16 Months and Counting…..
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When I had children, there was so much information about what to do, what not to do, that I thought my head was going to explode. The topic of breastfeeding is one that many have opinions on. For me, I knew that I was going to try to breastfeed for as long as I could. I have 3 children, and I have for the most part, successfully breastfed them all.
With my daughter, Abby, I had to return to work at 6 weeks, and tried to sustain for as long as I could but she didn’t want to breastfeed after about 4 months. With my son Caleb, it was pretty the same thing. For whatever reason, they did not want to breastfeed after about 4 months.
How long will it last?
Fast-forward to my son Wyatt, and I am officially at 16 months and counting. I don’t think there is one specific thing that makes children want to continue breastfeeding because after 12 weeks with him, I went back to work.
I knew that Wyatt was going to be my last child so I tried to continue for as long as he wanted. However, I did not think it would be this long. This is awesome, and I love it.
I have read countless things over the course of my breastfeeding journey and I can share some things I have learned along the way. Every book will tell you that it is a supply and demand thing. This is so very true because if you don’t’ continue to breastfeed your baby, your milk will dry up. There is no other way around it.
I have to continue to eat more…
I am a skinny person by nature, and I don’t tend to eat a lot at any given time. I am a snacker, I eat all day long. For breastfeeding momma’s, this is also true, you are famished all day. I was always hungry while I was exclusively breastfeeding. Another thing you might want to do is to drink plenty of water. There is such a thing as too much, but hydration is key to keeping your milk supply up. Think of it as a wet sponge, without water it shrives up and becomes hard. While this is a not a pretty analogy, it is true. I also drank other fluids, such as Gatorade and juice. Supposedly these will help with milk production, but I think the jury is out for that one.
Making more milk mama…
There are any number of supplements you can take while breastfeeding. I used a pill called Lactation plus, that I took every day. I never noticed any discomfort for my son, and it was easy on my stomach, so it worked quite nicely for me. I actually noticed a rather large increase in milk production (especially during letdown) while i took these. I was not really one for soaking through a shirt, but while i was taking these, it happened quite often. Even today Wyatt is still a leach today (yes I know, it’s not nice to call your son that) but it’s true. I like the honest company and generally have not had issues with their brand.
Things you can also try are the lactation cookies, yet again they are not great, but when you are in a pinch, they will work. I thought the aftertaste was the worst part. If you are a tea drinker, Mother’s Milk is an option. Now again, be prepared to add stuff for taste because it is bitter too. I drink my tea hot with honey and sugar, and yes I had to add it. I think the mother’s milk worked the best for me because I could feel that I was producing more during letdown.
There are supplements for fenugreek and milk thistle, but I stopped the fenugreek when my baby became really gassy. Everybody is different, and what works for some won’t work for all.
Bags and more bags…
One thing that many will also need is a good breast pump. There are a crapload of them on the market, and many insurance companies will provide one. I used the Medela breast pump
and I loved it. I liked the idea that I could cart the bag anywhere, and I did. I was the one in their car, pumping which watching one of my kids movies. Some of the pumps are pricey so I would recommend searching for one that is within your budget. Happy hunting.
Today I only breastfeed my son at night before bed. I honestly don’t even know if he still gets milk, it’s more a comfort thing and our nightly routine. I absolutely love it and I will miss it when we are finally done.
If you have any questions or would like to know more, please ask because after 3 children, who were breastfed, I am a plethora of information and I’m willing to share.
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