Regularity? What is ‘regular’?

I thought I would share this insightful email I received from someone in one of my groups.  (I hope he doesn’t mind that I am sharing his words!)  He happens to think he thinks about boobs too much, but if you are interested in ANR…..I agree it isn’t possible to think about them too much.  Thank you for the words of encouragement!

In order to make this all happen and happen as naturally and smoothly as possible, regularity is the key.

I’ll say it again:  A regular schedule of “nursing” is key to having milk come in, boosting the volume to where you want it, and then maintaining it at that level.
How regular is regular?  Well, the “best” info on this is ” +/- 10%” on your time window.  So, if you are nursing (and by this I include whatever means that you are using – your partner’s mouth is best and we go down the scale from there) 1x per day, then we are talking about once every 24 hours, so +/- 10% gives you a “window” of almost 5 hours centered around the time of day you have set aside.  (it should be noted that 1x per day is HIGHLY UNLIKELY to induce lactation, and is unlikely to maintain it at any “real” volume.  You are fooling your body into thinking that it has to provide – when the usual suspect reaches the level of only 1x per day then for all intents and purposes, the “job” is “done”, and your body reacts accordingly) – now at 3x per day things change.  I’ve read many accounts of inducing lactation without any sort of medicinal help even in women who have never had children with a fairly strict 3x per day schedule – it takes time.  At the far end of the scale, is 8x per day (must be nice to have that sort of time free).  Probably 3-4x per day is all that most regular folk who have to also live a regular life can do.  Thankfully for those of us who are like minded, this happens to work (isn’t the body an amazing thing?!)
So, what ever times of day you pick,” +/- 10%” of that time (let’s see @ 3x per day…..8 hours….that would appear to be +/- 48 minutes if you want to split hairs – call it 45 minutes.  These are for the “start times” – not the finish line.
COMPLETELY emptying each breast is key – especially now that you have actually reached the promised land (oh how I envy you both).  If it is your partner, then know that’s done is fairly simply – no more comes out.  If you are pumping, even after the flow stops, you will need to do a little more manually – apparently the Marmet Technique is the hands down winner here.  You can find “how-to” on Google.  If you are not using a pump, then the Marmet will do it all.  A little gentle massage before and after never hurts – be nice to yourself after all.
To BOOST the volume, then you have to send that signal of “we need more” to the brain – simple to do.  Again, the accepted numbers are “about 5 minutes of suckling after you run dry”.  That is to say, you want to continue the stimulation (demand) for at least 5 minutes after you run out of milk, but, anything more than say 10 minutes does not give you additional benefit (aka: ‘Okay, okay, we GET the message already!’ ) while less than 5 minutes does not seem to be enough (no real measurable results apparently).
To MAINTAIN the production volume, once you reach a happy place, you want to assure that you avoid periods of engorgement (sends the “oops, full up, make less next time” signal) as much as possible – obviously it cannot be avoided at all times, and your body recognizes this, so, completely emptying in such a case is vital – perhaps even adding a bit of the “more please” signal to keep the records straight as it were.  So again, to maintain, you want to regularly empty both breasts – completely – but do not need to continue with the “more please if you don’t mind” signals to your brain – it’s all about the brain after all.  However, you CAN REDUCE the frequency once you reach the happy place – but make any such changes GRADUALLY over time…..going from 8x to 1x in one day is just asking for bad times (and pain)…extreme example yes, but it makes the point….again, this is all about fooling that big gray erogenous zone between your ears – in this case you are specifically trying to fool the automatic functions….so do so in the manner they expect to be treated and they will be happy, leaving the rest to really enjoy things.
It’s all just a STATE OF MIND!  Again, it’s all in the mind – think milk, have milk.  Think enjoy, then you enjoy.  Mind over body – that has for sure been proven over and over and over again.  This is just another application of the old mantra.  So, what you really have to do is remove the stress you add by feeling that you are doing something wrong by not meeting the expectations you have put on yourself.  Ask yourself why you are doing this in the first place, and then see if what you have (with or without milk) satisfies the question at least in part.  Focus on that while doing the rest and the results you want will come along.  For example, if you are really not in the mood for sex, you won’t be horny – for men, you may not even be able to get hard…or be gotten hard by the person you are simply not in the mood to be doing anything with….a cool spring breeze however, is still a cool spring breeze (we are men after all).
Boiling all of the above down to simple words:  Set a schedule and stick to it, think happy thoughts of white nectar, ENJOY what you are doing simply for the sake of doing it.  You will have what you set your mind to having in the end.
Lastly, a note on “sucking” versus “suckling” – only because I see this over and over on threads, blogs, and all over the place.  Suckling is what works.  Sucking does not.  Suckling is the rythmic motion which a baby use to “pump” the milk out of the breast – Sucking is what you do with a straw (think about it, there is a distinct lack of rythmic motion).  Put another way – sucking is how you make a hicky, suckling is much more like what you do when you put your thumb in your mouth.  In particular, you are not rubbing your tongue, you are rolling it along (think “Belly Dancer”, “doing the wave”, “the GENTLY rolling surf of the sea shore”), in effect, your motions are pushing the collected milk from behind the nipple out through the nipple – NOT PULLING it out.  Sucking can, and has, actually injured the tissue structures inside of the breast and is counter productive to lactation and nursing.  This is not to say that it’s not done and that it does not get milk out of a breast – but if you want this to be enjoyable and loving etc then you want “suckling” and not “sucking” – ESPECIALLY in the prelactation stages of induction and in the “boosting volume” stages.
Enjoy, Good Luck, HAVE FUN !!!!!!!

The last words are very appropriate……HAVE FUN……the more fun you have with this, the less tiresome it becomes.  Especially for those of us without a partner.  Believe me…..having ‘fun’ by yourself does have it’s advantages……..
Happy Nursing!!!

3 thoughts on “Regularity? What is ‘regular’?

  1. Jonesy says:

    Thanks for posting this information! It’s a relief to learn some new things from this!

    As I posted in April 30th entry, my wife and I just started our ANR about 6 weeks ago. I’ve been making the mistake of sucking, instead of suckling, and it seemed to have caused problems a couple of times, particularly sore nipples/ducts/lobules and blocked ducts/Montgomery glands. I’m still trying to figure out how to latch and suckle properly (which is embarrassing for me to admit, but I need to learn) but I think I’m ‘thinking too much’ about it and making learning how kind of clumsy for myself.

    Anyways, I haven’t found anything on proper latching and suckling for ANR, other than this information here (thank you!). But the concern I have is with my wife being in the prelactation stage… suckling requires fluid, no? In prelactation there’s almost no fluid. So, is suckling at this point more about the motions – as if trying to ‘trick’ the breast into lactating (‘it feels right so I should produce milk’)? Wouldn’t suckling when there is virtually no fluid cause the same issues as sucking does? Also, during the prelactation stage, should suckling be adapted in some way, or is it best to suckle as if milk is flowing already? The part about boosting volume (suckling for 5 minutes of suckling after she ‘runs dry’) might answer this, but since that’s based on lactating and not prelactation, I want to be sure so I can help avoid causing the problems we’ve been dealing with. Any help answering this would be great!

    The +/-10% on the nursing times is very true. We read about this on the Land of Milk and Honey (ANR) site. If one misses that 10% window, even once sometimes, it “bounces” lactation down to a lower level of production, and can cause some discomfort and/or pain for the woman. We’ve made this mistake a few times, too – not due to a lack of desire or understanding about responsibility when it comes to ANR, but from our own standard that ANR is incredibly powerful and connecting for us on physical, emotional, and spiritual levels: If/when we are having some kind of serious discussion, we feel it would be irreverent of the ANR bond we have to suddenly nurse on schedule if either one of us is uncomfortable about something else at the same time. But we’re starting to get to a more practical (for lack of a better word) frame of mind where ANR both literally and figuratively transcends whatever else we’re talking about or doing at the time, so it takes priority – and we’ve noticed a significant improvement in how she feels physically and seems to be progressing towards lactation.

    Anyways, thanks again for the information. And any help with my questions would be greatly appreciated!

  2. its a very good speech to understand the importance of regularity

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