Wednesday, August 28, 2013

3 Must-Have Nursing Products
There are so many products out there for everything that you need and don't need when it comes to nursing so I'm going to keep this short and share with you my favorite 3 that I've gone to time and time again. In my opinion these are pretty much must-haves.

1. Night Nursing Bra. You want a bra that is comfy to wear at night, doesn't have underwires or too constricting, and easy to access your breasts. Trust me when you're tired and have to nurse in the middle of the night the last thing you want to deal with is clasps and hooks. If you're worried about leaking milk, just insert nursing pads (see #2) before you go to bed and keep a couple of extra by the bedside.
Majama's has a great organic easy bra and tank. I love their nursing products because they are so practical, plus they are made in the USA and organic.

2. Nursing Pads. If you're a first time mom, you will very likely need nursing pads because when the newborn nurses on one breast the other will start to leak. I tried several different types of pads including organic cotton reusable ones, but in the end I used Lansinoh disposables, especially during the period when I had thrush and sore bleeding nipples. Reusable ones are great too. You choose what is right for you.

3. Milkies Milk-Saver Breast Milk Collector. Okay, so you might not think this is a must-have, but if you're leaking milk every time you nurse think of all the milk you could be collecting without even having to pump! I didn't leak as much as most women did and I collected in one day during daytime feedings enough for one feeding. By doing so I built my milk supply in the freezer pretty quickly so when I had to go back to work I didn't have to worry about my girl's food supply. Why not save those drops?

Happy Breastfeeding!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

My Top 3 Nipple therapies

This is for you new mommies out there in honor of Breastfeeding Awareness Month. By now, you've discovered how painful breastfeeding can be. If your nipples are sore, bleeding, cracked, and tender, here's the top 3 remedies that helped me.

1. Breast Milk. It's true. Breast milk is loaded with all sorts of antibodies and healing properties. My nipples used to get really sore after a full day of pumping at work, but I started to express a few drops, rub them on the sore parts, and then let them air dry. Within a day they healed and looked as good as new. If you're dealing with an yeast infection or thrush, then you might not want to use breast milk until the yeast has cleared (speaking from experience.)

2. Gel pads. The lactation specialist brought me two sets when I was in the hospital. I used those puppies around the clock for weeks! Tip: put them (in a plastic baggie or container so they don't dry out) in the fridge to cool them off and when you put them on, you'll feel like you're nips are getting a spa treatment.

3. All Purpose Nipple Cream. This is a prescription so ask your provider if your nipples just don't seem to heal and are cracking or bleeding. APNC is a compound that includes anti-yeast and an analgesic to help with the pain. If your dealing with thrush on top of sore nipples, this is the miracle magic solution. Make sure you slather it on generously.

It does get better. I promise. My nipples didn't feel "normal" until after eight or so weeks, so give it time. You're doing great, mama. Happy Breastfeeding!

Monday, August 5, 2013

"Morning" sickness kicking your butt?

It seems like a lifetime ago when I found out I was pregnant, but I do remember thinking after a week, “Meh, this isn’t too bad.” Jinx! The following day I woke up feeling like all the contents & organs inside my abdomen decided to pose a revolution against me. Never once did I puke, but the never ending nausea made me wish sometimes that I did. Oh, and the whole “morning” sickness is BS, because I had it 24/7. 

After scouring dozens of blogs, websites, and forums dedicated to all things pregnancy related, I learned a few things that helped me endure the first trimester. Here are my top three:

Exercise: You’re probably thinking what the heck am I drinking, right? No, seriously, exercise helps. Part of the nausea comes from being so tired as your body adjusts to the new hormones and starting building a new human. Exercise helps boost your energy level. In my case, I worked 4/10 hour days/week. I needed all the energy I could get and then some. My exercise of choice was swimming. It was gentle enough, but still a great workout. I learned that 20 minutes in the pool every morning before work, helped me get through the day and reduced my nausea.Going for 15-20 minute walk worked too.

Ginger: My two favorite ginger tricks are the gum and fresh ginger slices in my water bottle. The gum I kept in my purse for emergencies. The fresh slices I would put in my bottle in the morning and drink it all day long and then put new slices in the water bottle by my bed at night. The volatile oils inside the fresh ginger helps with nausea. 

Motion Sickness Bands: I bought a pair right before our 7 year anniversary vacation to Victoria, BC. The capital of British Columbia is located on an island, in case you didn’t know. Plane or boat are the only two ways to get to the island. We usually take the ferry over. You can imagine the dread I was feeling about going on this vacation 8 weeks into my pregnancy. Despite my anxiety, I still wanted to go. This would be our last real vacation before the baby. Plus Victoria happens to be one of my favorite cities in the world. 
We took the train up to Seattle and then caught the ferry from there. Between train and boat, I knew I needed something. Ginger gum and the motion sickness bands were my best friends on that trip. Not once did I experience any unbearable discomfort while we traveled there and back, besides itchy wrists (the bands are pretty tight). I wouldn’t recommend continuous wear, but if you’ve got a trip coming up or need to drive somewhere but aren’t feeling so hot, they do help. 

All of the aforementioned tips never took away my nausea 100%, but the reduced it significantly enough so I could function throughout the day. Something is better than nothing in my option.

Comments welcome. Don't forget August is breastfeeding awareness month. :)