EverlyWell Breast Milk DHA Test Review

I recently had the opportunity to check the levels of DHA in my breast milk from the comfort of my own home. I am sharing my experience using the EverlyWell Breast Milk DHA test kit. Technology is seriously amazing and I think it is great that there are health and wellness tests like this available.

This post was sponsored by EverlyWell through my partnership with Fit Approach. With that said, all opinions and test results are my own. #BeEverlyWell #WhyIBreastFeed

WHAT IS DHA?

You might be wondering why anyone would care to check the levels of DHA in their breast milk in the first place. DHA is an omega fatty acid that aids in the brain and nervous system development of children and is crucial in the first years of your child’s life. It is estimated that 75% of Americans are deficient in DHA. 

DHA is not only crucial for your baby but it is also important for you! DHA stands for docosahexaenoic acid and is commonly referred to as omega-3. DHA along with EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) promote a healthy immune response that are behind the relief of many chronic conditions but is too often inhibited by poor nutrition.

THE BENEFITS OF OMEGA-3S

  • Supports heart function
  • Promotes positive mood and well being
  • Maintains fluid and flexible eye cells and tissue
  • Promotes joint mobility and flexibility
  • Nourishes skin, hair, and nails
  • Protects against free radicals
  • Supports the immune system

Despite the great health benefits of omegas, individuals around the world suffer from omega–3 deficiency and one that is counted as the 8th leading cause of preventable death in the US, among dietary, lifestyle, and metabolic risk factors.1 Americans have the lowest intake of omega-3 essential fatty acids of any developed country.

RISKS OF CONSUMING TOO LITTLE OMEGA-3S

  • Inflammation (sometimes severe)
  • Higher risk for heart disease and high cholesterol
  • Digestive disorders
  • Allergies
  • Arthritis
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Mental disorders like depression
  • Poor brain development
  • Cognitive decline

TAKING THE EVERLYWELL BREAST MILK DHA TEST

This test is simple and can be done at home! The results are emailed to you and you can share them with your doctor. The kit arrived in my mailbox within three days of ordering it online and the directions were very easy to follow.

The breast milk sample needed to be taken in the morning and before any supplementation of DHA was consumed. I am currently taking this Ultimate Omega from Nordic Natural daily and made sure to wait to take my supplements until after I collected the sample.

Sample collection was very easy and required only a drop or two of breast milk on the test paper. I was then able to package everything back inside the box that was shipped to me and easily applied the included shipping label on the package. Super easy.

Once it was mailed back I received an email that let me know my sample had been received and I could expect my results in 5 days.

THE RESULTS

5 days later I had an email waiting for me in my inbox letting me know that my results were ready. It really doesn’t get any easier.

The website is easy to navigate and the results were presented in a clear and concise way. I appreciated how I could track the entire status of my order from when it shipped to when my results were ready.

I learned that my DHA levels are above average and in the optimal range. This means that what I am doing I need to keep doing. In addition to supplementing with omega-3s here are 3 things I consume weekly with high amounts of DHA:

  • Chia Seeds: 2,457 milligrams in 1 tablespoon (61 percent DV)
  • Flaxseeds (ground): 1,597 milligrams in 1 tablespoon (39 percent DV)
  • Sardines: 1,363 milligrams in 1 can/3.75 ounces (34 percent DV)

I am thankful to have had the ability to breastfed all three of my babies. It was a pleasure to write this review and I am thankful for the opportunity. It is nice knowing that what I am feeding myself is also nourishing my six month old. Recommended Reading: My Breastfeeding Story (Caden), Pumping, Dumping, Freezing Breast Milk and Bottle Feeding, and Jesse’s Birth Story.

I am seriously amazed at how God made our bodies! Being able to breastfeed my babies has been such a gift. And just for fun here are some interesting facts about breastfeeding. Breastfeeding helps mama heal faster in the postpartum. The hormones released when you breastfeed make your uterus contract back to its pre-pregnancy size. Also, in case you were curious, the more babies you have had the stronger your uterus will contract during those first few days of breastfeeding your newborn. You’re probably a righty. The majority of moms (75%) produce more milk in their right breast, whether they are right or left handed.

EverlyWell is the exclusive provider of this test directly to consumers in the United States. Visit EverlyWell to get your own kit and use code: WOM15 for 15% off your order. (Code only good for Breast Milk DHA Kit)

PS…EverlyWell offers a wide range of home health tests ranging from food sensitivity, male and female hormone, metabolism, fertility, vitamin d, and more!

1Danaei G, et al. The Preventable Causes of Death in the United States: Comparative Risk Assessment of Dietary, Lifestyle, and Metabolic Risk Factors. PLoS Med 2009;6(4)

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Total Body Functional Workout

I think I am finally, hopefully, starting to get back to a somewhat normal exercise schedule. It was so hard for me to get started again after having Jesse. But just like anything else, sometimes you just need to be disciplined and make it happen.

I so enjoyed all the time I spent letting my body rest after having a new baby and I knew it was time to get back to my workouts. Now that I am three weeks in to exercising consistently I am actually looking forward to my workouts again.

I am focusing right now on rebuilding my strength and concentrating on reconnecting muscles (specifically in my core and pelvic floor) back together after having a baby.

This is a workout I put together that takes under an hour to complete. Each movement should be done slowly and with intention and not rushed.

Equipment Needed: Bands (found HERE and HERE)

Exercises:

Let me know if you try this out and what you think! This workout is challenging and some of the moves may surprise you in the level of difficulty. Have fun and get sweaty!

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On Becoming Babywise: Birth to 2 Weeks

on-becoming-babywise-week-1-2

Josh and I decided early on before our first baby was born that we would be following the schedule outlined in On Becoming Baby Wise: Giving Your Infant the GIFT of Nighttime Sleep.

I blogged about our Babywise experience with Caden and was shocked by the response. To date, it is one of my more popular posts. I know there are many differing opinions on this book but for us it has been one of the best decisions we have made for our family.

We used Babywise with Maisie as well, but because I was dealing with postpartum depression/anxiety and going to counseling it wasn’t a huge priority on my list to be blogging.

I found it very helpful when we started using Babywise with Caden to read posts from other mommy bloggers who had also used Babywise with their children. While I am no expert on sleeping babies, we have used Babywise twice before and had great success. If you are curious about Babywise or are using Babywise in your own home I hope you find this post and those that follow equally as helpful.

Labor & Delivery

I shared Jesse’s Birth Story two weeks ago. I nursed him in the delivery room soon after he was born. He latched on right away and nursed for 40 minutes.

Hospital Stay

We stayed in the hospital for a little over 24 hours and were released to go home the day after he was born. I love that I don’t have to worry about cooking anything while I am in the hospital and can pick up the phone and place an order for a meal I wouldn’t typically eat.

Jesse nursed every two hours while we were at the hospital ranging anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes with each feeding.

Siblings

Caden and Maisie came to the hospital several hours after Jesse was born with my parents to meet their new brother. They only stayed for an hour which was plenty long enough. The postpartum rooms, while very nice at the hospital, aren’t quite big enough to comfortably hold 4 adults, 2 preschoolers, and an infant.

Once Caden got to hold his brother, introduce himself, and give him a kiss he was more interested in finding things to climb on in the room. Maisie was totally enamored with him and wanted to hold him multiple times.

Over the last few weeks both kids have been so great. We have had more tears and needed extra snuggles but honestly that is to be expected. Maisie also had the stomach flu :(. We had to be extra careful in making sure that her and Jesse stayed separated and that Josh and I were extra diligent about washing our hands. Thankfully she is the only one in the house who became ill.

On a sidenote if you have children who are sick and are wanting to try to keep yourself healthy I highly recommend getting a B-comp shot. I got these monthly during my pregnancy and Josh and I both made appointments to get one after Maisie got sick. They are great for boosting your immune system.

Nursing

The first three days Jesse nursed every two hours and averaged 15 minutes each side. Then my milk came in. Once that happened he started to stretch the length between his feedings to 2 1/2 hours during the day for a total of 10 minutes on each side.

I scheduled an appointment with a Lactation Consultant during the first week just to make sure that everything was looking ok with his latch and that I was positioning him correctly. This was my first time meeting with a LC and it was wonderful! I highly recommend schedule an appointment with a LC regardless of how many babies you have had.

Nursing is going well, aside from the leaking and swollen boobs, but I know in a few weeks my supply will adjust itself.  I had typed this post up several days ago and wouldn’t you know it I developed mastitis and I am now on antibiotics 4 times a day for the next week. Sunday night it hit all of a sudden. Sore breast that was painful to touch and by Monday afternoon it was starting to become red and ached whenever I moved. Thankfully I saw my doctor yesterday and I am hopeful that in the next few days I will start to feel better again. If you have never had mastitis be so thankful. I had it once with Caden, didn’t have it with Maisie, and assumed I was in the clear with Jesse. I think my over supply of milk did me in this time, while with Caden I was wearing sports bras that were overly tight.

My next few days will be filled with bedrest, loads of nursing, castor oil packs, hot showers, and baby snuggles. Plus, I am hoping to watch a few Christmas movies with the kids.

Schedule

This is a rough outline of what our routine is during the day. Some feedings are adjusted by 30 minutes if the baby needs to be fed sooner because he is hungry.

Birth – Week 1

Jesse ate every two hours for the first 3 days. After Jesse returned to his birth weight, which happened at 1 week, we were given the go ahead from his pediatrician to allow him to sleep for up to 4 hours during the night without needing to wake him to eat. Over the next several days Jesse gradually began to lengthen the time between feedings from 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

Week 2
  • 7am: Eat/Waketime, Diapering
  • 8am: Nap
  • 9:30am: Eat/Waketime, Diapering
  • 10:30am Nap
  • 12pm: Eat/Waketime, Diapering
  • 1:00pm: Nap
  • 2:30pm: Eat/Waketime, Diapering, Nap
  • 5pm: Eat/Waketime, Diapering
  • 6pm: Nap
  • 7 pm: Eat, Diaper, Back to Crib
  • 9:30pm: Eat, Diaper, Back to Crib
  • 12:30am: Eat, Diaper, Back to Crib
  • 4am: Eat, Diaper, Back to Crib

Waketime

Jesse’s waketime is his feeding time. And even that is a struggle at some feedings because he really just wants to sleep. I can’t say that I blame him either. Labor and delivery are exhausting once the adrenaline burst wears off.

During the first two weeks I tried to have him back in his crib within 50-60 minutes from when he started nursing.

Naps &Night Sleep

Once we were home from the hospital we started using Jesse’s crib in his room for naps and nighttime sleep. He occasionally has napped in his bouncer if he has needed to be inclined after a longer feeding, but at night he sleeps in his crib.

The first two weeks Jesse slept all the time during the day and night. This sounds great in theory but it is really hard sometimes to wake a sleeping infant to eat and keep them awake during the entire feed.

I did lots of skin to skin nursing sessions with him to try and keep him awake. This worked fairly well at keeping him more alert for a full feeding. With Caden and Maisie I sometimes resorted to a cold wash cloth on their feet to keep them awake.

While Jesse slept at night, Josh and I tagged teamed him, with me nursing and Josh burping and swaddling. My husband is a rockstar with this baby swaddling him in his blankets.

If Jesse wakes from sleep during the middle of the night he is fed. I know that Babywise is a controversial book but having read it now multiple times I am not really sure why. Over and over the book clearly says that if your baby is hungry to feed your baby. Schedules and routines are great but especially at this stage it is important to not let them dictate when and how often the baby is fed.

I have been really thankful that Josh has been able to take off so much time from work. It has been a much smoother transition for everyone having daddy home.

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