Find out how to curb whining and tantrums with four easy steps. Enjoy your kids, don't just put up with them.
Get the inside scoop on what you really need to know when you have a new baby.
Learn the five keys to sustainable self-care so you can be the best you for yourself and for your family.
Modern parenting is a joy but a challenge. We're here to help you accept and problem-solve the painful parts of mommying so you can move on to really enjoying life with your kids, spending less time on your to-do list and more time on the things that really matter.
April 22, 2020
We are so excited to have a guest post to share today from the one and only Wendy Foster. You can read her bio below, but basically, she’s the founder of Mamalates Online, the queen of postpartum rehab and, such a lovely human being.
Although the advice below is catered toward the brand new mama, these are things we all should be doing, at all phases of life, to keep our core strong and prevent injury.
Thank you, Wendy! Let’s dive in!
Wendy Foster is the founder of Mamalates Online – a video streaming site for prenatal and postpartum wellness. As a licensed Pilates Instructor with over 20 years in health and fitness, she is a Birth Recovery Specialist who is passionate about helping mom’s find safe exercise and wellness options for motherhood. She is the mother of 2 active boys and lives in Portland, OR.
When you hear “postpartum workout” or “after baby exercise”, you may have a preconceived idea of what that looks like.
For many women, the idea of strapping on running shoes or sashaying back into barre in those early months sounds unimaginably exhausting. And we get it! You carried a baby for 9 (ish) months, birthed a human, and you’re just trying to get some sleep and figure this mom thing out. It’s ok to take your time.
When you do feel ready to resurface and integrate a little more movement into your life, start slowly. Don’t jump back into your pre-pregnancy workout. Now is a perfect time to start fresh and rebuild a foundation of strength and endurance.
TIP #1 START WITH BREATH
Proper breathing can make or break your recovery. If you are a breath holder your shoulders may never relax and tension will be all you know. If you are a belly breather, you may have more challenges recovering from separated abdominals (diastasis recti).
Try using a Pilates-inspired breath by inhaling through your nose, expanding the sides and backs of ribs, then exhaling through your mouth. This is the beginnings of a deep, diaphragmatic breath.
When you lift your babe (or anything heavy), do so on the EXHALE. Save the INHALE for lengthening and preparing for the activity. Proper breathing technique is something that can be started the day your little bundle of love is born.
TIP #2 REALIGN
After baby is born, your shoulders may be rounded and your low back may feel over arched. If you lay down on the floor and start banging out crunches in this position, you are just going to exacerbate already existing back conditions, neck pain, etc. Take a few minutes before you start each workout to make sure you are aligned as possible to prevent exacerbating any structural issues and for the most efficient workout.
One way to adjust your alignment is with a foam roller. Rolling out your muscles helps release and lengthen fascia. When you lay down on the roller, face-up, your bra strap should be in contact without your shoulders rounding forward.
To check your standing posture, ensure that your weight is back on your heels, ribs are over pelvis and ear lobes are over shoulders.
TIP #3 MODIFY
Now that you have your breathing down and your posture in line, you are ready to get moving. However, when you head back into that yoga, barre or Zumba, remember that you may still have weakness (or tightness) in certain areas. You will likely need to modify your poses and possibly reduce your range of motion- especially when it comes to twisting and core work. If something doesn’t feel good, don’t do it.
If it is determined that you DO have diastasis recti, avoid crunches, scooping or movements that cause your abdominals to bulge. Modify with side-lying core work or engaging your core through breath and one-legged toe taps. As you strengthen the connective tissue of your core, you will eventually be able to do more advanced variations.
For more information check out the Mamalates Essential Birth Recovery Course. This course is OB/GYN endorsed and is designed for those early weeks and months postpartum.
April 21, 2020
This week’s podcast episode is one of my favorites of the season. I talked with Eryn Kirschbaum, DPT, a physical therapist who specializes in pelvic floor health. Her advice, while sometimes a little blush-worthy, is SOOOOOO important, especially for new moms. We discussed all the stuff that’s hard to talk about: hemorrhoids, urinary incontinence, pelvic pain and, more importantly, about what you can do to address each one. Listen in to hear all about it.
April 15, 2020
This week on the podcast, we’re welcoming pediatrician, mom, and dietitian Dr. Natalie Muth. She’s a practicing physician in Carlsbad, California and author of How to Raise Healthy Eaters and Family Fit Plan.
Last week on the show, we had my friends at Alavita on to talk about developing a healthy eating plan for yourself while you’re pregnant and after baby, but what about getting your baby off to a good start with solid foods?
Dr. Muth has the answers. Listen as she talks about what to do and what NOT to do when getting going in the early months.
“There’s a lot of right ways to start solid foods… Early on it doesn’t really matter what you start with…It doesn’t really make a difference what the food is… you just want to start with a single ingredient and make sure it’s soft enough and small enough that the baby’s not going to choke.”
April 7, 2020
You’ve had the baby, you’ve taken care of yourself well throughout your pregnancy and now…well, now you’re in a body you maybe don’t recognize so well and, if you’re being honest, don’t really like so much.
I get it. I’ve been there. And it took a long time for me to move from seeing my body as something to criticize or constantly work on to seeing my body as a gift – one that brought life into the world and that allows me to do all the things I want to do (like play with my kids and dance and travel (when there’s no COVID-19 around)). Body image issues postpartum can contribute to postpartum depression and anxiety, and generally steal the joy from our experience as
On the podcast this week, I welcomed some of my favorite people – Anna and Megan from Alavita Nutrition. These powerhouse mamas are not only rock solid businesswomen, they’re also experts at guiding women through eating healthily in the months around their babies’ births. They’re also experts at changing the discussion around to food completely – making it less about getting skinny or looking perfect and more about feeling good in our own skin.
Our bodies have unique nutritional needs in the postpartum period, especially if we’re breastfeeding. It’s critical that we take good care of our bodies so we have more energy reserves (and milk!) for our babies.
Alavita’s comprehensive nutrition programs are 100% virtual. That means, in times like these, you can get your healthy eating education in without leaving the house (which is a good thing since you really shouldn’t right now).
April 1, 2020
Ok, Mama. We could be in our current state of uncertainty for
Just like you, Mama, I’m spending a lot more time than usual with my kids in my own home these days and I am seeing just how much I need to teach them how to get themselves and all their things in order. Dr. Korb is an expert at just that - he’s a developmental pediatrician and a father of five, so he knows a little something about controlling chaos (or preventing it in the first place).
I talked on AM Northwest this week about how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting parents to be heading to the hospital and learning to take care of themselves and of their little ones at home postpartum. You can watch it here:
You’ve Got to Move Your Body
I don’t care how you do it, sister, but you have got to make sure you are moving your body consistently. Go for a run, jump on a stationary bike, do online yoga, or, better yet, join my friend Robin Long at The Balanced Life Sisterhood. Robin is all about grace over perfection and right now it feels like we could all use some more grace (and opportunities for mindfulness).
You’ve Got to Set a Schedule
If you’re not working outside of your home right now, and you’re with your kids 24-7, it’s getting old really fast, I know (I was actually on “vacation” until yesterday for a week and a half with my own littles and I just about went bonkers until I figured out some type of daily calendar for us). When you have a calendar, you have some semblance of normalcy, and you and your kids know what to expect.
You’ve Got to Take Some Time for Yourself
When you make your daily schedule, make sure you’re putting some time in for taking care of yourself. Gone are the days (for now – remember, this is just temporary) of grabbing a quick bite with girlfriends, heading to the gym, or even going on a trip with your significant other in the name of self-care but that does not mean you can’t take care of yourself in the very deepest sense of the word. You can take 3 minutes to check in with yourself about how you’re feeling. You can take 10 minutes to talk with a bestie over FaceTime. You can take a walk in the fresh air.
Mama, this may take a long time to get through the COVID-19 pandemic but I’m in it with you for the long haul. Keep your head up and keep in the moment.
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