Friday, October 31, 2014

My Favorite Breastfeeding Products

Breastfeeding is one of the most natural things you can do for your baby, but it doesn't always come easy for everyone. I've nursed two children now and had my fair share of struggles, sore nipples, bad latch, low milk supply, refusal to nurse, etc. with all the troubles I've had I've gone down various avenues and spent hundreds of dollars to try and correct each problem.

I've tried numerous products designed to make breastfeeding easier for both mom and baby and I've come up with a list of products that have really helped me make it through my breastfeeding journey.

1.) My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow: I used the Boppy pillow with my first child but this pillow in my opinion really is superior. It buckles around your waist which helps you keep your back straight while nursing, has a pocket for your water bottle, phone, whatever else you want to store while you nurse, and has two grooves on each side to keep your babies head comfortable while you nurse. I had a c-section and was worried about irritating my incision but it really didn't. I really prefer this to my boppy pillow. It retails at Target for $34.99

2.) Medela Freestyle Hands Free Double Electric Breast Pump: This is probably the one product I use more than anything else, and although it is rather pricey (it retails for about $350-$400 depending on where buy it) it's worth it. With my first child I hardly ever pumped because I didn't have a very good pump the suction wasn't great and it only worked when plugged into the wall. With the Medela Freestyle it comes with a kit that connects to your bra and makes the pump completely hands free so you can work, cook, read, feed your baby, etc. all while pumping. I've personally never used the kit because I have a hands free pumping bra I purchased for $4 that I'll mention later, but it you don't want to spend extra money it's a nice extra. What I really love about this pump is how small it is, and I don't have to run through 6 batteries at a time because this pump has a rechargable battery built in so you can literally pump anywhere at any time without worrying about your batteries dying while you use it. Other features it includes a very large tote, 4 bottles with caps, an small bag with an resuable ice pack and two different size breast shields. This is one item I would say splurge on.

3.) Simple Wishes D Lite Hands Free Breastpump Bra: This is the hands free pumping bra I mentioned above, this company simple wishes offers a few different varieties of hands free pumping bras, but during the holidays they usually have contests and coupons for free bras you just pay for shipping. This is the less expensive model but it works just as well, it ties in the back and also comes with removal straps. I use this bra every day several times a day, it's comfortable, affordable, easy to use, and works with any breast pump. It also comes in two sizes that will literally fit everyone no matter how blessed you were in that particular department. Without this bra I probably would have gave up on pumping a long time ago. This particular bra retails for $26.99 on Amazon.

4.) Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bags: I've been a huge fan of these storage bags since I had my first child in 2011. They come in four different size boxes: 25, 50, 75, or 100. I usually buy a box of 50 which lasts about a month and half if pump 2-3 times a day and lately each box of 50 comes with 10 extra bags making the total 60. These bags are great for freezing and each one has the date, time, and volume labeled on it so you can easily figure out how long its good for and how much your baby will getting. With these breastmilk storage bags you never have to worry about your precious milk leaking out because we all know how disappointing it is to lose that liquid gold you worked so hard to pump. A box of 50 retails for between $5.99-8.99 depending on where you buy them.

5.) Bamboobies Resuable Nursing Pads: Nobody likes leaks and it can be really expensive to constantly buy disposable nursing pads. Bamboobies are heart shaped washable nursing pads for your bra. They are made from super soft bamboo material that doesn't scratch or irritate your skin, they also absorb more milk than any other nursing pad I've ever used. The best part about them is if you join their mailing list they are always giving away freebies throughout the year so you can score a free pair you just pay $2.95 for shipping. A pack of 3 plus one overnight pair retails for $24.99 on their website Bamboobies

6.) Earth Mama Angel Baby Organic Milkmaid Tea: building and maintaining a healthy milk supply for your baby can be tough. I've been drinking this tea since I brought my son home. I drink anywhere from 3-5 cups a day. It's made with fennel seed, fenugreek, milk thisle seed, anise seed, caraway seed, nettle, and red raspberry leaf. All ingredients are  100% USDA organic and non-gmo verified. This tea tastes great too. The best part you can buy a box of 3 that contains 48 tea bags for $7.89 on Amazon.

7.) Motherlove More Milk Plus: For breastfeeding has been kind of a roller coaster there have been highs and lows. One of the lows occurred when my son struggled with latching and my milk supply took a hit, I'm lucky enough that my son's pediatrician's office has a lactation consultant in house, she recommended this to help boost my milk supply. I call these my miracle pills because they really have saved me. If you follow the directions correctly on the bottle you should see an increase in your milk supply within 48 hours. These pills are also a little pricey but they work and if you do a little googling you can find deals on them. The best part about them is they don't have a nasty after taste. has them for $17.99 for a bottle of 60.

8.) Milkmakers lactation cookies: These cookies are AMAZING! They are made with ingredients that have been known to boost milk supply in lactating women like oats, flax seed, and brewers yeast. They are nice because not only are they delicious but Milkmakers also sells a box of individually wrapped cookies that you can grab and take with you on the go. You're getting a delicious healthy snack that is not only benefiting you but your baby too. They offer already made cookies or you can buy the cookie mix and make them yourself just by adding a few ingredients from your pantry. Prices vary depending on product. Milkmakers Lactation Cookies

9.) Lansinoh HPA Lanolin Cream: The first two weeks of breastfeeding were brutal for me personally, my nipples were chapped and sore as if someone had rubbed them with sand paper. Sounds awful I know, but this nipple cream from Lansinoh was an absolute life saver. You just dab a little on your nipples and it soothes cracked, dry, and sore nipples. It also protects your nipples from further "breastfeeding pains." It's also safe for baby but don't use it more than three times a day or you run the risk of your baby getting thrush. You can purchase it from Target for $7.19

10.) iBaby Feed Timer: This last one is an app for your phone. It logs feedings on each breast, dirty diapers, solid foods, sleep patterns, bottle feedings, even growth all conveniently on one application. I've been using this since my son was born, the thing I love most about it is it charts his activity so if there is a problem feeding or pooping and peeing I can easily pinpoint it, and by logging his sleep I can figure out his sleep patterns. You can find it in the Apple store for $3.99 I'm not sure if this app is on Android phones though. 

Photo Credit: Google, Target, Amazon, Bamboobies, Milkmakers, Medela, Lansinoh

Big Update!

It's been quite some time since my last blog post, over a year actually, and I apologize. First let me say HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!

 As you can see above I'm pregnant, well WAS pregnant. I gave birth to my son last February. When I first found out I was pregnant in early August the plan was to take a little break from blogging to enjoy my pregnancy, but as time went on my pregnancy became more and more difficult. I spent a lot of time on bed rest and had absolutely no energy to do anything.

I suffered with hyperemesis gravidarum all through my pregnancy, was a frequent in the ER, and ended up developing preeclampsia which led me to welcoming my son two weeks early. Very scary!

Meet my son Tristan born February 26, 2014 at 1:21 am. He was 6 lbs 7 oz and 19.5 inches long. 

After my son was born it was a really big learning curve adjusting to live with a newborn and a 3 year old, believe me there were plenty of days and nights that ended in tears. I really thought breastfeeding the second time around would be a lot easier because I knew what to expect, but I forgot to factor in that I'd have a demanding 3 year old to answer to also. 

Now that 8 months have passed I finally feel like things are starting to get back to normal again, which means I can find time to blog again. 


Photo Credit: All images taken by me

Saturday, July 13, 2013

I wrote another guest post for BabyCenter

So I wanted to let you all know I wrote another guest post for BabyCenter's blog about trying to conceive and how hard it can be when you find out you're not pregnant. It can touchy topic that some people are afraid to open up about which is why I choose to write about it.

You can read it here: A hard way to find out you're not pregnant please feel free to comment. I appreciate honesty, please share the good, bad, and the ugly with me.

Thank you for continuing read my stories and sharing yours with me.

Don't forget to also check out other stories on the BabyCenter Blogs.


Photo Credit: BabyCenter LLC

Monday, July 8, 2013

5 fun things to do with your tot this summer

In case you haven't noticed from extreme heat that has blanketed all of California and most of the West, summer is officially here!

I have a love hate relationship with it, on the one hand we can finally get outside and enjoy the summer sun. But sometimes it gets so hot that all I want to do is go inside and enjoy my wonderfully cool air conditioned house.

Whatever your preference it's only natural with your kids home all summer they are bound to get bored, which is why I have come up with some fun ideas for you try this summer. Some of these you can do inside, some outside.

1.) Buy some play dough and get creative (or you can make it)! No really it's that easy! My daughter got a really cool play dough cupcake maker toy for her birthday when it's too hot go outside this is a great way to keep the little ones busy. We have made some pretty cool stuff. This is fun even if you don't have the cupcake maker toy. There have been plenty of times when I just grabbed a rolling pin and cookie cutter and got creative.

2.) Run through the sprinklers! We did this a lot last summer it was 6:30 pm after dinner and the weather had cooled down just enough to make it fun! The cool beads of water dripping from our skin felt great. The best part, it's FREE!

3.) Take your kids to the movies. There's a lot of great kids movies coming out this summer like Monster's University, Despicable Me, Turbo comes out later this month, and next month Smurfs 2, and the new Disney movie Planes comes out. With all those options your kids will have no choice but to sit there and be entertained. Best part you get to spend at least and hour in a nice air conditioned theater without anyone whining or pulling at your leg. That sounds like a win to me!

4.) Go to the beach or pool! Take advantage of the warm weather and get out there and swim with your kiddos. I admit I was a little hesitant to take my daughter back into the pool since the incident we had a few weeks back if you have no idea what i'm talking about read about it here the day my kid almost died. But over the weekend we went back into the pool, and it was tough the first day she didn't want to swim much, but I kept encouraging her. The next day was even better. With all this heat you got to take advantage of water whether it be a beach or pool.

5.) Try something new off of Pintrest. I know you all have a pintrest account, and if you're anything like me you have like over 100 craft ideas pinned to do with your kids. Well now that it's summer try one! I've already tried this fun moon sand pin with my daughter made of 8 cups of flour and one cup of baby oil. My daughter loved it and there was little to NO mess!

Whatever you decide to do with your kids remember to be safe and follow proper safety precautions. Let me know what you plan on doing with your kids this summer in the comments!

Photo Credit: Google images and myself

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Be careful if you take Mucinex! (My health scare)

Now that flu season is officially over and summer has begun with a bang, (and a heat wave) not many people are getting sick anymore.

That doesn't mean it's not happening, it's just not as bad. Unfortunately I some how managed to be one of the unlucky people to be struck down with someone kind of mysterious illness that would take down even the toughest of people.

So I began taking Mucinex my other half is always raving about how well it works. Two days into to taking it I felt like I was going to cough up my lungs and I wasn't getting any better, so I broke down and went to the doctor. When I got there the doctor seemed alarmed because my heart rate was ridiculously high, she ran an EKG and then sent me over to the ER.

I was terrified all I wanted was some cough medicine and instead I end up in the ER. After 4 EKGs, a chest x-ray, and more blood than I would like to give away I found out that not only do I have bronchitis but that Mucinex can be dangerous to take. The doctor informed me it can speed up your heart rate and you can experience tachycardia, like I did.

After I got home a friend called and told me the same exact thing happened to her, and then my sister told me that her husband too had a bad experience with Mucinex. Apparently this stuff does more harm than good.

So to make a long story short if you are going to take Mucinex please be careful, be conscious of your heart, if you start experiencing weird symptoms PLEASE GET HELP!!

Photo Credit: Google Images

Saturday, June 22, 2013

I'm Guest Blogging For BabyCenter Today

I've been reluctant to share my desire to have another child on my blog, because there have been moments where my feelings have turned me into a really ugly person full of jealousy and resentment. Last week BabyCenter approached me about writing a guest blog post for their site about trying to conceive.

I have been a big fan of BabyCenter ever since I found out I was pregnant with Milania. I visit the site daily, so this was a great opportunity for me to finally share my story. I have to admit I was a little bit scared because trying to conceive isn't always a happy subject for everyone.

I decided to just go for it, so I wrote a very open and honest blog post about the envy I feel when I'm around pregnant women. It's something very personal to me but I'm very proud of it. Please if you have time go and read it, you can find it here on BabyCenter Blogs feel free to comment on it. Good or bad I would love to hear honest feedback!


Megan Katz

Photo Credit: BabyCenter LLC

Thursday, June 20, 2013

I Know Where Your Kid Is, Do You?

As a new mother I know taking your kids out in public can be a very difficult and daunting task. They whine, scream, and have this insane need to exert as much energy as possible at any given moment. If your 2 year old wants juice and you have to search deep down into the depths of that overly stuffed diaper bag that appears to be bursting at the seams, it can lead to a stage 4 meltdown. I've been there. I can only imagine how hard it is for the parents of several children. Even with all that information, that does not make it okay for you to let your child run wild while you just sit there staring blankly at your iPhone.

Today I had a doctor's appointment to go over the results of a pelvic ultrasound I had done earlier this week. I was sitting in the lobby waiting patiently for my name to be called, when a woman and her two children walk in. One of the kids was 7 the other was about 3, they sat down for about five minutes and then the three year old gets out of her seat and starts running around the office climbing all over the cushions of the chairs in the waiting room as if they were a jungle gym at the local park.

She gets off the chair and hides behind a divider in the waiting room, her sister soon follows and they proceed to play hide-and-seek. The three year old jumps off the chair as if it's a back yard trampoline and I hear a loud thump as her bottom lands on the creaky dark wooden  floors. Then the screams start, and by now I can feel my blood pressure rising, where is her mother? What could she possibly doing that is so important that she can't keep track of her children? 

I decide to get up and see, I casually walk past her and over to the magazine rack so I don't draw attention to myself. She is on her cell phone, staring deeply at it. Really? That's the reason you have allowed your children to run around the office like they are animals that have just been released into the wild? Does she even know where her kids are at?

Too often do I see this scenario, parents too distracted by there cell phones or other form of electronics to take notice that their kids are misbehaving or worse they are no longer in sight. Is your cell phone, iPad, book, tablet, etc. more important that watching your kids? I am by no means the perfect mother, I make mistakes like everyone else, but I refuse to allow my daughter to run wild in public places and there is nothing in this world that is more important than making sure she does not leave my sight.

Parents PLEASE keep track of your children, one day they will run off and a kind lady like me won't be there to keep them from getting hurt. Nothing is more important than your children, so please put your phone down and watch them.

Photo Credit: Google Images