My Breastfeeding Story

For the next few weeks I am going to be sharing my experiences as a first time mommy and what has worked for our family during this past (very soon to be) year. Sigh. I can’t believe my baby is going to be year old in June. If you are just joining me here are my previous posts:

Baby Registry Must Haves

On Becoming Baby Wise 

1st Trimester Recap

2nd Trimester Recap

3rd Trimester Recap

Homemade Baby Food Essentials

Feeding The Baby: The First Year

It seems appropriate that after talking yesterday about feeding Caden solids now would be an excellent time to share my breastfeeding story. I knew before I was even pregnant with Caden that my goal was going to be to breastfeed my babies. I approached breastfeeding just like I do anything in my life that I have no clue about, I asked a ton of questions. I talked with my friends, clients, and ob and read tons of articles on the internet. I was in completely uncharted territory about what was going to be happening to my body.

After talking with my girlfriends I learned about inverted nipples, cracked nipples, engorgement, clogged ducts, mastitis, colostrum, supply issues, and a wide array of breastfeeding products. I wanted to be prepared for anything and everything that could possible happen. You can see a few of my favorite products here.

On June 7th, 2012 within 30 minutes of Caden being born he latched on beautifully and I couldn’t believe that I was actually breastfeeding my baby. I was in awe of what my body had done to protect and grow this little miracle baby and continued to be in awe as I watched him nurse. I nursed Caden every two hours during our hospital stay and had no issues at all with feeding him.

IMG_0875

It took a few days for my milk to actually come and in and holy engorgement, I felt like they were going to explode. To relieve some of the  pressure I busted out my breast pump and realized that I had never sat down and read the instructions or had any clue how of it worked. Caden was napping like a champ while I frantically tried to relieve the ever growing pressure that was accumulating more and more with each passing minute. I was so happy and proud of myself when I saw the milk start to release into the bottles. I felt like a woman. Never mind the fact that I just had a baby and had already been nursing him for a few days.

Everything was going so smoothly. I did not experience any cracking and Caden never had any difficulty latching. Six weeks postpartum I began exercising again. My girlfriends had all given me great advice from their experience with breastfeeding and exercising. I was making sure to drink plenty of water and eat an additional 300-500 calories a day on top of my normal intake.

Two weeks later I decided to go for a run and swim and while I was getting dressed told myself I really needed to buy a larger sized sports bra. Later on that day I noticed a huge and painful lump in my right breast.  It felt like a golf ball had been shoved under my skin. I knew from talking with my girlfriends that this meant I had a clogged duct and there was the possibility that I could develop mastitis.

Mastitis is an infection of breast tissue that can be caused by clogged milk ducts, tight fitting bras, and not emptying the breast all the way during feedings. The symptoms include fever, tender and swollen breast, nausea and/or vomiting, and overall fatigue.

I immediately began massaging my chest to see if I could release the clog (this was really painful) and made an appointment to see my doctor. Several hours later I was diagnosed with mastitis. Booooooo. I was told to go and invest in new bras, and was prescribed several herbal remedies, antibiotics, and a lymphatic massage for my treatment.

If you are diagnosed with mastitis or suspect you have a clogged duct I recommend the following:

  • Massage that breast. It hurts but it will decrease the clogged area.
  • Take hot showers with more massage or soak breasts in a hot tub.
  • Apply castor oil hot compresses before feedings to help reduce inflammation and increase circulation to the infected tissue.
  • Apply hot compress poultice with medical herbs: camomile, lavender, valerian, rose hip, hops, and lemongrass
  • Take antibiotics and tylenol to treat infection and reduce inflammation.
  • Use a lactose free probiotic and dab it on nipples to prevent thrush. Once you start taking an antibiotic it kills all the healthy bacteria making it more likely to develop a yeast infection.
  • Rest, rest and more rest.
  • Continue nursing and pumping as often as possible.
  • Schedule a lymphatic massage.

Again I am not an expert this is just what worked for me and was prescribed by my doctor.

A few weeks later I was feeling much better and have had no other issues while breastfeeding, well aside from Caden biting my boobies :). That hurts pretty bad too.

I was very fortunate to have been home with Caden the majority of his first year. In the first few months when I went back to training clients and teaching Josh or my Mom would try to bottle feed Caden but he was not interested. Thankfully I had the flexibility to arrange and schedule client sessions around Caden’s feeding schedule.

In the last month I started to feed Caden more solid meals and he dropped his two middle of the day nursing sessions. These are my last few days breastfeeding and I am relishing them. Next week I start a 2 month treatment program to remove my varicose veins and can no longer nurse once that treatment begins. I know I will miss holding my baby close to me while he is so content and peaceful.

This past week I started using peppermint essential oil on my breasts to encourage my milk supply to decrease and it has worked beautifully. No engorgement or swelling.

I already know my last nursing session will be bittersweet. I am so blessed to have been able to experience this wonderful bond between a mother and her child.

xoxo, Tamara

PS…I had a mini design update done on my blog :). If you are looking for a website designer to work with I highly recommend Aileen Barker. She is fabulous!

Share

10 Months After Baby Stats

Can I be completely honest with you for a moment? I just finished sharing an amazing peanut butter cupcake with my husband and it was soooooo good!

All right, enough about that and on to my stats :).

10 MONTH POST BABY STATS
WAIST 27″
(pre-pregnancy measurement 27″, no change from last month)
Back to pre-pregnancy measurement!!!
HIPS 35″
(pre-pregnancy measurement 37″, no change from last month)
Below pre-pregnancy measurement!!!
WEIGHT 126 lb.
(pre-pregnancy weight 130 lb., up 3 lb. from last month)
Below pre-pregnancy measurement!!!

phonto copy

Finding balance is so important, which is why I shared with you that I just had a few bites of a cupcake. I gained 3 pounds this month and I am totally fine with that. I feel great and knew that after coming off the 21 day cleanse my body would readjust to eating sugar and a limited amount of dairy products. Month 9 and Month 10 comparison photo is shown below.

My Photo

As great as looking good feels, feeling good is even greater. Josh and I juice, drink nutrient rich smoothies, and eat lots of veggies to stay healthy in addition to our workouts. We still continue to juice first thing in the morning and typically have a smoothie later in the day. You can see our green juice recipe here. I also take a multivitamin and omega-3 supplement everyday (I like the Garden of Life brand).

The next paragraph is for ladies only because it could possibly be too much info for the fellas. Back in January I started spotting and was surprised that my monthly visitor had returned earlier than I had anticipated. Nothing happened in February so I was starting to think it had been a fluke. I guess I just assumed since I was still nursing I wouldn’t have my period. This past month it appeared again and lasted a little longer but was not anything major. I don’t really know what to expect for the next month. Did anyone experience anything similar?

My workouts this month went something like this: 10k race (ran my fastest race pace ever!), yoga (of course), running, swimming, TRX, running hills at the zoo pushing Caden in the stroller, and teaching my weekly bootcamp. I always love a good sweaty workout and enjoyed the variety this month. I also take lots of walks pushing Caden in the stroller or carrying him in the Ergobaby. The weather is beautiful right now in Arizona and it feels amazing to be able to spend time outdoors!

Let’s talk goals! I am still reading my bible everyday and I am on track to read through the New Testament and Psalms twice and the rest of the Old Testament once by the end of the year. Yay! This is huge for me and I feel such a since of accomplishment each time I finish my daily readings. Want to join in? Check out the M’Cheyne Bible-reading schedule for the outline. Each month my blog continues to grow and I am loving all the amazing bloggers I have connected with. Reading the emails or comments left on my posts inspires me to continue to share my life and my passion for healthy living. Seriously, I get giddy reading comments on the blog or Facebook page.

Only two more months left before Caden turns one! My goodness time is sure going fast! I would love to answer any questions that you have regarding loosing baby weight, after baby workouts, or nutrition so feel free to send them my way. I am planning on doing a huge wrap in the next two months and want it to be informative as possible. Just leave a comment on this post.

xoxo, Tamara

PS…I am SUPER excited to share with you that I am now a contributor over at FitLife.tv! I would love it if you read my first post: 3 Yoga Poses to Relax and Renew Your Body And Mind. Thanks everyone for your support!

Share