After Baby

Life With 2: Second Time Mom’s Tell All!

‘Having a baby changes your life forever!’
It’s absolutely true; and when you’re pregnant with your first, everyone reiterates that your life will change (like it hasn’t already during pregnancy!!). But once you’ve tried your hand at mommy-hood, and announce a second pregnancy– people don’t mention quite as often how much the balance shifts again. Some will mention a change for older siblings, but many forget to mention that you will now be outnumbered!
Life with two has a whole new set of challenges and rewards. For example, your oldest will be sharing toys and attention– but the reward of seeing them play together and interact is so worth it. The great thing about life with two or more, is that no matter how different each child is, you’re a little more experienced each time. This might be why some studies are showing a co-relation between happiness and having 2-3 children, and a decreased risk for post partum depression and delivery disatisfaction. Second time moms can be more in control!
Another interesting study shows that 2nd time moms (and in subsequent pregnancies + beyond) there are greater feelings of control over situations and emotions, leading to happier moms and happier babies.
As a second time mom myself, I’m slowly finding that there is balance (and life!) after two, outside of my house.
Shopping trips, family outings, and time for yourself can happen with a 6 month old and a 4 year old (or more!)– and the more times you do it, the more normal and manageable it becomes. Some of these issues are the most common concerns among parents with multiple children, and the best response to alleviating the stress by experienced parents, is to schedule your time. Making a plan and schedule you can stick to– one that’s reasonable and achievable– will make you feel more satisfied with your time.

Here are a few important things you may not think to schedule in, that can improve your day-to-day satisfaction:
1 on 1 dates with older children– a walk to the duck pond is my son’s go-to mommy date.

Movie Night In with your Spouse– it’s inexpensive, comfortable, and can do wonders to reconnect.

Express Mani/Pedi– Time for yourself doesn’t have to mean hours away. Taking an hour for some easy pampering, time at the gym alone, or a bubble bath will refresh your mind and body.

Baby Massage– Time alone with baby can often equate to groggy, 3am diaper changes. To get to know your baby like you did with your first, schedule a little time alone with your wakeful baby while someone else has time with just the older kid(s). Baby’s little personality without distractions might surprise you!

Whether you’re only child is on the way to becoming an older sibling, or your a seasoned mom of multiples, these tips can help you manage your time with your little loved ones.

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Julianna

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Sources:

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After Baby

Sex After Baby: Real Moms Talk!

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Just when you thought your body could go back to normal, you realize your postpartum hormones have something different planned! Sex after baby can be a big change for you and your partner. Even when you finally find the time and feel physically ready, your body might not get the message– so we asked 200 moms about their postpartum sex lives, and they shared it all!

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Depending on your delivery experience, you could be ready to resume sex sooner (or later) than you had expected, which can be confusing for new moms. Often, postpartum hormonal changes can affect your sex drive, and even your physical ability to enjoy sex, but rest assured, this can be normal– especially if you had a traumatic delivery or required a c-section. Health experts agree that issues like pain, dryness, emotional or physical discomfort, and even feelings of anxiety about sex after baby can be completely normal, and should be addressed with your doctor, and your partner, to help you safely overcome these challenges. Additionally, many moms feel great shortly after delivery, and if that’s you– just be sure your doctor confirms you’re all healed to reduce your risk of complications.
To show you just how different postpartum sex is for each individual, here are a few things real moms had to say about sex after baby!
“After having two babies back-to-back, my sex drive has disappeared. I mentioned it to my midwife and she says its normal and due to hormones — mother nature’s birth control!”

“I had a pretty traumatic delivery and it took a few months to heal totally, then I had a lot of anxiety about sex being painful. After talking it out and having my doctor check everything, I’m slowly starting to enjoy sex again.”

“We had sex 5 weeks after I had our first, and 3 weeks after our second and it was great! Our sex life surprisingly got better after having our second (I had a low lying placenta and wasn’t allowed to have sex from 15-34 weeks).”

“Once I healed well enough from giving birth, my sex drive is back and better than ever!”

“I had ZERO sex drive my entire pregnancy! We started trying again around 5 weeks, and it was kind of painful but the more i did it the better it got. Now I think my sex drive is even better then it was pre-pregnancy.”

“I had a pretty quick delivery with very little tearing (no stitches). I felt great after my postpartum check-up and was ready to have sex… when we can find the time.”

Whether you’re ready to jump back into your sex life soon after delivery, or it takes you several weeks to feel ready– remember it’s most important that you feel comfortable, your doctor says you’re physically healed, and you listen to your body!

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Julianna

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After Baby

WebMD Article for New Moms

Check out this new WebMD article I put together including 5 amazing stretches for new moms!

===> Read the WebMD Article Here!

After Baby

What Moms Are Saying {Testimonials}

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Check out what moms and experts are saying about Erica’s training and Knocked-Up Fitness Prenatal and Postnatal Programs!

“Erica is one of my favorite prenatal (and postnatal!) fitness experts, and I adore her book. It’s clear, straightforward and fun – and it’s comprehensive without being overwhelming. Any mom-to-be who wants to stay fit and have a better labor will love it!”
~ Anna Maltby, fitness editor, Fit Pregnancy

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“We must say it {The Knocked-Up Fitness Guide to Pregnancy} is a must have fitness bible for anyone who is expecting.”
~ BellyItchBlog.com

“I have an 8 month old, and I’m just now starting to get back in shape. I had been looking for a video, since I live in Texas and it is way too hot to do anything outside. A lot of the after baby workouts are a lot of cardio, and I really can’t do those right now (nursing). But this DVD is great. There’s no impact, but the constant movement from one position to another still gets your heart rate up. There are several workouts (including options for more advanced users), and an enclosed booklet helps structure which ones you do when. Each workout is no longer than 25 minutes, which is great when you have a baby. There’s also an option to play the video with music only, without the instructor’s commentary. One of the best workout DVD’s I’ve seen. Highly recommended.”
~ Leila Hayes

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“Erica’s unique approach to helping her clients stay motivated is an integration of mind, body and spirit. I look forward to getting Pilates workouts done and cherish that time for me. With a busy life of operating two businesses, raising two beautiful babies fifteen months apart practically as a single mom, the balance I achieve from making a choice to dedicate an hour of my day to my well being is important! Erica shows her clients how to do this even when life gets in the way and I cannot make a class. I have never felt and looked better and at almost 40, I am in the best shape of my life.”
~ Cat K.

“It’s really important to me that I stay fit and active during pregnancy…I was glad to discover Knocked-Up Fitness DVDs. They’re challenging enough so that I stay toned but completely safe for expectant moms. I’m using the DVDs a few times a week now to stay in shape for myself—and for my baby.”
~ Irene Chang Kwon Working Mother Magazine

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“I first started working with Erica nine weeks into my first pregnancy and have continued both after my son was born and now during my second pregnancy. I’m in better shape than I’ve ever been and I owe it all to her very practical approach to fitness. Initially, I worked out because I wanted to look good, but I realized it’s much more about feeling healthy! I can think of so many days I just didn’t think I had it in me to work out, and within minutes of Erica’s programs, I felt a million times better and ended up finding the energy I needed to get me through the rest of my day. I now have the strength I need to physically life and carry my son and all of the equipment that goes along with having kids.”
- Monica J.

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“Erica incorporates exercises to strengthen your deep core muscles, which can help you have both a smoother pregnancy and delivery, along with a faster recovery.”
~ Dr. Gigi Kroll M.D. OB/GYN

“I’ve always loved small group pilates classes and when I found out I was pregnant, I wanted to keep it up. A friend of mine posted about these videos on facebook, so I thought I would give them a try. I had never done a pilates video before, and they have exceeded my expectations. Some days its just not possible to get to class, and these videos have proven to be just as good. Plus, I love knowing that when the baby comes, and my schedule might leave me more restricted to my home, I can do these to get back in to shape. Whether you’re a pilates snob or a novice, these videos work.”
~ Monica Paull

 

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“I am not one that works out on a regular basis, so I was looking for something that would challenge me, but also be easy on me because I am pregnant and didn’t exercise regularly before I was pregnant. I got these as a Christmas gift, and LOVE them! Erica is amazing! She talks to you through the work out, and the workouts are just what I was looking for! I feel so good after I do them. If you are looking for a workout for you and you little baby, I recommend these videos!”
~ Tabatha

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“I’m a really big fan of Erica’s approach to pre and postnatal fitness – it’s simple, yet her program is packed with useful and relevant tips that are ideal for busy moms and moms-to-be. This is a must-read for any mom who wants to take a proactive approach to staying fit during pregnancy, awaken the muscles used for childbirth, or regain her pre-baby physique.”
- Dr. Sheryl Ross, M.D., a board certified OB/GYN and founder of D3FY Vitamins

 Private online Skype Training and Consulting sessions with Erica are now available, click here for more info.

 

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After Baby

Healthy Product Talk with Mommy Greenest

I was super excited to meet with Rachel from Mommy Greenest to talk all about healthy and “green” habits/products you should be using to live a healthier lifestyle! Not just for you but for your family too. It’s amazing when you stop to think about what toxins are all around us and with some small changes we can greatly decrease those toxins. So watch my interview with Rachel and I’d love for you to leave a comment below and share you’re own healthy habits/products you love as well.

===>Sign-up here for my Knocked-Up Fitness newsletter!

 

Check out The Honest Company here, I have been using their products since they first came out when my 3rd was born and have LOVED their products!

For more from Rachel check out her blog here.

Check out the Environmental Workout Group here.

After Baby

MommiesFirst Subscription Box Review

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I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love getting mail– especially the kind of mail that you weren’t expecting, and particularly the kind of mail that includes gifts! I remember when I was pregnant with my first little one, just about anything that I saw for babies made me freak out with excitement, I was so excited to explore the world of products for my baby. With baby #2, I’ve become a bit stubborn. I find myself less likely to try new products– because it becomes a small project; reading reviews, researching the company, and learning about every ingredient it’s made of. For all these reasons and more, the MommiesFirst Subscription Box is an amazing way to explore new products, which I’ll likely be using for both my boys in the future! The boxes, developed by a real mom, MommiesFirst CEO Lorena Pacheco Scott, are designed to save moms time and money by offering the most effective, natural products for mom and baby.

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The first thing you’ll notice when you receive your MommiesFirst box (after the beautiful box itself) is a personalized note with you and your baby’s’ name. My note; to Julianna & Lincoln, briefly discusses the ideal time frame for the products, and why they are relevant to your baby’s current developmental milestones. The box I received was ideal for age 4-5 months, and is described as the “Medicine Cabinet” box. It is centered around baby discovering the world, and putting everything in his mouth (yep–we’re here!).. and along with this discovery often comes some germs and sniffles.
After the note I found the product cards, fastened together with a cute little diaper safety pin. This is such an important touch for me, because the last thing I have time for or want to do is to have to go online and research everything in the box– I just want to start using the products! With the product cards you get an overview of the product & company, ‘how to use’ directions, reasons why MommiesFirst loves the product, and where you can find it if you want to continue to use them. Genius!

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In my subscription box I received:
-Boogie Wipes
-Boiron Camilia teething drops
-Boiron Coryzalia cold drops
-WELEDA Calendula Weather Protection Cream
-Thera Wise VpR Vaporizing Rub
-Parents Canada Magazine (the newest issue)

 

Living on the East Coast, we’ve had the wackiest weather I can recall– seriously, yesterday I could sunbathe and today it’s snowing– and it’s April!! With all that weather change, colds and sniffles are going around like crazy, so this subscription box has me prepared!

To start with, I’ve been holding a Boogie Wipes coupon hostage in my ‘odds & ends’ drawer for several months, so I was pretty excited to see a large package of them in my MommiesFirst box. I loved these gentle, effective wipes for both my boys, and will likely purchase them for my purse/diaper bag again.

Next, the Boiron products–natural homeopathic medicines that are safe for babies as young as 1 month! I try to avoid medicine whenever possible for both my boys, and since infants don’t have many medication options to begin with, these drinkable drops are the perfect alternative. While I haven’t had a chance to try the teething bottles yet, my 3 year old had a bit of a dry cough one evening, and after 3 single dose bottles spread out over a day– he stopped coughing! And since my little one has been drooling puddles everywhere– I think we’ll be making use of the teething doses soon.

With all the nose wiping that goes on when baby has a cold, the WELEDA Weather Protection Cream is an excellent addition to the medicine cabinet box. When you’re constantly wiping and rubbing baby’s nose, it can get red and irritated– so this gentle, fresh smelling lotion is great. I’ve repurposed this cream for a number of things, from protecting my hands (I’m constantly washing them after changing diapers and before feeding), and since we’re in early spring and we’ve been trying to get outside as often as possible, the WELEDA cream has also been great for treating and protecting my 3 year olds skin from wind-burn. A perfect addition for any time of year.

The Thera Wise vaporizing rub might be my favorite product in the subscription box for several reasons– it’s all natural, plant based, effective, safe for infants, and gentle. This cream leaves a much lighter scent than the vaporizing rubs we remember, is super gentle on the skin, and is paraben and petroleum free. It does say on the packaging to consult a physician if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding– but for baby the instructions are to apply to the bottoms of feet and cover with socks. It also claims to be effective on muscle aches, and since I love natural products, I’ll probably use this on me as much as baby.

Finally, the latest issue of Parents Canada magazine was included. This is great for any mom, because the magazine often offers information on many stages of parenting, so there’s always something relevant. Plus it’s an excuse for mom to take some ‘me’ time with some good reading material. Depending on your location, you might receive a different (similar) magazine, but being in Canada, this magazine is relevant to me and my location!

I will reiterate, I’m product stubborn. I love all-natural products, and this box provides moms with several amazing products that they might not have heard of before. Subscription Boxes by MommiesFirst are available for every stage of pregnancy (including a special ‘shower’ box if you know a pregnant mama!) and throughout the first year, and are a great value at $30/month, the retail value of the box I received was about $55 and shipping was free. This is a great gift idea for moms, or a special treat for yourself if you’re pregnant or have a new baby. If you’re like me and love natural products, but often find yourself in a product rut, this is a great way to introduce new, effective products that are tested & loved by other moms!
Thank you so much to Lorena Scott & The MommiesFirst Team for providing beautiful care packages to Moms & Babies (like my boys and I) for the most exciting (and sometimes stressful) times in the first years! To order Subscription Boxes from MommiesFirst for you, your baby, or someone you know visit the MommiesFirst website here.

And don’t forget to sign up for the Knocked-Up Fitness Newsletter for more great tips!

 

After Baby

May Mama’s Giveaway!

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OVER $700 IN GIVEAWAYS FOR 10 LUCKY WINNERS!

It’s May and that means Mother’s Day and Pregnancy Awareness Month. So I thought it time to do a BIG giveaway! These products are some of my favorites and I know you will love them too!

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Cake Lingerie - Orange Zest Sports Bra {$79.90} & Black Cotton Candy Luxury Seamless Bra + Matching Brief {$49.90, $24.90}
Cake Lingerie finds the feminine in you within the practical world of pregnancy and breastfeeding. From our flexible wire bras that mold perfectly to your changing body, to technically constructed soft cups and seamless transition bras, each piece is as intricately unique as the different stages of your changing body.

Aden + Anais – Bamboo Daydream Blanket {$149.95}
A luxurious blanket that is perfect for adults, our classic daydream blanket is made of four layers of 100% cotton muslin and love. Cozy up with the daydream blanket during quiet nights at home or use as an added home accent.

Me2Roo – Scarlet Waterfall Wrap & Piper Capri Leggings {$48.00, $62.00}
Me2Roo presents a collection of effortlessly chic and stylish activewear designed to transition and embrace the body through all stages of pregnancy. Me2Roo’s clothing line aims to inspire women who exercise to feel positive about themselves and the changes their bodies experience before, during and after pregnancy.

Bikini Mama’s Maternity Swimwear – Pink Pushup Nursing Top + Matching Bikini Bottoms {$79.99, $29.99}
At Bikini Mama’s, our goal is to design and manufacture a line of sexy-looking, durable swimsuits, incorporating the latest styles, colors and patterns.  We also ensure that our swimwear is comfortable to wear, easy to use and take care of, and provides your body optimum support, during and after pregnancy.

Knocked-Up Fitness – Pre/Postnatal Fitness Program {$79.00}  Includes Prenatal 2 DVD set, After Baby 2 DVD set and The Knocked-Up Fitness Guide to Pregnancy Book. Knocked-Up Fitness is designed to be an effective and fun way for expecting moms to stay active and in shape throughout pregnancy. The best time to start getting your body back after baby is during pregnancy with exercises that are designed to create strong deep core muscles that will leave you feeling strong during and after pregnancy.

The Twistband – Hello Specialty Pack + Anchor Specialty Pack + The Perfect Little Dish {$13.00, $13.00, $24.00}
While normal elastic bands tug on hair, cause headaches and can leave dents in your hair when you take it down, the Twistband eliminates these problems. Twistbands are ponybands and headbands made of elastic trim. They stretch to support any hairstyle, yet are slim and sleek enough to wear on your wrist when you want to let your hair down.

Chewbeads – Necklack & Bracelet Set {$50.50}
Most babies love to put all things, good and bad, in their mouths. Inspired by this, Chewbeads aims to create safe, non-toxic teethers and toys that babies and parents can enjoy and feel good about.

Bamboobies – Nursing Pads (Multi-pack 3 pair regular + 1 pair overnight) + Nipple Balm {$29.99, $12.99}
Bamboobies is all about the nursing mom – along with Bamboobies unique ultra-soft nursing pads, which don’t show through or leak through like other washable pads, you can protect yourself and your newborn from sore and cracked nipples with a non-toxic, organic nipple balm (that doesn’t need to be washed off before feeding like Lanolin does).

Undercover Mama – Slimming Top {$34.99}
The Undercover Mama attaches to any bra to create a nursing shirt you can wear with anything. The Slim Mama smoothes and shapes your belly, sides and back and gives them coverage you want without constricting your chest or interfering with breastfeeding. Make any shirt, a nursing shirt with Undercover Mama.

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After Baby

April is C-Section Month: Here are 20 C-Section Tips from Real Moms!

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April Is C-Section Month!!
Many women plan for a vaginal delivery, but sometimes baby or your body will have other plans– approximately 33% of deliveries in the US are via cesarean (including scheduled and emergency). A cesarean delivery brings many different physical recovery components, and it’s important to know what to expect for your c-section recovery to have a more enjoyable experience through your delivery, your first few days with baby, and in the following weeks. Delivering your baby, no matter what method, can be challenging on your body– so we’ve assembled 20 tips from c-section mama’s on how to have the best delivery and recovery experience!

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1- Keep Up Your Core: Many mama’s who engaged in light activity, including safe prenatal core exercises approved by their doctor, found that abdominal recovery was much easier and quicker.
2- Plan Meals Ahead. In the weeks before delivery, prepare some freezable healthy meals, so you can have food that aid breastfeeding and your recovery without having to spend too much time on your feet or in the kitchen.

3- Get Mentally Prepared. One tip other mama’s shared was to have the doctor talk to you and your husband about exactly what to expect throughout surgery if there’s time. That way, you’re both prepared for what you see and hear!

4- Enjoy a Pre-Surgery Meal. If you’re having a scheduled c-section, you’ll likely be told no food after midnight the night before. Take this opportunity to load up on healthy, filling foods that will keep you feeling full and give you energy. Real Mom Tip: Avoid gassy foods!

5- Get Pictures! You might think you don’t want anyone to see what goes on during delivery– but for both vaginal and cesarean deliveries, you’ll want to remember. This is especially so with cesareans because the medication can often make the experience memory ‘groggy’.

6- If you can, ask questions during your delivery. Ask your partner, nurses, and doctors what’s going on and to give you a play by play– being more involved in the delivery can help you remember the experience.

7- Take the suggested medications (but ask questions!). Pain management medications and stool softeners are commonly taken after all deliveries– don’t be afraid to ask what you’re taking, but don’t try to recover without them if you aren’t feeling 100%, you’ll enjoy your time with your new baby a lot more if you’re comfortable.

8- Stay on top of pain. Don’t wait for a ton of breakthrough pain before taking pain medication. For the first few days, it’s safe to say you’ll be sore, so keep a pain medication schedule to help avoid major discomfort.

9- Sanitary pads have more uses than you’d think. A few mom’s have sworn by using feminine pads stuck to the band of your pants or underwear, to provide cushion to your incision.

10- Keep the dress-code comfy. Avoid trying to see if you can get all dressed up for visitors, you just had major surgery! Pack comfy pajama bottoms that fit right while you’re pregnant, so they’ll be loose enough not to irritate your incision after delivery.

11- Bring lots of pillows. Bringing pillows from home can not only be comforting, but can help support your abdominal muscles after recovery.

12- Hydrate! Even when you’re hooked up to an IV, you need to be drinking plenty of water to aid recovery, reduce discomfort (constipation & muscle pain), and help your body produce milk for breastfeeding. Hospitals get pretty dry (I drank 7 liters of water in 24 hours after my second delivery) so drink as much as it takes for your body to feel replenished!

13- Fiber up! Along with staying hydrated, and taking the stool softeners provided; choosing meals high in fiber will help get things moving– a big milestone after a c-section.

14- When it’s time– get up and walk. Even if its just to the restroom, getting two major milestones out of the way (walking, first bathroom break) will help calm your recovery concerns.

15- Walk often. Many moms suggest trying to get about 3 laps around your floor of the hospital per day. Walking will help your muscles recover, help you avoid gas and constipation (read: pain), and build your physical confidence back up.

16- Have someone stay in your room. Especially if you baby or babies are staying in your room, you will want to have help (your partner or a family member), since lifting baby and getting out of your bed can be challenging the first few days.

17- Limit visitors. While everyone probably wants to come see your new baby, try to limit the length of time you’re entertaining in your hospital room. The time you spend in the hospital is meant for your recovery, this might mean having family and friends wait a few days to visit you at home instead.

18- Invest in a belly wrap. Of all the tips– this was the biggest consensus from real moms! Belly wraps, binders, or compression underwear designed specifically for c-sections can help minimize pain and aid healing.

19- Take a Step. Literally, if your cups are in a tall cupboard, or your bed is on a tall  frame, invest in a couple steps around the house so you aren’t reaching and straining.

20- Ask for help (and take it!). You’ve just had a major surgery for your baby, you’re already a supermom! So don’t be afraid to ask for help with everything from standing up to caring for baby and housework. Visitors will ask if you need anything, take advantage of it and try to relax with your new baby.

Thanks to all the mama’s who shared their c-section tips, here’s wishing all the Knocked-Up Mama’s a safe & happy delivery!

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