Fitness Tips For Your Third Trimester

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

It is safe to work out daily during pregnancy, but you should always get approval from your doctor before starting a fitness plan, as I am not a doctor & these are my own personal workouts. After 20 weeks you should avoid doing exercises on your back. Make sure to intake the extra 300 calories per day required. Monitor your heart rate & exercise intensity. Exerting yourself moves blood to your muscles and skin and may move less to your uterus. If exercise is too strenuous, there is a risk that less oxygen will reach the baby. Per usual make sure you are stopping for frequent water breaks & ASK FOR MODIFICATIONS if needed.
If you are still working out by this point in pregnancy, consider yourself a certified badass. Therefore, I will keep these workouts short & simple. There are numerous benefits to working out throughout your entire pregnancy, not just the beginning.  
Helps to sustain energy levels
Aids digestion
  Preparation for labor 
Helps you sleep better (trying to sleep is a shit show for me. period.)
lifts your spirits
helps get your pre baby body back faster
So why not? Please remember this is not a time to try & lose weight. If you haven't figured it out by now, that shit doesn't work. This is a time to maintain a healthy lifestyle for your about to fall out growing little babe.
The following are some of my quick & easy go to workouts during my third trimester. They run about 25 minutes. Just enough time for baby daddy to go pick you up a chipotle burrito snack.

Breastfeeding a Preemie

Monday, April 15, 2013

Breastfeeding & natural childbirth are two things that I have been hell-bent on since before I even became pregnant. Well since natural childbirth didn't work out for me this time, due to pregnancy complications, I was more than determined to succeed at breastfeeding. You can read Kirby's birth story here. Let me tell you, it takes some serious dedication to breastfeed a preemie. Now it definitely wasn't anything that I couldn't handle, but lets just say I can see how people give up, so basically just know that you are a certified bad ass for even attempting it.  

First things first; I am not sure if it was the lack of sleep & overwhelming emotions of childbirth however; I never attempted to breastfeed Kirby until about an hour or more (timing is still a little hazy) after birth. They say baby is most alert during the first hour after delivery; I really wish I would have taken advantage & is one thing I do regret not doing. She was placed on my chest immediately after delivery & I am just not sure why I didn't think to attempt to feed her nor did anyone suggest it. When we finally got around to it Kirby didn't even attempt to latch. Not like we just had trouble getting a good latch this girl just wouldn't even try it! The lactation consultant came in & showed me how to manually express the colostrum & put it to her lips which she would then swallow, but still would not latch! This totally stressed me out because she did not nurse at all during the first 24 hours. We still tried every 2 hours & I was pumping & producing colostrum. I would get about 30ml (one ounce) & we would attempt to nurse & then we would manually "finger feed" her. They called it triple feeding, which was completely exhausting since we literally hadn't slept in 24 hours.
Our feeding schedule looked like this:
Attempt for Kirby to latch for about 10 minutes
Pump for 20 minutes (both breasts at once)
Finger or spoon feed her the colostrum
Clean the pump parts
& try to get some sleep before we had to get up again (we were waking her every 2 hours)
Also keep in mind that they count the every two hours from when you start the feeding process, not after she finished eating, so I literally got maybe an hour of sleep between feedings. 

That evening when the nurses had shift change we got Yolanda (my favorite). Everyone had been advising me not to use the nipple shield & Yolanda simply said that I should try it. I mean wouldn't we rather have her attempting to eat than to not at all? I totally agreed & even though I had brought some just in case I ended up preferring the hospital's (Medela brand). She was such an extremely sleepy baby from being born a month early that in order to get her to suckle, I had to physically put something in her mouth & I'll be damned if it was going to be a bottle. So let me tell you the nipple shield is what saved our nursing relationship. You just have to do what works for you. My biggest problem was taking every single bit of advice from everyone who walked in our room. I mean once I finally got her eating a different nurse, or pediatrician, or lactation consultant would stress me out all over again trying to get her to nurse with out the shield. Finally we just decided that this is what she & I both needed in order for her to nurse until she became a little more alert & was able to recognize the task at hand. Listen to your gut, which is so hard when your mind is so clouded & you just want to cling to everything everyone is saying in hopes that one of them will have the right answer. You have to do what is right for you & your baby. Don't loose sight on what is important here & creating that intimate bond with your baby, I feel like in the midst of things I sort of lost sight of that.

The entire time that you use a nipple shield you have to pump after every feeding in order to fully stimulate milk production so that your supply does not suffer. Which is tough when you are BEYOND exhausted. Meaning you have to;
Nurse with the shield 20 sometimes 30 minutes
Pump 20 minutes
Go store the milk that you pumped
Wash the parts & the nipple shield for the next feeding
Repeat in about an hour.
Talk about wanting to run your head through a brick wall. Now yes that is all completely doable; tiring but doable. However to top it all off with Kirby being a preemie that means she was a VERY & I mean VERY sleepy nurser. So it would worry me if she was even eating enough because it was so hard to keep her awake. I would say that was the most stressful part of the entire experience. I would literally undress her down to her diaper, change her diaper, wipe her forehead with a washcloth & that may only get me one minute of actual suckling. Then you add to that, my breasts are completely engorged with milk which fills up the shield with milk faster than she can drink it. Half the time the shield slides around and ends up spilling all over us! I can't tell you how many hours I spent contemplating throwing my pump out the window, taking some scissors to my nippe shield & feeding her a bottle with the millions of ounces of pumped milk I had accrued, but I was too afraid that if she found out it could be that easy that I may never get her onto the boob, let alone with out a shield!

I kept pushing and as the first two weeks went by I was able to get her to nurse more & more. She was born at 6lbs 8oz and left the hospital at 5lbs 14oz & by her 2 week appointment she was just slightly over her birth weight which was what we had to meet in order for me to continue breastfeeding without supplementation (being a bottle of pumped breast milk). She was fully weaned from the nipple shield two days after her 2 week appointment. I read online for some advice on weaning from nipple shields & a lot of the women I saw did it gradually as to not stress mom or baby & used the shield for months. It was recommended to start by doing one feeding per day without the shield & then to only use the shield over night (when mom is more prone to frustration) until baby has mastered the boob. I just couldn't do it; I grew to loathe pumping, as in I wanted to manually destroy my pump & never hear the daunting "nipple, nipple, nipple" or to my mom "breast pump, breast pump, breast pump" sound that it made for what felt like 24 hours a day. I was just not getting enough sleep by the time I pumped & cleaned everything & got her situated my alarm was nearly going off already (I had to set alarms for her to eat every 2-3 hours during the day & 3-4 at night). If I would have let her that girl would have slept for days I am sure of it. On top of that Brian was living in California & doing it alone made it even harder to not just give in & make it easier on myself.
So the day after our two week appointment, with conformation that I was doing alright & she was gaining weight I got the boost of confidence that I needed to attempt not using the shield. The two week mark was the first time when I finally saw some light at the end of the tunnel. I knew that we would be able to do it. It was really tough the first few times & so frustrating that I would have to step back & put the shield back on so I wouldn't completely break down. Then I started pumping (with my little hand pump) about an ounce or so out of each breast so that she was able to latch a little easier (my breast would be super hard & engorged before a feeding so it was hard for her to grip my skin/nipple). That would also help to extend my nipple & she was able to latch easier. The trouble would come about 5 minutes into the feeding where she would get so tired that she would revert back to just wanting something stuck in her mouth rather than doing the work herself. So I wound up undressing her for a majority of her feedings & wiping her forehead with a baby wipe when she would fall asleep, it was the only thing that worked, I hated it, it made me feel so sad to have to do that to her. Switching positions into the football hold vs the craddle hold helped sometimes too. The first night without the shield was very frustrating, I attempted going without it for every feeding, but on the verge of tears of frustration I would put the shield back on I was just too exhausted to fumble with it when I knew I still had to pump & clean & go down stairs to store the expressed milk before I could close my eyes. By the second day of nipple shield weaning she was taking every feeding without the shield throughout the day. So I told myself that I would not give in that night & to reward myself I was not going to pump overnight either. I succeeded & it felt amazing, so I never looked back.
There were times when I wanted to use the shield, but it would have just become a crutch for the both of us & with my burning desire to quit pumping & get some more rest I didn't allow myself to use it ever again. I called the lactation consultant & asked if I would be able to completely stop pumping. I had so much milk stored up & I was so tired of pumping that I just didn't want to for a while. I feared it would throw my supply into shock since I wasn't going to be demanding as much milk, but they said I should be fine & if I felt like it was getting low to just begin pumping again. I stopped pumping completely & I never had any issues with supply at all. I didn't pump again until 3 months later & I had no issues pumping nearly 5oz after our first morning feeding so that I could stock up just in case since frozen milk only lasts three months (so I have read/heard) I wanted to be sure & have some for her if I needed it.

Now that we were able to nurse without a shield, I felt like there was only one obstacle to over come. Which was the general commitment it was going to take to breastfeed. I mean for the first month at least we had marathon nursing sessions. Kirby would nurse up to an hour at a time, every time. As soon as she really got the nursing thing down & started gaining more weight her energy began to increase & she began to wake herself to eat. That was another obstacle I was so relieved to overcome. Waking up to my baby instead of an alarm every two hours is so much more peaceful! Especially since Kirby doesn't cry to wake me up she just makes little grunting noises & I am right up. I would say after we got through the six week growth spurt (which was nursing every 45 minutes for about 45 minutes) our nursing relationship became easy. I made myself a nursing cover (which I will post the tutorial for) & I was able to nurse anytime any place, no making/warming bottles & no cleaning pump parts or bottles. This is when I began to realize that not only am I benefiting Kirby, but I am making my life ten times easier, which is always great, right?

I highly recommend taking it day by day & really fighting through the struggles because it is truly worth it in the end. The biggest thing that I see mommas struggle with is they worry that their milk supply is low. Because their boobs don't feel full or baby is grunting & pulling at the nipple & doesn't seem satisfied, or you aren't able to pump enough if any. Trust me your supply is not low, it is extremely rare that a women does not produce enough milk for her child, it is the blind feeding that makes us second guess ourselves since everything is all about ounces. I experienced all of that & my supply was never truly low. Also people feel like their milk never comes in, however that is the most difficult part about breast feeding, you don't know how much your baby is getting & some people don't produce for a pump, but can successfully breast feed. You have to believe that your body can do it & you have to really commit to doing it. They go through growth spurts where it feels like they are sucking you dry & when in reality that is what they have to do in order for you body to produce more (it is all about supply & demand). The biggest mistake is when you begin supplementing because you fear that you're not feeding your baby enough, which is one of the greatest fears of a nursing mother since you never truly know how much you are feeding your baby, it completely blind faith. If you do have to supplement you have to pump for 20 minutes in its place. If you skip a pumping session to supplement then your body doesn't know to create that milk & thinks baby is not in need of that feeding & in return doesn't produce that milk. Another thing my lactation consultant said was that as long as her blood sugar wasn't low she was fine, all babies lose weight in the first day or two.  

For those of you wondering if my nipples were ever cracked & sore, they never were. Maybe it was all the pumping and the nipple shield that toughened them, but that was one thing that I never had issues with, thank goodness!
That's my story from the beginning, sorry for the long winded post, but I hope it was helpful to some & maybe some good preparation for those of you who want to breastfeed. Please let me know if you have any questions & I would love to hear some of your experiences with breastfeeding. You can take a look at our breastfeeding journey update here.

Nutrition Tips for your Third Trimester

Saturday, April 6, 2013

I am not a nutritionist & all of the information I am providing is from my own personal research & should never substitute what is recommended by your doctor. Remember you should always consult with a doctor before starting any nutrition plan.

In addition to your prenatals the following are important vitamins & nutrients that are valuable specifically to your third trimester...

Vitamin C; protects cells against damage & keeps the immune system in good shape. Vitamin C also plays a role in the functioning of the placenta. Following are some quick snacks that are high in Vitamin C...
  • Strawberry 
  • Kiwi 
  • Oranges 
  • Broccoli 
  • Cauliflower
  • Red Pepper
Thiamin helps to release energy from foods, which is very important during the last trimester when your energy levels are dropping again like in the first.
  • Pork
  • beans
  • brown rice
  • green veggies
Another common issue in the third trimester is constipation because the growing baby squashes intestines. Plenty of fibre & LOTS of water are your best defense against this frustrating side effect. Carrying a tumbler full of water was the easiest & most convenient way for me to maintain proper hydration.
  • 64 ounces of water per day
  • whole grain cereal, brown rice, cucumbers, tomatoes & zucchini are all great sources of insoluble fibre (which is the type of fibre that does not dissolve in water & helps move bulk through the intestines).

Month Eight Favorites

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tommee Tippee Bibs- These bibs are great for when you begin finger foods & they make for an easy clean up. Otherwise my little chick ends up with a million pieces of food in her lap & a stained outfit every time. 
Organic Puffs- Besides my obvious love of organic, she loves these. I was so afraid to give them to her at first, but she did great & they practically dissolve after two good chomps. We will continue to use these until she masters feeding herself, they are super easy to pick up. She still likes me to feed her most of her foods, even though we are basically fully transitioned to finger foods.
Wooden Walker- We actually purchased a different wooden walker that was recalled because the wheels fall off & they have tiny pieces. Well whaddya know, our wheels are sitting on my laundry room shelf at this very moment. I plan on taking it back to the store & ordering this one as its replacement. However, she loves her walker. She doesn't pull up yet so it is definitely a little advanced for her, but she loves to play with all of the parts & pieces while it is turned on its side.
Organic Baby Mum Mums- This was the very first food that we let Kirby try. She did wonderful, it made me nervous when she would bite of a big chunk, but I just took it away & gave her the bigger piece & she would just nibble on it until it dissolved in her mouth. I kept giving her sips of water from her sippy in between so that it kept her mouth from getting dry. 
Squeeze Blocks- Kirby loves to chew on squeeze these sweet little blocks. The bag was definitely her favorite part so we had to take that away. But you better believe she has one in her hand at all times. She loves to knock them over help me stack them.  
Baby Doll- Hands down one of her favorite toys at the moment, she is such a girl. This isn't the exact one that Kirby has, but she LOVES her baby doll. Kirby gets the biggest kick out of us making the baby dance. I swear she has said baby twice!  

8 months

Monday, February 18, 2013

8 months
Won't know until 9 month well check, but she is in the 9-12 month range for clothing.
{Diaper Size}
Still size 4 overnight diapers & 3 cruisers in the day, we have used Pampers from day one.
Still nursing on demand, maintaining the previous schedule I posted on the 7 month update & doing great with solids. She is a very impatient eater she says mmmm & bangs her hands the entire time, we can barely eat ourselves. We have added a few new foods; kombacha squash, green beans, yellow squash, spinach, cantaloupe & kiwi. We also have started a few table foods this month. I started with the baby mum mums & it was a success.
Then I boiled the shit out of some broccoli, she wouldn't even pick it up because it just crumbled, but when I fed it to her she loved it. We are giving her either boiled sweet potato or boiled broccoli along with her purees to get the table foods started. She has yet to feed herself, she still wants us to put it in her mouth for her...Lazy Sue!
Still running on E for this momma. I am so ready for this wild woman to sleep through the night! We are up to nurse around 12 or 1 & then again at 4 or 5 & occasionally depending on how teething is going it can be more.
{Favorite words/sounds}
Still says mama & everything is baba. However, she is putting more syllables together (mi mi, be be, di di & gu gu but no dada yet). I think her first word will be soon other than mama or dada, I swear she has already said baby twice, but hasn't done it again so I can't say for sure. Says mommy sometimes, but it sounds more like ma mi. She is very close to saying hi & dada.
{Favorite Toy}
She loves her imaginarium wooden activity walker, however it was recalled because the front wheels come off & ours did, thank goodness she didn't grab any of the small parts.
 & of course anything that isn't hers to play with, including my lens cover (as you can tell my pictures have gotten much more clear), all of my previous ones were taken on my shitty iPhone3 & it drives me crazy looking at the poor quality of them!
She loves playing copy cat, blowing air in and out of her nose & making Indian noises with our hands. I swear she cracks herself up. Loves drinking water from her straw sippies.
{Not so much}
{Signature moves}
Her new goofy smile, looks a little something like this, it is my all time favorite face that she makes.
& this smile melts my heart as well.
She is wiggling & dancing now too, she is such a ham.  
Any rendition of Sue that comes out of our mouths at the given moment.
Started pushing  her self backwards.
Starting to try & pull knees under to crawl.
Started giving open mouthed kisses, swoon
Figured out how to push the button to turn her elephant toy on.
Figured out how to scream extra loud & loves it.
Is rolling & moving a lot more has become much more independent & entertaining herself for longer periods of time.
She actually maneuvered herself/army crawled over to my foam roller that I had out, but she hasn't done it since.
We went through the process of cutting her top two teeth this month, those teeth could have been the death of me. She had such a tough time with them & that left one actually popped up & went back down before cutting through. Hylands Teething Tablets were great, but her favorite thing to soothe was a breast milk bag that I filled with ice one night, she wouldn't let it leave her hands or her mouth. 
Started pulling up onto her activity cube & high chair while sitting in my lap. Every time she did it, she would look over at us & smile waiting for us to clap & say yay!
We wished Kirby's Pow Pow a Happy Birthday!
 & my granny, Kirby's GG!
We celebrated my 22nd at home, quietly this year & it was my first birthday to celebrate with my girl, I couldn't have asked for more
Shopping & trying different things on my Silly Sue is a favorite adventure for the both of us!

Swinging at Landa Park is Kirby's absolute favorite & I love doing quick workouts at the park while she plays on the blanket.

 & she'll leave you with a smile.

Month Seven Favorites

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Aden & Anais Security Blankets- Kirby really loved her lovey blanket/toy but I was too paranoid to put a non breathable blanket in bed with her. So we opted for these 100% muslin breathable blankies to stand in as cuddle buddies instead. Apparently Kirby has a thing for giraffes.
Sophie the Giraffe Teether- I wish I would have purchased her sooner, we all know of my love of all natural products & Sophie is just that. Plus she has such a soothing texture for a teething babe & the fact that she squeaks just sends her cuteness over the edge.
Ten Little Lady Bugs- This book has made it to the tippy top of our reading list this month. I am a sucker for anything educational & this sweet little book's focus is reverse counting. The best part being that the lady bugs are raised & Kirby loves to touch them as we count.
Piggy Paint- Obviously you know my first answer is going to be the all natural aspect, however painted chubby baby toes? Is there anything cuter? Kirby got her first Piggy Paint pedicure this month. I squeezed it in while dad was feeding her dinner. To my surprise they dried quickly & stayed on quite well.
Papillon Baby Bath Ring- Seriously the cutest bath seat I have laid eyes on. The soft material makes it safe & easy for her to move around & reach for toys freely. The best part is, to wash her hiney & rinse her hair all we have to do is lean her back & rest her head on one of the little edges & she loves it.
Swing- So this swing was supposed to be a Christmas present, but we I opened it on her 7 month birthday instead (the weather was just too perfect). She had a blast & it put her right to sleep, while she was still in the swing, it was too funny. It is the perfect cure to a restless babe & a great way to get some much needed sunshine & Vitamin D.
Boon Bath Toys- She loves chewing on playing with these little foam shapes & the ducks were just too cute to pass up. I love watching her chase them around with her little hands in attempts to scoop one up.
Crinkly Giraffe- We scooped up this little guy as a last minute stocking stuffer & little did we know he would be another favorite car seat friend (we love those). He makes crinkly sounds when you grab him, which is entertainment enough in itself & the grooved feet are a favorite of Kirby's to chew on.     

7 months

Friday, January 18, 2013

7 months
We won't have a doctors apt. until her 9 month well check, but her sizes range between 9 & 12 months.
{Diaper size}
We have moved up to size 4 night time diapers, but still size 3 cruisers during the day.
Still nursing on demand, but our feeding schedule & schedule in general has pretty much worked itself into this. It is not something I set or strictly enforce (besides bath time & bedtime being regular) it has sort of just begun to repeat itself daily.
{Daily Schedule}
wake & nurse
Breakfast; fruit with oatmeal & some sips of water.
 nurse & nap
wake & nurse
Lunch; veggie & some sips of water
nurse & nap
wake & play
Dinner; fruit & veggie with oatmeal & some sips of water
bath time
books, nurse & bed
Here is the list of the go to foods that I make for now. Everything is organic. Butternut squash, acorn squash, zucchini, blueberries with plain Greek yogurt, broccoli, cauliflower, pears, apples, mangoes, (bananas are a no go they stop her up, too bad because she loves them) prunes, red bell pepper & sugar snap peas so far. She is a great eater & is always leery of a new flavor & stares that shit down until she is cross eyed following it all the way to her mouth, but enjoys everything that I make for her.
Not sleeping through the night at all! One night this month she was up every 30 minutes to nurse for about 2 hours & then up every 2 hours after that. If I am lucky it's only twice a night (midnight & around 4 or so then up at 7) but typically it's still every 2-3 hours! She loves sleeping in her swing, she still takes every nap in her swing since she was a newborn.
{Favorite words/sounds}
Loves to talk & is really jabbering & putting syllables together. Says mama when asked & when she wants me. Still working on dada.
{Favorite toy}
She really loves digging through them all, but she favors this little crinkly giraffe that we happen to put in her stocking, he comes with us everywhere & Sophie is one of her favorites too, I regret not getting her sooner. Those are our go to's when choosing what to throw in the car seat with her before we head out the door.
Her boyfriend Caden is another one of her favorite toys, I swear she thinks he is a real live baby doll & goes straight for his eyes every time. Half the time we are around him Kirby scares the shit out of him, because lets just say Kirby & I are both far from soft spoken.
Being around people & just people watching in general is one of her favorite things to do. She is such a social baby, she will go to anyone & does really well in large groups. She loves food, she says Mmm constantly while she is eating. Loves playing with her toys. Loves her swing, I can't get her to take naps without it, not sure what we are going to do when she grows out of it! We intended on giving her this outdoor swing for Christmas, but we opened it early on her 7 month Birthday & she loves it, we I couldn't keep a surprise to save my life.
She really enjoys reading books before bedtime, she still tries to eat them, but she is getting better & better, she knows it's time to read after she takes a bath & gets ready for bed.
If you can drink from it she loves it, she especially loves drinking Red Bulls with dada. Don't worry it isn't open.
But I would say her absolute most favorite thing to do is watch Yo Gabba Gabba on YouTube whenever she can convince us to let her do so. It's the only thing that doesn't go directly into her mouth surprisingly.
Bath time with her new bath seat, this thing is the shit & not to mention the cutest bath seat I have laid eyes on! Being able to sit up & play freely makes bath time that much more fun!
& finally kisses & hugs are on the very top of this sweet girls list. A girl after my own heart, I couldn't love her more.
{Not so much}
She is truly such a laid back baby. Everyone that meets her says the same however, she dislikes everything when she wants to nurse.
Any form of Sue. Kirby Sue, Sue Sue, Baby Sue, Sue Rainey, Lazy Sue, you get the gist. 
{Signature moves}
Nothing really new on this one, just her usual shenanigans. Still loves blowing air in & out of her nose like she is mad or something!
Finally has her two bottom teeth, she cut them both at the same time, I think that is what was going on with the up every 30 minutes to nurse during the night. Sitting up really well, it is very rare that she falls over anymore. She really isn't even close to crawling at all, she doesn't even attempt it. I was the same way, I didn't crawl until 9 months, but I was an early talker, so we will see! Rolls both ways now. Plays well independently. Takes a few steps while holding onto our hands, but we have to coax her, she doesn't do it on her own. We have such a lazy Sue on our hands! She loves doing the "ow ow ow!" Indian call when we pat our hands or the back of her own over her mouth. We have officially mastered the straw, she has always refused a bottle so we went straight to the sippy cup. I always get asked how I got her to drink from a straw so let me share. I started by giving her sips of water through my straws by blocking one end with my finger & dispensing it into her mouth, she loved it. Then after a while she just started sucking on it to get more. So I decided to give her one of the sippies with a straw. Sometimes she would still look at me like what the hell is this mom? So I would simply unscrew the lid & do as I usually did & let her suck from the bottom to remind her & then screw the lid back on & she would suck from it. We went from there. We never did juice or anything & I don't plan to, she genuinely loves water, I feel it is just unnecessary sugar & she gets what she needs from raw fruits anyways.
We went out & met up with a few of the girls from the old boxing gym. I always love an excuse to show off our girl.
Kirby loves going out to eat, I have said it once I could say it a million times, this girl loves to people watch. Of course we pack her food when we go, we have not started any table foods yet.
Kirby got her first piggy paint pedicure. Chubby red baby toes, yes I died of cuteness.
& I will leave you with this little gem we caught on film the other day when she got into her swing for the first time.

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