Bring out the chef in your kiddo (trust me-this will work in your favour). They'll love having the opportunity to gain some independence in the kitchen while looking super cute!
Now that you’ve had your baby you can’t help but be reminded that your baby did come out of your vagina and you’re looking for some relief.
When it comes to postpartum care of your wonderful vagina after a vaginal birth there are some do’s and don’t’s. Of course, these are suggestions from a person who’s experienced vaginal birth, but I’m not a midwife or doctor. If you have concerns PLEASE go to your healthcare professional.
Do’s and Don’ts of taking care of your vagina after vaginal birth
–Use tampons or a diva cup for around 6 weeks and after the a-ok from your health care provider. Once you’ve got the all clear you may not even have to worry about your period for quite some time like some incredibly fortunate folks with a uterus….but if you’re like some other less fortunate folks (ahem) you’re looking at a super 3 months before you’re right back to your monthly blessing. Anyways, I digress…
–Use scented products. These can be bothersome to your bits and your body truly doesn’t need any more irritation.
–Overexert yourself physically. Your body JUST PUSHED A BABY OUT OF IT. Allow yourself some time to rest. If you don’t you may find that your lochia flow (the discharge experienced after giving birth) may increase, which is your body’s way of asking you to slow down. You may also find that if you don’t have some time to recover you may irritate any stitches you have…it’s just not worth it.
-Use toilet paper. You got yourself a neato Peri-bottle from the hospital or midwife and that baby works like a mini bidet. Even the softest toilet paper can feel like sandpaper on your poor vagina, so some warm water to rinse yourself off after using the toilet will be absolutely heavenly.
–Use organic cotton menstrual pads if possible. I mentioned above about heavily scented products being irritating. Heavily chemical-laden products can have the same effect. Even if you don’t normally use organic products for your menses it’s a good idea to do so immediately after vaginal birth; you’re likely a little lot tender and possibly torn up. It’s worth a bit of a splurge for your bad-ass vagina to have some organic comfort.
-Have sitz baths as often as you can. Pass off that baby to the nearest bystander (or, ya know, the Postpartum Doula that you hired) and get yourself to the bathroom. You can have a sitz bath in your bathtub or with a kit that attaches to the toilet. Either way you do it you’ll likely find some relief from any swelling and discomfort.
There are some folks who add botanicals and such to their sitz bath but make sure to talk to your healthcare professional before doing that. However, if you’re looking for a good brand “Earth Mama Angel” has a great reputation. I’ve used a few of their products and have enjoyed the simplicity of the ingredients.
-Use stool softeners, if necessary. Don’t use them if not necessary, because, why would you? However, if you’re finding it difficult to have those first postpartum poos you may want to consider talking to your healthcare provider about some stool softeners if the classic: loads of water, prunes, fruits and vegetables, a bit of wine, and flax seeds aren’t doing the trick.
Bearing down while you’re trying to poop will just add more pressure to your perineum which will ultimately cause more pain and swelling.
–Use Witch hazel. Witch hazel saved my perineum. I found that dabbing a bit directly on my perineum or wearing a pad with Witch hazel on it gave me some relief. You can grab standard Witch hazel from your local pharmacy or buy premade pads (along with everything else you’d ever need for relief through the suggested products).
**If you have extra Witch hazel left over you can use it as a toner on your face:)
–Use cooling pads or ice packs. Or, if you’re a bit of a baby like me, run a cloth under cold water, ring it out, and apply it to your perineum. I hated using ice and that was a happy compromise between my preferences and what Google was telling me I should be doing.
–Wear loose, comfortable undies. I know, I know…you’re saying: “Oh, but I was SO looking forward to wearing my sexiest negligee and thong combo that I just couldn’t fit into until the baby was born”, but trust me on this one.
If you didn’t manage to grab some of those super sexy disposable mesh undies from someone at your birth you can grab them on Amazon. If mesh undies don’t tickle your fancy make sure to wear cotton undies so that your vagina can BREATHE! Once again, the irritation potential is strong after you’ve had a vaginal birth, so doing everything you can to avoid it is vital.
Also, don’t get too attached to your postpartum panty possessions (this post was lacking alliteration) as they’ll likely get quite soiled.
– Complain loudly because that provides the most relief possible and because you deserve to do that, dammit!
Okay, so I took that out of the “How to deal with hemmorhoids” post that I wrote, but I feel like the same applies in both situations. Allow yourself to have time to complain to whoever you need to listen (except your Mom-she’ll just tell you that “karma’s a bitch, honey.”), even if it’s just your sweet little baby who has no idea of the trauma she’s just inflicted to your body.
That last one is kinda my favourite and for me the most effective way of feeling better, but truly, using a few of these methods should help alleviate some of your pain.
If you’re finding that the pain is unbearable or isn’t getting better after a few weeks do be sure to check in with your health care professional.
You’re a mom now, but does that mean you can’t travel alone?
I had always opposed the idea of travel alone without my children, but doing so requires a ton of planning and a whole lot more money (especially if you have four kids!). There’s a lot of patience required to book a massive trip that I didn’t have; I needed to get away NOW!
I booked a ticket for myself to London, England. This adventure for me was solo, but when I say “travel alone” I don’t necessarily mean doing it without a companion- I do mean doing it without your children!
My 11 days touring through England taught my family and I a lot of lessons and we all benefited massively from it.
Should YOU travel alone as a Mom? Here are the reasons why you most definitely should:
Never forget that you’re still you alongside being a Mom.
Your partner gets to spend quality time with your children
And by “quality time with your children” I mean they get a taste of what your life is like. Of course, they also actually get to spend quality time with your children which is obviously very important, too.
You’ll inspire your children
When you return from your adventures of travel alone you’ll be able to tell them countless stories of the things you experienced. If watching you doesn’t inspire them to want to travel the world themselves they’ll at least understand and appreciate the need to do things for yourself.
You’ll push yourself out of your comfort zone
Things that made me uncomfortable:
1. Flying 2. Leaving my children 3. Sleeping away from home 4. Using public transit 5. Initiating conversation with strangers 6. Going out after dark 7. Leaving my happy comfort zone
During my 11 days in England I:
1. Flew on my first international flight without hyperventilating👌 2. Left my girls for a longer than 3 day stretch (my past record) 3. Slept at good hostels, slept at dodgy hostels, stayed with family, and had a hotel room. Each one was made my home for however long I was there for. 4. I chuga-chuga-choo-choo’d, double deckered, and Minded The Gap. I didn’t get lost, not even once. 5. From late night chats with fellow travellers to pub crawls with locals I talked to all the people. In doing so I met folks who I will be forever grateful that I encountered. 6. Realizing that I was missing out on a great deal of exploration time by staying in when the sun went down forced me to hold my head high and confidently walk the streets at night. I saw great things in an entirely new perspective. 7. I went so far out of my comfort zone that I nearly forgot it’s existence. I listened to my intuition and my anxiety and differentiated between the two in order to make decisions. My boundary zone grew 3 sizes that trip.
I understand that travel alone without the kids is a big leap, and believe me, it took me a long time to make that jump. The first step for me was booking my ticket-once I put out the money for the plane I knew there was no going back.
I’m not an expert on travel, but if you have questions about what I did and how I did it I’m happy to chat!
Have you done any travel alone? If not, where would you like to go?
Old wives tales are, for the most part, ridiculous. While some may prove to be true, most aren’t. In fact, most are so off the wall that you can’t help but laugh.
Be warned though, there are some firm believers in old wives tales. You will get your pregnant ass reamed for the silliest things.
These are the funniest and most off-the-wall old wives tales about pregnancy that are sure to give you a good laugh!
You can’t get pregnant while on top.
If you want to get it on but not get pregnant, all you have to do is climb on top! Sorry gals, that’s just not true. You definitely CAN get pregnant while on top. Go ahead and avoid using this method of birth control. If you are trying to conceive, then go ahead and get on top and go for it!
You will have a girl if you get pregnant while on top.
Ok, wait? I thought you couldn’t get pregnant while on top? But if you do you will be giving birth to a bouncing baby girl? It would seem someone got their wires crossed while making up this ridiculous shit. The position you conceive in will NOT influence whether you are having a boy or girl. Sorry to burst your bubble if you are trying for a little girl. Hey, you can go ahead and try anyway right?
Women have to orgasm to conceive.
Ok, if this were true there would be a lot fewer people in this would. Seriously, who comes up with this? Sperm can do its job without you having a mind-blowing orgasm. Obviously you should want to have an orgasm every single time you have sex. But, don’t stress if you just didn’t get there. You can absolutely still conceive. Also, do not use this method as a form of birth control.
Taking a bath can drown your fetus.
This one has many different versions. You can’t take a bath because you will drown your unborn child. Or you will taint your amniotic fluid and your baby will come out looking like Frankenstein. Either way, it’s not true. Your baby already has fluid in their lungs. They get oxygen from your placenta. You can safely take a bath while pregnant, as long as your water temperature isn’t too hot! Keep that water temperature under 98 degrees and you are good to go.
You can’t put your hands above your head.
The tale is that if you put your hands above your head the umbilical cord will wrap around your unborn baby’s neck. That is not true. Not only is it not true, it’s just pure bull shit. Rest assured you can put your hands up or down and your baby will be just fine.
A pregnant woman must eat whatever she craves.
I remember while being pregnant with my first baby. I worked with very superstitious women who believed this was true. Normally the tale says if you don’t eat what you crave they baby will be born with a sty in their eye. Or the baby could have a birthmark of the food you craved.
Their beliefs went beyond that and thought that I would be risking my baby’s life. This is very untrue. The only thing that will happen if you do not eat everything you crave while pregnant, is a bad mood.
Don’t look at anything ugly.
If you look at ANYTHING ugly while pregnant your baby will be U-G-L-Y. Wait, what? No. Just no.
Wearing high heels will make your baby cross-eyed.
My best guess is that some pregnant lady was supposed to wear heels to work and didn’t want to. So she came up with this insane story to get out of wearing heels! This is 100% untrue. If you feel the need to use this excuse to wear whatever shoes you want, go ahead.
Baby girls steal your beauty.
Feeling extra ugly this pregnancy? That’s because you are having a girl! It is said that a baby girl will straight suck that glow right from your face. You will have dry hair and ugly skin. Your baby girl will come out stunning and radiant leaving you looking like Medusa. Not true. If you are looking like a swamp thing this pregnancy you still could be having a baby boy.
Which old wives tale is your favorite? Are you a firm believer in any of these?
Written by Sirri McNeil for Modern Day Hippie Mama
-the feeling of a bowling ball coming out of your vagina as a result of your child destroying your body during pregnancy and birth
That last one, though.
If your pelvic floor was weakened during your childbearing process you know exactly what I’m talking about. If your pelvic floor stayed entirely intact throughout the whole thing you may not be able to sympathize, however, you still need to be aware for future reference and to pass along the following information to fellow mamas.
Who needs pelvic floor physiotherapy?
In short, the answer to this question is: EVERYONE!
Regardless of if you have a vagina or not, you can benefit from pelvic floor physiotherapy. Just as we keep our biceps and quads toned and defined we need to do the same for our pelvic muscles.
I’ve been pretty open about the impact that birth has had on my pelvic floor. I’m not shy about admitting that I’ve peed my pants a time or two when I haven’t been able to cross my legs in time before a sneeze, or when I try to do a physical activity like run or jump on a trampoline.
While it’s fun to make jokes about it it can actually be a lot more detrimental than one would think. Not only was I unable to do….a lot….without my two-year-old pointing out that I had an accident, but as time went on the pressure in my pelvis was causing pain on a daily basis.
I saw my doctor who told me that my high activity level was actually keeping my pelvic floor stronger, but if it got much worse I would need surgery. I decided then that the trip to the pelvic floor physiotherapist that I’d been procrastinating needed to happen NOW!
The appointment started with some questions-a lot of super personal ones that I love talking about!
After the fun questions, she did an internal exam to see where my level of pelvic floor dysfunction was. Without getting into nitty-gritty details about things that I don’t understand enough to pretend to be an authority on, she told me a lot about the vagina and co. that I had no idea about (like bladder placement and sensitive points in the vaginal opening).
Once she was done the exam, Erin gave me some super simple exercises (yep, including PROPER kegels-which she explained) as homework to do every day until our next appointment.
I’m certain that many of you reading this are experiencing some symptom/s of pelvic floor issues (frequent urination, pressure in the pelvis, incontinence, bowel issues). I’ve felt that even just from making my first appointment for pelvic floor physiotherapy that my quality of life has improved. Simply knowing that I’m getting some professional help and am on way to having a pee free run or bounce on the trampoline has encouraged me immensely.
I urge you to do the same so that you can get your life back to normal, as well!
Yep, it is as nasty as it sounds. Alongside things like blocked ducts, cracks, and blisters, Mastitis is a potential medical condition that can occur while breastfeeding.
Mastitis is inflammation in the breast tissue or milk ducts, in all or a portion of the breast. It can be caused by a variety of things, one of the most common being reducing the amount you’re breastfeeding. Yep-you can thank your baby and the massive growth spurt they just came down from (just kidding, you can’t blame your baby, obviously. Blame your partner. )
If you’re reading this you probably have symptoms of mastitis (flu-like symptoms, hard breast, redness in breast tissue, swollen breast) or have been diagnosed with mastitis and are waiting for me to get to the part on how the heck to deal with it. Okay, here goes:
How to deal with Mastitis
(First thing first, my friend: I’m not a doctor. However, I’m a Mama who’s breastfed 4 babies and has had mastitis. I’m also a Postpartum Doula and have helped other Mamas with mastitis.
The information that I’m about to share with you is based on my personal experience of what’s worked, which is information based on research that I’ve done from reputable sources.)
Your body is fighting an infection. You’re going to be run down. You’re going to be sore.
Give yourself some time to rest, drink plenty of fluids, and be kind to your body. Bring your baby into bed and grab a good book! Find someone to take care of any other children you have-right now you need to take care of you!
Feed that baby
You are going to want to continually drain the breast that has been affected by Mastitis. Put baby on that breast as often as possible-start with this breast every time you feed. Try different positions to see which one encourages baby to take the most milk. If your baby isn’t super into feeding as much as you need try some gentle hand expression or a pump.
Heat, heat, heat
Use a hot compress or warmed washcloth and apply it to the affected breast. The best tip, though? Get in the shower (lock the door to the bathroom, eh?), let the warm water do it’s magic, and very gently massage your breast to relieve some of the swelling. (This is a double positive- you get some relief and some time to yourself.
Do one or the other before every feeding to encourage milk flow. Make sure you don’t make your heat source excessively hot, however. You could cause damage to the skin.
See your doctor
Don’t hesitate to see your doctor right away if you have symptoms of Mastitis. Mastitis can get worse quickly and can build into even nastier things, like an abscess.
If you notice that you’re not getting relief within a few hours of the onset of symptoms be sure to book an appointment as soon as possible. Sometimes, antibiotics are necessary to get rid of the infection.