Tuesday, February 16, 2016

How to Get Rid of Clogged Ducts and Prevent Mastitis

Milk. One of the biggest struggles of new moms who choose to breastfeed. There are many posts on how to increase your milk supply, but having too much milk can be just as much of a problem.

In the beginning, I thought I didn't have enough milk because Nicky would constantly cry. So I started drinking teas and gallons of water, eating salmon and oatmeal, and pumping to increase my supply. Now I know that his crying had nothing to do with milk - it's just what newborns do.

However, I managed to increase my supply to as much as 10 oz on each side, and that's after feeding the baby!! While those are some amazing numbers, what wasn't so amazing is how much I had to pump. And the more I pumped the more milk I got. It got to the point that if I was an hour late to my date with Medela, I would start getting lumps in my breasts.

One night, I was so tired that I skipped the midnight pumping and just went to bed. I woke up at 4 am, on fire and shaking. My breast was hurting and was solid as a rock. I was diagnosed with mastitis and spent the next few days in bed on antibiotics, with baby latched on and massaging away.

Two weeks later, I finally started feeling better. However, in a month, the fever and clogged ducts came back. I was in so much pain and I cried for days because I knew I wouldn't be able to go through this again. I wanted to breastfeed, but I didn't want to be constantly on antibiotics and attached to the pump for the fear of getting another clog.

After a lot of research and personal trials and errors, I finally figured out how to fight mastitis.

1. Lecithin. Imagine there was a pill that would prevent clogs from happening. Well, there is one! Lecithin is a dietary supplement that basically prevents fatty tissue from sticking together. One pill a day can be used as a prophylactic against clogged ducts. If you feel one forming already, take three pills to help it resolve.

2. Pump - away. Milk is a supply and demand kind of thing. Your body will make what you express and more. So, don't express more than you need thus creating an oversupply. When you do pump, make sure to take all the parts apart (including valves and membranes!) and wash and dry thoroughly.

3. Feed from different angles. I used to feed only in the cradle hold position. When the clog formed, it appeared on the side of the breast where baby wasn't draining the milk from. So alternate between cradle and football hold to make sure baby gets the milk out throughout the breast. This is where the nursing pillow really comes in handy!

4. Avoid tight clothes and underwire. At least for the first few months, wear nursing bras and loose clothes. If you decide to wear a waist trainer, leave the top few hooks unfastened.

If you already have a clog:

1. Put the baby on the breast. If you have a good latch, baby's suction can be far more powerful than any pump. Contact a lactation consultant if you are having issues with baby draining milk, they can make a world of a difference!
As mentioned above, feed from every angle, including dangle feed (lay your little one on the floor, hunch over the baby on all fours and feed. Sounds ridiculous but works wonders).

2. Heat and cold. Apply heat before feeding, to stimulate let down and cold after to stop more milk from coming in. I used something called Booby tubes which helped a lot.

3. Vibration. You need to break up the clog. If you can't massage it out by hand, try to massage it with something that vibrates, like an electric toothbrush or razor.

4. Kinesiology tape. Athletes use this tape to heal injuries. It lifts the skin slightly, increasing the space below it to increase circulation. When applied on the breast, it does the same with milk circulation. Take small strips of the tape, stretch and apply over the lump away from the nipple (image you are drawing rays of a sun, where you nipple is the sun)

5. If you have a fever, call your OB-GYN immediately! At this point you have not only a clog but also an infection and need an antibiotic. Your doctor will prescribe one that doesn't transfer through breast milk (i.e. dicloxacillin) and thus is safe for your to take while nursing.

Good luck mama, and feel better!!


Monday, February 8, 2016


Last week I got a pleasant surprise when Eva Chen, former Editor in chief of Lucky magazine, commented that she loved my Instagram hashtag #OurDailyFeet. This hashtag got started when I was trying to pass time as my son napped in the stroller about a year ago and now I use it to tag selfies of Nicky's and mine daily outfits. Recently, I've taken a short break from doing these photos daily as the weather has cast me into less photogenic UGGs and Sorels. Another reason for the pause is that Nicky is becoming significantly more difficult to capture :) However, when I saw Eva doing her #EvaChenPose with her daughter Ren, I realized it's time to bring #OurDailyFeet back!

Follow me on Instagram to see our new outfits and favorite shoes :)

Image courtesy of EvaChen212
Eva is wearing Adidas sneakers, her bag is Fendi and Ren's sneakers are New Balance

Here are some other ideas on how to coordinate shoes with your little one!

1. Timberlands: for baby and mama and daddy
2. Adidas: for baby and mama and daddy
3. Sophia Webster: flats for baby and heels for mama

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Sales Ending Soon!

Somehow my Nicholas grew out of all his winter clothes and we are only in beginning of February. As I browse all over the web looking for some jackets and sweaters in size 18-24 mo, I realized there are so many awesome kids' deals going on right now and I want to share them with you before they are over!

1. Ralph Lauren Dress  (get extra 25% off with code FEB25) - also sold here in little girls' sizes

2. Paul Smith Junior Giraffe Tee  (earn Saks gift card!)*

3. Sherpa Lined Moto Jacket (on sale + 20% off with code SPECIAL)  

4. Mini Melissa Mary Janes (earn Saks gift card!)*

5. Dolce Gabbana Kids Shoes  (earn Saks gift card!)*  //  6. Jacadi sweater on sale + Extra 20% off

7. Black Frost-Free Jacket, only $15!  (on sale + 20% off with code SPECIAL)  

8. Milly Swimsuit  &  9. Bonpoint wool sweater  (earn Saks gift card!)*

10. Bloch Shoes for little girls (earn Saks gift card!)*

11. Levis Hoodie & Jogger pants (take an extra 15-25% off with code RED )

* Today is the last day to earn Saks gift card up to $900 with purchase of $250 or more - Use Code FEB2016

GAP Sale:
1. Sweater dress  //  2. Vest  //  3. Parka  //  4. V-day Dress
Plus 40% off regular-priced merchandise with code DENIM

5. Purple Coat  // 6. Pink Jacket  //  7. Snow boots  //  8. Velour suit 

More Coupons:

Macys: 15-25% off with code RED
Ralph Lauren: Extra 25% off with code FEB25
Saks: earn Saks gift card up to $900 with purchase of $250 or more - Use Code FEB2016
Lord & Taylor: 20-25% off with code LTLOVE
Kohl's: $15 off $50 with code SWEET15
H&M: Free Shipping code: 3317 - shop their clearance!
Old Navy: Free Rush Shipping for cardholders with code NAVYIST
Carters: 20% off code: CART2016


A Toddler on a Train

EN: Few weeks ago I took my son on a trip to the City. To make it more adventurous, we took the train and the Staten Island Ferry. This commute took a little over an hour each way. I was nervous going so far away from home on my own because I didn't know how Nicky would handle it, so I took all the steps possible to prepare. Despite my worries, it turned out to be a great time for both of us. Nicky loved the train ride, looked out at the water and the sunset on the ferry and ran about all excited once we got to Battery Park downtown. Here is how I prepped for the trip:

RU: В прошлые выходные, мы с Николаем отправились в Манхэттен. Я хотела прокатить его на поезде и пароме, поэтому дорога у нас заняла почти полтора часа в каждую сторону. Я очень волновалась, сможет ли он это все выдержать, поэтому готовилась заранее и продумывала каждый шаг. Но, несмотря на мои переживания, съездили мы отлично. Николаю очень понравился поезд, он сидел на стуле и раскачивался в такт. На пароме он смотрел в окно, не оторвать. Ну, а когда мы доехали до Battery Park, в Downtowne, я выпустила его гонять и он был абсолютно счастлив. Вот как мы собирались в поездку:
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