Bulletproof Baby – Postpartum week 6
Hooray! My boy is already 6 weeks old! He is no longer a newborn – a tiny boy, who is growing up so quickly.
Although he still needs a lot of attention, our life is getting more and more manageable. He has been on the 6-8 weeks routine of the Contented Little Baby Book by Gina Ford for 2 weeks already because he really doesn’t need to sleep so much during the day. He has been increasingly alert during the play time, paying attention to many things around him. He only wakes up once a night between 4:30 – 6am most of the time, there had been several incidents where he slept from 11:30 to 7am, too!
I really think new parents should at least read this book once – it could really make your life easier. We are forever thankful to this book!
OK, so here are some remarks I wanted to share…
I’ve been eating lots of lots of excellent fat!!!!!
I am still on the same moderate carb / high fat diet although I’ve decided to reduce the overall calorie intake gradually. I still weigh approx. 3kg more than the pre-pregnancy weight and it’s been the same since I lost all that weight around 62kg (I’m 165cm). But now I have my bigger breasts and lots of breast milk constantly flowing out, so there is really no point in worrying about the weight at all.
My macros lately:
- Daily calorie intake: approx 2,500 kcal, often I exceeded! But you know what, I never put on extra weight though. I am reducing it now closer to 2,200 kcal to see how it affects my breast milk production.
- Carb: I have been on moderate carb until few weeks ago (up to 25% total carb) but now it is down to 15%. I have ZERO craving for carbs though.
- Fat: 60-65%, trying to get as much as possible from whole animal fat (e.g. grass-fed beef, salmon, eggs), but other sources of fat include grass-fed ghee, olive oil, coconut flesh, avocados and pili nuts.
- Protein: 20% (from natural wholefood. Occasionally I take whey after hard weightlifting but that’s about it)
My physical appearance is fine although I see mild water retention all over my body. My abdominal muscles are still stretched so my tummy is still sticking out a bit but it is getting smaller slowly. My recovery after the C-section has been great, I started to walk a lot almost immediately after the operation to speed up the healing and I addd some very light upper body whenever I could. The lack of sleep was the only thing which was preventing me from working out ‘properly’ but I always tried to move.
One interesting observation. About a week ago (5 weeks postpartum), I suddenly felt very weak as if I was getting a bad flu. My joints were stiff and painful, I was sweating a lot, and I experienced very low energy level. Later on I have read that often this can be caused by the sudden decrease in adrenalin – which makes total sense! Or may be this was just my body fighting against some kind of cold….. anyway I tried to rest a lot as I could, and the symptoms were gone after several days.
I was very afraid that I might have Diastasis Recti, the separation of abdominal muscles & connective tissues. So I did not do anything until I had a post c-section check up with my doctor, who confirmed that I did not have it. I have been doing the pelvic floor exercises on a daily basis, but since then, I started to increase the amount of compound exercises to strengthen the core with added weight, using the Olympic barbell again.
I did try some direct abdominal exercises to see how I felt – I didn’t like it at all! It is still very weak so I don’t think it is appropriate to do things like sit ups. I am not in a hurry, so I prefer to work on it slowly.
More remarks on my baby
As far as my little human is concerned, here are some things we have been observing:
- His physical changes:
- Weight increase: 3.2kg to 4kg (lowest weight was 2.8kg)
- Height increase: 50cm to 55cm (probably – baby’s height is the hardest to measure!!!)
- His feeding has improved & it allows him to sleep almost throughout the night. Obviously it is also to do with the increased capacity of his stomach, but I really have no idea how much he is able to take in! He has managed to sleep from the latest feeding of 10:30pm to 7pm 4 times now. Otherwise he would just wake up ONCE, mainly between 5-6am. This means, he is adopting to take most of his feeding during the day and is able to sleep at night, yappeeeeee!
- He has been extremely active! His muscle development has been significant, he can now hold his head up for a short period of time due to stronger muscles on his neck, shoulders and arms. He is constantly kicking, and with some help, he loves crawling on the mat already! We encourage so-called ‘tummy time’ a lot since we realized that he could take it well. We think he likes the fact that he can move around on his tummy, so when he is in a very good mood, we flip him, and see what he does. His arm coordinations are not there yet but we show him how to support himself.
- His ability to see, focus & track objects is improving on a daily basis. He can look at our faces and give us the most adorable smiles! We show him black & white pictures and move it so that he can track it – he can, even 180 degrees now (rotating his head from side to side). He is fascinated with birds in the garden and he is constantly looking out. I’ve been playing different kinds of music to see if he shows any preferences but I think he is too young to show that yet. I also let him smell different kinds of essential oils. He seems to like them but not sure if he can show which one he likes the most.
I truly believe that the high fat diet results in better quality breast milk, hence contributing to improved growth of the baby. I am not saying that it helps mothers to produce more quantity – on the contrary. But fat is definitely helping the baby to feel more full even the quantity is less than average.
Fact 1: his physical development has been quicker than average. Good quality fats are very important for the development of the brain at this age – after all, the brain is said to consist of at least 60% fat!
Fact 2: he does not require so much sleep during the day. I think this is because my low/moderate carb diet does not contribute to produce breast milk with much lactose, so his body is optimally fueled by more ketone bodies, i.e. his brain is on fire!
Many mothers say oatmeal cookies are the best thing to eat to stimulate the breast milk flow but I haven’t really found any scientific evidence to support that this could increase the milk supply. Oats contain some irons but that’s about it… And most of the websites advice mothers NOT to take so much fatty food. I think this depends on the quality of fat you take. AND sufficient rest. I have no problem with my breast milk, they were never clogged up, and it seems that my baby is gaining weight healthily so it must be ok. I just have to make sure that I have enough rest – if I am tired, my milk gets thin in the evening.
I have been wondering though. Do babies really need to be so chubby? If you have the right nutrition, would he have a different body composition? He lives in Thailand so obviously he won’t need much fat to keep him warm! Although he is getting rounder, I don’t think he will be that fat. Many websites say it is normal to have fat babies but it doesn’t sound so logical to me. Any thoughts?
My newest gadget
I just bought a fitness device called Oura Ring (www.ouraring.com) in order to understand my sleeping pattern better. Those biohackers I follow in Instagram are going crazy over it so I was too curious to try it out myself! I always thought that Apple Watch was crap because it did not track your sleep. I had a Misfit fitness tracker but it only gave you the light and deep sleep patterns without any analysis at all. AND it stopped synchronizing at one point so I hadn’t used it in months.
This ring is also an amazing fitness tracker because it is well-calibrated. It knows your heart-rates and body temperature better than any other devices, because it has more data – especially from your sleep. I didn’t know that my temperature and heart rate drop so much when I am sleeping at night!
It also charges quickly so every few days you can charge it when you eat a meal or so. Anyway, it is also waterproof up to 50m (saltwater as well), which is great because I always wanted to track my swimming more accurately! Because of the more advanced algorithm, it can also monitor the calorie burning on activities like weight lifting. The ring is very durable so you don’t have to worry much about scratching it by holding a barbell, although I would always wear gloves.
Most importantly, the design is stunning! It looks slightly bulky but it doesn’t bother me at all. I can wear this anytime and it looks great. I had a problem with Apple Watch because it just did not look nice with certain clothes…. and it got boring at the end, no matter how many watch bands you owned.
The app is quite neat, every day it gives you a brief analysis of your performance with cute comments. Well, right now the ring tells me to get more sleep and engage in more activities if I sit down too long…..! I enjoy using it and now my husband wants to use it, too!
Someone mentioned that you can use this to see how different foods can affect your pulse and sleeping patterns. If anything can cause inflammation, for example, it will be shown in your sleeping pattern. So it is useful to test your food intolerance with this features. Interesting right?
Oh well. Let’s see when I will be able to update this again! Right now I have been researching a lot about the first baby food…. reading a very interesting book called the Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby & Child Care by Sally Fallon Morell. Very detailed information on food for babies. Very informative indeed! She also have another book on general nutritions. I haven’t started yet but they both have great reviews on Amazon, check them out!