11/21/2017

Breastfeeding: What I’ve Done Differently the Second Time Around

This post is in partnership with buybuy BABY, a brand I shop from and love. All opinions are my own.

Just a heads up that if breastfeeding isn’t a topic that interests you at all, you may want to skip this post and I’ll see you for the next one!

For those of you who’ve been reading this blog awhile, you may remember my postpartum days with Jack. I was pretty much sick for months following his delivery due to reoccurring bouts of mastitis. During the seven months of breastfeeding, I had mastitis seven separate times. And it was painful. Ugh.

Usually I would be sick for a week and a half, spend a week and a half recovering, and then get sick again. It was an awful experience and it put my recovery in slow mode. (If you want to read more about my breastfeeding journey the first time around, you can do so here.)

So when I found out I was expecting baby number two, I was more concerned how breastfeeding would go than I was about having a c-section.

Savannah's Birth Story

However, eleven weeks since having Savannah and I’ve had zero bouts of mastitis. (Praise the Lord!) I am not 100% certain why this time around has gone so much smoother, but here are a few things I’ve done differently while nursing baby number two:

Breastfeeding The Second Time Around

Soak. Every single time I start to feel a clog, or feel overly full, or get a strain in my chest, I fill up a big bowl with warm water, lean over, and soak. I actually just had to do this over this past weekend and yesterday. Or, I take a hot shower and let the steam, heat, and moisture help alleviate the pain. I had to shower or soak before every single feed at least the first month after having Savannah. It was a lot of work and very painful, but whenever I could feel those symptoms (I know those symptoms) I tried to take care of it before it got too far.

Immune Boost. I’ve relied on my favorite immune booster ever every single day since delivering. I started using Amazing Grass while recovering from two back-to-back bouts of mono in college, and I now swear by it for boosting immunity. I’ve gotten so many close friends and family obsessed with it too. I usually take a double shot right before bed with eight ounces of water. I also have been using Plexus products, including the ProBio and the Bio Cleanse. I started talking to my friend Megan who sells Plexus and she mentioned she had experienced lots of mastitis with her babies, but after using these products she never had it again. I don’t know if these products are helping, but they are certainly not hurting! I’m going to keep using them as long as I’m nursing.

One Side at a Time. With Jack, I followed the rules where I would feed on one side for 5 minutes, and then feed on the other side for 5 minutes during the same session. This time I have instead been feeding on only one side, and then switching to the other side the next session. Maybe it’s made a difference, I am not sure. I definitely think though that I get completely cleared out, which is a good thing!

Ice and Heat. Along with the Soaking, for the first 4-6 weeks I would also heat before every feeding (either by soaking, showering, or warm packs), and then after heating I would use cold packs for 5-10 minutes. The heat helps the milk to flow easier, and the cold would reduce swelling, pause the milk production, and just feel relieving for my sore chest.

Sleep and Rest. Whenever I have a chance – which is limited this time around with both a toddler and a newborn – I sleep. I also tried to accept any help that was offered to me and not feel guilty about it. When I had a c-section with Jack, I just could not seem to accept that recovery was going to go slower for me than someone with a vaginal delivery. I thought I could do ‘all the things’ like everyone else, but it turns out I couldn’t. I tried not to rush the recovery process this time, and instead did my best to take advantage of the opportunity to lay in bed, ha.

Savannah James Newborn

Other things I’ve been doing: ONLY wearing comfortable, non-wired nursing bras and wearing two bras while exercising (for additional support!), I don’t sleep on my back (I seem to clog easily in this position), and I continue to drink as much water as possible!

Full Busted Seamless Nursing Bra

Also, I know it’s a big no-no to give a pacifier to a nursing newborn, but I gave Savannah one the first day and it hasn’t seemed to cause any issues.

Breastfeeding The Second Time Around

Other things I’ve not been doing:

Pumping. I actually didn’t start pumping until right before I went back to work when Savannah was about 10 weeks old. I was so nervous about rocking the boat since we had found a rhythm that worked for us. She never even had a bottle until she was 10 weeks old! And she took it like a champ – thank goodness! This means though that I don’t have a large stash in the freezer, but I have now incorporated an extra two pumps a day – one in the morning and one in the night – to try and get a little surplus.

Here are a list of my favorite products for breastfeeding, all of which I was able to purchase at buybuy Baby:

Breastfeeding Must-Haves

11/09/2017

The Last Year of My 20’s

Tomorrow I will turn 29 years old. The last year of my 20’s. How can this be?

Age 29 - Birthday Post

There was a time when I would have thought 29 sounded so old, but now I just feel so… young. Yes, I have an incredible amount of very adult responsibilities – a husband, two babies, multiple jobs, bills, etc. – but I honestly still feel as if I have my whole life ahead of me. I am excited for the future and believe that the best is yet to come. There is so much I want to accomplish, so many goals and hopes even in just this next year of life before I turn 30. With each year I think I get a little smarter, and a little more ambitious than the one before. And not only do I get to go after these dreams, but I get to do so with a beautiful family by my side.

Age 29 - Birthday Post

As I welcome a new age, I like to look back on the previous year and reflect. I also like to sum up the year in one or two words. When I looked back on year 25, I chose perspective-changing, and year 26 was humbling. If I had to choose a word to describe year 27, it would be unplanned. When I turned 27, I had no idea that before I celebrated another birthday I would be a mom to two beautiful babies. I also didn’t know that my Beautycounter business would take off like it has, or that we would sell our home and be in the process of building. There were so many unplanned events and blessing this year that were not realized a year ago.

Age 29 - Birthday Post

My point is that life can dramatically change in a year. You have no idea what the next month or even week will bring, so if you feel down or stuck today – make a change. Take a chance. Put the work into it and just keep moving forward, with loads of grace, prayers, and help along the way.

I usually don’t choose a focus word before beginning a new age, but I really hope that I’ll look back a year from now and see 29 as the year of family. This year I want to truly focus on my family and the stage of life we’re in. Having two kids age two and under is really hard. It’s been a big transition, and one that often falls in line with the ‘days are long, but the years are short’ saying. I absolutely don’t want to wish these days with my babies away, and I’m going to do my best to really be present when I’m with them. To let Jack get a little messy and dirty. To hold Savannah as long as she wants to be held. To go on more dates with my husband. To say I love you more. And to savor these sweet memories with my family.

Age 29 - Birthday Post

Cheers to the last day of being 28, and looking forward to year 29! There’s so much to celebrate.

11/07/2017

Savannah’s One and Two Month Update

I had every intention of sharing an update for Savannah’s first month, but I blinked and suddenly here we are at the two month mark.

Savannah James - One and Two Month Update

I shared Jack’s two year update a few weeks back, and it reminded me once again just how quickly the time goes. We are still working hard to find our routine, but I recognize that takes awhile. I am glad to say that we are all happy and healthy over here – a little sleep deprived, but getting enough to keep us functional and get us by – and enjoying our time as a new family of four.

Savannah James - One and Two Month Update

You guys,I have to be honest, going from one to two children has been really challenging. It can feel very defeating when both kids need my attention, but there is only one of me to go around. It can also create a lot of mom guilt when you feel as if one isn’t getting as much attention as the other, but just know that you are not alone. We will get through this phase and I am confident it won’t scar either child! I try to cover the kids in hugs and kisses, shed a few tears sometimes when I hit my breaking point, and just do the next thing.

My Savannah is an absolute angel baby! I’ve been so incredibly grateful for her sweet nature and go-with-the-flow spirit (she is a lot like Jack was as a newborn), and I’m in awe as to how much joy she has already brought to our family. She eats like a champ, sleeps through most of the night, and gives us plenty of gummy smiles and coos throughout the day.

Eat

I plan to do a whole post on breastfeeding next month and will share more of my thoughts on the subject then, but I wanted to give an overview on how Savannah is doing with nursing. As many of you may remember, breastfeeding was quite the challenge with Jack, but I’m ecstatic to report that after two months we have had ZERO cases of mastitis. I can’t tell you enough how happy this has made me!

Savannah eats really well and has done so from the first feed. I remember being in the post-op room not even thirty minutes after having her and she was already nuzzled up next to me searching for food. The first week was trying with super short feeds 10-12 times a day, but after a couple weeks the cluster feeding slowed and we started to find more of a rhythm. During month one she was eating anywhere from 8-10 times a day for 10-20 minutes at a time. During month two she ate 7-8 times a day for 15-25 minutes. Typically she nurses a couple times pretty quickly during the morning – about two hours a part – an other times of the day it’s usually about a 2 1/2 – 4 hour window.

At our second check-up when she was about five weeks old, she weighed 10 lb. 1 oz., which was two pound up from her birth weight of 8 lb. 1 oz. I think it’s safe to say that she was getting enough food and growing like crazy! She has another appointment today, so we should find out what her current measurements are.

Also, I have gotten a few questions about pacifiers and Savannah prefers these ones. They are so hard to find (I ordered hers on Amazon), but they’re the only ones both of my kids would use. I think it has to do with the shape of the pacifier. My babies tend to prefer the ones that are flatter and more tongue shaped than tubular. I gave her a pacifier the first night she was born, which I recognize is a no-no in the breastfeeding world. However, she needed to soothe herself with the suck reflex and it was the same with Jack. He had no problem transitioning from pacifier to nursing to bottle so I was hopeful the same will be with Savannah. We haven’t tried a bottle with her yet, but I am pretty confident she will take one okay.

Sleep

Savannah is not just a champion eater, but she is also a really good sleeper. Typically I tend to feed her one last time at night somewhere between 9:30-10:30pm, and then she will typically sleep until 4:30-5:30am. She gets fussy during the night sometimes, but usually if I put her pacifier back in she will drift back to sleep. If I start feeding her closer to 5:00am, I usually just get up for the day and start working on some blog posts or Beautycounter work. This is really the only time of the day I have to work, besides 9:00pm at night, so I try to take advantage of the time when I can. Sometimes it is actually easier to just get up then it is to try and fall back asleep at 5:30!

We are currently using this co-sleeper because for us, it’s just easier when they’re this little to not have to get up to soothe, feed and pacify. Jack slept in the bassinet of his pack-n-play until he was about four months old, and we’re thinking will probably try to transition Savannah to her own room around this time as well. We aren’t really worried about it though and just taking it day-by-day, or night-by-night! We do like this co-sleeper since it has mesh sides and the price is right, but I do wish the mat part was a little more comfortable. She doesn’t really seem to mind it though! We also use these swaddles with her arms free since she seems to prefer it that way. Early on we swaddled her arms in as well, but we let them out when she was close to a month old.

She takes naps throughout the day, but honestly, she doesn’t like to be put down to do so. I can get short bursts of sleep for her in the swing, but unless she’s in a wrap with mommy, she can get a little fussy and wakes up easily. Thankfully she loves the Solly Baby Wrap, so I have her wrapped in it at least 4 – 6 hours a day so that I can be hands-free for Jack, while still cuddling and helping her to get the sleep she needs.

Play

Savannah’s wake time has really taken off during month two. She is alert and truly loves her swing a lot, which helps give me a break when I need to put her down for a few. She’s always watching the puppies on the mobile and cooing at herself in the mirror. It’s so sweet! 

I also try to include her in story time with Jack as much as possible. I really didn’t read to Jack at this age, so it’s nice to read out loud to Jack and know that she’s hearing the verbal language as well. Jack absolutely loves to read and I can’t get enough of that time together, so I am hoping to create a strong tradition of book time with both kids. I remember reading together with my mom every night before bed and looking forward to that time. I would love to do the same with my kiddos as well.

Along with story time, I also sing a lot of songs with Jack and Savannah seems to like music as well. I will lay down a comfy play blanket in the living room and she loves to lay on her back and look up to the ceiling. She also really enjoys being outside and is typically alert and happy while laying back and looking at the sky.

 

Savannah James - One and Two Month Update

Savannah James - One and Two Month Update

Likes:

Being held and cuddled

Being in the Solly Baby Wrap or the Ergo Carrier w/ Newborn Insert

Being outside

Her swing

Getting baths

Dislikes:

Being hungry

Getting a diaper change while hungry

Being put down when she wants to be held

Trying to be given her pacifier when she doesn’t want it

When her tummy hurts after eating

Being too warm

Savannah James - One and Two Month Update

Savannah James - One and Two Month Update

Our daughter has truly been such a joy to our family, and these last eight weeks have simply flown by! I already feel teary-eyed looking back on her birth story and the very first days, but I know how fast it all goes and I think I’ve been able to enjoy the newborn stage and soak it in more than I did with my first baby. This is such a precious time and I couldn’t be more grateful to have such a healthy and happy baby.