Interesting facts about breastfeeding/pumping

Interesting facts about breastfeeding/pumping

  • Your breast milk is changing to suit your baby’s needs.  When his or her saliva enters your nipple, your body reads it and produces the right “formula” for your baby for that specific point in time. The nutritional profile of the milk changes and grows with your baby.
  • You get no period while you’re breastfeeding! BUT you can still get pregnant, so be careful!  We’ve all heard of Irish Twins.
  • A pumping bra exists.  I went 3 months pumping without knowing of a pumping bra.  I know, I know right.  3 months holding the cones and bottles for the entire 15-20 minutes.  Get yourself a pumping bra STAT.
  • I used to pump for about 10 minutes until it seemed as if my breasts were completely emptied out and then I’d stop, when in reality they weren’t completley emptied out, it just felt like it. Then I found this great article about pumping and how you should pump at least 15 minutes, if you can swing 20, do 20 minutes.  You do not want to rush this.
    The reason for this is because another wave of milk comes in as you’re pumping.  It comes in right at about 14 minutes, you’ll feel another round of milk coming in and you want to pump long enough to feel that and pump that out.  I always set a timer for 15 minutes and right at almost 15 minutes is when I feel this so be patient. Waiting the full time also signals to your body that you need more milk production!
  • The size of a woman’s breasts have nothing to do with the amount of milk she produces.  A woman with large breasts can make little milk and a woman with small breasts can make an abundance of milk.
  • Breast milk contains naturally occuring cannabinoids in it that promote sleep and calmness in babies.
Top three baby foods

Top three baby foods

Why I love Peter Rabbit Organics, Ella’s Kitchen Organics and Plum Organics, and use no other baby brand foods (yet, anyways).

Peter Rabbit, Ella’s and Plum have super clean organic non-GMO ingredients with nothing else.

While other baby food companies such as Happy Family Organics, Gerber, Wellsley Farms Organics, Go & Grow OptiGrow Organics and Earth’s Best have ingredients such as:
-Citric Acid
– d-Alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate
-Ascorbic Acid
-Corn
-Oil

So even if they’re organic and/or non-GMO as most of these brands are, you want to be mindful of the ingredients and ask yourself if your baby really needs certain ingredients added into their food while you have other options.

While other companies such as Peter Rabbit, Plum and Ella’s kitchen have the fruit and/or the vegetable in the pouch as their only ingredients along with lemon juice. *BTW* Plum Organics has a Just Prune stage 1 food avail, which can help a backed up baby! — See my article on babies with constipation.

I’ve also read and heard great things about Once Upon a Farm and Sprout Organics, but have yet to try them.

Have you tried them? What are your favorite baby foods? Do you make your own? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Introducing baby food = baby constipation issues

Introducing baby food = baby constipation issues

As soon as I experience something (good or bad) with my daughter my first thought is to write it out on my blog for others to read in hopes it may help.

Introducing baby food ages 4-6 months is great, and while constipation may not happen when you’re first introducing small amounts.. It definitely starts happening when you introduce bigger amounts.

At 7 months, some babies may be eating up to 8 ounces of foods, spread out through the day, which is my LO’s case. That’s almost two entire bags of Peter Rabbit Organic food pouches (in addition to her breast milk.)

My daughter was straining so hard one night, clearly very much in pain, confused and crying all night long. You could tell she was in a lot of pain trying to push anything she could out. Worst feeling for a mama.

I’ve tried giving her organic prune juice (only ingredient on the back is organic prunes) and some organic apple juice (only ingredient on the back is organic apples) but she really doesn’t like drinking either and honestly I’m not trying to get her to start drinking juice at 6/7 months, that wasn’t what I had planned for her… but I’m willing to try anything that helps right?

I called my pediatrician the next day and told him I’ve tried prune and apple juice and she was crying all night from straining. He advised me that in this certain circumstance I should go to any pharmacy and buy Pedia-Lax or the generic Children Glycerin Suppositories, cut one in half and insert it into her rectum with a baby thermometer about half an inch.
Side note: None of these suppository containers say baby or infant on them.

The suppositories are super silky/smooth and soft, also tiny (even before you tear/cut it in half), so I didn’t feel too, too bad giving it to her. She cried just a little bit, because I’m sure it was an unfamiliar and uncomfortable feeling and within 15 minutes she had a dirty diaper! I felt so relieved and she did too.

Then I started thinking how I don’t want her to go through this again. I got a baby medicine dropper and started putting about half an ounce worth of prune juice into her Peter Rabbit Organic food pouches so she doesn’t taste it. I do this once she’s eaten some of the food so there is room, and her bowel movements have, thankfully, been regular for her.

A little bit of prune or apple juice a day should keep your LO’s bowel movements moving right on through.

I also am sticking to buying her food pouches that have no banana in them, more greens such as spinach, peas, kale, broccoli and apples so that she has enough fiber from vegetables.

Hair so healthy, it shines! (No Pantene, you probably already have this all natural product at home)

Hair so healthy, it shines! (No Pantene, you probably already have this all natural product at home)

I’m a natural dark haired brunette and I’ve colored and highlighted my hair blonde for the past 6 years. It was hay-like and super damaged to say the least.

Once I had my daughter, I wanted to go back to being brunette so we can be twins.

Many hair products tend to be full of harmful toxic chemicals, so I was looking into different hair masks and this kinda-gross egg/mayo treatment and was deciding what to do.

I went to my pilates session and my instructors hair looked so shiny and just super healthy! I see her twice a week so it stood out to me. I asked her what she did and she goes “oh, I try and do a coconut oil hair mask whenever I have the time.”

All my questions led to me trying it and LOVING the results! My hair was silky smooth and pretty much looked like my pre-highlighted virgin hair.

What you’ll need: a plastic shower/hair cap and coconut oil.

Put coconut oil (I buy the cold pressed unrefined organic one from Costco) all over your hair. It doesn’t matter if you washed your hair that day or if you haven’t in a few days, if your hair is wet or dry.. it works with whatever. Don’t use too much because the heat from your head melts it and it will run all down your face.

Put it up in a bun, put your shower cap over it and leave it on for 30 minutes to overnight. The time is up to you. I leave mine in for 3 hours. In this time I do work, I cook, do laundry, play with my little one, nap, whatever. The longer you leave the coconut oil on, the more it will condition your hair.

After x amount of time, wash with shampoo (maybe twice) and conditioner per usual. It washes right out no worries about it.

I brushed and blow dried my hair after and WALLAH! 💫 Magic.

Coconut oil nourishes your hair with vitamins, minerals and the medium-chain fatty acids. It’s really a wonderful way to give your hair an au naturel healthy boost. Rich in antioxidants, and containing anti-fungal/ antibacterial properties it not only leaves your hair feeling moisturized but it cleans it too!

Because of all these properties, coconut oil is so good for preventing dryness not just in your hair, but your scalp too! Bye-bye Head & Shoulders!

Repeat once a week for best results.

Enjoy ❤️

Pumping while you breastfeed (the key to keeping your milk supply up)

Pumping while you breastfeed (the key to keeping your milk supply up)

Unless you have twins of course! I don’t know about you but for the first couple of months I’d always breastfeed on one breast, hold the other with my arm/hand so no milk would flow out and then have my baby switch sides.

UNTIL.. my friend told me this genius idea: Breastfeed on one side and pump the other at the same time so your body knows to consistently produce two breasts full of milk. Genius? Or am I just late to the party?

It has helped keep my supply up so much! You should check out my post on other ways to increase milk supply. Also, in the event your LO doesn’t want the other breast, you’re left with different milk production schedules. You want your milk to come in at the same time with both breasts and be completely emptied out at the same time for your supply’s sake. If your LO doesn’t fully empty out your breast, make sure to pump the rest out.

You can save the pumped bottle, or give it to your little one if s/he’s still hungry. The point is.. once I started doing this, I never stopped. Unless of course, it’s the middle of the night and I’m half asleep. You should also read my article on clogged milk ducts so that this doesn’t happen to you by not expressing your milk often enough.

So there’s a quick tip to keeping your milk production in unison and keeping your milk supply up.

I’d love to hear your thoughts/comments!

Brain food smoothie

Brain food smoothie

I swear pregnancy and becoming a mother has been changing me for the better. I am trying to be my healthiest, fittest, self-loving version of myself for some cute little thang looking up to me now.

I created a smoothie recipe that tastes pretty good, includes some super nutritious foods and contributes to anti-brain aging, improvement in athletic performance, it’s high in fiber and rich in vitamin C and K.

1 cup organic blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1 medium sized organic beet (cut up so it doesn’t get stuck in the blender)
2-3 cups of (frozen) spinach (I use half a bag of the organic baby spinach from Trader Joes)
1 tablespoon organic flax meal
lemon juice to taste.. (i add a lot)
3-4 cups of water

I blend all these ingredients into my Ninja blender for a good 3-5 minutes, starting with level 3 and ending in level 1 to make it super smooth.

This is an easy peasy way to get your brain food in while giving you an energy boost!

Enjoy!

How to tell if your breast milk has gone bad

How to tell if your breast milk has gone bad

When I first gave birth I knew right away I wanted to breastfeed as long as possible. This came with 101 questions and more. Luckily I had my doula to help me along with several questions and now I’m going on 7 months of breastfeeding/pumping.

One of my questions was about keeping breast milk out vs putting it in the fridge vs freezing it. I didn’t want any of my liquid gold going bad because I wasn’t sure how long I would have a supply for. 
You’ll know if your milk has gone bad by the smell, but if you still can’t tell..

The answer to that question was simple. Babies won’t drink the milk if it’s bad.

If you try and give your LO milk and they reject it, rest assured that you can throw it out. 

(FYI: this may happen anyway if you have too much citrus in your diet or something else your LO doesn’t take a liking to. I learned this by being sick and stocking up on lemon juice, grapefruit juice, orange juice, emergen-c and my LO was not having it those couple of days.)

Other than that.. your milk stays good in the fridge 3-5 days after you pump. And it stays good anywhere from 3-12 months in the freezer depending if you have a small, normal or deep freezer.

My advice is just date and freeze the milk after each pump. You’ll want to take as much air out as possible when sealing.  Then you’ll want to lay your bag flat in your freezer until frozen and then reposition them upright to conserve space so that they’re like little files. 
It takes about 3-5 minutes of running it under hot water to get it to a temperature similar to it coming out of your breast. 

Make sure not to give it to your baby a second time if he or she doesn’t finish your frozen breast milk.  Once unfrozen, you give it to your baby and if he or she doesn’t finish, you throw it out!

My favorite milk bags are the NUK storage bags and the Lasinoh storage bags.

I’d love to hear your thoughts or answer any questions you may have!