I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to breastfeed all three of my children. I am currently still nursing and pumping for my youngest child who is 11 months. Previously, for my oldest two children, I exclusively nursed and pumped for 8 months for each of them, until my milk production halted and I couldn’t sustain the amount they needed for child care as I was a working mother during both occasions.
This time around I have the pleasure of being a stay at home mother for the majority of my little one’s 11 months, which has been a difference maker in addition to some other tips that have allowed me to have an abundant milk supply.
There are a plethora of products on the market geared towards helping lactating mothers with their supply and having nursed three children I can say I’ve tried my fair share. Do any of them really work well and can prove to be a noticeable difference maker...: that is up for debate. I can’t personally swear by any. I’ve tried some of the most popular like the Mother’s milk tea and various lactation bars, and my milk production didn’t jump leaps and bounds. If you are intrested in knowing which ones I've tried, send me a message and I'll certainly share.
What has worked however is frequency of pump/nurse sessions and a well balanced diet, which lead to an abundance of milk. So much so I even had to buy a deep freezer to store all the milk because it began to take over the freezer space, my husband started to tease, that the rest of the family wanted to eat and we needed more in the freezer than frozen breast milk.
I hope you have a note pad handy; because here are some tips to try that allowed me to increased my milk production which meant more milk to store.
• Nursing burns a lot of calories, it has been said up to 500 a day. It is important to ensure you are eating and drinking beyond your normal diet prior to nursing. It is equally as important to make sure those calories are healthy and nutritious for you and baby. Your precious little one is literally sucking life from you, so replenishing well is key.
•Prenatal should continue while you are nursing, the additional nutrients and vitamins will benefit you and the baby.
•A schedule is key, I’ve learned about being consistent and also how frequency plays a role in milk production. The more you pump/nurse you are telling your body that milk is needed. Ive learned timing is everything. I would schedule pump sessions an hour and a half before nursing , a lactation consultant told me that a baby is always able to extract more milk from the breast than the pump will. Scheduling a pump in with enough time to refuel before nursing acomplishes feeding your baby and aiding with milk storing. Remember to have lots of water and a small snack( nuts, fruit, veggies, smoothie) on hand to aid in the production. Which brings me to my next point.
•Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Just think about it, you are secreting fluid( liquid gold) so you need to replenish what you let out. You are feeding a little person, so it’s important that you get enough fluids to be able to provide them for your baby.
• If you are nursing, don’t forget your little one should be taking vitamin D3. Formula is equipped with Vitamin D3 so it not necessary to provide this for formula fed babies.
• I’ve had the discussion with a few moms about pumping at night when your baby is asleep and starts to sleep for longer periods of time. Personally, I am a night pumper. Yes, I forgo precious sleep to wake up to pump when my baby is sound sleep. This is how I am able to store the most quite honestly. Night feedings/ pumping help keep up the milk production. Waking up twice During the night for a 5 min. pump session is well worth 10-12 ounces to store. If you do that even a few nights a week, image how much you’ll be able to store.
As always, with any information concerning your child, please consult with your baby's pediatrician for the best course of action.
Happy Milk Storage!
One of my greatest joys in life is being with my family. They show me so much love, it's an honor and privilege to be a mother and a wife. I'm grateful to be a sister, daughter, and friend. This is a space inspired by the journey and the things I've learned over the years....it hasn't been that long so bear with me. Proverbs 17:6 " Children's children are the crown of old men: and the glory of children are their fathers."