November 22, 2014

How to Look and Feel Your Best After Giving Birth

When you introduce a new little individual into your life, you realise that time is precious. Your pre-baby routine no longer works. You must adapt your lifestyle and become an expert multitasker. So in between feeding, changing and burping your baby, how can you manage to spend some time on yourself? We have come up with some tips and tricks that will help you to look and feel your best that will find around the demands of looking after a new baby.

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Sleep

Once your baby arrives, sleep becomes a rare and precious thing. But as obvious as this may sound, it is important that you get as much shut-eye as possible as it will make you look and feel considerably better. All professional baby nurses will tell you that you should sleep when your baby sleeps. Whenever your baby drops off, put everything down and lie down for a nap too. Although it may be tempting to get some chores done while your baby sleeps, it will be more beneficial to your body and mind if you get some well-earned rest.

Health

Don’t ignore that sore back from lifting the baby or any other symptoms. Ask your doctor to examine. Even if you do not have any particular health worries it is always wise to have a regular check up. Your doctor will be able to offer you some practical advice on how to keep your health in check while looking after your new baby. If you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed then don’t be afraid to reach out to family and friends for help.

When you are short on time, it might be tempting to eat something that is quick to make, but that is not necessarily good for you. You will look and feel much better if you eat right. Order plenty of fruit, vegetables and salad and avoid unhealthy snacks and junkfood.

Walk

Take your baby out in the pram for a walk in the sunshine at least once a day. The sunshine and exercise will make you, and your baby feel better and will help you both sleep. If your baby nods off during your walk, listen to some music and feel your mood improve.

Beauty routine

With your new baby responsibilities, you are unlikely to be able to find time to spend pampering yourself. However, there are ways to speed up your daily beauty routine. Reduce the amount of makeup you apply and prioritise the elements that are essential to you. Invest in a good quality foundation from Laura Mercier cosmetics, for example, to cover up those bags. Use an all-in-one product that can be applied to your eyelids, cheeks and lips. Finally, whip your hair up into a neat chignon or ponytail for a rapid transformation into a sleek, trendy Mum.

While beautifying yourself, it is a good trick to try singing and talking to your baby to keep them entertained.

Clothes

If you are feeling uncomfortable with your post-baby body then choose loose fitting clothes. These items don’t have to be baggy and unattractive. Go for bright and bold  patterned light dresses and use accessories to jazz up plainer outfits.



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November 19, 2014

The Breastfeeding Diaries: Nikki from Yellow Magnolia

(photo credit Jasmin Chen Photography)

Hi, I'm Nikki from The Yellow Magnolia. I'm currently a work-at-home mom starting my own children's room design business and working hourly for other design firms. I have a two year old, Abram, and a 3 month old, Julip. When I am not working or taking care of the kids I blog about our life, adventures, and design/diy projects. I breastfed my children for a combined total of 20 days, but my husband credits me with four weeks.

I have read the breastfeeding diaries since the beginning, and have come to realize that everyone has their own "story".

(photo credit Kelli Nicole Photography)

My story goes like this...

I chose to breastfeed because in my mind there was no other option; everyone in my family did it so I would too. I loved to read about the health benefits and bond you get from breastfeeding. I honestly didn't even consider all of the challenges that may come my way or the fact that it might not even be possible. Unfortunately, I had to stop with both of my kids within two weeks of having them; doctor's orders. It still tears me up, especially when everywhere you look you see the "breast is best" message.

Delivery was fairly easy for me; my second child was almost born on the car ride to the hospital.

When my first, Abram, was born I anxiously tried to get him to latch. He seemed to do ok, but within the first few hours the lactation consultant noticed he wasn't really latching. She brought me a nipple shield and he did much better. The first night home he screamed all night and stopped having wet diapers. At the recommendation of his pediatrician, I would nurse him and then supplement until my milk came in. On day 5 it came in fast and I became engorged within hours. By the next morning I had double mastitis; it was so painful, but I was determined. I visited the lactation consultant and came up with solutions to reduce the swelling, worked on my son's latch, and got an antibiotic from the doctor. For the next week I would try to feed my son while he screamed and refused to latch, then pump while massaging, ice, apply cabbage leaves, massage in a warm shower, and repeat. I was exhausted and by the end of the week I was drying up. I later realized that pumps don't really work on me. I tried drinking Mother's Milk Tea to increase my supply, but within days it was completely gone.

(photo credit Ryan Flores Photography)

My doctor ordered me to stop trying at the risk of hurting myself. I was so glad I did when I ended up in the ER that night with minor complications. It took awhile for me to forgive myself; I would read your posts and just cry. I ended up with post partum depression and every time something was wrong with my son I blamed myself. He had chronic ear infections and a chiropractor actually had the nerve to tell me that I should've breastfed to prevent them. I eventually realized that my son wasn't sick because of me, and when I finally let myself off of the hook, I was surprised to discover that we had a wonderful bond. There is really nothing better than looking your baby in the eye and having them stop eating just to smile and talk to you.

 When Abram was 15 months old I found out I was pregnant with Julip. I was completely panicked about it all; not the delivery, but trying to breastfeed. At nine months pregnant I had the mindset that I will try and I won't blame myself if it doesn't work. My daughter arrived 30 minutes after we pulled up at the hospital; I was so far along that I delivered her naturally. She latched right away and had a strong suck. I was thrilled! We met with the same lactation consultant, and everything looked great. I breastfed her for three days with my only complaint being sore nipples. I was normal!

Day 4: Engorgement

When I woke up that day I was so severely engorged that my daughter could barely latch. It was a Sunday, so while my husband called every other lactation consultant on the hospital's list, I began doing the process that I remembered so vividly. I knew I needed to hurry before it got worse, but of course the pump got nothing out. I would have to push down on my breast just so my daughter could breath while she ate. A lactation consultant agreed to see us and just like the first time, I had "text book" engorgement. She checked the latch, baby weight, and pump; everything looked great. She then mentioned that if you are a sweaty person, you can hyper-lactate because they are sweat glands. I have hyperhydrosis. It was the answer to the question I had been asking for two years! I was hyper-lactating from the very beginning which caused a back up. I also realized that the pump would work IF I was feeding her on the other side. I was so hopeful. 

The next day I woke with double mastitis. I was put on a 10 day antibiotic with a doctor's order that if the infection didn't go away by day 5, I would have to stop at the risk of it spreading to my blood. The next five days I did my routine of feeding her while pumping the other side, icing, cabbage leaves, and massaging...repeat. Five days later the infection was still there and I was devastated again. I was able to exclusively breastfeed her for 10 days. 

Breastfeeding was an impossible task for me, but what was the most challenging was coming to terms with the way I needed to nourish my child. Honestly, I can prepare bottles with my eyes closed so formula (for me) was much easier than breastfeeding, but the emotions of it all right after your body has gone through so much can overwhelm you. We have always talked about three kids. I find myself hesitating because I don't know if I can go through it again. Then I tell myself that this is just the journey I was supposed to take. 


If I could give others any advice, it would be to work with a lactation consultant before delivery and regularly afterward, but take it day by day and be open to a different path. Continue to take care of yourself, even if it means supplementing. Please ignore the people who will make assumptions that you just didn't try hard enough. If you must stop for any reason, try not to blame yourself...in the words of Elsa, who just finished singing on my tv, "Let It Go".

Thanks for letting me be part of such an amazing series with such strong momma's! I really feel that although it is the most "natural" way for most, it is just not possible for all. Much like natural, medicated, or cesarean births; with all have our own story and need to be more supportive of every mom who is just trying to do her best! :)

Be sure to catch up with the rest of the Breastfeeding Diaries at the top of my navigation bar.



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November 18, 2014

My Christmas Wish List

christmas wish list

It was SO hard to put together a Christmas wish list....there really isn't anything I need...except new carpet in our house. Does that count?

But, if I have to.....I could really use a cute new coat and who doesn't love a new cozy scarf? And I love my Kendra Scott necklace so much I need a white pearl one too...because it's that amazing. And some new every day earrings too! My Ugg boots get worn a ton and I think my husband would say it's time I get a new pair...considering I literally wore a hole through my old ones!

I also LOVE me some Christmas decor! I've always loved Pottery Barn's tree skirts and pillows. I think a personalized tree skirt (red or white? I can't decide!) would be the perfect addition to our little tree this year! And I might have already picked up that cute red car cookie jar....I just couldn't resist!

Finally, I would LOVE any sign from House of Belonging. Totally my new obsession. And I think I need the Eat Blog Love mug (personalized with my blog of course!) to add to my morning routine, don't you?

What's on your Christmas list?

I'm linking up with  A Liz Adventures, Cheers Y'All, Miss Dixie, and Southern Style.





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November 17, 2014

Bento Box Snacks with NatureBox



If you know us, you know we love our snacks.

NatureBox sent us this box of goodies...and we couldn't wait to tear in to it...literally. I had already opened a few of these before remembering to snap a photo. NatureBox delivers a world of carefully sourced and nutritionist-approved foods right to your door. You log in to your account and pick the snacks that sound the best to you...so everything is personalized to your preferences!

When you join NatureBox, you'll receive five different snacks every month. You can choose the snacks you want or be surprised with their carefully curated selections.Each snack contains wholesome ingredients - with no artificial sweeteners, flavors or colors, zero grams trans fats, and no high fructose corn syrup. You can view all of the yummy snack options here. For our box, I picked pumpkin spice nom noms (Hudson's favorite!), chocolate quinoa granola, country ranch sunflower kernels, honey macadamia pretzel pops (my favorite!), and sea salt pop pops. 


I love that all of the snacks are wholesome, so I didn't hesitate to offer them to Hudson. I also love that they were delivered right to my door....they know the way to this mama's heart. 

Interested in trying your own NatureBox? You can sign up for a free trial that contains one full-sized bag and four single-served pouches! Hello awesome deal! You can sign up here.

Got a dietary goal or taste preference? NatureBox has 100+ snacks to excite and delight every palate.
NatureBox snacks are perfect for this indulgent holiday season as a better for you snacking alternative – delicious snacks for your holiday party (and options for all of the picky eaters), easy and unique additions to fall/holiday recipes and fun ways to change up the lunchbox routine.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.






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November 14, 2014

5 things I'm loving right now....

 {one} My favorite Kendra Scott earrings are on major sale! Now is the time to pick some of these up for Christmas presents....they are so beautiful, I promise you won't regret it!

{two} These cute baskets from Hobby Lobby. I've been thinking a lot about Hudson's big boy room and these might need to come home with me.

{three} Since it's FREEZING in Michigan right now I'm so glad I picked up this blanket scarf from Heart & Home. It's adorable and so cozy!

{four} Toy Story 4. Need I say more? I know a certain little boy who is going to be very happy come 2017.

{five} It's Jon's birthday this weekend and we are headed off to the lake for a little weekend getaway. I can't wait for pizza, movies, and relaxing with the birthday boy while my mom watches Hudson. 

Happy Friday!

And now I'm linking up with basically everyone....
Oh Hey Friday with September Farm and The Farmer's Wife!
Momfessionals
Friday Favorites with A Little Bit of EverythingMomfessionals, and Grace and Love.





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