A good friend has been instrumental in helping me achieve breast feeding my baby exclusively despite resuming work. Her encouragement has help turn my freezer to a milk storage center and myself to a milk making machine! In all, it has been a very successful and fruitful endeavour.
I wish to share her advise and am sure it will help and motivate someone to achieve breast feeding exclusively for six(6) month despite the constraints of work!
In her words, she takes us through the process;
I started expressing about two weeks after I gave birth (I used the avent isis manual pump – it has a powerful and wonderful suction mechanism). I made my baby get used to drinking breast milk from the bottle as early as two weeks old ( that’s because I read that babies do get nipple confusion and might not want to accept a bottle if you introduced it later on, so it’s best to start early). Also, bottle feeding made it possible to measure feeds and also time feeding which contradicts what its said about breastfeeding, you can actually structure feeding times. Use smaller bottles because you can’t keep any remnant of breast milk, you have to discard immediately once the baby has had its fill. Bottle feeding makes it easy to estimate the number of feeds required for a certain number of hours
For every time I was breastfeeding directly, I would be expressing the milk from the other breast into a bottle at the same time!. (This method usually did put a demand on the mammary glands to produce more). I was able to spend more time feeding him also by doing that (there was no hurry)
For all the bottles expressed, I place d bottles in freezer bags and labelled each bags with dates (feeding is based on first in first out principle, so the dates and time were very important). Put in the freezer immediately and only made use of them when I had to leave the baby with someone else. Frozen milk can last at room temperature (no more than 25 degrees C)for up to six hours, in an ice case for up to 24 hours, in a fridge (at four degrees C or colder) for up to five days, in a fridge ‘s freezer compartment for two weeks and in a home freezer (at -18 degrees C or lower) for up to six months.
When maternity leave is about to end, start expressing and freezing milk three weeks before resumption and continue expressing and storing everyday when you come back from work and if you can during night feeds. More so, if there is a room at work where you can have some privacy, you can express and put it in an ice case or a refrigerator (if you have one to yourself at the office).
Because you know the amount of feeds the baby should have before you return from work, each day before you leave for work, remove from the freezer the number of bottled milk required for the day’s feed into the fridge to thaw. The milk will be warmed to room temperature by placing the bottle in a bowl of room temperature water (no boiling water and no microwave heating), just warm water till it thaws and it is warm.
Above all, to achieve exclusive breast feeding, you have to prepare your mind to do it. Enjoy it, be very relaxed when expressing (it could be over your favourite tea, or gisting time with your hubby). Don’t try expressing when you are irritable as you will most likely not get much results.
Always ensure that whoever handles the bottles maintain utmost cleanliness in washing and also sterilizing immediately after feeding.
For people who live in environments with peculiar epileptic power supply like ours, you can start expressing a few days to resumption instead of three weeks as earlier mentioned, but with that option you must daily express to replenish stock that has been used up. You might also want to put pure water bags in the base of your freezer to form blocks to keep the freezer cool for days without power.
P/S – This worked for me!
Credits: Funlayo B.