My Breastfeeding Journey and How I Increase My Milk Supply

Monday, August 06, 2018

Because August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month, I will be sharing with you my breastfeeding journey as a working mom. I will also be sharing some tips I learned on how to increase your milk supply and how I survived breastfeeding even when I'm working. 

Back when I was still pregnant, Mike and I attended numerous breastfeeding seminars so I became an advocate of breastfeeding. I personally believe that breast-fed babies are healthier and less likely to develop illnesses such as ear infection, respiratory illnesses and diarrhea (among many others) than those that are not. I never thought breastfeeding was HARD until I experienced it! I've had sleepless nights, breast engorgement, breast leaking (even until now) and cracked/damaged nipples (as in my nipple literally was cut into 4 😭 ). It was definitely a challenge (I cried almost everyday!) but quitting was never an option for me because I believe in the power of my breastmilk. 

As of this writing, I've been exclusively breastfeeding Keia for almost 5 months and seeing her grow healthy and siksik makes me very fulfilled as a mom so I vowed to breastfeed her for at least the first year of her life.

Timeline of my Breastfeeding Journey
First Month Postpartum - Exclusive and direct breastfeeding. This has got to be the most difficult and painful month for me. Every latch was a struggle. I wasn't able to go out of the house without her so I couldn't go to the salon or watch a movie or eat at a restaurant. Waaaah!

Fifth Week Postpartum - I began pumping milk. I bought Medela Swing Maxi and I started pumping once a day. As I beginner, I spilled my milk from the bottle a couple of times and it was heartbreaking! 

Sixth Week Postpartum -  I was so excited because I can finally introduced bottle feeding, my breast can finally rest! Or so I thought. it was a challenge at first because she rejects all the bottles that we gave her. We tried Nuk, Avent, Tommee Tippee and Pigeon. She doesn't want any! Then we discovered that it was not just the bottle but she has a preferred temperature of the milk, she wants the milk warm. So every feed, we had to warm the milk by putting the milk container in a hot water. We started to bottle feed her once a day so she would get used to eat when I'm away. I also pumped twice a week in between direct latch.

Seventh Week Postpartum - I began power pumping, meaning I pump four times a day - in the morning, afternoon, evening and midnight (yes, I got up every 2 am to pump) while I direct feed in between. Power pump increased my milk supply big time!

Eight Week Postpartum - Last week to power pump before I started working. During this time I was able to store a total of 160 ounces of milk! I have at least 1 month supply of milk so I was confident that I will be able to exclusively breastfeed Keia even when I'm at work.

Ninth Week - Twelfth Week Postpartum - I started working. Mama bottle-feeds Keia in their house while I pump every four hours in the office (we have a nursing station which was so convenient for nursing moms like me!) During this time, I had very light workload so expressing milk was not a problem.

4 Months Postpartum Until Today - Started working on a new show so I began to be very busy that I wasn't able to pump that often, sometimes I can only pump once a day! This led to sudden decrease of milk supply and clogged duct/bleb. It was so painful especially when Keia latches so even if I'm busy I try to express milk every four hours but this time I pump milk in my cubicle (to save more time. hehe)

How To Increase Milk Supply

1. Power Pumping - As I've said before this helped me increase my milk supply during the time I was on leave. I set an alarm so that I know when to pump. Here is my sample schedule:

8:00 - 10:00 am | Direct Feed
11:00 am | Pump
12:00 nn - 2:00 pm | Direct Feed
3:00 pm | Pump
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm | Direct Feed
9:00 pm | Pump
11:00 pm - 1:00 am | Direct Feed
2:00 am | Pump

2. Eat Malunggay - Any malunggay will do, I eat tinola with malunggay or any dish with malunggay. I drink Malunggay capsules twice a day, one in the morning and one in the evening. 

3. Take Lactation Treats - I love lactation desserts! These boost my supply and at the same time gives me so much happiness! hehehe. I personally recommend Milking Bombs, Mamabear Treats and Latch Treats

4. Take Lactation Supplements - I tried Legendairy Milk's Liquid Gold and it really works! Although it is a bit expensive but it really works, I bought just 1 bottle but I plan to buy again if my supply will decrease. 

What about you? Do you have any tips on how to increase your milk supply? I'd love to hear them 😁

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