Breastfeeding is hard.. REALLY hard at times. Yes, people all around you will attempt to give you a pep talk by starting with the phrase ¨it’s a natural function of your body¨.. But guess what? So is pooping and people still need help with that too.. hints why we have laxatives.. So, I am here to tell you DON´T GIVE UP!! It really does get easier. The truth is, even though breastfeeding is a ¨natural function¨ your body CAN do.. it takes a GOB of time to perfect, and it really won´t feel very ¨natural¨ for awhile (unless you´re some sort of Greek Goddess, in which case, you wouldn´t be reading up for a pep talk in the first place)..
If you want to know more about my personal breastfeeding journey check it out here::
First things First
“>Invest in a Haakaa. I didn´t know about this God send until Aspen came along, and let me just tell you… GAME CHANGER!! The Haakaa is the easiest gadget to use!! You just flip the top (the part that covers your nipple area) down, place your nipple in the center (facing into it like you would a cup to catch milk), and pop the top back up to hug your breast. The “>Haakaa works by catching all of your let down you have from the side not being currently nursed. For example, when Aspen would nurse on my left breast, the right breast would fill up with milk within a minute, (do the typical burn), and then milk would just be spraying out everywhere.. All that liquid gold just wasted.. Sooo instead of wasting all of that liquid gold.. the Haakaa works in your favor by catching it! The added plus is that the “>Haakaa is completely hands free once it is attached so you just put it on and go about your daily routine. I started wearing my Haakaa while I got ready for work, during nursing, sometimes I even wore it while driving. The “> Haakaa helps build your milk supply, and it also starts your milk stash fast and furious!!
Nurse your baby!! The best thing you can do to build your supply is to nurse that sweet baby. The more your body is stimulated by your baby, the more milk it is going to want to provide. This is the ¨natural¨ reaction breastfeeding moms have when their milk fills up (I call that milk drop, because all your milk goes to the one spot on your body-your nipple, then drops out) anyway, so the more you nurse your baby, the more milk your body will want to produce. (Think: supply and demand for all you business majors out there.)
The myth is that if your are breastfeeding, you won´t have a period- my body laughed at that myth with BOTH of my babies. I had a regular period every single month.. So now that you have that lovely TMI about me, I can move on to this next point. Your HORMONES ARE NOT ON YOUR SIDE.. not during pregnancy, but they´re even more against you AFTER you deliver. That being said: every time I had the monthly period that I was not even supposed to happen according to doctors and Google, my hormones would shut down and my milk supply would plummet. On a typical pump session, I would pump between 9 and 11 ounces, but the week of my period I would only pump between 5 & 7 ounces and the afternoon pump would be nearly non existent.. To combat this drop, I would drink BABY BLUE GATORADE, and eat OATMEAL. My supply seemed to increase instantly. These two have never failed me in the 26+ months that I am currently still nursing.
Advise Advise Advise
Okay ladies, this next one is tough for a LOT of people… I get that, but you also gotta think about the big picture and your main goal. Part of breastfeeding is giving up part of your own cravings and sacrificing for the greater good…. What I mean is, cut out alcohol. I know I know, a margarita sounds soooo good after being sober 40 weeks and going through labor. I get it. I´m not saying you have to NEVER drink.. Just cut way back. Alcohol has a tendency to work against your milk supply and dry you up . This is where the sacrifice comes in, realizing that this mom life has you putting your baby´s needs in front of your wants. You also want to avoid anything that is flavored with artificial sweeteners.. they may save you in calories, but they are going to add unnecessary complications with breastfeeding. Your breast milk CRAVES water which leads to our next point..
Water, Water, Water.
Water is KEY to a good production of breast milk. Hands down. You gotta be sure you´re taking enough water in, if you want to produce enough milk going out.
When you get enough sleep, your body is more relaxed, less stressed, and more likely to perform the way you need it to. Sleep has gobs of benefits for your body. Yes your milk supply will increase, but this is due to the ease of stress you will be experiencing since you will be well rested. Adding sleep will help you in losing weight, relieving stress, battling depression, relieving anxiety, and overall wellness for your mind, body, and soul.
DON´T PUT A TIMER ON YOUR SCHEDULE
While you are at home with your love bug, DON´T put a timer on when he/she has to eat.. Let that baby tell you when they´re hungry. Breast fed babies won´t overeat because they have to WORK for their food, and they eat for fulfillment, not fun; as a baby supper time is not a social event/activity. So when they´re hungry- NURSE.
FREE THE GIRLS!!!!
This is my favorite by far…. FREE THE GIRLS!! Meaning, take your bra off and just let that circulation flow. This trick isn´t for everyone, but I love it. My boobs just wait the whole day to get out of boobie jail, so the second I pick my babies up after school- my girls go free!!
LAST BUT NOT LEAST
Stop stressing. You are killin´ it (in the best way)!! You´re breast milk amount will increase when you just relax and stop putting all your focus into production. Yes there are pills out there that claim to increase milk supply, I haven´t tried any to be able to testify one way or the other. I have baked a few batches of cookies that have ingredients in them that are FANTASTIC for breast milk like oatmeal cookies with blueberries. Sometimes when I am sick of eating oatmeal this really helps. I also love to add oatmeal to a morning shake of frozen blueberries, spinach leaves, bananas, protein powder, and either water or milk (with ice). Any way I can find to add oatmeal to my system is a win for me. There are gobs of resources and recipes out there to add to your milk production search…. but it boils down to this: STOP STRESSING!!!! You are doing great!! Your body will perform when you stop yelling at it to perform. Just drink you water, sleep, use your Haakaa, and nurse when your baby wants to nurse.
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