How I’ve Successfully Breastfed For Over 300 Days

If you would have told me when I first had Brave that I would still be breastfeeding 10 months later, I wouldn’t have believed you! This has by far been the hardest thing I have ever done. It is a continuous journey that takes on a life of it’s own.

I remember when I first started nursing Brave, I purposely set low-expectations because I didn’t want to be bummed about having a short-lived experience with breastfeeding. To my surprise my body knew exactly what it was doing to nurture my son.

Nothing about this journey was easy. The early morning or late-night feeding was tough to get through, the drop in supply that I experienced around month 5, the planning outings, dressing to breastfeed and beyond made things just a little more difficult.

Even with all of the set backs and adversities, I knew deep down I wanted to breastfeed my son. It was much more than just feeding him, it was build a bond that stands the test of time. It was showing him that I was everything he needed. It was showing myself that I could do the impossible. It was much more than just food, it was sustaining life.

If you are considering breastfeeding regardless of your timeline goals … whether it’s 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, a year, or beyond … here are a few tips from an experienced mom that may help you too:

  1. Have Support. The best thing I could have done for myself is surrounding myself with the proper support. From friends who had success with breastfeeding (both nursing and pumping), to having a lactation consultant with vast knowledge to offer professional advice. This is critical. Knowledge and experience is your “breast-friend” when it comes to breastfeeding for the first time. As a first time mom, you will have tons of questions and uncertainties that need to be addressed. Use your supportive mom friends for those middle of the night emergency questions, and follow up with your lactation consultation for professional insight and assistance. I recommend having 2-3 sessions with a lactation consultation after having your baby to ensure you are actually breastfeeding properly. This will be the difference between a positive and negative breastfeeding experience.
  2. Eat well, stay hydrated. You don’t realize how much you are pouring into your baby. Breastfeeding a new baby is equivalent to working a full workout. You lose a lot of important nutrients from your body each and every time you feed your baby. It’s important to eat well and stay hydrated. You will notice a huge difference in your milk supply if you are hydrated.
  3. Leave Stress Out. There’s just no way to have a successful breastfeeding journey if you’re constantly stressed out. I understand that as a new mom you have so much on your plate, but try your best to not welcome stress into your nursing / pumping sessions. Why? Because stress factors in your milk supply. Anytime I nursed or pumped stressed there was a significant drop in my supply, I wouldn’t have much milk output. I learned that I needed to relax. Sometimes I would take a nice hot shower, watching videos of my son, or go and lay down for a while to sooth my body then try and pump or nurse again. It made a huge difference.
  4. Don’t Compare Your Journey. Your journey may not be like another mamas. I would often find myself scrolling for hours in breastfeeding groups saddened by how much less milk I made in comparison to other moms with their full eight ounce bottles of milk output. I had to reprogram my thinking to understand that MY BODY was making milk for MY SON and it was everything that he needed and the perfect amount that he needed.
  5. Let Go of Timelines. I would often stress about how long I had been breastfeeding. I remember thinking that I couldn’t make it to 6 weeks, then I would look up and it would be 8 weeks later. I remember thinking I couldn’t make it to 3 months, then I would look up and noticed I had been breastfeeding for 5 months. That’s when I learned to take things one day at a time. I realized, however long I breastfed on my journey was a blessing in itself. Every single drop of golden milk poured billions of good antibodies into my son and wherever our journey ends is exactly where it’s suppose to.

So mama, if you’re about to begin your journey, or if you’re already on it, I hope you know that you are doing amazing and you have every single thing your baby needs already inside of you. Keep your head up, ask for help and support, and enjoy these precious moments. They don’t last forever.

Everything We’ve Learned As New Parents Thus Far

Brave is 8 months and honestly, HD and I finally feel like we have this parenting an infant thing down! Everyday is a new learning opportunity for us but we officially-officially have a system that works for our baby boy and it feels great to have a little sense of normalcy because nothing about being a new parent feels normal in the beginning.

Since having Brave, HD and I have really learned so much about each other, partnership and parenting. I got him to share some tips he would like to offer new parents, and together we put together a full list. Check it out below:

There’s no such thing as prepping too early. I remember people always teased me for randomly buying things on the clearance racks at Target, often saying “you won’t need a baby shower in a minute” … or “you’re wasting money, you won’t remember that thing when baby arrives!” But I PROMISE you, I remembered! Every single thing I swiped from a clearance rack for 5 dollars here and there literally came in handy, especially footed pajamas!

Come up with a schedule and a daily routine sooner than later and stick to it. In the beginning, this are hectic. There’s no structure, you’re still learning your baby’s cries and cues so don’t expect to be on a serious daily routine right away. But around month 3 when baby has some what mellowed out, you want to move to some type of schedule because it will save you and your edges, sis. BELIEVE ME. Before I had a child I would always shame my mom-friends when they left parties early or just didn’t come, but now I totally get it because the minute that cycle is broken you are back to square one. So I beg you, for your own sanity, start a routine and stick to it. Don’t let anyone interrupt that routine because baby will notice.

Allow your partner to be actively involved. I hear so many mamas say their partners aren’t involved as much as they would want them to be and I seriously couldn’t imagine it. HD is so hands-on every single day with Brave, sometimes more than me! Heck, sometimes I tease him and say if he could produce milk he could easily replace me lol. But the reality is, as new moms we can be a bit of a control freak, I know I was in the beginning. Quick to jump in and change the pamper because we want it put on perfectly, running to grab baby as soon as baby cries because it’s our natural instinct … but I encourage you to make room for your partner to do some of the work. They will step up more than you could imagine if you give them the space to do so.

Everyone will have an opinion on your parenting style. But so what. An opinion is just that, an opinion. Nothing factual, nothing set in stone. Ignore the noise and focus on you and your family.

Don’t let milestones drive you crazy. This has been the hardest part of being a new mom. I remember when Brave didn’t meet a milestone when I expected him to, I sobbed. I saw other babies his same age rolling over, front to back, and my precious boy was just not interested. I constantly beat myself up, “is he not getting enough tummy time?” “do I hold him too much?” … the reality is, your baby will do what your baby wants to do in baby’s own time. No milestone tracker can change that.

Make investments on your baby’s behalf. HD and I knew early on that we wanted to start pouring into our son’s future so we came up with simple actions we could take to start setting up a fund for him. Each Thursday we both move $25 into his savings account. We started doing this when I found out I was pregnant. It doesn’t seem like a lot, really. It’s literally what I would spend at Starbucks every week. But when he’s 18 he should have about $50K carelessly saved up that he can invest in a business or in higher education if he wants to.

We also consciously purchase a few stocks for him each month with whatever extra money we have leftover after we handle bills and savings. People are really intimidated by the stock market, but it really doesn’t require a whole lot. You can buy shares for as little as a few cents, and take those profits and reinvest into larger shares. As of today Brave at 8 months old has over 50 shares in different companies.

Brave is also a baby influencer by default haha. When I use him in any collaborations I am doing, I ALWAYS take a small percentage of what I profit and move it to his savings account because nothing is free! And as adorable as he is, he earned it!

Don’t forget about your marriage. Seriously, once you have a baby –life is basically about them. It’s all you think about, it’s all you talk about, it’s all you are doing! And as beautiful as becoming a new parent is, you don’t want to forget how you got there –the love of your marriage. Make time for each other. I know that’s really hard to do in the middle of a pandemic, but you must find a way.

For HD and I, we realized because we couldn’t get out of the house for an occasional date night, we knew we needed to find a way to spend quality time ALONE without Brave sitting between us. So we decided to start sleep training him to move his bedtime up to 8pm (he honestly stayed up until 10pm some nights). After about a week or so he adjusted to his new schedule, now HD and I get much needed adult alone time every single night from 8pm until we retire for bed. It is the best thing we have done in 2020. We get to flirt, watch movies, enjoy each others company without being on mom and dad duty. MAKE TIME for your mate.

I really hope these tips have been helpful. Everything that we shared has changed the game for HD and I. We actually feel like we can survive these parenting streets!

My 6-9 Month Must-Haves

Blogging right now has been a real struggle, between balancing being a new mommy, all of the craziness in the world, and so much of it weighing on my heart, I just haven’t been feeling inspired.

Despite being inspired, I realized I have some mama’s following me that need all the tips and recommendations they can get as their little one grows.

Brave has hit a growth spurt, as he develops, the items I use every day for him have changed. I wanted to share some of my go-to baby items during his 6-9 month leap!

First up: this Oribel high chair. It is absolutely AMAZING! Seriously, I shared a review on it when we first got it. He’s been using it since he came home from the hospital since it can recline in a laying position. But now that he’s trying solid foods, we’ve been using it for feedings. It’s perfect! The height changes to fit whatever chair I am using, the position reclines for easy access and it’s extremely easy to clean! You won’t regret this high chair. Click the link to shop it HERE

Now that Brave can officially sit without toppling over –well he still topples from time to time; but now that he’s more stable we’ve brought a play mat into our space. It’s perfect for independent play so that mama and daddy can get some work done! The bright colors draw him in and he hangs out on his mat for long stretches at a time! This mat is thick enough to not phase him when he bumps his head and the perfect size for a small space (approx 5×7 area). Trust me, you need this mat –and Target allows same day drive up pickup so you don’t have to wait on a long shipping time. Click HERE to shop!

When Brave was learning to sit up on his own, we started him out in this Sit Me Up Floor Seat by Fisher Price. He was only about 4 months old then, I truly think it got him ready for sitting early on. It gave him the proper position to really engage his core and sit up assisted. Now that he’s 7 months old we use it often for moments when we need him to sit without distractions, when he’s eating, when we are doing learning activities, or when I’m in an area of the house that isn’t baby friendly (my craft space etc). This seat is perfect for that! Click the link here to shop it: Sit Me Up Floor Seat

A few months ago Brave began to refuse bottles and pacifiers, he only wanted milk from my breast. I knew I had to figure out a solution QUICK because I’m not home 100% of the time, and he needed to drink while I was away. That’s when I introduced this LATCH Sippy Cup. It’s perfect for transitioning from bottle / breastfed baby to cup. It has a slow flow spot with a gentle touch to avoid nipple confusion. Brave now drinks from his sippy cup when I’m away. He understands that the cup is for water, only and he actually enjoys drinking from it like a big boy. Mama’s transitioning your baby to sippy cups –trust me you want this! Click the link HERE to shop.

Everyone LOVED the Brave’s new walker! I mean, the Jeep is pretty freakin’ cool! Aside from being cool, it grows with him! He can use it as a walker, once he begins to stand and push he can use to push around the house, and as a toddler he can use it as a full Jeep toy! We knew the small investment would take us through a few years of good use! To shop the walker click HERE.

With Brave trying new foods –I didn’t want to have to eliminate yummy fruits because of seeds. So I knew we needed a fruit feeder. It’s perfect because he can use the pacifier-like feeder to practice hand-to-mouth, and he can try yummy fruits like watermelon and cherries without choking on seeds! This is probably Brave’s favorite baby item right now lol! Click the link HERE to shop!

And the last thing I would say is a must is definitely this Evenflo door-way jumper! This baby comes in handy so much! It travels easy, it’s inexpensive and most of all it tires baby out! We use this jumper twice a day to burn energy! Once before Brave’s mid-day nap and once before Brave’s bedtime. A good 15-minutes bouncing can easily burn any built up energy out of baby for a great night’s rest. Plus, this thing is less than $25! You can’t beat that! Click the link to shop, HERE!

That’s it mamas! Click those links and shop those items. Tell me all about what you think, or if you have any recommendations for me! I’m always looking for new baby items!

10 Things No One Told Me About Becoming A New Mom

I remember when I was pregnant, I knew I had it figured out. In my mind I was prepared for motherhood. I was auntie of the year to over a dozen nephews and nieces, and I knew all about babies. There’s literally a new baby born in my family every year so I figured I was covered with experience. It wasn’t until I had Brave, got home from the hospital, and all of my ‘support’ left to go home that I realized, I wasn’t prepared.

While I love my son with every single fiber of my being, there are still times that I doubt myself, question my role as his mom and how I am handling the biggest responsibility of my life –nurturing a whole human being into an amazing man. These are all normal thoughts, might I add. If someone says otherwise they are completely lying. Here are 10 things that no one told me about before I became a new mom.

  1. Your emotions will be all over the place for a while, and it does not necessarily mean you have postpartum depression. It’s crazy how you can go from one extreme to the next in a matter of minutes. Some moments I feel a burst of joy from being someone so incredible who made this perfect little human. And in that same breath I feel like I am drowning with not-so joyous emotions. These feelings come and go, and that’s normal. I’ve learned to give myself grace to have the emotions, acknowledge them, and let them pass. After all, my body has been through a lot in the past year from making, housing, and birthing a human, to nurturing and physically caring for that human. If you ever feel like your feelings could be harmful for you and your baby, please reach out to someone. Postpartum depression is real.
  2. Everything jiggles and you become so soft. I didn’t gain any weight during my pregnancy, this is common for a lot of plus size women. I think I gained about 6 lbs the week I had Brave which my doctor confirmed was mainly water weight. I’m 5 months postpartum and I am just as jiggly as I was the day I delivered Brave. One thing HD can’t stop talking about is how soft my body is now. He loves it haha. I tell him I think it’s because as a new mom you literally become a human couch. Who wants a hard couch? lol!
  3. Sometimes you will feel isolated and alone. Not only is your body physically changing at an astronomical rate, but mentally you’re going through a lot too and not everyone can relate which leaves you feeling lonely. For me, while I had the support and help, no one really knows how you truly feel inside. Your body can be doing the craziest things, from heavy bleeding, healing, or maybe you had a traumatic experience with birth like I did –that alone makes you feel lonely.
  4. Breastfeeding is an ongoing marathon. In my mind I thought I had the concept figured out: a few days later after delivering my milk would magically come in and I would live in the overflowing land of milk and honey. WRONG. The truth is breastfeeding is an ongoing-exhausting journey but it’s totally doable. You will go through all of the milk woes… an oversupply, to low production, to feeling like you may not be able to meet the needs of your baby’s hunger cries. And. it. doesn’t. stop. I find myself going through these mixes of emotions day by day and my son is 5 months old. My best advice is to take it one step at a time if you plan to breastfeed. Every day is a new day. You may have a tough nursing day but don’t take that energy into the next day. You will look up and be surprised at how far you’ve made it feeding your baby from your own body. It’s MAGICAL.
  1. You CAN survive on little to no sleep. I know it sounds insane, but for some reason your body adjusts to the new life you’ve chosen to live. Mentally it’s exhausting and extremely taxing on your nerves but physically you figure out how to run off of sleep in 3 hour increments, if you’re fortunate enough to even get that. Despite the lack of sleep, it’s the cutest thing in the world when your baby wakes and gazes into your eyes. There’s no better feeling.
  2. You will GAIN and LOSE friends. The truth is, having Brave showed me who was really in my corner. While I’ve had my fair share of friends growing up, I never knew I needed people so much until lately. Surprisingly not many of my friends supported my like I thought they would –but the ones that did, really stuck their guns and landed themselves in the friendship hall of fame lol. Those friends that come in town for the weekend just so that you can take a shower, have a nice nap, and check in on your well-being. And the new mom friends that you text at 3am because they are most-likely nursing their little ones back to sleep, too. Forever grateful for the way my life shaped and transitioned my friendships.
  3. You will love to see your husband in his new role as daddy, and your marriage will be tested. When I tell y’all, HD is the GOAT at this dad life. He had no experience with babies before Brave. He’d never changed a diaper, never held a newborn, never fed a baby –but when Brave came into the world, it just clicked! He is the middle of the night feeding, let me sleep in on weekends, daddy-comedian, MVP. I wouldn’t know where I would be without HD. He and Brave have an irresistible bond, it literally makes me ooze with love. But with that being said –having a new baby in the house can and will totally test your marriage. HD and I are absolute best friends, we’ve always respected, valued, and loved each other as equal partners in our marriage. But when a baby comes along, you’re both exhausted and have very little patience –things can get rocky. Frustration builds. Attitudes change. And things can go from zero to one hundred really quick. So pray over your marriage during these testy times and allow yourselves grace to learn this new space your in. Try your best to carve out time for each other. DO NOT leave each other hanging. It’s so easy to get caught up in your new role as a mom and dad, that you forget you were a husband or wife first. The last thing you want to do is look up and realize your an excellent parent, but you forgot how to be an excellent spouse. You have to do the work and be conscious about your marriage or relationship.
  4. Intimacy gets BETTER after baby. I always hear that sex is amazing while pregnant, and it was! But boy … let me tell you, it gets BETTER after baby. Now this may just be me because I had 4th degree tears and practically got a ‘face lift’ down there –so my junk is basically brand spanking new. But it is the absolute best part of sparking my relationship back up with my husband post baby. I’m 100 percent sure he would agree with me.
  5. You will learn to be okay with your never-ending todo list. The reality is there’s no way you can get to everything without hiring an assistant and a housekeeper. So something will lack. You cleaned today, but you may not get to meal prep, and that’s okay. Count your victories and merge what you didn’t finish to tomorrow’s to-do list.
  6. You will never believe you’re actually a mom. I probably say to myself “I can’t believe I have a baby” at least twice a day. It still blows my mind that I made, housed, produced, birthed and am now nurturing this little boy that actually looks like me and has his daddy’s mannerisms. It will never really sink in honestly. I still stare at him all day long out of pure obsession and complete shock that he’s mine.

Bright Sweaters: My Transition To Spring Style

Not gonna lie –getting back in the swing of things after having Brave was much harder than I thought. He’s practically 5 months old and I’m just now getting around to doing my first styled post.

It felt good to be back out-of-the-house creating content, and I must admit, it was a plus that my 5-month hiatus fell right through the break of winter.

Now that Spring has Sprung, I’ve began to transition my wardrobe. What I hate about transitioning seasons is the awkward feeling we get from merging our closet. For example, it’s too cold to wear toes out, but too hot for boots. Or it feels weird to be bare legged, but you no longer feel like layering.

I’ve found the happy medium, and it’s done with color. Adding a pop of color to your wardrobe transcends any temperature. I may be warm and fuzzy in my cable sweater, but the bright mustard color sure shows that I am ready for some sun!

I also do it with pieces that transcend. I may not be ready to wear my toes out, but I can flirt with warmer temps through a cute slingback that has a fun pattern like the leopard ones I am pictured wearing.

How do you flirt with seasons?

Click the links to my sweater and shoes

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