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.

BreastfeedingShop_1

5 Tips that Make Breastfeeding Easier

BreastfeedingShop05

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!

BreastfeedingShop_2

Breastfeeding Simplified at The Breastfeeding Shop

TheBreastFeedingShop

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.

 

Oh, Nesting…

pregnancy-9Months

I’m in the 9th month of my pregnancy and just about two weeks shy of my due date! I figured I should get a few words in before the big arrival of Little Little. Especially since it’s looking like he may be here sooner than expected. I’m currently dilated to 4 cm and 70% effaced. My contractions have been more frequent, yet not too close together. I never was dilated with Baby Baby at any of my appointments, so it’s hard to even think my body is preparing itself without me being in active labor, lol.

Bumps & Cuddles <3

9-Month Bumps & Cuddles <3

The 9th month hasn’t been so bad, some days are better than others but for the most part my energy has been great. I tapered down on my running early July but stayed active in my Mommy & Me workouts up until now. I’ve kept the mentality if I feel good and I have the okay from my Doctor, then go for it. For a little bit mentally I was getting stressed, the saying one is one and two is twenty was floating around a lot. It was making me nervous about what I’m going to be venturing into next on my journey through Mommyhood. However, I’ve been able to relinquish my worry through prayer and I know that this gift I’ve been given to bring another child into this world is God’s plan, my plan and purpose.

The past two weeks I finished up last minute purchases, organized our home for the 100th time, and my family hosted a baby sprinkle for me. One of the biggest things I’ve tried doing is taking advantage of the time I get to spend with my husband and son. It’s crazy to think it’s not going to be just the three of us. I know the transition into a family of four is going to be a challenge. A learning experience, as always…but a precious one. I’m praying that I get to continue to feel these kicks for a couple more weeks but, we’ll have to see. When it’s time, it’s time <3

Happy Father’s Day 2016!

to all the great men out there who set their dreams, goals, and aspirations around their family.

Happy Father's Day! Love, Mommy, Baby Baby & Little <3

Happy Father’s Day! Love, Mommy, Baby Baby & Little Little<3

 

I’m very grateful that my heavenly father has graced me with the presence of a husband that resembles him to his children. Mav is the definition of selfless. He always puts his family needs before his own. He’s made sacrifices that allows our family to be together “always.” I’ve said it many times before and I’ll say it much more, we’re very blessed to have him apart of our lives. He’s the best Father Baby Baby and Little Little could ask for. We love you Mav and Happy Father’s Day!

Hello Third Trimester! 

I’m two weeks into the third trimester of my 2nd pregnancy! Woohoo!

28 weeks pregnant! Photo by: http://herewithyouphotography.com

28 weeks pregnant! Photo by: http://herewithyouphotography.com

There’s been a few similarities in this pregnancy that I experienced as I did with Baby Baby but, more recently there’s been a few differences. I’m thinking it’s because I’m on a different schedule this pregnancy and always running around. Little Little is a lot more active during the day and loves to stretch out! Whereas Baby Baby was active late nights and rested his feet on my ribs. It’s exciting yet painful however, I’ll learn to adjust for 10 more weeks. Lol.

29 weeks pregnant! Look at that belly!

29 weeks pregnant! Look at that belly!

I’m down to an appointment every two weeks now that I’m in the third trimester. I really feel like this pregnancy has flown by which has it’s ups and downs. While, I love being pregnant and enjoy feeling whole. Getting to the waddle stage is tough and even more frustrating with a toddler. At my 30 week appointment everything looked good though. Little Little’s BPM was a solid 140 <3 He’s on the smaller side and is expected to be between 6-7 lbs at birth. Which my doctor wasn’t concerned since Baby Baby weighed 7.6 lbs at birth. As for me, I weighed in at 118 and have gained a  healthy 15 lbs. I’m expected to pick up another 10 lbs the next few weeks which, I’m sure will come easy ;p All and all, as long as Little Little and I are looking good that’s all that matters.

 

My little Doctor's Appointment sidekick! He's the best when it's Mommy getting the shots ;p

My little Doctor’s Appointment sidekick! He’s the best when it’s Mommy getting the shots ;p

I’ve accomplished a lot this pregnancy when it comes to being prepared. It’s nice that we kept a lot around from Baby Baby and the only large additions have been things we need in double. Of course, the first on the list was a double BOB! hahaha. It worked out great since the new model was released this year =D My main goal before Little Little arrives is just to be organized and have all I need easily in reach. I’m nervous and excited to take on being a Mom of 2! More or less, a Mommy to a toddler and a newborn! =)

It’s a ….

itsaboy

It’s a Boy!

BOY!

Baby Baby is excited to share his adventures with a Little Brother =) This also officially means I’m outnumbered, lol. Which I’m not too concerned about. I always saw myself as a boy mom so I’m very excited for Little Little’s arrival. I’m looking forward to a future of rational conversations, wholesale club trips and of course, sports! I’m not going to get too ahead of myself ;p I’m a little less than 17 weeks away from being a mom of two and I can’t wait!

Halfway There

20 weeks and already filling so big! At least I'm halfway there =)

20 weeks and already feeling so big! At least I’m halfway there =)

I can’t believe I’m already filling out hospital paperwork again. This pregnancy is moving along faster than my first. I guess I just have a lot more to focus on and do. My anatomy scan was this past Friday and everything went well. Little Little is healthy and very active for 20 weeks! The experience is still very exciting and I’m learning something new everyday. Little Little tends to be a night owl and will start their kicks late night until I wake up early morning. I just love those baby kicks! We’ll see how long that lasts in a couple more weeks, lol. Baby Baby is starting to notice my bump and the little changes, he’ll run up and pat it with a huge grin. He’s going to be an amazing big brother.

We plan to announce Little Little’s gender within the next few weeks. I originally wanted to wait but we had so much fun announcing Baby Baby, I figured we’d do something similar =) We do have a lot going on right now so the less I can stress…I’m all about it. Between babymoon plans and daily adventures, I’m trying to take advantage of all the time I can get before Little Little arrives. Especially the time I get with Baby Baby while he’s still an only child!

Baby Kicks =)

First kicks arrived this week. Oh, how I’m amazed by how precious life is. I’m going to be a bit honest here. Mav and I originally planned for Baby Baby #2 but took a step back prior to when we thought I could conceive ;p So, when I found I was pregnant last month and not just by a couple weeks, it was a surprise. I found out I was pregnant with Baby Baby March 24th 2013 so about 3 years ago. With Baby Baby, we knew everything down to the day of conception. I feel with Little Little I missed a lot of the first trimester but at the same time skipped the worry. The great thing for me is I don’t do anything that would have made this pregnancy scary health wise such as drinking. I took prenatels because it’s the vitamins I choose to take in general. I run but the doctor wasn’t worried as long as I didn’t start a up a new training schedule. I’m a frequent Disneyland visitor but no wild rides when your bff is 36 inches tall ;p So not a whole lot of craziness, lol.

So back to kicks. It’s amazing, I’m so lucky to be able to journey into motherhood again for the second time. I have to admit when I found out I had so many different thoughts and I really didn’t know how another baby would fit into our lives. I love Baby Baby but to love another just as much and with my whole heart just felt unreal. I know I can now. I feel these kicks and I witness life. How can I love someone I have never met so much? I’m beyond blessed =)

OC Chili Winter Train Run Series

5 Mile Run - 9 Weeks

5 Mile Run – 9 Weeks

This past Saturday concluded my trail run series. All three runs were intense, challenging and different. When I signed up I wanted to help strengthen my pace and distance, while running a different type of terrain. Each course allowed me to do that the last three months. While I was pregnant throughout each run, I still think my time would have stayed the same if I were just a single runner….lol. You had the option to choose your distance with each run. If I wanted to run 5 miles each race, I could sign up for the 5 mile course. However, I wanted to build strength for my upcoming half marathon so, I chose to run 5-7-10 miles. The first run was 5 miles and so different from the paved paths I normally would run. I ran this run while 9 weeks pregnant ;p The first two miles were all uphill until you reached about a 1500 ft. elevation. which was brutal but doable. If Only I knew at the time I’d have to get use to those hills as they paved the path for the next two courses.

7 Miles - 14 Weeks

7 Miles – 14 Weeks

The second run was 7 miles and while I studied up on the course, the day of the race they changed the path (of course!) So, those 2 uphill miles became your friend especially when you made it down the hill, the course had you turn around and run back up! I ran this run when I was 14 weeks pregnant. Throughout the next 5 miles, it was downhill, aside the hills, paved, dirt and rock. I actually stopped listening to music before this run because I knew I had to be on top of things because any split second change could result in a nasty fall. None the less the course change and distance worked for me.

10 Miles - 17 Weeks

10 Miles – 17 Weeks

The third and final run of the series was 10 miles and was the 5 mile and 7 mile course with the extra 3 miles running out and turning back around. This run, I was really nervous for, I was now 17 weeks pregnant. I had the distance down but when you put all terrain in, It really changes up my distance and openly running pregnant made me cautious. The first 5 miles I slowed down and really watched my steps, there’s parts on the trails that are at 80 degree angle downhill and as wide as 1 ft across. Once I ran the first 5 miles, I felt good and thought the next 5 would be easy. At mile 8, I fell =/ After reading on trail runs, I knew going down to keep to my side but it was still a shock. I still keep replaying how I lost my balance and all I can think is the shift in gravel. I stayed down for about a minute before coming to terms with I have to finish. I finished about 20 minutes later. All and all, thank goodness I was fine. Little Little is good.

The series was great and I would definitely run it again….however, run it pregnant? No, I don’t think I’ll find myself on similar trails until after Little Little arrives! The series did help prep me for my upcoming half marathon and I really do believe the hills have helped my pace on paved runs. While I loved running in this series, my personal goal for a future series is to work on those hills. I enjoy being one within nature and trail runs will give you that peace of mind. I know if I was a stronger runner I could enjoy the course more and appreciate my surroundings as well. We will just have to see what the future brings =)