Tag Archives: breastfeeding

6 ways to increase your breastmilk supply

The moment is here!

Your little baby bundle has arrived, and everything is all sunshine and rainbows. At least I hope that’s the case for most, but if you are a first-time momma wanting to breastfeed the fear of not producing enough milk is real.

I remember being always worried I would dry up even though I had an oversupply issue. The fear of not being able to feed and nourish my baby was real! And while the formula is a fantastic thing, I couldn’t help but feel that if I could not breastfeed, i was a failure as a woman and mother. Of course now looking back I know it is all nonsense, I could have quickly grabbed a formula bottle and fed my baby happily if I needed to, but the fear was there, and it is like that for a lot of moms trying to breastfeed.

To save you all some of the agonies, I went through I decided to share the top # tips on increasing milk supply. We all know its called liquid gold for a reason, so here is what worked for me.

1. Lactation cookies. These little morsels will not only help with the constant gnawing hunger you seem to feel the first few weeks breastfeeding but help increase your supply as well. You can see one of my recipes here.

2. Frequent milk removal. This is key. You want to try to empty your breast as much as possible. This is what signals the body that you need more milk, hence tells it to produce more. So a good pump, some storage bags and before you know it you may even have a good stash going!

3. Mothers Milk Tea. This is another of those nifty things that is great to help improve supply. Please note it does not work for everyone, and on some fenugreek which is a known ingredient to increase milk supply, causes the adverse effect. I personally like this one.

4. Putting the baby at the breast. This is for obvious reasons more efficient than a pump. Not only are babies more effective than a pump, but they remove milk more efficiently too. When trying to increase your milk supply be sure to nurse your little one on demand as much as possible. Try to limit pacifier and bottles if possible and have them use the breast for drinking and soothing.

5. Power pumping. This is done to simulate a growth spurt and kickstart the supply. You want to do small pump sessions in a short period. So you may want to pump for 10 min 3 times in an hour period. Then do this once or twice a day for two or three days.

6. Hands-on help. Many times an issue with supply has to do with how the child removes the milk. You can go here to find a local lactation consultant and many useful resources.

Keep trying. Do not get discouraged, and sometimes our bodies need a little extra help and time. You won’t go from half an ounce to four ounces in a day, so if breastfeeding is something you want to do, keep trying.

If after seeing a Lactation Consultant, and doing everything else you could think of there is still an issue, know that giving a bottle of formula is perfectly fine too.

Everyone has their own journey, some harder than others. When it comes to breastfeeding some need a little bit of extra help, know you are not alone. So keep trying and I hope these tips and tricks help you.

 

Cheers!

Our Breastfeeding Journey, 16 months and counting!

We hear the stereotypes all the time, the crazy uber liberal breastfeeding mom that walks around everywhere shirtless.

There’s also the hermit breastfeeding mom that never leaves home for fear that the baby may need to be fed in the ten seconds she manages to step foot outside of the house.

Yes, they may exist. You may know one, or maybe even be one! But the reality is, those are the extremes of breastfeeding, most are just regular moms.

Then you hear the horror stories. The teething child that clamps down on nipples. The one lady who’s kid bit off a chunk of said nipple, the pincher, the distracted nurser, the hour long drinker.

So how did I survive breastfeeding for this long? Simple, I didn’t listen. I shut my ears to the “stories” and decided to experience nursing my child for my self.

That is not to say that I didn’t deal with my share of horrors because believe me I did. But there so many sweet moments in between that just made it all worth it.

I lived through an oversupply issue, which for you just enoughers or those that don’t make enough, it’s not as great as it sounds. Severe constant engorgement (even with my ‘baby’ being 16 months old), the endless purchases of breast pads, mastitis (which I have miraculously avoided), plugged ducts, pumping for ‘relief.’ The list could keep going.

There was also the whole him exposing the nerves on my nipples thanks to his monstrous sucking powers. Side note, it was just his sucking, there was no lip or tongue tie, latch issue involved. We were checked, by at least five professionals.

We lived through nipple confusion which lasted six weeks, only to go back to the breast and refuse bottles. I mean the kid still refuses them, wouldn’t even take water from it, though he now just uses cups and straws.

Of course, he is a typical child and hates nursing covers, so I had to learn how to breastfeed in public without using a cover, as discreetly as possible. By the way, the double shirt method is probably the best way.

Those were my bad, the moments that made me question my sanity for continuing the path that caused me so much pain. But I did continue because it brought me so much joy.

I get asked by new moms how do I do it? And why am I still breastfeeding at 16 months, with no signs of stopping?

Well, how do I do it? I just do. Whenever he needs milk, i take out my breast and feed him, regardless of my surrounding or needs to myself. Why? Because this little being is solely dependant on me and I want to be able to give him what I believe I could best give him. And whats better than milk created by the person that created him, milk personally tailored to him and his needs. That is what I think of when I question myself or feel some pains caused due to breastfeeding. I focus on the broader picture.

As to why I am still breastfeeding my now toddler. Well, you try telling him no.

Breatfeeding isn’t a one-way relationship. It is a relationship your little person is highly invested in. Not only is it a food source, but it is also¬†a soother, some quiet time with mom, a cuddle session, a snack, a boo boo fixer, it is so much more to them.

Plus, there is nothing wrong with adding those extra nutrients and vitamins in there when they go through an “only chicken” phase.

So this is my breastfeeding journey. It has been long, and gone on for more than the ‘average’ time frame, had its ups and downs, but it is mine. There are many stories out there, and sure you can read them all in hopes to prepare yourself for your breastfeeding journey. Or perhaps you are here reading this in hopes of a magical answer to make it instantly better and easier, but sadly that doesn’t exist.

Some have very easy and smooth journeys, some have some bumps along the way as I did, but the goal is the same. To do the best you can do for your child.

If you can push through the bumps and continue breastfeeding, congratulations. Welcome to the “you’re breastfeeding a toddler” group, be ready for all sorts of comments on what a weirdo you are for doing so. Know, you are not alone.

What happens if you are one of that 40 % of women who don’t make it to breastfeeding past three months? You grab your bottle, prepare the formula and feed your baby. You are doing right by your child. You breastfed for however long you could or wanted to and now you formula feed. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Know, you too are not alone.

If you can take one thing from this, I hope that you understand each journey is different. Do not expect yours to be like anyone else’s. So close your eyes, and enjoy your time breastfeeding, because before you know it, it will be over.

Until next time!