Random Thoughts on Breastfeeding

Random stuff on breastfeeding that I learned while being “on the job” for the past 3 weeks. Some items in this list are not new, but a confirmation of what I’ve read about on numerous breastfeeding articles I’ve encountered, heard from the seminar on Breastfeeding 101 that I attended, and learned from experiences of friends. Others, my own realizations.

1.  Through breastfeeding, God shows how He loves and cares for babies, that He supplies for their needs…

2. … by giving mommies the super power to produce milk! God indeed is our great Creator and Provider.  Breastfeeding is a humbling experience for me.

3.  And a mother’s milk is not just any milk, but milk that’s complete with the nutrition that a baby needs.  Mother’s first 14 days milk is literally liquid gold. It is yellowish and some parts are close to gold in color, and it has colostrum which is good for the baby’s immune system.

4.  The nutritional needs of a baby change as he grows, and so does the composition of a mom’s milk to meet those needs! Amazing! We are indeed wonderfully made.

5.  For instance, newborns need more fat in their milk. Thus, the milk produced by a mom few weeks post partum has more fat content that the one produced by a mom with an 8 month old baby.

6.   That implies also that, in giving a baby expressed milk from a reliable source / friend,  it is important to note how many months post partum the mom giving the milk was at the time she pumped and froze it.  

7.  The difference between the baby’s age and that time when the milk was expressed should be just around 2-3 months. 

8.   The key to producing more milk is to “unli-latch.” “Unli-latch” tells the mom’s body that the baby needs more milk and thus, it needs to produce more milk.  The higher the demand, the higher the supply.

9.  But because I bottlefed River for a day, he just stopped latching.  His loud cry when I force him to latch just breaks my heart. I had to bottlefeed as per his pediatrician, still with breastmilk while I had enough stored, to quantify his milk intake and make sure he is getting enough to gain weight. He was just 2.355 kg on his 16th day. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

10.  I shouldn’t be pressured by other moms who exclusively breastfeed / direct latch or who can pump bags and bags of milk! Different strokes for different folks. 

11.  Instead, I should be inspired.  Learn from different moms’ experiences and adapt what’s suitable for me. Thankful to all my breastfeeding mommy friends who shared their experiences with me.  It was very encouraging to know how they themselves struggled with breastfeeding and successfully overcame the challenges.

12. Don’t give up! For the first 3 days I never saw a drop of milk from my breasts. But I still latched on as coached by the nurses, and our baby somehow got what he needed at that time, given that he was able to pee and poop as expected of a well-fed baby.  His tummy was just the size of a calamansi / Philippine lemon seed, so he was okay with a few drops of milk per feeding at that time.  Have faith! “Breastmilk is best for babies” as God has designed it to be. 

13. Oh, the joy of breastfeeding! It’s an amazing feeling to be able to feed my baby with my own milk that God has given me. 

14.  With that joy come hard work and endurance.  I’ve grown more dependent on the Lord as River and I pray daily and even for a time, hourly – “Give us this day our daily milk!”

15.  Formula milk may not be ideal, but it is not evil or poison.  I supplemented my breastmilk with it for 5 days while building up on my supply, until we received 30 bags of expressed breastmilk (EBM).

16.  But then again, the ideal situation is breastmilk for the baby. I would rather clean up scentless poop filled diapers than succumb to the convenience of formula milk. Plus of course many other benefits of breastmilk for the baby’s and my health.

17.  I salute exclusively breastfeeding moms but I have nothing against moms who choose formula – I’m sure they have their own reasons and only a mom can know when she’s tried her best.  So as long as I can, will continue to pump milk regularly and daily, by God’s grace.  Praying for strength and perseverance to make more milk.

18.  Read that exclusively pumping moms should aim to pump 8 times a day to increase milk supply. I’ve only pumped 6 times a day at most so far.  

19.  But then again, don’t stress about breastmilk.  Get enough rest as much as possible. If I can’t produce milk anymore, and I know I’ve tried hard enough, there’s always formula. I shouldn’t be aiming for more breastmilk at the expense of my health — and sanity.  My baby and husband need a healthy me.

20.  If I can supplement with EBM from a friend, why not? ๐Ÿ™‚ what a blessing to receive 30 bags of breastmilk from a sister’s friend.  Thank God for this answered prayer of more breastmilk.

21. I’m motivated to produce more milk for River and also to be able to donate milk. It would be a privilege to bless others with expressed milk as we have been generously blessed.

22.  I need to learn how to handle negative comments on breastfeeding, not to be discouraged, and to get all the support that I can.

23.  Thank God for my supportive and understanding husband!  Number one on his reasons why breastfeedibg is important is that because it saves a lot of money! 

24. Embrace the moment – the joy along with the struggles and difficulties. Breastfeeding babies poop a lot. River for a time pooped almost after every feeding! And diaper changing is not exactly my favorite thing because River cries all throughout the process and it can be heartbreaking and stressful. I should embrace every moment, even diaper changing, because River is only a newborn once. 

25.  Burp well! Complete 15 – 20 minute burping sessions whether or not the burping is audible. Love this moment. ๐Ÿ™‚ there were several times River would give me toothless grins. There are many things to do while burping – stare at him, watch him sleep, pray for him. Browsing through social media to keep myself awake.  I take this time to rest also or have some me time.  I actually am composing this post part by part during River’s burping sessions. ๐Ÿ™‚

26. Listing down tips I got from friends, nurses, and the Internet on how to increase breastmilk:

A. Unli-latch. Sometimes babies latch longer than usual.  Lots of patience required.

B.  Keep a pumping schedule. At least 8 times a day with 2-3 hours interval, for 15-20 minutes per session. A session can be more than 20 minutes, in order to make sure to catch the “letdown.”

C.  Take lots of fluids – water and soup. Drink water before, during and after breastfeeding/ pumping.

D. Apply warm compress on breasts before breastfeeding / pumping. Massage. Use circular motion to massage lumps. Don’t be afraid of the lumps.  Lumps = milk.

E.  I love that I have a reason to eat cookies. Not sure if the lactation cookie treats I’ve been having do help increase my milk supply, but they do make me happy.  A happy, relaxed mommy = more milk, I guess. ๐Ÿ™‚

F. Beware of mastitis or overproduction of milk.  Don’t overdo pumping. 

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