Do You Know Your Baby’s Hunger Cues?

Hunger is a major topic for the breastfeeding family. Whether the concern is if the baby is getting enough to eat at each feeding session or if mother’s milk is enough for the baby, parents may not understand the signs of hunger in their baby. Let’s review the signs of hunger in your breastfeeding newborn and what these signs are communicating to you.

Just like you, your baby can communicate their level of hunger. Our job is to pay attention and respond in a timely manner. In my connections with families, I recommend latching the baby to the breast when the baby is licking their lips and putting their hands in their mouths. As we explore the different signs you will see why.

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Wiggling – You may see this after your baby has just woken up from a nap or in the midst of the baby sitting for a period of time. In some cases, your baby may need to eliminate or it could be the early signs of hunger. This is a sign that is easy to overlook because it can appear that your baby is simply adjusting their position. When you see this, watch your baby or begin to prepare for breastfeeding. Now is the time to get to your comfortable chair or get your pillow.

Licking Their Lips – This is another sign that can be overlooked. However, it speaks to hunger directly. Think of how you feel when your mouth is dry and you are ready for a drink of water, especially after waking up in the morning or after a nap. At this point, its safe to assume your baby is ready to latch. Please note, this is at a time when babies are still relatively calm; which makes latch easier. If you have not prepared to breastfeed, now is the time. If you need to cover, make sure you have it and are ready to use it.

Breast Pads

Hands/Fingers In Mouth – Your baby may appear calm or a bit frantic; depending on their temperament. I strongly suggest putting the baby to the breast now because the next stage of hunger moves quickly. If latch is an issue for mom, she may feel like the baby does not want the breast or the latching process may become overwhelming for her if the baby becomes upset. This is the stage when helpers can remind or suggest to mom this is a good time to put the baby to the breast if mom is away from the baby or has not seen the baby put their hands or fingers in their mouth.

Rooting – The baby is actively looking for the breast by turning their head side to side and trying to get the breast into their mouth. This is when our Genius Baby shows their natural awesomeness – I Can Do This Myself Mom! Many moms feel like the baby is being ‘grown’ because the baby is using their own hands to get to the breast. This is actually a stage of early distress and elevated hunger. Latch might be more difficult during this time for a mom who is not confident in her ability to latch the baby pain-free or effectively. Take deep breaths and remember the latching techniques you have learned. For friends and family who are holding the baby, this is the time to give the baby to mom as she needs to feed her baby. 

Crying – While many use crying as the only sign of hunger, we have missed all of the above and our baby is in full distress. I strong suggest that we latch the baby to the breast before we get to this point. And that we do not use crying as a primary communication method. This is a new thought for many families; but the benefits to breastfeeding, mom’s confidence, and the baby’s overall development are worth the effort to make this change. In some cases, the baby will latch effortlessly once the breast is presented. In other cases, the baby may need to be calmed down before mom can get a pain-free and deep latch. Bring the baby into a skin-to-skin position and speak to the baby in a calm voice. After a few minutes the baby will calm and the latch can be attempted again.

As you can see, your baby can communicate with you. Knowing these hunger signs will help you be present and more empowered during your breastfeeding journey. Latching before your baby begins to cry as much as possible and breastfeeding will be more peaceful and enjoyable to you and your baby.

To learn more about hunger signs take a look at these online resources:

If you still have questions about knowing when your baby is hungry or about your breastfeeding relationship, schedule time your local lactation support person. If you do not have one, you can connect with me for an in-person or virtual connection today. Schedule by clicking HERE!

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Madame President! Did you cut your hair?

Having been in the natural hair community since 2007, I have learned the first question people ask when someone cuts their hair is, “OMG! Why did you cut your hair?”

*cue slow eye roll*

So I cut my hair on Monday, December 17, 2018. The day before my 48th birthday. I cut off the hair that I have been growing since 2007. It was very long. And I cut it.

What? Oh you still want to know why I cut my hair?

Because I wanted to.

It’s really that simple.

32866344_1769143409819558_2146813109115813888_oOk! Ok! There might be a little more to it. I was tired of my hair. My long curly hair, that was down to my butt when strengthened. Yes! That’s how long it was the last time I pressed my hair a few years ago.  I have had a several trims and a shaping by the wonderful Keyonna Tillman of Kurlified by Keyonna a few years ago. And as beautiful as my long curls were, I was tired, bored, and a bit frustrated with them. The time it took to care for them was wearing me out. I have an extremely busy schedule and taking 45+ minutes to wash my hair was wearing me thin. The actual styling of my hair was a breeze. I could get that done in about 15 minutes. 37700158_1859421324125099_4294066787386916864_oNo. I did not want braids. No. I did not want to try twist, braids, or any other kind of outed style. I simply wanted to cut my hair. So, after years of stalking short hair photos I found a few that I liked and I took them to a stylist friend of mine and I let her cut the bulk of my curls off.

I’m loving that wash days are a breeze. Styling is a bit more work, but the overall process is much quicker. I can have an hour to get dress and wash and style my curls and make it out of the house on time. I call that WINNING!

So there you have it! I cut my hair.

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Now this will be the last time I answer the question, “OMG! Why did you cut your hair?” So when you see me share this link, know the slow eye roll is happening. You know how I’m looking. Yeah! That look!

If you cut your curls, congrats! I hope you’re enjoying your short curls like I’m enjoying mine.

…thought I was going to ask you why you cut your hair lol!

I know! Because you wanted to!

Lydia aka Madame President

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#ILoveToWriteDay2018

Journal. Notebooks. Calligraphy. Doodles. Poems. Short Hand. Essays.

Happy #ILoveToWriteDay

Today, is a day devoted to anyone who loves to write. Whether you are a professional writer or someone who has discovered that doodling helps with your anxiety while sitting in a meeting. According to John Riddle, creator of I Love To Write Day, the day is meant to “have people of all ages spend the day writing.”

Your writing possibilities are endless. You just need some writing tools. Some prefer their computer or laptop and others are faithful to pen and paper. Personally, I am a fan of both new technology and a pretty pen and notebook. My preference is based on what I’m writing. Work and school related material that has to be submitted or shared professional, I prefer technology. Note taking, journal entries, and personal writing have to be by hand. And the tools have to be pretty and fancy. I love big and bulky pens. My journals and notebooks have to be unique and speak to my personality. Here are a few of my favorite journals that I would recommend to others or give as gifts:

Journals

  1. This antique handmade leather bound daily notepad with unlined paper is great for daily diary writers or free hand journal entries.
  2. These journal notebooks are colorful and great for daily diary entries, travel journal entries, or for college students’ notes.
  3. The Tree of Life Journal comes with a cord closure and hand itched design; which makes it perfect for those who want a very unique journal notebook.
  4. This faux letter journal notebook is refillable and comes in a variety of shades and cover designs.
  5. This leather journal set comes with a metallic pen, unlined paper, and wrapped in antique leather all in a beautiful gift box making it a great gift for a boss or seasoned writer.

Pens

  1. This luxury ballpoint pen writing set with genuine leather handmade pouch is elegant and makes a thoughtful gift for your serious writer and pen lover.
  2. The IdealPool Rosewood Writing Set is luxurious and elegant; making it a great gift for your executive or fancy writer.
  3. This set of refillable calligraphy pens for beginners comes with 4 different sizes of black ink pens with brush tip. It is a great starter set for calligraphy students!
  4. Journal writers will love this 10 color pen set that comes with drawing stencils that are perfect for planners and scrap-booking.
  5. This vintage Rosewood fountain pen will be a cherished pen of experienced and seasoned handwriting lovers.

As a current college student my writing skills have improved greatly. However, I am fully aware that I have room for improvement. I keep my library stocked with writing resources to reference to regularly. Writing, for many, does not come easy. For this reason, I keep a list of writing guides to share with new writers and students. These are great gift ideas during spring break, trunk parties, and winter holidays when students are home from school or for those interested in making writing part of their daily life or career:

Books

  1. Elements of Style is a writer’s Bible! It is the classic style manual for every writer. Writers and students need this book in their personal library as a staple reference. This is a great gift for high school and college students and new bloggers.
  2. On Writing Well – The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction is a praised guide for proving sound advice with clarity and warmth that is meant for everyone who wants to learn how to write or who needs to write to get through the day.
  3. Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content is 4.6 rated instructional book that will guide any business owner or influencer in creating content that is eye catching and thought provoking.
  4. 7 Essential Writing Tools: That Will Absolutely Make Your Writing Better (And Enliven Your Soul) is a 5 star rated book that invites you to fall in love with the magic that is writing with writer-tested and approved tools on story structure, scene creation, plot, voice, and character presentation.
  5. The Writer’s Toolbox: Creative Games and Exercises for Inspiring the Write Side of Your Brain is an innovative kit that includes exercises and instructions that focus on the right-brain approach to writing and other tools that any aspiring writer can use to step into literary greatness.

Take on today’s charge and write something that makes you happy. Let’s make writing a part of our daily self-care routine. We will touch those feelings and thoughts that we keep deep within and so desperately want to release. Whether we share with the world or not is not the focus. We simply need to write to acknowledge what we carry in our heart.

Get your journal and pen and write!

*hugs*

Lydia 

 

*affiliate links have been used*

Survivor Love Letter 2018

Dear Survivor! We see you. We believe you. We celebrate your life.

www.survivorloveletter.com

Survivor Love Letter is a movement for survivors of sexual assault and their allies to publicly celebrate their lives. It was started by filmmaker and activist, Tani Ikeda in 2012 on the anniversary of her rape where she penned a letter to her younger self that ended with the words: “this is my survivor love letter.”

I am participating with my first public love letter to my most cherished survivor; myself. I am a survivor of multiple sexual abuses as well as physical, mental and emotional abuse that began early in my childhood; so early that I remember pieces of events. My abuse has carried and covered me for most of my life. It has given me a cover that is heavily filled with fear, anger, insecurity, shame and guilt. Through prayer, counseling, and spiritual deliverance I have found a new freedom that is continuing to spread through my life. I have found my voice. And I’m tip toeing from behind the veiled cover more and more. Here is my love letter.


I love you Lydia.

It’s a new love that is still very immature. It’s filled with pride and awe in you. It’s founded on hope and belief in you.

I’m committed to the maturity process and making the mark for each point of Love as its described in the Holy Scriptures. You deserve this level of love and commitment. I am excited to see your journey to completion. I will not abandon you and I will not hide from you along the way. Please forgive me for the times I hid from you. Forgive me for abandoning you as others have. I hurt you and I wronged you. For these wrongs, I apologize. You are worthy of me staying the course with you. And I owe you my very best. I commit to stick with you as you do the hard work to finish this journey.

I’m honored to journey with you. Let’s look ahead to new and amazing experiences that will come our way. You’ve done an amazing job of speaking your truth. You’re learning to care for and protect yourself. Your voice is strong in the love that your abuse was sent to destroy. You are safe to journey from behind the hard veil of fear and live a free life. The world as you knew it, no longer has that power over you.

I love you Lydia.

I love me, Lydia O. Boyd

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Are You Acknowledging Breastfeeding Friendly Businesses This Month?

August is National Breastfeeding Month and breastfeeding is getting a lot of buzz. The month started off with World Breastfeeding Week (August 1-7) and it will end with Black Breastfeeding Week (August 25-31). Families, women, community leaders, and lactavists (yes, that’s a word) will celebrate the wonders of lactation and its many benefits. Government agencies around the world are releasing proclamations in support of breastfeeding as a way to support their local families. Just before we entered August, here in the U.S., we celebrated all 50 states finally having laws that protect a family’s right to breastfeed in public.

But what about businesses? Whether small or large, mom and pop, and my personal favorite; Black owned businesses. Are they supporting breastfeeding and are we, breastfeeding advocates, celebrating with local businesses in our communities? Last year, I committed to hold an in-person event annually during Black Breastfeeding Week for families while recognizing the business for being Breastfeeding-Friendly. Awesome families from the Los Angeles area met at Juice-C-Juice in Carson, CA to discuss breastfeeding. The owner of Juice-C-Juice was given window cling to let customers know that this is a breastfeeding-friendly establishment. This distinction means that breastfeeding families are welcome, protected, and will not be harassed within the business’ walls. In recent years, social media has been filled with amateur videos of mothers being harassed, demeaned, and belittled while breastfeeding in a variety of businesses and locations. Rarely, do we see viral videos of businesses supporting breastfeeding families. We can highlight businesses in our celebrations this year and every year.

If you are celebrating breastfeeding this month you can do these things:

  1. Shout out a business on social media with a direct tag, include their website, and/or give their address in a worded or picture post and use the hashtag #breastfeedingfriendly
  2. Write a positive review and give the business a positive rating on Yelp, Facebook, or on the business’ website. Make sure you mention that you were welcomed while you, your friend/family, or another customer breast fed their baby.
  3. Hand out Breastfeeding Friendly Window Clings to businesses that you know who support breastfeeding families. Clings can be purchased and kept in your car or purse. When you encounter a business that is welcoming to breastfeeding families, you can give the owner or manager the cling. The cling will notify families that this business is welcoming to breastfeeding families. Here are a few suggestions:

Regardless of how you recognize breastfeeding this month be proud about it. Let the world know that you are a supporter of moms, babies and families and their right to breastfeed openly and freely.

To learn more about my lactation support services and resources go to Lydia’s Resources. 

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Affiliate links were used

 

Common Milk Supply Concerns

“I don’t have any milk.”

“I couldn’t breastfeed because I didn’t have any milk.”

“My baby never gets full.”

These are some of the most common statements that moms make when we discuss breastfeeding. Have you had a friend who told you they tried breastfeeding, but they did not have enough milk or their milk ‘didn’t come in’? If so, you probably walked away with questions about your ability to make milk. Today, I am going to discuss these concerns. This information will give you a better understanding about breastfeeding.

 Colostrum – That’s Milk!

Colostrum is the first milk that mom has when she delivers her baby. This special milk begins production between 10-14 weeks of gestation. It is a thick, tan or yellow fluid that comes out in drops. This milk is suitable for the baby’s newly working tummy as the full digestive process starts when the baby suckles for the first time. The drops allow the baby to get used to the digestive process over the first few days of life. Normally, you will see 20-30 suckles to every swallow when mom still has colostrum. If there are no problems with latch the baby can empty the breasts of colostrum in 2-4 days. However, if mom and baby are having latch problems then this time can take longer. Because the baby is doing a lot of suckling, they will need to spend a lot of time at the breast. And this is where most people question if colostrum is sufficient. It is! For the first day of life, a healthy baby will take approximately 1 teaspoon at each feeding. This amount goes up to 1 tablespoon, the size of a walnut, and then an egg during the first week. The baby’s tummy is not big enough to take a full 2 ounces within the first 48 hours of life. While many will take 2 ounces, this is not advised because spitting up or vomiting usually follows. Keeping the baby to the breasts is the best method during this time if we are not having problems with latch. Of course, there are exceptions and those are not as common as most think they are.

That’s it! I’m Done!

How will your baby tell you that he/she is finished eating? They stop eating and will not go back to eating within a short period of time. Some feedings will end with the baby falling asleep, but if the baby wakes up after a short period of time that simply means the baby woke up. It does not mean that mom does not have enough milk or that the baby did not get enough. I advise moms to hold their baby for at least 10-20 minutes once the baby comes off of the breast. Do not put the sleeping baby down until their limbs are limp. If you touch the baby and the baby moves on their own then the baby is only in a light sleep. Wait until the baby is in a deep sleep (limp limbs) and then put the baby down or hand the baby over to Dad to do skin-to-skin or another person who is willing to hold the baby. Something to take note of is that the baby will have hands that are open and no longer in tight fists. When the baby is hungry their hands close into fists; sometimes with white knuckles. You may see a diaper (urine or bowel movement) between this feeding and the next feeding. If after a diaper or burping session the baby wants to go back to the breast that is okay. That does not mean the baby did not get enough. The space in the tummy has been freed up and the next feeding will fill that empty space; which is normal.

What is it? Issa Growth Spurt

Growth spurts are feeding developmental milestones that every baby goes through. Normally, they happen weekly for the first 8 weeks and then they happen monthly and quarterly. Humans continue to have growth spurts while we are growing beyond infancy. During the growth spurts the baby will be very hungry; eating every hour, multiple times in an hour, and/or have very long feedings. They will be fussy, sleepy, and starting at the second week the baby may have less or no bowel movements; but there will be plenty of wet diapers. Mom will feel the growth spurt in her body as well. She will be tired, sleepy, and very thirsty. About the third week postpartum, mom’s appetite will return. Her breasts will feel extremely soft and after a few days to a week her breasts may feel full, tender, and she may have some hard spots in her breasts. During the growth spurt, I encourage parents to keep the baby at the breast and get a lot of rest. Pumping output during growth spurts will most likely be low during this time. I only advise pumping if it is absolutely necessary. Keeping the baby to the breast during these times signals the body to produce more milk and milk with more calories and fat. We really do not want to miss these signals; which supplementing with formula will cause. For this reason, I do not recommend supplementation unless absolutely necessary. Families who are concerned about their milk supply should contact a lactation specialist. In most cases, your milk supply is fine.

Now That You Know

Concerns about your ability to make enough milk for your baby are normal. Hold onto this information and refer back to it as you start breastfeeding. Trust your body to do what it was made to do. Trust your baby to do what he/she was created to do. And enjoy breastfeeding.

If you are a breastfeeding mom who is concerned about their ability to make enough milk we should chat. I am only an email away. If you would like my support check out my list of services and pricing. In the meantime, check out my Periscope broadcast where I go into a deeper explanation of what I have discussed in this blog post.

What questions do you have about this information? Did it make sense to you?

Mom’s New Samsung – Galaxy J3 Eclipse

Yes! I said the Samsung Galaxy J3 Eclipse, for my 70-something years old mother.

*gives the “Mom, Really? look*

She was determined to come into the smart phone era, but with her very limited income she needed an inexpensive phone with a low monthly payment. After I gave her some suggestions, she decided on the Samsung Galaxy J3 Eclipse. Thankfully, the service rep at the Verizon store was able to transfer her contacts through a Bluetooth transfer. Unfortunately, he was unable to transfer her photos. We were advised to get an SD Card and download her photos from her LG Cosmos – oh I didn’t mention she had an even older phone *gives same daughter look* – and use that SD Card in her new phone so she can access her photos.

Mom felt some kind of way because she is hearing that her new phone is old and finding accessories might be challenging. Right now she needs a phone case and an SD card. She thinks she will be able to find inexpensive accessories at stores like Ross, DDs, or other discount big chain stores. While I’m not going to argue with my mother about her new old phone, I am going to be a helpful daughter. I put together a list of covers she can order at a reasonable price. Her little sassy self does know how to get online and place orders. I think she will enjoy looking at this list of covers!

If you have someone who is looking for covers for their ‘new’ Samsung Galaxy J3 Eclipse phone, share this list with them. I’m sure they will find something to meet their needs.

Protective Cases

Standard Black Cases

Kick Stand or View Stand Cases

Fancy Design Cases

Simple Cases