PUMP it Louder...
A breast pump becomes an accessory for every breastfeeding Mum. Many new Mums are often left confused/unsure as to what to look for and that is after you navigate the mindfield of terminology and gadgets. So lets break down some information relating to breast pumps to give you the best start of where to look.
Pumping can have a way of making us human mamas feel a little like milk machines.
Even if you plan to exclusively breastfeed (often referred to as "EBF"), it is helpful to have a breast pump on hand. Why? It can help to increase your milk supply, especially in those early days. Breast milk is produced on a supply and demand basis, so pumping for a few minutes after nursing or adding in a pumping session an hour or so after baby finished can up your supply. Some woman have attachment issues or their newborn has difficulty feeding, or they are placed in a neonatal unit so it becomes necessary for the Mum to pump to generate a supply.
Having some expressed breastmilk on hand can also mean that someone else can do the feed giving Mum a break through the night or alternative an escape during the day- a breast pump gives you the freedom to do so.
Of course, if you’re planning on breastfeeding after returning to work, you’ll want a breast pump so you can keep your supply up, have a stash in your home freezer and relieve engorgement when you’re at the office.
There are basically four types of breast pumps:
- Double-electric breast pumps: These powerful electric models let you pump both breasts at once, important if speed is a concern.
- Single-electric breast pumps: You’ll only be able to pump one breast at a time, which can take longer. On the plus side, these cost less than a double-electric pump.
- Battery-operated breast pumps: These can be slower and run through batteries pretty quickly. The advantage of a battery-operated pump is that they're portable and helpful if you don’t have access to an electrical outlet (such as when you’re commuting to work or traveling).
- Manual breast pumps: These are lightweight, portable and inexpensive. The downside? You'll be doing a lot of the work yourself and you may not get as much milk as a result.
So the decision then comes down to answering these questions in relation to the pump and financial outlay:
- Manual vs electric
- How many hours a week do you think you'll be pumping?
- Will you be pumping occasionally or regularly, short-term or long-term?
- Quality versus price
- Suction and speed control
- Product support and Warranties
- Nipple Size
- Ease of cleaning
Here are a few options to consider:
Best Breast Pump Overall: Medela Pump in Style Advanced
Most Efficient Breast Pump: Spectra S1 Plus Hospital Strength Breast Pump
Best Budget-Friendly Breast Pump: BellaBaby Double Electric Breast Pump
Best Breast Pump for Travel: Medela Freestyle Flex
Most Comfortable Breast Pump: Philips Avent Comfort
Best Single-Electric Breast Pump: Nuk Expressive
Best Manual Breast Pump: Lansinoh Manual
Best Hands-Free Breast Pump: Willow Wearable Breast Pump
Best Breast Pump for EBF Moms: Haakaa Silicone Breast Pump
Quietest Breast Pump: Spectra S2
Getting our morning fix when BREASTFEEDING ☕️
For a sleep deprived mother coffee becomes life...
The caffeine helps to get through the sleep deprived days. So the question often gets asked how much coffee is too much for the breastfeeding mum.
Statistics show that nearly half (46%) of Australian’s drink coffee and that having children increased the weekly coffee consumption by 2.4 cups (7.2 v 9.6 cups per week).
Most breastfeeding mothers can consume a moderate amount of caffeine (eg a few cups of coffee or tea each day) without it affecting their babies. Caffeine does transfer to breast milk but in very low concentrations (0.06%-1.5% of 300mg of caffeine) Newborn babies however can be particularly sensitive to caffeine. This is because it can take a newborn baby a long time (ie half-life of 50–100 hours) to process caffeine. By 3–4 months, however, it takes a baby only about 3–7 hours. (According to ASN)
Caffeine content in common drinks and food1,2
Caffeine level (mg)
145 mg/50 mL shot
Formulated caffeinated drinks / ‘Energy’ Drinks
up to 80 mg/250 mL can
Instant coffee (1 teaspoon/cup)
60–80 mg/250mL cup
10–50 mg/250mL cup
up to 54 mg/375 mL cup
20 mg/100 g bar
Tips to combine breastfeeding and coffee:
- Pre term or ill infants may experience larger issues with metabolizing caffeine, you may want to limit caffeine intake during these times.
- Studies have shown that ingesting less than 300mg/day of caffeine should not cause issues for infants. Be wary of what products contain caffeine, so you can track how much you have consumed.
- If caffeine affects your sleep, try not drinking any coffee after 2pm. Sleep is essential for health and wellbeing.
- If you find caffeine intake effects your little one, but still need one, try having a coffee as soon as you breastfeed. This gives you the largest amount of time to process the caffeine before feeding again as peak levels occur about 60-120 mins after consumption.
- If caffeine does have an effect on your child, try giving it a few weeks/months and trying again. The half life (time it takes for the body to get rid of half the dose) reduces significantly with age ( eg 97.5 hours for infants- 2.6 hours at 6 + months).
So the take away is you can still enjoy a cuppa but just be mindful of how much you are ingesting.
5 ways to steer yourself through procrastination
As a Mum, you have to juggle through a number of tasks every day. To you, every family member is like your child, whom you have to nourish and care for. So, you have loads of work to do every day and you frequently run out of time. But, do you ever wonder if there is something else contributing to your running out of time? How about procrastination? Maybe a yes or maybe a no, however, one thing is sure that you do wish to have a magic wand which could give you some extra time to finish your chores whenever you are falling short of time.
Now, here is good news for you as today we are going to give you the magic wand! Excited to know about the magic wand and how it works? So, let me disclose that you are yourself the magical wand, about whom we are talking about here. Don’t feel surprised! After all, you work wonders every day to keep your family happy despite falling short of time and that’s nothing short of magic! Thus, you have all the power and magic inside you only.
Now, let’s come straight to your problem of running short of time. So, Mum just do a little magic of honesty and introspectif you procrastinate? Your answer is most certainly yes because we all do! In fact, a little procrastination is okay. But, when it starts preventing you from getting things done in time, it becomes problematic. In your attempt to do more in the less time left, you overexert yourself. Not only this, but your stress level also rises significantly, which is not at all good for you. Moreover, procrastination leads you to spend your whole day working for everyone else’s happiness but yours. You don’t find time for yourself.
Even when you are procrastinating on a task and relaxing on the couch, you aren’t actually relaxing. In the back of your mind, you are still thinking about the dozens of pending tasks you have. So, it is crucial for you to steer yourself through procrastination. Now, let’s see how to do that:
Yes, you have to create your work schedule. This has nothing to do with defining a fixed time for every task but at least you can fix the beginning and end of your work schedule. Let’s say that you can make it a routine to start working at 10 (after everyone has left for their destinations, work, school, etc.)and finish all your household chores by 3 or 4 in the afternoon. You can decide these limits according to your comfort level and the amount of work you have to do. Further, it is not compulsory to follow the same work schedule every day. Some days you might have some additional tasks to do like laundry. So, you can create a new work schedule for the new day every morning. Believe me, creating a work schedule will be really beneficial for you. If you’ll have a fixed work schedule, you’ll be less likely to procrastinate and you’ll get everything done in time.
We all have our weaknesses and get carried away with them. For example, 5 minutes of Instagram often turns into an hour and we realize that only after we have lost plenty of our working time and you know what happens afterward! You work like a super speedy machine to get the things done before your children or family members return back home. Now, to get over this type of problem, you have to keep a constant check on yourself. If you feel the urge to use your favorite social media sites, go for it! But, not without setting a timer. You have to clearly set a limit on the time you’ll be devoting to your selected activity. Once the timer rings, just leave your smartphone right away and start working. This will help you get over procrastination to a large extent.
At times, you may forget all about overcoming procrastination. You may get drifted and start following your casual routine. So, it is always best to set ‘no procrastination’ reminders or alarms on your smartphone. You can set them to ring at regular intervals of time during your work schedule. For example, after every half an hour. This will help you not to get caught in the tight grip of procrastination.
Working continuously is definitely monotonous. This is one big reason why we procrastinate. So, if you break your work schedule into smaller segments, you’ll find it easy to overcome procrastination. Now, to break your work schedule into smaller segments, it is best to make use of the Pomodoro Technique. Given below are the simple steps by following which you can practice the Pomodoro Technique:
When you are conscious that you are procrastinating, but still find it hard to get over it, then this is the best strategy to follow. You have to simply allure yourself with an exciting reward for completing the pending task. For example, you can give yourself a 30-minute relaxing nap as a reward, after completing your work schedule or you can cook your favorite snacks in the evening. These rewards will give you the power to overcome procrastination and focus your energy on work.
So magical Mum, now you know how to steer yourself through procrastination and not run out of time despite having to shoulder multiple responsibilities at home. Now, wishing you all the best and hoping that you’ll be able to set procrastination aside in your life.
The Speaking Polymath
Beating the Summer heat if you are Pregnant or Breastfeeding
SUMMER for many is their favourite season of the year...until they get PREGNANT and then it becomes uncomfortable!!! There are a few things to take note of as you brave the heat this summer.
It's not just that it's hotter outside, but pregnant women are hotter too: In the first trimester, the progesterone hormone increases body temperature. Pregnant woman's body temperature is already higher than normal so add in scorching summer temperatures and if you are not careful dehydration or other medical problems could arise.
Dehydration is common in the summer months. Did you also know pregnant woman is more prone to sunburn than non-pregnant woman? Other not so nice side effects of the summer heat is swelling, chaffing,
Surviving the summer heat is necessary if you are pregnant and here are some tips:
1. Avoid direct sunlight.
Do outside activity early in the morning or after the sun sets.
2. Stay hydrated.
Water intake should about eight to 10 glasses per day and should be more if you are exercising. Drink low-sugar electrolyte fluids, especially if you’re going to spend time outside.
3. Dress for the heat.
Wear loose, breathable clothing and a hat to reduce sun exposure.
4. Spritz water often.
Carry a spray bottle with you and spritz yourself with water to cool down your body temperature.
5. Be smart about exercise.
Swimming is a terrific way to exercise and keep your body cool. Or stay inside and work out at the gym or walk laps at the mall.
6. Wear sunscreen.
Be sure to reapply after sweating or swimming. Choose a brand with at least SPF 30 and make sure your face is protected.
Newborn babies need extra care and attention when it becomes hot. Quite often they will want to breastfeed more reguarly, though become agitated due to the sweaty nature of skin to skin so might feed more less time.
The Australian Breastfeeding Association reports the following:
"Most parents worry at some stage that their fully-breastfed baby may not be getting enough to drink in hot weather and they ask if they should give boiled water or fruit juice 'just in case'. The answer in most cases is that extra fluids are not required if your baby is breastfed whenever he needs and this may be more often than usual - just as you are drinking more often.
Breastmilk contains a perfectly balanced ratio of food and water to meet all your baby's needs. It is a living fluid, ever-changing to suit your baby and even in response to the weather! The first milk your baby gets from a full breast has a low fat content and naturally quenches baby's thirst. Once the let-down has occurred, the fat content of the milk gradually increases as the breast softens. This later milk has a creamier appearance and satisfies baby's hunger.
In hot weather a thirsty baby may want to breastfeed more frequently but for shorter periods. In this way he is getting more low-fat milk and so is satisfying his thirst. If you need to be away from your baby, it is preferable that he has your expressed breastmilk (EBM).
An older baby or toddler who is no longer exclusively breastfed may be encouraged to drink water between breastfeeds. You can also offer extra 'snack' breastfeeds to keep him well hydrated. Another refreshing idea for toddlers is to freeze fruit pieces, such as orange quarters, peeled banana or slices of pineapple - cooling and fun, just be prepared for the very sticky mess!
- Some babies become sleepy travelling in hot weather. You may need to stop and wake your baby for feeds.
- The effect of car airconditioners can cause some dehydration - so extra breastfeeds may be necessary on long trips, even if you are cool.
- Prams that are enclosed are airless and can get very hot. An open-weave bassinette, cradle, layback stroller, baby hammock, cot or portable cot is probably cooler for your baby to sleep in."
As a result of Mum needing to feed more often and the heat making her dehydrated she needs to increase her water quantity. Signs of dehydration include irritability, headache, dry mouth, a feeling of thirst, and darker-than-usual urine. Prevent dehydration by carrying a refillable water bottle with you. It is suggested drinking a glass of water every time baby drinks. If water’s not really your thing, eat more high-water-content fruit, like watermelon, as well as frozen fruit and other fresh fruits and vegetables.
Outfits should also be loose, comfortable and made from a performance/breathable fabric. You may also want to carry a bamboo/cotton sheet to place between yourself and the baby during a feed. Our new cotton breastfeeding tshirt is a great idea as the zip allows for easy discrete access and there is material that remains between you and bub.
Stay vigilant and HYDRATED this Summer!
Help...Antenatal classes online
Many pregnant Mums are facing the news that their antenatal classes have been cancelled at their delivery hospital. If you are a first time Mum or a Mum with a large gap in between these classes offer a great base. They give pregnant Mums an information bank on what to expect in delivery, options for birth, bathing, sleeping, changing nappies and a whole heap of practical tips and tricks when navigating the birth, delivery and early few days.
Many hospitals and birthing rooms have had to cancel these for the near future due to CON-VID19. Not having this access can increase the anxiety, fear etc for the expecting Mum.
We have done a bit of a run around and here are some paid/unpaid courses that we have found:
|Nourish||www.nourishbaby.com.au||$100 for Guide to healthy pregnancy, Guide to positive labour and feeding success. There are other options.|
|Hypnobirthing Australia||www.hypnobirthingaustralia.com.au||$499 for 3 hour private session. $199 online course|
|Baby Centre||www.babycentre.com/childbirth-class||FREE and has 7 chapter modules|
|About Birth||www.aboutbirth.com.au||$85 6 months unlimited access. 55 individual videos, 14 resource downloads.|
|Mama Lee Midwife||www.mamaleemidwife.com.au||$129 for 6 week membership- 4 classes on labour, packing a bag etc|
|Birth Beat||www.birthbeat.com||$397 for 12 months access to 9 modules|
CON-VID19 and Breastfeeding- what is the low down
The World Health Organisations are continuing to learn about the deadly CON-VID19 virus. Like many we are trying to stay abreast of the changing developments to help us to make informed decisions about our health and the families health. Due to this being so new we have a lot to learn and the effect on some/implications is unknown.
One of those areas of the flow on effect is with breastfeeding mothers. What we do know from previous studies is that breastmilk is like liquid gold and helps with the babies immunity- like almost putting a protective bubble around them.
The Centre for Disease Control and Protection outlined the following:
Transmission of COVID-19 through breast milk
Much is unknown about how CONVID-19 is spread. Person-to-person spread is thought to occur mainly via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how influenza (flu) and other respiratory pathogens spread. In limited studies on women with COVID-19 and another coronavirus infection, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV), the virus has not been detected in breast milk; however we do not know whether mothers with COVID-19 can transmit the virus via breast milk.
CDC breastfeeding guidance for other infectious illnesses
Breast milk provides protection against many illnesses. There are rare exceptions when breastfeeding or feeding expressed breast milk is not recommended. CDC has no specific guidance for breastfeeding during infection with similar viruses like SARS-CoV or Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV).
Outside of the immediate postpartum setting, CDC recommends that a mother with flu continue breastfeeding or feeding expressed breast milk to her infant while taking precautions to avoid spreading the virus to her infant.
Guidance on breastfeeding for mothers with confirmed COVID-19 or under investigation for COVID-19
Breast milk is the best source of nutrition for most infants. However, much is unknown about COVID-19. Whether and how to start or continue breastfeeding should be determined by the mother in coordination with her family and healthcare providers. A mother with confirmed COVID-19 or who is a symptomatic PUI should take all possible precautions to avoid spreading the virus to her infant, including washing her hands before touching the infant and wearing a face mask, if possible, while feeding at the breast. If expressing breast milk with a manual or electric breast pump, the mother should wash her hands before touching any pump or bottle parts and follow recommendation for proper pump cleaning after each use. If possible, consider having someone who is well feed the expressed breast milk to the infant.
So in a time like this it is probably more advantageous then ever to keep breastfeeding babies to give them some immunity to this pandemic.
What to do to INCREASE the flow...
Many woman struggle in the first few weeks/months of breastfeeding until they establish their supply and/or get the hang of it. A number of lactating woman also feel that they are not producing enough in order to meet the demands of a newborn baby. This can often be the thought due to having a screaming baby, one that keeps searching for a suck, poor weight gain etc, not thriving etc etc.
Here are a few tips to maybe get things flowing:
- Allow lots of sucking:Breastmilk is produced on demand, and the sucking stimulates your body thinking there is more demand for milk.
- Pump between feeds: This will also trigger the supply-and-demand cycle in your body to produce more milk.
- Lots of skin to skin contact: This will release a hormone called prolactin. Prolactin stimulates oxytocin (the feel good hormone). Both prolactin and oxytocin can help stimulate breast milk production.
- Drink more water: to avoid dehydration. Institute of Medicine recommends arounds 3.1 L compared to 2.2 L in non breastfeeding mothers.(This changes according to activity levels/environmental needs etc)
- Manage stress when possible: Outsource tasks if they are becoming too overwhelming. Listen to relaxing music during nursing sessions.
- Empty breasts during feeding: The more milk that is removed the more you will make.
- Consider fenugreek tea: Fenugreek is one of a few herbs that has data to support its use as a galactagogue (substance to help increase milk supply).
- Make sure you are getting the additional 500 calories (a day) to help aid the increase in nutritional demands.
For further assistance see your local Lactation consultant or call the Australian Breastfeeding Association.
Refresh the Mindset
As we head into the New Year of school, work and general Mum life balance we need to take count of our mindset. When we have a negative mindset we will notice that everything is a struggle and everything is just so much harder.
It is easy to set goals or New Years resolutions but it is so much harder to enact change. If we go into the year with half hearted thoughts and we are not truely feeling the vibe then the rest will become history and we will find ourselves back in the same situation. With goals or resolutions you also have to attach a belief and positivity. If you go into a situation with a negative attitude do you think the outcome will be positive or negative?
No mother can be positive all the time- we all have a daily moments as we are sleep deprived, running off the kids leftovers and spend the day serving other people's needs but it is important to turn the thinking around...
Let me put this to you:
Sharon wants to become more active and as a result wants to up her walks to 4 mornings a week. Sharon says "oh i will start in two weeks time as I am so tired"..."I dont think I can get up 4 times a week"
Already Sharon, without even knowing about it, has put road blocks in the way- and has pushed her goals/resolutions off the plate..Do you think Sharon will achieve her goals/resolutions??
If you really want to change your outlook on life and achieve the 2020 goals or resolutions, try using these top 10 techniques (which we chose) to change how you deal with problems and see the world:
- Realize that your thoughts do not own you. Stop your negative thoughts in their tracks by realizing that you’re in charge of what you think, not the other way around.
- Take time to figure out what you really want. When you feel yourself feeling negative about things that you haven’t accomplished, take time to think if you really want those things. Finding out what is really important to you can help eliminate bad feelings over things that you don’t truly want.
- Accept the good things. Sometimes we get so caught up in the bad stuff coming our way that we forget to appreciate the good things. Take a minute to sit down and think of all the positive things that happened in your day, no matter how small.
- Get excited about all the possibilities that lay ahead. Even in the midst of the biggest disasters there are a multitude of possibilities that await you to make changes or take on the world tomorrow.
- Believe the world is a good place. If you look at the world and only seem doom and gloom laid out in front of you you’re not doing yourself any favours. Believe the world is a good place and you’re likely to find many more ways good things can come your way.
- Stop making excuses. There are always a million excuses for any person not to do something even if that something can make them feel happier. Stop putting up obstacles to your happiness and ditch those lame excuses when you hear yourself making them.
- Don’t play the victim. Bad things happen to everyone from time to time. Pitying yourself and wanting others to feel sorry for you isn’t going to make things better. Pick yourself up and start working towards a happier future.
- Don’t place your future in someone else’s hands. Your future is yours alone to shape. Remember this and take control of where your're going in life.
- Create realistic goals. Of course you’re going to feel frustrated if you make your goals so unattainable that you can’t reach them no matter how hard you work. Create smaller or more realistic goals so you can feel accomplished instead of defeated each day.
- Decide why you want what you want. If you’re feeling upset because you feel like you aren’t achieving the things you want in life, take a moment to sit back and figure out the reasons you actually want those things. You may find you’re not as attached to them as you think.
Remember anything is possible you just have to REALLY WANT IT and go with THE RIGHT ATTITUDE.
Spicy 🌶 Breastmilk?!?!?
Spicy food is one of those general words that gets thrown around when a Mum is breastfeeding and her baby is unsettled. Many then ask should I avoid the spice while breastfeeding? Here is what we found...
It’s fine to eat spicy food while you're breastfeeding. Traces of what you eat enter your milk, but it shouldn't unsettle your baby if you eat spicy food. In fact, it may benefit your baby. ... If your breastfed baby seems upset or irritable, you could try eating a milder diet to see if makes a difference.
Generally, the dominant flavors of your diet – whether soy sauce or chili peppers – were in your amniotic fluid during pregnancy.
Fetuses swallow a fair amount of amniotic fluid before birth, so when they taste those flavors again in their mother's breast milk, they're already accustomed to them.
“Nursing moms don't need to be scared of spicy foods, says Paula Meier, Ph.D, director for clinical research and lactation in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, and president of the International Society for Research in Human Milk and Lactation.
By the time the baby is breastfeeding, Dr. Meier says, she is accustomed to the flavors Mom eats. "If a mother has eaten a whole array of different foods during pregnancy, that changes the taste and smell of amniotic fluid that the baby is exposed to and is smelling in utero," she says. "And, basically, the breastfeeding is the next step going from the amniotic fluid into the breast milk."
In fact, some items that mothers choose to avoid while breastfeeding, such as spices and spicy foods, are actually enticing to babies. In the early '90s, researchers Julie Mennella and Gary Beauchamp performed a study in which mothers breastfeeding their babies were given a garlic pill while others were given a placebo. The babies nursed longer, sucked harder, and drank more garlic-scented milk than those who had no garlic exposure.
Moms will restrict their diet if they suspect a correlation between something they ate and the child's behavior — gassy, cranky, etc. But while that cause-and-effect might seem enough for a mom, Dr. Meier says she would want to see more direct evidence before making any diagnosis.
"To truly say that a baby had something that was milk-related, I would want to see issues with the stools not being normal. It's very, very rare that a baby would have something that would truly be a contraindication to the mother's breastfeeding.”
Why This Mum Is Not Rushing Back Into Fitness After Pregnancy....
Nadine is a Brisbane Mum of two, a personal trainer, Emergency Military Nurse, blogger and a health and fitness enthusiast. Nadine has lived and breathed fitness for many years and was motivating the troops at F45 until she went on maternity leave.
During both pregnancies Nadine suffered from severe HG (Hyperemesis Gravidarum) or extreme morning sickness where she had to be hospitalised a number of times due to dehydration/monitoring. For those of you who know Nadine would appreciate that she gives everything 110% and will train anywhere/anytime. Due to unforeseen circumstances Nadine went into labour 6 weeks early and underwent an emergency caesarian. She then spent the next few weeks going back and forth to the special care nursery-pumping around the clock to nourish her little one.
For Nadine, exercise is like brushing her teeth, it is part of her day so when she made the conscious decision to NOT return to exercise postpartum it was a big thing. Listening to her inner dialogue and body is an important message for all Mums. Some tend to rush back into a regime which they may not be ready for mentally or physically- the fourth trimester is just as important as the first three…
“As you guys know I made the very conscious decision to NOT return to ‘Training’ at 6 weeks when I was cleared to begin ‘light’ exercise. Hear me out tho!! It’s interesting seeing me talk about my birth because birth trauma is REAL and what we experienced to bring Beckham here safely was incredibly scary for all involved but that is a story for another day perhaps, this is something I deal with everyday…. Anyhow this isn’t just about my birth experience….because….I hadn’t felt ready and I had to listen to that internal dialogue. I knew my recovery was going to be longer in duration due to what occurred physically and mentally for me and I know that i have had to be very meticulous, careful and very structured and progressive with my recovery. Slow and steady is absolutely what is needed for me and my body. Physically and mentally my mind and body have been through the wars. And my body has needed REST and a chance to do some internal repair on its own.-mind, body and soul without the additional stressors….Irrespective of my birth experience, I also DECIDED that the 4th trimester was something again that I wanted to immerse into, to truly soak in the time with my newborn and my family…time I’ll never get back, time to bond, time to find our groove. And without the added pressure or ‘postpartum bounce back’ that seems to be on the trend which I refuse to enter into….
Project ‘get my body back’, and some rapid postpartum mum bod has been so far out of my priorities it is not funny. That may seem interesting for someone whose life is revolved so heavily around health and fitness…(if your new to my page you may not know that I have a background in personal training, group coaching, have my online coaching and mentoring business, published fitness modelling and heavily involved in this industry) BUT and that’s not to say others that return sooner are doing the wrong thing, I would hope we are all guided by the professional advice and pave our own path unique to our journey, but what I am saying is this is MY journey and my decision making and SLOW RETURN is and has been my PRIORITY.
But THIS to me is HEALTH! Its looking after ME in all life pillars- the physical sense, the emotional sense etc etc. I have had times where I’ve wanted to get back into it. Let’s not lie. BUT it was in those moments I reminded myself of THIS. Newborn life is fleeting and Ive focused my time and energy into my baby, my family and my WELLBEING OVERALL and gentle walks with Beckham a couple of days a week and that is it, focusing on nutrition especially when a prep baby is exclusively breastfed and that is my HEALTH, my body right now is still an extension to someone else aka BABY BECKS and will be for a while. These decisions have been easy to make-especially when it involves a MIRACLE baby that was born prematurely after a traumatic birth and him being in hospital in special care for the first few weeks of his life and heck a whirlwind pregnancy with trials along the way from the get-go, trust me when I say that we were a bees dick away from our birth being the catastrophic WORST day of our lives with the outcome being potentially VERY different…now as a result; my core and abdominals have needed and will be needing progressive rehab work just like anyone would need to; but perhaps on a grander scale due to what occurred that day. Which i too have been and will continue to be working on. My c-section fortunately and unfortunately had to be rapid, had to be severe, had to be rough and was complicated to say the VERY least. What happened had to happen in order to BRING our baby out alive.
Someone doesn’t recover from birth trauma overnight. Im a resiliant person but Im not immune from that- it rocked me and Dane too- because our birthing partners experience it too lets not forget them. And it still does. It takes time. And I work on that in various ways everyday. We are appreciative and grateful with what eventuated in the end but it was a harrowing experience that perhaps I’ll share one day.
In a nutshell, taking this time slow but smart, meticulous and planned, progressive in nature and ensuring reassessment on all fonts along the way, but more importantly being discerning of where I focus my time and energy while I recover has been my priority. I know where my body ‘can go’, what it ‘can’ look like, what it is ‘capable’ of doing and achieving. But doing that in record time would be foolish and detrimental long term. Pregnancy and birth is short term, my postpartum is FOREVER. AND I choose to honour and look after that!!!!!
I’m 4 months postpartum this weekend. I now move into a new phase of my rehab. Take note, in my opinion I started rehab day 1- it just looks different which is MY VARIATION OF NORMAL. And being in a ‘gym’ hasn’t been part of it until now. 4 months postpartum now involves a progressive program that I have taken time to develop with so much intention and will be assessing as I go, and with the necessary health professional checks and advice along the way with a women’s health physiology which also will be ongoing! This new phase isn’t some crazy step up, its simply simply the next part of my progressive step in my current rehab and restrengthening this mind and body. The bi-product of all of this of course will be some aesthetic change but again the focus isn’t that solely!! Im excited to be entering this phase and Ill be sharing it with you and I hope my journey will and can inspire others to also LOOK AFTER AND TAKE MUCH CARE IN THEIR POSTPARTUM JOURNEY……”
*Nadine has released her birth story on Dear Mama Project Podcast if you are interested in hearing more.
How Can You Make The Most Of Your Time?
Mindfulness. Being present in the immediate. Slowing thoughts, breath and body to feel into all that is right now. This blissful, calm state is one that we’d all love in our classrooms a little more often, right? Incorporating mindfulness activities into your daily routine. Itis one way to incite this kind of calm.
Really read story time – unlike a sitting meditation, mindfulness can be done whilst you are doing anything, it’s just about being totally focussed on the task at hand. Reading the bedtime story is a great one. So many of us are reading the story on autopilot with our minds in our inbox, or planning dinner. Next time you read The Gruffalo, try totally focussing on the words, the images, the story. You might even get into it.
Don’t forget the endless benefits of mindfulness for Mums. Mindfulness training can help reduce symptoms of postpartum depression. According to Gannon, meditation can also help new mothers navigate feelings of uncertainty, cope with the stress of parenting, and even increase lactogenesis (a fancy word for “produce milk”) in mothers who are breastfeeding.
So why not stop and READ a book to your kids tonight!
Why HIIT Is A Great Option For Time Poor Mums
How would you feel if I told you, that you could do a 15 minute workout anywhere at any time at any stage of your fitness journey that could burn a large amount of calories and did not require equipment?
Well the training method called HIIT offers you exactly all of that.
Hiit Style training is a great introduction if your looking to come back into fitness or it’s a great challenge if you’re a seasoned exerciser.
Here are the benefits of Hiit Style Training –
I have put them in order of what I know are the biggest concerns mum's have when thinking about Hiit Style training -
1 – I’m not fit enough to do Hiit
Perfect for all fitness levels.
If you’re a mum and you're just thinking about where to start with the whole exercising thing as you want to start feeling good again, Hiit training can help. You start with a 15 minute workout and you will notice in a short amount of time you can increase the length of these.
HIIT workouts offer experienced or fit gym goers a new challenge, and beginners a quicker way to see results. You are constantly pushing yourself out of your comfort zone with the shortened rest phases.
2- I don’t want to train at a gym
You can do it anywhere
HIIT is such a simple concept of work phase and rest phase, you can take it anywhere with you – to the kids park, the gym floor, the beach, your lounge room or a hotel room on holiday. And you can choose the exercises that you have enough space to complete!
3 - I have no time to think about exercising even though I know I should
HIIT is great if you have a limited amount of time to work out. You don’t need to spend hours in the gym to reap the benefits of regular exercise and Hiit helps play a huge part in this.
- 4. I don’t own any equipment
No equipment required
HIIT workouts are so great as no equipment is required. All you need is a little bit of space. HIIT workouts can focus just your own body weight, so any workout that gets your heart rate up quickly such as plyometric, high knees, and jumping jacks can be implemented into a HIIT workout. particular muscle group – and of course if you have any injures regressions of all movements are available and still great to use.
5.. Will this help me lose this baby weight
Burns calories and helps with fat loss
The harder you exercise the harder your body has to work to fire up those muscles. Hiit is challenging for the body as you are pushing yourself through each working phase.
6 . I am more interested in making sure I can run with my kids
Great for cardio conditioning
During the high intensity periods (working phase) of exercise, HIIT takes you into an anaerobic training zone (where your body's demand for oxygen exceeds the oxygen supply available).
With consistent training in this zone, you will be able to out run your kids and be able to show them up in no time.
Article written by Cass Wilson, Mum of two who runs and co-owns HIIT That Group Fitness in Perth.
She is on a mission to help women to take better care of their bodies, and give them the confidence to get stronger both physically and mentally as their embark on their journey as a new mum. She has a special interest in pre and postnatal woman and is passionate about educating them on how to lift weights and exercise correctly,