To Be Honest, I’ve never been excited of the idea breastfeeding. I know many women are all gung ho about it and are all like “free the nip,” but I always thought the concept was super weird. I get it, our boobs were made to feed children, but that doesn’t mean I have to feel comfortable talking about the process, whipping out my boob in public, or photographing it on social media. And I also don’t need to feel obligated to do so. Even though I don’t enjoy talking about it, I’ve found a few tips and tricks throughout my journey that I felt are worth mentioning.
I’ve been fortunate enough to not experience a clogged milk duct (yet), but a benefit of heating up the boobs allows the milk to flow faster. There are many brands of heating packs out there, but my go to is Earth Mama Organics Booby Tubes, mostly because they are non liquid or gel form, they are longer than most heat packs, and much easier to carry via travel. Don’t forget nipple butter for when your girls are cracked, dry, and crying for relief ! (Also pictured is Perineal spray is to help the cooter heal)
Herbal Teas and Power Pumping
At first, I thought I wasn’t producing enough milk and honestly wanted to hike up my milk supply ASAP because I don’t have a full maternity leave. However, after a week or two on one of the more known brands, Liam and I got SUPER SUPER gassy. Poor baby had so many blowouts during the day, his little butt was almost raw from getting wiped so often. It didn’t occur to me until I researched the supplement ingredients that fenugreek causes tummy issues for a small percentage of mamas and babies. Aka me and Liam. I immediately stopped the supplements and within four days, both of our tummies felt a lot better. Instead of taking quick pill form supplements, I drink teas that contain the other milk boosting properties instead of fenugreek such as: fennel and nettle leaf.
I also turned to my lactation consultant to see if she had any more bright ideas on how to boost my supply. She recommended power pumping for about a week. Power pumping means I’d pump a minimum of 8 times a day, in addition to breastfeeding. For example, feeding Liam, then pumping immediately or within an hour. By doing this regimen for a week, it sends signals to your boobs that there is more demand for milk and more needs to be made. Don’t get me wrong, power pumping definitely doesn’t the trick, but it’s exhausting. You are even more sequestered to your home during that week because your boobs are quarantined to feeding all day.
New Foods in Diet
For years, I’ve followed AIP and Paleo diet, however, after reading a bunch of articles, it seemed like grains (like oats, rice, etc) have been proven necessary for steady milk production. I rolled my eyes at the article and continued to eat Paleo for the first two weeks. However, during those two weeks, I noticed that although I was able to feed Liam on demand, I wasn’t able to pump enough for a full bottle during the day. Not fun. That meant I was in charge of handling all feeding sessions day and night. That was definitely not happening long term.
I decided to start to slowly add oats and rice into my days to see if that made a difference && holy hell, it did. This was even before I started taking those supplements or teas. Even though I don’t like that I eat these carby things, but as long as I workout or am active during the day, I can justify my consumption in my head. Plus, I naturally increased my milk supply with food instead of relying on supplements. I recently posted a smoothie recipe which has most necessities five keep your supply up and hunger cravings down.