Mar 20

Cloth Pad Giveaway at Change Diapers

cloth pads washable pantylinersLove cloth diapers? What about cloth pads? If you have not yet tried cloth pads, now is the time! Not only do we sell cloth pads at One Lucky Mama – we also own the store http://www.ComfyClothPads.com. Change Diapers has a review and giveaway on their site right now for Comfy Cloth Pads. Hop on over and check it out. Lots of ways to enter.

http://change-diapers.com/2014/03/comfy-cloth-pads-mama-cloth-reviewgiveaway-43-u-s-canada/

Why cloth pads? Because they are simple and easy to use, very cost effective, and just plain comfy. Even if you just switch to cloth panty liners for every day use, you’ll save money. Add in cloth menstrual pads, postpartum pads or incontinence pads and you can save some serious money while avoiding those nasty adhesives, plastic and paper pads, or trips to the store because you forgot you were low on pads.

Pads not your thing? Comfy Cloth Pads also sells Diva cups and Moon cups.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.oneluckymama.com/280/cloth-pad-giveaway-at-change-diapers/

Sep 17

Flat Diapers – Going Old School and Loving it

flat diaper bamboo terryFlat diapers are often looked at with a shudder. How can anyone diaper with that big square of cloth? Why bother trying to hold a squirmy baby down while you get that silly cloth diaper on them? The truth is, flat cloth diapers have a lot to recommend them.

Flats are generally cheaper than the corresponding fabric made into a different style of diaper. A flat bamboo diaper will be much less than a bamboo fitted diaper, for instance. If you are cloth-diapering on a budget, flats are a nice option.

They are much easier to fold than you’d think at first glance. Add in a Snappi and you are in diapering Nirvana as soon as you master one or two folds. Don’t want to mess with all that origami? Just fold the diaper into a rectangle and use it as a pad diaper. Easy peasy. Fer real.

Flats are also an excellent choice if you are dealing with a squirelly washing system. Whether you are using an inferior washer, just want to be sure they are getting as clean as possible, or whether you are washing them by hand – flat diapers rock in this department. They wash clean very easily since they are just one layer. They dry in a flash in the dryer or on the clothes line because they are super thin.

For real cost savings in cloth diapering, nothing beats a one size diaper. Flats are one of the original one-size cloth diapers. They can be folded to fit any number of different baby body sizes and shapes – and they will fit from newborn to potty for most babies.

Cotton is the most common flat diaper material and your great-grandma probably used flat muslin or birdseye cloth diapers made from cotton for her babies. These days you can also find hemp or bamboo terry cloth flat diapers for better absorbency.

Need more absorbency? Just add a doubler or use a second flat diaper as a doubler. Simple!

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.oneluckymama.com/274/flat-diapers-going-old-school-and-loving-it/

Jul 31

When Breastfeeding is Hard – How to Make it Work

breastfeedingBreastfeeding can be blissfully easy. I know because I have seen it done. But for me it was not easy. We had a lot of issues with breastfeeding that made it hard to get a good breastfeeding relationship established once my daughter was born.

Despite all of that, we managed to breastfeed exclusively for just over 2 months and 90% of the time until she was 6 months old. While I would have preferred to nurse her longer, I am so glad we were able to make it work for as long as it did. I am telling my story here so can see how a less-than-perfect scenario worked out for us.

I do want to add one caution here. Whether you are a champion nurser who makes it to three years of nursing while filling your freezer for less fortunate babes, or whether you formula feed from day one – you are the most important part of how your baby is fed. Being held, loved, warm and close to mom or dad is infinitely better than propping a bottle – no matter what is in it!

Day one was rough on both of us. While I was able to avoid the threatened C-section, other parts of the birth were far less natural. I ended up with 5 IV bags, pain medication, and finally, an epidural during the 30 or so hours I was in labor. When my daughter was finally born, she was nearly rushed off to the NICU because she was not breathing well on her own. By the time I was finally able to hold her, she and I were both pretty wiped out.

She was not able to nurse right off and I knew it was ok so I tried not to worry. After a few hours she was making nursing attempts, but she got angry when nothing happened fast enough for her. Meanwhile, the nurse on duty was threatening to take her and give her a bottle against my wishes. She angrily told me that I was going to give my baby brain damage if I did not get her to nurse immediately. I stayed awake most of the night trying to get my baby to nurse and keeping an eagle eye out for the nurse. Due to my gestational diabetes, the baby needed regular blood tests to be sure she did not experience a common side effect of low blood sugar.

The next morning our pediatrician assured me that all was well and that it was ok that my daughter was not eating yet. Around 10 that morning I finally got a good latch and it looked like baby was nursing like a pro. Just then the hospital lactation consultant showed up and since everything looked ok, she left. Then baby got mad again. Every attempt to nurse after that ended in her sobbing and me close to tears. My milk had not yet come in and she was not thrilled with the small amount of colostrum she was getting. She refused to try nursing any more. We went home with a bili light since she was severely jaundiced.

The bilirubin light is an amazing invention. It allows babies to go home instead of staying in the hospital for jaundice treatment. However, it requires baby to spend most of their time in the light case and when you hold them you have to keep the light belt on the baby at all times. Not the easiest set-up for a reluctant nurser. By now she was hysterical every time I attempted to nurse her. My milk had come in, but she would not even try to nurse. I gave birth to one stubborn child and she was not going to be tricked into anything!

I spoke with a second lactation consultant who helped me figure out some more tricks to try and assured me that things would work out. But my daughter was now more than 4 days old and she was not eating. I could see she was losing weight and her diapers were not wet enough. I finally caved. Not for formula (although those dreadful premixed formula bottles the hospital sent home were very tempting at that point!). Instead, I decided to pump and give her a bottle. Nipple confusion be danged, I was feeding this baby.

But, the handheld and small electric pumps I had bought as backup did not work at all. So, we made a midnight run to a big box store and came home with a good quality pump. Hallelujah! I had a bottle of milk for my baby in just minutes. And she drank it! My baby was eating.

After two feedings with the bottle, she happily accepted nursing. She was still not a text-book nurser, but she got the job done. She would nurse for only about 5 minutes at a time but her latch was good and she started gaining weight so I knew she was getting enough. However, I could not get enough pumped milk to feed her the one bottle a day that was necessary for me to work.

Then her tummy aches started. Then the occasional streaks of blood in her diapers. The doctor assured me this was normal – but it did not feel normal! After almost 2 months of frequent tummy aches and never sleeping more than a few minutes unless she was held, we figured out that she was allergic to dairy when I ate it and also in formula. Since I did not eat dairy often (being allergic to milk myself), it took some time to piece together my occasional dish of ice cream or yogurt with her frantic screaming. When I stopped dairy and switched her to soy formula she became a much more pleasant baby. Until her teeth started coming in….

At 4 months, to the day, she popped out two teeth. And she started occasionally refusing to nurse. Around that time several major stressors started in my life. Not the least of which was my mother’s diagnosis with terminal lung disease. My stress lead to lowered milk supply. Despite using some herbs and regular pumping, I lost my milk every night around 6 PM. I had no choice but to bottle feed since there was simply no milk for her.

I tried making a formula with goat’s milk because I hated giving her soy formula, but she had a very bad reaction to goat’s milk too!

Finally, the day she turned 6 months she got two more teeth. She decided she was done nursing. When I tried, she would bite me and turn her head. No matter how long I waited and how many times I tried, she was done. Pumping was not enough to keep up my supply, so in a few days it was gone.

Now, I sometimes question myself, wondering if there was something I could do to get past her nursing strike or to lower my stress so pumping would work better or whatever. I know this is crazy since I did the best I could at the time and under the circumstances – but it was a huge disappointment to me when I had to feed my baby nasty soy formula.

Despite the obstacles, we succeeded in breastfeeding most of the time for 6 months. I am proud of that.

Even with difficulties, breastfeeding can work. I am grateful that we were able to make it work for so long. My daughter is healthy and that is really what matters most. If you have problems with breastfeeding, find a good lactation consultant or attend a La Leche League meeting. Get support, because it makes all the difference!

I am participating in a Mothering blogfest for breastfeeding, see more here: http://www.mothering.com/community/a/blog-about-breastfeeding-and-win

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.oneluckymama.com/264/when-breastfeeding-is-hard-how-to-make-it-work/

Jul 30

Relax – It’s Only a Baby

IMG_4377Those first feelings of awe and amazement about being pregnant are past, the baby is coming soon – as evidenced by your growing belly. Suddenly, you are in full-on tactile mom mode. You will be the best parent EVER. Your baby will have the perfect crib, the perfect baby carrier, the perfect cloth diapers, the perfect non-toxic chew toys, the perfect EV.ERY.THING. Soon you are spending half your waking hours researching how to implement all this perfection. Your mind reels from one must-have to another.

Relax! It’s only a baby.

Yes, you say, but it is MY baby and this I my one chance to achieve parenting perfection! I will be the best parent EVER. Well, maybe not ever, cause it is only me after all. And God knows I kill houseplants – no one should even trust me with a goldfish. I mean, come on! Who am I trying to kid? I have no room in my life for a human being who is completely dependent on ME. What were the powers-that-be thinking when they gave ME a baby!?

Relax! It’s only a baby.

Billions of other babies have come into this world and had to deal with imperfect parents. Some of those babies are much better off than others, but not one has ever had perfect parents.

You are going to be a great mom. Or you already are a great mom. You are not perfect. Neither am I. You’ll have good days and bad. You’ll be great at some things and not so good at others.

I have cared for hundreds of kids over the years. I took a bunch of college courses in psychology and development and education. If anyone should be able to get this right, I should, ya know? I know full-well that yelling at a 4 year old is not only unkind, it is usually completely ineffective. I still occasionally yell at my 4 year old. Usually when the little angel is wielding a blunt object towards my face or something, but I still should know better. I tell her that I am busy far too often. I sometimes feed her overly-processed-crap masquerading as Happy food.

She has, *gasp,* electronic toys that could overstimulate her little brain – as well as all kinds of Princess junk that I hate because at heart I am totally opposed to Princess-ness. I sometimes buy cereal just because I know she wants the toy in it. The thing is, she is amazing. And resilient. And she would be an amazing kid no matter what I did. I like to think that I am helping her reach her best potential, yadda yadda, but she would still be amazing if I were less of a mom. Cause that is who she is.

Now, because she is so amazing, it makes me want to be a better mom every day. And that is how it will be with your baby too. You’ll look at their little face and want to be better than you are. That is not an excuse for mommy guilt. Just the knowledge that every day you’ll want to be more of the mom you planned on being – and often more of the mom you never knew you already were. Because you are pretty amazing too.

After all, you care enough to want to do all this research and do it all right. Sometimes though, you need to accept that you are good enough and that people like you just the way you are.

Because, it is only a baby, but it is your baby and you are going to be the only mom that baby has. You’ll never be perfect. You’ll just be great. Some days you won’t feel like “good-enough” let alone great. Kids are resilient and this is not a sprint. It is a marathon. You are doing years instead of miles, but you only have to do it right most of the time to be a great mom.

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.oneluckymama.com/245/relax-its-only-a-baby/

Jul 30

Breastfeeding Bullies – It’s not what you think

baby carrier for breastfeedingWe’ve know that breastfeeding is the best way to give your child a healthy start. For some women, breastfeeding is easier than for others. Whether it is family pressure, bad medical advice, hormonal issues, a “difficult” baby, or some other reason – many women have a tougher time with breastfeeding than others. Some “breastfeeding bullies” are those who have an easy time with breastfeeding or who were able to breastfeed as long as they wished despite difficulties. Often though, we are the ones who bully ourselves about breastfeeding.

Every day that you breastfeed your child is a miracle and a blessing to both of you. I love to see moms who are able to provide this great nutrition and bonding for their kids. It saddens me to see so many moms who think they can’t breastfeed or that they should not even bother to try if they have had problems in the past. Worse, I see so many moms who beat themselves up if they are unable to breastfeed as long as they would like.

Bullying yourself is no better than bullying someone else. If you have problems with breastfeeding, seek out support. But first of all, be kind to yourself! Stress is a major reason for breastfeeding problems – so stressing yourself out is not cool. Being mean to yourself is even worse.

Do your research – there are so many good breastfeeding resources. I’ll touch on some of those later this week. No matter what, be kind to your baby’s mom!

In my business, I see a lot of moms with young babies or those who are pregnant. Many times when the topic of breastfeeding comes up, moms will act embarrassed or show great sadness when saying that they are unable to breastfeed. For some this is probably true. I say probably, because it is actually a very small percentage of women who truly can not breastfeed at least part time. More commonly, the problem is bad medical advice from doctors or nurses who tell moms that they are not producing enough milk. In some cases this is true and there are many ways to increase milk supply. For other women, they are just not getting the support they need from family, friends and others who can help.

My own daughter was a bit of a nightmare to breastfeed. The first 4 days she refused to nurse because at first the milk did not come fast enough for her wishes – then she just refused to try. Then she had tummy issues due to my dairy intake. Once we got that sorted out I had milk supply issues due to my mother’s illness and other family stressors.

Then she got teeth – four of them by her 6 month birthday! It hurt to nurse so she bit me and refused to nurse at all. Under other circumstances I might have been able to pump through her nursing strike. For me, with the major stress I was under at that time, I was unsuccessful in keeping my milk supply and we had to go to formula feeding.

What is funny is that instead of feeling proud of having fed my baby for 6 months, I feel sad because she weaned herself 6 months earlier than I wished. I am my own breastfeeding bully, feeling guilty for not fixing the situation somehow. My daughter is almost 5. An amazing, secure, healthy and confident child – but I still feel guilty for not being perfect in this one thing. (Not that I am so perfect in all the rest!)

My advice to other moms? Do whatever you can to make breastfeeding successful. I worked with two different lactation consultants, her pediatrician, and pumped as much as possible to keep things going until she figured it out. Without all that, we would not have made it through the first week. However it is so important to be kind treat yourself with respect and be gentle with yourself, if, despite your best efforts breastfeeding does not go the way you planned.

I am participating in Mothering Magazines breastfeeding blogs series – check it out here http://www.mothering.com/community/a/blog-about-breastfeeding-and-win

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.oneluckymama.com/255/breastfeeding-bullies-its-not-what-you-think/

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