Thursday, June 25, 2009

Quote of the Day

"Making the decision to have a child-it's momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body." Elizabeth Stone

Monday, June 22, 2009

Latching On

Are you wondering why I haven't talked about this subject until now? Isn't this how breastfeeding begins? I am not sure why I am just talking about it now, but I hope some of the information and pictures that I give will help.

First thing to do when you start breastfeeding, is make sure that you are comfortable where you are sitting or laying down. You can use a footstool to support your feet and a boppy pillow or a couch pillow to help elevate your arm that the baby is resting on. Bring the baby close to you so you are skin to skin. Make sure the babies body is straight and its neck is not twisted. There are alot of different positions to try when nursing. You will probably prefer some over the other, but trying different positions might make nursing easier for both you and the baby. I found this chart of positions from this website The first and most common position is the cradle hold. The next most common for me was the the lying down position. I used this one with my first child alot. Then you can also try the cross-cradle hold or the football hold.

To get the baby to latch on, grab your breast in a C-hold, with your thumb on top of your breast and the rest of your fingers underneath the breast. Don't use the cigarette hold because that will prevent the baby from latching on correctly to the nipple. Make sure that the babies mouth is open very wide so he/she can put the nipple and the areola in its mouth. The areola is the dark circle around your nipple. You might need to help your newborn baby open its mouth enough at the beginning. Just pull down on the chin to help the baby get enough of the breast in his/her mouth. The babies nose needs to be touching your breast while nursing. They still can breath good this way and it keeps them from loosing the latch. If it seems that the baby is having a hard time breathing, then just lower your arm that the baby is resting on. The above pictures ( will help you see how much of the breast the baby should have in its mouth. If the baby doesn't latch on the first time try, try again. If there is any clicking noises or the babies checks are sucking in to much then he/she in not latched on correctly. Break the latch and try again. Don't just pull your breast out of the babies mouth because that can tear it. Put your index finger in the mouth of the baby to break the latch. By not having a good latch, the baby will not empty your breast right and it will make you really sore.

You will have sore nipples for about the first two weeks of nursing with a good latch. It hurts when they first latch on, but once they are nursing the pain goes away. Make sure that you are switcing breast every time you start nursing so one doesn't get more sore than the other. You start with the breast that you ended on the feeding before. So if you ended on the right breast with the first feeding, then you start with the right breast on the second feeding. My mom always had me put Vitamin E on my breast to keep them from getting too dry and cracked. My breast never cracked enough to bleed, but the vitamin E will help with the dryness. It won't hurt the baby, so put it on when ever you feel you need it. Breastfeeding is all worth the pain and effort if you can just stick with it. It is such a wonderful bonding time for you and your baby. You can talk, massage and sing while you have this time with one another. So enjoy every minute.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Quote of the Day

"We never know the love of the parent until we become parents ourselves." Henry Ward Beecher

Teaching the Bottle

I am blessed enough to say that I didn't have any problems with teaching my two children to use the bottle. Don't be in a hurry to teach the bottle, but I would also recommend teaching your baby to use one even if you are a stay-at-home mom. It is so nice to know that if you need or want to leave that you don't have to rush home to nurse. It is nice way to get your husband involved and let him have his time with the baby.
Most doctors and Lactation Specialist say not to introduce the bottle until the baby is about six weeks old. If I remember right I started the bottle on my first baby at about 3 or 4 weeks of age. That is what I felt good about doing, but do what you feel is right for your baby. If you wait to long then the baby will be more reluctant to try the bottle.
If you find that the baby won't take the bottle, it might be the nipple. So experiment with different nipples. Try one for a couple of weeks and then move to others if the baby it still not accepting the bottle. Some good nipples to try are: Advent, Playtex, and Evenflo. There are also some good nipples from the company that sell breast pumps. Another thing that might be affecting the babies willingness to use the bottle is the temperature of the milk. Most babies want it the same temperature that comes from the breast, so make sure the milk is not to hot or cold. A good tip that I read from the book 'The Nursing Mother's problem solver' is to put the nipple between the lips of the baby after he/she has fallen asleep while nursing. That way the baby can get use to the nipple. Remember that introducing a bottle to a new baby takes alot of patients. It might seem really hard but stay persistent. Try to get the baby to use the bottle at least twice a week so the baby will get use to it. Something else to try is wait as long as you can to feed the baby, but not to long that he/she gets upset. If the baby is really hungry, he/she might be more willing to take the bottle. You could try to hold the baby in a different position such as facing them away from you. Making it different from the nursing position. If the baby consistently turns away from the bottle, don't force it to take it. Calm the baby down and try again a few minutes later. Forcing the baby to take the bottle will teach them to hate or reject the bottle.
If you are a mother that is returning to work, don't wait to long to introduce the bottle. Give yourself enough time to help the baby get use to it. Try to have another caregiver feed the baby because the baby can smell you and not take it as easy from you as they would some one else.
Not to sound to negative, but this will be a trying process and will need your patients and love. Babies latch on to bottles differently than they do the breast. When they latch onto the breast, their mouths are wider and their tongue move past the lips to preform a lip-suck movement. While bottle sucking requires a closed-mouth position and the tongue remaining inside the mouth.
I personally am thankful for the bottle because I was able to get some time away and let my husband feel that he was needed. We could go on dates and leave the baby with grandparents and not have to rush home. The best nipple that worked for me was the Advent nipple, but I have heard good things about Evenflo and the Nuk's orthodontic nipples. Another nipple that got high marks in 'The Nursing Mother's problem solver' book was the Evenflo orthodontic nipple. It is said to have a large base so the baby needs to put more of it in its mouth, rather then make the baby work so hard to extract the milk. Make sure that you get some help if you need it and take your time. If you are consistent with making your baby try the bottle, then your baby will finally accept it.

Staying in Touch

I wanted to let everyone that views our blog that has any concerns or comments, to email us at If you have something personal to ask or say, or need any help at all, go ahead and email my mom and I. We are passionate about helping women and their babies, so don't hesitate to ask for help.
We want to thank you for viewing our blog and hope that in some small way we can help you and your baby

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Raising Dough

I got up this morning at 5:oo, when my husband left to work and decided I would make some Pecan Rolls. I found this little cookbook at a yard sale with tons of wonderful bread and roll recipes. So, hopefully the dough will raise and they will be yummy. I'll let you know.
One of the inspiring books I have read and enjoyed recently is "The Four Agreements" by Don Miguel Ruiz. On page 20 it says," In your whole life noboby has ever abused you more than you have abused yourself. And the limit of your self-abuse is exactly the limit that you will tolerate from someone else. If someone abuses you a little more than you abuse yourself, you will probably walk away from that person. But if someone abuses you a little less than you abuse yourself, you will probably stay in the relationship and tolerate it endlessly. The more self-love we have, the less we will experience self-abuse."
Why do you think we have such a hard time loving ourselves? Because we were told by our parents and teachers that we weren't measuring up to their expectations. Each child needs to grow up with a healthy self-love and self-esteem and not quite so many rules and regulations. Children gain self-esteem by learning that they are valued members of their family. Learning to pick up their rooms, fold their clothes and put them away, and eventually doing the dishes and mopping the kitchen floor as they get older. You can't talk your child into having self-esteem. It is something that has to be earned by them.
I read a book when my kids were little that said, " If it is not hurting him or anyone else, then don't make a fuss." Sometimes we get in such a habit of having to say something to everything our kids do. This is why they learn to tune us out. And they are hearing our constant disapproval of them. Constant disapproval of their sweet spirits. We should give 95% positive messages each day to 5% negative. Take a count one day and see if you are giving out the love you want returned. They are going to grow up to be awesome people. I just know they are. I used to lie awake at night worrying about my kids. One night I realized I had forgotten to feed my youngest,who was 3, lunch that day! How can you be a worse mother than that? She ended up being 6'1''ft tall, so I guess a skipped meal didn't hurt her to much after all! Love yourselves. Before we can love anyone else, we need to give ourselves some approval and love.
Yey, My Pecan Rolls are rising, raising, have risen! Let's eat!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Quote of the Day

"Who is getting more pleasure from this rocking, the baby or me?" Nancy Thayer, Author

Baby Blues=Postpartum

I wanted to talk about Antidepressants and make sure that we as mothers are getting the help that we all need. I feel that we ask to much of ourselves, but then feel it is wrong to be on any medication. There is nothing wrong with being on medication to help you to feel happy, so you can enjoy being a mom and enjoy life. One of my best friends is on two different kinds of depressions medicines because that is what helps her to make it through her days.
There are two kinds of antidepressants that are not good to be on while nursing. They are: Prozac and St. John's Wort. St. John's Wort is an inhibitor that can cause some serious side effects such as, seizures, gastrointestinal irritations, fatigue. Some better antidepressants are Zoloft and Paxil. Both drugs leak only small amounts in to the breast milk. Please talk to your doctor if you need to and get some help. The doctors with know what will be best for you. We all have great people around us, so we need to make sure that we ask for help when needed. They are always willing to help in any way.
I only had the blues/postpartum with my first baby for maybe the first month. I connected with her so much and I was truly in love with her. We had a first hard month, but I had alot of great help and I was able to make sure that I got some alone time. With my second child it was really different. I didn't connect with him like I did my daughter. He wasn't any harder then she was, but I didn't have the passion I had for my daughter that I thought I would. The only thing I wanted to do was to nurse and feed him, I didn't want to hold him much and be around him much. It really scared me because I started wondering if I would ever develop a relationship and a bond with him. I know for sure that I had alot more postpartum and held on to it longer the second time around. Then he got RSV and ended up in the hospital when he was six weeks old. We layed together in the same bed with tubes coming out of his little body for three days, and I know from that time on that I loved him more than anything. And now we can not get enough of each other and he is a joy to be around.
I will always remember when first baby was about two weeks old, my sister-in-law came over and told me to go out for a while and do what ever I wanted. I had just nursed the baby, but I so nervous about leaving her. But I also knew that I really needed to get out. I hadn't left the house for two weeks and so it was going to be good for me. I don't remember even buying anything, but I do remember just walking around Target and relaxing. I tell you this because, being a mom it hard and we all need help. We all have great people around us to help relieve some stress and emotions. So let them help us and make being a mother more enjoyable and less stressful.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

On Being Me

Over the last few day, I have been thinking about what I wanted to say in my very first entry on our blog. I want to thank my sweet LeAnna for asking me to be a part of her blog. She has been very understanding with me and my adjustment to my empty nest. And I say- my empty nest -because it doesn't seem to have affected my husband much, having the last child move out and be on her own. He has been just as patient with me. I think he is just waiting, knowing I will someday stop moping around. Someday I will stop thinking I have to be busy every second. Going to my sewing room to find another project to throw myself into. Calling my sisters, just to have someone to talk to. And I am waiting too. But right now I don't know if the loneliness will ever go away. I was a mother for 35 years. There was always a game to go to. A dance recital coming up or a wedding to plan. I miss the noise, the food, the laughter, my son and his constant teasing. I'm not a person who plans too far into the future. I just let each day take care of itself, and so I never prepared myself for this time when my children would go into their own lives and live their lives so successfully as not to have any need of a mother to nag them into eternity. And for that I am very grateful.
Now it is my turn. And I don't have the slightest clue how to proceed. But I am determined to find my way. Over the last 2 years I have had time to read so many wonderful books. They have inspired me to want to live a life full of meaning. When you get to be my age, I know 57 seems ancient to any one under 40, you start to think about your relationship with God and I for one, want to have a daily walk with Him. I now relish my quiet time with Him, all the while missing my old life. So you see, I am making progress.
I'll never forget the birth of my first baby, Lillie. I was 20. I got married in Feb. and had Lillie in Dec. of the same year. It wasn't a hard delivery, only 5 hrs., but the doctor had to use forceps, so after 5 hrs, both baby and I felt like we had been run over by a Mac Truck. When I was settled in my room, they brought my baby to me and I was able to nurse her. I was overcome by how beautiful she was and how tiny, at 7 lbs 4 oz. In those days there was no rooming-in so they came and took Lillie back to the nursery for the night. In the middle of the night I woke up startled. I could hear a baby crying from way down the hall. A loud scared cry. I pulled my poor aching pelvis out of bed and limped down the hall to the nursery. The nurse holding the screaming bundle ask me if I was the mother of this baby and I said yes. Well , this baby really wants her Mommy. I settled, very slowly, into a rocking chair there in the nursery and she gently handed me my baby. I opened my nightgown and she recognized my smell. She quieted and whimpered alittle. Then she nursed and sighed and settled into my arms. She opened her eyes and looked up a me and we were in love. I knew then that I could be a mother.How did I know that was my baby crying? I don't know, I just knew. A mothers instinct, I guess. Another one of God' Sweetest Gifts.

Quote of the Day

"The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness."
by Honore de Balzac, Author

Mommy and Allergies

Are you a mom suffering with spring time allergies? Well your not alone. Here is some information that might help relieve your watering eyes and stuffy noses.

Specific Medications
Allegra: There is no information regarding its transfer to the breast milk. Seladine is a similar medicine and studies have shown that only a small small amount is transferred to the breast milk.
Claritin: Author Claire Martin says,"About 0.02 percent of what the mother ingests is transferred to her milk, according to the limited research available. Claritin is used for children, so it is considered safe for breastfeeding mothers."
Nasal Spray: Most nasal sprays are safe for mothers that are nursing. Try to keep the use or dose of the sprays to a minium and it won't affect the breastmilk. Some contents in nasal sprays have been linked to birth impairments on the fetus, so don't use them while you are pregnant.
Other nasal sprays that are safe are: Nasacort and Flonase
Author Claire Martin states,"Nasal sprays are considered topical therapy, and the amount your system absorbs is fairly low."

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Quote of the Day

"Mother's hold their children's hand for a short while, but their hearts forever." Unknown

Colic vs. Acid Reflex

What I write to you today are about two subjects that I feel are very important to talk about. I have personal experience with both Colic and Acid Reflex, as do many moms with new babies.

It doesn't usually start until about two weeks after the baby is born. The baby will get really fussy at about the same time everyday and will fuss or cry for about two hours. From the book (The Nursing Mother's Problem Solver), author Claire Martin says that, "Symptoms of colic usually start during the second week of life. Babies prone to colicky behavior are relentlessly fussy, intense, extremely sensitive, and high-need. The fussiness peaks at 6 to 8 weeks of age and usually disappears when a baby is between 3 to 6 months old." She goes on to say, "Some pediatricians think that an iron imbalance can aggravate colic, often because mothers continue taking prenatal vitamins and/or iron supplements after birth. " Some say that colic may be associated with dairy allergies. Try eliminating (iron or the dairy) one at a time, again for the two period, and then work on the next one. If the baby is still fussy and hasn't been checked for Acid Reflex, that would be the next step to take to help the baby.

Acid Reflux-
After having my first baby, Reagan, I couldn't get enough of her and wanted her with me every minute. She stayed in my hospital room and slept with me most of the time we were there. The symptoms of reflux started the second day, but I didn't know about it at that time and I had no idea why she didn't want to latch on and nurse. One other symptom was that she never would sleep. I thought that newborns were suppose to sleep all of the time so it was weird to me that she didn't sleep very good. Well I started thinking that we just need to get home where we would feel much more comfortable. Well was I wrong. That first night and the first month was a nightmare. She would not sleep unless I was holder her and she would not even latch on the eat. I, being a first time mom didn't want to give her a bottle, so I about gave up until finally on the third day my milk came in and she latched right on. She was pretty much starving and she knew that she wasn't going to get much from nursing, so she didn't even want to try.

Everything was going much better after my milk came in except the sleeping and she started to spit up alot. She also had the hiccups all of the time. It wasn't like vomiting, but it was all of the time. So I had a hard time getting her on a schedule for a long time because she wanted to always eat, which is another symptom of acid reflux. Babies think that if they eat all of the time that it will make it feel better, but it does the opposite. It makes that reflux worse. So to be honest I was not enjoying being a mom and I was very, very tired and emotional not know what was going on with my baby. She slept fine during the day, but when it got dark, we were both awake most of the night.

Finally, I get to take her in for her two week appt and I just break down to her doctor. Explain to him how she won't sleep, is very fussy and spits up all of the time. Well come to find out my Pediatrician specializes in gastrology and knew exactly what was going on. He checks her out and she is way past her birth weight and is striving and looked good. Then he prescribes me a prescription of Axid. He also told me that I need to get off dairy and any other foods that might give her gas. So for the first year of her life, I didn't drink milk or eat cheese or yogurt. I also got of any foods that would make me gassy like broccoli, beans, peanuts, cauliflower, etc. I wanted so much to help her, that I was willing to do anything. Another thing the doctor said was to get her on a feeding schedule of every 2 1/2 to 3 hours in between feedings. That will help the reflux and teach her that she doesn't need to eat all of the time. So we give that medicine a try for two weeks (the required time for medicine to work with reflux). Well I noticed that the axid worked for about the first week and then stopped working. So I asked for a different medicine and the doctor put Reagan on Prevacid. This was the stuff. It worked right away and worked until she was a year. I gave it to her everyday for the first 4 months and then I would only give it to her when she would start spitting up alot. I did give it to her until she was a year. My doctor said that Acid Reflux can last from anywhere from 3 months to 1 year of age.

With my second baby, Adam, he would sleep well, but he was much fussier and had colic at the same time. So he had to be on both axid and prevacid at the same time. I would give him axid in the mornings and prevacid at night. If I remember right he only had to take the medicine until he was about 9 months old. Both of my children didn't talk really soon and Reagan wouldn't eat solids until about 8 months old. Those are both symptoms of acid reflux. So it is very important to get babies on medication.

Now that my daughter is 4 yrs old, doctors are diagnosing Acid Reflux more and not mistaking it for colic. I was lucky to have the doctor that I had to help with my little girl. Some babies are worse than others, but they all can be helped with medication.

Acid Reflux is really called, Gastroesophageal Reflux, meaning that a valve in the esophagus closed improperly, allowing the contents from the stomach to come back up. So in other words the baby always has acid from the breast milk and stomach coming up and burning them and putting them in alot of pain. I also found out that my daughters stomach was to high and so that made the reflux worse because she could digest anything. I took her to a specialist to help pull her stomach down to where it needed to be. The valve eventually closes as the baby grows up. Some children with acid reflux don't learn to talk until later and some refuse to eat solids. But make sure that you keep trying with the solids because they need to learn to be eating solids at least no later than 10 months.

Symptoms to look for in your baby:
*Frequent spitting up after feedings, sometimes with spitting or projectile vomiting in between feedings.
*Frequent hiccups
*Wanting to eat all of the time, but only for a few minutes at a time. (feed the baby every 2 1/2 or 3 hours and that will help the reflux and burning)
*Acting hungry but refusing feedings
*Arching back after or during feedings, drawing up legs
*Sleeping in short burst with crying in between
*Fussing after feedings
*Hoarse voice
*Excessive gassiness
*Sour Burps or bad breath
*Waking from sound sleep screaming
*Poor weight, poor growth
*Wheezing or excessive coughing
*Resisting solids
Don't change to formula because it makes the reflux worse. It is fine if you are using formula already, but make sure that the baby gets some medication for help.

Things to try to make the baby more comfortable:
*Hold baby upright for 30 minutes after feedings. Try to keep the baby from crying because excessive crying can aggravate the reflux, allowing to much air to be swallowed.
*Offer smaller, more frequent meals
*Burp well after feedings
*Keep the baby away from cigarette smoke
*Consider sleeping the baby in his/her stomach, only if you feel right about it. You can sleep the baby where you can watch it while it sleeps. I slept both of my babies on their stomachs, but that might not be right for everyone.
*Elevating the babies crib mattress so the baby would sleep on a incline and sleep the baby in it's side. Make sure that they baby lays on different sides each night to make sure that the babies head forms right.

I hope that what I have said about colic and acid reflux with help. We as mothers know our babies, so make sure that your doctors listen to you and that you get help for your baby. Make sure that as mothers that we all get help and get out to get some space from the baby.

**Some of the information was used from the article called, Bundle of Misery, by Kim Fernandez, Washington Post, Aug 2002**

Acid Reflex-

Monday, June 8, 2009

Quote of the Day

"The highest courage is to dare to appear to be what one is." John Lancaster(Catholic Bishop)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Babies and Allergies

Most of my information will be from this wonderful book. I will also add my personal experience because allergies have been a problem with both of my children.

Author Claire Martin states, "If you are sensitive to certain foods, your baby may be, too. Babies are more likely to be sensitive to certain foods rather than truly allergic. If you or the baby's father or your other children have food allergies or sensitivities, or are prone to eczema, then your baby is more likely to be food sensitive, too. Symptoms of a food sensitivity include cramping and abdominal pain, bloating, foul-smelling gas, diarrhea, eczema, incessant fussiness, vomiting, and constant congestion or colds." She goes on to say, "If your baby is sensitive to a food in your diet, it affects the babies ability to nurse. Muscles respond to allergic reactions, and since the tongue is a muscle, an allergic baby may have a hard time using it's tongue to suckle."

"Signs of food-sensitivity reactions include fussiness, skin rashes, red cheeks, diarrhea, vomitting and congestion. If you've eaten something that provokes a sensitive reaction in your baby, she'll probably react within 3 to 6 hours after your meal. If your baby is sensitive to citrus, it may take 1 to 4 hours for the citrus allergen to show up in your milk and only one day for the allergen to build to a level she finds intolerable."

Author Claire Martin goes on to write, "The dietary culprits that provoke sensitive reactions include milk and diary products, soy, eggs, peanuts, wheat, fish, corn, and citrus........Babies also can be sensitive, but not allergic, to other foods: Broccoli, onions, cabbage, carbonated soft drinks, and caffeinated sodas or coffee can make a sensitive baby gassy."

To find out what your baby might be reacting to, start avoiding certain foods that might make you gassy. If that doesn't help the baby, then you eliminate others foods one at a time (for 10 days to a week) until you find what foods are causing the upset in your baby. Author Claire Martin suggests a food journal of everything you eat in a day to help you findthe food culprit.

The author states, "You don't need to follow a drastic elimiation diet. Instead, cut out the most likely suspects, such as diary, wheat, and peanuts. Because certain allergen-provoking foods remain in your system and can enter your milk several days after you've consumed them, you must strictly follow elimination diets for at least 10 days." Once the baby grows out of being sensitive to certain foods you can slowly reintroduce the foods back into your diet slowly, one food at a time.

I remeber with my first baby I had to eliminate all dairy and I didn't eat broccoli, beans, peanut butter and any other foods that would make me gassy for the first year of her life. I hated seeing her in pain, arching her back and crying all of the time. I was willing to do what I had to do to help her. With my second child, I had to get off just dairy products, mainly milk because he was allergic to it. I remember at his two week or month check up the doctor said his "poop" was a different color (I remember his "poop" being a green color and having alot of mucus in it) and ran a test to see if he had blood in his "poop". There was blood in his "poop" and the doctor said that he wasn't accepting the diary and that it would take him a good year for his body to handle diary. So I had to stop drinking my chocolate milk and once I did I noticed a big difference in how he was acting and in his diapers.

She (Claire Martin, author) has a good example of a food journal in her book. You can find the book at or I am sure at your local library. It has wonderful questions and answers to anything you might want to know about breastfeeding. (Martin, pg 22-24)