5 Breastfeeding Essentials

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When I recently had my son, Kason, I thought I knew a lot about breastfeeding and would instantly know how to do it. Its natural, right?!? Little did I know, I would be completely clueless!!! My journey to successful breastfeeding is still being written, TRUST ME, but as a newbie these are the items I have found to be the most helpful, important, and help me to feel MOSTLY normal.

1. Breast Pump: The most expensive, and probably least necessity for me, but used everyday item is my breast  pump. My insurance covered my breast pump, so look into that to save some money. I use the Spectra 2. It was one of like 5 options my insurance gave me. I chose it on a total whim. I knew nothing about it, but it worked out great for me and is SUPER easy to use.  I will say, a breast pump will be essential if you plan on going back to work and want to keep your baby on breastmilk.

2. Nursing Pads: If you have breast fed before, you know there is nothing worst than finally getting yourself ready after weeks of being a hermit and just surviving newborn life, to look down and see your lovely outfit soaking wet from leaky boobs. It happened to me, so spare yourself the pain and wear some nursing pads. I use these washable ones, but I also have disposable ones because sometime they are way more convenient.

3. Haakaa: This little guy is my MOST used item! I use this at every single feeding, unless we are in public, because I would literally be exposing my all of my chest. I am not comfortable with that for myself, but you do you! & if you use this and know how to be more discrete, send me your tips!. Anyway, this is a little silicone “pump” that uses suction to stick to your breast handsfree and catch the extra let down.

4. Water: So this is something you likely already do, but I did not know how much water I was actually going to need to drink while breastfeeding. I have probably doubled my water intake. I see a lot of people across the internet suggesting half your body weight in ounces of water per day. My milk supply is definitely decreased when I am not drinking enough water. An easy way I make sure I get enough is to drink a big glass of water with every feeding!

5. Nipple Balm: This was so important in the beginning! My lactation consultant in the hospital said we had a great latch, no tongue/ lip tie, and everything seemed great, but my nipples still cracked, they were still sore, and even bled. Let me say this: IT GOT SO MUCH BETTER! After a few weeks, my nipples toughened up, my babies mouth got bigger, we both learned what worked and was comfortable for both of us. So don’t let that scare you. Get some nipple balm and breastfeed on!

Hopefully at least one of these will help you if you are a breastfeeding newbie. I think these are by far the most essential items to get you going on your breastfeeding journey. Their are hundreds of products/tips out there, but these are what really worked for us at the end of the day!

With Love,

Kierston

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My Baby Registry

Now that my second trimester is in full swing, and honestly already dwindling down to the third I have been spending time thinking about what we really need for baby’s arrival. I am incredibly blessed to be having two baby showers put on by my friends and family, and so I have put together a baby registry in preparation for the celebration.

Lots of people gave me suggestions on where to register, but in the end I went with Babylist. It is a website that basically allows you to register for items from whatever website you please. Which is really nice!!! I have items from big baby stores and from little online shops. It is also nice because it is in one place, and for many items they show other sites it can be purchased for varying prices.

As many of you know, I like natural, eco, green, crunchy, whatever you might call it product for myself and family, but truthfully not everything I use is organic or natural. I would call myself “crispy” or “light green”. I use what works, what I like, and try to pick what is safe and healthy too. Same goes for things I have picked out for baby. So here it is, what this “Crispy” Mama wants for baby!

  1. Muslin Swaddles: I chose this Cloud Island brand because they seemed affordable, came in a three pack, and are certified to have not used any chemical or dyes that are harmful to babies!
  2.  Waterproof sheet: I debated as to whether or not we really needed this, but since we have chosen a pack-n-play for our co-sleeping I felt it was needed. Pack-n-play pads are large, kind of bulky, and can’t be stuffed in the washing machine. This particular one is lined with TPU, which is one of the safer options in waterproof baby products.
  3. Ring Sling: I knew from the beginning I would get one of these. Baby wearing has a ton of benefits. There is a lot of research about how proximity in general with your new baby is fabulous. I PRAY baby feels comfortable in them. I have picked out two, both in neutral colors! I picked the two for the fabric it was made from. Some fabrics are better than others for baby wearing and for breathability.
  4. Cutie Clip: I have to share this for a few reasons. ONE: The shop owner, Lindsey, is incredibly sweet! TWO: The designs, colors, and safety certification she has on all of her products makes them awesome. I really love how much attention is placed on safety, as well as, functionality of all the products she sells.
  5. Breast Pump: I picked this particular one because it does not need batteries or electricity to work. It works by creating suction. I have read several reviews and most people seem to like it, especially for on the go or travel. It is BPA free and can be put in the dishwasher too!
  6. Nursing Bra Pads: Were you gift a ton of free samples of bra pads? I was! They came in every welcome box, OB gift bag, and maternity/baby store rewards program. I hate them! I have never breastfed, so maybe they aren’t so bad. I do not know for sure, but what I can say is that they look like a disposable menstrual pad and feel about as itchy and sticky as one too. That is why I have chosen washable bra pads instead. The ones I chose had great reviews, machine washable, and everyone mentioned that they were soft!
  7. Cloth Diapers: We are giving cloth diapers a shot! We really like how they can save us money, and how they are also good for baby and planet. We chose these particular ones because the insert is removable, several other both diapering mamas’ suggested them, and they are easy to find.
  8. Baby Wash and Lotion: I chose the Honest company brand because I have heard nothing but positive things. They are known for having pretty clean ingredients and for being gentle. I have picked out the lavender scent for now, and I even am hoping to use their nipple balm.
  9. Pacifier: This is something I am not sure if we will use or not. I sucked on my hands and fingers as a child, and my husband used neither. If our baby chooses neither that is fine, but I know breaking a pacifier habit is easier that a finger ones because fingers are attached to the child, pacifiers aren’t. Also, there is research that supports pacifiers being better options for developing mouth and teeth out of the two. I chose this particular one for the lack of chemicals, seams, and comes in a shape good for breastfed babies.
  10. Toilet Sprayer: You might be thinking “What the HECK is a toilet sprayer?”, but let me just say when I came across this I instantly became less worried about touching whatever ends up in the cloth diaper. Basically its a tiny sprayer that attaches the the clean water from your toilet. You can use it spray off and diapers in need and them flush everything down the toilet where it belongs. Before I saw this, I was wondering what I would do with especially soiled diapers. This solves the problem!

This is not my full list. I have other things like plain onesies, newborn mitts, little bibs, and baby monitor like most new parents. These just happen to be items I chose because of the safety, clean ingredient or manufacturing, or because they were something I didn’t know existed. Baby isn’t here yet, so I can not say whether the items will be worth it or work for us. I have high hopes for them, and chose items I felt comfortable using and seemed to be well loved by other mamas.

Are you pregnant? Have children already? First time mom like me? Share with me in the comments what you are registering for, or what worked for you!!!

With Love,

Kierston

Surviving the 1st Trimester

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If you didn’t know, I am expecting! I am now into my second trimester and It is SOOOO much better than the first. If you are in your first trimester and feel miserable, I feel for you! I also want you to know it gets better. I promise! I was incredibly sick for the first 17 weeks. I threw up everyday. Most days all day. I lost about 20 lbs. I lived off of crackers, toast, and clear soda. Oh and that anti-nausea prescription, I threw that up too. So much for that!

With all of that said, I made it and you will too. That sweet babe you get in 9 months is worth it, and your body knows what it is doing. Hang in there mama! Here is some things that helped me!

  • Preggo Pops: I was worried the sugar in these would send me into the bathroom, but they did not! They had just enough sour to settle my stomach, slightly sweet to taste good, and had ingredients that are know to help with morning sickness. Order them ASAP!
  • Ginger Ale: I drank this everyday all day. Water wouldn’t stay down. I was terribly afraid of being dehydrated, but this liquid stayed down. While I wouldn’t normally suggest copious amounts of soda, in this case do it!
  • Sleep: I was extremely tired. I noticed my sickness was far worse when I didn’t take time to rest. It can be hard to rest because all the responsibilities are still there and you feel like why can’t I just do what I normally do, but I had to remember that my body was doing really BIG things in the first trimester. Listen to your body and take that nap, sleep in, and go to bed early when you can.
  • Ginger tea: Maybe ginger ale isn’t your thing. Try ginger tea. Sometime I was sick of drinking soda and tea was a nice change of pace. Ginger ale settled my stomach more personally, but ginger tea is healthier and doesn’t contain the sugar like the soda
  • Eat regularly: Do not get hungry! Hungry was no good. If I didn’t eat I would for sure find myself in the bathroom. Low blood sugar can cause morning sickness, so it is good to eat regularly to stabilize blood sugar levels.
  • Talk about it: At one point I got the blues. I was really upset about how sick I had been. I love cooking and eating yummy food. I like getting dressed and feeling like a normal human. My house was a mess. The laundry was piling up. I was sick of crackers. My husband worked 6 days a week. I hadn’t showered in days. I was beginning to think I am not cut out for this. I knew women who had multiple kids, jobs, and housework who had it together while pregnant, and I was just trying to stay alive. It was really hard at first. I am so glad I talked to people who love and support me because I was feeling pretty bad about myself. Not to mention all the hormones! They tell you crazy things about yourself that just aren’t true. You are made for this. You will be a good mama. It will get better. Know that!

Hang in there friends! The first trimester can be tough. I never imagined that I would be so sick. I didn’t know of anyone who was as sick as me, and I definitely didn’t know anyone who felt down about pregnancy like I did at first. Your body is doing incredible things. Listen to your body. Take care of yourself. Reach out for help. It gets better. You will make it to the “middle magic”. Try some of these things. I can’t say you’ll feel 100%, but I can promise this too shall pass. Much love and many prayers to those who are also growing and raising children!