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5 Common Mistakes That Will Kill Your Milk Supply

You might want to avoid these five common mistakes I see to meet your lactation goals. 

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Podcast transcript: 

Welcome to the Breezy Babies podcast, where we talk about all things boobs, babies, and breastfeeding. This is Episode 107 five Common Mistakes That Will Kill Your Supply. I'm Bree the IBCLC and I made brizzy babies with you in mind to help ease your transition into parenthood. Becoming a parent changes your life in every way imaginable. Bumps in the road are going to come up as you move into your new role, but my goal is to help smooth out those bumps and help you become the most confident parent you can be. With good education and support, I know you can meet your breastfeeding and parenting goals. Let's do this together. Hey, friend, how are you doing? How's your summer going? I am so excited to take a little break from this crazy day to come and talk to you about five common mistakes that will kill your milk supply. Normally, do my top three tips for everything in this podcast, but I came across an old blog post that I wrote for another company and I was looking through it. I was like, oh my gosh, this is so good. I need to put this into a podcast episode because this is the kind of stuff that I talk about all the time, the things that I see happen really frequently, sometimes bad advice that is given on social media or mommy Facebook groups. So you're going to really love this today. And if you are breastfeeding nursing in any sort of capacity, then you will definitely learn something today that will help make sure that you are not unexpectedly killing your milk supply without even realizing it. So before I jump into that, I want to first read you a review. This is actually a Google review. It's from Katie. And she said, I cannot recommend Breezy babies enough. I'm a first time mom that had a goal to exclusively breastfeed and was told I needed to formula feed as well to get her where she needed to be. Brianne sat down with me and went over my goals, really cared about them, and helped me find a plan to reach my goal that was perfect for me and my little babe. In only two weeks, I was back to exclusively breastfeeding and no longer needing supplementing. No longer needed supplementing. If you're ever questioning it, I'm telling you to book with Brian as soon as possible. You won't regret it. Isn't that the nicest review? I love that. Katie, if you are listening to this, then send me an email. Breezy Babies, I would love to send you one of my digital downloads. Totally free. One of my ebooks or workshops are yours for the taking. So thank you so much for taking the time to leave that review. If you don't already know, the best way that you can help support a small business is by leaving reviews. Whether it's a podcast review, a Google review, any sort of review, it's always free. To leave reviews, and it usually takes two minutes or less. And it really helps out small businesses such as mine, not only for other families to find us, but also to just build trust because it's kind of an investment to work with a lactation consultant. And also you're letting someone into your life. Sometimes I literally go to clients homes and they are literally opening their door and inviting me into their home. Now, not everyone does that, but still, even if you learn from me from a workshop or we do a telehealth consult, you are still opening up. We're diving into your health history, your delivery, your wants, your needs, your desires, your goals. And sometimes that's hard to open up to someone about. So when you leave a review like that, it helps other people to know that they can trust lactation consultants like me to get the help that they need. So thank you so much, Katie, for taking the time to leave that Google review. And before one other thing, before I tell you about five common mistakes that will kill your milk supply, I want to just quickly tell you about one product that I have really loved during my breastfeeding journey that did not exist with my other three kids. If you don't already know, I have an eleven year old, a nine year old, and a six year old right now. And we have a six year gap in between our third and fourth baby, which, by the way, if you're wondering what it's like to have a baby after a six year gap, it's like having a first baby all over again. Except for we actually enjoy her. With our first baby, we were stressed. We had no idea what we were doing. We just didn't know what we were doing at all. I just don't really know how else to explain that. But this time around, we just don't sweat about the small stuff. If she cries in the night, we don't think, oh my gosh, we'll never sleep again. We just think, oh my gosh, she's so cute. She needs us, she wants to be with us and she's so cute. And we just don't stress about the small things. We didn't know how to do that with our first or honestly, even our second or third because we had just other young kids while we had new babies and we were just in the thick of it. So anyway, that's kind of special. But I can't tell you how many new products have come out in between my third and fourth baby. It's just a whole different world. Totally different pumps are available, just different baby items. It's just so many things have come out and really just been invented in that six year gap. And one of my favorite things that I'm really loving this time around is my hawka. Now, you probably have seen the classic hawka, but I actually really love the ladybug hawka because for me personally, the Classic, it's a little bit too much suction for me. And so I really love just putting on the ladybug hawk early in the morning. At this point, my baby is a little bit older. I really just use it in the mornings to catch that extra strong let down when I have a bit more milk after sleeping through the night, and I just save that little bit. Sometimes I only get out ten mil. 15 miles, 20 miles, 30 miles, 30 miles, by the way, is 1oz. We just normally talk more in Milliliters and Graham as lactation consultants. If you live outside of the United States, then I'm sure those measurements makes a lot of sense to you, but sometimes we know more ounces and pounds here in the United States, so I just kept a little bit. But I have been able to build up a freezer stash with just my Hawka. I have hardly even touched my breast pump at all. My baby is eight months old and I've been really lucky that I haven't had to go back to working twelve hour shifts. As a nurse, I would have had to touch my electric breast pump, that's for sure. But in the meantime, I just use my ladybug to catch some ounces and that has built up a small little freezer stash for me. If you want to check out the Ladybug Hakka, I'll put the link in the show notes. That is an affiliate link, which means I get a small kickback. And for using that affiliate link, you get 10% off. You just use discount code Brizy Ten and you can get 10% off your order. If you want to grab a Ladybug Haka, if you prefer the Classic Haka, you can also try that. I have a lot of clients that really love and prefer the Classic. Just kind of depends on your preference. But go ahead and treat yourself with discount code Brizzi Ten on the Hakka USA website. All right, you ready to hear about my top? Well, I'm used to saying top three tips, but today is going to be my five common mistakes that will kill your milk supply. Are you ready for this? Let's get going. Number one is strict schedules. If you want to kill your milk supply, a great way to do that is by following really strict schedules, because babies, first of all, don't do very well on strict feeding or strict sleeping schedules. They work more on a hey, respond to my needs type of system. Strict schedules also leave your breasts full and your baby's belly empty. And that's not a good combination because remember that a full breast signals to your body to slow down milk production. On the other hand, a drained breast tells your body to ramp up production. So you really want to try and keep your breath soft without going long periods of time in between feeds. Now, you might be wondering how often you should feed your baby. A good rule of thumb is at least every two to 3 hours a day or eight total times in 24 hours. These really are just minimums, especially for newborns. If you have older kiddos, they're going to lead less frequently, they're going to eat less frequently. If you want to know a more specific number for your specific situation, then go back a couple of podcast episodes and listen to your magic number and talk more about how you know what your magic number is for feeding, pumping, whatever. So again, those numbers are just minimums. You really just want to watch your baby. Watch for signs of hunger, such as your baby turning her head from side to side, opening and closing her mouth. If you wait for your baby to cry, then that means that she's angry. This is especially true for newborns. Hungry and angry are not a happy mix. So instead, offer your breath soon and often. Okay, number two. A great way to kill your milk supply is to separate you and your baby. Okay? So proximity matters. Believe it or not, the closer you are to your baby, the better your chances are at having breastfeeding success. So stay close whenever possible and start this right after delivery. Skin to skin time with your baby is your best secret weapon. Think of yourself as a mama kangaroo and your baby as a little roo. The more time that your little one can stay snuggled up to you in those 1st 1000 minutes, yes, 1000 minutes of your baby's life, the better. That doesn't mean you have to hold them on your chest for 1000 minutes straight. Just means for those 1st 1000 minutes of your baby's life, the more time that they can spend on your chest skin to skin, the better. Baby wearing slings carriers may just be one of the best investments that you will ever make because it really allows for closeness while still keeping your hands free. Major win. All right, tip number three. Another great way to kill your milk supply is by not nourishing your body. Now, I know that you're tired and running on fumes, but listen, you have to nourish your body even before recording this podcast episode. I had kind of skipped over lunch. I had two consults this morning that were telehealth, running kids here, running kids there. I may possibly be recording this podcast episode on a Monday, which means that I am doing this very last second and I thought, oh my gosh, I need to nourish my body before sitting down and recording this podcast episode because I could feel myself really slowing down. Because can you believe that you burn an extra 500 calories per day while you're breastfeeding? That means that if you eat less than 1500 to 1800 calories per day, you can possibly put your supply at risk. If you're wondering exactly how many calories you need well, that depends on how much you exercise your fat stores, the quality of the food you eat, often an extra two snacks per day that are nutrient dense and low in sugar are a great place to start. And let's not forget about staying hydrated. This is reminding me right now that I need to go grab my water after this podcast episode and hydrate myself. A good rule of thumb is to try and drink at least half your body weight in ounces every single day. Now, you don't want to drown yourself in water because you actually can do more harm than good, but you do really want to make sure that you're staying hydrated. So keep healthy snacks and your water bottle at an arms length away throughout the whole day, especially places where you normally breastfeed. And that's going to make you much more likely to meet your goal. And this little task, by the way, of keeping nutrient dense snacks and water close by, is a great way for your partner to help you. Sometimes they don't know what to do when you're breastfeeding. Just say, hey, keep my water full if you want fresh ice or something mixed into your water to make it kind of fun to drink or electrolytes mixed in if you have favorite snacks and tell your partner, hey, make sure that these are stocked up when I sit down to breastfeed. That can help them feel super helpful. So overall, just make sure that you're caring for yourself so that you can then care for your baby and nourish your baby. You have to fill your own cup up first. All right, the fourth way that you can totally kill your milk supply is to have high stress and no sleep. So let me tell you about one of my favorite hormones. It's called oxytocin, aka. The love hormone, is also what you need for your milk to let down. Aka come out. You know that you're having let down if your milk is coming out. The thing about oxytocin is that it's the exact opposite of stress. For example, when stress is in your body and it's at an all time high, then oxytocin is low. It's complete opposites, kind of like a light switch. When one is high, the other is low. They cannot both be high or both be low at the same time. So that means that when you are very stressed, you can literally block the milk from getting to your baby. Yes, that's true. And I have another little tip for you here. Would you believe that studies have shown that past the first month of life, breastfeeding moms actually get more sleep at night than bottle feeding moms? Do you believe me? It is true. And it's because the hormones that you release while breastfeeding actually help you and your baby to fall asleep faster. Isn't that so cool? Plus, you can work towards being able to feed your baby while lying down, doing a side lying position, and just not having to get up and mix and warm a bottle is a huge help to help you get back to sleep faster. All right, are you ready for the last one? The fifth way to kill your milk supply is by not trusting in your body. So this is so important to trust in yourself, trust in the process. And I, of course, have to tell you that working with someone like myself, who is an international board certified lactation consultant will so help you to meet your lactation goals. Because I cannot tell you how many times supplementing with a baby happens when it is not necessary. Now, I know what you're saying. There are times when supplementing a baby with donor milk or formula is 100% necessary. But I cannot tell you how many times I have seen supplementing happen when it's not even necessary. One small example for you. I have had a client who had so much extra breast milk, like serious oversupply, that she didn't even know what to do. Now, in the beginning, her baby was still learning how to latch and still learning how to transfer milk. So her pediatrician recommended to supplement her baby with formula even though she already had a giant freezer stash. Now, what's the point of giving a baby formula if there is breast milk available? I could go into all that with a completely separate podcast episode. But what I'm telling you is that if you have an IBCLC in your corner, helping you, guiding you along the path, helping you to meet your goals, then you are going to feel that confidence, that trust in your body, and know that you can do it. If you have a goal to exclusively breastfeed, then try not to supplement with your baby. Try not to supplement your baby with extra pumped milk or formula unless it's truly needed. And if you do find yourself in a situation where you need to supplement, then keep the milk moving by pumping or hand expressing any time your baby spends time with a bottle. Okay? And of course, you already know that. If you would like help navigating this journey, there is a chance that your insurance covers free consultations. If you want to check to see if your insurance covers free consults, just click the link in the show notes. Lactation Network is who does my billing. And you guys, I can't even not even tell you how much I love Lactation Network. They have completely changed my business. My clients who are approved through them get six free consults, which means much better care for them, much easier consults for me. Because we don't have to cram everything into one consult. We can spread it out over time, see how things are going. We can pivot, we can change things, check in with each other. And it's just the best. I truly wish that every single family could be covered for free insurance consults. But for now, we just do what we can do. And why not just check to see if your insurance is one that does cover free consults in the show notes? So there you have it again. Those top five ways that you can kill your milk supply is by number one, following strict schedules. Number two, separating you and your baby. Number three, not nourishing your body. Number four, high stress plus no sleep. And number five, not trusting in your body. I hope that these tips helped you help you feel a little bit more confident. I'll be back next Tuesday for another brand new shiny podcast episode with you. Thanks so much for listening in. And of course, I'm going to leave you with you are strong, you are smart, you're beautiful, you're good. Friends all see ya. You.

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