Avalyn just turned 7 months last Sunday and I'm blessed to be able to breastfeed Avalyn up till now.
Having breastfed Emma for close to 15 months, I just have to do at least 12 months for Avalyn to be fair. So, at least another 5 months to go, if everything goes well!
My breastfeeding journey started out rocky as Avalyn wasn't drinking enough. She nursed well but was a sleepy head to drink enough. She ended up losing weight. Her lightest was 2.1+ kg. Thus, I had to express and bottle feed her, when she was just a few weeks old, as advised by the doctor.
It was painful emotionally as I had wanted to nurse her for at least 6 months like what I did for Emma. The bonding from nursing was amazing and it's surely more precious than to be attached to a pump. Sadly, I didn't have the privilege this time. It took me a while to decide on bottle feeding. But I know I shouldn't put her at risk just to fulfill my emotion needs. When I finally made the decision to bottle feed her, I was relieved and thankful to see how well she was drinking and growing.
In the end, I think this arrangement works out well for us. I stopped nursing and pump exclusively. I was able to build up my supply without any difficulties. Daddy could feed and bond with Avalyn! This gives me some time to take a break or accompany Emma. With much hard gained experience, I could manage pumping better. I usually multitask while I pump. At office, I work while pumping. Pumping on the go was manageable. I started off with oversupply of milk and after a dead pump, my supply dipped. Thankfully, I managed to build it up by a little with lots of oats milk, pumping and hand expressing. I also tried some lactation cookies. Here's some personal tips for expressing milk.
However, pumping is no doubt time consuming. It can easily take up 2-3hrs (~30 mins each session) a day to pump. There are lots of washing and sterilizing of bottles and pump parts, packing, chilling, freezing and warming up of milk. Oh well, at least these stylish monochrome feeding set from Tommie Tippe makes me happy!
Sometimes, I do wish to give up pumping so that I could have a little more time to handle everything. Yet, it's a commitment I've made for Avalyn and I will do my best to press on.
From 8 times a day, I'm thankful to be able to sustain my supply with just 3 pumps a day since last week. With this new routine, I hope I could sustain my supply for at least another 5 months. Avalyn is starting to eat porridge soon, I hope I could worry a little lesser about milk. Now, it's time to start thinking more about purée and porridge!
Read more on my breastfeeding journey with Emmalyn: