My Truth About Breastfeeding, Part 2

If you’ve been reading this blog for long enough, you might remember how difficult breastfeeding was for me when I had B1. I planned with B2 to try to breastfeed, and if it didn’t work out, then it didn’t work out. B1 had formula, and he is doing wonderfully. I naively thought that the reason my milk never came in with B1 was because of circumstance, not necessarily something that had to do with me. He was born a few weeks early, and he also was under the phototherapy lights so I had to pump.

A few weeks prior to having B2 I was contacted by Acelleron Maternal Health & Wellness, and honestly that email could not have come at a better time! While I definitely planned on attempting to breastfeed again, I hadn’t actually talked to anyone about how to go about things differently this time around. My only real plan was to make sure I had plenty of skin-to-skin time post-birth, something I didn’t do enough of with B1, and I wasn’t really aware of how great it is for baby and mom.

B2birth

Since I was able to do a Q&A with Acelleron’s Lactation Consultant I really started thinking about what I was going to do. When B2 finally arrived she was 10 pounds 1 oz, and there can be issues with having bigger babies. We did skin-to-skin, but after nursing for a bit the nurses needed to check her blood sugar, for babies that are larger they can not get enough milk and their blood sugar can dip or spike, and it is best to avoid that. Unfortunately, B2’s blood sugar did drop, and we gave her just a few mL’s of formula to avoid any complications. I was 100% on board with the nurses on this, my baby’s health is the most important thing.

After I was discharged from L&D I was moved to the Mom & Baby unit, and this is where the Lactation Consultant’s will visit you. With B1 I had a terrible LC, but great nurses who really helped me with nursing, and gave me tons of great advice. With B2, my initial nurse was not great, and not really around a ton, but the LC’s were awesome. After a long talk giving her my history she asked about any hormone deficiencies. Since I was diagnosed with PCOS after the miscarriage, I wasn’t aware I had it when B1 was born. The LC shared with me that most women with PCOS can’t exclusively breastfeed, because of the hormone deficiency your body just usually doesn’t create enough of a supply for the baby. While this was a bit of a relief, I wondered if I would be able to breastfeed B2 for any length of time.

I was again given a hospital grade pump to use in the hospital, and my insurance covered one for me to have at home, so I would pump after every nursing session, and I didn’t really get a ton of milk, and I hadn’t felt my milk come in either. On our second night B2 had to go in the photo therapy lights, since her jaundice levels were borderline and we wanted to avoid having to get re-admitted like we did with B1. This meant I only had 30 minutes to get her out of the lights, feed her, change her, and get her back in the lights every 3 hours. The nurses were super helpful, but it definitely felt like a time crunch. I ended up supplementing her with formula to make sure she would last the 3 hours. It was at this moment we realized that she needed more food than I could provide, she was eating almost an ounce at every feeding by the time we left the hospital.

acelleron

After we got home, I definitely had the baby blues, and the frustration with not being able to breastfeed well was getting to me. I ended up talking to Megan at Acelleron via email and the phone and she gave me tons of tips and advice. I think the most important thing she told me was that it’s okay to formula feed, it doesn’t make me any less of a great mom because I can’t exclusively breastfeed. As much as I knew in my heart that was true,  the martyr moms can be mean and really make you feel bad if you formula feed. It was nice to hear a LC say that it’s okay to formula feed, because my experience with the LC’s I had talked to previously, either didn’t help me at all with dealing with a low supply or they shamed me for using formula. Neither was a great feeling.

The best thing for me was trying a supplement called Motherlove more milk special blend. The blend included: goat’s rue herb, fenugreek seed, blessed thistle herb, nettle herb, and fennel seed. (I used the capsules not the liquid, because that’s what my Whole Foods carried, I have heard that the liquid can be more effective initially, but that the aftertaste is awful). I know that it is very expensive, and may not be affordable for some people, especially if you are buying formula to supplement as well. A few days after taking this I felt my milk come in, and while I wasn’t pumping a ton, sometimes only 1 oz, I was pumping more than when I had B1. B2 was also eating at the breast multiple times a day, and then I would supplement with formula.

motherlove

A few days after my initial talk with Megan, I went to Acelleron for a breastfeeding support group, and while it was a bit overwhelming that most people were suffering with over-supply issues, again Megan gave me great tips about pumping, and trying to make it easier on my daily life. With two kids it was hard to nurse, formula feed, pump, wash all the pump parts and entertain B1, especially since I had to do that cycle every 3-4 hours. It was overwhelming.

I am now two months post-partum, I am still nursing B2, it is mostly in the mornings and evenings, this is mostly due to school  and fall activities starting back up for B1, and the sheer lack of time, I pump when I can, but it is not as often. I am still taking the supplement, but I do feel like our time of nursing is going to come to an end sooner rather than later, and I am okay with that. I did the best I could for me and B2.

The biggest piece of advice I learned from breastfeeding this time around was that there are great LC’s out there, it just might take some time to find them. If you are in the Greater Boston/North Shore area I 100% recommend Acelleron, Megan was amazing!

 

Did you ever attend a breastfeeding support group?

Baby Essentials – The Second Time Around

I know every mom that blogs probably has a list like this, and everyone and every child’s needs and wants are different. I never made a list like this with B1, but after having another baby I feel like I have a grasp of what was essential to our family for the babies.

I will say that there were some major differences with my two babies. When B1 was born we lived in a condo, that was on the third floor of our building and no elevator. With B2 we live in a multi-level home with a garage below the house. Obviously with B2’s birth B1 was a consideration when figuring out what items we needed to have the second time around.

Comfort Items

ComfortMustHaves

 

I left out the obvious things like a crib, changing table, sheets, etc…

1. Summer Infant Classic Comfort Wood Bassinet – $140

Nick and I got this last-minute before B1 was born. Our crib wasn’t going to be available before his due date, so we knew we needed something. I knew I wanted a bassinet because co-sleeper beds freaked me out. I liked that this one was lightweight but sturdy, had a shelf, and was on wheels. I was able to roll B1 around the condo when I needed to get things done. I also kept the bottom shelf stocked with clothes, diapers, wipes, etc… That way at night I didn’t have to go into his room and get anything. It made nighttime wakeups much easier.

With B2, I love the height. B1 can see into the bassinet, but he can’t pick her up. Perfect. The downsides this time around are that it isn’t something that I can roll her around in, as it is her bed at night (until she moves into her crib) and so it stays upstairs. B2 has already grown 1.5 inches and is almost too big to be in the bassinet anymore, and so we won’t get too much time with her in it.

2. KACY Collection Morgan Nursery Swivel Glider - $450

We were supposed to get a glider when I had B1, but that never panned out. After Nick walked and sang B1 to sleep for the first 2 years of his life we decided we were going to make room in our budget for a glider this time around.

B2’s room is on the smaller side, so we needed something that wasn’t going to take up a ton of room. This one is super comfortable and the color matches her nursery perfectly. It’s small enough that Nick was even able to move it into our room while B2 is sleeping in there.

I cannot say enough that all new moms should get some sort of chair for the nursery. Your back and feet will thank you!

3. Graco Pack N Play Bugs Quilt TotBlock – $120

If you don’t need a Pack N Play that your baby can sleep in, I would recommend this one. Once B1 was more alert I would put him in this so I could cook, clean, do laundry, etc… but he would be container so I could turn my back for more than 20 seconds.

This would also be great to put out in the yard. Now that more of my friends have kids, or multiples, spending time outside happens a lot, but it is hard to chase after toddlers and watch babies. This will be super helpful for that.

4. Graco Pack N Play Yard with Cuddle Cove Removable Seat – $180

This is something that we got for B2, well my MIL graciously purchased for us. She was going to stay and help out for a good chunk of the summer. Unfortunately, due to some unforseen circumstances she had to leave early, and she bought this to assist me. The bed part is high enough that again B1 can’t pick the baby up. It also has a changing area and since B2 isn’t using the bigger sleeping area, I put extra clothes, blankets, and burp clothes there for easy changes. It also has pockets for diapers and wipes. It has been one of the most useful items we bought this time around.

Honorable Mentions

Bright Starts Bouncer – $30 – Both my kids LOVED this bouncer. Many people have a very strong preference for what type of bouncer or swing they love, and I swear by this one. We also have a swing, but neither of my kids really loved it that much.

Boppy Pillow – $30 - I use this every day. For nursing especially. I like that there is a gap between the pillow and the body, I think adds more skin-to-skin contact.

Aden + Anais Swaddle Blankets – $50 - FYI You can find these for MUCH cheaper at TJ Maxx or Marshalls! I didn’t really use these for B1, and B2 doesn’t love being swaddled, so I only do it overnight. They are great for the summer time in general though, because they are so lightweight. I drape them over both kids car seats when I am parked in the sun, to avoid the seatbelts getting super hot. I also use it to drape over B2’s lower body when she is in the car seat or stroller.

UppaBabyVistaUbbi

5. Uppababy Vista Stroller System – $850

I know, this stroller system is extremely expensive, but I don’t regret it one bit. We were able to get ours for about $250 cheaper because it was a store model. It wasn’t actually used in the store, although you can buy those for a discount usually, ours was the window model, which means it was basically brand new, it just sat in a window for a few months. Also, it is still in great condition after 4 years of use.

What I love about this system, you can use it from birth until the toddler years. This system comes with a bassinet, but you can also buy an attachment to put your car seat in it (more on that below). It has a toddler seat that can face toward the parent or away. You can also buy an extra seat so you can put two kids on the stroller. There is also a ride along board, so if your kids doesn’t want to sit in the seat they can ride on it while you push the other child, or you can have two seats and a ride along board!

Other pros: A huge basket, I can do a ton of grocery shopping just using the stroller. The core rubber wheels which are puncture proof, that was essential for me living in the city. When you fold the stroller, it can stand making it easy to store. Super easy to fold, adjustable handlebar, easy to manuever, and a very easy click tight system. When you put in the adapter, bassinet, or seat the area where you click those items in shows a green sign when you’ve done it correctly and red if it is incorrect. It is very easy to get those items in and out.

Cons: It is big, it takes up a lot of space in the car when it is lying down. You can’t fold it when the bassinet is attached, you have to detach and attach whenever you use it. You can fold it when the adapter is in place but you can’t unfold it. Only when the seat is attached can you fold and unfold it. The tires are big, so it takes time getting used to those.

6. Ubbi Diaper Pail – $80

Again, not cheap. We originally registered and received a plastic diaper pail that took regular garbage bags. Registering was overwhelming to me and finally I was like F IT, I don’t need a fancy diaper pail. It lasted about 3 months, even with taking the bag out every other day, the pail STANK. We did some research and found the Ubbi diaper pail. You can use regular garbage bags and the smell doesn’t escape. We’ve had B1’s since he was 3 months old and haven’t had any issues. We bought B2 her own because B1 still wears a pull up at night, and we only empty his pail every few weeks. Plus I don’t have to go into his room at night to throw a diaper away. I mean honestly these kids can just use them as garbage cans when they get older.

Carriers + Nursing

CarrierFavs

7. Ergobaby 360 Front Facing Carrier – $160

I haven’t used this a ton yet, some girlfriends gifted me one and I am super thankful and excited to use it. B2 is too big for the infant insert but too small to be in it alone, so I have used it around the house, but that’s about it. I can say it is very comfortable but does take some getting used to with all the buckles.

8. BabyBjorn Baby Carrier Original – $90

I have the mesh carrier, which is actually cheaper now since it is an older model. The mesh is super breathable for a summer baby. I use it now since B2 can be worn in this carrier now. The downside is that it does put a lot of pressure on my back. It is easy to put on, put the baby in, and take off.

9. Medela Symphony Breastpump – 

Most insurance companies should comp a rental of a breast pump. The Symphony is a medical grade pump, which you do have to get a “prescription” for from your doctor. Because of milk issues, I was able to get that prescription for both babies. The downside, this pump is a beast, if you have to carry it around just be aware!

Bottles & Bottle accessories

DrBrownFavorites

When Nick told people at work that I was pregnant, a lot of his coworkers told him about the Dr.Browns Bottles. They are great for babies that have gas issues, as both of ours have. They may have a lot of parts but they are easy to put together. We have both the standard bottles and the wide mouth bottles.  A 3 pack goes for about $15.

Bottle Warmer – $45

You can get this for a bit cheaper on Amazon. I like to make a few bottles at once, so a bottle warmer is essential. I also usually put a bottle in the warmer, change the baby’s diaper, and then usually the bottle is ready. I like that it remembers the length of heating that you used for the previous bottle. You do need to make sure that you follow instructions and keep the warmer cleaned out, because if you don’t it will get moldy. We had to through the one we had for B1 away due to this.

Formula Pitcher – $17

Again, I like to make multiple bottles at once, and this is how I do it. It helps to eliminate the bubbles from the bottles, aka so the baby doesn’t get gas. You can make up to 4, 8 oz bottles at once.

Drying Rack – $18

I had a different drying rack for B1’s bottles but it had layers and water got trapped, and it got moldy. I like that this one is slanted so water gets collected in one area nad you can easily dump it. It also folds for easy storage when you aren’t using it or you have guests.

Car Seat

ChiccoUppaBaby

11. Chicco Keyfit 30 Car Seat – $210

A car seat was something Nick and I spent A LOT of time on. The chicco keyfit was at the top of the safety list for Consumer Reports, and it fit into our ideal stroller. It is lightweight and easy to install. It is also very durable as we used it for B1 and we are now using it for B2.

12. Chicco Keyfit 30 Uppababy Vista Adapter – $45

Honestly, I didn’t use this for B1. I just used the bassinet seat, but the bassinet seat takes up space in the car, and also doesn’t allow me to use as much of the stroller basket as I’d like. I have been using this for B2 ever since I dug it out of its storage area. It was super easy to attach and detach, and it was easy to snap the car seat in. Life with two kids is more on the go than when I had just one, so this has been perfect for our busy schedules.

Now that I’ve shared a few of my essentials, what are yours? Anything you were surprised you absolutely loved or hated?

 

B2’s Birth Story & Updates

As of today B2 is officially six weeks old, six! It feels like this time has flown by. But let’s go back to the beginning, shall we?

When I posted my last pregnancy update, I was about a month out from my due date and on modified bed rest. It was not easy, luckily my mother-in-law and my mom have summers off, so my MIL came and stayed with us for 5-6 days, she’d go home for a day or two then come back, and my mom would fill in the gaps if she could. This was super helpful since most of my meals would get made for me. I didn’t have to do any grocery shopping, cleaning, laundry, etc… On top of it all B1 got a ton of one-on-one time with his grandmothers and Nick. I think that really helped the transition, once B2 arrived.

At every single appointment with my OB I was miserable. I basically kept asking them to induce. The baby was so low and so big, I had a few more ultrasounds and she was still measuring a decent amount ahead of schedule. those ultrasounds have a 10-15% margin of error, but that can go in either direction. I was also feeling nauseas again, and my swelling was out of control. Everyone kept telling me to drink more, but I was already at 120 oz a day! Unfortunately, since I wasn’t showing any signs of preeclampsia (like with B1) they could not induce, the hospital I delivered at recently changed its policies and they no longer allow inductions just because the baby is measuring big.

During my 38th week appointment, the protein in my urine and blood was elevated, which can indicate the start of preeclampsia and is one of the bigger symptoms to monitor. I had to do the 24 hour urine test, again. That test came back elevated, but they wanted to repeat it a second time to see if my levels were steadily increasing or if they were stagnant.  The second test we scheduled to coincide with my next appointment so that we could make a plan if the levels were elevated even more.

The day before my appointment for my 39th week appointment I started feeling even worse than usual. I was having spotty vision, which can happen due to swelling, and can be normal, I also had a massive headache that wouldn’t go away even after taking Tylenol, my last complaint was my heartburn. I hate taking lots of medication, even when I am not pregnant, so taking meds to combat the headaches and heartburn was worrisome. My OB decided to have me go to the hospital, I did an NST, and was monitored all afternoon, at about 7 pm my OB decided to have me admitted. I had started the 24 hour test over again in the hospital and had my blood routinely taken. They also had me do another ultrasound. It was so weird to be in the hospital alone, and because both labor & delivery and the mother & baby units were so busy, they never were able to move me to a non-labor room, and I had to try to sleep on one of the beds in my L&D room, not comfortable!

The next morning my OB came in and based on my labs they decided to induce, everything except my blood pressure was elevated, and I was far enough along (3 days before my due date) that they were comfortable with inducing. I started with the Cytotec which is a pill that dissolves under your tongue, it is used when a woman hasn’t made it to 3 cm dilated, I had experience with this when I was induced with B1. Each pill works for 6 hours, I took two doses and was checked. I was close enough to 3 cm, that they decided to start Pitocin. I started the Pitocin around 7 pm, I told the nurses and the on call OB that with my last delivery, once I got the Pitocin and Epidural it wasn’t long until B1 was born. I don’t think the nurse quite believed how fast things went when I had B1, but she and the OB listened to me and took note that it could happen fast.

At 10 pm I received my epidural, no shame. I don’t do well with pain and the epidural allows me to rest while my body does a lot of work. My nurse came in about every 90 minutes to reposition me and see how I was feeling. Around 2 am, I started feeling pressure, I hadn’t been checked since they started the Pitocin, so I just wanted to make sure things were progressing. The nurse did a check and I was at 10 cm already, time to get ready. Nick got up from his bed and got ready to welcome B2 into the world. The nurse had me do a couple of practice pushes and once again B2 was ready and we needed the OB to get into the room right away so this baby could make her appearance. After 5 pushes B2 arrived into this world at 2:36 am. Not only was my labor and delivery almost identical to my experience with B1, down to getting only one stitch, my babies now share a birthday.

B2Birthday

They are almost exactly 4 years apart, B2 was born 3 hours and 8 minutes before B1 was born. So crazy!

Now, I constantly complained about the fact that my belly felt extremely heavy, and that I was in a lot of pain. B2 was 10 lbs 1 oz! Part of me wanted to scream “I TOLD YOU SO” to anyone who would listen. Many thought I was crazy and that my body soreness was because I never made it past 37 weeks with B1, and also that I was being dramatic. Turns out I had a giant baby! At first I thought Nick was kidding when he told me how big she was, but the nurse confirmed it. I am still in shock that I was able to birth her naturally without tearing or any other complications.

I really wanted to go home after one night in the hospital. It felt awful to not be able to celebrate B1’s birthday with him, even if he did think his little sister was the best gift ever. However, like B, B2’s bilirubin (aka jaundice level) was borderline. With B1 we were discharged and then we had to be readmitted to pediatrics. I told Nick prior to delivery that if she had borderline levels we were staying so that she could be in the Maternal unit, I did not have a great experience in Pediatrics, plus in the maternal unit the nurses take care of mom and baby, and since I would be in recovery also, that was a must. Since we had asked to leave early they checked her bilirubin level early, and that second night she was under the photo therapy lights all night, except for when she needed to eat. We were discharged the following morning and the day after that we went to the pediatrician and she was already doing much better, she had even gained 2 ounces from when we were discharged to our pediatrician visit, which was about 24 hours apart, amazing.

We are now home and into a groove, some days are incredibly hard, and I wouldn’t expect anything different, but for the most part B1 is doing amazing, He adjusted relatively well and wants to spend so much time with her, he doesn’t understand why she sleeps so much.

B1andB2

For me the biggest adjustment is the lack of sleep. Thankfully, she started giving us 3-4 hour stretched pretty much right away, but when she gets up for her second feeding, usually around 4 or 5 am, by the time she is ready to go back to bed B1 is ready to get up. When he was an infant I was able to get another few hours sleep after that feeding, and now I can’t, so the exhaustion is definitely a little harder than when you just have one. I am breastfeeding a bit, but that requires a separate post, especially for anyone else that is living with PCOS.

B2 has already had her one month check up, she’s already back up to her birth weight +1 pound and she has grown 1.5 inches, this one definitely got the height from her daddy! I had received an ergo from friends for this baby, and she is too big for the infant insert but too small to go in it without the insert. I have been using the BabyBjorn for now, and once she can hold her head up I will move to the Ergo. The Bjorn is very breathable, but it kills my back after she’s been in it for a while. She started holding her head up the second day we were home, and she is increasing the amount of time that she can hold it up every day, so I think we will be able to move into the Ergo in the fall!

Anything else you want to know about B2? 

I have posts coming about breastfeeding, recipes, my fitness goals, and adjusting to motherhood!

I’m back (and she’s here)!

I finally feel like I am above water now, at least most of the time. If you follow me on Instagram, you know that B2 finally arrived. Two days before her due date, and on B1’s birthday. It’s kinda crazy that we have two kids, with the exact same birthday, and not only the same day mere hours apart.

B2birth

Ever since I had a biophysical ultrasound, and she was measuring 2 weeks ahead, I was nervous. Sure enough she was born at 10 pounds 1 ounce, naturally. I have had two pregnancies that were awful almost the whole time, but my laboring and actual delivery were pretty great, I mean as great as they can be, I was birthing a baby after all.

Life with two kids has been interesting. There are some great ups, B1 thinks that she was absolutely the best birthday present ever, and adores her. He also gets frustrated when he can’t be as loud (and crash cars all around the house) whenever he wants now, and has definitely noticed that the change is because of B2’s arrival.

B2

As I wrote in an earlier post, breastfeeding was something I hoped to be successful at this time around, and while it hasn’t been a home run, it has been much better than last time, and I have a post coming up with all that information, as well as some tips and recipes.

I think I’ve found my groove and I am back to a more regular blogging schedule!

Tell me something interesting about your summer!

Lactation Support Groups & a Giveaway

If there is one piece of advice that I could give any mom is that nothing ever goes as planned, ever. If it did, I would’ve already had B2, I fully anticipated she would be a June baby based on my conversations with my OB, but June came and went and she is still in utero. With B1 the plan was always to breastfeed, but with some medical complications post birth and the fact that after 2 weeks of trying my milk still hadn’t come in, I ended up not breastfeeding. It was such a hard decision, mixed with the post-partum hormones, and the guilt that I felt for not feeling good enough to provide for my baby, I hibernated. The only lactation consultant I saw basically told me to give up, it was an extremely difficult decision for me but at the end of the day, I needed to provide nutrients for my baby and if I couldn’t do that then I was going to find an alternate solution.

Third Trimester

More than ready for baby girl :)

With B2 I plan on trying the breastfeeding route again, I will be more willing to see a (different) lactation consultant immediately for help and pray that my milk comes in this time. Fortunately for me I was contacted by the team at Acelleron in North Andover, MA. Not only can you order medical products (like breast pumps, etc…) through them, they also offer many pre and post-partum services for moms. Things like fitness classes, doula services, new mom support groups, and lactation support groups. Since I didn’t go to one when B1 was born, I sent Megan at Acelleron a list of questions that I had about lactation support groups. I know I personally am very intimidated to go to any type of new class whether it be fitness, education, or something like lactation, my type A personality doesn’t like the unknown.

For the benefit of you and I, I posted our Q&A session below, and at the bottom is the info to enter the giveaway that Acelleron and I are having!

1. What is the benefit from attending a lactation support group?

There are so many great benefits! First, it is a great time to connect with other new moms! You get to see that your relationship and struggles are very common and you are not the only one going through them at 3 am. Second, you get professional advice and opinions by someone who is trained and educated in the field of lactation support. There are so many myths and bad advice out there surrounding breastfeeding. This is a great time to come in and get your questions answered by someone with professional and personal expertise.

2. When should mom start attending a lactation support group?

As soon as they can get out of the house! They can even come to a group while they are pregnant. I have had moms come with 3 day olds and moms come in with 12 month olds. It’s never too late or too early to join us.

3. How long should I attend the lactation support group for? How long does the average mom stay in the support group?

It totally depends of the kind of support mom is looking for. Moms are welcome to drop in once to get their questions answered, or come every week for their whole maternity leave. It is great when moms come for a few weeks and really build a bond with other moms. We are all about community and supporting each other, so it is great to watch that happen. On average, people stay in the group for 3-4 months.

4. Do moms actively breastfeed during the support group?

Yes. There are moms nursing throughout the meeting. It also gives me a chance to check positioning and latch.

5. When would a mom need a private session instead of being part of the group?

Moms would need a private session for a few different reason. If a baby is not gaining weight appropriately, lots of pain or bleeding on mom’s nipple, mom needs help creating a plan for going back to work. I always suggest starting out with the support group and then deciding from there, unless it is a more emergent situation.

6. What would you say to a mom that could not breast feed her first child but wants to try to breastfeed a second child?

Every pregnancy is different and every child is different! The best thing to do is educate yourself. Learn from what happened the first time around, and find a support system that will help you get breastfeeding started early on.

7. Are there foods or a diet that boosts breast milk supply?

Some moms will report a boost in their supply when they eat things like oatmeal, lactation cookies, coconut water and Gatorade. It is all really anecdotal as there is no research that proves any foods can increase supply.

8. What can a mom do to encourage better milk production or for her milk to come in?

The best advice is to breastfeed the baby early and often! As the baby suckles it tells your body to make more milk. It is all about supply and demand. The more the baby nurses, the more milk your body will make. In those first few days the baby does not need a lot of milk to fill up their tiny tummy. They need to be at the breast at least 8-12 times in 24 hours. This will help encourage your supply.

9. What would you tell a mom who’s milk has not come in more than one week post-partum?

If your milk has not come in after more than one week post-partum mom should be working directly with a lactation professional. Milk usually comes in around day 3 for a vaginal birth and can take up to 5 days to come in for a c-section.

10. For moms that don’t want to exclusively breast feed, when is it best to introduce a bottle?

The best time to introduce a bottle is around 3-4 weeks. If you wait much longer it might be harder. If you do it too soon it could have some negative effects. When deciding to introduce a bottle make sure to do some research on Paced Bottle Feeding. You can find some great video’s on YouTube. This method helps simulate a breastfeeding type experience and will help the baby easily transition between bottle and breast.

Megan O’Neill is the Director of Lactation Support at Acelleron Maternal Health & Wellness in North Andover, MA, which provides the resources and supportive community parents need to become empowered in the process of growing their family. Megan has over three years of breastfeeding experience with her two little boys and holds her Certification in Lactation Counseling and is also certified by the Academy of Lactation Policy and Procedure. She holds a weekly free drop-in breastfeeding support group on Wednesdays from 11:30-12:30pm: http://acelleron.com/maternal/support/lactation-lounge/ or you can email her at: moneill@acelleron.com. More info about Acelleron Maternal Health & Wellness can be found at: http://acelleron.com/maternal/, Facebook or Twitter.

 

Acelleron is offering to giveaway a Simple Wishes hands free bra to one lucky reader. This giveaway ends Friday, July 10, 2015 at 11:59 pm EST

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Did you attend a lactation support group? What was the best thing about it?

Third Trimester Updates

It’s hard to believe I am already part way through the third trimester, but at the same time I feel like once I got to the third trimester time just stood still.

Third Trimester

33+ Weeks on the left, 25+ Weeks on the right. 

This non-maternity Stitch Fix (affiliate link) t-shirt has been one of the most comfortable things for me to wear this pregnancy.

These last few weeks haven’t been great, if I am being honest. I’ve said it before, I haven’t had “easy” pregnancies. With this pregnancy, the second trimester really was the only time I felt okay, and even that had its issues.

I haven’t felt dizzy or faint in a while, but to avoid any disasters Nick and B1 come and do the grocery shopping with me on Sundays. I hate doing grocery shopping on the weekends, but it has to be done then, and we make a fun game of whether or not Nick & B1 can find items in the store faster than it takes me at the meat & deli counters. Spoiler: they usually win!

Nursery

Baby Girl’s room

My MIL came and painted the nursery, she is a pro and doesn’t even need the painters tape and it looks amazing! The crib and changing table are set up, and most of the big items we needed are purchased. There is still a lot of organizing to do, but I can’t do a lot of it so I have to wait when I have help on the weekends. I am trying to not go nesting crazy, but I don’t think it is working.

B1

B1 is super excited! I showed him how to swaddle Mickey, and he put him down for a nap. Precious!

I am back on a modified bed rest of sorts, I can do a few things, but I’m advised not to stress out my body, and to keep my feet up as possible. There are a few reasons for that, baby girl is measuring about 2 lbs bigger than is normal for this gestational age. She is also in a weird position, her elbow and shoulder are digging into my pelvic area, which causes so much pain for that area and also for the lower part of my body. We are trying to avoid stressing out my body and the baby. So, that means no long drives, exercising, lifting heavy objects, etc…

I’ve been monitored a bit more than normal, but mom and baby are healthy and that’s what matters. I have been feeling a bit overwhelmed, my weight gain jumped a lot the last few weeks, and a large part of it is definitely due to the fact that her weight gain jumped a lot. I have been trying to eat as healthy as possible, but I know that I have been eating more carbs than I usually do. I am also feeling like my stomach is extremely heavy, so I invested in a belly band at the request of my doctor and that helps a little bit, but I do notice after walking around for a bit my stomach and pelvis are really sore, and my feet start to swell.

This means I have been sitting a lot,not ideal, but again, you can’t predict how your pregnancy will go. The end goal is a healthy baby and mom, so I am trying to mentally let myself be okay with that. One of my other goals is to make sure I get in at least 120 oz of water a day. With the heat coming and natural swelling, I need to make sure I am well hydrated.

I still feel like I have one hundred things to do, including making a bunch of freezer meals since we just got a new upright freezer for the garage. If you have any suggestions send them my way!

For Two Fitness Mother’s Day Giveaway!

 I am thrilled to partner with For Two Fitness for an amazing post-Mother’s Day giveaway. I have been wearing For Two Fitness apparel throughout my pregnancy with B2 and they quickly have become some of my favorite maternity fitness pieces. For Two Fitness is running a phenomenal giveaway for the new mom or mom-to-be. Read the details below and make sure to follow on social media! 

This year, we are celebrating Mother’s Day all week! We are so thankful to YOU — our community, customers, friends, moms and moms-to-be. To express our thanks, we are hosting a huge giveaway this week in partnership with some amazing brands and our ambassadors. The Grand Prize is valued at more than $1000.  We have phenomenal prizes, from Joovy, Garmin, Feetures, Sara Haley and us, For Two Fitness – all facets of your fit mom lifestyle are in this prize pack!

joovy

Prizes are brought to you by our wonderful brand partners, sponsoring ambassadors and of course, us here at For Two Fitness. Here are more details about the grand prize – everything you see below:

 garmin

 

Grand Prize Giveaway items:

 

 Feetures sarahealey

 This contest runs from Monday, May 11th through midnight on Friday, May 15th.  Please follow all of our contest co-hosts on Instagram:

 

 ForTwoFitness

 

Thanks for celebrating Mother’s Week with us!  Good Luck!!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Second Trimester and Gender Reveal!

I am more than a few weeks into the second trimester, and I truly feel like this pregnancy is flying! I didn’t announce here, but some of you may have seen on Instagram

BABYGIRLB

We are having a GIRL! I am so incredibly excited!! I would’ve been happy regardless, but it will be nice to have a little girl and a little boy in our house! Also, the addiction to buying girl clothes is real. I have had to put my self on clothes buying ban until she is born.

This pregnancy has been vastly different from what I remember with B1. I definitely felt like by the second trimester the exhaustion wasn’t as bad as it was in the first, but I guess I wasn’t chasing after a 3-year-old.

IMG_9954

Typical dinner shenanigans

I had a lot of sciatic pain with B1, and it has been touch and go this pregnancy, but of course I have had other aches and pains and almost fainted in Whole Foods the other morning. That was scary, but apparently also completely normal. From what my doctor told me standing still for an extended amount of time (in the shower, long church services, a long deli line…) can cause your BP to drop and leave you feeling faint, it was scary, but now I know how to make sure that never happens again.

I also have felt the second trimester hunger kick in. When I grocery shop I don’t vary from my usual stuff, but as soon as I get hungry nothing I have prepared sounds good. I have been eating a lot of egg sandwiches, homemade chicken salad, chicken sausage, and salad. I really really wish it was watermelon season, because I could probably eat an entire one every day and be very happy.

PureBarreBaby

My new favorite sticky socks! I am back at Pure Barre regularly. It’s been great to see everyone and the staff has been so helpful with modifications, as I have continued to grow, some things that felt fine even a week ago feel uncomfortable now so it is nice to have someone show me other exercises that work with what the rest of the class is doing.

Even though she is due the same month as B the maternity clothing is completely different. I lost 20 pounds due to severe sickness with B so I was in regular clothes, mostly workout clothes if we are being honest, until week 30. So most of my maternity clothes are dresses and shorts and tank tops, I had a few cardigans and one pair of maternity jeans, and that was it for maternity clothes. I am going to write another post on what I’ve been wearing in every day and for workouts, but it has been crazy how different my body is this pregnancy. I am carrying baby girl MUCH lower than I carried B, and I started showing much earlier this pregnancy.

I also started feeling kicks much earlier this pregnancy, and I LOVE it. Somedays it feels like she is stomping on my bladder, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Were your pregnancies very different or similar? 

A Very Exciting Announcement!

Lets just get right to the most important thing about this blog post:

BABYB2I never really talked about our post-miscarriage TTC journey, partially because everyone’s journey is different and what (eventually) worked for us may or may not work for someone else. It is also something that I felt was too personal to put on blast for anyone to read. I have no problem talking to someone one-on-one if you are interested.

How Far Along?

I am 14 weeks, my due date is early July, in fact it is two days after B’s birthday. We don’t know the gender, yet. We will be finding out, mostly because I have zero patience!

How Did You Find Out?

Since we were working with an Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE) we had a scheduled blood test. About a week before the test I started noticing my exhaustion, I have always been a morning workout gal, and some days I would be more tired than others, but for a week I was constantly exhausted post-gym. I would climb back into bed and fall asleep immediately and Nick would have to wake me up once he was done in the bathroom. I had never had that kind of exhaustion before, except during my pregnancies.

I ended up taking a pregnancy test prior to my blood test, see zero patience, and the second line (aka a positive) never showed. In anger I tossed the test at the garbage. When I got home from the gym, I realized I didn’t actually get the test in the garbage, it landed next to it, so I picked it up and the second line had shown up, apparently I just didn’t wait long enough.

How Are You Feeling?

I am feeling much better than I was for the past 12-13 weeks. I just tend to have rough pregnancies, with B I was nauseous for the first 20 weeks, and I am glad this time around I did seem to start to feel better with the onset of the second trimester.

Now, I feel exhausted. Since B does not nap anymore it means mom does not get to nap, so I end up going to bed very very early every single night. I can also feel my sciatic pain creeping back in, I just hope it doesn’t fully set in for at least 5-6 weeks more.

How Is Your Fitness & Eating?

Food wise, I basically survived on potatoes, in any form, the first trimester. I had zero desire to eat any sweets or veggies. I tried to force one salad or veggie heavy meal at least once a day, but sometimes it just didn’t happen. I have also been obsessed with egg sandwiches, and I still am, unless I am in a rush I have one every morning for breakfast.

Now I am feeling at about 90%, and I am trying to make super healthy meals for us to eat. Since I am exhausted I try to make things that will last 2-3 nights so that I only end up really cooking 3 times a week, plus one night of pizza or some sort of takeout. I’ve been making a lot of veggie heavy soups or chili’s, perfect for cold weather and for laziness.

Fitness on the other hand has been at a standstill. There was a hemorrhage on the gestational sac, of course after a miscarriage hearing that freaked me out. Especially since I could spot or bleed during my pregnancy. It hasn’t happened, thankfully, but is still scary just to think about.

So this meant that I was on a modified bed rest. It meant absolutely no lifting (which a 3-year-old DOES NOT understand), no physical relations, and no exercise. Basically I did the bare minimum and felt like a crazy person. The bleed is now gone, thank goodness, and I can get back to a normal routine. I’ve been taking it easy slowly getting back into it with yoga at home, but I am looking forward to getting back into the studio(s) very soon!

How Did B React?

He is super excited. He helped us pack up some residual baby toys and some of his stuffed animals for the baby. He loves to talk to my belly and tells the baby how much he loves it. I can’t wait to see him as a big brother, I think he will be amazing, even if he did tell us “baby girl or baby nothing”.

Will You Be Blogging About Your Pregnancy?

I will probably post updates occasionally, and include how I’m feeling with my workout recaps. but I just can’t remember to do the photos and the weekly recaps.

So glad to finally share my marvelous news and link up with Katie again!

Any other questions I missed? 

I’m Back…

It has definitely been awhile since I wrote a blog post or even opened up WordPress. I didn’t have a ton to write about and I wanted to spend some time with my family, so I am glad for the break, but now I am back. The only thing I bummed to have missed was my FOURTH blog anniversary. I can’t believe I have been blogging for this long, and I am ready to get things going in 2015. Before I start sending out new content, I figured I’d catch everyone up on a few things that have been going on!

 

BUT, Before that I am applying to be DanceFIT Studio’s Spokesperson of the Year. If you feel like I would be a great fit, I would love a nomination. All the details can be found on my FB Page.

dancefitstudio

{Review Here}

First we had some awesome family photos taken by the amazing Caroline in early November, and I wanted to share a few with them all of you, especially now that our Christmas cards are out.

winn_141109-2477I got my hair and makeup done at The Luxe Bar in Peabody, and I am so happy I was able to do so.

The Luxe BarThis is just the hair styling side of the salon. Makeup is at the far end, they also have manis, pedis, bronzing and a brow bar! There is also a kids and bridal section!

EVERYONE raves about them, and there is a reason! Chelsey did both my hair and my makeup, which was nice because some other places typically have two different stylists for the services and the appointment had a great flow to it and I didn’t have to wait between getting my hair done and my makeup, so I ended up being done a little earlier than I was scheduled which is always a plus.

Chelsey made some great suggestions as well, when I get a blowout I always get my hair pin straight because it is hard for me to do on my own since my hair is extremely thick (and my patience is not high), she suggest some curl at the bottom to make it bounce which I think was great for the photos we took. The only downfall was that I can usually keep a blowout looking good for 4-5 days, and with this hair style it definitely fell out after about 2 days. She also made great suggestions for my eye makeup and used my own lip gloss instead of a lipstick so that I could reapply as needed!

winn_141109-2425

winn_141109-2548

In addition to taking family photos, I am also going to be an ambassador for Zooma Cape Cod for the third year in a row! (2013 and 2014 recaps), you can use code: KELLY15 for 10% off the half marathon or 10K!

Zooma Cape Cod 2015Ambassador_Badge

ZoomaCapeCod2014Ambassadors

And some of you might remember that I did some work with Feetures during the 2014 race, and they released the video, this took a lot of courage on my part, as I don’t like being on camera that much, but I am so proud of myself.

I also spent a majority of my “off time” with my family and just hanging out. It was nice to not be in the social media for a while and I am glad I took some time off. I do have a long overdue Stitch Fix recap for you and some other posts that I have been working on.

I hope you all had a great start to 2015! Update me on what’s new in your lives!