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Milk Blebs and Shooting Pain

Milk Blebs and Shooting Pain

What is a Milk Bleb?     The Difference Between a Milk Bleb and Blister     Causes of Milk Blebs and Blisters What Does a Milk Bleb Feel Like     My Milk Bleb Story     My Milk Blister Story Treating Milk Blebs and Blisters at Home 

Preventing 3 Year Old Behavior Problems After New Baby

Preventing 3 Year Old Behavior Problems After New Baby

For the first month or so after bringing home our new baby, I was surprised that my 3 year old had no apparent shifts in behavior. He seemed curious about and delighted by the new baby. Fast forward a month and this is when the 

The Best Baby Wrap for Summer – Nominating the WeeSprout Tencel Modal Wrap

The Best Baby Wrap for Summer – Nominating the WeeSprout Tencel Modal Wrap

A great baby wrap promotes bonding, provides comfort and offers convenience. And with a hot and fun filled summer ahead, finding the best baby wrap to use while out on adventures or at home getting things done is a must.

Features of a Great Summer Baby Wrap

When it comes to finding the best baby wrap for summer, there are a few essential features to consider. A great summer wrap must be;

  • Lightweight
  • Breathable
  • Comfortable
  • Convenient
  • Safe
  • Promote proper baby hip alignment
  • Promote bonding
  • Affordable

So with all of the above features in mind, I nominate the Weesprout tencel modal wrap as the best baby wrap for summer!

The first time I put the Weesprout wrap on and held my baby in it, I couldn’t stop exclaiming to my husband how amazing it felt to have her snuggled up against me. And months later, I’m still in love with this wrap and how close I feel to my baby when I wear it. I will almost always reach for this wrap before any of the others we have.

Benefits of the Weesprout Baby Wrap

summer outing to the park with my toddler and baby using the weesprout summer baby wrap

The Weesprout baby wrap comes as a long piece of tencel modal fabric that you strategically wrap around your hips and shoulders to create a comfortable and nurturing nest for baby. And it feels so good to have baby up against you in this lightweight silky smooth wrap!

Tencel Modal Fabric

The Weesprout wrap is made of tencel modal fabric, which has the following qualities;

  • lightweight
  • breathable
  • moisture wicking
  • soft and silky feeling

As we are starting to hit 90 degree days, I am especially grateful for the lightweight and breathability of the Weesprout wrap. And despite the lightweight quality of the wrap, it still feels very durable. I have no doubts about the strength of the fabric safely holding my baby in place.

weesprout baby wrap tencel modal fabric tag

Tencel modal also has a minimal and silky texture which feels cooling on hot sticky days.

While hefty and more expensive baby carriers like the Ergobaby Omni Mesh 360 carrier are great, I much prefer the simple Weesprout wrap on hot days. Additionally, I think my baby prefers the greater visibility offered when she is in the Weesprout wrap since it is not as bulky and she is still so small.

Environmentally Sustainable Product

An additional important benefit, is that tencel modal is an eco-friendly product. Cariki explains that it is sourced from eucalyptus wood and is produced through an eco-friendly manufacturing process. Plus, tencel is biodegradable as long as it’s not blended with other non biodegradable materials.

Promotes Bonding

The fabric has a minimal yet durable feel to it, and I was amazed by how close and comfortable I felt with my baby the first time I put her in the WeeSprout wrap. It reminds me of being pregnant again, but without the discomfort of having all my internal organs squished!

bonding with baby using the best baby wrap for summer

And there is nothing sweeter than looking down at my baby’s face as she is snuggled up in her wrap. She always grabs the neck of my shirt with her little fingers and just looks so content being held in this wrap. She both naps as well as spends time awake in it.

Just Enough Stretch

At first I thought the Weesprout baby wrap did not have enough stretch. But the more I use it, I realize it has just the right amount of stretch. Any more stretch and I feel like my baby would start to sag in it overtime. And any less stretch and it would be too constricting.

If I have tied the wrap a little too tight before putting my baby in, the fabric gives enough that I can pull it to accommodate a bit more space. And once my baby is in the wrap, she stays nice and secure in place the whole time I’m wearing her. And I have gone on many summer outings and held her in this the entire time. I also carry her around the house in the wrap.

How to Tie the Wrap

There is definitely a bit of a learning curve when it comes to using this wrap. For example, it takes some practice to figure out how taut you want to wrap it around you before putting baby in. How tight or loose you tie it will impact how high or low baby sits and how well baby is supported against you.

I also found that during this learning curve period, my baby wasn’t always thrilled to be put in the wrap. So for about a week, I thought I had wasted my money, because my baby seemed to detest being put in it. I kept at it though, and after a few days of focusing on getting the wrap tie down, both baby and I fell in love. My baby wants to be in this wrap all the time now and always settles down when in it.

So just keep in mind it takes a little patience and practice to get the wrap tie just right for you and your baby. 

The wrap comes with a handy little instruction manual with pictures showing how to tie the wrap.

weesprout baby wrap tie instructions

weesprout summer baby wrap instruction manual

Taking care of a little one is no easy feat, so having a good baby wrap to support both baby and mom and/or dad is key! And when it’s hot outside and you want to stay cool and feel close with baby, the Weesprout wrap is a great option.

My Unplanned VBAC Birth Story

My Unplanned VBAC Birth Story

My first baby was an unplanned c-section and my second baby was an unplanned VBAC birth (vaginal birth after cesarean). The best laid birth plans, right? With my first baby, I was actually a little relieved when the doctor said my labor was not progressing 

Postpartum Anal Fissures: The Horrors and The Healing Process

Postpartum Anal Fissures: The Horrors and The Healing Process

Yep. Postpartum anal fissures. The Mayo Clinic defines anal fissures as small tears in the lining of the anus. One of the most painful issues a postpartum woman may experience, yet one of the least talked about. And given that the National Library of Medicine states, “…anal fissures occur 

Nipple Pain When Breastfeeding And How To Manage It

Nipple Pain When Breastfeeding And How To Manage It

After going through Painful Breastfeeding as a New Mom with my first baby, I am happy to report that I have successfully managed nipple pain when breastfeeding with my second.

I still experienced sore and painful nipples this second time around, but it never got anywhere near as bad as it did with my first. This is because I knew what to do from the get go. And this made breastfeeding in those early newborn days A LOT less stressful.

So I want to share my top 3 tips for managing nipple pain when breastfeeding in hopes that it can help some other mamas!

#1. Protect Sore Nipples in-between Feeds 

With my first baby, I did not know how to properly protect my nipples in between nursing sessions, and this aggravated my already very sore and cracked nipples. Everyone told me to just apply nipple cream and that it would work wonders. Unfortunately, I did not find that nipple ointments did much for me. 

Whenever I would leak colostrum or milk, it created a sticky residue and my nipples would stick to my bra. So when I would hastily pull my bra down to breastfeed, it would painfully take cracking and delicate nipple skin with it. Ouch. 

So with my second baby, I did some planning and research beforehand regarding products to help protect and heal delicate nipple skin in between breastfeeding sessions.

My Favorite Nursing Supplies to Protect Sore Nipples

  • Silver Nursing Cups
  • Cooling Hydrogel Pads
  • Nipple Shells

Silver Nursing Cups

I used silver nursing cups daily for the first 2 weeks of breastfeeding my newborn. The cups provided much needed protection in-between feeds, allowing my nipples to heal and find some relief.

Now, 3 weeks into my breastfeeding journey, I only need these cups when my nipples are starting to feel particularly sore, which happily isn’t that often!

silver nursing cups to manage nipple pain when breastfeeding

While I don’t know much about the particulars of the science behind these cups (supposedly the silver has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties), I do know that they provide a nice barrier between sore nipples and any potential sources of friction. 

So in my experience, these silver nursing cups have been essential. I wish I had them when going through painful breastfeeding with my first baby, because they made such a difference this second time around. And aside from their function, they are small, simple to pop on and off and easy to clean.

I am diligent about keeping them clean with soap and warm water between uses, and I make sure my nipples are wiped clean and are dry before applying the cups. 

Cooling Gel Pads

After the silver nursing cups, I found cooling gel pads to be most helpful in the early stages of breastfeeding. Medela makes gel pads that can be reused for a couple of days, and Ameda makes ones that can be reused for up to 6 days. You can clean them and place them in the refrigerator between uses to help cool and soothe inflamed nipples, as well as provide some protection against friction.

I only needed these for the first week or 2 of breastfeeding. I alternated using them with the silver nursing cups and this made my nipple pain when breastfeeding very manageable!

Breast Shells

Breast shells are not my favorite, but they certainly have a time and place. I used them a handful of times in my first couple of weeks of breastfeeding. Like the silver nursing cups and gel pads, they provide some nice protection from any friction against sore cracking nipples, and have the added benefit of having air holes in the cups to allow the skin to breathe. They also come with some foam inserts that soak up any leaking breastmilk.

My one complaint about these, is that even when I wore a relatively loose but fitted crop top to hold them in place, they still left pressure indents around my nipples. I think this was due to all the swelling and inflammation around my nipples. So I would only use the shells for short periods of time when I felt like the skin on my nipples needed to air out. 

Before using the shells, I rubbed breast milk over my nipples and let it dry with the shells on. Alberta explains that breastmilk has antibodies in it that can aid with healing sore nipples.

#2: Take a Break from Nursing: Pump as Needed to Minimize Nipple Pain When Breastfeeding

Whenever my nipples start to get really sore, swollen and or have any sort of lesions, I switch to pumping until things calm down. At two and a half weeks postpartum I am continuing to use this strategy. This prevents my nipples from getting too beat up before they are ready to handle exclusive breastfeeding.

The idea to intermittently pump to manage nipple pain was first introduced to me by a lactation nurse when I was struggling with breastfeeding with my first baby. She said that my nipples needed time to heal before I could continue breastfeeding.

And it only took a week or less of exclusively pumping before I started alternating pumping and directly breastfeeding. And I then ended up being able to exclusively breastfeed. For me, the benefit of this was not having to deal with managing and cleaning pump parts and bottles.

So I like to share this little piece of wisdom regarding intermittent pumping to manage nipple pain from that lactation nurse, because I do not believe it is a very common one among most lactation consultants. In my experience, many lactation nurses will continue to push breastfeeding unless you have blood pouring from your nipples. But, you know what pain is and if your nipples are not in a place to have a hungry little human chomping on them.

I have found it pretty amazing how in the early days of breastfeeding, when nipples are still acclimating to their rigorous new job, just a day of pumping or just a few sessions can help manage nipple pain and soreness.

For example, with my second baby, I exclusively breastfed the first 2-3 days after delivery, and then when she started to cluster feed, I switched to intermittently pumping as well. Those cluster feeds can happen every hour or less, and that can really start to irritate nipples.

When pumping, I always make sure to use the right sized flanges for my nipple size, and I use a nipple balm like Honest’s Calm Your Nip Balm to prevent uncomfortable friction while pumping.

different sized flanges to manage nipple pain when breastfeeding

#3.   Always Help Baby Get a Good Latch to Manage Nipple Pain When Breastfeeding

They say that breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt if baby has a good latch. I disagree. Breastfeeding can still hurt even if baby has a great latch. This doesn’t mean though that you shouldn’t continue to focus on getting a good latch every feed. Because your nipples will hurt a lot more without one.

Especially when newborns and babies are small, the Brest Friend Nursing Pillow is amazing to ensure a good position for proper latch. Getting one of these pillows was an absolute game changer for me.

My Brest Friend nursing pillow to help manage nipple pain when breastfeeding
My Brest Friend nursing pillow packed up in its case with my hospital bag.

This pillow makes it easy to lay baby on top of it, support his or her upper back with one arm and hand, and then hug baby in close to latch as you use your other hand to sandwich your nipple to help baby latch.

The benefit of this pillow compared to other nursing pillows, is that it doesn’t leave a gap for baby to fall in between the pillow and your torso. Especially during the newborn phase, I found this made breastfeeding much easier ergonomically. When my first baby got bigger, I started using the Boppy nursing pillow, but for newborns I really prefer the My Brest Friend pillow. 

Sharing Our Breastfeeding Stories

Struggling with nipple pain when breastfeeding is a fairly common experience among mothers, but something that isn’t often talked about. The more we share our breastfeeding stories though, and the more we share our tips and tricks with each other, the better prepared we are mentally and physically to navigate what can be a challenging journey!

Please share your story and what is or is not working for you when it comes to nipple pain during breastfeeding in the comments below. Thank you!

When Should Family Visit Newborn Baby?

When Should Family Visit Newborn Baby?

Topics Considerations – When Should Family Visit Newborn Baby?     1. Know Thyself     2. Protecting Immature Newborn Immune Systems     3. Establishing Breastfeeding     4. Processing Postpartum Emotions Establishing Boundaries with Newborn Visitors      1. Give Yourself Permission to Have Boundaries     2. Practice Clear 

C-Section Hospital Bag Checklist for Mom and Baby

C-Section Hospital Bag Checklist for Mom and Baby

 As far as my hospital bag was concerned, I was wildly unprepared after the birth of my first child. I had not yet prepared a bag when my water broke at 37 weeks, and I had not anticipated staying in the hospital for 5 days 

Is it Good for Kids to Get Sick?

Is it Good for Kids to Get Sick?

Over the past couple of months, I have had some sort of flu, a stomach bug and most recently covid. There have been a few days of reprieve in-between viruses and bugs, but for the most part, I can’t remember the last time I felt healthy. Apparently this is toddler mom life. 

With a nearly 3 year old who attends several indoor group activities with little booger fingers flying everywhere, it is really no surprise that we all keep getting sick. My toddler will develop symptoms (fever, vomiting, excessive sleepiness, etc) a day or two before my husband and I develop the same symptoms. The difference is that my tot gets over these ailments in a day or less, whereas it takes my husband and I at least a week, usually longer.

All of these recent bouts of illness have really made me want to put my toddler into a bubble and go back to our early pandemic lifestyle; isolated from people and germs! And especially being 25 weeks pregnant right now, I’m just over it! 

The problem is though, is that I am living with a wildly energetic toddler. When my son was younger, he was far more content to just play with me and go about our relatively solitary activities at home and at quiet parks. Now though, I feel like he is ready for so much more.

So, what is one to do? How uptight should I really be about exposure to germs and viruses? While having covid was certainly no fun, we all got through it and are all relatively fine. And if I don’t let my toddler get exposed to all the bugs now, will his immune system ultimately be weak and out of practice as he gets older? Am I just prolonging the inevitable and we will be sick all of the time anyways later on when he is in elementary school? 

In an attempt to make an educated decision about how much indoor group activity I want to expose my toddler to this winter and while pregnant, I did a little research. 

Do Kids Who Don’t Go To Daycare Or Preschool Have Weakened Immune Systems?

So my first question is, do babies and toddlers who don’t go to daycare or preschool (or have a lot of exposure in general) have less developed immune systems than those that do? Will they suffer as they get older because their immune systems never battled illnesses when they were younger? Is being a stay at home mom and keeping my son out of daycare yet another thing I am going to store away in my pesky Stay at Home Mom Shame database?

Somewhat surprisingly, I found that the answer to whether or not babies and toddlers need to contract a bunch of illnesses in order to develop their immune systems is not as simple as a yes or no answer. 

Melinda Moyer from The New York Times explains that while being around other kids and sharing microbes and getting various illnesses can help develop the immune system, it is not solely responsible. Genetics and lifestyle play a big role too.

For example, Pop Sugar recommends exposing kids to a bunch of relatively harmless microbes to help develop their immune systems. These are microbes that probably won’t get them sick, but that will still be beneficial. They get exposed to these microbes and maintain strong immune systems in the following ways;

  • spending time outside as much as possible
  • eating a variety of fruits and vegetables
  • getting good nights of sleep

Additionally, Cleveland Clinic explains that it really is best to protect kids as much as possible from certain illnesses when they’re very young. For example, they state that it is best if kids don’t get an illness like RSV very early in life. This isn’t the case for all illnesses, but there are certainly some that are best to avoid until later in life. Cleveland Clinic also recommends the following ways to support kids’ healthy immune system development in addition to those listed above;

  • having a dog in the home and having your child spending time around it
  • breastfeeding for longer
  • immunizations

So while I’m not going to put my child into a bubble, I am going to take steps that I can within reason to keep him away from excessively germy petri dishes. I want him to socialize with other kids and have fun playing at indoor playgrounds this winter, but I can be selective (eg, choosing less crowded places, having playdates outside when possible, washing hands after group activity etc).

And I do not think that being somewhat selective and cautious about germs makes me overbearing or is going to negatively impact my son’s immune system development. I have the luxury to be more selective about activities and exposure levels as a stay at home mom, so I am going to embrace that! And I’m also going to keep in mind those ways listed above to keep my toddler healthy overall that will support the development of his immune system.

And looking forward, University of Utah states that most kids will be getting sick less often by the time they reach middle elementary school. Sure does seem like a long ways away, but it’s nice to know that most kids follow this timeline and it’s all perfectly normal. 

Sending everyone good health vibes this season!

When Does Morning Sickness End?!

When Does Morning Sickness End?!

My second pregnancy was brutal in terms of morning sickness. Or should I say 24/7 sickness. Why it’s called “morning sickness” makes no sense to me. In fact, I often felt the worst in the evenings and in the middle of the nights. In the