packing for breastfeeding

I LOVE ‘what’s in your bag posts’, be it a handbag, nappy bag, travel bag or my current fixation… the hospital bag! The more organized it is, the better!

Now, mine is still in progress so I wont be sharing the full contents of my hospital bag just yet. But, since it’s world breastfeeding awareness week and I haven’t had the opportunity to write a breastfeeding post in ages, I thought I’d let you know what I will be packing in my hospital bag in order to get our breastfeeding journey off to a good start.

Generally, a new mama can get by with nothing more than her breasts and her baby but there are a lot of products out there that can make this daunting and sometimes difficult journey so much easier.


First, I have placed all of my breastfeeding goodies into one little bag so that they are easy to find and easy for someone else to grab for me should I need them. Inside this bag I have included:

Lansinoh breastpads: generally I prefer washable breastpads (for better airflow) but there is a time and a place for disposable and the hospital is it. Don’t worry to pack an entire box – your milk will only come in on or around day 3 (possibly earlier for 2nd or 3rd time moms) 8-10 pads should be more than enough.

Nipple cream: There is much controversy around the type of nipple cream that a mom should or shouldn’t choose. While lanolin used to be the holy grail of nipple creams, today many moms are going for more natural variations. Personally, I don’t have anything against a pure form of lanolin – it’s something I often recommend for moms who are struggling and I certainly wont be packing my hospital bag without including that famous purple tube.

That said, omg have recently launched their all natural nu mama range. They have packed this range full of the very best ingredients that meet a multitude of needs and the Nu Mama Nursing Balm is no different. I am so excited to have such a comprehensive but natural and local product available to moms. The ingredients for the Nu Mama Nursing Balm were intensely researched making sure that the product is not only effective, but also gives mom the peace of mind that it is safe for her and baby too. Packed with shea butter, chamomile & marshmallow root, coconut oil and beeswax – it just doesn’t get better than that.

And so this time, a tub of nu mama nursing balm will be packed inside my bag as well.

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Latch assist: this little gadget is really handy for moms who are a little flat / inverted. It’s great at drawing the nipple out just before a feed, making it a touch easier for baby to latch. Usually, using the latch assist will draw a small amount of colostrum out as well, giving baby an instant reward and making the feed that much more enticing.

Boppy Pillow: Still my fave nursing pillow on the market and a must have for c/section moms. If there is one thing that is going to make breastfeeding easier, it is the support of a good, firm feeding cushion.

Nursing bra’s: you probably wont need these for the first couple of days or until your milk comes in (which is when you will need to hold a breastpad in place). Forget the fancy bra’s for now and opt for soft cotton / spandex sleep bra’s that will comfortably accommodate postpartum engorgement as well as providing easy access while you are still learning how to feed. Unfortunately, we don’t have an amazing array of nursing bra’s in South Africa – I found these on Amazon and paid around R400 for a set of 4 (including shipping via aramex global shopper)

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Arnica oil: It is completely normal for your breasts to reach a size you never imagined possible, they will be rock hard and they will be sore. Engorgement in the early days is not often relieved by pumping and this is because it is largely due to swelling of the milk ducts and not a whole lot of milk. Unless you are pumping in order to help baby latch or you have been advised to do so, avoid using your pump as it will only result in an over production of milk and little relief from the pain. Rather massage your breasts with arnica oil after a feed, place a hot facecloth over your breasts when you can and when you get home slip a cold, scored cabbage leaf into your bra (some hospitals may even keep stock of cabbage leaves for you).

Optional: some moms like to pack a nursing cover, if you are a first time mom who has never breastfed, learning to feed under a cover can be tricky. Rather ask visitors to leave while you feed so that you and baby have got the freedom to feed without the distraction of having to keep yourself covered.

Lastly, make sure you have the number of a lactation consultant, clinic sister or someone experienced who you can trust to answer the many questions that may come up during the early days of breastfeeding. Remember that this is the beginning of a wonderful journey, one that may take a little practice for both you and baby. Be gentle on yourself and ask for help if needed. So many moms do come right with breastfeeding, even when it has at times felt impossible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

26 weeks

Can you believe it? 26 Weeks! For most people a pregnancy goes by at a more rapid rate when it’s not your own. FYI, it does the same when it is your own and it’s your third. Honestly, I have days when I forget about this little being growing inside me and it’s only when I eventually sit down in the evenings that he really makes his presence known.

The first 18-20 weeks were pretty awful. They left me completely exhausted, often man down with a headache and extremely nauseous. But I think the worst of it was the guilt. This time around I had a fully functioning family to look after and I so often felt as though I was failing them. They were all so gracious and understanding but so much of their life suffered and no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t keep up.

As hard as those early weeks were, they were also filled with much excitement and awe as we watched this little person grow from a butter bean into what is now a fully formed BABY. One of the best things about being with a fertility specialist is the many scans we got to have in those early weeks – the transformation from week to week is incredible and I feel so blessed to have seen God’s hand at work with each and every scan we have had.

Week 12 & 16 revealed the GENDER of our baby and for those who may not know, we are thrilled to be adding a little BOY  to our clan (even the girls were hoping for a brother).

Week 16 also saw us graduating from the care of our fertility specialist and moving across to our regular gynae. Each phase has been so incredibly special but we really have enjoyed being back here, my doc is taking great care of me (as she always has) but she has also made it a real experience for the girls and especially for Tai.

I think that one of the biggest and best differences in this pregnancy has been that the girls have being so involved in it all – we have so enjoyed sharing this experience with them, celebrating with them and of course baby shopping with them in tow.  Their excitement is so evident as they count down the sleeps to our next scan and anticipate their baby brother’s arrival.

In the past couple of weeks things have begun to feel very real. We have settled on a name, our travel system has arrived and we have begun to shift things around our home to make space for a whole new little person. We have booked our hospital bed and set a date – my doctor is a little hesitant that we will make it to said date but we have set it none the less. I have also started to gather what we need for our hospital bags which I am so excited to pack!

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17 Weeks

We are currently just two weeks away from the third trimester. My belly is beginning to ‘get in the way’, braxton hicks are making the occasional appearance, heartburn is soaring and I am feeling lots of lovely movement from my boy (especially in the evenings or if I wake during the night). My back and pelvis have held up better in this pregnancy than any of the others and  although I do feel tired by the end of the day, my energy levels are relatively good.

Most consistent craving: peanut butter & strawberries – not necessarily together

Fave pamper product: omg nu mama body butter (more to come on this)

Most used preggy products: maternity jeans from H&M and my belly bottle (more to come on this as well)

Best advice received: It’s a toss between rotating over the counter heartburn meds (for some reason they work better when you mix them up a little) and being reminded that we are raising a young family – to consider the family as whole and to make decisions based on what works for and best serves all of us.

Fave baby buy so far: The last time we properly shopped for a baby was 7 years ago and so much has changed since then. There is a plethora of brand new products on the market but also a wonderful sense of knowing what we really need / like this time around. Taglets have been a big part of both of our girls lives so for that reason and after much searching, I think that I am most excited about these sweet burt’s bee’s taglets I found for him.

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Still on the wishlist: There are a couple of basics but mostly, I am hoping to purchase a sleepyhead pod before he arrives. If you don’t yet know what that is, you can check them out here. I am also searching for a couple of great nursing bra’s… I’ll keep you posted on those.

Fave preggy moment: at 20 weeks we had a specialist scan with a fetal doctor in Pretoria. The entire scan was amazing but the best part was being unexpectedly treated to this little 4D image of our gorgeous guy

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Most looking forward to: there is so much I am looking forward to this month, school holidays, a little break away, getting baby’s room ready and our 4D scan are the first that come to mind.

Baby’s name is: a secret

Thank you for taking the time to check in and see how we’re doing 🙂 until next time, be blessed

 

 

Win with Grundig

I am so excited to announce faithplusmom’s very first GIVEAWAY! In the last couple of weeks God has really stirred me to spend more time over here with all of you and I really am thrilled to be kicking it off with this amazing feature.

Now some of you may or may not know that I spend much of my time researching, writing about, looking at and interrogating modern kitchens and their appliances. I’m married to a kitchen guy and so I find it rather funny that this would be the first giveaway that we host over here.

In honour of our Mom’s, the women who held it all together, the women who made it all okay, to those who unveiled a strength that went beyond what we could even perceive until we tried this motherhood thing ourselves. To those who continue to shed strength, compassion and love, not only by what you do now, but by what you did for so many years while we were young. Memories speak volumes and we salute you for each and every one of them.

I have a very vivid picture of my mom standing at the kitchen sink, washing dishes and crying – I must have been 6 or 7 years old at the time. A couple of minutes later, my Dad sat down with us and explained that Mom was merely feeling overwhelmed and perhaps we could think about how we could help her out that day to make things easier.

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I don’t know why this memory has stuck with me so vividly and for so long but it is one that has spoken to me on many occasions. I’m not sure my mom even remembers it (she had three young children at the time so probably not). But, it is one that has encouraged me on the difficult days and it’s made all that my mom did for us that much greater. It’s made things real – she faced the same things I face, she felt overwhelmed, she cried, and she needed help. She got to the point where washing dishes and crying felt like the most logical thing to do – haven’t we all been there. Who knew, that 25 years down the line, that very moment would speak volumes into her daughter’s life again and again and again.

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Thank you mom for being so vulnerable, for clearly giving us everything you had and have to give. Thank you for displaying such strength in a moment that may have felt so weak. Thank you for guiding me and teaching me and for being one of the biggest influences in how I mother my girls today. Words are never enough… but THANK YOU!

Now for the fun bit

Grundig Appliances began in 1946 with a simple radio, today they offer a range of modern, highly efficient and technologically advanced products throughout Europe (and South Africa).

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Today Grundig are giving away a culinary experience to one lucky reader taking place at the Johannesburg Culinary and Pastry School plus the chance of winning a top of the range Grundig integrated oven valued at R8900.00

To enter, simply comment below telling me who your ‘mother of the year’ is and why.

Competition Rules

  • This competition is open to Gauteng residents only
  • The competion will close at midnight on Thursday 1 June. The winner will be announced and notified on Friday 2 June.

 

 

 

 

 

Baby Three… Coming September 2017

The end of last year was a little mad to be honest. We had birthdays, school functions, gymnastics functions, work deadlines, church meetings, new school stuff to organize and a baby journey all happening at once. I was exhausted and probably the most stressed I have ever felt…ever!

When December came and we took some time off, we actually decided to put our journey to baby three ‘on hold’ for the month before picking it up again in January. We needed to relax and enjoy spending some time together as a family. My meds, scans and shots would have fallen right over Christmas and I was quite happy to give that up and all that went along with it for the month. We also knew that if it was God’s will, anything could happen, meds or no meds.

In preparation I bought myself a pack of clear blue digital ovulation tests (the only ovulation tests worth buying in my opinion) just so that we had an idea of what (if anything) was happening . I started testing on day 12… negative, day 13… negative, day 14… low and behold, the test presented us with a smiley little face. I was so excited – not only because I was ovulating but also because it was within a very normal time frame and because it had happened without the help of any meds.

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29 December 2016

I really didn’t want to put too much pressure on myself and so, for the next two weeks I paid as little attention as possible to what my body was feeling. I have too often read into every little niggle and somehow managed to convince myself that I was pregnant when I was not.

But you see, once you have experienced a few pregnancies (up until this point it had been 5 including our losses) you become familiar with how it feels. By Saturday 7 January I felt my first little bit of queasiness, I had also had a few unexplained headaches and to put it plainly, I was just FEELING pregnant. I had two clear blue pregnancy tests in the bathroom drawer and after much debate, by Saturday afternoon, I couldn’t wait any longer. I took the test.

Three minutes later I was squinting into a tiny little test window, holding it up to the light, turning it this way and that… basically just trying exceptionally hard to find a second line. I was convinced it was there, but at the same time I knew that I should have just waited until the morning. The tests all say TAKE THE TEST FIRST THING IN THE MORNING FOR MORE ACCURATE RESULTS.

On Sunday morning Phil had gone off to church earlier than us for a prayer meeting so I had some time to take and scrutinize another test.

Well, I didn’t even have to wait the full three minutes. There was DEFINITELY a line and it was there straight away.

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Sunday 8 January 2017

I decided I would stop on our way home from church to pick up a digital test. I always feel those are a little less likely to present anything false and I thought that if there was even a hint of a line on this test, the digital one would give far more clarity . Nope, turns out that’s not true. The digital test decided to confuse us with a very clear ‘NOT PREGNANT’.

Huh?!

Obviously I didn’t believe it, but I decided to wait two days before testing again and heading off to medfem for bloods.

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3 weeks 3 days | clear blue urine test and medfem blood test

At just 3 weeks and 3 days pregnant we had confirmation with a couple of positive tests and new regime of meds.

I am pregnant and baby three will be arriving in Spring 2017.

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Baker Day (marshmallow-popcorn balls)

I’ve ‘copped out’ of Baker Day three years in row. By copped out, I mean that rather than taking the time and effort to put something together I’ve simply purchased 50 packets of crisps and sent them along to school on the day. Genius right? Right!

No really, its a great option. But, with this year being our last year at the beautiful school we’ve been at, we wanted to do something a little different. This year called for a little more effort and a lot of sugar.

If you have followed our journey on various other platforms, you will know that we switched to real food just over a year ago. The change has made the biggest difference to us all and it’s something we continue to enjoy. Making these changes at home was the easy part, deciding how we were going to handle everything outside of home was slightly more challenging.

At first I tried to provide replacements for any treats my girls might be offered outside of home, which was exhausting and frustrating. I couldn’t keep up which led to me feeling as though everything I was working so hard on at home was being undone on a weekly basis. Because of the challenges I have experienced with food, I am also very aware of the psychological connotations that can go along with it. Food is to be enjoyed, it is a massive part of our social life and I never want my girls to feel as though that part of their life is being compromised because of how we choose to eat. I wanted my girls to feel proud of what they were presenting, not that they can’t be proud of the healthier options… I just think it’s something to be aware of and it’s a line I tread carefully. I want their bodies and their minds to be healthy eaters – I am all too familiar with the idea of ‘forbidden foods’ and the guilt that all of that creates.

And that friends, is why even after making a massive daily effort to do otherwise,  we chose to send a sugar loaded treat to school on Friday. 

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We went with these delicious popcorn balls. I thought they were going to be a nightmare to make (especially when I heard that we had to make 70 of them) but I was so pleasantly surprised. All of the ‘cooking’ is done in the microwave and the oooey-gooey marshmallow isn’t nearly as sticky and nightmarish to work with as one would think. It also doesn’t harden as fast as I thought it would so we had plenty of time to mould our popcorn balls before it was too late. The recipe makes around 18 balls – we made four batches and ended up with 69 fo them in total.

Note: make one batch at a time otherwise you are going to battle to coat 
the popcorn evenly and your mixture may harden before you are done

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Marshmallow-Popcorn Balls

  • 1 packet mini marshmallows
  • 1 packet salted microwave popcorn
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • hundreds and thousands
  • paper cupcake holders

Method:

Pop your microwave popcorn according to packet instructions and place in a mixing bowl

Place butter in a large microwave safe dish and heat for 30 seconds / until melted

Add marshmallows and vanilla to butter and heat again until marshmallows begin to puff

Mix marshmallow mixture until well combined (make sure you use a heatproof spatula – I used wooden chopsticks so that I could throw them away once we were done)

Pour your marshmallow mixture over the popcorn and mix until popcorn is completely coated.

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Using wet hands, gently mould your mixture into balls and place them into your cupcake holders.

I put my girls in charge of the sprinkles which worked really well and created only a very manageable amount of mess.

Let me know if you give these a go and how they turn out.

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a chemical pregnancy 

Why do they even call it that, it sounds so cold and clinical …

I was hoping for good news, I was hoping that we had defied all odds and in spite of everything that was against us, we had somehow managed to fall pregnant this month.

Truth is, we actually did.

On Wednesday afternoon, after experiencing symptoms for over a week, I took a home pregnancy test. In the week leading up to the big event, I had been feeling queasy, exceptionally tired, and a little crampy. I was craving peppermint and just feeling ‘pregnant’. By the time Wednesday came, I was five days late and decided it was time.

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supporting him

I wanted to get married from as far back as I can remember. Of the many things I wanted to be ‘when I grew up’, a wife and a mom were always at the top of the list.  I also wanted to write, but I never in my wildest dreams thought that would actually happen (so thank you for reading this and for making that dream a reality 🙂

Before we got married, we got a prophecy that Phil would be travelling for ministry and that during those times, I would be at home with the kids. Madly in love and with the romantic vision of a family full of perfectly behaved children (Phil wanted eight kids when I met him), I happily accepted this as the role I would play in our family life.

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we don’t swear

No, really. We don’t swear. Not when we’re angry, not when we’re frustrated, not when we’re sad,excited or overjoyed. We just don’t. I was brought up in a home where my parents did not use tasteless language. I think the first time I heard my Dad swear I was about 16…. and it felt pretty awkward. Sure, I tried it as a kid. But it’s never felt right or beautiful or wholesome. It’s never put me or anyone else for that mater in a more powerful position. It’s never enabled me to express myself in a way that I couldn’t have done otherwise.

I loathe that it’s become such a big part of language, the way it’s thrown into blogs and all over social media, the way people don’t even care anymore if children are around. We wanted to watch a movie a little while ago and decided against it because when we worked it out, it had close on three expletives EVERY MINUTE!! I hate that society has become so comfortable with something so tasteless.

I know that I am the minority and probably considered a bit of a loser to many for feeling this way, I know that there are bigger problems out there. But I also know that I am raising two little girls to behave as a princess would. To behave in a way that would be fit for a King. Ultimately, to behave in a way that is pleasing to Jesus.

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healing in layers

It’s been over seven years since I last gave in to the lies that come along with anorexia and bulimia. And now, here I am sharing analogies that directly relate to food (there was actually a time in my life that nothing relating to food could ever be comical or taken lightly). Really though, the point of this particular post is not only to expand on my road to recovery… but also to share that although I live like a perfectly normal person (for the most part), my recovery continues and it continues into areas that I didn’t even know needed it.

God has so graciously brought people into my life at very specific and absolute perfect times to facilitate healing and to make me whole again… and I am beyond grateful every time I realise that He is doing something more in me, that He continues to make me whole and that He cares enough to give me one more layer. That He cares enough about the practicality of life and that He is faithful beyond what we could ever imagine.

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International Owl Awareness Day

Actually, International Owl Awareness Day was yesterday… but it’s too much of a goodie to miss! What a week, with World Breastfeeding Week, The beginning of the Olympic Games and Owl Awareness too, running multiple campaigns for multiple companies, one new website, one new showroom on the go, my first ‘baby three’ doctors visit, elections and two sick kids who have been at home for TWO weeks… I’m hoping you will forgive my less that punctual piece. I just couldn’t let this one go… because owls are my absolute BEST.

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