Happier Breastfeeding : When Leaning in Doesn’t Work, Try Leaning Back!

I’ve asked Kristen LaValley to tell her story in this post about breastfeeding, and she has graciously accepted my invitation. She has a wonderful blog, When At Home, with many loyal followers, and has been a Nesting Days since she used it with her second baby. She is also helping me out with social media. Being the Chief Mother Officer of Nesting Days is a big job, and I appreciate her help tremendously! – Julie

Kristen’s story:

When I was pregnant with my first son, I realize I knew zero about breastfeeding. The first person I’d ever really seen nurse a baby was my sister in law and it terrified me. So when we started reading all the baby books to get us “ready” for the baby (HA. Right. Thanks, books for teaching me so much.), I started to realize that nursing wasn’t as easy as I thought it was.

Book after book after book. I read everything. Nipple confusion, latch problems, let down problems, what to do when your milk supply dwindles, what to eat, where to sit in your house, something about cabbage and fennugreek and things that were just totally foreign to me. When Jonah was born and I asked the nurse if I should try to breastfeed him, she laughed at me. When I was having trouble feeding him, and he wasn’t latching on or eating, they threw a nipple shield at me. The nurse threw it on top of my chest and walked out of the room. My husband and I looked at each other totally confused and fumbled around trying to figure out what it was supposed to do.

So here I was, with this wealth of knowledge on how to breastfeed and I couldn’t do it. I fumbled. I fought. I cried. We struggled for 6 months and then I just gave up. The books weren’t helping me. In retrospect, I realize that instead of looking to books when we had a problem, I should’ve just been doing what felt natural. But I didn’t know what my instincts were, much less that I should trust them.

With my second baby, I used the Nesting Days newborn carrier. I enjoyed more skin-to-skin, and breastfeeding came more naturally. Breastfeeding isn’t something you learn so much, as it’s something you do, and  I had learned to trust myself and my body. I had to let go of the ‘rules’ and learn to sit back and enjoy the endless hours of nursing.  I knew this time they would end sooner than I wished.BabywearingNestingDays

As the creator of Nesting Days, Julie has done her research.  Here are two resource references I thought would interest you, and we will be sharing many more in coming blogs.

The first is this story about premature babies at a remote hospital in Zimbabwe in 1994. It is the beautiful example of how simple and natural caring for babies should be. These premie babies were given 24/7 skin to skin care and the mamas beds were propped up at a 30 degree angle so they could rest and recover while holding their babies.  This kept mama comfortable and baby (laying against mom’s chest) was in no danger of chin to chest compression or breathing inhibitions. The babies thrived without incubators and very little intravenous feedings. The mother was the incubator and her milk was the baby’s main source of nutrition.

The second is about “laid back nursing”, based on the work of social anthropologist, Susan Colson, who traveled the world observing how mothers in other cultures nursed their baby. Dr. Colson found that most reclined slightly, with their baby’s weight fully supported on their own bodies. She observed that this ‘laid back’ position provided greater comfort for the mother, more skin-to-skin contact between mother and baby, and a more relaxed the baby, in contrast to sitting up with the baby tense as it tries to protect itself from falling through space.

Getting comfortable, leaning back, enjoying being skin-to-skin… if you’re having trouble breastfeeding, try leaning back. Save  ‘leaning in’ for later. There’s plenty of time.

– Kristen, When at Home

When Leaning In Doesn't Work

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TAKE A BREAK IN THE SUMMER HEAT

This summer is promising to be a scorcher, and I wanted to remind all mothers that babywearing can get pretty toasty, and to take a break when you get too hot. 

Over Memorial Day weekend I received these sweet pictures from first time moms, Katie, of Roseville, CA, where the temperature was over 90, along  with the caption, “I’m wearing Ben in your carrier right now!  I love it and he seems to as well.  He is fast asleep!

I LOVE hearing from moms, and always reply, but I was also thinking about the heat, and wrote back, “Hi Katie, Great! Just remember, on a hot day like today, take breaks— or move inside where it is cool. When you are too warm, so is Ben.’

Katie emailed me back a few minutes later to thank me for the reminder and to say she was moving inside where it is cooler. 

nestingdays
Being skin-to-skin has lots of benefits, but it also generates body heat.
Let your own body be your guide…when you’re too warm, so is your babytake a break.

HAPPY NESTING!

Julie

Your Chief Mother Officer

Grandmothers joy!

Grandmothers joy!

Dear Julie,

Your baby carrier has helped me to be a great baby sitter for our daughter. Little Mika is just so settled and content in it. Your product is excellent and we wish you success.

Pictured: myself ( Felicity), 
baby Mika and daughter Ester in Auckland , New Zealand

Every time I get an email like this I get the ‘goosies’! What a beautiful way for Mika to begin life!

Please send your pictures!  The Nesting Days community is circling the globe!

All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten (and from my mother)

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From the moment I stepped out of my front door to get coffee across the street at the local market, I was looking for inspiration for this Mother’s Day newsletter.

It came in the form of the #19 bus and the handful of mothers and fathers holding their children’s hands as they crossed the street on their way to school. 

Stop, look and listen before you cross the street. 
Use your eyes, and use your ears, and then use your feet.’ 

I had learned this rhyme in kindergarten a half a century ago, and suddenly my brain was on rewind, my heart was in control, and I could see ‘mothering’ is all around me.

All I had to do was stop, look and listen.

Just as suddenly I missed the days when my little ones reached for my hand to cross the street, and the second cup of coffee in my left hand (a long-shot of espresso) made me want to run home and tell George how grateful I am to have shared my life with him. I missed my mother, father, and siblings, and even the dogs that I have said good bye to — all this in a matter of moments just looking for inspiration to share with my Nesting Days ‘people’. 

Mothering, I think, is a state of mind, like the one I slipped into this morning when I could see just how precious all of life is. Some of the best ‘mothers’ I know are not biological parents or women, but people who live their life with an open heart and a willing hand. It knows no gender, age, ethnicity or sexual orientation.

Mother’s Day began with the mission of honoring our individual mothers for all they do for us, and also as a peace movement. I think I created Nesting Days for the same two reasons.

(Hop over to http://doubledutymommy.com/2014/05/nesting-days-newborn-carrier-review-giveaway.html/  to read the review we got this week from a mommy blogger fan when you’ve finished reading this. We really are changing how we welcome babies into the world, one baby at at time! )

At my niece’s recent wedding last month, she had her kindergarten teacher read an excerpt from the bookAll I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten — by Robert Fulghum.

I hope you will take a minute to read it, open your heart, think of your Mom, pat yourself on the back for all of the ‘mothering’ you do, and have a very…
Happy Mother’s Day!

JulieYour Chief Mother Officer
Nesting Days Newborn Carriers

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All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten — by Robert Fulghum 

All I really need to know I learned in kindergarten.
ALL I REALLY NEED TO KNOW about how to live and what to do
and how to be I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not
at the top of the graduate-school mountain, but there in the
sandpile at Sunday School. These are the things I learned:

Share everything.
Play fair.
Don’t hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.
Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Flush.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.

Live a balanced life – learn some and think some
and draw and paint and sing and dance and play
and work every day some. 

Take a nap every afternoon.
When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic,
hold hands, and stick together. 

Be aware of wonder.
Remember the little seed in the styrofoam cup:

The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody
really knows how or why, but we are all like that. 

Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even
the little seed in the Styrofoam cup – they all die. 

So do we. 

And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books
and the first word you learned – the biggest
word of all – LOOK. 

Copyright © 2014 Nesting Days, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you opted in on our website or at an event and want to learn more about the ultimate mother-baby bonding experience.

Nesting Days Newborn Carrier // Double Duty Mom // Review & Giveaway!

I want to wish new mom, Jennifer Mercurio, a very Happy Mother’s Day, and thank her for doing such a beautiful review on her blog, DoubleDutyMommy, of the Nesting Days Newborn Carrier!  I’m so excited that I’m posting it word for word  for all of my Nesting Days fans and followers to read!

You can also participate in the giveaway contest Jennifer is is running for Mother’s Day (ends 5/11), and take advantage of the a 20% discount that continues through May 30th when you enter the discount code  ‘DoubleDutyMommy’ at check out!

Happy Mother’s Day!

 

Nesting Days Newborn Carrier // Review & Giveaway!

Disclosure: I received the Nesting Days carrier to provide my honest review. No other monetary compensation was received and receiving the car seat did not guarantee a positive review. All opinions are mine unless noted otherwise.

I’m not sure when it happened but one day browsing Instagram I stumbled upon the Nesting Days account. I started following the account and she starting following me. Julie, the inventor & creator, knew baby Ben was on the way and provided a carrier for me to review.

This isn’t some ordinary carrier though so don’t stop reading now. I can’t stand carriers that have too many buckles or things you have to remember to do. Don’t get me wrong, I do love other carriers like Boba but since Ben is so tiny it’s just annoying to deal with all the buckles and straps but the Nesting Days carrier is different in that you can wear it with or without a shirt. Yes, you heard me right.

The Nesting Days carrier allows for skin-to-skin which we all know has many benefits including the following:

  • Boosts Oxycontin levels (the love hormone)
  • Helps stabilize blood sugar & insulin levels
  • Helps produce prolactin for milk production
  • Maintains baby’s body temperature
  • Lowers blood pressure and cortisol levels
  • Stimulates innate newborn reflexes
  • Aids with digestion * reduces reflux

Ben was born with jaundice that was getting worse and worse as the days went by so the Nesting Days carrier came in hand to do lots of skin-to-skin without keeping me tied down to the couch.

Screen shot 2014-05-06 at 10.37.54 AM

So how easy is it? Putting the carrier on is so simple!!

  • Step in and pull the “core” up to your bra line.
  • Raise left shoulder sleeve.
  • Lower baby into carrier.
  • Raise right sleeve.
  • Tie right and left sleeves together!Screen shot 2014-05-06 at 10.53.53 AM

*Don’t worry, his head was completely fine* (Just start walking and babies nestle right in.) 

‘Nesting Days wants to change the way the world thinks about babies. We believe in the language of touch, and skin-to-skin, and lots of holding, humming, and dancing in the moonlight.’

I completely agree with their mission statement and all that holding and humming in the Nesting Days Carrier has definitely helped us get through the past 3 weeks.
You can get the carrier in two different prints right now – Polka Dots or Floral (the one I have). It’s not bulky and can be folded up just as flat as a tank top you have in your closet. The stretchy fabric molds to your baby for the perfect fit every time (up to 4 months of age) while keeping you cool at the same time.

We love love love this carrier so much! The price is a little steep but it’s an investment you will not regret making especially if you will be having more babies in the future. Other carriers cannot do what the Nesting Days carrier can. Thankfully Ben is only 3 weeks old so we have lots of time with the carrier still but I’ll definitely be sad when he grows too big for it.

The amazing owner, Julie, wants everyone to experience the joy of her carriers that she is giving my readers a special 20% off code!!

Double-Duty-Mom-Banner

But that’s not all! Enter to win a carrier in the print of your choice. Go to http://doubledutymommy.com/2014/05/nesting-days-newborn-carrier-review-giveaway.html/

Stay Close to Nature

Screen shot 2014-04-26 at 5.05.35 PM

We’re at our cabin in the Sierra Nevada mountains for the weekend. It sits on ten acres of wilderness on the San Juan Ridge just outside of Nevada City. We bought the property twelve years ago and slowly turned an old barn into a sweet cabin. Recent rains have turned everything around us a vivid green, the  birds are singing, and spring has sprung.

IMG_0440Screen shot 2014-04-26 at 5.11.11 PM

 I drew the plans myself, and got them through the planning commission on the first try. I wanted the round, smooth rocks of the Yuba River to be the grounding force of the cabin, and the exterior to blend into the landscape. George and I spent weekends hunting through salvage yards for windows and doors, and the doug fir plank flooring from an old Oakland warehouse to give it ‘character’, and also save money.  I hunted through boxes of Heath Tile seconds to find enough to do the kitchen counter tops (which I laid myself) and their buttery tones became the color scheme.  The cabin literally glows, inside and out.  To transport everything, we bought a truck, which I love driving to this day, and when I’m here, I feel at peace.

photo (21)

 I needed to blog more…but the day is coming to and end and I’m going to enjoy it. I’ll leave you with this poem, that pretty much sums it up.

“I Meant To Do My Work Today”

by Richard LeGallienne

I meant to do my work today,

But a brown bird sang in the apple tree,

And a butterfly flitted across the field,

And all the leaves were calling me.

And the wind went sighing over the land,

Tossing the grasses to and fro,

And a rainbow held out its shining hand,

So what could I do but laugh and go?

Happy Nesting Days!

Julie

Chief Mother Officer