Menstrual While Breastfeeding

I had my period. 5 weeks post-partum. And I am breastfeeding.

I though that wasn’t a thing. I though I would have a good 6 months. I thought wrong. Clearly nothing goes as planned with me.

Here is how it happened if you care… if you don’t scroll past.

My lochia lightened as expected within a few weeks and tapered of to discharge and boom. Nothing. then I went for a 4 mile run… yeah that 4 mile run I told you about and later that night felt a gush. A gush like gooooosh. Nope. Nope. Nope. That wasn’t normal. I hadn’t felt that in about er… a year. It seemed kinda like a period gush (TMI) so I ran to the bathroom to confirm blood. Either I was hemorrhaging or something my lochia started back up and I wasn’t hemorrhaging. Well, after my google binge research session I finally made my 6 week follow-up with my OB-GYN to hear the worst. And she stood there laughing at me after I explained what I had experience.

“Christine, you had your period!”

“What? But I’m breastfeeding.”

“So?” She laughed.

Hilarious, she’s laughing when my natural birth control method was crumbling before my eyes.

“So what are you thinking about for birth control” She said more seriously as if she was tired of reading my mind and wanted me to speak with my mouth and not the imaginary tears falling from my tired sleep-deprived eyes.

“What about the lactation amenorrhea thing…” I whimpered.

“The what?!” She barked, looking baffled.

“That whole idea that as long as I’m breastfeeding I won’t get pregnant again. I was reading about it only and I was thinkin–”

“Yeah, sure. If you want to come back to my office pregnant in three months.” She laughed. She was very amused with this BC method I could tell, but hardly impressed. “Listen, I’ve had women that thought they could rely on breastfeeding as a form of birth control but the reality is… everyone is different and it just isn’t reliable. So many have come back pregnant and can’t believe how it happened. It isn’t that unusual to get your period back this soon even while breast feeding, again every woman is different. What we do know however is that you are fertile. And although your periods will not be regular with breastfeeding… you are still ovulating and the risk is still there.”

Welp.

That’s what happened. I don’t want to see here any sooner than I plan to so I am heading her warning. Le sigh.

How to look good post-partum


Ok, I am going to give you a few key points that went through my head constantly as I carried my little one as far as how I felt my body would recover after childbirth. First I want to say, the most important thing when you are pregnant is to carry that baby. Now is not the time to start a crazy workout or diet. Now is the time to thank God for the ultimate blessing. 
 

But we do fall off the wagon when it comes to taking care of ourselves. Pregnancy is not supposed to be a bad experience full of back aches, swelling, food cravings and pelvic mal-alignment. I think because the tradition is to sit up like a robin’s egg during those 9 months is part of the problem. Ladies, it is ok to be active! Get walking, running, lifting. Feel good about yourself and your image. Even if you can leave the house sit on a stability ball and balance your core, open your pelvis. Stretch, lift your legs and do pelvic thrusts. I am no expert but I believe that when you are pregnant there is so much going on in your body already, why not focus on being the most healthy and fit. What other time would be more appropriate.

I make it a point to go to the gym 3-4x/week. It has always been this way because I see exercise as a stress reliever. However when I became heavily (more like noticeably) pregnant, I got many derogatory remarks when I was seen at, going to or leaving my homeimg_25331 gym. When I walked the stairs at work and opted for doing my own tasks I was told that I was taking it too hard on baby and would end up having a c-section if I didn’t slow down. When I filled my plate with veggies and nibble on fruits during break I was told that I needed to focus on gaining more weight. What?! Now, as much as I understand that this people were simply *hating* I still questioned why it was the culture to lay around and gain weight during pregnancy. Why was my carrying the lifestyle that I had maintained prior to pregnancy a bad thing? Why was it that dipping fries into a large Frosty drink would have been a more acceptable sight to these people. I was 39 weeks pregnant and taking the stair… BECAUSE I ALWAYS TAKE THE STAIRS.

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Working out until the last day!

Rant over!

If you want to look good after pregnancy here is my secret. Don’t LET GO during your pregnancy! Keep up your standard, dieting and exercising. Stay healthy. The American College of Gynecology (ACOG) suggests that women continued to be active with at least 30 minutes of exercise 5 times a week… at least.

So try this next time you get a positive pregnancy test. Promise yourself that this is going to be the healthiest pregnancy ever, as far as you can control. Watch what you eat and make it a point to stay active. Then you won’t worry about excessive weight gain afterwards.

Bouncing back after pregnancy…

This is me less than a month after I delivered my first child.


Let me clarify, I do not think that I have bounced back… this just seems to be a compliment that I have received quite a bit. Many tell me that I in no way look like I delivered a baby 2, 4 or 6 weeks ago. This question really confused me because I was constantly asking myself what a woman who had recently had kids is supposed to look like? What is the standard?

I can tell you what I did during and after my pregnancy that help me retain my shape. I didn’t go on any binge diet or wacky exercise routines, I didn’t starve myself or sweat it off; I just lived by a few rules that I have always lived by. I want to share because maybe if you adjere to some of these rules you may have success. I say may because I am in no way denying that there genetics involved in this whole thing.

In my practice, I always tell my patients: you have 30 days to break a habit and 30 days to break a habit and those will be 30 very painful days.

When you are ready to make a lifestyle change it is the equivilant to do an about turn and entering directly into the most resistance. It is going to be hard until you get some momentum going. Your body and mind want you to revert back to what you were doing, what was so easy, even if it was killing you. Diets don’t work because your body reverts. Same with anything that isn’t meant to last forever. I followed rules that were meant to last forever, I made them into my way of life so before, during and after pregnancy there was no absolutely no change.

I followed rules that were meant to last forever

  1. Don’t eat unless you need to. Meals should be planned. They should follow a schedule… as good as they can. Don’t eat a twinkie just because its there… it’s not breakfast, lunch or dinner (and you probably would have a twinkie with those meals anyways). Now, I did have to add snack although I’m not a snack person to keep up with my appetite, but even these snacks came around the same time every day.
  2. Don’t eat to be FULL. I don’t mean that you should eat to satisfaction or that you should starve yourself. But eating until you cant breathe is not a good idea. Usually you don’t need a second serving. Try using a small plate and not the oversized platter for dinner. Drink water with your meals and this will help you gauge your intake better.
  3. Don’t eat out of a bag or box. Our pantry is unimpressive and our fridge is overfull. Eat foods with ingredients you can understand
    First three ingrediets: Salt, sugar and MSG. Goodness no!
    First three ingrediets: Salt, sugar and MSG. Goodness no!
    and don’t make you sick to your stomach. If it isn’t fresh then its processed and probably not very good for you. I usually buy all of my ingredients and make things from scratch, but then again I like to cook. If you must buy pre-made meals then look at the ingredient and if the first few ingredients are salt, sugar, or some chemical… er.
  4. White ain’t right. Bleached breads, cookies and snacks are not good for the waist. Same with sugars and dairy products (will talk more about this later). I avoid breads like the plague. Sugar is what causes most health problems in the Western world not fat! If it has sugar in it just say no… that goes for juices, candies, pastries, cereals, starbucks drinks. It just isn’t worth it at least for me.
  5. Dairy and Devil. the Dairy and the Devil. Same difference. Milk is a fattener. If you are breastfeeding then you know this. Look how fast your baby has doubled in size… all from you MILK. Do you want to double in size like a baby cow or baby pig? If the answer is no then just avoid milk and all things composed of it. There is no such thing as a healthy cereal because it will break my 4th and 5th rule.
  6. Eat as many vegetable and fruits as you can. There is no limit on the God-given foods. The things he brought forth from the ground for you. He knew these things would never make you fat so why not eat them. When you are thinking about a McDonald’s combo eat a juicy peach! If Chik-Fil-A is calling you steam some broccoli. The sugar in fruits is no where as bad as table sugar, they have done studies that prove that even though who ate upwards of 20 pieces of fruits daily didn’t have more health problems than those that stuck to five.
  7. Try different spices. Aren’t you tired of seasoning your foods with salt, Maggi, Knorr and soy sauce? Jeez, salt overload much. Even if you are losing weight you wont feel it if you are bloated. Besides have you seen what is in knorr and maggi? MSG? More salt? Try cumin, curry, paprika, and fresh onions and garlic. Change your palate. It took me a while to get used to NOT having salt in my foods and now I can hardly eat out without a pitcher of water nearby.
  8. Shop in the grocery perimeter. Nothing good is the aisles. Trust me I’ve been there. You should hardly even venture into the aisle for anything, everything there is processed, bagged, boxed and unhealthy. Anything that need to be got from the aisle once in a while should be consumed in moderation ie oil, breads and grains, condiments, etc.

Bodies are made in the KITCHEN and not in the gym. No amount of workout will shrink that waist like a good diet will. You can burn 700 calories jumping around for an hour and eat it in 2 minutes with a poor diet. You can on the other hand, eat less calories in a day and lose up to two pounds in a week and then compounded with exercise get a good tone to your body!

There is plenty where that came from but that is enough for now. The moral of the story is: you know what is good for you so just eat it. There is no secret diet plan. Just change what you put in your mouth. It’s going to be hard at first but that is the beauty at first. Initially, you will kick yourself and fail often. But once you are in cruise control it is a good feeling and the pound will fly off.

Things I Actually Needed For My Newborn

Getting ready to bring a baby home can be so confusing. Buy this, buy that… what will I really need for that darling little love-bug staring up at me? What can I do without? If you have a baby shower, sure you will get a lot of stuff you don’t need, I got clothes sized 2T, and that’s fine just find storage. However, when it comes to spending your pretty little penny then maybe you should consider being a bit more calculated. I’m a month in… so I am going to tell you what Ive needed so far and also the things I will I didn’t buy.

Things I couldn’t live without out… with a newborn:

  • Napper/Changer/Playpen system.
    • So I haven’t used the other functionalities thus far, but as a mom that doesn’t like to lounge in bed, I found that having the portable napper in the living room so that I could cook, clean img_42791and watch TV when I wanted and being able to peer in on my little on as need. This was a gem. I used it daily, multiple times a day. In fact, it was the first thing my baby slept in as soon as we got home. I actually feel like baby prefers this thing over other options for sleeping.
    • PROS – cheap. cheap. cheap price. Didn’t cost a million bucks. It will follow your baby as it ages. Sadly me and my husband looked at it and knew this love affair with the napper would come to an end someday soon, but at least we would have a playpen.
    • CONS – I can’t say I ever used the changer. It looked suspect. The organizer compartment looked like something bought from the dollar store clearance section, but I cant complain because we just didn’t use it. It was a useless appendage.
  • Vitamin D drops
    • Unless you want your baby to blame you for their bout with rickets one day I suggest you not forget this step. Breastfeeding mothers this is controversial. Does your baby really need you to supplement or can you just set him/her on the lawn to bake for a few hours and call it done. A lot of factors can affect how much vitamin D your baby is getting. Are you and babe of a darker skin tone? Then you may not be getting the right amount of sun exposure. Are you in the far north with low sun exposure? That a thought. Were you vitamin D deficient to begin with? Good question, vitamin D deficiency is becoming more of a common issue for young women. I just didn’t chance it. Beside, it think baby like it. She smacked her lips and looked at me like, “You’re the real MVP, ma.”
  • Nursing Bras
    • Why the heck was I not told that this would be the single most important clothing item I would own in new mommy-hood? yeah I had a nursing bra that I bought… but no… I needed 400! One for work, one for sleep, one for play… one for the Sundays… one for walking, one to wear when the one for play is dirty. I needed a black one, a white one… a sport-bra like one. I really never had enough nursing bras. And since I plan to be nursing for a long, long time… then its true that I may never have enough nursing bras.
    • Trust me, trying to maneuver pulling your breast out an around a regular Vickie Secret pushup is not fun… and you baby will stare you down in the worst way.
  • Boobie Pads
    • Ok, they aren’t called boobie pads, but they are the little pads you stick in your bra when you start leaking. You will leak. Its not like one of those problems that SHE has and YOU won’t. You will leak through your bra and fancy shirts and have two bulls eyes on your already huge breastfeeding boobies, when your sleeping and when you out with visitors… so just invest in a few boxes and don’t forget to pop them in your bra especially when you are full. Disposable vs cloth? I’ll leave that up to you.
  • Wiper warmer
    • Are you a first time mom? Have you ever heard a baby that was just recently semi-sleeping screech like mad when a cold, wet wipe touches their bottom. Well, you will. Oh, you will my friend. Initially when I received the wiper warmer, I thought, oh cute. Now when I see the wiper warmer, I offer it a silent thanks and silently wipe my baby.
    • CONS – You have to be fast. Like Jedi fast to do the transaction before the thing cools back down. I’m not sure if mine just wasn’t efficient, I had the Munchkin brand, let me know if there is a better warmer. It could be argued what is the use if its just going to get cold mid-air. But hey, I got pretty fast warmer to tush so I appreciated it.
  • Changing table with changing pad
    • Babies excrete a lot of bodily waste and I’m tall so I appreciated having a designated changing table. We used this daily, many times a day. It was also nice to assort the diapers, warmer and hand sanitizer to have it right there so it was like a one-stop shop for changing. We actually bought a changing topper so it sat on a dresser, so saved room and looked awesome. I recommend, we bought it as a furniture set and the changing table was a $99 addition at BuyBuyBaby.
  • Simethicone drops or Mylicon drops
    • Babies have gas that leads to colics that leads to sleepless nights and being so sad because baby is sad. Simethicone breaks the gas up into little tiny bubbles that are easier for the baby to pass. There is no actual proof that it works per se, but I used it all the time and it felt like it was doing something, even if it was just a placebo effect. I swear by it actually, I keeps a stash hunty.
  • Infant car seat
    • This is a given, need I say more?
  • Newborn baby clothes
    • Ok, so hears the thing… everyone is going to advise you NOT to buy newborn clothes. They are going to swear up and down that your infant will outgrow them in 7 minutes and they will be useless… but um… not true for everyone. My baby is
      she looks and feels like someone's grandpa in these oversized high-waisted pants
      she looks and feels like someone’s grandpa in these oversized high-waisted pants

      approaching 6 weeks and we are rotating around the same 3 pants and its getting pathetic. Pictures are getting akward, we are being forced into creativity and sifting through all the oversized stuff is becoming torture. So get a few newborn pants and cute tops so you and your LO will look like you belong to the same socioeconomic class, whatever that may be.

  •  Aquafor/Petroleum Jelly
    • Newborn dry skin and its issues are no joke. Keep her comfortable.
  • Bows for little girls…
    • Although not necessary it help me. Babies look unisex for a long long time and dressing in pink didn’t do much. I would throw angry stares when someone did the “aw, let me hold him” and “how old is he?”… didn’t I tell you I had a baby girl? Is it that hard to remember

Yes, the items I couldn’t do without in the first 6 weeks. Frankly, I have a closet full of potentially useful items right now. I know I was running helter skelter before delivery wondering if I had enough, stalking the Target baby aisles and becoming overly acquainted with the staff and BabiesRUs. I’m not saying wait till baby is 2 months to do a mad dash for useful inventory as it presents itself, just reminding you that you don’t have to break the bank at one time if its not needed. Hell, we’ve only used our crib 8 times… for 8 naps that lasted less than 8 minutes. Hopefully, you get the point.

From vegetable oil to coconut and palm oil

Which oil is in your cupboard?

There has been aimg_47451 big rave about coconuts in the health food sector and it is leaching into the minds of regular everyday consumers. Once sugar was outted for it dangerous ways and ties to obesity, metabolic syndrome and cancer then there needed to be a replacement and maybe coconut sugar was it. Then when wheat and flour was exposed and then when pesticides on the large mutant vegetable. What’s in your cabinet, what are you using to cook? Have you given it any thought. Have you thought even for a second that changing the oil you use to cook your food may lend to some nutritional benefits? I usually use the good old vegetable oil and olive oil for some dishes but I figured I could make us of coconut oil in my kitchen (and not just on my skin and hair).

Also, growing up in an immigrant Nigerian family meant that I had a relationship with palm oil from a young age. It was the red oil in stews, sauces and spice dips. It served as a side for boiled yams. Its thick consistency and liquidy appearance when on the flame before frying. Only problem… we were warned against using it for fear of high cholesterol. If only we knew it was one of the best oils in the WORLD. One of the only oils with nutritional benefits, unrefined, high smoke point, great taste and good for heart health recipes. Maybe then we wouldn’t have demonized it.

Benefits of palm oil:

  • Does not promote atherosclerosis. 50% saturated fate, 40% unsaturated and only 10% polysaturated.
  • Only 50% medium chain fatty acids compared to 90% in coconut oil
  • has the nutrients: carotenoids, sterols, vitamin E, antioxidants, phenolic acids and flavonoids.
  • Reduces the risk of Alzheimers, cancer, platelet aggregation and thrombosis, hypertension and high cholesterol.
  • Positive effects on inflammation
  • More vitamin A and E than any other oil

Benefits of coconut oil:

  • Reduced rates of alzheimers, hypertension, heart disease and high blood pressure.
  • Reduces inflammation and arthritis
  • Boosts the immune systems, fights candida and yeast infections
  • Positive effects on memory and brain function
  • Improves digestion and stomach ulcers
  • When used on the skin good for ailments like psoriasis and eczema
  • Anti-aging, good for balancing hormones

The benefits of coconut oil go far beyond cooking. I use coconut oil on my hair and skin.. even as a lubricant. You can also consume coconut oil as a supplement… which I have not tried yet. It is worth looking in to.

Like any oil it is best to avoid processed and hydrogenated types. Usually more processed means more exposure to toxicants. So always look for unrefined and cold-pressed on the label.

I am definitely adding these oils to my arsenal and sneaking them into my families foods. Will have to give mother a call and update her on these benefits as well.

Sources:

Is Palm Oild as Good as Coconut Oil. Dr. Axe Food is Medicine. Retrieved from www.draxe.com