Thursday, November 14, 2013

Breasfeeding Journey: All about Expressed Breast Milk - EBM

been wanting to write a post on this to keep as a memory of my " milking journey"  but argh it's been so outdated that i've forgotten some details.

anyway sadly, I'm unable to latch Sticky Bean as she's too used to being bottle fed while in NICU. Also when she was discharged, the PD advised for me not to latch her on yet, being a premature baby, her sucking reflex may not be as strong and so is her breathing, so it's safer to bottle feed, hence i became an exclusive pumping mummy..

my milk did not come in till after day 5, was so stressed up with the milk initially as the nurses and PD has been asking if i have any breastmilk for her whenever we visit baby ashlene at NICU.

During the first 3-4 days all i had was just vapours around the funnel when i pump, that is oh so demoralizing!

and finally from day 5 i started having tiny bit of droplets!

and so my milk supply grew from this...(PD say even droplets 5ml, 10 ml also good lolx)


to this

and this
it's actually better to use a smaller 80ml bottles like this compared to above 150 ml as our milk seems more and it kind of boost our morale better.


and eventually my first milestone, 71 ml at day 12.


after which i stopped taking photo of my output. my output's considered average. Now it's about 90ml - 120ml every 3 hourly.
But i've also became lazy and being too stressed up with pumping initially than enjoying my motherhood i've decided motherhood is definitely more than pumping milk.

When baby ashlene is fussing, i start to get stressed up and upset for missing my pumping times. To make it worse, my nap times have been cut really short as i have to force myself to wake up to pump. My patience start to wear off as well.
Then one day, i just went HEY, that's not the way to enjoy motherhood, it's not right to get impatient with Baby Ashlene (hoping she finish her feed fast and fall aslp soon so i can pump on time), i should spend more time with baby ashlene than thinking of pumping on time all the time!
so i start to relax abit and pump around 3 hour plus to 4 hours instead. the total output of the day remained the same and i felt so much happier and relax.
it was the best decision i've ever made since the arrival of baby ashlene.

as we already have a tin of opened formula milk and not wanting to waste it, we feed formula milk at night too. as a result i still have an oversupply of milk..

from this:

to


and actually even more, but i didn't take a photo of that though.
And so i was told by some that EBM can only be kept in the fridge for 48 hrs but some online sources suggested from 48 hrs to up to 1 week, there's so many mixed recommendations for that.
since we are running out of space and storage bottles and wanting to play safe, i'd allow baby ashlene to drink up to 3 days old milk stored in the normal fridge.

i've finally start to freeze the ebm.


starting to stock up so at least when i stop pumping when i go back to work mid january, she will still have some ebm to drink. (Frozen ebm can be kept for 3-6 months.)
i must comment that frozen ebm does smell fishy, metallic and taste horrible though. thank god she doesn't seem to mind..*phewz*

also my sister in law recommended me these milk storage bottles from Moms & Little Ones, bought from pupsik studio which i absolutely love!

it's $23 for 6 bottles and it comes in 2 sizes, the 150ml and 80ml bottles. i bought the 150ml bottles so i can store more milk and to save space.
in total i have 6 X medela 150ml storage bottles, 6 X medela 80ml storage bottles and 6 X Mom & Lil Ones 150ml storage bottles and it's not enough, hence freezing will be the best option.

Got a friend to help purchase Boots Milk Storage bags from bangkok, it's only about SGD5 per box of 40 pieces. I've got 4 boxes of those, hopefully it will be enough. 

in conclusion: don't get too overly obsessed with pumping milk, there're more important things in motherhood such as the TLC for your baby than breast milk alone.
I grew up drinking formula milk, since young i've always been healthy and seldom fall sick. There's absolutely nothing wrong in giving your baby formula milk if you have to.

As for me, i'll continue to pump as much as i can to stock up prior to going back to work. After spending $699 on the pump, being the stingy mummy, i just want to break even as much as possible. =)

Some images of Baby Ashlene to end the post with.