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0 In Motherhood/ postpartum

A letter to my second born

a letter to my second born

A letter to my second born…

Over the past 14 weeks, I’ve been trying to put all of my feelings into words.  For you are already so different than your big brother and have changed our lives in the most incredible way.

You are truly a miracle. One we weren’t expecting, but the happiest of surprises. For you are our redemption. I can vividly remember the morning I found out I was carrying you. I was shaking with joy and disbelief. After agonizing over tracking my cycle every month and numerous pregnancy tests and trying to get pregnant with our first, we were prepared for a struggle when it came time for baby #2. But you came in and blessed us with ease.

Long before you were here, I was full of worry. I worried about how our lives were going to change. We had just gotten comfortable in our routine as a family of 3. I worried, “how can I love you as much as I do your big brother?” But you have taught me that my heart is capable of multiplying.

And though this pregnancy may not have been as magical as my first, you have given me the birth experience that I felt I was missing out on the first time. You’ve taught me to be more confident and trust my body.

You are my calm in the chaos. The peace I need to balance the wild child ways of our first born. The “go with the flow” to balance your strong-minded and willful brother.  Most days I feel like all I do is yell, cook and clean and then look at the clock to see it’s only 9:30am. But as I hold you after your bath and get you ready for bed, you remind me these days are fleeting.

The other day I put away all of your newborn clothes and started folding all of your brother’s size 3 month hand me downs into your drawers. I couldn’t help but tear up. You have taught me to truly embrace every stage. You will be the last time I felt life inside me, my last “bump photo”, my last time home on maternity leave, my last first birthday, and last first Christmas. But yet, it feels right.

Thank you my second born, for you complete our family in every way.

 

5 In breastfeeding/ Motherhood/ postpartum/ Recipes

What to eat to increase your milk supply

what to eat to increase your milk supply
This post contains affiliate links meaning I make a small commission.

If you are breastfeeding or pumping, you might be searching for ways to increase your milk supply. I have always struggled with supply issues and it’s something that every nursing mama has experienced at one time or another in their journey. One thing that I learned is that diet plays a huge role in milk production.

I’m sharing what to eat to increase your milk supply plus my favorite recipe for lactation boosting overnight oats.

Galactagogues

If you have been doing research on ways to increase your milk supply, you may have seen the word “Galactagogue”. What is a galactagogue? A galactagogue or latogenic food is any food that can help increase lactation. You may have heard your friends say that eating a lactation cookie or drinking a beer has helped increase in their milk supply. This is because there are certain foods that contain milk boosting ingredients.

Here is a list of some of the more popular galactagogues:

what to eat to increase your milk supply

 

 

What to eat to increase your supply

Eating a balanced diet is important not only for enhancing your supply, but also for making sure that your baby is getting all those vital nutrients as well. In the beginning of my breastfeeding journey, I was eating healthy, but I found that I was not eating enough to maintain a supply. Once I started adding in more nutrient dense foods and incorporating a galactagogue at each meal, I noticed a boost in my supply.

(It’s important to note that this does not replace the importance of frequent feedings or pumping. Remember when breastfeeding, demand = supply!)

1.) Breakfast

Overnight Oats – I’ve seen those mason jar recipes floating around pinterest but never ventured to make them until I was breastfeeding. Not only is this recipe filled with milk-making goodness, but it’s also super easy to make the night before and keeps me feeling satisfied.

Here’s my easy recipe:

Overnight Oats

Ingredients:

-1 cup of rolled oats

– 3/4 cup of almond milk (I like my oats a little thicker, but if you like yours to be a little thinner, add more)

– 1 banana

– 1 tbsp peanut butter

– 1 tbsp of ground flax seed

– honey

Directions:

1.) In a mason jar add your oats, almond milk, banana and peanut butter. Mix well.

2.) Store in fridge until the next morning.

3.) Top with ground flax seed and drizzled honey to taste.

what to eat to increase your milk supply

 

2.) Snack

Yogurt with a handful of almonds

3.) Lunch

Spinach salad with grilled chicken

Fruit

4.) Snack

Veggies and hummus

5.) Dinner

Some kind of protein over brown rice

Asparagus or broccoli

6.) Dessert/Something sweet

Berries with chocolate hummus

Chocolate milk made with almond milk

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!

Since your milk is composed of 80% water, it’s also important to stay really hydrated!

I find that I drink more water if it’s always on hand and I have a straw. I love my Yeti and these stainless steel straws.

I’ve also seen success with Mother’s Milk tea which contains many lactogenic herbs. Shoot for at least 3 cups a day.

 

Be sure to stay tuned for my tips on how to get the most out of your pumping sessions!

And if you liked this post, please share with your all of your friends who are breastfeeding.

 

what to eat to increase your milk supply

 

 

0 In Motherhood/ pregnancy

Tips for preparing for your birth from a labor and delivery nurse

tips for preparing for your birth from a labor and delivery nurse

You’ve got the nursery organized, the carseat installed and your freezer stocked with freezer meals, but are you truly prepared for the birth of your baby? Preparing for the birth of your baby is an exciting time, but is also a time of information overload, and lots of emotions as well. As a labor and delivery nurse, one thing that I have learned is that each birth is different and unique, and there is no way to predict how things are going to go. Yet, there are some things that you can do to be prepared.

Here are some ways to prepare for your birth from a labor and delivery nurse:

  1. Familiarize yourself with the birthing process. Education is key to helping dissolve any fears and build your confidence. The more you can become educated on the birthing process, the more comfortable you can become with what to expect. One topic that I find especially important for new mothers is to be familiar with the birthing process and the stages of labor. tips for preparing for your birth from a labor and delivery nurse
  2. Take some childbirth classes. Classes are a great way for you and your partner to learn different relaxation techniques and coping mechanisms to help you through labor. In addition, they are also a great way for your partner or support person to learn how they can best support you throughout the birthing process. There are many different kinds of classes from Lamaze, to the Bradley Method to Hypnobirthing. You can reach out to your obstetrician or midwife or the hospital in which you plan to give birth to see what classes they offer. Some classes even include a tour of the hospital or birthing center as well.tips for preparing for your birth from a labor and delivery nurse
  3. Create some sort of birth plan. As a labor and delivery nurse, I do remind women that birth may not always go the way they had planned, and at the end of the day, the best plan is a healthy mom and baby. But it’s a good idea to have some sort of idea as to what’s important to you and your partner and have a discussion ahead of time with your obstetrician or midwife. And most moms feel comfortable knowing that they have a plan in place should certain situations arise. When you check into the hospital, let your nurse know your wishes for example if you want delayed cord clamping, or skin to skin. But remember, the best plan is a healthy mom and healthy baby, however that should happen.

When I was pregnant with my first baby, I had envisioned going into labor naturally and having an uncomplicated vaginal delivery. However, at 37 weeks, I found myself being induced for high blood pressure and ultimately it ended in an emergency c-section. (You can read more about my birth story here). While it was not the way I had planned, at the end of the day, we were both healthy.

Even though I was a labor and delivery nurse and familiar with the different methods of induction, at the time being in that situation, I wasn’t thinking as a nurse.  I was a sleep deprived mom in that hospital bed and all of my clinical thinking and reasoning went out the window. However, had I had somewhat of a plan in place in the event that induction was necessary, I would have discussed with my provider the different cervical ripening methods and played a more active role in the decision making. In the end, the outcome wasn’t what I had envisioned, but both myself and baby were healthy and that was all that mattered.

 

tips for preparing for the birth of your baby from a labor and delivery nurse

While every birth plan may look different and certainly isn’t set in stone, education is the key to being prepared for your birth.

Click here to check out my post on what to pack in your hospital bag and get my free printable checklist

Check out my tips on preparing for your c-section and recovery

 

3 In Motherhood/ printables

What you really need to pack in your hospital bag

What you really need to pack in your hospital bag
This post contains affiliate links meaning I make a small commission

If you’re searching for a hospital bag checklist, you’ve come to the right place! There are tons of similar posts floating around the internet with checklists, but being a labor and delivery nurse and a second time mama, I’m sharing what you really need to pack in your hospital bag!

I remember with my first babe, we got sent in for induction after our appointment at 37 weeks. I was in no way prepared so I literally threw everything in a bag and off we went to the hospital. I remember strolling in looking like we were going on a week’s long vacation. This time, I definitely plan to be more prepared and intentional with packing my hospital bag.

 

Here is the down and dirty of what you really need to pack in your hospital bag

from a Labor and Delivery Nurse:

Flip Flops – I love these Croc flip flops. They are so comfy for walking around, grip to your feet and can also be worn in the shower.

what to pack in your hospital bag - crocs flip flops

 

Comfortable dresses/nursing gowns – I’m all about the comfortable dresses and these are like all I wore last time. They’re easy for nursing, a loose, non-binding option for csection recovery mamas and a simple way to look a little more put together. I love this one from the Nesting Olive. I bought it in a few colors.

What you really need to pack in your Hospital bag - nursing dress

 

Yoga Pants – I like these ones from Target because they are loose fitting and stretchy (so great for csection mamas).

What you really need to pack in your hospital bag - yoga pants

Nursing Tops – I love this three pack of nursing tops on Amazon

What you really need to pack in your hospital bag - nursing tops

Nursing bras – I got this three pack on Amazon. They are wirefree.

What you really need to pack in your hospital bag - nursing bras

Swaddle blankets – seriously you can never have enough. I got a few from Copper Pearl and I love them because they are big, soft and super stretchy. They also have lots of different, fun prints.

what you really need to pack in your hospital bag - swaddle blankets

Going home outfit for baby – Amazon has lots of cute ones. I like this one for a girl and this one for a boy

baby girl going home outfit

 

 

Boppy – I loved having my Boppy with me at the hospital to help with breastfeeding. The lactation consultant was able to show me different positions that were comfortable post c-section.

what you really need to pack in your hospital bag - boppy

Pillow – your own pillow. I know sometimes on L&D especially when we’re slammed we run short on pillows so I always tell people bring your own from home. That means dad or your support person too.

Diffuser – Not only is it nice to have going during labor, but also in postpartum for overall rest and relaxation.  I have mine that I use from Young Living but I like this one from Amazon as well. My favorites for sleep and relaxation are lavender and frankincense.

what you really need to pack in your hospital bag - diffuser

Phone charger – I have this extra long one from Amazon.

what you really need to pack in your hospital bag - extra long phone charger

Camera

Headbands/hairties – I found these cute ones with a bow on Amazon.

what you really need to pack in your hospital bag - headbands

Toiletries – Ok so the hospital does have some stuff but I’m a little particular. I got a cute cosmetic bag and hit the travel sized toiletry bins at Target and stocked up on everything I needed. Don’t forget the dry shampoo and chapstick!

what you really need to pack in your hospital bag - dry shampoo

Pacifiers – some hospitals no longer provide them especially if they are Breastfeeding Friendly. So if you know you are going to want them, bring your own just in case.

 

Things that you don’t need to pack because the hospital will most likely provide to you:

– Underwear – the hospital will give you that sexy mesh kind so why pack your own?

– Pads/topical numbing sprays and creams/icepacks

– Non skid socks

– Gown to labor in (unless you want to wear your own but it’s most likely going to get covered in lots of fluids just saying)

– Diapers/wipes

– Nipple cream

– Onesies

– Breast pump – most hospitals have them for you to use during your stay but ask before you go.

 

Click here to download my printable checklist

 

For more about what to expect check out:

8 Tips for Preparing for your Csection and Recovery

My honest post about Postpartum Depression and Anxiety

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What you really need to pack in your hospital bag printable checklist