Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Pregnancy and PostPartum Q&A

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I want to first thank all of you for your support on last week's Baby Blues post. That was so hard for me to write and share and your comments and emails have meant so much to me. I've read all of them over and over again. Each one strikes a chord with me and so many had me choked up. I'm so blessed to have such thoughtful and loving readers. Motherhood is hard, but so enjoyable at the same time. Ellie is honestly the best thing that has ever happened in our lives and an absolute joy. Her smiles and cuddles help make those baby blue days a far memory.

When I was pregnant, I had a ton of questions for my doctor, for myself, and for others. I wanted to educate myself as much as I could so my husband and I could make the best decisions for our family, to know what options were available, and to know what to expect.

Now, postpartum, I still have a ton of questions. How often do you pump and for how long? How do I increase my milk supply? What toys are the best to buy? The questions are endless once your little bundle arrives.

I get asked a lot of questions from weight loss, toy preference, diaper size, etc from friends, family, and readers and thought it would be a good idea to see what questions people had for me and post them altogether. I'm not a doctor or mother of seven, or an expert, but I always enjoy talking to other mommies to see what answers and knowledge they can share. Please feel free to ask away, I will always be honest in my answer. I wanted just an open forum for anything you guys had questions or comments about. Please ask away and feel free to email me anytime!


Career Girl Turned Wife said...

Kristen, I loved reading your Baby Blues post and I love reading about Ellie and your experiences through pregnancy and post-partum - especially now that I'm pregnant. I wanted to ask you, what is the one thing you know now that you wish someone would have told you before you gave birth to Ellie?

I'm in my 5th month of pregnancy and am always reading books and blogs about motherhood, etc., but sometimes I feel like they all say the same things. That's why your post about the baby blues was so refreshing. So that's why I think it would be interesting to know what you wished someone had told you when you were pregnant.

Thanks, and I hope the work transition is going well. I'd love to hear about it!

xoxo - Melody Kiella

KRISTIN said...

This is a fantastic idea! I can't wait to see what questions people ask! I would love to know how stay motivated/find the time to always look so dang cute? :)

Lins - Domesticated Working Woman said...

I'm going to have so many similar questions! It's amazing how much information is out there and yet how much I still don't know. :o)

Anonymous said...

I love this idea! As my due date approaches I would love to know more about your breastfeeding story. How long did it take for your milk to come in, how often you feed her, about how much milk did you pump daily and how often etc. I had a breast reduction 11 years ago and until baby is born we won't know if I will even be able to produce milk for breastfeeding so we shall see. I've been reading tons of books etc, but I love hearing firsthand stories of moms and what has and hasn't worked for them.

Also, maybe a little bit on what the first few days were like. Did you have help from family that stayed with you, what are some things you wished you would've done now looking back?


Carolyn said...

Love this! Can't wait to see what people ask about!!

AmandaG said...

We are nearing our breastfeeding journey. I feel like I'm not making as much milk (my supply dropped dramatically after I went back to work). We began supplementing with formula early on when my daughter started going to daycare. We've been at it for 5 months now, 2 of those while I've been back at work. It's hard, and many times I would think it would just be easier to stop but I want to try as long as I can and still can make some. Sometimes she only gets one breastmilk bottle at daycare and the rest are formula, then I nurse her in the evenings and during the night. I will miss it when it ends, but I know I did my best for as long as I could. And I did it longer for baby #2 than for baby #1 (which was about 2 1/2 months). None of my friends breastfed/feed so I'm always interested in reading what others are doing online. Oh and I did find that having a beer occasionally helped with my supply as do oatmeal cookies. And regular oatmeal.

Chris Bradley said...

Sorry this is so long. But this is it so here you go. There are a few ways to increase milk supply. The #1 thing to remember: DIET IS EVERYTHING! Choose foods that are high in good fats ie: peanut butter, avacados, nuts, good oils and have them be a good staple in your diet. Not the only thing but a good part. Eat lots of fruits and vegies. You really need the vitamins. Remember, when you're pregnant the baby can and WILL take what it needs from you. If you aren't/weren't eating enough or taking enough of the right vitamins your body is/and will be seriously depleted (which is one of the reasons we get postpartum.) You need to rebuild that. You know when you're looking for baby formula and on the bottles it says "added DHA and ARA" or "with essential DHA and ARA." Those vitamins are only found one place in your body. Your brain. It could take your body up to 3 years to naturally reproduce what the baby took. Depending on whether or not you took your prenatals and had a balanced diet during pregnancy. Getting back on track, grains are essential to your diet because they help with depression. Be wise in your intake. Eat complex grains and stay away from refined sugars and bleached flours. Protein is important for you and your baby. It's not only found in meat. Beans, yogurt, greens and nuts have just as much to offer. I would beg to say that it's not even worth eating meat in America anymore because of all the new FDA regulations, but that's a whole other topic. I'm a health nut and choose only the best for me and my baby. I grow my own food and make my own baby food. Do what you can to provide the best food for your baby. There's no need for all the added preservatives when all you have to do is cook and mash your food for them or take the extra time to actually cook for yourself instead of going out. Drink lots of water too. A good balanced diet will help with providing a nice fatty milk for your baby. Your body will only produce as much milk as your baby is eating. To increase milk supply you need to pump in between her feedings. Pump until you are dry. It's going to take a while for your body to increase supply so be patient. When she goes to eat again there won't be as much milk available, because you just pumped recently, so she'll suck you dry...yet again. If she's asking for more, give her the milk you pumped. By constantly getting to the point where your are milking yourself dry, be it you or your baby, your body will get the message that it needs to produce more. And it will, with the proper diet. Side note, there are many things that decrease milk supply that you may or may not consider. DO NOT WORK OUT! As hard as it is, and as crappy as you feel because you're still "fat", this is one of those times where you have to decide what is more important. And everyone has their priorities. Are you going to nurse or bottle? You can't work out and nurse. It doesn't work. By working out your body will start to burn all the fat and calories it had stored up for your little one. Any antihistamine will totally dry you up. That's what it's for. Not drinking enough water will too. Fenugreek and brewers yeast will also help. There are 3 stages of milk production: 12 weeks before deliver, 2-3 days after delivery and 3-4 months after delivery. Your milk gets the most fatty at that stage. As far as toys go I'll have to hit you up another time. Good luck! It will eventually become second nature.

Pamela said...

Oh boy, great idea! I have so many, I don't even know where to start.

1. When did you have your nursery completely done? I keep stressing because we have a registry, mainly for family, but we're not having a shower (just not my thing). This means, there's no "deadline" for ppl to get us stuff which also means we don't know how much we're buying on our own. I feel like we should have everything set up a month in advance in case Peanut comes early. Yes no?

2. I assume you need all the creams, wipes, toiletries all ready to go at home before delivery? Idk why that seems strange to me ... no baby yet, why do I need diapers waiting? (I know! Totally stupid, just ... Idk why I'm being weird.)

3. Who did you have visit you and E in the hospital? How long is an average stay? How did you let your friends/extended family know? (email, text, pic text, phone, etc.)

4. How many outfits (onesies) do you realistically need to start off with? Everyone says to not buy clothes b/c those will be gifted, but I think I need a healthy supply of basics on hand, right?

Thanks a lot for doing this. I seriously want to cry just thinking about ALL of this. So overwhelming! My biggest wish these days is to have a PA who follows me around taking notes and taking care of all this baby stuff! Ha!

Pamela said...

Also! Do you really need any toys in the beginning? Is that more to "decorate" the room with?

Omg, I'll shut up soon. One more: what was your sleep arrangement like at first? Bassinet next to bed? You hovering over crib in nursery? No sleep for you at all? Sleeping in glider in between nursing? This boggles me. I picture myself zombie-walking from the master to the nursery, not knowing exactly where I should be.

AmandaG said...

To add to Chris' comment: I too noticed when I worked out that my supply was lower :( I also notice a dip in my supply if I don't eat carbs.

Pamela said...

Ha! More from me! Did you use black out curtains or a noise machine? I'd like to train the babe to sleep without crutches but I'll also do just about anything to ensure that he (I) sleeps.