Breastfeeding 101

I grew up in a family where breastfeeding wasn’t the norm and was maybe even a little frowned upon.

When I had my first baby I knew it was something I wanted to try and if it didn’t work out… formula it was.

Let me tell you… it’s NOT easy. You have to be prepared to give all of yourself to your little one on demand.

Here are some tips and tricks I learned along the way:

The First Few Weeks:

  • It won’t be easy. Try to wait it out until you have completed the first month and a half (that’s when it got a lot easier for me)
  • Wait until your little one is four weeks old to start pumping. No one told me this so I pumped from day one and my body didn’t regulate to my babies needs and I ended up with an oversupply
  • Never skip a feeding/pumping session unless you are trying to decrease your supply

Enjoy the Ride:

  • Have a support system. I joined the Milky Mama Facebook group and it made all the difference!
  • Set a goal
  • Don’t quit on the bad days
  • Meet with a Lactation Consultant
  • Get a handheld pump you can take with you so you aren’t chained to an outlet

Equipment:

  • Make sure your pump and all your pump parts are clean and dry
  • Ensure you have the correct flange size for your nipple
  • Use this for sore nipples

Foods that help increase milk supply:

To increase output when pumping:

  • Massage your breasts or use one of these nifty massagers

Stay Hydrated:

Freezing Your Stash:

  • Lay the bags flat when you freeze them and try to keep out any extra air – when you have a lot of milk stored up
  • If your milk tastes or smells like soap when you thaw it you might have high liapse (my son wouldn’t take any of the milk I made – you can prevent this by scalding your milk)

If you get Clogged Ducts:

  • Take Sunflower Lecithin
  • Use a heating pad (warm and moist is best) – try filling up a diaper with warm water and placing it on your breast or take a warm bath
  • Nurse as much as you can
  • Dangle Feed (get down on all fours and let your little one
  • I have heard stories about some moms having their significant other suck out the clog but I am yet to try this one…

Other Products to Try:

  • Use a Haakaa to catch milk from the other breast

Some Cool Things I Learned:

  • Your milk adjusts to your babies needs. The amount of fat, hormones and more change to align with babies needs in that moment.
  • Why do momma’s love to give kisses to their baby? When you kiss your little one you “sample” the bacteria on their skin and your body adjusts to meet babies needs!

Supplementing:

You might have to supplement at some point in time – make sure you are educated on your options. There are options. You can use formula or donor milk. Two resources for Donor Milk include:

  • Human Milk 4 Babies

Baby Shower Gift Ideas

When I had my baby shower I got some amazing gifts and it inspired me to create a list of different things that I could get for friends and family when they were celebrating their little additions.

Here are a few of the items that I got that I really loved!

Something made by hand:

  • Crochet a blanket
  • Sew a bib (or pick up one of my hand sewn bibs here)
  • Cross stitch a towel
  • Growth “chart”
  • Stuffed animal

Things mom doesn’t know she needs kit (you could call this the “oh shoot” bag):

  • Baby Aspirin
  • Bandages (you will need all different shapes, sizes and of course cute patterns)
  • Breastfeeding lotion (Lanolin was my favorite)
  • Teething Rings
  • Safety Pins
  • Burp clothes
  • Bleach Pen
  • Wet Wipes (not the diaper kind, but the kind they give you when you get ribs – to eliminate anything sticky)
  • Headphones
  • Chocolate and Wine (basically every “survival kit” should include these items or it’s not really a survival kit – think how much easier the girl from “The Hunger Games” would have had it if she had some Chocolate and Wine…

A “memories” basket

  • Baby book
  • Photo frame
  • Something everyone who visits at the hospital signs
  • Gift certificate for family/baby photos
  • Tooth Fairy Jar
  • Elf on a Shelf
  • 12 seasonally relevant outfits (one for each month of their first year – the more I think about this the more I think I might make a blog post about this alone – the cuteness I see in my head is making me giggle)

Filing System

  • Basically a containment system for the flood of paperwork and “I made this just for you mom” items that will be coming through the door over the next few years

Something Special

  • A Jar of Pennies – Read Why Here!!
  • Something passed down (or a tradition)

Something for Mom AFTER baby

  • Certificate for massage, pedicure…etc.

Something Practical

  • Wholesale store membership (Sam’s Club, BJ’s, Costco)
  • Something from the registry
  • Clothing they can use down the road (no need to get small sizes – they do grow)

What are some of your best baby shower gift ideas??