Monday, June 25, 2012

Going "No 'Poo"

After searching the web for a natural solution to my new overly oily scalp problem, I stumbled upon a Crunchy Betty post about going shampoo less. considering the years of trouble over my scalp, and recalling a friend of mine who went no 'poo and has fabulous hair, I have decided to take the plunge.

First I would like to mention that my husband was far less excited about my new journey into the realm of 'pooless hair. I'm sure he's thinking, "I didn't know I married a hippy." But he is supporting me, as he sees I am desperate for a long term solution.

So I have gone 6 days with out shampoo. The first day I used Coconut butter wash on my hair. It's just coconut butter and castile soap. That relieved the itching and the flaking. The next night I used a baking soda was, one table spoon baking soda 3 cups water, Which left my hair beautiful and unitchy. Then I didn't wash it for 3 days. That was difficult. I kept telling myself my hair didn't look gross. I really hope it didn't. If it did, I'm sorry to all the people I encountered. Then my head was itchy again, so I sort of over did it. I first did a baking soda wash, the greasiness was killing me, and then a coconut butter wash, then rinsed with Apple cider vinegar, 1 tbl spoon acv and 2 cups water. I am back to a moderately tolerable look, but my scalp feels great.

I'm giving my scalp three weeks to get used to this. If it works, I will never go back.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

How to Breastfeed

When I had my first child I did not know how to nurse. I am a very independent person, and I think that I can just figure things out as I go, but somethings are difficult to do if you were never taught. My mother breastfed 7 kids, most until 2 or 3 years old. My sisters breastfed their kids, and my sister-in-law breastfed hers, so I thought breastfeeding would be easy and come naturally. It didn't. I had no idea what I was doing, and to make it worse, I didn't seek out help from my sisters until a terrible latching habit was already formed.

 The truth is, as much as I was exposed to breastfeeding, I never experienced it the way  that women in other cultures experience it. I never watched a baby latch on, at least not since my mother nursed my brother when I was four, and that had hindered my ability to latch a baby right. A lactation consultant can help you and tell you what to do and how to do it, but if you don't see it, I think it's pretty difficult. Unless the lactation consultant has experienced nursing herself, I think she is at a huge disadvantage.

I have 4 children. All have been, or in the case of my newbie are, nursed. From my limited experiance here are my suggestions.

1. Use a nursing pillow. This will be a lot easier if you don't have other kids. Sit up straight propped with pillows (on a bed or feet up on the couch) and sit cross legged. make sure your back has a lot of support and then snug that nursing pillow around your waist. Then have someone hand you your baby. Have some extra pillows handy you may need them.

(optional) This may seems silly but it will help with bonding, take off your shirt and your baby should be in only in a diaper with warm blankets to wrap him to you. The skin to skin contact will help you bond.

2. Cradle the baby's head in the crook of your arm, and turn his body so that his tummy is touching your tummy.

3. Lift him up to your breasts. ( At this point your baby should be cradled his tummy against your rib cage right under your breasts) The nursing pillow helps with this. Prop more pillows under him and/or under your arm, if you need to, for comfort.

4. Hold your fingers in a V, first and middle fingers. (It's common to do a C hold with finger and thumb, if that's more comfortable use that. I just found the V hold more comfortable for me) Hold your nipple.

5. Use your nipple to gently push your baby's bottom lip down to open, then pull him on to your breast getting the entire areola in his mouth. Always bring baby to breast not breast to baby, this is something I did not do with my first, which is one of the reasons I had such incredibly painful breastfeeding run. 23 months of varying degrees of painful breastfeeding.

Repeat step five until baby's latched on to complete nipple and the latch feels 'right'. I know it's hard to tell if it's right with your first. There should be a general lack of pain, though you might have initial pain if you're nipples are cracked or sore. olive oil and coconut oil are good treatments. Lactation consultants and doulas know of other things that might work even better.

Once Breastfeeding becomes more reflexive you wont need to do this in such an elaborate way. All you will have to do is sit, lift, and latch.