Saturday, September 15, 2012

She tricked me!

So my little Angel is a trickster! I had her on a wonderful schedule of eat-play-sleep. The sleep experts all agree that the best way to get your baby to sleep well is to feed her when she wakes up, not before she goes to bed. This was working out perfectly for us until she hit a growth spurt and wanted to eat before naps too. So, I switched to eat-play-eat-sleep. At this point she was nursing 10-12 times a day which is a lot for a 4 month old but, hey, my growing girl needs her boobie nums. Well, it turns out she tricked me. A few days after we got on this schedule she started turning down the breast after her naps. She continued to chow down before naps though. Looks like she got her way because she is know solidly on a play-eat-sleep schedule which is NOT what I wanted. Oh well, I have a feeling this is the first of many times my strong willed little girl is going to get her way.

And, for fun, a nursing pic of my lil darlin'

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Favorite Products?

I'm going to be hosting a giveaway and I would like to hear about everyone's favorite breastfeeding products.

I'll start by telling you what I like, dislike, and have never tried.


I would not be able to live without my Boppy. I love it so! Admittedly in the middle of the night I just use a pillow so I don't have to run out to the living room and grab the boppy, but it's so much easier to have the curvature around my body. Maybe it's cuz I'm fat, but with a regular pillow I find my baby girl is too far from me, it makes nursing awkward sometimes, which it shouldn't be. The boppy keeps her head nice and close without being pushed away by my belly. Anyway, boppy's rock.

On a related note, I love my super soft custom made minky boppy cover. I bought it on etsy (from this seller), there are about a million etsy sellers who make boppy covers. They come in cute prints too but nothing beats the luxurious minky fabric. Mine is pink and I heart it!

My Medela Pump in Style rocks! To be fair, the only other pump I have tried is the hospital grade Medela and it was awesome too. I have heard great things about some cheaper pumps but I have also heard some not so great things. I loathe pumping, it's hard and it's a huge pain, so I'm gonna stick with my bestselling pricey pump that does it's job as well as I could expect it to. It's not cheap, but what I did was I bought a used on one Craigslist (I think I paid $75) and then bought all the replacement parts for about $50. That's a huge savings over buying a brand new pump and the only second hand part is the motor!

Microwave sterilizer bags. If I had a dishwasher I would just use that but, alas, we do not have a dishwasher so I sterilize pump parts, bottles and binkies in the microwave. The bags are affordable and super easy. I know I technically don't have to sterilize things that come in contact with breast milk but it just makes me feel a lot better about everything :)

Bamboo nursing pads are another must have. I'm lucky in that I don't leak much but when I nurse first thing in the morning, whichever boob I'm not nursing from turns on like a faucet. Any brand of nursing pad with bamboo fleece or bamboo velour soaks it right up. I got some free pairs from the milk bank that I donated my milk to and now I'm hooked. I also bought some super cute custom ones off a WAHM shop called Pampered Mama.


I can't really think of any product I have tried and not liked. There are some things I don't use, such as nipple cream. It never really helped me as much as putting breastmilk on my nipples did, and my nipples were only sore for a couple weeks this time around. When I did use it though, I much prefered the Earth Mama brand over Lansinoh. That lanolin in the Lansinoh gets everywhere and is hard to wash off. So, I guess, my product I dislike is Lansinoh nipple cream. However, I use it to lanolize my wool diaper covers and it works like a charm so I do have some Lansinoh love :)


I would love to get a set of Booby Tubes. For those who don't know, these are reusable heating/cooling tubes that cab be placed on, or wrapped around your breast(s) to help encourage milk flow, reduce the chances of clogged ducts and relive discomfort. I would love to review this product sometime!

Something else I want to try is a Milk Saver. This is a little contraption that you place on one breast while feeding with the other. It catches the milk that leaks out and you can save it for later, as you would with pumped milk. This got my interest because, as I mentioned before, when I nurse first thing in the morning I have some serious leaking issues. While I love my nursing pads, it would be nice to keep the milk that drips out rather than having it absorbed into the pad.

So, please leave a comment, email me, or visit my Facebook page, and let me know which breastfeeding products you love. I'm hoping to have the giveaway up and running by the end of the month.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Big Boobie Nursing

My boobs are huge. I mean HUGE. I wear a size 44F or 44G bra. Clearly this complicates nursing positions a little. I'm pretty sure nursing while babywearing is an impossibility for me, but I'm still working on it. It has been a long journey of finding out which nursing positions work for me, and when you add in the fact that my daughter has reflux and needs to be fairly upright while eating, my positions are very limited. I usually do the Boppy, propped up on the arm of the couch for elevation. This means I have to switch sides of the couch when I switch boobs. My hubby is getting used to playing musical chairs every evening while my daughter cluster feeds before bed. In the middle of the night I like to stay in my bed to nurse so I prop up one side of the Boppy with a pillow. This morning, however, I decided to try something new. With my son, I loved to nurse lying down (while holding my giant boob back so it wouldn't suffocate him), but I can't really do lying down with my reflux baby. So, I propped her up on two pillows and lay next to her, with a couple pillow behind myself as well. It worked out so well I actually had a free hand to take a picture. The moral of the story is - pillows are your friend. If you need help with positioning, make sure you have plenty of pillow. I believe this position took five. So, here ya go! Don't mind the giant boobies, it was first thing in the morning so I didn't have a bra on.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Nothing Cuter

I'm pretty sure there's nothing cuter than a baby nursing. I mean, babies are usually cute (I say usually because when they're spraying poop in your face or puking down your cleavage at the zoo, they're not overly cute) but I think a nursing baby is pretty darn cute. At least once a day, I look at baby Ange, staring at me from behind my big ole boobie and I can't help but melt. Man, I'm gonna miss this one day!

Here's my baby girl today :)

Has anyone made their Facebook profile pic a nursing pic for WBW? If you have, tell me about it. I just may pick a random commenter to win a prize ;)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Why I Breastfeed

I recently got into a bit of a debate with an online friend of mine who chose to formula feed both of her children. While I think she is an excellent mother, I simply cannot come to terms with the fact that she didn't even give breastfeeding a chance. I know it's none of my business and I chose not to let it escalate (it's too late anyway, so no point in trying to change her mind). She linked me to an article that makes a case against breastfeeding which is honestly the most ridiculous thing I have ever read in my life. I promise, I went into it with an open mind. I am somewhat of a believer in conspiracy theories so I'm always open to something that will challenge what I have been told. Well, it's a piece of junk, full of lies and exaggerations as well as ridiculous sarcasm and assumptions. Anyhow, go ahead and read it if you like, I'm thinking of writing a detailed review on it, but it's gonna take me a while since I don't want to point fingers at the lies without facts to back myself up.

So while i was reading that article that attempted to negate all of the wonderful benefits of breastfeeding, I started thinking about the most important reasons I breastfeed my babies. There are dozens of benefits but I can honestly say that the tiny possible decrease in the likelihood of them getting diabetes is not on the top of my list. It's an added bonus but it's not the main reason I do it.

Here are my top 3 reasons I breastfeed.

1. The bonding. Even if my breasts produced Similac, I would still choose nursing over bottle feeding because nothing beats that constant skin-to-skin contact. Sure, it would be nice to alternate night feedings with my husband but I adore the fact that I am the one who feeds my babies (most of time time. I do let others feed her pumped milk on occasion). Maybe it's selfish, but I like the fact that my baby relies on me to stay alive. I like being her #1 supporter. I also love that time when, even if there are a million crazy things going on around us, I sit down with my little girl, stare into her eyes and we bond. She has recently taken to holding my hand while she nurses and I freakin love it! No, I do not feel guilty that my son doesn't get an equivalent because he got it, for 17 months, and he now gets a different type of quality time. He has no interest in holding my hand and staring into my eyes 8 times a day.

2. It's natural. I know all to well that the day will come when I'm busy enough to justify feeding Angelina a Happy Meal or hot dogs for lunch. My son eats that crap way too often. Until she is old enough to ask for an Oreo or scarf down a burger I plan to keep her on an all natural diet. I will make my own baby food (mostly organic). So why would I give her synthetic, chemical-laden, laboratory derived formula? Ok, I'm making it sound worse than it is, it's really not all that bad and certainly better than McDonalds, but since I'm able to produce enough mama's milk for her, I can't imagine choosing to give her something man made. Sort of like how I buy GMO tomatoes if that's all they have, but if there are organic tomatoes and especially if they were cheaper than the GMO ones, I would pick those. Common sense, right?

3. It's easy. Formula is a huge pain in the butt. Huge. You have to go to the store and buy it, find somewhere in your house to store it, mix bottles in the middle of the night when you're so tired you can barely see, and then wash said bottles. Big pain. This way I just whip out a boob, feed, and I'm done. Easy peasy. I also have more than enough things to fill my diaper bag with, I can't imagine adding bottles, bottled water and formula to the mix. I'll pass, thanks.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

World Breastfeeding Week

Today marks the first day of World Breastfeeding Week. To celebrate, I will be posting every day this week!

To start off, I am actually going to copy and paste something I wrote 2 years ago during WBW. I promise the rest of my posts will be new, but I really think this one sums up what I want to say on the topic.

I want to start by saying I am not a "breastfeeding elitist". I do not judge those who formula feed (as long as they gave breastfeeding a shot) and, in fact, I think it is extremely important to recognize all those mamas who tried but were not able to breastfeed.

Formula is not the devil. In fact, it is a very, very close second to breastmilk. It is called "formula" because it is made from an exact scientific formula that is aimed to mimic breastmilk as closely as possible. So many mamas put their hearts and souls into trying to breastfeed and, in some cases, are so preoccupied with the pressure to nurse that they miss out on some of the joy during those wonderful first days of parenthood.

The main goals of breastfeeding week are to recognize mothers around the world who breastfeed their children, to ensure their rights (such as breastfeeding in public and pumping at work) and to promote breastfeeding awareness. These are awesome goals and I am so happy that this week exists. However, I would like to add a goal to the list, a very important one: supporting mamas who tried to breastfeed but could not.

I think mothers who try but are not able to breastfeed, or who have to give it up sooner than they would like to, need to be recognized and supported too. I came really close to having to give up on breastfeeding, and when Jackson sucked down a bottle of Similac in the hospital my heart literally broke. That is wrong, and something needs to be done about the stigma associated with formula. While I appreciate all of the support I got from the nurses, doctors and lactation consultants, I should not have felt like a failure when I fed my hungry son. I was so fortunate to be able to get my supply back up and Jax has not had any formula since he was one week old but not all mamas are as fortunate as I am. Its not that they didn't try as hard, their bodies or circumstances just did not allow them to breastfeed. 

I wholeheartedly believe that all mothers need to try to breastfeed. Science has shown that it is best for both the baby and the mother. BUT, I want to emphasize how important it is to not put down or shame those who don't breastfeed. You can't expect a full explanation as to why someone is buying formula, or fixing a bottle for their child and there's a good chance they did in fact try to breastfeed and could not do it, so DON'T judge them.
Please use this week to give some mad credit to all mothers. Those who are breastfeeding their little ones, those who have breastfed in the past AND those who tried their hardest to breastfeed. All of these moms deserve equal recognition. I can tell you from experience, breastfeeding is HARD WORK and anyone who even attempts to do it deserves to be recognized this week.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Crunchy Mama

Apparently breastfeeding is crunchy. I found this out on Babycenter (which, if you haven't hear of it, is a community of over 100 million parents, chatting about everything baby and non-baby related). People often talk about being crunchy. I actually wrote a short article about what being crunchy means, so if you're not sure, head on over and check it out.

So breastfeeding is crunchy because it is natural. I guess that makes sense. I got to thinking what else I do that might be viewed as crunchy. Well, I recycle, but who doesn't? I try to conserve energy but I think these days that's a given. I cloth diaper. That's a good one! While cloth diapering is becoming more and more popular (I definitely know more mamas who use cloth than disposables) it's still not a given. It saves your baby from being exposed to harsh chemicals and it helps the environment. There are other reasons I cloth diaper too, such as the cuteness, softness , affordability and of course, the addictive factor, but I don't think those count as crunchy.

I figured I would share some of my cloth diaper expertise with my readers, even though this blog is mostly about breastfeeding.

Let's start at the beginning. There are many different types of diapers. For a concise, informative outline of the various types, check out this article on Diaper Junction, my go-to website for diaper info. My personal preference are all-in-one (AIO) and all-in-two (AI2) diapers, but I really do like them all and I have a little bit of everything in my stash. I like that AIO's are all one piece, just like a disposable, and they are easy for babysitters and grandparents who might not be familiar with modern cloth diapering. The only down side of AIO's is that they often take a long time to dry. There are some brands, such as Thirsties AIO's, that can be turned inside out to reduce drying time. I love me some Thirsties! AI2's are great too, especially the "hybrid" diapers which cut down on cost and laundry by using several inserts in one cover. My favorite hybrid is the Flip system, it works great and fits as trimly as a disposable (not to mention the super cute colors it comes in!). Other favorite brands of mine include Tots Bots and FuzziBunz. The brand names are super cute too, aren't they? Most diapers come in a "one size" option which means you spend about $500 total on diapers to last from birth to potty training. Considering that the average disposable diapered baby will go through $2000 worth of diapers (which then end up in a landfill) I think that's a pretty decent savings. Plus, lots of people buy used diapers so you can buy used and save more money, or sell yours when you're done and make half your money back. Pretty thrifty, huh? Anyhow, so I cloth diaper and I love it! I might even say I like it as much as I like breastfeeding. Man, I'm gonna miss having babies!

Just for fun, here are a couple pics of both of my kiddos in their cloth diapers!

Jax in his first ever cloth diaper - Happy Heinys

Jax in a Bum Genius AIO (they no longer make these, but I buy them used cuz they rock!)

Jax in a Sunstainable Babyish fitted (best overnight diaper ever!)

Newborn Ange in a prefold with a newborn Rumparooz cover
Ange in a Doodle Dype (these are hard to get!)

And my stashes (which change all the time). Jax's boy stash, and Ange's girl stash. As you can tell, I love diapers! 


Nursing moms get THIRSTY. Yes, I put it in all caps because it's not just regular thirst it's THIRST. Especially during the first few weeks after your baby is born, the instant you start to nurse (or pump) you get hit with this intense need for water. Any good husband learns that when his wife sits down to nurse, he runs to get her a glass of water. Thankfully, my awesome hubby had this trick down a week or so after my son was born and actually remembered to do it the day my daughter was born, when we were still in the hospital.

Anyway, even when I am not in the middle of nursing, I find I am always thirsty. It's like I can't get enough water. I'm also busy (with a 3 year old and a 3 month old) so running to the fridge to fill up my water cup every 5 minutes is a pain. So the other day, while shopping at the dollar store for craft supplies, I spied the perfect water cup.

I don't know if you can tell in the picture, but this thing is huge! My husband calls it my "bucket of water" and that's what it is. Put it this way, it's bigger than a Jack in the Box soda and those things are big! I seriously freakin love it! I fill my cup and sit it next to me while I'm nursing, playing with the kids, on the computer, whatever, and I get to be my lazy, thirsty self. I highly recommend you buy yourself a giganto-cup ASAP. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Bottles, Binkies and More

We have all been told not to offer a bottle or pacifier during the first month of a breastfeeding baby's life. The rationale behind this is to avoid nipple confusion. This does make sense but in all of my discussions about breastfeeding, I have never come across someone who had a problem with this. Of course I know lots of moms whose babies wouldn't latch from the beginning and I know plenty of little ones who refuse to take a bottle. But I know lots of people who broke the one month rule and none of them had any negative repercussions. After I delivered Ange, a nurse told me something that made a lot of sense, though. She said that it's not so much nipple confusion, but that if a baby is attached to a pacifier all day and all night, he won't have enough energy or strength to suck on a nipple when it's time to eat. That made sense to me and that's why I decided to give Ange a binky when she needs it, but not to just pop it in her mouth any time it falls out. I also take it out once she falls asleep.

 If anyone has had any issues with nipple confusion, I'm interested to hear about it. Please post here or email me (

Challenge and GIVEAWAY!!!

What do you do while breastfeeding?

I love breastfeeding my babies because I love the bonding time. I love feeling their skin against mine and having quiet time together that nobody but me gets to experience. However, I have noticed that every time I sit down to nurse my little one, I bring my phone with me. Or the iPad. Or the TV remote. I feel like I have to do something while I'm nursing. Maybe it's just that I'm so busy all day so since I'm already sitting down, not being productive, I think I deserve a chance to check in on Facebook or catch up on my DVR list. Whatever it is, I can't help but feeling a little hypocritical for boasting about the bonding aspects of nursing. I praise breastfeeding because I claim it is a bonding experience, yet I sit there ignoring my daughter while I surf the web on my phone.

So... I have started my own challenge. At least once a day while nursing, I will do nothing but look at, and talk to my precious little girl. I can't even imagine how much I will miss this when she is older, so I am going to force myself to soak it up as much as possible.

Now for the giveaway part! You must be a nursing mama to participate (if you're not, you wouldn't have any use for the prize anyway). I challenge you do the same as me. For at least 3 days, spend one nursing session a day doing nothing but talking to and looking at your baby/child. No phone, no TV, no Ipad, no staring into space thinking about everything you have to do, nothing! Of course this in on the honor system. Then, write a short (a couple sentences) summary of how it went and if you will continue to do it. The prize will be a pair of custom nursing pads from The Pampered Mama. You can pick the color and print and I will order it, pay for it and send it to you! I have a pair of these and love them! 

Enter here to win!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway (Giveaway details: one entry per person.  You must reside in the United States to win. You must be a follower of "Mama's Got Milk" to win. This giveaway is not sponsored by The Pampered Mama, I just love her products so I'm buying the pads as a prize. Each entry will be numbered in the order that they are received and I will use to pick a winner)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Mustard is not very appetizing anymore...

If you have breastfed a baby, then you know that breastfed poop looks just like yellow mustard. I had read this description while pregnant with Jax but it didn't really sink in. I guess I didn't realize that the color, consistency, frequency and amount of poop was going to be such a big deal. Well, it is. Poop is one of the focal points of early parenthood. Since having my son I have been known to talk to strangers about my baby's poop, take pictures of poop and even resort to sticking my finger into it to check out the texture (yup! I did that).

One awesome thing about breastfed poop is that it actually doesn't smell that bad. I mean, it's not my favorite perfume (despite the fact that I have likely had some both behind my ears and on the inside of my wrist) but it doesn't smell as bad as other poop. If you've ever smelled a formula fed baby's poop - holy smokes that stuff can be potent! The not so awesome thing about breastfed poop is the consistency. Keeping a nice little turd inside a diaper is easy, keeping a huge explosion of gooey liquid in the diaper.. not so easy! Thankfully I discovered cloth diapers when my son was about 6 months old and  we have had very few blowouts since we switched. Ange has been in cloth since birth and last week we had our first real blowout.

Now I would like to discuss the color of breastfed poop. It's yellow. Mustard yellow. Not a little bit like mustard, not sort of resembling mustard, it looks EXACTLY like mustard. Which is great. Better than nasty brown poop, I think. Until you go to make a salami sandwich. You squirt the mustard all over the bread and for some reason you lose a bit of your appetite. But you can't figure out why, so you finish making the sandwich, pour yourself a nice glass of water and sit down on the couch to eat your lunch in peace while the kids are napping. Then you glance to your left and right there on the couch next to you is a dirty diaper from the pre-nap diaper change. On top of the diaper is the wipe you used to wipe your little darling's butt. And all over that wipe is... mustard... I mean poop! Suddenly you realize why the sandwich tweaked your gag reflex and before you know it, the sandwich is out of the question and you're eating oreos for lunch. This is what happened to me yesterday.

So, yes, breastfed poop has its ups and downs. It's not too smelly and you can keep it contained in a good cloth diaper but don't expect to eat a salami sandwich any time soon ;)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Nursing, Hawaiian Style

In case you don't already know, my family and I live in Hawaii. My hubby is Hawaiian, born and raised (actually he was born in CA while his parents lived there for a couple years, but he moved here before his first birthday). I came here for grad school and after 3 days of Hawaiian living I called my mom to warn her that I was never coming home (home is Montreal, Canada). Here we are, 6 years later, and I'm loving life in Hawaii. Well, I don't love that the average house costs $700k or that you're lucky to get a gallon of milk for $6 on sale. Don't even get me started on gas and electricity prices. But, cost of living aside, Hawaii really is paradise. We just got home from a wonderful beach day with the kiddos and I figured I would share a couple pictures of me nursing Angelina on the beach. I love Hawaii for the weather and the beaches, but I also love how liberal minded everyone is. Nobody would ever judge or stare at me for nursing in public. I don't even own a nursing cover, I'm not too sure what I would need it for.

So, here ya go, this is me nursing my beautiful baby girl on the beach. I put her big brother's hat on her to keep the sun off of her delicate, 2 month old skin.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Meet My Nurslings

These two precious babies are the reasons that I care about breastfeeding so much. Since August 2009, when my big boy came into this world, my entire life has been devoted to being the best mother I can be. I have done a lot (and I mean A LOT) of research on parenting practices and choices. I have looked into all the issues and made my decisions accordingly. My wonderful husband helps me make these decisions but I'm the one who takes the time to do the research so, in most cases, I get the final say. He trusts me and usually just goes with what I say is best.

This is my big boy, Jackson

Jax was born at 10lbs, 13oz (by csection in case you were wondering) and has been my little muncher ever since. He had the appetite of a 6 month old the day he was born and my big ole boobs could barely keep up. I went through a long, emotional battle with my supply but I stuck to my guns and did not offer him formula. Well, he did get a few bottles while we were waiting for my milk to come in, as his blood sugar was dropping and the doctors insisted. For the record, I most certainly would have given him formula if he was hungry, I would never EVER try and make a hungry baby go to sleep. I do not think formula is a horrible poison, but we'll go into all that in another post. Jax kept me on my toes and I soon developed a taste for oatmeal. I also relied on beer to keep my supply up, which was enjoyable :) I eventually got my supply up and by the time he was on solids, we were good to go. He was a distracted nurser which made things a little difficult and he ended up with a dairy allergy which also threw a kink into my plans, but it all worked out and he nursed for 17 long months. It seems like it went by in a heartbeat when I think about it, but there were definitely days that seemed to last for an eternity. Now that I am nursing his baby sister, and I'm dairy-free for her, he drinks a cup of pumped breastmilk every morning for breakfast. 

And this is my darling Angelina

Ange is the world's easiest baby, despite the fact that she has severe reflux, and a suspected milk protein intolerance. When Ange was 2 days old, the scariest thing in my life happened. My husband called my name in a panicked voice and I ran into the room to see my baby girl completely blue. She had stopped breathing! After a call to 9-1-1, a trip to the ER and a 3 day stay at the hospital (complete with a bazillion tests) they determined that she has reflux and had aspirated on the reflux. Essentially she breathed in the spit up and choked on it. I was beyond relieved that she didn't have any "serious" medical condition! Just as the relief finished sinking in, I was hit with a ton of bricks. I could not breastfeed her. Ever. My breastmilk was too thin and liquidy (as all breastmilk is) so I would either have to switch to formula or pump and add a thickener to my milk. Of course I chose to pump but let me tell you, exclusively pumping for a newborn is hard core! I give MAJOR credit to exclusively pumping mamas. Major credit! If you exclusively pump for your baby, let me know and I will come to your house and clean your bathroom for you. Those two weeks that I was pumping were hard, and having to hold her upright for 30 minutes after each feeding didn't make it any easier. I would pump for half an hour, feed her for 15 minutes, hold her for half an hour and an hour or two after that I would have to start all over. All day and all night long. That schedule also doesn't account for washing bottles and pump parts which are a pain in the ass, to say the least! Did you know that if you plan to exclusively pump, you need to pump a minimum of 8 times a day for the first 6 weeks? Skipping even one pumping session can affect your supply. Not only was I exhausted from the insane pumping schedule but I wanted to breastfeed my baby so badly! I craved the bonding, skin to skin, special time and I hated that just anyone could pick up a bottle and feed my baby. I'm supposed to be the one feeding my baby! I'm the mama and mamas feed their babies. The emotional toll this took on me cannot be put into words, so I'll stop trying. Anyway, after 2 weeks I took her to our pediatrician to see what she thought. The pumping recommendation was given my the ped at the hospital. Well, my ped told me "you might as well try". I almost kissed her. Of course, after seeing Angelina turn blue a few weeks earlier, I was cautious, to say the least. I nursed her in an upright position and then my husband and I watched her like a hawk for hours. She was fine. We gradually weaned her off of the bottle and she is doing wonderfully. As you can see from her picture, she is clearly not having any trouble gaining weight. Ange is now 2 months old and over 16 pounds. She does reflux from time to time and is on meds for it, but she nurses like a champ and we both love it. My husband has offered to take over some night feedings so I can sleep but I turn him down every time. There are not too many things that will get me out of bed at 4am with a smile on my face, but nursing my baby is one of them. 

So those are my babies and that is my story. I have learned so much along my nursing journey and I hope to share most, if not all of my knowledge with my readers. This blog is not only written my me, it's written by Jackson and Angelina too. If it weren't for my kids and the challenged they have presented me with, I wouldn't know half of what I do about breastfeeding. 

Top 10 ways to increase your milk supply

Many moms believe their supply is too low. This is usually due to the fact that you cannot tell how much milk you're making unless you pump and, when you do pump, you get far less milk than your baby will does when he or she nurses. Here is a common scenario: baby doesn't sleep well one night, mom thinks maybe he's hungry and starts to worry about her supply, she pulls out the old pump and only gets an ounce from each breast (partly due to the inefficiency of the pump and partly due to her stress about her supply), mom freaks out and self diagnoses as having a low supply. I've seen this happen to my friends a million times (ok, not a million, maybe ten, I don't have that many friends...) Anyway, my point is that the mom in the above scenario likely does not have a low supply, her baby was probably just having a rough night. Bringing your supply up too high can be a pain (literally, your boobs will hurt!) and can even be dangerous for you baby as he can choke on your milk when it starts coming out harder and faster than before. Oversupply can also lead to clogged ducts, engorged breasts that are difficult for baby to latch on to and even tummy problems in your baby, caused by him consuming too much foremilk and not enough hindmilk. My point is, don't try to increase your milk supply unless you think your baby really needs it.

Some ways to tell that your supply may be low include baby fussing at the breast after a couple minutes of eating, frequent eating (every hour) all day long, little to no weight gain (your doctor will tell you if it's a problem, don't bother weighing your baby yourself) and, most importantly, too few wet/dirty diapers. See this link for a chart of how many wet/dirty diapers you should expect.

After reading this, if you still think your milk supply is too low, there are several things you can do to bring it up. Of course, every body is different and certain things work better for some people than others. You also may not want to take medication or herbal supplements - that's ok, there are lots of other methods!

Top Ten Ways to Increase Your Supply

  • Eat oatmeal. Not instant, not "quick oats" just good, old fashioned oatmeal. If you eat a big ole bowl of it once or twice a day, you will soon see an increase in your milk supply. To keep from getting sick of eating oatmeal, try spicing it up with some cinnamon, or adding dry fruit before cooking. Also, beware that you will probably have frequent, smelly gas (fun!)
  • Drink beer. Of course, you don't want to nurse your baby while under the influence of alcohol, but drinking 1-2 beers a day (preferably after baby is in bed for the night) can help your supply.
  • Take brewer's yeast capsules. Brewer's yeast is the ingredient in beer that helps your supply, so if you don't want the alcohol, or don't like the taste of beer, go buy some brewer's yeast in capsule form. They sell these at many pharmacies and stores like Walmart and Target. 
  • Pump, pump, pump! After your baby nurses, pump until both breasts are empty. Then "dry pump" for 5 minutes on each side. You can also do what's called a "power pump" - pump for 10 minutes, rest for 10 minutes, pump for 10 minutes, rest for 10 minutes. You can repeat this for up to an hour. 
  • Take Fenugreek herbal supplements. You will need to take many of these pills a day and they can be pricey, but they do work for most people. You can find them at most health food stores. 
  • Drink Mother's Milk tea. This is also an herbal supplement and can be found at most health food stores and some maternity shops. 
  • Talk to your doctor about getting a prescription for Domperidone. This is a drug intended for relief of irritable bowel syndrome, but has the nice side effect of drastically increasing your milk supply. In Canada, many OB's prescribe it for low milk supply but the American FDA has not approved it for this use, so it can be more difficult to find a doctor in the US who will prescribe it. A common side effect is that you will smell like maple syrup... All. The. Time. While this drug works very well, especially for moms with seriously supply issues, there has been some new research which questions the safety of it. Please do lots of research and talk to your doctor before considering this medication. 
  • Keep the baby on the breast as much as possible. As long as he's not upset about it, try to get your baby to nurse as much as you can. All day long is good! If you have an awesome hubby like I do, have him take care of everything else (including older children) and take a "nursing vacation". Bring some books, your phone, and some good movies into your bedroom and relax all day with your baby, letting him nurse as much as possible. 
  • Stay hydrated. Water is THE key component in breastmilk. Without water, your body cannot make milk. It is not uncommon for nursing mothers to drink upwards of 20 glasses of water a day. So drink, drink, drink. And when you think you can't possibly take another sip of water, drink another glass! Water is great for your metabolism, hair, nails and lots of other things too, so it can't hurt to drink a whole boatload of it!
  • Eat your heart out! Your body needs calories and fat to manufacture breastmilk. So eat A LOT. Of course, it's a good idea to stick to mainly nutritious foods, but the main point is just to eat! Also, try to spread out your eating, don't just eat three meals a day. Remember you aren't pregnant anymore, but you're still eating for two. 
So there you have it. My list of supply enhancers. Try one, try em all. Go for it! Feel free to comment and let me know what you tried and how it worked for you. Oh, and one more thing, DON'T STRESS ABOUT IT! I know that is much, much easier said than done, but stress will deplete your supply. Choose which techniques you're going to use and just do them, don't think about it, don't count your ounces, just relax and enjoy nursing your precious baby. Before you know it he will be an acne covered teenager, eating you our of house and home. Enjoy this while it lasts :)

Why I'm a "breastspert"

Hello and welcome to my blog! 

If you're here, you are probably interested in breastfeeding. Maybe you are currently nursing your little one, maybe you have nursed in the past or maybe you're planning on breastfeeding a future baby. Either way, you may want to know what makes me such an expert (or a "breastspert" as I like to say). Well, I'm not a certified lactation consultant or anything, but I do have lots of experience and I have spent a great deal of time doing my research. Let me share some of my experiences with you before we dive right into the good stuff.

As a breastfeeding mama...

  • I have nursed my son from birth to 17 months
  • I am currently nursing my 2 month old daughter
  • I dealt with low supply issues with my son(but persevered and never had to supplement!)
  • I have, more recently, dealt with oversupply issues that lead to choking and tummy problems for my daughter
  • I have suffered from clogged ducts, milk blisters and mastitis (which is something I would never wish on my worst enemy!)
  • My milk came in very late when my son was born
  • I have gone through the weaning process
  • I exclusively pumped for the first 2 weeks of my daughter's life, and then made the transition back to the breast
  • I have traveled while breastfeeding and pumping
  • I am currently on a limited diet due to my daughter's food allergies and sensitivies
  • My daughter who I am currently nursing has severe reflux, so I know all about nursing reflux babies
  • I am in the process of donating hundreds of ounces of breastmilk to a milk bank
So.... as you can see, I am pretty well versed in the ins and outs of breastfeeding. In the posts to follow, I will address all of the issues you see above, plus lots more! I also intend on interjecting some of my own opinions on breastfeeding as well as some much needed humor. Oh, and of course there will be lots of pics of my little nurslings :)

Welcome to my boobie blog, I think you're gonna like it here!