Tuesday, April 30, 2013

To my daughter

I love my daughter. She is with me every second of the day, even when apart. She has made me a stronger person almost the very moment the doctor said I needed to be induced. Her smiles and objective eyes melt my heart. With the tie of once being together as one, I am forever changed and in many ways finding the balance of me and her time. Leaving the Jen I knew, to the new Jen; who knew I  would like to be called Mummie? The co-operative cuddling makes for sweet kisses, then all is right in my world.

Monday, April 15, 2013

My Breastfeeding Experience

As a new mom the most difficult or challenging part has been feeling adequate in my ability to feed my baby with the best she can get, breast milk.

After my experience in the hospital the first week, waiting for my milk supply to come in, I now have a standard present to new mom's in the hospital: Mother's milk tea and lactation cookies. In addition, I let them know about Fenugreek. However, once out of the hospital it is best to see a lactation consultant to discuss milk supply.

First the issue of my having a c-section slowed the production of my milk, with the first week being the most challenging as the baby was hungry almost every hour, was losing more than 10% body weight, and needed more milk. I had the standard items I mentioned above (and maybe ate too many cookies), was eating and drinking at every feeding to produce good quality milk, and pumping and hand expressing after each feeding to get whatever was in there out, plus increasing my milk supply by demanding more production. Baby gained her weight back drinking only breast milk and was gaining weight steadily - no issue clinically with milk supply. 

Then came issues with latch. From day one, baby found the boob easily and knew what to do on the boob. Trouble came though when the swallows became farther and farther apart, more than 4 sucks per swallow, which indicated that milk supply could be low. It was time to troubleshoot why my milk could be low. First, it could be poor latch, so I had help with that through lactation consultant and breast feeding support group. Had the suggestion to make sure baby was awake by tickling her cheek and tapping the upper boob (not at the nipple so as to not break the latch). I learned baby had tension in jaw and shoulders and potential tongue-tied so I was referred to a craniosacral therapy to find out more. After a few appointments the tongue appeared to be able to go up and extend out without a tongue tie, however there were many appointments follow (9 to be exact) to get her jaw to go up and down rather than side to side - which resulted in chomping and very sore, cracked nipples. To this day her jaw is better, but not good. After two months of purple and cracked nipples I started pumping exclusively, well I suppose it was the results of the feeding evaluation at Children's hospital that really solidified the decision to exclusively bottle-fed breast milk. 

As a result of the poor latch issues, my supply would fluctuate. In reaction to I went on prescription medicine called domperidone. It is to treat motion related sickness with the side-effect of causing lactation. Perfect! It really worked. It is not covered by insurance. I don't remember if FSA covered the cost. I went to a pharmacy in the USA and got a 3 week supply for the same price as I did 2 months on an online site.

We switched to bottles, after going to a feeding evaluation at Seattle Children's Hospital. The jaw exercises were consistent and made the bottle feeding awkward for both parents. In terms of feeding and bonding, having the baby eat comfortably was my preference. And so, my journey into a breast-pumping mom began; a story for another time.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

When I stopped breastfeeding

The attachment that comes from breastfeeding cannot be mimicked by a bottle or breast pump. There is that bond with the child and the mom. I stopped breastfeeding at 6 months (now 10.5 months), but I did not mentally stop thinking about breastfeeding. 

As I clean the kitchen tonight, I had a yearning for my baby to take my nipple. It was flashbacks of the first two months when every problem is solved by a nipple. Then, I remember all the steps we tried to get breastfeeding to work. Or, the calluses caused be expressing milk while pumping. Remembering that in the end all that mattered was the sign of a growing baby; it makes the past almost comical. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Best diaper cream for a diaper rash

At three months, my baby had her first rash. Mild really. We tried different types of diapers, oatmeal baths, and many diaper rash creams. The diaper rash cream that is prescribed by the doctor for yeast, or infection, caused rash are the absolute best - gone in three days.

We started with the Pediatrician recommended Boudreaux's Butt Paste, which has a high level of zinc, or so I thought, until I found

Jason Earth's Best Baby Care Diaper Relief Ointment, Aloe Vera & Vitamin E, 4-Ounce Tubes (Pack of 2). I now own one for daycare, one for the diaper bag and one for the changing station. 

At nine months old, while we were on vacation, we forgot our diaper rash cream and faced with the options I chose Earth's Best. I applied the cream on after every pool session and diaper changing and she became rash free within three days. I was impressed that even after hours by the pool, it was like the water had not even touched her delicate skin. Then, I checked the level of zinc oxide to find it was 21% - no wonder it was so protected! This was higher than Boudreaux's at 16%. 

I feel like I should be the mom that hands out samples of diaper rash creams. Diaper Rash Creams that I have tried and have plenty of extras of:

  • Merry Hempster's Baby Salve
  • Weleda Calendula Cream 
  • California Baby Super Sensitive Diaper Rash Cream
  • Puremedy Baby Salve (2nd Favorite)
  • Boudreaux's Butt Paste
  • Earth's Best Diaper Relief Ointment (Favorite)