The kids are a week old as of tonight so we decided it was time to start milking Ivy. Technically its still a little early- she may still be producing some colostrum until the babies are two weeks old and it makes the milk taste funny. But since we are new to milking we decided to go ahead and start now so we can take it slow and get the hang of things. Milking is surprisingly hard on your hand muscles and its going to take lots of practice to get my hands strong enough to comfortably milk more than a couple of cups at a time!
Our friend Alicia showed us the basics last night but when it was time to do it myself today I couldn’t get a single drop to come out at first. But I kept working on it and once I got a feel for it I was able to get a solid stream each time. I think that as I get more practice I’ll become more efficient which will mean I can collect more milk faster and with less effort.
I discovered one neat trick today. I had taken a break to let me hand rest and put Luc up on the stand to nurse a few minutes. When I went back to milking I discovered that the stream was much stronger and came out easier. When it started to weaken I just put Luc back on for a few seconds to improve the flow.
I collected a little over 2 cups of milk today and could have collected a lot more but my hands were tired and I wasn’t sure how much I could safely take without there not being enough left for the babies. If I take a little more each day it should help her to gradually increase her milk supply so that there is plenty for the kids and plenty for us.