Saturday, 29 September 2012

Breastfeeding: Pumping and Feeding Schedule

It has been 3 weeks since I returned to work. So far, 10 week old Little Dragon is still taking breastmilk only.

This is currently our schedule. (When I am fifty, I can look back at this post and marvel at my effort OR I can simply use it for emotional blackmail on Lil Dragon)

11 pm:
Breastfeed before bedtime. I will wake her up even if she is slumbering. Better than going to bed, only to be awaken an hour later.

3 am:
Lil Dragon will kick and squirm until she wakes lazy mommy up. She greets me with her beautiful smile (yes, even at this ungodly hour). A quick diaper change followed by breastfeeding. She usually finish within 5 minutes on one breast and we fall asleep together. Most of the time, I fall asleep first :p 

Anytime from 7 am to 8 am:
Morning call. She usually does not go back to sleep after this time, preferring to have 'girl talks'. After  feeding, I pump before leaving for work.

From 9 am to 5 pm:
Mommy's at work, so Little Dragon takes 4-5 oz per feed every 3-4 hours with NUK bottles.
I pump at 11 o'clock and then again after lunch.
I use Medela Mini Electric pump at work. Each time I express, I get 4-5 ounces. Like most cheaper Medela pumps, it makes noise that puts the lawnmower to shame. Forget about using batteries if a power socket is not available. The weak suction will drive you mad.
* So if I am pumping while out and about or simply chilling out in front of the TV, I will use my manual First Years pump that I bought for RM 80 only from a warehouse sale. It is not as great as the Philips Avent Manual pump but it does the job well enough. For RM 80, I ain't complaining.



6 pm:
Power pump if I have no other obligations.

9 pm:
I breast feed if Lil Dragon's awake and fussy/refusing the bottle. If she's asleep, I will pump so that I can play 'school' with Tiger :)

The cycle repeats.


My 3rd pump:

At home, I am using my old Unimom Forte pump (made in Korea) that I bought since Tiger was 2 weeks old and it is still doing a fine job right now. Motors of breast pumps tend to wear down over time with heavy usage. (I exclusively pumped for Tiger)

For its hospital grade, double pumping efforts, it retails at RM 399 to RM 490 only (depending on sales). A Medela of the same function and power would cost 5 times more.

This time being a smarter, more experienced mama, I bought XL shields because my boobs 'grow' out of control during these times. I also changed the original membrane and valve with Medela ones which fitted perfectly. The Medela ones just seemed sturdier. Also, it saves me the hassle of going crazy looking for the original clear, transparent membranes during washing and steaming.

My only complaint would be its huge size (almost 2 kgs) which makes it inconvenient for working moms.


So, yeah...I have three pumps which brings the total to about RM800 for 2 babies. Not a bad investment considering all the benefits of breastmilk and money saved from buying formula.

Supplementation wise, I am neither a milk nor pill person. So, I take my daily 'dose' of Anmum Lacta (the only milk I can tolerate) to make up for any nutritional deficiency since I don't take the recommended 2700 calories per day. If I am not getting my fresh fish for the week, I will take my fish oil supplement.

Excerpt from Kellymom.com
  • Mothers who get 2200 calories per day may need extra calcium, zinc, magnesium, thiamin (vitamin B1), vitamin B-6 & vitamin E.
  • Mothers who get 1800 calories per day may need extra calcium, zinc, magnesium, thiamin, vitamin B6, vitamin E, folic acid, riboflavin (vitamin B2), phosphorus and iron.
  • Breastmilk levels of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, iron and folic acid are fine even if your diet is deficient. If supplements are needed, they are for your benefit — not baby’s.
  • Levels of B vitamins in breastmilk are related to the mother’s intake, but a deficiency in the mother serious enough to affect her breastfed baby is very rare in the United States. (Hamosh, 1991; Lawrence & Lawrence, 2000)
I am not a crazy ass YOU MUST BREASTFEED snob. I didn't breastfeed Tiger exclusively and he is still doing fine. I am just grateful that I have been given the opportunity to do it this time.

If you are having problems or simply need a listening ear, feel free to drop me a pm. I can recommend a lactation consultant if required.  Cheers!
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