Before I start with this post I just want to say that I’m in no way an expert on this topic; this is just a post about my personal breastfeeding experience. I also want to say that I’m not a a-woman-should-brastfeed-at all-costs believer. I think every mom should do what is best for herself and for her baby, whether it’s breastfeeding, formula or a combination of both. Do whatever floats your and your baby’s boat
So, I actually have two different breastfeeding stories because my first breastfeeding experience with baby Lara was very different to Lev’s. And I kind of wish that I would have known some of the things I know now, the first time around.
For one, I never gave much thought to breastfeeding before I had Lara; I just assumed I would breastfeed because it seemed the most natural thing to do and other options weren’t even discussed. Moreover, I also assumed that babies just know how to breastfeed and there really wasn’t anything to it (I was so clueless you guys!). Positioning? The baby must latch on properly? Whaaat? Well, I quickly learned my lesson when Lara didn’t latch on properly, which led to an incredibly painful few first weeks. I mean there were times where I literally thought I wasn’t going to be able to do this after all because each feed was just so painful. It got better after a few weeks but then other trouble started. Two bouts of lactation mastitis later and I found myself expressing milk daily because Lara was a really good sleeper in the first couple of months and getting through the night without doing so just wasn’t happening.
And thennnn, once we got over that part and I craved for that demand-supply balance that all the forums say will happen at some point, Lara started refusing one breast. I mean she just wasn’t having it and boom just like that the milk was gone in less than three days and not even my faithful breast pump could salvage it. Because at this point I still wanted to breastfeed our pediatrician assured me I could continue doing so with just one breast. Super! Let me tell you, that summer was a GREAT bikini season for me. We’re talking Pamela Anderson feat. Kate Moss in one piece.
Nevertheless, Lara and I manage to breastfeed for full eight months. We introduced solids a little earlier than we wanted to because she needed more food but didn’t want to take the bottle with formula nor did she want the bottle with the milk I would express. She weaned herself off all on her own and I didn’t have a single painful breast moment once she did. At that point she was ready and I guess so was my one surviving boob.
In terms of that first experience I wish I had known about the breastfeeding support groups that can really help with any difficulties and I wish I had sought help as soon as we hit our first nursing bump. Maybe it was a language barrier, since at that point I didn’t really speak French yet, and I wasn’t aware that I could actually talk to a lactation consultant or at least my midwife. I think, had I done that, our journey would probably have been easier from the start and possibly a little longer too.
But I did learn my lesson and I was a little more breast savvy going into round two. Just like with Lara I was sure I wanted to breastfeed but this time around I knew what I had to look out for. I applied lanolin like a crazy lady and even though I was super exhausted after my C-section I made sure we nursed often and most importantly I really watched out so that he latched on properly. I talked to our midwife about how to prevent any milk build up and avoid mastitis. She was also helpful when I asked her about milk supply. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, Lev is a very good nurser (knocking on wood) and I was initially worried I didn’t have enough milk because he would literally want to nurse every hour or so. The midwife assured me that he was getting just enough but she still recommended a tea and homeopathic granules to increase the milk supply in case I was worried about it. We’ve been nursing successfully for almost three months now and I really hope we continue the same way.
But the biggest thing that stuck with me though from both of my experiences is the special bonding time breastfeeding creates. I loved that time with Lara and I’m loving my time with Lev. Especially with two kiddos, when there is always something going on, those moments are particularly peaceful.
A couple of other things I learned on my breastfeeding journey:
- Breastfeeding makes you sooooo thirsty!
- Both my kids were fussier when I nursed while out and about. Both with Lev and Lara before him those feeds are usually quick; just enough to get them by until we get home.
- My boobs vary between 3 sizes in the span of 24 hours. Every day. It’s crazy…
- Neither of my kids like mixing breastfeeding with the bottle. I’ve tried expressing milk so Vid could do a couple of feeds too and with Lara it was downright impossible. Lev has taken an emergency bottle or two when I was out solo with Lara but he’s not a big fan either. My pediatrician told me it’s common with breastfed babies and that they often refuse the bottle until they’re completely weaned.
Lev is turning 3 months old next week so I figured I would let you guys in on my little list of items that I found indispensable over the last couple of months. There’s a ton of other things that I was tempted to get but I was a little better prepared this time around and I kind of already knew the stuff that we would need and the stuff that we don’t necessarily need as much.
When Lara was first born, I was admittedly a little clueless (I’m hoping this rings true for most first time parents) and we ended up getting quite a gear “essentials” that we ultimately didn’t use as much. So I put a lot of thought into what we were getting this time aaaand luckily enough we saved quite a few things as well so it’s making things that much easier.
1. Solly Baby Wrap – OK, first things first. I looove the look of this wrap. They have so many fun colors and patterns and the fall collections just came out with this gorgeous tie-dye color…ahhh. Second, the wrap is super light weight, easy to master and Lev loves to snuggle in it. I was a bit nervous about it at first because I thought I wouldn’t get a hang of how to put it on but I did a few practice runs and now I can get it on in no time. That said we skipped to the classic front carry pretty quickly because Lev is a pretty big boy and he was beginning to get uncomfortable in the newborn hold. We also have a Boba carrier that Lara got when she was a toddler so now that Lev is over 7kg (we have the 2G version that isn’t designed for newborns – the newer versions are) we’ve started alternating the wrap with that.
2. Picot Nursing Tea – This was recommended to me by our midwife. As I mentioned Lev is a great nurser and I initially thought I didn’t have enough milk just because he was nursing constantly. My midwife assured me that I do since he was happily gaining weight but she still gave me a prescription for this nursing tea and homeopathic Ricinus Communis granules. As opposed to other breastfeeding teas I’ve tried this one is down right delicious.
3. Amoralia Nursing Bra – I’ve mentioned this one in my maternity essentials but I figured I should do it again here. This bra looks super cute and offers great support. That said, it has an underwire, which for me at least, makes it uncomfortable for night time. That’s why I also stocked up on a few organic cotton H&M bras without the underwire.
4. Little G Blanky – I’m obsessed with Little Giraffe products so when this Little G Blanky was gifted to Lev I was sooo happy. I can’t even describe how soft the materials are but suffice to say I kind of want to snuggle with it myself. Luckily Lara lets me borrow her Little G on occasion
5. Little Giraffe Burp Cloths – And because I loved his Little G Blanky so much I decided we needed some burp cloths too. I mean have you seen how adorable these are? Not to mention it’s saved me some T-shirt changing time. We also have these Aden & Anais “Liam the brave” muslin swaddlers that came particularly handy for shading during the summer. We got them from here but Gilt also has great deals on their products.
6. Ever Earth Toys - I got Lev two Ever Earth grasping toys and a rattle (that boy loves him some rattles) to encourage him to hold onto things. They’re the perfect size for tiny little hands and they’re easy for the littles to start grasping once they start opening their palms. Ever Earth grasping toys are made out of FSC certified beech wood and are naturally BPA free.
7. Nuna Leaf - I saw this one on my friend Polona’s blog and once I read it can hold up to 25kg I was sold. Mainly because I knew that once we get a new chair Lara is going to want to use it too. It swings sideways instead of back and forth and while it doesn’t exactly put Lev to sleep, he likes to hang out it in while I play with Lara. It looks super stylish too and I have a feeling we’re going to be using it for a long, long time.
8. Mamalicious Nursing Top – I haven’t bought many nursing tops (I basically find it easier to just lift up my shirt) but I did really like this one and it seemed perfect for the chillier autumn days ahead. Mamalicious has great maternity and nursing clothes that are not just stylish but also affordable.
And that’s it for the first part. I’ve got a quick breastfeeding post planned for tomorrow and I’ll post the second part of our baby essentials post in the upcoming days.
Since having another baby, our lives have naturally gotten even busier and while I’m absolutely loving this new “chaos” I have begun to feel a tad overwhelmed when trying to get other things done aside for caring and playing with my littles. August was particularly hard with Vid travelling non-stop for three weeks straight and it was getting difficult for me to keep the house in order. Toys everywhere, laundry that needs to be done, folded and then redone, bathrooms that need cleaning, constant vacuuming etc. The clutter of everything just sort of began to wear me down and I needed something that would kind of put me in control of things again. So I turned to my wardrobe…. duh!
Inspired by this blog (amazing, right???) I’ve decided to experiment with a seasonal wardrobe capsule and limit my wardrobe for the next couple of months to 45 pieces. I wanted to go with 40 initially, but I have a fully breastfed almost 3 month old baby and I tend to go through a lot of tops. At first I couldn’t manage to go below 50 but I’ve ultimately narrowed it down to 45 and given myself some leeway in case I need switch something around etc.
Now 45 might seems like a lot to some (and very little to others) but once I got to it… oh boy. As I was choosing and counting Vid was eyeing me skeptically saying: “You don’t have to go for an exact number,” or “it’s the thought that counts…”, basically insinuating that there is no way in hell I can do this.
Anyhow, 45 pieces it is (I’m not counting shoes or accessories here) and the rest has been put in an Ikea storage box for next season. The storage part eased my anxiety a little about the whole process, since I just can’t bear to part with things easily. This way if I really miss or need something I can still get it back. Plus, I’m hoping that 2-3 months down the line, I’ll be super excited about the clothes I haven’t seen in a while. Either way I’ve decided not to put too much pressure on the whole thing, if I can get it done great, if not that’s OK too. See how zen I am about everything now that I have two kids ?
But the most important part of all this has been, the DECLUTTERING EFFECT. For the past few days getting dressed has been a breeze, fewer options make everything so simple and since I’m not limiting myself in terms of shoes and accessories I can still get creative with that. I feel a little lighter and a little more in control of things already.
Would you or have you already tried a seasonal wardrobe capsule? Like Vid, my friends were quite skeptical of the entire endeavor!
Since having another baby, I’ve pretty much foregone all jewelry during the day. Necklaces get pulled on, dangly earrings are much too risky because they too get pulled on, rings are out of the question (unless they’re real gold or silver) because I wash my hands about 50 times a day, and I only have a few easy bracelets on that are just too much of a hassle to take off. That doesn’t mean though that I wouldn’t want to wear a fun necklace to spice up the regular uniform of jeans and a tee, shorts and a tee, or some sort of easy pant and a tee.
Enter Mama & Little teething jewelry. That’s right, TEETHING JEWELRY! I mean this stuff is genius and exactly what I’ve been wanting to wear, without the fear of it getting pulled on, tangled in sweet chubby arms and eventually, chewed on. Because if any of the above happens, no big deal, it’s totally safe. The silicone jewelry is made out of 100% safe food-grade silicone, it’s FDA approved, non-toxic, latex, lead, phthalate, BPA, and PVC free. So basically you’re home free in the safety department.
And in the stylish department? Yeah, you’re good there too because these are so fun and gorgeous! Have I mentioned affordable?
Shipping to France is $9, but you can calculate your rate easily before checkout.
Another school year began for miss Lara yesterday and while it wasn’t made into as huge as an occasion by the school as last year, we obviously did, photos and all! Vid and I spent the night before talking and reminiscing about the time when our little girl was still so very little.We watched videos of her when she just learned how to walk, her first words among which “kakadu” (cockatoo) was extremely popular, and how much she LOOOOVED sticking stickers on every single piece of furniture. Basically we just kept asking ourselves where in the world did the past four and a half years go and how is it possible that she’s already starting her last year of école maternelle!
Quite honestly, I haven’t given much thought to just how quickly time goes before we had another baby. Seeing Lev so small now and Lara so big has made me realize just how fast it all went by. When you have your first child you celebrate each milestone with such glee screaming at the top of your lungs: “Yay, good job, you’re getting so big wohoooo!” not really thinking that each time you do so, your little baby just got a little bigger and a certain period has just ended. Don’t get me wrong, it’s how it’s supposed and I couldn’t be happier to see my little ones growing up and reaching those milestones, but since Lev arrived I can’t help but find it all a little bittersweet as well.
Every single moment is so, so precious. I’m trying so hard to soak them all in in hope that I never ever forget even the smallest details of my two tiny humans as they get bigger and grow up. I hope you never grow out of mama’s cuddles, you hear me you two?!?
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Hi there and welcome to Style Lemon! My virtual universe of all the daily little bits and pieces that inspire me. From fashion and beauty trends to cooking and travel. From stuff for the little ones to reading for the big ones. When life gives you lemons… More
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