(This picture was taken when my daughter was just over 1 year and I was pumping in a beach bathroom while on vacation in Grand Cayman. I then lugged the milk back through the airport so I could ship it off to a family once I arrived home.)
August 10th Newsletter
Last week I promised to get more into my personal story of breastfeeding, so with National Breastfeeding Awareness Month in full swing, what better time than now to share some of my own journey with all of you!
First, as a quick run-down, National Breastfeeding Awareness Month was designed to promote, protect and support breastfeeding by any woman, anywhere and at any time. This year’s theme – Breastfeeding: Foundation of Life. And after my experience, I couldn’t agree with this statement more!
There is nothing like nursing your baby for the first time – or for the one hundred and first time, for that matter. Being able to nurse your baby, holding her helpless body and gazing into her longing eyes as she roots and begs for your milk, is one of the most gratifying experiences I have ever had. She is instantly calmed as her cheeks begin to fill and her tummy becomes content. Her eyes begin to glaze over as milk slowly drips down her cheek. Shortly thereafter you have a perfectly satisfied baby who has fallen into a deep “milk-coma”, only briefly awaking to give you a little grin before drifting off again…
…or this is how it goes in theory.
I myself was so afraid that I would fall into the later category, as things never seemed to come easy for me [when it comes to my body and all of its natural processes]. But boy was I surprised as my milk supply was ALWAYS there in full force, having my son gain an astonishing 4lbs in his first 4 weeks of life. Even the pediatrician said that I was “feeding too much” which supposedly was “not possible when it comes to nursing”… in all cases except for mine. Hahaha
However, my over-abundant milk supply isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and in many ways can be viewed as both a blessing and a curse. While I feel so blessed having always been able to feed my children on demand, never worrying if they were getting enough, I also have to be extremely careful as to how much they are actually gulping down, as too much leads to lots of throw-up, tummy troubles, and constant crying. I was also [literally] tied to my pump a good portion of the day, as I need to pump in-between every feeding (even having to wake up in the middle of the night) to insure that my little one wasn’t going to engorge himself/herself when it was time for the next feeding. And the amount of cleaning and endless amounts of bottles, bags, etc… This is the part that I dread[ed] the most!
Why So Much Milk:
While it’s debatable that there is some sort of genetic factor that goes into milk supply issues – whether it be too much or too little – I will say that neither my mother or grandmother produced nearly as much as I do, so I’m not sure this is necessarily the case. I do know, however, that the more water I drink and the more fatty and protein-rich foods I ate throughout the day directly correlated to my milk supply and how many additional ounces I could pump – whether that be a “mere” 25 ounces or up to 50+ (not including what I fed my babies). The same can be said for those days where I would do tons of cardio, walking, etc. – as I noticed my supply was much less (which I attribute to the amount of calories I burn vs. the amount of food and water I drink).
My First Experience Sharing Milk
Since I never expected to over-produce with my son, I had never looked into “what to do with an oversupply”, or what having a lot of extra milk even meant. However, I quickly learned that having 2 freezers full of frozen milk that would literally fall on the floor every time you opened the door was not normal, nor was it something that I, nor my husband, wanted to keep dealing with. So, I looked into “what to do with extra breastmilk” and eventually realized the need for it by other moms who couldn’t produce, had adopted, etc.
To make a long story short, I eventually went on to work with numerous families, pumping and sending milk to 3 babies full-time (not including my own), as well as delivering over 10,000oz of additional milk to other babies in need over the 3 years (in total) that I also nursed my own children.
To hear the stories of the families I helped and the milk I was able to provide these babies in need is truly humbling and makes all of the long days and late nights more than worth it. In fact, the first baby I was able to provide milk for had a severe heart condition and was very sick as a young child. Yet, (according to his Doctor’s), due to the breastmilk I provided – and thanks to the loads of healthy foods I eat – he has not only survived, but is truly thriving (you can read that Testimonial, here).
Having been able to help this family and their son is something I will never forget and makes me feel so honored to be a part of helping to literally save a life. And this, among all the other reasons, is why I truly believe that Breastmilk (and Breastfeeding) is the Foundation of Life and is why I feel so strongly about Breastfeeding Awareness Month!
I believe that there is nothing greater than breastmilk for a baby and not only that, but the foods that the mother eats directly affect the quality of the breastmilk as everything that you literally eat and/or put on your body will go through your milk and help to nourish your baby.
[Here is the link to my original post, while I was still nursing my daughter, if interested: http://healthyfitfabmoms.com/my-story ] And if you want to know how you too can increase your breastmilk supply, just ask! I am here to help!
Now [quickly] on to the other parts of this week’s title: Cover Ups, Nostalgic Treats & Tired Feet.
In celebration of National Breastfeeding Month, I wanted to cover at least one great breastfeeding product per week: with this one being the Cover Ups from Milk Snob. With a 360 degree range of cover, as well as being extremely soft and breathable, you really can’t get more versatile – or cute – than these Covers! (You can read the full review, HERE.) Please note: the cover you see above is not from Milk Snob - although I definitely wish I had one back then too ;).
I also did a review on SmashMallow and their lines of marshmallow inspired treats! Let me just say, if you haven’t tried them, you’ll definitely wish you had sooner!
And finally, I wanted to mention the products by MommySteps. As the creator of the first moldable inserts created especially for pregnancy – every woman, whether pregnant or not – will love the amount of cushion and support these insoles provide! You’ll be amazed at how much better your back, hips and/or feet will feel after a day of wearing these! Oh, and they make two different styles: one for your casual flats (read Toms, loafers, etc.) and one for athletic-style shoes, so no matter what your footwear of choice, your feet will be supported! Plus, they are only $39.99/pair, so you really are getting an amazing deal with MommySteps! Check out using my code HFFM for an additional 20% OFF your ENTIRE order!
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