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!!

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Natural bug repellent

It’s hard to believe Independence Day is only 2 days away!  If your kids are like my daughter being outside is a necessity, whether it’s day or night.  In fact her current obsession is catching lightening bugs in her mason jar her Daddy made to house them for the night.  We let them go once she falls asleep, incase you’re wondering.  However, this June in central Ohio has been quite a soggy month!  Meteorologists say there were 19 straight days of rain! Can we say hello homemade backyard ponds??  Hence the increase in mosquito’s.

I’ve always known my daughter is incredibly sweet, the mosquito’s just corroborate my long held belief.  I swear the kid can be outside for 5 minutes and come in with a bug bite.  In my search for all natural products as opposed to traditional DEET I came across an article about beautyberry.  Beautyberry usage dates back to the early 20th century.  Researched by USDA-ARS chemist Charles Cantrell, it was found the compound callicarpenal is as effective as synthetic DEET known as SS220.   You can plant the beautyberry bush for your own use, however it is best grown in zone 6.  For a map of the different zones visit
http:// planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/#

If you don’t have the time or you’re like me and do NOT have a green thumb at all, some other natural options for insect repellent include:
•rosemary oil
•soybean oil
•castor oil
•eucalyptus oil (especially lemon eucalyptus oil)
•soy, coconut and geranium oil combination

Of course, natural based products don’t work as long so it is recommended to reapply every couple of hours.

Information obtained from Mother Nature Wins Again by Kim Vasdani.

Has anyone tried any of the essential oils?  Know of anything else that works?  Please leave a comment!