Ever since I found out I was pregnant it felt like there was a never ending list of “Can’ts”. There are so many things you can’t eat, can’t wear and can’t use. It can be daunting, but the bigger picture is you’re doing this for a much bigger purpose: your child. And it’s totally worth it. Now that I’m breastfeeding, well, the list continues. I find myself still battling the hormone changes that I felt while being pregnant, so I’m looking to more all natural alternatives. Researching on the internet, you would be surprised what’s out there. I find a lot of people are moving back into a more holistic approach to life. There are a lot of DIY and “all natural” products out there and they’re inexpensive and easy to do. They may be a little time consuming but I feel like it’s better in the long run and worth trying.
So what I’m going to do is test them out and see what works! I used to go to a dermatologist for breakouts and had a few prescription face products that worked amazingly but since being pregnant, I couldn’t use them anymore and I decided if there was even a small chance it could harm my baby or be transmitted through breast milk, I wasn’t going to chance it. There was one that both my doctor and dermatologist said was safe but I was still too nervous to try it. So that got me thinking of alternatives. I recently stumbled on an Instagram page of a girl who has tons of DIY hair, skin and makeup tutorials and I became hooked. Check her out: @farahdhukai. I’m in the process of trying out a few of her beauty regimens to see how they work for me and I’ll be chronicling my progress. My hair and nails having been growing steadily since I’m still taking prenatal vitamins but my skin is still breaking out. It could be all the craziness of my hormones and the fact that since I’m breastfeeding my cycle is inconsistent to non-existent and I’m taking birth control pills (not really because I want to but it was recommended by my doctor). Not to mention I’m not really on a regular schedule since there’s a little 3 month old that dictates everything I do now. The first thing I’m going to try is her fenugreek mask for face and hair. Fenugreek is used as an herb, spice and vegetable. It can be ingested in pill form and is great for increasing your milk supply or you can take the seeds and blend them, which is how I will be making the mask for my face. The other one is putting 100% pure carrot juice on your face to get rid of dark spots, dry skin and acne. She also sprays the juice in her hair. I’ll keep you posted on how it turns out!
So what about the inside? Well, dieting is not really an option since I have to eat at least 1800 calories while breastfeeding. The hard part is making sure I limit the things I crave which are the sweets and the salty. I have to up the water intake which for me isn’t too hard because I actually like water but I also need to up the fruits and veggies because I’m still eating for 2. To make sure that I get all my veggies in even I forget to eat a salad, I’ve been drinking the V8 fusion drinks. They are a good way to get your servings of fruit and veggies while you’re on the go. My faves are the V8 Fusion Strawberry Banana and the Harvest Green Vegetable Juice. I even like to mix them together. Using My Fitness Pal which I talked about in a previous post, I track what I’m eating and use it as a guide to help me stay on the right track. I’m still drinking decaf coffee and staying away from soft drinks. I try to eat snacks of fruit and nuts and granola bars because the baby eats constantly and so must I.
Stay tuned for how I’m stepping up my workouts post-partum and the DIY beauty tricks.
Nola Fit Chick
Now that life is starting to fall into a routine, it’s time for me to try to get back to my pre-baby and even pre-wedding self.
My go-to for calorie counting is an old favorite: My Fitness Pal (free app on most smartphones, www.myfitnesspal.com). What I like most about it is the fact that you can scan any food item that you eat and it shows up. It takes the hassle out of trying to calculate calories and servings or searching for food online. You can also link it to different devices like your FitBit or other tracking devices.
For keeping myself accountable daily, that award goes to my FitBit Blaze (fitbit.com). I got it for my birthday to replace my Nike Fuelbit and I love it. It keeps track of how many hours of sleep you get, which was amazing to know being a new mom and trying to figure out a sleep pattern with a newborn. It keeps track of how much water you drink, which is also useful considering I’m nursing and need to stay hydrated. And aside from tracking basic exercise, it also tracks whether or not you are walking at least 250+ steps every hour. That helps me stay active since I’m at home with the baby and it’s easy to lay down with him or sit with him for hours and not realize it.
Ok, so I’m going to let you all in on a trade secret. 3 words. Nike Training Club (free app on most smartphones). This app is awesome and I use it a lot for my training sessions with clients as well. Sometimes it’s hard to motivate yourself to workout even if you are a “professional”. The good thing about this app is that it gives you 4 week plan if you want. Just getting back into m workout game, this is perfect for me. I can let the app do the planning and I can add or substitute as needed. The workouts are beginner, intermediate and advanced and you can do no equipment if you’re working out at home, basic dumbbells and home equipment or a gym setting. It’s foolproof with videos to help those that need it.
With the help of these 3 I’m hopeful that it will be no time before I’m back to my old self. It’s a lot harder to bounce back after having a baby and I’m here to tell you that it takes time. It took 9+ months to gain it and it’s not going away over night without a little extra work. Stay strong if you’re struggling, because you’re not alone.
Nola Fit Chick
It’s been 3 months since my last post and to say a lot has happened is an understatement. On my last doctor appointment, 9 days before my due date back in August (4 days after my last post), I was told that I had pre-eclampsia and would have to go in to deliver my baby. I was shocked and terrified. I wasn’t ready! I had a nail appointment to get to! I had errands to run and the baby’s room to finish! I was so confused as to how I got pre-eclampsia. The doctors couldn’t tell me how I got it either. It happens in healthy women some of whom never have had high blood pressure such as myself. No one could tell me if I would get it again if I were to have another baby. It was all very bizarre. Well, since I had no intention of having my baby that day (and neither did my baby have any intention of arriving early) it took almost 3 days to deliver. Once I left the hospital, I had to go right back because my newborn had developed jaundice and I was in yet another hospital for another 4 days, all with pneumonia and swollen legs and feet. I was stressed beyond belief but after a couple weeks getting back to myself, I was able to finally enjoy motherhood and my new baby that I waited so long to meet.
My baby at birth 5lbs 15oz
These past 3 months have been challenging: getting used to breastfeeding, getting used to this new post-baby body, no sleep, feeling overwhelmed. Every time I look at his face and he smiles at me, everything that happened fades away and makes it all worthwhile.
The best part is that now that I feel back to normal and I’m not going back to work for awhile, I can workout and focus on getting my body back to it’s pre-baby condition.
Me and my husband Travis at our wedding rehearsal a month and a half before I got pregnant
Sometimes I walk on the treadmill with him in my baby carrier. Sometimes we go to the park. If I really want a more intense workout (well intense for me now), my mom will watch him for me so I can take my time. Right now, I’m mostly walking at different inclines and speeds and 3 weeks ago I started to incorporate light weights and strength training. It’s still an ongoing battle because I’m still feeling really tired but I’ve gone from 2-3 hours of sleep a night to 8-9 hours (not all at once) which is making my days better. The workouts help out with my energy level for the rest of the day as well.
Me at 6 weeks post partum. Little Travis is fast asleep!!
I went from being 222lbs at delivery (the most I’ve ever weighed in my whole life!) to 182lbs now. It’s been a struggle but making sure I eat enough calories to continue breastfeeding my baby as well as exercising at least 3 days a week if not more is my first step!
Me at 6 weeks post partum
Me at 11 weeks post partum
The above pictures are for educational purposes only! I normally would never show these but I figure it can give someone hope. 🙂 The left picture is at 6 weeks post partum and the right one was last week at 11 weeks post partum.
Let me know how you did after giving birth and what worked for you.
Nola Fit Chick