Posts Tagged ‘milk supply’

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.

Common Foods that Boost Supply

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

Common Foods that Boost SupplyBreastfeeding, especially if you’re a first-timer, comes with a lot of second guessing, at least for a lot of us. “Is my baby getting enough to eat?” is a question I think almost all of my friends asked at some point. At some point in your journey, you may be wondering how to produce more milk. Among moms trying to build a freezer stash, trying to increase supply beyond what your child/children are using can be tough as well.

Enter the galactogogue. Galactogogue is both a fun word to say and a food that help moms increase their milk supply. They aren’t a magic wand solution, but there are many foods that can increase your supply. Here are some of them:

Oatmeal
I’m pretty sure I had oatmeal for breakfast everyday that I breastfed, which in my case was about two years total. The sight of oatmeal is no longer particularly appetizing to me (ok, oatmeal rarely looks tasty), but it did the trick. It was noticeable if I changed my breakfast habits. If you don’t enjoy eating oatmeal, you can try oats as overnight oats or in oatmeal cookies (I’ve seen tons of moms run lactation cookie businesses, you can find one or just make your own).

Moringa
Moringa is a tree, and it’s leaves are commonly used as a galactagogue in Asia, where I live. Moringa is also commonly available in North America in a supplement form.

Beer
?!? My friend’s German mom insisted she drink one beer per day when she was breastfeeding to keep her supply up. It was a family tradition. There is a bit of research (from Germany, go figure) out finding that polysaccharides in barley—the main building blocks of beer—stimulates prolactin, which encourages milk production. My friend’s mom always told her to look for darker beer; others think hoppy beers (like IPA) are more lactation-inducing. If you decide to try it out, moderation is key, as alcohol can inhibit let down (among other effects). The La Leche League has an interesting article on alcohol and breastfeeding here that you may want to check out before imbibing.

Meaghan Howard is a stay-at-home mom living far from home with her two little boys and very patient husband.

Is MILKY Supply Booster Worth the Hype?

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

Is MILKY Supply Booster Worth the Hype?

Oddly enough, I happened to be watching the Tia and Tamera show in which they came up with the Milky product. I immediately fell in love with the idea. So many women have a hard time breastfeeding and give up so easily and this is such a simple, easy to use product. On the show, the idea was to bottle an organic tea that featured fenugreek as the main ingredient, but  then infuse it with different herbs to make it taste better since neither of them liked the taste of fenugreek.

My question was would they stay true to the product being organic or would the final product be just a memory of what they had originally envisioned?I personally experienced a dip in supply when I went back to work after maternity leave, and then again once I started to do CrossFit. I used the teas, pills, tinctures, milk-boosting foods and everything else I could think of. While I did have success, none of them were as simple and straightforward as Milky claims to be–although I haven’t tried it since I’m no longer breastfeeding, I hear it tastes pretty good.

It contains: Purified water, Organic Herbal Blend, Organic Cane Sugar, Citric Acid, Organic Strawberry Flavor, Potassium Sorbate & Sodium Benzoate (To Preserve Freshness) and Organic Stevia (Reb A, Natural Sweetner). The only questionable ingredients are
 potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate, both of which are preservatives.

Unfortunately sodium benzoate, used to prevent drinks from becoming moldy, has been linked to hyperactivity and DNA damage. While not much research has been done on it here, other European countries have deemed it to be unsafe. It is so controversial that even the Coca-Cola Company removed it from their products in the UK back in 2008. Even though the rest of the ingredients are organic, I wouldn’t feel good about ingesting this preservative twice a day, especially since it can be passed through breastmilk.

The good news is that since all the other ingredients are ones you can buy at any health food store, you can make your own tea at home. Just brew a large batch of fenugreek tea with some of your other favorite flavors and keep it in the fridge. It’s not as convenient as throwing a tiny plastic bottle into your diaper bag, but it is safer for both you and your baby.

Jacqueline Banks is a board certified Holistic Health Counselor focused on nutrition and green living strategies. To learn more about living a vibrant, healthy life, visit her website at www.jacquelinebanks.com

Am I Making Enough Milk?

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

Often breastfeeding moms wonder “Am I making enough milk?” After all with breastfeeding there is an element of faith required since there really is no way to measure how many ounces of milk your baby is getting. Sometimes breastfeeding mothers mistakenly interpret the following 5 situations as an indicator that they are not making enough milk:

1. I never feel “full” anymore! – During the first 8 weeks when you are establishing your milk supply, you are likely to get the sensation of feeling “full” or even slightly engorged. However once your milk supply is well established, you are less likely to experience this feeling. Your body will naturally learn to regulate milk production based on a pattern or rhythm of breastfeeding and/or pumping.

2. I used to leak all the time, now I hardly ever do! – This is similar to what is stated above. During the initial weeks of breastfeeding you are likely to leak a lot however once your body knows how much milk to make for your baby, you are less likely to leak. You may start to only experience leakage during irregular prolonged times between feedings. Personally I was really happy when I stopped leaking and didn’t have to mess with breastpads anymore. Also a friend taught me a trick; light compression on the breast can help stop leakage. On occasion I found myself leaking, I would try to discreetly push on my breasts with my forearms or by crossing my arms.

3. I don’t get much milk from pumping! – Remember that your body responds very differently to a breastpump than to your own baby’s suckling. The amount you get from a pumping session does not necessarily accurately reflect the amount of milk baby gets while nursing.

4. My baby frequently pulls off the breast while nursing – This comment is commonly heard around the 4th or 5th month. During this age baby can suddenly seem less focused while breastfeeding and might even pull off of the breast frequently. Sometimes mothers worry that their baby is doing this because the milk is not flowing sufficiently, however it’s more often related to development. At this age babies become more aware and attentive to their surroundings. Sometimes nursing in a quiet or less stimulating environment can help baby be more focused on nursing.

5. I don’t feel the “letdown“ -  I clearly remember saying this to a friend of mine shortly after my 3rd baby was born. I was a little worried since I had definitely felt it (even to the point of it being slightly uncomfortable at times) with my other two boys, particularly during the newborn stage. However my friend, who also happens to be a La Leche League Leader, assured me that it was okay that I didn’t feel a letdown. It could have been because it was my 3rd baby and my body had already been lactating for quite some time by that point? I am not exactly sure why I didn’t experience the sensation of a letdown with him. My friend really encouraged me to focus on the signs that indicated he was getting enough milk.

What are the indicators that a baby is getting enough milk:

1. Baby is gaining weight. According to Kellymom, on average, a breastfed baby gains 6 oz per week.

2. Baby has approximately 4 to 6 wet diapers in a 24 hour period.

3. Baby is nursing frequently. Newborns generally nurse at least 10 times in a 24 hour period.

4. Baby appears satiated. Typically a baby is calm and content post mama’s milk…this is often jokingly referred to as being ”milk drunk”.  And oh boy is it a sweet sensation to hold a blissfully milk drunk baby in your arms. :)

An important part of breastfeeding is believing and trusting that your body is strong and capable of nourishing your baby!

Enjoy your nurslings!!

-Sarah

Top 5 New Mommy Must Haves!

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

You won’t find these items on a traditional list of suggested items for a new mommy, although they can certainly help during the early postpartum transition with a new baby.

1. High quality, easy to fill and clean water bottle – Nursing mamas get extra thirsty and need to drink lots of water to stay well hydrated as well as to maintain an adequate milk supply. Having a nice water bottle that is easy to fill, drink from, and clean helps ensure mama gets plenty of water throughout the day. A water bottle with a straw is extra helpful for quick sips since mam’s arms are usually full with new baby.

2. Blackout Curtains – Sleep is a rather elusive concept during the early postpartum period, so having the ability to create a dark, quiet space whenever needed to get some overdue sleep is especially helpful for all family members…mama, papa, baby, and/or siblings included. Add in a sound machine and you’ll be able to create a peaceful sleep environment any time of day!

3. A well stocked pantry and freezer – Breastfeeding mamas need to consume between 300-500 extra calories a day. (did you know making milk was such workout? ;) ) And that doesn’t mean just adding a daily milkshake to your diet because the quality of the calories is equally (if not MORE important) than the quantity. So as a breastfeeding mama be sure to have lots of healthy snacks readily available for yourself. Stocking your pantry and freezer near the end of your pregnancy can help you to avoid frequent trips to the grocery store with a newborn.

4. A Stash of Light Hearted Reading Material – Newborns nurse a TON…as frequent as every two hours. In addition to high frequency, the nursing sessions also tend to last a long time as baby is still gaining efficiency at the breast. As a mom of a newborn this means you will spend a great deal of time sitting with a nursing baby. Having a good book or a magazine to keep you company is helpful during this period of long and frequent feedings. Although keeping the reading material light hearted is usually best because new mommies operating on virtually no sleep often lack the mental attention for complex, in depth literature. Also hormones are pretty imbalanced during the early postpartum period and emotions can be a bit intensified, so you might want to avoid sad, dramatic literature for a while.

5. Comfortable Clothes – I didn’t catch on to the importance of comfortable postpartum clothes until my third baby was born. During the final weeks of my third son’s pregnancy I bought myself some nice pajamas to wear after baby was born, knowing that I would be spending a lot of time at home with him during the first several weeks of his life. During the early postpartum months feeling as comfortable as possible is essential. A wardrobe full of baggy maternity clothes or tight pre-pregnancy clothes usually leaves mama with limited clothing options that are comfortable. Therefore investing in some nice, comfortable, easy to nurse in postpartum clothes is a nice way to care for yourself (and subsequently for baby). You don’t have to spend a ton of money either; you can shop second hand store or clearance racks.

What non-traditional items are included on your new mommy must have list? Anything special that helped you survive those early postpartum weeks with new baby?

-Sarah

PS. Don’t forget about this week’s Fan Photo Friday! Let’s celebrate mama’s milk with some nursing photos! Send your Favorite Nursing Photo to photo to sarah@momsmilkboutique.com by Thursday, June 21. Be sure to include any information you
want shared such as age of nursling, significance of photo, etc. Then check back on Friday, June 22 to enjoy a celebration of mama’s milk through a collection of nursing photos! Winner gets 25 Milk Miles deposited into their account! :)