Posts tagged australia
Benefits of Having Pets and Babies in the Same House

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.

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How to Prep Your Pup for Baby's Arrival

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!

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9 Months Pregnant, Final Beach Workouts with Speedo Fitness Club

I'm 9 months pregnant and about to pop! But I want to stay motivated until bub arrives. I feel as big as a whale and I've been dealing with a ridiculous amount of swelling in my feet, ankles, and legs, In fact I wrote about my 'cankles' in this piece for Fox News. But I feel so much better when I am active. So as long as I can, I'll be doing modified workouts.

I do plan on slowing down even more once I welcome my little man into this world. Along with the mommy/baby bonding, I also think recovery is so critical for both the mind and body.

In this video, Speedo Fitness Club manager and trainer, Levi Darby leads me through a less intense version of three exercises safe for month nine of pregnancy. Levi says his number one tip is to listen to your body. This is not the time to be increasing fitness levels. He also says to make sure not to let your heart rate or blood pressure get too high. And make sure to stay hydrated. Levi recommends focusing on low impact exercise and movements. Carrying the extra weight of your bub adds pressure to your joints as well as inflammation so avoid any sudden impacts or movements likely to aggravate. Practice positions that help prepare your body for birth. Deep squats are great for encouraging your pelvis to open and for your bubb to move into a great position for birth.

My friends, I truly hope these tips help keep you motivated though your pregnancy the way they have motivated me! As always, remember to always consult with your doctor.

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The Best Baby Cribs, How to Pick One

As a first time mom, I am so so so excited about setting up the nursery. It feels like such a right of passage as a woman - and it makes this whole pregnancy thing seem REAL!

When it came time to choose the perfect baby crib, I had so many questions. After a lot of research about safety and a lot of scrolling through my Instagram feed at cute possibilities, I settled on a lovely white crib by Incy Interiors. It should be arriving any day now. I can't wait! I imagine a lot of you will have the same questions I had when I started this process, so I wanted to go to an expert for you! 

I asked the founder of Incy Interiors why she started the company and why she continues to be passionate about helping new moms find the perfect cribs/cots for their nurseries. Here is Kristy's response and a Q and A about how you can choose the best crib/cot for your needs. You will notice that Aussies call the piece of furniture 'cots' while Americans call them 'cribs.' 

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Diaper Bags, Selecting the Ultimate Style for Your Lifestyle

Like most ladies, I LOVE handbags. So how on Earth am I supposed to choose just one diaper bag? Well, I didn't! LOL I chose two. But for very different occasions of course. :-) Both bags have several compartments and are backpack style so I can go hands free when need be.

Since moving to Australia I have learned a lot of Aussie slang and Aussie synonyms. Throughout this post you will notice Aussies call these functional accessories, 'nappy bags'.... while Americans refer to them as 'diaper bags.' I love all the cultural nuances!!

I knew I wanted a casual bag and a dressier bag. I also knew I didn't want an old school diaper bag that looks like a baby quilt. As a southern girl from the USA, I've had my fair share of Vera Bradley bags in my day, so I'm not doggin on that style, I just knew it wasn't for me, for this purpose. I also knew there was no way in hell my husband would carry a bag like that if it came down to it!

The casual bag I selected is by Uashmama, an Italian brand that has a gorgeous store in my neighborhood at Bondi Beach. I joke that I have seen a few 'yummy mummies' strolling around Bondi with this bag and it looks so chic and well suited for the area. The straps come off and on - and are easily attached to the pram/stroller. I actually have the bag in gold and have used it as a travel bag all over Asia, Italy, and Switzerland recently. But again, I thought a more gender neutral carbon color would be more suited for days my husband is on diaper duty. Here is the Uashmama link.

The dressier bag I selected is by Il Tutto, an Aussie brand designed in Melbourne. I love the black leather and gold detailing. This nappy/diaper bag is seriously, the ultimate! I can't wait to use the included accessories.  Here is the Il Tutto link

Before making my final decisions, I asked the Il Tutto owner and designer, Leanne Boyd, several questions about how to select the ultimate nappy/diaper bag for individualized needs. New mamas... I hope the information serves you well!

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Active Truth Maternity Interviewed Me for Their 'How She Does It' Series

Active Truth has become one of my favorite maternity lines to wear at the gym or around Bondi Beach, Australia. It is an activewear company that serves women of every shape and size. Their designs specialize in super small to super big sizes so that no body is left out - and that includes pregnant women like me. I have tried out several lines of maternity activewear and just like some everyday-wear maternity lines, the quality is often sub-par. BUT, that is not the case with Active Truth. It is up there with Lululemon - and that's saying a lot in my book. Anyway, the founder, Nadia Tucker, recently interviewed me about my prenatal fitness routine for their 'How She Does It' series. The Q and A about my prenatal fitness and nutrition routine is below.

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Tips to Style Your Bump from 'Ripe Maternity' and Yours Truly

Now that I'm in my 9th month of pregnancy, I feel like I finally have maternity fashion figured out! Ha! But I have to say in the first few months, there was a lot of trial and error. It's a funny spot for all of us first time mommies to be in. First we notice that we just look a little thick, bloated, or chubby and we don't know how to keep looking and feeling great in the fashion realm. We also don't know what we need to buy and what we can skip in order to save some cash.

Then once the big bump actually comes in, we enjoy feeling our bub kick, twist, and turn in our tummies... and also enjoy people knowing we are pregnant and not just packing on the pounds!  We are then left to figure out what we can wear that will accentuate our cute baby belly, and conceal some of the less flattering body changes that come along with pregnancy. We are also again left wondering what maternity fashion pieces to invest in and which ones to pass on to save time, money, and precious closet space!

So what has worked for me? I have found the two pairs of maternity jeans I invested in early on have each been worn about 1,000 times. I have a few body con dresses that I have worn for television gigs, parties, or nice dinners. Long flowy dresses with empire waists have also been a staple - particularly as I have been getting bigger and more uncomfortable! In fact, as I creep toward due day, my fashion has really been heading in this direction! ! When I'm not in activewear, I am almost 100% of the time in a long dress and Birkenstocks. This combo covers up my fluid filled legs and ankles - and supports my aching feet! I have also found BIG accessories work wonders with a simple black dress.

As you will notice from my social media posts, I have had a lot of luck at Ripe Maternity. The clothing is good quality, on trend, and many pieces can double as nursing attire once baby arrives.

Below you will find a Q and A with the co-founder and creative director of Ripe Maternity, Lisa Balakas.

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Why I Needed an Iron Infusion Despite a Healthy Pregnancy Diet

Energy crash! Time to go to the hospital and get strapped up to an IV for an iron infusion! Wait!!! What!?!?

My OBGYN knows I am normally quite high energy, so when I told her about my severe exhaustion, she knew something was up. We had my iron levels tested. Despite a healthy diet, full of iron rich foods, and taking prenatal vitamins, the levels were too low. She prescribed an iron infusion in the delivery suite so we could monitor my baby boy the whole time. It sounded pretty invasive and full on, so I didn't want to do it at first.

My OBGYN gave me clearance to try another option first. I tried taking an oral iron supplement in addition to my prenatal vitamins. Unfortunately a couple weeks later I felt like I had walked off a cliff into the low energy zone. The best thing for me to compare it to is the exhaustion I used to feel after a long 20+ mile run during marathon training - not wanting to move a muscle because everything felt fatigued. 

Most days I could go about my business until mid afternoon, before heading into the twilight zone. But unfortunately, a little over a week ago that feeling started coming on earlier an earlier. I could hardly keep my eyes open - was losing concentration - became short of breath - noticed my heart rate was going up - and even felt dizzy a few times. It became apparent that I ought to go ahead and get the iron infusion.

I hated the idea because I am so conscious about eating a balanced diet, make sure to meet the recommended daily value of iron, and religiously take my prenatal vitamins. I felt like I had been doing something wrong.  But my OBGYN reassured me. She said t's quite common for pregnant women to be iron deficient, even when they are eating healthy diets. The growing baby just sucks a lot of goodness from us unfortunately! Having done quite a bit of research on this as of late, I have now learned that a way for all of us, pregnant or not, to make sure we actually absorb the iron we are eating, is to pair it with vitamin C. This is something I was not taking into account.

Going to the delivery suite at the hospital for the iron infusion turned out to be a great idea. The process was not painful (aside from the stick when the needle for the IV goes in), and lasted less than an hour. I was told the main side effects are quite minor - possible headache or nausea. But the other big risk is daunting. If the needle goes in wrong, there is a very slight chance the iron will stain your arm, permanently. Eeeek! I did not want to end up with a brown, iron tattoo for sure!

Fortunately all went smoothly. I am told it typically takes a little over a week to notice a real difference in energy levels, but I already feel like it was a fabulous decision to get the iron infusion. Just going to the delivery suite in the hospital was also comforting in a way. I got a mini tour, and now feel more prepared for my labor and delivery. Makes total sense! Now I know where all the magic will happen next month - when we welcome our baby boy into the world!

In this post you will find two videos. One is from the delivery suite at the hospital showing what an iron infusion looks like. The second video is a walk and talk with a friend of mine who is a family physician, Dr. Jill Gamberg. We chat about iron deficiency during pregnancy, how to make sure we absorb the iron we are ingesting, and how an iron infusion works.

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Why Birthing Classes are Empowering

I have never spent a lot of time thinking about how good, bad, or ugly labor and delivery would be. Never spent a lot of time of course- until the last 8 months of my life growing this baby! The more I've read and chatted with other moms, the more I've started getting really scared and anxious about it. People don't talk a lot about how grueling labor and delivery can be. We are just supposed to think of it as a beautiful thing since we are bringing a beautiful life into the world. But it is daunting- mostly because of the unknown. I have been trying to change my mindset a bit the last couple of weeks. I'm starting to think of it like one of the many marathons and triathlons I've completed over the years. Mind over matter... You can do this! 

This weekend my husband and I are taking our birthing classes. A lot of my girlfriends who are moms have been telling me... "Get ready to feel empowered!" I think they are right. Knowledge is power and there's comfort knowing my husband will be there to coach me through it. There's comfort knowing women have been doing this since humans first walked this Earth. After much consideration about where to get educated on the ever important birthing process, I have decided I want to take a holistic, scientific evidence backed approach, with a program founded here in Sydney, Australia.

My husband and I have chosen She Births. It incorporates active birthing, yoga, massage, nutrition, acupressure, breathing, relaxation, & effective partner support. I interviewed the founder, Nadine Richardson, about how moms should choose a birthing class that's best for them, when it's best to take classes, why they are empowering, and what separates She Births from other courses.

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How to Choose the Perfect Nursing Chair

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.

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