<![CDATA[Mommy Matters - Breastfeeding]]>Wed, 24 Feb 2016 04:48:47 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[How I Increased My Milk Supply]]>Mon, 22 Sep 2014 20:16:28 GMThttp://mommymatterswithkristyn.weebly.com/breastfeeding/how-i-increased-my-milk-supplyThere are many ways you can increase your milk supply these four worked the best for me. Everyone is different and each method works differently for each mother. 

1. Drink LOTS Of Water
This is something every breastfeeding mom needs to do. I keep a gallon of cold water in my fridge at all times. I also keep a water bottle in my diaper bag. This helps me monitor how much I'm drinking and makes sure I also have water on me to drink. I attempt to drink a gallon a day. (Water is also great for slowing down signs of aging!) 

2. Use A Breast Pump
Using a breast pump will help stimulate milk production. Your body makes milk on an as needed basis. How much your baby eats is how much you will produce. This is why pumping works.  The more you pump the more your body gets the "signal" to produce. Some women experience difficulties with pumping. It's important to do it in a comfortable place where you can relax in order to have a higher chance of producing milk. You should at least pump after every feeding. Some lactation consultants recommend pumping every 2-4 hours (even through the night). You wont get a lot of sleep doing this, but after a couple of weeks you should be able to cut back or quit altogether. It took me about a month to get to the point where I could feed my daughter and not have to pump.

3. Fenugreek
I had a few nurses recommend this to me. I bought Fenugreek supplements from GNC. I used two 610 mg pills a day to help boost my supply. It helped me, but some people don't see any results. 

4. Mother's Milk Tea
Mother's Milk is an organic tea used to help healthy lactation. I used this in addition to the other methods. It suggests to use 5 times a day, but because I was using the Fenugreek supplements I had 1-2 cups a day. Mother's Milk contains Fennel, Fenugreek, and Coriander which are all ingredients believed to help boost milk supply.

There are other ways you can increase your supply, these are just the methods I have found that worked for me.  If you have any methods that you used please share in the comment section!!
<![CDATA[Reasons My Milk Supply Decreased]]>Wed, 17 Sep 2014 00:23:39 GMThttp://mommymatterswithkristyn.weebly.com/breastfeeding/reasons-my-milk-supply-decreasedBreastfeeding for first timers isn't always easy. At first it can be difficult and formula feeding can look appealing. You'll want to give up at times...especially if your milk supply is too low. One of the most difficult things to go through while breast feeding is having a low milk supply. How will you know you have a low milk supply? What things cause a low milk supply?

When I left the hospital I had too much milk! I was overflowing from milk overload and had to pump just to ease the pain of having full breasts. So what happened? My milk supply decreased because of a number of things.

Reason 1: Incorrectly Using The Nipple Shield
When you are at the hospital everyone is so eager to help you breastfeed but not all people are certified lactation consultants. I had issues with latching (getting the baby to attach to your breast). Because I had issues with latching, I had to use what is called a nipple shield. These things are a gift and a curse at the same time. I had to use the shield to get my daughter Emma to latch. She wouldn't latch any other way. No one ever told me that you aren't supposed to always use it. You are supposed to ween the baby off of it. (If you are able to do so) Some lactation consultants believe that the baby's saliva helps stimulate milk production. The nipple shield acts as a barrier between the nipple and the saliva which could be why shields are thought to decrease supply. Some people no longer believe shields cause decreased milk supply, but when I stopped using it I did notice it increase. According to JustBreastFeeding.com, the nipple shield may decrease supply if it is too small or is used incorrectly. I agree with her in saying that if it works for mommy and baby and doesn't decrease the milk supply then go for it. As a first time mom you have to go with what works using whatever hints and cheats you can find to make life easier. 

Reason 2: Hydration
This one might seem like a no-brainer, but when you just had a baby the last thing on your mind is "Have I drank enough water today?" I didn't realize I was going all day without drinking a cup of water. You should maintain the same water consumption as when you were pregnant, which is about 8 cups of water a day. Be sure to keep a water bottle in your diaper bag to keep you hydrated!

Reason 3: Diet 

I also found out that certain spices and foods may decrease your milk supply. This didn't affect my milk supply as much as the last two, but every little thing adds up. JustBreastFeeding.com gives a list of different spices to avoid while breastfeeding. 

So how will you know if you don't have a high enough milk supply?? Your baby will let you know, and if not the doctor will. Luckily doctor appointments for newborns are frequent. If your baby cries all the time and doesn't get sleepy or relaxed after a feeding she may not be getting enough milk. The best way to find out is by weighing your newborn. Babies should be gaining 1-2 pounds a month for the first six months. This translates to 4-7 ounces a week. So if your baby isn't gaining at least 4 ounces a week then he or she may not be getting enough milk.

Talk with your doctors to see what is normal for your baby and don't be discouraged!! Giving up seems like the thing to do when your milk supply is low, but sticking with it is so rewarding. I had to fight for weeks to get my supply up, but now that it is I'm glad I stuck with it. I did feel emotional and like a failure for not being able to feed my child. I felt like I was starving her which made me feel worse. Just know you are not alone and with hard work it does pay off and is so worth it! Just think of all the healthy advantages of it for you and your baby! 

<![CDATA[5 Benefits of Breastfeeding]]>Sun, 07 Sep 2014 14:09:27 GMThttp://mommymatterswithkristyn.weebly.com/breastfeeding/5-benefits-of-breastfeedingThere are many benefits to breastfeeding but to save time I'll talk about my five favorite benefits of breastfeeding.

1. Healthier For You and Your Baby
Breastfeeding is healthier for you and your baby for many reasons. Breastfeed babies tend to have lower risks of developing allergies, obesity, diabetes, ear infections, stomach viruses and so on. Breastfeed babies also lowers your child's risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). According to Baby Center breastfeeding at the age of 1 month can cut your child's risk of dying from SIDS in half! Studies have also shown that children who were breastfeed have higher IQ scores. 
Breastfeeding is also healthy for you! The American Cancer Society claims that for every 12 months you breastfeed your risk of breast cancer decreases by 4.3%. Breastfeeding is also great for helping reduce stress and postpartum depression. This is because oxytocin is produced when breastfeeding. Oxytocin is a hormone that relaxes mothers and gives that nurturing feeling. 

2. Saves Money
Formula is expensive and you use a lot of it!! The Breastfeeding Center of Ann Arbor calculates that formula costs for one year are about $1,200 not including bottles, sterilizers, and whatever else you may need to formula feed your baby. Breastfeeding is significantly cheaper. All you may need are a couple of nursing bras and shirts, some nipple cream, and pads. If you are going back to work you may also need a pump, so you may spend anywhere from $100-$500 on breastfeeding, saving you at least $600. I have both the double electric pump and the hand held manual pump I got for $40. I actually prefer the $40 pump over the $200 pump. I never use my electric pump, I also never need pads, nipple cream, or nursing shirts. Everyone is different with the amount they spend, but regardless of whether you buy the most expensive or the cheapest products, you will save money by breastfeeding. 

3. More Convenient
Breastfeeding can be viewed as more convenient. If you're the father of the child then you get to sleep through the night!! If you're the mother then sorry but you still have to get up whenever baby does. The plus side comes to the prep work. To formula feed you have to get up, get a clean bottle, feel it with sterilized water, then the formula, then mix. To breastfeed you pick up the baby and attach! Simple as that. When my baby got a little older, on restless nights I would actually have her sleep with me so she could eat when she wanted to so I wouldn't have to get up. I would only do this if you're a light sleeper. My significant other is not a light sleeper so I only do it when he is not in the bed to prevent suffocation. Another way breastfeeding is convenient is that you don't have to pack anything in your diaper bag for feedings. The only thing I carry with me for breastfeeding is a nursing cover for public feedings. 

4. Mommy-Baby Bonding Time
Breastfeeding is something only mommy and baby get to do. It is our own little cuddle feeding time. I love being able to cuddle with my baby while feeding her. It is something special that no one else gets to share with her. It's hard to explain unless you do it, but its a magical thing being able to bond with your baby in that way. Also the skin to skin contact involved in the bonding time help promote the baby's intelligence. Studies have shown that orphaned infants with no skin to skin contact have less brain development than infants with constant skin to skin contact. Studies also show that premature babies who get baby massages (skin to skin contact) end up gaining weight faster and eventually get to leave the hospital faster. You can achieve this by breastfeeding too, not just the baby massages. 

5. Helps You Loose Those Pregnancy Pounds
I will admit I gained more than my fair share of pregnancy pounds. Before the pregnancy I was an ity bity thing, during the pregnancy I felt like Godzilla wobbling around a tiny town of people. I ended up gaining 50 pounds during my pregnancy...I know, I know its a lot! My nurses kept insisting I was gaining the amount I needed since I started off as underweight. What they didn't tell me was that I was unhealthily gaining all that weight! Well after having the baby I lost 20 pounds. Now at four months in, I have lost all but ten pounds. I lost 40 pounds doing nothing but breastfeeding and an occasional walk around the block. Some women claim to lose even more than they gained from their pregnancy while breastfeeding. If that's not a good reason to try breastfeeding I don't know what is.