Monday, October 27, 2014

Tips how to increase your milk supply

They say that in order our breasts to produce milk based on our baby's demand; they should stimulate our breasts every now and them. It is their saliva too that signals our brain and body what and which type of antibodies that our breast need to produce. However, my case is different.  I’ve been exclusively pumping for more than 3 months already and it’s my electric pump that helps stimulate my breasts. (But mind you, I am desperate of having my daughter latch back to me again. So every once in a while, I would try to stick my nips on her mouth but all she does is to nibble it like a lollipop. - am I being visual already? ☻)

I am so proud to say that I am exclusively breastfeeding my daughter and I am able to save LOTS of milk stash for her. To top it off, I am able to share my milk stash to other preemie babies who need precious milk. So if you’re about to return to work, or just want to save stash for your little bean, here are some tips that might help you on your breastfeeding journey.









Please note that these are the steps I’ve done in order to help increase my milk supply. I am not taking any supplements right now - because I know pretty well that my body had adjusted already based on my “baby’s demand”

1.       Drink lots of water - this is a must when you’re breastfeeding. You burn 20calories every ounce, so you need to keep your body rehydrated.
2.       Eat some oatmeal; rolled oats is the best. And instead of using milk, what I do is to use Energen.
3.       Drink some soup. (Preferably with malunggay); malunggay is the best galactagogue.
4.       You can try taking supplements - I am no longer taking supplements; but when I was 7 months pregnant, my OB prescribed me to take Natalac 2 times a day. I took Natalac until 2 weeks post-partum.
5.       Drinking soup and eating green leafy vegetables while you’re still pregnant would really help your breastfeeding journey. I believe this is one of the best factors that helped increase my milk supply. My late mom was so masipag preparing soup for me but unfortunately, she passed away when I was 5 months pregnant, so I am left with no choice but to buy soup and healthy viands here in the office.
6.       As much as possible, follow the 6-week rule when pumping. (Well, in my case, I didn’t follow the 6-week rule and pumped 2 weeks after giving birth). Reason why you need to follow the 6 week rule is to help your body establish your milk supply. Though there are a lot of moms who do not follow the 6 week but they are still successful with their breastfeeding journey.
7.       Once you reach the 6-week rule and started to pump, you can pump an hour after your baby feeds from you. Since my baby doesn’t latch from me anymore, I MAKE SURE to pump 6 times a day, 10-15 minutes per breast.
8.       Do hot compress before pumping or nursing. Massage your breasts. (this worked really well for me)
9.       Get/buy a reliable pump or if you can hand express much better (though that is more tedious; but as what other breastfeeding advocates would say; hand express is much better than electric breast pumps. I’ve tried hand expressing but I don’t think it’s for me. My breasts are so used to with e-pump already.
10.   Do power pumping! ♥ This would surely help increase your milk supply. Check google how to power pump.
11.   Do not forget to direct feed your baby.
12.   And last but not the least, RELAX. Do not fret if you do not get that much milk. Do not EVER think that your supply can’t meet your baby’s demand. Do not EVER think that your milk is not enough. Remember, our breasts were created because they have their own purpose.  If you’re direct feeding your baby, it could be that she/he had emptied your breasts already; or your body is still adjusting based on your babies demand. If you’re trying to increase your milk stash, it’s not about the ounce you get per bottle, but rather the number of times how you pump in a day. Tyagaan lang talaga.

To inspire you, when I started pumping, I am only able to produce 2oz of milk from 45 minutes pumping session. Both breasts already! Yes, 45 minutes of straight pumping. Can you just imagine how my breasts got so overpumped that time? Not recommended! :D

So if you’re going to ask me if I still want to direct feed my baby? Of course I do. Every now and then, I still miss how my 3-month old daughter latches from me. She was a great latcher and she used to love my breasts that much. It is the most comforting feeling every time I feed her. That kind of bonding is irreplaceable. And if I could turn back time; I would still choose to breastfeed her by direct feeding her. 

And here's my chubby 3-month old little girl - Milly Antonette. A product of an exclusively pumping mommy. Hihi! 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Tiny Tots hands free bra

As an exclusively pumping mom, it's a must for me to be convenient when saving milk for my baby. Both of my pumps are double electric and I couldn't make use of it because I can only hold one bottle at a time. I am also having a difficult time lately since every time I pump, my daughter would make lambing and cry; so I am left with no choice but to play with her and stop pumping. (as in nakakawala ng momentum)



I've been eyeing to get a hands free bra already from babymama (costs 1,800), but since it's still out of stock I am left with no choice but to hold the bottle during my pumping sesh. It's also a challenge for me because I pump here at my work station and there are times that I use the keyboard while I pump. Good thing a friend of mine recommended Tiny Tots as she sells more affordable and nice quality hands free bra. I was quite hesitant to order because I wasn't sure what size to get and I'm quite afraid that it couldn't hold the bottle when pumping. Good thing the size I got was just right for me and it fits me really well. The handsfree bra is able to hold the bottle and the material looks really matibay. Now, my pumping session is more convenient than ever. Thanks to Tiny Tots for making my pumping sesh much easier & and for producing affordable nursing wears for mommies.

Got my eazzy pumping hands free bra for only 509 pesos (shipping fee already included). 


Baby Wall Art

Couple of weeks ago, I've ordered a baby wall art for our daughter Milly. I do not have any Photoshop and editing skills so I am really amazed how Anne (seller) was so fast in making and designing layouts. I was really impressed with her accuracy because every requests and modifications I have told her can be done in just a matter of minutes. Yes, MINUTES!

Here's the wall art I got from her, and of course, the theme is my baby's favorite cartoon character. (or should I say, my favorite cartoon character) ♥


This wall art is great for nursery decor. Can be used as a unique birthday present and has a special glitter lamination to protect it from smudges and stains. You can get this for only 800 pesos + shipping fee with frame, or 600 pesos + shipping fee for the printing only.

Check out her Instagram for more details. monogramsmnl




Happy 3rd Month our darling Milly Antonette

Last Monday, October 6; my precious daughter had celebrated her 3rd month. We prepared pasta and crunchy fish fingers  and as a part of our simple celebration we ordered a sumptuous Hello Kitty red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting for her.

We ordered the cake from my highschool friend, and I was quite surprised that she bakes really well. The cake tastes really good and the cream cheese frosting? It's to die for. ♥ Aside from being delicious, her rates are reasonably priced. If you're interested to order, below are her contact details.


Goodnes, cutting the cake was quite a torture for me..





Tuesday, October 7, 2014

My Electric Breast Pumps

I've been exclusively pumping for almost 3 months already - and I can pretty tell that it’s more difficult than the real act of breast feeding. Washing and sterilizing of bottles and saving milk stash for my baby can be very tiresome. I also need to make sure to pump on the dot so my milk won’t dry up; and since my daughter doesn’t want to latch anymore on my breasts, I ought to save milk every now and then.

Being an exclusively “pumper”, I’ve tried a couple of breast pumps already. I wanted to have the breastpump that works best for me. Something that has a strong suction but is not painful to the breasts. So far, I’ve tried a total of 5 breast pumps already and the best pumps for me are my Spectra Dew 300 and Cimilre M1. Let me share the pros and cons for the breast pumps I have tried ever since I started pumping. 


Premium 2 in 1 Mimi Flo breast pump - this pumped had helped me increase my milk supply. Contrary to what others would suggest, I have started pumping as early as 2 weeks post-partum. My nipples had bled due to poor latching, and due to the traumatic pain and jumping and shouting while my baby sucks my nipples, I decided to pump right away.





Pros:
·        It has an adaptor that can be attached on the breast shield to hold wide and narrow neck bottles
·        Easy to use. Has its own silicon massager.

Cons:
·        3-5 pump parts to wash
·        The part that holds the spring can easily be removed. There was a time when the cover keeps on getting removed while I was pumping.
·        Breast flange is kind of small; I’m used to with 28mm flanges
·        No available spare parts.

Precious Moments Electric Breast pump - this is probably the worst pump I’ve tried so far. Sorry mommies who are a big fan of this pump, but this pump never really worked for me. Aside from the painful suction, there’s a release button that you need to press every now and then. Using an electric breast pump should lessen the pumping “work load” but having to press the release button every now and then is just useless most especially if you’re using an electric breast pump. I only used this pump for less than 5 minutes, and wasted 1,500 plus for this useless pump. (can you just imagine how much I hate this pump? LOL) DISCLAIMER: Some mommies claim that they can extract 4-5oz using this; perhaps my breasts are not just compatible with this pump.

Pros:
·        Small and really Portable
·        Can use double A batteries
·        It has an adaptor that can be attached on the breast shield to hold wide and narrow neck bottles
·        Easy to use. Has its own silicon massager

Cons:
·        I tested this pump during wee hours and oh boy, the pump motor was really loud.
·        Painful suction (based on my experience)

After my experience with Precious moments, I already became hesitant to try out other electric breast pumps thinking that “all” e-pumps have painful suction. Good thing Mi’Ann of babymama.ph recommended me to get Spectra Dew 300. I am so happy that I purchased this pump and it really helped increase my breast milk supply. With Spectra Dew, I was able to produce more than what my baby can consume in a day, and I was able to save lots of milk stash for Milly before I return to work. Mind you, up until now, the milk stashes I’ve saved for her were left untouched and I’m still able to share my breast milk to other babies who need precious milk.





Pros:
·        Very quiet machine.
·        Very comfortable
·        Closed system - meaning milk won’t come inside the pump.
·        Less pump parts to wash
·        Durable

Cons:
·        Machine is quite big; hence not portable

Since Spectra Dew is not portable; and I know that I need to pump milk at work, that’s where my husband and I decided to invest in buying Medela Swing. What I love about Medela swing is its small and yet can extract efficient milk too. But even if the medela swing is one of the top breast pumps out there, for some reasons, it is unable to empty my breast. I can feel lumps on my breasts after pumping. I don’t know if there’s a problem with the pump parts, but when I checked the membrane, it looks like a part of it got torn.



Pros:

·        Portable

Cons:
·        Many pump parts to wash. Also, you really have to be careful when removing the membrane. Also the yellow valve is SO HARD to remove.
·        Expensive LOL
·        If you didn’t buy your pump from Medela House, they wouldn’t fix it even if it’s still under warranty.
·        No built in rechargeable batteries and you need 4 pieces heavy duty of double a batteries.

After using my Medela swing for a more than a month, I came across baby mama’s website again and saw Cimilre M1. I’ve read a lot of good reviews and I knew right there and then that I need to replace my Medela Swing. So far, I am loving M1’s performance and I am satisfied with the output. This pump can empty my breasts in 10 to 15 minutes.


Pros:
·        Portable; lightweight
·        Quiet motor
·        Has a built in rechargeable battery
·        Strong suction - I am only using level 1 suction and I am able to express a lot of milk.
·        It has a  massage function that enables faster let-down
·        Less pump parts to wash
·        Closed system
·        Length is smaller than a smart phone
·        Very cute design.
·        Battery indicator

Cons:
·        Sorry, but I’m just loving my M1’s performance and I couldn’t think of any cons yet. J

If you’re trying to save milk stash and would like to increase your milk supply, believe me, you can never go wrong with Spectra. Aside from its durability and high-end performance, the price is way more affordable than other expensive electric breast pumps.

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