I feel like being a first time mum and breastfeeding is a different experience to being a first time mum and bottle feeding. Now I am not preaching about my views on what is better as I am well aware that some mothers don’t have a choice and I really just support the notion that ‘fed is best’ when it comes to newborns. In my circle of friends, we have all had different experiences when it came to breastfeeding. One girlfriend tried and tried for two weeks but her little boy just wouldn't latch properly; the other had a premature baby and has had to mix feed (formula and breast milk from the get go); and I have been lucky and had a really good supply with a good eater but as I have leant you have to work with your supply to keep it up.
Although I have had a great supply, I still feel like breastfeeding isn’t easy. Its amazing and natural and a beautiful way to bond with your baby but definitely not easy! Our bodies produce what it thinks our babies need, so expressing milk can stimulate more supply but stretching or supplementing feeds can also decrease it. As well as stress and poor diet! Babies also go through developmental stages where they eat less or more and this also affects supply. So as a busy working mum I have had to work with my body to keep breastfeeding and I have had to be quite regimented in getting the balance right. I want to breastfeed for as long as I can but expressing milk all the time to keep my supply up just isn't practical and it takes precious time away from my little Archie! I swear there was a stage where I felt like all I was doing was pumping milk and breastfeeding.
Whilst in hospital I was given a box of 'Boobie Bikkies' by a friend of mine who swears by them! They remained in my cupboard for a while as I had a great supply initially and didn’t think I needed them. It wasn't until Archie was about 8 weeks old that I first tried one. He was going though a developmental leap and fussing on my breast. I was in turn getting frustrated and stressing he wasn't eating enough. I also wanted to start a stash of breast milk for when we started filming our new show and I started to eat one biscuit a day to see if it helped me get a really good supply so I could express when he was fussing at the breast and also freeze some of that milk.
The lactation cookies definitely helped me achieve both of these for Archie. I found that I was easily expressing enough to build a stash and mummy’s supply wasn't being affected by his little stage he was going through either!
I have spoken in previous posts numerous times about the endless books and websites you can visit to try to prepare yourself for this journey of motherhood. One I have found to be very insightful is Pinky McKay; I started to follow her on Facebook and always read her great posts about breastfeeding mothers and about mums’ stuff in general. Pinky McKay is not just an International Board certified Lactation Consultant, she is a best selling author of four parenting books.
This motherhood gig is all about trying different things to see what works for you and your baby! I find Pinky’s approach to parenting advice welcome, as it is positive and about working with your baby. She speaks often about gentle parenting and working with our maternal instincts when it comes to reading our babies. The pressure we put on ourselves to be perfect mothers, when in fact there is no such thing but there are a million different ways to be a great mum! You can check out Pinky’s website here http://www.pinkymckay.com/Or if you would like to try Boobie Bikkies you can purchase here