Daily breast feeding diet that Erica followed
- Drink 2-3 liters of filtered water everyday
- Eat a shit ton of calories….more than you would think
- Eat healthy fats such as avocado, nut-butters, seeds like hemp seeds & chia seeds, salmon, pasture raised eggs, flax meal, coconut oil etc. etc. etc.
- She took prenatal vitamins everyday
- Drink mothers milk tea
- Take your brewers yeast everyday
- Take your placenta pills (yes we’re total hippy freaks)
- HUGE ASS bowl of oatmeal every morning for Breakfast w/ a large mug of mothers milk tea (yogi tea)
- 1 cup oats
- 1 tbs brewers yeast
- 1 tbs hemp seeds
- 1 tbs chia seeds
- 1 tbs flax meal
- slivered almonds (or any nut of your choice)
- 1/2-1 cup homemade almond milk or coconut water
- 1 tbs coconut oil
- 1/2 cups berries of your choice (I used blueberries)
- 1 banana
- sometimes 1 scoop of pea protein (or protein of your choice)
- sometimes 1/2 tbs of spiralina
~This bowl of oatmeal is HUGE you’ll need to use a big soup bowl when you make it!!!!! It’s also around 1000 calories!!! I know that sounds crazy, but with all those healthy fats in there the calorie count goes up. You NEED a lot of calories, fat & hydration to produce breast milk.
She would usually not be too hungry around lunch time because that huge bowl of oatmeal takes some time to eat. So she would usually snack around lunch and also drink a glass of iced mothers milk tea. Which we would make a large batch of every couple days.
Snacks she ate
- Avocado & whole-fat grass-fed cottage cheese
- Apple with almond butter
- Celery w/ almond butter
- grass-fed whole fat plain yogurt
- hard boiled eggs (pasture raised)
- A protein, fat & healthy complex carb (occasionally we would do white rice) Erica would usually eat an avocado & whole fat grass-fed yogurt with dinner as well.
- Baked salmon (high in fat) with sauteed kale, onion & zucchini with baked sweet-potato or red potatoes (just an example you can replace any portion with your favorites)
- Ground Lamb (high in fat) with cabbage, tomatoes & spinach and sometimes served with white rice or quinoa
- Veggie coconut curry (high in fat)
-You get the hint…..eat your calories & get your healthy fats in.
Breast milk has a macronutrient ratio “around” 50% fat, 25-40% carbohydrates & 10-20% protein. Breast milk contains water, fat, carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, minerals, amino acids and enzymes. While you’re feeding your baby, your milk will change from foremilk: which is high in water and lactose to hindmilk: which is high in fat and calories. Which is why some babies will nurse forrrrr everrrrrr…..because they want that fatty ice cream hind milk. Now this is why it’s so important to keep your fat intake high and your liquid intake high.
- Yes she would drink a cup or two of coffee each morning. But they were small.
- Yes she was walking almost everyday (not working out too hard)
- Yes she would eat 85% dark chocolate almost everyday (because she’s addicted)
- She would try to get as much sleep as humanly possible (sleep is very important)
- Yes she would drink a glass or two of wine here and there
Supplements Erica took/takes
- Prenatal vitamin (took for first year) by MegaFoods called Baby & Me
- Vitamin B complex by MegaFood
- Vitamin C complex by MegaFood
- Raw Probiotics by Garden of Life
- Vegan or not omega 3 oil
Pumping & nursing schedule
- First 5 days we were in the hospital Erica’s milk didn’t come in. However she did have colostrum (which is a high concentration of nutrients and antibodies) Elliott wasn’t able to latch the first 3-4 days…..so we had to give him formula and we used a syring to give him pumped colostrum directly into his mouth. Then after 4 days he finally was getting the hang of it. Olive latched the second she saw that boob. Actually poor little Olive came out of the womb with 2 big blisters on her wrist from sucking on herself in utero!!! Yeah crazzzy. She would suck on Elliott’s face when they were lying next to each other too. Basically she would latch onto anything.
- She pumped 3 times a day from the moment the twins came out and continued for the first 8 months. We even got a car jack so she could pump in the car incase we went somewhere.
-First pump: 5am (20 minutes)
-Second pump: 11-12pm (20 minute)
-Third pump: Right before she went to bed after the twins went to bed (she hated this pump)
- At 7-8 months she went down to 2 pumps a day (one in the morning & one in the afternoon)
- At 10 months she went down to 1 pump a day
- By the twins first birthday she had finally stopped pumping. (we had a freezer FULL of boobie juice)
Nursing on demand
Literally means just that. On top of her crazy ass pumping schedule she would nurse the twins (usually at the same time) In the middle of the night (after the first few months) I was able to give one of the babies a breast milk bottle to help Erica not have to get up so much.
The first 4 months Erica nursed them all the damn time…..right when they got up, and then every 2-3 hours after that including bedtime (on top of her pumping). Elliott was only 5 lbs. so our doctor told us to set an alarm and feed him every 2 hours throughout the night (yes even if he was sleeping…which it never really woke him up….it just woke us up) to make sure he gained weight (which fucking killed us) Olive was born at 7.5 lbs so we didn’t worry about her night time feedings as much as his. But she still got night feedings whenever she woke up. It was a careful balancing act of never sleeping……and breast feeding fun around the clock!! As some of you know breast feeding is a full time with overtime job, that you have to try hard at mentally and physically every damn day. It’s not for everyone.
Around 3-4 months Elliott had gained weight and we didn’t set alarms to feed anymore. Erica just fed on demand day and night. Around 5-6 months we started to introduce solid foods (first food for the twins was mashed avocado with breastmilk). So she nursed around every 3-4 hours at this time instead of every 2 hours. Also they only nursed for 15-20 minutes now instead of their normal 30-45 minutes.
Basically the nursing schedule was tapering down a few feedings at a time every month….But she was still nursing if they woke up in the middle of the night.
Night Feeding & Weening
Erica has nursed the twins at night since the day they were born. In the beginning we had to night feed Elliott because of his size. If Olive was sleeping we weren’t waking her up to nurse her (only when she woke up on her own). I believe that all that night nursing in the beginning trained Elliott’s brain to think he ALWAYS needed to be night fed (he was hard to ween at first…well they both were)
Also Erica is one of those rare people who can’t go back to sleep if there is a small child attached to her boob. So the night feedings really sucked for her (literally ha ha ha)
Ok night nursing weening
COLD TURKEY!!!!!! No one wants to hear cold turkey because it’s savage and brutal. But you have to do it cold turkey.
Months ago when the twins were 7 or 8 months our doctor told us just to let them cry it out in their cribs (sleep training basically) which would at the the same time teach them not to night nurse. We tried it a couple times and poor Olive eventually would cried herself to sleep, but Elliott would not!!!! We let him cry for an hour a couple times (an hour!!) and he still wouldn’t sleep. Sleep training wasn’t for us (although we tried a few times over the course of their first year of life). We didn’t want our babies to think we wouldn’t come to their cues or when they asked for us. Yes we are weak in this department, but we’re ok with that. We wanted our babies to be ready and we obviously needed to be ready or “stronger”.
So about 4 weeks ago when the twins were 19 months (and ready) we did the cold turkey no more night feedings. OMG it was the worst!!!! The first 3 nights were horrible. Pretty sure our neighbors thought we were torturing our kids. So I took Elliott and Erica took Olive and when they woke up to nurse we only offered a binkey aka (pacifier, paci, dummy, teether etc.) Nobody was happy with that. So they basically flipped out and screamed and cried alllllllllll nighhhhhtttt long. We both had a really hard time with each twin but, I think I might have had it a bit easier because Elliott knows I can’t nurse him. And after night 3 Elliott would wake up and say “boo boo” which means he wants to nurse and I would say…. “when you wake up in the morning” then he would just go right back to bed with his binkey. He now sleeps through the whole night and maybe gets up once to switch cuddle partners.
Olive on the other hand had a much harder time with it, and here we are a month later and it’s still hard for her. I think it was particularly hard for her because she knew Erica could nurse her and she didn’t nurse her. Thats got to be confusing for a baby. She took about 5-7 nights to stop crying the whole night long. And she’s a real fun one…..she’ll walk around the house at all hours of the night flipping the fuck out…..slamming her face on the couch or throwing her toys or laying in the middle of the room on the floor kicking and screaming (thank god Erica had to deal with that and not me) Olive still a month later gets up once a night EVERY night still and walks around the house flipping out for about 10-15 minutes then after her tantrum she’ll climb into Erica’s lap and pass out.
Sooooooo the moral of the story is that each child is different. Just like each pregnancy is different and each kid will take the time they need to stop night nursing (you just can’t give in). When you know you’re strong enough and won’t give in and can handle the blood curdling screams for a few nights….and know that your baby or babies are ready…THEN and only then can you do the cold turkey no night nursing extravaganza.
Due to Erica pumping and nursing SO much it was inevitable that she would get mastitis.
She only got it 3 times and all 3 times she had a fever of 103, chills, sweats (flu like symptoms) and the crazy excruciating pain in the infected boob. Our doctor just told her to nurse, nurse, nurse, pump, pump, pump which looked so painfulllllll. She would cry sometimes when the kids would nurse on that boob. Luckily it only lasted 24 hours each time and she only had to take IB profen once or twice. Our doctor told Erica the best way to get rid of it fast was to let the babies nurse on that boob to release the pressure that was built up. Babies can suck more milk out than a pump any day.
So that’s our breastfeeding journey in a nutshell. Ours won’t look like yours and probably yours won’t look like anyone else you know. It’s a struggle and it’s hard. If you can’t breastfeed (not everyone can and that’s ok) there’s people (other mamas) who donate breast milk to mamas who need it so their babies can get all the amazing health benefits from breast milk.
Benefits of breast milk/breast feeding infants
- It contains all the vitamins & minerals your baby needs as well as containing antibodies that help your baby fight viruses & bacteria
- lowers your babies risk of allergies
- lowers your babies risk of asthma
- lowers your babies risk of ear infections or have fewer (especially when nursed solid for the first 6 month)
- lowers your babies risk of respiratory illness
- Breast-feeding helps you too as a mom: emotionally, connection between mom & baby, and also the release of the hormone oxytocin during breast-feeding which helps with postpartum. Also nursing helps contract your uterus back to normal size faster.
Benefits of breast feeding toddlers
- Nursing an 18 month old or 24 month old has the same benefits as it does for newborns says “The America Academy of Pediatrics”
- Regardless of your babies/toddlers age they will still benefit from the protein, calcium, fat, vitamin A and immune boosting nutrients breast milk has to offer.
- It boosts your baby immune system
- The longer you breastfeed the less likely your baby is to have some of the illnesses related to non-breastfed babies such as ear infections & respiratory issues
- It also boosts brain development, soothes, its calming for both mom & baby etc. etc.
Leave a comment please & ask questions we love to help out other mamas and learn with them too. Thank you everyone for reading and the opportunity to share our journey.
With Love~Erica, Sandy & the Twins