Postpartum recovery

You’ve probably heard about that 6 week appointment after you give birth, You go to your GP, get a quick check-up and get the ‘good to go’ (in more ways than one). Right?

Thats what I thought too… but it turns out that it takes a LOT longer to recover from both the pregnancy and birth, for most women.

Did you know that the Relaxin hormone (the hormone that causes softening of the ligaments) takes up to a year after weaning to leave your body?

And thats just the start of it.

  • Your stomach muscles will likely still be separated, causing pain and discomfort in your lower back (not to mention the mum belly it causes)
  • Your fitness levels will likely have dropped during the course of your pregnancy, and you may feel frustrated at how ‘unfit’ you are
  • You will very likely be carrying around some extra kilos, making everything just a little harder
  • The exhaustion (you are probably getting a lot less sleep) and changes related to having a new baby will be taking it’s toll on your body
  • Sex will likely not feel as comfortable (for a lot of women, it continues to be uncomfortable until you have finished breastfeeding!)
  • Your pelvic floor muscles will be WEAK.

So what can you do to help your body ‘recover’ more quickly?

  • See a physio to help with any issues you may be having
  • Try some (low impact) exercise regularly such as swimming or walking
  • Get as much sleep as possible
  • Drink lots of water
  • Eat a healthy, well balanced diet. But DON’T DIET
  • Get out in the sunshine and fresh air every day
  • Have some lube handy for sex
  • DO YOUR PELVIC FLOOR EXERCISES.

Most importantly, be kind and lenient on yourself, remembering that it took 9 months to grow that baby and it’ll likely take at least as long to get back to your old self.

Please check out my other posts you might enjoy:

Top 10 essentials for a new mum

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What to pack in your baby bag (the early days)

So you’re already carrying round a baby, and probably a pram, and also that extra baby weight (ha!).. what else could you possibly need? A baby bag with a whole bunch of crap in it.

Here are my suggestions on what to pack into said bag.

For baby:

  1. Nappies
  2. Wipes
  3. A change mat
  4. Nappy bags
  5. Bottom cream
  6. A spare change of clothing
  7. A spare bib
  8. A burp cloth / towel
  9. A blanket (what type depends on the season)
  10. A toy
  11. Spare dummy (if you use one)
  12. If not breastfeeding, any feeding supplies you may need

Also, if baby has been sick of late OR has had her needles recently, i take:

  1. baby panadol / neurofen
  2. thermometer
  3. Any other medicine you may need (e.g. nose drops)

For you:

  1. Phone
  2. Wallet
  3. Drink bottle
  4. Spare breast pads
  5. Possibly a spare t’shirt

I hope you chose a big bag! 🙂

Please check out my other posts you might enjoy:

Top essentials for a new baby

Best places to shop for WELL PRICED baby wear

Postpartum recovery

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Top places to buy Maternity wear and how to start your maternity wardrobe

Ahhhh, dressing your bump, sounds fun right? I thought so too… but in fact, I found it very difficult. Especially when living in Australia.

When buying maternity wear, my suggestion is to stick to simple basics that you feel comfortable in (if you have to live in that one black dress, so be it, you can dress it up with a fun cardigan or necklace).

Also, try not buy too much. Whilst it may seem like pregnancy will last forever, you really will only be wearing this stuff for about 6 months.

So here is my list of where to shop:

  1. ASOS – online store. Shipping is generally free, they often have big sales, and if you don’t like what you’ve ordered, you can ship it back (small cost) for a full refund.
  2. Target – Target was probably my favourite place for maternity gear. They don’t have a lot, but they have some great basic tops, dresses and comfy pants (and nice comfy knickers!) They have also recently released a Danni Minogue maternity collection which looks especially good.
  3. Topshop – Before becoming pregnant I wore a lot of topshop’s jeans so I bought some of the maternity ones. Again, well priced, good fit and nice and comfy. If you don’t have a local topshop you can shop online.
  4. Bonds – I found bonds to be by far the comfiest and best priced maternity bra’s. Plus, they are comfy enough to sleep in. Try and hang out for a sale, they generally have up to 40% off
  5. H&M – You can’t shop H&M online, so you’ll have to actually visit the store. I did so on a trip to Melbourne
  6. Jeans West – I never personally shopped here for maternity wear but a lot of my friends swore by it.
  7. Sussan – Again, I never personally shopped here but they have a small, but nice maternity range at reasonable prices.
  8. Peter Alexander – they do a few nice nightys and PJ’s if you want to splurge for something nice to wear to bed.

If you’re wondering how to get your maternity wardrobe started, i’ve listed my suggestions below for a good, basic maternity wardrobe:

  • 2 x maternity bras. I would suggest going with bonds, one black, one white.
  • Some maternity crop tops to sleep in or workout in. I liked the bonds and the target ones.
  • Some maternity undies, because your normal undies just aren’t going to be comfy anymore! I liked the target ones and the H&M ones
  • A dress you can wear somewhere nice (eg. baby shower, birthday party, etc). I got the plain black 3/4 sleeve dress from target and almost lived in it.
  • 2 x pairs of jeans (one black, one in your favourite denim colour). I chose the Target denim jeans and the Topshop black jeans.
  • 2 x singlets (black and white). Again, I chose target as they were so cheap!
  • 2 x t-shirts (black and white). Target, again.
  • Some tights / leggings / thick leggings. You can wear these under dresses or long tops, or just around the house. You’ll want something comfy. Trust me.
  • A jumper or two. I got a great black one from ASOS.
  • An extra dress or two. I got a lovely stripey one from Target and also a (non-maternity) stretchy one in a few sizes up from Cotton On!

From here, you can add in cardigans and jewellery for the cooler months or grab a pair of shorts and some more dresses for the warmer months!

Good luck and happy shopping 🙂

Please check out my other posts you might enjoy:

A no-nonsense guide to making it through the First Trimester of pregnancy

A no-nonsense guide to making it through the second trimester of pregnancy

A no-nonsense guide to making it through the third (and final!) trimester of pregnancy

Top 10 essentials for a new mum

Top essentials for a new baby

 

Best places to shop for WELL PRICED baby wear

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Top essentials for a new baby

Now, when I say ‘top essentials’ I’m not talking about the pram, cot, nappies, etc. I’m talking about the things you don’t think about or know about, but will desperately need right then and there when you have a screaming baby in the middle of the night (or day)!

  1. Baby Panadol / neurofen. After our bubs first needles she got a temp and thankfully the panadol quickly bought it back down again.
  2. An old school, under the arm thermometer. Don’t bother with the fancy laser-type thermometers with the big price tags. The older ones are much more accurate and are what they use in the hospitals.
  3. Infants friend. This stuff really helps when bub has a sore tummy.
  4. Saline nose drops. These were our miracle item! When bub had a really stuffy nose (especially in those first 6 weeks) we just put one or two drops of these in each nostril, she’d sneeze, and voila!
  5. Snot sucker. The best types are the ones where you actually suck the snot out. I know what you’re probably thinking, GROSS.
    TBH, I thought the same thing before having a baby, but this thing was a lifesaver when bubs had her first cold.
  6. Cream for their bottom. We have tried a few different ones (curash, sudocream, etc) and her sudocream seems to have worked best for us. But all bubs are different so you may need to try a few out!
  7. A dummy. This might be a little controversial but our bub NEEDED a dummy that first night home from the hospital. She would have otherwise been on my boob the whole time. We used the closer to nature brand and had no troubles getting her to take it.
  8. A teething toy. She all of a sudden needed one of these and she had it all the time. Some people swear by the Sophie Le Giraffe range. Our bub also loved a simple colourful one from Kmart

Please check out my other posts you might enjoy:

Top 10 essentials for a new mum

What to pack in your baby bag (the early days)

Postpartum recovery

Best places to shop for WELL PRICED baby wear

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Follow me on instagram here

Follow me on pinterest here

Top 10 essentials for a new mum

Here is a list of my top ten must have supplies for a new mum. I’d suggest preparing these before the arrival of your little bundle of joy.

  1. Breast pads. I don’t know about others, but I had really leaky boobs, especially in the first three months. The material breast pads definitely didn’t cut it! My favourites were the Johnson&Johnsons branded ones. They seem to be slightly more expensive than others, but definitely worth it!
  2. Panadol. Because everywhere hurt.
  3. A good water bottle. Especially if you plan to breastfeed. I was so thirsty all the time and it would come on instantaneously. You want to make sure you have a water bottle with you everywhere you go.
  4. Maternity pads. And lots. Its gross. You want to change them often.
  5. Comfy undies. For those big maternity pads. I went to target and got some that were about 4 sizes bigger than my normal ones.
  6. Maternity bras. Remember you’ll likely want to wear something day and night. And you’ll probably get milk all over them, so make sure you have enough (I found Bonds to be the best).
  7. Nipple cream. Because, ouch.
  8. Movicol (or other safe stool softener / laxative of choice). Why? because the first time after birth is scary enough as it is.
  9. Clothes that you can wear and breast feed in if you are out and about. Think button down tops and dresses. Or T’shirts you can lift up (with a singlet underneath).
  10. Lots of laundry detergent. Because there will be a whole lot of washing!

Please check out my other posts you might enjoy:

 

Top essentials for a new baby

What to pack in your baby bag (the early days)

Postpartum recovery

Best places to shop for WELL PRICED baby wear

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Follow me on instagram here

Follow me on pinterest here

A no-nonsense guide to making it through the third (and final!) trimester of pregnancy

3 months to go! hoorah!

You might be starting to get over it at this stage, but hang in there, you’ll have your sweet little cherub in your arms before you know it! (easy for me to say, right?)

You’ll probably start going into ‘nesting mode’ now (if you hadn’t already) and have millions of lists floating around and a million projects on the go (I successfully put in a new kitchen and new floors during this time!). Remember to take some time to rest, the tupperware cupboard doesn’t need to be re-organised for the 15th time.

If you are racing around trying to get everything done, here are some of the things I suggest having on your list:

  1. Get your car seat fitted: We used a professional service (Kidsafe) and they were fantastic! They fitted both the seats, showed us how to use them and change them, and gave us useful suggestions for things we wouldn’t have even though about. Once bub was born we even went back to check we were doing everything right as well.
  2. Test everything out: You do not want to be the new mum sitting on the ground in the carpark of your local shopping centre crying because you can’t work out how to collapse your fancy new pram. TEST EVERYTHING OUT. Make sure you know how to use the carseats/capsule, how to tighten them and get them in and out of the car, make sure you can collapse the pram and put it back up again, and work out the best way to put it in the car. Test out the baby carrier, learn how to tighten the straps and how you’ll put baby in. Youtube is your friend!
  3. Preparation(food etc): I spent a day cooking up my favourite meals and freezing them. People told me these would be really useful for dinners in those first few weeks but when I really found them useful was for lunches when daddy went back to work! Bub was on the boob almost 24×7 and i found it difficult to even go to the loo let alone cook, so being able to quickly heat these up and eat something healthy and hearty was a blessing.
  4. Pack your bags: I packed my bags SUPER early, which seemed a little silly, but it was one less thing playing on my mind! (I’ll do a post about what I packed if your are interested). I found that packing a few different bags helped so that i didn’t arrive in the maternity suite with a million bags in tow (one for me for labour, one for bub once she arrived, and one for the hospital stay)
  5. Prepare for labour: I don’t necessarily mean having a birth plan (I didn’t), but at least have some strategies you’d like to use/try for the labour and discuss them with your partner / support person (eg. Shower or bath, music, noise, meditation, activity, etc). Also make sure they know what your view is on drugs and interventions (although that may all change once you are in the delivery room!)

I also urge you, if possible, to finish work with enough time to allow you to spend some time enjoying maternity leave before bub arrives. Working out WHEN to finish up can be a difficult one; Do you finish a bit earlier and run the risk of going ‘overdue’ or do you finish a little later and run the risk of going early? Personally, I finished up at 37 weeks, and my waters broke at 40+2 (bub was born at 40+4).
Once you are on mat leave, I urge you to PLEASE try and enjoy it. Sleep late, stay in bed all day watching Gilmore Girls or Sex and the City. Take a bath. Get a massage everyday if you feel like it! Get your nails done, your hair done, enjoyyyyyyyyy this time!

Once you are all prepared and relaxed (hopefully) you’ll probably be thinking, now how on earth do I get this baby to come? There are millions of theories about what helps and what doesn’t and I’m pretty sure I tried them all, even this random one about eating a plate of spicy wings and having a pint of Guinness (hmmm). I’ve made a list of all the other (crazy) things I tried over here Bringing on labour.

Good luck!

Other posts that might interest you?

 

Top 10 essentials for a new mum

Top essentials for a new baby

What to pack in your baby bag (the early days)

Postpartum recovery

Best places to shop for WELL PRICED baby wear

 

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Follow me on instagram here

Follow me on pinterest here