Archive for February, 2013

Am I Making Enough Milk?

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

Often breastfeeding moms wonder “Am I making enough milk?” After all with breastfeeding there is an element of faith required since there really is no way to measure how many ounces of milk your baby is getting. Sometimes breastfeeding mothers mistakenly interpret the following 5 situations as an indicator that they are not making enough milk:

1. I never feel “full” anymore! – During the first 8 weeks when you are establishing your milk supply, you are likely to get the sensation of feeling “full” or even slightly engorged. However once your milk supply is well established, you are less likely to experience this feeling. Your body will naturally learn to regulate milk production based on a pattern or rhythm of breastfeeding and/or pumping.

2. I used to leak all the time, now I hardly ever do! – This is similar to what is stated above. During the initial weeks of breastfeeding you are likely to leak a lot however once your body knows how much milk to make for your baby, you are less likely to leak. You may start to only experience leakage during irregular prolonged times between feedings. Personally I was really happy when I stopped leaking and didn’t have to mess with breastpads anymore. Also a friend taught me a trick; light compression on the breast can help stop leakage. On occasion I found myself leaking, I would try to discreetly push on my breasts with my forearms or by crossing my arms.

3. I don’t get much milk from pumping! – Remember that your body responds very differently to a breastpump than to your own baby’s suckling. The amount you get from a pumping session does not necessarily accurately reflect the amount of milk baby gets while nursing.

4. My baby frequently pulls off the breast while nursing – This comment is commonly heard around the 4th or 5th month. During this age baby can suddenly seem less focused while breastfeeding and might even pull off of the breast frequently. Sometimes mothers worry that their baby is doing this because the milk is not flowing sufficiently, however it’s more often related to development. At this age babies become more aware and attentive to their surroundings. Sometimes nursing in a quiet or less stimulating environment can help baby be more focused on nursing.

5. I don’t feel the “letdown” –  I clearly remember saying this to a friend of mine shortly after my 3rd baby was born. I was a little worried since I had definitely felt it (even to the point of it being slightly uncomfortable at times) with my other two boys, particularly during the newborn stage. However my friend, who also happens to be a La Leche League Leader, assured me that it was okay that I didn’t feel a letdown. It could have been because it was my 3rd baby and my body had already been lactating for quite some time by that point? I am not exactly sure why I didn’t experience the sensation of a letdown with him. My friend really encouraged me to focus on the signs that indicated he was getting enough milk.

What are the indicators that a baby is getting enough milk:

1. Baby is gaining weight. According to Kellymom, on average, a breastfed baby gains 6 oz per week.

2. Baby has approximately 4 to 6 wet diapers in a 24 hour period.

3. Baby is nursing frequently. Newborns generally nurse at least 10 times in a 24 hour period.

4. Baby appears satiated. Typically a baby is calm and content post mama’s milk…this is often jokingly referred to as being “milk drunk”.  And oh boy is it a sweet sensation to hold a blissfully milk drunk baby in your arms. 🙂

An important part of breastfeeding is believing and trusting that your body is strong and capable of nourishing your baby!

Enjoy your nurslings!!

-Sarah

“You need to eat your ice cream before you go play”

Monday, February 4th, 2013

Recently I stopped at Starbucks with my 3 kids to get myself a cup of coffee. There was not a drive-through at this particular Starbucks (I will admit I never fully understood or appreciated the drive-through concept before becoming a mom. Now I find myself wishing all kinds of places had drive-throughs). The lack of drive-through meant dragging my 3 kids into the store with me which usually isn’t much fun. However on this particular day I decided the hot, sweet cup of coffee would totally be worth it. In fact I decided I would order two cups of coffee; one for myself and one for a friend we were meeting at the park after this “quick” coffee stop.

I was holding 22 month old Isaiah when it was my turn to order. He kept repeating the word “Hot! Hot! Hot!” while pointing to the cups. I knew exactly what he meant. I decided the best course of action was to expidite the transaction, get back into the car, distract him with something (probably a snack), and move on to our next destination. However the cashier wanted to be “helpful” so she says to me, “Does he want a cup?’

I replied, “No, that’s okay. He’s fine.” Of course he’s still loudly saying “Hot! Hot! Hot!” while pointing to the cups.

“Are you sure? I don’t mind. He can have a cup”, she presses.

I decline again wishing she would drop the whole cup thing and just let me pay. “Hot! Hot! Hot!” he continues.

I know she’s thinking she’s being helpful and probably wondering why in the world I won’t just let him just have a cup? According to her he clearly wants a cup…and so she gives him one. For a moment he stops the incessant, high pitched “Hot! Hot! Hot!” and the cashier is momentarily satisfied with her ability to remedy the situation. However the peace lasts literally for a second once he realizes there is nothing actually IN the cup. Now he’s mad. The “Hot! Hot! Hot!” goes from tolerable, background jabber into a full-blown meltdown. Cries of “Hot! Hot! Hot!” are now accompanied with huge, sobbing tears.

During this whole exchange I am also trying to keep my other two boys from touching everything, playing tag in the store, and so forth. Then they notice their little brother is holding a cup.

“What did Isaiah get?” “Can we have something?” “I want something too!”. They are jumping around me all excitedly.

I explain, “It’s just water guys.”

“We want a cup of water too!”

“I have your water bottles in the car”.

“Hot! Hot! Hot! Hot!”

I just want to get out of there as fast as possible. Back in the car. Where they are all contained in their carseats. Where I have access to my bag of tricks; snacks, drinks, music, books, heck a piece of gum…whatever can help restore calm.

Shuffling us all across the parking lot, loading everyone back into the car, with Isaiah screaming and thrashing about in my arms all while balancing two hot cups of coffee was less than pleasant to say the least. Getting Isaiah buckled into his carseat was even less fun. I figured it was best to make the cup disappear since it wasn’t actually what he wanted. But when I took it, he got even more mad. I gave him the cup back, closed the van door. And took a deep breath. I took my time walking around to the driver’s side door, enjoying the brief silence.

Shortly after I started driving, Isaiah drops his cup. When you are nearly two years old and already in a delicate emotional state, dropping a cup while contained in a carseat is a major crisis. At least it appeared to be based on his reaction.

Oh, that cursed cup!

After a 10 minute drive full of lots of unhappy noises, we arrive at the park….ahhhh! I am so happy to see the colorful climbing structure. I am really looking forward to drinking my cup of coffee, chatting with my friend, and watching the kids happily play.

When I hand my friend her drink, I explain to her the scenario that happened at the store. We discuss how things often look very different from the outside view of strangers. See in the cashier’s mind my son wanted a cup and the easy solution was to give him one. However what he actually wanted was hot chocolate. He had recently had some from Starbucks and apparently really, really liked it. Now on some days, I may say “yes” to a request for hot chocolate. However on this particular day I didn’t want the kids to have hot chocolate. One, it’s really expensive. But more importantly we were going to an event later that day where there was sure to be a lot of sugar around and so I didn’t want them to have sugar that morning.

My friend shared a related story with me that occurred at her daughter’s preschool. They were at a holiday function where ice cream was being served. One little boy was sitting at a table with his mommy and asking to go play. The mom was saying to him “you need to eat your ice cream before you go play”. My friend thought this seemed a bit odd…in fact she personally would have gladly chucked her own daughter’s enormous bowl of ice cream if she wanted to play instead. However this mom was adamant her son finish his ice cream…or at least take a few more bites. Now this would have appeared to make more sense if it were a huge bowl of broccoli that the boy was protesting, but ice cream?!? My friend was puzzled. I would have been too had I witnessed this exchange.

A few weeks later my friend discovered that the boy protesting his ice cream has significant feeding issues and getting him to eat anything was a constant struggle. In fact that was one of the primary reasons he was in the developmental preschool….to work on goals related to eating.

This story highlighted something important for me: That we never really know what other moms are dealing with. Moms love their children dearly and often have their child’s best interest in mind…even when on the surface it doesn’t make any sense to us. Like the cup in the coffee shop. Or the bowl of ice cream.

It’s all together too easy to judge a mom’s actions or reaction to her child, when we actually don’t have all the facts. Let’s forgo judgement and instead assume that each mom is reacting to her child out of a place of genuine love and to the best of her ability in the moment. Let’s put our own egos aside and accept that we don’t have the magical solution for other moms…If she would just say yes. If she would just be more gentle. If she would just be more firm. If she would just provide boundaries. If she would just be more patient. If she would just…fill in the blank. I admit I am guilty of this for sure!

Keeping the ice cream story in the back of my mind, I aim to look at other moms’ interactions with their children with an openly compassionate heart…and a soft, empathetic smile on my face to convey that I get it: This mothering gig can be hard sometimes… but I trust you know what your child needs right now…and sometimes that is a big bowl of ice cream!

-Sarah

Sunday Funday Giveaway: A Little Something for Baby

Sunday, February 3rd, 2013

A friend of mine is getting very close to meeting her little one. Her and her sweet baby have been on my mind a lot this weekend and thus inspired this week’s giveaway!

This week’s giveaway is for “A Little Something for Baby” gift pack by Earth Mama Angel Baby. We LOVE Earth Mama Angel Baby products here in our house…in fact my toddler who is suddenly obsessed with taking a “baf” (how he says bath) uses the Shampoo and Body Wash daily. I love that it’s a foam soap and a little goes a long way. My son likes it when I squirt a little on his tub toys, lol! 🙂

The “A Little Something for Baby” gift pack includes:

  • Angel Baby Shampoo & Body Wash 1.67oz
  • Angel Baby Bottom Balm 1oz
  • Angel Baby Lotion 2oz
  • Angel Baby Oil 1 oz

The Baby Oil is perfect for a calming baby massage and the Bottom Balm helps soothe diaper rash. All 4 products included in the “A Little Something for Baby” gift pack are travel sized so fit perfectly in a diaper bag for on-the-go access to some of your most favorite baby care products!

All Earth Mama Angel Baby products are made from safe, pure, non-toxic, eco-friendly, organic ingredients! You won’t find any sodium laureth sulfate, cocoamidylpropyl betaine, Quaternium-15, 1,4-Dioxane, formaldehyde or phthalates here! Only high quality and super gentle ingredients such as organic aloe, organic lavender, and organic vanilla. Yum…sounds kind of heavenly to me. 🙂

Would you like to win a FREE “A Little Something for Baby” gift pack for your wee one? Then be sure to enter this week’s giveaway below for your chance to win. Winner will be announced on Sunday February 10, 2013. Winner will be notified via email and is asked to reply within 48 hours of email in order to claim prize.

Good Luck All!

Sarah
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Friday Family Spotlight: Meet Bonnie’s Family

Friday, February 1st, 2013

Last week you met Bonnie, co-owner of Mom’s Milk Boutique. Well this week I would like to introduce you to another Bonnie. She is a mama to FIVE awesome kiddoes!! Her and her hubby are getting ready to celebrate their ONE YEAR anniversary this Valentine’s Day. Read on to learn more about Bonnie and her family (and check out her super cool breastfeeding photo!):

Whats your favorite MMB product?
My favorite? There are so many wonderful products. I would have to say my favorite are the Swaddlebees Simplex 2.0. I love the cute prints. I had ordered two and fell in love with them…so I ordered three more. 🙂

Who are the members of your family?
Well there is me of course 😉 My wonderful husband that I married last Valentine’s Day. In addition to marrying me, he accepted the role of being Dad to my older 4 children.  My oldest  daughter is Serenity she is 12 going on 20! (lol, scary how fast they grow!). I have  2 boys  close in age; Brendan is 10 and Virgil is 8. They are very active  little boys! Next is my little “princess” Kaitlin, age 5.  And my youngest and  newest addition is Skyler, he just turned 7 months. 🙂


What’s your favorite carrier and why?
I have tried the Moby Wrap which I do like but I have had an issue problem with due to the strength in my arms. I find that the fabric is too long for me to handle. My favorite that works well for us right now is the Boba carrier. I love it…especially now that Skyler is older the back carry works out great! Not to mention I love the prints selection. We have the Kangaroo print.


Decsribe your cloth diaper stash:
My diaper stash consists of a lot of different types; I had never heard of cloth diapering when my older 4 children were born (except how my mom used to do cloth diaper us lol), so when I started to learn about it while I was pregnant with my last child I was overwhelmed. I had no idea what I was doing or what to do buy. I ended up buying a few Fuzzibunz which I liked. Then I bought some Bumgenius.  Now that he’s here and is my last baby, I want to try everything!  So my stash now includes: Fuzzibunz, Bumgenius, Thirsties, Grovia, Blueberry, Swaddlebees, and a cover with some prefolds. My next venture is wool…

What goals does your family have over the next year or two?
Our biggest goal for my husband and I is to get our new company off on the right foot and make it a success so that we can buy a bigger home for our large family.

What are some of your “me” time indulgences?
Being a mommy of 5 really doesn’t give me much time to have any “me time” but I definitely love being able to take a hot bath without anyone knocking on the door or yelling out my name…which doesn’t happen often though. 🙂 Another is when a quick nap is able to happen..

Whats your number one secret to stretching a dollar?
It would have to be shopping at the Dollartree. Not all their items are a good but they do have a lot of name brand items that end up saving us money.

Thanks Bonnie for sharing your family with us! We wish you and hubby the very best as you build your business to support your family!

Would you like to have your family featured in a Friday Family Spotlight AND win a FREE $10 gift certificate to Mom’s Milk Boutique for your participation? If so email sarah@momsmilkboutique.com with the subject line “Friday Family Spotlight Inquiry” and share something interesting about your family in your email message.

Happy Friday Everyone!!

-Sarah