Have you ever googled “mommy tummy”? It’s unbelievable what comes up when you type in those two magic (awful) words.
“How to tone a mushy mommy tummy”
“Fixing mommy tummy without surgery”
“Flattening the mommy tummy with 1 exercise”
“5 steps to get rid of your mommy tummy”
See the trend?
When did having a tummy after kids, become synonymous with needing fixing? Or needing 8,246,304 way to make it better, lose it and get rid of any sign that we created life and were blessed with the most important title and role EVER? Mommy.
Do our kids think less of us because we don’t have a six pack? No.
Does having a tummy impact our ability to be a wonderful wife, partner, friend, sister, co-worker, anything? No.
Will we look back when we are old and grey and think “wow, I wish I had less of a mommy tummy. I could have done so much better.” Hell no.
When I made the (bad) decision to look up the definition of Mommy Tummy, here is what Urban Dictionary gives us (I hope you’re ready for it)
When I made the (bad) decision to look up the definition of Mommy Tummy, here is what Urban Dictionary gives us (I hope you’re ready for it)
The stomach a future mom gets when she's pregnant. Usually used when trying to decide if a woman is pregnant or not.
1. James: Hey Bill, Did You See Cathy?
Bill: Yeah She Got Big Didn't She?
James: Naw I Think That's A Mummy Tummy
2. "Excuse me, are you fat or is that just a mummy tummy?"
I warned you.
Regardless of where you look, what you read or who you ask, mommy tummy is seen as a BAD thing. It should be avoided, eliminated and feared. Societal expectations are that a woman, regardless of the fact she’s a child or multiple children, REQUIRES a flat, tight, toned midsection. It’s also a great way for fitness pros to trick moms with false promises that prey on insecurities. So.Wrong.
Here are some typical belly goings on during & after pregnancy:
No matter what our bellies look like on the outside, can we just marvel for a moment about what actually occurred on the inside?
WE GREW A HUMAN. We created life. We made magic happen.
And THAT should be the real definition of a mommy tummy. Without our mommy tummy, we would not BE mommies! Sure it’s tough being a mom sometimes, but would you give it all up for a six pack? Of course not! (Although certain days it may be tempting!)
I’m certainly not going to tell you that you can’t train for or desire a flatter stomach or smaller waistline. But let’s steer the conversation in a different direction and talk real, educated talk about what is going on with our bellies after babies.
Diastasis is a hot topic right now with a lot of poor information and advice being given.
It’s a completely normal piece of pregnancy and postpartum, and should not be feared. Instead, I want to empower you with a few knowledge bits that can help you manage your diastasis during and after pregnancy.
There is much to consider and learn about diastasis during pregnancy and postpartum, and by enlisting the support of a Womens health PT or an (educated) postnatal coach, you will see that mommy tummy is nothing to be afraid of. And the power is in your hands to not only change the aesthetics you want, but to improve your overall bodily function at the same time. And that’s what I call, #winnerwinnerchickendinner ;)
Till next time xo
For those of us who have had babies past our EDD, the struggle of waiting for our baby was REAL. I know all too well what it’s like to have a baby past the estimated due date, both of mine were over by a week or more and boy it was hard! People make comments like “you STILL haven’t had your baby yet?” and the days seem to drag on and on after that much-anticipated date. I’m with ya ladies, but today I want to talk about why going past your “guess date” (as us doulas in Edmonton like to call it), though annoying, does have it’s benefits.
Where does your estimated due date come from?
Our estimated due date, or EDD as it is referred to by many Edmonton doulas, is measured a couple of different ways. The most common way is by determining the date of your last menstrual period (LMP in cyber lingo) and counting exactly 40 weeks from this date. Technically that makes you two weeks pregnant even before you conceive… weird hey? Well because it’s virtually impossible to know exactly when a female ovulates without being closely monitored by a health professional, it’s easier to just measure the length of a pregnancy by their first day of their last period. However, there is tons of room for error in this method as women are all unique when it comes to cycle length and time of ovulation. This basically assumes that all women have identical cycles every month!
The other method of measuring your EDD, which has a bit more accuracy, is an early ultrasound in your first trimester. The ultrasound tech will measure the baby in a variety of different areas and base their age on an average of other babies at this stage. The problem with this? Humans are all different, especially in their rate of growth. A baby may be the size of an 8 week old fetus, but is actually 10 weeks old and just hasn’t hit a common growth spurt yet. Once again, not a very accurate measure of the age of a baby.
So you now can see why us doulas in Edmonton call your EDD a “guess date”. Aside from the level of accuracy of these tests, how do we know that humans gestate for exactly 40 weeks? There have actually been studies that show that 40 weeks and 5 days is a more accurate measure of gestation, but all women and babies are different.
What does your estimated due date actually do?
So if this date is such a crap shoot, why even bother with one?
Well, it is important to know approximately how old your baby is for various reasons. The first is to ensure that baby is growing and developing at a normal or average rate. Knowing how old a fetus is at the 20 week anatomy ultrasound will determine if the baby’s various parts are in a normal size range for their age.
While not all babies grow at the same rate, there shouldn't be too much difference between what one 20-week baby looks like to the other. Another reason to know the EDD is for viability purposes. If you were to come down with an illness in which it would compromise you or the baby’s health to stay pregnant, such as preeclampsia, your health care provider will want to weigh the risks of inducing or performing a cesarean at the age they are at vs. letting the baby gestate a bit longer. Generally speaking there is an age where a baby is more likely to survive outside the womb, but the longer baby an stay in utero the better (for the most part).
What happens if you go over… like, way over?
A common misconception that is out there and one that I’ve fallen for is that in a normal, low-risk pregnancy, a baby cannot stay in utero past 41 weeks. Or even worse, people really do believe that their baby does not know when they are to be born safely. If you look at the evidence-based research and information out there, this is just not true! First of all, since we haven’t determined exactly how old your baby is or how long he/she needs to gestate for, what sense would it make to cut baby off at what we think is 41 weeks? When I ask people this question, many reply with “but I can just get induced and it will be fine”. Yes this may be true for many, but inductions do carry many risks to both mom and baby. It has also been suggested with many studies that your baby is the person who decides when you will go into labour. Your baby is the one that triggers the specific hormone releases days, hours and even minutes before they are born.
Disrupting this physiological process has consequences and has been shown to increase a woman’s chance of postpartum haemorrhage, breastfeeding issues and postpartum mood disorders. It’s important to not panic when baby has not come on their guess date, as your baby knows when they are ready for life outside the womb. There are obviously cases where baby coming out before this date is best for the health and safety of you both, but for the most part it’s an instinctive response that baby should make on their own.
Is your desire to have an empowering birth experience?
How I used it
Living in an older house and with the increasingly warm summer heat. My husband and I found ourselves no longer able to sleep in our upstairs bedroom. Our in-room thermometer showed temperatures to be averaging between 27-29 degrees during the evenings, and as new parents we were constantly anxious about the possibility of overheating. Luckily for us we had access to a basement bedroom. However, due to the size of that bedroom, we were unable to bring our bassinet into the room with us. This left us with little options-either leave our daughter in her crib in the room beside us, alone, something we were not comfortable with, or have our daughter in our bed.
What is a DockAToT?
For those who are unfamiliar, the DockATot is a “multi-functional lounging, playing, chilling, resting and snuggling dock you can take anywhere.” Created in Sweden there is “simply nothing else like it on the market that allows mothers to feed, soothe and bond with baby.” The DockATot comes in two different sizes. The DockATot Deluxe (for ages 0-9 months) and the DockATot Grand (for ages 9-36 months.)
The DockATot website claims the device is perfect for numerous activities, such as lounging, tummy time, bonding, bed transitioning, playing, cuddling, resting, changing, and for use around the house.
I am a person who cannot sleep without a blanket and multitude of pillows, and after a few nights of sleeping with my daughter on my chest. We decided to, on the recommendation of a friend, transition her to sleeping in our bed, inside of the DockATot.
That being said, we were fully educated and aware of the sleep safe recommendations, and understood that technically the DockATot does not meet safe sleep recommendations as recommended by the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics).
We encourage anyone who considers letting their child sleep unsupervised in the DockATot to do their research and to make their own independent decision into the best sleep situation for their family.
The Co-sleeping Controversy
The DockATot is lightweight and is easy to bring with you from place to place. I often use the DockATot for supervised naps when I need to be places other than my bedroom. If I am upstairs working at my computer, my daughter and the DockATot come with me. This allows for my daughter to be nearby at all times, even during naps and makes it easy to soothe her during wake-ups.. I find the portability of the DockATot extremely convenient, and plan to bring it with me even for long trips and camping. (Check back in September for my blog post on camping with your baby, in which I will be featuring the DockATot again!)
My daughter slept better in the DockATot than anywhere else. She cannot roll over in it, and the DockATot along with a swaddle, help reduce her moro reflex and reduce nighttime wake-ups. Our first night in the DockATot, my daughter slept six hours straight. This continued until her six week growth spurt and sleep regression, in which she is still getting three hour chunks of sleep. I sleep more soundly knowing that my daughter is beside me, but not directly in my bed.
What I Don’t Love about it
The DockATot comes with a removable cover that can be easily washed and dried when exposed to the inevitable newborn messes of breastmilk, spit up and other bodily excretions. However, the DockATot cover is extremely difficult to replace once washed. I found putting the cover back on my DockATot a two man and two hour job. Something that is even more difficult to do, when you are also trying to take care of a baby.
The DockATot makers recommend the DockATot for use as a changing station. However, at the cost and with how difficult putting a newly washed DockATot cover is. I would never use it to change my baby in. Anyone who has changed a newborn (or any baby for that matter) knows that they love to pee and poo the minute their diaper has been removed, and regardless of whether you have replaced that diaper with a new one. As well, many of the DockATot cover patterns are white, or have white designs in them. Have you ever washed newborn poop out of white fabric? I have, and let me tell you, it’s not pretty.
Co-sleeping is not recommended by the Health Canada or by Alberta Health. Both organizations recommend a flat, firm surface, with no pillows or blankets, and not within an adult bed.
**Disclaimer: Be please aware that we are not promoting any specific sleep situation. I am only detailing my own personal experiences and the things that worked best for our family.
For educational purposes on why some people choose co sleeping and bed sharing, our doula team recommends:
Nighttime Parenting by Dr. Sears
The Family Bed by Tine Thevenin
Sweet Sleep by Theresa Pitman
Sleeping with Your Baby: A Parent’s Guide to Cosleeping
by Dr. James McKenna
Three in a bed by Deborah Jackson
Further educational resources
Safe Sleep Resources from Platypus Media
Where Babies Sleep from the ISIS Infant Sleep Information Source
Guidelines to Sleeping Safe with Infants by James J. McKenna, Ph.D.
Safe Sleep 7: Is it safe to bedshare? is a free handout for parents, produced by La Leche League International
Infant Health Research: Bed Sharing, Infant Sleep and SIDS from the UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative
Attachment Parenting International – Infant Sleep Safety
Babies sharing their mothers’ beds while in hospital: a sample policy from the UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative
Guideline on Co-Sleeping and Breastfeeding, Clinical Protocol Number 6 from the Academy for Breastfeeding Medicine
AAP Policy Statement: SIDS and Other Sleep-Related Infant Deaths: Expansion of Recommendations for a Safe Infant Sleeping Environment (Oct. 17, 2011)
If you have a little ones, the task of preparing to go camping can seem daunting. Plan and prepare and this will be less of a hair pulling experiencing for everyone.
If this is your FIRST venture away from home with a baby/toddler consider not venturing too far away from home those first few experiences. Here is a list of camp sites around Edmonton which might be a good start.
Preparing for your camp experience
Weather: Plan basically for hot to cold weather by making sure you have layers that can be built upon for the littles. Don't forget those sun hats and an umbrella for a reprieve from the hot sun. You should consider the possibility of rain at some point, although a pain having a muddy suit and boots can be helpful.
Activities: Depending on the ages of your little ones, will depend on best games and activities. It is handy to have some sand toys and shovels for digging. Rainy day items, travel board games. With nature all around you, exploring with a magnifying glass can be a simple, but engaging activity. Leave electronics at home ( that goes to parents too) just unplug and be present in the moment.
Sleep and Eating Arrangements: Every child is different when it comes to sleep needs. Take opportunities for napping and resting. Once baby is about 4-6 months old it is harder to settle them down in a tent, as the stimulations around them may be noisier than home. Be flexible and creative as needed.
When it comes to sleep, keep it simple and sensible. Meal planning may make this task less daunting and prepping items that can be done, may help get the food on the table faster for those hunger campers. Plan a few fun things like s'mores one night.
Potty: You can buy collapsible potty seats which many have found helpful for those middle of the night need to pee moments. If you don't have a toilet nearby, the wish time banana foldable potty is a great option to have.
Safety: As parents, safety is an important factor to consider, camping has a lot of hazards. Especially fire safety, small items babies can put in their mouths and water safety. Be sure to pack first aid kits and have supplies need as well as a watchful eye on those fast moving kiddos. You could always put bells on the tent zipper if you have wanderers and decorate the entrance with dollar store LED solar garden lights to set the parameter and entrance.
Look for plants and mushrooms that are in the area, it can be helpful to snap photos just in case your child eats them. This group is highly recommended by poison control centres for the emergency identification of plants and fungus. This group is run by a number of volunteer professional mycologists and other plant experts and can provide real time emergency identification of ingested plants, fungus or berries. They routinely do this work for poison control centres.
Here is a simple list:
Pack sunburn after care
Bug bite stick
Wound care items
Tweezers for splinters
Bug stinger remover
A few links we found helpful for camping with littles
Tips for camping with kids
Camping gear for babies
Mindset: The goal is to have a relaxing time together, away from the hustle and bustle of work grind and enjoy the scenery around you. The key to that is letting go and living in the moment. Planning ahead and making sure you have all you need will hopefully lend to a peaceful few days or weeks away. Enjoy!
Here are Pinterest ideas and activities for camping with a toddler.
Photo credit from one of our readers: Heidi Taphorn
Although camping can be a cheap way to make lasting memories with your family and is good for the soul to get out and connect with nature.
We have discovered a few items for little ones that will make it easier.
Portable High Chair
Screen tent for sleeping
Outdoor toys, must have sand pail and shovel and other items that will make playing at the beach fun.
Photo: Sonya's stepfather with three month old Elise
Baby care and supply are a huge market. It is very easy as an expecting parent to become overwhelmed by the sheer number of products available, and by the differing recommendations your friends and family may have provided. Then, while you and your partner are buried chest deep in the crib and dresser section of your nearest Babies R Us, you realize just how expensive all of these products can be. So, what do you do? How do you have a baby on a budget?
Having a baby on a budget is simple. But, there are two fundamental questions you need to ask yourself in order to succeed. First, what can you purchase new and what is safe to purchase second hand. And second, what do you actually need for a newborn?
Newborns are simple creatures. They don't truly require many things. However, there are a few things that they do need.
- A safe space to sleep
- A way to eat
- A way to be transported
- To be clothed
- A way to keep them clean.
In order to lower the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) there are recommendations and guidelines to follow as to where your infant can and should sleep.
The safest sleep space is considered one that has:
- A firm mattress
- No soft bedding, pillows, blankets or bumper pads
- Non-smoking parents.
- No drugs or alcohol.
- Breastfeeding Mother
- Baby is healthy and was born at full-term
- Baby sleeps on their back
- No swaddling
- No soft mattresses, extra pillows, toys, heavy covers
- Clear of strings, cords, cracks and crevices
If you are not comfortable bed-sharing with your baby, other options include the use of a baby box, side-car (co-sleeper), bassinet or crib. All side-cars, bassinets and cribs sold in-store in Canada today must meet safe sleep recommendations.
Baby Box University Is a non-profit organization that provides baby boxes at no cost to families and expecting parents within Alberta (and other countries and provinces). A baby box is a moderate sized rectangular box, inlayed with a thin, firm mattress that can be used as a safe sleeping space for a newborn.
In order to receive a baby box, you must visit the Baby Box University website and watch a series of educational videos on newborn care. After you have completed the videos, and downloaded and printed your own 'Baby Box University Certificate' you can schedule a pick-up time with a pick-up location near you.
Baby boxes often come with added accessories and goodies. Including diapers, wipes, clothing, muslin blankets or toys.
Health Canada and WHO (World Health Organization) recommend sleeping in the same room as your baby for a minimum of six months, but recommend the same practice for at least one year. Taking this recommendation into consideration can impact what your choices and options are, depending on your immediate budget and the space you have available in your home and bedroom.
Bassinets are similar to cribs in a sense, different mainly in that they are smaller, lighter and more portable. While cheaper in price than a standard crib, bassinets have a lower weight limit and can no longer be safely used when your infant is able to pull themselves up or roll around.
While cribs may carry a larger overhead cost, you can save money in the long run by purchasing a convertible crib which can be used for years down the road.
The main concern in buying a used crib or bassinet is that you will more than likely be unaware of the objects history. If you are unaware of the history of the sleep space, you cannot be sure that it was used in a safe manner. The crib or bassinet could have internal damages or damages that are difficult to see upon immediate inspection.
As well, there is a potential that the crib or bassinet you would be purchasing no longer meets Canada's health and safety requirements.
For example, drop side cribs are now banned for sale, import and advertisement within Canada due to injuries and death in children.
For these reasons it is recommended that you purchase your sleep space new.
Feeding your new baby can be a hot and controversial topic amongst both new and experienced parents. Some families do not have the luxury of pursuing their preferred feeding method, but because of medical or personal reasons must choose one option over another. In the end, ensuring your baby is fed and healthy and that you are healthy as well, is the most important thing.
Exclusively breastfeeding is the most inexpensive feeding option. Accessories, such as breastfeeding pillows, and nursing bras or covers, although nice to have, are not necessities. Breastfeeding can be done with only your breasts and a baby. Contrary to popular belief, a hospital grade pump is not necessary if you plan to exclusively breastfeed. If you would like to have a pump on hand for occasional use, you can save money by either purchasing a manual breast pump (available at most drug stores) or learning to hand express. Both of these options should work just as well for a person who does not plan to actively or frequently pump.
If you are planning to exclusively breastfeed, it is recommend to put aside a portion of money for the event that a lactation consult is needed following birth.
Pumping breastmilk is another way you can choose to feed your baby. This method is more expensive than exclusively breastfeeding only because it requires more supplies. If you plan to exclusively or almost-exclusively feed your baby pumped breastmilk, you will need:
- A hospital grade breast pump
- Bottles with nipples
- A way to store your pumped breastmilk
Formula feeding is another feeding option available to expecting families. Formula feeding is the most expensive feeding option. This is because you must purchase the formula as you use it. Try to keep in mind that different babies prefer different formula and have different needs. Do not be discouraged if you need to shop around to find a formula that best suits your baby. If you plan to exclusively formula feed, you will need:
- Bottles with nipples
There are numerous supplies and accessories targeted towards families who plan to use a bottle in their feedings. Objects such as bottle sterilizers, bottle drying racks and bottle brushes, while helpful, are not true necessities.
Bottles can be boiled to sterilize them instead of put into an automatic sterilizer. For most families, washing bottles rather than completely sterilizing them is a safe option as well. Bottles can be dried on a regular drying rack and cleaned by hand to save money.
There are many methods of transporting your newborn from place to place. If you own a vehicle or plan to have your baby accompany you in a vehicle at any point, you are required by law to have your infant in an appropriate car seat.
In Alberta, it is required by law to rear face any child under the age of 1. However, safe car seat practices state that in order to keep your baby as safe as possible, you should rear face for as long as your seat allows.
Infant car seats, also sometimes known as bucket seats, are rear facing only car seats which can be removed from the vehicle base and attached to a corresponding stroller for easy travel between car and foot. An infant seat may be a requirement if you are expecting a small or premature newborn, as some convertibles may not be appropriate for newborns who are under a certain weight. However, infant seats also have a lower weight limit, meaning your baby will grow out of one more quickly than a convertible seat, and require a stroller to be purchased if you wish to utilize the travel system.
Convertible car seats are car seats that can convert from rear facing to front facing as your child grows. Convertible seats also generally have a higher weight limit and therefore can be used for much longer than an infant seat.
While convertible car seats can carry a larger overheard cost, you can save money in the long run by purchasing a convertible car seat, rather than having to purchase an infant seat and then a convertible car seat as your child grows. However, keep in mind the weight limits and recommendations. If you child will be too small to fit safely within a convertible seat, an infant seat should be used.
Can I purchase my car seat used?
It is not recommended to purchase a used car seat. Many car seats are deemed unsafe for use by the manufacturer after they have been in a collision. Some car seats are still considered safe for use after minor collisions (one in which the airbags did not deploy, the vehicle was able to be driven from the scene, and nobody was injured), whereas other car seats are required to be replaced after any collision.
Even if you are aware of the car seats collision history, the car seat may not have been used appropriately or in the safest manner. Water damage, internal damage, rust, as well as expiry can all impact the safety of the seat.
If you do not plan to transport your baby in a vehicle or you wish to have another method of transportation for use on foot, you can consider purchasing either a stroller or a baby carrier.
Strollers are a great option for long walks and trips. One benefit to a stroller is that most strollers come with built in storage compartments or space, this can make trips where you need to transport other objects (such as library books or groceries) easier on you. It is generally considered safe to purchase a used stroller, as long as that stroller still meets up-to-date safety requirements. When buying a used stroller, you should take care in inspecting it for any damaged or missing parts. Used strollers can be purchased from online sites such or through social media swap groups.
Baby Carriers are another wonderful option for transporting your baby. There are numerous different types of baby carriers and each carrier has its own set of considerations. One benefit to baby carriers is that they are small and easily transportable, meaning you are not required to cart a large and heavy object around with your child. However, unlike strollers, baby carriers do not have any built in storage. Meaning, although your hands are free, this may mean carrying your groceries home rather than being able to place them in the bottom of your stroller. Used baby carriers are also generally safe to purchase. You can find them in good condition on many Facebook pages and swap sites. Be sure to inspect a used baby carrier for any damage and expiry dates.
Dressing a newborn can be tricky. If you are expecting a larger baby, you may plan to skip newborn sized clothing and move directly onto 0-3m. However, for parents expecting smaller infants, newborn clothes may be a necessity. Newborns grow quickly and many people purchase more than necessary in terms of outfits and clothing.
Baby Centre offers a helpful guide to clothing necessities from newborn to 3 months of age.
- 4-7 one piece outfits
- 2-3 stretchy pants
- 3-6 snap-crotch t-shirts
- 4-5 shirts
- 2-3 sweaters or jackets
- 5 fitted sleepers
- 2 nightgowns
- 2-3 hats
- 4-7 socks or booties
You may find that you need additional clothing depending on what season your baby is going to be born in. If you are expecting a baby in the wintertime, your child will need a winter hat, warm mittens and a car seat safe snow suit to ensure that they are comfortable. A child born in the summer may require a bathing suit and sun hats to protect them from the sun.
Buying baby clothes on a budget is extremely easy. Babies outgrow their clothing very quickly and is it generally very easy to find newborn and infant clothing in good or almost new condition in thrift shops, garage sales and online swap groups.
Cloth Diapering is, in the long run, the most inexpensive method of diapering your baby. However, cloth diapering, like almost everything else baby related, can be overwhelming in the amount of information and options available. There are many different types of cloth diapers and some are more suitable for a family on a budget than others. Pre-folds and PUL diaper covers are the most economical form of cloth diapering. Unfortunately, some day-cares will not accept children who are cloth diapered in pre-folds, and some parents may find the learning curve of folding their diapers difficult and inconvenient.
Purchasing cloth diapers can be made even more affordable by purchasing used. Cloth diapers are generally safe to buy used and can be bleached to sanitize them. Be sure to inspect used cloth diapers thoroughly before purchasing, look for signs that the elastics are worn or that PUL coating has delaminated.
Disposable diapering Is your other option for keeping your child clean. In the long run, disposable diapering tends to be more expensive. Newborns can go through as many as 8-12 diapers per day and the expense of purchasing diapers can add up quickly. However, disposable diapers can sometimes be a better option for your family.
As you can see, having a baby on a budget is entirely possible. You may need to evaluate your priorities. What is important to you? Are there certain things you can compromise on to make things easier financially, or certain things you are unwilling or unable to compromise on? In the end, the right decision is the one that works best for your family, your personal situation and your budget.
- Bed-sharing, baby box, side-car, bassinet, or crib
- Breastfeeding, pumped milk, or formula feeding
- A car seat, stroller or baby carrier (or combination)
- Cloth or disposable diapers
Other objects and accessories can helpful in making certain tasks and activities easier. However, they are generally not necessities. It may be nice to own a change table with a change pad and cover, but a family on a budget can easily change their newborn on the floor or on a portable change pad or blanket.
**Disclaimer: Bed-sharing is not recommended by Health Canada because of an increased risk of SIDS and suffocation. We at Full Circle Birth Collective do not promote one way of sleep over another. We only promote that regardless of which sleep method you choose for your family, that you follow the safe sleep recommendations to the best of your ability.
Two of My Favourite YEG Swap Groups:
Strawberries & Strollers
Natural Parents Marketplace
Now, if we've ever chatted about social media before, then you know how I wish the whole world used only instagram and that everyone was required to post twice a day... and every month, at least 3 of your posts would need to be unfiltered and real (like your kids crying or your burnt toast all scraped off because it was the last piece of bread and you didn't pick up the groceries yet). I love Instagram. My feed consists of tattoo artists, crazy hair, National Geographic and shark pictures, some celebrities, my friends, and perhaps most importantly, local mamas who reach out to other mamas in a variety of different ways.
If you're new to the Edmonton area, if you're a new parent, or if you just want some cool, inspiring, interesting new people to follow, then this is the post for you!
@edmontonmama – Lori used to be Frugal Edmonton Mama... she would clip coupons and search for deals and share her knowledge with the world. If you head over to her page (Facebook, instagram, and website), you'll see that she's not about that anymore. She's about adventure and experiences, not “stuff”. I love this. Also, her instagram stories help us all feel normal with regards to parenting... meltdowns in the car, ordering from Skip the Dishes... again, being awake at 4am with a little one who just decided to be awake.
@raisingedmonton – This is my go-to for finding out about different playgrounds, things going on around the city, new restaurants to take kids to, weekend adventure ideas, etc. Right now, these guys are posting videos of different playgrounds in and around Edmonton... such a cool idea!
@albertamamas – Alberta Mamas has just recently been launched and it is a group of local ladies who have gotten together to share their experiences and ideas for travelling... with kiddos! Great blogs so far and I'm so excited for more from these lovelies.
@edmontonschild – This is a very well know magazine that is published a few times a year but their website is always up to date with the kid-friendly goings on in Edmonton. Again, Instagram love for this one... memes and local event information.
@deanneferguson – Miss Deanne is responsible for all of those fun things you see happening in malls and sometimes at the Callingwood Farmers Market... Box Social Events are monthly pop-up activities for kids and families (and sometimes even just mamas). Her instagram profile has a link to the Box Social website where you'll find a calendar of all of her events. So fun! She also posts photos for “cocktail Monday” with her hubby and their creations always look super tasty.
@bitchinhousewife – Yoga instructor, kambutcha-makin', healthy eating mama. Jen is all kinds of inspiring and uplifting. She has made me want to eat (and even sometimes drink) green things. Now that is powerful.
Most of these I've listed are also on Facebook under the same names... some you may need to do a google search for their websites. Like I've said, big fan of Instagram so that's always my go-to, but Facebook is great for letting me know when there are new blog posts and such.
How did anyone ever know what to do before the internet?!?!
Massage will empower the connection you already have with your baby.
TOUCH – this is the simplest form of communication. "Massaging your baby communicates love, releases tension and helps you better understand your baby’s needs,” Vimala McClure, Infant Massage
The first communication a baby receives and the first language of its development, is through the skin.
How does it work? What happens when you massage a baby?
Massage involves 2 types of responses:
Mechanical response – the result of pressure and movement as soft tissues are manipulated
Reflex response – occurs when the nerves respond to stimulation
There are 4 main categories massage effects on the human body – in this case for infants:
Stimulation, Relief, Interaction and Development, and Relaxation
Nervous System and Brain Development – The sensory stimulation of massage may speed up the rate of myelination of the brain and nervous system. This process is incomplete at birth. Skin stimulation (massage) can speed this up “enhancing rapid neural-cell firing” thereby improving brain/body communication (McClure).
Immune System – massage stimulates nerves in the brain that facilitate nutrient absorption and lower stress hormones. This results in improved immune system functioning.
Respiration – The rate of breathing can be regulated or enhanced with massage. This happens as the massage calms and relaxes the baby and the surrounding musculature. The parasympathetic nervous system is stimulated to respond and release calming hormones, such as oxytocin and dopamine, into the blood.
Circulation – Massage moves things including blood and lymph. Certain strokes can warm up the feet and increase overall circulation, which leads to a better functioning immune system. It can decrease blood pressure due to the dilatation of capillaries and decrease heart rate simply due to relaxation.
Digestion and Excretion – Specific strokes can create movement in the large intestine by increasing peristalsis. Massage will help the baby to relax and experience a decrease in pain, all of which, allow for more effective digestion.
regular massage can help to relieve pain or discomfort from:
o Emotional stress
INTERACTION AND DEVELOPMENT
Massage can help to increase bonding between any parent or caregiver and the child. This is very intimate, one on one time spent with the baby. Parents learn to read their baby’s cues and to respect them. It teaches them how to stop, observe, and then proceed as opposed to a quick reaction. A new parent gains confidence as they understand their baby and trust their instincts.
The most obvious response to massage is relaxation. Touch can settle a fussy baby, calm an outraged toddler or calm and overstimulated child. Regular massage seems to help babies become more tolerant to stressful situations. While stress is a natural part of our lives, infants are not always able to benefit from it as much as they could. There is growing evidence that cortisol levels in babies who are massaged on a regular basis, with a predictable pattern of massage strokes, are lower than babies who are not massaged. As well, the positive hormones like dopamine and serotonin increase.
There have also been studies showing the mother’s hormone levels are positively affected by massaging her baby. These include increased levels of the “love” hormones oxytocin and prolactin. This, in turn, may have an influence on her feelings of success as a mother, breastfeeding and even post-partum depression.
We hope you found this post informative!
These recipes are a few of my favourites for various reasons. I am very conscious of what my kids consume, especially after a few potty training regressions with my almost 5 years old!!!! She was sooooo difficult to poop train and the challenges return at almost 5 years old when she decides to turn super picky and only eat what she likes (cheese, pasta, bread, cheerios). So….here are some of my attempts to get more fibre into our diet and throw together last minute meals when we're so busy making memories.
· 2 cups coarsely chopped zucchini (if I don’t have these veggies, I use others. I’ve used mushrooms, carrots, celery in the past)
· 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped onions
· 1 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
· 1 pound extra lean ground turkey (I use beef if I don’t have turkey!)
· 1/2 cup uncooked couscous (I use oatmeal if I don’t have couscous)
· 2 eggs
· 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
· 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray 20 muffin cups with cooking spray.
- Finely chop vegetables. Place the vegetables into a bowl, and mix in ground turkey, couscous, eggs, Worcestershire sauce, and Dijon mustard until thoroughly combined. Fill each prepared muffin cup about 3/4 full.
- Bake in the preheated oven until juices run clear, about 25 minutes. Internal temperature of a muffin measured by an instant-read meat thermometer should be at least 160 degrees F (70 degrees C). Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Okay, so this next recipe is a complete favourite in our house, but it doesn’t have the nutrition I’d like. We’ve made pancakes for supper before when I just don’t know what else to make. I know they will eat these though!
- 1 egg
- ¾ cup milk
- 2 Tbsp canola/grapeseed oil
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1 cup flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- Butter or oil for frying
- Add ons: grated pear, blueberries, chocolate chips or walnut bits
- Crack the egg into a large mixing bowl. Whisk in the milk, oil and maple syrup.
- In a small bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and just stir until the ingredients are wet. The batter should be lumpy.
- Gently stir in the add-ins of choice. Don’t stir too much!
- I often add a bit more milk to thin out the batter slightly or it is very thick.
- Add butter/oil to pan and pour ¼ cup of batter into a heated pan.
- When pancakes are a bit bubbly, flip them and cook until golden brown. Serve with butter and maple syrup or toppings of your choice!
I keep little tart shells in my freezer for those lunch time rushes that I’m not sure what to make!
- 2-3 Eggs
- 1 cup Milk
- Small tart shells
- Salt & pepper
- Veggies (peppers, broccoli, spinach work well)
- Ham (optional)
- Heat oven to 375. Place ready-made tart shells on a baking sheet.
- In a medium bowl, add eggs, milk, salt & pepper. Mix with a mixer or whisk.
- Place ingredients of choice in the tart shells
- Pour egg mixture into tart shells.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until egg is fully cooked.
- Let cool and enjoy warm or cold!
I like this recipe for breakfast because I find it so filling. It’s also great for “dessert” or snack!
- 3/4 cup Greek Yogurt
- 1 tbsp natural peanut butter
- ½ ripe banana, mashed with a fork
- 1 tsp cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp chia seeds or hemp seeds (optional)
Directions: Combine all ingredients and mix well. If I add chia seeds I let the mixture sit for 5 minutes before eating. If you want “ice cream”, place your mixture in the freezer for 5-20 minutes to get the desired consistency.
This recipe is super easy and delicious. We used to use rib rub but found the littles were hyper sensitive to the “spice”. Now I was salt & herbs!
- Pork Back ribs
- Heat oven to 325 Degrees F.
- Season rack of ribs with herbs and seasoning of your choice. I like to use basil oregano, and seasoning salt or Herbamare (herb salt)
- Wrap ribs completely in tinfoil and place on baking sheet.
- Cook for 3 hours or until they “fall apart”
- Let rest for 5 minutes and serve.
Adding To The Family
Helping Siblings Adjust
Ina May Gaskin
Preparing For A New Baby
Trust In Your Body
Adding To The Family
Helping Siblings Adjust
Ina May Gaskin
Preparing For A New Baby
Trust In Your Body