I am writing this post because I hope it helps another mom-to-be to

  • Know that it is ok to struggle with breastfeeding and does not make you less of a mother
  • Be more equipped with information that would be helpful in getting a breastfeeding plan in place

FIRST BREASTFEEDING EXPERIENCE

With my first baby, I was totally ignorant about breastfeeding for newborns. It all seemed so natural and obvious that milk would be flowing like a tap, as and when I needed it. Shock on me, when my son got to two weeks, and my milk supply almost dried up.

I was so devastated, had no idea what to do, and being a first time mom was not any easier. Although I had a strong support system with my husband’s family being around, I did not have a solid breastfeeding plan.

We tried everything: vegetable soups, hot water, bone marrow soup, lactation cookies, fenugreek (urgh), you name it! None of these seemed to do the trick, and my son was soon becoming frustrated, ugh. And so, I resorted to Youtube for answers.

FINDING A SOLUTION

I was surprised at how much work and effort these moms put into their breastfeeding journey. It made me look like a total joke. However, watching these youtube videos was so inspiring, because I knew that I could achieve the same results if I was intentional about it.

I knew that I did not put much intention to it before. I honestly, but ignorantly thought that milk supply came naturally all the time. So I realised the mistakes that I made earlier on, and worked on them to get a breastfeeding plan which worked for me:

  • Not establishing enough supply early on once my son was born
  • Allowing visitors to stop me from breastfeeding and expressing milk often enough
  • Feeling guilty when I rested during the day
  • Feeling stressed when I lost my milk supply, which made the situation even worse

I quickly came up with a feeding and expressing routine to try and get back to the days when I had enough milk for my son. I also tried to get a good “hospital grade” breast pump, which I had no idea about before I did this research.

This time round, I came well prepared to the breastfeeding game!

I bought all the breastfeeding essentials this time round, early enough to be able to start my breastfeeding plan from day 1.

BREASTFEEDING ESSENTIALS

If you are based in Kenya, you can use savostore.com to ship these items for you from USA to Kenya:

Pumpables double electric breastpump: I cannot stress how much having a hospital grade breastpump helped me to get much more milk out in a shorter space of time than the normal pumps. I am super excited to try out this brand. I will definitely come back with a review once I start using it. –>https://pumpables.kckb.st/62810b90

Pumping bra: All you need to do is wear this bra, put your breastpump in the holes of the bra, which are quite secure, and start pumping. You can then watch your favourite Youtube channel or listen to soothing music as you pump away. ->https://amzn.to/2YnbovB

Lansinoh Nipple cream: I did not have a lot of nipple issues with my first delivery, as my son was able to latch on to them quite easily. This nipple cream however, helped in reducing the soreness that came after pumping sessions. -> https://amzn.to/2xoMFMn

Lansinoh breast therapy pads: I remember desperately trying to encourage milk let-downs by putting warm face towels on my breasts. The breast pads look like a more convenient option with 3 different uses. 1) You can easily warm them in a microwave and placed on your breasts to encourage milk let-down. 2) You can also used them when cold, to relieve pain and swelling. 3) You can use them while expressing milk, to help increase the rate of the milk flow. The warmth from the breast pads is meant to open up your breast ducts much quicker than they would open up normally. I will be using these breast pads for the first time. So, I will definitely leave a review of whether they have lived up to their promise. -> https://amzn.to/2SoMVlK

Lansinoh breast milk storage bags: Besides being a working mom, being able to store your breastmilk will give you the flexibility of sharing the feeding responsibilities with other people in your home. I traveled to Cape Town for 4 days when my son was 4 months, while still exclusively on breast milk. This was only possible, as I used these storage bags to store enough expressed milk for his feeds while away. ->https://amzn.to/2ylq1VA

Lansinoh breast pads: These do not really help in breastfeeding, but they just help in keeping you from having embarrassing stains on your shirt from milk leakages or let-downs that happen outside of your breastfeeding sessions -> https://amzn.to/2WvVUTM

Haakaa manual breast pump: this is something new for me, but I often experienced the frustration of having let-down on one breast as I breastfed on the other. If you have breastfed before, I am sure you can relate to the feeling of losing “liquid gold” from milk let-downs. I will be using this pump for this purpose, which has come in with a lot of great reviews online. Some moms also use it as a manual breast pump. I don’t think I have the patience for manually expressing milk. ->https://amzn.to/3f9Impc

Bravissimo nursing bras: I have shopped from Bravissimo ever since I heard about them 7 years ago! I often have size problems, as my cup is a size G, GG or H when I am breastfeeding. Bravissimo has always come through with bras that give enough underwire support for plus size ladies like me. Plus, their bras are so cute-looking! I am looking forward to using these nursing bras. >https://www.bravissimo.com/collections/nursing-and-maternity-bras/

Mother's guide to breastfeeding and pumping, from thisisrebeccakay.com

I have finally been able to put all my thoughts into one single guide, that I hope will be useful for moms who struggle to get a sufficient milk supply. The link to the guide is here -> https://www.subscribepage.com/breastfeeding-and-pumping-by-rebeccakay

IN CONCLUSION

If you are a mom on a breastfeeding plan, or exclusively pumping journey, please share any other tips that may help other moms in our community. We are all learning, and I believe that breastfeeding can be a pleasant journey if you have the right information!

DISCLAIMER

This post contains affiliate links. Affiliate links cost you no more but a small percentage of the sale may go to me.