Friday, November 26, 2010

Nursing and Travel

Hey all! Back from vacation! It was a lot of fun and I enjoyed the warm weather in San Antonio, TX this last week. I am home and adjusting to a 70 degree change in weather.
This trip made me realize just how much I wish I was able to exclusively breastfeed. While I didn't have to worry about taking prepared formula through security as I knew I would be able to just nurse during the flight, I had to travel with bottles, formula, and my pump. It took up a lot of extra space.
I wish, that as we had planned each days activity, I would not have had to plan on if I would need formula with me. If only my biggest concern was making sure my clothing was nursing accessible and that I had a cover in the bag.....
But, I am grateful that I was able to often not even use the formula and bottle with water in it that I brought along. I am thankful that I had a wonderful friend, who nursed 5 children, who was a support and would take Lil Man so I could go pump.
I am grateful that, for the most part, I am able to take this perfect food with me and feed my son so easily on the go. That during the flights, when he got a little anxious, I was able to calm him without having to prepare a bottle.
I hope that the next time I travel with an infant I will not need the bottles and formula I had to take this time. But I am so grateful that I was able to pack minimal amount of these items this time. I am grateful to be home and hopefully settle back into more of a routine.
Here is a picture my friend captured of me nursing Lil Man in La Valitta. I love how under the cover I can tell that his hand is straight up in the air (this is his new thing).



Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Job Support MATTERS

I wrote in my story that I worked for a very popular baby store. Day in and Day out we were constantly reminded that breastfeeding mothers were customers in our store and could breastfeed WHEREVER they wanted. If we were to tell a BFing mother anything negative or ask them to stop we would get written up. Plenty of my coworkers complained of course none of them were parents or they didn't BF their children, but I was excited. I thought that finally with "B" I would be able to BF until she weaned herself. I never thought that the same place, where we needed to embrace and thank Bfing mothers for coming in, would give me little to no support what so ever for my own breast fed child. I mean come on it was a BABY store. Every time I would ask for my 15 minute break to go pump I would get the same roll of the eyes and be told to do it as fast as I could. Even clocking out for my own lunch to eat and pump I would get that roll of the eyes. It was so discouraging. It made me stress more and made me worry that I would get let go for me taking my 15 minute break and my 30 minute lunch to pump. I needed that support there. I needed someone to encourage me. I did on occasion get to work with one person that was always supportive of me and my BFing. Every time she was there I would get tons more breast milk out than I would with anybody else because I didn't feel rushed and I didn't feel like i was bothering anybody. Why is it in our place of work, where we spend 8 to 9 hours a day do we get the funny looks and the surprised glances when we tell them we want to pump? Given the high amount of mothers in the work force, there is a strong need to establish BFing support in all workplaces. Even though women are given the right to pump under the new health plan (if their place of employment has 50 employees or more), and are to be given a place, other than a bathroom to do so, the attitude of how their pumping breaks are addressed can make a huge difference. Mothers who continue breastfeeding after returning to work need the support of their coworkers, supervisors, and others in the workplace.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Wiski...Part I, Exclusive Pumper Extraordinaire

Before I became pregnant with the kidlet I never thought twice about breastfeeding. It wasn’t something I was exposed to and it wasn’t on my radar. Early in my pregnancy somebody asked me if I planned on breastfeeding and I was ambivalent. I think I shrugged my shoulders and responded honestly. It was something I hadn’t thought about. The hospital I was delivering at offered a three hour breastfeeding class and I figured it would be a good idea to take. I left that class feeling inspired. During that class I was introduced to a whole new world. The simplest statement made the most sense to me, “Human babies were made to drink human milk.” Well, duh! So simple…and yet I never thought about feeding my child in those terms.
I will never forget nursing the kidlet for the first time. In her birth story I described it as simply magical. Here was this beautiful being that my husband and I had created. I nurtured her inside of me for months and all of a sudden she was a part of this big overwhelming world. She latched on like a pro and it was as if she already knew me, already knew what to do. Unfortunately the kidlet was admitted into the NICU when she was about 8 hours old and I was unable to nurse her for the next 36 hours.
When the doctors finally determined she was strong enough to nurse I was delighted. I craved feeling that “magic” feeling again. She didn’t miss a beat and latched on. She spent 10 long days in the NICU. From the very beginning I began pumping every 2/3 hours. I made it to about 5 or 6 feedings a day. I recall sitting in the rocking chair and nursing her. She’d look into my eyes and we’d rock. I’d tune out the beeps and buzzes of the machines all around me and the fear I held inside would melt away some. Instead of waking up to late night feedings I woke up to the buzz of my cell phone beeping me reminding me it was time to pump…and when I sat there with tears streaming down my face from missing my baby, I focused on the pump and I knew I was doing the best thing I could do for my baby. The next morning I would show up at the hospital with small bottles of milk carefully packaged and labeled and the NICU nurses would smile and tell me I was doing a good job.
In some ways I was lucky that the kidlet would easily switch between the breast and bottle. We would begin each feeding with her at the breast and towards the end she’d poop out and I’d supplement with a bottle of expressed breast milk. As a NICU baby I was reminded time and time again not to “wear her out”. Compared to bottle feeding, breastfeeding takes work and often times weak babies will quickly become tired. In order to keep up with the demands of supplementing with breast milk I had to continue the strenuous pumping schedule. It was a cycle of necessity. Nurse, pump, repeat...repeat.
In the beginning the kidlet would nurse at the breast about 50% of the time. Hindsight is typically 20/20 and looking back I should’ve fought more. I should’ve encouraged her more, but I didn’t. I didn’t have the tools I needed, and simply put, I didn’t know any better. When she was about 3 and a half months old (after I had returned to work) she stopped nursing at the breast and rather than fight, I gave up.
Breast milk was still extremely important and I began the journey as an exclusive pumper. I was able to exclusively provide breast milk for the kidlet until she was just under a year. To be honest, exclusively pumping was the single most difficult thing I’ve ever done.
In the beginning I pumped 8 to 10 times a day for 15 to 20 minutes. My pump traveled with me everywhere. I pumped in conference rooms in hotels without locks on the door, a resort in Mexico, my car, storage rooms and even theme parks. There wasn’t a place I went to during that year that my pump did not go with me. There were moments when it felt like a ball and chain and there were moments when it was the tool that gave me the mommy confidence I needed to get through the day. Keeping a pumping schedule like that is insanity…but breastmilk was and is extremely important to me.
Part of being a mom is learning as you go. I get that, only I sincerely wish new moms had the resources so desperately needed when it comes to breastfeeding. The benefits the mother and child are immeasurable. I didn’t know how to foster a successful breastfeeding relationship so I did the next best thing and while I’m proud of the next best thing, moms shouldn’t have to have the tumultuous relationship with their breast pump that I did.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Motion Sickness

So, Here I am, ready to go to the airport for our vacation. Lil Man is napping and Hubby is playing a video game while we wait for it to be time to go. I thought I would hop on here and do a little post.
I get motion sickness when I fly. So, this caused a call to the LC (since my OB was out of town) this last week to ask about Dramamine, or like OTC drugs. My motion sickness is extreme enough that I had decided if I was told I couldn't take it, my son would get EBM or formula and I would pump and dump when I reached our location.
Luckily, for me, the LC said since my son is a little older, Dramamine is fine. She did warn that sometimes it can cause a decrease in milk supply. Because of this, she asked me to up my fenugreek while on vacation to 4 pills 3 times a day!!! I will most definitely be smelling like a waffle house!
So, Today, I went to the local health supplement store and purchased a big ol' bottle of fenugreek. I also packed in some shatavari, my pump, and of course, bottles (and formula since I combo feed). Luckily, we are staying with friends, so a dishwasher will be easily available. I have washed bottles and pumps in a hotel room before, and it was not fun so I am grateful that a kitchen with running water will be available to me.
It is times like these that I wish I had no supply issues. That I didn't need to worry about my supply from a does of Dramamine for a plane ride. I envy the mother who would not be packing bottles or a pump in her suitcase, because her breasts would be all that are needed. However, the extras I must take are worth it. It is so much easier then needing enough formula for all feedings, or more bottles then I am needing now.

I am excited for the guest bloggers who will be posting next week! Please enjoy, and if I am not on before then, have a great Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Going on vacation

I am heading on vacation in a few days. This has caused the recent slow down in posts. Also, if you have commented that you would like to guest blog and not been sent the information- this is why. While I am on vacation, I may pop in with a small post here and there. I also have at least one guest blogger lined up...hopefully a few more.
I am excited to go on vacation but a little nervous about the plane ride. Lil Man is quite stubborn about if he will or will not nurse so I hope that he will be willing during take off and landing. Also, that he won't throw a fit wanting to look around rather then nurse. I am sure everything will go smooth, but I have some anxiety issues and they are just showing up here.
I hope everyone is enjoying cooler weather and that you will all keep checking in. This is a stressful time of year, but try and relax....we don't want that stress stopping the flow of milk.

Friday, November 12, 2010

What A Pain!!!!

I never would have thought this would happen to me. As someone with low supply, I never imagined it. Yet, as I lay on the couch the other night, shivering, cold sweats, and a fever- wondering if I was going to vomit....I thought to myself "Could it really be?". I had just nursed Lil Man and had found myself in tears.
The next day, I already had a meeting set up with the LC at the local hospital for something we are working on together. When I went in, still feeling ill, I asked her what she thought. She agreed....indeed, even with my low supply, it looked like I was dealing with the beginning stages of mastitis. I still am not sure it was really I am calling it a clogged duct.
I never thought I would be dealing with that. After all, I have a low supply! It seems that even with less then ample milk jugs- the fact that my son has not been very interested in nursing, plus my taking herbs to increase my supply, and finally a breast that does not respond to a pump well- I indeed was suffering from this awful, painful issue.
So, I have spent much time heating, nursing, hand expressing, and more.
I send this warning out- if you start to feel a clogged duct- take care of it as quickly as possible because Mastitis is not just a pain in the boob but a pain in the......


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sesame Street - Buffy Nurses Cody

I thought this was interesting. If we make breastfeeding a normal thing, even around children, it will teach our little ones what the breast is for and taht breastfeeding is natural and a beautiful thing.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Toni's Story

3 short months after getting married my Husband and I were surprised with a positive pregnancy test and in July of 2005 we were blessed with our first little girl. Being raised in a Latin family and married to a Latin man it was just automatically assumed I would breastfeed and I knew I would. There was no doubt about it. I didn't take any of the classes or read any books, I just pretty much thought everything was supposed to come NATURALLY. I had no idea that it would be soo hard, hurt, and that making milk was NOT EASY.
When "A" was born she had the cord wrapped around her neck which caused some breathing issues. She was rushed to the NICU and I didn't see her again until 4 1/2 hours later. During those hours they gave her a pacifier. When she was finally brought to me she was STARVING and all I was told was "she's pretty hungry" and the nurse left. I looked at my husband and all he said was "well feed her." 45 minutes later, after tears, blood and bright red nipples the same nurse came in and asked how we were doing. I lied told her fine and let her take "A" to the nursery for some tests. 30 minutes later she came back and asked if they could give the baby a bottle because she was acting hungry again, feeling like I had failed I told the nurse yes because I didn't want my child starving. "A" was pretty smart and picked up fairly quickly that the bottle was way easier than the breast. So for 5 months I fought with her to breast feed, 5 months of tears and always coming to the end result of her getting a bottle. I finally gave up and "A" was FF until she turned one. I felt like a failure as a mother and I swore that with my next child I would breast feed no matter what.
After 15 months of trying for our second we were finally blessed in May of 2009 with our second little girl. Through my whole pregnancy I stressed about being able to BF and when "B" was born it came super easy. She latched on right away no issues whatsoever. I loved it. She was a good eater and definitely loved BFing. Unfortunately with "B" I had to go back to work. I stressed about that, I hated thinking she was going to have to get a bottle. She had gone 2 whole months without it. "B" transitioned fine back and forth from bottle to breast. I bought the highest recommended pump and off I went back to work. Working for a popular baby retail store I thought I would easily be able to pump. Unfortunately my job wasn't that good about giving me my breaks to pump and I started to stress. My supply was going down and "B" had gotten her first formula bottle at 5 months. I felt like I was failing. I thought I have to get her to at least 6 months. I was so stressed at work that it caused me to have to start combo feeding. During that same time I got extremely sick. My supply went down to "B" getting maybe 4 oz a day from me and the rest was formula. I called my LC and asked her what I could do and she told me to get on fenugreek. It helped me get my supply back up a bit but not enough to not combo feed. At 8 months "B" got some teeth in and started biting me. Not being at home and not knowing how to get her to stop biting I stopped BFing and exclusively pumped. Unfortunately for me I didn't succeed because of my job not supporting me. It got in the way of me properly feeding my child and at 8 almost 9 months "B" got the last of my mommy milk and was FF until she turned one.
Looking back now I know that I did the best I could for both of my girls. They are both happy and healthy. If I had received the support and the proper knowledge I have and know now, I believe "B" would have been BF'd until she weaned herself off. I know with my next child I will BF and I will do it until the baby decides she/he is done. Until then I'll enjoy being mommy to two beautiful girls.



Will I Get Less Sleep If I Breastfeed

I thought I would. I would not be able to simply have my husband take over a night time feeding session. I knew that as newborns, babies would often eat every 2-3 hours around the clock for 2-3 months. I had heard that formula fed babies often slept through the night sooner. It was a sacrifice I was willing to make. Well, A study published today says there is actually no difference between the rest and sleep that mothers of breastfeeding, formula feeding, or combo feeding moms get. Sleep Study is the link to check it out.

Voting is Over

Voting is over for the topics you want to read about. I hope we will eventually talk about all of these topics. I am working on getting a lot of peoples input on the How Old Is Too Old post. Until then, enjoy other posts that will be coming your way. We are about to have our first Co-Author. Toni! Toni is an amazing mom. She worked quite a while at a popular baby store and has two beautiful little girls. She comes from a Hispanic family/background and is just AMAZING! She will be posting soon.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

What Are Your Thoughts?

I wasn't going to share my religion on here...but I have decided to because it would partain to this post.
I am LDS (aka Mormon). Breastfeeding is pretty much the normal route a mom takes in my religion
I was reading a thread on a parenting site that has a group for LDS families. It talked about where you nurse in church. Many of our churches have Mothers Lounges or a Comfy chair tucked away for moms to nurse.
However, in my previous ward (time and place we meet), my best friend always nursed her children in the pews, during Sunday School, and in the Womens Class (Relief Society- RS) just using a cover. I moved to a new location and we have several babies in this ward. Yet, I have never seen any of the mothers nurse in the pews. As a nervous, first time mom, just nursing her first child, I was weary to be the one who is different and nurse my child in the pew. I felt I HAD to go to the Mothers Lounge. 
I can understand the main meeting, maybe....what I don't understand, is why women feel they must leave Relief Society to nurse their child in the Mothers Lounge. It is a class with only women in it. Especially if you are going to use a cover. My son has not needed to nurse during this time frame so I have not ever thought about it, until I was reading this thread on the parenting site.
I was just curious other people's thoughts on NIP in church.

I Smell Like IHOP

As I posted earlier, Lil Man was going through a phase where he was not too interested in nursing (or even taking a bottle really). Even though he woke more at night to nurse, I could feel my supply was dipping. Then, both Lil Man and I got the nasty cold I mentioned. YUCK! As many nursing moms know- sickness can also cause a dip in supply. Lucky me to have both these things happen at once!
I had a day or two where I just thought- please, just let me make it to 6 months! If I can at least nurse him some until 6 months I will be happy.
Well, then I realized, 6 months is only a few weeks away and I am no where near ready to stop this nursing journey. I was renewed. I started pumping like crazy. The fact that my son is older, and can now play by himself sitting up, in an exersaucer, etc, has made pumping a lot easier then it used to be. I feel so much better now. I even decided, if he won't keep nursing, I will pump to give him what I can for as long as I can.
I am going to start back up on my 2 favorite herbs that support lactation. Fenugreek and Shatavari. I love Shatavari as it also has helped my let down become quicker. Fenugreek works faster though, so I start them together and then wean off the fenugreek.
The only down side to these herbs- they make me smell. Fenugreek- I start to smell like Maple Syrup. Yep, maple syrup. I start taking it and the next morning, I usually wake up and think "Are the people in the apartment above us making pancakes or waffles?" I start craving IHOP. Then I realize...that smell is me.
The first time this happened, I thought it was funny. My sisters, who are single and do not have children yet, got a huge kick out of me sticking my arm under there nose and having them take a big whiff. They agreed- maple syrup....YUM!
So, as I start back up on Fenugreek...I expect that come Saturday morning, I will be asking my husband to please take me to IHOP for breakfast. That is ok...IHOP for breakfast is a small sacrifice to make in order to keep nursing my son.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


I apologize for a slow week. Both Lil Man and I have had nasty colds, I have been busy with my side business (photography), and we had Halloween. Plus, Lil Man has his half birthday in November, Thanksgiving is coming, Hubby and I both have our birthdays in November, and we are taking a long awaited vacation to Texas to visit some close friends!
I promise- I am working on some stuff for here, I just have not been able to sit down and post.
Please keep following- and keep voting on what you want discussed.
ALSO- I apologize. It was thought that anybody, google/blogger account or not, could comment. Come to find out, it was not set up that way. I have fixed that issues- so please comment. Comments are moderated however, and will not appear automatically after you leave them.