Happy Mother’s Day! Today I’m writing specifically to those soon to be and current breastfeeding Mom’s.
Since I had no idea what I was doing and got 98% of my breastfeeding knowledge from a cousin and breastfeeding class, I wanted to share what I’ve learned on my 6 month adventure.
First, DO NOT allow anyone (including doctors) to bully you. If you don’t want to breastfeed, don’t do it. But I will argue that your baby should get about 6 months of your breastmilk if you are able to produce any (pump) to help baby fight any sickness that may come near them. If your body doesn’t produce any milk, don’t sweat it, baby will grow up just fine with formula.
Disclaimer: Do your own research and make your own decisions on how to approach boosting your production.
About a month before having my son, I was told about Mother’s Milk tea. It’s herbal ingredients such as fennel, anise, coriander, fenugreek, thistle, marshmallow root and more are helpful in boosting milk production. One mother gave me the tip to start drinking it daily (3-5 8oz cups) about two weeks before my due date. Doctors would not suggest this but it did not have any negative effects on me or my baby. It’s effect? Normally it takes a few days to a week for your milk to come in, for me it was there before I left for home after my two day hospital stay after birth.
At the beginning, I was over producing milk, which made for the perfect time to freeze the extra breastmilk. What my baby didn’t eat, I should have pumped the rest out to empty the milk ducts because i ended up getting mastitis. This made my milk supply plummet. The doctor at the ER suggested having the baby cluster feed (eat frequently) and power pumping (every 1-2 hours) to unclog the milk ducts. He also suggested drinking dark beer (Guinness), the barley and hops help boost production (but only have one beer a day and don’t feed baby for at least 3 hours).
Most important: Water! Water! Water! Stay hydrated! You need a bunch more water than normal to be able to produce anything.
There will come a time when baby needs more food than you can produce. Don’t stress! (Seriously, don’t stress, it will make your production go down). Feed your baby what you are producing and if they are still hungry, give them some formula so they are full and happy. Soon you will be able to introduce solid foods.
Go Momma! You’ve got this! And remember, do what makes you most comfortable and don’t stress. One way or another your baby will be fed. You’re rocking it 😉