Hi friends! Happy Tuesday.
Hope y’all had the very best weekend. We sure did over here! 🙂
Today, I wanted to answer commonly asked questions! I wanted to split it up into different categories.
Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science with an Emphasis in Fitness (UW- La Crosse). Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing (UW- Oshkosh Accelerated Program).
Jobs: Part-time nurse at the Carbone Cancer Center. Co-founder of Expecting and Empowered. Blogger here at BalancedAmes.
Weight: Normally 145. I’ve literally been within the range of 138-148 since 2000 (sans pregnancy obviously). So I know that is a great set point for my body. My body composition has changed throughout the years, but I can say that I’ve felt my healthiest self over the past few years.
Pregnancy weight gain: With BOTH pregnancies I gained 40 pounds. With Max I gained a lot early on and then it slowed down, with Trey it was the opposite. Between the babies I was back down to my normal weight of 145. This morning I weighed in at 155.
Health + Fitness
How do you fit it in? If there is one thing mamahood has taught me it is to be flexible. While I LOVE going to the gym, it just doesn’t work in this busy season of life. I often workout during nap time. I’ve said it a million times before, but my biggest tip is to start AS SOON AS you put your babies down. This way if they take a short nap, you haven’t spent the time unloading the dishwasher or picking up after them…but, you’ve sweat! You’ve taken care of YOUR mind and body. I utilize weekend workouts because Drew is home to watch the babies and I can knockout 2 of my 5 workouts for the week. Drew and I also LOVE to run as a family, so we’ll do that again when the weather warms up. We’ll just have to take turns pushing the not yet purchased double BOB (BOB Duallie Jogging Stroller).
How often do you workout? My goal is to workout 5 days a week. 3 days of weightlifting and 2 days of cardio. If you are heavy on the cardiovascular training, I would suggest this past blog post To All My Cardio Queens and Kings. You might be barking up the wrong tree if you are just running your little buns off and hoping to lose fat. Weightlifting could help you get to your goal faster.
How did you start working out again after baby? I ONLY walked until 6 weeks postpartum. I started right away after an uncomplicated vaginal birth. In the beginning my walks were very slow and short (to the coffee shop on the first floor of the hospital and a couple blocks when I was home again). I listened to my body and kept increasing when my body was ready. Know that you should slow down/stop if you experience pain or an increase in postpartum bleeding! My MAIN suggestion is to take things slow!
Why are you waiting to run? After Trey, I’m waiting to run. I feel completely healed and great, but I know there are still hormones pumping through my body…especially since I breastfeed. While this subject could be an entire blog post by itself, here are some thoughts! You have the rest of your life to run, no need to injure yourself by starting too early. Quickly from an Expecting and Empowered blog post: “Postpartum guidelines by the American College of Obstrictics is that running is ok usually at 4-6 week with physician approval. Clinically, my personal recommendation (my sister Krystle who has a doctorate in physical therapy) is starting with a CORE program followed by a walk-run program is best. Abdominal muscle recovery is slow. Everyone regardless of vaginal or C-section should use an abdominal binder postpartum to help the collagen reform and recover by helping it shorten faster back to its normal state. Laxity of the ligaments also continues postpartum and is especially high for women that are breastfeeding so consideration should be continued postpartum as well. Strength training will help reduce soreness/pain due to ligamentous laxity.” I’ll kick off again when Trey is 10 weeks! If you have missed my treadmill walking workout series, they are challenging workouts! I get messages that say, “I was skeptical, but I cannot believe how good of a workout that was!”
How do you keep your hair so healthy? I always say that my hair is a gift from my mama and Jesus. I’m so low maintenance about it, but it is the thing I get the MOST compliments on. A follower did point out that IS why it is healthy. I thought that was a good point! I barely use heat on it. I always let it air dry, only blow drying about once a week. I do curl it a couple days a week. I don’t take any magic pills or use expensive products and it dries straight. I just lucked out in this department.
Do you have postpartum hair loss? Not yet, but I know it is coming. I lost SO much hair after having Max and had very interesting hair regrowth patterns, hello little whisps that people thought were bangs. I always tell myself that I would take ALL of these postpartum issues over and over again to get my babies. 🙂
How do you get those waves? I did a post entitled The EASIEST Hair Curling Tutorial EVER! I was telling my friend that her hairstylist sister would probably die watching it, but it isn’t FOR women that are amazing at hair. It is for women that want a super easy way to do their curls. I also include the products I use in that post!
What treadmill do you have? LifeSpan TR3000i Folding Treadmill. I shared more about WHY we went with this treadmill in this post. We love it! Drew is 6’0″ and has done full out sprints on it, so it is durable with a long enough belt.
What baby monitor do you have? Is that an App that shows up on your phone and iWatch? Lollipop – Smart Baby Monitor With True Crying Detection. Trey’s nursery is on our second level and our workout equipment is in the basement, so this is MUCH needed for me to get my workouts in during nap time. The Lollipop Camera has an app that you download to your phone and iWatch (mine: Apple Watch Series 1 38mm Smartwatch (Rose Gold)). You can see your baby in real time and the picture is super clear. I LOVE the crying detection. not only does the Lollipop detect decibels, it actually detects CRYING! It has NEVER been wrong. So my Apple Watch dings that Trey is crying loud…and he is. You can easily move the video monitor around the house (I did this ALL the time when he was little). Anyway, it is 10x better than the other baby monitor that we had and hated. We can EASILY recommend this to you!
What leggings are you wearing? They are Lululemon Aligns. I get SO many questions about my Lululemon leggings. I wear them most days and have 3 pair. I’m a size 6 and they fit me all the way through pregnancy (just roll the top down) and right away postpartum. I have the highest review of all my Lululemon items and when I see that people complain of them wearing out fast or pilling…I don’t really get it or what we’re doing differently. I wash and dry mine (oops, just being honest) and I still have my original pieces from 2010. SOO, I stand behind their quality and longevity.
What are those shoes? How do they run size wise? Women’s Nike Free Connect. I love these for lifting, but also pop them on to run errands or go to the park. They are slide ons and don’t have any strings. They are true to size and fit my foot really well and I never have to worry about them slipping off. I’ve had my two pair for about a year and they still fit the same as when I got them! Easy to highly recommend.
Okay, what are those new shoes? Nike Women’s Flex Contact Running Shoes: I was gifted these for Christmas! Love them SO much and they are versatile!
What is your new baby carrier? Boppy Comfy Fit Baby Carrier. Boppy reached out and asked if I wanted to help launch this. They told me it was made of yoga material and I was SOLD! It is SO comfortable y’all. I love it because it is EASY to use. I don’t know about you, but I’ve got lost in a carrier that has tons and tons of fabric. This one takes 1 minute to put on. Trey and I are both super comfortable and he often falls asleep in it. I can easily recommend this carrier!
Do you follow a specific diet? I do not follow a specific diet or count anything. I believe in learning and improving my eating, but also having grace with myself and not worrying about having a cheeseburger every once and a while. When I was in college I was always on a “diet”. Now, I try to eat well most of the time and know that my body feels best doing that. I barely ever drink anything but water (and coffee). It has become the rarest of occasions that I drink wine or alcohol. If you missed my last series on Better For You Meals, I would highly recommend it! That is how I’m striving to eat.
Where do you get the energy to do everything? It is the combination of being so passionate about what I do, sleeping as much as I can (I always have a goal of getting to bed at 9:30pm, so I can make the most of Trey’s first sleep stretch), working out and eating well. If you take care of yourself, you have more energy.
How do you stay positive? I wrote this blog: Make A Push Toward the Positive about how much audiobooks and podcasts help my mindset. I also think an ENORMOUS part of it for me is working out, the research about how much it helps anxiety, stress levels and depression is vast. I will say this: I’ve definitely taught myself to be a lot more positive by using these resources. It is something that has evolved in me overtime. My mind is now mostly trained to flip my attitude to be positive when I’m feeling negative or to figure out what I’m meant to learn from a situation. Drew always teases me that I’m super easy on myself, which I think is one of the reasons I’m positive.
Have you experienced postpartum depression? I have not experienced postpartum depression or the baby blues. I would HIGHLY suggest being really open and honest with your OB if you are, because they have definitely helped women through what you are going through before! I would ask if there were resources or a community of mamas that I could link up with to get through it.
How do you handle tantrums? Do you spank? We really try to stay calm while Max is going crazy. We do not spank or even give time outs yet. We try to talk Max through it and see if we can help with what is bothering him. When he is REALLY off the deep end, we just let him “tantrum it out” and he usually comes around himself. I do NOT believe in raising my voice or threatening him because I don’t want to model those behaviors. Of course as Max gets older (he is currently 20 months), we’ll have to figure out what our discipline strategies are.
What is Max’s bedtime routine? Max is SO awesome at going to bed. We tell him it is nah night time right around 8pm. He typically just knows we’re right and he is tired. For the most part, he always wants me to take him. I take him into his room, shut the door behind us, turn on his sound machine and sit with him on the edge of the big bed. I rock him for about 2 minutes and then lay him down awake. That’s it! There was a week that he was going CRAZY when we put him down, but we just did our best to stick to our guns! Likely one of those sleep regressions. He went back to his normal routine of not crying in about a week.
What is Trey’s bedtime routine? We don’t really try to get our babies into schedules or routines until they are a little bit older. I know some mamas and dadas feel strongly about starting earlier and that is awesome! Right now, we’ll rock him around Max’s bedtime because he is usually tired too. We then put him in his nursery for the night. Drew will typically go grab him for me when he wakes up. I then breastfeed him in the sidelying position in our bed. Next, I get up and go rock him and put him back down. He has got a lot better at going back down at night, but he’ll still sometimes throw us a little bit of an awake curveball.
How do you handle nighttime wakeup? Drew is in charge of Maxwell if he wakes up. This would be a VERY rare occasion and is because I need to be available to feed Trey. We tag team Trey (who is now sleeping a lot better). Drew knows that there are a lot of days that I cannot nap, so he is more than willing to chip in if it is a long night. He’ll take over after Trey is fed and rock him back to sleep.
I’m one of those mama bloggers that thinks you should REALLY listen to experts in this department. While I’m an expert in exercise, I’m NOT in breastfeeding. I would highly suggest working with a lactation consultant (ask your OB or the hospital you are delivering at to link you up with one) or visiting sites like KellyMom.com that is RUN by a lactation consultant. Each mama and baby’s breastfeeding experience is unique, so that is why I’m such an advocate of that! I will answer the ones that are personal and that I can speak to.
What is the best breastfeeding position for oversupply? I love side lying when my boob is way too full. I find this is pretty much the only way Trey will take it. It helps them to control the flow a little bit better. My LC also suggested the laid back position and the baby sitting up position. I don’t love the laid back one, but I do sometimes have Trey sit up. My leg goes between his two little legs and I help him hold that position.
Best tips for oversupply? Honestly, just know that it will hopefully get a little better. The beginning is very intense and time consuming. I listened to the instructions of my LC and only pumped when my boobs were SO full that it was not possible for my baby to take them or when I could feel many clogged ducts. It is better now, but there are still times when it is just too full and I have to pump. This happens about 2-3 times per day.
How long did Max breastfeed for? Did you breastfeed while pregnant? I breastfed Max for 14 months. SO yes, I breastfed for the first few months I was pregnant with Trey. My OB just suggested that I eat enough calories to nourish all 3 of us and it worked out just fine!
Does working out impact your supply? No. My right boob literally just has no quit. Here is an article from KellyMom that cites studies that say the answer is no, especially with moderate exercise.
Do you want more kids? Jury is out! We’re going to focus on loving these two little boys so hard and probably will not visit this conversation until they are more stable. 😉 It has been a heck of a cold and flu season over here, so we need to regain our footing before thinking of another. This one will also be a decision that is close to the vest and between Drew and I. 😉
What is does Drew do? Besides being an AMAZING husband and father Drew is the Manager of Customer Success at Wolters Kluwer Health (omg, I looked that up on LinkedIn. I knew it, but didn’t know the specific title).
Hope I covered your question!