Keeping up with the Milk Factory

And for about a month now, I have been taking a few kinds of boosters other than those I’ve tried, just to see if they worked for me. 
I took Taro Milk Tea (a large one, no less) once during lunch time at work and I got engorged a couple of minutes later! This one was unknown to me. I was at ShareTea counter and looking through the drinks, when I finally decided to have Taro Milk Tea because I love yams. I never thought of it to have boosting abilities. And it did! 😄

Another surprising-never-happened-before booster was chicken pie. A student’s parent bought 2 pieces for me and I decided to eat them at home. This one took a little longer than Taro Milk Tea to work; half an hour or so and then engorgement came. Hahah! But I wasn’t really a fan of chicken pies so that was the only time I had them. 

And quite recently, a friend of mine suggested that I drink the new Milo NutriG because it contained whole grain, barley, oats, wheat, brown rice… So yesterday, I got myself a bottle. 


Yes! I kid you not! The effect on me was amazing. I couldn’t pump after getting the engorgement because I got no time at work. Once I got home, I had to get them out cos I was already getting so hard. Almost a 10oz of yield, it was crazy! 

Now, knowing that my body seems to get immuned to something so quickly, I do not eat/drink any known boosters long term. I would usually take them once or twice and then not consuming them for several weeks before trying them again. Cos you see, once the body is so used to it, it won’t produce more milk. Instead it maintains the production. That’s me and my body. So that’s why this time around, I’d take boosters once in a blue moon. Like giving my body a surprise 😁. 

tandem to tend them

At this very moment, I am very annoyed with my body. I have been hit with mastitis, yet again! For the third time already, come on. I don’t know where I’ve gone wrong. I’m still pumping especially when I feel extra heavy after feeding. I even hand-express! 

So last Saturday, I started to get the chills and low grade fever, without any engorgement. I practically curled myself to sleep. I thought all these could be because Shazain’s nursing strike. He was latching for only a mere second on both sides. Plus crying from the top of his lungs (No, he’s not colicky and none of my kids were colicky). 

Last night was the worst! I ached all over my body and feeding him was the most painful thing ever. So what I did was, after he has fed on the sick boob, I massaged the lump and then pumped it out. 

And because I’ve suffered thrice…

…I know how terribly low my supply can get. Thus, I have to do tandem pumping at each feed. And probably swallow a truck load of galagtagogues.

No Bake Baker

I am not a baker and I don’t even have an oven. But I have all the ingredients I need to make lactation cookies or brownies. So I decided to make some that do not require any baking. And this are really easy, money saving and milk boosting delicacies! 

I have been buying Mom’s More Milk lactation brownies and they’re so yummy! But I also wanna make my own. So here goes…  

No Bake Lactation Balls

– 1 cup of oats (rolled or instant)*

– 1/2 cup ground flaxseed*

– 1/2 cup dark cocoa powder*

– 1/2 cup peanut butter

– 1/2 cup butter (I’ll explain why I used butter and sugar)

– 2 tsp sugar 

– 1 tsp vanilla essence

*optional: crushed almonds, chia seeds

Method

1) Put in all the dry ingredients(*) in a bowl and stir to mix them well. 

2) Melt the butter and add in sugar when the butter is 3/4 melted. Stir well and remove from heat. 

3) Add the peanut butter into the bowl of dry ingredients, pour in the melted butter and vanilla.

4) Mix everything well and roll them into balls. Arrange them neatly on a big plate or a tray and let them cool in the fridge for at least 1 hour. The longer you keep, the firmer they get 😉.

Ok! Now the part where I need to explain about the butter sugar thing. I am not a sweet tooth person so I used dark cocoa. You may wanna get sweetened cocoa powder. And the butter is to actually replace honey (too sweet for me), that really can stick them balls together! But since I don’t use honey, I melt some butter. This works, too. The sugar? Well, just to give it a nice taste. HAHAH! If you wanna use honey, you can opt butter sugar out and just use 1/2 cup of honey. Oh yea, the peanut butter is also for making the ingredients sticking together and making the balls thicker. 

If you wanna get more supply, you can also add a teaspoon of ground fenugreek. I don’t put it in because I’m done with smelling like maple syrup. Not that I hate it. The smell makes me crave for pancakes!!!

Alrightey then, I gotta feed my chunky boy. Happy (non)baking!

Public Service

It has been 3 months already. 3 MONTHS!!! Time flies with the speed of lightning when you’re not working. And my little rainbow baby has grown chunky!  

I miss his newborn look. Wish he could stay that way. Hahah! But he is still cute, don’t care what you say. 😁

Nursing him is a breeze, except for those mastitis episodes. Did I tell you I got a recurrence? It sucks. I had to powerpump all the time to bring the supply back up. But I’m glad that I got to experience all these nasty things (mastitis and hyperemesis). So when someone is in need of an advice, I’m right here! 

Oh anyway, I wanna talk about nursing. In public. I cannot, for the life of me, understand why certain community in some parts of the world find nursing in public (NIP) disgusting. They have gone waaaaay too far with sexualizing these assets. Puh-lease!!! They have 2 purposes; other than making men happy, they FEED babies. And to me, filling up babies’ tummy with so many nutrients and antibodies, is a priority. 

In Singapore, it is HIGHLY encouraged to breastfeed baby (if the mommy is able to). From my experience, I have never gotten any angry looks and stares, or a talk-down aunty asking me to go to the toilet to feed. Yes, I have had onlookers but from their looks, I like to think that they’re proud of me or that they wish they could also nurse 😋. But seriously, all good experience.   I met my girlfriends a couple of weeks ago and we had dinner at an Italian cafe, La Pastificio. This cafe, as what it says on that sign, welcomes breastfeeding moms who need to nurse. I didn’t notice that sign until I was done feeding Shazain. We need more public places like this.

And today…

…nursing in the bus after his immunisation and developmental check up. See how cool, calm and collected he is. Without a care in the world, eating to his heart’s content. No one bat an eyelid and no one was even bothered to see. Why? This is so natural. That’s what mothers do for babies. 

But, of course, moms also gotta play a part by covering up a bit and not showing your boobs. Why? To me, it’s about modesty. Boobs are very private things and I don’t wish others to catch a glimpse of them. There is nothing wrong with NIP but I also believe in not irking the society. There are lots of breathable nursing covers. If baby is not comfortable in it, than moms have to find other ways like pull down your dress a bit just to cover up that part.  

For me, I don’t do nursing covers. I use my babysling to cover up a bit as well as my hijab. I wear them wide enough to be able to hide my twins from public eye. 

I nurse in public with my modesty protected. 😊😊😊

Of brownies and puffy cheeks

February 21, 2016 2 comments

Can you tell that he’s been fed well?

Hahah! Look at those cheeks. They sure have become puffier. Wonder if he will beat his second sister to take over her reign as Bambam – a nickname for chubby. Lol! And I think I owe it to this.

Not that my supply is dipping low. So far it has been producing at a fairly good amount. But I thought I’d just give it a try, furthermore, brownies are my favourite heaven on earth. The brownies are so decadent; very rich and thick (you can get them here.) They have strong, nice smell of fenugreek and alfalfa but the good thing is they do not cause any body odour to develop. Unlike taking fenugreek in capsules. I remember taking them 3 years ago and ended up smelling like maple syrup. LOL!

Last night, the little guy woke up only twice to feed and that was it. I tried to feed him again but he was too comfy in his swaddle that made it hard for him to open his mouth. Worrying that I might end up with engorgement (and mastitis), I had to pump it out and managed to yield 190 ml in 10 minutes. Loving this!

Ever since I’ve taken the lactation brownies, I’ve been getting this much of supply and sometimes a bit more. On my lefty, that is the amount I can get through just the massage mode on my pump. Cannot imagine if I turn it to expression mode. And on my righty, the supply dipped tremendously since I recovered from mastitis. On good days, I may get about 40-50 ml (which happens only once or twice). If not, I will only get 20 ml. I feel really sad that mastitis has caused the reduction of my supply and size. And I look very lopsided now hahah! Trying my best to latch Shazain and even power pumping more on my righty but there is little to no improvements.

I guess I gotta rely on my left side for more liquid gold. I’m just crazy about keeping my milk stash up as much as I can and then maintaining it. I will definitely get more of the brownies and maybe try their other lactation product – cookies!

Stock Taking

February 14, 2016 Leave a comment

I am taking full advantage of this 16 weeks of maternity leave (not a very impressive number but good enough) to stock up my milk supply. Looking at my frozen stash in our newly bought chest freezer, I feel so delighted. I never know that I can achieve this and if I keep on my hard work, I can get the whole freezer fully loaded. How?

IMG_0967

This is a month’s worth of pumping. Like I’ve mentioned in The Milk Maid: Episode 3, I usually pump while nursing Shazain, and sometimes after nursing. I can get about 80 ml each time, or sometimes lesser. Much, much lesser. There are also times when I do not get any drop of milk but that is because I have already nursed him and emptied my load. However the pumping will help to tell my body to keep producing.

Sometimes, seeing no milk while pumping can cause unnecessary stress on moms. I, too, get a little stress but I keep telling myself that baby has had his right amount of feed. Therefore, it is important to educate ourselves on how our body works in milk production.:)

There are a few moms whom I’ve helped in sharing tips from boosting their supply to pumping their milk and storing it. Those are NOT my own tips because I am still learning. If y’all know me at all, my guru in breastfeeding journey is Cloud Mom. Until now, I am still watching her breastfeeding videos on YouTube. You can click on that link to watch and learn from her. The stash I got up there is all from learning her ways of pumping and storage. Here is a video that I swear by. Go watch it.

But don’t forget. Drink lots of water. Lots of it!!!

 

Give me back my peace…(and sanity)

February 9, 2016 Leave a comment

this is seriously a rant post. i’m not in any right state of mind to determine if it’s my hormones, or my emotions or just plain angry. so let me just rant. this could be what i really want.

i’m standing on the edge of my every nerve while serving my maternity leave. am i facing postpartum depression? *shrug* but everything, every single organism in this house turns me into a monster. let me get it down in details, below.

1.Kids

this is something i cannot deny. i mean, kids are kids. they annoy the very living being in you and this can be done on purpose (or not). one minute they can be so nice to each other, laughing and giggling while playing together and the next minute, they start to bash each other like thunder and lightning. the elder one keeps teasing and disturbing, and the younger one keeps yelling and screaming at the top of her lungs. and while they are at it, the littlest one begins to cry because the eldest two are disturbing his slumber. not only that, his cries also means asking for comfort nursing. and this goes on and on till they go to bed at night.

i try to keep calm every time this happens because i do not want to be stressed and then affect my milk supply. no! however, my emotions always get the best of me. i often take it out on them. i yell, i scold, i punish, i hurl angry words at them. i don’t know where my motherly love has gone to. i cannot find a single strand of patience in me. and i also easily lost my patience at number 2.

2. Maid

having a maid around is never easy. i don’t wanna talk so much about why i employ one because if i have a choice, she will not be what i want in my house. i’d rather manage my own home, kids and family. anyway, this particular maid, my 3rd so far, is one of the biggest headache i have ever had.

she priorities housework more than the kids. she’ll be busy sweeping, mopping, cooking while the kids are running amok playing by themselves. before i delivered the boy, i sat down in the room and had a talk with her. she claimed that she felt ok working here and could cope well. but i knew, from her face and the amount of work she did, she was tired. why? she didn’t know how to manage her work and time well. she liked to do everything at once. from her first day here until now, she would be doing so many things at the same time and then leaving them there, not entirely complete with her housework.

i have been keeping my eyes closed and just let her do her work but something inside me just wants to crawl out and redo what she had done. and that’s not all. if she does any mistakes and either my husband or i point out to her, she will NEVER apologize. she will find every little thing that she can put a blame on or finding whatever excuses she can use. for these nine months of working with us, she has NEVER utter the word “sorry” even for her grievous mistake. she will always begin with “oh i thought this was….”

and recently, she starts to nag at my kids. no, i do not like that! the only nagger in this house is me! no one else can take that spot. and when i ask what was wrong, there she goes blaming the kids. she is the only one in this house who has never done anything wrong. it will either be my fault, hubby’s or the kids’. even if she is the one who broke the plug.

and having a little baby around, even with me sitting next to baby, she can leave whatever she is doing to carry and cuddle the baby. she keeps doing this and it drives me crazy! hello!! i’m here with the baby, you go back and do your work. i’ve told her twice to let the baby in the basket and those were the only times she listened. every time baby squeals or make funny noises when he stretches, she’ll be running to carry him. OMG, she just cannot let the baby be.

if it was up to us employers to do what we want, i would have cleft her with a chainsaw. yes i am THAT mad. so before that happens, i really need something that can keep me at home and that i do not need to go to work anymore. but i don’t mind working from home though, just as long as i don’t have to leave my kids at home with someone whom i cannot see eye to eye with.

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