How it’s going – being a new mum

I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to write my blog but just didn’t get the chance…  Life as a new mum is quite hectic! I mean, this is probably obvious to everyone of course. I’m just such a newbie to this.

Isaac is almost eight weeks old. And as everyone says in that cliché way, it has gone by so quickly. He’s no longer the tiny little newborn. He’s now quite the unit at 12lb 5oz! I mean to be honest he was never teeny tiny to begin with being 8lb 4oz, but he is so big now, and so LONG. Probably because Kyle is 6ft 2 (and his whole family are on the tall side).

We probably got a few days’ worth of him using his newborn clothes. Now he’s barely squeezing into the 0-3 months. This is a bit sad as there were so many cute outfits he never got to wear.

So how have things been? Well, the first weeks was a complete whirlwind of not knowing what the hell we were doing. I second guessed everything I was doing – from feeding to burping to sleeping. Not being a hugely maternal person or baby person in general, I literally knew squat about caring for a baby. Everything was pretty scary to begin with.

It’s funny because I’m surrounded by so many of my friends who have had a baby/babies and yet I was never keen to find out more about how things were going. You know, the details. The nitty gritty. My own fault entirely and probably quite selfish of me. And now I’m deep in the trenches and finding out about the sides of my friend’s lives that I never asked about.

Cake and boob – perfect combo

I’m still breastfeeding and it’s going very well. I actually can’t believe how well it’s gone. Isaac latched on straight away from the get go and we never had any issues there. Right at the beginning I had some soreness and amost a blister on one nipple, but then after that it just got easier and there were no issues. After listening to podcasts, friends and family hearing about how hard it could it be I was prepared for the worst. So to find it so easy almost feels like I’m cheating. But I am so so grateful.

The only problem I have with breastfeeding is that I don’t know how much Isaac is actually getting. I worried (and to be honest still do) about how often to feed and if he’s getting enough. But as people  keep stressing to me, if he was going hungry I’d know about it. He’s a very content and happy baby and we feed on demand.

It used to be every hour, then every two. And now we’re 2.5-3.5 hours and that seems to work perfectly. I thought I’d be on the sofa for hours at end breastfeeding but actually Isaac is a super quick eater and on average is done within 10 mins.

While we’ve been super lucky with so many aspects of the pregnancy, birth and Isaac himself, sleep has been the one thing that hasn’t been that great. At first he was waking up every our in the night. And we really struggled to get him to fall back to sleep. It was exhausting. Rocking and shushing in darkness and lowering him into his moses basket with the precision of a bomb disposal unit, it was relentless.

We were staying awake in shifts so Isaac could sleep on one of us or on the bed next to us in one of those sleeping pod things (which are unsafe to for a baby to be left sleeping unassisted). But eventually we got out of that and he would sleep in a crib next to us thank god!!

Getting four hours sleep a night was classed as good. However now we seem to be in a better place. It’s sort of a predictable lack of sleep… but we’re averaging 7-8 hours on a good night and 6 on a bad night so can’t complain! Isaac will usually wake up at least twice in the night and then in the morning. It’s relatively easy though as I just feed, change and he goes back down straight away.

And through the day I’m just led by him. We tried to dictate a bit of a routine but that didn’t end well. So now we just follow his lead. He sleeps when he wants and I feed every 2-3 hours depending on what he’s doing.  Reading back this sentence, old Anna would be aghast at such a baby-dictated schedule but honestly it’s the best for us. I don’t want to stress about “awake windows” and nap times. Isaac doesn’t sleep a huge amount in the day despite us trying. He’s a “wakeful” baby. If we take him out in the car he’ll sleep and it’s 50/50 if he falls asleep in the pram. But he seems very content so we’re happy with this.

As much as a routine and strict times would work well for us to plan our day, I’m much more relaxed with how we’re doing it at the moment. In the future I might change things up but I enjoy our days much better when we have a general rhythm rather than a strict timing situation. It’s so funny because pre-pregnancy I was so set on making sure we’d have a routine. Funny how things change!

In terms of what I do through the day, Isaac and I are doing a lot of seeing friends and family. Going for coffees, going out for lunch or brunch. It’s actually quite wonderful. Usually every week I might have one day completely free of plans but every day tends to have something in it, seeing someone or going somewhere and I love it. I’m very lucky to have a strong and large network of support around me to help – whether that’s help with looking after Isaac or just being there for me so I can mentally unload.

So almost eight weeks on and things are going well! I think we’re out of the initial haze and panic of the initial stage thankfully. However I know we have many more hurdles to come. But at least we now have the foundations set inplace. Like, I can keep a baby alive for a few days at least 😉

Postpartum nutrition – all the good stuff

Finding the time to blog is becoming somewhat tricky (as you can imagine with a brand new baby), but I want to continue to write as I find it very cathartic and I also want to document memories of this crazy time.

Isaac is now 4.5 weeks old and honestly I can’t imagine life without him right now… and I also can’t imagine what over 6 hours of sleep feels like either! I always knew that having a baby would mean sleepless nights and an abundance of chaos… but actually living through it is something else I tell you.

That said, maternity leave is lovely. Amongst the crazy tiredness and constantly being on my toes looking after the little man, I do get to spend lots of time with family and friends doing fun things like going for walks, coffee and lunch.

It really is quite fabulous. My mum has two days off a week and Kyle’s mum doesn’t work Fridays so I get to see them a lot, which of course they love because they adore being grandmas.

My mum and I went to the Parade Tearooms and I had my favourite Jayne Salad followed by cake

Spending time with Isaac as a grandma must be amazing – you get all the fun without the hard sleepless night, eh!

So my week is very different to before, obviously. No work emails, no meetings – which is wonderful. But confusion, anxiety, stress and tiredness in abundance. Not exactly a holiday but not exactly like being in a proper job either. Very odd.

One of our many cake and coffee trips

The two weeks that Kyle was able to have as paternity leave was really lovely. Obviously it was hard and we were like deer in the headlights, Googling everything, ringing parents every hour asking questions and just wondering what the hell we’d gotten ourselves into it. But we also got to spend quality time as a threesome (well foursome with Alfie).

Kyle and I managed to get to 7Bone with Isaac which was fabulous

And I won’t lie, I’ve been having some fantastic meals and food lately, which honestly is quite surprising. I was told I wouldn’t have any time for myself to make sure there were lots of meals in the freezer.  I mean, I did prepare well and we do have a lot of food ready to go in the freezer but with all the meals out and people coming over bringing food and wanting to cook for us, we haven’t been starving!

Recent trip to Breezes for brunch

But amongst all the cake, doughnuts and lunches out I have been watching my nutrition carefully as I’m breastfeeding. While I know I need to be upping my calories to keep my supply decent, I also want to make sure the calories I’m eating are of a good quality as well. I mean cake IS good but it’s not the most nutritiously dense!

One of my favourites: Bakewell atrt

Handily I was recently sent some protein powder and collagen powder to try out from Naked Nutrition. And I’ve been making some mean smoothies to get some fast and tasty nutrition in me fast. It’s not always possible to grab the healthiest snacks on the go but having a smoothie is perfect.

I really like these products because they’re not full of any unnecessary nasties. I tried the Naked Grass Fed Whey Protein Powder and add it to my porridge in a morning and my smoothie in the afternoon. It’s made from whey source from grass-fed cows raised without growth hormones like rBGH or rBST. Each serving contains 25 grams of protein and 5.9 grams of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). There are no additives or artificial sweeteners. Perfect!

The Naked Collagan Powder also has a similar “clean” profile, with no added nasties. It’s also flavourless so easy to add to anything like porridge or even soup. And each serving has 9 grams of protein and only 35 calories.

My smoothie recipe:

  1. One scoop of Naked chocolate protein powder
  2. One sachet of collagen powder
  3. A handful of spinach
  4. One frozen banana
  5. Handful of frozen blueberries
  6. Soya milk (or any milk you fancy)
While breastfeeding, smoothies are so easy to drink!

It’s delicious, filling and packed full of good stuff! Protein is so important in general to keep your muscles strong and your body healthy, and while I’m not training per se I am breastfeeding and it’s still super important to keep my protein solid. And collagen powder is SO good for you in terms of your hair, nails and bones. I’m giving so much physically and mentally to Isaac that it’s so handy to throw a smoothie together with all this good stuff to keep me healthy so I can keep Isaac healthy.

So in terms of food and nutrition I’ve been doing evry well. Just got to get my sleep as good eh? 😉

Do you like smoothies?

Have you ever had collagen?

**Full Disclaimer: I was sent the products for free in return for a blog review. All opinions are my own honest ones.**

Healthy Living 101: 8 Important Body Parts that Need More Care

Keeping yourself healthy – so important in all satges of life. As I’m currently breastfeeding I’m trying my best to keep right on top of my health. I mean this is a bit of a continuation of my pregnancy too – it’s no longer just me I’m looking after! Here is a great post to remind you to look after yourself.

Every part of your body needs special care and attention. Therefore, there are many routines that you should follow to ensure every body part is in top shape to improve your overall health. So, here are important body parts that need more care.

Pixabay – CC0 Licence  

Skin

Skin is the largest organ in your body and is the first layer of defence against any harmful and foreign substances. Every time you walk out of the door, you expose your skin to a barrage of potential hazards, such as germs and bacteria. The good news is that your skin has a mechanism to protect itself against most of these substances and prevent you from getting sick. This is an excellent reason to give special care to your skin. Failure to do so will expose your first line of defence to harm. Skincare is a good way to get started.

Eyes

They say the eyes are the windows to the outside world. Like most parts of the body, your eyes are constantly exposed to harm. Additionally, you have to deal with light emitting from various sources, such as your computer and phones and ultraviolet rays. This may result in irritation and, ultimately, infections.

Ears

It is advisable to listen to ears also. The human ears take a lot of sensory overload from the environment. And like other special body parts, your ears need care. The chances are that you expose yourself to high decibel sounds that can be perilous to your hearing ability.

The most basic ear care is ensuring you do not get exposed to too much noise by avoiding using earphones with high volumes or standing next to speakers in a concert. Additionally, you can take care of your ears by using earbuds when working in noisy environments. Lastly, keeping your ears clean and dry helps you prevent infections and irritation.

Teeth

Your teeth are the reasons behind your fantastic smile. Additionally, they allow you to enjoy the pleasure of various foods. Failure to take proper care of your teeth can be detrimental to your dental health and facial beauty. The good news is taking proper care of your teeth is easy. It is a matter of avoiding too much sugary food, flossing, and brushing at least twice a day. However, reports indicate that a majority of people do not take proper care of their teeth.

Apart from brushing and flossing, regular visits to a dentist help you prevent and manage dental problems. There are many health benefits of taking good care of your teeth, and you should not miss any of them.

Lower abdomen

Your lower abdomen comprises your belly and belly button. This part is another that requires special care because it contributes to your physical appearance. For starters, planks and sit-ups can help you get a 6 pack and make your lower abdomen more attractive.

When it comes to your belly button, you must have realized that it stays dirty even after hours in the bathroom. This may be scary because there are many types of bacteria in the human belly button. Proper care includes cleaning and consulting your physician if you have issues around this region.

Back

Your back makes up your core, an important body part that helps you do so many things. So, you have to ensure that you give special attention to your back. Chronic back pains can be debilitating and prevent you from going about your daily routines in peace. If you want to avoid this, make sure you sit in the right posture and avoid exerting too much pressure on your back. Physical exercise can also be an excellent way of taking care of your back.

Genitals

Do you find it challenging to spare a thought for the well-being of your genitals until there is an infection? You are not alone. Many people ignore their genitals until it’s late. Your genital area is always covered most of the time, making it prone to infections and irritation. Without enough air circulation, your genitals tend to be damp, and this is perfect for bacteria to thrive. Ensure you wear clean underwear and change them as frequently as possible.

Hair

This may be a surprise inclusion, but vital. Your hair may not contribute much to your health, but they are crucial to your physical appearance and personality. Additionally, your hair can be an indicator of your overall health. Taking proper care of your hair includes frequent washing using shampoo and cutting, if necessary. Avoiding too much heat treatment can also be an excellent way of taking care of your hair.

The bottom line

There you go; these are the most important body parts that require special care. Follow a healthy lifestyle and these tips to protect your body against diseases and improve your overall health today and every day.

Are you “on it” with your health?

Vague fitness plans postpartum and adidas clothing haul review

I can’t believe Isaac is almost three weeks old. Time has flown by but equally I feel I’ve fully seen every single hour of the day, from morning to night. Being a parent never stops and a newborn certainly needs constant attention – as I’m sure you can imagine or know first hand!

I will definitely do a postpartum update for what I experienced post birth and an Isaac updated of the ups and downs we’ve had as totally unexperienced new parents. But for now I wanted to do a review post on some cool adidas gear I’ve been sent and some lofty ideas of what my return to fitness will look like.

adidas very kindly sent me some kit to try out and while at first I wondered if this was wise as at the time I was pregnant and wasn’t certain I’d fit anything then or after the birth… But actually I’m so pleased I did because surprisingly I’m back into my pre-pregnancy clothes and the kit is so comfortable that even if I haven’t been out running all the miles, I’ve still loved wearing the items as “leisure wear” around the house and doing some small gentle workouts while Isaac has been sleeping (#mumlife).

And it’s made me really excited for the time when I can actually get back into proper exercising and running!

My plan is to do some very gentle exercise from now until my six weeks check. Exercises such as body weight squats, some gentle core work (like connecting with my muscles through breathing) and resistance band glute exercises. And then at siz weeks I’ll have a “Mummy MOT” appointment to assess my body and I. While I will of course have the GP check at six weeks I know it’s not that comprehensive. It’s a shared appointment with Isaac and from what I’ve heard from others there’s no pelvic floor check or if I have a significant diastasis recti (separation of the ab muscles).

I don’t want to rush back into running too soon or cause myself any long-term or permanent damage. I also want running to be enjoyable, not painful or problematic. I have no crazy urge to rush back to running yet (tiredness is overwhelming right now!) so I’m happy to wait and be sensible about this. If it takes eight weeks, twelve weeks, or months and months – that’s fine as long as it’s enjoyable and I’m healthy.

And when I’m back to running I will have some killer kit to wear from adidas.

For example, like this Speed Tank Top. It’s super light weight so perfect for summer running and the colour is gorgeous.

The shorts (Fast Primeblue Graphic Booty Shorts) will be perfect for running. They’re slightly high-waisted and don’t slip down. I’ve been wearing these non-stop in the heatwave as they’re so comfortable and very flattering – even on my slightly jelly mummy tummy 😉 You can find the top and shorts within the adidas clothing collection.

I’ve also been living in very casual and cosy leisure wear (when it hasn’t been *so* hot), like jogging bottoms and a hoody. I mean can you get more comfortable around the house?!

And they are SO comfortable! I can see them being post-race throw ons in the future. You know when you’ve had a cold wet race and just want to be warm and dry but still have a way to go before you’re home? This is the outfit I’m wearing I tell you! It’s nice and warm and soft.

The hoody can be paired with jeans or jean shorts as well – not just for “fitness times”. I mean, I obviously don’t have to explain how to wear a hoody, eh!

And the joggers sit nicely at my hips and are lovely and stretchy.

And OF COURSE, where would I be without a pair of leggings?? I don’t wear leggings for running unless it’s seriously freezing but I adore leggings for doing my home workouts (or just lazing about/mumming about the house now).

They are high-waisted and fit like a DREAM. They’re stretchy and the material is lovely and sweat wicking. Plus the print is gorgeous and they’re very much squat proof. Ideal!

So while I haven’t been actively back into fitness yet, asides from the odd body weight session I can get in while Isaac naps, I’m so excited for when I’m back fully and can properly feel the part with some brand spanking new gear. New me, new gear eh!

Do you wear lesiure wear round the house?

What do you prefer, shorts or leggings?

**Full disclaimer: I was sent these products from adidas in exchange of a review. All opinions are my own honest ones.**

Busting The Myth Of Plus Size Fashion

While I’m very much 24/7 mum right now, I have a post on fashion that I hope you’ll enjoy!

There are many styles of plus size dresses available in online shopping stores, giving curvy women a chance to look very beautiful and fashionable. Curvy women will meet all kinds of people. People may not praise you every time you wear elegant clothes, but they will notice your dress.

Traditionally, many designers have stayed away from expanding sizes due to erroneous perceptions of low consumer demand, weak retailer support, and increased productivity cost. The latter included a 15% to 20% estimated increase in original production costs due to fabric properties and subtle technical changes to clothing such as zippers or panels. Brands also had to consider the cost of creating new basic patterns and additional style samples and hiring new fitted models.

Interestingly enough, those obstacles were relatively surmountable. It didn’t cost a lot of money or a lot of time. It took a lot of commitment however to launch their extended size series, but in return it brought a very positive emotional effect. It gave people a sense of belonging which translated to actually restoring their dignity.

In all honesty, extreme commitment broke the rules, the allegorical beliefs, and the stereotyped assumptions. It became a fashion myth buster by having plus size models on magazine covers wear modern and curvy clothes that made them unique. Extended-size designer clothing is now on the rise, so if your size is 14 and above, there are many things to explore. 

So, let’s take a look at some of the best positive aspects of plus size.

You have a unique style 

You may not realize this, but most of the clothes you usually wear are unique, making your curves look unique. The plus-size online store offers a wide range of exclusive fashion clothing, which is usually not available in physical stores. The curvy outfits you will wear will be different from those worn by your friends or other girls. So, be proud of your curves and show them off with fashionable clothes. 

Major brands have expanded to plus size 

Before, plus size designer clothing was limited to sizes 12 and 14, now it has been expanded to larger sizes. Retailers offer extended-size clothing in a variety of colours, patterns and designs. Plus-size women of all ages can choose their favourite clothing and easily order online. Curvy women can now go to online stores to choose their favourite clothes in the most fashionable and sought-after colours and patterns.

Excellent variety to choose from

So far, the biggest disappointment when buying plus-size clothing is the limited range of clothing and styles. However, this is no longer the case, because plus-size women enjoy unique benefits. After all, the choice of styles is almost never ending. Therefore, as plus size, you can enjoy new plus size fashion clothing choices more than ever. 

If you are a plus size, these are some benefits you can proudly enjoy. What are you waiting for? Browse the plus size online store now, choose the most fashionable clothing ever, and show off your curves in a stylish way.

Are you into fashion?

Do you find finding clothing in your size tricky?