First weeks with a Newborn- SUPPORT | LOVE | TRUST

The first weeks/ months with a newborn are beautifully intense. You will never know what to expect until your in it. So try not to have expectations, be open to everything and anything. Be prepared to have your heart ripped out your chest by the intense love you will feel . Have a support system, remember to feed yourself if have someone to do that for you. Yes everyone says this but try to sleep when your baby sleeps. Even if its just one or two naps a day with them. Keep yourself hydrated and embrace it all, every time you find yourself frustrated , scared or just so tired you cant think straight remember this doesn’t last forever it does pass! You will sleep again, one day…. (; I try to just be as present as I can with Benji, taking in every grin, every gaze into each others eyes, watching him sleeping so sweetly, screaming at me with all the frustration he has. The cries, oh the cries! Guys babies cry, and sometimes theres not a lot you can do but hold them and love them. Go through the list of hunger, nappy. tired, tummy cramps, the list goes on….. and sometimes you just won’t know and your not a bad mama for it. I did find the carrier and walking helps settle Benji so much! Your there holding and loving them and thats all you can do. Remember the big adjustment these little babas are going through too, from the warm womb getting all their needs met immediately, now they have to wait , experience cold , hunger and nappy changes . The only way they can communicate is by crying. In the beginning myself and Bernd would just look at each other with fear in our eyes and we would both be sweating, just our bodies purely reacting from this intense sound. We laugh about it now. But we were pretty stinky the first few weeks from sweatiness and lack of showers (;

I feel like i had some naive idea that my baby wouldn’t cry that much, and I’m not sure why. I think every mother does have some kind of expectations going in.  But I was rudely awakened. because ALL babies cry and we figured it out , breathed , worked as a team and came through it. And now when he cries which is a lot less, I feel sad for him but  we handle it better , we stay calmer which helps him. I highly recommend researching the 4th trimester, this came naturally as I didn’t want to put Benji down , it didn’t feel right , he was and still is attached to one of us in the carrier or laying on the bed with us for a nap. This could also be because of our birth experience which I will share soon!  Now as he gets older and more wanting to wriggle around there is more time for play. But do your research on baby wearing and give it a go. It gives you two free hands with a content baby snuggling close!

But.. it will be ok, this is such a magical time. The growth that takes place inside you as a human being if you let it, is incredible. These little beings strip you down to your last raw layer. Starting from the time you get that positive pregnancy test.

Some other helpful tips

Research Remedies-  I found the Natura tissue salts so helpful especially the Mag Phos. Pegugsus remedies are great as well. Benji caught a cold at 6 weeks so was very congested so we used nasal spray, breast milk up the nose, a snot sucker and some remedies for congestion. We tried to keep it simple and not give benji too much to maintain the virgin gut, just breast milk until at least 6 months. You can also work with your homepath/ or care provider before baby comes so you have an understanding of remedies and what to use.

Breastfeeding help- Support support support!  Friends and family that breastfed and lactation consultants. Read breastfeeding books before baby comes, go to a La Leche meeting.

Books- Womanly art of breastfeeding, Ina Mays guide to breastfeeding  La Leche website , Kellymom.com

Visitors – don’t feel like you have to say yes to everyone that wants to visit. This time is for your family bonding. Not everyone needs to hold your baby. There is time (: We just had immediate family come over two weeks so it wasn’t too much at once. Because all baby really wants is their mama.

Food- Make a list of things you can snack on while glued to the couch or bed. Send friends and family to the shops to get healthy treats for you.

Mine included- rice cakes, health bars like O’natural/naked bars, veg sushi, fresh and dried fruit, rice crackers and hummus.

Be easy on yourself mamas, you are doing the best you can, stick affirmations up the wall closest to you to remind you. I used my birth affirmations for breastfeeding as well. They really helped, those first few weeks were tough. Trust yourself and your instincts, you know your baby best! Ask for help , don’t be scared to reach out and remember all mamas have gone through what you are going through and 99% of the time are SO happy to help and support. It takes a village and we all need a tribe. Breath, take it slow close your eyes and focus on your breath, through the feeds at 2 am, the cries, and the dogs barking and waking your baby you just got to sleep ! Enjoy this moment its doesn’t last forever, I know right now it can feel impossible and so hard, but my friend you’ve got this, you were born to do this and you are SO strong, stronger than you know!

 

Holistic pregnancy the 3rd Trimester

 

And here we are , flowing towards on the end of my 3rd trimester and preparing for the birth! Here is a look back at these last weeks. A few discomforts popped up,  the occasional indigestion and leg cramps, but that was for a couple days and then is disappeared. I have had aches and pains here and there but again, nothing to serious and mostly goes away with a good Yoga class and a massage 🙂 Strangely I had sternum pain… yes you read that right. I certainly didn’t expect that. I felt it the most from 26-34 weeks and then it eased off a bit, my husband would rub that area with arnica and it was AMAZING! Which brings me to him, what a flippen amazing human he is. From the first day he has been nothing but supportive and caring and just plain incredible. Working all day and then coming home and cleaning if I have not been able to, feeding the dogs , folding laundry and sometimes cooking or buying me yummy food (: I must admit I have tried to just keep doing my normal routine but was put in my place by him and my body telling me to stop. There is a certain amount of guilt for me, feeling like I need to do more, but he lovingly reminds me Im growing a human and that is enough work to do. So thank you my love, your support and complete unconditional love for me, it lights me up and has made this pregnancy that much more blissful!

We are  so excited to meet our little boy and experience birth and the beautiful changes about to take place in our family. We have been preparing in many different ways. Physically, mentally emotionally, and then there is all the baby and house stuff that I had long lists for. Again thanks my love, ticking off the boxes as each weekend goes by. My nesting has for sure kicked in. It feels good to get everything you can ‘prepared’. But mostly I have tried to keep my mind in a positive space. Listening to birth affirmations and reading positive birth storied makes a big difference from all the horror stories you hear around you. People love to tell their stories and I get that, but am amazed at what comes out of peoples mouths, so keeping positivity around you is so important!

Nutrition

I have still been enjoying a lot of fruit and smoothies this trimester and Im sure that is due to the very hot summer we have had. I have been feeling like a lot more sweet foods as well, so this has been a bit of a challenge, I try to turn to fresh dates, date balls and dried fruit as sweet snacks. I have also focused on keeping my plant fat intake high, avocado, flax oil, hemp and chia seeds . Baby is building his beautiful brain and needs all he can get.

These last few weeks I have also been focusing on getting in extra kale as it is high in Vitamin K , this will give baby more for when he is born. A few weeks ago I got a cold, not fun… but we got through it.  I took extra vitamin C and drank lots of fresh juice, rested as much as I could and that seemed to do the trick after a few days.

Yoga

I have noticed the most changes in my body this trimester of course, which has changed my practice. I am moving much slower and adjusting poses and flows more. Resting when I need, most importantly. When I teach my classes I do more verbal queuing than demonstrating the flows .  It has improved my teaching skills for sure. In my own practice I have been focusing on squats, keeping my hips open and just really focusing on my breath and connecting to my body and what feels good. Finding some quite in my mind and connecting to our baby.

I have had some leg cramps and some general aches and pains in my back and hips, and without yoga Im not sure what I would do. It helps to keep everything open and my blood moving. My husband has been rubbing my legs before bed which helps so much. And if I can recommend anything that you should make a priority during your pregnancy that is prenatal Yoga and get yourself a prenatal massage! Its so worth it and you deserve it, you and your baby will benefit so much from this. And you get to lie on your tummy as there is a hole in the bed! How coo! I feel such a release when I go, and feel so nurtured by my massage therapist, she is incredible. If your in the Upper Highway area, go see her. Kirsten from Nurtured. 0732803860.

I have also found using a foam roller really beneficial for my lower back/glutes and coccyx. As well as my hips now towards the pregnancy have been very achy at night . During the day when I am sitting I use my birth ball which is so much more comfy than chairs and I bounce away while doing work I need on my computer. Walking is always great as well when you have the energy, I keep them pretty short and slow and just take my time, but I always feel good after and gets my blood moving, got to keep active so we can prepare for the physical strength needed during labour! In saying all of this do what feels best for you and don’t push yourself. The shape you were in before you fell pregnant makes a huge difference, thats why I recommend starting a Yoga practice before as well as walking and following a healthy plant based diet. SO much happens in those first weeks of pregnancy, so to have your body thriving before will not only be amazing for baby but for you and help you just flow through pregnancy with ease and joy (:

 

 

Emotional Wellbeing

We decided to take a hypno-birthing course, and I so recommend you do if interested. It has made us feel so much more calm and emotionally prepared for the birth and the changes about to take place. Not that you can ever be fully prepared! But it has for sure helped ease some anxieties. We did out course with the amazing Callen from Gentle Welcome. With this I have been listening to positive Birth affirmations, doing relaxation techniques and just staying as positive as I can about birth. Keeping in that space is so important, releasing fears and anxieties you have before the birth. I have also made a birth board with positive affirmations and images to keep me going during the labour. I have also created a playlist of my favorite music. I may do a post in the near future of ways to prepare for birth and postpartum care. (after my birth, when I can add more advice and let you know how it all goes )

We have also been reading to baby as recommended in our course, this helps with bonding by hearing our and connecting to our voices. There has been research done that baby later on in life favors the stories you read in the womb! Quite amazing. 

Books

hypnobirthing – Marie Mongan

 

 

Why you need to remove refined foods!

Why you should remove refined foods from your diet?

Processed Foods and Food Additives

Life is at such a fast pace and so busy these days. We rarely find time to make a home cooked meal never mind a healthy one. The thought of following a healthy lifestyle can be daunting. Not knowing where to start or what to eat. We often give up and cave in for those processed sugary and MSG filled foods. About 60-70 years ago, only ten per cent of the average persons Daily diet consisted of processed foods. Now that average is a scary 80% of our diet! Our bodies were never designed to cope with these processed foods, and definitely not in the amounts consumed. A highly processed diet will have devastating effects on your health and well being, and your ability to cope with the daily stress of modern times.

When processed foods and food additives are consumed it is linked with many common ailments, ranging from frequent colds and flu, allergies, blood pressure problems, behavioural disorders and impaired brain function. As well as conditions like heart disease, cancer and Diabetes. Consuming these food on a regular basis will eventually lead to low energy and general ill health. If you want to take control of your stress, you need to make an effort to avoid foods that are processed and full of additives. Rather make better choices by nourishing your body with plant foods that will keep you well and thriving!

Refined Sugar

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Refined sugar affects the central nervous system and the endocrine system in a variety of ways, it is the number 1 enemy when it comes to depression, mood swings and irrational and emotional behaviour. We need glucose to function optimally. When your body starts to run low on glucose, it signals the lack of this vital brain nutrient through a craving for sweet things. And instead of eating fresh fruit we turn to refined sugar to satisfy our cravings. But refined sugar has a large impact on our blood sugar levels, and when our blood glucose levels are thrown out of balance many unpleasant symptoms can result including depression. The use of refined sugar depletes the body of B vitamins, so vital for brain function. This can result in fatigue anxiety irritability migraines hyperactivity forgetfulness phobias feelings of panic and lack of sex drive. All of these symptoms can be avoided by removing refined sugar and following a diet that includes plenty of fresh fruit, raw and cooked vegetables and nuts.

Artificial Sweeteners (Nutrasweet, canderel and equal)

Aspartame, it is claimed by independent scientists to cause neuro-endocrine disorders i.e. disorders of the central nervous system and the endocrine system (mental retardation, brain lesions).Further research shows that chronic brain damage may be caused when aspartame and MSG ( monosodium glutamate) are consumed together. Aspartame can upset any of the endocrine glands, but is suspected of slowing down the function of the thyroid thereby slowing down metabolic rate, which defeats the reason for taking it.

Sorbitol- mainly used as an artificial sweetener, formerly presumed safe – recent research shows that there is a possibility of it being carcinogenic causing in particular bladder tumors and can also cause diarrhea.

Saccharin– has been found to cause cancers in laboratory tests, particularly cancer of the unary tract. There has been much controversy surrounding this product throughout the past century, but the fact remains that it is carcinogenic and mutagenic (is a physical or chemical agent that changes the genetic material, usually DNA, of an organism and thus increases the frequency of mutations above the natural background level.).

*The most natural sweeteners to use would be freshly extracted juices, dried fruit pastes such as dates paste in baking, raw honey or pure maple syrup.

Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)

This flavour enhancer stimulates the taste buds, which causes them to become inflamed and more sensitive. This deceives us into thinking that our food has more flavour than they really do. MSG is found in packet soups, seasoning, most processed savory foods, bouillon cubes, sauces and almost all fast food. MSG stimulates the taste buds to make them more sensitive which makes the food taste amazing. Just what the fast food industry wants. Almost every savory processed food contains this chemical and it is often referred to flavour enhancer. MSG affects the chemistry of the brain, and can cause discomfort to the body, including headaches, respiratory problems, and muscle tightness (usually felt in the neck and shoulder area).

Caffeine

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Caffeine is found in coffee, cocoa, tea (including green tea), chocolate and soft drinks. It is a flavouring agent that acts as a stimulant, in turn affecting the Central Nervous System, the heart and the kidneys. Consumption can result in nervousness, anxiety, irritability, aggression, sleeplessness, and insomnia. It has been shown that coffee drinkers are more prone to heart disease. Continual stimulation of the Central Nervous System with caffeine can result in tiredness, depression, moodiness and contributes to ME.

Refined Carbohydrates

Processed grains deplete the system of the vital B vitamins. Carbohydrates are broken down into simple sugars and the body needs Vitamin B to process them. But because this vitamin is removed or destroyed during processing, when we eat refined carbohydrates the body robs itself of the vitamin B it requires. Eating refined carbohydrates means we cannot cope with stress very well as vitamin B is the stress vitamin.

Alcohol

Alcohol adds to our stress load. It affects all the glands in our Endocrine System (the system that helps you manage stress) and in particular the Thyroid gland (which helps maintain mental clarity). Alcohol slows down the metabolism, it suppresses your body’s fat burning ability by one third. When you are feeling stressed rather try doing something that takes you away from an environment that encourages you to drink alcohol, try walking or yoga.

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Tips for keeping healthy

Check ingredients on the products you buy. It is time consuming at first but over this time it becomes second nature, and then you will know what is in your food! Most important, don’t buy it if sugar is in the first 3 ingredients, generally the less ingredients the better.

  • Prepare with finding healthy snack recipes!
  • Eat fruit if craving sugar
  • Eat healthy fats if craving salty chips etc.
  • Be prepared with snacks
  • Eat enough whole foods until you are satisfied.

I hope this post has helped to inspire you to make the right choices and to maintain vibrant health.

 

Food Combining and a smoothie for great Digestion

What is food combining ?

Food combining is the correct combination of eating food for best digestion and health. We do not want to eat concentrated proteins with concentrated starches. What is meant by a concentrated starch is usually a food with a 20 percent or more carbohydrate content. Potatoes, rice, bread, noodles, corn on the cob, and all grains such as wheat, rye oats, etc, would fall into the category. These foods need to be chewed well so that the enzyme ptyalin, which is secreted in the saliva, can start acting on the starch. The ultimate aim is to break down these starches down into simple sugars, which is the only way they can be absorbed into the blood stream. very simply, starch moves into the stomach, where it is churned up while the ptyalin continues to act on it.This mixture called chyme, then passes into the small intestine where further digestion takes pace with the aid of amylase or starch-spitting enzymes. The simple sugars that result from this breaking-down process are then absorbed into the blood stream and used by the body.

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Recent travels and exciting future projects!

Hello Beauties!

It is good to be back on here again and writing to you all. It has been a while …. a whole 3 months. We all need a break now and then right? Christmas happened January flew by and here we are in February already. It was a much-needed break from the internet as I spent time with my love and my beautiful family, and this last month I dug into my Nutrition Consulting course which is great! Progress is being made.

Last weekend myself and my partner(soon to be husband!!! Bernd) yes that also happened! I’m getting married (more about that later) we made a trip to Cape Town and stayed in Gordon’s bay as I had a full day conference with Mary-Ann Shearer from the Natural Way (the course I am currently studying). It was a full day conference filled with amazing information about leading medical research on the benefits of a plant-based diet. The Natural Way course is now affiliated with PCRM ( Physicians comitee for responsible medicine). The amazing Dr Neal Barnard is the founder and president of PCRM, The Physicians Committee is leading a revolution in medicine—putting a new focus on health and compassion. The Physicians Committee combines the clout and expertise of more than 12,000 physicians with the dedicated actions of 150,000 members across the United States and around the world”  I encourage you to check out the website! 

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Ultimate Nutrition for your baby

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During my time of studying nutrition, I have really been enjoying the nutrition for kids, giving them a good start can save them and yourself a lot of troubles in the future. And now having my own bubs thats had just recently started solids I feel the need to share this great information. So I have decided to write a post to help any mammas feeling overwhelmed. 

This is a big subject and it has so many opinions. So I will try keep this to the point and get as much necessary information in! The most important thing you can do for yourself and your family is research. Look into different lifestyles, look at the science behind it ,as well as what feels good for you. So assuming you have been through a pregnancy or are pregnant, that alone has so many opinions about what you should be eating so you and baby get enough nutrients, that is a whole other topic though! Then the decision breast or bottle? Then around 4-5 months and on, what do we feed these little humans? What is the best food for them? Oh so many questions!

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108 Days of Hanuman (Part 3)

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Wow , I have reached 108 days! I did it guys! I’m so stoked, it has been so fun doing Hanuman everyday, even on those lazy days or when I’m feeling stiff and tired. But I did it, I got on my mat and it always made me feel better and I was always glad I did. This practice has taught me to just do it, stop having conversations in my head about whether or not to do something. Just get on with it and enjoy it and be in the moment, and fully present in that moment , but find the balance of not pushing , be gentle with yourself.  Yoga is a journey, not a destination.  Read more

Interview : Keri Bainborough from We are the wildflowers

This weeks interview is with the oh so beautiful Keri Bainborough, from ‘We are the Wildflowers’. I remember reading Keri’s blog when it was still Midlands Musings, I had just got the courage to start my blog, so I found this to be a great source of inspiration. I love the way Keri writes, she is raw and real and makes you feel like you are her friend (:  I really started following her blog posts more when she started her Vegan journey, as I found I could really relate to that as I had been through a similar journey. I really do encourage you to check out her blog, it really is beautiful and her writing so honest and real. Thank you for taking the time to do this interview Keri!

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Interview: Pixie Bennett

This weeks interview is with the beautiful and inspiring Pixie Bennett. I know Pixie from high school, she was a few grades above me, I also, as I’m sure a few of you know her for her sweet and beautiful voice.

Over the years I noticed a lot of inspiring pictures and recipes of food by Pixie on her Facebook. I was transitioning to a more healthy lifestyle myself and am always looking for like-minded people and inspiration and pixie is definitely just that! Pixie is busy studying to become a raw food teacher, so exciting, so keep a look out for courses and retreats with her! So without further delay let’s get to it.

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108 Days of Hanuman (Part 2)

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(my little Molly is my supporter (:  )

Wow can’t believe how fast time has gone. I am already on day 77!! So far this journey has been quite amazing. Since my last post 108 Days of Hanuman Part 1 a lot has happened. Just 3 weeks ago my partner lost his dad suddenly. It has been raw but also so surreal. I have known him for almost 9 years now and looked at him like a dad. The comfort of their home was something I treasured as a safe place. And it still is, but a bit different now. It still doesn’t quite feel real as it was so sudden, life is definitely never quite what we expect.  I feel more upset and hurt when I think of my love Bernd. To know someone I love so much is hurting is so painful. But all you can do is be there with open arms ears and heart, with so much love to give.

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