Alright. I’m on it. I’m on it. Can’t you see I’m trying to catch up with my blog (lots of drafts – half written – in the list) as well as catching with my sleep!
It’s been 6 weeks pp since I gave birth to my LO and my world is still spinning and moving in random mode. But thankfully and hopefully it will stabilize soon so that I can start to do what I planned previously. I’ve been saying that very frequently and like what Ellen mentioned, let’s discuss about ‘procrastination’ and then the next she said, ‘maybe we will wait for another day’.
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It felt as if a big rock was thrown right at me after I realized that there was a sudden drop in my milk supply when I suffered from Mastitis. An inexperience first time mum, without much people to ask and not knowing where to start. Everyone was feeding me with different sets of information.
And then the following was what I concluded after experiencing and trying all out. There isn’t any sure method or prescription that will guarantee an increase in milk supply because it all depends on the individuals. But these methods definitely helped in one way or another:
- Latch. Yes, this is the simplest way because the creator of Earth had made it so simple such that you just have to latch correctly, and you’ll ensure an abundance of milk supply. The word is “correctly”.
- Drink lots of water. I really mean lots and lots of it. In the first place, you’ll probably just get very thirsty naturally. Soups or longan drink can be in replacement of water in the event if plain water are not allowed during confinement.
- Massage the breasts. Do this before and during a feed/pump. This will stimulate and activate the milk flow, and thus increases the amount of milk flowing out.
- Warm towel. Cover your breasts with a warm towel before a feed/pump. It will help to “melt” those clogged ducts and therefore a smoother milk flow. Use this together with some massaging.
- Sleep. Babies are not the only one who should sleep a lot. Leave everything else to the others and just concentrate on breastfeeding, eating and sleeping. If you can’t have enough rest, your body and mind won’t function well at all, don’t even mention about producing milk!
- Relax. It definitely doesn’t help to get overstress on that already low milk supply. The more stress you get, the lesser the supply will go. That’s how our brain functions. When overstress, stops all work. So, just relax and enjoy the breastfeeding process, and your baby will have enough milk. And the fallback plan? There’s always the milk powder.
- Eat protein food. I know you are dying to get rid of that droopy tummy that once was the home of your baby. But it sure isn’t a good time to go on a diet. When there’s no input, there’s no output. If you don’t eat, where do you think the nutrients of our breastmilk come from? Eat. And eat nutritious food. Diet can always come later.
- Think about your baby. This will help because when you think of your baby, somehow, you can feel the love you have for him/her. And your body automatically relaxes itself. Of course, it probably will bring a smile on your face too.
- Imagine the flow of milk. The mind controls everything. If you can control and imagine the milk flow, from the body, and slowly moving out through the milk ducts, you might just find out that it actually works!
- Empty your breasts. This is very important. Remember to empty it as much as possible because if it’s not empty, the body will just produce that little amount to fill it up. And unknowingly, the body would think that there isn’t a need to produce that much milk, and thus decrease the milk supply. How do you know if it’s empty? The breasts will feel very “light” and not engorge (swollen/full) at all.
- Increase the number of pumps/feeds. The more you feed or pump, the more the breasts get emptied and thus, the milk supply will increase. But do note, DO NOT overdo it because it might tire your body out. If you are breastfeeding directly, you’ll probably have to follow the baby’s feeding schedule. But if you are pumping exclusively, a maximum of 8-9 pumps a day would be more than enough.
- Herbs. Fenugreek and Mother’s milk tea are both taken by breastfeeding mothers to increase their milk supply. But seriously, there’s no guarantee. Personally, it doesn’t work for me but nonetheless I put it down here for reference as it works for some actually. If there’s any side effects (I’d never heard of any yet), please stop immediately. Would be good if you consult your lactation consultant.
Well, hope all this will help you in one way or another. Good luck!
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I cried on the day I decided to stop latching and go for exclusive pumping. It wasn’t an easy decision. I felt guilty. It felt like I’d deprived my baby of the chance to latch on and drink the breastmilk which contains lots of nutrients. The bonding time for just the two of us seems to be snatched away.
The baby couldn’t latch properly and was way too impatient to be taught. The external stress and pressure from the family members was way too high, insisting that the baby wasn’t drinking enough and that it was difficult to gauge the amount of milk that the baby had drunk. On top of that, the breast infection that was caused by a crack in the nipple didn’t help much, which also resulted in a fever. I gave up.
But that wasn’t the end. As much as I had to give up on latching, the idea of providing breastmilk to my baby didn’t stop here. After all, if I were to exclusively pump and feed it to the baby using the milk bottle, she would still be drinking breastmilk, isn’t it? And isn’t that the most important thing? Which is for her to get all the nutrients from breastmilk?
So that’s what I did. Day and night, I read up online on anything related to exclusive pumping. I was determined to continue to provide breastmilk for my 2 weeks old baby then. And I wanted to see if anyone else did that. Surprisingly, there was, and quite a number too! That was about 2 months back.
Today, I’m still exclusively pumping though the milk supply wasn’t a lot. As a mother, I feel that I need to try my best to provide for my baby, and at the same time, not stressing myself too much. So, I’d come up with a theory: If the baby can latch, let the baby latch. Else, pump exclusively and feed the baby using a milk bottle. If all else failed, milk powder will be the last option. There’s always ways to make up for that “bonding time” or “nutrients”. The bottom line is, “Don’t give up!”, your baby still loves you even if you never breastfeed him/her.
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