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6 MUST Haves for New Moms [+ One Week Post Partum Update]

I can’t believe my little guy is a week old already!

I didn’t really think about the fact that having a baby over 5 years from my last would mean some different products and options would be out there. I wanted to share some of my FAVORITE things that I didn’t have during my last delivery that made so much difference this time!

Here’s My Top 6 Picks for New Mommies!

 

Here’s The Breakdown!

 

6 Must Have Items for New Mommies

 

 

After Ease Supplement: Helps naturally manage your afterbirth pains. I had a lot of afterbirth pain with my second baby, so I wanted to try something this time for it. This made SO MUCH difference! I had to use very little pain medication thanks to this. read more

Healthy Skin Must Haves!

In case you haven’t seen already, I just entered the

2nd trimester of my pregnancy! read more

7 Ways to Help a New Mom

 

It is a special time for a new mom following the birth of a child.

So many emotions are going through a new mom’s head: I’m not pregnant any more! This is the cutest baby I’ve ever seen! Will I get my waist back? I’m already exhausted! Will I ever sleep through the night again? Are they breathing? Am I doing this right? They are so tiny! Oww I need a Tylenol… And this is just in the first 5 minutes!

Everyone wants to help a new mom out, but sometimes we forget what they need the most. Moms need to relax and recover for at least 2 weeks following birth. Having a baby is no easy task for a mom’s body to go through. If they push themselves too soon, they could hemorrhage or develop mastitis.

This is the perfect time to offer to help them out and let them do what only they can do: Take care of the baby. baby postpartum new mom dad birth help

Here is my list of ways that my family and friends helped me the most following my births: 

1) Keep the older kids entertained. 

Aidalyn was 2.5 years old when Annaleigh was born. Luckily, Aidalyn did well with the extra TV time that she had while we were all recovering from Annaleigh’s birth. My mom was such a huge help to us before Annaleigh was born and right after. She stayed with us for about 5 weeks total, helping me with Aidalyn and the house. Not having to worry about Aidalyn helped me give my full attention to recovering and taking care of Annaleigh.

2) Cook meals for the family

Following both of my births, my church family really helped me out by cooking meals for 2 weeks. Having a hot meal coming each night was so amazing. I didn’t have to worry about what we were going to eat and it helped us all recover by being able to relax at dinner time. We used Sign up Genius to schedule meals and it made the process so easy.

3) Do laundry

Births and babies generate a lot of laundry. Adam’s mom and my mom both helped me with laundry following the births of my girls. It is not glamorous by any means, but it is such a HUGE deal to a new mom to not have to worry about.

4) Clean the kitchen and put dishes away.

Just like the laundry, this is not a fun job to do… but some things just have to get done and we don’t want our new mom to feel like it is her job. Ask her what would make the biggest help to her (maybe it is unloading the dishwasher or wiping down the counter tops). Everyone has that one thing that bugs them, see if you can scratch that off her “to-do” list.

5) Let Mom get a shower

Getting a shower and feeling normal again is so important to a new mom. She will be pouring all of herself into this new little baby and forget she needs to care for herself too. Newborns will want to be held all the time, so showers and baths become a luxury.

6) Text her to see if she needs anything from diaper cream to coffee. 

New moms don’t always know what they need until after the baby arrives (or they run out of something faster than expected!) Don’t call, just in case she is sleeping or dealing with the baby. A text allows her to get to your message at her convenience. She can reply and let you know if she needs anything from the store.

7) Let her know you are there if she needs to talk or ask advice.  read more

How to Build a Home Birth Kit in 20 Items

How to Build a Home Birth Kit in 20 Items

 

I have been blessed to be able to have 2 home births now. You can read my two birth stories by clicking here: Annaleigh’s Birth and Aidalyn’s Birth.

Both experiences were amazing and there is very little I would change about either. I was fortunate to have 2 amazing midwives attend my births and felt very prepared for when the time came.

My first home birth was in 2010 (Aidalyn’s). I was able to have her in my master bathroom’s garden corner tub. It was easy clean up and a really a great experience. For Annaleigh’s birth we were in a rent house, so my midwife brought a large tub for me to use to birth in. It was even better because the water was able to be deeper. I wasn’t in the tub for more than 10 minutes though because she came so fast. read more

Why You Should Add Butter to Your Coffee

Week one we increased our water intake.

Week two we cut out sugar.

Are you feeling better already?

No more Sugar crashes or highs? We want to keep our blood sugar smooth and stable.

 

This next tip will help not only keep your sugar cravings at bay, but will also help you burn more fat, fuel your body and help you focus…

Want to know the secret??

 

Adapted from: http://glutendoctors.blogspot.com/2010/10/why-i-allow-butter-on-diary-free-diet.html

This week we are going to focus on Healthy Fats!  

 

 

Fats from animal and vegetables are so vital to our health. They are a “concentrated source of energy.” (Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon). Using fats as an energy source is also understood in Trim Healthy Mama‘s satisfying or S meals.

 

Fats slow down nutrient absorption so we feel full longer and stay satisfied. They also help keep our blood sugar stable. Fats are also important in absorption of fat soluble vitamins (A, D E and K). Cultures (Japanese, French and traditional populations) that eat a lot of saturated fats have less coronary heart disease than Americans who changed their diets to be low in saturated fat (Nourishing Traditions, Sally Fallon).

 

What Is a Healthy Fat?

Saturated fats are healthy! Healthy fats are fats that are stable when heated. These include coconut oil, butter, and ghee. Extra Virgin Olive oil is good, but it is less stable because it is monounsaturated and so shouldn’t be cooked with.

 

Eating Fat doesn’t make us fat, Carbs do!

We have been lied to over and over when we have been told to eat low fat for weight loss. It isn’t the fat that is the problem, it is the carbs that cause excess weight gain (and the mixture of the two). Trim Healthy Mama goes into more detail about this in their book, but it is the core at why you keep the two sources of energy separate and also eat low glycemic.

When you eat too many carbs, the excess energy is stored in our cells to burn up later. When we also eat fat with excess carbs, the fat is also stored for later. If we keep our food choices to one source of energy or the other then we will continue to burn and not store extra to be turned into fat.

 

What about cholesterol? 

Cholesterol is NOT the devil. It is actually necessary for your health.

Cholesterol is vital for hormone production, for cell membranes, for creating bile, for serotonin production, and maintaining a healthy digestive wall for prevention of a leaky gut.

Oils to avoid.

Any oil that has been hydrogenated or homogenized. Most of these are in the form of corn or soy. So if you start avoiding those two then it gets easier. Polyunsaturated fats should be no greater than 4% of our daily caloric intake (Nourishing Traditions, Sally Fallon). Polyunsaturated fats include commercial vegetable oils like corn, sunflower and safflower.

Coconut is a super food!

In an earlier post, I talked about coconut oil and how great it is for us (click here to read more about coconut oil). Coconut oil is antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial, soothing for skin and revs up metabolism. We keep one container in our bathroom and one in the kitchen. I have used coconut oil on sunburns, dry skin and for prevention of stretch marks in pregnancy.

 

Challenge Time!

So this week, let’s make the switch to include MORE saturated fats into our diet. We most commonly use coconut oil and butter. One easy way to get in more fats is actually in your coffee! Sounds a little strange, right?

 

When you combine coffee, grassfed butter and collagen, you get AMAZING RESULTS! 

More fuel for your body and brain means a more fit, fueled, and focused you! With Grass-Fed Butter and Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs), you can increase your body’s ketone production to rapidly breakdown fat, boost your energy, and sharpen your focus!

  • Contains fatty acids from Grass-Fed Butter and Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs)
  • Builds and restores vital proteins through essential amino acids and collagen peptides†
  • Boosts and sustains your energy output to burn more fat†
  • Sharpens mental focus and enhances mood†
  • Kills cravings and satisfies hunger†
  • Fuels your body and brain through increased ketone production†
  • Supports the results of your low-carb & ketogenic diet
  • read more

    How to Heal Diastasis Recti

    Before I was pregnant, I had no idea how my body was going to change to bring in this little person into the world. Once she was here, I felt like I had to learn how to be me again. I found out that during pregnancy my body had developed Diastasis Recti.

    Diastasis Recti is the separation of the abdominal muscles. Most commonly occurs as a result of pregnancy.

    Some women are just prone to this abdominal separation, but there are some factors that increase the likelihood of it occurring:

    Carrying multiples or having a larger singleton pregnancy (baby over 9 pounds) can cause diastasis recti to form.

    My daughter was 9 pounds at birth, so that was probably the cause of mine. read more

    Story of a Waterbirth: Happy 3rd Birthday Aidalyn!

    IMG_3449_edited-1This is Aidalyn’s birth story and a 3 year update! I thought it was appropriate to share on her 3rd birthday.

    This was the day I became a Mama.

    Aidalyn is such a joy. She is so full of energy and and spunk. She is so stubborn and will fight you to the death that her dress is actually a shirt (or vise versa depending on her mood). I think she would be a great lawyer.

    She loves My little pony and Go Diego Go! oh and don’t forget Disney Princesses!

    Her favorite foods are black beans and cheese, almond butter sandwiches, and muffins. Favorite snacks are popcorn, nuts, yogurt, cheese, and fruit.

    Her bedtime is 8 pm and we read a book, sing a song, and say a prayer (she will say one too most nights and pray for her friend Charlotte). She wakes up at 8 am usually asking where daddy is.

    baby-aidalyn-1-101

    This birth story was actually written just a few days after Aidalyn’s birth, so hopefully it is more reliable than me retelling the story now. Enjoy!

    I started having contractions early Wednesday morning around 5:30. I was 5 days post due date (or only 2 days late given due date based on conception/ovulation and not last menstrual period). I started timing them and noticed they were about 10 mins apart. I had been having weeks and weeks of BH contractions so I didn’t want to get too excited. I just stayed in bed, glancing at the clock whenever I’d have a contraction. They weren’t too strong, but they were consistent.

    When Adam woke up for work around 6, I told him what was happening and to keep his phone close. I stayed in bed until 8 and then called my midwife, Becca. She told me to get my contractions going by being active. So the rest of the day I went walking for two hours, skipping, squatting, shopping at mall, going to Starbucks. I was doing anything to stay on my feet.

    Becca came by the house to check me around 5 or 6 that evening. My contractions were around 7 mins apart, still not strong enough to cause any pain. I was dilated to 3 and 100% effaced, but that was no change since my last appt. My contractions were real, but not painful at all. They just were not progressing to active labor. I had previously had cryosurgery of my cervix when I was 18, and a side effect is for your cervix not to dilate and cause labor to be very drawn out. I had been coached by Becca to be aware of this. So, we all decided to go to bed and try again in morning. Adam decided to stay home from work and help me get this labor going.

    On Thursday, I woke up went walking again. My contractions were weaker than Wednesday. Becca came over around 12. We talked about how my body was trying to go into labor, but my cervix wasn’t cooperating. We decided to strip my membranes, I took homeopathics, used pressure points, and I ate spicy food. Around 3:30, I ended up on my exercise ball to help ease the contractions. My contractions started getting stronger around 4 or so where I couldn’t talk through them. By 4:30 my contractions were in full bloom: harder and getting closer coming less than 5 minutes apart. Becca came over shortly.

    Before Becca arrived, I moved into the bedroom. I labored on my hands and knees for about 2 hours. I had some heat on my back at one point. Becca and Adam fixed the bed for me, putting all the waterproofing on. During the contractions I would say “ooooh, ooooh, ooooh” in a low voice. I was in control of them for the most part. If I was prepared for one coming, it wasn’t bad. But If I was talking right up to the contraction, I had a little more difficulty handling the pain.

    I had three strong contractions back to back and I said “I need a break!” then I got about a three min break. I looked at Becca and said that’s a long break. She said “I know!”  I went through transition right after the break. During transition I got the shakes very badly and I threw up. It was pretty quick though. Becca asked if I wanted her to check me. She checked me and I was at 7 cm. I asked if I could get in tub ( Becca thought “if you make it to the tub!”) I got in the tub and labored there for two more hours. Adam ended up in the tub with me. At first I laid down in the tub, but the contractions didn’t seem like they were very effective in that position. I found some comfort in feeling the water run over my hand during a contraction. Then, I moved into kneeling on my knees and faced Adam. He held me through the contractions. Becca left us in the bathroom to labor by ourselves.

    I started feeling the contractions lower in my pelvis. I remembered that these were the pushing contractions. The contractions seemed to be pushing too far back, so I moved into a position where I felt the pushing more towards the middle of my pelvis. I looked at Adam and said “I think she’s coming. I feel her head. Is her head out?” He kept telling me “no, no she’s not coming yet…” Then I finally convinced him that she was, and he called Becca into the bathroom. Becca was on the phone in our bedroom giving the other midwife directions to our house. (I had progressed so quickly she wasn’t going to make it!)

    When Becca came into the bathroom, Aidalyn’s whole forehead had emerged already. When Becca looked, she saw that Aidalyn had her hand next to her face which explained why it had taken 2 hours in the tub (So theoretically I could have been in active labor for less than 4 hours, if Aidalyn hadn’t had her hand up!) Becca coached me to raise my leg to give room for her hand. In three pushes, Aidalyn was out at 9:10 PM on Thursday, December the 2nd. Becca passed her threw my legs and I grabbed her and turned around to sit with Adam in the tub.

    Aidalyn was in shock from such a quick labor, so we needed to get out of the tub and get her breathing and more responsive. Her APGAR scores were 5 and 6. We moved to the bed where Becca turned Aidalyn on her belly and got her to start crying. I held her and laid in bed with Adam as the midwifes left us alone. The other midwives arrived about 30 minutes after the birth. I nursed her for about an hour.

    The midwives came back in the room and started doing all the measurements of Aidalyn: 9 lbs, 20 ½ inches, 14 cm head circumference. She was perfect! My mom arrived about an hour after the birth. I was a little scared for them to check me, because of how big she was. When it was time to check me, I only had first degree tearing and it wasn’t bad at all. Becca said I really didn’t require a stitch, but I would have to be on bed rest for two days for healing. The other midwife and Becca decided to give me one stitch just to be safe.

    When we were settled, the midwives left and my mom , Adam, Aidalyn, and I went to bed. It was around 2 or 3 in the morning. It really was perfect and I wouldn’t do it any other way. The adrenaline was so high after the birth that I told Adam I wanted to do it again! I was in active labor for 4.5 hours and in the end had an amazing un-medicated childbirth experience that ended in a perfect miracle, my daughter, Aidalyn Grayce. baby aidalyn 1 058 birth story read more

    How to Control Gestational Diabetes Naturally

    How to Control Gestational Diabetes Naturally
    How to Control Gestational Diabetes Naturally

    Pregnancy is such a wonderful, joyous time.

    You are growing a human being inside you, what could be more special?

    Then you go to your 27 weeks appointment and they tell you that you have gestational diabetes…

    What??? 

    For me this came at such a shock the first time. I was very small when I got pregnant, probably below 120 pounds. I wasn’t gaining excessive weight during pregnancy. I was working out almost every day (waking up at 5 am and going to the gym). I ate very healthy (whole foods primarily).

    And I had gestational diabetes?!? read more

    The rains came down, and the floods came up…

    There are some things in life you take for granted…

    Every day you expect that you will wake up on time. Every day you expect that your car will start. Every day you expect that your power will be on.

    And every day you expect for your toilet to work properly.

    That is where my story begins.

    I was 35 weeks pregnant. Not feeling great – just pushing through to the end of the pregnancy. I was done with nesting. My nursery was decorated and ready for a new baby girl. My birth kit was ordered and put together. My house was neat and clean…. Then it happened.

    I am a planner at heart – I am the COMPLETE opposite of a procrastinator. I like to be finished with projects well before their “due date.”

    The story continues…

    So it was Friday, May 3rd. Adam got home from work around 5, just like normal. We like to go walking in our neighborhood in the evenings as a family. As Adam was loading up the car with the stroller and putting Aidalyn in her seat, I ran upstairs to use the potty one last time before heading out the door (being 35 weeks pregnant… I always had to go to the potty). Because I knew they were already in the car and loaded up, I rushed to get downstairs…

    We had a great walk along the reservoir. It was a beautiful day. 45 minutes later we went home planning to cook dinner.

    As soon as I opened the kitchen door, I heard it.

    All I heard was loud rushing water. So I yelled out “Adam!!!”

    I ran inside to try to find where it was coming from. It was so loud I thought it had to be right in the kitchen…. nope. I ran further into my house and was met with standing water in my living room, dining room, downstairs hallway. Water was running over our balcony, through the ceiling and light fixtures. Water was everywhere!

    I ran upstairs and found standing water in our bedroom carpet – tons of water… everywhere!

    Finally found the source: the upstairs toilet!

    It had been running the whole time we were gone! and supposedly has very very high water pressure.

    Aidalyn was crying “It’s raining, It’s raining!” as we sat on the steps and Adam started to process our game plan.

    We decided for me to take Aidalyn to a friend’s house and for Adam to call an emergency water damage company to come. It was about 7 now and they couldn’t be there until 9. Adam also called about 9 guys from our church to come and help.

    The guys were able to move all our furniture out of the way downstairs and upstairs – from our living room, dining room, bedroom, closet, and bathroom.

    I was in shock basically. Unable to sleep that night. Adam and our friend got to their house around 2 or later in the morning Saturday.

    The repair company put in fans and dehumidifiers throughout the house and we had to leave the house for at least a week. We were so very grateful to be able to stay at our friend’s house for 4 nights while our insurance company found some place for us to stay.

    We learned we were going to have to replace about 1/2 our downstairs wood floor, then sand and stain all of the downstairs wood floor, replace the floor in our bedroom, and repaint the entire downstairs and our bedroom.

     

    Meanwhile, all the furniture from our bedroom was moved into my beautiful nursery…. My heart is broken. All that work I spent on preparing the house to bring my baby into was meaningless.

    I am already tired, and all I see is more and more work ahead of me.

    This was going to take a while.

     

    At church Sunday, I think I was still in shock over everything. Here I am about to bust… and my house is unable to be lived in and everything is out of place. Talk about added stress at the end of a pregnancy… and I was planning a home birth. I cried through one of the songs as the band played “Always.” It was kind of my pregnancy anthem this time around. I took it as a little message from God that he was going to take care of us and everything was going to be okay.

    By Wednesday we get the word that we can be moved into the Residence Inn in Richmond. It is located in the city about 30 minutes from our house. It wasn’t ideal by any means. We had some issues with it not having doors or closed space for Aidalyn to have a separate area for naps and sleeping, there was an ant issue, and it was just small… Again I was planning a “home” birth without a home. I really didn’t want to have a baby in a hotel (even though my midwife assured me that she could deliver a baby anywhere).

    On the plus side, we had free hot breakfast every day and I didn’t have to clean or make my bed for a month. We.stayed.in.a.hotel.for.a.month!!!!

    Meanwhile my mom came to stay with us to help with Aidalyn. She slept on the couch in the hotel for a week!

    Finally, finally, finally. Our insurance guy got the word on how much repair was needed on our house and how long it was going to take. He also knew that I was planning a home birth and was trying to be accommodating. He found us a rental house that primarily rents to water and fire damage families.

    This house was PERFECT!! I cannot say enough about how incredible it was for us to move out of the hotel and into the house. I was getting pretty depressed in the hotel. The house was so cute and in a great neighborhood with a playground. It was about the size of our house and had a fenced in back yard. This was going to be perfect for my home birth! And the owner was totally okay with us using it.

    We were there exactly one week before I went into labor. I stayed there until Annaleigh was 3 weeks old, then my mom drove me and the girls to Louisiana to meet the rest of the family and Adam stayed to get our house finished.

    Adam moved back into our house July 9th.

    I came home from Louisiana July 23rd to my new beautiful house and brought my 5.5 week old home for the first time. IMG_1628

     

    No matter how much you plan on things working the way you expect them to, life is always a ride. I am so thankful for our friends and family. We would have been lost without them.

    Dangers of Birth control Pills and Natural Options

     

    birth-control

    Dangers of Birth Control Pills

    About 2 years after Adam and I were married and after starting this health discovery process, I started doing some research on birth control pills. I was taking a pill every day to prevent pregnancy… and I just kept reading that this was not healthy for me or my hormones.

    So I started doing some research. I found that there are

    TONS of diseases linked to birth control pills read more