Tag Archives: post partum

How I Increased my Milk Supply

With the boys, I had milk in abundance. ABUNDANCE. So much so that with Ryler, while he was on the 90th percentile in body weight (my little budda boy), I donated 4L’s of breast milk to the Vancouver Milk Bank based at BC Women’s Hospital. I love that place so much I would have given them a kidney if they’d asked me.


So when I took my youngest for her check ups and she was not growing as much as I was used to a baby growing, it caught me off guard. Sure, breastfeeding was going ‘fine’, but this busy mom of three was, well, busy, and it was summer, and it was HOT, and if I thought about it, I wasn’t getting letdown as often as I remember… CUE the intentional breastfeeding.

Can I just say outright, that baby formula is GREAT, and it absolutely has its place. I’m not anti-formula at all, but having had 2 exclusively breastfed babies, I felt strongly that I needed to put time, effort and energy into ensuring I’m giving this the attention it deserves. Fortunately I have a friend who is a Lactation Consultant and Pediatric Dietitian and so I went straight to her and my clinic sister for advice.

This is what I did to increase my milk supply:

I drank Jungle Juice. I had never heard of it before (seems it’s quite popular around these parts though)…

Here’s how you make it:

  • 2 L’s of boiled water
  • 1 L apple juice or rooibos tea
  • 1 sachet Blackcurrent Rehydrate
  • 60 mls Schlehen Berry Elixier
  • 8/10 drops of rescue remedy (if you think it necessary)

Dosage: Day 1: Drink 3L’s of Jungle Juice, thereafter, drink 1 1/2 L’s every 2nd day.

Along with this, maintain hydration. Healthy diet – you know the drill. I also drank Carmien’s Nursing Tea.


Then there is Power Pumping: 

This, my friends, requires a GOOD (ideally electric) breast pump and time. The below image is taking into account you have a double breast pump, which not many of us do, so if you don’t, power pumping would look like this: You would pump 20min on the L, pump 20min on the R, then 10min L, 10min R, 10min L, 10min R. And then you take yourself for an ice cream for all your hard work.


Also, “keep pumping after feeds, even if it seems empty and pointless, it will increase your demand, which will boost supply” – as told to me by Lactation Consultant, Deidre Lindeque.

Medicines:

Please consult your doc/pediatrician/lactation consultant before you go ahead with any medications. I managed to power pump and drink enough jungle juice to increase my supply enough to not need a script of any of the below (I did request one, but never filled it), so I am no expert in this. Please chat to someone medically trained, and who you trust (you’ll need a script for all of the below, so you will have to chat to your doc regardless) :

Some good options are:

  • Domperidone/Motilium.
  • Vomi-guard (a anti nausea drug which has a side effect of increased milk production)

At one point, above what I already needed to pump for my daughters carer to feed her daily (you pumping-working moms – you’re FREAKING AMAZING!), with a looming business trip, when I had to pump and store additional feeds, I asked my paed for a script. For personal reasons, I declined eglynol (which is a very commonly used breastfeeding booster drug) and requested the ones above (Domperidone/Motilium/Vomi-guard). Remember, you have options. Do what works for you!

I also want to encourage you to join Breast Feeding groups such as the Le Leche League in your area for support, encouragement and help. Contact LLL South Africa here.

Final thoughts: Be easy on yourself. This momming thing is HARD. Go with your gut. And please don’t give up too quickly either (unless you’re crying yourself to sleep each night – because then you need to do what you need to do to survive). There have been many times with this 3rd child, where I’ve being humbled by the difference between having a lot of time off with my newborn, and a mere 4 months. I am often whats-apping my working-mom-friends while sitting on a towel on our office bathroom floor, with the ‘zhuuut zhuuut zhuuut’ sound of the pump in the background as we send pics of the amounts of breast milk we’ve successfully retrieved or chat about how ‘pumping is going that day’. It’s no joke.

Friends, I’m with you. Share with us! What have you done that has helped you?

2017, let’s slow down shall we?

Here I lie, in my bed, at 8:16pm. Feeling defeated. As it turns out, I should’ve enforced my idealistic ‘use the breastfeeding pillow each and every time you nurse’ rule because this time round, after baby #3, it won’t kill your wrists (like it did with the boys), it’ll kill your NECK. Sounding familiar to anyone?

My neck. It’s broken. (Not really, it just feels it).

I do things. I’m a doer. I find it hard to not.do. My Apple Watch (thanks Vitality) will tell you I walk over 10 000 steps a day – some days up to 17 000. That’s a LOT. I carry kids, hold kids, throw them onto the bed to change their nappies, lift them on my back because the ”grass is wet” or the “berries are squishy” and they don’t have their shoes on. In and out of baths, up and down bunks, sleeping children, awake children, kicking children, giggling children. They’re in my arms a lot. And as it turns out, 3 has knocked me over onto the bench (otherwise known as the injury booth).


The height of the messy bun directly coincides with the seriousness of sleep deprivation, personal hygiene and couldnt-care-less-ness. I’d say it’s pretty high.


If these is what my kids look like, can you imagine how tired I am? 

And so with the help of the chiro, a neck brace, enforced attention to my posture, homeopathic goodies, neck spasm goodies, a cold pack, transact patches and hubby’s massages… I’m sloooowly on the mend. All this, constantly reminding me that we’re not immortal. Our bodies are human and weak and we can’t just keep on. This is a hard lesson for me to learn. But this lesson is timely in and of itself. Is this not the season for reflection, rest, peace and joy? Enjoy them, SLOW DOWN, and savour the days? Why YES, yes it is.

So 2017, here we are. Let’s take it slow, shall we?

A Post Partum Hormone Inspired Post

You all know about the 3rd day bluesy/post partum/milk-coming-in day? If you’ve had a baby, you probably know what I’m talking about. I know it well. With all three kids, this day was real. Real as. I was warned about how the tears might flow, for unexplained reasons and how it’s hard to get a handle on it, but how it is also beautiful and emotional and hard and possibly a little out of control. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a feeler. I FEEL things. And so for me these days were full on. But I anticipated it.

What I had forgotten about, was the 1 week post baby endorphin high/low. Wow. Hormones man, they are HARD CORE. And so this past Friday it all came rushing back. I have to believe that for me the unknown of ‘going into labour’ has a lot to do with it – that hour by hour, reliving what went down exactly a week before, the ‘is this labour’ questioning, the call to the midwife/birth team, the drive to the hospital and the walking into (contraction-ing into) the delivery room… And then marking (and celebrating) the exact time of birth… Even the ‘settling into the quiet, safe, sacred space of your hospital room’… It all came flooding back.


And so after some tears trying to process this all with hubby, and some more tears upon messaging my midwife (and her always-beautiful replies), and some more tears in the shower (those are great hey?), hubby offered to take me back to where it all happened.

So last Friday at 6:30pm, we piled our new family of 5 into the car and went on our first official family adventure – back to the hospital where it all happened. Hubby pulled up at sunset, I hopped out the car with our 1 week old and paid the maternity ward a visit. And honestly… it was a bit random. Maybe I was expecting some ‘Hi Debbie, how are you, so lovely to see you again, would you like a coffee?!’ with the nurses I had befriended on my lone ranger (hubby-less) stay in the hospital. But it was random. I know, a little disappointing right?

Because it was on the way home, while listening to the CD we played when we brought all the kids home from the hospital, that it dawned on me. While place is significant, and always will be, PEOPLE are where it’s at.


It was my midwife (a hero of a woman, who, after being in her care makes me want to sign up for midwifery school immediately), who loved me, empowered me, lead me, and in return allowed me to lead in birth. It was my husband, who held my hand through it all, listened to my needs, encouraged encouraged encouraged, watched, witnessed, and believed I could birth our daughter into the world with grace and dignity. It was our doula, who was thinking about what I couldn’t think about at that time, whose mind was always on what I needed next, and who carried the journey of labour with me. And our friend and photographer, who I’m SOOO glad was there, to celebrate with us, to capture, to document the real life miracle that is birth (for which I am eternally grateful and will treasure the pictures forever!)


It was them. Sure, I loved my quiet, safe hospital stay with wonderfully supportive nursing staff. But that Team. Oh that Team.


They gave me courage, they believed, they knew, they guided, they inspired and they empowered me (in ones most vulnerable state), to do this crazy, beautiful, natural, wonderful, hard, tiring, unforgettable and mysterious thing called birth.

For you, Susan, Theran, Thato and Rebecca. Thank you. May we all do for each other in day to day life, what you did for me in Delivery Room 3, 16 September 2016.

All pics: Love Made Visible