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April 13, 2015

Tips for Vaginal Birth Recovery

Another great topic from the beautiful mamas in the New Mom's group!

Something that we are rather unprepared for is the after birth portion of the birth process. We labour, push, tear, are stitched and sent home with advil. Whoop di do!

Thankfully there are a few things that you can do at home to help recover from a vaginal birth, whether or not you had any tearing.


Ice

This is one that my cousin told me about following an episiotomy in 2010. Spritz a thick overnight sanitary pad with way and then stick it in the freezer. Once it is nice and chilly, wear it like you would a normal sanitary pad. Pretty much instant relief for sore perineal muscles, swollen and sensitive areas and completely episiotomy and tear friendly.

Sitz Bath

I'm sure you've heard of them, but what are they exactly? Well, they are a blend of healing herbs that you add to a shallow pool of bath water to sit in. It's used to cleanse, as well as soothe. Earth Mama, Anointment and Happy Rock Holistics all make lovely herb bath remedies for postpartum use.

Relief for Swelling

Another thing that you can use to help alleviate the pain and discomfort caused by vaginal childbirth and swelling is a bottom spray.With soothing ingredients like witch hazel and peppermint, a spray like this just might come in handy for other things like bug bites and sunburns!

Put your feet up!

If you had an epidural, there is a good likelihood that you will have some swelling in your legs. To help the fluid drain, keep your feet up as much as possible. I found lying on the couch with my legs up over the back of the couch to be the most effective, even if it was super awkward.

When it hurts to sit...

Sit on a pillow. The further down you have to go, the more it is going to hurt those sensitive areas that are still healing. Put a pillow on the seat in the car, on the couch, on the recliner or glider. Elevate the spots where you will sit so you don't have to squat down as far.

Cramping

You may find after vaginal childbirth that you have a decent amount of cramping in your abdomen. Totally normal, and they likely remind you of the cramps you get around the time of your period. A hot water bottle or heating pad on your tummy may bring relief, as might an herbal tea with ginger (which will also help with any queasiness during postpartum recovery), peppermint essential oils massaged onto your tummy and ibuprofen.


When all else fails, remember that your body has just been put through something fairly traumatic that it likely has never done before. Take it easy, be kind to your body! Listen to it when it feels like you need to slow down. Have a bath with epsom salts for weary arm and leg muscles.

Take your time! I promise it will feel better soon!

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April 10, 2015

Individual Apple Crisp Recipe

If you're set to host Easter or another gathering, here is a quick and easy dessert recipe that take only moments to prepare, and will leave your house smelling absolutely delicious.



Preheat your oven to 350F

Prepare your bowls or ramekins with a bit of butter, then add chopped apples. If you're using soup or cereal bowls, one apple is all you will need for each bowl. Sprinkle with cinnamon, stir and set to the side.

For each cereal bowl, mix together

1/4 cup oats
2 tbsp brown sugar
sprinkle of cinnamon
2 tbsp cold butter

If you're using smaller ramekins, the above topping mixture will fill about four ramekins.

I find it easier to mix the topping with your fingers, but a pastry fork would work well also. Top your apples with the mixture, then bake for 15 minutes, until the topping is crunchy on the top.

Caution! The dish you used to bake your apple crisp in will be extremely hot, as will the contents! Let it cool for a couple of minutes before eating. Best served with vanilla ice cream or a large dollop of whip cream!


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April 8, 2015

What Is a Postpartum Doula?

This is a question that I get over and over, as the idea of having a doula after your baby has been born is rather unfamiliar to many.


Similar to how a birth doula provides mental and emotional support during labour and birth, a postppartum doula helps ease the parents transition once they return home from the hospital or birthing centre.

A few things that a postpartum doula does are...

  • Food delivery
  • Breastfeeding support
  • Helping the parents process their birth experience
  • Give mom an outlet to scream, cry, laugh, talk
  • Help partner with tips and tricks to support mom through things like postpartum anxiety, depression, and self care
  • Deliver self care kit and give mom some peace and quiet
  • Meet mom for a coffee date, without kiddos
Personally, I love being a Postpartum Doula. My favorite thing is to make a batch of waffles or muffins, then drop them off at a clients house and text them while I am on my way home. Knowing that you just helped by dropping off breakfast to a client...likely a very tired client who isn't taking the time to make herself a nice breakfast, but deserves breakfast in bed on a daily basis for just having championed through childbirth...it's such an awesome feeling.

Postpartum Doula's are incredible people who are there to support you through the emotional ups and down of your transition to parenthood. If you have older children, they are super effective with distracting them while you tend to baby, or taking both kiddos off your hands for a little while so you can take a few minutes out for yourself. 

Consider adding a Postpartum Doula to your recovery plan for after your baby arrives. You never know...a waffle and juice delivery may be just what you need when you've had a particularly rough night with your baby!

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April 7, 2015

Sweet Potatoes and Chickpeas, please! #babyfood #recipe

Now that our guy is a few months into solid feeding, we are getting into combination foods. This is something that I really loved doing with Owen, and it was great to know that at one sitting he could experience two, three or sometimes four different flavors and foods all at once.

One thing that I never thought to give him were chickpeas. Back in the fall, I was searching Pinterest for some ideas and came across one that used chickpeas as one of the ingredients. I got thinking about all of the different things that I could mix together, essentially making baby hummus, and came up with this awesome baby food recipe.



Preheat your oven to 350F. Peel your sweet potato, chop into chunks, and put into a baking or casserole dish. Add 1/2" of water to your casserole dish and put the lid on.

Roast for approximately 45minutes to an hour, or until the flesh of the sweet potato is tender. Allow to cool slightly in the pan, then put into your food processor or blender.

Add canned chickpeas and blend until smooth, using the water from your roasted sweet potatoes to thin as needed.

Yield 42 cubes



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April 2, 2015

Monthly Intentions: Positivity

The first quarter of the year is officially over, and you've probably gotten used to having gratitude for the small things, taking a moment to breath and reflect when you are faced with a chaotic situation, and being mindful of how you are doing things.

This month, I want you to set the intention of positivity


Pretty interesting perspective on things, isn't it? There are so many times, in so many situations along our path, where we are faced with the option of being miserable or being strong. This goes hand in hand with positivity. If we choose to look at a situation with a positive mindset, there is a high likelihood that the outcome will be positive as well.

Be positive
Be strong
Choose positive
Choose strong

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