Thankfully, my husband was supportive and would babysit at night so that I could rest. He also encouraged me to start expressing breast milk so that I could leave the baby with the nanny and get out of the house for a short periods of time. Believe me, those little outings made the first few months bearable.
As baby grew, I realized I had to start stocking the fridge with breast milk as I was returning to work soon. Unfortunately, I was only able to express very little as I was not eating well and neither was I getting enough rest. Thankfully, I was a member of a Kenyan Breastfeeding Support group on Facebook, and from there I got lots of ideas on how to increase milk production. From the group, I got tips that led me to:
- Start expressing from one breast as baby fed on the other one.
- Drinking up to five litres of water every day as well as hibiscus tea to stimulate production.
- Eating an extra meal every day.
- Expressing milk at the times of the day when I was most relaxed as I would produce more milk then.
- Ensuring I left baby alone with the nanny for an hour daily so that he would learn to bottle feed.
By the time baby was four months old, I had quite a bit of milk stocked in the fridge. That is also the time I also had to return to work, which surprisingly caught me off-guard! I had no pump, and I worked 50km away from home. I had no office at school, as I was a part-time employee. How was I going to express during the day?
I decided to figure out the storage aspect first. I bought zip lock bags and put water in them, froze them and used them as ice packs. I had also bought a cooler bag and I had a few bottles. So storing the expressed milk when I was at work was not going to be a problem. What I had to figure out was where exactly I would be expressing the milk. I decided to get creative.
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