Tips for successful breastfeeding

Let me just start by saying I’ve been on both spectrum’s of the breastfeeding journey.  With my first little princess I was only able to produce until 4 months.  This devastated me, I felt like a failure.  My mother breastfed me until I was 3 years old (yes you’re reading that right, 3 years old!!).  I thought with my medical background and knowledge this would be a breeze.  I was wrong, actually I’ll say I was naive.  With my second little princess I’m still feeding her breast milk exclusively at 9 months (actually 10 months in 4 days).  We actually had to buy a chest freezer to store all my excess milk and it is currently July and we are still working on bags from January and February to help with her growing appetite. 🙂

So let’s explore some helpful tips I’ve gathered along the road.  Some are from professionals (physicians or lactation specialists I have contact with at my hospital), some from friends, and some from experience or research. 

•Skin to skin contact immediately after birth

•Immediate feeding after birth – if possible try to feed your little one within an hour after birth to get that extremely nutritious colostrum flowing.
World Health Organization Early Breastfeeding

•Frequent feeding/pumping –  In the beginning this may be every 2 hours.  The first night after my second princess was born she fed continuously from midnight to 4 am. 😟 Then all up until she was 6 months old I pumped or fed every 3 hours, even while at work.  This helps keep your supply and demand ratio going strong.

•Oatmeal – Eat plenty of this!! If your supply is low you can eat it for every meal.  

•Water – you need to drink at least 2 liters a day.  Makes sense, you need to replenish the hydration you’re losing in your breast milk.

•Garlic – you don’t need a lot of this.  If the thought of garlic makes you nauseous try a garlic pill.  I hear you can’t taste anything.

•Almonds – these worked really well for me.  I indulged on Emerald chocolate dusted almonds every evening.

•Mothers Milk More Milk Plus – this is a supplement I tried that really worked.  In fact I believe I got my highest quantity pumping after taking this.   I tried pure fenugreek with my first baby and it really didn’t do anything for me.

•Placenta encapsulation – now this is entirely based on your comfort level.  There isnt any research to support this but supposedly it helps with breast milk supply and PPD both of which I had problems with in my first pregnancy so I gave it a try.  Once you deliver your placenta it needs put on ice and stored in a refrigerator until the person who encapusaltes it for you picks it up to dehydrate and grind it up for you.  It worked for me.

•Beer – OK so I know you’re thinking I’m crazy for this one.  But even my friends in Mother Infant told me about this.  The yeast helps your milk supply increase.  Disclaimer – do not feed your infant after drinking the beer.  Instead pump and dump.  You can purchase alcohol detecting strips at babies r us or online and it will tell you when your milk is safe for your little one. 

•Invest in a good pump – My husband has excellent insurance and we actually got our second pump for free (it was a $200 pump!) through them.  However, it didn’t compare to the hospital grade pump I used while at work.  It was a medela professional symphony. 👌

I’m sure there are many more out there, and I would love to hear about them to try with our next little one.  Let me know if you’ve tried any and what has worked or not worked for you.  Happy World Breastfeeding Week!!

Why you should pamper yourself (without spoiling your budget)

I think every mom is guilty of putting herself on the back burner at some point.  Once the realization of how expensive a child is (let alone once you have more than one or multiples!!) you start trying to rationalize what is an essential and what can go.  We all do it, try and cut a corner one place to use the money or time on something else.  However, what if I told you how just pampering yourself every once in a while can result in an increase in concentration, energy and mood?  Now, I have by no means conducted an official study, nor should I be cited for any of this.  I have however experienced all of this firsthand, so we’ll just say it comes from experience!

With our first daughter I tried the box of color that turned out to be a nightmare for my hair.  I am naturally a dark blonde.  Somehow even with the light blonde coloring, my hair came out some odd orange tint.  Not a good look for me.  Then I tried the do it yourself at home highlighting kit.  After all, I had my hair highlighted for years, it didn’t look too difficult.  Do not be fooled.  Have you tried pulling long hair through a small hole of a plastic cap, especially in the back?  Again, disaster!  I finally broke down and started going to a stylist again, but I just stretched my appointments out maybe 12 weeks instead of the normal 6-8 they say.  Let me list some of the advatages I realized when I went to the salon:
•mental clarity
•mood booster
•a scalp massage (👈 these are to die for!)
•increase in energy
I want to be very clear, I love both of my girls immensely!! However, many SAHM I have questioned will tell you the same, take time for yourself!  Your brain needs a break and some adult interaction.  Who doesn’t love some good girl time at the salon?  When you can totally relax, not constantly chase a baby around or do house work it’s almost like hitting a reset button for your body. 

Today we are preparing for our family vacation so I had my hair and nails done.  Initially when I walked into the nail salon I thought, I can save this money and paint my own toenails.  Really it would take 15 minutes and I have a ton of nail polishes to choose from at home.  I almost walked back out.  Then I thought to myself, I need this.  So I stayed.  I got another 30 minutes of a mental break, a massage chair, and a bonus foot massage!!  Even when it came time to pay, I didn’t feel guilty anymore, and I was ready to be home with my family. 

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Some of my favorite ways to save a buck while still getting pampered:

Groupon or Livingsocial– if you live in or near a big city this is a great way to obtain a great deal!  You can install the Groupon app and get notifications when they are having a sale and they frequently send suggestions for new deals based on your previous buying history.  I’ve noticed both sites have been running quite a few 20% or 30% off local deals.  This is a great time to buy! 

•The nail salon I go to has a rewards card.  After 5 stamps you get a free service.

•Keep a lookout during the holiday season.  I’ve seen a few of the salons offer gift certificates for a fraction of the price!

•Insurance.  Yes, your reading that correctly. I learned last year my husband’s health insurance covers a chiropractor and massage.  I was going to the chiropractor once a week and getting adjusted and a 30 minute massage for only the amount I tipped!  If you know me you know I love a massage!

Hopefully that information helps everyone get all the pampering they deserve!  We all work extremely hard as mom’s, wives and if you work outside of the home as an employee too.  Trust me if you don’t find some time to unwind and do whatever it is that helps you relax you will go stir crazy and every little thing will make you snap.  Do yourself and your family a favor and go get pampered! 😘

How do you guys get some relaxation time?  Any money saving tips? Please share!