Momma, make that milk!

It’s World Breastfeeding Awareness Week!! Shout out to all of those milk-makin’ mommas out there!!

Breastfeeding my daughter for over a year is one of the hardest and most rewarding things I’ve ever done. Not only is it the best thing to feed my daughter, but it also created a magical bond between us. I wouldn’t trade the sore, cracked nipples, late night feedings or bites for anything!

I quickly became obsessed with making more and more milk, because ‘what if Charlie didn’t hit the quota of wet diapers for the day?’

And then I obsessed over making too much milk, ‘oh no Charlie spits up after I nurse her, I’m now overfeeding her.’

Which are both crazy thoughts I had during the beginning of my breastfeeding journey.

Check that six month chub!
Check that six month chub!

I felt like once I got the hang of nursing her, I was only a few weeks away from going back to work and had to build up a stash in the freezer for her while I was away… ‘There’s no way I can make enough milk when I’m only pumping one ounce.’

Then I really became obsessed with making more milk.

And more milk.

And more milk.

For over a year I pumped twice a day at work and nursed at home. And scowered the inter-webs for ways to make more and more and more milk. Some things worked, some things didn’t.

Here’s a list of all the thing that worked for me –

10 Tried and True Ways to Increase Your Breast Milk Supply:

  1. DRINK! – Drink lots of water, drink your weight in water. Up your water intake and you will see a boost in your supply!
  2. Nurse on Demand – I tried schedules, I tried saying no, but when I cut back or made Charlie wait longer to nurse, my supply dropped. Nursing is a supply-demand kind of thing. The more your nurse + the more your body thinks it needs to make milk = more milk.
  3. Lactation Cookies – the best midnight snack during those middle of the night feedings. I tried a few difference recipes, but the best one I found was from BellyBelly . It comes down to the amazing, milk-making ingredients, like coconut oil, flax seed, BREWERS YEAST (emphasis on this milk boosting ingredient), and oatmeal. I added some chocolate covered raisins to mine for some extra oomph.
  4. Mother’s Milk Tea – This goes back to the water intake, but this tea seemed to have magic in it! Though I do have to warn you, you have to develop a taste for it. I drank one cup a day at work in between pumping sessions!
  5. Blue Gatorade – Back to drinking your weight, blue Gatorade is amazing. I don’t know why the blue, but that seems to be the key. I recommend the blueberry pomegranate or glacier freeze.
  6. Pump – Pumping can be tough, but the stash you build and how it affects your milk supply make it worth it! Make sure you get a good pump, I have a Medela Freestyle, and pump after you nurse. It will help trick your body into making more milk, and you will create a supply for when you are not near your babe.
  7. Power Pumping – Once you get the hang of pumping, try power pumping a few times and see if it helps. Pump for 20 minutes, stop for 10, pump for 10 more and continue for about an hour, or how long you have till the babe needs you. This will help trick your body into thinking you need to make more milk.
  8. Look at your baby – While nursing, take in that bald head, long eye lashes and baby-soft skin. Soak in all of the love and bond you two are creating together. If you’re pumping, look at pictures or watch videos of the babe.
  9. Switch sides – Charlie was a one-side feeder, so I was constantly lopsided, but it did help my supply on the days I could get her to nurse off both instead of one.
  10. RELAX – This is my biggest tip – if you are stressed, anxious or sad, it will drastically affect your milk supply. As a postpartum woman your hormones are already going haywire and your haven’t had decent sleep since before you found out you were pregnant, so relaxing isn’t something you do often, but try. The minute you let the muscles in your back loosen up and exhale that deep breath you will really see a difference in your supply!

Need help relaxing? Cheers with a dark beer. The darker the beer the more active yeast. Brewers yeast is key in breast milk production!

All of the blood, sweat, and tears are worth it momma.

Milk coma!

Not only did you create a magical being inside your body, but now you are giving this baby all of the vitamins, nutrients and liquid that it needs to survive for the first six months.

You are a miracle too!

Cheers to normalizing breastfeeding.

I won’t be that kind of mom

That’s what I would say for the whole, full nine months I was pregnant, “I won’t be that kind of mom.”

I won’t freak out over little things and I will stay close with every single one of my friends. I won’t stare at baby monitors and triple wash baby bottles to make sure every speck of ‘maybe it’s dirt or maybe it’s a water mark’ is gone.

I will be a cool mom, duh. I’ll be chill, relaxed, dress impeccably everyday and still had time for dates, girls weekends, coffee and cocktails.

Duh, it won’t be that hard.

The ‘duh’ is on me.

After ten short months of full-blown motherhood, I will admit, I was completely wrong. So, I made a list, because that’s what I do, of all the things I was so, so completely, immeasurably, wrong about:

  • Boogers gross me out. Snot, boogie, farmer’s blows, whatever you want to call the nasty stuff that lives up in those nostrils, I hate them. They give me the heebie geemies and make me squirm. Well, all except my daughters, I willingly dive in there knuckles deep and dig for gold, I’ll use my own shirt to wipe her draining nose. But your boogers, keep them away from me.
  • Ew, what is that smell/stain/coming out of your baby. Pretty much any adult bodily function shouldn’t be shared, in my humble opinion. But spit up, diarrhea, yellow, seedy breast fed baby poop, farts and so much more – bring them on. My baby once had a blow out up to the back of her neck in Sam’s Club, all up the back of her shirt (unbeknownst to me), I didn’t find it until I put her in her carseat… that’s a fun story.
  • I hate going to grocery stores alone. Not anymore. I find solace in the aisles of Wal Mart, peace between the produce at Tops. Thank the lord for quick trips, long hauls and everything in between, as long as I am alone. I’ll bring my baby another time, now I will meditate next to the meats please.
  • I won’t be overprotective. Yeah freaking right. You bet your bottom dollar I have the need to know exactly what my daughter is doing at every minute of the day (emphasis on need, I work 40 hours a week). When she was first born I was very close to collecting social security information and a background check if you wanted to hold her. I’ve since gotten better, now I only require a copy of a driver’s license.
  • I won’t rely on caffeine, I’ll sleep when the baby sleeps. HA!! Let me say that again, HA!! That one actually makes me laugh out loud, I can’t believe I actually believed that. While my first few weeks at home with my daughter was a little different than most (I’ll get to that in a later post), I did not sleep, coffee was my savior, my God and top of my favorites list.
  • I will not be able to function without at least eight hours of sleep. I love sleep, it is one of my favorite things to do. That was a hard habit to quit, and my body paid for it. This reverts back to my previous point of still being so completely and totally in love with coffee.
  • I won’t compare myself to other moms. Oh but I do. And it’s a hard hurdle to jump over – accepting that we all are amazing mothers to our kids and are giving the best love to our children, nobody else can come close. Even if you made a new train set with fresh, organic wood from trees you grew in your backyard all while the baby was sleeping.
  • I will not lose touch with friends. It’s not that you want to lose friends, nobody picks that as a goal to have, but it happens. Just like any other time in your life, people change, you as a mother change, and your friends that don’t have kids won’t really understand what’s going on in your life no matter how much they try, or don’t try. I have a core group of friends that I couldn’t get rid of if I tried, but I am lucky, and sometimes it is still hard to find someone to talk to. (So if you’re a momma or not a momma, I’ll be your friend!)

Those are all things I swore up and down wouldn’t change when I had my baby. But they did, and it is for the better. Even though I may be a tinsey bit strict and a little nutzo, I’ll ease up eventually. Like maybe when she’s 33. I’ll be 58, I could be chill at 58.

Mostly, the list contains everything that I wouldn’t do. But now, I’m not the center of my universe, she is. So I have no problem wiping boogers, butts or always having an eye on her. I will happily stay home and cuddle than go out. Everything I do is to care, love, and protect her.

Maybe I was too immature to see that from the start, but from the moment I held her in my arms, my fears and silly things I wouldn’t do disappeared, and my life changed, for the better.

So here’s to boogers, dirty diapers, and relaxing next to the frozen vegetables. Cheers.