Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Postpartum Health & Fitness

babyg3 ready to swim

Bouncer at 8 weeks 12.5+lbs

I’m currently 8 weeks postpartum.  The homebirth was wonderful.  In fact it was my shortest labor yet, only 18 hours.  The problems didn’t surface until after the delivery.  According to a friend (mom of 7), I have officially joined the “sisterhood of mom’s of large babies.” Trust me, this is one sisterhood that you do not want to join. 

I now suffer from pubic symphysis separation (PSS) due to the labor of BabyG3. 

Symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD) is a condition that affects pregnant and/or postpartum women.  The symphysis pubis is a joint in the verimagey front part of the pelvic bone structure. There is cartilage that fills the gap in the bones. During pregnancy, hormones such as relaxin soften this cartilage allowing the pelvic bones to be more flexible for delivery. Some women, however, have too much play in the pelvis causing a large gap between the bones. This makes the symphysis pubis area extrimageemely sensitive to touch.  The pain is a result of separation of the symphysis pubis. 

SPD causes pain in the front of the pelvis when touched. You may also feel pain in the lower abdomen, hips, inner thigh and groin areas. Marked increased pain with activities such as walking, climbing stairs, lifting your legs, or any other large movements involving the pelvis are key symptoms. You may even experience a clicking type noise with movement as well.

SPD is most often a a temporary situation and one that will resolve itself once the cartilage softening hormones decrease. Although there is no "cure" and it cannot be prevented in subsequent pregnancies, it does not mean that you will automatically experience SPD each pregnancy or birth.

In addition, my back felt as though it was broken in several places for the two weeks after delivery.  I was in P-A-I-N.  The pain was far greater than I’ve experienced with the previous five pregnancies, labors, and postpartum.  It was borderline disabling.  I was in so much pain that I actually took heed to the medical advice that was offered – bed rest, no excessive stair climbing, and wait the full 4-6 months before returning to active exercise.  NO excessive stair climbing, how is that even possible when I live in a two-story home and have little ones.  Active exercise for me at this time includes anything more than a short walk at a pace that puts me in a sweat.  The advice was given by a midwife who appreciates that I am open to life and will most likely have more babies.  She informed me that the relaxin, a key player to my aliment, will continue to be produced in my body for up to 4-6 months.  The ultimate goal is to allow my body to properly recovery from a major life event, labor & delivery, so I do not have to live with long-term crippling pain and all it’s ramifications. 

Taking things slow postpartum is not easy for me.  I “bounce back” rather quickly from labors and almost always have returned to my pre-pregnancy routine within days of delivery.  I believed that I was an exception and was eager and willing to forgo the necessary recovery that is recommended for new moms.  I strongly believe that many of my current aliments (in addition to those listed in this post)  stem from pushing myself too hard too soon postpartum.  I was warned but I’ve learned the lesson the hard way.

Praise God that I had improvements at around three weeks postpartum.  I’m sure the bed rest and resisting a desire to return to my normal routine as I have done with previous babies helped the healing process. mom walking with baby 7weeks

I began to walk at four weeks postpartum for a min of 15min. once a week.  This amount of exercise is so not impressive unless you have experienced any related pubic symphysis issue.  It has been humbling for me, to say the least.  I logged one of my first postpartum “workouts” in my DailyMile and was reminded of where I left off a little over a year ago, a high-intensity workout.  It’s been another opportunity for me to ditch my all or nothing tendency.image

Most recently I took a 1.78 mile walk.  I strapped on the baby (all 12.5lbs. of him) in a front carrier and headed to the clubhouse fbarefoot blistersor a swim team meeting.  The walk may have set me back.  I must admit that I made several mistakes during my walk.  My first mistake was leaving 20min too late to make the start of the meeting.  My second mistake was trying to speed-up to compensate for my late start.  I was not ready for an increase in pace.  It compromised my foot strike and caused blisters.  The third mistake was to put on shoes, thinking it would ease the blistering and help me speed up.  Instead, the shoes caused immediate back & IT pain.  As if that weren’t enough, my pain returned from my PSS.  I was somewhat of a wreck.

I’ll have to scale back a bit and get some quality recovery before heading out again.  Also, I will most likely not be carrying baby g in the front carrier for long walks. 

I’ll continue to dial in my eating and nourish my body with real food.

postpartum meals

pictured from left to right: short-ribs with quinoa berry salad and roasted asparagus.  sweet grapefruit. eggs with salsa and avocado.  mixed eggs, salsa, and avocado.  bruschetta chicken.  baked cheese tomatoes.  apples and chicken.  ground turkey with homemade taco seasoning with lime cilantro rice, homemade guacamole and salsa.  steak salad with feta, avocado, and homemade dressing. 

ALL FOR!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Naturally Fresh

Natural Deodorant Crystal

I have taken one more step in eliminating unnatural beauty products.  I finally made it through my stock of traditional chemical laden deodorants and went in search of an alternative.  It was on a late night shopping trip with my husband that I found a natural deodorant, Naturally Fresh Deodorant Crystal with Aloe Vera.  I purchased the travel size (2.1 oz) at Wal-Mart for $2.50 (on clearance).  

Naturally Fresh Deodorant Crystal with Aloe Vera is:

  • Hypoallergenic
  • Paraben Free
  • Fragrance Free
  • Aluminum Free

Naturally Fresphotoh Deodorant Crystal products are 100% pure and natural, non-staining, and provide up to 24 hour, hypoallergenic protection against body and foot odor. Our products are also paraben free, propylene glycol free, phthalate free, and contain no harmful aluminums (aluminum chlorohydrate, aluminum zirconium). They function as natural deodorants, which kill odor-causing bacteria while permitting the pores to excrete toxins naturally. This is vital to maintain healthy, axillary lymph nodes located in the underarm area.

I love the Naturally Fresh Deodorant!  I’ve tried other natural and coconut oil based deodorants (homemade and purchased) in the past but none of them have held up or felt so light.  I have had absolutely no body odor, no filmy residue, no irritation, no marks on clothing, and no irritating perfume smells.  Another great benefit of the crystal deodorant is that it lasts up to one year! 

Maybe someday I’ll find the right homemade solution but for now I happy with this alternative.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Poo-Free

IMG_4256

I finally did it!  I went shampoo free a little over a month ago.  I went pretty basic to start with, baking soda and water.  I’ve been surprised with the results, good surprised.  Yet, I’m still trying to find the right combo for my thick hair.  It probably doesn’t help that I started during my pregnancy when my hormones are constantly changing. 

Rose seems to have it figured out.  The littles don’t seem to mind either way but they do miss the foaming suds.

IMG_4257

I’ve been playing around a bit with castile soap in our hair solution mix.  If anything, it’s been great for our skin.

I hope to try a new hair solution this month.  Feel free to chime in with your advice for long super thick hair.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Snack, Meals, and Treats

basic homemad chicken soup

simple homemade chicken soup – my staple meal these days

Marian GD blueberry muffins

gluten free blueberry muffins – in celebration of the Assumption of BVM

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gifted homemade bread made from unadulterated wheat & homemade jam– this bread was delish and enjoyed by all in a small quantity.  interestingly enough, it did not have any adverse effects on us.

egg salad avocado boats

egg salad avocado boats

late night cravings

my late night craving and dragonfly’s breakfast

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Summer Beverage of Choice

Iced Raspberry Leaf Tea has been my daily refresher.  It is a non-caffeinated mild herbal tea similar to black tea and it has many benefits. You can read about some of the benefits at WellnessMama.

summer beverage of choice

the glass pictured is filled with iced raspberry leaf tea and frozen raspberries

I can’t seem to keep up with the demand for this yummy drink in my home.  I’ve been brewing a large concentrated batch of tea every three to four days.  My initial supply came from HerbalKatie.  My next supply will come straight from Mount Rose Herbs

I’m beyond trilled that I have an excuse to drink this daily for another six months.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Homemade Mayo v2

I’ve yet to perfect my homemade mayo.  I was recently introduced to a simple mayo making technique.  I gave it a try. 

homemade mayo

It was super easy and a definite improvement from my last batch.    Still, more practice is needed.