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How To Get Back In Shape After Giving Birth

Giving birth isn’t an easy feat. And while some would say that your body will never be the same after giving birth, it is definitely possible to get back in shape immediately. It will take patience and dedication since it could be longer than what you see from celebrities and other personalities because not everyone has that lifestyle, but it’s not impossible.

Here’s a list of tips on how you can get back to shape after giving birth:

1. Start while you’re pregnant

You’re going to start gaining weight when you become pregnant because you’ll need more calories and nutrients for a growing baby inside you, and your hormones will be in limbo, too.

While you’re going to crave for lots of things, sugar and refined carbohydrates included, make sure that you don’t give in to this feeling the whole time. Opt for healthy snacks like those offered by Snack nation snack delivery instead of reaching out for doughnuts, chocolates, or ice cream all the time.

In addition, being pregnant doesn’t mean that you can stay in bed all day. It’s best to be watchful with your diet while you’re pregnant and perform doctor-recommended exercises because this can influence how easy or difficult it will be for you to lose some pounds after giving birth.

2. Breastfeed

There are definitely lots of benefits to breastfeeding, despite the controversies behind it. One of those is that breastfeeding your baby actually burns an additional 600-800 calories a day. This is why you shouldn’t suddenly drop your calorie intake when doing this so that you provide quality milk, but continue to watch your food portions.

Even while you’re still unable to perform exercise routines right after delivery, breastfeeding can help you shed the baby weight while sitting comfortably.

3. Mind your eating habits

A common mistake that mothers can do after giving birth is to keep eating the same way when the baby is still there. There’s a concept where pregnant women can eat anything they want and get away with it, which could really affect your weight gain during and after pregnancy. Here are some tips concerning eating:

  • Besides watching portion control, avoid eating empty calories and fat like soda, chips, sweetened fruit drinks, pastries, and others.
  • Eat small, frequent meals. This helps avoid cravings that could lead you to eat more.
  • Consume proteins like lean meat and fish to lessen hunger.
  • Don’t skip breakfast. It’s the most important meal of the day and is vital to start your blood glucose levels right.
  • Add soluble fiber into your diet like flax seeds, chia seeds, beans, and legumes.

4. Get well rested

You might think that being a mother to a newborn is rewarding but stressful, and it’s just impossible to get some rest.

There are plenty of healthy ways to destress like getting into meditation and doing simple breathing exercises. Whenever your baby is asleep, don’t forget to get some rest yourself.

Your body needs to recover from giving birth, and having adequate rest promotes faster healing so that you can go back to doing more activities. Take naps, sleep for at least eight hours at any given chance, spend 10-15 minutes a day to disconnect and just relax.

5. Start walking

You’re most likely not ready for more vigorous exercise until six weeks from giving birth, or more if you had a C-section, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t keep moving.

Start walking as soon as the doctor allows you, to promote proper blood circulation and burn calories. You can start with 5-10 minutes a day, observe if you’re not excessively exhausted or bleeding and progress as you get stronger.

6. Have a consistent exercise routine

It is very important that you consult your doctor before getting yourself into more physical activity. After giving birth, your abdominal muscles have a gap and it’s critical that this gap closes before you do any strenuous exercise.

A study has shown that postpartum exercise improved quality of life so it’s best to make time to burn some calories not just to get back in shape but for overall health.

A few exercises that could help you are:

  • Kegel’s exercises and pelvic tilts to strengthen your pelvic muscles.
  • Basic crunches as soon as the abdominal gap closes, mostly after six weeks after giving birth, or more if you had a C-section.
  • Mild cardio routines like squats and lunges help burn fats and increase your metabolism.
  • Always be observant with your body and the effects your exercise routines are giving you. If there is something unusual like excessive heavy breathing or bleeding, consult your doctor immediately.

If you want to get back into shape after giving birth, it’s important to impose self-discipline and be faithful to follow routines. Breastfeed, eat and rest well, and exercise your way to get the pre-pregnancy shape you want back.

You Don’t Have To Suffer with Heartburn During Pregnancy

One of the problems that occur during pregnancy is heartburn. It can be described as a burning sensation pains the chest and throat region and is commonly a result of acid reflux in the stomach.   The fiery sensation comes from the acid that leaks from the relaxed lower esophageal sphincter (LES) which is otherwise supposed to immure the acids in the stomach.

Majority of pregnant women tend to suffer from heartburn issues post bedtime and meals, especially during their second and third trimester.

Here are a few tips from RaiseVegan to help you deal with heartburn during pregnancy:

•    Start with cutting down the amount of food per serving. Don’t stuff your stomach.

• Take time to chew whatever you eat. The idea is to put as much less pressure on your digestive system as possible.

•  Avoid drinking liquids while eating. Chances of reflux are more if you have been gobbling up both liquids and solids in one go. 

• Don’t take to bed as soon as you have eaten. Walk a bit. 

• Eat as much fiber as you can. Include salads in your diet.

• Increase your intake of natural antacids, such as bananas and Aloe Vera juice.

• Trust your instinct. If you feel something is off, see your doctor. Peace of mind matters the most.

Did you have heartburn during pregnancy? How did you cope? 

What to Get When She’s Expecting this Holiday Season {2018 Gift Guide}

I have created gift guides for every person on your list but sadly waited this long to share my picks for the expectant mom! Shame given this is a blog mainly about pregnancy! Well better late than never and a lot of things on this list can be purchased in time for Christmas anyway!

Check them out!

1.Letters to My Baby: Write Now. Read Later. Treasure Forever ($11)

Fill these twelve envelopes with memories and hopes for your bundle of joy. Then postdate, seal, and save the letters to gift to your child at a later date. Such a sweet idea and concept!

2.Naipo Neck Massager ($19.99) I reviewed this earlier and found it to be the BEST thing since slice bread.  You can see the review here but I swear by this thing!

3.Tom’s Slippers in Charcoal Glow in the Dark Tree Lights ($59.99) You cannot go wrong with this warm and comfy slippers to ease an achy pregnant and constantly expanding feet! 

4.The Bump Pregnancy Journal This photo album is filled with blank pages that moms can fill with sonogram photos, bump updates, and other baby mementos. Get it at Amazon for $22

5.Spa Gift Card Any expecting mom could use a massage, facial and some good old fashioned pampering while she waits for her bundle of joy ($25+)

6. Uggs Dakota Slippers ($99) For a slightly higher price point, an expecting mom would really appreciate these plush puppies from a known quality brand!

7. Leachco Snoogle Original Maternity/Pregnancy Total Body Pillow If you know how uncomfortable sleeping can be while pregnant, you’d know that this pillow is heaven sent! It allows you to position your body and belly, neck and back in a way most comfortable for a restful night’s sleep. Your expecting family member or friend will LOVE you for getting her this gift! Get it at Amazon for $59.99

8. At Home Spa Gift For moms on bed rest, an at home spa gift basket would be perfect. This basket from an Etsy shop includes belly butter, magnesium lotion, anti-nausea tea, and a bath soak. Nice!($30)

9. A Pregnant Belly Painting Kit This could be a fun activity for mom and partner or an opportunity to create art to share with baby or friends on the Gram. ($19.99)

10. Preggatinis: Mixology for the Mom to Be Pregnancy means 40 weeks of missing out on your fave alcoholic beverages and although baby is worth it, a girl will still have cravings and here is were this book of booze-free drink recipes comes in handy! ($16.66)

Why Isabella Oliver is a Boss Maternity Brand {Video Review}

I’ve blogged about in the past how much I really like Isabella Oliver maternity here, here and here!

I am a fan  and have been for a while and so much so that I joined as an affiliate and brand ambassador. It’s also a popular brand among celebrities.

It’s having a big holiday sale of up to 50% OFF and FREE Shipping on orders over $149 so I decided to do a quick YouTube video to plug why particularly I love this fashionable brand of maternity clothing. 

If you Want to cop some of this brand’s stuff! Happy Shopping!

8 Things to Do When Your Newborn Rejects The Bottle

After several months of breastfeeding, many babies are understandably reluctant to change. Breastfeeding is warm and comforting, it brings mother and baby close together, and it comes easily and naturally. So when it comes time to introduce the bottle and your baby does not take to it right away, do not be frustrated. The plastic nipple takes some getting used to, and the temperature of the milk in the bottle can be difficult to regulate. Plus, if you are introducing formula at the same time, this adds another element of difficulty.

If you are considering introducing your baby to the bottle or have already started but cannot seem to make it work, here are some tips to try.

1 Introduce the bottle early. It may be too late for this, depending on your situation. But it is a good idea to introduce the bottle long before the baby will have to get used to using it all or most of the time. Have dad (or someone else) feed the baby with the bottle so there is no confusion, and introduce it for one feeding per day at first. Soon the baby will have the hang of the bottle, but the breast will still be available should problems arise.

2. Get mother out of the room. As already mentioned, it is a good idea to have someone other than the mother be the principal bottle-feeder at first. But going even further than that, it is often best if the mother is not in the room at all. Seeing mom may just make the baby think of the breast, which might make the bottle seem extra unsatisfying.

3. Wait for the baby to be hungry. The baby will be less discriminating about what she drinks when she is more hungry. So when introducing the bottle, wait until a time when the baby is likely to have an empty stomach-for example, after a long nap.

4. Try it when the baby is not so hungry. Of course, every baby is different. Some take the bottle best when they are very hungry, and some will feel betrayed when they are desperate for the breast and receive a bottle instead. So try introducing the bottle halfway through a feeding or when your baby is not fully hungry but still potentially ready to be fed.

5. Do not force it. Instead of sitting the baby on your lap and immediately trying to make him drink, act casual about it. Think of it as just you and the baby hanging out together with the bottle. If he seems curious about the bottle, put it to his lips and see if he tries to take a sip. And if he rejects the bottle, do not force it, as this might just make him extra mad.

6. Try different temperatures. Use a bottle warmer to try to approximate the temperature of mother’s milk. Of course, be careful not to make it too hot. And if that does not work, trying feeding room-temperature milk. Some babies, especially when in the teething stage, actually enjoy cool milk.

7. Start with expressed milk. If you plan to switch to formula, you might want to wait until after making the transition to the bottle. At first, feed the baby only expressed milk. If you do not have enough, mix expressed milk with formula. And remember that mother’s milk changes over the months to accommodate the baby’s needs throughout her development, so fresh milk often tastes best to the baby. There is nothing wrong with older milk that has been frozen, but you might want to save it till after your baby is comfortable with the bottle.

8. Feed when the baby is sleeping. If your baby is waking up from a nap and you know she will be hungry, try slipping a bottle of warmed milk into her mouth as she wakes. This way, she will not have a chance to realize that there is something unusual going on, and once she starts drinking, she may find she likes it quite well.

4 Natural Ways to Cure Common Nursing Problems

Nursing a newborn is not as simple as it may seem. Veteran moms are usually able to make it look easy by the time they get to their third or fourth child, but for new mothers, the simple fact is that breastfeeding can be challenging in numerous ways. Remember, it is not just the mother who is learning this new feeding method; it is also new to the baby, who of course cannot read books or take instructions from lactation consultants. This makes learning doubly difficult. But it is important to remember that most new mothers experience difficulties initially, and most soon get the hang of it.

Fortunately, many of the common nursing problems that new mothers face have simple solutions. Let us look at a few of them.

1. Poor latch

The most important aspect of breastfeeding is how your baby latches on to the nipple. For a proper latch, the baby should open her mouth widely to encompass both the nipple and the areola. While the milk mostly comes from the nipple itself, it is important for the baby’s latch to be wider so she can get proper suction and stimulate the flow of milk.

There are several methods for getting a baby to form a proper latch, but the most common one involves these steps: (1) Hold the baby in a feeding position. (2) Compress the end of the breast to give it a more bottle-like shape. (3) Tickle the baby’s cheek with the nipple. She most likely will instinctively turn her head and latch on. (4) If the baby’s nose and chin are touching the skin of the breast, it is a good latch. Another sign of a good latch is that only very little milk runs down the baby’s cheek as she drinks.

2. Slow milk supply

Milk production starts out slow, but the good news is that babies do not get very hungry during the first couple days of life. The colostrum (the clear, milk-like substance new mothers produce until the milk comes in) is usually enough to satisfy all the baby’s nutritional needs for three to four days. After that, milk supply depends on demand. If the baby feeds often and the breasts are frequently drained, more milk will come.

You will know your milk supply is good if the baby creates wet and soiled diapers several times a day and is able to sleep long stretches without waking and becoming fussy. If you suspect your supply is low, there are a few tricks, including:encourage a proper latch;

drain both breasts at each feeding;

feed whenever the baby shows signs of hunger (it is not possible to spoil her at this age);

if she falls asleep while feeding, move her around frequently;

avoid formula, pacifiers, and bottles, which can interrupt the baby’s learning process;

try pumping after and between feedings to stimulate abundant milk production;

eat well (400 to 500 more calories per day than before you were pregnant), sleep as much as possible, and drink plenty of water.

3. Sore and engorged breasts

There is no way around it: New mothers’ breasts become large, hard, and often sore. This is a necessary part of the process. The good news is that your body will adjust. While engorgement will continue until you are no longer breastfeeding, it will become less painful (and the milk leakage, another common issue for breastfeeding mothers, will more or less come under control).

To deal with engorgement, the best solution is to breastfeed as often as your baby asks to be fed. And if engorgement becomes an issue while the baby is sleeping or just not hungry, use a breast pump to express the excess milk. For soreness, make sure the baby is getting a proper latch, and use ice packs and warm compresses between feedings to ease any swelling.

4. Plugged ducts

Milk is produced not in one location, but in numerous ducts located in the nipple. When one of these ducts gets clogged, it causes a soft lump and can lead to backup in the milk supply. Untreated, these clogs can lead to infection, but they are usually relatively easy to clear. The key is to drain the breast as much as possible, massage it and apply warm compresses, and wear loose clothing (or no clothing) around the breast as much as possible. Continue breastfeeding even if the clog is a little painful, and call your doctor if it does not go away after a couple of days.

You Can Avoid Getting StretchMarks…Kinda

Let’s keep it all the way real, shall we?

The majority of women who become pregnant and carry a baby to term will get stretch marks!

There is a small lucky, fortunate and/or blessed group of women who genetically have elasticity in their skin naturally that is resistant to stretch marks.

A lot of women who do get them want to know if they can get rid of their post-pregnancy stretch marks or will they  have to live with them.

Dr. Rosemary Leonard, health expert at The UK Express explains:

Stretch marks are caused by tears in the dermis, the middle layer of the skin. This allows the blood vessels in the deep layer to show through which is why stretch marks are often red or purple in color when they first appear.

They occur when the skin has to stretch and although they are most commonly associated with pregnancy they can also occur in the growth spurt that occurs in puberty or when a person suddenly gains weight.

Some skin types are more prone to stretch marks than others and if a close relative in your family has developed them you are more at risk.

Unfortunately despite the claims that you frequently see on very expensive creams, there is very little that you can do to prevent them occurring if you happen to be prone to getting them.

The good news though is that when the skin contracts after pregnancy the blood vessels are no longer visible and the marks will fade to a silvery white colour and will be much less noticeable, although this process can take several years.

Laser therapy can help stretch marks to fade although it can’t remove them completely and typically several treatments are required. Most insurers don’t pay the cost and is usually very expensive.

The answer is yes you can get rid of them but you need time and money to make it happen.

Until next time!

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Tips for Picking the Right Pediatrician

Once your baby arrives, it’s not the end of frequent trips to the doctor, it’s the beginning.  While you no longer have to check on the health of your unborn child, you will be picking up the phone to call the doctor’s office every time your baby has a sniffle, takes a fall, or cries more than usual.
As a result, it is important to have chosen a pediatrician before your little one arrives.
Aside from looking for reassurance for all your health concerns, there are also the well-baby exams and the vaccination schedule that will have you seeing your baby’s doctor more than you thought you’d see any doctor in a single year.
The Baby Center provides a list of exam checklists that you can print off to either prepare yourself for each visit.
After you have received the initial exam following birth, which usually occurs 2 to 3 days after birth, the US National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health recommend visits for preventative care at 1 month, 2 months, 4 months, 6, months, 9 months and 12 months for the first year.
For all of these reasons, you want to make sure your pediatrician is someone that makes you feel comfortable.
Here are some tips for finding the right doctor for your child
Choose in Advance
Don’t wait until your baby arrives before you try to choose your pediatrician.  The hospital where you deliver will ask for your child’s doctor name, and if that doctor has privileges at that hospital, he or she will do the first evaluation of your child.
Otherwise, one of the hospital pediatricians will do the first evaluation of your newborn.
Regardless of who does your hospital evaluation, your baby’s first follow-up visit is usually within the first few days of being released from the hospital.
As a result, the start of the third trimester is a good time to start researching who you should choose to care for the health of your new addition
Get References
Check with your friends and family members with young children. Ask them what they think of their pediatrician.  You can also ask your obstetrician for recommendations.
Usually, they have a list of pediatricians that their patients use and have recommended.
Good luck!

Overdue: 4 Ways To Induce Your Labor

Premature birth may worry you as it worries most expectant parents but becoming overdue can also bring its own concerns and difficulties. As you become larger, sleeping can become more challenging. It becomes increasingly more difficult to get into a comfortable position as does breathing as your lungs become more crowded due to your overgrown uterus. If your baby stays in too long then there are risks associated with this, most commonly that your baby could pass meconium. If you find yourself overdue and are seeking advice to naturally help induce labor then the following is a list of ideas to do exactly that.

1. Sex– is often prescribed by doctors to help induce labor because the prostaglandins in semen help soften and prepare the cervix to dilate.

Herbs – hundreds of years ago midwives used herbs to prepare mothers for pregnancy, labor and birth. This was before the invention of pitocin. You must be very cautious with herbs of any kind as they can cause great damage if the correct dosage is not administered. Black cohosh, available in capsules or teas is commonly used to induce labor and can be with or without alcohol. During birth, black cohosh can help strengthen and regulate uterine contractions. Other herbs which have similar effects are red raspberry leaf and false unicorn root. These particular herbs have natural chemicals which are released into the woman’s body and stimulate the baby to encourage her to move and get positioned for birth. Herbs should not be used until the cervix is ready to open as they will not work until then. Beware of some herbs which can be dangerous to you or your baby such as aloe vera, bungleweed and pokeroot as these are some of the herbs that can cause premature birth or birth defects. Always consult a doctor before self-medicating with herbs. Primrose oil is used to induce labour as it has a comparable effect to semen in the cervix by softening and ripening it.

2. Castor Oil – is taken by some women as a natural method of bringing on labor. The theory being that the diarrhea and cramping it causes also causes contractions that can induce labor. It is unpleasant to taste but two tablespoons can be mixed into another drink such as a juice. It is advised to consume castor oil in the morning as you will be woken in the night with the cramping and diarrhea if you take it in the evening. There are risks with taking castor oil such as the expectant mother becoming dehydrated because she has diarrhea and also it increases the risk of the baby passing meconium while still in the uterus.

3. Nipple Stimulation – for hundreds of years nipple stimulation has been used by women to help induce labor. It has an effect of releasing a natural form of pitocin called oxytocin. Similarly to pitocin, oxytocin triggers contractions that can bring on labor. This method for naturally inducing labor is only effective near to your due date and when you are ready to give birth. Before forty weeks, it is not advisable to induce labor. The nipples can be stimulated manually or a breast pump can be used. Care needs to be taken as your uterus can become hyperstimulated. Only stimulate one nipple at a time and rest immediately once you notice contractions. Wait at least fifteen minutes after the contractions have stopped before resuming. If you do not get any rest between contractions other problems can arise.

4. Be Active – whilst most doctors advise you to slow down and reduce your activities as you approach your due date, it is also helpful to remain active as long as you do not cause yourself any stress. Walking a wee bit more than usual and slowly swinging your hips from side to side can help induce labor by stimulating your baby and getting her moving into the birthing position. If you fancy some fun, sex is always a good idea as I mentioned before because along with semen helping the cervix to soften, the female orgasm produces a hormone which aids childbirth.

Other methods women have used include acupressure and eating spicy foods, but watch out for possible nausea with spicy food and medical research has not yet supported this idea as definitely being beneficial.

The 10 Items To Stock in Your Fall Maternity Wardrobe (+PLUS SIZE)

This fall, as you shop for your wardrobe for essentials to last you through the season whilst carrying a baby while pregnant or as a new mom, keep in mind some of these basic pieces.
If you start your capsule collection in your wardrobe with these key wardrobe items, you will be well on your way to establishing a foundation of basics and can go from there.

1. Black Dress – The classic black dress comes in maternity styles and is a perfect thing to wear for a variety of outings, date nights, corporate parties, concerts and more!

2. Wrap dress – A wrap dress is THE best option, especially in black, for any event. It works well in casual, after 5 or more formal occasions. Use accessories and shoes to make it appropriate.


3. Fitted Suit –  Even if you cannot find a suit tailored to your belly, a blazer that fits on the shoulders but is tapered at the waist and a matching pair of maternity slacks will do. It’s not easy to wear a traditional suit with extra belly, but it can be done.


4. White Collared Button Down Shirt  – Every woman must own a white button down collar shirt in her wardrobe. A crisp shirt is great for the office or weekend.


5. Silk Scarf – A colorful silk scarf will add the spark of flavor and style to a monochromatic or otherwise vanilla outfit.

6. Khaki pants – Khaki pants can complement a variety of tops and are casual but can still be pulled of at more formal events or venues if paired with some pears or a twin set.

7. A Tote – A staple for any woman whether she is preggers or not is a handbag tote that can fit all of her essentials and then some. These can double as a diaper bag too if necessary and are more stylish than typical diaper bags.

8. Bulky Sweater – A bulky sweater is your friend when the temperature drops and even if you are going into venues with the air conditioning still blasting. Get them in dark colors that can complement whatever you are wearing.

9. Diamond Studs – Classic studs can be dressed up or down and if you are toting around an infant, she won’t yank them out your ear as she would a pair of hoops.

10. Stretchable Boots – that can expand as your calves grown and that have more give so it is not too constraining and tough on your circulation

Here is a plus size version: