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Disclaimer: The information in this post is for educational purposes only. I am not a doctor. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. None of the opinions are meant to diagnose or treat any disease or illness. You should always consult your healthcare provider.


When Mastitis Strikes: What it is and how to treat it

I had successfully breastfed three babies before I truly learned the wrath of mastitis. I can still remember my grandmother telling me about "milk fever" when I told her I planned to breastfeed. She told me how she had never been so sick in her life. Back in those days when a woman got mastitis she was encouraged to quit breastfeeding. Her mother bound her breasts with an Ace bandage and that was the end of her breastfeeding journey. Thankfully, there are other ways to manage mastitis now. Causes of Mastitis I was struck with mastitis when my baby was only four weeks old. Mastitis is most likely to occur within the first few weeks … [Read more...]

How Many Calories Do You Burn Breastfeeding?

Right after you have a baby, the last thing you feel like doing (or should be doing) is getting up to exercise. Fortunately, if you breastfeed, your body is willing to do some of the work for you. Breastfeeding is hard work. Many women want to know, "How many calories do you burn breastfeeding?" How Many Calories Do You Burn Breastfeeding? Although the amount varies for each woman, the average is around 500 calories a day. The number depends on how frequently you're nursing, whether you're supplementing with formula, and how much milk your body produces. While burning 500 calories when breastfeeding sounds like a lot, it's important … [Read more...]

I Just Gave Away My Only Bottle: A Reflection on 8 Years of Breastfeeding and Parenting on a Budget

We conceived our first baby four months before we meant to. Obviously, four months won't make much of a difference in the scope of our lives, but it did throw us into a bit of an adventure 8.5 years ago! My husband was in graduate school and working two jobs. I had an entry-level job with an entry-level paycheck. Neither of us had insurance that covered pregnancy, and we DID have quite a bit of debt in the form of student loans and a car payment. We'd been married a year, and we had been tracking our fertility for 9 months to avoid pregnancy until we had more stable finances. We took a chance one month - and that chance's name is now … [Read more...]

Considering Weaning at 4 Months? What You Should Know

It is no surprise that breastfeeding is sometimes a difficult and frustrating journey. Despite what some might say, breastfeeding doesn't come easy. As a general rule, once a new mother gets past the 6 weeks mark things can be smooth sailing. However, some moms find themselves revisiting the idea of weaning at 4 months. Four months is a common breastfeeding hurdle. With the right information you can prepare for what's to come and rest assured you and your baby can get past this. Why You Might Consider Weaning at 4 Months, and What You Should Know   The 4 Month Sleep Regression It is no secret that as humans we need sleep to … [Read more...]

The Benefits of Ecological Breastfeeding for Child Spacing

Conception and child spacing are frustrations for nearly every woman I know, regardless of where they are in their journey toward (or away from) motherhood. I'm so thankful that coming across the idea of "ecological breastfeeding" a decade ago dispelled some of the anxiety of my childbearing years! When I became fed up with hormonal contraceptives and decided to track my cycles and use Fertility Awareness instead, my brain immediately calculated for the most extreme scenario. Roughly 24 years of fertility left, with a baby born every two years = 12 BABIES! Oh my! That's assuming I had no multiples, miscarriages, or children born … [Read more...]

Why is my breastfed baby smaller than formula fed babies?

Women's bodies are amazing when it comes to growing infants. We create tiny human beings within our own bodies, are capable of immeasurable strength to birth them, and we can nourish a growing infant with milk from our own breasts. Our breast milk typically has everything our babies need. Then why is it that a breastfed baby is sometimes smaller than formula fed babies? Why is My Breastfed Baby Smaller than Formula Fed Babies? Normal Weight Loss and Gain Babies lose weight immediately following their birth. They then have ten days to gain that weight back. Weight gain is expected to slowly increase as babies grow. Typically, … [Read more...]

Myth Busters: Nipples Need to be “Toughened Up” Before Birth for Breastfeeding

It's shocking to me to hear that doctors and well-meaning relatives still sometimes recommend doing specific things to toughen or rough up nipples before birth to prepare for breastfeeding! Not only is that not evidence-based medical advice, it has potential to be harmful. Myth Busters: Nipples Need to be Toughened Up Before Birth for Breastfeeding Your grandmother or mother may have told you that it's best practice to rub your nipples with a wash cloth to get them used to the friction they will be experiencing. People sometimes suggest that it's helpful for building up callouses or just acclimating the sensitive tissue. However, … [Read more...]

Myth Busters: Breastfeeding Will Take Over Your Life

Mamas, have you ever felt like breastfeeding was going to take over your life? Sometimes it seems like baby wants to eat constantly. Or you have to stop what you're doing to nurse so often you never get anything done. Or baby insists on only eating in quiet, dim places, so you can't go anywhere when there's the slightest chance they might get hungry. Does being a breastfeeding mom mean you have to give up everything--or what feels like everything--until your baby weans? It definitely does not! Far from being something that might take over your life, breastfeeding can become a precious part of your life: your new life as a … [Read more...]

Myth Busters: Breastfeeding After the First Year Doesn’t Have any Benefits

A common misconception about breast milk is that it has no significant value after the first year of a baby's life. This couldn't be further from the truth! Not only does breast milk still provide a considerable portion of babies' nutritional and caloric needs after their first birthday, extended breastfeeding provides other benefits as well that make it a healthy choice for mom and baby. Breastfeeding After the First Year: Nutritional Benefits Even for babies who are learning to eat "table food," breast milk still provides many of their nutritional needs. According to Dewey (2001), cited by Kelly Bonyata, In the second year (12-23 … [Read more...]

Myth Busters: Dad and Grandma Can’t Bond with Baby Unless You Use Bottles

Feeding a baby is a very bonding experience. Whether a baby is fed by breast or bottle, feeding involves closeness, touching, and eye contact. Because of these benefits, many parents worry that exclusively breastfed babies won't be adequately bonded to caregivers in their life other than their mothers. Fortunately this need not be a concern! Fathers, grandmothers, and other caregivers involved in baby's life can bond beautifully with the baby, despite not giving bottles. So without further ado, here are some ideas to help others bond with baby without feeding! Ways for Others to Bond with Baby Diaper duty! Though it is probably the … [Read more...]