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Friday Faves

Hello my friends! Friday, woohoo! Let’s kick off the almost weekend with some Friday faves/things I’m loving lately. What are you loving lately? Play along in the comments!

1) Tacos!

On Tuesday night, it was snowing, but Matt and I decided to channel spring and have tacos for dinner! Riese was more interested in the light fixture than Matt’s beautiful avocado presentation, but we will forgive her.

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3 for me, 4 for him! I could eat tacos all day everyday. Toppings included chopped spinach, grated cheese, sauteed peppers and onions, and ground turkey cooked in Mexican seasonings (cumin, chili powder, etc.). Mmmmm

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2) Reading.

Reading is one of my favorite forms of self care, but in the early days after having Riese I found I never had time to read. I usually do most of my reading in bed right before going to sleep, and love that time to unwind, but for a few months I was so tired I didn’t want to stay up a minute longer than I had to. Now that Riese is sleeping better and therefore we are sleeping better, I wanted to start reading in bed again, but she sleeps in a bassinet in our room right next to my side of the bed where the lamp is, and I didn’t want to turn it on and wake her up. So, I finally got smart a couple weeks ago and bought myself a little clip-on book light so I can read in bed without a big, bright light waking Riese up. Hooray! So nice to unwind with a good book in bed again, even if it’s only for a few minutes!

Another thing I’ve done recently is instead of mindlessly scrolling through my phone while pumping, I’ve started reading a book to make the whole experience feel more like refreshing “me-time”.

reading while pumping

Pumping is not super fun, but having a good book to read and approaching it more as some time to decompress rather than something to rush through has helped a lot with making it more enjoyable. It’s all about the mentality/how you approach things in life, right? I pump twice per day now – once in the evening right before I go to bed (usually around 9 p.m…. #oldlady), and once in the morning after the first feed of the day (usually anytime between 4 and 6 a.m.). The morning one is really not my fave, because I’d way rather go right back to sleep after feeding Riese, but Riese still can’t get quite enough food from me in the evenings and as a result I don’t produce as much in the evenings now, so Matt and I have been giving her a top off bottle of breast milk before she goes to sleep. I don’t get much milk from the before bed/evening pump session, but I figure it’s good to keep doing so my evening supply doesn’t totally tank. Usually between the pre-bed pump and the morning pump I can get about 4 ounces total, and then we give her that milk in the evening before bed. Unfortunately  I’m not usually able to save any extra milk so my freezer stash is not exactly crushing it (I think I have about 7 bags in there right now… argh), but it’s working for now. Trying my best to keep up! Any tips for increasing milk supply?! I’m nervous that since she’s still not a very efficient eater my supply is going to continue to go down…

Anyway! Question – what entertaining/light books are you reading right now that you’d recommend? Nothing that is going to make me cry, please… I feel like my emotions are still a bit more intense than normal so I don’t need anything that is going to make me really weepy! (While we’re talking about books, I have a blog post all about my all-time favorite books if you’re looking for some new stuff to read!) Right now I’m reading “Three Sisters, Three Queens” by Philippa Gregory – it’s not as good as her other books (like “The Other Boleyn Girl” – SO GOOD) but it’s entertaining enough for now.

3) These amazing Pittsburgh-themed limited edition Brooks Launch 5 shoes!

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My friends at Brooks gifted both me and Matt a pair since they know Matt is from Pittsburgh, and he LOVES them! Brooks created these shoes in partnership with DICK’S Sporting Goods in honor of the upcoming Pittsburgh Marathon; Matt and I ran the Pittsburgh Half Marathon together back in 2014 (along with my brother as well), so it’s fun to have these as a bit of a memento. The tongue of the shoe is actually the fabric of a Terrible Towel – so cool right?! And the inside has a beautiful bridges silhouette. Love! If you’re interested, here’s the women’s version and the men’s version on the DICK’S site.

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4) Yoga.

Everything still feels so tight postpartum and stretching out feels amazing, especially on my tight hips and stiff back from all the baby carrying/snuggling/feeding. Chelsea and I checked out a new-to-us spot early this morning – Georgetown Yoga via ClassPass (<- affiliate link for $40 off) and both loved it. Small but beautiful, cozy studio and we liked the instructor, too. Felt really good to start the day with some zen!

georgetown yoga 2

As usual, I will leave you guys with some interesting posts and yummy sounding recipes from around the web. Have a great weekend!

Please note there are affiliate links in this post.

Comments

  1. 1

    Pumping is so tough! I’m not sure why, but I feel you! I did it for a year each with both of my girls, pumping 3-5 times per day (I work full time in an office). Unfortunately, the advice I’ve heard that seemed to work best for helping milk supply was to pump more. Even if it’s just 10 minutes at a time, it’s supposed to help. I tried cookies, teas, herbal supplements and honestly I think the extra pumping was the only thing that really helped. I’m sure that’s not what you want to hear! And remember, you are doing an awesome job – keep it up, mama!

    • 2

      I’m wondering what time of day would be best to pump more… like after a feed? I’m worried that if I pump more in between feeds I’ll have even less milk for her when she eats again, though??

      • 3

        Wait about 30 minutes after your AM feed, pump, then feed her again whenever she’s ready. The milk will still flow and this is how you build supply.

        • 4

          Okay, I will give that a shot after the second feed of the day… already pumping after the first one (but immediately after because I want to go back to bed…). Thanks!

      • 5

        your prolactin levels are highest after 12am, so you should get the most bang for your pumping buck after that. i used to get up at 2:30am every night (morning?) to pump for my little one and it yielded by far the most milk and really helped build my freezer stash. this obviously works better if you aren’t also feeding in the middle of the night and i’m not sure if you are still. you could also try pumping a little bit BEFORE you feed her in the early morning to see if you get more than pumping after.

        as far as helping to boost supply, you are already eating lactation type treats and there are some good ones you can buy as well. i’d also recommend some lactation tea and keeping hydrated. hope that helps!

        • 6

          I agree with this comment! The only thing that really worked for me was to get up to pump an hour or so before my baby woke up. This will obviously be easier when she’s sleeping a little longer, so maybe keep it in your back pocket. I’d wake up at 5-5:30 and my daughter was up for the day around 6:30. My lactation consultant stressed that I pump at least an hour prior to that First morning feed so Ella got what she needed. It ended up being great because I could have that first hour of the day to myself, and when she woke up I felt ready for the day. Helped my supply overall and the freezer stash.

      • 7

        Can you pump immediately after feeding a few times a day? You probably won’t get much but it will stimulate your body to make more. I’m going through the same thing right now. My baby’s weight gain wasn’t great at 2 mo. She is a weak sucker (not using accessory muscles well) and so I think my supply, and her weight, dropped off as a result. So now (before I am basically nursing, supplementing with stored breast milk and pumping every 2-3 hrs for the next week to see if I can get my supply and her weight back on track). But I try to get the pump going as soon as I get her off the breast. And if you’re worried about her not getting enough for the next feed, you can always nurse and give her whatever you expressed when you pumped.

        • 8

          I’m not sure it’s feasible right now to add any more pumping sessions given work commitments… breastfeeding alone takes up so much of my workday it’s tough to fit everything in! I think I’m going to try to do power pumping after Riese goes to bed in place of my normal pump at that time – we will see if that helps! Thank you :)

  2. 9

    Hello! I would suggest eating way more food than you’d think is realistic and 100+ ounces of water a day (not saying you’re not already doing these things). But volume in calories and H2O help so, so much! Also, more time on breast will help. Good luck! It’s a huge commitment and you should feel proud of yourself :)

    • 10

      I agree! Especially on the water front- if I don’t chug an entire nalgene between 7 and 10am and then another one between 10 and 2pm, I notice a huge difference in my supply when I’m pumping. Hang in there- pumping itself is a full time job!

  3. 13

    I’m pumping right now for a 4 month old who never seems to slow down on the amount he eats. Luckily, I have been able to keep my freezer pretty full. Unfortunately, I do think the only way I have been keeping my supply up is pumping more. I pump right when I wake up in the morning, twice at work, and twice before bed time. It’s a lot, but it works. I try to breastfeed him as often as possible too, mostly during the night if he is waking up. The more she breastfeeds and the more you pump, the more supply you will make. Also, drink LOTS of water.

    • 14

      Chiming in…like everyone is saying, add a pumping session or two. Do you have time during your work day?

      • 15

        I take back my comment, didn’t realize you were breastfeeding her at home during your work day. Gosh, sounds like you are already doing so much. You both need enough nutrition and sleep—and all that extra pumping just seems like it would be a lot for you, especially working. Maybe give yourself a break and see how supplementing a little at some point helps. You’re doing a wonderful job with her!!

  4. 17

    I used to always read while pumping, it makes a pretty meh task seem a little more like me time. Also, yes to all the tacos, looks delicious!

  5. 18

    I drank a tonne of water… like more than you would ever think you needed, and took fenugreek. I was low supply and my son wouldn’t latch properly at first either. I had to supplement with formula at first and then was able to switch to full breast milk. At the time it felt like I failed by giving formula… but he is 7 now and smart and funny and wonderful so it all works out in the end. :)

  6. 20

    I’m in the same situation right now regarding supply. So I’m following right along with these comments! I have had to supplement with formula since he wasn’t gaining weight in the beginning. Now at 2 ‘months I’m almost able to keep up, but would love to be able to exclusively give him breastmilk. He is also a lazy eater which doesn’t to help! Pumping isn’t fun, but loveyour approach with reading. I will have to try that!

  7. 21

    I second the advice given above. I pumped for a year too and struggled with keeping up the supply; pumping more helped me keep up and have some freezer stash. Also, brown rice and hemp seeds seemed to increase my supply a tad bit.

  8. 23

    Hi! You need way more food and water than you realize. If you are working out then you need to drink a TON. Carbs protein fat. Eat. It. All. Oatmeal daily. Lactation cookies daily.

    It’s a lot of work but in the beginning I was pumping directly after most breast feeds. This signals your body to make more milk. Even if it’s only .5oz or 1oz.

    I also found more success pumping in the early morning around 5am before he woke around 6am. There would be plenty of milk left for his feed.

    How many times are you nursing in the middle of the night?

    • 24

      She’s sleeping from about 9 until 5 or 6 usually, so the 5 a.m. feed is the first one of the day. I know I should get up in the middle of the night to pump, but to be honest, sleep has won out because that’s important too! I figure pumping right after the 5 a.m. feed is a good compromise for now. I think I’ll try to add in a pump after the second feed of the day (usually around 8 or 9), unless I have to go right out to a client meeting, and see how that goes/if that helps.

      • 25

        Unfortunately while I know how important sleep is, because Riese is still so young I recommend waking up at least once in the middle of the night to pump. It sounds like since she is inefficient that it’ll take some work for you to maintain your supply. Especially since she is getting a top off bottle – – you will likely need to add in more pumps. Mine refused to nurse before bed for MONTHS. So i had to be sure i was pumping a TON. Breastfeeding and pumping and working full time mom is hard work!!!!!! When I went back to work I pumped 3 x at work in addition to the AM and PM pumps. He woke middle of night until about 5months. Your supply is still regulating. How many times a day do you think your boobs are stimulated per day between Riese and the pump? Supply and demand. Good luck mama. It’s also possible that you might not make enough to feed her full time so combo feeding is also a great idea and would lessen your pressure. What does the doc think about her weight gain?
        Power pumping is another good idea. Look it up. Or nursing weekends – where you spend time in bed skin to skin with the baby no pacifiers etc to get your milk stimulated. On weekends I nursed alllllll the time to build my supply back up for beginning of week. This would help carry the rest of the week.

        • 26

          We have our next doc appt next week (her 4 month appt), so we will see how the weight gain is! Right now she usually eats about 6 or 7 times per day from the breast, and then she gets the additional bottle right before bed (after I’ve tried to feed her as much as she can get from the breast). She’s eating every 2 to 3 hours during the day, and still does some cluster feeding at night. Then I’m pumping twice per day – right before bed and after the very first a.m. feed. So about 8 to 9 breast stimulations per day between her eating and the pump!

          • 27

            I’m curious – What makes you think she’s not getting enough milk?

            • 28

              At her 2 month pediatrician appt her weight gain wasn’t quite where the doc wanted it to be. She seems to eat okay during the day but at night she gets visibly frustrated at the breast when I have less milk available, so that’s why we started doing the bottle top off before bed.

  9. 29

    Also I liked Go Lacta as a supplement online.

    Are you done with maternity leave when?

    • 30

      Since I work for myself, I didn’t get a maternity leave unfortunately. Our nanny started a month ago so I started seeing nutrition clients again then, but I’ve been working on blog stuff since right after Riese was born because we need both of our incomes to pay for our mortgage. So fitting in extra pumping time on top of the active feeding time (I’m working from home so I can still breastfeed Riese, which I’m grateful for) is challenging with work in the mix!

      • 31

        I don’t want this to come across the wrong way, but, it feels a little disingenuous to say you guys need your income to pay your mortgage. You can work and live your life however you want to, but phrasing it that ways makes it sound like you are living paycheck to paycheck, when in fact it seems you live a very comfortable life that includes boutique fitness classes, many meals out a week, food delivery services, an in-home nanny, etc. Again, not judging how you choose to live your life because you should do what works for all of you, but phrasing it as needing your income for your mortgage feels a little unfair to all of the people actually struggling to make ends meet at a much more basic level.

        • 32

          I definitely wasn’t trying to make it sound like we are struggling or living paycheck to paycheck – I apologize if it came off that way. I know we have it good! So yes, we could certainly cut back a bit on spending, but it’s completely true that we need the majority of my regular income consistently to stay in this area because it’s so expensive to live here. It was hard with the maternity leave stuff because taking a lot of time off from the blog would have impacted not just income right then, but also future income significantly since I wouldn’t be setting up partnerships and such for the later either. But of course I’m grateful that I work for myself because it means now that I have more flexibility to be around than I would if I had an office job. Anyway – thanks for reading, and for your input! :)

  10. 33

    Definitely echoing the water and food comments above. It was so hard for me to eat enough to keep up my supply. I’m just not naturally a big eater so I basically had to snack all the time. I always had some granola or something while I was pumping. With my first I was terrified of losing my supply and tried all the things and nothing worked in a noticable way for me. I did always drink Mother’s Milk tea because I liked the taste and maybe it helped or it might have been a good way to keep up with hydration. With my second, I also tried all the things to keep up my supply but I also gave myself a lot more grace and he ended up needing some formula and that was totally okay. Keep up the good work and hopefully you find what works best for you!

  11. 35

    hi Anne
    I used to read when I pumped too. It did make me dislike it less (it was hard to ever look forward to pumping).
    Kristin Gore wrote two HILARIOUS books that I think you’d like. They take place in DC. “Sammy’s Hill” and “Sammy’s House”. I love them. I hear you on the books- that-won’t-make-me-cry front.
    Ready Player One is excellent.
    Kindred by Octavia Butler
    Boys in the boat by ??

    Those are just a handful.

  12. 37

    I had really good luck with the Traditional Medicinal’s Mother’s Milk tea (I’m sure there are other brands too…I believe I got it at Whole Foods). I worked full time, so by Thursday or Friday my supply completely tanked since I spent a few days not around her as much. The taste takes a little bit of getting used to, but I would have 2 or 3 cups a day (just like Wed – Fri when I had less supply) and found it to really help! And then plenty of skin to skin time over the weekends :)

  13. 40

    Gatorade (cut with water bc it is so sugary), avocados, and red meat made the most difference for me. I think the key was getting lots of fatty calories. I tried various supplements (more milk plus, fenugreek, moringa) and never felt like those made a huge impact.

    I also felt like that reading while pumping helped—it distracted me from stressing about how little was coming out, so that’s a good first step!

  14. 41

    I have twins and pumped 7x per day for 13 months while working full-time from home. When I noticed my supply starting to dip, I did a week of “power pumping” (terrible name!) and found it would boost my supply by ~50%! It’s not fun but really works.

    Instead of your evening pump, do 10 minutes of pumping, 10 minutes rest, 10 pumping, 10 rest, 10 pumping. So it’s 50 minutes total. Do that every night for a week and you’ll be really amazed by the results.

    Also echo the comments to eat more. 3 tacos would have been an appetizer for me back in my pumping days! Calories and fat are the most important keys if you’re really committed to boosting your supply.

  15. 43

    I struggled with supply for both my kids (both had tongue ties, high palette, silent reflux and some other things that made it difficult). I did herbal supplements and prescription domperidome (which I think might be banned in the States…) and pumping. I tried “power pumping” with a hospital grade pump a few times and it definitely worked for me to temporarily boost my production. Good luck, it sounds like you a great support system and that’s really the biggest help of all.

  16. 44

    Your supply peaks between 12-4am . I pumped through 8 months at midnight even though my little slept through the night , starting at 12 weeks , the stash helped greatly when I my cycle returned a little after 6 months and I would barely make any even though it sucked to wake up at midnight. For increasingly supply I ate a bowl of oatmeal everyday , shatavari ( wild asparagus) , fenugreek did not work for me and it made my son gassy , so did flax .. flax milk helps with supply but I had issues as well. Moringa helps as well , in Indian culture moringa leaves is consumed by lactating mothers to keep up supply as part of a daily diet.It is important to keep up calories and water for supply . Do you bf throughout the day or pump ( at work ) ?

  17. 45

    I always had trouble getting enough milk via pumping. What helped my supply was adding an extra pump per day than I actually needed (annoying, yes, but it does not detract from what your baby needs. Your body recognizes it as needing more milk and will start producing more). I also ate way more food than I thought necessary and continued with lactation cookies made with brewers yeast throughout my entire nursing experience. And last but not least….drinking coconut water!! Just plain organic coconut water with nothing added to it. I swear my supply increased just a few hours after I would drink a bottle! Good luck. Being a momma is so stressful!

  18. 46

    I’m not sure if anyone else mentioned this, but I’m having the same issues with my 5 month old and pumping, and was told to power pump (20 minutes pumping, 10 min rest, 10 min pump, 10 min rest, 10 min pump) once a day. It worked when I did it for the first time last night and should show increases by day 2 or 3.

  19. 47

    I pump 4 times during the day (while I’m gone for work) I pump after her first feed of the day and after her last feed from before bed. Middle of the night pumps would produce a lot of milk I heard it’s because of the hormone cycle. I used to pump around 12am/1am for that reason and got my freezer stash that way. Daily I also take 2 moringa capsules, drink a coconut water, eat oatmeal for breakfast and eat a lactation cookie.

  20. 48
    Roadrunner says

    Bravo to Matt on avocado slicing!

  21. 49

    I have no advice about pumping (I’m only 8 weeks pregnant), but I can offer lots of reading suggestions!
    Celeste Ng’s “Little Fires Everywhere” really does live up to all the hype; and I loved both Amor Towles books: “The Rules of Civility” and “A Gentleman In Moscow.” His writing is just gorgeous. I also read this book for free on my Kindle about Russian female bomber pilots during WWII called “Daughters of the Night Sky.” It was a very different WWII book, and fascinating.

  22. 50
    Carolyn M says

    My tip: don’t beat yourself about milk production, instead celebrate how much you are able to produce. I remember so well how much pressure I put on myself to have my daughter on breast milk only for her first year. It was SO. HARD. I made it until about 10.5 months and then had to supplement with formula. My stress level and anxiety immediately went down once I didn’t have to stress about it any more. And my relationship with my daughter greatly improved because nursing sessions were just about bonding — not worrying how much she was eating. If I”m lucky enough to do this a second time I won’t put that kind of pressure on myself. You’re doing a great job!

    • 51

      Couldn’t agree more! I started supplementing around 6 months so I didn’t have to bring milk back from a trip and it’s been great. I still breastfeed and pump, but taking that pressure off has been fantastic!

      • 52

        Ditto! I completely stressed myself out the first six months trying to exclusively breastfeed my son. Weird situation: had an oversupply that turned into a slight undersupply….did the oatmeal, fenegreek, tea, power pumping etc. I had to go back to work when my son was three months, and during the school year work was super busy/hard to get in more than three sessions a day. My son was consistently taking more bottles than I could produce at daycare, and I honestly drove everyone (esp my husband) crazy. He also started to prefer the bottle to my boob:/ Finally when my little freezer stash dried up that I would use to supplement his daycare bottles, and we found a formula he liked (Plum Organics), my stress level became SO.MUCH.BETTER. Being a new mom/going back to work/not sleeping is stressful enough, why was I also puttting all of that extra stress on my plate? I would just do what you can do (which even sans pumping is a lot of work and exhausting and you should be proud) and supplement.

        Also, every baby is different. My daughter is 4 months old, and is a much easier nurser. We moved, and I’ve been at home with her, and we are actually struggling to get her to take a bottle so my husband and I can go out!

    • 54

      Thank you Carolyn <3

  23. 55

    Love reading your baby update posts! They are encouraging. :) I am a new mom of a 1 month old baby girl.

    Do you have any favorite diapers and wipes you have been using?

  24. 57

    Are you letting her feed on the breast until she falls off done? Just checking, because if she falls off satisfied she should not need a top off bottle, that will not help you in the long run for supply. I had a preemie and feeding sessions for the first 6 months were over 1 hour total- 30 minutes plus per side. But the lactation consultants I worked with always told me she will fall off content when she is done, so I just let her go until she was done. If a baby is struggling a bit to feed, they go slower so it takes them longer to feed and you cannot rush them. I successfully fed through 1 year- working full time starting at 4 months. Since feeds took so long for us, I read tons while she breastfed. My kindle came in handy! I pumped 3x at work (9 am, 12pm, 3pm), and breastfed in the morning (6am) and twice before she went to bed (6pm, 9pm- she slept between those 2), then always had one night feed (sometime between 12 and 3 usually). When she dropped the night feed I subbed in a pump session.

    I echo the comments about getting a pump in overnight. It’s a season of life- once you are a mom you never get “enough” sleep but promise your body will adjust. While mine was in the NICU at the beginning I pumped round the clock every 3 hours to establish/keep my supply- the alarms on my phone that were permanently set were ridiculous. It was not fun and it did sacrifice my sleep. However, I CHOSE to want to be able to feed her and have a strong supply, and made my choices accordingly.

    Kellymom.com has great breastfeeding and pumping resources too.

    • 58

      Yep, I let her eat as long as she wants until she is done. In the evening we know she needs more because she will drag my nipple around (fun) and cry in frustration because she is still hungry. During the day she will eat and come off the breast on her own, content.

  25. 59

    Totally agree with the more food comments. I exercise daily and run (training for a half) and if I don’t eat, I can see it in my pumping at work the next day. I’ve always been an intuitive eater, but with breastfeeding I have had to watch my calories to make sure I’m getting enough. Milk supply is all about supply and demand. More milk lost in pumping or nursing, is more milk gained. Good luck – I work full time and am still going on 8 months strong breastfeeding. Sometimes when my supply doesn’t meet my little ones need, I use formula to help – really takes the pressure off of momma! A fed baby is best! Hang in there.

  26. 60

    Since you work from home a lot can you feed on demand? Babies are way more effective and efficient at getting milk from you than the pump. Increasing your pumping will help too, but the baby is always more effective. That being said, don’t think that what you get out with a pump is indicative of how much milk you’re actually making . With my first child I got next to nothing out of me with a pump, but we successfully breastfed for 2 yr 9 mo with no supplements. I’m on baby 2 now and I’m pumping because he was born premature and had a hard time learning to nurse and I didn’t want my supply to drop. I’m getting about 2 oz per pump session (5 min), it’s easier the 2nd time around because your breasts have that much more milk pathways (forgot the medical term). And there are definitely times of day when your supply is naturally higher than others. From what I’ve read (and experienced) early early AM is the most full.

    I’ve learned though that sometimes it’s the pump, not you – I have a Medela and the white membranes need to be replaced really frequently. Really frequently. And I have to clean the middle part (that’s yellow, I don’t know what its called) very well and daily because it gets clogged with milk fat easily. Both these things have decreased the amount that I’ve been able to pump in a session. My doula said that if I have two low pumps in a row to check the pump parts, don’t assume its you.

    I hope you can get your supply up. You’re probably making more milk than you realize. You’re awesome, keep on boobin’.

    • 61

      Thank you! Good idea to check the pump parts… Haven’t done that. And yeah we’ve been doing on demand feeding since she was born… Anytime she wants to eat I feed her no matter how long it has been! It’s usually every 2 to 3 hours during the first part of the day and then more often in the evenings.

  27. 62

    Tomorrow will mark one year breastfeeding my first baby girl! I fell in love with it. I see you are going through some struggles, but I want you to know it gets easier. Riese is lucky to have a mama willing to put in the work to give her liquid gold :) It’s not always easy. I was blessed to have lots of milk, but if I ever felt a dip I’d make these cookies. I actually make the batter and freeze it in logs so I can slice and bake them. They are AMAZING! To be honest I would just bake them to eat they were so good. Lol. Here’s the recipe:

    2 Tbsp. flaxseed meal
    4 Tbsp. Water
    1 cup butter, softened
    1 cup white sugar
    1 cup brown sugar
    2 large eggs
    1 tsp. Vanilla
    2 cups all purpose flour
    1 tsp, baking soda
    3 Tbsp. Brewer’s Yeast
    3 cup quick oats
    1 cup chocolate chips

    Directions:
    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
    2. Mix together the flaxseed and water and let sit for 5 minutes.
    3. Meanwhile, Cream together the butter and sugars.
    4. Add eggs one at a time and mix well.
    5. Add flaxseed and vanilla.
    6. In a medium bowl, combine flour together, baking soda, salt, Brewer’s Yeast, and oats.
    7. Add to butter mixture 1/2 cup at a time.
    8. Once he dough is mixed together well, add chocolate chips.
    9. Bake for 9-11 minutes.

  28. 64
    Veronique Goyette says

    Hi Anne! I’m in a similar situation. My son is 4 months old and also very small (in the /nd percentile). Pumping is not as efficient as I would like. It varies quite a lot: I can pump 4 oz in 20 minutes and the next day only 1 oz in 30 minutes! What seems to work best though is pumping before a feed. So when I know I have too feed him soon, I pump the breast that has the most milk in it. And there always is enough milk in the other breast for him. I give him only one breast when I nurse him, so this works for us. Or when I come back from ann activity (like yoga in the evening), I pump from the breast that has the most milk. Pumping after a hot shower also seems to work. And increasing the pressure on the pump works too.
    Good luck, I know it can be hard! I also don’t have a lot of bags in the freezer. I now view my pumped milk like money: my frozen stash is my savings nad the milk I have in the fridge are for my daily/weekly expenses!

  29. 66

    just finished up The Nightingale and i love love LOVED that book. it’s not exactly a light/happy read but it’s phenomenal!

  30. 67

    I’m 10 months in breastfeeding baby #3. After my first, I was focused on myself: getting my social life back, hopping back into my career, regaining my fitness routine, and trying achieve all the things that I was able to do before he was born. I dropped the weight quickly, returned to work full time when he was 9 weeks old, went out with friends, travelled a lot, hiked, etc. My milk supply definitely suffered.

    With Baby #2, I went back to work when he was 7 weeks old, but I slowed the rest of my life WAY down. I nursed him more, ate a lot more high fat + high calorie meals so I hung on to 5-10 extra lbs, cut myself some slack with my running, and learned that I couldn’t fit in all of the birthday parties and girls’ nights out. I was able to pump and nurse him until he was 13 months old with no problems.

    Breastfeeding and/or pumping is a huge commitment. Some women are blessed to have oversupplies, but most working mothers I know really have to work for it to make the breastfeeding happen. I’ll echo what everyone else has said though: lots of water and calories. Everyone is different, but my body always produced more milk when I was well rested.

    Best of luck to you!

  31. 68

    Book series recommendation: The Parasol Protectorate. The audio books are a hoot too; great narrator. The premise sounds goofy but the books are smart, fun and humorous.

    SOULLESS is the first book of the Parasol Protectorate series: a comedy of manners set in Victorian London, full of werewolves, vampires, dirigibles, and tea-drinking.

    Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations. First, she has no soul. Second, she’s a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette.

    Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire — and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate.

    With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London’s high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?

    https://www.amazon.com/Soulless-Parasol-Protectorate-Gail-Carriger/dp/0316056634

    https://gailcarriger.com/series/the-parasol-protectorate/

  32. 69

    Hi Anne,

    You are getting lots of great tips here! And you are doing great! I’m writing this as I breastfeed my 5 month old :) have you tried massage while pumping? I find I get a little more in a quick time when I massage my breasts. Plus empty breasts signal to make more milk!

  33. 70

    1. Nurse more often and longer. That will tell your body to make more milk. My youngest is 7 weeks old now and just nursed for two hours on and off before bed. She’s going through a growth spurt and trying to increase my supply.

    2. More water

    3. More calories.

  34. 71

    I had a lot of supply issues, and it is super stressful! I would recommend fenugreek, and also make sure you’re not eating any foods that decrease supply. I also had two bowls of oatmeal per day (oats are supposedly to help). Are you concerned about weight gain (apologies if you have mentioned it here already)?

  35. 73

    And let me add that it isn’t easy! I nursed three for a year and am planning to do the same for my fourth. I promise that one day you will feel like your body belongs to you again!

  36. 74

    Check out themilkmeg.com she has a great informative blog about low supply, boosting supply etc. I have found pumping in bed in the middle of the night isn’t as annoying if I have it all set up and don’t have to leave bed. Milk is safe for 5 he at room temperature so I just let it sit a couple of hours til I get up.

    • 75

      Also, you don’t need a huge stash, just enough to feed baby the next day. My first baby, I came out with one feeding extra when she turned one. Pumped milk is not an indicator of your supply. You can keep nursing on demand and supplement if needed (not your ideal I know)

  37. 76

    I pumped working 24 hours shifts for the year that my baby breastfed. To increase/support my levels I took Fenugreek supplements. They make you smell like maple syrup, but it REALLY works! I also drank the mothers milk tea and ate oatmeal as often as I could. Here’s a link about the supplement. I usually purchased mine from vitacost.com https://kellymom.com/bf/can-i-breastfeed/herbs/fenugreek/

    I would try adding in another pumping session in the morning. It’s really is supply and demand so emptying out an extra time should signal your body to make more. It is common to not make as much in the evening and from a comment above she does sound hungry still (there’s nothing worse than when they pull and twist while still latched!).

    Have you tried massaging/squeezing the breasts while pumping? If I pumped hands free I would get like 2 ounces but if I pumped while massaging I could nearly fill an entire 6 ounce bottle on each side. So I would more than double my output basically!

  38. 77

    I’m reading this while pumping at 2 am. Our son is 3 weeks but is not good at transferring/sucking so I am sadly mostly pumping and bottle feeding because he was below birth weight up until yesterday and not eating enough during weighted feeds with our LC. I am hoping that as he gets bigger and stronger he will suck better and get back to eating at the breast. Pumping is so much work.

    But a couple of supply suggestions I have gotten are to take golacta and mothers love milk plus supplements. Both were recommended by LCs. Also my friends OB said that nursing moms need to drink 148oz of water a day. And that doesn’t take working out into consideration. Crazy huh? So I am trying my hardest to drink more. My supply was starting to decline since my son wasn’t eating well so now I am trying to build it back up. I pump 7-8 times a day since he only eats at the breast twice a day right now. Pumping sucks sooo much!!

  39. 78

    Taco night, my kids love taco night!! Totally random question, but what kind of taco shells are those? They look darker than traditional taco shells, so I’m curious, as it would be great to have my kids try something a little different.

  40. 79
    Traci Ward says

    Lots of good advice up there!

    I pumped exclusively for my daughter after she decided she’d rather the speed of the bottle over nursing. 🙄 i think I introduced a bottle too soon (at the advice of a lactation consultant, mind you) and she just wasn’t interested in nursing after I went back to work. I got my most milk at 2-3am but sleep was more important to me (working full time), so that won over the pump. I ended up having to supplement with formula and she did just fine. It didn’t realize until I quit pumping just how stressful it was for me. We fought the same weight gain issues like you are with riese, so I know how you feel. Big big hugs.

    It’s all so hard, no matter which avenue you choose for feeding. Just try to enjoy the days because before you know it you’ll be planning a second birthday party and wondering why you stressed so much about milk supply!

  41. 80
    Kevie Davey says

    Hi Anne, it sounds like you’re doing great mama!! Keep up the good work. I drink Mother’s Milk tea by Traditional Medicinals 2-3 cups/day. I put brewers yeast, flax, and chia in my oatmeal in the mornings – all are supposed to be good for milk production. How long are your pumping sessions? I found my supply was better when I pumped for 20 minutes rather than 12 or 15 minutes. (I know, more, longer pumping isn’t probably what you wanted to hear!) 4oz a session is great, by the way!! I pump at work, in a room with extra tables and chairs. I hated it for a month, then someone suggested reading, and now it’s pure bliss, I actually look forward to it! If you’re wanting to keep Riese on breast milk, and you can’t produce enough, there are donation groups out there – check out Eats on Feets or Human Milk 4 Human Babies on Facebook. Good luck to you! Riese is so lucky to have such a caring mama!!

  42. 82

    Oh my goodness! I loved the article about serving meals family style. I grew up having dinner family style, but I plate everything in the kitchen and serve it except for on holidays when there is a lot of food. I know I started doing this to cut down on dishes, but I have to agree with the idea of kids choosing and serving themselves. I recently wrote about positive body image in kids and balanced eating and I will definitely revisit the topic after changing up how my kids are provided their food and the choices they make.
    Thanks for the recommendation!

  43. 83

    Get these duckbill valves for your pump from amazon. They get out more milk and were more efficient than the valves that came with my pump!!
    Search nenesupply duckbill valves. -see the excellent reviews!
    Also hand massage out the milk during pump

  44. 85

    I have so much to say on this, having gone through pumping/supply angst with all 3 of mine in some form. I have found that I have to decide exactly how much I want to push myself (keeping in mind that it’s 100% temporary!) and be okay with the outcome. Right now, things are actually going well, and I do the following:
    – She eats twice overnight, usually 1am and 4-5 am
    – I pump after the 4-5am feed (either right after or up to an hour after)
    – Feed her before leaving for work
    – Pump at about 9a, 12p, 3p at work
    – Feed her at home at 6p
    – Feed her when she goes to sleep around 7-7:30 p

    So, that’s 4 pumps, 5 feedings/day. I actually DON’T want her to sleep through the night really b/c I’d rather feed her than pump (which I suspect I’d have to do if she slept). I do think you might have more luck adding some night sessions. Feeding OR pumping – if she’s on the small side, maybe even a dream feed could work to get her more calories? Other thoughts:
    – I like the Pumpin Pals flanges – but I still have to massage like crazy when I pump. It’s NOT hands free for me.
    – EAT A TON. Don’t worry about weight gain. I tried to curtail eating too much w/ my second and it really did impact my supply. This time my mindset is honestly I don’t even care if I gain some, I can lose it later when I don’t care about milk supply
    – Supplements that maybe help me – Legendairy Milk Liquid Gold and Milkapalooza
    – Dark beer :)

    • 86

      Totally feel you about deciding how much to push yourself and being ok with the outcome! I didn’t pump quite as much early on with my second because it was going to make me crazy.

  45. 87

    i’m reading the book “poisonwood bible” right now which is amazing!! real page turner. also recommend dreams from my father (obama’s memoir!!) and the interestings (by meg wolitzer) and little bee (by chris cleaver) and sarah’s key (forgot the author).

    i’ve heard that eating more food in general helps with breastfeeding. best of luck!

  46. 88

    Hey Anne! Oh man, the first few months breastfeeding, working, pumping, crazy! But I did it twice with quite a low milk supply – much less than most who struggle. I tried everything to up it, too! Weaned both at 15 months but did have to supplement. My advice would be lots of water, oatmeal every morning with flax seed meal and Brewer’s yeast (like a Lactation cookie but no added sugar), and more pumping. Early on I was pumping after about 3-4 day time feeds to stimulate more (never got much… What freezer stash?😉). I still say I successfully breastfed, though it may not have been exclusive or picture perfect. Wish you luck and don’t be hard on yourself! You are amazing!! P.S. did your hospital have lactation consultants? They often consult by phone and/or in person. So helpful for me!

    • 89

      Thank you! And yes, lactation consultants have definitely been helpful!! I need to go buy some brewer’s yeast to add to oatmeal!

  47. 90

    I just read A Window Opens by Elisabeth Egan and loved it. It’s about a stay-at-home mom that goes back to work. Funny and endearing.

  48. 91

    Hi Anne, I don’t have pumping advice yet, but wanted to say that my daughter was also frequently needing bottle top offs and didn’t seem to nurse efficiently. I was using cross cradle or cradle hold all the time, and I have one breast that kind of underperforms. One day I switched it up and used football hold and she was suddenly guzzling milk from my underperforming breast and the feeds have been much bigger since then. I’m now trying other holds to mix it up. Might be a coincidence or might be a change in angle and pressure or her level of comfort or alertness. Worth a shot!

    • 92

      Interesting! I was never able to master the football hold… it always felt a little awkward for me – but I’ll give it another shot! So glad it’s working for you!!

  49. 93

    I took several breastfeeding and pumping classes and they said you should always massage your breasts while you pump (instead of reading) so you get all the milk out. If you don’t get it all, your body will produce less next time because that is a signal that you didn’t need everything it produced that time.

  50. 95

    OMG THOSE SHOES! as a huge pittsburgh sports fan (grew up in WV about an hour away), those are so super amazing and cool! might have to get some for my dad, just because :)

  51. 97

    Not sure id this has been mentioned, but you might be using the incorrect size of the flange part (the part that you put up against your breast). I know that they typically have several different sizes and having the correct size will help you pump more efficiently. Also, massaging your breasts while pumping or putting a warm cloth on them can help with your let down.

  52. 99

    Thanks for including my Slow Cooker French Toast Cass :)
    So glad you are able to get back into reading! Unfortunately, I don’t have any good recommendations — I just read Beneath a Scarlet Sky which was AMAZING but definitely made me cry. Save that one for another day because it is soo good!
    xo

  53. 101

    Thank you so much for mentioning my post about serving family-style meals! And I love those Pittsburgh kicks (my husband and I are both from a small town outside of Pittsburgh).

  54. 104

    LOVE those shoes! I’ve run Pittsburgh marathon several times and grew up about an hour from Pittsburgh.

  55. 105
    Jessica Campbell says

    Don’t stress too much about pumping. It can be overwhelming and exhausting so just do what you can!
    If you like Phillipa Gregory then you might like Isabelle Allende. I read “Daughter of Fortune” which was great and I’ve heard her other books are good too.

  56. 107

    Hi Anne! One thing I wanted to mention since I’m local to your area (I’m the one who said hi at the pediatric dentist’s office awhile ago!) is that there is a great breastfeeding support group at Virginia Hospital Center. They meet Wednesdays and Thursdays during the week. I went a number of times when I went through a really rough patch of breastfeeding – this was all before finding tongue and lip ties in my son’s mouth. The women that go to the group are supportive of however you feed your baby. You can take Riese, do a weighted feed while you’re there, and bring up any questions that you have. The other moms and LCs who lead the group are very knowledgeable. You can also join their online listserv after attending, which I’ve found very helpful.

    One last comment — I was told by my son’s pediatrician that he wasn’t gaining weight as quickly as they wanted during the first month or so of his life. An LC I worked with encouraged me to supplement him with formula for awhile to see if doing that would give him energy to feed more efficiently from me, which she said could drive up my supply. So I did that for 3 – 4 weeks (would breastfeed and then give an extra 2-3 ounces if he wanted it, which he always did) and I did see a big difference. He started gaining weight a lot better, and within a month I was able to go to almost all breastmilk. We’re now 2 months or so post-when I started supplementing him and I exclusively breastfeed. So it might sound counterintuitive, but formula could be a tool to consider using for a little while to see if it helps give Riese a little boost to nurse more efficiently. Ultimately – good luck! You are doing great. :)

    • 108

      That’s interesting – I’ve always heard that supplementing will make your supply go down since they aren’t telling your body they want that extra milk! I have heard about the VHC group and definitely want to check it out, I keep hearing great things!

      • 109

        I know, it seemed totally backwards to everything else that I’ve read and heard from other LCs, but it did work for me. To be fair – she wasn’t sure that my supply would ramp up, but she had a feeling that the problem was more on him being tired due to not getting enough food from me, and therefore not feeding efficiently esp. as the day went on, rather than my supply. I totally thought the issue was me, but it seems like he needed the extra boost to do his job in feeding appropriately. No clue if you’re in the same situation, but thought I’d share since it is a little different than what you’d expect to hear.

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  1. […] to continue to tackle my to do list! Thank you to those who provided advice on Friday’s blog post regarding increasing milk supply – I appreciated the tips! I’m going to try swapping out my […]

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