Sunday, February 12, 2012

Enough is Enough

"Welcome to the Milk Mama Diaries Carnival (February). For this month, we focus on back to basics. Participants will share advices - either the best breastfeeding advice they received OR/AND the best breastfeeding advice they can give to new moms. Please scroll down to the end of the post to see the list of carnival entries."


Well, no one really put it that way for me but it sums up these actual pieces of advice:
1) When your milk supply is established, you should make enough for your child's needs, nothing more and nothing less.
2) Don't feel obliged to give your older son your breast milk, or to pump enough so you can donate. Just aim to produce enough for your baby. If there's extra, that's good. But you're really just supposed to feed your baby.
3) Store enough milk for emergencies or the time you will be away and cannot nurse directly. You don't, however, need to store months-worth of milk.

I took all these things to heart.

I believed I am producing enough. I worried when I stopped getting engorged after two months or so but when I was told that really happens, I trusted the wisdom and just breastfed as usual. Even when my baby sometimes got antsy, or lost weight, or got sick. I trusted my milk supply. I did not seek to boost it unncecessarily because I never feared it will just 'run dry'.

And though I believe breast milk donors are women with great generosity, I am at peace that I haven't been one of them because I never stored enough to give away. Heck, I never even stored enough to cover 3 days. If I had gotten sick or died, my infant would have been really at the mercy of donors or formula. I had no stock. I am a SAHM, I nurse 24/7 and only need to pump when I am going to be away... for a few hours. The most number of ounces I've had in storage is 12 ounces :D

Oh, sometimes I would feel bad because the breastfeeding mom in me wants to save other babies and help other moms in that way. It is such a beautiful way to give of oneself, after all. But was I really going to take precious time away from just caring for my kids and being with them just to pump milk for heaven knows what purpose? Of course not!

Thankfully, Jenny did tell me that it's really the working moms who usually get to donate, because they're the ones who pump regularly and store milk.

Which brings me to my last point that is connected with my second. 2-3 weeks worth of stored breast milk for a working mom is just fine, after all, you will have stressful days when you might not be able to pump as often or get as much as you should. That's a healthy stash. But more than that and I really cannot help but worry over the quality of life of the mother. I love my Medela pump but there are a hundred other things I'd prefer doing over pumping... like spending the time resting, having quality conversations, just bonding with your child or going to a spa. And though the moms with the freezerfuls of milk are the ones who rise up to the occasion when emergency situations call for breast milk donations (and I will not even pass judgment on the fact that some are just actually running out of freezer space that's why they're finally donating the milk), I still would rather have these Moms pumping less and living more.

Mind you, I know some moms who are just so blessed with milk that they can easily fill pitchers in a pumping session, and it's no hassle for them to produce this much. That's great and usually the exemption. Most moms, however, have to squeeze in the time, relax, worry about spoilage and transit, etc. So, I really don't want them burdened by having to produce a freezer full of milk in order to feel capable, secure or happy with their milk supply.

Enough is enough moms. Trust that enough really is enough.


Please do visit all the other entries in the carnival :)

The Articulate Pen's Breastfeeding needs Patience

Diapers and Stethoscope's Back to Basic

My Mommyology's What I've Learned About Breastfeeding

Ms. Masungit's From One Mom To Another

The Odyssey of Dinna's Breastfeeding Words of Wisdom

Mrs. Bry126's We're All in this Together

I Am Clarice's Paying it Forward

My Mommy Kwentos' Sharing My Favorite Breastfeeding Advice

Planet Marsy's Better Than None

Mommy {T} Coach's Saved by the Nursing Mommas

Mama Drama's Patience and Breast-friends

Adventures on Planet Mom's Stubborn Me! Sure Glad I didn't give up

Nanaystrip's Eat Malunggay, Say "I Have Milk" and Love your Baby

Starting at Twenty-Five's My Husband's Best Breastfeeding Advice

Nanay *Loves* Purple's Why Attend Breastfeeding Class/Seminars

Truly Rich Mom's My Top 5 Breastfeeding Tips for New Moms

Legally Mama's Take it from the non-expert!

Mommy Mama Rat's My Breastfeeding Mantra

Mr. Jacob's Mom's Breastfeeding Tips from a Non-Breastfed Mommy

Hybrid Rasta Mama's Breastfeeding Lists, Advice, Links and More

Apples and Dumplings' One Word of Breastfeeding Advice

Touring Kitty's Just Do It

EthanMama's Only the Best for My Baby

the canDIshhh tales' My Breastfeeding Advice

Mec as Mom's Enough is Enough

Chronicles of a Nursing Mom's On Breastfeeding Number Two - Redux


mymommyology said...

I was always worried I'd never have enough -- so I am one of those moms that nurses and pumps, just for the sake of pumping, just in case. It's very time consuming, and my girls never really took the bottle anyway.
Now with Jamie almost hitting her first year (and we're still breastfeeding), I've decided to take it easy on the pumping, and I find I have more time with my girls. She still seems to be getting more than enough. So I am learning to believe that I still am able to produce enough for her even if I pump less. :)

Maria said...

Yes to your post!
Especially to new moms who have newborns, don't be too obsessed with your supply. It will be established in a few weeks, just trust on it.

just my luck said...

i'm glad i read this. i stopped pumping and storing since im a SAHM too and can feed my baby 24/7. i don't go anywhere away from my baby too so whats the point of storing, right?! but lately,i feel that im "drying out" already. and i don't have stocks to feed my baby. however, my baby is gaining weight steadily and she seems happy and satisfied. i should not worry. as you have said, "Enough is enough moms. Trust that enough really is enough." :)

Mec said...

Mommies... if you're really worried about your milk supply, pumping more shouldn't be what you need to do first. Instead, direct feed more, sleep more, eat healthier and just really relax.

Tala said...

Nice reminder and sooo true! Relax and you will have enough :-)

Emily Jane said...

Well made point!! :)

Unknown said...

Enough is enough! ;) A great reminder for us all! :) Thanks again to you and Jenny for hosting this carnival, dear! God bless always!