Sorry I didn't post last week.... between our first Halloween and first Diwali. it's been hectic and craziness around here!!! I have been hard at working upping my supply so that we can get OFF the formula starting monday (11/11) and only do breast milk!!!! I have manage to stock up about 30 oz in the fridge (since Fri) and 24 in the freezer. I have separated them into the amounts they will need so all we have to do is heat and eat! I made (and am gladly enjoying) some "lactation cookies" (cookies with some extra supply boosting ingredients) and have noticed a little boost. I am also trying my best to drink more water AND stick with my Mother Love "more milk plus" supplements. I have done formula all weekend so that I can focus on pumping and supply. (I've been hoarding my milk lol). The Fenugreek will be here this week (cheapest on amazon of course!) so I will keep everyone posted on how these things work for me. I am trying to decided the time frame to use these..... since of course my body will get used to them and I will have to go cold turkey for a while to get it out of me and start back over to keep upping the amount. I want to be able to EBF AND start to seriously build on my freezer stash! I only have 4 bags frozen and that puts me infinity bags behind lol. We are going to hopefully need to invest in a deep freeze soon that we can put in the garage so I can stretch the life of my milk a few more months. I was going to stop breastfeeding at a year initially, but the more research and communicating I do with other mommies, I am changing my mind. Society puts such a stigma on breastfeeding and breast milk and it drives me nuts! I hate the whole dbl standard on breasts. It's sexy and hot to flaunt the boobies, but deemed completely inappropriate to actually have em out and use em for what they were intended to do in the first place :/ ANYWHO.... I want to nurse as long as I can, the thought of teeth make me cringe BUT babies can't bite AND suck at the same time so, we'll cross that bridge when it comes. I do, however, plan to exclusively pump when I do give nursing up. I am deciding and becoming more and more comfortable with the idea of giving the girls breast milk for 2-3 years. It is just SOOOO good for them, it's free, and (even if it's expressed milk) it's still a special bond that I get to keep with my babies. There will be plenty of time for cow's (and other) milk in the rest of their lives! Ideally, right now, pumping would happen after I nurse, but because we then play after we eat it does get hard to pump. (bending and pumping??? might as well pump with no bottles attached! lol, at least then milk won't get in the tubes and contaminate the motor! lol) I do try to pump AS SOON as they go down for a nap though (closest i can get to after they eat lol). Remember, pumping DOES NOT remove milk as efficiently as a baby sucking, but it does help empty them. I always still feel full after I take the pump off. :/ I am thinking I am going to start wearing my hands free pumping bra over my regular bralette that I wear so it's less work when the time to get down and dirty actually comes. I am worried about it clogging a duct, but on the flip side I will get more support and hopefully fight a little gravity in the process :) I have started putting the bottles and part that the tubes hook into together and tossing em in my bag every am so all i need to do is pull out my parts and hook up and go! I really enjoy having my pump in a bag! I know its more pricey, but it's so worth the money. The pump (for me at least) was an investment in our babies, just like the convertible cribs, and other baby goods that we will use for years to come! The bag makes life easy and works great if you will be on the go. It' is my 5th appendage and my best friend lol. (my husband calls it my anchor lol/smh)
A few pointers that I would like to offer to my new, expectant, and currently nursing mommies about problems that I have come experienced and have been asked about in regards to breast feeding.
- When the girls were born, we weren't allowed to nurse more than 10 min bc the act of latching and nursing would burn more calories then the girls could spare. (I will never forget the first time I nursed EVER, with Nadia while sis was in NICU... it was about an hour after they were born. I will never forget the feeling I got from that time or ESPEC when we managed to all nurse together! 3 days old!!!!) After they were given the green light to up nursing time, I found I was getting really raw and it was becoming unbearable to nurse at times. My LC gave me some of these shields and they really helped for when I wanted to nurse but couldn't physically stand to do so. Also, you can express some fresh milk and rub it into and around the sore/raw areas and allow to airdry. That is by far the best healer! better than nipple creams and olive oil, etc.
Products I found helpful:
- Nipple Shields (you should consult a LC before using! These can inadvertently DECREASE your supply if used incorrectly!) These contact shields worked GREAT for helping, not only with the soreness, but when they were super tiny these helped them get a latch easier than just straight to the nipple. I HIGHLY recommend for those who have trouble with latch issues OR rawness so that u can keep calm and nurse on!
- Hands Free Pumping Bra This product saves my life multiple times a day AND allows me to get things done around the house! I can pump and fold clothes, BLOG!, eat... the possibilities are endless! Well worth the money! (I did cut a sports bra and try to DIY but the shields and parts get so heavy after the bottles start to fill... and i end up using my hands anyways) Again, another investment in something I will be using forever (it feels like lol)
I LOVE this product and think the worst thing about it is trying to remember to take it 4 times a day! (I am going back to setting an alarm for everytime I need to take it... like i did with all the meds I was on when preggo and contracting, and not knowing it lol) This stuff has all the good stuff u need, and I do seriously notice an increase in my supply when I take them! I am going to, however, start going 3 weeks on/ 1 week off so that my body has a chance to get un-used to it and start back all over again.... def worth the $ (again, investments lol)
Last, but not by any means least! Lactation cookies! (An excuse to sit around and eat cookies!?!?!?! ummm yes please!) I did a pretty intense search for different recipes and they were all basically the same. (pintrest has TOO many too look at in case this recipe doesn't tickle ur fancy). I think u'd be ok just buying box cookie mix and adding the brewers yeast, flaxseed meal, and oats. They are really good! (I have to swat hands out of my cookie jar!!!) True story, when i told my 16 y.o. sis I needed to make special cookies for my milk, she was under the impression we were having a bake fest USING my milk BAHAHAHAHAHAHAA :D
(I've read and gotten lots of feedback about drinking a dark beer <like Guinness> every pm, but i think i'm going to hold off on that for the time being. I have the yeast in my cookies and i really need to loose the baby gut b4 i start working on a beer gut! lol)
Hope this information is helpful to y'all!!! PLEASE feel free to comment about your own experiences and ask questions too! Don't forget about our forum as well! Stay tuned as this weeks focus shifts from the schedule to breastfeeding and increasing supply!!!! Hope everyone has a great week!!