Sugar and Spice and everything nice…

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Breakfast: the girls and I had a curious conversation about the current prospects for women in the workforce. They decided to personally contribute to the advancement of their gender by becoming a mermaid and a princess.

On the way to school, Elise had a big burp, which turned into throwing up all over herself.  Nothing a few wipes can’t fix.

I had a few minutes between appointments, so I decided to luxuriously apply makeup.  Of course this happened in the driver’s seat of my minivan, while I was nursing.  Luxurious nonetheless.

Came home, and in the time it took for me to brush my teeth, the girls took down every single coat, snow pant, rain coat and vest from the hall closet… and hid all the shoes and boots in there too.

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What kind of special joy does the afternoon hold?  I won’t hold my breath… but maybe a basement flood??

Kidding!  But I definitely see a glass of wine in my future.

Preparing your body for Pregnancy 4

Part 4: Getting Fit if you’re Fat

This is a sensitive issue.  I completely understand!  After 3 very closely spaced pregnancies, and lots of  bedrest I gained a lot of weight.  It took me just over a year to lose the close to 50lbs I had gained.

Being overweight when you get pregnant puts you at risk for many issues, like high blood pressure, diabetes, a big baby (think about the stitches!!), and later your baby has a higher chance of being overweight.  These are long term issues, which may make it easy to put aside.  But the elephant in the room is that if you’re bigger when you’re trying to get pregnant – guess what?  You’re just going to get bigger!!  If you’re already feeling it, it’s not going to get any easier!  Even in the best of pregnancies moving around is challenging, being overweight makes it much harder and many times more exhausting.

How do we know if we should drop some weight?  Check your BMI on a calculator.

If you are over a BMI of 25, you most likely have weight to lose.  In some cases, if you are under a BMI of 25 you may still have weight to lose.  You should be at a weight where you feel energetic, and feel confident.  For me, this is around a BMI of 22/23 because I have a small frame, and I am still nursing.  But when I was not nursing, it was lower.  However, someone with a larger build might be much more comfortable around 25.

I think there are hundreds of ways that people could los weight, so do what works for you, as long as you are eating healthfully.

How did I lose the weight?

I think a lot of the success I had was due to the fact that I was tracking my food, weight and workouts.

I kept track of what I ate on MyNetDiary which is a calorie calculator.  The goal was not to be overly strict, but studies have shown that people who keep track of their food tend to eat less.  I had a range of calories that I would consume depending on my activity level, and if I was hungry I would eat closer to the top end of my calorie range.  (1500 to 1800)  If there were days that I consumed much more than I planned, like at a special dinner, than I might go as low as 1250 the next day.  Because I am nursing I stayed above 1200, and listen to my body.

I tried to get on the scale once or twice a week.  I didn’t want to get obsessive about it, but if I let it go too long, I would also slack on the other areas of my plan.

I went to the gym when I could.  This means I had a plan to go 3 times a week.  If I couldn’t go then I would try to go for a good walk, or get up earlier and go for a jog on the treadmill.

I focused on eating whole foods, which means food you could find on a farm, or make in your own kitchen.  I ate lots of fruits and veggies.

I drank lots of water.

If you want a treat, try to eat just half and see if it will satisfy you.

Eat more mindfully, slowly enjoying each bite.

The main change that I experienced was to avoid being excessively strict, but aim for a balanced approach.  I stopped feeling guilty about eating foods that are not perfectly healthy.  If I really wanted a piece of delicious chocolate cake, I would plan for it calorically, and make sure it was the best darn cake… or wait for the chocolate chip cookies Grandma makes when she visits. YUM!

 

 

 

Breastfeeding Bites!

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You thought you had the hang of nursing, you’ve been comfortably nursing for 9 months, then WhaM!  Baby bites!

You’re not alone.  Not all babies bite, but all of mine have.  Some were more persistent biters.  But I got all 3 to stop, and I was able to continue nursing to around 18 months for each.

With my first it was a big surprise.  With my second… it was a big surprise.  And with the third, guess what?  It was still a big surprise.

Once your baby has bitten, it feels like every time the baby wants some milk, you’re about to stick your nipple into an alligator’s mouth… or a bear trap… or a stapler… you pick the metaphor.

If this is happening, first you should congratulate yourself, very few babies are exclusively breastfed until they get their first teeth!  Between 35-40% of babies are still breastfed at 6 months according to the CDC.

The two most effective strategies I have used are startling and negative reinforcement.

The first strategy does not take a genius to figure out, as soon as the baby bites, scream!  Let it all out mama!  The baby will let go, and probably cry.  Comfort your baby, because they’re scared, but you’ve got they’re attention.

Some babies are more persistent biters, my third baby went through a longer biting phase and what worked with the other two, a couple big screams, didn’t phase her.  If anything, she thought it was funny.  After speaking with my network of longer term nursing mothers, I decided to discontinue any nursing session where biting occured.  When she bit, I would say “No” firmly, remove her and her teeth, and put her down on the ground, or to bed if it was bedtime.  I would then get up and walk away.  I would not let her nurse again for a couple of hours.  For the more persistent biter, I have found they are the babies that frequently nurse for comfort and are not necessarily for hungry.  If they are biting, they are most likely not hungry, but looking for comfort, which can be given with a hug, kisses, tickles or reading a book together.

This is a really tough stage, that can result in blood and tears.  Don’t despair.  If one nipple is damaged, apply breastmilk and allow your nipple to air dry.  Optionally, you could pump 2-3 x a day for 1 to 2 days to allow for more healing.

This too shall pass.  Your baby will learn in a day or two that biting is not tolerated, and you’ll be back to your happy nursing.

Feel free to email me if you have any more specific questions about biting or nursing at DrKatherine@MommyCoach.ca.