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For breastfeeding mamas, hydration is essential.  You should drink frequently, preferably before you feel thirsty.  We recommend drinking 8 oz. of water every time you nurse.


Here are 3 tips to help keep you hydrated:

1-Find a favorite water bottle.  Our current fav is a Hydroflask Water Bottle.  We love it because it can keep your drinks cold for up to 24 hours plus it can have a flip lid or a straw and the color choices are pretty cute too!


2-Keep a pitcher full of water in the fridge.  Start with it full and empty it each day. You can even make it more interesting with some infused water!  Here is one of our favorite recipes from Simple Vegan Blog.
 
3-Don't overdo it! Drinking more water than you need won’t produce more milk and drinking too much can actually diminish milk production.

Want to win a Hydro Flask?  Enter to win one here:

Hydroflask Giveaway

While there is little that can be done to prevent the onset of sciatica during pregnancy, there are some things that can help ease the discomfort:

1- A Pregnancy Girdle- These help lift the abdomen, while supporting the back. This brings ecreased pelvic and groin pain.  You can snag one of our favorites here or check with your doctor to see if they provide one free of charge.

 2- A Firm Mattress and Pillow- Sleep on a firm mattress with plenty of back support, and place a pillow between your legs to help keep the pelvis in better alignment and take some pressure off the sciatic nerve.  This is one of our favorite pregnancy pillows.

3- Yoga Exercises- Exercise can be great to help bring relief for Sciatica Pain.  Check out this youtube video here:

Sometimes us moms need a little help boosting our supply.  Essential oils are natural aromatic compounds found in the leaves, stems, seeds, bark, roots, and flowers of plants and have a wide range of physical and emotional uses including supporting a breastfeeding mother. DōTERRA Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade (CPTG) essential oils work great!  Our friend Melissa is a dōTERRA consultant and has shared some of these incredible tips with us about Oils That Assist Lactation.

We recommend you consult a licensed aromatherapist for oil use to make sure what and how you are using is safe and effective for you and your needs.

BENEFITS:

-Fennel and Clary Sage help promote initial milk production

-Basil and Geranium promote milk production

-Peppermint promotes a possible decrease in milk production

TO USE:

TOPICALLY:  place 2 TBSP of a carrier oil, like dōTERRA's Fractionated Coconut Oil, in a glass bowl or container and add 10 - 15 drops of your chosen oil(s). Apply a small amount of the mixture on your breasts, avoiding the nipples.

Note: If you become pregnant, or have any concerns about using essential oils while breastfeeding, please consult your physician.

Melissa is a stay at home mom of two amazing little boys - a 17 month old nursling and a 3 year old toddler. dōTERRA essential oils have been a blessing for her and her family, and she truly enjoys sharing what she has learned with others, so that they too can experience the amazing benefits of these essential oils. More information can be found by visiting her website  or email her at melissamoore121@gmail.com

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are intended to support general well being and are not intended to treat, diagnose, mitigate, prevent, or cure any condition or disease.

4 Tips to Beat the Baby Blues

After nine months of your body undergoing the most rapid and significant changes of your life, and then after intense physical exertion to bring your baby into the world in the most dramatic of ways, you should be able to sit back and relax, right? Well, maybe – that is, if your baby was born accompanied by a 24-hour nanny.

I found it exceedingly difficult to recover from birth and to bond with my first two babies. Struggling with a lack of sleep that led to hallucinations in the wee hours of the night, I quickly found myself in the midst of the baby blues both times.

The phrase “third time’s a charm” exists for a reason. By my third baby, I knew what was coming, and I created a plan that I hoped would either chase those ugly baby blues away, or at least minimize them. Happily, my plan worked, and I didn’t find myself crying in the shower or screaming at my confused husband just minutes after telling him how wonderful he is. These are the four things I recommend:

1. TALK – and talk and talk Analyze yourself like crazy.

Months before delivery, I started talking to my husband about how the baby blues felt after my other deliveries. Together, we analyzed my triggers: lack of sleep, not being validated, too much pressure to get back to routine. We talked about the warning signs that indicate I’m about to spiral: crying a lot, getting angry, not feeling like I’m bonding with the baby. Talk to your partner. Figure out what you need when you’re not feeling like yourself, and then make a plan to do what you need if and when you start to feel unhappy. For me, I need alone time, so I came up with ideas to get me out of the house by myself – and then I used those ideas once the baby was born. And keep talking after the baby is born. It’s ok to remind your husband every other day, “I really need you to ask me how I feel.” My husband actually put a reminder in his phone, which sounds ridiculous, but you know what? It worked. We talked. I didn’t spiral.

2. ACCEPT HELP

Say yes to help!  I accepted any help that was offered. My friend just texted to invite my kids over? Yes! The church offered to bring in meals? Yes! My sister wants to babysit and hold the baby while my husband and I get a bite to eat? Yes! I didn’t accept any help after my first baby, and I can tell you there was a huge difference this time when I did accept help. And don’t worry – once you feel back to normal, you can pay forward all the help that was given to you. And if you did step 1, then part of all that talking will help you understand ahead of time what kind of help you’re going to need. I realized I get overwhelmed when my house is cluttered, so I asked my husband to de-clutter every night. I realized I feel frustrated with my children quickly when my life is stressful, so I asked friends and family to be prepared to babysit. I realized I need lots of sleep, so when my husband was home, I let him take all the kids out of the house so I could take a nap.

3. HIRE HELP

I’m as cheap as they come, but I set aside money to hire a babysitter for the week after my husband went back to work. I knew that taking care of two kids was going to make it difficult to get to know my new baby. The babysitter’s mom dropped her off at lunch time, and I took her home once my husband came home from work. BEST DECISION EVER. I spent the mornings with my older kids, and then shut myself in my room with the baby in one hand and snacks in the other once the babysitter arrived. Since the older kids were taken care of, and I didn’t feel guilty because I was PAYING someone to take care of them, I felt completely free to stare at my baby and nap. It was wonderful. I paid the babysitter an extra dollar an hour to vacuum, sweep, do the dishes, and help the older kids clean their room. I literally had to do nothing that week except for cuddle and feed a newborn – and it was glorious.

4. GET RID OF GUILT

This is probably the most important thing! Remember: You just sacrificed your body for nine months, then pushed a baby out of said sacrificed body. If you’re nursing, you’re still sacrificing your body. Whether or not you’re nursing, you’re sacrificing sleep, time, and emotions for that little baby. It is perfectly fine for your husband to get up when the baby cries. So he has to work tomorrow? You just pushed a baby from your body! A girl’s gotta heal. It’s perfectly fine for you to take a nap, to accept a dinner from a friend, to let someone clean up, or hire house cleaners.

There is no rule book that says we have to do it all, and in fact, life is a lot better when we don’t.

Rebecca is journalist and piano teacher turned stay-at-home mom who also copy edits for SheKnows.com, and blogs here at Thrilled By the Thought.

Hi! I’m Brecke from @purefitpurefood. I just had my 3rd baby 6 months ago. I know working out after baby can seem like the last thing on your mind. You are up all night with a new baby, body is still not feeling like itself and you are supposed get in your workout clothes and workout!!?? Seems like the worst idea.

BUT once you get just start (just a little) It will help you feel better about yourself, and you will have more energy to take care of that new little baby.

Always check with your doctor to see when it’s safe to begin working out again. AND don’t jump back into doing core work too soon. Your tummy is healing too (think how stretched out it was)

Here are 4 great exercises you can do right at home, with our without weights:

LATERAL LUNGE

weight between your legs (or no weight) lunge to one side keeping weight in the standing heel. Hold you core nice and tight. Try 12 each leg

 PLIE PUNCHES

 while in a squat feet turned out, punch those arms out from in front of you. 24 total.

 BICEP CURLS WHILE LUNGING 

walking lunges, while you are down in the lunge curl arms one at a time. Try lunging 20 times

SINGLE DEADLIFT

this is more of an advanced move, if you want you can leave both legs on the ground. Chest is lifted slowly moving the weights down your leg and lifting one in the air. Try 8 each leg.

Ok! These are a great full body exercises remember to hold your core in the entire time.

You can find out more about Pure Fit Pure Food and the products and services they offer here.  Be sure to follow them on Instagram @purefitpurefood for great motivation, quick workouts and real food advice.

The lovely ladies of Pure Fit Pure Food are offering their 10 Week Transformation Plan to one lucky winner:

Pure Fit Pure Food Giveaway

PUPPS RASH, also known as Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy (PUPPP) is a chronic hive like rash that strikes some women during pregnancy. The main causes are unknown and the generally accepted treatment solution among doctors is ultimately delivery.

However there are some things that have been found to help ease this treacherous rash or at least take away the itch momentarily. Here are our top 3 things that can help PUPPS:

1- ALOE AND OATMEAL BATHS:

These are said to help soothe the itch while decreasing the red appearance of the condition. It may only bring temporary relief but even a little bit helps.

2- SARNA LOTION:

This lotion has a very distinct smell but it creates a cooling feeling on the skin and then numbs the skin slightly.  This definitely helps ease the itch.  Check with your doctor to be sure this is 

approved to use as it may not be safe to use around a newborn.

3- GRANDPA'S PINE TAR SOAP

This is a soothing soap containing allantoin (anti-inflammatory), aloe vera gel, baking soda and coconut oil.  The smell is terrible and smells much like a camp fire, but the benefits many have reported are definitely worth it.


And 2 bonus treatments we have heard that work:
Banana Peels to treat the itch
Drinking V8 Juice 

*be sure to check with your doctor before using any of the above recommendations

Every new mama could use a little help with dinner. Here are a few of our favorite recipes for meals to take to new moms:

1- CHICKEN ENCHILADAS-This amazing recipe is a definite crowd pleaser.  Be sure to omit the cheese if the mom is doing no dairy (or any of the family members have a dairy allergy).

2-  GARLIC CHICKEN WITH ORZO NOODLESThis is a great kid friendly dish and a bit more mild for a breastfeeding mom.  

3- CROCKPOT CARNITAS- Carnitas with all the fixings usually offer something for every family member, plus they are easy to reheat so mama can eat anytime.

4-  TORTILLA SOUP- Another great meal to reheat and serve when ready.

5- PESTO AND SAUSAGE BAKED ZITIWe can't leave out a casserole and this is a great one!  Take it uncooked and mama can freeze it to have on hand later or bake when they are ready and the leftovers aren't bad either.

Be sure to send everything in disposable containers because the last thing a new mom needs is to remember who to return dishes to.  In addition to meals,  items that can easily be eaten with one hand while feeding and holding a newborn – granola bars, muffins, scones, etc, are perfect.

Oatmeal is a pregnancy superfood and it helps with milk supply postpartum.  We rounded up some of our very favorite Oat Recipes to share:

  

Peaches & Cream Oatmeal
This sweet and crunchy combo is divine! Thanks Katie Dudley Photography!

INGREDIENTS:
1 serving oatmeal (steel cut if possible)
Sliced peaches (canned or fresh)
Milk or Cream
Syrup or honey and top with sliced Almonds 

Shredded Apple Cinnamon Oats
INGREDIENTS:
1 serving oatmeal (steel cut oats are great if you have the time)
1/2 an apple shredded (we just use our cheese grater)
Top with a sprinkle of ground cinnamon


Raspberry Coconut Oats

 
INGREDIENTS:
1 serving steel cut oats
3 T coconut milk 
2 T unsweetened shredded coconut 
1-2 T pure maple syrup (or honey)
1 T sliced almonds
1/2 cup fresh raspberries

Overnight Banana Oats
INGREDIENTS:
2 cups old-fashioned oats (Note: Not the quick cook/instant kind)
3 ½ cups water
2 cups milk
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 bananas, mashed
1 banana, sliced for garnish (optional)
PREPARATION:
Using non-stick cooking spray, thoroughly spray the bottom and sides of the Crockpot insert.
Add the old-fashioned oats, water, milk, cinnamon and brown sugar to the Crockpot. Mix well until all ingredients are well incorporated.
Cover and cook on the low setting for 8 hours.
Prior to serving, stir in the mashed bananas. Garnish with additional banana slices if desired.

Milkmakers Oat Recipe

Oats expert Emily the creator of milkmakers cookies shares her favorite and it's all about the toppings.

INGREDIENTS:
1/2 cup thick organic rolled oats.
Top with:
cinnamon
slivered almonds
hemp hearts
dried organic cranberries (NOT CRAISINS!)
Rolled date pieces 
Milk or cream.

Maple Pecan Oats



INGREDIENTS:
1 serving steel cut oats
10 pecans chopped
2 tsp pure maple syrup
1 tbsp chia seed

10 Breastfeeding Tips

While breastfeeding may come naturally to some, most women could use a little help.  Here are Top Ten Tips for Breastfeeding Success from one of our favorite Lactation Consultants at Lactation Link:

 
Breastfeeding Tip


Nursing Tip
Breastfeeding Tip


Nursing Tip
Breastfeeding Tip
Breastfeeding Tip


Breastfeeding Tip
Breastfeeding tips
Nursing Tip

Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC is a registered nurse and board certified lactation specialist. She owns Lactation Link, a private lactation consulting company. To find out more or schedule a class, click here.

I was intrigued by cloth diapers when my 3rd baby was born. I wanted to give it a try, so here is what I did to prepare:

-Online research (great for pregnancy insomnia!)

-Cloth Diaper 101 class (thanks Honey Bump Maternity!)

-Invested in some good cloth diapers & supplies. (I bought most of the items gently used)

My major obstacles were that my husband wasn't on board. I guess it was more than he could handle. We both work, so in our home we share the baby duties. With that in mind, I set a realistic goal for myself. I was going to do at least ONE CLOTH DIAPER A DAY. I figured if I could save one disposable diaper a day, for at least the first 6 months of my baby's life, it would be a meaningful contribution and still realistic.

Some would say I failed at cloth diapers because I used disposables also, but I consider it a win and am proud of all the disposable diapers I saved in my efforts.

As an aspiring cloth diaperer, I am so impressed by the awesome moms out there who are committed to cloth. And when I meet moms who cloth, I don't mock or act astonished, instead I thank them for their efforts in making our earth a little bit cleaner and cuter. (Let's face it cloth diapers are WAY cuter than disposables!)

Sincerely, A cloth diaper admirer.{Elena}

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