Breastfeeding is a huge commitment for any mom of any age. I breastfed my son when I was 20 years old and had to stop at 4.5 months because I wasn’t making enough milk. I was told I was dehydrated at the time at my 6-week checkup. I was a single mom and had moved into my father’s house for a while which was a bit stressful on me.
Now 24 years later my situation is much different. I am married, stay at home mom, working at home compiling helpful health information for moms and one’s desiring to be moms and I am able to produce much more milk.
My husband was home for the 1st 6 weeks because I had a C-section. He would always bring me a large cup of water every time I nursed our baby. I craved oat bran sometimes eating 3 servings in a day not knowing that that is a galactogenic food helping to produce rich sweet milk.
One thing I wasn’t expecting was the pain I experienced with breastfeeding. The problem started 3 weeks after taking an antibiotic for a bladder infection after the C-section.
I was engorged with milk in the left breast and couldn’t even get it out with pumping. So my husband and I went to the ER. The lactation specialist there said the baby wasn’t latching properly and that if I wanted to keep breastfeeding I would have to endure the pain and just push through it. I ended up getting an electric pump through my insurance because of being diagnosed with a blocked duct.
I did push through the pain but I also took the painkiller norco a handful of times when the pain was excruciating. I decided to pump both breasts after only feeding on the left most of the time because I could feel the blockage worse on the left. I was worried I might have to stop breastfeeding too soon so I was pumping about 20 ounces a day while still only breastfeeding on the left most of the time. The last couple of days my daughter seemed hungry still only feeding on the left so I started feeding a bottle 1-2x a day with about 3-4 oz. so I could put a probiotic in it to help replenish from the antibiotic and heal her gut and get her ready for some vaccines. I also drank a lot of coconut water. I also learned that I had a yeast infection in the breast which was causing a lot of pain.
What I did to make extra milk:
- Eat 1-2 servings of oat bran with put frozen fruit, ghee (clarified butter), and coconut milk
- Drink 8-16 ounces of coconut water with extra regular water of course
- Eat coconut yogurt
- Eat and drink to fullness (which is a lot more than I usually do)
- Not worry about weight loss while breastfeeding
- Drink water every time I breastfeed
- Not start intense exercise yet just walking and Physical therapy 1x a week
- Be patient with the let down and pump for 20 minutes
- Take fenugreek herb
To address the breast yeast issue:
- Stop foods that flare yeast including honey, protein bars with too much natural sugar, kambucha, bread, dairy (even though I don’t usually eat dairy but even a tiny amount on a snack
- Put lotrimin on nipples after feeding
- Used gentian violet solution on breasts when I was particularly itchy; this will stain clothes, tile etc. even skin but will eventually wash off – use Dr. Bronner’s Hemp 1 liquid soap to remove from sink and tub
- Bathed in 6 tablespoons baking soda almost nightly
- Washed clothes in baking soda with detergent
- Threw away shirts that I was using at the beginning before I knew it was yeast
- Boiled bottle to kill yeast
- Ran the washer through 1-2x with bleach and no clothes
- Washed some towels in bleach
After all that work it came back once when I was eating lactation cookies make with honey and nutritional yeast and I had to repeat the above process. It did work and I got rid of it again.