TOP TEN TUESDAY ~ Top 10 Ways To Get Breastfeeding Off To A Good Start

  1. Attend a La Leche League meeting during pregnancy – Going to a meeting can be a great way to meet other breastfeeding moms who live near you. 
  2. Buy a good breastfeeding book – Two great books are Dr. Sears’The Baby Book or LLL’s Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. 
  3. Have minimal medical interventions during labor and delivery if possible – Interventions such as c-sections, forceps or vacuum delivery, episiotimies, epidurals and IV lines can all lead to a more difficult recovery during the postpartum period for a mom. In addition, a natural birth reduces the likelihood that the baby will have to be separated from the mom after birth. This is very important, as immediate skin to skin contact for an hour after birth has been shown to increase the likelihood of successful breastfeeding.
  4. Hire a birth and/or postpartum doula – Having a doula at birth can enhance bonding between a mother and her baby. This can lead to more positive interactions between mom and baby and can assist in establishing a strong milk supply. 
  5. Know where to go for help – After birth, have contacts handy who can help you with any breastfeeding problems that might arise. This can be a friend, a lactation consultant or physician.
  6. Keep your baby skin to skin for the first hour and delay the newborn exam– Babies are quietly alert during the first hour after birth. Babies who are kept skin to skin for the first hour are likely to latch on well. They also are more likely to have stable and normal heart rates, blood pressure and temperatures.
  7. Keep visitors to a minimum during the first few weeks – Everyone wants to see a newborn, especially well-meaning family members. However, moms need their rest so that they can recover from birth and meet the demands of a new baby. It’s best to keep visitors to a minimum so mom can focus on two things: getting sleep and feeding the baby.
  8. Keep your baby close during the early weeks and feed often – Feeding your baby on demand is crucial during the first few weeks to establish a strong milk supply. By keeping your baby close at all times, you can respond to early cues of hunger, rather than waiting for full out crying. You can’t feed your baby too often, and the more you breastfeed, the more milk you will make for your baby.
  9. Surround yourself with other moms that breastfeed – It’s great to have friends who are currently breastfeeding their babies, or who have breastfed in the past. They can be a wonderful source of information and encouragement. 
  10. Don’t give up! – The first few months are hard. But, stick with it! You’ll be so glad you did. It’s a wonderful start for your new little love.

MONDAY MYTH ~ Expect Your Firstborn To Arrive Late!

First baby? Have you ever heard….First babies are usually late. 
True to an extent since about 60% arrive after their due date, 5% on their due date and 35% arrive early. The timing is tied closely to length of your menstrual cycle. If it is shorter, you are more likely to deliver early. And if your cycle is longer than your baby will arrive later and if it usually lasts 28 days you will more likely deliver close to your due date. Interesting thought, huh?
All in all, baby will arrive when he or she is ready to meet you. And when they day comes, it will be the most amazing experience ever. Wouldn’t you agree?

Tuesdays Ramblings….Patience Is A Virture…Or So They Say!

Being a mother requires a bucket full…..a river full….okay, an ocean FULL of patience. Whether or not you were a patient person before bringing your little angel into the world, you will learn quickly, that it is a means of survival when motherhood enters the picture.
Children, from the moment they enter this world, require the basics to survive and grow. Food, water, love…But, patience from one’s mother is also needed. These precious babes enter the world unable to do anything for themselves. And as they grow, they look to you to teach them how to do so. Teaching a child to dress themselves, learn to use a sippy cup, how to potty train, how to dress themselves, learn how to read and speak….they look to their caregiver to teach them how to do this. And as a parent, PATIENCE is needed daily in order to do so.
Some days we run on very little patience. Welcome to this crazy world we live in, mom! But, remind yourselves often, that having patience (even with the most menial, repetitive parenting tasks) results in a happy, healthy, beautiful and smart human being. And for that, we can be thankful. What a blessing!

Guest Blogger Thursday ~ Alexis Kendall from Cosmopolitan Woman

Suffering in Silence
– Alexis Kendall
The story of how I became diagnosed with Postpartum depression and how I recovered. I became a better me.

After I had my son four years ago I found myself living in a new state having been moved from California to Florida with a four month old, only having my in-laws as a support system, and being the only people that I knew besides my husband. It was isolating to say the least. When my son was six months old I started to feel like something was a bit off for me. The first thing I noticed was that I could not lose the baby weight no matter how much I exercised or how clean I ate. Frustrating, but I felt that that was my first clue that something was off. As the months went by I started noticing a difference in my energy level.
As time went on I started noticing the feelings of guilt creep in, however I couldn’t figure out why or what was causing these new feelings. I started to feel guilty that I couldn’t lose the weight even six to eight months later. I started to feel guilty that all I wanted to do was sleep instead of get out of bed, but my body was just so tired. I knew it wasn’t because I was sleep deprived because my son slept twelve hours at night and there was no excuse to be tired. The guilt was brought on by everything that I started realizing I couldn’t do as I had when I first had my son. The guilt was becoming a constant theme throughout my daily routine. I would tell myself that I was being irrational, or unreasonable, but no matter how positive I tried to be, the feelings of despair, guilt, shame and unworthiness to be my son’s mother always came looming back into my mind. I tried getting out more and tried to find more things to do to keep me busy. There would be a few days that would go by and I would think to myself, “Wow, today was a great day! Maybe I was just having a bad few months.” Then slowly as the weeks passed the feelings always came back.
When it really became troublesome was when I started feeling very anxious. The anxiety was like a freight train; once it started there was no stopping it, even after I tried pulling the emergency brake. The train was out of control. The anxiety turned into full blown panic attacks where I felt like I was having a heart attack, but I didn’t know I was having anxiety attacks so it was very scary. The best way to describe an anxiety attack is: extremely overwhelming feelings that not only consume your mind, but also the feelings take over your body. It doesn’t matter how many times you tell yourself to calm down the feelings just rush over you like a tidal wave and you’re left with the aftermath. It was one of the most out of control times of my life.
When I finally decided to go and see a doctor it was on one of my “bad days” as I called it. I had just had an anxiety attack and decided that it was time to find out what was going on with me. I was scared, felt alone, and didn’t know who to tell. The problem that later occurred was that my doctor didn’t know what was wrong with me. He did put me on anti depressants because I asked him if I could be depressed. He thought maybe they would help with my “mood swings” as the doctors referred to them. Not long after I started taking the anti depressants I began to lose my hair and a slew of other problems. The new symptoms became greater and more obvious that something else was going on with my body.
Still depressed, anxiety ridden, and on fifteen different medications for all the “new” symptoms that kept arising, I had never felt worse physically and mentally. I was fifty pounds heavier, balding, and losing my fingernails and toenails. I felt like I was a shell of the person I once was.
 I was trapped inside my own body and could not get out, could not reach out for help, and could not imagine living like this forever.
In the midst of all of this we had a disagreement with my in-laws. I wasn’t prepared for what they had felt. They had felt that there was something wrong with me and going on with me. To them my behavior was concerning, and I can guess that I probably scared them because they didn’t know what was wrong with me either. The disagreement came about because I didn’t feel my problems with depression and anxiety caused me to be a “bad” mother as it was put. I had already had so much guilt that hearing the words “bad mother” and “not fit” was devastating. I knew in my heart that during the darkest part of my depression that protecting my son and making sure he had very stable and loving parents was one of my utmost concerns. I did the best I could with the situation that I was given even under a doctor’s care. I never had feelings of wanting to hurt my son. I always thought of him as a light in my life and he is what gave me the strength to keep pushing forward, even when sometimes deep down I wondered if my husband and son would be better off without me around. I would think about leaving them to keep them from experiencing what I was going through, to protect them from seeing me in the state I was in. It was like I disappeared. I could see them but they couldn’t see me. I was no longer in the physical body that I once was.
What I learned was that the disclosure that my in-laws left me with caused me to feel like everything I was doing was for nothing. All the suffering I had counted for nothing even though I wanted to be a better me. I wanted to be well! I wanted to be healthy! I just didn’t know how to get myself back to that place. I felt that since I couldn’t cope with the harshness of their words and couldn’t forgive myself for being what they said I was, I decided to put myself in therapy.
Over the next year and half in therapy it was then that my therapist diagnosed me with postpartum depression. She realized by hearing me talk about all that I experienced those years that I indeed had suffered with depression brought on by the birth of my son. It spiraled for months going untreated, but my health took a turn for the worst when I was put on anti depressants. For my body, the medications made my illness worse. I had a reaction to the medications and didn’t know it for a year and a half. When my therapist confirmed this to me that day I started to cry, because I knew the whole time that I hadn’t gone crazy, I knew that I wasn’t lazy, I knew that I loved my husband and son, I knew that I was a good mother and a good wife. I knew it all along, but I just suffered in silence for two years. Even though my family knew something was different about me, the matter of contention I had was that instead of putting me down, telling me I was making it up, or accusing me of being an unfit mother, I just needed someone to listen. Instead their words just pushed me further away. How could I ever ask for help from my family when they felt this way and they didn’t even know what was wrong with me? What would they have thought of me if I did tell them what I was really going through?
          What I learned was you have to tell someone that you trust.
Always tell someone you trust and you feel safe with: A doctor, a therapist, a friend, a mother, a sister, or even your husband. Never ever feel like you are alone in this. It may feel that way, but the ones who care for you will always be there and will understand. I chose to tell my doctor first, but unfortunate circumstances forced me into therapy and I am thankful everyday that it turned out like that. I never gave up and I always knew that I was never meant to suffer in silence alone.
-Alexis Kendall
If you have ever experienced postpartum depression and would like to share your stories, please feel free to email me at: Support from anyone you trust is what will get you through this.
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Where Can You Find IntelliGender?

Well, we are popping up all over the place! And we love that.

We love the mom community. Being moms ourselves, we see the importance of creating community and sharing the journey of motherhood worldwide. We love the IntelliGender Gender Prediction Test. When a woman finds out she is expecting she can’t help but wonder what that tiny little miracle is….a boy or a girl? Being able to take a peek as early as 10 weeks at baby’s gender is nothing short of amazing.

But, motherhood is not a small window. It reaches beyond 9 months. It lasts a lifetime! Knowing that we realized we wanted to share every piece of that journey. Really from conception to becoming a grandparent.

With that being said, we have opened the doors of social media. Meaning, extending our “hug” beyond pregnancy. Being a mother is a very demanding job. A joyous one, but a demanding one none the less. Right?

So join us on our journey as mothers. We certainly want to join you.


TRENDY THURSDAY ~ Breastfeeding Is Still Best For Baby

One might not think breastfeeding as “trendy”. Perhaps it is more of a healthy, natural trend. And a popular one at that.

Studies have shown that more moms choose to breastfeed now more than ever. One reason is that breast milk is ultimately the best source of nutrition for a new baby. Many components in breast milk help protect your baby against infection and disease. The proteins in breast milk are more easily digested than in formula or cow’s milk.  Also, the calcium and iron in breast milk is more easily absorbed. 

Breast milk has the perfect combination of proteins, fats, vitamins, and carbohydrates. There is nothing better for the health of your baby. Leukocytes are living cells that are only found in breast milk. They help fight infection.  It is the antibodies, living cells, enzymes, and hormones that make breast milk ideal for your sweet little one. These cannot be added to formula.

Another reason is today’s economy. Breast milk is not only good for baby, it’s also cost effective. Meaning free. Formula can be costly. Not to mention having to buy bottles, nipples and other items as well. Breast milk is always available 24/7 no matter where you are or what you are doing. Convenience is a big reason to nurse too.

Though some women ultimately are not able to breastfeed, many who think they cannot nurse actually are able to. Lactation consultants are able to provide support to women learning to breastfeed.  For those who are not able to breastfeed, milk banks can be an alternative.