New baby new things to learn. I was so nervous about breastfeeding – is it going to hurt? Am I going to know what to do ? Is it going to be weird ? What will it feel like ? I had so many questions and just like labor you are not really sure what it will feel like until it happens. It is also as labor different for everyone.
I am an overpreparer where I wanted to find someone before my little guy came to get an idea of what to expect and that was so great just to have an idea of some tips & tricks. At my hostipal, Methodist in Brooklyn they are very breast feeding friendly and encourage it and had a nurse give me some tips the night he was born but I really was glad I had some idea of what to expect and what to do more so from the specialist I met with – from positions to just what to expect. My doula told me about the awesome EMMA – https://www.emmamccabecbc.com. She is a Certified Breastfeeding Counselor.
A Breastfeeding Counselor is certified to support and guide families in reaching their breastfeeding goals through education and providing care such as assessing latch, suggesting corrective interventions, counseling mothers, providing management plans as well as understanding and applying knowledge of milk production in special circumstances (such as premies, Down Syndrome, or newborns affected by medications).
Emma was able to help me with all my questions and taught me a bit on what to expect : How to handle nipple or breast pain / I asked her about latching / how to increase my milk supply / how to pump and when to pump and so much more.
Evidence shows that women who have access to breastfeeding support are more able to meet their breastfeeding goals.
I was so confused that first meeting I didn’t know if I would be expected to pump right away, how often I would be feeding him, etc so she was able to help me with my questions. It is important to know everyone is different so I got lucky and was able to feed my little guy from the start but not everyone can do that there are all sorts of reasons. Also Methodist hostipal does provide some free breastfeeding classes and that was super helpful too but being exhausted I was glad I was pre – mentally prepared with my private class with Emma, layered with the nurse helping me and then taking the class within the hostipal. Again maybe I overprepared but this is a huge step – it is one of the most beautiful interactions I will ever have with another human being – you already have a bond with this little human and you can’t believe how incredible this opportunity is to help nurture this little guy even more so I wanted to just be ready to do this and hopefully succeed. I knew that not everyone could breastfeed so just wanted to try and give it my best shot.
My goal was to get settled and just use the breast without the pump for a couple of weeks. I was lucky that my little guy was able to latch when we started the breastfeeding process but I didn’t know what I was doing and for the first two weeks it was painful at times – some bleeding, some chaffing, soreness – it just hurt at times. I would feel like I was healing after a few hours and had to feed him again. I tried my best to feed him but then did intro some formula by the 5th day because I was sore. I knew that I wanted to try to figure out this breast feeding situation so I could feed him more and figured I was maybe doing somethings wrong. I called Emma and she came back over for a session and taught me about how to use my pump and showed me some slight changes and positions and things over the course of the next few days got better. I was more comfortable when he was latching and I knew how to pump so I could make bottles when I had to do work. I still used formula too because I was not producing enough for my little guy. He was a big guy at 9.5 lbs when he was born. I was so scared to pump too – will that hurt etc – and yes sometimes uncomfortable and it is super time consuming but so rewarding and in the end efficient to make bottles. I still wasn’t super happy with my milk outtake so started doing research about different brands to help maybe make more milk supply – and fell in love with the taste and quality and philosophy of MILKFUL. I tried these originally after reading about them and was in touch with the company and they kindly sent me another variety box to try.
Full disclosure I still use formula to supplement my feeding because I still need to make more milk and part of that is that I am lazy and hate waking up in the middle of the night to get that big pump in — but trying to push myself to do that more. Also have been just trying to feed my little guy a lot more and more often to build supply. The more I breastfeed or pump the more supply I get but you need to stay consistent in a way to keep the supply going and growing.
So besides trying a few different things I also started attending a breastfeeding support group that Emma leads at the cutest shop in Greenpoint called https://www.wildwasmama.com/ – which was a great way to learn some more tips, ask questions, meet some awesome moms and get out of the house !
I also wanted to try to help myself with building the supply so did research on my own and tried Milkful bars — they are delicious and I think they have helped with my energy level which helps me just keep us with having to breast feed and pump throughout the day and is just a tasty treat!
Milkful bars are a healthy, convenient, energy-packing snack for moms, especially nursing moms who want to increase their milk production and are low on energy. We load our bars with only natural, nutrient-dense ingredients that taste amazing and can help boost milk supply and energy with some of nature’s finest grains, seeds, and nuts.
In fact, thousands of women tell us Milkful bars have improved the quantity and quality of their breast milk in only 1-2 bars per day – and they look forward to eating them!
Milkful bars were formulated with Registered Dietitians, Board Certified Lactation Consultants, and our Medical Advisor, Dr. Alex Carrasco, who is a Functional & Integrative Medicine physician specializing in holistic women’s wellness.
Milkful bars offer loads of vitamins, minerals, protein and fiber, plus a high dose of lactogenic ingredients which support a healthy milk supply and sustained energy levels for mom- the nutritious, delicious way.
– Amino Acids
– Omega-3 Fatty Acids
– Omega-6 Fatty Acids
Because when boobies are happy, babies are happy! – love this !
The high density of lactogenic ingredients (aka active ingredients in each bar) is more than 55% of the recipe!
Nursing moms from around the world eat rolled oats to increase their milk supply. They are a nutritional powerhouse that nourish the body. When the body is nourished, the body is more able to do what it was meant to do, such as produce more breastmilk. Rolled oats are full of whole grains, fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and iron, a mineral many nursing moms are deficient in which can decrease milk supply and lower energy levels.
Brewer’s yeast is a traditional herbal remedy used to stimulate and increase the production of breastmilk. It is a rich source of B-vitamins and amino acids essential for nursing moms and babies. In addition to helping with breastmilk production, brewer’s yeast is believed to help combat fatigue and fight off the baby blues. It also contains chromium which is known to help control blood sugar levels, and probiotics which can nourish the gut.
Flax Seed & Flax Meal
Flax seeds contain an abundance of omega-3 fatty acids, phytoestrogens and fiber. The omegas support brain development and pass from mother to baby through breastmilk. Phytoestrogens have been shown to influence milk production and fiber keeps “things” moving as they should.
Black Sesame Seeds
Black sesame seeds may be small, but they are packed with calcium and estrogen-like plant properties that can help nursing mothers produce more breastmilk. They contain high levels of calcium, fiber, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, copper and manganese, too. Guess it’s true that good things come in small packages!
Walnuts are an exceptionally nutritious nut. They have higher antioxidant activity and significantly more healthy omega-3 fats than any other common nut. Two of the polyunsaturated fatty acids, Omega-6 (linoleic acid is the primary source) and Omega-3 (alpha-linolenic acid is the primary source), are considered to be essential fatty acids (EFAs) and have numerous health benefits. Babies generate the fatty acids such as ARA and DHA more slowly than adults and thus need to get some via diet (i.e., breastmilk).
Many nursing moms already eat almonds and drink almond milk to increase the creaminess, sweetness and amount of their breast milk. They are also a great source of calcium, which is great news for dairy-free moms.
Blueberry Almond Coconut
Wholesome oats, raw almonds, organic flaxseed, brewer’s yeast, and black sesame seeds make this bar a lactogenic superstar. All of these ingredients have been shown to impact breast milk production while also nourishing the body. We add honey, unsweetened coconut, blueberries, vanilla and a pinch of sea salt to make these bars a cravable snack any time of day.
Chocolate Banana Nut
Rolled oats are not only high in fiber and iron (which many pregnant and post-natal moms need), but they are widely known as a lactogenic food. We then add seeds known to boost milk supply, namely flaxseed, and black sesame seeds. Brewer’s yeast is a traditional herbal remedy used to increase milk production, so we added that too. Now, the fun part: chocolate, bananas, honey, and peanuts. Does it get any better than this?
Rolled oats, flaxseed, walnuts, brewer’s yeast, and black sesame seeds are a breastfeeding mom’s best friends. They are loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants – and are wonderfully lactogenic. Sunflower seeds, brown rice, and hemp seeds add high-quality protein and complex carbs for energy. Then, honey, cinnamon, vanilla, and pure maple extract make these bars guiltlessly addictive.
Milkful bars are full of iron and B-vitamins your body can readily absorb to boost your energy the natural way. Unlike sugar, caffeine or other stimulants, this is the kind of energy that lasts all day without nasty withdrawals.
INGREDIENTS WITH PURPOSE
Chia seeds are one of the most popular “superfoods” because they are loaded with fiber, omega-3 fatty acid, high-quality protein and several essential minerals and antioxidants. Studies show these tiny seeds may lower risk factors for heart disease and diabetes, lead to better digestive health and increase heart-healthy omega-3s.
Yet another one of nature’s perfect foods, hemp seeds are a good source of easily-digestible protein, essential fats, Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA), antioxidants, amino acids, fiber, iron, zinc, carotene, phospholipids, phytosterols, vitamins B1, B6, D, and E, plus chlorophyll, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, copper, potassium, phosphorous and enzymes.
Organic Virgin Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is known to have a multitude of health benefits, including improving skin and hair, digestion, heart health and immunity. Research suggests that this amazing oil may reduce abdominal obesity in women and increase thyroid and endocrine system functions.
70% Cacao Chocolate Chips
Who says chocolate is an indulgence? Quality dark chocolate (70-85% cacao) has been found to actually be good for your body (hooray!). It is rich in fiber, iron, magnesium, copper, manganese and antioxidants. So, eat your chocolate!
Peanuts are abundant in vitamins and minerals. They are basically nature’s multivitamin, with niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, thiamin, riboflavin, choline, vitamin B6, vitamin E, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, iron, copper, manganese and selenium. A recent study found moms who ate peanuts while breastfeeding paired with direct introduction of peanuts in the first year of their baby’s life was associated with the lowest risk of peanut allergies. As great as peanuts are, we know not all moms can eat them. For those moms, a few of our recipes are completely peanut free.
Sugar is sugar, right? Maybe technically, but processed cane sugar is a dietary no-no and we wouldn’t dream of adding artificial sweeteners to our wholesome products. Instead, we go for the most natural sweeteners we could find.
Honey is about as natural as it gets. This incredible sweetener perfectly balances fructose and glucose that can help regulate blood sugar levels. When you eat honey, the fructose portion allows the glucose to be consumed by the liver to form glycogen, which becomes available to the brain, heart, kidneys and red blood cells to enhance their functions.
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Also check this out : If you want to give them a try use CARAVANGIRL at checkout and get 20% off your first order
Also beyond MILKFUL my other tip is my Lansinoh hands free bra for pumping — now I can work and pump at the same time which is a GAME CHANGER available at Walmart and other stores online : https://www.walmart.com/ip/Lansinoh-Simple-Wishes-Hands-Free-Pumping-Bra-Size-XS-