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Breastfeeding Dads (and Other Partners in Parenting): A Love Note

By milkmakers · June 15, 2014 · 0 Comments ·

What do you think is the factor that most influences whether or not a woman breastfeeds? Her determination? Baby's ability? Interventions during childbirth? Mother's milk supply? Family history of breastfeeding? The answer is: None of the above.

Research shows it's her social support network that is most influential. And, you, as her loving partner, are the most important piece of that support! We're celebrating dads today because it's Father's Day, but ALL partners in parenting are vital to the support of mama after labor and in the first weeks of breastfeeding a new baby.

"I'm kind of shy about nursing in public, but my husband makes it easy for me. He is super supportive and not bashful in the least. He explains the importance of breastfeeding if anyone is willing to listen."

Showing love to your partner can take many forms—things will be different now that you've got a baby in the picture. For starters, you are likely both sleep deprived. Try to be extra patient and gentle with your wife. She is experiencing major hormone shifts as well as being sleepy.

Mother and baby are falling in love. It is an intense experience and unlike anything she's experienced before. You may feel left out or even jealous. That's normal. Talking about it will let your partner know how you're feeling. She may have no idea!

Quality cuddle time with baby can help you feel more connected. You can experience "breastfeeding" by holding your baby against your bare chest. All that nuzzling and skin to skin contact will help you get to know each other. Mommy will fall in love you even more just watching you nurture your baby in that way.

<span>Your wife will be hungry and thirsty and she may not even realize it. Show your love by bringing her nutritious snacks and a glass of water when she's breastfeeding. She'll need reminders to use good ergonomics. Make sure she is well supported with pillows under her arms and behind her back. Remind her to relax and give her a little shoulder rub to help out with that.

You may feel like you're not needed at home and your time would be better spent running errands or getting some work done. Trust me, you are needed and wanted. If you have any time off work, enjoy it at home getting to know your new baby. Acknowledge that you are sleep deprived, too! Take naps with your family and enjoy lazy mornings in bed together. Remember you may be super, but you are not super human. You need your rest so you can be present for mom and baby. Enlist the help of neighbors, friends and family for all those errands. Speaking of friends and family, that's another way you can help mom and baby. Limit visitors to once a day and keep visiting hours short.

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Renee Beebe, IBCLC is available to you everyday of the week over at the Second 9 Months.  Like her on Facebook, or check out her website for more resources and support from an IBCLC you can trust!

To read more articles from our June Newsletter, check out 'Featured Articles' on the left.

Move of the Month: Bridge

By milkmakers · June 15, 2014 · 0 Comments ·

If you're looking for a move to strengthen your pelvic core, look no further than bridge.  This pose something all levels of fitness can enjoy! Sitting with knees shoulder width apart, place your arms behind your back with palms facing forward and hover your hips above the ground. It's harder than it looks but so, so worth it.

For exercise that really moves you, visit The Bar Method Studios for a work out that will keep your body toned, tight, and stronger than ever! 

To read more article from June's newsletter, check out the 'Featured Articles' on the left.

Mix of the Month: Ice Cream Sandwiches

By milkmakers · June 15, 2014 · 0 Comments ·

Surprise dad with indulgent decadence that's so, so simple to make AND gives you the big BOOST you need for you and baby.

Instructions:

To make these tasty treats, prepare one bag of your favorite flavor of It's a Mix according to package instructions. Be sure to measure out each cookie with an ice cream scoop.

Bake cookies according to package instructions and let cool completely. Then, using the same ice cream scoop you used to scoop cookies onto baking pan, scoop one fresh dollop of ice cream on the bottom side of one fresh, Milkmakers cookie. Add a second cookie on top and gently press down.  Placing back in the freezer for 5-10 minutes to set.

Enjoy!

To check out more articles from the June newsletter, check out 'Featured Articles' on the left.

A Note From Emily: Exhausted, Overwhelmed...but Not Alone

By milkmakers · June 15, 2014 · 0 Comments ·

When we brought our first daughter, Isabel, home from our birthing center, it was a big adjustment. Healing from her birth in the midst of night wakings and round-the-clock feedings was more challenging than I'd expected. I was exhausted and overwhelmed, but I wasn't alone. I look back on that time with a fair bit of nostalgia. Matt and I sleepily waking together. Me, feeding tiny Isabel, him braving midnight diaper changes.

I am so grateful to have had Matt to share in the challenges of those first moments of parenthood. He was, and continues to be, such an incredible dad.

But, it isn't just night feedings and diaper changes that have brought their fair share of challenges. Balancing our careers and family life has also required lots and lots of teamwork. But, Matt has always supported me in following my dreams. Next to my family, Milkmakers is my passion. To make it all happen, Matt enthusiastically shares his role as my partner in parenting; welcoming me home from my many business trips with well-fed kids and a well-ordered home. Matt rocks! And, I know I'm not alone in feeling a deep sense of love and gratitude for my kids' dad.

So, here's to all the supportive partners out there! We see you, dads. Here's to dads taking on midnight diaper changes. Or long hours at the office. Or running carpool. Or...you name it! We're so grateful to share this parenting journey with you. We know great dads raise great kids. So, this month we want to thank all the dads in our lives (step dads, grandpas, and uncles, too!) who make our lives and our kids' lives better because of all they do.

Happy Father's Day,

Emily

To read more articles from June's newsletter, check out 'Featured Articles' on the left.

Tangy, Refreshing Cocktails for Dad That YOU Can Enjoy, Too

By milkmakers · June 15, 2014 · 0 Comments ·

Impromptu Sunday night dinners = impromptu Sunday night cocktails.

And why be too classic and rigid about it?

Summer just isn't the time to be anything close to that.

But that doesn't mean you have be licking a sugar stick {and then nursing a next-day hangover because of it} just to enjoy a refreshing summertime cocktail. There is something magical about it, especially when it's paired with other seasonal greats like outdoor eating, simple summer food, and some of your favorite people.

It's one of those moments that always seems to draw me more into the present- how lucky I am, how important great family and friendships are, and that the most simple and uncomplicated little things can bring the most joy.

There's no better way to wrap up one week and start the next than moments that remind us of those little things, and how big they really are to the quality of your life as a whole.

And it couldn't be easier to do.

You've just got to know one little healthy trick.

Get yourself some club soda.

And lots of ice.

You can make almost any drink lighter and more refreshing by swapping out a usual "mixer" with mostly club soda, and a splash of the other more flavorful stuff. Then, garnish with your choice of herbs + citrus or fruit, or any combination of the three. And ice keeps it chilly. Because everyone knows cold drinks are the most refreshing, enjoyable and keeps you from drinking it too fast.

I made these last night, and they were a total hit across all the palettes at the table. Feel free to mix it up with different ingredients, or follow as written.

1 part good quality gin (I used Tanqueray)

2 parts club soda

1 splash tonic water (ideally, a natural brand minus high fructose syrup and preservatives)

1 lime wedge

2-3 sliced cucumbers + 3-4 small basil leaves per drink

In a large pitcher (if you're making more than one. Which, I hope you are), add good quality gin (using a shot glass or counting "1,2″ per person if you're eyeballing it). Add all the basil leaves and muddle with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. No need to crush them hard, just stir and push the basil around a bit until you can easily smell the basil-y wonderfulness hitting your nose.

Pour gin + basil into serving glasses. Pour twice the amount of club soda to your gin in each glass. Top with a splash of tonic and 1 lime wedge per drink (squeeze it in). Stir each drink to mix well, add lots of ice, cucumber and an extra lime to serve.

Other great G+T combinations: muddle black or blueberries, fresh peaches, fresh mint, fresh thyme, fresh ginger, or fresh orange, lemon or grapefruit juices + peels.

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Simply Real Health, Inc is a healthy lifestyle company on a mission to educate, teach and inspire others to live their happiest + healthiest life. Pay it forward and share this message with someone you love | http://www.simplyrealhealth.com |

For more articles from our June Newsletter, check out our 'Featured Articles' section on the left.

I Love My Mom

By milkmakers · May 27, 2014 · 0 Comments ·

My mom is the most selfless person I know. If I tell her I love her outfit, she will literally take the shirt off her own back to offer it to me.  Her ideal vacation is not one millions of miles away in some idyllic destination; her favorite place to be is home- with all of her kids and grandkids around the table, together. She brings all of herself to her role as a mom and 'Nonni'. If there's an event in my life or my kids' life that's important to us- my mom is there. And, even in the everyday moments: she shows up.  

nonni, emily, james
And, I've realized that's the most valuable lesson I've learned from her. Be present. Show up. To life. For your family. For your partner.  For the big things. For the little things.
We all have women we admire in our lives. Women who bring their talents, their humor, their creativity, their ingenuity to their role as mothers. Women who show up everyday. For the hard things. For the good things. For their children, and their partners, and for each other.  
 
Yes, Mother's Day is over. But, we want to continue to honor moms! That's why we're working on a giveaway where you'll get a chance to win prizes for you and a friend! Mom, you deserve it! Watch the Milkmakers' Facebook page for details.
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For more great articles from our May Newsletter, check out the Latest Headlines in the left column.

We Asked, You Answered: Real Moms Share the Best Advice Their Moms Gave to Them

By milkmakers · May 26, 2014 · 0 Comments ·
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Post by milkmakers.</p> <p>For more great articles from our May Newsletter, check out the Latest Headlines in the left column.

Sarah Adler's Egg, Potato and Veggie Bake

By milkmakers · May 25, 2014 · 0 Comments ·
</p> <p>Recipe:</p> <p>1 dozen cage free, organic eggs</p>

1 onion, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 package of sliced cremini mushrooms

2 handfuls of baby potatoes (cut into quarters, approx. 8-10)

1 red bell pepper

1 head of chard, kale, or spinach

1/2 cup of whole ricotta cheese

1 package of the herbs of your choice

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1. Preheat oven to 350. Bring a pot of water to boil [enough to cover the potatoes]. Add potatoes when ready, and cover and cook for 10-12 minutes until mostly softened.

2. Saute chopped garlic + onions in a large frying pan [with coconut, butter or olive oil]. Add mushrooms next. Add chopped peppers 3-4 minutes later until veggies are mostly cooked through and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Keep heat on the oven- you will be cooking the chard in this same pan next.

3. Drain potatoes and add them to the bottom of a rectangular  glass or ceramic baking dish. Add sauteed veggies over the potatoes. Saute your greens until they wilt and add them to your baking dish.

4. Whisk 12 eggs in a bowl with sea salt, pepper and chopped herbs. Optional to add some milk or other grated cheese into the eggs here if you'd like as well. Pour the egg mixture into the baking dish, spreading it around evenly. Dollop with ricotta cheese [optional] and bake for 20-25 mins depending on the depth of your pan. You just want to wait until the middle is no longer liquidy and gooey.

Serve hot or at room temperature for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner.  This recipe can all be assembled ahead of time and baked right before serving, making it an ideal thing for large groups, and easy to customize with your favorite toppings.

<em>Other great additions to this recipe: crumbled organic sausage, other veggies of your choice [zucchini. leeks, tomatoes, etc], hot sauce or chopped sweet potatoes.

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<em>For more recipes and tips on healthy living from Sarah Adler, visit <a href="http://www.simplyrealhealth.com">www.simplyrealhealth.com.

</a></em>For more great recipes from this month's newsletter, check out our Latest Headlines in the left column.

Traveling Without Baby While Breastfeeding?

By milkmakers · May 18, 2014 · 0 Comments ·

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Renee Beebe of The Second Nine Months shares Tips and Tricks for Traveling Without Your Breastfeeding Baby

If your job requires you to travel, can you continue breastfeeding? And what if you need to be away from your baby for more than one day? What if you need to travel for your job without baby? What if you need to be on an airplane for more than a few hours? Is it possible to pump on a plane, save your milk AND bring it home for your baby?

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The answer to all the above questions is yes!

Before we launch into how it can be done, a few questions:

Is it possible to re-schedule your trip for a later date? The older your baby, the easier it is to maintain your supply. Also, if baby is sleeping most of the night, that eliminates the need for overnight pumping!

Can a co-worker go in your place? 

Are you SURE you can't take your baby with you?

Some moms find it's worth the additional expense to bring a helper and baby along.

If you have determined that the travel is imperative and baby will need to stay home with the rest of the family, you're ready to plan your trip.

Many of the following suggestions and helpful hints were contributed by some savvy moms who've been there.

Make sure your pump is in good working order and you know how to use it. Practice pumping discreetly (if that's important to you) before your trip. Bring spare filters, tubing, etc. just in case. And, please, bring a backup hand pump! <span>Pumps break, parts get lost, and power goes out.

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You will need a pump that can run with a battery if any of the legs of your trip involve more than 3-4 hours in airports or planes. Outlets can be hard to find and it's not easy to find a quiet, private place to pump. Outlets on planes? Pretty much nonexistent. Even if you plan on the flight and wait time being short, delays happen!

If you need to pump in an airport, know that outlets are scarce, except at the gates. Also, airports in the U.S. do not have designated pumping rooms. A corner in an unused gate is likely the best option for a private pumping session. If you're traveling outside the United States, you may be able to find a room designated for nursing/pumping.

Prearrange a refrigerator for your milk for when you reach your destination. A freezer is useful too. And, If you're going to be away for more than 5 days, a freezer is imperative, so be sure to ask when you book your room reservation.

Ship your milk home. If you don't want to bring the milk back on the plane, or if you just have too much to do so easily, consider shipping it back to your home. Many moms have done so using Federal Express. You can pack your frozen milk with dry ice (available in many grocery stores) and it will likely stay completely frozen.

 

With a little planning, it's possible to continue breastfeeding and pumping for your baby even when traveling. Happy travels!

  

 Remember, I'm available for phone or in person consultation everyday of the week over at the Second Nine Months.

For more great articles from our May Newsletter, check out our Latest Headlines on the left column.

What Will Your Kids Say About You?

By milkmakers · January 19, 2014 · 0 Comments ·

Have you seen this incredible video?  It's a great reminder of the legacy we as moms are leaving for our kids.

This past holiday season, we launched the GIVE campaign.  We raised $500 but I feel we've only scratched the surface. There's so much we can all give to others in our breastfeeding community. So, we've extended the campaign because I'm hoping that each and every mom who reads this will take the opportunity to leave her legacy. 

Here's how:

First, enter the giveaway.   

Then, share our campaign with other companies on their Facebook page to challenge them to participate by contributing to the campaign.

The collective money we raise will be donated to the organization chosen (from among the 3 great ones involved) by our giveaway winner.
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