Let me start off by saying that women are truly AMAZING…I can give you so many reasons why, but let’s stick to the subject at hand…BREASTMILK. Most of us know that breastmilk is the best food for a baby during their first year of life. It has all of the vitamins and minerals babies require to grow healthy and strong. For many years, I’ve heard people say, “breastfeeding is best, it’s so healthy for the baby,” but I guess I never understood why, nor did I take the time to do any research of my own. When my first was born, 9 years ago, I decided not to breastfeed. I listened to those people who told me how painful breastfeeding was, how difficult it would be to ween my baby off, and that breastfed babies were so clingy and attached; I would always have trouble leaving them with a sitter. Yea I know, a bunch of non-sense, but I was young and didn’t know any better. This time around, during my pregnancy, the nurses and my doctor stressed the importance of breastfeeding and that it was the best decision I could make for the baby. I was told that immediately after birth, the first form of milk that is produced is called colostrum. Colostrum contains white blood cells and antibodies that help build a strong immune system and protects your newborn against illnesses. That was enough for me. I was sold! I wanted to keep my baby as healthy as possible. Problem was, the day I gave birth, my baby had a hard time latching. I tried, and I tried and I tried…still no luck. I had no choice but to give him formula. I chose Enfamil Neuro Pro. It’s supposedly the closest formula to breastmilk. Still, that wasn’t gonna cut it for me. I wanted my baby to have the real thing. So, as a last resort, I turned to pumping. I purchased the Medela pump in style advanced, which I love by the way. Six months later and I’m still using it. As you may know, newborns feed around the clock. By the time I got home from the hospital my little one was taking 2 ounces of milk every 2 hours, and since I was pumping, keeping up with his feedings was a full-time job. Especially, since I wanted him on breastmilk exclusively. I figured, if I could increase my milk supply, then I would be able to store milk, which would relieve a lot of stress. A friend of mine told me about an herbal tea called Mother’s Milk. I gave it a try after skimming through thousands of rave reviews. After a few days of drinking this tea my milk increased dramatically but as a new mom your schedule is hectic. You barely have time to shower, let alone prepare hot tea 4-5 times a day. I did a little research and learned the active ingredient in Mother’s Milk Tea is Fenugreek. So, I started taking Fenugreek vitamins 3 times daily…morning, noon, and night. I also started drinking a gallon of water a day, and added oats to my diet. In just 2 days, I went from pumping 4 ounces of milk to 15 ounces in just one pumping session. Now I’m pumping 45 ounces a day, sometimes more.
Recently my oldest son caught the flu, then passed it on to my husband and I. I was afraid the baby would catch it, so I called his doctor for advice on what I should do and if I had to press pause on the breastmilk. He said the best thing a mother can do is breastfeed while she’s sick. He said it’s like giving him medicine and building his immunity even stronger. My baby is now 6 months old and hasn’t been sick not even so much as a cough or runny nose. Recent studies show that protective effects of breastmilk may be permanent. Moreover, it’s good for your babies brain development, which ultimately makes them smarter. So, for those of you out there, who like myself, have to resort to pumping but have a low milk supply, don’t give up until you give that good ol’ Fenugreek a try. Don’t forget to drink enough water and add oats to your diet as well. The extra effort is worth keeping your little one happy and healthy.