There are so many things I learned along my breastfeeding journey that I wished someone would’ve prepared me for! I’m beyond grateful that my body and breasts can do this for my baby, he gets the liquid gold that I can provide! With that being said, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t come with some challenges along the way.
I didn’t expect my boobs to hurt like they did! The beginning of your milk coming in is quite the experience. It comes in hot and heavy until your supply adjusts to your baby’s needs. This can be somewhat of a surprise because you only see the beautiful images of moms breastfeeding online. You don’t see the pain and sometimes discomfort that comes along with it.
Speaking of your milk coming in hot and heavy, you likely will leak! Everywhere! The boobs sometimes have a mind of their own and get ahead of themselves with the milk lol: I may have squirted myself and Ben a time or two! It’s also common to leak when baby isn’t even nursing, so it’s helpful to wear some sort of nursing pad at first. While baby is nursing on one boob, the other may leak as well. I loved using a Hakka to catch the letdown and store to use in a bottle later!
Your nipples can get sore too, newborns feed quite often and it can take a little for your nipples to “toughen up!” They do eventually, but it takes a little time. It’s important to note though that breastfeeding shouldn’t be painful while baby is nursing. If so, the latch probably isn’t right! Lactation consultants can be very helpful with getting a proper latch.
Of course, the frustrations of being new to this come in too, which is normal. I was wondering if he was getting enough and if I was even doing it right. I was trusting my body and the way our body’s work, but yet had so many questions! At the end of the day, as long as baby is growing and having those wet/dirty diapers, they are getting what they need.
Having the ability to provide nourishment in such a way to my baby is one of the biggest gifts I could ever give him and I’m so grateful that I’m able to nurse. But it’s okay to know that it isn’t all rainbows and butterflies at first!
I created a guide for Breastfeeding moms to support you along your journey to educate you and remove the overwhelm and the 2am google search! It's packed with recipes, resources and more to encourage you. GRAB IT HERE!
Being a mama brings a whole new perspective on self care. I’ve learned very quickly how important it is to take care of yourself after having a baby. After birthing my little one I still do agree that taking care of yourself is important, but I have an entirely new appreciation for even just the mindset around it! The only thing I really care about is making sure my baby is doing awesome, how can I care about myself? But then I take a moment and think, wait if I don't care for myself, I literally cannot care for him either!
It definitely looks different after having baby, but that doesn't mean it's impossible. As a mom who's breastfeeding, it's so important that I take care of myself so I'm able to care for him. The #1 thing about self care after having a baby is recognizing that it looks different and isn’t as involved, but it’s even more important.
The days are busy and it can be overwhelming, but I want to share some easy ways to take care of you throughout the day! Honestly, one of the easiest ways is to drink your water to stay hydrated. This does wonders for your health and your breastfeeding journey. Buy a big tumbler and keep it with you all day!
When it comes to working out, we love going for walks and getting in the sunshine. If I have the time, I’ll get in an arm workout, but I’m focusing on doing things that serve my body in this phase and help me feel good. Do whatever makes you happy and doesn’t overwhelm you or stress you out. We aren’t here to “bounce back;” we’re here to be healthy for our babies.
The last thing I love to focus on is gratitude. Every morning or night before bed, write 10 things you’re grateful for! Even if you aren’t postpartum, these are great practices to do daily!
Pumpkin spice or apple cider!? It seems like most people love one or the other haha! Whichever one you're a fan of, apple cider is packed with yummy ingredients and can be a great drink to have while visiting a pumpkin patch or warming up around a campfire.
- 2 quarts fresh apple cider
- 1 orange, unpeeled and cut into slices
- 3 drops Lemon Vitality essential oil
- 1 drop Cinnamon Bark Vitality essential oil
- 1 drop Clove Vitality essential oil
- 1 drop Nutmeg Vitality essential oil
- start with a toothpick swirl of each oil and add sparingly; these can be strong!
1. Combine apple cider, orange slices, and essential oils in a large pot and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes or more.
2. Discard orange slices.
3. Serve warm
A baby's microbiome starts to form even before birth. The term "baby microbiome" refers to the collection of microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other microbes, that reside in and on an infant's body. While in utero, a baby's gut begins to be colonized by microbes from the mother.
These microbes play a crucial role in early development and are essential for the development of a baby's immune system, digestion, and overall health.
Starting the way a baby is born, they’re affected by different microbes in the environment. A vaginal birth transfers the microbes from mom to baby and a cesarean birth exposes the baby to microbes from the surrounding environment, such as the skin and hospital environment.
In the first few years of life, the baby's microbiome continues to change and is influenced by factors such as breastfeeding (breast milk contains various beneficial microbes and compounds that support the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut), diet, environment, and contact with family members and pets.
Being introduced to different settings is essential for a baby’s body to develop and establish a healthy microbiome. The early establishment of a healthy microbiome may reduce the risk of various health conditions, including allergies, asthma, obesity, and autoimmune diseases.
As caregivers, it's our job to create a good environment for our baby to develop a healthy microbiome! Finding ways to introduce them to different surroundings and allowing their body to develop and grow in a healthy way.
As always, it's best to consult with pediatricians and healthcare professionals for personalized advice on promoting a healthy baby microbiome.
Interested in learning more? Click here to grab my guide that is packed full of information and tips for breastfeeding moms!
Autoimmune can mean a lot of different things for different people, but it’s important to remember that we really do have more control than we’ve been led to believe when it comes to feeling good. It’s our job to be educated and learn how we can feel good; because we can!
When you’re a mom it’s not always easy to take that extra care of ourselves that we need to do, especially with an autoimmune. There are hard days and days that we aren’t feeling like our best selves. Food is one of the best ways to take care of yourself because it plays a huge role in so many things. Food can effect your mood, how you feel, your energy levels and more.
Not only is ensuring that YOU get good foods in your body, your family benefits as well! Everyone has different thoughts on how you ‘should’ eat so it’s important to find what feels good for your body. Focus on what triggers a positive or negative response in your body. No matter what you’re eating sourcing it well is incredibly important.
I love visiting our local farmer's market; it's something I truly enjoy doing and the food is so much better for us! Eating local allows you to know exactly what is in the item. So many foods that we can buy on the market today are pumped full of chemicals and things that are not meant to be ingested into our bodies. Finding a source that you know and trust is a game changer.
Visiting our local farmer’s market has actually turned into a family affair for us and it’s so fun! We get outdoors to enjoy the beautiful day and we’re able to teach our son the importance of finding good foods to serve our body. It’s truly a win/win for us!