The LO just turned 4 months and I’m happy to say that we’re still exclusively breastfeeding!
I went back to work a month ago. I was very anxious preparing for my return. We don’t have a lactation room in our office and we don’t have a refrigerator. So I’m left with the option of pumping in my desk and I have to bring a cooler bag to work. I started building my stash 4 weeks before I went back to work and this is the stash that I left baby with. Course he only consumes about two filled bags a day so this stash lasted for weeks and weeks.
To prepare for my return to work, I purchased an Autumnz Posh Cooler Bag in black (P1,200 with free air dry mesh pack) from Mamabella Nursing and Maternity Wear. It has two compartments which are both fully insulated. The top compartment is where I keep my breast pump parts and the Unimom switch kit (so I can use the same parts to convert the kit into a manual pump). Since I already have a few Medela and Unimom bottles, I decided to add more by purchasing some Autumnz milk storage bottles which are BPA free and a steal at P750 for a pack of 10 bottles. I use all the bottles on rotation but sometimes I also use milk storage bags. I purchase the “Mom & Baby” brand which are the cheapest I’ve seen so far. I buy these in SM for about P200++ for 25 pieces (or is it 30?). To keep the expressed milk cool, I use ice packs from Babymama. These worked fine until one super hot and humid day, the packs just started melting into their gooey-jelly consistency! I panicked! So I had to replace some of the packs with a sheet of Techni-ice.
Going back to the bag…the upside is that the bag is very compact. I didn’t expect it to be so small especially since it has two compartments (check hand for comparison)! It’s almost as small as a camera bag! I love that it’s an all-in-one bag which makes it very convenient to lug around. Since I commute to work the size is a Godsend! The only downsides would be… 1) the strap. It feels a little too thin for such a heavy load which is why I’m looking for a more heavy-duty strap to replace it with 2) Maybe because I used to stuff it with thick ice packs, the seams are starting to break. Eeep. But it’s still good and I have a feeling I’ll be using this till it completely wears out on me.
I also ordered a hands-free pump bra from Babymama.ph but sadly, I only got to use this thrice. I find that putting it on takes a lot of time so now it’s just sitting in my office drawer. The bra is very convenient though if you want to type and pump at the same time.
I pump every three hours on my desk for about 20 minutes each. Thank God my work station is at the further most end and that nobody really snoops around my business. I just have a nursing cover to keep things discreet. Sometimes before I get dropped off at the train station (Yes I take the MRT people! That’s another challenge I have to deal with!) I also pump in the car. I pretty much plan my day around my pumping breaks. As in I work and attend meetings and then when it’s time to pump, I just go back to my desk. To be honest, I became a more efficient worker because I see to it that I manage my time well. Same goes when I go out to the mall and I have to leave the baby home. I make sure I finish all my shopping and eating in a certain number of hours so I have enough time to head on to the nearest breastfeeding station where I can pump. I’ll do a series of posts on some of the breastfeeding stations in the metro that I’ve tried so far.
Coming from work, I get to take home about 14oz to 17 oz. LO’s consumption is about 13 oz. so I still get to store extra milk. Some of the extra bags that I have, I give to my sister-in-law’s son.
Oh and just to show you…I took a pic of that unfortunate day when my ice packs melted! I had to run to the nearby Starbucks to ask for ice. So embarrassing! Buti nalang they’re the nicest people ever! I was so happy that the ice kept my milk cool but but stupid ol’ me didn’t realize that the melted ice would seep at the bottom of the bag! So there I was walking while the bag was going a drip-drip-DRIPPIN! What a mess! haha.
Being a working-pumping-commuting momma is no joke. If I used to get home tired from the travel, now I literally feel like collapsing every single time! It really takes a whole level of dedication just to keep this going ha! I’m not kidding!
Which is why on weekends, I am glad…no not glad…ELATED is the word! that I can rid myself of the tedious process of sterilizing parts, packing all my stuff, and lugging everything to work and back. On weekends, I can just lift my shirt and plop out the boob, so me and the little guy can nurse all day.
To read about my breastfeeding update at 2 months, go to this link.