You may have noticed that I have 3 children – one I breastfed for 13 months and one I am currently breastfeeding. The youngest is 4.5 months and though she was born preterm (close to just 35 weeks), she is now 6.1 kilos and more than 60 cm all with just my breastmilk – no vitamins, no formula, no mix feeding.
I attribute my success in breastfeeding partly to breastfeeding bloggers who share inspiring stories or useful information. One that really helped me the first time around is Chronicles of a Nursing Mom. Her articles are information-ladden! And of course, Kellymom. com. I’ve had my share of breastfeeding challenges but because of resources in the internet, I’ve gotten through them all. Though I am more confident the 2nd time around, I still need support and research from time to time. So to contribute to the pool of information out there, here are my tips for expressing milk away from baby and good breastfeeding practices.
- Just keep pumping. This was an advice given to me and this is the best advice I can give. Whether your output is low or high, just keep pumping.
- Stick to your schedule. It doesn’t matter if you have a truck-load of work in the office or you’re busy with a million things in your chore list, pump when it’s time to pump. If your schedule will be disrupted for one reason or another, pump earlier rather than later, pump more rather than less.
- Every concern has a workaround, every problem has a solution. There are a lot of blogs out there that offer inspiring stories on breastfeeding success. Choose those that are run by certified lactation experts or doctors like kellymom.com and drsears.com
- Confidence is key. Blame everything else but yourself (that you just can’t produce enough). I am telling you, under normal circumstances, YOU CAN PRODUCE ENOUGH. This works well if you are well-informed.
- Do what you have to do to be in the mood. Being in the mood for pumping usually means you are relaxed and calm. If you have to take the same number of steps to the pumping room or brush your teeth or take a leak before pumping then do it. Some would set up pictures in the pumping room or dim the lights and listen to sounds of running water to loosen up. It may not have anything to do with milk production but if it relaxes you then, do it!
- Hydrate during the whole day, not just before and after pumping. Living in a tropical country like ours, it is very crucial to keep taking liquids. If you work in an airconditioned office, you may not get thirsty often and may not drink enough, so remember to hydrate. Personally, I take hot water throughout the day and it somehow helped my output.
- Think of baby. Some sites recommend calling the house and knowing what baby is doing before your pumping session.
- Bring a charm. If it helps to have baby’s worn socks in your pocket or stuffed in your bra (away from the nipple), then be it 🙂
- Always be prepared. Bringing extra bottles or breastmilk bags is good practice. You never know, you might just pump a little extra for storing away.
- Practice and prepare early. When your maternity leave is nearing the end, practice bottle feeding (if you choose the bottle ) 2-3 weeks before. Train the nanny on how to properly bottlefeed a breastfed baby (http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/feeding-tools/bottle-feeding/). Yes, there IS a proper way to bottle-feed a breastfed baby to avoid nipply confustion.
- Pump when away, nurse when you’re together. With my 2nd child (my 1st fully breastfed baby), I would pump during the day even when we were together and only nurse when we were co-sleeping. This time around, I always nurse when we are together. It’s more convenient especially when we are out, plus I get to spend more time with my baby. Yet, it is a bit tricky making sure that you have “fresh” breastmilk in the refrigerator when Monday comes around. See the next post on of tips for this situation.