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Friday, May 1, 2015

Breastfeeding 101: Pre-Pump

Okay so it's been brought to my attention that I may have left a section of our breastfeeding journey undocumented, and thus could have possibly caused some confusion. 

In the hopes of setting you up to succeed while working and breastfeeding/pumping we have a little more to cover! 

How do you prepare your body to return to work and pump on a schedule? 

In the weeks leading up to your return to work (as long as baby is at least 6 weeks old), try to nurse around the times you plan on pumping. No I am not saying that you should feed on some regimented schedule, but I am suggesting offering the breast during those specific times. This will get your body used to having a let down at that time. You can 100% train your breasts to let down at specific times! 

Helpful tip: If you happen to have an issue with your let down using the pump try looking at a picture of your baby on your phone, or watching a video of them! This will sometimes trigger your let down.

Also, after you nurse at that time go ahead and pump dry. Baby should be full and happy so you shouldn't have to worry about nursing for a little while, unless you are in a growth spurt, in which case you probably haven't left the couch all day. By pumping after you nurse during this time you will be telling your body you are demanding more milk, thus producing more, and this will help you sustain your milk supply when you go back to work. This is also building your milk stash so you have some in the beginning before you get on a good schedule at work. You will need to freeze this extra milk that you pump. 

By doing this for a few weeks leading up to your return to work you will build your milk supply, and your freezer stash so that you are 100% prepared when the time comes.

Things you can do to keep your milk supply up if you notice a dip when you return to work:

DRINK WATER...this is the absolute most important step in keeping your milk supply up. You pretty much need to be drinking water 24/7, even in the middle of the night. I kept a large cup on my desk and every hour I had to empty it. If it wasn't empty at the end of the hour I would chug it, and then start over again for the next hour.

Eat Oatmeal: The real stuff works best, but when in a hurry instant will do the trick. I ate it EVERY SINGLE morning for breakfast while I was breastfeeding.

Milky Shots: Probably not the most economical choice, but if you get desperate it is worth a try. During mini-d's 4 week growth spurt I was desperate and these WORKED for us! They worked so well that I continued to use them at various times throughout my breastfeeding journey. 

Wait, so what is it? 

Anyone remember these chic's? 

That's right, SISTER SISTER. 

Tia Mowry-Hardict and her twin sister Tamera Mowry-Housley are the co-creators of this AWESOME product:

Born out of necessity this really works, and is worth a try if you are struggling to produce enough milk. The taste isn't my favorite, but if you take it like a shot and chase it with a glass of water you should be able to handle it. Holding your nose helps too!

You can find them online and usually at your local Motherhood store!

Lactation Cookies or Granola Bars: I preferred the lactation granola bars, and found an excellent recipe that was super easy to make! These can be frozen pre-baby and you can pull them out as needed after the baby arrives.

  • ¼ cup coconut oil, butter can be substituted 
  • ½ cup raw honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats 
  • ⅛ cup flax seed, milled or whole 
  • ¼ cup chocolate chips
  • 1-2 TB peanut butter 
  1. Heat your stove top to medium heat.
  2. To a saucepan over medium heat, add your coconut oil and honey. Stir to melt and combine.
  3. The oil and honey will start to bubble. When you see this, keep watch as it will soon take on a nice amber color, but do not let it get to dark or you will have made candy.
  4. Once you get a nice rolling bubble, let it go for about 30 seconds to a minute and then turn off your heat and add your vanilla.
  5. Add in the oats, flax seed, and optional peanut butter. Stir together until combined.
  6. Line a 9x9 pan with parchment paper (be sure to have some extra hanging off both sides).
  7. Pour in the oat mixture. Using the back of a spatula press down about ½ inch until mixture is smooth.
  8. Sprinkle chocolate chips, over oat mixture. Place in the fridge for about 30 minutes to cool.
  9. The cutting process: Remove the pan from the fridge. Use the extra parchment hanging off sides as handles to pull your entire granola out of the pan and place on counter. It will be a solid piece. Cut width-wise into one-inch sections. Then one long cut down the center of the pan. This will allow for 12 individual servings all equal size.
  10. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge.

PS: I may or may not still make/eat these even though I'm not nursing anymore. They are also Hubby approved!

Okay so now maybe we have covered everything...probably not. Much Love, Misti

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