I get a lot of questions from my friends about receiving anesthesia while breastfeeding. As more moms are breastfeeding, I think it’s an important question to tackle for the baby’s safety. I’ve included references and summarized key points below. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask your anesthesiologist or physician who will be taking care of you.
- Intrathecal and epidural anesthesia and opioids are ok for breastfeeding mothers.
- Acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and ketorolac are ok because they have relatively short half-lives.
- Celecoxib: ok.
- Naproxen: ok.
- Propofol is ok. Proceed with breastfeeding when mom is awake after anesthesia.
- Midazolam (sedation dose) is ok. Proceed with breastfeeding when mom is awake after anesthesia.
- Fentanyl is short-acting enough. Proceed with breastfeeding when mom is awake after anesthesia.
- Avoid meperidine in the post-operative unit – its metabolites have long half-lives.
- Hydromorphone has a long half-life (10hours). Best to avoid this medication or pump and dump.
- Morphine: low dose is ok. Caution if using morphine PCA.
- Hydrocodone: dosage should be <30mg/day in breastfeeding moms.
- Oxycodone: dosage should be <30mg/day in breastfeeding moms or not used at all.
- Tramadol: ok. But FDA not recommend for breastfeeding moms (USA).
Things to Consider
- Try to have your case booked as early in the morning to decrease the amount of time for fasting.
- Pump a stash of breast milk ahead of surgery for 1 day of feeds just in case. You can always use this expressed milk later.
- Breastfeed or express milk just before the start of the procedure.
- Have an adult supervise you post-operatively as well as the baby in case there are signs of medication transferred to the baby.
- Consider anesthetic techniques (local anesthesia, regional anesthesia, non-narcotics, etc.) to minimize opioid consumption.
I’ve heard that breastfeeding is tough. The 1st month can be outright brutal. Why does such a natural process give so many new mothers problems? So, I’m researching and looking into this.
I’ve been thinking lately (I’m 37 weeks, 6 days)… can I get a head start on breastfeeding to induce labor?
- Romper.com, Romper.com: How-to
- Saying “No” to Induction. J Perinat Educ. 2006 Spring; 15(2): 43–45.
- The birth of a breastfeeding baby and mother. J Perinat Educ. 2005 Winter; 14(1): 42–45.
UPDATE: February 26, 2018 post-partum
Breastfeeding is hard. The first week after Arden was born was a really rough one — lack of sleep, whole new routine/schedule, physical pain, soreness, learning new parenting skills, etc. It took a while for my milk to come in… almost a week for me. Once it did, it wasn’t much. So my pediatrician recommended that we start supplementing with formula as Arden had lost 10% of her birth weight. This made me so sad as I was committed and ready to exclusively breast feed. But, my body was not ready. So, I continued breastfeeding her every 3 hours (we set alarms to make sure I was on time) while also supplementing her with 2 oz. of Enfamil Premium Newborn. I started going to a breastfeeding support group which is so wonderful because it connects mothers with other mothers and helps us all troubleshoot our breastfeeding challenges. It’s interesting to hear other moms speak of their troubles because everyone seems to have different questions at various points in their baby’s life. After doing a week of formula supplementation, I went back to the pediatrician and Arden not only met her birth weight but also gained some as well. This made me feel better as a mom because she was getting the nutrition she needed despite my best efforts at breastfeeding. But, I wasn’t giving up on the boob. The more I searched the internet and asked at our breastfeeding support group, the more I learned and started brainstorming to see if I could get my body to produce more breastmilk.
Breastfeeding 10 minutes on each breast every 3 hours (starting from the initial feed, not at the end of the feed). Nipples were extremely sore. Arden had a great latch and would suckle vigorously. I even considered a nipple shield for pain. I used breastmilk and lanolin around the nipple after each feed. This was the most painful week.
I started experimenting with pumping as there was one day where my nipples were too sore to allow Arden to breastfeed. I still went every 3 hours on the breast pump (Medela In-Style Advanced). After 1 day of pumping, I revisited trying to breastfeed her and my nipples felt better. I read somewhere that I should try and pump at the halfway point of my breastfeeding times. So, I would pump 1.5 hours after I started breastfeeding. This helped increase my milk supply. I went from doing 0.5 oz per breast to 1oz per breast. I think this more closely mimics a cluster feed and helps the body adapt to feed a hungry baby. Halfway through week 2, Arden started doing 15 minutes at each breast. I would often see milk in and around her mouth, so I know she was getting some breast milk. The biggest trouble was getting her to stay awake at the breast. Burping her and changing her diaper helped wake her up for the 2nd breast. Towards the end of the week, Arden started only taking one breast at each feed. She would pass out at the breast and even when we tried burping her and changing her diaper, she was satisfied enough that she did not want the second breast. This was a new behavior and I’m not sure what to do. So, I would pump the second breast…and then start her on that pumped breast at the next feed.
- Love and Breastmilk
- Parents: 31 breastfeeding secrets
- KellyMom.com: breastfeeding
- MamaNatural: 10 breastfeeding tips
- PumpStation: Breastfeeding Help
- Stanford breastfeeding info
The start of this week, Arden is feeding every 1.5 hours. Is this a growth spurt? She’s still getting 2oz (sometimes 3 oz) of supplemental formula. This article from KellyMom was a wealth of info for me.
One of the days, Arden fed 12 times in a day. My nipples were incredibly sore from the constant feeding. I called three different local board certified lactation consultants to help — currently scheduling when that will be.
Also, I found out the Medela phone app has a video call to board certified LCs — I’m excited to try this out. It’s for a fee (not hefty), but they’re available 24/7.
Week 4: Dialing it in this week!
- Feed baby
- Establish milk supply
- Double pump
- Never uncomfortable
- High suction
- Fenugreek: 3 capsules, 3x/day = 9 capsules/day
- Milk tea: 2-3x/day
- Lactation cookies
- Breastfeeding going well
For the first time, my letdown has ejected milk from the other boob while Arden is feeding on the opposite boob. I got the NatureBond Manual breast pump to place on the “free” boob while Arden is nursing and it collected 0.8 oz of liquid gold! This is a new thing for me and I’m so stoked to be able to collect every single drop!
Looking back at what I have taken consistently to get to an increase in milk supply:
- USDA Organic Fenugreek Capsules (Vegan) Increase Milk Supply & Herbal Lactation Support – Breastfeeding Supplement For Mothers – NON-GMO – Natural Seed Powder: Better than Oil, Tea. 60 Pills
- UpSpring Milkflow Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle Powder Berry Drink Mix
- Boobie Bar – The Original Lactation Bar – Oatmeal Chocolate Chip – 6 Individually Wrapped Bars
- Solgar – Brewer’s Yeast Powder, 14 Ounce – Supports Heart Health and Digestion
- Lactation Supplement for Breastfeeding Mothers to Support Breast Milk Production – with Fenugreek Extract, Blessed Thistle, Fennel Seed, and DHA – 120 Veggie Pills
- Mother’s Select Organic Goat’s Rue – Herbal Support Aid for Lactation & Nursing – Increase Breast Milk Supply – Safe Gluten Free, Dairy and Soy Free – 120 Vegetarian All Natural Breast Feeding Pills!
- Lactation Supplement Fruit Mix for Breastfeeding Mothers (Blueberry Pomegranate) – Boost Breast Milk Supply with Fenugreek, Goat’s Rue, Blessed Thistle, and Fennel Seed – (21 Servings)
And we’re already thinking of traveling with Arden soon!!
I’m decreasing the pumping after breastfeeding to just 2-3x/day. On days where I pump only and don’t breastfeed, I’m getting roughly 3oz total. How do women create freezer stashes? I don’t get it. I’m poppin’ pills like a druggie, putting Arden to my breast at least 8x/day, pumping after feeds at least 2-3x/day (now I’ve spaced them out instead of pumping directly after a feed…I now pump about an hour after a feed — to resemble a cluster feed). I could do a better job of hydrating. I’m watching my nutrition. I’ve started to workout. Then when I look at the real facts… I had a prolactinoma… that was resected… and it may have affected my milk production from a hormone standpoint. Even if all the working parts are there in my breasts, I have come to the realization that it’s ok if I’m not fully able to give my baby 100% of what she needs from nursing. I’m happy if I’m still able to transfer at least some of my milk and antibodies and goodness to her…. as well as help her develop and gain weight with the addition of formula supplement.
Here’s what we started with:
Earth’s Best Organic Infant Powder Formula with Iron, Omega-3 DHA & Omega-6 ARA 23.2 Ounce (Packaging May Vary)
After what seemed like some gas and more pasty stools… we moved to this one and she’s really loved it and I think it’s helped with her gas.
Baby’s Only Organic LactoRelief with DHA & ARA Toddler Formula
Various things that she has preferred without issue of nipple confusion:
Comotomo – Baby Bottles – Baby Feeding – Green – 4 Pack – Two 5 Ounce Bottles and Two 8 Ounce Bottles
Things are going well. I’ve come to terms that I just don’t have enough milk. My letdown is fine. There’s fullness in the breasts if I go more than 5 hours for a feed. SO, I scheduled an appointment with an endocrinologist to follow up on my prolactinoma to see if that’s it. Either way, I’m enjoying breastfeeding with what I can supply and then having my husband or family pitch in to bottle feed. She just went through a growth spurt and was eating and fussing a ton.
Through all of my breastfeeding challenges, here are my thoughts/reviews on what has and hasn’t worked for me:
- Medela Personal In-Style Advanced (PISA) — This is a great pump for me and it was covered by my insurance. When I got out of the hospital after delivery, this is what I used to help boost my milk supply. Granted, I was super sore the first two weeks, but I think that was because I was breastfeeding and then pumping right after. Plus, I don’t think it’s that uncommon to have sore nipples when first learning to breast feed and/or pump.Medela Pump in Style Advanced Breast Pump with On the Go Tote
- Medela Symphony — I would highly recommend using this pump first for the first month bc it has such a gentle cycle of letdown/expression. Rent one from the hospital if they have availability. I think it’s a tad gentler and smoother than the Medela PISA.
- Spectra S1 — I heard a lot about these pumps, but don’t have any experience. I would potentially try and get insurance coverage with this if we have another kiddo. There were so many rave reviews from people.Spectra Baby USA – S1 Plus Premier Rechargeable Electric Breast Pump, Double/Single, Hospital Grade
- Lansinoh Smartpump — I purchased this as a second pump so I could use it in the morning as I’m getting ready for work. I have to get up pretty early for work 5:30a or 6:00a so this allows pumping as well as makeup/getting dressed. I like that it has different suction/expression tempos in addition to the intensities. Plus, there’s a Bluetooth tracker that counts your pump time when you turn on/off the pump (I always forget to hit STOP on my phone to end a pump session). Lansinoh did such a great job with a complete package: 2 sets different size flanges, 4 bottles, 2 nipples, pumping bag samples, carrying bag, instructions, etc. And it’s a super small footprint! Lansinoh Smartpump Double Electric Breast Pump, Connects to Lansinoh Baby App via Bluetooth, Breast Pump Bra Compatible, Hygienic Closed System, Adjustable Suction & Pumping Levels for Mom’s Comfort
- Nenesupply flanges — I purchased several of these for my Medela PISA bc I wasn’t sure if I would be able to wash my parts between pumps. Turns out, I learned you can just use one set and refrigerate between pumps so you don’t have to wash bt sessions. Wish I knew that before! Nenesupply Pump Parts for Medela Pump In Style Breastpump PISA 2 Large 24mm Breastshield 4 Valve 8 Membrane 2 Tubing Not Original Medela Pump Parts Not Original Medela Breastshield
- Maymom flanges — same reason I got these flanges. Both manufacturers work nicely and you can’t go wrong. What I don’t like as much about the Medela fitting flanges is the little suction piece with that fragile plastic flap. It’s a pain in the ass to clean and find.
- Philips Avent manual breast pump — I purchased this in the event I was stuck in a long case and couldn’t get relief to go pump. Perhaps I’m not as comfortable with it as my double electric pumps, but I don’t feel that it empties me out as much as the electric pumps. I’m sure hand tiredness attributes to that as I can go 20minutes on an electric pump no problem….but after 10 minutes on one breast, my hand gets tired. But, I do think it’s a very comfortable manual pump to be used in a pinch or bind.Maymom Breast Pump Kit for Medela Pumps; 2 Large One-piece 27mm breastshields, 4 Valves, 6 Membranes, 2 Pump-in-Style Tubing; Simple Wishes Bra Compatible; Medela QuickClean, Micro Steam Bag Safe
- Willow Pump — I had such high hopes for this pump. I wanted it to work to not be tethered to a pump with cords and such. However, when I tried this pump, it hurt. It was heavy in my bra and I felt like it pulled my breasts down. The suction is HIGH even at the lowest setting — even my more seasoned/withered nipples couldn’t weather the pull of the Willow. I’m going to give it another go as I used the 24mm flange that comes with it… and I ordered the 27mm ones and haven’t tried those yet. For reference, I started with the 24mm flanges on Medela…. then moved to a 27mm which I think is more comfortable.
- Pumping pal flanges — a bunch of reviews raved about these flanges. I wish they worked better for me. No difference that I could tell in output of milk or comfort on the breast. Pumpin’ Pal Breast Pump Flanges (Set Regular, S,M,L pairs)
- Medela breast milk freezer pack bottles– these are great to pump into. Plus, since I don’t have enough of a stash to freeze, it’s great to put these bottles directly into the fridge. I use the standard Dr. Brown nipples or generic nipples on these for a feed.Breast Milk Freezer Pack, 2.7 oz (80ml) Bottles (Pack of 12)
- Freemie Collection Cups — these cups are the most amazing thing! It’s like the portability of the Willow pump (minus long tubing) with the lightweight profile of the flanges. I love these so much! Plus, I don’t have to mess with the trouble of a hands-free pumping bra (the holes on the bra rub my nipples and makes me wince a bit with pain). If I were to do it all over again, I’d order two sets of these and say “to hell with the flanges.”Freemie Collection Cups The Only Hands Free and Concealable Breast Pump Milk Collection System, Clear, 25/28 mm Funnels
- NatureBond Silicone Manual Breast pump — this is a great asset to catch the milk letdown from the opposite breast that you’re nursing. You’ll be amazed at how much collects in this device.
If I were to do it all over again I’d get:
- Medela Symphony rental for the first month or two after leaving the hospital.
- I like both my Medela PISA as well as my Lansinoh. Both are highly portable and perfect for returning to work. KEEP IN MIND that the Freemie collection cups work with the PISA and not the Lansinoh (as of this writing on April 10, 2018). For a second go, I would get the Spectra S1 just to try it bc I hear the suction is so gentle.
- Freemie Collection Cups — I’d get two sets.
- Medela breast milk freezer pack bottles
- NatureBond Silicone Manual Breast pump
I’ve been back at work for a month. Breastfeeding/pumping has been a challenge. My job is a bit difficult in terms of getting a set schedule to breastpump at work. See my schedule below for what I’ve been trying to do:
6:00a breast pump
Try and get a 1-2 pump sessions at work when possible
6:00p breast feed
9:00p breast pump
I can definitely see my supply going down, but I’m trying my best with what I can. Arden has been thriving on what I’ve been able to give her supplemented with formula (see 4 month update here).
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A little background info… I’m an anesthesiologist for a fairly busy practice. That means we get called when you need an epidural or c-section. I am currently in my first pregnancy (so I haven’t experienced my own birth process), however I’ve seen and managed thousands of epidurals for delivery.
One of the most important things moms can do for their pregnancies… Eat right (clean, get plenty of veggies and fruits) and exercise. This is the best prep work you can do! Secondly, have an open mind when selecting your birth plan. You are not in control of what will happen. What happens with your baby is what will dictate what you will need and what will be best for your baby. Many mothers have opted for a “natural” delivery and have been successful. Some mothers have been in a fully equipped medical center and have had bad outcomes unrelated to interventions for their baby.
Your goal as a mom is to guide and give direction to your delivery team of your wishes — but this is a process that changes throughout your labor so flexibility is key.
Epidurals are NOT harmful for your baby. There are multiple studies that’re well backed with huge sample sizes that prove this. Epidurals can slow certain stages of labor, but it’s NOT harmful to you or your baby. There are a lot of misconceptions about epidurals. Whether it’s patient experience, epidural effectiveness (and this can be patient controlled), or fear of the unknown… epidurals have been given a bad reputation and sometimes these traumatic experiences are passed down without rhyme or reason (similar to the anti-vaccine movement which is dangerous!).
So, pick a birth plan… be flexible with it. Do what you can to optimize your health (and birthing experience) via diet and exercise. Lastly, no one loses when they’re comfortable. Comfort leads to a good experience and overall a happy mom, baby, and family.
Here’s my plan (which isn’t for everyone):
1) more plant-based diet w some fish
2) exercise via walks, hikes, and pilates/yoga/barre
3) birth plan: vaginal delivery with minimal pain (epidural immediately: I don’t want to feel a thing)… but anything to get the baby out safely.
4) breastfeed like crazy if possible
5) go back to work after 3 months
6) breast milk for at least 6 months (but will try for a year)
My plan isn’t for everyone… it’s for me. Good luck!!
The first day of my last period was April 25, 2017. According to my Glow app, my average period length is 6 days and it looks like there’s roughly 37 days between periods. That’s about 10 days longer than the average Jane. That last period occurred on our honey moon! We came back home on May 9. Then, I had a weeks worth of diarrhea from May 20-27 and ended up taking ciprofloxacin at that time. As June approached, I was just fatigued for a bit and so was Bear. We thought we had caught a bug or had some kind of weird travel lag from the trip. I was still surfing regularly with Ross — maybe a couple times a week. Around the summer solstice June 20, I had some light cramping. Breasts had been tender for a while, but that wasn’t anything out of the ordinary as my period approaches. In early June, we went to the Toast the Coast Wine Festival at the Del Mar Fair (June 10) and then the evening of June 20, we had burgers and beers at Encinitas Alehouse. I had a funny feeling to pee on a pregnancy stick that evening, so I did. Lo and behold it was POSITIVE! I quickly called out to Bear to make sure he got an eye on the reading to make sure I was reading it correctly. The next day, we went to the drug store and got one of those digital ones so there couldn’t be any reading errors. It said PREGNANT.
Once we found the info out, I immediately called to setup an appointment with my chosen OB/GYN. I feel lucky to have a job in anesthesia because I get to directly see the work of our surgeons and care providers so it gives me an idea of who to seek for my own care if needed. I setup an appointment with Kim Washkowiak for July 5 (1st ultrasound) and then an initial consultation on July 11. I also started researching best books to read during this time and finally chose the Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy.
According to the Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy: From Doctors Who Are Parents, Too! that we’re reading, the chart states the following….
- Week 1 If the first day of your last menstrual period was: Apr 25
- Week 3 Conception likely occurred around: May 9
- Weeks 5-10 Period of greatest risk of birth defects
- Beginning of organ formation: May 30
- Major organs have formed: Jul 4
- Week 12 Risk of miscarriage decreases: Jul 18
- Week 23 Some preemies can now survive: Oct 4
- Week 40 (full term) Estimated due date: Jan 30
Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy: From Doctors Who Are Parents, Too! (Bestsellers) (Kindle Locations 2230-2237). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.
But according to our OB and U/S reports, we’re due February 20, 2018.
July 5, 2017
I’ve had about 2 weeks of low grade nausea. I keep wanting to eat small meals to stave off the “morning sickness” that rears its ugly head throughout the day. I’ve got some ginger candies to help. I’m also eating more plant-based meals (Veestro and Splendid Spoon) and craving grapefruit and fruits! I haven’t worked out much bc of the nausea. I’m trying to get 3x 16oz waters down in a day. Initially, I was having to pee a lot…. not just during the day but it would also wake me up in the night.
Week 18 – Sept 19-25, 2017
Recap: The nausea was the worst for me from weeks 7-13. It slowly got better. Things I did to calm the nausea: ginger chews, ginger hot water/tea, bananas, toast, crackers, pasta, hydration, rest. I found it worst during the day. During that time, I also shunned Veestro and Splendid Spoon. In fact, I could hardly tolerate any of my paleo foods that I typically eat. Crackers and carbs were my savior.
Fast forward to week 18… life is good! We just got back from a 2 week vacation to the Azores. I’m back at work and now I have Mondays off. We’ve been doing research on state disability, maternity and paternity leave, vacation days for 2018, infant day cares, pediatricians, etc. I still don’t see much of a baby bump yet, but my usual clothes are starting to feel tighter. Got my flu shot! Pregnant ladies, it’s IMPERATIVE you get your flu vaccine (not the nasal one though) — read the CDC guidelines here.
So far, we’ve found the following books helpful:
- Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy: From Doctors Who Are Parents, Too!
- The Expectant Father: The Ultimate Guide for Dads-to-Be
- The Healthy Pregnancy Book: Month by Month, Everything You Need to Know from America’s Baby Experts (Sears Parenting Library)
- Pregnancy Day By Day (terrific book if you’re into pictures)
- The Informed Parent: A Science-Based Resource for Your Child’s First Four Years
Week 21: Oct 10 – 16, 2017
I’m still feeling pretty energetic and able to maintain my pilates workouts. Typically, I aim for 3-4 one hour sessions/week. The ladies at Club Pilates in Del Mar are fantastic and are always offering me alternatives for new moves as I advance in my pregnancy. I’m hoping to keep this up until delivery and beyond! We’e completed two prenatal classes so far. Scripps offers a lot of classes and resources and we’re taking advantage of the learning opportunities! So far, we’ve done Getting Ready for Baby part 1 and 2. It was a great overview for absolute essentials we may need for our newborn as well as how to change a diaper, swaddle, when/how to bathe, etc. It also included an excellent session given by a pediatrician on normal/abnormal poops, diaper changes, breastfeeding, circumcision, vaccines/shots, etc.
I’ve been in a rabbit hole of baby registry items/reviews and we’re slowly building our list. I’m pretty meticulous about researching anything prior to pulling a trigger on anything big (house, car, insurance, stocks, appliances, electronics, etc.). I consider a newborn to be a really BIG thing!
- Amazon items I’m considering — ongoing research, pros/cons, good reviews, word-of-mouth, not registry… just ideas
- My YouTube Pregnancy playlist of helpful videos
OB Anesthesia entries from my blog:
- My thoughts on vaginal delivery vs C-section
- Pregnancy, epidurals, and birth plans
- OB anesthesia: what is an epidural and literature
- Walking labor epidurals
Week 22: Oct 17 – 23
This week, it was recommended that I only stick to the pilates 1.0 or 1.5 classes. 😦 Pilates has been great, but they’re totally right. My cardiovascular capacity needs to really stay in check. The mini is the size of a papaya this week.
Week 23: Oct 24 – 30
We just got back from our last flight to Boston. Overall, I felt like I traveled fine… but I could see it being tougher as the pregnancy progresses. Lately, I’ve been booking infant care tours for our little one when they turn 3 months. I have two girlfriends with 2 kids who are terrific moms…each offer the advice of getting a nanny (instead of daycare). I think a nanny or our moms would be great, but my biggest push for the daycare is to engage early development and socialization. I think the nanny and our moms are great to help on certain days, but Bear and I work and that would be a 5 day a week commitment. That’s a lot to ask for from our moms who live out of town. Plus, I do not want a complete stranger (i.e. the nanny) around our baby just yet. Consider it the mamma bear in me. But, I want accreditation, vetting, background checks, early childhood education, experience…. and from what I am finding in my searches… it’s really hit or miss with the nanny. I really am taking to the Montessori method for independent learning and self-soothing and the way it encourages infants/toddlers to participate in their environments. Plus, one of the Montessori schools we’re looking at does language immersion. Many educators have said that the most absorbent stage of learning is from 0-6 years. Great link that compares infant care and nanny care.
Plus, I don’t really believe in decorating a nursery and such — we’re in the midst of creating/designing/constructing a companion unit and will then at a later date do a large remodel of the house. So, simplicity and minimalism are my jam. I read this article on the Montessori way of setting up your home for infant and I love it and would like to replicate it!
Comparing Montessori and Reggio learning styles (2 infant care philosophies we are looking at):
I’m ecstatic to learn about MontiKids ($30 off with referral code: REFW6UGPGEGO5) – a toy delivery service that bases it’s philosophies on Montessori. Every 3 months, the company will send you age/development appropriate toys to you. I am so thankful for minimizing screen time and maximizing play/learn time with my future kiddo.
We had our first breastfeeding class last night. It was actually really really informative. We’re always the smallest “bump” in the class as I think most of the moms in there are due November…. and we’re not due until February. But, I love having the info ahead of time so I can plan….and I only know my schedule one month in advance 2 weeks prior to the new month. We’re definitely on board for 6 months of exclusive breast feeding and then starting organic, non-GMO, hormone-free foods around that time with supplemental breastfeeding. I’d love to breastfeed for at least 1 year if it’s possible. We’ll see! I know it’s not an easy task.
All things Montessori:
- Recommended Reading on Montessori
- How to setup an infant room at home
- Montessori age 0 – 6 months
- Raising infants and toddlers the Montessori way
- How we Montessori
We had our 24 week growth scan ultrasound on Oct 30. Everything looked great!
Week 24: Oct 31 – Nov 7
This week, the mini is the size of a large zucchini. At this stage, we have a viable fetus. Things are still going well. I’m feeling little kicks. Mini’s insertion of the umbilical cord is just slightly off center on the placenta. The last growth scan showed no vasa previa and the baby was already positioned head down. Funny thing, at every ultrasound… the Mini is super chill. The ultrasound tech will push the probe into my belly to shake/wiggle the baby to move and change positions…. but to no avail. Hopefully, they’ll be this chill when they’re born!
I’m looking at various cord blood companies to see whether it’s worthwhile to bank stem cells from the umbilical cord when the baby is born. Basically, it’s kind of like having a backup source of undifferentiated cells that could turn into anything (bone marrow, red cells, white cells, tissue, etc.) if we ever need to use them down the line. My biggest question is: what’s the viability/longevity of these cells to be effective if we need them? It’s a pretty large upfront cost. And nothing is guaranteed. So… I asked my OB what she did with her kids and she said the first one it was free, and then she paid for the 2nd and the 3rd. I’m going to continue my polling today to figure out if it’s worth it or not. What I’d really like to know is if anyone has had to use these stem cells….. was it worth it? Did it change the course of disease or alter treatments?
Cord Blood Info:
- BabyCenter Reviews
So after reading through every one of these links…. I’m leaning more towards NOT banking. If something isn’t going to be useful 10-20 years down the road…. why bother? Plus, in 10-20 years, research and medicine will have advanced that there may be better treatment options available – i.e. creating stem cells that are a match to a recipient. There are public stem cell and tissue registries. I suppose the key thing is would we have a match for our multi-racial family from a public bank/registry? We both have ZERO genetic history of diseases or cancers. It’s a big upfront cost — and I’m not sure the technology is quite there for advanced treatments. But, if I were to choose a private cord bank company right now, I’d probably choose CBR.
Update Jan 15, 2018, 34 weeks, 6 days: We ultimately re-discussed the cord blood/tissue banking and decided on CBR. After chatting with several moms who did it…. a lot of them have regrets for not doing it…. and the ones who did it have peace of mind. Bear and I further researched the topic and decided we would do it and chose CBR.
Had my 24-26wk Glucola testing on Nov 6. This was after an unseemingly busy call day and night. In fact, I got called back to the hospital at 2am and was starving — so had half a bagel at 2am (and therefore breaking the 12 hour fast rules). I went in for the Glucola test at 7:30am. The Glucola drink is 50g of sugar that tastes like a really flat Sunkist soda. I thought for sure my test would be positive given my cortisol surge with the busy and stressful call day…… and fueled by my half bagel at 2am. But, low and behold, my result was 126 (range less than 139) and negative for gestational diabetes. Woohoo!! Here’s some interesting reading material on gestational diabetes and diagnosing it: part 1, part 2.
Week 25: Nov 7-13
- Brain Rules for Baby (Updated and Expanded): How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five – listened to this on Audible (during 2nd trimester) and it’s outstanding. Highly recommend for first-time parents and just setting a solid groundwork/foundation to build when baby comes.
- NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children
- Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason – currently listening to this on Audible (3rd trimester).
- Teach Me to Do It Myself: Montessori Activities for You and Your Child
- Montessori from the Start: The Child at Home, from Birth to Age Three – currently reading this on Kindle (3rd trimester). Also gifted to both moms.
- How To Raise An Amazing Child the Montessori Way, 2nd Edition – Gifted to both moms.
- Infant Potty Training: A Gentle and Primeval Method Adapted to Modern Living
- Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, 4th Edition: A Step-by-Step Program for a Good Night’s Sleep
- Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way: Revised Edition – currently reading this on Kindle (3rd trimester)
- The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind
- The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Newborns: Amazing Sleep from Day One – For Baby and You
- The Baby Sleep Book: The Complete Guide to a Good Night’s Rest for the Whole Family (Sears Parenting Library)
- Getting Your Baby to Sleep the Baby Sleep Trainer Way – currently reading this on Kindle (3rd trimester)
- Mayo Clinic Guide to Your Baby’s First Year: From Doctors Who Are Parents, Too!
- Nov 23: Took the Amtrak train up to Camarillo to hang with Ross’ fam for Thanksgiving. The train is the way to go! Lots of space, bathrooms (important when a prego gal is going to the bathroom every 2 hours!), wifi, charging outlets, cafe cart, etc. Ever since living in Boston, I have been a huge fan of public transportation! It’s the way to go! Thanksgiving was great. Lots of great food, company, conversation, and mingling!
- Nov 24: I’m on call today and just got called into work — that’s the life of a doc — we signed up for this so don’t feel sorry for us. We know being on call and away is part of the gig. No sympathy needed. Saturday, we’ll go to my mom’s house and have another yummy feast! For some reason, this year…I’m really loving and craving leftovers! I know my mom will hook it up as I told her to prep a lot so I could eat it for at least a week. Been playing the uke a lot lately (especially since getting my new tenor uke!). Starting to form calluses on the fingers (used to have these when playing the violin)… such a good thing! This lil kiddo is def gonna love music and the uke! Now, to play more classical music and read to them!
- Nov 25: Thanksgiving at my mom’s was great. Lots of great food and leftovers and of course football — that’s our Thanksgiving tradition!
- Nov 27: Everything looked great at my 28 week appointment. Got my dTaP vaccine. Baby’s HR in 140s and baby is growing nicely. My BP was good 119/64. 155lb on the scale (whoa!). That’s about 20lb over my norm! It’s definitely an adjustment to seeing the changes in my body…what it can and can’t do. I’m getting more short of breath these days and that’s with hardly ANY activity. Taking a flight of stairs – yeah… short of breath.
- Things I miss most: hiking, wine, rock climbing, feeling in shape, being at peace (vs thinking about a million things constantly), date nights (usually too tired by the end of the week)
- Things I won’t miss: being thirsty and drinking water all the time, peeing a couple of times in the middle of the night, not being able to sleep through the night while also being tired in the day (currently thinking about a lot of things right now), the low pressure/cramping, being short of breath, reflux, asking myself whether something is too hard or too heavy to lift or push, the hormonal push to growl at everyone
- Awesome Montessori toy list for ages 0-preschool
- Montessori at home from age 0-3 months
- Raising multilingual kids
- Create a montessori home from the start
- Tummy Time
- Making tummy time easier
- Thurs, Dec 28th: I don’t think I drank much water that day and ended up feeling pretty dehydrated. Went to pilates and as I was doing bridge pose started feeling light headed like I was going to pass out. I stopped and rolled onto my left side and put my legs up on the reformer foot bar (venous return is key!). I stayed in this position until I felt back to myself (roughly 10 minutes) and then I finished off the class. BUT,… when I went home that evening, the Mini did NOT make their kick counts. They would maybe do 1 kick in an hour (instead of the 10 they’re supposed to get). I fell asleep before I remembered to call the OB office.
- So, Friday, I went to work and did a double heart day and then walked up to Labor and Delivery to get on the monitor to check out fetal heart tones. Everything seemed to be ok — and that was a huge relief for me!
- Saturday, Dec 30: Ross got a new car! We needed to seriously upgrade his ride to something more child friendly and safe for our lil Mini! The new year will be welcomed in 2018 with a lot of new changes!
Hours worked: 26 hours
Week 34: January 9 – 15, 2018
Even though this week was a bit lighter for me (I had originally taken this week off as a staycation, but opted to just take Friday off), I couldn’t get comfy sleeping. I took an OB call on Wednesday and was essentially done around midnight (I have a midnight rule at work: if I’m still at work at midnight, I just sleep in the call room). While sleeping in the call room, I was only sleeping 1.5 hours at a time. The insatiable thirst and constant and consistent potty breaks are starting to become unbearable. I’m tired all the time and it’s from getting up every 1.5 hours all through the night. It’s not even something I feel like I could fix unless I had a urinary foley catheter in place. The belly feels like it’s getting bigger: getting up and out of bed is becoming more difficult (I have to roll to one side and then get up vs just getting straight up from a bend at the waist); the SI joint pain has returned with more frequency but it’s not unbearable; the Braxton-Hicks contractions are more common and coming higher up on my belly — before I would have maybe 1 every couple of days — this week I’m having several a day. The Mini is still making their kick counts. The gals on OB think I’m having a boy — they base this on: my “glow”, lack of acne on my face, the way I’m carrying the baby, my lack of all over weight gain…. although I’m not sure any of these old wives tales are accurate in any way. I’d be ecstatic with a healthy baby, regardless of sex.
I’ve finished several books:
- Brain Rules for Baby (Updated and Expanded): How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five – listened to this on Audible (during 2nd trimester) and it’s outstanding. Highly recommend for first-time parents and just setting a solid groundwork/foundation to build when baby comes. This book was such a gem as it related a bit of science to baby development.
- Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason – started this on Audible (3rd trimester). This book was a nice eye opener that not all praise and punishment is the right kind. I learned a lot about fostering positivity with effort and not just for anything that is done. I agree that punishment is not a good system for motivation, but this book really uncovers that reward is NOT the best system for motivation either. I plan to implement these techniques for our Mini. This was my 3rd favorite book in the bunch I’ve been reading.
- Montessori from the Start: The Child at Home, from Birth to Age Three – listened to this on Audible (3rd trimester). Also gifted to both moms. This was a close second to Brain Rules for Baby (for me). It tackles the principles of Montessori and the whys and hows to implement this method of development. It promotes independence of the child, but also places importance on how to promote brain development with the simple things (simple toys: no bright lights or sounds, no screens, the power of imaginative play, etc.). I highly recommend this book as a 2nd read after Brain rules for Baby.
- Infant Potty Training: A Gentle and Primeval Method Adapted to Modern Living: started this in 3rd trimester.
- Getting Your Baby to Sleep the Baby Sleep Trainer Way – currently reading this on Kindle (3rd trimester)
- NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children: started 3rd trimester on Audible. This book is incredible!! Highly recommend and will incorporate into our parenting.
- Your Self-Confident Baby: How to Encourage Your Child’s Natural Abilities — From the Very Start: started 3rd trimester on Audible.
Our baby shower went off without a hitch! It was great catching up with people and seeing the outpouring of love for our lil one on the way! We could’ve easily fed 50 people — it’s always hard to know how much food to factor in. We had Cardiff crack (tri-tip), burgers, pulled chicken sliders, coleslaw, veggies, dips and chips, cakes, cookies, potato salad. It was an incredible feast!! I only wish I could eat more! I was only able to get a bite of beef tri-tip, one burger slider, and one chicken slider down before I was super stuffed! Dessert came later around 7p for me.
The Braxton-Hicks contractions are more frequent now — having at least one daily — but anywhere up to 5 in a day. Still waking up every 1.5-2hours nightly for a pee. Drinking adequate amounts of water (I probably go through 4x 32oz of water daily and also 1x 32 oz water nightly.
We ultimately re-discussed the cord blood/tissue banking and decided on CBR. After chatting with several moms who did it…. a lot of them have regrets for not doing it…. and the ones who did it have peace of mind. Bear and I further researched the topic and decided we would do it and chose CBR.
Hours worked: 19.5
Week 35: January 16 – 22, 2018
This week has been insanely busy. Not sure if that’s how the schedule just worked out this week or people are back to signing up for surgeries. Additionally, this week Bear and I felt that the Mini was significantly bigger. I feel more fatigued, larger, more difficulty moving around, more thirst and urinating, etc. Lately, my craving has been winter citrus — oranges and mandarins. Really, I’m craving anything with liquid… I can’t get enough. Another great treat we’ve enjoyed is root beer — what is going on with these cravings? Bear has been nesting hard! He’s organized the house, setup the bassinet, installed the car seat, packed his hospital bag and the baby’s bag. It’s so cute to see him so excited and nesting! He’s been such a great husband, supporter, massager, and I know he’s gonna be an amazing father! I can’t believe how fast the days are moving now! We got our Cord Blood Registry kit and filled out everything for it so it will be ready to go with our hospital bags.
Things I’ve been looking at today:
- Where I’ll be delivering: Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla
- Questions and Answers from Scripps; Frequently asked questions
- Resources offered by Scripps
- Delivering your baby at Scripps
- Hospital rankings in San Diego
Hours worked: 54.5
Week 36: Jan 23 – 29, 2018
We had our 36 week AFI and NST. I’ll be doing these twice a week now as I’m deemed “high risk” because I’m AMA (advanced maternal age: > 35 years old). My BP was great at 108/76. Fundal height was right on track at 36. AFI was normal at 9 (but the range I was told was 5-25). I want that number to be higher. Dr. W asked if I could drink more water. I’d happily do that — currently I’m drinking 6 x 32oz of water in a 24 hour period. My urine was free of protein and glucose. All good things. I’m 160lb. Whoa! Mini is head down right now. So far, everything is good! Had the 2nd AFI and NST after a 14 hour workday. AFI was 9.5 and NST was perfect – nice and reactive. Dr. W said I could stop working at anytime, but I really want to save up all that time for when the baby comes. Good to know that I can pull that card when I just can’t take it! I was really dragging after working 37.5 hours in 3 days. My legs are swelling, despite my best efforts of wearing calf compression socks and trying to put my legs up. There’s a dull ache by the end of the work day. Luckily, my Bear is always down to give my legs and feet a good rub down at the end of the day.
And I had to look at the odds of going into labor…
- Boston Globe – Get Ready. Your baby is coming early.
- Labor probability calculator
- Your due date is wrong
- NPR: Doctors to pregnant women: Wait at least 39 weeks
Hours worked: 45.5
Week 37: Jan 30 – Feb 5, 2018
Our 1 year wedding anniversary on Feb 4!! I can’t believe how quickly the year flew by and everything that has come our way! It’s been an incredible year! Nevermind that it’s SuperBowl Sunday (go Eagles!)… we spent a wonderful relaxing spa day at Rancho Valencia. The Duet 90 minute massage was incredible (we had Sara and Noelle — both were fantastic!). A chill day lounging by the pool — I couldn’t have asked for a better way to celebrate our 1st year wedding anniversary! In fact, Bear and I decided we will have a full spa day every wedding anniversary.
My cravings lately have been all things citrus and A&W root beer! I’m trying to cut back on the sodas – I’ve never had such a craving for them (not even before pregnancy!). This led me to look into the issues of artificial sweeteners. Basically, I’m gonna stick to organic oranges, mandarins, OJ and La Croix Naturally Essenced Sparkling Water Variety Pack, 12 ounce Can (Pack of 24) bubbly waters.
Feb 5 was our weekly appointment for NST/AFI/Dr. W for week 38 (which is tomorrow!). I’ve lost a couple of pounds and was 158.8lb for today’s visit. Who knows what that is from as I haven’t changed anything in my diet or activity level (although this past week was pretty taxing). 117/73, hr 70. FHR 140s. Good NST read with adequate accelerations and contractions. I’m contracting several times throughout the day, but not regularly. AFI was 10.5 today! On the cervical exam, Dr. W said I was at best finger tip (which is more than what it was last week – softened closed cervix). There’s some spotting after the exam this go around.
Things on my mind lately:
- Breastfeeding to induce labor
- The Relationship of the Administration of Intrapartum Synthetic Oxytocin and Breastfeeding Initiation and Duration Rates. Breastfeed Med. 2017 Mar;12:98-102.
I’m already thinking of getting out and about with the newborn. We have a retirement party coming up for some of our colleagues and I want to go…but I also want to bring the Mini. I think my strategy is a carrier and keeping it a short visit.
Getting a newborn out in a restaurant:
- When to use a carrier
- BabyBjorn: When is it safe to use a baby carrier
- Baby slings and carriers: newborn to 5 months
- iBaby Labs: Taking your newborn to a restaurant
- Secrets of baby behavior: taking your baby to a restaurant
- BrightHorizons: Dining with kids
- CloudMom: Eating out with kids — Can you bring a newborn?
Hours worked: 47.5 hours (in 4 days)
Week 38: Feb 6 – 12, 2018
Had a bit of light spotting on Wednesday (38 weeks, 2 days). Still contracting away. The tiredness is evident – the lack of sleep for the last month has been tough. Maybe next week I’ll get the doctor’s note. NST was reassuring and the AFI was 10.1 on Thursday. Everything is still going great!
February 10, 2018 — There’s been a change in my contractions. Instead of just being abdominal contractions, they’ve turned into more back and abdominal contractions. Right now, they’re about 8-10 minutes apart, lasting 40sec – 1 min. Looks like we’re getting close. With the contractions is the urge to poo. I’ve started spotting again. I’ve been up since 4:30 bc of the new back contractions — they’re pretty uncomfortable. The abdominal contractions just feel like a strong menstrual cramp. I’m on call this weekend (I traded down to #3 today bc I was #1 in the main OR). Let’s see how this day plays out!
For the Chinese zodiac…
- If baby is born before the Chinese New Year (before Friday, Feb 16, 2018), they are the year of the ROOSTER
- If baby is born after the Chinese New Year (on or after Friday, Feb 16, 2018), they are the year of the DOG
Saturday, Feb 10, 2018
I woke up this morning around 4:30a feeling a lot of low back pressure and new buttock/tailbone pressure. It woke me up from sleep. It lasted for about an hour and then subsided. Luckily, the day before, I traded with Milbern down to #3 for my #1 weekend call. The new back pressure was off and on throughout the day — timing the contractions were about 11-13 minutes apart. They definitely felt different from my other contractions which were mainly front and abdominal. By the time the evening rolled around, my contractions were 5 minutes apart and still painful! We went in to Labor & Delivery to get checked out since they said come to the hospital if you’re 5-1-1 (5 minutes apart on the contractions, 1 minute in length, and for 1 hour total). Once we got to the hospital around 6pm, I got checked out and was only 1 cm dilated. We found that the baby’s position was OP/OT. One of the midwives suggested some positions to try at home to see if we could turn the baby — trust me, I was all ears to help get this baby into a more deliverable position! We left the hospital to try these techniques. There was a website she recommended called SpinningBabies.com that was super helpful for a bunch of these techniques. We tried me being on all 4s with a bit of inversion. We tried a hot bath with ice packs on my back. I tried a couple of the techniques from the Spinning Babies website. We tried these different techniques all the way until Sunday, Feb 11 at 2am.
Sunday, Feb 11, 2018
2am we came back into the hospital bc our contractions were now about 3.5 minutes apart. The pain was still pretty intense despite our best efforts to get the baby to turn. When we came back in, they opted to either give me some Tylenol and Ambien or Nubain and Phenergan. I opted for the Nubain/phenergan combo as the pain was intense and the midwife stated I needed to relax to allow my cervix to dilate. I was able to sleep for 3 hours and then after waking up, they decided to admit me as I was 3 cm dilated and 80% effaced AND could get an epidural. That’s exactly what I did next. Shiyin did an awesome job with the placement. After that, I was able to get comfortable and get some rest. I was started on Pitocin a couple of hours after the epidural. By around 3pm, I had progressed to 6-7cm dilated. Then I had SROM’d and enjoyed a celebratory pickle. By around 7pm, I was 7.5-8cm dilated, but baby was still OP. There was a forebag of amniotic fluid that was ruptured by the midwife. We again tried a bunch of the different positions to help move the baby out of OP, but to no avail. Around 8:30p, I was 10cm dilated and started pushing. I was doing 10 seconds of pushing x3 per every contraction. My OB (Kim Washkowiak) who wasn’t even on call came to deliver her. This went on for an hour until our little girl was born at 22:09pm. She looked perfect! We were able to get skin-to-skin immediately and our cord blood and tissue was sent. She got checked out by the baby nurse and everything looked great! She was 7lb 3oz, 21 inches long. She came out with a cute conehead! An hour after delivery, she was latching and had a strong suck and we were able to breastfeed immediately. This has been such an adventure and we’re so excited to see what each day brings!
Hours worked: so far… 42 hours (in 4 days)
- Bob Revolution Pro stroller (after baby is 6 months old):
- HelloBaby: Best breast pumps 2017
- Medela Pump in Style advanced breast pump with on-the-go tote
Graco Blossom 4 in 1 system
Local Day Cares to check out:
- Bright Horizons: https://discover.brighthorizons.com/thank-you.php
- Early Childhood Development Center: https://discover.brighthorizons.com/thank-you.php
- KinderCare: http://www.kindercare.com/our-centers/san-diego/ca/301463
- Lifetime Montessori School: https://lifetimemontessorischool.com/toddler-program-1
- LePort Montessori School: https://www.yelp.com/biz/leport-montessori-school-solana-beach-del-mar
- La Jolla Forest School: https://www.yelp.com/biz/la-jolla-forest-school-san-diego
- Gluck Maxwell and Muriel Child Care Center: https://www.yelp.com/biz/gluck-maxwell-h-and-muriel-child-care-center-san-diego?osq=infant+and+baby+day+care
- The Kids Bay Learning Center: https://www.yelp.com/biz/the-kids-bay-learning-center-san-diego?osq=infant+and+baby+day+care
- Mary Lyakov, Licensed family child care: https://www.yelp.com/biz/lyakov-mary-licenced-family-child-care-san-diego?osq=infant+and+baby+day+care
- Del Mar Childcare: https://www.yelp.com/biz/del-mar-childcare-del-mar-2?osq=infant+and+baby+day+care
- The Goddard School: https://www.goddardschool.com/classrooms/infant
- The Kid’s Bay: http://thekidsbay.com/our-programs/infanttoddler