Belly binding after having a baby is an age old practice, which was thought to be a dangerous one in the modern age.
The fact is that it can be dangerous if done incorrectly. If everything is just pulled in and squeezed tight, nothing can heal in the right place and discomfort, pain and injury can develop.
If done in the way I demonstrate in my video, it supports your pelvic floor, and gently pulls the fascia back together across your abdomen during the natural 8 week healing process. Do NOT pull this tight like a girdle, or even as tight as you see it on me, I am not pregnant or immediately post-partum, my youngest is turning 2 in a month.
It is highly likely you had the normal separation of the abdominal wall, called diastasis recti, which can be supported for faster healing with this gentle belly wrapping technique.
Your pelvic floor is very weak immediately post-partum, because the muscles have to stretch so as to open space for your entire baby to come out! This was an amazing human feat and needs to be realized as such! Your abdominal cavity needs support right now, for the first 8 weeks at least and likely 3-6 months, especially if you are breastfeeding. And no, having a c-section was major surgery and you still had a lot of pressure on your pelvic floor, so this applies to you also.
The hormones flowing through your body from birthing, nursing and not sleeping are many and extremely hard on the body.
Going to “Mommy Bootcamp” six weeks after pushing a human out of the same muscles that have to now hold up all your organs while you do jumping jacks, is a recipe for a serious disaster.
If weak pelvic floors are not rehabilitated safely, results can be:
- Incontinence (leaking of any sort, even sneezing or jumping)
- Pelvic Organ Prolapse (organs such as uterus or bladder fall out)
- Back or neck pain
- Painful sex
Avoid these things by taking good care of yourself, following my exercise suggestions and seeing your local Pelvic Health Phsyiotherapist.
Learn more from the experts at Bellies Inc on the what, when and why of belly wrapping.
I demonstrate in this video using something that you may have at home, which is not the ideal material to use for the belly-wrapping technique.
If you would like to buy the new Ab Tank and belly wrapping system from Bellies Inc, go here. Prices are going up over the next couple months of pre-launch, they are currently pre-ordering for March so act fast!
Modelling is the loudest voice we use to teach.
Whether we know it or want that responsibility every day, it is a byproduct of having children that we are their role models. As parents, it’s natural to be questioning whether we are doing right by our children. Were we too hard on them, too strict, not strict enough, or did we pay enough attention to them, guide them or adequately teach them right from wrong?
The truth is, that if you are questioning these things, you are probably doing far superior than you think. The fact is, however, your children look up to you and you are the main guiding person in their life, so there is always room for improvement.
They look at what you do, listen to what you say and follow your actions. They want to be just like you. Even when you don’t think they are looking, they see.
What can you do?
- NOTICE. Becoming more mindful of what you do and say in front of your kids will ensure you are doing and saying things that benefit them. Want them to eat more veggies? You might need to be doing more of that yourself.
- ACKNOWLEDGE. Follow up this mindfulness by finding times to compliment and praise your children for their efforts in front of others. Watch how they join in in the kitchen or want to do your exercise and acknowledge how much fun it is to feel energized and vibrant together.
- NIX THE NEGATIVES. What if instead of the negatives, we reported to our kids or friends and colleagues about how how hard they worked on a project or how we admire the effort they put into helping a friend or playing a sport. And even more powerful is saying this within earshot of our kids.
- NOW REPEAT. Keep doing, saying or noticing the behaviours you want them to be following. And repeat them over and over.
When we lead by example, compliment others and encourage them (whether it’s our children or others), they are more likely to follow in the praise and actually display those qualities, as well as they will be more likely to praise and encourage others around them the way they see us doing.
Be mindful of all you say and do, our little ones are perceptive and always listening.
Particularly when we don’t think they are.
Comment below or share in the FitMama Facebook group how being a more positive role model for your kids has helped you reach more of your personal goals!
Let food be thy medicine, and medicine, thy food.
When it comes to finding an appropriate application for this quote by Hippocrates, I believe feeding our children may be one of the best. I am referring here specifically to preventive medicine.
What more do we want as moms than keep our babies and children healthy and free of disease, decreasing the chances for medical attention or interventions of any kind?
The important question here is not whether you feed your baby formula or breastmilk, it is that if you make the choice to breastfeed, how can you ensure the highest quality milk for your baby?
When it comes to nutrition information specific to breastfeeding however, there are so many places to go for info, a simple Google search can result in over 8 million hits and will have you more confused and exhausted than your lack of sleep will.
Here are some basics to get you started and feeling confident that you are in fact making incredible milk that will keep your baby growing healthy, strong and happy for the months and years to come. In addition to being good for your milk, I believe in eating foods good for you also. To help you naturally and moderately return to a healthy post-pregnancy weight that you feel good about. Weight loss is not the goal of breastfeeding, but it does have the side benefit of burning 400-500 extra calories per day, which means you will need to fuel it, but it can still work on your behalf.
I could write a blog post on each of these points below, but I will keep them brief here to start.
1. Drink lots of water. Water will help with milk quality and quantity and will ensure that you and baby are both hydrated. Aim for 3-4 litres per day as a minimum.
2. Eat real, whole foods. Avoid packaged and processed foods. Eat foods without food labels as a majority (if not all) of your intake and make this a real priority.
3. Eat as many leafy greens, vegetables and salads as you can. Watch for some cruciferous vegetables that may cause baby gas and discomfort, such as brussels sprouts, broccoli and kale. They may very well not though, I never had any issues.
4. Eat foods that contain healthy fats, such as raw, unsalted nuts (eg. walnuts, brazil nuts, almonds), seeds (eg. sesame, pumpkin, chia, hemp), extra virgin olive oil, unrefined coconut oil, avocados and salmon.
5. Focus on proteins from high quality sources. Especially if you eat animal foods, be sure to avoid ones which may have come from factory farms (land or water). Look for wild, free range, organic, grass fed and those free from antibiotics and growth hormones.
6. Choose unrefined whole grains like rolled oats and pseudo-grains like quinoa and wild rice. Avoid gluten grains such as wheat or spelt if you have bloating or indigestion after eating them.
7. Avoid added refined sugars. Eating whole fruits or diluted fresh squeezed/pressed fruit/vegetable juices is ideal. Baking with maple syrup, ripe bananas or date sugar is a great way to get actual nutrients along with natural sweetness.
8. Choose foods high in fibre. These will help keep you fuller longer and help with your intestinal health. If you feel hungry all the time, increase your intake of fibre foods and water, just do it slowly over a number of days to avoid digestive distress.
8. Continue taking a high quality whole foods sourced prenatal multivitamin with DHA is ideal.
9. Avoiding caffeine and alcohol is always recommended. Even small amounts of either may have effects on your baby’s brain and nervous system development, not to mention their sleep (quality and quantity).
Additionally, last but not least, choose organic as often as possible. The less chemicals you are ingesting, the less your baby will be ingesting. Due to costs or availability, this may not be possible, but always aim to eat locally sourced, ripe, in-season foods. Be choosy as to where you go out to eat or order your food from, where are they getting their food?
Again, this is a basic starter list, but will be very valuable in choosing foods that are going to ensure healthy milk and healthy you. Watch for signs that your baby is disagreeing with your food choices, such as wincing in pain or chronic discomfort, rashes on their face or body, excessive crying or colic. Avoid dairy or other common allergenic foods such as eggs, soy, peanuts and wheat for a few days or weeks if you see these signs. Introducing them back in one by one and looking for reactions is then recommended.
Putting baby to breast or pumping often are the best way to increase milk supply, as well as consuming adequate amounts of food. Restricting your food intake in the hopes of losing weight is a recipe for disaster. Drink lots of water and eat well.
As for foods or supplements that will further enhance milk supply, I will save that for another post.
What foods have you found that made great milk for your baby and made you feel great at the same time?
I welcome your comments, questions and feedback!
PS. If you want the recipe to my delicious baked oatmeal pictured above, find me on Facebook. If you are not already a member of the Private FitMama Facebook Community where we share lots of healthy recipes, information and tools to keep you a FitMama, simply post a request on the wall. See you there!
Spring time is here!
Even if it doesn’t completely feel like it yet, we are going to be taking off our layers and we want to feel lots of energy as we do so. Reset your mind and body today!
March 25- April 15, FitMama is having a group Spring Tune Up, following the eBook available here. Along with your instant access to the eBook, I will be sending you the private access to the audios (for Free!) which supplement the book. You will get a deeper understanding of the concepts in the book by listening to these and they will surely assist you on your self-love, weight loss or body confidence journey!
By ordering the eBook here, and joining us on the private FitMama Facebook group (PM Jen Oliver if you are not in the group yet), you will quickly see that you can make more positive changes than you thought in just 3 short weeks. Lose 5-10 lbs in 21 days!
This jumpstart will keep you feeling great each day and as you head into the spring with confidence and mindfulness, your choices will continue to reflect the body you love and you will nurture it accordingly.
I am very excited to be on this journey with you!
*Sign up by March 23 by buying your eBook and you will also receive a personal goal setting and strategy session with me to set you on the quickest path to success.
One of my favourite things to eat for a snack is a freshly home-baked muffin with a cup of tea.
This recipe is my current fave. No sugar added and you can switch up the fruit, or add chocolate chips, nuts or seeds.
These are great to take on the go, and are super for kids. You can freeze these and thaw them as needed (if they last that long).
They are gluten-free and you can make them vegan by substituting chia gel for the eggs (2 tbsp chia to 1/4 cup of water for each egg required).
Try them. You will not be disappointed!
Berry Amazing Oat Banana Muffins
- 6 very ripe bananas (medium-large)
- 2/3 cup melted coconut oil
- 2 eggs at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 3 cups oat flour (take dry rolled oats and blend on high speed to make oat flour)
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup frozen blueberries (or choice)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease muffin tins with coconut oil. In a large bowl mash bananas with a fork until they form a slightly chunky banana paste. Add melted coconut oil and mix. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
- In a separate, medium-sized bowl combine oat flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt. Whisk together until completely combined.
- Add the dry ingredients about 1/3 at a time, mixing until barely combined each time. After all of the dry ingredients have been added fold in the frozen (or fresh) berries and put into muffin tin.
- Bake in 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into center of muffin. Let cool slightly and enjoy with a cup of herbal tea.
Call me crazy, but I want to live until I am really old and I am realizing that I only get this one body to love
Many of us are avoiding bread and others avoiding gluten. Some avoiding all processed foods or canned foods. Whatever you are eliminating along with sugar is up to you, but sugar is the non-negotiable.
This begins a process of awareness. We are not replacing sugars with artificial sweeteners. We are simply cutting out junk food with those sugars in them.
At first it seems daunting, and I always get looks like I am crazy when I suggest that this is possible.
Well, it is not only possible, it is simple and actually easier than you think.
Vegetables and whole foods are widely available where most of us live and there is truly no excuse for us to eat junk food all day, or at all. Our bodies do not like those things, and they start to break down on us.
Call me crazy, but I want to live until I am really old and I am realizing that I only get this one body to love, nurture and take care of, so it can house me for the next 75+years.
On our Facebook group we share recipes, motivation and inspiration for committing and following through with your health goals.
Join us! PM me on Facebook. See you soon!
This weekend! Only 5 spots left!
This event will open your eyes to a deeper understanding of your core muscles.
To strengthen your core, it is essential you retrain your pelvic floor after pregnancy and childbirth.
Learn breathing techniques and new cues to re-connect to your body at a deeper level to strengthen the roots of your body, inside and out.
We will talk exercise, and do light movements, but there will not be an intense exercise component to the class.
Come meet local experts in nutrition, yoga, lactation, fitness, mindfulness, massage, chiropractic and more!
I cannot wait to meet many of the FitMamas from the Private Facebook FitMama Community.
Get your questions answered.
See you Saturday.
Call me at 519.567.9469 or email email@example.com to confirm or to reserve your spot if you don’t hear from me,
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