Tuesday, October 26, 2010
I love Fall, and fall clothes. I was super excited to have the time to actually think about what I was going to wear seeing I've been living in my maternity leggings and jeans. But lo and behold nothing really fit. Ok I wasn't expecting jeans to fit, but I thought for sure my pre-pregnancy jeggings or fitted shirts would. Um no. I had no clue my thighs increased in size so much since the jeggings refused to go beyond that area. And who knew my boobs had grown so much - none of the fitted shirts I tried fitted right. Wow a real wake up call.
I want to preface this by saying the process of pregnancy and giving birth gave me a whole new appreciation for just what my body is capable of. Like most women, I've had a love-hate relationship with my weight most of my life, but I was at an all time low with the toll PCOS/infertility took on it and the sense of feeling like my body was failing me. So I'm going to keep my goals realistic and in no way allow it to become obsessive. That being said I'd still like to return to a healthier weight for myself.
Yesterday marked 6 weeks since Birdie's birth and I have to admit I've been eating like crap. I've had little time to think about what I eat, and though I'm not eating a whole lot I'm surely getting extra calories from the cookies, bagels and donuts that have become too regular for comfort. It's not good for my insulin resistance and it surely can't be good for her either.
I want to commit to being a little more mindful of my eating habits. Now with 6 weeks behind us, motherhood isn't as overwhelming as it was, so I should be able to carve out some time for myself to plan meals in advance and to head to the gym.
Today keeping this in mind I handed Birdie over to husband when he got home (with a bottle of pumped milk in the fridge if needed) and headed downstairs to the gym. I have absolutely no excuse seeing I have a full fledged gym in my apartment building.
I'm starting slowly: 30 minutes on the treadmill. At a pace that actually got me sweating a little. And you know what? It felt really good. I am thinking of doing one of those from couch to 5k training things- it'll keep me movitated and challenge me.
I read that losing 1.5lbs/wk while breast feeding is totally ok. So this will be my goal for the 2olbs I'd like to lose. I'll let you know how it goes. Slow and steady wins the race!
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Monday, October 11, 2010
I had wanted to hold out on pumping until atleast 3 weeks to give my milk a chance to come in and establish a nursing bond with my daughter without bringing in the pump. Last week I finally brought out my Medela InStyle Advanced (two boobs at once!) and excitedly tried pumping.
Test 1: My excitement quickly turned to dissapointment- I wasn't expecting a full bottle, but I was definitely thinking it'd be more than .75 ounces (combined from both breasts, for a 15 minute pump session)?! Especially since I've been soaking my breast pads, and Birdie had seemed to be perfectly nursing at each session. Not to mention, she awoke early from her nap and wanted to nurse 20 minutes after I'd pumped and I don't think she got enough milk despite nursing longer than usual, leaving me one cranky baby. I'd read that babies were much better at getting milk out of the breast and pumping 30 mins before feeding still left enough milk for the baby? I guess not.
Test 2: I did some reading of tips online and tried pumping after she'd nursed, to build my supply and encourage more milk production. Day 2 results: after 3 day time sessions (for abt 10 minutes each time), I had about 2 ounces total and Birdie wasn't cranky since she'd already fed.
Test 3: My baby girl sleeps 6-7 hours straight night time, so I thought I'd pump 3 hours after she'd fallen asleep, thinking this would be 3 hours before she awoke and my breasts are usually heavy and painful when I finally nurse her. A 15 minute session got me 2 ounces of milk which was exciting, but for some reason baby girl awoke an hour after I'd pumped, and from my observation I don't think she got enough milk. I ended up feeding her 1 ounce (of the 2 I'd just pumped) after she'd nursed on both breasts. It was only after this that our crying baby fell back asleep.
I now have about a 4 ounce bottle sitting in the fridge, which seems enough for one short outing. So I haven't done any pumping today. Which I know isn't a good idea in terms of encouraging milk production, but I feel guilty since I seem to be not feeding my baby enough by trying to pump simultaneously?
Birdie had her 4 week appointment today and she's gained the right amount of weight (1 pound in two weeks) so she's obviously getting enough nutrition and I'm producing enough milk. But any tips for how I simultaneously nurse her and try storing some away?
What's worked for you ladies to get more milk? When to pump? For how long?
My Medela has an automatic "let down" function every few minutes it seems. And I've been pumping at the 5 of 7 levels, which is as high as i can tolerate without it being overly painful. Already drinking tons of water, eating oatmeal daily, and eating a healthy diet.
Thursday, October 7, 2010
- white noise: husband discovered that Birdie loved the sound of the faucet on when she was having one of her crying fits. Since then I've downloaded the white noise app on my iPhone and she falls asleep well to the sound of waves or rain fall. It's been a life saver
- sleeping on her tummy: I know this one is controversial but we realised that the reason our little one may be so fussy day time is that she wasn't napping at all. She'd fall asleep nursing and would sleep on my lap but as soon as I put her down in her crib, she'd be awake a few minutes later. Now I let her sleep on my lap for longer until she's in deep sleep, and for one afternoon nap I transfer her to my bed and lay her on her belly. I get a book and sit on the bed next to her and keep a close eye on her. She sleeps really well this way and gets in atleast one afternoon 2 hour nap. She's been a whole lot unfussier as a result. My mom said when we were babies, we usually slept on our bellies and that it really helps a baby with intestinal issues/gas etc. Whatever it is- it works!
- Burping: I'd try burping her and sometimes she's let one out, but often times after a minute or two I'd give up. Now I make sure to get a good burp out of her after each feeding. New positions have helped: for Birdie, bouncing her in my lap for a few seconds and then cupping her chin and leaning her over slightly seem to work usually. The position I was taught with her resting on my shoulder, tapping her back rarely worked for us.
- Not over stimulating her: it goes against instinct. Usually when she's fussy, we'd try everything under the roof to see if it'd work, and in doing that overstimulate her even more it seems. Now we try to keep things as calm as possible and maybe try one or two things at most, and she calms down easier
- Evening massage time: I use warm organic extra virgin olive oil and give my little one a gentle massage. Back home, babies get massages twice a day and it is said to help with everything from circulation to easing their growing pains and aid in relaxing them. We've started giving Birdie a massage each evening to establish some resemblance of a routine- I'll nurse her around 9pm, we'll do a massage, diaper change, pajamas, and then one more feeding before rocking her to sleep around 11pm. She sleeps really well after this.
These are small tricks that have worked for us. It's interesting how each baby is so different- after a few fussy evenings, we offered her a pacifier and she wouldn't take it (tried Avent, Nuk, Soothie..). She also doesn't like the Swing that so many blog parents have raved about.
My breast pump arrived today so I'm beyond excited to try that out and hopefully become more mobile as a result. Last weekend, husband and I ventured a little further from home than we had with Birdie and went to do some cold weather clothing shopping for her. She was behaving fine, so we even bought some coffee and falafel sandwiches to enjoy in the park. I used my nursing cape to feed her in public (a first! and it wasn't so bad other than my aching arms...). I was glad to see I was fine doing this, but I still think pumping will be easier in NY. Especially now as it gets chillier.
So that's our update. My little one has been sleeping 6-8 hours straight most nights (we checked with her dr and she said up to 8 hours was fine and not to wake her up to feed her!!) which has been amazing. Granted I'm still getting up every hour or two to check on her, but it's still amazing. She is usually famished when she does wake up and I think we make up for it day time by having lots and lots of nursing time.
In short that is how we're doing- I've never been more tired, and at times I miss mini-aspects of my pre-baby life (dying to go Fall shopping!!) but each and every day with Birdie is so much fun and I'm loving motherhood. Especially as we learn more about our babe and how to keep her calm and happy :)