November 17, 2010 (2:40 pm)

Pregnancy / Postpartum Hip Pain

by Kristen Suzanne

Back in the 7th month of pregnancy with Kamea, I started having hip pain. It never did let up with the birth of her, in fact, it’s become a little worse. For the most part, it doesn’t hurt too much during the day, except when I get up from a seated position and take the first few steps (ouch!). It hurts the worst when I’m sleeping (which sucks when you’re finally trying to get some much needed sleep!). It’s my left hip and the pain hurts whether I’m lying on my left or right side. If I’m lying on my back, it’s okay, but this mama does a lot of side-lying nursing through the night so I need to be on a side. However, one thing that has really helped at night is using my (Blessed Nest) nursing pillow against my back when I’m lying on my side (I knew I’d get more use from this pillow than just breastfeeding. Love it!). Prior to figuring that out, I used to just keep myself up on my side balancing with my own muscles and I couldn’t really relax. I wonder if this contributed even more to the stress in my hip? But, now that I’m using the pillow (and not just any pillow, it needs to be hearty and be able to stand up to my leaning on it), it’s easier to be relaxed in bed.

So, it was getting really bad. I could barely sleep as pain shot through my hip and down my leg so I finally decided to get help at about 4 months postpartum. I was choosing between physical therapy, acupuncture, massage, seeing my MD, (oh, and I thought about seeing a chiropractor). I opted to try the physical therapy first. I went for about 4 visits so far. It has helped thankfully. It’s not completely better but there is improvement. When I’m there I stretch it, do some exercises, they put a heating pad on it, then put electrical impulse things on it, and they rub the heck out of it.

Fingers crossed it keeps getting better, because I think that I want to get back into the gym after Thanksgiving. I need to get my blood pumping a bit, but with my hip acting up, it’s impossible. I’d also like to do some strength training. Meanwhile, I’ve been enjoying our gorgeous Arizona weather and walking with Kamea in a babywearing carrier. We go around the block 2-3 times a day. That’s nothing major, but carrying a 15 pound baby strapped to your body does burn some extra calories and build a little physical endurance.

And while I’m on the topic of complaining about postpartum pain, can I bitch about the postpartum hair shedding? I think I’m officially going to be doing a “comb over” like some balding 50 year old man. :(

Here’s a cute forum post that says it all.

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September 13, 2010 (10:37 am)

My Birth Story

by Kristen Suzanne

Let me start with the following: If you’re pregnant, you might want to skip this post. That said, it was a lesson for me and might be for you if you find yourself in a similar situation.

When I was taking our Hynobirthing birth prep classes, we learned that it’s best to only listen to positive and happy birth stories. In fact, we were given a pin to wear that said, “Only happy stories please. My baby is listening.” It makes sense. The last thing any pregnant woman needs to hear is yet another hard or sad or terrifying birth story (depictions in ALL movies are already bad enough), as these will cause fear, which will impede labor. After all, I knew from reading and YouTube that not all births are painful. It is possible to have one without pain. Heck, some women orgasm with it! Especially birthing at home, right? The ability to walk around, wear my own clothes or be buck naked if I want. Eat, drink, dance, etc. A pain-free birth, although rare, may be possible. And a low-pain birth is also possible.

In telling my story, I don’t want to turn pregnant ladies off because I think the story is still a good one. Good not only because I have a healthy and happy baby, but also good because I learned a lot that might be useful for expecting moms.

Not every part of the story is good and happy — my total labor from start to finish was about 31 hours, and almost nothing went as planned. Here we go… Read More »

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August 17, 2010 (3:17 am)

Pregnancy & New Baby Hindsight: 5 Important Things

by Kristen Suzanne

For all of you lovely pregnant moms out there… here are few things I was thinking about today as I reflect on my pregnancy and the past 7 weeks with Kamea. Here are things I will do better next time around when I get pregnant and have baby #2.

1) Get as much rest as possible while pregnant. If there is such a thing… the hope is trying to store up on sleep for when baby arrives. I wish I had rested more during the last trimester, because those first 4 weeks postpartum are truly the hardest. They were for me because of breastfeeding on demand without a bottle. Sleep deprivation is a stinker and compounds everything – especially hormones! And, of course… once baby is here… sleep when baby sleeps!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2) Get as many projects done while you can, while pregnant, so you don’t have to worry about them when baby arrives. I had the hopes of getting a number of work projects done but it didn’t happen. I wish I’d been a bit more diligent in getting them done now that I think about it.

3) Don’t go crazy buying stuff and perhaps consider waiting until baby arrives to make some purchases. Then, you can see what you really think you need and don’t need. I bought a lot of stuff and found that some of it I’m not even using! Talk about spending a lot of money. Hopefully I’ll get some use out of the stuff with baby #2? And, babaies grow so fast so it’s not necessary to buy a lot of clothes. At least that is how it is for me… since we stay home, I just rotate a handful of outfits (I sometimes change Kamea 2-3 times a day because of spit up, but sometimes she goes the whole day in one outfit). Since I do laundry every couple of days, I now realize that I bought too many organic baby clothes and I could’ve saved the money for other things. But, at least I know that if we have another baby, the clothes will get use from them at that time. And… I can give them away to another family, too. Oh, and another thing… Buying online from Amazon is so simple and a real time saver for all kinds of things baby and house related (especially if you have Amazon PRIME!!!). That’s made life easier.

And, two other small things (there are actually a lot of things I could write about, but I thought a handful would be enough for now… Read More »

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July 26, 2010 (2:30 am)

Breastfeeding Pillow Wars

by Kristen Suzanne

As a green mommy, I like to get as many things as possible organic (and/or sustainably made) for my family… especially my baby. When I was researching breastfeeding pillows, I came upon this groovy pillow which looked great. It’s filled with organic buckwheat hulls (this helps keep baby cool and not over heat I’ve heard) and organic fabrics. Sweet! So, I ordered one before Kamea was born. My husband took an immediate liking to it for sleeping, so I ordered another (this time for Kamea!).

However, I wasn’t sure how much I loved it after using it for a week or so. The issue was that because I was a first time breastfeeding mommy, I was still learning the ropes to breastfeeding. Basically what would happen is… Kamea would latch on and I’d be so grateful that I didn’t take time to get comfortable myself. Hence, neck and back aches and major uncomfortableness while breastfeeding. I also wasn’t great at positioning her on the pillow.. it’s very pliable as you can imagine since it’s filled with buckwheat.

As a tired and anxious new mom, I was (and still am) quite willing to buy whatever I can to make life easier right now (you have something to make my baby more comfy or to make my life easier – I’M SOLD!). Therefore, I started researching other breastfeeding pillow options. I decided to check out the Breast Friend pillow, which I’d heard many great things about. I bought one – of course. After it arrived I put it on and felt downright silly wearing it – lol. It’s like a tu-tu. I still laugh when I put it on. I was also disheartened that it’s not organic and far from sustainable from what I can tell… which I pretty much knew going in. Still, I wanted to try it. After getting used to the Blessed Nest pillow above, the Breast Friend was very stiff. I pretty much had to hold on to Kamea while she was on it because I feared she’d roll off. On the Blessed Nest pillow, she settles right in. However, I did notice that the first few times I used the Breast Friend, it was indeed quite nice on my back. I was excited to experience that. But, as with many things… trade one issue for another. Give up organic, quality manufacturing, and softness for Kamea versus relax my back. Read More »

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July 15, 2010 (5:53 pm)

Lil Giveaway – Ina May’s Guide To Childbirth

by Kristen Suzanne

I’d like to treat someone to a copy of Ina May’s Guide To Childbirth. It’s one of my favorite books for pregnancy / childbirth preparation (as are all of these books I blogged about here). Simply write a comment in today’s post telling me why you’d like the book. I’ll randomly select a winner on Sunday, July 18. *Please note this contest is for people living in the United States only.

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July 2, 2010 (12:47 pm)

Baby Kamea Update

by Kristen Suzanne

Baby Kamea is here! I’m so in love with her. As many of you know from following my Kristen’s Raw blog, Kamea was born on June 26. Apparently, she was born at a powerful time with the eclipse occurring. Personally, I think she was past our estimated due date so she could make a grand entrance at such a special time.

She had her first doctor visit and the good news is that she is gaining weight. Yay! That’s a relief because as a first time mom, I couldn’t help but wonder, “Is she getting enough?” Sometimes she nurses strongly, but other times she just seems to play around. I’m tracking her diapers to help gauge, but again, as a first timer… I can’t help but wonder.

It’s been an awesome, joyful, and anxious adventure so far. I am one heck of a worrier it turns out. But, we’re taking it half day by half day. I had/have all of these plans for things I want to do, but we’re taking it one step at a time. First, I’m getting the hang of breast feeding. It’s been pretty easy so far, but not without its soreness. As a result, I’m pumping to not only relieve them, but to also encourage my breast milk supply. This gives Kamea’s dad and grandmas a chance to feed her, too, while giving my ta-tas a break. Furthermore, I’m able to freeze some in the event of an emergency if we should ever need it. To tell you the truth, I had always planned on solely breastfeeding, but when new information presents itself, being flexible is important. I was a little worried about nipple confusion, but I was more worried that she wasn’t getting enough breast milk. Fortunately, she is taking to both like a champ. All in all, she is mostly at the breast, but gets a little in a bottle at times.

We’re using eco-friendly disposable diapers right now for two reasons: 1) easier until her cord falls off and 2) easier on mom and dad until we get the time to concentrate on trying the different systems I have. So, that means that we’ll focus on cloth diapers next. After that, we’ll start playing with EC.

And, I am eager to babywear, but I tell ya, I feel so lost with using these things. I have a ring sling, ergo with infant (probably too hot right now), kanga-wrap shirt thing, moby, gypsy mama. But, I’m scared to use them! My doula came over the other night and we tried the gypsy mama which was great, but now I have to practice it on my own. Eek! I want to watch some videos on youtube, but I’m so busy with breastfeeding, getting rest, and overall just getting to know Kamea, that I’ll tackle this later. By taking things one project at a time, it helps me manage it all mentally so I’m more calm.

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June 15, 2010 (8:10 pm)

Any Moment Now… Pre-labor Activities & Experiences

by Kristen Suzanne

Today, June 15, is my technical due date. But, as of this writing (about 5:30pm), I’m not in labor. Not surprised though since I read that only about 3-5% of women deliver on their due dates. That, plus the fact that many first time moms go past the due date… it looks like that is the case for me. One of the things I learned in Hypnobirthing was not to focus on a specific due date since the range of a healthy, normal birth can go from three weeks before the due date to two weeks after. That’s a 5-week window! So, the philosophy is to just chill, relax, and let baby come when baby is ready.

I feel amazing. The evenings are harder than the earlier parts of the day – I feel heavier and my belly is usually tighter by night time, but I still feel wonderful. Three days ago I started eating a LOT! I swear I don’t know where I put it all, but I found space somewhere because I just kept eating. Now, today, suddenly my appetite has gone down. I read that some women naturally eat for energy for the upcoming labor and some women naturally reduce their eating pre-labor, which could help prevent pooping during labor (I know, sounds gross, but let’s be honest…. women do it. Sh*t happens – literally). Read More »

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May 27, 2010 (10:37 pm)

Interviewing Pediatricians

by Kristen Suzanne

My husband and I have been interviewing pediatricians because it’s important to have one picked out before the baby arrives. We decided that we wanted a Naturopathic Doctor as our pediatrician because an ND would most likely support our natural lifestyle (extended breastfeeding, flexible vaccine schedule if we desire it, cosleeping, attachment parenting, vegan/raw diet, etc.). I’m happy to report that we found one!

Our process for finding a doctor was in three steps. Step one: we asked around for referrals by checking with our midwife, doula, acupuncturist, and other families/friends. Step two: we did Google research on the recommended doctors to view their websites and any other information we could find on them. Step three: Together, my husband and I interviewed the doctors. As we interviewed them, I made sure they knew up front the kinds of things that are important to us, what our goals are, and gave them details about our lifestyle and plan for raising our kids. After that, we had a list of questions, some of which were: Read More »

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May 19, 2010 (3:00 pm)

Hospital Birth Tour Even Though I’m Planning a Home Birth

by Kristen Suzanne

Today, at 36 weeks and 1 day in my pregnancy, we took a tour of the nearby hospital labor and delivery ward where I’d mostly likely go in the event of an emergency transfer. So, although we have a home birth planned (and I am going to do everything in my power to keep it that way), I thought I’d be more relaxed about the whole thing if I knew more about the logistics of that option. I went in there armed with the book, Your Best Birth, because there is a section for hospital tours where Ricki Lake offers a list of questions to ask (I highly recommend this terrific book). We were one couple among four others, and I asked about 95% of the questions. I even stumped the tour guide a couple of times, but she was a trooper and found the answers for me. :)

Here is what I asked and found out:

1. What are the chances I will have a private room? Can baby room with me? – Good news! From the triage area to the labor and delivery room to the post partum room… they are all private with baby rooming in. The labor/delivery room has a TV, DVD player, CD player, mini-fridge, microwave, private bath, etc.

2. Do you honor birth plans? – Yes, they claim that they do and I should bring it with me. (By the way, I recommend having a birth plan written before conceiving if possible. It’s less stressful that way, you have a clear head, and it’s not something you have “to do” while pregnant – you already have enough to do during that time, not to mention the possibility of not feeling well – so get it done beforehand! I will share some details of mine in the near future here on my Green Mommy Blog.)

3. What can I do if I’m not happy with my nurse? - I can get a different one. Read More »

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May 12, 2010 (8:48 pm)

Eating While Pregnant – Some Food Journal Entries

by Kristen Suzanne

For those of you interested in the food I’m eating while pregnant, but who didn’t know I usually blog about it over on my Kristen’s Raw blog… here is a list of entries you can check out.

May 6, 2010

April 28, 2010

April 15, 2010

April 11, 2010

March 28, 2010 Read More »

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April 16, 2010 (6:07 am)

Pregnancy and Baby Books

by Kristen Suzanne

A few of the books I've read.

I get asked all the time about what books I recommend for pregnancy and baby information. I thought I’d list them here. They are not necessarily vegan, but most are friendly toward that, as well as natural childbirth. Some of the books I’ve read entirely and some I have only flipped through because I haven’t needed to use them yet (I glossed through them to become familiar with the topics in the event I need to use them in the future). Some of the books I love and find very useful and some of them were pretty good. In truth, they were all great, it’s just that by the time I read some of them, I’d already exhausted the topic.

Rainbow Live-Food Cuisine by Dr. Gabriel Cousens – this book has information about nutrition and food options for babies. I’m a big fan of Dr. Cousens.

Conscious Eating by Dr. Gabriel Cousens – this big book has a nice section about pregnancy and nutrition (as well as covering so much more about health in general).

Your Best Birth by Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein – I can’t stress how important it is to read this book if you’re trying to conceive or already pregnant. There is so much useful information about the different birthing scenarios (home birth, hospital, or birth center). Read why I’m having a home birth here.

Evie’s Kitchen by Shazzie – I really like this book for pregnancy and children nutrition information. This is the one book that is filled with lots of info about raw foods. She covers many natural alternatives and health food options that you won’t find in other books.

Baby Greens by Michaela Lynn and Michael Chrisemer – This book gives information about living foods for children of all ages.

Skinny Bitch Bun in the Oven by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin – I’m a huge fan of the Skinny Bitch books (they’re my style – total sass and fun). This energizing book details the vegan diet and pregnancy.

The Natural Pregnancy Book by Aviva Jill Romm – This book was useful for learning about the women’s journey from baby’s conception to birth. Romm is a midwife and herbalist which is what turned me on to this book.

Naturally Healthy Babies and Children by Aviva Jill Romm – This is one of those books that I haven’t read yet, but I’m looking forward to it because, again, I like the idea of learning from someone who is a midwife and herbalist. The book covers herbal remedies, nutrition, hygiene, etc.

Baby Matters by Linda F. Palmer – This book supports natural parenting practices… “rebuts cry-it-out parenting and the frequent usage of various drugs and vaccinations in children, reveals incredibly common, yet seldom diagnosed food intolerance symptoms—even from foods in mom’s diet—and how to treat them, and discloses the real causes of ear infections, colic, reflux, ADHD and SIDS.”

Wise Woman Herbal Childbearing Year by Susan S. Weed – I didn’t use this book much because I didn’t need to, but still glad to have it in my library. It offers simple remedies for pregnancy, childbirth, lactation, and newborns (including herbs for fertility and birth control).

Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding by Ina May – By the time I read this book, I’d already read some others on breastfeeding, but it was still enjoyable. I’m a huge fan of Ina May and recommend this book.

Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May – One of the best books ever. I read it before we conceived and I’m reading it again now in preparation for birth. I bought copies for my mom and mom-in-law to read. Highly recommended. Read More »

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About Kristen

Kristen Suzanne is a Raw food chef and author who blogs about all things green and mommy-related! More...

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