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Breastfeeding and vacations


I’m back from Tokyo! I’ve been since Thursday but I decided to take a break from all most screens and spend time with Fighter. ^^

Will blog about my trip soon! It was sooooo good to be able to get away to my favorite place in the world and just relax without having to worry about Fighter and eat and shop to our hearts’ content.  Of course we missed him like crazy and luckily our trip was pretty short.  Went home after four days to see him (who thankfully still remembers us wtf).

That’s the good news.

The bad news is that my milk supply dropped like crazy. T__________T

A lot of mommies have been asking me on Dayre about what I did when I was away so I thought I’d answer here. Maybe you guys can learn from my mistakes wtf.

(this post is more for the mommas among us, sorry single ladies!)

The premise

At home I normally pump 2-3 times a day only.  Once in the morning about 10 am, maybe another time at about 6-7 pm and the last one at midnight.  In between if I’m at home I nurse Fighter every other feed and bottle feed the rest.  Usually my pumping is enough to yield about 2 full bottles to refrigerate for the day’s demand, and 1.5-2 bottles to freeze for a rainy dry day.

The plane

Truth be told, the plane ride was pretty hellish. I normally don’t mind a seven hour flight – in fact I think seven hours is the perfect length for a plane ride.  Anything more is a chore and anything less means you cannot watch movies AND sleep on the plane you must only choose one thing wtf.

But I’m digressing.  This plane ride was terrible cos I thought I could take it and packed my pump into my check in luggage. T_________T Of course I couldn’t because instead of my usual 10 am pump, I had pumped at 7 am, giving me three additional hours to last through.  Plus I had no Fighter with me so I wasn’t nursing either, obviously.

The minute we got our baggage, I ran for the nearest restroom and pumped. I yielded 10 oz within the first seven minutes WTF.

(in true FML fashion, my bottles were so full by 10 minutes that I spilled it over my cardigan and pants wtf.  Only brought one cardigan and one pair of pants so…. totally legit excuse to shop.  Not so FML after all la wtf.)

The pain

Obviously super engorged and painful la.  I worried about blocked ducts but luckily didn’t get any.  So the lesson I learned and you guys can benefit by is, pack your pump.  Even if you don’t think you need it, pack it anyway and bring it on board with you.  Bring a nursing cover and bottles as well. Which brings me to….

The prep

Before you go, decide what you plan to do with your expressed breast milk if you’re not planning on weaning yet.  You can either pump and dump, or pump and pack to bring home.  I’ll die before letting my EBM go to waste so I brought along with me besides my pump and bottles, a supply of milk storage bags, an ice box…

Untitled…and a bottle brush and washing liquid.

When I went to Singapore, I ended up having to call housekeeping twice a day to come and collect my dirty bottles to wash for me which I felt very pai seh doing.  Also I didn’t like that I had to wait for them to come back with the clean stuff before I could pack them and go out.  I’d rather do it myself faster and easier.  So quite a lot of time was spent in the bathroom washing equipment wtf.

If you’re thinking about sterilization, I didn’t sterilize.  It’s not necessary to sterilize every day anyway, I sterilize my equipment once a week so I waited till I went home to do it.

Oh ya I forgot to bring ice packs which are necessary to make sure the milk stays fresh.  Bring your own in case the hotel doesn’t have!  The Singapore hotel provided reusable big ice packs which were perfect.  The Tokyo one only had mini dry ice packs so I took like sixteen.

The packing

Storage would be a better word but I wanted to make everything start with P wtf. The minibar fridges in hotel rooms are not cold enough to store EBM properly so after pumping, I’d seal the EBM in storage bags, label them with my name, room number and date and time, and send it down to the hotel for freezing.

Then right before we left for the airport I put all the milk into the ice box with the ice packs.  I secured it with tape and checked it in.  Cannot hand carry.

The panic

Milk storing and transporting methods aside, my supply dropped horrifyingly.  I’ve stated how much I used to express/nurse and the yield but overseas and out and about, I found it hard to pump more than twice a day – once in the morning, once at night.

The first day on the plane, my boobs hurt like sai.  On the second day, they ached but was bearable.  The third day, I found I was going twelve hours with no discomfort.

On the first night, I yielded about 10 oz of milk, and this was 5 hours after I pumped at about 7 pm (7 pm one also yielded 10 oz).  Means 20 oz at night in total.  By the fourth and last day, I was getting slightly less than 10 oz.

The speed at which it drops is horrifying!!! I wasn’t aware this could happen so fast – in fact I thought that just 4 days wouldn’t really hurt.  But it doesssssss.

I’m pumping and direct latching as often as I can now to try to bring my supply back up again.  But I spoke to two mommy friends who also took trips away from their babies and both confirmed that their supply reduced dramatically.

Both their supplies never recovered wtf.  This is despite taking fenugreek and other tried and tested foods, midnight pumping, etc.

So if you’re a mommy and are planning to go away for a bit, thought you should know wtf.  This shouldn’t deter you from going honestly cos you need that little bit of rest and sanity.  But if you want to prevent this, you could be more diligent than I was in expressing la.  Although that sounds super difficult when you’re on holiday, I understand.

As for me, I guess Imma start scouting for formula soon if my supply doesn’t go back up. It’s a little depressing cos I’ve gotten used to the pumping routine and I like breastfeeding Fighter (cos he always smiles at me when he’s feeding! Also it shuts him up and calms him down wtf).  And I will miss the license it gives me to eat everything without fear of gaining weight wtf.

But I gotta do what I gotta do.  So what’s a good formula brand?

P/S: Breastfeeding advocates, don’t even go there wtf.



Comments (41)

  • Thanks for sharing and i wish your supply can go back like before.nThere was a time when i needed to give my son formula, i asked the hospital where he was born for recommendation. It is Enfamil – so i gave him that.

  • Wha wha, i always worry about my supply dropping too. I don’t have any holidays planned but i start back at work this week and will only be able to pump at lunch. Means from 7an to 6.30 i will only be able to pump once. I’m worried i won’t get enough milk to store for day care and my supply will drop too. I heard S26 gold is a good formula but I’m planning to try Aptimil Gold if i have to supplement. My little boy was on aptamil gold when he was in the special care nursery and i know he tolerates it well. nnGood luck with upping your supply. It sounds like you had pretty good supply before, so maybe youre boobs will be responsive to starting up again?

  • It takes great determination to even think of pumping, packing all the necessary and plan the storage for ebm so you’ve done well. as u already knw, we produce milk by demand so perhaps maybe add in an additional pump session when u are able to might help to get supply up again? Otherwise nothing bad with supplementing with formula, I supplemented my 2yo girl previously with enfalac as well. Din get to a good start with bfeeding thus my supply was always on the downside

  • not a mummy yet.. but i learn from this post.. thank you for sharing 😉

  • My son is about fighter’s adjusted age, I’m still breastfeeding and my yield is about the same with you too! Manage to store FBM everyday for ‘dry’ day as well..I went BKK for 3 days and I die die force myself to pump 3 times a day & my supply din drop! Must be really hardworking and determine despite we are holidaying, out & about the whole day..Mommies rock!!!nI’ve requested a sample from Enfamil & Similac and just received a can from Similac, with toys some more.. (totally din expect it).. Maybe u can go to their website and request for a sample too, if fighter is ok with the brand, then only u buy, save money n no hassel! Most of my mommy frens buy Enfamil, will let my boy try it out when I’m about to stop breastfeeding =)

  • Btw, super like ur last sentence..lolnThey are very extreme n rude sometimes, don’t ever mention ‘formula’ to them, it’s a poison n we as a mother shall be punished to death.. lol

  • Well take it as u want…sorry if i offend but i just feel bad not sharing what i know. So here comes. U can try doing power pumping to gain back your supply. It is where u pump in minutes interval at night a few times for a few days. Google it. Many mummies have tried this and vouch for it, so may worth a try.

  • Hi! I’m a mom of 2 kids and if you’re not ready to wean just yet, may I suggest taking motilium? I dunno if you’ve heard of it. It’s actually taken for upset tummies but the side effect is an increased production of breast milk. I didn’t believe it at first but when I tried it, it totally worked! I only took it 3x a day for 5 days but some of my friends have taken it for a month and their milk has gone way up. More than what they were making before! Just a suggestion though 🙂

  • i LOL-ed at the “Breastfeeding advocates, don’t even go there wtf.”. triue that there are many bf true-ists out there that can be quite annoying. go ahead to supplement with FM, i started supplementing at 6 months with Similac after trying out various brands that didnt work (constipation, tastes weird etc). after all we are gonna wean bfg one day right, why not do it gradually innit? rather than have the baby so used to bm and totally reject FM which by then is a bigger problem to solve 🙂

  • I use Friso Gold. Tried Similac before even though confinement lady said it’s too “cooling” for most babies and true enough he got phlegm, which was why we changed. nnCan I ask you a question? (Really hope you can take time to reply)nI know fighter was in NICU for some time. How did you build up milk supply during that time? nMy DS spent his first 7 days in hospital.nHe is 6-week-old but my average ebm per pump session is 30ml (1 oz) *sweat* and I’ve been trying very hard..

  • Nestle Nan Pro 1. Easy on baby’s tummy and doesn’t cause constipation. My boy drinks formula milk at babysitter. I still breastfeed him after work and throughout midnight. He’s fully breastfed on weekends and whenever he’s not at babysitter.

  • That sucks to see your supply drop after all that pain and hard work! If you want to bring your supply back up, try drinking mother’s milk tea. It will be at a health food store (well, that’s where I find it in the US any way). Anthing containing fenugreek will help a lot. You will smell like maple syrup though. (Yeah, I know, wtf.) You can also Google the recipe for lactation cookies. Also, drink tons of water and try power nursing as pp suggested. Losing your supply is so disappointing, but it can be reversed. I’ve done it a few times and I’m actually nursing my 18 month old son as I write this. If you choose to go with formula then that’s cool too. Do what you gotta do for your precious little Fighter, momma! Don’t let anyone hate on you for that.

  • Dear Aud,nI am your silent reader.. and one of your fans to.. My advise is, we should wash the bottles our own, cez, not to be judgemental or what but sometimes housekeeping did not clean them properly. i mean, it will look clean and all but how come we know it is squeaky clean. this is not a negative point of view, but it happens including 5 star hotels (believe it or not) they sometimes wash with the liquid of God know what. used to work in hospitality before and housekeeping job sometimes does not impress me. but its up to you, this is just a concern message… i hope you, Fatty and Fighter lives happily together forever. 🙂

  • Man, I salute your dedication. That’s a lot of planning and work. I shall resolve to be more diligent in breastfeeding the next time I have a baby :DnnBtw, I think both Nan and Anmum are good. We started with Anmum, but then baby got constipation or wind (forgot, sorry mummybrain) so switched to Nan. Then after she turned 1, we switched back to Anmum stage 3 cos it’s cheaper. Some friends give Karihome goat’s milk, so it depends on you and Fighter’s digestive system 🙂

  • You can try all the other booster. I had the same problem when I went holiday in Japan and that also with the baby. Can try papaya soup, black bean soup, salmon, durian…etc…all. Try try try. But if worst case then no choice lo.nHappy trying.

  • Wise move. Milk supply don’t just magically increase in a day or two. Rather than let fighter go hungry no harm in giving him FM to cover the shortage right? Good job mommy! Well done!

  • My baby refused to latch directly since 1 month old so i had to pump everyday and eventually milk supply decreased (lasted for 6 months). Felt guilty for not giving her more but sooner or later we would have to wean one day.may try enfalac A+.No problem with constipation or even hard stool..

  • Hey Audrey, can try barley fuchuk to up the supply. But it usually works for short term, ie drink today then today’s supply increase. It may help you stock up on the short run if that’s what you want to do. Good luck. Its not easy to increase but don’t stress. I’ve been there several times myself and also in the same situation now. Add milk! 😉

  • Great post with helpful advice! Thanks for sharing!!

  • Hi Audrey, nMy baby refused to latch since birth so I had to pump since. He’s now 8 months old. I’ve had a few moments where my supply dropped drastically due to sickness and stress, and during that time, I fed him Friso fm.He likes it and no constipation. You can also try power pumping but it may take a few days before you could feel the difference. Anyhoo, I enjoy reading your blog! It makes my day =)

  • I super like your last sentence hahaha.. nChecked your Dayre and glad to know that your supply is back! But just to share, my girl is taking Bonmil organic formula milk. I think the sugar content is lower and most importantly, doesn’t taste and smell so ‘milky’. You know, when baby pukes or spills the milk, the smell is just not too ‘appetizing’ lol. But this Bonmil ok coz I forgot to clean it once when my baby spilled it on the sofa and it didn’t smell LOL

  • I like your last sentence “P/S: Breastfeeding advocates, don’t even go there wtf”nLucky I’m out of that group years ago before they screw me up mentally!

  • Hi, I’m still breastfeeding my 8 months 4 weeks baby (DL only). My mil insisted I expose baby to formula so in case of emergency or something like that, the baby wouldn’t go hungry. When he was 1-3 months old, I gave him Anmum whenever supply was insufficient. But when supply stabilized, we stopped the formula. I tried again few weeks ago, and he had a terrible allergy reaction. T.T Vomited and rashes all over. Good thing I tested with a little first. So I guess it’ll be better to get samples and try a little to see if baby has allergies.

  • Best thing to do for increasing supply is to put baby to the breast more often. Breasts don’t respond to pumps in the same way and formula supplementation can be counterproductive for supply. Just read that your supply is back up which is fab news 🙂 Good luck; you are doing a wonderful job!

  • thanks! I also wanted to get him used to formula before too old in case Mt supply suddenly drops 🙂

  • hahaha ya they’re scary!

  • thanks! do you know where to get bonmilk?

  • thank you! I’ll try to get a sample for Friso!

  • no worries!

  • thanks! I tried a lot of stuff but not barley fuchuk. will keep it in mind

  • thanks for the tip!

  • ya I’m damn scared of getting caught without milk for him!

  • Gosh soon stressed out about feeding nowadays…sigh…nHad my premie baby boy @ 33 wks. He was in the nicu for 21 days. We just got him home 3 days ago and I am now having problems having him latch on to me. I was able to breast feed him twice a day in the nice without problems before but for some reason at home his latch has gotten so shallow (nipple confusion maybe?) Just broke down the other night ,he was screaming because hungry could not get milk and I was crying out of frustration and feeling terrible for my son. I’ve decided to pump and give him the bottle for now, but wanted to know your experience with Fighter if you don’t mind sharing. Was he always able to latch or did you have to work on it when he got a little older? Hearing from other mom’s with premies gives me hope that things will work out.

  • thanks!!!

  • My DS is having a very serious constipation problem for more than a week. Mums, do you have any formula to recommend to prevent constipation. Thanks in advance. =)

  • Maybe u can try squeeze some fresh fruit juice for ur DS? Like what i did was cutting it into small small cubes for easier consumption. usually i would go for watermelon but not too much if ur DS is still very young kay!

  • Hey, you better don’t use those traditional remedies because most of it doesn’t really works. Few months back, my mum recommended one of the traditional remedies and apply it for my little son, ended up i brought my son to visit doctor in the hospital. Then i don’t believe those traditional remedies anymore. I would suggest you to research or seek those proper remedies that are proven, don’t ever simply try those unproven remedies because it is dangerous to your kids

  • i totally understand ur prob there… like for me i switched to Mamil from my previous milk formula brand and it totally worked for my LO. its bcos Mamil contain prebiotic ingredient that can help prevent constipation for children. Plus Mamil dont have sugar and has highest lvl of DHA which is pretty good for children IMO.

  • My kdis have the
    same problem before, but my neighbour suggested me to change to Mamil. Well,
    no more constipation at the moment already!!!

  • Mamil really helps in preventing constipation? But those home remedy really helps?

  • What sort of home remedies help in preventing constipation?

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