My breastfeeding journey (or lack thereof)

Breastfeeding, although natural, doesn’t always come naturally and it is the one thing I’ve yet to master in my experience as a mother. My mother breastfed me and my 2 siblings as did my mother in-law with her 4 children. I have friends that have breastfed both successfully and unsuccessfully so please understand that this post is not in any way an attack on either side of the spectrum. I debated whether or not to write about this at all but I chose to do this in order to share my struggle and tell others they are not alone. I have breast, bottle and formula fed my own children and it is a personal choice to want to breastfeed my babies but in the end I know it is about raising a fed baby! ❤

From the very beginning I knew I wanted to breastfeed because I understand the benefits and to be honest formula is freaking EXPENSIVE! With my first daughter, 9 & 1/2 years ago, I was young and didn’t fully understand my power to say no. So after I had her I had no idea I could ask for a lactation consultant at the hospital, I had no idea what I was doing or that she was in fact getting colostrum. The nurse offered a bottle so I could rest and I gladly accepted because I thought that was the normal thing to do. Once we got home I continued to try and feed my daughter but again, I tried a shield but I still had no idea what I was doing. My mother in-law brought over a hot version of horchata made with oatmeal instead of rice to help increase my supply. I pumped a bit but eventually switched to formula and headed back to work a few months later. With my son, I basically did the same thing.

cookiesIn my post about Agua de Horchata I mentioned how oatmeal is a great galactogogue. What the heck does that mean? I promise it’s not some weird disease. Galactogogues are things that help boost your breastmilk supply whether it be medicine prescribed by your doctor, a natural herb or food. You also may have heard of Fenugreek which is another good one. When I had my third baby I was researching more ways to boost my supply and came across an amazing recipe for Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip lactation cookies in which you can find the full recipe here! With my 3rd and most recent I made a batch of these while I was still pregnant which gave me about 30 cookies and they were gone within a week! The kids, myself and even my husband loved them. Now I’ve played around with the recipe a bit using white chocolate chips and peanut butter chips. Also, if you’re allergic to peanut butter you can substitute it for a small can of pumpkin mix which gives it about the same consistency and holds it together as the peanut butter would.

Although, I unfortunately gave in to the bottle with my 3rd, I’m still planning to breastfeed my 4th. I’ve joined several support groups on Facebook including my local La Leche League. I have their helpline saved in my phone this time. My doctor’s office also offers free breastfeeding classes as does another support group that partners with the hospital I’ll be delivering at. I’m hoping both my husband and I can attend a class so he can learn ways to help too. My sweet friend Melody has offered to be “on call” so to speak if I need any help or support. She suggested I get rid of my bottles, formula samples, etc. so as not to be tempted next time. I’ll probably let her hold onto them for me. 😉  I don’t exactly have a nursing station but I want to set my nightstand up with water bottles, snacks and little Post-It notes with encouraging words and verses. I’m really trying to be proactive this time. So wish me luck and I hope you enjoy the lactation cookies. It’s about time for me to make a new batch so keep an eye out for a picture on Instagram.

If you have struggled with breastfeeding and have found things that have helped you please be sure to comment and let us know! 🙂

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