Supply and demand: feeding from both sides and emptying before switching
When I got my pregnant with my daughter I didn't really think about breastfeeding; in fact it wasn't till I went to a few antenatal classes that I decided I would give it a try. I started leaking milk at 7 months and thought I better start looking into it, but it's difficult to get a realistic picture of what breastfeeding is before you've had a baby. I had an hour’s worth of breastfeeding lesson but by the time I had my beautiful baby, Savannah, on my chest all of that had gone completely out of my head!
I was very lucky that Savannah crawled up my belly minutes after coming out and latched herself on without any help from me, but from our first night at home it all got so much more difficult. She fed on the hour, every hour, night and day. As a new and first-time mum I wasn't ready for this and immediately started to doubt what I was doing. Unfortunately, not all medical professionals have the same opinion, and not every family member, friend or person you meet on the street is right, and I had so many conflicting views thrown at me,, whether solicited or not, that I was left baffled. I was told to top-up with formula, or switch completely; that I wasn't making enough milk, to not co-sleep, and that I wasn't helping myself or her by feeding so often.
Luckily for me I'm extremely stubborn, and a month in I was positive that I would do everything I could to continue breastfeeding, and I made it my mission to learn all I could about it. I visited a local Lactation Consultant who told me about the importance of supply and demand, and she explained to me that babies are not born to feed on a routine, and that by feeding her frequently I was increasing my supply and doing it right.
I did, however, struggle with pumping enough milk to allow my husband and family to help feed her so that I could have some me time. I had bought the best Medela pump, was drinking lots of water, and expressing from both breasts after and in between feeds, but still only managing to get an ounce or so. So I started looking online for ways to increase my supply and I came across Lactation cookies. They weren't really available in the UK, and the ones that I did eventually import from America were expensive and tasted awful, so with a love of baking I set out about making my own recipe. After weeks of tinkering I perfected the right mix of ingredients to help boost my supply whilst tasting good and I was amazed at how quickly and effectively they worked! I knew that if I could I wanted to work from home and be with Savannah as much as possible, so I saw the cookies as a great opportunity. I wanted to start baking them for other mums to help increase their confidence in feeding and so decided to start a company selling them online.
I had over 100 women trial them with great results and this made me so confident that they could help. I also surveyed women who did, and didn't, breastfeed and I found out that there were a large number of women who also worried about their supplies, and who had felt let down by a lack of support and information leading to confusion and unrealistic expectations. There were a high percentage of women who had not seeked help like I did, and instead had switched over to formula and later regretted doing so. I started planning my company, Boobbix, when Savannah was 2 months old, and after just over a year of preparations and development, we launched in December 2015.
Since then we have had great success with the brand and feedback from new and loyal customers. We have had wonderful reviews from many bloggers, and have recently received a Gold Award from Loved by Parents, and been shortlisted for an award by Mother and Baby. Our mums vary from exclusively breastfeeding, to mixed formula and breastfeeding, exclusively pumping and pumping for others, and we have have so many positive comments about the increase in supply, and confidence, that they have had from our cookies. Apart from anything else, there are few bones to pick with all natural cookies that are nutritious and effective. Almost everyone loves cookies, and as breastfeeding mums can burn anywhere from 300-600 extra calories per day, they're a delicious treat that work their milky magic quickly!
I am so passionate about breastfeeding and having done it exclusively for six months, and with food for just over 2 years, I can confidently say that I am so glad I persevered in order to do what I believed was best for me and my baby. I am also very proud of my company and our products, and the many mums that I have met along the way who feel the same way!
Low-milk supply is normally very rare in mums, and if it is an issue then you should always seek help from a lactation consultant or medical professional.
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