The hotMaMa Diaries Blog - Breastfeeding blog and parenting blog

The hotMaMa Diaries

Everyone has a different experience of parenting and motherhood and there is no right or wrong path along this crazy journey. The hotMaMa diaries is a place to read stories from other mothers and even share your own!

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    The mum tum is wobbly and wrinkled with rolls.

    The mum tum is saggy and stretched with folds.

     

    The mum tum can make you feel more self aware.

    “If I wear that tight top will anyone stare?”

     

    The mum tum can make us feel shame of our size.

    We squeeze into control pants what we want to hide.

     

    We are jealous of others who are only too happy to say

    They used to have a mum tum but then it went away!

     

    “Why is she so slim?”

    “What am I doing wrong?”

    All too often woman are singing this song.

     

    Stretch marks or tiger stripes, call them what you choose

    Either way scars are souvenirs that you never lose.

     

    A reminder of the unspeakable gift that you grew inside.

    A gift that is denied to so many who have tried and tried.

     

    A gift that you nourished, kept safe and warm.

    This gift never felt pain, shame, sadness or scorn.

     

    A gift that once in this world to them you became

    The most perfect being who could ever be named!

     

    Your mum tum was soft where they laid their head

    Comforted by your smell and the words that you said.

     

    The very fact that this miracle was born alive

    Is a blessing that to many is tragically denied.

     

    I hope you can see how special you are.

    How blessed you have been to have come this far.

     

    To have flourished new life in the depths of your being.

    To have been blessed with the growing reminder that you are daily seeing.

     

    It is an emotional journey becoming a mum.

    And the wonder of it all is so much more than your tum!

     

    So take comfort in the knowledge that you are not alone.

    When your child hugs your tum remember that was their first home.

     

    When you look in the mirror smile and feel proud

    For you have grown brand new humans for crying out loud!

     

    My body reminds me of joy and of loss.

    And how my arms ached for a baby I wanted whatever the cost.

     

    If the cost of a baby is a sag here and there

    I will take it and own it and see beauty there

     

    Your tum is a reminder of how far you have come

    On this miraculous journey of becoming a mum.

    xx

    ************

    Read more from Jo at https://freshbreadandfaith.wordpress.com/

  2. No one told me that one of the side effects of having a new baby was stiffness like all get out in the upper body and shoulders! It's chronic in the first few years. I remember being 5 or 6 months postpartum and catching sight of myself in the mirror: my shoulders were rounded and hunched forward, and I seemed to be working on a pretty impressive Dowager's hump for someone in their thirties. *grimace face*

    When we teach our regular postnatal workshops, this is a common complaint. The many hours we spend holding, rocking, cuddling, and milking our babes in the front plane of the body result in tiredness, tightness, and shoulder-rounding of epic proportions. One very useful pose to help iron out the shoulder space is downward-facing dog. But that pose alone isn't enough. And Lauren and I know how hard it is to roll your mat out in the early months of new motherhood (mine collected dust in the corner for a goooood while.)  That's why I LOVE these 3 moves, explained below: they take all of 10 minutes to do (at most), you can do them at the wall with no mat or other props, you don't need to be in yoga clothes, and they will honestly, truly, actually help your shoulders feel better / stronger / looser in all the best ways.

    STANDING WALL SHOULDER PULLS

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    This may look deceptively easy, but it requires some muscular engagement. Stand facing a wall, close enough that you can let your head drop onto the wall. Bring your hands up, a little wider than shoulder width apart. Take a breath in, and as you exhale, contract the muscles in your arms and shoulders by pressing in with your hands and pulling DOWN, as if you were *trying* to slide your hands down the wall, but they don't actually move. You could contract and release with your breath a few times (inhale, soften; exhale, contract) or you could simply hold the contraction for a few rounds of breath.

    WALL CHEST STRETCH

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    Stand next to the wall, feet parallel. Standing closer to the wall will result in more sensation, so if you need to go slower here, step a little farther from the wall. Reach your arm closes to the wall back and press it into the wall, palm facing in, thumb up. You can bring your other hand to the wall, in front of you (as I'm doing in the photo) or your can wrap your hand around your ribcage closest to the wall and gently pull your ribcage forward. That feels pretty nice. Stay here for anywhere between 5 rounds of breath to 2-3 minutes. Repeat on the other side. BONUS: tip your chin slightly up and away from the wall as you hold to get a sweet little neck stretch.

    DOWNWARD-FACING WALL PRESS

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    Stand facing the wall and fold forward at the waist, making your body into an L-shape. Walk your hands down the wall until they are parallel to your shoulders. (If your hands are higher up than your shoulders, there is more pressure on your rotator cuff which may feel a little pinchy.) Find softness in your knees or even bend them a bit, as I'm doing in the photos. In the starting position, keep your arms straight. You might squirm a bit here and do cat-cow movements with your spine or rock your hips side to side.

    For part II of this movement, inhale and begin to bend your elbows outward, pressing your hands into the wall. As you exhale, straighten your arms again, squeezing your shoulder blades toward one another as you do. (These are essentially down-dog wall push-ups!) Repeat between 5-20 times.

     

    When your shoulders need some love, opening, and attention, try this little sequence. Do you have another favorite move or pose for shoulder relief? (Aside from Netflix and wine; we already know about that one.) We'd love to hear your tricks, tips, and favorite poses for shoulder opening. And if you try this sequence and love it, let us know that, too!

     

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    Read more from Alexandra at Lifelong Yoga | Whole Mama Yoga | Facebook | Instagram