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So I recently had a baby (my Bee) and once again I have embarked on the breastfeeding journey. With my first child (my Bug) I breastfed until he was about 10 months as I watched my supply dwindle to absolutely nothing. My fluctuating work schedule, minimal time away from my desk and infrequent skin contact led to my demise. This actually brought me to tears as I tried to so hard to maintain my supply and my goal was to go at least a year. We struggled together in the beginning and I knew that making sure he had the best nutrients was important to me. However, our journey ended prematurely. Which leads me to the NOW! Here I am trying again with my baby girl but this time not only am I working, I also have a 2 year old to tend to and run after. I’ve been determined to keep my supply this time around and I think I’ve come up with the solution. So how do I do it? That’s a great question. With the aide of some amazing products and a routine, not only do I have a crazy supply (enough to pump, store and for the little to get nice and full) I’m also rocking out with my toddler as well.
So, we all know that certain foods increase milk supply so I’ve made sure to incorporate at least two of the superfoods daily. Now, I know this can be a challenge for some mamas (especially those with multiple young children) but trust me it is so worth it. As a working mama, my daily dose typically comes in the morning in the shape of overnight oats (I will be sharing my recipe soon for you guys) or a green smoothie and then again at night during dinner. What are these superfoods? I’ve listed a few of them below to kind of give you an idea.
- Oatmeal (why not fix it for you and the kiddos? Kill two birds with one stone)
- Nuts (particularly almonds – take it to go as a quick snack or add it to your oats)
- Spinach (or other leafy greens such as kale, or even broccoli)
- Beans (build up that iron ladies and get a heap of protein to go with it)
- Flaxseed (You can add these to your oats, salads, smoothies)
- Water (technically not a food BUT you need to stay hydrated to hydrate your baby)
As important as it is to pack your diet with foods rich in iron, protein and calcium I’ve realized that problems still do arise. As such, I’ve supplemented a few products into my regiment as well. When utilizing products I try to be health conscious as well as cost efficient. I know that what I intake my baby will get as well. And of course, who can afford to stock their cabinets with expensive products on one income. I personally swear by two products and I will be sure to tell you why.
Mother’s Milk Tea is my god send because it is so easy to incorporate. Not to mention, its pretty inexpensive. My two favorite things, easy and cost efficient. I’ve found quite a few ways to use this tea. Its great for the office because technically you just add water. But, you can also be creative with it (especially during these hotter months). My personal fave is to brew it, throw it over some ice and add some fresh lemon juice or slices and mint. Now instead of a cup of hot tea, I have a refreshing summer beverage. I’ve also had it boiled with some ginger (so YUMMY). Amazon is great because you can buy in bulk and we all know buying in bulk means SAVINGS!!!!
Now Motherlove More Milk is a bit pricier, but I promise it is worth it. I first used it when I had my son and am so thankful that the lactation specialist at the hospital suggested it. I struggled in the beginning with an improper latch that resulted in a very low supply and when my son was admitted to the NICU the limited contact really did damage. But this (in addition with pumping) saved me and my bug. Its not the best tasting, but you get used to it. And oddly enough for me, I always smell maple syrup all around me (I’m convinced I smell like freshly made pancakes and syrup every time I drink it.) More importantly, you don’t take much each dose so the bottle will last a while which definitely offsets the cost. Its organic and includes a lot of the herbs known to increase milk supply. Somewhat of a one stop shop.
Of course all of this hard work would go to waste if you don’t have some kind of schedule going. With work and a toddler, I’ve managed to work it out and so can you. The most important thing is consistency. So if you are exclusively breastfeeding or pumping and breastfeeding it is crucial that your boobs get stimulation every 2-3 hours. For us working mamas or even toddler mamas that can be a challenge. With newborns its simpler because the baby is always hungry. However, as the baby ages the gap in between feedings tends to increase as well and you don’t always have time to whip out your breast pump. I’ve found that power pumping in the evenings (20 minutes on, rest for 10, 10 minutes on, rest for 10, 10 minutes on, finish) works wonders. Throughout the day, if I am unable to pump or if baby is away from me, I hand express. I promise mamas, ten minutes of hand expressing is all it takes and it is okay if you don’t express a lot. The important thing is that it is signaling your body to produce milk.
Breastfeeding is far from easy, trust me I know, but the benefits are beyond worth it. Don’t give up. When you get discouraged just look at your Angel’s face and know that they are getting the best of the best from YOU. Not only did you create that beautiful baby, your body has the best nutrients to give as well. When you find that your time is limited, don’t get frustrated. Instead, trust your body and your intake.
You got this!