If you live anywhere in South Florida (or almost anywhere in the USA) during this time of year, you are probably experiencing this brutally, hot American summer! Relentless humidity, energy draining heat and record-breaking temperatures have us desperate for some cooling relief.
Being pregnant or having just given birth under the scorching sun may offer benefits such as; having an excuse to send your partner or family to run your errands while sitting by the pool or inside with the A/C blasting. There are also some little things you can add to your "cool-down arsenal" to help make this season a bit more bearable.
These 6 Summer Maternity Essentials will help Big-Time!
Run out and get them right NOW (or if you're lucky, send your partner out to grab them). After all this should be the time for you to lounge by the pool, legs up and RELAX, you sexy Mamma you!
4. Sanuk Yoga Sling 2 Sandals
Throw out all your old flip flops, buy these and then write us a Thank You letter!
6. Coconut Oil
Summer + pregnancy = dry skin & stretch marks. Did you know there are no proven ways to stop you from getting stretch marks? I'm sorry to tell you, but they are hereditary (Thank You mom or aunts for that one).
Wow! I blinked my eyes and my little 4 pound 13 ounce preemie turned 10. How did this happen so fast? These last 10 years have been amazing because of you, my little pixie. I only hope that you continue to let me snuggle in your bed each night as we say goodnight for at least another 10. In the meantime, I have a few things I think its time you know.
So, I guess you are a “pre-teen” now; but don’t get crazy, you are not an actual teen just yet, so you can save the attitude for later.
I won’t lie to you and tell you that these next few years are going to be the best. There will be hard decisions you’ll need to make, probably even harder ones than I had to at your age. You will have to “rat” on a friend some time. I need to know that if you see a friend doing something harmful to themselves or someone else, you MUST say something. These harmful things can build and you never know just how far they can go. A good friend is always someone that will protect you and I know you will do what’s right when the time comes as I hope your friends will do for you.
When that time comes, I’m always your Mom first. I want to be your friend but not when the Mommy role becomes more important. You can trust me to always try to do my best by you and sometimes you might not like what my best is. But know, no matter what, you can come to me with anything. Don’t ever worry what I might say or feel because I’ve been in your shoes before. I might immediately freak but when I can breathe for a minute, I will be there for you.
Let’s talk make up, reserve it for when you actually have a blemish on that beautiful, pale, peachy skin. Just don't ever cover that adorable sno-cone- shaped freckle constellation I am so fond of. Yes, I promise, I’ll draw it out so you can finally see it one day! Some of your friends might think make up is great already but no need to rush as you are perfect the way you are. When you do start to wear it, let me help you learn how to do it so it continues to show your inner beauty, not just your outer beauty.
Something you should be aware of in your teens is that friends can sometimes come and go. That’s not always a bad thing. Always strive to be a good friend, to talk openly when you encounter an issue, to help pick each other up when you are down. But realize that sometimes that friendship is one-sided, so I guess what I’m trying to say is that person is probably not an actual friend. You see, friendship shouldn't be so hard. You shouldn't feel you need to do something to impress your friends, or that you need specific brand name clothes to get in the right crowd, or that you need to speak badly about other girls to hang with the “in” crowd. Be friends with those that make it easy, where its just fun to be together, no matter what you do. Don’t worry about the ones you have to work hard at as chances are, they will never be impressed enough.
And about that, stick with what you love. Follow your heart and take your talents wherever you want to go but NEVER flaunt what you are good at. If you are amazing at something, don’t worry, people notice. What you can do someone might not be able to and what they can do well, you probably cannot. Enjoy what you’ve got and let it shine the way it should, naturally. Not that you ever been one, but just in case…no one likes a bragger.
Last but most certainly not least, love yourself first. Hold yourself to a high standard and only worry about impressing yourself. If you care about yourself and honor the person you are, everything else falls in to place. We’ve told you this since you could talk but I hope you never, ever forget that! The more you love yourself, the more love you can give, and then the more love you can receive.
We love you baby girl, who is now a decade old, more than you’ll ever know. So, I’ll sign off with what I say to you each and every night. I love you to the moon and back ten million gazillion trillion billion cocadillion times. Happy Decade, Baby, make the next as great as you can!
© 2015 Kristy Wexler
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Sleep is a topic that is always in conversation with a new Mom. Does my baby sleep enough? When will my baby sleep through the night? Why is he up all night but sleeps all day? Why is it that my baby only sleeps in the swing? And the list of questions can go on and on. The reality is that no one knows exactly what is going on in your baby’s mind but what we can do is try to reinforce good sleep habits from early on.
This topic can be very controversial, so we will stay away from discussing the Cry It Out method or Co-sleeping as these concepts can become too heated and we believe that you should do what you feel is best for your family without judgement.
Think of your baby’s patterns of activity while she was in your belly. Was she restful at night or awake? Wasn’t it just when you were ready to drift off to dreamland that baby decide to bust a move? Your constant movement throughout the day relaxed your baby and lulled her to sleep but when you laid to rest, that lovely rocking motion she felt all day went away, so it was party time. Once baby is out of the belly, what would make you think the cycle would be different?
A few things you can do to help the baby switch the night wake up cycle to days is to create an atmosphere that is restful for baby during the day when it's time to sleep. Talk to her during the day and engage with her while she seems alert yet change your approach when you suspect baby is getting tired. Encourage sleep by paying attention to the signs your baby is showing that she is getting tired. Signs can be sucking, fussing, looking away from you, wriggling, clenching fists, among others. When you note any of these, its time to help baby get some rest. You may want to keep the room slightly darkened during that time and don’t be too active with baby when showing signs of tiredness. At night, keep the room dark and quiet and avoid much interaction to start to teach baby that the night time is for rest.
The most important tip we can give is to remember that sleep induces sleep. If the sleep during the day is not great, the sleep at night will not be either. Baby will be overtired and restless setting up a difficult pattern to break.
Newborns can sleep anywhere from 16-18+ hours per day. Try to allow for that sleep. Limiting visitors and too much stimulation might be a good idea for those first few weeks. While we know this might be hard to do, in the long run, your baby's sleep habits will be better off. If visitors must come, then try to avoid the game of “pass the baby” so that the baby can keep his sleep uninterrupted.
As well, If your baby is often in a swing, bouncy seat, or a car seat while sleeping; chances are she is getting used to “motion” sleep. While any sleep is good sleep, baby may start to crave the feeling of motion to get herself to sleep and may struggle when there is no movement. Be careful not to set up too many motion expectations for baby like rocking her to sleep each night. By following her cues that she’s tired, she may be able to blissfully quiet herself into sleep without relying on motion to aid her. That being said, don’t avoid snuggling with your little one, just know that too much motion can become a crutch in your baby’s sleep routine.
Babies between 3-12 months sleep an average of 14 hours throughout the day. To get consistent sleep for your little one, attempt to develop a night-time routine that differentiates night sleep from nap time. Perhaps a warm bath, a quick book, maybe a little baby massage and bed time at night. Setting expectations for your baby with a daily routine will help him understand in his body what you are trying to help him to do, which is sleep well for his sake and yours.
Each and every baby is different so we always suggest that you find what works best for your baby and family. Every baby will sleep through the night at a different age and may have some “slip-ups” from time to time with the milestones they reach and if they have a period where they are not feeling well. Get to know your baby’s cues and what she is telling you instead of trying to conform to a specific method and you will find what works best. It may take a little time but you WILL get there. As always, if you have questions about your baby’s development, consult your Pediatrician.
Cheers to a full night of sleep, it will eventually happen!
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Half of the Moms reading this will relate, the other half will say, “What the heck took you so long!” But no matter which side you are on, its always tough leaving your baby for the first time. This weekend, I will be leaving my 17 month old not for one night but for two whole nights. With this being my third baby, you’d think I would happily head out of town carefree and ready to party. Yet that cannot be further from how I feel.
While she will be in the very capable hands of her Grandparents who will soak in her snuggles, hugs, and kisses and surely enjoy their special time together, I can’t help but worry. But not about what you may think. I don’t worry about her safety or if she’ll behave or be hard to handle, I worry that she won’t miss me.
You see, for nearly 2 years, I’ve been the most important person in her world and she has been in mine. Of course, I love the rest of my family more than anything, but the connection Baby D and I have right now is something she cannot have with anyone else. She grew in my belly without a day apart for nine months and 17 months later on the outside world, we haven’t spent more than 8 hours away from one another. I worry, can I enjoy myself while the little person that is so much of my life is not with me? Can I find a semblance of the person I was a little more than 2 years ago? Might I muster the courage to perhaps experience a first post-baby hangover (3 drinks and thats pretty much guaranteed these days)? Can I keep a smile on my face when a piece of my heart is not with me? Will she ask about me, will she sleep ok without being put to bed by me or better yet, will I sleep okay knowing that I was not soothed to near-sleep by sitting in her darkened room, her nursing off to dreamland with the white noise hushing away in the background?
Her umbilical cord was cut 17 months ago but I’ve so embraced the invisible portion thats still left us connected. This weekend, that will be cut too.
While I’ve done this before at some point with our two older children, there’s something very different when you do it with your last. So what’s taken me so long? This weekend will make it official, she is no longer a baby.
So, rather than continue the sappy road I’ve already paved with this blog, I’ll share a few of the tactics I plan to use to get me through the weekend and maybe just realize, its not too bad to have a little separation now and again.
Feel free to share some advice to others on how you handled your first time away from your babe with fellow Moms on the aquaBelly Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/AquaBellyFitness
Salt scrubs have been used since ancient times. The health benefits are vast - exfoliation, moisturization, improved circulation, stress relief. Ah YES just what the doctor ordered following the blistery, winter months. But let's face it, spending a ton of money on expensive brand name skin treatments just isn't worth it when most of us barely have time to get in a regular shower! Whether you have little ones grabbing at your ankles, a demanding job or a helpless husband time is a precious commodity. According to Boca Raton Whole Foods Healthy Eating & Green Mission Specialist, Abigail Nagorski “Feeding your skin with natural ingredients you can find right in your kitchen is the best way to protect it from harsh weather conditions. A little avocado can go a long way. The vitamins and minerals found right in this tasty little fruit is great for replenishing, hydrating and protecting your skin. The oils are easily absorbed which allows them to penetrate deep into the skins layers to help rejuvenate your cells from the inside out! Some other beneficial additional would be oats, banana, plain yogurt, almond milk, cocoa powder, ground coffee, coconut oil, rose petals (organic of course), lemon juice, orange juice, and a few drops of essential oils such as rose absolute or lavender. Each of these additions support different goals you are looking for in a face mask, but this is also where you can have fun and come up with a combination that treats your skin perfectly.” Try these homemade face masks that only take a few ingredients & only minutes to make. They are a great way to treat wintery, weathered skin naturally and right from your kitchen! Get ready to have super fresh spring skin! Did I mention you'll smell & feel great too?!
How should you dress your bump? Well, that's certainly a matter of personal taste. Do you identify with Kim Kardashian’s more form fitting and curve-hugging style or do you prefer the boho-chic of Drew Barrymore’s maternity style?
Celebrities are great to watch when they become pregnant as often times they can give you ideas you might never think of as to how to dress for your growing belly and body (well, really, maybe their stylists gave you the idea). Regardless of who picked the clothes out for them, celebs have clearly defined pregnancy style.
The cameras were always on Princess Kate and her wardrobe while pregnant. She tended toward the more demure and yet still, there was discussion as to her hemlines being slightly risqué. Jessica Alba tends to have a style that many identify with, she always had a pulled together casual look and made dressing her bump seem so easy. Super casual yet always adorable Jennifer Garner made jeans a part of her everyday maternity wardrobe and heck, there is nothing wrong with that!
If high fashion is more of a look that interests you, consider JLo’s maternity wardrobe or maybe that of Halle Berry’s slightly toned down version. Celebrities each have their own style, shape, and size as we all do so no matter who’s maternity wardrobe makes you drool, dress in what makes you feel beautiful. There is no better time to allow your body to shine as you’ve got something very amazing going on inside!
Here are a few tips. If you have a special occasion coming up and don’t want to spend big bucks on a dress you’ll likely not use again, did you know that www.renttherunway.com has “bump friendly” picks? Have you checked out Pinterest for some maternity style inspiration? If not we have a Board set up with some of the latest styles and trends at http://www.pinterest.com/aquabellyfit/maternity-style/
Enjoy playing “dress up!”