Posts tagged postpartum healthcare
The 10 Best Gifts for New Moms
 
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Finding the best gift for a new mom should be a relatively easy task, however if you find yourself looking for the perfect gift for the new mom in your life, you may find that most new mom gifts are actually geared towards the baby, not the mother. At Duo Diary, our postpartum wellness journals are designed with mom in mind. We know that moms need to take care of themselves first, but somehow, this notion is still an afterthought. That's why Duo Diary is much more than just a baby feeding diary - there’s a page for baby….and a page for mom.

The ‘page for mom’ is missing in almost all postpartum products, which are mostly primarily baby focused. Mom is completely missing from the equation. Giving moms permission, access & tools to take care of herself is basically revolutionary at this point. So, we want to highlight other ‘revolutionary’ products that would make the best gifts for a new mom after she brings home a baby.

 

The 10 Best Gifts for New Moms

1. Postpartum Exercise Membership

There are a few women-led companies out there that are focused solely on helping women regain function after childbirth so that they can get back to their normal activities in a safe way. The catch is that most new mamas don't even know companies like this exist, so gifting a new mom with a membership (all programs are online and done at home) to one or more of these companies is a great way to ease her back.

Restore Your Core

Mutu System

Momma Strong

Abs, Core and Pelvic Floor by Natalie Hodson

 

2. Motherbees

An LA-based company, Motherbees offers LA- local food delivery focusing on foods for healing from childbirth like soups, teas, recovery and more. And for those who aren't local to LA, Motherbees founder Heng Ou wrote "The First Forty Days: The Essential Art of Nourishing the New Mother" filled with recipes and traditions and "the lost art of caring for a mother after birth" (available on Amazon).

 

3. Postpartum Subscription Boxes

Since subscription boxes are a thing these days, we're happy to see that some companies are taking 'pregnancy' subscription boxes into the 4th trimester. Many companies now offer boxes JUST for a new mom:

Alively

The Stork Bag

Ecocentric Mom

Bump Boxes

NaturAli

 

4. Mama Glow Glow Time Collection by Good Medicine Beauty Lab

New moms are often concerned about what they eat, but did you know that what you put ON your body is important, too? Aside from feeling incredibly luxurious and decadent, this line at Good Medicine Beauty lab was created just for mamas, and is safe for pregnant & nursing women.

 

5. Bone Broth Herbs

There's a reason the Motherbees book (#2 on this list) has lots of broth recipes- bone broth is warming, feels nurturing, grounding, and calming at a time when a new mother needs it most. Urban Herbs is upping the bone broth game through their Nourish The Mama herbs that can be added to bone broth, using a blend of Chinese herbs thought to help women recover from childbirth. Make sure you check with your healthcare practitioner/doctor before using these herbs. (And if you gift this to a mama, please, make the broth for her!)

 

6. Meal Delivery Service

Nourishment is so important for new moms, but making a healthy meal is damn near impossible when you have a newborn. Enter meal delivery services. Getting a new mom a gift card to any meal delivery service (NOT meal kits which require the mom to actually do the cooking) can often be EXACTLY what a new mama needs. Yes, you could just bake a lasagna, but lasagna isn't healthy or nourishing and many meal delivery services offer options for dietary restrictions and meals that can be truly healthy for a new mom. Try using The Google Machine to find local deliver services in your area that cater to moms (like Motherbees in LA or MaMeal in Chicago). Otherwise, consider gift cards to Doordash, Grub Hub, or Munchery.

7. Earth Mama Organics Postpartum Line

We love seeing companies that create products just for mom, and Earth Mama is a well known company that makes natural and organic products. While they have a large line of products for baby and pregnancy, they also have a postpartum line, made just for the new mama. 

 

8. Postpartum Doula

A new mom needs help, in any form, of any kind. Wondering what kind of gift to get a new mom? Consider gifting a gift card or certificate to a local postpartum doula, whose role is to help support the whole family's transition- not just focusing on baby. They may do a range of tasks from light housekeeping, meal prep, baby support, lactation support, to help with siblings. Find one in your area here

 

9. Postpartum Kits

Etsy is full of creative kits made with products to help soothe and nurture a new mom. You can find a plethora by simply searching for "postpartum" in Etsy, but here are a few:

SweetGum Botanicals

Plainville Homestead

Green Earth Naturals

 

10. Duo Diary Postpartum Journal

There are a million apps and baby journals out there that help new parents track all of their baby's feedings and diapers, but none of them take mom into account. Duo Diary knows how intimately intertwined mama and baby are, and we also know how common it is for new moms to lose track of her own health while she adjusts to focusing so much on baby. That's why our journals are designed with ample space for new moms to make sure they are healing OK, that they are getting the care they need, that they are eating, sleeping, drinking water, and other basic needs that seem to go out the window for new moms (showers, anyone?). We also offer an entire Resources area just to help mothers navigate the postpartum period and our blog is full of information like exercise for new moms, healing after childbirth, and interviews with cutting edge mama focused companies like Mothering Arts and Birthfit. You can buy our journals in the original one month journal or our new 3 month journal or 1 year pack. Go here to purchase one for the new mom in your life.

 

What are your favorite gifts to give a new mom? 


This blog pro­vides gen­eral infor­ma­tion and dis­cus­sion about med­i­cine, health and related sub­jects.  The words and other con­tent pro­vided in this blog, and in any linked mate­ri­als, are not intended and should not be con­strued as med­ical advice. If the reader or any other per­son has a med­ical con­cern, he or she should con­sult with an appropriately-licensed physi­cian or other health care worker.

This post may contain affiliate links.

An Interview With: Mothering Arts
 
 

One of the central reasons why Duo Diary was created is to give new moms a space for self care in their newly-upended lives. Bringing home a baby is transformative, and in our society, new mothers are pushing themselves through grueling schedules and to-do lists, often without breaks for themselves to heal and be nurtured. This is all too common the case especially when a woman should be healing after childbirth- not judging herself or trying to do it "all." Duo Diary aims to change this by giving women a space to take care of herself in our journals, and by also highlighting companies that are helping women nurture themselves. When we stumbled upon Mothering Arts we knew we had found something special. Founded by Kerry Ingram, Mothering Arts is dedicated to helping new mothers thrive through in-person mothering circles, group leader training, online courses, and a wonderfully calming and supportive blog with activities and downloads to help new moms tune into self care ideas. With a focus on the wellness of mom and baby in her mothering circles, Kerry acknowledges that when a woman brings a baby home, she is at a time of immense need and support in her life. Mothering circles are a wonderful place for a woman to feel nurtured, talk to other moms, and well, feel like she is serving her new mom wellness. This month, we talked with Kerry to find out more about Mothering Arts and how they can help women like you. Read more about Mothering Arts below.

 

For our readers who may not know, could you please describe/explain what exactly Mothering Arts is?

Mothering Arts is a warmly designed training for women who believe in the power of community uplifting and nurturing the postpartum year. Our online group leader training supports women to confidently create local classes for mamas and babies.

 

How did you conceive of Mothering Arts?

Great question! I had been working as a Waldorf early childhood educator for many years before becoming a parent for the first time. Something I noticed in the school community was a general feeling of isolation and self-judgement from the parents. They were so hard on themselves! I started to practice the art of acknowledgment and to simply notice something about each parent at drop off each morning, it was well received by all. Many mornings I baked fresh muffins to share with parents as they dashed out the door, which were also well received.

When I became a parent, I fell into the pitfalls that I witnessed for so many years and was beating myself up all the time for not doing things "right" or "good enough". 

I joined a local parent and child class which was lovely, and very focused on the babies while the sleep deprived mamas were barely hanging in there. We wanted to feel nurtured so we could nurture our babies, some of us missed our own parents, we wanted to talk, share questions and cry, and we were hungry! In that moment I really understood the importance of a parent feeling well supported to be able to give freely to the needs of her child.

That night, pen went to paper and dreams sparked into reality. My tiny living room was the location of our first group of 5, and now over 70 mama-baby pairs have been meeting locally for nearly 6 years.

I created Mothering Arts as an answer to an old question, while tending to a need that my friends and I shared as new parents. After the local class was growing and growing, a friend asked if I would be willing to share my model and plan... and the Mothering Arts group leader training was born!

 

In what ways do you hope to help new mothers?

I think the way I try to support new moms most is through acknowledgement, listening and nurturing. Parents know their baby more intimately than anyone else, but so quickly we give away our wisdom and power to the advice of blogs, websites, books and other "professionals". We have so much to learn from each other, and from our special relationship with our child. I want to empower mothers to cultivate their unique art of mothering that aligns with her values and wishes for her child. Mothers need to feel heard and seen, the transformation into mother is extraordinary and should be honored in the eyes of her community. I also love to prepare nourishing foods and be hands-on with baby rocking, mama shoulder rubbing and delivering a cup of warm tea.

 

Can you explain or describe some of the offerings and tools Mothering Arts has for new mothers?

I think our local groups are the best tools we have, because that heart to heart connection can not be replaced through the internet. That being said, we do offer a few online classes, LOL, the irony. Our group leader training is my heart's work, finding the women in each community who feel called to work with this tender population and weave the webs of community.

We offer a Healthy Home Rhythms ($40) self guided course for families who would like to create a simple and balanced flow to everyday life. Folks love the step-by-step plan and the lovely printables in this course.

Our Mothering Arts Collective course is a monthly subscription ($30/month) that offers oodles of resources on how to align with your values, create your family culture and make moments that truly connect us as a family. This course is self paced through the month with a thriving and warm community of over 100 moms from all over the world. It's an active group with lots of support and sharing.

And of course our group leader training for those who feel inspired to nurture mamas and babies in her community.

 

What usually brings a mother to Mothering Arts?

In person: mothers want community. They want to answer the door with messy hair, dishes on the counter and know the person who walks in is there to be real. She wants to cultivate a community of deep connections and feel totally welcome to come as she is.

Our group leaders want to be a part of the change rewriting the story of how the postpartum year is observed in our culture. Our leaders are devoted to making space to slow down, to honor and create a community of support of new parents.

 

What do you wish more women knew about the postpartum period or the transition to motherhood?

It's ok to ask for help. Your mothering journey will not look like any one else.

 

What have you learned from some of the women you've worked with?

Each mother is an artist sharing an outer expression of an inner feeling. We are all so unique.

 

Where can our readers find out more and connect with Mothering Arts?

www.motheringarts.com

We have a free monthly muse~letter full of activities, self-care tips, recipes and thoughtful articles. Be sure to sign up on our home page.

You can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

An Interview With: BIRTHFIT

Here at Duo Diary, we are all about providing new mothers with tools and resources to make healing after childbirth easier. Information about HOW to heal shouldn't be hard to access -and let's face it, most women don't even realize they NEED to heal. There are so many questions women have after having a baby: breastfeeding and pumping tips, pubic symphysis symptoms, diastasis recti,  self care ideas for new moms, what exercises are best for postpartum women. While many women have these questions and so many more- there is not nearly enough information readily available at the fingertips of new moms. We aim to help change that by highlighting companies whose purpose is rooted in helping pregnant and/or postpartum women. This month, we are SUPER excited to be sharing BIRTHFIT- a company focused on helping moms get and stay strong using their four pillars: Fitness, Nutrition, Chiropractic, and Mindset. BIRTHFIT has many online programs, as well as access to Regional Directors across the country, so that you can access the BIRTHFIT knowledge no matter where you live.  We recently chatted with BIRTHFIT to find out more about what they do and how they can help women like you. Read more about BIRTHFIT below:

Explain what Birthfit is and why it was started:

BIRTHFIT is an educated, empowered state of readiness - specific to childbirth - that is achieved through an evolved practice in fitness, nutrition, chiropractic, and mindset.  BIRTHFIT is a movement that was created to change the way the world views birth.  Our goal is to cultivate awareness and enhance education through the Motherhood Transition by developing and producing one of a kind BIRTHFIT experiences through in-person classes and distance learning so that women have the space to make their own informed, intuitively guided choices.  

What types of women/situations do you work with most frequently? What usually brings a client to you?:

Women come to us when they decide that they want to experience an empowered, educated Motherhood Transition.  Anywhere between preconception through any point postpartum, the transition into motherhood deserves attention as well as intention.  We see women throughout this transitional time period typically because they want guidance on movements during pregnancy, details on core and pelvic floor health, or are looking for a total approach to taking care of themselves as they grow and nurture other humans.  We typically see women because others have told them about BIRTHFIT, and we love those referrals. 

What are some examples of programs or services that you offer?:

We offer courses in person as well as online.  We work with women in person through our various BIRTHFIT Regional Directors, who offer the BIRTHFIT Prenatal Series (a childbirth education course), BIRTHFIT Postpartum Series Breath & Flow and BIRTHFIT Postpartum Series (unique group rehabilitation courses), consultations, prenatal training, and community events; we also work with coaches and professionals to introduce them to BIRTHFIT at our seminars.  This year we're opening up the annual BIRTHFIT Summit for a one day community event as well!  We offer online support through programs such as Before the Bump, Prenatal Programming, and Postpartum Programming; as well as consultations with our team and webinars on various topics.  We have a ton of free content via our blogs, webinars, podcast, and YouTube channel.  

What are some of the most common misconceptions that you see about postpartum recovery and exercise in pregnancy/postpartum?:

There are so many misconceptions.  Essentially, society has everything backwards: we think of pregnancy as a fragile state and postpartum as the "bounce back" time.  In reality, pregnancy is the ultimate expression of female fitness and the postpartum period is when women need extra care, support, and patience.  Pregnant women are incredibly capable, and their exercise routines can reflect that in an intentional way.  Melissa Hemphill (the BIRTHFIT Coach lead) likens activities during pregnancy to putting a fork in a microwave: just because you *can* do something doesn't mean it's a good idea.  But we don't modify movements for pregnant women; instead, we train intentionally with the pregnant body in mind.  Our workouts aren't just about moving around with a bump: we train to prepare for labor and to enhance core stability throughout pregnancy.  

On the postpartum side, there's this idea about some magical six-week green light.  Research tells us that ligaments take approximately 280 days to heal, and there are plenty of ligamentous changes that happen during pregnancy; to only take six weeks to allow your body to recover is crazy!  But unfortunately, a lot of women are instructed to suck in their belly in order to strengthen their core or heal a diastasis, when this couldn't be further from the truth.  We teach core stability based on the principles of Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization and the developmental kinesiology of how all humans learn to move.  Sucking in, pulling the belly button to the spine, and other similar cues are all the opposite of how humans stabilize appropriately.  (I suppose a succinct answer to your question would be "everything"!)

What do you wish women knew about postpartum recovery?:

I wish more women knew how important it is to recover completely.  I wish they knew that chiropractic care and pelvic floor physical therapy are essential and I wish that these appointments were as automatic as the six-week postpartum check-up that women go to their OB or midwife for.  

We divide the postpartum period into four phases: 

0-2 weeks is the co-regulation period

2-6 weeks is the recovery period

6-12 weeks is the rehabilitation period

12 weeks-12 months is the rebuilding period

That's a year worth of intentional recovery that we emphasize.  Many women expect to be "normal" within six weeks, and don't have the guidance or information from their support system to expect otherwise.  We're doing ourselves a disservice by not taking the time to heal, reset, and nourish our bodies in the postpartum time period.  

What have you learned from the women you've worked with?:

Every single woman that we encounter has something to teach us.  The most valuable lesson I've learned is to simply be patient and allow moms to express themselves how/when they're comfortable.  Some women need and want to share things immediately, while others need some time and space to reflect before diving in.  I think the most valuable lesson I've learned has been getting rid of "shoulds" in the Motherhood Transition.  Each woman is on her own journey, and we're just here to support them through that. 

How would you like to see pregnancy & postpartum care change in the US?:

In a word: drastically.  Like I said, we have things reversed.  I would love to see pregnant women celebrated for their incredible vitality and life-giving capabilities.  I would love to see postpartum women nurtured and supported by their communities, providers, and society in general.  I see this happening through education, and we're already noticing the differences within our communities where BIRTHFIT is represented.  We are working on uniting birth practitioners in the BIRTHFIT Professional Seminar so that there isn't such a disconnect.  We've brought OBs, PTs, and DCs together with nutritionists, doulas, coaches, and childbirth educators; together we're changing the way that women receive care throughout the Motherhood Transition. 

Where can our readers find out more about Birthfit?:

We love connecting with people!  Ideally, we'd meet women through our Regional Directors (there are almost 100 of us!).  You can find a BIRTHFIT Regional Director near you at www.BIRTHFIT.com.  There you can also look for a BIRTHFIT Professional or BIRTHFIT Coach to work with.  You can sign up for our online programs, subscribe to our newsletter, read up on our blog, watch our free webinars, or hop over to the BIRTHFIT Podcast!  And, of course, you can follow us on social media @BIRTHFIT!  We would love to connect with you soon! 

 

This blog pro­vides gen­eral infor­ma­tion and dis­cus­sion about med­i­cine, health and related sub­jects.  The words and other con­tent pro­vided in this blog, and in any linked mate­ri­als, are not intended and should not be con­strued as med­ical advice. If the reader or any other per­son has a med­ical con­cern, he or she should con­sult with an appropriately-licensed physi­cian or other health care worker.

This post may contain affiliate links.

5 Tips to Heal After Childbirth
 
 

There is a common misconception that after you have a baby, you’ll walk out of the hospital in your skinny jeans or white dress a la Kate Middleton and hop right back into your old life, just with a baby. In this magic world, there is no need to question how to recover from childbirth, things just sort of...snap back to normal...right?

Having a baby suddenly enter your life is a massive upheaval. There is the emotional and identity upheaval, but there is also the physical aspect- you have just gone through one of the most intense physical events a human being will go through, and the fact is, you will need some time to heal from birth.

Newsflash, Childbirth is Hard

Yes, healing. Childbirth is physical. Physical like training for and running a marathon. And, like a marathon runner, you need to rest and recover after the race. No matter what society tells you, those skinny jeans will wait for you once you’ve taken the time and space to allow yourself to heal and recover.

How to Help Yourself Heal After Labor

After a big change like bringing home a baby and childbirth, there needs to be a period of adjustment, of being kind to yourself, and most importantly, of healing.

Not really sure where to start to? Here are 5 things to help you heal after childbirth:

Rest

At this stage, the name of the game is to do everything you can to just...rest. Yes, this is a crazy but oh-so-necessary thing to suggest with in-laws visiting, a newborn, and maybe other children to take care of, but it's important. Which brings me to the next item on our list:

Ask for Help

Let me repeat that because modern-day women seem to have been socialized to carry the load all by themselves - ASK FOR HELP. It does not mean you are less than, can’t handle it, or anything else. It just means you are human and like every other woman who has ever given birth in that we ALL need help. If you live near family or close friends- ask them to help a bit for a few weeks while you regain your strength. Otherwise, do what you can- if you can afford to pay a babysitter for a few hours here and there so you can rest, do it. If that’s not possible, consider asking a friend to come by and give you a break for a bit. And if you don’t have any of this possible...

Find a Support System

Often a support system is in the form of local friends and family. But since many people now live away from family, we’ve got to get creative about where we find support. The key is to find people who can help you if needed, that you can vent with or get advice from- anyone who makes you feel like you aren’t alone in this new world. A few key tricks:

  • Local mommy & me groups: can often be found through OBGYN offices, local ‘pumping and breastfeeding’ stores, or a local kid or baby store.
  • Meet ups: meetup.com has tons of other moms looking to meet up with moms, often free and local.
  • Facebook Groups: Facebook moms groups are ubiquitous now- there is almost definitely a Facebook group for moms in your local area, often which can serve as a virtual support system and sometimes translate into real life meetups.
  • Apps: And yup, there’s an app for this, too. Check out these apps for moms to meet each other. 

Physical Healing

Do not jump right back into exercise! For the love of coffee, do not do this. At least not for awhile- let your body heal, listen to it, and do what feels good/OK and your doctor has cleared. Yes, you are itching to start moving and start feeling like YOU again after your body has been taken over for 10 months, but giving yourself some extra time will go a looong way. Jumping right back into exercise could potentially exacerbate issues that haven’t yet reared their head, like diastasis recti, or symphisis pubis dysfunction, or just not being ready. 

Nutritional Healing

Food can be one of our biggest tools for healing. Seeking out the advice of a nutritionist at this time in your life can go a long way (like a one-on-one phone session with a Flo Living counselor, which specializes in women’s health). There are also lots of bloggers out there aimed at helping moms be their healthiest. Not skinniest, not ‘fit -mom’-est, but healthy and nourished with recipes for meals for new moms. And companies like Motherbees, From Mother to Mother and Osso Good Bone Broth have recipes and broths to help nourish new mothers.

And, of course, using a journal to manage your postpartum health can be a huge help. Duo Diary's second edition is out now, head over to our shop to find out more. 

 

 

This blog pro­vides gen­eral infor­ma­tion and dis­cus­sion about med­i­cine, health and related sub­jects.  The words and other con­tent pro­vided in this blog, and in any linked mate­ri­als, are not intended and should not be con­strued as med­ical advice. If the reader or any other per­son has a med­ical con­cern, he or she should con­sult with an appropriately-licensed physi­cian or other health care worker.

This post may contain affiliate links.

Black Friday Roundup: The Best Black Friday Deals for Moms
 
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It's Thanksgiving weekend, and you know what that means - it means in most cases, all you mamas have likely been busy prepping for Turkey Day here in the US (why do we know this? Because kin keeping), but we’re hoping you get some time to yourself this Black Friday. No, not to start checking off items on your family’s shopping list (cough kin keeping cough) but for YOU. Yes, YOU. What’s Black Friday without some good Black Friday Sales meant to help new moms in new motherhood, right? So here are the best Black Friday sales for moms- sales from companies that we love because they support postpartum moms in helping them to heal, feel good, or are just practical. Sales that have nothing to do with your partner or your baby or anything else but caring for yourself. The bonus? All of these companies are women-led. Happy shopping!

 

Duo Diary Black Friday Sale

Part of Duo Diary’s mission is to help women take charge of their health and to demand better care for themselves postpartum. To celebrate all you do, we’re giving you 40% off all orders now through Cyber Monday. Simply shop and save using code BLACKFRIDAY at checkout.

 

Good Medicine Beauty Lab

If you follow us on Instagram you may recall recently seeing a post about Good Medicine Beauty Lab’s new collaboration with motherhood maven Latham Thomas called Glow Time, safe for pregnant & nursing mothers. This line (along with a lot of their other nurturing, self-care inducing, natural, icky-free products) are on sale for 40% off for their Gratitude Sale (that has a much better sound than “Black Friday Sale” doesn’t it?) Simply use code “Gratitude” at checkout.

 

Mutu System

As an affiliate, it's no secret that we love Mutu and are so excited to see that Mutu’s programs are 33% off from Black Friday- Cyber Monday. Mutu System’s programs are a great resource for proper exercise and healing issues like diastasis recti for postpartum women (of any age or no matter how “post- the partum” you are); Use code BF33 to get discounts. 

 
 

 

Life in Play Company

Despite every new mom’s best intentions that she’ll never carry a diaper bag and will just use her favorite, fashion-friendly bag, reality sets in pretty quickly that your favorite trendy handbag can't handle the new load of stuff once the baby comes. And let’s face it, diaper bags typically look and feel shlumpy and those are words no new mom wants used to describe something she is wearing. Not feeling like yourself is a big deal for new moms, and small things like being able to wear your own clothes or use your own handbag sound trivial but can make a big difference in keeping a sense of normalcy in your now-upended life. Enter Life in Play Company, who created a simple-yet-genius idea to create a diaper bag insert that slips right into your favorite handbag. Enjoy 35% off your entire order using code SAVEBIG

 

Restore Your Core

There are a few different programs out there geared towards helping new moms heal their physical bodies after having a baby. Restore Your Core is another program aimed at helping to empower new moms to feel better.  It's a 12 week program made up of functional exercises aimed at healing your core after having a baby. The program is on sale now through Cyber Monday. (No code needed, just shop!)

 

Our second edition is out now! Shop now-->

This blog pro­vides gen­eral infor­ma­tion and dis­cus­sion about med­i­cine, health and related sub­jects.  The words and other con­tent pro­vided in this blog, and in any linked mate­ri­als, are not intended and should not be con­strued as med­ical advice. If the reader or any other per­son has a med­ical con­cern, he or she should con­sult with an appropriately-licensed physi­cian or other health care worker.

This post may contain affiliate links.

How This Little Tool Can Help You Feel Better After Having a Baby
 
 

When I first had my baby, I imagined I’d take it easy for the first few weeks, then get right back into workouts after I was cleared for exercise at my 6 week checkup. At my checkup, I was cleared- and as a runner, boy I could not wait. I had felt incredibly off since giving birth and wanted to feel like "me" again after having a baby. So, I jumped right back in, anxious to lose the baby weight.

First, I started doing things like yoga and some simple weight exercises. Then, out of desperation to 'feel/look like myself again,' I had the genius idea of jumping into a hard core strength and conditioning program I had used for years that had always helped me lose weight. It’s also a program that is meant for athletes or people who are already fit.

Not so great for a lady who just had a baby.

 
postpartum exercise
 

It didn’t take long before the loosey-goosey feeling I had in my joints gave way to actual pain- in my hips, my back, my groin muscles...pretty much everything hurt. This time I chalked up the postpartum pain to the "I just had a baby, this is normal" explanation so many women give themselves, not realizing that none of it was normal. Common, maybe - but not normal.

How to Take Control of Your Postpartum Health

By this point, I was writing down a lot of health info for my baby, so I started jotting down my postpartum pain symptoms in the same journal. When I felt them, what seemed to trigger them, what kind of pain it felt like. 

Around 4 months postpartum I finally went to my OB because I had reached the point where daily function was really difficult, really painful, and my journaling didn't lie- I wasn't feeling great. I showed her my journal, and she suggested I go see a women's health physical therapist.

So I went.

It turned out I had a whole host of issues- some rare (osteitis pubis, common in hockey players and soccer players...and apparently the occasional lady who just had a baby), some common (diastasis recti). But what I gained from going was an education on what actually happens to your body after having a baby, how important postpartum care is, and the tools to start healing.

I now know there are many women out there who are unknowingly suffering because they just don’t know what is normal and what isn’t after having a baby.

This is why I started Duo Diary - I wanted to make sure other women were becoming more aware of their health after having a baby, too. (A little self care goes a long way!)

So how do you make sure that you are doing things that are healing and safe for your postpartum body? How do you know if you might have something going on that needs addressing?

This is where a Duo Diary can help you. Here are some tips on what to write down in your journal so that when you go to a healthcare professional, you know exactly what to tell them: 

Do you hurt after sitting, standing, walking, wearing certain shoes?

Are you in pain? What kind of pain? Throbbing, aching, stabbing?

What's your pain level? 

Do you feel sort of weak, or just not like your old self physically but can't really figure out why?

Pay attention and jot down what feels off, what specifically doesn't feel like "you."

Having this info is a goldmine when you walk into a doctor or physical therapists' office. These are all details that can help your providers figure out what your issue is and get you on track to healing. 

What have you noticed since having a baby?

 

This blog pro­vides gen­eral infor­ma­tion and dis­cus­sion about med­i­cine, health and related sub­jects.  The words and other con­tent pro­vided in this blog, and in any linked mate­ri­als, are not intended and should not be con­strued as med­ical advice. If the reader or any other per­son has a med­ical con­cern, he or she should con­sult with an appropriately-licensed physi­cian or other health care worker.

This post may contain affiliate links.

Don't Visit Your Friend Who Just Had a Baby Without Doing One of These
 
Postpartum Care
 

If you are reading this, chances are you've had a baby, or know someone who has. (Otherwise, you are really lost on the internet). Anyone who has ever had a baby gets bombarded with people who want to come visit and meet the baby. All well and good, except for the fact that during this 'visit' one of the parties is recovering from one of the most major events a human body can go through, and most likely doing so with a smile on their face. 

But sometimes visitors mean well and plain old just don't know what to do to help. If you've never had a child, how would you know what needs this person you are visiting has? You can't! I get it. People don't understand why having a baby suddenly means you don't have time to eat, shower, sleep or any other REALLY BASIC HUMAN NEED. But that's OK. You don't need to understand it, just know that it's real. Oh, it's so real. And when your basic sense of human-ness is missing from your day to day life, it is a really amazing thing to have one of those needs met. So here's a list of helpful things you can do when you visit a friend or family member who just had a baby.

1. Bring food. Lots of it. Frozen. 

Since sleep and feedings are now the absolute #1 &#2 things on the mind of the person who just had a baby, eating starts to fall somewhere down the list to, I don't know, #5 or #6. So when you open your freezer and find a meal that you can just microwave and shove down your throat before the baby's next feeding, it is THE greatest thing in the world. Chili is a really easy one to make and to bring- it cooks easily in your crockpot, then freezes easily in one or two cup servings that a new mom in your life can easily reheat for herself. 

2. Bring Snacks in Bags or Jars. 

Its a giant joke that nature has played on new moms- nursing moms need to eat a lot of healthy calories, but they don't have any time or energy to make any of those kind of calories. Also, sitting down and eating a meal becomes a bit of a foreign concept for awhile so snacking becomes a great way to keep a nursing mom's blood sugar steady throughout the day, while allowing more opportunities for healthy calories and fats. The catch? She doesn't have time to make snacks. Homemade granola is one of the easiest - you can put it in a mason jar or ziploc bag that a mom can just keep nearby. Another great option is trail mix- nuts, dried fruit, dark chocolate, etc. Or lactation cookies (they are real and they are fabulous). 

3. Bone broth

It's said to restore, warm the body, and help a new mom recover and heal. Bone broth is high in minerals and proteins and, as long as you are using pasture raised/grass fed bones, high in healthy fats at a time when a new mom needs all of these things in spades. Bone broth is also super easy to make- time consuming, since it needs to simmer for 12-48 hours, but easy (literally, throw some bones, veggies and an acid like lemon in a pot and that's it. Here's an official recipe from the good folks at Motherbees), so cook up a batch and freeze in individual cup size servings for the new mom in your life to reheat in a mug and easily sip. You could also buy bone broth from companies like OSSO GOOD, which happens to have a bone broth called "Nourish the Mama" with Chinese herbs. Need I say more?

4. Bring a gift FOR THE MOM

Most visitors who show up with gifts bring gifts for the baby, which is fantastic, but in the spirit of remembering to care for the new mom, try bringing a gift JUST for the new mom. Sometimes it's a gift to help feedings, to help her with something baby related, but in the end it's something that will make her life easier. A Duo Diary is one of the best gifts you can bring for a new mother because it is one of the only products out there that easily combines the baby's wellbeing with the new mom's. There are also gifts like the book from the aforementioned Motherbees, "The First Forty Days" which help guide a new mom's nutrition for the first 40 days postpartum. 

5.  Offer to watch/hold/feed the baby so she can go take a shower and maybe even a nap

What a new mom needs more than anything (whether she knows it or will admit it) is nurturing, being allowed to heal, and given some nourishment to get her through the hard first few months. Try doing one (or all!) God bless you. If you do all, God bless you. That woman is lucky to have you in her life!) of these items for a new mom in your life and see how much they appreciate it...whether they are too tired to show it or not. 

5 Mommy Must-Do's After Having a Baby
 
Mommy must do's after baby
 

Here in the United States, we are enamored with pregnant women. There are salves, creams, workouts, massages, drinks, foods and a whole slew of other products all geared towards the pregnant woman. Pregnancy and a pregnant woman's self care is a $266.6 million dollar industry. As it should be. There should be a ton of products and services available to make a pregnant woman's life easier and more comfortable, because despite the images of glowing pregnant women we are fed in magazines and in the media, pregnancy can be really, really hard and uncomfortable.

And then. Then you have the baby.

And this all goes away.

It seems that in our society, when a woman has a baby, she is left a little bit to fend for herself. The next industry is all about baby- nursing pillows, nursing cookies, bottles, swings and other devices, but there really isn't an industry that is focused on a postpartum woman's self care. Sure, she gets a 6 week checkup, but that number is arbitrary and often is the ONLY stop on the self care train for a postpartum woman. 

This gap is one of the HUGE reasons why Duo Diary was created. A new mom shouldn't have to fend for herself after bringing a child into the world, whether through birth or adoption. Bringing home a baby is a massive upheaval physically and mentally. At Duo Diary, we aim to help this transition be a little bit easier by encouraging new moms to take care of themselves. We also recognize a few areas of care that can help a new mother immensely in those early weeks and months. In fact, a Duo Diary can be a great compliment to some of these services. 

The catch? These all cost money. A lot of money. And are not covered by most insurance. Which is why most moms -even those that can afford it - don't splurge on services like this. In our view, these should be a given, not a special treat for those that can afford it. (Heck, most new moms probably don't even know these things exist!). But the below services can really help a new mom get on the right track with her health. So if you are looking for a unique shower gift, consider gifting one of these services (along with, of course, a year's supply of Duo Diary!) 

1. A Postpartum Doula

Postpartum Doulas help new mothers with the transition into motherhood by supporting a new mother with things like breastfeeding, bonding with baby, help and guidance with the new baby, and many even offer light housekeeping and will run errands. You can find a postpartum doula in your area (if available) here

2. An IBCLC

Breastfeeding is really, really hard. It can be a massive struggle for many women, physically and emotionally. An International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC) can help a new mom navigate this process by teaching them techniques, checking latches and looking for tongue ties or other potential issues, and providing support in helping a new mom succeed at breastfeeding. Find one here.

3. A PostPartum Exercise Program

A new mom has very specific changes that have occurred to her body that also need to be healed properly- jumping right into a 'regular' exercise program as soon as you get the clearance to exercise just isn't a good idea as it can exacerbate conditions that may have arisen during pregnancy and labor, and don't address the structural changes that occur to a woman's body. There are quite a few exercise programs out there that are geared specifically to postpartum women and healing issues like pelvic floor function and diastasis recti. Mutu System, Restore Your Core, The Tummy Team, Hab It, and Fit2B are all programs dedicated to helping a postpartum mom heal. You can contact these companies about purchasing a gift program for a new mom. 

4. Moms Groups

Moms groups can help with the transition into motherhood by giving a new mom a safe place where she can discuss concerns, experiences, learn, and connect with other women having the same shared experience. This is especially vital and helpful for new moms that don't live near family. Many moms groups are offered at your local 'pumping and feeding' store, churches, hospitals, schools, or other places. Here's a great article on what they entail and how to find one.

5. A Pelvic Floor Specialist

Let's get real, your pelvic floor takes a beating during pregnancy and labor, and it is also one of the most important structures for your daily function. News flash: leaking and peeing when you sneeze or exercise are NOT NORMAL and CAN BE FIXED. Easily. Enter the pelvic floor physical therapist. A pelvic floor physical therapist helps 'retrain' your pelvic floor to function properly and can often address issues that affect other areas (like your hips or diastasis). You can find one here, or refer to this article

What services do you wish you'd known about when you had a baby?

This blog pro­vides gen­eral infor­ma­tion and dis­cus­sion about med­i­cine, health and related sub­jects.  The words and other con­tent pro­vided in this blog, and in any linked mate­ri­als, are not intended and should not be con­strued as med­ical advice. If the reader or any other per­son has a med­ical con­cern, he or she should con­sult with an appropriately-licensed physi­cian or other health care worker.

This post may contain affiliate links

Mutu Mamas!

We're big converts of the Mutu System here at Duo Diary, and encourage all postpartum women to care for themselves in healthy, healing ways! Check out this great article on how soon you can 'get back to it' after having a baby.

 

"..you cannot strengthen muscles that aren’t functioning optimally. If its not working, you can’t make it stronger. All that will happen instead is that other parts of your body – namely your abdomen, or pelvic floor, will take up the strain…Or not. Because when intra abdominal pressure is just too much for these non-functioning muscles to withstand… they blow. Leaking urine, prolapse, hernia, diastasis recti, a pooching mummy tummy… these are signs of a core not working right.

Mutu System for Postpartum Health & Exercise!

Mamas, if you've had a baby, ever, please check out the MuTu System, an entire body approach to healing and strengthening post-child (even if you had your baby 10 years ago!). This system is intended to help heal diastasis, improve pelvic floor function, and tone and strengthen overall. Wendy Powell also goes into detail in her videos about alignment and why moms get that persistent pooch (and how to get rid of it, hint, it's not more cardio, more cardio, more cardio). Check it out: http://bit.ly/2bo3esp

Diastasis Recti 101 Infographic

Ladies! Check out this infographic on a very common post-pregnancy condition called diastasis recti. So much changes in a woman's body after giving birth, yet we all wonder why our old workout routines aren't doing the trick to get rid of 'mummy tummy.' Here's some insight on what's going on and how to fix it!

Here's to Feeling Good....


This quote really spoke to me- I think this is especially the case in postpartum women who may chalk up their symptoms as 'normal' (or, as in many cases unfortunately, they are told this by their healthcare practitioner). If you aren't feeling well (mentally or physically) please ask your OB/GYN for referrals -from women's health physical therapists to mental health professionals who specialize in postpartum health, there is a network of help out there! Check out our Resources page for more help!

Feeling good quote