It’s your one stop shop! The first thing I added to my baby registry when I was pregnant with my first son was a hospital grade duel breast pump. It was one of the most expensive items on my registry, and also one I thought I was going to have to purchase myself. Six weeks shy of my little guy making his debut into world I would learn that I could get the same breast pump for free! I was ecstatic and also very upset that I had to find this information which took a lot of time. This is why I love a family run company such as The Breastfeeding Shop. They have a simplified process so that moms-to-be can apply and receive their hospital grade breast pump at little or no cost through their insurance. They provide an online form that you fill out. Once submitted they’ll take care of the rest. The Breastfeeding Shop works closely with Military Families and TRICARE Insurance as well!! So if you’re a Mom to be or knows one that you see that PUMP on their baby registry…..SHOW them this post and head over to The Breastfeeding Shop!
Two weeks into 2018, I went ahead and crushed my first goal: to run a 50 mile race. After running my 50k and a half marathon the day after, I figured 44 miles within 24 hours of each other along with 9 hours of running was enough to validate running a 50 miler. Throughout 2017 I found myself with back to back weekend races and as I grew stronger each week, I would would crush each race. The San Diego 50/Trail Marathon is put together by Offroads Pursuits. The same group that put together my last ultra, Lake Hodges 50k. Since my last race went so smooth and the aid stations are well stocked, not only with snacks but quality volunteers. While there was a couple for 50 mile races to choose from in January in near by, I knew this was the one
Up until race day, I trained the way I did for my 5ok. While I ended my last race of the year with R’n’R Las Vegas, I filled my weekends with mountains and long runs. So come race day, I was as prepared as I could be. On race day, the course was an hour out from my home. So, bright and early at 4 AM I drove with my thoughts racing, so I started to Pray. My prayers before races are long, I pray about the course, I pray about safety, I pray for not only myself but everyone racing; that whether we get the time we want, don’t get that PR, or DNF….we understand that was our plan for the day and give us the wisdom to change it in the future. By the time I got to the course, just about everyone for the 50 miler was there. The 50 mile race had the option to start an hour early, as the course cut off at a strict 13 hour and 14 hour if you had the early start. You would have your results posted separately with this option. I choose to race at the original time of 6:30 start.
Before I knew it Paul Jesse, Owner and Race Director of Offroad Pursuits was going over rules, safety, and course tags. The one thing he said that stuck with me is: “This isn’t a race as it is running with friends.” Which is so true when it comes to ULTRA running. We are ALL crazy to run anything past 26.2 but it takes a special kind of people to do it and whether I know you or not….You are “my kind” of people and my friend. 6:30 arrived and off the second wave went. You start in a gorgeous area that is still farmland, so rare to see in Southern California. This is the first 5k up until you hit Raptor Ridge. This part is a little difficult but nothing crazy only the first 5 miles into the race. I was running single track uphill, which has a 1100 evaluation gain. Shortly after you hit the top, is Aid station 5.7 – Raptor. My concept for this race was to hit every aid station and just recoup between 5-10 mins. Check fluids, salt, and shoes for rocks. 5.7 in I was on a roll and spent maybe 5 mins here. Off I went into open fields, This area I remembered from my 50k as I did the Raptor Ridge, what I found was the second time racing this part it was glowing and I felt good. I felt like this was going to be my race, yeah I know totally realize I still had 45 miles to go!
The trail to the next aid station was familiar and great to run again. Watching the sunrise along the hills was a great feeling and helped until mile 10. I was still feeling strong, it wasn’t too hot yet and I was taking my time which was about 3-5 minutes at each aid station. At mile 16.5 I took a slight fall while a bike was passing, I can’t stress how signaling especially around corners are important. Luckily, I had antibiotics on me and bandaid glue. I was cleaned up and off again in no time! By the time I hit the Bing Crosby 1 aid station, I felt strong. Over the 20 miles I had covered road, trail, rock, and hills! The views made for great focus, the small chats covered over the miles made tough spots easy and easy spots fun! Since the day was steadily warming up, a lot of bikers joined the trails and made some single tracks difficult. I just had to be on top of signaling and all was good. Days prior to the race, mother nature decided to give us some rainy days this took some toll on part of the course. So between mile 20.25 and 25….they cut out 3.5 miles due to closing a section of a really muddy and flooded course. As groups of us approached the road block and was asked to turn around, we all questioned how we were going to get those miles back. We signed up to run 50 miles so thats what we were going to do. Some runners didn’t care much and figured they would be happy with their finish. Running, especially ultra running is tough but what’s awesome is you know your body and what will help you hit your goals, everyone has their own goals. Headed on the way back from the turn around started me back on hitting each aid station. I knew they wouldn’t be measured correctly so now I had to follow the miles on my watch.
My goal was to finish before sundown, that would have been a 10:30 finish time. I was also trying to figure out if I wanted to get my 3.5 mile before or after I finished
the race. When I hit the Mile 35 (31.5) Aid Station. It was around 1:30 ish. With 15, yet 18.5 miles to go, I had to think what was the flattest and best stretch between stations to make a turnaround and back to get my miles in. The best option was between mile 40 and 44.3, it was flat, cushioned dirt, and views for days. At this time at Mile 35, I was feeling the miles and while still strong, I had to sit down and clean myself up. I had ice poured on my and over my head. Everything I could do to get comfortable. Once at a good spot, hydration wise, electrolytes, and some health warrior bars in me….I was off again. This stretch cover dirt but also concrete. I tried to get on as much dirt as possible, the concrete wasn’t feeling the best after 36.5 miles. At the mile 4o Aid station, I knew it wasn’t 10 miles to go and that sunk in. I sat down and stretched. I took off my socks and cleaned up my blisters. I brushed all the dirt in and out of my shoes. I refilled my Orange Mud water bottles and looked at good luck pictures my sons drew for me. All this gave me peace, it made see how grateful I am and that I am capable of finishing this race. Off again I went, this time following my watch. I took in the flat
grounds and dirt, I watch the afternoon slowly fade away and 3.5 in I made the decision to turn around 1 mile out from the final aid station. A few runners decided to do the same, that way it wasn’t laps around the parking lot to get their miles to 50! Going back was easy while chatting with “my kind” of people. I ran with a man who flew in from Washington and literally came from the airport to the race to run it. I admired that, and another runner had ran two marathons back to back weeks before. There’s something kind of cool about the crazy things we will do as runners to get our fix, lol. Close to the mile 40 aid station, we made our turn and that set back the true distance to our 50 miler. This quick set back, also wasn’t going to get me finish by my goal time or what I really
wanted, no headlamp running. That was okay, I just had to get back through the last 6 miles that lead up a 1100 elevation and back down towards the finish line.
The sun felt like it was setting so fast and I could only hold my pace steady for so long. I made it back to Raptor Ridge, which was mile 44.3 and was checked in. I got out my headlamp and to have it ready. I stretched, refilled, and got some words of encouragement. I could feel my blisters burning at this point, and there was nothing more I could do until I finished. Aside from blisters, I was sore but felt good. I felt like I could finish this race. Off into the single track mountain, the only part I still needed sun as it was steep in some areas and I couldn’t risk falling again. The ups and downs were tough and at points I wanted to give up, however I couldn’t because I still needed to get off this mountain and two, that’s not me! As I finally got up to mile 47, the last three was flat and familiar trails. Finally, I was in a good spot and not to far from my family waiting for me at the finish line. At this point, the sun was down and it was dark. My headlamp gave me about 5 ft of area to see and I kept my eye out for the pink ribbon that had been placed throughout the course. One of the volunteers was waiting about a mile out and kept everyone who was on track to finishing in route to the finish line. Since it was so dark, I focused the finish on a small light in the distance. When I came up along farmland and orange trees to my right, I remembered started along this path earlier that day. I got an adrenaline rush that made my fingers num. Of course, as I approached the light and checked my watch it was wasn’t the finish line….oh, how that crushed my soul for 30 seconds. Maybe, more or less my legs…hahahaha. I knew I wasn’t far though and at this point I had friends and family texting and checking my whereabouts. Picking up pace, just to keep my legs going I begun to hear people cheering. I rounded a corner and there was the finish line and my oldest son running back and forth along the track. “Mommy, Mommy…you did it!!” He hugged me before I could pass the line but I didn’t care. My younger son reached for me and I couldn’t help but cry. I passed the finish line true Mother Runner style, with a baby in my arms! My sister and her boyfriend also came to congratulate me. It’s a wild feeling knowing you just ran 50 miles. I finished in 11:43:06 and that was good enough for me. 50 miles isn’t easy but if it were, I
wouldn’t be up for the challenge. As days passed and results posted showed I had finished a 46 miles race, I’m glad I did my own personal turnaround to complete my challenge. At the end of January 13th, my total miles were 51…I had to enjoy and get some walking in before I ate the BIGGEST dinner EVER!
This race was to measure and help me train for my dream race in May, the Miwok 100k. It also turned into a challenge after my back to back races. I plan to run another 50 mile race in March, it will either be in Utah or California depending on my schedule. It will be my birthday gift to myself ;p My next race is a short one this upcoming weekend, it’s Surf City Marathon and I’m doing the half. Aside from not wanting to experience total FOMO, I decided to sign up to see if longer distances are really helping push myself. I guess we’ll see within the next few days!
Breastfeeding has been one of my favorite parts of being a Mommy. The benefits my Baby and I have received have been so rewarding. While we know the studies of all the health benefits breastfeeding provides. One of the best benefits is the bonding Baby and you will develop. Breastfeeding coincides with baby wraps, carriers, walk, co-sleeping, and snuggle time. Each one of these activities allows you develop a deeper bond and while some may say you’re spoiling Baby, just know you can never give your Baby too much love. Co-Sleeping had been a staple with my first son, I never planned on co-sleeping with my children. However, breastfeeding and co-sleeping made the two work better during long nights. We also slept through the night better as we both were comfortable, Baby nurse through the night and I could cuddle him. While we would go for walks around the block or to a park. A carrier allowed my sons to stay close to me but also made it easier for them to nurse. The bonding we experience on our outings are memorable.
Breastfeeding is an amazing experience. While I got to enjoy the bonding my babies and I had. Aunties, Daddy, and Grandmas wanted to share that bond to. By utilizing a breast pump, they too could feed the Baby and bond with them. The Breastfeeding Shop is the perfect stop for a hospital grade pump. They work with your insurance to ensure you get the best pump and at little or no cost to you! Just fill out this form here and they will do the rest! Your Baby is only small for a short amount of time, make sure to bond and enjoy those special moments.
One of the first things Moms-to-be add to their Baby Registry is a Breast Pump. Many new or veteran Mommy’s know the benefits of breastfeeding and will do whatever it takes to make it a smooth process. What a lot of Moms don’t know is that their health insurance will cover a breast pump with no or little cost. I didn’t know this when I had my first son, I had my pump on my registry and even had it purchased. It wasn’t until I did a little more research and made a lot of calls that I learned my planned covered a hospital grade pump, including the one I was gifted!! I immediately returned the pump, which was great for more diapers and other useful newborn products I needed.
So other Moms don’t have to make the calls and wait for call backs, there’s a one place stop shop to apply for your breast pump! The Breastfeeding Shop is a small business that all you have to do is fill out this form and they will not only obtain the prescription for a pump from your doctor but also check your insurance to see which pumps you qualify for! They specialize with working with Military Moms and Tricare Insurance but also check other insurances as well.
I wish I learned of The Breastfeeding Shop with my first son, by the time I had my second son it was time for a new pump. Filling out the form on the The Breastfeeding Shop’s site was a one stop shop. I received an email within days and selected which pump I wanted, my insurance paid for it all!!
Deciding on a breast pump is tough. I felt overwhelmed while researching breast pumps when I was new mommy-to-be. I was geared toward prices and wasn’t sure if that was due to quality or production. Once I discovered that my insurance will cover a hospital grade breast pump, I was able to pick the right breast pump for me. With my first son I choose the Ameda “Purely Yours,” which was a double electric pump. The pump included an electric adapter with battery option (for on the go) base, tubing, bottles, and suction accessories. It didn’t come with a carrying bag but was given the option to upgrade. The size of the pump was good for any small over the shoulder bag so that was a plus. Even though I could have used my Ameda again, the time in-between my first and second son was long enough to change pumps especially with constant technology growth. So I decided to try the Medela “Pump in Style” double electric pump. I really enjoyed using this pump and felt it had more options for stronger suction. The pump included only an electric adapter on the base, tubing, suction cups, bottles, and a carrying bag. I did have the option with my insurance to upgrade to a backback for a little more but was happy to use the bag. When I was out of town while breastfeeding and had forgotten my pump, I made a quick purchase that made me the owner of a Medela “Harmony.” The pump was a single manuel breast pump and while it was a little work out, it did the job! I’d advise to keep one of these handy. Some hosptials do give you a manual hand pump when you deliver your baby. Ask your doctor if that is something yours will do.
I wish I never stressed the first time around but that was because I didn’t know my pump could be covered by health insurance. Once I knew I could pick out a hospital grade quality pump with no or little cost was such a relief! A company that I always go to and fully recommend is the “Breastfeeding Store.” They are a family owned business which specializes in working with Military Moms and Tricare Insurance. Even if you’re not a military family, you are welcome to fill out their form and they will work with your insurance company. Their process is so simple and they make sure that Moms are able to get the right breast pump so that breastfeeding is simplified and enjoyable.
Breastfeeding has so many benefits that is great for Mom and Baby! I breastfed both my boys and I’m so glad I was able to. I nursed both of them for over a year. Breastfeeding while tough sometimes, was easier to adjust to when I saw the benefits. I made a list of 5 benefits, which I compiled from different medical sources as well as from my doctor.
- Body Changes: If you decide to breastfeed as soon as your Baby arrives, the body changing benefits are unbelievable. As soon as your little one starts nursing, your body begins to shrink your uterus back to it’s state before Baby. You will physically feel your uterus shrinking in the form of craps. To me this was an amazing feeling and I watched my body shrink over the weeks after Baby.
- Antibodies: Your breastmilk contains antibodies that help your baby fight off bacteria and viruses. Which lowers your Baby’s risk of allergies or asthma.
- Breastfeed Longer: Studies have showed, babies who are breastfed exclusively for the first 6 months have fewer infections, respiratory illness, or diarrhea.
- Bonding: The experience of bonding between Mommy and their Baby during breastfeeding is a surreal feeling. You also, get extra snuggles and hugs!
- Routine: Mommy and Baby have a better adjustment to setting a better routine while breastfeeding. This allows Baby to understand schedules such as sleep and eating, which helps early development into their toddler years.
I knew breastfeeding was good for my boys but didn’t realize how rewarding it was until I experience all the benefits!!! One of the things that helped me understand the benefits was obtaining a breast pump through my insurance. I recommend, “The Breastfeeding Shop.” They are a family owned business which specializes with TriCare Insurance and Military Moms. To see if you qualify for a free breast pump, click on this form and fill in your information. Once submitted, The Breastfeeding Shop will check into your insurance and let you know which pump you are able to select! It’s that simple, and now knowing the amazing benefits it’s worth getting pump and increasing your supply.
Earlier this month I was given the opportunity to chat with Jeremy Hoefs, Founder of USA.ENDURANCE and Podcast, “Freedom to Run.” We spoke about my ultra training, training with my boys, and our adventures! The podcast episode is now live and I’m excited to share it with my readers.
You can listen to Episode 25 at:
If you decide that you will be breastfeeding your newborn, even if it’s exclusively breastfeeding. I believe you should still get a breast pump. You will learn that being able to breastfeed is an amazing feeling but over time, being able to pump your milk will not only increase your supply but give you a break at times too. When you have a breast pump you also allow for your partner and family to feed your brand new bundle of joy! You also have to think of when you want a date night, and baby will be at home with a babysitter. The luxury of a breast pump is truly amazing. You may not want to think of getting sick while your baby is nursing but it could happen and breastfeeding is limited with some medications. Once again, this is where owning a breast pump is golden. You can start pumping a back up supply and storing it safely in your freezer, this way you have milk ready for your baby. While you are sick, you can continue to pump so your supply doesn’t decrease and dump it. There’s so many reasons to invest in a breast pump!!
The Breastfeeding Shop is a family owned business that will help you get a breast pump and most importantly, they may be able to get you a top of the line pump for free through your health insurance!!! All you have to do is fill out this form and hit submit! They will review your information along with your health insurance. For Military families, The Breastfeeding Shop works with Tri-Care to insure you get a pump! Owning a breast pump has wonderful benefits as I mentioned before, it doesn’t hurt to apply for one just so have it ready for when baby arrives!
When I had my first son, a concern of mine was breastfeeding in public. In the beginning, I would pump and prepare a bottle. This took a lot of prepping, especially before I could produce enough to create a stock pile. While I didn’t care what others thought, it was me who felt the need to be covered and in a quiet spot to feed my child. Over time breastfeeding in public became second nature. I wish I would have had a list of tips that helped me from the beginning. I’ve put together 5 tips that make breastfeeding in public easier.
- Wearing a Sling or Carrier: There’s nothing more comfortable and natural then to have your child skin to skin with you, while wearing your baby it’s easy to adjust your bra so that you can feed your baby. This simple adjustable makes for easy feeding and most the time nobody around you will notice!
- Utilizing Nursing Rooms or Waiting Areas: A great resource you may find at your local mall or even amusement park is “nursing rooms” and “motherhood waiting areas.” These rooms are usually near restrooms, they are made for comfort and relaxing. One of my favorites is the “Baby Care Center” at Disneyland, their nursing area even includes rocking chairs!
- Using a Cover Up: Cover Ups are fun and come in so many different patterns. The best are made from a light thin
material so that your baby doesn’t feel smothered and you’re not burning up! One of my favorite brands is Cover Me Ponchos. Their cover ups are super soft and light! The best part is their patterns don’t make you look like you’re wearing a cover up at all!
- Wearing a Nursing or Easy Access Bra: This may be a no brainer but not all bras are comfortable while nursing, especially when the let down hits….lol. I found sports bras were better for me, rather than nursing bras. I usually wore oversized shirts I could lift up, so a sports bra made for easy access. While, my good friend couldn’t go without a nursing bra. However, she usually wore shirts that buttoned up or tight tank tops. Buy a few different bras and see what works for you!
- Wear Clothes that are Comfortable: Just like the bra, find a wardrobe that you feel comfortable in. For me, oversized shirts and leggings worked the first six months. To be comfortable and stylish, I would wear a stretchy tank top, shorts, and a loose cardigan. If you wear clothes that are loose on top, it’s easy to adjust by pulling your top up or down. This makes for easy breastfeeding and no awkward moments, lol!
Those are the best 5 tips I wish I would have had before I started breastfeeding, I learned through trial and error! I’m glad I kept at it though, because the benefits outweighed the tough moments. If it’s still hard to feel comfortable to breastfeed in public, I recommend getting a breast-pump. Having a breast pump can alleviate stress and allow you to pump milk before an outing. My favorite company to obtain a breast pump from is The Breastfeeding Shop. This company is amazing and better yet, they will work with your insurance to help you get your breast pump for free! They make the process simple, all you have to do is fill out their form and they do the rest. Breastfeeding should be a cherished and bonding moment between you and your child, don’t let anything change that.