Simple Nutrition Tips for Boosting the New Mom’s Strength

Hi Moms! My name is Danielle Shea Tan, Certified Holistic Health and Lifestyle Coach and Founder of Healthy Mamas for Happy Families. Mom Meet Mom was kind enough to invite me to write another guest blog post on simple nutrition tips for the new mom. Since giving birth only 13 months ago, I personally have experienced the benefits of rapid healing by making small nutrition and lifestyle changes to support my body after pregnancy, labor and delivery.

I never expected to feel any different after having a baby, but today (one year later) I feel more powerful than ever. Growing and delivering a baby is more taxing on the mind and body than I ever imagined. But, now I am a mother, a goddess. Hear me roar!  (Now, you roar. Go on. Do it. It feels good!)

As moms, we know personally how strong and resilient the female body is. Through 40 weeks of pregnancy, our muscles have been stretched and stressed from hormones and added weight. Then during labor and delivery, our body is challenged with a multitude of taxing experiences from sheer physical exhaustion, blood loss, rapid hormonal changes to toxin exposure from antibiotics and/or pain medications. This is all within hopefully a 48-hour period or less!

post birth nutrition

Mom Meet Mom co-founder Christa after the birth of her son

Healing our minds and bodies from these intense experiences can take up to 12 months or longer. Keeping in mind we may appear healed on the outside, but internally our bodies and minds still need extra TLC to rebuild and strengthen back to pre-baby health. Fortunately, new moms (and their partners!) can take simple steps to promote healthy healing and strengthening. Below are five simple nutrition tips to support the new mom after baby is born:

1. Replenish your blood. You’ve likely lost 1-2 pints of blood through delivery either via c-section or vaginally. It can take your body 1-3 months to fully regenerate red blood cells depending on how much blood is lost. During this process, you can expect more fatigue and an increased risk of infection. Help your body rebuild blood stores quickly by consuming highly absorbable iron from food sources and combining these iron-rich foods with foods containing vitamin C or lactic acid to ensure absorption occurs. Lastly, do what ever it takes to drink at least ½ your body weight in ounces of water.

Simple nutrition steps to replenish your blood:

  • Make a smoothie that contains frozen spinach or kale and strawberries
  • Make a healthy bowl containing whole grains like rice or quinoa, broccoli and red peppers
  • Install an alarm or an app on your phone to remind you to drink water

2. Boost your immune system. As your body heals from pregnancy and delivery, it’s using all of its energy to regenerate tissue and blood cells, regulate hormones and for many moms, produce milk. That means it has less energy to fight off infection and illness. Typically, this wouldn’t be much of an issue because when we sleep our bodies can work overtime on healing. But, since most new moms are sleep deprived (if you aren’t please don’t tell anyone) their bodies aren’t getting the proper time to heal. As a new mom, you don’t want to get sick from a cold or stomach bug if you can help it. Take steps to boost your immune system naturally by consuming foods containing vitamin C, the healthy immune system vitamin (read here for the amazing immunity boosting benefits of vitamin C), allicin, a natural antibacterial and anti-viral phytonutrient, and foods containing natural probiotics and fiber to promote healthy digestion the key to a strong immune system (read here for more details on the connection between a healthy digestive tract and our immune system.)

Simple nutrition steps to boost your immune system:

  • Snack on red bell peppers, strawberries or kiwi which contain high levels of vitamin C
  • Eat guacamole since it usually has raw onion and garlic which contain allicin
  • Add kefir which contains high levels of probiotics to the smoothie you’ll drink for replenishing your blood

3. Get energy naturally. I know you are stinkin’ exhausted. I get it. And, I’ve lived it way too recently (my one year old just started sleeping through night on occasion.) When we’re tired, our bodies naturally crave sugar and caffeine to give us energy. This wouldn’t be a problem if we actually did get energy from these things, but we don’t. In fact, both caffeine and sugar require the body to use more energy to break them down thus leaving us more tired and fatigued after the initial jolt we experience from consumption. The first step to getting energy naturally is ensuring you’re consuming adequate nutrients and calories, especially if you are breastfeeding. With an infant around, we’re often so focused on them that we forget to eat. This practice is sure to deplete your energy and cause fatigue. Instead focus on eating nutrient dense foods throughout the day so you’re regularly providing your body a jolt of energy.

Simple nutrition steps to get energy naturally:

  • Eat avocados by the spoonful since they’re packed essential nutrients and healthy fats
  • Keep baked sweet potatoes in the fridge for easy access
  • Add chia seeds your smoothie; the contain essential b vitamins to boost energy
  • Swap green tea for coffee if you need a stable, healthy boost

Bonus Tip: Rest. Rest. Rest. Forget the dishes, the laundry or whatever else is causing you to not rest and sleep. It will all be there tomorrow so no need to rush and do it today. Eat off compostable paper plates if it means you’ll sleep more. Spend $20 and drop your laundry at a wash & fold laundry center.

Want to learn more about becoming healthy post-baby? MomMeetMom readers get 15% off my upcoming program, The Power of Mom (use discount code MMM15). The Power of Mom is a virtual group coaching program where you and a group of moms will take simple, easy steps to achieve your health goals and transform the health of your family for the long-term. In the meantime, you can also follow me on my blog, Facebook and Pinterest.

Visit www.healthymamasforhappyfamilies.com for more information on my nutrition and lifestyle coaching services and to receive a free gift that will help you along your healthy lifestyle journey.

Dear Kim: My Son Is Not an Animal, and My Daughter Is Responsible for No One’s Sexuality But Her Own

Seen this yet? Whether you’re the parent of a girl or a boy, of a toddler or a tween, it’s worth a read. Mostly because the blogger who wrote it probably had the best of intentions, but boy, did she ever miss the mark. The gist of Kim Hall’s piece on her blog Given Breath is something like ‘Hey teen girls! If you don’t want anyone to think you’re a whore, don’t post that duck-lipped selfie – and if you’re titillating my poor, weak sons, you’re off their friends lists.’ Which honestly, I hope isn’t what she meant. It can’t be what she meant… can it?

Because I have a daughter and I have a son, and I have a newsflash for Kim.

My son will not grown up to be an animal incapable of controlling himself. He will furthermore not be incapable of treating women with respect – even those who truly do debase themselves – because he will know it isn’t his job to judge or chastise and that a provocative pose isn’t an invitation. He will not judge a girl by her selfies – as I hope they will not judge him by his. No doubt he will not be able to un-see said provocative pose, but frankly, teenage boys have enough imagination to put the most demure of teen girls into the sauciest of poses anyway and I doubt he could un-see those imagined flirtations, either. But picture what he will in his head or see what he will online, my son will be taught that HE is responsible for HIS reactions to what he sees.

And I will expect him to hold himself to high standards of behavior in that and every other regard.

Likewise, my daughter will not grow up thinking she is responsible for making sure the men around her don’t act like pigs or think like perverts. She will not hold herself accountable if she finds herself in a situation where a man is incapable of controlling himself. I will teach her that men who blame women for making them think, feel, or do certain things are no kind of men at all. Her job is not to keep the boys around her chaste in thought or in deed – that is a responsibility that rests squarely on their shoulders. At the same time, I will talk to her about why so many girls her age do feel pressured to take sexy selfies and about better ways to get attention from boys and others. But post what she will online or share what she will with others, my daughter will be taught she SHE is responsible for HER OWN behavior and not for people’s reactions to it.

And I will expect her to hold herself to high standards of behavior in that and every other regard.

I hope BOTH my children grow up to respect themselves. Though it’s not a popular hope these days, I also hope they BOTH grow up to dress modestly and act thoughtfully. I will certainly talk to them BOTH about how the way they look and act in public and online will influence how others think of them – for better or for worse. We will talk about being mannerly on social media, whatever form it happens to take when they are old enough to use it. BOTH my children will be raised to respect other people – even people who make mistakes or seek out attention. BOTH my children will be raised to believe that people can change, and that one selfie or one outfit or one anything should not shape how you think of someone. BOTH of my children will be taught how powerful sexuality can be and how to be agents of their own. BOTH will be taught to look for substance and goodness in the people they date. BOTH will be taught that they are capable of self-control in the face of sometimes overwhelming temptation.

I should say, in case it’s not clear, that Kim and I do agree on some counts. I certainly plan to monitor my kids’ computer usage. We seem to disagree on others. It’s my job to teach my son about what is and isn’t appropriate, not the job of his female peers, and sometimes that means seeing and talking about why something is wrong and how we can be agents of change versus simply making inappropriate things disappear.

But the big difference between my approach and Kim’s approach? When the time comes, I will talk to MY children.

She seems to think it’s appropriate to talk to everyone else’s.

*This post originally appeared on I Know How Is Babby Formed

kim hall blog post modesty

Motherhood: Too Short for the Potty

Yesterday, my 3-year-old daughter announced this while perched upon the toilet:

“No, mom. I don’t want you. I want daddy. You don’t do it right. You’re too short. Daddy’s a little taller.”

And, just like that, I was dubbed too short to wipe a poopy butt. And, strange as it sounds, I was a little insulted. Too short, really? My butt-wiping technique is somehow inadequate, and the best lie you can come up with as cover for the fact that you just want whichever grown-up is most likely to read to you in the bathroom for 20 minutes is, “too short?”

Fine, then. Daddy can wipe your butt. See if I care.

All the same, I’ve noticed that the 3 year mark has brought with it a lot more hurtful discourse, both intentional and unintentional. Like my daughter’s recent obsession with the size of my butt:

“Mom, I can’t wait until my butt gets really big like yours!”

(My response, in case you were curious, “I know, that’s going to be awesome! Big grown-up butts are great!”)

We haven’t gotten to the, “I hate you!” stage yet, thank goodness, but I definitely have fielded a few, “Go away, mommy, I don’t want you!” moments. And I find myself wondering how to manage my own gut reaction in these circumstances. Here are my thoughts:

* if your little kid insults your looks, it’s probably not intentional. Assume that they think you are the most gorgeous creature on the planet. Ask if they know what the words they used mean. Resist the urge to pass on any body image issues you might have to your kids.

* if your kid rejects you or sends you away, they probably mean it…at least right now. Give your kid some space and time to cool down, reconvene for hugs later.

* “I hate you!” means “I am really frustrated!” Don’t take it personally, and don’t retaliate.

The hardest ones for me have been body issue-related. I’ve only recently started to become more at ease with my shape – I’m not really fat, but certainly shorter, sturdier, and curvier than the willowy “ideal” portrayed in the media. So when my daughter points out my big butt or my height, she’s exactly pushing the buttons that can make me feel unsightly. But, the thing is, she’s totally genuine in her desire to be shaped like me. Moreover, I don’t want her to grow up feeling fat and ugly like I did. So, I’ve decided on a radical approach to my response.

I’m not going to diet, or start rigorously working out (at least not with weight loss as a goal). Instead, I’m choosing to decide that I look awesome. And not some kind of wimpy redirect pointing out that I’m strong and capable, but literally simply choosing to see myself as beautiful. And it’s really hard work, but I’m at least doing well enough to consider buying a bikini for the first time ever!

How do you handle it when your kids hurt your feelings?

An Exclusive Interview with Belly Ballot’s Lacey Moler

Deep down south in the heart of Texas, one mompreneur discovered a new way to make baby naming fun and inclusive. With three gorgeous children of her own, this week’s featured mom, Lacey Moler, decided to build a solution that moms and dads everywhere could benefit from. Welcome Belly Ballot – the newest trend in baby naming. Thanks to Lacey and her team, today thousands of parents are able to create their own “BellyBallots” every month, engaging loved ones from all over the globe in the fun process. We were able to snag Lacey – one of our favorite mompreneur friends – and feature her for an exclusive interview.

mom meet mom - belly ballotHow did you come up with the idea for Belly Ballot?

The idea came at my baby shower for my second baby. We had a list of names and a box (called the Belly Box) and we had our friends and family submit their favorite name. It was really fun and everyone at the shower loved the idea. From there, we thought it would be great to take it online and allow other parents to share the fun!

Give us the play-by-play. How does the site playout for expecting mothers?

Parents go on the site and search our extensive database of names. We are the only site that also gives pronunciation for every name we have. Each name has other fun information as well – including historical data and famous people with that name. Parents then select their top 5 boy and/or girl names for their ballot. They can easily share this ballot with friends and family through e-mail, Facebook, and Twitter. Their loved ones are able to vote anonymously on their favorite name! Parents get all the results and then can choose to announce their name publicly or privately.

Do mothers ever go with a name other than what was voted for?

Yes! Of course they can choose any name they want, but parents often choose what was voted for the most.

I read a couple nasty comments from naysayers who think it’s ridiculous that people would actually let others vote for their child’s name. How do you respond to people like this?

This process is definitely not for everyone, and we knew that going into the site. But, this type of engagement has been going on for years as new parents have asked friends and family their opinion on certain names or what is their favorite. This is just a more modern way of doing it! If parents choose to keep their naming process more private, that is great as well. It is all just for fun, and a great way to engage other family in the process.

What advice would you give to expecting mothers who are trying to come up with names?

My advice is that they should choose what they like, regardless of the trends, or what friends are naming their babies. It is your child for life, and that is the most important!

You’re a Texas momma with three adorable kiddos. What is it like raising a family down south?

Well, thank you! I love raising my kids in the south, especially having grown up here. I think it is pretty similar to other places, but the southern kindness and manners definitely shines through! I am hoping the kids are quickly picking up on their “please” and “thanks yous”.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

My alone time usually consists of some kind of workout. Working out gives me energy and helps me have the stamina to make it through the day! I love to go on a long run with a friend, or take a Pure Barre class.

Who is your favorite celebrity mom and why?

I love Jessica Alba – I think she has done a great job balancing her role as a mother and being a mompreneur herself. And she is honest about having cellulite and a muffin top. I love that.

Do you have a mom super power?

Some days I do, some days I don’t. Some days I can multitask like a machine, others I have patience that I never knew before. And some times I feel totally deflated. But, as a mom we are super human no matter what.

 How do you balance your lifestyle as a mompreneur?

I try to take life one day at a time. Otherwise, things can seem so overwhelming. We are always going to have something that needs to be done. And I have to be ok with doing what I can and finishing the day on that!

Do you have any close mom friends?

Yes, several. I think there are all different kind of people in your life for different reasons. I think now, more than ever before, it is imperative to have close mom friends who you can trust, be yourself with, and rely on. It takes a village!!!

As a settled mom, what advice would you give to new moms out there who are looking to meet mom friends?

Be open to meeting anyone and everyone. I met one of my best friends in a toy shop when our second babies were only a few weeks old. As moms, we are all in the same boat and share the same struggles. Know you are not alone. And now there are amazing groups through Mom Meets Mom where you easily get involved with others!

To meet other cool local moms like Lacey, sign up for Mom Meet Mom! And if you’d like to be our next Featured Mom, email christa at mommeetmom dot com!

Follow Lacey & Belly Ballot! Website / Facebook / Twitter / Google +

 

 

 

 

The Next 50 Mom Meet Mom Members Will Automatically Win a Dolly’s Adventures Book!

Call your sisters, call your mothers, call your babysitters! You don’t want to miss this fun new member giveaway. Starting today, the next 50 moms and caregivers to sign up at Mom Meet Mom will receive a hardcopy Dolly’s Adventures Book. Mother/Daughter author team Lynne and Alison Grossman creatively address positive concepts like sun safety, healthy eating, patience, and being a good listener throughout this engaging series. And the adorable clothes and accessories bring each book to life, giving your child a chance to play out Dolly’s adventures with their own doll.

For a complete Dolly Adventures Book review by Mom Meet Mom Co-Founder, Christa Terry and daughter, P., click here.

To qualify for this giveaway, you must be a new member of Mom Meet Mom. To enter:

1. Create a profile with Mom Meet Mom and make sure you upload a profile picture

2. You will receive a confirmation email containing a link to the Dolly Adventures website with a unique redemption code.

3. If you are one of the first 50 new members to sign up once the promo goes live and follow the steps above, you will be shipped a hard copy book.

And if you miss the 50-member window, you can still download a digital copy of the book for free for a limited time using the same code. Good luck ladies!


“The Dolly Adventures” is a series of fun, beautifully illustrated, hardcover storybooks that promote positive interaction and learning between a child and her doll. These child-friendly experiences transcend into real-life situations that teach valuable lessons ranging from developing healthy eating habits to practicing sun safety, while promoting kind behavior and a positive attitude. To learn more, visit www.dollyadventures.com

Little Kids and the Power of the Five Minute Warning

little kids and time - transitions - five minute warning - mom meet momLittle kids are busy people. I love watching my four-year-old get totally absorbed in her play, whether she’s making art or choreographing a new dance or guiding Calico Critters through a soap opera worthy drama.

I am a busy person, too. And a working mom who can’t always wait for little ones to get with the program. I have A LOT scheduled on any given day. Usually, because I am a freelancer, we have some flexibility in terms of what time we need to be out of the house, but some days we need to be out of the house at exactly such-and-such a time, no ifs, ands, or buts.

Between us, we can clash like crazy when it comes to getting ready to go… or switching from task to task, ending a playdate, or just getting shoes on in the morning. And we used to clash a lot – I’ve had more arguments with a two year old over putting on a coat than I care to admit.

Luckily, I figured out that all it took to stop (most of) the arguing was the five minute warning.The five minute warning is good for not just getting out of the house, but also getting my daughter to the table for breakfast or into the bathroom for ‘teeth and hair’ or out of someone else’s house after a playdate. It helps us leave playgrounds and the beach and anywhere else that’s unusually fun without tears or tantrums. Shoes get put on feet without complaint. We can get to dance class on time or into the car without a whole production.

The five minute warning is amazing.

Here’s the thing, though: The five minute warning never actually means five minutes. I like to give the five minute warning ten or more minutes before we need to leave the house or brush teeth or do whatever. Then when there’s actually five minutes until go time, I give a two minute warning, and so on. Sometimes I give the first five minute warning a half an hour before we’re leaving!

It works because my daughter can’t actually tell time, so I can give as many warnings as I want in any period of time. This means she can prepare herself to switch from one task to another or to go from place to place. She has a chance to wind down whatever activity she was focused on so I’m not pulling her away from the construction of a new Duplo zoo or her picture book before she can finish.

It’s sometimes hard to remember how new our little ones are to this big old world we live in. We might know what another day means another breakfast and another drive to childcare because that’s what we do every Monday or Wednesday, but they don’t always get that routine is, well, routine. Of course my daughter doesn’t want to stop playing to eat breakfast – who would? But a little mental prep goes a long way to help her understand what’s happening and why, and it really is amazing how much knowing what’s coming makes the less-than-ideal less traumatic.

christa terry - mom meet mom