Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The battle with low milk supply

After consistently having abundance in supply for the first few months I got back from work and being able to donate breastmilk to moms who need them, I never imagined I would be suffering from low milk supply. I'm quite sure I have enough supply for Gabby's demands when he directly nurses from me but the milk that I'm able to pump and leave for him, that's something I was worried about. The good thing is, I know the culprit: I wasn't able to express milk on consistent intervals when I'm at work.

See, when I got back from my maternity leave, I had to report to a new department, not the department I left when I went on leave as my previous group was dissolved. I was able to pump regularly in this new department, however, I longed to change move to another department or outside (another company) due to the working hours. I was working on a 3pm-12mn shift. I got my wish about a month after, and moved into my current department. The problem was, I wasn't able to pump regularly. My pumping times would be around ever 4-5 hours, so I was only able to pump in the office twice, then catch up when I get home for the third pumping session.

For a while, this seemed to be ok. However, around 3 weeks ago, I noticed a decline in my expressed milk, pumping just enough for the next day's feeding. Until it wasn't even enough that it really is a blessing I live just 15mins of walking from work. I had no frozen stash during this period since I recently just gave them to a mom in need.

So, panic rising plus the determination not to succomb and supplement with formula, I read up on how to up my supply... fast. I tried power pumping, then eating galactagogues from Mommy Treats' cookies and brownies to Motherlove's More Milk Special Blend and herbal teas. It helped in normalizing my output but I still wasn't satisfied. I pumped at least once during the weekends, and after attending the La Leche League Support Group Meeting 2 weeks ago, I also increased my pumping sessions to five per day (I'm now able to pump semi-regularly for 3x while at work), once when I wake up and another one when I get home.

So far so good. I have around a full day's worth of breastmilk. I still mean to increase the stash I currently have so I have to continue my regular pumping sessions at work, and then when I get to my desired output, slowly wean myself from the galactagogues I'm ingesting.

Wish me luck!

Monday, October 1, 2012

A day of firsts

Today is October 1 and today is the day Gabby turns 6 months old. And what does the 6-month mark means for breastfeeding mommies? It's when their baby first tries solid food! I'm trying to introduce solids to Gabby via baby-led weaning and this means getting messy. That's right! Because it's all about letting baby dictate just how much food he wants to try by letting him feed himself. And since he's still experimenting and exploring, it is bound to get messy.

Let me show you just how messy it was:

And a closer look...

Well, I didn't take a picture of our floor but just so you can imagine, the first 2 pieces of squash he was able to grasp was thrown. Very good baby, right? All in all, it was a success. We now know not to soften the squash too much and we'd have to place old newspapers on our floor tomorrow to catch the flying food.

Another first for today, but this time with Jack-Jack, is a visit to the dentist! He was very good and didn't make a fuss when the dentist brushed his teeth. I sure wish he would be like that when his teeth is brushed at home. We're going back after 2 weeks to see if the cavities that are already starting to form in his teeth have been minimized. Hopefully, he'd cooperate when it's brushing time. 

Sunday, September 30, 2012

The only problem I'm happy to have

Welcome to the Milk Mama Diaries Carnival (September). For this month, we will tackle milk sharing and how it can nurture the community, and how this spirit of giving can be sustained. Participants will share their thoughts, experiences, hopes and suggestions on the topic. Please scroll down to the end of the post to see the list of carnival entries.

Ever since I started breastfeeding Jack-Jack, I never thought it was possible that I'd be donating breastmilk to moms who need to supplement their own supply and didn't want to feed formula milk to their babies. I've been eager and hopeful that I'd be one of those lucky moms who have ounces and ounces of frozen breastmilk that their able to fill up an entire freezer. Of course, I was also being realistic, especially since about a week or so that I went back to the office, my frozen stash was almost depleted! So storing a lot of breastmilk in the freezer wasn't an option. Especially since I was using a manual pump then.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Back from the mommy land

It's been quite a while since I posted my birth story here which isn't finished. I admit I haven't made the time to blog when I actually have a lot to talk about!

But anyway, here's to a preview of the next posts I'll have (to force me to write!):

  • Continuation of my birthing story

  • Comparison of the various cloth diapers I have with pictures!

  • Medela's Freestyle vs Ameda's Purely Yours Ultra

  • Plus, I'll be joining CoaNM's September carnival. To join, simply go to here for the mechanics.

    Special thanks to Tiffanny of My Cup of Cocoa for helping me realize that while I may not have a big scope of readers, I do influence a mom, or two, with my experiences thru blogging. And to Jenny of CoaNM for reminding me to blog.

    Thursday, May 3, 2012

    Jonathan Gabriel's Birth Story - Part 1

    It all started on March 28. I wanted to give birth on that Friday, March 30, and I had been trying to walk more to give my birthing time a headstart. I usually walk home from my office and my OB suggested that I walk more to help with the descend of my baby. Why that Friday? So I wouldn’t have to undergo another ultrasound and testing, which meant additional expense since now, I would have to be closely monitored since the last ultrasound I had, my placenta was already matured.

    Monday, February 13, 2012

    Self-hypnosis birthing, night-time potty training

    I bought a Hypnobabies Home Study Course for Expectant Mothers a few weeks ago via Amazon. I haven't actually gotten around to sending the enrollment form included but I've already started reading the book and listening to the cds. So far, I've enjoyed listening to the cds and learning how to relax and focus my mind on sound of Kerry's voice on my discman. Of course, there are times (if not most, honestly) that I'd be drifting off or falling asleep (especially when I listen at night, after Jack-Jack falls asleep), but as she reminds at every start of the track, as long as I continue listening to it, my sub-conscious would pick up all that it needs.

    Thursday, January 19, 2012

    2011 in Retrospect

    The year has come and gone and it's been more than a fortnight since the new year arrived. I have been busy lately, or rather, I haven't given any time to blog and post what's happening with me especially since I'm already in my last trimester and on my way to becoming a new mom the second time around.

    2011 has been an interesting year. J and I have gone to several trip with Jack-Jack, once within the country, and once outside the country. We've been to Dumaguete (which I promised we will come back sometime in the future as we now know where the best possible place to stay is) and then we went to Singapore.