“Postpartum is a quest back to yourself. Alone in your body again. You will never be the same, you are stronger than you were.” -Amethyst Joy
The changes your body goes through while growing a human being are many, and they don’t stop after that baby arrives. Dressing my body after giving birth was a challenge. I don’t yet fit into my pre-baby clothes but I also don’t fit my maternity items (and if you’re anything like me you want to chuck them all out the window after that final month.)
Your chest is growing and fluctuating as your milk comes in to feed your little one, your hips are wider- everything is a bit softer. The good news? You don’t have to completely sacrifice your style or your identity even though you and your body have changed. Yes, those first few days I wore my husband’s t-shirts and my maternity leggings because that is what I needed, I am not recommending you prioritize style when you’re first caring for a newborn.
What I am suggesting is that, when you’re ready, you put together a mini capsule of comfortable clothing that make you feel good. Those early days are hard enough and for me dressing in my husband’s clothes made me feel down and not like myself. Taking just a few minutes to shower, brush my teeth and put on something comfortable yet beautiful made all the difference.
A capsule makes it easier to get dressed and ready. Focus on what fits you right now not what you hope to fit into soon. Find things that are nursing friendly and that you feel good in. Add and remove items as your body grows and changes in these next few months.
Some of my go to items right now? Long t-shirts, black leggings, jeggings, long tank tops for when I need to nurse in public, button ups and soft sweatshirts with embroidery.
Be kind to your changing body, it just did something amazing.
Recently I was talking with a wonderful friend and reader about my cleaning routine. It has been a while since I shared what I use to clean my home so here’s an update!
I use four “products” to clean my home and a few supplies. The products are baking soda, lemon essential oil, castile soap and water. That’s it. The world and advertisements will tell you you need a different product for every surface of your home. One for the windows, one for the bathroom, one for mirrors, one for countertops and on and on until your home is filled with chemical ridden toxins that pollute your body and the earth.
Advertisers want you to think you need their product. They want you to think homemade cleaners won’t kill germs or scrub away grime, but they do. Ask your grandparents what they used when they were young to clean their home. I bet it was some version of castile soap, baking soda, water and a scrub brush.
You don’t need tons of products, you don’t need the latest round of essential oils- Low tox cleaning doesn’t need to be stressful or expensive. Like all good things in life, it’s simple.
My cleaning spray is made of cold water and 20 drops of lemon essential oil. The essential oil disinfects and leaves a gorgeous simple scent. Cleaners are full of chemicals to make your home smell “clean” but clean doesn’t actually have a scent. Clean smells like nothing. Some people choose to add white vinegar or castile soap to their spray. Hop on Pinterest and search for “natural cleaning recipes”- find what you like best!
For other surfaces that need a bit more scrubbing- there’s baking soda. Cheap and powerful! I use it on the toilet, the bathtub and pots and pans with stuck on bits. You can also use it in the washing machine and a billion other places!
I use castile soap for everything else. It can be used in the washing machine, in your hair, on your teeth, on your baby and more! Click here for the 18 uses of Dr. Bronner’s castile soap. We love the lavender and unscented soaps best. Here you will find the recipes and dilutions for this miracle soap.
Have a few dedicated cleaning cloths. One for the germy places (like the toilet), one for surfaces, and one that can be used in the kitchen near food. And have a good toilet brush and scrub brush for tough messes.
That’s it. No fancy purchases, just simple safe products that have been used for hundreds of years.
Bonus: Recently we invested in a few items that have boosted our cleaning routine. A steam mop, an essential oil diffuser, and a Berkey water filter.These are not essentials but we really enjoy them and they’ve made cleaning a joy instead of a chore.
“Your baby doesn’t magically transform into a different life form at the moment of birth – he is the same person he was just a minute before. So, the first three months of life are like a fourth trimester, and should be treated as gentle entry into this world – with respect and loving care.” Elizabeth Pantley
There were so many things I didn’t know before pregnancy, before becoming a mama. One of the biggest things I didn’t know (that I think we don’t hear enough about) is the fourth trimester. Little humans don’t arrive used to this world, I’m not even used to this world. But little ones are particularly ill equipped to deal with the drastic change from the womb to the world.
They go from a warm, dark, aquatic environment to a light, cold airy one. In the womb baby has every need met- in the world they feel hunger pains, stillness and less contact (so mom can eat and pee.) For the first three months of life baby is experiencing a fourth trimester, and so will you. A time of adjustment and change.
When baby arrives it can be tempting to wish they were doing everything perfectly. People ask you about their eating and sleeping habits and want the baby to be doing everything right away, but they are brand new to this world. And you are brand new to parenting your little one.
Give yourself grace. Give your partner grace.
I am certainly not an expert- I only know what has worked for us and what hasn’t but I do think the following tips have helped us in this mysterious, challenging, wonderful fourth trimester.