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.