This is a controversial subject however I am VERY pro breastfeeding. My mother breastfed me so it seemed natural to do the same for my daughter. Although it was weird at first soon I felt a closeness to her. I could tell we were creating a special bond during this time each day. During my maternity leave everything was great, no issues.
As soon as I went back to work (at six weeks) I started to notice the milk I pumped was getting less and less. There are several common causes of low milk supply. The ones that were effecting me include lack of rest, stress, dehydration and pumping as the primary source of milk extraction.
A typical day of breastfeeding looks like this:
- 4:30AM wake to nurse Brooklyn
- 5:30AM pack icepacks and pumping bottles, leave for airport
- 6:30AM get on flight, depart San Jose
- 8:30AM land in various city (I am already stressed out because it has been four hours since I nursed last and I should pump every three to keep my milk on track with what Brooklyn is eating)
- 9:30AM get rental car- pump in car (now 5 hours since last feeding)
- 10:AM arrive at hospital, find bathroom to wash and clean bottles in, find staff refrigerator/freezer to store expressed milk ice packs resepectively
- 12:30PM find location to pump: set up pump machine, pump for 15-20 minutes, wash hands, pour milk into storage bags, wash bottles, transfer milk storage bags into refrigerator
- 3:30PM repeat
- 5:30PM collect milk storage bags and ice packs, head to the airport
- 6:00PM get stopped at security because milk is over 3 oz. since the milk cannot be tested (it could become contaminated) receive full body pat down as a security measure
- 6:30PM find location to pump: most airports have a private room for nursing, if not bathroom works, transfer milk into storage bag
- 7:00PM get on flight, land, immediately transfer milk to home refrigerator, ice packs to freezer. wash bottles and prepare them for the next day.............
Below are pictures from one hospital that has a "mother's nest". This is my very favorite place to pump because it is a private room with a comfy chair to fit in. This is an outlier to the typical bathroom I stand in for 30 minutes pumping/cleaning bottles.
Brooklyn is now 4.5 months and we have started introducing one formula feeding per day. I feel very guilty not continuing to nurse her to 12 months however this routine is putting me under so much pressure and stress I feel I may snap if I continue.
Fortunately she has been feeding herself the bottle for about a month now.
More updates to come as we transition her to formula and soon rice cereal!