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Sleep Training

Don’t let the cute smile fool you

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Bubba has been a terrible sleeper. The worst of my 3 kids. At 7 months, She had only managed a 4hr nap less than 5 times…. (some babies sleep 12hrs)
We reached out to a “sleep therapist” to help bubba sleep better… here’s our story 5 weeks on.
sleeping baby
Before sleep training:
Bubba was co-sleeping in bed with me and waking 10 to 15
times a night for a comfort feed. Obviously I was tired and worn out. This wasn’t sustainable for bub either. Day sleeps were not much better she might sleep for 20mins here and there.

After sleep training
Bubba now sleeps in her cot.
On a good night she sleeps from 6:30-2am then will have a feed and sleep 2:15-6:30am.
However every night is different and she might cry at various times, sometimes she self settles other times I have to go in and soothe her, we are yet to master consistency.
During the day she now sleeps in her cot and naps can range from 40mins to 2hrs (on a good day)

At week 4 of sleep training she slept from 6:30pm to 6:30am!!!!

The journey
The training was hard but we started gentle by letting bub cry for 5minute intervals, picking her up and settling her before putting her back down, giving her a comfort feed when necessary. Each night extending the intervals and minimising touch and feeds. This was a draining process and I felt more exhausted than I was pre-training.
Some nights she would be unsettled for a 3 hour period, some nights she would go to sleep easy and wake up for a feed on schedule.

Our sleep therapist was there every day (for the first 2weeks) to check in to see how bubba was going and to offer suggestions on the next night.
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5 weeks on she has made amazing progress. I’m sleeping much better now myself which has a positive flow on effect for my mood and energy. I
never realised how important a quality sleep was.

Looking back I wish I had done this earlier.

How do your kiddies sleep?

Would you consider a sleep therapist?

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Birthing Baby Charlotte

72272423_419873085398953_654523728528408576_nMy girlfriends and I catch up a few times a year and there’s usually a new bubba in the midst. So we regularly share our birthing stories, the good, the bad and the ugly. My birth with Charlotte was quite an incredible experience, so I thought I’d write a blog post.

It was mid-afternoon on Tuesday 17th September, after a scheduled midwife appointment I began to feel mild contractions, as I was over 40 weeks I knew I’d be giving birth in the next 24hrs, which was quite a surreal feeling. I sent my husband to collect the kids from school, organised an early dinner and baths, notified the babysitter to be on-call, ordered some groceries online, and went for a walk around the block.

Not much was changing so my husband took the kids to their school concert while I had planned to have a rest, HA! The minute they left my contractions were intense and close together. I text my midwife, the babysitter and my husband all to standby as things had progressed. I was waiting for my waters to break before heading to the hospital, but my midwife said not to wait. Within half an hour my contractions were very intense and I knew I had to get to hospital, I notified everyone and while I waited for my husband to get home I had a hot shower.

On the way to the hospital my husband was eager to drive quickly but every bump on the road hurt so I kept telling him to take it easy. He was going to drop me off at the front of the hospital and park the car, I told him I could handle it a bit longer and we both parked the car and made the long(ish) walk to the maternity ward. I had to stop about four times to breathe through my contractions.

We met my Midwife Ros in the birthing suite at 7:15pm and I went straight into the dark bathroom and bounced on the exercise ball, this helped keep my mind off the pain and helped move baby into position. I felt things progressing further and knew I had to get into the bath (birthing pool) (In my previous birth this took some of the pain away).

I hopped into the water about 8:15pm, my contractions were sporadic but still intense, I just kept breathing through my contractions, my husband went to rub my shoulders at one stage and I shrugged him off, totally in my element of giving birth. The next 15 minutes came down to my mindset, as much as I wanted to give up, I kept giving myself an internal pep talk “I can do this” “no one else can do this for me” at this stage I was tempted to ask for gas (pain relief), but knew I would have to push soon and couldn’t have both so I pushed through. (Literally ha)

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I wasn’t sure whether I should start pushing or not, so I gave it a try with my next contraction, as I did the baby’s head moved down slightly and I remember feeling like I was going to break something so I whispered my midwifes name so she could come closer to see if everything was ok, with my next contraction I was able to burst my waters and push baby’s head out, shortly after I remember my midwife saying “pick up your baby” and to my relief it was over! Baby was born at 8:35pm.

I nursed my baby for a while, sitting in silence, eyes closed feeling relief that the worst was over. It actually took me 10 or so minutes to look at my baby to reveal the gender.

My midwife kept saying “you are amazing, you could birth 5 babies”. My labour was silent, drug free, over within 2.5hrs, and was able to deliver baby safely in water. Her Apgar score was 10 and had 100% oxygen levels. Pretty amazing to look back on as far as births go. (Don’t get me wrong, there was a lot of pain!!!)

Baby weighed 9pd 1oz, 54cm in length, head circumference 34cm. We had no names picked but after 30mintues we both agreed on Charlotte. This name kept popping into my head, my husband was lying next to me scrolling through a long list of girl names on google, and he put his phone down and said the only name he liked was Charlotte!!!! I couldn’t believe it, crazy. So it was meant to be. (Her middle name took 2 weeks to choose).

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As I was under the care of the My Midwives team I had the option of leaving the hospital 4-6hrs after birth. So I was able to take baby Charlotte home, have a little sleep and introduce her to her brother and sister in the morning. I received daily visits from my midwife at home to check on my recovery and the babies’ progress. It made it easier to be at home so I could still be with my other children. However it was hard at times as it was the beginning of school holidays.

The first few days were a challenge as I had forgotten all the after birth pains, lack of sleep, and pain associated with breastfeeding a baby with lip and tongue tie. 4 weeks on and this has all balanced out and things are getting better.

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A big thanks to Daniel from Murray Chiropractic for not only helping with my aches and pains during pregnancy but also addressing my fear around child birth and guiding my mindset into a better place so I could accept my contraction pains as my body’s natural process to deliver a beautiful gift. I believe this is why my birth was such a success. I remember Daniel saying “Acceptance of pain can be the difference between a 10 hour labour and a 2 hour labour”. I kept remembering this during my labour.

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My personal midwife Ros Beard (My Midwives- Toowoomba) has been amazing all the way through my pregnancy, from my very first appointment at 7 weeks, to regular check-ups throughout. It was piece of mind having someone on- call (just a phone call or text message away) that was familiar with my history and previous pregnancies. She ensured I received regular blood tests, scans, made me accountable for taking my supplements and always checked on my health and wellbeing. She became a coach, and personal photographer during birth to capture those precious moments. She identified early on that Charlotte had lip and tongue tie so I was able to get this fixed early on.  It was also great to receive house call visits after birth to check on me and Charlotte, and I didn’t have to leave the house. If you are pregnant or considering having a baby I highly recommend this service.

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Living a life with Type 1 Diabetes – Ammee Taylor

National Diabetes Week 14th– 20th July 19

diabetes ammee alice

I’ve interviewed my friend Ammee who has lived with Type 1 diabetes for the past 20 years, being diagnosed when she was just 11. It was Ammee’s quick thinking and knowledge of the disease that made her vigilant in checking her daughters sugar levels that led to her daughter Alice being diagnosed with T1 diabetes at the age of 3.

Have a watch : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EXBDU18VNQc 

Or continue reading as I outline what Ammee speaks of in her interview. Aspiring to raise awareness for T1 Diabetes, being an autoimmune disease which attacks healthy cells essentially killing the pancreas and not being caused by consuming too much sugar or having a poor diet.

Ammee speaks of her journey to get her daughter diagnosed and following her intuition to proceed with testing.

Ammee describes Alice as being confident and takes her daily care in her stride.

Alice still has partial use of her pancreas which has surprised her specialist who wants to use Alice’s data to raise awareness for early detection.

Alice is lucky enough to have a monitor which helps monitor sugar levels and insulin. However Ammee can’t fully rely on the monitor to provide accurate information so she still finger pricks 5 times a day.

Ammee has to carb count Alice’s food 15minutes prior to Alice eating, this is to balance insulin levels with the glucose in her body.

She has to do set changes of the monitor every two days to prevent abscesses from occurring. This involves a small needle inserted into Alice’s skin.

She speaks of the challenges they are faced with daily; mood, stress, sleep and seasons can all affect Alice’s sugar levels. Alice recently has low sugars due to her body’s natural response to burn energy to keep her body warm during winter. This can cause low sugar, and if not monitored can be fatal.

Alice is restricted when it comes to sleepovers because it’s hard for others to understand the monitor and count carbs

Ammee also addresses the challenges she has with the costs involved with the equipment needed to provide a monitor and ongoing care, she also talks about Alice’s side effects, of skin rashes, gastro, reflux and hormones.

Ammee bravely shares her personal story of not waking up one morning and being revived with a glucose kit (similar to an anaphylactic needle) Thankfully Alice has a monitor which can detect low sugars to avoid her body shutting down through the night.

diabetes t1

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About Me Re-Introduction

Image-1My name is Victoria, I am a wife, mother of two, I have a big smile and even bigger heart, I’m a passionate foodie, health educator, Mad Food Science Instructor, advocate for children’s health, Cookbook author, small time blogger, I’ve dabbled in massage and essential oils and I am a supporter of low tox living.

As a massive introvert I struggle sharing my life and passion on such a public platform as Social Media, I’m a private person and have a massive fear of judgement. Recently I’ve realised my passion far outweighs the benefits to keeping to myself and I have messages that I want to share and SHOUT TO THE WORLD. #ThanksBreneBrown #Vulnerable

So here goes…

My story features a lot around my sons behavioural challenges, raising a newborn, dealing with a rouge child, working 50+ hours a week, a partner that was working equally if not more hours a week, I was living a life full of stress. As I began to seek out answers I came across a podcast on additives in food and how they affect behaviour (Thanks Additive-Free Lifestyle, Episode 5). I was mortified when I started reading packet labels. As I was at breaking point I went to extremes of removing all additives from our pantry and fridge. This meant extended shopping trips with what quickly became my reference bible, The Chemical Maze. Making these changes, also changed my son’s behaviour, so I knew I was onto something and we had to continue.

Since that day we have gone from supermarket swaps, to cooking more foods from scratch, reducing our sugar content immensely, reducing our gluten consumption, putting a particular focus on our individual gut health. We have also gone beyond looking at our food, to removing chemicals from our cleaning products and body products and more recently reducing our household need for plastic waste.

All these changes have led to better health within our family, reduced our stress, improved our relationships, happier kids, less emotional meltdowns, better behaviour, less illness (My son use to have a runny nose continuously for 6 months of the year) and a better work/life balance.

I had a passion driving me to make a change in children’s lives, a vision to teach parents how foods can affect our/children’s behaviour, introduce them to healthier homemade alternatives and to show parents that are struggling with behavioural challenges (like I was) that there is light at the end of the tunnel and to offer my support.

I was given the opportunity by The Root Cause to become a certified instructor of the Mad Food Science Program™. A program delivered to children in schools which focuses on eating more fruits and vegetable and minimising packet food. Running this program I have been able to fulfill the passion to make a difference by educating children and parents on healthier food choices. #IHaveAPurpose

So if you feel you can relate to my messages, or know someone who needs help and support in these areas please reach out. I’m always happy to answer your questions.

 

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Cooking with Sugar

I began writing this blog 12 months ago on a flight to my cousins wedding but life happened and I’ve never hit the edit and upload button.. So here goes

I’m not an expert on sugar, I’m just a mum aware of the outcomes when my son has consumed too much, it’s like his brain cannot process it and he can’t keep his emotions intact. So sad really and I can’t bear to watch it happen. So as of Easter we have been on a chocolate ban (with a few slip ups ;)) I wanted to compile a list of sugars people use and add to cooking to get the picture of how much sugar is actually added to our foods (homemade).

World Health Organisation suggests 4tsp added sugar per day for a child and 6tsp for an adult

Of course there are different types of sugars; refined, unrefined, artificial, different nutritional value and different reactions within your body. I just wanted to bring attention to the quantity of sugar we are adding into our food.

Ingredient Per serve Per 100g
Honey 12.4g 82.5g
Maple Syrup (100% pure) 29.9g 85.5g
Golden syrup 5g 74g
Rice malt syrup 5.5g 55g
Agave Syrup 7.6g 76g
Stevia 0 0
Xylitol 0 0
Medjool Dates 39g 66g
Dried dates 16.5g 65.9g
Sultanas 20.8g 69.3g
Raisins 22g 73.2g
White sugar (including castor sugar, icing sugar) 4g 100g
Raw sugar 4g 99.8g
Coconut sugar 4.6g 88.3g
Brown sugar 4g 98g
Condensed milk 55.9g 55.9g
Milk Chocolate cooking 22.9g 61.8g

*based on reading labels of supermarket brands I have personally purchased/used in the past

I’ve just broken down the sugar content on 4 recipes from a simple google search

Here are the results…

Recipe Total sugar Total sugar per serve Per tsp
Basic Chocolate Cake 340g 34g/serve 8.5
Anzac Biscuits 178g 7.41g/serve 1.85
Bliss Balls (Dates) 288g 11.87/serve 2.97
Caramel Slice 431.35g 28.75g/serve 7.1

 

Simple Tips

  • Being mindful of the amount of sugar you are consuming
  • Try a sugar alternative (eg. Coconut sugar instead of white sugar)
  • When cooking start slowly and gradually reduce the amount of sugar/recipe (If the recipe says 100g sugar, try 80g, then 60g)

If you haven’t already check out “That Sugar Movement” or better still watch “That Sugar Film” life changing!!!

Here is a blog on hidden sugars in packets

https://thatsugarmovement.com/added-sugar-vs-natural-sugar/

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Weighted Blanket

My son has only slept in his bed, less than 10 times since I found out I was pregnant with my second child nearly 4 years ago.

His anxiety around bedtime is quite high, and for as long as I can remember he has picked his fingernails and the skin around his fingernails as a soothing method to put himself to sleep, every single night.

This habit has left him with bleeding fingertips and cracked nails. As parents we have found it easier to lay with him to put him to sleep or for him to lay in bed with us (no judgement). As you could imagine the sound of someone picking there fingernails right next to you for 20 minutes continuously would drive you a little insane. Similar reaction to someone scratching a chalk board.

Anyway recently I saw a DIY video on how to make a Weighted Blanket. This looked super easy and I had access to my Aunts sewing machine so I gave it a go. (it is actually alot harder than it looked in the video).

A weighted blanket has benefits of being grounding, help soothe anxiety, reduce stress and insomnia. I’ve heard amazing results from children who have ADHD and Sensory disorders. What have I got to lose, right!

I recorded the results for the first 10 days of introducing the weighted blanket for my son’s nighttime routine.

Night 1 – Fell asleep within 5 minutes, no finger picking

Night 2- Asleep within 5 minutes, no finger picking

(At this point I was laying next to him in absolute joy, tears streaming down my face)

Night 3- Slight finger picking for 1 minute, 5 minutes to fall asleep

Night 4- Early bedtime, 5:30pm. Fell asleep within 5 minutes, no finger picking

Night 5- New bed, 10 minutes to get to sleep, 2-3 minutes of picking

Night 6- Late night, 7:30pm. 5 minutes to get to sleep, no finger picking

Night 7- 7pm sleep, 1 minute of picking

Night 8 – 10 minutes talking, no picking

Night 9 – 10 minutes tossing, no picking

Night 10- 5 minutes to sleep, no picking

 

Blown away by these results! proud mumma for giving this ago.

 

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Operation Drink more Water…

It’s the middle of Winter and its freezing, trying to consume any water – let alone the recommended 2L a day is tough!

I’m putting together a fun challenge to get people motivated to drink more water. Nothing serious it’s just for fun to refuel our bodies

Ill post a few hints and tips to keep us going

 

Benefits of Drinking Water!!!

  • Removes waste and aids in digestion
  • Helps convert food to energy
  • Helps your body absorb nutrients
  • Energises muscles
  • Helps brain function and energy levels
  • Weight loss

 

Terms and Conditions

To enter simple upload a photo of yourself drinking water to Instagram or Facebook using the hashtag #drinkmorewaterchallenge and tag Nourished Viktory @nourishedviktory

Can be a simple photo, can be a funny photo, a group shot and of course get the kids involved and take a snap of them 2.

You can upload as many photos as you like and as many times as you like

Comp will run for the month of July 2017 (Finish AEST Midnight 31th July)

 

This is where my 2 passions combine – Health and Essential oils….

Winners will receive a 15ml bottle of dōTERRA Lemon Essential oil – entrants must be an Australian resident for postal purposes.

*prize drawn at random of all entries

**prize for most creative/makes me laugh the most

Lemon Essential Oil is great to add to your water for detoxing purposes, check out more ways to use Lemon Essential oil below or follow me @aromahealth4350

https://doterra.com/US/en/p/lemon-oil

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Let me paint a picture…

Before going additive and preservative free I thought our diets were quite standard, I would cook a healthy dinner and provide plenty of fruit, dairy and grains.

In between all the healthy food was junk- absolute crap. If my son wanted an ice block -he got it. If my son wanted Yoghurt- he got it it. If my son wanted sweet biscuits – he got those to… Whenever he wanted and however many he wanted….
Why? Because I didn’t have a backbone to say “no” and I didn’t want to put up with my sons meltdowns and tantrums because I wouldn’t let him have them. It was just easier.

I didn’t see the harm in letting him have his way. Honestly, this would keep him quiet for a couple of minutes while I was busy being a “mum”.

I’ll paint a bigger picture.
Some days (and daily) he could have up to 10 flavoured water icy poles. Some were fruit flavoured, healthier right?
Sometimes I’d open a packet of 100’s and 1000’s pink biscuits, and it would not be unusual to eat 1/2 a packet.
Packet foods galore, chicken crimpys, muesli bars, tiny teddies, fruit sticks.
Sometimes he would have a litre of Yoghurt, again fruit flavoured… healthy Right??? (We could go through 5L a week)

Chocolate, lollies and ice cream were always a sometimes food and takeaways were never a big thing
Tick- I was doing something right.

The only thing I may have considered to be bad in his diet was too much sugar (obviously).

Boy was I wrong! What I have now learnt about the ingredients in my sons everyday foods makes me sick, Disgusted with myself for allowing this to happen… My first thought during our transition period was “I’ve been poisoning my child”.

Follow me @nourishedViktory for more updates and information.

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My Driving Force

Welcome to my first blog for Nourished VIKtory.

Over the next few months you will be able to get to know me and find out more about my story. But for now I’ll introduce my driving force…

My driving force…
On 1st January 2013 I anxiously took a pregnancy test… as I waited for the results to show up I paced backwards and forwards in the hallway…. trying not to alert my husband to my nervous tension.

To my absolute delight it was positive! I jumped with joy… smile from ear to ear…. my next nervous step was to tell my husband…. the words just couldn’t come out…. eventually I managed to tell him and he was over the moon!!!

By week 6 i had already purchased a car seat and pram bursting with excitement! I couldn’t wait to begin this journey.

The details of my pregnancy can wait for another day… on 16th August I delivered my first child Mr O <3!

Becoming a mother for the first time sure was hard but I adapted well to the challenges thrown my way.

In November 2015 I welcomed my second child into the world, simply perfect moment.

Here’s when the battles begun… I saw a different side of Mr O. I don’t think this was due to the arrival of another sibling into the house, but due to his age and health changes.

For months I would pull my hair out, raise my voice over and over with no response or understanding from Mr O.
He would continually kick, push and hit his baby sister and other children. I would separate him, discipline him, reason with him and then wait for him to calm down but he would just repeat the same cycle.
Ahhhh! What do I do?

I’m a very patient person by nature but his behaviour was pushing my limits. I was about to hit rock bottom.

That’s when a few things happened…
1- I took him for a doctor’s appt just for a check up for his cold that was ongoing.
The doctor prescribed some medication for an ear infection… and questioned why my child was so “quiet”. – I didn’t really give a response other than… he’s not this quiet at home.

At the end of that week I was searching for answers to his behaviour… Dr Google told me that a child that experiences ongoing ear infections can have behavioural issues.
My thoughts were “aha” I know what’s wrong with my child! He’s naughty because he’s had ear infections… makes sense!?!!

I booked a doctors appt for the next week so I could get a referral to see the ENT specialist.

When I was explaining to the doctor that we need a referral he was asking “why?” And asked more questions about my son’s behaviour…. I described his aggression and meltdowns ect.

The doctor said “I have 2 recommendations- you see a paediatrician or a psychologist”
He went on to say the paediatrician would look at things like Autism.

My response was “I work with kids, my son doesn’t have autism” (like I was a big expert!)

Anyway desperate to get answers I got a referral for a psychologist.

Our first session was just me sharing Mr O’s story and behavioural traits… and that “A” word popped up again… autism.

I had mixed feelings about this session. In fact I described the week after this session as being “the worst week of my life”

Usually an unemotional/emotionless soul I cried for the whole week. No one wants to hear that there’s something wrong with their child or that your child is “not normal”. I think the situation was made worse by my husband being in complete denial and not showing any support towards the situation.
Here I was spending every waking moment doing research on Autism and trying to move forward and got shut down as soon as I mentioned anything. I was torn!

Things did get better.

2- I purchased a ticket to a cooking workshop. I had contemplated it for weeks and thought I need to do this for myself. I need some “mummy time”.
I didn’t know it at the time but this event would be life changing.

I attended this workshop and fell in love with the hosts, the food and cooking. When I got home I made every recipe shown during this workshop! I began to listen to the podcast from the host of the workshop.
I listened to this mum tell her story of her child who had massive meltdowns and behavioural issues – so relatable to what I was currently going through!!! She went on to speak about additives and preservatives in food and how they are linked to behavioural issues.
Immediately after I went through my pantry, looked at the ingredients panel and threw everything out that resembled a bad additive/preservative.
I needed change in my life, I was going mental!

Over the next few days I investigated additives in food and began to replace our pantry contents with better choices.

Later in the week my son had a violent outburst (which left my daughter with a busted eye), followed by a massive tantrum and meltdown.
I was ready to give up, this was my rock bottom! I was broken.
My thought process was I’m doing everything I can – how can I fail sooo bad)…I was changing his diet, we were seeing a psychologist, a chiropractor, we have implemented strategies to help him cope, we shower him with love and opportunity.
What have we done so wrong???

What has changed? Why is he so angry and upset?

I put todays meltdowns down to his Yoghurt… that week I had purchased a new brand/ flavour of Yoghurt. I read the ingredients and was surprised.
Yoghurt is marketed to be healthy, Yoghurt with fruit… you can’t go wrong!
Needless to say I threw it in the bin and haven’t looked back.

12months on….
To say my sons behaviour has changed is an understatement, he has decreased his meltdowns, stopped self-harm and is developing into a beautiful little boy. We still have challenging times but 80% of the time things go smoothly.

My life has changed! Here I am starting a health coach course, writing my first blog.

If I could help just one parent overcome the struggles of child behaviour like I have done I would be happy… but I have a “driving force” that I want to share with everyone!!!

In life we need to go through the difficult times in order for us to grow, learn and change. I’m thankful I went through this tough time because I have learnt so much and I’m a better person because of it.

X
So thank you Mr O for being my Driving Force