Breastfeeding is an amazing thing… it can also be an incredibly hard thing. And after having two babies and going through breastfeeding them both, I can honestly say that there are some things that can help set you and your babe up for breastfeeding success.
With my first baby, now 2 1/2, I struggled the whole time with breastfeeding. She wasn’t gaining weight fast enough, she was a little fussy, she wasn’t sleeping great (as much as a baby sleeps anyway), at one point we both had thrush and so we made the decision to supplement with formula and eventually we switched completely over to formula at around 6 months because she was thriving on it. It was a hard decision but it worked for us and it was great. This time around, Indy is now 4 months old and I feel like her and I are complete breastfeeding champs. It was never easy with Harper but Indy just took to it so well. She’s been gaining weight like crazy, sleeps decent for her age and is just the happiest little babe to be around. I’ve been having a little supply issue as of the last week or so but I got really serious about getting it back and we’re definitely making progress. Because of my supply issues, I thought I’d share some tips that have helped me out…
- Have a supportive nursing pillow so that you’re not hunching forward or tensing up while trying to feed. Feeding a lot can help boost supply so be ready to hunker down on the couch for a bit. This one from ErgoBaby has been great and is just the right size for us. It keeps Indy’s head a little higher than her stomach which I think helps keep her from getting gassy and it makes getting her in that tummy to tummy position super easy.
- Drink a lot of water. And then drink some more! For me this has been super important. I started working out really hard and doing spin and my supply dropped within days. I think it was a combination of heavy cardio and dehydration that caused it. So for me, I always have to have water handy and I know I drink it better if there’s ice in it so I make sure there is some in the freezer.
- Nutrition is key. Don’t try cutting calories right now, it’s not worth a drop in supply. I’m also making sure I either eat some oats/granola or some type of lactation bar everyday. There are so many lactation smoothie and cookie recipes on Pinterest it’s ridiculous so I’m slowly working my way through those now.
- Fenugreek supplements were recommended by my daughter’s pediatrician and I saw an almost immediate boost in supply. Word of warning though, they can make your babe a bit gassy so be prepared for that. I actually only took these for about a week till my supply popped back up. I’ve also heard that the MotherLove brand supplements and teas are helpful but I didn’t try them because the fenugreek worked so quickly for me.
- Pumping after feedings can also help. I hate pumping. Loathe is not a strong enough word for it, but you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do.
I thought I was ready to get my body back to myself, but when I was faced with potentially having no supply I realized I wasn’t quite ready yet. I’m so happy that these tips worked for me, I hope they help you too if you’re needing them! Anyone have any tips or tricks that I didn’t hit on here? I’d love to hear them in case I start facing supply issues again. Happy Breastfeeding Week everyone.
Thank you to ErgoBaby for sponsoring this post. All thoughts and opinions here are 100% my own. #ErgoBabyNursing #NursingKnowHow