Moms who lose their pregnancy weight within six months have a lower risk of being overweight 10 years later. Parents magazine April 08.
Scroll over various items, names, etc for links.
In a recent study, new moms who, on a daily basis, watched under 2 hours of tv, walked for at least 30 minutes and consumed less than 1% of calories from trans fat were 77% less likely to carry 11+ pounds of pregnancy weight a year after giving birth. From AmericanBaby.com, Sept 07
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Don't be afraid to set boundaries with friends, family & loved ones after the baby has arrived.
After the birth of your child, you will have many overwhelming feelings (everything from I'm so in love to OMG what have I done), you will be exhausted and you and your DH/partner deserve time with your new little one to bond and spend some time with just the 3 of you (or more if there are siblings). Allow yourself this time and don't feel guilty because
you've earned it
- Your Post Partum "Kit"
- C-Section Recovery Tips
- Wish I Had Known…
- How to Take Care of Yourself When You Get Home
- Postpartum Depression & the Baby Blues
- Post Partum Pics
What you can do about them
- Losing Weight Post-Partum
For list of basic baby needs, things you can do to prepare for baby's arrival, etc see
For things like what to do if Baby has gas, hiring a nanny, etc go to
For more great tips, etc, also check the
FOR A COMPLETE LIST OF SPECIALTY (Nestie) BIOS, INCLUDING MANY BABY-RELATED BIOS, GO TO: Attackkitten's
Your Post Partum "Kit"
1. Advil/Motrin – This will not only help with the pain but it will also help with the swelling.
2. Maxi Pads – Some women bleed small amounts, others bleed heavily. Some for only a short period of time and others up to 8 weeks. Unfortunately, there's no way to tell ahead of time. If you haven't bought pads in a while, like most of us, you'll be a bit clueless about what to buy. Maxis and Overnights work well. Always is a good brand. *Stayfree is topped with cotton and some Nesties have found them more comfortable than Always.
Some women find they prefer wearing Depends Undergarments if they bleed very heavily. Personally, I'd hold off on getting those ahead of time and if you need them, send your DH to get them. You've just given birth; he can deal with a little embarrassment.
3. Pantiliners – At some point your bleeding will taper off but you'll still need coverage. Pantiliners will be a welcome change.
4. Tuck's Pads (or similar product) – Soothing and cleansing. More comfortable than toilet paper on your tender parts. Supposedly they help with inflammation.
5. Preparation H Suppositories (or similar product) – Yes, you can use them (if you have a very severe tear ask your dr first but small tears / stitches are fine). If you didn't end up with hemorrhoids during pregnancy, it's likely you ended up with them during the birth process.
6. Citrucel (or similar product) – Although you may be nervous about going to the bathroom the first time, if you hold back you may make things worse for yourself in the long run. A fiber product will help you avoid/overcome constipation and ease the process.
7. Colace (or other stool softener) – Same as #6. If you take the Colace before you go to bed at night, by morning, with the help of some Citrucel, taken in the morning, you should be good to go.
8. Tums or other anti-gas product. All of that Citrucel and Colace may make you gassy. If you've had a c-section, it may also make you gassy. Tums will help with the gas cramps.
9. Sitz Bath – You can find these at the pharmacy. They fit into your toilet, you fill them with warm water and stick your bum in. It's soothing for hemorrhoids and inflammation from a vaginal birth.
Earth Mama Angel Baby New Mama Bottom Spray & Happy Mama Spray
- The Bottom Spray feels cool and sooths inflammation "down there" and you can also spray it on toilet paper before use to cleanse and soothe. The Happy Mama Spray works like aromatherapy.
11. If you're breastfeeding: Breast pads, ointment (Lansinoh) and a good nursing bra
If you're formula feeding: Cabbage or injury ice packs (place over your boobs; it will help with any pain/discomfort) and a large ACE bandage if you FF (place over your sports bra and wrap tightly – it will hurt going on but once it’s on, you’ll be glad. Wear it for at least 3 days & nights).
C-Section Recovery Tips
- Ask for a binder (like a girdle) in the hospital, it helps so much the first few weeks
- Don't be afraid to take pain pills if you need them
- Take it easy (really easy) the 1st two weeks, it will make your recovery go so much smoother and faster
- Don't let them take your staples out in the hospital, everyone I know who's done this has had their incision open back up. Mine stayed in 3 more days and I had no problems. (This may be individual because other Nesties reported no problems).
- Get up and WALK as soon as they let you. Seriously. Don't lay around in bed the next day - it will prolong your recovery.
- Accept help from others.
Thank you to krub, susanb and krisnjay72206 for the tips!
I Wish I Had Known Before…
- that the anticipation of labor & delivery was SO much worse than the reality.
- that you TRULY do not care whether you go to the bathroom on the table, puke or think about modesty once you're in the middle of labor. There are so many things going through your head (get this baby out, can I do this, I'm tired, I want my baby, etc) that going to the bathroom on the table is ranked 1049, not even in the top 10.
- that if you do poo on the table, the nurses will clean it up before you or anyone else is even aware it's there. They've seen it millions of times (you can go to the bathroom after labor starts (unless you're labor is super quick and then it won't matter anyway).
- that pain meds for c-section stop you up! Take the stool softener they recommend to you.
- that breastfeeding isn't a sure thing. Sometimes it doesn't work the way you want it to and it doesn't mean you're a failed mother.
- How good that first shower would feel (I didn't want to get out).
- Another Nestie didn't have a great first shower but did mention she showered 1.5 hours after giving birth (so maybe the tip is to wait more than an hour an a half after giving birth before jumping in the shower)
- That you have very little time to take of yourself - sleeping, eating, even just going to the bathroom and a peri bottle are luxuries.
- that it's okay if the baby cries for a minute or two if you can't get there immediately and sometimes no matter what you do, the baby will cry and it's not your fault and doesn't mean you are a bad or failed mom.
- how important it is to eat even though you may want to lose the extra weight yesterday.
- that not everyone falls crazy in love with the baby at first. S/he is a stranger and you two have to time to get to know each other. It can be scary and that's ok.
- Gas pains - I had a c-section and had a gas bubble lodged in my shoulder (I didn't know that could happen) and it was soooo painful I thought I was dying. Walk as soon as possible to try and avoid the gas bubble.
- 1st time moms: how scary it is to leave the hospital and nurses behind and all that help, but then how wonderful it is to be in your own home with your new family
-At night all by yourself with your new baby can be a lonely experience and you will miss sleeping - but you can always wake up DH for company.
- that the LCs at the hospital can be a godsend if you call them after you go home. It's the only thing that's kept me from giving up BF-ing with the issues I've had so far. But DD is thriving now and doing really well with bfing.
- I also wish I would have known that the weepiness in the first few days is often tied to the milk coming in. I didn't know what was happening.
- With all the PP bleeding, I'd be more prone to yeast infections. If you think you're getting one, don't wait for treatment! Call the doctor ASAP and ask for a prescription for Diflucan (oral YI treatment).
- Even the most independent women feel helpless and it is ok to want to send the baby back in the first few weeks...you get over it!!!
- Things can change. Change is the ONLY certainty in the process. You can only plan so much and doctors/midwives/professionals can be wrong. Go with your gut.
Thanks to the many Nesties that contributed to this section!
How to Take Care of Yourself When You Get Home
Call your doctor if
your oral temp is over 100.3 F; sudden onset of severe pain, heavy bleeding (one large pad/hour), clots size of golf ball followed by heavy bleeding; pain, urgency or inability to urinate; foul smelling discharge; foul or bloody discharge from incision; swollen, red, warm, painful area on leg or breast; cracked or bleeding nipples; feelings of depression, anxiety or inability to cope.
- Uterus will continue to decrease in size for approx 6 weeks. Bright red, small clots may appear for several days; pink to brown to yellow to clear over the next several weeks. There should be no foul odor.
: Proper cleaning is important. Wash hands well before and after cleaning area. Rinse with peri bottle, pat dry from front to back. Sitz baths, pain medications, topical anesthetics and/or witch hazel pads may be used as ordered by your doctor.
- Use warm water in peri bottle to help start stream of urine if you're having difficulty. Continue use of stool softeners until regular bowel pattern returns.
: All moms should wear supportive bras.
Breastfeeding: May take up to 8 weeks to be comfortably established. For sore nipples manually express colostrum or breast milk after feeding and massage onto nipple, allow to air dry. If problems occur contact lactation services at your hospital.
Bottle-feeding: If breasts become engorged, wear a firm tight bra or binder; this usually lasts less than 48 hours. For pain relief: Apply ice packs and/or cabbage leaves to breasts and use pain medications if necessary.
: Keep incision clean and dry; gently pat dry after shower; if steri-strips do not come off by themselves in 1-2 weeks, you may gently remove them. Don't wait until you are in significant pain to take medications. It is harder to ease pain once it has become severe.
- Continue to eat a well-balanced diet and take pre-natal vitamins as long as you are breastfeeding, or until they are gone if bottlefeeding. Drink plenty of fluids to satisfy your thirst and keep urine light colored. Consult our doctor before starting a weight-loss diet.
- Post partum blues are normal and temporary. They can include feelings such as being overwhelmed and difficulty sleeping. These are due to hormonal changes. Post partum depression is more serious and less common. It can occur anytime during the first year after birth, and includes feelings of sadness lasting more than 1-2 weeks and inability to care for yourself or your baby. Call your doctor if you experience these symptoms.
- Breastfeeding is not an adequate method of birth control. Please discuss your options with your doctor.
Germanwife2b has offered to create a breastfeeding bio after she takes her lactation exam. In the meantime, hopefully this info provided by SWPhillyBride (disclaimer per SWPhillyBride: these are things she's experienced and may not be true in every situation) is useful:
Before and after you nurse, squeeze a teensy bit out and massage it into the nipple/areola. It'll help with drying/cracking
Take advantage of the lactation consultant in the hospital. They are there to help and will answer whatever questions you have.
Find the local LaLeche (I think that's how it's spelled).
Breastfed babies will eat more often than formula fed. Breast milk is thinner.
When it's time to start feeding the baby cereal, use your breastmilk. And feed with a spoon. It's easier for the baby to chew/get it down, than by sucking it from a bottle.
Make sure you pump enough so that your dh can experience feeding the baby.
When the baby wakes up in the middle of the night, latch him/her on, lay back down in the bed, and go back to sleep. (Just make sure your dh knows so that he doesn't roll over on the baby.) If you both go back to sleep during feeding and have only used one breast, make sure you pump the other so you can stay even.
If you become engorged or anytime before nursing (if you're at home), take a warm/hot shower or put some warm/hot rags on your breast. The milk will come out easier.
While you're nursing, massage your breasts. Not really massage, but stroke them (with a little pressure) from the top/sides. You'll want to make sure that the milk from that area of the breast is being used. and not just that from right near the areola/nipple area. You might begin to feel little lumps in your breasts. It's b/c the milk isn't being released from those areas.
Learn the football hold while they're little. It's a lifesaver.
Postpartum Depression & the Baby Blues
The first 6 weeks are generally the hardest. Your hormones are raging (more so if you're BFing) and your body is still healing. You are dealing with all sorts of emotional questions (can I do this? Am I giving up who I am to be a mom? did I make a mistake? what if I do something to scar DC for life? and more). On top of that, you are completely sleep-deprived after a physical trauma (even an easy labor is taxing for your body). It's common to cry frequently and to feel like you're going insane. You are not going crazy.
- Leave your house. If you can't drive yet, go for a walk, even if it's just around the block a couple of times. Call a friend and go for a drink (or have her bring a drink to you). Even if you are BFing, you can have a glass of wine occasionally. You need some fresh air and you need some companionship (
the baby & DH).
- The baby will be ok if you take a shower, go to the bathroom, fix yourself something to eat, etc. I know it doesn't always feel like it but even if she cries a bit, you are not scarring her by taking care of yourself. Obviously you don't want to leave her for an hour but taking 15 minutes to shower and put on clean clothes is more than ok and it will help your sanity level. A sane mother is one of the most important things you can give your child and if that means taking a 15 minute break to do something for you, it's OKAY.
-Get some headphones / ipod. I have a friend who had a fussy child and it drove her insane. She got some headphones and would put them on and rock her son as long as he needed. She had the escape of listening to music while still being there with her son.
-If you feel that you are at a breaking point, put DC in his crib, go outside and take some deep breaths until you calm down. As long as DC is somewhere safe, he'll scream and cry but will be ok. It is much better to give yourself some time to calm down rather than risk doing something terrible.
- Ask DH (or someone else) to help with the night feedings if he isn't. If you are BFing, try pumping so that he can take over at least 1 feeding for you. Even if you lie awake in bed, not having to get up and be functional will allow you to rest more. If you are FFing, tell DH you need his help and ask him to take over some of the feedings. After a night or 2 where DH takes over all of the feedings, you will feel like a new person. It can really make a difference.
- Consider getting a sitter / nanny. I know DD is very young but if you have someone come to your home for a couple of hours a day,
even while you are there,
you will have a moment to shower, answer email, close your eyes or whatever you need to do to feel calm and collected.
- Forget about being perfect. This may be harder for Type A personalities. Dinner may have to be takeout, the sink may be full of dishes and you forgot to call in to work. None of it matters and eventually you WILL get on top of things again (not in the same way you were before baby but in a way that works for your new life). Patience is key. It's ok to leave the dishes and it's ok to call a friend, your MIL, your parents or even your neighbor, the one you've never even met, to ask for help. The best way you can be a hero right now is to know when you can't do it all.
- Talk to your DH. He deserves to know what is going on with you and you deserve the outlet. He can't help you if he doesn't know what's going on. Don't expect him to read your mind. Even the best husband needs guidance sometimes. It's ok to tell him what you need and how you feel.
- If you find yourself getting worse or your sadness/depression continues without a break, or lasts more than 6 weeks, don't be afraid to ask for help, whether it be counseling or an anti-depressant temporarily. Talk to your doctor. Many women suffer from PPD and there is no shame in it or asking for help. You can't be a good mother if you don't take care of yourself.
Post Partum Pics
67% of moms miss their prebaby body more than their prebaby sex life. – Suave Survey, AmericanBaby.com July 07.
The Shape of a Mother
Please note: These are the photos that have been submitted. I'd love to add photos of different shapes & sizes of women but am limited to what people supply me. The link to Shape of a Mother above has a wider variety of PP outcomes.
P-PG weight 105lbs. Topped out at 145lbs. Goal 110lbs.
As of 11/21/06 was 120.
Picture was taken 11/14 one month after having Stanley.
Gained 56 lbs while pregnant and have 7 left to go. Not working out at all or watching what she's eating but is EBF.
Picture was taken 7 weeks post partum.
Gained 29 lbs during pregnancy. Exercised until 39wks.
Picture was taken 6 days after birth. Two weeks post partum, she was wearing her pre-pg jeans.
Picture taken 3 months, 4 weeks PP.
Gained 28 lbs during pregnancy. Started at 101 and ended at 129.
Picture taken 3 weeks post partum, weighed about 111 lbs. Shortly after these were taken she went back up to 120 lbs, not sure why.
Gained 35 lbs during pregnancy. Exercised until 31wks then put on complete bedrest.
Picture taken 3 days postpartum
Picture taken 5 wks postpartum (14lbs to go)
New moms seeking a gentler alternative to laser for stretch marks should ask their doctors about plasma skin regeneration, says NYC dermatologist Doris J. Day, M.D. who's seen up to a 60% reduction in patients' stretch marks after 3-4 sessions (wait 3 months after birth for treatment). If you're more comfortable with over the counter products, try Bio-Oil, a skin smoothing blend of oils (bio-oil.com) or Mama Mio's Stretch Mark Minimiser (mamamio.com).
From Child.com, May 07
Losing Weight Post-Partum
- Talk to your doctor to get the okay before you start any weight-loss or exercise regimine, especially if you had a c-section or are breast-feeding
- Weight Watchers has a program for breastfeeding moms
- Even women who have had c-sections (in most cases) can start walking immediately. Just because you can't get back into the gym, doesn't mean you can't put DC in the stroller, sling or Bjorn and walk around the block.
Bonus: Walking for just 10 minutes a day lowers your risk of Alzheimer's by
- Keep healthy snacks on hand. When you're too tired and too busy to make a proper meal, it's too easy to grab what's convenient. Make healthy convenient by stocking baby carrots (with hummus or a light dressing for dipping), low-fat canned soup and fruit. For those moments when you need a treat, keep those 100 calorie snack packs of cookies in the house.
- Join a gym. Many gyms have in-house daycare so that mom can still get a workout in.
- Don't be afraid of weight lifting. Increased muscle mass will increase your metabolism (and help you burn calories even when you're sleeping!).
- Don't eat in front of the TV. According to a Univ. of Massachusetts study, those who eat while watching TV consume an average of 288 more calories per meal than those who don't. When you're distracted, your brain has trouble determining that you're full.
- A small handful of nuts makes a satisfying, healthy snack that will stick to you so you aren't hungry 10 minutes later.
- If you're really hungry, drink a glass of water before sitting down for your meal. It will help temper your hunger before you eat too much.
- Portion control. One reason weight is more of an issue than it was even 15 years ago, is that our portions are bigger. For instance, in 1960 an average serving size of pasta was 1.5 ounces; now it's double (from Fitnessmagazine.com April 07).
At restaurants, eat only ½ or ¾ of what is on your plate. Have the rest boxed up immediately and take it home to have for lunch or dinner the next day.
- 66% of Americans 20 or older who are overweight or obese. From Fitnessmagazine.com April 2007
- Watching 2 hours or more of TV daily increases your risk of diabetes by 14%. If you limit TV to 10 hours a week and exercise (instead of sitting in front of the tube), you'll lower your diabetes risk by 43%, according to a Harvard study. Lose weight AND lower your risk of diabetes!
- Aim to lose a pound or 2 a week. Studies show that dropping weight slowly is the best way to keep it off.
- Find a partner to help you eat right and / or get to the gym.
- Planning meals and snacks helps prevent grazing or grabbing at higher calorie/fat items when you're hungry.
- To cut calories when dining out, avoid fried foods and foods with heavy or thick sauces (alfredo is high in fat, teriyaki is high in sugar). Be aware that low-carb does not always mean low-cal or low-fat.
- If it's too hard to do for you, do it for your DC(s). A healthy mom is a happier, more active and more fun mom, not to mention the great example you're setting for your kid(s).
- When cooking, flavor with spice not fat. Cut the amount of oil and butter using non-stick cookware and pureed veggies to avoid dryness (apples and zucchini are 2 good ones).
Tips to Avoid snacking:
- Brush your teeth instead.
- Keep your hands busy. Knit DC a pair of booties while he/she is sleeping.
- Sugarless bubble gum can fulfill that need for sweets and you can entertain yourself by blowing bubbles!
More HEALTHY Low-Cal / Fat-Free "Fast" Food Ideas:
Salsa is great with baked chips and adds flavor to salads etc, ¾ cup edamame = 142 calories, yogurt, low fat string cheese, hummus with pita chips, apples with low fat peanut butter, pretzels, and low fat granola bars for quick snacks.
Light yogurt with 1 T chopped walnuts or almonds
A handful (and just a handful) of almonds or any other nut will help stave off hunger and provide an energy boost until mealtime.
GET FIT BEFORE YOUR 2ND PREGNANCY
Being overweight when pregnant can cause complications for Mom and baby. Now a study by researchers at Harvard & the Karolinska Institutet, in Stockholm, reveals that weight gained between pregnancies may have an impact too, though they couldn't distinguish if the gain was from remaining baby weight.
The study, which analyzed data on 151,000 Swedish women, found that for a typical 150 pound woman who is nearly 5.5 feet tall, gaining 6-13 pounds between her 1st and 2nd pregnancies increased by 20-40% the risk for large-for-gestational-age birth and gestational hypertension and diabetes. A 20 pound gain upped the risk for
by 63%, gestational hypertension by 79% and gestational diabetes by 209%. From American Baby, March 07. ============================================
Last Updated: May 23, 2008 @ pm
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