Making milk may be a natural function for many of our wonderful bodies, but it doesn't mean that it's easy or that it will always work out as planned. So what do you do if things are not going as you expected them to?
The first thing to know is that you’re not alone.
I experienced a shallow latch due to my baby’s tongue tie which caused frequent vasospasms, recurring bouts of thrush, low milk supply and generally painful nipples for nearly 5 months. While pregnant, I spent a lot of time thinking about and preparing for labour and delivery, not realizing that the really hard work would come when the baby arrived and we started our nursing relationship. I quickly learned that my situation was not unique, and I was lucky to find virtual resources and community supports to help us through.
The fourth trimester, or your first 3 months postpartum, can be a lonely and isolating time for some of us. But throw in a pandemic when many of those community supports are not available or only available virtually; the weight of the situation on your shoulders can feel overpowering. But it doesn’t have to take away your power.
Take a deep breath, close your eyes, and drop your shoulders away from your ears. Taking a mere moment you have between one task and the next to focus on even just one deep breath really can make a difference in your stress levels.
Next, reach out for help! There are many people whose passion in life is to help people in the situation you may find yourself in right now. Asking for help can feel quite daunting; I know it did for me. A peer support group like the La Leche League may be able to help solve minor issues, and they can be an invaluable resource for finding local experts (like an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) to help solve the bigger issues. Not to mention they are a great place to meet some fellow new parents, even if it's just virtual for the time being!
All of our families are different. The ways we welcome babies into our families are different. How those babies land earthside are different. How we feed our babies can be different too. It is a beautiful thing to support each other even when our baby feeding routines are different!
There are lots of products out there that might be able to provide the solution to the problem you're having. But we know you're looking for supports that not only will help you reach your goals, but have the least impact on the environment.
The Haakaa Silicone Tube Feeding Set is a fantastic resource for the nursing duo looking to continue feeding at the breast/chest, but needing to ensure that baby is receiving an adequate nutrition supply. This kind of feeding plan is known as a Supplemental Nursing System (SNS). One end of the tube goes into a bottle or container of supplemental milk. The other end is taped right next to your nipple so when your baby latches on, they are stimulating your body to produce milk with their suckling and receiving the supplemented milk at the same time.
Some people might use “finger feeding” instead and tape the tube to their finger if baby is very young, or not yet able to latch. We love the Haakaa set because it comes with a flow controller to adjust the speed with which the milk comes out and because it’s made from 100% silicone.
If your baby does need supplemental nutrition or you choose to bottle feed your baby, you may be finding yourself overwhelmed with bottle shopping. Pura stainless steel bottles are our favourite! They are made from stainless steel with a full line of interchangeable silicone nipples and tops. Glass is wonderful for a lot of things, but it can break and is heavier than stainless steel.
Once your baby has entered the toddler years, the Sipper Spout or Straw tops are the perfect transition top. Throw on a sport top for yourself, or use a sealing disc and you've got yourself a snack container that fits perfectly in a bottle pocket. The possibilities are endless! The bottle itself will last a lifetime with good care, but it can also be easily recycled.
What if supply isn’t the problem, but recurring thrush, vasospasms, cracks, or milk blebs are the cause of your woes? Team #happynipples to the rescue! Silverette Silver Nursing Cups are incredibly powerful little discs of 925 sterling silver perfectly shaped to comfort and heal your nipples.
Silver has been used for centuries in many different cultures for its healing properties. Its benefits are backed up by plenty of modern, evidence-based medicine. Today, silver is used in many medical treatments, from second- and third-degree burn healing to combating antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections. Silver nursing cups are easy to care for, comfortable to wear, and very effective at treating nipple damage.
With proper care and storage, silver nursing cups can be used for multiple children, or could even be passed down to future generations. But, if you’d rather a little keepsake of your time nursing your baby, Silverette has a program where they will re-mold your cups into a keepsake pendant. How thoughtful!
No matter how you feed your baby, we’re here to provide you with natural, sustainable and effective solutions for getting your baby fed. Don't hesitate to reach out to us with any questions. We may not have all the answers but we've been there too and know it can be a tough go. Bon appétit baby!