Strategies for Maintaining Milk Supply during Exercise
My Struggles as an Exclusively Pumping Mom
To all the breastfeeding moms out there- I have so much respect for you. Reward yourself every month!! Keep pushing on. Make short term and long term goals. Don't beat yourself up over your supply. You are doing a great job! Every drop counts!
Before I had a baby I always vowed I would breastfeed for a year. How hard could it be? I thought it would be a wonderful, easy experience. I spent hours googling and watching videos about breastfeeding and as far as I knew I was an expert! However within hours of having Tucker the struggles began. Long story short I found out at our first doctor's appointment that he was tongue tied and wasn't transferring my milk. I immediately got my pump out and starting pumping every 2 hours around the clock. Each pump produced 10 drops of milk. I was mortified. It was painful, exhausting, and one of the most stressful times of my life. I shed countless tears over my milk supply. I barely got by without supplementing with formula.
Once his tongue tie was fixed I was still unable to get him to latch and that is when I began my journey as an exclusively pumping mom. Honestly it has been one of the hardest things I have ever done. My pump went EVERYWHERE with me. Every two hours. Every place you can imagine. The trials I have had as an exclusively pumping mom have been endless. Bump after bump I persevered on. It never got easier. Each day was a constant struggle. Watching my milk supply go up and down was always stressful.
I exclusively pumped until 10 months. Then I started supplementing with grass-fed cow's milk. Despite the fact that I was still pumping every 2 hours my milk supply was dramatically decreasing. Last week I was diagnosed with severe hypothyroidism. This was the culprit for my drop in milk supply and my extreme fatigue I have been battling for weeks! I have been going on 5-6 months of feeling run-down, lethargic and gloomy. No one's life is as perfect as they're instagram appears :)