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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The 12th Thing To Know About Breastfeeding...

Ohhh... I can't believe I left this one off my last post!! It made the world of difference to me:

12) Take prenatal classes that cover breastfeeding. We did a program that had about 10 classes. All the rest of the info we covered was interesting, but I could have lived without it. The class on breastfeeding, however, was critical to my success because there are very specific ways to get the baby to latch that are tricky to figure out on your own.

Good luck!
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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

10 Things To Know About Breastfeeding

Sorry guys!!! This one is for the Moms out there who've never breastfed and would like to do so. Again, some info from my personal experience... hopefully it will benefit some readers out there!

1) Babies need to be taught to latch, and it doesn't always happen the first day, but if you keep trying it WILL work.

2) C-sections can delay your milk, but it will come, so don't give up.

3) If your nursing staff have pushed formula on your newborn to get him/her to pass the first stool and now your baby is not interested in the thin colostrum, just dribble some formula on yourself before getting baby to latch. This worked for me and got my daughter back on the breast after she'd been on the bottle.

4) See point #3 - nipple confusion is a myth. Both my newborns switched back and forth from breast to bottle without skipping a beat.

5) An easier way to deal with thrush is to NOT use the cream they give you (that's the stuff that can't go in baby's mouth) and get an extra large bottle of the stuff for baby, and put THAT on yourself too. That way if you're exhausted and baby wakes up crying, you don't have to go wash toxins off yourself before feeding.

6) If you are on antibiotics and must formula feed while you "pump and dump", don't obsess about pumping as much as a baby would feed. As long as you pump some at every feeding, once baby latches back on after the antibiotics are done, it only takes about a day for your milk production to be back up to what baby needs.

7) If you must pump several times per day for an extended period of time, rent a hospital pump. For one thing, they're whisper quiet and won't wake anyone in the middle of the night. More importantly though is the fact that they have long tubes between the breast cup and the pump housing, which buffers you from the vibration of the motor (which is nothing for occasional pumping, but with regular pumping can become uncomfortable).

8) Drink LOTS of water :-) The problem I had is that I'd forget, get settled on the couch, baby would latch, and then THIRST would overwhelm me. "Honey... can you please get me some water? I know, I know, I'll remember next time.". NEVER ignore the thirst. Even if you have to pester your spouse or get up with a feeding baby in your arms, DRINK THE WATER.

9) If you pump, do both sides at once. You get letdown on both sides at once, so you'll waste some anyway if you don't have two containers in place. Plus you'll be done in half the time.

10) Breast milk will sour if it changes temperature too quickly. I was spoiling my milk by putting it directly in the freezer, until I figured out that it had to sit on the counter and cool to room temp first.

11) I'm adding #11 'cause this is really really important... if you are having trouble, DON'T WAIT to consult a Lactation Consultant (NOT the same thing as a maternity ward nurse, who are usually wonderful but don't specialize in nursing). A friend of mine delivered her baby at a local hospital famous for labour and delivery - BC Women's - and she couldn't get her baby to latch. None of the nurses and docs at this hospital could help her and her milk all but dried up. It was a Lactation Consultant who finally told her that her baby was tongue tied. She underwent a simple snipping procedure and was almost immediately able to latch. Because of the delay in this diagnosis, she had tremendous difficulty getting her milk in again, and basically gave up.

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Monday, November 17, 2008

10 Things To Know About Having A C-Section

I've had two C-sections, so I just thought I'd share (for those out there heading into one for the first time):

1) You WILL feel normal again eventually, so if you feel like you've been hit by a train, don't panic.

2) The sooner you get up and move around, the sooner your bowels will begin working again after the anaesthetic.

3) The sooner your bowels begin working again, the sooner they will let you eat something other than green jello and clear broth (yum).

4) No your abdomen will NOT split open if you simply try and walk (although it might if you tried sit ups or gymnastics ;-)

5) This is important, and no one told me this: C-sections can delay your milk, but it will STILL COME. Any nurse who tells you otherwise (I had one) should NOT be working in maternity.

6) It is possible to have almost no scar. I'm not so lucky, but I have friends who are (and yet they're still my friends ;-)

7) Sleep makes a big difference in how you feel post-op. I know this sounds obvious, but I wouldn't let myself sleep because I was too wrapped up in my new baby :-) My nurse (a better one than the one who told me I might not get milk) finally had to give me a sleeping pill after four days (my Mom was there to watch the baby so I was ok with it). When I awoke I felt like A MILLION DOLLARS.

8) Ask if you can video tape. I never bothered, assuming they'd say no, and then heard of friends being able to after. I would have loved to have seen the surgery on tape.

9) Baby will be much prettier (no smunched head) but may have fluid in lungs (no trip down the birth canal to squeeze it out).

10) It won't hurt to pee!!!!

Good luck and have fun (and congrats :-)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Ten Things To Know About Keeping Food Fresh

Reducing food waste is a great money saver. Here are ten things to know about preserving your perishables to save money.

1. Use a vacuum sealer. This is a great way to virtually eliminate freezer burn, enabling food to stay fresh in the freezer for much longer.

2. Learn about the effects of ethylene on produce. Ethylene is a gas naturally produced by fruit and vegetables as they ripen. Some foods are more sensitive than others, and if stored in an air tight crisper drawer where the ethylene is trapped, will spoil faster. Store ethylene sensitive foods and ethylene producing foods separately (example: store apples on the counter - they are high ethylene producers and should be kept where the air can circulate).

3. Don't wash vegetables before storing. If they are wet (from being misted at the store) pat them dry before putting them in the fridge.

4. Milk stays fresh longer in glass containers than in paper or plastic.

5. Store eggs in the back of the fridge where it's coldest - not in the door egg keeper.

6. Eggs will stay fresh longer if stored pointed side down.

7. Eggs need to breathe - never store them in the plastic egg container that comes with your fridge - leave them in their Styrofoam or cardboard container.

8. Store bricks of cheese with 2 or 3 sugar cubes to delay the onset of mold.

9. Store dry ingredients (flour, oxo, pastas, grains, etc.) in airtight containers to keep them fresher and to keep the bugs out.

10. When storing cut up produce in the fridge, add a paper towel to the bag or container to absorb excess moisture.

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