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You would think as a third time mom, everything would be a breeze when it comes to feeding a growing baby, but it hasn’t been for me. And balancing the dynamics of having 3 kids, well that’s a whole other post!
My youngest is now a year old and I’ve finally been able to nurse one of my babies to a year! I’m so proud of myself and my baby for making it! Now, I’m not trying to shame or judge anyone for the choices they make when feeding their baby, but when Cadence was born I made it a goal to make it until at least 12 months. Normally, my supply plummets around 6 months and becomes very difficult to maintain and any disruptions usually signal the end.
I actually thought for a long time that I was one of the only women I knew who had difficulties breastfeeding. But I recently have had conversations with other moms who’ve said they struggled too, so just know if you’re struggling, you’re not along.
Here are some of the things that have helped me to make it to my goal…
Drink water: This may be obvious to some, but when you’re breastfeeding you need to take care of yourself as well, so make sure you are drinking an adequate amount of water. It will vary personally how much water you’ll need, but I drink about 75oz a day. In addition to drinking enough water, I also find it helpful to drink cold water while nursing, it helps with milk letdown for me.
Shaklee 180 smoothees and meal bars! So convenient and also high quality and all natural.
So my advice to you is to make sure you feed regularly, if your body recognizes that you aren’t emptying your supply, it will slow down on production.
Alfalfa and fenugreek: I’ve used both fenugreek and alfalfa to additionally help boost my supply. Both were effective for me, however, I didn’t like the way fenugreek made me smell. Seriously, it seeps out of your pores and milk and is just plain funky. So I mostly take alfalfa and as an added bonus it helps my allergies!
Eat enough calories: I struggle with eating enough. I don’t have a large appetite and I don’t enjoy cooking so after prepping food for my boys, I often just nibble to get me by. That really isn’t enough though so I have to eat even though I’m not feeling hungry. I also make sure my calories count. I avoid empty calories and processed foods and make sure I get plenty of fruits and veggies.
So there are the things that have helped me out this time. I’m not sure how much longer we’ll continue to nurse, but I’m grateful for each and everyday. I hope some of these tips help you or someone you know who has the desire to breastfeed.
Oh, one last thing, my babies never had this issue, but if you try to nurse and there is a lot of pain, like A LOT, have your pediatrician check the baby out for a lip tie or a tongue tie. And get a second opinion if they say there isn’t, but you suspect there is. I’ve heard a lot lately from friends and others that their doctor missed it or never looked for it in the first place. Once the tie is clipped, breastfeeding success is much more possible.
What was your biggest struggle with breastfeeding and were you able to overcome it? If so, how?
Good luck on your breastfeeding journey!