October 27, 2014

Let's Talk BFing


FINALLY!I know a couple of you have asked in the past to share my motherhood experience and I promised to. Coming full circle after a year, I think I can say I have some experience and tips under my belt to share. As we all know, motherhood is a different experience for everybody. In my opinion, the nature of your baby somewhat determines the type of mother you'll be and the type of experience you'll have. I wanted to wait before writing about any topic on motherhood, so instead of just sharing my experience, I can offer some advice also.

I've definitely learnt a lot in the past year. From Google (yes, I Google-d everything and self-diagnosed pending scheduled doctors visits) , my sisters, my personal experiences and reading (blogs and books).

The first topic I'll like to talk about is BreastFeeding. Yes, you read that right. While I'm a bit conservative on this blog on the topics I write about, I just feel like this is a very crucial part of becoming a new mom if you're going that route. There are books and blogs and other materials you can read for guidance. What I'm going to share is just a bit of my experience and my takeaways. I know the value of the information I got and will like to share with anyone interested.

A little background about my experience. I was enormously blessed not to say otherwise when it comes to breast milk (Hyper-lactation).  Eliana didn't breastfeed directly so I pumped the entire one year. Reason stated above, in summary, too much milk and as a tiny infant she couldn't handle the rate of milk flow and would get upset and pull away and start crying. She would  take it from time to time but was unpredictable. After production became regulated , she didn't care much for it. She preferred her bottle and when she started growing teeth, well it was just completely out of the question because then, she just thought it was a rubbery chewy thing to chew on and didn't have the patience to suck a few seconds before the milk starts flowing. Opposite of when she was a newborn. Granted the journey of breast feeding may not be the easiest, speaking for myself. The rewards and feeling is well worth it. Eliana was on 100% breast milk for 12months.

My Pumping frequency:
  •  Newborn - every 3 at most 4 hours. Like I said I was blessed.
  • 3+ months (returned to work) - 4 times a day. When I wake up, lunch break, as soon as I get home from work and before going to bed.
  • 5-6 months - 3 times a day. Before work, lunch break, before going to bed
  • 10+ months (purposely slowing it down for stoppage) - 2 times a day. Before work and before going to bed
  • 12 months - Once a day. Before going to bed.
  • 12 month and 2 weeks - stoppage
So now that you know a bit of my experience. Here are some tips for new mommy's and mommy's to be or anyone interested.
  • First off and most important, for breast pump, check with your insurance provided before splurging on one. Chances are it's cover by your medical insurance. It is after all a medical device. Best kept secret my sister revealed to me.
  • If you're like me (hyper-lactating) or not, even if your baby is nursing, pump pump pump at the very early stage (few couple of weeks). This will be the most you'll lactate and stash it in the freezer. You'll need it for later and be grateful you did. Freezer reserves was how I was able to be away from Eliana for a whole week at 8 months old.
  • If you notice you're producing less milk than usually at any point, it's probably because you're stressed. So, time to rest, relax and think only happy thoughts about your baby while pumping. Works like a magic.
  • If you have a crack nipple that's taking longer than usual to heal. Do not ignore it. Go to the doctor. I had so many that I ignored one until it turned into something else (yeast infection). Didn't even know that's possible. Although it's more common for nursing moms than pumping moms to get it.
  • If you get clogged duct or mastitis, again resting is your best friend and nurse/pump a little more than usual. It may be painful but will resolve with time. Pumping right after a hot shower helps also. I had several mastitis, never used the antibiotic, just pain killer for fever, rest and pump.
  • Stash away any extras even if you think you have enough. My mistake after my freezer got full and I got frustrated with pumping so much was that I started throwing the milk out. Don't be like me. Save them, you can never have too much reserve and you'll need them later when you production/supply decreases.
  • If you are hyper-lactating like I did. Consider it a blessing. Took me a minute to realize that so in the beginning, I did a lot of complaining before it dawned on me.  With time, it will get regulated, only producing what your baby needs and everyone will be happy.
  • Lactation is demand and supply. The more you nurse/pump the more you produce.
  • At around 6 months, supply will generally/ naturally decrease.
  • Stoppage is a process. The thought of it at the beginning scared me to death but not anymore. If you can, don't go cold turkey unless you need to. Do it gradually. For me I gradually decreased the frequency and time I spend pumping. from 3 to 2 to 1 to 0 times a day over a period of months. This definitely makes the process easier and the felling of fullness/pain bearable. 
I have to say the thing I was looking forward to the most was more sleep. That extra 15 to 30 minutes pumping in the morning and night...well, it's over.  I'm thankful I had enough supply to last a whole year because I've heard stories otherwise. Now my little girl is enjoying her whole milk. We did half and half (half breast milk, half whole milk mixture) for about a week before fully switching .
 
Below are some of my must haves for pumping/nursing. I hope someone finds this helpful. Let me know if you have any questions.

Xx
Christiana

2 comments:

  1. These are great tips that I'll keep as reference when I become a mother! Especially the Insurance assisting with the purchase of a breast pump. Thank you!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you found it informative.
      Yes, i wish it's spelled out in the policy somewhere but if you don't ask you'll never know.

      Delete

I enjoy reading all your comments and I highly appreciate you taking the time to leave one. So, go ahead, speak you mind!

Xx
Christiana

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