As I write this post, I’m also sitting on a plane headed to Berlin. It’s the hubs’ birthday today (June 14th) and we’re snatching a few days away sans kidlets.
My shirt feels uncomfortable now, as it’s also over 5 hours since I last fed my Lil Pudding before we left for the airport so my chest has doubled in size and the more I think about her the more milk comes in! 😫🤦🏽♀️
Why am I telling you this, you ask? Two reasons really. The first being writing a blog post is a great way to pass the time on a short flight when you’ve forgotten to take your book out of your suitcase to read.
The second being that I wanted to share with you how I’ve managed to ensure Pud still gets her mama milk whilst we’re away.
We’re only going away for 2 nights but it feels like two weeks when you’re nursing. My mum will be the first to tell you how much anxiety I’ve had over this, leading up to our short break.
Worrying about things like will she drink from the bottle? Will she become unsettled because I’m not there to nurse her for comfort as well as hunger. Will she become attached to the bottle and reject me when I return? Will my milk supply disappear?
Thankfully, I have a pretty straight talking mum who was quick to reassure me and tell me to stop worrying about these things because 1) I have pumped enough milk to feed the 5,000 2) I can pump whilst I’m away to keep my supply going and 3) I have a hungry and greedy baby girl so she will eat wherever and however she can eat 🤣
So, as I mentally plan my bolt for the nearest plug socket so I can pump when we land, I’ll tell you about how I’ve built up a pretty impressive freezer stash of milk for Pudding over the past few weeks.
Unlike with Lil Dumpling, who was also greedy but not as greedy as his sister, I waited until Pud was 2 months old before I started pumping, as I wanted her to establish a supply first and she was so greedy there was hardly anything to pump after she had a feed.
Once I started pumping, I kept it to only 10 minutes each side, twice a day. I also started adding Brewers Yeast to my morning porridge and Chocolate Superfood and I started taking Fenugreek capsules. Both increase my supply so much that after a few days, I had to pump for longer.
In addition to that, I was scoffing these delicious Lactation brownies which increased my supply by about 20%!
In any one 10-15 minute session, I’d pump between 5/6oz. Doing that each day for a month built up a good freezer supply.
The only thing is, I really HATE pumping. It makes me feel like daisy the cow and it’s so boring. You can’t really do much whilst attached to a breast pump! The only thing that made me keep at it was knowing I’d be away from Pudding for a few days and I wanted her to still have my milk rather than switching her to formula. Nothing wrong with formula, I just wanted her to have continuity with my own milk.
Despite my hatred for the pump. I managed to keep at it until last week when I decided I would no longer depress myself with it and was happy with the stash I’d built up. Plus, we’d run out of freezer space!! 🤷🏾♀️🤦🏽♀️
I can now rest easy and enjoy a short break away with the hubs and catch up on some sleep, knowing that our girl is going to be well looked after by her Nan and well fed too!
Here’s a (non-exhaustive) list of the foods I’ve been eating to help build up my milk supply and freezer stash:
Brewers Yeast Powder (in smoothies or oats)
Fresh Grape Juice
Homemade Lactation Cookies
All of the above foods have helped increase my milk supply and have given the milk a thick and creamy consistency, which has helped our Lil Pudding thrive – she was a healthy 14lb when we weighed her at 16 Weeks!
To be honest, I’ll be annoyed when I have to throw away the milk I pump whilst we’re away! But it’s only for a short time and worth the ennui knowing that I’ll be able to keep my supply going for when we return.
If you’re currently nursing, trying to build a freezer stash and have any hints, hacks and tips for fellow nursing mamas, please do feel free to share in the comments – would love to hear your tales, trials and triumphs and it may inspire other mamas who are struggling to build a supply themselves. ☺️