Posts tagged baby
Channeling Our Inner Strength from Birth into Parenthood - Chat with She Births and OBGYN

“We need the sisterhood. We need the village.” In this video above I sit down with my OBGYN and Birthing Educator for a birthing team ‘debrief.’ I would love to hear your birth stories and lessons learned. Leave me a comment on social media.

My OBGYN, Dr. Jan Dudley and doula, prenatal yoga instructor, and creator of She Births childbirth education program, Nadine Richardson, have a lot of great insight on how to make the birthing experience a beautiful one. They talk about what we can learn about ourselves from pregnancy and childbirth. And how to channel that same strength and perseverance right into parenthood.

“Learning in pregnancy to drop the judgment of yourself is such a great way to launch into parenthood. Because the last thing we need is to feel isolated. And that’s what judgment does. If we are judging ourselves, we stay at home in our little bubbles, and we go to mother’s groups and we start judging. And that happens a lot. But we don’t need to. We need women that are empowered and happy. And that’s how you’re going to be the best mom.”

I love the quotes above from Nadine Richardson. During pregnancy, I learned so much. I have always been a go, go, go, go, GO kind of person. Pregnancy and motherhood have slowed me down in the best way possible. Motherhood has taught me patience, acceptance, empathy

I can tell you the deep breathing techniques I learned in the She Births education program helped me to have a natural, drug free birth (even with a posterior baby).

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Chaos Minimizing Tips for Moms On-The-Go

T-I-M-E. Time. Nobody has enough of it. Everybody wants more of it! Lack of time makes us feel like life is too chaotic to make time for fitness. Too chaotic to cope. The number one reason mammas tell me they don’t exercise is because they can’t fit it into their busy schedules. The Strong Sexy Mammas website has you covered for the fitness side of things. But I also have a few tips for surviving outings with kids that can help cut chaos and save time.

I am a busy mamma, known for always being ‘on-the-go.’ Upon writing this post, Brooks has just turned one and has already flown from Sydney, Australia to New York City four times in his short little life! People ask how we keep it together and how I stay fit and fresh. I’m the first to tell you I don’t have everything figured out. This mamma thing is hard work! But I can tell you what is working for me. Hope it helps!

Watch the video I shot with baby Brooks and our dog Baxter a few months ago at a local park in Bondi Beach. We go through a few ways I survive being ‘on-the-go.’

Tip #1 Buy a lightweight stroller for travel purposes (Umbrella strollers are awesome. But I think it’s worth investing in a stroller that folds up small enough to go in the overhead compartment on airplanes. This way you don’t have to gate check it and you’re never with out it).

Tip #2 Pack plenty of toys (i have some touch and feel books that are very interactive and seem to kill two birds with one stone).

Tip #3 Use a backpack as a diaper bag (nappy bag as we say in Australia). This allows us to stay hands free rather than having the shoulder bag that inevitably falls off the shoulder and knocks into things! LOL.

Tip #4 Use a blanket that is durable enough to double as a play-mat in a pinch. This saves a lot of precious space.

Tip #5 Stock your closet with long, flowy dresses (This makes me feel ultra feminine and put-together, even though it takes almost zero effort. Pull the dress off the hanger, and you immediately look like you spent more time getting ready than you truly did! Yass!)

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The Secret to Better Sex After Having Babies

The secret to better sex after having a baby. Man, doesn’t everyone want to know? The truth is, the secret in many cases is simple. A stronger pelvic floor can mean stronger orgasms and better sexual satisfaction with our partners. The weight of the fetus during pregnancy and the pushing we go through to get them out, often leads to a weakened pelvic floor. Checking in regularly with our pelvic floor can often help. Check out the pelvic floor section on StrongSexyMammas.com for some exercise ideas and considerations. Better sex often leads to better relationships with our partners. And better relationships with our partners often leads to being better parents to our kids.

Watch my interview with the principal women’s physiotherapist, at Women in Focus Physiotherapy. Elizabeth ‘Lyz’ Evans is not just a women’s health expert, but also a rockstar mum of two. Aren’t they cuties? If you live in Sydney, Australia, I highly recommend paying her a visit!

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Postnatal Fitness No No's! Which Exercises to Stay Away From and Which Ones are OK?

Postnatal Fitness No No's! Which Exercises to Stay Away From and Which Ones are Okay? Abs separation (diastasis recti) and pelvic floor weakness are just a couple of the lasting effects pregnancy leaves behind. Jumping into high impact fitness and certain abs exercises are very bad for postpartum recovery. Anna Kooiman, creator of Strong Sexy Mammas (online workouts for moms), takes you to a women's physiotherapist to see which exercises we should stay away from after having a baby. And which exercises are good! Check out StrongSexyMammas.com to work out with international TV host and fitness instructor, Anna Kooiman.

This may surprise you…. Crunches are a bad idea for some new moms. Same goes for full sit-ups and planks. Don’t sabotage your exercise success.

Watch my interview with the principal women’s physiotherapist, at Women in Focus Physiotherapy. Elizabeth ‘Lyz’ Evans is not just a women’s health expert, but also a rockstar mum of two. Aren’t they cuties? If you live in Sydney, Australia, I highly recommend paying her a visit!

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How to Survive Mealtime with Kids

Dinnertime for moms can be stressful no matter what the age of our kids. Am I right? Making sure our little ones are nourished with healthy, nutrient dense food can be a challenge in our busy lives. Since becoming a mother this year, I have found several ways to survive mealtime. Take a look at this video for a few of my mamma tips.

Tip #1… No Screens! Even at 7.5 months when we recorded this video, Brooks was so drawn to screens. Smart phones, tablets, televisions, Apple watches, etc. It’s still the same today. So we try very hard to limit the time he is exposed. And we have a hard rule, no screens when we are trying to feed him. I have to keep them off so he stays interested.

Tip #2… Eat your greens! Lead by example and your kids will follow. Sneak them in if you have to. With purees, Brooks seems to like apples and pears more than zucchini and broccoli. So when I make them at home I almost always add in a little fruit to give it a naturally sweeter flavor. It works every time! As the kids get older it’s a great idea to sneak vegetables in wherever we can as well. Even if they are asking for pizza, sneak in some veggies as toppings. But hide them under the cheese!

Tip #3… Get the kids involved! When Brooks is older, I plan to take him to the grocery store to pick out all the yummies. I’ll then have him help me cook dinner in the kitchen. I think when kids feel like they are part of the process they are more likely to be proud of what they’ve made, and scarf it right up!

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Why Crunches are a BAD Idea

This may surprise you…. Crunches are a bad idea for some new moms. Same goes for full sit-ups and planks.

But why you ask? If we want a flat tummy, aren’t these exercises normally winners? Well the majority of new mammas have some degree of abs separation (many don’t even know it). Doing incorrect abs exercises can actually lead to more of a belly rather than less! Don’t sabotage your exercise success.

Watch my interview with the principal women’s physiotherapist, at Women in Focus Physiotherapy. Elizabeth ‘Lyz’ Evans is not just a women’s health expert, but also a rockstar mum. If you live in Sydney, Australia, I highly recommend paying her a visit!

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Is Sleep Training Good for Baby and Mom?

Is sleep training good for baby and mom? It's something I have been struggling with answering and therefor have been having a hard time deciding whether to take the leap and implement a sleep training method. Some say the 'Cry it Out' method is psychologically damaging to infants, while others say the research does not back this claim. Pretty much every mom I speak to says if you can get through about a week of misery, it is the best thing you can do for both baby and mom.

I'll lay out where we are our in our sleep journey and then share a Q and A with the editor of one of the top rated publications on the topic, Babywise. Also, check out my Instagram feed for a fabulous $200 gift basket giveaway from Under the Nile.

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Baby Photographer Shares Secrets to Get Great Pictures

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.

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Baby Milestones: When Will Baby Do What!?!

Brooks has just turned 10 weeks old... or young I should say!  He is very smiley, lifts his head and can turn it from side to side when having tummy time, coos when he is on his own, and seems to almost try to get words out (cute random, sounds really) while making intense eye contact. As a new mom, I can't help but wonder, when he will laugh, roll over, crawl, walk, talk, etc. From my reading I have learned developmental milestones are grouped into the following categories: physical, social, emotional, cognitive, and language. A great app I have been using for the last month or so is called, "The Wonder Weeks."

To learn about baby milestones, I have done a YouTube interview with GP,  Dr. Jill Gamberg from Double Bay Doctors. The video is below. She has also given us a few bullet points for reference.

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Belly Binding Post-Baby: Good or Bad Idea?

n the early hours after giving birth to my first born son, Brooks, I chose to use a belly wrap. I have read a lot about them and have friends who swear it has helped them get their 'inside bits back in order!' A woman's uterus needs to shrink back to its usual size and the bands are supposed to help. Critics say it is unnecessary or even a bad idea because the body becomes reliant on the splint rather than the muscles, which can leave the weak. Women have been having babies for the ages with and without wrapping their bellies around the world. But several friends have also told me the wraps have helped their tummies flatten out faster and that it's been good for building better posture. I have been wearing mine quite religiously and have noticed positive results. I can’t say whether this was the reason or wasn’t. My OBGYN and the midwives at the hospital in Sydney recommended I wear my belly wrap while I begin gently easing into my new fitness routine (at the beginning of the journey). So far so good!

I asked Dr. Jill Gamberg, a GP doctor at Double Bay Doctors about belly binding/wrapping/splinting. Here’s what she had to say:

“An abdominal binder is a wide compression belt that encircles your abdomen.  It may be used to speed-up the recovery process after abdominal surgery like caesarean section, bariatric surgery, or cosmetic surgery. It is thought to support your surgical incision, help relieve pain, enable you to move more, and reduce swelling.  It may offer secondary lumbar support.

Women may use an abdominal binder after vaginal childbirth to help shrink the uterus and lose weight. Some women use it if they have a large diastasis recti (abdominal separation) post-partum.  


It is advised to only wear from 2-6 weeks after childbirth.  There’s no scientific evidence that binding your belly gets you back into your pre-pregnancy jeans faster.  However, they may be helpful for some women, and it is definitely worth talking to your doctor or woman’s physiotherapist to see if one may benefit you.”


I have also done a Q and A I've done with the three sisters behind the ever popular brand, Belly Bandit. See what you think and decide for yourself if abdominal splinting/wrapping is for you.

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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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DIY Natural Baby Products, A Lovely Afternoon with My Sister-In-Law

Want to save some cash and save your baby from chemicals at the same time? I do! Read on to see what I mean.

I am now in my 39th week of pregnancy and doing last minute odds and ends awaiting my baby boy to tell us he's ready to come into the world. Hopefully my water breaks soon! LOL I am so ready to meet him and see his sweet face! This year for Christmas, my amazing sister-in-law gave me the perfect gift. She organized an afternoon together to spend some quality time while concocting some natural baby products. We had a lovely day putting together all kinds of DIY baby potions. I'm thankful she had the idea of pinching a few pennies all while enabling me to use natural baby products on my sweet boy once he gets here.

Below are recipes my sister-in-law found for homemade diaper cream, nipple butter, baby wash & shampoo.

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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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Visiting Fox and Friends in NYC: 25 Weeks Pregnant

Marking 25 weeks of pregnancy in a very special way! I got to visit my friends and fans at Fox and Friends in New York City! We chatted about the fun travel I've been doing for AnnaKooiman.com. I also got to announce some exciting USA TV news. I am guest hosting FOX LA's Good Day LA morning show Oct 16-20 on KTTV from 7-10am PST. The show streams LIVE on KTTV.com

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Anna Kooiman Announces Pregnancy on Aussie Morning Chat TV Show

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.

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