Working Out and Breastfeeding

Working out and BreastfeedingI really enjoy running; so much that I ran 1.5 miles three weeks after giving birth to my second child. This was a terrible idea, by the way. They tell you not to work out for six weeks after baby for a reason.

After having a baby I want my body back as soon as possible, but I have also found that if I want to breastfeed successfully I need to take it slowly.

There are many benefits of moderate exercise for mom; these include: higher level of cardiovascular fitness; improved blood lipid profiles and insulin response; improved energy; reduced stress; enhanced maternal-infant relationship and alleviation of depression symptoms in those with major depressive disorders. I truly see these benefits when I make time to exercise; not only am I a happier/better mom but I am also a better wife.

I breastfed my first for 18.5 months and my second is now 16 months old and still going strong. With both kids, I made breastfeeding a priority over working out for their first year. I still work out, just not as much as I may like. I have to be very careful with my calories while breastfeeding or my supply will tank. I eat lactation cookies anytime I feel my supply dropping. I also make sure I am consuming enough calories and drink enough fluids once I add exercise.

One other challenge I encounter is comfort–I am rather large while nursing and must find a supportive sports bra for any type of exercise. I have found I need a maximum support sports bra for comfort as well as confidence.

Once my kids hit a year old, I give myself a green light to exercise more without stressing about my milk supply. With both kids I began working out harder at this time and did not see much of a drop in supply; although I do keep my calorie intake high to insure that they still have milk. I treasure being pregnant and nursing, but after four years straight of being pregnant and/or nursing I am excited to work out without worrying about either.

Kristen Beggs is an active mom of a 3 year old and 16 month old.  On nice days she enjoys taking her kids out for a run in the double stroller.

Leave a Comment

What’s Normal? 6-9 Month Development

By now your little one is laughing, smiling and becoming more aware of the world around him or her. Your baby is nearly halfway to being a toddler, and the level of engagement is increased. You will see much more movement as inching along turns to full-fledged crawling, and if you have one of those vintage farm animal sound games, pull the string and watch as your bundle of joy delights in trying to mimic the sounds heard.

Because we all want to keep track of development, a good yardstick for measuring typical developmental milestones at this age includes the following:

Mobility: Babies start becoming mobile in the 6 to 9 month period, starting with scooting, then sitting on their own, and eventually crawling.

Verbal: Gentle coos turn to babbles and imitations.

Six to Nine Month Development

Social/emotional: Peeking out from behind a blanket or other object may become a favorite pastime somewhere around 6 to 7 months.

Fine motor skills: Your baby will start grasping, reaching and picking up objects, so keeps those small items out of reach because most end up in the mouth.

For many parents, this is the time most look forward to because bits and pieces of those little personalities start showing. This is also when most babies start moving around and exploring, so be careful to keep harmful objects out of the way and out of reach. And when your peg-leg crawler wears out the knees in their favorite footed pajamas, turn them into a cute romper for the summer!

Don’t worry if scooting doesn’t progress to crawling right away, or if your floor isn’t clean enough to eat off of. Just enjoy the progress, and unless you see significantly delayed activities, sit back and try to relax. Walking, running, and tantrums are just around the corner.

Remember, every baby develops at their own pace and the above are just general guides. It’s a safe bet the over/under on these milestones is a month or two. If you are concerned, tap the endless resources available to you by reaching out to your pediatrician, friends, other moms, and maybe even your own mother.

Gretchen Latham is a mother of one and lives and writes in Oklahoma City.

Leave a Comment

Finding “Me Time”

Finding Me TimeChanging diapers. Making baby food. Wiping away tears. Wiping up spit up. Nursing on demand. Playing with your baby.

These are just some of the daily tasks we all do as moms. With such a busy schedule, how do we still make time for ourselves? This is hard, even for stay-at-home moms, who do not have the demands of a daily job. Here are a few ideas for getting much-needed “me time.”

Find Support

I don’t know what I would do without my husband. He never complains about taking over so I can have a few hours to myself. Make sure you have support. It doesn’t have to be a spouse. It can be a friend, family member, or even neighbor. Explain your concerns, frustrations, and needs. Be sure to return the support, as well. Fellow moms work great! Trade off time to get a break.

Find Your “Happy Place”

What did you like to do with your free time before you were a mom? Starbucks, taking your time in Target, reading a good book, going to dinner with a friend? Find something that makes you feel like “you” again. It may sound silly, but going to the grocery store alone weekly is a good time for me. I try to make time to catch up with friends occasionally and always stop at Starbucks if I am alone in the car. Do what makes you happy. It doesn’t have to take a long time, just make it quality time for you.

Make the Time

If you have multiple children or not a lot of support, it may mean you have to make a bigger effort to get your “me time.” Try waking up an hour before your kids to have a little time in the mornings. Drink coffee and catch up on the news. Do whatever will relax you. If your kids go to bed early, take a little bit of time each night before bed to focus on yourself and what you would like to do. Once again, this doesn’t have to be a long period of time. At home, you could simply make the time for a nice hot bath or drink some nice hot tea. Buy a new nail polish and give yourself a pedicure at home if you can’t make it to the nail salon. If you enjoy cooking, schedule your “me time” by trying a new dish and have your spouse or a trusted friend watch your kids while you cook.

It’s important as moms that we still remember we are women, too. Whatever makes you happy, make sure you schedule some time for it. Of course, you want to meet the needs of your kids and family, but don’t forget to take care of yourself, too, momma!

Karyn Meyerhoff is a stay-at-home mom who loves to go for rides, get coffee, and grocery shop alone.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Leave a Comment

Nighttime Diapering Solutions

Nighttime Diapering SolutionsWhen deciding to cloth diaper, I was most nervous about cloth diapering at night. But it’s not hard, especially when you find a nighttime diaper that works.

Below are a few ideas of nighttime diaper solutions from our team of bloggers:

  • Kawaii Heavy Wetters- These one-sized pocket diapers consist of a waterproof outer cover and two extra large microfiber inserts.  Add a hemp or bamboo insert for extra absorbency.
  • Sloomb Overnight Bamboo Fitteds with Wool Cover- The overnight bamboo fitted includes a shell with a double-length three-layer snap-in fleece soaker that can be folded for customizable absorption. Pair with a wool cover for overnight success.
  • AIO with Micro Fleece Insert and a Thirsties Fleece Insert- There are many different AIO diapers out there; you can try this with one you have in your stash and add the inserts for the extra absorbency you need at night.
  • Econappis- This pocket diaper is one sized and designed to work from 10-35 pounds. It comes with two inserts made with a blend of organic cotton and bamboo. You can add your own inserts for custom absorbency.
  • Elementals(Old Style)-BumGenuis’ AIO diaper; they have a new design, but one mom prefers the old version for her nighttime diapers.
  • Bummis Premium Sized Prefold with Infant sized prefold inside-These prefolds are made out of cotton and can be paired with a Bummis or wool cover.
  • Toddler prefold with a bamboo or hemp doubler inside with wool or Bummis cover- This is similar to the option above but the user combines a cotton prefold with the wool or hemp doubler for a different option.

You might be able to go through your existing stash and put together one of these ideas to try on your baby tonight.  Most of the ideas above included some form of hemp or bamboo liner or a wool cover. Keep in mind there are different wash routines for prepping the various fabrics, and your wool should be washed separately always. Do you have a nighttime diaper solution that works well?  If so, please share with us!

Kristen Beggs is a mom of two that still wear diapers at night and is always looking for suggestions to make nighttime diapering even better!

Leave a Comment

Pregnancy Week 21: Newborn Must-Haves

Pregnancy Week 21With the exciting news that we are expecting a little boy, I am very excited to start getting ready. When you are a first-time mom, the list of things you need for baby can be overwhelming. This time, I feel a little more prepared. Here are some things that I feel are must-haves for a newborn.

  1. Rocking Chair: I spent so many nights rocking my sweet Johanna in the rocking chair from my grandma’s house. This chair is a must-have to me. It helps to have some place to sit when you need to nurse baby or just take a break. I have precious memories of rocking her in the wee hours of the night. I also advise getting a cushion of some kind for your chair, if it’s wooden like mine.
  2. Fisher Price Rock-N-Play Sleeper: This was a lifesaver for us. I love that this small bassinet is portable–it can go into the bathroom with you when you shower and in the kitchen when you are trying to cook supper. It also rocks! Soothe baby to sleep easily while you sit or lay next to it. I plan on using this a lot this time around again.
  3. Baby Carrier: With my daughter, I had a Boba wrap and then Boba 3g carrier. This time around, I am super excited to try a Je Porte Mon Bebe wrap! Baby carriers give you your hands back. You can get chores done and take care of baby at the same time. I am thinking my carriers will be a lifesaver with a toddler running around at my feet.
  4. Diaper Creams, Lotions, Washes: I really enjoy picking these out for baby, as weird as that sounds. I like to use CJ’s butter for the diaper cream. I also really like it in the spray formula. As for lotions and washes, we usually use Johnson’s Baby Night time Bath and Lotion. The lavender smell soothes baby, as well as a tired mommy.
  5. Sleep sacks and swaddles: I am a big fan of Aiden and Anais sleep sacks. I was not the best at swaddling with a blanket, so I like to use the swaddle wraps. These all keep baby secure and snug and warm. I still have several, and I plan on investing in a few more.
  6. Swing or bouncer: We used a bouncer with my daughter and this time, I am planning on investing in a swing that plugs in. It will be nice to have another safe place to put baby when my daughter needs me. The music and vibrating features on these items are a big plus to me.

So, moms, what are your must-haves for your newborn? I know I can think of more, but these are just things I really look forward to showering baby with. It’s so fun to shop for baby, but the best part is getting to use it all with your little miracle! We are so excited to be having a little boy!

Karyn Meyerhoff lives and writes in Northeast Indiana. She loves to shop and organize.

Leave a Comment