Saturday, July 30, 2011

Friday, July 29, 2011

Breastfeeding -Part 5- Nursing A Newborn



Nursing A Newborn

Those first few days and weeks, don't plan on doing much more than nursing because newborns nurse...a lot. You're a milk machine. Period. Eventually you'll be allowed a shower & change of clothes, but until then keep nursing and reading your facebook newsfeed.

Seems trivial to rewrite what's already been wonderfully outlined for you over at kellymom.com [educate yourself!], but here are some of my odds & ends suggestions...

1. Frequency: I prefer to nurse a newborn on demand, after a few weeks I will become more scheduled [2-4 hours], but to help my supply get [and stay] going I nurse as often as they like and if they don't wake up [very common] I wake them up every 1.5-3 hours]. Use the timer on your cell phone. Remember these numbers are based on the start of your last feeding...for example, if you nursed at 12, you nurse again at 3. Not, you started nursing at 12, finished nursing at 12:45, so you nurse at 3:45. That's really making the child go longer than 3 hours. I don't personally think you can nurse a newborn too much.

2. Pacifiers: I like them personally and try to get my kids to take them, but usually my children don't like them till after they are one month old. Two of my three kids have kept them. I think if your supply is low or struggling you should steer clear for the time being. They can cause nipple confusion. 

3. Positions: I started out with my first nursing only in my recliner chair with my Boppy. However, I became very crazy due to my sleep deprivation & one too many episodes of Law & Order at 3am. By the time I had my second and third, I loved side lying to nurse them those first few weeks. If you're larger chested this may or may not work as well. I found a way to lay on my side and nurse while still snoozing. Some call this unsafe, but it worked for me. I always kept my arm in a way so that I'd roll onto my arm before the baby. I also put a body pillow behind the baby so it wouldn't fall off the bed and faced the baby away from my husband so he couldn't roll on him either. I liked the nurse in the cradle hold, but would use football hold sometimes if my nipple became too sore on one side [also great when they get their teeth in to rotate positions]. 

4. Latch: I think this is probably also one of the biggest reasons people quit nursing. That darn latch. I'm not going to lie, it's a tricky deal. Sometimes more so than others. I think people exaggerate how important it is to the point where they stress moms out. I know I was. The fact is, if you have a bad latch, yes you're going to be more sore than if you didn't, but you can keep working at it and eventually they will be a few days older/wiser/less sleepy and fix their latch with some help from you. I think it's something better demonstrated than read about though. If you don't have a friend who will show you, go over to YouTube and do some homework. Something that worked for me was to have the baby completely naked except diaper & for me to be topless and put us skin to skin sitting up. Obviously teaching them to latch a few times doesn't require you both stay nudist, but it did help my first son "get it". Another trick I like is, like in this video, where you "tease" the baby with your nipple on the roof of their mouth and then usually they will go for it...and that's when you "shove" your nipple in their mouth. Sometimes I'll use my pinky finger to do this first and then try to nurse. Finally, I think it's always important to remember to drop your breast into their mouth verses laying the baby on top of your breast, just makes it difficult for them to breath and neither of you is comfortable.

5. Eating: I already wrote about on my feelings about taking care of yourself in the eating department, but another tip I have for you is...oatmeal! Real oatmeal [not instant], is a great milk-supply booster, my personal favorite is McCann's Steel Cut Irish Oatmeal. I took this along with Mother's Milk Tea. Don't be too shy to try some herbs either. Also, don't make the mistake of thinking that what you eat won't effect your baby. Not every mommy or baby is the same so don't think just because it didn't bother your friend's baby it won't bother yours. For example, I can eat spicy foods, but I can't have any milk products that first month unless I want a very-fussy-gassy-won't-nurse-well baby. 

List to consider avoiding at first:
1. Coffee [or caffeine drinks, cruel right?]
2. Chocolate [no chocolate cover strawberries for me]
3. Citrus Fruits [strawberries, oranges, you name it]
4. Broccoli [what makes you have gas makes them have gas]
5. Alcohol [wine totally makes my babies unhappy]
6. Spicy Foods [for the most part I seem to be okay with this]
7. Garlic [semi-notice this]
8. Peanuts [did notice pb&j made baby a little unhappy]
9. Wheat [I was fine with this]
10. Dairy [the worst, no ice cream for 30 days!]
11. Corn [didn't notice]
12. Shellfish [for allergy reasons]
13. Eggs [didn't effect us]
14. Soy [don't use]
15. Fish [just like pregnancy, the mercury ain't so good to have a lot]
16. Peppermint [used for weaning, actually reverses supply]
17. Parsley [also reduces supply]

Trust me, a fussy baby won't be worth the coffee or milk shake *speaking from experience*. Remember to send this list to those bringing you meals too---otherwise you'll just be watching your husband eat it all.




What was your experience?

Still

[okay, maybe once...they did sit still for this picture]



Still...

Am I ever still? Are my kids ever still? I don't think I was a very still child. Really though, what in life is still? Besides a painting. And even that---the colors run your eyes all over the canvas. Maybe being still is overrated. Unless of course, or should I say, least we forget...

Be still and know that I am God.

It's one of those verses you can easily memorize like, "Jesus wept" or "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son." Why, by the way, do we memorize begotten---it's not like most of us use that translation the rest of our life.

Three minutes left here on five minute Friday. Quick redeem this post by being hilarious or super serious.

Are you STILL reading this?

Still seems boring to me. I know my life is busy, crazy, always moving, always loud, always---- insert words you never used before you had toddlers & babies---- but, [although cliche to say] I wouldn't trade it for a [still] world.

All the moving constantly moves me towards the One who I have to constantly remain still before. Having children definitly streches your faith in places you never knew you had in you----like yoga. Having children...

...makes me never want to be still the same old Candra I was last month, last week, or yesterday. Having children makes me want to be ever moving, ever changing, ever growing into that woman that I can be.

Still somedays, I don't move much. But moving is still better than being still.








Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thankful Thursday Top Ten 52



Thankful This Week For:

1. One year of being thankful, this week is my 52nd Thankful post
2. Being able to breastfeed 3 of my children & write about it this week
3. Homeschool soccer [we're gonna give it a try this Fall]
4. A cloudy day so kids get lost in the backyard longer than when it's hot
5. Small group at our house tomorrow [love to use my home for Jesus]
6. A house near being unpacked from two weeks at the beach
7. A very long date night last night with friends & movie to follow
8. Free replacement iPod touch cases from manufacturer
9. A son who can now load & unload dishwasher with little help
10. A son who can take the trash out

What are you thankful for this week?
Link up below
Comment on someones!



Breastfeeding -Part 4- Your Milk Supply


2 Things That Will Help Your Supply:

1. Understand Boobonomics: 
The law of nursing is similar to that of economics, it's all about supply & demand. If you remember one thing about your milk supply, please remember that. When you put a baby to your nipple [even if they just play around or pacify] they are triggering your amazing body, sending a "hey let's make more milk for this kid" message. Your body literally relies on you to tell it how much and how often to make milk. So...if you let that baby sleep---give it a pacifier [too much]---keep supplementing with a bottle---please don't blame your body...you told it to only make so much milk.

One of the largest complaints I hear from moms trying to nurse, or those that stopped is "I didn't have enough milk" or "I dried up". Followed by comments about how fussy their baby was, or how when they pumped it was only a few ounces came out, etc. Before I launch into my recommendations let me be clear...I am not a Dr., or even a certified lactation consultant, so please by all means do not trust my advice alone. Especially if your baby is loosing weight or not gaining weight. I do think my advice can help, but since we're talking about keeping a person alive here---let's not do any experiments, mmmkay?

kellymom.com is a professional and she has a wonderful post on supply


2. Take Care Of Yourself
Personally, I think this is the #1 reason why moms have to stop. Your supply is very sensitive, make no mistake about that. If you're overly tired or stressed out or very ill, it will effect your supply. Do whatever possible to get some sleep,  calm down and get healthy. Ask for help! Every time I nurse [those first few weeks and months] I sit down with a glass of water & a small healthy snack [cheese stick, piece of fruit, granola bar, nuts]. Your body needs two things to make milk: water & calories! If you're low on either, so will your supply. 

Did you know a [exclusively] nursing mom needs
more calories than she did during pregnancy?

If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times...this is not the time to diet! I mean, do what you want, but if your goal is really to nurse AND you're having trouble with your supply---cut back your intensive exercising and start averaging more calories until you notice your baby is gaining weight and happy with your supply. Now, if you're a genetic anomaly and you can starve yourself, run a million miles a day and your baby is healthily growing---more power to you. But, in general, I find a lot of moms are torn between getting their pre-pregnancy body back and putting their kid's health first.

Ask Yourself:
Am I drinking enough water?
Am I eating enough food?
Am I sleeping enough?
Am I stressed out?
Am I dieting when I shouldn't be?
Am I burning too many calories exercising too hard?



***

And remember, nursing isn't everything, so please never feel judgment from this post if you choose to stop, or never start. Totally your business and not anyone else's.

***


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Breastfeeding -Part 3- Nursing Gear



If you've read my post on the only thing a newborn really needs, you know that what I'm about to tell you is similar...all you really need to breastfeed is your breasts. Yes, there are a few items that might make nursing run a little smoother, but they aren't required. Without further ado...

My 5 Personal Recommendations

1. Lanolin A total lifesaver when it came to pain those first few days of nursing a newborn. I applied before and after each nursing until I stopped hurting. It's safe for the baby to "eat". 

2. Nursing cover The first time I saw them I thought they were silly, it took me 12 months of nursing with heavy blankets and toting around a large diaper bag to realize that that simple and small "device" was the perfect tool for nursing in public [or around family and friends who linger around long enough for it to be feeding time again]. 

3. Nursing stool There is nothing worse than sitting down to nurse with my 5'4'' self legs dangling over the ground falling asleep ever so slowly and painfully. The nursing stool turns any chair or couch into the perfect nursing station. 

4. Mother's milk tea I had a lot of trouble with  my supply with  my first child. You can buy this at your local grocery store---really helps increase your milk supply. Although I did notice on occasion it caused the babies tummy to be a bit gassy. See Herbs below.

5. Nursing bras I like Motherhood Maternity's bras the best. First, because they are only about $20, second, their comfy, and third because I find them to be as cute as nursing bras get [as much as that is an oxymoron]. I LOVE their sports bra and their overnight bra. I only use a nursing bra consistently those first 0-9 months, and then go back to my regular bras as the feedings decrease. 

5 More Breastfeeding Suggestions from others...

1. Nursing pads I personally never needed nursing pads, but I hear these are some good ones.

2. Herbs I never tried any of these, but trust they work.

3. My Breast Friend I'd like to give this a try with baby #4. Seems to work for Mrs. Duggar for walking around and nursing. I do own a Boppy, but find I only use when they are a few weeks old and then I toss back into storage. We go out a lot and I don't bring with me so I just learn to nurse without it at home too. If you do buy one, I recommend buying a protective cover as well as slipcover.

4. Nipple Shields I also never needed these, but would suggest trying these out if you run into problems with latching or inverted nipples.

5. Simple Wishes Hands Free Pumping Bra If you do buy a breast pump, I can imagine this makes it easier to change the channel or update your facebook status hands free. I'd like to eventually invest in this.

Continue your shopping at... Motherhood Maternity's nursing checklist or shop around a bit in cottonbabies.com's breastfeeding section.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Breastfeeding -Part 2- How To Not Quit

i remember when Charles took this in San Fran [thinks he is so funny]

Assuming you read Part 1 [Why Breastfeed] and are now considering it---let's talk about how to avoid quitting...before you start. Right now I know you're probably preparing to be kicked off a plane, asked to leave a store, or spend the rest of your church going days in the nursing moms room---just breathe. I'm going to walk you thru my suggestions on "how to" make it through at least 12 months.

How To Not Quit Breastfeeding

I think a lot of mommies don't continue to breastfeed for lack of support & knowledge. It's simple, but yet it can be very complicated. Especially if it's your first time or you run into any of the zillion of hurdles there are out there. I'm not going to sugar coat this for you, most likely you will run into issues or trying times, but the good news is...there's help!

So not if, but when you run into trouble...Read, Google, Ask, Show

1. Read You read the owners manual for your iPod don't you? Or for your food processor? Don't you think feeding an infant is a wee bit more of the life or death importance? Although, I think we all could agree it would be hard to live without our iPods. So, if you're pregnant, do some research. Read a book! Please don't wait till the baby is out to start figuring it out. *Speaking from experience* I did buy the book, unfortunately I didn't open it until after I was pulling my hair out trying to figure out to feed my newest human. 

2. Google I'm not joking, nothing irritates me more than when someone asks me something they haven't first googled. I mean, in this age, if you have access, there really is no excuse. You'd be so surprised what sage advice is out there if you do your research. All I'm going to do is google and then text you, so save yourself the text. I'm only kidding...sort of. Google is the shorter version of reading a book you probably don't have time for. Type in exactly what's going on... "breastfeeding my supple is low" or "breastfeeding baby won't latch"


3. Ask Go ahead...[after you google] Call, Txt, Email, Facebook, Twitter...your mom friends who have successfully breastfeed. Did you catch the successful part? It's important, you don't get financial advice from someone who is in debt...do you? So why would you ask your friend who hated it/complained about it/discouraged you against it? I'm not suggesting all people who didn't breastfeed, or stopped, disliked it---surely there are physical & private reasons for not breastfeeding that are none of our darn business. I'm only suggesting you find those friends who have done it well...and pick their brains. Politely thank the breastfeeding haters for their useless discouragement...I mean "advice".

4. Show That's right, show your best friends [or a local lactation consultant] your ta-ta's. I'm a extremely modest person, I'd probably never shown anyone of my ta-ta's before nursing. Now, three birth videos & 3 nursed babies later---I'm afraid there isn't one who hasn't seen my upstairs & downstairs. Ha. Nevertheless, after that baby comes out and the book, google, and foggy remembrance of all their advice isn't working---call their butts over to your house and pop those girls out and say Help! I've done it---I've been that friend too. It works. Someone somewhere can and will have that right trick or secret that will get them latched, feed, and sleeping. I promise.

***

Again, the last thing I want to do is discourage anyone, so remember nursing isn't motherhood. If you "failed" or just don't want to, that's your business and please don't let me or anyone make you feel any less than the wonderful mother you are.

***

Monday, July 25, 2011

Breastfeeding -Part 1- Why?

the only modest photo of me nursing [naturally i look very sleep]


Why Breastfeed

It's pretty simple. Newborns eat milk. The decision you have to make is whether it will be your milk or another milk [formula]. The decision was pretty easy for us to make as we were already taking a natural approach to pregnancy & birth, but regardless of your style of delivery breastfeeding is always a wonderful option available to your baby.

So, Why breastfeed?

Do a simple google search and you will find oodles of reasons why it's wonderful for baby [and mommy!]...here are just a few:

1. Colostrum [also known as liquid gold people! They don't sell that in a can.]
2. Easiest milk for a baby to digest [shocker right? God's so smart]
3. Fights disease [non-breast feed babies are at higher risks for everything]
4. Fights allergies [pass the peanut butter please]
5. Optimal growth [for eyesight, jaw, mouth, speech, and brain]
6. Easy access [no diaper baby, sanitation station or warming up needed]
7. Saves money [average savings are $1500 a year...go buy you a new iMac]
8. Bonding [provides mom-baby-only bonding & lots of happy hormones]
9. Mommies health [linked to lower risk for diabetes, cancer & depression]
10. Potentially delays periods [enough said!]

READ MORE HERE:

Popularity of breastfeeding goes back in forth in culture, but the decision for me came down to...How did God create me to feed my infant? What's the healthiest? What's best for them---not just what's most "convenient" for me? I tried to think about the long term benefits for my babies...overlooking the temporary discomfort or time expense. 

I didn't say it was always easy, but great parenting isn't about what's easy. But what's best. And personally, if you're able...I think breast is best! Don't get me wrong though...no judgement here...mothering is much more than nursing.


Why did or didn't you breastfeed?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Reading On The Beach -Or Lack There Of-




For the last two weeks I enjoyed...

seeing my kids play wildly with the sand, the water, and everything in them
the perfect weather between 9-11 am & 7-9 pm
the colors God paints every night
living with my dad again for 7 days
living with my mom again for 7 days
a sun that wears out my kids to nap everyday
the sound of the ocean
shells under my toes
waves hitting us
sitting sandy kids in my lap

The only fairytale unfulfilled was reading & sleeping on the beach...that's what vacations without little ones are for ; )

[it wasn't for a lack of trying]

I have a very wet & sandy book with few pages read...

...but I'm not complaining, the above is evidence of time well spent.



Thursday, July 21, 2011

Thankful Thursday Top Ten 51


Thankful This Week For:

1. A second week at the beach with my mom
2. The condo neighbor sharing their unsecured wifi with me
3. Sunset photos that need no editing
4. Legos, glad I brought them on the trip
5. Naps everyday for the kids & I
6. A husband who has had to work this week, but still made time for us
7. Brothers who play & help with my kiddos
8. The wonder in the kids eyes at fish, crabs, snails, shells...
9. New clothes, maybe losing my luggage wasn't so bad after all ; )
10. A shaded area under the pier for us to sit & enjoy the beach from


What are you thankful for this week?
Link up below...and comment on the person before you!





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