As a new or seasoned mom, it can be quite frustrating looking like you are still pregnant even though you had your child 9 months ago. More annoyingly, you notice that your sexy and favorite clothing no longer fit. Below are some reasons why you may not be losing that “stubborn” baby weight.
- Choice of foods: You have probably heard the phrase, “you are what you eat.” In other words, if you eat junk you will look like it. If you eat whole clean foods, that will also show. Cutting down calories in hopes of losing weight is not healthy especially after just having a baby. This is because your metabolism before baby is not the same after baby. For this reason not eating enough of the right foods will slow down the metabolism. What should you really be eating postpartum to help lose the baby weight?
- Green vegetables. Yes, your least favorite had to be the first on the list. Green vegetables such as spinach, pumpkin leaves (Ugwu), kale, broccoli etc are great healing foods. After baby, your body has gone through a tremendous amount of wear and tear, so eating healing foods like these help with repairing the connective tissue exposed as a result of abdominal wall separation (a.k.a diastasis recti). Other healing foods include fruits (kiwis, berries, bananas, walnuts, almonds, protein rich in chicken, fish oil found in salmon and mackerel.
- Good Fats. I am not referring to processed fats but good fats found in avocado, olive and coconut oil, and nuts.
- Protein rich foods. Foods high in protein such as organic chicken, lean turkey, eggs, beans are great for healing the recovering abdominal wall tissues and fueling the body up with energy.
- Water. Water as you already know is a no brainer and should be consumed often to help with detoxification and re-hydration. If you are in the early stages of breastfeeding, drinking a lot of water will help with increasing your milk supply.
It is strongly advised to stay away from sugar (which is found in all processed foods).
- You are exhausted and/or stressed: After baby is here, mom is bombarded with a load of responsibilities added to the upheaval of hormones already on her plate. Stress may also result from lack of sleep, which is very common and normal especially during the early days of being a new mom. However, less hours of sleep drastically decreases our level of energy which in turn makes it harder to lose that baby weight. Ask for help because you cannot do it alone. This will relieve you of a lot of stress and pressure of meeting the challenging demands that motherhood may bring.
- Dehydration: Dehydration is a big issue when it comes to weight loss and many of us are not consuming enough water. It is recommended to drink half of your body weight in ounces. Drinking enough water helps keep the fat off rather than store it. Staying hydrated makes you less likely to eat more.
- You are working out too soon. If you are in a hurry to jump back on the mat or race to the gym after baby, you are likely to run into problems like injury or re-injury. The reason is because postpartum recovery involves targeted exercises aimed at healing the core and pelvic floor first before returning to high impact intensity exercises. Low impact exercises and good nutrition go a long way.
- You’re overthinking it. The more you think about how much weight you want to lose, the more you don’t see changes. As repeated a few times above eating clean and healthy foods and doing the right exercises gets you back to your desired shape in due time. It will happen. It is gradual. Don’t sweat it.
Anyone who has been able to breastfeed their child or been around a mom who has spent hours a day pumping knows that breast milk is like liquid gold. This is more so during the early weeks after the child is born. Breast milk not only nourishes your baby but also protects your vulnerable newborn by helping to fight infection and promote development.
So why in the world did I throw this precious supply away? Plus, 90 oz (2,661 ml) of breast milk is quite a lot.
Here’s what happened.
I started to pump from the day my daughter was born and will save stashes of breast milk in the freezer cause I was paranoid that my supply may drop and my baby would be left with nothing to eat. Or have some saved so another caregiver was able to feed her while I was away.
The first time I tried giving her freezer thawed breast milk was at 2 months old. She repeatedly refused to take it. I later found out that once breast milk goes into the freezer, refrigerated and thawed, the taste of the breast milk goes soar due to excess lipase present. Ah Ha! I thought I had found the reason so I tried to fix and found out you can scald the milk before putting it in the freezer. Scalding is a process of heating your breast milk and allowing it cool before putting it in the freezer. This will help remove the soar taste. After thinking about it I decided not to do it because I was concerned that the amount of heat applied to the breast milk may destroy nutrients in it.
I made a few more attempts to give her pumped breast milk from her freezer stash but she remained adamant. I then decided there was no point pumping if she would keep refusing. I not only realize she didn’t like the freezer stash, but also discovered she didn’t want to take (even freshly pumped breast milk) from her bottle. We then went on on-demand breastfeeding. It was quite a stressful period for me and the family because in the middle of this, we had to relocate.
I didn’t want my frozen stash to go to waste and I didn’t want to deal with the stress of traveling with it if she was refusing it.
I reached to a breast milk bank to see if I could donate it.
They came back with a ton of questions, assessments and said they will need to run a series of test before they could accept it. The deal breaker was that the smallest amount they could take was 100 oz and I had 90 oz. I was very disappointed as I knew many babies in the NICU (Newborn Intensive Care Unit) could use it. Amid moving, I unwillingly decided to throw the stash away. After doing this, I realized I could made breast milk soap bars and use on my daughter and for the family but it was a little too late.
There are other ways to make use of your thawed frozen stash of breast milk that your child is refusing to consume.
- Breast milk can be used to clear up diaper rashes.
- Mix breast milk with coconut oil and use to remove cradle cap scales.
- Use the breast milk to clear up acne.
- You can use your breast milk to make soap bars for the household.
One thing I appreciate about motherhood is being able to make mistakes and learn repeatedly just to give our kiddos the best. Have you ever been in a similar predicament such as this?
Just under 3 weeks ago, my daughter (18 months old) and I made a trip oversees for a few days to spend some time with family and friends. It was not the first time traveling with her alone but the toddler stage was different. I learned a few things on this trip that help me and will prepare me for future trips when traveling with little mama again.
- Travel LIGHT. This might sound cliché but it isn’t. Let me explain what I mean here. It can be very stressful especially if you are traveling alone with a baby so I would advise you carry a good size diaper bag as your only hand luggage and stuff it with only what you need. The last thing you want on a trip with your baby or toddler is constant crying and fussiness throughout your flight while having to carry so many things at the same time. Ditch the strollers especially if it’s for a short trip and take a baby carrier (depending on your child’s age and weight).
- Allow baby/toddler breastfeed or suck from bottle or pacifier before take off and during landing. This helps reduce earaches for baby due to altitude and aircraft pressure.
- Wear comfortable clothes: This is important for both mama and baby. You want to be able to move around easily and feel light as you navigate thru the airport and handle your luggage(s). You also want to make sure your child is dressed in an outfit that’s easy to change when they have an explosion and you need an urgent diaper change.
- Don’t over pack: It is more than likely that you would want to shop for a thing or two during your travel even if it primarily involves buying more diapers that you may need to travel back with. Don’t try to stuff all your toddler’s favorite books and or toys in your luggage. Pack a light weight toy or coloring book for older kids to keep them entertained during the flight. Your child is not going to care if he doesn’t have all his toys with him when away. He really just needs his mama and maybe one toy that usually helps him self soothe like a comfort blanket etc. Lastly, pack just enough extra clothing incase of accidents depending on the age of your baby. Having just the right amount of diapers onboard is equally important. If your child goes through 5-6 diapers a day, I suggest grabbing 3 to 4 more extra.
- Make friends while traveling. If you can try making friends with fellow travelers so they can be willing to assist you were necessary. I remember when I was flying with my daughter alone for the first time. A lady walked up to me and asked if I needed help because she knows how it can be quite challenging doing it alone with a baby. I was grateful and very appreciative as it went a long way. More help could come from someone willing to get your luggage off the carousel or getting you a luggage stroller etc. s
- Snacks, snacks and some snacks. Make sure to stuff your bag with as many healthy snacks as possible for the kiddos. You can grab some granola bars, crackers and/or fruits (clementine, apples, bananas etc) are good fruits to travel with.
- Read up on Airline and Airport policies. Traveling with children is very different than traveling as an adult as rules and regulations vary by age of passengers. Do your research on if you child is old enough to travel as a lap infant or if you are allowed to cross security with a certain amount of breastmilk or already made formula or cereals. If you have to call to ahead to be sure do so to prevent disappointments and delays.
- Relax. If you are spending time with your little one alone either for the first, second or third time enjoy the highs and lows and embrace the chaos. Your child isn’t looking for a perfect mom. He is looking for a present mom. Travel and explore the world with them while you can. They grow up fast.