Third-trimester of pregnancy

Tips for Losing Your Baby Weight in a Healthy Way

When I was pregnant people said all kinds of crazy things to me:

“You look like the octuplet women!” (I am not lying, someone actually said this to me.)

“You need to check with your doctor again, I’m sure its twins.”

“You’re going to have that baby any day now!” (6 months preggo)

“I can’t believe you weigh that much!”

and then after the baby came someone said:  “I’m sooo glad you lost all that weight, I was getting worried.”

Its true, I did have a watermelon-sized belly when I was pregnant.

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I think maybe I looked like an alien, because strangers and acquaintances alike (even people who had themselves been pregnant) felt the need to basically scream in horror at the site of my cone-head of a belly.

I am back to my pre-pregnancy weight (and have been for over two-years now) which also seems to draw some attention, so a few have asked for my thoughts:

 

1-It takes 9 months to put it on, don’t feel bad if it takes 9 months to remove it.  A lot of times it won’t but it seems kind of reasonable.  Gotta’ say, a friend shared that one with me 7 years ago, it took a lot of pressure off!

2-Everybody is different.

3-Yes I am “skinny” but I promise my body is not the same shape it was.

4-Exercise immediately.  I did Kegals in the hospital bed.  Really, its true!

5-Don’t deprive yourself, but have discipline.  I tend to be a mostly healthy eater and I exercise regularly.  So when I am trying to lose weight, I add a few more things to my routine:  I weigh myself daily, don’t eat after 9pm, and only eat dessert every other day.  It works for me.  You have to find out what works for you.

6-Breastfeed if you can.

7-Drink a lot of water.  Now go drink some more!

 

I attended a class with a lot of new and soon-to-be moms over the weekend.  They asked the OB-GYN speaking how long it takes for your body to return to “normal”.  She said years and at the same time it doesn’t ever really return.  Sorry for the bad news.

Her message and mine, just get yourself healthy!

Cheers to your health!  XO

 

PS:  If you have trouble with your own self-discipline, why not try an accountability group.  My cousin has helped many people through online weight-loss accountability groups.  I can send you in her info if you are interested.

My Favorite Things (for New Moms)

My little sister is pregnant with her first little one.  We are looking forward to celebrating his arrival with a baby shower soon!

This is very exciting for me since I won’t be purchasing any of these wee items for myself anymore.

I have a small confession:  I used to fill online baskets of baby supplies (I never actually bought the items) and create registries for someday-maybe babies in between pregnancies. 😮

I have some pretty strong opinions after three kids about my favorite things.  Here’s my list:

 

1. Ultra-soft newborn nightgown like this one:

http://www.gap.com/browse/category.do?cid=1014026&departmentRedirect=true#department=166

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I love these for the first month or two because they make night-time diaper changes super simple and allow for skin-to-skin contact for baby’s own legs, which most infants enjoy.  Quick, drama-free diaper changes are important for teaching newborns the difference between night and day.

2. Swaddling blankets

I love Aden and Anais, especially for the summer:

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Or if your baby is extra wiggly, they make easy swaddles too:

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http://www.adenandanais.com/en-us/content/easy+swaddle/easy-swaddle.aspx

3.  Nursing cover up

My favorite is the Bébé au Lait Nursing Cover;

http://www.target.com/p/bebe-au-lait-nursing-cover-camden-lock/-/A-13460026

they are extra long and come in all different designs.  I have given these as gifts often and they are always a huge hit.

4. The best nursing bras ever!!!

I have tried many, many different nursing bra brands and styles.  They are typically itchy, ugly and poorly made.  Itchy things are the worst!  Bravado nursing bras are truly worth the expense when you weigh them against the cost of organic formula and the health benefits your children receive because you didn’t give up on breastfeeding. My first two months of breastfeeding were an awful experience for me.  I just kept telling myself another week.  Then I made it another week and I would do another.  Having itching ill-fitting bras didn’t help my cause.  By my third child, one of my BFF’s gave me a few of these and the difference was AMAZING!  I was able to comfortably breastfeed her for a full fifteen months.  With my first two children I eventually gave up on nursing bras and just wore regular bras and tried to wiggle in and out of them.  That was my best option until I discovered these comfortable, soft, well-made little beauties!

http://www.bravadodesigns.com/shop/the-bliss-nursing-bra

5. Infant Wrap

I had the Boba Wrap back when it was the Sleepy Wrap.   http://www.boba.com/store/baby-wrap/

Some women say their babies don’t like to be wrapped in these things, but my experience was quite the opposite and I wore mine during church, walking through Disney World, even for public speaking situations.  I just strapped baby in and kept going.

6.  Some kind of baby bouncer

These are great items if you ever want to take a shower again!

Seriously, I would always carry my bouncer into the bathroom with me.  I could easily calm baby if he was upset.  Not to mention, the warm mist can be a helpful little humidifier too!  Here’s a shot of one of my girls fast asleep from the warm bathroom shower in her little bouncer.

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After I created this list I realized that these are also some of my top-picks because they are all pretty essential in my sleeping plan too:

http://newbornlove.net/2014/04/16/9-steps-to-get-more-sleep-with-a-newborn-in-the-house/

And I have to thank my girlfriend, who introduced my to the Bravado Bras, but pretty much everything else on the list too!  You know who you are!  XO

PS-Eventually I trained her not to suck her fingers.  When she was in the wrap her arms were strapped in so she reluctantly learned to take a pacifier.

A Response to “Scary Mommy: The Rules for Visiting a New Mom”

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Should there really be rules for visiting a new mom?

I recently came across this post that went viral on Facebook and other places:

http://www.scarymommy.com/rules-for-visiting-a-new-mom/

She details a variety of ways to be a more encouraging friend to new moms when you visit them.

Altogether we would generally do well to take her advice, but as the old saying goes, “do as I say, not as I do,” she seems to encourage a generous and gracious spirit but writes with an entitled and judgmental tone.

While I agree that visitors would do well to bring the food or gifts that the family needs rather than the food or knick-knacks she wants to bring, do we really need to list rules for how to visit and show love?

Don’t these expectations set us up for hurt feelings and judgement?

Aren’t these unreasonable expectations?  We are the ones who chose to have babies.  It really isn’t someone else’s responsibility to feed and clothe them.

Is it really so bad that someone is so excited that she is thinking more about seeing the baby and offering emotional support than providing us with leftovers?

I truly appreciated the girlfriends who brought enough food for leftovers, the ones who brought extra gifts that were practical rather than plants or teddy bears, but that’s not really the point.

The point is that if we want to encourage generosity and grace in others, we should expect it of ourselves, even in our speech.

So I won’t give rules but I will offer 3 pieces of advice:

1-Ask the mother what she wants from you.

2-Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

3-Love covers over a multitude of sins.

XO

 

9 STEPS TO GET MORE SLEEP WITH A NEWBORN IN THE HOUSE

My method for sleeping longer stretches through the night sooner than you expect.

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It’s all about teaching sweet lemon drop the difference between night and day!

Each of my babies was different. One has turned out to be a little on the OCD-side: an early riser, full of plans, and personal expectations. The second is part fairy, part author, happy as long as we’re having fun. Number three is a little general.

Despite VERY DIFFERENT PERSONALITIES, each responded positively to this routine. (Please keep in mind, I began from the first day home from the hospital, so it could take a little practice if your baby is used to something else.)

If you are still pregnant you can begin thinking through some of this now!

1-Establish the time period you want to have the longest stretch of sleep  

In the beginning, that probably means 4 hours. If you are nursing, you don’t want to hurt your milk supply by going very long without feeding. For me that was 12a-4a. In my opinion, 12a-4a is definitely when I wanted my baby sleeping. I guess you could say for ME that is OFFICIALLY NIGHT.

So for me 12a was bedtime.

2-Designate ONE nighttime sleeping location

This could be a co-sleeper, pack-n-play, or bassinet in your room. (I do recommend keeping the baby in your room so you can respond to her cues more quickly.)

Do not put the baby in his nighttime bed until the “bedtime” you chose for any reason.

Where will the little lump sleep during the day?

Throughout the day, try baby-wearing, utilize swings, pack-n-plays, bouncers, carseats, etc. Keep baby near you with lots of light and sound so he knows it is daytime and there’s a lot going on!

3-Cluster-feed your baby before bedtime so she’s had lots of mommy-time and her belly is full.

3 hours before the bedtime, breastfeed the baby on each side (I never used bottles, but I would guess around 1-2oz). Then play with and interact with your baby, let her swing, or have some tummy-time. Keep the activity going.

Repeat 1 hour later feeding on both sides (starting with the side you left off on). You may have to wake baby by undressing and changing.

Repeat 1 hour later with the same process. This is the “last feeding of the night”.

4-Complete your bedtime routine

Change baby into “pajamas” and a fresh diaper. Next swaddle your baby. Yes sometimes they try to wiggle out, but a little perseverance is worth it. I often double-swaddled to keep my little darlings tightly wrapped.

5-Put baby to bed

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Lay baby in nighttime sleep place. It’s great for baby to go down awake, because he will learn to fall asleep on his own. At this point, you can feel fairly confident that baby is full and ready to sleep after all that eating!

6-Prepare for a calm, consistent atmosphere

Leave a very low light on so that when baby does wake in the night you don’t have to ever change the lights to check on baby. You don’t want to change the atmosphere with harsh lighting.

Keep it quiet. Its sleeping time: no talking, tv, or light, throughout the night. Only “shh” if its really needed.

7-Meet your babies feeding needs throughout the night, as quickly as possible

If you put baby down around 12a, the next feeding maybe sometime around 4 am.

If baby begins to wiggle in bed and seems to be rooting around, go ahead and feed her. It’s better to meet these needs before she is struggling and crying. You may have to spend extra time calming her if you wait until she is upset. Then immediately re-swaddle and place her back in her bed. If breast-feeding is firmly established, you may want to consider offering a pacifier.

8-Try to master the side-lying hold

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If you are able, breastfeed your baby in a safe, side-lying hold so that you can get some rest while she eats. (I will post my breast-feeding tips in a future blog) If you can’t yet no worries.  🙂

9-Stretch out the 4 hours of solid sleep to a full night

Once your baby is falling asleep at the bedtime you have picked and sleeping for 4 hours consistently, begin moving the bedtime back hour by hour. Eventually I worked all of my babies back to 7pm.

 

I am happy to report that 8 years later , all three darlings still faithfully march through their bedtime routines and are in bed reading or sleeping at 7pm.

 

Sweet dreams everybody!

DISCLAIMER: I am just a mom, not a pediatrician and I can’t possibly know your unique situation. But this method has been a healthy and successful plan for my family and many of my friends. I hope it can help some of you. I’m sure there are many other great ways to get sleep and sanity but this is the plan that worked for me. J

 

 

 

 

The waiting game

If you are around 37.5 weeks pregnant, you are probably ready to sprint to the hospital at the first sign of any contractions. I know I was! I am one of those moms who was sent home multiple times, even with my third pregnancy. You’d think I would know what labor was like by then!

I have been thinking about the long third-trimester a lot lately as I have been stalking facebook daily to check on the status of count them 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 mothers-to-be! And they are all future-Florida Gator babies!! Wowee! I have to say all of the babies have come several days after their due dates. At least this spring, that seems to be pretty common.

If you are playing the waiting game, I just want to send a little bit of encouragement your way. Know that your sweet little lemon drop will eventually be in your arms. Don’t feel inadequate if you aren’t dilating or effacing or leaking or having a bloody show or any of the other “signs” quite yet.

But it is sooo hard! With my first child my belly was a cone-head

 

The cone-head belly!

(and I would soon learn that I always would carry like that) so around 7 months in I had people asking me whether I was having twins. And strangers shaking their heads and saying it’ll be any day now!

So imagine my surprise when I ended up being induced at 41+ weeks and it still took about 2 days for my son to show his darling face. Sometimes I think I would be walking around with an eight year old inside me if I had not induced.

Now, two more babies later, I can see a little more clearly that babies come when they come and then time speeds up to fast forward. If I could go back to my younger self I would say, “hold on you don’t need that induction just yet.” But my younger self would probably say, “shut up!”

So as you wait, may God bless you with a healthy baby boy or girl VERY VERY SOON!