BELOVED PUMPING… don’t we love an aggressive machine that tugs at our nipples so hard??? HA kidding, but really that thing is so aggressive. It hurts me so much more than nursing. Nursing doesn’t hurt me, but it did for a good two weeks after giving birth when she would latch on. But you just have to breath through it. Now they’re so numb and tough, those suckers could go through anything.
So heres the thing about pumping. I didn’t really do it when I had Oaks, unless I wanted to have a cocktail. I didn’t understand how you pump and nurse at the same time.. like how was I supposed to have enough to nurse Oaks? But, I figured it out with Liv. I’m here to tell you it’s possible! A lot of you requested me to share what I do. This may not work for you, but I’m sharing to hopefully give you some ideas to work with, so that you can then go and test it out for yourself and work with what you’ve got! This is for if you want to exclusively breastfeed, but want to start saving up some for when you go back to work, or for babysitters.
- START PUMPING & INTRODUCE THE BOTTLE ASAP. When your milk starts coming in, start pumping, and introduce a bottle right away! I introduced the bottle right when Liv came home. She wasn’t loving it at first, but just keep being consistent with it. I use DR BROWNS BOTTLES. I would say I didn’t feel comfortable leaving her longer than 2 hours up until she was 3 months old. She took the bottle fine, but would still want my boob, but now she takes the bottle so perfectly and is a happy camper. SO KEEP GOING and be consistent with it! They’ll take it eventually. I’m telling you, you will get some freedom from nursing and not feel so much anxiety leaving if you’ve got them good to go with a bottle. SO INTRODUCE RIGHT AWAY. It won’t be confusing with the boob. I think thats a myth.
- PUMP IN THE MORNING. So from when she was 1 week old I started pumping first thing in the morning. I would just feed off of one boob at night and pump the other that morning. She never needed more than one boob. Get to know your baby and their sleep schedule. If I had been feeding every 2 hours off of both boobs, I wouldn’t have enough to pump that morning. Thats happened a handful of times. But Liv has been such a good sleeper from the beginning. But for the most part I feed off of just one boob at night. She only wakes up once now, sometimes twice, but I’ll still only feed off of one boob. At 2 months I believe, they only need to eat every 3-4 hours for night feedings and then by now at 4 months, they can go 8 hours without feeding. But if your little one is sleeping 11-12 hours then thats awesome! So I’ll wake up and pump 5-6oz off of the full boob and freeze it. I use the MENDELA PUMP & MENDELA PUMP SAVE BAGS. Then I’ll nurse her off of the other at an hour later after pumping.
- PUMP AGAIN WHEN THEY FEED FROM A BOTTLE. When I go to the gym at night, TJ will bottle feed her, so I’ll come home and pump and save it.
- KEEP 3 5oz BAGS IN FRIDGE. So at the beginning I didn’t really leave her longer than 2 hours because she loved my boob too much, so I just pumped and saved a bunch. But now, I can leave her for a good 4-5 hours at a time. So I’ll keep 3 5oz bags in the fridge at all times for TJ, if I need more I’ll pull from the freezer. That way you don’t have to unthaw it for 24 hours before. It’s just right there when you need it. So again, pump and save right away! Really does give you some freedom later on when they’re solid with the bottle feedings. Breast milk is good in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- UNTHAW FROZEN MILK. When you need to unthaw your frozen milk, make sure you take it out and place in the fridge for 24 hours before using to unthaw it. Frozen milk is good for up to 3 days in the fridge.
Okay, so now that I’ve shared some pumping tips and what I do, you’re probably thinking, “how the hell do we produce enough milk Sara?” This is my personal experience and what I’ve noticed to help produce more milk!
- OATMEAL. 1/2 cup oats, 1 tbsp peanut butter, and 1 cup of berries is my go to! Especially after a work out! Helps with the milk supply.
- WATER, WATER… WATER! Holy shit, drink water. And a lot of it. Have it by your bed at all times for night feedings, keep a bottle right next to you at all times during the day. Every time I nurse, I’ll drink a full glass of water. That helps me to remember. I keep this THIS CUP next to me and refill all day long. I probably refill it 3x a day.
- EAT WHEN YOU’RE HUNGRY. I know this one is a hard one for many because they’re thinking, well I wanna shed the LB’S. And you get busy and forget to eat sometimes! BUT as long as you’re choosing the right choices and eating often when you’re hungry while nursing, you can totally shed the pounds off. Just keep it clean. Like lean proteins, quinoa, whole grains, veggies, fruit, sweet potatoes. Stay away from added sugars, junk food, greasy food. Enjoy your food, and balance it out!
Let me know if you have any questions at all! Going to share more tips in my next post on how to keep up your supply and my schedule nursing her. So if you have any questions, please comment here, or shoot me a DM, or comment on my IG post.
Hope this was helpful for you mamas! I know how overwhelming it can seem, but hopefully this simplified it a little for you.