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Why you don’t need to rush to lose the baby weight

So, you just had a baby. Congratulations are doled out, friends and family come by and fawn over the little one, wanting to hold, snuggle and inhale all that newborn yumminess.


Unfortunately, we don’t often pay as much attention to you, the amazing mom, as we should.

Worse yet, we place these unrealistic expectations on you about getting back to your pre-pregnancy life, which includes your pre-pregnancy body.

People will ask, often quite openly, if you’ve gotten back to your pre-pregnancy weight, how long that took and what you did to lose the weight. Celebrities advertise jaw dropping transformations just weeks after delivery.

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The desire and obsession to “bounce back” is rampant.

And I admit, as a mom of three kids under three and a half, I too often find myself struggling with a changing body. However, as a nutritionist I constantly see women with disordered eating and feelings of inadequacy following the birth of a child so I am desperate to help them reframe what postpartum nutrition can look like and it doesn’t (and shouldn’t) only have to focus on weight loss.

We seem to forget that during childbirth, as one midwife described to me, we literally have the universe coming through us. (Sounds pretty intense to me!)

This process takes its toll on us physically and emotionally and what we really need to focus on in the weeks (and I would even say months) following our baby’s birth is physical recovery—enhancing our mood, optimizing energy levels, and losing weight over time in a steady and sustainable way.

Instead of glamorizing rapid postpartum weight loss here are my top reasons why you shouldn’t be in a rush to lose the baby weight:

It could cause breastfeeding issues

While gradual weight loss will not impact milk supply, a sudden dramatic decrease in calories over several days (such as a crash diet or strict cleanse) can definitely lower milk supply—a concern new moms already face in the early weeks of breastfeeding. These fat stores and reserves are there for a reason and are needed to feed our growing babies.

Diets with calories lower than 1500-1800 calories can affect milk supply, as breastfeeding requires roughly 300-500 extra calories/day.

Mobilizing toxins

Rapid weight loss can release toxins, which had been stored in our fat, into our bloodstream. These toxins can make their way into our milk supply and can also cause us to have a whole host of other health issues as a result of the toxic build-up in our body. Slow weight loss while simultaneously supporting the detoxification organs nutritionally is your best bet.

You could have skin elasticity issues + lean body mass

This one tends to hit home with a lot of people. Did you know that rapid weight loss can cause skin elasticity issues and sagging? There's a connection between how rapidly one loses weight and the amount of loose skin they end up with.

Also, severely limiting your caloric intake reduces the amount of lean body tissue you have and lowers your basal metabolic rate, thereby actually preventing weight loss.

It affects your overall nutrition + energy

When you cut your calories back in an attempt to lose weight rapidly, you will inevitably be missing out on important nutrients—like fiber, fat, iron, vitamin C and calcium. These are needed to help with physical recovery and keeping your body functioning at a high level, and super important for a postpartum mom.

Also, since your body is still in recovery following childbirth, it has heightened nutritional demands, especially protein and calorically dense fat. Therefore I don’t recommend counting calories, but instead urge women to follow their hunger and satiety cues (eating when hungry and stopping when satisfied). If they are eating a varied diet of nutrient dense foods and stopping before feeling overly full then their calories should be in a good range and weight loss should be healthy and gradual.

And just in case you need another reason to feel completely drained, cutting back on calories can cause fatigue, which obviously doesn’t feel great and may actually decrease your desire to move your body in a healthy way that is safe and feels good to you.

Women want to avoid feeling starved and deprived (no good comes from that feeling!).

Regular movement helps develop more muscle mass, improves mood and may positively impact sleep. Low calorie diets have the opposite effect.

Just to be clear, I am not against weight loss in general and work with women all the time who have goals of weight loss. However this is done in a slow, healthy way, ensuring nutrient density is at the forefront.

I am also working with women who are further along their postpartum journey and physical recovery, who have a better grasp on their new motherhood routine and who have some semblance of a sleep schedule; all things that will make the weight loss process more enjoyable.

It is impossible to say when you may be ready to shift your focus from recovery to weight loss at different points in time. However, in general, I view the first three months postpartum as recovery.

The focus should be on eating for energy and physical and emotional recovery, rather than weight loss

After a few months, once moms are sleeping more regularly and have been cleared for physical activity, then starting a program geared more towards weight loss may be more appropriate. But for now, just relax, fuel yourself right and focus on your beautiful new baby and that amazing body of yours that brought her here.

14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$179

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

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I never wanted to be a mom. It wasn't something I ever thought would happen until I fell madly in love with my husband—who knew very well he wanted children. While he was a natural at entertaining our nephews or our friends' kids, I would awkwardly try to interact with them, not really knowing what to say or do.

Our first pregnancy was a surprise, a much-wanted one but also a unicorn, "first try" kind of pregnancy. As my belly grew bigger, so did my insecurities. How do you even mom when you never saw motherhood in your future? I focused all my uncertainties on coming up with a plan for the delivery of my baby—which proved to be a terrible idea when my dreamed-of unmedicated vaginal birth turned into an emergency C-section. I couldn't even start motherhood the way I wanted, I thought. And that feeling happened again when I couldn't breastfeed and instead had to pump and bottle-feed. And once more, when all the stress from things not going my way turned into debilitating postpartum anxiety that left me not really enjoying my brand new baby.

As my baby grew, slowly so did my confidence that I could do this. When he would tumble to the ground while learning how to walk and only my hugs could calm him, I felt invincible. But on the nights he wouldn't sleep—whether because he was going through a regression, a leap, a teeth eruption or just a full moon—I would break down in tears to my husband telling him that he was a better parent than me.

Then I found out I was pregnant again, and that this time it was twins. I panicked. I really cannot do two babies at the same time. I kept repeating that to myself (and to my poor husband) at every single appointment we had because I was just terrified. He, of course, thought I could absolutely do it, and he got me through a very hard pregnancy.

When the twins were born at full term and just as big as singleton babies, I still felt inadequate, despite the monumental effort I had made to grow these healthy babies and go through a repeat C-section to make sure they were both okay. I still felt my skin crawl when they cried and thought, What if I can't calm them down? I still turned to my husband for diaper changes because I wasn't a good enough mom for twins.

My husband reminded me (and still does) that I am exactly what my babies need. That I am enough. A phrase that has now become my mantra, both in motherhood and beyond, because as my husband likes to say, I'm the queen of selling myself short on everything.

So when my babies start crying, I tell myself that I am enough to calm them down.

When my toddler has a tantrum, I remind myself that I am enough to get through to him.

When I go out with the three kids by myself and start sweating about everything that could go wrong (poop explosions times three), I remind myself that I am enough to handle it all, even with a little humor.


And then one day I found this bracelet. Initially, I thought how cheesy it'd be to wear a reminder like this on my wrist, but I bought it anyway because something about it was calling my name. I'm so glad I did because since day one I haven't stopped wearing it.

Every time I look down, there it is, shining back at me. I am enough.

I Am Enough bracelet 

SONTAKEY  I Am Enough Bracelet

May this Oath Bracelet be your reminder that you are perfect just the way you are. That you are enough for your children, you are enough for your friends & family, you are enough for everything that you do. You are enough, mama <3

$35

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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It's science: Why your baby stops crying when you stand up

A fascinating study explains why.

When your baby is crying, it feels nearly instinctual to stand up to rock, sway and soothe them. That's because standing up to calm babies is instinctual—driven by centuries of positive feedback from calmed babies, researchers have found.

"Infants under 6 months of age carried by a walking mother immediately stopped voluntary movement and crying and exhibited a rapid heart rate decrease, compared with holding by a sitting mother," say authors of a 2013 study published in Current Biology.

Even more striking: This coordinated set of actions—the mother standing and the baby calming—is observed in other mammal species, too. Using pharmacologic and genetic interventions with mice, the authors say, "We identified strikingly similar responses in mouse pups as defined by immobility and diminished ultrasonic vocalizations and heart rate."

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