Enjoy this time

It’s late Sunday night. I’m behind on about as many things as possible and it’s stressful. But gosh darn it, I set out to post a blog per week for 2017 and I’m going to try to do it!

The last week has been pretty busy. I returned from coaching a volleyball tournament in Kansas City, continued my 6am Tuesday/Thursday Body Back workouts, wore the solo parent hat until my husband returned from his work trip and shared a bed every night with my 2-year-old who is currently expecting night terrors, all while trying to cure this darn cold. Spoiler alert: going to a stock show with a cold and a predisposition for hay fever does not heal you faster. 

BUT!!!!!!!

This year the owner of our volleyball club challenged both the players and coaches to select one word to strive toward all year. I picked the word enjoy. Too often I find myself stressing and frustrated by things that could really be considered blessings. After all, Ive truly spent most of my life looking forward for the stage I’m currently living. I have a smoking hot husband who is kind, silly and considerate. I have two beautiful and sweet children who make me laugh everyday. 

So, in an effort to remind myself of the beauty I’m living, here are some highlights from the last week:

  • My volleyball team played the best I’ve seen them this whole season. 
  • I got to enjoy a fun, crazy and delicious meal with my mom and the kids – if you haven’t checked out Community in Lafayette yet, you are missing out!
  • We took Cody and Barrett to the National Western Stock Show and they nearly lost their minds with excitement. 
  • Barrett ate his first blueberry and loved it. 
  • Cody graduated from her swim level… she’s now an octopus!
  • We met some friends at a Disney princess performance.
  • I got stronger with my Body Back mamas. 
  • I went on an EIGHT hour date with my husband, including Starbucks and manicures! 
  • Eleven strong, beautiful mamas came to work out with me on Friday morning and reminded me just how empowering motherhood is.
  • When I asked Cody if she loved anyone she said, “I love my friend Linden!” (one of her buddies from school).
  • The kids rode in the kiddo car at the grocery store and didn’t kill each other. Yes, that’s a sticker on Barrett’s chin. #winning
  • I visited a wonderful mama and her newest little angel who is only nine days old! 

To summarize, despite feeling tired and often questioning whether I am enough, I am encouraged by all the sweet moments in life, and that is worth enjoying! 

Enjoy your week, friends!

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Lactation Consultants: Are They Really Worth the Price?

Just three days after Barrett was born, I noticed a sizable plug in one of my breasts. Delirious from exhaustion but determined to resolve the issue quickly, I emailed Dana at 2 a.m. She responded and came to my house ON EASTER SUNDAY to help. Over the next several weeks and months, Dana was an incredible resource and sounding board for all my breastfeeding challenges with Barrett. I am confident I would have quit long ago if it weren’t for her warm, knowledgeable and generous support! Please welcome my first-ever guest blogger, the wonderful Dana DeFreece. 

Concerns about feeding your baby properly seem to top the worry list of most parents. For moms, being able to nourish a baby is a primal drive that can surface with a surprising intensity once the baby is born. Breastfeeding matters more than just how a baby is fed. Breastfeeding is about holding your child close to your heart, watching him gaze in complete openness and wonder at your face while he suckles life-giving milk from your breast, the sense of accomplishment you feel when you get yourself awake at 3:30 a.m. just after (finally!) falling asleep at 2:45 a.m. from a marathon feeding session. It’s about giving yourself to your baby for the best start in life, no matter how much milk he gets from you. Your breastfeeding experience is unique to you and your baby.

Despite best efforts most breastfeeding pairs experience some hiccups that may require additional help. The top issues moms call me for help with include nipple or breast pain, difficulty with latching, engorgement, milk supply issues, or pumping while working. Many moms are surprised that just because they’ve breastfed a baby before doesn’t mean they are a breastfeeding expert with their newest baby. I get many consult requests from repeat moms; each baby is different!

International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) are specialists who help mothers and babies with breastfeeding. They have studied specific classes about breastfeeding and have passed a test to become certified. Some IBCLCs are also nurses, doctors or nutritionists. They work in hospitals, doctors’ offices and some have private practices and can even help you in your home.

Between the internet, and well-meaning friends and family, breastfeeding information (and sometimes mis-information) is readily available. While moms can usually find an answer for their concern, they may not know whether it is the correct or complete solution for their situation. What works for some moms may not work for others. This can make it difficult to determine if additional support from an IBCLC is needed.

The first and often most important way an IBCLC can help moms is to decide whether her breastfeeding issues can be resolved simply with a brief phone conversation, or if a more intensive, individual consultation is warranted. A good IBCLC will help moms feel successful with breastfeeding and provide support with specific skills and information to reach their breastfeeding goals. Each mom and baby pair is unique and an IBCLC can assist in finding custom, workable solutions. For example, one mom I worked with, came to me concerned that her baby would not stay awake to eat, wasn’t crying or fussing much, and wasn’t gaining weight well. What the mom thought was a sleepiness issue really turned out to be a supply and latch issue – the baby was struggling to stay latched because of his tongue tie. Once we identified the real issue, the mom was able to discuss treatment options with her pediatrician and worked together on a plan to boost her milk supply and baby’s ability to latch.

Moms can find an IBCLC through recommendations from friends, hospital, or through the International Lactation Consultant Association. Some hospitals offer free or low-cost support groups for nursing mothers and La Leche League is active in most areas. The Women, Infants and Children federal aid program also supports breastfeeding moms through programs and peer counselors.

IBCLCs should be covered by medical insurance per the Affordable Care Act, but some parents have to pay out of pocket. As of yet, Medicaid does not cover private lactation consultations. A good first step would be to call your insurance provider for specific names of local IBCLCs. For various reasons, some IBCLCs are in-network providers and others are not. In Colorado, the cost for a private IBCLC can range from $80-150 per visit and most moms need only one or two visits before they are up and running on their own.

While breastfeeding is a lower cost option than formula, feeding children is not free. There are countless ways breastmilk supports growing babies and several notable health risks to both moms and babies for not breastfeeding, but the decision ultimately falls on what value and importance breastfeeding holds for you and your family.

Still struggling to decide if hiring an IBCLC is worth it for you? First think about what you would like to experience in your breastfeeding journey and spend a few minutes visualizing yourself and your baby. Next, consider what is happening currently, and ask yourself what else you need to know to achieve your vision. How do you want to remember this period of time with your baby and how do you want to feel as a new parent? A little support from an IBCLC in the beginning may not only help you reach a long-term goal but also give you strong memories of your amazing abilities as a new mom.

dana-headshotDana has worked with moms, babies and children as an RN for over 20 years. As an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant since 2002, she has gained expertise in basic and complicated breastfeeding issues including difficulty with latching, concerns about milk supply, full term and pre-term babies, breastfeeding and working, tandem nursing, multiples and many more. She is also conversant in Spanish. For more details, please visit her website at www.morningstarmoms.com or call 303-902-9025.

Healing from Postpartum Depression

So, it’s been 5 months since my last blog post and so much has happened. My toddler turned two and started preschool, my baby started sleeping through the night and I’ve started to feel like I’ve hit my stride. Part of the reason for the long break has been due to what I will discuss in today’s post but another reason is that I was afraid of writing about this. I was nervous that by admitting something scary about myself I would seem weak, like I was lesser mom. However, I’ve come to the realization that I, like every other mom in the world, am human. No matter how many times life smacks me in the face with this fact, it doesn’t always keep my ego in check and I sometimes  pretend I have it all together. The truth is, I don’t. Admitting this is both terrifying and liberating, so with that said… Let’s do this. Continue reading