'Twas the Night Before Christmas (As Retold By a Parent with Small Children)

'Twas the night before Christmas, and the kids were insane
I suspected a sugar-high from too many candy canes.
The stockings were strewn this way and that,
because the baby had tried to use them as hats.

"We've Got You Covered, Baby!" Diaper & Formula Drive

We are so excited to announce:

Diapers charlottesville

 

to benefit families suffering effects of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Jose, and families displaced by the wildfires on the West Coast.

We are collecting:

  • opened and unopened diaper packs
  • powdered or premixed formulas

Bonus Feel-Good Points for these high demand items:

  • Size 3, 4, & 5 Diapers
  • Specialty formulas for higher need babies

Drop off Locations
(Please check their hours)

CHARLOTTESVILLE

Dates: 9/15/17-9/30/17

Important info:

1. We have been in contact with doulas on the ground in the areas affected by our recent natural disasters, and they will place orders from the donations collected, so you can rest assured

ALL ITEMS SENT OUT OF STATE WILL GO DIRETLY TO A FAMILY IN NEED

2. The Virginia Baby Company will pay for the shipping for items for immediate use.

3. After October 15th, any remaining collected donations will be gifted to local food and diaper banks serving families in need here in Virginia.

4. We are not a non-profit agency, so sadly, you won't be able to take a tax-deduction for your items donated.

5. We want to celebrate your donation, so please take a photo of yourself or your little one with your donation, or the donation box, or outside of your drop off location. Make sure to tag the location you dropped off AND The Virginia Baby Co. on Facebook or Instagram. #wevegotyoucoveredbaby

Insanely Painful Breasts After Birth

clogged milk ducts

You are laying in bed, contemplating the latest eat-sleep-poop cycle your baby has presented, when you decide you're finally comfortable enough to get some sleep. You roll over onto your belly, and as you do, your chest explodes with pain, you see stars behind your eyelids, and it feels like you've just been stabbed in the boob.  With a red-hot poker.

You turn on the bedroom light, sure you're going to see a murder scene in your bed, or at least the legos left there by your 3 year old that usually cause that unexpected pain, instead you find all of your insides are exactly where they are supposed to be, but one of your breasts is very tender to the touch, and has a bright red spot.

You have a clogged duct.

Now that you have given birth, clogs aren't just for hairballs in your drains.  Milk can build up in the milk ducts, and causing a blockage in your breast tissue.  And since you can't ever really drain breasts completely, there can be a lot of pressure behind the clog, leading to a lot of inflammation and pain.  You'll want to get rid of this as soon as you can, because a blocked duct can lead to mastitis*.

Ways to help break up a clogged milk duct

  1. If you are trying to feed at the breast, keep nursing.  A baby's mouth is often the best suction available, but a pump is good too if you choose to exclusively pump.  (If you're not breast feeding, you'll want to skip to #4.)
  2. Nurse with the baby's chin pointed at the clog.  I've heard that its the greatest suction that happens when the chin points there, but I think also the motion of the baby's tongue on the tissue may have something to do with it.
  3. Dangle Nursing.  This is exactly what it sounds like-- put the baby in a safe location on his/her back, and dangle your breast over them to let them eat.  This has two benefits: it uses gravity to remove the clog, and also allows easier maneuvering of the breast so the baby can nurse most effectively.
  4. Warm compresses & massage.  We say these together because you want to use the warm compress to loosen the surrounding tissue, then massage from above the clog, through it, down toward the nipple.  Much like massage to hand express.  This is very effectively done in the shower, and keeping warm compresses on as much as possible during the day.
  5. Ultrasonic toothbrushes.  You know those fancy ones that vibrate bacteria away?  The hard end (not the brush end) right on the very tender area can help break up the clog before you express the milk.
  6. Make sure you are getting enough water. Its easy to dehydrate when you are hydrating for two, and if your milk is a bit dehydrated, that can cause clogged ducts.

Unfortunately, none of these things are comfortable, but they can help relieve the pressure until the problem resolves itself.  Some people are more prone to clogged ducts than others, but there are things you can do to set yourself up for not getting them again.

Preventing Plugged Milk Ducts

  1. Drink enough fluids.  I know I just said it above, but it stands to reason here that you want to make sure you are hydrated.  Breastmilk is a bodily fluid, and will be at its best when you are well hydrated.
  2. Let your ladies loose. When your body is balancing out its milk production (first 4-6 weeks) you want to stay away from bras that are too tight, compress the tissue much, or are uncomfortable.  Also, breast size permitting, try to stay away from underwires until your supply regulates.  (Underwires= extra pressure on the tissue). 
  3. Drain your breasts well at each feeding/pumping session. You can't ever really fully drain a breast, because its a demand and supply system.  But if you can express enough so you FEEL less full, you will help your breasts flowing freely.  That's because milk that sits for a long time has a much higher chance of causing a clog.  (Please don't go pumping after nursing in the first few weeks simply to prevent a clog.  That just perpetuates engorgement and oversupply.  But make sure your baby eats well from both sides, and that you notice a difference in the firmness of the breast tissue.)

*If you are experiencing or get any of the following symptoms (in addition to the clogged duct, right before you notice it, or right after) please call your medical care provider (your OB/midwife will see you, so will your general practitioner, as well as most urgent care locations) to get your potential mastitis diagnosed and to get antibiotics.

And Baby Makes Four!

Yet you did it.  Somehow, you made it through, with dishes in the sink or not, you managed to get enough rest to want to make another baby, and now you’re expanding your family again!  Except this time, you won’t be able to sleep when the baby sleeps, because you also have a toddler who will be very much awake, curious and into everything through most of the day.  What is a mom to do?

5 Things I Wish I'd Known About Breastfeeding

Sometimes breastfeeding is simple.  Baby is born.  Baby snuggles with mom.  Baby bobs around, finds a nipple, attaches with a perfect latch, colostrum and oxytocin letdown begins.  Ahhhh...  But sometimes its the exact opposite of that.

The Golden Months: Life with a Postpartum Doula

How do I get my baby to sleep?  Is breastfeeding going ok?  How do I know if my baby is eating enough? How can I get her to stop crying?  For Pete's sake, *I'm* crying all the time, is this normal?  Will I ever sleep again? What am I having for dinner?

Welcome to Virginia, Breastfeeding Moms!

I will *always* stand for a mom who is interested in breastfeeding in public.  And as of July 1, 2015, so will the Commonwealth of Virginia.