A Breastfeeding Story – Part 2

When I became pregnant with my second son, Blake, I knew that I planned to breastfeed him after he was born. After my experience with breastfeeding Dylan, I knew that there could be some bumps in the road as we began our breastfeeding relationship. Shortly before Blake was born, I developed preeclampsia. I knew that I would have to be on the same medications during labor and delivery that I had been on when Dylan was born. What I did not expect was that I would end up with a cesarean birth. When I was able to hold Blake, he … Continue reading

Mommy Manicures

When was the last time you received a manicure? A real manicure. Not streaks of Plum Passion painted on by your 5-year-old. I’m talking about the real deal; professional nail treatment courtesy of a hired hand. I’m pretty sure the last time I paid someone to push back my cuticles and buff my nails was the day before I got married. That was more than eight years ago. I remember thinking how nice it would be to enjoy a day at the spa following the birth of our daughter. That was more than six years ago. Back then I would … Continue reading

Breastfeeding Preemies in a NICU is Different

Breast milk is absolutely the best food you can give your newborn. Not only does it provide numerous immunological benefits, but the breast milk of a mother who has given birth too early contains substantially more calorie packing fat than does the breast milk of a mother who has given birth at a full 40 weeks gestation. One difficulty in breastfeeding a preemie for some mothers is that good practices in giving breast milk to a preemie while he/she is in the NICU may well go against everything that the new mother has read or heard about breastfeeding. Here are … Continue reading

Bonding with Your NICU Baby

Recently, here in the baby blog we have been talking about preemies and the NICU experience. Emotionally draining is an understatement. Bonding is also another challenge as you might not even be able to hold your little one for awhile. NICU babies have unique needs and consequently it’s important that you give yourself permission to observe your baby’s cues and watch them closely. Your baby might not be interested in the outside world for awhile and actually, that’s not a terrible thing. NICU preemies, particularly ones who are sick, need all their energy for recovering. Once your baby is matured … Continue reading

Surviving the NICU: Questions to Ask

I don’t think anyone is ever quite prepared for the NICU experience. Yesterday, we talked about how it is emotionally draining and can leave you feeling very much out of control. However, it is important to become not only an advocate for your baby, but part of the medical team. I highly recommend purchasing a journal soon after the birth of a preemie. Journaling the NICU Experience I think many people find journaling cathartic. To be able to write what you cannot say and express your feelings openly without fear of being corrected or having them explained away is often … Continue reading

You Are Still a Parent In the NICU

Ideally, you gestate for nine months, you give birth, and in a few days, everyone goes home. But as we know that doesn’t always happen. Premature birth can happen to any mother, but some women are at a greater risk. Multiples almost always come early with a mere 5% making it a full forty weeks. Nonetheless, whether you are prepared for the NICU experience or not, when it happens, it can be nothing short of devastating and depressing. A Difficult Birth Babies who are born early are almost always born via cesarean section. While I realize that the surgery goes … Continue reading

Ask a Baby Blogger: You Said Not to Pump. . .But They Said to Pump

Question: Hi. I’ve read most of your blogs on breastfeeding and first, thank you so much. We’ve had a rough start and my baby was in the NICU for a few weeks so I had to pump. But when she came home, I stopped pumping because I had read somewhere that you said pumping does not increase your supply. However, the nurses in the hospital said I need to keep pumping to keep up my supply because the baby won’t suck effectively. What’s your advice? First of all, you’re welcome and I’m glad you’re breastfeeding your baby. You’re right. I … Continue reading

Supplementing: Why I Did It, When It’s Okay and When It’s Not

This blog is in response to someone’s specific question. The reader aptly pointed out that while I advise against supplementing, I have talked about doing it with my younger three children. She asked for further explanation and so in my first blog, I talked about why supplementing is a bad idea if you really want to breastfeed. In short, if you do supplement, it will decrease your supply. So Why Did I Supplement? My first two babies were the latch on king and queen of the world. I honestly believed that people who gave up just didn’t really want to … Continue reading

The Best of the 2007 Baby Blog

It has been an exciting year in the baby blog with a few changes in bloggers, several news stories, a few series started, and of course lots of information and reflection. This is a list of the best of the best. . .the best news, the best advice and the best of my personal favorites. With that I wish you all a Happy New Year, and look forward to an exciting year in 2008! Ask a Baby Blogger Series–This, in my opinion is one of the best things the baby blog has to offer. Granted, it’s my advice which I … Continue reading

Valorie’s Breastfeeding Index

Later today I will post a review of the baby blog of 2007 so why does breastfeeding get its own category? Well, in part as an answer to readers who want to read what I’ve written on breastfeeding. I’ve written so much on breastfeeding at this point that you all have asked for an index of sorts so it’s easier to find what you’re looking for. It’s also in part because I’ve become known as the breastfeeding lady. . .guru. . .whatever you want to call it. I’ve been at this breastfeeding business for a long time and many of … Continue reading