Posts Tagged ‘post-partum’

Nine Months on, Nine Months off

Friday, August 28th, 2015

IMG_8051So your babe has reached that wonderful milestone: she’s been out of the womb for as long as she was in it. If your pregnancies are anything like mine, you’re probably enjoying her a lot more on the outside. At this stage, she’s a lot more likely to be able to entertain herself long enough for you to get a shower in, which also allows some time to do another thing that may have been put on the back burner:

The scan.

You know, the body scan. The undressing in front of the bathroom mirror and assessing all of your parts. Assessing what has gone down since the last scan. What things are jiggling more. What areas need shaving, toning, plucking, or sucking. What looks better if you stand this way, hunch that way, and man, remember when your boobs used to be up here? Nine months on, nine months off, you’ve heard before, and with this milestone, is your body measuring up?

According to any grocery store magazine stand, you should be able to have a baby and get back into your pre-pregnancy jeans as soon as you deliver the placenta. And for some women, that is absolutely true, and that’s great.

For some women, those jeans are forever a symbol of pre-mommyhood, and that’s also great. Because with the pressure on post-partum women to look like they’ve never partum’ed at all, we lose focus on what’s true: Your body did an amazing thing, and it continues to do amazing things.

Such truth is hard to remember in a culture where women are often valued as ornaments rather than as creatures of action. In a barrage of the “shoulds,” where you are burdened with what you should look like, should weigh, should fit into, repeat to yourself: I am enough. I deserve health and happiness, and that doesn’t look like one specific thing. I am a mom, and I am also a person. My value is not determined by a number or a reflection. I am enough.

Not only will your precious babes benefit from your example of self-love, and in turn learn to give themselves permission to love and accept themselves in spite of any number or reflection, you too will benefit from learning how to love and accept yourself. And you deserve those benefits—no matter what you look like.

Keighty Brigman is terrible at crafting, throwing birthday parties, and making sure there isn’t food on her face. Allegedly, her four children manage to love her anyway. 

The Fourth Trimester: A 12-Week Postpartum Series

Friday, September 26th, 2014

Most people are familiar with the three trimesters of pregnancy:

The Fourth Trimester

  • First trimester is from conception to week 12.
  • Second trimester is from week 13 to week 27
  • Third trimester is from week 28 until birth

But did you know that the first 12 weeks out of the womb are often referred to as the “fourth trimester”? This is a time of rapid changes for both you and your baby. Your body changes significantly during this time as, “your reproductive tract returns to its non-pregnant state. In addition, your cardiovascular, respiratory, musculo-skeletal, urologic, gastrointestinal, endocrine, and nervous systems all also return to a nonpregnant state” (Postpartum: 4th Trimester). Your baby is also growing and changing as he/she is adjusting to life outside the womb and his/her body is learning to regulate itself.

The fourth trimester is certainly a special time for a family. It is a time of bonding and developing new connections. However, it can also come with challenges as you navigate new roles and how to care for a new family member.

This weekly series will examine common topics that arise during the first 12 weeks after giving birth. For example, establishing breastfeeding, learning to love and accept your postpartum body, nourishment for a nursing mama, cloth diapering from day one, newborn baby wearing and much more.

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And who better to share about the fourth trimester experience than a mama who is going through it herself? Blog contributor Sarah recently gave birth to her fourth son and is enjoying the trials and tribulations of the fourth trimester experience…for the fourth time! She is greatly looking forward to sharing her journey with you.

 

Silent Saturday: Spreading Some Love…

Saturday, April 27th, 2013

A mama friend just welcomed her third baby into the world! I love meeting squishy little newborns! I also really enjoy bringing meals to families after the arrival of a new baby. I know how much it meant to me when friends brought me post partum meals. I am happy to be spreading the love around!

Here’s what the care package included: Black Bean and Rice Salad, Chips and Salsa, Cashew Nut Cream with Strawberries, Veggies and Hummus, Lactation Bars, and Spiced Pecans.

 

I ran out of time to make hummus, so picked up some at Trader Joe’s instead. The Mediterranean is my favorite hummus ever!

Lactation Bars…yummy!! These are always a hit with new mamas.

A cold black bean and rice salad is quick and simple for a mama of a newborn. No preparation is required to enjoy it. Simply scoop it into a bowl and viola a hearty and healthy dish is ready to eat!

What are your favorite meals to bring to families during times of need or transition? Would love to hear from readers! :)

Happy Weekend All!

-Sarah

Tips for Delivering a Post Partum Meal to a New Mama!

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

Post partum food ready for delivery

A great way to shower a mama of a newborn with love and support is to bring her family a meal. Food is always a great way to nurture others and nursing mamas are certainly in need of extra nourishment. Did you know a your body burns hundreds of calories a day simply by making milk? Lactation is hard work! Nursing mamas need to consume extra calories (general recommendation is 300 to 500 extra calories to maintain pre-pregnancy weight) and stay well hydrated. Of course you want to get the extra calories through nutritionally dense foods (it is surprisingly easy to consume 300 – 500 calories of junk food!).

Moms of newborns are focused on establishing breastfeeding, recovering from birth, and bonding with their newest family member. Therefore even though staying well nourished is a necessity, it is often hard to manage, particularly in the first several weeks of baby’s life.

Here are a few tips to consider when delivering a post part meal to a new mama:

  • Ask in advance what her family’s food preferences are and if there are any allergies in the family.
  • A few days after baby has arrived let the mother know you are ready to deliver meal when she is ready to receive it
  • Set up a time with the mother for meal delivery. Be sure to clarify in advance if you plan to bring your own child(ren) with you. Be understanding that some mothers of newborns might want to limit germ exposure and be hesitant about having other little ones around their new baby.  For example you can say “I am available to deliver a meal on Friday afternoon, although would have the kids with me. Or I can bring a meal over the weekend and kids can stay with my hubby”. This gives the mom the opportunity to select what works best for her family.

Fresh fruit, all washed and ready for snacking!

  • The day of delivery check in with the mama to be sure that the day and time still works for meal delivery. Be understanding and flexible if she needs to re-schedule for whatever reason.
  • Pack meal in containers that do not need to be returned so the mom doesn’t have to keep track of washing and returning to the right person. You can use disposable containers or inexpensive re-usable containers. Generally I use a disposable container for the main dish and then re-usable plastic containers from the dollar store for all other food. Let the mother know in advance that you do not expect containers back. I find that when a mom insists on returning containers if I say something along the lines of “oh just to circle them around to the next mama in our group who has a baby” she will relax about it.
  • Clearly label containers and include any heating instructions as needed. I find some sort of casserole generally works best as a main dish. Something that she can pop right into the oven or freeze for a later day is easiest for the mom to manage.

Super simple heating instructions

  • Consider the size of the family and age of children. If possible make meal large enough so there will be leftovers.
  • Along with main dish include some healthy snacks. I usually do some washed and cut fruit as well as lactation bars. The lactation bars are always a big hit with new mamas. They are super yummy and easy to munch on.
  • When you arrive at the house, be sure to send the message that the mother does not have to play hostess. Ask her if she needs anything such as a glass of water. Ask her where she would like you to put the food instead of just leaving it on the counter.

Lactation Bars are always a hit with nursing mamas!

  • Plan on a short visit. New mamas need lots of rest and opportunity to connect with baby. Generally about 1/2 hour to 45 minutes seems to be a good length of time to visit with a new mama.
  • If there are older siblings in the house, give them attention and be sure to attend to any needs they have during your visit. I usually like to pack along something small for the siblings when delivering a post partum meal such as a coloring book, hot wheel car, board book, puzzle, etc. It doesn’t have to be something expensive or even new, but a small gift can go a long way with older siblings when a new baby is in the house. When my second son was born someone gifted us their collection of hot wheel cars that their son had outgrown. What a blessing those little cars turned out to be! My then two year old played with them constantly allowing me to focus my attention on nursing baby. Books make nice gifts as reading to an older child is generally easy to do while nursing new baby. Avoid bringing toys that are loud, require supervision, or will cause older siblings to fight/argue (ie- 3 older siblings trying to share one really cool toy just causes more stress).

Gifts for a new big brother purchased at thrift store for $3

Lastly I know we are all busy as moms and sometimes just struggle to get a meal prepared for our own family, let alone trying to cook a meal for another family. I find that if I simply double a recipe so I am preparing two meals at once (one for my family and one for my mama friend)delivering post partum meals is much easier to do. It usually just entails a little extra chopping of veggies! Such a simple thing I can do to spread some loving to a new mama!

-Sarah

A Favorite Post Partum Recipe | Mexican Lasagna

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

My favorite postpartum dish to bring to a new mom is a vegetarian, gluten-free Mexican Lasagna (it can also be dairy-free if needed). I like making this dish because not only is it super yummy, it’s easy and inexpensive to make. It also travels well, cooks quickly, re-heats well, and freezes well.

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients
Olive oil
2-3 gloves of garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeds removed and diced
1 zucchini, chopped
1 bunch of spinach, washed and stems removed
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
2 ½ cups black beans (or 20oz)
28oz can diced tomatoes
1 ½ cups frozen corn
12 corn tortillas, cut in half
12 oz cheddar cheese (or dairy free cheese substitute, I prefer Daiya)

Directions:
1. Heat olive oil in pot and sauté garlic and onion
2. Add red pepper, jalapeno, zucchini and sauté
3. Add spinach and sauté until it cooks down
4. Add seasonings and sauté with vegetables for one minute, stirring frequently
5. Add beans, tomatoes, and corn; simmer gently for 10 minutes
6. Coat bottom of pan with cooking spray and layer as follows: tortillas, bean mixture, tortillas, bean mixture, and a top layer of cheese

bottom layer of tortillas

layering

Cooking Instructions:
Bake, uncovered for approximately 20 minutes at 400 degrees.

When I make Mexican Lasagna for a newly postpartum mommy, I usually include a side of Spanish Rice (here’s a basic recipe to try), washed and cut seasonal fruit, and lactation bars (recipe coming soon!). I typically double the recipe above resulting in two dishes, one to deliver to a new mom and one to feed my own family.

Ready to be delivered to a new mommy!

If you make this dish, let me know what you think! I would love to hear any creative modifications you try.

Check out tomorrow’s post about 5 postpartum surprises no one told you about!

-Sarah