Friday, August 9, 2013

5 Facts I Didn't Know About Breastfeeding Before Taking a Prenatal Breastfeeding Class

by Sarah

Last week may have been World Breastfeeding Week, but the breastfeeding awareness surely doesn't need to stop there! As I mentioned in my post last week, I took a class about breastfeeding with Deena Blumenfeld at Shining Light Prenatal Education and I promised to share more on the subject. Here are a few facts from the class that really stuck with me:

1. The Breast Crawl- After a baby is born, it immediately knows to crawl on their mother searching for the nipple. They knead the breasts stimulating milk ducts and they are drawn to the nipple because it has secreted an oil that smells exactly like amniotic fluid.

For more information:

2. Colostrum- For the first few days of your baby’s life, you produce colostrum, which is thick and nutrient rich.  Colostrum helps start up your baby’s digestive system and is thick enough to clean out their digestive track of meconium (their first bowel movement that they have swallowed because they were still in the womb.) Your breast milk usually comes in after 3 days.  

3. Breast pumps are usually provided by your insurance company. This is a really useful bit of information for any new mother because these suckers are expensive and you can get a really good quality pump.  Call to find out before adding a breast pump to your registry or shelling out $300. You’re already spending so much, right?

4. Working mamas are protected by federal law. If you plan to return to work after having your baby and continue nursing, there are laws to ensure you can still do so.  Your employer is required to provide you with enough breaks to pump, as well as a non-bathroom space.  There is also a non-discrimination act in place which protects you from being harassed about requesting either the breaks or the non-bathroom space.  

5. Oversupply is more common than not making enough milk for your baby. I don’t know about you, but I hear so many women say that they had to stop breastfeeding and switch to formula because they just couldn’t keep up with their "hungry" baby, but the more you nurse, the more milk you produce.  So, if you are nursing, you will continue to make more, not run out.  

If you do find that you aren't producing enough milk, there are foods and herbs that help stimulate breast milk production (if you need it) called galactagogues. (How fun is that word?) Most moms don’t need extra help, but if you do, there is no need to switch to formula.

One of the biggest things I took from this class was that there is usually no need to ever switch to formula because all problems with breastfeeding can be fixed. I found that to be reassuring as an almost-new mother.

To sign up for this breastfeeding class, visit Shining Light's website by clicking here.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Book Review: "The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass" by Mandy Hale

Mandy Hale, known affectionately on Twitter as The Single Woman, is releasing her new book, The Single Woman: Love, Life, and a Dash of Sass, on August 6. If you follow her on Twitter, you know Mandy has a talent for inspiring women. In Love, Life, and a Dash of Sass, she she unleashes her signature style with life lessons, personal stories, and of course, the inspirational one-liners that brought so much attention to her Twitter account.

The Single Woman: Love, Life, and a Dash of Sass is a quick and easy read, but it is packed with hope, comfort, and humor. It is similar to what a best friend would provide you with in conversation. It's the perfect pick-me-up book if you're feeling down about dating (or any aspect of life).

I sincerely applaud Mandy for writing an easy to absorb inspirational book because in the world of self-help books, authors can overwhelm their readers with heavy spiritual terms and mind twisting essays that leave you feeling even worse than before you started reading the book. 
I've always believed that when people are feeling down, they need something inspirational, but fun and even funny, to read.  While the heavy spiritual books are good for certain occasions, sometimes, you just need to feel girly and fun when you're trying to pick yourself up off of the floor, right? This is THAT book. 

What I have always loved about Mandy's writing style is that even though it's for "single women", everything she says goes beyond dating and can apply to any relationship in life, and her writing always has a tone that perks you right up. (If you remember, I interviewed her almost two years ago. Read the interview here. Time flies!)

Final Verdict: This book is totally inspiring and is literally the perfect way to transition from The Single Woman Tweets to a book, because you get a one-liner and then the story & lesson to how she came up it. This inspirational read would make a special gift for one of your friends (or yourself) after a breakup. 


Mandy's publicist was kind enough to send me an extra copy of the book and I am excited to do a little giveaway! In the spirit of inspiring others, please enter if you have a friend who sincerely needs a little inspiration, but for whatever reason, wouldn't enter the giveaway herself OR if you can't afford a copy of the book at the moment but are dying to read it!

To enter:
Please provide your favorite @TheSingleWoman tweet & your contact information (name & email) in the comments below! I will announce a winner on Saturday, August 10!

"Posh Mama, Zen Baby": Finding a Prenatal Breastfeeding Class

by Sarah Davis

This week is World Breastfeeding Week and I wanted to share some of the wonderful things I have been learning about breastfeeding while taking my prenatal classes at Shining Light Prenatal Education.  I only have 5 more weeks to go so I am keeping myself busy learning as much as I can before baby comes!

I’m going to break up what I learned about breastfeeding into a few blog posts that I will share throughout the week because there was so much, but I want to start off with the quality of content of this class and why taking a really good class before you have a baby matters. 

There are a lot of resources out there about breastfeeding, including baby books (raise your hand if you’ve read more than you’d like to admit), online websites and forums, and my favorite, word of mouth from over-sharing women! However, the best place to start is a class.

Where should I take my breastfeeding class? All breastfeeding classes are not created equal. I took a similar class taught at the hospital where I will give birth about two months ago and the instructor covered about ¼ of what Deena (the instructor at Shining Light) covers.  Both classes were the same amount of time, but this one was in an auditorium and had so many people that no one really felt comfortable asking questions.  

This class didn’t talk about breast-pumps at all, what to do when you go back to work, and didn’t cover some of the more natural aspects of why breastfeeding is so amazing. For instance, babies do something called the “breast crawl” immediately after birth (I will be blogging about this later this week.)  She went over the bare minimum about how often you should nurse and how to know your baby is getting what he or she needs, and then we watched an hour long video. 

Make sure your class size is small and you have an instructor who will be going over the things you need to know for your lifestyle.  If the hospital offers this and your insurance covers it, then you are in luck, but the one I initially went to definitely did not compare to the Shining Light Class when it comes to how much information you get and the quality of that information. So, I suggest exploring your options a little before settling down with any prenatal class.
Why should I take this class prenatally when the nurses will be there to teach me how to breastfeed after I have the baby in the hospital? You may find yourself overwhelmed with a new lifestyle (not to say that it won’t be the best time of your life) and understandably, you may be extremely exhausted in the middle of the night and something might come up. It will be well worth the 3 hours you spent in class to know a little bit about what you are doing.  Plus, you will get to learn many tips prior to being tossed into the ballpark, like the fact that most insurance companies offer a free (or discounted) breast pump to new mothers after the baby is born. Or, that employers are required by law to give working mothers breaks to breast-pump, as well as a non-bathroom space to pump. OR, that there are foods known as galactagogues that stimulate healthy breast milk production. (I will blog more about these, too!)

Should I bring my husband or birth partner? I would have thought that a man doesn't need to be there, however it will help to have support, since breastfeeding will be life-consuming in the first few weeks. It will be tremendous help to have someone there who might remember what you learned in class when your brain is fried. So, yes, tell your man he needs to come!

For more information on World Breastfeeding Week, visit their official website.
For more information on Shining Light Prenatal Education, visit their website (if you haven’t already!)
For more of our Posh Mama, Zen Baby series, click here! 
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