The milk bar

Our code word for nursing is ‘the milk bar’. Chris will ask me when he is about to give me Aviana for a feed “Is the milk bar open??” . Well this milk bar has had a fun weekend.

Saturday Aviana and I went to our local La Leche League breastfeeding meeting. I thought I’d see what it’s all about. I didn’t have any specific worries or troubles, the only thing that was bothering me was going back to work making me a bit nervous. 

The meeting was led by a La Leche League volunteer. She basically introduced what the point of the meetings were (women help each other out with breastfeeding), how the meetings worked, facilitated the discussion and provided guidance where necessary. Some meetings have particular education themes with time saved for questions anyone may have. This particular meeting we spent the whole time answering and discussing everybody’s questions. 

The first question one mum had was about tongue and lip ties which I knew nothing about so I sort of started to get a bit lost with the discussion at first. Having said that, I did learn some new things about the subtleties of tongue ties at the back of the mouth and what symptoms it causes. 

Next there were was a question about nursing a toddler and how to deal with biting…OK so not my problem now but it was interesting to hear how women were coping with it, lots of tips and tricks for the future. Little things that I would never have thought of, for example, some of the teething necklaces you can find in target might be useful but the rubbery parts can catch on long hair making them painful – and useless, so we talked about alternative necklaces etc.

The third question was about over feeding at day care. One lady had been asked by her daycare to increase her bottles to 5oz because baby was eating all 4oz. The lady was worried how to keep production up. Actually this was too much milk and ideally a breastfed baby should only need about 3oz in 3 hours, therefore rather than trying to pump more, what the mother really needed to do was talk to the daycare and educate them – her baby was the only breastfed baby there. Whilst formula babies take more milk, breastfed babies don’t need as much volume as formula fed babies and shouldn’t be compared for volume requirements. Some ladies had dealt with daycares by getting a doctor’s note to say their babies should not be fed more than 3oz per 3hrs in order to ensure the daycare would listen. It’s a shame that this is necessary at some daycares, but, a useful tip nevertheless to prevent over feeding.

Another question was about tandem nursing with newborn baby and toddler. Wow, that was fascinating to hear how some mothers had coped with doing that!!! Kudos! 

There were several other questions and discussions that in the end, the whole meeting was dedicated to answering everybody’s questions rather than the initial planned education session. That was nice to know that you could come to a meeting and have your questions addressed if need be.

I really enjoyed listening to nuggets of tips and that some of the stresses of breastfeeding were felt similarly by others. It was nice to know it was ‘normal’. I felt it was a good meeting and liked how there was no judgement and that it was about women helping each other out to keep on breastfeeding. Because let’s face it, it’s not always a walk in the park. At the end the leader gave me some reading material about going back to work for the breastfeeding mother….which brings me to the next milk bar topic of the weekend!!!

– Preparing to go back to work! Let’s rewind to Thursday. On Thursday the nanny came a few hours earlier than usual because I had to go have dental implant surgery (ouchie!!). Usually Aviana will muddle through the afternoon by snacking on milk here and there, but this day she decided she didn’t want to take the bottle – at all. She didn’t eat for 6 hours. The only reason she ate anything was because he nanny had tried to give her a different bottle, which Aviana finally took. By the time I came home, I saw the undrunk bottle on the side and it looked really weird, very fatty. I sniffed it and it smelt really soapy. I’d read about soapy smelling milk before – it indicated a high lipase issue. Some babies are sensitive to it and won’t drink it. 

So I researched high lipase and experimented with some of my fresh milk. I left my milk in the fridge for two days and got Chris to taste and compare it with freshly pumped milk. He said that the not so fresh milk was different, tasting soapy and flowery. This confirmed my suspicions that my milk has high lipase and is probably why Aviana doesn’t talk all the bottles in the past, especially my frozen milk. 

Ughhhh. This meant that all my frozen milk was affected (I had worked up about 24oz of frozen milk over the past few months). It also meant that for going back to work on Sunday (the next day!!) I didn’t have enough milk. Panic. 

I posted my dilemma on my local Facebook breastfeeding support group and learned a bit more from other mothers who had high lipase issues. Firstly, there is a way to prevent the soapiness- scalding the milk before freezing it (more here- Secondly, my frozen stash might not be completely wasted if I try to mix in frozen with fresh to make it less soapy tasting and see if Aviana will take that. Basically experiment. And if all else fails I could use my frozen stash for a milk bath. 

Very frustrating to discover this all so close to going back to work (and typical after I had been to the La Leche League meeting – I could have asked the question about high lipase there!!). 

Let’s see how this milk bar works out this week….. 

6 thoughts on “The milk bar

  1. Nara says:

    Oh how frustrating about the milk! Now you’ve got me worried about my frozen stash! I wonder how you tell? I’ll have to defrost some and get B to try it!


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