Real Moms

16 Minute Club: Breastfeeding Support Box {Review & Giveaway}

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I was so excited to receive one of the Subscription Boxes from The 16 Minute Club, founded by IBCLC Wendy Wright, and named after the average length of a breastfeeding session (16 minutes). Each of the available boxes are designed to specifically meet the needs of you and your baby at every stage of breastfeeding. You can choose to subscribe to all of the boxes, which will automatically come to you just when they’re needed, or start with the box most relevant to your baby’s age. Successful breastfeeding comes easier for some mothers than others, so having a little help from experts come right to your doorstep is pretty great.

From Knocked-Up Fitness: 16 Minute Club Box

First let’s talk about how cute this package is–I mean, getting a present in the mail is awesome, but even better, this box feels like a care package from a (really educated) family member, and it’s pretty, too! So let’s get right down to it…

When I opened up the package the first item on the top is a personalized little note and a binder filled with an introduction, words of encouragement, and information about the stages of breastfeeding & baby development (keeping in mind that all babies develop at a different pace). The 16 Minute Club offers several different boxes, and since my baby is nearly 3 months old (wow, time flies!!) I received box #3. This box particularly identifies growth spurts, soothing techniques, and building up a sufficient supply for your ever-growing babe (see what I mean about relevancy– my baby is growing like a weed!). You can see in the picture, there are tons of awesome goodies in this box, a lot of which are items I have talked about wanting to try, but either didn’t know where to find them, or didn’t know how to tell what products are the best. That’s another reason I really love the idea of these boxes, I feel a lot more confident in using the products knowing a professional has hand picked them.

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Okay, since I loved everything in this box, naming favorites isn’t realistic.. so this is what The 16 Minute Club included in my Box #3:

Lactation Cookie & Birds and Bees Tea: Both products are included to help mom make sufficient supply during growths spurt. Quality products made with natural, safe ingredients (LOVE that!) for nursing moms. Plus, who can complain about a snack, am I right!?

Bella B Nipple Nurture Butter & Motherlove Green Salve: Again, two products made with natural ingredients so I can safely use them on myself and baby– and anyone else! Actually, I used the Motherlove Salve on a dry patch on my three year old’s face before picture day, cleared it right up! The Bella B cream is a great alternative to other nipple creams because it’s lanolin-free, it also smells great and is PERFECT for avoiding irritated skin when baby seems to be eating 24/7!

BabyBabyOhBaby Infant Massage DVD & Susan Brown’s Botanical Body Massage Oil: Okay, I said I wasn’t picking favorites, but I lied. I love love LOVE the combination of these two products. Here’s why: Babies (especially small ones) get bored– but you can’t exactly take them outside for a bike ride. Enter: Infant Massage. Not only do I now have the softest baby on the block thanks to the massage oil, but he is happy! The DVD teaches you different techniques to massage baby, and I can vouch for their belly massage tactics really helping with gas related fussing!

Baby Bits wipes solution & Breast Assured nursing pads: These are both things that were on my personal list of things I wanted to try but never seemed to get around to picking up, and are now regular use items. The nursing pads are perfect for during the day, discreet and absorbent and stay in place unlike the disposables that seem to get lost half the time (I still use disposables at night, as they didn’t work as well while laying down, but for the day, I give them an A+ for comfort and effectiveness). The wipes are a great alternative to pre-soaked throw-away wipes, and are especially soothing for when baby has an irritated bottom.

Also Included:
Green Sprouts baby toy, aka probably the most baby-friendly toy out there–made from cornstarch, PVC & BPA free, if your little one loves to chew on toys, this is probably one of the safest ones!

The Milk Charm, a helpful little ‘necklace’ for your pumped bottles, so busy moms can keep track of when the bottle was pumped to ensure it’s fresh for baby.

And, milkscreens. Okay, now I’m going to confess to a guilty pleasure: the first time I saw this product, it was being used by Kourtney Kardashian. These test strips detect the presence of alcohol in breast milk. So for the sake of science (!!!) I enjoyed a glass of wine, and they really work! While I’m not going to make a habit out of drinking and testing, it’s serves as a great reminder that what you consume, baby consumes. They might also be useful when baby is eating less frequently, so you have a chance to enjoy a drink without worrying about feeding soon.

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Finally, the package also contains special offers, coupons, and information booklets on the products and companies represented in the box.

I think the best part of these boxes is that the products included identify your current breastfeeding and baby needs. It isn’t just one box with a bunch of random items that I may or may not even remember that I have in a few months when they are relevant– it’s full of products that I might not have even known about, but are absolute life savers at this particularly trying period (seriously, will this baby ever get on a schedule?). I really would recommend a subscription to these boxes to support anyone who is expecting!

So here’s your chance to enter to win one of three boxes!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A Big Thank You to Wendy from 16 Minute Club for sending me such a lovely care package! Contact them online to order for you or a pregnant/new mama you know!

 

Julianna

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Health & Wellness Event for Expecting & New Moms!

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I’m so excited to be announcing that my new book will be available soon!!! For those of you in Southern California I’d love for you to join me at Xpecting for my local book launch Thursday April 3rd from 4 to 6 p.m. Not only will you be able to get a hold of my book before it’s available online, but there is going to be some great giveaways (every 2o minutes, that is!) plus food tasting– and Xpecting is offering 20% off during the event! Check out the flyer for more:

===>RSVP here

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Giveaways from:

Knocked-Up Fitness

Xpecting 

Image Skincare (it’s a big one!!)

Skin So Sweet

Ritual Wellness

Melanies Treats

Credible Cravings

Aden + Anais

Chewbeads

Exederm

& Thanks to Club Mom Me for Sponsoring too!

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Real Moms

Introducing Pregnant Real Mom Blogger, Teia!

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Q: Tell us a little about yourself.

A:  My name is Teia Collier.  Native Texan, global traveler, avid reader, amateur chef and engaged mama.  I am a 33 year old mama to Zenora and Solomon (7, 5) that is a pregnant with her third.  I wear many hats — writer, mama, teacher, friend, sister and all around fabulous person, though I have been a teacher, congressional aide, gymnastics coach, lifestyle consultant and a wellness coach.

 

Q: What was your pregnancy experience with your other children?

A: I’ve had two completely different pregnancies, and this one is no exception.  With Zenora, it was an easy, breezy pregnancy.  One of those ones that deludes women into thinking that morning sickness is a myth.  She was delivered vaginally in about six hours — after which, I happily watched Texas win the national championship. Solomon came along about 13 months later much to everyone’s surprise at 29 weeks.  His pregnancy seemed to progressing normally until it wasn’t.  I developed asymptomatic eclampsyia.  My blood pressure skyrocketed, my kidneys and liver were having trouble which led to a seizure and a very dramatic delivery.  He stayed in the NICU for 10 weeks; I stayed at the hospital for 14 days.

 

Q: How are your other children reacting to this pregnancy?

A:  They are stoked.  We recently found out that he is a boy.  Sol wants to name him Megatron, and Z doesn’t have a name picked — she just wants him to be awesome.

 

Q: How are you feeling with this pregnancy compared to previous pregnancies?

A:  This pregnancy has been more difficult than the others.  It could be that I am older, but since this one is high-risk.  I’ve had more constant care, and am currently on a modified pelvic rest due to placenta previa and high blood pressure.

 

Q: What are you most excited about with this pregnancy? Most nervous?

A:  Most excited… hmm… Getting to meet me new short person, watching my body grow and feeling life inside me.

Most nervous… Placenta Previa.

 

Q: What are your favorite fitness activities?

A:  I love yoga, zumba and am typically a runner, but since I’ve been on pelvic rest — running has been out.  Right now, I am stretching and just staying as active as possible.

 

Q: Any activities you’re finding more challenging or more enjoyable with this pregnancy?

A:  I love taking short walks in my neighborhood.  Prenatal yoga has been awesome; during the last pregnancy it annoyed the heck out of me.

 

Q: Do you have a birth plan?

A:  My birth plan this time is a scheduled c-section.  Though I plan to make it as me and soothing as possible, it’s a work in progress.

 

Q: Any baby gear you have to have or recommend?

A:  I am a fan of babywearing and prefer a sling (Hotslings and Seven) to a stroller, after spending so much time trekking through the city with babies.  Though I have to admit am a huge fan of my sister’s Chicco car seat stroller combo.  That baby drives like a dream and is super easy to use.

I also love Aden and Anais swaddling blankets.  I swaddle some, but I love them for the Texas heat.  They are lightweight, breathable and have become well-loved lovies for both of my children.  Z uses hers with her American Girl Doll, and Sol’s has become a pillow case and with hidden car storage.

 

Q: What 3 words best describe you as a mom?

A: Active. Engaged. Modern.

 

Q: Any pregnancy cravings?

A:  Sliced Mango, Homemade Vanilla Blue Bell Ice Cream and Kettle Corn.

 

Q: What is your favorite thing about pregnancy?

A:  Having Boobs, as a former gymnast and long-time dancer, I am lean by nature and training.  It’s nice to see myself in this lush form.

 

Q: On the flip side; your least favorite thing?

A:  Nausea and morning sickness that happens around 11pm.  Seriously, I thought it was a figment of some overly-dramatic mom-to-be imagination.  I was wrong. Funny how life works out like that.

 

Q: Anything else you want to add?

A: Pregnancy is a special time that brings a host of emotions and each one is different.  I look forward to learning more about other mamas stories.

 

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Julia’s Birth Story: Welcome Baby Ezra!

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Ezra was evicted January 14th, 2014 and much like my first 2 sons, it was a pretty relaxed and easy delivery. I say evicted because at 39 weeks and 2 days I went in for a scheduled induction, out of fear of having a jumbo baby. They were concerned that he would be too large to labor naturally.
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When I went to my midwife a week prior with contractions, we agreed that if by that time next week he hadn’t come on his own we would politely ask him to leave. Sure enough, despite contracting all week, by Tuesday the 14th at 7:30am he was still snug as a bug in a rug!
At 10 am they started me on Pitocin, by 1pm I hadn’t made much progress and was still terribly comfortable so they broke my water. Oh and terribly hungry at this point, I mean if I’m gonna drink my lunch I’d prefer it be a smoothie not beef broth and lime jello.YUCK! I didn’t start having contractions that were uncomfortable until around 5pm at that point I was still only 4-5cm dilated. Thanks to all the prenatal exercise I was able to be up and walking for most of my delivery, even did a little dancing! I had informed the fabulous nurses and my amazing midwife that I usually am really comfortable until about 7cm dilated and then I go from 7-10 FAST! A sure sign I’m in transition is I throw up, once that happens we have about 15 mins until go time. And sure enough at around 7:45 I puked and informed my husband it was time for me to get in the bed and he to go get some nurses.
The next 25 mins was a bit of a blur. When the midwife came to check me, baby was already in the birth canal and ready to roll. And roll he did, he came so quickly that I had to call for someone to come catch him, cause he was coming whether I pushed or not! I am so glad I had been squatting and stretching because with not so much as a Tylenol and minimal effort out came an 8lb 12oz handsome little man. Seriously I mean he is so handsome, its stupid.
He just turned 3 weeks today and is a happy, healthy, chunky baby. His brothers love him and always want to help. I’m feeling really good and itching to start working out again!

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Julianna’s Birth Story: Welcome Baby Lincoln!

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We are so happy to announce that our second little boy, Lincoln, joined mommy, daddy, and big brother Weston on January 10th! He is doing amazing– passing all his check-ups with flying colors, and I’m feeling pretty much back to normal just two weeks after delivery.

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After nearly two weeks of contractions that got as close as 3 minutes apart, I was almost positive that I would never go into labor– at 38 weeks I figured I’d be having contractions for a few more weeks, and hopefully that meant my body would be ready to get baby out! At my 38 week appointment, 38 weeks 4 days pregnant, my doctor checked to see if all the contractions had made any progress from the 2cm I was dilated a week and a half before– (if you read my 37 week update, this was when I went to the hospital with contractions!). He estimated I was around 3cm, which to me didn’t sound like much progress, but he assured me that things can change in a minute– and he was right!

After my appointment that afternoon, I went home and carried on with my normal routine; getting organized from working that morning. When I went to bed I felt exactly the same as every other day.

At 3:00am I woke up with contractions, which at this point was nothing new for me– it had been going on almost two weeks. But, by about 10am it was starting to get pretty uncomfortable, still contracting around 3 minutes apart, I called my husband to give him the heads up, since for the previous weeks I was managing contractions on an exercise ball, and it was getting too uncomfortable to sit.
Within 2 hours we were packed up and arrived at the hospital– with our three year old. I didn’t want to leave him with the sitter, because I honestly believed it would just be unprogressive contractions again. When we got to the hospital I was 4cm dilated, and they immediately admitted me, and we had no idea what to do with our 3 year old. Luckily, all those ‘practice’ contractions and pregnancy exercises must have paid off– by the time my husband and son went to get some lunch and came back (about an hour) I was 6cm, and the AMAZING nurse who was taking care of me said, “By the way you’re laboring– it’s going to be fast and by the time you want something for pain, it’s going to be time!”

She must have helped deliver a lot of babies, because within another hour I was at 9.5cm, and ready for baby to be OUT! I made it all the way through labor walking around the room, and bouncing on an exercise ball– just like with my first baby– and I was so happy to have avoided an epidural again! My water had to be broken at 10cm so I could push– and within 3 pushes our perfect little 7lb 8oz guy was here at 2:53 pm!
I still can’t believe how fast the whole thing happened! I had been planning on going into work at 4pm, and would never have thought I would have a baby before then– even the delivering doctor commented on how quick it was. We were so fortunate that the labor and delivery receptionist wasn’t swamped that day– my 3 year old was just two rooms down from me my entire labor, watching some shows and snacking on his lunch! As soon as baby was put on my chest, my first boy came in and got to meet his little brother, and they already love each other so much! I couldn’t ever thank her enough for making it possible for him to be there safely so my husband could be there during the delivery!

Thank you all for following my baby journey! We are only a week out from delivery, but I will definitely keep you updated on my after baby exercise adventure!

Julianna

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Diary of a Fit Mommy: Tips from Sia Cooper

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Hi there! My name is Sia Cooper and I am the owner of Diary of a Fit Mommy; a blog dedicated to prenatal & postnatal diet & fitness. I am currently 35 weeks pregnant and would like to share my workout routine with you.

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Fitness has been the number one aspect of my pregnancy that has kept me sane and feeling my best! I could not have imagined going through my pregnancy without some type of workout plan. I experienced round ligament pains heading into my second trimester and upon entering the third, it was all lower back and sciatic pain from there on. There were times when I had little to no energy left, but I pushed through, set the alarm, put on my workout clothes, and headed to the gym anyway. Was it worth it? Most definitely!
For the most part, my cardio & strength workout routines have not changed very much throughout all 3 of my trimesters. There have only been minor tweaks such as lowering my weights or avoiding certain exercises on my back. No matter what, I always begin with cardio to get me started and warmed up.
I will typically do 30 minutes at a time on the Elliptical machine, the Stair Climber, or the Treadmill when in the gym. Sometimes, this tends to get a little boring! If this is the case, I will change things up and complete sprinting/jogging intervals at my local track to get some fresh air.(Note from Erica: Sprinting/Jogging can be ok during pregnancy for some but be sure your doctor is ok with you engaging in more intense workouts and that it feels good for your body.)I use an iPhone app called MapMyRun to help keep track of how far I run and how long it takes for me to complete every mile! Before pregnancy, I favored CrossFit style exercises; therefore, my cardio consisted of mountain climbers, jumping jacks, plyometric box jumps, and burpees-something that I cannot do at 8 months pregnant so I will likely return to these forms of cardio when building my postpartum fitness plan. For now, the other forms of cardio have been extremely helpful in keeping the weight gain slow & steady and have taken my joint pains away.

My biggest tip for cardio is to listen to your body and to start off slowly. My doctor has personally given me the green light to allow my heart rate to go a little above 140bpm safely. Also, stay hydrated!
After completing 30 minutes of cardio, I head straight to the weight room! My favorite routine for weights consists of a total body workout lasting 45 minutes. I love squatting whether it’s with the free weights or using a Kettlebell because it has helped keep my backside perky and strong during pregnancy. Squats are also key to an easier labor and delivery because it helps strengthen the muscles that assist with pushing. To start off, I will do a simple 3 sets of 10 reps for squatting with free weights at 65lbs. If I am using a Kettlebell to squat, I will use a 25lb bell and do 3 sets of 12 reps. I make sure to rest between 30-45 seconds before completing each set. My lower body (buttocks, hips, thighs) is where I tend to gain most of my weight; therefore, lower body exercises are what I usually tend to focus more on. If you are not a fan of using weights, wall or air squats work just fine! After squats, I will complete my lower body routine with basic lunges and side lunges using the 25lb. Kettlebell with 3 sets of 12 reps.
For my upper body routine, I absolutely love doing tricep dips because they are easy to do and you can do them anywhere. At the gym, I use a weight bench or a plyometric box and at home I will use a sturdy chair as my prop. I will complete 3 sets of 12 reps of this exercise. Also for arms, I will do front lateral raises using a 10lb dumbbell in each hand. For this specific exercise, I only do 3 sets of 10 reps. As for my last arm circuit, I will sit do simple dumbbell curls with the same 10lb dumbbells in each hand. I will do 3 sets of 10 reps for this exercise as well, resting for 30-45 seconds in between each set.
To cool down, I always stretch and do a few yoga poses. My favorites are the cat pose, childs pose, and the downward dog pose. This helps keep my muscles from getting sore and also keeps me flexible. Yoga has treated me very well during pregnancy by easing my lower back and hip pain.
My biggest tips for exercise during pregnancy is to take it slow, drink plenty of water, and listen to your body. Your body will let you know what it can and cannot do. If you exercise throughout your pregnancy, you will not only sleep better, but feel better as well. You will bounce back faster to your pre-pregnancy weight and have a faster recovery from your labor and delivery. Good luck to you all!

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To connect with Sia and keep updated on her story you can find her at:

Diary of a Fit Mommy: www.fitmommydiaries.blogspot.com

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Real Mom Blogs: 37 Week Bump Update with Julianna

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Reaching Term! As I’ve mentioned before, my first baby came on his own at 36 weeks, healthy as they come and over 7lbs– but early, which made me a little nervous this time around, enough so that at 37 weeks my hospital bag might be dusty! This week marks a point often considered ‘within term’ if baby is born now, although full-term isn’t until 39-42 weeks.

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What’s Up With Baby This Week?

At 37 weeks baby is the size of a watermelon (ouch!) and weighs around 6.5lbs. From head to heel he can be over 19 inches, which explains how he can be in my ribs and engaging at the same time! Pretty amazing that just a few months ago baby was the size of an apple seed! At this point, baby will be packing on about half a pound a week until birth, so his kicks have slowed down and movements are usually a rolling or position change.  Its important that even as baby runs out of room, you’re still monitoring movement– your baby rolling, re-positioning, and dropping is a good indication that things are going smoothly!

At 37 weeks baby has reached two major gestational milestones– baby has enough white fat to help regulate body temperature on the outside; and baby’s lungs are considered well developed or matured, meaning he or she would likely breathe like a pro at birth.  And now, we wait!

 

Mom’s Progress

This week has proved to be pretty interesting for me, including a visit to labor and delivery for 5 minute apart contractions– all day! After some monitoring to make sure all was well we made our way back home, thinking that any day will be the day! Thankfully with all the contractions (in total about 3 days of fairly regular ones) baby has dropped significantly, relieving a lot of back pressure and giving me a lot more exercise options now that I can breathe easier.  I’ve also spent a pretty significant time on my exercise ball, encouraging baby to make his way down.  Feeling a lot more energetic this week, I’ve really been enjoying 3 Pregnancy Exercises to Tone & Tighten Your Legs and Prenatal: Pilates Yoga 

 

Looking forward to meeting our little addition in the next few weeks!

(Big Brother says, “It’s just TOO hard to wait for the baby!”)

 

~ Julianna

Real Moms

Real Mom Blogs: Julia at 34 Weeks Pregnant!

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Here we are: week 34 and things just got even more interesting!

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I have been diagnosed with polyhydramnios (excess amniotic fluid), which they suspect may be from gestational diabetes that was missed in the 1-hour glucose test. The polyhydramnios makes me high risk for preterm delivery, and I have been instructed to “take it easy”.

No more squats with dumbbells for me, but luckily no one uttered the dreaded words bed rest. My new go to exercises are the 3 butt lifting exercises (just because my belly is sagging, doesn’t mean my butt has to) and the tricep extensions. I’ve also been doing a lot of Wii boxing and stretching. The stretching should come in handy, since I plan on doing a medication free, all natural delivery and in the level II ultrasound we had yesterday the baby weighed in at 6lbs 14oz already!

I haven’t had the 3-hour test yet, but in an effort to get out in front of this thing I’ve begun to cut back on my sugars and carbs. So what’s a baker to do with herself in the midst of the carby-est time of the year. Well suck it up for starters and then you get creative. Just last night my two sons, 3 and 4, really wanted spaghetti. Regular pasta has a really high glycemic index, no good if you are trying to watch your sugar level. Instead Mommy made herself Eggs in Purgatory. Sounds strange, tastes delicious. Here’s how it goes:

 

Ingredients:

2 cups of your favorite jarred pasta sauce (read the label to make sure your sauce isn’t high in sugar)

2 eggs

2 slices of provolone

2 slices of your favorite low carb or high fiber bread (rye and Ezekiel bread or breads with more than 5 grams of fiber per serving are considered to have a low glycemic index)

 

Instructions:

Put your sauce in a small pan and heat until bubbling. If your sauce is thick you may want to add a tablespoon or so of water which will evaporate out as you cook. Crack your two eggs into the pasta sauce and cover with a lid. Start toasting your bread. Let it bubble for 5 minutes by which time the whites should be firm, but keep an eye out the last thing you want is rubbery eggs. The hot sauce will have poached the eggs, how cool is that.

Place your toast on the plate, top with your poached egg, the hot sauce and a slice of provolone and enjoy! This meal is so tasty and comforting it won’t feel like you’re depriving yourself at all.

 

Just 6 weeks left…maybe. Here’s to avoiding the jello pudding and the jello booty!

–Julia–