Memoirs Of A Modern Housewife

My life is nothing like the Bravo Housewives!

Archive for the category “benefits or nursing”

MOMH Update April 12-23, 2012


Seed, Time and Harvest

I have a desire to garden but I have been trying to deny the urge. I really enjoyed my square foot gardening a few years back, I called it “Garden Therapy”. It was a lot of work but I enjoyed the labor of getting on my knees, playing in the dirt, watering and even weeding. Every morning when the sun would rise I would jump out of bed (sometimes still in my pajamas) and look at what had grown. I was like a little kid checking on it every few hours. It helped me appreciate being outside no matter what the temperature or weather conditions were because I knew the sun, rain and even wind was purposeful.  Read more…

Sleep Issues And An Overlooked Cause – Post-Operation Update

Deciding to have surgery on your kids is never easy, you’re always questioning if it’s the right thing to do. Today is day five for Beaner’s recovery from his surgery. It has been a long week as you can imagine and I thought I would show in picture how the day went.

Read more…

(in)spired Review

I know from where I have come from. It is a place that is a thorn in my side keeping pride at bay. It is a past that is only seen on the likes of Lifetime Movie Network, a past that makes me cringe at the very thought of my children inquiring about, a past that can leave me awake at night, a past that threatens my future daily. But God…  Read more…

A Woman’s Design

If you are or have had a great experience with a local midwife (home and hospital), Chiropractors, Massage Therapists, Acupuncturists, Childbirth Educators, Lactation Specialists and other professionals that work directly with pregnant women, in the East-Central Metro area please send me a note at natalia@awomansdesign.com. Would love to connect with you (or them) in the next few weeks to have trusted resources for my clients.

MOMH Update March 11- April 11, 2012


It’s been a lovely couple of weeks here in the Midwest. We were blessed with a very mild winter and temperatures that got up to 80 degrees sometimes. If you reside in Minnesota this is unheard of. We are usually still knee-high in snow until April.I love when the seasons change, preferably the spring and fall. I am anxious for something new, to enter a new season of life. As I threw open the windows of the house to release the staleness of the winter, I deeply breathe in the fresh opportunities to that are set before me.

As  you can see it’s been about a month since my last post. I really enjoy writing because it helps me to process out loud but I also like to hear from you. It’s encouraging that something I love doing may be helping someone else, whether it is with a tip, a different perspective or a laugh.

Sleep Issues And An Overlooked Cause Part 4

As we prepare for Beaner to have his adenoids removed, his lip-tie clipped, tympanostomy tubes (ear tubes) inserted my anxiety is increasing day by day. We’ve consulted with a variety of specialists to make sure we’d looked at everything from all angles and to avoid a repeat surgery because something was overlooked. The last few weeks have been a whirlwind. Every once in a while I question the necessity of the surgery and every time I do something happens that tells me it’s the right thing to do for him. From his frequent waking at night, his sleep-apnea like snoring, his constant ear drum ruptures and infections and also a slight delay in his speech.

 Read more…

Love, Marriage and Finding Our Way

Mr. Incredible and IThe longer I am married and a mom the more I realize that my family is unique (as all are) and that we shouldn’t try to mold our lives to fit others’. Before, when we were trying to make any decisions we would measure them against what others have done and succeeded in, and in some instances that is a necessary and valuable method. Our problems stem from always using that method. The truth is, my husband and I both bring to our marriage our individual upbringings, ideas, dreams and behaviors. Throw in the mix, three children who have their own personalities, needs, temperaments and you don’t have cookie-cut answers. They require examination from all angles sometimes, wisdom, prayer, most of the time patience and sometimes a leap of faith.

Read more…

(in)spired Review

I have the opportunity to review the new Redeemed Collection from DaySpring and I have to say that I was like a kid on Christmas day when the box of fun inspirational items arrived. I will be working on a review for each item and will be posting it next week.

A Woman’s Design

I mentioned that these last few weeks have been a whirlwind. I recently decided to begin taking clients on again and I am so excited about supporting women again. Because I live in a new area I will be spending a lot of time educating the community on labor support and the benefits. I am also looking into connecting with other professionals who support women during their pregnancy; ob’s, midwives, massage therapists, chiropractor’s, etc. Just this last weekend I met with another doula in the next town over. We share the same heart for women, birth philosophies and we just really clicked so we have decided to become each other’s back-ups. I also have a display at a Baby Expo this weekend that I have diligently been preparing for.

I have also started my certification process with Childbirth International to become a Postpartun Doula. I am excited about this process and looking forward to being able to support my birth doula clients during their postpartum period and also other mothers and families who decide support during the “fourth trimester” would help them during the new changes.

Not One, But Two Kids Needing Surgery!!! Part 2


Last week I wrote about Poot’s surgery and how recovery was going (or not), poor baby. After the er visit she was determined not to make a return visit so getting her to drink fluids and take her pain meds became less of a battle. Although, I know that the battle was because she was in excruciating pain. I am not sure I would be any better as a patient under the same circumstances.

Although we can visibly see that she was improving, she had a quick check up with the pediatrician to make sure things were healing well and they were. Poots became aware of what we all were aware of the last two weeks. Her breathe. 

The surgeon warned us during the post-op consultation that her breath would smell worse than death. We thought, oh no biggie we have a dog whose breath can bring you to tears. The surgeon assured us that her breath would be worse. He didn’t lie. As a mother, you don’t want to make your kids feel bad so when I snuggled with her I would tilt my head in a way to catch some fresh air but and to not make her feel bad. Tears did however manage to stream down my face a few times because it really was as bad as he said it would be.

Just as we started getting used to the smell she started to notice it. And it really bothers her. I think she may be regaining her smelling senses after the adenoidectomy and this is how she has been the last few days: 

Grandma bought her a years supply of breath mints and she’s been chugging them down, but it doesn’t help. The smell (because I know you care) is coming from the open wound that is in her mouth. There is no mouth wash or mint that will exstinguish this fire. Just time.

On another note. We were trying to hold off on Beaner’s surgery as long as we can, but it is clear we can’t put it off much longer. Along with the recovery of Poots, Beaner was smacked down by not one, but two ear infections. It was abrupt and out of the blue like they always are and the left eardrum ruptured for the second time. This is starting to become a pattern caused by his enlarged adenoids. They are restricting his already tiny eardrums and fluid can’t come and go even with the mildest of colds. So, now that Poots is on the mends we begin the process of getting Beaner ready for his surgery. Thank God it won’t be as long and painful as Poots (she had her adenoids and tonsils removed) and I have the mighty weapon of just snuggling up and nursing him to make sure he stays hydrated. 

MOMH Weekly Update March 4- 10, 2012


Not One, But Two Kids Needing Surgery!!! Part 2

Although we can visibly see that she was improving, she had a quick check up with the pediatrician to make sure things were healing well and they were. Poots became aware of what we all were aware of the last two weeks. Her breathe. The surgeon warned us during the post-op consultation that her breath would smell worse than death. We thought, oh no biggie we have a dog whose breath can bring you to tears. The surgeon assured us that her breath would be worse. He didn’t lie. Read more…

Who Am I? Finding Me In The Midst Of It All

Why is it that we as women lose who we are when we get married and have children?There is something about when children enter the picture that we begin to invest every thing within us into them. Your whole world can become consumed by them. From the moment you find out you’re pregnant your every thought is about them and how what you are doing or not doing is going to affect them. I’m exhausted by the end of the day and when the opportunity comes to go out and do something for myself I have to choose between catching up on sleep or doing something I would love; something that would feed my soul, my womanhood, the adult me. If only I can remember what those things were… Read more…

A Woman’s Design

I have updated my availability for the remainder of the year. These dates can be found on my website www.awomansdesign.com, Doulas.com and DoulaMatch.net. If you have any questions about what a birth doula does and what we don’t do I’d be happy to chat via email , on my Facebook fan page or (612) 801-9886. I love talking all things birthy…just ask my poor hubby!

****I still need to complete my Birth Doula Certification through DONA, which was also put on hold when I couldn’t take on any clients during my pregnancy. I would love to have this completed by July 1st, and just need to attend three more births between now and then. If you know anyone who is due in the next few months, please feel free to pass my info along and I would love to see if I may be able to meet her birthing needs.*** I will be offering a discount because of my time restraints.***

I Don’t “Love” Nursing, But I Do It Anyway.


Breastfeeding is a hot topic that is trending right now; Facebook is banning nursing pictures, there are nurse-ins at Target and brutal mommy wars on blogs and pages. How can something so natural cause such ignorant rants and raves, such intolerance?

Beaner is my third baby that I am breastfeeding and it hasn’t been going as well as the others. I have had fleeting moments of weaning during; the marathon nursing sessions in the beginning, being used as a pacifier, a teething ring, and having to eliminate some of my favorite foods (chocolate, dairy and eggs) or pay the price of a screaming, irritable little boy who ironically wants to be consoled by the very thing that caused his pain (the boob!).

This is all normal behavior in a nursing relationship so it’s really not a complaint just an acknowledgment. My biggest obstacle has been the tongue-tie that could make the toughest lady holler “uncle”.

Yet, I have vowed to stick with it as long as he and I both want to (and he isn’t stopping anytime soon). If it’s so hard this time around why do I stick with it?

There are many health benefits for baby which alone should be reason enough and to be quite honest they are the main reasons I am committed to breastfeeding.  I also have reasons that aren’t beneficial to just my baby.

 All rights reserved by @Doug88888There are many health benefits to moms who breastfeed, one being

  • Reduced risk of breast, ovarian, cervical, and endometrial cancers

My mother passed away a few years ago from an aggressive breast cancer.  I have been advised to have yearly mammograms since I was 30. I stay away from artificial hormones and have changed my diet and habits, and I check myself often.

Breastfeeding alone doesn’t exempt me from breast cancer in the future but using it doesn’t hurt (in my case is does hurt but hopefully that will be resolved soon ; )

Some may think that it’s selfish to have that be a motivating factor but in reality I would like to live as long as God sees possible and if nursing my baby can help me then I see it as a win-win choice.

Is there something you are determined to stick with even though it is hard?

Sleep Issues And An Overlooked Cause


Breastfeeding Callus

Image by diathesis via Flickr

I have a hunch as to what may be going on with Eli a.k.a Beaner. He has never been a “good sleeper”, and for the last few months he has been waking up every hour on the hour, screaming and only wanting to come to mama.  It may be something we should have pursued months ago and for that I am frustrated at myself for not advocating for him harder.

I am convinced he has a mild posterior tongue tie. In hindsight; in spite of several visits with a lactation consultant, a few pediatricians, checking with my peers, referring to the online community and many books, I was told that my breastfeeding “technique” (as far as how he was being held and his latch) was fine. However, in the beginning the pain from nursing was worse than my c-section recovery and eventually I was taking pain relief for my sore nipples not my abdominal pain.

His painful latch caused trauma to my nipples (and emotions as I dreaded when he cried to nurse) and led my ob to believe that I had thrust. In spite of no physical signs on Eli or myself we still treated me with a very strong dose of antibiotics. It did not help the pain even after being on it (and a doctor prescribed pain relief regime) for two weeks. I tried alternative methods, creams etc. and eventually just got used to the pain.

The problem with getting used to “pain” while breastfeeding is that pain inhibits the release of the oxytocin hormone which is mother nature’s gift to a nursing mom (sleep and relaxation inducing). So I was nursing a baby through pain, without rest and totally tense and trying not to be resentful.

The long extended and painful nursing sessions were a first for me as I did not experience them with my other two babies. I was use to feeding my babies and watching them peacefully drift off into a deep sleep, “milk-drunk” we called it.

Eli never peacefully drifted off as I had and still have to pry him off of the breast. If he doses off during nursing it is short-lived, fifteen-twenty minutes tops. He still does not sleep longer than that during the day and at night (since he has been on solids) he will sleep for an hour and wake to nurse…every..hour…until…morning.

On a good night he may sleep for 3-4 hours but after that he is attached until morning to make up for sleeping so “long”. Normally having a nursing baby attached while I slept wasn’t an issue. I did it for my other babies and I often would sleep right through their feedings with the only signs that they nursed being a lack of engorgement and a happy baby in the morning.

With Eli, I always know when he is nursing and I have never been able to sleep through it. My toes are curled up, body is tense and I can’t wait to unlatch him, add the fact that I haven’t benefited from the beloved sleep inducing oxytocin and you have a very exhausted, zombie like mother. For the most part he does not wake up a happy baby, he is always instantly upset the second he wakes and only nursing calms him down.

As far as his weight gain it was always on the bottom percentile suggesting that the nursing possibly wasn’t sufficient for this little guy in spite of the every hour on the hour, 30-45 minute nursing sessions (this seriously lasted to about 7 months with the length, shortening to about 15 minutes and stretching to 2 hours in between, sometimes).

So I began eating different foods, taking herbs and supplements, and drinking different teas to try to increase my milk production (which I never had a problem with before).  By the way, do you know what is the best way to increase supply? Sleep….sleep helps increase milk supply, which I have not been getting a lot of.

Obviously my efforts did work as he began plumping up and rose from the 10% to 95%. This was before solids were introduced. My pediatrician was so surprised that she asked me what I was doing differently for him to be growing so fast.

I’d brought him in and called our clinic’s nurse-line on several occasions only to be told that “he must be hungry” or “sounds like a bad habit, you need to sleep train”.

Breastfed babies tend to wake up a few times a night but his unusual sleeping behavior has been going on for months and mama is getting burned out. I don’t expect him to sleep 10 hours, or even 8 hours (although it’d be nice).  I am not a CIO fan and wouldn’t be comfortable doing that with my kids. We do have him on a bedtime ritual that gets thrown off by teething, a cold or a long day.

When he was an infant I asked about the possibility of a tongue tie and his doctor did a finger swipe and said she didn’t think so. Hmm. That’s funny because I thought that may explain a lot and could give us some answers. I didn’t push the issue and tried other suggestions. After doing some research on the issue I’ve learned that there is more than one tongue tie and that mild ones are often overlooked.

My mother’s instinct tells me that; he has a mild posterior tongue tie and a lip tie that did not get diagnosed and treated. Because of that he has never been able to fully “drain” or get a full meal out of my breast. Because he had to work so hard to nurse he would go to sleep from the efforts. He will then wake up after a very short nap only to resume his nursing session…because he never got full. In hind-sight, I don’t believe it was a supply issue, although I was happy to do whatever to help him. I believe the nursing tea helped because it caused me to become fuller and he didn’t have to try so hard to get milk, it just flowed out.

I also believe (in spite of the tongue and lip tie) that the only reason he is thriving (from nursing), the reason we are still nursing this far and why I didn’t have to supplement with formula is because I am home with him full-time and was able to dedicate the time and effort, e.g letting him nurse every hour during the day and all night long. It still didn’t make the situation easy, but I didn’t feel the pressure from my husband or the demand of an outside job to end the nursing relationship abruptly. I know that in our culture this is rare and not always an option for every mom, so I do count my blessings.

Could the night behavior be a habit now and not a necessity? Maybe, maybe not. I tell you this, I recently cut back on the nursing tea because I needed a break and he has increased his nursing and the waking up at night.

Could this be the reason why he won’t let my husband comfort him only at night (he doesn’t have the food)? Could be the reason why he couldn’t hold on to a pacifier as they always fell out (we tried 5 different brands and textures).

We are headed out to an appointment with his pediatrician and this time everything needs to be carefully considered. If we rule out any other physical causes for the night wakings and screaming I really think this is it

What do you think? Have you experienced tongue tie with your child and how did it affect your nursing? Also, did you decide to have it clipped? Did that help?

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