Hi all. If you’re a member of the Buffalo Mom Squad Facebook group, head on over to see your exclusive deal for massage services. If you’re not a member, I highly suggest you join this fabulous group. Meet with likeminded moms for fun meetups, recommendations for local businesses and special walks just for their members.
Having mom friends is so important. Buffalo mom and real estate agent Ashley Tundo created the group so that moms could meet in Western New York for mon dates, play dates and to find a sisterhood in motherhood. It’s a non-judgements space for moms to support and uplift one another.
We are fortunate to have a dedicated online space and someone who organizes fun events for moms with local businesses.
Water. Why is it such a struggle for many of us to keep up with our water intake? It is so easy to reach for a latte, juice or soda. But what we all need more of is good old-fashioned H20. So for motivation let’s look at some benefits of increasing your water drinking habit.
Less aches and pain – Our body needs water to lubricate our joints so the more we drink, the less pain you may have in your joints.
Dry eyes and dry mouth fix – Good hydration will help your body make sufficient saliva and mucus in the body and this can help reduce irritation from dry eyes and mouths. This is especially important in the dry winter months.
Wrinkles stay away – To have a glowing complexion and stave off premature wrinkles chug your H20
Maintains good blood pressure – The blood is 70% water so to keep things flowing smoothly and helping the body work less to pump blood through the body, keep up your intake.
Weight loss – Helps things to keep moving like improved bowel function. When you are dehydrated you have a tendency to snack more.
So how much should you drink? A good rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces. So if you weigh 150 lbs, then drink at least 75 ounces a day. If you are doing physical activities or its a hot day, then obviously drink a bit more than that. So drink up your water and you’ll feel and look your best!
Amniotic fluid is the liquid that is within the amnion or the membrane that holds the baby. Also known as waters. So when you hear the term her water broke, that is amniotic fluids. It serves as a cushioning to protect baby from external movements for shock absorbtion. This fluid also does a lot more. It also a source of nutrients, water, and biochemicals from mom to baby. As the baby grows, the fluid allows free movement allowing baby to do those acrobatic acts they like to do in utero. This helps their muscles and bones to develop. Also, when baby swallows this assists in the baby’s gastrointestinal development. It also helps keep baby’s body temperature just right.
What’s it made of?
It’s made mostly of water and electrolytes early in pregnancy. Later on it also contains, proteins, carbs, lipids, phospholipids, and urea. These “ingredients” help your baby in its development. So your body is making baby Gatorade of sorts. Plus it that’s where the baby’s urine comes from along with meconium (black sticky first poo after birth). Yes there is pee in there. It’s totally fine. How much is in there? Well, it increases with the growth of baby. It peaks at about 800 ml and decreases to 400 ml by week 42.
Where does it all come from?
It comes from moms plasma and later in the pregnancy baby contributes by urinating. This is why staying hydrated is key in pregnancy. You should drink at least 8 cups a day. You have an increase blood volume and are producing amniotic fluid. By the time of the birth you will have about 1 liter of water gushing out. Little known fact, the majority of births don’t see the waters break until baby is actually emerging. It is not as common to have a giant gush of waters and then baby. It happens, just not as often as people (the media) thinks it does.
Did you know that amniotic fluid can tell us a story. It is used to test for diseases and genetic anomalies. The amount excess or shortage can signal problems with baby or signal maternal issues. In labor, the color will signal whether baby has had a bowel movement which may or may not signal fetal distress.
To Break or Not to Break
Breaking of the water as mentioned before can be spontaneous in active labor or at the birth of baby. Sometimes a labor has gone on for a while with no “progress” and the provider may suggest rupturing your membranes. They may use a amnihook or amnicot. The amniohook kind of looks like a crochet hook. It is inserted and used to break the waters. The finger cot is the same except its a little finger cot with a bit of a hook on it. It does not hurt and mom may feel relief at the breaking of the waters. Some providers feel that this potentially will speed up progress. There is no real proof it actually does. It can potentially make it harder to cope with the labor pains since now instead of a cushion of water on the cervix, the baby’s head is not directly on the cervix, leading to the need for pain medication. It can be helpful if labor has been long and the provider wants to make sure there is no meconium is in the fluids. All in all though, it seems like it’s best to leave things alone if possible.
So that is it. That is a brief run down on amniotic fluids. Have a fun fact you’d like to share please comment. Did your water break before the baby came, leak during labor, or gush right at baby’s arrival?
With the hot months upon us, it’s good to go over some tips to stay cool and safe while pregnant. It’s no joke to be heavily pregnant in the summer. While you have the awesome benefits of a having great array of fresh veg and fruits in the summer, the heat can be so oppressive it can distract from the pros of having a summer baby. So what’s a hot pregnant person to do!?
Stay covered: Despite the urge to strip it all off in the middle of the playground, keeping covered will protect you from the rays of the sun. Keep the clothing light in color and stick to natural fabrics like cotton or linen. Channel your inner Audrey Hepburn! Wear a hat for added protection. Straw or cotton is great, so again, keep it natural in material and light in color. Dark colors attract the heat. If you are at the beach or pool, have an umbrella to stay under so you are not constantly in the sun.
Schedule outside time right: The peak hours for the sun is 11 am to 3 pm. So try to get your fun or errands done early in the day or wait for the sun to be setting to enjoy the outdoors. Save the midday activities for the air-conditioned places.
Hit the pool: Swimming is great for cooling you off. We are also blessed in Buffalo to have splash pads in most parts of the city. They were opened today so check out if there is one close by.
Guzzle the water: It’s important to stay hydrated when pregnant to begin with, so when you add heat to the mix you’ve got to really keep track. Always have a bottle with you. If you are not a natural water drinker, try adding fruits, veggies, and herbs. Strawberry and lemon perhaps or watermelon mint and cucumber. So many options that you could play with. You could even add a few drops of red raspberry tincture.
Block the sun: Get a good sunblock. The higher the SPF the better. If you go swimming you should reapply. Most last a few hours. If you have a favorite please comment below. I’m in the market for a new one.
Adventurer look: Wet a bandana with cool water and wrap it around your neck to keep cool.
So if we have a hot summer, there is no need to hide indoors. You can have fun and stay safe while pregnant. Have more tips please share with the class. You can come in and get a massage with cold stones as well. Very chill experience. Enjoy your summer and stay safe!
Try out this cool dream of an add-on for the hot months ahead. If this week is anything to go by, we are in for some hot days. Enjoy this fresh aloe vera and cucumber mask for the back to help you have a cool experience. Cold marble massage stones deepen the cooling experience. Perfect to soothe a sun-kissed back. If you are experiencing hot-flashes from menopause this is a nice break. Enjoy a green tea and fruit infused water to take with you on the go. Schedule your 60/90/120 minute massage session and add-on this treatment to give yourself a cool treat!
Once you hit your second trimester, perhaps some of the early symptoms of pregnancy have abated. You’ve got more energy. You are eating well. Feeling good. In your second trimester, some will get a sharp pain in on the sides.
What is happening ?
So there is this hormone called relaxin and this lets connective tissues relax. Sudden movements or stretching with normal movement can cause this sharp pain on your side or even both sides. The uterus is growing and is heavy and big enough to stretch the ligaments, but not quite big enough to sit on the pelvis bones to give some relief.
What’s a pregnant person to do?
First, be aware of your movements. Use those abdominal muscles to help support your movements and not put those ligaments under strain. Try to avoid sudden movement and changes of position. If you work in an office setting, be careful about going from sitting to standing suddenly. At bedtime, you are probably are all ready doing this, but laying on your side at bed time can help the round ligaments get some relief from all their hard work. You can do leg lifts. Start with the side that is in pain. Holding on to a chair or table, you use your abdominal muscles to lift the leg up a couple inches off the floor and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat 10 times. Now do the same rep on the opposite leg.
This too shall pass!
You can expect some relief once you hit the third trimester usually. Pregnancy massage to the abdomen and myofascial abdominal stretches with a pregnancy massage specialist can really help as well. Did you or are you experiencing round ligament pain? What tricks or tips do you have for other moms?
You look in the mirror and see a new person. Welcome mother. Welcome to motherhood. Do you recognize her? Can you believe how much a little person has changed life? What now?
Enjoy the ever changing and evolving life of motherhood. It can feel like standing at a precipice. Whether you have waited a long time to get here or happened upon this path of mothering, you may feel overwhelm at the responsibility and uncertainty before you. Who am I now? How can I remain me and embrace this new sense of self?
Massage is a beautiful way to increase self awareness. As your body is massaged, you become aware of how each part of the body feels. Done regularly, massage can help you get to know your body well. This is so important because our body talks to us. It tells us the real story of what is going on in our lives. Tension in the shoulders, is it anxiety, am I slouching because of feeling sadness, am I aware of my posture when nursing my baby? Making a plan for massage as a part of your life is worth it. It has been found in research to decrease anxiety and depression in new mothers. Done regularly during the immediate postpartum phase and into that first year of postpartum can make a world of difference to a mother. It is not just six weeks to recovery. Postpartum affects our bodies and minds for years to come. Physically, the body is jumbled up so to speak from our growing baby being inside and postpartum abdominal massage can help to reorganize things. You have just run a marathon of birth and need to address areas of tension that have built up during labor. You carried a growing baby for 9 months and you will have postural changes. If you have had a Cesarean birth, this still applies to you momma. You will have scar tissue to be addressed and you need no less self-care than a woman who gave vaginal birth. With a plan of massage mother to baby interaction is more positive and helps baby grow well, have better social interactions, and just generally happier. Self-massage routine can be taught to mom so that in between her massage appointments she can still reap benefits. Plus she will know her body well, having a better awareness, and positive body view.
Committing to Yourself
Planning for postpartum massage should be a necessity for new moms. It is a normal part of cultures worldwide. Mothers are given massage daily in some cultures as well as baby. It is not stressed enough to take care of mother in our culture. This conversation needs to be heard more. That is my goal. The better cared for the mother is the better cared for the baby. We really all benefit when mom’s are cared for. Make it your commitment to be well, be cared for and thrive in your 4th trimester. Mom’s make the world go round!
I love my children! I loved my births and the birthing. Each was different and beautiful in it’s own way. My second birth was a beautiful home birth with a midwife who made me feel supported. However, after the birth, I felt different. At first I just thought I’m tired. Yet the feeling persisted. I looked down at my new baby and felt, nothingness. I cared for her and fed her. I found my joy was muted. Like the picture above felt like I was under water and heard sounds but they were muted and unclear. I feared what feelings welled up when she screamed relentlessly night after night. I had to sleep in a chair with her in my arms. I could not put her down. She would not be satisfied. I felt like I was running out of air. I could see the surface above but could not quite reach it. Just helplessly watching the bubbles of my decreasing oxygen escape. I cried, I was angry, I was back to work 3 weeks earlier than I wanted to be. Mind you I worked from home which would seem like a God send, but no. I was here with my attention constantly drawn from work to my screaming little person. I had also a 2 year old who was waiting in the wings. I was, drowning. My husband did not understand what was wrong. Women had done this years before me (to be fair to my husband this is not an uncommon thought). I sank a bit more. People came, cuddled, and went. I sank deeper into the depths. My mind raced about options out. This was not how it is supposed to be. I followed up with my midwife and lied. I said I was fine. Everything was wonderful. I could not bring myself to say I was so incredibly sad.
I happened to have a follow-up with my primary doctor. He went through basic questions. I was tired and that was why I was there. He gave me a list of questions to tick off. I stared at it and tears welled up. I can’t remember the exact questions today, but they were in effect, are you sad, are you depressed, do you feel suicidal? I was scared but tired of being under water and took a chance. I answered honestly. He went over the questions with me and said, I would like you to see a therapist. A what now?
Now I was not okay with this idea, but thought, what the heck. I called a couple therapists met with both and stuck with the one that had more experience in postpartum depression. She was a breath of fresh air. I talked. I said what was on my mind without fear of judgment and I was given homework. Things to work on? Say no more! I have a baby to care for others can wait! I felt freer to acknowledge my feelings. I felt okay saying no and letting people work out there own feelings on how they feel when being told no. I could focus on myself and not be selfish. I started exercising regularly getting outside to walk in fresh air (I love being outdoors). I ate better. I took a shower daily. I got better. I am grateful for that doctors perceptiveness. I know my story is not always the norm when a mom tells her true story postpartum. Armed with this knowledge and experience, I knew what to look out for the next pregnancy and was able to be proactive. I had more support. My hubby made sure I had healthy snacks on hand. I said no when I needed and yes when I wanted. I took off the time from work. I rested and when I could started getting outdoors. I had a doula for my birth. I practiced self massage. I had planned out a better postpartum experience through support, forethought, self-care plan and being honest with myself and others. My feelings are my feelings and I acknowledge them, honor them, and will not be shamed by them. I will ask for help before the calamity arises and if it arises.
This was my experience. This is the catalyst for my work. I love postpartum moms so much. I have walked in the same path and want to support you so that you do not find yourself lost in the depths of dark waters. I want to be there to guide you to the resources you need to get help. I want to provide nourishing touch through massage therapy that is so missing in our culture here in the States. I want to prepare a meal for you so that you have the energy to heal. I want to teach you self-care not because you have no one else to do it, but because you love yourself and want to care for you. If this resonated with you in any way please feel free to leave your experience in the comments for others. The more women who tell their story, the more chance another mom struggling will feel less inhibited to tell her true story and get support.
Much love to you momma! You can and will thrive and I am willing and ready to support you!