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Showing posts with label Breastfeeding. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Breastfeeding. Show all posts

Friday, September 29, 2017

Dad's Role in Breastfeeding

Dad's Role in Breastfeeding


Often times dad's can feel left out in the breastfeeding relationship between mother and child or they feel useless but I put together a little list of ways dads can help during the breastfeeding journey.

Moral Support

The most important way a dad can help his wife in her breastfeeding journey with their children is to provide moral support. Breastfeeding can be challenging not only physically but emotionally and mentally as well. Be her cheerleader and thank her for continuing to sacrifice her body now that the baby is outside of the womb. If she is feeling discouraged about her milk supply, pick up a breastfeeding resource (I highly recommend The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding) and see if you can troubleshoot why she is feeling that way and if that still doesn't reassure her, contact your local IBCLC (find one here).

Make sure mom has water near her

As your wife is breastfeeding, fluids and energy is being pulled out of her body and the best thing for a healthy milk supply is for mom to stay hydrated so make sure she always has water near her.

Bring mom a snack

It's also important for her to maintain her energy so a small snack would be helpful too whether it's a granola bar, a rice cake or a handful of grapes.

Change baby's diaper 

If the baby has a dirty diaper before or after the feeding, go ahead and take the initiative to change it so mom can get more down time.

Entertainment

Another extra way to help mom is to keep mom company while she breastfeeds, especially for those middle of the night feedings, if your work schedule allows it or you can make sure she has a good book or her phone/tablet nearby to keep her alert and entertained.

How have you helped your wife during her breastfeeding journey? Any other tips for how dad's can assist mom's who breastfeed?



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Stormie Ramirez
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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Breastfeeding Essentials

Breastfeeding Essentials


When Sophia was first born, I wasn't as prepared as I would have liked when it came to breastfeeding. I was induced three weeks early due to preeclampsia (read her birth story here) and I thought I had more time to get what I needed but birth doesn't always go as planned so you just roll with it. 

You really just need milk making tissue to breastfeed if I'm being honest but there are products that make breastfeeding a lot easier especially in those first few weeks when you and your new bundle of joy are trying to get on the same beat. Therefore, I put together a list of breastfeeding essentials that I think will make this dance a little easier.



1. Nursing Pillow - Nursing pillows are great support for your arms when holding that little babe up to nurse at the breast but it can also support your arms if you bottle feed as well. I also heard that a nursing pillow is great if you have a C-Section as it can help relieve the pressure on your incision site when you are holding your baby. The one I have is discontinued but the Boppy Nursing Pillows are the most popular on the market. Plus, you can find tons of small shops that make custom slip covers that can fit your taste and nursery decor.

2. Milkies Milk-Saver - I have just heard about this product and I can not believe I didn't know about this sooner. I was a leaky mess with Sophia. So bad that I had to stuff my bra with cloth diapers and I still leaked through those. Imagine how much milk I could have saved if I would have had this!? It is definitely a must have now that I know about it.

3. Womanly Art of Breastfeeding - If you have been around my blog, you know my love for this book. I even did a book review here. It is a must have for any momma considering breastfeeding as it is super informative and helps debunk a lot of the misconceptions there is out there on breastfeeding.

4. Washable Nursing Pads - As I mentioned, I leaked a lot when I breastfed Sophia however not everyone leaks a crazy amount like I did, in fact some women don't leak at all but in case you do leak, having washable nursing pads available are helpful to prevent having wet spots on your shirt. I have the Medela ones and they are extremely soft and they come with a laundry bag which helps reduce the chances of losing one. I also use the laundry bag to contain them in the diaper bag.

5. Nipple Cream - I used the samples my hospital provided and those lasted me so I never had to invest in nipple cream but also I didn't need to use the nipple cream as much as other breastfeeding moms did. I guess constantly leaking helped prevent me from get dried out nipples. However, I am planning to use Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil if I do need a cream for my nipples this time around since I already have it on hand and it is natural compared to lanolin. I also use coconut oil to moisturize my growing tummy - I did this for my pregnancy with Sophia and now with baby boy. Plus one container has lasted me an entire pregnancy and some so more bang for your buck going this route.

6. Nursing Bra/Tank - I have used nursing tanks, nursing sleep bras, nursing sports bra, and everyday nursing bras however I still haven't found the perfect everyday nursing bra yet so I am on the hunt for one and actually plan to write a post going into more depth of why you need different types of nursing bras. For the mean time, any nursing bra will work and help make breastfeeding easier. I have heard great things about the Bravado brand (I plan to try them out next) so maybe start there.

More Breastfeeding Resources:
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Stormie Ramirez
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Friday, August 25, 2017

Common Misconceptions of Breastfeeding

Common Misconceptions of Breastfeeding


Disclaimer: This post is not intended to start a debate of whether or not breast is best. It is meant as an encouragement for those who choose the breastfeeding route or are considering breastfeeding. However you decide to feed your baby is your own personal decision.


Too many times before and during my own breastfeeding journey, I would listen to friends and family members share their breastfeeding experience. I came to realize how uninformed mothers actually are when it comes to breastfeeding, even those who have successfully breastfed to their goal. This honestly is heartbreaking that a number of women lack the wisdom and knowledge of their bodies and how their body works for them majority of the time. This is where #normalizebreastfeeding comes in and having an International Breastfeeding Week and a National Breastfeeding Month. It is not to shame moms who choose not to breastfeed, although I am aware there are those people out there who do but not all of us are doing that when we share our knowledge or use the hashtag.

Normalizing breastfeeding is about informing the world, men and women, that breastfeeding is a natural biological act between a mother and an infant. It is also about setting straight the misconceptions that are out there concerning breastfeeding that discourage moms from continuing their breastfeeding journey. A lot of that discouragement comes from our family members and friends, unfortunately, because they "couldn't" breastfeed due to xyz. The discouragement comes from our health care providers who may have little to no training in breastfeeding.

Almost all have good intentions and want you to be successful in your breastfeeding journey but their lack of knowledge prevents them from actually helping you. Therefore, I wanted to share the common misconceptions I am constantly hearing from those around me to help spread the proper knowledge so mothers can be fully informed and make their decision based on facts, not myths. After all, breastfeeding is a personal decision and is always up to the mother as they are the only one who knows their baby best.

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Stormie Ramirez
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Friday, August 18, 2017

Nursing Twins through Challenges | Brittany's Journey

Nursing Twins through Challenges | Brittany's Journey


Last week, I shared simple ways to increase your chances of being successful at breastfeeding however even then there are still roadblocks that may come up in your breastfeeding journey. Today, I asked Brittany to share her breastfeeding journey with her twin daughters and she knows all about those roadblocks but she got the proper help and support she needed and persevered. Read more below to hear the challenges she faced and how she overcame them.


We were sitting in Barnes and Noble drinking our coffees from the Starbucks inside, his regular and mine decaf because I was 30 weeks pregnant, reading books we picked out to skim over while we drank them. This was a common date for Erik and me. Inexpensive, quiet. He was reading something about an athlete and I was reading The Nursing Mother’s Companion by Kathleen Huggins. “Oh my gosh, Erik! Did you know that colostrum coats the baby’s intestines so they’re less likely to develop common illnesses most babies face? RSV, ear infections, etc?!” I was so mind blown. “That alone makes me want to breastfeed,” I said to him.

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Stormie Ramirez
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Friday, August 11, 2017

Simple Ways to Increase Your Chances of Being Successful at Breastfeeding

Simple Ways to Increase Your Chances of Being Successful at Breastfeeding


Disclaimer: This post is not intended to start a debate of whether or not breast is best. It is meant as an encouragement for those who choose the breastfeeding route or are considering breastfeeding. However you decide to feed your baby is your own personal decision.


Happy National Breastfeeding Month! That's right, August is National Breastfeeding month and was proclaimed so by the United States Breastfeeding Committee in 2011. In honor of this, I decided to dedicate a mini series for the month of August to help support and encourage breastfeeding moms and moms who are considering breastfeeding. Keep in mind, I am not an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), my tips are strictly from my personal experience along with my personal research. 

If you are new here, I wrote about my breastfeeding journey with my daughter Sophia whom I breastfed for about 15 months in case you are interested in why I decided to breastfeed since I rarely witnessed it growing up and struggling to continue to breastfeed while pregnant with baby number two. Since I was determined to be successful at breastfeeding, I followed these simple steps that helped me be successful. I was fortunate to not encounter any major stumbling blocks like many nursing moms do such as a tongue-tie, nursing strike or anything else of the sort so if you are experiencing any problems with breastfeeding or just not sure about your milk supply, latch or anything else, I do highly suggest contacting an IBCLC (find a local one here).



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Stormie Ramirez
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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

My Breastfeeding Journey with Sophia

My Breastfeeding Journey with Sophia


Before a few years ago, I never gave much thought into breastfeeding. I was so accustomed to seeing my family use formula that I didn't really understand that there was another option. In my entire life before pregnancy (so about 20+ years), I have only seen breastfeeding twice. The first time I witnessed it was from the movie "Me, Myself and I" and of course they perverted the act of breastfeeding and the second time I witnessed breastfeeding was when a family friend breastfed her baby boy when I was in high school. 

As Motherhood came in my mind more and more (before I was pregnant), I decided I would breastfeed just because of the simple fact that it was free and formula is expensive. I had no other knowledge about breastfeeding besides it being free and that sometimes you don't make enough (this is actually a common misconception of breastfeeding as only 2% of women in the ENTIRE WORLD actually cannot produce enough milk, if you are struggling with breastfeeding, it is highly suggested you seek help from a LICENSED lactation consultant as they can troubleshoot what is really going on)


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Stormie Ramirez
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Monday, May 23, 2016

Book Review | The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding

Book Review | The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding


Hey everybody! How was ya'lls weekend? Anything new or exciting? We decided to surprise Anthony's parents with a visit and I finally finished up one of the books I have been reading which brings us to today's post, a book to review. 

Now I don't know when I made the decision to breastfeed but whenever I did, I knew I wanted to give it all I had to be successful. I heard from multiple people about how hard and challenging and uncomfortable (even painful) it could be so I began researching and researching once I found out we were pregnant. I was so terrified of not being able to produce enough milk (which is a common misconception of breastfeeding as only 2% of women in the ENTIRE WORLD actually cannot produce enough milk, if you are struggling with breastfeeding, it is highly suggested you seek help from a LICENSED lactation consultant as they can troubleshoot what is really going on) or being uncomfortable. Honestly, it wasn't that hard or as bad as everyone kept making it seem. Yes, the first few days were a struggle waiting for my milk to come in and having to supplement because Little Love had low blood sugar those first few days but more so emotionally because of that fear of not being able to produce enough for her BUT once my milk came in, everything else just came naturally. 

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Stormie Ramirez
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