August is National Breastfeeding month. I’ve been working with Philips AVENT this year as their AVENTmoms ambassador to share my thoughts and support on breastfeeding and pumping moms. I’m so thankful to have been successful at breastfeeding, and I give a lot of credit to my breast pump.
When I became pregnant with Sebby in 2007, I knew I wanted to breastfeed. My goal was 6 months. When he was born with respiratory distress followed by a seizure, I was concerned that my wish to breastfeed would be squashed before it even started. Luckily I had the support of an amazing lactation consultant in the NICU and thanks to pumping, I was able to eventually nurse him. I made it over two years.
Quincy was born 8 weeks early. When she was born, part of me panicked, because I really wanted to breastfeed her and I was concerned between the major surgery and pre-eclampsia it wouldn’t be an option. Again, the pump saved the day. I think nursing Sebby for as long as I did really helped my supply come back. Just like her big brother, I nursed her for about two years.
I’ve been nursing Edison now since the day he was born, and my goal is well, to nurse as long as he’s interested and I’m producing milk for him.
I love the bond breastfeeding creates, and the nutritional benefits of breastmilk.
Even with my challenges, I know I’m pretty lucky. It’s not easy for everyone. So here’s some tips I have for giving your baby breastmilk.
1.) Ask for help. Seems simple right? Ask another mom, your doula, midwife or a lactation consultant if you need some help breastfeeding.
2.) Make sure you’re getting enough to drink, but not too much. It’s harder for your body to produce breastmilk if you’re dehydrated, but too much water is a bad thing too. Just make sure you’re at least getting the recommended glasses per day. Carry a bottle of water with you!
3.) Make sure you’re eating enough. They suggest that a pregnant or nursing mama get about 400 extra calories a day. This is super important so you’re not depleting nutrition from yourself. Try eating these calories in foods known to help with breastmilk production like Asparagus, Green beans, Carrots, Yam, Watercress, Sweet potatoes, Dandelion greens, Peas, Beet and all other green leafy vegetables. Other good choices include oatmeal (steelcut not the instant stuff, and yes oatmeal cookies are ok!) raw almonds, cashews, macadamia nuts and avocados. That’s just a small list but it all sounds pretty yummy doesn’t it? I like to keep a small basket of snacks near where I like to sit and nurse – it helps!
4.) Make friends with your pump. Know that it’s perfectly okay if your baby doesn’t latch or breastfeeding isn’t for you that you can still pump to provide your baby milk. My friend Cristi at Motherhood Unadorned pumped for her son for over a year! I still pump occasionally with my Philips AVENT Double Electric Comfort Breast Pump when I want to give my husband some bonding time with Edison – or more often to relieve engorgement (and that’s another post entirely) This pump has some seriously awesome features like 3 pumping settings, no leaning while pumping (!!!) and it fits with the Natural Bottle (AND you can freeze the Natural Bottle too!) – plus it’s small and compact which makes it great for a working mom.
5.) Relax! Easier said than done, right? Find some time to just snuggle your little one. Skin to skin does wonders. So does a comfortable chair and a breastfeeding pillow.
What tips do you have for other new breastfeeding moms?
This is a sponsored post written by me as part of my Philips AVENTMoms ambassadorship.