As promised! As a follow up to TTC what-nots (https://themomchrons.com/2016/10/06/trying-to-conceive-ttc/) I am going to talk about what I changed when I found out I was pregnant. Since we had experienced a miscarriage I was pretty paranoid during my 1st Trimester. My diet and exercise changed pretty drastically.
Food. It goes without saying (or it should..) that I immediately stopped drinking alcohol completely. I honestly had no issues with this. I’m not much of a drinker nowadays anyways so that part was not hard for me. I had a friend who told me she craved beer while pregnant. I’m glad that was not me! I also switched to decaffeinated coffee for the most part. I did get some wicked headaches a few times that I curbed with “real” coffee. It was MUCH later in pregnancy, and I mean around 25 weeks, that I switched to half-caffeinated. My one pregnancy craving was Raspberry Snapple Iced Tea though so I did also get some caffeine from that. Some other foods you may or may not know you should not have. Deli meats, bleu cheese (this was tough for me), certain juices, sushi, limited fish, raw meat. The one thing about deli meat…you can have it if heated up. So on those days I really wanted a sandwich I would put the meat in the microwave for about 25 seconds and then put it in the fridge to cool back down. There may be other things not recommended…but those were the things that I specifically wanted that I had to watch for!
Exercise. This is tricky. I was so paranoid. I did not do too much for 8 weeks! I walked and hiked but did not run. I was so scared after that miscarriage! Now after that I had a little routine that worked well. From weeks 8-20 of pregnancy I would do 5 min run/3 min walk intervals on the treadmill. I also did some pretty intense hikes later in pregnancy. At 27 weeks we “accidentally” did a 7.5 mile hike! We were camping and just started hiking and next thing you know…we were too far in to turn around. Granted…we went pretty slow at certain points and I had to rest a lot. Your body will tell you when it needs to take a break. I promise.
The one thing I did until the day I delivered? Walked. I walked like a maniac! Every hour at work I would walk for 5 minutes and then each night I would take a 30 minute walk at home. Did it help? I have NO clue. But it made me feel better when I was 38 weeks pregnant and huge and feeling ridiculous.
I did not calorie count while pregnant and some people would disagree with me STRONGLY, but I do not see anything wrong with it if excessive weight gain is happening. The first trimester no diet change is recommended. The rest of the pregnancy is 300 additional calories a day. People take this way too lightly. If you use that each day to eat oreos you may have some issues. I’m not saying I didn’t do it a few times…but I would suggest not making it a habit! Once again my non-professional nutritionist suggesting would be at least getting 2000 calories a day. When I calorie count I aim for 1200 for weight loss and 1500 to maintain. I am very aware that is a low number. That is why I would suggest 2000 while pregnant!
For those scared of exercise…I get it. I really do. But your body needs it to prepare for labor. Even if it is just a nice 10 minute walk a day. Find something you like. That is safe. Don’t go out rollerblading. A fall doing that could cause harm. There are many women who do weight lifting and running up until delivery. It is all based on what your body was already immune to. I was a runner for many years. Running throughout my second trimester was fine for me and doctor approved. If you have not been very active and get pregnant-that is not the time to train for a 10k!
All in all? Follow general guidelines that you should really follow when not pregnant! Get your fruits and veggies. Get your exercise. And grow a healthy baby 🙂
I know this was a huge wonder of mine while pregnant and after baby girl was born. I do not know what is “normal” but I can talk about the process for me!
I will start by saying: this process started a little sooner for me than I originally wanted. Here is why: the military decided we should go to Japan. No worries-this is a good thing! The dilemma was that I had SO much frozen milk. The fees to ship it would be outrageous considering once we get to Japan it will be one month from her first birthday when she can start cow milk. So my goal was to begin weaning and use the frozen!
The process took about 1.5 months. She already gets 3 bottles a day from daycare so taking a bottle was not going to be an issue for us. I know that those who have exclusively nursed say sometimes just taking bottle is the tricky part!
At 9 months she was getting a morning nursing when she first woke up and then a nighttime nursing right before bed. The nighttime nursing was the one I was terrified to take away so we took the morning nursing first. At this point it was still all breast milk-just in a bottle so there was not any issues. Other than I was giving her too much! She gets 7 oz bottles at daycare but she was only drinking about 5 oz in the mornings. We did this for about 3 weeks and I started pumping only once a day at this point to slow down my production. And it slowed fast! Much faster than I thought. I went from pumping 18-24 oz a day to around 12 oz a day within a week.
About a week ago I took away the night nursing. It has gone pretty well so far. The one thing it has changed is her bed time. She would fall asleep nursing about 90% of the time and with a bottle she never falls asleep. Luckily for us if we lay her down between 7-7:30 pm she will put herself to sleep within 5 minutes. Yes, I know…we have a freak child 🙂 We do not expect to be so lucky if/when we have another one!
Where are we currently? She is 10.5 months now. I have began trying to introduce formula. It is really hit or miss right for now. She will not drink just formula. I have about 250 oz of frozen left so her morning and night bottles I have been doing 2-3 oz of formula and 2-3 oz of breast milk mixed together. When she absolutely refuses the mixture I add a little bit of rice cereal and that seems to help. If she is not drinking it consistently by this weekend I will try Similac. I have been using Enfamil supplemental so far.
I am hoping for the best over the next 10 days before we fly out! I have not pumped in a little over a week so I am not producing very much (if any). Over the weekend she was pretty tired and fighting it and I actually nursed her and she passed out. I do not know if she was actually getting any milk or if it was just for comfort.
Below is also a picture of how I stored my milk. The best space saver I found was to freeze the bag laying down and then it was easier to prop up like in the bottom of the picture and then to place in bins like the top portion. The bins are how I stored it in the deep freezer!
Well that title may be a little bit deceptive since we kind of got lucky in this department from what I hear. We had a rough couple weeks when baby girl was first born and then we got pretty lucky after that! I asked a million parents what their patterns were to help their new borns sleep and, as always, different things work for different people. So I can tell you what worked for us!
Like I mentioned, the first four weeks were rough! The only place she thought she needed to sleep was on my chest. I would cat nap with her on my chest in my husbands recliner from about 11pm-5 or 6am. At that time daddy would get up and let her sleep on him and let me go sleep in our bed for usually 2-3 hours and then he would come get me when she was ready to nurse again. We had tried swaddling, she HATED it. We tried warming up a blanket and swaddling her in it. We put a heating pad in her bassinet for a few minutes to warm up her spot before we put her in it. The longest any of these things worked was 1.5 hours. Usually it was only 30-45 minutes and then I would be out on the recliner with her snoozing on my chest.
Two of my best friends came to meet the baby when she was about 3.5 weeks old. One of them mentioned something called a mamaRoo. This thing saved our lives! Her first night in it she slept for 5 hours. 5 HOURS! I woke up freaked out like something was wrong with her. When I realized she was still sleeping I felt like a brand new woman. 5 hours felt like 12! I know there are safety warnings on swings and most infant apparatuses that say do not left infants sleep in them. What we loved about this thing was it had an automatic shut off. Granted when it shut off she usually woke up, but it was better than what we had been working with!
She slept in the mamaRoo for about 4 weeks and we decided she was doing so well we would switch her back to a bassinet and it worked! By 8 weeks she was sleeping 8 hours through the night. This was the time we realized if we told other parents with infants this we may get slapped.
She has been a fairly great sleeper since then. Around four months she decided to start waking up at 1am and most nights I would be able to nurse her for 20 minutes or so and she would go back to sleep. Other nights it would be a 2 hour situation and it was not fun. We started to wonder if her bed was big enough. She was still sleeping in our room with us and I could hear her tossing and turning so we decided to upgrade her to the Lullago. It seemed to help and there she was-back to sleeping away. Around 4.5 months is also when she started teething for the first time also, so that may have contributed to the changes in sleep patterns.
So now, at 9.5 months, she sleeps between 10-12 hours a night and usually takes two 30-45 minute naps at daycare. From what I understand most babies sleep longer than that at nap time. I have never been too concerned with this since she sleeps SO much at night.
The one downside of all this sleeping? It feels like during the week we do not get much time with her! Since she doesn’t nap too much she is usually ready for bed between 6-6:30pm so it ends up being about 2.5 hours we get to play a night. And with dinner, bath time, and any errands that may need to be done, some nights it just stinks. On the other hand I get to write these blogs while she snoozes away! I am going to enjoy this while I can.
As promised…here we go! So many questions always surround this touchy, sensitive subject. Does it hurt? How long do you do it for? How much milk should you produce? When is it okay to introduce a bottle/pacifier? What is wrong with formula? I do not know all the “right” answers to these questions. I can share with you what I have experienced and what those I personally know have said about their experiences.
I will start by saying the touchy, sensitive comment…was sarcasm. I will never understand why breastfeeding is such a controversial topic. What I do understand is that it can make people uncomfortable who are unfamiliar with it. I believe the thing that makes people uncomfortable is public nursing. From what I have seen…chances are if you saw someone nursing in public (and I mean without a nursing cover) it was a rare situation. I say this because it is happening ALL around you and you just do not notice because most women are discreet and you cannot even tell. I somehow managed to only nurse in public once and it was with a nursing cover. Even then I got some stares and a whispered “how inappropriate.” Not sure what was inappropriate but…lets get back to all those questions.
Does it hurt? It did me for many weeks. For a couple reasons. One, until I went in for my six week postpartum check I did not realize if you are cracking like I was you should use lanolin cream after each nursing. Whoops! After I started using it more the pain was much better! Another reason it may have been painful was because Scarlett did not latch very well on one side for quite some time (10 weeks) and I used a nipple shield. So many people say horrible things about nipple shields but let me tell you-it worked for us! She did not get nipple confusion or have issues otherwise.
How long do you do it for? This question goes two ways. How long was each nursing and to what age. Well, I learned much later that my daughter used me as a pacifier and would “nurse” for hours. I spent the first 4-5 weeks of her life on a couch with her latched on! I believe what most books say is that after 20 minutes they are not getting any milk and they are using you as a pacifier. This also may have attributed to the pain! Now for the tricky one…to what age. To me this is a completely personal choice. I have heard baby led weaning is generally best. Me personally, I am starting the weaning process now. The reason for that leads to the next question.
How much should you produce. I have no clue. I do know that I am a milk machine. I went back to work when she was 8 weeks old. We introduced a bottle pretty early on when she just would not give me a break from nursing so we did not have any bottle taking issues. When I went back to work I had to pump.I would pump around 9am, nurse her at lunch, pump again at 2pm, then the other pumping early on depended on her sleeping habits. I quickly built up a huge stash. I am talking I currently have probably enough frozen milk to last until she is 1 (in 2.5 months). That is why I am starting to wean. Since we are moving to Japan I cannot take it with us so I want to use as much of it as possible. To put into number what I pumped: it was usually 27-32 ounces a day and I would only send her to daycare with 18 ounces and then it bumped up to 21 ounces. That was also with nursing her in the morning and at night.
That is all the insight I have for now. I will do at least one more breastfeeding post since I am weaning. I know this is something that I was so curious about so I want to share my experience with you all.
Disregard me looking a mess but this is the picture that was “inappropriate” while nursing in public 🙂
So I have been super terrified about being one of those “oh they had to induce me at 42 weeks because I wasn’t going into labor naturally” stories. So after many searches and googles I was happily surprised to find polls that showed the average woman going into labor between 39-40 weeks. I was so stinking excited. My original due date from LMP is 25 November…yea, take a look at a calendar-that is the day before Thanksgiving! I am not even trying to be in a hospital when I could be home eating some green bean casserole, rolls, and pie (those are my favs).
Then my doctor ruined it! I mentioned it during one of our monthly appointments and she quickly brushed it off and said not to read too much into what I had researched. She said she was sure if a poll was done on just first time moms the results would probably much more likely show between 40-41 weeks. So I want to do some of my own research 🙂 Please tell me when you went into labor! If you have more than one child please use your experience with your first one. Thanks, all!