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January 09, 2015

Feeding the Lily: Breastmilk

When I was pregnant, I had no opinion about the breastfeeding vs formula feeding thing. When I was asked, I would answer: Why not both?:)) Companies (and a friend) would offer me free samples of formula and I would take it. After all, the best things in life are free, right? And both are free! *happy dance*. My husband though had an opinion about it and he convinced/encouraged me to feed Lily breast milk exclusively and I'm glad he did. I couldn't have done it without his support. Immediately after I gave birth, he lovingly reminded me to give Lily colostrum. He would relay to me information friends provided him to build up my supply. He also encouraged me to join to the breastfeeding support group in our area and sometime drives me to those meetings. When I went back to work, he would constantly remind me to drink water. He volunteers to wash the bottles and pump parts at home. Aside from breastfeeding, marrying this man is one of the best decisions I have made in my life. Naks! Ayii! But enough about him, thank God! He made the decision me by giving me the biology/anatomy for making it even possible, a partner who is very supportive and a child that is not hard to please. I'm glad that Lily is exclusively breastfed at least for the first six months and there is no horror story to tell. Except for a bout of mastitis and lack of supply collected sometimes, there is nothing that antibiotics or diligent pumping/galactagogues can't cure. And did I mention that I didn't need to exercise because I was losing weight just by doing this?:))

During one of the breastfeeding support meetings that I attended
You know you're living in the first world when there is breastfeeding support.:p After I gave birth, there is already free service to a lactation consultant is available. At first, I found it silly that there was such a job title but I'm glad I took what I can get.:)) The NW Tucson Breastfeeding Support Group has meetings every Wednesdays: one in the afternoon, one at night. I attended the night session due to availability of the our van and eventually due to my work hours. A meeting usually involves having the baby weighed for them to determine whether she is gaining normally, then a round group introduction and sharing of concerns. Being the clueless mother that I am, it gave me some direction on how to go about with this breastfeeding thing and was very helpful that I couldn't even remember the issue/s that I had if any. By the time we are leaving, Lily was latching contentedly.

Lily's first ubos na agad pagbalik ko sa work @ 6 wks

Lily having her first bottle
Introducing Lily to the bottle at 1 month was a good decision for us. Aside for me being atat for me to be able to do more things aside from nursing all day :p, it helped Lily transition when I got back to work.

Celebrating Breastfeeding Week (August) by making lactation cookies
My first attempt at lactation cookies was actually useless. Brewer's yeast which is an essential ingredient for this purpose wasn't sold in the grocery so I substituted with regular yeast which is not the same.:)) It worked slightly on my next attempts already using brewers yeast which I had to buy via Amazon. Other galactagogues I tried:

  • Natalac malunggay capsules that I requested mom to bring from the Philippines as recommended by Alpha. According to indication, this should be taken once daily. I couldn't  really tell if it worked and it was too late when friends told me that I should have increased the dosage.
  • Fenugreek capsules. This was 2 capsules twice daily. Did not work. Boo!
  • Mothers milk tea. Forgot the name of the two brands that I tried. I took it in increasing frequency and it worked slightly better when I didn't drink it that much.
  • Honestly, there was no specific formula that worked for me to increase my supply. Surprisingly, I produce better when I feel warm and relaxed like after eating some goto or getting a massage from hubby. [UPDATE] I guess that's why I got this on Valentines day: 

A  record for me. Bwahaha!
By the way, I use a Medela Pump in Style which seems to be the best pump in the market nowadays. Aside from being one of the pumps offered by insurance for free (United Healthcare at that time), it was also recommended by Alpha. Being a first time mom, I felt weird using the contraption at first ("So this is how a cow feels like") and had to ask help from my technical support guy aka Tatay (FTW!).  Unless somebody invents a pump that is more portable/mobile (so I can do it while sleeping or working), this is the best I could ask for. Tip: always check if parts need to be replaced as it helps with the output.

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