Wednesday, October 10, 2012

My Tips for Breastfeeding Success and a Majamas Review & Giveaway! CLOSED

Everyone seems to have their own tips for success when it comes to breastfeeding, so I hope you won't mind that I'm sharing mine! I have been very fortunate in my breastfeeding journeys thus far: 18 Months with Carina, and just over 2 weeks in with Aurelia and things are going great - read: she gained 2 lbs. in 2 weeks! My tips are focused on lifestyle rather than the mechanics of breastfeeding and what to do if you encounter any issues, as I think that these things aren't touched upon as much as they should be.

Treat nursing as your #1 job

It's okay if dishes pile up in the sink. It's not the end of the world if you have to order take-out for the eleventh time. It's fine if you are doing nothing but sitting on your butt on the couch all day long nursing or allowing a milk-drunk baby to sleep on you. Newborns can sometimes nurse so often that there isn't much time for anything else. Especially if you are a first time Mom and on maternity leave, just accept that it's okay for you to kick back and watch TV while baby nurses. If you want to be successful, it's a good idea to think of nursing as your #1 job. I know it might make you a bit restless (I felt that way with Carina sometimes), but I swear this mindset contributed to my personal success.

Master nursing while moving

For those of you (like me) who are chasing after another little one or simply cannot sit on the couch all day, I recommend finding a way to nurse comfortably while moving around the house. My preferred means are the Moby wrap, Ergo carrier, and My Brest Friend nursing pillow. There are some great You Tube videos that show how to wrap or position baby in carriers for nursing. It was intimidating to me at first, but once I got the hang of it I couldn't believe I didn't try it sooner. The My Brest Friend pillow can be tightened with velcro which allows you to walk around while holding it with only one hand. I often do this while Aurelia is nursing; I can get down on the ground and play with Carina or eat dinner with the rest of the family.

Seek out support

Whether it's an organized group that meets in person, an online message board, or a friend who is also breastfeeding (or did in the past), surround yourself with people who are eager to help, share the joys, commiserate, or simply listen. I was so grateful to have an online board of ladies with whom I could chat when I was up late at night nursing Carina. My family has also been nothing but encouraging; my Mom breastfed me for a whole year back in 1984! If there is anyone in your life who is less than supportive of your decision to breastfeed (or any parenting decision, really), tell them kindly but firmly that this is your baby and you'll do what you think is best. End of story.

Feed your baby when he/she is hungry

This might seem like a no-brainer, but many doctors and nurses (and even lactation consultants) seem so focused on reminding you to feed your baby every 2-3 hours. Both Carina and Aurelia would sometimes sleep for 4-5 hours during the day, and then wake and want to eat every half hour for 3 hours. As you can see, this schedule (or lack there-of) definitely does not coincide with every 2-3 hours. There have been many a time when I've said, "wow, I just fed you 40 minutes ago you can't possibly be hungry again!" But? She is.

Unless there is a concern that your baby isn't gaining enough weight, ignore the clock. You don't need to wake your baby up every 2 hours at night to eat (I wish I had known this sooner with Carina). Just feed your baby whenever he/she is hungry; even if it seems like you're constantly nursing every now and then. It's probably a growth spurt, and it will pass.

Make yourself comfortable clothing-wise

An excuse to go shopping! This one is huge for me. If I had restrictive clothing or had to juggle with multiple layers trying to figure out how to get enough of my boob out for baby to eat (whether in private or public), I would probably feel pretty frustrated and discouraged. I have a number of nursing bras, tanks, tops, and cardigans that make for easy and comfortable nursing. I honestly think that it's worth investing in a few pieces that let you nurse confidently and conveniently. And who doesn't like to do a little bit of shopping for themselves? My new favorite articles of clothing for nursing are made by Majamas.

About Majamas:
Majamas began after owner Germaine Caprio had her daughter in 1996. She was wearing a bra to bed and felt so uncomfortable, she couldn’t sleep at night. She decided to design a nursing tank that was versatile enough to sleep in or wear throughout the day. Majamas now offers a full line of basic styles. They pride themselves in sourcing and making all of their garments here in the United States, and even source their fabrics from textile mills based here. They are passionate about the environment, and we do their best to ensure they leave the smallest footprint possible when making their clothing.

Majamas sent me the newly redesigned Genna PJ in Seagrass and the Organic Easy Bra in Ivory to try out. While their function is specific to nursing, I used both before Aurelia arrived, as they are actually cut for pregnancy, too. During the few weeks prior to my due date, the PJ top was one of the only things that was comfortable for me to wear to bed. Why don't more designers make comfy whale-belleh-sized maternity PJs that somehow fit perfectly even after baby is born? Things to ponder.

Genna PJ
Full length shot
These best selling pajamas have discreet inner nursing panels (I pulled one of them out a little bit in the photo above, so you can see) and an amazingly comfortable fit. In my opinion, the top looks enough like an every day T-shirt that I'm planning on wearing it out on those days I am too lazy to get completely changed. We all have those days every now and then, right? ;)  I was going to take a photo of me in the PJs post-pregnancy, too, but every time I tried I found some errant spit-up. Oh the joys of Motherhood. Bottom Line: I love these PJs so much I am planning on getting another pair for sure. Maybe I'll go for the long-sleeved Margo PJ, as it has already started getting chilly here. All of the styles are made in the USA.

The Organic Easy Bra is made from organic cotton and is just as comfy as the Genna PJ. This light weight bra provides me with the support I need without feeling restrictive, and allows for easy breastfeeding. This is my favorite bra for side-lying nursing, which I do often early in the morning and late at night. The Organic Easy Bra is Majama's top selling bra for all women and is made in the USA.

Maybe someday I'll feel comfortable enough posing for a photo on here in a bra, but for now you get the chick below. She's cuter than me anyway ;)

The Organic Easy Bra - obviously not me ;)
Majamas makes most practical and comfy nursing bras, lounge wear, and nursing wear.

The folks at Majamas are generously offering one of my readers an Organic Easy Bra, one of their best-sellers!

How to Enter:
This is a Rafflecopter giveaway. Click "Read More" below and then follow the instructions on the widget. Make sure to click "Enter!" after you complete each entry. All currents count! The giveaway is open to Residents of the US and Canada and ends at 11:59 PM EST on Wednesday, October 17th.

The first entry is mandatory - Visit Majamas and tell me your favorite style of bra, lounge wear, or nursing wear! Once you complete this entry, the widget will give you the option of completing the rest. Complete more steps for more chances to win!

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