Simple things you can do to take care of your child’s health

Being a first time mom is truly the hardest – and most rewarding – but definitely hardest job I have ever had. Since my baby can’t talk to me it is hard to know if I am  doing a good job as a parent, and while most days we are winging it – I know the most important thing I can do is take care of my child. 

It isn’t just about taking care of your child physically, but also taking care of their mental health. Here are some tips on how you can do just that.

Make sure that they attend regular healthcare checkups

One of the most important things as a parent is making sure your child stays up to date with healthcare checkups. In Canada we are very lucky to have regular checkups scheduled, but sometimes issues can come up out of the blue.

What if one day your child complains about a toothache? Well you can look for a dentist near me so that they can have their issue seen sooner rather than later. The sooner you take them to see someone about their oral health, the less likely they will experience further pain. 

Limit their technology use

This one is one that I know will be hard but important. My job as a reporter and my passion as a writer means I spend a lot of time online but I know for my child it is important to find a balance.

Effective safeguarding measures should be put into place on technology. Although you might be fine with allowing your children to play with their devices and use the internet, finding a healthy balance is important because it can impact both a child’s physical and mental health. It limits their time spent outdoors being active and also what they consume online can impact how they think and behave. Hence, with limited use, they can be safer mentally.

This doesn’t mean completely eliminate technology from their lives – but maybe limit what devices they can have. A cell phone for emergencies instead of a gaming console. And on top of that maybe you set boundaries of how much time they can use their devices each week.

Another top tip for limiting technology use is to set safeguard limits for the internet. This will limit what they can search and see, which is for the benefit of their own good and mental health. 

 

Talk to them and open them up

Speaking of mental health, it is crucial to take good care of your child’s mental health so that they can maintain positive well-being and happiness. Plus, good mental health can enhance physical health due to a lack of stress. 

I know I was a little nervous about this when I found out we were having a boy because statistics show it can be harder for men to open up about mental health. So I want to make sure I create a safe environment from an early age where my son feels he can talk to me about anything.

Talking to your children and trying to open them up will be amazing for their mental health. Instead of them bottling up their emotions and issues, they can share them with you to attain a resolution and some support. It can be useful to open up to them first to show them the benefits.

Just know mommas you are doing a great job,

xo

Mia

Why gestational diabetes was a blessing in disguise

I remember hearing from friends how awful the diabetes test was. You would have to drink this disgusting sugary drink and then have your blood taken to see if you had developed gestational diabetes during your pregnancy. I didn’t know much about gestational diabetes, and honestly didn’t think much of it because I didn’t have any of the predispositions. I am extremely active and a normal weight, there is no diabetes in my family, I was under 35 and this was my first child. I thought I would go into the test and be told everything was normal. I was wrong. Soon after my first test I got the call from my doctor saying the first test was inconclusive and I would have to go back for a longer and more intense test.

Then I got the phone call I really didn’t want to hear, I tested positive for gestational diabetes. I was in a store and I just broke down in tears. Fear came over me, what did this mean for the pregnancy? What did this mean for the baby?

My doctor told me the next steps would be meeting with a dietitian to come up with a game plan. I would also have to start monitoring my blood sugar levels.

On the call, there were several other women who were also in the same boat as me. The dietician went over how we wold monitor our sugar levels and gave us some tips on how to eat properly, as well as some GD friendly snacks we could try.

The next week was brutal. I had to test me levels six times a day, poking my finger before and after every meal. Writing down everything that I ate, and making sure I was going on at least a 15 minute walk after every meal. Despite my best efforts, sometimes my sugars would spike and I would feel extremely discouraged. I felt pity, guilt, and overall sadness that what should be one of the happiest times in my life was becoming a time of constant monitoring, worrying, and fear.

As the week went on though I was able to start to make sense of what worked for my body and what didn’t. I was surprised at how small changes made a huge difference: substituting white bread for whole wheat and tropical fruits for local berries. I was luckily able to control my sugar levels through diet.

On top of eating healthier – protein and veggies at every meal with some complex carbs – I was also forcing myself to move daily. On days that I was super tired it would be something as easy as a walk after my meals. But as I started to eat healthier (and I even lost some weight) I had more energy. I continued doing spin and pregnancy safe HITT classes – and to be honest the aches and pains I thought I would have during my pregnancy never came, nor did the third trimester fatigue.

On top of feeling healthy and energized during my pregnancy I also felt like my birth and recovery was a lot easier thanks to all the exercise I was doing ahead of time. When it came to pushing during labour I felt strong and in control. Post birth my body felt really good. I wasn’t in pain and was able to get back to walking and exercise fairly quickly. I was also back to my pre-pregnancy weight pretty quickly because of how active I was ahead of time.

Yes, being diagnosed with gestational diabetes was scary and yes it was hard to cut out sweets when I was dealing with endless pregnancy cravings, and yes it was hard to keep moving when I couldn’t even put socks on due to my giant belly, but overall I actually think there were some positive takeaways. So mommas if you get diagnosed with GD, keep your head high, you got this! And here are some tips that I found really helped me navigate GD.

Ways to cope with gestational diabetes 

1. Find alternatives for your favourite food items

I love toast, so it was easy to substitute white bread for whole wheat. Same goes for pasta. I was also enjoying eating yogurt, granola and bananas. So I started buying greek yogurt instead of vanilla and would add berries instead of bananas. Even switching milk for dark chocolate can make a big difference. Oh and I satisfied my ice cream cravings with halo ice cream (a low sugar option but still lots of different and delicious flavours to chose from.)

2. Find some exciting low sugar recipes

Sure it took a little more effort to come up with dinner ideas, but trust me there are some delicious options out there. I am a big fan of the cooking blog pinchofyum and the great thing is they have a whole section dedicated to low sugar meals and snacks. It made dinner time fun.

3. Stay active while also listening to your body

I am a very active person, but when you have been growing a human for 9 months there are days where you don’t even want to get out of bed. So I would try and find activities that fit my energy level for that day, but I would always make time for me to move. 9 months pregnant I would be doing anything from an intense spin class to just a 15 minute walk around the block. To be honest though on the days I didn’t want to do anything, just getting out for some fresh air made me feel more energized.

4. Don’t forget the snacks

Like I said I am quite active and so there were days that I would go out for hour long hikes and my sugar levels would actually drop too low  and so it was really important for me to find some easy GD friendly snacks that I could bring on hikes. Nuts was a great option and hard boiled eggs was another go to.

5. Eat a well balanced meal

When you have gestational diabetes is it is important to still eat carbs, but just make sure they are complex carbs. During your pregnancy it is also important to eat lots of protein (with GD lean protein should be your go to) and iron levels can suffer so you want to make sure you also have some greens.

6. Drink lots of water

I was so surprised one day when I had a high sugar level before a meal and so I went for a walk first and drank some water. The walk was only 10 minutes but the combination of walking and water made my levels go way down. Water helps dilute sugar and bring down your levels. I would mix it up by adding lemon or a glass of sparkling water, but just avoid adding anything too sugary for taste.

7. Treat yourself every once in a while

This is supposed to be the most exciting time in your life – but pregnancy is also hard and you are working very hard to make this little human, so if you are craving a cupcake every once in a while go for it. Safe splurges kept me sane during my pregnancy (like a little piece of cake at my baby shower).

8. Remember you are not alone

Meghan Trainor, Selma Hayek, and even Angelina Jolie are all human and all had gestational diabetes so try not to get too down on yourself (or feel guilty like I sure did). I found that reaching out to other mommas who were diagnosed with GD made me feel a bit better and sharing tips and tricks with them was always helpful. It was also great to share a glass of wine and a sugary treat once our babies arrived.

Good luck mommas you got this!

xo

Mia

 

 

The two week postpartum period

“Be ready to cry.. a lot… for no reason at all.”

That was the advice I got from a few friends as I was in the final countdown to give birth to Max. And to be honest as I am sitting here and writing this blog I am crying for who knows what reason.

I had done a lot of research on the 4th trimester, one that is hardly talked about but one that poses its own set of challenges (some say it could be the hardest trimester of all). It is considered the 12 week period after birth. During this time your baby is adjusting to being outside the womb while you adjust to life as a new mom. You are dealing with sleepless nights, intense feeding demands until the baby is back to his birth weight, and a rollercoaster of emotions as your hormones balance out again – hence try crying. Oh and on top of that the constant worrying, is my baby too hot or cold? Is that poo a normal colour? The google searches never end and they can take you down a very dark rabbit hole. It is so important to not just take care of your baby, but to take care of you as well because if you aren’t functioning  – how can you be in the mindset to take care of the little one also.

When we first left the hospital Max wasn’t latching. I was so scared we were going to get home and I wasn’t going to be able to feed my child. Thankfully living in Squamish there is a large support system for new moms. The day after we brought Max home a midwife came over to help me with latching, but many new moms don’t have that support and so if you are struggling, there are resources out there like lactation consultants that can help.

On top of the fear of feeding the little man was the fear of well everything else. Even though he seemed to be a good sleeper I couldn’t sleep at all because I wanted to make sure he was breathing. I wasn’t sure if we should add a swaddle while he slept because he might be cold, but I didn’t want him to overheat.  A day after leaving the hospital we were back because he got an eye infection. I spent moments just crying because I was worried I wasn’t doing the right things for him. But overall I would say my two weeks postpartum was pretty positive, mostly because of a little help from Max (figuring out breastfeeding pretty quickly) and the research that I did ahead of time. I wanted to share some of the steps I took that helped me stay relatively sane.

 

1. Set boundaries

A new baby is such an exciting time and of course all of your friends and family are going to want to meet the little one. My  husband and I set some rules before he was even born, no one could hold or get too close to him unless they had the covid vaccine and flu shot. But once he is here we had to set other boundaries. We didn’t jam pack more than one visit per day, and it was limited to an hour so that we could have some time in-between feeds. I also wasn’t shy about letting friends know if we needed help. Asking for someone to take a change diaper turn or bring us some food or take our dog on a walk. I am usually the type of person who doesn’t like to ask for help – but you have a new baby and the small circle of friends that you are going to let see him in those first few days are the ones that want to lend a helping hand anyway

2. Find time for you still

Sleep when the baby sleeps – I am sure you have heard that before right? Well when you have a newborn and they have to feed every 2-3 hours that can be a tough task. Thankfully I have an extremely supportive partner who actually let me sleep while Max slept and he took care of cleaning, cooking, laundry etc. But now that his pat leave is over I am in charge of all poo explosions and temper tantrums. But one thing that the nurses told me before I left the hospital was if I don’t take care of myself (eat, sleep, stay on top of pain relief) then there is no way I will have the energy and mental capacity to take care of him. So as hard as it may sound – try and actually sleep when the baby sleeps – and again lean on friends if you need to. On top of that, keep taking those pain meds. I tried to stop mine early because I was feeling good but alas as soon as I tried to cut down and get moving again the pain started to creep back up and I was just in a constant state of discomfort, which made breastfeeding a challenge.

3. Don’t push it

I am a former professional athlete and during the pregnancy I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes and so I had to stay active. Well then you have the baby and all of a sudden I am told I am not allowed to go on more than 5-10 minute walks for the first two weeks. One day I figured I would cheat. I strapped Max on and went for a 30 min walk. Worst decision of my life. I was in pain for hours after that and my husband had to feed him. As hard as it was, I learned that my body truly is healing from one of the most intense experience and I need to respect that  – also I have learned from others that if you don’t let your pelvic floor heal there could be life long consequences.

4. Lean on friends and find a good support system 

When I was in the hospital a lot of the nurses told me about the baby blues and postpartum depression. While I was feeling really good in the first week and a half, a few things happened in the second week that left me feeling anxious. Thankfully I had the support of my husband and midwife to get me through. It is important to be able to recognize these things and feel like you have a support system or someone you trust that can help you get through.

5. Give yourself a pat on the back 

For 10 months you carry and grow this human and then in a day they arrive and all of a sudden you are tasked to take care of him. I joked at the hospital that there should be a test before you are able to go home – the only test we got was that we knew how to use the care seat – the rest we had to figure out on our own and that is scary. Just take a moment each day to appreciate how hard you are working for your baby because even on the days when you feel like a complete failure – you are doing everything in your power to make sure your little one is happy.

You got this momma

xo

Mia

What you can do about work related health issues

I have shared quite a bit on my social media channels how much I love my job and how lucky I am to be part of a team I care about doing work that  I am passionate about. One’s job should have a positive impact on one’s life, but let’s be honest, it’s not always rainbows and butterflies. And sometimes, when we don’t take the time to check in, the work life balance can tip a little too far one way and impact your health. It might not be a physical impact, but more so a mental one that you might not even know is effecting you until it is a little too late. So I wanted to share with you some ways that you can make sure your work doesn’t impact your overall health.

Photo by energepic.com from Pexels

Start Moving More 

It’s easy to forget, especially since many of us have had to pivot to working from home and may be at a computer for longer hours than usual, but humans were really not supposed to sit down as much as we currently do. While it can be comfortable to sit, comfort in itself is probably overrated! Here is the thing, many of us are now going from our bed to our office chair to the couch in the evening and then right back to bed, and that is too much sitting! Research suggests that this might have severe long-term health consequences. The solution? Move more. You can take regular walks throughout the day, get a standing desk, or even cycle or run to work. I also wear an apple watch to remind me to get up for at least a minute each hour. 

Better Work Set Up

As well as sitting, humans were also not really designed for typing all day long. We get used to it, but it can have a harmful impact on certain aspects of our bodies, most notably our wrists and hands. Mine is doubled because of a previous life as a tennis player. If you’re feeling pain in this part of your body, then visit a hand surgeon. I recently booked an appointment and found out that I have a cyst in my wrist. Other common concerns could be carpal tunnel syndrome, which is a common consequence of typing in an incorrect position. Beyond that, it’s about reviewing your work setup. There are ergonomic keyboards and mouse setups that are easier on the wrists. 

Work/Life Balance

It’s normal to feel a little bit of stress at work. But if you’re feeling overly stressed, then there’ll be a problem. This level of stress can have short- and long-term impacts on your health, not to mention your overall enjoyment of life. If you can’t see how your working life will calm down, then it’s important to take steps to improve your work/life balance. Having a cut-off time for work, doing relaxation activities, and taking time throughout the day to get some headspace will all prevent a build-up of stress. Whenever I think I have a busy or stressful day ahead I try and start my day with meditation to clear my head and get me ready for the tasks ahead. 

Maybe it is time for a career change 

I must say I am so lucky to have a job I love, but trust me before working at the Weather Network I had many jobs I did not love. Sometimes I was working several jobs at once and the stress was just overwhelming. I understand making ends meet, I bought a condo straight out of university and so money and finances is important, but it isn’t everything. Sure making a steady income can take a lot of the stress away. You know that you can pay your bills each month, you can invest in activities that have a positive impact on your overall health, and you can do things that do create a healthy lifestyle like purchasing a gym membership or healthier (and usually more expensive meals). Maybe it is time to ask for that raise that you know you deserve. Or if you don’t think it is the right fit and it isn’t benefiting you both financially and emotionally, than maybe it is time to move on.

 

 

 

Four reasons you should make a dentist appointment regularly

I know that we have all been shook by COVID 19. We have been dealing with shutdowns, isolation, restrictions, you name it, but it is still important to take care of yourself.

Dentist appointments aren’t just there for when you have an issue that needs to be seen. In fact prevention is better than waiting around for a problem to come up. I actually had a dentist appointment right as the shutdowns happened, and getting to see my dentist was one of my top priorities when things started to open again (after I confirmed with the office that it was safe to do so).

I know that the dentist can cause some people to worry. Heck, up until recently my dad hadn’t made an appointment in 5 years because he was afraid to get anymore cavities filled. Fear, bad experiences, you name it can cause this anxiety and so it is important to choose dental care you can count on  says dentist Alistair Graham of Mona Vale Dental

 

 

dentist Alistair Graham of Mona Vale Dental  say it’s important to choose dental care you can count on. 

Here are four reasons why even though it can be scary, it is important for you to keep up with your checkups:

 

To Watch out For Mouth Cancer

This is one of the most vital things that your dentist will do at every check-up. They don’t just check that your teeth and oral hygiene are healthy, they will also do an examination that looks for any signs of mouth cancer, head cancer, and neck cancer. They will check for any lumps on your head and neck. They will also keep their eye out for any white or red patches in your mouth. Usually, nothing out of the ordinary will be found, however, these checks could be potentially life-saving.

Hygienists

Dental therapists and hygienists are quite often overlooked when it comes to your oral health, however, they can be extremely useful when it comes to the advice and the service they can offer you. Dental hygienists are ‘preventive’ dental health and will treat gum disease, they will also educate you on the right way to look after your teeth and gums at home (at my last appointment I realized I have been brushing my teeth wrong my whole life).  This will normally include professionally cleaning your teeth, referred to as a scale and polish (removing plaque and tartar). 

Talking Through Teeth Whitening 

Tooth whitening has grown in popularity in the most recent years, however, there are many myths that are circulating leaving people unsure about what is safe and what isn’t. You dentist is the best person to offer you advice on this department, they will know and understand all the options that are available for you.

Prevent And See Early Signs 

They can catch things early or prevent them from happening. With the use of a tiny mirror and a routine exam, your dement is able to see under your gums, this is an area where there can be a lot of action without you even releasing. Dentists will both solve and prevent problems. Potential problems include tooth decay and gum disease. When it comes down to your oral health, it is key for you to be proactive, seeing your dentist is the way to follow through with this. 

 

There isn’t anyone who is better qualified to advise you and help you keep on top of your oral health than your dentist. This means they should always be your first port of call if you have any concerns or worries.