Motherhood

Pump, Pump, Pump it up

WHY DIDN’T ANYONE TELL ME ABOUT BREASTFEEDING!?

When I got pregnant I accepted all unsolicited advice because all advice on being a new mom was needed! I didn’t realize how terrified I was at being a mom, simply because I wanted to be the perfect mom. But, I got very little advice on breastfeeding.

Unfortunately, for whatever reason, breastfeeding is a millennial (and forward) thing. Not my mom, aunts, nor grandparents could tell me anything about it except that it would hurt. That was the common response to everyone I asked or mentioned breastfeeding too. ‘Oh my gosh, its going to hurt so bad when the milk comes in.’ or ‘ I stopped breastfeeding because it hurt too much.’ I assume the resources of a breast pump weren’t as readily available, less efficient, and less affordable as it is today.

I have a select FEW friends that actually breastfed as well. They also ran into the same problem, no one that could really help and answer their questions.

The truth being that BREASTFEEDING IS HARD!!! HARD, HARD, HARD. Mentally, physically, and emotionally…..HARD!

Here I am several months in and I want to quit at least 3x a week (however I really want to breastfeed at least until she’s on solids) and I talk myself out of it in the next sentence. I actually enjoy breastfeeding, however;

1. It’s extremely demanding
My baby girl nurses every 2 hours like clockwork for food. But, in the beginning it was about every hour, sometimes for food and sometimes for comfort. We just walked around latched basically. And let’s not get started on bedtime, she doesn’t take the pacifier, but she NEEDS the boob to put her to sleep–this could take hours some nights, luckily I am slowly weening her off of that. Plus, somewhere in between those times I have to find the right times to pump. This is where it can be physically, mentally, and emotionally demanding and sometimes draining.

2. It can be worrisome

I’m not sure about other moms, but I’m always worried if she is getting enough
I know for a fact that she is doing great at gaining weight. Sky rocketing in fact, but my biggest fear is keeping up when she begins daycare. I started storing milk as soon as my milk came in! But for some reason in my head I don’t want to rely on them. I honestly don’t know what I’m trying to save them for, but I want to make sure I’m uber prepared for an emergency. (I am sure I am crazy because I for sure have about 30 6oz bags saved. And I don’t plan on leaving long enough for all 30 of those bags to be used…ever while she’s breastfeeding). That’s brings me to the next point….

3. Increasing milk supply
I need more, more, more!! Like any mom my morning pump session gives me the most milk. Currently, I pump about 15 oz in the morning, but I need more! I’ve read stories about moms pumping 10oz on ONE BREAST! I’m averaging 24oz a day and I need about 30oz to be safe for when I send her off to daycare. Of course, this isn’t factoring in what she is actually feeding during nursing sessions.

Below are some things that I used to increase my milk;

1. Water

Drink more and more and more…..and more! I drink a lot of water on a regular, but when I notice that my milk has decreased or I feel the need to increase it I make sure I drink a gallon per day. Trust me, this helps the most!

2. Mothers Milk Tea

I always drink Mothers Milk Tea every so often just to make sure I’m staying on top of things. If needed, I drink the tea along with a gallon of water to help increase my milk. It does have a bitter taste to it so I add honey and lots of lemon just like I do with most teas that I drink and it turns out delicious. It’s very bearable without the lemon and honey.

3. Cluster pumping

Just like baby does cluster feedings (especially in the beginning, ohmagah) when they are growing and need more milk, cluster pumping helps when done too. When I need more milk  I take an hour or two out of the day, stimulate my breast and pump off and on every 10-15 minutes. If I am doing it for 2 hours its never consecutive so that my breast can refill by the time the next feeding occurs. I typically do it immediately after a feeding so that I don’t run into her feeding on ‘empty’ breast –quotations around empty because there is no such thing, you can’t suck a breast dry. It’ll just keep making more, just not as fast, leaving her frustrated when she’s hungry.

Just remember, breastfeeding is different for everyone! Some people never even produce enough milk and THAT’S OKAY. Some people can make it pass 1 year old while breast-feeding and some can’t make it pass 6 weeks and THAT’S OKAY! IT’S HARD! You’re a beast if you do it and you’re a beast if you don’t.

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