Life with a Baby: Weeks 3-5

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We survived the first 5 weeks! I feel like so much has changed since my last update 3 weeks ago. I’ve lived a hundred lives…hahah. This post is probably going to be long winded because I’ve been jotting down random thoughts for the past 3 weeks. Bear with me.

Morning is officially my favourite time of the day. I know this sounds strange given that it follows a night of little sleep, but waking up in the morning means one thing: we made it through another night. I’m sure many of you moms can relate to this feeling of relief in the morning. Those overnight hours are zombie-like. But they are also sweet and innocent all at the same time. Even though I’m sleep deprived, sometimes I just cuddle and stare at Adriana while she sleeps at the end of a feed because I know one day I’ll wish I had these moments back. When she is a year old, I know I won’t regret those few extra hours of sleep that I missed out on. Watching her fall asleep in my arms with her head resting on my chest is the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen. When she’s in my arms I feel like time is frozen and nothing else matters. She sleeps in our room with us right now and I absolutely love having her close by. It’s going to be so hard when we have to transition her to her crib in future months. But I won’t worry about that just yet!

We’ve been feeding on demand since the beginning. Sometimes that means she wants to feed every hour (or less if she is needing her mama more or going through a growth spurt) and sometimes she’ll go a few hours at a time. Every day is different and I’m ok with that. I’m trying to trust my instincts more than anything and let her be my guide. Some days she naps great and other days she goes on a nap strike. There is no pattern to it. I’m just trying to roll with it. She tends to wake up 2-3 times per night to feed. I always feel rough at first, but then I wake up and it’s not so bad. I’m quickly learning that just as you get used to something it changes up again. So who knows what tonight, next week, or next month will bring! We have friends whose 6 week old started a growth spurt and cluster fed every half hour all night long (when he had been on a great schedule prior), so I’m sure we will encounter those changes in patterns too. Just knowing that nothing stays the same has helped me mentally prepare for these changes and go with the flow. We haven’t introduced a bottle yet due to our struggles with breastfeeding, but when we do introduce a bottle we’re going to try out this paced bottle feeding method. It seems like a good way to try to mimic the pace of breastfeeding and also prevent overfeeding. Have any of you tried this before? Our LC really recommended it. I’ll report back after we try it out, but it probably won’t be for a little while yet.

Speaking of breastfeeding, I feel like I could write 10 pages on this topic since the last post! I’m hanging in there, but I have to be honest with you that weeks 3-4 were hella rough (did I just write hella rough? let’s go with it). There were some tears and a lot of pain. The chomping and latching issues took their toll and I started to get vasospasms, blanching, and a ton of burning pain in my breasts on and off all day long. It was excruciating some days just putting on a t-shirt, forget about wearing an actual bra. Our lactation consultant recommended that we check Adriana for a tongue or lip tie (and many of you did too). This is something we talked about during the first week, but we opted to wait and see if we could work out the breastfeeding issues on our own. Well, unfortunately they did not improve even though we were working on it daily. I figured it was worth getting a consult just to rule it out and we did a lot of research on the topic before our appointment.

We were referred to the Newman Clinic in Toronto. The doctor found that Adriana had a tongue tie which did not come as a surprise. This explains, at least partly, why we were having so many feeding issues. We opted to have the tie released and we’ve been working with our LC to re-train her latch. It’s a common assumption that the release will automatically fix the latching/feeding issue, but as we learned you often have to work to re-train the baby how to use their “new” tongue. So the LC came over the next day and showed me an exercise to do with her before each feed. We also had to do stretches 6 times a day (for 10 days or so) on the release area to ensure that it doesn’t re-attach. Initially, I was disappointed because I didn’t notice an improvement with her latch issues after the release, but my LC assured me that it could take some time. Well, after 1.5 weeks I finally noticed an improvement! I am so grateful. I’m not pain free, but it’s definitely gotten much better. I’m hopeful things will continue to improve with time. All we can do is keep working at it and hope for the best. I’ve spoken with a lot of moms and heard from many of you who said the breastfeeding issues eventually worked themselves out and I’m really hoping that is the case with us. I really do enjoy breastfeeding her, despite the challenges we’ve faced.

Anyway, I just wanted to be honest about our experience because I know how alone I felt in the early weeks when we were struggling so much. I remember being at the hospital in our shared room and the woman next to us had a newborn that (seemingly) latched perfectly and fed like a champ. I felt so sad that we couldn’t get Adriana to latch and I wondered what I was doing wrong. Of course at the time, I really had no idea just how many women struggled with breastfeeding. All of the women I’ve talked to in my family have told me about their own struggles, all stories I never heard before opening up about my own experience. Even though I don’t wish breastfeeding issues on anyone, it was comforting to hear that so many women went through similar things. It was like, “Oh that happened to me too!” and “Oh my gosh that’s exactly how I felt for weeks!” Obviously, not everyone struggles with breastfeeding (I’ve heard many positive stories too), but I wish I knew both sides of the coin before I began because I would’ve been more mentally prepared. But that’s just me. And of course, everyone says if it doesn’t work out in the end (and there are tons of reasons why it might not work out) let go of the guilt and just do what you can. I totally agree. Being a mama is hard enough without all the guilt.

Another improvement a couple weeks ago: our lactation consultant showed us how to nurse in the seated up position. Small victories, folks. We tried it during the first week, but it didn’t work out for us and we opted for the side-lying position. Anyway, the seated up position is my new favourite way to feed her now. I was initially trying to sit up super straight (and ended up hunching over) with the Boppy pillow. What was happening was that gravity was pulling her down and we couldn’t get her high enough since she was so small. So the LC showed me how to semi-recline back in our glider chair (I lock it in place at first) and when I recline this gives Adriana a comfortable spot to rest on my body so gravity isn’t pulling her off the boob. I don’t even need the Boppy pillow in this position. I’m not sure if this explanation makes much sense, but it just feels a million times better! The other bonus is that she doesn’t swallow as much air in this position (compared to the side lying position) and her body is on a nice incline which is great for preventing reflux. Two thumbs up for making progress! We’re getting there slowly but surely…

This article gave me hope during week 3 when I was really struggling so I thought I’d pass it along: 24 tips from breastfeeding veterans. I think it goes to show how unique everyone’s situation is. Like anything, take the advice with a grain of salt and do what works for you.

I’m also reading about baby growth spurts (1 and 2) this week.

Speaking of growth, our little monkey has gained over 2 pounds since birth and she’s outgrown all of her newborn sized clothing. Our pediatrician says she is gaining weight like a champ. The squishy arms and legs are the best! I folded up some of her outgrown onesies the other week and my eyes got all watery. I felt embarrassed for myself…haha, but I can’t help it.

How am I feeling physically? I’m improving each week, but like I mentioned earlier, the recovery process has been a lot slower than I expected it to be. My doula referred me to a pelvic floor physiotherapist (she recommended going at 4 weeks if I could) so I went in last week. To be honest, I didn’t even know pelvic floor physiotherapists existed, but I am so glad they do. I have to admit, I was super nervous before the appointment since part of it involved an internal exam and I wasn’t thrilled about the idea of someone being up in my business so soon after delivery (hah), but it wasn’t as bad as I thought and I learned so much about pelvic floor health. She said everything is healing great. Now, I feel like I can finally start taking my recovery into my own hands. She also assessed my ab muscles for separation. I have some minor separation near my belly button, but she said it wasn’t bad and should heal up. I’m not to do crunches or planks (or strain the ab muscles when getting up out of a chair/bed, etc) for a couple more months to give it the best chance of healing. She also reminded me to stick with kegels – here is a great video she passed along for tips. The added bonus is that I find the exercise doubles as a relaxation technique due to all the deep breathing. Anyway, I am glad that I went. It definitely made me feel less anxious about it all.

Exercise: Well, formal exercise is not happening and I’m in no rush to start. I did take Adriana on some (slow) walks during the first couple weeks, but things were so up and down during weeks 3+4 I haven’t been able to get out more than a couple times. I have a walk date with a new mom friend I met in our neighbourhood this week though. That should be really nice!

I am giving some thought as to what kind of exercise I’d like to do over the winter months and I keep coming back to some kind of group exercise class. I always love classes and I think it’s good to get out of the house in the dead of winter. The energy and motivation is so inspiring and it’s a great way to meet people. I’m thinking of doing a combo of things…maybe weight training, spinning, yoga/Barre. I think my plan of attack will be changing it up a lot to keep my body guessing. I’ll keep you posted on what I end up doing. On the days when I can’t get out of the house, I’ll probably do some workout videos online (there are so many good ones out there for free, such as on the Fitsugar website). Feel free to let me know what you are enjoying lately. Any new classes or videos to recommend? Hopefully we can inspire each other to stay active during the long winter months! It’s usually when my motivation wanes the most.

Ok, that’s all for now. I’d love to hear from you in the comments – let me know how you are doing, vent, share a story or where you are at currently, anything!

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{ 131 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Nicole of Raspberry Stethoscope October 28, 2014

Thanks so much for sharing, Angela! I am 39 weeks +1 day and getting quite antsy to have my baby. I love a little look into life with a newborn. I hope you’ll do more posts like this soon!

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2 Allison October 28, 2014

Thanks for the update. My second had a mild tongue tie that we had released twice. It was so difficult but it did get easier as he got bigger and stronger. He is now 18 month and showing no signs of wanting to wean;) I know sometimes they encourage trying to increase your milk supply to make it easier for they baby. After breastfeeding with milk supply issues both times I found that what worked best as far as herbs go is to get them in tincture form. I found Motherlove’s More Milk Plus really helped. Although it sounds like she is gaining really well so you may not need the herbs. It is great that you are being so honest. I remember that feeling of isolation with breastfeeding and it not being picture perfect. But it does get easier and can be really enjoyable. Good luck.

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3 Lauren October 28, 2014

Your openness will be so helpful to others struggling. For some reason, breastfeeding hurt with all 4 of my babies the first few weeks. A lot of tears were shed! But!!! It seemed that it would get better almost overnight at some point (around 6 weeks). I nursed all of mine for well over a year, but I never will forget how tough those first few weeks are. And number 4 was my hardest! Expecting number 5 in March and am looking forward to nursing him/her;)

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4 Sarah October 28, 2014

It was the same for me too, 4 babies 4 years apart (eldest is now 17) and the first weeks were hell, very painful until at least week 6. Then we went on to sucessfully breastfeed for 2 years with each. Its completely normal it just seems like no one mentions it until you experience it yourself.

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5 Karen October 31, 2014

I was just coming here to say the exact same thing…the first 6 weeks were the worst with both my kiddos (now ages 2 and 4, man how I miss those newborn days!!), but things got so much better after that and I ended up nursing them for almost a year and a half. I also had tongue tie and vasospasm/blanching/pain with my second; not fun, but bearable. Hang in there!

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6 Eleni October 28, 2014

Where I’m at? I’m in limbo!

Between a long term visitor visa and a partner visa for France which will finally allow me to work and have free healthcare. I love this country so much and since moving here from Australia 2 & 1/2 years ago I’ve properly put my roots down and truly feel like I’m home. But this is all (once again, for the fourth time) is in the hands of the French immigration officials. To see how easy it is for my English friends to just come and go, work, do anything freely sometimes makes me feel frustrated. That said, am grateful that I even get to be here when others are trapped due to their nationality.

So I’m just here waiting. Trying to make good use of my ample spare time – cooking (from your amazing website of course), making jams and chutneys for Christmas presents (they’ll be even better after a couple of months maturing) and creating a kickass Maleficent costume for Friday night’s Halloween party. Mustn’t complain really.

I love reading your updates, Angela. I want more than anything in the whole world a child of my own but it isn’t to be at the moment. So I’ll wait some more… and enjoy following you on your ride!

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7 Tara October 28, 2014

Angela, loved reading this post (and all your baby posts!). Thanks for being so honest and descriptive about everything. We are TTC at the moment and reading your experiences helps me feel less nervous about our future. Your love for your daughter is inspiring! I live in Toronto too and love group classes so I look forward to reading about things you’ve tried. I tried a barre class at Spynga recently and that was fun (they have spin/yoga combo classes too that I want to try). Also, i tried a class at Judy’s Group Fitness and the hour flew by! Lots of fun. Thanks again and looking forward to reading more about your journey.

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8 Katrina October 28, 2014

Thanks for the update Angela!! I agree with what you said about how it’s nice (in a weird way) to hear of other people’s struggles with breastfeeding. When I was pregnant with my daughter (who is now almost 4) I had put all this pressure on myself that I was going to exclusively BF for 6 months, and BF for at least a year, etc. Well, we had issue after issue. Maddie developed jaundice after we came home, which we didn’t realize, and would always fall asleep during feeding. She wasn’t gaining enough weight and we met with a lactation consultant for about a month. I tried everything under the sun to get my supply up. I was taking every herb she could think of, drinking mother’s milk tea around the clock, and pumping after every single feeding. So imagine, nursing the baby for 30-45 minutes, settling her, then pumping for 20 minutes. Rinse and repeat. I was exhausted and after a couple weeks of that with little progress, I had a slight breakdown. We started supplementing with formula. I would nurse, then top her off with a couple ounces of formula. I felt like I was giving my baby poison or something, because so many people are so hard on formula feeding. But we had to do what was best for all of us. Looking back now, this definitely contributed to a hefty case of PPD. :( In the long run, I nursed her until around 6 months when she got pretty sick, and stopped pumping around 9 months when I just stopped producing enough to make it worth it. I also have since been diagnosed with PCOS and read some information saying that women with PCOS can have a naturally harder time with BF’ing because they do not have adequate breast tissue.

I am so happy to hear you stuck with it, and that you are trying your best to roll with all the changes. You are right, enjoy your cuddles in the middle of the night as best you can. They will be gone before you know it. :)

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9 Jacquelynn October 28, 2014

I love reading your honest posts about life with the baby, thank you for sharing! I am pregnant with my second baby (a girl this time) and love reading and refreshing myself as to what life with a newborn is like :) You are doing great, mama!

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10 Therese October 28, 2014

I left some breastfeedig encouragement on your breakfast cookie post recently– possibly not the best place haha. But it DOES get better! Weeks 6 and 12 were big milestones for us when I saw major improvements in that realm. Also, pelvic floor PT is vital. I still go
once a week! I’ve found that swimming laps is the most pelvic-friendly exercise for me right now. It’s also calming and revitalizing all at once. Highly recommend it once you start ‘formally’ exercising again. I think that’s all I did weeks 7-12 postpartum!

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11 Angela (Oh She Glows) October 29, 2014

I saw your comment on that post – thank you! :)

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12 bex October 28, 2014

What an adorable picture. Of the baby and the great grandparents!

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13 Liz October 28, 2014

Inspired by your progress! I just gave birth one week ago (2.5 weeks early!) and am scouring then Internet for advice and to hear new momma experiences. Day by day is the best thing I’ve come up with so far. As for exercise I wanted to say how much I love barre! I’ve been doing Pure Barre for over two years and kept doing my normal 5 days a week all through pregnancy. I can’t wait to get back to it. It’s great because you can modify it based on you abilities (like modified abs during pregnancy) and it uses small isometric movements that should hopefully be less jarring.
Best of luck! It’s all about the small victories right now :)

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14 Kait October 28, 2014

Thank you thank you thank you for these open, honest updates. I so believe in the power of normalizing a situation, especially with stuff around sexual and reproductive health (its my field so I’m biased!). So thank you for not being shy or hiding the ups and downs of this process.

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15 Kelley October 29, 2014

Thank you so much for sharing! I’ve been following your site for several years now & have thoroughly enjoyed many of your recipes & now reading about you & baby. I recently had a baby boy & found breastfeeding to be one of the most challenging things I’ve faced as a new mom. I almost gave up at one month, but one day we just seemed to turn a corner & many of the most frustrating aspects of it just seemed to disappear. The middle of the night feedings are still a little difficult but things are so much easier than in the beginning & the payoff is so rewarding. I really appreciate your candidness & honesty regarding your experience! Your posts have been a light in the dark at times (literally as I’m often reading them during a middle of the night feeding session!) My little one just giggled in his sleep as I was typing this & I’m reminded how precious this time is all over again. Enjoy every moment!

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16 Angela (Oh She Glows) October 29, 2014

aw that is so sweet! Brought a smile to my face. I often read posts in the middle of the night too. It’s funny to think of all the mamas up at the same time…

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17 Sara October 29, 2014

Thank you so much for sharing this. I had a very, very similar nursing experience with my daughter ( I wrote all about it here http://sarajanemercer.com/archives/12776) where she couldn’t latch the first four weeks and we finally had to get her tongue released and then teach her to nurse. I am happy to say she is now 18 months old and still happily nursing a few times a day. Enjoy these beautiful, early weeks with your baby girl. They go by so fast!

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18 Angela (Oh She Glows) October 29, 2014

So glad it all worked out! I can only imagine what a difficult first month that was for you all.

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19 Emily R October 29, 2014

Your doing so well Angela and two thumbs up for not giving up on nursing. I am so happy the your LC recommended Dr. Newman’s Clinic and that you were able to get the help you needed. Hang in there, It will get better! My soon was born at 38week (just full term) Via C-Section and had a hard time nursing as his sucking reflux took a bit and he has a lower lip that curls in (no thanks to his momma jeans) ;0) but we utilized all the visits from my Midwife and LC and it really paid off. I am the first in my family to have Nursed my son and let me tell you, it was so overwhelming at time to hear people always judge but I stuck to my guns and to this day I am so happy I did! I found after six weeks things got so much better. A great indication that your doing so well is that your baby girl is gaining weight, is healthy and content! Thanks Again for Sharing and Keep up the Amazing work =0)

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20 Kelly P October 29, 2014

Hi Angela, thanks again for sharing! You’re right, newborns make their own schedules and it constantly changes. Learning to “go with the flow” is what helped me manage, too.
I also had a very hard time with breastfeeding, but fortunately only for 2-3 weeks. Hats off on hanging in there at 5 weeks! I’m sure it’ll get better soon.
I live in France and over here it’s standard for women to have 5-10 sessions of pelvic floor physical therapy after birth, paid for by national health insurance. As an American, I found it rather odd, and the sessions were…strange to say the least (“imagine you vagina is a set of automatic doors…open and close the doors 10 times”…”now imagine your vagina is a drawbridge – lift the drawbridge!”). But I also learned a lot and found the exercises much more helpful than standard Kegels. I have zero issues with leaks or whatnot, which many women suffer from after birth if they don’t do this kind of physical therapy.
It’s funny, at 5 weeks post partum I also started getting antsy to exercise again. But my doctor encouraged me to give my body ample time to heal (and wait until I’d finished the pelvic floor PT..which took 7 weeks). Looking back I think that was good advice. That said, a little time away from baby can also do a new mama a world of good (as sweet and precious as she is…gah don’t you just want to eat her sometimes ?!).
All the best to you three! And congrats on the new venture! You are so inspiring.

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21 Angela (Oh She Glows) October 29, 2014

that is too funny about the PT imagery – mine told me to picture I was pulling a blueberry up there! lol. I like to automatic door reference…heh. Whatever works!

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22 Jennifer October 29, 2014

Thank you so much for this update! It is hella helpful to read a realistic account of a new mom’s experience. :) Adriana is looking so content and healthy. You are doing an awesome job!!!

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23 Annie October 29, 2014

You have such kind and thoughtful responses to this post that I don’t think I have much to add. New mothers really deserve special care and compassion. It is such a vulnerable time! I related to so much of this post. I had many issues breastfeeding my first baby. Long story short, a vigorous and unrelenting latch caused major damage to my nipples. I had to wear shields for a while and developed multiple breast infections. My baby also had colic and I was a frayed, exposed mess of emotions much of the time. Like others have said, it got better for me around 6 weeks and he nursed for a year and a half. It ended up being such a relaxing, bonding time for both of us that actually built up my confidence as a mom. Several times a day, while holding him in my arms, all was right with the world. I could be in the moment, knowing that I was giving him exactly what he needed. My heart goes out to you. Those first few weeks are humbling in so many ways. Continue to be gentle and compassionate with yourself. Your honesty with your experience gives other new moms reading this great comfort I am sure! Kudos to you!

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24 Laura October 29, 2014

Random suggestion – do you think you and Eric could add a “Home” link to your top banner? I always end up typing ohsheglows.com back into the browser if I’ve clicked around but want to get back to the home page.

Fun reading your updates – hope you and Adriana get into a better groove every day! xoxo

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25 Eleni October 29, 2014

Laura, try clicking on the Oh She Glows logo/banner up the top, it’ll take you back to the home page straight away. This normally works for any site name/banner, no matter which website. Happy clicking!

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26 Angela (Oh She Glows) October 29, 2014

Yup was just going to say that! :) Hope that helps!

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27 marci October 29, 2014

Hi! Always happy to read your posts! I have a 3 year old boy and 9 month old girl. Nursing at first was hard with both – I clearly remember the night with my second where she would latch and the pain was so excruciating that i would scream and just cried. I had to stop and decided to pump for a few days to let it heal. I just needed to be more patient and wait until she opened wide enough to get a good enough latch. It was such a hard time but thanks to encouragement from my husband and a good friend, i was able to make it through and i’m still nursing/pumping. Congrats on everything – she is a beautiful baby!! oh, meant to mention, I like the Brest Friend nursing pillow much better than the Bobby – maybe that can help with your upright nursing position? Although I’m partial to side lying – that’s all i do now that she’s older. :)

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28 Angela (Oh She Glows) October 29, 2014

Ive heard good things about the Breast friend pillow…will have to check it out.
Glad your BF experience worked out in the end.

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29 Kristina October 29, 2014

I did mommy & baby aerobics classes in Oakville. It’s twice a week and they are proper exercise classes – I was huffing and puffing! You don’t work out WITH your baby…the babes chill in their car seats along the wall. As they fuss or cry you just stop and do what you need to do with them. I found it refreshing to go somewhere where it’s perfectly acceptable for your baby to cry and to go tend to them! Nice way to get out of the house, and to meet others.
These are available throughout Halton.

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30 Angela (Oh She Glows) October 29, 2014

Thanks for the tip!

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31 Kimmie October 29, 2014

Hi Angela! Just know that you are doing VERY well! I think before we become mom’s we just think everything is going to be textbook with how things go. I have this degree in Child and Family Studies and yet, nothing went totally textbook. But you are a trooper and that’s what counts! You keep trying and learning new things. I was a doubter on breast feeding my babies. When I had my daughter years ago, I told myself I was committed for at least 6 weeks. Good heavens, I was into the doctor with cracked bleeding nipples and sought out the LC and then got frustrated more when it still wasn’t smooth. I also went in and told the doctor that perhaps my arms are too long to feed my baby! I am certain he left the room that day in fits of laughter! I had the same trouble you had, gravity was against me when I would nurse. BUT, it all works out…sometimes it just takes a little longer. I ended up loving nursing and the hassle-free way. I nursed my first baby until 11 months when she was just ready to be done. My second one I went for 18 months with a taper from 14-18 months. Neither of them began easily. I still have scares at the base of my nipples, but all was worth it. Angela, you are amazing! And remember…some people may present as being “textbook” but I don’t believe they are “for real”. Good job Momma!

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32 Laura October 29, 2014

I highly recommend the book: The Nursing Mother’s Companion. I usually try to give a copy to all of my friends when they are expecting their first babies. I referred to this book again and again while nursing my children. Hang in there, there are so many ups and downs but it sounds like you have the right approach to it all. Congratulations again and enjoy!

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33 Angela (Oh She Glows) October 29, 2014

Thank I will check it out :) I have so many new books on my Kindle to read!

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34 Kelly October 29, 2014

I love reading your baby updates & I appreciate your raw honesty – it’s so sweet actually. You can read through the page just your extreme love for Adriana. Does anyone say who she looks like – from the photos, she seems to look a lot like your husband? I am not a mom, I am newly single (broke off my engagement in August) & over 40. It’s strange but life is pretty beautiful regardless. I babysit for my friends babies a lot and my small group at church is filled w/ a lot of new mom’s so I feel I am surrounded by babies all the time and I love them. Several of my friends have read The Kind Mama and said it was their “saving grace”. Do you have that book? If you don’t, I can send you a copy. I have several b/c I was sent them to review for my blog. Just let me know!

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35 Angela (Oh She Glows) October 29, 2014

Thank you Kelly, that is so kind of you to offer! I did purchase TKM book while pregnant and I enjoyed it :) I’m sure some chapters would make much more sense to me now too. I should flip through it again!

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36 Katharine in Brussels October 29, 2014

Hi Ange, you could also try cup feeding, which newborns can do (youtube video with a LC) so Adriana is def old enough to feed with a cup as an alternative to bottle feeding. There is absolutely nothing that says a baby has to be bottlefed. My children only had bottles at crèche. I had tons of bfing issues with #1 since it was the first time breaking in, but perseverance paid off. I would have quit had we had bottles or formula in the house. Also we never used dummies to keep the latch correct. It does change as they grow older and it will get easier, also Adriana will get more efficient and faster. Vasospasms and blanching are dreadfully painful. I have Raynaud’s Phenomenon too and the pain was excruciating, like glass shards. I had to take my c-section medications for the pain. Have you tried stayed *toasty* warm and drinking a piping hot liter of one of your own bfing-friendly premium loose teas? Hot liquids often took away the pain better and faster than anything else. As Adriana gets bigger her mouth will mechanically get larger and the latch will improve, automatically improving the vasospasm situation. Must highly recommend the La Leche League International forum for bfing/new mother support and questions anytime you feel alone. For nightfeeds though, why are you so tired? Can you side-lie bf and fall back asleep safely, in bed without a fluffy duvet? Our nightfeeds were a breeze though with our side-car crib and safe co-sleeping with me in polarfleece jammies and a standard wool blanket, not down or fiberfill. Oh–how great that you visited the Jack Newman Clinic, which is really renown! I used the website for bfing help.

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37 Angela (Oh She Glows) October 29, 2014

Funny you mentioned cup feeding! We tired it the other week and she eventually got the hang of it. It was so hilarious seeing her lapping up the milk!
Thanks for your comment. :)

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38 Katharine in Brussels October 29, 2014

OK for my epic comment… you might like kettlebell training to do things quickly, without a lot of equipment, and at home. Google kettlebells/mama/moms/etc. or the baby bells movement for doing kettlebells in the park with friends. They’re so nice to get cardio and strength training done in the fifteen minutes of peace you get here and there.

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39 Heather October 29, 2014

I am currently 39.5 weeks along and “patiently” waiting for my little one to arrive. I have read Adriana’s birth story a number of times and it’s wonderful! I am also devising a post natal fitness plan. During my pregnancy I had to stop running for many reasons so I switched to Tracy Anderson’s Pregnancy Project which has been great. I’ve never been into her stuff before but I notice a difference, at least in my arms and my bottom. She also has a Post Pregnancy workout video that I have borrowed from a friend to try after baby is born. I’m going to constantly switch up my routine to shock my body which will also include (hopefully) running, spin classes, Tracy Anderson videos, weight training, yoga and Pilates. I don’t expect to be doing these all in one week but rather over time.

Good luck!

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40 Sarah M-B October 29, 2014

My first had tongue tie, but I had no clue! I ended up getting HORRIBLE mastitis before we figured out what was going on and had it released. Long story short, I ended up exclusively pumping for him for the first year of his life due to the extreme complications that arose at the beginning – all due to his tongue tie. When I had my second, I asked my doctor to check her for tongue tie as soon as she came out! She had it, and I asked for the doctor to clip it right then (which the doctor did). Now my little girl is 9 months, and we’re still breastfeeding…this time without all the difficulties that tongue tie can bring :o) All this to say that I feel for you and the struggles you went through with tongue tie. It can definitely be tough!

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41 Julie October 29, 2014

I really enjoy yoga for the stress relieving, relaxation effect. It really helps with flexibility too. There are so many versions of yoga, but the one my gym teacher follows is the Yoga Fit style and it combines some pilates with yoga. I love it.

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42 Lisa October 29, 2014

Angela, I’m so glad you and baby girl are doing well and getting lots of snuggling in. That’s the best!
As far as getting back into exercise when you’re ready, I highly recommend yoga. I do heated classes, and have to say that when I started going back to the studio again after baby, I so loved the serenity that I got from class. It’s quiet and usually has dim lights, and you can customize your practice so you do what you feel up to doing. I love the self-love and acceptance I get from yoga.
Also just wanted to say that with my daughter, anytime I tried to impose or “put her” on a schedule it backfired big time. I let her show me what she needed for the first three months, because that’s what seemed to work for her. By 6 weeks she slept through the night…it was amazing.
Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy! And don’t be hard on yourself. I know there is so much self doubt for first time mommies, but that motherly instinct is no joke. You can trust yourself!

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43 J October 29, 2014

Angela, you are doing everything perfectly! Adriana is thriving and you’re doing your very best – what more can anyone ask of themselves? I have a 2.5 year old and a babe on the way in January and I love reading these posts just for a refresher on the joys and pains of pregnancy and caring for newborns. I remember 6 weeks being the turning point at which nursing got so much less painful. My son also had a tongue-tie and we had much better luck with nursing 2-3 weeks after it was released. Nursing is just such an awesome all-around experience. It taught me a lot about patience, bonding, boobs and was the most powerful pacifying/comfort tool in my arsenal when travelling across the country (and world!) with a yearling. Just think of how you’ll be able to offer all of this insight to Adriana one day if she chooses motherhood as well :) Keep doing everything you’re doing – you, Eric and Adriana were meant to be, so as long as you act with love in your hearts, you can do no wrong!

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44 Marisa October 29, 2014

You’re doing great! Believe it when people say it gets easier because it really does, I promise. Try to get out the house as much as you can and a little “me time” is also essential, especially as you start adjusting to motherhood and the new “normal”. It is a huge life change and also (in my opinion), normal to feel a little lost at times. Hang in there mama! Your relaxed, go with the flow attitude will pay off big time. Xo

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45 Jen October 29, 2014

I am so appreciative of your honesty about your troubles and life with a newborn. I don’t have children yet, but it’s helpful to know an honest view of what life with a newborn is like. You keep such a great perspective and reading your posts are such a great reminder that everything is temporary.

I wanted to recommend Yogaglo for at home yoga. It’s $18/month and I love, love, love it. There are hundreds of yoga classes to choose from and they range in style and length. You can choose a class depending on how much time you have and what is ailing you at the moment. I think you can try a week or two free to see if you like it.

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46 Lisa October 29, 2014

Thank you so much for sharing your experiences! I’ve bookmarked so much from your posts to help me with breastfeeding, etc. I’m currently 40weeks +2 days and am awaiting my baby’s arrival very soon. :) It really helped to read your birth story!! TMI —> but I’ve been going to the bathroom a lot the past 24 hours and last night had some very interesting involuntary shivering with contractions. I think I am getting closer! Heading out for another walk soon with my hubby :)

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47 Angela (Oh She Glows) October 30, 2014

So excited for you! Keep me posted :)

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48 Christabel October 29, 2014

I highly recommend Dr. Brown’s nipples in Preemie size. Even though she’s not a preemie the slow flow mimics breastfeeding. We used these for our little guy when we introduced bottles of breastmilk. He took to a bottle with no issues.

We had breastfeeding issues in the beginning too, over time he became a pro. He’s now a breastfeeding 13 month old and he can nurse upside down if he wanted!

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49 Lori October 29, 2014

I second the recommendation for Dr. Brown’s preemie nipples. Our LC had us use them with 4oz Evenflo glass bottles. We also pace fed. Even as baby gets older, nothing has to change. We fed this way while I was at work for 14 months, at which point I stopped pumping because baby was fine with other milk while I was ay work so we introduced a sippie cup. Baby #2 is 2 months old today. I’m going back to work in 2 weeks

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50 Angela (Oh She Glows) October 30, 2014

Thank you both! We have the Dr brown level 1 glass bottle, but I dont think its the preemie version. I will look into them!

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51 Jessica October 29, 2014

Love reading these updates – so kind of you to share them :)

I keep going back to http://www.thebalancedlifeonline.com for the Pilates video’s – they’re quick & very effective, she’s got a bunch on her youtube so you can mix it up every day!

All the best

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52 Ceara @ Ceara's Kitchen October 29, 2014

That picture of Adriana is absolutely precious with her grandparents! Her expression is priceless :) And it is wonderful hearing about your journey the past few weeks. Life with a newborn certainly sounds like an adventure and learning experience on itself! Have a great week :)

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53 Stephanie October 29, 2014

I had a son in March and after being cleared to workout at three months, I started Barre classes at a local studio. I am really enjoying it! I highly recommend. I found that I had more motivation to do a class there than I did to just go workout at the gym. Plus it’s an hour class so I know I workout for that hour and then go home to the baby. Hope you enjoy whatever you decide on. It does continue to get better as the baby gets older! I promise! :)

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54 Larissa October 29, 2014

Angela!

Thank you so much for sharing. I have followed you for over five years now and as someone in their early 20s looking to start a family years down the road you have been so inspiring and helpful when it comes to a vegan pregnancy/the fears and excitement of a first born! Thank you so much for giving some insight through pregnancy and birth.. I do hope you will continue to share about baby food and such when the time comes to wean.. (hopefully not too soon!). I also share your outlook on lack of energy in the winter months and feel group classes are best – I always enjoy hot yoga but if thats too challenging perhaps even a weekly sauna visit could be good/relaxing for you! Best of luck.

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55 Karissa October 29, 2014

I had a really hard time nursing our second son. We were both so frustrated and I was scared and in pain. But things DID get better and that first month or so of issues seemed to disappear. I’m really glad we stuck it out. Best of luck to you… But, it sounds like you might have the worst of it behind you.

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56 Sarah October 29, 2014

I appreciate your candid insights into your first weeks as a new mom! I am currently 40 weeks and 5 days pregnant…not so patiently waiting for our first baby to arrive! Your posts are already a source of support for me. I love your honesty because it can be hard to find people who talk about motherhood in a realistic way!

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57 Angela (Oh She Glows) October 30, 2014

All the best with your delivery and new baby, Im sure it’s any moment now! :)

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58 Stacy October 29, 2014

Your daughter is adorable!! Enjoy every moment! My boys are 9 & 10 and I wonder where the years have gone!!! As for a workout video, check out Bikini Body Mommy. She is a mom of 3, has lost over 100 lbs and has her workout videos on you tube! And, she lives in TO.

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59 Kate October 29, 2014

You are doing an amazing job, mama! Breast feeding is hard (I tandem fed my twins) and I had a hard time exercising as a result (my energy level was zapped). Take it easy on yourself when you get back in those classes! It does improve though. My boys are 2.5 now and I am running half marathons faster than I did pre-partum. Your body is an amazing thing. Fingers crossed for some good sleep and regular schedules for you and Adriana!

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60 Amy October 29, 2014

I suggest trying out the free workout videos from FitnessBlender.com! Hundreds of ’em to choose from, for a really wide range of fitness levels. :)

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61 Connie October 29, 2014

Angela, reading your post brought back a very particular memory from when my twins were babies – I vividly recall at the end of each day when they were both asleep in their cribs thinking, “Okay, I’ve got them both through another day – fed, safe, healthy.” I notice your feeling hits in the morning after you’ve got her through the night. It’s as though some deep instinct kicks in during this very challenging period that forces us to focus in on the small victories – otherwise it really would be overwhelming (well, even more overwhelming (-: ).

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62 Angela (Oh She Glows) October 30, 2014

Oh man I can imagine that feeling with twins to boot! Amazing job. :)
It’s funny when we do middle of the night feeds, I say that to myself too “only one more to go” won’t I be surprised when she changes that up one night!

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63 Kate October 30, 2014

Oh the breastfeeding! I totally feel your pain!! I ended up getting a wound….not a blister, but a full on wound on my right nipple that lasted the first 3 months of her life (she is now 7 months old). I had the Raynaud’s as well which is not super fun (a hot water bottle on my chest at bedtime helped). There wasn’t a day that went by that I didn’t consider stopping, but I am SO GLAD I didn’t. After much time (seeing an LC, various ointments, antibiotics etc. etc. etc.), It finally healed and now we have a great breastfeeding relationship. Hang in there! I promise you it gets soooo much better, and sometimes it takes longer than 6 weeks (which is the timeline I was frequently given) so don’t let that timeframe discourage you. Good luck. :)

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64 Angela (Oh She Glows) October 30, 2014

Ouch I feel your pain! I’ve had a few nibble wounds…not big cuts but noticeable enough. I’m glad it all worked out for you! For a couple weeks, I had to tell myself just to make it through the day and that helped a lot.

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65 Terri October 30, 2014

“Orange Theory Fitness” Angela. Amazing workout class, a lot of support, you work at you at your own pace. I joined when it opened, go twice sometimes 3 times per week and have yet to do the same workout twice.

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66 Sarah October 30, 2014

Angela, Adriana is absolutely adorable! I really enjoyed reading your last update. As a mommy of a 4.5 month old girl (how did that happen?!) those early weeks almost seem like forever ago. She is so much fun now, so different than she was at 3-5 weeks, and yet still that same little person. You are so right how things change day to day. Best of luck to you with your breastfeeding issues. Before becoming a mommy, I had no idea how complicated, time-consuming and wonderful breastfeeding was! All I can say, from my experience, is that things get much, much easier (?)…or at least less stressful (?)…I don’t feel like those are the appropriate words, but when we hit the 6 week mark things just seemed to fall into place and got better every week. Our feeding sessions are so much quicker/efficient now and much more spaced out. And just as peaceful and lovely. All the best to you!

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67 Angela (Oh She Glows) October 30, 2014

Love that, thanks Sarah! I am excited for all her developmental milestones…even her new “coos” and baby noises are exciting!

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68 Elise October 30, 2014

If you’re looking for some online exercise videos I highly recommend Fitness Blender. Their videos are free, they’ve designed numerous 4 and 8 week programs that you a purchase (for a really small fee), and most importantly Daniel and Kelli are so sweet and motivating :)

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69 Marissa October 30, 2014

I’m 39 weeks and am so ready to have my baby too. Been walking and squatting and hoping that every day is the day to finally meet my baby boy! Thank you so much for sharing !

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70 Angela (Oh She Glows) October 30, 2014

Thinking of you! Keep me posted :)

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71 vanessa October 30, 2014

Thank you so much for posting this!! I’m expecting my first now, and I’m nervous about the whole thing! I find myself bookmarking your posts and taking notes for when we reach this point! My husband is a PT, and he has friends who are Pelvic Floor specialists, and I’m SO GLAD you went to look into this – they can be lifesavers! Much love to you and your beautiful girl – try to steal as much rest as possible!

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72 Em @ Love A Latte October 30, 2014

So happy to read an update!!! These weeks are so precious. My boy is 11 weeks old now and I feel like it’s been an eternity since that first month. He’s grown and changed so much (and sleeping more!). Your cookbook and online recipes have made cooking so much easier. I have made countless of your recipes and they make me feel so good and it’s just therapeutic being in the kitchen. OMG that gooey pumpkin spice pudding cake!! I’ve been drinking tea like crazy and I can’t wait to try yours! Have the best time with your baby girl :)

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73 Milissa October 30, 2014

Angela, I so enjoy all your baby posts. My youngest is two and very likely our last, so I’m sort of living vicariously through any new mom I can find! I struggled with breastfeeding my youngest for about eleven weeks, then I watched a breastfeeding video on FitPregnancy.com and it changed our lives. Turns out, pointing my nipple at Maddie’s nose and bring her up and over the nipple when she opened wide really was the right way to do it, at least for us! She is still nursing a few times a day and at nap/bedtime and you are right about how sweet those moments are. I am happy to hear you are healing and if it’s slow, maybe there’s a reason…I tend to always be in “go” mode and the nursing issues with Maddie along with her lack of desire to sleep anywhere but in our arms slowed me down a lot and now I am so glad. I had time to relish her infancy! There is a great book by Dr. William Sears called The Fussy Baby. There’s no magic answers but it did help me recognize Maddie was a “high need” baby, convinced me to use a sling and to try co-sleeping, which all turned out to be a blessing. I finally got some sleep, could do light housekeeping and take a walk from time to time! As for exercise, if you can do classes, awesome. I couldn’t afford to do that so I made use of some yoga DVDs targeted to both pre- and post- natal situations. When time allowed, I found them both effective in toning and stretching everything as well as relaxing me and relieving stress. Being a mama is crazy hard and sometimes feels very lonely when we struggle but it is so nice to be able to converse with other moms to feel grounded and “normal.” To this day, monthly La Leche League meetings are my saving grace

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74 Ashley October 30, 2014

I love that you are so honest! The first two weeks were sooo hard with my son (he’s now seven weeks) and I feel like I had no warning! I struggled on and off with breastfeeding and had no clue how hard it would be. Luckily we are in a groove now so I hope that continues :) glad things are looking up for you as well. Every day is different, right? Mornings are my favorite too (mostly cuz I get the most smiles from baby then – if you haven’t started seeing them yet, you will soon!! The first time he smiled right at me it was after a really rough night and I just burst into tears, haha).

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75 Elissa October 30, 2014

Hi Angela,

I think this is my first time posting! My daughter is 21 months now, yet those days you describe here feel like yesterday. I too. had breastfeeding issues, and thought it would never get better – but it does eventually! I also wanted to recommend Mom & Baby fitness classes. I started Mom & Baby yoga (you do yoga, the baby lays on a blanket beside you) when my daughter was 6 weeks old. She cried through the entire first class! I thought I would never be able to go out with her, but I was reassured by the instructor and the other moms and I went back the next week. Most days she slept and I got in a great workout, and its a great supportive environment to meet other moms going through the same things as you. I still keep in touch with some of them now that our babies are toddlers:)

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76 Julia October 30, 2014

Hi Angela!

So great to read your posts! I gave birth to my first Sept 22, 2014 and what you describe for weeks 3-5 is exactly what I experienced…week 3 was soo tough, I remember crying all over his onesie while I tried to feed him! I did see an improvement at the beginning of week 5 so I am grateful I persevered. Also the LC said my son had a tongue tie but when I went to a pediatric ENT surgeon he said fixing it wouldn’t change his latch…so we have persevered with the Newman DVD and it has helped us a lot (I love the semi reclined position too!). Thanks for posting and keeping it real for all of us-it really helps!!

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77 Anna October 30, 2014

I so love hearing about the baby updates. :) So sorry to hear about your breastfeeding struggles, but glad you stuck it out. It makes a big difference having breastfeeding support. It really does get easier once baby gets older and bigger. It sounds like Adriana is doing great and thriving on mama’s milk. :) I’ve heard nothing but great things about Dr. Jack Newman (though I’ve never used him). You can also check out http://www.askdrsears.com, another wonderful breastfeeding resource.

Ah yes, babies are always changing. Just when you think you have pattern or routine down, they go and switch it up on you. lol Waking up 2-3 times a night isn’t actually too bad for her age. Neither of my kids were great sleepers as babies (which is why I ended up co-sleeping with them for my sanity lol), but both are great sleepers now . Just for your information in the future, a 5-6 hour stretch of sleep is considered sleeping through the night. :)

Check out http://www.mutusystem.com if you’re interested in doing exercises to strengthen your core muscles. I recently found out I have diastasis recti (my abdominal walls have larger than normal separation, I have a 3 finger gap). I had my last baby more than 3 years ago, but I have been struggling to lose weight and lose my tummy. I was exercising often and eating healthy, but with little results. Turns out all the ab workouts (planks, pushups, crunches) were bad for me because of the diastasis. My core muscles were weak and I needed to strengthen them first, the ab workouts I was doing were putting too much pressure on my abs and making them worse. I have been doing the mutu workouts for 6 weeks now and I’m starting to see more results. There is a cost to it, but I think it’s worth it.

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78 Kim Ludeman October 30, 2014

I love your updates! Thanks for sharing!!!
I am almost 7 weeks post-partum and have loved getting back into the gym the last month. I find that working on my back has been huge since breastfeeding has destroyed my posture and muscles, lol. I have been doing lot’s of row, pulldowns, pushups and kettlebell thrusters. Felt a little weird at first, but now I am all about it! Love those long walks with baby too! Curious what you are doing for baby wearing??

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79 Megan October 30, 2014

What a little munchkin! She is growing so fast! You are doing an amazing job Angela, despite the challenges. Well done for perceiving with breastfeeding, it hasn’t sounded easy but you’re a trooper for getting back up each time. Its only going to be up from here! Lots of love! Thanks for keeping us updated.

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80 Stefanie October 31, 2014

Hi Ange,
great to hear that you are healing up now. Adriana is the cutest little girl I’ve ever seen and I applaud you for going through labour drug-free! Is that the same Angela who once dealt with anxiety issues?….LOL

For your workout I recommend “PiYo” by Chalene Johnson. Check it out on beachbody.com! You might want to wait until you are allowed to do planks again beauses she has you do many MANY of them. But you’ll love the streching and strenght building. I know I do.

XOX
Stefanie

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81 AGS October 31, 2014

I tell everyone that there tends to be some normalization at 6 weeks and 6 months. The first weeks are intense. I had almost no breastfeeding problems, but did have other things that were rough. I knew no one who was in my time of life (even at 30, for my line of work and area, that is considered “early” to have kids). It was very lonely the first few weeks/months. It was only with baby 2 that I sent to see a pelvic specialist, and I am so glad I did – if only someone had told me about it after baby 1! I literally went through over a year of pain, with everyone saying “oh, it gets better” – such crock. Thank goodness you met with someone early on – great job.

She is beautiful and healthy, and you seem to be doing fantastic – even with some of these troubles.

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82 Leanne October 31, 2014

You are an amazing women! Your recipes are fantastic! Your blog is really the only one I use on a regular basis. I love tea and think your new business will be super successful. Onto the reason I started this message….I have 3 children and struggled with breastfeeding my first child. I visited Dr. Newman a couple of times a week, following him from hospital to hospital. In my mind, I needed to breastfeed as I wasn’t prepared to offer formula to my child and that was a lot of pressure to put on myself. Breastfeeding got so much easier with lots of practice and also having my son’s tongue snipped. Now I feel like I could breastfeed anywhere I became such a pro. Often watching other people have babies, breastfeeding, etc. it’s made to look easy. Seeing other couples, you only see the good things. Yet everyone has struggles and challenges. There will come a time in the future where you will look back fondly and realize how well you really did during the first month. Now I think perhaps I didn’t produce a huge amount of milk and perhaps my son was a little hungry hence all the crying but he survived and so did I. To be clear my son was gaining weight so there was never a real concern but he sure did cry a lot but that too improved with time. Trusting your instincts is key. Anything worth doing doesn’t come easily or everyone would be a success storey. There is another way to feed your baby without using a bottle or a cup. I use to finger feed, using a feeding tube. I didn’t read every comment so maybe this was mentioned already. I found that method to be the closest to breast feeding and it gave my breasts a rest. I suggest taking advantage of any help that your husband, family or friends offer. Don’t try and do everything yourself. Rest whenever you can. It takes a village to raise a child. Today it is physically challenging and tomorrow will bring mental challenges…each step of the way is to be savoured and enjoyed. Children are the greatest gift in life. May you have tons of health, happiness and safety always.

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83 Julie October 31, 2014

No advice, but your baby is so cute! I’m due in a few weeks and am half terrified, but mostly excited!!

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84 Daniela October 31, 2014

I am pretty sure you are in the GTA area, not sure how close you are to Oakville but Quad Spinning has a location in Oakville that I recommend trying out! I go to the Quad downtown location and love it. If you do end up going, try a class by Micheline – she’s the owner and she has a pretty fun vibe. It’s a tough 45 minutes but of course you can adjust the tension to your liking. Good luck!

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85 Madeline October 31, 2014

If you are thinking about Barre classes, try the Barre Life studio in Oakville! I know they offer Mommy and Me classes (not sure how old baby has to be) and the rest of their classes are incredible too! If you’re looking for something easier to begin, try the Flow and Stretch class. Ballet Floor Barre and the Pilatesstick classes are also great and a bit lower impact that the Classic, Sculpt and Cardio barre classes.

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86 Angela (Oh She Glows) November 5, 2014

Thanks so much…off to check it out!

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87 Beth October 31, 2014

I was looking forward to your next update! Let me just say how much I (and I’m sure many of your readers, too) appreciate your candor and openness. So many women feel like they are doing everything wrong when they have a baby and they’re the only ones who haven’t figured it out. I can assure you that you are not alone in your struggles! I didn’t have a clue what I was doing when I had my first baby. And you are asking for help, which is awesome.

My due date for #4 is a week from today. Despite having been down this road before, I’m scared! And excited!

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88 Ariel October 31, 2014

Hey Angela! You’re doing a great job with the breastfeeding. My little guy will be 1 on the 11th of November. We struggled like woah with breastfeeding. For me, quiting was never an option. I met with lactation consultants, midwives, other mommas, etc. We found out very late that my guy had a severe lip tie and pretty bad tongue tie as well. At 6 months we had them lasered. We also went through a phase of nipple confusion (and now only use NUK bottles and only 1 per day when I’m at work). There were times where I was ready to quit my job so that I could be home with him all day and “fix” our breastfeeding relationship. I’m happy to say that we are still breastfeeding 6-7 times in a 24 hour period. Although, my guy has a high preference for only one boob. I think his ties and the other boob were not a match, so he rejected that one. Thankfully we made it with the other one! I know your background is research. I too have a career in research. So when I read through your post and comments, I see that you’ve come across a lot of the same information that I did. So I won’t share any of that info. However, there is one thing I didn’t come across online that may help you. Pretty early on in the first weeks I was so focused on getting the pillows and the boppy and rolled towels, etc. just right. We tried countless positions and concoctions of pillow towers and mounds. All those pillows were so hard to manage and keep him properly supported and I felt like I had no control and he was constantly “slipping” like you described. One day I had enough and I went “rouge”. My guy was around 10 lbs, and I thought, that’s not heavy. So, I got rid of all of it and I simply held him in my arms. It was such a relief and I was able to position him perfectly. It was one of those, that’s how they did it in the hospital and I have to do it the same, it was a huge weight off my shoulders to take control and let go of how everyone else was doing it. I would walk around the house feeding him. Stand and sway back and forth while he ate. And it is also a much easier transition into a crib/bassinet/etc. Anyways, sorry so long, just thought I’d add that to your ideas to try and to encourage you that you can do this! It’s how our bodies were made. And just like your body formed and nourished her in your womb, it knows how and what to do now too. It’s all very miraculous. I still tell my guy he’s a miracle…because he is. Of course no mommy guilt if you go an alternate route. But I am confident that you can do this and have a long (as long as you desire) healthy breastfeeding relationship with your daughter.

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89 Coreen October 31, 2014

Keep hanging in there! Breastfeeding will continue to get easier in leaps and bounds. My babe is 12 weeks, we found 6 weeks to be the point where things really started to improve, I hope you find the same. I too wish I’d known more about why breastfeeding can be difficult ahead of time.

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90 Hannah Rae October 31, 2014

I don’t know how popular/available it is in Canada, but Pilates classes are the best! It was originated in the 20’s as a form of physical therapy and rehabilitation for returning WWII veterans, and has been gaining popularity since. Great form of workout that builds up overall strength in a way that works with your natural alignment and support system, so it isn’t just another exercise fad on its way out.

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91 Kristen November 1, 2014

Hi Angela!

I admire your dedication to breastfeeding. I am a nurse in a pediatric office and actually in the middle of lactation training. So many Moms tap out of breastfeeding or pump exclusively. I am 19 weeks along and so thankful for your in depth account of being a new Mom. Loved the “how I get my protein” post. I am still having quite a bit of aversions and found it really helpful.

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92 Sarah P. November 1, 2014

Tracy Anderson’s post-natal workout dvd is simple and effective. It’s easy to try all the exercises without going full-out, and gradually increase your intensity. Great for days when you don’t want to get out of the house!

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93 Julie November 2, 2014

Hi Angela,

If you still have any trouble with your pelvic floor after the physiotherapist, don’t give up: you can find an osteopath who will do pelvic floor work. I’ve had this done twice, and it had amazing results for releasing tension, improving alinement, and getting rid of bizarre pains in my stomach and pelvic region.

Also, for a workout: try OULA! https://www.oulafitness.com/ I was skeptical, but it is so much fun!!!

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94 Nc November 2, 2014

I could have written this post about my experience: extremely painful latches, poor weight gain for baby, vasospasms , constant lc and doctors appointments etc. It was not how I pictured my first 6 weeks of motherhood- barely being able to leave the house except for appointments and prettymuch flashing all of my neighbours because wearing anything on top was terrible. I was devastated at the thought that I would not be able to breast feed. So much for themost ‘natural thing’,being easy! I persevered through the pain, cried through nursing and and now 7 months in breastfeeding is going well. My son also had tongue/lip tie that we had lasered at 3 weeks out of desperation. Two weeks after the procedure we saw benefits, thank god. Stick with it, it does get better.

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95 Elizabeth Arrowsmith November 2, 2014

I’m so glad you shared your stories of your breastfeeding issues. Both of my daughters were born with a cleft of the soft palate. From day one, my oldest was just not interested in eating and very lazy. My LC kept saying that she would eat when she was hungry and that if she fell asleep at the breast, then she was full. I had no idea how it should feel or how my breasts should feel so I thought all was ok. Thankfully, her pediatrician had us coming in daily for her to be weighed because babies with clefts often have feeding problems. After just a week, he became alarmed at her weight loss and she went into the hospital. She was force fed for 5 days through a nasal tube before gaining enough weight to go home, and had to take a high calorie formula from a special bottle for the next several months. I found out that she had not gotten anything from me and that in fact, my milk had dried up.
Many people made me feel terrible for not knowing what was going on and for not giving up right away and giving her a bottle, but on the other hand my LC didn’t ask the questions that she should have for a new mom with our situation.
Thankfully, my second daughter was a voracious eater despite the cleft, and I also knew to only let her nurse a few minutes and then give her a bottle that I had pre-pumped so that she didn’t burn more calories than she was taking in.

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96 Jackie November 2, 2014

Congrats to you Angela, you’re doing everything right! Our little one is almost 14 months (sniff sniff) and in the beginning we had a terrible time nursing. She didn’t latch properly in the hospital, and so we had to work on fixing our bad habits while dealing with the extreme pain from a bad latch-ouch! But right around six weeks, it all clicked. And reading your comment about surviving another night made me LOL, because we’ve totally been through those thoughts (and still are sometimes). You’re right to trust your instincts and let baby lead the way, she’ll tell you what she needs!

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97 Rachel Farmer November 2, 2014

You are right to enjoy these moments. I have stayed at home with my son, who will be 1-year-old on Nov 30, and I have no clue how the year went by so quickly. I mean, I have spent at least 95% of his waking hours with him!

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98 Shellon November 2, 2014

I am loving reliving the newborn days with you and find myself constantly nodding, smiling and thinking “oh yeah, I remember that.” And my daughter is only 21 months! Ha, it is amazing the changes that come in just two years. I am glad to hear you are really just focusing on taking things as they come because she is definitely her own person and regardless of what you have read, planned, think, or even want…she will do what she wants (my daughter is asleep before 11pm for only the seventh time in HER LIFE tonight. And that is only because of the time change. She has an internal clock that will not budge regardless of what we do). So keep that mindset! It will help a lot with all that will come.

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99 Mel November 3, 2014

I recommend mommy connections for getting out and trying new things. It gives you ideas of different activities to do with your baby such as yoga and mother funkers dance class. I started the class when my baby was 6 weeks old.

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100 Ruth Dickmann November 3, 2014

Thanks for the awesome post! Read every single comment too and it is so inspiring and encouraging!
One of the best things for me as a new mom (my daughter just turned one), has been the support and encouragement of other moms. Breastfeeding was so hard when I started out. By the end of week 1 my nipples were sore, cracked, and starting to bleed. My sweet husband saw me beginning yet another painful feed and held me as I cried and cried. Then he said, “You need to take a break. Both of you need it. Just stop for 24hrs and I will feed her while you pump and then you can start again.”
So, that’s what we did except the 24hr break turned into 3 days. I was too scared to start up again! The day we started again a fabulous LC came to my house and assessed the situation. She gave me some super helpful tips and then invited me to a breastfeeding support group. She must have been heaven sent! Between the LC and that support group I think they saved my breastfeeding effort.
It was also helpful to be able to go to the group and tell the moms: ” I don’t know why I did this! My world feels so contracted right now, as if I am in a tunnel of diapers and crying and feeding. I love my baby tremendously and I feel so bad that I’m not enjoying every single moment like all of the other mothers I hear comments from. I feel like I am a terrible mother for not enjoying this!”
Do you know what they said? :) That’s normal. We’ve all been there or had times of feeling like that and guess what?! It gets better.
Motherhood is an adventure like no other, which you surely know. It has tested me and challenged me in ways I didn’t even know existed. I have been a tired, frustrated, grouchy bitch quite frankly. But I have also been loving and tender and sacrificed in ways that I could never have imagined.
Whatever happens don’t beat yourself up. The best advice like so many of you have said definitely seems to be: Take one day at a time.
xoxo

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101 Kaylaaa November 3, 2014

Helloooo
I just wanted to say that I am so proud of you overcoming the breastfeeding challenges. When I first had my daughter I had her on my senior year of college spring break (classy right?) my professors were so supportive but two days a week I had long days away from her and it was so hard because I was pumping and when I came home I would feed her breast to mouth (it wore me out lol) but I would cry because I missed her and it was a great way to connect…I felt like one with her again haha
Anyways I have graduated about a year ago and I now have a safety director position…it’s full time and she is off the tit so to speak lol but it’s still so hard to be away from her until evening…sometimes I feel like a horrible mother and I don’t get that breast feeding connection I once had. Now I embrace my evenings and weekends with my toddler (she will be two in February) and I can’t help but think how badly I want to be with her all the time. Your story is inspiring and I know you had a job right after your masters that you were miserable at and had the courage to quit your job for your happiness. That is truly inspiring to have that courage.
And now that you are a momma going on more fun business excursions is even more inspiring!
I have been wanting to create a blog for so long now on fitness and health (I haven’t eaten meat for five years! And use soooooo many of your yummy recipes!). Could you please shed some light on how you went about starting your blog? I know it’s a lot to ask for because you are so busy but if ever you find the time it would help tremendously!
Thanks again!

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102 Angela (Oh She Glows) November 5, 2014

Thank you Kaylaaa for your lovely comment! :)
I first started my blog at wordpress.com – its free and sooo easy to set up!

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103 Joyce November 3, 2014

Congratulations for the new baby and thanks for sharing your story. I have a 17 month old boy. I really enjoy flip through his pictures when he was a new born. Babies are great and they bring so much joy to our lives. Enjoy the moment being a mom with the sweet baby girl. Good Luck!

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104 Kat November 3, 2014

Thank you for your posts! 12 week pregnant first time Mommy and super nervous. Do you have a book list? I don’t even know where to begin or what books to look for! Don’t know much about babies or pregnancy.

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105 Dalia November 3, 2014

When my son was about 10 weeks I started an outdoor stroller work out class. I loved it and did it for the entire year including all winter when it became a sled class. I’m in Quebec and it’s called cardio pousette but I think they offer it in other parts of Canada. It was a great way to excercise (they understand about pelvic floor health) and meet other moms in the neighbourhood. Really the most important thing is that you are both eating well! Also it took about 9 months after my delivery for me to feel more “normal” and 12 months to feel like myself again. All the best!

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106 Kim K November 4, 2014

Angela,

I live in Portland Oregon. The yoga studio I attend has specific classes for new mamas, and encourages those mamas to bring their babies. It’s called Mama/Baby yoga. Go figure. Maybe there is a yoga studio in your city that offers something similar. The mamas who come seem to get a lot out of it.

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107 Shea November 4, 2014

Thank you for sharing your birthing story and experience with breastfeeding. I’m due to have our first child, also a girl, in less than two weeks. Having heard your experience helps me to feel more prepared for whatever may happen!

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108 leslie @ definitely not martha November 4, 2014

I want to echo the commenter who suggested mommy and me fitness classes. Especially if you have trouble introducing the bottle, they are a great way to get out of the house in a ‘safe’ environment. The class I took actually had us working out *with* the babies, and I started at 6 weeks post partum. We did squats and lunges, etc. with the babies so the bigger/older the baby, the better the workout.

It was also a nice way to meet other moms.

As well, if you have an Ontario Early Years Centre nearby, there are also drop-in times there. http://www.oeyc.edu.gov.on.ca/ Your local library will also likely have a story time for wee ones.

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109 Jill November 4, 2014

Hi Angela,

My own September baby was a high impact suckler that caused me a lot of pain, cracking and even bleeding. Don’t be alarmed because it did all come together. I broke my tailbone with a long and uphill delivery and so all positions of posture hurt and my most easy was lying on my stomach. Once when he was teething, the only way he would nurse was for me to bend over him on all fours like a COW. So, there are not perfect situations BUT the experiences are still beautiful (or amusing) and the sweetness and closeness you feel from nursing only get better as they get a bit older. My son was an acrobatic nurser later on and while walking around in the house with him, he would just drop sideways and pull out a boob.
We also had the very funny, but embarrassing, moment when he was one and at his baptism. He was standing on my lap at the front of the church in front of the priest and he plunged his hands down the front of my dress and yelled MUM-MUMS!!

You will all kinds of stories with parenting but the breastfeeding ones can be the best. It was a great experience, not to mention how fast you lose weight, all in all. Hang in there!

Jill

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110 Janine November 4, 2014

When I had my children 35 years ago breastfeeding was a very positive experience for me. My daughter had a beautiful baby girl 1 year ago and had all sorts of struggles I never had. Her nipples were sore for about 3 months and she kept getting blocked ducts. It was a real eye opener for me just how difficult this whole process can be for some people. The baby is a year now and all those problems are long gone and my daughter is enjoying breastfeeding the way I did. All of this to say it gets not only easier but much more enjoyable. Nothing is harder and at the same time more amazing than the birth of your first child. It sounds like you are doing amazing and your baby is just beautiful. Congrats.

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111 Lindsey November 5, 2014

Oh my gosh, when I started talking to other moms about how much I couldn’t wait for my hubby to get home at night, only to have that happiness turn to dread (because that meant NIGHT was coming!) I was grateful to not be the only one to feel that way in the beginning. it’s hilarious now because my daughter is now 18 months and when 8 pm rolls around, it’s a party over here as we’re draining the remainder of her energy with a dance party and bath ;) then adult time, wahoo!

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112 amy November 5, 2014

Thank you so much sharing so honestly. My girl is due in a few weeks and I’m reading and preparing and informing as much as I can. Your blog has been a great source of advice, freezer recipes, and ease of mind for me. Thank you!!

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113 Carrie November 5, 2014

I found in the beginning I really liked side-lying for one breast and the football (or seated-up) hold for the other.

I also had no problems breastfeeding, but even though things ran smoothly, it was still painful. I think it took eight weeks before I could stand anything grazing my nipples.

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114 Tess November 5, 2014

I had a very similar breastfeeding experience, minus the tongue tie. It was terrible. But I kept at it because everybody promised it would get better. I told myself I would try to go until 12 weeks, and by the 8th week everything just started to feel better :) I started pumping though after 2 weeks and found that it was a huge relief on those days where my nipples (and emotions) just could not bear another feeding. It was nice to have a little 3-4 hour break, and even if it did nothing for me physically, it did wonders mentally lol. Plus, it meant I was able to get out of the house as DH could do the bottle feeding :)

Hang in there! And like you already said, just do what works for you two and don’t worry too much about it :)

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115 Stacy L November 6, 2014

Hi Angela!

I just ordered this DVD for the days I’m stuck inside during winter and can’t get out to walk. I haven’t tried it yet, but it looked fun and was only $8. http://store.walkathome.com/product/ultimate-5-day-walk-plan?product_id=WA492995

Also, I have been doing Foundation Training for over a year for strength and stability. I cannot recommend it enough for long-term strength and proper movement patterns! It has helped me so much in getting through SI and pelvic/hip issues. My chiropractor and Physical Therapist recommended it – http://www.foundationtraining.com/

All the best to you and your recovery!

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116 Deborah November 6, 2014

Thank you for your very honest post! Having a newborn isn’t all rainbows and unicorns, and I think it is important for new moms to not feel pressure to pretend that it is. That being said, I miss it terribly! (4 kids are enough though!) This time will pass so quickly, cherish every moment. Cliché, but so very true :)

As for exercise, I took the mom and baby Pilates classes offered through the town of Oakville starting at about six weeks postpartum. It was a great way to get back into it. Also, I highly recommend Lifetime fitness (403 & Winston Churchhill). They have every group fitness class you can imagine with fantastic instructors, but more importantly the daycare there is amazing.

All the best to your beautiful family!

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117 Angela (Oh She Glows) November 7, 2014

thank you for the tips! :)

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118 Vanessa Heron November 7, 2014

I really appreciate your honestly about your breastfeeding struggles. I had my first baby (a little girl too) 10 months ago, and no one said how HARD breastfeeding could be! I naively thought that because it was touted as ‘natural’ that my body and my baby would mesh into breastfeeding in a utopian-like way and the rest would be history. The reality was that we really struggled and the pain was so unexpected I thought I was doing all the wrong things and felt so alone. Conversations about these struggles, and suggestions for how to get through them, are so important for us new mamas. So thank you.

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119 Sheila November 7, 2014

Thanks for sharing! We also got referred to the Newman Clinic. They’re the best! My daughter also had her tongue tie released (at 7 weeks)It took a few weeks but the painful feeding eventually ended and my daughter went for the 3rd percentile in weight to the 30th (3 months) Hang in there! It is great you are working with a lactation consultant. Thanks for sharing the info. It can help other moms out there whose babies may have tongue ties undiagnosed.

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120 Stephanie Jones November 8, 2014

Hi Angela,

We used the paced feeding method too. Just be careful about relatives feeding the baby. They tried to “help” us but no matter how many times we showed them, inevitably, they would forget and have the bottle shoved down our baby’s throat straight up and down. I just didn’t have the emotional strength to reprimand them again. Looking back I’m not sure I would do it again just because of that factor.

We had to go to the Newman clinic too. It was a very tough time. I feel your frustration.

Hang in there,
Stephanie

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121 Angela (Oh She Glows) November 10, 2014

i was wondering how the paced method would work with relatives…heh. I guess you can only do so much! :)

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122 Tash November 12, 2014

You are doing such an amazing job!! I Love reading your updates. You should be so proud of yourself, everything is so new and there are so many challenges to overcome. I had the most trouble breastfeeding my third baby! I felt like it should be easy and painless like my second had been, but I suffered for weeks. You think you know how to do something, but I had to remember baby doesn’t know how to feed perfectly either, so it was s learning curve for both of us :)

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123 Carla Beals November 14, 2014

Hi Angela, we do the paced feeding and it’s worked out great. However, one word of advice is to make sure the pediatrician, and your day care (if you end up using one), is aware of paced feeding and breast feeding in general. My daughter won’t eat more than 3-4 ounces at a feeding. Which is fine for us and what we wanted (i.e., her not overfeeding and bottle feeding being similar to breast feeding) but she’s a small baby (read – not on growth chart or in 1-2 percentile). Our doctor wasn’t too familiar with p.f. or breastfeeding in general and was used to formula babies and had us cut out some feeding sessions based on how old she was- this was our first baby and I didn’t know to much about this so I went along with her. She wasn’t gaining weight and our doctor was on us to “fatten” her up by given her more ounces per feeding and supplementing with formula which wouldn’t work as she won’t eat extra ounces as she gets full after 3-4 ounces. In the end, I talked to the lactation consultant and realized that because she was breast fed she never should have had the feeding sessions reduced. She’s gaining weight now (slowly) but I feel like I’m constantly in a battle with the pediatrician in regards to her weight. I know I should probably get another pediatrician but, aside from the breastfeeding thing, she’s really great.

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124 Nina November 18, 2014

I have read your blog for years and just had my first baby a few weeks after you! It has been great reading your experience. Do you think you could write about how you are approaching eating while breastfeeding? I try to fill my diet with healthy whole foods and eat to appetite, but it seems I have a growth spurt of my own and have insatiable hunger every few days! I have no idea if this is normal or if I need to change up the composition of what I’m eating.

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125 Jean November 25, 2014

I know this is an older post now, but I just had to comment since this is the third time I’ve read through it! We are in week 3 of our first baby right now so it’s finally a timely read (I read thru some of these while impatiently waiting for this little one to arrive). Thanks for your candid writing, especially on the challenges of breastfeeding. Mine aren’t exactly the same as yours, but it’s helpful to know that struggles are common and I’m trying to stick with it as long as I can. Taking encouragement wherever I can find it! It sounds like you and Adriana are thriving, which is all we hope for, right? Looking forward to the rest of this journey of motherhood :)

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126 Angela (Oh She Glows) November 25, 2014

Congrats on your new baby Jean! Im glad you find the posts helpful and I wish you all the best with your new one. It does get SO much easier as the days go by…promise!

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127 Emily Donahue December 18, 2014

She is one cute baby. I am coming at this from a place of perspective. My two are grown and you are so right, once these moments are gone, you can not get them back. Also, you are important in all of this. If the baby needs to transition to a bottle a little sooner, she will feel as loved and nurtured and well cared for as she is now and nothing is sweeter than Dads getting up at night and having that moment with the baby as well.

You will do what is right for you. Don’t worry about who you are letting down. Everyone is out to judge

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128 Nikki Bergen December 20, 2014

Hi Angela! Congrats on your new baby girl! I am thrilled to hear you speak on the benefits of pelvic health physiotherapy. As a Pilates teacher and women’s health advocate I so wish more women in North America knew about rehabbing this part of the body after giving birth ( in France the government pays for each woman to have 6 sessions!). You asked about videos for post partum exercise and wanted to share our new digital DVD series, designed with the help of a pelvic floor physiotherapist. Happy to send you the login info if you’d like to take a peek! http://thebellemethod.com/product/the-bump-method-4th-trimester/
(btw, I bought 5 copies of your cook book to give to clients here in Toronto – HUGE hit!)
Thanks!
Nikki

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129 Karuna December 27, 2014

Wow your grandma’s (or eric’s grandma’s) hair colour is really gorgeous!!!

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130 Stephanie February 20, 2015

Hi Angela, I’m curious to know how well Adriana was sleeping at that age? Was she sleeping in the co-sleeper, and if yes for how long? I have a 5 week old and she just won’t sleep anywhere on her back… even in the co-sleeper or right beside me in bed. Even when asleep, she wakes up as soon as I put her down. So… she has been sleeping on my chest since day one. Wondering if I’ll ever be able to transition her to her own bed!

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131 Ally February 25, 2015

Being a mom is a wonderful feeling but equally tiring and trying.

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