The Right Breast Pump for You!

pump_03Deciding 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 pump_02so 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 pump_01upgrade 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.

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The 5 Benefits of Breastfeeding

img_5444Breastfeeding 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.

  1. 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.
  2. Antibodies: Your breastmilk contains antibodies that help your baby fight off bacteria and viruses. Which lowers your Baby’s risk of allergies or asthma.
  3. Breastfeed Longer: Studies have showed, babies who are breastfed exclusively for the first 6 months have fewer infections, respiratory illness, or diarrhea.
  4. Bonding: The experience of bonding between Mommy and their Baby during breastfeeding is a surreal feeling. You also, get extra snuggles and hugs!
  5. 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.

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5 Tips that Make Breastfeeding in Public Easier

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.

  1. 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!
  2. 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!
  3. Using a Cover Up: Cover Ups are fun and come in so many different patterns. The best are made from a light thin
    Simplifying Breastfeeding in Public!

    Simplifying Breastfeeding in Public!

    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!

  4. 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!
  5. 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.

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5 Tips that Make Breastfeeding Easier

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After going through the breastfeeding process twice, there’s a few tips I wish I knew ahead of time. My first son I breastfeed for 15 months and my second well, we are still on the journey. During my first and second, I learned to enjoy my time feeding baby and hope to help others who wish to breastfeed. Here are 5 tips I came up with that helped my journey and I hope for them to help yours as well:

  1. Patience – being calm and patient allowed me to relax with my baby. This also allowed me to enjoy the time I had feeding Baby. The more relaxed I became the more milk I produced, after feedings I eventually able to pumped what baby didn’t eat!
  2. Breastfeeding Pillow – This can be anything from a regular pillow to ones made exclusively for breastfeeding. I used “My Brest Friend” for both kids. I loved the way it clipped around my waist and gave both baby and I support, it was perfect for breastfeeding.
  3. Nursing Cover – Using a nursing cover helped my breastfeeding anxiety in public. I used anything from a muslin swaddle blanket to wraps made for breastfeeding. Even the right loose t-shirts opted for a cover and that was enough. The importance of allowing yourself to go out n’ about as a new Mom is a lot. Breastfeeding shouldn’t stop your freedom.
  4. Nutrition – A healthy balanced diet helped me produce more milk. I also felt I was restricted from more foods while breastfeeding than pregnant. I learned quickly specific foods either didn’t allow me to produce quality milk or would upset the baby’s tummy! To eliminate what foods didn’t work, I created a list of what I ate, how I felt, how it made baby feel, and how I would replace it, if needed. Another reminder was how much calories you burn while breastfeeding your baby. Increasing your food intake is normal and will help increase your milk production too!
  5. Schedule – Stick to a feeding schedule. Not only is routine healthy in any lifestyle, it also helps develop one of the first schedules for your baby. Even though its breastfeeding, think of it as lunch, breakfast, and dinner, as well as snacks. You may also start to produce enough milk to include snacks as milk you pumped after feeding baby nights before!

As I encourage any Mom or Mommy-to-be to breastfeed these are just a few tips that helped me while feeding my two boys. A huge help was investing in a breast pump! A breast pump allowed me to increase my supply as well as keep breast milk safe for baby to eat while I was away. Pumping also gave my husband, grandma, and friends the ability to bond while feeding baby. The Breastfeeding Shop helps Mommies-to-be obtain a breast pump through their medical insurance. They make the process fast and easy. All you have to do is follow the instructions on this form and submit it! I would recommend using this company to help make the breastfeeding process easy and stress free! The mom life was created to be enjoyed, stay positive and strong!

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Breastfeeding Simplified at The Breastfeeding Shop

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The age difference between my first and second son is almost 3 years. Since I breastfed my first son, It came natural to do so with my second. Even though the age difference isn’t large, the advances in all sorts of baby gear made it hard to reuse the second time around. One of these items was my breast pump! While my first breast pump worked great, it also had seen a lot of love. So once again I found myself shopping breast pumps. This time around, I also was running a lot so I needed one that was convenient for travel. Luckily, I didn’t have to search far as I did with Baby Baby. The Breastfeeding Shop was a one stop, easy and great way to shop the perfect pump!TravelBreastPump

By offering a variety of breast pumps and accessories, I knew I could find one for the comfort of home and travel. Along with bottles and storage items I would need. Since they work with your insurance company, they help ensure your breast pump is covered. Their expertise is working with Military Moms and Tricare insurance, so that they can receive the top of line breast pumps at no cost.

In order to start the process to your insurance covered breast pump, you will need a prescription. No need to worry though, if you don’t have one yet.  The Breastfeeding Shop is able to contact your doctor on your behalf.  Once the prescription is available, you are able to fill out this form. In a few easy steps, the claim is processed and the pump is shipped directly to you! The Breastfeeding Shop simplifies the breast pump process and allows Moms-to-be access to the best products.

 

Baby Mum-Mum Rice Rusks Review

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I was excited when Baby Mum-Mum reached out to Pray Run Live Love because their baby rice rusks were next on my list while shopping for the boys. We are always looking for different snacks, especially ones that offer a healthier alternative. If you’ve followed my blog for awhile you know that when I first introduced solids into Baby Baby’s diet, I made all his food. I really enjoyed knowing everything that went into his body. Of course over time and “grandma” visits, his diet isn’t always restricted to what I can make. So doing research and purchasing items that reflect a good diet is what I strive to do.BabyMumMum2

Now that I’ve begun the same process of making food for Little Little, I’m starting to introduce more healthier pre made snacks into his diet as well. We love Baby Mum-Mum Rice Rusks! Not only does Baby Baby eat them with peanut butter, Little little enjoys them too on their own. This past month I started adding snacks to his diet that he can feed himself with.  I was sent four flavors: original, original “fruit juice sweetened, no salt added,” banana, and carrot. Little Little liked all of them but favored “carrot” the most. The packaging is great and allows us to throw a few 2-pack mum-mums in the diaper bag for out ‘n’ about snacks. I could have seen Baby Baby really loving these snacks when we first introduced him to solids. They are lightly flavored and practically weightless. Since they quickly disolve while in your mouth, I’m not worried about the boys choking or eating too much. They are perfect for teething and introducing solid foods. I recommend Baby Mum-Mum to any child 3 and under.

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PROS:

  • lightweight
  • no mess
  • several flavors
  • naturally sweetened
  • made free of all 10 common allegies
  • individually wrapped 2-packs

 

CONS:

  • quick to snap apart

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Wrapy Baby Wrap Carrier Review

Out n' About with our Wrapy!

Out n’ About with our Wrapy!

When it comes to baby wraps my goto wraps are K’tan, Moby, or Boba. All very similar but each carries a different style. So, when I was asked to try the Wrapy Baby Wrap I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was hesitant at first or maybe a little intimidated when I opened the wrap, since the wrap is so long! However, it does come with illustrated picture instructions which are easy to depict. The instructions allow for 4 different carrying positions with the wrap. I followed the directions for the position best suited for a newborn. In time I’m sure we’ll try others. I practiced with it weeks before baby arrived and maybe a few times after baby arrived, haha. Just to make sure I had it right, safe, and secure. Our first outing with the wrap was simple, we were out for about 3 hours and walked around maybe 1/2 hour during the 3. Little Little stayed asleep the whole outing! The wrap allowed the most skin to skin contact and for him to lay his head on my chest. It was nice to have him so close but also have my hands free. This was perfect, since I had my toddler with me and needed to be available for him as well. Overall, I’d recommend this wrap if you’re able to stay patient with instructions and want a Moby-like carrier wrap without the price tag.

Wrapy Baby Carrier

Wrapy Baby Carrier

Pros:

  • The material is 95% cotton and 5% spandex for a super soft and comfortable feel
  • The long length of the wrap allows you to secure it tightly for safety
  • Available in various solid colors: red, grey, black, and navy blue
  • Comes with matching carrying pouch, perfect for traveling
  • Machine washable
  • Great price for quality

 

Cons:

  • Instructions may be complicated for those who don’t do well with visuals
  • The wrap does claim you can use it with baby up to 35 lbs but I’d say more like 20 lbs
  • Does not support back babywearing

 

*you can read more and purchase your Wrapy on the following site:

Amazon.com

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Comfy & Cozy with Mama!

Invest in a Good Camera =)

Smash Cake!!

Smash Cake!!

I’m currently working on Baby Baby’s smash cake pictures we took over the weekend for his First Birthday! If there’s one thing I say invest in, it’s a good camera. I was so hesitate at first because with technology constantly changing, I didn’t want to invest in a product that was going to be obsolete in a year. As most Mommies, I use a iPhone for taking pictures and even though I get some grade a quality shots; it’s still just a phone. So in August, I went ahead and treated myself to a good camera. I bought a Canon Rebel T5i along with a few lenses. The choice to purchase different lenses was a good one as it allows me to grow with my camera. There’s still so much to read up and learn about it. So, far it’s been a great camera to take pictures of the family with. Another plus is being able to get creative and set-up DIY shoots. I’m going to get back to editing pictures but, I was so excited about how they came out…I had to share a sneak peek of one them. Of course, the sneak peek picture I took of a picture was with my iPhone…hahaha

Summer Infant Pop n’ Play Portable Playard

Playard in use at the beach!

Playard in use at the beach!

From the first time I put Baby Baby in this playard, I just knew it was going to be a “must have.” It’s so easy and convenient, it just opens up, requires a few snaps and it’s good to go. From the beach to our basement, it’s perfect for all occasions that require a “baby jail.” The mesh sides make it easy for baby to see and at the same time be confined without worry. The bottom requires no additional padding which allows it to be so compact, however since it sits right on the floor it might not be a good idea to put it on hardwood floor. I recently swamped out our tent with the pop n’ play on one of our beach trips. It worked great and gave Baby Baby a little extra room to play. We used our beach umbrella to help shade the playard. If you don’t want to go the beach umbrella route or just plan on using it in the backyard, Summer Infant does offer a canopy that attaches to the playard at an additional cost. All and all, this is a great multi functional portable playard that is perfect for someone who wants the security of a normal pack n’ play but with a no hassle set up.

 

Source: Amazon.com

Source: Amazon.com : Easy Set-Up & Break Down

Breathable mesh sides that provide a great view =)

Breathable mesh sides that provide a great view =)

Pros:

  • Compact
  • Light-weight
  • Sturdy
  • Easy set up and take down
  • Multiple uses
  • 5-minute set up

Cons:

  • Bottom is non-padded
  • Canopy sold separately

 

Pacific Play Tents Lil Nursery Tent

source: Amazon.com

source: Amazon.com

From the moment I got the Lil’ Nursery Tent in the mail I couldn’t wait to use it! This week’s beach trip was the perfect excuse to bring it out. First off, the color scheme I choose is awesome. There’s nothing like red and blue to say you’re ready for fun. Another plus is it’s very lightweight and compact. Making it easy to just toss in the beach bag. The true test was to see how easy it was to set up and if it was durable. Assembly was a piece of cake; it only took two foldable polls to snap up into shape. Once it was set up, I put in some light blankets, a towel, and of course Baby Baby. The nylon and mesh material seems to hold up well, I wouldn’t plan an outdoor camping trip with the tent for a week but after all it is a “play” tent. Velcro is what is used in order to close the tent. Which feels a little flimsy but, it works. The weather at the beach was a high of 73 with a slight breeze. I was nervous at first if the tent would be well ventilated with the mesh sides. However, after a quick nursing session lying inside the tent, I was able to feel a nice breeze with no problems. The tent also claims to be UV treated at SPF 30. To be on the safe side I still kept the tent under an umbrella and SPF 55 on the little one. Overall, I enjoyed using the Lil Nursery Tent, its simple design and purpose worked well for our beach trip. I’ll definitely plan on keeping it in our beach bag for future trips!

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Compact
  • Good size
  • Fun for all ages
  • Easy set up & take down
  • Great for indoors or outdoors

Cons:

  • Velcro closure
  • Flimsy for use other then play

 

Playing inside the tent!

Playing inside the tent!

Mommy & Baby Baby Playing inside the tent!

Mommy & Baby Baby Playing inside the tent!