all I ever wanted…

about my travelogues, adventures in life, fashion, beauty and the occasional rambling.

My Breastfeeding Journey

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With breastfeeding touted as the best way (so to me, it’s the only way) to go these days, I have always known that I wanted to breastfeed even before I was pregnant. I read up quite a bit, though I wasn’t obsessed because I was quite optimistic that my breasts will not fail me.

After having the baby for almost 4 weeks now, I can say that my breastfeeding journey has not been the way I had expected at all and definitely not easy. I mean, I read like a million times ‘it’s going to be difficult in the beginning’ but it just didn’t register in my brain and I got the shock of my life when I finally understand how difficult it was going to be.

Let’s start from the beginning.

For the first two days of baby T’s life, I was still feeling smug because she was sleeping really well and I was ‘feeding on demand’. Well, now I know it’s my naive thinking. Nobody told me that babies ‘wake up’ on their third day. So for her third day, which is also the day I get to go home (and finally shower!), I have a  hungry baby who was crying non-stop while T was trying to get me discharged. Adding to that, PD who visited us in the morning told us that she lost weight (~200g) and asked us to supplement with formula. It was only a couple weeks later that I learnt that breastfed babies typically lose about 10% of their weight in the first week of birth pffft.

Anyway, can you even imagine how stressful I was that afternoon!

I had her on the breast for 90% of the time for the 3 hours in the hospital, and dreading going home since there’s no nurse to look for then. I literally begged for the nurses to send in a lactation consultant before I leave. I was expecting the same lady I had seen for the past couple of days but a different one came. She was super friendly and helped me with massaging my breast. I also raised my concerns about the PD wanting me to supplement with formula, and she didn’t insist that I should persevere with exclusively breastfeeding (which is what the previous LC did) and asked me to make the decision that will be best for me and the baby’s health and mental state when the time comes. And should I need to supplement, I should use a cup/baby spoon for feeding instead of bottle to avoid nipple confusion. This made me feel much less guilty about getting formula from hospital eventually.

Well, the silver lining for that afternoon is that at least she didn’t cry on the short car ride home.

We met the confinement lady at our house and my mom and sis came too and you guessed it, the baby started crying again soon after we reached home. No matter how much I have her on the breasts, she just doesn’t seem to be satisfied. I finally succumbed to feeding her with 20ml of formula at night as I couldn’t stand the feeling of her being hungry and she gobbled it up.

Looking at her greedily drinking up the milk made me teared because it made me feel like I starved her for too long! What kind of mother am I to make my child starve?

However, I was determined not to give up. I thought to myself, my milk supply will certainly be up by next week!

I tried latching on as much as I can, I finished every single dish the confinement nanny cooked for me, I drank red dates tea like crazy, I try as much as possible to pump after every feeding AND slot in a power pumping session a day but my milk supply still hasn’t caught up with her growing needs.

Since then I have been trying my best to feed her as much as I can and supplement with formula if she still seems really hungry. Some days, I feel good about this decision I have made because it certainly made everyone’s lives easier and happier of course. Other days, I cry uncontrollably, not being able to understand why I can’t be like those legendary 牛 (literally translated as milk cow). 

These days, I have more good days than bad. Instead of being depressed over the fact that I don’t have enough milk for her, I thank God that she is eating well and does not suffer from nipple confusion, and happily drinks both formula and breastmilk. I am also happy to report that her intake of breastmilk is more than formula.

Just the breastfeeding part alone has been quite a ride so far, and I still have so much to learn!

I need to keep in mind that there is no perfect parent and what’s most important is that I love her with all my heart!



Written by whitepaperroses

May 7, 2014 at 4:24 PM

Posted in Parenthood

Tagged with , ,

2 Responses

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  1. I didnt know u were pregnant! CONGRATS to u & ur family my dear! Ur baby looks as gorgeous as u & u’re doing such a great job, pls keep ur head high! xo, elaine73


    May 11, 2014 at 6:13 PM

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