Ep. 150: Listener Q&A – Part 2: Postpartum + Baby

By: Cassy Joy Garcia
Fed & Fit
Fed & Fit

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On today's episode, I'm answering YOUR questions about my postpartum experience and early days with baby!

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Episode 150 Transcription

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Cassy Joy: Welcome back to another episode of the Fed and Fit podcast. I am your host, Cassy Joy Garcia. And I am thrilled to have you join me today. Today is part 2 of what is likely to be a 4-part listener Q&A series. So what we did is I collected some questions; you guys submitted awesome ones via a call for questions a little bit ago on social media. And we’ve got them organized. Last time we had a Q&A podcast episode; you can find part 1, of course, on the blog or in iTunes. Wherever you're listening to this from. You can find that; that episode really focused on all of your pregnancy questions. We talked about pregnancy, pregnancy fitness, and pregnancy nutrition. And I’m apparently very long winded {laughs}, which is why we think this series might take a little bit longer.

So today we’re focusing on a semi-related. We’re focusing now on postpartum. Your questions about postpartum, postpartum fitness, and baby. Ok. And then the last couple of episodes that we will zero in on will have to do with beauty, business, cooking, Gus, mindset, nutrition of course, and then a little bit more about safer skincare.

Alrighty. Let’s go ahead and jump in without further ado. Our first question is from Stacy_Marie. She asks, “What are your must-have items for postpartum baby or self-related. It seems a lot of people buy all these gadgets that get used once or twice, and that’s it. Also, do you pump for night, so your hubby can help with the feedings, or are you doing it solo?” Great questions, Stace. I hope it’s ok; I just abbreviated your name even further! {laughs}

Ok, so must-have items for postpartum. Goodness. Or baby. You know, when we went; on my blog, if you have not already seen this article. Or this blog post I put together. I posted my entire baby registry. And I think the post is called My Baby Registry. I shared that entire baby registry. I had done, of course, a lot of research on safer products for baby. I tried sources wherever possible materials that didn’t emit VOCs, volatile organic compounds.

So the mattress was very important to me. The changing table pad. Everything from the disposable diapers we’re using while she’s really young, to the cloth diapers we’re planning on using later. And then I also, of course, have lots of gear in there. I have something for everything. I also have notes for mom. What are some good things to put on your list.

And whether you have an actual registry or not, there’s so much research. Anyone listening who has put together their own list like this before, and kind of spearheaded it by yourself a little bit in the dark. It’s a pretty overwhelming, extensive process. And it’s also riddled with a lot of personal choice. Because there are certain things that are going to be important to you that may not be important to everybody else. So you kind of have to navigate and put on your thinking cap a little bit.

So this being our first baby, at this point, or when I was writing that list, we didn’t know what we didn’t know. Right? There’s a lot of information out there, and experience that we hadn’t had yet and didn’t know what questions to ask. But I did a good amount of research. I thought I covered as many bases as possible. But going into having this baby, we, Austin, my husband and I; it was really important to us to not just get everything.

If you look at the baby registry, it looks like there’s a lot of stuff on there. But I did want to take a semi-minimalistic approach, if possible. So instead of getting one of every single gadget out there, and just see what baby likes, we kind of picked one thing from all the categories and we’re just going to make it work. So that’s kind of the approach I went in with.

Now, what has she really loved? I would say, since she’s still so little, she’s not really holding herself up yet. She’s just now two months old. Since she’s not really holding herself up yet, when we sit down at the dinner table, I have found a Rock and Play. You can Google it, or you can pull up the baby registry to grab a link to the exact one that we got.

But it’s essentially like a nice little, low to the ground, kind of a mini-bassinet seat thing that’s perfect for a newborn. It keeps them supported and safe. And it will very slowly rock; you plug it in. And we scooted that over to our kitchen table. We put her in that. I’d feed her, change her, put her in that. And we’d have our supper. At least that’s the plan. It doesn’t always work that way.

But I would say the majority of the time it did. And she was great in that. It was something we could set her down in. Look at her. Chit chat with her. Maybe she’ll fall asleep. But she could be really close to us next to the table, and it’s light weight enough that we can move it back and forth. Because our kitchen table is kind of in the middle of our home space.

So that was one piece we thought was really important, and we’re really glad that we have it. What else? The Dock a Tot. I’m a big fan of our Dock a Tot. I don’t really want to go too far into the weeds of sleeping decisions, because we’re still so fresh. We’re only two months in, and I know these are especially charged waters. So I don’t know enough to really be an advocate for any one particular direction, if that makes any sense. We’re just kind of flying by the seat of what works for our family right now.

But I have found the Dock a Tot; whether you use it as an actual co-sleeper, or you use it to just kind of be a lounger for the baby. It’s been really helpful. So where do we use it? In a couple of places. Of course, we can use it, if you do decide to co-sleep, it’s a safer way to put the baby in the bed with you. It has a little bumper around it. And that’s one thing, if co-sleeping is something you're curious about.

But what I’ve really enjoyed it for is the lounging aspect. So say in the living room, if I want her next to me, but maybe sometimes she just doesn’t want to be held. Because we hold Gray pretty much 24/7, she’s in one of our arms. But there are sometimes where she gets a little kicky, and just wants to be flat, gosh darn it! I feel like that’s what she’d say. “Just put me down, please!”

So I put her in this Dock a Tot right next to me on the couch, and she’s as happy as can be. She lies there, looks around. She’s safe, because she’s in this little contained lounger thing so I know she’s not going to roll off the couch or fall into a crack. I know that it’s good for her.

Also, because it does have that little bumper ridge around it. I’ll prop her up in there, put her little elbows underneath her on the edge of it, and it gives her a really good boost for tummy time. And tummy time is that exercise that helps infants build those neck muscles where they start to lift their little heads up and look around.

So; oh my gosh, I could go on and on. I would say those are two, as far as gadget gears go. Some sort of a lounger; I like the Dock a Tot. And some sort of a portable, easy to move around, little equipment that we can put her in that gets her off the floor, but it’s easy to put next to the dinning room table. We’ve taken it with us for Sunday dinners with my parents. It’s easy to put her in that. It’s a good price point. That Rock and Play is about $100. Which sounds nutty; but goodness, baby soothers get pretty expensive, if you haven’t priced them before.

Ok, you also asked, “Do you pump for nights so your hubby can help with the feedings, or are you doing it solo?” I’m actually not currently pumping at nighttime. Or pumping for nighttime feedings. I’m sure every mother has their own personal experience when it comes to pumping. But my experience was; I started off, I really didn’t enjoy it that much. What I’ve read, and of course my personal experience, is that my body has started to make exactly what she needs. And at the beginning, I started pumping right away because I knew I wanted to get into a schedule. I want to pump, let’s say, every morning. I want to pump at least to try to get my body expected to produce a little bit extra. And I didn’t enjoy it because I felt like I had to sit there for so long. And I got so little milk. And it was just so sad.

So I didn’t’ really go in with a huge extraordinary plan to have bottles so that Austin could feed her, because it was just so much work. I was like; I’m never going to be able to pump enough for any long stretch of time. I’ve never actually said that. But that’s kind of a little bit how I felt.

And then as time goes on, and she starts eating more and truly emptying each breast, then my body started producing more milk. And now in the mornings when I pump, I pump sometimes between 7 and 8 a.m. after she eats. I go and pump on the other side. That’s just what works for me. And I’ve started producing much more milk. Gosh, the other day I think I almost produced 6 ounces from one side. And I took a picture of it, and I texted it to almost every mother on my phone. I was like, “Look at this!” It felt like such an achievement.

So, long, long story made very slightly longer. We don’t have a plan for Austin to feed her at night because it’s been so much work to build up enough backlog of milk. And it’s just so much easier for me to just go ahead and feed her, versus him having to get up, make a bottle, and work with her in that regard.

In exchange for that, the sleep exchange; right, because I’m up at night time. What Austin does, he actually takes the baby. I feed her sometimes around 4:30, somewhere between 4:30 and 5. And then he takes Graysen. And this is kind of a tradition I think he wants to start period with babies in our house. Graysen, and of course others if we have any more. He’ll take her into the living, and he just kind of lets her sleep on him. And he just has coffee time with his daughter. And it’s really sweet. So he does that, and I get about 2 hours of sleep, knowing that she’s cared for. Someone is looking for her. And that is just so restorative.

So that’s kind of been our exchange. And as far as the milk I am pumping, I’m using it so that when I do really go back into bigger chunks of work, I’ll be able to have milk to leave behind for the sitter. And also if Austin and I go out on date nights, I’ll have milk aside for him. So that’s our plan. Long story made super long; I’m so sorry.

Ok, next question. Lake Cat asks, “Could you give two or three examples of what you eat over the course of the day as a new and nursing mom?” I would be happy to.

So, the course of a day. I probably start off, in the morning I wake up, let’s say if it’s one of those scenarios where Austin takes her. So I probably roll out of bed at about 7 a.m. Which is late for me. It’s weird to say that, because I’m a very early riser. But lately it’s been about 7 a.m. with this newborn lifestyle. And I will grab some sort of a fruit bar, or a fresh piece of fruit would be good, too. But I wake up hungry. You just nursed all night long. Or that’s what I had done. So I’ll grab a fruit bar. If you’ve ever heard of them, they’re called That’s It. That’s It bars. I have a smorgasbord of those. And it’s apple, and one other fruit, and that’s it. Brilliant branding.

So I’ll grab one of those. They’re pretty small. It just gives me a little fruit in my tummy. Then I’ll grab a cup of coffee. So I have that very first snack when I wake up. And then for breakfast I have some sort of; I make sure there’s always some sort of a protein, some sort of a starch, and then another some sort of fruit. And if possible, some sort of a vegetable. And those vegetables and the starches are usually leftovers from either dinners or previous breakfast.

And you can pull up my Instagram to get an idea of breakfast. But let’s say on the least extravagant days, it’s usually going to be a couple of fried eggs or scrambled eggs. Maybe a banana with some peanut butter or almond butter, whatever works for you. And then a cup of grapefruit juice. I really like grapefruit juice for a lot of reasons, but that could be a whole nother podcast episode.

Gosh, that’s about it on the squinchiest days. On the more extravagant days, I would say eggs, some sort of a breakfast meat, whether it’s sausage, or chorizo, or bacon. And then another piece of veggie fat, whether it’s coconut or a small piece of avocado. Potatoes, I love those for breakfast as a really good starch. Plantains are a really good starch. Another piece of fruit. And then, of course, I’m a huge fan of lemony kale. I like to get those veggies in early in the morning. So we’ll chop up a bag, or I’ll get a bag of prechopped and washed organic kale. And we’ll sauté that with a little butter, or maybe in some bacon fat, and then cover it with a good amount of lemon juice and some sea salt, and it’s delicious. So that would be a big breakfast.

Something like that will really hold me over until lunchtime. And then around lunchtime, I have a huge stash of freezer meals. So what Austin and I will usually do is I will break out a freezer meal. One of the ones from our deep freeze. Some of my favorite ones that I’ve enjoyed lately have been of course my casseroles. So if you pull up my blog, and anything that I’ve made or published in the last three-ish months is in my freezer as a freezer meal. Because we got prepared for the maternity leave for my blog. Wrote and produced all those recipes, and then I stored them as meals.

So things like the Dublin Cottle that went live recently. That makes a fantastic freezer meal. So I’ll reheat that. Soups; minestrone soup has been one of our favorites. It made a lot. Things like that. Defrost, enjoy for lunch, and that’s really quick and easy. And it’s really healthy.

And in between; {laughs} this is where things get a little; I’m just going to admit it. Between lunch and dinner, I do have an afternoon snack. When Graysen was really young, and my body was metabolically shifting to learn how to make milk; nutrient-dense milk for this little baby, I was much hungrier than I am now. Which is funny, because my milk production has actually increased and my appetite has slowly started to stabilize.

But at the beginning, around mid-afternoon, I would be ravenous again. And I would either have a big apple with a bunch of peanut butter, or I’d have a whole protein bar. Those perfect bars, for example. I had a bunch of those, so I would enjoy one of those. And now that my metabolism is stabilized, but I still kind of like a little bit of a snack, I’m having a few squares of a really dark chocolate. It’s kind of my afternoon treat. I have a few squares of really dark chocolate. I have a giant sparkling water. Right? One of those that comes in the liter. I think it’s a liter. And then I take my vitamins. And my vitamins, because they’re gummy vitamins, almost taste like they are essentially candy. So I have those. I have a little candy treat in the afternoon.

And then for dinner, my favorite thing to do for dinner; we either do a freezer meal. When baby was just home, folks were bringing us dinners, so we’d have really lovely warm meals from friends in the area. And now that things are a little bit easier, and I’m able to cook again. Which I really missed. I will defrost some sort of a protein. Whether it’s a piece of fish, or some steaks or chicken, and we’ll cook that up. And I’ll serve it over some sort of a starch. Whether it’s rice, or potatoes, or squash. And next to some sort of a vegetables. And maybe those are sautéed peppers, or kale, or spinach, or something like that.

Graysen doesn’t really have any, that I’ve noticed, reaction to cruciferous vegetables or peppers. And I’ve really been diligent about watching for that. So I’ve freed myself up to eat a few more things.

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Cassy Joy: Ok. Another epically long answer. I’m going to keep rolling. Next question, from Kissy Lea. Goodness, I hope I said that correctly. She said; “I would also like to know.” Oh. Two folks asked this. “I’d also like to know what foods to eat/avoid, and how to still eat healthy with enough calories to nurse again for baby number 2 in case she has the same issues as the first.” Ok. Maybe, let me make sure I read this question correctly. “I’d also like to know what foods to eat/avoid and how to still eat healthy with enough calories to nurse again.” Hmm. I might have to come back to this question.

Oh, I see. This is an add-on question. The first question that was asked, “Are you able to continue eating everything normally while breastfeeding? It seems all of mine are sensitive stomachs. I’ve had to cut out dairy, some greens, onions, peppers, nothing too acidic, and minimal sweets. Otherwise, gassy city and lots of pain for the little one.” Poor babies! Oh that’s so hard to see your baby struggling with gas.

This is a great question, and now I understand the add on. “How to eat enough calories to nurse again for baby two in case she has the same issues as the first.” I see. I get it. So, when you're having to restrict your food so much, how do you eat enough food in order to really supply for yourself and for your baby. I absolutely get it; you don’t want to drop too much weight.

I’m in that boat right now, because I am turning 32 on Tuesday. This episode goes live on Monday; so tomorrow is my birthday. I’m turning 32. And Graysen is our first. And we know that we would love to have more babies if possible. So I am in no rush to really restrict or diet or anything like that. I’d rather keep my body nice and plush {laughing} if that’s appropriate. And healthy so that there’s really good nutrients for maybe a second baby coming up. And who knows. Who knows what the lord has planned for us. But we’re prepared for it, just in case. We’re preparing for it.

So eating with that in mind, wanting to be as healthy as possible. Not gain too much weight, but definitely not lose weight is kind of where I’m at. And I feel like that’s something similar. And also, how do you navigate food sensitivities. You know what; if your baby has a reaction to a food that you're eating, and you're positive that’s what’s happening; then go for it.

There is some science out there that says; because the old adage is, whatever makes mom gassy will make baby gassy. And while that makes sense on some level, there’s also an element of the fact that what you're eating, what’s causing you to be gassy is the flora digesting those proteins from the foods that your consuming. So the broccoli is going to cause gas pain in you. But those same exact proteins don’t necessarily show up in that same form in breast milk. So your baby may not be having gas as it’s related so closely, right. It may not be as clear cut as we once thought.

So I recommend doing a little research, dig into that a little bit. They have shown; some studies have shown that, of course, dairy proteins actually will transfer into breast milk and your child could have some sort of reaction to those particular dairy proteins. So maybe look at dairy, first, and see if you cut that out if it helps relieve gas. But it’s possible that the cruciferous vegetables and the peppers may be unrelated. But again, you know your body best and you know your baby best. So if that’s what’s happening, then that’s what’s happening.

So how do you navigate around that? I would encourage you to just go to the grocery store and see what else is available. Right? I started eating a whole lot more spinach, because I too was trying to navigate the gas. And it turns out Graysen was just; babies are gassy. Babies are just going to have gas. And the younger they are, of course the more painful it is. Sometimes they swallow air when they’re breastfeeding. And if they don’t burp it all up, then it’s eventually going to come out somewhere. And if they’re using a pacifier they’re probably swallowing air. When they cry they probably swallow air. So a lot of things can contribute to that.

So we just started watching for that. But I did mix up my foods. Spinach; more lettuce type leaves instead of big thick, thick leafy greens like collards and kale. Which are actually part of the cruciferous vegetable family. What else did we eat a lot of? We ate a lot of plantains. I did some white rice. And, oh man, I’m blanking. There’s some good stuff out there. I would say just go to the grocery store and see what else is available.

And then eat when you're hungry. Don’t restrict yourself. Your body is going to tell you, as far as getting enough food in. Your body is going to tell when to eat and it’s going to tell you when not to eat, right? So pay attention to those hunger cues. And just like if you’ve ever gone through any sort of a paleo introduction. Or maybe you’ve done the Fed and Fit Project, where you kind of have to detox from refined sugars. You know, if you stop and think about it. “Am I actually hungry right now, or is my body craving sugar because I’m addicted to sugar?”

So it’s ok to not feed your body when it’s just wanting a sugar hit. But if you're truly hungry, eat. And what things to eat would be fruit, right? Some sort of fat, whether that’s some sort of a nut butter, or if you are tolerating dairy, some cheese, something like that. Yogurt. Eat when you're hungry. If you're addicted to sugar, then try to not indulge then. That’s kind of how you toe that fine line. Don’t let yourself go hungry while you're breastfeeding.

Ok, Quince510 asks, “What’s been the most challenging and/or surprising thing about postpartum period for you? Anything you would have done differently to prepare?”

Whoo. What has been the most surprising thing? I almost don’t want to say this. Because in some ways, ignorance is a little bit of bliss. But I had a vaginal birth. Or it was a vaginal delivery. And she was a big baby, without going too gory into the specifics. She was a 9-pound baby. And I did not anticipate the physical recovery that I was going to go through as the mama. Right? I knew that coming home from the hospital would be a huge transition for our baby. And our whole family, in terms of; this is so much newness!

What I didn’t necessarily anticipate was the fact that I was going to be recovering physically as well. I knew that I was going to be covering, right? You understand that. But I didn’t really anticipate some of the pain that went along with that. Just from damage that was done. {laughs} Having a giant baby. And I’m not that big of a person. And everything is fine, it was a pretty textbook delivery. So everything was great. But there were some repercussions.

So I would say that I did not necessarily anticipate the amount of pain that I would be in. I also did not necessarily anticipate the headaches that I would have when I came home. I had horrible migraines when I was in my first trimester. My whole life I’ve gotten pretty bad hormonal headaches. Those have cleared up a lot with my diet changes, and working out, and staying hydrated, and getting enough sleep. But coming home with a baby, irregular sleep schedules, eating just kind of sporadically as much as possible and trying to keep it as healthy as possible, but it was kind of all over the map. And then hormonal changes that were happening in the body, I had headaches again. And that kind of surprised me.

But what I would do differently; I don’t know. You know? Gosh, you know what. I think I would have liked more visitors. I think that’s something I would have done differently. Everything else I feel like we prepared for really, really well. We had the deep freeze full of freezer meals. We had all the baby gear set up. We had plans involved. Our house was stocked. We had family that was really supportive and wonderful for us.

And I had heard from some of my friends who of course have had babies said that they always preferred they had less visitors. They didn’t want visitors at the hospital, right, because they just went through something pretty traumatic and personal. And even though these might have been good friends, they’re kind of coming and seeing you when you're really recovering from something significant.

And your baby; she was born in the middle of January. Which was in the middle of an epic flu season, at least in San Antonio. And we wanted to minimize risk. But I do think that the visitors had been nice, and I wish I had kind of spaced those out and invited more people over. Because it was a little lonely after a while. Because of flu season, we stayed home for a good 6 weeks with her before we started venturing out a little bit.

And I kind of just; one friend came over at one point in time and brought me a decaf cappuccino from the coffee shop that I love so much. And I just wanted to cry when she walked in the house. Because we had enough food; but goodness, I just wanted that decaf cappuccino. So I think having visitors; at least for me. I’m very much an extrovert. And I like; my cup fills up when I’m around other people. And I think that would have been great.

Tansy Spina. I hope I said that right. “How do you plan to lose baby weight and ease back into working out? I’m due in 12 weeks and was considering counting macros to help with portion control. I already eat mostly paleo. Any thoughts or advice would be great.”

You know, it depends on your plans. Austin and I; man, this is a real tell-all. Austin and I would like to have; start growing our family again pretty much as quickly as possible. I’m in really good health. It was a really easy pregnancy, knock on wood. And easy delivery. So we’re ready to continue to add, if possible, like I said before.

So my scenario is a little bit different. I don’t want to lose what I gained during pregnancy. I don’t want to lose all of it too quickly. Because if I do that, there’s a good chance that my body; it has an impact on my body hormonally and keeps me from starting up being able to conceive again. Which is something that happened previously in my life. When I got too lean in college, my period stopped, for example. So your body will start to prioritize certain systems, and your reproductive system is one of the first to go in women, when the body is working really hard to stay healthy elsewhere. So, that’s important to me.

So I’m not really concerned with losing a whole bunch of baby weight, and I’m not going to obsess about it. I’m just going to appreciate my body for what it is right now, and it was a home for Graysen, and a really healthy one that had a really healthy baby, and I’m really proud of it. It did amazing things. It looks much different now than it did a year ago before I conceived, but that’s ok. This is a season. It’s going to keep holding, hopefully, more babies. And we’ll just see where it goes.

But I’m really not in a rush, and I’m trying not to think about the shape of my body. I’m really trusting the postpartum process. Because it can take time to lose weight. And I think that if we objectify a little too much, we might feel defeated. Because some women, without even trying, their bodies go back to the way they were before very easily, and other women they need to finish breastfeeding before they go back. Before their bodies start to readjust. So you could fall anywhere on the spectrum.

And although we can plan, and track macros or calories and really stay on top of it, it’s really hard to gauge.

Things that I am doing, best practices, is I’m avoiding refined carbohydrates with the exception of the occasional white rice. Although I’m high-carb, I have a high-carb diet. But I’m trying to avoid refined carbs, if that makes sense. I still eat lots of whole food carbohydrates. Potatoes, squashes, plantains. So on and so forth. So I’m trying to not indulge overly in refined carbohydrates. I’m still eating plenty. I’m eating when my body is hungry. Following a paleo-type template, or what I call my perfect you plan. Which includes some dairy and things like that. Because that works for my body. So that’s kind of how I’m navigating that.

And easing back into working out. Teacher Fit Jess asks, “What is your plan for postpartum fitness?” Good questions. Man, you know when I was 6 weeks, we went to the doctor. And of course, she gave me my green light. She said, “You're healing marvelously! You're ready to work out.” And that day, we got a delivery. I remember we came home, and I was toying with the idea; I wonder. Because I like classes. I like to go to yoga class. I like to go to CrossFit class. And I was toying with the idea; what class am I going to go back to? And the doorbell rang.

And I wasn’t holding the baby at the time. And for whatever reason, I had to jog to the door. And I remember jogging to the door, and just that jog. If anyone has been through this postpartum; my body just felt different. And I knew at that moment I was not ready to go for a run. I’m just not ready.

So my plan is to pay attention, to go when my body feels more solid and like it’s really readjusted and feels more secure. My core feels secure. And I’m going to of course continue to nurture that. Brianna Battles has a fabulous postpartum fitness program. Go to her website to learn more about that. She talks a lot about, and teaches you how to do really good, slow, integrative workouts that will help you heal and build back up to be able to do more workouts.

So I’m roughly following that from home, but I’m also going to start going back to CrossFit pretty quickly now. She’s 8 weeks. And Austin and I were talking about plans. So a few times a week, at least, I’m going to do. I’m decidedly loafing it. I’m going to take it very, very easy. And just do what feels right. My bias is I always do less. I don’t overexert myself. So that’s a safe thing for me to do. So I’m going to go, take it easy, and just slowly progress. I hope that was a good enough answer.

OK. Another question. “Is Gray a good sleeper? Any tips or tricks for getting baby to sleep? New mom here, and we’re struggling with getting baby to sleep. She always looks so peaceful.”

Well, you know, the pictures that I take when she looks peaceful it’s because she’s peaceful and I can take a picture. But there are plenty of opportunities where she’s not. She is a good sleeper at nighttime, thankfully. She’ll squirm a couple of times at night, signifying to me that she’s hungry. I feed her. She never fully wakes up. I feed her, and then I lie her back down, and she sleeps. So I would say she’s a good sleeper in that regard.

But, during the day, she’s not a great napper. Our family is still trying to find our groove in that regard. And we’ve got some plans in action. So as far as advice, I’m really not a pro at this. I think we started with trying a bunch of different swaddles. We tried putting her down a bunch of different ways. I would say just keep experimenting. Read some stuff out there. You’re going to find exact conflicting information. Some people are going to give you advice to do one thing one way, and other folks are going to give you advice to do it the exact opposite. So I would say go with what resonates with you.

ID Palo asks, “What is your favorite baby registry item that you couldn’t live without?” I’m going to miss something. I’m sure. But I would say a carrier; a baby carrier that you can wear. Whether it is; and there’s a bunch of options out there. I’ve so far tried almost all of them. I have a sling on order right now; that’s the ring sling. So I’ll be able to try that and give a full testimonial. And I have a full baby carrier post coming up that I’m taking my time planning.

But I would say some sort of a baby wearing device. Whether it’s the ergo, if you like something really structured that your husband will probably also feel comfortable wearing. The Solly baby wrap is lovely. It’s very soft. Great for, especially little babies. It’s good as they grow a little bit older, as well. But it was great when she was really tiny and snuggling. I like that one for wearing around the house. And then there’s the Boppy ComfyFit carrier that I love. I just had talked about it on the blog yesterday. And it is kind of a combination between the structure of the ergo and the softness of the Solly. So I would recommend looking at something like that.

But baby wearing has been a huge life saver. I get to take her to the grocery store in it. It gives me both hands free. I can do housework. She can nap. I can go for walks with Gus. It’s just been a total game changer.

Next question, from Iowa Allie 85. “When you research a health or baby topic, where do you first start? I feel overwhelmed with all the sources available, and struggle to weed through the good and the bad.”

Oh man, you're not going to like my answer, Allie. But I started just like you. Especially with baby stuff. Because I was unencumbered with the facts. When I first started researching all this, I didn’t really know who were the best resources out there, aside from personal friends. And I would just ask. It was a combination. I would sit down and I would Google. I would start to weed through information that way. And the more you read, the more you start to see trends. What maybe is, I guess, what advice.

Oh gosh, how do I word this? You’ll start to see trends between certain types of advice out there that sounds very clinical, and then advice based on real experience. So you’ll start to pick up on some of those trends. And I would just take note. And I would store all that in the back of my mind, and I’ll say; in case I can use this later with our baby. Because she’s going to be her own person, and we’re going to have our own habits, and our family is going to adapt and conform to what it’s supposed to look like.

So I would combine lots and lots of research online, spanning the full spectrum, with friends. I would call up people. I’m constantly calling up friends and family members who I trust to ask hard questions. Right? Because you don’t want to call everybody and ask them a question. But people who I really trust, I trust how they do their research and how they maybe make decisions. Liz Wolfe has been a great example. She’s been a wonderful friend through this experience. And she has some great resources on her blog, www.RealFoodLiz.com. So I would look that up if you want to peruse some of her baby articles.

But I’m lucky enough to be able to get in touch with her and ask her some questions. She’s been instrumental. My sweet friend Amber, my sister-in-law Sherrine. There are some people that I just have in my pocket, and I constantly call and say; “Did you ever have this happen, and what did you do?” Like, did cabbage leaves really work for you if you ever had an issue with painful or inflamed breast tissue. Right? So it’s those people you can call up. They’re going to give you the skinny. They’re going to be straight shooters. They know you, they know your life and your family.

So it was a combination of learning what all the internet had to teach me, combining with my own real experience, and then bouncing that, again, off of actual friends and family members. Because at that point, I could data collect and figure out what was best for us.

And at the end of the day, know that you're not going to get all the answers from an article, and you're not going to get all the answers from a friend. You're going to figure out what works best for you. And that’s so intimidating, because you're essentially jumping blind into this. But that’s why they always say; parenting doesn’t come with a manual. I totally get it. Because every single baby is so different.

Next question. “Are you able to continue eating everything normally while breastfeeding? It seems all my…” oh, whoo! We answered that one.

Next one. Real Food Y’all asks, “Also would love an update on your registry now that Gray is here. The items you didn’t use, and some of the items you were very thankful to have. We’re planning for our little one, and totally overwhelmed by all the options. Trying to be smart, but minimal. And also know that every baby is different in their needs.”

I mean, you have so much great awareness right there, already. Some of the things we have not used quite as much. Let’s see. Our bassinet so far has not gotten a whole lot of use. But I’m still optimistic it’s going to get more use. Like I said, our sleeping arrangements have varied from a good deal of very safe co-sleeping methods, and the bassinet is right there. And we’re very close to transitioning her over there. But so far, two months in, it hasn’t gotten a whole lot of use. So I will report back.

And I do have plans on keeping that baby registry post updated. So in another month, once we’re done with this fourth trimester. Right? The first three months of baby’s life, I’ll go back in and update what really worked for us during the newborn phase.

Ok, let’s see SKH Williamson asks, “Best advice for first time mama’s? Especially in the first few weeks home.”

Best advice; number one, ask for help. Definitely ask for help. And tell people you're going to ask for help. That was huge. I would say always have a cup of water nearby. That was something; I wound up getting one of those giant Yeti cups. And I ordered one of the handles that clips onto it and a straw that I could stick into the lid. Because I was constantly getting up and trying to find water. I was constantly thirsty. Going through the postpartum process, you're detoxing, essentially, being pregnant and you're also trying to create breast milk. So I was constantly thirsty. Thirstier than when I was pregnant. And having a cup of water next to me while I was lounging on our giant couch with baby wasn’t as practical. So having something really giant with a lid that I could wedge into the couch cushions right next to me was helpful. I would say do that.

Don’t skip a meal. Make sure you're eating as much really good healthy fruits and vegetables as much as possible. Have healthy fruit around the house so you don’t get into a habit of just snacking on junk food. I’ve done it. I’m not trying to vilify it. But it’s always much nice, and I’m more grateful when I look back and I had fruit instead of those cookies. Those break and bake gluten free cookies that I was eyeing.

Trying to get through the rest of these really quickly. I know we’re going over. Baby sleep. “Are you trying any schedules or any sleep books, or just going with the flow?” We’re mostly just going with the flow. Key Quest 722 asks this.

Mostly going with the flow. I’ve researched a bunch of different baby sleep schedules. Mom’s on call is one out there of course I came across most recently. We’re going with it. This is baby number one, so we have the luxury of lots of flexibility. I’m sure that when there are more feet on the ground it’s going to be a little bit different. But with this one, we’re just going with the flow. So far. I’m sure I might have a different answer in the future.

Amy VV 821 asks, “What are you going to feed Gray when she’s old enough to eat?” Ohh, that’s a good question. I have more research to do on the topic. I will probably plan a podcast episode, or at least a blog post, when we get there. But it’s a good question. I will get back to you on that.

Anna Bozel asks, “Registry update; what’s been helpful?” Again, that’s another good question. I will update that registry. But like I said before, I would say the Dock a Tot was instrumental, and the Rock and Play.

“Baby item must haves.” From Ms. Heather P. Again, I would say those same items. What are some other ones that I’ve really enjoyed? You know, I got a lot of organic white onesies. Because I just wanted something easy for her to wear, not have to fuss over cutsie outfits when she was really young. Actually I got them in all the sizes. But Gerber makes organic white onesies, and they’re also linked on my baby registry. We have loved those. We’ve put her in those several times a week. It’s been really easy to wash. So I would say that’s another one I would add to the must-have list.

Swaddle blankets have been really helpful. What else? Oh, the Beautycounter baby wash has been my favorite baby wash that I’ve used so far. So I would say that’s another one I would make sure to have.

Ok, and then last question. Christina Chance asks, “I’m curious how cloth diapering mixed with disposable is going, or if you're following through with that plan? I’m due in June and was considering something similar, and I’m just curious how you're making it work.” Good question!

She’s still in disposable. But she’s very, very quickly outgrowing this last size. So we will keep you posted. We have not put her in a cloth yet because the ones that we have are still a little bit. In case you're unfamiliar; and I talked about this in my registry post. But what we decided to do was our plans are to ultimately cloth diaper. At least give it a go and see what happens. I know it doesn’t work for everybody. But to start, instead of buying a whole load of newborn cloth diapers, which can be extremely expensive. And we did the math, even if we had four kids, it would be difficult to gain that investment back compared to what we’d be spending on disposables.

So while she’s newborn, we decided to go with disposable. The Bambo diapers is my favorite; again, also linked in my baby registry post. So we went with those for newborn. And she’s almost out of; we decided to stick with those through size 2. And then as soon as she outgrows these, we’re going to try her in her cloth diapers. Which will continue to grow with her as she gets bigger. So I will report back, but that’s how we’ve been doing so far. The diapers have worked really well for us.

Ok, well that’s it for the baby segment of this Q&A. I hope you guys found it helpful. Please keep the questions up, if you have questions about this episode, leave a comment on the blog post. That would be the best place for this episode. And as always, I hope you have a wonderful week. We’ll be back again next Monday.


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  1. Erin says:

    Although my daughter is almost 3 and I’m more removed from the post partum experience I really enjoyed this episode. I especially appreciated how you talked about being in no rush to loose weight so that you can keep your body healthy for future pregnancies. I think women feel so much pressure to get back to pre baby shape (myself included) instead of taking the time to listen to their body and really take care of themselves. It was so refreshing to hear you talk about this so thank you