August is not yet over and the campaign for Breastfeeding Awareness is still on. I am one of its many advocates because I am still breastfeeding my baby who is almost eight months old already. Just so it’s clear: I mix feed my baby.
From the moment that I gave birth, up until I was about to go back to work, I direct feed my baby with my precious breastmilk. We only asked our pediatrician to prescribe a milk formula just in case I don’t get to produce enough supply for our baby boy to consume while I am at work. That’s why, days before my maternity leave ended, we trained our little one to drink my milk and the prescribed formula through the bottle. It was a bit of a struggle at first because my baby was not used to silicone nipple. But, he got the hang of it before I began working again. Swakto!
Because we have a baby boy, we know that he has a big appetite. My parents couldn’t believe at how frequent he feeds. Almost every hour! He can consume seven bottles of either 120ml or 80ml each when I am not with him. On the contrary, the most that I can express while in the office and in the car going home is a total of 8 ounces. That is only enough for two feedings. That’s the reason we use formula milk to augment his supply. If not, our poor baby will starve!
Formula milk is just a small portion of our baby’s nourishment. I breastfeed him in the morning and in the evening. There are times when he would ask for milk between 3AM and 6AM. As soon as I get home from work (after I have washed up), I take him to my breast to feed. We are the happiest on weekends and holidays. I can give him my milk anytime and anywhere he wants. I have my nursing cover for feeding outdoors. Sometimes, all I have is just his lampin, his blanket, or my shawl. As long as I keep hidden what must not be exposed, we’re fine. There was one time when I tried breastfeeding my baby without any cover in a restaurant. I was confident because I was wearing a button down blouse and an inner tube top. My husband got worried even though I assured him that I would be careful. He felt better when I finally draped the lampin over my shoulder and across my chest because our baby started to move a lot.
There were days when my supply is really low. I must admit that I feel sad when it happens. Glad that two of my teammates were able to help me (somehow). Blessed to have these men on our team! One brings malunggay leaves from their garden while the other one grinds the leaves and adds fruits to make smoothies and shakes for everyone in our group. Buti na lang health conscious sila! I get to benefit from their healthy lifestyle. Those malunggay concoctions really help increase my milk supply! Also, I have a secret and mysterious lactation aid: the pearl milk tea from Cha Time. I don’t know how it does it but I can really attest to its powers. Yesterday, my initial output was so low. It was less than an ounce! I had rice, drank milk and even had pan de sal for breakfast so I can tell you that I was not hungry when I expressed milk. After lunch, I bought my favorite drink and pumped milk after 30 minutes. My milk flow increased to 2.5 ounces. Amazing, right? I am looking for other ways to produce more milk for my growing baby boy. My goal is to breastfeed him until he is a year old. I am considering on buying Moringga (malunggay pills). The speaker from the Avent event that we attended earlier this month said that it would help, too. I’ll tell you more about that event in my next post.