Navy is almost five months old, which means I have been nursing for about five months now. I am his sole source of food; I am undoubtedly 5 months a slave. (it’s ok, you can laugh)
This time around things have been much different from when I nursed my daughter. Charlie B. was a breeze. She loved nursing, pumping wasn’t easy but I got it done and my freezer supply was hearty — Life was good. Navy B. is a whole ‘nother story. Sometimes he likes to nurse, sometimes he’ll fuss his way through it. Pumping was going great (I got a new pump and it made a world of difference) but then my supply decreased. Then, my freezer stash to a severe hit. Things were looking bleak.
In an effort to somewhat correct the downward tailspin my breastfeeding journey was taking, I took some drastic (and some not so drastic) measures to get back on track. Here’s what I did …
1. Hit up my girl Milky Mama.
I did a story on Milky Mama products and the owner/creator Krystal Duhaney a couple of months ago. At the time, I hadn’t tried the products yet, but I was intrigued by the stellar reviews and sound advice Krystal shared. Well, when I did need to boost my supply of course Milky Mama was my first stop and boy did it work. I got the lactation lemonade (my fave!), the salted carmel cookies (sooooo good), the chocolate brownies (yum, yum!) and the emergency, high potency brownies (unique taste, but still good). Not only did I get more during my pumping sessions, it seemed as if Navy was getting fuller with each feeding. My cup truly runneth over… #praisehandemoji
2. Up’d my pump game.
Initially, I was pumping once at work, but once I realized my supply was getting dangerously low I increased that to two pumps at work, one when I got home from work (if Navy didn’t need to nurse) and one in the evening before bed. Breastfeeding is a supply and demand game, so I started playing to win.
3. Power Pumping!
So, my pumping session before bed wasn’t just a quick 15 minutes then off to slumberland, it was a full hour of pumping, massaging and hydrating for maximum output. Here’s an example of the PP schedule that worked for me.
4. Quit birth control cold turkey.
This may seem drastic to some, but was utterly necessary for me. I was taking the mini pill for BC and it’s not supposed to affect your milk supply, but for me it did … severely. So, after discussing it with the hubby, we (read: I) decided to chuck the deuces to the pill. We aren’t planning to have anymore kids right now (or ever if you ask me), so we have to take proper precautions for that, but it’s worth it.
5. Seek help!
I was worried that my little guy was self-weaning. There was about a week where he just didn’t seem very interested in nursing but took the bottle without hesitation. I was devastated. but instead of giving up, I sought out help through my health insurance, Kaiser Permanente. The offer great breastfeeding resources and when I showed up with concerns they immediately put me at ease. Turns out it was a combination of things. Navy was going through a gnarly growth spurt, which affects how they nurse (who knew?!). Plus, he was being a bit lazy and liked the ease of the bottle flow as opposed to having to work for it when nursing. Luckily, he got over it and things are essentially back to normal.
It took some hard work, but I finally feel like things are back on track and I can successfully continue my breastfeeding journey until he is at least one year old. However, we will start introducing solids in a couple of days and I have a feeling my little hungry man is REALLY going to enjoy that. Hopefully, he still wants his mama’s milk, too.