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Showing posts from June, 2012

Things i've found really helpful - 0-3 months postpartum

For mum:

Body care:

Lansinoh - lanolin ointment for nipples, helps prevent them from cracking, and if they do crack helps them heal hopefully before getting infected and developing mastitis.

Alpha Keri oil - i used it to keep moisture locked into the skin on my stomach and boobs as they gradually regain their former shape and elasticity.

Pregnancy belly ring - while my navel returns to it's former size, particularly where the shaft of the piercing goes as that got very stretched the last few months of pregnancy.

Clothing:

Maternity tops - i was still wearing these the first month or two postpartum as my belly was still quite large, and i don't like looking at jiggly tummies in tight tops so wouldn't subject anyone else to it.

Breastfeeding tops - i got two tops from Mamaway. They're not tight but not loose (ie wouldn't suit pregnancy) so hide a postpartum tummy and allow you to feed without flashing too much skin or getting cold. I wear these when we go out for the d…

Banoffee cupcakes - revamped

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I made Banoffee cupcakes previously but wasn't happy with the icing as the cupcake didn't have enough caramel flavour. I've now created a caramel buttercream which i'm really happy with and adds the perfect taste of caramel to balance the banana cupcake.


So here's the full recipe below. Again, the cupcake is based on this one from Annie's Eats, but i've modified it to be a banana cupcake.

Makes 12.

Ingredients

Cupcakes:
115g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup caster sugar
2 large eggs
1 ⅓ cups self raising flour
pinch salt
¼ cup milk
1 ripe banana, chopped
1 tin Top'n'Fill caramel (or homemade dulce de leche)

Method:
Preheat the oven to 180 and prepare your cupcake tins with cupcake liners (or grease them).
Cream the butter and sugar on medium until light and fluffy, about three minutes.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition.
With the mixer on low speed, add the flour in two parts, alternating with the milk. Add the…

Things i've found really helpful - Pregnancy

Disclaimer: don't use the EPO or Jasmine without the advice of your midwife or doctor. I'm neither and am simply documenting my experience.
Also, do your research about when Red Raspberry Leaf tea is safe to take. I took it from 20 weeks but some sources don't recommend it until much later.

Body care:
Alpha Keri oil - i used it to keep moisture locked into the skin on my stomach and boobs. I ended up with only one stretch mark over where my navel piercing goes and i think the Alpha Keri helped by allowing my skin to stretch without tearing.

Pregnancy belly ring - made of PTFE, it's flexible and so allows you to keep your piercing in for longer, reducing the risk of it closing.

Clothing:

Maternity tops - i got most of mine from GAP, by ordering online from America. Postage is expensive so try to get them in one package rather than ordering several times. The Pure Body range are classic tops that won't go out of fashion and still fit and cover your stomach when you'…

Pistachio macarons

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My first macarons with a buttercream filling, and they turned out well! I made a half batch of pistachio and a half batch of redskin macarons, but i'm not happy with the redskin filling yet so i'll keep working on that.

I'm using the same shell recipe i used last time, from Annie's Eats:

Yield: about 20 macarons

Ingredients:
200 grams icing sugar
110 grams ground almonds
90 grams egg whites (aged at room temperature for 1 day or 3-5 days in the fridge)
25 grams caster sugar
Handful of pistachios, chopped finely
Green food colouring - either powder or gel

Directions:
To make the macaron shells, combine the icing sugar and almonds in a food processor. Pulse until the almonds are finely ground and the mixture is well blended. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Increase the speed to medium-high and continue to beat, gradually adding the caster sugar. Beat until a stiff, glossy meringue forms (do not …

Banoffee cupcakes

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Banoffee pie is one of my favourite desserts, traditionally made with a crushed chocolate digestive base, condensed milk boiled in the tin for an hour and sliced banana. I recently saw a banoffee cupcake on a website - yum! So here's my version. I used the base from the Vanilla latte cupcakes i made on the weekend, originally from Annie's Eats, but modified it to make a banana cupcake.

Makes 12.

Ingredients

Cupcakes:
115g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup caster sugar
2 large eggs
1 ⅓ cups self raising flour
pinch salt
¼ cup milk
1 ripe banana, chopped
1 tin Top'n'Fill caramel (or homemade dulce de leche)

Method:
Preheat the oven to 180 and prepare your cupcake tins with cupcake liners (or grease them).
Cream the butter and sugar on medium until light and fluffy, about three minutes.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition.
With the mixer on low speed, add the flour in two parts, alternating with the milk. Add the banana and continue be…

Vanilla latte cupcakes

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Saw these on Annie's Eats a few days ago, and had a hankering to make them today. The recipe is pretty easy and makes a deliciously moist cupcake with a large crumb. The frosting is beautifully fluffy and easy to pipe, but i ran out with two cupcakes to go, so i've adjusted the amount here for next time i make them. I reduced the cake mixture so it made a dozen.

I didn't have espresso powder (not really sure what it is) so used fresh espresso instead, but i've left it in the recipe in case i ever find it. I also didn't have chocolate coated coffee beans for the top of the cupcakes and it really would have finished them off beautifully. There's nowhere in town to buy them though, and it would take up to a week to get them delivered if i bought online - one of the problems of living in the country. If i decide to make these again in advance rather than that same day ;) i'd order beans from Captain Coffee - these ones.

Makes 12.

Ingredients

Cupcakes:
115g uns…

Sleep issues - three months old

I have two areas of bub's sleep that i'm not happy with. Firstly there's a new problem with his naps during the day. Secondly he's still waking four times a night for feeds.

With his naps during the day, just recently he's been increasingly resistant to going to sleep. I never used to have much of a problem except the odd nap, but from 8 or 9 in the morning when he's been fed and is showing signs of tiredness such as yawning or grizzling, he's refusing to go to sleep. Sometimes he'll cry continuously, and only picking him up or talking to him in his cot will quiet him. Sometimes he'll grizzle in his cot for a little while and then just look out the window quietly. Today he got so overtired after having at most 30 minute naps that the only thing i could find to calm him was to lean back on the sofa with him on my chest. He cried for around ten minutes, but becoming quieter, and eventually went off to sleep for half an hour with his head on my shoulde…

Three months postpartum

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As per usual, TMI warning and photos of bare mummy tummy :) If you don't want to see, look away now!

Today we're officially out of the fourth trimester :) Bub has become comfortable in his new world and is ready to start exploring, and I've started to feel mostly healed, closer to normal and have become used to bub's routine, and am able to usually guess what he needs by his signals, resulting in a happier more settled baby.

I've managed to get rid of a lot of the pigmentation on the scar where my navel piercing goes in, caused when my stomach expanded so much the ball on top of the navel bar started rubbing. It's just red now. My linea nigra is paler. The top of my belly button, which was sticking out after bub was born, is less obvious now and i hope that it will go back in completely so i have an innie again.

My diastasis has started to close in the lower half of my belly. It has closed up to about 4 finger widths below my belly button. Above that it remains…

Navel piercing during and after pregnancy

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I bought a pregnancy navel ring from Body Candy when i was four months pregnant, as i was worried about a regular metal ring migrating out of my skin when my stomach started to expand. They're made of PTFE, a flexible hypo-allergenic material, and are generally about 2 inches long. They can be cut to size if you wish, but i left mine long.

I was able to wear it until my 8th month, when i developed a stretch mark over where the piercing goes through and discovered that because my skin had stretched so much, the ball at the top had been rubbing and had caused a pigmented scar at the top of my piercing. I've still got that scar, but much less pigmented now, it's just red.

I made the mistake however of leaving the jewellery on top of my dresser on a tissue, in two separate pieces - for some reason i didn't screw the top ball back onto the shaft. When my mum helped us move by packing my dresser, she didn't keep the two together and the ball was lost.

When i was around 2…

Expressing for the first time

It's not exactly the first time i've expressed, but the first time i've done it beginning on a regular basis. While in hospital, i had trouble with baby's latch and he was showing frustration and hunger, so the nurse showed me how to hand express colostrum, and the next day another nurse helped me with the electric pump again for the colostrum. After that my milk started to come in and we managed to get bub feeding again, so i didn't need to express.

Four weeks ago i got my manual pump out and tried to express to clear the second blocked duct i got. It didn't help, but it did help when i had a third blocked duct starting - i got to that in time to prevent it.

Now i'm going to the gym once a week for an hour's Body Balance, and even if i wake bub to feed before i go, he usually wakes before i get back and is hungry. His routine is such that i feed him up to an hour before i leave, then he wakes towards the end of my class. For the first few weeks, hubby …

Petition for midwife care

Sign the petition to the WA Minister for Health: Improve access to maternity care by midwives known to women.

This is something pretty important to me. I really doubt my emotional recovery after the surgery would have been anywhere near so good if i hadn't had the one-to-one midwife care during my pregnancy, birth and when i returned home. The support given by my team of midwives helped me to make a decision rather than me feeling like i was forced into surgery. In reality, if i'd chosen to try to birth my footling breech, i would have had the support of my midwives but not the obstetrician or the hospital and that would have made it very hard to have a successful outcome. However, even choosing a surgical birth after bearing all this in mind, i still had the support of my midwives and because of that, even though i still wonder if i could have done it naturally, it really doesn't matter too much.

In WA now though, to have a VBAC at home is very tricky. Midwives are not co…

Our experience with cloth nappies

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Or cloth diapering, if you're from North America :) 

Honestly, it's been so much easier than i thought.

When i was first pregnant, i wanted to use cloth nappies after reading about Heather's experience on Heather Drive, when she used them on her little girl. She started off with prefolds, which to me were like the cloth nappies of old, and that didn't interest me. However, once Nora got a bit bigger she put her in pocket nappies and that's where i thought, that doesn't look so hard.

I liked the look of BumGenius and Blueberry - both had good reviews, BumGenius are cheaper than Blueberry but Blueberry have great patterns whereas BumGenius are plain, apart from their Artist series. Heather had mentioned she bought hers from Abby's Lane, but of course that's an American site and i'm in Australia. So i googled the stores here, and very quickly found that there was a huge markup on both BumGenius and Blueberry once they left the States. I looked at UK s…