Saturday, September 15, 2012

She tricked me!

So my little Angel is a trickster! I had her on a wonderful schedule of eat-play-sleep. The sleep experts all agree that the best way to get your baby to sleep well is to feed her when she wakes up, not before she goes to bed. This was working out perfectly for us until she hit a growth spurt and wanted to eat before naps too. So, I switched to eat-play-eat-sleep. At this point she was nursing 10-12 times a day which is a lot for a 4 month old but, hey, my growing girl needs her boobie nums. Well, it turns out she tricked me. A few days after we got on this schedule she started turning down the breast after her naps. She continued to chow down before naps though. Looks like she got her way because she is know solidly on a play-eat-sleep schedule which is NOT what I wanted. Oh well, I have a feeling this is the first of many times my strong willed little girl is going to get her way.

And, for fun, a nursing pic of my lil darlin'

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Favorite Products?

I'm going to be hosting a giveaway and I would like to hear about everyone's favorite breastfeeding products.

I'll start by telling you what I like, dislike, and have never tried.


I would not be able to live without my Boppy. I love it so! Admittedly in the middle of the night I just use a pillow so I don't have to run out to the living room and grab the boppy, but it's so much easier to have the curvature around my body. Maybe it's cuz I'm fat, but with a regular pillow I find my baby girl is too far from me, it makes nursing awkward sometimes, which it shouldn't be. The boppy keeps her head nice and close without being pushed away by my belly. Anyway, boppy's rock.

On a related note, I love my super soft custom made minky boppy cover. I bought it on etsy (from this seller), there are about a million etsy sellers who make boppy covers. They come in cute prints too but nothing beats the luxurious minky fabric. Mine is pink and I heart it!

My Medela Pump in Style rocks! To be fair, the only other pump I have tried is the hospital grade Medela and it was awesome too. I have heard great things about some cheaper pumps but I have also heard some not so great things. I loathe pumping, it's hard and it's a huge pain, so I'm gonna stick with my bestselling pricey pump that does it's job as well as I could expect it to. It's not cheap, but what I did was I bought a used on one Craigslist (I think I paid $75) and then bought all the replacement parts for about $50. That's a huge savings over buying a brand new pump and the only second hand part is the motor!

Microwave sterilizer bags. If I had a dishwasher I would just use that but, alas, we do not have a dishwasher so I sterilize pump parts, bottles and binkies in the microwave. The bags are affordable and super easy. I know I technically don't have to sterilize things that come in contact with breast milk but it just makes me feel a lot better about everything :)

Bamboo nursing pads are another must have. I'm lucky in that I don't leak much but when I nurse first thing in the morning, whichever boob I'm not nursing from turns on like a faucet. Any brand of nursing pad with bamboo fleece or bamboo velour soaks it right up. I got some free pairs from the milk bank that I donated my milk to and now I'm hooked. I also bought some super cute custom ones off a WAHM shop called Pampered Mama.


I can't really think of any product I have tried and not liked. There are some things I don't use, such as nipple cream. It never really helped me as much as putting breastmilk on my nipples did, and my nipples were only sore for a couple weeks this time around. When I did use it though, I much prefered the Earth Mama brand over Lansinoh. That lanolin in the Lansinoh gets everywhere and is hard to wash off. So, I guess, my product I dislike is Lansinoh nipple cream. However, I use it to lanolize my wool diaper covers and it works like a charm so I do have some Lansinoh love :)


I would love to get a set of Booby Tubes. For those who don't know, these are reusable heating/cooling tubes that cab be placed on, or wrapped around your breast(s) to help encourage milk flow, reduce the chances of clogged ducts and relive discomfort. I would love to review this product sometime!

Something else I want to try is a Milk Saver. This is a little contraption that you place on one breast while feeding with the other. It catches the milk that leaks out and you can save it for later, as you would with pumped milk. This got my interest because, as I mentioned before, when I nurse first thing in the morning I have some serious leaking issues. While I love my nursing pads, it would be nice to keep the milk that drips out rather than having it absorbed into the pad.

So, please leave a comment, email me, or visit my Facebook page, and let me know which breastfeeding products you love. I'm hoping to have the giveaway up and running by the end of the month.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Big Boobie Nursing

My boobs are huge. I mean HUGE. I wear a size 44F or 44G bra. Clearly this complicates nursing positions a little. I'm pretty sure nursing while babywearing is an impossibility for me, but I'm still working on it. It has been a long journey of finding out which nursing positions work for me, and when you add in the fact that my daughter has reflux and needs to be fairly upright while eating, my positions are very limited. I usually do the Boppy, propped up on the arm of the couch for elevation. This means I have to switch sides of the couch when I switch boobs. My hubby is getting used to playing musical chairs every evening while my daughter cluster feeds before bed. In the middle of the night I like to stay in my bed to nurse so I prop up one side of the Boppy with a pillow. This morning, however, I decided to try something new. With my son, I loved to nurse lying down (while holding my giant boob back so it wouldn't suffocate him), but I can't really do lying down with my reflux baby. So, I propped her up on two pillows and lay next to her, with a couple pillow behind myself as well. It worked out so well I actually had a free hand to take a picture. The moral of the story is - pillows are your friend. If you need help with positioning, make sure you have plenty of pillow. I believe this position took five. So, here ya go! Don't mind the giant boobies, it was first thing in the morning so I didn't have a bra on.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Nothing Cuter

I'm pretty sure there's nothing cuter than a baby nursing. I mean, babies are usually cute (I say usually because when they're spraying poop in your face or puking down your cleavage at the zoo, they're not overly cute) but I think a nursing baby is pretty darn cute. At least once a day, I look at baby Ange, staring at me from behind my big ole boobie and I can't help but melt. Man, I'm gonna miss this one day!

Here's my baby girl today :)

Has anyone made their Facebook profile pic a nursing pic for WBW? If you have, tell me about it. I just may pick a random commenter to win a prize ;)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Why I Breastfeed

I recently got into a bit of a debate with an online friend of mine who chose to formula feed both of her children. While I think she is an excellent mother, I simply cannot come to terms with the fact that she didn't even give breastfeeding a chance. I know it's none of my business and I chose not to let it escalate (it's too late anyway, so no point in trying to change her mind). She linked me to an article that makes a case against breastfeeding which is honestly the most ridiculous thing I have ever read in my life. I promise, I went into it with an open mind. I am somewhat of a believer in conspiracy theories so I'm always open to something that will challenge what I have been told. Well, it's a piece of junk, full of lies and exaggerations as well as ridiculous sarcasm and assumptions. Anyhow, go ahead and read it if you like, I'm thinking of writing a detailed review on it, but it's gonna take me a while since I don't want to point fingers at the lies without facts to back myself up.

So while i was reading that article that attempted to negate all of the wonderful benefits of breastfeeding, I started thinking about the most important reasons I breastfeed my babies. There are dozens of benefits but I can honestly say that the tiny possible decrease in the likelihood of them getting diabetes is not on the top of my list. It's an added bonus but it's not the main reason I do it.

Here are my top 3 reasons I breastfeed.

1. The bonding. Even if my breasts produced Similac, I would still choose nursing over bottle feeding because nothing beats that constant skin-to-skin contact. Sure, it would be nice to alternate night feedings with my husband but I adore the fact that I am the one who feeds my babies (most of time time. I do let others feed her pumped milk on occasion). Maybe it's selfish, but I like the fact that my baby relies on me to stay alive. I like being her #1 supporter. I also love that time when, even if there are a million crazy things going on around us, I sit down with my little girl, stare into her eyes and we bond. She has recently taken to holding my hand while she nurses and I freakin love it! No, I do not feel guilty that my son doesn't get an equivalent because he got it, for 17 months, and he now gets a different type of quality time. He has no interest in holding my hand and staring into my eyes 8 times a day.

2. It's natural. I know all to well that the day will come when I'm busy enough to justify feeding Angelina a Happy Meal or hot dogs for lunch. My son eats that crap way too often. Until she is old enough to ask for an Oreo or scarf down a burger I plan to keep her on an all natural diet. I will make my own baby food (mostly organic). So why would I give her synthetic, chemical-laden, laboratory derived formula? Ok, I'm making it sound worse than it is, it's really not all that bad and certainly better than McDonalds, but since I'm able to produce enough mama's milk for her, I can't imagine choosing to give her something man made. Sort of like how I buy GMO tomatoes if that's all they have, but if there are organic tomatoes and especially if they were cheaper than the GMO ones, I would pick those. Common sense, right?

3. It's easy. Formula is a huge pain in the butt. Huge. You have to go to the store and buy it, find somewhere in your house to store it, mix bottles in the middle of the night when you're so tired you can barely see, and then wash said bottles. Big pain. This way I just whip out a boob, feed, and I'm done. Easy peasy. I also have more than enough things to fill my diaper bag with, I can't imagine adding bottles, bottled water and formula to the mix. I'll pass, thanks.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

World Breastfeeding Week

Today marks the first day of World Breastfeeding Week. To celebrate, I will be posting every day this week!

To start off, I am actually going to copy and paste something I wrote 2 years ago during WBW. I promise the rest of my posts will be new, but I really think this one sums up what I want to say on the topic.

I want to start by saying I am not a "breastfeeding elitist". I do not judge those who formula feed (as long as they gave breastfeeding a shot) and, in fact, I think it is extremely important to recognize all those mamas who tried but were not able to breastfeed.

Formula is not the devil. In fact, it is a very, very close second to breastmilk. It is called "formula" because it is made from an exact scientific formula that is aimed to mimic breastmilk as closely as possible. So many mamas put their hearts and souls into trying to breastfeed and, in some cases, are so preoccupied with the pressure to nurse that they miss out on some of the joy during those wonderful first days of parenthood.

The main goals of breastfeeding week are to recognize mothers around the world who breastfeed their children, to ensure their rights (such as breastfeeding in public and pumping at work) and to promote breastfeeding awareness. These are awesome goals and I am so happy that this week exists. However, I would like to add a goal to the list, a very important one: supporting mamas who tried to breastfeed but could not.

I think mothers who try but are not able to breastfeed, or who have to give it up sooner than they would like to, need to be recognized and supported too. I came really close to having to give up on breastfeeding, and when Jackson sucked down a bottle of Similac in the hospital my heart literally broke. That is wrong, and something needs to be done about the stigma associated with formula. While I appreciate all of the support I got from the nurses, doctors and lactation consultants, I should not have felt like a failure when I fed my hungry son. I was so fortunate to be able to get my supply back up and Jax has not had any formula since he was one week old but not all mamas are as fortunate as I am. Its not that they didn't try as hard, their bodies or circumstances just did not allow them to breastfeed. 

I wholeheartedly believe that all mothers need to try to breastfeed. Science has shown that it is best for both the baby and the mother. BUT, I want to emphasize how important it is to not put down or shame those who don't breastfeed. You can't expect a full explanation as to why someone is buying formula, or fixing a bottle for their child and there's a good chance they did in fact try to breastfeed and could not do it, so DON'T judge them.
Please use this week to give some mad credit to all mothers. Those who are breastfeeding their little ones, those who have breastfed in the past AND those who tried their hardest to breastfeed. All of these moms deserve equal recognition. I can tell you from experience, breastfeeding is HARD WORK and anyone who even attempts to do it deserves to be recognized this week.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Crunchy Mama

Apparently breastfeeding is crunchy. I found this out on Babycenter (which, if you haven't hear of it, is a community of over 100 million parents, chatting about everything baby and non-baby related). People often talk about being crunchy. I actually wrote a short article about what being crunchy means, so if you're not sure, head on over and check it out.

So breastfeeding is crunchy because it is natural. I guess that makes sense. I got to thinking what else I do that might be viewed as crunchy. Well, I recycle, but who doesn't? I try to conserve energy but I think these days that's a given. I cloth diaper. That's a good one! While cloth diapering is becoming more and more popular (I definitely know more mamas who use cloth than disposables) it's still not a given. It saves your baby from being exposed to harsh chemicals and it helps the environment. There are other reasons I cloth diaper too, such as the cuteness, softness , affordability and of course, the addictive factor, but I don't think those count as crunchy.

I figured I would share some of my cloth diaper expertise with my readers, even though this blog is mostly about breastfeeding.

Let's start at the beginning. There are many different types of diapers. For a concise, informative outline of the various types, check out this article on Diaper Junction, my go-to website for diaper info. My personal preference are all-in-one (AIO) and all-in-two (AI2) diapers, but I really do like them all and I have a little bit of everything in my stash. I like that AIO's are all one piece, just like a disposable, and they are easy for babysitters and grandparents who might not be familiar with modern cloth diapering. The only down side of AIO's is that they often take a long time to dry. There are some brands, such as Thirsties AIO's, that can be turned inside out to reduce drying time. I love me some Thirsties! AI2's are great too, especially the "hybrid" diapers which cut down on cost and laundry by using several inserts in one cover. My favorite hybrid is the Flip system, it works great and fits as trimly as a disposable (not to mention the super cute colors it comes in!). Other favorite brands of mine include Tots Bots and FuzziBunz. The brand names are super cute too, aren't they? Most diapers come in a "one size" option which means you spend about $500 total on diapers to last from birth to potty training. Considering that the average disposable diapered baby will go through $2000 worth of diapers (which then end up in a landfill) I think that's a pretty decent savings. Plus, lots of people buy used diapers so you can buy used and save more money, or sell yours when you're done and make half your money back. Pretty thrifty, huh? Anyhow, so I cloth diaper and I love it! I might even say I like it as much as I like breastfeeding. Man, I'm gonna miss having babies!

Just for fun, here are a couple pics of both of my kiddos in their cloth diapers!

Jax in his first ever cloth diaper - Happy Heinys

Jax in a Bum Genius AIO (they no longer make these, but I buy them used cuz they rock!)

Jax in a Sunstainable Babyish fitted (best overnight diaper ever!)

Newborn Ange in a prefold with a newborn Rumparooz cover
Ange in a Doodle Dype (these are hard to get!)

And my stashes (which change all the time). Jax's boy stash, and Ange's girl stash. As you can tell, I love diapers!