Category Archives: Pumping Milk

Kallista’s Needs Help Finding a Name with Cure For Her Condition

Imagine Not Being Able To Nourish Your Child With Food Or Not Knowing What Her Condition Is

What ends of the earth would you go to in order to save your child’s life?

The struggle of having a child that is sick is hard for anyone. The physical, emotional and mental demands of all the tasks that go along with the day-to-day care can be brutal.

Kallista needs help finding a cure for her medical condition plus needs access to basic life saving needs, such as food.
#prayforKallista She can only tolerate dairy and soy free Breast-Milk and insurance refuses to help.
#prayforkallista

What happens when you have the added situation of not knowing what your child’s condition is or how to help her? What about if you already lost a child that possibly has the same condition?

How does one cope with it a second time around?

Her older sister died 6 years ago from what looks like the same symptoms. 

Imagine losing your first daughter and then your second goes through the same thing and no one wants to help;( This is a short part of our story.

This is the story of Kallista and Her Family

Who is Kallista?

Kallista is a beautiful little toddler who arrived with some pretty little smiles and plenty of baby gibber to tell you about. When she isn’t running back and forth to various doctors or going through her therapy sessions she is busy trying to learn about and figure out the world around her.

What is Kallista’s typical routine on a day-to-day basis?
A day to day schedule for our family right now is pretty crazy! 
 
  • 6AM – Wake Up
Kallista must be accompanied at all times while on her tube so my oldest son and I have Kali duty. Which means to get her dressed and food ready. While the other person gets breakfast together, lunches made and everyone dressed and out of the door by 7AM
 
  • 7:30AM – We drive an hour to Phoenix for feeding therapy
 
  • 9AM – Feeding Therapy with myself and the 3 littlest kids. Caleb, Kallista and Blake. 
 
  • 10AM – Drive Back to drop Caleb off at school by 11AM
 
  • 11AM – 1PM – Nap-Time for Kallista. She will only nap if I am holding her. So lunch is made late or as easily as can be for Blake. I typically don’t eat. 
 
Some days we have feeding therapy at home or other doctors visits. 
 
  • 1PM – 3PM – Play-Time. Meaning I keep Kali and Blake entertained playing outside or reading. 
 
  • 3PM – Pick-Up kids from school
 
  • 3:30PM – 4PM – Wind down from school and snack time
 
  • 4PM – 6PM – Kallista is usually napping during this time in my arms
 
4PM – 5PM – Prepare dinner if Kallista is awake and willing to play with her older brother or we do something easy if she is having a bad day
 
  • 5PM – 6PM Dinner and clean up
 Kallista gets her medicine between 6PM – 7PM
 
  • 8PM – Bath time and bible reading to have kids in bed.
 

Prepare her milk and her nightly food to have her hooked up by 8. Bed time for Kallista is usually 8PM – 9PM depending on her day. I lay Kallista in her bed about 10 or whenever my husband gets home from work. 

 
Most days consist of many phone calls regarding authorizations or fighting with insurance just to get basic medical needs met. I also try to find time to share her story while she is sleeping. Says mama Jen.
 
How exhausted by this rigorous schedule did you feel? Let me tell you as a mom to children with various medical needs… It is physically, mentally and emotionally exhausting. It literally drains everything you have away from you. Many times you feel like this empty shell or even a real life zombie.  You literally survive off of adrenaline for the most part.
 
We Need Your Help To Share Kallista’s story! Get Doctors and the Insurance Company to Pay Attention! 

What Condition Is Kallista In

After several months, Kallista was diagnosed with several types of Eosinophilic Gastrointestinal Disorder.

Characterized by an abnormally higher number of eosinophils, a type of white blood cell, in different parts of the digestive track, EGID includes several conditions that can effect the digestive system in otherwise healthy infants and adults. There are four types of EGID based on where the eosinophils are found — the esophagus, stomach and small intestine, colon and blood and tissue.

Kallista has been diagnosed with all four types of EGID, mama Jen said.

The condition is often linked to a food allergen. Kallista is allergic to soy, corn, gluten and dairy so she can’t tolerate formula.

Picture Yourself Trying To Find Enough Breast-Milk To Keep Your Child Alive

[clicktotweet]Breastmilk Wanted For Baby Kallista, Her Life Depends On It. Medically She Cannot Have Anything Else.[/clicktotweet]

Mama Jen’s daughter is allergic to all food and only can feed her breast-milk. They are still looking for doctors to help find food for Kallista. She has failed every food tried including various formulas except breast-milk. If you want to donate dairy free milk please contact the milk bank we use at 817-810-0071.

Can You Help Donate Life Saving Dairy and Soy-Free Breast-Milk To Kallista

We are currently getting milk from Texas milk bank. However they frequently run low on dairy free milk. Donors would be a blessing. We have contact information for the milk bank. I used to nurse Kallista during the day. I pumped and nursed until her first birthday but decided my mental well being was more important than pumping. 

A mom and dad’s plea for your immediate help, support and attention to help Kallista and her doctors figure out what is making her sick, what is threatening her life and how they can attempt to cure her.

She is considered disabled and has state insurance. It is because of her state insurance that we are not able to see providers outside of Arizona. We are stuck here fighting with insurance to get answers and help.

A Mother’s Agony: Having to relive Allyssa’s life when Kallista was born was one of the hardest things I have ever been through. Everyday I thought she would die. Every day I was on my knees begging for God’s mercy to allow her to stay. There were so many times we ended the day with no food for the next and with God’s amazing hand he provided her milk. During her many hospital stays there are times I don’t eat because we don’t have the money.

You can help Kallista get to her appointments  and receive expensive but life saving breast-milk with a small donation here. With breast-milk costing roughly $4.00 per ounce and going through food trials, nourishing baby Kallista seems impossible. She gets at least thirty-four ounces per day, that is a hefty $136 per day!!

A Family’s Turmoil: Kallista’s life has been a whirlwind. Having little support and not enough money for my husband to be home, we have had to make really hard choices when it comes to what to do going forward. We spend $500+ a month just in gas to go to doctors appointments. My children’s lives in the beginning were staying at doctors visits and hospital stays. Not being able to be with mom and dad. Luckily my mom has helped as much as she can but besides her support we have been left to fight and support Kallista on our own. 

A Note From Dizzy Mama Marilyn to Mama Jen:

Kallista is most definitely in my prayers and I am sharing her story to reach more people. I have been through some of the things you have gone through. Trying to find answers. Trying to get doctors to spend a few more minutes with your child so they can find a solution. I too have spent countless hours on the phone with insurance companies and doctors offices just getting my boys medical needs met.

My boys don’t have what Kallista has, but I know what it is like when your child stops growing and is in failure to thrive. I know what it is like having a child that is allergic to both dairy and soy, with gluten intolerance’s. I know what it feels like when the doctor announces your child is no longer growing and that their brain has stopped growing.

With one child who was in failure to thrive from age one to age six, whose brain stopped growing at two and a half years old … I know what the whole thing is like. He couldn’t consume any types of foods and I was forced to stop breastfeeding and dry my milk up. Finding a milk that could sustain him and one that he could tolerate was tiresome. He had his first meal when he was three and a half years old, just six months after having surgery on his esophagus to correct it.

I wanted to give you a glimmer of hope. This same child is now twelve years old, has a very high IQ now, his brain began growing again when he was around five years old.

I really hope that Kallista has this same opportunity. Some more hope, his little brother stopped growing at age two and recently at the age of eight and a half shows signs of beginning to grow again. 

I am virtually holding your hand Mama Jen, helping you get through the red tape of simply feeding your child. No Child Should Ever Be Denied Food! I am sharing this heart wrenching story in an attempt to get Kallista some donor milk. Insurance should be picking up some or all of the costs involved with getting Kallista her food.

The health insurance is being completely neglectful. I want to help you find some respite relief, even if it is once a week for you to decompress a little. I am asking your local community to open up their time and to possibly volunteer cooking a few meals and ensuring that you Mama Jen have a meal to eat. I am asking local mama’s to help you with the children for example someone letting your older children carpool sometimes with them to school. Putting together some play-dates for the children too. It truly gets lonely for all the children involved and so do the parents, Mama Jen and Papa Smith, you too also need some breaks with other adults. I really hope that this message reaches all these Super Helpers so your family can get a few extra hands a month. Any local nursing Mama’s around, please help Kallista get some life saving food, donate some breast-milk if you possibly can. 

I hope we can raise our voices so loudly that we can raise more awareness for Kallista and her condition. Raise voices so she can get the full medical services she desperately needs for her survival. 

Watch for Kallista’s updates and if you can possibly help in any way, you can connect with Mama Jen through their Facebook page. If you can offer any type of support for Baby Kallista, even if just an ounce of milk, a local or even virtual support group for children with her same medical condition, a fresh hot meal for mama, sharing her story or a fun play-date I want to Thank You for helping. Please use my sharing buttons to share Baby Kallista’s story in as many places as you possibly can. 

[clicktotweet]We Are Holding Healing Hands Together To #prayforkallista[/clicktotweet]

The Breastfeeding, Milk Pumping or Donor Milk Journey

How Did Your Breastfeeding, Milk Pumping or Donor Milk Go?

What Was It Like For You?

Breastfeeding, Milk Pumping and the decision to use Donor Milk for all moms you would think would be the same exact story. But it isn’t, we may have similarities or maybe the same problem but our feelings and what we do with both feeling and the entire process can be so very different!

#HumanMilkIsNormal and #HumanMilkIsOk

breastfeeding experiences and pumping breastmilk situations are unique.
                                                                Every Breastfeeding, Milk Pumping and Use Of Donor Milk Situation Is Different

What Is This Post About?

  • Mama’s will share their breastfeeding, milk pumping or donor milk use experiences, not all turn out the way you think. 
  • Breastfeeding, Milk Pumping and Donor Milk Inspiration and Motivation
  • Tips and Tricks Mama’s have used to help them, it might help you too!
  • Mama’s will share what breastfeeding, milk pumping or donor milk has done to them, for them and what it taught them.

Whatever Breastfeeding, Milk Pumping or Donor Milk Use was like for you even if it was a one time thing is such a unique story. We would love to hear it. Many other mama’s really need to hear it from you. It can be that crucial and critical for them. please tell us about it here so we can add it to this post. Or use the conversation box below to tell us about it.

Mama’s come here to try and sort things out, see if it would be something they can do. Papa’s need and want to know too. Most times they do not have any idea or education about it. But they need some help, encouragement and most importantly support!

Some of us just are not lucky enough to have in person help, support or anything for that matter. 

Open up your hands and ask them how you can help them. 

Show them what it was like for you, what you did, what your thoughts and feelings were. Your thoughts. feelings and what you have gone through are all valid and accepted. If you tried and for some reason could not go on, that is OK! 

What This Post Is Not!

  • This is not meant to single you out if you chose not to breastfeed, pump out your milk or use donor milk
  • This post is not singling you out because breastfeeding, milk pumping or the use of donor milk didn’t work out for you or your baby
  • This is not intended, assume or imply that you are a bad parent because you chose not to give breast-milk to your child
  • This is not to remind you of any failure that you are feeling guilty about or to shame you
  • This in not to call you out and tell you that you are killing your child for not giving breast-milk to your child

If you chose to not give your child breast-milk in any form or if it just didn’t happen or if there were some type of medical issue, please know that this is OK and you need to come to terms with these decisions or situations and most importantly – 

#humanmilkisright #humanmilkisok
#humanmilkisnormal and #humanmilkisok

Acknowledge And Own Them, Become Confident In Your Decisions!

Never be ashamed for trying and not being able to go through with something. At least you tried, especially if you tried with everything in you and exhausted all possible techniques, methods and strategies.

I mean if what you call trying is you thought about it or you put babies lips to your nipples and that was that… that is not trying. When you actually try something out, no matter what it is you do it full heartedly. You exhaust all methods, techniques, strategies and all possible and various ways to actually try to make it work. Trying something out also doesn’t mean you tried for an entire day or a week and decided that you “tried” it and it didn’t work out. 

When you are confident with your decisions and situations, you don’t become so defensive, hurt, or feel anything different than what someone else may try to tell you to feel.

I am not going to sugarcoat breastfeeding or milk pumping at all. It isn’t all fun, smiles and all the “good” stuff. It is hard, especially if you go into it with that mindset. Everything in life is hard and the more you think about and stress about it, the harder it can become. So only you can actually decide how hard you want the process to be.

Never allow anyone to make you feel shame or guilt, only you can do this for yourself. Take responsibility for your thoughts and actions. No-one can make you feel a certain way unless you are already feeling that way and get ticked off because someone pointed it out. 

But Breast Milk itself literally and factually IS the Best Milk For ALL Humans period. This is not up for debate and it it were up for debate then of course Breast Milk will win because debates are factual, or at least the normal debates that I know of are. Breast Milk being the best food for humans is not an opinion at all. It is backed by scientific evidence. Breast Milk Is Best can be tested over and the facts always will come back that Breast Milk is and will always be the best food all humans start their life with.

Yes, there is a 3% population of mothers who medically can no breastfeed. This roughly means 1:1000 so for every one-thousand moms there will be one of those moms who medically can not produce human breast-milk. These Mama’s are an exception due to their medical conditions physically preventing them from producing milk or physically preventing them from breastfeeding or milk pumping. This does not include any Mama that has any emotional or mental issue that relates to or hinders any milk production, breastfeeding or milk pumping; That is an altogether different thing than the physical capabilities.

So if you are actually part of that small population, like I am, don’t beat yourself up about it. Don’t allow yourself to be emotionally vulnerable to being bullied, bashed or guilt’ed. It isn’t your fault and you most certainly have not a thing to be apologetic to, for or about and you have not a thing to be ashamed about! Just like some women medically can not conceive, nurture a baby in the womb or have a baby vaginally, some of us for medical reasons just can’t offer our own human milk for our little ones. Just accept it and come to terms with it, the more acceptance you have with it, the better it is for you. 

It doesn’t matter at all what you feel about it, you simply can not change facts. Now onto some crazy, beautiful, eye opening, motivational and inspiring stories!

[clicktotweet]#humanmilkisok and #humanmilkis normal I’m happy to say at least I admit it.[/clicktotweet]

Dizzy Mama Marilyn’s Breastfeeding and Milk Pumping Story

I will start with how things went for me! I have five children plus I nursed a couple of other babies not my own, so this will be a little long. I will tell you my experiences, what I went through, what I learned and tell you what I should have done differently if needed. All of my experiences are different from each-other. I may have breastfed multiple children, but let me tell you…. It was really different each time! Isn’t that nuts.

[clicktotweet]Every breastfeeding experience is unique #humanmilkisnormal [/clicktotweet]

I come from a family whom doesn’t believe in breastfeeding or human breast milk to be actually used on, in or with anything. It was never a discussion, never a possibility, not an option nor encouraged. 

In fact it disgusts them and it has even been said it is for pedophiles. As in telling me that if I breastfeed I must enjoy it sexually and that it is wrong. 

[clicktotweet]Breastfeeding Is Not Sexual! It Is Nourishment For Human Survival. #humanmilkisnormal[/clicktotweet]

Where and How Did I Find Out About Breastfeeding?

So how exactly did I even come across breastfeeding? Well, I met a super amazing person and her name is Marita. She is my second mom actually, she has opened my world to many things I was so closed and sheltered from. My very first experience with any child using these things as a form of nourishment was when Marita’s sister had her first child. I watched as this beautiful little baby was brought to her mom to feed her. I didn’t see a bottle and became confused! I’m a person of a trillion questions, so of course I said how is baby feeding I don’t see a bottle. Now that I’m thinking back to my first breastfeeding experience, I should have been embarrassed right. 

Mom showed me how she is able to feed a baby with no bottle. She showed me how baby latches on and they control the milk flow and they explained as best they could to me why one would breastfeed. Of course then I began to wonder why I was never talked to about this. In my family, we didn’t talk about these things, so I stayed silent. Marita and her awesome family taught me so much about more natural ways of living, healthier ways to eat and more.

Over the years after that and before I had my own child I learned lots from them about naturally feeding and taking care of a child, this included gentle parenting and other ways to do parenting. I truly am ever so grateful to have had that opportunity! I told them how when I have my own children that I would try to breastfeed them. They told me that when that times comes, they would be there for support and any help I needed.

Fast Forward To Breastfeeding Experience Number One

Fast forward to having my very first child. I was eighteen and a half, still in high-school, was already moved out of my mother’s home and was on my own for two years already. I told the doctors I plan to breastfeed and I was told “yay, ok good; let us know if you need help.” There was no talk about exactly how to or anything such as support groups for breastfeeding, La Leche League, milk banks, lactation consultants or breastfeeding classes!

So my oldest was born, it wasn’t the birth I had envisioned at all. Then came time for my very first flesh to flesh breastfeeding experience. It was hours after birth and they brought him to me saying, “Hey it’s time to feed baby.” They placed him in my arms and that was that.

[clicktotweet]Breastfeeding Is Taught And Is Not Instinct All The Time #humanmilkisnormal[/clicktotweet]

I was left alone to try and figure this out on my own. I said “I don’t even know where to start!” so I pushed the nurse button and said they needed to show me how to get baby to drink milk. They sent someone in to help. I was fortunate to get a person who was gentle and actually knew what they were doing.

Everything was “ok” in the hospital. They would come in and physically latch him to me. By day three, they watched as I learned to do it on my own. I was sent home with a pamphlet on just the bare basics. 

I was also sent home with some formula, for just in case. Since I didn’t have a great delivery and was still quite sick. 

The next week it just seemed like he was crying an awful lot. I didn’t even know, understand or even realize that my milk still hadn’t come in. I was told it will come in by the time I got home, just keep nursing and top off with formula. So that is what I was doing.

By week two my milk came in, I actually got a tiny bit engorged and was able to hear him swallow larger gulps of milk. So I thought ok, this is how it is done. I thought we were all good. I gave the bottles of formula because he seemed to want and need it. Plus it did give me that break I really needed. 

By week four I was still breastfeeding most feedings. I do believe it was at least two bottles per day of formula I was giving him. His need to nurse greatly increased but seemed like he was fuller after a bottle of formula was given. 

However no-one told me that for every half-ounce of formula given that my body will make an ounce less of milk! That is double than what I was giving to him in formula.

I Did Not Know Something Was Wrong

I was truly creating such an issue with each drop of formula I was giving. However I didn’t even know that. I wasn’t taught it, I didn’t even have anyone including the internet to even help me with it. I was still very sick. I could barely move. I was in severe pain and I was still battling infection on top of it. 

At three weeks old I remember asking emergency room doctors, nurses and  my babies pediatrician why he seemed to get sicker after bottles of formula. I remember asking about milk allergies at each visit, which was two to three times a week. I was told that he didn’t “look like” he had a milk allergy. To keep giving him breast as much as I could and change his formula to soy and see if it helped. 

By week six, my son was nursing wonderfully as in his latch, I was what I thought, making enough milk. He wasn’t gaining anything though, and he cried lots and sucked down those formula bottles still. 

I still didn’t know anything was wrong! I just dealt with it. I keep nursing and nursing and continued to nurse…. or so I thought. 

My sons grandmother told me about WIC, she left a case of formula for me as well. She was in Puerto Rico. I told her I was having some issues and she said that she didn’t think I could breastfeed because I wasn’t going to make milk.

She told me my breasts were way too small to produce anything. I began to think about this and really began connecting the two together. So I really began believing it. She told me I needed to eat more and drink way way more milk in order to make milk. So I increased my food intake and also drank more milk than what I was already. 

Something Was Wrong! My Breasts Are Too Small To Make Milk? What Do I Do Next?

At the time I went to WIC because by six weeks old it just seemed that something was wrong, I couldn’t figure it all out and I seemed to be giving another couple of formula bottles, so more like half formula and half breast-milk most days. The soy milk didn’t seem to make any difference.

I was then getting frustrated! Off to WIC I went, originally to see if I can get some formula. However they had a person who I was able to talk to. They showed me how to use a hand pump and see if I could get my milk back up. My primary had no clue about breastfeeding and I could only rely on WIC to help.

For the next six to eight weeks I breastfed my little boy. I was able to reduce his bottle intake as it kind of did seem like he was satisfied. He began getting sick at a few weeks old, so at this time I didn’t know really that low milk supply was even an issue. He had troubles with breathing and some other medical issues. He was throwing up lots, he wasn’t gaining weight. 

What is wrong with the milk?

I didn’t know, think or realize that he seemed a little happier when breast-milk was in his system, he wouldn’t throw up as hard or as much. I wasn’t educated on it all therefore I couldn’t even connect anything together. Plus I was sick myself, exhausted, had no help, had no real resources, and he was sick so much I just couldn’t do much.

He still was not gaining like he should and was underweight really, you can see his ribs clearly. Born at seven pounds and weighed maybe ten pounds be his third month!

I was being hounded to return to school or drop out. Dropping out was not something I wanted to do. The nearby high-school had a daycare. So my thoughts were to use formula for school and nurse him “when I can”. I didn’t even know that milk production was a demand equals supply situation. 

I made the decision to breastfeed when I can as in when he is with me and use formula when we are at school. However it really didn’t work out that way. With so many things still going on, school, him continueing to be sick all the time and myself just not getting better. Off to my primary I went.

When he was twelve weeks old, I was told by my primary that I really needed to get the depo-shot to help my own medical issues and so that is what I did. The depo-shot was given to me when my son was three and a half months old. Within that same week my entire breastfeeding journey changed.

By the third day after receiving my depo-shot my baby seemed to cry even more, he began to wear me out because he wanted to nurse more and more. I still was not informed about breastfeeding, cluster-feeding or anything. WIC was not really a breastfeeding friendly or promoting it like they do today.

They just had someone who showed you a couple of latch positions and how to use the hand pump. I got nothing when I pumped, not even a drop. This told me that I must be dried up, but when he was nursing, I can hear small swallows. I was so confused. 

Within One Week After Getting My Depo-Shot, My Milk Dried Up

I was devastated that I was no longer producing milk. My primary didn’t know anything about breastfeeding and was not an advocate for it. She just simply stated we are not sure why your milk dried up and disappeared but now we can focus on your own health. I didn’t know anything about it and I didn’t try anything else. I didn’t even know what to try out. I just knew, not a drop I was producing any longer. I was not even told or given any indication that the depo-shot was the culprit or was an issue. I just assumed I naturally dried up. 

I held my baby and cried, and cried and I could not tell him I was so sorry enough.

There I was, at eighteen with my first child already. Not only did I begin my true adulthood as a parent, but I was already failing. I cried every time I was alone or alone with him. He really wanted to nurse, so it was even harder. He fought that bottle the more I didn’t allow him access to the breast. 

We went on formula full time at three and a half months old, just fourteen weeks after coming into the world. He got sick more often, we were in the emergency room at least once a week and sometimes twice a week! We went to the clinic at least once a week on top of that. This went on for the first ten years of his life.

At the age of two, after further arguments with doctors they finally listened to me! They finally sent my son to  Gastroenterology because his system was so messed up. This is the time we learned that his reflux still was happening, he didn’t “grow out of it”, and that he is allergic to both dairy and soy!  

I was told to switch his milk back and forth from regular to soy at least six more times before his first birthday!

What I learned from this very first experience:

  • The depo-shot is most definitely not for nursing moms!
  • That I really needed to learn more if I planned on having more children.
  • The continuous switching of milks screwed up my babies system even more. 
  • Not all doctors know about, care about or advocate breast-milk as a food for humans. This is the most scariest things that still baffles me to this day… And it has been twenty years!
  • Human Milk was my sons Best Food – I just needed guidance in my diet choices, support and help all around

Stay Tuned As I update this post with each of my experiences from my other children as well as other Mama’s experiences.

You can Subscribe For Updates 

Scroll Through The Breastfeeding and Milk Pumping Slideshow. See What Other Moms Have Gone Through. Get Some Encouragement And Join the Virtual Community. Use the arrows below each photo to get to the next Mama’s story. 

Please join the conversation below and tell me about your own experiences. I can also add yours to this slideshow, Here Is How To Submit Your Breastfeeding, Milk Pumping or Donor Milk Usage story and experience. 

Help another family out by using the sharing buttons to support another Mama or Papa who is considering the choices of breastfeeding, pumping milk or using donor milk. 

Pamela Is Leafing Behind Beautiful Legacies But Also Creating More Trees

Picture 1 of 12

A very wise nurse told me when I had my first that no mother ever regretted trying to breastfeed, and she was so right. I have now breastfed babies for nearly 3 years of my life. It is the easiest and yet the hardest experience. There is no greater feeling knowing not only did I create these lives but I sustained them. They are my trees that I will leave in this world.

Increase Milk Production

Increase Milk Production

( Before you read this post, Please KNOW and UNDERSTAND there ARE pictures of my baby breast feeding. If skin offends you, then please move onto another post. Thank You ) 

Low milk volume is tough on us moms who are giving breast milk to our babies. It takes a huge toll on us mentally and emotionally, then physically. I am one of the few true cases of medical conditions that makes it very hard to produce milk. I have been helping moms for years in private with their breast milk journey. Today, I am going public! That is scary for me, just a little. I have never shared any photos of me nursing my children before. However since I am not ashamed to give breast milk to my kids and I always tell others to not be as well. I need to lead by example!

1st Day of Breast feeding
1st Day of Breast feeding

 

I want to tell you what I do to increase my milk production, or shall I say make enough for my child to be able to survive on my breast milk alone and not give formula. This is NOT a formula hate post, it isn’t. I have used formula, many… many times.

We all know that milk production is always based on a demand. But what happens when that demand is more than what your body can physically do? I don’t mean the issues with mental illness that puts us in a position of not being able to breastfeed, I will be talking about that in another post. I am talking about when a mom has a medical condition that prevents or limits milk production.

Belly to Belly is the best position for nursing your baby.
Belly to Belly is the best position for nursing your baby.

For me, 4 of my children demanded more than what my body made. The one child that didn’t demand more, he has appetite issues since infancy, he is now 11 years old and still has appetite issues. So I don’t want you to think that that one time I was able to produce enough, because of his condition, I can’t make that judgement call. He nursed every 6 hours.

So, what is my problem? I have hormonal issues, not the typical PMS or similar, I have hormonal imbalance, as in my pituitary gland doesn’t work correctly. I am only 4 feet 9 inches because of it. I also do not have enough glandular tissue and mammary glands. These two things are so hard to deal with! Not only does my body struggle to even make the right hormones and at the levels needed to make milk…. I don’t even have enough storage for it. For each of my children I have had to feed more often, picture cluster feeding, almost non stop. This cluster feeding other moms go through, but only when baby is going through a growth spurt is actually something I go through just about every single day. It takes a huge toll on my emotionally, physically and mentally too. Many have said to me, just don’t nurse or pump and give formula, I will also talk about my Why I don’t do that in another post.

Now what I am about to share with you is what I do, but some of it is more extreme than what you may need, I am a rare case. Please before you try any of these, consult with both your doctor and your child’s doctor to ensure there will not be any medical conflicts. If your baby is a preemie and or in the NICU, make sure you consult with them first. Though many babies and moms have no issues with anything I am sharing, there are some that do! I do not want you taking chances, so always please talk with the doctor first. Always do your own research and use common sense and listen to your instinct too.

Foot ball hold is great for us c - section moms.
Foot ball hold is great for us c – section moms.

How I make enough milk for babies survival, without formula supplements.

  • Put baby to drink milk straight from the source. Every 2 hours nothing any longer, if you’re trying to increase milk.
  • I make lactation smoothies. These taste great, they are healthy for both you and baby, they are quick to make too. I drink one lactation smoothie a day. Mine consists of Shakeology, oatmeal ( I use quick one minute kind), flax seeds, chia seeds, fennel seeds, hemp seeds and brewers yeast. For the liquid, it depends on my mood, I use one of these, mothers milk tea, milk, almond milk, water or I use juiced veggies and fruits. Now I drink this every single morning, this is also my breakfast. I am just too busy and I don’t even have an appetite in the morning. If I don’t drink this smoothie, well, I don’t even get any type of nutrition in me until after 2pm, that’s horrible!
  • I drink a gallon of water a day. This is important, you MUST drink water, daily. I know many moms tell me, “I do drink water, I drink tons of water”. Then I ask how much… yea that is a problem. No, coffee, juice, tea, soda etc., is not to be counted as your water intake. I share on my Tuned Up Body post how to increase water intake for those that hate water, or shall I say for those that despise water. I use Milk Flow,
  • Nutrition! Oh my goodness, I can not stress this enough. You need to be eating, 4 – 6 small meals a day, and it doesn’t matter if you are not pregnant, not nursing, this is how we are supposed to get enough nutrition, keep our bloog sugars at good levels and more. Yup, I have a post about this too. Your nutritional intake depends on your body type, your age, height, lifestyle and if you are pregnant or nursing, or neither. For a nursing mom, we should be consuming 500 more calories each day. I will talk about in another post what happens to us medically when we don’t.
  • Lactation snacks. These can help contribute to your extra 500 calories a day, yup great excuse to eat snacks right. Mine consist of quick minute oats, flax seeds, Greek yogurt, dried fruits, nuts, fennel seeds and almond butter, I will share the recipe I use to make my snack bars. There are also lactation cookies you can make too or buy them premade.
  • Multi-vitamin. Ideally you want one that is formulated for post natal and if it also supports breast milk, even better. I use Milk  multi-vitamin.

nursing newborn

Ok, so those are the four main things you can do, right now to get started. If you still need or want more milk, so you want or need to pump milk for later on. Here are some other things you can do. These are a part of my daily intake, but I do need it, if I do not then I would have to supplement half the time with formula.

Mothers Milk Tea. I drink 3 cups a day. I begin drinking this one to two days before I had my c-sections. I did this with my 3rd, 4th and 5th children. It made a difference in how soon my milk transitioned from colostrum to mature milk. With my older two, it took almost 14 days! This doesn’t taste all that good, to me at least. However, I sweetened it with sugar, though others use honey or agave. I use just one teaspoon of sugar. This also helps baby relax and both of you with digestion as well.

More milk plus. Ok so now things get little serious. More Milk Plus has ingredients that hyper focus on milk production. It can take 3 -4 days to notice a difference, some get faster results. This also helps increase milk flow, so if you already have a good supply and milk ejection, just be prepared. I take 6 – 9 pills a day, but start off with 2 a day for at least a week.

Goats Rue. This is some serious stuff. This helps increase breast tissue and improves mammary glands. This is very important for me, as my condition is exactly that. I take 6 pills a day, but start with 1 – 2 pills for a week.

Fenugreek. This helps increase milk, it is a diuretic, do be careful. You take enough until you smell like maple syrup. I take 10 – 12 pills a day, but again start off with the lower amounts, take 2 – 3 pills as a starting point.

Blessed Thistle. This taken with Fenugreek as a duo combination works perfectly for most moms and they may not even need anything else. I take 4 pills a day.

Marshmallow Root. This is another item that helps milk production and supports it. I take 4 pills a day.

Reglan. I’ve taken this many times, you get it from the doctor.

Nursing vacation. I will talk more about this later.

So you see, there are many ways to increase milk and support it as well. It is a trial and error thing as far as what works for who and how much we may need to achieve what we are looking to do.

Always start at the lower doses, stay on it for 1 week. If you think you need more, increase by 1 pill giving a few days before increasing. After 1 month you can taper off them, it isn’t good to take them continuously. You want to give your body a nudge in milk production, not make it become dependent on outside sources. All of the items I have listed are safe for breastfeeding. They can give side affects such as gas, colic, diuretics and other things. Please read labels and consult the doctor.

5 1/2 months old
5 1/2 months old

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