Several Studies on morning sickness have revealed that over 50% of pregnant woman experience morning sickness. There is no real evidence on what causes morning sickness yet. But we know that it happens. I have had the pleasure of experiencing this natural phenomenon with both my pregnancy with the twins, and my current pregnancy. Any mother who has experienced this can attest to the fact that its name "Morning Sickness" does not have any indication of when you will actually be sick. It should be called ALL DAY sickness. My morning sickness had affected my ability to function normally both times. I tried Ginger, and crackers solutions that many woman swear by, and it didn't help. Eventully I was relying on Zofran, a medicine that is also given to patients experiencing chemotherapy induced nausea. Alas a new study lead by Dr. Stephanie Hinkle reveals that morning sickness may not be such a bad thing after all. Morning Sickness should bring a sigh of relief to mothers. Ummm Okay! “Our study evaluates symptoms from the earliest weeks of pregnancy, immediately after conception, and confirms that there is a protective association between nausea and vomiting and a lower risk of pregnancy loss.” - Stefanie N. Hinkle, Ph.D, Scientist, NICHD’s Epidemiology Branch According to the NIH study news release, Dr. Hinkle and her colleagues analyzed data from the Effects of Aspirin in Gestation and Reproduction (EAGeR) trial, in which researchers tested whether taking daily low-dose aspirin prevents women who experienced one or two prior pregnancy losses from experiencing a future loss. In the EAGeR trial, a total of 797 women had positive pregnancy tests, with 188 pregnancies ending in loss. By the 8th week of pregnancy, 57.3 percent of the women reported experiencing nausea and 26.6 percent reported nausea with vomiting. The researchers found that these women were 50 to 75 percent less likely to experience a pregnancy loss, compared to those who had not experienced nausea alone or nausea accompanied by vomiting. Its important to remember that not all women experience morning sickness. There are perfectly healthy pregnancies past present and future that will not experience morning sickness and these mommies-to-be should not be alarmed at the absence of illness in their first trimester. Visit NIH.GOV for more details on the study I have a healthy envy of anyone who bypasses morning sickness. Its a miserable experience. But I guess Dr. Hinkle is telling us ladies we can pop the sparkling welches, Everything is OKAY... Even if you can't keep anything down.. find a moment to dance about it.
I will start out by admitting that the need for washing the car seat cushions was becoming pretty critical. I'm not ashamed to say it. ( Okay maybe a little ). You have to remember that I have twins so it's TWO Of everything double the crumbs and mysterious spots on the fabric that I didn't even bother to ask my kids what happend, though being 3 they are at the stage where they are full of explanations and stories. Beyond the obvious, however, I had zero idea where to start when taking apart the car seats. There were hidden hooks and snaps literally everywhere. Once I started I knew, if I couldn't remember where everything connected I was going to be in trouble. Finally, I stripped the car seats down to the skeleton, and made it "Nakey" as the kids would say and they went into the washing machine. Machine wash cold, drip dry... If you're curious. I knew I wasn't going anywhere for a day or two so I didn't rush to put the car seats back together. BIG MISTAKE. I did eventually find myself in a rush to get myself and toddlers out of the house, and remembered the car seats aren't in the car..and they are Nakey. If you can, picture me on the floor struggling past my pregnant belly reassembling car seat cushions that rival ikea furniture in way of complexity. I was sweating. Seriously, I've put furniture together that was easier. There were no instructions or dummy indicators for what connects to where. And all I could think about was, "I get to try this twice." I did eventually get it together but it took. About 40 minutes? Other than being outwitted by cushions and liners, I love the car seats. Graco Forever 1 Mom 0... Until we meet again Graco.... And we will meet again.
This week a story about a woman from Columbus Georgia who was approached by police has gone viral. The story actually popped up in my facebook feed a time or two as I am a member of a few breastfeeding support groups on facebook. Poor Savannah lays out the situation in a post that reads in a distressing tone for a mother who has breastfed twins in crazy situations and intends to do it again.. The complaint did in fact make it to the Sheriff John T. Darr, and he was able to reply showing his full support of breastfeeding and revealed that he is a father of four children who were breastfed and the grandfather of babies who are being breastfed currently. So he gets it. Sheriff Darr announces that he has taken action in a more recent post "that in accordance with Georgia law, a woman has a legal right to breastfeed wherever she needs to, without having to cover up." -Sheriff Darr Its important to note that is is lawful to feed your child, and its important to know the laws and your rights as a mother. You should not have to fear arrest for feeding your baby. The National Conference of State Legislation has listed the most updated Laws and Legislations in place pertaining to breastfeeding and a mothers rights State Breastfeeding Laws Forty-nine states, the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands have laws that specifically allow women to breastfeed in any public or private location. (Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.) Twenty-nine states, the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands exempt breastfeeding from public indecency laws. (Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.) Twenty-eight states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have laws related to breastfeeding in the workplace. (Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming.) Seventeen states and Puerto Rico exempt breastfeeding mothers from jury duty or allow jury service to be postponed. (California, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah and Virginia.) Six states and Puerto Rico have implemented or encouraged the development of a breastfeeding awareness education campaign. (California, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi and Vermont.) Use the DROP DOWN MENU to select your state and the laws/rights specific to where you live or are visiting. By all means, PLEASE feed your children, and do so when they are ready, do not run to a bathroom, or a car... FEED THAT CHILD! I fortunately haven't had the experience of being approached by anyone, and I fed two child Tandem.. in airplane's, airports, where ever , and whenever there was a need. The first time was the hardest. Just look at your baby, and remember your little person is your priority. Have you ever been approached be it with rude comments or encouraging support?
Disclaimer: The purpose of this post is not to shame families who have made the personal choice to formula feed or supplement with formula. Ultimately the choice is yours to do what is best for you and your family. It is understood that there are many reasons parents choose against breastfeeding and your right to make that decision is respected here. In the past and more recently, I have encountered the question, "Why do you breastfeed?," or "Why are you still breastfeeding" and "What are the benefits of breastfeeding?" These are legitimate questions, and I intend to give a family reasons to consider breastfeeding or to continue in your journey for as long as possible. Formula feeding is considered as an alternative way of feeding or substitute for breastfeeding. Formula manufacturing companies make claims of coming close to mimicking breastmilk, yet have not been able to produce a formula that is equal to breastmilk in benefits. Here are a few benefits for you to consider: Health Benefits for Baby Human milk provides the proteins, sugar, and fat that your baby needs to be healthy, it also contains many substances that are good for your baby’s immune system, such as antibodies, immune factors, enzymes, and white blood cells. These benefits protect your baby against diseases and infections and allegies during the breast feeding journey, and even after the child has weaned from breastfeeding. Formula can't do this. To illustrate: You have come down with a cold, you could pass these germs on to the baby. No worries the antibodies your body produces to fight your cold will be passed on through your breastmilk. The antibodies that are passed on will help the baby fight the cold germs quickly and effectively and possibly they will avoid developing the cold at all. Breastmilk is easier to digest for infants, thus reducing or even eliminating constipation. Washing Cloth Diapers from breastfed babies is MUCH EASIER. Benefits for Mom With the challenges that exist while adjusting to a new addition to the family. Its nice to know that Breastfeeding has us covered in this respect. Breastfeeding helps the body to produce hormones such as: Prolactin- During pregnancy prolactin levels increase. After the baby is born, prolactin stays high if you are breastfeeding. This hormone eliminates the guess work in feeding the baby, as this hormone is what stimulates milk production levels. Think supply and demand. you will not have to guess how much milk the baby needs, your breast and baby figure that out amongst themselves. Oxytocin- This hormone is for let down, or the release of the milk. But it is also knows as the "Love Hormone" according to Expectant Mothers Guide. This hormone is the same hormone that brings on loving, bonding feelings. So now you get to have these feelings with your baby, but Oxytocin does more still. It is also the hormone that stimulates the contraction of the uterus. Hello Waist Line, Goodbye baby weight. Reduces Risk of Breast Cancer As the daughter of a Breast Cancer Survivor, this is a HUGE factor for me. What can I do to reduce my risks? According to the CDC and Susan G Komen Research Studies: Breastfeeding lowers the risk of breast cancer, especially in premenopausal women [12,83-85]. A pooled analysis of data from 47 studies found that compared to mothers who never breastfed, : Mothers who breastfed for a lifetime total (combined duration of breastfeeding for all children) of 1 year were slightly less likely to get breast cancer. Mothers who breastfed for a lifetime total of 2 years got about twice the benefit of those who breastfed for a total of 1 year. Mothers who breastfed for a lifetime total of more than 2 years got the most benefit. Although data are limited, breastfeeding for less than 1 year may also modestly lower breast cancer risk . ( For more studies on Breast Cancer as it relates to breastfeeding visit http://ww5.komen.org/BreastCancer/Table5Breastfeedingandbreastcancerrisk.html) This is to answer those rude comments where people ask, "Are you STILL breastfeeding?'' and a eye roll to the term "extended breastfeeding" which is a term I hate because it insinuates that there is a cut off point in feeding your child, and anything beyond becomes EXTRA or no longer necessary. Please feel completely free to breastfeed your toddler. It is good for your health and the toddler. Financial and other Practical Benefits Breastmilk is free. Formula can cost anywhere from $1100- $1700 USD per year according to Whattoexpect.com Its easier to latch a baby in the middle of the night than fumble with bottle warmers formula or even those automatic bottle dispensers. Leaving the house is much easier. Instead of packing bottles and formula and maybe bottled water. You always have your milk ready and at the right temperature Great for the environment. No cans or formula bottles to throw away. I have found breastfeeding multiples to be way more beneficial than I had ever imagined. Though I did struggle a bit getting started as I mention in a previous post about my breastfeeding journey. I found it was a great way to calm the children be it in situations where they are stressed like the doctors office, or when they are tired and are having trouble sleeping. Breastfeeding is both nutritious and comforting for the child. And feeding this way can calm a child or children in record time. When at breastfeeding at home and the twins were smaller I used the My Breast Friend Nursing Pillow specially designed for breastfeeding twins in Tandem. IT HAS POCKETS. My advice to you is to trust your body. Trust the body of a mother. That body has built and birthed a human, with the exception of a few factors that could prevent you from doing so, you most certainly can handle feeding the baby. You are an amazing woman either way. xoxo
The weeks are winding down to D day for the new baby, so I have been all over the place planning and deciding what I would like to do differently compared to my first pregnancy with the twins. I am working on my birthing plan, (which I will write about later) and naturally I am choosing to breastfeed again. There is however, one area of many that I have had to spend a lot of time, reading and exploring my options- CLOTH DIAPERS. Since becoming a mom I have taken gradual steps towards being more "green" from the products I use for our hair care and baths, to finding alternatives to driving a car ( I don't have one), and switching from using disposable feminine hygiene products like pads and tampons to using menstrual cups, and cloth pads/mama cloths. It would seem like a no brainer to use similar methods of care with the next munchkin Right? WRONG I have been reading and comparing and reading again to see what I would be able to handle. I first looked into a cloth diapering service. But the standard service would have cost me approximately 80-100 dollars a month and the price increases with the size of the required diaper. Makes sense, but this doesn't work for me. Its just me and two soon to be 3 kids. I have to be smart with my spending choices. After thinking about that, I figured there had to another way to be both Green and leave more green in my little pockets. This is when it gets crazy for a newbie like myself. Apparently there are several types of cloths to choose from, before we even get to brands. There are diapers that come in multiple parts or single diaper. Okay.. After looking, the upfront cost can get pretty expensive, if you (like me) don't know what you are doing. But I found a resource that was pretty helpful at www.thinking-about-cloth-diapers.com. I found this website and some others to be extremely resourceful in educating myself on the subject and I'm sure you will learn exactly what you need to get started. There are Flats, and Prefold which seem to be the most pocket friendly methods, and likely the way I will go. I'm not just interested in being eco friendly, but saving money is also very attractive. The other options are All in One, All in Two, Pocket (another attractive option to use with prefolds as inserts), fitted, hybrids and the list goes on. It seems like a new language to someone who hasn't had experience in this area. I have learned that Prefold diapers, you can usually get 12 for about 25 USD, and get a few covers and some Boingos or Snappi's to make the prefold the perfect fit. This will be my method!! Everyone seems to agree that for a newborn one would need about 36 prefolds, and financially that doesn't seen like a bad number for a newborn. There are also liners that can be used to keep "Solids" aka Poopy off of the cloth diaper so you don't have to touch the stinky... BONUS! I intend to keep you posted on this journey. I hope to make my first purchase soon. But I won't know how great all of this is until the baby is born. If you have any suggestions, or tips from your experience let me know!!
Life and circumstances can change at the drop of a hat. It's important to be flexible, but it becomes increasingly difficult how much one can bend as your family grows. I know, this has become my life! My family dynamic has changed, things don't always work out as one plans or expects. I'm not completely alone, I fortunately have a very supportive family, my parents are awesome. Having a supportive family doesn't mean that I don't shoulder all the responsibilities of raising and providing for my family. Much like some of you. We have to make decisions and with a tighter budget and there is less room for error. Depending on your outlook, this can be where it gets "fun." Having 3 year old twins, and a baby on the way means I am keeping up with toddler growth spurts, special request, and entertainment plus the basic needs of growing twins. Then keeping up with my needs as my belly grows and the seasons change, while preparing for the arrival of the new munchkin! I'd be lying if I said it wasn't a lot. But.. I'm working it all out. Here's how: Discount Stores : One of my all time favorite stores is (drumroll) the DOLLAR TREE!! I'm serious! Once I really had to change my shopping habits, and stretch my dollar, this store became my GO TO. I get: Colgate toothpaste ( Both adult and kids) Toothbrushes, both for myself and the kids, Nail polish Bore hair brushes Activity books/ coloring books Small Toys Costumes for the kids to be super heroes or a little princess Packs of cool Socks Cute storage items These items at regular retail can add up, especially with the more kids you have. (I once spent $65 at Walmart for two sets of socks two sets of toddler size undies and two new sets of pjs). THATS INSANE! Resale / Consignment/ Thrift Stores I understand this may not be Everyone's cup of tea. But Thrifting is awesome!!! I don't mean collecting someone else's junk. I mean gently used items that others had no use for. A lot of consignment shops have a qualifier process where they don't just take ANY old thing. Kid to Kid resale for example has a rigorous checklist they follow down to knowing whats on recall, safety check, and they make sure things that require batteries actually work. I recently had a great shopping experience at my local Kid to Kid, not only was I able to purchase previously "loved" newborn items. I found an amazing bassinet/ mini crib for $50 dollars. I am definitely going back!! Check out the website to see if there is one near you! (My "winnings" at Kid to Kid) you even get discounts when you bring the shopping bag back with you!!!! Mommy Support Groups (Other Moms) If there is anything I've learned, there is no greater resource than a group of experienced mothers. Mothers with experience have great tips on things like crafting, benefits of cloth diapers, and they share great sales!!!!! Recently I was made aware of a INSANE sale with a boutique with an online store called Levanta Bratique they recently had a $5 sale where items ranging from nursing bras, maternity dresses and coats, and baby carriers, were all priced at $5 dollars. Needless to say I was a kid in a candy store. And it will forever be on my radar! Maybe now it will be on yours too. These are just a few of the techniques I'm using! What are some of your budgeting tricks! I'm ready to give it a try!!
We all know that the arrival of a baby in the family will mean frequent pediatrician visits, even if only for the well child visits to make sure the children are on "target". I've also found that these visits tend to feel like parent teacher conferences and you're the student who frequently forgets homework in the locker. And now you're in trouble! Okay... maybe this is a slight exaggeration, but only a slight one. My experience as a breast feeding mother of color which is the only experience I can relate to. We've been categorized as women who don't breastfeed, and if we do breastfeed perhaps we are fumbling our way through the many stages and curves that come along with a breastfeeding journey. As you may know by now I've experienced a lot of reverse support when it came to breastfeeding the twins, which catapulted me into this space of education and fact checking and peer seeking that continues to this day. Today was Jojo's 6 month visit. And it started like always growth chart, how's he eating, how many diapers and how is he sleeping. Then the Question of the day. Where does the baby sleep? I'm an honest person and the truth is I am a mother who works full time. And if I got up and sat in the living room every time he wanted to nurse I would not be able to function. So I responded. "Well, now that he is older I bring the baby to my bed and I lay on my side to feed him and we fall asleep, and when I wake up I put him back in his crib which is also in my room." WELL...before I could explain that we remove the blankets and move all pillows out of the way the Medical student went on a rant about how unsafe we are being, and that she is a deputy coroner and she "sees fatalities all the time." I asked "Even with sober breastfeed mothers?" "Yes them too." Was her reply. Immediately popped a RED FLAG, in my head I thought surely if there was an epidemic of smothered babies in the area this would become public knowledge. I simply said "Interesting". Which led to a question of what I do for a living, (is this my check up or the babies?) . Ok so that was the end of that conversation. She ended with her mandate "Get the baby out of your bed." And I said "Thank you." Fortunately, the pediatrician comes in next excited to see us, we happen to be one of her favorite families, I learned today. Well the conversation continued on the subject of how I nurse in bed at night, and something amazing happened. She proceeds to alert the doctor that it is now recommended that breastfeeding mothers are safest in BED with their babies when nursing at night and quotes the AAP. https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/pages/american-academy-of-pediatrics-announces-new-safe-sleep-recommendations-to-protect-against-sids.aspx AAP recommendations on creating a safe sleep environment include: * Place the baby on his or her back on a firm sleep surface such as a crib or bassinet with a tight-fitting sheet. * Avoid use of soft bedding, including crib bumpers, blankets, pillows and soft toys. The crib should be bare. * Share a bedroom with parents, but not the same sleeping surface, preferably until the baby turns 1 but at least for the first six months. Room-sharing decreases the risk of SIDS by as much as 50 percent. * Avoid baby's exposure to smoke, alcohol and illicit drugs. Skin-to-skin care is recommended, regardless of feeding or delivery method, immediately following birth for at least an hour as soon as the mother is medically stable and awake, according to the report. Breastfeeding is also recommended as adding protection against SIDS. After feeding, the AAP encourages parents to move the baby to his or her separate sleeping space, preferably a crib or bassinet in the parents' bedroom. "If you are feeding your baby and think that there's even the slightest possibility that you may fall asleep, feed your baby on your bed, rather than a sofa or cushioned chair," said Lori Feldman-Winter, MD, FAAP, member of the Task Force on SIDS and co-author of the report. "If you do fall asleep, as soon as you wake up be sure to move the baby to his or her own bed," she said. "There should be no pillows, sheets, blankets or other items that could obstruct the infant's breathing or cause overheating." San Francisco, IL -- The other doctor stayed silent for the rest of the visit. It felt nice to have someone who understands what I am doing and that will stick up for me. I cannot stress enough that it is important to be your own advocate when going to the pediatrician. You are the spokes person for your child and family, walk into that doctors office presenting your best, and study for the most important job you have. BEING A PARENT. Knowlege is Power... even if it's only having control over how you are treated and what you will accept. If you choose to have bedsharing moments please make sure you do so safely. We got a lot of comments about our cloth diapers. Some with shock and most with adoration. We love it!!!! Dad put this diaper on this morning ... we've found that pockets are more beginner friendly.. good job dad!