Saturday, December 31, 2011

Breastfeeding is possible!


This article is not to down or disrespect mothers who formula feed their babies. This is 100% to encourage anyone who needs encouragement and to help with great information.

I could have titled this a million different things but the most common reason I hear for failing at BFing is "It just wasn't possible.." following a reason like "The doctor said my baby wasn't growing fast enough." "I wasn't producing enough milk." etc. I REALLY hate hearing this stuff because BFing IS possible for EVERYONE! At one point in time there wasn't formula and babies did just fine! A little known fact is, a majority of pediatrician's aren't supportive of BFing and/or don't know a lot about it. They also don't use a BFing growth chart which makes a big difference. If your baby is being compared to formula fed babies, YES your baby "isn't growing fast enough." because formula fed babies grow faster than breastfed babies. Some doctors will argue that statement but studies show this is a true statement. Studies also show that formula puts a child at higher risk of higher cholesterol levels, higher blood pressure, and increased risk of obesity and diabetes later in life. Of course this isn't going to happen to every formula fed baby... it just increases the chances.

I am personally speaking from experience when I say it is possible even with many issues in the way. If you stay motivated and keep your precious baby in mind, BFing will come natural! I had a rough first week with BFing. My milk came in around day 2 and my breasts literally went from a size B to a size DD over night. It was more painful than child birth. My breast were rock solid. Even nursing wasn't relieving the pain. Soon I realized I was dealing with an over supply. Along with that issue, I discovered I was unable to pump. My let down would not trigger to any kind of pump or pumping method. I was ok with this though because I did not want to bottle feed. So my advice for the over supply was to nurse on one side per feeding rather than both. This helped me a ton.... until about month 3 and my daughter was really low on the BFing growth chart. I did one side for so long that my milk was starting to dry up. My daughters pedi told me "you tried.. but it's time to give up and put her on formula." In the nicest way possible I told her she was crazy and that wasn't happening. Every time we would see her I would be asked "So have you put her on formula yet?" She obviously didn't get the point. I quickly switched pedi's and found one more supportive. I did some research and read fenugreek herbal supplements help with milk supply. So for 9 months straight I took 9 pills a day. With in a few weeks I noticed a huge difference! Did I mention multiple times I got clogged ducts? So painful! It feels like a huge rock on the side of your breast. Each time it took over a week for the pain to go away. So I guess the point in that long story was, don't give up. Not being able to pump, over supply, low supply, clogged ducts, etc. and I toughed it out and breastfed my daughter until she was 20 months old. She self-weaned, never had a bottle, and not even a taste of formula.. and that was my goal!

Getting Started:

  • It takes a lot of learning, practice, and patience in order for you and baby to master breastfeeding.

    • Be prepared. Take a BFing class before your baby is born. Take notes, do research, find out if there is a wic or LLL office near you, and ask your mom friends!

      • Let your doctor know in advice you plan on BFing shortly after baby is born. Also let the nurses on staff know. This is when baby is most alert and willing to nurse.

        • Find a good position. Try them all! Figure out what feels most comfortable for you. Don't forget to use a pillow or blanket on your lap to help support baby and your posture.

          • Once your baby empties one breast, offer the other. It is important you offer both breasts. On your next feeding, start with the breast you ended with at your last feeding.

            • Don't watch the clock! Your baby will let you know when she/he is hungry. The first month or so, you shouldn't go longer than 3 hours in between feedings.

              • A nursing mother burns on average 500 calories just from 1 day of BFing! This means you need to be taking in extra calories through out the day. This is very important because not doing so can cause your milk supply to lower.

                • Most importantly, keep trying! Babies don't always catch on the first few times so don't give up! Supplementing isn't necessary because the colostrum is all your baby needs. Your newborn has extra stores of fat and body fluids to draw on until your milk comes in.

                • Benefits:

                  I could go on for days about the benefits but I will give you a brief basic list of the benefits for baby and mother.

                  Benefits for baby:

                • Colostrum helps your baby's digestive system grow and function. It's also high in protein.

                  • Breast milk has antibodies that can not be mimicked that help your baby's immune system stay strong and fight off sickness.

                    • Breast milk has the right nutrients, in the right amounts to nourish baby. High in protein and fat that is better used in baby's body compared to formula.

                      • Breast milk has growth factors, enzymes, hormones, and other great things that help your baby grow and develop. Including helping baby's brain develop.

                        • Breast milk lowers the risk of asthma, allergies, colic, and SIDS.

                          • Breast milk is easily digested so your baby will have less gas, fewer feeding problems, and less constipation compared to formula.

                          • Benefits for mom:

                          • BFing releases a hormone called oxytocin which makes your uterus contract. This helps you "shrink" in size faster.

                            • Nursing burns calories which also helps you lose weight more quickly.

                              • BFing lowers your risk of some forms of breast and ovarian cancer.

                                • Cheaper than formula and easier than preparing a bottle of formula. (this means no late night trips to the store, worrying about the milk being at the right temp, and more sleep. haha)

                                  • The bonding experience is a lot stronger when BFing.

                                  • There is so much more I could talk about on this topic but I'll end it here. I hope I helped someone with this post. Pass this onto your friends and never give up! Feel free to ask any questions. I also wanted to add that I typed this up with my own knowledge of breastfeeding. I am not a licened lactation consultant and I suggest if you are having trouble, you should contact a LC. If you don't know how to locate one, call your local hospital and they can help you out.


                                    Wednesday, December 14, 2011

                                    Smoothie Recipe

                                    Smoothies are always a huge hit with my daughter. It is such an easy way to give her a great healthy snack and make it fun for the both of us! Give this a shot and I can guarantee your little one will love it!

                                    My basic recipe: Banana Berry PB&YO

                                    • 1 full banana
                                    • 3 strawberries
                                    • small handful of blueberries
                                    • 4oz yogurt
                                    • Tablespoon peanut butter
                                    • splash of almond milk

                                    I do all organic ingredients but that is up to you. Chop up the banana in about 3-4 chunks- toss in blender. Cut off tops of strawberries, chop up strawberries- toss in blender. Toss in the blueberries, yogurt, and peanut butter. I always start off with a small splash of almond milk (or regular milk if you want) so that I can keep the texture right. Blend on a low speed for about 10 seconds and then blend on a high speed. If the smoothie is too thick, add another splash of milk and blend again. Then ENJOY!

                                    This smoothie is great because your little one (or you) is getting a fruit serving, a diary serving, and protein! Not to mention it's a healthy snack, taste amazing, and who doesn't love smoothies?!

                                    On the days my daughter is being picky with veggies, I hide some carrots, tomatoes, green peppers, etc. in with the fruit. As long as you choose 1-2 veggies per 2-3 fruits, the veggie flavor should be masked pretty well and your little one wont even noticed!

                                    Thanks for reading! Please feel free to comment with any questions. :)

                                    Friday, December 9, 2011

                                    Natural Solutions for Pregnancy Problems

                                    I figured for my first official post, I would start it off where I started off with living a more natural life. Pregnancy is a great time to be more natural, even if you don't continue to do it after giving birth. I will attempt to talk about every issue I personally experienced through my pregnancy.

                                    Morning Sickness- This seriously made my pregnancy experience a living nightmare. I was vomiting every 5 minutes for months. I could go into detail but long story short, I lost weight and was type 4 dehydrated.. it was bad! I tried every remedy suggested to me, including anti-nausea medication from the ER doctor. Nothing worked! So my search for natural remedies began.
                                    • For an upset stomach and mild nausea, I highly recommend peppermint candies. It helps sooth your stomach and works magic!
                                    • When I wasn't able to hold down food, I turned to ice cream or milk shakes. Totally sounds like an excuse because what pregnant women wouldn't want ice cream, but it really works! Dairy lines your stomach and acts as a natural antacid. I personally hate milk and ice cream is more filling in my opinion.
                                    • The best morning sickness life saver for me was by far seasick wrist bands. You can find them at your local drug store. They literally look like sweat bands that sports players wear, but they have a little plastic ball that is positioned over a particular area on your wrist. It's a pressure point that truly works for nausea. To this day, if I'm ever feeling nauseous, I hold the pressure point for a few minutes and it goes right away!
                                    • 2 smaller tips: Eat smaller meals throughout the day and don't eat too fast. And don't drink water fast. Taking a few sips every couple minutes helps the water get down without coming back up.
                                    Acid Reflux & Heartburn- I never experienced either of these until I got pregnant. It was horrible at night when I was trying to sleep. The suggestions to sleep sitting up right and take tums just wasn't a good enough option for me. You couldn't pay me to sleep sitting up. haha
                                    • Like I mentioned earlier, diary works as a natural antacid and neutralizes the acids in your stomach. So your ice cream can kill 2 birds with 1 stone and help out your acid reflux/heartburn as well!
                                    • Carbonated drinks and caffeine can cause acid reflux/heartburn so if you suffer from it badly, I'd recommend staying away from those kind of drinks.
                                    • Also mentioned earlier, eat smaller meals through out the day and take your time.
                                    • Chewing gum works great for acid reflux/heartburn after eating. Chewing gum helps stimulate your saliva glands and saliva can help neutralize stomach acid.

                                    Aching body from H2T- Although I didn't gain much weight in my pregnancy, my legs and feet were always sore. (And for the pregnant ladies who aren't sore.. take notes and fake it! haha)
                                    • Warm baths were my favorite. Actually the first time I felt my daughter move was when I was in the bath. I was splashing water on my belly and she reacted to it. Anyways, make sure the water isn't too warm, you're not trying to cook your baby. Also, if you use bath salts or bubble bath, look up the ingredients to make sure they are safe to use. Surprisingly a lot aren't safe.
                                    • The good ol' rub down by the hub. Relaxing calf and feet rubs helped my aches more than any dumb pain reliever could. It helps the circulation which will reducing swelling. Not to mention it helps relieve stress and tension. Something all pregnant women need!

                                    Having a cold- I swear, I was born to catch a cold every single winter. And moving up north the year I got pregnant didn't help any!
                                    • Sinus issues- A hot washcloth over your face, taking a hot shower, or boiling water and putting your head close enough to breath the steam. Those help the swelling of the sinuses which is the BEST thing to do in order to treat any sinus issues.
                                    • Coughing- I sucked on peppermint candies. They treat a cough just like a cough drop does except these don't have medication in them. It soothes your throat and temporarily gets rid of the tickle.
                                    • What about medication? Luckly for you, a cold usually last about 7-10 days total. And all a medication does is help with pain, it doesn't actually make your cold go away. So by naturally dealing with the pain, your cold will run it's course and then go away.
                                    • Headaches- A warm washcloth over your eyes, plenty of water, and laying down in a dark,quit room usually does the trick.

                                    If there is anything I forgot to add, please feel free to comment! Keep in mind, these are remedies I did and they may not work for everyone. I suggest talking to your doctor if you are having any problems. I'm just here to suggest natural remedies. Thanks for reading!

                                    Monday, December 5, 2011

                                    Just starting off..

                                    Hello there friends (and maybe strangers),

                                    For the last few years many people have been suggesting I write a blog about my natural and organic lifestyle. I've finally decided I'll give it a try. I'd like to make this blog fun and helpful to anyone who is interested in learning about many different ways to have a more natural life. I'll try to post about many different things. Food suggestions, recipes, pregnancy, breastfeeding, cleaning products, beauty products, pain management, and much more! I want to make it clear now that I will never give information and consider it a "fact". I don't like arguing with people about what they think is right or wrong. I enjoy living my life the way I do and I really hope I can help other people! Also, I'm not familiar with this site yet, but if there is a way to email or message, I would love to take questions from ANYONE about anything natural and hopefully be able to answer the question in a blog post or at least point you in the right direction to some good information. I'm looking foreword to starting this blog! Please feel free to follow me and share with your friends! Thank you. :)