Exploring Solids With Baby and Giveaway Codes!

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Dear Leakies,

 

I love this issue! Secret newsletter exclusive giveaway codes, tips on feeding, recipes, and a special word from our friends at Paxbaby. Go all the way down to the end to see it all!

Feeding our babies is a big deal from the very beginning and oddly enough, causes a lot of controversy (did you see that FB rejected our money for an ad claiming “nudity” and “adult content?” We just see babies being fed.
Every milestone is an exciting experience with and for our little ones and introducing solids is one of the biggest. What to introduce and when to introduce it are important considerations many of parents agonize over. In many ways the introduction of solids is an emotional time, bittersweet and significant as it signifies our babies growing up and the first step away from the feeding of their infancy. It can be easy to rush it or even hold back delaying the inevitable, but whenever and however it happens, it can be such a fun stage and it’s time to join us at Our Stable Table where we talk about nourishing our families beyond the breast or bottle and including everything from recipes to conversations that happen around the table.

 

Making the decisions for starting your baby on solids can be overwhelming. Between conflicting information, personal opinions, and outdated recommendations, navigating those decisions becomes particularly difficult when you factor in concerns about allergies, readiness, and your mother-in-law’s insisting that starting rice cereal at 4 weeks was the best thing ever.

 

Whatever you choose to do, The Leaky Boob wants to offer you information and support, respecting your responsibility in making informed decisions for your family. While some will feel it is important to wait until 6 months or more to introduce any solids, some will feel that their child is showing signs of readiness between 4-6 months and with the support of their child’s doctor will start giving their baby first foods.
And if you do have a child with allergies, it is an entirely different ballgame and getting friends and family to respect those boundaries is no small challenge. We talk about that here.
Some resources to help you get started or just for curiosity’s sake: American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations on introducing solids, recent research on introducing solids and allergies, exploring baby-led solids, information on puree solids, and making your own baby food.

 

Whatever you do with introducing solids, and I’ve done just about all the options with my children, I hope you enjoy the process.

Ready to read more?! GO HERE to hunt for the codes and get the best information on transitioning your little one to solids! 

 

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The CRAAP Detector—A Tool For Evaluating Information Resources

by Kari Swanson, illustration by Jennie Bernstein 

What is research

This post doesn’t have anything to do with what’s in your baby’s diapers… unless you’re looking for valid information about what’s in your baby’s diapers, in which case it might be a very useful tool for you. The CRAAP test doesn’t have anything to do with crap and a whole lot to do with determining if the information you’ve found, regardless of whether that information is in a print resource or online, is valid, partly valid, or if it’s… well, just plain crap.

What is the CRAAP test? The CRAPP test is a tool that can be used to facilitate evaluating information resources. It was developed by librarians at the California State University at Chico’s Meriam Library (www.csuchico.edu/lins/handouts/eval_websites.pdf). CRAAP is an acronym that stands for Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose. The CRAAP test poses questions in each area that it assesses to help you to determine if a particular source is more or less valid—it’s really a fluid scale not a black or white answer.

While the CRAAP test was developed by librarians for use by college students in evaluating resources to support research papers, it can be used by anyone to evaluate the validity of any resource used to answer a particular question.

Currency

The first questions in the CRAAP test are about the currency of the source. They ask questions about the timeliness of the information:

  • When was the information published or posted?
  • Has the information been revised or updated?
  • Does your topic require current information, or will older sources work as well?
  • Are the links functional?

It is very important to think about whether the answer to your question requires current information and, if it does, to determine if the source you are evaluating is current, has been revised or updated and (if it is an online resource) has functional links. An online resource that contains a bunch of broken links is almost certainly not up to date. And if a print resource has a copyright date before your grandparents were born you might want to consider more recent material.

Relevance

The next set of questions in the CRAAP test are about how well the resource relates to your information need:

  • Does the information relate to your topic or answer your question?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Is the information at an appropriate level (i.e. not too elementary or advanced for your needs)?
  • Have you looked at a variety of sources before determining this is one you will use?
  • Would you be comfortable citing this source in your research paper [or to answer your question]?

If you are using the CRAAP test to evaluate a resource for answering a particular question, but not necessarily for a research paper, it is important for you to think about what kind of information resources you think will answer your question and if the resource you are evaluating is that kind of resource. For example, if you have a question that you think will best be answered by a scholarly research article and the resource you are evaluating is a newspaper article about the research the newspaper article will probably not thoroughly answer your question, because it will probably only provide a very brief summary of the research. And, some newspaper articles and blog posts about scholarly research are notoriously bad at summarizing scholarly research and occasionally present conclusions that the research does not actually support.

Authority

The next group of questions in the CRAAP test relate to the authority of the source of the information in the resource:

  • Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor?
  • What are the author’s credentials or organizational affiliations?
  • Is the author qualified to write on the topic?
  • Is there contact information, such as a publisher or email address?
  • Does the URL reveal anything about the author or source? Examples: .com .edu .gov .org .net

Again, even if you are not writing a research paper it is still important to think about the authority of the source of information in a resource. Anyone can publish anything on the Internet, so it is important to understand who the source of information is when evaluating a resource in order to determine if the resource is valid. URL’s can reveal information about source, because some URL’s can only be used by certain kinds of organizations. For example, only academic institutions can have a .edu URL and only government agencies can have a .gov URL.

Accuracy

This set of questions pertains to the reliability, truthfulness and correctness of the information:

  • Where does the information come from?
  • Is the information supported by evidence?
  • Has the information been reviewed or refereed?
  • Can you verify any of the information in another source or from personal knowledge?
  • Does the language or tone seem unbiased and free of emotion?
  • Are there spelling, grammar or typographical errors?

The type of resource provides clues to whether information has been reviewed or refereed by other experts. Scholarly articles are usually peer-reviewed, which means experts in a field have reviewed the research and determined that it meets rigorous standards. Even if a resource isn’t peer-reviewed, the information it presents can be supported by evidence in the form of citations or links to other sources of information (which may or may not themselves be valid). Be wary: satire, spoofs and intentional falsehoods abound on the internet. There are whole web sites dedicated to non-existent species of animals that unfortunate people have been tricked into believing are real (e.g. look up “tree octopus”).

Purpose

The last set of questions in the CRAAP test pertain to the reason the resource exists.

  • What is the purpose of the information? Is it to inform, teach, sell, entertain or persuade?
  • Do the authors/sponsors make their intentions or purpose clear?
  • Is the information fact, opinion or propaganda?
  • Does the point of view appear objective and impartial?
  • Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional or personal biases?

Knowing the purpose of a resource can help you to determine whether it is valid or reliable. You may find good information on a commercial site that sells products related to your question, but it probably shouldn’t be the only resource you use to answer the question since it is quite likely that they will present information that is biased in favor of their products. Sometimes it is easy to determine bias and sometimes it is much more difficult. Sometimes to answer these questions you have to consider answers to previous questions. For example, you may need to consider an author’s affiliations and expertise to determine if there is bias of some kind or whether a resource he or she wrote is fact, opinion or propaganda.

Answering all of the questions in the CRAAP test will help you to determine if a resource is more or less valid for the purposes you need it. If you are not confident that a resource meets the level of reliability or validity that you need to answer your question you can move on to other resources. If you find a resource that meets the level of reliability or validity that you need, but you want or need more information you can use that resource as a means to find related resources by looking for other resources that it cites or that cite it. When you’re doing your personal research to assist you in your decision making, it is a good idea to ensure it all passes the CRAAP test even if you won’t be publishing it anywhere.

And, if you aren’t sure or you get stuck, ask the expert searchers: your local public or academic librarians. We excel at knowing the difference between CRAAP and crap!

_______________________

Kari Swanson

 Kari Swanson is a college librarian, editor, photographer who invests much of her free time supporting other women in their breastfeeding journeys. Kari lives with her two children and husband in beautiful Northeast, USA.
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Pump Like a Pro- Look At Your Baby

by Wendy Bell, CLE
Editor’s note: A big thanks to Snugabell for their support of TLB and all breastfeeding women; please be sure to take a moment to thank Snugabell on their Facebook page  for their show of support! You can also follow Snugabell on Twitter and Instagram: username @snugabell. Be sure to check out their special at the end of this article.

Breast pumping tips Snugabell PumpEase

Have you ever heard a newborn cry as you walked through the grocery store alone…and suddenly felt your milk let-down? Your body doesn’t care if the cries come from your own baby or someone else’s, it’s got milk and it hears a baby in need. Lac-tivate the milk ducts! Nevermind that the baby you heard is three aisles over and now your shirt has two distinct wet spots front-and-center. (It gets better with time, but even moms who’ve been nursing for years report the occasional “HAVE MILK, WILL FEED BABY” response to baby cries overheard in public.)
Those baby cries are pretty powerful. Baby coos, too! That’s why bringing a photo (or better yet, video) with you when you pump is a great plan. Sweet little videos of your baby smiling, cooing, or nursing will help set your mood and mindset for pumping (and pull the same biological strings that the baby in aisle three). Sit down, take a deep breath, and think of your sweet little bundle. Get out that pic or video and think of the delicious baby scent as you relax and watch. Your body will be primed to let-down and give up the liquid gold goods! Close your eyes and mentally walk through breastfeeding: think of holding your baby and the wave of peace when cries are replaced with suckling that transitions to milk-drunk, sleepy satisfaction.That video may seem like a handy tool as you pump today, but it’s so much more. Having a few pics of your baby at the breast or a video of a nursing session will be priceless once this phase ends and the next begins. For now, though, hit those horns (pump horns, that is) with all you’ve got: relax, do some guided imagery, and use a photo or a video to reconnect with your baby as you pump. It might just help get the milk flowing, and it certainly never hurts to take a minute to bask in your little bundle.

Hands-free-pumping bra breastmilk breastfeeding

To celebrate their SUPER exciting collaboration with Destination Maternity and A Pea in the Pod, Snugabell is sending PumpEase customers one of their fabulous Wet Bag absolutely FREE.  Details hereThe PumpEase design will securely hold your pump in place and is guaranteed to accommodate any breast pump on the market. The PumpEase bra like the one shown above makes multi-tasking a breeze for busy moms. Visit www.snugabell.com for more information about PumpEase
Breast pump

_________________

 

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#LeakyLooks: Epic MiLK Edition!

by Kileah McIlvain

Around here at the TLB hub, we’ve been getting super excited about the MiLK Conference coming up in LA! Why? Because it’s about infant feeding. About supporting all moms…in every feeding journey…for all stages. So this week I curated three looks that highlight some aspects of our feeding journeys. What accessories or wardrobe choices empower YOU to be the best YOU for YOUR moment? YOUR journey? Let us know!

#BoobOutFashion #LBLWednesdays #LeakyLooks

 

Postpartum Staycation

Postpartum Staycation

Ok ok. I’m sure you snickered at the title. Postpartum-land isn’t exactly a vacation. It’s major recovery time and bonding time. But you know what? Who says you shouldn’t be pampered and loved and supported to help ease recovery and rest? I centered this look around a Belabumbum nursing gown that is loose, lightweight and cotton. You can wear with or without a soft wireless bra like this Bravado Silk Seamless nursing bra and some cushy slippers like these great Kiltie Moccasins from L.L. Bean! One of my besties gave me the Earth Mama Angel Baby Postpartum Recovery essentials bundle…the bottom balm? And the cooling mist for hemmorhoids? Yes. Just do it. I have 4 hobbits. I know these things. My wee lambs always come earthside with super-sensitive skin so we quickly learned that certain brands like Weleda continue to deliver in terms of clean chemical-free body products for the whole family! You and baby will be needing tons of skin-to-skin time so I collected a Swaddle Designs muslin blanket, Kate Quinn newborn hat, and a Cotton Babies Flip diaper (brownie points if you can guess which one!). Milk coming in can mean VERY tender breasts. The Cariwell breast soothers work magic and sooth those inflamed tissues working hard to make some milk! And don’t forget this beautiful Tula Migaloo Sorbet ring sling!

 

 

Don’t Stress Just Go!

Don't Stress Just Go! We all need those options for days where we have to hit the ground running. I wanted to center this look based on the colors of the AppleCheeks infinity nursing scarf! Hues of Blue and Plum really work well for most skin tones and a skirt like this blue cotton skirt from Old Navy really elongates the legs without being too short for comfort! I paired it with the cotton H&M nursing shirt and a soft wireless Lamaze Intimates nursing bra in soft pink. One of my FAVORITE comfy yet functional shoes that are crafted to last is Born. Finished off the look with some lovely plum-colored earrings from Poshmark and the Timi & Leslie Charlie diaper bag and you’ve got a comfortable yet effortless ensemble that is going to last you through a whole day of post-school playdates and summer camps!

 

You WORK That Pump!

You WORK that Pump!

 

With this look I was just itching to feature a dress from Leche Libre’s collection! This designer is phenomenal and her subtle, utlitarian-yet-classic style really set her pieces apart. I found this Mermaid coral necklace from Humble Chic and used a Juno Blu pumping bag to compliment the Ardo Pump that I love so much (quietest pump EVER. And soooo easy to clean!). I just HAD to put in a Simple Wishes pumping bra because they WORK. And they work WELL! A simple lightweight cotton cardigan from Zara and some Crown Born vintage heels complete this versatile work look!

 

Show us how YOU rock your #LeakyLooks this week and tag us on Instagram or show us on Pinterest!

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Carrot Fennel (Lactation) Slaw – Feed Your Whole Family

by Carrie Saum

What do you do when you have multiple food needs in your family?

For example: Dad wants protein.  Kids want carbs. Mom could use some milk boosting foods. And EVERYONE needs veggies. You can’t spend a fortune or the energy accommodating everyone all the time, right?  Because you are a mom and you have to feed yourself and your family and maybe the neighborhood, too.

We joined a co-op a few years ago to purchase high-quality animal protein that was raised properly, humanely, and that was affordable.  That might not be possible for you, and that’s okay.  But it felt very important to us and we made the switch, even though it meant eating slightly less meat.

As a new mom, I fell in love with my crockpot.  I love the idea of putting a few ingredients into a pot, walking away for the day, and then eating a fantastic home cooked meal that night.  It seemed to meet all of the criteria for feeding my family: inexpensive, tasty, satisfying, balanced, and full of nutrition.

My favorite crockpot recipe by far is this Pulled Pork.  It’s incredibly versatile and easy to serve, reheat, remake, and freeze.  I make this fennel slaw recipe for the family and use it in pulled pork tacos.  The sweetness of the slaw pairs perfectly with the saltiness of the pork. It has a fighting chance of pleasing the whole family, and boosting your milk production, too!

pulled pork

Ingredients:

  • 2 bulbs of fennel, thinly sliced (I recommend using a mandolin.)
  • 2-3 carrots, shaved (I use a veggie peeler.)
  • Cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp Apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp raw honey
  • Sea Salt and Pepper

Directions:

  1. Combine fennel, carrots and as much cilantro as you’d like in a bowl.  I like LOTS of cilantro.
  2. Add vinegar, honey, S&P and mix thoroughly.
  3. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving to set.

My favorite preparation is this on top of pulled pork tacos with a little goat cheese a an ice cold limeade  to wash it down with.

Enjoy your summer, enjoy your family!
Carrie

If you like this recipe, check out this recipe for brussel sprouts or Charlie Brown Bars over on Our Stable Table.

__________________________

*Note: It’s important to point out that most women aren’t going to need to eat food with the intention of upping their milk supply, if everything is working the way it is supposed to, your baby will know how to up your supply just fine themselves. Skin-to-skin and feeding on demand are the best ways to increase breastmilk supply to meet your baby’s needs. (Concerned you have low supply? Read this to help figure out if it is something you need to be concerned about.) For those women, galactalogues just happen and they don’t need to think about it. But some women, like me, do need a boost. As a mom who ended up exclusively pumping and indeed having low supply such that I ended up on medication solely to increase my milk production, I know what it’s like to look for anything, anything at all that would help my body make even just a little more milk to help feed my baby. With the support of my health care providers, we tried everything. It becomes “I will eat all the cookies, I will drink all the shakes, I will eat all the parfaits!” if it even just makes me feel like I’m doing something to address the low supply struggle, it is worth it.

___________________________

IMG_2895Carrie Saum brings a passion for wellness and over a decade of experience in health care to her clients. A certified Ayurvedic Wellness Counselor (AWC) from the Kerala Ayurveda Academy, she empowers individuals and families to achieve health and balance through time-honored practices and health knowledge.
Carrie has extensive first-hand experience in vast array of medical and service fields. With background in paramedic medicine, Carrie spent ten years serving in the non-profit sector managing organizations, programs, and orchestrating resources to meet health needs of people across the United States and abroad in countries such as Guatemala, Mexico, Kenya, and Zambia. As an AWC, Carrie currently coaches her clients and their families about topics including nutrition, weight loss, and stress management. In addition to her work as a wellness counselor, Carrie is a passionate “foodie” and author. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and young son and writes atOurStableTable.com.

 

 

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Pump Like a Pro – Washing Pump Parts

by Wendy Bell, CLE
Editor’s note: Be sure to check out the free wet bag special Snugabell has going on and you don’t want to miss the giveaway for Leakies at the end!

Breast pumping tips Snugabell PumpEase

Ask a Pumpin’ Mama and she’ll probably tell you how much space it takes up when you lay out a whole array of pump parts — bottles, lids and flanges — on the kitchen counter.  We all want to make sure everything stays clean and safe for our babies, but how much cleaning is enough? Let Snugabell help you pump like a pro!

Save the suds for the end of the day.  Especially if you’re at work all day or pumping multiple times, washing up after every use can turn into a drag pretty quickly.  Lucky for us, a quick rinse before storing in the fridge in between sessions is more than enough to keep everything clean and ready to go.  A good wash with hot, soapy water at the end of the day is all you need.

Don’t fret about sterilizing everything.  Unless your baby is brand new or has compromised immunity, a thorough washing with hot, soapy water should be all your pump parts require.  In fact, more severe cleaning — like boiling, for example — can even compromise and damage the plastic.  No need!

Pump like a pro with Snugabell PumpEase breast pumping tip for breastfeeding moms

Use a wet bag.  Whether you’re pumping at work during the day or just need a place to drop your wet pump parts between sessions at home, it’s hugely helpful to have a waterproof washable bag to get everything from point A to point B.  You won’t want those rogue milk droplets accumulating on the sofa cushion any more than you want them soaking into the nooks and crannies of your pump bag.  Solve the problem with a couple of handy, machine-washable wet bags to catch all your gear.

Speaking of wet bags, Snugabell is giving away a whole bunch of them right now!  To celebrate our SUPER exciting collaboration with Destination Maternity and A Pea in the Pod, we’re sending PumpEase customers one of our fabulous Wet Bag absolutely FREE.  Details here!

Breast pump

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Snugabell is giving away two PumpEase hands-free pumping bras with matching wet bags to 2 lucky Leakies.

Total Retail Value: $106

The PumpEase design will securely hold your pump in place and is guaranteed to accommodate any breast pump on the market. The PumpEase bra like the one shown above makes multi-tasking a breeze for busy moms.

Visit www.snugabell.com for more information about PumpEase

_________________

Good luck to everyone!  Please use the widget below to be entered.  The giveaway is open from June 5, 2015 through June 12, 2015.  A big thanks to Snugabell for their support of TLB and all breastfeeding women; please be sure to take a moment to thank Snugabell on their Facebook page for their show of support! You can also follow Snugabell on Twitter and Instagram: username @snugabell

This giveaway is open to participants in the USA and Canada.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Dark Chocolate Lactation Granola Bark

by Carrie Saum

In my house, anything I make or bake will get eaten either by family or friends.  But it is a very rare occurrence that anything I bake goes in the trash.

When my son was born, I made plenty of lactation goodies (including this lemonade and these cookies) and it was impossible to keep them to myself.  First of all, I didn’t WANT to keep them to myself because I’m a sharer by nature.  Then I couldn’t because all of the people coming in and out of our house knew about the goodies and wanted to partake.

However, that became expensive.  FAST.

I got smart about it.  I made all of the treats I could that were inexpensive.  I could buy oats in bulk for super cheap.  My mom gave me a giant jar of local honey from a farm (also very inexpensive), and the rest is history. I made little crunchy granola bars that resembled Nature’s Valley but without any added junk.

But here’s the thing. I GOT BORED. Since I needed the fuel to keep my supply up while exclusively pumping, I tried my hand at different recipes.  Because boredom is the master of invention.  I think.  No, that’s not the right quote.  But it’s the right idea.  I love trying new things, but I also have to try new things to keep the game interesting. And feeding yourself (and your baby) is always interesting.

So, when boredom struck, I struck back.  I added sunflower seed butter.  And chocolate.

Then I got a little crazy and instead of cutting them, I broke the granola into pieces that were pretty and irregular and made me feel decadent.  And every new mama needs to be made to feel decadent, right?  And maybe even a little fancy, too.  They’re also a breeze to make, and very affordable.

DarkChocolateGranolaBark

 

Ingredients for Granola Bark:

  • 1 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp  vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp melted butter
  • 1 Tbsp molasses (optional, but adds depth of flavor)
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seed butter or peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup honey

Ingredients for Chocolate Layer:

  1. 6 oz 90% cacao chocolate
  2. 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  3. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  4. 1 Tbsp raw honey

Directions for Granola Bark

  1. Combine all dry ingredients, and mix throughly.
  2. Combine all wet ingredients and add to dry ingredients.
  3. Spread granola mixture in a 7×12 inch parchment-lined dish.  Pack it down hard, leaving no breathing room.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes.  Allow to cool completely in the pan.

Directions for Chocolate Layer

  1. Melt chocolate and coconut oil in your home-made double boiler
  2. Add vanilla and stevia
  3. Once melted and stirred well, pour into the pan of chilled nut butter mixture (Optional and delicious step: Spread a thin layer of peanut butter or sunbutter over the granola first, then pour your chocolate over it.)
  4. Allow to harden in the refrigerator for an hour, then break into pieces.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

For an extra milky boost you can add 2 tablespoons brewer’s yeast and/or 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal to the granola bark. Be warned that some tummies don’t respond well to the brewer’s yeast so if you or your baby tend to have sensitive stomachs, it may be best to skip it.

*Note: These do NOT keep at room temperature because of the coconut oil the chocolate layer. If you want the chocolate to keep at room temperature, consider using (sustainably and humanely harvested) palm oil instead of coconut oil.

You will be impressed with yourself when you make these.  Better yet, make these for a friend who just had a baby and she will be forever grateful.

Barking up the Lactation Tree,
Carrie

If you love this smoothie recipe, you might like this recipe for Paleo Chocolate Chip Granola or these Gluten-Free Strawberry Shortcake on Our Stable Table. 

*Note: It’s important to point out that most women aren’t going to need to eat food with the intention of upping their milk supply, if everything is working the way it is supposed to, your baby will know how to up your supply just fine themselves. Skin-to-skin and feeding on demand are the best ways to increase breastmilk supply to meet your baby’s needs. (Concerned you have low supply? Read this to help figure out if it is something you need to be concerned about.) For those women, galactalogues just happen and they don’t need to think about it. But some women, like me, do need a boost. As a mom who ended up exclusively pumping and indeed having low supply such that I ended up on medication solely to increase my milk production, I know what it’s like to look for anything, anything at all that would help my body make even just a little more milk to help feed my baby. With the support of my health care providers, we tried everything. It becomes “I will eat all the cookies, I will drink all the shakes, I will eat all the parfaits!” if it even just makes me feel like I’m doing something to address the low supply struggle, it is worth it.

_______________________

IMG_2895Carrie Saum brings a passion for wellness and over a decade of experience in health care to her clients. A certified Ayurvedic Wellness Counselor (AWC) from the Kerala Ayurveda Academy, she empowers individuals and families to achieve health and balance through time-honored practices and health knowledge.
Carrie has extensive first-hand experience in vast array of medical and service fields. With background in paramedic medicine, Carrie spent ten years serving in the non-profit sector managing organizations, programs, and orchestrating resources to meet health needs of people across the United States and abroad in countries such as Guatemala, Mexico, Kenya, and Zambia. As an AWC, Carrie currently coaches her clients and their families about topics including nutrition, weight loss, and stress management. In addition to her work as a wellness counselor, Carrie is a passionate “foodie” and author. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and young son and writes at OurStableTable.com.

 

 

 

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When Life Hands You Lemons Make Leaky Lactation Lemonade

by Carrie Saum

Life handed me a truck full of lemons a couple of years ago when my son was born. Stroke, seizures, feeding issues, severe food allergies…the list goes on. It seemed we had challenges galore.

For the last two summers, anytime the mercury rose above 85 degrees, I started feeling like I wanted to crawl out of my skin. I attributed much of that to post partum hormones and unusually hot weather, but the other part was breastfeeding and pumping. Those activities exacerbated the feelings of feeling hot and bothered and honestly, a little rage-y. Hooking up to a pump several times a day and trying to work on breastfeeding with my infant who had special needs with the heat zapping me just wasn’t working

I had to work hard to keep my supply up and not lose my mind. I looked for as many ways to cool down as possible without affecting my supply. I don’t love the heat to begin with, and when it’s close to 100 degrees, my feelings actually get hurt. Why does it have to be so hot? Why does it affect me so badly? How can I take the weather so personally when it isn’t personal even a little bit at all?

{Clearly, living in a cooler climate is better for me. Rain and 75 degree summer days rarely hurt my feelings.}

With all of these lemons, there was only one solution to my needs:

Lemonade.

Lactation lemonade, to be exact.

Lactation Lemonade

I really don’t love tea. I drink tea. I enjoy it about once a month as a soothing, calming, self-care activity. But during the summer heat, hot tea seemed unbearable. So, I took all those lemons and made lemonade and used cold milk-boosting tea instead of water. Once I mixed up a big batch of it, I was able to easily grab a glass a few times a day. I put it in my water bottle and took it with us when we ran errands. A handful of roasted sunflower seeds and a glass of lemonade was the perfect snack to keep me cool and well fuelled while running errands, working, or just doing the day-to-day duties that seem to pile up when you have small babies.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 cups brewed mother’s milk tea, cooled
  • sweetener of your choice to taste (I prefer 1 teaspoon of powdered stevia to cut down on sugar, but you can choose conventional sugar, honey added to the tea when it is hot to help it dissolve, or a blend.)

Directions:

  1. In a large pitcher, combine water and tea then stir.
  2. Add sweetner slowly, stirring and tasting often. Sweeten to taste.
  3. If the lemonade is too strong, you can add a little bit of water.
  4. Refrigerate for up to one week.

I hope this summer doesn’t make me cry. But if it does, at least I’ll have some refreshing lemonade to make it better.

Loving that Lemonade,

Carrie

*Note: It’s important to point out that most women aren’t going to need to eat food with the intention of upping their milk supply, if everything is working the way it is supposed to, your baby will know how to up your supply just fine themselves. Skin-to-skin and feeding on demand are the best ways to increase breastmilk supply to meet your baby’s needs. (Concerned you have low supply? Read this to help figure out if it is something you need to be concerned about.) For those women, galactalogues just happen and they don’t need to think about it. But some women, like me, do need a boost. As a mom who ended up exclusively pumping and indeed having low supply such that I ended up on medication solely to increase my milk production, I know what it’s like to look for anything, anything at all that would help my body make even just a little more milk to help feed my baby. With the support of my health care providers, we tried everything. It becomes “I will eat all the cookies, I will drink all the shakes, I will eat all the parfaits!” if it even just makes me feel like I’m doing something to address the low supply struggle, it is worth it.

If you like this recipe, check out this recipe for homemade Almond Joy Bars or Creamy Avocado Zoodles over on our sister site, Our Stable Table.


IMG_2895Carrie Saum brings a passion for wellness and over a decade of experience in health care to her clients. A certified Ayurvedic Wellness Counselor (AWC) from the Kerala Ayurveda Academy, she empowers individuals and families to achieve health and balance through time-honored practices and health knowledge. Carrie has extensive first-hand experience in vast array of medical and service fields.
With background in paramedic medicine, Carrie spent ten years serving in the non-profit sector managing organizations, programs, and orchestrating resources to meet health needs of people across the United States and abroad in countries such as Guatemala, Mexico, Kenya, and Zambia. As an AWC, Carrie currently coaches her clients and their families about topics including nutrition, weight loss, and stress management. In addition to her work as a wellness counselor, Carrie is a passionate “foodie” and the voice behind OurStableTable.com. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and young son.
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Strawberry Fennel Salad

by Carrie Saum

It’s springtime, which means everything is blooming, alive, and vital. My body starts craving fresh green veggies, berries, and other seasonal vegetables. One of my favorite salads for this late spring and summer?  Strawberry and fennel with baby kale and goat cheese.  Salads are fast, easy to prep and it doesn’t take much to make them a little fancy.

Getting enough green leafy veggies can also be a challenge for breastfeeding or pumping mamas, and we need those powerful plants to bring nourishment to our babes. Iron is a key component to maternal and infant health, and pregnancy and breastfeeding can take a massive toll on our iron stores. It’s important to keep that in mind as we care for our tiny people and also care for ourselves.

One key component of iron absorption that is commonly overlooked is the necessity of vitamin C. Vitamin C plays a powerful role in assimilation of iron in the body. Think about it this way: Your body produces milk, but the milk doesn’t do much without a way to move it. We use our babies mouths or breast pumps to deliver the milk to the right place so it can be utilized.   In the same way, iron needs vitamin C to deliver it to our bodies’ cells for maximum benefit.  (If you’re interested in learning more about the important role of iron and vitamin c, read this great info from the CDC.)

This salad uses plenty of fresh, iron-rich green veggies, and seasonal strawberries, which are loaded with vitamin C. The addition of fennel provides a gentle boost to your milk supply as well as slightly sweet, bright crunch with a hint of licorice flavor that makes all of the flavors pop.

FennelLactationSalad

If you’re steering clear of cheese, I suggest ripe avocado to add creaminess and healthy fat.  I also have a bottle of pomegranate balsamic vinegar that I use for things like this.  As far as berries are concerned, I tried this with blueberries because we went berry picking last summer and found ourselves with five pounds of blueberry goodness.  IT WAS AMAZING.  I regret not getting a photo of it. But strawberries are a great addition to this salad, and have enough vitamin C to help your body absorb the iron in the greens.

If you use baby kale, this salad stays fresh for 48 hours in the refrigerator, so it’s convenient to make one large salad and snack on it for a couple of days. If baby kale is too much for you or your little one, try baby spinach for a milder flavor and tender texture. It just won’t keep longer than a few hours once it’s dressed.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups baby kale (Baby kale is more like spring greens and less like…kale.)
  • 10 fresh strawberries, sliced and halved
  • 1 small fennel bulb, sliced thin (I recommend a mandolin)
  • 3-4 oz goat cheese crumbles, or one small avocado, diced
  • small handful of microgreens (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds (optional)
  • red wine vinegar
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • Herbs d’Provenance
  • Salt and pepper

Preparation:

  1. Combine all prepped produce in a bowl.
  2. Top with goat cheese and herbs and chia seeds if you’re using them.
  3. Drizzle with olive oil and vinegars. Finish with a few shakes of salt and pepper.
  4. Let everyone know you’re a salad magician.

We don’t need to make this harder than it absolutely has to be, mamas.  Keep it simple, easy, and tasty.  The fact that it’s packed full of nutrition just makes it that much better.

It’s Not Easy Being Green,
Carrie

If you like this recipe, check out this Kale Waldorf Salad or Roasted Cauliflower Soup over on Our Stable Table.

*Note: It’s important to point out that most women aren’t going to need to eat food with the intention of upping their milk supply, if everything is working the way it is supposed to, your baby will know how to up your supply just fine themselves. Skin-to-skin and feeding on demand are the best ways to increase breastmilk supply to meet your baby’s needs. (Concerned you have low supply? Read this to help figure out if it is something you need to be concerned about.) For those women, galactalogues just happen and they don’t need to think about it. But some women, like me, do need a boost. As a mom who ended up exclusively pumping and indeed having low supply such that I ended up on medication solely to increase my milk production, I know what it’s like to look for anything, anything at all that would help my body make even just a little more milk to help feed my baby. With the support of my health care providers, we tried everything. It becomes “I will eat all the cookies, I will drink all the shakes, I will eat all the parfaits!” if it even just makes me feel like I’m doing something to address the low supply struggle, it is worth it.
IMG_2895Carrie Saum brings a passion for wellness and over a decade of experience in health care to her clients. A certified Ayurvedic Wellness Counselor (AWC) from the Kerala Ayurveda Academy, she empowers individuals and families to achieve health and balance through time-honored practices and health knowledge. Carrie has extensive first-hand experience in vast array of medical and service fields. With background in paramedic medicine, Carrie spent ten years serving in the non-profit sector managing organizations, programs, and orchestrating resources to meet health needs of people across the United States and abroad in countries such as Guatemala, Mexico, Kenya, and Zambia. As an AWC, Carrie currently coaches her clients and their families about topics including nutrition, weight loss, and stress management. In addition to her work as a wellness counselor, Carrie is a passionate “foodie” and the voice behind OurStableTable.com. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and young son.

 

 

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Rest Well- Sleep Support For You and Your Child From Sleep Consultant Rebecca Michi

The Leakies with Rebecca Michi

sleep consultant Rebecca Michi

We asked sleep consultant Rebecca Michi to come help us all get some more sleep and we asked the Leakies to share there current sleep struggles. Here are a few of the responses followed by Rebecca’s support.

 

Chris: My 20 month old has an average 7 hour window of awake time after she wakes from her nap- this is killing me when she doesnt go down for nap til 1:15-2 and then sleeps til 3:00! I can’t stand a 10pm bedtime!! What should I do? should I drop the afternoon nap? My mom said I stopped napping all together at age 2. Worried we are headed this way as well. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

 

Rebecca: I would work on gradually reducing down the nap. Have her wake at 2:45pm for a week and see how that impacts your nights. You can then reduce down another 15 minutes for a week. You should be able to find the perfect nap length, though it may be that she is ready to drop the nap.

Take a little look at your night routine, you want it to be between 30 and 45 minutes long, nice and consistent, same thing in the same place in the same order. Take a look at the environment as well, nice and dark (through the whole night), no energy saving light bulbs in the sleep space and no screen time an hour before bed

 

Courtney: Naps! How can I get my 15 month old to take a nap without getting nursed to sleep. He’s not one of these “drowsy but awake” kind of kids, you can’t rock him because he squirms and won’t settle. I just want to get to the point where I can put him in his crib and he falls asleep on his own. Wishful thinking? We also nurse to sleep for bedtime and when he wakes in the night.

Rebecca: You will need to teach him the skills to get himself to sleep. I suggest some gentle sleep training. When you are gently teaching sleep skills you are always with your child and you can pick them up and soothe them. Take a look at The Baby Whisperer book, Kim Wests book and my book. We all have our own sleep training techniques that are more gentle and hands on. Find a technique you like and stick with it. It’s actually easier to work on nights first, you can work with naps first, but it will be more of a challenge.

 

CarolineMy 7.5 month old never naps (ok maybe twice) longer than 70 min Is there a way to get her to nap longer? When she was younger than 3 months or so she only ever napped being worn and she would nap longer but in her crib she maxes out around 75 min. We would love it if she took longer naps – is this just what she needs? 3 30 -75 min naps (first two usually lose to an hour but the last one of the day frequently only 35 min or so)

Rebecca: How long is she awake between naps? Try aiming for the 2-3-4 routine (awake for 2 hours, nap, awake for 3 hours, nap, awake for 4 hours, down for the night. With 3 hours of nap you have a 12 hour day). Changing to this schedule should help those naps stretch out a little. Have your nap routine within your awake period, so you want to be actively working on getting to sleep at the 2 hour point and the 3 hour point. The last awake period can be a little longer, we have a longer routine so it can be longer than 4 hours. If she has had shorter naps you can have a catnap in the 4 hour stretch, this nap just needs to be long enough to keep her going until bedtime.

 

Cailyn: My 7 month old doesn’t nap in her crib. If I put her down she either wakes up immediately or within 5 minutes. We are currently doing cuddle naps, but would like to get her napping in her crib. She sleeps fine in her crib a night, provided she has napped well in the day. We have been using a lovey to try and get her to associate it with sleep time, and not the cuddling, but so far that hasn’t made a difference. Do we just have to keep trying to put her in her crib for naps, knowing that if she doesn’t nap for long her night time sleep may not be good?

Rebecca: It’s not unusual for children to sleep very differently for naps and night sleep, the reason behind this is due to day sleep (naps) and night sleep being managed by different areas of the brain. Make sure she has plenty of playtime in the crib each day, she needs to be comfortable with the space to nap in the space, this comes with play. When you do work on having her sleep in the crib you will probably notice that the naps get short, this is very normal, naps do reduce in length as we make changes to them. The naps should begin to lengthen out but themselves, but it may take a week or more for them to lengthen out. As we don’t want nights to be too impacted I would suggest having and emergency nap towards the end of the day. Maybe run some errands so she can fall asleep in the car or go for a walk so she can nap in the stroller or carrier, this way she can catch up on a little lost sleep, but you are not going going back to doing those cuddle naps.

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Be sure to check out Rebecca’s book Sleep And Your Child’s Temperament and don’t miss out on the scholarship opportunity to participate in her Sleep Academy LIVE, here.

If you have a question you would like Rebecca to answer next time, please use this form to submit your inquiry.

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small Rebecca Michi121 Rebecca is a Children’s Sleep Consultant who has been working with families for over 20 years. She is a gentle sleep consultant who doesn’t believe in leaving your child to cry-it-out when teaching them to fall asleep more independently. She is passionate about helping children and their parents build healthy habits so they can finally get some sleep. By transforming drama into dreamland, her mission is to help your children—and you—get a good night’s sleep.
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