Easy Meals for New Moms

Easy Meals for New Moms

Meal planning can overwhelm anyone. Add a newborn into the mix and it can be downright impossible! But if you’re due any day now or just had a bundle of joy, read on for tips and tricks to survive the first three months with a newborn. These easy meals for new moms are life-savers.

by contributor: Taran Conwell

These four tips for creating easy meals for new moms are so simple (and delicious). Mix and match to create a plan that works for you, without the usual stress that meal planning brings up. Because as a new mom, you’re probably sleep deprived and spending most of your time feeding that adorable tiny human. But YOU need nourished too

1. Keep it Simple

  • Don’t add anything crazy to your meal plan in the first three months. No new recipes! Stay off Pinterest and Tasty. Now is not the time to try new things. Keep your meal plan basic so you don’t get overwhelmed. Feel free to download your FREE copy of my Monthly Meal Planning Guide so you can keep these ideas at your fingertips.
  • Make a big batch of chili, soup or a casserole and it eat it twice or even three times. Leftovers are king but they are especially necessary when you first have a baby. Pull out the crockpot standbys and tried and true family casseroles. Double the recipe if necessary so you can have a second dinner. Chili and cornbread one-night can easily become nachos by serving it over chips and adding cheese and sour cream. Make the really craveable casseroles or soups so your family will be excited for the leftovers! My Slow Cooker Chicken Chili is always a hit in my house. (Pictured below)
  • Keep your family classics in rotation. Stick to the dishes you know best and repeat them like crazy. No one will mind if you serve tacos, spaghetti and chili every week. A. They’re just happy to be eating. B. You just had a baby, so they don’t get to complain about anything.

2. Get help from the store

  • Rotisserie Chickens. Grabbing a rotisserie chicken every week is an affordable, convenient and healthy dinner option. You can either carve it and serve with a simple salad and bakery bread or shred up the meat and make a quick chicken salad or soup.
  • Freezer Section Meals are a great staple to add to your meal plan. These can be as simple as frozen pizza and a bagged salad kit, frozen Trader Joe’s Mandarin Chicken & Rice (pictured below) or frozen meatballs you can throw in the crockpot with jarred spaghetti sauce and serve in rolls for Meatball Subs. If you can stock up on some of these items before baby comes, even better!
  • Salads. Grab a garden salad kit, a pack of grape tomatoes, some deli turkey, a bag of shredded cheese and then hard boil a couple eggs. Chop it all up and you have a super simple chef salad that everyone will love. The options for this one are endless, but that combo is my personal favorite.

3. Sandwiches & Breakfast for Dinner are your New Best Friends

  • Hit up the deli section to make yummy wraps and sandwiches. The deli section is your best friend during these first three months. Deli meats and cheeses as well as chicken salad make great entree sandwiches or wraps. They also gave really yummy side dishes like pasta salad, potato salad and rice pilaf. Grab some chips and you’re good to go!
  • Breakfast for Dinner ideas are endless and so easy. It can be as simple as scrambled eggs, toast and fruit or you can take it a step further and whip up a breakfast casserole like this Breakfast Bubble Bake (pictured below)

4. Take Help When Offered (and don’t afraid to ask)

  • If someone offers to bring a meal, ask when they want to drop it off! Don’t you dare pass on help when it’s offered. People want to help you! If someone says “I’d love to bring a meal sometime.” Respond back with “That would be great! How about Thursday, the 7th?” Accepting help when it’s offered is truly the best thing you can do for you and your new babe.
  • Get take-out at least once a week and ditch the side of guilt it comes with. If you aren’t a family that typically eats take-out, you should start for the first three months of baby’s life. Just once a week and it can be as simple as fried chicken from the local grocery store that your husband picks up on his way home from work. Or maybe a local pizza place does a $10 Monday night special, make that your take-out night. Just embrace it for this crazy season of life.
  • Ask friends to bring meals in lieu of gifts. Now this is easier said than done but if someone does ask you what you could use for the new baby or what size clothes the baby is in, simply ask for a dinner instead. Something as simple as “That’s so sweet of you. While we would appreciate any gifts you bring, the thing we could use the most right now is a home cooked meal.” I find that people really respond well to that response.

So, there you have it, my tried and true tips for getting you family fed the first three months of newborn-life. You don’t have to implement them all but hopefully you got a few ideas to keep with you. These easy meals for new moms will make that fourth trimester sooo much simpler. Make sure you stay well nourished for that little squish, mama, and let us know in the comments which of these easy meals for new moms you can’t wait to try!

Hi! I’m Taran and I make meal planning easy, so you can stress less at dinner.

I love all things coffee related, watching The Office reruns with my husband and chasing my daughters around (most days).

I love helping busy moms make monthly meal plans with dinners they can cook quickly that their families will love. When I’m not in the kitchen you can find me hanging with my friends, perusing Goodwill or planning my next state to see!

Find me at: www.undomesticmom.com or www.facebook.com/theundomesticmom

 

 

 

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The Best Nursing Bras According to Breastfeeding Moms

The Best Nursing Bras According to Breastfeeding Moms

If there is one thing that changes after having a baby… it’s your breasts.

Chances are you don’t quite recognize them anymore. Breastfeeding initially means your breasts are a lot bigger than they used to be and probably leaking milk on a regular basis.

Once your babies grow a little, the engorgement might end, but that just means they turn into a couple of slightly deflated balloons. One thing that is a MUST is a good quality nursing bra, and we’ve scoured the internet for the best ones according to real breastfeeding moms

These nursings bras have actually been recommended by breastfeeding moms. We will break down the pro’s and con’s of each.

(Just an FYI. This page contains affiliate links. If you choose to purchase something from a link we provide, we get a small commission at no extra cost to you! If you plan to purchase an item from this list, using our link is a way to show us you enjoy what we are doing, and it costs you $0. 😍)

 

Medela Maternity and Nursing Comfort Bra

Let’s start with the standard. When it comes to anything breastfeeding, Medela is the brand that comes to mind for most. 

This bra is basic, but comfy. 

You can grab them on Amazon for a little over $30, or grab one on your next Target run.

The Medela nursing tanks are pretty bomb too!

Ready for a little step up from the Medela? Try the Bravado.

This design is very similar, it gets great reviews on Amazon, AND it comes in a variety of colors. (Pretty cute ones too!)

Thousands of moms are currently counting this one as their fav, and comes in sizes XS-XXL.

The pretty colors come with a slightly higher price tag though, $49 on Amazon. 

Calling all well endowed and plus sized mamas! This one is for you.

This one isn’t just cute and a bit sexy, it’s also available in large and unusual sizes!

Grab it on Amazon for around $69 in sizes:

32GG-46DD

 

Great for support! This one was so good, one mama bought multiples! 

It’s simple, but supportive (and actually not unattractive). 

The perfect bra for super active moms who still need access for those nursing sessions. 

And… it’s not too pricey, selling for just $19.99 on Amazon.

Only drawback is it is a bit thick for some moms, but for those who don’t want to be able to cut glass with those breastfeeding nips, this might do the trick.

We can personally attest to the comfort of this bra! 

When it comes to looks, it does tend to go towards the granny side of sexy, but I didn’t care. 

We wore this nearly every day for at least two years before it wore out, making the $60ish price tag on Amazon totally worth it!

AND this particular bra comes in many sizes from 32B to 42H!

(I also just love Hot Milk bras in general, and will share more below)

Wacoal Women’s Nursing Bra

These babies are super cute, and dare we say even a little sexy??? 😍

A bit pricier than others. This option runs for about $65 on Amazon.

BUT – it does go up to some larger sizes, including 38G.

A lot of the reviews say this is the ONLY wired bra a lot of moms have been able to wear comfortably and they totally swear by it. 

These definitely seem like they are worth the investment!

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Why You Need a Postpartum Doula

Why You Need a Postpartum Doula

by guest blogger: Felicia Trumbauer

Postpartum can be a wonderful blissful time of settling into your new family, or it can be a whirlwind of stress. With all the expenses associated with a new baby, sometimes it’s easy to ignore why you need a postpartum doula.

However, one of the best ways you can get support and ease during this transition is by hiring a postpartum doula. (After hiring our own, we swear by them!)

Felicia Trumbauer is a doula-in-training and mother of two.

She shares her top five reasons why you need a postpartum doula.

 

1. She’ll listen.

A woman embarking on motherhood may want to talk to someone about multiple parts of this life changing time but sometimes she doesn’t have the type of listener she needs.

Many women have people in their lives that give well meaning, and not so well meaning, advice when the mother is really looking for someone to just hear her. Some people can be judgmental and make the new mom feel as though she isn’t good enough.

A postpartum doula will never do that. She will give the new mother space to speak her thoughts into existence and work through her feelings, allowing the new mother to come to her own conclusions. If mom needs to cry she’ll have a tissue, if mom needs to retell her birth experience for the tenth time she’ll listen fully.

There are many physical parts of postpartum that a doula can help with but having someone that will listen too is one of the biggest emotional advantages that comes with hiring a postpartum doula.

2. She’ll help manage the little things.

Who is going to walk the dog? Who is going to take the older sibling to school? Who is going to water the garden? When a woman is about to have a baby she tries her best to plan for every scenario but there’s always something that gets forgotten.

A postpartum doula will sit down and help the mother and non-birthing partner plan for all the smaller day to day tasks that may be missed. She can help create a schedule, remind certain people of their obligations, and help the new mother feel more at ease because there will be less to worry about.

3. She’ll make sure mom takes a shower.

I don’t know about you but when I had my daughter, showering became a luxury. Personal hygiene should never be something that goes on the back burner. Unfortunately when there’s a new baby in the mix and life keeps moving as if nothing major has happened, some new moms are lucky to shower every day.

A postpartum doula will be there to watch over the baby so mom is able to shower, eat, or sleep if she needs to. These daily tasks help the mother feel more like a normal human being again which helps her relax and focus on what really needs attention.

 

4. She’ll have resources for any service the family might need.

A postpartum doula is a generalist and is not a medical provider. She has knowledge about a lot of subjects but isn’t quite an expert in every one. If the new mother is experiencing pain during breastfeeding the postpartum doula will give referrals to trusted lactation consultants in the area. She knows when and where the Mom’s Club meets and where the closest car seat technician is.

If there is grief or trauma surrounding the transition into parenthood the postpartum doula has referrals to support groups and therapists to help get through a trying time.

 

5. She’ll make sure everyone can focus on bonding with the baby.

There are many people that come to visit when there’s a freshly born human around. Most of them say they’ll help around the house or bring a meal, but more often than not these people come to hold the baby while the mother is left cleaning or feeling like she needs to entertain guests.

A postpartum doula will actually do the things that Aunt Mary said she’d do. The postpartum doula will load the dish washer, make sure the diaper changing area is stocked, and fold the laundry. She is there to make sure each member of the family is able to get to know the baby and take in the few short weeks of the newborn period. If the non birthing partner is worried about bonding the postpartum doula will have ideas that will be special to this person and the baby.

If there’s an older sibling the postpartum doula will make sure the child doesn’t feel ignored and will help that child create a bond with the baby. The postpartum doula helps facilitate a loving environment with as little stress as possible.

Once you’re a mom, your number one priority is bonding and spending time with that little squish. But you really need to take care of yourself both physically and emotionally. A postpartum doula will make sure that your wellbeing doesn’t fall through the cracks as you make this transition.

Felicia is a mother to one fierce little toddler. After having her daughter she realized how little American culture cares about the new mother. Felicia is currently working towards postpartum doula certification through CAPPA. With a background rooted in activism and social work she’s looking forward to continue helping vulnerable populations become empowered. You can find out more about her on her photography page at www.littlewarriorphotography.com.

How I Feel About My Postpartum Body Now

How I Feel About My Postpartum Body Now

This body…

It has done amazing things.
Birthed three children and nursed them for over 3.5 years combined.

In one breath I thank every stretch mark.
In the next I curse them.

While I know this body gave me my babies, part of me can only see the imperfections as flaws.
Part of me can only see this body as something to be ashamed of.

And while I encourage other women to love and be proud of their bodies, I have yet to 100% fully embrace my own.

My breasts have always been large. But growing up in the 90’s it is imprinted in my DNA to believe the only acceptable breasts are made of silicone, exactly a D cup, and perky in a way that gravity would never naturally allow.

I look at them now and when I see them in the mirror I just think they look gross. Deflated. Floppy. Saggy.

My nipples and areolas are are too big to be pretty or sexy.

No.

They aren’t what I would consider the ideal set of breasts.

But biology would disagree.

They sag in a way that makes them perfect height for a baby on my lap to latch on.

The large nipples and areolas are the perfect target for a baby to find.

My squishy belly is a nice little pillow for those babies to cuddle up on while having a meal.

If only I could avoid looking in the mirror and actually seeing the reality. I can just keep the view I see when I look down at those little faces while having their milk and I can feel proud. I can love my body.

But the truth is when I look at it in the mirror, I don’t see it with my eyes. I see it with the eyes of society. Of all those who judge my body and the bodies of all other women.

You see to society, our bodies only matter if they can be sexually pleasing.

How well they can function in birthing and nurturing our babies, or Hell, even just existing at all outside of a man’s gaze or touch, doesn’t matter.

And as much as I’ve tried to cut out this view… it permeates.

So I will work to heal this wound along with the many others I have had laid at my feet as a woman and a mother.

In the meantime I’ll avoid the mirror and try to see my body as my babies see it.

A haven.
A heaven.
A place of comfort.
A place of safety.
A nurturing embrace.

And I’ll keep telling myself this until I feel it in my bones. Until the voices of others are erased, and the only one left is my own.

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The Best Tips to Succeed at Breastfeeding from Real Moms

The Best Tips to Succeed at Breastfeeding from Real Moms

Breastfeeding is hard. Yes it’s natural, but it doesn’t always come naturally to many of us. Bad latch, low supply, going back to work, pressure to supplement from doctors… the list of possible issues that can arise is long and can be complicated. A few breastfeeding tips from the pros should help.

 

You’re an awesome mama, and you just want what is best for your baby. But the idea of breastfeeding can be pretty daunting. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of breastfeeding tips from both experts and real nursing mamas!

 

Here are what some other moms and experts say are their top breastfeeding tips:

 

“One of the biggest myths about breastfeeding is that it comes naturally to everyone. Breastfeeding is a skill that mom and baby have to learn together. It takes time to master and often requires help from a friend, family member, or professional lactation consultant. Ask for the support you need early on and you can have the breastfeeding relationship you are hoping for!” -Miri Levi, a mom of two with one on the way, a Certified Nurse Midwife, Family and Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. You can find out more about her at www.justlivinghealthcare.com

 

the ultimate breastfeeding class

“Breastfeeding is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, literally. But I feel such a proud and fierce love knowing that I pushed through the difficult beginning. I know now that my sacrifice will benefit my kids for the rest of their lives, in ways that science is still discovering. Suddenly it doesn’t seem as big of a sacrifice anymore. Isn’t that beautiful?” -Sarah Marquez, mom and blogger from realsimplemama.com

“Just because breastfeeding is the most natural thing to do, doesn’t make it the easiest. It took me a few months before I felt like breastfeeding was easy for us.” -Meghan Winters, Breastfeeding advocate and counsellor in-training.

“Attending La Leche League meetings while pregnant is a great way for expectant moms to prepare for breastfeeding. You’ll learn how to deal with possible difficulties, as well as build a support system of experienced moms who you can call any time for help.” -Amber Herb, mom and La Leche League Leader. Find out more about LLL at www.llli.org.

“Surround yourself with support! It is so important to have a great support group you trust where you can ask questions, vent, and brag about all your accomplishments and goals! The beginning can be hard and at times you may question giving up. It DOES get easier. Trust your body, it was designed to make milk. There are so many products to help with pain, my favorite is Amorini silver disks. They helped heal me when I needed relief from pain. Even the LC and doctors complimented how well my nipples looked with a newborn! Stay motivated and don’t be scared to ask questions, we all need help at one point in time.” -Crystyn Leigh Haun, Mom of two, breastfeeding advocate, baby wearing educator and photographer. You can check out her work at www.facebook.com/photographybycrystyn

 

Back to work pumping class for breastfeeding moms

It may be the most challenging part of being a new mom, but in the long run breastfeeding actually simplifies your life because you don’t have to deal with bottles and mixing formula. Your baby is less likely to get sick, which means fewer trips to the doctor, and you have two built in comfort objects to help a fussy baby relax. Like Sarah Marquez said in her guest post, it will be tough at first but if you want to take the lazy way, breastfeeding is a great choice. Just be sure to read as much as you can so you’re educated and if you don’t know any other breastfeeding moms, create your own network of support online! That will give you hundreds of breastfeeding tips to choose from!

 

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Owning My Story of Postpartum Depression

Owning My Story of Postpartum Depression

The greatest resource we have to help us in our journey through motherhood is the knowledge other mothers share with us. But nowadays it seems scarier than ever to open and share with others because we are afraid of being judged.

 

This can be even harder if you’re dealing with postpartum depression. You’re probably wondering, will people judge me? Not trust me? The one thing that is most important for us to do if we have depression after baby is to reach out, but sometimes thats toughest thing.

 

So, how do actually do it, and foster an environment where we can share our stories? How do we share information as mothers without getting defensive and feeling judgment? How do we stop judging each other? The best way is to own our story and listen to some great advice from Brene` Brown:

 

“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light”

 

The key to this for me is to own my story and to be as authentic as possible, while being able to feel empathy for others. I can’t do that without allowing myself to be vulnerable. It is a little scary. Starting this blog is a little scary, but my goal here is to share my story in a way that could help other moms not feel alone. So I want to open up and share something that brings out a lot of shame for many moms.

I’m on Zoloft.

There is one thing that I could never have prepared myself for. The crazy roller coaster of hormones that comes after you have a baby, and the depression after baby that I felt. I’m lucky in that I never felt disconnected from my baby. I am very thankful to breastfeeding for helping me create an amazing bond with my girl, but I also had some incredible anxiety post partum.

For weeks after giving birth, as soon as the sun went down I would just feel like my skin was crawling and I couldn’t settle myself. All I could do was try to breath and relax. I was taking vitamins and yes I’m one of those crazy moms who ate her placenta… But it was really just time that helped ease that anxiety.

What replaced it though was a terrifying shift in how I saw the world. I was afraid for my baby all the time. Was she breathing? Was she in her car seat right? I would fight with my husband about the placement of the car seat in the car, convinced she wasn’t safe. I thought about death a lot. Not that I wanted to die or hurt myself, but having brought life into this world it somehow made me confront the terrifying fact that we will all be dead someday.

This also faded, but after months I was still left with mood swings and some depression. Eventually I called my midwife. I went on Zoloft and the first few days it just gave me more anxiety. I didn’t feel like myself. But as I was on it for a few weeks, things got better.

My biggest regret is not making that call sooner. I thought I was tough or could get through, but now looking back I wish I wouldn’t have made myself struggle so hard for no reason. I don’t know how long I will stay on the meds but for now they are helping.

Honestly, I do feel some shame because of this. Like I am taking the easy way out or something. My brain tells me that’s stupid but in my heart I sometimes feel like I’m faulty or weak. How many of you feel like that? Whether it’s a struggle with PPD or not having a good milk supply or not being able to calm a colicky baby, don’t we all have something that makes us feel like we aren’t good enough?

I’m not sure there’s a magical way to make us all feel better about these things, but for me the step in the right direction is owning it and sharing it. Brené is right. Through sharing our vulnerabilities with each other we can find kinship and belonging and love. In fact, it’s the ONLY way we can find those things. So I know it’s scary, but if you are going through depression after baby, please own that and find help.

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25 of the best inspirational mom quotes for motivation, inspiration and commiseration. Enjoy these inspiration quotes mamas.1.The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness. -Honore de Balzac 2. One of the greatest titles...

What Do Moms Want for Mother’s Day? (This Mom Shares the Truth)

Been wondering... what do moms wants for Mother's Day? Some people are just sooo hard to buy for, and while this is just my personal opinion, I'm about to let you off the hook and clue you in on what moms want for Mother's Day.This might be shocking to some, so...