Real Breastfeeding Tips: A Guide to Simplified Breastfeeding

Real Breastfeeding Tips: A Guide to Simplified Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding can be very challenging for some mamas. I had a much tougher time nursing my daughters than I did my boys. I’ve been very fortunate that both boys have been booby babies from the beginning!

Here are some easy tips and reminders to help you get a successful breastfeeding routine down, especially if you’re a new mama!

1) Your baby is getting enough.

Most all new mamas worry that their baby isn’t getting enough to eat. It’s hard to know because you can’t see how much they’re drinking like you can with a bottle. However, your baby is more than likely getting enough. Especially if he is falling asleep on the breast! Falling asleep means he’s full and happy. Beau almost always falls asleep when he’s nursing! If your baby (especially newborns) falls asleep immediately when you start nursing, grab a cold wipe and wipe his face. He will get mad and then start nursing!

2) You don’t have to stick to a schedule.

Seriously. I can’t stress this enough. There’s no rule book that says you have to nurse your baby every two hours. I know in the hospital the nurses and lactation consultants and your pediatrician tell you how often your baby SHOULD be eating but that doesn’t always mean that’s how it will go. Listen to your baby. He will definitely let you know when he’s hungry. If he naps for four hours and sleeps right through a feeding, IT’S OKAY. Let that baby sleep! If your newborn sleeps 6 hours through the night, that’s awesome! Let him sleep! Trust me, they’ll wake up and let you know when they’re hungry!

3) Be flexible.

Listen, your baby is going to want to nurse when he’s hungry, but also when he darn well pleases. If he’s upset because he got a boo boo, or if he’s sleepy, or if he hasn’t had much attention from you, he will want to nurse. And that’s TOTALLY fine! Take every advantage of it because before you know it your breastfeeding journey will be over and you’ll be left yearning for those sweet cuddles.

4) Always have a change of clothes for you and for baby.

Breastfeeding babes spit up. A lot. That’s not a bad thing! That usually means baby is overeating and ran out of room for all of that good milk. Sometimes it can be a little scary, especially if it’s a projectile. But most of the time, your baby is completely fine. It’s normal for breastfed babies to spit up quite a bit. Just pack an extra change of clothes and keep that spit rag handy!

5) There’s no magic position.

You can lay with baby, hold baby like a football, use a nursing pillow, or do none of those! Just get comfortable and find what works for you. There’s a ton of nursing positions that you can try but honestly after a couple of weeks, you won’t even remember them because you and baby will have figured out your way!

6) Don’t stress about what you’re eating.

Ok I had to tell myself this every day for a while before I stopped having anxiety about what I was taking in my body. My pediatrician told me not to worry too much about what I’m eating. As long as I’m eating and eating somewhat healthy, baby was going to get all the nourishment he needed. There’s no need to go out and buy all organic foods. Seriously. Just eat your normal fruit and veggies and drink LOTS of water!

Breastfeeding has so many benefits and is rewarding and precious and if I could start this journey all over again I would! Hopefully these tips will help ease some of your breastfeeding worries and guides you with some helpful tips on how to make it easier for you and for baby!

Xoxo,

MK

A Year in Review: Why I’m Holding Onto 2020

A Year in Review: Why I’m Holding Onto 2020

Everyone has talked and posted about how awful 2020 has been. Most have had the perspective that this year has been so hard with many trials and tribulations, that they just want it to be over. Many have lost loved ones, lost their jobs, had to close their small businesses, and had to make very difficult decisions for themselves or their family. The year has tested us all. So many of us are wishing 2020 a speedy farewell!

But not me. I’m holding on to 2020 in these final hours as much as I can.

For me, 2020 was life changing. We started the year out with the first anniversary of losing a sweet babe, but being very hopeful and anxious with only a few months left until our rainbow baby was due.

March 13, 2020 was a completely normal day. I was teaching and prepping my classroom for my last week of work before the baby was to be born. I had just gotten all of my students on the bus when all of the adults were running and buzzing with the news that the governor was closing schools across the state due to the pandemic. I don’t think the pandemic felt real until that afternoon. I had the mindset that I had one more week at school before maternity leave. One more week with my beloved students and now I had received news that I wouldn’t even get to tell them goodbye. This was it.

In the back of my mind I knew this was also going to be my last day as a teacher in that third grade classroom. Although I hadn’t made an official decision about whether I would return to work after my maternity leave was up, I subconsciously knew this was it.

The whole thing left me very pregnant and very emotional. Pregnancy after loss had enough fears in itself but now on top of worrying about whether I was going to deliver a healthy baby, I also had to worry about Covid-19 and all that brought with it. Changes were being made at the hospital daily. The news was reporting each day about the rise in cases. Having a baby during a pandemic was completely unexpected, nerve racking, terrifying, but also so worth it.

Less than a month later we welcomed our sweet rainbow baby into the world and into a very small bubble. Over the next few months, we decided to homeschool our kids. Our oldest son moved to his moms to attend school there which was another huge transition for us. And I quit my job to be a stay at home mama.

So. Many. Changes.

My feelings this year? Ugh. Emotional roller coaster. Every day it seems there’s something new to worry about. If I didn’t have anxiety before the pandemic, I definitely do now! The constant worrying about what decisions to make and how to protect my family. The constant pressure to do things that I wasn’t comfortable doing. Wanting to do what’s best for us and having to deal with the consequences of saying no to people. The stigma in our town that Covid “couldn’t come here” or that “it’s all a bunch of bull.”… When I’m over here praying to God each night that the virus stays away from us. It was a lot.

And on top of my feelings and fears of Covid, there was a lot of disappointment. I was heartbroken that my five year old wouldn’t be able to experience a true year of kindergarten. I was devastated that my kids couldn’t visit us in the hospital when we had baby Beau. I was sad that my daughters had to abruptly leave school and couldn’t see their friends anymore. I was disappointed that our son missed his last year of playing rec league baseball and our daughter missed out on her first year of softball. I was terrified every day, every time we went out, and with every request from a family member to come over that we would contract the virus and get really sick.

However…. above my fears I realized this year has been the biggest blessing.

My kids have been healthier than ever. They have grown closer to each other. I haven’t missed a single snuggle, kiss, laugh, or cry.

In what would normally be a very busy time of running kids back and forth to practices, rushing off to school in the mornings, getting home late, grabbing quick dinners, cramming for tests and exams, arguing over homework…. everything that was completely normal and now is nonexistent is everything I didn’t realize we needed a break from.

It’s funny how life can give us unexpected miracles right when we need them. Things we had begun to take for granted had suddenly become special. And things we were super rigid on as parents seemed like not that big of a deal.

We let the kids stay up late and sleep in. We let them have Snapchat so they could connect with their friends. They ate all the snacks and drank some soda and laughed and played and enjoyed life. Even if it was different and anything but normal.

I have been able to breastfeed Beau with no pumping or having to drop him off at daycare listening to him cry for me when I leave. I’ve rocked him to sleep for every nap time and he has fallen asleep in my arms every night. No snotty noses or coughs from being in a classroom with germs. There’s been less schedules and more lazy afternoons. We spent weekends on our boat going on adventures and fishing, enjoying the great outdoors. We went on vacations anyway even when we were told to stay home. We. Enjoyed. Time. Together.

Our kids are healthy and safe, and while they might be missing their friends or some of the “normalcy” we used to know, they have made the absolute best of it and are still enjoying life. So while most of the country is kissing 2020 goodbye tonight, I’ll be whispering a “thank you” for giving me the one thing I didn’t know I needed more of… time.

Xoxo,

MK