If you read my post on Foods 4 Focus, you know that iron and zinc are two important minerals for brain health, and many people/kids are deficient in them. But how to get them? Add anchovies! And I don't mean to your pizza. These briny, fatty, little fish are full of nutrients.
"A portion of five anchovy fillets (canned in oil and drained; about 20g) has 42 calories, 5.8g protein, 1.9g of fat, and no carbohydrates. Anchovies are an excellent source of calcium, iron, and zinc."
If you are scared of adding these tiny fish to your diet, but enjoy eating tuna, or salmon, or other canned fish try mashing them into a tuna salad; you'll never know they are there. Personally, I buy skipjack tuna since it is lower in mercury than albacore, or yellow fin. This 'recipe' could also be done with chicken or egg salad if you are not a fan of fish. The anchovies just add a little salty flavor.
1, 5oz can tuna, drained
1, 2oz can anchovies, drained
1 Tbs Mustard
1 Tbs lemon/lime juice or apple cider vinegar
1tsp dried dill
1/4 cup diced celery
2 small dill pickles diced
Ground Black pepper
1. Combine and mash all ingredients together in a medium bowl.
2. Serve on a bed of lettuce, wrap, sandwich, crackers, cucumber slices, whatever works for you and your family. Use fresh lemon/lime wedges or vinegar for extra moisture on your salad.
Want another delicious recipe using anchovies, try my crockpot Chicken Puttanesca.
For more info on anchovies, the difference between oil packed, and salt cured, check out Precision Nutrition's post.
I recently gave a short presentation with two of my co-workers discussing how food affect focus, mood, and cognition. There were some technical difficulties so parts of it cut in and out, but I've left you with the main bullet points and links to research from my portion.
1. Artificial foods = lower IQ. More specifically artificial colorings and preservatives. Those toaster strudels and carnation instant breakfast drinks I loved as a teen; complete neurotoxins. Everything they served in the ala-cart line in my high school cafeteria, complete junk and brain poison. No wonder so many kids are being diagnosed with ADHD and other learning disabilities, our brains are fried from all the chemicals we feed them starting at breakfast.
2. You need adequate protein to make neurotransmitters for your brain. When we don’t eat enough protein, our DNA doesn’t have enough amino acids to sufficiently carry out this process. "If our cells are going to talk to one another, they need protein. If you don’t eat adequate protein at every meal, you can end up being anxious, depressed, hungry, and tired."
-Dr David Herber.
I would add irritable, irrational, unfocussed, and scatter to that list. The best, most absorbable, and bioavailable source of protein, and therefore amino acids is....meat, dairy, and eggs.
Sorry vegans, this is just how biology works.
"Meat is the single best source of protein. Fulfilling your protein requirements (60 – 90 grams or more for adults) with non-meat foods requires enormous planning and effort, more than most people can manage. You have to eat three cups of beans with 100 grams of carbs to equal the same amount of protein in 6 ounces of animal protein (that contain zero carbs).
Animal protein is our only source of vitamin B12, which is essential for life itself. It contains enzymes that we need to access nutrients, essential amino acids, and cancer-fighting antioxidants like vitamin A, which cannot be obtained directly from vegetables. Vegans often become deficient in B12, iron, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin D and more. Yes, plant foods contain many of these nutrients, but they are more bioavailable in meat."
-Dr. Mark Hyman, What the Heck Should I Eat
But you know who else also becomes deficient in these nutrients? Most kids. They start their day with bagels, toast, donuts, or nothing; and when they eat the school lunch most of what they get is CARBS! with very little protein. Dinner often doesn't look that great these days either. As families race from one activity to the next, I see a lot of fast food, pasta, and PB&J sandwiches on the menu.
3. Lack of Zinc, Iron, B12 can all lead to ADHD symptoms
B12 – Cobalamin, aka Vitamin B12 is a helper vitamin. It helps B9 produce red blood cells, and it helps iron produce hemoglobin for transporting oxygen in the blood.
If you are a Vegan, and even some vegetarians, and many picky kids who eat very little meat need to supplement. Typical doses are: 10 micrograms a day or 2000+ micrograms per week.
Zinc - Studies show it may help with hyperactivity and impulsiveness. But not as effective for inattentiveness. I recommend 20mg/Day for kids and up to 50+mg for adults as supplements.
Iron - Iron is also necessary for making dopamine. One small study1 showed ferritin levels (a measure of iron stores) to be low in 84 percent of children with ADHD compared to 18 percent of the control group. Low iron levels correlate with cognitive deficits and severe ADHD.
However, do not supplement unless you/your child has been diagnosed with a deficiency.
Want to get these nutrients from food? Then grab yourself some OYSTERS and LIVER! Or maybe just some beef and salmon. I love adding smoked oysters to a salad or eating them on a plantain chip/cracker. Braunschweiger is seriously one of my favorite foods. My grandma used to make us sandwiches on wonder bread with miracle whip and mustard. Not what I would recommend, but she didn't know what we know now. These days I simply slice and eat, top it with Hain Safflower Mayo, or even fry it in a little olive oil and eat for breakfast with eggs and greens.
4. Fish oil
Significant evidence across multiple studies show that...
How much to supplement with?
For younger kids up to about age 8, 1,000-1,500 milligrams of EPA and DHA.
(If a product has 750 mg. of EPA and 500 mg of DHA, the total would be 1,250 mg.)
For older children, 2,000-2,500 milligrams.
However, I'm in the camp that when it comes to fish oil, more is often better. You'll want to talk with your health care professional to help you decide on the right dose.
Seems like everyone has their own protein ball recipe so I figured I should too. Ryan likes to pop 2-3 of them in his mouth after a workout and eat while he's showering. As a pregnant, and now breastfeeding mom, I've found they come in handy at 2am when hunger strikes. Yes, you can eat them straight from the freezer.
Even though I make these with sunflower seed butter, you can absolutely use peanut butter, soy nut butter, macadamia butter... whatever you have on hand and works for your family. However, depending upon the type/brand of nut butter and protein powder you use, you will probably need to make adjustments to their quantities due to different oil content and absorbency of the protein powder. The mixture will be a bit crumbly, but will stick together when you pack it into balls. Sorry it's not an exact recipe, I've just learned what the approximate consistency needs to be.
At the end of the batch I often end up adding another 2+ Tbs of nut butter to get the leftover cereal and coconut stuck together.
If you want to make these even lower in carbs, replace the cereal with more shredded coconut and chopped nuts/seeds.
1 cup Nut butter (I use TJ unsweetened sunflower seed butter)
1 cup rice crispy cereal
1 cup protein powder (I use Olly Vanilla plant protein, but have used whey in the past)
1/2-1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut or instant oat meal
2-3 Tbs melted coconut oil
1+ Tbs honey/maple syrup/sukrin
Other add ins: Raisins, Craisins, Chocolate chips, White Chocolate Chips, M&M, candied ginger, chopped nuts, hemp seeds, chia seeds, ground flax seeds, freeze dried raspberries.
Coatings: Cocoa powder, almond flour, coconut flour, more protein powder (Used to coat balls after rolling)
Combine ingredients in a big bowl.
Portion out 1-2Tbs and roll into balls.
Place balls in a gallon ziplock bag with coating of choice.
Once all the balls are rolled out, close the bag and gently move it around until the protein balls are coated. (Keeps them from sticking together. Store in the freezer.)
While grabbing a hot drink from Lakewinds Co-op a couple weeks ago I noticed a new product on the counter. I asked the Barista what it was and if it was any good. Apparently it's a coconut butter product you add to coffee. She informed me that it was very tasty, and she really liked the vanilla but..."I'm not ready to give up sugar, so I can't use it".
I must have given her a quizzical look as she proceeded to tell me that it's for keto people and that since she still eats sugar she shouldn't use it. I responded, "do you think if you did use it, it might help with your sugar cravings?"
Barista, "Maybe, but I'm not ready to give up sugar."
As I left the counter I thought, "What you're really saying is I don't want to give up sugar." I was also reminded of the late Charles Poliquin who would have said that she is still prioritizing her taste buds over whatever physical change she wants to see by giving up sugar. To some extent I would agree. But I posed the scenario to two RD friends as well Ryan and here is what they all said.
My friend Katie of the Best You Plan would ask you, "What are you afraid of? Are you afraid of failing yet again...another diet?" She has seen this with many women. Just the mention of "giving up" a food, sugar or processed carbs in particular seems to elicit a look of terror in many of their eyes. While at a networking event, she had women refuse to take her business card after they learned what her program is about.
My friend Lucy from Well Balanced Nutrition would ask you, "What do you mean give up sugar? Are you a moderator being asked to abstain? Is this a temporary or permanent change you are trying to make? Why do you want to give it up, what is the benefit?"
My husband Ryan asked "what are you doing to be/get ready?"
So this coming year, before you make another I'm going to (lose weight, get healthy, exercise, give up _____) resolution maybe you need to ask yourself a few questions first:
1. What change do I want to make and WHY? If you're why isn't good enough, you will never be 'ready' and the changes will never stick. I have found that losing weight for the sake of weight loss is never a good enough why. Focusing on a health benefit such as less joint pain, or better digestion are typically better motivators.
2. Is this a change YOU WANT to make for YOU? Or is it something you think you SHOULD do, or feel guilted into doing? Shame is never a good motivator.
3. What is holding you back from starting now? Why have you waited?
4. What are you afraid of? Failure? Judgement? Struggling? Hunger? Being alone?
5. Are you making excuses and putting off making the change? Or is your reason for not starting valid? Excuse: it's the holiday season so it will be too hard. (Truth: there is always a holiday, birthday, vacation, or other event) Valid reason: Your parent just died, you just had a baby, your house flooded or burned down. (Truth: high stress times, especially when coupled with sleep deprivation are not the time to make a major change. Wait a few weeks or months until the clouds pass and you are sleeping to tackle your change.)
6. Who will support you vs Who will derail you? Are you willing to spend less time with those who will derail your efforts? I know many people who have given up friendships, cut ties with family, and gone through divorces in the name of health & happiness. It may seem extreme, but we only get one life, so why surround yourself with negative people. Also, the reason many people consciously or unconsciously sabotage other's efforts is because of their own fear and insecurity. "If they change, then I have to change... change is hard, and I'm scared of failing if they succeed. I'm not ready! I should buy them a box of their favorite cookies."
What are you willing/wanting/ready to change?
A co-worker asked me recently, "What are you doing for yourself?" That's a big loaded question for a new mom. But here it is.
I finally grabbed my kettle bell and got back into the swing of things. I used to love going to my kettle bell class several years ago, until my instructor left for a different position. Since then, I've been lifting and swinging on my own at our local Snap Fitness. Now, as a mom, I wanted to get a membership to a gym with child care (LA Fitness), but they will not feed Fredrik if he gets hungry, they won't change a diaper, and if he fusses for more than 5 minutes, they will come get me. Not sure I'd ever get a workout in at that rate...
Instead, I've started following these workouts in the morning from Noelle Tar at Coconuts & Kettlebells. Either before Fredrik wakes up (after coffee of course), or after he is up and fed, I grab my bell and pray Samoa our cat doesn't walk in-front of me. I figure Fredrik will learn to count to 10 before any other babies with all the rep counting. My bell isn't very heavy; only 15#, but it's getting me moving in a way I haven't for at least 4 months. I tried to do a few things when I was 2 months postpartum, but found that many activities still aggravated my C-section, and just didn't feel good. I also didn't have the energy since November was a terrible month of sleep. So I stuck with walking.
My goal is 3 x/week, but I'm not holding myself to any strict schedule or standard. I know there is the possible 4mo sleep regression and teething in our future, but when I'm mostly rested and feeling good I plan to swing my bell and get a little sweaty. Wondering when I shower? I was too for a while... Since Fredrik is still so young he takes fairly predictable naps; and his first one lasts about 45-60 minutes, which is just enough time for me to shower and dry my hair. TADA! clean mom. I can honestly say that making these two activities (exercise & showering) back into my schedule has made me a better mom. I feel more patient and sane knowing I did something for me.
Even if you aren't a new mom, what are you doing for yourself that makes you feel good physically and mentally.
After 8.7yr of marriage I have learned that when we travel Ryan will ask me at least 3 times what we are doing, where we are going, and what he should pack. Even if I just gave him the itinerary information the day before. I finally got smart two years ago and started making a packing list. Not only has this reduced my frustration from the "Didn't I already tell you this?" and has actually made it easier for me to pack too. Ryan also started doing this for his annual ice fishing trip; and now that we have Fredrik, it's going to be indispensable. I've found it helps keep me from overpacking (as much), as well as prevents the inevitable forgotten item.
How do I do it?
1. List off the days you will be gone and what activities you will be doing.
Thursday - Drive to Grandmas (Lunch at rest stop - chicken salad wraps + Veggies & Dip)
Friday - Help with yard work
Saturday - Bake Pies, Brewery Tour, Christmas Caroling
Sunday - Drive Home (Lunch at rest stop - sandwich + veggies)
2. Begin to list what and how many of EVERY clothing item you will need. If anyone in your family/group needs a special item just for them make sure it's listed. Example:
Socks - 3
Underware - 3
3. List your toiletries. If you are staying in a hotel or going camping you probably don't need a hair dryer, shampoo, conditioner... But if you are staying at your brothers apartment, you might want to bring your own.
4 -6. Don't forget road trip snacks or other random items. This might include your gear list when camping/backpacking. If you are cooking meals you might want to include each days meal plan and ingredients needed. Or this might be included in your itinerary at the top of your list. (See above) During our recent trip to my hometown for Thanksgiving it included my spectra breast pump, milk bags, the charging cord, hush machine and charging cord, 4moms playard, etc... and the pumpkin pies!
7. If you have a pet(s) you may also want to list who is taking care of them, and if they have any special items besides food that you need to leave out or bring with to the boarding facility.
As you pack and load up your vehicle, cross off items or put a check mark next to them. Whatever works for you and your brain. After being printed, reviewed by Ryan, and actually used, the list ends up looking like this:
Even though it's an extra step, it's so worth it! If you save your list, you can always reuse or easily amend an old list for a new trip. What travel and packing tips do you have?
Need an easy and delicious dinner idea? Here you go, Crockpot Chicken Puttanesca! You can make it low carb by skipping the pasta, potato, or polenta; and even without the starch, this dish is very filling and satisfying. The anchovies add a touch of Omega 3 fats, as well as calcium from their bones. This is the perfect dish for a dreary, cold, fall evening; and would be great to serve to family or friends. I used the leftovers to make an Italian version of shakshouka, which is what I have pictured here, along with baby kale.
1.75-2# Chicken Thighs or Breast (2-3 cans drained chickpeas or white beans to make it vegan)
2, 15oz cans diced tomatoes (only use 1 can to make a less 'saucy' version)
1/2 cup chopped green or black olives
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2-1 Tbs Italian Seasoning
6 anchovy fillets
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/2 tsp Red Chili Flakes (optional)
1+ Tbs capers (optional)
1. Brown the Chicken in the olive oil
2. Combine the chicken with the remaining ingredients in your slow cooker.
3. Cook on high 3hrs or low for 5+ hours. Or Instant Pot, high pressure or poultry setting for 15 minutes.
4. Serve over pasta, baked potato, polenta, spaghetti squash, or zucchini noodles.
Feel free to sprinkle with fresh parsley or parmesan cheese.
Having a baby is hard work, bringing one home and having your life turned upside down is even harder. Between feeding, diapering, cuddling, and frantic attempts at calming a screaming baby, there's not always time to cook. However, mom and dad need to be well fed to keep up their stamina for that constant care giving. (Even when that's just snuggling on the couch-See picture) Living on coffee and dry cereal just won't cut it. The same could be said for people going through any major life change such as moving, home renovation, divorce. Or other stressors such as the death of a loved one, a miscarriage, someone having major surgery that impacts their mobility, chemotherapy and other medical treatments.
If you know someone who could use several meals I highly recommend starting a meal train. My MOMs club members used this takethemameal.com to organize a meal train and brought us 2 meals a week for 3 weeks. The website has great ideas for meals specific to different diets, but I've also listed some yummy links and ideas below. It was so nice to not have to think about going to the store, let alone cook a meal. Our favorite meals where ones that required very little assembly and could be easily re-heated in the microwave or pot/skillet. Leftovers were also HIGHLY appreciated, so consider doubling the recipe. Something else to consider is if the family has kids or food allergies/sensitivities, or other dietary requirements such as being Kosher or Vegan. Example: After my grandparents died several people brought lasagna or spaghetti to my parents house where we were staying. My sister is very lactose intolerant and canned tomato products also give her digestive issues, so she couldn't partake from any of these offerings.
Crock Pot or Instant Pot:
Buffalo Chicken + tortillas +ranch or blue cheese + carrots & celery sticks
Indian Butter Chicken + sliced cucumbers + Rice/Cauliflower Rice
Beef Roast + Fresh Veggies
Pulled Pork + Buns + Slaw
Chicken Puttanesca (with vegan option)
Vegan White Bean Soup
Picadillo + Rice/Cauliflower Rice + Plantain Chips
Eggroll in a Bowl + Sriracha Mayo
Sloppy Joes or Maidrite + Buns or Baked potatoes + Cole Slaw
Curried Lentils + Rice/Quinoa/Naan + Cucumber Salad
Egg Bake + Fruit + Salad
Meatloaf + Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Spaghetti Squash Pizza Pie
Salmon Cakes + Green Beans (frozen or fresh) + Winter Squash
Black Bean Enchilada Casserole
No Cook/Store Bought:
Rotisserie Chicken + Bag Salad/Dressing, Frozen Sweet Potato Fries
Gyro Meat + Pitas + Tzaziki & Hummus + Fresh Cut Veggies or big salad
Smoked Salmon Salad (just buy pre cooked/peeled hard boiled eggs)
Canned or Store-Made soup + Baguette + Really Good Cheese
Sushi + Seaweed Salad + Frozen Edemame
Tuna Salad from the deli + Crackers + Fresh Fruit
Brownies, black bean brownies, keto brownies, vegan brownies
Fruit + Dip
Canned Cold Brew Coffee
Bottle of Wine or 6pk Beer
Nothing can prepare you for bringing home a baby. Your nursery may be decorated, your freezer stocked with meals, and a stack of newborn diapers and onesies neatly folded. While those things are great, the emotional, mental, and physical task of caring for a new baby is exhausting. I would not classify it as fun or magical. At least I didn't find it to be.
However, now that we are 8 weeks postpartum, I'm starting to really enjoy my time with Fredrik. At 2.5 weeks old Fredrik and I joined a new moms group put on by Amma Parenting. It was the best decision ever. During our last class we created a list of things we would tell ourselves or any new mom who was 3 days postpartum. The funny thing is, even if I had this list at that time, I'm not sure would have heeded the advice, or believed it. Here's our list any way:
As a dietitian I want to add a few more things to this list.
1. Eat meals not just snacks. So many websites and healthcare professionals talk about keeping snacks on hand for when you get hungry; snacks are nice but you need to eat a MEAL! Have a spouse bring you food on the couch while you nurse, have family bring you food, make dinner in the morning during nap time so you can re-heat at night. Snacks will not fill you up, and most snacks end up being crackers, dried fruit, pretzels, nuts, bananas, cookies... nothing that will actually satisfy you. Try to eat 2-3 actual meals every day. I find that a good solid breakfast is really important for me. Yogurt and smoothies just don't keep me full, but leftovers or eggs/meat + PB on toast keep me going.
2. Snack on Protein, but not just nuts. I've seen it with clients and started to fall into the habit myself. Even though bananas+peanut butter = delicious, it's not that filling. Neither is a hand full of almonds when you are running on 3 hours of sleep. Even though I just told you to eat meals, you're probably going to want/need some snacks. To keep your blood sugar stable, minimize cravings, and support whatever energy level you might have while sleep deprived, choose snacks that are high in protein and fat: hard boiled eggs, cheese, deli meat, salami, epic bars, pork rinds, protein powder + coconut milk, homemade protein balls, yogurt, cottage cheese, a packet of tuna, smoked salmon.
3. Join/create a meal train for the first couple weeks home or when your spouse/partner goes back to work. We had meals brought to us by members of the MOMs club I joined back in June. On Tuesdays and Fridays for 3 weeks moms brought us a complete meal (sometimes enough for leftovers). It was so nice to know that at least for that night we didn't need to come up with/thaw out something to eat.
4. Drink bone broth. I have no idea if this makes a difference....but it makes me feel like I'm doing something good for myself and supporting tissue healing. It's also something to drink that isn't water. I made and froze several quarts before Fredrik was due, but even Trader Joes now has bone broth if you don't want to make your own. Other brands that you can find at other grocery stores include: Pacific, Epic, Kettle & Fire.
5. Don't restrict, especially if breast feeding. If you are hungry eat; even at 2am. You have more important things to worry about right now than losing baby weight. If you had a long labor, c-section, or other complications your body has even greater calorie and nutrient needs when it comes to healing. This is not the time for Whole30 challenges, Sugar Detoxes, calorie counting or even my friend Katie's Best You Plan. Respect the carb/sugar cravings if you have them, and maybe make real food choices like fruit and sweet potatoes, or don't...and just dive into the tub of ice cream. I've decided to give myself a 3-4 month grace period before I really focus on making my usual 'healthy' choices and begin to say 'no' to so much sugar and processed carbs. Around 6 weeks I found this getting a little easier to do. For me these choices are not about weight loss, but about feeling my best. That means good digestion, good energy, and stable moods.
6. Stay hydrated. Water, Fizzy Water, Bone Broth, Kombucha, Diluted Juice, Tea (avoid peppermint if struggling with low milk production), 1-2 cups coffee, Zevia Soda. It's no joke that breast feeding makes you thirsty, you need a good 2 liters of fluids each day to support milk production. I've started filling up water bottles in the morning, and always pack a LaCroix when going out. The LaCroix cans fit better in the diaper bag pocket than my glass water bottle, and it's a nice treat.
Hope these ideas help, anything you would add to either list?
Breast Feeding...It's supposed to be easy and natural. It's this beautiful thing that babies can do the minute their born. It's supposed to provide them with all the food they need. BREAST IS BEST!
However, I know only a handful of people (my mom is one of them) for whom these statements were true. For everyone else, myself included, these statements do a disservice for how difficult breast feeding can actually be. From poor latch, excessively sleepy babies, newborns in a NICU, slow to come in milk supply, low milk supply, reflux, food sensitivities, inverted nipples, engorgement, mastitis, blisters....the list goes on and on. After attending several breast feeding support groups, it seems like almost every new mom struggles with breast feeding to one degree or another.
While in the hospital nurses and lactation consultants (LC) kept telling me Fredrik was just greedy and didn't like having to work at actually latching and sucking. (I don't think newborns can be greedy) They kept padding pillows and blankets around me to help with positioning, and then trying to shove his head onto my boob. By the end of our stay I think we were both a little traumatized. His weight dropped over a pound after 3 days; and during our last night I had to use donor milk to feed him through a Supplemental Nursing System. Even though they had already started me pumping and trying to syringe feed colostrum, my milk didn't come in until 5 days after he was born. This is fairly common for moms who have a C-section, but can make for very hungry babies. The following day we went home with the SNS and were told to continue pumping and using the SNS while nursing or attach it to a finger and have Fredrik suck on the finger. Since my milk still hadn't come in this didn't go over very well. During our first evening home he cried and screamed for over an hour. Finally my momma-bear instincts took over and I told Ryan to make a bottle with the formula we had received from my OBGYN. Needless to say my starving baby sucked it down in no time. As a crunchy granola dietitian, I had almost thrown out the formula and bottle thinking "I'll be breast feeding; why would I ever need this?" Thank goodness I didn't.
The following morning a home health nurse provided by the hospital came by. We were so fortunate that she was also a licensed LC and took one look at his mouth and latch and told us that he had a fairly significant tongue tie. I was so mad this went un-diagnosed in the hospital. There were plenty of qualified people who could have identified it. To get us through the weekend she showed us how to use a syringe not the SNS and finger feed him. This was a tedious process, but meant we didn't have to use all formula, or resort to a bottle 100% of the time. We were concerned using the bottle might lead to nipple preference and make future breast feeding even more difficult. For 3 days, Ryan sat on the couch for 40 minutes every 2-3 hours letting Fredrick suck on his finger while slowly feeding him through a syringe. I would sit next to them and pump milk for the next feeding. The following week our pediatrician also diagnosed him with a tongue tie, but also with a lip tie. No wonder he couldn't latch. She also encouraged us to start feeding him with an Avant bottle to help stretch his mouth and make feedings easier on us, and to find a dentist who would fix his tongue and upper lip; which is what we did.
Our dentist was amazing and the procedure took about 5 minutes. We were encouraged to work with a chiropractor to help correct some muscle imbalances in his neck from being squished sidewise in my womb. We've done that too and continue to work on helping Fredrik's neck relax so he can nurse properly on both sides
Have all these steps helped?
At just over 5 weeks Fredrik finally started to get the hang of nursing. This is so exciting for me since it means instead of pumping up to 12x day I'm down to 3+. WOOO!!! It's been quite the wild ride and even though we still need to work on his latch and getting him to open his mouth wider, it's a relief and blessing to know I can feed my baby by nursing, even if it's not 100% of the time. I know this isn't always the case, and have a taste for how disappointing it can be to think you won't be able to breast feed. It hasn't been easy, there have been many tears shed during the process, and we still have work to do. Once again I have a new found appreciation and empathy for new moms everywhere.