Breast and Bottle Feeding

It seems to me that when I ask an expecting mother what her feeding plan is, she always makes sure to specify that she is planning to breastfeed, but wants to give bottles. Some things I hear are: “I want dad to bond too”, “I have to return to work”, and “I might want a break”.   Sometimes I wonder if new mothers think that they will be judged if they give a bottle. Well, judgment does come in all forms, but it certainly will not come from me.

Let’s talk about bottles for a minute. I support families through their breastfeeding journey. The mothers who call on me for help are often in a position where they need to give a bottle, and are concerned about how it might disrupt breastfeeding or how they can make both breast and bottle feeding work together. Some situations I see are mothers who are returning to work and need to introduce bottles for day care, or maybe it’s a premature baby who is getting bottles in the hospital. Whatever the reason, the fact is we don’t want bottles to interfere. To be quite honest, I find bottle feeding a pain. That’s one of the reasons why I decided to breastfeed. How do you know how much milk to give in a bottle? How do you know what kind of bottle to use? Do you heat the milk or not? Too many questions here – I found it much easier to put the baby to breast and be done with it. My first baby did not have many bottles, only during situations where I was not able to be at home at all. I did not work when he was a baby, so we were able to do that. I know that is not the norm. When my twins came along, I had to do more bottle feeding, just because I needed the help. It was always breastmilk, which mean I had to get pump time in as well.   It’s a lot of work.

Mothers are often concerned that babies who are primarily breastfeeding need to have a special bottle. It is not necessarily about the bottle, but about HOW the baby is getting the milk from the bottle. Paced bottle feeding, where the baby is getting milk from the bottle in a slow, paced fashion, is the way to go.

Check out this link about paced bottle feeding if you want to learn more about that.

https://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/feeding-tools/bottle-feeding/

On this week’s episode of the Badass Breastfeeding Podcast, we talk all about giving bottles and some common situations that might come up. Check it out!

http://badassbreastfeedingpodcast.buzzsprout.com

 

 

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Newborn Schedules~What To Expect?

I saw this great family today. Baby is 4 days old; he is baby number 2 for this mama. The baby was feeding well, milk was coming in, and mom felt good. While we talked, her older son (3 and a half) was bouncing around and chatting away with mom and dad. He didn’t pay too much attention to his little brother, and mom seemed pretty comfortable navigating the new waters of having 2 little boys. After I observed the baby feeding and we discussed a few other breastfeeding concerns she had, mom pointed to her first son and announced “I won’t make the mistake of trying to get this baby on a schedule like I did with him”. Dad nodded his head in agreement. I was surprised to hear her say this – I usually hear new mothers proclaiming their dedication to obtaining some sort of schedule.   “This time” she said, “I will just go with the flow”. Such wise words.

In the many years that I have been working with families, schedules are an important piece of the postpartum puzzle for many new parents. This is really difficult, and I try and coax mothers to keep an open mind about developing a schedule with a baby at a young age. Schedules flaunt structure and routine during a time when so many changes are happening. Parents are looking for something to set in place so they can feel like they are balancing everything. However, no one ever bothers to tell the baby that this so-called schedule is being implemented. Babies have their own ideas, and it is usually not anything like what your schedule says. Babies are very unpredictable. They eat at different times each day, sleep can be erratic and spontaneous and it is nearly impossible to foretell their temperament. For some new mothers, this is a scary concept. Structure is a way of life for many people (not me, of course. I fly by the seat of my pants) and the thought of going through the day not knowing what will happen is downright scary. Because babies are their own little person, their needs are specific. Just like ours. We aren’t hungry at the same time each day, we don’t sleep the same each day – neither will your baby. The only difference is that we can discuss this with everyone around us, and your baby can’t. The more you push your baby to get into a routine that works for you, the harder things may seem.

Take this time to get to know your baby. After the first few months, babies may be easier to guide into a routine that is more predictable. This week on the Badass Breastfeeding Podcast, we talk more about schedules and what you can expect. Click on the link below to listen, and feel free to reach out with any feedback!

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/episode-8-schedules/id1268282458?i=1000392703297&mt=2

 

Where is your Self Care?

Self care. Repeat that again…SELF CARE. Taking care of yourself. It’s like I’m speaking a foreign language. Most mothers I meet are not even thinking about self care, let alone practicing it. It is important, and I’ll tell you why.

Burn out is a real thing. When you’re a mom, you aren’t really thinking about how much parenting takes out of you. Sometimes we get into this routine of doing everything for everyone around us. Think about it – maybe you are taking care of a baby. Maybe you have older children and a baby. You have a partner and laundry and 3 meals a day to get into your kids. Oh and maybe you have a dog to look after and groceries to buy and doctor appointments and and and…So where is the time for you?

Self care is not negotiable. It is an integral part of parenting. Unfortunately, it is up to you to make sure that your self care time is part of your routine. This isn’t something that anyone else can do for you. Plan it out if you have to. Put it on the calendar. Even if it is just 30 minutes out of your day that you can call your own, make it happen. Look forward to it. It sounds very cliché, but you really can’t take care of anyone else until you take care of yourself.

So your job right now is to make a list of things that you can do for yourself.   The next step is to put it into practice.

Want to hear more about self care? Check out the Badass Breastfeeding Podcast this week and we will school you on all the ways you can make self care a real part of your life. Once you do, we want to hear about it. Share your ideas!

https://www.buzzsprout.com/admin/episodes/566801-episode-7-where-is-your-self-care

 

 

Coming Home

It’s your first day home with your baby. Could anything else feel more terrifying? I don’t think there is a new parent out there who didn’t say to themselves “I am not qualified to take care of a baby!” at some point in those early days. When you are in the hospital (if you gave birth in a hospital setting) there are nurses and doctors checking on you, visitors coming to see you and the baby, help with diaper changes, bathing, changing clothes. Even your meals are brought to you. Everything you need is just one push of the call button. It’s blissful. Then you’re discharged.

This is when all the chaos starts. The first night home can be challenging. In all the preparation families do to bring a new life into the world, I don’t know how many actually prepare and learn about HOW baby will react to coming into this world. It’s cold and loud and bright – babies are used to a cozy womb. Overstimulation is common during the newborn period. Reading baby behavior can be difficult, especially if this is a foreign language to you and you are sleep deprived. Maybe you envisioned yourself holding your sweet baby, breastfeeding, and setting your baby down to sleep. Everyone sleeps for a few hours and then up again. In reality, the baby wants to eat every 30 minutes, cries if you put her down and no one is sleeping. And it’s all perfectly normal. In fact, I would expect nothing less.

This week’s Badass Breastfeeding Podcast is all about the first few days home, what to expect, and how to survive. Don’t miss it!

http://BadAssBreastfeedingPodcast.buzzsprout.com

 

 

 

Breastfeeding – the extended version

 

What is extended breastfeeding, anyway? How do you determine when you have crossed over from “regular” breastfeeding and into “extended” breastfeeding? I have heard many opinions about this, so let’s get right down to it.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends babies breastfeed for 2 years. The World Health Organization (or WHO) recommends up to age 3.   My point of view is really anything beyond the 2 years that is recommended by the AAP. I breastfed all my kids for over a year and I don’t really consider that extended. Some consider anything over the first year to be extended breastfeeding. However you look at it, it’s beneficial for mom and baby.

Society is pretty vocal with their judgment about this particular topic.   Kind of that no filter, offensive type of judgment. Since I work with breastfeeding mothers, I will celebrate any breastfeeding milestone. I am also a safe place for mothers who are breastfeeding into toddlerhood. Often mothers won’t even tell their family members or their doctor that they are still breastfeeding for fear of the backlash that may come with it.

As with any other aspect of parenting (or really anything else you do in your life), extended breastfeeding is a choice that is made between mother and baby and the family, and doesn’t need the vote of approval from anyone else. If it’s working for you, keep it up.

Week 4 of the Badass Breastfeeding Podcast is all about extended breastfeeding. Interested in hearing more? Check it out here.

http://badassbreastfeedingpodcast.buzzsprout.com

 

 

Breastfeeding- Who’s Conflicted?

When my babies were born, I remember being unsure of what to do. Not just with feeding, but with so many other aspects of parenting.   Bedtime, bathing, breastfeeding, pediatrician appointments, and sleep habits…the list goes on and on. The more questions I had, the more opinions I received. Or so it seemed. And this was BEFORE Google really kicked in to solve all of our problems.

One of the biggest complaints I get from new parents is the lack of consistency in the information they are given. From what they read online to what they read in books and blogs, information from nurses to advice from family…no 2 pieces of information are the same.   In our society now, people are disconnected from each other. Where we used to count on generations of family to be the “village”, so many have moved away from home to settle somewhere else. Technology is how we stay in touch and how we keep connected. With babies, it is still necessary to have the human interaction that has kept us connected for hundreds of years.

This week on the Badass Breastfeeding Podcast, we talk about this very thing. How conflicting information can be detrimental to the breastfeeding relationship between the mother/baby dyad. How can you know who to listen to and what advice to follow? Tune in and find out. I will give you a hint – it’s not as complicated as you might think.

 http://BadAssBreastfeedingPodcast.buzzsprout.com

*If you like what you hear, leave a review! Thank you!

 

Birth of the Badass Breastfeeding Podcast

Sometimes it seems as if there is never enough hours in the day. I remember a time when it didn’t seem like life was so jam-packed with stuff to do. If it’s not about work, its kids, or pets, or the house…as overwhelming as it seems at times, sometimes I wonder if I do better with a plate that is always full. I think I am one of those people who just like to take on more and more. Bring on the challenge of yet another project! I’m the girl who wrote papers in college at the last minute (always turned out fine). Now that I am in the real world, I take things right up until the deadline before I finish. My mom always said that I do best when I fly by the seat of my pants.

That being said, I decided that I didn’t have enough going on and I should start a podcast. I met Abby at a conference a couple months ago. She was doing a keynote presentation and I was doing a breakout session. I didn’t think about a podcast at first, but once I got home and reached out to her via email, it just seemed like a good thing to try.

Abby is known as the Badass Breastfeeder. Breastfeeding advocate extraordinaire. It’s only fitting that we would have so much to share with the world in regards to breastfeeding, babies, parenting, and the social issues that may surround all of the above.   It made sense to join efforts with a podcast. Why should you listen to this podcast? Well, first of all, because it’s badass. If that isn’t reason enough, how about being able to weigh in on the topics that are chosen? We welcome your feedback, and offer up our email for listeners to make suggestions on what they want to hear. We talk about real life issues surrounding breastfeeding, in a way that all new families can relate to. It feels like we are sitting there with you, offering to answer your questions and solve your problems. Admit it, this is the breastfeeding podcast that you’ve been waiting for. So click the link below and subscribe. You’ll be glad you did.

 http://BadAssBreastfeedingPodcast.buzzsprout.com