Constipation & 5 Nappy-Related Truths

My first year as a Mum I found out and learnt so much.

Baby nappy changing matters was no exception.

I come to you bringing five wonderful tips & tricks I discovered in the land of pee-ing, poo-ing, constipation and nappy changes.

 

Nappy cream is not essential

I had seen it done in the past, and as a pre-teen, I changed a few diapers and put cream on their little bums during the process.

Fast forward to my pregnancy days, and I found out at antenatal classes that nappy cream is not necessary. I repeat, not necessary, except your baby has a rash. From my experiences, it’s true! You really do not need to apply nappy cream on your baby’s bottom at every diaper change. Nappy cream is made for helping a baby’s bottom heal from nappy rash, so if there’s no rash, no cream is required.

The best way to keep your baby nappy-rash free, is to simply change your baby’s diaper as often as need be. When they are very small, their diaper changes colour typically, every two hours or so to indicate a wet diaper. As they grow older, you look out for a thick, sagging diaper or change every four hours or so.

If a small rash appears, a mum shared on instagram that she fights it by applying a little bit of coconut oil. It works wonders and is natural, too.

Frequent nappy leaks could mean THIS!

I can never forget how annoyed I was with myself when I discovered this one. Night after night (ok, it might have been two nights or so), my baby was wetting her onesie.

That meant, both our sleeps were interrupted just because of the wetness. Then I would be spending extra precious minutes fiddling in dim light (so she wouldn’t be too awake and struggle to go back to sleep). Them I would get a new onesie, put it on and trying to do up those baby onesie snaps. But, I discovered the solution; drum roll…

It turned out she had grown dramatically in 3 weeks, over the Christmas holidays and now needed to wear the next diaper size up. A mummy friend came to my rescue with this tip and now I am happy to pass it on.

If you have two leaked wet diapers in a short space of time, when normally the diaper would be OK– it may mean it’s time to move up one diaper size.

 

Baby constipation, oh baby constipation

Nobody tells you this is one of the most painful pains you would go through as a mother! There are many joint mummy & newborn pains including: teething, colic, reflux, baby colds, nappy rash – you will feel these pains for your child, deeply, as though you are in physical pain yourself!

With constipation, some of the pain is in discovering whether or not it is constipation your baby is actually suffering from. There’s colour changes to bear in mind when assessing poo, then, how hard the poo looks, whether it formed as pellets or soft. There’s more terminology that includes watery, runny, loose and smelly.

Waiting for your baby to poo and the joy and excitement you feel when you see that poo, is something that will excite and terrify you at the same time. It’s one of those milestones that welcomes you wholeheartedly to motherhood.

 

Babies learn to poo

Yes we are born with the ability, but the pushing down and the strange sensation as the poo makes it’s way down, can be a little too much for some babies. Babies learn to get comfortable with how poo-ing works.

Baby’s muscles have to be relaxed around the anus, but tensed up in some ways too (around the stomach). This  can make it very tricky or just weird for some babies to poo, and they may show it by straining or crying or making funny faces.

Very small babies also do the number two while lying dow; doctors say this is not as easy as poo-ing while sitting or standing. All of this may make baby decide, ‘I don’t like this poo-ing sensation, I’ll hold it all in’, until they’ve put it off too long and are feeling uncomfortable from it. You may then be quite worried and  suspecting baby is constipated because they haven’t poo-ed in days or weeks.

You can’t help your baby learn to poo, but warm baths, bicycle legs and baby massage, may help relax baby and their little muscles.  If it’s constipation, baby’s poo comes out hard and in pellets. If the poo is soft, it may be a sign that your baby is just learning to get used to the sensation of poo-ing. I know, lovely!

 

Exclusively breastfed newborns do not get constipated

Another fun fact I learnt when my baby was little was that breastfed babies cannot get constipated.

It is considered normal for your breastfed baby to go days without pooing after their first six weeks. Because breastmilk is so perfectly formulated, baby’s body absorbs most of it.

Trust your gut with this one. A Doctor might tell you, no poo for 10 days is normal in a breastfed baby, but as a Mum if you notice straining and discomfort in baby after day three of no poo, go back and disturb your paediatrician. That’s what I would do anyway.  If baby seems unduly uncomfortable, it might be worth sharing the signs you see, to check everything is looking normal in baby’s tummy.

 

When we were going through potty training, poo took on a whole, new meaning. But that is a story for another day!

 

Mums, what stories about poo can you share form those early days with baby? Any discoveries, funny stories, or things people told you to do in relation to poo? Please share your experience in the comments.  Your contribution could be what provides another Mum a breakthrough in her worries. Thank you for sharing.

13 Tips for New Dads in Post-Partum Period

I found these tips and I thought it might be helpful to new Dads or Dads-to-be. You can email it across to your partner using the share button below. Or even better, chat through it together in a relaxed conversation while out on a walk, chilling on the sofa or whatever it is you do for fun over the weekend.

Tips for New Dads in first few days after baby’s birth

1.The temptation for your partner (new mum) is to try to do it all, however, most midwives recommend that women stay in or around their bed for 10 days after the birth. Please remind her of this, don’t let her worry about anything but her recovery and looking after the baby I enjoyed going out and getting some fresh air, even if it was just across the street to the shops. Key message is not to let her do too much.

2. Discuss, figure out and agree you (new dad), or somebody else, who will be responsible for cooking, cleaning, fielding visitors, taking phone calls etc. Also have a plan for visitors and have a code word that she can use to tell you when she is tired and just want stop go to her room, while you still have visitors.

3. Your partner will be sore, whether she had a natural or caesarean. Even if she had a normal delivery and no stitches, she will be in some discomfort. She may be having painful cramps, or other such discomforts. Be conscious of this. Be kind, be patient, be loving, be long suffering.

4. Your partner should have plenty to eat and drink in order to help her make milk for the baby. No dieting allowed at this stage. Bring her drinks regularly and breakfast in bed would also be a lovely treat after a night with new baby. But don’t be forceful about it either, gently encourage.

5. Breastfeeding is natural, but doesn’t often come naturally. Ask her how it is going, do what you can to assist, such as propping her with pillows or having a foot rest ready. Some pain is inevitable as the nipples get used to so much friction, but if it is horribly painful seek help. Continue to check in with her about breastfeeding and any pain, over the first weeks with baby.

6. On or around the fourth day, she will feel (even more) emotional and may cry a lot. This is normal. It is not the day to invite your mother – a present or nice surprise might be good at this time! Put in a reminder in your phone and be extra lovely and attentive that day.

7. Please listen to her talking about the birth experience, even if it is boring. Though I don’t think I have ever heard a boring birth story.

8. She should not be doing sit ups, or any other strenuous exercise. However, pelvic floor exercises are crucial! Remind her to do them during every feed. You could try using a code word.

9. You can’t nurse the baby, but you can cuddle, wind, change and settle the baby. In fact, many Dads are better at putting baby to sleep because than you don’t smell of milk. If you are bottle feeding, you can feed baby, sterilise and prepare the bottles. Don’t wait for her to ask- offer or just do it.

10. Remember that she has no innate biological imperative to be any better at parenting than you. BUT she does have a need to feel good about what she is doing. If she corrects your technique, please try and bite your tongue. Be kind, be patient, be loving, be long suffering.

11. Tell her that she is wonderful and a fantastic mother. Look her in the eyes and mean it.
I will add these two:

12. Please let give her room to trust her instincts, especially if she is worried about baby. It is better to be safe than sorry (and medical staff are very kind to new parents and will carry out necessary checks to rule out any serious concerns and tell you what you should be mindful of). Do not hesitate to contact them if your partner feels like it is a good idea.

13. Let her ‘hug the baby’. Don’t force her to give you (or anyone else) the baby. That will create anxiety. Continue to be helpful and offer to hold and help with baby, soon she will be happy to take up your offer.

 

How was your husband the first weeks after baby arrived? Was he confident and ready to help with baby or a bit reserved? Or perhaps between you and Omugwo, he didn’t need to help? i would love to hear your experience. Expecting Mums would also be looking for what to expect, please do share.

 

source: antenatal notes

The Day a Man at the Bank Changed my Life

Hello Mums,

I’m doing a little first post dance. It’s more of a seat shuffle. In any case, welcome 🙂

I used to have a small, more personal blog on motherhood but that’s now closed. I gave this one a name that didn’t work – Home To Mums (it was difficult to pronounce for some, for others it made them think of furniture?) what did you think of that name? Anyway, so I changed it and now I’m happy here as MummyFix.

Not fix, as in putting something thats broken back together . Mums are not broken. Were far from. This Fix means a good addiction, something you enjoy. We’ll talk more about that later, right now, I want to tell you guys about the time I went to the bank as a new mum.

I had a brand new little baby, who I was proud everyday to not only keep alive, but also watch putting on weight on milk I was giving her – breastfeeding is like a superpower! I hadn’t slept much, but I was coping and actually life was pretty good, I was figuring out that being a Mummy was something I could do and do well.

Then it happened.

That day I went to the bank with a mission.  My bank account had been opened for me by my Dad when I was a kid, and I had just continued using it for over 20 years, up until the point where I was being paid my professional job salary into it. Today the guy at the bank wanted to update all my information. Since, I had nowhere else to be urgently, I think baby was fast asleep with my Mum supervising her, I was good for another hour or so, before it was milking time again. I said OK.

He asked questions and I answered, then he got to the part about what I do.

I said I was on maternity leave – in my head this was correct, but he was not satisfied.

“When are you returning to work?” said Mr Banker man.

“I’m not sure”.

“Ok, so right now you don’t have a job.”

“No”.

I kept thinking, blogger, I blog. I had just started spending hours documenting my journey through motherhood so others can learn and not make the same mistakes I made. Maybe even just one person? I thought it was good that it was also keeping my brain active for when I returned to work.  I could share stories about motherhood without boring my close friends, most of who at the time didn’t have kids. But the B word refused to come out.

He then said: “would it be fair to say you’re unemployed?”

I found myself nodding. Even though a big voice in me said “No, I reject it”.

“So I’ll put unemployed down here”. The banking clerk was still talking.

I managed a low, almost whispered ‘yes’.

Some kind of feeling came over me.

What am I doing – I thought to myself.

And so there it was. The man at the bank confirmed what I had struggled to admit to myself at the time.

I was unemployed.

To bring more money into a bank account I would need a job and I needed to face the reality and start thinking about my future. Did I want to go back to work, I had been interviewing, did I really want to change the wheels and do something radical, different? What was stopping me? Beyond the job interviews. Beyond prospective job option A finance. Beyond prospective job option B in an industry that was slowly grinding to a halt with talk of redundancies. Were was I going to lay the roots of my next career.

Twelve months before that, I had left my old job, complete with clear career progression path, out of sheer arrogance and determination to find myself something that I was passionate about and loved to do.  I remember meeting the Head of HR to explain my decision to go and having her ask me time and time again… “what are you doing, what are you doing, take unpaid leave?”. I want dot go somewhere I fitted in, somewhere I could do my job and not feel like I had to wear a mask. I did not like smart casual clothes, I hated heels (not compulsory, but made me look sharp, older and in control), I hated not seeing people who I could aspire to, who looked like me.

I said no to Ms HR and now I really had a chance to do all I had said.

The bank clerk probably just thought he was doing his job, filling a form, but he forced me to admit to myself that I I needed to make a decision to either do the professional job or take seriously the new route – the unrecognised, unrewarded, unpaid and possibly unsatisfying (I did I know what it really entailed then) job. Blogging.

That was how that day I gave myself permission to put everything I can, into an area that is so important but the world has become accustomed to telling us is a side-job. Something to do and quickly return to life and work as you know it. Something to fit into your ‘real’ life. But many of us in it know – Mums, know that once you become a Mother, your world changes forever, and navigating that journey becomes a whole new WORLD of its own. You can put in support, you can delegate, but even when your child is sleeping well, you don’t sleep the same ever again. And if you’re like me, you have this quest, this fire in you to parent the best way you can.

That day , I decided I was going to mother and I was going to empower other mums too, in their parenting journey.

This blog is about doing that. It’s two years later, but thats a story for another day.

At first I thought I was going to just be giving out information, but 500 posts on Instagram later, I realised I was gaining a lot of insights from other mums . Friends and online friends. I figured out mummy fix is really a collective sharing space. We’re a community of mums making the journey easier for each other, by sharing our experiences, discovering helpful tips and talking about all the difficult, fun, fulfilling, tiring, rewarding days of parenting and life.

It’s good to have you here. Go forth and get your fix (that’s short for come in, read, discover & share your nuggets of wisdom too)!

Join the circle here and never miss a post!

*ps ok, so he didn’t change my life in the dramatic sense, but forced me to have a conversation that did! Shout out to my friend, Hannah, who told me to write about the bank experience.