This is my first post, but I lurk here quite a bit.... I'm currently about 33 weeks pregnant, my husband is deployed, so when I deliver, for the most part I'm on my own. With that said, I'm trying to think ahead, and plan ahead so that I've got lots of food ideas ready, and things prepped as much as possible. I plan to breastfeed, so I want to make sure that I'm getting lots of nutrients, but I also know that I'm going to be exhausted while I adjust. So, do any of you have any tips about what I can do now to make things easier to eat well once the baby comes? Any recipes that will freeze well, or that can cook all day in a slow cooker without a lot of prep? Anything that you would recommend that I have on hand as snacks, so that I don't rely too heavily on nuts? Thanks so much for your help!
asked byJStone (25)
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on October 17, 2012
at 11:35 PM
Oh, honey, CONGRATULATIONS!
OK, off the top of my head:
Kellymom.com <--- if you don't read any other of my tips, keep this one! Kellymom covers almost any breastfeeding contingency, like cluster feeding, growth spurts, reflux, nighttime feeding, etc. Great, great resource, especially for those late night questions.
La Leche League. I'm not a member myself, but my dear friend is a chapter leader and I have heard so many good things over the years from her and other moms. If you hook up with a quality LLL chapter, you'll get support, you'll find useful tips, and you'll probably make a few friends! Find a chapter near you here: http://www.llli.org/webus.html
A certified lactation consultant. Look here under the "Directories" tab to find one near you: http://www.ilca.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=1
Nap when baby naps - Take the phone off the hook, do whatever you need to do to grab those moments of quiet.
Wear your baby. I've found baby carriers, slings, etc. to be sent from heaven. Ask around; if you have mom friends or relatives who have some you might have a chance to borrow one. Different carriers suit different styles and different babies - in my case the Ergo proved to be the most versatile and durable over time. A great, compatible carrier will let you get so much more done and will probably buy you a lot more time with a contented baby. You may enjoy different kinds for different ages - one carrier for when your baby is a newborn, and another when he/she is older and has more head/neck strength. If you practice a little, you may even get the knack of nursing your baby while he/she is in the carrier, and boy, can that be convenient!
Breastfeeding gear. Truly, many moms get away with not needing any of this stuff. But, it's out there, and it helps a lot of moms. Talking with a lactation consultant about particular concerns (like inverted nipples) may help you if you are looking for an issue-specific breastfeeding support item, like a nipple shield. Otherwise, all-purpose good stuff includes extra virgin coconut oil (as a salve), a supportive pillow or cushion (some women like the Boppy pillows), and some GREAT breastfeeding tanks. I've love, love, loved the Glamourmom long version of nursing tanks because they fully cover my torso with a few inches to spare and offer a higher degree of support than other nursing tanks have in the past. Perfect for layering! I'm sure other moms may chime in with which nursing bras and tanks they love. A breast pump may be a good investment, too, for relieving swollen breasts, or for (eventually) creating a breastmilk stash in your fridge or freezer.
Make a "snack basket" where you can stash bottles of water and nonperishable snacks by an end table. Some great nonperishables you don't have to make yourself include bake dried apple chips (search "Bare Fruit" on Amazon), Larabars, beef jerky, raw almonds, etc. Keeping a lot of water readily available will help you a lot, too - invariably whenever I plopped down to nurse my newborn I was struck by a sudden thirst.
Make "batch" breakfasts - a bunch of egg muffin cups, a couple of packages' worth of bacon, etc. Make as much as you can whenever you get that rare moment of peace so that you can munch for a couple of days on the fruits of your labor.
Recipe surf. Check out sites like chowstalker.com and Fast Paleo for huge databases of paleo recipes. Many are freezable, like versions of eggplant lasagna, pot roast, paleo cookies/cookie dough (go for coconut/egg heavy ones like macaroons if you enjoy coconut), etc. One lady who does a ton of freezer cooking is Joyful Abode...she just did grain free pot pies for the freezer.
Find online mama friends. Even if you're geographically isolated, find an online support group, whether of moms who have babies due the same time, or just a message board for likeminded moms. You'll be shocked how much you'll come to depend on the online community for answers and support.
Give yourself credit, and grace. - You are a superhero, undertaking motherhood and breastfeeding while your husband is away serving the country. Don't be hard on yourself, the early days are so tough, no doubt. After a few weeks, though, you'll start to see some delicious little grins from your baby, and those will make some of the hardest days a little bit easier. :)
GOOD LUCK, Mama!
on October 18, 2012
at 01:11 PM
On the weeks I have a lot of time, i make large pots of soup and freeze half. Those could be great for taking out on the days you are busy. I also like chopping salad stuff once a week so I can easily prep a large salad. I would just make food whenever you can that can easily be pulled out on days you are tired! Congratulations!
on October 22, 2012
at 06:44 PM
Hi, congratulations on your pregnancy!
Adding a couple of resources for you- my daughter is a Breastfeeding USA Counselor, and that community of mother to mother breastfeeding support sure is thriving, too! I suggest checking to see if there is a community chapter near you! https://breastfeedingusa.org
I had all three of my babies as a Navy wife, and certainly suggest having someone stay with you to focus on your needs while you can care for your baby. Your mom, a sister, a friend? If that isn't an option, have you considered hiring a postpartum doula?
I've been there- mothering while your partner is deployed is difficult! The resources the others have mentioned are great ones. I especially like the reference to laid back breastfeeding- there's a chapter about that in the book "Breastfeeding Made Simple" by Nancy Mohrbacher and Kathleen Kendall-Tackett. It's a quick read, with some fabulous evidence-based information.
on October 21, 2012
at 07:40 PM
Thought of two things since checking out this thread last.
I found it impossible to latch my son when my milk came in without an extra set of hands and eyes, except when I was lying down on my side. But, I didn't know about semi-reclined breastfeeding yet, and from what I've been reading it looks like a much easier way for mom and baby, and I plan on trying it myself when the next kiddo arrives. https://www.bestforbabes.org/the-latest-on-latching
Secondly, colic nearly drove me to madness, and recently a chiropractor came up with a diaper changing routine that reduces the chance of colic dramatically, also planning on trying this with the new baby. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9IDpEVkemM
on October 23, 2012
at 09:24 PM
I just had a baby myself, and while my husband is around, we just moved all the way across the country for his PhD... so I have no support system around anymore, and he's gone for the bulk of the day.
I use my crockpot for.... everything. Sometimes it's not the most amazing meal, but it's edible and paleo and gets food on my table. I post the best recipes I find on my blog. I also find that paleo crockpotting allows me to stretch my food budget. (Tonight we are having chicken legs for dinner. Tomorrow I will make stock in the crockpot from the chicken legs. The next day I will make sweet potato and apple ginger soup with that stock...)
I think, like the posts above, you need to be realistic and go easy on yourself. You may find that you need more starch than normal to breastfeed, especially in the beginning when you're ramping up your supply. Have a lot of fruit around. Paleo cookies are great if you can make those now and freeze them. If you get no sleep one night, get up the next morning and throw a frozen whole chicken or roast in the slow cooker and let it go all day... it won't be the most amazing meal ever, but it will feed you and you'll have leftovers.
Oh, and don't sweat the dishes. They'll get done eventually. :-)