Browsing Tag

parenting

Babies + Kids, Pregnancy

Baby and Beyond: Learning by Trial & Error

As a chiropractor working with pregnant women and babies for years, I’m your girl when it comes to labour prep, solutions for colic, dealing with gas, breastfeeding, morning sickness and the like. I’m ready and willing to share!

But nothing could have prepared me for going through this process myself.   There is so much more to pregnancy, labour, childbirth and parenting than I could have imagined. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the last 14 months, it’s that every pregnancy, mama, baby is different. What worked for many of my friends, or even my patients did not work for me.   Unfortunately, there isn’t one way to conquer all that comes with pregnancy and having (and raising) a baby. What I’m slowly learning is that parenting is basically trial and error. As an analytical person, I like to follow rules, steps, flowcharts; motherhood doesn’t come with an instruction manual. Every baby is different and we are all doing our best to figure it out. You might get the hang of certain things – you’re good, you’ve got it under control… And then the phase changes. Sleep patterns are out the window, your toddler stops eating and you have something new to master. It’s a learning curve, and at times it can be frustrating but it’s also so gosh darn amazing!

So if you’ve tried everything under the moon to help soothe your teething, fussy baby (or your morning sickness won’t ease no matter how many tips you’ve tried), my advice to you is: Don’t Give Up! Just because your best friend’s way to burp a baby didn’t work for you, doesn’t mean you are doing it wrong. You’ll settle into your groove and find a way that works best for you.

Chin up Mama – you’re doing great!

Babies + Kids, Health + Wellness

Top 5 ways to be a healthier, happier mom!

Motherhood. It can have its ups and downs. I know, from experience, that your new role as a mom can be overwhelming and taking care of yourself is not a top priority. But it should be!

Follow these easy steps to a happier, healthier mama.

  1. Take time to recover from labour and delivery

Many new mamas are super eager to get back “at it” following the birth of baby. (Trust me, I was one of those moms). But it’s important to give your body time to heal even before you tackle tasks like laundry or dishes. Even things like standing for long periods or going up/down stairs can affect your recovery. Not overdoing it will actually help you heal more quickly. You will be back in the swing of things faster than if you try to sneak in a quick workout before you are ready. Take some time to let yourself adjust emotionally as well. This is a new role and you’ll need some transition time.

  1. Breastfeed

Yes, breastfeeding provides amazing benefits to your wee one including improved immunity and higher IQ but it’s also great for you too! Moms who nurse their babes have a reduced risk of suffering from postpartum depression. In addition, prolactin, the milk-making hormone, also has a calming effect on mothers. Although I know it can be difficult in the beginning, once you’ve got the hang of it nursing can be efficient. No bottles, no sterilizing and no formula!

  1. Stick with healthy eating habits

If you are a new mom, you may be like me – RAVENOUS! I couldn’t get food into me fast enough. If you’re breastfeeding, it’s especially important to stay fueled up to support your milk supply. But even if you aren’t breastfeeding, eating healthy is important for your well-being as a new mama! Busy days with a new baby aren’t ideal for meal planning and preparing, but try your best to plan ahead and keep your pantry stocked with healthy snacks! Here are a few ideas: nuts & seeds, veggies (baby carrots), fruits (berries, apples, bananas), yogurt, smoothies.

  1. Breathe in the fresh air

I remember going crazy inside the house in early March just after my daughter was born. In Toronto it was still snowy and chilly and I was feeling mental from being with a baby all day long. My husband forced me to walk in the garden for a few minutes one sunny, snowy afternoon. What a difference! Stepping outside and breathing in the fresh air I felt instantly uplifted. Soaking in the sun is the easiest way to get your dose of Vitamin D. Strolling through the neighbourhood with your babe a few times per week will definitely give you a good dose of happiness!

  1. Keep it in perspective

We can all relate – some days are better than others. But remember, bad days don’t last forever. And when your baby is celebrating his first year birthday – you’ll wonder where the time went. Enjoy this time, soak up her sweet smile and listen to her soft coos. Don’t be too hard on yourself when you’re not on your game. You don’t have to be a supermom….you’re baby loves you for you!

Babies + Kids

My Favourites: Books for the first year of parenting

Ever been to the Parenting section of your local Chapters/Indigo? Overwhelming isn’t it?  I, myself have a stack of parenting/toddler books on my night table that I am hoping to tackle one day (when I’m not completely exhausted). On the other hand, I have loads of friends who are the “I don’t need a book to raise my kid” type – and that’s amazing.

For me, a handy resource here and there is like a helping hand and a rational voice. Let’s face it – sometimes we need all the help we can get when faced with an unruly toddler who doesn’t want to wear pants to daycare.

Here is a list of books I found useful and would pass along to friends, if asked.

The Wonder Weeks

This book was recommended to me by a patient when Rose was four months old and it was a game changer. Understanding the reasons behind fussy periods and the ever talked about regressions will help you stimulate your little one’s mental development and gives you a glance into what’s really going on in your wee one’s mind.

Well Adjusted Babies

I bought this one before I was even pregnant! As a chiropractor treating babies, it was a great resource and as a mom it was my holistic parenting bible. I found myself flipping through the pages on nutrition for healthy babies quite a bit when I was starting Rose on solids. The book is also well researched and evidence-based which appeals to my inner science geek.

Breaking the Good Mom Myth

I remember the day I picked this book up. I was feeling terrible about the fact that I had worked a full week and I had barely spent any time with my now seven month old little girl! Time was flying by, she was getting bigger and bigger and I was missing it! I felt as though the author, Alyson Schafer, was speaking to me – telling me to let go of the idea of the “perfect mom”. She does a great job of reminding parents that we can raise children without perfection or selflessness.

No Drama Discipline

Another dear patient of mine recommended this book after I told her that my 13 month old had her first tantrum. I found that the authors offer a clear and effective way for dealing with tantrums, tears and general meltdowns.   It also has a summary at the end of the book as a kind of “cheat sheet” for your child’s caregivers, keeping you all on the same page when addressing discipline.

Bringing Up Bebe

About an American woman raising her kids in France, this book illustrates a different perspective of motherhood.   At times, it made me wish I was a Parisian woman wearing skinny jeans sipping a café au lait while my daughter plays nicely beside me (not in this lifetime). It was a fun, light read and offered some interesting cross cultural observations and insights.