In life, I find there are few people who you meet that can instantly change the mood of a room. When I walked into Brandi Milloy’s bungalow not only was her home warm and inviting, so was she. She is the rare type of soul that even before a word is spoken can fill the room with positivity, which you can’t help but find to be infectious in nature. Then, when you get her talking about her 6-month-old daughter Milly and how life at home with her husband Mr. A has changed you can really see her beaming with pure joy and happiness. But don’t let her bubbly, warm personality alienate you from the truths of motherhood, Brandi has had her own struggles as a new mother when it’s come to breastfeeding and sleep deprivation. We’re diving into how her life has changed from role of TV Host to full-time working mom.
Munchkin: Hi, Brandi thank you so much for having me here today. You recently did a Facebook Live for us and we saw a lot of great questions and comments out of that session. You brought up a lot of relatable moments and struggles in motherhood. Can you remind us a little about what you discussed?
Brandi Milloy: Yes! As a fairly new mom, I have encountered many challenges along the way, especially when it came to breastfeeding. I kept hearing that it’s a natural act, but that doesn’t mean it comes naturally for mom or baby. I knew I wanted to breastfeed because my sister breastfed both of her kids and my mother breastfed us. It was something that I wanted to do even before I was pregnant.
I had a really great natural birth, but even with an uncomplicated natural birth I still struggled with getting my milk to come in and we had to supplement for a few days. (Read all about Brandi’s birth story here.) Or so I thought…Once I finally met with a Lactation Consultant she taught me that baby’s stomachs are only the size of a marble when they’re born, so even if it appears that you’re only letting out drops of colostrum–that’s okay!
Those early days did get me used to pumping and bottle feeding, which is a wonderful way to let other family members share the bonding experience and really came in handy once I was back at work. But it was hard work and required me to wake up in the middle of the night, even if Milly was sleeping so I could get my supply up.
MCK: Wow, I appreciate your honesty in those first few days about struggling with your milk coming in. I know a lot of other moms can relate to that as well. With bottle feeding, did you find you had to try a lot of bottles or one worked for you right away?
BM: Someone actually gave me a Munchkin Latch bottle and I had a tried a few others, but they weren’t working well for us. Milly and I both ended up loving LATCH because it’s made to work like the breast, so there are no issues when it comes to transitioning back and forth and I love that it has very few parts to clean!
MCK: We love to hear that! You mentioned that you have a trick for pumping that helps keep you motivated. Can you tell us what makes it so unique?
BM: Yes! Every time I pump and fill up a bag before I freeze or store it I will write a memory from that day about Milly or an affirmation for Mr. A so when he’s feeding her he gets encouragement too for being a great dad. I felt it was a great way to remind myself of all those little moments you can easily forget. It’s fun to look back and see what happened on that day!
MCK: You talk a lot about pumping and supply on your Instagram stories, and this is a really common topic amongst new mommies. We’re all wondering: What do you do to keep up your supply?
BM: I swear by my lactation cookies. I eat one or two every single day and I can honestly say that I can see and feel the difference in my production. I also always make sure to drink a lot of water! (Author’s note: Brandi has a custom Butterscotch cookie recipe using our Milkmakers mix here.)
MCK: Those are some really helpful tips. What about other mommy must-haves? What would you say are your top items every mom should have?
BM: First would be a Baby Bjorn, it’s the only carrier that I’ve found I can unclip the top and Milly is still secure until I pull her out. Other brands once you unhook will drop down and offer no support. I also love my on the go diaper changing pad. It holds all the things I need so I can always throw it into any bag or the stroller.
MCK: What about breastfeeding and nursing essentials?
BM: I like using Aden + Anais swaddles as covers when I nurse–I love multi-functional products–which is also why I like wearing a cotton bralette as a nursing bra. They’re comfortable and easy to pull down.
MCK: What’s the best advice you would give a new mom?
BM: Trust your instincts and listen to your baby. No one knows your child more than you. Don’t be too hard on yourself. You’ve got this!!! Everything you are is everything your baby needs.
MCK: What’s the best advice you would give a new nursing mom?
BM: Be patient with yourself and your baby. It’s a learning curve of trial and error trying to figure out what works for both of you. Breastfeeding is a beautiful gift but can also be discouraging. For me, it took a lot of work getting the latch right, figuring out the best position for my baby, consistent dedication getting my milk supply up and most importantly, commitment. But every day it got easier and easier and eventually not only did it feel natural but it made complete sense.
MCK: What’s the best advice someone gave you before becoming a mom?
BM: The best advice I received before becoming a mom was to do what I felt was right for my baby. I think it’s important to learn from your mommy friends and soak up all the information you can from other moms but once you are a parent, you and your partner must make decisions together based on what works for your family.
MCK: What’s your favorite milestone so far?
BM: Being a mama to Milly has been such a dream. I wish I could slow time down because every milestone is magical and it seems like just as soon as you’ve soaked up one, another one is around the corner. For me, being a parent just keeps getting better and better. I’m cherishing it all!
MCK: Brandi, we’ve loved talking to you today about Milly and life as a mommy. Anything else you would like to add?
BM: One of my favorite quotes is by Brooke Hampton. She says, “Speak to your children as if they are the wisest, kindest, most beautiful and magical humans on earth, for what they believe is what they will become.” This is a quote I wholeheartedly believe and live by when I tell my daughter affirmations every night. Every time I speak to her, I talk to her as if she can understand everything I’m saying. She is a dream and I’m so honored to call her my daughter!
For more on Brandi
Watch her Facebook Live here
Follow her on Instagram here
Read her blog here