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 .

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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 .