“Start as you mean to go on.”
Or “Start with the end in sight.”
My little man turned seven months in June, four days before my return to school day. I had hoped to wean him unto solid meals by this time. I wasn’t expecting him to be able to eat three whole meals, but I had hoped for some sort of day time meal routine at the very least. I had high expectations of my breastmilk expression skills reality, however begged to differ. This leads me to my lessons from week one:
Go into every endeavour with positive energy. Contrary to my usual disposition when faced with a new challenge (which is often apprehension masked in negativity), I returned to school filled with positive energy. I presume this positivity was a result of my past accomplishments in school prior to going on maternity leave.
Be positive but have a contingency plan. Being able to get back into study as planned increased myself confidence. It felt like I had a firmer grip on my life and the plans ahead. However, I had no contingency plan with respect to how baby would be fed if the milk I expressed wasn’t enough. At first I had a milk stash in the freezer but it was quickly depleted by the end of week one. Though baby was having pureed fruit, as well, I was still worried.
Being relaxed and having breakfast helps with milk production. I have not made the previous statement based on any scientific authority. However, drawing from my personal experience, I found having a good breakfast anytime before 11am not only helped increase my milk production but also the thickness of the expressed milk. I also found having a nap or just some rest or warm bath helped increase milk production.
Be positive, but be observant; watch your words. It often very tempting to ‘over share’ or to stretch ourselves beyond limit, or to overtly identify with everyone when we come into a new environment. While in certain cases nothing negative comes of this experience, under different circumstances an unhealthy working trend might be established. Often times it comes back to bite us in the butt. Be on your best behaviour, but ensure to be you. (will throw more light on this in week four)