Guest Blog Post from Randi Henderson, First Time Mama who has spent more than 12,000 minutes pumping over the first year of her baby’s life.
One year postpartum and still a nursing, working, pumping mom. I went through a lot of highs and lows and was worried about maintaining a supply and keeping my daughter fed. To do that I did five things that I feel highly contributed to my success.
1. Drink lots of water, and then drink even more water. I purchased a 48oz bubba keg cup for while I worked. I drink 3-4 of those just while I’m at work alone (8 hour day). I also drink an 8oz bottle on the way to work (30 minute commute) and you guessed it, a bottle on the way home.
2. Eat! Worrying about losing weight can’t happen while nursing. The weight may or may not naturally fall off and that is something you MUST be okay with. I eat over 2,000 calories a day. Breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, snack. Eating 2,000 calories a day is tough when you’re trying to also do it healthy-ish. I didn’t hangout at the fast food joints. Instead I ate pastas and double servings of dinner. For snacks I ate avocados, chicken salad sandwich, cliff bars and protein shakes. A yummy breakfast was a quiche with eggs, turkey sausage and hashbrowns.
3. Maintain a good pumping routine. I know this one can be tough. I’m a project manager and there were times I felt I couldn’t step away from my desk for 30 minutes to go pump once a day . Let alone twice. So, I would put it on my calendar to make sure I had no meetings scheduled when I normally pumped. If a meeting ran over, I made sure I went to go pump.
4. Start pumping early. I began pumping with my daughter when she was 5 weeks old. People thought I was crazy, but I wanted to be prepared. I only pumped once a day, but it helped my body adjust to the pump while allowing me to build a small supply before I went back to work. 162 oz to be exact.
5. This is the hardest, but probably the most important. STOP STESSSING. I’ve already mentioned by the time I went to work I had 162 oz frozen, and even then I still stressed that I didn’t have enough. Or worried that I would dry out soon. I can tell you that each time I worried I noticed a slight dip in my supply. So I stopped comparing my supply to others and just took care of my body the best I knew how. Once I did that my supply regulated and things were much less stressful.
As my daughter begins eating more solids and nursing less I am extremely grateful for this journey.