- Your breast milk is changing to suit your baby’s needs. When his or her saliva enters your nipple, your body reads it and produces the right “formula” for your baby for that specific point in time. The nutritional profile of the milk changes and grows with your baby.
- You get no period while you’re breastfeeding! BUT you can still get pregnant, so be careful! We’ve all heard of Irish Twins.
- A pumping bra exists. I went 3 months pumping without knowing of a pumping bra. I know, I know right. 3 months holding the cones and bottles for the entire 15-20 minutes. Get yourself a pumping bra STAT.
- I used to pump for about 10 minutes until it seemed as if my breasts were completely emptied out and then I’d stop, when in reality they weren’t completley emptied out, it just felt like it. Then I found this great article about pumping and how you should pump at least 15 minutes, if you can swing 20, do 20 minutes. You do not want to rush this.
The reason for this is because another wave of milk comes in as you’re pumping. It comes in right at about 14 minutes, you’ll feel another round of milk coming in and you want to pump long enough to feel that and pump that out. I always set a timer for 15 minutes and right at almost 15 minutes is when I feel this so be patient. Waiting the full time also signals to your body that you need more milk production!
- The size of a woman’s breasts have nothing to do with the amount of milk she produces. A woman with large breasts can make little milk and a woman with small breasts can make an abundance of milk.
- Breast milk contains naturally occuring cannabinoids in it that promote sleep and calmness in babies.
Unless you have twins of course! I don’t know about you but for the first couple of months I’d always breastfeed on one breast, hold the other with my arm/hand so no milk would flow out and then have my baby switch sides.
UNTIL.. my friend told me this genius idea: Breastfeed on one side and pump the other at the same time so your body knows to consistently produce two breasts full of milk. Genius? Or am I just late to the party?
It has helped keep my supply up so much! You should check out my post on other ways to increase milk supply. Also, in the event your LO doesn’t want the other breast, you’re left with different milk production schedules. You want your milk to come in at the same time with both breasts and be completely emptied out at the same time for your supply’s sake. If your LO doesn’t fully empty out your breast, make sure to pump the rest out.
You can save the pumped bottle, or give it to your little one if s/he’s still hungry. The point is.. once I started doing this, I never stopped. Unless of course, it’s the middle of the night and I’m half asleep. You should also read my article on clogged milk ducts so that this doesn’t happen to you by not expressing your milk often enough.
So there’s a quick tip to keeping your milk production in unison and keeping your milk supply up.
I’d love to hear your thoughts/comments!
When I first gave birth I knew right away I wanted to breastfeed as long as possible. This came with 101 questions and more. Luckily I had my doula to help me along with several questions and now I’m going on 7 months of breastfeeding/pumping.
One of my questions was about keeping breast milk out vs putting it in the fridge vs freezing it. I didn’t want any of my liquid gold going bad because I wasn’t sure how long I would have a supply for.
You’ll know if your milk has gone bad by the smell, but if you still can’t tell..
The answer to that question was simple. Babies won’t drink the milk if it’s bad.
If you try and give your LO milk and they reject it, rest assured that you can throw it out.
(FYI: this may happen anyway if you have too much citrus in your diet or something else your LO doesn’t take a liking to. I learned this by being sick and stocking up on lemon juice, grapefruit juice, orange juice, emergen-c and my LO was not having it those couple of days.)
Other than that.. your milk stays good in the fridge 3-5 days after you pump. And it stays good anywhere from 3-12 months in the freezer depending if you have a small, normal or deep freezer.
My advice is just date and freeze the milk after each pump. You’ll want to take as much air out as possible when sealing. Then you’ll want to lay your bag flat in your freezer until frozen and then reposition them upright to conserve space so that they’re like little files.
It takes about 3-5 minutes of running it under hot water to get it to a temperature similar to it coming out of your breast.
Make sure not to give it to your baby a second time if he or she doesn’t finish your frozen breast milk. Once unfrozen, you give it to your baby and if he or she doesn’t finish, you throw it out!
I’d love to hear your thoughts or answer any questions you may have!
I’m a first time mom and I’m regularly pumping and breast feeding as I work from home. One evening right before dinner I was breastfeeding my daughter and I felt tremendously sore on my left breast when she was pulling milk from me and I thought it must be from my work out. I had worked out chest that day and I was feeling sore right by my bra strap/underarm area so I figured that’s it.
The next morning my fiancee says something to me about his opinion on a matter and I get super emotional. Completely uncalled for and so irrelevant. The only time I get emotional is when I’m about to get sick with a cold/flu so I told him, I’m just being sensitive because I’m feeling sick. At around 4pm that same day I start losing my appetite, I feel chills but I’m sweating at the same time and I was like spot on, I’m sick.
It was weird to me because I hadn’t been around anyone other than my baby, my fiancee and when I worked out my complex gym was empty.
I take my temperature at about 8pm that night and I’m at 102.4 F. I’ve researched the topic on breastfeeding while you’re sick and you should continue to breastfeed or pump. I thought otherwise until I educated myself on the topic. Your body makes antibodies to fight your illness away so your LO should be getting that milk with those antibodies to keep him or her from catching whatever you have.
I call my midwives office the next morning and explain to her the symptoms, and she asks me if I feel a lump in my breast, if it’s tender, red, inflamed…? I say no to all of the above other than being a little sore, but only when my LO feeds, probably because of my workout. She advises I come as soon as I can that day to examine me. I’m at her office within two hours. She feels my breasts and tells me I have mastitis and I need to be on an antibiotic that I take 4 times a day for 10 days. 40 pills. **pills that don’t affect my breast feeding** I rarely take medication, not even ibuprofen, but she told me the symptoms would only get worse and I would keep feeling flu like symptoms without it.
My point in this blog is that I skipped right by the clogged milk duct phase and went straight into the infection: mastitis. I had no real signs leading me to believe I had mastitis other than feeling like a had an extreme fever with flu like symptoms and feeling a little sore in my breast… and I had full blown mastitis.
To prevent this from ever happening to you, I recommend buying Sunflower Lecithin which is supposed to thin your breast milk out a little (with no other effects). It’s linked right here and I chose this one because it’s soy free, non-GMO, etc. I don’t take one daily as recommended, rather one every other day.
I also recommend drinking a kombucha, yes kombucha, every day or every other day. My midwife informed me that taking in simple probiotics can keep you from ever having clogged milk ducts or mastitis. I take zero probiotics, but I love me some kombucha. I love it so much I learned how to brew my own and it keeps me from spending that $3.99 for the GTS brand (the Kevita brand carries lactic acid and more than one kind of sugar which is a no no for me.. more on that later). I’ll do a separate blog on how to brew your own!
Would love to hear your thoughts, if you’ve experienced clogged milk ducts or mastitis or if you have any questions!
I recently started taking pilates and I take my 6 month old daughter with me. One day she got so fussy and I had to stay a bit after my workout session to feed her at my instructors house before I got back into my car. My instructor asked me if I only use breastmilk or if I use formula too. I told her I strictly use breast milk and she told me that she had to supplement with formula for all three of her daughters while she was still in the hospital! Now, I’ve heard about mothers supplementing with formula more often than not, but never that early. And I’m not passing judgement, but it got me thinking…
I need to start writing a blog to share my experiences with other people about information I wish I could have found online — just information that I find to be super helpful.
This blog, as my title says, will be a little bit about everything. Not just a mommy blog, but also tips on health, fitness, the best deals and where to get them, recipes, pregnancy tips, first time mom tips, etc. Any information that I feel could help someone out there.
So back to my very first topic on my very first blog: Increasing your breast milk supply naturally.
Cumin with milk right before bed. The original recipe is (overnight soaked) cumin seeds with the raw cumin spice mixed into warm milk before bed… but I found without the cumin seed and without warming the milk works just fine. Also, I don’t drink milk so any milk should do, I typically use almond or oat milk.
**I still remember telling my mom what I was drinking and she pretty much gagged. She knows how much I dislike the spice cumin… out of all spices it’s one of my least favorite – but anything for my LO.**
I was willing to try anything when my milk supply was getting low.. eating cloves of garlic, drinking red raspberry and mothers milk tea, nursing often, staying on a regular pumping/nursing schedule, drinking plenty of fluids, eating fennel, fenugreek, using a lactation massager, eating everything under the sun that research claims will increase your supply — and nothing worked. I was getting tired of reading the same suggestions, the same advice over and over again on blog after article after study.
My pilates instructor informed me that at the hospital they tried to put her on medication and pills to increase her supply but she had no luck.
Well my dear reader, when I drank the cumin spice mixed with almond milk, I woke up engorged.. I really could not believe it. But nothing like the second day which I compare to the day I delivered. My milk supply was so high, my breasts were back to that porn star size you have when you first give birth and since then (2 months later) my milk production has kept constant.
Whenever I feel it might be getting low, or I can’t pump or nurse when I feel my milk coming in, I just take back a couple swigs of cumin almond milk before bed and sleep at peace knowing I’ll wake up with plenty of milk for my little one. I’m currently pumping 4-5 oz of milk per breast 6 months postpartum.
If you’re having a hard time keeping your supply up, give this a try. I know everyone is different and it may not work for every person.. but either way I’d love to hear about your experience!