Returning to work – How I built my BM stash

I am full time working mom and I have returned work after 2 months of giving birth to my son though I was CS. Just in case, I needed to go home. I used the 2 weeks to practice my baby cup feeding the breast milk stash that I built before I went back to work. For those 2 weeks, I did not go home since my baby and his caregiver adjusted quite well.

I am proud to say I have exclusively breastfeed (EBF) my baby for 3 years even though I am a full time working mom with a stressful work. I expressed milk at work until my son was 2 years old.  Now, I just feed him at night or when I am around him. EBF meant my son have not tasted formula milk at anytime and for the first 6 months of his life, all he drank was breast milk and not even water. I introduced solid food on his 6 month.

Breast feeding is a default, exclusively breast feeding for 6 months until weaning is a mindset. I made the decision to EBF when I got the right information by attending a breastfeeding class when pregnant with my caregiver/yaya. Like every working mom’s concern, I want to learn how to feed my baby when I went back to work or when I am away from my baby.

First set a target output. How much breast milk (BM) does your baby need in a day?

Breast milk consumption is based on weight of baby with this formula, baby needs breast milk of 150ml/kg/day. 30ml is approximately equal to 1 oz, hence, 5oz./kg/day. But remember each baby is different from the other. So how does the equation work 5 oz. per kilo per day (5oz./kg./day)? First, get the weight of your baby, example, your baby weighs 4kg. so he will need 5 oz. x 4 kg = 20 oz. in a day. Count the number of feedings, example 10x a day so about 2 oz. in each feeding. Some use the rule, 1 oz per hour. example for my baby when he was 9 months, he weighed 8.2Kg so 8.2Kg x 5 oz.= 41 oz. so he may need about about 1.7 oz per hour. If he feeds every 2 hours he needs about 3.4 oz. When I am way for 10 hours from my last feed then he may consume about 17 oz. But since he is eating now, he just consumes about 12-15 oz. from 6:30am to 6:30pm or 12 hours. Hence, the 1 oz. to 1.5 oz. per hour rule works.

So when you build your stash count the hours you will be away from your baby. But start small or short hours away from baby. At 6 weeks your breast milk output will stabilize so it is the suggested time to pump. However, if you are planning to go back to work at 8 weeks, then better start pumping at 4-5 weeks so you can slowly build your stash. Some recommend that start pumping at 6 weeks which I did. However, if you want to build a huge stash, meaning you will be away for a longer time or want to donate, it is ok to pump after 1 month of direct feeding but it’s recommended to pump after 6 weeks when your supply becomes steady.

Breast Milk and feeding cup. Practice being away to slowly build my stash. On my 6 weeks I started pumping milk using my Medela Base Manual pump.

Second – choose how to express – hand, manual, single electric or double electric pump.

For working moms especially those who are busy or have stressful jobs, better invest on a heavy duty double electric breast pump. I used Medela Base Manual pump in the first 3 months of me going back to work, then I got tired and acquired Medela Freestyle double electric pump. It is a bit pricey but it is very reliable and it has a service center at Medela House. Imagine if your breast pump gets busted in future, how will you pump? Medela House loans pump if your pump it not repaired right away. That is why it is good that I still keep my manual pump just in case my electric pump it out of service or no electricity in the future. But there are many brands out there just chose wisely by researching its performance and also asking from others who used them. Some working mom do hand expression, I really recommend to learn how to do it. Hand expression has no cost and if you get is right, you maximize and empty your breast very well more than any electric pump will do.

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Third -begin small and slowly build up your stash

The key is practice and don’t expect too much. Your first pump, you may only express about 5-10ml or 0.3oz. That is ok. Should you pump before you feed or after you feed your baby? I suggest, before you feed when you breast is full but not engorged or too hard as it maybe be painful for you, expression milk should not be painful. My first pumping session where I used Medela Base Manual pump, I pumped after I fed my baby and I got so small and later I notice I have a tinged of blood. So it was a shocking experience, I do not recommend it. Pump for a least 5 minutes only.

First plan to go out for 2 hours. So pump every 2-3 hours with a target of 2 oz. to 4 oz. of breast milk.

Second – Think of you baby and your ability to produce. Don’t self-doubt that you can produce.  If you are not producing, get professional help from lactation consultant to address your concerns.

Three – breast milk handling, storage and feeding means cooler or ref and cup feeding.

Use the 5-5-5 rule in breast milk storage:  5 hours in room temperature, 5 days in the ref or more if placed in chiller. and 5 weeks if you freeze the BM.

Feed your baby with expressed milk using a small cup.  let your baby lap or use her/his touch to drink the milk and later, your baby will learn to drink from a cup.

Four – Best tools for you

You may express using your hand, manual pump, and single or double electric pump. Also, consider using nursing bra and breastfeeding clothes for each access but discreet. You may consider using nursing covers.  I used Medela Base Pump for 3 months but got tired and taking so much time so I upgraded to Medela Freestyle double electric pump. I also use the Sweetpea nursingwear but I made a Do-it-yourself (DIY) breastfeeding clothes to save and be fashionable and using available ready to wear clothes but I made some alterations.

Five – Support in the Office with RA 10028

Inform and enlist the support of your office including your boss, HR and colleagues that you decided to ebf and you will need pumping breaks as prescribed in RA 10028. As per RA 10028, a lactating mother is given a 40mins to express milk  per 8 hours of work.  These 40 minutes are paid. And if you need more time just talk to your HR and boss and work something out.  Express your desire that your focus is your daughter. If you show that your priority is your family, your baby and not work, they will adjust their expectations.  Be a good mom first and then be a good employee so work hard when at work.

Six – Slowly build your stash, express when engorged and when baby is not feeding and you feel full.

Expressing milk anyway you can before going to work. remember 1 ounce equals to 1 hour of feeding baby. So if you will leave for a few hours, make sure the number of hours away from baby is the number of ounces you have in you ref.  Example if you will go to out for 4 hours, make sure you have 4 ounces of milk at home. Then express at least once ore twice when you are out to replenish the ones consumed by baby.

Seven – Keep a strict schedule at work. Express every 2-3 hours not more than 5 hours.

Express every 2-3 hours. If you arrive early at work, express for 15mins. Then express during break time like 10am , lunch time at 12pm. at afternoon break time at 3pm and at 530pm or before leaving work. The goal is express at least 2 ounces to 5 ounces in each time. So if you express 4x a day and get 3 ounces each time then you will bring home 12 ounces of milk which is enough to feed your baby the next day. The first milk expression of the day is usually the largest amount then as the day goes on, the express milk gets less and less but don’t fret.  Just look at how much you bring home each day. I was able to express 3 ounces on each breast so 6 ounces each time so I bring home an average of 24-30 ounces each day. I donate the extra milk I get each week.  I just make sure I have 40 ounces each week.

Eight – Law of supply and demand.  The more you express effectively, the more your breast will produce. If you express less, your breast will express less.  And directly feed your baby when you are around.

Breastfeeding and Architecture

“Welcome to the Milk Mama Diaries Carnival (August). For this month, we write about the World Breastfeeding Week 2014 – Breastfeeding: A Winning Goal for Life and share how breastfeeding can help the Philippines achieve the 8 Millennium Development Goals developed by the government and the United Nations. Participants will share their thoughts, experiences, hopes and suggestions on the topic. Please scroll down to the end of the post to see the list of carnival entries.”

wbw2014-logo wbw2014-goals

I decided to exclusively breastfeed my second baby because I personally thought it is a winning goal for life. Breastfeeding is my personal goal that will give my son a victorious life by starting him right with the best food for babies, his mother’s breast milk. Here are is the link for more information on benefits of breast feeding.

I attended the breastfeeding club seminars by La Leche League leader Ms. Abbie Yabot at Medela House when I was still pregnant and after I gave birth. As a working mother, the seminar equipped me to exclusively breastfeed my child up until now that he is 11 months. I learned “unang yakap” and proper latch are needed to successfully breastfeed. IMG_73522013-09-18 16.51.39

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I learned how to build-up my BM stash and cup feed my baby (to avoid nipple confusion) before I go back to work. Also, Ms. Abbie inspired me to be breast milk donor.

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In every goal, challenges will be encountered. Here are some of my breastfeeding challenges. My son is tongue-tied and it’s a bit painful to breastfeed. His pedia said if there is no problem in the latch, there is no need to release his tongue-tied.

I could not afford electric pump so I just bought a manual pump. Our office do not have a lactation station so I was using a corner in the accounting office. I was bringing home about 12oz. to 15oz of BM. I even donated some.

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But after 2 months of using manual pump, I got tired, I had sore nipples and I experienced a sudden low milk supply. I was not bringing home enough BM to feed my baby but I Praise God that a neighbor was also breastfeeding and would come to our house to breastfeed my son in this shortage crisis.

I prayed and did all recommended ways to improved my output. I bought a new membrane for the manual pump. I ate galactagogues like cookies and malunggay oil, I started taking Nutrilite, the high quality organic supplements and rested my body. (I chose organic to be environmentally sustainable and safe for BF) I massaged my breast and thought of happy thoughts. And I thank God for answered prayers after 1-2 weeks, my output improved 2x the usual. Before, with my manual pump, I was pumping around 2-3oz that suddenly went down to 1-1.5oz per session and after praying hard, my output became 4-6oz. per session, up until now. So bring home around 16oz for 3-4 pumping sessions and up to 20oz. if I had 4-5 pumping sessions.

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I believe that the doubled breast milk output was because my baby learned to properly latch and empty my breast and the Nutrilite organic supplements that I took properly nourished my body, and of course my overwhelming desire to provide the best food for my baby.

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After 2 months of returning to work, I talked to my boss I got tired using my manual pump and to my surprised, he offered to give me a cash advance for me to buy Medela Freestyle double electric pump. But I told him that I need the raise that he promised to me before I went on maternity leave (that is 8 months due to high risk pregnancy). And the next week, he gave me a salary raise and gave me the cash advance. With my new Medela freestyle electric double pump, there was a time that I had an output of 9oz. in just one session.

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Overcoming all these breastfeeding challenges, I acknowledge and I believe that my abundant milk supply and Medela freestyle are “ALL HIS”, that is why, I weekly donate my extra output to mommies who have low milk supply, my winning goal in life.

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In my heart, I really wanted to share my knowledge and experiences on breastfeeding to other working mommies. I was thinking of conducting breastfeeding classes in my company and other companies but that would be tedious and overwhelming to me.

But this month of August 2014, while breastfeeding, it dawned to me, I am an Architect, I can design lactation room as required in RA 10028. I could help promote breastfeeding awareness through informing my fellow architects through my professional organization, the United Architects of the Philippines (UAP) about implementing Republic Act (RA) 10028 in design of public and private establishments. This Act shall be known as the “Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Act of 2009”.

“AN ACT EXPANDING THE PROMOTION OF BREASTFEEDING, AMENDING FOR THE PURPOSE REPUBLIC ACT NO. 7600, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS “AN ACT PROVIDING INCENTIVES TO ALL GOVERNMENT AND PRIVATE HEALTH INSTITUTIONS WITH ROOMING-IN AND BREASTFEEDING PRACTICES AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

RA 10028 requires all public and private buildings to have lactation station, as stated in Chapter 3 Section 11. Establishment of Lactation Stations. – It is hereby mandated that all health and non-health facilities, establishments or institutions shall establish lactation stations. The lactation stations shall be adequately provided with the necessary equipment and facilities, such as: lavatory for hand-washing, unless there is an easily-accessible lavatory nearby; refrigeration or appropriate cooling facilities for storing expressed breast milk; electrical outlets for breast pumps; a small table; comfortable seats; and other items, the standards of which shall be defined by the Department of Health. The lactation station shall not be located in the toilet. Further, in Chapter 5, Sec. 18, the lactation station will have the Department of Health Certifications and in Section 19 will gain tax incentives.
“Sec. 19. Incentives. – The expenses incurred by a private health and non-health facility, establishment or institution, in complying with the provisions of this Act, shall be deductible expenses for income tax purposes up to twice the actual amount incurred: Provided, That the deduction shall apply for the taxable period when the expenses were incurred: Provided, further, That all health and non-health facilities, establishments and institutions shall comply with the provisions of this Act within six (6) months after its approval: Provided, finally, That such facilities, establishments or institutions shall secure a “Working Mother-Baby-Friendly Certificate” from the Department of Health to be filed with the Bureau of Internal Revenue, before they can avail of the incentive. Here is the link for top 19 breastfeeding stations in malls of Metro Manila. And here are the links of 6 breastfeeding Friendly Companies.

As an architect, my breastfeeding advocacy can be realized through architecture through information dissemination of RA 10028. Hence, this August 2014, I started sending information to UAP presidents. And my goal is to inform the UAP National President to reach all UAP chapter members as well as APEC Architects. My end goal is a global partnership with all Architects in making breastfeeding as a cultural norm by having lactation stations in public and private establishments. These lactation stations will then serve as a information dissemination on breastfeeding.

I am currently formulating my own lactation station design criteria for Philippine setting. In the hope that it will be use for “best practice on lactation/breastfeeding station”. Just like the American Institute of Architects AIA LACTATION ROOM DESIGN

My initial thoughts, there is a need to design for the specific design for its end user. I proposed the typical design is a dedicated breastfeeding station, which malls have right now.

My suggestions for these breastfeeding or lactation rooms are appropriate furniture starting with a comfy chair or sofa that could accommodate a mother holding a baby and should support the back of the mom. Moms can easy to sit and stand up while carrying her baby, meaning not so low and not so soft. Though armrest are appreciated, the width should accommodate a length of a toddler. I personally prefer a 2 seater-sofa over a single seater big lazy chair.

Nursing Mothers Room - Perkins
link here
Privacy is a another issue, nursing stations in malls use curtain for the door and a door with bolt that says “occupied” to avoid unwelcomed interruptions. This privacy design is good for pumping or expressing milk and must come with table or table-high counter-top with convenience outlet. Table top or counter top must be an easy to clean and maintain, preferably anti-bacterial surface. Electric pump can be noisy, hence, wall must be structured to minimize sound transmission to adjacent rooms. It is suggested to install sound absorbing materials such as fabric panels, curtains, carpeting, or other sound-dampening materials to minimize echoes.

However, some mothers do welcome socializing hence, common big sofas facing each other or single chairs are encouraged but should be enclosed that should not be visually accessible to men.

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kiddicare-breast-feeding-pod
link here

Lighting and air conditioning should be relaxing, lighting and cooling can be controlled. I prefer that diaper changing station is also incorporated in the lactation station. it would be best if it would near the lavatory. Kitchen sink are preferred for washing bottles and pump parts with goose-neck or kitchen-type faucets are recommended.

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link here.

I proposed a second design for lactation station specifically for offices for expressing milk, which I will call temporary lactation stations for working mothers. It is rarely allowed in offices to bring breastfeeding babies & toddlers. This is my personal challenge, my office do not have any lactation room so I use a corner in accounting office. Some of my office mates did not exclusively breastfeed because of lack of such facilities.

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Hence, I would like to propose a design criteria for a temporary lactation room or an area in the office that can be converted into a lactation station when needed. In this way, offices can comply with the provisions of RA 10028 and can be certified as a lactation station by the Department of Health.

I have my whole lifetime to achieve my goals and dreams in promoting breastfeeding in the Philippines. My winning goal is to make breastfeeding a norm in the society through architecture. I dream in the future that Filipino architecture means environmentally sustainable where lactation/breastfeeding station is typical architectural feature in any public and private establishments.

Here are many thoughts and reasons why we should all advocate for mothers to breastfeed for the first 1,000 days of life #BF1st1000days

Jenny shares experiencing the One Asia Breastfeeding Forum

Mec insists to do the Math and breastfeed!

Ams, The Passionate Mom says Breastfeed for a Better Future

Pat says breastfeeding saves money and the planet

Cheryl, the Multi-Tasking Mama, tackles maternal health as addressed by breastfeeding

2011 CNN Hero Ibu Robin highlights gentle births and breasfeeding, even in disaster zones

Felyn stresses that Healthy Moms = Healthy Babies

Monique reminds us that there are second chances in breastfeeding

Normi relates how breastfeeding gave her strength and purpose

Nats thanks Dr. Jack Newman for showing how breastfeeding can be a win-win situation

Em believes breastfeeding is a solution to societal problems

Marge shares what breastfeeding has taught them

Kaity was empowered financially and as a woman through breastfeeding

Madel relates her breastfeeding saga

Jen of Next9 reminds us to do our research and share what we know

Celerhina Aubrey vows to work on one mother at a time

Grace wants to put an end to stories of toasted coffee and similar stuff over breast milk

Diane shares how she prevailed when things did not go according to plan

Hazel appreciates mommy support groups

Roan combines two passions, breastfeeding and architecture

Queenie tackled breastfeeding as the best choice for the environment as well and breastfeeding myths and poverty

Rosa shares how the picture she thought of was realized

Sally believes breastfeeding benefits mankind and our planet Earth

Floraine reminds us that breastfeeding helps combat diseases

Crislyn was happy to realize that she improved her own health by breastfeeding

Armi reminds us how breastfeeding during emergencies is crucial

Arvi tells us how breastfeeding made her look at her body a different way

Clarice elaborates on how breastfeeding saves lives and the planet

Giane reminds us that women empowerment can begin by seeing breastfeeding as more than a feeding issue

Liza thought she was only breastfeeding for her child

Pumping Technique That Maximized BM Output

I would like to share my pumping technique where I was able to maximized my breast milk output using Medela Base manual pump and Medela Freestyle double electric pump.

Before I purchased my breast pump, I researched first, what breast pump are highly recommended? All reviews said that chose a breast pump that mimics how baby suckle from breast. So far from reviews, its Medela breast pump that are highly recommended. I chose Medela brand for its after sales services and comes with 2 year warranty with accessible service center at Medela House where I had my breastfeeding classes and other mommy trainings and seminars.

I really wanted Medela Freestyle double electric pump but I can not afford it since I had high risked pregnancy and I stopped working for 8 months. I opted to buy the Medela Base manual pump, where the regular price is at Php 1,800. 5166a
But I got mine for a Mommy Mundo bazaar with 500 pesos off. Medela Base manual pump have adjustable suction level. After 3 months using the Medela Base manual pump, I was able to acquire the Medela Freestyle with the help of my boss who gave me cash advance that I can pay for 3 months.
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Before using a pump, read the instruction/manual of the pump but I highly recommend attending a breast feeding seminar or research on-line or read books on breast feeding and understand how the breast work. click here for more info. Learn how to store milk and feed BM to your baby. Click here for suggestion for freezing milk. But for me, I don’t like freezing as I just put my stash in chiller using milk storage bottles since I don’t like thawing frozen milk and I donate my extra BM. Also, my baby is cup fed to avoid nipple confusion and he prefers chilled BM than the thawed BM.
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2 Phases of Expression

Whether you use manual or electric pump, keep in mind, that pumping should mimic how babies suckle. As per Medela’s research studies, there are 2 phases of expression, first phase of expression is stimulation or fast and short sucking. Since it’s stimulation, it takes time for the BM to come out. Hence, wait for your breast to be stimulated. Once, the breast is stimulated to let-down breast milk then you move to the second phase of expression is the let-down phase or slow and long sucking, this is when the BM flows freely.

Vacuum

Babies suckle using vacuum, and their tongue to “press” the boob. When your baby is directly feeding on you try to notice these two phases, the fast sucking and the slow sucking. The breast milk is release through vacuum suction, whether the baby sucks or your pump suck, it’s the vacuum that work to draw out milk. So when you pump be sure you have vacuum then stimulate your breast with fast pumping motion and when the BM comes out pump with slow and long just like a let-down. With Freestyle, stimulation is about 1 minute and 5 seconds of fast suction. The ideally, it is better to pump with double electric to maximize milk production and milk ejection-reflex. Click here for more info.

Painless – Right Size of Breast Shields

Breastfeeding and pumping should be painless so when its painful then something is wrong with your latch or when your pumping breast shield size is incorrect. The shield is the bell/horn shape part of the breast pump that touches your breast. When you buy a Medela pump, make sure you get a breast shield fitting to know what shield is more comfy for you. I use size 24 however there is a pinching pain that is why I just use level 5 where my average BM output is 4.5oz. I did have a shield fitting where my size is 27 on the right and size 30 on the left, there is no pinching pain at level 9 however, I’m only getting 1 oz. hence, I went back to using my size 24 and just use level 5 suction. But my case is different so its best to have a shield fitting when you buy so that your breast will get use to it. I got used to my size 24 shield so maybe that is why I get 4.5 oz. in one pumping session plus I learned the pumping technique that gives me this much output.

Pumping Technique That Maximized BM Output

So when you start using your pump, make sure that your nipple is at the center of the shield. See to it that you created a vacuum between your pump and your breast. Also, I read that, strong suction does not mean BM will come out strong. Too strong suction can tear your breast tissue. That is why I bought the Medela Base Manual Pump where I can adjust the suction level depending on what is comfy for me and what level the BM will come out. So with manual pump fast and short motion until the milk squirts a lot, then, pump with long and slow motion for the let-down phase. With Medela Freestyle you can see in the LCD screen the level of suction and after 70seconds or more it will automatically shift to let-down suction. Also Medela Freestyle you can store the suction level that you like. Level 9 mimics the suction strength of babies but for me, I can only tolerate level 5 and it is the level that the BM comes out. When I go to higher levels the BM stops from coming out. Once you see that only drops are coming out in the slow and long suction, go back to stimulation phase with fast and short suction. When the BM is squirting you can go to let-down phase or slow and long suction.

Ideally pumping time is 10-15 minutes but with Medela freestyle you can go as long as 20 minutes. My rule is when I am pumping and no more is coming out and I went back to stimulation twice, trice or 4X already, I stop pumping when I know that I have emptied my breast even if I just pumped for 10 or 15 minutes.

After pumping for 5 to 10 minutes and you just got less than an ounce of BM even when you are engorge or you feel your breast is not emptied. Stop pumping. Take a deep breath and relax. Massage your breast from outer edge going to the center. Use your middle and ring finger tips, massage your breast with a circle motion, start from the outer edge to the center. Don’t be too hard on your breast, massage just enough to soften the hard parts. Then pump again. Make sure that you place the shield in the center but when you pump and don’t feel the suction, remove and put shield back. Also, when you start pumping and you feel that the “sweets spots” are not being drained, remove and put the shield back. You can check your sweets spots by pressing boob while pumping and the milk squirts. You can press that portion then transfer when there is no more milk coming out. For Medela Freestyle, I always check the membrane assembly if the vacuum and suction is optimal. The yellow membrane should not touch the outer plastic that the tubing is connected. When it happens, I remove the tubing and put it back or I re-clip the back cap to improve the suction. Hold the shield between your thumb and fingers, like cupping your breast. Also, giving the breast a lift can help the expression.

pumped at work

Keep your pumping schedule of 2-3 hours even if your breast are not engorged. I learned that even soft breast can produced the same amount as an engorged breast. Again, don’t wait for your boobs to be engorged to pump. It is more difficult to pump with engorge breast because sometimes the vacuum is not optimal that you have to massage to soften the breast.

GET TO KNOW THE “SWEET SPOTS” OF YOUR BREAST

I learned that right vacuum and get on to the “sweet spots” of your breast is where you can maximize your BM output. Hence, get to know your breast, by knowing pressing points or areas where milk will flow when you pump. Also, remember the feeling in your breast and nipple when you have a let-down or milk are flowing and the sweet spots are pressed. Let your pumping sessions be a learning on how to milk yourself.

Latch and Supplementation

Breast milk output is dictated by supply and demand. Hence, your baby needs to learn how to properly latch so that your milk demand is steady and your body will supply the demand. But make sure your raw materials are high quality too. Eat right. Just like a car, you need proper maintenance, you don’t put water at your gas tank. Hence, eat a balance diet that has all the nutrients you body needs. Not all of us have the same required micronutrients. Some have anemia so they need iron, some need vitamin B for energy. It is best to ask your doctor who can run some test which micronutrient you need some boosting.

Most breast feeding moms take supplements to increase breastmilk, click here for more info.

Eating a balance diet can be tricky that is why I supplement with high quality organic vitamins and minerals. I take Nutrilite Double X multivitamins that gives me extra energy being a working and breastfeeding mom. When I took Double X out BM output increased from 2.5 to 4.5oz in each pumping session. Also, I take Nutrilite iron folic plus, Nutrilite Cal Mag D, Nutrilite Omega 3. If you want to know more about Nutrilite or want to order click here., just leave a message I will be happy to explain more about Nutrilite.

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Exclusive Breast feeding for a Working Mom

I know once a mother always a mother. But I just had to say, this is my second time to mother a newborn and now turning 9month old baby body, who is my second and last child. This second time around, I want to make things right by exclusively breastfeeding my son and will use sustainable systems and materials in taking care of my baby such as cloth diaper, baby wearing and baby led weaning and baby sign language for better communication.

I have to confess my first born daughter was exclusively breastfed for only 1 month because I mixed feed (as per advised of my pedia) when I went back to work.  I did not know that there were such thing as pumping or expressing milk to feed by baby and there are dangers in giving formula milk to less than 6 months baby. Thus, this second time as a mother to an infant, I decided to make this things better.  

My first step is to get the right information. I attended breastfeeding classes under the breast feeding club of Ms. Abbie Yabot, which I will share here what I learned.  Disclaimer, this is my personal understanding and I am not promoting my practice, I am just sharing them to all of you.
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Here are the best practice and I can say by experience, worked very well in my success in breastfeeding.

1) Skin to skin contact to initiate breastfeeding bonding.
I gave birth in Baguio City, though we live in Quezon City. It’s cheaper to give birth in Baguio. For my CS and we stayed 4 days in the hospital in a private room, we only paid 9K since I have a Philhealth benefit of 19K and my son of 1.5K. It was really a blessing in the disguise that my sister who is a pediatrician do not health Philhealth accreditation hence it was her friend who attended to my son and made sure we had the skin to skin contact right after I gave birth. She was patient enough to hold my newborn until he was ready to nurse. She was amazed that my son wanted to nurse after 15 minutes as some babies takes about 30 minutes to do so. We had “unang yakap” covered and it happened when the doctors were closing my tummy from CS, making sure that no placenta was retained. Retained placenta will hinder breast milk production. My baby and I were reunited after 4 hours since I had to recover from my CS operation and he has to go through the newborn workup.

2) Correct latch
Since I attended breast feeding class, I have knowledge of correct latch to my baby. Also, the pediatrician visit us to see if our latch was correct and gave instruction on breast feeding. Also, she closely monitored my baby’s urine and passing of meconium. Click here for info on correct latching.

3) Supplementation
I continued my prenatal vitamins. I take the number vitamin and supplement of the world Nutrilite organic supplement. Please click here what other moms can say about Nutrilite Double X

I returned worked at 2 months of giving birth tough I was CS and I was manually pumping at work every 2 hours. And after 2 months of manually pumping I got really tired and it was taking so much time from my work.

Then, there was a sudden decrease of my output from typical of 2.5 to 3 oz. I was getting 0.5oz per pump which was alarming. I applied what I learned from my BF class and from internet research.

In my fourth month of ebf, I acquired Medela Freestyle Double Electric pump at Php19K by God’s amazing provision. I invested on this high grade pump since I plan to EBF my son for the next 19 months and beyond 2 years old.

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Overtime I learned to express 4.5 to 5 oz. every 3 hours. There was a time that I pumped 9 oz. in once session.

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I usually take home 16 oz. to 20 oz. of BM. My son consumes around 12 to 15 oz. per day so the extra I donate.

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I Make Milk – Latch, Pump And Supplement but Prayer works

I make milk.

Yes, my baby is exclusively breastfed since birth up until now that he is turning 9 months.

I make enough milk for my baby and donate some. Yes, I had low milk supply at 3 months and after 1 month, I overcame and now I have abundant milk supply.

Here are my journey and secrets in my abundant milk supply.

Attend a breastfeeding seminar.

This is what I learned, first and foremost, you need to have the right breastfeeding knowledge to learn the benefits of breast milk to decide for your yourself that you will exclusively breastfeed your baby. Learn proper latching as milk is dictated by law of supply and demand. If your baby do not suckle properly and empty your breast because of poor latching, your milk supply will go low. Also, your baby will learn to latch over time. Around 6 weeks when your milk supply will stabilize, meaning your body has adjusted demand of your baby and your supply will adjust accordingly. If you are working mom and decided to exclusively breastfeed, you must learn ways to expressing milk to feed your baby while you are away, proper infant feeding when you are away, like cup feeding to avoid nipple confusion. Learn proper storage of expressed milk and its shelf life to minimize contamination and risk for your baby. Be sure to take care of yourself by getting good nutrition, adequate fluid, and lots of rest and managing stress.

Highly recommend to attend a breastfeeding class since information will be presented in cohesive and organized manner. All you questions and problems maybe discussed there and saves you the worry and stress in managing your breastfeeding challenges. If you do not have time, make time. If it’s costly, attend free seminars.

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I joined breast feeding club under Ms. Abbie Yabot a LLL leader and attended 3 classes on breast feeding at 2 hours each class meeting once a month at Medala House. I was properly equipped in the seminar and I got materials that I can review when I need to recall some info in bf. If you are to breastfeed for the next 6 months to 2 years and breastfeeding is 24/7 then a 6 hours to learn is basics to weaning is a good investment. Also it was here that I was inspired to donate milk and support other mothers who may need help in breastfeeding their babies.

Unang yakap to initiate breast milk production at birth.

At birth of my son, my pediatrician established skin to skin or “unang yakap”. Since I was CS, my OB made sure that there is no retained placenta. These two helped to initiate milk production. So I had no problem breastfeeding and also my pediatrician see to it that my baby was properly latch and I was given instruction on breastfeeding and infant care before discharge from the hospital.

Belief and confidence on yourself that you have enough milk for you baby. Be positive to naturally produce prolactin and oxytocin, they are naturally occurring chemicals in our human body to produce milk.

After 1 week of from discharge from the hospital my baby gained weight. My pediatrician who is also my “Ate”, was very happy because of weight gain of 150 grams with exclusive breastfeeding. And baby gained weight each month and weighed more than what is the mean for his age.

At 6 weeks, I bought a Medela manual pump since I was returning to work in 2 weeks. I did the drill to build my stash for baby to consume while I was a work. The rule for feeding milk to baby is 1 oz. per hour. I left baby for 2 hours but I left 2 oz. of breast milk for baby. Then, I left for 4 hours and pump at 2 hours while I was away so that I bring home bm for baby. Then I left for 6 hours and pumping every 2 hours. then finally I left for 8 hours. This exercise helped my care giver or “yaya” feed my baby with the cup feeding. I chose cup feeding to avoid nipple confusion for my baby. Cup feeding is giving breast milk in a cup where baby needs to lap with his tongue, a mammal or a dogs laps for water. Lapping has the same movement of tongue as suckling thus, exercises the jaws too.

I returned work on November 18, 2014 and I was manually pumping at work every 2-3 hours. I was happy, I was able to take home about 12.5 oz to 15 oz. of breast milk. My baby only consumes 10-12 oz. per day. I had extra so I donated some to Medela house and they bring them to PGH, PCMC and Fabella hospital who has a Human milk bank.

What to eat and galactagogues?

The National Institute of Nutrition recommends that breastfeeding mums take iron, folic and calcium supplements. You may also need supplements of vitamin A, zinc, vitamin B12 and vitamin C.

It would be best to speak to your doctor before taking any vitamin supplements. If you do take supplements, bear in mind that it can’t make up for poor eating habits. It is also important to eat a well-balanced, varied diet. Sourced at click here.

I learned from seminars and reading articles and books on increasing breast milk, that there is no proven effective galactagogues or breast milk increasing food or supplements. Some are effective to some and some are not affective to others. As per Prolacta, they are selling malunggay capsule. They said they have not found the exact compound found in malunggay that helps produce more milk. but Malunggay has multivitamins with high in iron.

With the thought, I made sure I was eating right and I had good nutrition that is why I supplement using my pre-natal vitamins. I take Nutrilite organic vitamins and supplements. I was talking Nutrilite Daily multivitamins, Nutrilite Iron Folic Plus, Nutrilite Cal Mag D and Nutrilite Omega 3. Nutrilite comes with 90 days money back guarantee so if you want to try you can order here.

My breast feeding challenges:

My baby is is tongue-tied. Breastfeeding him at first was painful but I had high tolerance of pain so I survived but I end up buying nipple cream to help ease the soreness.

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Pumping in the office

After 2 months of manually pumping I was getting tired and it was taking too much time from my work. Our office do not have a lactation station but I asked permission from accounting department to allow me to use a corner in their office for me to manually pump breast milk.

At 3 months, I experience a low milk supply and after a month, I overcame and now I have an abundant milk supply.

What happened and what did I do?

This is what happened to me at my third month of breastfeeding and pumping, I ran out of Nutrilite Daily multivitamins and I did not buy because I wanted to shift to Nutrilite Double X, the multivitamins I was taking before I got pregnant and during my high risk pregnancy to give me extra energy since I was a working mom. Nutrilite Double X multivitamins have the right amount of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that is maybe why I have abundant milk supply though I don’t consider them as galactagogues but I learned that all galactagogues have are usually multivitamins with high iron content, some have vitamin C, vitamin K, beta-carotene, iron, calcium and vitamins and minerals, manganese, oils and fiber. All of which are available in Nutrilite click here for more info.

But, Nutrilite Double X ran out of stock and I waited for the new stock. As I wait, my supply went low, as I was pumping about 0.5 oz. of breast milk every 2-3 hours but I usually get 2.5 to 3 oz. before. I was not getting engorged and I was not leaking when baby is latching.

The Pump

I checked parts of my pump, there was a tear in the membrane so I ordered the parts. But still my output was low. I learned to massage my breast to produce more while manually pumping. I was bringing home about 5-7.5 oz of milk.

Wet Nurse & Prayer

But Praise God because there is a nursing mother in our neighborhood that became my baby’s wet nurse. And to make the situation worse, I had to attend an overnight planning session with our couples D group. I took the leap of faith of say yes in attending and I was not sure if can build my stash since I was producing less than what baby consumes. I ask for prayers from my D group that my breast milk output will increase.

GALACTAGOGUES AND NUTRILITE DOUBLE X

I took recommended galactagogues. I ordered online lactation cookies and treats for 2 months. I bought Lifeoil (Malunggay oil). But I was still taking Iron Folic plus and Cal Mag D. Finally a few days before the planning session, I was able to order Nutrilite Double X.

DOUBLE X PROVIDE THE COMPLETE NUTRITION AND EXTRA ENERGY I NEED AS A WORKING AND BREASTFEEDING MOM. WITH NUTRILITE MY BODY CAN REST WELL AT NIGHT, REPAIR AND RECUPERATE MY TIRED BODY

NUTRILITE DOUBLE X – 62 SET SUPPLY – GOOD FOR 2 MONTHS
NUTRILITE DOUBLE X 62

NUTRILITE DOUBLE X – REFILL 124 SET SUPPLY – GOOD FOR 4 MONTHS
NUTRILITE DOUBLE X 124

PRAYER WORKS

I asked my nursing neighbor to breastfeed my baby at the end of the day so I can build a stash but it was not enough for an overnight away from baby. We went to the planning session and my prayers were answered. My abundant supply came back. I was getting engorged. I had to say, that I put God first whether my prayer will be answered. When God saw that I trusted Him to provide for my baby and for Him to answered my prayers, for me to learn faith in practice. I thank God that He blessed my efforts to make milk. And my baby learned proper latching as he can stimulate my breast as I experience milk ejection reflex.

REFLECTIONS

This is what I learned from all my experiences of low supply of milk to abundant milk supply, before I was pumping around 2.5 to 3 oz. per session now, its 4.5 to 5 oz. per session.

1) Prayer works. God will bless my efforts to increase milk supply. Also, I now use Medela Freestyle double electric pump. My boss gave me cash advance which I paid in 3 months. but the bigger answered prayer was I got a salary increase after 3 months returning from my maternity leave of 8 months. Only God can orchestrate that.
2) Baby needs to learn proper latch. I had lots of milk before to the point my baby do not need to suckle hard. Then my milk supply stabilized that baby needs to stimulate milk production through proper latch.
3) Rest, do not try to do it all. Ask help from family members. Catch up on sleep so body can repair and recuperate. Breastfeeding means breast milk production. You are a machine that needs proper maintenance to properly work.
4) Good nutrition but with my busyness I do not eat right and with Nutrilite, the high quality organic supplement, I am sure I get balance nutrition and extra energy that I need to thrive as wife, mother, nursing mom and working mom.

Thus, I make milk, abundantly.