Pets and babies. Do they mix? Absolutely! Thank goodness that’s the answer celebrity vet, Dr. Kate Adams gives to that question. Of course I already knew the answer to that question seeing as though Baxter and Brooks are already best mates! Take a look at the fun chat Dr. Kate and I had about all the benefits of having animals in the house. So often you hear about the negatives. Well… we are sharing several positives! So what good things are associated with lifestyles which include pets? Everything from greater socialization skills to better gut health to lower rates of asthmas and respiratory illnesses.Read More
I love fashion - beautiful dresses in particular. But it can be a massive challenge trying to feel feminine and fabulous when making sure I have easy access to 'the girls' in order to nurse my baby boy. I've made a conscious effort to seek out fashions to make this special time in my life a little easier. Because let's face it. It can be stressful to have a crying hungry baby out in public, trying to feed in peace. I believe wearing stylish nursing clothes will help me stick to my commitment to breastfeed Brooks. It seems every credible health (including WHO) or parenting website I go to recommends babies get human breastmilk for at least the first 6 months of their lives. So let's explore a few ways to stack our wardrobes with flattering clothes and accessories that take the stress out of it.
Although there are certainly days when I don't venture out of my activewear, don't wash my hair, or put on a stitch of makeup - for the most part at least once a day, I like to look halfway put together. It is easy to lose our identity as new moms. Putting all our time, energy, and effort into our bubbies, forgetting about what makes us feel like ourselves - particularly when we don't physically look or feel like our old selves. Nursing fashion has come a longgggg way! Even my friends with kids a few years older say they can't believe how the market and industry has evolved. Nursing tops and bras have too. Medela offers several styles. At least one has holes complete for helping mamas pump!
Below you will find a Q and A with the founder of an amazing clothing retailer dedicated 100% to helping new moms look and feel great while nursing their babies. Verity owns Breastfeeding Wear Australia and has impeccable taste that won't break the bank! The fashions are all breastfeeding friendly, but not necessarily designed for nursing. You will want to wear these threads even when your infant grows out of the breastfeeding phase!Read More
Looking at these sweet newborn images three months after Brooks was born, I almost can’t believe how small he was! Don’t get me wrong though. He’s still very much an infant, only recently able to hold his own head up (and it’s still a little bobbly wobbly!).
I’m currently back in the USA right now introducing Brooks to my friends and family. I put together a book filled with these images for his grandparents and great grandmothers. It’s a great way to treasure these moments forever… and a great way for them to easily show him off to their friends and family at church, in the neighborhood, and nursing home! ;-)
I am so happy my husband and I made the decision to take newborn pictures when Brooks was less than a week old. He is so cuddly and squishy! I am simply melting once again over these images!
Below you will find a Q and A with an amazing Aussie photographer, Kath Mclean. She shares why taking pictures early is best, how to get good light, what to do if the baby is crying, and several other secrets to snapping such heartwarming pictures.Read More
I have been exclusively breastfeeding Brooks for 12 weeks now. Pumping has helped me get some necessary 'me time' that makes me the best mom I can be. I try to pump once a day to make sure there is some milk in the refrigerator for my husband to give Brooks if he gets hungry while I'm out and about for a couple hours. I have heard loads of moms complain about how having a newborn can be isolating. I believe it is very important to have a bit of time each day to myself. Activities that have helped me feeling good? Going for a coastal walk, enjoying lunch with a girlfriend, shopping at the local boutiques, or getting a small pump or swim on at the gym.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusively breastfeeding newborns for at least 6 months, in combination with solid foods until 12 months, and continuing longer if mother and baby desire. The benefits for baby seem to be endless. Which is why I have made the commitment to exclusively breastfeed for at least 6 months. But that's exactly what breastfeeding is... a commitment. I love how it helps me bond with my baby boy, Brooks, but as every new mom will tell you, there are a lot of challenges associated with it. Many women complain about cracked nipples, clogged milk ducts (and even sometimes getting sick with mastitis), overall breast soreness, and the need to never be too far from baby. Some moms have even said they feel chained to their baby by breastfeeding. Pumping can help new moms gain independence while still ensuring their babies reap the rewards of their mother's milk.
I love thinking about breastmilk like a superfood... made by me! It is such a special phenomenon. It makes me feel like super woman! Breastmilk contains antibodies to protect our babies from infection and disease. It also contains nutrients that help with gut and brain development. It is easiest and best for babies to digest and absorb. I am making the commitment because babies who are breastfed are less likely to develop ear infections, respiratory infections, diabetes (type 1), allergies, eczema, asthma, and obesity.
Below you will find a Q and A I did about pumping basics with one of the leading pump brands, Spectra.Read More
Brooks getting an international welcome via the number one cable morning show in the world, Fox and Friends. A very big thank you to my colleagues at Fox News in New York City for the most lovely way to announce the birth of my first born child, Brooks Kooiman Stuckey. My heart is absolutely exploding!!!Read More
I have made a commitment to breastfeed my baby boy, Brooks because I have learned about the seemingly endless benefits. I hope this post offers some great info to expecting new moms like me! Also, be sure to watch the YouTube video of the interview below.
Breastfeeding Benefits and Basics Q and A with Dr. Jill Gamberg
As I count down the day's until may baby's arrival, I can't help but wonder what it will be like to have my first born 'real' baby meet my first born 'fur' baby! HaHa I want to make sure the transition is as smooth as possible. Baxter is a 100 pound yellow lab that has been my rock for nearly 11 years. I’ve had BaxMan since he was a few weeks old. He’s lived with me in Ohio, North Carolina, three New York City apartments, San Francisco, & now Sydney, Australia. He is one cool pup.
As I imagine most of you at home would agree, these fur babies truly are part of the family, aren’t they? So what happens when our families expand? How do our animals react to the new pecking order? What can we do to ensure our homes are not only safe environments, but also happy environments, free of unnecessary tensions?
Below you will find a Q and A with Baxter's doctor from Bondi Vet, Dr. Kate Adams. Dr. Adams is one of the brilliant vets who helped save Baxter from the infamous corn cob that nearly took his life a couple months ago. Read the piece I wrote for Fox News here.
I have found Dr. Kate's answers very useful in my quest to make my home both baby and doggy friendly. I hope her answers resonate with you or someone you know!Read More
"I'll have bacon, eggs, and a side of PLACENTA, please!" Wait, what's going on here? What world are we living in?
I recently got into a funny television exchange about placenta encapsulation (steaming, drying, and consuming placenta in a vitamin-like pill form) while guest hosting my favorite Aussie morning show, Studio Ten. The topic came up during the commercial break, and given the hosts' intrigue with the concept, it was worked into our hot topics of the morning. Although not particularly common, each of the hosts had heard of the practice and all had different ideas on how it could be consumed. Raw? Fried in a pan with your breakfast? Baked like a brisket? Lolli-pops? Combined in a smoothie? Dried and encapsulated?
Most mammals eat their placenta after birthing their offspring. But does that really mean humans should be doing it too? Most other mammals also don't go to college, live in air-conditioned homes, or drive cars to work. But, for all the naysayers, I've had a couple friends tell me they ate their placenta after childbirth, and highly recommend it. The reasoning? It is believed, by some, to carry a whole host of benefits such as assisting with milk production for the all important breast feeding - and helping keep away postpartum depression.
The minimal scientific studies that have been done seem to be inconclusive as to the benefits, but that doesn't stop women from raving about it. A large amount of information I have found comes from published anecdotes from women who have consumed their placenta post childbirth and are true believers. They say it's helped their ability to breastfeed and bond with their newborn, decreased blood loss, and improved mood and energy levels. On the flip side, many medical minds are skeptical, and strongly warn against it if the mother has an infection.
So here goes... Should I eat my placenta!? I can't say it's a question I thought would be coming up a few days before I go into labor with my baby boy. Although the concept may sound quite out there, I am open to trying alternative practices, as long as reputable doctors (including my trusted OBGYN) don't think there is potential harm.
My baby boy is due any day now, so if this is something I'm going to try, I need to know it is safe, and I need to make sure a highly regarded placenta specialist is available. As part of my research, below you will find interviews I've done with Dr. Jill Gamberg, a General Physician from Bondi Doctors and Georgie Jhet, a doula who specializes in placenta encapsulation (recommended by my acupuncturist). If you are considering this practice, make sure you consult with your doctor first.
Ladies! Check out the full Q and A's below and let me know what you think. Is this too weird? Or is it something that will become mainstream down the track? Be sure to comment on my Instagram, Facebook, Twiiter, and YouTube pages.Read More
There are sooooooo many NO NO's when it comes to what we can eat and drink during pregnancy. It's obviously worth it... But let's face it... it can be annoying! I am in the home stretch and have definitely had a few hankerings over the last 8 months! What about you? What do/did you miss the most while growing your small human?! Make sure to leave me a comment on social media. I just recently went to my husband's Christmas party... which of course had loads of yummy soft cheeses and cocktails that I couldn't enjoy. A lot of his co-workers were asking what I miss most. I think it's either dirty martinis or ice cold beer... or maybe pinot noir, or maybe sushi... gosh it's hard to pick.
Above you will find a casual coastal walk chat with Dr. Jill Gamberg (Bondi Doctors), a friend of mine, about what we can and can't eat/drink during pregnancy. Hope it offers some valuable guidance for all my fellow expecting mommies!Read More
I am starting to pull everything together for my nursery and I've heard from so many friends, "Make sure you get a good chair! Your booty will glued to it for the foreseeable future!" LOL
At my parents' house in North Carolina, we have a beautiful wooden rocking chair that helped hush my brother and me to sleep when we were babies. I've been envisioning something similar for my own baby boy on the way, but also wanted something a little more cushy for the 'tushy!'
I looked all over and found a beautiful chair from an Aussie company called Life of Style. It is a French inspired rocking chair, made of grey linen blend fabric, solid oak legs, and bronze stud detailing. It is a substational chair but will also fit in our limited space. My husband and I live at Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia. It is one of the best locations in the world, but we definitely sacrifice space in a big way in order to live here. I also wanted to make sure the there would be enough space for an ottoman to go with the rocker. Going into my 8th month of pregnancy, I've already been nursing sore feet. I'm guessing these puppies will want some elevating post delivery too! This Life of Style rocking chair and tufted ottoman are going to be perfect!
Below is an interview with Life of Style founder, Melissa Cannizzaro about how to choose the perfect nursing chair.
ANNA: New mothers spend a large amount of time in the nursing chairs, particularly in the early months. What are the main types of nursing chairs you recommend? (Ex. Rocking, gliding, stationary, reclining, etc)
MELISSA: A rocking chair would be the best option, especially in those first few months when your days are consumed with the feeding and sleeping routine of a new baby. A comfortable rocking chair will offer respite to a weary body whilst giving you the chance to rock your baby gently to sleep if you need to. I didn't have a rocking chair when I had my girls and I found that when nursing them I would find myself patting, bouncing or swaying them in a stationary chair to soothe them – not ideal!
ANNA: New mom’s often get sore backs, is there a particular angle, height, cushion, armrest, etc to look for?
MELISSA: There are definitely a lot of aspects to look for in a nursing chair. You want the right height armrests to allow room to move or to place a pillow under your arm if need be, you want the right seat padding so that your toosh is comfy, the right density in foam in the backrest to allow back support yet comfort and the right amount of rocking motion so that you don’t feel like you about to launch off the floor. I have a lot of customers comment that some other rocking chairs/arm chairs backrest only go as high as their shoulders. I think it’s pretty important to be able to rest your head back and relax so this is definitely something to look for. A lumbar pillow is also something that can provide extra lower back support for those long nursing nights. All these factors have been considered in Life of Style’s range which is why our products have a top layer of duck feather in the seat cushion, a higher backrest and a come with a complimentary lumbar pillow.
FRIENDS! Don't forget to leave me some comment love on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Also, please tag a girlfriend in the posts if you think she's interested in the content from AnnaKooiman.comRead More
If you follow me on Instagram you've probably realized I don't mind a good jumpsuit! Ha! I love them! But is it okay to make a JUMPsuit into a BUMPsuit?!
This week, I'm collaborating with an American stylist showing off a few ways to style the bump while wearing non-maternity clothes. It can get a bit pricey to purchase a whole new wardrobe... particularly when you're only going to be wearing it for a few months. So for my moms-to-be.... I hope the next few posts give you some ideas to pinch some pennies!
I just got back some New York City snaps from a few weeks ago (I was about 26 weeks pregnant). The photoshoot was with Anton Lombardi in collaboration with KK Bloom Boutique. About this look, owner, Kendrick Allen, says, "The jumpsuit is a great way to chic up your wardrobe during pregnancy. Be sure to find one that has a lower inseam to give room for the baby bump. A lot of people are scared of florals, but if you add a touch, you can spice up your outfit taking it to the next level." Merlot and florals are both huge this season. Kendrick says they make one of her favorite combos!
Scroll down to get a few looks I've handpicked from Shop Style.Read More
I had the pleasure of filling in on Studio Ten today for their entertainment hosts/reporters. We chatted Janet Jackson, Star Wars, Christian Bale, Harrison Ford, and more! It was fun spending some time in the hair and makeup chair for this flirty and feminine look! I was never allowed to wear my hair up in the past... so this was an extra special look to go along with my extra special addition.... the bump! I will be 21 weeks along this Friday.
Scroll down to watch the behind the scenes video and also a couple clips from the show today! The dress is by Eliza J. I got it from a little boutique here in the Double Bay neighborhood of Sydney. I found the same dress for you linked below... but only in a deeper blue and black. I love the scallop detailing and off the shoulder sleeves. I decided to wear the sleeves up this time to cover a little more in the chest region! LOL The funky earrings and white link bracelet are from JCrew in the US. The shoes feature a feminine ruffle, stiletto heel, and lace up back. They are by an Aussie designer, Tony Bianco. I think he is my new favorite! Look him up!Read More
I'm pregnant! My husband and I are expecting a baby boy. He is due on January 26, 2018.... which is Australia Day! How about that!?! All the scans/ultrasounds have gone great so far and I am crossing my fingers for a healthy, non-dramatic pregnancy. The first 13 or so weeks I was incredibly exhausted and off and on nauseous... but I am feeling great now! Happy to have my usual energy back!
I had the privilege of sharing my news on my favorite Aussie morning chat show, Studio 10. They were so sweet! And the reveal was kinda funny! I had been concealing it for almost 20 weeks! The hosts were initially asking me if I was hiding something in all my social media pictures I had been posting recently. The photos from my Asia trip were quite funny... hiding behind friends, a hat I was holding in front of my belly, even standing behind a sumo wrestler in Tokyo! hahahaha Then when I made the big announcement the producers gave the crew the go ahead to blow gold confetti all over the set. It was quite spectacular and 100% a surprise to me! This show has been so good to me since moving to Australia. I regularly appear as a guest host on the show. Also, when I'm lucky I get to fill in for their entertainment hosts/reporters are on assignment or vacation. They have really made me feel at home. Tim and I plan to have the baby in Sydney. It's nice to be getting to know a new TV family along with Tim's incredible extended family and friends here in Oz.
Scroll down to watch the TV clip and also to #getthelook If you like the off shoulder black dress. earrings and shoes... they are from Kookai (a store I recently discovered here in Australia). The white link bracelet is from JCrew in the US.Read More