Briggs Birth Story and Hospital Takeaways

Birth Story: It is crazy how no two births are the same. I will give you the cliff note version of ours. Briggs was born naturally 3 weeks early, due to me getting preeclampsia and HELLP syndrome.

H (hemolysis, which is the breaking down of red blood cells)
EL (elevated liver enzymes)
LP (low platelet count)

I am not going to go in much detail about HELLP syndrome, other than the fact I hope no one knows what it is and/or gets it. For more info check out this site: If you had it, please reach out! Needless to say, he was not ready to make his entrance – if it wasn’t for my body creating a not so fun environment for him, I think he would have stayed in there for a couple more weeks.

Hospital Key Takeaways: In the hospital, I had him on my chest for hours and I truly do think that helped with him latching and not to mention it just feels right/comfortable and is bonding. They’ll ask you if you want to have him in the nursery or in your room. There are pros/cons to both. We choose to have him in our room, Sean held him on his bare chest the whole night, while I slept. You will be exhausted so I know some of my friends chose to have them go to the nursery so you can sleep. I just wanted him close and when he cried I wanted to be there. If you do give him to the nursery – just be clear on three things – do you want them to feed him formula, use a pacifier and give him a bath. You can tell them what you want. I told them no to formula and pacifier and to delay the bath. If you are planning on breastfeeding, I would recommend bringing your pump, so the lactation consultant can teach you how to use it ( first time mom).



What to pack for you: Your essentials – think necessities vs. glam. Chapstick, tooth brush/paste, hair ties, dry shampoo, socks, comfy pjs that open in the front and a sweatshirt/sweater (I was freezing). I would have liked my own pillow and blanket (but it just depends on how much you want to carry). Bring a water bottle with a straw  – you will need this post-delivery for breast feeding – literally drank 10-15 of these a day, it helps with milk production.

The not so fun stuff: I wore the mesh underwear while I was there and even home, but if you don’t want to wear those -  then bring grandma style underwear – I like Gap body. Put the ice packs on the day after – you will be so happy you did. You will love the nurse who helps you go to the bathroom the first time after delivery (they are so under appreciated and are literally amazing). I didn’t shower at the hospital, I waited to do that at home and boy was it AMAZING. But this will depend on how many days you have to be there.

Pack for baby: An outfit and a hat to go home in. A nice warm cozy blanket to put on top of them in the carseat. If you want to take a cute picture – then bring a fun swaddle blanket or outfit. I didn’t bring a stroller.

#Oatmilk is trending but is it right for you?

Wondering why all the craze around oatmilk? Oatmilk is the trendiest plant-based milk to hit the coffee shop scene thanks to Oatly – the preferred maker to local baristas. #oatmilkistrending

So what exactly is oatmilk? It's what happens when you soak steel cut oats or whole oats in water, blend the mixture, and then strain it. Sound easy? It is, try it at home (bonus: oats are way more affordable than nuts). Most people who have had it say that it is super creamy, adds a sweetness and offers a frothy layer to their latte's.

So how does oatmilk measure up to other milks? Check out the below grid to help you navigate which milk is best for you. They all have their advantages, so based on your individual needs you can make the right decision for you.


Need help deciding? Here is a good road map to help you decide:

Milk chart.png

Bottom line: There are many plant-based milk options out there. Nutritionally speaking, they all have their pros and cons so I would mix it up. Some taste better in latte's while others taste better in cereal. Whichever milk you choose, pay close attention to the ingredient panel.

US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Nutrient Data Laboratory.
USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 28 (PDF Download Available). Available from: [accessed Mar 14 2018].


Kate McGowan, RDN