Baby Led Weaning – The 411

Image result for baby led weaning

What is baby led weaning (BLW)? (From Mamanatural)

First coined by Gill Rapley and Tracey Murkett in their book Baby-Led Weaning: The Essential Guide to Introducing Solid Foods, Baby-led weaning is an approach to introducing solid food where baby is allowed and encouraged to self-feed solid finger foods instead of receiving purées via spoon. For those of us in the US, baby led feeding may be a better term as BLW is not about weaning babies off breastmilk or formula, but is weaning them onto solids. (Although, anytime we introduce food, we are in a sense starting the weaning process, as baby will naturally start to decline her breast milk consumption. But with BLW, the baby is in charge.) BLW babies:

  • Are encouraged to join the family at mealtime and self-feed appropriate finger foods.
  • Choose what, how much, and how quickly to eat.
  • Are given the freedom to explore new tastes and textures without the pressure to eat a set amount or a specific food.
  • Continue to nurse (or receive a bottle) just as often. Solids are to compliment milk, and baby is trusted to know when to increase solid feedings and decrease milk (usually later in the first year).

When is baby ready?

Experts agree that solids should be delayed until the middle of the first year of life. This is when baby’s digestive system is mature. Some babies may seem ready at 5 ½ months, while others may not be ready until 8 months of age. It’s important to take into account ALL readiness signs for each individual child. As always, consult your child’s pediatrician if you are unsure or have questions. Signs of readiness include:

  • Baby can sit up well without support.
  • Baby has lost the tongue-thrust reflex (automatically pushing solids out of mouth with tongue).
  • Baby has developed the fine motor skills to self feed. Development of a pincer grasp (baby picks up food between thumb and forefinger, not palm and fingers) typically happens at around 6 months, but sometimes as late at 1 year.
  • Baby is willing to chew, even if he has few or no teeth.
  • Baby shows interest in participating at mealtime, and may try to grab food from your plate and put it in his mouth.

What are the benefits of baby led feeding?

It’s easier

  • Purées are time consuming. It’s much easier to adjust what the adults are eating to suit baby instead of having to get out the blender or potato masher.
  • BLW babies aren’t pressured into eating. They are trusted to know when, what, and how much they need to eat. Therefore, there is less stress and everyone can enjoy mealtime. (No more airplane spoons 🙂 )
  • Babies feed themselves, so you can eat at the same time! Baby led weaning gives moms the chance to relax and eat themselves.

Baby develops good eating habits

  • Baby (continues to) learn self regulation, which may set the child up for a healthier BMI in the future according to this study.
  • Self selection of food has even been shown to increase weight in underweight babies, therefore supporting a healthy weight in most babies.
  • Since BLW babies experience a wide range of healthy foods early on, they may be more likely to continue to enjoy those foods later in life.

It’s educational

  • Babies learn to safely handle food (they learn to chew THEN swallow)
  • Babies learn to manage different textures, tastes, sizes, and shapes of food.
  • Babies get lots of hand eye and fine motor practice by learning to grasp food and move it to their mouth.
  • Babies learn best by observing and copying. Eating meals together (and eating similar foods) gives her many opportunities to learn about food.

How to get started with baby led weaning?

The great thing about baby led weaning is that you really don’t need much to get started. The first thing you need is a safe place for baby to sit. A highchair is a great choice, but a parents lap is just as good (remember, baby should be able to sit up unassisted at this point). The next thing you need is healthy, appropriate finger foods (covered below). A BLW baby is offered a variety of healthy whole finger foods (as well as a small amount of water) to choose from and explore. Follow your baby’s cues. Begin offering solids once a day, and gradually increase as the child shows he wants or needs more. Baby-led weaning families are encouraged to make family mealtime a habit. One reason is that baby learns best by observation and imitation. When everyone eats together and eats the same food, baby feels included, and mealtime is a fun experience rather than a battle. If eating meals together doesn’t work for your family, consider eating a snack while baby has his meal.

What foods can I feed my baby?

Baby’s first foods should be a selection of fresh fruits, soft cooked vegetables, healthy carbohydrates, and fats. Think soft and easy to gum and swallow. When given a variety to choose from, baby will naturally choose the foods that meet her nutritional needs.

Baby led weaning BLW finger foods carrots apple Mama Natural

Baby Led Weaning First Foods

Some great first finger foods for baby are:

  • Avocados
  • Banana
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Soft cooked apples
  • Soft cooked carrots, green beans, zucchini, and beets
  • Very ripe peaches and pears, plums, and melon
  • Pumpkin
  • Green beans with the skins removed
  • Egg yolk
  • Meat or poultry
  • Liver
  • Slices of sprouted bread, cooked pasta, brown rice (Some decide to wait until molars come through before introducing grains. Wheat is recommended to be avoided until later in the first year.)

Baby Led Weaning foods to avoid:

Some of these are common sense (popcorn for baby?!) but some good reminders when practicing baby led weaning.

  • High choking risk foods like: grapes, cherry/grape tomatoes, nuts, whole hot dogs. (You can find a full list here.)
  • Allergic foods like: gluten, egg whites, nuts (peanuts), seafood, and citrus, especially if you have family history of sensitivity
  • Added table salt* or sugar
  • Unhealthy and processed foods like: chips, popcorn, sugar-containing foods, breakfast cereals, gum, and hard candy.
  • Honey
  • Stimulants: like chocolate or sugar

* Small amounts of high mineral sea salt can be added with the approval of physician

Baby Led Weaning Safety

There are obvious safety concerns with introducing solids to your baby. Assuming that baby has shown signs of readiness and can sit up unassisted, it’s then important for parents to be vigilant and never leave baby alone when eating. It’s equally important that only baby put food into her own mouth.

Won’t my baby choke?

Choking is a real concern with any supplemental feeding, which is why close supervision is necessary. That said, there needs to be a distinction between gagging – which is a safety mechanism that safeguards against choking by bringing large pieces of food forward to be chewed – and real choking. As baby grows, the place in her mouth that triggers the gag reflex moves further back towards the throat. According to Rapley, this is one reason why baby led weaning is valuable, because baby learns to chew and swallow when this reflex is still very close to the front of the mouth. Of course, for all parents, understanding the signs of choking and knowing how to respond is very important. Here is online education… but better yet, contact your local hospital or community center to find classes.

Will my baby get enough to eat?

Breastmilk (or formula) will make up the majority of baby’s nutrition from 6-12 months of age. The main purpose of solids in the first year is to introduce baby to new tastes and textures while teaching her to chew and swallow food. If baby is gaining normally and thriving, then she is getting enough to eat. Baby-led solid feeding trusts that baby knows when she is hungry, when she is full, and what she needs to meet her nutritional needs. If she is struggling with low weight, you can certainly add in some smoothies, purées, or extra fats like avocado and butter. That’s the beauty of baby led weaning. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Work with your physician to determine what is best.

Will my baby get enough iron without iron-fortified baby cereal?

Yes, if she is breastfed. The iron in breastmilk is absorbed at a percentage of 50-70% while the iron in iron-fortified cereal is absorbed at a rate of 4-10%.  According to Kellymom.com, “Healthy, full-term infants who are breastfed exclusively for periods of 6-9 months have been shown to maintain normal hemoglobin values and normal iron stores.”Breast milk is actually a perfectly sufficient source of iron.”

I would add letting your child’s umbilical cord pulse and wait to clamp for at least 3 minutes after birth helps tremendously since the baby gets 1/3 of his blood supply back! It also probably helps if a breastfeeding mama consumes her placenta and eats red meat a few times a week to replenish her stores.

Formula fed babies may also get enough iron from iron rich finger foods such as:

  • Meat & poultry (especially beef and liver)
  • Winter squash
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Sea vegetables
  • Greens
  • Beans
  • Egg yolks

If there is a concern about baby’s iron level, have it tested before supplementing.

Tips for BLW (baby-led weaning)

SaveMama NaturalBaby-led weaning allows and encourages baby to self-feed solid finger foods instead of receiving purées via spoon. Here’s how and why to practice it.39115Mama NaturalMama Natural ☝ Blog Posts
  • Hunger can create an unhappy experience for everyone. Be sure to nurse or bottle feed baby up to an hour before offering solids so that his tummy isn’t empty.
  • Forget about expectations and let it be a learning experience. Baby probably won’t eat much at first, and that’s ok!
  • Realize that it may be a slow process. Babies can take a longer time when they’re in charge. As they get the hang of it, feeding time will be quicker.
  • It will be messy. Many parents find a naked baby is easiest to clean up afterwards.
  • Don’t serve small pieces of food but instead serve pieces of food large enough for baby to grasp easily. Some families find cutting food with a crinkle cutter or rolling pieces of food in oat flour can make pieces easier for baby to hold.
  • If food can be smashed between your finger and thumb, it’s probably appropriate for baby.
  • Don’t put more than a few pieces of food on the highchair tray or table at once, so baby won’t get overwhelmed (or have as much to throw!)

Progress Not Perfection

Keep in mind that you can always do a hybrid approach to feeding. Super soft foods like avocado and sweet potato might be better served with a spoon. Let your child play and try to feed herself using the utensil. You’d be surprised just how well she can imitate you! Some moms let baby gnaw on soft pear slices, but prefer to spoon feed foods like puréed meat or bone broth. I know some parents who make smoothies, which a baby can drink through a straw if the family is on the go. Just know that you can experiment with feeding approaches that work best for your family and lifestyle. (Although it’s best to probably stick with a few set routines so your baby doesn’t get confused.)

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Ten Weeks Post Partum – The 411


Friday marked 10 weeks since I gave birth to the most perfect creature God every created.  My baby girl is growing by leaps and bounds.  She is now over 11 pounds !  She is truly my little chunk munk.  Her cheeks look inflated and she has tons of fat rolls.  I am constantly cleaning dust bunnies out of her fat rolls on her neck, legs, and under her arms.

At 10 weeks, my baby now laughs, giggles and smiles.  She also attempts to talk back when you are  talking to her… she coos and smiles !

The baby is still sleeping most of the day and night.  She awakes in 4-5 hour stretches to eat and get a diaper change.  She usually stays awake for no more than an hour or she goes right back to sleep after her tummy is full.  She drinks on average 3 oz of milk at a time.  She is still drinking breast milk and supplementing with Earth’s Best Organic Sensitivity Formula.  Because I had more clogged ducts, she has been drinking more formula this week than breast milk because my supply dropped and I didn’t take Motilium while the ducts were clogged because it causes worse pain.  It was my fault because I got busy and did not pump and then went to bed after pumping once and slept all night until the baby woke up at 5 am.  I woke up to pain !

My mom watched a bunch of Youtube videos and figured out how to assemble her Stokke Xplory stroller with the carrycot attachment.  It has been a bit cool except 2 days so I have not taken her out on the beach for a walk yet.  I went out yesterday for a quick jog and froze !

I have started back cooking and baking now that we are back at the condo and I have my kitchen stocked with all the gadgets I love.

Seven Weeks Postpartum- The 411

photoshoot-at-7-weeks

My gorgeous girl (and I know no parent should ever boast about this type of thing, but I am completely objective !  lol)  is 7 weeks old.  This past week was a bit challenging due to a bit of colic.  I called her doctor and demanded to change her formula I am supplementing with to Earth’s Best Organic Sensitivity Formula and it has made ALL the difference !  The baby’s poop is normal now.  There is not a lot of trapped gas anymore and the baby is letting them rip ! (embarrassingly so !)

I am still exclusively pumping and I have not gotten another clogged duct (knock on wood) and I am pumping on average 5 to 7 ounces per pump.   I am still taking Motilium and will continue to do so. I am not yet sure how long I plan to continue pumping but I am hoping to continue until she is at least six months old.  Once we start her on homemade, organic food, I will more than likely stop pumping and only give her the Earth’s Best formula until she weans to organic whole milk.

Baby girl had her first professional photo shoot for a local photography studio this week.  Above is a sneak peek !

Mommy News:

My incision is completely closed now and it you can not even tell that I was cut open !  I am amazed at Dr. P’s work !  I wish she had suctioned the excess fat out and pulled that skin down then I would be A OKAY !  lol

I am feeling terrific and am down 54 pounds. I look great and am pleased with my body except my ass is gone!  Oh well… squats are on the menu now 🙂

Grandmomma / My Momma News:

My mother is doing a lot better.  She is still hooked up to wound vac and hopefully will be getting it off in the morning at the surgeon appointment.  We are headed to NYC on Monday so that I can vote and then the baby and I have doctor appointments this week too.  I have to check my post office box and then get a slice of pizza.  My mom was a bit sick for the past week so I took her to her PCP.  He determined that the infection was not 100% gone and he started giving her injection antibiotics.  She went back today for more blood work and she is now in the clear.

How your baby’s growing

Your baby’s brain is expanding in size and complexity. It will grow about 5 centimeters during the first three months.

You may notice short periods of time when your newborn is quiet and alert. This is prime time for learning. Use these calm intervals to get better acquainted with your baby – talk to her, sing to her, describe the pictures on the walls. She may not be able to add to your conversation just yet, but she’s absorbing language.

New textures, sights, and sounds are all learning opportunities. Even bath time becomes a laboratory for understanding the world around her.

Reaching out

Your baby’s hands should be mostly open now — ready to reach out to the world. In the early days of your baby’s life, grabbing was mostly automatic and instinctual and she couldn’t let go if she wanted to. Although she can’t really grab objects just yet, she can hold things placed in her hands. And, once she wraps her hands around something, she might not let go so easily. She’ll also begin to try and bat at objects, so keep potentially dangerous objects far from your little one’s reach. This means not holding hot liquids or sharp objects while you’re holding her.

Learning begins now

You may notice short periods of time when your newborn is quiet and alert. This is prime time for learning: Your baby’s brain will grow about 5 centimeters during her first three months!

Use these calm intervals to get better acquainted with your baby — talk to her, sing to her, describe the pictures on the walls. She may not be able to add to your conversation just yet, but she’s learning nonetheless.

New textures for her hands to feel and new sights and sounds (all in moderation) are all learning opportunities. Even bath time becomes a laboratory for understanding life.

Eyes can track objects

With both eyes now able to follow things consistently and well, your baby can track a moving object much better, something she may have been able to do for only brief periods since birth.

The stores are packed with developmental toys, but you’ll do just as well with everyday objects. Pass a rattle or a bright plastic ladle horizontally in front of her. Then try moving it up and down. This should attract your baby’s attention, though she probably won’t be able to smoothly follow things vertically for another three months and diagonally for another six months.

You can also play eyes-to-eyes by moving very close to her face and slowly nodding your head from side to side. Often her eyes will lock onto yours.

Remember, your baby is an individual

All babies are unique and meet milestones at their own pace. Developmental guidelines simply show what your baby has the potential to accomplish — if not right now, then soon. If your baby was premature, keep in mind that kids born early usually need a bit more time to meet their milestones. If you have any questions at all about your baby’s development, ask your healthcare provider.

Thirty Five Weeks – The 411

Whole honeydew melon with stem in green bowl on green table

How my baby’s growing

The baby doesn’t have much room to maneuver now that she’s over 18 inches long and tips the scales at 5 1/4 pounds (about the size of a honeydew melon). Because it’s so snug in your womb, she isn’t likely to be doing somersaults anymore, but the number of times she kicks should remain about the same. Her kidneys are fully developed now, and her liver can process some waste products. Most of her basic physical development is now complete. She’ll spend the next few weeks putting on weight.

How Mommy’s life’s changing

Your uterus – which was entirely tucked away inside your pelvis when you conceived – now reaches up under your rib cage. If you could peek inside your womb, you’d see that there’s more baby than amniotic fluid in there now. Your ballooning uterus is crowding your other internal organs, too, which is why you probably have to pee more often and may be dealing with heartburn and other gastrointestinal distress. If you’re not grappling with these annoyances, you’re one of the lucky few.

From here on out, you’ll start seeing your doctor or midwife every week. Sometime between now and 37 weeks, she’ll do a vaginal and rectal culture to check for bacterium called group B streptococcum (GBS). (Don’t worry – the swab is the size of a regular cotton swab, and it won’t hurt.) GBS is usually harmless in adults, but if you have it and pass it on to your baby during birth, it can cause serious complications, such as pneumonia, meningitis, or a blood infection. Because 10 to 30 percent of pregnant women have the bacteria and don’t know it, it’s vital to be screened. (The bacteria come and go on their own – that’s why you weren’t screened earlier in pregnancy.) If you’re a GBS carrier, you’ll get IV antibiotics during labor, which will greatly reduce your baby’s risk of infection.

This is also a good time to create a birth plan. Using our form will help you focus on specifics – like who’ll be present, what pain management techniques you want to try, and where you want your baby to stay after you deliver. It will give you a starting point to discuss your preferences with your medical team. Childbirth is unpredictable, and chances are you won’t follow your plan to the letter, but thinking about your choices ahead of time – and sharing your preferences with your doctor or midwife – should take some of the anxiety out of the process.

Learn about: Arriving at the hospital

How can I prepare for my arrival at the hospital?

Long before you go into labor, you and your partner should map out the most direct route to the hospital or birth center. Find out where to park, keeping in mind that you’ll be leaving your car for at least 24 hours. Ask the hospital staff where you should enter if you arrive after-hours. Most hospitals offer tours of the obstetrical floor at designated times. Taking advantage of these tours will give you a chance to do a dry run before the big day.

BABY STATS:

How Far Along?

35 weeks !

How Big Is The Little One?

My baby is the size of a honeydew melon and she weighs 4lb 3 oz

Total Weight Gain / Loss?

Although I lost 27 pounds my first trimester, I have only gained a total of 13 pounds. Since I was in the hospital for two days and given 3-4 bags of fluids, I can not do an accurate weight reading this week.

Maternity Clothes?

I am wearing the same maternity clothing:  jeans, capris, oversized tees, maternity tees, body con dresses, sundresses, and a few of my baggy dresses from pre-pregnancy.

Sleep?

I have been sleeping well.  It was hard to sleep the two days I was in the hospital because of the monitors and the unfamiliar noises.

Best Moment of the Week?

The best moment I had this week was the relief of knowing the bleeding was not an issue of my baby and that the baby and I both were fine and also hearing of the excitement of the little gifts I sent to my sister-friend’s children.  One child has been sick and the older toddler helped to care for the other.  I was so tickled to hear how much they enjoyed the little tokens.   Now I am gearing up for my mother’s reconstructive surgery tomorrow.  She will be in the hospital for a few days.  I am just praying all remains stable with me and my little munchkin and that my mom’s surgery goes smoothly.

Symptoms?

I have an external hemorrhoid which has not gone back down.  Some mornings, I awake a bit queasy and my skin is often overly sensitive and itchy. I take children’s liquid Benedryl and it helps tremendously.  This week, I seem to be burping a lot.

Food Cravings?

I still have no appetite so I do not crave anything in particular.

Food Aversions?

None

Gender?

Girl !,

Labor Signs?

I experienced contractions after a vaginal exam in the hospital.  They discovered that I was very dehydrated and after 2 bags of fluids, the contractions stopped.

What I Miss?

Nothing at the moment except being at the beach.

What I Am Looking Forward To?

Seeing my baby and holding her.

Bump?

My little soccer ball is still nice and round.

Navel In/Out?

In

Baby Purchases?

This week, my baby’s 4Moms Breeze Play yard in Grey arrived at Target.  I had giftcards from my shower and Sunday was Run Target day with 10% off, coupled with my 15% off completion coupon, I ordered the play yard so that I could maximize the discounts on the $300 large ticket item. I ended up getting $90 off ! I also ordered a Milk Snob carseat cover to match the baby’s Kate Spade baby bag.

Thirty Four Weeks – The 411

Whole cantaloupe with green stem on table

How my baby’s growing

The baby now weighs about 5 pounds (about the size of a cantaloupe) and is almost 18 inches long. Her fat layers – which will help regulate her body temperature once she’s born – are filling her out, making her rounder. Her skin is also smoother than ever. Her central nervous system is maturing, and her lungs are continuing to mature as well. If you’ve been nervous about preterm labor, you’ll be happy to know that babies born between 34 and 37 weeks who have no other health problems generally do fine. They may need a short stay in the neonatal nursery and may have a few short-term health issues, but in the long run, they usually do as well as full-term babies.

And from this week, until two weeks before birth, she will continue to gain about a half-pound of weight each week. Unlike the first trimester, the weight between all babies in the third trimester is much more variable. Some babies weigh more and are taller; other babies weigh less and are shorter.

Also unlike the first trimester, by week 34, not much is changing. The baby continues gaining weight through the development of subcutaneous fat, and with that weight, is probably gaining strength in her movements. You may even be startled by a sudden jab to the ribs, or be able to see a punch to your belly from the outside!

How Mommy’s life’s changing

By this week, fatigue has probably set in again, though maybe not with the same coma-like intensity of your first trimester. Your tiredness is perfectly understandable, given the physical strain you’re under and the restless nights of frequent pee breaks and tossing and turning while trying to get comfortable.

Now’s the time to slow down and save up your energy for labor day (and beyond). If you’ve been sitting or lying down for a long time, don’t jump up too quickly. Blood can pool in your feet and legs, causing a temporary drop in your blood pressure when you get up that can make you feel dizzy.

If you notice itchy red bumps or welts on your belly, and possibly your thighs and buttocks as well, you may have a condition called pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (PUPPP for short).

Up to 1 percent of pregnant women develop PUPPP, which is harmless but can be quite uncomfortable. See your healthcare provider so she can make sure it’s not a more serious problem, provide treatment to make you more comfortable, and refer you to a dermatologist if necessary. Also be sure to call her if you feel intense itchiness all over your body, even if you don’t have a rash. It could signal a liver problem.

BABY STATS:

How Far Along?

34 weeks !

How Big Is The Little One?

My little one now weighs in at 4 pounds 1 ounce

Total Weight Gain / Loss?

To my surprise, I got on the scale this morning after my shower and I have gained a total of five pounds this week !   I am up 13 pounds !!!!   WTH?  I think a few of these pounds are the swelling I have from hip to CANKLE ! After walking around NYC yesterday plus the 4 hour trip up there and back for my appointments, I was extremely swollen in my legs, calves, thighs, and ankles. (cankles !)  My feet look like they belong to Miss Piggy !

Maternity Clothes?

I am pretty sure my round belly will NOT fit into my normal clothing.  I have worn maternity jeans, capris and baggy tees all week.  My running tights are uncomfortable now.

Sleep?

I sleep pretty well and try to stay on my left side.  My baby HATES when I lie on my back.

Best Moment of the Week?

My best moments this week was (1) getting more awesome gifts in honor of my baby girl and hearing her heartbeat at my MFM appointment yesterday.  My placenta previa has resolved itself and the baby is growing and everything looks awesome.  After my ultrasounds, the doctor put me on the monitor for 20 mins and my mom and I sat there and listened to that perfect little heartbeat.  Now we are preparing for my mom’s reconstructive surgery next week.  I just hope she heals quickly with no complications since we are very close to my delivery date. I really do not want to have to hire a full time nurse to help me with the baby.

Symptoms?

I am experiencing an external hemorrhoid ! It is NO fun !  Luckily it doesn’t hurt nor does it burn.  The problem is, I can feel it and it makes for an uncomfy to sit down.  I read that it it best to lie on your side and avoid sitting and standing for long periods.  I stood around for almost 2 hours yesterday waiting until we could leave for Union Station from NY.  Luckily we were able to take an earlier trip instead of having to wait until 2 pm.

Food Cravings?

I still have no appetite !  I am trying to focus on protein right now since my protein levels were low when they did my blood draw two weeks ago.

Food Aversions?

Thank goodness my aversions are gone !

Gender?

Baby Girl !

Labor Signs?

None

What I Miss?

My legs and feet not swelling up every time I travel or do a lot of walking.

What I Am Looking Forward To?

Our HD Live / 4D Ultrasound this week and seeing this little face up close and personal !

Bump?

I have a nice little round soccer ball that measures 36 weeks.

Navel In/Out?

In

Baby  / Mommy Purchases?

I have not made any purchases, however we got some amazing gifts in the mail this week.  We received a Medela Shoulder Bag for the Pump In Style Dual Electric Breast Pump, a gorgeous dress from St. Barth, France from my Godmother, Bree, A Kinde Bottle/Breast Milk warmer, and a baby jungle gym.

Thirty-Three Weeks – The 411

Two pineapples in wicker basket on table

How my baby’s growing

This week your baby weighs about 5 pounds and has passed the 17-inch mark (about the size of a pineapple). She’s rapidly losing that wrinkled, alien look, and her skeleton is hardening. The bones in her skull aren’t fused together, which allows them to move and slightly overlap, thus making it easier for her to fit through the birth canal. (The pressure on the head during birth is so intense that many babies are born with a cone-head–like appearance.) These bones don’t entirely fuse until early adulthood, so they can grow as her brain and other tissue expands during infancy and childhood.

How mommy’s life’s changing

As your baby fills out even more of your belly, lots of things might start to change: Whereas before you were sashaying, you may find yourself waddling. Finding an easy position to sit in – let alone sleep – is becoming more of a challenge. And bumping into chairs and counters is par for the course.

You may be feeling some achiness and even numbness in your fingers, wrists, and hands. Like many other tissues in your body, those in your wrist can retain fluid, which can increase pressure in the carpal tunnel, a bony canal in your wrist.

Nerves that run through this “tunnel” may end up pinched, creating numbness; tingling, shooting or burning pain; or a dull ache. Try wearing a splint to stabilize your wrist or propping up your arm with a pillow when you sleep. If your work requires repetitive hand movements (at a keyboard or on an assembly line, for instance), remember to stretch your hands when you take breaks – which should be frequently.

Many women still feel sexy at this stage – and their partners often agree. You may need to make some adjustments, but for most women, sex during pregnancy is fine right up until their water breaks or their labor starts.

Learn about: Monitoring your baby’s movements

How often should I feel movements?

Your baby should be moving as frequently as she has for the last month or so. Every baby has her own pattern of activity and there’s no correct one. As long as you don’t notice any major changes in your baby’s activity level, chances are she’s doing just fine.

Do I need to keep track of my baby’s kicks?

For an added sense of security, many healthcare providers recommend that after 28 weeks, you formally monitor your baby’s movements at least once or twice a day. There are lots of different ways to do these “kick counts,” so check with your doctor or midwife about how she wants you to track your baby’s movements. Here’s one common approach: Choose a time of day when your baby tends to be active. (Ideally, you’ll want to do the counts at roughly the same time each day.) Sit quietly or lie on your side so you won’t get distracted. Time how long it takes for you to feel 10 distinct movements – kicks, twitches, and whole body movements all count. You should feel at least 10 movements within two hours. (Don’t worry; it probably won’t take that long. Sometimes you’ll feel 10 kicks within the first 10 minutes.) If you don’t feel 10 movements in two hours, stop counting and call your healthcare provider.

What should I do if I think my baby’s movements have slowed or changed?

Let your doctor or midwife know right away if you notice a slowdown of your baby’s movements. A decrease in fetal movement may signal a problem, and you’ll need a nonstress test or biophysical profile to check on your baby.

BABY STATS:

How Far Along?

33 weeks !

How Big Is The Little One?

My little angel is the size of a pineapple

Total Weight Gain / Loss?

I did not weigh this week, but as of last weigh in, I was up 8 pounds.  I lost 27 pounds first trimester, so I think I am doing pretty good !

Maternity Clothes?

Still rocking running pants, maternity leggings, oversized tees, body con dresses and mostly pjs since I have barely left the house this week.  The baby shower wore me OUT !

Sleep?

I sleep pretty well.  I do wake up a few times to urinate, but otherwise, I have no problem falling asleep.

Best Moment of the Week?

My week has pretty much revolved around resting, cooking and baking.  I was craving fried flounder and chips so I made that yesterday and today I wanted Baby Lima Bean and Country Ham Bone Soup, homemade buttermilk biscuits and grilled center cut pork chops.  I made egg custard pies for my mom using my great Grandmom’s recipe with a few tweaks of my own.  I wanted swiss n cheddar burgers for breakfast and homemade fresh cut fries so I made that at 8 am lol.  I only eat a few bites of anything before I am full, so I do not worry about weight gain.  Now that I am not as repulsed by the smell of food and sight of food, I really enjoyed the few bites of food I indulged in this week.

Symptoms?

My baby has been extremely active the past few days.  She was almost radio silent for the past few weeks with the exception of certain times.  Now, she is moving a lot again… Especially when I am trying to sleep or when I put belly buds on and play Mozart or Beethoven.

Constipation is plaguing me so I am back to taking 3 Colace in the am and drinking coffee with Miralax in it periodically.  That does the trick.

I had blood work last week and my TSH is extremely low (.066), my protein, fluid levels iron levels, Vitamin D, calcium, platelet counts, rbc… everything is LOW !  The baby is taking all my nutrients.  My sister instructed me to up my fluid intake and protein.  I went to get protein shakes but the kind I like was out of stock.  I will make a point of getting some this weekend and start drinking two per day that are 35g each.

Food Cravings?

Burgers, fresh cut fries, cheese, fried fish

Food Aversions?

None

Gender?

Female

Labor Signs?

None

What I Miss?

Wine and Sangria

What I Am Looking Forward To?

Meeting this little angel and seeing who she looks like… what she sounds like… what she smells like.

Bump?

My bump is growing a little… becoming more round.


Navel In/Out?

In

Baby / Mommy Purchases?

I didn’t buy anything this week.

What’s New?

My mom is going to be doing her reconstructive surgery in a week.  I am hoping the have a cancellation and can get her in next week so that she has time to properly heal before I have my cesarean.  Since they are doing a tummy tuck for a flap and her breasts, I am hoping she will be able to sit up straight and be functional by the time baby girl is here, since I will not be able to lift her.

Nine Tips To Take Care of Sore Breasts During Pregnancy – The 411

Courtesy of LadyCareHealth.com


Pregnancy can be a beautiful journey for a new mother. However, the journey would be filled with its fair share of complications. And one such complication that is experienced by hordes of pregnant women is the condition of sore, painful breasts during this period.

Pregnancy and Sore Breasts

Even though a pregnant woman may start to notice the soreness in her breasts only after 1-2 weeks after conceiving, in reality her breasts would have started to change even before she realizes her pregnancy.

So Why Exactly Do the Breasts Become Sore During Pregnancy?

When a woman becomes pregnant, her body starts undergoing a sea of hormonal changes. Her body starts secreting more progesterone and estrogen, hormones that are responsible for factors like breast enlargement. With the overwhelming hormone buildup in the body, the breasts start growing in size. In addition to increased blood circulation and their fat layers which start thickening, your breasts would also start developing milk glands to prep up for delivery

This massive change in turn can cause a series of uncomfortable physical side effects, including breast soreness, tenderness, pain, tingling sensation, and swelling etc. Some women feel extreme discomfort and pain even if their breasts brush against clothing or are touched. And even though the hormone levels in your body would stabilize after a few weeks into the pregnancy, the soreness in your breasts may continue until after you give birth.

Taking Care of Breast Soreness During Pregnancy

Although you won’t be able to get rid of the soreness completely, you can opt for certain remedies to handle it better. Here are a few of the more popular options.

Choose the Right Bra

Getting the Cup Size Right

Your cup size should be the measure from the fullest part of your breasts (from under them). Avoid opting for smaller, ill fitting cup sizes that can cause extreme discomfort and pain.

Your breast would start growing from day 1 of your pregnancy and would most surely have increased by at least a few cup sizes by the time you give birth. So make it a point to buy some extra bras (increasing cup sizes) to help you support your breasts throughout the term.

Getting the Right Kind of Bra

Underwired bras would be very uncomfortable during pregnancy. Opt for more supportive bras, for instance a sports bra that can accommodate the increase in breast size and hold your breasts firmly in place, thus minimizing the discomfort and pain that accompany breast movement.

Seamless bras would also help as seams can cause irritation to the breast skin during pregnancy. If you opt for the same nevertheless, opt for breast pads to place in between the breasts and the bra lining. This would prevent irritation and protect the nipples from as well.

Sleep in Your Bra

This would help keep your breasts movements to a minimum and help you cope with the tenderness, soreness and pain better.

Take a Warm Water Bath or Shower

A warm water bath could work wonders to sooth aching breasts during pregnancy. Make sure the water temperature is below 100 degrees Fahrenheit (anything above that could prove to be harmful for the body).

Fill the bath tub with warm water and lie down in it for some time, making sure your breasts are fully immersed in the water. Make circular motions on the water with your hands to make the water flow over your breasts. This could soothe them to an extent.

Alternatively, you can opt for a warm water shower bath. Open the shower and let the warm stream hit your breasts. Even though this is considered a good option by many to soothe sore breasts, you should not opt for it if you start to feel pain.

Try Avoiding Contact

This may take some persuasion from your part but it could be one of the many ways to cope with sore breasts during pregnancy. Avoid touching your breasts during this period except when you take a bath or moisturize them. Speak to your partner and explain the situation to him. Request him to avoid touching your breasts or be very gentle in instances where he does so.

Apply Creams and Lotions to Get Comfort

Recommended by many new mothers out there, this remedy to soothe sore breasts involves applying creams and lotions over the breasts regularly. You can opt for over the counter products or home remedies for the same. Accordingly, you can opt for lotions or creams that contain lanolin as an active ingredient.

Lanolin helps to prevent dryness, irritation and infection in sore breasts. Other alternatives to lanolin include chamomile or calendula. For instance, chamomile tea bags placed on tender breasts can ease swelling and discomfort to great extents. If you want a more a naturalistic approach to dealing with sore breasts, you can opt for products like mango butter, cocoa butter, shea butter or natural herbs for the same.