There are a lot of truths about breastfeeding that we don't talk about. Nipple blisters and cracks are a couple of those things.

The truth about breastfeeding: Nipple blisters and cracks

You’ve just given birth. It’s entirely likely that you’re struggling to cough without being in immense pain or that you’re unable to pee without using a Peri-bottle to clean up.

Everything below your rib cage has been stretched out, torn up, and is inflicting a whole new sensation of pain that you’ve never experienced before.

Everything above your ribcage may be feeling a little tender at the moment, but the potential for pain that far surpasses anything during childbirth (thanks, Oxytocin) is lingering close by.

Pain in childbirth: we all know about that. We talk about it freely. We see it in movies. However, nobody talks about the pain you might feel after childbirth. Healing from birth, uterine contractions, and hip pains are often present once you’ve delivered baby, but what about breastfeeding?

First things first, this post is not meant to deter you from breastfeeding. The benefits far outweigh the negatives. This post is simply meant to prepare you for possible outcomes and how to prevent them!

I breastfed four babies for a total of many years, and I experienced a gamete of complications from blisters, to blocked ducts, to mastitis. My least favourite of all those experiences was cracked, blistered nipples, so that’s what we’re going to chat about here!

There are a lot of truths about breastfeeding that we don't talk about. Nipple blisters and cracks are a couple of those things.

First of all, this is a big, huge, massive reminder:

THIS IS A LEARNING PROCESS. You and your baby are learning how to breastfeed. Try to take a deep breath and give yourself grace and patience.

Okay, onto scary nipple blister talk.

A nipple blister is on the nipple or areola and is usually caused by a latch that is not quite correct. When baby’s mouth is not covering the correct amount of area on the areola their tongue and roof of their mouth pinches the nipple causing a blister. Cracks are developed the same way.

These nipple blisters and cracking can be no thang for some folks, but for others (like your old pal here) it can be absolutely excruciating.

Here are some steps for if you’re experiencing pain caused by nipple blisters and cracks:

(Hey, big ol’ P.S. here: I’m not a doctor. This is not medical advice. This is me sharing my experience and course of action for nipple blisters.)

  1. Keep breastfeeding. This will pass.
  2. Make sure you have a proper latch. This is a great video on how to get that latch. If you’re still struggling to get comfortable contact your local La Leche League, public health unit, or lactation consultant.
  3. Don’t pop that blister. It’s tempting, I know, but it’ll hurt a lot more in the long run. It’s best to leave it be. Plus, it probably looks pretty gnarly, so whenever your partner is complaining about ANYTHING you can just whip it out. You’ll be surprised how quickly the whining stops.
  4. Take a breastfeeding friendly pain relief medication. Goodness gracious, you’ve been through a lot. A little relief you deserve!
  5. Try different positions. Lay down. Football hold. Cradle hold. You may find some comfort in a different position as there won’t be so much friction on just one side.
  6. Go topless. Perhaps it’s wise to not do this in public, but when you’re at home try and get as much air to your nipples as possible. Also, when you’re done nursing express some breastmilk and let it dry on the nipple blister.
  7. If you’re concerned or the blister won’t go away go see your doctor. You have to take care of yourself to be able to take care of your babe.

I’ll tell ya: this can be a real mental challenge. I remember giving myself pep talks before nursing my baby when I had cracked, blistered nipples. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or to demand sympathy from anyone and everyone around you. (P.S. Feel free to message me on Facebook anytime with this request. I will happily offer you some commiseration.)

kids candy

The only candy you can’t sneak is Pop Rocks

This is a guest post by the hilarious Camille Atebe!

I love my kids. Really, I do. But their candy eating policies are complete bullshit.

You see, my kids are hoarders. Cherishers. Lingerers. They get a bag of candy and they ration themselves like total lunatics.

“Eat your candy,” I tell them, eyeing their stash greedily. You see, I’ve eaten all of mine already, plus gobbled down the mom tax that they gave up all too easily.

“No, that’s okay. I’ll save it for later.” Who are these creatures, I wonder. What foreign, sugar-averse womb did they crawl from, because surely it wasn’t mine.

Then they put their bags of precious sugary gold aside, and walk away.

I wait. I swear I do. I buy more candy for myself and I wait. Days go by. Weeks. Months sometimes. And I ask them, are you gonna eat that? Yes, they say. They take one small piece, close up the bag and walk away. I seethe, inwardly.

This is torture. I’m pretty sure the international courts would have something to say about it.

So, like any human, I cave.

I eat the candy.

It was clearly not wanted, the children never really intended to eat it. It may as well be eaten by someone who will truly appreciate it. And after all, I’m old. These children are young, they have their lives ahead of them, they need to stay healthy. But children have some sort of weird sixth sense, and as soon as I’ve eaten it, they find their sweet tooth and now remember that they have a candy stash and get all hurt and recriminating when they discover the stash gone.

So I have developed a strategy. A solid, foolproof strategy.

As soon as the stash is put away, I begin to sneak some, one piece at a time. It requires superhuman will power, but I manage it. So when I remind them, they have a bit, see that the stash has dwindled, and think that it is their doing. When they see me chewing and ask what I’m eating, I say carrots (when chomping hard candies) or figs (when chewing up gummy candies) and they go off on their way, none the wiser.

It was a great plan. It worked for a while. Then, I flew too close to the sun and got burned. I should have known, it stands to reason, but I have a degenerative brain disease called three kids and I didn’t even think about the ramifications of my actions.

I reached into the candy stash (leftover Halloween candy. In MARCH). Grabbed one of my favourites- Pop Rocks. Emptied the pouch into my mouth, hid the package in the middle of the garbage, and went about my business.

Enter child. “What are you eating?”

There are a lot of things that we can successfully hide from our children, but eating their Pop Rocks isn't one of them!

Quizzical look. “Um, carrots don’t make that noise.”

“Carrots. Want some?”

“Yeah they do.”

“You aren’t even chewing. I can hear them popping.” Goes to check candy stash. “Mooooooom! I was saving those!”

For what!? I want to defend myself, point out the idiocy of saving candy until it’s past its best before date (which, btw, is so hard to do but my kids manage it.)

But, with a mouth full of exploding strawberry flavoured sugar, it’s hard to find the moral high ground. All I can do is open my mouth next to the kid’s ear and drive them away with disgust. Then console myself with some gummy worms and start chopping carrots for my weird and wonderful spawn.


shaving pubic hair before birth

Should you shave your pubic hair before giving birth?

Remember 70’s porn?

I do.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “But, Sam, you don’t look like you were born after 1995 which is way after the 70’s.” This is mostly true.

When my gal pals invited me over to a no-parent sleepover in my mid-teens we found a stash of porn hidden in a closet (we were looking extensively for alcohol after our shared bottle of Malibu had worn off). We awkwardly giggled as our inexperienced adolescent selves tried not to seem too interested while still trying to take it all in. To make light of a somewhat uncomfortable situation I asked: “why does the hot woman have a furry animal growing on her crotch.” I knew it was pubic hair, but I certainly hadn’t seen it at its full potential as it was in this retro porno.

Growing up since around 1995 I’ve noticed that folks with a vagina have been encouraged to keep themselves rather well groomed. Mainstream depictions of babes wearing eeny-weeny teensy-weensy bikinis and lingerie show no signs of any pubic hair and have led many of us to believe that this is the normal way of maintaining our nether regions.

People talk to me about their vaginas. This may be in part to the countless blog posts I’ve written about vaginas, or perhaps because I’ve had many conversations like this:

Kid: Taking 19 hours to choose between ordering Mac n’ Cheese and a grilled cheese sandwich.

Me: “I pushed you out of my vagina in less time than you’re taking right now…”

Waiter: “Ma’am, would you like to see the wine menu…?”

Do you need to shave your pubic hair before you give birth? Well, there may before a few things to think about before taking the leap!

Working as a Postpartum Doula and being part of the birthy community for quite some time now I’ve had more than a few folks ask me if they need to do any maintenance on their pubic hair before they give birth. I’ve never actually caught a baby, but in my experience being a patient of numerous OBGYNs and Midwives I’ve NEVER been asked to shave. Once upon a misinformed, highly patriarchal time folks were shaved before strapped down to deliver their baby (this is also around the same time women were clinically masturbated to cure hysteria...so….), but times have changed.

It’s an entirely personal choice if you want to do some trimming before you give birth. There are a few suggestions I could make, though:

-Try waxing if you choose to do some tidying. Shaving an area you can’t see isn’t the easiest or safest task imaginable.

-Don’t do any servicing close to your Estimated Due Date. You’re going to have enough discomfort after you welcome your wee one into the world-you don’t need razor burn on top of that! In fact, having broken skin (razor burn) when you’re delivering makes you susceptible for infection.

-If you don’t plan on trimming or maintaining your pubic area understand that NOBODY will say anything about it when you’re strutting your sexy stuff at the pool or beach. Trust me.

-Avoid billboards and advertisements of smooth-skinned, cleanly shaven beauties and try your hand at some good ol‘ fashioned 70’s porn bush!

If you’re concerned about your hairy situation talk with your healthcare provider. As with everything with pregnancy, birth, and postpartum life be informed and know your rights!

garlic vagina for yeast infection

Why doesn’t my mouth taste like vagina?

(Before I begin this story, I am going to add a little disclaimer and let y’all know that I’m not a doctor and the following anecdote should not replace medical advice.)

On the “crunchy” scale I sit comfortably at about a 7.2.

I like organic food, but I also like bright pink cotton candy ice cream. I hang my laundry to dry, but I’ll also drive my kids to the park half a kilometer away.

You get the drift.

When it comes to natural medicine I always try a natural treatment before using conventional medicine, but I’m not opposed to using some good ol’ Tylenol when necessary, or when I’ve had too much wine the night before.

Now, the majority of us lovely ladies have had some experience with a yeast infection. If you haven’t, you’re the luckiest human on the planet and I hate you a little bit.

When I felt some telltale itching one day I decided to pull out the ol’ Book of Natural Medicine. It advised to create a “garlic tampon”.

Well, now that sounded intriguing.

I consulted with Dr. Google and confirmed that this was an appropriate thing to do.

It was on the internet so I knew it must be okay!

I made myself a lovely garlic tampon and carefully inserted it into my unsuspecting vagina. There didn’t seem to be any immediate reaction.

5 minutes later, however, I could TASTE garlic. I consulted Dr. Google once more (and then deleted my search history) and discovered that this was, indeed, a common side effect of having garlic in your vagina.

There are a lot of great natural remedies to try, but this one won't be for you if you don't enjoy sticking food items up your vagina.


This got me thinking: If I could taste the garlic in my vagina…why doesn’t my mouth always tastes like my vagina? Or maybe it does taste like my vagina but I always just thought that’s how my mouth tasted? Does my vagina taste like garlic when I put garlic in my mouth? So many questions…

I pondered this for quite some time. I snapped out of it when my toddler brought me a handful of her own feces.

In the end, the garlicy insert was successful. I believe I just insulted my vagina enough for her to make some changes in her PH, but nonetheless, it worked.

With some individual research and a trip to a non-Google doctor I would recommend any woman that experiences yeast gives this a try. Actually, I would recommend that any woman that doesn’t experience yeast gives this a try, too.

This won’t work for you if you’re uncomfortable with putting food items into your vagina, or you’re having sex with a vampire.

Otherwise, go ahead and try out nature’s yeast cure. Make yourself some organic pasta (go big or go home, friend), and enjoy some subtle hints of garlic without having to add any to the sauce.

This article was originally shared on
https://www.sammichespsychmeds.com/

postpartum poo

The truth about the postpartum poo

Ask a 4 year old about postpartum poo and they’ll begin laughing hysterically and making farting sounds. (P.S. They don’t know what “postpartum poo” is and they don’t care. You said “poo”.)

Ask a woman who’s given birth about postpartum poo and her response will let you know that this shit ain’t funny.

Your body has just experienced a majorly traumatic experience. Labour is traumatic. Delivery is traumatic. Hemorrhoids are traumatic. Breastfeeding is traumatic. Parenting is traumatic.

Having a kid is just one big trauma fest, really.

I mean, don’t get me wrong; there’s a lot of joy and happiness in having a baby, too, but holy Toledo can it be a massive pain in the ass.

Literally.

Okay, so I’m about to get nice and graphic for you here. If you don’t like talking about poo or you’re still recovering from your own postpartum poo and the thought alone triggers you to clench up so tight you have near buns of steel, then perhaps this blog post isn’t for you.

However, if you’re like the SO MANY women out there who are about to bring a child into the world and haven’t been informed of the truth about the postpartum poo you most definitely need to read on.

 If you're like so many women who have no idea what to expect with their postpartum poo then this article is a must read for you!

Ok, so you’ve delivered your beautiful little baby. Chances are your bowels were evacuated when you were splayed on the table in front of a team of doctors and nurses while your partner caught the whole thing on camera, so you may not feel the need to have a poo for a few days. This is a good thing. You need a few days to load up on soluble fiber, stool softeners, and so much water.

Understandably, when you do feel the urge to push you get a little anxious. After all, the last thing to come out of your body was a baby. While that’s not likely to happen again so immediately, you probably still feel a bit uneasy about the whole thing. However, holding it in WILL NOT do you any service. That shit will just build up, compacting as it does. You’ll be taking “shitting bricks” to a whole new level if you don’t take care of business as soon as the opportunity arises.

Just as birth is different for everybody, so is the postpartum poo. Some poor souls have a 40 hour labour, spend hours pushing, and wind up with first-degree tearing while others deliver their babies after a mild cramp and a sneeze. The same ridiculously unfair comparison applies to the postpartum poo. You may be spending a great deal of uncomfortable time on the toilet, or you may be simply pretending to do so behind a locked door while yelling “I’m almost done. *grunt*” and catching up on your Facebook gossip.

Once you’re finished not pooping out a baby (I mention this fact because I’m sure you considered that was a possibility at least once during this process) you need to give yourself a good, relieving cleaning. Remember that peri-bottle your beautiful midwife or doctor gave you? Yep-that thing will offer as a wonderful substitute for the toilet paper that will feel like sandpaper on your poor bits. It will also make you wonder why you don’t live in France, or at the very least, own a bidet.

You may experience a bit of residual discomfort once you’re all finished. Have you heard of a padsicle? Wet down maxi pad in witch hazel and throw it in the freezer for a bit. Once it’s nice and cooled down slap that baby into your super sexy mesh hospital panties or your super sexy granny panties. This will give some relief to your stretched out vagina (don’t look yet-I’m warning you), those hemorrhoids that are lurking, and your poor anus that truly doesn’t know what just hit it.

Rest assured that any poops subsequent to this first postpartum poo won’t be nearly as traumatizing. Well, not any of yours, anyway…

#newbornpoo #ewww #pooface #uptheback #poosplosion


mdhm pee

A Mom’s guide to peeing your pants

You think you’ve got it this time. You see the door and you’re sure you can make it. You carefully maneuver yourself-slowly and cautiously with legs tightly, yet inconspicuously together-to your destination. Suddenly, something stops  you in your tracks. You’ve felt this before and you know the outcome can be tragic. You cross your legs in a very obvious fashion now and wait for the urge to pass.

It doesn’t.

“AAAACHOOOOOOOFUCK”.

That’s the sound you make when you sneeze and pee a little.

At home it ain’t no thang. You ignore the confused look from your potty training two-year-old who just got that “we pee in the potty and not in our pants, please” and proceed to search for a clean pair of granny panties and yoga tights to put on.

Things are a little different when you’re in public and the dangerous combination of having to pee and having to sneeze presents itself,  reminding you of the awkward phase in your life where you’re too old for baby diapers and too young for adult diapers.

You have a few options for what to do with your soiled self when you’re in public:

Own it

Lady, your body did a bad-ass, but literally mother fucking thing. Your bladder was trampled on and likely destroyed by that small person that lived inside of you for 9 million months, and it won’t ever be the same again despite all the kegels you do.

Stretch marks are a badge of honor for some child-bearing women. Why can’t a little puddle of pee on occasion hold the same sentiment?

Pretend you’re in labor

Chances are you have a bit of residual baby belly-because that shit lasts a lifetime. If not, quickly grab a sweater under your shirt and grab your belly in a maternal way accompanied by an expression of surprise from your water just breaking. Play the irrational labouring woman to your advantage and insist you need expensive chocolate to calm your contractions just enough for you to get to the car and drive yourself to the hospital, thank you very much.

Stage an accident

Oh no! Your water bottle was faulty and spilled water all down your front when you went to take a drink!

*Please note: this is only a reasonable option if you have actual water in your water bottle. We don’t need to reveal any secrets now, do we?!

Find Adam Sandler

“You’re not cool unless you pee your pants”-Billy Madison.

Remember that movie? When Adam Sandler plays Billy Madison and splashes water on his crotch to show solidarity to a peer who peed his pants and was being ridiculed by the other kids?

Chances are you’re not actually going to find Adam Sandler in the middle of a Costco diaper section, but you might find someone who’s got your back. Catch the gaze of a fellow Mama. She’s probably dealt with this situation. She may not engage in an act of solidarity quite like Billy Madison did, but she may offer some empathetic assistance and you may find yourself a bestie!

 

You always have the option to wrap your sweater around your waist or put some shopping bags in front of unfortunate incident, Truly, though, the alternatives above seem like a fun way to lighten up the situation a bit.

In order to prevent these little incidents try making sure you don’t get to a point where you really have to go. You know how you tell your kids that holding in your pee is really bad for you and they shouldn’t do it? NEITHER SHOULD YOU! Take those few moments to relieve yourself. If you don’t, urine trouble.