Breastmilk and all its different uses

Different ways that breastmilk is beneficial... This wonderful site has a long list of at least 58 alternative uses of Breastmilk, here i list only a few... so definitely check out that site! 

Taken directly from this source:

    Medicinal

    For Everyone
  1. Pain Relief: The endorphins in breastmilk can actually reduce pain felt by your child, so nurse away anytime your little one gets hurt.2
  2. Ear Infections: Dr. Mercola says that there is a simple solution for childhood ear infections: just “put a few drops of breast milk in the ear canal every few hours. This usually works to clear up the infection within 24-48 hours and is far safer, less expensive and a better solution than putting the child on antibiotics. If the mother is not breastfeeding, it is likely she knows someone who is. All that is required for the treatment is about one half ounce of breast milk . . . .” Mothering suggests following the breastmilk with “warm (not hot) olive oil and garlic, or bottled garlic mullein oil.”
  3. Prevent Childhood Illnesses: Because your baby’s immune system is not mature, the antibodies present in breastmilk can help protect him against a variety of childhood illnesses, including “ear infections, upper and lower respiratory ailments, allergies, intestinal disorders, colds, viruses, staph, strep and e coli infections, diabetes, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, many childhood cancers, meningitis, pneumonia, urinary tract infections, salmonella, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome(SIDS),” asthma, and more.3
  4. Chicken Pox: Relieve the itch and heal any sores from chicken pox.
  5. Poison Ivy/Oak/Sumac: Try dabbing at the itchy spots with a cotton ball soaked in breastmilk.
  6. Prevent Adult Illnesses: Research has also shown that breastfeeding can help give “lifetime protection from Crohn’s Disease, ulcerative colitis, some lymphomas, insulin dependent diabetes, . . . breast and ovarian cancer[,]” osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis, and others.4
  7. Prevent Illnesses in the Breastfeeding Mother: Breastfeeding reduces the nursing mother’s risk of breast, endometrial, and ovarian cancer, protects mothers against anemia, and can stabilize the progress of endometriosis.5
  8. Cuts and Scrapes: Breastmilk is actually a natural antiseptic, and it can be used to soothe and promote healing of cuts and scrapes.
  9. Insect Bites and Stings: The antiseptic and antibacterial properties of breastmilk can reduce itching and promote healing of insect bites and stings.
  10. Clogged Tear Ducts: Tons of anecdotal evidence (that is, motherly wisdom) has it that breastmilk can help unclog clogged/blocked tear ducts. Science of Mom took a look at some of the studies behind this cure, and found that breastmilk is indeed safe – and potentially healing – for clogged tear ducts.
  11. Conjunctivitis/Stys: While there have been no studies (to my knowledge) that prove whether breastmilk can help get rid of conjunctivitis or stys, many breastfeeding mothers have found it helpful. And from the research on clogged tear ducts, it may follow that breastmilk – especially colostrum – could be beneficial.
  12. Sleep Aid for Baby/Child: Nucleotides in breastmilk actually help babies go to sleep.
  13. Tranquilizer for Mom: Hormones released in mamas while breastfeeding decrease blood pressure and act to calm and soothe mothers, helping them sleep.6
  14. Congestion in Infants/Children: Breastmilk’s antimicrobial properties can also help babies and children when you squirt it into little noses.
  15. Neti Pot (Congestion in Older Children/Adults): For congestion in adults, try putting breastmilk in a neti pot to flush your nasal passages. If you don’t have a neti pot, just put a few drops of expressed milk in the nose like you would saline.
  16. Sore Throat: Gargle with breastmilk to help fight off a sore throat.
  17. Cold/Flu: Boost your body’s immune system and stay hydrated with breastmilk.
  18. Heal Sore Nipples: Research has actually proven that rubbing breastmilk on sore, cracked nipples leads to shorter healing times than using lanolin.
  19. Cure Cancer: Scientists have found that “[a] substance found in breast milk can kill cancer cells.” Patients have been drinking breastmilk to treat their cancer with successful results.
  20. Cough in Infants/Children: Little ones with a cough need to stay hydrated – give them fluids and environmental-specific antibodies by nursing or expressing breastmilk.
  21. Birth Control: “Lactational amenorrhea is the natural postnatal infertility that occurs when a woman is amenorrheic and fully breastfeeding.” In other words, exclusive breastfeeding can help with child spacing.7
  22. Fever in Infants/Children: For a child with a fever, you want to keep him hydrated. Let him nurse or drink expressed breastmilk – it will quench thirst and provide antibodies.
  23. Cold Sores and Fever Blisters: Pat a cold sore or fever blister with a cotton ball soaked in breastmilk to help promote healing and relieve pain.
  24. Burns: Mothering shares that a burn treated with a mixture of breastmilk and smashed up blueberries will heal more quickly.
  25. Infected Wounds: Apply breastmilk to the infected area to take advantage of its antiseptic properties.
  26. Boost Your Immune System: Antibodies in breastmilk are environment-specific, so drinking breastmilk from a mother in close proximity can help boost an ill person’s – such as a chemo or organ transplant patient’s – immune system.
  27. Skin Rashes and Contact Dermatitis: Breastmilk’s antimicrobial and antiseptic properties can be used to help heal and relieve pain and itchiness of rashes and contact dermatitis.
  28. Sunburn: Gently pat expressed breastmilk onto a sunburn to help ease pain and heal the skin.
  29. Wound Cleaning: If you are out and about and someone gets hurt, use breastmilk to clean out the wound if you do not have access to another cleansing agent.
  30. Warts: According to Mothering, put “a breastmilk-saturated cotton ball on the wart for a few minutes twice a day. Continue for several days until the wart dries up.”

There are many more uses - so read more on Code Name: mama Site!

What I see in you

at 6 weeks old...

You have your father's
  • ears (not attached)
  • chin
  • belly button (it's an outie from what I can tell)
  • toes (i think)
  • legs (they are long)
  • cowlick at the same spot as your dad
You have my
  • hands and long fingers
  • eyelashes (they are straight instead of curled like your father's)
  • temper (quick to be dramatic)
  • voice (opinionated and loud)
  • my lips (i think, although the lower lip definitely resembles your grandfather and uncle's lower lip!)
You have our
  • hair texture (not straight straight, not wavy)
  • brownish hair color w/gold hues (not black, not blonde)
  • dark grey eye color (not dark brown, not blue) 
With each day that passes, I see more of your father in you than myself, but overall, when I look at you as a whole, I feel like i'm seeing a mirror of myself. It's still hard to see who you will look like as you grow, but for now, it's so exciting to see who you are today!

We love you dearest angel ... you are a dream come true!

Love,
Mommy & Daddy (& brother Kota!)

PS. I know you love to cock your head to the side as you did while in my womb, but its freaking us out b/c you're moving your head all over the place and we're having a hard time keeping up. If you don't mind, can we keep your head more aligned with your body and can you yell or something before you decide to abruptly turn your head a different direction so we can be on guard? :)

Generations

My father finally got to meet his granddaughter. Turning 6 weeks old, Annabelle met her maternal grandfather that night and spent the weekend in his arms.

My dad wore the shirt we had given him to announce to our parents that we were pregnant all the way from CA. He said he bragged to the people next to him that he was going to meet his granddaughter for the first time. 
He was so super excited to meet her.

So you may be wondering what took him so long to come and see her? Well, we had booked flights for my parents based on the idea that Annabelle would probably come late (as most 1st time babies do) and that i'd go the full 39 weeks, if not 40 weeks. Alas, that probably jinxed us. So we had to scramble to find my mom a ticket so she could be here when we got home after the birth. My father is big on tradition, and Korean tradition says 21 days of post partum rest for the woman before visitors. This also included male family visitors, as female visitors were welcome b/c they helped with chores around the home.  So when my dad realized the rest of the family was visiting that same weekend of Annabelle's birth, he was quite jealous. We kept him happy with almost daily face time chats with Annabelle, but he was quite eager to meet this little girl in person.

The next day, my dad seemed tired. I told him i'd hold Annabelle or lay her down, and he said "I'm not tired. I'm ok".  A few minutes later, I looked over and saw this...

We tried to persuade my dad to go out for a walk. I mean he was all the way across the country but he kept saying it was too cold for Annabelle (which it was on Saturday), so he just held her all day. Aside from feeding her and changing her diaper, I hardly held her myself.

Later that afternoon, my dad was dozing off. I suggested he just lay down with her... this way he gets his nap, some quality time with the baby and doesn't have to let her go!


Here's an aerial view of them...

On Sunday, we finally persuaded him to take a short walk. I said he could "wear" her in the Bjorn carrier. He was very excited to do this... We took Kota too. At some point, I looked up and saw my parents OFF in the distance - not aware that i wasn't around ... Seems that when your daughter has your grand daughter, you don't care about your daughter anymore


This is a zoomed photo of them from A FAR!!! HA!

It was wonderful to see my dad so excited to see Annabelle. He couldn't get enough of her and we had to say "no daddy, not now. You can hold her in 5 minutes" so that she wouldn't spit up all over him - not that he would care.

This morning my dad left with my mom. She has been here since January 12. She spent the first 6 weeks of Annabelle's life with her in this tiny condo with the Hubs, Kota and myself. It wasn't easy. She and my husband probably were the most uncomfy while I was happy to have my two closest friends with me during this time. Space was limited, privacy was limited and taking care of me was probably super tiring - but my mom cooked me several home cooked meals a day and made sure I recovered! She took great care of Annabelle when I needed the help.

I won't lie... I cried a little when they left, but I know that they will be back in less than 8 weeks to see their precious grand daughter, so i'm ever so grateful (even more so now) to my parents! I can only strive to be the type of mother my mom is to me... at least i have a good role model to follow!

Happy Monday y'all... let's make it a great week!

If it's not one thing

then its another.

Annabelle's green liquid poop dilemma has cleared up. On the 14th ish, after her 1 month check up, her poop dilemma cleared right up. Her poop is the perfect mustardy yellow, seedy and perfect. But just as the Dr. predicted, her symptoms of Reflux flared up in the last week. She's had a few regurgitation episodes that freaked me out and she still seems to struggle with passing of gas or pooping, although that has seemed to have gotten better (or maybe we're dealing with it better?)

I've yet to figure out if in fact she had a hind milk issue or was it solely a milk protein intolerance issue. I have cut out the idea of a soy protein intolerance b/c we have reintroduced that back in and her stool is still a great color. I'm still keeping dairy out and feeding her as she demands - which is only about 7-10 minutes on one boob a feeding. Not a lot but it seems I do have an oversupply, which could be exacerbating the reflux or i can be mistaking reflux for this issue. I keep a lot of clothes handy and just let her let go as she pleases and catch the rest of the spray in the cloth... and its like niagara falls. Although it is getting better, so i have to believe my body is adjusting.

Sometimes i just think this is all part of the growing pains some mother-children go through, as my body adapts to her body and her needs. I'm doing my best to make sure i soothe her as best as i can when she is in pain and i try to continue to do the things that seem to work to make her happy. 

She is sleeping less, so figuring out how best to let her nap has been hard. I'm going on the theory of first six weeks of her life should be completely on demand and as needed before i start trying to stick us both to a schedule we may not be ready for. But i am already thinking about her sleeping and how we will figure that out. I know that is probably our next hurdle to tackle and I haven't read up on anything to really know how we will attack this issue, but i'm already fearing and dreading it.

While it seems that most of my posts are only about issues we've had so far, i hope you realize that those issues are only a minor part of our days. Trying to coax a smile from her has been my main goal, as we got 2 out of her this past weekend but we know she's got some more in there somewhere. She's also starting to coo and caa a bit, which is so much fun. Trying to just focus solely on her and our time in this moment has been my main goal and its been so much fun. On the nice sunny days, we bundle up and head outdoors for a nice walk with Kota. A little fresh air is always nice and she seems to enjoy it.

I'll be posting more pictures soon. My mom is leaving us this coming Monday so we'll be on our own soon, and I will admit, I'm a bit freaked out. Any suggestions, advice, ideas to help me get through this new transition of being a SAHM on my own - please send my way! :)

Annabelle's 1st Photoshoot

did not go so well. It seems that taking newborn photos is best to be done in the first 2 weeks or so b/c that's when newborns sleep alot. It's the best opportunity to put them in adorable poses and they just sleep through the whole thing. Alas, we did not do that and took her photos at about 22 days. She was awake through it all, pooped twice and was not at all pleased. She was awake though, but since she was too young to smile on command, they weren't the cutest of pictures but of course in our eyes, she still did adorably well and we love that we got some photos of her (aside from the hundreds my mom is taking). Here are a few of her photos ...









So we got a few for memory sake, not exactly what I had hoped for but i'm glad we got them done :) We are using a couple of the photos for her birth announcements to go out this week :)

Happy Valentine's Day

Outfit courtesy of Annabelle's Aunt Dee




Today was Annabelle's 1 month pediatrician visit and also the day she got her 2nd Hepatitis B vaccination shot. Since my mom is still in town taking great care of me, Larry stayed at work and she went with me to the visit.

Our pediatrician is great and he answered a lot of my questions, however my foremilk/hindmilk issue question he did not answer, and stated that he could not answer it - but referred me to the awesome lactation consultant he has on staff.

Things we learned at the visit today:

Annabelle is in the 75 %ile of weight gain - going from 7 lbs 1 oz (6lbs 8 ounces at her lowest) to 10 lbs today. Her height is in the 50 %ile with an increase from 20 inches to 21.5 inches and her head also was the same 50 %ile increasing from 13 to 14.5! Yay for growth.

Dr. Jones broke down her weight gain as 47 ounces in 32 days. So typically at an ounce a day, she is gaining more than that. So he called me a "champ" and a "success story" for breastfeeding and said she is growing beautifully and healthily.

I had some concerns still with her stool color, whether she has an actual food intolerance, why she screeches when she passes gas/poop etc...

This was met with answers that led to more questions. Basically, the Dr does not think she has a food intolerance, but rather that she may have reflux which would explain her fussiness, spit up, hiccups, congestion and that an anal fissure (little tear) explains the blood in her stool that one day. He showed me where he saw the tear and reassured me that with a little bit of cream, she'd be better soon. He thought that explained her screaming/cries while passing gas/poop.  He also thinks that she is getting enough hind milk and I should not be concerned with this issue; he says my supply is stellar (possibly overly so?).

I am still concerned... mostly b/c if you read about the imbalance issue, she fits into that category with similar symptoms as above - fussiness, spit up, green colored liquid stool, gas etc...  So i'm a bit torn. I don't know if i can eat dairy or not - so i'm not. I'm introducing soy back slowly. I'm going to treat Annabelle as if she does have reflux - just in case she does, and be sensitive to those issues. I'm applying vaseline on her tiny butt to ensure a quick heal.

She got her Hep B shot and cried for a moment but was ok once i held her and kissed her. Those shots are awful for the parent, and this one was just one.

Overall the appointment was very informative, i love our pediatrician and should have scheduled to see the lactation consultant originally but will do that for our 2 month appointment.

Have any of you had any nursing issues? Anything I am going through sound familiar? I know they say the supply issue works itself out, but these days feel like weeks when I see my baby suffering and I can't help her. Any suggestions would be great!

Hope y'all had a great Valentine's Day!

1 Month Old

Dear Annabelle,

Today you are 1 month old!

This past month has been such an adventure as your father and I have started to get to know you. We've been the over protective first time parents you'd expect us to be, and we are learning as we go. So far you've been very patient with us and we hope your patience won't wear thin.  We've had several visits to the pediatricians, mostly to check your weight and color - but aside from the normal initial weight loss, you've been packing the pounds like a champ. At your actual due date, you were well over 8 lbs - so who knows how big or small you would have come out, if you came out on time. You have the cutest little cries that make me want to just scoop you up and protect you from the world - regardless of that dirty poopy butt!


I often spend most of my time holding you and just staring at you. I breathe you in - your little baby breathe's, your hair, your baby fingers/toes... i can't get enough of you...


As first time parents, your father and I have gone through a range of experiences and feelings, some things include the following:
  • worrying about your slight wheeze (which turns out to be nothing - so far, we think its just dried milk); 
  • worrying about your various colored stools - figuring out your intolerances and thinking its milk protein and soy protein; 
  • attempting to give you a sponge bath, successfully giving you a sponge bath the next day; 
  • worrying about your umbilical cord began to fall off, we freaked out; 
  • attempting to give you a full blown bath - you pooped on the towel, successfully giving you a bath the next day - we don't think you liked it;
  • by your third bath, you seemed to enjoy it more;
  • watching you have your 1st and 2nd pku's (the 2nd hurt me more than it hurt you), your newborn hearing test, and your hepatitis B shot; 
  • you've been trying to lift your head and turn it on your own since the first week, you successfully did so on and wowed your father in your third week. We still worry as you face plant sometimes when you do this; 
  • you've learned that you could continue to be a lazy latcher; especially at night when I don't force you to open your mouth wide;
  • you continue to be a sleepy nurser, which we are working on since you often sleep within 15 minutes of a feeding (if not sooner);
  • both the things above have us concerned about if you are getting enough hind milk, since you've got some liquidy projectile green watery poops
  • at 3 weeks, we caught a little blood in your stool - so i'm going dairy and soy free to see if you have a protein intolerance. 
  • you love car rides and sometimes get mad when the car stops for a few minutes;
  • you can't get enough of the outside world and love to just look around all the time;
  • you continue to make us laugh every time you pass gas or poop, making funny "ohhhh" faces before and smiling afterwards;
  • sometimes you screech, strain and scream when trying to pass gas/poop, this really worries us. Daddy often makes a "shhhh" sound to try to soothe you. This seems to work half the time.
  • you are starting to fuss more, but that may be you just learning to control your voice.
  • you have such good hearing that you will zone in on where a sound comes from and follow that sound. Your grandfather thinks you actually can see him on the iphone when you facetime with him.
Here are some momentous milestones this month:

Lost your umbilical cord on day 7 (most of it anyways)
First tears on day 10
First Booger on day 13
First spit up on Day 14
First photo shoot on Day 22
Lifting and turning your head about 3 weeks
Projectile spit up all over mommy at 4 weeks.
First "coo" on mommy's birthday

You are staying up a lot more than in the first few days. You are also letting your opinions be known about certain things. and each day that passes, you are still a miracle to us and we love you so much! We are so excited to watch you grow ... and nervous of course that we may mess up! But sweet baby girl, we hope you know that this adventure we're on, we're on together as a family. We will try our best to not let you down.

Here are some photos of you on your 1 month!

Here you are, compared to the couch - small now, but growing fast.

We love you sweet baby girl!

Love,

Mommy & Daddy (& your brother Kota!)

4 weeks Old Today

Oh my goodness, does time fly?! I know we realize this more and more as we get older, but it really does speed up. I can't believe 4 weeks to the day, we were home with our little baby girl Annabelle for the first time.

In commemoration of that, our beloved Annabelle spit up all over me this morning :)  It wasn't like "oh, look  - she must have spit up." It was more of an epic spit up... as i was holding her upright over my shoulder to burp her, she burped. I said "good girl!" and then about 20 seconds later, she just barfed ALL over me, down my neck and back, down my tank top, onto the brest friend and the pillow supporting my back and then subsequently onto the couch (luckily we had our little doggy protection blanket on). Yup, it was impressive.

Thank the Lord almighty, my mom is here still b/c without her, I don't know how i would have handled it. Po' little Annabelle had spit up all over her neck, face, cheeks, ears, hair and down her newly changed clothes. She looked just a bit shocked and confused - rightly so, this is only her 2nd real throw up and 4th real spit up she's had. My mom held her while I prepared her bath, and the two of us successfully gave her a quick and cry-less bath. Something about grandma's just make the world go round in a better way, she just stared at my mom the whole time - usually she gives larry and I a little cry or 5 during this process. Then because my mom was here, I was able to jump in the shower and wash the spit up off of myself ... this would not have happened if I was here alone! Thank you Mama!!!

Today, to mark this special occasion, I'm going through her closet and bags full of clothes to start putting the things she has outgrown away. I don't know if i ever mentioned how fortunate we are, but Larry's sister has two girls. She's been a rockstar about saving all these things for us "just in case" we had a girl - so needless to say, we have a ton of clothes. On top of which, one of my close friends also saved us some of her little girl's clothes! So from gifts and hand me downs, Annabelle is rockin' a HUGE wardrobe...one that apparently she is growing out of very quickly.

Her newborns won't fit. Her 0-3 months are fitting but some are tight length wise. So now onesies and pants are going to be her new standard outfit so she has the leg room to stretch and move about. Luckily, she's got quite the selection to choose from.

I can't believe that it was just 4 short weeks ago that we were blessed with this angel. I feel like she's been part of my life forever, yet i'm so new to what to do as well. It's still surreal but even amidst the digestion hurdles, a new sleep schedule, and being spit up or pooped on - the only times i get frustrated are when i can't seem to alleviate her pain or discomfort. It really is amazing to watch Annabelle grow and i am seeing life through a different view.

And needless to say, i'm feeling more and more grateful to my own parents, especially my mother!!! Thank GOD for mothers!!

Here's a few pics of Annabelle taken yesterday with her brother Kota. She's in an adorable puppy outfit our neighbor and sweet friend gave to her!




Adjusting to life with a newborn

When you are pregnant, people will often tell you "get as much sleep as you can" or "rest up while you can" or do this or that while you still can, as if stockpiling all this rest/sleep can be cashed in once your beautiful newborn arrives and you aren't getting consecutive hours of sleep. Well let me tell you folks, you can not cash those sleep/rest hours in, so i think that advice is kinda sucky. I think many people just say it to fill the gap... like its the thing to say. LOL.

Annabelle sleeps in 2.5-3.5 hr slots. This goes on a 24 hr basis. So during the night, I sleep when she does and I don't when she doesn't. During the day i try to catch a nap when she does, but i usually will be lucky if i get one nap in the day. Through her other naps, I work on getting household chores done. Now that i'm past my first three weeks, I'm doing more around the home although my mom is doing most of the cooking for me still (thankfully). Once she leaves, I'll add one more to-do which will be to make dinner during the night.

I'm not really sure how i'll adjust to life once my mom is gone. I figure it's gonna be a lot harder when its just me to watch Annabelle and she'll be sleeping less as time goes on. However, I'm hoping that once we can get into a schedule, things will be a little more fluid. I'm hoping to have some "me" time in the evenings when Larry gets home from work - I'll head to the gym and grab a shower after (luckily, the gym is in our building, so i'm only a call/text away and I can be home in 2 minutes).


Since we are still working on getting into a good routine with the nursing, I haven't bottle fed her yet. Once we get this nursing thing down pat (hopefully by week 6), I'll start pumping and introduce the bottle to her and Larry can start to feed her when i'm away during my "me" times. This will also give him some more hands on time while giving me a moment of sanity. We may try to introduce this earlier, as I do want to start going to the gym next week, but we are taking it one day at a time.

Soon, once the weather permits, I'll take Annabelle on Kota's evening walks so that Larry will have one less thing to do in the evenings when he returns from work and it will get Annabelle outside with some fresh air.

So, I'd like to think i'm adjusting but I know it will be a very harsh reality once my mom leaves me to do this on my own. It's a gradual adjustment, so if any of you moms have any advice for me, let me know now so i can start working on things while I have that support here!

How was it for you ? Adjusting to life with a newborn? All suggestions and advice are welcome! :)

Post Partum Visits/Appointment

After Annabelle's birth, we had a couple post partum visits and then our post partum appointment at the birth center. 

Since we were able to go home within hours after Annabelle's arrival, the post partum visits take place in our home. The day after Annabelle's birth, we had our first pediatrician visit. The next day, which was a Sunday, Laura - the midwife who "caught" Annabelle stopped by our home. She did some general check ups - temperature, heartbeat, blood pressure for me and checking temperature and color on the baby - as well as she checked my goods down there to see how i was healing. She also checked my tummy to make sure my uterus was going back into place. We also talked about how i was feeling emotionally and if i was able to digest all that had happened and how I felt about the birth (if i was even ready to think about that).

The visit overall was similar to any other appointment, very gentle and tender. Laura guided me to think about our experience but was to quick to give me an out, in case I was overwhelmed in any way. I really appreciated how considerate and respectful they were to me as a new mother, a woman and lastly a patient. I also like how they would always ask "dad" how he was doing.

Since we had yet another pediatrician visit on Monday, Claudia decided to come on Tuesday for her post partum visit. Like Laura's visit, we did the standard stuff and then just talked about how we were doing.

Both women were very awesome about giving suggestions and advice, whether it was about breastfeeding or just post partum rest.

Today I had my Post Partum appointment. Typically held at 2 weeks, i had to cancel and was only able to go today. I had my appointment with Laura and we went over some basic stuff. She was really interested about any questions or concerns I had and my recovery both physically and emotionally. She went over my vitals, checked my abdomen muscles to see that they were back in place and also my goods down there. I always appreciate how when it comes to MY nether regions, she tells me what she's going to do before she does it and explains everything she is doing. Makes what can be awkward and uncomfortable, a little less so.

Everything came out ok. My flora is still balancing itself out, but 3.5 weeks out and my vitals are all good, i'm down 2.5 lbs from where I started pre-pregnancy, my ab muscles are back in place, and starting next week i may try to take some "me time" and hit the gym.

I have another post partum visit about a month from now, and at that visit I'll have to think more carefully about family planing and any questions I may have about that.

Post partum care is pretty important. A healthy mom can only benefit a healthy baby, so its good to get attention for the moms as well as the babies. How was your post-partum visits/appointments? Did they help your recovery? Any advice for new mom's like me in this post partum recovery period?

Boobs

I always envisioned that when I had children, I would breastfeed. It was never something I even thought twice about. Once we got pregnant, I did think twice about it and everything I've read and researched only reaffirmed my belief that breastfeeding was the best choice for our family. What I was unaware of was how easy it was to get "booby trapped" into myths, misconceptions and marketing and how difficult this seemingly natural thing between mother and child could be.

In my naive mind, it would just happen. Baby would know what to do and my motherly instinct would kick in. I learned that this is not always the case and that women who breastfeed need to be determined, have a strong network of support and be willing to go through a challenging experience for a greater good.

So I was very grateful that Annabelle latched within a short period after she was born. She had a vigorous sucking ability and seemed to know what she was doing. I guided her to the right place although I probably should have let her find her own way. What I did not know at the time was that her latch was not proper. So while I had the normal "this is sore" for a first time breastfeeding mom nipple tenderness, I also had a bad latch...which i'm still trying to fix 3 weeks later.

My milk came in within 2.5 days. So I didn't have a milk issue... YAY! Another hurdle that we jumped...probably b/c she was such a vigorous sucker, and almost sucked the boob right off me, the milk came right in and she was avidly eating away.

But close to week 2 is when things started to get difficult. About day 13, I realized that Annabelle's BM (Bowel movement) was turning a green color instead of the normal breastfed mustardy seedy poop it should be. On day 14, we had our 2 week appointment and since she always likes to poop at each visit, I just left it out for the Dr.  to see.

The Dr. was not very concerned but said if it continues to get a darker green, or if we see blood in her stools then we should be concerned. So we left the visit feeling ok.

However, her stools continued to stay a bright green, very watery/liquidy, some time mucousy and she seemed to have difficulty passing a movement. She'd strain, scream sometimes shriek in discomfort.

I was given advice that it could be dairy, so tried to cut most dairy out. However, a friend advised me that it could be a foremilk/hindmilk issue. Figuring out how to fix this issue, if this was indeed the issue wasn't hard, but i attempted to block feed (stick with one boob for a period of time). However, the fussiness continued and i just felt something wasn't right. So 3 weeks after her birth, we were back in the pediatrician's office again.

Her poop had gotten a little more yellow and seedy so the block feeding could be helping, but when the Dr. arrived, she tried to assist me in getting Annabelle to latch properly - b/c Annabelle was a lazy latcher - didn't like to open her mouth all the way. She said this would assist in getting more milk overall. And because Annabelle is a sleepy nurser, she said i need to do things to keep her awake throughout feedings to ensure she is staying awake to get that hind milk. She took a dirty diaper and came back with the prognosis that I was afraid of "Yea mama, your instincts were right. There's a little bit of blood in the stool."

First thing first, we cut out all dairy and all soy b/c many newborns are intolerant to cow's protein. Many of those infants who have milk protein intolerance (MPI) are likely intolerant to soy protein as well (Milk-soy protein intolerance - MSPI). So i said "ok, i'll do what i need to do"! Eventually this will likely go away, but its just their digestive systems are so immature at this point, it just can't handle the proteins.

Cutting out dairy while eating mostly Korean food (courtesy of my mother who is suffering along with us in a small condo, just to cook for me and help care for Annabelle- She's a saint!) is not a problem. Koreans don't use a lot of dairy. But cutting out Soy... in ANY diet is really hard. Do me a favor - next time you eat something, check the label - most likely dairy AND soy, or just Soy are in it in one form or another. From potato chips, bread, cookies, and even produce (has soy sprayed on it for a waxy shiny look) - Soy or soy biproduct is in everything. However, I wonder if it is soy b/c i've been eating that since day 1 whereas dairy was sporadic throughout so perhaps that's why it took 13 days to manifest in her stool.

So now i'm trying to figure out what my diet can consist of. I went from a diabetic diet where i was limiting many fruits, sugars, breads, and simple carbs and now I have to cut out dairy/soy but can eat sugar! So i am od'ing on fruit like its nobody's business and loving it! The diet takes about 3 weeks before you see effects - mostly b/c cow's protein stays in your body for 7-10 days, and then in the baby's body for 7-10 days after that. So i hope to see improvement in the next few weeks. Another silver lining - no dairy = weight loss! I'm already 2.5 lbs down from my pre-pregnancy weight without even trying. So hopefully once I start exercising and getting into a routine, I will be able to work off the extra pounds to ensure i don't get type 2 diabetes down the road!

It's not an easy thing, this nursing and figuring out how to ensure your baby is happy and healthy but its so well worth it. I wouldn't give up breastfeeding for this small minor inconvenience in my life. Dairy... don't get me wrong, this girl loves dairy - but for our precious angel, its no big deal. Feeding our daughter with my body is the most amazing experience. When i stare at her and she looks at me and I know my body is giving her the antibodies she needs to be healthy, it fills my heart with happiness.

So is it hard? yes!!! If you plan to nurse, be prepared! I get frustrated, especially in the middle of the night when she seems fussy and unhappy. I am near tears when i see her struggling to let something out, wondering if i am doing something wrong. But in the clear light of day, there is not enough self-doubt in the world to make me give up without a fight.

I was told with nursing by week 6, things start to become smoother sailing... so my eye is on the prize!! that's only 2.5 more weeks :)

Wish me luck...

How was your nursing experience? Was it difficult? Any site recommendation for support or advice you want to pass along?