To be honest, things have been hectic. Between little sleep and slowly trying to get back on schedule and keeping a routine with a toddler while feeding a newborn on demand. It’s…well demanding. Along with a part time job at home, school online, my son’s therapy (that’s another blog for another day) I think some days I reach peak of mental exhaustion. I’v been lucky to have my husband for five weeks to help me through this time cause it is not easy getting back to whatever we consider reality at this point.
All things considered I am okay. This time around I know more than I did the first time around with my son. I was new to breastfeeding and pumping. I was new to the experience of motherhood and everything it physically entailed. This time around I am a little less nervous and knew what I wanted which was to pump as much as I could for this baby.
The first time around I remember doing so much research and stressing about my output. I was only making about 20 ounces per day after two to three weeks and it wasn’t enough. I was able to supplement at night with formula but my goal was to strictly breastfeed. Eventually, by an increase of water intake, adding more pumps in my day, lactation supplements and lactation treats was I able to start reaching 30-35 oz a day. I was able to purchase a stand up freezer and store a lot of breast milk for when anytime my supply started to drop towards the end of my journey or started using breast milk in the solids I would give my son. I was proud of the hard work I put into it and couldn’t be happier that I had reached my goal of a year breast feeding. I was relieved once it ended. My mind at peace.
Now here I am once again. I struggle with the thought of doing this all over again for another now…49 weeks or longer depending. This time around I have a oversupply when I prepped for under supply in the beginning. I am proud and yet stressed to say I am at 50-60 oz per day! This time around I did maintain a good water intake, coconut eater from a company I found, lactation brownies, prenatals and pumping at least 6 times a day (its advised to do more like 8-12 so please don’t try this if you’re experiencing an under supply). This all isn’t easy since breast feeding and exclusively pumping has its pros and cons. Every situation is unique and I have my own personal struggles to overcome when it comes to pumping from the wash and sterilizing of bottles and pump part to planning each pump to make sure the kids are comfortable and in a safe place while I sit for 20-30 minutes.
To put this into perspective that’s 20-30 minutes for every pump and at the recommended 8-12 times a day for the first 6 weeks to establish supply. Pumping can actually be a full time job cause this doesn’t include the constant washing of parts and bottles. While taking care of a new baby and everything else of course. This is a glimpse of the struggle but I am proud of myself and those who keep their littles fed. Fed is best and even those who give their little ones formula its still its own struggle to afford formula in the first place. Whether you’re new to this journey or returning. Welcome (Welcome back) you’re not alone!