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A community of women and wellness – Brick Canvas

By | Breastfeeding, community breastfeeding support, Uncategorized | No Comments

It can be hard to find a spot in the community that feels like home!  A place we can go to be women, to be individuals, and to replenish and regenerate all that we give day-in and day-out as mothers.  Somewhere we can meet other women who are in the same stage of life and are also striving to be mindful about how they live and how they love.  As Moms or Mom-to-be, it’s so hard to make time for ourselves, but it’s so necessary for our physical, mental, and emotional well-being.  Taking time out to fill our own cup actually allows us to be more present and give more love to our families.  It doesn’t have to be a big deal or take all day.  Here are a few ideas: take a 20-min walk around your neighborhood, take a warm bath, take a yoga class, schedule a massage, or meet a girlfriend for lunch.  How about a pedicure for those months when you’re belly is growing and it’s tough to even see your own toes? These things can recharge us so we are ready for all the ups-and-downs that pregnancy, postpartum, and motherhood brings.  About six months ago, I found a wellness center local to me that offers so many of these services.  Brick Canvas (in Lehi, UT) has a full-service salon and spa, a Bikram Yoga studio, a cafe, and an events center.  Today I’d love to share more with you about what I’ve discovered in this local wellness community, especially the salon and spa because that’s every Mom’s favorite anyway!  Read through to find some exclusive promotions for Lactation Link readers.

Massage

I’ve had several massages due to my involvement in college sports, my two pregnancies, and during my recovery from my cancer treatment.  Sage Leaf salon and spa did not disappoint!  The 90-min massage I received from massage therapist Janelle was the most relaxing and therapeutic one I’ve had.  I was honestly so surprised with how wonderful it was!  It begins with putting on a robe in their luxury locker room/changing area, then relaxing in the rejuvenation room (basically heaven – chocolate covered snacks, fruit-infused water, dimmed lights and a comfy couch!) until my massage therapist came to get me.  I chose a few extras – like my favorite essential oil scent and hot stones to be used during my massage.  I highly recommend Sage Leaf for a true “spa” experience.  Along with regular exercise, massage is an excellent therapy to have on an ongoing basis during pregnancy – to help aid those aches and pains.  Make sure to consult with your healthcare provider if you have any complications.  Keep in mind that Sage Leaf has massage therapists who are trained in maternity massage – making the experience both safe and relaxing for your growing bump.  Massage is also a fantastic way to help your body rejuvenate and heal after birth! Not to mention that hour away from baby to help you relax and re-charge.

Pedicure  

In labor and delivery the nurses joke about how pretty all the laboring women’s toes seem to be!  Often times when women are waiting around for baby to come, they love to pass the time with a pedicure.  I know I did when I was pregnant.  You don’t have to think too hard to come up with a great “excuse” to get a pedicure!  I met a friend to get a pedicure a few weeks ago and it was definitely a unique experience at Sage Leaf.  There are only two pedicure chairs in a private space – so you can actually talk with a friend!  No one to talk over or anyone hurrying you along.  My favorite thing about the pedicure was the cooling balm they used instead of hot wax – it was tingly and felt great on my tired feet!  I also loved how we were served chilled grapes and chocolate during our pedicure – felt like royalty for an hour!  

The Loft, Fraiche Cafe, and Bikram Yoga studio

Bikram is actually how I found out about Brick Canvas!  I was invited by a friend to try it out and immediately knew it wasn’t like any exercise I had done before.  I won’t say I was an instant pro, but I started going once a week and have found it to be so cleansing for the body and mind. It’s a great thing to add to your exercise routine that helps to stretch and lengthen your muscles.  They have classes early morning and later evening – perfect for when baby’s sleeping.  See their full class schedule here.  Last time I went I was pretty hungry after class so I grabbed something to go at Fraiche Cafe.  I grabbed a smoothie and a hummus trio – perfect wholesome snack after a workout!  They make their hummus on the spot and the trio comes with lemon garlic, sundried tomato, and mint pea variations!  Yum.  Their menu is full of fresh menu items, refined-sugar free, gluten-free, and everything can be prepared dairy-free as well.  Lastly, when I saw Brick Canvas had an events center (The Loft), I knew it was perfect for our classes!  Spacious, great natural light, and doesn’t have a classroom feel!  Perfect for our attendees to feel comfortable and have a good time!  You can check out our last event we had in the Traverse Room here. I asked Brick Canvas if they could share a promotion with my readers and they did!  Mention these offers when booking (801.407.8620) – and hurry!  They’re only valid through November 4th, 2017.  

I hope you enjoyed this tour around Brick Canvas and all it has to offer!  

Thanks for stopping by,

 

 

 

 

 

Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC

 

Breastfeeding Around the World: Part 1

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Breastfeeding, like many aspects of motherhood, is a universal phenomenon that can connect us to other mothers. This week, during World Breastfeeding Week, we are talking with moms from around the world about their experience breastfeeding. We hope you can feel connected to these moms and know that we are all doing our best to provide the best start for our children. Enjoy! Interviews have been edited for length and clarity.

What made you decide to breastfeed?

“It seemed like the most natural thing to me, and I also wanted the best for my baby. I also felt like the separation from my baby would be less intense with that bond.” -Neila, France

“The benefits are amazing for the baby and the mother. It feels natural and the healthiest choice for the baby. I also love the connection and bond I have with my son. My son is 7 months old now, I work full-time, so I also pump at work, and have a very active 3 year old toddler; so breastfeeding provides me some quiet time for the baby and I to just wind down a busy and hectic day” -Lina, United Arab Emrates

“Because I believed it was best for my baby. Also that it’s free and convenient helps!” -Erin, Australia

What (or who) has helped you reach your breastfeeding goals?

“At first nobody helped me. During the pre-birth course “breastfeeding” wasn’t on the agenda so I was totally disoriented, but three day after birth (when I was giving up) a midwife working in the hospital was very helpful. She was so nice to me, she encouraged me giving me wise advices as how to lutch on or leaving milk on nipples to heal up. She and her colleagues followed me until my discharge.” -Silvia, Italy

“La Leche League from Belgium and the lactation consultants [at] the hospital where I gave birth. Also reading a lot about breastfeeding.” -Allison, Belguim

“First, my husband and I took the class that the hospital offers. So, when our baby was born we knew that they have lactation consultants available, and they made a big deal of difference those first days. Second, since my husband was with me during the classes and those first days, he didn’t let me renounce my goal of exclusively breastfeeding when I was ready to. He was prepared for that moment and offered the right support.” -Maria, USA

“I did a lot of research during my pregnancy and made sure I was educated and knew what I was in for. As natural as it may be – those 1st couple weeks are tough and I can see how moms could get discouraged without support or adequate knowledge throughout the process.” -Tash, South Africa

What about breastfeeding has brought you joy?

“I never could imagine how much joy! And pride! When people complement my baby about how big, smart and most important, healthy he is (including his pediatrician) we know that breastfeeding was the right choice.” -Maria, USA

“The connection with my baby is definitely magic and joyful. completely different to the connection that I had with my bottle fed baby, even when I love both deeply.” -Dianela, Venezuala

“It gives me immense joy to feel her at my breast as she likes to look around with those big beautiful eyes while drinking, and the feeling that my body and me are working together to provide for Eva.” -Asmita, India

I have LOVED hearing from these moms around the world. Breastfeeding is a beautiful journey that we can all take joy in. Support and education are so vital and I hope this series helps you feel connected to mothers around you and abroad. Stay tuned for Breastfeeding Around the World Part 2.

Thanks for stopping by,

Lacey Parr, BS, CLE

Brickyard Buffalo Guest Editor

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I am so excited to be the Guest Editor over at Brickyard Buffalo today!

Brickyard Buffalo is a website designed to help you shop your favorite brands on a budget. They curate the trendiest items out there for a price you can afford. They work with ‘Guest Editors’ to help find great products and this month I’m lucky enough to have picked out some of my favorite shops and products to be featured for you to shop at a discounted price!

Here are a few of my picks!

I designed this shirt with Cents of Style to inspire others to ‘Keep Moving Forward’ through good times and bad.

I love baby wraps because they facilitate skin-to-skin! Which in turn can help foster a great breastfeeding relationship. I’m so happy Happy Baby Carriers will be selling thier wraps at such a great price this week!

Lillemer Breast Comfort Packs are one of my top recommendations to my breastfeeding mamas. They can be warmed or cooled to help comfort a range of breast discomfort.

Covered Goods Multi Use nursing cover is a MUST for breastfeeding mamas. Not only is it a functional 360-degree nursing cover, but it also can be used as a car seat cover, high chair cover and scarf!

Puj baby tubs are a must have for newborns.  They are soft, comfortable, portable and, in my opinion, beautiful!

I had to pick this print as one of my Guest Editors choices! I decided to go for it with this business and it has been so incredibly rewarding!

Head over to Brickyard Buffalo to check out the rest of my picks!

What not to eat while breastfeeding via lactationlink.com

What not to eat when breastfeeding

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips, Can I breastfeed if?, Uncategorized

Hi mamas! I’m Kristin Gourley, IBCLC. I’m a mom to 5 and lactation consultant with Lactation Link. I’m here today to debunk some myths about what not to eat when breastfeeding and if you need a breastfeeding diet. Thanks for stopping by!

Does that mean that your milk tastes the same no matter what you eat? No! One of the benefits of breastfeeding is that your baby is very gently introduced to.......Picture this (depending on your own personal experience you may be able to “remember this”!): You just had your baby and are dying for a really great meal.  You love Mexican food and want a spicy burrito from your favorite restaurant.  Your partner is more than willing to go get it for you, but then your mother comes to visit and is shocked!  She scolds you, with your baby at your breast, saying that you can’t possibly eat spicy food while breastfeeding!  Let alone all the beans that are in that burrito!  Suddenly you feel really anxious– you didn’t know that you had to change your diet while breastfeeding.  What can you eat now?! Is there a breastfeeding diet??

Breastfeeding diet myths debunked

Well, I have some good news!  Today I’m going to debunk that all-too-common myth that all breastfeeding mothers need to reduce or eliminate their intake of spicy food, gassy food, strong flavors, caffeinated drinks, or anything else you can imagine!

Is there a mother's breastfeeding diet? Read: What not to eat while breastfeeding via lactationlink.comMothers from cultures all over the world have been breastfeeding for, well, forever.  Many cultures have unique foods that would be considered anything but bland.  These babies thrive even when their moms eat these flavorful foods, so we know it’s not something that needs to be universally avoided.

Does baby taste what I taste?

Does that mean that your milk tastes the same no matter what you eat?  No!  One of the benefits of breastfeeding is that your baby is very gently introduced to your family’s tastes even before that first messy experience with solid foods.  That can help baby be more accepting of new foods when she is ready (1).

Is there a mother's breastfeeding diet? Read: What not to eat while breastfeeding via lactationlink.com

{Undercover Mama Nursing Top: Save 20% with code LLINK}

In fact, there was a study where mothers were given garlic pills and an hour later their babies nursed for longer periods than they had before!  The milk also smelled like garlic, so we can assume that the babies liked the subtle flavor change of the milk when mom consumed lots of garlic (2).

You don’t need to take garlic pills to encourage your baby to breastfeed, but you can rest assured that you can generally eat what you like while breastfeeding your baby, and baby might learn to like the same foods!

What about gassy foods?

But what about what your mom said about the beans?  Do beans, broccoli, onions, cabbage, or other traditionally gassy foods cause gas in your baby?  The research says no!  Gas in mom is caused by the breakdown of food in your intestines, but your milk doesn’t come from the contents of your intestines (or stomach).  Your milk is made from your blood, and gas doesn’t transfer from your intestines into your blood.

Is there a mother's breastfeeding diet? Read: What not to eat while breastfeeding via lactationlink.comGas in babies is usually caused by swallowing air, immature gut, or not understanding how to pass gas that occurs. Some doctors believe that gas as a reason for baby’s upset is assumed too often by parents (3). That said, if your baby seems uncomfortable or unwell, you are the expert!  Don’t hesitate to contact your pediatrician.

Caffeine and alcohol

Caffeine and alcohol are two substances moms are often instructed to eliminate while they’re breastfeeding.  While they both pass into breastmilk (since they pass into your blood– this is why they affect your behavior), the amount that makes it into your milk compared to the amount you drink is low. Learn more about how caffeine affects breastfeeding at Can I breastfeed and drink caffeine?.

Is there a mother's breastfeeding diet? Read: What not to eat while breastfeeding via lactationlink.com

The American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Breastfeeding recommends that mothers limit their alcohol intake while breastfeeding, and ingest no more than 2 oz. liquor, 8 oz. wine, or 2 beers, as well as abstain from breastfeeding for about 2 hours after drinking to further minimize any alcohol in breastmilk (4).  Similarly, the AAP Committee on Drugs recommends no more than 2-3 cups of caffeine per day, as there should be little to no effect on the baby at that level (5).

What about fish?

Per the FDA, a few species of fish are to be avoided in order to prevent mercury accumulation in baby. These fish include king mackerel, marlin, orange roughy, shark, swordfish, bigeye tuna and tilefish (from the Gulf of Mexico). However, other fish such as salmon, cod, herring and more are safe for up to 3 servings a week. See the full list at the Food and Drug Administration.

What about food allergies?

We’ve gone over a lot of reasons why you shouldn’t worry too much about what you eat while breastfeeding, but we all know that food allergies are a real possibility.  They are, however, much less common than some of the things you read on the internet can lead you to believe!  A family history of allergies makes them a bigger possibility, but signs of a food allergy can include: rashes, eczema, breathing issues, continual intestinal upset, and traditional allergy symptoms like red, itchy eyes.  If these occur, then an elimination diet for mom may be indicated, but it should be done under the care of a doctor and an IBCLC! (6)

What about milk supply?

Despite what you might have heard, following a specific breastfeeding diet to increase (or decrease) your milk supply is not evidence-based. Mothers experiencing a wide variety of food plenty and food scarcity all over the world (and throughout time) are (and were) able to fully breastfeed. Breastmilk is made from the body’s energy stores and the mother’s diet (7). So, mothers may find themselves needing to increase their caloric intake while breastfeeding and an extra 300-500 calories is the recommendation. This can be added through a larger portion of your meals or simply through a peanut butter sandwich. If you are concerned about milk supply, a breastfeeding diet will probably not make a difference. While some moms have found that eating a breakfast of oatmeal increases their supply, the best way to increase supply is to increase breast stimulation. The best tips for increasing supply are found in our breastfeeding video classes. Past blog posts, How to Increase Supply and 5 Ways to Keep Your Supply are helpful as well.

I hope this post has given your confidence and helped debunk the myth that mothers need to follow a breastfeeding diet. Have you noticed your baby likes or doesn’t like certain foods you eat?  Or has certain reactions when you eat certain foods?  We’d love to hear about it in the comments!  If you think your baby is having problems with what you’re eating, you may benefit from a one-on-one consult with one of our knowledgeable IBCLCs.  And check out our video classes for more awesome breastfeeding facts!

Thanks for stopping by,

lactationlink008

Kristin Gourley, BS, IBCLC

Have you signed up for our free email breastfeeding course?

I think you’ll find it really helpful. Click the image below for more info.

Join our free confident breastfeeding course

Sources

  1. Riordan, J. & Wambach, K. (2010). Anatomy and physiology of lactation. In Breastfeeding and human lactation (4th ed., p. 92). Boston, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.
  2. Mennella, JA & Beauchamp, GK. (1991). Maternal diet alters the sensory qualities of human milk and the nursling’s behavior. Pediatrics 88(4): 737-44.
  3. Sferra TJ, Heitlinger LA. (1996). Gastrointestinal gas formation and infantile colic. Pediatric Clinics of North America, 43(2):489-510.
  4. AAP Section on Breastfeeding. (2012). Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk.Pediatrics, 129(3) e827-e841; DOI: 10.1542/peds.2011-3552
  5. AAP Committee on Drugs. (2001). The transfer of drugs and other chemicals into human milk. Pediatrics, 108(3): 776-1029; DOI:  10.1542/peds.108.3.776.
  6. Allergic Proctocolitis in the Exclusively Breastfed Infant. (2011). Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine Protocol #24, from Breastfeeding Medicine 6(6): 435-440.
  7. Lauwers, J. & Swisher, A. (2016). Nutrition during lactation. In Counseling the Nursing Mother (6th ed., p. 166). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning. 

Common Infertility Questions Answered

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Today we are so happy to have Dr. Conway from Utah Fertility Clinic answering common questions about infertility. Dr. Conway is board certified in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility; Obstetrics and Gynecology. 

Dr. conway

What is Infertility?

Infertility is the inability to conceive after a year with regular intercourse with no contraception.  

Source: www.instagram.com/kmdieds

Source: www.instagram.com/kmdieds

 

How long after trying to conceive unsuccessfully should I see a doctor?

Eighty-five percent of couples will conceive within a year. Thus, any couple that’s been trying to conceive for a year should be evaluated to find out if there are any identifiable problems.  For women 35 and older, it’s prudent to only wait 6 months before seeking an evaluation, because egg reserve goes down over time and a shorter timeline into treatment can be helpful.

Common Infertility Questions

Souce : www.asliceofstyle.com

 

What kind of Doctor should I go to first?

Seeing your Ob/GYN may be a reasonable first step.  You need three things: 1) health eggs, 2) healthy sperm, and 3) a normal reproductive tract, for pregnancy to happen.  Your workup should include checking for ovulation, a semen analysis, and evaluation of the reproductive tract with an ultrasound and usually a procedure called a hysterosalpingogram (HSG) or ‘dye test’ to check for tubal patency.  If you feel you are not getting a thorough workup, it is never too early to go straight to a fertility specialist for an efficient workup.

Common Infertility Questions

Source : www.huntersofhappiness.com

 

What is the process of treating infertility? 

Because a specific diagnosis can be made in about 85% of couples, we treat the underlying problem.  If a woman is not ovulating, medications can be given to restore normal monthly ovulation.  If the sperm quality or concentration is low, treatments called intrauterine inseminations (IUIs) are performed to wash the sperm and place it through the cervix so it get’s a ‘jump start’ to the top of the uterus, right at the time of ovulation.  Seventy five percent of our patients can be treated with these less aggressive options.  In vitro fertilization is reserved for couples with more severe male factor, issues involving scarring of the fallopian tubes, or if the less aggressive treatments are not successful.  This option is more expensive but for most couples is highly successful.   

Common Infertility Questions

Source: http://conveythemoment.com

 

What things can I do on my own to increase my fertility?

Working on physical and mental health can empower couples to optimize their chance of conceiving with or without treatment.  For instance, women that are above or below their ideal weight will have more ovulatory problems and a harder time conceiving.  Optimizing body weight with diet and exercise will help you to get pregnant faster.  In fact, a moderate amount of weekly exercise has recently been shown to be excellent for fertility, regardless of weight loss.  Think of a ‘Mediterranean diet’ when working on nutrition, incorporating more vegetables, protein, and complex carbohydrates.  Make it a lifestyle change instead of a ‘crash diet’.  Last but not least, add stress-reducing activities into your weekly routine. If that includes exercising with your spouse, even better!

What can I do to offer support if my friend is going through infertility?  

If you know someone is struggling with infertility, offer a listening ear and words of support in private.  Feel free to ask how they would like to be supported, since every person’s coping with infertility may be different.  Make sure to ask them about the many other important aspects of their life, as a reminder that the infertility they are experiencing does not define them as a person.  If they cry, seem distant, or even offended, cut them a little slack.  The grief experienced over infertility is complex, but a little love and compassion will go a long way.   

Common Infertility Questions

Source: instagram.com/lindseyreganthorne

 

What are your favorite thing about the families you work with?

It is a privilege to support couples through such an emotional and personal journey.  I cannot imagine a more rewarding job than helping couples build their families, and in a way, impact their lives forever. I walked into our procedure room to do an egg-retrieval a few weeks ago and this is what I saw written on the bottom of my patient’s socks:

Infertility questions

“THANK YOU DR CONWAY. WORK YOUR MAGIC. LUCKY SOCKS AND BABY DUST”.

I love getting to know my patients during their treatment (but not too well, since I want them to conceive quickly!), and my goal is that no matter what the outcome, each patient has the best experience possible.   
Top 3 tips to navigating the infertility treatment process

  1. Remember IVF is not the only option: though it gets the most media attention, most of our patients are able to conceive with less aggressive and less expensive options.
  2. Be your own advocate: get the answers you need to know what you are up against, so you can make an informed decision about what’s best for you.
  3. Take care of yourself and your relationship: find stress reduction through a new hobby or diversion.  Support each other emotionally, and remember to do activities together other than trips to you fertility doctor, which can sometimes feel like a full-time job!
Infertility Tips

Source: www.huntersofhappiness.com

5 Biggest Misconceptions about Infertility

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Hello mamas! We are sharing different women’s infertility journeys each day this week for National Infertility Awareness Week.  We are so happy to have Elise from Hunters of Happiness here today to share her infertility journey and the 5 biggest misconceptions about infertility. 
5 Biggest Misconceptions About Infertility
When my husband and I started trying to start our family I was so excited! All I have ever wanted was to be a mom! I had no idea what a long road was ahead until we would hold a baby in our arms (you can watch our whole story here). After years of doctor’s appointments, ultrasounds, multiple blood draws each week, hundreds of shots, hundreds of negative pregnancy tests, two surgeries, a chemical pregnancy, a miscarriage and a miracle embryo we finally held our baby in our arms.

Over those years I learned a lot about infertility and a lot about myself. While it was the hardest thing I’ve ever been through, and I worry about going through it all again, I wouldn’t change it. I have learned so much about dealing with heartache, difficulty and how to help others going through trials.

5 biggest misconceptions about infertility

Today I will be sharing my top 5 misconceptions about infertility

  1.  JUST RELAX…IT WILL HAPPEN.

This is the most common and hurtful comment women struggling with infertility receive. Infertility is a disease. Can you imagine saying “just relax and you’ll be cured” to a person diagnosed with heart disease, diabetes or any other illness? No. That is because most people don’t recognize infertility as a real disease. Infertility is created by a variety of real illnesses including but not limited to Endometriosis, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Uterine scarring, and Varicoceles.

This misconception that relaxing will cure infertility is also hurtful because it insinuates that infertility is mental. If someone has ever told you to relax, what has it done? I can probably guess that it didn’t make you relax, but probably just made you worked up. Infertility is a disease that rears it’s ugly head everyday. It is not something that can easily be forgotten. Women have monthly physical reminders that they are not pregnant and are often receiving treatments, have weekly doctors visits, blood draws, pills and shots to remind them.

Next time someone you know tells you they’re struggling with infertility, the absolute best thing you can say is “I’m so sorry. That is so incredibly hard”. Validating that what they are experiencing is real is very comforting and supportive.

 

  1.  WHY DON’T YOU JUST ADOPT?

I had this question so many times! And I think it is definitely one of the most misunderstood aspects about infertility.

People would ask me often, “why don’t you JUST adopt?”. Oh how I would LOVE to! I LOVE adoption! But it’s not JUST adopt. Adoption is not a simple process like most people assume. Adoption is often more emotionally trying than infertility treatments. Many adoptions fall through at the last minute or birth mothers change their minds. It can be incredibly emotionally hard.  Also, filing out paperwork, getting home studies, creating a blog, website or scrapbook of photos, and then waiting to be chosen by a birth mother is often a long process. Adoption is also, more often than not, considerably more expensive than fertility treatments.

So while so many of us with infertility would just LOVE to adopt, it is not as easy as it might seem. We are educated on our options and will choose to go down the path of adoption if we feel that is what is best for us.

 

  1.  MAYBE INFERTILE PEOPLE JUST AREN’T SUPPOSED TO HAVE CHILDREN

Or something similar, like, “Maybe God has another plan for you.”

Sometimes it is confusing to me why this is ever said. If you were to translate this question to other medical diseases it would sound a little bit like this “Maybe you were meant to die of cancer, so why do chemo treatments? Maybe God had a plan for you to spend your life in a wheelchair, so don’t bother with that prosthetic.”  

Medical advances exist so that people can live better, longer and happier lives!  Why is the disease of infertility one that shouldn’t be treated?

 

  1.  YOU ALREADY HAVE KIDS, YOU’RE NOT INFERTILE

Another misconception about infertility is that you can not suffer from it if you already have had children. This is not true and is referred to as Secondary Infertility.

This infertility diagnosis is often the result of complications after a previous birth or can have no cause. Secondary infertility is extremely difficult for the couples experiencing it, and should not be minimized simply because they already have a child or children.  

I have experienced secondary infertility first hand but in a different way than most. My parents had me without issue, but then experienced secondary infertility. The ache I felt for a sibling was real and I watched the pain of my parents as they wanted nothing more than to give me that sibling and to have another child.

 

  1.  INFERTILITY MEANS IVF

Actually, fewer than 3% of couples struggling with infertility will need to do In-vitro fertilization. There are many less invasive treatment options!

Fertility Specialists (Reproductive Edocrinologists) recommend you see them if you are under 35 and healthy (regular periods) and have not conceived after trying for 12 months. And for those over 35, to visit a specialist after trying for 6 months.

A big misconception is that you need a referral from your OBGYN to see a fertility specialist. For most Reproductive Endocrinologists you can just call their office and schedule an initial appointment. Initial consults often just involve some diagnostic work and questions.

5 Biggest misconceptions about infertility

Well, those are what I believe to be the top misconceptions about Infertility. I hope that you were able to learn something new about a disease that affects so many!

Infertilty Journey : Jess Oakes of Positively Oakes

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jess

Hello mamas! We are sharing different women’s infertility journeys this week for National Infertility Awareness Week.  We are so happy to have Jess from Positively Oakes Blog here today to share her infertility journey and how to help a friend struggling with infertility. 

 

 

When I was a teenager, I sat in the doctor’s office gown and all waiting for her return. I was close to 17 and still hadn’t started my period, so tests were being ran, things were being looked at and honestly I remember not caring much. The only thoughts in my mind were, can we get this show on the road? I have places to be, a boyfriend to hang out with and whatever else. I was a teenager, what did I care if I didn’t have a period? The doctor walked back in, with a serious look on her face. She said, “It looks like you have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.” Oh, okay, great. My Mom has that, no big thing. Then she proceeded, “It’s a little bit worse than the average case and I just want to prepare you and let you know that, you’re most likely going to have trouble getting pregnant, if you even can at all.” I remember the thought coming into my head, well, that sucks. Honestly though, again, it didn’t really hit me that hard. I was young, children weren’t a priority at that point and well, my Mom had gotten pregnant, so eh? Whatever.

Fast forward many years and there I was, having the discussion with my future husband, only this time with tears streaming down my face and an awful pit in my stomach. “I just wanted to let you know, I might not be able to have babies. I totally understand if this changes things, I’m so sorry.” He wrapped his arms around me and just held me. It didn’t change anything, he loved me just as much and that feeling of peace in that moment, I clung to that.  

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Shortly after getting married, we decided to go ahead and just not necessarily “try” for a baby, but not stop it either. We knew the odds weren’t in my favor, so we figured why not just leave the possibility open and put it in God’s hands. Before I knew it I was becoming obsessed with it. A year into it and I found myself taking pregnancy tests every, single, month. Now I longed for a baby. I wanted a baby so badly, we both did. He was about to be done with school in the next month, our lives were starting and it seemed like everyone around us was pregnant or starting their family. Every single time I saw that negative test, again, my heart ached. It hurt so incredibly bad, I felt broken. Like something was wrong with me, why was my body broken? Why did he marry me? I couldn’t give us a family, my body couldn’t do the one thing that it was meant to do.

He graduated college and we decided it was time to start putting a little bit more effort into it. We met with a fertility specialist, did a whole lot of testing and then the journey really began. I thought I was in pain for that year before…I was in for a rude awakening. The next few years proved to be some of the hardest of my life, still to this day. The doctor started us on a low dosage of fertility medication, we did that for a few months, blood work twice a month, ovulation kits and everything in between. A few months later, it still wasn’t working, so he upped the dosage. Two months of that, still no luck, so he upped it one more time, this time to the highest he could go. Still, nothing; not one single positive ovulation, not one single good blood result, a whole lot of negative pregnancy tests, all negative. I hurt, I was in so much pain. How much more of this could I take? All the blood work, all the medication making me a crazy person, all the hormones, negative test after negative test, I couldn’t do it. This was too hard of a trial, this wasn’t fair, why did I get this? Why did every single person around me get to have a baby? Why did people younger than me get to have TWO babies already and I couldn’t even have one?!

During all of this we moved back home to Idaho, my heart still broken and my mind feeling more lost than ever. We met with a new doctor, transferred all of my medical history and took a month break. My body just couldn’t handle it anymore, I was 25 and having hot flashes, mental breakdowns, I was literally on an emotional rollercoaster. The bills were piling up, the more we had to do costs just kept getting higher and higher and I found myself pleading with God every single night, begging him for a baby. We continued on with more fertility treatments, all failing, then a new medication, again, no luck. Then finally, we met with a doctor to start IUI. I went in for the initial testing, blood work drawn, you know, for the 300th time (no joke). I went home from that appointment at my wits end. I was done. I couldn’t do it anymore. I remember balling, literally just crying my eyes out to the point where I couldn’t breath, where I had to pull over because I couldn’t see anything.

The phone rang, it was a number I didn’t know so I didn’t answer it. I was in the middle of a crying session, I didn’t have time to deal with a phone call. Up popped a voicemail, I pushed the play button with my shaking, tired hands and set it down on the console on speaker phone. It was the doctor’s nurse, she said, “Jessica, will you please call me as soon as possible?” Great — now what? What the hell else can go wrong? Am I totally broken? Is this not even a possibility? I reluctantly called back, asked for the nurse then sat there on hold for what felt like forever.

“Hello, Jessica?”

“Yes, this is me.”

“So I got some of your bloodwork back and I’ve got some news for you..”

“Okay, what is it?”

“You’re pregnant.”

I couldn’t breathe, I literally dropped the phone my hands were shaking so much. All I could say what “What? I’m what?” to which she confirmed excitedly, “YOU’RE PREGNANT!” That was the happiest day of my life. I hung up the phone and sat there, still crying, only this time the happiest of tears. It was a miracle, our miracle baby.

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She was born July 3, 2015 and I’ve never felt a love like I do for such a small little human being. I can’t even describe how happy she makes me, how in love I am. She’s perfect, she’s all ours and she’s honestly a miracle.

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Now, she’s almost two and here we are facing the same infertility battles for a second time, only this time worse than before. I had complications shortly after having her, which required a small procedure, but made it even harder than before to get pregnant. We’ve met with specialist after specialist and this time have been told I’ll only be able to get pregnant with IVF. So here we are, the same feelings, the same disappointments, only a little more challenging than before. As much as it sucks and as hard as it is though, I just have to remind myself of the miracle baby we already have. We’ve been sharing this journey though through YouTube and my blog and honestly, it’s been therapeutic for me. Infertility isn’t something that people talk about enough, it’s one of the loneliest things, no matter how many people you have around you. So we’re sharing our journey, talking about everything and keeping things totally raw and real.

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One question that we get asked a lot, is how do you help someone going through infertility? So I thought I would quickly answer that as a final thought. Every, single, person going through infertility is going to react differently, they’re going to want something different as far as support and their situation will be unique. Don’t generalize their circumstances, don’t downplay it and just listen to them. Be there for them to talk, to cry to or to just take their mind off of everything. Be sensitive of the things you say and don’t make things awkward. We know what we’re going through, it’s generally not a big secret, but we don’t know how to handle it any better than you do. Just love them, support them and pray for them.

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3 Tips To Get You Through the Hard Days of Infertlity

By | motherhood, Uncategorized
Hello mamas! We are sharing different women’s infertility journeys each day this week for National Infertility Awareness Week.  We are so happy to have Jenica from A Slice of Style here today to share her infertility journey and 3 tips for how to get through the hard days of infertility.
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Infertility. It’s something that you don’t expect to deal with when you think of your future. You get married, and then next come the babies when you’re ready. As I get older (and wiser with experience!), I’m learning that life has little surprises, valleys and hills along the way, and they help you learn and grow so that you can deal with the next hurdles with more grace.
My husband Tyler and I started trying to conceive and after a year with no success, we saw an infertility specialist. Three IUIs and 3 rounds of IVF later, we are at the other side with the arrival of our boy/girl twins, Harris and Goldie last year on July 13th! We climbed the mountain, we fell and got bruised and bled quite a few times, but eventually made it to the top. What I learned through the process is invaluable and I really wouldn’t change the experience because I know that what I learned will help me to be happier and more grateful for my life. It will help me to cope with my future challenges better. There are several habits that I developed to help me cope with the challenges of infertility, and I would love to share those with you if you happen to find yourself on this journey. I’m sure you never planned on it.
It’s not something that you prepare to cope for, so I want to share what helped me get through it.
My first habit can really be applied to anyone, in any situation. It’s simple.
1. Don’t get offended.
You are the only person that can decide how you feel and how you let others affect you. Sometimes people don’t know what to say when you are talking about infertility, so they end up saying, well, really dumb things! One of the things I heard was, “my husband and I can get pregnant the second we start thinking about it!” For me, it was comparable to me telling them that I was struggling financially, and then having them retort with, “I am so rich!! I don’t even know what to do with all of the money that I have!” It’s kind of funny when you actually think about it. Here’s what I thought to myself when I heard someone say insensitive things: First, their intentions were not ill-willed. Those who have not experienced infertility cannot possibly understand the heartache associated with it. I know I didn’t! I had no idea what it felt like until I experienced it, and it was a lot harder than I thought. In fact, after we started fertility treatments, I remember standing in my closet and sobbing for my friends who had struggled with infertility because I finally understood what they were going through. Be patient with others. None of us are perfect, and I would want someone to be patient with me because I’m sure I have said insensitive remarks in my lifetime without the slightest awareness that I had. Another thought? Even if a comment is ill-willed, who cares! I’m not going to give someone else the control over my happiness.
2. My second habit is to decide to be happy!
I learned a lot going through my first 3 IUIs and first 2 rounds of IVF, so by the time we did IVF for the 3rd time, I gave myself a break a lot more. We only get one life, and I didn’t want to regret looking back on my 20’s wishing for the days ahead. I want to look back on my life without regrets and I don’t want to waste it because I can’t rewind time and get it back. There is something good in each day, and I chose to look for those good things. I chose to focus on what I could do without children that would be more difficult to do if I did have them. My husband and I bought dirt bikes! Yes, I’m serious. We had a lot of fun during that summer while we took a break in trying to conceive. We only get today. We only get right now. Those are adventures that I am so glad I had with my husband. Every single person in this world has trials, and it’s how we choose to live in those trials that defines how happy we are. I decided that I wasn’t going to be a miserable person, and that was that. This does not mean that you can’t allow yourself to have bad moments or even bad days. You can cry and you can get mad. But then I want you to bounce back because you have the control of your life and you will get through this. In the end, you’ll look back, like me, and realize how much you learned. It will make motherhood even sweeter. Trust me in that. It’s so much sweeter after having gone through infertility. That’s the interesting thing about trials. Only through going through them can life’s experiences be so much more joyful and appreciated.
3. My last habit is to look around you for all of the incredible kindnesses of your friends and family.
I was amazed by how many people reached out when they found out that we were struggling with infertility. If you aren’t comfortable telling many people, at least let a few close friends or family stand by your side to help you through the process and you will be so grateful at the love and support that you see around you. Going through something difficult allows your eyes to be opened to some unbelievable goodness and I was so grateful that I got to see that.  In return, I would suggest that you spread kindness to others as well. Like I said, it’s hard to remember sometimes, but every single person is going through something hard. If you focus on brightening someone else’s day, it helps you to look outside of yourself and it lifts you up in return. It’s strange that helping others really helps you. So… if you’re feeling selfish and you want to feel good, go do something for someone else!
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I’m honestly grateful for this challenge because I was stretched and pulled and found myself to be a happier, more understanding person on the other side. We all have challenges. Let’s help carry each other through them and live this one beautiful life that we have been given.

National Infertility Awareness Week: “I am 1-in-8”

By | Uncategorized

Today kicks off National Infertility Awareness Week. We want to join others in spreading awareness, hope, and fostering support for those who have been affected by Infertility.

To start, we have partnered with KC Film and Photo to create this amazing video with some wonderful Moms from our community to show just a little bit about the journey of infertility. Each story is different and unique.  Take a minute to watch it and then share it to touch others! The more it is shared the more awareness we can bring! Motherhood is something every woman deserves to experience!  If you’ve been affected by infertility and feel comfortable, we’d also love to see you get involved with this campaign by sharing on social media a little about your journey.  Tag us @lactationlink and use #lactationlink #LL1in8 so we can repost!

 

Friday Favs – Plum Pretty Sugar Robes

By | Recommended Products, Uncategorized

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Today we’ve rounded up our favorite Nursing Friendly Robes and PJ’s from Plum Pretty Sugar

Robes and loose fitting button-up pajamas are great for nursing mamas. Not only do they allow for quick access to the breast, but they also make having skin-to-skin time easier. Soft, loose robes and pajamas are also great for tender nipples and engorged breasts.  Think of these beautiful and functional pieces when you’re packing your hospital bag!

Have you signed up for our free email breastfeeding course?

I think you’ll find it really helpful. Click the image below for more info.

Join our free confident breastfeeding course