My Little Miracle

The exciting story of God's very special gift to Mama & Papa…

Breastfeeding Update #1

on September 19, 2013

Alright, I am so sorry for not updating as frequent as I should. Well, as I mentioned earlier, my computer crashed. So hubby sent it for repair and it was a hard disk failure. Yes.. I had lost all my documents (photos/music/videos/work stuff… it is like I have a new computer now). I was terribly sad and needed some time to settle with it. Re-downloading all my programs and I am still doing it right now!

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Also, time is precious at this moment. Taking care of a fairly new baby is hard. He needs me 24/7. Although he is no more a newborn (I am guessing newborn means less than a month old?) He is now almost 7 weeks and I barely have time for myself. When I do (while he’s sleeping), I am doing laundry, preparing lunch/dinner, pumping milk, simple cleaning or jusit down for a nap with him as I am sooooo tired… no time for blogging! I promise I will try to find time to do it!

Now that he’s sleeping, I am gonna make a breastfeeding update!

How is breastfeeding going? Is breastfeeding easy?

Let me tell you, YES IT IS! Please read on before you judge me :p

I have to say, I am thankful I researched and read a lot on breastfeeding even before he was born. I read this book, written by Dr. Choong’s wife, Christine Choong on breastfeeding as I had numerous questions on it while I was still seeing him as my OB. I was determined to do it and stayed really positive on supporting bf. I also have friends who has done it and encouraged me to do so. I have heard crazy stories on people who did not bf and why they did not. Some of their responses was valid but mostly is just lack of understanding/research/determination? I really encourage new moms or moms who really want to bf to read this book.

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BF has been going really well for me now. I am glad I started out right and kept on going despite the pain. The first few days was hard. REALLY HARD. When Leo was first given to me to bf, I remember the nurse asking “do you want us to give him formula? in case you do not have milk”. I was shocked to be asked that question! Confidently, I said “I have milk, surely will”. When he was placed in my arms, the nurse helped me position him so that he could latch. She squeezed my nipple to see if I have “milk” and voila, there was the colostrum. A yellow liquid which most  moms call it liquid GOLD! It took some time for him to latch but he did it and started sucking slowly.

Even when I was home, the first 4 days was the most difficult. I cried, I complained, I fussed. There was almost nothing and he was sucking on my dry nipple, not to mention his latch was shallow because I felt that his mouth was too small to take in a mouthful. I remember my uterus contracting SO MUCH the first 4 days whenever he feeds. I would cry in the middle of the night and prayed that it’ll all go away. My nipples hurt so bad and once there was a little crack and started to bleed.

On the 4th day, my milk started to come in and I was so engorged. I remember feeling like I had a bowling ball on my my chest! With more and more practice latching Leo (which was almost 24/7 feeding), he learnt to latch properly. Day by day, weeks passed and he’s learnt to feed well. For me, I had a lot of milk. My let down would be so strong that he would choke on my milk or start gagging even before he starts! I was scared, not sure what to do. Even now, occasionally he would choke. It is normal if that happens and it’ll go away by 3 months. Baby will learn to control the milk flow better. All you have to do is… LATCH. Latch latch and latch. I did not take any supplements that boost my supply. I just ate like normal. Of course there are some days I felt that I had more milk and some days, less milk.

Am I ever worried that my milk supply is dropping? YES! But then again, do not stress about it. Your body is adjusting and supply=demand 🙂

Now, I pump around 3 times a day to relieve engorgement and also to keep some frozen stock for emergency. I am also preparing for the day I get back to work, where he will be in daycare and will need ample supple of milk. I am not sure if my supply will be this much when I get back to work as there will not be direct latching as often, but I am determined that I could do it.

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Breastfeeding is a lot of hard work and require patience. I know not many moms out there have that patience and I understand why. Lack of sleep with no rest, a baby clinging on to you, latching 24/7 and even in public, it is devastating! I felt the same way too. But I remember what I’ve learnt. It is only the first month or two that is the hardest. Once you pass that, it’ll all be okay and worth it! I was determined to bf as long as I could and tell myself that formula does not exist! I remember saying to Leo, “if you’re hungry, mommy has lotsa milk… if you don’t latch well, there is no other supplement for you. So like it or not, you have to learn this together with me.” And it did work.

I believe that your milk supply depends on your mood and determination. If you are determined to bf, you WILL have milk and you will not doubt yourself! No second guesses at all. It is scientific that your hormone Oxytocin (happy hormone) is released when bf and is needed to produce milk. So moms-to-be out there, please don’t give up! I wish I could come over and help those who need it! Your breast milk is the BEST nutrition you could give your baby. And it is FREE!

People say that you bond with baby when you are bf. I did not believe that at first. When I nurse Leo in the early days, he would not look at me, or look at me blank! “What do you expect? He’s a newborn!”,  I’d tell myself. But now… at times he would look up and stare at me in the eye. Sometimes he smiles and sometimes just listening to me talk. I begin to feel that bond. It is something so special that only he and I could have. So yes, that bonding will come few months later and I know I wont regret it!

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That is all for my bf update for now. Like I said, Leo is only 7 weeks old. So far so good. I do not know what it’ll be like later on. I will keep updating you guys.

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7 responses to “Breastfeeding Update #1

  1. andrina says:

    Eva keep at it.. it is one of the best gifts you can give Leo and yourself… I lived in an era was bottle formula was the in thing and all the women took pills to dry up their milk.. but through my pastor’s wife (an ang mo) I stuck to it and breast fed both my boys till they were one. They never fell ill . Stick to it… great job mama.

    • vavaloy says:

      Yes. I will keep on going as long as I am able to! 🙂 it’s great u got to bf your 2 boys! It must’ve been an enjoyable experience! I can’t wait till he’s older and I can play with him haha! Thx for your encouragement!

  2. Komal Sashidaran says:

    Hi Eva, I have a question for you. You said that the initial 4 days were very dry for you and there was not a drop of milk… May I know how did you get past those days? I mean how did you feed your baby?

    • vavaloy says:

      Hi Komal,
      It was the hardest part… and it was so so so painful. I just kept on latching even though it was painful. I cried a lot… and I mean A LOT! What kept me going was remembering that milk will come and my baby is doing fine. He just needs to suckle for comfort and allowing him to do that (despite the pain) will trigger milk to produce. Sure he did cry and cry and cry (I believe this is the part that many will say “your baby is hungry, top up with formula!”). I refuse to entertain that thought. Also, please remember that your baby can get milk out more effectively than any pump or using my fingers to squeeze. So maybe not a single drop I see, but he is definitely getting some milk. So just stay positive and that 4 days will pass quickly, before you know it. Having a good supporter is important (eg: your hubby to tell you that it will pass and you’re doing a great job).

  3. Tracy Voo says:

    I sort of failed in my 2 attempts to bf exclusively cos i gave in the the CL comments that baby is crying cos he is hungry. you dont have enough milk n on n on.. how do i overcome that? im considering of 3rd baby and if i do i wish to bf fully. please give me some advice.

    • vavaloy says:

      Hi Tracy,
      Try to get a breastfeeding friendly CL. Or what you could do is, take care of baby yourself while she cooks or bathe the baby. She can take care when you are napping maybe. When it comes to feeding, you do it solely and don’t let her tell you that you do not have enough milk. Only 10% of women in the world really have medical issues of not enough milk. Babies always cry and that is normal, doesn’t mean that they are hungry. If they cry, just give baby your breast and let them suckle. Or if you are ok, give a pacifier to soothe baby. Most CL will say they help you take care baby at night, but at night is where you produce the most milk as your hormones secrete more at night! So, take care of baby yourself, latch more at night. It is not going to be easy, especially when you have other kids and no sleep, but it will be worth it! Just need to “suffer” for 1 month and then all will be ok. Just don’t give up too fast and don’t let anyone tell you that you don’t have enough milk. The right mindset is very important. Read up/research as much as you can on breastfeeding and really get all the knowledge you can before you start. That way, you will be determined and you wont give in easily. Educate your partner too, so that he can help you 🙂

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