Archives for February 2008

Post-Pregnancy: A no-fuss plan to get back into shape

Congratulations! You have a new baby! Between taking care of your bundle of joy, keeping your house passably clean, perhaps taking care of other kids (and don’t forget the husband!) and various other duties, you barely find time to shower at the end of the day. So how is one expected to cook healthy, balanced meals and find time to exercise as well??

Nutritional therapist Kate Cook and postnatal fitness instructor Lucy Wyndham-Read have written a new book called An Unfit Mother: How to get your Health, Shape and Sanity back after childbirth. “New mothers need a no-fuss plan to take control, without beating themselves up about slip-ups along the way.” Sounds good, doesn’t it?

So how do you prevent yourself from feeling knackered (they’re British chicks. They use funny words)? Here are a few helpful tips, courtesy of Keep the Doctor Away:

  • Get motivated! Start making really small changes rather than trying to tackle a huge health program. You can easily feel overwhelmed at this time, and are much more likely to stick to the small changes and get bigger results.
  • Eat right! Don’t fall into the trap of snacking on junk because you don’t have time to prepare food. Instead, snack on “superfoods” such as nuts and seeds. They’re “full of zinc, a great food to balance the blood sugar and to ward off the blues.”
  • Forget the gym; exercise at home! You can tone your body with simple exercises such as this one: Start knitting the abdominals back to their pre-pregnancy state by simply pulling your belly button in tight towards your spine and holding for up to 10 seconds, then release. Do this several times a day. Not only does it tone your deepest abdominal muscle, but it will also help strengthen your lower back and improve your posture. You can start right now, as you read this!

The Little Prince meets Cinderella

Yup, this is what happens when baby #2 comes along. The new one becomes Mommy’s favorite, and the first kid gets stuck with all the dirty work… Sad, isn’t it?esther-cleaning.JPG

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The Pregnant Look is in… even if you’re not

A pregnant friend of mine recently informed me that she doesn’t have to shop for maternity clothes, becuase all the styles today are loose and baggy, with empire waists and flowing designs.

Hmm, I thought, can it really be so? I did a little browsing and so it is! Maternity tops reign this season. This is great if you’ve got a tummy to accomodate. But not everyone is pleased with today’s fashions, including Germaine Cabe of the Arizona Republic.

The Business section on Wednesday had an article entitled “Retailers struggle as apparel sales slow,” she reports. “Yes, we are in a recession. But we still need clothes to wear. Our fashion gods, however, have been designing the ugliest clothing for the past three years so that there’s nothing appealing to buy. The “maternity top” look is in… empire waists… prevail… They’re all slinky, slimy and in dizzying geometric patterns that could trigger an epileptic attack. Colors are about as muddy as the economy. Please bring back simple, classic styles in flattering colors that we might want to buy, even if our bank accounts are dwindling.

Do you think she’s exaggerating? Take a look at these two tops and tell me, if you can, which one is made for the pregnant woman and which is not?

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These lovely smocks can both be found at The Gap.  In case you were unsure, the top on the left is a maternity top, the one on the right is not.

Here are a few more stylish options from BananaRepublic (again, none of these are actually maternity items!)

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Pregnancy is a wonderful thing… but as someone who gave birth 2 months ago, and is just starting to fit into my old clothes, I have to wonder… Why, oh why, would anyone want to wear clothes that make them look pregnant when they’re not?

But it sure is nice for all you pregnant gals!!

The Seven Dwarves of Pregnancy

2dwarfs.jpgI came across “The Seven Dwarfs of Pregnancy…” Can you guess what they are??

Sleepy, Grumpy, Horny, Busty, Hungry, Tinkle, and Puffy.

 Hey… what happened to Dopey?? and Happy??

Moving right along,  they also have the Seven Dwarfs of Menopause… for a little later on…

Acupuncture may be linked to success in IVF

acupuncture500.jpgCall me queasy, but to be quite honest, the thought of someone sticking me all over with needles is kind of… well…  scary. But acupuncture might be good news for people trying to get pregnant through IVF (in-vitro fertilisation).

The authors of the study cautiously describe their findings as “preliminary evidence” that  acupuncture may “improves rates of pregnancy and live birth” among women undergoing IVF.

The idea behind this study is that acupuncture stimulates the flow of blood to the uterus, thereby making the lining of the womb more receptive to the implantation of the embryo.

Lose that Pregnancy Weight… for your Husband’s sake!

fatwife.jpgI found this fabulous blog where people send it questions, and a donkey (that’s the husband) and a wife offer solutions.

One reader sent in the following question:

Dear Donkey and Wife
What should you do if your wife wants to keep a few extra pounds on? I’ve done a good job of convincing my wife that I love her no matter what and that I don’t mind when there is “a little more to love.” I overheard her recently tell a friend that she doesn’t want to get back to her pre-pregnancy weight, because “he likes me with a few extra pounds.” I always thought she would just lose the weight. Now what do I say to that?
-Weighting for an Answer

Oh my! “This question takes the cake…” says Donkey, “Assuming your wife hasn’t eaten it off the counter already.” He has a number of solutions, some better than others (Please don’t blame us if the suggestions don’t work for you. You’re the one taking advice from a donkey.) and the Wife has some ideas as well.

But two points of interest that I gleaned on this topic, from the bloggers and the commenters, are as follows:

1. For the husband: It’s all about the tact. It’s about doing things together that promote a healthier lifestyle (get a gym membership together… help cook healthy meals together… take brisk early morning walks together… you get the point!)

2. For the wife: Even if your husband truly does love you when there’s a little (or a lot) more to love, it’s only fair to make an effort to get back into shape. Although he loves you too much to say it, maybe he’d like to see you looking more like you did when he first fell in love. And even if it’s not realistic to think that you’ll get your pre-baby body back, at least he’ll find it endearing to know that you are making an effort!

Baby shampoos, lotions, and powders may contain harmful chemicals

My mom sent me the link to this article with a note: “I guess it’s a good thing that you don’t bathe your kids every day after all.”

In my own defense, I’m not lazy, I read that it is not necessary to give babies a bath more than once or twice a day (unless they are dirty, obviously). I mean really, it’s a whole production to give my 2-month old a bath… heat the room, warm the water, set up the baby bath, get the towels, diapers, soaps, etc ready… and it’s no easier for my 2-year old, who is going through an aversion toward the bathtub.

Anyway, the health news article states that “more than 80 percent of infants tested in a new study had been exposed to a potentially harmful group of chemicals known as phthalates.” Parents are cautioned to limit their use of baby shampoos, powders and lotions until more is known.

Scientist still don’t know exactly what this means. I wouldn’t be too worried, since every day they come out and tell us something or another that we’ve been doing is harming our children. More often than not it’s just a lot of noise which recedes in a couple of weeks. But you should keep an eye out for more news on this subject. And stop bathing your kids every day!

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