Health & Food

And then there were two; Juggling Breastfeeding, Not Sleeping, a Hearty Appetite and a Two Year Old

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Today’s post is inspired by my friends at the Honest Company! They asked me to share my postpartum story and of course I jumped at the opportunity (because after all, I was going to do this anyway, I love sharing my candid stories on this blog, when I, umm..have the time).

If you haven’t yet read my birth story, please read it, it’s a doozie.  Cameron came into this world with a bang, a month early, causing us a bit of stress. However, this first five weeks has been nothing short of spectacular.  I’d say the best part about this experience, compared to the last time, is that Cameron nurses like a champ.  From the moment he was born (quite literally) he started nursing and nourishing himself on my lucious nutrient-dense milk (made only healthier with my prenatal and DHA supplements of course, in addition to my mostly healthy diet).  He did have a tongue tie, like his sister, which was taken care of when he was two weeks. Now, presumably, he has a better latch and will take in less air.Paige is fascinated by the idea that I feed Cameron via my breasts.

Having Paige around has actually been much easier than I thought it would be (by the way, if you’re ever wondering what a good age gap would be, I’d say two and half years is perfect! Of course, that all depends on so many things. Is there really a perfect age gap? Probably not).  People have asked if Paige is getting along with her brother, to which I sort of laugh and say “obviously”. What’s not to love? He hasn’t shown any interest in anything but eating and sleeping, he hasn’t yet tried to take her toys so of course she loves him.  I’m hoping by the time he does show interest she will be mature enough to handle it.  I could be way off base, but so far she has been the perfect big sister, grabbing his binkie and rattle to soothe him when he cries, and whispering sweet nothings to him when he’s sleeping…so adorbs.So I’m not back to work yet but plan on going back in about four weeks.  I’m nervous.  This time around, however, I’m easing my way into work.  I’m working three day weeks through May, which should help.  I have to really get my mind wrapped around the idea that I’ll have to start pumping again.  This means for the next eight or so months I will once again have to lug a pump with me wherever I go.  Good thing I have three breast pumps now; one for work, one for home, and one for the car.  Perfect.

Since I’ve been on maternity leave I’ve done a great job of keeping up with my workouts, but something I haven’t been so great at is staying away from the pull of my kitchen to come eat snacks throughout the day.  There is something about being at home all day that just makes me want to eat…all…day.  With breastfeeding comes a voracious appetite. My favorite snack food since being on maternity leave? Peanut butter.  It’s ridiculous. My own husband thinks I have a problem.  So, I’ve been trying to keep healthy snacks in the house.  I made these Avocado Oatmeal Breakfast cookies with Paige the other day (we used oat flour so they were gluten free and low FODMAPs).Here is what a day in my life of food has looked like (keep in mind a women who is breastfeeding should consume about 500 calories more than she normally consumes, in order to keep up her healthy milk supply.  I’m taking full advantage of that!).  I’ve been trying hard to stick to a lower carbohydrate diet (my version of this is 130-150 g/day) since my diagnosis of gestational diabetes when I was pregnant.  Yes, my diabetes is gone, but having had that diagnosis means I am at greater risk for developing actual diabetes in the future.  I know it sounds crazy, since I’m a healthy women with a normal BMI, but sometimes you get a diagnosis that doesn’t make sense, and you can’t ignore it.

Breakfast 

  • Greek yogurt (plain) with unsweetened cocoa powder and a scoop of peanut butter
  • Smoothie with whey protein powder, 1/2 banana, unsweetened almond milk and 1/4 cup frozen blueberries
  • These delicious Quaker Oatmeal Cups (with less sugar)  Paige has discovered these too, and loves them!
  • Lower carb bread (8 g/slice) with butter, cinnamon and Stevia, and a cup of plain Greek yogurt with cinnamon or sometimes these Oikos Triple Zero yogurts. Sadly these have some FODMAP ingredients, or I’d eat them daily!

Lunch

  • Soup or frozen meal (yes, you read that right.  I like the Lean Cuisines or Morning Star veggie burgers)
  • Sandwich with nitrate free turkey, lower carb bread, avocado and mustard
  • Large bowl of vegetables with cheese melted on top and some avocado slices

Dinner

  • Similar to lunch, OR
  • Pressure cooker meal (made this BBQ Chicken the other day, subbed maple syrup for honey to make low FODMAPs)
  • Generally speaking, a protein and a vegetable. I try to get fish at least once a week. This Salmon in Foil Packet is on the menu this week.

Snacks (three a day, from the list below)

  • String cheese
  • Nugo Slim bar
  • Hard boiled eggs with salt and pepper
  • Tortilla chips (10-12) with roasted red pepper hummus (any brand)
  • Fruit; frozen blueberries, clementines, banana
  • These avocado cookies(made using oat flour to be low FODMAPs and gluten free)
  • These protein bites
  • Beer (yes, you read that right.  I typically have a beer at night. It helps with the milk supply! I actually had a healthcare professional tell me that the best way to get rid of a clogged milk duct, which I had, was to sit with my electric pump and a beer and massage it out.  It worked!)
  • Every night I have 1-2 Tbsp peanut butter/almond butter and 2 white cheddar rice cakes (trust me, it’s good!)

Cameron is finally starting to get on a better night time sleeping schedule, but it’s still not great, thus I’m tired.  He wakes up twice a nice but sometimes he goes right back down, other times he does not. I’ve noticed that on nights after he’s been around Paige all day, he doesn’t sleep well.  Why, you ask? Because Paige is loud, wild, and crazy. I think it revs up his central nervous system and keeps him up at night (too much stimulation!).  I’m going to start putting him upstairs more, away from Paige, on days she is home.  Thankfully Nick has been taking over some nights so I can get more sleep (I give him a bottle of expressed breast milk).  I’ve learned to get by with just five or so hours of sleep, although I’m not sure how much longer this can last.  I know there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  Then there is Paige, who has decided she will no longer take naps when she is home with me or Nick (but she’ll nap for three hours when she is with her grandma or her sitter!).Big news; I’m hoping to have my kids’ book available on Amazon soon; Cooking with Paige!  Stay tuned.  It’s a trip through the grocery store filled with informative information on eating healthy and living well (you know, from a toddler’s eyes).  I’m hoping to read it daily with this toddler, below, who happens to be in a VERY picky stage where anything healthy is “yucky”.  Ugh.Photo credit: Fran Barker Photography

Thanks for stopping by!

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