Posts tagged pregnancy
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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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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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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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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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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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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Baby Blue Dress for Baby Boy on the Way

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!

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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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