Dad’s Groups

It is time we showed the Dad’s of the Nappy Shoppe community some love.  For some time now we have offered support for the mothers in our community, with breastfeeding support groups, post par-tum support groups, and mums groups.  Now that we have a dad on the Nappy Shoppe team, we can finally offer some groups JUST for Dads!

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First off is our Dad’s group.  This is a FREE group.  Just come and hang out in our classroom with other dads.  You can bring your little ones if you wish.  We have toys for the toddlers.  We will have refreshments as well.  Mat, the Dad on our team will be there to share and commiserate etc.

 

Second is our “Boobs and Beer” event.  This is actually a class.  For this one we will be serving craft beers and snacks.  Mat, our “teacher” will be talking about cloth diapering, babywearing and how to support wives while nursing etc.  This class is aimed at expectant and new dads, but all dads are welcome.  This is a dad’s night out, so please no little ones.  Cost for this one is $5.  Book your spot on our classes page.

Dad’s we hope to see you come and attend.  Help us build as great a Dad community as we have a Mum’s community.

matandbaylorAnd a little about Mat, our Dad on the team.

Mat York is the father of two, Baylor who was born in 2012 and Miles who was born in 2015.  He and his wife Jordan have been coming into the Shoppe since Baylor was a baby.

 

The Decision to Wean – Not one to be judged

Recently on one of our private groups, one of our mothers posted about her decision to wean, and her fear of being judged for her decision.  I asked her if I could share her thoughts.  The decision of when to wean is a personal one, and not one that others should judge on.  So I am thankful to Alica S, for sharing her story.

Alicia S wrote “I apologize in advance, but this will be a long post. The subject of this post, though, is something that I feel is an important addition to this community. So here goes…

I love breastfeeding. I really do. But if you would have told me that I would get to this point when my baby was 3, 4, 5, 6 weeks old, I would have stared at in you disbelief. It was hard, harder than I ever could have imagined. And I struggled through days and nights, not even bothering to hold back the tears. I began to really worry that I wouldn’t make it to my original breastfeeding goal: 6 months. But then, somehow, it got better. I went back to work part-time (3 days a week) when my baby was 8 weeks old. We found a system and a schedule that worked for us. But it still hasn’t been easy. I have fought for it every step of the way. Less than 2 months after I went back to work, I began to have difficulty with pumping. I changed every part, valve, piece I could find. I rented a hospital-grade pump. I should have bought stock in coconut water because I started drinking it like it was going out of style. I took supplements, I upped my water intake. But I still didn’t pump effectively. But I was able to continue breastfeeding because I was only working part-time.

I don’t know what I would have done without the support I found through the Nappy Shoppe…PPD group, new mom group, and the friends I’ve made have helped me immensely. I was always a supporter of breastfeeding, and I knew intellectually that “breast is best.” Now, however, I am more than just a supporter; I am an advocate. And my baby is 8 months old and I have sustained her for her entire life.

I say all this to tell you where I’m coming from. I love breastfeeding. I love that time with my daughter. But I’m making the decision that it’s time to stop. I go back to work full-time in October and I know that I won’t be able to pump enough to fill her ever-increasing bottles. And I’m ok with my decision. I will cry, I will be jealous when I see a mama nursing her baby, but I will also look at her and be filled with self-pride. I did more than I ever thought possible. I gave my baby the best for 8 months, and I’m damn proud of that. And it’s ok for me to stop. I’m sure some of you will say that I could do more. You’re right, I probably could. But not without sacrificing the diminishing time I get to spend with my daughter once I work more. And that seems counter intuitive. Some of you may even offer me some of your milk. I will be grateful and overwhelmed by your generosity. But I won’t be able to take it. I know there are other mamas that need it much more than we do.

So for all the moms in this group who struggle, you are doing an amazing job. But if it becomes too much; if you have weighed all the factors and feel that continuing to breastfeed puts more stress and strain on your already frazzled nerves, it’s ok to stop. You will still find support and another mom to look at you and say, “You did a damn fine job. You gave your baby something incredible.”

Alicia

Alicia and her daughter Ellisyn.

 

A little while back, a new mama posted here that she was fighting and struggling and asked if she was crazy for wanting to stop breastfeeding. I was afraid to tell her, no, you’re not crazy for doing everything you can and hitting your limit. I was afraid of looking unsupportive if I told her it’s ok to stop. But sometimes, giving a mama grace to do what she feels is best is the most supportive thing you can do. Even if you don’t agree with that decision.”

About Alicia

Alicia writes “My name is Alicia Schulze, and even 8 months into this crazy new life, calling myself Ellisyn’s mother is still something I’m getting used to! I love taking walks with my husband, our daughter, and our pup. I can’t imagine trying to function without caffeine, especially since my to-do list is always longer than there are hours in the day. Everyday, I try to remind myself of the best piece of parenting advice, which was bestowed upon me by the incredible Nappy Shoppe community – Give yourself grace, mama; grace to make mistakes and learn from them, grace to revel in your successes with the support of a mama tribe.”

Sarah on Breastfeeding

Sarah C, is one of our regulars at the store, well loved by all of the team here.  She has kindly shared her experiences starting out with breastfeeding and how the Nappy Shoppe breastfeeding cafe helped her.  See below for more about her.

 Sarah writes:

There are a lot of breastfeeding-related things out, these days. Should you, shouldn’t you? Benefits, health reasons, ability. Should you nurse in public? Should you cover up? Endless women spending countless hours worrying about OTHER PEOPLE’S feelings and beliefs about breastfeeding, when the truth is, it’s hard enough as it is without trying to consider how someone else feels about your boobs.

The thing is, when I was pregnant, I just KNEW I wanted to breastfeed. And, as it goes when one is pregnant, literally EVERYONE ELSE was an expert on the matter. Tips on how to nurse, how long to nurse, when to wean, how to wean, what to eat to help promote lactation, how I would have to be sober for yet ANOTHER year. (Trust me, I knew that one.) But then, I was discouraged by more than a few. “Your boobs are gonna look like pancakes.” “You won’t lose weight until after you’re done lactating.” Like… mind your own tits.

What not one single person told me was, BREASTFEEDING IS HARD. Like, actually physically having a tiny human with superhero suction powers latch on to a super sensitive part of my body that is tender and, up until recently, was kind of just a sex thing. Nobody told me that my nipples would crack, and bleed, and that I would dread the baby’s hunger cues because I knew the pain that was en route. I didn’t think it was normal to cry at every feeding (which, with a newborn, is every two hours. Yeah.) Some nights I would sit on the couch and feed her so my crying wouldn’t wake up my husband. Some nights, the crying woke him up anyway.

Something else I didn’t know was there is help available. My midwife sent me to the Nappy Shoppe to their breastfeeding support group, the Breastfeeding Café. There, I found a group of women who, like me, were new to nursing and were dealing with a lot of the same issues I was.

IT WAS ALL NORMAL.

Yep. Aaaallll normal. I mean, obviously not normal in the sense of being the desired objective, but my struggles were par for the course in new motherhood. The lactation consultants (Cheyenne and Lydia) helped me reposition, rearrange and renew my faith in my ability to breastfeed. Two weeks after my first attendance, I had my first painless night. And the next night, ALSO painless. Sweet Mercy! I can do this!

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I was by no means done with that support group. I stayed until my baby was twice the size of the new nurslings. I stayed until I had every faith and every confidence in our nursing relationship. I stayed, and was welcome. I found a circle of friends, confidants, and cohorts that I still turn to today for all things baby and nursing and motherhood related. We have been going for nine months strong and see no signs of stopping. I can truly say, to any mother beginning her breastfeeding journey, or feeling lost in an existing one, GO GET HELP. You can do this. No matter where you choose to feed your baby, or who tells you you can or can’t, you can do it. It DOES get better.

sarahcarlock2

Sarah C writes about herself “My name is Sarah Carlock, mama of one Lily Rose, who constantly reminds me of my rookie status as a parent. She teaches me new things every day, which is find by me. I’m a knowledge junkie and a natural parenting enthusiast. I’m a babywearer, a breastfeeder, and aspiring doula. I am also a music lover, coffee fiend, beer drinker and a foodie.  My husband is either really lucky and a saint or has funny taste in women, but together, sometimes we make magic. “

Breastmilk Pops for Teething

Teething is a common reason many folk come into the Nappy Shoppe.  They come for teething tablets, amber, silicone jewelry and teething tablets.  Recently on one of our mums boards, several of the girls shared about how they made breastmilk pops to sooth sore gums.  Jess A, kindly wrote for me, her how to make breastmilk pops.

Jess writes “One of Abi’s favorite things to help her with the discomfort of teething has been breastmilk pops!

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Initially, I had trouble getting the breastmilk from the bottle to the ice cube tray so I improvised and used the flange from my pump as a funnel!

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The fun part for me is using cute ice cube trays so the breastmilk pops make fun shapes. However, any ice cube tray will do the trick.  

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Give it about an hour or two for the breastmilk to freeze and then put it in a mesh container and BAM! You have a happy baby.  I hope y’all have as much fun with it as we do!

About Jess A.

jessruthJess writes “I’m Jess. Wife to Marshall and mommy to 7 month old Abigail. I am a first time mom.  A stay-at-home mom (I hadn’t planned on that) trying to figure out this whole parenting gig. It’s hard!  Even though it is hard, there are sweet moments where this little bitty human steals my heart and takes my breath away and I wouldn’t trade that for the world.”

 

 

We won an award!

1149015_10151778333373416_737603552_nThe Dallas Area Breastfeeding Alliance (DABA) on August 12th 2013 honoured Nappy Shoppe with an award for our support of Breastfeeding mothers in the Dallas area.

The Dallas Area Breastfeeding Alliance is a non profit group. The mission of the Dallas Area Breastfeeding Alliance is to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding in the Greater Dallas Area.  They work closely with WIC as well.

We received a wonderful plaque for display in the store.  The plaque says:

Recognition Award Presented to Nappy Shoppe

On Behalf of Dallas Area Breastfeeding Alliance

In recognition of your Exceptional Support to Nursing Mothers.

Commemorating World Breastfeeding MOnth

Breastfeeding Support Close to Mothers

August 2013

 

We received the award at a luncheon.  And they ran a little video at the award.

 

We made the news!

On August 3rd 2013 we hosted the Big Latch On event at Nappy Shoppe.  We were honoured to contribute to breaking a world record for the most babies breastfeeding simultaneously.  Over 14,000 babies world wide.  We broke our in store record over last year.  Last year we had over 50 babies register, 48 of them stayed at the breast.  This year we had 89 babies registered and 67 of them stayed at the breast for the full minute.

The day before the event, a woman breastfeeding her baby at a rec center in Burleson Texas, was told to stop by an employee.  Amazingly her husband caught it on his phone.  They uploaded it to you tube and it went viral.  You can see the original video of that here.

 

 

Various news stations picked up the story.  And as a result Fox 4 came to our Big Latch On event.  We were really impressed with the crew, they treated all of us with respect, took the time to talk to employee and customers about what happened.  And presented the store in a good light.  Fox 4 did a great job of pushing forward the cause to make breastfeeding the norm.

You can read the article here on Fox 4.

 

Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Bethany’s Story – How to (sort-of) be an Attached Parent

Bethany is one of the girls who works at Nappy Shoppe.  She has been with us since 2012.  Her son Hendrik was born in late 2011.  Originally from Illinois, she moved down to the DFW area while pregnant with Hendrik.  In doing so, she took herself away from all her known resources.  This  is her story, and as she states in it, she fully expects a different outcome with her next baby, because now she has made friends in the area, including her co-workers at Nappy Shoppe.  She shares her story in the hopes that it helps others feel better when not everything goes according to plan.  Bethany is a wonderful mother.  Read on for her story …

Bethany and her husband Travis, and her son Hendrik.

Bethany and her husband Travis, and her son Hendrik.

I, like so many moms-to-be, whole heartedly assumed I would breastfeed until my child weaned himself. I abhorred formula and bottles. I had lovely Bravado nursing bras and tank tops and nursing pads and the Boppy pillow (the My Brest Friend is better, in my opinion, by the way). I read probably half a dozen breastfeeding books, chatted online with other lactating mommies, and went to La Leche League every time the doors were open. I was ready.

When my baby was finally born, unfortunately it was via cesarean section. I was devastated, and we can go ahead and subtract 10 points from my Crunchy Mama Scale. Luckily, he was so healthy, plump and beautiful. We initiated breastfeeding as soon as we could. I had been told that I would need a nipple shield, and blindly took the advice. I was never even encouraged to attempt a latch without it. By the time we left the hospital, I was so engorged, I literally could not place my arms by my side. My maternity top I wore home from the hospital was stretched so tightly I thought it would burst at the seams.

So we nursed, and nursed and nursed, as newborns do, every 1.5- 2 hours or so. The pain was excruciating, and only got worse as the days and weeks wore on. I remember having permanent knots in my stomach dreading the next feeding and crying the entire time he nursed. My husband gave me sips of ice water to distract from the pain. I went to the weekly breastfeeding groups, thank God, because the lovely lactation nurse caught my mastitis in its very early stages. I was placed on a round of antibiotics, which cured the infection, but not the pain. I went to the nurse practitioner at the pediatrician’s office for help with the latch, which was fine when someone was helping me, but not so much when I was alone. Same for La Leche meetings; I could get a good latch with assistance, but when we got home it was a different story.

The point of this post is not to discourage anyone from going to a lactation nurse or La Leche meetings, in fact, it’s quite the opposite. I am confident that had I not had that support, I would’ve had to stop breastfeeding much sooner than I did. The support groups are there. Find them. Go to them. Call them. Just do it.

Hendrik at around 10 months.

Hendrik at around 10 months.

The final straw was early one morning, before the sun was even up, after yet another unsuccessful latch, I pumped. My breasts felt like gigantic bags of marbles. I had warm compresses on each breast as I pumped. I pumped for 20 minutes and got a combined half of an ounce. I gave in and called my doctor. He is a wonderful man who knows me and the desires of my heart as a mother. He said, “Bethany, it’s time to stop. Your baby will be fine. You’ve done all you can do and it’s draining you physically and emotionally. You need to be happy and healthy for your baby. It will be ok”. My heart was broken. I still say that was probably the worst day of my life. Dramatic or not, that’s how I felt. As devastated as I was, and really still am, over the end of my nursing days, it was almost like I was ready for someone to tell me that it would be alright.

And I gave my sweet baby boy his first bottle of formula. Gasp!!! And you know what? He couldn’t have cared less. I know a lot of babies will not take a bottle, and I am so grateful that my little guy did. It’s like he knew I couldn’t, at that point, handle one more hurdle.

Yes, formula is expensive. Yes, it’s full of ‘chemicals’. Yes, I miss that skin to skin bond with him. But I don’t miss the pain, the tears or the ever-present anxiety and dread of the next feeding session. So I’ve done the best I can with what I have.

We loved doing skin-to-skin time in the Moby wrap. Oh, heavenly! I loved to snuggle up with him, fresh and warm from his bath, wrapped closely next to my non-lactating breasts. When feeding him his bottles, I would hold him in the cradle hold as if I was nursing, often with the support of the Boppy pillow, and kiss his sweet forehead. Never once did I ever prop his bottle under his chin and walk away. Never did I purchase that horrible contraption that hangs from the handle of the car seat and holds the bottle in the baby’s mouth. We don’t practice co-sleeping, and I don’t have any issue with anyone who does; it just wasn’t right for our family. But we do love to babywear and we enjoy that special physical closeness so much.

I’ve learned so much in this first year of motherhood.

#1: Don’t judge. You don’t know what you don’t know. Everyone you meet is facing some sort of battle.

#2: I now know that my breastfeeding issues were probably due to overproduction. Being new to the area, I didn’t know all of the resources I had. I have so many more experienced moms, lactation consultants and La Leche friends now, and I can call them at any time I have a question. I also recently learned about milk sharing. There are two wonderful groups with chapters in the North Texas area; Human Milk 4 Human Babies and Eats on Feets. There are lots of lactating mommies out there who would’ve been happy to donate milk to my baby in our time of need.

#3: Attachment parenting doesn’t always have to be so black and white. I love the theory and support it fully, but what happens when one portion of it fails? What about moms who’ve had breast surgeries and cannot breastfeed? What about parents who have serious back issues and cannot baby wear? Can they still be attached parents? YES, YES, YES.

Bethany and "Santa" with baby Hendrik at 1 year old.

Bethany and “Santa” with baby Hendrik at 1 year old.

For me, being an attached parent means attending to your baby’s needs as quickly and as lovingly as possible. Breastfeed if you can, it really is the best. Not to mention cheapest and most hassle-free (ugh washing bottles and toting formula powder everywhere!!). Babywear if you can. Co-sleep if it’s right for you. But please don’t judge. We’re all in this together, learning, trying to be the best parents we can be and we love our little ones to the ends of the earth. At least I do. :)

The Big Latch On

Come join us for a fun event to help set a record for the number of moms breastfeeding simultaneously! We will have prizes and this is a great time to meet other breastfeeding moms!

Brought to you by the North DFW Babywearers and Nappy Shoppe.

When: Saturday August 4th

Time: 10 am

Where: Nappy Shoppe, 3253 Independence Parkway, Plano Texas 75075

Please make sure to arrive by 10:00am for registration.

 

Contact Ryley or Cheyenne at Northdfwbabywearers@gmail.com with any questions

 

For more information:

http://biglatchon.org/locations/the-big-latch-on-hosted-by-north-dfw-babywearers-and-sponsered-by-nappy-shoppe-1

Crunchy Oatmeal, Flax seed and Mini M&M Cookies

I felt like I was on an episode of chopped, handed a basket with oatmeal, M&Ms and organic flax seed and told to make a tasty cookie.  So I adapted a recipe that I did from a couple of weeks ago to make these.  And somehow they came out tasting completely different, with a whole new crunchy texture.  My husband when told they had flax seed in them, was hesitant to try them, then managed to scarf down half the batch.  The 4 year old tried to take off with the container of the cookies set aside for the Breastfeeding Cafe!  So they passed the fussy dad and kid test.

Why add flax seed?

The following was taken from www.flaxhealth.com

  1. Flax is very high in lignans, which have anti-tumor properties—lignans act as antioxidants that could mirror the results of Tamoxifen, the anti-cancer drug for breast cancer.
  2. Flax is a natural food that has been consumed for thousands of years by many civilizations with noticeable health benefits and no artificial drug side effects.
  3. Omega 3’s—flax is recognized as the richest source of essential fatty acids (EFAs) such as alphalinolenic acid (ALA and Omega-3 fatty acids).
  4. Lignans—flax contains high levels of lignans, which are natural compounds that help prevent many types of cancer, such as breast, colon and prostate cancer.
  5. Fiber—as a whole grain, flax contains high levels of both soluble and insoluble fiber, which has been recognized by the National Cancer Institute as an essential part of your diet for the prevention of many cancers.
  6. Your body cannot make the essential fatty acids, Linoleic (Omega-6) or Linolenic (Omega-3), from other elements; instead, they must be consumed as part of your daily diet. Research has indicated that we consume too much Omega-6’s and not enough Omega-3’s, but flaxseed contains these essential fatty acids in perfect balance.
  7. In proper balance, omega-3’s and omega-6’s work to form the membranes of every cell in your body, play a vital role in the active tissues of your brain, and control the way cholesterol works in your system.

Prep Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 75 mins
Makes: 6 Dozen

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of  butter, softened
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 cup of brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups AP Flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 cups of roll oats (uncooked)
  • 1 packet of mini M&Ms
  • 6 teaspoons of organic flax seed.

Directions

Preheat Oven to 375F
Soak the flax seed in enough water to cover the seed.
Cream Butter  and sugars until smooth.
Beat in Eggs and Vanilla.
Sift flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Beat into creamed mixture. Stir in oats and M&Ms.
Drain the flax seed and mix in to the batter.
Drop spoonfuls onto greased baking sheet.
Bake 10  minutes.