Exclusively Pumping Life

Disclaimer: THIS IS NOT MEDICAL ADVICE! This is one person’s PERSONAL experience with exclusively pumping. I do NOT have any type of medical degrees or certifications! ALWAYS consult a lactation consultant or doctor for assistance with providing breast milk for your child. 

 

 

I knew I wanted to provide breastmilk for my little one from the moment I realized I was late. I had heard time and time again how beneficial it is for children. It helps them get over illnesses quicker, it helps produce antibodies to avoid getting sick, etc….. I was still nervous though. I am super sensitive, so it petrified me. I knew I would have to go back to work quickly, so I made sure to have all types of pumping supplies on dock for when that time came. We had some trouble with jaundice at birth, and I knew I only had 3 weeks home with Caden. This led us to the pumping life.

What worked for me!

-I pumped every 2 hours at the beginning. Yes… even through the night. At about 3 weeks when I went back to work, our super star was gaining weight fabulously and sleeping through the night (yes, we were EXTREMELY spoiled!). I was still pumping every two hours through the night at that point. Since I was back to work, I desperately needed more sleep, since naps during the day were not an option. I decided to stay every two hours (or as much as possible at work) during the day and every 3-4 hours at night. Sleep is very important for mama’s, so I think that sleep just helped me produce even more milk. From 3 weeks to about 4 months, I pumped at 12:30-ish am, 5am, 7am, 11am, 1pm, 3pm, 5pm, 7pm, 9:30-ish pm when I had work and 12:30ish am, 5am, 7am, 9am, 11am, 1pm, 3pm, 5pm, 7pm, 9:30-ish pm when I was home. It was a lot, but it helped build my supply. Around 4 months I had a freezer FULL. I decided to drop the 12:30ish am pump and let myself go 3-4 ish hours when I needed to if we were out and about. This meant I got a full night sleep and could leave my house again. I did wake up soaked occasionally (sorry, Sean!), but I was pumping out 15-20 ounces just in the morning. After about 5 months, I started to drop a few pumps each month. I didn’t really have a rhyme or reason when I started to drop. I mainly just dropped the ones that annoyed me the most and were the most inconvenient. Around 9 months I was at just 2-3 pumps a day. My period returned and my supply dwindled. I had a lot of upcoming events, 5+ months of milk left in the freezer, and decided to throw in the towel. Sometimes I get annoyed that I didn’t continue because I know fresh milk has SO MANY benefits, but for my sanity I couldn’t keep missing out on the fun to be hiding in our bedroom pumping.

-Supply wise – drinking LOTS of water is was helped me the most. I drank well over 100 ounces of water a day! I also snacked very often throughout the day. I did not diet or try to watch calories. Pumping (and breastfeeding) burns so many calories that it is actually recommended to eat over the daily recommended calorie count! I have heard great things about oatmeal. I LOVE Ben & Jerry’s oatmeal cookie ice cream. I didn’t do enough research into whether it actually helped my supply, but it did seem to at least! Whenever my friends ask about any supplements (fenugreek or special teas), I tend to suggest they leave those to a last resort. A lot of my research into those products show that they have varying effects for everyone. I know lots of people whose supplies dropped because of those products. Power pumping is huge for triggering your body to make more milk. I would avoid doing it TOO often though because it can damage your nipples.

-Items that made my life easier –

#1 – A partner who would wash pump parts and bottles! This was such a big relief, since I spent so much of my day pumping as it was. I had no desire to then have to wash said items.

#2 – Freemies. These things are LIFE. I was able to use these are work to pump and respond to emails, grade tests, and type up assignments. They are cups that hold 8 ounce each, connect to your pump, and slip right into your bra. There is a learning curve, so practice with some water in them first, but they are SAVIORS!

#3 – Lanolin/Bamboobies Organic Nipple Cream – Pumping can be just as painful and damaging to your nipples. You need something to keep them from chafing and rubbing on the pump. It definitely helped calm my pain!

#4 – Wet bags – I would put my pump parts in the fridge between uses. This is NOT recommended by medical professions. Definitely don’t do it with any immune-compromised babies. For my overall healthy kiddo, this was an easy way to lessen the load.

#5 – Dr. Brown’s Bottles connect to Medela parts. Pumping right into the bottle you will feed from saves extra dishes to wash!

Happy Pumping! ❤

 

Disclaimer: THIS IS NOT MEDICAL ADVICE! This is one person’s PERSONAL experience with exclusively pumping. I do NOT have any type of medical degrees or certifications! ALWAYS consult a lactation consultant or doctor for assistance with providing breast milk for your child. 

Advertisements

MommyCon Philadelphia 2018

Since becoming a cloth diapering mama, I have heard a lot about this “MommyCon.” I didn’t really know much about it, but I quickly was able to find out how amazing it is! To start, I must say that their staff is absolutely amazing! They are all extremely kind, caring, educated, and helpful. These women (there may be some men somewhere behind the scenes, so if so, I apologize!) will bend over backwards to make sure their guests have an experience nothing short of amazing. They have really thought of everything!

To start…..

There are a variety of ticket levels.

-VIP: You get a higher end gift bag and an extra set of sessions. For Philadelphia, that meant there were sessions on Friday just for VIPs.

-Premium: You get a gift bag and admission for all general admission sessions/events.

-General: You do not get a gift bag, but you get admission for all general admission sessions/events.

I got a VIP ticket for myself and Premium Admission for my partner. I will say that if you are picking your ticket (between VIP and the others) just for the gift bag, you may be disappointed. They are not the same for all events. I was really bummed to see we did not get a JuJuBe bag when all other locations did. Thankfully the real meat and potatoes between getting a VIP ticket is the special Friday sessions. (View Philly 2018 schedule below)

MommyCon-Philly-2018-VIP-1.jpg

 

“Ask a Dad” with Mat York was my absolute favorite session of the entire weekend! It made missing out on a beautiful JuJuBe piece totally worth it. (Thank you!) We were able to guide the conversation wherever the guests wanted. @NaturallyDad was with him, making it even more entertaining!

MommyBarre was quite a great workout. I needed that little reminder that moms still need to take time for themselves to work out and be in shape for our babies. It was inspiring to be reminded that this can even be done WITH the baby, as I feel like I tend to wait until Caden is napping to get everything done.

As a cloth diapering parent, meeting the SmartBottoms family was really cool! Christy and Geoff were super sweet and down to earth. I loved hearing about their lives. I wish this session had a little more back and forth with the audience, but overall it was enjoyable.

Every room that the events are held in has tons of toys in an area for the kiddos to play while mommy and daddy learn! This was such a great concept. I love that this was a conference for mama’s with babies still encouraged in attendance. As a parent, I feel we are so often given an ultimatum of stay at home with you children or leave the house. We are shunned for our little ones being loud or energetic in public. This was so freeing to be able to allow my little man to act as he pleases in public. I hate having to stifle him. His “inside voice” tends to be much louder than those around us would care to hear. (Insert cry-laughing emoji)

Being in a big city, hotel and food options were endless. We stayed in the MommyCon block for simplicity. I tend to not get very adventurous with travel plans when I don’t have to. We uses SpotHero for parking, making it super easy to find parking. We reserved and paid for our spot weeks ahead of time. We were able to cancel if needed, so no worries there! You scan the code on your phone to enter and exit the lot. We were able to see distance from the destination, amenities, such as covered, security, etc., and prices for all lots in proximity. This app is available for many cities, so feel free to check it out wherever you may need a spot! If you have not used this app before, use https://refer.spothero.com/s/j2khl to get $7 off your spot! Magianno’s (Italian) was an excellent choice for dinner on Friday Night!

Saturday morning when we went to check in, we were the first ones in line…. you’re shocked. I know. 🙂 They had a really cool backdrop to take pictures with. If you used #mommyconphilly on Instagram, the pictures would automatically print out at their picture table. They had a postcard station with the most hilarious cards… our favorite being, “Sorry for being a prick!” with a picture of a cactus. MommyCon even paid the postage for our cards to be sent!

MommyCon-Philly-2018.jpg

We ran straight to the Grovia stand once the exhibit hall opened at 9am for the Ice Cream exclusive bundles. I ended up buying some KiwiPie and JellyCats too because I have zero self control. After that, we wanted to go to the “It All Begins with Nurturing the Heart,” but the presenter was running late. We jumped over to “Babywearing Basics” with Ergo and learned a ton! Because we had to check out of our hotel, we ran over to our room to get Caden a quick morning nap and some lunch. We went back for more shopping in the exhibit hall once we packed up the car. (Next time I go to MommyCon, I will not plan to go straight to the beach from there. It made things a little more difficult…. in particular the 400+ ounces of breastmilk that had no where to go!) I found Spill the Beans, a t-shirt/printing company that had amazing shirts. We got a few….. Then, ordered more when we got home. Wooooooops! There were tons of other great companies, like BonkBand who creates ice headbands/wraps for littles!

Some other special amenities for MommyCon include the quiet feeding lounge, which features breastfeeding pillows, fridges, bottle warmers, breastfeeding storage bags, comfy chairs, and more, the snack stand that has all types of new snacks for littles to try, a changing area with changing tables, wipes, and diapers, and a sleep lounge with all kind of bassinets and portable sleeping areas.

While I was in the Potty Training session, Sean utilized the Sleep Lounge with Caden. I am really thankful this room existed. Otherwise our day would have ended much sooner.

IMG_3338-768x512.jpg

We really wanted to check out Romp & Roll after the Potty Training session, but Caden was still way too tired and we needed to get on our way to the beach.

Until next year…. ❤

 

ETA: Looking for a 2019 discount code?! Use this link: https://goo.gl/WxnwUp

For a 10% Discount, Use the Code: MTJS19

Cloth Diaper 101

You’re going to touch your child’s poop?! You’re going to put THAT in your washing machine?!?!!

NEWSFLASH: You do this with disposables, too. Has your child never had a blowout diaper????

I LOVE sharing my love of cloth diapering with other. I am always here to answer questions and help anyone get started. It saves you money and the universe a ton of extra garbage in landfills! If anyone needs help, feel free to comment on this post, shoot @TheTeacherMama_ a message on Insta or FB!

There’s a lot of information out there about cloth diapering. I like to stick to the basics to help a newbie decide what is best for them. When we first started out, I ordered a few different types to see what they looked and felt like. Overall, I stick with one-size diapers and don’t worry about newborn or specific sized diapers. This is easier on me and my pocketbook. My boy also came out 9 pounds, 3 ounces, so newborn diapers would have been a total waste! He fit in one-size perfectly from day one.

What types of diapers are there? (There are more, but I’m keeping this simple!)

-Pocket – You stuff an insert into the diaper. When you wash, you pull out the inserts.

  • PROs >>>> You get to customize absorbency.
  • CONs >>>> You have to take the time to stuff the diapers.

I love Charlie Banana pocket diapers. They have leg straps that you can adjust. 

-All in one – This diaper has everything you need attached.

  • PROs >>>>> No stuffing 🙂
  • CONs >>>>> You don’t get to customize absorbency as easily. You made need to add in extras to make it work for you.

I love Grovia and Thirsties Natural All in Ones!

-Covers – This is the most economical route you can take.

  • PROs >>>>> You can reuse the cover as long as it’s only peed in. You just change the refold inside.
  • CONs >>>>> This seems intimidating, but it’s really not. We use Grovia covers and Osocozy prefolds which have the folds sewed into them. You just have to fold it into thirds. You can do super fancy folds and use snapeez, but I like to keep it SIMPLE.

I love Grovia covers and Osocozy prefolds!

What type of closures are there?

Applix/Hook & Loop/Velcro –

  • PROs – Super easy to use. Just like a disposable.
  • CONs – A little bit higher maintenance because you will need to make sure the velcro is attached before washing. Velcro doesn’t have as long of a life expectancy as snaps.

Snaps –

  • PROs – Snaps generally last much longer than velcro.
  • CONs – May take some trial and error to find the right fit.

 

How do you wash your diapers?

What works for me, may not work for you. This is a lot of trial and error. It also will depend on the type of water you have. We have harder water living off of well water, so I use Tide powder. It has a softener in it automatically. If you post your washing machine and water hardness in a cloth diapering group, they will help you figure out a wash routine.

I keep my large pail liner/wet bag in the bathroom. I spray poop diapers and place them in the bag. I put pee diapers straight into the bag without rinsing. I wash every 2-3 days… sometimes 4, but I try to stick to 2-3. I put all of the diapers in my top loading washer as a  SMALL load, cold, quick wash with line one of Tide powder. Then, I do another small load, hot, FULL cycle, with a full cup of Tide powder. I dry the inserts and line dry the diapers.

Where do you get your diapers?

I love www.abbyslane.com. Join Abby’s Chatties on Facebook to get all of the promo codes from the pinned post for each day of the week. Their rewards program is awesome! You always get at least 11.5% back on all purchases! 🙂 ***ETA: My favorite shop closed in December! (Worst. Day. Ever.)

Some other shops – Ulmie’s Nest, The Natural Baby Company, and The Green Diaper Store!

 

PS: Check out the AMAZING GroVia chart they made to help parents decide which diaper is perfect for them! >>>>> https://www.grovia.com/pages/clothdiapers