Today I thought I’d share my thoughts on “Project Breastfeeding”.
To begin – let’s start at the very beginning.
In Mar 2015 I gave birth to our first child Emelina and I had internal struggles with that pregnancy questioning whether I would make a good mother.
I’m not sure where that feeling came from but it may be those situations where you’re unsure of yourself because it’s something new that you’ve yet to experience.
For instance learning to drive for the first time was scary but after a while you hop in the car, turn the ignition and off you go. Starting a new job you have some anxiety about how people may see you or questioning whether you’ll be happy here is always something you ask yourself. Meeting new people you always try and make the best impression and end up making a total fool of yourself.
All those examples and more are instances where you are fearful and unsure before you make the leap of faith.
Simply getting myself together was an effort but now I’m responsible for another little life.
Just that idea alone overwhelmed me.
I have to admit that the first 3-6 months of Eme’s life I was just going through the motions. Wake up, eat, feed her, burp her, change her, nap, eat, feed, burp, change and sleep in repeat.
Then one day it happened.
I ran out of breast milk.
It was like the tap was switched off and overnight we had to move to formula when Eme was 6 months old. I didn’t pay enough attention to what I was doing so I simply ran out of supply.
Maybe it was too easy to give up because my nipples were raw and sore. Maybe I wanted to run out because I wanted to be freed up to do others things. Maybe I told myself that 6 months is enough… or maybe I just honestly ran out.
I’ll never know but this time round I have a better game plan to manage myself and create the best possible outcome for baby #2 – little Kyneton.
I believe firmly that it is up to the mother and environment to allow the new baby to flourish.
Feeling stressed? Living in a challenging environment? Not eating well? Not getting enough exercise? Poor sleep? Not keeping your chest warm?
There are many reasons why things are the way they are but it’s up to me to figure out why things are that way.
Am I stressed? Then I’ll try and reduce my stress and reduce the pressure and noise that I place on myself.
Not the best environment to raise a child? I like to imagine myself as the infant. Unable to move myself or be comfortable so I’m very reliant on my parents to look after me. What can I do to keep my baby as comfortable as possible?
Not eating well? Where does baby get their strength and nutrition from? Me. I need to do the best I can to make sure baby is nice and healthy.
Not getting enough exercise? Something is better then nothing. That’s what I tell myself 🙂
Poor sleep? If I’m not sleeping well enough then it will leave me irritable and that will only make things worse for the baby. It can be a chicken and egg situation and I completely understand that but which is easier to control – myself or the baby? Personally I can control my thoughts, feelings and actions more then a little baby.
Chest not warm? In the islands my mother tells me that women keep layers over the breasts to keep them warm. The warmth allows the blood vessels to flow better and help produce more breast milk.
Above I have outlined a couple questions that I regularly ask myself.
If little Ky is upset or not feeding comfortably I ask myself what HAVE I DONE to make him upset.
Is his nappy wet or dirty? Does he have indigestion from overfeeding? Is he tired? What did I eat 12 hours ago – have I eaten anything different that’s irritating him? Have I been stressed? Did I have a shit sleep last night?
So with that being said if you are interested in how I seem to be achieving 7-8 hours of sleep with little Ky who’s not even 3 months yet here is my winning formula:
- Eat well and sleep well
- Reduce stress (physical or emotional)
- Breast feeding ‘Booster’ smoothie once in the morning
Ingredients: Almonds, whole banana, tablespoon of grass fed butter, 1-2 tablespoon of cacao powder, ~500ml of coconut water, sprinkle of cinnamon, 1 tablespoon of flaxseed meal, teaspoon of MCT oil and 2 tablespoons of oats
Pop all that into your blender (we highly recommend the Vitamix blender) and you should get almost 700ml of smoothie goodness which is almost like a milkshake consistency.
In my last post I reported that I have started practicing intermittent fasting with an ‘eating window’ of 8 hours from 8am-4pm. That smoothie in the morning really gives me a kick start for the day along with my light breakfast.
Kyneton requires a feed almost every 2-4 hours throughout the day although I’m trying to stretch him out to 4 hours and I’m happy to have him cry if he’s getting hungry because I find he can comfort feed too which is difficult to manage.
So If I review my typical day in terms of feeding Ky it looks like:
- 8am – first feed
- 11am – second feed
- 2pm – third feed
- 5pm – fourth feed
- 8pm – final feed before I put him down for the night
- 4-5am – early feed
Well that’s my current update with “Project Breastfeeding” and I’ll provide updates later in the year as we battle through teething, introducing solids and any other obstacles that keeps things interesting.
What does your breast feeding efforts look like? Do you have a secret smoothie that keeps your breasts full of milk?
See you next week!