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Breastfeeding

If you ever felt like “the most natural thing in the world” was especially frustrating or difficult, you are in good company. The way we evolved to learn how to breastfeed has been lost in our culture for generations, and that is why breastfeeding can sometimes feel like a journey in the dark. We need a guiding light.

I can credit my sister-in-law for how I approached breastfeeding. Years before I became a mother, she did. She unabashedly nursed in front of me - in front of everyone! I would find my jaw agape as she popped her breasts out in front of her dad, brothers and in-laws to feed her children (and nobody batted an eye!). Initially, this made me uncomfortable. It was the first time I had ever been around a nursing mother. Eventually it lost its shock value and I observed how she held her babies, how she latched them on before they got too hungry to be consoled, how she adjusted their lips when they were curled in and couldn’t suck. Without realizing I was learning to breastfeed, I was learning to breastfeed. I had no idea what a goldmine of information I was absorbing when she would talk about things like engorgement, milk let-down, foremilk and hindmilk. Simply by being a mother comfortably and openly, she was educating me.

This passing-along of information by doing was the norm for thousands of years. Before we were blessed with the advent of infant formula, families who could not afford a wet nurse had limited affordable feeding options. This meant that all new moms nursed their babies. Little girls would grow up watching their young mothers, aunties, and older sisters nurse babies. If you had a large community of sisters and cousins, you probably all reached your childbearing years within a few years of each other. You learned from one another’s mis-steps, which made it easier for everyone going forward. You learned to nurse a baby the same way you learned to walk, talk, and use a spoon: by having always been around it, and then having everyone around you guide and instruct when it was your time to hit that milestone.

Today, our culture is much more private. Most of us have ceased to learn about our nursing bodies from family. If you are expecting a child, the act of breastfeeding education falls mostly on your shoulders. There are some wonderful resources available for you, and I encourage you to check them out:

-La Leche League is a fantastic organization.

-Your doctor or midwife may be able to recommend a local breastfeeding class you can take, which I highly recommend if it is available.

-A book that I found encouraging and helpful was Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding, which I read in my last trimester.

-Join a parenting group, and give yourself permission to connect with other mothers about your challenges and concerns.

-Lactation consultants are invaluable if you have access to one. A good LC will help you troubleshoot your challenges and help you form a game plan or supplementation schedule according to you and your baby’s needs.

If you are concerned or frustrated, don’t struggle in the dark; reach out for a guiding light.

Cradle Cap Cure

Almost all first time moms freak out the first time they discover cradle cap on their perfect newborn baby. They want to know what caused it and how to get rid of it.  We've tried all the tricks and thought we'd pass a little of our knowledge on to you!

What Is Cradle Cap?
It is a harmless skin condition on babies that looks like flaky, crusty scale-like patches that are often yellowish.  It isn't painful and wasn't caused by poor hygiene or dry skin (so don't beat yourself up as a mom because you didn't cause it).  And IT'S TEMPORARY!

How to Treat It?
It will eventually disappear on its own, but if you can't resist picking at it (don't just pick it, you could cause sores or other conditions if you ), you can treat it with coconut oil.  The best part, it's all natural and it smells good too!  

coconut oil for cradle cap

1- Rub coconut oil on baby's head and massage deeply into scalp.  Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes (longer if it is really bad) to soften the scales.

2-  Use a fine tooth comb or soft bristle brush to gently remove them.  The hospital gave me an awesome sponge bristle brush that worked great!  

3-  Wash baby's head as you normally would to remove all the loose flakes.

Infant Congestion

Congestion in infants can make everyone miserable.  Here are a few tools to help treat your infant's congestion to ensure your little one can rest a little more comfortably:

1- Humidifier-  A cool mist humidifier will add moisture to the air which can help thin the mucus and ease the congestion.

2- Saline Drops- These natural drops moisturize the nasal passages and flush dust and irritants to get baby breathing easier.

3- Baby Comfy Nasal Aspirator - This is the most incredible congested baby product you will ever use.  It uses your own suction to remove mucus from your baby's airways without damaging delicate mucous membranes. It sounds gross, but it definitely works!  It is significantly more effective than the bulb syringe because your natural lung suction is so much stronger. Plus it is way more sanitary.  Here's what the inside of your bulb syring looks like: 

The design of the aspirator eliminates any possibility of contact with mucus and germs. It comes with two nose tips: standard and newborn. There are NO FILTERS to buy, it just uses a tissue!

BONUS: Breastfeed as much as possible to help keep baby hydrated.  You can also put breastmilk in their eyes or nose to help clear up any infections

Baby Comfy Nose Giveaway

 

From practicality to style, finding the right diaper bag can be difficult.  Here's our top 3 favorites:

1- Petunia Picklebottom Boxy Backpack:

It's large enough to fit all the daily essentials without being too large! It has plenty of inside and outside pockets to help keep everything organized! We love the built in changing station and the glazed coated canvas exterior with water-resistant lining makes it easy to clean.  Plus, who doesn't love the multiple carrying options.  These bags are great quality and stylish as well.

2- JuJuBe Be Prepared Diaper Bag:

We've been long time fans of JuJuBe, in case you couldn't tell from our multiple giveaways.  This bag has lots of storage, light colored linings to help you actually find what you stash in there, and instulated pockets to keep things cold.  Two of our favorite features are the luggage feet  for when you’re dumping the bag on the ground and crumb drains so that junk just falls right out of the bag.  Yes you read that right, crumb drains!  This print is our absolute favorite!

 

 

3-  Lily Jade Elizabeth Diaper Bag:

The bags with the most longevity aren't the ones with the most pockets or the the cleverest extras, they are the ones that double as a bag you will actually use long after your out of the diaper bag stage.  That's why we love Lily Jade!  We love the soft leather and the multiple carrying options: backpack or crossbody.  Each bag comes complete with a detachable, washable Baby Bag organizer and changing pad.  The price tag is a little higher but you will definitely get your use out of the bag for years to come.

4- OiOi 2 Pocket Hobo Diaper Bag

The OiOi Diaper Bags are quickly becoming one of our favorites!  They are stylish, yet practical.   The very durable materials, both inside and outside the bag, are water resistant (because something always spills). Plus they’ve also got metal feet on the bottom of the bag to keep it from wearing out.  The external pockets help keep things organized and in their place and it comes with a very needed wet bag!

 

 


 

 

How do their fingernails always get dirty?
 
It's amazing how much dirt can get can get under those little fingernails even after you bathe them.  That dirt can come from a few places, but the main culprits are from baby making fists his fingers to his palms they collect the dirt/sweat/fuzz and grabbing his or her own dead skin.

Here's how to get rid of that dirt:

1- TRIM-The first step in keeping baby fingernails clean is to keep them trimmed. Baby's nails grow quickly, so plan to trim them at least weekly.  
 

2- BRUSH- Sometimes even after you trim them, a little dirt remains.  So you need a brush. Wet a soft toothbrush or nail brush in warm water and gently work the bristles against the dirt.

Christmas is upon us and we've rounded up a few of our favorite DIY Advent Calendars:


1-  Baby Sock Advent Calendar

2- Winter Wonderland Calendar

3- Countdown to Christmas Calendar

4- DIY Watercolor Advent Calendar

5- DIY Advent Calendar Poster

Still have a little extra Halloween Candy?  Try our Halloween Candy Christmas Advent Calendar:

5 Superfoods for breastfeeding mothers

1-  FENNEL is an herb that is thought to increase milk supply.  It contains phytoestrogens and is thought to help letdown.  Plus it aids in digestion.  So sauté it, stew it, or toss it raw into a salad and eat up!

2- ASPARAGUS is a super food for all new mothers.  It is high in fibre and Vitamin A and K.  It is high in phytoestrogens which are believed to promote healthy breast tissue and lactation. Plus it has tryptophan, an essential amino acid that may stimulate milk supply through the production of prolactin.

3- GREEN PAPAYA yes, unripe papaya is a traditional galactagogue in Asia.  It contains enzymes, vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, B, C and E.  Even if it doesn't increase your milk supply, it is definitely a powerhouse of health for your recovering body.

4-  GINGER is a power food and a galactagogue.  It helps letdown and flow, facilitating milk removal. (we are talking the spice, not as an herbal supplement)  Ginger teas and ginger ales made with natural ginger are a delicious way to enjoy this super food.

5-GARLIC- is a great food to increase breast milk .but this may be because babies like the flavor. So the use of garlic may be because babies nursed more often because they liked the flavor, thus the increased stimulation increased milk supply.  Plus it is a powerful antioxidant and easy to add to many recipes!

NOTE: Garlic can change the taste and smell of your milk. For infants that suffer from colic, garlic is one of the foods you may want to eliminate from your diet.

Be sure to consult a health professional if you have any questions.

Need more super foods to increase your milk supply?  Click here to read our first 5 Superfoods Blog post and get some amazing recipes.

 

Top 4 Strollers

Finding the perfect double stroller can be tough, but between the many mamas at Undercover Mama, we've tested too many options to count and found our top favorites for every type of double stroller:

1-  Best Side By Side Stroller

Baby Jogger City Mini Double Stroller

Why we love it:  It has reclining seats, adjustable handlebars (great for taller people), nice durable wheels,  and a great one handed Compact fold for a double stroller.

2-Best Tandem Stroller

Contours Options Elite Tandem Stroller

Why we love it:  It is the width of a single stroller and has many of the features of the higher priced brands at a much friendlier price point. We love its seating versatility and the tires, however the one downside to this stroller is the weight.  You have been warned...

3-  Best Sit and Stand Stroller

Joovy Caboose Ultralight Stroller

Why we love it: This is the lightest, most maneuverable sit and stand stroller on the market.

4-  Best Convertible Stroller

Britax B-Ready Stroller

Why we love it: It is maneuverable, turns easily, and folds WITHOUT having to remove the 2nd seat.  There are a variety of different positions as well as the ability to take two infant seats at the same time.  Plus the tires are great and don't need to be pumped!

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