How do I know if my baby is getting enough breastmilk?

As most of you know, working with Mom's post-partum I would say that this is one of the most common questions/ concerns that a new Mom has. I would also say that because of the concern, many Mom's end up "supplementing" and or giving formula exclusively for fear that their newborn is not getting enough breast milk.

Also, I want to point out quickly that I am in no way shape or form a "breastfeeding Nazi" but am here to help those who are wanting to breastfeed that may become deterred away from feeding due to lack of knowledge and support. Many Mom's are not able to breastfeed for one reason or another, but for those that are able. I would like to reach out to all of you!

Anyway, so how do you know if your little one is getting enough?

There are several ways to tell. The most "accurate" way is with a scale (Medela makes a really great one) you can weigh baby, feed baby, then weigh baby again and it will tell you precisely how much baby is receiving. Most hospitals have at least one of these in house, but you can also find these at outpatient lactation centers,WIC offices, and pediatrician offices. (But, let's be real....most of us don't have these in our back pockets) So, moving on...

You can also tell by the amount of stools/wet diapers that your little one is having. Your little one should have 1 wet and 1 dirty diaper the first day of life, 2 wet and 2 dirty the second day, and so forth up until day 5. One day in "newborn life" is from the time they were born until the following day at the same time. Also, your little one's urine should be more pale or clear versus dark yellow.

Another way you can tell is expression, you can manually express your milk/colostrum and syringe feed your little one. Therefore you can actually "measure" the amount of milk that they are receiving. This is hard to do at the beginning when establishing a milk supply, but can be a reliable method.

It is normal until your milk supply has "came in" for your little one to lose weight. Colostrum is very important for the baby and has lots of nutrients. However, until the fat content that your breast milk provides comes in full force, your newborn may lose weight at the beginning.

What can I do to help my milk let down?

Warm Compresses (newborn diapers work great for this, soak two underneath warm water and then place them opened over our breast, they cup very nicely to breast as well.)

Warm Shower

Breast Massage- Massage the outer ducts of your breast.

Skin to Skin- Holding your baby skin to skin with you will promote let down, remove all of your newborns clothes and place your newborn on your chest.

Remember, your little's one stomach is the size of a marble (5-7ml) on day 1-3 and then expands to a ping pong ball (20-25ml). Many new parents are actually overfeeding their babies when they feed with formula. Then the baby ends up "spitting up" because they are overfed. The main thing is that your baby is latching on, sucking and swallowing (you can listen for the sound of them swallowing) at the breast, and falling off the breast either asleep or content.

Your little one may want to feed very often or may go longer between feedings. Regardless, breastfeeding is "on demand" and we do not use the clock to determine feeding times. You want to feed at least every 2-3 hours but if baby wants to feed prior to that time it's not because they are not getting enough it's because they are telling your breast to produce more and training them to meet their demands.

Comments? Questions? Concerns? Post Below!

"Honey not tonight, I have a headache"

I am sure as women, we have played this card more then once. Let's face it, between homework, housework, dinner, full-times jobs, soccer practice, bath time, etc. there just isn't enough time in the day. I am guilty of thinking during sex or prior to having sex, what I could be doing (such as throwing in a load of laundry or any other household task) instead of having sex with my husband. Sounds awful right? But it's so true.

Women connect to their partners in a different way than men connect to women, as we know. Men can have sex any time, before, during, or after an argument, when they are dog tired, and even when they are sick. Women connect in different ways. We want to feel wanted, appreciated, sexy, and sophisticated. One of my pet peeves is it seems like every time my husband tries to "make out" with me and "go for a home run", I seem to be the dirtiest (just changed a diaper, cleaned the commode, or am covered with sweat head to toe- especially now days being 7 months pregnant.) I typically will respond with, let me take a shower as I push him away. Then, after the shower he normally is falling asleep and I try my hardest to slip into bed hoping he won't notice and we both pass out. Reality is though, after years of doing this, he knows I am in bed he just knows the answer.  Men are like children, they can only take so much rejection, then it starts to way on their ego.

I struggled with this at first, I use to think, oh well... too bad his "ego" is shot. I sacrifice my time to run this house, my body has changed to give him his kids, too bad if he feels not wanted. WRONG! This is a road to disaster. It doesn't take long and intimacy goes out of the window. Those nights of soft, sweet, passionate, music on, sex is NON-existent. Our significant other is not the only one that suffers, we suffer too (now it's like there is another kid in the house, mopping around like a sad puppy)

I noticed when I do say yes, we fight less, we get along better, I seem to be less stressed, I get out of the repeat questions, and I don't feel guilty for saying, "no." In fact, I feel like I can ask more of him and get more in return if I fulfill his "basic need."

It has taken me a LONG time to get to this point. I still struggle with it, especially being pregnant and not feeling sexy. He has been losing weight lately (he's not heavy, just becoming more toned) and I feel like he looks so good while I am....let's just say getting biggER.

Then I started to see it in a different light, I am blessed that my husband still finds my changing body sexy, that he does want to not just have "casual" sex, that he wants to be intimate, take things slow, and communicate without speaking. Also, we normally have "pillow talk" afterwards, and he actually seems to really listen and remember what we discuss because he's not just thinking, "i am so horny."

I'll be honest, there is still times I use the excuse and say, "honey not tonight." But, I have really tried to become better. I am such a planner, so planning ahead (i.e taking a quick shower before he walks in) or coming on to him when I am ready vs. him coming on to me when I am busy has helped.

Who would of ever thought that in today's world we are so quick to jump in bed before we're married or committed but once we get married it just seems like a daunting task. Sex, hugs, kisses, and romantic gestures are so important. It keeps the marriage alive and it shows our children how men are suppose to be outside of the bedroom as well.

I am interested in your input! Anything is game! :)

Here Comes The Bride

I have been trying for some time to get my daughter, Ava to put on my wedding dress so I can snap a few pictures to one day have at her wedding (in the far, far, future ;)) Well today, she walked into my closet pointed at my dress and said, "Can I wear Mommy's Rella (Cinderella) dress. Of course, i said! I quickly plopped her into my dress and ran her outside for a few pictures. She loved it, she couldn't move much in it which helped with getting a few pictures! I just love how they came out.

The Honest Company Review

I have stumbled across an amazing product by The Honest Company and I thought I would do a mini review on how much I love their eco-friendly products.

As some of you know, I currently subscribe to Cirtus Lane which is a great kid subscription service. 

Well, in my box I received several items this month, one of them being 100% Natural Tear Free Shampoo and Body Wash from the Honest company along with a 20% coupon. I was excited about it at first glance because I had just run out of baby shampoo for my daughter and needed to get some more. I normally do not gravitate to the organic products, but figured I would give it a try. To my amazement, my daughters hair (which is some what wavy and normally out of control) was more tamed, softer, and smelled like sweet orange vanilla. I figured I should go online and see what other products they had to offer but never got around to it. 

Then out of the clear blue (it must of been fate) while searching on Zullily for maternity clothes I came across the Honest Company again and decided to click on the link to see what other products were available. Well, to my AMAZEMENT, they offered diapers. Not only diapers but diapers with the most adorable prints on them. I particularly fell in love with these leopard spotted purple and blue ones (happens to be the exact same color we painted the baby's nursery). 

Disclosure: This picture was found on Google and is not my image. But, don't they look SO cute nestled amongst the other amazing products this company has to offer.

The other thing I LOVE about the company is the fact that they offer two different monthly subscription services. One of the services is a diaper and wipe service. In which, the company sends 6 packs of your child's sized diapers in the print of your choice, along with 4 packs of wipes to your door for 79.95/month. Or, you can purchase the diaper packs separately for 13.95/ pack. Which, is only about a dollar more than pampers for cute designs, shipment right to your door, and chemical free. Plus, the fun print just makes diaper changing that much better! I have done my fair share of research on these diapers and a lot of Moms were talking about how their children have had reactions to other diapers and they made the switch to Honest and their rashes and or reactions have ceased and no more blow outs either!

Once Alexis is born in August, we will start the subscription service in which you can cancel at anytime. You can also advance or delay your next pack from arriving dependent on your supply. 

I am excited to order more products from the Honest Company and I hope you will too! 

Disclaimer: The Honest Company did not ask me to do this review on their products nor am I being compensated in anyway.

However, I would appreciate if you do decide to order from them and or create an account to click this link for informing you about the Honest Company so I can receive a 20$ credit for inviting a friend! :))

The truth about my marriage

My husband and I are a month away from celebrating our one year anniversary. We have been together since September 2007 and since then have endured plenty of hardships and triumphs together over the years. A few months ago all of those "hardships" had finally piled up and we both constantly felt like we could "snap" at any moment.

Being that he is my best friend, husband, father of my child and a great person at heart, I just couldn't imagine ever giving up or divorcing him. Although, the thought for the last few months had crossed my mind. How much easier would it be to just leave? Pack my things and not have to hear the constant arguements and fights! It sounds like a NO brainer. However, we swore ourselves to our daughter that we would and always will make this work.

Our fights were never only anything significant. A combination of work, stress, homeowner ship responsibility, my pregnancy emotions, and fatigue, and the like were constant reasons to argue. One day in particular it got so bad, I did ask him to leave and for the first time I really didn't care if he ever came back. I didn't cry, I just put my daughter down for a nap, and took a nap myself.

He ended up coming back a few hours later. Michael and I have never been ones to really "talk" things out, we end up doing something to make the other person laugh and we just say, "it's OK," even when it's not. Which has been the pitfall in our relationship.

You see, Michael and I really are BEST friends. But, due to "life" and my focus on trying to be the best Mom to Ava, I had forgotten what it meant to be more then friends with my husband. In a relationship it is important to be friends of course. But, you have to also relate emotionally and physically. It's OK to not be strong in front of your soul mate or independent. It's OK to talk and share what you are going through with each other even when you feel like the other person doesn't care (it may surprise you how much they do.) I also had let myself go, with not working as much... I stopped dressing up, doing my hair, makeup, and going places. I became a home body that watched cartoons and did the everyday "mommy thing." We also stopped hugging, kissing, and praying together.

The other day I spoke with a friend who told me to just take the "d" word out of our discussions when it gets bad. We decided to agree to that and have yet to bring up the word. We also have started to pray, kiss, hug, and most of all just talk. It's amazing how much a soft kiss, meaningful conversation, or just a hug can instantly bring you back to the moment you fell in love with your significant other.

We are by no means perfect and we have ALOT to work on. However, we are more then ever willing and able to work on our marriage. First and foremost, we are going to start doing more quality things together, not just family activities. It's important to spend alone time together, even if it's just dinner.

We are also planning on a weekend getaway close to home and a marriage retreat later in the year. Like I said, I have learned many things over these last few weeks about what marriage really means. I hope to learn ALOT more and cherish the special moments we do have together instead of focusing on the bad.

For all of you who are going though the issues, you are not alone. It's OK to say your marriage is not perfect and to get help while you can. Many problems can be solved and dealt with before your marriage falls apart.

Quick Tips For Each Trimester

Things To Do During First Trimester:

1) Rest as much as you can.
2) Read one pregnancy book cover to cover.
3) Check out your insurance benefits and maternity leave options.
4) Sign up for baby websites to start receiving coupons for diapers, lotions, etc.
5) Book your appointments to see your OBGYN

Things To Buy During First Trimester:

1) Belly Band- This was a God send during my last pregnancy, I was able to wear my regular jeans all the way through. This time, I just opted straight for maternity pants. ;)
2) Body Pillow
3) Soft Toothbrush, as your gums are much more sensitive.
4) Sports Bra
5) Cocoa Butter
6) Prenatal Vitamins

Things To Do During Second Trimester:

1) Spread the news if you haven't already.
2) Take a tour of your hospital.
3) Go on a baby moon.
4) Check out baby gear, walk through babies-r-us/target/etc. just to look.
5) Enroll yourself in childbirth/ breastfeeding classes.

Things To Buy During Second Trimester:

1) Buy a pack of diapers every week up until you deliver (we did this with my first and the almost lasted 6 months, it was so nice not having to run out to buy them)
2) Order nursery furniture if you are special ordering as it can take up to 3 months for it come in.
3) Determine who is going to host or if you're going to have a baby shower and have it early enough that way you have time to buy the things that you may not receive at the shower before the baby is due!
4) Maternity clothes

Things To Do During The Third Trimester

1) Complete your maternity benefits and leave paperwork through your job.
2) Pre register at your hospital and take a tour. Know where to go when the big day comes!
3) Limit travel
4) Get your house ready for baby, baby proof as much as you can now.
5) Finish the nursery
6) Relax
7) Get a pedicure
8) Pack your hospital bag
9) Find a pediatrician
10) Take a Childbirth and Breastfeeding class (If this is your plan)

Things To Buy During The Third Trimester:

1) Pedicure
2) Hospital Bag items
3) Baby items that haven't been purchased
4) a MASSAGE :)

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Nutrients Your Baby Needs During Pregnancy

I don't know about you, but I am not much of a "healthy" eater. I often find myself running after a two-year old and much too busy to grab the right things to eat. I catch myself stopping off at a fast-food chain to stuff my face in between activities. I have learned planning ahead, making small snack sized bags and packing them in my purse or daughter's diaper bag I am more willing and able to eat it! Plus, baby needs it now too.

Nutrients Needed During Pregnancy:

Folate- Found in green leafy vegetables, orange juice, and nuts.
Calcium- Found in milk, cheese, yogurt, and sardines (yuck ;-))
Iron- Found in dried beans, red meat, iron-fortified cereals, and prune juice.
Vitamin A- Found in carrots, dark leafy green, and sweet potatoes
Vitamin C- Found in citrus fruits, broccoli, tomatoes, and strawberries.
Vitamin D- Found in Vitamin D milk
Vitamin B6- Found in beef, liver, pork, whole-grain cereals, and bananas.
Vitamin B12- Found in liver, meat, fish, poultry, and milk.
Vitamin E- Found in hazelnuts, almonds, oils from canola, and sunflower seeds
Choline- Found in eggs, chicken, broccoli, peanuts, and cauliflower.

6 Superfoods that are packed with Vitamins and Nutrients:

1) Whole Grains- oatmeal, brown rice, whole grain bread.
2) Beans- Black, soy, white, kidney, lentils, and black eyed peas.
3) Eggs
4) Salmon
5) Berries- blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries
6) Low-Fat Yogurt- plain is best as it has less sugar.

Baby Items

When we had our daughter in November of 2010, we were at a place in our lives where we weren't able to afford everything under the sun for her. I wanted everything to be "new" as it was our first child so we tried to be careful with what we purchased. Looking back I am glad we weren't able to always go out and purchase the latest and greatest as I am sure I would have many more items to add to this list. Lately, I have been "browsing" Target, Babies-r-us, and the like as I have BABY fever. Here's a list of things I wish I would of hand and things I wish I would of never bought. Please feel free to COMMENT below and add your items. This is my personal experience and may be different then what you feel like you would need, want, or could live without.

Things I Wish I Would Of Bought:

1) The BIGGEST thing is a video monitor, especially now that my little one is a toddler. Being able to see what they are up to is a must. She stayed in our room either in her bassinet or crib until she was one but from one on we always "talked" about getting one but just either forgot when we were out and about or talked ourselves out of it. We recently invested in one that you can add another camera to so that we can see both her and our next baby (when the next one decides to come).

2) We bought a travel system stroller, I wish we would of saved our money and bought a stroller that we were able to place the car seat into. For one, If Ava was asleep we would end up waking up after we placed her in the stroller. Also, being that I had a took up so much room in the trunk. We ended up not using it the majority of the time and it collected dust in the garage.

3) Hooter Hider- I used a blanket in the first few weeks of breastfeeding and it was so frustrating to try to get her to latch and have to worry about the blanket falling. The Hooter Hider made it easy to breastfeed and feel covered up. Plus it isn't as obvious as it looks more like clothing then a blanket.

4) A diaper bag that wasn't so heavy. I bought a Coach diaper bag, I loved the setup and it worked great but was VERY heavy. It was all leather and ended up hating it because of that. Next time I would like to try a Petuina Pickle Bottom Bag. I LOVE the fact you can wipe it down, its slim and sleek, and they have very cute designs with alot of storage.

5) Baby carrier- I LOVE the idea of being HANDS free with a baby, having the baby close to you, and plus having a toddler to run after makes it easier to hold on to a infant as well that is not yet able to support his/her head. 

6) ItzBeen- I think I will purchase this with our next LO. Especially for the first few weeks and hospital stay. I like the idea with one push of a button you can keep track. This especially great if you are concerned with the amount your infant is feeding. I wouldn't see a whole lot of use after the first few weeks though. So it could potentially be something you could live without. 

Things I LOVED:

1) Infant Swing- we used it ALL the time. However, next time I would like one that plugs into the wall. We bought a battery operated one and we were constantly running to the store for batteries.

2) Dr. Browns Bottles- I loved these, Ava seemed to spit up less and she was able to keep up with the flow of the bottle. There are several parts to the system so getting the dishwasher set is a must and just a few dollars. Also, we used the Playtex Drop Ins and I LOVED these as well. Hardly any clean up as you dispose of the inserts and place a new one after each use. 

3)  Boudrex's Butt Paste- AWESOME product. It doesn't leave your newborn's bottom sticky like Destin.

4) Diaper Genie- It was convient, pretty much kept the smell eliminated, and could hold several diapers. I never realized how good it was until we stopped using it since Ava had gotten older. Now, I wish we would of never gotten rid of it. 

5) Shopping Cart Cover- Shopping carts are DISGUSTING especially for teething babies. I would just pop it in the wash once a week or so and I was always happy to have it. However, these can be bulky as well so I did stop carrying them once she was out of the teething stage and just wiped it down with a disinfectant wipe prior to placing her in it. 

6) Mylicon Drops, Honey elixir for coughs that you can't give anything for (They even make Honey Pops when they get older and enjoy suckers) , and Saline spray for stuffy noses.

7) Bumpo- Ava often used this more then her high chair during snack time. It was great to put next to the bathtub while she was eating a snack. I knew she couldn't get out since we also used the bumpo tray and I didn't have to constantly move the high chair.

8) Boppy- I LOVED the boppy for breastfeeding, very comfortable. However, I would recommend buying at least one extra cover while the other one is in the wash. 

9) Target UP and Ups- I had a few "blow outs" with pampers and huggies. We switched to Target up and ups and we absolutely love them. They are very inexpensive!

10) Bouncer- we used her bouncer until she was too heavy for it. She loved it so much and loved the vibrating seat and music. 

11) Corner Changing Table- We purchased a corner changing table due to lack of space in our apartment. I loved how she was in front of me and not to the side. It made it so easy to change her. 

12) Sleep Sacks- I LOVED putting her in a sleep sack. It was so easy to unzip, change her diaper, and place her back in her bassinet. The buttons can be a nightmare when your trying to do it with one eye open.

13) Mobile Changing Station- We kept one in our living room. It housed a changing pad, wipes, diapers, butt paste, and a toy of two to keep her occupied while changing. 

14) A mirror for the car- When babies are rear facing it's important to see what they are doing. I loved having a mirror to be able to see her every move instead of having to bend my head back in order to see that she was actually perfectly content. 

15) An Emergency Kit For The Car- Always keep extra diapers, wipes, clothes, socks etc. Instead of lugging it around. Purchase a tupperware container large enough to house these items and you will be grateful that you have it.

16) Disposable Changing Pads- We purchase the CVS brand, they are larger and I love the fact that you are not repacking the germs into your bag. 

17) Extra Car Seat Bases- My mother-in-law kept our LO almost every day. It was so nice not having to switch the bases between cars. We purchased for my husband, myself, and my mother-in-law. Eventually my Mom actually picked one up for 5.00 at a garage sale. 

18) A Nice Baby Book- Baby's "first" are something you can NEVER get back. Having a place to keep these important memories is essential. 

Things I Could Of Lived Without:

1) Sophia The Giraffe- I thought this little giraffe was SO cute and thought it would work well for Ava when she was teething but it ended up being a dog toy, sadly. She wouldn't have anything to do with it.

2) Bottle Warmer- We hardly ever used it as we would use half HOT water from the water dispenser and half Cold water and the bottles always came out perfect. We probably would of used it if we didn't have that feature. 

3) Wipes Warmer- seemed like a hazard and I figured when we are out and about we wouldn't have a warmer so I didn't want her to be shocked when we weren't at home. We just got use to room temperature wipes early on.

4) Jumper- Ava HATED it. I have seen many babies who absolutely love it though. 

5) Pacifiers- WAIT to buy these until AFTER baby is born. Try the hospital soothie first (the not so attractive HUGE green one) 9 times out of 10 your newborn will take the soothie if he/she is going to take a pacifier. Keep trying with the hospital one until you decided to run out and purchase 89273429834 pacifiers. 

6) Fancy Bedding- We luckily had Ava's Great grandmother make hers and save quite a bit of money but, it was bulky, unsafe, and impossible to wash. Investing in a nice blanket, or nice sheets instead is much more worth the money then investing in a overpriced bumper. 


1) Have everyone bring a book to your baby shower instead of a card.
2) Buy a box of diapers or a box of wipes every time you go to the grocery store while you are pregnant. 
3) Look for gently used items, especially outdoor items. These items will fade and get dirty if they are kept outside anyway. Craigslist or your local online yard sale site will often have these items for a fraction of the cost. 

Again, this is my personal experience. There is nothing wrong with purchasing these items and seeing if they work for your little one. However, if you are able to save money and truly think about your purchases you will be better off in the long run. Babies go through temporary phases, the moment baby seems to "need" something give it at least a day or two and try to refrain from running out to the store just to please his/her needs. Babies are actually pleased by things that can be found around the home much more then store bought items. I am sure there are other things I LOVED but I want to hear the things you LOVED or HATED.