World Breastfeeding Week 2015

I feel so thankful that this week will mark 23 months of my breastfeeding relationship with my son.

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If you would have told me when my son was born I would be doing it this long I would have called you crazy. I had gallbladder attacks beginning at 37 weeks and couldn’t have surgery until after baby was born. I had horrible attacks that my husband had to hold the trash can for me so I could feed my son. I was sick and learning to nurse a newborn, it was ROUGH.  I couldn’t get more than 2 oz out each time I pumped and I knew my surgery to remove my gallbladder was coming up. I  didn’t have enough milk stored up and I found out I wouldn’t be able to feed my son for at least two days after surgery thanks to the pain meds that were to be given to me during surgery.

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milk coma at 16 weeks

Five weeks after my precious son was born I was scheduled for surgery at 10am. I couldn’t eat or drink for 12 hours before surgery(which to a breastfeeding mother is pure torture.) my surgery didn’t happen until 4:30 in the afternoon. I fed my son who was going through cluster feeding all the way up until surgery time because I knew I wouldn’t be able to.

My anesthesiologist came in and saw my son, he mentioned  how cute he was. Through conversing we found out his wife just had a baby the same day. We then found out we both had the same doctor and gave birth at same hospital. He was about to leave for the day I was his last patient and he told me that he knows how difficult it can be breastfeeding. He told me he would leave precise instructions on what to give me so I would be able to breastfeed right after surgery. That was an answer to my prayer. Surgery went great and I was able to nurse my son when I got home(I did have enough milk pumped for at least two bottles so that was great)

Fast forward and the more I read about the benefits of breastfeeding pass the age of one I became determined to nurse until my son naturally weans. That can be anywhere between the age of 2-7-yrs.

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breastfeeding on top of the rock in NYC

And here I am almost two years later. I have learned so so much! This post isn’t to bash anyone that supplements part time or full time with formula. We as mothers do what we have to do. There is no problem when you’re in public and you feed you child from a bottle. That is more acceptable in our society.

Many may ask Why do we need a breastfeeding week? I see it everywhere now, so many people are ok with posting pics of it in social media. Well the truth is , in the U.S. The average age that women wean their child is 3 months(coincidence that the time frame coincides with the U.S. Maternity leave?  that is a whole other subject for a different day) for the rest of the world the average age of weaning is four years.

There is also the stigma that comes with nursing your child after one. Many feel if a child can ask for it they are too old. I’m sorry but how does your child ask for food? I know my son quickly will ask for a bapple(apple) as clear as he would ask for “milk milk”.  So should we stop giving our children snacks or dinner because they ask for? NO that would be ludicrious. Many mothers like the fact that their children can ask for milk, that way they know exactly what they want. It;s also a great tantrum stopper for those terrible twos.

The heath benefits alone are great.My son has only been sick three times and he was born during flu season, we’ve traveled by plane three time and he goes to a gymnastics class weekly and the library. I’m thankful that my breastmilk contains the antibiotics needed to help develop my sons immune system and helps shorten his colds IF he does get sick.

The fact is that when it comes to extended breastfeeding many women are shamed. Don’t believe me just look at the comment section under anything that features a mother breastfeeding a toddler, look at the many random post on social media from people shamming mothers for nursing in public uncovered.

This week is needed to encourage mothers to keep going, to encourage those on the fence about breastfeeding. This week helps them see they aren’t alone.

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LIES the Real Tells

I have been a fan of The Real since they had their testing season last summer. I liked that it was a show with minorities that you don’t often get to see on television so I of course tuned in to support them. What I saw yesterday was ANYTHING but support. I was very saddened that they chose their platform to bash breastfeeding.

Now I may not choose to breastfeed my child until they are 6 years of age but the women who have: can.  You know why? THEIR BODY, THEIR BUSINESS. I am sadden that they didn’t have an expert on there to explain to them that a child can self wean between the ages of 2-7 yrs and that is NORMAL. I am sad that Tamera, who owns a company that is in place to help women UP their supply, feels that she is a breastfeeding advocate BUT only until a year of age.She also stated that if a child can ask for it and unbutton your shirt you should stop. I’m sure her son ask for food, does that mean that she won’t give it to him because he used his words and asked for it? Also I know children who weren’t breastfed and they try to pull down their mothers shirt(breastfeeding babies aren’t the only ones who get comfort from a mothers chest) Let’s not even get started with Tamar and her statement of milk going rancid after a certain time.

These women are entitled to their opinion however the platform that they have will already have some wine feel like they shouldn’t breastfeed or extended breasted. Minorities are already the LOWEST group to breasted their children(and african american women are least likely to do so) I was shocked the ones who were speaking down about it the most were two african american ladies.

I have said time and time again that education is key. Breastmilk and it’s benefits don’t stop at the age of one. The same vitamins and nutrients that a baby gets is the same that a toddler or CHILD gets. My son is almost 1 1/2 and when I was pregnant I thought I wouldn’t do it until 1 but after i educated myself I decided that I would let my child let me know when he was ready to quit. We live in a society where people would look at you crazy if you tried to drag your child and make them walk when they aren’t ready BUT when a child doesn’t feel like they are ready to wean and they are over the age of 1 people are told they should pump.

I am sorry but YOU pump if that is what YOU want to do, What someone else wants to do with THEIR body is THEIR business. I am sad that this segment was even tapped and shown. The same women that they are talking about here are the same women that help their business be successful as well as their show getting picked up. There are plenty of times where I am nursing my son as I watch their show. You better believe that I had something to say and I tweeted how I felt. I also wrote on the host walls on instagram.

Women shouldn’t be made to feel ashamed because of the parenting choices that they make. I find it ironic that the same day this posted a commercial from a formula company went viral and their message is great.

No matter what we choose at the end of the day we are all parents. We are just trying to do the best that we can. I would never try and shame these host that have breastfed for a shorter period than I have because that was THEIR choice and it worked for THEIR family.

If you are extended breastfeeding do it with PRIDE and if you are thinking about breastfeeding, educate yourself. See a lactation consultant, join a FB group that will support you and hang in there.

 

I encourage you to tell the ladies at the Real how you feel about their discussion on breastfeeding

The Real on Facebook

Tweet them @theRealDaytime

Breastfeeding Tips for the new mom

I would never consider myself an expert, although I would love to become an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant(IBCLC), all I have to give is the knowledge that I have acquired over this past 15 months(and counting) of breastfeeding as well as the information that I have received from credited sources and mothers who have also breastfed. I hope you enjoy

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Tip #1 Breastfeeding Classes. I would highly recommend taking a class on breastfeeding(even if its your second or third time) If some time has past you can always use a refresher course. When My husband and I decided to take the class I was a little nervous because this would be the most important class of my life, I mean I would learn how to feed my child. Yeah I hyped it up a lot lol you will never truly know what you need to know about breastfeeding until you are actually in the act of doing it However, the classes help you to learn a little about what to expect. By all means you should take your SO there with you, make sure they pay attention, I can’t tell you how many times in the early part of my breastfeeding journey that my husband would look at us and say babe his latch is a little lax and maybe this will help you both. It was nice to have a team effort when it came to feeding time.

 

Tip #2  Find Support. My husband was amazing but he has never breastfed and I was an emotional wreck for the first month. So SEE A LACTATION CONSULTANT I can not stress that enough. if you have to pay for it, it’s so worth it. These ARE the experts and they can help you with whatever problem you may have. If you have one that just doesn’t click with you personality wise then see a different one. I waited until my son was 4 weeks old before I saw one. I was having MAJOR over productive issues on one side and my son would choke whenever he would eat. I learned about block feeding the first day met with her and that helped me tremendously and helped me enjoy my feedings with my son. If you aren’t having a problem with anything physically they can help you with mentally. It’s nice to know that what you are going through is normal and LC are able to help you because they have seen it all.

Tip #3 Feed baby often. One of the biggest things that mothers worry about it milk production. Although there are reasons why your milk production can slow down(pump not strong enough,hormone imbalance, not enough water intake etc) one of the sure ways of milk depletion is for baby not being put to the breast as often as possible. baby will go through growth spurts and you will feel like a milk machine, you may even just spend the day on the sofa because all you will be doing is feeding. Your well to do family members may say “here let me feed the baby a bottle so you can get some rest” that is so sweet BUT it’s important for you to hang in there and put baby to breast often because these growth spurts are the babies way of telling your body that it needs to make more milk. so when you let someone else feed baby from bottle then that is you telling your body I don’t need that milk. I understand that you need a rest. so if you need some time to sleep then I would suggest pumping before you get some rest. Just know that the pump is not as effective as baby is.

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Tip #4 Get a good nursing pillow.  Since you will be using that thing quite often it’s no important to find one that is great. this is where My breast friend(MBF) comes in. I know the name is horrible but seriously this is the BEST one out there. Imagine my surprise when I FINALY went to see the lactation consultant and she pulls out a MBF! she advised me that this is the best pillow out there. It has lumbar support and actually clips around you. you pretty much can use it as a table lol it has a nice pocket on the side. If this is not in your budget you can usually find them at second hand stores for great deals. The cover is machine washable so that is a plus too. Also they may one for moms of multiples

Tip #5 Water is your BEST friend.  Water is the source of life and it’s also the source that helps keep you hydrated and your milk supply up. before having a baby I would drink about 50oz a day. After Xander came along I was up to drinking 70-80 oz a day. breastfeeding is work and you have to stay hydrated to maintain your milk supply. juices, teas and sport drinks don’t have the same effect as water. So drink up, your baby and your skin will thank you for it.

Tip #6 When the teeth come… I am the first to admit when I was pregnant I would say.I will breasted as long as baby doesn’t have teeth. well guess what, baby got TWO teeth at 5 months. AAP suggest that you breastfeed exclusively for 6 months before introducing food and my son just happens to love breastfeeding so he did not  really start easting three meals a day until about 13 months. I was his food source and I didn’t want to give that up because I was scared of some teeth lol. Now i’m not going to lie sometimes when he bites down it HURTS(very rare occasion) but I just unlatch him and let him calm down and we try again. when he was younger I would just unlatch him and wait a few minutes. I will tell you this a baby ACTIVELY nursing CAN NOT bite! So be on the look out for comfort sucking, baby falling asleep, baby distracted  etc these are times when bites occur.

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Tip #7 Let the Neysayers Ney. There will inevitably be someone who is offended by your choice, or feel that because you choose to breastfeed that you look down on formula feeding(this is not the case, when we say breast is best it scientifically is. If you have to supplement or formula feed that is ok. whatever works for your family is fine). Don’t let that get to you. Feed your baby in public(covered or not) Federal law states that you can do it anywhere and it does not have to be in a bathroom. When a rude person ask “are you STILL nursing?” when obviously you are, just ignore them(or have a witty comeback)  Society has a messed up mental state when it comes to breast. these were made to nurse and feed our young, there is nothing wrong with it. It’s a bonding experience that is like no other. It’s full of ups and downs. Wear breastfeeding like a badge of honor because it is. It does not matter if you did it for a day or for years, you offered the best thing that you could have for your child. so don’t let anyone take that away from you.

Top must have Items for babies

As a new parent you are always asking people what do I REALLY need for this baby. I have made a top ten list (and one extra because I couldn’t live without it) These have really helped me , i dont know what i would have done without these.  Below I will explain why I chose these items and I hope that these help you out as well.

Top items to have during babies first year

 

1.Sakura bloom and Tula baby carriers: I own both of these brands.  These allow you to be HANDS FREE which is a life saver when dealing with a newborn all the way up to a toddler. Baby teething? grab the carrier. Baby clingy? grab the carrier. Going to a place where having a stroller would be a pain? grab the carrier. I have used these two items the most since having my son. I’ve used them everywhere, the beach, store,movie theater(yes we’ve seen a movie with our baby he did very well in his carrier),museums, amusement parks you name it I’ve probably carried him. Sakura bloom weight limit is up to 35lbs and Tula weight limit is up to 45lbs so I will have these until my son is a toddler. Price for Tula are $149 for standard and $169 for toddler(once child can fit into 2T clothes that is the recommended time to switch to a toddler Tula) Sakura bloom prices go from $88-$160 for linen and $180-$200+ for silk. The prices are on the high end of the baby carrier market but you want to invest in a GREAT carrier. It’s important to make sure that it’s ergonomically correct so you don’t change baby developing hip dysplasia. You also want to make sure that its comfortable for both you and baby( I have carried my son in both for extended periods of time, up to 6 hours) These are both also great to breastfeed in when you are on the go.

2. My Breast Friend: Once you get past the name this is an AMAZING product. This has support for your back when you are breastfeeding, it clips around you so you don’t have to worry about it falling off of you, or moving out of the perfect spot. There is a pocket on the front that is quite large to keep some necessities when you are nursing. I had to feed baby in football position for the first few months and using this pillow was a lifesaver. I traveled with it everywhere. They even make one for twins! :)

3. Nose Frida: Now before I had a kid (even right after i had one) I would tell everyone I would NEVER use this product. My tune changed when I had a congested baby thanks to teething. The nose sucker ball(that everyone uses) was just NOT doing it’s job(also have you seen one of those cut open? DISGUSTING) I remembered I had a nose frida and used it. BIG DIFFERENCE, my baby could breathe and it was easy to use. There is a filter so you don’t have to worry about anything and this is very easy to clean so you can use it again.

4. Lansinoh gel nursing pads and nipple cream: EVERYONE SHOULD GET THESE! even if you are not thinking about nursing get the ge; pads. when your milk comes in, that is PAINFUL and these gel pads can be frozen or put in the microwave for hot or cold compress. If you are going to nurse, nipple cream is a must. You can purchase both of these at your local target.

5. Ju Ju Be B.F.F: This is the diaper bag of ALL diaper bags. I can’t say anything bad about this. I went through three bags before settling on this one. it opens in the front so you don’t have to dig through your bag. The inside of the bag is colored so it’s not a black hole, you can see where everything is. There is a “mommy pocket” in the front so you can keep all your essentials. They have very cute prints as well.  This bag can me worn with a messenger strap or as a backpack. perfect for the mom on the go. This is also roomy, I cloth diaper and I have more than enough room. you can check out YouTube for packing videos as well to see how roomy they are.

6. Safety 1st Onboard air 35: Car seats are something every new parent does research on. We decided not to get the convertible seat right away(a lot of them accommodate newborns 6lb and up all the way to booster) I wanted to be able to have the ability to take my son out of the car still in his car seat if her fell asleep. We purchased this car seat and it’s great. It can fit a infant from 4-35lbs and up to 32″ (One of the best I have found for an infant seat) Even though its larger than most infant seats it can still fit in a small car, I own a Nissan Cube and it fit fine. The car seat is very comfortable(Air Protect™, Side Impact Protection, Advanced air cushion system) and my son has never been unhappy in his seat. He is always asleep as soon as the car takes off.

7. Sophie the Giraffe: This is great for little hands, baby has so many options to chew on. Her face is great for when front teeth are coming in and the legs are great to get to the back ones. Sophie has been around for years(since 1961) it’s made of 100% natural rubber and food paint which can fade. This is my sons number one choice in teethers. Believe me when I say that I have bought NUMEROUS ones, I didn’t believe in the hype of a $20 teethers. Well now I do! my son and I are much happier with Sophie in the diaper bag.

8. Coconut Oil : This is a STAPLE. great for diaper rash, cuts,nipple cream, lotion, hair, cooking. you can’t go wrong with coconut oil.

9. Foam Matt play area: I have tile in our apartment so this is a lifesaver for my nerves(well that was up until he could crawl) but even if you have carpet it’s nice to designate a area for baby to play. This particular mat pictured is 36 large pieces. I purchased from toys r us on sale for $14.99 (original price $29.99)

10. Shea Moisture Baby Head  to Toe wash and LotionThis brand is all natural and one of my favorites for myself. Their baby line is calming and my son loves this during bath time as well. You can purchase this at Target. A little goes a long way, I still have over half of the lotion left and JUST bought a new head to toe wash in 9 months.

11. Fisher-Price Kick ‘n Play Piano Gym: This toy goes from 0-18 months. it was great to use when my son was not mobile and he loved to kick the piano and play with  the toys. Now that he is mobile and can sit on his own he still loves to play the piano, you can flip the piano up so that your child can play with it while sitting. you can also detach the piano and it can be taken with you when toddlers want to play on the go :)