Week 23 highlights

Breastmilk from both breasts

Never expected my left side to exceed my right side

Week 23 thoughts:

  • Because of last week’s mastitis and not knowing if I was using the correct flange, I once and for all decided to contact York Region health’s online chat.  I spoke to a public nurse who answered my questions about using sunflower lecithin to break up milk clogs and she was kind enough to open up a conversation with me about correct flanges, etc.  I ended up booking a breastfeeding consultation through the phone for the next day (which turned out to be the next next day since there was an unforeseen circumstance that happened and the call had to be rescheduled).  But by the day I got to the call, my answer was pretty much cleared up lol.
  • The video call with the public nurse was so easy to set up.  They used a platform called Infinity Connect and it was a safe secure platform.  The lactation consultant I spoke with was thorough and knowledgeable about breastfeeding but actually clueless and a bit misinformed in the practical world of pumping.  She seemed to know all the basic book knowledge but hadn’t consulted enough exclusively pumping moms to know about tricks like using the haakaa epsom salt or power pumping.  …
  • She didn’t offer to look at my nipple in the flange which I thought she would do. That was the whole point of the video call..  She didn’t even refer to the medela resource on sizing which the first nurse did.
  • Upon knowing I pumped for up to 30 mins at a time, she said I only should pump for 20 minutes and then stop instead of going 30 minutes or more at once.  This is incorrect advice.  This kind of stopping and pumping is “power pumping” which is done to increase supply and isn’t part of a regular pumping routine…
  • She doesn’t know that if I stop pumping, it stops the flow and the body thinks a break is being taken.
  • I found her going on a bit about my pumping habits and asking questions about how much my baby was intaking; things that didn’t relate to what my original inquiry was.  I found these questions a bit invasive and unnecessary and personal.  Even the pediatrician didn’t make subtle insinuations that the baby wasn’t feeding enough.  Who was she as a nurse on a virtual consultation call to suggest my baby wasn’t eating enough?  My baby is on a normal growth spurt curve as of the last checkup appointment, so the thought of her not eating enough was not even a thought.
  • The only worthwhile advice she gave (unasked for) was that baby will go through a growth spurt at 6 months and she suggested I add an extra pump to let my body know more milk was needed.  Honestly though, if I’m not producing enough, I find formula to be a valid option too.  I don’t know, I just found her approach misguided and ill-informed and a bit presumptuous.
  • All this to show that while a public nurse in Ontario might be able to give pumping guidance, ultimately the free resources and chats from the exclusively pumping mamas group on Facebook is gold. I know so much more about pumping than this nurse knows. Maybe she should join the group to be more educated about exclusively pumping moms.
  • Bb started to touch her right ear.
  • Her hair is growing longer now.
  • Feb 28: got my first postpartum period! It’s definitely heavier than my pre-pregnancy periods.
  • Bb started to touch her toes! (The left one.) She’s discovered her toes finally. (Edit:  This was a one-off lol).
  • Ever since the mastitis, my supply has resumed to my pre-mastitis levels but now my left breast actually makes more milk than the right side!  I think it’s more so because the right side is still affected by the infection and hasn’t caught up yet.
  • Baby started touching her head when waking up in addition to her right ear.
  • She started to scooch (Feb 27) when on tummy time! She used her butt to try to move forward. She’s beginning the first signs of eventually crawlling ^_^
  • She doesn’t put objects in her mouth yet so I guess she’s not fully ready for solids yet.
  • 3 things need to be in place before she can eat solids: sit on her own unassisted, be able to grasp and put objects into her mouth, have an interest in eating (watch us eat, which she does) + start “chewing” when watching us eat.
  • We make her sit on her own against a wall/bed frame/bassinet. She’s not able to support herself fully yet. She can sit up for a moment but will fall down.
  • Mar 3. She can do tummy time up to 10 mins at a time. The most she’s done is 14 mins as of last week.
  • I can’t believe that we are already halfway through month 5 and in two weeks’ time she will be 6 months old. A 6 month old baby seems so much further along in age.
  • When putting her down on the play mat, she can swing her legs up in the air and move 90 degrees to the side.
  • When on her play mat, she grabs the rattle toys or crinkle toys with both hands now. Yay!
  • She’s still so interested in the toys hanging down from the play gym that I assembled. They all hang down with string or cloth string that I put together.
  • Starting to take out frozen milk again from the freezer. My supply dipped a bit on the second day of my period coming back, which is normal. The first and second day of my postpartum period was so heavy. I thought it would be heavy for a full week but tapered off quickly by the third day. There were so many small blood clots on the first two days. I had cramps only on the first day. I went through sooo many heavy duty pads on the second day. It was like triple the amount I’d usually go through.
  • She has been so difficult to put down for naps these days. Even though she’s tired, she doesn’t fall asleep easily which has made me and hubby so, so tired.
  • I was so tired this week I started dozing off while pumping.
  • To save time and energy, I didn’t use the bottle sterilizer a couple of days this week. We had been sterilizing her used bottles and pump parts daily since her birth in September 2020. Now 5 months later, it is actually okay not to sterilize every day. It gives me some time back. I’ll still sterilize the parts but perhaps a few days a week instead of daily.
  • She prefers the “I am so brave” board book to all the other ones she has so far. It’s short, the pictures are bold and high contrast. The main character is a black male too, which is great.
  • When she laughs, it’s the greatest thing in the world.
  • When doing tummy time and hearing the end of the 10-minute mark or closing out the minute, I start counting down from 10 seconds. Once she hears me counting down, she stops crying and waits because she knows tummy time is almost done. What a smart girl!
  • We started using the “milk” sign language with her. Every time before we give her the bottle now, we’ll make the sign. Hopefully she understands and learns to do this when she is hungry so we can communicate better with her soon.
  • She loves sticking her thumb and fingers into her mouth. I know she’s trying to self-soothe, but we are always cautious when she does it after feed because she’s prone to making herself gag when her digits are too far down her throat.
  • I soak my hands in warm water and epsom salt these days. Yes, I said “hands”. It’s not just my right ring finger with the trigger finger anymore but a bit of my left hand too. Fml. I read someone suggesting this remedy online so I tried it and it seems to help. I cannot have trigger fingers so early on in life. My mom has it now. So does my aunt and another family friend. It’s so common but I’m only in my 30s! I need my working fingers.
  • Her first stretch of nighttime sleep is still the longest. Then after that, she tends to wake up often, like every two hours.
  • Not sure if I mentioned this yet but my milk is so much more greasy than before. It’s thick where the fat is. When pouring it out if the medela pump bottles into the Dr. Brown feeding bottles, a lot of the fat is smeared and stuck onto the sides of the bottle. I always try to wait and let it fall to the bottom to pour it all out. Can’t waste that nutritious fat milk.
  • Not sure if I mentioned this yet but my stretch marks have now faded and aren’t as red anymore! 🙂
  • Her hair is about an inch long at the longest tufts now.
  • We carry her upright with her facing us now. It’s a lot easier on the arms and she feels lighter than when I’m holding her sitting upright facing outside. She has strong back muscles to do this now.
  • Sometime last week, we started closing the door to her room a little bit so that she can have a quieter sleep.

About stenoodie

I'm a stenographer, foodie, avid traveller, and new mom who loves to share her experiences with the world.
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