Bringing sexy back: Working out postpartum

stretching-woman

P&N: What workouts would you recommend for a new mom who has just been cleared to exercise? Brooke Taylor: Start by simply taking the baby for a walk 30 minutes a day to get your body moving and your heart

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Days away

working-mother

The only debate that riles up parents more than breast vs. bottle is the good old stay-at-home vs. working mom dispute. Although opinions run rampant, the fact is this: The most recent numbers from Pew Research Center show that only

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Books beyond bedtime

mombabyreading-new

Bedtime stories have long been a nightly ritual looked forward to by children and parents alike. But the tender time just before sleep sets in serves as more than an excuse for extra cuddles and calming kisses. As it turns

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Let’s talk about sex

familychillin

One of my mom friends gave her son milkshakes before he could walk. Another has sworn off sugar until elementary school. I tend to follow a “figure-it-out” approach with my 15-month-old son and 2 1⁄2-year-old daughter, but a close friend

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Bug off

sickbaby

If we could examine the inner workings of the infant parent’s brain, we would first see that incomparable oxytocin rush and the euphoric love that comes with it. There would be a scattering, of course, of incomplete sentences and forgotten

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Howdy, stranger

babypersonality

Much of your baby’s demeanor is decided genetically before he’s even left the gate. Still, the impact of his home environment and family dynamics can’t be overstated. Nature and nurture combine forces to uniquely influence the individual your baby will

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Bank on it

cordblood-pigbank

As an expectant mom, you are constantly making decisions that will affect your babe-to-be’s future. One question that could potentially have the greatest impact on the health of your newborn—and family members—is whether to bank baby’s cord blood. This choice

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Toying around

baby-playing

From helping your growing sprout master her fine motor skills to facilitating her mental development, playtime is more than just fun and games. In fact, according to Stuart Brown, PhD, a pioneer in play research, it can improve mood and

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Making space

Parlin3

Thwack. The bathroom door crashed open, revealing one of my 3-year-old daughters in all of her bed-headed glory, wearing only her underwear. There I was, brushing my teeth in all of my just-barely-squeezed-in- a-shower glory, also in my underwear. She

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A love like this

Beiker3

At four months pregnant, I found myself at an old New England artists’ colony, having chats over dinner with other fellows in residence. Maybe because I was expecting or maybe because familial lineage is a common “getting to know you”

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Tear-filled farewells

crying-bebe-2

In the early days, you can hand your baby over to someone else, and she’ll hardly even notice. Sometime after your tot’s half-birthday, however, she might begin to wail at the mere thought of leaving your arms. While it can

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Swear words

cosleeping

Before I had kids, I was pretty sure I knew exactly how to do this parenting thing. While heavily pregnant with my first child, I encountered a rather unhappy toddler and her mother at Target. The child was screaming bloody

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Am I a bad mom?

Bolton4

I’ve asked myself the same question, almost daily, since I had my first baby—a sweet, precious baby girl named Kate—in March. Actually, it started before I’d even had her. The first time this question popped into my head, I was

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Confession: I’d rather be at work than at home all day with my kids

Working-mom-baby

Facebook, TV shows and the media all portray how tough it is for moms to go back to work after maternity leave with proclamations of worry, guilt and accompanying tears. And the message is clear: Good parents want to be

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Good night, and good luck

Baby-Sleeping

Round-the-clock feedings, middle-of-the-night diaper changes and constantly waking to wailing are all par for the course for new parents. But after several months of fatigued days and nights spent in a total haze, you might be wondering, Will I ever

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The lactation diet

lactationsalad

All moms know how important it is to eat well during pregnancy, but once baby arrives, the focus on food often fades away. However, if you’re a nursing mama, what you eat now is just as important as what you ate

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Surviving the first six weeks

snuggling

Remember when you were 38 weeks pregnant and so ready to be done that you were actually anxious to push a 7-pound person out of your lady parts? Because then the pregnancy would be over, and you could relax and

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Worth a shot

baby-vaccine

When it comes to vaccines, there’s a lot to consider—from easing the ouch to keeping up with that complicated schedule. It’s never easy for a mama to see her babe in pain, but the short-lived sting of inoculations is well

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But I can’t keep calm…

mom-depression

Genevieve Ryczek, a mother of two in Minneapolis, experienced what she describes as a “birth high.” After a short, but physically intense labor, she was elated with new motherhood and full of energy. While recovering in the hospital, she didn’t

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Breastfeeding and the ACA

Pump In Style Advanced tote

No matter your insurance, tucked away within the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a clause that is revolutionizing breastfeeding for new and expectant mothers. Now more than ever you have support and services at your disposal, and it can change

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7 ways to be a happier, healthier mom

mom-and-baby-resting

Motherhood can be overwhelming, but you don’t have to let it get the best of you. Follow these seven steps to find some balance, maintain your sanity and keep on smiling in your new role as mom. Take time to

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Safety first

baby-crawling

Your baby’s well-being is more important than anything. In fact, you’re biologically built to feel anxious about your child’s safety and respond strongly when he’s threatened. (Hello, mama bear!) While it’s impossible to foresee and defuse every potential danger, it

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Movin’ on up

baby-pushcart

Between birth and her first birthday bash, your little sprout will do some serious growing—and not just in size. A baby’s first year is a blur of cognitive and mobile changes that occur at warp speed compared to the rest

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Phase facts

mom-and-baby-snuggle

When you’re a first-time parent, the little things your baby does seem magical … and sometimes bizarre … and occasionally unbearable. Luckily, the path has been paved; odds are, the things you’re experiencing have been observed and survived by countless

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I can see (myself) clearly now

mom-mirror

I was at a dinner party, cradling my newborn daughter proudly in my arms, when a male friend seated across the table looked at me, then whispered something into my husband’s ear. My curiosity was piqued. What did he say?

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Yes, you can breastfeed your baby

nursing-mom-and-baby

“Are you going to breastfeed?” This was consistently the second or third question friends, family and strangers would ask in our conversations about my impending bundle of joy. My response was equally common: “I’m going to try! We’ll see how

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Help yourself

momandnewbie

Somewhere in the throes of the early months with a newborn, every new mama finds herself stretched too thin. The sleepless nights combined with round-the-clock feedings and the stress of trying to keep up with a household’s busy schedule can

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Baby on board

babysuitcase

Traveling with a baby doesn’t exactly elicit imagery of relaxing family togetherness. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Although most pediatricians advise keeping your newborn at home to avoid sickness and establish a routine, travel is sometimes necessary (and desirable!).

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Unforeseen joy

mom-and-baby

Shock. Fear. Concern. Those aren’t typically the words a healthy, 30-year-old married woman would use to describe her reaction to seeing two pink lines on a pregnancy test. But Myndee Corkern, a writer and regular contributor to the New Orleans

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You name it

thinkingbabynames

When parents give their child a name, they determine what he’ll write at the top of his math quiz in elementary school, how he’ll introduce him-self at his first job interview after college and even whom his future spouse will

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Healing touch

babymassage

Years ago, I met a woman who taught infant massage. I was intrigued, but I was admittedly also skeptical. Did this mean she laid babies down on their bellies and rubbed their backs the same way adults received massages at

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A new dating game

mom-friends

You’re both at your cars, conversation is dying out, and suddenly, you’re feeling bashful. Shuffling your feet and avoiding eye contact, you take the big step. “So, what are you up to the rest of the week?” Your heart pounds,

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Bonded by motherhood: Cinda Boomershine

Cinda1

This month, we’re celebrating our third annual Five Fascinating Moms feature in Pregnancy & Newborn. The common thread of motherhood connects them—and us—on our journeys through pregnancy and parenthood. As you read the stories of these remarkable moms, it is

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Bonded by motherhood: Liz Stanley

lizstanley4

This month, we’re celebrating our third annual Five Fascinating Moms feature in Pregnancy & Newborn. The common thread of motherhood connects them—and us—on our journeys through pregnancy and parenthood. As you read the stories of these remarkable moms, it is

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Bonded by motherhood: Claude Monique Viard

moniqueviard2

This month, we’re celebrating our third annual Five Fascinating Moms feature in Pregnancy & Newborn. The common thread of motherhood connects them—and us—on our journeys through pregnancy and parenthood. As you read the stories of these remarkable moms, it is

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Bonded by motherhood: Elle Rowley

rowley7

This month, we’re celebrating our third annual Five Fascinating Moms feature in Pregnancy & Newborn. The common thread of motherhood connects them—and us—on our journeys through pregnancy and parenthood. As you read the stories of these remarkable moms, it is

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The crying peak

colic-cry-baby

Although only about 20 percent of babies cry enough to fit the guideline pediatricians currently use to diagnose colic—inconsolable crying for three hours or more a day—most babies have increased fussiness during the first 12 weeks that can make coping

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Bonded by motherhood: Joy Prouty

joyprouty1

This month, we’re celebrating our third annual Five Fascinating Moms feature in Pregnancy & Newborn. The common thread of motherhood connects them—and us—on our journeys through pregnancy and parenthood. As you read the stories of these remarkable moms, it is

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Find your parenting style

mombabybeach

Whether you’re approaching motherhood for the first time or already have years of experience under your belt, a little self-reflection never hurts. Circle the answers that fit you best to discover your true parenting style. (For fun, give your partner

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Motherhood at any age

mom-and-bebe

Ask a group of women how old they were when they became mothers for the first time, and you’re bound to hear a variety of responses. Despite notions that motherhood is a universal experience, each new mom’s parenting story is

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The next course

baby-eats

After subsisting on fluids alone for her first few months of life, there will come a point when baby is ready to expand her intake and broaden her palate. The mealtime milestone can offer endless entertainment as baby reacts to

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Stir crazy

mombabyplay

Your first few weeks at home with a new baby pass by in a flash, and there’s undoubtedly no place else you’d rather be. After a certain amount of time, though, it isn’t unusual to begin getting a bit antsy.

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Checking out

newborn-doctor

You counted 10 tiny fingers and 10 sweet toes. In your eyes, your newborn is as flawless as he is precious. Rest assured, you’re probably right. But doctors still will want to look a bit closer to be sure all

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Breast is best

breastfed

Every new mom wants to give her babe the best possible start in life. And it turns out, all babe really needs to score a boost is you. Breastfeeding your newborn exclusively offers her numerous benefits, including natural protection against

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Like a virgin

couples-legs copy

It may seem like forever, but the usual doctor’s recommendation is a six-week sexual hiatus after childbirth. This gives you time to heal from a tear or episiotomy, quit bleeding and distance yourself from the physical trauma of delivery. While

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Thinking outside the toy box

mom-baby-playing-2

If you’ve gone so far as to leave the hospital with your baby, you’ve already gotten the message (hopefully loud and clear): You are your baby’s favorite thing. Still, there’s such excitement around growing this little bundle into the happy,

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Handle with care

newbie-nicu

Until my 28th week of pregnancy, I had been the ideal prenatal patient: appropriate weight gain, moderate exercise, healthy eating habits, and normal test results. But during my routine checkup that first week of my last trimester, my doctor discovered

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Hey, little spender

piggybank

It starts before baby is even born. Your new addition has you in a buying frenzy as you stock up on everything from nursery furniture to diapers to tiny baby clothes—and the costs keep adding up. By the time a

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Rich in tradition

datewithbaby

I was eight months pregnant on the December morning when my mom, grandmother, aunts and cousins gathered around a kitchen table—as we do every winter—to make tamales. As I spread corn flour dough onto papery husks and dropped spoonfuls of

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Falling in love again

momsonbaby

There was a quiet moment during my pregnancy with my first daughter when I suddenly had the sense that I knew her. Not that I had her completely figured out, but that I felt a clear and deep attachment to

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