Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Breastfeeding Tips

Breastfeeding is my life... Or rather, breast milk is Kayla's life.  Its the only thing she eats from the day she was born, until 5months of age.  I have heard so many reasons as to why mother's don't breastfeed and I think its safe for me to say... I don't care.  

Fact:  Every mother can make milk.  Every mother HAS milk.  Does every mom have to breastfeed? No.  To each his own.  I'm not an advocate, I do it because of these reasons.  
1.  Breast milk is free.  A can of formula is expensive 
2.  Studies have shown that a breastfed baby's IQ increases by 6% if the baby is fed with it for 6months.  Now that 6% can make a normal smart baby a genius and a dumb baby smart.  Because it is in my power to make that difference then I will work my hardest to give my baby that advantage.  
3. Breast milk fed babies don't get sick as much.  The antibodies we have accumulated through the years are passed on in our milk.  The flus, colds, coughs we've already had, our baby will be immune to.  
4.   Because I like challenges.  A lot of people I know didn't breastfeed because of various reasons one of which was that they have small boobs so they don't have milk.  I wanted to be small breasted exception. 
5.  I work from home, I have the time to build my milk supply and feed my child.  Its more difficult for working moms because they have to leave the house and pump in the office.

Breastfeeding is hard work, I didn't feed directly which was my 1st mistake.  It was just too painful.  I swear, my eyes would well up every time Maxine latched and fed directly.   Because of that, I had to pump almost every hour during the 1st 2 months of Maxine's life.  I got up 3x in the middle of the night pumping manually in the bathroom.  I used my friend's Avent Manual pump, because I wanted to make sure I had milk before I purchased a more expensive one.  I cried over spilled milk because it took me 30mins to make 1oz of milk.  Each drop was precious.  I drank Natalac everyday and drank soup with malunggay that my mom sent over. They say your milk supply develops in the 1st month.  Mine took a bit longer, I worked hard day and night until on my 4th month I was producing 50oz of milk everyday.  

I've been asked what I did to make so much milk and now that i'm feeding my 2nd child I had the chance to compare notes.  As I said my 1st mistake was not feeding directly.  Pumping takes a lot of time, you have to pump, clean the pump, move the milk, sterilize the pump, reheat the milk, wash the bottle.. etc etc, and you have to do that 7-8x a day, depending on how often you pump and your baby eats.  Feed directly, its easier,  this time around I just fought through the pain.  I fed her directly as much as I could to the point where I bled. Yes, I pumped out blood and yes it was just as painful as before.  But I fought through it and still fed.  On the 5th day she learned to latch more properly and my nipples started to heal and the pain subsided slowly.  My 2nd mistake was to be so anal about breastfeeding, I had a goal and I was too focused on it.  Relax, the milk is there and it will come as long as your working on it.  3rd I was too stingy about the pump.  If you plan to breastfeed then go out and buy a good one.  One that latches on both breasts so you don't spend as much time pumping.

1.  Buy a good, nay, great pump.  Don't skimp on this because this is the make or break of your breastfeeding career.  I use a Medela Pump In Style.  Its big and heavy compared to the newer model but I don't mind.  I used mine for more than a year with my 1st child and now again with my 2nd, it still works great.  If you have relatives or friends in the states or going there ask them to buy it there for you.  Its almost if not half the price there as compared to here.  The only downfall is the voltage, its 110 and my adaptor died on me when I plugged it in the wrong socket.  But have no fear, you can buy a replacement one in the hardware stores, you just have to find one with the same wattage and fit.  Use the pump, if you don't want to feed then use it.  Feed on demand.  That means you only feed the baby when she asks for milk.  But what I do is, I pump every 2 hours so I get to keep extra milk.  If she does wake up because she's hungry, have no fear! Even with empty tanks her sucking will generate milk you didn't feel existed.

2.  Drink or eat malunggay.  I don't like eating veggies so I just stick to the capsule form.  It helps.  You can drink up to 3 capsules a day when you're still building your milk supply.  It all depends on the brand.  I drink Natalac because it was the only brand that I knew of before, now there's also Prolacta, it's cheaper by P1.50 and has 100mg more malunggay than Natalac.  So its more value for your money.  

3.  Learn to express your milk with your own hands.  In the 1st day of Kayla's birth I knew with confidence I was making milk because I knew how to express the milk.  To see is to believe!  Breastfeeding is all in the mind, if you think you can then you will.

4.  Call a lactation therapist.  Lita Nery, she can teach you to express the milk manually, massage your breasts to wake them up and tell them they need to make more milk and help you with any problems you might be having, feeding wise.   09185557565  this is her number.  Call her before you give birth and tell her when your due date is and what hospital you plan to give birth in.

5.  Feed directly as much as you can.  Pump afterwards.  Empty the tanks so your body knows it needs to make more milk.

6.  Drink lots and lots of liquids.  Drink before pumping, during your pumping session and afterwards.

7. EAT, this is no time to worry about losing your pregnancy weight.  Your body needs food because its working hard to make milk.

8.  Don't be afraid to give your baby a bit of formula as you try and increase your milk supply.  Maxine was a big baby, 8.9lbs, its only common sense that she'd have a bigger appetite than the smaller babies.  I couldn't feed her as much as she wanted so she got angrier and angrier.  Believe me you don't want to feed an angry baby,  

9.  How do you know how much milk you're making?  You won't especially if you feed directly, don't worry, if your baby is still hungry he/she will let you know.  If you want to be sure, you can pump for 24hrs and list down the time you pumped and how many ounces you've made.  That's what I do, so I know if my supply is increasing or not.  

10.  Look at your baby or her picture while you pump or feed.  It helps, I don't know why but it does.  The milk just comes out.  See, it truly is a mind thing!

11. Rest.  Sleep.  Take naps.  Breastfeeding is like running on the treadmill.  It ta

12.  Lastly, don't be ashamed of what you're doing.  Breastfeeding is something you should be proud of.  It is one of the most natural things in the world.  That's what breastfeeding covers are for, so you can breastfeed wherever you go.  I pump wherever I am, whenever I need to, whoever I'm with.  

Good luck Mommies and future moms!  I hope I helped somehow in this tiresome but worthwhile endeavor.  Remember, don't pressure yourself too much, breast feed for as long as you can whether thats 2wks or 2years, just as long as you do it.  And no, im not an advocate! :P

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