As many of you may know, lifestyle blogger Melissa Celestine Koh welcomed her second baby, Asher, on June 17. While it was a joyous occasion for the second-time mum, fate had something else planned.
Soon after his Asher’s birth, he was rushed to the NICU – owing to his heart condition that required surgery.
But the parents didn’t give up on their strong baby, who continued to be a fighter and was slowly weaning off breathing support.
Even though he had to undergo another surgery to “fix what was causing his oxygen levels to be less than optimal,” he seems to have made continued progress since. As Melissa puts it, “Today feels like such a big win for us.”
And a win it is!
His progress was slow but steady, so much so that he’s started breastfeeding.
Baby Asher Now Breastfeeding, Slowly And Steadily
On July 6, baby Asher latched for the first time and there was no end to Melissa’s excitement.
Since the month-old baby boy is taking breastmilk, Melissa recently shared just how she manages this with her little one.
7 Milk Pumping Tips By Melissa Celestine Koh
Image courtesy: Instagram / @melissackoh
Melissa shared three primary tips, in addition to the four top tips on feeding at night. Let’s take a look at these.
Download Baby Tracker App
Such apps help to monitor pumps and nursing naps. She informs that even though they are useful, she still hasn’t done it yet.
She is still relying on the excel sheet, but will explore the app, once she manages to clear some space on her phone.
Invest in a hand-free pump
Melissa advises mums to buy a hand-free pump so that they can also multi-task. She is using SI because she feels the need to hand express while clearing her breasts.
Give time to yourself while pumping
She further reminds people that every woman is different.
While one can clear both sides within 15 minutes on a dual pump. There are others who can also take as long as 40 minutes.
She suggests other mums to meditate, reflect, and also indulge in their favourite show during this time.
Some of her earlier tips on pumping at night included the following:
Stretch out pumps
She shared that after she stretched out night pumps to 4 to 5 hourly in the last few nights, she is seeing almost double the yield (about 270 to 300 ml).
She has been noting the yield on an excel sheet to keep a tab on her milk supply.
No need to wash and sterilise
It is not required to wash and sterilise the pump after each pump. Keep the pump in a sterile bag and leave it in the fridge, said Melissa.
Buy extra flange
You will also need to keep an extra set of pump parts to alternate.
Note: It is important to buy the correct flange size for pumping. If the process hurts, even on low suction, you most likely need another flange size.
Invest in massagers
She noted that good massagers will help to stimulate milk supply. She shared that even with a dual pump, she takes around 45 minutes to pump each time.
Melissa has been preparing a milk stash for her son by pumping regularly for 2-3 hours. She is pumping her milk and freezing it regularly.
On the other hand, Asher continues to be in the hospital recuperating from a recent surgery.
We wish a speedy recovery to the little man!
If you’re also on the same journey as Melissa – specifically with regards to breastfeeding – here are a few things you must know about pumping.
Milk Pumping Tips: Things you need to know before pumping
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends infants be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of their life.
We are aware of the numerous benefits of breastfeeding, but it is also important to understand that not every mum can feed on demand and be with their baby 24 hours a day.
A breast pump thus, is an effective way if you still want to continue to provide breastmilk to your infant.
Here are few things to keep in mind before you start milk pumping:
Timings if exclusively breastfeeding
You can pump in the morning. Most mums get the most milk first thing in the morning.
Try pumping between breastfeeding. You can do it either 30-60 minutes after nursing or at least one hour before breastfeeding. Your baby will thus have enough milk at your next feeding.
If your baby wants to breastfeed right after you are done with pumping, then let them! There are some who are patient and there are some who will take longer to get the milk they need.
Timings if exclusively breast pumping
You will have to plan to pump 8-10 times in a 24 hour period. The milk production is generally around 750-1,035 mL per 24 hours.
Each mum and baby are different, so you need to plan your pumping sessions around what works best for the two of you.
Remember as volumes gradually decrease during the day into the evening, store your supply accordingly.
Here are some quick tips to increase milk supply
Always keep a check on your breast flange size. It can change with time.
Massage your breasts well before or during milk pumping.
You can hand express after pumping.
Always check with your lactation consultant or healthcare providers on how to increase your breastmilk supply.
Eat healthy and sleep well to boost the milk supply,
While you are at it, keep an eye on any breast pain, sore nipples or bruising on your breasts. In case of any discomfort, pause immediately and contact your doctor.