Ashley Holifield

Blog

nursing + pumping tips + tricks

I have had a TON of questions about how I have been able to pump so much milk so early! So I am sharing below all I have done so far and what seems to be helping me! Let me preface this with every BODY is different and what works for me may not for you and vice versa! But I am happy to share to help in any way! I know how precious this liquid gold is and every extra drop we can get helps!

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I have pumped for 2 weeks now and have collected a little over 5 gallons of milk!! I did not produce like this with my first! I do believe I would have but I did some things early on that dropped my supply that this time around I was more aware of. I went back to work after 6 weeks with my first and relied majority on pumping to feed her and was able to do that for almost 6 months. If I would have had a supply going like this though I’m sure I could have gone longer! SO this time around I do not have to go back to work but plan to keep pumping extra to have just in case and to be able to donate it!


Pumping schedule

I started pumping using the Haakaa breast pump 3 days after she was born. My milk had just started coming in and I still had a mix of colostrum. I put the Haakaa on the side I am not nursing on and then will switch to the other side to pump out any remaining. Make sure you have to suctioned correctly to get the most! She will usually eat majority on one side and a little on the other. Within a few days the amount I pumped increased! I do this EVERY TIME I feed her! So I am always emptying with each feeding to allow my body to continue to produce more. I really feel doing this from the beginning has played a HUGE role in why I produced so much so early. My body pretty much thinks I’m feeding triplets haha I have exclusively pumped and nursed using the Haakka. Today was actually the first time I let my husband give her a bottle and I used my Medela pump instead. But plan to only do that occasionally and keep nursing and pumping together!

We are currently nursing/pumping every 3 hours including through the night. She is getting around 2-3 ounces a feeding now so averaging 16-20 ounces a day and then I pump an average of 50 ounces in addition to that! I know as she increases her eating this may change some! I store the milk in these bags and store in tubs in the freezer! Thankfully we have a deep freeze!

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Food + water

The other main factor that helps is my food and water intake! I aim to drink at least 100-128 ounces of water a day! Mixing in a bottle of Smart water for electrolytes! Breast milk is majority water! So if you are dehydrated your supply will be too!

As for food—I eat ALL day! I am focusing on fueling my body with proper foods and enough foods to keep my supply up! You typically burn 20 calories per ounce of breast milk so with what I am pumping and what she is eating I am burning around 1400 calories from nursing alone! This doesn’t include calories I burn from chasing my toddler! So I am aiming to eat 2000 calories or more a day to maintain my supply. I eat 6-7 times per day and aim to eat at least 10g of protein at each meal, good fats, carbs and fiber! Sharing a few of my favorite milk making snacks below and a typical day of eating! I also drank the super smoothie through my pregnancy and ate oatmeal and oat cakes regularly as well! I think doing that during pregnancy also helped my supply come in so good from the start!

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A Day of Eating

Breakfast: 2 eggs + toast with avocado or peanut butter OR bowl of oats with peanut butter

Snack: protein bar OR yogurt + apple

Lunch: Greek yogurt with berries, chia seeds + & granola with oat cake OR sandwich & veggies with hummus

Snack: Super Smoothie

Dinner: Varies (usually consist of a protein, carb + veggie)

Snack: lactation cookie or ice cream

AND on the occasion I may have a bowl of cereal in the middle of the night when I get up to feed!


Super Smoothie

8 ounces unsweet almond milk

1/2 frozen banana

1/3 cup frozen berries

1/2 cup oats

1 Tbsp ground flax seed

1 scoop vanilla superfood protein

1 scoop vital proteins

Occasionally- 1/2 cup frozen spinach & 1 Tbsp peanut butter

Blend well!

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Oat Muffins

1 1/4c. oats 

2-3 ripe bananas mashed

1/3 cup almond milk  

1 T coconut oil or peanut butter

2 Tbsp ground flax seed

2 Tbsp Brewers Yeast

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Optional: raisins, chocolate chips, walnuts 

Preheat oven to 350. Combine all ingredients and fill muffin tin. Bake 20 minutes. Muffins will be dense! Store in refrigerator and heat before eating! I like to eat with a dollop of yogurt!



Lactation Cookies

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3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

1 1/2 all-purpose flour

5 tablespoons brewers yeast

3 tablespoons ground flaxseed

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

12 tablespoons organic unsalted butter

4 tablespoons coconut oil

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups chocolate chips/chunks 

optional add ins: unsweetened flaked coconut, chopped almonds, 1 to 2 tablespoons of almond butter

Preheat the oven the 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, whisk together the oats, flour, yeast, flaxseed, baking powder, soda, cinnamon and salt. In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat the butter and coconut oil on medium speed until creamy. Add in the sugar and beat on medium to high speed until fluffy, about 4 to 5 minutes.. Add in the egg and egg yolk, beating until combined, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add in the vanilla extract and beat until combined again. Gradually add in the dry ingredients, beating on low speed until just combined and mixed. Stir in the chocolate chips with a spatula. Scoop the dough into 1-inch rounds and place on a baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10 to 14 minutes, or until just golden. Let cool completely before storing in a sealed container.


Okay! I know that was a lot of info! I hope it was helpful! Happy to answer any other questions you have about my nursing/pumping journey! Follow along on IG to see how it continues!