Reaching that 6 month breastfeeding milestone
First-time mom, Celeste, has learned that the breastfeeding journey is full of surprise twists and turns. She planned to reach the 12 month goal for breastfeeding, as many new moms do, but realized that sometimes the goal line changes. The ‘plan’ itself can be a stress factor in making enough milk just as trying to stick to a feeding and pumping schedule can be. Add to that birth control inconsistencies, milk enzymes that sour the taste of milk and having to return to work. Expectations do not always match the realities when it comes to breastfeeding— or anything else surrounding a newborn. We chatted with Lactation Consultant and Bobbie Medical Advisor, Jadah Parks Chatterjee about reading the signs and knowing how to react so that plans can meet the reality.
When I thought I had a first latch, I literally didn’t know what I was doing.Celeste
Jadah: As a lactation consultant, I have three must haves when I support parents.
1. We must have a good latch, breast or bottle.
2. We must have a happy baby.
3. We must have a happy parent.
These three must haves are essential for the baby, parent and family to thrive.
Supply was low, but it came back after sleep and tons of water.Celeste
Jadah: Considering low supply— Stress, at any point during our nursing journey, can decrease the hormones needed to increase and maintain production of milk. Oxytocin (increased volume increases ejection of milk) and Prolactin (increased milk production) are the hormones that are inversely related to cortisol, a stress hormone that is happy to increase (when we are stressed), so it can decrease the more harmonious hormones enjoyed while increasing and maintaining milk production.
After 4 months- It’s like I’m losing the joy of parenting.Celeste
Jadah: Who would expect milk placed in the freezer to not taste good? It’s not uncommon for milk to have more lactase enzymes present, which gives a sour or rancid smell and taste, which baby does not enjoy. If you are continuing to pump, you can scald your milk following pumping, then cool and store. You can also mix the rejected milk with fresh human milk or formula.
Breastfeeding for 6 months— we officially hit a huge milestone!Celeste
Jadah: Reading the signs is an important part of the learning process. You can tell a lot about your feeding session just by looking at your baby. Here’s a tip moms can assess during their next feeding sessions- When your baby is eating, with a bottle or at the breast / chest, try lifting their arm. If they pull away and go back to drinking, that is a baby break. If you lift their arm and they flop, they are done with the feeding.
The reality is there are so many random experiences that come along with parenting. I meet parents every weekend, and I always inquire who is at home to support them. Usually the post birth person will point at their support person. Then I will inquire who is at home to support the unit. The unit needs support, because the unexpected can occur at any time. I am happy that you sought out support early on, Celeste, and continued to do so throughout your postpartum journey.
To support you through your feeding journey (and to drown out the sound of the pump), we’re bringing parents a first of its kind guided meditation with our partners at Mindful Mamas. If Celeste’s story resonates with you, we suggest listening to ‘It’s Not You, It’s The Pump’. Open the app below: Click Guided > Feeding Baby > It’s Not You, It’s The Pump. This content is brought to you free by the team at Bobbie through November 30th, 2021.