Giving Birth & Bouncing Back

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I don’t know about you, but I wasn’t feeling (or looking!) my best a mere 8 weeks after giving birth to my son. Heck, 8 months later and I’m STILL NOT back to normal. I saw this article about Kristin Cavallari and couldn’t believe how awesome she looks only 8 weeks after giving birth to son Jaxon in May.

Why is it that some moms, especially celebrities, can look so amazing so soon after having a baby? Is it because they feel “pressured” due to the media? Maybe. Regardless, there’s no way I could have felt so amazing and looked so beautiful in so little time after having O.

It’s been just over 8 months since I gave birth and, although, a lot of the weight has come off (I gained a lot!) and my emotions and hormones are back in check, I still don’t feel like I did before I was pregnant. It will probably take at least another year for me to get the baby weight completely off (but I’m striving to lose more!), and I’m totally okay with that. Sure, I have days where I just wish the pounds would melt away or days when there isn’t enough makeup in the world to make me feel beautiful. But, again, it’s ok.

If you’re a mama struggling to get the weight off quickly after having a baby, take your time! Of course Kristin and other celebrities look and seem to feel beautiful, I’m sure they have their days where they would rather not leave the house – we all do! Plus, don’t even get me started on airbrushing (in magazines)! We all know they do it. Regardless of probably airbrushing on Mrs. Jay Cutler, she looks amazing.

Tell me about your struggle (or success!) in losing those pregnancy pounds in the comments below. I’d love to hear your story. If you feel more comfortable emailing me, please feel free to do that instead.

Stay healthy and fabulous, Mamas! -themidwestmama

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My 1st Mother’s Day

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Yesterday was Mother’s Day – my first as a mom! – and might I say IT WAS FANTASTIC! We actually had an entire weekend of fun, starting on Friday evening with a trip to the mall.

Hubs and O didn’t know what to get me for Mother’s Day (not that they needed to get me anything!) so they wanted ideas. Thus, we all headed to the mall on a Friday night (mistake?). We walked around a bit and stopped in to a few jewelry shops. I found a ‘Mom’ necklace and some earrings I liked, but couldn’t justify both. We decided to have dinner and talk it over before making a purchase. We ate at the food court, which was actually pretty good (we ate at a place called Schoop’s). After we ate, hubs picked up O because he was getting fussy. He was “standing” on Dad’s lap when he reached down, grabbed the 20 oz. fountain drink and brought the straw straight to his mouth. Obviously, he can’t suck through a straw at 6 months old, but he tried! We about died laughing. Did I mention the drink was over half full? Crazy! We ended up going back and getting the earrings I liked. I wear them 24/7 proudly!

On Saturday morning we were invited to our friends’ home for an evening BBQ. We didn’t have plans, so we went – and had a really great time! It happened to be their little girls’ 1/2 birthday (6 months already!) so we brought her a pink sock monkey & a balloon. We also brought our friend a nice tulip plant and ‘Mom’ balloon. At dinner, O had his avocado puree while we chowed down on burgers, corn, baked beans, and green beans – and apple pie for dessert! We stayed until after 10, which is unusual for us since we go to bed quite early. O went to sleep in their pack n’ play around 930 luckily. We had great food & conversation with wonderful friends.

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On Sunday morning, hubs let me sleep in a bit and then him & O brought me my Mom’s Day cards in bed (awww!). We all got ready & took a quick trip to the store to prepare for our afternoon BBQ with O’s “Auntie.” We got some Diet Vernors and vanilla ice cream to make my favorite childhood treat – Boston Coolers! When we got home, we made our treat and took O outside while hubs grilled. “Auntie” brought over a beautiful hydrangea plant for me (pretty!) and a pack of MLB Baseball Cards for O (his first!). We had a wonderful time hanging out, eating and talking.

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Mother’s Day weekend was a wonderful one – one I will never forget. It is so rewarding being a mother and I can’t wait for the years to come.

I hope you had an amazing Mother’s Day, too! I would love to hear about it. Feel free to tell me below, or in an email! Have a wonderful week! -themidwestmama

Review: Just Hatched Soft Baby Body Lotion

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Have you tried Just Hatched products? If not, you’re really missing out! I discovered their Soft Baby Body Lotion at my local Meijer. I had never heard of it before and hadn’t seen it anywhere else. For $4.99 (10.1 fl oz), I figured I’d give it a try since my son has very dry skin and nothing else was working.

I tried it myself first to ensure application was smooth and the scent was nice. I was instantly hooked! The application was seamless! The formula isn’t greasy, it soaks into skin quickly and contains no “yucky stuff!” I’m not an “all natural & organic” person, but I try to help the environment by recycling whenever I can. I don’t buy organic groceries. I don’t purchase only all-natural products. The main reason I wanted to try this lotion was because of its hypoallergenic claim and it’s called “soft baby baby lotion,” so I knew it had to be smooth & silky! It is, of course, a plus that this lotion is sulfate/paraben/phthalate free! For those with Celiac or gluten issues, it’s also Gluten-free!

I’ve been using it on both myself and my son for about 5 weeks and I am definitely hooked! This is the only lotion I’ve been using and it’s left my skin hydrated, smooth, lightly scented, and just plain lovely!

Product Pros:

  • Nicely scented
  • Creamy
  • Soaks in quickly
  • Non-greasy
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Inexpensive
  • Sulfate/Paraben/Phthalate Free
  • Gluten Free
  • A lot of product for such little money!

Product Cons:

  • Not available at all stores yet (but they are working on it!)

I would recommend this to moms, moms with newborns/babies/infants/children, and women in general! Of course, there’s nothing wrong with dads using it either! It really is a universal lotion that helps keep skin hydrated! I have mentioned this product to more people than I can count!

According to their website, their products are available at Meijer, select Walgreens stores, ShopKo, Tops Markets, diapers.com, Marcs, Exchange, and Discount Drug Mart. Of course, they’re also available on their website!

I am generally not one to “single out” a product, but this lotion needs to be singled out – because it’s the only lotion you and baby will ever need! I have not used any other lotions or creams since finding this gem. I can’t wait to try more of their wonderful items soon! -themidwestmama

Bottlefeeding Is Not Wrong

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Reading this story from The Guardian today has left me fuming. Saying that “Baby formula has no place in a sustainable future” is like slapping all bottle-feeding moms in the face.

First of all, yes, I 100% agree that breastfeeding a baby is healthier for both baby and mama. BUT, it’s not always possible. In fact, a lot of times moms just aren’t able to do it – for a variety of reasons. That top reason? CHOICE. It’s horrible when a news outlet basically says those who don’t breastfeed are shitty moms. Yes, they have freedom of the press and free speech, however it’s very unclassy to single out a group of mothers who aren’t able to or don’t wish to breastfeed. If there’s going to be a story about breastfeeding versus bottle-feeding, at least make sure all the facts regarding BOTH sides are included in the article and don’t single out a group of women negatively.

I agree, the United States has seen an upturn in breastfeeding in recent years and I would have loved to continue to breastfeed my son. Unfortunately, after 3 weeks of attempting to sustain supply, it just wasn’t in the cards for me. I tried it all – Fenugreek, massage, relaxation techniques. Nothing. Nada. Therefore, we had to bottle-feed with formula. Even while in the hospital I was never instructed on HOW to bottle-feed. Everything was BREASTFEED, BREASTFEED, BREASTFEED. Not once did anyone in our baby classes mention anything regarding formula or bottle-feeding. It was all pro-breastfeeding. I had planned on breastfeeding from the get-go, but what if I hadn’t? Would I have been judged? Criticized? The answer is yes. Especially at a hospital that advocates breastfeeding-only practices.

Another problem I have? The Guardian making statements that ARE NOT TRUE. Including this one:

the free formula sample bag given in many hospitals includes an ice-pack to help stop milk flow in new mothers.

The ice pack is for use in a cooler to keep breast milk or formula cold while away from home. There are molded ice packs out there for mothers who choose to stop breastfeeding to soothe painful and engorged breasts. But, the packs included in formula company freebies are not marketed for use on breasts.

This statement also makes absolutely ZERO sense in regards to formula:

a sustainable future will require certain industries – not just tobacco and fossil fuels, air travel and automobiles, even baby formula – to become much much smaller to sustain a population of nine billion human beings.

Why will the BABY FORMULA industry need to become smaller to sustain a population of 9 billion? I understand the others – tobacco and fossil fuels, air travel, and automobiles – but what does baby formula have to do with sustaining the environment?

I by no means consider myself a “green mom,” however I recycle and do what I can to help the environment. I understand formula-feeding does promote the use of plastic baby bottles, rubber nipples, and the materials (generally cardboard and plastic) used to distribute the formula to stores. But, once again, shrinking the industry may hinder the access some moms need to feed their child.

Questions to be answered in response to this article:

  • What do moms who adopt do? They aren’t able to breastfeed.
  • What about moms who can’t sustain an adequate supply for their child?
  • Breastfeeding moms who return to work pump a supply to be fed to their child by a caregiver IN A BOTTLE. How is THIS helping the environment? Bottles are still purchased and used.
  • What about moms who have an ailment or disease and can’t breastfeed because of it?
  • What about mothers who aren’t okay with feeding their baby “donation breast milk?”

Just some things to think about when promoting a breastfed-only world. It isn’t possible – AND THAT’S OK. Freedom of speech is one thing, but freedom of choice is also important and moms should not be criticized for formula-feeding their baby.

Oh, and one more thing. This article was WRITTEN BY A MAN.

I was reading the comments on this article and I really enjoyed this one by user EDavMA:

I strongly believe that the mother’s mental health is more important to a baby than her breast milk. Even without reading the author’s name, I would’ve known instantly that this had been written by a man. I agree that everything should be done to help encourage and facilitate breastfeeding but not if it risks the mother’s mental well-being. Breastfeeding is hard – as much as it sounds natural on paper, some babies won’t take to it, it hurts like you wouldn’t believe (something the author of this article will never experience) – from bleeding and peeling nipples to engorged breasts and blisters, some mothers’ bodies just aren’t physically equipped properly and others will find it mentally difficult. After a tough 2 weeks of the above mentioned side effects, I could physically breastfeed very well, but I was finding it mentally very hard. I managed 3 months and then started moving to formula. Now my baby is on formula exclusively and I’m in a much better place mentally and stress wise. I’m not stupid, I understand the benefits of breastfeeding but I just couldn’t sustain it. This article should be re-written by a woman, a mother, who has experienced the difficulties of breastfeeding.

I, too, struggled not only physically to breastfeed, but mentally. This article should have been written by a woman who has experienced the ups and downs of breastfeeding. Men have no idea what women go through, therefore have NO OPINION on the subject.

Do what feels right FOR YOU! Don’t let ANYONE make you feel like less of a mom because you choose not to or can’t breastfeed. You know what’s right for you and your baby. -themidwestmama

Top Ten Tuesday: Parenting Books

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I’ve decided to try something new each week. Every Tuesday I’ll post a “Top Ten List” about something relating to pregnancy, babies, new moms, motherhood, baby gear, etc. These lists are in no specific order, they are just a list of the top ten items I’ve read/done/experienced/bought/heard was great/etc. This week, it’s Parenting Books.

  1. What to Expect the First Year by Sandee Hathaway, Arlene Eisenberg & Heidi Murkoff
  2. The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp, MD
  3. Bringing Up Bébé by Pamela Druckerman
  4. Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth
  5. The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by Diane Weissinger, Diana West & Teresa Pitman
  6. Sh*tty Mom: The Parenting Guide for the Rest of Us by Laurie Kilmartin, Karen Moline, Alicia Ybarbo, & Mary Ann Zoellner
  7. Sippy Cups are Not for Chardonnay: And Other Things I Had to Learn as a New Mom by Stefanie Wilder-Taylor
  8. Daddy Needs a Drink: An Irreverent Look at Parenting from a Dad Who Truly Loves His Kids – Even When They’re Driving Him Nuts by Robert Wilder
  9. Confessions of a Scary Mommy: An Honest and Irreverent Look at Motherhood – The Good, The Bad & The Scary by Jill Smokler
  10. Go the F**k to Sleep by Adam Mansbach and Ricardo Cortés

Although there isn’t much time for reading during the first year, do try. These books are worth it and offer excellent first-hand insight into the world of newborns and caring for your child(ren). Plus some of them will give you a good chuckle! 😉

Enjoy! -themidwestmama

Let’s Get It Started…

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This is my first attempt at public blogging and I have high hopes and a positive outlook on what this may turn into. My mission is to educate and entertain mamas-to-be, new moms and veteran moms on all things pregnancy, labor, newborns, infants, toddlers, baby gear and baby registries, mom trends and tips, and much more. While pregnant, I relied a lot on other mommy bloggers for support, advice and information. There are so many mom (and dad!) bloggers out there, all amazing and respectable women (and men!), and I’m hoping to join the ranks of the greats!

Please feel free to post your honest opinion on topics I blog about. I enjoy discussing and hearing the views of others, even if they don’t always ‘mesh’ with my outlook. All I ask is that you’re respectful to me and other readers and you don’t use profanity or other harsh language while commenting. We’re all here to help one another and offer our opinions and feedback on all things baby!