Well, it’s breastfeeding babe ROUND TWO! I don’t know if I’m alone in saying this but round two was DEFINITELY easier than the first time. If I only had one piece of advice this time around it would be supply and demand. With Leo I was following so many different blogs, rules, ideas, and schedules! To be honest, it kind of drove me crazy and looking back I’m certain ANY fussy times he did have … he was probably hungry … wahhh!!! This time around, I’m following the 2.5/3 hour rule … however, I follow a few of my own rules as well!!
At about 3 months, I never wake her to feed. I let her sleep which means sometimes at night she’s sleeping 7 hours (yahhh! I’ll explain more on that later!), and during the day in the car or at home sometimes she will go up to 4 hours without eating. She’s happy, RARELY fussy and gaining weight well so that works for us! We also follow the EAT, AWAKE, SLEEP rule … which means I don’t nurse her to sleep. I learned that while sleep training Leo, it basically teaches them not to rely on food for sleep, which in turn helps them self sooth back to sleep better.
We haven’t started tracking nap times yet but I’ve noticed a pretty consistent routine with Annie. She usually wakes, feeds, and then about 45 minutes to an hour later … starts to fuss. It’s at that time that everyone looks at me and says … I think she’s hungry (who else is so annoyed when other people tell you to feed your baby?! LOL) but that is the exact time she starts to get ready for her snooze. and then we start the cycle all over again.
In terms of keeping up supply, I have to admit, when I’m working (I had to go back to work when she was only 6 weeks old!!) my supply pretty much stopped on the spot. When I’m home with her or travelling I have no supply issues. I even pump every 2.5 hours but when I’m not with her, my body kind of tells me “no baby, no milk”.
How I Keep My Supply Up
I try to incorporate as much of the following as I can to keep my supply up:
- LOTS of water
- High-fat diet (such as avocado, high grain bread, nuts and seeds and lots of nut spreads (cashews for the win!), coconut milk, lentils, peas, peanut butter, and olive oil)
- Lots of grains (such as oatmeal, flax, quinoa)
- Happy Planet Coconut Pineapple Smoothie (this is one of my faves and Leo starts his day with it EVERYDAY, so high in fat with the coconut milk!)
- Fenugreek Supplements
- Calcium Supplements
Another thing that happened because Annie started sleeping through the night, and there were a few days where we used expressed milk and I skipped a feed (hello, holiday parties!) my body basically told me I was done breastfeeding and I got my period (before she was 3 months)!! I guess that sometimes happens but its a snowball effect because then your body REALLY has a tough time producing (at least mine did). So I got a prescription for “Domperidone” and that helped almost immediately!
A week after my period things resumed back to normal, I only take the Domperidone about twice a day (instead of the prescribed every 4 hours) and I seem to be back on track. I am also travelling with Annie right now so my body senses her presence, so there are no problems. I suspect when I start work again (or travel without her … I’ll have to do an entirely new blog on that!!) that I might have to start taking it more regularly and getting back on the Fenugreek / Calcium and water regimen again.
My Frozen Expressed Supply
As soon as my milk came in, I started to pump the “other breast” after every feed especially in the middle of the night and first thing in the morning when the supply is the highest. After I received my Haaka breast pump I started using that in the middle of the night and during every “at home feed” and was able to store almost 300 ounces of milk before 6 weeks!!!
Now, I use the Haaka only whenI’mm at home in the middle of the night and during the first-morning feed and I’m able to put away 1 full extra feed a day into the freezer. If I find I’m at home and have a good supply I’ll use the Haaka more than once in a day which means more milk in the freezer. That milk gets used when I go to work, and I also pump and freeze whenI’mm at work … so that means my freezer supply keeps growing!
I suspect I’ll start to wean her off close to a year or sooner … and we will continue to use that milk as needed over the next year, if I have a dip in my supply, decide to drink more than usual or go on a trip without Annie. I’m taking my mom on a cruise and will be gone for almost a week, so it’s nice knowing I have that supply there while I’m gone.
That’s about all I can think of right now … I imagine I will get more questions from the above so I’ll try to add to this blog as I see the questions come in!
OH … and if all of the above doesn’t work for you … I am a believer that fed is best!! Don’t stress yourself out too much … I did this with Leo and stopped at 5 months … I regret stressing out so much!