Dealing with congestion when you’re pregnant or breastfeeding

nasopureHaving a bad cold when you’re pregnant or breastfeeding really sucks because you’re not really supposed to take cold medicine or decongestant. You especially shouldn’t take decongestant if you are breastfeeding because it will likely lower your supply. Well, this week I finally got nailed by one of Bailey’s take home viruses from daycare and my head is full of snot! It aches with sinus congestion and I’m still breastfeeding so what do I do?? And then I suddenly remembered my Nasopure. This thing is a miracle worker, and it’s great for everybody. My brother in law Brian uses something similar every day to combat allergies. When I was in my third trimester of pregnancy I used it almost daily because I was so congested. It made me feel so much better even if it didn’t stop my pregnancy induced snoring (likely that went away pretty much as soon as the baby came out!)

If you’ve never tried a Nasopure, NeilMed sinus rinse or a Netipot, it will look really weird and probably seem kind of gross, but, it is a non-medicated way to help relieve congestion due to allergies, colds and other sinus problems. I really think you should give it a try or at least watch a youtube video on how it works 🙂 After one rinse this morning, a giant gob of mucus came out of my nose and I felt instantly better. The pressure across my face was gone and I could breathe through my nose again. You can bet I’ll be using this once or twice a day until this cold has run its course.

p.s. the last two mornings, we’ve asked Bailey to pick out his socks when we get him dressed and he responds by crawling over to his sock basket and picking out a pair.

p.p.s Lee wanted to make sure I mentioned in this post that Bailey is a genius. He’s a genius! That is all.

 

The ShortList of my online and printed mommyhood lifelines!

My husband commented that I’m on my smartphone a lot more these days, and he’s right. I think I check my online forums at least three times a day. You never know when you’ll read a tidbit of wisdom. So for those of you out there who feel a little lost right now about something going on with your baby or something happening postpartum…. I have to share my mommyhood lifelines. There is so much support out there is you find the right places!

My go-to online resources are:

My Birth Club on babycenter.com: I’ve heard that my birthclub (March 2012) is full of expecially helpful FTMs and BTDT moms. Sometimes, people from other birthclubs/forums will actually post to mine because we are such a responsive, supportive group of parents. I can’t even say moms because there are actually a number of dads on the forum as well. I follow my birthclub because 1) I can see when new milestones, sleep hurdles, etc. are coming soon from watching the moms with older “Marchies” posting in a panic. For example, around 4-6 months of age, sleep starts changing for a lot of babies, and sure enough, during June-July, the forum was flooded with “help! my baby won’t nap anymore…” threads. The current thread du jour is about solids and constipation. I read those avidly to learn tips like give your baby foods that begin with “p”‘ cuz those foods help them poo…pears, prunes, peaches, etc. Learn something new every day 🙂 Doesn’t matter what you’re dealing with, if you post on my birthclub, someone else has experienced it too. Anything from baby questions, pregnancy questions, postpartum questions and even OT (off-topic) stuff like sex and job interviews (typically not in the same thread mind you! We’re not that kind of club!)

www.babywhisperforums.com is my next favorite online resources. These ladies are serious devotees of Tracy Hogg, the Baby Whisperer. I’ll be honest. I read her book a few times and it didn’t sink in or help me out much, but this forum is awesome! There are several different boards including breastfeeding, bottle feeding, EASY sleep schedules, Naps, Night Wakings, etc. And what I love about this forum is that you can post your baby’s schedule or issue and there are moderators who will respond with suggestions on how to tweak your schedule to solve whatever issue you are dealing with. You do need to know what an EASY schedule is, but once you’ve figured that out, these ladies are very responsive and supportive. It’s also a great website to search although the actual search function on the site is broken, so you have to do google searchs. Just type in the phrase you are thinking of and add babywhisperforums to the phrase.

My go-to books:

Healthy sleep habits, Healthy Child by Mark Weissbluth. I read parts of this book at least once month. It’s amazing how quickly a baby’s sleep schedule changes in the first year of life. We’ve gone from napping on demand/on the go to napping three times a day to now two. And at some point in the next three months we’ll probably be down to one nap! We’ve also gone from a 10:30 bedtime to 8pm to currently 6-6:30. Crazy right? But it’s all in the hopes of maintaining the “perfect night”. What we mommies calling SSTN (sleeping through the night). We are obsessed with this idea and personally, I will do whatever it takes to get as many of those nights as possible. Cuz hell, even when we have those nights, I’m still getting up at 6 or 7 in the morning. And I used to get up at 9-10. Sigh. Anyway, I’ve read Ferber, Hogg, the sleep shuffle lady, the no cry sleep solution lady and in the end Weissbluth is my dude.

The Wonder Weeks: You can also get a decent amount of information online about the Wonder Weeks. This little gem helps predict when your baby will go through developmental milestones and how to help them develop these new skills more quickly.  Here’s a tantalizing excerpt: It’s not your imagination– all babies go through a difficult period around the same age. Research has shown that babies make 10 major, predictable, age-linked changes – or leaps – during their first 20 months of their lives.  During this time, they will learn more than in any other time.  With each leap comes a drastic change in your baby’s mental development, which affects not only his mood, but also his health, intelligence, sleeping patterns and the “three C’s” (crying, clinging and crankiness). Read more. It’s real people. I’m a believer!

 

 

c-section scar tips and more – help spread the word!

Yesterday I took a class about how to strengthen your core after having a baby. There was one really interesting section on dealing with issues after having had a c-section. While I did not have a c-section, I thought this was worth mentioning in case any of my mama-friends that have had c-sections didn’t know about this.

So, apparently, the incision for a c-section (which is a major abdominal surgery) is very close to the bladder. Once you have healed, you will have a scar and it takes time (even many years) for the scar tissue to relearn how to lay properly. Sometimes, when it doesn’t lay properly, the impacted uterine muscle and other abdominal muscles don’t function as well as they used to. This can cause bladder issues – the bladder feels like it’s full before it actual becomes full because the c-section scar prevents your muscles from stretching and moving naturally as your bladder fills up. I think I explained that semi-correctly. Anyway, the point is that you may want to do some c-section scar massage on yourself.

Lynn Leech, the PT that taught this class has a youtube video showing you how to do it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=he_YB9e__rQ

So spread the word in case you know a mama who has residual problems and has not been able to get help. You can get better!

p.s. you can also have residual problems with scar tissue from if you tore during a vaginal delivery. This gets a little more intimate, but you can also do scar tissue massage to improve the elasticity of those muscles – this can help mitigate pain during intercourse postpartum especially if it seems like the pain never seems to improve after you have had a little one. Try to find a physical therapist in your area that does intravaginal pelvic work. Crazy right? but you also had a human being come out of your hoohaw…it’s be almost as worth it and a lot less painful, I promise.

I can’t believe it’s not spinach artichoke dip

The remnants of my vegan spinach artichoke dip

Actually, it was spinach artichoke dip but it was vegan which meant it was gluten free and dairy free. And, it was actually delicious. It was mostly gobbled down before I could even get a picture.

A few weeks ago, I attended a going away party for someone at work and narrowly avoided the awesome looking (dairy-full) spinach artichoke dip there. But the image and smell of that dip was stuck in my brain. I decided that I had to experiment with a dairy free version of my own. And I knew the perfect venue for said experiment. That Saturday, I was attending a Bradley method class reunion party and multiple people attending have similar food sensitivities.

The recipe was pretty straight forward and I boldly made it an hour before the party which meant it was going no matter how it tasted. Before I could even explain to people what it was, about half of it was gone. My dairy free friends were sadly eying the dip. I must have looked just like that at the previous party I attended. I quickly told them it was safe to eat and multiple sets of eyes lit up with excitement. The dip was a total success. In addition to being dairy free and gluten free, it’s completely vegan and probably a lot more healthy than the original version.

This gets filed away into my 30 minutes or less recipe folder of deliciousness!

http://www.food.com/recipe/yummy-vegan-spinach-artichoke-dip-212129

RECIPE NOTES: As usual, I made some adjustments to the recipe cuz I’m lazy. Here’s what I did different: I used fresh mixed Super Greens since I had a package of them. I used a can of artichoke hearts in water cuz that’s what I had in the house. And I used minced garlic from a jar. One last thing, if you’ve never used nutritional yeast before, it is key to this recipe. You can get it in the bulk foods section of Whole Foods. Plus, the silken tofu is not the refrigerated kind. You can usually find it in the “Ethnic foods” aisle.

On a side note, the reunion party was for all the families that took our labor and childbirth class which was a Bradley Method class with Judith Nowlin.

At Judith’s new house, celebrating all the babies

This class was amazing. It met for 12 weeks and each class was 2 hours long. Yes, you read that correctly. I was pretty petrified of going into labor/the whole birth experience and I honestly think that I might not have ever gone into labor if it hadn’t been for Judith’s class.

Everyone in the class agreed that they were completely prepared for labor and childbirth. Of course, there were unexpected moments during each of our labor experiences, but we all felt empowered and prepared thanks to Judith. I highly recommend that you take a longer series of classes if you are a FTM. Our class covered prenatal nutrition, laboring techniques, the stages of labor, all the possible interventions that can happen in a hospital, discussion on how to advocate for yourself at the hospital and more.

The length of the class also provided us with an immediate makeshift band of other couples going through the same experience of first time pregnancy and childbirth. I don’t know about other people, but I found being pregnant kind of isolating especially since I didn’t have any close friends that were pregnant at the time. Having the emotional support of other couples was huge for Lee and me and we continue to keep in touch with some of my Bradley method families.

Scent of a mama

I don’t know about other ladies, but when I became pregnant, my skin and hair started changing. It got really, really dry and  I found myself in search of new skin and hair care products. For those of you expecting the “pregnancy glow”, it doesn’t always happen. Instead, you may find yourself with a case of acne or even weird dry red rashes on your face. It definitely doesn’t feel lovely.

One of my goals during pregnancy was to look great. In fact, I think I tried harder while I was pregnant than before I was pregnant. Anyway, I searched and searched online for recommendations on face creams for sensitive, super dry skin and I finally found Origins Mega-mushroom skin relief soothing cream. A bit pricey, but it felt like heaven on my face and it had a distinctive smell that I will always associate with being pregnant and having my firstborn child.

As I applied the cream to my face last night, I paused and wondered if Bailey will associate that smell with his mama too.

The scent of my mama will always be Oil of Olay. She doesn’t even use it anymore, but throughout my childhood, it was her go-to face cream. To this day, anytime I smell it, I think of being snuggled up to my mom as a kid. Warmth, love and safety. I hope B will feel that way about me when he is grown and has his own family…