This post is sponsored by Milk n Mamas Baby all opinions and personal stories are my own!
When I had my first kid almost 10 years ago I wanted to breastfeed. I was a new mom of 22 one of the first to have kids among my friends. I was miles away from home and gave birth on a military base. They didn’t have the programs they do now, the lactation consultant I had wasn’t very nice and not very helpful. I knew NOTHING about breastfeeding tips that I should have. A week after my son was born my husband was given a 10 day notice to deploy for at least 6 months maybe more. I didn’t know then WHY my milk supply dried up but I know now a combination of lack of knowledge and stress caused it. Back then they didn’t have companies like Milk n Mamas Baby to help!
Breastfeeding Tips and Helps for Military Moms
Because of that, I didn’t try to breastfeed my next 2 children. Baby #3 was born in a civilian hospital and due to a few pregnancy complications I was in and out of the hospital while pregnant (we are both fine now!) and they kept talking to me about breastfeeding. The start of what is now the breastfeeding programs. It was in my head enough that when we found out we were having baby #4 I wanted to breastfeed. I read several books, went to the Le Leche League (LLL) meetings, joined and a local breastfeeding tips group on Facebook and did my homework. I had an amazing support system and we rocked it! Baby #5 is also currently being breastfed 9 months strong!
Any woman that breastfeeds should be supported. It can be hard for anyone but the added stress to military families can make it even harder. Military moms deserve all the support they can get, luckily there are lots of tools to help! Are you a breastfeeding military mom? You should use these breastfeeding tips to heart.
Ask Your Ombudsmen
When you’re looking for extra help, as a military breastfeeding mom, make sure you ask the ombudsman how they can help. Keep in mind that the ombudsman is in charge of helping you and your family. The military ombudsman can help point you in the right direction of breastfeeding tips and resources and they can be especially helpful whenever a spouse is deployed.
Utilize the Lactation Consultants at the Hospital
If you’re at the hospital and need extra help as a breastfeeding mom, make sure to speak to the lactation consultations. They can help you understand how breastfeeding works, no matter how many times you’ve given birth. It’s important to have the support you need to be successful with breastfeeding. They can help with latching, pumping, diagnosing tongue ties and answer any questions you might have.
Pump Extra to Have a Nice Supply in the Fridge
Whenever you have that bundle of joy, try to get extra breast milk in the freezer for later down the road. When your supply is balancing out, you will most likely experience an overflow of breastmilk. Take advantage of this and pump as much as you can after each feeding. It’s wonderful to have a nice stash of breast milk in the freezer.
I can’t tell you how many times that milk in the freezer has been a life saver when things come up. You know the military tells you to hurry up and wait but when they want something they want it NOW, right?! Then if you don’t end up needing it you can donate it OR use to make baby food or snacks for your baby!
Join a Free Breastfeeding Class
Let’s be honest, when we’re pregnant, it never hurts to take free classes. See if the hospital near you offers free breastfeeding classes. Take advantage of being able to learn as much as you can about breastfeeding! All the knowledge will come in handy postpartum.
There are so many local breastfeeding groups make sure to look on Facebook for one near you. This is a great place to hop on the computer at 1 am and search or answer a question or ask for one. It’s also a great place to get local reconditions.
Call for Lactation Help Afterwards
There are many lactation groups available to help you after you give birth. Having a lactation consultant come to you after you give birth can be a great service. If you’re having trouble with nursing, make sure you look into having a lactation consultant help you right at your home.
We had to do this with baby #4 I was released from the hospital and 24 hours had to have an LC come to the house. This is when we found out she has a tongue tie that was preventing a strong latch. This woman was a godsend! She helped me get my hands on a pump, showed me how to use it and give my little one the pumped milk, helped me get a fix for the tongue tie lined up and helped with latch after! If it hadn’t been for her we would have made it past maybe a week of breastfeeding! We went on to breastfeed for 14 months!
Tricare Moms Can Get a Breast Pump for Free
One of the best tools you can have as a breastfeeding military mom is a free breast pump. It’s awesome having a pump right at home that you can use to help pump bottles for baby. Not to mention, sometimes you need a pump to be able to go back to work and keep feeding your baby.
You have to have a prescription from Tricare and it will state what kind of breast pump you will receive.
- Hospital-grade breast pump
- Manual breast pump
- Standard electric breast pump
A great resource for military breastfeeding moms is Milk n Mamas Baby (plus they offer some great free upgrades!) They can help you get your hands on the leading breast pumps covered by Tricare and other items needed. Giving your baby the gift of breastfeeding is special and they’re ready to help! Since breastfeeding equipment and support services are covered almost 100% by insurance companies, you may as well take advantage of this free wellness benefit.