All Articles Tagged "new moms"
If you’re not a mom and suddenly your best friend is a mom, you might feel a bit at a loss for what to do. When you show up at the baby’s one-month birthday with a bottle of tequila, and your friend looks sad, you’ll feel very confused. When you buy her tickets to see her favorite play live, and she seems stressed out at the thought of it, you’ll feel totally thrown for a loop. Moms have a particular set of needs. They don’t get to go back to asking, “Now. What was life like before I was pregnant? Okay. I’ll just go back to that!” Because they’re not just not pregnant anymore; they have a baby now. That’s sort of–ya know–the whole point of that pregnancy. So that play might be way too late for a mom whose baby wakes her up at 3 am to feed. Here is how you can actually help your friend who is a new mom.
When bullying comes to mind I think of kids shoving each other around in school hallways or teens harassing each other online. But in recent years a new type of bullying called mom shaming also seems to be getting out of hand.
Because moms now live on social media like everyone else mom shaming has become far too common. Some are calling the moms involved the “mommy mafia” because it’s more than just differing opinions. It is the constant negative gossip and derogatory comments that revolve around a persons parenting choices that gives mom shaming a bad rap.
Chrissy Teigen is no stranger to being mom shamed. She delivered a beautiful baby girl named Luna on April 14th and was mom shamed when she decided to go for a dinner date with hubby John Legend nine days after she delivered. This left some commenters outraged because they felt it was too soon to leave the baby. Her next mom shaming incident was on mothers day when she posted a picture of herself in cut off denim shorts and a midriff top which showed her flat belly. Some felt the picture was insensitive to moms who can’t lose the weight that fast.
Chrissy appeared on Good Morning America and addressed her controversial dinner date. “I knew mommy-shaming was a thing, but I didn’t think it would come from going to dinner” and she went on to say “We needed to go enjoy each other’s company and be out….We were gone for an hour, we had a good meal together. Happy mommy, happy daddy, happy baby.”
However her hubby wasn’t having it and quickly came to his wife’s defense about their date night. He posted to social media saying. “Funny there’s no dad-shaming. When both of us go out to dinner, shame both of us so Chrissy doesn’t have to take it all. We’ll split it,” he tweeted after the outrage kicked in.
The 30-year-old supermodel also opened up in an exclusive with ET and talked about how awesome motherhood is and how she is learning to ignore the negativity.
“We’re so happy…”It’s been really exciting and fun, and every day is so different, and seeing all her little changes is so cute.” And for mom shaming she said “It is hard when it turns to … people are grading you on your personal decisions,” she admitted. “You just realize you’ll never make everyone happy. … I’m learning to let things roll off my back a bit easier. I have more important things going on now.”
Chrissy isn’t the only celeb parent being judged by the masses. We recently reported on Kandi Burruss and her hubby Todd Tucker’s good and bad feedback they received after posting a picture on Instagram saying they were already potty training their three-month-old son.
The truth is being a parent is not a one size fits all model and most moms are probably doing the best they can with whatever their circumstances are so the question is “How far should people take their opinions online?”
What do you think? Should people mind their business about other peoples parenting styles or say whatever they want however they want to say it?
By Bless Roxwell
I used to be a rock star.
Just kidding..sort of. But the better part of my life has been spent doing music. When I say “doing music”, I mean writing, recording and performing original compositions. Running a website dedicated to supporting urban arts, from events to fashion. Founding and expanding a brand with the sole purpose of supporting women in Hip Hop. Music, and all that accompanies it, was my life, from the art to the business.
Life is different now.
And this piece isn’t about the loss of that life because I’m still involved with music, less as an artist, more behind the scenes and the business. This piece is about life changes and just how quickly those changes manifest, in a blink. That’s how change usually happens, just that fast. One day I wasn’t pregnant, the next day I was. Things happen in our lives that alter them forever, whether it’s a new baby or the loss of someone dearly loved or a new job or a marriage..life, changes.
I felt prompted to write this because I’m always surprised at how much we resist these life changes. We will fight, internally with ourselves or externally with others, tooth and nail, to stay where we are in our lives, to keep everything exactly as it is, all the while knowing on an intuitive level how impossible that is.
A boatload of cliches come into my head: “roll with the punches”, “make lemonade out of lemons”, and so on. But none of those take into account one very important thing about life changes, the human factor. Humans just don’t work that way.
In spite of being dynamic creatures by nature in this physical world, constantly in flux from cell division to changing our physical location when we move around, we don’t like change. We don’t like loss or not knowing what will happen next. We embrace change when we believe we are in control of it such as a new job or choosing a life partner. But even that kind of change brings us apprehension or “cold feet”. We, as humans, don’t like things to change.
Yet, in the greatest of ironies, change is one of the few things in life we can depend on to happen to us. Things WILL change, life WILL change and there is nothing, absolutely nothing we can do about it. Which leads us to the inevitable answer when asked how we can deal with life changes. And the answer is..(drum roll)….acceptance.
Learning to accept change in our lives immediately makes everything exponentially better. When we accept we are allowing ourselves to grow from the change experience, we begin to flourish and flow with the changes in our lives.
In so doing we open ourselves to gratitude, by accepting each moment of joy as fleeting. We also open ourselves to healing through the understanding that each moment of pain is also fleeting. Being open then leads to new perspectives on a given situation, reframing the fear of the change so we can see it for what it is, the next step on our individual growth journeys.
Finding out I was pregnant could have filled me with fear, fear of the future and my own perceived shortcomings, creating a stress environment both inside and out, neither of which would have been good for my daughter. Instead, I chose to accept that it was my time, her time, Divine time, and with that I was able to better see our future mentally, emotionally, financially.
Acceptance allows us to see old problems with the new eyes necessary to enact new solutions, which leads to more change.
All of this is much more easier said than done, of course. And please know that I’m not speaking about tolerance, we should never tolerate circumstances that are unjust, dangerous or hurtful. But to be proactive in initiating change, to create changes we want to see in our lives, we must first see things for how they are. We must ACCEPT life as it is at the moment, in the present, to create changes we want in the future.
I still have my moments but then I stop, take three deep breaths to bring me back to the moment, and to a peaceful state of acceptance. Breathing in acceptance has been invaluable to me in this new phase of my life.
I accept and relish these new life changes with love…being a mommy has changed everything for me, and change is good.
Bless Roxwell is the founder of J.A.G. Music and Media and “She’s So Fresh”, a media platform dedicated to supporting women in media and urban arts. She is the owner and founder of TheRevolutionofFresh.com, a website with a focus on supporting all things fresh from music and events to healthy living. She is also a Certified Reiki practitioner, healer and owner of LifeBEam Reiki and LifeBEam Energy Infused Products. Based in BedStuy, Brooklyn, she is also the proud soon to be mommy of a baby girl, Imani Grace.
Breastfeeding is definitely not one of the easiest tasks of being a mother. It can be painful, complicated, irritating and frustrating – all at the same time. But once you get the hang of it, you’ll soon learn that it’s the most rewarding feeling to gaze into your little ones eyes as you nurture her or him with only the best, just as nature intended.
The first few weeks of breastfeeding are most likely to be the hardest, especially for first-time mothers. We don’t really know what to expect, so we often get discouraged or frustrated as we get to know the tough side of it. I remember having sore nipples and late nights where my daughter just wouldn’t latch on properly. Luckily, we both quickly learned how breastfeeding works. Yes, both of us. Babies have to learn too. We often forget that, but it’s just as new for babies as it is for moms, it can be challenging.
So here are some breastfeeding 101 tips.
First, it’s best to start breastfeeding within the first hour after giving birth. The best way to do so is with skin to skin contact, you’ll love it, it’s such an amazing feeling. That way you trigger milk production and start training the baby and yourself for successful breastfeeding. While in the hospital, take advantage of lactation consultants and lactation classes. Those are very informative. You’ll learn the different breastfeeding positions, what proper latch needs to look like and much more.
It’s important to keep your cool and don’t stress if baby doesn’t latch perfectly from the jump. Do not give up. Get in a comfortable position, prep yourself with a pillow if needed, then tickle baby’s upper lip with your nipple until she opens up her mouth wide, ready to latch on. If she doesn’t, you might want to switch from cradle hold to football hold, for example, and then just try again in another few minutes. Always remember that you’re both learning.
In the first few weeks of breastfeeding you will most likely become engorged (hardening of breast caused by fullness), which can be very uncomfortable, so it’s important to feed, but also pump and store as much as possible. Sore nipples are another “side effect” of breastfeeding. HonestCo. has an amazing nipple balm that’s plant-based. Another product I swear by is Lansinoh’s cooling pads. Those two will have your breasts feeling better in no time.
In order to keep your milk production up you need to pump daily, it’s best to pump twice a day. Breastfeed your baby on demand (don’t watch the clock, just go with your instinct and with baby’s needs) and drink plenty of water. I’m using the Evenflo Deluxe Double Electric Breast Pump. Of all the pumps that I’ve tried, this is undeniably the best. To avoid nipple confusion, don’t bottle feed your baby in the first four weeks or until breastfeeding is established; the same goes for pacifiers. Another reason why pumping is great for mom is because stored milk will allow you to treat yourself to a moms night out. If you’re drinking alcohol, Upspring baby sells breast milk alcohol detector strips that analyzes the alcohol content of your milk and tells you whether its safe to feed baby or not.
Some women like to add galactagogues for lactation support. Every woman has their preference, but I’m mostly a fan of the Mother’s Milk Tea and UpSpring Milkflow Drink. They’ve both worked the best for me. I could instantly see an increase in milk production when pumping. I love those two.
Once you’re ready to go back to work make sure you continue to pump in your breaks. Your employer is obligated to provide you with enough break time, as well as a sanitize room for pumping. When you’re done, store your milk in the fridge or freezer in order to keep it fresh for baby.
Breastfeeding is such a complex topic. If you have any further questions, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll be sure to answer ASAP.
Once your baby is born, it’s only a matter of time before you’ll want to get your snapback; honestly, after nine months of your body being taken over and being put through a multitude of changes, who can blame you? For the most part it’s recommended that you give your body at least six weeks or even longer to properly heal before you jump into strenuous activities–make sure to follow with your own doctor’s orders first. As moms ourselves we at Mommynoire (I’m a new mom with a son born a few months ago) have tried more than a few postpartum workouts, so we can give you the real deal on what has worked which workouts are not so hot. Here’s a few postpartum workouts to get you back to looking and feeling like your old self and other to avoid for the time being.
Um, hello there are some awesome advantages to breastfeeding outside of the obvious nutrients, and while this might not be a “workout” per se, it’s estimated you can burn upwards of 500 calories a day. This is music to our ears because we can shed some pounds without leaving the house.
Once you feel up to it, consider stepping outdoors for some fresh air and a nice stroll. Walking is pretty low-impact and works your heart without over-stressing your body. This is a great workout to get your joints moving and your blood flowing.
If you are looking for a workout to relax you and help you find your calm then yoga is most likely for you. Yoga is great for stretching, focusing your breathing and just making you feel good – just pay attention to those moves that may over-challenge your abs or twist you too much into a pretzel.
Consider: Post-Pregnancy Routine
There are tons of postpartum workouts that are catered to us ladies who delivered a child. Choose a routine that interests you and enjoy the journey.
Consider: Climbing Stairs
It might take a while before you catch your balance but once you do, think about climbing up and down those steps. This is something simple we all do without giving it much thought, but after delivery, it can feel like you are going up a mountain. Climbing stairs is a nice way to help tone up your tush and legs.
Consider: (Ballet) Barre
Barre class may look cheesy but is extremely challenging as it works to tone you up and even fix your posture. Many classes offer a low-impact routine that’s somewhat simple to follow.
Side Eye: Sex
Here’s where the lines get blurry because this will come down to a personal comfort. Yes, the doctor will more than likely tell you no grinding until after six weeks (sometimes longer). However once those weeks have passed by you might want to get back into the swing of things (literally). Sex can be considered a workout provided you put some effort towards it, but too much too quickly can cause problems. Proceed with caution on this one.
Even though this is a great fitness outlet while you are pregnant most doctors will ask you to stay out of the water after you deliver. Put all water activities on hold until you get the green light.
This one was personally hard for me because I was jogging all the way up to the 40 week mark. Not too many people realize that running is not just a leg workout but full body – you will also use your lower abs which will be tricky if you delivered a child (forget about c-sections).
Avoid: Excessive Lifting
We have all read those stories about pregnant women doing crossfit workouts which made some of us give the side eye. Even if this was your routine during pregnancy you will need to give your body its much needed rest post delivery. Flinging up weights can cause some serious damage if you aren’t fully healed.
This is a big duh though there are some super fitness buffs who may be crazy enough to attempt this after birth. Please don’t sign up for any crazy race or obstacle course – give your body time and attempt it months after you deliver.
Avoid: Super Races/Obstacle Courses
Avoid: Excessive Cardio
Maybe it’s me but sometimes when you are feeling your music at the gym you get into a zone that makes you feel you can do everything. Well you can’t or at least shouldn’t. Don’t go overboard with your cardio that includes machines and group classes. Things are great in moderation but trying to be the queen of the gym is nuts.
Your breasts were once a fun accessory and the were also an annoyance when hitting the treadmill. But now that you have a baby, they’re so, so much more.
Since everyone from your sister-in-law to supermodels seem ready to sound off on the subject of breastfeeding, we’re here to lay down the nursing knowledge–so you can tune out all the noise.
Myth: Your Milk Will Come in 3 Days PostPartum
The truth: not so much. To all the moms who have cried, holding screaming babies while their boobs just sat there like useless Koosh balls, hear this: For as many as 25 percent of mothers, noticeable milk production takes longer than three days. Colostrum–the early, nutrient-rich, disease-thwarting stuff–is present in your breasts from midway through pregnancy. But since you likely can’t see it and it’s not easy to express, it can feel like your baby is getting next to no nutrition. Chill. In the first few days, those tiny drops are likely all their tiny tummies can handle–and all they need.
Myth: Breastfeeding Helps You Lose Weight
The truth: Yes. But also no. Though every celeb with a slammin’ “body after baby” seems to owe her whittled waistline to breastfeeding, nursing can actually require you to keep on an extra ten pounds or so. Yes, you do burn 300 to 500 calories a day doing it, but don’t be surprised if you need to eat more to compensate.
Myth: If you don’t breastfeed, your baby will be sicker and dumber
The truth: While breastfeeding has been shown to benefit cognitive development, studies have also demonstrated it has zero impact on IQ. That’s right: Zero. And while it can protect babies from disease while they’re at the breast, it would take 5,400 hours of nursing to prevent a single ear infection. The bottom line? Nursing can only help; but formula feeding certainly won’t hurt.
Myth: If you bottle feed, you won’t bond
The truth: Nonsense. There are plenty of ways–from eye contact to skin-to-skin snuggling–to bond with your baby while holding a bottle, whether it’s full of formula or pumped milk.
Myth: Your breast will become gigantic
The truth: No matter what Kim Kardashian says, you may only go up a cup size. And the idea that bigger boobs equal more milk? Bogus. Breast size has no bearing on milk production (A cups rejoice!).
Myth: It’s supposed to hurt
The truth: For the first 10 to 15 seconds, OK, maybe. But if you’re white-knuckling it through every feed, something’s wrong. Seek out a lactation consultant for help with any number of likely, fixable problems.
Myth: It’s supposed to hurt
The truth: For the first 10 to 15 seconds, OK, maybe. But if you’re white-knuckling it through every feed, something’s wrong. Seek out a lactation consultant for help with any number of likely, fixable problems.
Read more at Pure Wow.
The Modern Chef: Organic Delivery Service, Barley + Oats, Caters To Breastfeeding Moms And Debuts In NYC
Did it matter that my baby is now a 9-year-old? Nope. The food on their website looked so delicious, we had to dig in and see how organic, delivered meals would look, taste and smell.
The Barley + Oats mission is to ease the postpartum transition for new and breastfeeding mothers through the daily delivery of delicious and organic lactation-supportive meals, designed to help increase breast milk production, restore mom’s hormonal balance and deliver optimal developmental nutrients to baby.
Barley + Oats also offers lactation snacks and breakfast items, frozen broths, and curated gift boxes for the new mom. The organic meal services include postpartum meal delivery, family meal options, and frozen bone broths. Barley + Oats offers six different menus, ranging from a 5-day Snack Pack to the “Pampered Mama,” which provides all meals and snacks. The family meal options include 5-night dinners made for two, three, or four.
They are freshly prepared, so precious moments of downtime don’t need to be wasted in the kitchen.
They are lactogenic, meaning they are composed of a variety of galactagogues, or milk promoting ingredients.
They are micronutrient dense, designed to provide baby with the essential building blocks of a healthy gut microbiome and developing brain.
They avoid foods that commonly trigger colic and allergy, like dairy and wheat, as well as nutritionally void foods like refined sugar.
They are organic and local whenever possible.
And, finally, they are prepared in the most digestible ways for maximum nutrient absorption and minimum digestive distress.
All of the meals, soups and snacks are conveniently packed and labeled–breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, anytime treat– so you can easily decide exactly what want to to eat. They also give you quick instructions on how to heat the food and how long. Seriously, this is perfect for new moms who often go through a foggy-brain stage. Open up the package and the food looks assembled by a food stylist, everything was beautifully arranged and felt packed with love.
We were seriously impressed with the selection we were given. From the Maple Pecan Granola w/Berries + Coconut Yogurt and Bone Broth Millet Cakes w/Roasted Carrots, Horseradish Almond Cream and Arugula Salad to the Pumpkin Pudding Bar and, my favorite meal, Mom’s Lentil Loaf w/Mushroom Bone Broth Gravy, Garlicky Green Beans + Whipped Potatoes, the food was so yummy.
Confession: There were a few times when we sprinkled a little salt on a few of the lunch, dinner and soup meals, but it wasn’t mandatory.
Barley + Oats service is not cheap when you think about how much a breastfeeding mom eats, but it’s a bargain if you think about the time and effort you’ll save. Plus, the nutritional value is really beyond compare.
They offer six different meal delivery options starting at $150 per week. Packages can be bought in increments of 5-days up to 30 days at a time.
Additional offerings include lactation snacks, granolas and instant oatmeal options starting at $12.
A 5-day snack pack includes five snacks per day (including hearty items like smoothies, soups and salads) and runs $150.
A $375 “Pampered Mama” pack includes three meals and four snacks per day (including luxurious healthy desserts) for a total of 5 days.
Frozen broths start at 4-quarts for $50. Barley + Oats also offers specially curated new mom and baby gift boxes ranging from $50-$250. Gift cards are also available on the website as meal delivery is a great gift for any new mom.
Barley + Oats hopes to make breastfeeding and the sleep deprived weeks of the early postpartum just a little bit easier; making happy mamas and healthy babies.
I have always been a serial entrepreneur. I was the nine-year-old kid who took the lemonade stand to the next level with a marketing plan and multi-colored cups to draw people in. So, when I met my partner a few years ago I purposely got settled and very serious about staring a business so that I could stay home with my kids whenever “kids” came into the picture. Well, I was in for the shock of my life when the doctor told me those two little dark marks on the sonogram were twins.
After the shock came the excitement and I really didn’t even worry the whole nine months about how I would manage freelance writing and running my marketing consulting firm. I went on having meetings, throwing events, and writing during my pregnancy.
But, once the babies came, trying to even think about work for five minutes was almost impossible so I had to get creative and make it work. Here are some things I did while having more than one newborn and a new business …
Naptime Is Not Always Worktime
As a new career mom your initial thoughts are probably that you can work when they sleep…wrong! Trust me, you need sleep or it will affect how you treat the baby, possibly your breast milk production, and especially work. So don’t sleep every time they sleep but if they are taking three naps a day, you should at least sleep for one of them. That two hours will be your savior. Now, take advantage of the other hour or two when they nap and get as much work done as you can.
Procrastination Is Not An Option
Before I had kids I would stop what I was doing to watch a little of a show or have a phone conversation in the middle of work but those days are over. When you have a little time, work and focus like you never have before.
A Peaceful Mindset
Ok so the first three to six months of motherhood just isn’t easy but in order to stay sane and balance it all, incorporate some small relaxation tips that work for you. If it relaxes you to read a book then try and read a little once a week. If meditation used to be your forte then try little sessions of “still time” versus an hour like you did before. If you are going stir crazy then everything else in your life will too, including work.
The Baby Carrier
Your newborn will feel the most comfortable being nestled next to you so if you know you have a phone conference for work then put a pacifier in the babies mouth, put them in the baby carrier and walk around slowly having your meeting. Doing it this way might heighten the chances that they will keep quiet when you take the phone off of mute to talk.
Hire A Part-time Sitter
If you can afford a part-time sitter who comes for an hour a day or two hours twice a week to sit with the baby while you are in the other room, then this is when you should get your most important work done. If not a sitter than maybe your parents or a close trusted friend can help.
Your Memory May Not Be The Same
This is not the time to beat yourself up about not remembering a client meeting or luncheon. Your hormones are raging and you are taking care of another human being 24/7 so let sticky notes be your friend. Keep a to-do list on a dry erase board for work in the kitchen and check things off as you go.
New moms find themselves trying to keep up with the demands of their newborn and other day-to-day operations…on little to no sleep. It’s challenging but not impossible. One way to keep up your energy — and receive much needed endorphins to relax you — is with a good workout. Here are some fitness-related gadgets you might want to consider.
14 Fitness-Related gadgets for New Moms to Try
As a pregnant woman, most people probably think you’re only showered with sweet compliments like “you’re glowing!” and “you don’t look pregnant!” However, the reality is that anyone and everyone will have something to say to you and it’s not all welcomed. Here’s my list of some of the more irksome comments I received, and things you should absolutely not say to a pregnant woman.
“Are You Keeping It?”
Married or single, if a friend is sharing her early pregnancy with you, she’s most likely already decided to keep it, and would rather be met with a more supportive response. Start off by telling her congratulations and let her clarify her intentions for the pregnancy.
“Babies Are Expensive”
The fact that babies are expensive is not breaking news or unknown to most people. Chances are it’s already her biggest fear as an expectant mom. Sharing tips on how she can save on baby expenses or make additional income is a much more productive and welcomed conversation.
“I Loved Being Pregnant”
This was particularly annoying to me while battling 3 months of constant morning sickness – which lasted all day and night! While I was nauseous to the point of wanting to hurl every 5 minutes or needing a nap every few hours, it wasn’t reassuring to hear that someone else had a much easier pregnancy and was spared the constant torture I was experiencing.
“You’re Going To Get So Big”
My sister guessed I would go up 6 pant sizes and another friend offered this gem “You’re going to get so wide!” – again, when you’re already dreading stretch marks and other unwelcomed and even uncontrollable changes to your body having others chime in about how bad it’s going to be is just one more thing you shouldn’t have to deal with when you’re already consumed with your own fears.
“There are so Many Cases of Autism Now”
Yes, there are, but when you’re already pregnant, and there isn’t much you can do to prevent conditions like Autism – based on what little information we know about it, the best we can do is keep a healthy mind and a healthy perspective and avoid conversations that focus on what is already beyond our control.
Granted it was an older foreign woman who bestowed this completely unsolicited comment on me, but I really can’t think of any modern culture where being told how large you are is acceptable social behavior – it wasn’t welcomed before we were pregnant, and even with carrying another human being inside us, we still don’t expect or appreciate being told how large we might be.
“Are You Expecting Twins”
Akin to the “you’re enormous” comment – no expectant woman wants to be asked if she’s having twins unless she’s hinting at the possibility.
“I Hope Your Husband/Boyfriend Is Massaging Your Feet, etc.”
Like most first time dads, it’s more than likely that your partner doesn’t have a clue of how to make your pregnancy easier. That said, having friends and family volunteer their thoughts on how your spouse should be spoiling you can only serve to make you a bit resentful.
“You Know You Can Have Some Alcohol If You Want”
I had no shortage of friends young and old allaying my fears of drinking while pregnant, and while most pregnant women might have a craving here or there, the last thing we need is more pressure to drink while pregnant.
“You Have to Get Product X, Y, Z”
Mommy friends are especially eager to share what items and gadgets you “have to get” for your pregnancy or the baby once he or she arrives. Trying to keeping track of all the “must-have items” so early on in your pregnancy can cause even more stress. The most helpful for me were friends who simply gifted the item, or sent an email with the information that I could save for when I was ready to register or purchase it on my own.