I have always believed that you can have it all. You can be a career woman, be a good mother, a good wife and daughter and still remain fabulous. I just knew that it needed a little work. I would find out that it needed a lot more work that I imagined, and who was I kidding? Being fabulous could wait.I went back to work when my daughter was 13 weeks old. You can see my entire breastfeeding journey here.The decision to express as opposed to using formula came easy for my husband and I. It would be a little more hectic for me, but breast milk is always better and of course a lot more cheaper. There are things I wish I had known though, things I would do differently if I were to do it again and others I would not change for anything in this world.
I Started to Practice Early
Knowing that I would be going to work as soon as my baby hit 3 months, I started to practice expressing early. It not only made my milk more, it also gave me the confidence I would need to do it at the work place. What I needed for this were enough storage bottles. I would then keep the milk in my freezer. You can never have enough milk. So start early if you can.
Getting in the Mood
I was lucky that my employers gave me a quiet, nice place to express. Actually that is not true, they gave me and my fellow expressing colleagues the keys to a store. It was cluttered and full of boxes; just the motivation a woman needed to get the milk going. But I counted myself lucky. At least I got a few minutes of to do my thing and also some privacy.To get myself in the breastfeeding mindset and ease the letdown, I carried a clothing item that belonged to my baby. That or just my phone. Looking at an image of her on my phone was all I needed to get things moving in the right direction.I used a Philips Avent Manual Comfort Breast Pump
. Though worth every cent, I found it a little difficult to use since pumping by hand is not easy. I also realized that starting with one breast before moving on to the next one was a little tricky since by the time I was done with the first one, the letdown reflex would be over. The second breast would not produce as much milk as I wanted.
I used these BPA Free cups to store the milk. The baby can even take the milk straight from the cup when fitted with a nipple. I like the fact that they can easily be stalked together to save on the storage space.
Sterilizing the Milk Containers and the Breast Pump
At first I cleaned all my milk bottles and breast pump the minute I got home. I would then boil them so as to sterilize them. My friend then told me about Milton sterilizing tablets
. I bought a packet of the tablets and would put everything in a bucket with a rid at night, put the Milton tablet in and let it sit overnight. That proved to be a lot easier than boiling the equipment every day.
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