This week on the Mommy Labor Nurse Podcast, I had the chance to have a chat with Dr. Darria, an ER doctor, regular contributor on CNN, NBC, and the Dr. Oz show, and author of Mom Hacks.
Her book hit the list of top 25 nation bestseller list, and when she reached out about coming on the show, I was so excited to have her come on to personally share some of her best mom hacks with the MLN community!
In today’s episode, Dr. Darria shares some of her top tips and hacks for mamas that are currently pregnant, recently gave birth, breastfeeding, or have a young child at home! Here’s a peek at what we discuss:
If you haven’t already, please feel free to join over 300k new moms and follow me here on Instagram for awesome pregnancy + birth tips!
Hacks for pregnant mamas (7:40)
We kicked off the episode talking about a pregnant mama hack. Dr. Darria decided to share one that isn’t talked about as often. And that’s the fact that exposure to different flavors in utero has been shown to impact what our children eat later in life!
She says, “So when you are pregnant, you know, everybody has those strange cravings, but really try to get a variety [of foods] including getting those foods that you wish your parents had fed you when you were little to make you enjoy them.
Try to get that variety because that’s going to impact and make it easier [later in life]. It’s going to make dinner easier when your kids a toddler. So that’s totally worth it!”
Listen in to hear a few more.
Post birth tips for mom (9:10)
The first thing we talk about is the importance of sleep for new moms! I know this probably doesn’t come as a surprise, but sleep is so essential to our physical and mental health.
You’ll hear Dr. Darria talk more about just how important sleep is, but then she shares actionable ways you can prepare to prioritize and actually get more sleep even with a newborn around!
She talks about how this is a top tip she tells women right before they give birth. Planning for how you’ll get sleep is crucial!
Milk supply hacks (13:40)
We talk a little bit about milk supply, and just how to handle breastfeeding obstacles in general. I love that Dr. Darria’s main advice in this section isn’t eat this, or try this supplement, but it’s that you should call in the troops!
In other words, get professional help! It’s why they’re there. See a lactation consultant, talk to your pediatrician, see another lactation consultant, talk to your OB/GYN or Midwife. Connect with ALL different sources of support to determine if something bigger is going on.
Then, she does emphasize just how important hydration is towards building a good supply, and how that’s a simple mistake that women make during the newborn days.
Baby hacks (20:00)
When I asked Dr. Darria to share some tips and hacks related to babies and kiddos, I was excited when she took this in the direction of newborn care and sleep, because I know so many of you out there are either currently navigating this, or will be very soon!
Dr. Darria talked about how so many people will ask you this question and about how you’ll sleep train when in reality all you need to do is focus on sleep foundations. Especially in those first 5 weeks while baby is working out their circadian rhythm.
Tune in to hear her share some more details related to this, and some interesting tips about how to help baby sort out their days and nights. She also talks about the key sign baby’s circadian rhythm is starting to develop.
Related: 14 Newborn Sleep Tips
Daily Meditations (24:00)
Dr. Darria and I started to talk a bit about daily meditations, because that’s one way that I find downtime and recharge myself every day, and it’s something she recommends, too!
You’ll hear us talk about how we do this, but I wanted to drop some links here to the apps that we mention in case you want to check them out:
Hacks for people with more than one child at home (25:55)
In this part of the episode, Dr. Darria focuses specifically on the role partners can play in making life easier at home with multiple children, especially when one of them is a newborn!
Here’s a little quote,
“And the one hack there is – we hear about skin-to-skin with the mom after baby is born. And that fourth trimester remains important. And it’s not just Mama – partners can do it, grandparents can do it.
[They can] soothe that baby with some skin-to-skin. It’s good for baby, it’s good for bonding, and then it’s good for Mama because it gives mom a break.”
Mom hacks for fitting in exercise
So many of us know we feel better when we are able to exercise, but it’s often the first thing to go in the busy life of a mama! I love that Dr. Darria dove right into some awesome tips to help you fit exercise into your day – and not just when baby is sleeping.
You’ll have to tune in for all the details, but here’s a recap of her suggestions:
- Have a basket of toys your children only get to use while you exercise
- Put your child in charge of a timer (like on your phone) and tell them that you are going to work out for 5 minutes, and then you’re going to play with them for five minutes. Alternate this pattern, giving it your all during your 5-minute exercise stints, but still connect with your kids!
- Exercise during snack time! Whether that’s them in a highchair, or they’re happy in a stroller eating their snack while you’re getting some movement in
About Dr. Darria’s book, Mom Hacks
At the end of the episode, I asked Dr. Darria to share a little bit about her book. In her words,
“So Mom Hacks is 110 hacks. It’s everything from sleep to exercise to nutrition, and then a stress management section [which] we didn’t talk so much about today. But that’s a big thing. It talks about relationship management, stress management, and those worries when your brain, you know, your head hits the pillow and you’re exhausted, but you can’t fall asleep.
And [the entire book] is in bullet form. It’s intended that you can go to the table of contents, go down and say, what’s my issue? I’m gonna just read that one hack and deal with that. It’s just essentially how do you make it easier to live a life that is healthier and just kind of richer for you and your family without adding to your to do list.”
About Dr. Darria Long
Dr. Darria is a regular TV contributor and national bestselling author of Mom Hacks. She’s also a TED speaker and Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Tennessee.
She received her training in emergency medicine at Yale School of Medicine and her MBA from Harvard Business School. She lives in Atlanta, GA with her husband and two children.