Monday, January 30, 2012

Taking care of mom; milk supply

As I said in this post, if mom is not well cared for often the whole family can suffer.  When a mom is nursing a baby the smallest, most dependent member of the family can be the first to suffer the consequences of a poorly rested, stressed out mama.  Knowing this we were careful during our move (when baby was just 1 month) to be sure I was able to get the rest, hydration, and nourishment I needed to keep him doing well.  We also took steps to reduce the stress level and the amount of physical activity that would be required (knowing that much would be unavoidable).  We planned well and were able to keep my milk supply up for baby through our move.  But what happens when the unexpected happens?

Last month my Dad passed away.  To say that was stressful and exhausting would be an understatement.  Travel, shock, grief, sadness etc all combined to take a toll on me and my milk supply.  While I acknowledged in my head that I needed to be careful and watch my supply; in the middle of the pain and sadness I had not noticed that my poor little guy was not getting enough.   Then it clicked (he was grumpy and just not sleeping so well, and just seemed to be hungry all the time) and I needed to move into action.  I took steps to care for myself and my sweet little guy.

1. I prayed that God would give me wisdom and help me provide the milk my baby needed

2.Nurse!  I cuddled up with that sweet little baby and nursed, nursed, nursed!  When the demand goes up, the supply will too.  Having extended nursing/cuddling sessions with baby were so sweet and relaxing too.

3. WATER!  I drank and drank.

4. Rest!  It was a Friday afternoon when I noticed this issue.  Our plans for the week-end quickly changed to make sure that I would be spending much of my time resting while daddy was home to hold down the fort.

5. Mother's milk tea seems to be very helpful in boosting my milk supply, and I've heard the same from other moms.  I drank a bunch and I'm continuing to drink it knowing that I'm not through this rough time and I don't want this to sneak up on me again.

6. Because I had already been thinking about starting him on "solid" foods I added this in.  It helped fill his belly and he was thrilled to take this new food; so it ended up being a good time to introduce it to him. I had already made up baby food for him in the form of cooked/pureed squash that was frozen in ice cube trays.  Having this ready ahead of time allowed me to start it up right away with out the need to run out to pick up supplies.

Within a day or two my supply was coming back up, but over the next week it would come and go a bit.  I'm continuing to be careful and watch both myself and my little boy for signs of this happening again.


  1. Thanks for writing this! I have been asked by my natural doctor to try to keep nursing exclusively until baby J is 7 months old so anything to help keep that supply up and keep her satisfied is helpful. I hope you are well!

  2. Thank you for posting about this! My breastfeeding days are long since passed (sigh) but it is wonderful to see that there are people out there who understand that low supply does not equal "time for formula"! You are well versed on all the key elements for bolstering your supply. Here's hoping things even out for you and baby soon. Still praying for your family through this time of transition.