So about a week away from Jay and I’s first day trip away from Emmy, I realized I didn’t have enough breast milk stored up for grandma to feed our baby girl! I needed to re-stock stat, but when I tried to get back into my pumping routine, I quickly noticed things were not producing the way they used to. I was only getting 1-2 ounces at times. I can’t say I was shocked, but I was definitely bummed . I knew that breast milk was a supply and demand market and I had definitely decreased the demand lately. I was honestly tired of pumping (mostly washing the pump parts!) and had been slacking. So I started doing some research and some serious pumping. 48 hours later I was well on my way back to the good ol’ days of pumping 6-7 ounces each time! My milk-makin’- mission basically consumed my life for those 2 days but once I got going again it just kept on coming.
I’m sure you hear this alot but it’s true! Breast milk is 88% water, so if you aren’t drinking at every feeding, your body will soon get dehydrated! You have to drink at least 8 ounces of water 8 times a day. Make sure you are doing this in the easiest way possible. I noticed that it is much easier for me to drink this amount when I have a straw. So I went out and bought a large reusable 16 oz. water bottle with a straw. I find myself able to literally GULP water alot easier than if it was just in a cup. I am able to finish and refill my water bottle easily 4 times a day. I try to set small goals for myself throughout the day. I always tell myself I have to finish one bottle of water before I have my morning cup of coffee. Then I’ll always have an entire bottle with each meal. Breaking the 64 ounce challenge up this way really helps me knock it out wit ease.
Mother’s Milk tea
A fellow new mom, who I consider very wise when it comes to all things baby, shared her love of Mother Milk Tea with me just a few days after my daughter was born. In the beginning I was producing so well that I didn’t see a need for it. But as soon as I noticed the decrease in production I went straight to the store and bought it. The ingredients, such as fennel and coriander, all promote healthy lactation. You can also take Fenugreek supplements (this brand is really popular and it’s only $5!) instead of drinking the tea. Both will seriously help with an increase in lactation. The taste of the tea isn’t my favorite, but I add a small bit of honey and it’s just right. I drank this every morning while I was on my milk making mission followed by lots and lots of water! Be sure to not have more thank 1 cup in a day since too much of all these good things can make your baby gassy.
oatmeal, carrots & Hummus, Spinach salads
That’s the recipe for success! I basically ate these things all day for those 2 days and it definitely did what it was supposed to. There are a few other foods that can help increase your milk supply:
- Beet leaves
- Sweet potatoes
It’s also important to make sure you aren’t eating foods that are known to decrease milk supply (anything with peppermint, sage, spearmint).
You need those electrolytes! I drank alot of Smart Water when I was pregnant with Emmy to help with the leg cramps and it worked wonders. Who knew the same thing would help with breast milk production?! Try to drink at least 20 oz a day! It’s also a nice little mix up from the endless amounts of water you need to drink! Rumor has it the red Gatorade works the best but I’ve always stuck to the blue and it gets the job done.
Your breast pump is probably already one of your closest friends. You’re about to get alot closer. Like hanging out every hours for at least 20 minutes. That was my routine. After I fed baby, I would wait about an hour to an hour and a half and then I would pump for at least 20 minutes. If the milk stopped coming, I waited at least 5 minutes to stimulate the next let down. At first, this wasn’t very encouraging. I was getting 2 ounces total. But by day 2, I was pumping 5 ounces total in the morning and was up to 6-7 ounces by that night. I stopped this process around 8 P.M. and would get a few hours of sleep and them wake up around 4 A.M. for a pump session. This one was my favorite because I would literally FILL the pump bottles. 10 ounces minimum! Another general rule of thumb I would always follow was to pump WHILE feeding Emmy during our earliest feeding session in the morning. Morning milk is very rich and high in protein so babies will eat less at this time. Since I’m feeding the baby, the let down comes much quicker and seems to be more intense than when it’s just me and my pump. I usually get about 5 ounces during her 10 minute morning feeding off of just one breast.
A few other fun tips, always try to be close to your little one while pumping. It definitely helps your body get into mom mode and encourage production. And think positive thoughts! No two mama’s are the same and it may take more or less time for you to get back to where you want to be. But stick to it! That little human who refers to you as mom is the best motivation in the world!
After the two days I was able to get enough milk stored up for baby girl. The weekend trip was a ton of fun for Jay and I! Here’s a fun family photo of us before we left to hit the road! We were headed to Texas A&M for a football weekend if you can’t tell from the Aggie ensembles.
Don’t forget to follow LBL on Instagram and Facebook! I’ve also started a fun monthly email for all my fellow mom’s with updates on new pumping tricks and tips, insight as to how I’m dealing with the bassinet to crib transition and much more! I’d love for you to join!
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