Thursday, August 10, 2017

Preparing for Labor with Yoga and Pilates

I have put together  a few key exercises and stretches to prepare your body for labor and support you during and after pregnancy. All of these postures can be done at any stage of pregnancy.

Clam Shell :
Pilates Clam Shell is amazing for strengthening hips as well as strengthening your core and low back!  
  • Lie on your side, with legs stacked and knees bent at a 45-degree angle. 
  • Rest head on lower arm and make sure hips are stacked
  • Engage your abdominals by pulling your belly button in, as this will help to stabilize your spine and pelvis.
  • Keeping your feet touching, raise your upper knee as high as you can without shifting your hips or pelvis. Don’t move your lower leg off the floor

Malasana (Yoga Squat)
 Malasana helps to open up the hips and is a great pose to practice Kegel exercise and any breathing techniques you may learn in your birthing classes. (Fun Fact: This is also an ideal birth position!)
  • Stand with hands at heart center at at the top of your mat feet as wide as the mat
  • Rotate your toes outward 
  • Begin to squat down, hips towards heels
  • Use your elbows to press your knees outward (traction over your 2nd & 3rd toe)

Goddess Squat Pose:
This pose opens the hips, while strengthens and tones the legs and lower body       
  • Step feet about 3 feet wide apart
  • Turn feet out, facing the corners of the room
  • Bend the knees as you exhale coming into a squat position
  • Press the knees back in space, Hold for 3-5 deep breaths

Butterfly Pose:
Stretches the inner thighs, groins and knees, improving flexibility in the groin and hip region
  • Sit with a tall spine, legs out straight
  • Bend your knees, bring feet in towards pelvis
  • Press the soles of the feet together
  • Legs should resemble a diamond shape
  • Tip: This one is also great while reclining back propped up on pillows

Low Lunge:
Alternating lunges are great for finding balance and specifically done during last trimester are great for lowering baby into optimal position for birth

  • From Down Dog, lift one heal to the sky
  • Step foot through, place back knee down on the mat
  • Walk hands up leg and lunge forward
  • Hold for 3-5 breaths

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Breathe in: Breathe out

Sit up tall, close your eyes, take a deep INHALE through the nose and fully EXHALE through the nose.

Isn't the breath a miracle?! Did you know that newborns are nasal breathers and breathe only through their noses for their first 4-6 months? Having a clear nasal passage is important for newborns and cool mist humidifiers help relieve the effects of any dryness and congestion a baby may have.

I had the opportunity to try out the Crane Adorable Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier and we loved it! Miles seems to have narrow nostrils and so the first few weeks he always sounded congested or dry, but after setting up Sidney the Sheep in our room (Currently Miles sleeps in a bassinet in my room) we immediately noticed a difference in his breathing.

Healthy Baby equals a Happy Baby! 

We took Sidney on the road to the Macaroni Kid/StrollerTraffic Baby Brunch and put him to work. He quietly sat on display, yes that's right these baaaaaad boys are so quiet when turned on. We also raffled one off as a grand prize and everyone got to go home with a reusable Crane sponsored bag!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Plant Based Eating for the entire Family!

My husband and I recently became members of a Plant Based Meal Kit Delivery service so when I found out that Sprout Food Organics made Plant Powered Purees I was SOLD.

My family had the opportunity to try out a few of the Sprout Organic food products and Leo Loved them! The Sprout Organic Baby food pouches come in different levels; Level 1 introducing foods for the first time to a baby so the ingredients are 1 simple ingredient. Even though Leo is almost 2.5 he still loves pouches for on the go snacks! So I put the Organic Prunes and Organic Mango pouches to the test and they are even TODDLER approved! 

I also love the hearty options like (Level 3) Butternut Chickpea Quinoa & Dates Pouch! Leo loved snacking on this and the organic chickpeas are a great alternative to meat and dairy based products. 

The Crispy Chews are a great alternative to those fruit snacks that you give your little one and Leo calls his Quinoa Puffs "cereal" the apple kale flavor are his favorite!

Other Toddler snacks and foods include Organic Smash Pouches and  Organic Curlz

 Little ones snack at the #BabyBrunch

Disclosure: Sprout Organics sent me samples and foods to try, and I think it’s great so I wanted to share what works for our family with all of you!

Friday, June 9, 2017

Postpartum Recovery Guide: It's a gradual thing

For 38.5 weeks my body made room for a growing baby, it stretched, it ached, and even through workouts some areas became weak. Prenatal core support was an absolute must for me during my pregnancy. I wore the Pregnant to The Core Support band every day and for workouts I wore Bao Bei's SpeedBUMP Sport Band .


After baby Miles arrived (via emergency c-section) at 38.5 weeks, I started wearing core support the day after surgery. The hospital provided me with a binder that wraps and velcros across the torso. This support was perfect for the two days I was in the hospital. I continued to wear it for two additional more days with may Bao Bei support bands underneath until my surgical staples were removed.

Here is a photo of my belly 1 week postpartum:

First Layer of core support:

Second Layer of core support: 

Week 2 I was ready for a bit more core  and lumbar support. I started off with a size Medium Dual Closure Girdle. It was 2 rows of hook & eye closures in the front and I started off with outer row and then closed it tighter halfway through the week (working my way at knitting my core tighter, to transition to a size small). During this time I was not only recovering from a major abdominal surgery but I also had an upper respiratory/sinus infection and the coughing was horrible. The level of core support this girdle provided while coughing was amazing and provided much relief. 


Here is a photo of my belly 2 weeks postpartum:

First layer of core support: 

By week 3 I moved down to a size small Bellefit Corset. This corset also has two rows of hook & eye closures and I gradually made my way towards the tightest fit. Both of the girdles provided medical grade compression, lumbar support, and acted as a constant reminder to keep my core engaged. 

Here is a photo of my belly 3 weeks postpartum:

First layer of core support:

Second layer of core support:

Now on to week 4,  I was down to one layer of postpartum support, the first layer was bunching and too baggy by this point. I was also down to the tightest hook & eye closure. Feeling tighter and sexy with my not so drab nursing bra, yes that is a NURSING BRA mamas!

Core support photo: 

I will still wear my core support for a few more weeks but I was excited to share my results. Bellefit has amazing customer service and online tools to help you identify which Postpartum Girdle is best fit for you! Stay true to the sizing questionnaire and guides and you will be sure to select the right core support. 


Hospital Bag Essentials

Packing a Hospital Bag and Preparing a Checklist can seem overwhelming but here are a few tips on packing what you need for a few nights stay

Breaking it up into items you need during labor, after birth, and for baby make it easier for tackling the list!

Mom during Labor:

- Chapstick (Babyganics) : With all of those breathing techniques you learned in your birthing class (plus the chance you may need to be hooked up to oxygen like I did, this will come in handy)

- Essential Oils Necklace (Pink Stork) I was able to wear all of the oils I needed during labor with this amazing necklace!

- Extra Pillow (Naturepedic): Be sure to pack an extra pillow and a BRIGHT pillow case! We made the mistake of a light colored pillow case and when i was rushed of to the OR for an Emergency C section my pillow went along for the ride. We were able to track it down by some miracle but the pillowcase went to the soiled linens basket and I never saw it again!

- Playlist with Meditation -or- music (Expectful)My meditation app Expectful was amazing for laboring at home and also for putting me at ease after baby was born, keeping me relaxed and able to focus on nursing 

- Focal Point (Photos, something meaningful, Mama Malas ): I wore my Mama Malas and used the Guru Bead to focus on and help me create the power within

- Hot Pack - My Amazing Doulas took care of this one for me, always making sure I had heat on my lower back 

- Birth Plan- Of course you will discuss this plan with your Doula, Midwife and/or Doctor but always have a copy handy as well, and most importantly know that the "plan" is really that of the universe so be flexible to any changes or emergencies that may come up.

Mom After Birth:
- Delivery Robe (PinkBlush Maternity): I felt like a goddess having my own clothing options and as soon as I got out of surgery I slipped into my own robe, it motivated me to get up and walk around the labor and delivery floor which started the recovery process much sooner!

- Nursing Bra (Oh La Lari): Not all of birth is SEXY but these bras surly made me feel that way! take a peak at the link!

- Nursing Tea (Pink Stork): I brought this tea with and generally your milk may not come in fully until after 3 days. I wasn't able to nurse Miles for 9 HOURS post birth!!!  It was too nice to have my tea and I just requested hot water with all of my meal deliveries. My milk was flowing in by day 2!

- Socks (StickyBe Socks): Both baby and I had warm feet (with sticky bottoms which are perfect for walking around your room in post delivery)

- Soothing Ointment (Butter Me Up Organics): I didn't end up needing this balm for myself post birth since I had an emergency c-section however, I have been using this for baby Miles bum and Leos too! keeps them smooth and rash free

- Book (The Fab Mom): I was stuck in the bed several hours after my c-section so having a good book was perfect, my adrenal levels were up so I couldn't sleep like I really should have, but having a good book to read was perfect!

- Toiletries
- Nursing Pads
- Charger
- Slippers/Flip-Flops


- Bag (Baby K'tan): This baby bag is the perfect size to pack all of the baby essentials for the hospital

- Diapers (Babyganics): The hospital may provide diapers but we prefer this brand so if you know you have a preference be sure to pack them

- Baby Wipes (Babyganics): We used the wipes for more than just baby, if you have a preferred brand be sure to pack them

- Receiving Blanket (Lulik Baby): Soft muslin swaddle blankets for the win. Our hospital let us use all the blankets we wanted to while we were there but they ask that you not take them home

- Clothes (Babysoy):  We packed clothing that would be easy to put on a newborn and     not have to pull up over their head. This kimono inspired nighty was so perfect for our l little one 

   - Hat (Babysoy)
   - Socks (StickyBe Socks)
   - Gift for Sibling (Sophie La Girafe)