Mommy Body

  • Breast Infections

    If there are two words that you never want to hear strung together in a sentence… its breast and infection. The visual of that alone is enough to put me in a state of convulsive horror. However, surprisingly enough, a breast infection is not the visual catastrophe as the phrase may imply, but rather an infection inside your breast. In short, it is a clogged milk duct. Still gross sounding non the less.

    How do I know all this about breast infections you may ask? Yes… you guessed it… I had one.

    If you do not take care of them immediately, most often a doctor will put you on antibiotics. I called my doula Sage when I got mine, who told me I had 24 hours to try and get better on my own before I should go see a doctor. So this is what I did to get rid of it, and lucky for me, I was able to heal with natural remedies.

    1) The second you know you have one ACT IMMEDIATELY. For me, I felt super tired, had a headache, and felt feverish. I maybe would have assumed I was sick, except for the soreness on the side of my boob close to my armpit. That tenderness made me know it was a breast infection.
    2) Get organic purple cabbage and put it in your bra. Yes. Do it. Something about the cabbage helps. I swear.
    3) Have the baby nurse on the infected side. (Remember… it is not really an infection… but a clogged duct. The baby can suck it out. Kinda like a kidney stone that needs to pass. You should point the baby’s chin towards where it is sore. So for me, that meant doing the football hold.
    4) NURSE AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE (May be a little tender, but do it. The baby will help you work it out!
    5) APPLY HEAT! Either by taken baths, showers, or a heating pad. Or all 3.
    6) Massage the sore spot (especially after you have heated it)
    7) Take vitamin C
    8) Drink massive amounts of orange juice (more vitamin C)
    9) Drink INSANE amounts of water. Like so much water that you wish you wore a diaper you will be peeing so much. (Helps flush it out and hydrate you).
    10) Take Echinacea pills (as much as the dose will let you in a day.
    11) Drink Echinacea tea (one cup every 2 hours).
    12) Eat oranges

    I swear on everything holy that these above things worked for me. But YOU HAVE TO DO ALL OF THEM! Send someone out to get you anything you don’t have! You need to do everything! I know, maybe it seems like a lot, but it really helped me. I was better in about 12 hours.

    January 20, 2011 • 2nd Month, Breast Feeding, Mommy Body • Views: 3430

  • Exercize With Baby

    After being pregnant, I think every woman thinks about their body before they got knocked up. It is hard not remember what it was like before… but at the same time, your life has changed so much, and you do not have the freedom you once had to exercize. Now you have someone else’s naps, poos, and eating to prioritize.

    There is also the question of childcare. Who is going to watch the baby while you try to get your work out on? Or motivation? When you are tired as hell, who has the energy?

    My suggestion is to coordinate an exorcize regime that you can do at home with the baby. That way, it is easy for you to tend to the baby’s needs, but you can still move your body around and start to feel like yourself again.

    I had a yoga practice before the baby, so that is what I started to do. Lucky for me, all you need for yoga is room enough for a mat. I lay the baby right next to me on a blanket, and giver her time to kick and punch the air while I get my yoga on. When she gets tired from her kicky-kicky punch time, she actually likes to watch what I am doing.

    Of course, this is not an uninterrupted yoga session for me. I have to be prepared mentally to stop and feed her, change her, give her a cuddle, or swaddle her up to nap her. Sometimes I get to finish what I wanted to do, sometimes I don’t. You just have to be flexible about what you expect to accomplish. I think the main point is just doing something and getting as much done as you can.

    If you feel too tired. No worries. You can just be really gentle on yourself. Or, there is always tomorrow. I think the more relaxed you can be about it, the more you will actually make the effort. I found that by integrating exercizing with my baby, I was able to do something for myself, while still being there for her.

    January 14, 2011 • 2nd Month, Mommy Body, Mommy Mind • Views: 2442

  • After Birth…Stay in Bed For a Week!

    Although staying at the hospital was kinda boring, and I was ready to go home, I also felt a little nervous about leaving. I kept thinking “you guys are really going to let me leave with this thing? I can just take the baby with me, even though I have never been around a newborn, and hadn’t changed a diaper since I was a middle school babysitter.” My gut told me everything would be okay, and that my instincts would know what to do, but my rational mind was like “You guys are nuts! How do you know you can trust me with this?”

    Getting a fragile 2-day old baby in a car seat seemed as mentally complex as particle physics. A nurse was trying to observe the whole affair to make sure we did it correctly, but it was 100 degrees in the parking lot, and just having her watch was making it increasingly difficult to figure the damn thing out. Ahhhhhh the pressure! My mom had bought the seat for me with the best intentions, but is was so freakn’ complicated, it looked like an S&M torture machine. I can’t say I am positive she was in there right, and part of me feels like I Brittany Spears-ed my baby on her first day in a car, but off we went. On the ride back the song “Wonderwall” came on covered by Ryan Adams. The words “I don’t believe that anybody feels the way I do about you now,” echoed deeply in my ears. I started to cry, feeling how much I loved this little creature, and how I couldn’t believe she was actually here.

    Once back at the house, I got settled into my bed that was going to be my homebase for the next week. A midwife had suggested to stay in bed with the baby for 1 whole week, and I was taking her advice quite literally. Only get up to go to the bathroom, have all meals brought to you, and don’t even think about going downstairs. Just stay in bed, bond with the baby, and recover. For a type A, overactive person like me, this was not an easy thing to do psychologically. But I intuitively did believe she had a good point, and when I am going to follow directions, you better believe I follow those directions.

    I was kind of anal in not wanting excessive chaos around the baby while on my breastfeeding island. I only talked minimally on the phone to the people I super loved and needed to share my birth story with because I was afraid of the frequency of the phone waves fucking with my baby’s brain. Everyone that came and visited had to just sit on the bed with me and hold the baby there. I kept my voice low, and made sure every conversation was a soft murrmer. My mom said I was going to give the baby a complex and make her super neurotic if I kept whispering around her.

    “Mom! I am not going to whisper around her forever! Obvi! She just doesn’t need to be thrown into the manic energy of the world so quickly. I just want to give her some time to adjust.”

    So what did I do for a week in bed you ask? I read, read, and read some more. I didn’t know this about newborns, but they sleep a lot. She was sleeping about 20-22 hours a day, mostly on my chest. I read all three books of “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” All 1,500 pages of it. I would get so into the book at times, that I would forget myself, until I would look down and be like “holy shit there is a baby on me.” It still seemed so surreal. My whole 30 years on the planet I had never had a baby, and now I couldn’t imagine what life was like without her. It was like her essence had always been close, I was just too distracted to notice.

    I also spent every moment that she was awake interacting with her. Her eyes weren’t open that much, so I just wanted to be present for every second I had the opportunity to stare into them. Not to be corny, but I felt like we were just taking the time to really get to know each other. The one thought that I could not shake in that week in bed was “this moment is never going to happen again… I am never going to have this magical time, with this baby again, and I am going to try and appreciate every nuance. Every expression. Every time she looks at me with recognition.”

    So all in all, Toni Bologna suggestion is to stay in bed for at least a week with your baby!

    November 18, 2010 • 1st Month, Birth, Mommy Body • Views: 4772

  • My First Breast Feeding Extravaganza

    I feel like there is a lot of mystery around breastfeeding, that you can’t fully comprehend until you try it. I know I was pretty dumbfounded as to what it would feel like, and how someone is seriously going to survive just by sucking on my boob all day. I had gotten a lot of books from friends on the “art of breast feeding” which confused me even further considering there was a litany of literature on the subject. I kept wondering if it was more complicated than I was assuming. Don’t you just put your baby on your boob and call it a day?

    After popping the baby out, Sage, my Doula asked if I wanted to try breastfeeding. Everyone was still in the room milling about, while the nurse wondered if I wanted my bedding changed considering all the birth juice that was pooled at my feet. Point being, it wasn’t the most calm of situations. I put the baby towards my boob, and she just kinda bobbed her head around. I tried to guide her mouth towards the nip, but nothing really happened and I didn’t want to be forceful and snap her head off on the first day and all. I also felt a little self conscious with people watching with looks of anticipation much like being at the US Open and waiting to see if Andy Federer was going to miss his second serve. I decided, “fuck it” there is too much going on.

    After about 30 minutes, the doctor, nurses, and Doula all left, and for the next 3 hours we just held her and stared at her face. Time was like an illusion and I couldn’t believe it was already 1:30 when the nurse asked if I wanted to take a shower. Getting up no longer preggo was the craziest feeling. In the shower I got so lost in my head thinking about the total insanity of what had just happened. I couldn’t believe I had just given birth and that my baby was out. While I washed off I realized it was the first time I hadn’t been with her for the last 9 months, and I felt so empty without her energy inside me anymore. Then, about 11 pounds of blood and birthing material suddenly gushed onto my feet and I decided it was time to get out. Lucky for me, they give you pads the size of a diaper for a giant to soak up all that fun stuff.

    Now that I was clean, and my bed was no longer saturated, I jumped in and the nurse handed me the baby like I knew what I was doing. I snuggled up next her and tried to sleep, but there was no way that was going to happen considering the amount of adrenalin pumping through my system. The nurse came back around 3:30, asking if I wanted to try feeding her. Looking back, I can see how everything about this moment was perfect for learning how to breastfeed. It was the strange hour in the middle of the night where you are naturally calm, and no one was awake to watch the progress. Breastfeeding is not a spectator sport, and I highly suggest trying for the first time by yourself or with one nurse to give you suggestions.

    The nurse told me to lay on my side, and lay the baby on her side, so she could try feeding on the bottom boob. The nurse explained that you don’t just put the tip of the nip in the baby’s mouth, but the whole freakin’ thing. The baby means business, and needs the nip all the way in there. So I would basically take my boob, and stuff it into my baby’s mouth. The nurse explained, that if she wasn’t “latched on” correctly I was going to have issues, so to stick my finger in her mouth to get her off and try again. Although the thought of anyone being “latched on” to my nip is quite intimidating, I did get what she meant because you definitely felt that sweet spot when she was stuck on there.

    The exciting thing they don’t tell you about your first breastfeeding sessions, is that it contracts your uterus. So basically, the baby feeding helps your giant baby-sized uterus shrink back to its normal pear size. Although the last thing you want to feel after having had contractions all day and giving birth, is more contractions, but there are two reasons why this is okay. Reason number 1 is that you know the baby is on there right and feeding. Reason number 2 is because you do not want your uterus to maintain that weird hollow baggy feeling any longer than it needs to.

    So at the end of the day I feel really lucky to have had such a great nurse to help me with this first experience. From then on I felt pretty calm about it, and never let her suck on my nip if she wasn’t latched on properly. I would stick my finger in her mouth and pry her off faster than bunnies get laid because I did not want her to give me raw nips. I need those things. I had a friend who had bleeding, cracked nipples, because of breastfeeding. She told me she just never really knew what it was supposed to feel like, so assumed it was normal to be super painful. Of course, everyone experience is unique, but these are my thoughts on how to make it easier for you…

    Toni Bologna Breast Feeding Suggestions That Will Rock Your World
    1) be calm
    2) have the least amount of people observing possible
    3) don’t let baby suck if not really stuck on like a Valasor Raptor
    4) moisturize your nips with Argon Oil!!!!!!!!!!

    November 17, 2010 • 1st Month, Breast Feeding, Mommy Body • Views: 2376