Friday, December 13, 2013

The Pumping Diet

Recently the one of the best people in the world, Jenna, had her first baby. Jenna is one of the best people in the world because she introduced me to Trey, and helped set us up on our first date. Jenna's little boy was born 8 weeks early I believe and she has been pumping breastmilk for him. Which is a noble and very difficult pursuit. I know I did it for 14 months. It takes a certain kind of crazy to pump breastmilk hence why most people don't do it when nursing fails them. I'm so proud of Jenna for being as crazy as me and to help I'm posting the diet I used to help keep my milk going.

Water! 2 quarts (8 cups) is what is recommended for the regular person, for nursing and pumping moms we are talking closer to a gallon. Yes that is a lot. I suggest investing in a nice water bottle that is easy to use one handed so you can just hold it all the time until you get used to drinking that much. Once you are used to your new intake level you will seek it out a little bit. The downside is you will have to go to the bathroom more. Especially as you are trying to build up your breastmilk levels water is crucial.

Meet your new favorite food- Oatmeal. Oatmeal is a fantastic source of whey which builds milk supply. Now oatmeal as a cereal
is best. Rolled oats, steel cut, and flavored packets all worked the same for me. Oatmeal cookies and oatmeal cream pies were a great desert too.

Yummy, green, and great for milk supply it's Avocados.
Fresh, sliced, creamed, or even as guacamole, eat up and enjoy. Some woman it takes 12 hours to see improvement others its a day or so. Either way all those healthy fats should help your system make some wonderful food for baby.

Are you ready to go nuts? Well try some almonds on for size. That's right almonds can help with production too. Grab a handful as a snack or have a smoothie made with almond milk. Yes you can even get the chocolate almond milk, it will still work. Oooo how about some sliced almonds on a salad, I'm starting to get hungry. :)

Now that you are sick of water how about something new to drink, Ovaltine. Now it has to be the name brand on this stuff. I have yet to find another brand that uses whey in the their ingredients. And since whey is what we need to increase supply well the other brands don't do any good. You can use the original malt, malted chocolate or milk chocolate. They all have it. It's winter time so make your hot chocolate out of Ovaltine. A yummy treat with a purpose.

Not a fan of Ovaltine pick up any brand of Whey Protein Powder. Add it too your milk shakes, mac and cheese, smoothies, or just mix and drink in milk. Whey Protein Powder maybe easier and cheaper to find depending on where you are. Or maybe your significant other once was a body builder and there is still a jar sitting on top of your fridge. Open it up start using it.

Still want/need more? Try these supplements, Fenugreek, or Malanga. Fenugreek is cheaper and a little easier to find. It will be at most heath food stores. It can make some people smell like maple syrup. But there are worse things in the world. Malanga is a little harder to find and tends to be more expensive, it does tend to have a greater results. The choice is up to you based or your needs and what you can do.

 When you are pumping make sure you over pump. Milk is based a lot on supply and demand and since pumping is not nearly as effective as nursing you have to trick your body into making more. So once it looks like you are empty and nothing else is coming out leave the pump on for a couple minutes more for the extra stimulation. Trust me you'd rather have too much hanging out in the freezer for a growth spurt than not enough.

Lastly snuggle. Carry, hold and snuggle your baby a lot. Even if
you aren't nursing having baby close can help keep your body in tune with baby's needs. Not to mention it just fun to hold those squish little ones.

Okay now to put it all together this is what a normal day looked like for me.
Breakfast: A giant bowl of Oatmeal. usually about 1 cup or oats. Cooled down with a little Almond milk
Snack: Smoothie with Whey Powder
Lunch: Whatever we had planed
Nap-time: Snuggling with Squeaker
Dinner: Quesadilla with Guacamole
Snack: Oatmeal Cream Pies, Almond milk with Ovaltine

That was what I did at the worst of times. During the good times I wasn't nearly as strict. I got to a point where I only pump 2-4 times a day. I just made sure the fore milk (the thin watery stuff) was mixed with the hind milk (the thick creamy stuff). That way Squeaker was getting good balanced milk all the time. Which when a child is nursing happens normally.

As a side note I used the 8,8,8 rule for milk storage
8 hours out of the body
8 days in the fridge
8 months in the deep freeze
I pumped directly into the bottles Squeaker drank out of. Only if we were traveling did they not make it into the fridge right away. Then if they had been there for 6-7 days I would put about 15 oz into a glass canning jar and put it in the bottom of our deep freeze. There it would stay until needed, or time for rotation. Once frozen and then thawed milk cannot be re-frozen. Also NEVER EVER EVER harshly shake breast milk. It will speed the break down of all that is good which means less for baby.

Hope it helps!

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