Everyone is different and there are loads of tips out there about how to get your milk to come in and increase your milk supply. I didn’t read anything beforehand or try anything some of it was coincidence but here is why I think my milk came in on day three and why I can pump 200-300ml in 12 minutes.
I started BF’ing the first day two or three times although it was painful and hard work. Because I had no idea if anything was coming out when I was BF’ing I started to massage and manually express my colostrum into a small tube that the hospital gave us and squirted it into her mouth. I probably massaged for ten minutes two times a day for two days and manually feed her whatever was in the tube. On day three we could see that my right breast was already producing milk.
I ordered a pump to be delivered to my house for when I got home from the hospital (day 5 I was home) and rented a hospital grade one – Medela Symphony – read more about Breast Pumps, Pumping & the Best Bottles I started pumping to relieve swollen breasts and sore cracked nipples the second week. After many tearful nights where I thought I couldn’t do it anymore because of the pain and was depressed because I wanted my body back and to be able to wear my own clothes again and feel human.
I pumped each breast separately for 5 minutes and I would get between 20-50ml. I did this in the morning after I fed her refrigerated milk from the day before so I was able to pump enough for the rest of the day feeds and exclusively pump during the day. I then increased from 5 min to 7 min pumping both simultaneously then to 10 after 1 month and now 12 from 2 months and 15 from three months because I read that you should never pump less than 15 min or more than 20 min. I’ve also heard from other mom’s that you can’t wait too long to pump if you want to increase your supply otherwise your body will adjust and then when you start pumping it won’t have any affect. One mom waited a month because that’s what the midwife told her to do and it was too late – she doesn’t produce enough in general and the pumping hasn’t helped.
I have always pumped first thing in the morning as this is when you get the most milk then once in the afternoon and once before bed. I usually pump between 9:30-10:30am then between 4:00-5:00pm and between 10:00-11:00pm and feed her exclusively all day from the bottle. I still nursed at night once or twice until 10 weeks when she started sleeping through the night then it went to once and now its rare.
How I Think I Was Able to Pump So Much
I wasn’t always producing loads of milk in the beginning it was only 20-50ml per breast for 5 min and now I’m up to 100-200ml per breast for 12 min. I believe this increase has to do with the following:
- I have a routine so my body knows what to do and expect
- I pump in a room that I can close the door and be on my own – it’s not the bedroom or the baby room so I think subconsciously this helps
- I find that I produce the most milk when I am relaxed – i.e. eyes closed almost napping sitting up. I pump sitting sideways on a bed in our office leaning against a pillow sometimes with my head against the wall
- When I started pumping the first month I made sure I ate two energy balls (coincidentally they had flaxseed in them which is supposed to help with supply) and had a glass of water before I started pumping each time to help establish my supply and give my body enough energy to produce the milk
- I also made chocolate chip cookies with coconut oil and ate those throughout the day which coincidentally coconut oil is supposed to help with your supply
- After week four and my milk was abundant I stopped making the energy balls but I noticed if I didn’t eat first, was really tired, not drinking enough water or eating poorly that my milk supply would be the lowest. I now make sure that I eat breakfast after I put her down for her first nap and then pump
- I keep a water bottle next to the pump because you get dehydrated while you’re pumping
- I still take my prenatal vitamins to make sure that my nutrition is good and I think that helps my well-being and therefore my supply
Do you have any tips or strategies for establishing your milk supply or pumping? Let me know below . . .
#establishingyourmilksupply #breastfeeding #pumping #flaxseed #coconutoil #eatfirst #water #breastpump #medela #medelasymphony #newmom #millennialmom