Thursday, July 4, 2013

All about nursing

Congratulations are in order. As of yesterday, I've officially been nursing Izik for a week more than I did Malik. That's 4 months plus plus for you. Yey.

Doesn't that smile just make nursing worth it?
It hasn't been easy. I get recurring milk blisters that make breastfeeding very painful. They go away on their own after some time but for some reason, I develop them again. Tiis-tiis lang when that happens. I tell myself it's just one of the things that mothers have to put up with for the love of their children.

Also, my milk supply noticeably decreased as soon as I started going back to work. I've been desperately trying to maintain my supply at least. It's still decreasing as we speak, but I like to keep the faith. So far, here's what I do.

I nurse Izik before I go to work in the morning. This means the time that it takes for him to wake up and finish nursing must be factored into my daily routine. This in turn means I must wake up extra early so I don't show up late for work. Again, tiis-tiis.
I take supplements - galactogogues they call them or food that supposedly help increase milk supply.  At one point, I  was so desperate, I was simultaneously taking lactation treats, oatmeal, oat cookies, malunggay tea and malunggay capsules. I find that the best supplement is old school - just boil malunggay leaves in water and drink that like you would drink tea. This makes my milk extra creamy. 
I religiously pump milk at work at intervals of not more than 5 hours. If my schedule permits, I pump milk at 10:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. 
I make sure Izik nurses from me directly when we're together, even if this means I don't "drain"  all of the milk in one feeding. I just think this stimulates milk production more than anything. Plus, holding Izik and smelling his hands while he nurses is a breastfeeding benefit that I oh so enjoy.
It takes a lot of effort to nurse, more so in the case of working mothers who spend most of the day away from their babies. I don't breastfeed exclusively. For some reason, I haven't been able to produce more milk than I hoped I would. Nonetheless, I try to make do.

I originally hoped to nurse Izik for at least 6 months. But breastfeeding has been so beneficial and enjoyable for us both that I now hope to nurse Izik until he's at least a year old. As it goes for most of this parenting thing, we'll have to play it by ear.

You and me, buddy. You and me.

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