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  • My breastfeeding journey + FREE guide for new moms

    I am writing this post because I hope it helps another mom-to-be to

    • Know that it is ok to struggle with breastfeeding and does not make you less of a mother
    • Be more equipped with information that would be helpful in getting a breastfeeding plan in place

    FIRST BREASTFEEDING EXPERIENCE

    With my first baby, I was totally ignorant about breastfeeding for newborns. It all seemed so natural and obvious that milk would be flowing like a tap, as and when I needed it. Shock on me, when my son got to two weeks, and my milk supply almost dried up.

    I was so devastated, had no idea what to do, and being a first time mom was not any easier. Although I had a strong support system with my husband’s family being around, I did not have a solid breastfeeding plan.

    We tried everything: vegetable soups, hot water, bone marrow soup, lactation cookies, fenugreek (urgh), you name it! None of these seemed to do the trick, and my son was soon becoming frustrated, ugh. And so, I resorted to Youtube for answers.

    FINDING A SOLUTION

    I was surprised at how much work and effort these moms put into their breastfeeding journey. It made me look like a total joke. However, watching these youtube videos was so inspiring, because I knew that I could achieve the same results if I was intentional about it.

    I knew that I did not put much intention to it before. I honestly, but ignorantly thought that milk supply came naturally all the time. So I realised the mistakes that I made earlier on, and worked on them to get a breastfeeding plan which worked for me:

    • Not establishing enough supply early on once my son was born
    • Allowing visitors to stop me from breastfeeding and expressing milk often enough
    • Feeling guilty when I rested during the day
    • Feeling stressed when I lost my milk supply, which made the situation even worse

    I quickly came up with a feeding and expressing routine to try and get back to the days when I had enough milk for my son. I also tried to get a good “hospital grade” breast pump, which I had no idea about before I did this research.

    This time round, I came well prepared to the breastfeeding game!

    I bought all the breastfeeding essentials this time round, early enough to be able to start my breastfeeding plan from day 1.

    BREASTFEEDING ESSENTIALS

    If you are based in Kenya, you can use savostore.com to ship these items for you from USA to Kenya:

    Pumpables double electric breastpump: I cannot stress how much having a hospital grade breastpump helped me to get much more milk out in a shorter space of time than the normal pumps. I am super excited to try out this brand. I will definitely come back with a review once I start using it. –>https://pumpables.kckb.st/62810b90

    Pumping bra: All you need to do is wear this bra, put your breastpump in the holes of the bra, which are quite secure, and start pumping. You can then watch your favourite Youtube channel or listen to soothing music as you pump away. ->https://amzn.to/2YnbovB

    Lansinoh Nipple cream: I did not have a lot of nipple issues with my first delivery, as my son was able to latch on to them quite easily. This nipple cream however, helped in reducing the soreness that came after pumping sessions. -> https://amzn.to/2xoMFMn

    Lansinoh breast therapy pads: I remember desperately trying to encourage milk let-downs by putting warm face towels on my breasts. The breast pads look like a more convenient option with 3 different uses. 1) You can easily warm them in a microwave and placed on your breasts to encourage milk let-down. 2) You can also used them when cold, to relieve pain and swelling. 3) You can use them while expressing milk, to help increase the rate of the milk flow. The warmth from the breast pads is meant to open up your breast ducts much quicker than they would open up normally. I will be using these breast pads for the first time. So, I will definitely leave a review of whether they have lived up to their promise. -> https://amzn.to/2SoMVlK

    Lansinoh breast milk storage bags: Besides being a working mom, being able to store your breastmilk will give you the flexibility of sharing the feeding responsibilities with other people in your home. I traveled to Cape Town for 4 days when my son was 4 months, while still exclusively on breast milk. This was only possible, as I used these storage bags to store enough expressed milk for his feeds while away. ->https://amzn.to/2ylq1VA

    Lansinoh breast pads: These do not really help in breastfeeding, but they just help in keeping you from having embarrassing stains on your shirt from milk leakages or let-downs that happen outside of your breastfeeding sessions -> https://amzn.to/2WvVUTM

    Haakaa manual breast pump: this is something new for me, but I often experienced the frustration of having let-down on one breast as I breastfed on the other. If you have breastfed before, I am sure you can relate to the feeling of losing “liquid gold” from milk let-downs. I will be using this pump for this purpose, which has come in with a lot of great reviews online. Some moms also use it as a manual breast pump. I don’t think I have the patience for manually expressing milk. ->https://amzn.to/3f9Impc

    Bravissimo nursing bras: I have shopped from Bravissimo ever since I heard about them 7 years ago! I often have size problems, as my cup is a size G, GG or H when I am breastfeeding. Bravissimo has always come through with bras that give enough underwire support for plus size ladies like me. Plus, their bras are so cute-looking! I am looking forward to using these nursing bras. >https://www.bravissimo.com/collections/nursing-and-maternity-bras/

    Mother's guide to breastfeeding and pumping, from thisisrebeccakay.com

    I have finally been able to put all my thoughts into one single guide, that I hope will be useful for moms who struggle to get a sufficient milk supply. The link to the guide is here -> https://www.subscribepage.com/breastfeeding-and-pumping-by-rebeccakay

    IN CONCLUSION

    If you are a mom on a breastfeeding plan, or exclusively pumping journey, please share any other tips that may help other moms in our community. We are all learning, and I believe that breastfeeding can be a pleasant journey if you have the right information!

    DISCLAIMER

    This post contains affiliate links. Affiliate links cost you no more but a small percentage of the sale may go to me.

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  • My Pregnancy delivery plans and #Coronavirus

    newborn baby haul and items that I have bought in advance, including huggies diapers, sterilisers and Aveeno bath creams

    With the impacts of #Coronavirus far reaching on how we will work, how business will operate and how we will interact with one another, it would be ignorant to not start making contingency plans about my pregnancy delivery, that is happening in a few days’ time.

    Here are a few things I have done to prepare in advance for my pregnancy delivery:

    Pregnancy delivery contingency plans
    1. We booked our hospital bed this weekend, and we are hoping that there will be space for us when we eventually check in, in a few days’ time.
    2. I have stocked up on my favourite Huggies diapers for newborns – enough for a month.
    3. I have stocked up on imported newborn essentials such as sterilising tablets, cotton wool, bathing creams.
    4. We have bought the most common medicines that we found ourselves buying with our first child: meds like paracetamol and colic-relieving medicines, and pain killers for anyone in the house.
    5. We will probably not have any visitors outside of close family in the first few days of our babies’ arrivals. This is one of the plans that may or may not happen according to plan. However, I think most of our friends and family will support this decision.
    6. We have two dispensers of hand sanitiser outside the baby room and at the main entrance of our home. Our son has been happily enforcing the new hand sanitizing rule as people enter our house ????
    7. I have not bought any formula, as I am planning on breastfeeding and expressing from day 1.

    Tag an expectant mommy who may find this list useful, in the comments section. As always, keep safe and follow the hygiene and other rules and guidelines that your country has communicated.

    Remember….

    Read and follow updates from reputable media sources, and try to disconnect if it becomes overwhelming for you. Being informed with factual and up-to-date information will definitely reduce the chances of anything happening to you and your baby if you are expectant. #donotpanic

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  • I have just packed my hospital bag…it’s almost time!

    What is in my hospital bag for twin delivery

    So I took some time this week to carefully pack my hospital bag that I never got to pack with my first pregnancy (story for another day y’all). This time I am all about not getting caught by surprise! The bag is already in the car, so even if we need to go in for an emergency operation, I will not have to worry about where everything is…

    In Kenya, I have not found a store where I could get a one-stop kit so I prepared a list and got almost everything from Amazon during the Black Friday specials. Links* for the stuff I got from Amazon are below.

    I am loving the baby bag that I got from Meinkind. It’s actually a backpack, which I thought would be easier on my shoulders than the usual sling-type baby bags. I will probably be able to use this bag and THIS bag alone for the first 3 months. I have often seen twin moms carrying 2-3 bags, and I hope my life does not get to that.

    Babies’ hospital bag:
    Twin baby clothes and accessories for hospital delivery
    My hospital bag:
    • Pumpables expressing pump (I plan to express from day 1)
    • Milk bottles (in case the babies take time learning how to latch for breastfeeding)
    • Water bottle
    • Slippers
    • Two open dresses
    • Nursing bras
    • Breast pads
    • Disposable undies
    • My cosmetic bag with the usual skin+face care+hygiene items
    • iPhone charger and power adaptor

    I am curious to know what other moms pack in their hospital bag, hopefully I have not forgotten anything! Let me know in the comments below, what your thoughts are and advice on anything else I might need while in hospital?

    * This post contains affiliate links which earn me a small commission, at no extra cost to you.

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  • Self Care Tips During Pregnancy

    This is Rebecca Kay at prenatal swimming lessons in Nairobi

    I literally stepped out of the gym once I found out that I was pregnant, mostly for fear of overworking myself during my first trimester…

    I have not gone back, and I miss it dearly, but I found a prenatal swimming class in Nairobi, that has helped relieve the guilty feeling of not doing any exercising in this pregnancy.

    I also made a point of maintaining a healthy mind, and tried to control my food cravings, which I have since learnt are somewhat controllable…

    What do you do to keep a healthy mind and body? Share with us in the comments below

    Here’s a full list of other self care activities that have taken me through this pregnancy.

    self care tips during pregnancy

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