Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Breastfeeding Month post 2: Milk sharing

It's almost 14 months that I have been breastfeeding Alon.  Like I previously posted, it was not an easy start nor was it easy to continue.

Breastfeeding is hard work for a mother, especially a working mom like me.  Once I got back to work, my main concern was whether I would be able to express enough milk for Alon to consume while I was away.  I did not and still do not produce a lot of milk during milk expression.  At the beginning, I was only able to produce two ounces of milk per pumping session.  By the time he was seven months, my milk production plateaued at four ounces per pumping session. I've seen other mothers produce six to ten ounces in one go.  And I have to admit, I was jealous.  I, however, had to respect my body's capacity. 

I was fortunate enough to have stored enough milk for Alon before going back to work since I was pumping as soon as Alon was born.  There was a time that the freezer was just all breastmilk that I decided to donate the milk to Makati Medical Center so as not to waste them.  I would have preferred to donate it to the PGH milk bank but we it was logistically more difficult.  When a colleague found out that I was donating breastmilk, she pointed out Human Milk 4 Human Babies on Facebook.  Through the page, I was able to share with three mothers whose babies had medical condition.

There was a time that I also received breastmilk for Alon.  I came from a three day trip to Kuala Lumpur for work bringing home 40 ounces of milk.  It turned out that it spoiled because my storage cooler could only keep the milk cool for three hours.  My entire trip took ten hours!  Whoever said "no use crying over spilled milk" definitely did not breastfeed.  It hurt to throw away 40 ounces since it took so much effort producing it.  It was fortunate that a friend's child weaned from frozen breastmilk, so Alon was able to partake of it.  We did not need to supplement with formula.

Thankfully, supply and demand have normalized about a month after the big milk spill.  I'm once again producing enough for Alon to use and even a few more extra to tide him over if I go on field work. I hope we do not come to the point that I will need breastmilk from others again.  I would rather share mine in this aspect. :P

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