I’ve been on the fence in regards to writing about breastfeeding, because for some reason people are so passionate about it. And with passion normally comes a great deal of heated comments. I am not passionate about breastfeeding, it’s just something I’m doing, so let me say a few things before I get into it.
- I’m exclusively breastfeeding. EBF for all you internet moms. (I literally texted my cousin and asked her what EBF meant when I first saw it in a Facebook group because I had no idea.)
- I am exclusively breastfeeding because it’s come easily for me. I have a great milk supply. I know this is not the case for many women. If it was a struggle, if I was in pain, or if it just wasn’t working, I’d switch to formula in a heartbeat.
- I’ve heard “breast is best” a million times, and while I understand the idea behind that, I’m of the firm belief that “healthy, happy, sane mommy” is best. Do what you gotta do!
- This post is simply meant to discuss what’s worked for me. I am not a medical professional, so take absolutely everything I write with a grain of salt.
Okay, so breastfeeding.
My days revolve around Jack and my breasts. (Or my breasts and my breast pump.) BREASTS ALL DAY!
When I posted this picture of my freezer stash, I got a few comments and emails about it. Some saying “WOW! That’s a lot of milk!” (I had no idea) and some people asking me about what’s worked well for me in the EBF department. So, without further adieu…
6 Tips for Increasing Your Breast Milk Supply
1. Don’t stress out. It’s either going to work for you, or it’s not. I had zero expectations for breastfeeding. I figured since pregnancy sucked so much, breastfeeding probably would, too. I think that actually helped me, because when Jack immediately latched and it worked, I was shocked as shit. Listen, your body is gonna do what it’s gonna do. Your baby will grow and be fed, no matter what! Stress effects every aspect of your body, and that includes your milk supply.
2. Don’t quit too soon. I told myself (pending any major difficulties) I’d breastfeed for six weeks before making the decision if I was going to stick with it or not. I know tons of people quit before they leave the hospital because it hurts, or the baby doesn’t latch well, etc. Like all new things, it takes time and practice! If you want to breastfeed, give it some time before making a decision.
3. EAT ALL THE FOOD. Talk about a mindfuck to the nth degree. You have this baby, so you figure a) the cravings will be gone and b) you’ll want to lose weight by counting your calories. No can do, breastfeeding mama. I was shocked when my OB told me that you actually need more calories when you’re breastfeeding than when you’re pregnant. (Breastfeeding hunger is child’s play compared to pregnancy hunger!) But it makes sense: you’ve got to eat fuel to make fuel. And yes, sometimes fuel does mean Baskin-Robins.
4. Drink, drink, drink. I drink so much water it’s insane. I’ll also tell you that GATORADE makes a huge difference in my supply. I’ve read it has something to do with the electrolytes? Regardless, I have a significantly increased supply when I drink Gatorade. It could be a total fluke, but it works for me.
5. Supply and demand. I pump once in the morning after I feed Jack and once after his last feeding of the day. I’ll pump more if I’m in pain, but those two pumping sessions are normally all I’ll do. Experiment and see what works for you!
6. Lactation cookies. I thought they sounded totally weird when my friend (who is a nurse) made them for me when I first came home from the hospital, but I swear, they work. This post is getting too long, so I’ll post the recipe tomorrow morning for anyone who might be interested!