This post was last updated on September 13th, 2017 at 02:56 pm
Hi Spice of life fans don’t get lost here are some helpful links to the Spices of our lives.com website to help you find your way around.
Breast pumping tips and tricks.
Chapter one: What in the world is a breast pump? ( Breast pump I have so many questions ) ??? ( A manual breast pump will make you want to cry ). ( See if your local WIC office will let you rent a breast pump ). ( Which breast pump should you buy if you don’t qualify for WIC ) ?
Chapter two: Which breast pump should I buy while traveling ? ( While traveling make sure you purchase a double sided battery pack breast pump .) ( Make sure you buy a popular breast pump not a off brand. ) ( The breast pump I personally used while traveling .)
Chapter three: Is breast pumping right for me? ( What is life like being a breast pumping mama? ) ( My personal experience breast pumping .) ( How to make breast pumping possible? ) ( Privacy how to use a breast pump in public ? ) ( Is breast pumping boring how do I stay entertained ? )
Chapter four: How to keep your milk supply up ? ( How often should I pump ? ) ( Drink enough fluids to make enough breast milk. ) ( If your not producing enough breast milk eat a big mac. )
Chapter five: The joys of freezing breast milk sigh not really. ( Why I personally hate freezing breast milk ).
Welcome Spice of life fans to the breastfeeding mama.
I wrote this post in order to help out mom’s who might have been like me and struggled with breastfeeding.
This post is also a fun read on learning all the benefits of breastfeeding.
I hope this post helps you out in some way I hope you succeed in breastfeeding.
If you have any questions you can ask me I’m Brittany and would love to help you out in anyway Contact us and about the author please fill out the contact form and I will answer your questions.
Here is the chapters index directory.
You can jump to what chapter you want to read from referring back here.
Chapter one ”The Benefits of breastfeeding”
(You are still a wonderful Mom if you decide not to breastfeed)
(Birth control while breast feeding and other medications)
Chapter Two ”Preparing to breast feed”
(Do I have inverted nipples ?)
(What to do if I have flat or inverted nipples ?)
(My personal struggle breastfeeding)
(Do you make breastmilk right after birth ?)
Chapter Three ”How the breast works”
( How does the breast make milk ?)
( What is letdown ?)
( What is hindmilk and formilk ? )
( What is the first milk called ?)
Chapter Four ”How to tell if your baby is getting enough breast milk?”
( This for information for women who breast feed naturally )
( This is information for women who use a breast pump )
( Your baby may be getting dehydrated if ? )
( How to tell when your baby is getting hungry ? )
( Should I give my baby water or formula ?)
Chapter One: ” The benefits of breastfeeding ”
Breast milk is the perfect food for your baby. It has all the right ingredients.
Breast milk is truly a gift from above that our God has provided for women to feed their babies.
Mother’s milk is easy to digest. Babies don’t get constipated and seldom get diarrhea.
Breastfeeding helps prevent diabetes in children.
Breastfed babies have fewer allergies than formula fed babies. This is very important if your family has a history of allergies.
Breast milk has special antibodies that help prevent your baby from colds, flu, ear infections, and illnesses like asthma and hay fever.
Breastfeeding helps prevent breast cancer (and some other types of cancers) in the mother. It also helps protect children from certain cancers.
I breastfed my daughter for a year and one month and I am very blessed and thankful that the Lord has kept her so healthy.
In a year my baby has only been sick a handful of times I give credit to breast milk; it is truly liquid gold that will keep your own baby from getting as sick.
Recent research suggests that breastfeeding may help prevent juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.
Research has also shown that there are fewer crib deaths (SIDS) among breastfeed babies by 50 %..
Mother’s milk has factors that help promote better vision in babies.
Breastfed babies have stronger and straighter teeth. They probably won’t need braces.
Most breastfeed babies gain quickly at first, but by one year they are less fat than formula fed babies. Fat babies tend to become fat adults.
Breastfed babies almost always have higher IQ’S than formula fed babies. There are special factors in breast milk that help develop brain cells.
Formula is outrageously high I noticed that a can of formula no matter what brand is pricy.
Keep in mind the average baby consumes around 8 oz or more a day if you add it up it’s a lot of money.
Even if you’re on WIC, you won’t receive enough formula to completely feed your baby. You still have to spend money on formula.
In conclusion it is cheaper to breastfeed your baby than feed with formula.
You still are a wonderful Mom if you decide not to breastfeed
I believe that if you are a mom and your decision in life is to not breastfeed your baby then this is ok and your decision. ( You still are a wonderful Mom.)
I do not want to defend anyone by accident with my writing.
I am only writing this post to inform and to educate.
If your decision was not to breastfeed your baby you are still a wonderful Mom and should not feel bad you didn’t breastfed your baby.
Birth control while breastfeeding and other medications
Birth control while breastfeeding.
You probably won’t have a period as long as you are strictly breastfeeding. And you probably won’t ovulate until you get your period. Complete breastfeeding offers some protection from pregnancy for the first few months.
Warning red flashing lights.
Warning don’t trust this advice 100% this is something I read and in my opinion I believe it is possible to get pregnant right after you give birth and start breast feeding.
This may or may not be true I suppose this is all up to the good Lord if he chooses to bless you with another child.
If you are paranoid and worried about getting pregnant than use some sort of birth control.
I’m not sure if you get your period right after you give birth and are breast feeding this is something I don’t know.
After I gave birth to my daughter I knew I didn’t want to get pregnant again anytime soon so I got on the Depo shot
The Depo completely stopped my periods no I don’t believe this is exactly healthy or good for me but I choose this form of birth control anyway.
And there are other things about depo that I don’t like.
Depo eats at the bones this can led to osteoporosis.
Weight gain I noticed I gained a ton of weight while using depo from the injections I gained 30 pounds.
Keep note you cannot take the birth control pills while breast feeding you have to take The Mini Pill
Here’s a brief description of the mini pill it is less effective than the real birth control pill.
With the real pill you cannot breast feed while taking it because the medicine can pass through the breast milk.
This is why I choose Depo shots even thou there are side effects and risks.
You need to think about what kind of birth control you want to use while breast feeding.
(First of all I am not a doctor I am not licensed to give medical advice if your unsure ask your own doctor I am merley giving advice from my own personal situations.)
So I was not allowed to take something harmless sounding like the mini pill less effective than the regular birth control pill.
This meant I also never took aspirin or Tyneol or anything for pain or headache.
I went a whole year and one month not even drinking caffeine that’s in coffee or soda because caffeine is also passed through breastmilk.
IF I was deathly sick and had to take medications the breast milk I pumped out using a breast pump I had to throw down the drain which made me sick; having to throw down the drain perfectly good breast milk.
It was hard to dedicate myself to no medications and no caffeine for a year and one month but it can be done and I’m glad I took the sacrifice for my baby and pulled through to do it.
Breastfeeding makes you feel good about yourself because you know you are giving your baby the best.
For whatever reasons you choose to breastfeed, it is the very best thing you can do for yourself and your baby!
End of Chapter one
Chapter Two ”Preparing to breastfeed”
Do I have inverted nipples?
You can’t tell by looking. You need to do the pinch test. Place your thumb and fingers about one inch from the nipple and squeeze gently.
Most nipples will stick out. An inverted nipple will go in.
What can I do if I have flat or inverted nipples?
Breasts and nipples change during pregnancy. Hormones may cause your nipples to stick out more by the time your baby is born.
Babies suck on he breast not just on the nipple.
As the baby feeds, he will pull the nipple deeper into his mouth.
Even if you do have flat or slightly inverted nipples, you may be able to gently pull them out with your fingers (far enough out for your baby to latch on to) Some mothers get them to stand out by putting a cold cloth to them.
My personal struggle breastfeeding
I have flat inverted nipples so sorry for all the information but; I hope this helps out mothers who have the same issue.
I couldn’t get my nipples to stand out long enough to get my baby to latch on for very long periods of time..
This is why I began breast feeding with the help of using a breast pump.
Here is the breast pump I personallly used Medela…
I had the nurses at the hospital show me different positions on how to breast feed my baby and nothing worked.
I even tried a nipple shield others may disagree with me but for my own personal experience these things suck they slid they fall off they are beyond annoying.
Using a nipple shield for long periods of time isn’t good a breast shield is like using a crutch.
A nipple shield reduces nipple stimulation this is bad because your breast won’t know to make the amount of breast milk your baby will need.
I tried and tried to get my baby to latch onto my breast it was tiring she would get latched on really good and then my nipples would go flat
I done everything to get my nipples to stick out but nothing worked my nipples were so bad flat and inverted that a breast shield did little to help.
My breasts are large it was hard to see from my angle I had to get my husband to tell me if our baby was latched on correctly from my view I couldn’t see.
Since my nipples were flat and inverted I believe she would get latched on correctly and then my nipple would slid out of her mouth she ended up sucking on the breasts not the nipple.
The nurses kept ensuring me that my baby was getting enough breast milk by the amount of wet diapers she was wetting.
However there is a long story I’d rather not go into about how my baby wasn’t getting enough breast milk it’s a long story and drifts off from the topic at hand.
Everyone is different and has different experiences if you have flat inverted nipples I hope you will be able to nurse your baby naturally without having to use a breast pump.
However if you do have to breast feed your baby with the help of using a breast pump it’s OK there are many great things about the breasts pump.
Do you make breast milk right after birth?
I assumed you made milk right after birth I thought that even some mother’s leaked some during pregnancy.
This was not my case I discovered I was making zero milk in fact I had given birth and it had been five days later and I was still making nothing.
When I used the breast pump for the first time I started to feel a change in my breast it is a strange feeling I felt my milk glands working.
The first time I felt my milk glands work my breasts were in unbelievable pain so much pain that the following night I couldn’t roll over in bed.
The following day I was fine and my breasts were in no pain at all and gave me no discomfort.
I had a hard time breast feeding in the beginning I didn’t have the knowledge I have now.
I didn’t realize I had flat inverted nipples and I didn’t realize that some women need nipple stimulation to get the milk glands flowing.
My daughter was sucking on the breasts not the nipple I didn’t have enough nipple stimulation going on for my breasts to know it’s time to go to work.
My advice to you is to use a breast pump at least for the first couple of times most hospitals have them for you to use while you and your baby are a patient there.
( This is to get the milk glands flowing .)
I hope this chapter has helped you out in someway if you are a new mother.
End of Chapter Two
Chapter three : ”How the breast works”
How does the breast make milk?
When a baby nurses, and gets milk, it causes more milk to be made.
The more milk your baby removes, the more the breast makes. It takes about six weeks to build up a good milk supply.
When the the breast are being sucked by your baby (or you using the breast pump in my case) it causes the nerves, located under part of the breast (areola), to tell the brain to release a hormone called prolactin.
This hormone called prolactin. This hormone signals the milk glands to make milk.
Milk is made in the milk glands and it travels down the ducts and out the nipple pours (openings).
Another hormone, (Oxytocin,) causes the milk glands to release milk into the ducts.
What is let down?
The letdown or milk ejection reflex is caused by a hormone (oxytocin), which is released in the brain.
This hormone causes the milk producing cells to release the milk it has made.
Oxytocin is released when the baby sucks. (Or you are breast pumping from my personal experience).
Sometimes it will happen when you hear your baby cry, or you’re just thinking about your baby. Sometimes you will feel a tingling feeling in the breast, or might begin to leak. But some mothers never feel it all.
It sometimes takes several minutes for the letdown to happen. When you notice your baby swallowing more often, or taking large gulps, you can be sure you have had a letdown.
You will have more than one at each feeding.
Sometimes letdowns are so powerful that the milk will come out too fast and the baby might choke or gag.
If this happens take the baby off for a moment and catch the extra milk in a towel before you put the baby back on.
My personal experience:
I understand what letdown is I experienced this while breast pumping.
What let down really is it is a heavy flow of milk that comes rushing out.
When I would use the breast pump I would see hardly any milk being produced up to 7 minutes when it hit the 10 minute mark this changed.
After 10 minutes I saw milk that came rushing out.
Letdown is just a heavy flow of milk if you stop nursing for a few minutes the flow should slow down a bit to prevent your baby from chocking.
My personal notes:
Everyone has different experiences from my own personal experience I never felt my breast leaking by just hearing my baby cry or by thinking about my baby.
I have only leaked before when my alarm clock failed to wake me up to use the breast pump.
If your breast pumping or breast feeding enough I don’t believe you would leak.
I never had to waste money on breast pads which are pads you put in your bra to keep breast milk from getting on your bra and clothes.
What is fore milk and hind milk?
Formilk is the milk baby gets at the beginning of feeding. It is thin and may look a little blue. It is low in fat and calories. As the baby nurses, formilk slowly turns to hindmilk, which is creamy and higher in fat.
If your baby isn’t gaining enough weight, you should nurse longer at each breast so your baby will get plenty of the higher fat milk.
You may also try nursing at only one breast at each feeding. This will help your baby get more of the rich hindmilk.
If you switch sides too soon or too often, your baby may get too much foremilk and not enough hindmilk. Sometimes babies who are getting too much foremilk are fussy and have green, runny stools.
My personal advice:
If your breastfeeding your baby directly to the breast I would recommend giving your baby both breasts at each feeding for 15 minutes for each breasts.
It takes me pumping both breasts for 15 minutes in order to have enough breast milk to be considered enough for a feeding.
My advice to you is to feed your baby both breasts for at least 15 minutes on each breasts.
A well feed baby is less irritable and fussy.
Also a lot of women may not know this especially if your breast feeding directly to the breasts but since I am breast pumping and can visual see everything I noticed something.
One breasts makes way more milk than the other.
I heard from different women that their baby prefers one breast over the other there is a reason for this; your baby knows which breasts is giving them more milk.
My right breasts gives a ton of milk almost enough for a whole feeding beside itself my left breast thou hardly produces any breast milk at all.
I asked my doctor about this and she said it’s normal that one breast is making more than the other.
If you are breast feeding directly to the breast try giving your baby both breast at each feeding and feed your baby each breasts for a full 15 minutes that’s a total of 25 minutes.
What is the first milk called?
The first milk that your baby will get is called colostrum.
Sometimes it is yellow and other times it is clear. It is very rich in proteins and it helps protect your baby from getting sick.
Colostrum also helps to flush out the baby’s digestive system if your baby has yellow jaundice.
The colostrum slowly turns to white milk. And the more you nurse, the quicker your true milk will come in. It usually takes about 2 to 4 days.
Ii you have a Cc section, it might take a day longer.
It is very important your baby gets your colostrum.
End of chapter 3
Chapter 4 ” How to tell if your baby is getting enough breastmilk ? ”
Disclosure the information below is from something I read or from my baby’s own personal experience check with your baby doctor to make sure you are getting the correct information.
This information is for women who directly breastfeed
If your baby is nursing directly to the breast 10-12 times in a 24 hour period.
When your directly breast feeding I recommend feeding your baby both breasts for 15 minutes both breasts for each breasts that’s a total of 25 minutes.
Your baby is content, and alert, and gaining weight at a steady pace. Note: It is normal for babies to lose a few ounces the first few days but they should regain the lost weight by 2 weeks.
When your baby nurses, you see their jaws moving in a steady rhythm and you hear or see him swallowing milk after every 2-3 sucks.
You see milk pooling in your baby’s mouth when your baby is coming off the breast.
Your breast feel softer and lighter at the end of each feeding.
This information is for women who use the breast pump
If your breast pumping your baby needs at least 2 ounces of breast milk every two to three hours. That means your feeding you baby 6 to 8 times a day.
I pumped both of my breast at the same time for 15 minutes it most be a full 15 minutes to be considered enough for a feeding.
I would give my daughter 2 ounces of breast milk every three hours I would give her more if she wanted it.
To make sure you are producing the right amount I recommend measuring your breast milk in medulla storage bottles.
Here are the medela storage bottles I personally used.
Medela storage bottles have numbers on them this is important this way you can keep a mental note about how much breast milk you should be making.
I have used these at home every time for a full year to measure breast milk I do this because I want to make sure I was giving my baby the right amount.
When traveling I guess at it over time you will know by looking if it’s the right amount make sure the milk at least reaches the line on the bottle that has the number 2.
The number 2 on the baby bottle is the right amount for milk this is at least 2 FL OZ.
Your baby may be getting dehydrated if?
Sometimes (but, very rarely) a mother just doesn’t make enough milk for her baby.The baby must be watched carefully for signs of dehydration.
- Your baby acts listless, limp or sick,
- Has dark yellow urine,
- Your baby’s mouth and lips are dry
- The soft spot on the top of the head sinks in
These symptoms are serious. Take your baby to a doctor right away if they have any of these symptoms.
How to tell when your baby is hungry?
Breast milk is digested much faster than formula so your baby can’t go as long between feedings as formula feed baby’s.
You will soon know when your baby is hungry. Your baby will start to fuss, squirm, chew their fists or root (looking for the breast.)
Or if your breast pumping your baby’s milk or giving your baby formula they will do the same as a breast fed baby they will start to fuss, squirm, chew their fists.
My baby has always went to reaching and grabbing at people’s glasses when she is thirsty.
Should I give water or formula to my baby?
Breast milk has everything your baby needs. You and your baby get the mosts benefits from breast feeding when the baby gets 100% breast milk.
Using formula reduces the benefits of breastfeeding. You might worry that you don’t have enough milk for your baby.
Remember this the more you nurse, and the more milk is removed, the more you will make.
If you fill the baby up with formula or water, they will nurse less and you won’t make as much milk. Water is not needed for a completely breastfeed baby.
End of Chapter 4
Products I personllay used while breastfeeding.
So awsome this bottle warmer first years is a cooler and a bottle warmer!!!
These medela breast milk storage bottles really saved a lot of time.
It’s so convient to place a bottle of frozen breast milk into the bottle warmer it’s ready in under 2 minutes!!!
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that I have recommended. While clicking these links won’t cost you any extra money, they will help me keep this site up and running.