s3 e2: Our fourth trimester experience

In this episode, I am sharing my experience during the first fourth trimester, answering your questions, and sharing tips on how to nourish your body during a stressful but beautiful time. I hope you enjoy it! 
• Free Training: Optimizing Hormone Health with Mineral Balance 
Mineral Imbalance Quiz 
Dog IG 
Kahlmi Infant Massage Tool 
Kahlmi IG 
BirthFit PP Program 
Mamastefit PP Program
Cinnamon Smashcake 
Breastfeeding course 
Legendary Milk Silicone BF cups
Haakaas Link 
Elvie Link 
Midline Revolution (lip and tongue tie course):
Snuggle Me bed 
Baby bjorn bouncer 
Co sleepy
Sensate Focus Sex PDF

Amanda Montalvo 0:00
Hey, this is Amanda Women’s Health dietitian. And I’m Emily nutritional therapy practitioner. And this is the RU menstrual podcast where we help you navigate the confusing world of women’s hormones in teach you how to have healthy periods. Each week we will be diving into a different topic on women’s health and sharing our perspective using nutrition, female physiology and metabolic health. Our goal is to help you wade through conflicting health information and empower you on your healing journey. We hope you enjoy it

okay, this is my like bajillion attempt to record the postpartum episode I was gonna do with my husband, it did not work out he’s in. He’s overseas, he’s deployed and his internet’s just not great. It’s not terrible, honestly, for being deployed, but it just wasn’t good enough. But that’s okay. I’m going to share his perspective. I’m going to share our immediate postpartum. And then I’m going to talk about breastfeeding tongue ties. Exercise, I’m basically just gonna go through and answer all your questions from Instagram because I was like, I was gonna try to do this in like some sort of order, but I just feel like it gets like very confusing when I do that. So I’m just going to answer your questions. And I think I’ll end up touching on pretty much everything like postpartum related so hopefully this is helpful if you are about to be in the season or if you’re in it or if you know someone that’s about to be in ours and our immediate postpartum was awesome. We did a homebirth listen to the birth story episode. So we were already at home didn’t have to drive anywhere. It was very relaxing and stress free which was like our goal that’s why we did the home birth and they just put me on the bed Eliana was right in my chest. They did. They didn’t like check us then like do everything right away. They gave us plenty of time. They stayed there for a few hours after so basically, they let us get acquainted. I was breastfeeding her and they’re like cleaning up and doing their thing around the house and was in the bed with us too. So we were doing that for a couple hours I ate they like really encouraged me to eat I pass the placenta I talked about all that in the last episode. I didn’t take a shower they’re like do you want to shower before we leave? I was like please yes because I didn’t wait I want to put Eliana down so I put her on Ian’s dress and then my midwife helped me shower which I definitely would not have been able to do by myself so very grateful that they offered you don’t have to they just like ask if you want to. We did not give Eliana a bath for like over a week. So she did not shower or get a bath or anything. But she still was like so clean. I’m like, I don’t get it. But you know, nature school. So we had a great immediate postpartum. Our midwife came back like a day and a half later for our first like, checkup and visit. And it’s so funny because they leave and you don’t know what you’re doing. I’m just like, What do I do and they have all these instructions and like a pamphlet for you like feed the baby every two hours and blah, blah blah. So that was kind of like what we were focusing on was trying to make sure that Eliana ate every couple of hours, which is like a lot harder than it sounds because she was so sleepy. So we were like, constantly waking her up. And then when I my our first appointment came, we were like, okay, she’s been sleeping way more the last like day, she seems lethargic, and she was barely eating. So I was like, starting to get really nervous. And the midwife was like, Yeah, she did lose weight, but that’s pretty typical. But we’ll have our lactation consultant come out tomorrow anyway, and it was a Saturday and she came which was amazing. Sidenote, like lactation consultants are just so helpful. I would say if you could find someone you don’t have to meet with them before you have a baby, but like, I had like three that I was like, Okay, if something goes wrong, I can reach out and set up an appointment. And I just feel like that like, you know, it helps with all the stress that was going on. So we had our first appointment. It went fine. I was doing fine. Eliana was fine. We were just like, we don’t think she’s eating and I don’t really know what I’m doing with breastfeeding. So you just don’t really know if it’s working. She helped us with some positioning stuff that did help with I feel like she lashed a little bit better, but I still couldn’t like hear her swallowing. So then finally, Saturday, it’s four days after we had her and the lactation consultant helping us we tried to get Eliana to latch and she finally latches and I hear her swallowing and it’s like so painful and I’m like, Oh no, this is what it’s supposed to feel like and she’s like that’s not what it’s supposed to be like. So she tries to help me with the labs and she looks inside Eliana his mouth and she sees that she does have like a tongue tie and a lip tie. And I just want to say that like this kind of put us down a rabbit hole and there’s like plenty of things I’m like so grateful to our birth team for but like this is probably not one of them is like the whole just making us think that like because she had these ties they’re definitely tight. Now obviously, I was having pain with breastfeeding, which is like a big red flag. But basically we just got pushed into this like she needs a revision most likely so she gave us a referral for a couple of doctors that took our insurance. Even though it was so early on Eliana wasn’t even on our insurance yet. So pretty much no matter what we were gonna pay out of pocket what

So we’re at this point where like, She’s not eating, we’re scared, whatever. So that was kind of like the main part of the console. And then she, you know, taught me how to use my breast pump, which was helpful, so that I could pump, we had some milk, she recommended that we do like triple feeds. So it’s like, you have that little tube thing that you tape on your boob. And then they get that in their mouth, you press a button, it puts milk in their mouth while they’re breastfeeding, so they get more. And then she wanted us to do that first. And then consider using a bottle and she gave us a newborn bottle. She taught us how to pace feed, because the biggest concern with breastfeeding and using a bottle is it the baby’s gonna get used to like a really fast pace of milk, and then they’re not going to want to breastfeed. I just don’t really know how true that is. And I talked about this with a lactation consultant Therese, Dan’s be on my breastfeeding episode that is after this one. But I just was like, I mean, I wanted to cry when she told me to use that dupe thing. I was like, She’s not eating and she’s lethargic. And she doesn’t. It just like I just felt like something was so wrong. And I’m like you want me to use this to do you think that’s gonna help. And like we had barely slept, you know, we’re a mess. So I was like, I’m just giving her a bottle. So I pumped, she finally left. It was just like a real it was like a three hour appointment. It was like a lot. It was so much and we’re exhausted. And I’m like, I need you to get my house, I need to just like give my baby a bottle. without you telling me that I shouldn’t give my baby a bottle. So my husband gave them to her, he gave her two bottles like almost back to back and she was like, awake again. And she was so much better. Her jaundice was starting to improve, you know, like, we were just like, Okay, this is gonna work. So I was like breastfeeding her working on the latch and in a lot of pain, but I was like, we’re gonna figure this out. While we also gave her like a couple of bottles a day. And I would just pump whenever my husband gave her a bottle. So it wouldn’t mess with my milk supply. Lots of pumping in the beginning, which I was like, this is awful. Like, how do people do this all the time. But now I’m, like, totally used to it. But in the beginning, it was rough. So that was the beginning, we did make an appointment with one of the doctors offices to get a revision, because in our minds, we’re like, Okay, well, this is the thing that’s going to fix our problems, it’s going to allow her to latch correctly. Then I started doing a ton of research, because I have a few friends that their kids have had tongue ties. And I just like something to me fell off. I was like, yes, she showed us some like body positioning, things to do with her and some exercises for her mouth. And I was like, can’t we just do these and see if it helps, because every time we would do the body stuff, then I would try to get her to latch, it was like a little bit better. And so that was Saturday. And then by Tuesday, we had already had this appointment scheduled for Thursday. But she was starting to eat better. And we got a scale because I was sick of everyone using different scales and telling me that she lost a ton of weight that we just got our own. So we could have like a more accurate representation. And she had started to gain weight. So I was like, so conflicted. I’m like crying with her on my chest on the couch. And I finally told my husband like, I don’t think we can do this. I just I something feels super wrong in my gut. Can we wait? Can we try some other stuff first, and she’s doing better? Do we have to go for this right away. So we decided not to do the revision, we push it off. Spoiler alert, we still have not done it. I don’t. I mean, we took her to the pediatrician. And whenever you look at her mouth now it’s like her ties are not tight anymore. And I think that’s the big thing is like just because you have a tie there doesn’t mean it’s tight. You always want to look at the functionality. And Cory and Fallon from freely rooted podcast, they have a great episode all on tongue ties with Mikhail, I did McHale’s course, when we decided we were going to not do the revision, I was like, I’m just going to do this course we’re going to go to the chiropractor, we found our cranial sacral therapist that our chiropractor referred us to. And I know that you hear all this and your first thought is like, well, that’s great, but I don’t have the money for that. But it actually was less expensive, because remember, she wasn’t on our insurance yet. So we were gonna pay out of pocket for this revision, which we were totally prepared to do. But it was actually cheaper to buy McHale’s course, go to the chiropractor and the cranial sacral therapist twice. And I don’t think people realize like, you have to, like constantly go because they teach you. Here’s what you need to be doing, like a million times a day with your baby at home, because that’s really what the cranial sacral therapy is all about, is giving her this constant exposure. And, you know, basically fixing the structure of her mouth so and she was so little that her the roof of her mouth was still so soft. It wasn’t even hard yet. Now it’s hard. So I imagine if we tried to do this stuff now it’d be a little bit more difficult. But she was so small, she adjusted so quickly. And we were able to like really kind of change the trajectory of her oral development, which is really cool. So we did that and ended up being less than half the cost of what the revision would have been. And I mean, we’re in North Carolina, it could be more expensive, depending on who you go see, but I got a referral from my Cairo and he was like, I really trust this woman. She does great work and when you’re going for a pediatric

appointment, it’s usually a lot cheaper. So do it that what you will. So I just want to put that out there because I feel like when I hear myself saying and it’s like, no, that’s great because you have the money to do that, but it ended up being cheaper. So that was like the whole tongue tie situation. Breastfeeding was very hard at the beginning, it eventually got better, the more that we did the bodywork with her and my husband was doing it with her like, I don’t know, like 10 times a day, pretty much every time before she ate, we would have our fingers in our mouth doing all the stuff that our cranial sacral therapist recommended, and then using the kind of positions that they teach you in McHale’s course, for how to like, open up and like improve the flexibility of your baby. So all those things really, really helped. She started gaining weight rapidly she was eating, she was eating very frequently. And like they’re like she needs to only eat every two hours, if she’s eating more frequently means she’s not getting enough milk, blah, blah, blah. I don’t know how true all that stuff is. And I don’t know how much. If you’re a new mom, and you’re going through this. It’s like if things are moving in the right direction, and like the pain for you is getting better and your baby is doing better. And you’re like noticing that they are more flexible and more open. A lot of people are like how do you know she’s not compensating? Literally her ties are not tight anymore, we can do the resting tongue pose where her tongue is on the roof of her mouth and you pull down the chin and it stays up there. It did not do that before. And her lip if we like pull her lip up, it moves and it’s flexible. It’s not so tight anymore. So I am confident that she’s in a good place where we have to do it in the future. Maybe she has an issue with solids or with speech, but I just can’t imagine that that’s going to be the case, given how loose her ties have gotten. So I just think everyone has to do what’s right for them. But if you have this, like intuitive feeling that this is not the right choice for you and your family, then I would really just go with that and like explore other options. And luckily, you know, there are many and when we had our first appointment with her pediatrician, and I mentioned the ties, and he’s from the Midwest, and he’s like, man, they are very proactive on the ties here. He’s like, I feel like every kid I see has a tongue tie that’s like then revise. But then they still have feeding issues. So doesn’t mean that if you get a revision, it’s not going to work. But it’s like you have to do all the bodywork stuff around it in order for the region to work effectively not come back, because there’s really no guarantee when I was reading on the website for the doctor, we made an appointment with that, like they have unlimited revisions for the first year. I was like, that’s like not a great sign to me. So do whatever you want. This is not me giving advice. This is me sharing our experience. And also, you know, now that I know more about ties, I’m like hers were not that bad. We were able to like intervene very early on and quickly and everything ended up being fine. So that’s kind of like our immediate postpartum. I’m going to share a dog Instagram account that I did not have before but I discovered like a couple weeks after we had her I think our dogs had great with her minus moose. Diego and Priscilla Diego is still a puppy. He’s still fluffy, but like, you know, it was four months ago. So he was like really still a puppy but he did great. He just listens really well. He’s a mini poodle. I don’t know. They like to please. And he really does like to do that with us. So he did great with her. You know, we were just careful because he gets very excited. So you know, constantly watching him but he didn’t like he knew. It’s like he just had this. He must have just known that like she’s a baby and I can’t go near her. Now he does and it’s so cute. They’re so adorable together. I do not regret getting him. And I know like the older she gets like the more fun it’s going to be. Priscilla pretty much wants nothing to do with her which is fine. Like she she likes to be near me. So obviously I’m always with Eliana. So she’s near her but she doesn’t like try to like or anything. She just doesn’t really care, which I’m cool with. And then moose did not do well. He’s our dog that had he has one i We rescued him like six years ago. He started anger peeing all over the house. Every time we put her down, he would like jump to her and try to bite her. I was like, I mean, it was really stressful. It’s like we figured out that eating stuff and breastfeeding. And then moose was just like a nightmare. And I’m like, I don’t know what we’re going to do. So my parents, they came a couple times to visit. And finally I was like, can you guys take most it was the hardest thing and I don’t want to cry. So I’m not going to talk about it much longer because I probably will soon. But he’s so happy like him and my dad have this very special bond like ever since we got most like he just loved him. He’s a very funny like sassy dog and my dad just always got a kick out of him. So they are both retired and live in the life in Myrtle Beach and most just runs the neighborhood and everyone loves him. So he’s getting all the attention that he needs there. I actually went there last weekend to watch him while my parents were traveling and it was just chaos again, and I was like we made the right decision. But I do miss him and he’s a really good dog. He just like wasn’t meant to be with a little baby. But the dog’s Instagram account has all these things about like introducing your dog to your baby. That I definitely like recommend checking out okay. So let me see if there’s anything I wanted to include. I’m just gonna go to your questions, I think. Okay, so questions that you guys had asked about thyroid issues postpartum. Do you have any does it affect breastfeeding? I have not. I haven’t done any testing, but my basal body temperature has been good. Obviously, it’s lower because I’m not ovulating. But my temperature is okay. It’s in like the low 90 sevens, which I kind of expected, and I just feel good. So if something’s not broken at this point, I’m not gonna try to fix it. I’m still taking iodine my supplements did not change. A lot of people asked like, have your supplements changed? They did not change because I haven’t done any testing. And, you know, your nutrient needs are higher after you have a baby. I’m exclusively breastfeeding her. We’re not we don’t use bottles anymore. Not that she would take one now. And anyway, she hasn’t gotten one so long. But yeah, so we had no issues getting her to nurse after having a bottle and we did not do the paste feeding because we couldn’t get her to eat it. So we would just give it to her Harvard shoe ticket. And she was fine. So thyroids, fine, a lot of people asked about lab testing and like blood donation. Typically, it’s recommended to wait six months to donate blood. And that would be just to kind of combat the excess iron that can build up during pregnancy, because you’re not bleeding, right? Women absorb more iron, because we typically have a monthly cycle. You don’t bleed for nine months. I bled during birth, obviously. And I bled for like three days postpartum. But that was it. I did use the diapers, they have like a cute little setup, they put my bathroom for me, I use diapers and the pads for like, probably like four days, but after that I switched to period panties because I really wasn’t bleeding that much. And then after a week, I wasn’t bleeding at all. Now I know that’s different for everyone. But for me, I do think that that’s because I stayed in bed for the first seven days. And that’s something that I talked to my husband about I was like, this is very important to me. I don’t want to move for the first seven days. And I knew after that like you have a baby you don’t know what things are going to be like you I wanted to do the in the bed for seven days in and around the bed for seven days. But then we were going to all these appointments with Eliana and it like wasn’t realistic. But honestly, I felt good because I didn’t do anything for seven days. I just stayed in bed with her fed her. My husband would even change not all of her diapers, but like a good amount of them. And the only reason I got up was to like use the bathroom and shower. So he fed me. I fed her he took care of the dogs and did stuff around the house. I asked him I was like what do you want help with that next time? Do you feel like it was too much but he’s like He loves like routine. So for him it’s like he just got into a really good routine like he would get up take the dogs out. I would feed Eliana although I was up, you know, nursing her all night. But it’s like I would get up with her just in bed. And then he would take the dogs take care of them make us breakfast. I would eat that he would hold her and then we would swap and then he would make himself breakfast. Usually he would work out after that. So it’s like he we had a whole routine. We did one little laundry a day. Our dogs, obviously we still had moose for a little bit, but like two three dogs, it’s like messy. So like he would clean the floors every other day. Like he got into very good groove. He was like I would not have wanted help. Because having the tasks helped him and made him feel useful. Because you know, she really Eliana just wanted me and she needed me and she had to eat. We were trying to figure out all her breastfeeding, oral restriction stuff. So he really liked it. I think like if you don’t have a spouse that’s like that you probably want to consider budgeting in like, maybe you have someone come clean your house once a week. It’s a friend or family member or you budget for it and you hire someone ahead of time. That’s something I could see. I’m like, because we could get help next time. But he was like, No, I really liked doing it made me feel useful. But that’s what allowed me to stay in bed for seven days. And I do think that I attribute that to and just like resting like, I know, it’s hard because you feel good. And then you don’t want to rest. You’re like I want to do stuff. But like I was like no, the first month I’m not doing anything. I didn’t even walk with her. So after the first month, then I started walking with her. And I slowly started to work out. And then I had to scale back because I got hemorrhoids. But it’s like, if you just rest and don’t stress about anything, you will recover well, or at least that was the case for me. So no thyroid issues I have not retested I will I was going to do it this weekend because my sister was going to visit but she’s sick so she can’t come so I’m probably going to redo my hair tests in the next couple of weeks. But again, like I have felt really good postpartum. So I’m not really stressing about any of that. And I do think that’s just like prioritizing eating. I feel like all I do is eat and it can be very annoying sometimes where I’m like, Oh my gosh, I need to eat again. I’m starving. But honestly focusing on those basics I think has really helped me feel good. Being really consistent on my supplements that has helped I talked about what I’m taking my pregnancy episode and nothing has changed. Maybe like more adrenal cocktails because like if I if I’m thirsty, or then I’ll have them or if I’m like super stressed because now I’m working then like I’ll have more, but most of it’s just like trying to eat enough A lot of people asked like mentally emotionally, how am I doing? Very good. I would say like the hardest time my husband deployed, like July 22. And then everything kind of went downhill for like three weeks, and now it’s better. So my dog Priscilla got very sick because I traveled and I boarded her and Diego for the first time. And I mean, it was like a nice place. And I had cameras, I was checking in all the time, I called the place to like they’re doing great eating well, poops are fine. No issues, like the crazy dog mom that I am. And then I picked her up like, a week later, and she’s having diarrhea. And I’m like, okay, she’s probably just adjusting to being home, they probably gave her stuff she wasn’t supposed to eat, which I provided all their foods and snacks, but you can’t, you can only control so much. And then she started having bloody diarrhea. And then I brought her to the vet, like right away, they think she had hge, which is like this bleeding disorder. It can come on from eating things that are bad spoiled bacteria, but can also be from stress, they don’t really know what it’s from. So she was on like six medications that she wouldn’t eat. So I was like constant going back to the vet. They just like were not helpful. And they’re like, well, we’ll we’ll just keep her overnight. And I’m like, Cool. Take her off my hands. I’m so exhausted, and stressed out or like hold myself with a baby. It was a lot, but no one was going to be there at night. And I was like, this is going to be the same thing for her. She’s going to be so stressed out because she’s by herself. Although it boarded she was with Diego, but it’s like she’s away from me. She doesn’t know where she is. And I’m like, so she’s just gonna go another 13 hours without eating. And I’m supposed to like be okay with that. So I ended up not doing it. I was like a mess at the vet. I’m like, I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to take her home because I feel like she’s not getting better. But I can’t leave her here because you guys are gonna leave in an hour or so. It was really stressful. But then like I took her home and I started syringe feeding her giving her all her meds and then eventually she got better. And now she’s fine. But that was like the worst, most stressful time of like this whole postpartum. But it was because of my dogs. So I would say it’s going pretty good. Outside of that going back to work was really hard. I hired a nanny. And it didn’t work out. So I found a different nanny. And then last minute, she ended up going with another family. So I don’t have a nanny, I don’t have childcare. And at first I was very stressed out about that. Because I was like, how am I going to get anything done. But honestly, even when the nanny was here, Eliana mostly wanted me. So it was basically like, if she was napping, if she’d wake up, the nanny would like put her hand on her so that she would go back to sleep. And that was like, the most help that I got, which was very helpful. And I wanted to pay someone to do that. But no one wanted to do it. Because they felt like I needed like a mother’s helper and not like a full on nanny. And I’m like, Well, what about when she gets older and I want you to like do more with her, you know, so it’s just been childcare has been very challenging. And finally, I was just like, this is not working. I’m just gonna work during her naps and and see how it goes. And then once my husband gets back, we’ll reassess. Because I felt like I was more stressed trying to find a nanny and get a good fit. Then me trying to work by myself with her, you know, like, I might as well just be working because it’s stressful anyway. So now it’s like, I’ve adjusted my expectations. I know, okay, here’s how much work I can typically get done in a day. And I’m just like, adjusting as we go. I worked during her naps, and then usually for a couple hours at night, which I didn’t want to do, but I’m like, You know what, this is my life right now. And I’m okay with that. I’m eating plenty. She’s a good sleeper. I mean, she gets up and eats, but we co sleep together, which I’ll talk about. So overall, it’s like the hardest thing is just, you know, when she doesn’t nap. Well, it’s it’s challenging, but it’s been pretty good so far. I’m still here. I’m still surviving and I feel good. So mentally, emotionally, it’s been good the hardest part. Priscilla got sick and my husband’s gone. You know, it just makes me sad like for Eliana because I feel like she messes and I obviously miss my husband, but she just loves people. And she’s just like, gotta be entertained all the time. She’s got to do it. She’s like, on the move. She’s busy. She’s like me, I get it. So I feel like she misses him. And she likes being around lots of people. So I’m like, like, I feel bad, but, and she’s just changing so fast. That I’m like, you know, I send him videos and he’s like, Oh my gosh, she doesn’t even like look the same. Now she looks exactly like him. They’re basically twins. So he loves that. But yeah, those are probably been like the most challenging times.

Hey, Amanda here, just giving you a quick break, hopefully a break for your brain in the middle of this podcast episode to remind you that if you haven’t gone through our free training, optimizing hormone health or mineral balance, we really do recommend starting there. And the main reason for that is because you’re going to hear us say things like mineral foundation having a solid foundation are you putting the foundations in place, especially what as we get deeper and deeper into different hormonal topics and specific imbalances in the Body though, the mineral foundation is always going to be so essential. So if you haven’t watched the free training, you can find it in our show notes. Or you can go to hormone healing rd.com. And it’s going to be right on that front page there. But we really recommend starting there so you can understand how is your current mineral status? How do you assess this, and how to get started with all that just so you can get as much as you possibly can out of the rest of the podcast episodes. But that’s it. I hope you enjoy the rest of this episode

we talked about breastfeeding, I am doing ecological breastfeeding. Obviously, we had to use bottles in the beginning. But now it’s like, you know, I don’t have a nanny. I’m with her 24/7 So I nurse her on demand she feeds at night I usually I nurse her to sleep for all of her naps. I don’t always do one full nap with her day. That’s like one of the principals but I mean, she gets it’s like for 20 minutes every nap. So I feel like that adds up to a full nap. We don’t do any bottles anymore because we just don’t need to. There’s like seven principles. I know sort of comfort. And I’m never away from her basically ever now. So we talked about that in the breastfeeding episode. Well, I was gonna say we’re using his birth control, my husband’s not home. But if you were that would be our birth control. Okay, filling nutritious midnight snacks to have on hand. So I made nursing muffins. I froze like, I think like three or four dozen before I had her. I was so grateful I did that. That was like my favorite foods that I was able to have on hands. I still make them every week or I usually make them every two weeks and I make a ton. I made them yesterday, actually. So those were so so amazing for us. I them my husband ate them, but like I could just say like hey, can you get me some muffins if I was starving at night. I also use them a lot. First thing in the morning. I don’t anymore because she eats all night long now, so she doesn’t need me first thing. And now I wake up a little bit before her and eat breakfast and pomp and stuff. So, but I still eat them as a snack every day. So I can’t recommend them enough. I’m going to share the recipe when this podcast comes out in an Instagram post so that it’s on my feed and then I’ll save it to the postpartum highlight on my feed so you guys can find it in the future. But they’re delicious. They’ve got protein, fat and carb. They’re packed with minerals and vitamins, and they taste good. The other thing that I always have is Greek yogurt and fruit. That’s probably the other thing I eat the most frequently. It just works for me I get plenty of protein, my blood sugar’s balance. I like it and I enjoy it. So those are like the two top things. Newborn essentials. So this is so funny when I I asked my husband like what do you think we really needed he was like you and your boobs and like that’s basically it. I would say yes to those but also an LV or a haka. So like something to catch your letdown and extra milk because in the first few months like you typically you have a lot extra and like I had friends build up a whole supply without pumping just with catching their letdown So highly recommend it. The baby born bouncer that’s the only thing Eliana will let us put her in. She doesn’t like any fancy swings, nothing. That’s what I put her in now and I have to shower. Snuggle me bed that is like it’s like a little bed cozy thing that you can use. Say like, I think we use it a lot when she was really little. Like if I needed to put her down to get up and go to the bathroom. I put her in the bed, usually on our bed. If she would fall asleep on me on the couch it but then I would need to eat I’d put her in that and I would eat. They tell you not to let them sleeping and unless you’re watching them. I’m like doesn’t no one use baby monitors. I feel like I’m always watching her. But like even now I keep looking down because she’s sleeping and so she doesn’t sleep in it anymore. She’s very large now and I don’t even know if she would fit but we used it for a very long time. We also use it we put it between us at night and that’s where she would sleep she slept on me for the first seven days. Ko sleepy at ko sleepy I’ll link her account from Instagram. She’s an amazing resource on like, co sleeping safety. She’s got images and like, Oh, she’s she’s great. So I’m going to link her. I learned how to like safely sleep with her on my chest from her account. Highly recommend it. And then obviously like, you know, doing the cuddle the cuddle curve, like the little C shape next to her. That’s how we sleep at night now. But for a while I was exhausted. And so for the first few hours of the night I’d put her in there and I’d sleep right next to her. And I no I wasn’t watching her but she didn’t move. She was so little so like don’t listen to me do your own research and be safe. But for me that worked. It was I was able to catch up on my sleep. And it made a big, big difference in the beginning. Because I was having to spend so much time waking her up. My husband’s helping me I mean it was like rough in the beginning. But then when we didn’t have to constantly wake her up and she was eating better. It was a lot less stressful and we could just coastally like normal people. So if you can find a way to Ko sleep, I just I highly recommend it. A lot of people ask me for tips and like that’s my top one. There’s a lot of different ways to do that that could be her in a bassinet that could be them next to you, you know, in a crib in the same room, it doesn’t have to be like her right on your next year. That’s totally up to you. For me, it felt natural. And it felt right. And I’m so happy that we do it. It’s like some of my favorite moments is like waking up next to her just like watching her sleep. So love it highly recommend. And then the last newborn essential would be like some sort of wrap away to carry your baby like Eliana didn’t like she doesn’t like being put in things like she hates it now that she’s older. But even when she was little, but I found like the Solly Wrap was great for us. It’s like a little stretchy, and it’s not too warm. Like she’s definitely a little heater. She runs very hot just like me. And so I found like a light fabric. It’s a little stretchy. But for us it worked because we tried a couple others but she would just get so sweaty and I’m like this isn’t working and I don’t want her to overheat. So some sort of wrapper carrier, I use that to like, go on walks with her, go to the grocery store, all that kind of stuff. Okay, frozen meals. We talked about casseroles, shredded beef nursing muffins, I also made cobbler and froze it I was on a cobbler kick when I was pregnant with her. And I froze a bunch of that. And that was great. I put that on Greek yogurt for snacks. It was awesome. How did we support each other I kind of went through this. My husband did everything for the first seven days. And then after I was like after four weeks, that’s what I was like, okay, I can put her in the wrap. I can do stuff. She would go down for a nap by herself, sometimes not often. And so then and I wanted I had the energy and I felt good to do things. So I would slowly start doing stuff. But I mean, we have a pretty good breakdown anyway. Like he helps me a ton around the house. And he’s in charge of like the lawn all the outside stuff. So it was kind of like she’s my responsibility, not that he doesn’t help with her. He does. But it’s you know, when they’re little, they just want their mom because you’ve got the milk. And they’ve been inside your belly for nine months. So they still think they’re a part of you, which she will always be a part of me. But yeah, so that was like, we kind of delegated it that way. And then like when I needed a break, I just communicated that to him. Like sometimes he’d be out in the garage working out for an hour and a half. And I would text him and say, Hey, buddy, I need a break, you need to come inside. But I did always try to let him get a workout in because that’s what works for him. And I knew that if he could do that he would feel better. If he’s happier, I’m happier early on is happier. So that worked out for us. If I wanted to get a workout in, like when he went back to work at six weeks, that was definitely like a learning curve. I was having to do a lot more for myself during the day. So it was tricky. But I think now looking back, it’s like it’s such a short season. I just like next time, I wouldn’t stress as much because that’s when I was like, well, she’s not sleeping. Like at certain times, she doesn’t want to nap by herself. I felt like I was doing something wrong. But in reality, it’s like, that’s what she needed. She needed me, I needed to be with her. I really do think that that helped a ton, I did not have any postpartum depression or anxiety. But I spent like every moment with her pretty much and I don’t know, I just it made me really happy. And my husband helping so much, you know, he had six weeks off from work, which is basically unheard of, we did plan for that. And it took quite a bit of planning, but totally worth it. And it took that huge load off me so that I could rest in heal and focus on her and get to know her and she didn’t just like get into a routine, that when he went back to work, it wasn’t that bad. It was just like, okay, so I got to figure out how to do stuff with her around the house, like make food and shower and all that. And then like, you know, four or five weeks after that, then he deployed. And so it kind of like slowly prepped me for it. But I think you can support each other by not being afraid to tell each other what you need in a nice way. And just you know, most of us know things about our partners, like I know that my husband, if he doesn’t work out, he’s going to be cranky. So I’m not going to be like you can’t work out you know, because I need a break. It’s like we both need support, we didn’t really have a lot of family to help it’s just like not like our family types in relationships. But if you did, I would say like take advantage of that. It’s just like not where we’re at with our family but we’re pretty just like self sufficient. But we did like try to meet up with family and have them around and stuff and that was really fun. So that’s kind of how we supported each other just communicate I mean, tell each other what you need and like try to say it beforehand like if you don’t feel like you know your spouse is gonna need postpartum be like What do you what’s like going to be a deal breaker for you during the day like what do you need during the day so that you guys are both on the same page. A lot of people asked like did Eliana have gas or reflux or cranial cap? She did have gas. I mean, I’m pretty sure all babies have guests. In the beginning. Someone did tell me that and I’m so grateful. They’re like she’s going to have gas and it’s going to be terrible, but she’ll grow out of it. And it really did help. You know, she wake up during the night crying and it was deaf. Well, I guess we learned a lot of baby massage, which I have a whole podcast episode coming on. Thank God that was like a savior for us. And now she’s teething. And we’re using it for that. So baby massage is very helpful bodywork, learning how to do that on your baby. I just feel like it’s such a good skill to have for so many reasons. So gas is gone now. No worries with that, but it was terrible. And then she didn’t have reflux. Thank god, she’s got something with her scalp right now. I don’t know what it is. I feel like it might be fungal. So I’m bringing her to the doctor next week. And I’m going to ask them to test it. Just to see so I don’t know, she didn’t. It’s not really like cradle cap. I don’t know what it is. But she’s got so much hair that it’s honestly hard to see. So I’m just gonna have them like, scrape a little off and tested. She doesn’t age at it. But I don’t know. I’m just like, she’s four months. I feel like she shouldn’t have this anymore. So I’ll report back like once we figure it out. Okay, how do I keep myself nourished four meals a day and two snacks. That is what I need. I figure that out. I just need to, like eat more. If I have too many small snacks, my blood sugar goes crazy. My body doesn’t like it. So I definitely do like hearty snacks. And then like four solid meals. And the way that I do that it was easy. When my husband was here before he left I was like, okay, like I need to prep food. So you entertain her. Now on Sundays during her naps, like that’s the day that I food prep. And I’m like not the kind of person that likes to do that. I don’t like to spend that much time cooking. And like, I feel like it’s like a whole day. But now I’m like, if I do this on Sundays, I really am only making breakfast during the week. And for me. That’s what I need right now. Like, there’s no childcare. It’s just me and her. So that’s what I do. And it’s like become a routine. And it I don’t mind it now because I’m like I know I’m going to eat for the rest of the week. So for meals, one of those is a sandwich because I can only prep so much food and I enjoy the sandwich, I just have to have a lot of protein so that my blood sugar is stable. So regular breakfast I make, I usually make some sort of meat and potato or like meat and cooked through and I’ll eat that for two meals. And then the sandwich I usually have like later in the afternoon, a big dinner. And then I have one snack in the morning and like one at night right before I go to bed. So I’m usually not going that long without eating. Hopefully, when I was like not prepping that much food, I was having a hard time and I’m like, I can’t do this. I want to feel good. I want to have energy. And she was just eating so much that I’m like I’m depleted. So that really helps me and works for me. People ask about best postpartum bra and boring right now. It’s called stork s t o r q.

I mean, I got a lot of postpartum bras. I do like kindred bravely. They have a lot of great stuff. I love all every item I’ve ever gotten from them I have liked and they’re very soft. It’s like you know, sustainable conscious. That’s pricier but all the stuff I have I saved and I’m gonna use my next pregnancy because it’s just like it lasts. It’s lasts a long time. It’s high quality. I was trying to find a bra that wasn’t so like, I don’t like when bras are too supportive, and like too much they strap you in too much. But if you follow Leah from lymph love club, she has like a whole series on like bras and like limp supportive bras. And I messaged her a couple of weeks ago, and I was like Leah, I found the best postpartum, limp, supportive bra. And that’s the stork one. It’s just like there’s no wonder wire, there’s no padding, but it’s easy to open up and nurse if you want to. It’s the fabric is super soft, I highly recommend it. So Stork is my it’s not the kind you can pump in. You know, those are like a whole other thing. I have one of those. I just got it off Amazon but I only use it to pump. So Stork is where it’s at. And the sizes are weird. So take it goes up to 12345. So you have to take your measurements, I was a size four. So if you have really big boobs might not fit. We’ll have to see. But they’re great. And I’ll probably get another one. Okay, how did I balance with baby spouse marriage create that balance, I would say and this is kind of for everything like in the beginning. It’s like you’re just learning and you’re so excited. Nothing really matters. I would say like around like the 10 week mark like right before he was going to deploy I started to get a little bit stressed out because Eliana would not nap by herself. She would only nap with one of us. So we got no alone time. Whereas in the beginning at like three or four weeks, we’d put her down for a nap by herself for a couple hours. We could hang out. We could do things. My libido was crazy. I did get a question about libido. I don’t know. And I’m gonna post a quiz on my stories because i No one told me about this. And I was like, Oh my gosh, I feel like I’m ovulating every day like from the moment I had her my hormones were insane. I felt like I was ovulating every day and my husband was like what’s wrong with you? Not that he didn’t enjoy it, but it was like very unexpected and then I After like, I would say like around like, six to eight weeks, it started to level off. And I was like a normal person again. But I was like, Oh my gosh, I feel like a teenager and what’s going on. So like, in the beginning, it’s like we could put her down, she wasn’t as aware, right. As soon as she would start waking up, and we weren’t there. She was like, What the heck, this is not cool. So it was pretty much all contact naps, which meant we got like, no alone time together, which was hard, mostly because he was leaving, I think that, you know, next time, like looking back, I would just, I would be like, this is just a season, it might be hard right now, but like, pretty soon, she’s gonna go down for naps. And we’ll have a lot of time together, and we’ll be fine. So I would just say like in the beginning, both be prepared for that, that like your baby needs you. And it’s normal for them to not want to sleep by themselves. And so if you can either get help, maybe have a family member come in for like, a couple hours, and you guys get some alone time. I think that’s worth it. But for us, it was like, you know, it just wasn’t happening towards right before he left, which was so hard because like, all you want is time together. But now I know like when he comes home, I’m like, she’s takes like two to three solid naps a day. And I can put her down at night, and then leave the room and work. So obviously I won’t do that when my husband’s home will get to hang out. But just knowing that I were going to have that in the future. It removes a lot of that stress. So obviously we only have one kid though. So I’m like, Man, this is going to be hard with two. But I again, I think it’s like being purposeful, intentional, with your time communicating with each other, like, hey, we both want to spend time together. I mean, I got really tired at 10 weeks, I’m like, I want to spend time with you. But like I’m exhausted and she wants to sleep with me. So I’m gonna sleep with her so and he understood. I think it’s just knowing it’s not forever. So that’s like kind of like my advice there with balancing it. And then I really do think like making sure he had time to like do things he enjoyed like workout he loves to like make he likes to woodwork and make stuff. So like he made like a couch and garden beds and stuff before he left. And like sometimes I’d be like, Okay, I want you to come like hang out with us now. But I also like wanted him to be able to do things that he enjoyed. So it’s just like finding that balance and like respecting your spouse or your partner that I think is the most important and my husband is also just so helpful. Like he’s, he cooks a lot. He’s a clean person, so he likes to clean. I usually do a lot of cleaning because he’s always doing stuff outside. But it’s like, if he’s not he helps if I ever ask for anything. There’s no question, you know, he’ll stop what he’s doing and help me so I just think that having someone that cares so much and is so helpful, it makes me want to be better and a better wife to him. So it we have like a really good balance, but it took a lot of communication to get there. We’ve been together for like 13 years and we definitely weren’t always like that, but we both kind of like really stepped it up in marriage. Okay, so that’s the balancing the libido thing. Mine was crazy in the beginning and then now it’s normal. I mean, my husband’s not here my libido is pretty much always low when he’s deployed so you know, he’s just not around. And I’m my whole world is Eliana right now and my dogs so and working. So I feel like that’s pretty normal. I’m also like breastfeeding and my cycle hasn’t returned yet. I’m going to be four months postpartum this weekend As of recording this. When it comes out. I’ll be like four and a half months. So I think that’s pretty normal and standard, though, but I just was not it really took me for a turn in the beginning. And I was like, what’s going on? I even asked my pelvic floor pt. And she’s like, Yeah, I don’t like usually see that. Because I went like five weeks postpartum, because I wanted to make sure that my tears were all healed. I felt really good. But I was just a little nervous. And she was like, honestly, like, I wouldn’t even have known that you tore, if you didn’t tell me. So I got the Okay, that was all cleared. Oh, and she gave me this amazing article that I’m going to link in the notes. It’s like Sensei, something. The whole thing was she was like, Listen, you can have sex, like you’re fine, your pelvic floor is fine to have sex. But here’s what I recommend, like the approach that you take to it and the art and she gave me this article. And it’s all about, like, learning how to have sex again, because your body’s different. You know, like, I looked different, I feel different. I had a baby. I’m a mom. Now. I mean, it’s just weird when it’s, you know, I’m constantly breastfeeding, like, nipples are different, everything’s different. You feel different in your body. And so the whole point is to be very mindful around that and they put you through like a series of steps before you have sex. And so it was really cool. So I sent my husband article and like, We’re doing this for the first like, you know, months because I just want I was like, I want to have a good sex life after having a baby. But I want to make sure that I enjoy it too. And so it’s basically just like you and your partner, getting to know each other’s bodies again, and especially obviously like your body because your body is different. And then learning what you like because you might not like Same things that you liked before you had a baby things might feel different. And I just think that was like such a really cool approach to sex postpartum. Because I think there’s a lot of pressure to have sex soon after. And I told my husband, I was like, Do not even, you know, we have to, like, have no expectations with that, because I don’t know what it’s gonna be like postpartum. And a lot of people were like, what expectations did you have, I really didn’t have any, I just didn’t know. And I feel like there’s only so much you can plan for with a baby. And you don’t know how you’re gonna feel how your partner’s gonna feel. So that was something that we did talk about, I was like, it wasn’t even on our radar, honestly, until I had this super high sex drive. And we’re like, we got to figure out if we can even have sex right now. So that’s when I went to the pelvic floor PT. But I love the approach, you don’t do anything sexual. It’s just like sensual at first, and you get to figure out what feels good in your body. Now that you’re postpartum, and we did a lot of like, like specific work on my pelvic floor, so that it wouldn’t hurt when we had sex, because I had a few tight spots. So that was also really helpful, which we still did until like right before he left, just because it’s like, I don’t want to be in pain. So that’s also really helpful work with a pelvic floor PT if you can. Okay, she’s awake. So I’m gonna wrap this up really quick hair loss, I had a little hair loss right at the three month mark, which is typically when you’re going to see it, but it was a really small amount. So I’m curious to see if I’m going to have more, but it was very minimal. And how’s my body feel? I feel really good. I have a little tendinitis in my wrist, I have this in college. And so I’m going to be going to the chiropractor, I’m probably going to try to see an acupuncturist to figure out what’s going on. But other than that, like I have felt really good. But I’m telling you, the foundations, there nothing changes, you just need to eat enough.

I’m consistent with my supplements that I know I need because of testing that I’ve done in the past. And I spend time with my baby, we co sleep we do a lot of time outside, a lot of people ask him giving her vitamin D AB not because we had her in May. And so we get there’s plenty of time we get to spend outside. And I did some stories on this and my postpartum highlight. Some babies might need vitamin D. She did not I had to get vitamin D status and we get play time outside. But that’s been our postpartum experience. Let me know if you have questions tag me on Instagram, send me a message and I’ll try to make sure I get two more questions and I’ll just save them to my postpartum highlight. I’m going to put a ton of links in the show notes. For all the different things that I mentioned an exercise I’m going to do a whole episode on postpartum exercise. I’m using the birth fit postpartum program but I also like mama stay fit. So both of those highly recommend and I’ll link those as well but there is going to be an episode coming. So thanks for all your questions and I will see you in our next episode all about breastfeeding with Teres Dansby.

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Amanda Montalvo

Amanda Montalvo is a women's health dietitian who helps women find the root cause of hormone imbalances and regain healthy menstrual cycles.

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