Breastfeeding – is the normal way of providing young infants with the nutrients they need for healthy growth and development. (source)
For those of you who know me personally know that I’m a huge advocate for breastfeeding. Although I don’t go around publicly speaking about it (until now, lol), I have been nursing for 5 1/2 straight years now (well, in 13 days it will be exactly 5 1/2 years). —> yes you read that correctly! Five and a half years!! I know, it’s a long time, for today’s society at least. Anyway, I nursed my oldest until she was 19 months old…and I was 7 months pregnant (took two months off) and then nursed baby #2 until he was 29 months old…and was 2 months pregnant with baby #3. Baby #3 is now 10 months old and we’re still going strong. I’ll leave it up to him to decide when he’s done. (edited to add: baby #3 decided he never wanted to stop nursing and was well past 3 years old)
By now, some of you may be cringing at the thought of nursing a kid as long as I have – or the opposite -applauding me for nursing as long as I have. I’ve found there seems to be a pretty fine line when it comes to the length a mom/baby chooses to nurse.
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I’ve been asked over the years by tons of inquiring mommies “how do you keep up your milk supply?” I’ll be honest, I’m like a cow. I have never had an issue of producing enough milk…but I do think that is because of a few reasons.
1) WATER – I drink TONS of water…and I mean TONS! Think of it this way, you can’t create a liquid without consuming a liquid! I suggest that you drink a glass of water right before nursing. This is a conscious effort to replenish your liquids. Back in the day when I returned to work as a Recreational Therapist after baby #1 was born I pumped 3 times per working day. I had 100 (exactly) of these cute little Medela 2.7oz bottles filled in my freezer plus more in the refrigerator!
2) PUMP IN-BETWEEN FEEDINGS – If you feel like your milk supply is getting low, try pumping in-between feedings. You basically are working towards tricking your body into believing that it needs to keep feeding that little baby (or big in my cases) 🙂
3) PUMP AFTER YOU FINISHING NURSING – Similar to tip #2, pump AFTER you finish nursing your baby. Again, you’re tricking your body into thinking that the baby is still hungry and isn’t finished yet. Your body will think it needs to keep producing. The more you use the more it will replenish.
5) ALFALFA – Just this past week I’ve started taking Shaklee’s Alfalfa Supplement because it too is known to increase breast milk supply. I will honestly say, that in the 5 days I have taken 1/2 of the suggested serving size, I am noticing a huge difference! I can completely tell that there is a big increase.
Perseverance is key! Keep at it and it will get easier. The rewards are beyond measure. My kids, when nursing never get sick. Occassionally they would get a runny nose, but that was always the extent of it. I love the bond that nursing brings to a baby and a mommy, there’s nothing comparable.
Best of luck to you in your breastfeeding endeavors! Please email me or leave a comment if you have any questions or would like further advice! I’m more than willing to help!
What struggles or successes have you had with nursing? I’d love to hear from you!
This post correlates with my A-Z Blogging Challenge:
A is for ADD / ADHD
B is for Breastfeeding