Breastfeeding 101

I grew up in a family where breastfeeding wasn’t the norm and was maybe even a little frowned upon.

When I had my first baby I knew it was something I wanted to try and if it didn’t work out… formula it was.

Let me tell you… it’s NOT easy. You have to be prepared to give all of yourself to your little one on demand.

Here are some tips and tricks I learned along the way:

The First Few Weeks:

  • It won’t be easy. Try to wait it out until you have completed the first month and a half (that’s when it got a lot easier for me)
  • Wait until your little one is four weeks old to start pumping. No one told me this so I pumped from day one and my body didn’t regulate to my babies needs and I ended up with an oversupply
  • Never skip a feeding/pumping session unless you are trying to decrease your supply

Enjoy the Ride:

  • Have a support system. I joined the Milky Mama Facebook group and it made all the difference!
  • Set a goal
  • Don’t quit on the bad days
  • Meet with a Lactation Consultant
  • Get a handheld pump you can take with you so you aren’t chained to an outlet

Equipment:

  • Make sure your pump and all your pump parts are clean and dry
  • Ensure you have the correct flange size for your nipple
  • Use this for sore nipples

Foods that help increase milk supply:

To increase output when pumping:

  • Massage your breasts or use one of these nifty massagers

Stay Hydrated:

Freezing Your Stash:

  • Lay the bags flat when you freeze them and try to keep out any extra air – when you have a lot of milk stored up
  • If your milk tastes or smells like soap when you thaw it you might have high liapse (my son wouldn’t take any of the milk I made – you can prevent this by scalding your milk)

If you get Clogged Ducts:

  • Take Sunflower Lecithin
  • Use a heating pad (warm and moist is best) – try filling up a diaper with warm water and placing it on your breast or take a warm bath
  • Nurse as much as you can
  • Dangle Feed (get down on all fours and let your little one
  • I have heard stories about some moms having their significant other suck out the clog but I am yet to try this one…

Other Products to Try:

  • Use a Haakaa to catch milk from the other breast

Some Cool Things I Learned:

  • Your milk adjusts to your babies needs. The amount of fat, hormones and more change to align with babies needs in that moment.
  • Why do momma’s love to give kisses to their baby? When you kiss your little one you “sample” the bacteria on their skin and your body adjusts to meet babies needs!

Supplementing:

You might have to supplement at some point in time – make sure you are educated on your options. There are options. You can use formula or donor milk. Two resources for Donor Milk include:

  • Human Milk 4 Babies

My Favorite Mommy Hacks

As I embark on this journey called motherhood, there are a ton of tips and tricks that I wish I knew as soon as I became a mom.

I can’t wait to share them with you! Enjoy!

  • Onsies are designed so you can you can just pull them off babies shoulders! No need to do acrobatics to get that poo covered diaper off baby!!
  • Invest in a good thermos, like a really good one. Sitting down for a full cup of hot coffee is a thing of the past. A good thermos that keeps your coffee hot for hours is a game changer!!
  • Invest in a water bottle you love and stay hydrated.  This will helps you keep your energy up. It’s even more important if you are breastfeeding.
  • Find healthy snacks and meals you you can prepare and eat with one hand.
  • Diaper blow outs typically happen when you need to go up a size in diapers.
  • You don’t need need a lot of cute outfits early on. Invest in one cute outfit for each age (newborn, 3 month, 6 month…) and then a lot of easy onsies/sleepers.
  • Zippers make life 100 times easier. Skip the snaps!
  • Leave a packed diaper bag in the car and a bag of essentials at places you go often (like grandmas) just incase you forget something or need to drop baby off quickly.
  • Put a pair of small scissors in your diaper bag. Makes cutting up food much easier, not to mention those extra long straws they put in kids cups!!
  • Keep a few empty ziplock bags in your diaper bag. You can use them to store pacifiers, half eaten snacks, dirty diapers if you need to change one in the car and so much more.
  • You won’t be able to entertain them all the time. Find this they enjoy that you don’t have to do for them. A 15 minute educational TV show is the difference between wearing the same clothes for 3 days or having clean laundry.
  • Plan to live your life in 2-3 hour increments based on their sleep schedule.
  • You can schedule all your babies doctors appointments for their first year at the first visit.
  • Don’t pre-open diapers and don’t pre-wash all clothes. Leave the tags/receipts on them. Babies grow fast and you might need to return or exchange some of them.
  • Ask lots of questions at the hospital. Don’t be shy. You only get one chance.
  • If something makes you uncomfortable, raise your voice – you have a choice!
  • As long as you listen to everyone’s advice, you don’t actually have to take it. Listen to your gut!!
  • You will get overwhelmed, tired, scared, mad, frustrated, sad. Take time for yourself. If you need a minute, put baby in a safe place and walk away. Sometimes you just need to reset to stay sane.
  • People will offer to help help with the tasks they want to do. If something makes you uncomfortable you can tell them you need help but with a different task. “I appreciate that you want to help but it makes me uncomfortable having someone else wash my dirty undies/laundry. Would you mind helping with X, Y or Z”
  • No is a complete sentence.

Babies don’t move fast, slow down with your little one and enjoy watching them grow. It goes by way to fast!!