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Got Milk?
Parenting Parenting
Got Milk?
December 8, 2017
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Parenting Parenting
Got Milk?
December 8, 2017
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If you ask me, there is something decidedly strange about breast-pumping. The body producing milk to feed, nourish and sustain its offspring – that, totally makes sense.

The body is an amazing thing. But my Medela Swing Maxi Double Breastpump and I were never destined to be firm friends. I am not sure if was the noise (if you have pumped you know exactly what I mean, and if you don’t, you’re soon to find out!), or if it was the action of having milk pumped from you like a cow, or the time that it takes, but for sure it was one of my least favourite activities when it came to breastfeeding. I powered through though, wanting to give my babe every last drop that I could, knowing the good that it was doing him, but it wasn’t always an easy task. There were the late night pumps, to give my husband enough milk to fill a bottle for the 3am feed, but also the early morning pumps to give sore and engorged (my least favourite word) breasts some much needed respite. But when it came to pumping, and breastfeeding in general, there were a few things that I picked up along the way that were too precious and vital at the time to not share when it came to milk production:

  • Fenugreek supplements and fennel tea are a breastfeeder’s best (breast?) friend. Known as the ingredient that brings in and maintains milk supply, I noticed a definite uptick in milk production once I started taking and drinking them both. Ideal for those first few weeks and then when you’re wanting to up your supply to have enough to pump.

  • Nipple cream – it’s not sexy but it’s oh, so necessary. Lansinoh might come in a purple tube but it’s the gold standard in soothing. But whatever you choose, slather it onto nipples post-pumping (as well as post-feeding), every time, without fail to moisturise and prevent chapped nips. Ouch.

  • A Podcast or one episode of your favourite box set are the perfect length for a pump. I would settle down with one or the other and let it take my mind off the task at hand. I found there was nothing worse than sitting and counting down the minutes until my pumping session was finished. Even just a good play list on Spotify was worthwhile when the babe was sleeping and I was trying to get a pump in. Plus whichever audiovisual method you choose, it will help to drown out that noise…

  • I found it hard to get a supply of milk in the freezer. I was always using freshly-pumped milk to get a break on that particular day (so I could go out, have a nap, or to try to get a full night’s sleep). My advice is that where you can, start freezing your milk early to build up a little reservoir for you to dip into, to put less pressure on yourself to be able to get some sleep.

Cheers to that!

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