Archive for the ‘TaiLeah Madill’ Category

Your Baby has Teeth!

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

Your baby has teethWhen my first was born, I thought we’d have months and months until teething began and we had to think about nursing and teeth. I was wrong.

My son started teething around 2 months and broke the first tooth at 3 months old. The rest followed in quick succession, coming in three or four teeth at a time. We were teething pretty much non-stop until getting the 2-year molars at 15 months.

This is on the early side for most babies, but we repeated this pattern pretty much identically with each of my other two children. More often, teeth come in at a more leisurely pace.

Such early teething caused some issues with our nursing relationship. My son was so young, nursing was his only real comfort. But he was fussy and his gums hurt. He began to bite down on my nipple when nursing, or ground his gums back and forth. This was not a pleasant experience for me.

I remembered from The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding that it is important to not screech or scream when this happens as it can be a shock to the baby too, who is not doing this to cause me pain but out of his pain and a desire to have me make it better. They suggest pulling baby into your breast instead to cause them to break suction to breathe. Then, firmly but nicely tell your baby that it hurts or not to bite mommy.

This took a few times before my baby learned not to bite, but it didn’t take long even as young as he was. My local La Leche League group talks often of “nursing manners.” It is so true. He learned that my nipples were there for comfort and milk but not to be used as teethers.

I got an amber teething necklace for him at around two and a half months and that seemed to make a huge difference in his comfort. As he got older, and could vocalize more, he asked for it as he got his first set of adult molars at 6 years old.

Babies truly do understand so much more than we give them credit for. They are designed to be a symbiotic pair with their mothers. But setting boundaries and working calmly to find a way through the difficult times is key to a positive and happy breastfeeding relationship.

TaiLeah Madill is mama to three and lives in Phoenix, Arizona. She is passionate about volunteering with her local babywearing group and helping other families enjoy the benefits of wearing their little ones. 

Intro to Reusable Menstrual Care Products

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

Reusable Menstrual care I am often reminded how many people haven’t yet made the switch to reusable menstrual products, but I’m not really surprised. Menstruation, periods, that-time-of-the-month – whatever you choose to call it, is often a taboo subject. I think this keeps many from exploring other options and asking around to see what others have tried.

There are a myriad of different brands to try, but really most fall into one of two categories – pads or tampon-like items.

Pads are usually the easiest for most people to feel comfortable starting to transition to. Disposal and reusable pads are put on and used in a very similar fashion. There are small variations within reusable pads for how the absorbency part is attached to the holder, similar to the range you find with cloth diapers.

You have those with a shell and absorbency part separate that are put together to make a pad like LunaPads. Or you have those that have the shell and absorbency part sewn together like Pink Daisy.

They come in different sizes and different absorbencies, as well as different fabric options. If you are just starting out, 3 gives you a good feel for that size/style/brand while getting 6-8 medium sized ones can be a great way to get a day’s worth of pads plus a little cushion while you wash. Your full stash amount can really vary depending on your personal cycle.

Tampon alternatives are the more daunting of options. But they don’t need to be! Using one like Diva Cup or Lunette Cup can be an easy transition to reusable, or you can take it one step further and try the Sea Pearls Sea Sponge ones.

Making the switch can affect how you feel during your cycle. Many say that the switch has resulted in lighter cycles with less pain and cramping. Disposables are chock full of a plethora of chemicals and unsavory things. Then there’s the financial aspect to switching; average savings range from $200-250 over five years of use. And don’t forget some side benefits like knowing your body better.

I was cautious at first and wanted to make the switch much earlier than I did. I started out with 9 different average or medium pads from three different brands so I could see what I liked and what worked best for me. I then expanded and switched completely to reusable pads within a couple months.

I was still hesitant to try a Cup or, even more daunting, the Sea Pearls. But I finally took the leap and tried the Diva Cup. While there is a bit of a learning curve (it’s helpful to wear a light pad while getting the hang of using a Cup), I haven’t looked back. And I’ve been sharing my love for reusable products ever since!

So, what’s holding you back? Don’t be afraid to take the plunge and try them out for yourself!

TaiLeah Madill is mama to three and lives in Phoenix, Arizona. She is passionate about volunteering with her local babywearing group and helping other families enjoy the benefits of wearing their little ones. 

Nutrition while Nursing

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

Nutrition while NursingWe hear talk of nutrition while pregnant, and again when baby begins to move towards solids, but we often overlook talking about nutrition while nursing.

We all know that eating healthy is important and know that there are areas in our diets that are less than ideal. But eating healthy doesn’t have to be difficult. Overall, the best diet is a well-rounded one.

A few key things to remember:

  • Eat natural. Fresh, whole foods, with little or no additives or contaminants
  • Eat variety. Consuming a variety of each of the food groups from day to day and meal to meal can help ensure you are getting a good balance of nutrients and minerals, and keep mealtime exciting.
  • Eat and drink water to satiation. If you are feeling hungry or thirsty, your body may need more than it has been getting. We are all different, so what is enough for you may be too much or not enough for someone else. Listen to your body.
  • Eat good fats. Don’t forget to get some healthy fats in your diet. These are the brain’s building blocks and pave the way for your baby’s brain development.

Resources like and books like Natural Health After Birth can further enhance your knowledge and expand your variety of recipes and other healthful additions to your diet.

Even with allergies, eating a good variety of food and changing it up each meal can help ensure you are as balanced as you can be. Eating a good variety may help to prevent over-sensitization to one particular food, and sets your baby’s palate for the future. Share the wonder and variety in the world with your baby right at home, through your food, and you are both sure to benefit!

TaiLeah Madill is mama to three and lives in Phoenix, Arizona. She is passionate about volunteering with her local babywearing group and helping other families enjoy the benefits of wearing their little ones. 




Breastfeeding and Tongue Ties

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

120608_BurtFamily_1143With my first two babies, I breezed through nursing with only a few minor issues that had to do more with me learning than the actual nursing act. But my third was different. By my third, I thought I had most baby stuff figured out. I mean, I’d been through it twice before and, yeah, there were differences but those were only minor variations of normal. I felt confident that I could add baby number three to our lives with only the normal bumps.

My third child and my second daughter, Maeve, was born at home and was everything you could hope for – healthy baby, safe delivery, and good bonding right away. I was still nursing her older sister, my second born and first daughter, Quinn, who was about two years old at the time. They both settled in to a tandem nursing relationship with ease.

Maeve seemed to not stay latched as long and didn’t seem to be as strong at nursing as either of my first two did. But, I brushed it off as just not remembering what a newborn nursing felt like. After all, I had a toddler that I was comparing her to. She gained fine and I didn’t have any damage or pain during nursing that would have indicated a concern.

By about two months old, she would latch on but my nipple would slide right out of her mouth unless I held it in place. This concerned me if we were going to do full-term nursing and baby led weaning as I had with my first two.

My first point of contact was an IBCLC who was also a long time friend of my family (she had been present at my own birth some 30 years ago!). She was the first one to really talk about the possibility of a tongue tie. She felt that there was enough concern to refer me to a pediatrician who was the leader in this field and in our area.

She did indeed have a posterior tongue tie and the pediatrician felt that it warranted correction. Posterior tongue ties can be tricky, as they are more difficult to see and the symptoms can vary quite a bit. It is also not an instant fix if correction is done, many times.

We had the procedure done and also followed up with my IBCLC to work on suck exercises to help her regain her suck and her latch. It took a good month for me to see an improvement, but at just over two years old, our nursing relationship is still going strong.

Don’t be afraid to seek help and have baby evaluated. Many times your local La Leche League is a great resource to start with in looking for recommendations and options. And, with the new insurance regulations, insurance often covers visits to IBCLCs; so check your plan if you are in need!

TaiLeah Madill is mama to three and lives in Phoenix, Arizona. She is passionate about volunteering with her local babywearing group and helping other families enjoy the benefits of wearing their little ones. 

Finding Support in Moms Groups

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

Finding Support in Moms GroupsIn today’s culture, having a baby can become an isolating factor for many mothers. Oftentimes, we are far from our family or used to being able to go our own ways. Motherhood changes your perspectives and your priorities. It resets your schedule and dominates your day-to-day calendar.

Finding others in similar situations can really relieve stress and restore your sanity! It can be hard to make new friends that are in the same life stage you are, especially if you don’t have anyone already in it.

Our society has a great many ways to help us find a new tribe and begin to forge new bonds of friendship. was the first place I began to look when I found myself with a new little one and no close friends nearby with little ones themselves. I tried a few different groups before I found one I clicked with.

It took courage to go to a few meetings, not knowing anyone and not being super outgoing and willing to insert myself into conversations. But babies are great ice breakers. After a few times, my son gravitated to a few of the same kids and I found myself being easily drawn into those mothers’ conversations.

Facebook has a plethora of groups these days, and many times can be a great place to find other mothers that have similar interests and build your new community. Whether it’s an interest like fitness or a geographical location, pick a few that appeal to you and try them out. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there!

La Leche League or local library story times are other great places to begin to branch out and meeting new mamas and their little ones. These are free and often can be found in the evenings and weekends so working families can get in on the fun, too.

Building your community takes time and effort. Stick with it and keep going when you find a group you love. Let your little one help you break the ice with new friends and, in your turn, welcome those new mamas when you see them. Each of us needs each other.

TaiLeah Madill is mama to three and lives in Phoenix, Arizona. She is passionate about volunteering with her local babywearing group and helping other families enjoy the benefits of wearing their little ones.