Please don’t flag my blog for having suspicious content based on the title above. In fact, This blog post is gonna be so useful for many people, that I think it deserves a medal.
So, if you followed my Instagram for the past week you’d know that I have been away for a trip to Japan without the cheesiepetits.
One of the hardest thing for me to be away other than emotional guilt, was to maintain my milk supply while I was not with Sakura. I was not ready to give up breastfeeding just yet. Our travel schedule was quite packed so it would not be very wise to keep asking for toilet breaks to pump. Plus there’s no way I would be bringing a breast pump. So I devised a plan:
1. First, cut down day feedings. Two weeks prior to the trip I nursed Sakura only before her sleep and when she wakes up, so this way I won’t be getting engorgement during day time, yet still able to maintain the supply. Good tactic!
2. During the trip, express at the times when feedings are due (ie: before Sakura’s sleep and when she is supposed to wake)
So I went on my trip feeling confident that I could do this with ease.
Just so I thought my plan was perfect, I encountered a few hiccups right away:
1. My hand-express yield very shockingly little. Well, this was unexpected. Because I have never done it before!!! The first night I expressed only 60ml. Then 80ml in the morning. My face probably went pale when I saw it lol. Judging from the momentum, I was going to lose my supply very soon.
2. Since that hand-expressing was so inefficient, I ended up spending a lot of time in the toilet. Usually at least 20 minutes, which was not conducive at all for traveling.
3. I forgot about it sometimes. You know, it is not easy to wake up 6am to express when you are not sleeping next to your baby T__T. The other night, we went to a snack bar for Karaoke until 11pm (I was supposed to express by 8pm)!!! And I was panicking that my boobs were gonna explode.
4. Expressing is SO MESSY! And so tiring T_T. Hand-express means that you will need to hold a container (if not the milk is gonna be splattering everywhere omg… So you can only express one breast at a time. The ONLY way to do it without messing anything up is to do it inside the bathtub full of water. You can express to relieve while enjoying the hot bath and also letting the warmth ease your engorgement AND adding nourishing natural milk essence to the bath water at the same time… HUH THAT’S LIKE 50 BIRDS WITH ONE STONE?! Best. Idea. Ever. You are welcome. Except that… I was sharing the bath with my co-traveler Chanwon, and it won’t be very nice if she knows that she is soaking in Cheesie Milk Bath (sounds gross and unsanitary..!? HAHAHAHAH), so… this method was out.
I had to do something before I run out dry.
So one morning I woke up late and had no time to express before heading out for our activities. Worrying about engorgement, I stuck two breast pads into my bra and headed out. During a short toilet break, I went to the cubicle to express but I did not have an empty bottle with me, so basically I was aiming at the toilet bowl and boy was it hard!!!!! (Come to think of it boys probably do it a looooot easier at aiming the toilet bowl. I know Junya does it perfectly HAHAHHA.) While wiping drops of milk all over the the toilet cover, I thought, screw it, I’m just gonna express into the breast pads what the hell.
AND THAT WAS WHEN I SAW THE BEAMS OF ENLIGHTENMENT.
Yes. Express into the pads!!! I can’t even count the merits:
1. You can express both breasts at once.
2. You won’t mess anything up.
3. You can do it very discreetly.
4. YOU CAN DO IT ANYWHERE IF YOU DO IT DISCREETLY ENOUGH.
5. You can relieve engorgement at any time, a little at a time without having to excuse yourself go for a long toilet break.
6. You can do it all day, all night long as you wish to boost your supply.
7. Your breast pads will be very full and it will make your bosoms look wonderful. (in fact nobody will need chicken fillets anymore. Milk-filled breast pads will be the new bra-inserts! Omg do I see a business opportunity here??)
I am a genius.
I am guessing this is how toasters and rockets are invented. Sort of. Although probably of different scale, with or without the involvement of boobs.
Boob problem solved.
Thank god for breast pads. (I was using Pigeon, in case you are wondering. Never a single leak.)
(This may as well be and ad for breast pad godammit.)
(It is not.)
So basically I was squeezing my own boobs all the damn time, and if someone who did not know the reasons behind it saw what I did, they will either think I was a hentai freak, or I was Mitsuha in “Your Name” who just got body-switched with Taki.
It saved my life (the life of my milk supply at least). Please don’t tell the trip organizers and my sponsors, but I have secretly expressed on car rides, on flight, in our room (when I was too lazy to do it in the toilet), while doing my make up (and have no extra time), while watching TV and feeling bored, and sometimes just when nobody is looking.
No one will know if you don’t tell. Shhhh.