As my daughter approaches the nine month mark, my supply seems to be hitting an all time low. I am filled with sadness. I have loved every minute of my breastfeeding journey and the thought of it coming to an end is not something I am ready to accept. As much as I love nursing I equally hate pumping. Because of this, I solely pump while at work and nurse on demand at home. This led to a drop in supply on the days I work. My body does not respond to the pump like it does her latch. So, we supplement with formula on the days she goes to Grandma’s while I work. We also supplement with formula before bed. It hasn’t been easy to accept that I am just not producing enough to keep Cecelia full. But, after her six month appointment, her pediatrician recommend we continue to do so. I try and remind myself of a very important phrase, often. “Fed is best, fed is best, fed is best.” Even though I know this is absolutely true, it still SUCKS that I don’t produce enough.
Here is where the mom guilt comes in. Maybe if I pumped more at home I would produce enough, maybe if I didn’t diet I would produce more, maybe if I made lactation bites I would be able to keep her growing and satisfied. Well, let me tell you. For the first two months of Cecelia’s life I pumped all day. My supply didn’t build and I didn’t get this freezer stash that I so frequently read other mom’s have. I’ve made the lactation bites, I’ve tried eating for two still and nothing seemed to change my output.
Even though, there are still times of mom guilt I have grown to accept the fact that I just don’t make a surplus of milk. So, with that being said I have found a few tricks along the way to keep my supply steady, not overflowing but steady and heck I’ll take that! Water, water and more water. You will hear this from every nursing mama out there and the reason you do is because it is true. Invest in a large, insulated cup and keep it full all throughout the day. The Bubba Stainless Steel Straw Tumbler is my favorite because it keeps drinks ice cold. I’ll leave it out on the counter over night and in the morning it still has ice in it. I am also very picky about cups that leave a weird taste in my water and this cup does not do that. Another great way to keep supply steady is by taking Fenugreek. Fenugreek is an herbal supplement that has so many great benefits. It is known for boosting milk supply, calming the belly and an anti-inflammatory. Which lets be honesty we can all use an anti-inflammatory after having a baby. A great snack for a nursing mama is anything with oats, honey and flaxseed. One of my favorite snacks/breakfast options are Quaker Breakfast Flats my favorite flavor is Banana Honey Nut. They also have Blueberry and Cranberry Almond. The ingredients are real things you can pronounce, which is something I always look for when choosing a healthy snack. I truly notice a difference in my supply on the days I remember to drink lots of water, take my supplement and snack healthy. So if you are struggling to maintain your milk supply give these things a try.
A few of my favorite nursing friendly pieces
Another quick tip I recommend is downloading the Baby Nursing App. It helped me so much, especially in the beginning months. You can track your nursing length and which side you left off on. You can also track wet and dirty diapers, babies stats, length of sleep and basically any important information. When Cecelia was a newborn she was Jaundiced so we had to pay extra close attention to her wet diapers and length of feedings. I can even tell you in her first month of life she nursed for 8,269.7 minutes. For me, I loved having the numbers, it gave me peace of mind. Now, I use it to time my pump sessions and keep track of the amount I am pumping. It is definitely worth the download and its free!
My breastfeeding goal at this point is to continue to nurse on demand and pump while at work. We will continue to supplement with formula as needed. We have also introduced solids which has been a huge help in keeping Cecelia full. Like I’ve mentioned in my Instagram the girl loves food. I think the most important thing to remember while nursing is do what works best for you. Do not let society pressure you. I still have to remind myself of this too. We are all just doing the best we can and FED IS BEST. and if no one told you today, you are doing a great job!!