How to Maintain Your Milk Supply After Returning to Work

Welcome Back to the Millennial+Married blog

Today’s post is about how I have been able to maintain my milk supply since returning to work.

Milk Stash
Milk Stash

It has been two months since my return back to work. Baby Zay is primarily breastfed so it is important that I meet his nutritional needs. Here’s a short list of how I have been keeping my supply up:

Lactation Consultant

Our son’s Pediatric Office has a LC on staff that I receive support from. The office bills us to ensure our insurance will cover it (cool little loop hole) without us having to pay out of pocket.

Breast Pump

Breast pumps are great because you are able to release once your breast become engorged. I pump eight times per day because any less, in my experience, will make your supply decline.

Hydration

It’s important to stay hydrated or else your body will not produce much milk.

Converse With Other Moms

I embrace the advice given to me from other moms. It’s great to have a support system that you can share valuable information with.

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Life Update + Mother’s Day Weekend

Welcome back to the Millennial+Married blog.

It’s been a while since my last post. With everything going on, I needed to take a break and focus on other things.

Life Update

I got accepted into an HR certification program at Syracuse University. The program is virtual and is available at no cost to Active Duty Members, Reservists, Veterans, and their Dependents. The program offers several certification options, but HR was the only program that could benefit my career (I work in the healthcare industry). For further information visit http://ivmf.syracuse.edu/.

I’ve been working on my sewing skills and started an Etsy called Med Life Creations, where I provide low cost face masks for people to wear. I got tired of seeing people walking around not protecting themselves or the people around them so I created a solution. I don’t charge anywhere near the amount as others because I’m not looking to cash out during a Pandemic.

Mother’s Day Weekend

My first Mother’s Day weekend was wonderful! I received a lot of calls, texts, and gifts; it was like an early Christmas. My weekend started with a virtual meetup with other moms and it was fun. We laughed, cried, and encouraged each other. It was one of the most positive events I ever attended.

Moreover, I’m filled with much gratitude to be here to celebrate Mother’s Day due to the complications I endured during my third trimester; an opportunity many mothers do not have. In the United States, the maternal mortality rate is the highest of the developed world and the numbers are significantly greater amongst Black Women. Black women, regardless of education and financial status are three to four times more likely to die from pregnancy complications. Women sacrifice so much to bring life to this world; our bodies, emotional wellbeing, time, etc.

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New Parent Chronicles: We Stayed Up All Night…Again 🙃

Baby boy was up all night suffering from gas pains. He would grunt, cry, and throw his little legs up in the air. Also, he was cluster feeding so we were constantly picking him up to feed him, burp him, and massage his belly so he can release the gas.

I suspect his gas issue being the result of me fortifying my breastmilk. The recipe that was recommended by his Pediatrician has a slightly higher calorie count than the one he received in the NICU. It might be a little too strong for him because I have never seen him have such a bad case of gas like this before. He little legs were up in the air all night long.

This morning, I called to speak to one of the RNs on duty for medical advice. We were recommended Gripe Water and/or Mylicon Drops. I am familiar with Gripe Water, but was not sure if he was old enough for it being that he is only one month old. Most infant medications that I researched require a minimum age of three months old. The Mylicon Drops are safe for newborns to use.

Mylicon Drops
Gripe Water

So, Hubby purchased both the Mylicon Drops and Gripe Water while I stayed home to comfort Baby Boy. I administered the Mylicon Drops in a one ounce bottle of breastmilk (no powder added) and his pains subsided in approximately ten minutes. He drank one more ounce and fell fast asleep.

I am not a doctor, but as a mom, I definitely recommend the Mylicon Drops to those with infants and toddlers. Our Baby Boy felt relief very quickly and finally fell asleep.

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Breastfeeding Experience + Helpful Tips

It took four days postpartum for my milk supply to fully come in. Prior to that, I was able to pump colostrum and was seemly dry afterwards. Although I had the lactation team to coach me, I didn’t have any experience to pull from because I’m a first time mother. I pumped the recommended eight times per day for at least fifteen minutes and all I could produce were little droplets. I grew frustrated and toyed with the possibility of not being able to nurse my baby. On the fourth day, I began pumping just before sunrise and to my delight, my milk finally arrived! I was filled with joy because my pregnancy didn’t go as smoothly as I hoped. I would have been devastated if I couldn’t breastfeed.

Tips

  • Utilize all of your resources. Do not hesitate to contact your lactation specialist for help.
  • If you are pumping, make sure to schedule eight sessions throughout the day. Even if you only have time to pump for 15 minutes, that’s better than skipping . It’s important to empty your breasts in order to trigger your body into producing more milk.
  • Make sure you use some type of lubricant on your nipples to protect them from getting dry and cracked; I use castor oil.
  • Stay hydrated! Your supply is affected by your water intake.
  • Eat a well balanced diet and continue to take your prenatal vitamins so your baby can receive the nutrients.

Must Have Products

  • Nipple shields: Makes it easier for your little one to latch on. Also, they can be used if your nipples are sore.
  • Boppy Pillow: Provides support and comfort while feeding.
  • Breastfeeding/Pumping Log: It’s very easy to get off track and forget things while adjusting to a new baby. Having a log (paper or digital) will keep you on track of your feeding and pumping schedule.
  • Aspirator: If your baby starts to spit up or choke, you can suction it out with a manual or battery powered aspirator.
  • Castor oil: Prevents dry and cracked nipples.
  • Large Water Bottle: Replenish your fluids all throughout the day.
  • Comfortable chair: A designated place for you to nurse your baby.

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New Parent Chronicles: Baby’s First Night Home

Our baby boy was discharged from the NICU a couple of days ago. Although it was a joyus occasion, Hubby and I were very nervous because we didn’t have his monitoring system or RN to assist us anymore. Moreover, Hubby and I spent most of the day bonding with him just as we’ve done while he was in the NICU. We followed the same care routine as well by checking his temperature and changing his diaper before feeding him.

At night, we found ourselves staying up late holding baby boy because he refused to sleep in his bassinet. Every time we tried to lay him down to sleep he would cry. We decided to exchange the bassinet for another model because he seems to hate the one he has now.

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New Parent Chronicles: Our Baby is Coming Home!

Hubby and I received the greatest news this morning! His neonatologist has cleared him for discharge and he will be coming home in a few hours!

His first Pediatric appointment is very shortly after discharge. Since baby boy is premature, it was recommended that we schedule his appointment within 72 hours post discharge.

We already have his nursery cleaned and decorated for when he gets a little older. For now, he will be sleeping in a bassinet right next to mommy and daddy.

This whole experience had its ups and downs, but we tried to remain positive through it all. It was the love for our baby, our Faith, and the major support from our families that gave us the strength to remain positive.We are very thankful that he is healthy and that we have the opportunity to be the loving parents that he deserves.

Mommy and Baby
Daddy and Baby
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Baby Doppler Sonoline B Review

The Baby Doppler Sonoline B is a very easy to use fetal monitoring tool that allows you to listen to your baby’s heartbeat. The kit came with the device, batteries, ultrasound transmission gel, and instructions. You can put the gel directly on your abdomen or on the probe. I prefer to put the gel on the probe because it’s not as messy. It may take a few tries to locate your baby, but once you do, baby’s heartbeat will display on the screen and you will be able to hear it via the speakers. If I feel like baby isn’t moving as much as normal then I use the Baby Doppler. It definitely brings me much joy and peace of mind to hear my baby’s heartbeat.

Moreover, the Baby Doppler was gifted to me by my husband. Per Hubby, it was purchased directly from the manufacturer and with free 2-day shipping.

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Happy New Year 2020!

Happy New Year everyone! 2019 was one heck of a year with many positives and surprises for my family. We traveled, made strides in our careers, and conceived our first child. 2020, we are pressing forward with additional goals and aspirations. My goals include: postpartum healing, adjusting to motherhood, lifestyle/dietary improvements, schooling towards my RN license, as well as practice more self care. I’m looking for 2020 to be another year of progress and positives. I have attainable goals that are definitely within reach as long as I pace myself and remain disciplined. My hubby has his own set of goals and we are determined to work together as a married unit is supposed to.

Moreover, to better prepare for the new year, I put together a planner with different sections dedicated to keeping track of our goals. It includes: my family’s schedule, important deadlines, our finances, our medical providers and appointments (because health is wealth), inspirational quotes, etc.

What are your goals for this new year?

Are you taking the proper steps to make said goals happen?

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28 Weeks + 2 Days

Today, baby turns 28 weeks and 2 days.

It seems like yesterday that my OBGYN confirmed my pregnancy and we (Hubby and I) heard baby’s first heart beat. Now, I’ve entered my third trimester and I’m thankful to have made it thus far; considering my rough first trimester. During my first trimester, I was put on temporary leave from work due to an extreme case of nausea and fatigue. My second trimester was plagued with the worse ligament pain I’ve ever experienced.

Moreover, my third and final trimester has been the easiest on me physically. No nausea and the ligament pain is less frequent. I can feel our baby kicking, turning, and rolling everyday; it brings me much joy.

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