My Breastfeeding Journey
When I found out I was pregnant with Jaxon, I just knew in my heart that breastfeeding was the only option for me. I knew the benefits of it and I wasn’t able to do it as long with my first so I wanted to for sure do it for my next. I read all I could read, researched and asked for advice, and of course prayed over it. It was something I felt passionately about.
I have been able to exclusively breastfeed my son for 8 whole months.
I decided to return back to work when he was 7 months old and was extremely worried about breastfeeding. How in the world was I going to keep it up!? Luckily my job does provide support for nursing mothers and is very accommodating. Weeks prior to going back to work, I pumped once to twice a day, mostly once, to start creating a stockpile. I only pump once at work, and I pump when I get home for work.
It was all working out. It was a tad bit stressful but it was working. There were a few times when I forgot pump pieces and I was unable to pump the whole time at work, that is a whole other type of stress!
My body adjusted and my son was fed.
However, we had started going through my stash as he went through a growth spurt and started eating more. My body was no longer accommodating for this because let’s be real, your milk supply is based off of demand. I wasn’t pumping as often as he was eating (we had no set schedule, we fed on demand).
8 months and a few weeks, we introduced formula. I was no longer producing enough for his before bed feeding. I knew this moment was coming and I was honestly dreading it. I’m dreading the moment when we stop breastfeeding all together.
We still feed on demand when I am home, he still receives majority breast milk, and he has a bottle of formula before bed. And guess what? He is still fed. Fed is fed. He is happy. He is healthy. He is loved.
Society puts in our heads as mothers that if we aren’t breastfeeding, we’re a horrible mother. If you aren’t using a certain formula, you’re a horrible mother. If you breastfeed in public, you’re a horrible mother. Society lies. If your child is happy, healthy, and loved, you are the very best mother and are providing the very best for your child.
This I learned quickly. I no longer feel guilty for feeding my baby formula and in no way shape or form should I. I am so thankful I was able to breastfeed as long as I did. That’s 3 times longer than I was able to with my first. And even though I’m not exclusively breastfeeding, I am still am able to for the most part, and when we are completely done, it will be all well.
With all that being said, this is what helped me personally to have a successful breastfeeding journey:
Drink lots and lots of water! Even when you’re not thirsty!
Do not skip meals. Breastfeeding is not a time to diet. You need those extra calories, while breastfeeding.
Continue to take your prenatals.
I did take Fenugreek and it did help increase my milk supply, however, I was not pumping as much or feeding as much as I probably should have been, so I became engorged quite a lot, so I quickly stopped.
Mother’s milk is a really great tea to drink.
There are lactation cookies but they contain way too much sugar, personally.
The most important tip of all is SUPPLY AND DEMAND! The more often you feed, the more your milk supply will increase. That’s just the simple truth of it all.
Remember mamas! You are doing an amazing job! Don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise.
Love & Light,