Friday, July 31, 2009

Using a Baby Sling after a C-Section

If you had a c-section to have your baby, then you know that recovery can be painful, and longer than that for a vaginal delivery. That being said, here are some tips from someone who has a variety of childbirth experiences (1 hospital vaginal birth, with all the trappings; 1 homebirth waterbirth; and 1 c-section).
First off, know your history and your family history when it comes to sensitivity to antibiotics. They will give you at least 1 bag in your IV after a c-section, so you need to know if you or anyone in your immediate family has had a reaction to a certain medicine. I say this only because the ones they gave me made me sick, and thus dehydrated, which led to a decreased production of breast milk and my little losing a lot of weight in his first few days.
Now, as far as baby slings go, I am all for them. I used one for a little while with my second, but I was not really comfortable with it. It was a ring style sling, and just a little too complicated for me to figure out. It did its job, but it made me nervous. I am not bashing ring style slings, you may find that those are the ones you prefer, but they did not work for me. This time I am trying a pouch style sling (made by Little Rubi, bought on EBay). It is all one piece of fabric that is sewn in a circle, and folded in half onto itself to form the pouch for baby; then you just put one arm through and rest the top part of the sling on one shoulder. I like this style a lot better, it feels more secure to me. As with all slings, do not use them during potentially dangerous activities (like jogging, running, cooking, etc).
We spent almost 3 hours at the WIC office the other day, and being that I knew it would probably take that long, I decided it was the perfect time to try out my new baby sling. So I tried it, and it was great. My little man slept the whole time, and was right up next to my body, so if had wanted to eat, it would have been very easy (and discreet) for me to feed him. As it was, he slept the whole time we were there, so I did'nt have to feed him, but feeding with a sling is great for times when you don't want your boob hanging out for everyone to see.
BUT, my little man is just now 3 weeks old, so that puts me 3 weeks out from major abdominal surgery. I did not think anything about this at the time, and wasn't having any pain, so I just went on with it. The next day, however, I was rethinking the whole sling idea. My abs were almost as sore as the day after we came home from the hospital. It never occured to me that when you use the sling, you aren't using your arms to support baby's weight, you are using your back and your abs, your core muscles. The same muscles they have to cut through to get baby out.
So the moral of this story is, slings are great; but if you have had a c-section you may want to wait 4-6 weeks before using the sling for an extended period of time, or you will definitely feel it the next day.
Another alternative (after waiting 3-4 weeks) would be to use the sling for little bits at a time. Maybe 1/2 hour the first day or two, then move up to an hour, and continue moving up SLOWLY until you are comfortable and don't have pain the next day.
Talk to your doctor or midwife if you have more questions.
I have provided a link below to Little Rubi's Ebay site. The slings are cute, with great fabrics,good prices, and pocket for your stuff, a loop for baby's toy, and a matching carrying case.
Enjoy your little ones!

Little Rubi Baby Carriers

Monday, July 27, 2009

Breat-feeding vs. Bottle Feeding

Ok, so as a mom of three, I have a "little" experience feeding babies. Thought, most of it was with a bottle. I bottle fed my first, started breast feeding my second, but gave up, and now, with my third, I am exclusively breastfeeding. Here are my thoughts on the pro's and con's of both.
Lets start with bottle feeding:
- others can help feed the baby
- you can feed baby anywhere without awkward glances and comments
-formula is expensive, and produces trash (ie, the empty cans, lids)
- bottles are not expensive, but not free
- bottles have to be washed, constantly
- formula is not milk, not even close. it is a concoction of chemicals that are made to be similar to milk, but it is no where close to natural
- bottle fed babies are sick more often

Now on to breast feeding:
- it's free
- it promotes bonding between mom and baby
- baby is less likely to be sick, as an infant, and as they get older
- breastfeeding lowers mom's risk of osteoporosis and certain cancers
- there is no trash to throw away
- no bottles to wash
- baby's poops are less smelly :)
- breast feeding is recomended by the American Academy of Pediatrics as the best way to feed baby
- mom does all the feeding (though if you pump, dad or some other family member can help with feeding, so this is only a part-con)
- mom will not get 8 full hours of sleep for a while after baby is born (unless using expressed breast milk for dad or others to help with feeding)

So, by my tally, breast feeding wins by a landslide. But you don't have to take my word for it. There are multiple websites with more in depth information. There are some links at the bottom of this post where you can find more information.

My experiences with bottle feeding were ok. It was nice to be able to get some sleep after baby was born. My husband did most of the baby care after our first was born.
With our second child, I attempted to breast feed, but did not get off to a good start. Looking back, I was probably dehydrated, so I wasn't making enough milk to feed my little one. I eventually gave up and went to bottle feeding again.
With our third child, I was determined. He nursed constantly for the first few days, but was steady losing weight. After a trip to the pediatrician on baby's third day, it was brought to my attention that I was not taking care of myself, therefore I could not take care of my baby. Your body is designed for self preservation. So if you are dehydrated or malnurished, then your body will not make the amount of milk neccessary for baby.
After getting this information, things changed almost instantly. I went home and drank a bottle of water and big glass of milk. Seems like less than an hour later, my boobs were full of milk ready for my little one. You have to take care of yourself if you want to be able to take care of your kids (or anyone else, for that matter).
So far, I have been breast feeding for almost 3 weeks. We have no formula or bottles in our house, so I am not tempted to back slide.
I have thoroughly enjoyed the bonding time with my son. Getting the chance to sit with him multiple times a day and watch him grow, is absolutely amazing. I feel great, physically and mentally. I have not had the problems with post-partum depression like I had after my first two kids were born.
I am hopeful to continue this relationship with my son for as long as possible. If an obstacle does come up, then I plan on pumping so that he still gets the best food for him, even if its not 'directly' from me.

If you have questions about breast feeding, contact your local La Leche League leader for lots of helpful information. And check out these websites for some answers...

La Leche League

American Academy of Pediatrics - breastfeeding page

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists - Breastfeeding Patient Pamphlet

Pregnancy.Org - Breastfeeding Information

Saturday, July 25, 2009

what AM I doing??

Ok, so everyone in my house is asleep ( a miracle with 3 kids [1 is only 2 weeks old] and a husband who would rather be in the woods or making a fire with sticks...more on that later) and what am I doing? Surfing the internet.
I could be taking a bath, reading a book, or, better yet, sleeping! And yet here I And after some thought, I think I may actually pick up a book...after I watch cops :)
Night all!

Friday, July 24, 2009

SC Style 'Gumbo'

Venison Gumbo Recipe

2 lbs venison burger
2 large potatoes
1 large red onion
1 large yellow onion
4 large cloves of garlic
2 large tomatoes
2 cups okra
2 large (or 4 small) yellow squash
1-2 cups carrots
1 can diced tomatoes in juice
1-2 cups chicken broth
small amount red wine vinegar
1/4 C. sugar
salt, pepper, cajun seasoning

Chop potatoes, okra, tomatoes, carrots, and squash; set aside.
Chop onions and garlic, set aside separate from other veggies.

Brown venison burger in large dutch oven (just until brown, do not overcook!)
Add salt, pepper, and Cajun seasoning to meat.
In small skillet, brown garlic and onions until slightly caramelized.
After meat is browned, add chicken broth, 2 cups water, can of tomatoes, sugar, onions and garlic.
Use red wine vinegar (or apple cider vinegar) and a little water to deglaze garlic/onion pan. Add to large pot.
Bring to a boil, then add rest of veggies.
Return to a boil, cover, and turn heat down to low.
Simmer 15-20 minutes, or until veggies are tender.
Don't overcook, as veggies will lose all their color.

(Amounts of broth and water can be altered to suit what you have available.)