Monday, July 25, 2011

Chicken Soup For The Soul - New Moms winner!

I was a little late drawing a winner due to some internet issues so the winner using was comment #2, mommanye!  Congrats!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Glamourmom Nursing Tank Review

When my daughter was born I was breastfeeding and saw a great deal on the Glamourmom nursing tank so I ordered one following all the sizing guidelines.  I didn't order directly from their website but from a deal website but it's exactly like the nursing tank pictured except in black and it says Glamourmom in pink on the front.  I received it and although I'm not breastfeeding I still need nursing wear to make pumping quick and easy.  

The tank is cute though I find that it's too "sexy" for me to wear on it's own.  I feel like too much of my boobs are showing in the cleavage area and on the sides.  The coverage just isn't enough.  The support is ok and the band that goes underneath the breasts is wide and comfortable but I find the spaghetti straps horrible.  They dig into my shoulders (holding up my DD breastfeeding boobs) and constantly need to be untwisted.  I definitely prefer my wider strapped nursing bras.   So I probably wouldn't recommend this particular nursing tank for bigger breasted breastfeeding mamas.  It's just not comfortable enough to wear all day and not something I'd wear in public!

I was provided nothing to do this review.  I bought the nursing tank on my own and all opinions are mine.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing

I was chosen as part of a unique program to try and give out samples of Hidden Valley Ranch.  I was sent the regular dressing, low fat dressing and a fat free version.  We regularly have ranch dressing in the house but never the Hidden Valley Ranch.  My favourite one was the low fat dressing though fat free was good too and probably better for me as I'm trying to lose the weight from my pregnancies and at only 5 cal a serving I can have all I want.  I generally stay away from ranch dressing as even the low fat variety has more calories than I'm willing to have and I'd never seen a fat free version until now so I can happily dip my veggies in all the fat free Hidden Valley Ranch that I want!  It's an easy way to make any veggies taste better and taste good with regular salad too.  My whole family and most people I've given samples to and spoken with have enjoyed this dressing.  Hidden Valley Ranch is available at major grocery stores across Canada.

All opinions here are my own and I was simply provided samples to try and distribute.

The Price of Breast Is Best?!

I successfully breastfed my son for almost 10 months so it was a no brainer this time around that I would breastfeed again.  In the hospital she took to suckling right away and seemed good at it.  At 3 days old when my milk came in we had our latch checked and everything looked good according to the nurse.  She had lost more weight since leaving the hospital but no concerns with that.  One week later at our check up she had gained 7 ounces.  Not back at birth weight yet but only 2 ounces away and a 7 ounce gain over a week isn't bad.  She was wanting to breastfeed 12-14 times a day for at least 30 min sometimes more and with my toddler it was getting difficult for me but I knew from experience that it gets better with time so I wanted to persevere.  One week later (17 days old) she was weighed again and this time only gained 1 ounce in a week and still not at birth weight.  Now the doc and I are getting a little concerned.  I did think it was odd that overnight (10 hours) I didn't have to change her and she was not soaked in the morning yet I still have been breastfeeding the same.  I was told to try pumping so I did and was able to get out plenty.  That day I chose to quit breastfeeding and only pump and give bottles and see what happened as I was tired of listening to my baby girl cry all the time and looking for the breast all the time.  What a great decision that was!  She gained 11 ounces over the next week and is as happy as can be!  We're not sure why she's not able to get out what she needs on her own.

I scoured the internet about exclusively pumping as I didn't know much about it.  I wanted to know what to use and how often and such.  I'd been using a hand pump and was getting enough but it's quite time consuming and you're pretty much stuck and apparantly it's hard to increase your supply with a hand pump.  I decided to follow advice online and rent a hospital grade electric pump.  These pumps cost around $1200 to buy!!  I'm renting an older model for $2.50/day and they wanted $3.50/day for a newer one!!  Seriously.....formula would not even cost me that much!  I can think of many things I could be using that money on especially with my pay being cut on maternity leave.  They push breastfeeding as being the best yet really don't make it that affordable to people who can't breastfeed but still want their baby to have breastmilk.   They should offer subsidies or cheaper options that are just as good.  I know you can buy cheaper breast electric pumps but it's still quite an investment for something you'll use probably just for months.  I'll keep this up hopefully for a few more months freezing what I can but don't see myself doing this for 10 months!!  The whole medical system just doesn't seem right sometimes........  

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Baby Must Haves!

With my son the best thing I owned was a swing.  It's an older model graco swing so nothing like the fancy ones on the market today but it did the job.  He spent hours in that thing until he was 5 months old.  This time around with my daughter my must have would have to be the bouncy chair.

It's the same one I used with my son and he enjoyed it too but it's been invaluable this time as it's so portable so I can put my daughter in it and put her on the kitchen table while I feed my son or put her on the floor while we play.  She quite often falls asleep in it and at least it's easy to take her where the action is.  I have a couple carriers but being the summer I tend to get hot without wearing a baby around the house and she's not fussy or having to be held all the time anyway.  Check out the different bouncy chairs here.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The First 4 Weeks......

So the first 4 weeks with the baby have had their ups and downs.  She took a long time to get back to her birth weight and after gaining only an ounce in one week the doc and I decided something had to be done.  It was first assumed I wasn't making enough milk so I was put on medication.  I'd been feeding her up to 14 times a day and  I assumed she had to be getting enough but it was exhausting and she cried a LOT for food.  So I made the decision to strictly pump and bottle feed my breast milk.  I make enough over a day to feed her with a little extra and since doing that she gained 11 ounces over a week and crying went down a lot for food and she can go 2-3 hours between bottles so it's not so exhausting and it's easier for me to care for my toddler too.  Looking back she was not pooping enough or peeing enough compared to what she does now but I didn't realize that having forgot how much newborns are supposed to poop.  We never figured out why she can't get enough from breastfeeding but it doesn't matter.  Sterilizing, pumping and cleaning bottles and stuff can be a lot of work too but I figure I have the milk so why waste it.......why not give my baby girl the best start I can :)

Next step is to work on her night time sleep or lack thereof.........

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Chicken Soup For The Soul - New Moms Review and Giveaway!

After taking a little break and spending the last 2 weeks adjusting to the baby and life with 2 kids I find this post very fitting.  I may not be a new mom but each baby is definitely a "new" experience from the last one.

I was excited to get the chance to read Chicken Soup For The Soul - New Moms.  I love reading stories about other mom and their experiences with their babies.  It not only brings back memories of my son as an infant but it's also helpful to me right now with another newborn and the things we're going through.

The book is divided into several different chapters including one called the Second Time Around and Toddler Time both very relevant to my situation.  I like that each little story is a short read as I definitely don't have time to read something long much less even get this post written without several breaks to check on the children!  The stories are filled with love and inspiration and some are a little sad but it's a great read for any mom!

Now for the giveaway.  One lucky reader will win a copy of this book.  The giveaway is open to Canada and the US and ends on July 22nd.  For the main entry just leave me your email address so I can contact you.

For additional entries:
1.  Follow with GFC and comment that you did
2.  Follow with networked blogs and comment that you did
3.  Like my facebook page and comment that you did
4.  Follow me on twitter @carrieberry17 and comment that you did
5.  Subscribe by email and comment that you did