Saturday, October 31, 2009
As a breastfeeding mom you at some point realize that your baby has somehow slept through the night. This usually happens somewhere between 6 weeks to 9 months of age. Sometimes for some babies and mommies this doesn't take place till after the first year of age.
In my blissful experience the first time my daughter slept through the night she was exactly six weeks old. Well when I woke at the sounds of her being hungry and realized that she had slept straight for 6 hours it was sour sweet. I had a good nights rest but was so engorged that she had difficulty latching on. I at that exact moment made a promise to myself that I would never again experience the pain and fullness of engorgement.
I did not own a pump as yet and called my husband to ask if he could come home early so we could shop for one. Well to my surprise when he reached home with pump in hand! He was proud of himself. He told me that this was the top of the line and very highly recommended. He had bought me my first Avent Isis. I learned that night that it was not as easy as just putting a baby to your breast. It takes practice and patience to learn to use a breast pump. It took me almost a week before I started seeing results.
I continued to wake up every day for the next seven months at 3 am to pump. I did this sacrifice of sleep for my own selfishness. I did not want to feel engorged. But this act did help me to store precious breast milk for further uses. I was always able to feed my baby directly so did not need to pump.
I later found out that by doing this I had helped to keep my menstrual cycle at bay. When a baby sucks (or you express your breast milk either by hand or with a pump) the hormone prolactin is released. This is the hormone that stimulates the production of milk. You feel this as the "let down reflex". This hormone is also important in inhibiting ovulation. You can have ovulation with out the bleeding associated with the menstrual cycle. In nature prolactin is the "natural birth control". This is why my son is almost two years younger than my daughter and my baby boy is 4 years younger than my son.
I made the choice to pump at the skipped feeding at night. It is every moms choice if they would do the same or let there milk adjust accordingly.