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

 

Bleeding Scare

Real life…

Lochia is really driving me crazy. I will spare you the details but I did have what seemed to be the normal lochia presentation initially heavy to light and then spotting for a while… it would increase now and again with physical activity (walking rapidly on a treadmill every other day) however a few days shy of 6 weeks I went on that 4 mile run… now I’m bleeding like a period, bright red and ugh?!

So I put on my panic glasses and went into google mode

Entry 1: rebleeding postpartum

Entry 2: bleeding again 6 weeks postpartum

Entry 3: bleeding after lochia stopped, breastfeeding

Why is there not enough information on this? Forums. Forums. Forum. But no solid information. Most sites offer vague descriptions and suggest any return of bright red blood should warrant contacting you OB. But then what? I mean I’m not hemorrhaging, should I freak out until my appointment. The doctor in me is saying.. ‘no, calm down’ but the google researcher in me is saying ‘RiNg thE aLARm!!

Found a nice article about 6 week rebleeding where they followed 485 women and 25% had rebleeding at 6 weeks and only 10% was it found to be attributable to the return of menses. Of note, these were all exclusively breastfeeding women. Could this be what is happening to me? Or did I take it to far with my run? Or could I just be one of the lucky lot of women who experience lochia into the 8-week mark? We shall see.

Me After Baby

This is me 4 weeks after giving birth to my first child.

Everyone says: “Oh my gosh, you don’t look like you dropped a child out of your body a month ago!”

To be honest, I’m not really sure what that means. I have never had a baby before, and I don’t have many friends that have had babies, so clearly I am not sure what a woman who has had a baby is supposed to look like. But then again, I didn’t even know the term “snap back” until every one kept saying it to me.

Below – 1 week post-partum heading to the first doctors appointment:

IMG_3618

I don’t look any different than what I look like before I got pregnant. I can tell you what I did but I didn’t do much. It didn’t require a major lifestyle change or million dollar haul. Stay tuned to see the little things I did that may have made a difference…

Maybe if you know some things about me, you may see why!

Postpartum-dom

Dun-dun-dun!

Welcome to the World of Postpartum! Are you scared? Well you shouldn’t be, but I understand why you would be. Why not? For the past 9 months there has been a plethora of information to the point where it is overwhelming. Click here to see what is going on in you uterus on the 28th week and 3rd day. Click here to see what symptoms you will have in week 19. Click here to enter this forum for expectant mothers July 2016. Blah, blah… but now. Now that you have pushed this baby out and your mother in law has whisked it away, and your husband is cooing in it face, and you are wondering what is ahead… the place goes silent. Crickets, real cricket.

“You’re lost?” Says a tall gruffy man in denim overalls holding a pitchfork with a strand of hay hanging from his bottom lip.

“Yes, I’m trying to find postpartum… I just had this baby.”

He leans into the car to smile at the child. “Oh, well she’s cute.”

“Yes, but how do I get to postpartum?”

“Wait, you’re planning on taking the youngin with you? There?!” He steps back and squints at you in disbelief. When he meets your stare unyielding he points to a fork in the road, towards a dark evil-looking forest. “Down yonder, that’s you destination.”

“But.. it… so…” You say peering over your steering wheel. You would have even believed him had you not seen the road sign confirming that way to Postpartum Land. Dang, what the heck.

“Meu-hahahahahahha!!” He is laughing maniacly and stepping back into a new fog and disappearing. A fog that was not there 30 seconds ago. Now your all alone (with a bouncing, crying baby) entering postpartum.

Postpartum starts the second you have that baby. And it is a pretty awesome journey. But why is it the only thing they warn you about is the “baby blues,” sleep deprivation, and depression? We have to change that, pregnancy is not the only place we need to hold each others hands. What did you hear about postpartum? How was postpartum for you?

Welcome to my humble little blog…

I’m a mom now… I can hardly believe it. Amongst being a mother I am so many other things and so many other flavors make me who I am. This last year has been so busy. I am a wife and a physician now, both of which can be expanded with many descriptive adjectives. I am accomplishing things that seemed so far away and now I am back to the drawing board with figuring out exactly who I am and what makes me happy.

I gave birth to my darling daughter on July 19th, 2016 approximately 6 days after my own birth day. She was growing insider of my tummy for 40 weeks. Those 40 weeks were full of uncertainty, joys, anger, despair, hope… but everything came together when I saw her face. I mean, really saw her face. Immediately after the fact I was in shock, looking at her wet, pasty and pink body, I still couldn’t comprehend what feat I had overcome. It wasn’t until the next day when I saw her through that Plexiglas bassinet donning the cliché pink and blue hospital beanie, she was looking at me with her big eyes, taking in the world. After we had dismissed our overzealous family for some peace and quiet, me and my husband sat there. He was a bit more removed than I, overwhelmed I guess, but we were there as a family unit, with this brand new baby girl and her brand new baby smell. I stuffed a bag of maxi pads in my tote and bent over to pull my corset over my strange looking jelly-like belly and plopped back into the bed. Wait! I didn’t know what to expect but I did not I wanted to start this journey without my usual breakfast sausage and egg biscuit so I unplugged my IV and snuck past the nurses station to the cafeteria where I had been so many times before and was familiar with the staff and menu. I was on the other side of the treatment plan this time and played the non-compliant patient who could care less about diet orders and timed medications. I was ready to break out with my new baby and this was how I displayed my independence and confidence in the fact that I was healthy and ready to go.

Three days later I had my first mini-breakdown. I say first because I’m sure there will be more to come, I mean this enthusiastically. She wasn’t latching well and my nipples were killing me, there were too many people in my house giving me advice  slash telling me what to do, and my husband was acting weird (or so I thought). I had already called my pediatrician with an infantile seizure scare and was now wondering if I broke out the breast pump a little too early because my breasts looked like boulders. Google search had become my best friend, but it was more like a fr-enemy, whispering small evils into my mind and keeping me in a state of panic. I woke up the next morning, washed my worn-out face and stared in the mirror. I smiled at myself. Woah, I was a mom. What kind of mom was I going to be? I was only 3.5 days in so it wasn’t to early to choose something. I would pick something in my mind, that no one could argue with unless they had mind-reading powers or something, and I would forge forward with this new lease on life. Who doesn’t love a new beginning? Blending my West African culture and Southern American lifestyle would be tough, but I was going to make it fun and take others on my journey because… well that’s what I had decided I would do!

I am a Young West African Mom… a Young Igbo Mom… a Young American Mom… a Young Physician Mom… a Young Fit Mom… a Young Runner Mom… a Young Hard-working Mom… a Young Christian Mom… a Young DST mom… a Young…  the list can go on, you can see I’m getting bored. YWAM stuck and we are going to go with it. Welcome to my BLOG, lets learn and share together.

From pregnancy to childbirth to healthy lifestyle and weight loss to cooking, I am going to narrate my life on this blog and share my up, downs, victories and shortcoming. Review products that I would by again or burn the store down for. I’ll even do a little teaching, because hey we all learn a little something-something along the way!