Posts Tagged ‘milk’

Getting Over the Fear of Not Making Enough Milk While Breastfeeding

Monday, November 21st, 2016
getting over the fear that you aren't making enough milk

“When a baby is hungry, he tends to clench his fists tightly and bring them toward his face. If he falls asleep hungry, his fists usually stay clenched. But when he gets milk, he relaxes starting with his face. Then his shoulders relax, and finally those fists unclench. Eventually they’re as limp as the rest of him. Thing of his hands as a built-in fuel gauge.” p.120 Womanly Art of Breastfeeding

When my son was first born, we had a difficult time figuring out breastfeeding. It was challenging and stressful for both of us. In the very beginning, he lost weight instead of gaining and was extremely fussy. I contacted my acupuncturist and told her I thought my milk supply had decreased significantly. I didn’t think that I was making the amount that my baby needed and didn’t know what to do because my goal was to breastfeed until he was 12 months old. She had me come right in and she worked her magic with her needles to help get the milk flowing again, if it was true that I was having issues with my milk supply.

The amount of milk that a baby consumes while breastfeeding can be such a mystery, especially if they are exclusively breastfed like both of my children who refused bottles. It can be nerve-wracking wondering if an extra fussy baby means that they are actually starving because they are not getting enough milk. Since it was my first experience with breastfeeding, I was always seeking proof that my body was making the correct amount of milk that my baby needed.  These are some ways that eventually helped me feel confident that body was doing the job that it was supposed to, so I could get over my fear that I was not producing enough milk:

  • At breastfeeding support groups, lactation consultants weighed my baby right before I breastfed him and then immediately after.  The number of ounces that he gained was proof that he was consuming a good amount.
  • Regular wet diapers proved to me that the process was working.
  • Appropriate weight gaining was on track and was proven at regular doctor check-ups.
  • Pumping milk into baby bottles to maintain a back-up supply showed me the number of ounces that my body was producing.

With my second baby, I learned to trust the process and reminded myself regularly that my body knew how to do it and would get the job done.

Sarah Cole is a stay at home mommy to two busy toddlers.  She nursed both of her babies until they were almost 2 years-old.  Now, she wonders if her picky eaters are getting enough food at each meal.

Nursing Through A Growth Spurt

Wednesday, November 9th, 2016

nursing through a growth spurtI quickly realized my place during a growth spurt. According to my breastfed baby, I had one job. That job was to make milk, feed him, and repeat often.

Before I learned my place, thoughts like “Is this normal? When will this end? Will I survive?” ran through my mind as I sat nursing my baby in the same rocking chair for what seemed like endless hours. I was challenged to be strategic with bathroom breaks and with feeding myself.

Here are warnings that I wish that I would have received about nursing through a growth spurt:

  • You will be off your normal schedule and will not be informed about this new temporary schedule ahead of time. There will most likely not be room for things like making meals, eating meals, cleaning the house or any of that kind of productive stuff.
  • You will be starving. Eat! Your body will be working overtime to increase your milk supply to feed your baby during a growth spurt. So, keep snacks nearby and ask someone to bring you dinner on their way home because you won’t be cooking it.
  • You will need to drink a lot of water. Keep drinking it.
  • You will be tired. Even if your baby has become a decent night sleeper, they may wake often during a growth spurt for multiple snacks.
  • You will be confused. You may think that there is something wrong with your supply. A growth spurt is a baby’s way of increasing your milk supply. Don’t stop breastfeeding or start supplementing during a growth spurt because you think something is wrong.
  • This too will pass. Growth spurts often stop as suddenly as they come on. By the time it ends you may actually be worried that your baby is not eating enough! But relax. Apps like WonderWeeks are helpful for somewhat predicting these phases and can help you keep your sanity with that simple heads-up.

Good news: growth spurts only last a couple of days. And, once it is over, there’s a good chance you’ll soon need to get out some larger sized clothing for your hefty eater. Not only will a growth spurt increase your milk supply that your baby needs, but it will increase the size of your baby, too!

Sarah Cole is a stay at home mommy to a 3-year-old and a 2-year-old. She enjoys writing, playing with her busy toddlers and watching them grow.

Signs of Food Intolerance

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016

signs of food intoleranceI could tell something wasn’t right when my baby spent most of the evening hours screaming if she was not sleeping in my arms.  If I put her down, she would wake up and scream.  I couldn’t figure it out, so I did what many moms might do, I did a search online for something like “newborns who scream all night long.”  One search result that caught my interest was the possibility of a food intolerance for my baby.

So, I hopped to it and cut out my dinnertime glass of milk that I had each night since dairy was one of the top intolerances for many babies.  I figured it was easy enough.  At my daughter’s 2-week check up, I informed our pediatrician that I thought that my daughter was intolerant of dairy.  When she asked me to tell her why I thought this, these are the symptoms that I told her about:

  • My baby screamed in pain and did not want to be put down.

  • Tons of spit up!  I used receiving blankets as burp cloths.  At least 4 per day.  She went through many sleepers and swaddles each and every day.

  • She had projectile diarrhea numerous times per day.  It flew out of her during diaper changes.  A diaper change sometimes required 2 people and 5 diapers.

  • She went through triple the amount of diapers in a day as my first baby.  I never felt like I had enough diapers on hand unless I had a box of diapers from Costco.

  • She had a constant diaper rash.  It was so sad.  Nothing would clear the rash up.

  • Her breathing was affected at times.  She would have high pitched hiccups that didn’t sound right.

Our pediatrician agreed that something wasn’t right, but warned me that cutting out dairy was going to be much more involved than eliminating a glass of milk each day.  She offered me the option to try dairy-free formulas, but I was determined to try to make it work with breastfeeding.

It took a ton of research, self-education, and commitment, but I was able to eliminate dairy and soy from my diet for over 14 months.  My daughter’s negative symptoms disappeared as soon as dairy and soy were out of my system.  By the age of 16 months, she outgrew her intolerances and we were thrilled to introduce her to our favorite food, pizza!

Sarah Cole is a freelance write and stay at home mom to two busy toddlers. She eliminated dairy and soy out of her diet for over 14 months so she could continue to breastfeed her baby even though her favorite food is melted cheese.  

 

 

Milk Options After Weaning

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

Milk Options After WeaningNursing a baby for any amount of time is a labor of love. A woman’s body was made to nourish her baby, but it is not always an easy journey. In my first experience, I nursed my daughter for 13 months. While it was an amazing journey of bonding and growing together, it was not easy. When my daughter’s first birthday approached, I began to consider milk options to use after weaning.

Weaning is not always an easy process. It was an emotional choice for me: I knew my past health concerns, and we were ready for another baby to love on. Weaning should be a gradual process to ensure that baby transitions well and mom can handle the changes.

Cow’s Milk: Cow’s milk is the choice many mom’s go to after weaning. With my daughter, we introduced cow’s milk around 1 year of age. Cow’s milk is important for baby’s brain growth. Cow’s milk is full of calcium and vitamin D, which are great for baby’s growth and development. It’s important to limit the amount of milk your child is getting so that they are still eating nutritious meals and getting the nutrients they need. Cow’s milk is not as easy for baby to digest. My daughter has had some digestive issues since we introduced cow’s milk, so I recommend starting it with caution.

Almond Milk:  Another option for baby is coconut milk. If baby is lactose intolerant this is a good choice. Just be careful and choose an unsweetened milk, so that baby doesn’t get too much sugar in their diet. Almond milk contains as much calcium and vitamin D as cow’s milk. It is also full of other vitamins and minerals, including potassium and magnesium. Almond milk is lower in calories than regular cow’s milk.

Soy Milk: Soy milk is a choice some parents make for children who have a harder time digesting regular cow’s milk. It is important to choose a soy milk that is calcium fortified, because soybeans contain phytates which can lower calcium absorption in your little one. It’s important to get your pediatrician’s advice before offering soy milk as an alternative. It is lower in calories, fats, and proteins when compared to regular cow’s milk. If you choose soy milk, make sure your child is still getting plenty of calcium from other sources like yogurt or cheese.

Children ages 1-3 need 500 mg of calcium per day, so make sure you choose the milk that is right for your toddler. There are several choices, so do your research and make an educated decision. Whatever you choose, you are still nourishing your little one and doing what’s best for them. Offer milk to your little one in a fun cup and let the new milk adventure begin!

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of two in Northeast Indiana.  She loves breastfeeding and thinks you should nurse as long as possible, but she knows her little ones eventually will grow up.