With Baby Nathen, this is the second time I am embarking on this breastfeeding journey. When I had Daniel in 2013, I knew I wanted to breastfeed but without prior experience, I learnt a lot of what I know now through trial and error. I’m sharing tips that I’ve benefited from breastfeeding my first born and will also be applying to my second born too.
New mums will definitely benefit from this!
#1: JOIN BREASTFEEDING SUPPORT GROUPS
Feel confident with breastfeeding by connecting with like-minded people on the same journey as you.
Join Singapore-based Facebook groups on Breastfeeding to gain knowledge and support for your entire breastfeeding journey. Here are some that I am part of too:
#2: PREPARE MILK STORAGE BAGS
Once your supply has established, it’s time to pump and store milk for when you go back to work! Mistake I made with my first born was to start pumping and storing only 1 month before I’m due back at work. With this second child, I started once my supply exceeded my baby’s intake. I currently have 80+ packs of 150ml~180ml EBM now!! *Super happy*.
There are heaps of brands out there in the market for milk storage bags. During babyfairs, you’ll see plenty on offer but before you buy, make sure you check reviews of them online. I have heard of bags that break! Imagine wasting all that milk and heartbreak – I remember I cried the first time my helper accidentally spilled a huge bottle of freshly expressed milk.
I am currently using Pigeon milk storage bags because these have never failed me. They do not tear, are pre-sterilised with gamma ray, are leak proof with double zipper seal and I can freeze milk in them in nice flat packs (to save space). Check out how I store them in the chest freezer I bought specially just for breastmilk!
Tips for storing EBM in freezer:
– Buy a nice basket to help organise your bags according to date
– Note down all the milk’s freezing date, time and amount (so that you may use them from earliest to latest)
– Buy a chest freezer if you intend to store a lot and for an extended period of time (chest freezers store longer than your normal fridge’s freezer)
#3: GET A SUITABLE BREAST PUMP
I have tried quite a few brands of breast pumps to date but I’ve narrowed it down to 2 that I personally like.
FOR PORTABILITY & COMFORT: Pigeon Single Electric Breast Pump
I never quite associated Pigeon with breast pumps but I love how portable this is. See above? That’s ALL there is to bring if you want to pump outside! It’s unbelieveably light and convenient.
Pros: Very lightweight and quiet. This is EXCELLENT for when you’re out and need to pump, or when you are back at work – just use a/c adaptor or go wireless with 2x AA batteries. I also find it a very comfortable fit for me.
Cons: Only available as a single breast pump and accessories are only available at Takashimaya.
FOR VALUE FOR MONEY & PERFORMANCE: Gaksimil G1 Double Electric Breast Pump
Pros: My favourite for performance is the Medela PISA but this Gaksimil is a fraction of Medela PISA’s price (especially during babyfairs) and works just as well as Medela. Hospital-grade. Comfortable fit. Great suction. Great for moms who intend to breastfeed long term.
Cons: Heavy and spare parts & accessories are only available at MyMiracleBaby online store.
#4: CONSUME MILK PRODUCTION SUPPLEMENTS
There’s Fenugreek tea and lactation cookies to check out too. I tried some from Cookie4milk recently (you can buy these from www.cookie4milk.com) . These contain milk boosting ingredients like premium imported Brewer’s Yeast, Malt, and Organic Flaxseed. I love that this is loaded with oats, making it a great alternative as a snack even!
I have read many reviews online about lactation cookies in general and many have found consuming lactation cookies to be incredibly effective in boosting milk supply. Personally, after finishing the whole container within 5 days, I did feel like there was an increase in my breast milk supply. I pump like 150ml~180ml every 3 hours, now I can pump 200ml~210ml every 3 hours.
#5: BREAST PADS FOR LEAKY BOOBS!
This invention is a god-sent. Before I got these, I was leaking milk every single time Nathen cried or fussed and once I got out of a hot shower.
I have soaked through heaps of tissues and even soaked through a bra once! It was not only embarrassing, it was also extremely frustrating when you are trying to feed on one side and the other side keeps leaking and leaking. I had milk everywhere and it was sticky.
This is the one I am currently using – Pigeon Breast Pads Honeycomb. Very portable, individually packaged (hygienic) and I like how absorbent it is, even though it’s very thin. I’d hate if I had to wear a very thick breast pad in my bra.
Make use Breast Pads that absorbs all the leaked milk and keep your sanity in place. Best of all? I don’t have to change my bras or tee shirts as often!
So there you go, 5 useful tips for a smoother breastfeeding journey. Not everyone’s breastfeeding journey is going to be smooth. Hang in there, it’ll only get better. Good luck! 🙂
*Disclaimer: These are just from my personal experience. I count myself lucky to be able to provide breastmilk for my son. If I didn’t have any, I wouldn’t hesitate to give my son formula milk. I am also careful not to go overboard and to only keep wanting to produce as much milk as possible – that would be an oversupply and not a condition to be envied.