Feeding Archives - MOMcircle

Going Back to Work and Breastfeeding: Your Rights

Posted by | Blog, Breastfeeding, Feeding, Inspiration | No Comments

When I was pregnant, I remember being reluctant to commit to long-term breastfeeding. I didn’t understand pumping and had quite a bit of anxiety about having to do it at work, not to mention explaining to my employer. During my maternity leave, I absolutely loved breastfeeding my daughter, so I read up on the benefits and challenges of being a working, breastfeeding mom. I found that the federal government has made provisions just for moms like me!

The Fair Labor Standards Act (a mouthful, I know!) outlines what your employer is required to provide for you as a breastfeeding momma, including “a reasonable break time for an employee to express breastmilk for her nursing child for 1 year after the child’s birth each time such employee has need to express the milk; and a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk.” A quick chat with my supportive HR representative led to the arrangement of a private pumping room. Ok, so it was a storage closet with a chair, lamp, table, and an extension cord, but it worked! And after the first couple of weeks, it was just like second nature.

Formula can cost hundreds per month, and even WIC is only supplemental, which means it is just a part of what baby will need, so you’ll still be paying out of pocket for some of it. Breastfeeding costs nothing, plus it supplies your baby with perfect nutrition. Another great piece of legislation for breastfeeding moms inside the Affordable Care Act says “health insurance plans must provide breastfeeding support, counseling, and equipment for the duration of breastfeeding.” That means your insurance should cover the cost of a pump and lactation consultations. More savings!

So, there you have it. It can be done. Any amount of breastmilk our babies get is a blessing, and everyone likes to save money! So whether you are fully or partially breastfeeding, don’t feel like going back to work means you have to stop.

#breastfeeding #breastfeedingworkingmom #breastfeedingsavesmoney

https://www.dol.gov/whd/nursingmothers/Sec7rFLSA_btnm.htm
https://www.healthcare.gov/coverage/breast-feeding-benefits/

Free to Breastfeed

Posted by | Blog, Breastfeeding, Feeding, Inspiration | No Comments

Breastfeeding isn’t always a cake walk, but after the initial teething stage – I really thought I had hit expert status. The Universe has ways to make us learn, though, am I right? Nobody prepared me for some of the more colorful moments that come with nursing a toddler like breastfeeding acrobatics, teething (again), or my early talker to spark comments from the old-schoolers about being “old enough to ask for it”.

I learned not to care if my girl was doing gymnastics besides me on the couch while latched. That high kick is on point, baby girl. I learned that I, too, can roll my eyes at things (or comments) I find absurd. Yes, my 18-month-old very clearly asked for ni-ni while pulling my shirt up. Throw that judgment elsewhere, folks. I’m just trying to feed my child over here. I also learned that a one minute time out from nursing can help with a toddler bent on chewing through a feeding. Best of all, these moments really make for hilariously sweet stories eventually.

In the heat of the stress, it can be easy to panic. Just try to remember that you’ll get through it, and likely laugh about it later. They’re infants for a year, toddlers for few more, then you realize your sweet, tiny baby is a full blown kid. You’re going to miss these days, savor them while you can.

Don’t Give Up!

Posted by | Blog, Breastfeeding, Daily Reassurance, Feeding, Inspiration, Keep Trying! | No Comments

She was about a week old, nursing every hour 24 hours a day. I had waited until I was 28 to become a mother, so I thought I had this in the bag, but here I was, almost 20% of my maternity leave gone, with engorged breasts and cracked, bleeding nipples. My partner would be going back to work soon. We had been supplementing a few ounces of formula every day, per the doctor’s orders, due to jaundice. As her bilirubin numbers got to a normal range, her pediatrician gave no encouragement either way, just information: we could stop supplementing if desired, or continue.

I wasn’t sure I could keep breastfeeding, and there was still plenty of pre-mixed formula the hospital sent home with us. It was like it was staring at me. I had researched parenting and feeding baby like a crazy woman, took parenting classes, and kept reading and hearing “breast is best,” but I knew plenty of babies who thrived on formula. I was on the verge of giving up and switching to formula, but my wise older sister and mother of three stopped in to check on my brand new baby girl and me.

I told her how I was feeling — the physical pain of breastfeeding, the exhaustion, the guilt over not being able to do it, and the temptation to give up. I asked how she managed to breastfeed three babies successfully because I wasn’t sure I was cut out for it. She was kind and told me how she never breastfed her oldest (she was only 20 and I was 8, so I must have been too young to remember). Her first breastfeeding experience was with her second child, and she said that is when she realized what she missed out on the first time around. She told me about how it gets better, that after the second or third week your nipples heal and the lovey-dovey hormones kick in. She explained proper positioning and latch (which was a game changer), and all the money you can save by breastfeeding.

Then she got very serious, put her hand on my shoulder and spoke to me in a way that only my big sister can, “You are going to feed this baby. Whether it is from your breast or a bottle, you feed her. Take it one day at a time, you can do it. But remember, this isn’t just about you. You’re a mother now.” I’ll never forget her words or that moment. I decided to stick it out, one day at a time, and she was right. With a little luck, I did it with no supplementation after 2 weeks. I started pumping at 4 weeks, back to work full time at 6 weeks. Pumping wasn’t my favorite, but thanks to brilliant federal laws, my job had to give me breaks and a private space to do it.

I stopped pumping at my one-year goal when the daycare switched her to cow’s milk, but baby girl had other ideas. We continued nursing at night and on the weekends, and night weaned at 17 months. She self-weaned a few months after her second birthday. Breastfeeding a child is one of the most amazing experiences — it’s almost magical. The end was so bittersweet for me, and I have to say, nursing my baby felt like the thing I was put on this earth to do.

Breastfeeding: How Do You Know When to Stop?

Posted by | Breastfeeding, Feeding, Infant | No Comments

While I was breastfeeding my daughter, I struggled with knowing when to stop. I began offering her cow’s milk instead of the breast once she turned a year old, but she would cry until I gave in and nursed her. At that moment, I realized that I was ready to stop breastfeeding, but my baby wasn’t. I continued breastfeeding for two more months. At fourteen months old, my daughter gradually self-weaned. It’s easy to assume that they’re done breastfeeding once they turn a year old, but then what? Will my bond be broken? Of course not. We are their heroes for life. If you want to keep breastfeeding your baby beyond a year, go for it. There may be people telling you to stop, but at the end of the day, your voice is the only one that matters to your baby. Just like you began your breastfeeding journey together, together you’ll decide the right time to end.

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Cereal 101

Posted by | 0 to 5 Months, Breastfeeding, Feeding, Infant | No Comments

There is a myth that cereal in the bottle will help babies sleep. It simply isn’t true. Cereal shouldn’t be added to your baby’s bottle because her digestive track isn’t ready for it in the early months. She will be ready for cereal when she is almost sitting up by herself (around 6 months) and her cereal should always be delivered in a spoon.

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The Big Question

Posted by | Breastfeeding, Feeding | 3 Comments

The Big Question: How often do I need to breastfeed? Your sweet baby needs breast milk around 8-12 times within 24 hours. You will know he has had enough at each feeding when your baby continues to turn his head, loses interest in eating, or falls asleep. Be happy because he is satisfied and full. Trust him to set the pace.