Category Archives: breastfeeding

I’m hanging up my nursing bras… forever.

Photo May 14, 4 50 40 PM

It’s been about 48 hours since Abel last nursed. I think this might be the end of our breastfeeding journey. Like most milestones it’s bittersweet, I love the bonding time but I’m also happy to not be needed so frequently. At 17 months old he just decided he wasn’t interested.

We were only nursing before naps and bed and occasionally in the morning after he woke up. But yesterday he just decided he was done. He gets really angry if I try to nurse him and he bites me so I’m not really pushing it too hard. All of my boys stopped around 16 months or earlier so I shouldn’t be surprised. I think my body isn’t making much milk anymore and it’s just frustrating for him at this point.

I’m sad that it just ended out of the blue. I didn’t get to savor the last time although I’ve known it was coming for a couple months now.

I know not everyone has the ability to breastfeed or chooses not to breastfeed but I’m so glad I was able to breastfeed all of my boys. It wasn’t always easy and there were many times I wanted to quit but I had great support and I’m so thankful I was able to make it so far with all of my boys. There are so many special moments that only a mom and her baby share and breastfeeding is probably my favorite. I’ll miss the late night snuggles in the dark, listening to his slow and steady breathing. I’ll miss the moments we would sneak away from the chaos to find a quiet place to rest and eat. I’ll miss the sweaty ear print that’s left on my arm after a long nursing session. I’ll miss the sweet little hands pulling on my shirt, grabbing at my lips and playing with my hair. But most of all I’ll miss the “baby”. My baby is not a baby anymore.

Photo May 09, 6 15 51 PM

Photo May 08, 5 59 35 PM

The 1 Piece of Apparel Nursing Moms Need

I’m currently breastfeeding baby #4. I have tried so many different products for breastfeeding moms but I haven’t even scratched the surface of what is out there. There are so many wonderful products for nursing mamas but one item stands out for me. The Undercover Mama nursing shirt.

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I have 5 Undercover Mama nursing shirts and I LOVE them. I can wear my regular nursing bra with a regular shirt but still feel comfortable while nursing my baby. The Undercover Mama simply attaches to your bra so it makes any nursing bra a nursing tank. This is great news for mamas who need more support than a built-in shelf nursing bra can offer.

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The Undercover Mama keeps your mid section covered as you lift up your shirt to nurse. I know a lot of moms are self conscious of their post-baby belly and this is a great way to remain covered but also feed your baby when needed. It’s also great to have on when it’s cold. Just today I nursed my baby while my boys played at the park. It was a little chilly and I was very happy to have on my Undercover Mama so I didn’t have a drafty midsection.

How it works:

Buy
You can purchase an Undercover Mama nursing shirt on Amazon, prices start at $24.94

basic undercover mama

Giveaway
One lucky reader will win an Undercover Mama Basic Essentials shirt. Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter. Giveaway Ends 12/20/15

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends on December 20, 2015. The winner will be chosen using random.org and announced on this post. Entrants must be 18 or older. Winner to be chosen at random. Winner will be notified by email and has 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. See giveaway rules for more information.

I was provided a featured product free of charge but all opinions are 100% mine.

How I style my Chewbeads

Ok, so I will wear a teething necklace for my baby with just about anything but sometimes you want your teething necklace to coordinate with your daily outfits. (You can add that sentence to things only a mom would say!)

I think the key  to easily incorporating a Chewbeads teething necklace is to select a design that compliments the majority of your wardrobe. You see, I wear a lot of blues, blacks, gray and green with the occasional pink so I selected the Essex teething necklace in grey because grey is a neutral. It also has lovely accents of blue, green and white which makes it easy for me to wear it with almost anything hanging in my closet.

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Like, today I’m wearing it with a simple black t-shirt. I love how my teething necklace adds a pop of color to my otherwise drab outfit and dresses it up… even though my jewelry is designed to be drooled and chewed on!

I decided to create my ultimate fall outfit for a mom with a teething baby to show you how easy it is to incorporate Chewbeads into almost any everyday outfit.

Styling a Teething Necklace

 

Not only are Chewbeads fashionable but babies love to chew on them. Abel has 1 tooth and is working on a few more and he is constantly chewing on my Chewbeads necklace.
If you have a teething baby I highly recommend purchasing a Chewbeads teething necklace. Chewbeads have been around since 2009 and are made with 100% silicone products. They contain No BPA, Phthalates, lead, cadium, or metal. The necklaces are also dishwasher safe so you can keep germs away.
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I received the featured product complementary to review for this post. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced by the company.

Pump and Play #StreamTeam

The past 4 weeks have been a challenge due to Abel’s breastfeeding struggles. I’ve spent a good deal of time hooked up to a breast pump to insure he is well fed. Sitting attached to a machine can be pretty boring but thankfully I have my iPad mini and Netflix Streaming.

pump and netflix

I’ve almost complete the entire selection of House Hunters and House Hunters International on Netflix Streaming. Now that Abel is fully nursing I don’t have to pump as much but I can still watch shows while he eats. I’m still working my way through Numb3rs.

I spend a good deal of my time feeding Abel which means I have have 3 little boys that sometimes need entertaining. Today they started watching the new Netflix original Richie Rich series.

Richie Rich Netflix

Breastfeeding Breakthrough

abel 3 weeks

3 weeks old

Since we figured out that Abel was having trouble with my oversupply it was much easier for us to remedy the problem and get him nursing. I found that if I offered him the breast after I pumped a bit he had no problem latching on and didn’t become fussy afterward because he was getting plenty of the hind-milk.

After a few days of pumping a little before feeding him my milk supply started to even out and he became more proficient at latching and being able to compensate for the heavy letdown. I was able to slowly start pumping less each day and as of today he’s been 100% breastfed for over 3 days. I’m still having to pump at least once a day (usually before bed) because my supply is greater than his demand. But I am building a great freezer stash and even considering donating some to the milk bank if I can produce enough for the required donation.

I’m thrilled that he is now Exclusively Breastfed simply because it’s so much easier for me. No more pumping every. single. time. he wants to eat. No more worrying about having enough milk when we go out. No more washing pump parts and bottles. It’s just so much easier for me to be the food source at any given moment.

We’re still working out a rhythm for when he’s hungry verses needs to burp, has gas, etc… but I’m slowly learning his cues.

mama and abel by the fire

Identifying our Breastfeeding Problems

Mr. Abel

We’re making slow but steady progress with breastfeeding. I’ve finally figured out what was causing all the trouble and it’s my over-productive milk ducts. When my milk came it the forceful let down combined with my overproduction was more than Abel could handle so he pretty much refused to nurse because it caused him pain. I’m producing too much milk which results in him not getting enough of the hind-milk which is the rich, fatty milk that will keep him full and help him grow. Because he was getting too much fore-milk it was causing him to be gassy and have frequent bowel movements.

When I began to pump and give him a bottle he is getting a healthy mixture of both kinds of milk resulting in a happy baby. Now that my milk production has started to even out and I’m learning some tricks to help him adjust he is slowly starting to make progress at the breast.

I’ve been pumping before I feed him to help take the edge off my overactive let down. I’ve also been offering him the same breast for several feeds in a row to ensure he completely drains one side before moving on to the other. I also will adjust his positioning so he is nursing up-hill instead of the flow of milk falling into his mouth. We still utilize bottles to help even out his feedings if needed but since we’ve identified the problem and started to address the issues, things have vastly improved. I’ve noticed that my breasts don’t feel as full between feedings which means they are adjusting to the demand.

I’m hopeful that within the week we will be spending more time nursing and less time pumping. Tomorrow we go to the doctor for a weight check so I’m hoping he’ll show good signs of growth. I can already tell a huge difference in his temperament and sleep habits since we’ve been working on changing our feeding patterns. He actually slept for over 5 hours straight the other night. I woke up before he did because I leaked all over the bed.

Breastfeeding Progress

breastfeeding success

Each of my boys has had their own set of challenges especially when it comes to breastfeeding. Simon was by far the easiest but having been in the hospital twice within the first month of his life things in general were pretty challenging. With Abel’s current struggle to breastfeed effectively I’m learning what is really important about raising a child.

With my first son I was set on upholding a set of standards for our life as parents. We would breastfeed, co-sleep, cloth diaper, babywear, eat organic, homebirth, etc…. but with each child my standards shifted. What I once thought was important to properly raise a child became a set of rules that crushed me every time I fell short.

Raising kids is hard work. Each child is different and as parents the way we address the challenges of parenting individual human beings will be different.

The past few days as we’ve been working with Abel on his breastfeeding I’ve been constantly reminding myself what is most important. Yes, I’d love for him to easily breastfeed for the first year of his life. I’d love it if things came naturally to him and me. I’ve been second guessing my decision to introduce a bottle to him so soon thinking that maybe the bottle has made his breastfeeding challenges more difficult. But then I’m reminded that each decision I’ve been making for the past 11 days has been based on what is best for Abel and our family. It’s more important that he eats and gains weight than for me to maintain an exclusively breastfed status. Yes, maybe introducing a bottle will inhibit our timely success but it’s not the end of the line.

I’m slowly seeing progress in his ability to properly latch on and successfully nurse an entire feeding. Yesterday he successfully nursed 4 times but then he still wanted the bottle in the middle of the night. I don’t see that as a failure even though I thought he may have finally “got it”. I am extremely pleased that I was able to spend my entire evening breastfeeding my sweet boy instead being hooked up to the breast pump.

Even though Abel is my 4th child and I think I’m pretty good at reading baby cues, each child has their own personality (even at 11 days old) and Abel and I are learning how to communicate with each other. This breastfeeding thing may not come easily for either of us but we are already working together to overcome this challenge and I’m super proud of this little guy.

The Good News: No Tongue Tie

Abel James

The Good News is that Abel doesn’t have a tongue tie.

The Bad News is he is still not able to fully nurse like he needs to.

So the pediatrician said that Abel doesn’t have a tongue tie, he does however have a lip tie. It’s not the ultimate reason for his breastfeeding troubles but it’s not helping either. He just appears to have a weak latch.

I have noticed improvements as I’ve been working with him over the past several days. In fact he actually latched on, maintained the latch and was able to completely nurse for the first time today, while we were at the doctor’s office. I was very encouraged by his improvement today.

He is also a very sleepy eater. We are having a lot of trouble keeping him awake long enough to complete a feeding. Last night we spend between 3-4 hours trying to get him to eat without falling asleep. He falls asleep and then wakes a few minutes later realizing he still hungry.

Needless to say Joe and I are both pretty exhausted from it all but it’s hitting Joe particularly hard. Since he’s still recovering from the cold he got before Abel was born he’s feeling the lack of sleep. He’s developed a pretty rough cough and has actually bruised his ribs from coughing so much. Hopefully, he can get some rest soon. Hopefully, we can all get some rest soon.