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Sometimes us moms need a little help boosting our supply.  Essential oils are natural aromatic compounds found in the leaves, stems, seeds, bark, roots, and flowers of plants and have a wide range of physical and emotional uses including supporting a breastfeeding mother. DōTERRA Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade (CPTG) essential oils work great!  Our friend Melissa is a dōTERRA consultant and has shared some of these incredible tips with us about Oils That Assist Lactation:

BENEFITS:

-Fennel and Clary Sage help promote initial milk production

-Basil and Geranium promote milk production

-Peppermint promotes a possible decrease in milk production

TO USE:

These CPTG oils can be used topically or taken internally.

TOPICALLY:  place 2 TBSP of a carrier oil, like dōTERRA's Fractionated Coconut Oil, in a glass bowl or container and add 10 - 15 drops of your chosen oil(s). Apply a small amount of the mixture on your breasts, avoiding the nipples.

INTERNALLY: place 1 - 2 drops in a capsule, in a small amount of water or under your tongue. Start off using them once a day and increase or decrease as needed.

Note: If you become pregnant, or have any concerns about using essential oils while breastfeeding, please consult your physician.

Melissa is a stay at home mom of two amazing little boys - a 17 month old nursling and a 3 year old toddler. dōTERRA essential oils have been a blessing for her and her family, and she truly enjoys sharing what she has learned with others, so that they too can experience the amazing benefits of these essential oils. More information can be found by visiting her website  or email her at melissamoore121@gmail.com

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are intended to support general well being and are not intended to treat, diagnose, mitigate, prevent, or cure any condition or disease.

When I'm out and about and I walk by a mom breastfeeding her baby, I'm overwhelmed with emotions. I'm a little envious while at the same time glad that part of my life is behind me. I feel an instant connection to her. "I'VE BEEN THERE!" I want to shout. (creepy) I want to go up to her and give her a big hug(awkward). So I usually just walk by and give her a smile and maybe a thumbs up on brave days.

 

That was before. Now, I casually take a little card out of my purse. I walk over and with as little interruption as possible hand her the card. It felt strange at first, but now that I've seen the smiles and laughs these cards have generated, I get excited to give them out.

To celebrate Breastfeeding Awareness Month, we are giving away our NIP cards for free, while supplies last. So when you see a mom breastfeeding, give her a smile and hand her a card. I bet it will make her day!

Get your free pack of cards.


5 Superfoods for Breastfeeding Moms

1- OATS: a perfect whole grain, high-fiber, all-natural food. A bowl of oatmeal will keep you full for a long time after breakfast (which is important for mamas who are always on the move) -- and may help increase your milk supply. Oats are also high in iron. Low iron can cause issues with your milk supply so keep up your iron intake!

2- SPINACH:  chock-full of vitamins and minerals including: calcium, vitamin C, iron and heart-healthy antioxidants. It is also loaded with vitamin A, which your baby gets from your breast milk to ensure healthy development.

3- BERRIES: Berries are loaded with vitamin C, folate, and fiber. They are some of the most powerful disease-fighting foods available because of their high levels of antioxidants.

4-AVOCADOS: An abundant source of folic acid and vitamins E & C, it is rumored to increase lactation, as well!

5- CARROTS: enriched with carbohydrates and potassium, carrots help boost energy in breastfeeding mamas. They are rich in antioxidants an a vital source of beta-Carotene which is required by you during lactation period. 

While we know it isn't best to drink your calories, we know that many of us mamas don't always have time to make nutrition pack meals.  So here are a few Smoothie Recipes that use these SUPER FOODS to help:

Overnight Booby Smoothies  

Green Lactation Smoothie 

Cashew Banana Lactation Smoothie 

Orange Apple Green Fruit Smoothie

Green Lactation Smoothie

Sneeze Pee

Ahh, the sneeze pee. One of the less than pleasant side effects of pregnancy. Also known as the jumping jack pee, the trampoline pee, the laughing pee, the coughing pee, and doing almost anything suddenly pee. This tiny bit of leakage occurs while you are pregnant because your growing baby is expanding your uterus and putting pressure on your bladder. Unfortunately for many of us, the sneeze pee occurs long after that baby has made it's appearance.

We may not have the complete solution to avoiding the sneeze pee, but there is something you can do to help eliminate this lovely "incontinence" and keep your unmetionables dry. The answer is a strong pelvic floor. Kegel Exercises can help tighten and firm your pelvic floor muscles and control that leak.

Need a little refresher on Kegels?

Here's one from the Mayo Clinic:  

It takes diligence to identify your pelvic floor muscles and learn how to contract and relax them. Here are some pointers:

1- Find the right muscles. To identify your pelvic floor muscles, stop urination in midstream. If you succeed, you've got the right muscles.

2- Perfect your technique. Once you've identified your pelvic floor muscles, empty your bladder and lie on your back. Tighten your pelvic floor muscles, hold the contraction for five seconds, and then relax for five seconds. Try it four or five times in a row. Work up to keeping the muscles contracted for 10 seconds at a time, relaxing for 10 seconds between contractions.

3- Maintain your focus. For best results, focus on tightening only your pelvic floor muscles. Be careful not to flex the muscles in your abdomen, thighs or buttocks. Avoid holding your breath. Instead, breathe freely during the exercises.

4-Repeat 3 times a day. Aim for at least three sets of 10 repetitions a day.

Benefits of Postnatal Exercise

Being a mom to a new baby can be quite demanding. Between diaper changes, housework, feedings, and more, finding time to exercise seems almost impossible. However, it can be so beneficial to new moms.

4 BENEFITS OF POSTNATAL EXERCISE

1- Quicker recovery back to your pre-pregnancy body and encourages your uterus to shrink back to normal.

2- Strengthens your immune system and increases energy

3- Helps to reduce post-natal depression and “baby blues”

4- Stress release 

Try not to be a superwoman, or rush to regain your pre-pregnancy figure.  Begin by starting out slow and listening to your body,

Since many moms can barely find time away from baby to get much accomplished, why not exercise with baby?  Here are a few resources we have found:





or how about a little Babywearing Yoga?

5 Amazing Facts About Breastfeeding

You already know that breastfeeding is an incredible experience and the perfect way to nourish your baby.

But did you know. . .

1- You cannot overfeed a breastfed baby. The baby will nurse until they are full, not until your breast is empty, like a bottle.

2- Breastfeeding triggers the release of the hormone oxytocin, which relaxes you and baby both, giving you a breastfeeding high.

3- Babies are not born with an established circadian rhythm.  They can’t tell day from night and they do not make their own melatonin.   Your nighttime breastmilk has melatonin in it!  (Source) Scientists believe that melatonin-rich breastmilk that you produce at night helps babies develop their own circadian cycles and helps them learn to sleep longer stretches at night.

4- Colostrum, your first milk, protects against all the germs your baby is suddenly exposed to. Colostrum also works as a laxative to get baby's intestines working to help clean out all the meconium.

5- The composition of your breastmilk will change as your baby gets older to meet their changing nutritional needs.  Your milk even changes from day to day.  During times of hot weather or sickness, your breastmilk contains a higher water content to provide extra hydration.

The newest addition to the Undercover Mama family is almost here: The Polka Dot Nursing Shirt! Enter to win our Polka Dot Nursing shirt before its available for purchase!

Click Here

1- Compression and massage while pumping increases output and helps treat plugged ducts.

2- Buy a hands free bra. If you are going to be spending a lot of time pumping, buying a hands free bra will free you up to do other tasks or allow you to relax while pumping.

3- Love really gets the milk flowing. Remember why you are pumping and be sure to think about that special little one while pumping to help with let down.

4- Stay hydrated to keep up your supply. Hydration is really important for nursing mothers as it aids in milk production.

5- Use an all natural nipple balm before pumping to ease with the rubbing action and after pumping to to hep with any pain or soreness.

6- Invest in a good pump. A cheap pump can cause damage, low supply and mastitis for lack of emptying.

7- Relax. Stress can hinder your body's natural ability to release milk.

8- Stronger suction does not always mean more milk. Be sure to start at a lower suction and work your way up as necessary.

9- Stick to a routine. Not necessarily the same time, but the same habits: the place, the chair, the beverage, etc. This will help condition your milk to flow. (this is slightly different than nursing on demand)

10- Don't shake the breast milk, swirl the breast milk. While there is a bit of controversy surrounding this subject, you can find the articles we consulted here, here and here. When you shake the breastmilk, you denature the molecules and break up the protein into parts. When the proteins remain intact, they help protect the lining of the babies gut and eliminate bubbles that may produce gas. So while we don't have a definitive answer, we are going to swirl our breastmilk.  

Check out our Pump it Up Pinterest Board
Follow Undercover Mama .'s board Pump It Up on Pinterest.

The best pump is a baby. But many factors can make it impossible to always have the baby nurse, so the next best pump is the one that allows a mother to remove milk effectively, efficiently, and comfortably.  Hospital Grade Breast Pumps are the most efficient, effective, and comfortable pumps available.

Limerick PJ's Comfort Breast Pump is the only 1-1/2 pound research proven hospital-grade breast pump that goes from hospital - to home - to work.  It is effective enough that it can be used by mothers needing to establish or increase a milk supply, economical enough to be used by working moms.

The Limerick PJ's Comfort Pump is unique from any other breast pump out there.  Instead of tugging your nipples down a tube, it squeezes the areola to express milk with smooth silicone in a sort of massage.  It actually has a compression aspect to it, as well as suction, which is designed to mimic how your baby would nurse.  Because it uses compression, it helps you express milk more efficiently and more effectively.  In addition, the breast cups are not the hard plastic that you find on most pumps. Instead, it is soft silicone that actually molds to each mother's breast, making it unnecessary to fit the proper size like most pumps.   Hence why it is called a the COMFORT!

The controls allow you to control with one knob the suction speed, and with another, the strength. It also has a timer that allows you to keep track of how long you have been pumping.  It also has a one-micron filter between the kit and pump prevents bacteria, viruses and milk from entering the pump, thus preventing cross contamination.

Why haven't you heard of it before?  The PJ's Comfort Pump has been, until recently, exclusively used in their Workplace Lactation Programs exclusively.  We are excited that it is now moving into hospitals and the retail market. 

Why we love it?

It's hard to choose just one, so how about our top three?  

1- Comfortable

2- Efficient

3- Lightweight

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