18 February 2012

My Relactation Journey! :)

I've always been a frustrated breastfeeding mom. Coming from a pseudo breastfeeding friendly hospital, a not-so-supportive breastfeeding support system and a little knowledge regarding breastfeeding, I was not able to breastfeed my baby during the first few weeks of his life and it disappoints me so much. When my baby was given to my later the day I gave birth, the nurses have already fed him with formula. Moreover, it was only after two days when little amount of milk started to flow from my breasts. Since my baby was so tiny and it was hard for him to latch, I hand expressed the few drops of milk and gave it to him through a bottle. At first I was getting quarter an oz per session, then it became an half an oz. The most I could get was 1 to 2oz of milk per session but that's just when my breasts are engorged. Hand expressing so little milk became really depressing on my part so eventually I gave up. From giving him at least 3 servings of breast milk, my baby boy became purely formula fed.

my handy dandy medela pump! sorry for the lq photo. ;)
After learning more about breastfeeding and its benefits, I started to give breastfeeding another try. Not only can breastfeeding be good for my baby as it is incomparable to any other formula, it can also help me get back to my pre-pregnancy body! I started researching about ways so that my breast milk supply can increase. I stopped hand expressing for only 2 weeks so it is easier for me to be back on the track. I took malunggay capsules which eventually helped in increasing my supply. I stopped dieting, ate oatmeal and soups, and hand expressed more often. After a week, I was able to get 1 oz of milk at most per session. When I saw the positive results, I bought a Medela harmony breast pump and pumped every two hours even if there is nothing to pump. After another week, my milk supply increased tremendously. During my first pumping session of the day, I can collect up to 9oz of milk and my regular output is 3 to 4oz per session which is more than enough for my baby.

my breastmilk stash :)

Now, I am happy that my baby is a breastfed baby! He's gaining proper weight and I can be assured that he is healthy and equipped with antibodies that no formula can ever give. I hope that I can keep up with this for at least a year.

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