I know I say this every week, but I seriously can’t believe how fast our girls are growing. I can’t believe it has been 7 weeks since I gave birth to our beautiful baby girls.
Thanks to our wonderful Aqua Scale we have been weighing them weekly and they are growing so well.
McKenzie Madison – 8 lbs. 10 oz.
McKayla Grace – 6 lbs. 1 oz.
I cannot believe how much they have grown and all from Mama’s milk.
One of my worries when they were born and had to be in the NICU was whether or not I would be able to breastfeed them. Since they were born at just shy of 34 weeks, I worried about being able to produce enough milk and their about to latch properly.
I was truly blessed to be given an amply supply of milk from the start. I know there are many moms like me that worry about breastfeeding their babies for various reasons. So, I thought I would share with you my experience about jump starting my milk.
Jump Starting Milk Supply
If for some reason you cannot breastfeed your baby right away you can make milk. Weather they are in the NICU or unable to latch on.
First, let me fill you in on our experience. Our girls were born at 33 weeks 6 days and needed to be in the NICU for regulating body temperature and learning to feed. Within the first 24 hours McKenzie actually nursed two different times and McKayla nursed once. I have to say this was a wonderful miracle. The nurses always encouraged me to try, but never knew what was going to happen. We were all pleasantly surprised when even little McKayla was able to latch on and nurse.
Once my girls were three days old they all of a sudden stopped taking milk from a bottle or breast. They had to be put on a feeding tube. This broke my heart even though the nurses said this is very typical for preemie babies. They are doing exactly what they should be doing, sleeping.
Here is what I did and learned throughout our NICU time on how to jumpstart my milk supply:
As soon as I could I started pumping. Most hospitals will provide you with a hospital grade pump to use during your stay. These pumps are amazingly strong and a wonderful way to get your milk supply going. I used this pump while in the hospital and we decided to rent it for a week, 30 dollars, to make sure my milk supply was strong.
- Pump every two hours during the day and every 3 hours at night for about 20 minutes. This is very important. At the beginning you will only be able to get a drizzle or so. You will barely be able to cover the bottom of the bottle. This was discouraging to me, but that is what is supposed to happen. Keep pumping even if nothing is coming out. Always do about 20 minutes each time the first few days!!
- The first few days our bodies produce colostrum. At about 3 days or so traditional milk begins to come in and you will be able to get measurable ounces out each time. Once my milk came in at about 3 days, I produced enough milk so that they were no longer given formula. They were switched to only my milk. At about 6 days I was able to pump enough to milk for both of them and still had some to freeze. My freezer is filled.
- Remember while you are exclusively pumping your nipples will be very sore, but it does get better. I was thrilled when both girls came home and I could stop pumping and simply nurse them.
- Don’t forget to use your nipple cream or coconut oil works really well too.
After the first week we returned the rental and I used the Medela Pump in Style.
How to Kick Start Your Milk Supply While Breastfeeding:
This is what I did with my two older girls. They were great at breastfeeding. Isabella was even better then Sophia, but I think it is because I was better the second time around. Both my girls nursed until 14-15 months.
Put baby to your breast within 30 minutes (or as soon as possible) of coming into the world.
- Nurse on demand; about every 2-3 hours.
- Once your milk supply comes in at about 3 days pump for about 10-15 after each session during the day. This is what is going to really get your milk going. Do this for about 2 weeks.
- After about 2 weeks pump only after your morning session or which pumping session works best for you.
- Once you have a great milk supply and a freeze full of extra reinforcement you can simply nurse your baby(ies).
That is what worked for me. I hope that can help all of you, as well.
7 Weeks Postpartum Check-In
As most of you know this has been a rough week for me, but we are starting to figure things out. Emotionally, I am all over the place. I think lack of sleep doesn’t help. just when they were starting to sleep better the decided to change things up.
In seven weeks Sophia and Isabella have evolved into the best big sisters!!
Sophia has really become a wonderful helper. She is truly amazing with her little sisters. She loves to hold McKenzie and McKayla. Sophia loves to sing to the girls and she certainly loves to hold them. She is always telling them that she is their biggest sister. It is so sweet!!
Our Isabella what a sweetheart. She has really grown up in the past several weeks. Isabella is such a mama’s girl and I was so worried about how she would adjust but she has been amazing. She loves to hold both the girls. She always tells them she is Isabella their big sister. Whenever McKenzie and McKayla cry she says, “Mommy baby crying” or “Mommy baby needs your booboo”. She hates when they cry.
I love how kind and caring both Sophia and Isabella are towards their little sisters. I am madly in love with our family of six.
My weight is down another pound. I am now 3 pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight. But quite a bit softer then I was before the babies.
Hips: 35 inches – 1 inch smaller then pre-pregnancy. Thank you to my Shrinkx Hips. After pregnancy is the only time you can actually reduce your hip size. You can read all about the science of how this works here.
Bellybutton: 29 inches – 1 inch away from pre-pregnancy size.
Thighs: 20 inches – 1 inch smaller then pre-pregnancy. I think this has to do with muscle loss.