Tuesday, November 10, 2009

anniversary gifts

My husband and my anniversary is this month and my husband has already spoiled me rotten. For my anniversary he got me a freezer and these lovely wool breast pads (http://www.danishwool.com/products/item/nursing_pads.html). I have to chuckle when I think of these gifts (after I smile warmly and want to hug him again) because they are not your run of the mill anniversary gifts. They are however things I have been dreaming of ever since I became a nursing mom. Now that we are growing #2 I've been talking about them pretty much nonstop since conception so he got them for me and I am so excited to use them and not just wear the pads or fill of the freezer with frozen food, I CANNOT wait till that freezer is busting at the seems with frozen breast milk for my little nursling and those pads are well worn with use.

To top it off tonight I am going back to La Leche League for my first meeting during this pregnancy and I totally plan on joining this group again. We are definitely well on our way to a great nursing start and I am very excited. If only I had known all this stuff before our daughter was born, but that relationship ended well so it's all good.

Thrush update-
PS: The thrush seems to have gone the way of my daughter's nursing...adios for now. The trick that seemed to work best was a breath of fresh air...seriously go braless at night and it dries that pesky yeast right up. (My doctor said do that first and then if that doesn't work try microwaving my bras-unless they have metal clips, I laughed but seriously look it up, it's online as a way to kill yeast...hehe)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Since we've stopped nursing I thought for sure this would be the end of my thrush woes. Whoa was I wrong...hehe

I've been doing some research and I believe I have found the reason why I can't get this thrush to vanish for good. We wash our clothes in cold water (save energy...be green) anyways, that does not kill the yeast that cause thrush, they say you can freeze your milk and still have thrush in it so I would pump an dump that milk when I was pumping with thrush.

The solution I have found (and will use with our next nursling if I heaven forbid get thrush again) is bleach and hot water on all my bras and undershirts (I wear one under my uniform because uniforms are VERY itchy). I was also amazed to find out that Nystain doesn't work for everyone so on my next visit with my midwife I will be asking for something else to help. I've heard there are a few prescription remedies out there so we'll see which one she gives me.

So this will be my blog experiment; what remedy completely rids me of thrush before next April. I'll keep track of all we do and let you know what works best. For now if you have thrush woes as I do, try using warm water and bleach on all your bras when you put them through the wash and keep that up until your symptoms go away (to be sure you don't let any of that yeast live!).

Friday, October 9, 2009

We're done

We'll after 2 years, 9 months, 1 week, and 2 days we are finally officially done nursing. At least it seems that my daughter has weaned herself. For the past couple of days she has only nurse 1 or two times and then yesterday none at all even though I offered (flashing the good and everything). My daughter just said put juice away, so I did. Adventures in Tandem Nursing says to expect this, especially with the changes the milk goes through so I was not surprised, but I was a little sad at first.
Hey though, we made it longer than most and self-weaned. Two big accomplishments!

It's now time to relax until our baby comes (early April). We've already decided we'll let our daughter nurse again when the baby gets here to if she decides to. Just incase I'm finishing up Adentures in Tandem Nursing so I'll know what to expect and we'll see where this new adventure takes us. It's will be strange not nursing for a few months, I've always had a little one hanging off me multiple times a day, now my breasts belong to me again and it's a weird feeling but also very nice not to have to worry about that. Perhaps I should invest in some regular bras (after almost three years all I own is nursing bras...why buy anything else?).

I'll still be recording my nursing with our next baby so stay tunned, I want to start with different changes and things that happen so you can read from the begining what nursing is really like.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tandem Nursing...a MUST read

Since I'm new at pregnant nursing I decided it might be good to read up on the subject. My Bradley teacher (http://www.bradleybirth.com/) let me borrow this book from her. So far is it right on and awesome. I'm learning a lot, especially that there are tons of other moms who tandem nurse while pregnant and beyond. There are different things that are very interesting too such as; right now my milk is salty tasting to Emily which is why she hasn't been nursing as much. The books gives you a heads up too; in our third trimester if Emily doesn't mind the sour tasting colostrum she'll probably get the runs pretty good because colostrum is a natural laxative (I would aurgue the most natural of all of them...hehe). It's a fun, fact filled read that has the cutest cartoons that hit right on with different issues we've run into. My favorite so far is a toddler sitting on her mom's lap hitting her mom's chest with the caption, "Can we turn of the volume please?". I intend to invest in this one eventually and suggest any mom even considering the idea read this first, at the very least it has good ideas for weaning and lists pros and cons for both options so you can decide what's best for you.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Pregnant nursing

Today we are officially 12 weeks pregnant...yay! I thought I had experienced all the nursing difficulties, but being pregnant and nursing has introduced some new challenges to our nursing relationship. One, I am exhausted...well, not so much now, but at first I was exhausted and nursing once a night just robbed that sleep I so desperately craved. Two, I am very hormonal and my poor husband and daughter now get the brunt of that. Settling an upset two year old just isn't as easy when your patience got up and left the building months ago.

All in all, nursing while pregnant isn't bad. In fact it has actually started helping me sleep a little more and gives me some one-on-one time while my daughter while just sitting (more like laying) there doing nothing but looking at her and tell her how wonderful she is and how much I love her. Plus there is the added benefit of a little extra time with her. My husband and I very much want her to be a part of the pregnancy (she is after all a member of the family too) so she comes to all our prenatal appointments and we are even taking a private birth class (Bradley method childbirth) so she can come and be involved...although she plays more than she pays attention to the teacher. So anyways all in all, I completely recommend breastfeeding while pregnant, but be prepared for new challenges and remember sometimes it's ok to distract your toddler or offer a cup of apple juice instead when you are just so exhausted the thought of making even a little milk drains what energy your growing baby didn't already suck away...hehe

Here's the best information I've found on breastfeeding while pregnant http://www.askdrsears.com/faq/pr2.asp (let's face it, there isn't really that much out there). If you come upon a time when you are facing a pregnancy and still nursing at least give it the first trimester, now that we're onto our 12th week my energy and most of my appetite has returned so I'm glad I stuck it out. Although I still find myself limiting my night nursing now, for the emotional well being of the entire family...a tired & hormonal mom is not usually a happy mom...hehe

Friday, September 18, 2009

I just Want to Nurse All Night...

I saw this little poem in a reader's note to Mothering Magazine (http://www.mothering.com/) one of my favorite magazines and really other than the La Leche League one the only parenting magazine I take serriously.

Iene Miene Minie Moe
I want the one with the best flow
I don't care, left or right
I just want to nurse all night!

This made me chuckle because just a few days earlier we were dealing with this in real life (which at the time was NOT funny).

Anyways, our daughter uses a pacifier (gasp...I know!) and has since she started day care, something I sincerely regret. This Monday we tried to take it away cold turkey and it completely backfired on us. I think she just couldn't deal with loosing it completely, she needed sometime to say goodbye and part with her friend on her own terms. Monday night after we took it away it wasn't too bad, but Tuesday and Wednesday I became the pacifier back-up. Now there was a time when she was about 3-9 months old that nursing to sleep was the only way I could get to sleep too, those wonderful hormones were running through my blood and it was so relaxing. Now that she is almost 3 years old her suck is much stronger and more than enough to keep me up for as long as she is nursing, which for two days in a row was pretty much ALL NIGHT LOOOOONG. Final in the wee hours of Wednesday morning I told my husband I couldn't do it any more, we needed to purchase a new pacifier and find a more gentle approach to weaning her off it. What a difference that made. She doesn't use it at all during the day and will take a nap without it, but after dinner she still requests it and we allow that (no pacifier until after dinner is the rule) and then about bed time she asks to nurse once and then falls asleep without it. I'm pleased with this progress and can see a time soon when she will be giving it up altogether, but we know it has to be on more of her own timeline. Dr. Sears talks about how to tell if a change is too much for a toddler and she was showing all the symptoms; clingy, whinny, iritable, just a very unhappy child; so we knew something needed to give and we feel it's important to acknowledge our daughters needs so we comprimised.

I think the lesson we both had to be reminded of is that she has her needs too and while they are different from ours (and we may not feel they are important) they are VERY important to her and we need to recognize those needs and work to accomidate them when it's reasonable.

One change we have made successfully is moving her to her own bed. We followed the Dr. Sears baby sleep book very closely and this transition has been a good one, she actually prefers her own bed now (except for when she needs a night time nurse).

Tips for easy change:
- Start slow - we first talked about getting her a "big girl bed" then we went out and bought one with her, she got to try it out and everything
- Expect two steps forward and one back - the first week it was hard for us all to sleep, we missed our daughter in our bed and she missed our bed, so we tried different tactics - laying with her in her bed, letting her fall asleep in our bed and then moving her
- Listen to your child - we recognized her need and desire to be close to us and would take breaks from trying the new bed when she seemed to need it, now she wants her own bed and sleeps much better in it
- Be patient - change takes time for everyone, eventually things will work out, remember there aren't any students in college sucking on pacifiers, nursing, sleeping in their parents bed, or still wearing diapers (at least eventually you can use peer pressure if nothing else works...hehe)

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


After two years, 6 months, and one day I have decided I am officially done pumping at work. This is a deeply emotional decision, I'll miss pumping (well for the most part).

We began weaning when my daughter started solid foods at six months, that's actually the medical definition of weaning too, and so we now step the process up just a notch. She's still allowed to nurse as much as she wants, but with the decrease in supply I'm sure will follow not pumping during the day I expect she will self wean earlier than she would have if I were to continue pumping.

Anyways, this post is to celebrate our decision (I say ours because my husband and I have both decided it's time and our daughter is nursing a lot less when I am home so she kind of has had a say in this too).

The top three reasons to pump:

1. Staying connected while apart, pumping always turns my thoughts from work to home.

2. Stress relief - sometimes if work got really stressful for me I'd stop and go pump, those hormones really do the trick and calm me down.

3. Weight loss - I gained 50 pounds while pregnant and have lost every single one of them since then and I really do believe the extra effort put into nursing helped them come off easier than just if I had dieted and worked out.

Don't worry this won't be the end of my breastfeeding blog, there are plenty of more exciting events to still talk about!

Friday, June 19, 2009

I make milk. What's your superpower?

(photo from facebook page of the same name)
I work at the Pentagon right now and they have the most awesome nursing program I have yet to run into. They are so suportive and the nursing rooms are comphy and convient (including pumps). Today they had a Health Fair and so I volunteered to stand in the nursing mom's booth for 30 minutes. It was hot and I was melting, but it was GREAT! I got a cute little bag that says " ipump" (took me a while to get it, I'm slow some days) and I got to wear around a sticker that said "I make milk. What's your superpower?" It wasn't exactly uniform regulation, but I was so proud to wear it around. It now has a place of honor on my desk name tag for all to see because yeah; I do make milk!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

You're right to breastfeed

I think it's important for all breastfeeding moms to know the laws in their state that protects their right to breastfeed. For instance some states protect a mother's right to breastfeed on public and private properties, some don't. Sometimes people will challenge you, there are A LOT of STUPID people out there, but if you can quote the law to them I bet they won't know what to say (some states will even fine the person for challenging you right!).


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Inspection, I say again, Inspection

My daughter did something she has never done before. I've had some thrush issues, AGAIN, and so I've been using a cream to get rid of it and then lanolin cream at night to keep the soreness at bay. Well I sat down to nurse my little one last night after I got home from work and she looked at my nipple with dried cream on it (most of it was all gone) and said "Oh, no a mess, a mess!" It was so cute, she said it in a very distraught tone and then promptly took a baby wipe and cleaned me up. Latter I had to apply the lanolin cream in secret because she saw me grab the tube and yelled (from across the room), "You stop it!". Apparently Lanolin cream, while safe for a baby to nurse, taints the taste of the milk.
Being a military member I've stood my fair share of inspections, but this takes the cake as the funniest.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Another wonderful reunion

My daughter is now about 2 1/2 and I had to take another business trip away from her. I wasn't sure we would be able to continue our nursing, but I know it means a lot to her (moms of nursing toddlers will understand) so I decided I would at least pump during my trip and let her decide as soon as I got home if she wanted to continue. Once again it was a grueling add on to an already packed work trip, but I somehow managed to make it a priority and kept up my supply while transversing the globe (I flew to Singapore and back). I had similar problems this trip, soreness that comes from exclusive pumping, slight engorgement, and exhaustion, but I knew what to expect and I had promised my daughter that even though I had to go she could continue nursing when I returned if she wanted to.

Our reunion was a joyous one, she is always so happy to see me and of course I cried upon seeing her and my husband. I guess the tears were for the time lost, and in just 8 days she really had grown and is talking a lot clearer. I offered her time to nurse as soon as we sat down for the metro ride home and she gladly accepted. She then surprised me by nursing almost non-stop for three hours while I rested (jet lag finally got me). She's still nursing a little more than usual (I think it helps her feel closer to me), but she's settled down a lot and seems to be as happy as ever.

Any working mom who is considering pumping while away on a trip should definitely try it, I truly believe nursing makes our separation easier, it keeps me attached and committed to my daughter and it gives her a little comfort before and after that only nursing can provide.

Hopefully I will not have to repeat this experiment for a while, and yes we are self-weaning so we'll just have to see how long that goes. For now I take it one day at a time and enjoy our closeness because I am sure all too soon she will be an independent little girl and no longer my nursling.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

strawberry milk???

When I first started nursing I remember reading a note that went something like this; if there is blood in your baby's spit-up, don't worry. It is probably your own blood. I then thought, oh how nice (not really I was in pain). Anyways I had a bad case of thrush a couple weeks ago and ended up bleeding again, but I didn't realize I was. I was pumping along minding my own business when I realized at the end one side of milk was apparently strawberry flavored. I know what you are thinking, ew gross, but for some reason I found it funny. Who else can say their breasts have made strawberry milk? So I took a picture to prove it and once I got my thrush cleared up, again, started using a vinegar and water solution which seems to be working fairly well to prevent new outbreaks (but if you start using it too use a little lanolin cream once a day as well to keep your nipples from drying out).

Every stage of nursing is a new adventure. For you moms that have nursed over two years or decide to go that long you'll find out, but it's still just as rewarding. Recently we had an outbreak of the stomach flu and the one person who caught it last and had the easiest time of it was my nursing daughter. Not only did she catch it three days after the first outbreak, she was drinking milk (mama's milk) and holding it down after only five hours of the stomach flu. It took us adults a whole 24 hours to start holding down liquids again. For me that proves the benefits more than anything. I know it did for my husband too, we been having low estrogen issues and after many doctor visits was told I have to either suck it up or quit nursing (because there are no other options for our particular issues) so I asked my husband if he wanted me to stop (before the stomach flu he would have said yes), but to my surprise he said "no, she's (our daughter) the healthiest of us all, no reason to stop doing what is keeping her so healthy". He's absolutely right, although I am cutting my pumping sessions down to once a day to see if that helps clear up some of our issues.
PS: The recipe for the solution to avoid thrush is 1 part vinegar 9 parts water.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

My motivation

At two years of nursing the question has been poping into my head often, "When should I wean my daughter?" I decided that when she is ready we will wean and not before, I believe that my working leaves a little hole in both our hearts which we both fill up a little with our one on one nursing time. Not to mention the added benefits when she is sick because all she will do is nurse and if she wasn't still nursing she'd get no nutrition at all during those times.

For added motivation I found this little blurp on a sheet in my buildings lacation room. I have highlighted it and posted it to my wall so I remember.

"Breastfeeding is more than just nourishment. It is a special relationship between mother and child. Babbies have a need to suck well into the second year of life and continue to need the physical cuddling and holding associated with nursing. It is recommended that you breastfeed for your baby's first year of life of even longer if you and your baby wish."