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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.

Everything You Need to Know About Gentian Violet

If you’ve heard of gentian violet but aren’t sure exactly what it is or what it’s used for, this is for you. I’m going to tell you everything you need to know to decide if gentian violet is right for you or your kids. When the doctor prescribed my 13-month-old son an antifungal for thrush, I didn’t love the idea of putting a prescription medication in his mouth. I did it anyway in the hopes of eradicating the fungus. Cut to two months later and me continuing to battle thrush with no success. That’s when my lactation consultant suggested gentian violet. It worked like a dream. Read my story here. Now I want to share what I've … [Read more...]

Breastfeeding and Thrush: How to Beat the Yeast Beast

In our post, "Foods to Avoid While Breastfeeding," we discussed some common triggers for a colicky baby. If your baby is fussy or has a reaction after nursing please check out that post to learn more about common threats to a breastfeeding relationship and how to keep a food journal. Breastfeeding and thrush is its own kind of special situation. Thrush is essentially a yeast infection on and around your nipples and inside the baby's mouth. There is a yeast naturally found in your body called candida, but it can cause problems when the yeast grows out of control. Thrush can be a beast (I call it the "yeast beast") and hard to get rid … [Read more...]

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...]

Top 8 Prepackaged Breastfeeding Snacks from Target

When my second child was born, my husband had to go back to work immediately. Despite the fact that prepackaged snacks are not the healthiest (since they are often higher in sugar, sodium, fat, and additives, such as MSG, artificial colors, sulfites), I still bought prepackaged breastfeeding snacks to eat while nursing my son. I bought prepackaged food so that I could quickly grab something to eat when my husband and mother-in-law were not around. Principles I used in choosing my prepackaged breastfeeding snacks were: Pick nutrient-dense foods. Choose foods that required little to no preparation. Two of the snacks I bought required … [Read more...]

Baby Moon: Caring for Yourself After Birth

Our American culture is definitely not one which is friendly to postpartum mothers. After birth, mothers need lots of time to rest, sleep, cuddle and nurse their new babies, and just generally rest from the work of giving birth. Particularly if the birth was via cesarean, rest is vital to the healing process! We sometimes expect new mothers to be up running errands within a day or two of giving birth or leaving the hospital. But the risks of getting "up and around" too quickly are very costly, and this is the perfect time to snuggle up with your baby and get to know him or her! Inadequate rest after birth has been linked with the … [Read more...]

6 Ideas for Helping a Postpartum Mom

During pregnancy, mothers frequently hear offers of help after the baby comes. Sentiments like "Call me if you need anything!" are frequently heard. While the people who say this generally have the best of intentions, it is sometimes difficult for mothers to ask for help after they've had a baby. Often, "help" looks like someone coming over to hold the baby (the fun, easy part!) while the freshly postpartum mother cleans the house and does the laundry! Our society has a very strong mindset of "do it yourself," and mothers may not feel comfortable asking for help. Even if they do feel comfortable asking, they may not even know what they … [Read more...]

It’s OK to Bottle Feed Around Me: Encouragement from a Breastfeeding Advocate

Is it possible that in our current culture moms feel just as wary to bottle feed in public as they do to breastfeed? I lead a local breastfeeding support group. I'm not a certified lactation consultant or counselor, so our group is strictly for peer support. Still, I'm a mother of four breastfed children, and the combined wisdom of all the moms attending often leaves us feeling stuffed full of new knowledge and encouragement at the end of a meeting. A few months ago, a new mama attended who hadn't been able yet to successfully latch and transfer milk to her baby without the help of an SNS or bottle. She had struggled through a month … [Read more...]

3 Tips for Breastfeeding with Postpartum Depression

After a new baby is born your hormones are out of whack. Thus it is normal for mom to feel sad and bluesy. About 85% of new moms get the baby blues. But if the sadness intensifies or lasts longer than a few weeks after delivery, that could mean postpartum depression has hit home for you. Depending on your ability to recognize the changes, having a healthy breastfeeding relationship is possible. Postpartum depression and anxiety disorders affect 20% of new moms. They can come on slow, hit suddenly, or anywhere in the first 6 months after the birth of your baby. The most important thing to know about postpartum depression is that it is … [Read more...]

(Nearly) Perfect Foods for Breastfeeding Moms

Recently, we posted foods not to eat while breastfeeding. But a girl's gotta eat - especially a hungry mama feeding two (or more)! So what are some (nearly) perfect foods for breastfeeding moms? Nearly Perfect Foods for Breastfeeding Moms raw vegetables cooked vegetables healthy fats fresh fruit "clean" protein what you're craving lots of water! Having a baby can mess with the tummy (and the rest of the digestive system!), and hospital food is notoriously not good for keeping things moving. Getting plenty of raw vegetables like celery, tomatoes, salad greens, cucumber, peppers, and even cultured vegetables (a wonderful … [Read more...]

How Placenta Consumption Can Boost Breast Milk Production

The placenta is one of the most wondrous things about birth. Once baby is born, many people sigh relief and move on, signaling the end of the giving-birth experience. But that organ that nourished your baby for their entire life until he or she came earth-side can help mama, too. Among other things, placenta consumption can boost breast milk production. Placentaphagy: the act of placenta consumption It's not as weird as it sounds. Many mammals consume the placenta after birth. Human placentaphagy has been around for hundreds of years, typically used in Chinese medicine for healing. These days there are more ways to consume your placenta … [Read more...]