Breastfeeding Wednesday – Playtex Breast Pump Review

Playtex Electric Double Breast Pump

This is my second favorite breast pump.  I have tried many types and brands.  I like the cushions on the cups.  They helped the cups feel more comfortable while pumping.  Because they were soft my breasts didn’t get sore. I spent many hours a day hooked up to the pump so comfort was one of my top priorities.

I liked that when I was pumping I was pumping into the bottle liner. I would then transfer the milk to a storage container but the liners took out one part in need of sterilization. For moms who will be pumping for their significant other, or someone else, to feed the baby it is perfect. You can assemble the bottle after pumping and store appropriately.

The ability to control the suction was wonderful. I was able to adjust it to the flow of my milk. No two pumping sessions were the same. There is also the ability to pump one breast at a time which worked nicely if my son would nurse on only one side or if I felt fuller on one side.

Breastfeeding Wednesday – Sore Nipples

Sore Nipples…  WOW  I remember those.  When I started nursing my nipples would be sore.  Mainly because I never breast-fed before and the little guy was new to eating.  I thought once he got a good latch the soreness would go away and sometimes it seemed like it did.  Here are some things I did to help relieve the pain and what types of pain I was having.

Chapped Nipples – It seemed like the little guy lived on my boobs for the first 4 months of his life.  When my nipples would get chapped I used nipple butter at first, mainly because it was a baby shower gift.  But after joining a mommy support group one of the moms said how she used coconut oil.  I thought that sounded weird but what the heck I needed relief.  I went to the store and bought a jar of organic extra virgin coconut oil.  It worked fabulously, my nipples were softening up and I wasn’t worried about harmful chemicals on my skin or my little guy ingesting it.

Sore from Breastfeeding – Cool compresses worked wonders.  If the hospital I was given 2 circular gel filled pads I could use to help elevate the soreness.  When those wore out I went to the dollar store and bought 4 round kiddie ice packs.  I put them in the fridge to make them cold because I didn’t want them to be frozen.  On the plus side, I now have 4 ice packs for the kiddo when he falls and gets a bump.

Diet Changes – A friend suggested adding more citrus and vitamin C into my diet.  So I ate more Kale, Broccoli (that made my little one have gas), oranges, lemons, pineapple and limes.  Not sure if it helped or just helped to keep me healthy.

Questions submitted here go directly to my email

Breastfeeding Wednesday – A Question from a Dad

Today’s letter comes from Ron.  It is nice to see a dad writing in.

Dear Dawn,
My wife is breastfeeding our first born and I feel left out.  Not just from the baby’s life but from my wife’s life as well.  Is there anything I can do to be more involved or feel more involved?
TVM,
Ron

Dear Ron,

Thank you for your question.  There are a few ways to feel more involved.  I would nurse everywhere in the house.  Sometimes my fiancee would be sitting next to me and we would hang out.  When my milk supply started to drop he helped by helping me relax.  He helped massage my breasts gently.  It wasn’t a sexual thing but it helped him still have contact and helped my milk let down.  I would also pump a lot of milk and he would give our son bottles from time to time.  There were times I would be nursing in bed and he would gently massage our sons head.  It was tender and sweet.  I am amazed at how much just those little things meant to me.  One of the nicest things he would do was get our son if he was crying and bring him to me.  It was something small but sometimes those little actions mean more than flowers or gifts.

As for the sexual aspect.  I always laughed and said I didn’t understand why parents have less sex.  Why should having a baby hinder sex.  WOW, was I in for a shock.  LOL  It is amazing how priorities shift and being intimate shifts to cuddle time and relaxing together.  We are both so tired at the end of the night during the week that we pass out  before our sex drives kick in.  I will give you some hope, intimate time gets much easier  once the baby sleeps through the night.

Breastfeeding Wednesday – Nursing while Sick

With flu season in full swing this question was asked via email

Dear Dawn,
I have recently started to feel sick and I exclusively breastfeed.  I have pumped milk but my 9 month old has never had anything other than my boob.  I have heard that I should stop breastfeeding but that doesn’t make sense to me.  What did you do and do you have any suggestions?
Thanks,
Mikella

Dear Mikella,

I nursed non-stop.  If you are feeling sick due to a common cold or sinus irritation I would continue to nurse.  I nursed even when I was sick.  When you breastfeed while you are sick you are passing your antibodies to your baby.  It is like giving your baby additional resistance to being sick.  If you are sick for a prolonged period and you need to see a doctor for your sickness I would make sure to ask them what they think you should do.  In some cases the Doctor will put you on medication that could pass to the baby through your milk.  In that event you want to make sure you pump as much as your baby would eat.

Check with your doctor to see what medications you can take while nursing but my one warning…  Don’t take Sudafed or anything that will “dry” up your sinuses.  If it will dry up your sinuses it could have a direct impact on the amount of milk you will produce.  Steam showers, vick’s vapor rub, Johnson & Johnson vapor baby bath wash, and hot tea were my go to items.  I hope you feel better soon and you and your little one stay healthy.

Sincerely,
Dawn

Breastfeeding Wednesday on Thursday – Breastfeeding is beautiful and natural capture it on film

You have to love a house of sick people.  A sick toddler on the other hand is like living with the spawn of something demonic.

Last week I posted my favorite breastfeeding photo in hopes to spark mothers who are breastfeeding to take a photo or have someone take a photo of you breastfeeding.  Not a posed one, but one that is completely natural.  I only have 2 photos of me breastfeeding because for the first 4 months of my son’s life I was hooked up to a small vacuum machine that had me wrapping tubes everywhere to keep them out of the way.  I happened to have my cell phone next to me one day when I was nursing him and the cat was up purring away so I snapped a quick couple of pictures.

Feel free to share your images below.  Coming up Next Week:  Sore Nipples …

Please note when filling out the contact form it is kept private and goes directly to my email.

Breastfeeding Wednesday – Working Mama

Cross-post from MoMWoW.org

I was contacted by Shoele of the Working Mama Project.  She has read my personal blog about breastfeeding and has shared with me her wonderful project.

I see that you write a lot about breastfeeding and think that this project might be an interesting topic for you. I have made photo project called Working Mama with focus on the beauty and nature of breastfeeding. I hope that you would like to support my project.http://igg.me/at/workingmama/
Best regards,
Shoele

She is putting together a coffee table book with photos of Mother’s breastfeeding.  I admire what she is doing as to me it seems so beautiful to see a mother breastfeeding her baby.  In other countries Breastfeeding isn’t shameful like it is made to feel here in the US.  I will admit I was a mom who was proud to breastfeed in public.  For the most part I used a cover but when the little guy grew so he didn’t like them I nursed without one.  I am excited to see Shoele’s dream of having a coffee table book come true.  Check out her video and her crowd-funding page.  Even if you don’t give, it is interesting to share in her dream.  I look forward to the release of her book.

On a personal note: I often look at breastfeeding mamas with such awe and I smile at them.  When my supply started to drop seeing a mama breastfeed with ease would make me sad because I wished breastfeeding was an easy venture for me.  Oh but was it ever hard yet so rewarding and special.  Words can’t describe the love I have for breastfeeding.  I know many moms who wanted to breastfeed but couldn’t for one reason or another.  I also know moms who never had the wish to breastfeed yet they all were supportive of my decision to breastfeed as long as possible.

In support of the Working Mama Project here is my favorite picture of breastfeeding my son.  Our youngest cat liked to lay behind our son as he breastfed until he got too big, then she would lay at my feet or on my legs.  To this day she sleeps next to his crib at night and for naps.  On occasion she will sleep in our room with us.

** Please email me questions or fill out the form below and I will post a response to them. 
MoMWoWNY@gmail.com

My Favorite Breastfeeding Moment

My Favorite Breastfeeding Moment

Breastfeeding Question Wednesday – “Help My boobs are leaking!”

This is a cross post of my Blog Entry on MoMWoW.org

I was asked this in an email and would like to respond here so more people can benefit from my answer.

“I am a first time mom and I am exclusively breastfeeding.  I pump between feedings but my boobs are leaking milk.  Do you have any suggestions how to stop it or what to do? Thanks, Leah”

Dear Leah,

Thank you for asking this question.  I had a similar thing happen a couple of weeks after I had my son.  I did a couple of things to help with the leaking but it eventually cleared up in time.  I noticed my breasts would leak every time my son cried or if I was just a little over the time of a feeding.  I took a cloth diaper insert and cut it to make pads for my nipples.  This worked great.  They were super absorbent and wicked away the milk so my nipples didn’t get chapped or overly wet.  Not to mention it was much more cost-effective than using disposable nursing pads.  When I was out in public and the little guy wasn’t hungry I would excuse myself, run to the bathroom, make toilet paper pads and cross my arms like I was giving myself a hug with the heel of my hands on my nipples.  Like plugging a leak in a pool.  This helped a little but I think it was more for my peace of minds than anything.  I was lucky that this all occurred in the winter when I was able to throw on a sweater to hide my leaks.

If your issue with leaking is due to an over-supply then most likely it will continue until you are finished breastfeeding.  I didn’t have over-supply so I can’t give you a first hand review or experience but I know some mom’s who did and they bought a neat nipple shell that collected the milk they leaked.  They were able to put the collected milk in a bottle or bag and save it for a later feeding.

I hope this helps with your milk leakage and it stops for you soon.

Sincerely,
Dawn Leoni – a former EBF Mommy

 

** Please email me questions or fill out the form below and I will post a response to them.
MoMWoWNY@gmail.com

 

Baby/Toddler Firsts of 2013

I am a couple of weeks behind on our “2013 milestones” but, here we go.  I am sure I have missed some milestones, but here are some big ones I can rattle off the top of my head.

Breastfed until 16.5 months, I would have gone longer but my body failed us. (bad boobies!!)

First “real” 2 word phrase – “bay kiki” (Bad Kitty)

First set of molars – January 2013 caused a trip to the ER and resulted in a double ear infection.

First “Big Boy” food- Spinach Feta Pie

First steps – Mid-June 2013 (17.5 mo old)

Recognize all Letters and point to them – 20 months old

First Letter learned and mastered – “E” 19 months old

Recognize numbers 1 – 20 and point to them – 20 months old

Recognize animals and point to them – 16 months old

By the end of 2013 he could say some animals, shapes, colors, about 50% of the alphabet, and numbers 1-10.  He can’t do them in order yet but we are working on that.

As of January 15, 2014 when asked “How old are you going to be?” or “how old are you?” he can reply “Two” and attempts to hold up 2 fingers.

Banning Baby Bottles… Is this a smart move for Venezuela? I think……….

A heated debate and a hot topic, the importance of breastfeeding.  I am very open-minded about breastfeeding and a mother’s choice.  Some moms think it is gross or just don’t want to breast feed their baby for what ever reason they have and some mom‘s don’t have a choice about breastfeeding their babies because their bodies wont produce milk.  I have heard some people say that it is not possible but I have friends that tried everything even controversial prescription medications to get breast milk and nothing.  Not to mention my struggle to supply my baby with breast milk.  I don’t know what I would have done if I didn’t have bottles to feed my son the milk I had pumped for him.  Pumping was one way I was able to keep my supply up.  And since I had low supply I sure as heck was NOT going to dump it.

I understand a government wanting to promote breastfeeding.  Like our hospitals in MA have lactation consultants(LC) to help new moms in  the first moments and days of life by being available for hands on help.  I don’t know what I would have done with out the support and help of my LCs when my supply dipped.  Our hospitals have also gotten rid of the formula care packages they send home with new moms, or maybe they just don’t give them to Exclusively Breastfed Babies(EBB).  Breast is best because the mother’s body has nourished the baby from the time it was first conceived, it is natural for it to keep nourishing the baby for as long as the baby needs.  When I thought about breastfeeding there was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to have an exclusively breastfed baby.  I wanted to breast feed for many reasons.  Obviously it is the most complete nutrition my baby could receive and it was FREE.  But my mom breastfed me and I have always thought that breastfeeding is a natural part of being a mom.  From the moment I first put Robert to my breast he suckled it like he was a pro.  It was natural on both ends.

It is argued that the bond between a mother and a breastfed baby or a bottle fed baby is different.  I don’t think that the physically being attached to the breast makes the bond stronger between mother and child but it does make the emotional aspect of providing life for your baby a deeper emotional feeling for the mother.  I loved everything about breastfeeding, the cuddling him close, watching his little face relax as he started to enter the milk induced sleep, the peacefulness of our mommy-baby time and the feelings that go with breastfeeding that words can’t describe.  My friends who either chose to or had to bottle feed their babies are just as close with their babies as I am with Robert.  The cuddled their little ones close, watched their faces change as they got full and got to have the same mommy-baby bonding time.

So to the point of the banning the use of baby bottles…  That is just ridiculous.  All that will do is promote black market baby bottle dealing not breastfeeding.  Plus, some moms have over-supply and have to pump to help their body regulate milk production (how I wished I was a mom with over-supply).  If those mom’s don’t have bottles to put their milk where will it go?  Are they supposed to throw it away?  ARE YOU KIDDING ME???  If I ever for any reason had to discard any breast milk I felt like I was throwing away liquid gold.  Banning baby bottles will not solve their wish to promote breastfeeding.  I think the Venezuelan congress is taking this WAY TOO FAR!!

Another Lack of Lactation Hormone Adjustment Day

WOW  Today was a blast!!  And I mean that in the good and bad way.  LOL  My little guy really keeps a smile on my face when I start to feel sad.  I am sure these emotions are all post lactation hormones getting back on track.  So here is a peek into my day.

Woke up like normal.  OK super 5:30 am and the little guy is wide awake and ready to play.  I am thinking “awe, gee Robert, couldn’t you have slept just 30 more minutes?” we do our new normal morning routine which is get him from his crib, let him play for a few minutes BEFORE changing his diaper because if I don’t I get an unwanted “shower” of toddler pee.  So, I have learned my lesson after about 3 mornings of repeat.  In my defense it was also the first 3 mornings he was up at 5 o’clock in the morning.  I take the time to start the water to make Sean his morning coffee, get Robert his milk and make him some breakfast.  I let him eat while I finish making Sean’s french press coffee and his lunch for the day.  Once that is complete I go into Robert’s room, change his diaper, get him dressed for the day and play with him for a bit.  about 45 minutes later he is usually ready for his first nap.  Do you think I can nap at this point? NOT A CHANCE!!  So, I spend the time picking up the living room from the mess he made the night before because I was too tired before bed to do it.  Perfect, my turn to sit and relax.  ahhhh

As I am relaxing I was looking for a picture and came across an article about Venezuela and how they want to ban baby bottles.  I started to cry, but I will explain that in more detail in tomorrow’s post about my view on their ban proposal.  That was just the start.  Then I decided I would watch one of the movies I had put on hold, Bully the movie.  What a sad documentary, and I cry to think of what a world Robert will have to grow up in.  bullying isn’t just name calling or a fist punch it can go viral via social media and the internet.  My heart breaks for what kids have to go through these days.  I know that most kids aren’t bullied, but it now seems like a parent’s worst nightmare.  Thankfully he woke up and we took a nice long 3.5 hour long walk.  That got my blood pumping and cleared my head.

When we got home he looked up at me and gave me a huge hug and cuddled there.  I cried for a moment because my baby was not a baby anymore.  he is a little boy and cuddling because he wants to and not because he needs to.  And then I smile and my heart fills with so much joy to see how he is becoming this little person.  then in a split second as I go out the door to put something in the recycling it is baby meltdown like his world is ending.  I am talking to him the whole time I step out the door and as I come back in he toddles over to me in a semi-run (he is just learning to walk so it isn’t like a normal kid run) crashes into me and tells me “STOP!  STOP!”.  My heart broke for him.  He didn’t understand that I was still there and I was coming back in.  poor thing.  This of course made me feel horrible like he spends too much time with me but I keep reminding my self that if he didn’t act that way then maybe I should worry that I wasn’t paying him enough attention.

So today was a day filled with lots of tears for no real reason other than being a little over sensitive.  I sure hope he sleeps in a little longer tomorrow…  But I am not holding my breath.  HAHA….