Monday, May 19, 2014

Adventures in breastfeeding pt3

Holy smokes!
This post has been in draft mode for nearly a month! I'm glad I came in to update a couple things before posting. Hopefully, I'll be posting more often than this. I know, I know, I'm slacking. But there are more important things to do than sit down and write a whole article at teaching the baby how to give kisses.


Here we are, 4 months old, and still nursing! If you're like me,  and still struggle with a steady milk supply, every week is a triumph, and every month feels incredible.
I won't lie, there are days that I dread pumping. I hate being measured by ounces instead of what my little one needs. It's frustrating to pump only four ounces total during a session, feeding the nagging doubt, despite the fact that you may have just fed the baby an hour or two ago.
I am not alone in my struggle, and I have found a few things to help me.

*Embrace Your Inner Camel:
I have a couple reusable water bottles that I keep on hand at all times. They are between 20 and 24 ounces deep, and I've managed to drink about four bottles a day, including my one cup of decaf in the morning, my breakfast tea, and my evening tea.
All of these liquids help milk production, most of all water. Hydration is a huge part of the breastfeeding game.

*Take Your Oats:

Steel cut or instant? Doesn't matter! Research has shown that oatmeal does increase your milk supply.  Eating it every day, though? There's only so much bland my tongue can stand! So, I jazz up my oats with either a little cinnamon & applesauce, or sugar and dried cranberries. A pat of butter and a splash of milk are a given in my bowl.

*Bring Out The Secret Weapon!:
This little box is what really keeps me going. (Sorry that it's sideways!)
This tea runs about $4 at Wal-Mart, but check local organic food stores for similar teas. Can't stand the taste of licorice? There are fenugreek and blessed thistle pills you can take instead.
-Word to the wise, drink this with A LOT of honey (or sugar >.>). It's gross when it's plain. Also wait til it's lukewarm.

*Nurse As Much As Possible!: Even though my little one sleeps through most of the night, there are a few times I'll have to get up and pump. Bleary-eyed, with my phone on silent, and my MiPump at the ready on the couch, I manage about 4-6oz before I doze off and nearly drop my milk. I put what I've gotten in a baggie, and into the fridge it goes for daycare, or freezing. And when she's ready to eat (at 4am, 6am, and 8:30am), my milk will be waiting for her.

*Do NOT Stress At The Pump!:
You know what I do? Honestly, when I'm in my cramped little break room area, and I know I'm on a time crunch, I just whip out my phone, turn on a timer, and then...I play BINGO.
Yeah, I play BINGO, or look at cute videos I've taken of my sweet li'l peanut, or watch a snippet of my favorite shows on Netflix.
The one thing I don't do? Obsess over the clock. I don't check my timer at all.  (I use a dual pump most days, but sometimes, I forget it at home and have to do the fun 'alternate boob pump' with the single.)
Even when I don't get a chance to empty myself, at least I'm producing something so I a) don't get engorged, and b) remind my body that YES I still need to make milk at this time of day.

Onwards and upwards to our Six Month Goal!!! Will we make it? Will Mommy go insane from the growth spurts? We'll find out next time! FOR THE BOOBIE!!