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Relactation? Yes! It CAN be done!

This post contains affiliate links.

Relactation? What the heck is that, you may ask. But as resources and information become more and more readily available, more and more women and choosing to give relactation a try in order to continue to provide breast milk to their baby even after their milk supply has initially dried up. Women who have lost their milk supply can re-initiate their supply through pumping!

I have initiated relactation a total of three times. The first time, I didn’t do so well. It was 2008 and there wasn’t nearly as much information available about relactation as there is now. The second time, I blew the ball out of the park! After being completely dry (not even drops!) for over 2 months, I relactated and hit production as high as 70 ounces per day; without using domperidone, a medication often used to induce lactation or relactate.

How?

The most common question I get is “how?!” While it might seem like the answer should be complex and confusing, it really isn’t. I followed a very strict and consistent pumping schedule. First thing in the morning and right before bed I would power pump;

So morning and night I power pumped. I usually watched Netflix or played on my phone while power pumping. In between power pumping, I pumped every two hours for approximately 20 minutes give or take. I clocked my pump times from the starting time of each pump. So if I started pumping at 3:00pm, then my next pump should start at 5:00pm

I rarely pumped at night.

Trust me, I had every intention of pumping at night, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I turn into an absolute zombie. I would set alarms on my phone to wake up and I would shut them off in my sleep. I even downloaded a trick alarm, where you have to prove you’re awake by solving math problems before it will shut off. I woke up with the battery taken out of my phone and I didn’t remember doing it. I think, over the course of a year (the time I commenced relactation to the time I decided to wean) I only pumped at night five or six times total. I wanted to pump at night because I knew it would improve my progress, but try as I might, it just wasn’t working for me.

Motivation

The single biggest contributor to my success was my ability to maintain my motivation. Relactation is a hard thing to do and progress is very slow, and often times, not immediately identifiable. This is the hardest part for most!

My husband (being the super hot geek he is) made me a special chart that allowed me to track not only my production, but the time I spent and milliliters per minute average! Take a peek!

Want a copy of the template for your own tracking purposes?  Download Sammi’s Super Relactation Log Here!

Additionally, a huge motivator for me was logging! I bought a school planner, similar to this one, and logged all of my pump times. I made note of the starting time, ending time, total minutes for each session, total milliliters and then I added up all the minutes and milliliters at the end of the day and plugged them into the excel file my husband made for me. My logs typically looked something like this;

8:00-8:20 —- 40 mins (power pump) —– 15ml
10:00-10:20 —- 20 mins — 5ml
12:00-12:20 —- 20 mins — 10ml
2:00-2:20 —— 20 mins —- 5ml
4:00-4:20 —— 20 mins —- 5ml
6:00-6:20 —- 20 mins —- 3ml
8:00-8:20 —- 20 mins —- 5ml
10:00-10:20 — 40 mins (power pump) — 10ml

Total mins: 200 mins
Total ml: 58ml

It got to the point I would get super excited for my last power pump of the day so I could total up my production and log it on my excel file. It was a great motivator.

On that note, another HUGE component of my motivation was accuracy. You can have just a tiny bit in a bottle and it’s 3ml. You can pump again and feel it looks about the same, but it be 5ml. For this reason, I STRONGLY recommend having small syringes available to allow you to accurately measure your production. If you buy a bulk pack with caps, you can even freeze your milk in these syringes to use for earaches, teething and colds, since antibodies are often more condensed in women producing smaller amounts of milk! I continued to use syringes only for milk storage and would freeze them as soon as they were full to 10cc. Once I started producing  4oz or so a day, I moved on to using bags.

Consistency

The most important thing to do when relactating is to remain consistent. It is so easy to get behind or put off pumping, or skip a session, but that lack of concistency is the most detrimental thing to your supply. A lot of women feel like if they wait longer to pump, they’ll get “more” milk, but the reality is, pumping more often is best, even if it appears you’re getting less (or in the early days, nothing)! Remaining consistent is so hard, especially when progress is slow, but the consistency pays off.

For me, I never saw the results of what I did today, until three or four days from now. If I pumped really well and often all day Monday, then I wouldn’t expect to see an increase in supply until Thursday or Friday. This is also another reason you should keep a pumping log and use my excel file; you’ll be better able to spot trends in your pumping schedule and your changes in production!

Hands-free setup

Having a hands free pumping set up was crucial to my success. I was able to cool, clean, work and tend to the kids all while pumping. Had I not had a hands-free set up, I doubt this would have been possible for me. My hands-free setup was a Medela Freestyle hacked to work with Freemie cups using spectra backflow protectors.

Pump Recommendations

While I loved my hands-free setup, it wasn’t suitable for exclusive use. The suction just wasn’t as strong on my Medela Freestyle as it was my Spectra S2. I used my Spectra S2 with my Freemie cups for my power pumping sessions and any pumping sessions I didn’t need to be on the move and was sitting around.

When I was out and about or needed to be up and moving, I used the hacked Medela Freestyle.

This combination worked great for me. This isn’t to say another pump won’t work, but for me, these two worked well together.

The third time I re-lactated, I used the Ameda Platinum alongside the hacked Freestyle to allow me freedom. I have to say I loved the Ameda Platinum and it was so much more effective than any other pump I have tried. It is very expensive to buy, and is usually only accessible through a rental, but it is amazing. If you have access to an Ameda platinum, USE IT!

Medications & Supplements

About a week into relactating, I got discouraged and ordered domperidone. Domperidone is a medication often prescribed and used to induce lactation. While I had never used it before, I had heard so many good things about domperidone from other women. I had used Reglan in the past and refused to ever take that again.

Because it was an international order, I was looking at quite a bit of time before it would arrive, so in the mean time, I started taking fenugreek, blessed thistle, shatavari and spirulina by CassavaShop.com. It took me a while, but once I tweaked with my dosages a bit and watched my logs, I was able to figure out what would work best for me and how my supply responded.

Not everyone responds the same way to herbals though. Some women will actually see a decrease with fenugreek, so be sure to play around with it and ALWAYS watch your logs for any upward or downward trends that could be the result of adding a new herbal!

Water

Water is so, so, so important just for everyday life! It’s even more important when you are lactating (or attempting to re-lactate). If your body is lacking the fluids it needs to sustain itself, producing fluids to sustain another human being is absolutely out of the question. If you are dehydrated, your milk supply will suffer (or fail to come in).

I have such a hard time making sure I drink enough water. I bought 1 gallon jugs of distilled water and would start drinking it in the morning and attempt to finish it by bedtime. Most days I drank 3/4 of the jug to the whole jug. I kept it by my pump so that every pump session, I’d remember to drink a good amount then and there!

Foods & Drinks

While there are plenty of foods believed to boost supply, I really didn’t focus too much on foods and drinks. I did try to incorporate a few things into my diet though.

Powerade! I found women on all sorts of breastfeeding and lactation groups talking about how Powerade boosted their supply. Some women claimed it was only one specific color that did, but in my experience, it didn’t matter. But then again, I will only drink the red or blue Powerade. In retrospect, I should have opted for the sugar-free Powerade, but I did drink a 32oz container of Powerade nearly every day, on top of the water I was consuming.

I ate a lot of oatmeal too. Steel cut and rolled oats, made in my rice cooker. It worked great and was a hot, healthy breakfast with little prep time each morning. Oatmeal is supposed to improve supply, but instant oatmeal doesn’t have the same effect. I also made oatmeal cookies with rolled oats.

I used a lot of carnation malted milk powder. I don’t drink alcohol at all, so having a beer wasn’t really an option for improving supply. No way would I be able to gag down a beer, ever. A lot of women use Ovaltine chocolate malt powder, but I really didn’t feel it made much difference and went straight for Carnation malted milk powder. I made a lot of milkshakes with 3-4tbsp of malted milk powder each. It was great and I really felt it helped my supply.

In Conclusion . . .

Relactation is a very difficult and time-consuming process, however, with the right amount of motivation and consistency, it is absolutely possible to achieve. Not all women will respond the same; some are able to relactate quickly, while others may need more time. Some may achieve larger quantities of milk, while others do not. There is no secret formula or recipe to achieve the exact same results as another person, however, with consistency and motivation, it can be done and I am here to support you!

Have any questions? Drop a comment on this post or my video and I’ll do my best to help!

This post contains affiliate links.

 

 

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Ecomom: Farmaesthetics Review & Gift Card Giveaway!

One of my favorite companies I’ve discovered since I’ve started writing reviews and blogging is Ecomom! I’ve paired up with them for two previous reviews and giveaways and we’re here again with a third!


As some of you know, I am currently pregnant with my third child (a girl!) and I have been experiencing some of the many joys of pregnancy (hence my hiatus for a while.) Ecomom was kind enough to send me over the Farmaesthetics New & Nursing Mothers Kit. It’s the perfect fit for me, considering that I’m pregnant and still nursing my son!

The Farmaesthetics New and Nursing Mothers Kit comes with;

  • Nourishing Herbal Cream
  • Nourishing Lavender Milk
  • Hand to Heel Softening Salve
  • Solar Salt Mineral Bath
  • Lemon Balm Remedy Oil
  • Deep Lavender Rub

I had fun testing and trying their items out! I think my favorite part of the kit was the Solar Salt Mineral Bath. I take baths a lot (they really help the backaches that come along with pregnancy) and popping a few of these salts into the bath really helped soften my skin and the calming essential oils in the salts really helped relax me and help me wind down for the evening! The salts are truly crystals, and vary in shape and size from one to another! Definitely not the typical uniformly sized and shaped bath salts you see at the store!

Want to get your own kit? You can find it along with many other great products at Ecomom’s website! Currently, the Farmaesthetics kit qualifies for free shipping, along with all other orders over $50! And just for my readers, I have a special coupon code for 15% off of your Ecomom purchase!

To recieve 15% off your order, use the coupon code: SBBL230

Ecomom has tons of great, healthy, organic and earth friendly products! If you purchase these products often, you might consider purchasing an EcoPass. There’s a lot of benefits behind being an EcoPass holder, such as;

  • Free shipping on every order, no matter the size!
  • 15% off of everything!
  • Advance looks and input on new and future products!
  • Exclusive offers and special promotions!

Back to the Farmaesthetics kit…

Fulfills Purpose Well
Design & Visual Appeal
Ease of use
Affordability
Earth-Friendliness

Overall Rating: 4.6 Stars

Fulfills Purpose Well
I loved this kit! It was so relaxing and felt so great to be pampered with products I knew were both natural and organic! I especially loved the solar mineral bath!

Design & Visual Appeal
The packaging was a little simple, but it worked great and looked professionally made. At least with the simple packaging, I know that excessive inks and dyes weren’t used!

Ease of Use
These products are all relatively simple to use and if you get confused, there’s a very detailed booklet included with the kit to help you figure it out!

Affordability
This kit is a little pricier than some at $57 but it’s well worth the cash! The products are simply amazing, and they last a long time, and through many uses!

Earth-Friendliness
These products are made with natural and organic ingredients! Definitely a plus on the earth-friendliness factor!

Onto the Giveaway…

Want to win a $15 giftcard to use at Ecomom? Here’s your chance! This giveaway ends on November 6th, 2010.

Please leave a comment with your mandatory entry and any other entries that specify to leave a comment.

Continue reading “Ecomom: Farmaesthetics Review & Gift Card Giveaway!”

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Coddlelife Polypropylene Baby Bottle: Review & Giveaway!

When you’re a breastfeeding mom, choosing a bottle is a really big decision. You have to find one that won’t interrupt or cause problems with breastfeeding. Even if you aren’t breastfeeding, you have to find a bottle that works well with your child, and in most cases, this would be a bottle that resembles and simulates the breast and the act of breastfeeding. Coddlelife has developed the perfect anti-colic bottle to help prevent issues with breastfeeding as well as appease babies who are picky.

Coddlelife review

The bottle and the collar for the bottle, are made with polypropylene, and the nipple is made with food-grade silicone. I made a mistake in the video and said that the nipple was made with polypropylene but I meant to say that the nipple is peristaltic. (Too many “p” words!)

So, what sets this bottle apart from the rest?

  • Extra stretchy peristaltic nipple elongates and is molded to fit the inside of the baby’s mouth.
  • Our nipple is designed to be longer which ensure the baby’s lips flange widely & enable wide open latch which prevent nipple confusions.
  • New advanced one-piece venting system helps to reduce colic, spit-up and ear infection. It is easy to use with no extra parts to wash.
  • Microwave, sterilizer, and dishwasher safe.

So, how exactly does the peristaltic nipple work?

Another great thing about this bottle, is that the nipple is longer than most bottles, which is absolutely awesome. For those of you who aren’t familiar, when a baby breastfeeds, they draw the nipple deep into the back of the throat, so having a bottle with a longer nipple more easily simulates that action making it more natural to the baby.


Coddlelife review

I absolutely LOVE the shape of the bottle. It’s short, and rounded, wtih a slight curve inwards around the middle, making it easier for baby (and mom and dad) to hold. The best part about the shape of the bottle, was that it was easier to clean! Because of the wider opening, and the wider bottle, it was easier to manipulate the brush around inside of the bottle to clean it!

This is one of my son’s favorite bottles! I definitely recommend it!

Fulfills Purpose Well
Design & Visual Appeal
Ease of use
Affordability
Earth-Friendliness

Overall Rating: 4.2 Stars

Fulfills Purpose Well:
I absolutely love it! My son loves it and it’s super easy for him to hold. It works well!

Design & Visual Appeal:
I love how the bottle was designed. Instead of being tall and narrow, its short and wide, with the sides curved in, making it easier to hold and clean out!

Ease of Use:
It’s super easy to use. Comparable with any other bottle on the market. The only thing I had issues with was figuring out how to clean gunk out of the venting tube with the cleaning stick they provide with the bottle.

Affordability:
The bottles run for $6.99 and are very comparable to other brands of bottles. It’s a steal for the quality!

Earth-Friendliness:
The coddle life bottles are BPA free, and the packaging is made from PET and is phthalates free. When it is burned, it produces carbon dioxide, gas and water, releasing no toxins.

Onto the Giveaway…

Would you like to win your very own Coddlelife bottle? One lucky reader will!

This giveaway is open to residents of US & Canada and ends at 11:59pm on July 9th, 2010.

Continue reading “Coddlelife Polypropylene Baby Bottle: Review & Giveaway!”

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Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Baby Bottle Review & Giveaway!

I’ve always wondered why so many baby bottles look nothing like a baby’s natural food source; the breast. And yet, with this lack of similarity, we wonder why so many babies struggle with using bottles. Tommee Tippee has come out with a fantastic new baby bottle called “Closer to Nature.”

The name says it all. “Closer to Nature.” If you really think about it, wouldn’t it make sense to have a baby bottle shaped more closely to that of a baby’s natural food source; the mother’s breasts? Tommee Tippee made this connection, and in response to this need, developed the “Closer to Nature” bottle.

My son was exclusively breastfed until he was ten months old. This means he didn’t get any other foods, juices, liquids, purees, or anything until he was ten months old. He had exclusive breast milk until he was ten months. Now, the majority of the time he was directly nursed from the breast, however, there were occasions where he needed to be fed breast milk I had pumped from a bottle, like when I had my wisdom teeth pulled and the pain medications I was on were much too strong to be nursing a baby on. Even though these situations didn’t arise very often, they were very difficult when they did because my son didn’t tolerate a bottle very well.

The “Closer to Nature” bottle is designed to mimic the structure and the feel and motion of the breast, making transitioning from breast to bottle, or even going back and forth between breast and bottle, much easier on mom and baby.

The “Closer to Nature” baby bottle has a specially designed vent meant to help prevent colic and gas, which as many of you may know, are never pleasant for baby or mom and dad. This vented system helps to ensure that baby isn’t swallowing air that could upset his or her stomach later on!

Danny enjoyed the bottle, and I absolutely love the structure of it. I really enjoyed how it was shorter than most bottles, but still held the same amount of fluid. Also, the sides were slightly indented which made it easier for little Danny boy to hold the bottle himself, rather than trying to awkwardly balance and longer bottle.

Fulfills Purpose Well
Design & Visual Appeal
Ease of use
Affordability
Earth-Friendliness

Overall Rating: 4.2 Stars

A breakdown of my rating…

Fulfills Purpose Well:
The bottle was well designed, and is a great product for mothers wishing to preserve a breastfeeding relationship while bottlefeeding, but it’s also great for babies who are less tolerant of bottles because of it’s mimicking of the natural breast shape and feel.

Design & Visual Appeal:
I love the design of the bottle, especially with it’s shorter stature and indented sides. I really like how the sides are indented, making the bottle easier for the parents and baby to hold, and keep a good grip on. Not to mention, the packing was pretty too, with black and shiny silver accents!

Ease of Use:
The bottle was simple to use. You fill it up just like any other bottle, and hold it for the baby, or if they’re old enough, allow them to hold it themselves.

Affordability:
Now, the “Closer to Nature” bottle runs about average for specialty bottles, at $7.99. It’s not too high for a bottle of it’s caliber, and in my opinion, it’s priced in the fair range.

Earth Friendliness
The bottle is made of pretty sturdy material meaning it’s less likely to break and end up in the landfill because of this breakage. It’s also got the option of just replacing the nipple should it tear or break, ensuring that you aren’t wasting an entire bottle just because the nipple was damaged.

Onto the Giveaway…

So, are you convinced? Why not head over to your local Toys’R’Us and grab your own Tommee Tippee “Closer to Nature” baby bottle. And, be sure to enter to win your own here! Tommee Tippee has provided a “Closer to Nature” baby bottle for a giveaway to my readers! How to win?

This giveaway is only open to residents of the United States, and ends at 11:59pm on July 6th, 2010.

Continue reading “Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Baby Bottle Review & Giveaway!”

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Medela Freestyle Breast Pump Winner!

We have finally drawn the Medela Freestyle breast pump giveaway to a close. The giveaway was in place to promote BreastMilkDonation and we hope that even though the contest has come to a close, that you will continue to spread the word about BreastMilkDonation and the cause!

Medela

Rebecca Jansen: Entry #7

Rebecca, you have until midnight on May 5th to respond to your email notification of your win. If you fail to do so, you will forfeit your prize.

For a quick overview of the Medela freestyle breast pump, be sure to check out the video below, and if you like it, I just might make another! Let me know! Leave a comment on my video, rate it, and leave me a comment here and tell me if you want me to make another!

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Earth Mama Angel Baby: Review & Giveaway!

So, this review has been a while in the making, and for that I apologize. But I just wanted to make sure I got this review absolutely perfect, because the items in this review ARE perfect! I had so much fun with this one!

So what am I talking about? Earth Mama Angel Baby!

Earth Mama Angel Baby Avatar

So, I don’t even know where to begin with this review! There’s so many good things to say about Earth Mama Angel Baby! So to begin, I should tell you a little bit about them!

Earth Mama Angel Baby sells boutique style products that are organic, natural and free from harmful chemicals, and have never contained dangerous chemicals!

“Cruelty-free, certified vegan, kosher, and 100% free from toxic ingredients — that means no Quaternium-15, 1,4-Dioxane, formaldehyde, phthalates, petrochemicals, parabens, SLS, artificial preservatives, artificial fragrances or dyes.”

For the video review, my lovely friend Maryah joined me again.

A Little Something for Mama-to-Be

Earth Mama Angel Baby Review

The first thing we got to take a look at was a kit called “A little something for mama-to-be.” This kit has quite the selection of goodies for mama-to-be. And even though I’m not pregnant, I still decided to try some of it out! Hey, it can’t hurt anything!

The kit comes with mint herbal lip balm, happy feet herbal foot soak, and natural stretch oil. My favorite part was the lip balm. It smelled good, and it really helped moisturize my lips! I can also see how it’d be great when you’re pregnant, because it’s so easy to get chapped lipped when you’re pregnant, especially if you forget to drink enough water.

I liked the natural stretch oil too! I used some of it on my stretch marks! Now, I wasn’t fond of the smell, but I loved how it made my skin feel. It didn’t smell bad, just not a scent I’m a fan of. But it made my skin feel so soft afterwards! I’m going to keep using it, and I can update you guys on how my stretch marks look when I run out!

The foot soak was a blast. I tried to get a few minutes alone in the bathroom by myself to soak my feet, and read some of my childbirth books, but my daughter wandered in (without knocking, of course!) and decided to join me. I wish Maryah would have been here, because then we could have taped the two of us splashing around in the tub of pretty-smelling herbal water!

Breastfeeding Suppport Kit

Breastfeeding is important, many moms know this, but regardless of how important it is, it sure dosen’t make it easy! That’s where Earth Mama Angel Baby steps in, lightening the stresses that can be associated with breastfeeding, such as sore, swollen aching breast, concern over milk supple, as well as dealing the the unpleasant experience of cracked/dry/chapped nipples.

Earth Mama Angel Baby Review

This kit was probably my second favorite (I’ll get to my absolute favorite in a minute!). This one is the breastfeeding support kit. The name really does say it all here! This kit has milkmaid tea containing herbs that act as galactologues (promote lactation) and help increase and maintain your milk supply. It’s got “Booby tubes” which are little sacks filled with flax seed oil and can be warmed or cooled to help relieve any kind of pressure, swelling, or engorgement of the breasts. Have you ever heard of cabbage helping with engorgement? Well, they’ve even got an herbal compress containing cabbage!

But, my favorite part of this kit was the nipple butter. The nipple butter is lanolin free, which is great. For those of you who aren’t sure what the big fuss about lanolin-free products is, or don’t even know what lanolin is;

“Lanolin is a fatty substance extracted from wool, which is frequently found in cosmetics and lotions. Lanolin is a common skin sensitiser that can cause allergic reactions, such as skin rashes.”

The problem is, when lanolin is used on the nipples and not washed off thoroughly before baby nurses, it can upset their stomach and even cause diarrhea! That’s why this nipple butter is so great! It’s completely lanolin free, but is soothing and gentle to the skin, helping treat sore, cracked, dry and uncomfortable nipples!

Earth Mama Angel Baby Review

Now, onto my very favorite part!

A Little Something for Baby

This kit was by far my favorite out of all of them! After all, who doesn’t love being able to spoil and pamper their little one?

The “A Little Something for Baby” kit had all sorts of goodies in it! The first thing we tried was the baby bottom balm! It’s a natural bottom balm for diaper rashes that doubles as a first aid cream, so it’s not just for baby’s bum! We actually ended up using it on a cat scratch later!

It also had a lotion for baby. Smelled like oranges and cream. I like the lotion, but not nearly as much as I liked the shampoo! The shampoo baby wash was by far my favorite thing out of everything!

Earth Mama Angel Baby Review

I loved it so much! It smelled like oranges and tangerines! I am officially an convert. I will no longer buy the cheap off-brand baby shampoos at the store, when my baby can smell like this! I absolutely loved it! It’s a foaming baby wash, which made it fun too! My daughter loved playing with the foam and helping wash her hair! It really was amazing!

As you can see, Danny enjoyed it!

Seeds of Hope

Earth Mama Angel Baby Review

This gift is a little more serious than the ones we talked about previously. These are seeds, meant to act as a form of condolence for a woman who has lost a baby.

When I was told what Earth Mama Angel Baby was sending me, I was kind of surprised that they were sending me this, but at the same time it was really comforting. I lost a baby in August of 2008, and it almost felt like some kind of cosmic sign that my baby was letting me know she was okay. After all, the people at Earth Mama Angel Baby didn’t know about my loss, but I like to think that maybe it was a little more than coincidence that they sent me the “Seeds of Hope“.

“I sow these seeds
in remembrance of you.
As I tuck them into the soil,
I plant my hope for the future
While I bury my dreams
of holding you in my arms.
I entrust you with loving care
that you will be received with open arms.
May your transition be peaceful and calm.
May your spirit be warmed by the sun
May the rains wash away your
worries and cares
And may the winds carry you
safely on your journey.
I now surrender you to soar
with the angels.
My spirit will heal but you will
remain in my heart forevermore.”
Having gone through a miscarriage myself, I really think that a gift like this, had I recieved one at the time, would have been incredibly cherished… It is now, even more than a year, almost two years later.
Now, let’s lighten up a bit!

Onto the Giveaway!

Earth Mama Angel Baby is giving away a $25 e-gift card to use on their online store! This means that YOU will get to choose anything YOU want! This contest is open to readers in both the US and Canada! Please note, Canadian users will have to choose their products from the Canadian version of Earth Mama Angel Baby. Contest ends at 11:59 Alaska time (-09:00) on May 7th, 2010.

Continue reading “Earth Mama Angel Baby: Review & Giveaway!”

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Breast Milk Review

We’re going to take a moment to do something a little different. I’m going to review one of my very favorite products; breast milk!

Breast Milk Review

I have used it 6+ times a day, every day for the last 10 months, 2 weeks and 3 days. We go through it like crazy in my house! And it’s so healthy, and nutritious!

Benefits of Breastfeeding

  • Breastfeeding is healthy, normal and natural!
  • Breast milk has antibodies (germ and disease fighting cells) that protect baby from illness, death and even SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).
  • Breastfeeding reduces the occurance of ear infections, stomach viruses, diarrhea, respiratory infections, atopic dermatitis, asthma, obesity, diabetes, leukemia, SIDS, necrotizing enterocolitis, and many more afflictions in breastfed babies.
  • Breast milk changes over time to meet the changing needs of your baby! It has just the right amount of calories, fat, protein, vitamins and minerals.
  • Breast milk is easier for babies to digest! And it’s no wonder… Breast milk is what they were made to eat!
  • Premature babies thrive much better when fed breast milk than when they are fed formula.
  • Breast milk has a much lower chance of becoming contaminated, especially if it’s fed to the baby straight from the breast. Formula, unlike breast milk, goes through a great deal of processing and is handled frequently, drastically increasing the chance of contamination!
  • There are no bottles and nipples to wash and sterilize! Most moms are happy for less dishes!
  • It’s much easier just to nurse baby in the middle of the night than it is to measure, mix and warm bottles at two in the morning!
  • Breastfeeding saves money! Formula for one year can easily cost you $4,000+!
  • Unlike formula feeding, mothers can feed their babies immediately, avoiding unnecessary fussing and screaming while a bottle is being prepared!
  • Breastfeeding is relaxing! Sure, it can be stressful sometimes, but it also allows moms to take a few quiet minutes to themselves and for their babies.
  • If there’s an emergency, and formula or clean water is inaccessible, breast feeding can save lives!
  • Medical care costs are lower for breastfed babies, which not only saves the parents and insurance companies money, but it also saves the government money, as public health care programs (such as medicaid) spend less money paying for healthcare visits for these babies.
  • Breastfeeding mothers miss less work because their babies are sick less often, leading to a more productive workplace.
  • Breastfeeding is good for the environment! Less trash is created and put into our dumps and landfills! Think of how many formula cans, damaged nipples, broken bottles and other feeding utensils are thrown out!

And those are just a handful of the benefits! There’s hundreds more!

I’ve been using this amazing product to feed my son for almost a year, and he’s healthy, thriving, and doing well! He has had little to no stomach problems, he’s incredibly bonded to me, and we enjoy the quality time we spend together while nursing!

I would recommend this product to every mother and every baby! It truly is the best thing out there, and it works wonders!

And the best part of all?

It’s free!

breast milk review

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Hygeia EnJoye Breast Pump: Taking Care of Mothers, Babies & the World + A Surprise Giveaway.

As many of you may know, I have spent more time in my life using a a breast pump than most women spend just breastfeeding! Ha. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I have spent a significant chunk of time attached to a pump! I breastfed both of my kids, and I have donated milk to nine babies. You can read more about that by visiting my personal blog AnotherTeenMom and click on “My Milk Babies.”

Anyways, back to the point! I am extremely well educated when it comes to breastfeeding, and very soon, I will be working on getting a breastfeeding counselor certification. One of the biggest mistakes I see in my clients (I’m a birth doula) and in my friends, and former classmates, is that they make the mistake of believing all pumps are equal! Nothing could be further from the truth! If you are only going to be pumping once in a blue moon and mostly just to relieve engorgement, then sure, a hand held trigger operated breast pump should suit you just fine. However, if you plan on pumping on a daily basis, or even just a couple times a week, you really need to invest in a high quality, double electric breast pump. You’re wasting your time, effort and money if you don’t, because those hand held ones, and AA-battery powered ones don’t even come close in regards to how effective a good quality double electric pump is. Like I said, if you don’t plan on pumping much, getting much, or doing it often, then that kind of pump should be fine, but otherwise, please continue reading!

I run a breast milk donation website called www.breastmilkdonation.com. While setting it up, I signed up for google adsense, and one of the ads that came up on my ad bar, was for a Hygeia breast pump. I had never heard of hygeia (and I was pretty sure I had heard of almost every breast pump) so I decided to check out their site.

I was incredibly impressed with what I saw! Hygeia is the only company that makes “Green” breast pumps! Now, typically, most breast pumps are single user products. Almost every breast pump I’ve seen or had, has had that little sticker telling you “This product is a single user product. Use by more than one user may void the warranty.” This is because most breast pumps are open-circuit, meaning there’s the risk of contamination if one woman uses the pump, and then another does too. Rental grade pumps are known as closed-circuit pumps, meaning there is no risk of contamination when multiple users use the same pump. Well, this is where Hygeia’s pumps differ from the rest of the ones available on the market! Hygeia’s pumps can be used by one user, five users, two-hundred users, however many users you wanted, and there is no risk of contamination as long as each woman has her own accessory kit! What’s even better, is that the accessory kit is only $35! That’s practically a steal! Now, not all pumps that are intended to be single user pumps are only used by one user. I’ll admit… I have shared some single user pumps with some close friends I trust.  However, I was still hesitant to do so because of the risk of contamination. With Hygeia’s breast pump, this isn’t a concern at all!

Now, this is great for women who want to share or pass along their pumps to someone who needs it, but guess what else it’s great for? The environment. I can’t even begin to imagine the amount of single-user breast pumps that are thrown into the landfills and dumps every year (and google couldn’t think of a figure either).  What’s so unfortunate about this, is many of these pumps were probably only used for a matter of a few weeks or a few months, because let’s face it, as sad of a reality it is, many more mothers start out breastfeeding their babies, than continue to breastfeed beyond six weeks. These single-user pumps can range anywhere from $200-400, and they’re being thrown away in the garbage? By creating a pump that is safe to share between users, a single Hygeia breast pump could see years upon years of use between several women, without putting them, or their babies at risk for the transmission of infection or disease! And at the same time, we’re protecting our environment, and reducing waste! Can it get any more eco-friendly than that?

Yes! It can! On top of creating a pump that can be used by more than one woman safely, and preventing more waste from accumulating in our landfills, Hygeia has a breast pump recycling program! When you’re done with your pump, even if it’s broken or damaged, you may return it to Hygeia, and they will salvage the parts they can, or refurbish the pump, clean it, whatever it needs done to it, and then put the pump to use as samples for the salesmen, as loaners in their rental stations, and for use by other customers. When I spoke to Debra at Hygeia about their recycling program, she also said “I’m sure the day will come when we can no longer refurbish our returns. In that case, we would recycle by disassembling the pump, taking parts that we could still use, and finally discarding the excess with a reputable recycling company.” Way to go Hygeia!

Could it get any better than this? Yep! It sure can! Hygeia also has a three week return policy, even after the pump has been opened! Every other breast pump on the market, once it’s opened, it’s non-returnable, and how are you supposed to know if you like something or not unless you try it? So, with a Hygeia pump, you can return it at anytime for any reason within the first three weeks for a refund. In addition to this, Hygeia’s breast pumps are  are warrantied for THREE years! Even the other leading breast pump brands only offer a one year warranty! This means if anything happens to your pump the first three years you have it, then you’ve got nothing to worry about! This policy is right in line with Hygeia’s pledge to their customers!

Have I mentioned Hygeia’s pledge? It’s rather impressive.

“Hygeia is dedicated to increasing breastfeeding rates. We strive for a goal of “70/24” (70% of mothers breastfeeding for 24 months).

Hygeia supports breastfeeding moms through sales of our quality products which allows us to allocate at least 5% of our profits to supporting breastfeeding.

Knowing that most mothers currently breastfeed for only for a short period, often less than 3 months, Hygeia encourages a ‘rent first-then buy’ approach to breastpumps.

We believe that the Lactation Community, along with mother-to-mother support, is one of the key factors in extending breastfeeding rates. Hygeia listens to and supports Lactation Professionals who understand clearly that breastpumps are medical products and are merely another tool to be used to help the breastfeeding mom be more successful. Breastpumping should not interfere with breastfeeding but provide a means to maintain milk supply when mothers need to be separated from their child. Breastfeeding is always encouraged over breastpumping.

We make quality pumps and products for mothers. Our pumps incorporate a robust cylinder and piston design with some styles offering additional safety provided by a barrier filter. Hygeia pumps will always be marketed with integrity as we will endeavor to ‘do the right thing’ regarding satisfaction with our pumps. Our Total Compatibility Guarantee is an integral part of that effort.

Hygeia promises to be innovative in the creation of products and development of services that truly assist mothers and their caregivers.”

Wow. So, this is just about the company. Are we ready to hear about the actual pump itself?

I’ll admit, I was pretty loyal to another breast pump brand before trying Hygeia’s breast pump… But my loyalties have completely flipped! I wish I would have discovered Hygeia sooner, I would have never wasted the money on my other single-user, limited-warranty, non-returnable, non-eco-friendly pumps! Hygeia’s entire goal, mission and how they go about conducting business, it’s commendable and inspiring. They deserve recognition for the good they are doing!

On to the pump.

Here’s the feature list from Hygeia’s website.

Proven performance for working moms with long-term and frequent pumping needs. Plus, your satisfaction is guaranteed
Usually more affordable than other rental pumps
More portable and convenient than other rental pumps
Features the unique Hygeia CARE Button for Customized, Audio, Recording, Experience so you can record your baby or other sound to enhance your breastpumping experience
Offers single or double pumping flexibility
Electric or battery operation with the included internal battery pack. The rechargeable battery is ideal for battery-dependent pumpers
Green Breastpump, Can be shared by multiple mothers when each has her own personal accessory set
Recycle the EnJoye when you no longer need it. See recycling instructions.
Mimics your baby’s unique suckling patterns with customizable speed and pressure controls
Safe, because all parts that come into contact with breastmilk are
BPA/DEHP Free

Assembly of the pump was incredibly easy to figure out. I didn’t have any trouble with it. It did take me a minute to figure out the right combinations of the strength and speed settings, but other than that it was pretty simple and straightforward.

The settings are really cool. You can adjust the speed and the suction strength. Every other pump I’ve ever had, you have a slow speed, with low suction, or a fast speed with high suction. You couldn’t have a little bit of both. With the EnJoye pump you can! It’s awesome. Also, on every other breast pump I’ve had, I’ve always had to use the maximum setting. On the Hygeia breast pump, I didn’t have to! I was incredibly impressed with the suction speeds, strength and pattern. It was incredibly comfortable. It didn’t hurt. It wasn’t annoying (sometimes, breast pumps feel physically irritating and annoying). It was pretty comfortable. I actually didn’t dread pumping the next time. Normally, I don’t like pumping (Who does? It’s kind of boring…) but it was comfortable, so I wasn’t trying to put it off like I tend to do with my other pumps sometimes.

One thing I really liked was that the tubing was much longer than the tubing on some of my other pumps. It makes it easier because I don’t have to sit in awkward positions just to be able to reach my pump. I could lean back, relax, and just be comfortable… Which is something new when pumping! I’m so used to having to sit really close to the pump (often on the floor if I have to plug the pump in)! So this was a very welcome change!

Another really unique feature that I have never seen in any other breast pump is the C.A.R.E. feature. It stands for Customized Audio Recording Experience. You can actually record your baby crying on to the pump, and play it back later when you’re pumping. The whole idea behind this, is that the sound of the baby crying helps trigger the let down reflex, and makes pumping easier. Trust me! It works with me! It dosen’t even have to be my baby! Heck, it dosen’t even have to be a baby! My five-year-old brother was crying and asked me for a hug when I was still breastfeeding my daughter and I ended up getting the let-down reflex! So, if you’re a mom who has a little bit of difficulty getting let-down, then this could be really handy for you!

There was really only one thing I could think of that would improve the pump, and that would be to make the shields pull off of the pump assembly to make it a little bit easier to clean (and easier to fit into a makeshift pumping bra), but other than that it was amazing.

I emailed Hygeia again, letting them know just how impressed I was with them. I seriously, can’t stress it enough. This company is amazing and they are doing an incredible thing for our world. I really hope that women will see this, and start bringing their business to Hygeia, rather than wasting money on single-user non-environmentally-friendly pumps. Hygeia not only carries a great product, but they’ve got a good set of values, ethics, and adhere to a very admirable credo.

I know one thing. I will never buy another breast pump from any other company again. Hygeia is it for me. They’re helping me. They’re helping women. They’re helping the planet. They’re helping the world. And it’s incredibly rare to find a company that does that anymore. They truly are one in a million.

Why don’t you take a moment to check out their website. Heck, you can even find them on facebook. Become a fan, let them know what you think and keep up to date with their products! I enjoyed doing this review, and hopefully, I’ll be able to work with Hygeia more in the future.

So, why don’t you leave me a comment and let me know what you think about pumping. Do you love it? Hate it? Don’t have an opinion? What’s the hardest thing and the easiest thing about it? Why do you do it? Let me know your thoughts and you could win a secret prize from me, personally! (This prize will not be useful to women who are not currently breastfeeding.)

**This post contains affiliate links. I recieved a sample product in exchange for an honest review and critique.

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Woombie Review & Giveaway!

So, the lovely people over at Woombie were kind enough to let me do a review! Now, let me start off by saying, I’ve seen the woombies before. I never really paid much attention though, but now that I’ve tried them, I wish I would have! These things are amazing! Watch my video review below, or continue reading!


First, let me tell you a little bit about the Woombie.

It’s comfortable! The soft eco-fabric gently hugs the baby making them feel secure, rather than confined.
The Woombie maintains airflow, ensuring the baby will not overheat because of wearing it.
The Woombie prevents unnecessary waking due to the startle reflex.
It soothes colicky babies.
It can’t come undone, which means no more re-swaddling at 2 o’clock in the morning.
It’s easy to use. You just zip it up! It’s also got a double zipper to make diaper changes easier than ever!

If your little one is anything like mine, he has to be swaddled practically then entire night or he (and everyone else) won’t get a wink of sleep! So, we’ve spent practically the last ten months wrapping, and re-wrapping him every night, just to get him to sleep. It’s not a huge deal, but it really is a pain. Especially trying to wrap a baby at two in the morning when your eyelids are practically glued shut.

Anyways, the Woombie is a special little outfit meant to mimic how the womb feels. It looks almost like a sleeper, but there’s no arms and legs. It’s kind of like a sack. It’s made from a really soft stretchy cotton material. I was really impressed with how soft it was! It looks small, but it’s meant to be that way so it naturally stretches to the baby when they’re wearing it.

Now, at first, we weren’t sure if the Woombie would be good on young Mr. Danny or not, because he’s never been in one before, and being how old he is now (ten months) he might not like the idea of it, however, we decided to try it anyways.

I just have to add that I love their logo. It’s just cute. I couldn’t help but smile when I got the package with the cute logo and awesome font. What can I say? I’m a nerd for those kinds of things!

To get them into the Woombie, you pretty much lay it out like you would any other sleeper, except with this one, you don’t have to fight to get their arms in the sleeves!

You have to tuck their arms in, which for Danny, was a little weird at first, but he didn’t seem to mind it. Even with his arms in the Woombie, he could still move, the movement was just more restricted, and closer to his body.

So, we got Danny in the Woombie! Now, let me tell you our typical nighttime routine! I usually nurse him when it’s wind-down time, (usually right around the time Maddi goes to bed at 8:30-9:00). Excuse the picture. I look terrible! We were all in our PJ’s getting ready for bed!

He eats for maybe 10-15 minutes and then he starts to doze off.

But if I attempt to move him to his rocker or the bed, he usually wakes up and cries for at least 10-15 minutes and won’t go to sleep unless I a.) give him more boob time, but then he’ll do it again as soon as I move him, or b.) give him a small bottle of juice to suck on in the rocker. It’s usually a huge deal trying to get him to move from boob to the rocker or to the bed. It’s definitely not an easy fight, and there are many nights where I end up just letting him nurse as long as he wants.

But, I moved him to the rocker, and he didn’t make a peep! he opened his eyes for maybe a millisecond, but that was it. They rolled right into the back of his little head and he went right to sleep! It was amazing! No fighting, no struggling, no bottles, no rocking. Nothing! Nothing but sweet, peaceful silence! He slept for almost six straight hours, and that is incredibly rare for him! I can’t get over how amazing the Woombie was for little Danny!

Do you want to know what the best part was? Of course you do! My husband even liked it, which is a huge deal. Normally, Dan isn’t very big into baby stuff or gear, and he just dosen’t like to mess with new things and baby gear, but even he complimented it! So, if it was able to get a compliment out of Dan, it MUST be amazing!

Don’t just take my word for it, go over to their site and get one!

The Giveaway!

We’re also going to be doing a giveaway for a newborn size, organic Woombie, here on Reviews @ AnotherTeenMom, thanks to the generous people over at Woombie! And there’s tons of ways to enter to win! The giveaway ends April 7th, at 11:59 pm GMT -09:00 (Alaska Standard Time). This giveaway is only open to residents of the United States.

Follow Woombie on twitter by CLICKING HERE.
Join Woombie’s facebook group by CLICKING HERE.
Comment and rate the Channel 8 video about the Woombie on youtube by CLICKING HERE.
Tweet about this giveaway! (1 entry per day!)
Update your facebook status about this giveaway (1 entry per day!)
Follow AnotherTeenMom on twitter by CLICKING HERE.
Become a fan of AnotherTeenMom by CLICKING HERE (you must be logged in!)
Comment and rate the woombie video on AnotherTeenMom’s channel by CLICKING HERE.
Subscribe to AnotherTeenMom’s youtube channel by CLICKING HERE and then clicking the yellow “subscribe” button.
Vote for AnotherTeenMom in the top baby blogs by clicking the banner on the left and confirming you vote, or CLICKING HERE and confirming your vote. (1 time per day!)
Subscribe to AnotherTeenMom via google/atom/Yahoo/RSS. (Look for the buttons in the right hand column!)
Blog about this giveaway! (5 entries!)
Place the Woombie button on your blog! (5 entries)
Place the AnotherTeenMom button on your blog! (5 entries)
Share this post by clicking the “share” bar at the bottom of the post. (1 entry per method shared!)
Purchase something from Woombie! If you buy something from Woombie within the contest timeframe, you will recieve ten extra entries! Just add what you bought in the “Anything else” box, and then forward a copy of your receipt to reviews@anotherteenmom.com

That’s it! That’s how you can win your own Woombie! In the meantime, I suggest you go check out their site! It really is a must have for a new baby!

Here’s the codes!

**This post contains affiliate links.

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