Posted in pregnancy, Super Momma

Unwanted baby shower items?

When I walked into buybuybaby to register for my baby registry, sales associate told me moms tend to register for anywhere between 120-140 items. She handed me the scanner and I started exploring the store. Thanks to one of my closest friends, we were able to pick and choose wisely. I ended up with 48 items on my baby registry. I was trying to keep it to a minimum because I don’t like clutter around the house and my goal was to get the items that I was going to use longer than just a couple of months. I thought I was being a very good planner.

IMG_6841But once it came to my baby shower besides getting some of my registered items, I also got many more items that I didn’t register for, want or need. For example, we received 62 bibs, 27 of 0-3 months outfits, 12 bottles of shampoo and baby lotions, 32 toys, 17 blankets and plastic feeding bottles. Talking about not wanting clutter around the house, and being a good planner huh?! I had way too many of everything. Do not get me wrong, I was very lucky to get all the loving and gifts but I did not understand why people did not buy the register items but decided to get creative and get other stuff. I didn’t have any gift receipt or nor I had an idea which store they came from so I was left with bags of unwanted/needed baby items.

I still needed some register items and decided to find a way of get rid of extra items and use that money to purchase what I needed. I went online. My good reliable friend GOOGLE!  Searched for the brands online to see which stores carry what brands and figured both Walmart and Target take the items back if they have it in their stores as long not opened/ damaged of course. That was a really good start! I was able have to return the shampoos- I preferred all organic and they were not-,some bibs, blankets and toys to Walmart and Target and got store credit. Then I head to T.J. Maxx followed by Marshalls. It was a bit of http://www.womenshealthmag.com/sites/womenshealthmag.com/files/images/birth-expense_0.jpgwork both for you and the sales associates but as long as they can match the brand with similar items in the store, they will also give give you a store credit. At the end of the day, I did not get cash back but I got almost $300 store credit. I did some shopping for the house, then I was able to purchase more baby items that I needed. That way I was able to return the items that I wasn’t going to use and I was able to purchase what was left on my baby registry and I completed my shopping. I still had some extra items but I made great progress with completing baby’s room!

Walmart, Target, TJ Maxx and Marshalls- I thank you very much for your cooperation and care! You all made a new mom very happy!

 

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Posted in pregnancy, Super Momma

Hemorrhoids: not a girly topic to talk about, Ha?

Unfortunately, hemorrhoids are very common to have during pregnancy due to increase intra-abdominal pressure. They are also likely to happen during labor, as you bear down to push the baby out, you can imagine that you’re very likely to get hemorrhoids. They are the most common reason of rectal bleeding.  Once they swell, they bulge even more and they can start bleeding especially after going for number 2.

I did not have hemorrhoids when I was pregnant but was blessed with them after labor 😦 After giving water birth, I felt very sore on my bottom that somewhat improved in about 2 weeks. As my soreness improved, hemorrhoids still caused pain, difficulty going for number 2, and decreased my sitting tolerance on the bed nursing my little one.

Being discharged home, I was given two packs of witch hazel pads and Dermaplast pain relieving spray. After using the bathroom, all you have to do is to dab the pad on your behind then discard it. Witch hazel pads helped with recovery by decreasing itching and swelling as they alleviated the pain.

I was also instructed to do potty baths in warm water to clean out my bottom. Since you cannot wipe yourself due to increased tenderness in the area, sitting in a potty in warm water will help you relax and allow any discharge to come out.

Using potty bath and witch hazel pads definitely helped with hemorrhoids but they returned after a month. Ouch! I realized that the diet is also very important because your stool needs to be loose so once it’s coming out, it’s not irritating the area even more. After your hospital stay, you are prescribed laxatives which is great until you run out. Eating fiber rich food and drinking lots of water is the key.

Even though hemorrhoids are not a girl’s best friend, there are ways to get rid of them. Be consistent and have patience. They sure do not go away as quickly as they appear, but sooner or later they will be gone.

 

Images retrieved from:

http://www.onhealth.com/content/1/hemorrhoid_treatment

Posted in Super Momma

Want to increase milk production?

The first 48 hours after labor, you produce colostrum.  Colostrum is the first stage of breast milk that is more yellowish in color and thicker in consistency filled with a lot of good nutrients for your baby. Colostrum is not much in quantity so do not freak out about not producing enough. Most likely, the nurse will help you to hand express it so you can cumulate the colostrum on a spoon then feed it to your baby. After 48 hours you start producing more milk, the look of what you produce changes from yellow to white with a more viscous consistency. Do not let people freak you out that you do not have enough milk for your baby! It takes time.

colostrum-handmilk-foremilkMilk production is a supply demand mechanism meaning, more often your breasts are emptied either by nursing or pumping, more milk your body will produce. Meeting that demand takes time since your body will not go from producing an ounce to 3 ounces over night so be patient.

My son had difficulty with latching on due to he had tongue tie and I almost lost all my milk production. Hand expression was not enough to stimulate my milk production and I almost lost all my milk in a weeks times frame. I also did not have the pump yet so my breasts were not stimulated to produce more.Once he had the revision done, he wanted to feed more but I did not have enough milk. We had to supplement until I was able to meet his demand. To boost up my production, I had to visit whole foods store to get some supplements, and I did a lot of praying. If you feel like you’re not producing enough and going through similar struggles, here is what I used:

1- Ensure you’re drinking plenty of water. When I say plenty, I mean half of your body weight in ounces is your bare minimum. Soups and herbal teas count towards your daily water intake since they do not dehydrate your body. Unfortunately, juices are not very good for you since you do not want to overload your system with sugar. Remember to limit your caffeine intake as well.

140654522- Mothers milk tea has lot of good ingredients. Drink 3 to 5 cups a day as the instructions say. Many stores such as whole foods, target or walmart has it or you can order it online. You can also get the ingredients of mothers milk tea separately which I found to be more helpful for me.

fenugreek-owh180-13- I got FenuGreek which is one of the ingredients in Mother’s milk tea. You can find it in wholefoods store or order online. Mine came as capsules and I took three capsules a day with meals. Fenugreek really helped me boost my milk supply.

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loose fennel

4- The best of all is loose fennel. You can just brew it at home, and one cup in the morning and one cup in the afternoon helped a ton. Fennel apparently helps with a lot more stuff so I may continue with fennel tea even after I stop breastfeeding.

5- Another remedy that I used is Milk thistle. I also got this from whole foods and probably you can find it online for a better price. It’s a drop so you drop for drops in a cup and drink it. I honestly did not feel like it helped much and for some reason on the bottle it says beware if you are breastfeeding?!!

fennel

 

Images obtained from:

https://www.naturalhealthyconcepts.com/fenugreek-OWH180.html?afd_number=27141&gclid=CjwKEAiArIDFBRCe_9DJi6Or0UcSJAAK1nFvVIv-TzXrleXeMRCbZNs-PCmi7GDMJg4H42Du1ujdrhoC1CHw_wcB

http://www.target.com/p/traditional-medicinals-organic-mother-s-milk-herbal-tea-16-ct/-/A-14065452?sid=1263S&ref=tgt_adv_XS000000&AFID=google_pla_df&CPNG=PLA_Grocery%2BEssentials%2BShopping_Local&adgroup=SC_Grocery&LID=700000001170770pgs&network=g&device=c&location=9003522&fndsrc=tgtao&gclid=CjwKEAiArIDFBRCe_9DJi6Or0UcSJAAK1nFvZh8PIXxVj0_yV1U8njj44NanHsBDNsga0Typu_qv_xoCimHw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/herbs-and-spices/health-benefits-of-fennel.html

Posted in Super Momma, Sweet child o' mine

Benefits of tummy time

 

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Afraid of tummy time? I was!

Are you afraid to put your little one on his tummy? I was! Once my mom told me to put my son on his belly I was afraid that he would suffocate. I knew babies needed to spend some time on their tummies but I was afraid and I didn’t know how and where to start.

There are many reasons why tummy time is very important for babies. First of all, it is important to achieve, complete and advance his movement skills set. There is a sequence in a baby’s development where he has to achieve pushing on his elbows before crawling, or standing before walking. In order to advance to the next skills set, he has to achieve the previous one. For example, in order for the baby to crawl has to be able to push to move his arms support his weight, master how to wight shift from one arm/leg to the other arm/leg in order to move. Unless he spend adequate time on his belly, he’s not gonna be able to master those skills. after spending some belly time, my son started gaining more head control; he was able to lift his head up, prop himself on his elbows and also turn his head to find a more comfortable sleeping position.

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Supervised tummy time

Another importance of tummy time is developmental. Babies are born without any spinal curvature. You can appreciate that adults have curvatures. Our neck and lower back are lordotic while our mid back is kyphotic. In order for the babies to develop proper spinal alignment and posture, they need to move against gravity. Since the gravity is always pulling down towards the floor, against gravity would be moving one’s body towards the ceiling. Tummy time allows for the baby to lift his head, push into his hands/elbows to lift his chest that will develop that neck and low back curvature.

Once my son was three weeks old, he started getting a lot of gas. Not are if it was a growth spurt or my food choices. Gripe water and Windy helped but it was becoming a routine that he almost appeared to be colicy. Moms know it all right?! So when I talked to my mom, she suggested supervised tummy time. First time I put him on his stomach, I checked on him periodically. I was nervous. After an hour, I realize that he started passing gas like there’s no tomorrow. I let him sleep on his stomach during daytime and he became less and less fussy. In about two weeks he was able to lift and turn his head, and I started getting more confident and less worried about letting him sleep on his stomach. Tummy time assisted with passing gas as well.

f430ac8e-8e9b-417d-ac79-be1e882e4e09My pediatrician encouraged tummy time then to put him on his back to sleep because the medical world is afraid of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). If you do a little research about SIDS, they don’t know what really causes it. Was I worried about it? Absolutely yes! So what did I do? I made sure I eliminated all the factors that may have led to SIDS. I laid him only on a firm surface (his mattress is firm). I made sure to take off his hat and bib to eliminate the possibility of airway blockage. Also I removed all the toys/stuffed animals so he wouldn’t be able to get to them. I also periodically checked on him.

Let me know what you think! As mothers we know our children the best because we have this gut feel/ instinct that tells right apart from wrong. I chose to put him on his stomach to sleep because of previously stated reasons. My purpose in sharing my experience is not to convince any one to put their infants on their stomachs. Just like my other blog posts, I would like to share my experience and hear about yours.

Please comment below and let me know what you think!

Until my next blog. Stay awesome mama!

Posted in Super Momma

Toning up after giving birth: When &How?

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5 ft 4 inc 115lbs pre pregnancy
Most pregnant moms (99%!!!) cannot wait to get back to pre-pregnancy size; a smaller waist and firmer butt & thighs after giving birth. We lose a lot of strength in our core due to the over stretching of our abdominals and we lose core stability. Even though a new mom loses about 10- 15 pounds after delivery, the million dollar question remains to be “when can I start working out again?”

Once you are discharged home, the first week you will be very busy with your newborn especially if you’re a first-time mom. Healing time frames differ for vaginal delivery versus cesarean section. If you had a vaginal delivery, you feel very sore on your bottom for about 3 weeks. If you had a C-section, you feel pain on your incision site. I am sorry to say this but after a C-section, most activities will be achy. Every time you try to sit up, get in/out of bed, reach for something etc., you will have some aches/pain that will last for about 4-6 weeks.A vaginal delivery helping time is 6 weeks where a C-section is 8 weeks. Since many women experience abdominal separation, it is advised to wait out 6-8 weeks before you start any abdominal exercises. Best exercises to focus on initially are the ones that are going to keep you up right first.

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Still 5 ft 4 inc 155 lbs at 32 weeks
You can first start working on your mid back, shoulder stabilizers and your gluteals. These muscle groups will help you with proximal strengthening. What does that mean? These muscles will keep you upright, resist the pull of gravity and reverse the adverse effects of bad posture(s). Some shoulder exercises to perform are shoulders squeezes, wall slides, airplanes, angels and horizontal adductions. Some gluteal strengthening exercises you can do at home are clamshells, side lying straight leg kicks, squats (form is important for proper activation), butt busters and fire hydrants.

You can start in your core stabilization exercises with transversus abdominus activation(TrA). Very important ladies!! TrA is a deep stabilizer in your core that needs to be active to support a healthy good posture and protect your spine from any injury or simply prevent back pain. Waiting about six weeks on average after vaginal delivery is optimal before you start with any aggressive abdominal training that can include sit ups, crunches, reverse crunches, straight leg lowering etc. If you had a C-section, that time frame stretches to eight weeks to ensure soft tissue healing.

What exercises helped you the most to recover and get fit? Which exercises you liked? Which exercises you hated? Please comment below and let me know!

Stay awesome!

 

 

Posted in Super Momma

Lactation circle: how is it important?

Why join a lactation Circle? Thats what I asked myself since I did not see the value in it in the beginning. Later on my views totally changed. Once awhile, it is good to be wrong!

Before being discharged home, I had the nurse as well as a lactation counselor teach me to how to express milk, educate me on how to position the baby, latching him on and the feeding schedule. The following morning, I had one more nurse and lactation counselor go over the same information. A breast feeding booklet was included with my discharge paper in case I needed to review the information. So, I felt pretty okay going home, even though, I didn’t know exactly what I was doing. They made it seem somewhat simple, my baby seemed to be latching on and feeding. It also had to come naturally, right? Yeah, right!!!

Shortly after we got home, things didn’t go as planned. My newborn was not latching properly and he was crying all night long because he was hungry. I was afraid I was gonna lose my milk supply so I kept on pumping to spoon feed him. Even then, he kept losing weight. It was on our second pediatrician visit when she realized he had a tongue tie and, he had to have the release when he was 10 days old. Our pediatrician wanted us to do lactation sessions with her right after tongue-tie procedure. She also said she didn’t accept insurance for one hour lactation service fee of $295. We were ready to do everything in our power to get him to feed properly but the money was a bit of an issue. I was on my maternity leave so we were trying to survive on one persons’s salary for over a month already. Our budget was tight and we were going to have to do multiple lactation sessions.

img_7042-jpgI decided to work with someone that I trusted if I was going to pay that much cash. What did I do? I turned to my midwives. During my first postpartum visit, I recalled my midwife telling me about their lactation circle that run twice a week. Giving their office a call, I found out it was a free service and no appointments were necessary. So, I started lactation circle an hour after his tongue tie release. Not the midwives, but a doula- Britt Sando- was running the circle. She welcomed me to the group right away. Not only she helped me with latching my baby on, we also weigh him before and after breastfeeding to see how many ounces he gained. She kept in touch with my pediatrician giving her updates on baby’s weight gain. It was not too long before I realized our lactation circle was more than just showing moms how to latch their babies on.

We met in person on Tuesdays but we could reach out to one another all the time. I was added to private Facebook lactation circle that already had 40+ moms sharing experiences, talking about good products to purchase, posting questions and helping one another. Whoever could make it to Tuesday sessions showed up, on average four to six people, but rest of the group met online. Many times I thought I was the only one going through a struggle, or when I was not sure what I was going was right or wrong, I would post on our Facebook group. Other moms would come to my help, comforting me by letting me know that their little ones experienced similar symptoms, behaved same way and what to do about it, how to resolve the problem. It was all OKAY, our struggles would pass. My lactation circle became my support group.

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When ege was born, 7 lb 15 oz
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Right after tongue tie procedure, he was about 6 lb 9 oz
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After extensive breastfeeding, he was almost 13 lbs in this picture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Having my son go through tongue-tied release was very hard; there was no anesthesia given since he was too young, I was asked to hold his head still as I watched the doctor approach him with a pair of scissors following his mouth filling with blood. As my mom says, every crisis has a blessing in it and this one led me to our lactation group. My advice to all the new moms is to find your local lactation circle which, is most likely to be a free service, and to join. You have nothing to lose but a lot to gain. When women support one another, incredible things happen!

I want to hear about your experiences. Please comment below and let me know what your thoughts and feelings are!

Posted in Super Momma

Don’t be a “I can do it” mom

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This is for all the super moms out there!

In this century, as women, we are so used to multitasking and getting everything done! We work hard and we have high standards, we are determined and we are high achievers. Falling short or not living up to our own standard is not what we can tolerate. We know what we want, how we want to it and we work hard to get it.

After giving birth, you are tired both emotionally and deprived of sleep, your body is exhausted. You also go through all different types of emotional challenges due to hormonal changes. As you are getting used to taking care of your little one,  your body is trying to heal, so let others help you. I know you’re very used to doing it all on your own and you do have a strategy on how to tackle each task but this is the time YOU need some support.

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Let others help you. Let your family help you. Let your friends help you. Do not feel bad. Do not think less of yourself. If someone asks, “what can I do?” give them a task as little as putting groceries away, taking garbage out, emptying or filling up the dishwasher or even starting a load of laundry. Each and every little help will add up at the end of the day and you will find yourself less frustrated, feeling more accomplished. We all know that you can do it all on your own! You know that you can do it all! Your husband knows you can do it all! This is one time that you don’t have to prove yourself so just relax, sit back and enjoy the moment. Remember this is not a marathon, it is the time to enjoy being with the family and bonding with your little bundle of joy. It is the time to get some rest and recover back to 100%. Remember it’s not just you any more and right now you have a little one that depends on you 100% of the time!

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let me know what you think! I want to hear about your experience, feelings and thoughts 🙂