Let’s face it – when you’re the one and only person responsible for feeding/nursing your baby you need ALL the support you can get! Even when it comes second nature to you, I think it is so important to support the nursing Mama. I was recently talking to someone about breastfeeding Emma and they said “Wow, 8 Months – aren’t you so proud of yourself for making it this far?!” I stopped and realized….YES. I am SO proud of myself for getting this far! A big goal of mine was making it through the 6 month mark, for a few reasons. There are a lot of changes happening with babies around 6 months, between growth spurts and introducing solids, it’s possible for your milk supply to take a big hit. By 6 months with Luke, I was also completely finished nursing and really wanted to do things different the next time around.
Everyone’s breastfeeding journey is a little different, some will easily breastfeed well into toddler-hood while others are grateful just to make it through the first few weeks. Whatever your breastfeeding goal is – be proud of what you’ve accomplished! We have breezed through the 6 month mark without any changes or issues in my milk supply. (Insert celebratory cheering here! Woo-hoo!) Emma exclusively breastfeeds every 3-4 hours during the day and is eating solids (always after nursing) 3 times a day. She LOVES her food, and thankfully she is not a picky eater! Nursing at night has not been happening for a while, since she was 6 months old she would go to bed at 6:30-7:00 and would wake at 10pm to nurse and then would sleep through until 7:30am. Since she was 7 months she has been sleeping from 6:30/7pm to 7am. I have been a little paranoid about keeping a good milk supply so there have been a few things I’ve done that have helped maintain a healthy supply as more of a preventative measure.
- I let her nurse as much as she wants during the day. Sometimes this is every 2 hours, I feel that babies really do know what they need and if they are going through a growth spurt they need the extra milk! Breast milk also helps feed the brain during mental growth spurts too!
- I always pump at 10pm before I go to bed. 12 hours is a LONG time to go without nursing, so I have found that pumping every night is a great way to keep my supply up and get a good stash going in my freezer!
- Eat. Don’t just eat anything….eat the GOOD stuff! Among the super foods out there, be sure to check out Milk Makers if you haven’t heard of them before! They are amazing. I always pump more when I eat these delicious cookies. What’s better is their NEW line of “It’s a MIX” Milk Makers that you can make at home! When I made them at home they made 2 dozen of the smaller cookies or one dozen large cookies. They were SO easy to make and they turned out so tasty that I was fighting off everyone else in the house for them! I ended up hiding them from Luke and told the hubs “Hands OFF…unless you’re the lactating one!” It just goes to show how yummy they are! I love that they have dairy free and gluten free options as well. I tried the gluten free oatmeal choc chip and they are a must have for any nursing mama! I was SO bummed when I saw my very last milk maker cookie left!
When I stop to smell the roses I have to give myself a pat on the back for getting this far in my breastfeeding journey with Emma. I can’t believe how quickly 8 months has flown by and how perfect this breastfeeding relationship has been. I am totally grateful for every drop of milk I am able to give her, especially after such a difficult time breastfeeding Luke. This is definitely one of the biggest feelings of accomplishments I’ve had as a Mother and it feels so good to hit these milestones! My next goal…Emma has no teeth yet….making it through the next 4 months and the “biting phase!” Wish me luck!
Next week, I will be writing about what I’ve done to get through numerous “clogged milk ducts” and help prevent mastitis! Stay tuned!