Lifestyle, Uncategorized

My Top Tips for Breastfeeding Success

Small toddler with pigtails and pink dress sitting outside in chair

My Top Tips for Breastfeeding Success:

This post is the last one in my four part series on breastfeeding. This post is dedicated to my top tips for breastfeeding success. Isn’t it funny how this series just happened to coincide with world breastfeeding week and national breastfeeding month. I promise that wasn’t even planned :). As always, please feel free to share the link to this post with anyone you think may benefit.

Y’all breastfeeding is hard and everyone sets out on their individual journey hoping to succeed. According to the CDC 4 out of 5 moms started to breastfeed. Unfortunately these numbers drop to less than 50% breastfed at 3 months, and about 25% at 6 months. Here are some awesome tools to help you along your journey, so you can breastfeed as long as you and baby desire. So lets dive in!

Check out my breastfeeding essentials post here

The best apps and resources

If this is your first bundle of joy you might be in for a rude awakening. Mama its a full time job just remembering how frequently you have to nurse your sweet baby. In addition to nursing, you also have to keep track of diapers, weight, how long and which side you fed on last…..I am already exhausted. Add in lack of sleep and there is no way you can keep track of a piece of paper and a pen, much less which breast you need to start with.

Don’t worry Mama i got you covered! There are tons of apps on your phone that can keep track of all of this for you. My favorite app is baby tracker. This App has thought of everything including nursing, diapers and you can even set alarms. This is awesome for remembering when to give your baby medicine or when its time for another feeding. You can even put how often you pumped, which side, and the quantity.

This app is an awesome resource to share with your doctor. You can even generate reports that can help you spot trends. Here are a few pictures of my little ones tracker when she was less than a month old.

a chart of how often the baby was changed and fed

An app that helps you schedule diapers nursing and keep track of infants activity

Check out my post on how I feed my toddler

Pink kids divided plate filled with cubed cheese, ham, and grapes

Can I take this medication

One of the most stressful aspects of being a nursing mom is determining if you can take a particular medication. I have found an awesome resource that tests medications and determines the risk to your infant.

It is called infant risk. They have some information online but you can also call and talk to an individual. I have called multiple times when I needed to take a medication and they were so helpful. Please do yourself a favor and bookmark their info.

Lactation consultant

In the US most hospitals offer a lactation consultant in the hospital at brith, and this is fabulous. I did get some sound advice, however most of my problems didn’t occur until after my milk came in, and I was at home. I did reach out to a local hospital and got some great assistance from a lactation consultant. Along with this there have been many nights at 3 am that I thought I just can’t do this anymore. In comes the 24 hour lactation consultant. If you are lucky enough to live in Tennessee there is a free 24 hour hotline. I have called on multiple occasions and they have been so helpful.

The fact that they are open 24/7 is amazing. I am sure this has been the deciding factor between many moms continuing to breastfeed or giving up.

If you do not live in Tennessee I encourage you to do some research to see if your state offers the same type of assistance.

Insurance coverage

Most breast pumps and even some supplies are now covered through your insurance provider. This gives all moms access to a great pump, which can extend their breastfeeding journey once returning to work. Please be sure to check with your insurance company to see which pumps, and if replacement parts are covered.

Kelly from kellyboobbook reached out to me and made me aware of an awesome tool that she put together. She spent a ton of time finding insurance providers and created a look up tool to determine which pump you can get with your insurance provider. Please check out her tool here.

Podcast and books

Be sure to check out the boob groups podcast. They have some excellent information on breastfeeding all for free. The best part is you can listen while on the road. This is definitely a most check out podcast!

Grab yourself a copy of Ina Mays guide to breastfeeding. This is an well known source for breastfeeding for all new moms and is written by a trusted midwife. Check out my link to snag your copy from Amazon.

Websites to follow

Be sure to check out the la leche leage. This website provides tons of information and local groups to get involved with in your community.

Pacify is an online website that features lactation specialists 24/7. You can talk to a lactation consultant via video or just audio through a subscription. Definitely helpful if you want a face to face conversation even at 3 am.

If you have oversupply or under supply please check out my previous posts for helpful tips.

stand up deep freezer full of bags of frozen breast milk

Whats Up Wingo

I hope that this post gave you some great tools to make breastfeeding easier and help you to succeed. I encourage you to make the best choice for you and your little one. Even though you might not be breastfeeding you are not a failure as fed ultimately is best. Please share this with all the mamas you think might benefit. There are so many additional topics about breastfeeding. If you have a specific question please don’t hesitate to ask. I will try my hardest to answer or point you in the right direction. Be sure to stay tuned for Foodie Friday as I will have a new post for y’all.

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning, I may earn a commission if you complete a purchase after following the link . Thank you for your support!

Lifestyle, Uncategorized

How to Increase your Milk Supply While Breastfeeding

stand up deep freezer full of bags of frozen breast milk

How to Increase your Milk Supply While Breastfeeding

In this second installment of the breastfeeding series I will be talking about how to Increase your milk supply while breastfeeding. Breastfeeding can come with many struggles one of those being low supply. At times during my breastfeeding journey I have found myself struggling to produce enough milk. I am going to include in this guide some of the things that have worked for me and some ideas on how to increase your milk supply while breastfeeding.

How to Increase your Milk Supply While Breastfeeding: Supply and Demand

The most important thing to remember is that breastfeeding is all about supply and demand. The more you breastfeed the more milk you will make. Our bodies are extremely smart and for the most part are able to increase supply when needed. The number one key to low supply when in doubt is nurse nurse nurse.

Is your Supply Really Low

It is common for moms to think that their supply is low when in reality it may not be. A mom might think this if they find their baby nursing more frequently. You may have heard of the term cluster feeding. This is when a baby will feed more frequently than usual. Cluster feeding is common during growth spurts however baby will soon resume normal feedings and this not a cause for concern.

Another reason why a mom might think they are not producing enough milk is because they are not as full or find they are no longer leaking as they have in the past. Your milk will self regulate and you may find with time that you may not leak or be as engorged.

The best way to tell if your production is reduced is through the babies weight gain and diapers. Be sure to keep track of how many diapers they have daily and talk to your pediatrician if you are concerned. I am linking a great article on how many diapers you should be changing daily from one month to one year here .

Pumping and Nursing

If you are a nursing mom that is not pumping you want to bring the baby to the breast frequently. The key here is frequency, not necessarily duration. Be sure to take the time to nurse every one to two hours including both breasts. Even if its just for a short period of time you are still stimulating your breasts to make more milk.

If you are a pumping mom be sure you have a high quality pump as this will help you to express more milk. Here is the link to the pump I used. Pull out that pump after each breastfeeding session. Even if you find you are not producing any milk you are still stimulating your breasts to make more milk.

It has been proven that a lactating mom will produce more milk in the morning. Add in an additional pumping session and take advantage of that window when your hormones for milk production are high. I would feed my baby and then add in an additional pumping session every morning. I would then stock pile the milk for a rainy day. I continued to do this until she was a year old and we were no longer donating.

How to Increase your Milk Supply While Breastfeeding: Power Pumping:

If you have not heard of power pumping you need to give it a try. When I started back at work I noticed a decrease in my milk production. I Power Pump on my way home at least weekly. You need an hour of time to do this and your pump in addition to a clock or timer. Please do this responsibility if you are driving, or save this until you are catching up on your favorite show on Netflix.

If you have not picked up your hands free cups or car adapter for your pump check out my previous breastfeeding post for the links.

Power Pumping:

  1. Attach your pump to both breasts and set your timer for 20 minutes
  2. Stop pumping but leave your cups on and rest for 10 minutes
  3. Pump for 10 minutes
  4. Rest for 10 minutes
  5. Finally Pump for 10 minutes, and then your done

The more frequently you can do this the better. You may not get any milk or you may find you achieve multiple letdowns that is fine keep trying and hopefully you will see an improvement soon.

How to Increase your Milk Supply While Breastfeeding: Supplementation

Supplementation can be helpful to some with a low milk supply. You should always talk to your doctor before supplementing. Also if you happen to donate milk please be sure to check with the donation company. It is important to be transparent and make sure you don’t need to withhold milk if you decide to go ahead with supplementation.

Fenugreek is a common supplement that some women swear by. I have used it since I have no longer been donating with success. I am linking the one I use below.

You can also use a mothers milk and lactation tea like the ones listed below. Traditional Medicinals and pink stork are great companies and their teas have awesome reviews via Amazon.

Another solution that some women swear by is fennel essential oil. It is applied to the breast and washed off before nursing. I have not used this myself but have heard great things from others who have. Be sure to use a good quality oil. Young Living and Doterra are a few of my favorites.

As your breastfeeding journey continues you may find that your menstrual cycle may cause you to struggle with milk production. I have found that a calcium and magnesium supplement can be very helpful see the item linked below.

How to Incorporate Galactogogue Foods

A Galactogue food is a food that helps to increase milk supply. I am listing some of the most common foods and how you can incorporate them into your diet.

  • Oats: the most well known Galactogue that is frequently used in lactation cookies.  You can purchase these cookies or make your own recipe.  Here is a link to a gluten free lactation cookie recipe from Nora of A clean Bake.  If you have Celiac disease please be sure to get certified gluten free oats as they are commonly cross contaminated with gluten.
  • Garlic: a common Galactogue and can be added to almost any dish.  Garlic has many benefits and adds great depths of flavor to your dishes. Be sure to increase it in your diet often for maximum benefits.
  • Brewers Yeast: this is a Galactogue that is frequently made with gluten. If you are able to tolerate gluten many people swear by a good beer. If not there are some non gluten sources of Brewers Yeast.
  • Fennel: Just like the essential oil this spice is also great for milk production.  It is added to many lactation teas but can be added to your food for great flavor. Think breakfast sausage or Thanksgiving dinner.

Fed is Best

Mama I see you out there struggling. Remember to do the best you can and don’t stress the rest. Stress is one factor that can definitely reduce your milk supply. Relax take a bath, and be sure to try skin to skin while nursing. As a new mom I was so focused on breastfeeding that I frequently had anxiety around it. I was scared to death that one day my milk would just stop flowing. I have had times where I struggled to produce milk but through it all I have been able to continue to feed my little one.

If you are unable to produce enough milk to exclusively breastfeed don’t beat yourself up. I do encourage you to continue to breastfeed if you are able and supplement in addition. Your baby will still get the many benefits of breastfeeding even if it is not the sole source of nutrition. If you are unable to continue breastfeeding know you are also making the right choice for your baby. Above all the noise fed is always best.

Whats Up on this Wednesday

Anyone else over summer and ready for fall? This week has been so hot in our neck of the woods. I am hoping to get some more organization going within the house. I have been following fly lady and her routines. If you have never checked her out you need to! She is a great source for keeping your house in order! Stay tuned for Fridays post as I will be featuring a recipe that uses everyone’s favorite kitchen gadget the instant pot. This recipes is chocked full of veggies and its one that will be great for a fall night.

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning, I may earn a commission if you complete a purchase after following the link .