I knew when I was pregnant that there would be times I would have to be away from Jax and I have to admit I never really took into consideration just how hard that might be. Not only mentally but physically which is why I wanted to share with you my thoughts on how to deal with working or travelling away from your child when breastfeeding. These are my top tips for how to increase or decrease your breastmilk supply.
Jax is now six months old and we’ve worked hard to create a routine where she takes the bottle from Leon and solely boob from me. She has always been breastfed until recently when I was out of the country and my freezer supply finished earlier than expected. Jax is now combi fed using my Breastmilk and HIPP Organic and I can honestly say she’s such a happy baby for it and it’s so lovely to see my husband and others being able to have some quality time with her over a bottle. BUT I have to admit letting go of being the one she depends on was extremely hard for me, it sounds awful but I loved that she needed me.
My work means I need to travel for collaborations but also to teach my retreats and that means I’ve had to really educate myself on the correct way to pump and dump, increase and reduce breast supply and so I’ve popped my tips below!
1 When you need to increase milk supply: this was definitely one of the hardest things I have ever done but was absolutely worth it to be able to continue feeding Jax. I tracked my water intake and made sure to drink at least three to four litres a day, I also drank copious amount of fennel tea and made sure I was eating enough carbohydrates, especially oats. Skin to skin contact was vital and so I’d pop her in her carrier to keep her close and aim to feed her or pump every two hours, including in the bath which worked wonders and throughout the night. It was tough but after four days my milk was back up to producing around 140oz per feed.
2 When you need to decrease milk supply: There is no right or wrong way to decrease milk supply or stop breastfeeding and you have to do what is right for you and your baby. I found that after six months and with the introduction of trying more solid foods, combined with more travelling, it meant I needed to switch to breastfeeding her in the morning and evening and bottle feeding her during the day. I found it easiest to reduce my supply by dropping one feed at a time, this way the pain didn’t become too much and the leaking was much easier to deal with. I would pump instead of feed her and make sure I pumped for less time so that I didn’t cause my boobs to oversupply. I then froze the milk so that either my husband or I could use it at a later date. I gradually reduced my milk over three weeks, pumping four to five times a day for the first 3 days, and dropping a pump session every three to four days or whenever my body felt comfortable to do so.
3 When you’re worried about your supply: During my breastfeeding journey I worried daily that I wouldn’t have enough milk and that Jax would go hungry but after doing as much research as possible and speaking to several specialists everyone would tell me the same thing: your boobs work on demand. The more demand you give the more milk you will have. Your body is incredible, try not to stress and remember that the amount you express has no correlation with the amount your baby gets when she is nursing from your boob. If you are worried I recommend you check out @littlepeachlondon who was a life saviour for me during my breastfeeding journey.
I also cannot recommend the Elvie pump enough, this post is not sponsored I just know that it became my absolute boob-best friend! It enabled me to pump silently, was discreetly hidden in my bra and protected me from sore nipples and discomfort. How was your breastfeeding or pumping experience? Comment below!