- 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!