Kiinde Bottle System 

Today I want to give a shout out to the Kiinde bottle system. When we began our registry I knew we would need a bottle system that I could use for pumping when I go back to work. I have two mom friends that both recommended the Kiinde bottle system to me and am so glad they did!

The basic idea behind this system is that everything is done in pouches: milk, formula and even food! You have the option to pump directly into the pouches via an adapter or pour into them as I am doing right now (I am portioning my milk since I typically pump more than baby girl will eat in a single feeding).

These pouches fit into a bottle casing and the nipple, of which there are three speeds, twists right on. This is great for two reasons: the messy part is disposable so it makes clean up a breeze and it’s quick and easy. Kiinde also has a bottle warmer and a special cleaning tool for washing the nipples. This system is very helpful for daycare or late night feedings when you’re half asleep!

It has a very small footprint, which is helpful in our tiny house. We are able to just have the casing and nipples – no need for having to store multiple bottles. For those of us who are short on space this is a lifesaver!

What I love most about this system though is the versatility – as baby grows the system grows with them.  Pouches can be purchased to hold up to 6 oz and then up to 8 oz when they start eating more. These same pouches can then be used to store homemade baby food. These pouches are great for on-the-go feedings. There is a spoon attachment that just twists on and the pouches are not bulky for carrying in the diaper bag!

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Kiinde can be purchased at all major retailers or online (Target, Amazon, Buy Buy Baby, etc.). If you like their Facebook page you will be able to see when they are running good sales! Have you tried Kiinde? What did you think?

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My Journey in Breastfeeding: What I Didn’t Expect 

I truly didn’t know what to expect when we started down the road of breastfeeding. There are many things I’ve learned as we go.  Here are just a few of what I had no idea about.

I’m thirsty: I understand that I am producing and expelling a lot of liquid throughout the day but I never really understood what it takes to produce milk.  I never expected to be so thirsty! It’s almost as though they don’t make glasses big enough! I will gulp down glasses and glasses of liquid- water, milk, juice, diet ginger ale, I always have a drink next to me and it doesn’t last long!

I’m starving: It seems like all I do now is eat.  Luckily I tend to crave healthy items but I am seriously hungry – worse than my pregnancy! I feel like even after I eat a full meal, two hours later I’m ready to eat again. Despite all that, it seems my body needs it to produce milk because it’s not storing it as fat like I’m used to (thank goodness)!

Weight Loss: I was trying very hard not to have expectations of weight loss post baby. I was overweight prior to my pregnancy and was advised to gain only 20 lbs but ended up gaining close to 35 when it was all said and done. I wasn’t trying to lose the weight and didn’t expect to but three weeks postpartum I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight. Now I think I have unrealistic expectations that more weight will fall off!

Let Downs: TMI Alert – I still remember going to get into the shower one of the first days home with Madeline and wondering what that odd noise I was hearing was.  I thought for sure I hadn’t closed the curtain all the way and water was dripping on the floor.  It took me a second to realize it was actually me! Let downs are no joke, you hold a lot of milk! I have sprayed Madeline in the face by accident and I have woken up in a lake full of milk. I now understand why nursing pads were invented and why they come in such large boxes! They’re a life saver.  That being said, there are other symptoms associated with let downs that I just didn’t realize.  The first is fatigue.  A let down is your body’s way of completely relaxing.  As a sleep deprived mom this is dangerous, I find myself nodding off while feeding her sometimes.  The second symptom I’ve noticed is a tingling sensation. When I am getting really full and need to feed her,  I feel a painful tingling sensation. It feels similar to when your foot is asleep and trying to regain feeling. Let downs are a relief of that feeling, I am always looking forward to them!

This journey has been full of unexpected moments – I’m sure there will be more as we continue!

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A Journey in Breastfeeding: My love/hate with the Breast Pump

When I thought about Breastfeeding Madeline I knew there would come a time when I had to return to work and that meant I would need to pump.  I never imagined I would need to use my breast pump much in the months leading up to that though. Yet again I’ve realized everything you think you will know about being a parent, you don’t. It seems like every day I find something I was sure about ends up turning out differently for me. Pumping was no exception.

There’s something about the act of pumping that just makes me feel like a dairy cow. While I’m so grateful that when Madeline is fussy at 3:30am, Mike can feed her, it doesn’t mean my pump and I are best friends.  I did a lot of research on pumps prior to ordering mine and decided a Medela Pump In Style would be the best for me. From what I’ve read they are the most durable and convenient. I knew I would want a double pump for convenience but at this point haven’t used both sides at the same time.  I wasn’t sure what to expect when it came to feeling “full” but it is not what I was thinking! So after two days of breastfeeding, I broke out the pump. Pumping is first and foremost painful. It’s a sensation that is much stronger than breastfeeding and even on a low power setting it is uncomfortable. Lanolin is your best friend, trust me. Pumping is also time consuming, watching the milk drop into a bottle drip by drip is excruciating! But the reward at the end of an ounce or two of milk is like liquid gold!  On top of that there are so many parts that need to be washed and sanitized and put away after each pumping session.  I am so glad that it turned out we only needed to pump once or twice for the first few days until we got our groove settled.

Part of the problem I realized later on was that the shields/flanges that come with the breast pump were too small for my larger breasts/nipples! Once my sister pointed this out I ordered new ones and pumping became much easier and less painful. Also I got twice as much milk! It really does make a difference so if you’re not sure if they’re the right size, google what a proper pump latch should look like or see a lactation consultant – it’s very helpful!

I know that soon enough I will need to start pumping on a regular basis to prepare for when I return to work. I am not looking forward to it but we tackle it one step at a time!

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A Journey in Breastfeeding: Getting Milk 

Breast feeding is such a controversial topic in our world today and it seems very odd to me. Why should I care if you choose to breastfeed or formula feed your child? We here at Forever Young Moms are a judgement free zone- babies should be fed and well cared for the best you can for your lifestyle and expectations of how motherhood should be. It is one of a million parenting decisions that you will have to make and it is a personal choice.

When we found out we were expecting Madeline, I knew I wanted to breastfeed her. I felt that breast milk was the way to go because of the nutritional benefits. It’s almost magical how my body can feed and sustain a baby. In addition to the nutritional benefits, there are some other bonuses:

1) When we leave the house, I can forget a bottle, but I can’t forget the boobies
2) It’s free
3) Bye, bye baby weight! You mean I can skip the gym & feed my baby to lose weight?

Before her arrival, I planned that Madeline wouldn’t need to drink formula. But as I am quickly learning, in motherhood things don’t always go as planned. First time mom alert: I didn’t realize that when you give birth you don’t automatically produce milk- it takes a few days – surprise to me! So when Madeline had jaundice and needed to be supplemented with formula I was beside myself. It’s my job as a mom to feed her so I almost resented the fact that my body didn’t have milk yet. Despite my disappointment, it didn’t take me long to realize that it didn’t matter what she was being fed, as long as it would keep her nourished and healthy, so formula it was.

The “natural” process of milk coming in wasn’t as natural as I thought it would be. It was physically uncomfortable, and not just in the region I was expecting to experience discomfort. My doctor had told me to expect to feel achy, but I had no idea I would feel the way I did. It was like a case of really bad allergies – a cough, runny nose, and sinus pressure for two days. It was actually, in my opinion, worse than recovering from childbirth.

Now that my milk is in, Madeline and I working together to find our groove, which has sometimes been a frustrating, challenging and long process.  When she’s hungry it’s hard to see her get frustrated and struggle. I know babies cry, but it feels like this is within my control. When she hasn’t eaten in a while and cries, I leak lakes of milk. It’s certainly not easy and is sometimes unpleasant, but my desire to feed her naturally has kept me going so far.

I can now understand why women who want to and do give up on breastfeeding. In fact, I’ve wanted to give up quite a few times in the 5 short days we’ve been at this and I know we still have a long road ahead of us. When that happens, it is extremely helpful to have a support system in place. For me, it is my husband. He is there to help however he can, even to just listen or rub my back when I am overcome with emotion.

This is just the beginning of my long motherhood journey.  My support from my husband and my perseverance has given me the determination to continue breastfeeding. What helped you and your baby to become breastfeeding pros?

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