Madison is here and she is a month old! Time is really flying! I gave myself a month to be present and enjoy the moments for reflection and appreciation. Now I am ready to share my journey one topic at a time. Because I was asked about this a lot on social media when I posted my breast milk, I thought I would share this first. So, let’s get into it!
I have learned that the 2nd time around is proving to be so much better for me. The anxiety of the unknown is gone and I felt so much more prepared for what was to come (except the birth but we will get into that later). When it came to breastfeeding, I struggled with my first child. I could not keep up with his demand and I slacked on keeping my supply up choosing sleep over pumping more than I should have. I also had cabbage in my meals too often and really started to see a dip when I ate cabbage soup. So this time around I made sure to steer clear of cabbage and to remain consistent in pumping and storing. The best way for me to share this is to share a day in the pumping life of Kelz. Now this is all post hospital. While at the hospital baby girl latched the entire time. I was there for 2 days then we were discharged to go home. Ok now that that is out the way, here goes!
I pump first thing in the morning between 7 and 9am while eating oatmeal. I make my son oatmeal before school, so why not make me some too lol! It is great for milk production. I pump for 30 minutes at a time after realizing that 20 minutes wasn’t enough. I was doing 20 minutes for about a week then one day I got sidetracked trying to multitask and went another 10 minutes and saw another oz. Game changer! lol So that first pump session usually produces 7-9oz. I store in the fridge and feed Madison a bottle that was prepared the night before. I always prepare at least 1 bottle the night before for the morning in case I am exhausted from the night before and my husband or mother in law can feed her while I rest.
After she has her bottle in that 7-9am window, she usually naps till around noon. I join her in that nap after pumping and cleaning my pump parts and anything else that is dirty from the morning. Mason goes to school for the day so his breakfast dishes and all are clean before I rest. I sleep till she wakes up then its bottle feed her and pump for the 2nd time. That pump normally gives me 5-7oz and then I can prep bottles for the day and store for freezer. I take any milk from the previous night that was refrigerated (usually ~8-10oz) and I freeze it along with 2 oz from the day of. My goal has been to freeze 12 oz every day (2 6oz bags) and so far I have been blessed to be able to produce enough to do so. I dont freeze anything until I see what those 1st 2 pump sessions produce in case I need any of it to feed Madison. Gotta secure the supply! lol
After the noon pump session, it is time to start the day! Madison usually naps after her feeding so I use this nap window to make my bed, brush my teeth, wash my face, put on clothes, have a cup of coffee, and read my devotion for the day and journal. I also started a book Commanding Your Morning by Cindy Trimm. I got it from Amazon after an IG influencer I follow recommended it and spoke on how it really improved her prayer life. After that I find food cause Im usually starving. Whether it is leftovers or a salad or cereal, I eat a meal. Then I may wash clothes or do some chores for the day. I may nap again after eating or watch some TV as well. I also started audible books again so I am rotating between Gabrielle Union’s new book and Porsha Williams new book right now. I have so many books downloaded that I plan to listen to while on leave.
Around 3 or 4pm is my next pumping session. I normally get about 5-7oz the remainder of the day, so I will take that and put in Medela 5oz storage bottles and refrigerate till end of day. I keep making 3oz bottles as needed (the bottle size changes every week as I go up 15mL every week on her feedings for now). She started at an ounce when we got home from hospital and now we are at 3.25 oz starting this week. Any overage of what she is drinking is in the fridge till the next morning so that I can freeze it.
I pump again around 6 or 7pm and then 9 or 10pm then I am done pumping for the day. I allow Madison to latch from midnight to 6am and I do not pump at all through the night. I feed her put her to sleep then go to sleep myself. She gives me 3 hour naps these days but early on I had a time getting her to sleep at night. Normally what I pump at 10pm is what I freeze the next day. I normally already have my bottles made for the rest of the day with my 4 and 6pm pump sessions. While she latches at night, I have my Elvie Curve on the other breast to catch any let down. I get 1-3oz from that overnight that I store in the fridge after I put her down for sleep. She latches around 2-3am and then 5-6am then we start all over again!
The 2nd time around has been way less stressful for me and I think part of that is because I am consistent with my schedule. If you keep pumping and latching and emptying your breasts, your body will get the hint to make more. I pump every 3-4 hours all day and having cordless pumps make that job so much easier. My cordless pumps are the Elvie Stride and the Medela Freestyle Flex. I will blog on pros and cons of each of these soon as well. With my first child, I had to be plugged to a wall and that was so exhausting. What has also helped me is using my breast pump parts fresh out of a bottle dryer/sterlizer. They are warm and serve as a heat compress as well that help with milk flow. This brings me to another thing!
When my milk first came in I noticed I had lumps in my left breast and it was very sore to the touch. After googling a little on clogged ducts, I got in the shower and let the hot water hit it while massaging where I felt the lumps. After getting out the shower, I pumped and turned the suction up a little more than normal while having a heating pad on my chest and it relieved me and moved the milk. Now, I use a massager I got from Amazon and heated pump parts to keep this from happening. Another mom also recommended Sunflower Lecithin to help with clogged ducts.
Oh one more tip that was shared! Another mom said she used to empty her breasts pumping then latch her baby on to trick her body to produce more milk. That helped her tremendously. I hope this info and my routine was helpful for breastfeeding mommies out there. So far I have been able to freeze over 60 6oz bags of milk and my daughter is only a month old. While they are eating small doses, maximize on freezing anything extra that you pump. They get older and require more at a time and that may slow down how much you can freeze. If you have any questions please leave me a comment! I am an open book and I want to help in any way I can!