Eid Mubarak, everyone! While I'm sure all of you are happy celebrating the joys of Raya at this moment, I on the other hand, am still glowing with pride that I managed to fast for the whole 30 days last Ramadhan -- not a single day missed, alhamdulillah! :)
It was a challenging Ramadhan for me this year though. If previous
years, not eating means weight loss. This year, not eating means milk
loss -- something I cannot afford to let happen. But alhamdulillah, my
milk supply sustained and I was able to bring back the same amount of
milk (on average 15oz daily) just as how non-fasting month would.
So.. how did I do it?
1. Read a lot.
Before Ramadhan starts, I already equipped myself with knowledge on breastfeeding during fasting month. I applied some of the tips and alhamdulillah it seems to work.
2. Drink a lot.
I keep myself hydrated as much as I could. During sahur, I would drink 2 glasses of plain water and 1 glass of Milo. Sometimes, I would add another glass of V-Soy Multigrain blended with dates. If time permits, I would drink yet another glass of plain water just before Subuh. During iftar, I would drink like there's no tomorrow and continuously take water whenever there's chance until right before I sleep.
3. Eat a lot.
Unlike previous years, this year I had to make sure I eat well during sahur & iftar. No skipping or skimping on meals. Rice and carbs are my new bestfriends. I didn't dare eating less because I didn't dare risking a drop in my milk. I take dates quite a bit too as sources said it is a natural milk booster + body energizer.
4. Pump a lot.
I would add extra sessions to my usual pumping time. If previously I don't get up in the wee hours in the morning to pump, during Ramadhan, I would get up to pump before/right after sahur. Then 2 to 3 more times at work, depending on my schedule.
5. Pray a lot.
Never have I missed asking from Allah since the first day I delivered Adeena to let me continue to breastfeed Adeena for at least 2 years, if not more. After all, this is all rizq from Him.
... And alhamdulillah, I did it. Was it all smooth and easy for me? No, not really. There were times especially at night when Adeena would fuss a bit during direct nursing, probably due to the slow milk flow. But I kept reminding myself, the milk is there, the milk is there. Worse come to worse, there's the EBM from work earlier on to supplement Adeena with. So I held on, and stayed strong. When Adeena fussed, I patted her gently, all the while convincing myself that the milk is there, and telling her to be patient. After a while, she would relax and go to sleep.
Oh, before I forget, I also applied this trick during this time -- As soon as I get home from work, I would pop Adeena on, making sure she's
continuously getting milk from me. I won't wait till she gets hungry
before feeding. I'll make sure she's latched on me as much as I can. After
iftar, I would only direct feed on one side. That way, the other side would accumulate milk. By the time I get up for sahur, my other side would get engorged, and I would be able to yield 5oz pretty easily with just one side. I would pump and routine #4 as above continues.
So.. that's how I did it. I realize this entry came a bit too late, but I didn't want to blog this earlier on, afraid I couldn't achieve my aim. But alhamdulillah, with His grace, I did and was able to fully breastfeed while completing the 30 days of fasting, and I just knew I had to document this achievement for my (and other readers) reference in the future!