Firstly, let me share a little about my breastfeeding journey the first time around with Christie. As a first-time mum, I struggled the first two weeks with breastfeeding and latching done correctly so that it would be comfortable for both of us.
After days of sore nipples, we slowly got the hang of it. At Christie’s three month weigh-in, we noticed that she wasn’t gaining weight as she should have so this made us concerned that I wasn’t producing enough milk.
We monitored it for a week but there were no changes to her weight, so we decided to combine feeds with adding 1-2 formula feeds throughout the day. After starting formula feeds, I noticed the little supply that I had decreased even more and I could only feed Christie very little.
I breastfed Christie morning and night and gave her formula throughout the day. By around four months I was producing hardly any milk, so I decided to continue with formula only.
What Baby Number One Taught Me About Breastfeeding
Fast forward now to baby number two and I was adamant to try and increase my supply and make myself more aware of how breastfeeding works… and what I could do to boost and help my supply.
After researching and asking friends and family, I realised that a few key factors played a big role in breastfeeding and milk supply. I learnt that diet is important to help with supply. I also found out that lactation cookies and tea may play a role in helping boost supply.
The most important factor to having a good milk supply is how often the baby feeds and how often you empty your breast – the experts call this “supply and demand.” Expressing between feeds will help supply or keep it consistent if your baby isn’t feeding well.
Before our new baby, Andrew, was born, I stocked up on lactation cookies and tea and also had a few Medela products ready to use for feeding and expressing.
Once he was born, I immediately noticed a difference in supply from the 2nd day. I ate one lactation cookie and drank a mug of the tea per day. I felt that this might have helped, but the main thing is that I also expressed once every day.
My Experience with the Medela Freestyle Double Electric Breast Pump
We are now 5.5 weeks in and I have been using the Medela Freestyle double electric breast pump to express once a day. If I feel my supply is dwindling, I will pump more throughout the day too.
By using the double pump, I can express from both sides and combine the milk into one bottle to store or give bub on the day if needed.
A big thing I struggled with Christie was expressing more than 50ml, so, by having the double pump this time around I found it amazing and got better amounts. If I couldn’t pump more than 50-60ml from one breast, I could easily combine the two from the same session and store away.
I have found that expressing while also having a toddler running around is a bit hard some days. Christie likes to be entertained so while I’m expressing, so, I use Medela’s hands-free expression bustier.
I can play with her or get other chores done around the house while still expressing. Using the Freestyle double pump has been amazing; I’m not limited to sitting in one spot to express as its pretty compact and small and so quiet, which means I can also take it with me on the go to express if needed.
A Few of My Top Breastfeeding Tips for New Mums
So far, I have been having a lovely journey breastfeeding and expressing for Andrew. One of my HUGE tips for breastfeeding for any mamma is to keep your water and food intake adequate.
For me, lactation cookies have been amazing and a yummy treat to eat along with lactation tea (I usually have one cookie a day with my tea). I also cannot recommend expressing enough!
If you have concerns about your supply, you may need to express to help boost your supply. I found that expressing 30 minutes after bubs and during regular feeds definitely helped with my supply.
If you are struggling with breastfeeding in any way, I highly recommend seeking help through your GP, a lactation consultant or asking your MCHN.
Now, in no way am I an expert in this field. Like many mammas, I have struggled with breastfeeding. This is just my journey and what I feel has been super helpful for me this time around so far.
Medela has sponsored this Blog. All wording is my own… and I have only shown what I truly love!
How would you describe your breastfeeding journey? Was there anything different for you about breastfeeding your second child? Let’s have a chat!