Thursday, March 3, 2011
i did not experience any discomfort while weaning, my milk supply had to be next to nothing by that point since we were only nursing for a couple of minutes, once per day, if at all.
here is the kellymom link on weaning: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/weaning/how_weaning_happens.html#childled
and here is a little badge i made for myself and friends that have graduated from breastfeeding.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
i can't believe we made it! it's funny, i spent an entire year focusing on keeping boo at the breast, and now that we've reached our goal everyone is asking when i plan on getting her off of it. quite honestly i didn't think i'd make it this far and never really put much thought into "extended breastfeeding". it sort of feels like i'm in a whole new class and need to start doing my homework again. kellymom has a great page on extended breastfeeding which quotes several sources stating the benefits of nursing past one year and also lists the benefits mothers receive from extended breastfeeding:
- Extended nursing delays the return of fertility in some women by suppressing ovulation (References).
- Breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast cancer (References). Studies have found a significant inverse association between duration of lactation and breast cancer risk.
- Breastfeeding reduces the risk of ovarian cancer (References).
- Breastfeeding reduces the risk of uterine cancer (References).
- Breastfeeding reduces the risk of endometrial cancer (References).
- Breastfeeding protects against osteoporosis. During lactation a mother may experience decreases of bone mineral. A nursing mom's bone mineral density may be reduced in the whole body by 1 to 2 percent while she is still nursing. This is gained back, and bone mineral density may actually increase, when the baby is weaned from the breast. This is not dependent on additional calcium supplementation in the mother's diet. (References).
- Breastfeeding reduces the risk of rheumatoid arthritis. (References).
- Breastfeeding has been shown to decrease insulin requirements in diabetic women (References).
- Breastfeeding moms tend to lose weight easier (References).
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
lets talk about nursing bras at 47 weeks postpartum shall we? i retired my original bravado. she was a hard worker, but the racer back style was a deal breaker after a few months. i found these at target and really recommend them. in fact, i just posted a review on target.com. i especially like the soft cup feature. my other nursing bras lacked support and i avoid under wire in my bras to minimize the chance of developing plugged ducts. actually, i've been trying to go bra-less at home as much as possible now. a friend of mine insists that bras make your breasts sag. at first i thought she was crazy. according to antibra.com the main idea is that the ligaments which support breasts in normal circumstances, would atrophy (get thinner and weaker) when breasts are immobilized within bras and don't have to bear their own weight.
the actual act of going sans bra is emotionally liberating. i highly suggest anyone out there who like me is a prisoner to the nursing bra (do you sleep in your bra? have sex in your bra??) give it a shot. let the girls breathe.
Monday, January 11, 2010
Thursday, December 24, 2009
"the headache makes it sound like a mastitis that you happen to catch early - keep treating with hot baths before feedings and pumping after - no antibiotics are needed if no fever returns."
mastitis! every breastfeeding woman's nightmare!! luckily i caught it early and had no subsequent pain or issues. kellymom has a great page on plugged ducts/ mastitis which lists the following warning:
CAUTION: Do NOT decrease or stop nursing when you have a plugged duct or mastitis, as this increases risk of complications (including abscess).
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
kellymom has a great page on "When Baby Bites" which includes suggestions on what to do if and when biting becomes an issue.
when boo bit me i was more startled then physically hurt. two small teeth biting down on my nipple is not a pleasant sensation, especially during a late night feeding when i'm only half-awake! i involuntarily reacted by using my finger to break boo's latch and firmly(without yelling) said "no". this reaction was pure instinct and luckily, effective. the Nursing Mothers Companion warns that a strong negative reaction to biting, such as yelling out, could lead to a nursing strike or worse, baby might find your yelling funny and may continue to bite for the reaction.
since my first experience of being boo's new teething toy, i've been bit an additional 3 or 4 times. on each occasion i broke the latch, firmly said no and ended the nursing session temporarily.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
ps. does anyone know of a breastfeeding friendly halloween costume??? LOL
Monday, October 5, 2009
"Teething is one of the most common causes of frequent night waking during the second six months and through the second year. It can also cause fussy nursing behavior, as some babies experience gum discomfort with sucking. Baby might start to nurse, but then pull off and cry or fuss and not want to nurse anymore. Other babies nurse nearly constantly because the nursing is soothing to them."
(could this be the reason for our night wakings and fussy nursing??!)
she also lists a few things that may help a teething baby such as homeopathic teething tablets and freezing or refrigerating a wet washcloth. boo's favorite is a clean baby sock filled with crushed ice and knotted at the top. heres a list from hippiedippiebebe of the top 10 natural teething home remedies.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
while googling for helpful links for hunger cues, i stumbled on the breastfeedingbabies youtube account which states "we're here to bring you as much info and 'Best Practice' on helping your baby to breastfeed effectively as we can".
and of course, here is kellymom's link on hunger cues which features a list of common cues in order from early (smacking or licking lips) to late (crying).
Friday, September 25, 2009
"that is why you should be rotating your frozen stock - start using frozen milk and freezing the new stuff - when you get to a "less Old" batch frozen then you can do half and half (give have frozen defrosted and half freshly pumped) - milk is good for 4 months in freezer. do NOT shake it when defrosting or heating."
Thursday, September 17, 2009
kellymom has a great article on the distractible baby and offers the invaluable advice of keeping a finger ready to break suction as soon as baby starts to pull away. she also warns that "less frequent/shorter nursing during this distractible stage can lead to a low milk supply, so do your best to get in a few decent feedings during the day."
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
"After you put on the bra and flanges, simply lift the top of the bra out a little bit so you can see nipple placement. The bra will expand out and support the flanges while you use your other hand to adjust your breast/nipple. Once you do it a few times you can do the re-adjust without even looking."
doubting my hands-free ease, i gave it another shot. i used the bustier at home as well as at work. not surprisingly, the more i used it the easier it got. i cringe at the thought of being walked in on at work while wearing the bustier, but the comedic value overrides the fear. pumping hands-free to me means that i can answer the phone at work without having to squish both boobs in one hand (now theres an under-rated skill). it also means i can play with boo in the morning while i pump. i've even joined misty in her habit of typing and pumping (im actually pumping right now!). i may have laughed at being hands-free a few months ago, but it only took me a week of practice to proudly say "look boo, no hands!!"
Monday, August 31, 2009
although boo's pedi gave the ok to begin introducing solids, we've opted to delay solids until 6 months. kellymom has a great article on why its important to delay solids which highlights several reasons to delay including: giving baby greater protection against illnesses, decreasing risks of food allergies, giving baby's digestive system time to mature, and one reason which really sticks out to me...helps mom maintain her milk supply. according to kellymom, babies who start solids early tend to wean prematurely. im doing my best not to be a weaner so this reason alone is enough for me to delay adding solids to boo's diet.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
"Problem: Decreased Suction
Solution: Remove the tubing and white connector from the side of the pump and place a finger over the pump outlet. If you feel suction, the pump is operating properly, but the collection kit may not be correctly assembled or the white valve may be damaged. If no suction is felt on your finger, try unplugging the adapter from the electrical outlet, wait a few seconds, and plug it back into the electrical outlet.
Solution 2: Make sure the collection kit is properly assembled.
Solution 3: Inspect the white valve for a tear or pinhole. This component is critical to achieving proper suction. Replace the white valve with one of the spare valves provided with the product.
Solution 4: Check the tubing adapter on the side of the pump to make sure it is closed when single pumping. If open, close the adapter."
when placing my finger over the pump outlet i immediately felt suction. i inspected the tubing and valve covers next for tears and found nothing. my friend lori warned that it might be impossible to detect a small hole in the valve cover so i decided to give my pump a thorough cleaning and switch out the valve covers with a brand new spare set i had in my pump tote. either my pump appreciated the spa treatment or i did have a faulty valve cover because at the next pumping session the suction had improved enough that it felt like i had a new pump.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Parents need to “set the stage” for better sleep and then accept what their own little baby is capable of. Remember they are NOT getting up at night just to annoy you. It is not a conspiracy! Setting the stage involves:
- Making sure the baby is getting adequate calories during the day. Power nursing between 5 PM and 10 PM allows the baby to get more of the rich hind milk to “hold them over”
- Working towards not over doing the calories at night. Bottles at night make babies want to get up more at night. Trying to “stuff” your baby at 1 AM will just make the baby pee and poop more in the middle of the night. Babies go through light sleep phases about every 90 minutes so if they are wet or dirty, they may come to be fully awake. We need their tummies to be as quiet as possible in the middle of the night- this is why I never PUSH feeds between 11 PM and 5 AM.
in my never ending quest to read up on all things breastfeeding, i found one of my (now) favorite pro-breastfeeding magazines: mothering. their latest issue has a great article on breastfeeding in mongolia.
misty (aka babygaga's breastfeeding hero) gave me a great link to share with anyone needing a list of reasons to breastfeed. http://www.notmilk.com/101.html
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Sunday, August 2, 2009
i'm sure that my new no dairy/soy/nut diet has attributed to my most recent weight loss, but i'm still reminded of one of my favorite benefits of breastfeeding: burning calories.
kellymom.com states that "Breastfeeding your baby, on average, burns 200-500 calories per day".
a post on breastfeeding.com states that " Breastfeeding burns calories. Over 600 calories a day for breastfeeding women who don't supplement with formula. 600 calories! That's like getting two hours of aerobic exercise each day." they reference the following study published in the Journal of American Dietician Association which shows breastfeeding melts off inches around your hips and buttocks.
Summary: Mothers who breastfed exclusively or partially had significantly larger reductions in hip circumference and were less above their prepregnancy weights at 1 month postpartum than mothers who fed formula exclusively.
Author: Kramer, F.,
Title: "Breastfeeding reduces maternal lower body fat."
Published in: J Am Diet Assoc 1993;93(4):429-33
sure that is an old study, but it definitely put a smile on my face.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
an online friend found herself dealing with a chronic case of thrush. Thrush is the term used to describe an overgrowth of yeast in a baby's mouth. for future reference i bookmarked a page from askdrsears.com and another page which is specific to thrush infections on nipples (candida).
According to Dr. Sears, suspect candida as the cause of your sore nipples if:
- Your nipples are extremely sore, burning, itching, red, or blistery.
- You experience shooting pains in your breasts during or just after feeding (especially during your milk ejection reflex).
- The usual remedies for sore nipples aren't working.
- Baby has oral thrush (white, cottage-cheese-like patches on the tongue and sides of the mouth) and/or a yeasty diaper rash.
- Your nipples suddenly become sore after a period of pain-free breastfeeding.
- You are taking, or have just finished taking, a course of antibiotics. Yeast infections are common following antibiotic treatment.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
whenever i find myself engorged, i worry about plugged ducts. in fact, to date, i have yet to wear an underwire nursing bra for fear of a plugged duct.
in the end, i finally admitted defeat and weekend pumped.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
"If it is green alone I don't worry BUT the blood does usually indicate a food sensitivity - and the most common is DAIRY,SOY and PEANUTS - so please totally remove these from your diet for 3 complete weeks - if you go on www.infantreflux.org their blog pages have pretty good info on MSPI (milk soy protein intolerance) you need to read labels and it will take at least 2 weeks to notice any difference." (side note: i appreciate my lactation consultant.)
i had never realized how many foods contain dairy and soy. suddenly i have to say goodbye to some long time favorites. wheat thins? soy. eggos? milk and soy. mothernature.com has a pretty long list of foods to avoid when cutting out dairy.
boo didnt poop again until 5pm the next day, and it was a blow-out, and orange (her normal color) with no traces of blood. i emailed Susan again asking if i should still be concerned with a food sensitivity. i had assumed i'd see green for at least 2 weeks until my non-dairy/soy/pnut diet had settled things down.
"I would still give it up just in case due to the BLOOD - that way if you see blood again we have already started the elimination. UNLESS you see a opening at the anus that could be the reason for the blood."
after checking her bottom, i ruled out an opening at the anus and stuck with the non-dairy/soy/pnut diet. over the next couple of days we had a couple of "bad" diapers, but the majority were fine. the plus side of this is that boo is breastfed; i just need to adjust my diet. the down side is, i suddenly feel like the poop patrol.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
my second week of working full-time was easier. i feel more confident that i can be an exclusively breastfeeding and working mom. my pumping sessions at work allow me to take a break and think of nothing but boo and the release of prolactin and oxytocin during let-down supposedly help me relax. the mamas on the babygaga.com breastfeeding thread have been wonderful. i've found support, advice and some much needed laughs.
i read "The Milk Memos: How Real Moms Learned to Mix Business with Babies-and How You Can, Too" and highly recommend it to any working/breastfeeding mama. it covers literally everything and helped remind me that there are other moms in the world who work and breastfeed and many of them are having as an emotional go at it as i am.
i wonder if sleep deprivation is causing my short-term memory to fizzle out. on two separate days i forgot to bring bottle caps and then the actual bottles (!) to work. to compensate for the lack of caps, i rubber-banded tissue around the bottles and did my best to make sure the bottles remained stable during the ride home. i didnt even try to compensate for the lack of bottles and just drove home to feed boo. i read in the milk memos that 1 mom actually pumped into coffee cups when she forgot her bottles!
to avoid my mistake, here's a list of items that shouldn't be left at home:
-breastpump w/all the parts: pumps vary but generally all include the following:
.2 breastshields (breast flanges)
.2 pieces of tubing
.2 sets of valves
.collection bottles (with caps!)
-tissues or burp cloths to wipe up spills and dry breasts after pumping (seriously)
-something to clean your pump parts with, a few options:
.small container of liquid dish soap
.microwave sterilizer bags
-cooler bag w/ice packs
-lunch bag (if you're storing your milk in a community fridge)
-car power adapter (if you're pumping in the car...)
-pictures of your baby! (these can help with your milk let-down)
i'm thinking of buying a 2nd set of all pump parts just in case i lose anything or say the adapter stops working.
boo's daddy brought up the question of how much milk boo should be eating during the day. he felt the older she gets the more milk she'll drink. i found a calculator on kellymom.com which also gives the following information:
"Current breastfeeding research does not indicate that breastmilk intake changes with baby's age or weight between one and six months. After six months, breastmilk intake will continue at this same level until -- sometime after six months, depending in baby's intake from other foods -- baby's milk intake begins to decrease gradually.
The research tells us that exclusively breastfed babies take in an average of 25 oz (750 mL) per day between the ages of 1 month and 6 months. Different babies take in different amounts of milk; a typical range of milk intakes is 19-30 oz per day (570-900 mL per day)."the good news is that i'm still over-producing, meaning i'm expressing more milk than boo needs during the day. i was worried that my supply wouldn't be able to keep up.
here's my current work day:
6am - wake baby and feed; pump bottle (approx 5 oz) for while im away during the morning
7:30- go to work
10 - pump at work (approx 6-8 oz)
12pm - go home for lunch and feed baby; drop off 10am milk
2:30 - pump at work (approx 4 - 5 oz)
4:30 - go home and feed baby; freeze 2:30pm milk or store in fridge for the next day
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
boo decided it was a great time to have a growth spurt. at night she seemed to want to eat and eat and eat. i felt like i couldn't keep up with her. my letdowns felt so small and her crying broke my heart. i was worried i was underfeeding my baby. i was worried that my supply was decreasing. the fact that i wasn't expressing as much milk during my 2pm pumping as i normally do in the morning only added to my worry. now i felt overwhelmed at home as well as at work. thats when the fact that i'm alone set in. i have no friends or family that breastfeed or have ever breastfed for that matter. theres no one to ask advice from except my lactation consultant, susan. my world has been so baby related lately that i've managed to alienate the friends that i do have. boo's daddy is amazing and (half) listens to every little nugget that i spout out, but it's not the same as having a friend who's been there, done that. someone who understands how overwhelming breastfeeding can be; how guilty i feel about returning to work; the sense of loss i feel when i leave boo. in short, i need a boob friend. i decided to join a breastfeeding thread on babygaga.com. cyber friends would have to do for now.
in regards to my supply woes, i remembered when my freezer stash was ruined during week 8, i had emailed my lactation consultant and asked her how to add an extra pumping session to my schedule. in her response she had also sent me the following info on increasing milk supply.
- Nurse as often as the baby will nurse. If you are back to work, try to really push feedings before and after work and nurse full time on your days off. If your baby is eating solid food, make sure that the solids are given only during the time you are not available to nurse and pump while you feed solids on your days off.
- Pump for 15 minutes IMMEDIATELY after you finish nursing. Use a double pump (renting a hospital grade pump is helpful) for a full 15 minutes even if you are not getting any milk. Pumping is for the stimulation to the breast.
- Pump after as many feedings as you can. Using a “hands free” pump bustier makes frequent pumping easier and decreases your tendency to watch every drop go into the bottle.
- Pump right before bed for additional stimulation.
- Take 2-3 Fenugreek capsules with each meal. Google “Fenugreek and Breastfeeding”. Fenugreek can be found at Whole Foods, GNC, and Lindberg Nutrition etc. Fenugreek takes about 4 days to show any effect at all. Do NOT take Fenugreek if you are pregnant. Some women will also take Fennel capsules (3 per day) along with the Fenugreek.
- Some women feel that eating REAL oatmeal (not instant) daily will help supply.
- REST – take a nap on your days off. Rest has a significant impact on milk production.
- Take a long bath with your baby every evening. While in the tub, drink lots of fluids. When you get out, nurse and then pump.
- Before pumping, take a small amount of vegetable oil and massage it into the entire breast. You do not need to “kneed” the breast- rather rub the oil in like you are rubbing lotion well into the skin. Rub over the nipples and areola.
- Do ALL of the above, consistently for 14 days. Milk supply will vary from day to day and the more you worry about it the less you pump.
the week ended with boo's 2 months well baby check-up. she weighed in at 12 pounds, 6 ounces.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
i began reading breastfeeding made simple: seven natural laws for nursing mothers, by nancy mohrbacher and Kathleen Kendall-Tackett. it reminded me of the importance of skin to skin contact and i tried to increase my skin to skin time with boo. the book also describes breast storage capacity which is the amount of milk the breast stores between feedings. i believe i have a large storage capacity. boo generally only nurses from 1 breast per feeding and while pumping i tend to average 3 ounces per side in less than 10 minutes. one morning i pumped 4 ounces from the right side only. that was a shock. theres an article on kellymom.com that addresses breast storage capacity and how it affects milk supply.
going back to work made me realize the value of nursing pads. the disposable nursing pads from lansinoh have been working out great. they seem to be able to absorb a pretty good amount of milk.
monday is the start of my return to working full-time.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Monday, June 8, 2009
Your milk is a living substance so precious some call it "white blood". It is essential to store your expressed (pumped) milk properly to maximize its nutritional and anti-infective qualities. Human milk actually has anti-bacterial properties that help it to stay fresh. Giving your baby the freshest milk you have pumped ensures its high quality.
This information is based on current research and applies to mothers who:
- have healthy, full-term babies;
- are storing their milk for home use (as opposed to hospital use);
- wash their hands before expressing;
- use containers that have been washed in hot, soapy water and rinsed.
All milk should be dated before storing. Storing milk in 2-4 ounce amounts may reduce waste. Refrigerated milk has more anti-infective properties than frozen milk. Cool fresh milk in the refrigerator before adding it to previously frozen milk.
Preferably, human milk should be refrigerated or chilled right after it is expressed. Acceptable guidelines for storing human milk are as follows. Store milk:
- at room temperature (66-78°F, 19-26°C) for 4 hours (ideal), up to 6 hours (acceptable) (Some sources use 8 hours)
- in a refrigerator (<39°f,>
- in a freezer (-0.4 to -4°F, -18 to -20°C) for 6 months (ideal) up to 12 months (acceptable)