A question I have been asked a lot during both my first and second pregnancies and during my time breastfeeding after, is, is it safe for me to take protein powder? Do I take/use any other supplements during these precious times. It is at this point where my answer is always, ‘yes and no.’ The lines surrounding this subject are very important especially as it concerns the health of a baby, therefore, if you are thinking of taking protein and or supplements, it is important to know the ‘rules’ as well as how, when and how much is safe to use. On this blog post I will outline the basic – yes and no’s to what can be taken and what is a no go, however, I will be also uploading a VLOG, so that I can expand and talk about in more detail what supplements I take, what stages I take them and most importantly why I take them.
Prenatal Supplements: YES.Prenatal supplements are extremely important to take during pregnancy, even if you have a healthy diet and lifestyle, a prenatal will help cover any bits missed when it comes to getting a full dose of essential vitamins and minerals that you will need to take care of yourself and your growing baby. On another note, whilt breastfeeding many women choose to just continue with their prenatal vitamin, however, experts suggest that it is actually important breastfeeding mother make the transition from a prenatal vitamin to a postnatal vitamin. This is due to the fact that whilst nursing, the nutritional needs of a mother and baby are different to those of a pregnant woman and that certain vitamins are needed in different quantities such as Vitamin D.
Iron Supplements:YES.Many woman after giving birth are temporarily anaemic due to the massive blood loss. Iron supplementation is very important for some new mothers, yet maybe not as important for others, this widely varies from mother to mother, their birth stories and their general diets. One group of mothers it is important for regardless are those who have had a c-section, as iron supplementation is extremely important for the post operation recovery.
Probiotics: YES. During pregnancy the hormone oestrogen slows down everything that is happening within our digestive tracts, leading many mothers to continue to suffer even after birth constipation, wind, stomach cramps etc. Probiotics help to maintain a healthy digestive tract over the long run and results can be seen even from the first few days of taking them. Depending on the specific probiotic, most are safe for use during breastfeeding and even have been proven to help with maintaining a healthy digestive tract for baby too. No more colic! Although when buying an over the counter probiotic make sure to verify that it is indeed BREASTFEEDING SAFE before buying.
Protein Powder: YES and NO. When it comes to protein powder it can be a red flag on whether you take it or not. Here it is important to understand how protein powder functions to help us and know how the other added artifical substances can harm/cause damage to our growing babies. There are also so many other factors that vary depending on age of baby, stage of pregnancy and the mother herself. I will expand more in detail on my upcoming VLOG on what type of proteins are okay and what types are a NO – GO.
BCAA’s: NO. The term BCAA is short for ‘branched chain amino acids’. In short they are just basic protein building blocks for our body, so you may wonder, why not for a growing foetus? In general high levels of BCAA in children under 12 years of age have shown to cause mental retardation and brain damage, an unborn foetus or nursing child can inadvertently consume extra levels of BCAA through any kind of nutrition passed from the mother to the child during the pregnancy or nursing stages. This is why it has become a general rule for medical professionals to recommend that women who are pregnant or nursing not take any kind of BCAA supplement. It’s better to play it safe than sorry.
Fat Burning Supplements: NO. Fat burning supplements usually are just made using a stimulant or a combination of stimulants in order to increase our metabollic rate, thus causing us to burn fat easier/quicker. If you have been pregnant or nursing before, you will know even every day stimulants such as caffeine has to be restricted during these sensitive periods of time. Why? Everything we consume, our child does too and if the effect of a stimulant can have such an impact on our body then inadvertantly it would be like giving crack cocaine to your child. So that is a definite no.
L – Carnitine: YES. Whilst there is not enough research of L-carnitine use during pregnancy, it is better to be on the safe side and to not use it, however, during breastfeeding reseach has shown that it can help a mother bring her energy levels up during this time where a lot of energy consumption goes into making milk. Moreover research has also shown that small amounts of L-carnitine have had no side effects in nursing babies, yet large amounts of L-carnitine use has still not been researched. It can therefore be concluded that l-carnitine in moderation and at smaller doses is safe to take during breastfeeding.
Some of us in this world can give birth and within the shortest space of time can go back to looking like they never really just spent 9 months housing a tiny human being rent free. However, majority of mothers don’t seem to escape the reminders so easily and are left with marks that may make us feel as though we are the only ones who have them, when in reality, a majority of our fellow mothers feel the same way and have them too. I definitely was hit hard with the ‘mum tum’ the second time round and so I decided to write and share my 10 truths in case you share them too.
Your muscles post- partum have adapted to the pregnancy shape, so that you always look like you have a 4 month pregnancy bump, even if you’ve lost a ton of weight.
Stretch marks – they’re there and even though somehow if you didn’t notice them whilst you were pregnant, they’re still there.
Extra Skin – literally just ‘hanging there’.
Even if you have a flat tummy in the morning, after you eat you tend to look bloated and rounded out. This is due to the muscles not being as strong as they were pre-pregnancy.
Your stomach is darker than the rest of your body – if you are Caucasian or any other light skinned origin then this isn’t such a major issue and for most, not even noticeable. On the other hand, if you’re dark skinned like me, or even darker than it makes a massive difference from our darker pigment all collected together in our excess skin.
You’re still sporting you’re linea neagra, this almost always fades away however straight after birth it still sticks around for a bit.
Depending on how big your bump grew or what your belly button was like before, chances are you belly button is ‘bigger’ an ‘outie’ now or there is some considerate change. Most people generally have their belly buttons go back to normal after a while, however few people don’t. (Mine definitely changed after my first pregnancy and was bigger)
If you’ve had a c-section, you may have an overhang, a dip (not everyone has these) but also a scar. Within a year most c-section scars are pencil thin, however some may end up thicker.
Hairy Belly – some ladies grow hair on their bey during pregnancy, it can’t really be seen during the time of pregnancy however after baby is out and all the skin collects, you find that you have a hairy, floppy belly. Attractive right? But not to worry, it will fall out and not grow back again, or if you can’t wait until then, then you can shave it off like I did. (Shaved once and it never grew back).
Although sometimes you find yourself wishing you had your old abs back, nearly all the time all these changes fade away and in the end even if you don’t look exactly the same as you did pre-pregnancy you won’t really mind that you went through all these changes because in the end, it was all so worth it.
So I’m here again after what seems like an eternity, apologetic and ready to ‘catch-up’ as usual. Or more likely fill you in on all the crazy happening in my life. I would like to pretend I’m sipping a cup of coffee whilst my newborn is napping away and I’ve found an hour from my sweet new mommy #2 life to write this blog post. However, the truth is actually on my way to a check up with my doctor, sitting in the back of the car, making myself extremely nauseous whilst I write this. Anyone else get that? And truth is I’m cranky because I’ve said to myself a thousand times I should write on my blog, but by the time night comes I’m crashed out in bed with my make-up on whilst putting Ayan to sleep. Motherhood. So therefore I can’t wait any longer so I’ll just write in the car and throughout the rest of the day whenever I’m catching 5 minutes to do so. That’s paragraph one done. I’ve arrived, so I’ll save this draft and be back later…
Back again, finally home, everything is great! Scar is looking good. Aryana is currently burping/vomiting on me whilst I write this, however, before I leave in half an hour to take her for her first check up I would like to finish this post. So let’s see shall we.
As I was saying, well actually I don’t remember what I was saying, but what I do want to say is that, blogging is something I so love to do, I love to write, write about my life. I love the questions I receive, the insight I give people into my personal life. However, at some point blogging turned into a ‘competition’ for me, I kept following other bloggers, especially ‘mom bloggers’ to catch what ideas they had, to see how they were doing climbing the social ladder. And at some point I noticed a trend. These mothers all seem to have the ‘perfect lives’ with perfect babies that sleep through the night, perfect make-up, perfect hair and perfect white backgrounds for their Insta pics and their vlogs. And whilst all that may be true, it is not achievable – not without a whole lot of stress anyways. I found that at some point I got caught up in some kind of competition, to portray the ‘perfect Insta life too’. Stressing on taking the perfect Instagram picture, stressing on having my make up perfect for a vlog, stressing on writing the perfect blog posts. Making everything seem like my motherhood was easy, smooth and life was bliss. Well it’s not true. My life is bliss, but for all that it is and all that it isn’t. For all that I manage to do and all that I don’t.
If you’re a mother to be, or just another momma following a mommy blogger than please don’t put the expectations on yourself that they seem to lay out for you. I can assure you half these ‘perfect mommies’ have parents, in laws, nannies, cleaners to help them do what they do. Hence the extra time to do all these crafty, Pinterest things that get us feeling like we aren’t doing enough. Admittedly as a mother I have extremely high expectations of myself 99% of the time so I end up joining the Pinterest mommy club, however, it’s not always smooth sailing and there is 1% of the time when I’m a binge eating, tired, stressy mom who feeds my kids chicken nuggets for lunch AND dinner. And I’m going to blog about it.
Yep that’s right, I want to give a real insight into my REAL life. Not my wannabe Insta mom life that anyways I never can keep up with. I want to show what it’s REALLY like to be a momma with a toddler and a newborn, to be young, full of passions, tired as hell, mostly achieving what I set out to do but everyday for at least a few moments as my husband will tell you… a hot mess. I want to blog the real me. Blog what’s REALLY written in my diary for the day, write about the tantrum Ayan had and although I was a zen mother on the outside I’m crying on the inside. So as of today I’m blogging my life to you, my real life, with all the social media around even being a mother has become a competition and I’m tired of it, so join me on my journey, even if I don’t have fancy Insta pics or if I don’t look like a model everyday or if I write a cranky post, grab a coffee (only one if you’re breastfeeding or pregnant). Because motherhood is fun, it is great, it’s full of ups, but there is also sad times, frustrating times and times of tears. Because this is REAL motherhood, this is… motherhood unplugged.
April 1st 2017, the day our lives changed yet again & a day which we will truly never forget…
Lately the weather hadn’t been so amazing, however, that specific Saturday morning it was sunny, bright and warm outside. I picked up my phone, checked my diary to see what I had planned for that day. Yep, of course as always my diary was full for Saturday of little things that I had to finish/buy before baby made it’s appearance as there were only a few weeks left. As the boys woke up and me and Mihai were talking about what we had to do today, I had a true F*#K THAT moment and I decided to clear the schedule until Monday and we instead had decided that for the whole weekend we were just going to spend time as a family, maybe fulfill last minute desires (like eating as many doughnuts as I want in one sitting) and nothing else but fun. And so, our ‘fun family weekend’ began.
The house was spotless and disinfected from top to bottom from my weeks of nesting + my OCD, if you know us, you’ll know we are somewhat ‘clean freaks’ – that is what you call people like us right? So there was nothing to do a 9.30am except to get dressed and head to starbucks.
10.00am: Arrive at starbucks, get a Soy Macchiato, a normal macchiato, Ayan’s usual doughnut with pink marshmallows and a bottle of overpriced water…I will never understand WHY my son is obsessed with the bottles of water specifically from Starbucks when I can buy him the EXACT SAME water from any other store, but anyways… Sip our coffees, take some selfies, or atleast I tried to with Ayan, it’s quite tough with a toddler, then we decided to do some shopping. Post shopping I decided I needed a rest and that the rest would be in the car on the way to the NEXT shopping centre (Vivo City).
12.00pm: Arrive at Vivo City, I decide that I want to eat KFC + a doughnut from the Donuterie, promising myself of course that from tomorrow until I give birth I’ll eat healthier so that I have the energy to go through the birth process. Feeling super massive now, we finish off some shopping and head home.
13.30pm: Arrive home, Ayan is taking a nap and I tell Mihai that we simply MUST watch a movie together with some more junk of course, so of course we put a movie on. Halfway through the movie I’m feeling a little uneasy and out of breath but I just assume it’s because the baby is squishing my lungs or something like that. I start complaining and so we decide to turn the movie off and just chill. So yep, chillin’ together, everything is good, then my husband decides he wants to cook steak and sweet potato mash randomly on a Saturday, so as he makes second lunch? Pre-dinner? Not sure what you’d call it, we eat so much, I’m playing with Ayan and eating more things I can find in the kitchen. We eat, it is D E L I C I O U S, I’m still promising that I won’t eat this much from tomorrow but until then I think we should go to the central park, spend some time with Cliffy as it;s beautiful outside, oh and we should get an ice cream too.
17.00pm: Head off to the park, before that we fooled around at the back of the block, posting on snapchat, instagram stories, and just taking silly pictures, little did I know that it would be the last pictures I’d ever have of my little bump. On arrival at the park we walk the whole way through and back, play with Ayan, look for trolls under bridges and for some weird reason just followed Ayan around who had befriended another slightly older toddler who didn’t seem to have any parents with him, yet seemed to enjoy making my son laugh by repeatedly throwing his scooter in the water. Such a strange little moment, boys can be so strange sometimes. Still haven’t got my ice cream, although the boys had theirs, so we decide to head back to where the ice creams are, I carry Ayan most of the way there and just before we get to the ice cream we decide that we must stop at the kids section so that Ayan can go on the slide.
Incoming message on my phone
My doctor had messaged me earlier on asking me how I felt to which I told her that I’d had some contractions, assuming they were Braxton hicks, I took some Magnesium B6 and they calmed down, apart from that I felt as awesome as an 8 month pregnant woman can feel and that everything is good. According to my Doctor she didn’t trust me and she had weird gut feelings so she expected me to be at the hospital in 30 minutes. What?! Sounds a bit worrying, but my doctor is amazing and surely just wants to double and triple check everything is okay, I mean it is a Saturday evening and she could be doing something else. So I tell Mihai that we must leave the park immediately, drop Ayan at his mother’s and make our way to the clinic. Probably the funniest moment of the whole day, Mihai’s face and his denial, at some point I felt that I’d have to drag him out that park he was THAT frightened and in denial and soooo didn’t want me to give birth. Anyways skipping Mihai’s panic attack we head towards the hospital ->
19.00pm: From this point onwards everything seems to be a retrospective blur. Enter clinic. Climb up onto the table, an assistant says to me how do I not feel that I am in labour as she can see my tightenings through my dress. Excuse me? I still feel nothing. I look over to Mihai who looks like he will pass out at any moment and don’t say anything, except for deny any pain of course. Doctor does the scan, I’m definitely having contractions and they are about 6 minutes apart. Ok? The scan shows that I have barely any water left, and that baby has almost no water at it’s head…time for a slight panic. Doctor cannot believe that my waters have broken and I never called her. That is NO THANKS TO MIHAI. So the day before I had some discharge that was so fluid and water like I wasn’t sure if I had peed myself but Mihai kept saying that it was just end of pregnancy discharge, now I have nooo idea why I listened to him. Of course baby is not in position and is transverse, I have no water left. Time for the internal check. Oh I’m 2 and a half centimetres dilated already. Well this baby is coming and it’s coming soon. Mihai gets sent home by my doctor to collect my stuff, we have somehow been communicating through telepathy all this time as if I recall correctly we never really exchanged a word with each other but for sure we knew what each other were thinking, we just kept looking at each other, it all seemed quite the shock. I in the meantime get whisked upstairs, stripped naked quicker than I can blink, hospital gown on and told to lie down. Yet another assistant cannot understand why I’m not feeling my contractions, now that I’m lying down and looking at them I can almost literally see them and I can definitely feel them, oh wait, now I feel it, they may be just slightly painful.
… no idea what time it was: I’ve been moved to the operation room, I’m starting to panic as Mihai is not here yet although my Doctor keeps reassuring me that she won’t start without him being there. Oh great, he’s here now and all of a sudden in all my shock I notice that not only is my husband and my doctor there, but there are also ALL the ladies from the previous shift (guess I caught them through shift change over time) and ALL the ladies from the night shift. Plus the assisting surgeon, the anaesthesist, the head anaesthesist nurse, the neonatalog. That is one thing that I will for sure remember, I have NEVER literally, in my life, seen that many people in an operating room. My spinal gets put in blah blah then, I for some reason start to panic, I’m sweating profusely, Mihai is trying to give me a thumbs up from the door for some reason? Okay, that’s my cue to pass out, next thing I know the anaesthesist is telling someone to get Mihai here, My doctor is talking to God knows who, Mihai is there holding my hand, the theatre lights turn on and I feel like a deer in the headlights. I’m lying on my back with someone holding my head down because I’m panicking, the sweetest anaesthesist guy who I’ve managed to fall in love with throughout all this chaos is soaking me in water and all I can think about is how he is ruining my lash extensions, plus the fact he can see my boobs, plus the fact a whole other bunch of people can see my vagigi, plus the fact that I am ABOUT TO THROW UP, trying to tell myself to hold it in. Focus on my dear husband’s hand stroking my hand, try telling my husband I love him the most in the world. Oh wait, nope I’m throwing up all over my anaesthesist. Poor guy. It only happens two more times. They still haven’t reached my uterus yet, why? I don’t think I even want to know, the doctor’s are deep in concentration, and for a still second I admire the way in which they are working together, I have no idea what they are doing but it seems important, they are in silence and for a slight moment all the chaos around me and my panicked thoughts blur out, For a moment it is me, the thud of my heartbeat, the theatre lights and the two doctors working alongside each other in an understood silence. My heartbeat is getting louder and louder in my ears, Mihai is calming me down, I can’t really understand what’s taking so long, but I’ll find out after the surgery.
20.45pm: All of a sudden I feel the interior incision, I’m asking Mihai if he can see the baby yet. Then I hear it, the doctor saying how SHE has the longest eyelashes, someone else said she is the most beautiful baby and then came her sweet, sweet cry. I don’t know what I’m feeling, I’m crying, I’m still in shock yet I am the happiest woman alive. I have so much love for my husband, my newborn child and everyone around me. I’m reliving the ecstasy I felt the first time when I gave birth to the love of my life, little baby Ayan and now I am feeling it again. They’ve taken her to another room to dress her and check her vitals, whilst my doctor is continuing with the operation. She says something to me but I can’t hear her, so many people are saying so many things but all I can hear is the beautiful sound of my baby’s cry next door.
I can’t wait to hold her as soon as I’m out the theatre.
With the funniest memories, the sweetest moment and the most wonderful Doctor’s and medical team. This is how my baby girl – Aryana Lorena Moldovan – was born, Bought into this world on April 1st 2017 @ Clinica Hipocrates, Cluj-Napoca.
Hey guys! It’s been a crazy long time, like 6 weeks to be exact or something around that right? I know, I know, I know, I’m ALWAYS apologising. However, please hear me out, this time round I have a really good excuse, so here it goes…
Last time on the blog I left you at week 33, with 2-weekly updates on how the pregnancy was going, my workouts, etc. Unfortunately after week 33 apart from severe nesting accompanied by my super bad OCD tendencies, I started suffering severe migraines, so bad that they were effectively ‘paralysing’ me. So for a few weeks I was living in a haze and definitely unable to blog, VLOG or barely look at my phone screen. At week 35 my doctor started me on steroid injections to help with these headaches as they were severely dehabilating and definitely not like me (fortunately headaches is not something I’ve had to suffer from in the past). So I wasn’t feeling so amazing from those anyways…as I finished day 5 of injections with still another 5 days left, I was beginning to wonder if I’d make it through the misery of those damn injections and I started wishing those days would fly by me, well all I gotta say about that is be careful what you wish for…
Fast forward to 1st April, yes, yes I know it’s April fools day, but I am not fooling you, my daughter, yep that’s right I had a BABY GIRL <3, entered my life pulling the biggest prank on me ever! I’ll be writing the full story on the arrival of our little princess on the next blog post, as right now she’s aboout to wake up and I’ve gotta run #momlife. For now, here are a few snaps of her, we are all well over here at casa Moldovan and I can’t wait to be catching up with my blog readers/instagram followers over the coming months!
Can we really say that we ever know a person? A person changes with life events, emotions, hormones, maturity and so many other factors. We as humans are never the same person we were yesterday because we are not robots, whether we are forever changiing for the better or the worst (maybe a bit of both?!). One thing for sure is, that we are always changing.
A great example of this in my life, was when I became a parent, I truly thought I knew Mihai (my husband), but then again how could I know every part of him? I didn’t know him as a father as he’d never been in played that role before. So when we did finally become parents to our little love, I saw yet another side of him that I’d never seen before, in the link below are just a few things which we learnt about each other POST baby. Some cute, and some not so cute. Every one a learning curve 🙂 Enjoy!
Travelling has become a normality in may people’s lives, whether that’s crossing one side of the city to the other, or crossing from one continent to another, we all travel to various places all for various reasons. It has become such an every day aspect compared to say, 150 years ago thanks to our ever growing education, techonology, opportunies, and of course awesome prices and costs at which we can travel nowadays.
However, one thing I come across so often since I became a mother is the hesitancy to travel with a baby/toddler. Hesitant, not because parents don’t want to, but because, they don’t know how. As I travel with Ayan a lot (he has never gone a day or night without me -should I be proud of that or not?) I put together a VLOG with my top 5 travel tipswith a toddler. If you got anymore to add? Comment them to me and let me know! O X O X O
Art, more specifically painting is an activity which we find we do a lot with our children, for us as the caregivers, it may be just to fill up some space in the day’s schedule, an activity which we don’t put much thought to because it seems fun, educational and keeps them quiet. However, much more than an activity, painting is an extremely important form of expression when it comes to children.
It is a way for them to convey ideas, use their senses, explore and learn colour, express emotions and ideas, explore process and outcomes and create aesthetically pleasing works and experiences.
If you watch a child carefully as they paint, it is almost like they are painting their personal thought patterns and emotions across the air for you, such as ‘if I mix red and white – I get this new colour, pink.’ Or ‘if I gently rub my brush on the page I get smooth lines.’ As a child paints and gets lost in the colours, textures, brushes, sense and control over this material, they will make their own connections and ideas of how the painting process works for them, as well as discovering what they enjoy about it and what they don’t. The beauty of watching a child paint is in these moments whilst we listen and observe, we begin to understand the way a child perceives his world, his developmental abilities, and his needs or interests.
The process of painting itself is often found to be very soothing to children, mainly because it is one of the easiest forms of expression for such a young mind. But also for many other reasons, such as the pleasant feeling of painting, using brushes and fingers (maybe even little toes) the different textures created and pictures obtained from different techniques.
So, as we paint with our children, we are allowing ourselves to see much more than a simple picture, if we observe carefully we can gain an enormous amount of information about each little child and in doing so we can create awesome experiences and support vital development at the same time. That I would say is a masterpiece in itself, wouldn’t you?
Thank Youplayful learning for the wonderful shots of Ayan and for always painting with him!
Grab a coffee, today we have a bit of a fun post on the blog… The meaning of Ayan.
Since I gave birth, so many people have asked me what ‘Ayan‘ actually means, truth be told, one of the reasons we chose this name was because it is truly one of the most multicultural names I have come across. It has such a beautiful meaning in many countries/cultures that it practically covers the world. So here it is 🙂 Hindu/Tamil meaning: Brahma – The God of Creation.
Sanskrit: Soaked in the divine (as in Satyanarayan)
Biblical meaning: ‘motion’, to arrive (related to Noah)
Scottish: Lian which is pronounced as ‘Ayan’ is the biblical, Scottish variation of John.
Hebrew: Nothingness, peace.
Islam/Arabic: God’s gift
Several African languages: Centre part of the soul.
Every meaning so beautiful and unique, Ayan is a truly meaningful name, don’t you think?
And as we dedicated a whole post to little Ayan, here are some snaps of him, enjoy!
A buddy, a pal, an amigo, a friend, a bestie for life until the very end.
Spend half as much money, twice as much time, sing them a song, or even a nursery rhyme.
A hug when they cry, a soft cuddle whilst they sleep, kiss their little toes, and tickle those tiny feet.
Hold them in your arms, yet let them run free, exploration of their senses, to smell, touch, feel and see.
Teach them to love, to share and to give, the power of kindness in this world which we live.
Express no posession, just unconditional love, they shall spread their wings wide, like those of a dove.
In times of need and when they cry, keep them close and wipe those tears dry.
Away from the screens, outdoors is more fun, to run and to play in fresh air and the sun.
Grow them and nurture them until the very end, our little angels, a little godsend.
A pinch of respect, rules and some trust, loyalty and love, happiness is a must.
Good morals and kindness, empathy too, a good base in life will see them through.
A teaspoon of guidance, a cup of delight, add some sweet sugar, a bit of brave spice, mix all of the above and the last bit too, stir it well, through and through, dear parents there you have it, the potion to…the happiest and sweetest child for you! Reema Moldovan.