A stretch mark free pregnancy? It’s totally possible. Here are the 3 essential things you have to keep up with.

A stretch mark free pregnancy? It’s totally possible. Here are the 3 essential things you have to keep up with.

I find it interesting to hear people associate stretch marks with weight gain during pregnancy.  Stretch marks happen when your body grows faster than your skin can keep up with.. it’s that simple.  If you keep your body hydrated, skin moisturized and stay consistent with both these things — the amount of weight you gain won’t lead to stretch marks because you’re setting yourself up so that your skin can keep up with it.

My mom got pretty bad stretch marks and she became pregnant with me when she was 17 years young and 105 lbs.  My grandma, my aunt, my cousins, all the women in my family got them pretty badly so I was under the impression that it was just “part of pregnancy” and assumed I would get them too.
**Side note: Stretch marks are beauty marks of what your body has gone through. In no way am I shaming or looking down upon the women who have them.  This post is just to share my experience in how I prevented them from happening to me.

I’m the kind of person who gets lost in research.  Once I start on something that’s of interest to me, I can’t stop looking through layers and layers of information.  I learned that applying sweet almond oil twice a day, drinking one gallon of water daily and drinking a cup of bone broth daily (sometimes every other day, this stuff is pricey) really worked for me.

I read up on the mama belly butters, tummy balms, pregnancy belly creams, etc.  They all seemed to have their own loyal fan base, but I wasn’t buying into it. I try to stick to things that have minimal ingredients.  At the end of the day, you can make your own belly butter with a mix of jojoba oil, coconut oil, shea butter, olive oil and beeswax.  But who has time for that?

I turned to sweet almond oil for two reasons:  1) it dries on the skin quickly without leaving that greasiness and 2) it has one ingredient: pure sweet almond oil (prunus amygdalus ducleis). 

Drinking one gallon of water per day, minimum.  I’ve always been a huge advocate with how much water helps with your skin, hair, nails, brain, everything. Drinking water keeps your entire body and your skin well hydrated. This keeps your skin supple and less prone to the tears associated with stretch marks. I feel like everyone should get into this habit anyway, regardless of whether you’re trying to avoid stretch marks or not.

Lastly, bone broth!  (Vegans, vegetarians and pescatarians, please don’t hate me)  I read an interesting book upon learning I was pregnant called Primal Moms, some of which I agreed with and some of which I did not, but I enjoyed the authors style of writing. Essentially what I read and came to believe about bone broth is that more collagen = stretchier skin, thus fewer stretch marks. Gelatin not only helps improve skin elasticity, but it also promotes wound healing (hello, postpartum)!

As I mentioned previously, just like working out for one week won’t get you the body you want.. doing these things here and there won’t get you the results you want.  Stay consistent with these three things day in and day out from the first day you find out you’re pregnant. 

Let me know your experience or your thoughts!

Increasing breast milk supply with two products you probably already have at home

Increasing breast milk supply with two products you probably already have at home

I recently started taking pilates and I take my 6 month old daughter with me.  One day she got so fussy and I had to stay a bit after my workout session to feed her at my instructors house before I got back into my car.  My instructor asked me if I only use breastmilk or if I use formula too.  I told her I strictly use breast milk and she told me that she had to supplement with formula for all three of her daughters while she was still in the hospital!  Now, I’ve heard about mothers supplementing with formula more often than not, but never that early.  And I’m not passing judgement, but it got me thinking…

I need to start writing a blog to share my experiences with other people about information I wish I could have found online — just information that I find to be super helpful.

This blog, as my title says, will be a little bit about everything.  Not just a mommy blog, but also tips on health, fitness, the best deals and where to get them, recipes, pregnancy tips, first time mom tips, etc.  Any information that I feel could help someone out there.

So back to my very first topic on my very first blog:  Increasing your breast milk supply naturally.

Cumin with milk right before bed.  The original recipe is (overnight soaked) cumin seeds with the raw cumin spice mixed into warm milk before bed… but I found without the cumin seed and without warming the milk works just fine.  Also, I don’t drink milk so any milk should do, I typically use almond or oat milk. 
**I still remember telling my mom what I was drinking and she pretty much gagged.  She knows how much I dislike the spice cumin… out of all spices it’s one of my least favorite – but anything for my LO.**

I was willing to try anything when my milk supply was getting low.. eating cloves of garlic, drinking red raspberry and mothers milk tea, nursing often, staying on a regular pumping/nursing schedule, drinking plenty of fluids, eating fennel, fenugreek, using a lactation massager, eating everything under the sun that research claims will increase your supply — and nothing worked.  I was getting tired of reading the same suggestions, the same advice over and over again on blog after article after study.

My pilates instructor informed me that at the hospital they tried to put her on medication and pills to increase her supply but she had no luck. 
Well my dear reader, when I drank the cumin spice mixed with almond milk, I woke up engorged.. I really could not believe it.  But nothing like the second day which I compare to the day I delivered. My milk supply was so high, my breasts were back to that porn star size you have when you first give birth and since then (2 months later) my milk production has kept constant. 

Whenever I feel it might be getting low, or I can’t pump or nurse when I feel my milk coming in, I just take back a couple swigs of cumin almond milk before bed and sleep at peace knowing I’ll wake up with plenty of milk for my little one.  I’m currently pumping 4-5 oz of milk per breast 6 months postpartum.

If you’re having a hard time keeping your supply up, give this a try.  I know everyone is different and it may not work for every person.. but either way I’d love to hear about your experience!