Friday, September 1, 2017

How I collect 30 oz of breastmilk a day & direct feed at the same time

Hello Mommies!

Disclaimer: I am a total newbie (3 months into breastfeeding) and am in no position to teach other moms exactly what to do. This is my personal experience which I intend only to share what I've learnt in the past 3 months.

The essential first few days

A lot of mommies get discouraged from the very beginning of breastfeeding journey. On the first week, I toootally understand if you get stressed out thinking that you're not producing any milk. I thought the same. When actually, your newborn only needed a few drops of your gold liquid (not yet milk) which we don't really 'feel' them flowing out (obviously, because you're producing less than 1 oz of it). You may then wonder why your newborn suckle on your chest for almost an hour if they need only so little. Suckling is baby's God-given instinct to survive plus, they don't know much else what to do yet. I was clueless when my newborn baby was suckling on my 'empty' chest until she threw up about a spoonful of goldish liquid with specks of blood. The liquid was actually Colostrum, a VERY important first meal for babies to build up their immune system, and the blood was from cuts on my sore nipples 😓  which was harmless to the baby. The key is not to worry because stress hinders milk production. As long as your newborn poops and pees, continue letting them suckle on you. If things go well, your beautiful "twin sisters" will start filling up by the third day. Engorgement can be painful, yes. This is when you ask your 'tukang urut' to massage your new 'most-important-assets' to help with breaking out the flow. Or lagi senang, start using your breast pumps!

Things that have helped me A LOT
  1. Invest on a good electric breast pump. I know cheap ones work too, but if you really want to make your breastfeeding journey a quality one, get good stuff to help you with it. It's not worth stressing over something that should be helping you.
    I use Autumnz Blossom Single Rechargeable Breast Pump. There's plenty good ones out there so do your research and find one that suits you best.
  2. Working moms, get a double electric breast pump.
  3. Moms who multitask, this hands-free nursing bra might come in handy:
    I bought mine from Lazada. Click here.
  4. I swear by this silicone breast pump (below). It sticks to your boobie and hangs there until it's full so it's hands-free, it's noiseless, it pumps out milk naturally (vacuum) so there's no stinging sensation, in fact I find that it pumps out milk faster than an electric pump because milk flows out longer with vacuum compared to the 'sucking-let go' process electric pumps do. I bought two of these so that I can do both sides at one go. I ditched my electric pump for these babies because they're so much simpler and I don't have to wash a gazillion parts after every pumping session.
    I bought mine for as cheap as RM28.90. Click here.
  5. Breastmilk cooler bags easily cost hundreds of Ringgit. You can actually get good ones at Daiso and save so much. You can trust the Japanese to make quality stuff like this so fret not. 
  6. Nursing covers - you don't have to buy fancy ones just because they look cute. Trust me, every time I whip out my bright turquoise unicorn design nursing cover, all eyes are on me 😓 . And that's the last thing you want when you have a cranky baby hanging from your boobie.
  7. Use breastmilk ziplock storage bags to store your milk especially if you're stocking up. Bottles take up space in the freezer. Plus, disposable storage bags are more convenient and hygienic compared to bottles which you use and wash multiple times.
    The one I'm currently using.
Tips & Tricks
  1. Do not use breast pump too early which is when you're producing Colostrum and no matured milk yet because you don't want to risk wasting your liquid gold on the walls of the breast pump equipment. It is best to direct feed until mature milk kicks in.
  2. When you're at home, have your baby around or close to you when pumping. When you're away or at the office, look at photos or watch videos of your little sweetheart while pumping. Somehow this helps with letdown. I've read somewhere that once you become a nursing mom, even the sound of baby crying can trigger letdown. Funny how nature works but this is true!
  3. While nursing on one side, use a silicone milk collector on the other side to save leaking milk. Every drop is precious.
  4. Pump after nursing. It's easier to collect milk once letdown is present. 
  5. Or if your baby is like mine, cranky when the flow is too strong, you can pump before nursing. Not only baby gets to enjoy slow flow, they get hind milk too - milk with higher fat content at the end of a feeding.
  6. Massage to assist letdown. Sometimes when letdown stops, we might think that there's no more milk when in actual fact we still have so much more! Massage while pumping is the way to go.
  7. Don't time yourself. Seriously, just sit back and relax while pumping. Remember, stress hinders milk production. The goal is to empty each breast no matter how long you take.
  8. Power pump to increase production and to stock up on milk. Two things: 1) empty each side at one session, 2) do it as frequently as possible - every 2 or 3 hours.
  9. Before nursing or pumping, make sure you have all necessary things with you i.e. cellphone, handkerchief, pillow, etc. Just trust me on this one.
  10. Store your milk according to the amount your baby drinks at one feeding. Let's say if you pump out 6 oz at one pumping session, divide your milk into 2 packets/bottles (3 oz each) for your 1-month old baby. When your baby grows older and drinks more than 3 oz, increase the amount of milk in one packet/bottle. This is to avoid wastage if baby doesn't finish one serving.
  11. Storing milk in the freezer: lay the storage bag flat and let it freeze. Once frozen, you can organise them better by standing or stacking them up. This helps save so much freezer space.
  12. I know it's embarrassing when you have to tell your friends, colleagues or boss that you gotta go pump real quick, especially if you're in the middle of a meeting or lunch out with friends, etc. But hey, know that you're doing this for your little angel and that's top priority. Nak tak nak, just buck up and excuse yourself for a nursing break. Or else, goodbye social life.
  13. Share your nursing journey with other mommies. It doesn't only expand your knowledge by learning from each other, it's also tremendously good for your emotional stability.

Pumping schedule

I suck at having schedules, new daily routines, basically having discipline at all 😂 . I get a lot of people asking what's my pumping schedule like but honestly honey, I don't have one. Pumping actually became a habit because I hate it every time my milk leaks and leave wet spots on my shirt! And it's freakingly uncomfortable when my boobs get engorged 😩 . So before these things happen I'd force myself to pump.

 During my maternity leave I pumped every 3 hours or every time I feel "the girls" are engorged, and direct feed on demand. On my work days, well, I'm still working on a plan. But for the sake of knowledge, I'll share a few good ones that I found on Pinterest:

Power pump for those in confinement and wanting to stock up

For working moms wanting to pump at work

I hope this blog post will be able to, somehow, help other mommies wanting to stock up on milk supply. Please, if you want to share your nursing experience, you are very welcome to do so. As a new mom, I love listening to other mommies' experiences and sharing mine as well. 

Oh, here's a sneak peak into my freezer!

I'd love to get myself a deep freezer but I live in a studio apartment and space is an issue (yikes 😓 ).

Thank you for reading, lovelies!


  1. For me, kalau makan nasi bertambah-tambah, susu banyak sikit. Kalau in one day tak tambah nasi, susu kurang. Lol luckily breastfeeding helps us lose weight!

    1. Yes definitely! Kita boleh belasah makan byk2 sebab after 1 nursing session je we burn more calories than org yg berzumba for 1 hour 🤣