Thursday, August 27, 2015

Getting Real About Breastfeeding + Dr. Brown's GIVEAWAY

As we head in to the last week of August and the last week of Breastfeeding Awareness Month, I wanted to take time away to focus on just that - breastfeeding. Through struggle, strife, plugged ducts, chafed nipples, slow let down, not enough weight gain and many, many tears I managed to exclusively breastfeed for one whole year of my son's life. Sounds beautiful, right? It was my goal to complete a year, and thank goodness I had that goal and clung to it, or I probably would have quit 2 weeks in. It's hard ladies, so hard. Everyone told me it was the "best thing" to do, but they didn't mention it might also be one of the hardest.

Now, me telling my story is not to say if you didn't breastfeed for a year or you supplemented or didn't breastfeed at all that you are in any way discounted, because growing and birthing a human being is surely enough! But I gather that if you've stumbled upon this post you're here looking for support in the matter, so I just want to focus on some things that helped me succeed in my goal, and you can apply them to whatever situation you're in should you choose.

Know That It's Hard

Much like a birth story, I think details get fuzzy the further away people get from actually breastfeeding. You've probably heard "it's the most natural thing in the world." True that, but it doesn't mean it doesn't come with a steep learning curve. If you're in a lucky slim percentage of all women in the world whose breasts are just anatomically perfectly fit for your child's mouth, then good for you. The rest of you.... here's the deal. You're new to this, baby is new to this, your nipples are new to this, everyone and everything is new to this. Except if you've done this before, but even then baby is still new to this. Don't put unnecessary pressure on yourself. Obstacles will get in your way, but in most cases unless there is a medical complication that can not be solved - you got this.

Hang in There

You'll read all about it, you'll read what might get in your way, you'll get started and think "Hey, this isn't so bad." And then a week or two in things will start to shift. Either baby isn't gaining enough, your nipples are raw and bleeding, and you deem your entire breast area a torture device. You start thinking it's not working or this isn't for you. Hang in there. Your body is still adjusting to feeding your child, and your child may be starting to form habits causing you pain, whether comfort nursing or shallow latching, these are all things you have to be conscious of the entire time you breast feed. It's all about being aware of what's going on and making gentle corrections so both of you can succeed. I always tell my friends, as it was told to me, give it at least 8 weeks. At that point, things really start to mesh for both of you. It's a big milestone, and if you can hold out that long, you'll probably sail right on past it. All of this is to say if there's not some issue out of your control preventing you from succeeding. You have to listen to all sorts of advice and sort it out in your mind as to what sounds right to you.

Find Support

Hopefully you've been able to surround yourself with family, friends and professionals that support you on your breastfeeding mission. However, I know not everyone has those personal resources, so it becomes more of a challenge to seek out those who are behind you as you proceed. Maybe your Hospital or Pediatrician office pushes formula feeding or doesn't have a lactation consultant, maybe you have family members who either are uninformed or don't support breastfeeding. I understand those can cause additional stress, which is why I say fight for what you choose to do and reach out. There are usually support groups in your town, and if not, online there are many forums, articles, and even YouTube demonstrations. At your fingertips you have a plethora of support, just not hands on. Heck, you can even email me. I'm no professional, but I do believe in the journey and am willing to help how I can.

Stand Firm

I had the luxury of having all of the support in the world, but when my child failed to get over the 10% percentile in weight his entire first 9 months, I was constantly recommended to supplement. And I wasn't going to do it. Not for the sake of being stubborn, which I can be, but I did an internal survey of the things I deemed important. Was he healthy? Was he peeing and pooping the right amount? Was he developing at the right rate? Was there any large shift in his percentiles? Everything suggested I had a perfectly happy and healthy baby, so to me he was just a string bean. I was skinny, his dad was skinny, so I stuck to my guns. My only job in the world was to feed this child, and I didn't want to be made feel bad for what I was doing because I sensed my Ped liked his babies a little fluffier. Now, had any of those survey questions come up questionable, I would have considered supplementing. There is NOTHING wrong with supplementing if its what is best and most healthy for your baby, but you have to follow your instincts and know when to hold your ground and when to intervene.

Use Tools

The world of breastfeeding is quite advanced compared to our mother's age, we have fancy pumps, ergonomically designed breastfeeding pillows, nipple balms, breast shields.... the list goes on and on. Use what's available to you. You'll see some fantastic examples from Dr. Brown's below. Don't have the resources? Enter giveaways, check with your hospital or local health department who often offer pumps and supplies to qualifying mothers, search forums and sale sites for unused, left over products Moms likely are happy to pass on (since Breastmilk is a bodily fluid, used products aren't recommended). And Tools aren't just products, but tips and tricks on how to make producing milk work for you. I used supplements, teas, Milk Cookie recipes, power pumping techniques. It's endless the lengths you can go to to be a success and complete your goal, but know that you might have to work (harder than you've ever worked) for it until the very last day. It's worth it. All of it, any of it.

GIVEAWAY

Speaking of tools I am proud to have partnered with Dr. Browns to feature an incredible and very generous GIVEAWAY to assist in the breastfeeding process. I'll quickly review each of the items included in the prize package and how they can be a benefit. I encourage you to share this with your expecting and nursing Mom friends so we can encourage the journey and give one winner support along the way!


The Dr. Brown's Gia Pillow was created by a lactation consultant to angle baby at an incline, aiding in digestion and preventing reflux while feeding. The wider surface prevents baby from rolling and the thick-to-thin design allows for multiple nursing positions and comfort levels. 100% cotton and machine washable. Also included is the Gia Cover in a soft teal elephant design. This helps protect your Gia pillow and adds softness and comfort. No harsh zippers, slips on and off, machine wash and dry.


Dr. Brown's Breast Shells are a lifesaver! Discreet under clothing, they allow your nipples to breath and recover between feeding sessions without being chafed by clothing. BPA Free and dishwasher safe.

Dr. Browns Washable Breast Pads are a great eco-friendly option, made of  4 layers of  100% cotton. Super soft and absorbent, these pads were designed to be washed and reused. If you find the Disposable Breast Pads more convenient, they're also soft, absorbent and come with an adhesive strip to stick to the back of your bra to stay in place. 

Building your supply has never been easier with Dr. Brown's Breastmilk Storage Bags! BPA Free and expertly designed, these durable double zip bags protect the milk in the refigerator or freezer. The perforated top allows for easy access and the gusseted bottom helps the bag stand up right.


Dr. Brown's bottles are known to be the most popular on the market due to their vent system which reduces Colic, spit up, burping and gas through vacuum free feeding. Their 4 oz. & 8oz. Glass Bottles (2 per pack) remove plastics from the equation and help preserve vitamins and lipids. They also each come with Glass Bottle Sleeves (in blue), a BPA free product that helps grip and protect the glass bottle.


Sparkles & Spit Up + Dr. Brown's Breast Feeding Giveaway

10 comments:

  1. This would be such a blessing for our little bundle of joy due in a few months!!!

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  2. It sounds very unique and interesting. Would love to try

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  3. I love the Dr Browns products - they know their stuff !

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  4. We're about to have our first and would love to great package.

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  5. This would be perfect for my family. We are expecting our first!

    -Kristin

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  6. We love Dr. Brown's products.

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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  7. would be perfect for the third child

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