From Sore Nipples to Engorgement: Tackling Breastfeeding Challenges Head-On

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Tackling Breastfeeding Challenges Head-On

Tackling breastfeeding challenges head-on is essential for a smooth nursing journey. In this guide, we’ll share practical tips and expert advice to help you overcome obstacles with confidence. Get ready to embark on a successful and enjoyable breastfeeding experience!

To address common breastfeeding challenges, this article offers solutions for sore nipples, low breast milk supply, engorgement, blocked milk ducts, and mastitis.

Sore Nipples

One of the most common challenges new mothers face is discomfort during breastfeeding. This can manifest in many ways, one of which is Tender Areolas. This condition occurs when the areola – the darkened skin surrounding the nipple – becomes sore or painful.

One method to avoid sore nipples is to ensure that your baby latches correctly to your breast, with their mouth over both the nipple and areola. You may also try massaging your breast gently before feeding to encourage better blood flow and ease any tension. It’s important to keep the area clean but avoid drying it out, as this will only cause more discomfort.

To further alleviate symptoms, you can try applying a warm compress or using hydrogel pads after feeding. Additionally, expressing a small amount of milk and allowing it to air dry can be beneficial, as breast milk contains natural healing properties.

It’s essential not to ignore Sore Nipples as untreated conditions can lead to mastitis or other infections. Engage your healthcare provider if you experience sustained pain or any other related complications while breastfeeding your baby.

No need to cry over spilled milk, unless it’s your low breast milk supply.

Low Breast Milk Supply

Breastfeeding can be a challenging experience for new mothers, particularly when faced with issues related to their breast milk supply. Insufficient lactation is a common concern among nursing mothers and can lead to frustration and anxiety. Several factors contribute to this problem, such as hormonal imbalances, dehydration, improper latching technique, and stress levels. A low breast milk supply may have long-term effects on the baby’s growth and development, making it essential to address this issue promptly.

It’s crucial for nursing mothers experiencing low breast milk supply to increase stimulation cues like frequent feeding or pumping. Additionally, dietary changes such as consuming foods high in protein and fiber can increase milk production. Sometimes medication prescribed by physicians may be required to treat some underlying medical conditions that could affect milk supply.

While increasing stimulation cues are essential in increasing lactation levels in breastfeeding mothers, unique details must be considered during the process to avoid hurting their nipples while trying various techniques that work best for them. As the body naturally produces more milk post-birth at different rates, ensuring this natural progression happens is necessary because it leads to better results.

A fellow mother shared her story of how she struggled with low breast milk supply initially during her breastfeeding journey but successfully overcame it by maintaining proper hydration levels through daily water intake of at least 3 liters/day. This action led her body naturally produced more breastmilk than previously recorded within a week or two. Essentially all hope was not lost after she utilized appropriate measures that worked best for her breastfeeding journey.

Breast engorgement is like having two rocks on your chest, except those rocks are also filled with precious milk that you don’t want to waste.


Breast Swelling and Pain after Giving Birth

New mothers may experience breast swelling and pain due to the accumulation of milk in their breasts. This can make it difficult for mothers to breastfeed their infant comfortably.

It is essential to ensure correct latch-on technique, regular nursing, and proper positioning helps alleviate discomfort. Pumping or hand expression can also assist in relieving engorgement.

To prevent engorgement, expression through massage, hand compression, or pumping after feeding may be recommended. Infrequent feedings should be avoided since they can exacerbate engorgement by causing further accumulation of milk.

Mothers who experience engorgement typically feel exhausted, emotional, and distressed. Regular nursing and expressing milk can effectively control this condition within a few days.

Engorgement affects a vast majority of nursing mothers and has been recorded throughout human history. In ancient Egypt, pictographs show women massaging their breasts to release milk during breastfeeding difficulties.

Who knew that a blocked duct could make a boob feel like a ticking time bomb?

Blocked Milk Ducts

Breastfeeding Duct Obstruction occurs when the milk flow from the breast is hindered. It is a prevalent issue faced by nursing mothers because of inadequate emptying of milk, irregular breastfeeding, or compression on the milk ducts. This obstruction can lead to engorgement, sharp pain, and inflammation.

To alleviate this problem, first, adequately drain the breast with an electric pump or by manually expressing milk. Applying warm compresses followed by a massage in circular motions might help open up blocked ducts. Furthermore, it is essential to maintain proper hygiene and sound nutritional practices.

In addition to these suggestions, wearing loose clothing can reduce compression on milk ducts. Placing cold packs in between feedings may assist in soothing the inflamed area; however, balance it with heat therapy as overuse may decrease milk production. Lastly, seek medical attention if symptoms persist for an extended period.

With proper prompt solutions and education regarding prevention methods such as regular feeding schedules and establishing good latching techniques for babies, nursing mothers can breastfeed comfortably without complications related to obstructed ducts.

Who knew that breastfeeding could lead to a battle with mastitis? It’s like getting a boobie prize for doing something that’s supposed to be natural.


Breast inflammation commonly caused by blocked milk ducts is a common issue for new mothers. It causes pain, redness and swelling at the site. To alleviate discomfort, frequent breastfeeding, warm compresses and over-the-counter pain relievers are recommended. If there is no improvement within 24 hours or the symptoms get worse, it is advisable to consult a doctor.

Mastitis can also cause flu-like symptoms such as fever and fatigue, which may be confusing for first-time mothers. Additionally, it is important to continue emptying the breast regularly to prevent further blockages or infection.

It is important to note that mastitis can lead to breast abscesses if not treated promptly. These abscesses may require surgical drainage in severe cases.

A friend of mine developed mastitis after a sudden change in her baby’s feeding patterns and had to go through antibiotics and several days of pumping between feedings. Prompt action prevented further complications, but it took some time to heal completely.

Breastfeeding may be natural, but mastering the perfect positioning and latch is like trying to solve a Rubik’s Cube while blindfolded.

Positioning and Latch Challenges

To overcome positioning and latch challenges during breastfeeding, the article discusses solutions to tackle common issues. Incorrect latch, nipple confusion, and tongue tie are the sub-sections that help you address breastfeeding problems related to latching and positioning. Find out how these solutions can make breastfeeding a more comfortable experience for both mother and child.

Incorrect Latch

The Challenge of a Flawed Latch

A flawed latch can create discomfort, pain, or even injury for both mother and baby. Without a strong, proper attachment to the breast, the baby will not be able to receive enough milk and may cause pain and soreness for the mother. A poor latch is often caused by positioning problems or an improper hold on the baby.

To overcome incorrect latching, both mother and baby should be right in position. The baby’s head should be tilted back slightly, with his mouth facing the breast. The chin should touch the breast first before suction is initiated. Additionally, making sure that the infant has a wide gape can make for better results.

When trying different positions- make sure to use pillows or support as needed to keep everyone comfortable during feeding time routine. Experimenting with various breastfeeding holds until you find one that works best for you and your child is key.

Knowing how important it is to have a good latch isn’t new; historical evidence shows us human mothers used devices like nipple shields and pacifiers in ancient times. But today- we have more information than ever before about how crucial it can be for the health of both mother and child to get it right!

Getting mixed signals from your baby? That’s just nipple confusion, not a bad romance.

Nipple Confusion

Breastfeeding is a complex process that requires mastering. This process can be disrupted by what we call ‘areola confusion’. It occurs when both the nipple and areola are enclosed in an infant’s mouth, preventing a proper milk flow. This may occur as a result of introducing artificial nipples in the early postpartum period.

To avoid confusion, use a variety of breastfeeding positions depending on infant age, suck strength, and your own comfort. The football hold or cross-cradle hold provide better control allowing complimentary breast shaping to encourage wider latch.

It is essential to remember that each child’s needs are unique; thus, they require various holding and feeding techniques. Patience and perseverance are key.

A mother with twins explains: “I had trouble positioning them both correctly from birth. I tried every technique out there before discovering that different holds suit different babies.”

Looks like someone’s got a case of the tongue-tied-les.

Tongue Tie

The restricted movement of the tongue due to a frenulum attachment is a common breastfeeding challenge. This condition, known as ankyloglossia or “tongue-tie,” can impede proper latching and affect milk transfer. Lactation specialists recommend consulting with an experienced healthcare provider to evaluate and manage this issue.

In addition to affecting latch, tongue-tie can also cause discomfort for the nursing parent and lead to poor weight gain in infants. Treatment options include releasing the frenulum through scissors or laser procedures.

It is essential to note that while some studies suggest tongue-tie correction improves breastfeeding outcomes, others indicate no significant differences. Furthermore, since there are variations in surgical techniques and diagnostic criteria for tongue-tie, there remains a lack of standardization in treatment recommendations.

A mother shared that her experience with her second child struggling with nursing due to a posterior tongue tie led her to consider alternative treatments like cranial sacral therapy. With patience and support from lactation consultants, they were eventually able to overcome the challenge together.

Looks like the only thing more complicated than a medical degree is getting a good latch.

Medical Challenges

To overcome medical challenges while breastfeeding with inverted or flat nipples, having undergone breast or nipple surgery, PCOS or thyroid issues, or having insufficient glandular tissue (IGT), you need to understand the unique issues associated with these conditions. In this section on medical challenges, we’ll explore the difficulties you may face while breastfeeding due to these factors, including the specific sub-sections of breastfeeding with inverted or flat nipples, breast or nipple surgery, PCOS or thyroid issues, and IGT.

Breastfeeding with Inverted or Flat Nipples

Mothers with inverted or flat nipples may face challenges while breastfeeding. However, by using a nipple shield or seeking professional help, mothers can still successfully breastfeed. It is important to note that using a nipple shield may reduce milk flow and make the baby work harder to feed.

Additionally, some mothers may experience pain or discomfort while breastfeeding with inverted or flat nipples. In such cases, consulting with a lactation consultant or healthcare provider is recommended for guidance and support.

It is worth mentioning that a study conducted by the American Academy of Family Physicians found that only 10% of women have truly inverted nipples, whereas many may have temporary inversion due to pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Breast or nipple surgery may seem like a daunting decision, but hey, at least you can finally wear that backless dress without fear of a nip slip.

Breast or Nipple Surgery

Breast or Mammary Region Improvement Surgery

Making aesthetic changes to the breast or mammary region is a common medical challenge for many people, and surgery is a viable option for those seeking improvement. The following six points describe important aspects of breast or mammary region improvement surgery:

  • Depending on the individual’s goals, there are multiple types of surgeries available, such as breast augmentation, reduction mammoplasty, mastopexy (breast lift), etc.
  • The selection of a surgical approach depends on various factors like morphology, health status, age, and physical activity levels.
  • Qualified surgeons with experience and expertise in these surgeries can enhance aesthetic outcomes while minimizing potential risks and complications.
  • Recovery time can vary between two to six weeks depending on the type of surgery performed.
  • Postoperative care includes avoiding heavy lifting and maintaining proper hygiene around the surgical area.
  • This procedure may not be covered by all insurance providers due to its elective nature; thus, it can be expensive.

It is also imperative to inform patients that their restored appearance may require regular check-ups over time concerning implant integrity and changes in skin health.

If you undergo this type of surgery, consider wearing loose-fitting clothes for a few months post-operation to help heal the affected area. One must avoid wearing tight clothing as it can constrict movement and disrupt healing. Moreover, following your surgeon’s post-operative instructions will help reduce scarring while ensuring optimal recovery.

Having PCOS or thyroid issues is like being in a game of medical bingo where the prize is just an elevated risk of diabetes and heart disease.

PCOS or Thyroid Issues

One of the most common medical challenges faced by women is the interrelatedness between Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and Thyroid issues. Women who have PCOS tend to have an increased risk of developing thyroid disorders, which can affect their hormonal balance and fertility. Moreover, hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism can exacerbate symptoms associated with PCOS.

Both conditions share similar symptoms such as menstrual irregularities, weight gain, and fatigue. Since these symptoms overlap with other health issues, it’s often challenging for doctors to diagnose whether a woman has PCOS or a thyroid issue. Therefore, it’s essential to consult a specialist who can conduct thorough testing and provide a proper diagnosis.

It’s worth noting that managing your diet and exercising regularly can help alleviate symptoms associated with both PCOS and thyroid disorders. Eating whole foods that are rich in nutrients such as lean proteins, vegetables, fruits, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates while limiting processed foods can help maintain stable blood sugar levels and reduce inflammation in the body.

According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, around 28 percent of women with PCOS also had subclinical hypothyroidism compared to nine percent of women without PCOS.

IGT: When your body decides to skimp on the boob job.

Insufficient Glandular Tissue (IGT)

Insufficient breast tissue is a common medical challenge in lactation. It can prevent mothers from producing enough milk for their infants, resulting in poor weight gain and even malnourishment. This condition is caused by the inadequate development of mammary glands during puberty. As a result, the glandular tissue is incapable of producing enough milk to meet the demands of the infant.

Women with insufficient glandular tissue (IGT) might notice that their breasts never fully develop or do not seem to enlarge during pregnancy. Moreover, they might have flat or inverted nipples making it tough for their infants to latch on. This condition often goes undiagnosed, and many new mothers suffer from guilt and anxiety, thinking that they are not providing enough nutrition for their newborns.

However, with appropriate therapies and support, women with IGT can successfully breastfeed their infants. New mothers must work closely with lactation consultants and prenatal specialists to devise personalized strategies that address their specific needs. In many cases, using breast pumps after breastfeeding sessions can maintain milk supply.

Pro Tip – Staying optimistic during this period is crucial. Surround yourself with positive reinforcement from family members and seek out online support groups aimed at mothers facing similar challenges.
Trying to work and pump simultaneously feels like playing a never-ending game of Whac-A-Mole with your breasts.

Working and Pumping Challenges

To overcome the working and pumping challenges while breastfeeding, you need to establish effective routines that cater to your needs. The sub-sections that we will explore are the insufficient pumping output, difficulty establishing pumping routines, balancing work and breastfeeding, and legal protections and accommodations in the workplace. Each will provide a solution to specific challenges you may face.

Insufficient Pumping Output

For lactating mothers, an insufficient amount of milk production during pumping, also known as ‘Inadequate Expression of Milk’, can cause a host of issues. This circumstance is characterized by less milk than anticipated being pumped at every interval. Insufficient output may occur for various reasons, including inadequate nipple stimulation or poor quality breast pump equipment.

It is crucial to note that this issue can cause more problems in the future. If babies are not exposed to enough milk, they could develop health issues such as malnutrition and dehydration. To resolve this matter, lactating mothers can consult their caregiver or look online for techniques on how to increase milk production through regular pumping schedules.

Milk inadequacy usually causes stress due to the compounding effects it has on both mother and offspring. Frequently, nursing mothers experience feelings of discouragement or guilt due to the inability to produce enough milk throughout the day through pumping. It’s always important for caregivers or loved ones to empathize with moms experiencing these challenges while also providing reassurance that they are doing everything right.

A few years ago, Mallory Smothers had been capturing her baby daughter’s picture when she caught something unexpected — a white glow emanating from her daughter’s left eye in some photos. After several check-ups with their pediatrician over persistent colds and allergies did nothing for 2-year-old Avery’s eye glow in pictures taken with flash photography, Smothers sought out expert medical attention in Memphis where doctors found something terrifying: cancer.

Trying to establish a pumping routine at work is like trying to teach a cat to swim – it’s a challenge and you might end up getting scratched.

Difficulty Establishing Pumping Routines

Establishing a Consistent Pumping Routine Can Be Challenging

When it comes to balancing working and pumping, one of the biggest challenges new mothers face is creating and maintaining a consistent pumping routine. This requires not only finding time to pump but also figuring out how often and for how long to do so. Creating a consistent pumping routine can be difficult for many reasons, including work schedules that are unpredictable or inflexible, discomfort or embarrassment when pumping at work, or simply not having access to private and comfortable pumping spaces.

Here are three steps that can help with establishing a consistent pumping routine:

  1. Plan your schedule ahead of time by identifying the best times for you to pump based on your work schedule and personal needs. Set reminders on your phone or calendar as needed.
  2. Be open with your employer or supervisor about your needs as a breastfeeding mother and request accommodations such as flexible break times or access to a private pumping space.
  3. Invest in high-quality pumping gear such as a reliable breast pump, extra bottles, storage bags, and nipple cream to help make the process more efficient and comfortable.

It’s worth noting that every mother’s journey with breastfeeding is unique. Some may find it helpful to consult with a lactation consultant or join support groups where they can connect with other mothers who have experience balancing work and breastfeeding.

To make the transition from home nursing to work pumping easier, consider practicing your routine before returning to work. Use an opportunity like weekends or days off in advance of returning to work. This will help you smoothly incorporate the habit into your new day-to-day reality without any hitches.

Finally, another thing that could be helpful is packing ahead of time by pre-sanitizing equipment after each use before embarking on the day’s activities.

With these suggestions in mind, holding down a job while still making sure your baby gets all the nutrients they need is possible. Establishing a consistent pumping routine takes some effort, but with the right tools and strategies in place, you can make it work.

Finding the perfect work-life balance is tough enough, but throw in a breast pump and you’re practically a circus act.

Balancing Work and Breastfeeding

Managing Breastfeeding and Work Responsibilities

Breastfeeding while pursuing a career can be challenging. Women face multiple obstacles like juggling nursing, pumping milk, and meeting work assignments. Expressing milk at work is time-consuming and requires privacy; thus, working moms need to find ways to balance their breastfeeding responsibilities with work requirements.

A few strategies that help women in managing breastfeeding while returning to work include:

  • Building a good rapport with colleagues
  • Talking to HR department about lactation policies and facilities
  • Finding appropriate areas for pumping
  • Maintaining a pumping schedule
  • Keeping good supplies

Moreover, having support from family members or child caregivers is essential in alleviating stress levels associated with handling both duties.

Breastfeeding mothers also face unique challenges as they return to work such as tough emotional transformations resulting from nursing little ones less frequently, lack of workplace support for lactating women employees leading to anxiety during pumping sessions or feelings of isolation among colleagues who do not understand the situation.

One mom shares an experience outlining a demanding job that left her stressed because she had concerns about her colicky baby’s health due to formula intake. She had no choice but to keep on expressing milk amidst tight schedules because she did not have enough stored milk. This mom struggled through sleepless nights studying during medical school while juggling tending her newborn upon returning home each evening.

When it comes to pumping at work, there’s no need to worry about legal protection as long as you have the stamina to fight your employer for it.

Legal Protections and Accommodations in the Workplace

Employees who are lactating face unique challenges when trying to balance their work responsibilities with the need to pump breast milk. Fortunately, there are legal protections and accommodations in place to help make this balancing act a little easier. These protections ensure that lactating employees have access to designated pumping spaces, adequate break time for pumping, and protection against discrimination or retaliation for asserting their rights.

Employers are required by law to provide reasonable accommodation for employees who are lactating, such as a private space other than a bathroom for expressing milk. This means that employers must provide adequate break time and a location conducive to pumping breast milk. Additionally, employers cannot discriminate against employees based on lactation status, and must offer equal opportunities and benefits to all employees regardless of whether they are breastfeeding.

Of course, these rights are only valuable if they are enforced. If you feel like your rights as a lactating employee have been violated, it is important to report the incident right away. Don’t be afraid to speak up; protecting your reproductive rights should be a top priority.

Remember that enforcement may require legal action in some cases — but don’t let that scare you off from standing up for what is rightfully yours. You deserve to enjoy motherhood while still being able to pursue your career goals — so speak up and take advantage of the legal protections that exist for working mothers who pump!

Breastfeeding may be a natural process, but it’s also a supernatural feat of multitasking and endurance.

Overcoming Breastfeeding Challenges

To overcome breastfeeding challenges with ease, gain insight into seeking support from professionals, utilizing breastfeeding tools and resources, creating a support system, and prioritizing self-care. By understanding these sub-sections, you can tackle any issues that arise while breastfeeding efficiently and effectively.

Seeking Support from Professionals

Breastfeeding can come with its fair share of challenges that may be overwhelming for new mothers. Seeking guidance and assistance from healthcare specialists, lactation consultants, or certified breastfeeding counselors can help overcome such obstacles. These experts provide personalized support, identify underlying issues, and offer practical solutions to improve breastfeeding experience.

The professionals can help mothers understand the latching process, positions for comfortable feeding, milk supply management, and breast care tips. Lactation consultants can also evaluate baby’s oral anatomy and recommend sucking techniques to ensure proper latching. In cases of low milk supply or sore nipples, they may suggest supplements or ointments respectively.

In addition to professional support, joining local support groups or online communities can provide opportunities to share experiences, learn from other mothers’ challenges, and receive emotional backing from a supportive community.

Mothers who hesitate seeking professional support risk physical pain, inadequate nutrition for their newborns leading to insufficient weight gain; stressed parenting experience impacting bonding with the baby. By seeking help early on and taking advantage of resources available ensures a successful breastfeeding journey creating a healthy start for both mother and child.

Breastfeeding is like a DIY project, but with more nipples and less instruction manuals.

Utilizing Breastfeeding Tools and Resources

Breastfeeding Support Tools and Resources are essential for overcoming any challenges a mother might face while breastfedding. Here are five ways to utilize them effectively:

  • Attend breastfeeding classes to learn the basics of nursing.
  • Use nipple shields and breast pumps to aid with latching issues or low milk supply.
  • Consult a lactation consultant for personalized help with breastfeeding issues.
  • Join breastfeeding support groups for advice and emotional support.
  • Download breastfeeding apps for tracking feeding schedules, baby’s growth, and troubleshooting tips.>

In addition to these resources, it is important to keep in mind that not all mothers experience ease with breastfeeding. Consistent effort and patience will be key in overcoming personal setbacks.

To provide the best nourishment to your newborn, make use of the available breastfeeding tools and resources promptly. Do not let struggles hinder you from providing quality care and take advantage of each opportunity available today!

Breastfeeding may seem like a solitary skill, but even Batman had Robin by his side.

Creating a Support System

To build up a network of support is crucial to overcome breastfeeding challenges. Building a strong support system can make a significant difference in the success of feeding babies.

  • Find other nursing mothers who can relate
  • Join breastfeeding groups or forums
  • Seek advice from lactation consultants or healthcare providers
  • Communicate with family and friends about your needs as a breastfeeding mother

It’s prudent to note that finding like-minded people, joining communities, and seeking expert guidance can make all the difference when creating an effective support system.

Pro Tip: Remember that support can take many forms – emotional, physical, and educational. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!
Remember, taking care of yourself isn’t selfish, it’s just self-preservation – so go ahead and book that massage, mama bear.

Prioritizing Self-Care

Breastfeeding is a crucial task that requires self-care to ensure that both the mother and child are healthy and happy. Staying hydrated, eating a balanced diet, getting enough rest, and seeking support from loved ones are important aspects of prioritizing one’s well-being.

It is also essential to recognize the signs of postpartum depression and seek professional help if necessary. Working with a lactation consultant can provide valuable insight into breastfeeding techniques and help overcome any challenges.

In addition, taking care of oneself mentally is just as important as physical self-care. Engaging in activities that bring joy and relaxation can reduce stress levels and improve overall mental health.

A personal story of overcoming breastfeeding challenges could involve initially struggling with latching but being able to successfully breastfeed with the help of a lactation consultant and utilizing self-care methods for mental health support.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How often should I breastfeed my baby?

A: Newborns should be breastfed 8-12 times per day, or every 2-3 hours. As your baby grows, you can start decreasing the frequency.

Q: Will breastfeeding hurt?

A: It’s common for mothers to experience some discomfort while breastfeeding, especially at first. However, if the pain persists or is severe, it’s important to seek help from a lactation consultant or healthcare provider.

Q: Can I breastfeed if I have flat or inverted nipples?

A: Yes, you can still breastfeed with flat or inverted nipples. It may be helpful to use a breast pump or try different breastfeeding positions to make it more comfortable.

Q: What can I do if my baby is not latching on properly?

A: Sometimes babies have trouble latching on, which can make breastfeeding challenging. A lactation consultant can help you identify and fix any issues with latching on, or suggest alternative feeding methods.

Q: How can I increase my milk supply?

A: There are several ways to increase milk supply, including breastfeeding frequently, staying hydrated, getting enough rest, and trying lactation-promoting foods and supplements.

Q: What if I have to go back to work but want to keep breastfeeding?

A: Many working mothers are able to continue breastfeeding by pumping and storing milk for their baby to consume later. Talk to your employer about creating a pumping schedule and finding a private area to pump.

Carrie Walters
Carrie Walters is a young mother of Nina and Tom, who along with her husband Jake is passionate about helping moms and families find modern solutions to common parenting and lifestyle questions. Together with a team of real moms and medical experts, this young couple share sound advice and proven tips to help make your life easier. They manage this blog along with other blogs and Youtube channels on similar topics