Saturday, May 21, 2011

Working and Breastfeeding

Oh yes I am back to work! Thankfully, there were no drama on the home front. Surprisingly I didn't have separation anxiety from Miya. I guess it helped that I was pumping milk for her while at work (I look at her photos and videos while pumping).

On my first day back to work, I woke up around 5:30am took a bath and expressed milk for Miya. After expressing milk, she woke up! She doesn't really wake up that early when I was on maternity leave. I guess she knows in a way. I fed her and put her back to her crib. We "talked" while I got dressed. And this has been going on for the last four days (my first day was on a Tuesday). Miya and her yaya then go downstairs with us - me and the hubby leaving the house while Yaya and Miya go to the poolside to get some sun.

On my first day back to work, I expressed milk only two times. I was a bit stressed to express milk in the expression room at work because the set-up was only for two mommies and there isn't any cubicle for each one. You just have your back at the other mommy while you do your own thing. Plus they introduce themselves to me! At first, I was like I don't need to know your names (yes I'm an introvert like dut!). Another mommy even kept on talking to me while I was pumping milk. I wanted to tell her "Please I need to concentrate while expressing milk." Later on, I get the introduction bit. It was in a way our very own support group. As for my stress, it didn't help that I didn't bring the plug of my breastpump so I was relying on batteries. I felt I was having a hard time getting enough milk. See, my breastpump can be used with batteries or plugged in (electric) but since I had to use a transformer (US bought) I decided not to bring one. The milk I was getting was not as much compared to when I was still at home expressing milk. I even had to ask a friend for a one-on-one tutorial on how to use my hands when expressing milk. But by yesterday, I guess I got used to the set-up in the expression room, I was comfortable using my breastpump at work (I bought a transformer for work). As it turned out, I was using the breastpump differently. See, the breastpump that I have is borrowed. When Joema bought the transformer for it, he left the manual at ACE Hardware. So I had to make do with the box on how to set-up the thing. (I know I should've donwloaded the manual). Anyways, aside from the breastshield there's a plastic nipple protector that I put inside the breastshield while pumping. Yesterday before I started pumping, the nipple protector fell on the floor and I stepped on it. So I had to pump milk without it. Turned out more milk was pumped simply because the milk wasn't strained by that plastic nipple protector haha. Another thing that made me uncomfortable pumping milk at the office is my clothes. At home, (this is TMI!) I don't put on a bra so I just hike up my top and there are my breasts ready for feeding. I don't care anymore if my yaya sees them. If I can breastfeed not wearing a top, the better. So although I was wearing a button-down top at work, it was a bit difficult for me to have my bra on and hike it up while expressing milk. It didn't help too, that on the first day I didn't bring my nursing cover. Day by day I had to make some adjustments like the next day I already brought my nursing cover. I was really freaking out that I won't be able to have enough milk for Miya while I'm away from her. But as I grew more comfortable expressing milk at work, my milk production grew. At first I was expressing 1-2oz per session. Yesterday, I had 3oz per session and I was expressing milk at 3hour intervals. My schedule is 5:45am (at home), 8:30am, 11:30am, 2:30am (all in the office), then 6pm and between 8-9pm here at home.

I had to ask my yaya to write down Miya's feeding schedule while I'm away. Well for the days she wrote down, Miya feeds four times for 3-4oz per feeding. So the first few days that I was only getting 1-2oz, yaya had to get frozen milk that I was able to store before going back to work. You see, I started pumping a month before. For me it worked out better than starting two weeks before going back to work. Because I was able to store a lot of milk and I was able to get comfortable with my breastpump (albeit the wrong usage haha!). I was even able to donate milk after the first few weeks because we had to defrost the ref and Miya wasn't really drinking the milk I expressed. Because while I was still on leave, we started feeding her 1oz a day by bottle. We had a hard time teaching her how to drink from a bottle. The first time we tried, my mom fed her while I was taking a bath because I read that the mommy shouldn't be there so the baby won't be confused. My mother said, Miya didn't have any problems, she drank like a pro. The next time we tried, my mom fed her again while Joema and I were out doing the groceries. When we came back, my mother said we should try feeding Miya while I was there for me to see the problem because that time Miya had a harder time taking the nipple of the bottle. So the yaya tried feeding her while I was there, or I tried feeding the bottle to Miya (a friend said this worked for her and her baby) but to no avail. Miya would just cry and not finish the bottle (only 1oz!). Anyways, I eventually thought of letting yaya take Miya every morning down to the poolside for some sun (before this I was the one who took Miya every morning) at the same time feed her the bottle. It was the perfect plan! Miya finally learned to drink from the bottle and I had time to pump milk. This went on until I had to go back to work. My schedule for pumping milk while I was on leave was 8am (or whatever time Miya was taken downstairs by the pool which depended mainly on her waking time), 11:30am, 4pm, 8pm. So I was pumping and breastfeeding her at the same time which I still do now that I'm back to work. The first day I was gone, when I came home Miya immediately fed directly from me. Babies really know and prefer their mommies. This was what worried me the most when we started bottlefeeding her. I worried she might not like feeding directly from me anymore. But even if she was just fed by that time I came home, Miya wanted to feed directly from me. So sweet!


Anna said...

Galing galing, am so proud of you, Cris! It's tough breastfeeding at work, but mommies like you really make the effort! Attagirl!!!

cris said...

hehe thanks Anna! I really plan to breastfeed Miya atleast until her 1st birthday.

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