Friday, October 24, 2014

do you have diastasis recti? {31 Days of Postpartum Health & Healing}


Lower hip and back pain? Is your belly still pooching out even months/years after giving birth? There's an answer.

Diastasis recti is a common problem among women who have been pregnant and is when the right and left rectus abdominus muscles separate. This is a completely normal experience that happens in every pregnancy as our amazing bodies expand to make room for growing baby, but the problems come after pregnancy, when the abdominal wall is weak and the muscles do not come back together. In subsequent pregnancies, lower back pain can be more severe and can even lead to poor presentation of the baby.

Check Yourself for Diastasis recti

There's a self-test you can do to check for DR. Watch this video on Fit2Be from Kelly Dean of the Tummy Team (a local diastasis recti expert and physical therapist) to check yourself.

If you do find that you have it, don't worry! There are exercises you can do to bring your abs back together. But in the meantime, do NOT perform the exercises listed below.  You have been told these traditional core trainers lead to a flat tummy - nope! They make diastasis worse!
  • Crunches of ANY kind
  • Oblique twists 
  • Pilates 100s
  • Plank
  • Reverse leg lowers 
From my own experience, I ordered a prenatal yoga DVD off of Amazon and, after learning about diastasis after the birth of my twins, was somewhat shocked that the instructor recommended a plank position. So be aware that not all instructors know that the above exercises are not recommended.

Healing Diastasis recti

According to Fit2Be's informative diastasis handout, "The injury is improved by correcting alignment, strengthening the transverse, utilizing upright activities, and discontinuing any exercise or activity in which you cannot keep your transverse abdominus actively engaged (ribs down, navel in). For women, proper prenatal core training and postnatal rehabilitation of the abdominal wall can effectively and non-surgically correct this condition."

Download and print out these "Exercises for Everywhere" and check out Fit2Be for diastasis safe exercises - perhaps join their monthly membership program! I am currently participating in their 5x5 program.

Fit2Be is also offering readers a 30% discount on a year membership that ends July of 2015 using the code bohomama. 

Next up we'll talk belly binding!


Diastasis recti printable from Fit2Be
Kelly Dean's the Tummy Team online course

Monday, October 20, 2014

Perfect Gifts for the New Mama {31 Days of Postpartum Health & Healing}

Baby gets so many new gifts to celebrate his or her arrival into the world. But I remember at my shower one of the most thoughtful gifts I received was a gift certificate to Victoria's Secret. It was so nice to get some pretty new undies to wear even though I was milk soaked everywhere else! Maybe think about gifting something small but meaningful, like these ideas below:

Starting top left and clockwise:

Organic Body Scrub from JenSan Home and Body
Mama to Be gift set from Earth Mama Angel Baby
Mug from Printable Wisdom
Rooibos from Rooibos Rocks
Happy Mommy Box monthly subscription that brings it right to her doorstep!
Amazon gift card for Kindle purchases
Earrings from Larking Mercantile
Bring them a meal (or two) or set up a Meal Train schedule for the family

Share your postpartum gift ideas below!

{disclosure: this post contains a few affiliate links!}

Sunday, October 19, 2014

the nursing basket {31 Days of Postpartum Health & Healing}

*This is a repost from two years ago but thought I would share it again, it's such a great idea!*

One of my favorite bloggers and friends IRL is Gretchen from That Mama Gretchen. She is mama to Jemma and Max, a savvy business woman and her blog is chock full of creative and practical content. Basically, she's awesome!

I asked her if I could share the contents of her nursing basket - it's organized and thorough, whereas mine was just a mishmash of things from room to room. Next time I'm sure I'll be much more organized...

Whether you are a new mama or a seasoned one, a nursing basket is an absolute must! Wouldn't you agree? Wait? You're wondering what a nursing basket is? Well, let me enlighten you :)

A nursing basket is a nook of must-have breastfeeding supplies. You see, when a nursing mama snuggles in to feed her baby she will inevitable need a few things within arms reach. Here's a peak at my own nursing basket ...
  1. Disposable nursing pads - You leak, you spray, you need to keep your bra dry. Enough said. 
  2. Burp clothes - I like to keep at least 2 close by. One to layer under baby's chin to catch dribbles and another to lay over my shoulder for actual burping. 
  3. Reusable nursing pads - When I'm having a home day I much prefer to use a wool/bamboo reusable nursing pad. It isn't leak proof (at least not for me), but it does help me to save money and be a bit more green so I use them as often as I can.
  4. Lanolin or nipple cream - Talk about a must! Nip ouches are no fun and must be remedied ASAP. Sample sizes are perfect for nursing baskets, Motherlove is the best in my opinion :)
  5. Reading material - When baby drifts off to sleep I often take advantage of the quiet. Sometimes I stock my basket with a novel or devotional, but with this baby I'll be starting off with house research and Tribes.
  6. A chic basket, tub, or other container - My basket is from Michaels and it perfectly fits a sideways box of nursing pads.
  7. Water - Drinking lots of water is crucial to keeping up milk supply, plus, as soon as I let down I immediately get thirsty. Hence the whopping 24 ounce cup. Just don't forget to refill it before you sit down! Been there, done that, no bueno.
  8. Coconut oil - You know those little make-up sample containers? Once mine are done I fill them up with coconut oil and tuck them everywhere! My nursing basket is no exception. Coconut oil can be used for everything ... nipples, cradle cap, and more. Stock up!
  9. Lotion - I need lotion like I need water. Nursing makes my hands feel super dry so I usually lotion up at some point during nursing snuggles.
  10. Chapstick - Yep, just like water and lotion, I gotta keep my lips hydrated. The pomegranate scent from Yes to Carrots is my new obsession. 
  11. Hair accessories - I've made it a habit to pull my hair back while nursing. I don't like it falling in my face and when baby gets older I don't like it being pulled!
  12. Snacks - Nursing mamas need to eat 300-500 more calories/day in order to maintain a healthy milk supply. Unfortunately this doesn't mean extra cookies (well, unless they are lactation cookies). I usually opt for a high-protein granola bar as my nursing basket snack.
And, a few other tips ... 
  • I highly recommend having a basket on each floor of your house or in every room you frequently nurse in. I have two - one near the couch and one next to my bed. All these supplies are also stocked in my diaper bag so I'm ready to feed the little one when I'm on the go.
  • Restocking your nursing basket is a perfect activity for older children or sweet husbands :) Print up a little checklist and allow your family to take an active role in taking care of you and baby.
  • Nursing baskets make a lovely and personal gift for all the sweet mamas in your life. Talk about a memorable baby shower gift! Even better, after baby is born, why not deliver a nursing basket when you pop in the visit mama and baby?

Thanks for sharing, Gretchen! Be sure to visit her blog and admire her sweet littles!