Saturday, September 14, 2013

Mommy's Milk

I'm all for breastfeeding. Its many benefits to both mom and baby have been scientifically proven. It encourages mother-child bonding. And it saves families money and time (from having to sterilize bottles and make formula). I am, however, against making a mother feel that she is less of a mother because she was either constrained, or has chosen, to give her baby formula.

Parenting involves such fantastic amounts of selflessness, hardwork and commitment that it is impossible to judge the worth of a parent's love solely on the basis of whether a mother has breastfed her baby or not. Many blogs out there advocate breastfeeding. It is good that they are dedicated to their advocacy. I just wish that they don't make other mothers feel bad about themselves in the process. 

That said, Izik and I are still nursing at 6 1/2 months. Yey.

Photo taken by Malik. No post-processing required. Yuz.

I am having problems with my supply. I can't say I've been remiss at doing all that I can to maintain it. I still take the same supplements (malunggay capsule, malunggay tea, flax seed, and oat meal). Izik nurses from me directly when we're together. I pump milk at regular hours at work. Sadly, my production isn't the same as it used to be. 

When I first started working again, I was able to produce enough breastmilk to feed Izik the next day. But I guess as time went by, my body realized that I wasn't with my baby in the morning. I started pumping less and less milk before lunch time at work. Now my breasts don't feel engorged in the morning, even after 5 hours. Here's what I pumped at the office per day since Izik was born - 

1st – 2nd
Direct feeding
13 oz.
9 oz.
4-6 oz.
7 oz.

Around the 5th month, I pumped so little milk I began to wonder if it was even worth pumping. 

Barely 2 oz. even after 20 minutes.

Taken on another day. *sigh*

Pumping takes a lot of effort, mind you. I have to set aside at least 30 mins. every session, excuse myself from meetings, and switch to other tasks so I can concentrate at producing milk. But I kept at it. Recently, I've noticed an increase in my milk and I am hoping that it continues. We've been mix-feeding Izik since he was a few weeks old but have been able to give him more breastmilk than formula most days. Now, on some days, Izik drinks mostly formula while I'm at work. 

Anyway, Izik nurses from me as soon as I come home, on weekends and holidays, and everyday during his nighttime feedings. I'm still not taking in alcohol or caffeine (tea, coffee or soda) even in small amounts. Since my breasts seldom feel engorged, I sometimes wonder whether Izik is getting enough milk when he's nursing. My answer comes when I hear him burp after a feeding. 

What are you doing there, Buchokoy? :)

My problem of late is that Izik has grown teeth, as you may have noticed.

And sometimes when he nurses, he likes to use those teeth to pull on my unmentionables. Ouch. 

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