
Sexuality of birth
Second stage of labor
Pain coping exercise
Practice positions

Class 3
Pain medication
Pitocin, induction, monitoring
Cesarean / complications
Pain coping exercise

Class 4
Trial Run cards
Postpartum- body, PPD, moods, support
Review stages of labor

Visit us at:
16101 Ventura Blvd. Suite 230
Encino, CA. 91436
p. (818) 380-3111 w.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Did you know? Symphony Rental Pumps!

Breastpump Rentals

Only you can provide for your baby. We can help!
A Mother’s Haven carries Medela breast pumps for rent and sale and Medela pumping supplies. Pumps for sale are available in our online store. Pumps for rent are available for in-store pick up only.

Medela Symphony® Breastpump

Medela Symphony® Breastpump is the first breastpump with 2-Phase Expression® technology which is proven to achieve faster milk ejection and faster milk flow.*  More efficient and comfortable.  Unique overflow protection.  Double or single pumping.  One knob control.  Whisper quiet operation.  Easy-to-clean.  Compatible with Preemie+ technology (Preemie+ Card sold separately). Featuring the original 2-Phase Expression® technology – found only in Medela breast pumps.
Babies breastfeed in 2 phases:
1. Stimulation Phase – when babies first go to breast, they suck fast and light to start milk flowing.
2. Expression Phase – after milk flow or “let-down” starts, babies breastfeed with a slower, deeper suck, bringing out more milk faster.

Rental Rates:
– 2 Weeks $56
– 1 Month $75
– 3 Months $195
– 6 Months $300

*Late fee of $1.00 per day will be applied after account reaches 5 days past due.
We need a valid driver’s License and credit card for breastpump rental. No deposit required.
To rent the Medela Symphony Hospital Grade Breastpump, click here. If you would like more information you can call the store at (818) 380-3111 or fill out form below.

Visit us at:
16101 Ventura Blvd. Suite 230
Encino, CA. 91436
p. (818) 380-3111 w.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Infant & Toddler CPR & First Aid

We'd all like to think that we'll never be in a position of having to save our baby's life, but it could happen. Babies choke on food and toys, or slip under the water in the tub or a pool, or get caught in drawstrings and curtain cords. If your baby is ever choking or suddenly lifeless, you would want to know what to do!

Although you might be able to find some tips on the internet, these techniques differ depending on the age of the child, and doing them improperly can possibly be harmful, so it's important to set aside a few hours to take an infant and child CPR course in your area, to learn and practice the proper techniques. If you live in Los Angeles, whether in the San Fernando Valley, the Westside, or even Burbank, Pasadena, or Glendale, we have the class for you.

At A Mother's Haven, our Infant and Toddler CPR and Family Safety Class class will show you just what to do in those situations. We offer the “Save a Little Life” course at our Encino location about once a month throughout the year. The course is also offered in Spanish about every other month. We highly recommend that all parents, grandparents, and caregivers attend this potentially life-saving course. You can either take the class while you are pregnant, or after your baby is born (come to class without your baby though, so that you can really focus your attention on learning the techniques).

To register for Infant CPR, you can call us at (818) 380-3111 or use the online registration pages for CPR in English (couple), CPR in English (one person), or Spanish CPR.

For more information about all of our classes, please visit our website.

Visit us at:
16101 Ventura Blvd. Suite 230
Encino, CA. 91436
p. (818) 380-3111 w.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Time to babyproof?

Parents worry endlessly about how to protect their children from strangers and violence, but many overlook one of the biggest threats to their children's safety and well-being — their own home. Whether your little bundle of joy is crawling, walking, or still perfecting tummy time, it's never too early to begin childproofing, so make sure you do so carefully.

Take Safety Measures

Is your sweet little munchkin pretending to be top chef by getting into all kitchen cabinets and appliances? Mommy's Helper Appliance Lok helps keep appliance door safe from little hands. It has a locking strap for refrigerator or stove and can be easily installed.

The most effective way to ensure your baby's safety is to take a baby's-eye view of your home. Get down on your hands and knees and see how things look from down there. What's within reach? What looks tempting? Where would you go if you could crawl, toddle, or walk?

This will help you figure out which cupboards, drawers, and other spaces your child might get into. As he starts walking and climbing, you'll have to reevaluate again, looking higher each time.

Carefully lock up or stow away every potential poison or other hazard, including cleaning products, medicines, vitamins, and knives. The cabinet and drawer latches by the American Red Cross help prevent children from opening cabinets and drawers. They also feature a two-step locking mechanism for added safety and can be easily installed in cabinets and drawers.

Aside from cabinets, closets and doors also quickly become a fun activity for your now physically active child. The Door Knob Safety Covers will help deter curious children from entering rooms or closets.

The over-sized grip design spins loosely around the door knob when a child tries to turn it, yet is easy for adults to grip and squeeze to open the door. In addition, the Lock-Guard feature covers the door handle locking button to protect against accidental lock-outs and fits all standard door knobs.

If you have bi-folding doors on your closets or cabinets, you can use the Bi-Fold Door Lock by the American Red Cross.

Sharp Turns Ahead

When babies start to crawl or walk, they're so excited by their new freedom, they won't bother 'watching their step.' To help insure they get to where they're going safely, certain precautions need to be taken. For example that beautiful coffee table smack in the middle of your living room, with the sharp edges, that you never gave a second thought about before kids... Your child apparently likes it as much as you do and feels the need to play there as often as possible. Now you can let him without worrying. Apply Jumbo Corner Guards to sharp corners of table, counters, cabinets, and anywhere else you have sharp corners. The full-length double-stick tape keeps the Corner Guards securely fastened and removes quickly and easily when no longer needed. They're also fire retardant, non-toxic and latex-free.

Protect Outlets

Kids are explorers by nature. It's a good idea to protect electrical outlets with outlet covers. The American Red Cross Hinged Outlet Covers help keep your child safe while providing access to one outlet and keeping the other covered. These are ideal for frequently used outlets and fit any standard electrical outlet. Their neutral color is less likely to attract children while its hinged design is sturdy, durable, and easy to use.

If your child is extra curious and you're worried these removable plug-in caps can eventually end up in your baby's mouth, replace the outlet covers themselves – at least those that are accessible – with ones that include a sliding safety latch.

The Universal Outlet Cover by KidCo works on both Standard and Decora style outlets. It automatically covers the outlet when plug is removed thanks to its sliding mechanism and ultimately prevents injury from inserting objects into outlet.

Go for the Glow

When your baby cries in the middle of the night, you don't want to go into their room and fumble around in the dark looking for things and you certainly don't want to turn on the big overhead light and completely wake them up. The Cool Touch Nursery Light by the American Red Cross provides a soft glowing light with a simple on/off button. It has cushioned pads for scratch-resistant tabletop use and it also has a mounted hanger for wall mounting.

Another option is to use a night light. The LED Night Light by the American Red Cross uses far less energy than standard light bulb. Its cool white light is not too bright for the nursery and its long life gives more than 30,000 hours of use. There are no bulbs to change for convenience and added economy. Its photo sensor turns the light on when room gets dark and off during daylight, while the lens remains cool to the touch.

To order any of our safety products online, please visit our website or call us at (818) 380-3111. You can also feel free to email us at with any questions.

Visit us at:
16101 Ventura Blvd. Suite 230
Encino, CA. 91436
p. (818) 380-3111 w.

Cinch Couture and Signature Adjustable Tummy Wrap for After Baby

The Cinch is an adjustable belly wrap to help you get your figure back after baby!

The wrap provides 360 degree support for compression along your abdomen and support along your back.  The adjustable panels shrink with you so you only need to buy one size, and the lightweight yet firm material is comfortable and compressive all day long.  Come on in to try The Cinch on and see how you can get your body back even after having a baby!

Visit us at:
16101 Ventura Blvd. Suite 230
Encino, CA. 91436
p. (818) 380-3111 w.

Mothers' Gathering - Create Your Village!

You've heard it so many times before... it takes a village to raise a child! Well it does... sort of.

We know that your first year with your baby is challenging - You're tired, overwhelmed, and confused - This is where Mothers' Gathering comes in. Whether this baby is your first or fourth, we offer classes that are catered to your specific needs.

It's about building a community. This class can help alleviate those feelings of loneliness - even if you have family or friends around, you can feel alone in this journey as a new mom. Allow yourself the chance to get support from people who truly understand what you're going through. You will make friends for life. Mothers' Gathering provides the opportunity for your little one to find a new buddy, and most importantly, for you to build lasting friendship with other moms. These friendships will undoubtedly make a tremendous impact on your journey through motherhood.

Much more than a "Mommy and Me" class, our Mothers' Gathering classes are education & support groups for thinking moms who are looking for information, guidance & friendship. These eight week sessions truly allow for a place to establish a foundation and gather the tools to determine what fits best for each mom and her child.

Our philosophy is that there is no one "right way" to parent and what works for you might not work for another mother. And what might work one week, might not work the next. Whether you're a first or second or third time mom, we give you tips and strategies for your parenting tool box, helping you to find confidence in your parenting skills and choices.

Groups for new mothers start approximately every 4 weeks. These classes do fill quickly and require pre–registration. You can call (818) 380-3111 to register or use the online registration page.

For a full Mothers' Gathering class schedule, you can visit our online class calendar.

You can also read more about our Mothers' Gathering teachers on our blog:

Interview with Synthia Praglin

Interview with Danielle Vorzimer

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Milkmakers Lactation Cookies

Since everyone was asking for them, we now carry the Milkmakers Lactation Cookies!  And they're delicious!

These cookies are wonderful for moms who are trying to help keep their milk supply up, whether at home or going back to work.  Baked into each lactation cookie are oats, brewer's yeast, and flax seed - all ingredients that help to increase breastmilk supply and help new moms get the nutrition they need.  Oats are eaten by nursing moms worldwide to boost breast milk supply, and are a nutritional powerhouse providing plenty of whole grains, fiber, iron, and an abundance of healthy vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Brewer’s yeast is a traditional herbal remedy used to stimulate and increase the production of breastmilk and is a rich source of the B-vitamins and amino acids essential for nursing moms and their babies. Flax seed provides an abundance of omega-3 fatty acids, necessary for brain development, which can be passed from mother to baby through breastmilk. These ingredients work together to make these yummy cookies a wholesome, beneficial treat for breastfeeding moms.

The Milk Makers lactation cookies come in Oatmeal Raisin and Oatmeal Chocolate Chip, and we sell them both as individual cookies which make a great snack when you come for Mommy & Me and also in bags of ten cookies to take home. 

Visit us at:
16101 Ventura Blvd. Suite 230
Encino, CA. 91436
p. (818) 380-3111 w.

Zoli Buzz B Nail File

Scared of cutting your baby's nails?  The Zoli Buzz B Baby Nail File/Trimmer is safe and gentle for newborns, infants, and toddlers.  The cushioned pads gently file baby's nails with easy adjustable two speed control on all the tiny fingers and toes.  It comes with the nail trimmer, extra cushioned pads of varying textures, 1 AA battery, and a storage/travel case.

Visit us at:
16101 Ventura Blvd. Suite 230
Encino, CA. 91436
p. (818) 380-3111 w.

Breastfeeding 101

Breastfeeding is endorsed by the world’s health and scientific organizations as the best way of feeding infants. Years of research have shed light on the vast array of benefits not only for children but also for mothers and society.

While breastfeeding is best for you and your baby, it is a learned skill. The natural aspects of breastfeeding are the baby’s innate suck mechanism and need for sustenance and your body’s production of milk. Because many of us were not breastfed, and didn’t grow up watching women nurse their babies, it is a topic and skill that we must learn as soon-to-be parents. Proper positioning and latch-on are essential for successful nursing. Learning prenatally how your body produces milk, and practicing proper nursing techniques, are the first steps to successfully breastfeeding your baby.

In this class you will:

- Learn about the anatomy and physiology of breastmilk production
- Learn and practice proper positioning and latch-on
- Learn how often a typical newborn will nurse
- Learn strategies to use if problems arise and when to seek help
- Discuss strategies for working and breastfeeding

This 3 hour class is held once a month on a Saturday afternoon from 2–5 pm. Our next class is Saturday, November 12th! Class size is limited to 6 couples. This small group size allows you to get your specific questions answered and the teacher to personalize the class to the couples' needs. Handouts and materials are provided.

Pre–registration required. You can register by stopping into the store, calling us at (818) 380-3111, or signing up online on the Breastfeeding 101 registration page.

See our calendar of classes for the next dates of the Breastfeeding 101 workshop.

As with all of the prenatal classes, we recommend that you take Breastfeeding 101 at least one month before your due date. So just in case baby comes early, you'll be prepared and already have all of the information and practice that you need. We look forward to seeing you soon!

And for after baby is born, we also have lactation consultants who can come to your home or meet with you in the store. As well as our Breastfeeding Support Group on Tuesdays at 10am - only $10 drop-in!

We also rent out hospital-grade Medela pumps. Rental pumps are only $75 per month!

Visit us at:
16101 Ventura Blvd. Suite 230
Encino, CA. 91436
p. (818) 380-3111 w.

Friday, November 6, 2015

New Aden + Anais Beginnings Gift Sets

Aden+Anais just came out with their New Beginnings Gift Sets - perfect for baby shower presents!

The Aden and Anais New Beginnings Gift Sets come in Liam the Brave (boy), For the Birds (girl), and Jungle Jam (unisex).  The gift set includes:
1. Two cotton muslin swaddle blankets in cute prints
2. One Burpy Bib, great for using as a burp cloth and then a bib
3. One Musy Mate Lovey, a cuddly muslin companion for your baby
4. Swaddle Love Book, which demonstrates the history and techniques of swaddling

Visit us at:
16101 Ventura Blvd. Suite 230
Encino, CA. 91436
p. (818) 380-3111 w.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Caring For Your Newborn

Is the hospital staff really going to let you take this baby home? What can you really expect when bringing home baby? Learn the essential skills you need to take care of your new baby in this fun, informative, hands-on class!

You will be given information to help you physically care for a new baby, gain an understanding of newborn behavior and needs, and develop parental confidence. This class cover the following topics:

- Typical newborn eating and sleeping patterns
- Handling a newborn in the first few days/weeks
- Feeding
- Burping
- Diapering
- Bathing
- Changing clothes
- Swaddling
- Cord care
- Nail care
- Soothing a crying baby
- Illness - what to look for
- Care of the Mother
- Layette - what to buy
- Topics that are important to your family

This 3 hour class is held once a month on a Saturday afternoon from 2–5 pm.

Our convenient Encino location caters well to San Fernando valley residents, living in Studio City, Sherman Oaks, Tarzana and Woodland Hills. We are also central for residents of the Westside, Hollywood, Santa Monica, as well as Calabasas, Agoura, Glendale, and Pasadena.

Class size is limited to 6 couples. This small group size allows you to get your specific questions answered and the teacher to personalize the class to the couples' needs. Handouts and materials are provided.

Pre–registration required. You can register by stopping into the store, calling us at (818) 380-3111, or signing up online on the Caring For Your Newborn registration page.

See our calendar of classes for the next dates of the Caring For Your Newborn Workshop.

As with all of the prenatal classes, we recommend that you take Caring For Your Newborn before your last month of pregnancy. So just in case baby comes early, you'll be prepared and already have all of the information and practice that you need. We look forward to seeing you soon! Feel free to call us at 818-380-3111 or email with any questions!


“I learned a lot - this Caring For Your Newborn class went above my expectations.”
Karen Hopkins

“This class was very informative in teaching new parents all the basics they need to know in preparing for their newborns.”
Sandra Whang

How The Miracle Blanket Can Help Stop The Fussing

The Miracle Blanket is truly a miracle for many moms and babies! Research has shown that the two best fussiness "eliminators" are classic swaddling and gentle abdominal pressure. A lateral belly wrap is a very old Irish remedy for fussiness that is comprised of a long band of "stretchy" fabric that is wrapped around a babies abdomen to provide a gentle, even, lateral pressure around the baby's mid-section. 

The Miracle Blanket is the first and only product that combines these two incredibly effective solutions in one product. Because of the way  design combines the perfect classic swaddle with the even, horizontal pressure of the lateral belly wrap, it seems to work better than anyone ever thought possible.

Here are some of its benefits...
• Helps Fussy Babies Sleep Great!
• Helps Ease Fussiness For ANY Baby!
• Aids In Preventing Facial Scratches!
• 100% High Quality Cotton
• Helps Babies Sleep Better On Their Backs!
• Helps Stop Twitches That Wake Your Baby!
• Makes Breast Feeding Easier!
• One Size Fits All Up to Four Months

It's also easy to use:

Step One:
Lay the blanket on a flat surface with the foot pouch at the bottom and lay baby between armflaps with tops of shoulders slightly above top of blanket. 

Step One

Step Two:
Fold the arm flaps over the outside of your baby's arms and tuck them snugly under her back on each side. IMPORTANT: You should lift the baby's bottom to be sure the arm flaps are flat and snug under baby's back.

Step Two

Step Three:
Pull the footpocket up over the feet. NOTE: Some babies' feet may not reach the foot pocket yet. This is okay: It will be there for them as they grow.

Step Three

Step Four:
Fold the right side of the blanket over your baby's belly and tuck it under the left arm pit (her right). This flap should wrap all the way under the baby's back.

Step Four

Step Five:
Wrap the left side of the blanket over the top of her belly and all the way around her until you run out of blanket. This is where it is important to pull the blanket snug. THE BLANKET MUST BE PULLED SNUG. 

Step Five

Important for newborns and smaller babies:
After wrapping the arms (Step 2), fold the bottom of the foot pocket up so the feet touch the bottom of the wrap. This will create a more perfect, custom swaddle. Follow steps 4-5.
Step Five
To further enhance effectiveness, try the following:
  • After wrapping your baby, cradle her on your forearm facing down or forward.
  • Gently rock or jiggle your baby while making long "Shushing" sounds in her ear.
  • If your baby likes a pacifier, definitely use it
Here are some more helpful tips: 

If your baby seems too warm, dress her in a diaper and The Amazing Miracle Blanket only.

The room temperature where your baby sleeps should be comfortable for a lightly dressed adult (67-72°F).

As your baby grows, the blanket may seem loose around her legs. This is perfectly okay. This will allow for proper movement and development of her hip and knee joints. 

It is best to wrap your baby very snugly. It's normal for her to fuss when first wrapped - especially the first few times. But don't worry, after a week or two most babies begin to relax at the mere sight of the blanket.

Be sure that the blanket is NOT touching your baby's cheeks. This may wake her. If the blanket is touching her cheeks, you have wrapped her too low in the blanket. You must be sure the top of the blanket is slightly below the tops of her shoulders.

It is very important to tuck the arm flaps securely and flat under your baby's back as the flaps keep your baby from working her arms free and waking herself. This also keeps your baby's arms in the most effective position - at her sides.

Many babies prefer to have their feet free. In step two you may position your baby with her feet on top of the foot pouch to see if your baby prefers to be wrapped this way.

Visit us at:
16101 Ventura Blvd. Suite 230
Encino, CA. 91436
p. (818) 380-3111 w.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Kicky Pants - Combining Fashion and Function

These natural baby clothing in bamboo and cotton prints are sure to be your child's favorite! There's an incredible variety - pants, shirts, tunics, dresses - you name it! The fabric is stretchy and soft, the construction is of the highest quality, the colors are rich and beautiful, and the design is simple and well executed.

Bamboo is an eco-friendly, sustainable crop that grows wild without the aid of fertilizers or pesticides. Bamboo wicks water from the body 3-4 times better than cotton, keeping skin comfortable, rather than sticky, in summer weather. And, Bamboo stays 2-3 degrees cooler in hot weather & warmer in cold.

Check out some of the cool new styles we got in stock!

This adorable layette gown is perfect for brand new little ones! Elastic bottom makes diaper changes easy! Easy fold over cuffs prevent baby from scratching himself.

The baby doll top is in a crimson lattice pattern, with ruffles around the hemline and the sleeves.

The baby doll top is in a striped pattern, with rosettes along the top and gentle ruffles around the hemline to create a cool and edgy, yet sweet vibe.

These Bamboo Basics are incredibly soft and luxurious feeling. Pair these leggings with any Kicky Pants top for a complete look!

Roar! Run wild with lions and tigers through the jungles with this cute coverall from Kicky Pants.

Or keep your little one's feet cozy and snuggly with this cute red coverall.

Kicky Pants are available at A Mother's Haven. To order your Kicky Pants clothing online, please feel free to visit our website or calling us at (818) 380-3111. You can also email us at

Visit us at:
16101 Ventura Blvd. Suite 230
Encino, CA. 91436
p. (818) 380-3111 w.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Sleep Tips for Daylight Savings Time by Synthia Praglin

Daylight savings time will begin at 2:00am on Sunday November 1st when we turn the clocks back one hour. Adjusting to the shortened day and lack of sunlight can be hard on everyone, as we are forced to restructure our days. Here are some tips that may help make the adjustment a bit smoother.

On Sunday morning, your child will likely wake at their normal time, which unfortunately may be 1 hour earlier according to the new time. Keep their day and routine as close to normal as possible, according to the new time (meaning put them down for naps based on the new time). If bedtime was 7:30 on the old clock, it will now say 6:30. Try to keep them up until 7:00 on the new time unless they are so tired that you may miss the sleep window, in which case put them to bed at 6:30 and then begin to push bedtime ahead each day until you get to 7:30. Wake ups may continue to be a bit early for the first couple of days, but most will adjust within the first week. Watching the sleep cues and staying consistent will benefit everyone!


Synthia Praglin, M.A., J.D., CIMI, CPE began teaching Mothers' Gathering (Mommy&Me) & Infant Massage classes after the birth of her own son Jake over eleven years ago. She found it was the perfect fit for her child development background and her own experiences of being a mom. Her professional background includes 15 years of experience in the fields of social services and law with at–risk children and their families.

For more information about Synthia Praglin, check out our Instructor Interview blog!

Visit us at:
16101 Ventura Blvd. Suite 230
Encino, CA. 91436
p. (818) 380-3111 w.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Help - my child is teething!

Before your little one hits the terrible twos, she will hit teething. Mommas need something that works quick - and what's better than a gel that you can put right on that red, angry gum where a tooth that is about to pop through.

Hyland's Teething Gel is the first and only all-natural teething gel on the market. This homeopathic formula contains no benzocaine (see our other blog post about the FDA warning on benzocaine). No sugar. No artificial flavoring. No dyes or coloring agents. Just 100% natural, effective treatment - the only product like it on the market.

Hyland's teething tablets also provide a natural, homeopathic formula for symptoms of simple restlessness and wakeful irritability due to the cutting of teeth. They are a favorite of moms and babies as they dissolve quickly and are highly effective. They reduce pain, inflammation, fever, drooling, and the discomfort of teething.

Need extra help with teething... maybe a toy to distract and soothe your wailing baby -- Look no further than Sophie the Giraffe. Derived from natural rubber and food paint, this favorite toy is safe to chew. Her shape is easy for baby's hands to grasp, and she makes a delightful squeak when her tummy or head are squeezed. Her unique smell -the singular scent of natural rubber- also makes Sophie identifiable amid all other toys.

If the original Sophie is too big for your itty bitty, there's now a smaller version of everyone's favorite giraffe! The Sophie Teething Ring is ergonomically shaped and perfectly sized to fit your little one's hands and mouth!

A close cousin to Sophie the Giraffe, Chan Pie Gnon is also proudly handmade in the French Alps with the finest natural rubber (phthalate-free) and food quality paints.

What about a teether that also helps your child eat fruits and vegetables... The Baby Safe Feeder is the multitasker that does just that! It's the easy way to give your little one fresh food without added salt, spices, sugar, or preservatives. You can now introduce your baby to fruits, vegetables, and snacks of your choice without the risk of choking. It's easy to use. Just remove ring, put food into the Baby Safe Feeder mesh bag, and screw tight. That's it! For help with teething before your baby is ready for solid food, you can freeze breastmilk or formula in an ice cube tray and then pop it into the Baby Safe Feeder for your baby to gnaw on. (Check out our other blog post about how to best clean your Baby Safe Feeder.)

The Tiny Teether is made of washable vinyl. Tiny hands can easily grip, bite, and squeeze this soft and squeezable, vanilla-scented teether ball. It helps baby's gums feel better while they are going through the teething stage.

What if your baby is more into the pacifier concept? The RaZberry teether may be the solution for you. The bumpy multi-textures of this bright and cheerful teether will comfort your baby with teething relief and soothe those sore little gums. This silicone teether is cleaner and healthier for baby, too. You can freeze the teether for extra soothing comfort.

Need more help with teething? Call us at (818) 380-3111. You can also email us at

Visit us at:
16101 Ventura Blvd. Suite 230
Encino, CA. 91436
p. (818) 380-3111 w.