mom blog

My Postpartum Wellness Journey

Let’s be honest. The LAST thing you want to do after giving birth is worry about your health and getting back to your “old” body. But that’s the thing – You will never have your “old” body back and you should be proud of that.

My pregnancy was filled with mountains of dessert and a huge lack of self-confidence. Right at the beginning of my pregnancy I had told Jay that I wanted to workout throughout pregnancy and eat as healthy as possible. Here’s the issue – I hadn’t set up good habits for myself before becoming pregnant so suddenly starting to workout while also growing a baby was never going to be successful.

Fast forward to delivering Austin, I knew I wanted to make a change.

before:after
1 month, 2 months, and 6 months postpartum

I should start by saying that every woman’s postpartum (or regular) health journey is different and every body is beautiful. We should be proud of who we are – stretch marks, cellulite, and all. There is no “quick fix” to a healthier lifestyle or weight loss – and if someone is telling you there is, it might be dangerous for your body.

My journey is just that – a journey. It wasn’t a quick fix, wasn’t a fast track to losing weight, and definitely wasn’t a quick change in mindset. It was and is a process to become the best version of myself.

Ways to Become a Healthier You

  1. Figure out your “why”. You can never achieve your goals if you don’t start with why you want to change. For me, I was uncomfortable in my skin and knew I wanted to feel healthy and fit. Also with a new son, there will be a day when I have to start chasing him around. What if I can’t keep up or I’m straight winded trying to catch him?
  2. Set a goal. My original goal was to lose my baby weight, which I’m proud to say I did in about 10 weeks postpartum. But even once I met that goal – I didn’t feel satisfied. I still felt uncomfortable with how I looked. I thought losing my baby weight would mean I would feel skinny and have a flat belly. Spoiler alert: I’ve lost more weight since then and my belly still isn’t flat. I think my problem here is that I set a goal that wasn’t what I truly wanted, or wasn’t necessarily achievable in the way I wanted. Now I have a new goal – to focus on non-scale fitness victories: hold my plank for longer each time, don’t give up during 45 seconds of mountain climbers, increase my weights every 2 weeks, etc. For me, these feel achievable and push me to be the strongest version of myself. Everyone is different and will have different goals, so be sure to pick something you can be devoted to.
  3. Change your mindset. As women, we need to stop worrying about what other people think of us. You are beautiful. Everything about you makes you you and that is worth celebrating. Right after giving birth I was SO worried about what other people would think about me and my body. Truth is – I bet everyone was too busy worrying the same thing about themselves. I am proud of my stretch marks, mommy pouch, cellulite, belly rolls, you name it, because I know it is evidence of a handsome little boy that I brought into this world. Whatever “flaw” you may see on your body – God put it there for a reason. We are made in His image and need to learn that hating ourselves is simply a waste of time. If you do have something you want to change – do it!! I never knew how strong I was until I tried.
  4. Start healthy eating habits. For me, this was the hardest part. I LOVE dessert and mashed potatoes. In an earlier post, 5 Steps To A More Joyful Maternity LeaveI talked a lot about different programs that helped me learn to make smart eating choices. This time around I chose to use Weight Watchers (now WW) for the first 3 months postpartum. This was huge in helping me learn how to make smart eating choices. You’d be amazed at how good you feel when you give your body the nutrients it needs and keep the unhealthy stuff to a minimum. You can find some of my favorite healthy recipes on my Pinterest. Tread lightly: You will also see lots of yummy, unhealthy dessert recipes for when you really want to indulge.
  5. Find a fitness program that works for you. Working out has improved both my physical and mental health, something that is so important for all women. I started the first 6 weeks postpartum with daily walks. This was a simple thing to do that got me and baby out of the house and my heart rate up. It made me feel a little normal and helped with the healing process as well. After I was cleared for normal activities from my doctor I was ready to try something a little more intense that would help me shed a few more pounds and combat some recurring anxiety. After a little searching and talking to some new moms on Instagram, I finally found a program perfect for me. It’s only 4 days a week, 40 minutes a day, and a mix of weight lifting and cardio. Y’all I have never felt more strong! There’s something so empowering about weight lifting and it is so fun to challenge myself each workout. Whatever your niche is – straight cardio, barre, HIIT, etc. – do it with a purpose. Your body will thank you and you will start to see changes if you stick to it. If you want to know more about the fitness program, you can go to my blog’s Instagram, here.
  6. Find an accountability partner. You will be so much more successful if you have people in your corner cheering you on. Jay and I do all of our workouts together. It makes working out so much more enjoyable to have him there each time. Whether it be your roommate, spouse, friend, or family member, have someone there with you each step of the way. If they can’t workout with you, make healthy meals together! You deserve to have a cheerleader every step of the way.
  7. Celebrate your successes! You are so strong, so beautiful, and so determined. Celebrate any success you have – avoiding sweets for a whole week, pushing yourself through that 3 minute cardio HIIT, fitting into some old clothes. Whatever your success may be, you should shout to the moon about it.

mom blog, Uncategorized

Baby’s First Shots: Cue the Tears

“It’s worse for mom and dad than it is for baby.”

IMG_6815

Austin is officially ten weeks (and two days) old and we finally feel like we’re starting to get the hang of this whole parenting thing. Each day brings new challenges but also new developments in Austin that are super cute and sweet. Austin loves to smile at us now and he has a couple of toys that are his favorite to look and coo at. I am loving this new stage he’s in and am so excited to see how he grows in the next couple of months.

Since he’s a little over two months old now, Austin had to endure his first vaccinations this past week. The majority of parents won’t actually know a baby’s “hurt” cry until his or her first shots. We thought we knew what sound Austin was going to make since he’s been colic for a while now. We felt so prepared and strong going in – but hearing those cries was so sad! Think about the saddest cry you’ve heard from your little one; mix that with a little bit of shock, scared, and a “my puppy just died” sound and you’ve got your match.

IMG_6830I think it was especially sad because there was literally nothing we could do and we knew how confused he must have been. Luckily our pediatrician told us to be prepared with a bottle afterwards and that helped tremendously. The next two days after his shots were off days for Austin. The first day, he slept almost the entire day. He would still flinch if you touched his legs and we could tell he did not feel well. The second day, he barely took any naps and wasn’t as interested in eating. Finally day 3 and Austin was himself again.

While the shots were painful for Austin, I have no doubt it was worse on us than it was on him. He was such a trooper and showed how tough he was. Meanwhile, Jay and I were trying to hold back tears when he heard him cry. Don’t worry moms and dads: your baby will survive the shots, he will be healthy and happy because of it, and you won’t be judged for your over-dramatic reaction in the doctor’s office.

Tips to Survive Newborn Shots

  1. Be prepared to feed.
    • Right after they hand your little one back to you, be prepared to let them eat! In addition to your cuddles, eating is very soothing for them and will help them forget about the pain.
  2. Have Children’s Tylenol on hand.
    • Money Saving Hack (thanks to our rock star pediatrician): Buy Children’s Tylenol instead of Infant Tylenol. These two medicines have the exact same ingredients. The only difference is that the infant version comes with a syringe and the children’s one comes with a cup, making the infant version much more expensive.
    • You can use a MediFrida Pacifier to give your baby the medicine. This paci is truly a lifesaver. It dispenses the medicine to your baby’s cheeks and bypasses his taste buds. Plus, you can reuse this for a long time, instead of just for the Tylenol.
    • **Be sure to ask your doctor for the correct dosage!
  3. Let your caretaker know.
    • If you’re working, be sure to let your caretaker know about his vaccinations. This way they can be prepared for different behaviors and can be sure to watch for rashes and/or fever.
  4. Give your baby a warm bath. 
    • A warm bath will do wonders for their sore little legs! Also, if your baby is anything like Austin, they will have so much fun in the water that they forget they’re sore.
    • Exercising your baby’s legs can also help with pain. We tried to keep his legs moving as much as possible so they wouldn’t get too stiff and sore.
  5. Snuggle that baby! 
    • Give him a little extra dose of snuggles and love over the next few days after shots. Cuddles will help baby’s legs and your emotions feel better!

Overall, if you’re worried about anything at all, ask your pediatrician. They are there to help transition you as a new parent and to take good care of your little baby. You’ve got this – just make sure you’re prepared with a little extra caffeine that day.