Plant Based Mum Blog

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Best foods for breastfeeding

It’s important to follow a healthy diet to ensure you are living your best life, even more important when your choices feed your little one. On the blog today I thought I would share my top food choices as a breastfeeding mama. 

Avocado 

Safe to say I am pretty much addicted to avocado. I ate it almost everyday when pregnant with my baby boy, and I continue to love it. Avocados are a great option when breastfeeding as they are high in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins E, K and B6. 

Oats

Oats are a well known galactagogue - a form of food or herb that promotes breastmilk supply - which means they are a perfect choice for breastfeeding mothers. So enjoy your oats for breakfast mamas! 

Salmon

While some mamas choose not to consume meat or fish, as a pescatarian I personally love salmon. Salmon is rich in omega-3’s and makes a good source of protein for when you need that energy most. 

Brown Rice

Brown rice is a staple food in our household. As a busy Mum of two I often have little time to prepare lunch, so I will simply throw some ingredients together and pair with brown rice for a satisfying, high fibre meal.  

Chickpeas 

Chickpeas make a great edition to any meal - simply throw them in to a pasta or rice dish and you will be benefiting from the goodness of zinc, iron, high fibre and all that plant based protein.

Sweet Potato

Sweet potatoes are so yummy and filling. They are a good source of beta-carotene, vitamin B6 and fibre, so they make an excellent edition to any mamas diet. 

Spinach

Cooked spinach should form an essential part of your diet, whether you are breastfeeding or not! The benefits are just too good! Spinach is a good ‘ol original ‘superfood’ - it ticks off many vitamins and minerals in one neat green package - vitamins A, B6, C, E and K, magnesium, folate, potassium, copper and iron, just to name a few.

Oranges

Whether a breastfeeding mum can enjoy her oranges (or orange juice for that matter) really depends on the baby. Some babies, particularly those with reflux, can be sensitive to citrus, but some will tolerate it just fine. Oranges are well known to be one of the best sources of vitamin C, a good source of fibre, and they contain a range of other important vitamins and minerals, such as folate. 

Berries 

Again this depends on the baby, if you have a baby with reflux you probably want to steer clear of berries (such as strawberries, blueberries and raspberries). Berries, however, are a great source of antioxidents and fibre - and they make a yummy edition to any breakfast! 

Water 

Although not a ‘food’, plenty of water is absolutely essential for breastfeeding. I tend to keep a bottle of water with me at all times, one in the car and a couple on my bedside table so that I remember to fill up. 

Disclaimer: I am by no means a doctor or dietician so please do not take my post as medical advice, the above is purely my personal thoughts on breastfeeding nutrition.

Thanks for reading! 

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The Fourth Trimester

My baby boy recently turned three months, and I have cherished this time in our fourth trimester, bonding and getting to know one another. 

The concept of the fourth trimester is no secret. It is a term used by medical professionals and parents alike, and entails the first three months after the birth of your baby. It is an important and almost sacred time to bond with baby, and to nurture your little miracle as they transition from the safety of the womb to the big wide world. 

During this time in particular, baby has a primal instinct to be close to mum. Skin on skin, especially for the first few weeks, is a good way to introduce baby safely to the world - he, or she, can hear the sounds and see the sights all while having the comfort of being close to mummy - and it also helps to build supply, helps mum and baby rest and recover from birth, and keeps mum and baby relaxed through the release of hormones.

As much as the fourth trimester is a time to rest, it is also always nice to venture out into the sunshine and to get some fresh air, even when baby is oh so little. When you are out and about baby will still want to be close to you too. A wrap or a carrier is perfect for this (and is also good for keeping germs at bay when your baby is oh so little!). I personally love going on outdoor adventures with my little ones, and enjoy keeping baby close using my ergo carrier (or you could simply use a homemade babywrap). My baby boy is always so comfortable in the carrier, and often falls asleep for the whole outing as he is soothed by my familiar scent, warmth, voice and presence. 

The fourth trimester is also a time for you to really get to know your baby - and get to know yourself as a mother. A time for you to learn your baby’s unique likes and dislikes - how do they like to be held, do they experience wind and need to be burped often or not, what type of carrier do they enjoy being in (if at all) - the list goes on,...and every baby will have different preferences, as well as every mother having different preferences too. There’s no right and wrong, it’s all down to you and your baby. 

Additionally, the fourth trimester is a time where the whole family can bond, especially in the first weeks home with baby - Dad and baby, and baby and sibling(s) too. It’s great for siblings to have some (supervised) time from the get go to get to know their new brother or sister. 

Lastly, and most importantly, the fourth trimester is about learning to trust your own instinct and experience the amazing role of being a mother. Remember to have confidence in yourself - you are your baby’s mother and no one knows baby better than you!  

Thanks for reading!  

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What’s In My Nappy Bag - Part Two

With two little ones to call my own (the eldest still in nappies, being almost two), I thought I’d share what’s in my nappy bag for two bubbas.

The Bag

First things first, a good quality nappy bag is a must. I knew I needed a bag that was durable enough to be plonked down in the tanbark at a playground, or thrown into the car at a moments notice. This time around I also wanted something functional and it was important to me that it still be stylish enough to double as my own bag - something that wasn’t your obvious logo embossed nappy bag. Being budget conscious I also didn’t want to spend a fortune, but wanted something that would last. With all that in mind, I opted for the Witchery ‘Harry Nylon’ tote and it has been fantastic.

Functionality

As a busy Mum of two, I need to be able to access certain items quickly - especially when I am out and about. This is where bag inserts came in handy. I use these from Target as they are water proof (not very sustainable, but very inexpensive and practical!), or you can purchase more of an insert style such as this one from amazon.

All The Essentials

I always keep my nappy bag pre stocked and ready to go, as you’ll never know when you will have to head out. I simply fill one of my bag inserts with snacks and a couple of medicinal needs (such as panodol and teething gel) and the other with all the nappy change essentials (think spare nappies, wipes, nappy disposal bags, nappy rash cream, disposable gloves for change time, change mats and hand sanitizer).

Speaking of essentials here are a few other items we always carry with us:

Small Toys

It is a good option to throw a few small toys in to keep the little ones amused when out and about. If you have a teething baby a good teething toy is a must.

Bibs

Our all time fave bibs are from My Little Love Heart Bibs. These are handmade bamboo bibs, made in Australia.

The bibs are amazing and are the only kind I like using on my babies. Our eldest had quite bad eczema, particularly from the age of three to six months, and these were some of the only bibs that didn’t flare up her super sensitive skin. She still experiences tiny flair ups of eczema now and then, especially in the heat or if someone with strong fragrance cuddles her. I am praying that our youngest does not have to go through the pain and discomfort of eczema but time will tell.

I continue to use these bibs all the time, especially for my youngest who is just three months as he is still at that posseting stage - and in a few months time he will be starting solids too.

Change of Clothes

This is vital! All mums live in fear of a ill-timed nappy mishap so it is essential to carry a change of outfit for your little ones. We pack a whole outfit for our youngest and a change of pants for our eldest. You never know when they will be needed!

Thanks for reading!

Postpartum Essentials

Admittidly I let my health slide down the priority list after my first bubba was born. As a result, my first postpartum recovery was longer than it should have been - both physically and mentally - but, as the saying goes once you know better - do better! It was so important to me to look after my own health this time to ensure a quick recovery from birth, a good supply and a healthy Mum!  

Nutrition 

For me it all starts with nutrition. Your body can’t start the massive job of healing tissues, supporting the reproductive system as it returns to ‘normal’ and making the milk it needs to nourish a beautiful growing baby without being adequately nourished. Ultimately it’s important to start focusing on nutrition and wellness prior to conceiving but it really comes into the spotlight again in the ‘fourth trimester’ (or those three healing and bonding months after giving birth). I knew my body needed plenty of water, some sunlight (haha I am making myself sound like a plant here!) and good food to heal from the massive miracle of pregnancy and childbirth. Even before I had two under two I knew that preparing and cooking meals was going to be next to impossible (let’s not kid ourselves here!) so I pre-ordered some delicious, and super nourishing, meals and smoothies from My Goodness Organics to last me the first few weeks home from the hospital, stocked the cupboards with healthy snack options, and also made sure to always have a bottle of water with me. 

Exercise 

It is a task to get out of the house with two little ones, even more so in those early days as your newborn feeds every few hours. I always feel better once I get out of the house and get a little sunshine and exercise, so I knew I had to concentrate on this again this time around (once I received the all-clear from my obstetrician postpartum). My husband and I made it a priority to go for a walk around the block every afternoon (apart from when it is raining, or when there is a heatwave - which is more likely because it is summer here). I also manage to get a good amount of exercise in by heading to different parks and walking trips over the weekend.

Rest 

Lastly, that brings me to the point of rest. As a busy Mum of two it is sometimes hard for me to get my rest in, but it was particularly important in the first 6 weeks after the birth to not only allow my body the respect and recovery it deserves, but to have that quiet time to bond with the baby. I was lucky to have friends and family around to take our gorgeous toddler on adventures and play with her at home to help her have a fun filled month - which really helped her adjust well to becoming a sister (without the sibling rivalry) and it also afforded me some one on one time with my newborn, plus some downtime to rest. 

If you are reading this and are pregnant or in your early postpartum stage congratulations and I wish you a happy and healthy recovery!  

Disclaimer - I am not a medical professional, so please do not take my post as medical advice for your postpartum, this is purely my own experience. 

Thanks for reading! 

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Pregnancy Essentials

Pregnancy is such a special time. Although in the early (and last) days it may be a little rough, I don’t think there is one pregnant women out there that takes for granted the miracle of the life she is carrying. During both of my pregnancies I found I relied on a couple of essential items to really get me through. Today on the blog we reveal them.   

Vitamins

Vitamins are a must for your pregnancy. Personally my go-to are the Blackmores Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Vitamins and I tend to take these at night to help minimize any additional reflux I may experience. 

Snacks 

My top snacks during pregnancy are apples, bananas and wholegrain muesli bars (and let’s face it - the occasional chocolate bar!). I tend to feel much better if I always have something in my stomach, so I make sure I’m having something to eat every two to three hours. When I needed an extra boost come snack time (especially in the early days of pregnancy when snacking helped to keep the nausea at bay) I relied on Franjos Kitchen Belly Bump biscuits. Made in Australia, these gems are packed full of extra vitamins such as Omega 3, iron, calcium and zinc, and are an added source of fibre. 

Hand Sanitizer

Confession time! I am a bit of a germaphobe. Even more so when I am pregnant and have another life growing on board. I always carry a travel size hand sanitiser with me to keep those germs at bay. Not all hand sanitisers are created equally though, and some actually do more harm than good, so I stick to a natural brand - my favourite being Squeaky brand’s Natural Hand Sanitiser (the perfect size for your purse and/or nappy bag).

Stretch Mark Oil

I’m very much prone to stretch marks, and I honestly don’t mind because to me they are a badge of honour for the life I have brought into the world. Also, there are some great products on the market to help minimise stretch marks and help them to fade over time such as Badger’s Organic Pregnant Belly Oil and Weleda’s Stretch Mark Massage Oil.

Leggings

Given this was my second pregnancy my muscles (or lack thereof) certainly needed a helping hand this time around to support my growing bump. SRC Pregnancy Leggings were a wardrobe staple on my days out of the office, perfect for chilling at home or running around with my toddler. 

What are your pregnancy essentials, mummas? 

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What's In My Nappy Bag - Part One

The humble nappy bag, it seems so trivial. But, when you're on the go with your little one, you can't leave home without one. I thought we would share a few of our favourite products from Itty Bitty Green's nappy bag. Check out the details below:

Wipes

Wipes are an essential in any nappy bag. They have a multitude of uses; from being instrumental at a nappy change, to wiping baby's messy face, to cleaning her fingers before she puts those germs in her mouth again! With my baby having eczema, many of the standard wipes irritated her skin, so I was keen to find something that would be safe, but also get the job done. I'd read about Water Wipes when they first came out in the UK and I'm pleased they're now here in Australia. Water Wipes are approved by the Allergy Board of UK and are made up of, you guessed it, water (99.9%) and also grapefruit seed extract (1%). You can purchase these from your local Safeway or Coles stores and selected pharmacies.

Muslin Cloth

The muslin cloth, or wrap, is a great edition to a nappy bag. It can be used as a swaddle for naps on the go when baby is tiny and can be used as a burp cloth, or cloth for weigh-ins at the nurses office, once baby is a bit bigger. Bubba Blue's Organic Muslin Wraps are made from organic cotton fibres, free from chemicals and also friendly on sensitive skin. You can pick up a pack of three wraps for around $30 from any leading baby store.

Nappies

Disposable nappies are great for times where you are out and about with your little one. Ecorigionals disposable nappies are biodegradable and are free from chemicals or fragrances. 

Moisturising Cream

Given that my little one has eczema it is important that we moisturise her skin at every nappy change, even if that is on the go. I have tried multiple creams to help cure her eczema (more on this later!), and Little Innocents Organic Baby Intensive Moisturising Cream is one of the best. Little Innocents products are Australian Certified Organic, and the majority of the baby range can be used from birth. You can purchase the Little Innocents range from Chemist Warehouse at selected stores nationwide.