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So Maybe It’s Not Exactly How You Planned

January 28, 2018 by  
Filed under Julie Davidson

By Julie Davidson

When you’re expecting a baby, you have a million decisions to make. And you probably have a good idea of how you’re gonna raise your child. Ideas are good, but they may change.

Before we had our first child, my husband and I had some ideas on what we would do. We thought we’d like to try cloth diapers. But then I realized someone would have to wash all those diapers. There were services we could hire, but for some reason I decided that wouldn’t work either. I think it might have been recalling my mother freely admitting that she stuck us with pins when attempting to get those cloth diapers on. And I wasn’t sure we could replace the pins with duct tape. Honestly, I’m the world’s worst gift wrapper. I couldn’t help but think how the cloth diapers would look like a wad of material on the baby’s bottom. Just couldn’t do it.

My husband thought it would be a good idea to puree the food for the baby. I looked up the definition of puree online. Here’s what I found: “noun. a thick, moist, smooth-textured form of cooked vegetables, fruits, etc., usually made by pressing the pulp through a sieve or by whipping it in a blender.” That sounded like work. I mean for years I’ve seen these jars of baby food with a cute cheeky baby on the label. Just twist, turn, and serve.

One thing we did decide to do was breastfeed. Finally I could use the girls for what they were created for. I figured it would be simple. The baby would be hungry, and I would feed him from my milk stash. Two steps. Easy.

So add breastfeeding to the list of things that I thought I could easily handle. My son was latching on the wrong way. And latching hard. Within 30 minutes of my first attempt, I had a pain running down my neck from my ear to my collarbone. It wasn’t working, and I felt like a failure.

Relief came seven days after our son was born. My sister-in-law came to help. She’s an ob-gyn nurse practitioner. And a lactation consultant. Score!

When she got to the house, she didn’t even unpack her bags. She was on a mission, and within five minutes she had my son latching on one side. Five minutes later, he was on the other side. I was stunned. These were my boobs, but she was getting them to do their thing. Like clockwork. Every four to five hours, she had that kid nursing. Just like that. To this day I call her the “Nipple Whisperer.”

Stick to what you feel is best for your baby. Ask for help. Beg for help. Call your sister-in-law. If you don’t have one, borrow some one else’s.

My Top 5 Breastfeeding Essentials

August 30, 2017 by  
Filed under J.Reich

By Jennifer Bright Reich

When I was pregnant with my older son, I was determined to breastfeed. With the confidence one has before children, I didn’t give breastfeeding much thought.  I just figured I would do it, no problem.

Then my son was born.

Within hours of his birth, my fantasies of serenely nursing my baby went out the window. My baby cried a lot, he wanted to nurse all of the time, and it hurt.

It took all of the determination I had to continue, but I’m proud to say I did.  I asked my friends who had nursed their babies and my own mom for advice. I would have done just about anything they suggested to make nursing easier. If someone had told me it would help to nurse my baby while standing on my head, singing “I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy,” I’d have done it. Willingly.

Fortunately, it didn’t come to that, because I found the following five essentials that made nursing so much easier.

#1: Boppy: A friend gave me a beautiful blue Boppy® nursing pillow with sweet little honeybees on it.  I loved it on sight, and it was the absolute nursing (and sanity) saver. I sat on my sofa or nursing chair, rested the Boppy® pillow on my lap, and then put my baby on the pillow. We were both so much more comfortable in that position. My boys are 12 and 10, and I still have this pillow! Visit www.boppy.com for more information.

#2: Glider rocker: Before my son was born, I bought a glider rocker with ottoman. I “test sat” quite a few chairs before buying this one. I chose it because it was extremely comfortable and quiet.

#3: Nursing bras: I’m not well endowed, so I was actually not going to buy nursing bras. I didn’t think I would need them.  That idea went out the same window as my nursing fantasies. When you’re nursing, exhausted, and half asleep, the convenience and comfort of a nursing bra are key! ThirdLove just came out with a nursing bra collection as well. Visit www.thirdlove.com for more information.

#4: Nursing pads: Mother’s milk doesn’t switch on—or off—like the light in the fridge. I leaked a lot, and I wore nursing pads in my bras to keep the milk from leaking through, and staining, my clothing.

#5: Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Nursing Cream: For the first few weeks, nursing was painful as both my son and I learned what we were doing. This cream eased the painful, cracked nipples and really saved my nursing hopes. Visit www.palmers.com for more information.

Breastfeeding is one of many things in parenting that seem like they should be easy, but aren’t. But also like so many things in parenting, sticking with breastfeeding—or finding a nursing/formula combo that works for you and your family—offers many rewards to your baby—and you!

About the author: Jennifer Bright Reich is a mom of two sons and co-author of The Mommy MD Guide to Your Baby’s First Year. She lives with her two sons and three cats in Hellertown, PA.

My Breastfeeding Turning Point

June 15, 2017 by  
Filed under J.Reich

My mom with my son Tyler

My mom with my son Tyler

I recently came across a blog on the Honest Company’s site about  Honest Moments. That got me thinking: What are MY parenting honest moments? I can honestly say I have had lots of them! Here’s one of my favorites…

My mom had a theory. She and I were always very close. My mom and I were dear friends who had the tremendous fortune to be mother and daughter. My mom attributed this to the fact that she nursed me.

Because of this, I was determined to nurse my son. Little did I know how hard that resolve would be tested!

My son started to cry the moment he was born. He cried—screamed really—the entire time we were in the hospital. At times, I wondered if the nurses might come take him away! I tried so hard to nurse, but it was challenging and painful.

I was determined to nurse, so I kept trying. And he kept crying—most of his waking hours. Nursing soothed him a bit, as did walking around carrying him in my arms. So I did both, for hours on end.

That ironically made nursing even harder! My nipples got sore and cracked, and I developed mastitis. In desperation, when my son was around a week old, I called my sister, whose children were older than mine.

“Keep trying,” she advised. “I promise, if you stick with it, in a week or two, he will become so comfortable nursing he’ll be hanging off of you like a little monkey.”

I found that extremely hard to believe, but the image amused me at least. The promise of that gave me the strength to stick with it.

My greatest fear was that my son was crying because he was starving. He was nursing often, but was he actually getting any milk? Nursing wasn’t working well for us, and I was almost ready to quit.

The hospital had given me the name and phone number for a local lactation consultant. I called and set up an appointment for her to come to my house.

When the lactation consultant arrived the next day, it was like a breath of fresh air. She was warm, comforting, confident. She talked to me for a few minutes and asked me some questions.

And then she did something completely unexpected.  She weighed my son. Then she had me nurse him. And then she weighed him again! Voila! He weighed more! That was the proof I needed that nursing was working, he was getting milk. I knew that I could do this.

Shortly after that aha moment, nursing clicked for us. I felt so much better, and my baby stopped crying quite so much. I nursed him for over a year—until I got pregnant with his brother.

He took to nursing right away. I nursed him for almost two years. I have the wonderful memory that the last time I ever nursed a baby was on vacation at Walt Disney World. Knowing I’d have that treasured memory made it easier to wean my youngest for good.

About the author: Jennifer Bright Reich is cofounder of Momosa Publishing LLC, publisher of the Mommy MD Guides books, featuring tips that doctors who are also mothers use for their own families—and more. She lives with her two sons in Allentown, PA. (please link to www.mommymdguides.com)

Got Milk?

October 12, 2012 by  
Filed under Julie Davidson

by Mommy MD Guides blogger Julie Davidson

We have some interesting ideas about what is acceptable behavior in public. Over the summer, didn’t you notice some girls or women wearing short shorts?  Or halter tops?  Or heels so high you know there feet will forever be damaged? And whereas people might not have all liked what they saw, do you think many of them actually said something about it?

I remember vowing to never nurse in public. It just seemed gross and inappropriate. Why would everyone want to see my boobs?  So yep, nursing outside of my home was taboo. Until my kid screamed so loudly in Walmart I thought the greeters were going to call the police and haul me away. Nothing changes your mind about breastfeeding in public quicker than a hungry infant, relentlessly bawling and turning three shades of red to get his point across. Complete with a dozen hard stares from other shoppers wondering why your kid is ruining their quality shopping time.

I realized very quickly that I could cut that scream time by 95 percent by feeding the baby within 60 seconds of him starting to squawk. And I don’t recall people lining up to get a peek at my boobs.  And even if they had, I wouldn’t have noticed.  All I saw was a baby who was content. The vein on his forehead was no longer throbbing, and my heart rate was once again within normal range. The scene went from total pandemonium to, “Move it along.  There’s nothing to see here.”

If you’ve listened to the radio over the past few years, you’ve likely heard some of the tunes by singer Pink.  Some of her music shows a tough don’t-mess-with-me kind of style. And that attitude seems to have spilled over into her new role as a mom—as she almost got into a fight about breastfeeding in public.  It wasn’t the setting of an edgy music video. And she wasn’t on stage in the middle of a performance.  Actually, she had her breasts covered. But a man who noticed her breastfeeding had made a comment relaying the fact that he was disgusted.

Okay fine. Here’s a thought.  How about nobody makes a stink about women breastfeeding in public?  And we won’t say a word when you take off your shirt to mow the lawn. For 45 minutes.  With nothing covering your chest.


The information on MommyMDGuides.com is not intended to replace the diagnosis, treatment, and services of a physician. Always consult your physician or child care expert if you have any questions concerning your family's health. For severe or life-threatening conditions, seek immediate medical attention.