Archive for January, 2013

Interview with Mary Oscategui, founder of International Maternity Institute™



Syndicated with permission by New Born Care.

Several years ago I had the opportunity to connect with Mary Oscategui as she was developing the International Academy of Baby Planner Professionals. Since then, Mary has expanded her vision of helping expectant and new mothers, childcare professionals and those who care for families into a global network of parents, providers and educators. Through the International Maternity Institute™, Mary offers educational programming for maternity professionals. I recently had a chance to connect with Mary to learn more about the institute and its offerings.

NewbornCare:  What is the International Maternity Institute™?

Mary: The International Maternity Institute™ is a leader in birth and maternity professional education, providing online, cutting edge, evidenced-based educational programs, products and services for the maternity professional. We are represented in 24 countries and specialize in baby planning, eco-maternity consulting, green birth education, sleep consulting, stress management, nutrition, mompreneur business success, and disabilities resource consulting. Our educational continuum is designed to enhance the careers of maternity professionals by supplying them with an integrative approach so that they can empower families to make informed decisions. Our Online Distance Courses are available in English, Spanish, French and Portuguese.

NewbornCare:  How long has the institute been offering educational programming?

Mary: The International Maternity Institute™ (IMI) evolved naturally in December 2010 from the International Academy of Baby Planner Professionals, which was founded in September 2009.

NewbornCare: Do you offer programs for nannies?

Mary: Yes, all of our programs are beneficial in expanding and growing the career of a professional nanny. A few popular courses nannies have taken from the institute are Maternity & Child Sleep Consulting, Baby Planning, and Eco-Maternity Consulting.

NewbornCare:  You have a lot of eco-friendly educational programming. Can you share a bit about that?

Mary: Yes, the IMI is committed to raising awareness and education about health and safety issues that affect preconception, pregnancy, and the postpartum period. Our maternity professionals are trained and equipped with this information so that the families they work with may make informed decisions in order to protect themselves and their children. Two of our seven courses offered specialize directly in eco-friendly educational programming and all of our other courses interweave eco-friendly elements.

NewbornCare: Tell me about baby planners? Why continuing education?

Mary: Baby Planners trained with the International Maternity Institute™ develop skills and training that extends beyond the typical main stream baby planner role, which mainly assists clients with baby gear selection. IMI Baby Planners are primarily focused with providing support and education to their client in order to meet their specific needs. By introducing their clients to a variety of options on preconception, pregnancy, postpartum and parenting topics, baby planners empower their clients to make informed and educated decisions. Baby planners may introduce their clients to various options regarding birthing, feeding, sleeping, health, fitness, nutrition, eco-friendly living, safety, post-partum support, budgeting, baby gear and more.

IMI Certified Baby Planners are trained:

  • To offer an objective approach with families in order to empower them to make the best educated decisions suitable for their family.
  • To educate and raise awareness about all aspects of pregnancy (including pre-conception, postpartum, and newborn care).
  • To support parents with time and stress management.
  • To understand the baby planning training methods, roles and practices.
  • With an in-depth look at healthy and safety.
  • With a comprehension of their scope of practice, boundaries to practice, and when to refer out.
  • To be aware of issues that involve medical attention, abuse, trauma, post-partum depression in order to provide their client’s the proper guidance and referral.
  • In all aspects of starting and managing a successful business.

Continuing Education is so important as new information and updates are always coming forward. As a result, it is important and professionally responsible to stay on top of current industry standards and news.

Mary Oscategui is the founder of the International Maternity Institute ™, the International Academy of Baby Planner Professionals, the Baby Planner, and Physical Awakening. She is also the co-founder of the Association of Professional Sleep Consultants and Baby Gear Industry Alliance. Mary is an educational content developer for the International Maternity Institute™ and author of “The Baby Planner Profession: What You Need To Know” and “Green Body Green Birth.” She is also mom to a four and a half year old girl, Bella Luna, and a four month old boy, Taj.


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Three Activities That Build Character in Kids

Three Activities That Build Character in Kids | The Bloom Blog | @BloomMaternity

Three Activities That Build Character in Kids

Most parents desire to raise children who have solid character and compassion. A child will learn these traits from watching those he sees around him and partaking in activities that focus on cultivating these skills when he’s young. To build character in your child, consider doing these three activities with him.

Clean up a neighbor’s yard for free.  Raking leaves and mowing lawns can be a fantastic and lucrative job for a pre-teen child, but it can also be a wonderful gift to give someone.  Every now and then, go with your child to one of your neighbors’ houses with a rake or shovel.  Help that person out with no intentions of making a big deal about it.  You can even make it a secret sneak “attack,” which might make it even more fun for your child.  The best way to build a generous character is to teach giving without any kind of reward, even the award of recognition.

Visit a retirement home. The elderly tend to crave the attention and presence of children.  Very little else brings joy to their life like a visit from a child.  Individuals that have lived a full and happy life have a lot to offer to a child.  Your child might find it difficult to look past the limitations senior citizens have to see the wealth of knowledge and wisdom they possess.  However, a few lighthearted visits to bring treats, sing some songs, or play some games can help open your child’s eyes.  This activity is best done with parents or close caregivers because it can be overwhelming for your child at first.  There is almost always at least one person that your child will connect with during these visits, and once that connection is made the sharing can begin.

Cook and deliver a meal for friends.  Children naturally want to help out when they are young, especially with cooking meals.  As they get older, this normal inkling to help make dinner may lessen.  But if the meal preparation is done for a reason and has a very specific purpose, the child might be a little more interested.  It is important in this activity to allow the child to be involved in the process from the very beginning.  Perhaps your child has a friend whose family is welcoming home a new child or having some other challenge in life.  This would be a great opportunity to model and teach compassion.  Have the child help plan the meal, shop for the supplies, prepare and make the meal, and then deliver it.  This too could be done in secret, with no one but you and the child knowing what was done.  The sense of satisfaction he will get from knowing that he worked hard to help someone else will be a reward in and of itself.

There are thousands of ways to teach children the character building lessons of compassion, generosity and sacrifice in everyday life; however, they can only be truly learned by the child if he witnesses the adults in his life regularly practicing these things too.  The key to each of these activities, as well as thousands of others, is for the child to do them with Mom or Dad.  That is the only way the importance of the endeavor will be learned and recreated.

This post is syndicated with permission by Go Nannies.

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30 Blogs About Parenting Girls

30 Blogs About Parenting Girls | The Bloom Blog | @BloomMaternity

30 Blogs About Parenting Girls

As the parent of a girl you will have a lot of ups and downs in your life, maybe even more so than if you have a boy.  Girls are more emotional for the most part just because they are girls and for no other reason.  It is in their biological make-up.  In saying that, are there certain things you need to know when raising a girl?  Definitely!  These 30 bloggers have put together some very good advice.

Dad’s Role

Dad is probably thinking that he doesn’t know a thing about raising a girl.  He never played with dolls or had tea parties.  However, the role of a dad is very important to your daughter and these five blog posts will tell you why.

Mom’s Role

As a mom you might think that it will be a snap raising your daughter because you are a girl and you know how girls think.  It might not be that simple.  Do you remember how you felt about your mom growing up?  Be prepared!  Read these five blog entries to help you avoid the mistakes that your mom may have made.


Toddlers are toddlers right?  Do you need to do anything differently when raising a toddler girl?  These five bloggers seem to think so.  Read through these posts and see if you can see why toddler girls are different.


You might think your daughter has jumped over the tween years and gone right into the teen years, but that’s part of the whole tween thing.  Some days she will act like a little girl and play with her dolls and the next day she wants to go shopping for an iPod.  These five blog posts will help you with your tween.


Going through puberty is difficult, but watching your daughter go through puberty is a nightmare.  Your little girl is growing up.  What can you do to help her transition?  Check out these five blog entries for answers.


Once your little girl becomes a teen you may no longer recognize her.  Her body will change and her moods will change.  How do you parent a teen girl?  These five blog posts will help you figure it all out.

Syndicated with permission by

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How to Get Food Out of Your Child’s Hair

How to Get Food Out of Your Child's Hair | The Bloom Blog | @BloomMaternity

How to Get Food Out of Your Child’s Hair

Kids seem to have an innate ability to get sticky foods lodged in their hair, making it difficult to remove the mess without sacrificing their locks. Fruit snacks, hard candy and chocolate can all present problems, but bubble gum seems to be the most difficult to remove. Most methods of extricating gum from a child’s hair will also work with other stubborn foods. Don’t immediately reach for the scissors in defeat; there are a number of ways to repair these sticky situations that don’t involve an embarrassing home trim or an expensive trip to the salon. You’re bound to have at least one of these remedies tucked in the back of your pantry, so before you rush out the door, head for the kitchen. If you’re dealing with any length of hair beyond a short boy cut, you will want to separate and secure any loose hair away from the gum or candy before beginning your removal efforts. The last thing you will want to do is make matters worse by getting more hair stuck in the wad of chewed gum.

Kitchen Aid

The trick to making peanut butter gum removal work is to opt for the creamy variety over crunchy brands. This remedy is not limited to peanut butter; any nut butter will work. The oil is what breaks down the gum so the higher the oil content, the better. If you happen to have an all-natural brand, the oil that separates at the top of the jar is your best bet. Use plenty of peanut butter and a toothbrush that you don’t mind sacrificing to work it into the wad of gum. Eventually, the gum will start to breakdown and will be easier to pick out of the hair. Keep adding more peanut butter as needed. Using a fine tooth comb, gently comb through the gum until it’s gone.  When the gum is out, a thorough shampooing will help get rid of the residual oils.

If you don’t keep peanut or tree nut products in your pantry, any oil will offer similar results using the same process. Liberal amounts of vegetable oil, olive oil, coconut oil or even mayonnaise can be effective alternatives, just be sure to shampoo your child’s hair thoroughly when the gum is removed.

Ice Box

A handful of ice cubes can be an effective remedy against sticky foods lodged in your child’s hair, especially soft items like chewing gum or fruit snacks. Using a towel to soak up the melted ice, hold the ice cube against the wad of gum. The gum will begin to freeze, making it possible to break the gum apart. Use a comb to get the last bits of frozen gum out.

Scissor Kicks

While it’s not advised to take the task of cutting stubborn, sticky foods out of your child’s hair into your own hands if you’re not confident in your abilities, a slight trim by a steady hand should be fine. For aesthetic purposes, it’s best to trim out only what can’t be removed with traditional remedies and let a professional do the shaping. Even if a stylist can’t salvage accumulated length, she can ensure that the style itself is an attractive one.

Hard Times

While it may be the most common, gum isn’t always the culprit when it comes to edible items that end up hopelessly tangled into kids’ hair. For hard candy and lollipops, warm, running water will be the safest and most effective solution. Soaking the candy in warm water will help to dissolve the sugar and release it from the tresses. Once the candy itself is removed, shampoo and detangle with warm water to remove any residual sugars. For chocolate and other soft, syrupy foods, a warm washcloth should do the trick if bath time isn’t an option.

Syndicated with permission from Summer Nanny Jobs.

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