Lifestyle, Uncategorized

My Top Tips for Breastfeeding Success

Small toddler with pigtails and pink dress sitting outside in chair

My Top Tips for Breastfeeding Success:

This post is the last one in my four part series on breastfeeding. This post is dedicated to my top tips for breastfeeding success. Isn’t it funny how this series just happened to coincide with world breastfeeding week and national breastfeeding month. I promise that wasn’t even planned :). As always, please feel free to share the link to this post with anyone you think may benefit.

Y’all breastfeeding is hard and everyone sets out on their individual journey hoping to succeed. According to the CDC 4 out of 5 moms started to breastfeed. Unfortunately these numbers drop to less than 50% breastfed at 3 months, and about 25% at 6 months. Here are some awesome tools to help you along your journey, so you can breastfeed as long as you and baby desire. So lets dive in!

Check out my breastfeeding essentials post here

The best apps and resources

If this is your first bundle of joy you might be in for a rude awakening. Mama its a full time job just remembering how frequently you have to nurse your sweet baby. In addition to nursing, you also have to keep track of diapers, weight, how long and which side you fed on last…..I am already exhausted. Add in lack of sleep and there is no way you can keep track of a piece of paper and a pen, much less which breast you need to start with.

Don’t worry Mama i got you covered! There are tons of apps on your phone that can keep track of all of this for you. My favorite app is baby tracker. This App has thought of everything including nursing, diapers and you can even set alarms. This is awesome for remembering when to give your baby medicine or when its time for another feeding. You can even put how often you pumped, which side, and the quantity.

This app is an awesome resource to share with your doctor. You can even generate reports that can help you spot trends. Here are a few pictures of my little ones tracker when she was less than a month old.

a chart of how often the baby was changed and fed

An app that helps you schedule diapers nursing and keep track of infants activity

Check out my post on how I feed my toddler

Pink kids divided plate filled with cubed cheese, ham, and grapes

Can I take this medication

One of the most stressful aspects of being a nursing mom is determining if you can take a particular medication. I have found an awesome resource that tests medications and determines the risk to your infant.

It is called infant risk. They have some information online but you can also call and talk to an individual. I have called multiple times when I needed to take a medication and they were so helpful. Please do yourself a favor and bookmark their info.

Lactation consultant

In the US most hospitals offer a lactation consultant in the hospital at brith, and this is fabulous. I did get some sound advice, however most of my problems didn’t occur until after my milk came in, and I was at home. I did reach out to a local hospital and got some great assistance from a lactation consultant. Along with this there have been many nights at 3 am that I thought I just can’t do this anymore. In comes the 24 hour lactation consultant. If you are lucky enough to live in Tennessee there is a free 24 hour hotline. I have called on multiple occasions and they have been so helpful.

The fact that they are open 24/7 is amazing. I am sure this has been the deciding factor between many moms continuing to breastfeed or giving up.

If you do not live in Tennessee I encourage you to do some research to see if your state offers the same type of assistance.

Insurance coverage

Most breast pumps and even some supplies are now covered through your insurance provider. This gives all moms access to a great pump, which can extend their breastfeeding journey once returning to work. Please be sure to check with your insurance company to see which pumps, and if replacement parts are covered.

Kelly from kellyboobbook reached out to me and made me aware of an awesome tool that she put together. She spent a ton of time finding insurance providers and created a look up tool to determine which pump you can get with your insurance provider. Please check out her tool here.

Podcast and books

Be sure to check out the boob groups podcast. They have some excellent information on breastfeeding all for free. The best part is you can listen while on the road. This is definitely a most check out podcast!

Grab yourself a copy of Ina Mays guide to breastfeeding. This is an well known source for breastfeeding for all new moms and is written by a trusted midwife. Check out my link to snag your copy from Amazon.

Websites to follow

Be sure to check out the la leche leage. This website provides tons of information and local groups to get involved with in your community.

Pacify is an online website that features lactation specialists 24/7. You can talk to a lactation consultant via video or just audio through a subscription. Definitely helpful if you want a face to face conversation even at 3 am.

If you have oversupply or under supply please check out my previous posts for helpful tips.

stand up deep freezer full of bags of frozen breast milk

Whats Up Wingo

I hope that this post gave you some great tools to make breastfeeding easier and help you to succeed. I encourage you to make the best choice for you and your little one. Even though you might not be breastfeeding you are not a failure as fed ultimately is best. Please share this with all the mamas you think might benefit. There are so many additional topics about breastfeeding. If you have a specific question please don’t hesitate to ask. I will try my hardest to answer or point you in the right direction. Be sure to stay tuned for Foodie Friday as I will have a new post for y’all.

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning, I may earn a commission if you complete a purchase after following the link . Thank you for your support!

Lifestyle

Breastfeeding Essentials

Infant baby girl wrapped in white sheet with pink bow in hair.

My Breastfeeding Journey

Today I am going to tell all you breastfeeding mamas about my must have breastfeeding essentials. This is going to be a multi part series about breastfeeding as I have been breastfeeding for just shy of 18 months. I have spent countless hours researching and have compiled a lot of good advice that I plan to share with you. This journey has had many ups and downs, tears and smiles. Breastfeeding might be one of the hardest things I have ever done, but it is definitely one of the most rewarding and biggest accomplishments of my life. I will go into my struggles and what helped me in future posts but this one is dedicated to my must haves so be sure to stay tuned.

Breastfeeding Essentials Pump and Pump Parts

Having a good quality pump is a very important breastfeeding essential. I received a Medela Pump in Style Advanced pump for my baby shower and have absolutely loved it. This pump is such great quality and that is key when choosing a pump. It is specifically designed to help with more breast milk expression. Be sure to get a good pump that is electric as manual pumps do not pull as much milk. Many insurance companies will pay for all or a portion of your pump. Heck get two if you are a working mom because lugging this thing around can be such a pain in the the butt! Below I am providing a link to my pump and a few others I have heard are good.

Pump Links

Medela Pump in Style Advanced
https://amzn.to/2lqsBTF
Spectra Pump
https://amzn.to/2lpCQri
Willow Breast Pump
https://shop.willowpump.com/pages/buy?kme=Google+Ad+Visit&km_Google+Ad+Id=340509355898&km_Google+Ad+Position=1o5&km_Google+Ad+Keyword=&km_Google+Ad+Matchtype=&km_Google+Ad+Network=g&km_Google+Ad+Device=c&utm_term=&gclid=Cj0KCQjwpavpBRDQARIsAPfTwizF5nK8pCGGiP1NtztNW0zUVsWbqDAVCwzTbFwWZiEvg75jtlVLTVQaAouiEALw_wcB

This is a very useful tool used to collect excess milk on the opposite breast while feeding. It is especially useful before your milk is regulated when you tend to leak often.

Breastfeeding Essentials Pump Accessories

The right accessories for your pump can make all the difference. When you spend so much time attached to your pump you will find it helpful to make the process as painless as possible.

You have to purchase this car adapter for your pump. The Medela comes with a battery pack but you will burn through those batteries in no time. If you are like me and don’t have a good place to pump or travel frequently this is a LIFESAVER! It works with several pumps but be sure to check to make sure it works with yours.

If you are struggling with pain you need to give these a try. Its made of soft silicone and definitely provide a softer feel while pumping.

Freemie cups are a must have! You can insert these into your bra without having to have a special bra and can pump completely hands free. I used these daily. They are a lifesaver and an absolute must!

These two pillows are the most popular. I did not have much success with the Boppy. I believe that my breast friend would have worked better for me. However some women swear by and really love these pillows.

https://amzn.to/2Sh7uiU

These nursing covers can be used as a car seat cover and a nursing cover. They are stretchy and are super comfy.

These are my favorite bags for storing milk in. I also used the up and up brand from target. I used an extra flange as a funnel for pouring the milk in to keep it from spilling.

This is another one of my favorite ways to freeze milk in 1 oz portions so you can be more precise as well as minimize your plastic. I freeze these then combine them all in one big zip lock or food safe cloth bag.

Breastfeeding Essentials Increasing/Decreasing Milk Supply

I am going to go into some ways to increase/ decrease your milk supply and let down in a future post but here are my must have items you need to purchase.

Fenugreek is great for increasing your milk supply and I have had great success with this. Please be sure to get the okay from your doctor before use.

Fennel is a great essential oil to use when increasing your milk supply. You can apply directly to the breast avoiding the nipple area and not during feedings. As usual please ask your doctor before use.

Peppermint tea can be helpful if you have an oversupply. Be cautious as to not decrease your supply to much and as always check with your physician.

Breastfeeding Essentials Breast Care

Stock photo

There are tons of different nipple balms and creams out there but my favorite is good old fashioned coconut oil. This is edible and there is no need to remove it before breastfeeding. It can provide lubrication to your nipple during pumping if you find it painful and is a great overall moisturizer. We grab ours in bulk from Costco.

You are definitely going to need some nursing pads. I love reusable ones as you can wash them, they are also safer for the environment and easier on your skin.

This massage tool is great for those who struggle with lumps and it helps to improve the flow of milk. I wish I had this at the beginning as I consistently had lumps and a lot of pain that was hard to work through.

Donation

I was able to donate over 500 ounces to those in need and I encourage you to look into this if you have an abundance of milk. I chose the Austin Milk Bank and will go into this at a further date.

Feeding Toddlers

Check out my previous post on what I feed my toddler for more information on providing sound meals and first foods in a thoughtful and healthful way.

Pink kids divided plate filled with cubed cheese, ham, and grapes

Breastfeeding Essentials Give Away

I am partnering with a mom of four including 5 month old twins in this giveaway. We will be giving away some nursing pads because you can never have enough. In order to be entered into the giveaway follow me on Instagram as well as her account on Instagram. Tag some mamas who need these nursing pads and a bonus entry is by following my blog. Give away ends Sunday night July 21, 2019 and the winner will be announced via Instagram on Monday July 22, 2019. Good luck to you all and I hope you enjoyed my Breastfeeding essentials.Breastfeeding essentials

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning, I may earn a commission if you complete a purchase after following the link .

Uncategorized

Magnesium and How To Get More of it Without Having to Take a Pill

Magnesium is such an important mineral it is unfortunate that it is often overlooked. Many of us are lacking in magnesium and don’t even know it! Increasing our Magnesium intake can help with sleep and relaxation, anxiety, constipation, energy metabolism, and the list goes on and on. Besides the role that we know magnesium plays in the body, it is very likely that their are other functions that we are not even aware of yet!

Here is a list of magnesium and the RDA for both males and females of varied ages to help you better understand exactly how much you should be getting on a daily basis.

The RDA for magnesium is as follows (1):

Age Range: Males : Females:

Birth to 6 months (AI)30 mg 30 mg
7–12 months (AI)75 mg75 mg
1–3 years (RDA)80 mg80 mg
4–8 years (RDA)130 mg130 mg
9–13 years (RDA)240 mg240 mg
14–18 years (RDA)410 mg360 mg
19–30 years (RDA)400 mg310 mg
31–50 years (RDA)420 mg320 mg
51+ years (RDA)420 mg320 mg

As the western diet increases in processed foods and we rely less on whole foods a decrease in magnesium through the diet is noted. If you think you may be low in magnesium I have some solutions to help boost your intake.

Food First: Magnesium

It is always the best idea to start by making sure we are getting our necessary vitamins and minerals through our diet. Food first is always the best policy as vitamins and minerals tend to work synergistically. I have complied a short list that according to the NIH contain good sources of magnesium (2):

Almonds that are dry roasted without oil: one ounce includes 80 mg per serving

Spinach that is cooked by boiling: 1/2 cup contains 78 mg per serving

Cashews that are dry roasted without oil: one ounce contains 74 mg per serving

And of course we can’t forget CHOCOLATE!!

Dark chocolate which happens to be around 70-85% cacao provides around 36 mg of magnesium per 100 calorie serving (3).

It can be hard to make sure that you are getting the adequate amount of magnesium daily so on those days that you find you are not able to get enough I have you covered! Here are my top three ways to increase magnesium without having to take a pill.

1. Natural Calm:

Natural calm is a delicious way of getting in some magnesium. You can drink it hot or cold and it comes in lemon, cherry, unflavored, and raspberry lemon which is my favorite. It is vegan, gluten free, non GMO, and sweetened with stevia so it is a good alternative to those who are watching their sugar intakes. This is a great night cap. It is the perfect solution to help you wind down and get relaxed before bedtime. It is however fine to take anytime of the day. This is a must have in my pantry especially during times where I am extra stressed, and need a flavor filled boost.

2. Pink Stork Magnesium Spray

My second option is pink stork mist. This mist is marketed toward prenatal care however it can be used by men and women alike. I love this stuff as it is simply a spray and you are DONE! As the packaging states is helps with morning sickness, aches and pains, poor sleep and more. This stuff SAVED me during my pregnancy. Not to brag but I had ZERO morning sickness and I used this religiously. Six sprays equal 200 mg of magnesium. Magnesium that is absorbed is much more gentle on the gut and is great for those who want to treat a spot ache or pain as you can spray this directly on the targeted area.

3. Epsom Salts

The third option is Epsom salts. These are wonderful! They can be used to soak just your feet or as a full bath. They are relaxing and as this package claims aide with eczema, acne, and softens skin in addition to increasing magnesium levels in the body. If you desire a scent there are many different choices of salts with lavender and other essential oils added depending on your needs. This is an excellent solution for aches and pains as well as a nice way to relax at the end of the day.

Finally because I know chocolate might be your favorite way to increase magnesium I thought I might link my favorite chocolate bars

Alter eco makes several really good dark chocolate bars. They are organic and have some of the best tasting chocolate considering the low sugar content.

I hope this was helpful to learn several different ways to increase your magnesium intakes without having to resort to a pill form of supplement. Let me know if you try any of these options and please be sure to share with your friends and family!

Please be sure to comment below and let me know whats up with you and what your favorite ways are to increase magnesium.

MD knows best disclaimer:

As always I am not a doctor and I recommend you consult your doctor before making changes to your diet or adding in additional magnesium or any supplement as diet Changes or supplementation can be harmful to some individuals.

Sources:

(1) Institute of Medicine (IOM). Food and Nutrition Board. Dietary Reference Intakes: Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Vitamin D and Fluoride . Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1997.

(2) U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 25. Nutrient Data Laboratory Home Page, 2012.

(3) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4696435/#B1

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualify purchases. Some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning, I may earn a commission if you complete a purchase after following the link .