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In the early days of motherhood as much as you would like to take time to rest, there’s a new baby that needs your love and attention and self-care can easily slip out of your schedule. An herbal sitz bath is a great way to help you relax, speed up healing, soothe the perineum, and help with hemorrhoids – and not to mention take a few much needed minutes for yourself. Read on for this at home how-to.

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Even though Andrea, the founder of Tubby Todd, and I have been friends for years, I’m genuinely a huge fan of their products and have been since the day they launched their first lavender body wash. I use their BASICS line daily with my little ones and am always bugging Andrea about when a new scent or product will come out, not to be sociable but because I love everything they make. I’ve known about the development of their new MAMA line for quite a while now so I’ve been (im)patiently waiting for it’s release. I recently gave it a spin and I think we can all agree that it’s a game changer.

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Meeting Jeannette (@shutthekaleup) feels like freshening up! She’s a mama with an outstanding balance as fitness instructor, mom to Elliott Grey, and “real food” enthusiast, and we’re leaning on her for some shaping tips…to be our healthiest selves. Her mantra is simple: “listen to your body,” and we’re all ears for her nutrition tips, workout gear “steals” and advice for feeling our best after baby. Thanks for guiding us through, Jeannette.

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Building Balance

January 19, 2016

As a mom, you and I both can understand the most universal challenge of finding balance. While this comes differently to each of us, Solly Baby’s style is when “mama’s dancin’ with baby on her shoulders,” or when babywearing happily helps us juggle it all while keeping what matters most the very closest.

If “physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness” (-Joseph Pilates), then instructor Jenny Redford of Hello BODY Pilates is helping build a really happy you. With your baby wrapped tight, follow her simple instructions to work as much of the body as possible, “keeping in mind that we don’t want to jostle baby too much and we want to give ample attention to your posture.”

 

 

Before you begin — 

When returning to exercise, pay special attention to reconnecting to the pelvic floor and deep abdominals. Even though the movement is mostly focused in the lower body, keep your focus on drawing in and up in the belly to initiate each movement. This will help you to support baby and to find your balance. I also recommend wrapping baby a bit higher than usual to keep their little legs out of the way.

I show both an option to do this with 2-3lb hand weights/weighted balls and without. You can opt out of the arms completely to hold baby’s head or you can place your hands on the back of a chair for balance. If you perform it as shown, 3x’s each exercise, alternate sides and repeat the series several times. You can also perform each exercise individually 8-12 times. Finally, if something doesn’t feel right, stop. See you doctor when necessary. Move mindfully always.

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Releve / Centering, Balance, Calves
Stand tall, weight in the balls of the feet. Lift and lower heels with resistance.

Passé Lunge + Arm Reach / Balance, Thighs, Glutes, + Shoulders
Bring the right knee forward, sliding the right toe up the leg to passé (as low or as high as you’re able to maintain your balance). Then reach the right leg 2-3 feet back to a lunge. Left leg bends 45-90 degrees, knee over foot. Arms reach forward, palms up. Body hinges to a slight diagonal. From the lunge, lift and press the hips forward over the standing leg as you bring the right leg directly back to your passé. Body returns to upright.

Plié, heel lifted + Arm T / Inner-thighs + Quads
From the lunge, pivot 90 degrees toward your back leg to a wide second position. Legs Rotate outward. Lift the right heel as both knees bend deep to 90 degrees and lift to standing. Arms hold in a T, palms up. The back and chest are broad, shoulder blades reach down. Knees point in the direction of the toes.

Pulse Plié, heel lifted + Arm T / Inner-thighs + Quads
Lower to a deep plié, lift and lower several inches with as much control as possible. Arms hold in a T, palms up.

Hold Plié, heel lifted + Arm Circle / Biceps, Shoulders, Inner-thighs + Quads
Holding a deep plié, arms draw small circles; back and then forward. Upper body remains still, support the arm motion with your back.

Side Leg Lunge + Arm T / Balance, Glutes + Shoulders
Legs and feet rotate to parallel. Lunge into the right leg then push off from the lunge and extend right leg; balance on the left leg. Control as you resist back into the lunge. Arms hold in a T. Hips remain level.

Side Leg Lifts + Arm T / Balance, Glutes, Core + Shoulders
From your last side leg lunge, hold your balance. Lower the right leg to tap the ground then lift the leg 6-12 inches. Arms hold in a T. Hips remain level, centered over the supporting leg.

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Contributor: Jane Maynard

When it comes to taking dinners to families with new babies, ALL food is ALWAYS welcome. You could drop off a bag of potato chips and onion dip for dinner and I guarantee those sleep-deprived parents of a newborn will be happy! That said, there are small things you can do to make the meals you deliver to new parents extra wonderful and useful. Over the years, as people have brought meals to our family after we have had babies, I have picked up some great ideas and tips about what makes a delivered dinner really great.

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you plan meals for the loved ones in your life who have just had a baby!

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Intro

Guest Contributor: Jane Maynard // This Week for Dinner

Yes, pregnancy is a time to avoid alcoholic beverages. But just because you have that adorable baby bump doesn’t mean you can’t have a fun drink in hand! There are all kinds of delicious mocktails out there that can help you ride out the next nine months. And, let’s be honest, some (all?) of them actually taste better sans alcohol!

These 15 fabulous mocktail recipes are just what you need to quench your pregnant thirst. And, with warm weather finally settling in, the fizzy, fruity fun that is a mocktail is perfect for spring and summer. Don’t forget! Just because you’re not a virgin (yes, the preggo belly gives you away!) doesn’t mean your drink can’t be! Bottoms up!

01_Strawberry Mint Fizz

Strawberry Mint Fizz –
This tasty strawberry mint fizz also has a slight cucumber flavor. The freshness of this drink is perfect for spring and you’ll definitely want more than one glass! Get the recipe from Babble.

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Blood Orange Basil Mocktail –
This mocktail has a richer flavor thanks to the blood orange and basil, which end up complementing one another beautiful. And, of course, fizz! Get the recipe from Babble.

03_Persian Pomegranate Mocktail

Persian Pomegranate Mocktail –
Orange blossom water gives this mocktail its special Persian twist. Get the recipe from Tori Avey.

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Frozen Virgin Strawberry Coconut Daiquiri –
Frozen drinks are always the best, especially when there coconut and strawberries are involved. Get the recipe from The Lemon Bowl.

Sparkling Honey Rosemary Lemonade –
This is lemonade, cocktail style. Except, of course, no booze! Get the recipe from Nutmeg Nanny.

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Watermelon Hibiscus Lime Cooler –
One of the fun things about cocktails is the interesting mix of flavors, which this drink most certainly has thanks to hibiscus. Get the recipe from Tasty Yummies.

06_Banana Pina Colada

Banana Piña Colada –
Piña coladas are always a great candidate for going virgin! Get the recipe from Tasty Yummies.

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Frozen Virgin Strawberry Margarita –
This frozen strawberry margarita is perfect for when you’re in a party mood! Get the recipe from Barbara Bakes.

Pink Grapefruit Sparkler –
This pink grapefruit sparkler also features the flavors of pineapple and ginger. Bonus: ginger helps with morning sickness! Get the recipe from Cookin’ Canuck.

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Mango Margaritas –
A mango margarita will definitely help a tired, pregnant mama relax and transport herself, at least mentally, to a desert island! Get the recipe from Simply Sated.

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Mojito Smoothie –
This slushy mojito is downright irresistible. Get the recipe from Wonky Wonderful.

Ginger Mojito –
What better way to get in some anti-morning sickness ginger than with a mojito! Get the recipe from Taste As You Go.

Citrus Mint Spritzer

Citrus Mint Spritzer –
A hint of mint gives this citrus spritzer a refreshing flavor you’ll love! Get the recipe from Diethood.

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Summer Fruit Spritzer –
When summer comes be sure to get out this recipe and take advantage of all those summer fruits! Get the recipe from Miss in the Kitchen.

Cranberry Sorbet Bellini –
If you can’t have a classic bellini, go for this variation on a theme, with raspberry and cranberry. Get the recipe from Country Cleaver.

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