Breastfeeding: How to Increase your Milk Supply?

Currently on my 15th (3 months++) week of breastfeeding and I feel like my supply is dwindling. It’s not how it used to. The morning breast engorgement is gone. So is the 8oz in an hour pumped milk. The question that I keep asking is … What happened?!

And so I researched and found out that the 3rd month of breastfeeding is usually a phase wherein the milk supply somehow subsides. Why? Because the feeding pattern has been established and mothers have become complacent that their supply is supple thus a decrease in milk booster foods intake. Also, since the feeding pattern has been established, mothers have become more open to leaving their child to do errands or go back to work. So the direct latch practice lessens, sending a wrong message in the supply = demand cycle of the breasts.

I plan to breastfeed my baby for a year the least. And so it really bothers me and had me very worried when It took me hours just to fill a 4oz bottle when before, I can do it in 30 minutes. I have nothing against formula but… they’re really expensive!

The solution? Consume these milk booster goodies:

  • Hot beverages – currently I am drinking Malunggay tea, also hot Milo. But I’ve read in a breastfeeding forum that Ovaltine works better than Milo. Not sure why though🤔
  • Soup with green leafy vegetables
  • Natalac or any other malunggay supplements twice a day
  • Lactation treats – I ordered Oatmeal raisin cookies with Sunflower seeds… Yummy!
  • Taho – I eat Php 20.00 worth everyday
  • Buko juice
  • Oatmeal rolled oats – I found this to be very effective!
  • M2 malunggay concentrated tea
  • And the simplest and most effective of them all — drink plenty of water.


Fast forward to 18th week (4 months++) my breastmilk is now back to normal. Yehey! It was nice seeing my milk collection grow again.  It gives me security that I have enough milk to feed my baby anytime, anywhere he demands. And for my husband’s… a security of not needing to buy expensive formulas.😑

*** I am just one lucky mommy to be able to breastfeed my son, and please never think that I am against formula. Its just that I am very thankful that I do not have to buy them… yet.

There are many groups and forums, especially in facebook that one can join to share their problems and thoughts. You’ll be surprise how many women are on the same boat as you and they are more than eager to share and discuss solutions with you.

Continue giving what’s best for your child, either breastmilk or formula as long as he is never hungry, then that is more than enough and you are a good mother no matter what!

Anyway, this post is to share my recent bump in the road on my breastfeeding journey. All breastfeeding moms go thru this phase and its just a matter of going back to the basics. To feed on good stuff and have a positive outlook that your milk supply is enough for your child.

 

 

Enjoying my baby Seb,

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Breastmilk is Best for my Baby

Excerpt from my Postpartum Thoughts of a New Mom blog post:

Breastfeeding has its ups and downs, but mostly ups. The first week hurts the most because your nipple will bleed, get sore and blistered not because baby’s latch is wrong but due to the opening of the milk ducts (that’s my personal theory). Your toes will curl from the pain😱. Another down would be sleepless nights as you will be feeding by demand, so when the baby cries then so will you. Usually, they woke up every 2 hours but some nights as close as 20 minutes interval.

For the benefits: Of course breast milk is best for babies, I cannot stress that enough. The benefits that both mommy and baby will reap are huge. For Mommy, it lessens postpartum bleeding, diminishes one’s chances of having ovarian and breast cancer, helps us to return to our pre-pregnancy weight, there’s also the factor of cost efficiency and portability. As for the baby, the colostrum alone can do wonders to a newborn. Strengthening the immune system, lower risk of obesity and diabetes, helps in brain development and avoids the case of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) to name a few.

I’m still getting the hang of it. But I can attest that breastfeeding and lack of sleep really are the big culprits in returning to my pre-pregnancy weight. I am still waiting for my 6th week prior to exercising to eliminate my tummy flabs😑.

My breastfeeding journey is normal.

I say normal because I think more women tend to go this way at the start. See, Mother’s milk are produce after they give birth with the exception of the lucky few who at around 35 weeks of pregnancy is already producing a few drops. But at most very little or close to none were seen at around this time. If ever there is, That’s the very first drop which is the colostrum – the healthiest of all.

My breast milk has become evident to me at around close to 2 weeks after labor. When I say evident, it means that when I squeeze my breast there’s a milk leak. As for the colostrum, to be honest I didn’t see nor feel it the first time my newborn latches to me.

Seb went straight to NICU after birth as he ingested meconium while inside me so he was given an antibiotic via dextrose which is really sad. Until now, it pains me to imagine my baby being injected in what had been his teeny tiny hand. Anyway, we were not room in. I had to go down to NICU every 2 hours to breastfeed.

After discharge, during our first night (which felt like a year) my husband and I became worried as even if he latches to me he seems to be hungry still and so his cries were very loud and panicky on our part as parents. We decided to give him formula given from a dropper for him not to develop nipple confusion. So on the first week, My baby had mixed feeding. He latches to me first then if he is unsatisfied comes the formula at 2oz maximum per feeding.

On my 35th week, my doctor prescribed me with Natalac (malunggay supplement) twice a day in preparation for my breastfeeding. But still, as per elder’s advise I also feed on all food with malunggay and soup. I also had my breasts massaged and put hot towel in it at 30 seconds interval. I find these steps as my breast milk booster during those starting times.

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As early as 12th day postpartum I am able to pump 4oz of breast milk using my Pigeon electric portable breast pump. It took quite a while but I am very happy with that first 4oz!

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Farlin manual breast pump can accommodate both wide and slim neck bottle (I use my Pigeon bottle in this photo).

At 7 weeks, I bought a Farlin manual breast pump as I read in other blogs that it is good and upon trying it, I’ll rate it good as well.

I’ll say my milk supply has become stable now. It’s true that it is a supply and demand process. I strongly advise to keep your baby latching and soon those golden liquid will come plenty. Just be patient Mommies. All will come in time. Remember, that Breast milk is best for babies. 

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A glimpse of my breast milk collection. Baby Seb consumes 4oz per feeding, he only use this when I am asleep which is from 6AM-12NN wherein he is being bottle fed with my BM. I prefer to use storage bottles because its more economic and environment-friendly.

I am happy to be part of the norm, where Mothers chooses the most natural way to feed their baby and I am glad to be part of groups that support each other in the breastfeeding journey. To breastfeeding pinays and expressers / pumping Moms PH, Thank you very much!😊

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This is one cute little baby! Mommy is so inlove 🙂

 

The effect of breastfeeding can very well be seen in my baby. He had doubled his weight and more at his 6th week check-up and counting. He’s rarely fuzzy too. I am thankful that he is an easy baby no nipple confusion and all, I attribute this to Pigeon’s peristaltic nipples.

Breastfeeding? So far, so good… Next stop! Babywearing.

 

A proud breastfeeding Mommy,

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