Monday, June 19, 2017

Mommy Cow

After getting past our struggles with establishing our feeding pattern (breast feed first then top up with formula) I was elated when I realized that my milk was really finally starting to come in. I was leaking and I now always had to put on breast pads* to keep from soaking my shirt. While feeding my baby girl on one breast, I would feel the other one filling up with this precious liquid gold. This got me excited to start storing milk in our freezer for a rainy day.

I was told by many moms, including my doctor, that pumping shouldn’t be done until six to eight weeks post partum when the milk supply and proper breastfeeding has been established. The part of me with low EQ was so excited to see how much milk I could produce that I tried pumping at just barely two weeks. Imagine my disappointment when all I produced was half an ounce of milk. I was literally leaking milk… How could I produce just that much? And all at once the baby blues kicked in and I felt like a total failure.

I had to remind myself that the baby fed from me just 30 minutes ago. I needed time for the milk to replenish. And after all, I was not supposed to be pumping yet. But I wanted to keep pumping because I had read somewhere about a mom who increased her milk supply by pumping one hour after her baby had just fed. I was determined to do the same.

So I stopped pumping completely for the time being and concentrated on directly feeding her from my breast. I worked on increasing my milk supply by religiously taking my Natalac malunggay capsules after meals, eating foods with soup and malunggay leaves, and drinking lots of water. I refrained from strenuous activities because it lowers the production of milk. My baby girl was nursing from me almost every 30 minutes to an hour so I just let her. A more experienced mommy told me that the more I let the baby latch, the more milk she is able to draw out.

I tried my luck at pumping again when my baby girl turned eight weeks old. I woke up one morning and my breasts felt full. I pumped three ounces of milk! I felt like I won the lottery!
My first successful pump

The first thing in the morning when I wake up, before my baby awakened, became my pumping schedule. This seemed to be the time I could collect the most milk. Also, my baby girl always wanted to latch on to me the rest of the day that I felt it was better to just let her drink directly from me. After all, babies will always suck out more milk from a direct feeding than a pump can.

A word of the wise: If a pumping session produces 3 ounces of milk, your baby gets more by feeding directly from the breast. So please don’t be too hard on yourself.

*I used Pigeon disposable breast pads to prevent leaks onto my shirt.

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