From mama's supply to the baby's ability to latch, there are multiple factors at play that can affect breastfeeding. But as Tia Mowry goes to prove in a new caption on Instagram, the overall experience of breastfeeding can vary from baby to baby—which is why she says other mamas who may have struggled should remain hopeful if they want to attempt to breastfeed again.
"Coming up for air. Boobs glorious boobs," says Mowry, who welcomed her second baby on May 5. "Feeling pretty good! Wasn't able to breastfeed Cree for long because of low milk supply! However, this time around I have plenty."
Rather than thinking about individual women's breast milk supply fates being sealed for them, lactation consultant Betty Greenman tells Yahoo! News it's highly likely that a mom who struggled with one baby can have success in breastfeeding another.
"Every baby is different as mom begins her breastfeeding journey," Greenman says. "The second time around, mom has gained lots of confidence, knows what can help with milk production, such as a warm compress before breastfeeding or power pumping to help her milk production."
In her case, Mowry credits "lots of teas, water, #fenugreek, and a high protein diet" with boosting her supply. Researchers, on the other hand, are unconvinced that fenugreek is a truly effective galactagogue or even that fluids do much to increase the production of breastmilk.
Greenman does say there is a benefit to foods that are intended to help with lactation, however. "There's a huge placebo effect in breastfeeding. If you think it's going to work, and you convinced your body it's going to work, it just may work because your stress level will decrease, causing your adrenaline level to go down."
Mowry also credits her effort to "say no to stress" with her success this time around, saying, "I'm able to pump 12 ounces alone in the morning for my little brown suga."
While so much is said (for honorable reasons) about how we increase breastfeeding rates, it also beneficial when we help moms take pressure off themselves about how they chose to feed their babies. Instead, helping moms feel empowered and knowledgeable about options—as well as optimistic when "trying again"—does so much more good than making anyone feel bad if breastfeeding doesn't go as they may have hoped.
As Mowry goes to show, each baby is a new opportunity to rewrite your breastfeeding experience.