7 Things You Need to Know About Tongue-Ties

7 Things You Need to Know About Tongue-Ties

7 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT TONGUE-TIES

Having a child with a tongue-tie can be an incredibly frustrating experience. Between the breastfeeding issues and the conflicting medical advice, it can be a painful and confusing period.

At least it was for me.

And the thing is, it could have been 100% avoided if I’d had a bit more information.

I wanted to share my story of having two kids with tongue-ties (and one with a lip tie) in hopes that I could save other parents the struggle and frustration that we have experienced over the past couple of years.

If you have a child with a tongue-tie, here’s what you need to know about tongue-ties:

1) MOST MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS AREN’T TRAINED TO DEAL WITH TONGUE-TIES

Though I had successfully nursed my oldest 2, I suddenly had difficulty nursing my youngest 2 girls.

Despite frequent visits with lactation consultants, nurses, and doctors, no one noticed their tongue ties (or the lip-tie) in the hospital. Or for their first several well-visits.

Once the pediatrician finally noticed Rosie’s (my 3rd child) at her 6 month well visit, we had pushed through the difficulties (and pain) and breastfeeding was going okay. So the doctor didn’t seem concerned. She was pretty small, but gaining weight.

Little did I know the problems that would arise.

7 things you need to know about tongue-ties #tonguetie

2) IF YOUR CHILD HAS A LIP-TIE, THERE IS PROBABLY ALSO A TONGUE-TIE.

According to specialists, f a child has a lip-tie, it is almost always accompanied by a tongue-tie. It is very rare that a child with have only a lip-tie.

My 4th baby was born with a lip-tie that I noticed when she was a few months old. Again, I had difficulty nursing and again I was told that it was nothing and that lip-ties don’t cause issues.

However, once we finally were able to find a specialist who addressed our concerns, we learned about her tongue-tie. Correcting both made immediate positive changes to nursing.

3) PEDIATRICIANS DON’T AGREE ON WHAT TO DO FOR TONGUE-TIES.

For many pediatric needs, there is great consensus among the medical community. Tongue-ties are not one of those things.

All along the road, different doctors told us different things.

Our pediatrician wasn’t concerned one bit, while I was. I knew nothing about tongue-ties and needed to understand how this was going to affect my child. So to appease me, he referred me to a pediatric ENT.

And $200 and a 4 minute visit later, I learned that while the tongue tie was severe the pediatric ENT wouldn’t do anything with a baby past 2 weeks old. He said we could revisit when she was two.

Another specialist we consulted with would do the procedure up until the child was 9 months old, but by that point my girls were 1 and 2 and both were experiencing issues related to their ties. She said we could revisit when they were 4 or 5.   

This was the most maddening thing of all. I just wanted to find someone who could give us the help and answers that we needed.

4) YOU NEED A SPECIALIST WHO CAN HELP YOU

Finding a tongue-tie specialist will make all the difference in the world. Instead of being left with concerns and unanswered questions, you will finally get the answers and solutions you are seeking.

Our fantastic pediatric dentist sent us to the specialist who would give us the help and answers we so desperately needed.

Not only were my girls thoroughly evaluated in order to fully understand the impact of their tongue and lip-ties, but we were able to get the procedures to fix them. Rosie was also able to get very specialize speech therapy by a speech language pathologist specializing in tongue-ties and feeding issues.

After having the tongue-ties overlooked or ignored for so long, we finally got answers and solutions with a specialist.

7 things you need to know about tongue-ties #tonguetie

5) TONGUE-TIES CAN CAUSE A LOT OF PROBLEMS IF LEFT UNTREATED

I didn’t realize the full impact of how the tongue-tie affected Rosie until after she was evaluated by a specialist and had the tongue release procedure. Very quickly and I saw the swift change that took place in her speech, face, and physique.

HOW THE TONGUE-TIE AFFECTED MY CHILD:

  • Her cheeks were sunken and her chin recessed as a result of her inability to use her mouth and muscles properly.
  • She had enlarged tonsils which cause her to snore and greatly disrupted the quality of her sleep.
  • Her speech was difficult to understand despite her extensive vocabulary.
  • She was underweight.

Within two months after the procedure (and weekly speech therapy by a SLP specializing in tongue-ties and feeding issues), she was a different kid.

CHANGES AFTER THE TONGUE-RELEASE:

  • Her cheeks became full and plump and her chin moved forward as she learned to use her facial muscles properly now that she had full use of her tongue.
  • Her articulation improved immediately and with speech therapy made huge inroads.  
  • She stopped snoring and waking several times a night, helping everyone get better sleep.
  • She immediately began to gain weight to look very healthy.

While I’m so grateful we found solutions, all the issues she had were avoidable. Had we been served properly by the medical professionals we encountered early on, we would have avoided anguish and a pile of medical bills.

6) THE POST-PROCEDURE EXERCISES ARE ROUGH, BUT TOTALLY NECESSARY

In order for the tongue to heal properly and not reattach, it must be stretched upward several times a day in the weeks following the procedure. It’s painful, but completely necessary.

I’m convinced that this is actually harder on the parents! But having a healthy child at the end of the 6 weeks is worth it.

7) TRUST YOUR GUT

You are with your child nearly 24/7. You know when something is off. Trust yourself. If your pediatrician dismisses your concerns, find the specialist who will listen and answer your questions.

And this goes for everything, not just tongue-ties. I know of concerned moms whose pediatricians kept saying their child is within the norm, only to later get diagnosed with autism.

I also know a mom who was concerned by her teenage son’s posture only to be told that it was just slouching and he needed to stand up straight. Turns out it was a serious genetic condition and he missed out on early intervention.

Trust your gut and find someone who will take the time to understand you and your child.

Luckily, my story has a happy ending. Through amazing specialists, we found answers and solutions. Both girls are healthy and doing really well. We’re delighted by the progress they have both made post-procedure. 

Hopefully, our experience can help you learn what you need to know about tongue-ties. Above all, find a tongue-tie specialist in your area who can answer your questions and find solutions for you and your child. 

You’ve got this, mama.  

 

 

The Intermittent Fasting and Breastfeeding Meal Plan That Helped me Lose Weight

The Intermittent Fasting and Breastfeeding Meal Plan That Helped me Lose Weight

*This post may contain some affiliate links for your convenience.  Click here to read my full disclosure policy. Also please note I am not a medical professional or a nutritionist. This is simply me sharing my meal plan that has helped me lose weight. Please talk to your doctor before starting any health plan.   

INTERMITTENT FASTING AND BREASTFEEDING MEAL PLAN 

I love food. Always have. And when I’m nursing, I used to have ZERO control. Even if I’d been sitting on the couch all day, I’d eat like a linebacker at an all-you-can-eat buffet.

But heaven knows I tried. I always tried to eat well, but I failed. And losing weight while breastfeeding was near impossible for me with my first 3 babies.

In fact, I would gain weight while nursing.

But after the birth of my 4th child, with steely determination and the go-ahead from my doctor, I started intermittent fasting while breastfeeding.

Over the past year, through intermittent fasting while breastfeeding I’ve managed to lose over 35 lbs and get to my weight from before having 4 children.

In sharing my success with intermittent fasting and breastfeeding, people have asked a lot of questions about the IF process, how I planned my meals, and what kinds of meal I ate etc.

And since my mission is to help moms live happier healthier lives, I wanted to share a bit more about my journey and the intermittent fasting and breastfeeding meal plan that has brought me the most weight loss success.

I also created an awesome intermittent fasting and breastfeeding printable pack with sample meal plans, fillable meal plans sheets, and a weekly log to track your results. Be sure and check it out at the bottom of the post!

The intermittent fasting and breastfeeding meal plan that helped me lose the baby weight #weightloss #mealplan #intermittentfasting

The intermittent fasting and breastfeeding meal plan that helped me lose the baby weight #weightloss #mealplan #intermittentfasting

PHASE 1: GETTING CONTROL

I first began intermittent fasting with a eating period from noon-8pm (and I’ve strayed very little from that over the last year).

At that point, I was less concerned about an exact meal plan as just getting some control over my cravings. While I was hungry before my first meal for the first few days, my body quickly adjusted, and the 8 hour eating window felt perfect.

The first couple months I noticed 3 things:

  1. I no longer felt like a prisoner to my hunger and cravings
  2. I was learning to recognize and listen to my bodies true hunger cues
  3. I was naturally tuning into how different foods made me feel

During this period, I went from just trying to gain a modicum of control to naturally moving towards intuitive eating and making better health choices.

Which is when I’d say I entered Phase 2.

PHASE 2: EXPERIMENTING & FINDING MY GROOVE

Once I felt like I had control and was listening to my body, I was able to start researching and experimenting with different meal plans.  

In addition to reading online research and listening to health podcasts, I read 2 heavily-researched books that have had a huge impact on me (and I highly recommend):

  1. The 10-Day Detox Diet by Dr. Mark Hyman: Though a bit restrictive, this plan hands-down gave me the most energy I’ve ever had in my life. 
  2. Why We Get Fat and What to Do About it by Gary Taubes: Heard carbs are bad for you, but not sure why? This book breaks makes complex scientific research easy to understand. 

Influenced by my research, I tried to eliminate or seriously limit white flour, dairy, and sugar. Which for me is like sawing off my own toes. As a sugar addict and lover of cheese and ice cream, sugar and dairy have been the toughest for me.

But as I followed Dr. Hyman’s 10 day detox, which eliminates all sugar, gluten and dairy and basically consists of a truckload of veggies, healthy fats, and lean proteins I not only lost weight, but I felt better than I’d ever felt in my life.

intermittent fasting and breastfeeding meal plan

PHASE 3: MY INTERMITTENT FASTING AND BREASTFEEDING MEAL PLAN

This is the general intermittent fasting and breastfeeding meal plan that brings me the best results. Not just weight loss, but actually feeling really great. The plan follows the general philosophy  of filling my diet with:

  • Lots of vegetables
  • Lean proteins
  • Healthy fats
  • Lots of fiber
  • Restricting: sugar, white flour, dairy

What follows is my general meal plan with 3 meals and a possible snack.

Please note that I do not calorie count. Considering breastfeeding needs and exercise, I find it’s best to listen to my body’s actual needs. Therefore, what follows (other than the breakfast shakes) does not give exact portions.

Also note that I do not follow this perfectly all of the time. I shoot for 80-90% perfection.

MEAL 1: HEALTHY SMOOTHIE OR ON-THE-GO OPTIONS

Often, I start eating for the day with a smoothie packed with protein, fiber, and healthy fats. The result is that I an satiated, loaded with awesome nutrients, yet not weighed down by a heavy meal.

Since the smoothies I tend to make tend to be pretty big, I’ll slowly drink the smoothie over the course of an hour or so as I run around getting stuff done.

If I am in a serious rush and can’t bother with the blender, I will grab a homemade whole grain muffin or a protein bar and an apple.

Check out my 7 Healthy & Delicious Make-Ahead Breakfasts for my favorite healthy muffin recipes that can be made, frozen, and ready to eat after 30 seconds in a microwave. As for protein bars, these are my favorites as they are yummy and full of fiber and protein.

If having a smoothie, I usually will have one of these 2 smoothie recipes (click here to print smoothie recipes). The first is from The 10-Day Detox Diet, and the second one is my own invention.

Dr Hyman’s Whole-Food Protein Shake

  • ½ cup frozen blueberries
  • ½ cup frozen cranberries
  • ¼ organic lemon with rind (optional–but I like it)
  • 1 TBSP almond butter
  • 1 TBSP pumpkin seeds
  • 1 TBSP chia seeds
  • 1 TBSP hemp seeds
  • 2 raw walnuts
  • 2 raw brazil nuts
  • ¼ avocado
  • ½ TBSP coconut butter
  • ½ cup unsweetened almond or hemp milk
  • ½ water

If you can, soak all the nuts in the ½ cup of water at least 30 minutes prior to blending to activate enzymes. Blend all ingredients until smooth. With the lemon rind, you may need a second blend.

Note: I will HEALTHuts for like 10 smoothies and put them in snack bags which makes it really easy when I’m ready to make this smoothie.

Erin’s Chocolate Berry Smoothie

  • 2 cups packed baby spinach leaves
  • 1 cup frozen berries (I do either a 3 berry mix or just blueberries)
  • 1 scoop vegan chocolate protein powder
  • 1 TBSP coconut butter
  • 1 TBSP almond butter
  • 3 TBSP chia seeds
  • ½-1 cup ice (depending on your preference)
  • ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • ½ cup water (or more if needed)

Add spinach first to your blender, then the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth.

Intermittent fasting and breastfeeding meal plan

Download this printable meal planning pack by subscribing below

MEAL 2: SALAD WITH LEAN PROTEIN

For my second meal, I usually have a veggie packed salad with a lean protein (usually grilled chicken, flank steak, or canned salmon). I shoot for:

  • Between 5-6 cups of veggies between greens and chopped vegetables
  • Around a 6 oz. portion of protein
  • 1-2 TBSP of homemade dressing or salsa (depending on salad)

As a busy mom, I rarely have time to make a salad every single day for myself. So I am all about quick meal prep and mason jar salads. You can make a whole week of salads in under an hour that you just pull out of the fridge and enjoy. (Here are the mason jars that I use).

Here are my favorite make-ahead mason jar salad recipes:

MEAL 3: LEAN PROTEIN, LOTS OF VEGGIES, & BROWN RICE OR QUINOA

My last meal of the day is nearly always a meal I make for my entire family. Since my goal has not just been improving my health and habits, but also that of my husband and 4 kids, I don’t make a separate dinner. I mean, who has time for that? As a result, I tend to like to provide a bit more variety than I would if I was just cooking for myself.

Here’s what this meal usually includes:

  • Lean protein (usually grilled chicken or fish, but we occasionally indulge in tri-tip)
  • 2 veggie dishes (like a roasted veggie & green salad)
  • A whole grain dish like brown rice or quinoa 

Here are 7 Healthy Dinners you can make in under 30 minutes that a great. Also, for more ideas be sure and follow my healthy dinner recipe Pinterest board.

SNACKS

If I need a snack (like on heavy gym days), I generally shoot for fiber and protein in each. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Veggies with a dip (like humus)
  • Apple slices and almond butter
  • Nuts
  • Protein bar 

MY RESULTS

meal plan for intermittent fasting while breastfeeding

This is where I am after a year of IF and changing my eating habits. Trust me, if I can do it ANYONE cane.

COULD THIS WORK FOR YOU?

Well, there you have it! This is the general plan I follow to lose/maintain weight while intermittent fasting and breastfeeding. It leaves me satisfied and energized allowing me to work out daily, chase my kids, and make it through the day.

If you are interested in either following this meal plan or creating your own intermittent fasting and breastfeeding meal plan, you can download the printable pack (shown above) when you subscribe to my email list. 

You’ve got this, mama!

 

 

3 Ways For Busy Moms to Get Motivated to Workout

3 Ways For Busy Moms to Get Motivated to Workout

*This post may contain some affiliate links for your convenience (which means that, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission)  Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

3 WAYS FOR BUSY MOMS TO GET MOTIVATED TO WORKOUT

As a mom, it’s not always easy to get motivated to workout. Between the exhaustion and the never-ended “to do” list, it can be hard to make working out a priority.

I had exercised 4-5 days a week (with very few exceptions) for around 15 years before I fell off the wagon COMPLETELY while I was working, raising 2 kids (aged 1 and 2)  while pregnant with my third.

Like, I maybe exercised 3 times the whole 9 months. And after my pregnancy, with 3 kids 3 and under just getting through the day was challenge enough. 

But of course, I wanted to exercise.

I knew how much I’d benefit from it.

However, knowing the benefits of exercise and even sincerely wanting to get into shape doesn’t always translate into shaking off the perpetual mom fatigue and throwing on the running shoes. Sometimes, we need more to actually get motivated to workout.

Before I knew it I had 4 kids 4 and under and an extra 50 lbs that needed to vacate my body’s real estate.

And unlike before, NOTHING was going to keep me from regular exercise. I was finally going to get into shape.

3 tips to get motivated to workout #workoutmotivation #momhacks #workout

BUT MORE THAN A BURNING DESIRE, I NEEDE A PLAN.

So I researched. And then I made a plan to keep me motivated. And…it worked! Since then, I’ve managed to get back to my weight before having kids, lose over 35 lbs (and >10% body fat), drop 3 pants’ sizes, and reshape my body.  

Motivation really comes down to creating and implementing a plan that gets you pumped and keeps you accountable.

No matter how busy you are (and girl, I know you are) or how much you don’t like exercise, you can create a motivating plan that will make regular exercise happen.

Here are the three (research-backed) guiding principles that helped me create a plan to get motivated to workout while being a working mom to 4 kids 4 and under.

1) CREATE A REWARD

Research shows that creating a reward either during or after your workout will help you get motivated to workout.

Importantly, the reward should not be food. I know, bummer, right? But having food as a reward does not create a healthy lifestyle.

Stick to something else, like a favorite activity like watching TV, reading a magazine, or scrolling through a social media feed. The key is picking rewards that work for YOU. 

DURING

For me, my reward during my workout is listening to podcasts or audiobooks. And getting alone time away from my kids.

(Heaven knows I love my kids to pieces, but mama needs a little break everyday!)   

Since I either run or go to the gym before my kids are up (or have them at the gym daycare), I usually get to workout without any pint-sized distractions. Which is heavenly on its own. But then I also get to listen to podcasts and audiobooks without my children complaining about how boring they are. So endrophins aside, those 2 things make working out truly glorious for me.

What could be your “during” reward?

Here are some other examples:

  • Only watch your favorite show at the gym
  • Only listen to certain music you enjoy while working out

AFTER

This reward can only be enjoyed once you’ve exercised. Perhaps you take a relaxing bath on days you’ve workout out or allow yourself to sit and drink coffee while reading People magazine.

What activity could be your “after” reward? 

Some examples: 

  • Watching a show you like
  • Scrolling Instagram (or another social media feed)

If you’re like me, when you think “reward” you think sugary treats. But food rewards are going make your efforts self-defeating.  

2) GET AN ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER

Most people benefit from having someone to keep them accountable in their exercise plans. An accountability partner can take many forms, but it generally means you’ve got someone who is both aware of your goals and is keeping you accountable.

For me, this means checking in with my husband about my daily workouts. Knowing my goals, he’s been encouraging and supportive. Always knowing that he’ll ask about my workouts keeps me accountable.

Some other examples of an accountability partner:

  • A workout buddy who you meet up with at acertain time and place
  • A personal trainer (paying someone tends to be really motivating to people)
  • Someone you text every time you workout (my sister texts me and finds it helpful)

What would your ideal accountability partner do?

3) FORGET TRENDS AND DO WHAT YOU LOVE

If you do not like a certain exercise, it’s going to be REALLY hard to get motivated to do it. On the other hand, an activity you enjoy doing has built-in motivation. You’ll naturally want to do it and look forward to it. 

The keys to finding an exercise you love:

  • Explore Everything You can
  • Be Honest With Yourself
  • Don’t worry about how good you are

Remember: there is no ONE holy grail form of exercise that you simply have to do. And just because your friend, the girl down the street, or  the celebrity you follow is way into [insert exercise trend] doesn’t mean that’s the one true path to physical fitness.

There are endless paths to physical fitness!

Like fashion, exercise trends come and go. But forget trends and find what you love.

And be honest with yourself.

If gyms full make you feel self conscious and awkward, it’s going to make it that much harder to go. So maybe you want to get some equipment for home or do workout videos (T25 is my favorite).

If you hate running, it’s going to near impossible to lace up and hit the road. But maybe power lifting is the obsession you never knew you had.

And by the way, you don’t have to be good at something to love it.

I went to my first Zumba class years ago with a good friend who simply loved Zumba. Just before the class began, she admitted she was terrible and she did not disappoint. It was like watching a baby giraffe do hip-hop.

But honestly, she was completely glorious. And I loved her more for it.

Throughout the class, she was in complete bliss–all while getting an amazing sweat. Afterwards, she was on cloud nine and I was in awe of her awesomeness.

Do what you love and forget everything else.

CREATE YOUR  PLAN

With a desire and a plan, you will be motivated to exercise. Building in rewards, getting an accountability partner, and finding an exercise you legitimately love are three ways that you can make regular exercise a reality. Even as a busy mom. Select a strategy (or several) that are right for you, create your plan, and truly get motivated to exercise.

You’ve got this, mama!

Get motivated to workout, even as a busy mom #workoutmotivation #momhacks #workout

 

5 Clever Ways to Drink More Water Everyday

5 Clever Ways to Drink More Water Everyday

*This post may contain some affiliate links for your convenience (which means that, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission)  Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

5 Clever Tips to Drink More Water Everyday

You know you need to drink more water, but it just isn’t happening. You get to the end of the day and wrack your brain trying to think if you even made it to 5 glasses of water let alone the 8 everyone says you need.

When it comes to balancing everything in my life (e.g. kids, a home, and a job) the fact is that it’s incredibly easy to forget to drink enough water. Even as an obsessive water drinker. 

And what happens when I don’t drink enough? I feel like absolute garbage. Sluggish, bloated, and my skin starts to get blotchy and break out. It’s like my body is screaming at me to drink me. 

On the other hand, drinking tons of water injects me with energy. Plus, my skin looks and feels fabulous.

While the benefits are endless, drinking more water doesn’t have to mean a major life change. These 5 strategies will give you simple ways to start drinking more water and start feeling better.

1) Get a water bottle you absolutely love

While it may seem silly, having a water bottle that you love and that meets your unique needs will make all the difference when it comes to getting enough water.

If you don’t like your water bottle or it’s inconvenient to use, you’re not going to use it. It’s that simple. You won’t carry it around, you won’t throw it in your purse, and you won’t drink from it.

On the other hand, fining a water bottle that makes you happy is going to make it much more likely that you will actually use it. Before you pick your water bottle, decided what’s important to you.

Questions to consider:

  • What size do you need? Too big, you won’t carry it around. Too small, you’ll constantly be refilling.
  • Do you want it to keep water cold?
  • Do you want a straw or a wide-mouth lid?
  • Easy to drink on the go?
  • Where will you be storing the water bottle wile on the go?

There is no one size fits all for everyone. Now, I love giant water bottles. But there are plenty who would never carry around a 32 oz water bottle. It’s too bulky and inconvenient.

For me, finding a water bottle was like dating. I had to go through a lot over the years before I found the one I really wanted to settle down with. I’ve had various Nalgene and Camelback bottles (which were great), but last year I found my water bottle soulmate in the ever-trendy Hydroflask.

There’s a reason everyone’s got one: spill proof, keeps water cold FOREVER, easy to drink on the go, no condensation on the outside, gigantic. It was everything I ever wanted in a water bottle. Downside: gets dinged up easily. 

5 simple tips to drink more water everyday #drinkmorewater #healthylifestyle

5 simple tips to drink more water everyday #drinkmorewater #healthylifestyle

2) Drink a full bottle before each meal.

Since I struggle with any kind of tracking method (e.g. calorie counting) I need simple cut and dry rules to follow. This one really works for me.

I have my 32 oz Hydroflask and I make sure to fill it up all the way and empty it before each meal. That means I’m getting a least a whopping 96 oz a day.

If you want to make it even easier to track, get 3-4 separate bottles (of whatever size works for you) and fill them and put them in your fridge. This way you can actually see and track progress without having to write anything down. As you go through the day, just make sure you empty them all out.

3) Mix it up with flavored water

If you are a big soda drinker, you’re probably going to need a bit of flavor to make drinking more water doable. Plus, it’s just nice to mix it up. Options like La Croix and Spindrift (my personal favorite found at my Costco) are perfect flavored options. Since we don’t drink soda or juice at our house, my kids think it’s a huge treat to drink Spindrift.

4) Drink a glass right after you wake up

This is a part of my daily morning ritual. Not only will drinking a glass of water upon waking give you and immediate energy boost, it’s also going to sneak in an extra glass every day without even trying.

5) Track it

There are a variety of ways that you can track your water consumption. If you keep a paper planner, you can track it there.

Or you can use an app like Daily Water Tracker or Plant Nanny (a more whimsical option).

What works for you?

Drinking more water doesn’t have to upend your whole life. You can do it simply and easily. It’ll make all the difference in how you feel and how much energy you have. 

Find a water bottle you love and pick the method(s) that will work best for you. Drinking more water will immediately make your body feel better.

You’ve got this!

Is it Worth it to Buy Breastfeeding Clothes?

Is it Worth it to Buy Breastfeeding Clothes?

*This post may contain some affiliate links for your convenience (which means that, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission)  Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

IS IT WORTH IT TO BUY BREASTFEEDING CLOTHES?

You’ve seen the ads, you’ve scrolled the online options, but you’re on the fence about Breastfeeding clothes. Are they necessary? Is it actually worth it to buy breastfeeding clothes?

While no one could argue that they’re necessary (women have nursed for millennia without them), the truth is they make nursing (especially in public spaces) so much more convenient.

After breastfeeding 4 babies for a combined 4 years, it is 100% my conviction that it it completely worth it to buy breastfeeding clothes. Let me explain why.

Breastfeeding is tough.

Which is part why 60% of mothers do not breastfeed for as long as they want to.

Including me.

While I had tried valiantly, I didn’t nurse my first 3 to the year mark (which was something I really wanted to do). Somewhere along the way, I’d hit a point where it all would feel like too much and so I’d stop nursing.

But disappointment and feelings of inadequacy inevitably followed.

So I decided that it’d be different with my fourth and last baby. Which meant that I had to actually do things differently. If I wanted to be successful nursing while raising 4 kids 4 and under, I needed to make nursing as convenient as possible.

I needed to give breastfeeding clothes a try.

With each pregnancy, I’d peruse the internet looking at cute breastfeeding clothes. But I felt like they were a little expensive and that I didn’t really need them. They were “extra.” Not a necessity.

I’ll get by on what I have, I thought.

But “getting by” meant many uncomfortable and awkward situations as I strained to get the milk bags out of uncompromising clothes. I’d be sitting in my car or a bathroom stall (yuck) nursing a child with a dress or blouse pulled all the way up.

Or awkwardly trying to nurse with a cover while trying to navigate through about 5 articles of clothing, pushing this one that way and that one this way just trying to feed my child.

It was frustrating. And it made nursing much harder and more inconvenient than it needed to be.

So once I was pregnant with my 4th, I finally decided to splurge and buy actual straight up, honest-to-goodness breastfeeding clothes.

And I’ve never looked back.

Is it worth it to buy breastfeeding clothes? #breastfeeding #baby #newmom #breastfeeding

It’s been a completely different experience.

I now shout it from the rooftops: breastfeeding clothes make nursing  much easier.

We’re well past the year mark breastfeeding and I’m still wearing the same awesome breastfeeding clothes. And still getting compliments on them.

Here’s why you need breastfeeding clothes:

1) Makes it super easy to nurse discreetly in any situation

Let’s just be honest for a sec–popping the ladies out isn’t exactly convenient in most clothes. You may be able to get away with what you have for the first month or two when you hardly ever leave the house.

But once you are back into the normal routine, nursing your baby wherever you are quickly becomes incredibly inconvenient in most normal clothes. I ‘ve witnessed plenty of moms in the mothers’ lounge at church who’ve had to pull their entire dress up, or who are wrestling with several layers of clothes and nursing covers to nurse their baby. All while I quickly and easily pop my baby on thanks to the miracle of breastfeeding clothes.

Breastfeeding clothes (and nursing-friendly clothes) make discrete nursing easy and convenient. They also increase your chances of successfully breastfeeding for as long as you choose.

Not sure what you need to get? Check out the Ultimate Breastfeeding Clothes Resource Guide

2) Eliminates the need for a nursing cover

Breastfeeding clothes not only make nursing more easy and convenient, but they’re designed to make it discreet. Most are designed so that very little of your breast is exposed while you are nursing. And what is exposed is covered by your baby.

I found that while in public, I could quickly, easily, and very discreetly nurse my little one (with no cover) without getting any looks whatsoever. Not only was it so much quicker and easier for me to latch and feed my child, but it’s like people didn’t even notice.

And honestly ladies, what baby likes having a blanket covering their face while eating? Battling to keep a cover over your nursing baby is not the recipe for flying under the radar while breastfeeding in public spaces.

3) They’re Affordable

My big mistake was thinking that breastfeeding clothes were too expensive. In truth, they cost about as much as a normal wardrobe. If you are planning to nurse for 6 months to a year, then they are worth it.

If nursing long-term is important to you, then making sure you have the right clothes is a small price to pay for the feeling of satisfaction that comes with nursing you baby as long as you choose.

And you need clothes anyways, so you might as well get ones that will be cute and make your life so much easier.

4) They’re fashionable (no one will know they’re nursing)

With side zips and clever designs, you’d never even know that they’re nursing clothes. You can look hip, dressy, and fabulous…and still be able to nurse at a seconds notice.

Even over the past few years, the selection of really cute nursing clothes has exploded. here are never-ending selection of  cute breastfeeding clothes out there right now!

I always get compliments on my breastfeeding clothes and people are shocked when I tell them they’re nursing clothes (see below for a few places to start).

worth it to buy Breastfeeding clothes

5) Many styles very kind to postpartum bodies

Another thing that I’ve found is that a lot of the cuts and styles of breastfeeding clothes take into account a women’s postpartum body shape. So many of the dresses on tops are looser in the belly region.

This makes breastfeeding clothes perfect for the months following birth. Not only can you nursing easily, but you can wear cte and comfy clothes at the same time.

This dress was is my absolute favorite. Not only is it mega comfortable and so easy to nurse (the dress snaps into your nursing bra), but friends and family would comment that I looked slim in the dress. Even with my postpartum belly.

6) Never been a better time with more fabulous options

We’re basically in a renaissance for breastfeeding clothes. It’s an exciting time to be alive, ladies!

There are so many places to get great breastfeeding clothes. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Amazon: You really can get anything on Amazon! Some of my favorite items are from here.
  • Milk & Baby: Great clothes. I especially love the dresses.
  • Roolee: Super cute, modern clothes at really reasonable prices.

For a more complete guide to breastfeeding clothes, check out The Ultimate Guide to Breastfeeding Clothes.

Breastfeeding Clothes Will Change Your Nursing Experience

It really is worth it to buy breastfeeding clothes. Even if it’s just a top or two. Just start with a cute top or dress you like and see what a difference it makes.

Investing in breastfeeding clothes completely changed my breastfeeding experience. After breastfeeding 3 babies, I was genuinely surprised by what a massive difference it made with my fourth. It made it so easy and convenient to nurse discreetely absolutely anywhere.

No more awkwardness and stress while trying to nurse in public. No more fumbling with 6 articles of clothing and intense discomfort as I try to feed my child.

Check out my Ultimate Guide to Breastfeeding Clothes and be ready to experience the magic.

You’ve got this, mama!

The Perfect at-Home Workout for Crazy Busy Moms

The Perfect at-Home Workout for Crazy Busy Moms

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The Perfect At-Home Workout for Busy Moms

After the birth of my first kid, I was bound and determined to get into great shape despite cancelling my gym membership. I was carrying 30 extra pounds that I needed to work off.

So with barrels of motivation and a set of P90X DVDs, I set out to work.

But adjusting to mom life and trying to fit in a super long at-home workout was seriously tough. I couldn’t manage 20 minutes without my baby fussing.

Some days, it’d take hitting pause a dozen times to be able to actually get through the entire workout.

Then I found out I was pregnant again. And before I knew it, I had a 14 month old and a newborn. Working out at all seemed daunting with 2 little ones. So how on earth would I be able to block out an uninterrupted hour to fit in a workout? 

That’s when I found Shaun T’s T25, which was a total game-changer. I knew I was involve from the first workout. 

Ten minutes in and I felt like I’d worked out for 45 minutes. And before I knew it, the 25 minutes was up and I felt like I’d just conquered the world.

All I needed to do was muster the energy to hit “play” 5 times a week, and I experienced some incredible changes in my health.

Suddenly daily exercise was far less daunting. With eleven 25 minute workouts to choose from, I had plenty of different options depending on my mood (and soreness level!).

Here’s why I think you might just love T25 too:

T25 is the perfect workout at home for busy moms

T25 is the perfect workout for busy moms

 

What You Get

  • 9 DVDs
  • 11–25 minute workouts that mostly require ZERO equipment
  • Loads of intense cardio
  • strength training for every muscle group
  • 3 minute cooldown after each workout



Why It’s AWESOME

1. The workouts go by soooo fast.

Twenty-five minutes is nothing, my friend. But those 25 minutes a few times a week will bring huge changes to how you feel. Since each workout is broken up into exercises that you do for 30-45 seconds, there’s no time to get bored and the 25 minutes really do fly by.

2. You just have to press “play”.

No need to load up your kids and go to a gym. Or research and plan a workout. You don’t even have to put on workout clothes! Honestly, some days I’d just do it in my skivvies not wanting to dirty any extra laundry. You just gotta hit “play”.

3. Shaun T is delightful.

While I’m sure they exist, I haven’t yet met anyone who doesn’t like Shaun T. He’s engaging and super motivating. I just listened to him on a podcast and it just made me love him more.

4. Modifiers make it so you can do it at many levels.

When I first started, I used a LOT of the modifiers. But as I got in better shape I was able to drop them. It’s great because you can be at a variety of fitness levels and still get a killer workout.

5. You don’t have to follow the 10-week plan.

If following a plan works for you, then you’ve got one included in the DVD set. 

But if the thought of being locked into a plan stresses you out, no sweat. You can create your own routine. You’ve got 11 great workouts to choose from. If your goal is to work out 4 days a week, then pick out 4 workouts you want to do and press play 4 times.

Do the workouts you want to do.  Or you can switch up the workouts with running/walking. The options are endless.

6. You don’t need a bunch of equipment.

Most of the workouts just use body weight and a whole lotta sweat. A few call for a mat (for ab stuff) and a set of weights or a band (which actually comes with the DVDs).

7. You get an hour’s worth of workout crammed into 25 minutes.

With just 24 hours a day to work with, I’m always looking to use my time as efficenitly as possible. WHen it comes to getting a fabulous and quick workout, I don’t know of anything better.

8. Easy to workout before kids are up.

I’m a big believer in making the most of the morning hours and especially morning exercise, especially doing it before your kids are up. Because the workout is so quick, you can get up just 30 minutes earlier and be done with exercise for the day with no distractions and children demanding to be fed breakfast.

T25 is the perfect at-home workout for busy moms

 

Why it may NOT be for you

While amazing, these are legitimately intense workouts. You get a serious bang for your buck, but it’s not for the faint of heart. Literally. If you have a health issue or are completely starting from ground zero exercise-wise, these might not be the best exercises to start with. As always, be safe and smart about how you pursue greater health and consult a doctor is you’re unsure.

T25 is Awesome

But if you’re ready for some uh-mazing workouts that you can quickly fit in whenever you want in the privacy of your living room, then T25 might be answer you’re looking for. It’s the perfect way for crazy-busy moms to get in regular exercise without forking over the money for a gym membership.

Have you tried the workouts? Let me know what you thought of them.