Posted in Sweet child o' mine

Tongue tie Aftermath

img_1544.jpgMy son was only 10 days old when he had a tongue tie release. He was not latching on properly and was losing weight since we were discharged home from the hospital. It was our pediatrician who first diagnosed him and referred us to an ENT for a second opinion. ENT confirmed and proceeded with a tongue, upper and lower lip release during the same appointment. My son latched on seconds after the procedure; we were given post op instructions on how to massage the soft tissue underneath so it would not adhere again. We followed every step.

 

As a physical therapist, assessing how people move, how they sit, stand or walk is second nature to me. My family, especially my son, is always on my radar. It was not until he was about 15 months that I realized he slept with his mouth open. He is a stomach or a side sleeper, and regardless of the position his mouth was open. I closed his mouth, seconds later his mouth was open again. He was not a sick kid, he was breastfed, he did not have any anatomical abnormalities, but why did he sleep with his mouth open? Bizarre, right? To me, it was.

When I started researching this, I came across myofunctional therapy and I was awed. I have been in field of Physical Therapy for 11 years and I had never heard of myofunctional therapy before. I asked my colleagues and they had never heard about myofunctional therapy before either.IMG_8776.JPG

What is Myofunctional Therapy?

In a nutshell, it is a non-invasive treatment of oral cavity. Now remember, that includes the tongue, jaw, cheeks, airways and the neck. I learned that if your tongue is not properly positioned in your mouth, it can lead to breathing problems then in later stages to sleep apnea.

I knew I needed to take my son for a thorough examination; therefore I went to Bella Physical Therapy.

 

Did you know220px-Einstein_tongue

  • Poor latch
  • Falling asleep when attempting to nurse
  • Swallowing issues
  • Poor weight gain
  • Ear infections
  • Excessive colic/gas/burping
  • Reflux symptoms
  • Breathing Issues
  • Interrupted sleep

                                                               ….can be addressed with myofunctional therapy?

If goes uncorrected, these problems can lead to mouth breathing, sleep apnea, chewing and swallowing problems, speech difficulties, throwing up, teeth and mouth misalignment, behavioral difficulties and incorrect posture. Isn’t this wild?

After the examination, we found out about tightness in my little one’s neck muscles, forward head posture and mild issues with his tongue. We were given instructions on sleeping positions and tongue exercises. The results were amazing and came quickly! Just in couple of days, his mouth was almost closed and he was improving with tongue exercises. Getting his tongue and surround muscles stronger can also help him with speech later on.IMG_0899

I always knew tongue was a muscle but I never realized what a key role it actually played. A baby needs to achieve each milestone in order to grow normally. An untreated oral-motor dysfunction can lead to many serious conditions later in life. On the contrary, an adult with sleep apnea, snoring, indigestion and acid reflux or bad habits such as thumb sucking and nail biting can also benefit from myofunctional therapy.

Thank you for reading!

IMG_8906

 

 

 

Image retrieved from:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Einstein_in_popular_culture

 

 

Posted in Super Momma

Give some credit to your hubby

As much as I love my husband, majority of the time I feel like I’m the only adult in our household and I have two kids whom I have to supervise at all times. If you feel like I do, you are not alone! Nearly every mother I talk to, agrees with you and I.

As a new mom, I had and have to figure most things out on my own by experimenting, reading, listening to other mothers, researching and learning from my mistakes. I have to admit, I felt the pressure of making the right decisions as a parent and wanted my husband’s support and feedback. I was very quick with rolling my eyes and getting frustrated if my husband was clueless about or was not fast enough with dealing with a problem. For instance, if our little knocked a cup of soup and it’s all over the kitchen counter, by the time my hubby cleaned up, troublemaker would have moved to another room with his dirty hands touching the furniture so there would be a bigger mess.

Whenever I left the two at home, I would come back to a bigger mess. I would get upset and aggravated asking “why can’t you at least clean after yourself?” The toys would be everywhere, sink would be over flowing with dirty dishes, food would be left on the counter top, baby would be in an absurd outfit and diapers would be on the floor instead of the garbage.

After many arguments, rolled eyes, passive aggressive notations and slammed doors, I concluded that was not the way to win this one. Instead of criticizing and comparing my hubby to myself, I tried to see things from his perspective. I realized even though I was a new mom, my gut told me what to do majority of the time. My husband was clueless and he was trying to do one thing at a time. Instead of talking about the desired outcome, I started talking about how to get to the desired outcome by giving him examples. It worked. After couple more times, he was able to put toys back, diapers were in the garbage, dishes he told me to leave them for him. Even though things were not done in my time frame, he was getting them done in his.

Having a child totally changes your marriage both in a good and a bad ways. It’s such a blessing and an unconditional love that comes with a lot of work. As a working mother, I believe in sharing house work with my husband. It does not necessarily mean, “I ll do the dishes today and you will do them tomorrow.” It may be I will cook and you will do the clean up. I will do the laundry and you will fold. It is never totally 50/50 sometimes yes I do more work, sometimes he does more work. Communication is very very important since exhaustion, disturbed sleep and then pressure of multi tasking can easily blow up a simple issue into a disaster.

Thank you for reading! Let me know what you think! I would also love to hear about your experiences/thoughts!

Posted in Super Momma, Sweet child o' mine

Shy about breast feeding in public?

You can read the whole article on huffingtonpost.com. It’s funny, ridiculous and annoying at the same time that even in 21st century some people and places shame Mother’s for breast feeding in public. Everyone got a say, so do you.

Breast-feeding in public for the first time, especially if you’re a first-time mom, can be nerve raking. As a new mom, I thought all eyes were on me, and I was not gonna be able to cover myself up properly and flash everyone. If you’re going out to a family or friends house, you can easily go to one of the rooms for privacy, however if it’s a public place then here a couple of tips for you.. and me!

It all starts with the right clothing. Make sure you can easily uncover and cover yourself so a button down shirt will be your go to dress code. If you have a cami underneath, you can quickly cover yourself before you button yourself up. Another nice accessory to have is a scarf. You can look stylish also if you need to you can use it to cover your breast and your baby. Get your sunglasses, a stylish scarf and no one will realize that you are without make up, got puke on your shirt and running on 3 hours of sleep.

If your baby has a nap schedule, try to leave home around his or her nap time. Most babies fall asleep in the car so when you make it to the store, he will stay sleeping. Also, before you leave home, make sure you feed and change your little one which decreases the likelihood that’s you’re gonna have to deal with a hungry baby with a full diaper who’s getting really fussy once in public.

Choose a store that your familiar with if you are leaving home first time with your new born. At least, you will know where the bathrooms are, where the entrance and the exit is so if your little one gets really fussy then you can pack up and leave quickly. Remember, you can always nurse in the car or drive him back home.

If you’re in a big store like Walmart or target and you need to nurse, look for the furniture section where you can sit down and are away from busier sections. If you are in a baby store such as buy buy baby or babies R us , they have nursing rooms. Not problem, you are covered! If you are in a shopping mall, try fitting rooms of big department stores like Macy’s or Kohl’s by the kids sections since those fitting rooms tend to be less crowded.

Hope this read helps with giving you ideas and making you less nervous! Let me know about your experience! Looking forward to hearing from all of you ❤️

Posted in Super Momma, Sweet child o' mine

14 months old and yes he is still sleeping with us!

Our little one is 14 months old and he is still sleeping with us. Hearing this certainly shocks some people and I’m told “it’s not good because the kid needs to be able to sleep by himself, not be too dependent on you, it’s necessary for his character to develop. Also, don’t you want to be able to go out sometime?”

I smile and say “there is the ideal and the reality. Would I want to go out at night? Maybe once in a blue moon but I am not into clubbing anyways.”

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not 100% content with the fact that my son is still sleeping with us at 14 months. Why? Because I need to go to sleep with him, a least I need to put him to sleep then try to pull some ninja moves and quickly sneak out of the room as I get ray he will not wake up to the sound of smallest creak. I can’t watch any thing then doze off lying in bed, I used to enjoy watching my shows in bed – that’s no longer happening. He does not go to sleep with anyone else including his dad, my mom or mother in law and he gives people the hardest time when they are trying to put him to sleep.

When it comes to his personality development, is he more attached to me? Am I making him “mommy’s boy”? I do not know for sure but I don’t think so. I can say that he is not clingy and he plays with all family members and even strangers. He does not act like mommy’s boy either, he follows anyone who has something interesting to offer to him.

Nowadays, big trend is going back to all natural and staying away from artificial or nonorganic. Then on that note, isn’t it more motherly and more natural to stay with your young ones instead of taking them to their rooms early on? Look at the animal kingdom, I believe besides some species (mostly the ones in the sea), most animals especially mammals, are always with their little ones. They cuddle and sleep together and when the babies are old enough, they leave the parents to draw their own fate.

One big advantage of co-sleeping is I miss him when I am away from him. Don’t get me wrong I think every mom needs to be away from the kids for some time In order to regain sanity. When I get home after a day at work, and his bed time is in 2 hours, I’m looking forward to nursing and putting him to sleep next to me. I enjoy the cuddles, listening to his breathing, watching him sleep. I enjoy not having to run after him, or get frustrated that I need to prep more food or clean up, or yell that he got the tv control and changing the settings or got a hold of my phone and throwing it on the floor. I am just grateful that after a busy day at work then some more work at home, I’m able to lie down by my little one and just spend some quiet time with him.

Sleeping next to him is also convenient for me. I ll tell you why! I’m still breastfeeding and he nurses every 2-3 hours. Waking up at night then going to his room, nursing him then putting him to sleep then coming back 2-3 times every night gets cumbersome. I truly prefer just feeding him when I’m half sleeping for 5 minutes then going back to sleep 2-3 times a night every night.

Since I’m torn between my gut which says keep him in your bed vs. family and psychologists who say little one need to sleep in his own room, we brought his crib in our room. Once he falls asleep, I put him in his crib, then take him to our bed once he is up.

There are no real absolutes. To all the parents out there, you know the struggle. As I said before there is the ideal and then there is the reality. Every day is the perfect imperfection because nothing goes as planned, you are on survival mode and all you can do is to give your best and learn from your mistakes. In my case, I’m learning and sharing with you guys! Let me know what you think or if you have any advice!

Thank you for taking your time to read about my story.

Posted in Super Momma

It’s ok to get frustrated

It’s hard to balance between work life, social life, mommy life, me time, endless house work and rest time.. it’s hard to find an ideal balance and so easy to get frustrated and miss the beauty of the current moment.

There are many times that I felt like I was not being productive because I could not complete my to do list, sometimes I can’t get anything done honestly, or plans did not go as I planned it. I learned it the hard way but life happens when things are not planned. Learning my lesson, I decided to look at the full half of the class so made a list of things that make me happy:

I feel happy when..

I hear my little one giggle

When my husband hugs me

When I come home and my mom is over with a set dinner table

When I learn something new

When I have an intellectual conversation

When I re connect with a friend whom I haven’t seen or talked to in years

When I have a deep connection with someone new

When I eat

When I accomplish my goals

When we spend quality family time

When my husband says that I’m beautiful

When I feel cared for

When I’m recognized

When I grab a beer at a bar and eat some junk finger food

When I complete my blog

When I do something good for the environment

When I spend time in the wild; swimming hiking just talking walks even

When I pet Sammy (my 10 year old pain in the butt cat)

When I can grow my own produce in the backyard- I’m proud of gardening

What are somethings that make you happy? Don’t think too hard, just write down couple that first pops up in your head

Thanks for reading!

Posted in Sweet child o' mine

My baby has a fever oh crap!

That’s what came out of my mouth once I realized that my little one was warm. (Warm meaning his whole body was getting unusually hotter). Even though he was still a smiling and engaging in play, he was a bit more fussy and he easily got upset. When the thermometer read 101 F, I started freaking out a little bit.

As mothers we have this instinct that guides and helps us differentiate what’s right and what’s wrong, somehow helps us predict how things are going to go. So late night, when I figured that my little one had a fever of a 101.2 I was able to keep calm. First thing I did was to Google fever readings in babies. Don’t we all love google ?!! it said it was mild fever and pretty much to observe him, comfort him, soothe him, take off any extra layer of clothing and make sure he is nursing so he’s not dehydrated. The next day I had work at eight so that means I need to be up at 6:45 AM. My husband and I took turns taking care of him because he was he was cranky and he wanted to be held the whole time so I took care of him until 3:30 am then my husband took over and he held him so I could get some sleep. I also recalled wetting a cloth with apple cider and placing it underneath the armpits as a fever reducer, so we did that too. Smell was not too obnoxious and hey it’s a natural remedy so can’t hurt.

Once it was morning, and a more reasonable time. I send a text message to my more experience friend ( we all have those friends already have kids and who are cool moms). She called me right away and she said her son had fevers multiple occasions and it was very common in kids. Fever is an indication that his body is fighting something so as long as it doesn’t jump too high or doesn’t last too long meaning more than 48 hours then just to observe it. She was consistent with what I read on Google but hearing it from a friend who already experienced a similar situation made me feel more confident. She also advised me to contact our pediatrician if his fever does not decrease by the next day. She said first time her son had a fever, she called her doctor right away and she was told to stay at home and watch the baby for the first 24 hours and soothe him. She said there was only one incident where his fever jumped up to 104 degrees and she had to go to the doctors office to get medication. All other times the symptoms resolved within 24 hours.

When I was at work, talked to my husband multiple times to ensure everything was under control, it seemed like our little one was still doing well with mild symptoms. Hubby continued with cold compress to his forehead and armpits. When I got home he was waking up from his two hours nap, he still had a fever but he was colder compared to the nighttime. Digital temperature readings from his ear was inconsistent: first reading said 100.1 followed by 101.3 and 100.8.

His symptoms resolved within 24 hours, luckily his fever did not spike up and he was back to his happy normal self before we knew it. Moral of the story? Don’t freak out, try to keep calm, trust in our body’s ability to heal and protect and for a piece of mind keep your pediatrician informed but don’t be too quick to medicate. Let me know what you think! Thanks for reading 📖

Posted in Super Momma

4 common injuries of a new momma

Thumb sprain

Repetitively picking your little one up can sprain your thumbs. What’s a sprain? Sprains occur when we overstretch our ligaments, since ligaments are noncontactile tissue, they don’t have extensibility. If you put excessive stress on them, some of the fibers will start tearing. That’s what we call a sprain. Once you sustain a sprain, your brain recognizes the injury and tells the surrounding muscles to tighten up in order to protect the area to prevent a secondary injury. Some massage and stretching, and changing the way you pick your baby up will what will resolve/alleviate your symptoms.

Shoulder pain

Especially if you are Co-sleeping, hugging your little one, you are putting excessive stress on your shoulders by staying in stiff positions and feeding into bad postures. Lifting and carrying put a lot of stress on our shoulders as well. As the day goes on, due to fatigue, and stress of multi tasking, instead of actively using our muscles, we start depending on our static stability more. Now what is static stability? There are two types of stability in our body. Static stability is provided by static structures such as bones and ligaments. Dynamic stability is provided by moving structures such as muscles. Once muscles fatigue, we start putting more stress on our static structures. Female Determination in getting work done motivates our body to focus on the end result not on how much we are hurting ourselves.

Neck and back pain

When it comes to comes to neck and back problem, they always come hand in hand. Our spine is formed of 32 bones which are all interconnected with many ligaments and muscles. If you have neck pain, it will trickle down to your back and vice versa. Overstretching of the abdominal wall during pregnancy, puts a new mom at a high risk for back problems such as sciatica, blushing disc or adjust simply back stiffness and pain. Especially for breast feeding mom, one of the culprits of breastfeeding is the slouched posture the whole action puts us in. The result: neck and back pain. Once we start losing lordosis in our neck and back, our pain receptors start going off, simply saying “I’m beyond my extensibility and I will break if you keep pushing me in that direction” what’s the solution? Keep good posture. If you can, prefer supported sitting to unsupported siting. Benefit from a lumbar roll while in supported siting. Once you are done with breastfeeding, or at the end of the day, do couple stretches and exercises to restore good posture.

Posted in Recipes

Home made veggie broth

This is a brilliant and easy way to make vegetable broth at home.

You will need :

– zip lock bag

– room in your freezer

– veggie scraps

– pot

-water

I came across this recipe on Facebook and decided to give it a try. All you have to do is keep a ziplock bag in your freezer and every thing you are cutting some vegetables, throw the scraps in the bag. I put potato, onion and carrot skins, any herb stems like parley , dill, peppers, kale stems, anything you will not eat pretty much. Once the bag is full, I put all of them in a pot, fill it up with water and cook it for about 3-4 hours. You will see the color of the water will start changing and will turn into your deliciously smelling home made broth. Super cheap and easy to make.

Once it cools down, I put them in different size containers and freeze them. Whenever I cook, instead of adding water, I add my home made veggie broth. I tried to freezing them in glass containers but regardless of how much the bottle was filled, they kept shattering. Currently, I’m using plastic bottles to store. Plastic is not my first choice so if you have a tip on how to freeze the veggie broth in glass bottles without breaking them, please comment and let me know!

Posted in Super Momma

4 common injuries for a new mom

The physical burden of pregnancy, unfortunately follows high risk for more injuries for a new mom. Weakened musculoskeletal system, lack of rest and sometimes even nutrition, focusing on your new born and trying to cater to baby’s needs and depriving self from much needed recovery time are some contributing factors. Let’s look at 4 common injuries for a new mom:

Thumb sprain/ pain

Repetitively picking your little one up, can sprain your thumbs. What’s a sprain? Sprains occur when we over stretch our ligaments, since ligaments are non-contractile therefore, fiber will start tearing under excessive stress. That’s what we call a sprain. Once you sustain a sprain, your brain recognizes the injury and tells the surrounding muscles to tighten up in order to protect the area from a secondary injury. Some local massage followed by stretching, and changing the way you pick your baby up will aid in resolving your symptoms.

Shoulder and neck pain

Especially if you are Co-sleeping, hugging your little one, you are putting excessive stress on your shoulders by staying in stiff positions and feeding into bad sleeping postures. Not to mention how much stress, repetitive lifting and carrying your baby puts on your shoulders. As the day goes on, due to fatigue, and stress of multi tasking, starts being more challenging and instead of actively using our muscles, we start depending on our static stability more. Now, what is static stability? There are two types of stability in our body. Static stability is provided by static structures such as bones and ligaments. Dynamic stability is provided by moving structures such as muscles. Once muscles fatigue, we shift our dependence onto static structures. Determination in getting work done motivates our body to focus on the end result not on how we are hurting ourselves. All my super mommas know what I am talking about!

When it comes to comes to neck and back problems, they always come hand in hand. Our spine is formed of 33 bones which are all interconnected with many ligaments and muscles. If you have neck pain, it will trickle down to your back and vice versa. An over-stretched and weakened core during pregnancy, puts a new mom at a high risk to experience some sort of a back problem such as sciatica, bulging disc or simply stiffness and pain. Especially for breast feeding mom, one of the hardships of breastfeeding is the slouched posture we are put in. The result: neck and back pain. Once we start losing our natural curvatures setting off our pain receptors screaming, “I’m beyond my extensibility and I will break if you keep pushing me in that direction.” what’s the solution? Keep good posture. If you can, prefer supported sitting to unsupported siting. Benefit from a lumbar roll while in supported siting. Once you are done with breastfeeding, or at the end of the day, do couple of stretches and exercises to restore good posture.

Posted in Recipes

Home made remedy for mucus congestion

Did you know the irritating properties of pepper stimulate circulation and the flow of mucous. It is most appropriate for a cough with thick mucous, but inappropriate for a dry irritable cough with little expectoration.

Ingredients

– a teaspoon of black pepper

– a tablespoon of local honey

– water

Combine the pepper and honey in a cup, and pour boiling water Lettie got steep for 10-15 min. Take sips as needed.

Thanks to Paul Bergner for this recipe and learning herbs site for sharing!