You’re Not Alone

I’ve mentioned previously, that my breastfeeding journey with my son was atypical to say the least. For some mother and baby pairs, it truly is the easiest thing in the world. Whereas for others, it’s one monster short of a nightmare. You are not alone. Over 90% of mothers report having breastfeeding struggles in those early months.

So here are the breastfeeding basics, as well as some things I learned on my more difficult road. Again, I will emphasize, the struggle was totally worth the ultimate goal of exclusively breastfeeding, so I hope this will encourage new Mamas to stick with it!

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Note: In this article, many of the hyperlinks will take you to articles that support my research about breastfeeding. Happy reading!
Making Breastfeeding a Reality

Before the birth of my son, it was always my desire to exclusively breastfeed my baby. It never really occurred to me to do it any other way. As it turns out, the more I read and researched, the more pleased I became about this decision. If you have read about my breastfeeding journey with my son, you know that in the beginning I wasn’t able to make exclusive breastfeeding a reality. However, before my son was three months old, he was exclusively breastfeeding.

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Co-Sleeping

There’s a lot to be said about co-sleeping. However, this post isn’t to hash out the safety precautions or to rave about the family bed. I simply want to write to share that co-sleeping is how I was able to sleep 7 hours last night.

Seasoned co-sleepers will be nodding their approval I’m sure while others may cringe upon reading the words “family bed”, but my hope is that some where out there another tired Mama might be able to use one more suggestion to help her get a little more rest.

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We have all heard it… shoot, I think I even said it last week, but is ‘it takes a village’ just a phrase or is it really truth? Honestly, this phrase never even crossed my mind until my son was born and all the villagers came out of hiding with the good, the bad and the ugly advice; but this didn’t really bother me until I got some parenting experience under my belt. My son is 9 months old so obviously I am now an expert… even so; I was now ready to bestow my “parenting wisdom” on other moms. As soon as another mom mentioned any struggle she was having with her kids, I wanted to jump in to save the day with my expert advice on the matter… queue the other mom holding back on rolling her eyes as I ask the question all moms know too well “have you tried this?” like she hadn’t googled every possible solution to the problem she was dealing with. Was I really going to be that villager, the one with the pitchfork of advice at the ready any time I talked to another mom? Is a village necessary to survive parenthood? If so, what is truly needed?

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Deciding on the Birth Center as a Venue

Whenever I thought about childbirth, I never really wanted to have a baby in the hospital. To me, a hospital was a place people go when they are sick, bleeding, or dying. I didn’t think of it as a great place to bring a baby into the world. Obviously, many babies are born in a hospital and arrive home healthy and happy. It just wasn’t something I was particularly interested in.

For some people, a hospital birth is the only way that comes to mind, so upon mentioning giving birth at a birth center or at home, with midwives, rather than doctors, one witnesses an interesting variety of responses. Some of them are comical, and most all of them are sincere and out of a place of concern.

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Short, Simple Routine

Whether you’re putting your child to sleep for the night or for one of the several naps he or she may take that day, having a short, simple routine is a great way to help your baby get to sleep faster and stay asleep longer.

When you do the same things before nap time or bedtime, they become habitual and will cue your baby that it is time to sleep.

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Watching My Baby Sleep

As I lay here watching my baby sleep during our new sleep training efforts, I have to chuckle to myself. I love these sweet moments with my son.
Pantley’s Gentle Removal Plan

One of the several techniques I am implementing with my 4 month old son is called “Pantley’s Gentle Removal Plan” from Elizabeth Pantley’s book, The No-Cry Sleep Solution.

Essentially this plan incorporates gently breaking the baby’s latch so that he or she can get accustomed to falling asleep without this association.

Pantley recommends starting with bedtime. I did this successfully the first night and then excitedly went to use it for nap time the following day.

My son makes me laugh because even at this young age, I believe his personality shines through. At night we primarily use a bassinet that side-cars next to my husband’s and my bed. During the day, my son’s naps are co-slept with me. I’m not sure why there needs to be such a stark contrast for him at this time, but I’m letting it fly so that he gets very good naps which are said to beget better nighttime sleeping.

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The New Mama Workout

If you’re like me, you’re already wearing your sweatpants around the house and have your hair pulled into a messy bun anyway. So what’s a Mama to do when she’s all dressed up for the gym with no time to go?

New and seasoned mothers alike know how difficult it is to work exercise into your day to day activity.

Having a baby significantly changes our bodies and we need time to recover. But once your healthcare provider gives you the all clear, here are 10 exercises you can do with your baby.

(By the way, Dads, you can do these too!)

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Before Parenthood

Before the birth of my son, I considered myself a fairly organized person. One might say my house is “lived in” but usually one wouldn’t say my house is “a mess” (I hope). Now that my son is here, any weakness I had previously has been brought to light.

One of these weaknesses is my propensity to forget to switch clothes from the washer to the dryer. My mother can attest that this has been a shortcoming of mine since childhood. Doing laundry with good intentions gone bad…or soured actually. Oops!

One of my husband’s weaknesses is how much he hates to do dishes…but we won’t go there.”

Wait a second, I thought this was supposed to be about a bedtime routine, not your shortcomings regarding housework!

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