Thursday, April 04, 2013

A Motherload of Resources - Breastfeeding

I've had several friends email asking for resources on pregnancy, childbirth, what to do with a newborn, breastfeeding, sleeping, and being a mom in general. 

Talk about a novel of an email I could send back. What is there NOT to say on these subjects. The internet abounds with mommy bloggers, parenting websites, and helpful (and not-so-helpful) articles and resources. 

So, I thought I'd pull all of my bookmarked links and helpful hints into one source for you. These are links that I've referenced in my own motherhood journey, read in preparation for a coming baby, and just found helpful overall. 

Again, everyone's different, so these things may or may not float you boat. This is just my opinion, my take on motherhood, and what's worked for us. I hope it's somewhat helpful.

This is part three in the Motherload of Resources series, to read the other parts, check these out:
I realize that breastfeeding is not for everyone. Some mom's can't, for various reasons, breastfeed. I totally get that. I think formula-fed babies are going to turn out just as great as breastfed babies. I just breastfed my babies. It's what I know.  I know nothing about bottles, formula, etc. Breastfeeding is the route we took, so it's what I'm going to talk about today.

Breastfeeding can be overwhelming, exhausting, and painful. It doesn't come easy to all, and it was much more work than I ever expected. However, I fully believe getting help, being persistent and not giving up results in an amazing mother/child bond and relationship that you'll never regret. While these links don't take the place of a real-live lactation consultant, they can often help in those middle of the night "what's going on here" quandaries.

Online Resources:
  • Kelly Mom - one of the most comprehensive guides to breastfeeding with answer/solutions to every question you could have.This was my go-to resources when learning to deal with an oversupply that choked/gagged Cason at every feeding and it also provided helpful tips for trying to deal with his never ending spit up.
  • La Leche League - I never went to a meeting or used this resources, but I have friends to whom it was invaluable. These woman can answer questions, provide encouragement, and offer support. 
Books To Read:
  • The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by Judy Torgas
    I loved this book. I talked about every situation, every issue that could arise, gave solutions and offered helpful suggestions.
  • Mother Food for Breastfeeding Mothers by Hilary Jacobson
    I first learned about galactagogues (foods that can help increase your milk supply) from this book and still make some of the recipes.
  • more reading recommendations here.
Helpful Supplies:
  • My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow
    I never had a Boppy, but I've had friend who used both say the My Brest Friend nursing pillow was easier to use. It was essential when learning to nurse Cannon.
  • Breast Pump
    I have a Medela Pump In Style Advanced, but if I were getting one knowing what I'd know now, I'd purchase a Hygeia or an Ameda, since those are both closed systems which means bacteria can't get into the engine.
  • burp cloths
    Have lots and lots of burp cloths on hand!
  • Life with Pooka's "10 Things I Couldn't Live without for Breastfeeding"
    I pretty much agree with all of her suggestions
  • Babble made a list of "9 Must-Have Apps for Breastfeeding Moms"
    I didn't have an iphone with Cannon, so I tracked his sleep and feeding schedule on a spreadsheet I printed out. With Cason I used a free app to help me track things like what side I fed on first last time, how long he nursed, and more.
Is My Baby Getting Enough Milk?
  • The Alpha Parent's "Timeline of a Breastfed Baby"
    This is a great resource for helping you recognizing when your baby is hungry, how you know if your baby is getting enough milk, etc.
  • Normal After All's "In Search of the Elusive Hindmilk"
    I think this is a great article in reminding you, as the mom, that you know your baby best. Feed your baby as long as they want to feed. Don't worry about time. Cannon would nurse for 45 minutes at a time, while Cason was done in 8 minutes flat (both sides!). Sometimes you have to just trust your baby and your body.
Milk Supply:
  • Looking for a few recipes that include galactagogues (to help increase milk production)? I have a few favorite recipes on WeGottaEat.
  • Don't want to make your own cookies? Check out MilkMakers!
  • Have an oversupply of milk? Freezer full of milk, not food? Donate your milk to a mom who needs it at MilkShare.
  • Have an undersupply of milk? There are herbs that can help increase milk production. Check out Low Milk Supply for more information.
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