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!