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Do I have enough milk for my newborn?

Like every newly minted parent, you are probably worried about your milk supply and being able to provide enough milk for your newborn. While bottles are see-through, our breasts/chests aren’t. So we can’t always tell how much milk – if at all – our babies are ingesting.

Relax, mom and dad! Here are some easy ways to tell if your baby is getting the amount he needs:

  • Your baby’s weight is steadily increasing: 5-7 oz a week and about 1 inch long a month
  • Your baby is providing the adequate amount of poopy diapers every day: One poopy diaper for every day of life up to day 5. That means one poopy diaper on day one, and  five diapers by day five – and an average of five a day after that
  • Your baby seems satisfied and falls asleep AFTER a feeding or at the breast/chest
  • Your baby’s body and especially his HANDS are relaxed and open after a feeding
  • Your breasts/chest do NOT feel hard or painful! This is engorgement, and is a sign of poor milk transfer. Your breasts/chest should be soft. Don’t worry, that doesn’t mean they’re not making milk! That means they are making milk and it’s transferring to the baby efficiently
  • Your baby looks to feed every 2-3 hours, or seems to feed ravenously in the evening, called cluster feedings – yes, this is normal!
  • Feedings are around 20 to 30 minutes. Some babies are efficient feeders and eat in 10-15 minutes, but on average, feedings take anywhere up to a half hour. If your baby takes an hour or more, this is a red flag your baby is having difficulty.

And that’s it!

If you are concerned your baby is not getting enough milk if you are experiencing painful engorgement, or your baby is not producing adequate poopy diapers, alert your pediatrician and talk to an IBCLC right away. Feel free to hand express milk and provide it to the baby in a bottle, spoon, or from an open cup (check out how to do that in this video!) while you wait to see your provider. If you can’t express enough to satisfy your baby, feel free to mix whatever breast/chestmilk you have with formula.

In the end, a fed baby is a healthy baby.


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What’s the key to happiness?

THE RESULTS ARE IN!

The key to happiness is kindness.

 

A recent study published in April of this year has shown that doing acts of random of kindness (or ARKs, if you forgive me quoting from the movie Evan Almighty) has amazing results on personal, subjective feelings of happiness.

And it didn’t seem to matter whether the ARKs were done for complete strangers, acquaintances or loved ones. Doing something for another person made people happier. And the more ARKs they did, the higher the happiness quotient of the study participants.

So why does this work? Continue reading “What’s the key to happiness?”

Recipe: Potato Curry

If you’ve been following my blog for the last few months, you probably can tell I like my stuff spicy. And during the winter, I always crave the warmth of Indian foods, like curries. So I looked through my cupboards and fridge, and whipped this up. Continue reading “Recipe: Potato Curry”

Thai (inspired) Noodle Soup

Thai Noodle

So when I need inspiration, I hit the books – recipe books, that is. I have fewer recipe books than you’d think, though. Once I discovered internet recipes and Pinterest, there was no turning back. But there are several I hang onto with beautiful pictures that I turn to for ideas. And this past Friday was one such day.

But not a single recipe took my fancy.

Sure, I had a few ingredients on a shopping list. Yet no congregation of ingredients lit up my heart. It was halfway to the grocery store, though, that a golden vision appeared in my head.

I remembered one visit my husband and I had made to a thai restaurant up in Phoenix, a sister establishment to its neighboring oriental supermarket. Both of our soups had been so beautifully arranged, each ingredient had its place, just waiting for a loving hand to stir and eat. The crisp taste of vegetables, noodles, and hot broth was suddenly all I could think about.

So I whipped this little number. And as usual, my husband would complain that the floor looked like a “lawn mower had come through.” But he was all smiles when he tasted the results.

What I love especially about this recipe is that not everything in soup has to be cooked to mush. I loved the fresh snap of some of the vegetables that I waited until right before serving to place in a hot bowl of broth. While the lemon was not as clear as I would have liked, I recommend adding a touch of lemon juice for flavor.

Thai-Inspired Noodle Soup

Serves 4-6

INGREDIENTS

2 cartons (32-oz) low-salt, Vegetarian No-Chicken Broth
1 yellow onion, diced
6 carrots (julienned)
5 celery stalks (sliced)
1 lemongrass stalk, minced
1/2 of a jalapeño, minced
1 bundles of Bok Choy
8 oz of Buckwheat Soba noodles
Baby Bella mushrooms, sliced (divided)
Spring onions, chopped (divided)
Cilantro, chopped (divided)

PREPARATION

On a stovetop, heat up the broth. As it starts to bubble, add onion, carrots, celery stalks, lemongrass, and jalapeño. Cut the bok choy leaves from the stems, and cut up stems like celery and add to pot. Let it simmer for 15-20 minutes. Add noodles. Cook until tender.

Take bok choy leaves and cut them lengthwise, like ribbons. Ladle out the noodles without broth into a bowl, and add mushrooms, cilantro, spring onions, and bok choy. Ladle a cup of hot soup broth and let stand for a few minutes as fresh uncooked vegetables soften in the hot water. Serve – and ENJOY!.

Iron & Pregnancy

During a woman’s pregnancy, her blood volume increases by 50 percent.
That is why it is extremely vital that a woman gets enough iron in her diet, and has herself checked for anemia, to ensure enough oxygen is getting to baby and mom’s muscles, brain, etc.
These foods are some of the richest in iron.
foodshighiniron

But some things to keep in mind is that:

A) Caffeine can reduce a woman’s ability to absorb iron. If possible, and drink less or avoid caffeinated beverages such as teas and coffees.
B) Calcium rich foods or supplements can also inhibit iron absorption. Try to consume calcium supplements and iron rich foods at opposite ends of the day.
C) Iron supplements can be hard on the body and result in constipation. While getting from diet alone is recommended, sometimes supplementation is needed. If you can, look for supplements that also include a lot of plant-based items. The fiber can greatly reduce those constipating symptoms.
D) The body more readily absorbs iron that is from animal-based food items, but nature has given us everything we need in order to absorb plant-based (“non-heme”) iron, as well. If we are eating vegetables, we are most likely eating fruits and veggies containing Vitamin C. Vitamin C naturally increases a body’s ability to absorb more iron. Be sure you consume both within a meal to give your body a boost in iron.

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