Giveaway: Milkmakers Lactation Cookies!

Posted on

Milkmakers lactation cookies were such a big hit at the Monterey Cloth Diaper Party that we decided it would be an awesome idea to give a dozen away!

For those of you who don’t know what Milkmakers lactation cookies are they are super yummy cookies with ingredients that are proven to boost your breastmilk supply!

milmakers cookies

This is a perfect give for yourself, a nursing mother you know and love, or for that special milkie donor momma in your life!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Not only are we giving away a dozen Milkmakers cookies to one lucky fan but Bumpboosters is giving away free pregnancy cookies to everyone! Check it out here!

Enjoy!


10 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me Before I Started Breastfeeding

Posted on

Last week at my La Leche League meeting there were four mothers there who were expecting. We spent most of our time discussing what we all wish someone would have told about breastfeeding before we started. Since not everyone goes to La Leche Meetings (and they should) I thought this would be a good topic to share. Please note this is my personal opinion and I have been exclusively breastfeeding my daughter for the past 5.5 months and plan on letting her wean herself when she is ready.

10. La Leche League is not just for people who already have kids.

I seriously wish someone would have told me to go to a La Leche League meeting WHILE I WAS PREGNANT. I had a bit of a bumpy start because I was completely ignorant and freaked out by breastfeeding.

9. When your milk comes in, it will hurt, and it is perfectly normal.

I wish I would have known that engorgement while my milk was coming in was perfectly normal and it too shall pass. I was under the impression that breastfeeding was not going to feel any different than my breast did pre-baby. When your milk comes in it will hurt. This is by no means a reason not to breastfeed it is just an FYI. I had no idea what the heck engorgement meant until my milk came in. Matt could not be in the same room as us when I was breastfeeding because he could not watch me be in that much pain and listen to me cry. I had no idea what was wrong with my body and everyone kept telling me it is this beautiful thing and it is never going to hurt. After the third day of engorgement I was scared, in pain, and if I was allowed to drive (I had a c-section and was forbidden from driving for two weeks post operation) I would have gotten formula.

It was only then that I looked up my local La Leche League group and called the leader on call. After some tears she told me what I was going through was perfectly natural and yes it was going to hurt until my milk came in. She told me to put some green cabbage leaves in the freeze. Put the frozen cabbage leaves on my breasts for 10-20 minutes. Then try a nice warm shower followed by some nipple air dry time and some Lanolin. She suggested trying breastfeeding for another 24 hours and call her back. We did this for about a week where I would call her every 24 hours to check in, and low and behold it got better.

8. Ask for help BEFORE you are ready to quit

This is a great segway from number 7. If I would have asked for help before I was past the point of a meltdown I would have saved myself a lot of tears and frustration.

7. Come up with a support system.

This includes family, friends, La Leche League, online breastfeeding forums, and even finding places outside of the home where you will be comfortable breastfeeding.

IMG_1490

Matt went above and beyond the call of duty by writing me daily notes of encouragement and placing them in the spots I usually breastfed. He would even cut up my food and feed me during some of our 45 minute newborn nursing sessions. My water glass was always filled and he always told me how proud of me he was and that I was doing great. Unfortunately, not every significant other is as supportive as Matt and that is ok. You have to go out and find other people in your life that will be that supportive. There is a wonderful online community that gushes support, and there are plenty of other women going through the same things as you are that can be your shoulder to lean or cry on!

Monterey Bay Aquarium Open Ocean

Monterey Bay Aquarium Open Ocean

If you are anything like me you will need to get out of the house. By the time baby was 6 weeks old I knew every comfortable breastfeeding spot in our town. My favorite was the Open Ocean exhibit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. There is a quiet little bench right by the pump room in the back of the exhibit. A nice quiet hum, dark lighting, and beautiful sea creatures to watch while nursing my daughter to sleep, what more could a girl ask for! I also found out that my local shopping mall had a breastfeeding friendly family room next to the food court, complete with nursing “stalls” which had comfy chairs, and a curtain if you wanted to be discreet.

6. You will become a boobie slave.

That is right your newborn will want to nurse almost every hour until they hit about 10-12 pounds. Guess what, that is ok and perfectly natural! That is not a sign that you are not producing enough milk, it is a sign that everything is going swimmingly! Your newborn’s stomach is the size of a walnut and cannot hold much milk therefore he or she is going to need to feed often. Formula is not naturally occurring and takes longer for a newborn to digest thus formula fed babies tend to eat less often than breastfed babies.

5. Do not compare your breastfed baby’s growth and development to a formula fed baby’s.

Formula fed babies are going to develop at a different rate than breastfed babies. Again this is perfectly normal. It is expecting the growth rates of children who are raised in New York and children who are raised in Columbia. No offense to anyone from New York or Columbia but the diets are completely different and thus children develop differently. I am not saying either is wrong or incorrect it is just different.

The CDC growth chart is based more on children who are forumla fed. This is because most children in the United States are formula fed. The World Health Organization growth chart is based on children who are breastfed, because most of the children in the world are breast fed. If your pediatrican or family is worried that your little one is not fattening up fast enough make sure you ask what scale they are basing it off of and then politely tell them to bugger off.

4. Do not knock it until you have tried it for at least three months.

Much like your newborn every other day your routine will change. The first three months after having your baby are like a mini boot camp. You are going to be under extreme amounts of physical and emotional stress. It is not fair to you or to your newborn to give up breastfeeding until you have tried it for at least three months. Your body is going through a hormonal roller coaster and right around the three month marker it finally begins to even out.

Yes it is true that some women cannot physically make enough breast milk, and there are scientific tests that I imagine are like an ultrasound for your boobs. Do not feel like you are not producing enough just because your mother-in-law feels like you are feeding the child too often or because your baby is not gaining enough weight. Make sure you insist on getting tested to see if you have enough mammary glands before you throw in the towel.

This should really be number 4.5 but mastitis and thrush may feel like the end of the world and great reason to quit but they do clear up and get better. I was scared to death of those two words and I still am to this day. During the first three months of my breastfeeding career I would massage my breasts every time I fed the baby to makes sure my ducts never got clogs. I also took and still take an acidophilus supplement to help ward off any thrush. From the other women that I know who had had both double mastitis and thrush I can honestly tell you they all survived and it did go away.

3. Know the laws and what you are entitled to.

Introducing Bailey the kitty Lactation Consultant!

Introducing Bailey the kitty Lactation Consultant!

Do not pay out of pocket for that new breast bump or for a lactation consultant. Thanks to Obama Care insurance companies are now required to cover both for each pregnancy. If you are going back to work I highly recommend taking some time before the baby arrives to research what laws your state has in place to protect a nursing mother and allow adequate space and time for pumping. If you are going to have split custody again I highly recommend you look into your state’s laws regarding custody and a nursing mother. If you live in the state of California you are exempt from jury duty until your child is weaned off of the breast. Again research the laws of your state regarding nursing in public, jury duty, visitation rights, etc. It is very vital that you are prepared before baby comes rather than be caught blindsided when the situation arise!

2. The baby does not come out with a natural ability to breastfeed.

For the love of everything that is good in the world breastfeeding is natural but it must be learned by BOTH the baby and the nursing mother. I was completely dumbfounded when my daughter came out and had no idea how to nurse. She knew to open her mouth and attach to anything that looked like a nipple but it was very rough and I got a bunch of blisters from bad latching. I was under the impression all I had to do was hold her up to my nipple and nature would take over. After a couple of visits with a lactation consultant we were both on the right track.

1. It is by far the most beautiful memory you will have of your newborn.

Before I had my daughter I was completely grossed and freaked out by breastfeeding. Seeing a woman breastfeed in public made me uncomfortable and I always felt that they should be more discreet. Now that I am a nursing mother myself I still do not whip out my boobs in front of a large public gathering, but not because I am embarrassed or grossed out. Rather I do not want anyone else to interrupt or share in the intense bonding moment that is going on between my daughter and I. Watching her little jaw move like an adorable hamster is a mental memory I will have for the rest of my life. When she wraps both arms around me and holds me close is another moment that still causes me to feel more love and closeness than anything else in my life.

Nothing makes me happier in my current life than seeing that little 15 pounds of joy smile every time I take my shirt off!


Is Breastfeeding Best? Scientifically Speaking

Posted on

In 2011 the American Surgeon General published an 87 page “Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding”.

In 2009 Australia voted to invest well over 3 million dollars into the Australian National Breastfeeding Strategy 2010-2015.

Norway has banned all advertising for infant formula.  – The Guardian 

Why you ask? Because there has been a gigantic push to get more babies on the breast. Breastfeeding rates are the lowest in the United Kingdom and the United States with not more than a quarter of the population breastfeeding at 6 months post partum.

Any breastfeeding page, forum, or support group will spout of numerous statistics and studies stating that breastfeeding will reduce everything from ear infections to ovarian cancer rates in the breastfeeding mother. However there is one woman who is a professor of gender studies at Texas A&M University who is challenging the science behind first world countries’ push towards force-feeding breastfeeding.

In her 2010 book, Is Breast Best? Taking on the Breastfeeding Experts and the New High Stakes of Motherhood Wolf challenges the legitimacy of the scientific studies on breastfeeding. Many in the breastfeeding community have attacked her book and it has received a largely negative response.

“Women who choose to go through the labour of breastfeeding have made a commitment to go the extra mile for the sake of their baby’s health,” says Wolf. “They are likely to be doing all kinds of other things too. Their homes are clean. They wash their hands. They will be reading more, talking more, serving more fruit and vegetables …

“When you look at all of those things and hold them up to the very small differences that researchers find, it could very well all be down to these environmental factors.” – The Guardian 

Wolf’s point is that we are putting too much faith into studies which cannot prove or disprove the benefits of mother’s milk for an infant. The science behind the claims are inherently flawed and the resulting pressure on the mother can be overwhelming. The main point of her book is:

“I would not exaggerate the hugeness of the research into the benefits of breastfeeding. It’s lovely if you can do it. But formula is the next best thing. I don’t think it makes much difference either way if you provide lots of love and cuddles.” Some things science can’t disprove.” – The Guardian 

We here at 529onadime promoted breastfeeding as a way to save for college, but this is without taking into account the cost per hour of the mother’s time to actually nurse and pump versus the cost per hour of a formula feeding mom to prepare bottles and formula feed. Do I smell a future blog post coming! If there are any formula feeding moms out there who would like to participate in a light hearted loosely based in science study please shoot us an email rachel (at) 529onadime.com

say_wha


Do Not Pay For a New Breast Pump!

Posted on

Affordable Health Care for America ActHere at 529onadime we are always trying to point of ways for new families to save money and this is another great way to pocket some extra change and stash it away for your child’s college.

As an avid reader of a number of breastfeeding related blogs I find there is one common questions that is always asked. What kind of breast pump should I get and how do I get it at a reasonable cost. Under the Affordable Health Care For America Act women no longer have to pay for their breast pump out of pocket.

Non-grandfathered plans and issuers are required to provide coverage without cost sharing consistent with these guidelines in the first plan year (in the individual market, policy year) that begins on or after August 1, 2012. – US Department of Health and Human Services

Screen Shot 2013-04-24 at 9.16.07 PM

 What this means for women:

Your health insurance plan year that starts after 1 August 2012 must cover a lactation consultant and a breast pump for each birth.

It is about dang time breastfeeding mothers had some governmental support around here! This is a United States nation wide law. Under my insurance I was able to meet with the hospital IBCLC International Board Certified Lactation Consultant twice before the baby and I were discharge post birth, and I went home with a double electric pump at no additional cost to my family. In fact my c-section, brief strep b scare, lactation consultant, double electric breast pump, and four days in the hospital only cost my family $129.97. My co-worker who was 6 weeks further along than I was paid for the same breast pump that I received for free out of pocket because she was unaware that our insurance covered the breast pump. While I was attending birthing class I was very surprised at the number of mothers who were also oblivious to the new law that required all insurance companies to cover breast pumps and lactation consultants.

Get the help you need mommas!

As a first time mom I was completely floored that my child popped out not knowing how to breastfeed. I assumed it was one of those things that just happened! Thankfully, our hospital pediatrician put me on a breastfeeding watch list and insisted I see the IBCLC. The two days I spent with her was invaluable to my future breastfeeding success. The baby and I learned how to successfully breastfeed. Four and a half months later we are still exclusively breastfeeding and without the initial help from the IBCLC and the follow up assistance I received from my local La Leche League I fear I would have given up after engorgement hit and my milk came in.

Long Story Short:

Your insurance company must cover the following as per Obama Care aka the Affordable Health Care for America Act.

  1. Breastpump
  2. IBCLC

The Fine Print:

Unfortunately the law is very open ended. This means that insurance companies like Kaiser Permanente can get away with only providing a manual pump. – NPR

In order to be prudent call your insurance company and find out what is their interpretation of the new law to make sure that you are covered. If your insurance company does not cover the pump you desire make sure you speak to a manager and voice your compliant.

I highly recommend that you contact your local Congressman and push for the new law to be more specific and to cover the higher grade double electric pumps. Here is how to contact your local Congressman.

-Rachel


Breastfeeding Fact or Fiction!

Posted on

762_breastfeeding-poster

As I was meandering through the Twitters the other day I stumbled across Fleur’s common breastfeeding myths tweets. Fluer runs Nurtured Child and is a registered RN and board certified lactation consultant. Here is the tweet that caught my attention:

#breastfeeding myth: babies should nurse every 3-4 hours. Not true!! Babies often need to eat every 2 hrs or less. Follow baby’s cues

At my daughter’s two month well baby check up my pediatrician told us that it was perfectly normal to go nurse every 3-4 hours. At the time we were still nursing every hour during the day =/ At four months old we still nurse every 1.5 to 2 hours during the day. Fleur’s tweets have definitely made me feel better about our nursing habits, and it lead me on my quest to create a breastfeeding fact or fiction! Unless otherwise noted all of the information is from Fleur’s tweets.

hey-girl-not-only-does-breastfeeding-provide-nutrients-for-the-baby-but-i-think-its-sexy-too

Fact or Fiction: Breastfeeding is Easy!

FICTION Breastfeeding is natural, but in today’s culture it is often difficult. I encourage all women who are breastfeeding (whether having problems or not) to attend their local La Leche League meetings or local breastfeeding support groups. If you are hitting some breastfeeding road bumps then you will be able to find support, or your support and guidance can be invaluable to a breastfeeding feeding momma in need of it. 

Fact or Fiction: Breastmilk is a Dairy Product!

FICTION Definitely not true! You’re not a cow. Breastmilk is considered a clear fluid.

Fact or Fiction: Pumping Shows How Much Milk You Produce

FICTION Not true! Many moms don’t respond well to pump. Not an indicator of supply. I can personally attest to this one since my breasts and my breast pump do not get along well. On a good day I can maybe get out 2 ounces out at a time. My four month old is currently the size of an average six month old which leads me to believe she is getting much more than just 2 ounces per feeding.

Fact or Fiction: Women Should Seek Help As Soon As Possible

FACT The sooner issues with milk production are addressed, the easier they are to resolve! Low milk production can be issue with mom, issue with baby or combo of both. It is important to get skilled help! Again I cannot stress the importance of seeking help from a board certified lactation consultant or from a local La Leche League Leader. When my milk was coming in and I was trying to push through a painful engorgement I found emailing my local La Leche League leader, Tanya from Monterey, to be the encouragement I needed to continue breastfeeding. I can honestly say without Tanya’s help I would have most likely quit breastfeeding within the first 4 weeks of my daughters life! Thank you Tanya!!

Fact or Fiction: If You Nurse Your Baby To Sleep He or She will Never Sleep on His or Her Own.

FICTION All babies learn to sleep eventually.

Fact or Fiction: Soft Breasts are an Indicator of Low Milk Supply

FICTION As breast feeding is established, it’s normal for breasts to feel soft & not an indicator of low milk production.

Fact or Fiction: Breastfeeding Causes Tooth Decay

FICTION Breastfeeding does not cause tooth decay. Don’t let anyone tell you that you need to wean!

Fact or Fiction: Night feedings are Important

FACT Prolactin levels highest at night so those feedings important for supply. This is also a good place to note that frequent newborn night feedings is a normal newborn behavior and not a sign of low milk supply

Fact or Fiction: Eating Gassy Foods Causes Baby to be Gassy

FICTION Breastmilk is made from what’s in your bloodstream not your stomach.

Fact or Fiction: Women Must Drink Milk to Produce Milk

FICTION A healthy diet of vegetables, fruits, grains and proteins is all that a mother needs to provide the proper nutrients to produce milk. Calcium can be obtained from a variety of nondairy foods such as dark green vegetables, seeds, nuts and bony fish. No other mammal drinks milk to make milk. – La Leche League

Fact or Fiction: Frequent Nursing and On Demand Nursing Causes Obese Children

FICTION Studies show that breastfed babies who control their own feeding patterns and intake tend to take just the right amount of milk for them. Formula feeding and early introduction of solids, not breastfeeding on demand, have been implicated in risk of obesity later in life. – La Leche League

Fact or Fiction: Women Who Have Infections Should Continue Nursing.

FACT By the time the mother has fever (or cough, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, etc) she has already given the baby the infection, since she has been infectious for several days before she even knew she was sick. The baby’s best protection against getting the infection is for the mother to continue breastfeeding. If the baby does get sick, he will be less sick if the mother continues breastfeeding. Besides, maybe it was the baby who gave the infection to the mother, but the baby did not show signs of illness because he was breastfeeding. Also, breast infections, including breast abscess, though painful, are not reasons to stop breastfeeding. Indeed, the infection is likely to settle more quickly if the mother continues breastfeeding on the affected side. – International Breastfeeding Center

breastfeeding-meme

 

To view Fleur’s complete list of Breastfeeding myths please visit her website Nurtured Child.

Hope you enjoyed our little game of Fact or Fiction!

-Rachel


The amazing science of breast milk

Posted on
Yeah Science!

Yeah Science!

After sharing an article with Rachel that breast milk was the only thing a human could consume exclusively for the rest of their life and not die of malnutrition (ends up it’s
debated), we have been even more fascinated with the science of breast milk.

The Slate has a great article on the science behind breast milk covering new research into the chemical composition and how it is effected by many ever changing factors.

Some human milk oligosaccharides—simple sugar carbohydrates—were recently discovered to be indigestible by infants. When my son was nursing, those oligosaccharides weren’t meant for him. They were meant for bacteria in his gut, which thought they were delicious. My wife was, in a sense, nursing another species altogether, a species that had been evolutionarily selected to protect her child.

Well that’s neat, but it gets even more amazing.

For example, she notes, in humans skin-to-skin contact appears to trigger signals that are sent through the milk. “If the infant is showing signs of infection, somehow that’s being signaled back to the mother and she up-regulates the immune factors that are in her milk. Now is that her body’s responding to a need of the baby? Maybe. Is it that she also has a low-grade infection that she’s just not symptomatic for and so her body’s doing that? Maybe. Is it partially both? Maybe. We don’t know. It’s brand-new stuff.”

While I’m not here to start a breast feeding vs formula debate, it does open questions into how the static chemistry of formula can be an effective replacement.

…how could we possibly know what the difference between breast milk and formula is if we aren’t even keeping track of what the variation in breast milk is doing? And so the more that we understand about what is in milk, and what predicts how it varies, the more opportunity there is for formula to better emulate what breast milk is.

-Matt

Source – Slate


Breastfeeding: A Way To Save For College

Posted on

Korean OreoTrying to figure out how to save money for college? Try breastfeeding!

Breastfeeding

  1. Breastfeeding is completely free to make, prepare, and consume.

Costs of Formula (specifically Enfamil) *I have no specific reason for choosing Enfamil versus another kind of formula it was just the first one that came to mind*

  • 0-2 Months = $142.14 *this does not take into account cost of shipping, tax, bottles, distilled water, energy used for washed said bottles, etc*
  1. According to Kidshealth.org “On average, a newborn consumes about 1.5-3 ounces (45-90 milliliters) every 2-3 hours. This amount increases as your baby grows and is able to take more at each feeding.”
  2. Taking that information and putting it into Enfamil’s Formula Calculator (8 feedings a day, 2 ounces at each feeding, 2 months duration)
  3. We will need SIX 23.4oz tubs of Enfamil Premium Newborn Formula
  4. Amazon.com currently has Enfamil Premium Newborn Formula 23.4 oz tubs on sale for $23.69
  • 2-4 Months = $215.91 *this does not take into account cost of shipping, tax, bottles, distilled water, energy used for washed said bottles, etc*
  1. According to Kidshealth.org “At about 2 months, your baby may be taking 4-5 ounces (120-150 milliliters) at each feeding and the feedings may be every 3-4 hours.”
  2. Put it into Enfamil’s Formula Calculator (6 feedings a day, 4 ounces at each feeding, 2 months)
  3. We will need NINE 23.4oz Enfamil Premium Infant formula
  4. Amazon.com currently has Enfamil Premium Infant formula 23.4oz tubs on sale for $23.99

I am not going to go any further with this example since the bottom line comes down to BREASTFEEDING IS FREE!

To be completely open and honest, when I first got pregnant the idea of breastfeeding gave me the heebee-jeebees. Talking about breastfeeding made me uncomfortable, and being asked if I was going to breastfed made me cringe. At the time of our baby’s delivery, I no longer had my own source of income. The moral of the story is one of the few things that got me through our rocky start to breastfeeding, painful engorgement, round the clock nursing, and constant self-doubt was saving my newly formed family money. Plain and simple breastfeeding is completely free.  If I could get over my personal issues with breastfeeding and tough through the initial pain the money we saved would, in theory, go towards her 529 college savings plan.

Three and a half months later I now want to become a lactation consultant and I love everything about the very special mommy and baby time we spend together nursing!

-Rachel


Milk Donation!!

Posted on

 

188975_186204108088780_7525115_n logobigOur precious little bundle of joy has decided that she no longer wants to take a bottle. I have been pumping like a factory farmed dairy cow in order to have a just-in-case-of-emergencies stash of breastmilk. With the current bottle hiatus it is more likely that the milk will go bad before it will ever be used. My solution… donate it. YAY! The problem, BOO!, the local milk bank won’t take any milk I have frozen before going through their screener. The solution, YAY!, Human Milk for Human Babies and or Eats on Feets! If you are nursing mother with extra or a person with a baby in need please check out Human Milk for Human Babies (http://www.hm4hb.net/) and or Eats on Feets (http://www.eatsonfeets.org/)

-Rachel