If you read my last post you might have read about my low milk supply and my need to supplement my breast feeding with formula.
I totally get why people give up on breastfeeding. It's bloody tough. At first, it's the tricky task for both you and bub to figure out how, and then it's up to bub really about when. And when one feed may take an hour, then another half an hour to settle bub to sleep, it can be so tiring and draining (especially at 2 am) knowing bub is probably going to wake up in another hour for round II (or III or IV or V). I've been through one growth spurt where it felt Ned was attached my boob 24/7. That sucked (to put it politely). Okay, to be honest I may have told him that I wanted to throw him over the balcony once. Or twice. (But of course I didn't really mean it!) I am happy to say though that I've been happy with my technique since the start and have been lucky enough not to have any real dramas.
We had four separate visits from the midwives that visit your home after you leave hospital. They were fantastic and I think it is a such a valuable service offered by the (public) hospital. The midwives had a couple of suggestions for building my milk supply. First up I was prescribed domperidone (a drug which increases milk production) and also encouraged to add blessed thistle and fenugreek to my drug/herb/vitamin intake. Trainee daddy joked that I need one of those pill containers usually reserved for the oldies to compartmentalise my daily tablets. Another idea was to bake some lactation cookies - they have NOTHING on the Coles white choc & macadamia cookies (go out and buy NOW) but a jumbo share pack of mixed M&Ms really helped out with the taste. The most important way though to increase my supply is of course to breastfeed and also, express whenever I can. Before I had the baby I thought I would be such a prude when it came to nudity and the like when I was in hospital (and also at the thought of breastfeeding in public). Well actually breastfeeding full stop. Well that all went out the window. I was in the nud, walking around with the pee bag on full show and feeling totally comfortable when the midwives would ask if I would mind if they 'milked' me. Even with their fantastic technique they would be lucky to get 2 mls out of my boobs which barely grew during and after the birth much to trainee daddy (and my) disappointment. When bub should be having roughly 60mls of breast/formula milk per feed, hand expressing was just not going to cut it.
Enter the Tommee Tippee Miomee (single) electric breast pump (provided kindly by Tommee Tippee.) It's new to the market and offers a hospital grade motor, three different suction strengths and two different pumping rates. Initially I could not get it to work (and was worried that it just wasn't going to work on my A cups) but a quick call from the customer service team revealed that the membrane attached to the valve was slightly bent which was inhibiting the suction. I replaced that and immediately was in action. The pump is relatively quiet, comfortable and easy to clean. In the box two different size bottles are also included (oh, how I wish I could even half fill the big one!) as well as a storage bag so you can discreetly take your pump with you wherever you go. They even include some disposable breast pads for those embarrassing leaks. Using my breast pump regularly (in addition to munching on cookies, poppin' pills and plain old boobin' as I like to call it) really has assisted in building my milk supply where I hope that soon I can eliminate at least one of the supplementary formula feeds that I do with almost every breast feed.
couldn't resist sharing a recent pic of Ned (wearing Purebaby)