Category Archives: Breastfeeding

Milk Nursingwear Review and Giveaway (Ended)

***Congratulations to Lisa L.! She won the $50 gift certificate from Milk Nursingwear! Thank you to all who entered!***

I have nursed two children and loved almost every minute of it 🙂  One of the biggest challenges for me was nursing discreetly in public. I tried various tactics but I always felt slightly exposed. If my breasts were covered, my tummy was showing and vice versa. And I’ve never been a fan of nursing covers because I hate the fact that my baby would be covered up by them.

So, when I was given an opportunity to try Milk Nursingwear, I jumped at it. If you’re unfamiliar with Milk, they are a line of very stylish nursing wear with nursing panels built right in. You simply pull one layer of fabric aside for easy nursing access. It’s extremely discreet. In addition to its functionality, these clothes are really cute, too! So cute, in fact, that you could wear their clothing even when you’re not nursing. And that’s exactly what I did.

I’m between babies at the moment so I got a chance to see if the Milk top really would pass for a “normal” top. I was reviewing the Chic Crossover Top in teal. I wore it to church one Sunday morning with a pair of black slacks. It looked GREAT. At church, the top was really put to the test. I was working in the nursery that day so I had kids climbing on me, I was holding babies, and I was running around. Amazingly, the nursing panel stayed in place the whole time.

 

The fit of the top was excellent, as well. When I first opened the box it came in, it looked like it might be too short. But when I tried it on, it was honestly a perfect fit. My only complaint (and it’s a small one) is that the material was rather clingy. This made it harder to hide bulges but since the overall shape was flattering, I thought it still looked great. In fact, I loved the top so much that I’m planning to go back and buy the sleeveless Ruffle Top (so cute!).

And if you are currently pregnant, many of Milk’s items can be worn during pregnancy, too. Since they do double duty, this makes them a good wardrobe investment.

Now, how about a chance to win a gift certificate from Milk? One lucky winner will receive a $50 gift certificate to Milk! Here’s how to enter:

Mandatory Entry: Like Milk Nursingwear on Facebook (if you don’t mind, let ’em know The Frugal Baby sent you!)

Optional Entry: Tweet this: “WOW the nursing wear by Milk Nursingwear is so pretty http://www.milknursingwear.com”

Optional Entry: Visit the Milk Nursingwear website, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the Facebook “like” button (this is different than liking their Facebook page).

Optional Entry: Tweet this: “Enter to win Milk Nursingwear at The Frugal Baby. http://bit.ly/jiDCk8”

Remember to leave a separate comment for each entry and be sure to include your email address. You may enter through July 14, 2011. A winner will be drawn randomly from all entries on July 15, 2011 and the winner will be notified by email that day.

Disclaimer: This product was provided to me at no charge for the purpose of review. I was not compensated in any other way and this review reflects my honest opinion of the product. Please see my disclosure policy for full details.

 


Variety Is the Spice of Breastmilk

Did you know that the foods you eat can actually affect the flavor of your breastmilk? It has been scientifically (and anecdotally) proven that the flavors of certain foods can be detected in breastmilk. This is especially true with strong flavors such as garlic, onions, broccoli, carrots, and a whole host of spices. Because of this flavor transfer, many scientists believe that exposure to a food through breastmilk may influence a child’s preference for the food as he gets older. This makes sense and likely explains how babies readily accept the common foods of their respective cultures.

If you’re a breastfeeding mom, this is great news. We’ve all heard the stories of children who won’t eat anything but peanut butter or hotdogs. And we’ve read the statistics showing that most kids do not eat enough fruits and vegetables. By introducing your baby to a wide range of tastes before they’ve eaten their first bite of solid food, your child may be more likely to enjoy a diet rich in variety and nutrients as he gets older. Of course, there is no guarantee that eating spinach while you breastfeed will result in a spinach-loving kid but it can’t hurt and it might just help. Plus, it’s good for your health, too.

It is recommended that breastfeeding moms try to eat from each of these three fruit and veggie groups daily:

  • Dark green vegetables such as broccoli, greens, spinach, and romaine lettuce.
  • Dark orange/yellow fruits and vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, apricots, and pumpkin.
  • Fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C such as tomatoes, peppers, watermelon, oranges, and strawberries.

All of that being said, it is worth noting that  some babies may be sensitive to certain foods in your diet. If you discover that your baby is gassy after you’ve munched on some broccoli or irritable after a particularly garlicky meal, you may need to eliminate such foods from your diet–at least temporarily.

Frugal Nursing Pads

If you breastfeed and you want to go out in public or keep your bed dry at night, you are almost certainly going to need nursing pads. When it comes to nursing pads, you have two options: disposable or washable. Undoubtedly, the frugal side of you is screaming, “washable!” while the busy mom side of you is pleading, “disposable!” The good news is, you can save a lot of money on either option. Here’s how:

Disposable Nursing Pads

The Cost Frugal Makeover
If you want to use disposable nursing pads, these can easily cost you between $5 and $16 or more per month, depending upon how often you use them and how leaky your breasts are. Keep in mind that if there are 60 pads in the package, you are only getting 30 uses from them because you will use two with every use. This can get costly. I personally love Lansinoh nursing pads. They are thin, absorbent, and soft. Before I became a frugal mom, I swore by these pads. Now, I’m saving money but I am, admittedly, sacrificing a little bit of quality. Now, for the frugal side of disposable. Many women successfully use pantyliners cut in half with one half in each bra cup. The pantyliners are thin, absorbent, and adhesive — ideal traits in a nursing pad. While a package of 60 nursing pads might cost $8, a package of 60 pantyliners will run closer to $4. Best of all, 60 pantyliners equal 60 pairs since you will cut them in half. One drawback to this method is that pantyliners might not be as breathable as the materials used in nursing pads. With that in mind, only use pantyliners when you go out or be sure to change them often.

Washable Nursing Pads

The Cost Frugal Makeover
Washable nursing pads are usually made from 100% cotton or wool. They are simply multi-layered fabric discs that can be tucked into a bra cup. Depending upon the brand and the quality of the pad, they can be purchased for as little as $4 to as much as $25 for a pair. If you own a needle and thread and know how to make a simple stitch, you can make your own nursing pads essentially for free by reusing materials that you already have. First, choose your material. Old T-shirts, flannel receiving blankets, or cloth diapers all work great. Next, using a disposable pad as your guide, cut eight circles from your fabric. If you don’t have a disposable pad handy, just measure out a 4 to 4 ½ inch circle (this is a typical dimension) they can be made larger or smaller according to your preference). For each pad, layer four circles and stitch around the edges. There you have it — free nursing pads! Just remember to omit the fabric softener when washing nursing pads or cloth diapers as this will reduce their absorbency.

The Trouble with Breastfeeding

When I was pregnant with my first child, I was excited about the prospect of breastfeeding. Beyond its nutritional benefits, it would help us to bond and it was completely natural. Not to mention, it would be easy…right? No formula to mix, nipples to sterilize, or bottles to warm. It sounded great.

When the nurse put him in my arms immediately following his birth, I quickly discovered that breastfeeding wasn’t quite as simple as I envisioned. My son and I had trouble getting our positions just right. And his latch was a little off. And then there was the fact that my very hungry 10 pound baby wasn’t satisfied by colostrum for very long! 

You’ve probably heard the adage, “breast is best.” I would like to suggest that the following is more accurate: “Breast is best, but easier said than done.” Before you throw in the towel, though, here are some of the most common breastfeeding problems and how to solve them.

Oh, and just a word of encouragement for you new moms: you’re not alone, manyof us struggle with breastfeeding, and it does get easier with time. Before you know it, you’ll be breastfeeding in your sleep with no trouble at all.

Lack of Milk

Especially in the beginning, milk production may be slow or seemingly non-existent. This can lead some mothers to believe that they are not producing enough milk for their babies.

The Solution:

1. Give it Time – For the first few days after giving birth, you may only be producing colostrum for your baby. It can take up to a week before your milk comes in. Fortunately, colostrum is all your baby needs in those first few days (even if he protests to the contrary!).

2. Keep Nursing – The only way to increase milk production is by nursing more. The more you nurse your baby, the more milk you will make.  And unfortunately, if you skip nursing sessions to supplement with formula, you are giving your body the message that you need less milk. The good news is, it is very rare for a mother to be unable to make enough milk for her baby.

3. Try Pumping – If you think you might not be producing any milk, try pumping your breasts. Understand, though, that a pump will usually not express as much milk as a baby would. So any little bit in the pump is an indication that you are, indeed, making milk.

Soreness

When you begin to breastfeed, all of the pulling, sucking, and tugging at your nipples will leave them sore, chapped, and possibly even cracked. If you are especially sensitive, this can become almost unbearable.

The Solution:

1. Check Baby’s Latch – If baby isn’t latched on correctly, you could be left in a lot of pain. In a correct latch, baby will have the entire areola in his mouth and the tips of both his chin and his nose will touch the breast.

2. Ointment – Apply a lanolin cream to chapped and cracked nipples.

3. Patience – Just like a child’s barefeet in the summer, your nipples will toughen up over time. After the first couple of weeks, breastfeeding should become painless.

Time Consumption

A single breastfeeding session can last 30 minutes or more and most babies nurse 8 – 12 times per day. This can add up to a lot of time spent nursing.

The Solution:

1. Avoid Nursing at Nap Time – A sleepy baby is a slow nurser and will nod off while eating. This can greatly extend the length of the breastfeeding session. Feed baby while he is still alert and if he does drift off to sleep, try to wake him.

2. Patience – In time, baby will need fewer feedings to sustain him. Additionally, as his sucking skills improve, it should take less time for him to drain the breast.

Going Back to Work

If you are a working mom, breastfeeding presents a whole new set of challenges. How do you feed your baby while you are away?

The Solution:

1. Pump – You will have to pump throughout the day in order to both keep up your supply and express enough to leave with your baby.

2. Have Lunch with Baby – If possible, visit your baby on your lunch breaks and feed your baby then. It will reduce the number of pumpings you do, as well as be a nice break during the day for you both.

Breastfeeding may not be easy in the beginning, but it is definitely rewarding. There is no better way to bond with your baby or to give him a nutritional head start. When you consider, too, that you will save nearly $1,800 over formula feeding, you’ve got some added incentive. Keep at it, stay patient, and good luck!

The Benefits of Breastfeeding

It almost goes without saying that breastmilk provides optimal nutrition for your baby and it seems that most moms are aware of that. According to the CDC, nearly 75% of mothers start out breastfeeding their newborns. And even though the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding for the baby’s first year, just over 40% are still breastfeeding at six months and only 16% make it all the way to the one year mark. Of the moms who do breastfeed at any point in their child’s infancy, many of them do not do it exclusively.

Before you join the ranks of the majority who feed or supplement with formula, consider the benefits of breastfeeding:

  • Breastmilk is the perfect food for baby. It has the right amount of nutrients and babies rarely, if ever, have trouble digesting it.
  • Studies show that breastfed babies are generally healthier and are better protected against things like ear infections, obesity, and even SIDS.
  • Children who were breastfed as babies reportedly score higher on IQ tests.
  • Breastmilk is always ready and at the right temperature.
  • Breastfeeding provides intimate bonding time between a mother and her baby.
  • Breastfeeding also has health benefits for mom, reducing the risk of breast and ovarian cancers.
  • Breastfeeding can burn as much as 500 calories a day, helping new moms to shed any excess baby weight.
  • And if all of that isn’t enough, breastmilk is free!