Since Amelia has turned One there’s so many emotions and questions going through me about breastfeeding. Do I start weaning, do I let her lead the weaning, how do we go about it, and the list goes on and on. I am feeling accomplished because I made it the entire year with all of the struggles I had (more on this throughout the post), I’m happy because I see an end in sight of not living and dying by a nursing/pumping schedule. I’m also a little sad, because I will miss that special time.
This entire year has really revolved around that schedule and that bond, but it’s also been really hard. It has been a struggle, because I never produced a lot of milk, only about 3.5-4 oz per session, but I stuck with it and managed to work around it. I had to accept early on that I wasn’t going to be able to exclusively breastfeed her. I learned to accept that it’s OK, and there’s nothing wrong with supplementing her with a few ounces of formula a day. Breastfeeding is HARD, it requires a lot of discipline and perseverance and I don’t feel like people talk about it very much. I never found very many articles or blogs from moms who talk about the struggles of breastfeeding and dealing with low production, that didn’t end in success.
Most of the posts I found were moms who struggled with production, but then tried some lactation recipe, or took a supplement, drank the tea or added in extra pump sessions. Let me tell you, I did all of that, EVERYDAY, and I did not have the wonderful success that everyone always talked about. I want to tell others moms that it’s OK. It’s OK if you struggle with producing enough milk. It’s OK to supplement your baby with formula. Doing the best you can and the best your body allows is all that you can do and something I had to continue to remind myself was “Any amount of breastmilk I can give my sweet girl is good for her.” Trust me I know it’s hard because it took me a long time to accept it, I hated feeling like a failure.
But, for anyone that wants to try all of the products and recipes I tried throughout this year I will link them and talk briefly on my experience with it. I hope having all of these in one place makes it easy to find and get and I wish anyone and everyone stressing over breastfeeding the best. I know you are doing your absolute best and trust me, that IS good enough!
Fenugreek: So I took this a couple of times a day for almost the entire year. It says to take 1-2 pills three times a day. I tried 2 pills three times a day for a long time. I’m just so bad a remembering to take them, so later I tried 3 pills in the morning and at night and everything stayed the same.
Blessed Thistle: These taste bad and I don’t think it did anything!
Motherlove More Milk Special Blend: so this stuff seemed to make a small difference, but at best it was only a 0.5-1 ounce increase. And it’s expensive. This stuff is tricky because you have to take it 3 times a day, and you can’t drink anything 15 minutes before or after taking it.
Teas: I drank both Mother’s Milk and Earth Mama Angel Baby Organix Milkmaid tea. I actually like both of these. I will say the Mother’s milk can be found at almost any store that carries tea. It definitely has more of an herbal taste to it. The Milkmaid tea is more subtle. Since you can drink up to 3 cups a day, I suggest buying the value pack. Also if you’re not a tea person, but want to try it, I liked adding a little honey and steamed milk.
Brewer’s Yeast: I used this in my smoothies, overnight oats, and in recipes. I ordered This One first and it was good. This one I ordered second to try another of the highly rated brands and I didn’t find it to be as good. However, this one is more powder-like so it was great for recipes and it was a little less bitter.
Recipes: Like the majority of people, I went to Pinterest to look for recipes like smoothies, overnight oats, banana bread and cookies. You can head to my Pinterest page and look through my Lactation Board for a larger list, but here are just a few I tried.
- Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie
- Banana Bread
- Smoothie (used this to create my overnight oats adding walnuts, dried and fresh fruit)
On the other side of all of this; I have to admit I am also a little relieved. Relieved of the pressure and stress I felt from breastfeeding. I’m excited to not set an alarm for a middle of the night pump session. I can sleep through the night instead of sleeping in 3 hour segments. Most importantly, I can really enjoy my time playing with the girls and just being their Mom.
I would love to hear about your struggles and successes with breastfeeding. Together let’s help other moms get through this stressful, yet most precious time with their baby!
Thanks for stopping by,