Wednesday
Mar062013

Healthy Weight Loss After Pregnancy


All the attention has been on your baby bump. People talk to it, strangers have an uncontrollable need to rub it, photos are snapped regularly, and you are allowed to use any bathroom, anywhere..just by laying a hand on it and giving a small smile. It’s awesome. And then you get the most wonderful, the most beautiful baby in the WHOLE world. And a belly that still looks pregnant…very, very, pregnant. Luckily, most of this belly weight will pass rather quickly as fluids leave your body and your uterus shrinks back down to size. But not all of it..not even close. 

Have faith MomMes, all hope is not lost! There are many things you can do before and after labor to fit into your pre-baby jeans!

First of all, let’s remember one thing. Your baby took 9 months to make. Your body slowly expanded, and you should give it the respect of giving it time to slim down again. Lasting change takes time.

So what can you do before labor? Eat well, exercise, rest. No surprise here. The less unnecessary weight you gain, the less you have to lose. Eat whole foods and incorporate a healthy exercise routine.

From the moment you deliver, your body begins its shrinking process. This could take a few weeks. Don’t worry about exercising for the first 6 weeks, 8 if you delivered by c-section (get an ok from your dr. first!) However, do take walks. Enjoy them. Breathe some fresh air and let your body move daily. You and your babe need time to establish your milk supply, so no cutting calories. Losing weight too quickly can also release toxins into your breastmilk and harm your baby. Eat plenty of whole, healthy food. 

Breastfeed. It can burn 500-800 calories a day and signals your uterus to contract and shrink. And it’s the ultimate source of nutrition for your little one.

Drink plenty of water. It will keep your milk supply and metabolism up. Also, keeping hydrated fills you up so you don’t over eat. Do you forget to drink up? Set aside a time when you will have a glass of water. On the hour, every hour or before every feeding.

Fiber is crucial. High fiber foods prevent insulin spikes. Why is this good? When insulin spikes, it tells our bodies that there is a bunch of energy to be burned off and to not burn any fat, so the fat gets stored. Then comes the insulin drop which makes us feel groggy and tired (food coma, anyone?) and usually craving more sugar (maybe just a little desert?) which takes us back to the insulin spike….seeing a cycle here?

Now let’s get into the actual food. What food is the absolute BEST in losing that pregnancy weight? Here is a list of foods that are easy to prepare, easy to eat (especially with one hand while holding/rocking/nursing baby), and easy to store. And while some moms are used to a whole food diet full of kale and quinoa, the reality is that most moms are not. This list is full of foods that are super healthy, but maybe a little more practical for the average mom. 

  • Berries- This antioxidant rich snack boosts your metabolism while regulating your blood sugar. Raspberries have more fiber than most other fruits.
  • Apples- Apples are full of fiber and vitamins and have enzymes that help your body digest food more efficiently. They also keep you full for a longer amount of time. 
  • Bananas- They are nutrient dense snacks that will give you a boost of energy. Low in fat and calories and very high in potassium.
  • Veggies- High in fiber and packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fluids. Slice up carrots, cucumbers, radishes, celery, bell peppers, peas or any other veggies and store for a quick snack whenever you need.
  • Spinach- Loaded with antioxidants and vitamins, it’s a nutritional powerhouse. Throw it on a sandwich, in a smoothie, or make a quick salad. 
  • Nuts- Especially raw walnuts and almonds. They are high in healthy fats, protein and fiber. Just make sure to eat a handful…not a bag-full.
  • Salmon- Very high is DHA and Omega-3 fatty acids and low in mercury, salmon is the perfect choice for your lean protein and will be good for baby’s brain and development.
  • Eggs- High in protein, you can hard-boil half a dozen and have them as a filling snack.
  • Chicken- High in protein and low in fat, it also has plenty of essential nutrients like zinc and iron. 
  • Oatmeal- Provides a source of complex carbs so you feel full for a longer amount of time. It is also High in fiber and protein.
  • Whole grains - The healthier, heartier version of white food. Toss the white bread, pasta, rice and opt for wild brown rice, barley, buckwheat, quinoa, millet, and whole grain breads.
  • Dark Chocolate- For when you just NEED a piece…relax and enjoy. A little dark chocolate can actually speed up your metabolism and burn calories and fat. 
  • Green Tea- the antioxidants in green tea help burn fat! ‘Nuf said!

Love yourself some mayo? Try hummus or smashing some avocado instead. Sour cream? Try Greek yogurt instead. 

I’m a sucker for wraps. Try having a tortilla with hummus, chicken, cucumber, tomato OR a pita with spinach, brown rice, salmon and Greek yogurt OR a tortilla with smashed avocado, spinach, carrots, egg, bell pepper, and tomato. Load whatever you eat with veggies. Eat well, be well, feel well!

Allya Orlov is a Certified Health Coach, providing fitness, diet, wellness and nutrition counseling, bringing harmony and balance to both mother and child. All Club MomMe fans get a FREE initial consultation! Find out more atwww.OrganicLifeWellness.com
Monday
Mar042013

Dealing with Daylight Savings Time - Sunday March 9th

It’s that time again…time to reset your clock.  While you will be gaining an extra hour of daylight, you may be losing some sleep.  That’s because as hard as it may be to reset your own internal clock, you also have to do the same for your kids.

Sound daunting?  Don’t let the extra sunlight stress you out!  We asked our MomMe Friends at Sleepy Planet for their advice about springing forward with your little one: 

Before bed, turn clocks ahead 1 hour.  If your child normally sleeps till 6:30 AM, the next morning she will likely sleep till 7:30 AM.  Her entire schedule - naps and bedtime - will then shift one hour later. This will be great news for some of you

If you’re happy about this change, great!  Go with it, adjusting naps later as well. Be sure to protect your child’s room from too much light in the early morning (use blackout shades), and use white noise so she won’t wake with the birds. Note that she may eventually adjust back to her prior bedtime and waketime over the next week or two.

If you’d rather help your child get back to her usual schedule, try the following:

1.  Put your child down at her regular bedtime, say 7:30 PM, on Saturday night.

2. Set your alarm for 6:30 AM (according to the new clock) and wake your child at this time.  To her, it will feel like it’s 5:30 AM, but don’t worry.  She’ll be tired, but she’ll adjust.

3.  If your child naps, put her down at her normal nap time according to the new clock and resume a normal schedule from there.  Don’t allow her to nap longer than usual.

4.  On Sunday night, put her down at her usual bedtime according to the new time.

Thanks to the Co-Authors of the book and DVD “The Sleepeasy Solution” Jennifer Waldburger and Jill Spivack for these helpful tips!  Excerpt from The Sleepeasy Solution: The Exhausted Parent’s Guide to Getting Your Child to Sleep — from Birth to Age 5.

 

 

Saturday
Feb232013

Hyland's Tooth Fairy Week: Sweepstakes, Gift-A-Thon & More!

I remember when I first came across Hyland’s teething tablets.  My son was showing the classic signs of teething, and he was almost inconsolable. I spent many nights with him sleeping on my chest in my rocker recliner. I was really nervous to give him any medications; he was just a little baby!!

One day in my mommy and me class at Emerson, my teacher asked us to share concerns and almost in unison, several moms and I said teething. The typical response in most classes is always sleep!  One mom took this “magic” bottle out of her purse called Hyland’s Teething Tablets, and went on and on about how much it helped her older daughter, it contains natural ingredients like Chamomillia. 

After class, several other moms and I all went to the store together to pick some up.  I gave some to my son right when we got out of the store, and he responded very positively with a smile!  Of course I had to try a few of these tablets too! Hylands has made the teething process for my son so much more manageable, and are truly a lifesaver.

This February 28th, 2013 is National Tooth Fairy Day! Who knew such a thing existed!? To celebrate, Hyland’s will be introducing the Hyland’s Tooth Fairy and to kick off their introduction, they’ll be hosting a series of events throughout February and March!

To begin, Hyland’s will be hosting a Gift Basket sweepstakes on the Club MomMe Facebook Fan page starting Monday February 25th, 2013 at 10am EST. To participate our fans will have to answer the following question: “What is your fondest memory of the tooth fairy? Whether it’s your own or your little one’s, we’d love to hear!” You could win one of two Hyland’s Gift Baskets including 8 products and an adorable onesie that is bound to have your whole family laughing! The contest will end Wednesday February 27th at 1pm EST. You can find sweepstakes rules here.  Enter here!!

But wait, the fun will not stop there! Remember DropGifts?!  On Wednesday February 27th, Hyland’s will be partnering with them to host the Hyland’s Tooth Fairy Gift-A-Thon! That’s right! Starting at 1pm EST on Wednesday, February 27th you will have the opportunity to gift a friend one of 1,000 Hyland’s Baby Teething Tablets. Be ready, they will go fast!

On National Tooth Fairy Day, February 28th, Hyland’s will be introducing Hyland’s Tooth Fairy on www.hylandsbaby.com and on http://www.facebook.com/HylandsTeething. On that day, Hyland’s will be hosting “Name the Hyland’s Tooth Fairy” contest through 3/28/13, at which time the audience will be able to vote for their favorite name! The top 10 favorite names will each win a Hyland’s Baby Teething Onesie and a box of Hyland’s Baby Teething Tablets! The Grand Prize winner will win a $200 Visa Gift Card, Hyland’s Baby Basket, Hyland’s Baby Teething Onesie and Customized First Tooth Certificate – so this is another chance to win Hyland’s Teething Tablets in addition to the DropGifts Gift-A-Thon!

Did you think the fun just stopped here? Not even!  There will also be fun downloadable information on www.hylandsbaby.com, including the customizable First Tooth Certificate, Tooth Chart and Tooth Badges!

Are you ready for this fun-filled Tooth Fairy themed month brought to you by Hyland’s?

**This is a sponsored post.

Saturday
Feb232013

Goodies and Guidance at Demystifying the Preschool Process Event

I love school recruitment fairs. I probably attend about 20+ a year. I see schools reaching out to new families and intrepid parents approaching admissions reps with their questions. I so easily forget how intimidating it is to look for a school.

I have to say the Demystifying the Preschool Process and Fair hosted by Club MomMe and Launch Education was a pretty good way for parents to get their feet wet and on their way to making the preschool decision a little easier. Rachel Pitzel is an organizer extraordinaire. She has a penchant for making best friends with kid friendly businesses and racking up freebies to give away at her events. I have to admit I was envious of the Bob Revolution City stroller she gave away and I don’t even have a young child to go with it. Along with premiere car seats and even a tricycle as giveaways, several parents went home very lucky.

Beyond the goodies, Demystifying had a professional panel of speakers that allowed parents an insight into the preschool process. Michelle Nitka, publisher of the book, “Coping with Preschool Panic” was on hand to talk applying to preschool and overcoming the preschool jitters. Jonine Nazar Psy.D. talked about child development while Admissions Director Patricia Kong addressed the admissions process.

After the panel and Q and A, parents could peruse the tables and get information from the various preschools. One of my favorite child educators, Deborah Wylie, of Children’s Community Center, was present to represent her school. Allison from Wallaby, represented a wonderful child development center. I loved the wealth of information (not just schools!) available in the room. This was such a wonderful event for families to attend and help begin their path to find the right education outlets for their child.

Mia Johnstone, The Private School Lady, publishes an online guide, The LA Private School Guide for families looking for private schools. She has been working with private schools for over 7 years. Check out her private school insights at www.theprivateschoollady.com

 

 

Wednesday
Feb202013

The Inside Scoop on Baby Planners and How to Choose the Best One for Youfor You

What is a Baby Planner?

OK, I get asked all the time, “What the heck is a Baby Planner and why in the world would I need one?”

First let’s answer the basic question.  A Baby Planner is a personal consultant to new and expecting families. They can have a number of titles and may be called a Maternity Concierge, Baby Concierge, Maternity Consultant or Parent Coach.  Ultimately, what Baby Planners do is provide families with factual, unbiased information, practical preparation, and new parent services.

Keep in mind that not all Baby Planners are the same and most will provide many services.  Most Baby Planners focus on one or many areas of expertise such as product education and safety, nutritional consulting, nursery design, birth education, sleep consulting, and more.  So, when looking to hire a baby planner, focus on a company that offers services that are in line with your particular needs.

Why hire a Baby Planner?

“C’mon, I’ve got advice coming out of my ears!  I need one more person giving me advice like a need another stranger coming up to rub my ever-expanding belly!!  Why would I hire someone to help me?”  

Simply put: friends and family have a different function from trained, professional pregnancy and birth support.   They should and will be there to support you, but not everyone is lucky enough to have friends and family near enough to be there for full support and, frankly, they may not always be the best resource for some of your needs. 

I wish I had a dollar for every time I hear expectant parents say, “I have friends and family that have kids and they are going to tell me what I need to do to prepare and what I products I need.”   Well, my response to this is, “I may own a car, but I’m no mechanic”.  What do I mean by that?  Well, although these well-intentioned helpers may have experience with their own children and know what worked for them, that doesn’t make them an expert with a breadth and depth of knowledge (and a lack of bias) that allows them to consult for other’s experiences.

In addition, although some expectant parents may really love to spend hours researching and reading, many others don’t have the time (or energy) to research all of the baby preparation options out there and when they do attempt to research their options, more often than not, end up feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and even more confused!  More and more expectant families have realized they can gain immediate insider access to the latest products, health information, on-call support, the best classes, the greatest resources in their area, as well as customized consulting specifically tailored to their own unique family beliefs, goals and vision for parenthood; all with a Baby Planner.  I want to emphasize that a good Baby Planner doesn’t tell a client what to do or buy, they ask questions and EMPOWER them to make the right decisions for their family.

So how do I choose a Baby Planner?

First and foremost do your research.  I highly recommend asking your potential Baby Planner the following questions: 

  1. What trainings and experiences do you have that are relevant to baby planning?
  2. Do you hold any certifications relevant to your company offerings?
  3. How often can I expect to hear from you? How often may I contact you?
  4. How do you prefer to communicate with clients?
  5. Which primary baby planning services do you provide?
  6. Do you have references? Can I contact them if I decide I’d like to move forward?
  7. When conducting research which resources do you consult?
  8. Do you have any manufacturing contacts?
  9. Are you a member of any professional organizations, such as the Better Business Bureau or the Chamber of Commerce?
  10. How many clients do you take one at one time?

After doing this initial research, ask for an in-person meeting.  This should be free-of-charge and allow you to meet your Baby Planner to make sure that your personalities and philosophies will work well together.  Once you have decided on your Baby Planner, ask for a written proposal and insist on a contract for all services to be provided.

Finally, RELAX!  You now have the piece of mind that you will have access to the latest and greatest information and resources, allowing you to enjoy the most amazing period of your life.   With these simple tips it’s a piece of (baby shower) cake to find and hire the right Baby Planner for your and your family.  Now if you can just keep those belly-touching strangers, with their unsolicited advice, at arm’s length, you’re all set.

Annie Mullens, founder of WeePlan Baby Planners, is a premier, Certified Baby Planner in the Greater Denver area.  She also works as a national/international Independent Maternity and Child Product Consultant for both retailers and manufacturers in order to promote product education and safety.

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