Breastfeeding is a hot topic in pregnancy and to some, the title may be exaggerated, especially if I compare it to some of what my friends or other mommy have to encounter. But to me, as a 2nd time mom, breastfeeding for the 2nd time, definitely is not.
And some more, I’m producing a lot more than what my girl is drinking, so I should be happy, right? *shake head* (Initially was 90mls 2hrly, but dragged to 3hrly as advised by the doctor because she keeps having reflux problems and vomiting milk)
During my first breastfeeding, the only issue I faced was Yi He loves to suckle for comfort, which is a norm for most breastfeeding babies, but for her, she ends up quite colicky. I have to carry her to do housework, cook, sleep, etc.. All this is still bearable but I stop latching once I’m back to work and feed her only EBM (expressed breast milk), but kind of mistake coz my supply dropped after a serious viral fever. Which makes me not able to boost my supply back.
So before Xin He was born, I latched her fully for a month, started pumping and bottle feeding, but continued to latch her at night. Plans seemed smooth for the first few days, and I thought she was a good latcher. Because the first thing she did was search and start latching on my nipple during skin-to-skin contact after delivery.
But as days go by, somehow I feel she was not clearing my boobs, but I just brush it aside. On the 5th day when we did a jaundice check, her jaundice was at 249. But it still doesn’t bother me. It actually affects her latching, but I still continue to latch her fully until one day I came to realise she will not empty my boobs, coz she has been falling asleep! I also fall asleep when I’m latching her during the night feeds.
I got to pump!!
This “wake-up call” came a bit late… But I never gave up and insisted on latching her. So I latch and pump…
Despite that, this method is not helping. Slowly, my boobs get quite sore, engorged and lumpy. Even my underarms had lumps (there are milk ducts at the underarm, one reason for me not using perfume for many years since I’m preparing for #1 baby).
My massage lady is very good. She helps me to massage my sore boobs.
Luckily I have 10 sessions of massage, so every day my massage lady helps me to massage my boobs. But each massage session is torture for me, feel like punching someone’s face. Is worse than giving birth.
Why do I say so?
Because giving birth is only that few hours of contraction pain…
BUT I HAVE STRONG LETDOWN AND ENGORGED BOOBS EVERY HOUR!!
And it’s kind of painful. Imagine 24 hours a day, I have let down 24 times?! I didn’t even latch my baby hourly, so I don’t understand why I’m having frequent letdowns. Sometimes not even an hour yet my letdown starts “reporting” to me. Only 2nd week after birth, I have already used up one box (60pcs) of pigeon breast pad, all fully soaked. Thanks to my friend Shermain, she helped me buy another 2 boxes back.
Wait… bad things things come in pairs.
Worse things happen in Confinement which I seriously don’t want to have but haiz…. ITCHY!
Realised that I’m kind of allergic to the OTC herbs. Took me 2 rounds of confinement to realise… Slow or what -.-” But too late… My tummy itch like hell, my ass **** (too gross and rude, fill the blanks yourself) also itchy… My legs are also itchy.
This is how ugly my tummy looks now. No stretch marks but an ugly patchy allergic reaction. And I took this just last week when it got better.
So my binder can’t put more than 8hrs in the max 2-3 hours each time.
So engorged boobs and itchy, that’s not the end. My boobs get so tender and painful, the fever visited me on the 2nd of August. Why do i remember so clearly because the next day is my birthday ~~ How nice?
Drag my damn weak and aching body see GP, cried in the car.. Feeling awful why this has to happen just before my birthday and why #1 I have no issues but #2 breastfeeding wasn’t so smooth.
The confinement lady offered to take care of the baby over the night but I rejected her because I still had to wake up 3 hourly to pump milk and also baby cot was in my room. But she took care of her till 11 pm, while I went to bed after seeing the doctor. Was so sick that I didn’t realise she had come into the room and put my baby in the cot.
Luckily, my fever went down when I woke up suddenly with my engorged boobs ~ time to pump.
My girl is totally on bottle feeding with my EBM. My massage lady encouraged me to let my girl latch but I was very reluctant. So I dropped the idea.
Message my sis and 訴苦, told her can’t be I’m going to pump every hour or 2 hours right?! She said I siao and recommended me away to solve this.
So I followed what my sister recommended.
Whenever I felt really engorged, I pump out a bit to relieve my boobs and slowly drag until the 3 hrs to resume normal pumping. I do this for about 2 days; it gets better. And before each pump, I do it with a warm compress and cabbage compress. Do it until my finger’s skin peeling T.T
Things got slightly better this week but still stuck with itchy, diarrhoea (suspect that I can’t take too much tonic stuff) and fainting spells (started yesterday) are still on and off.
My boobs still have let down hourly, but better than before. My boobs get engorged 2.5hrs instead of 3hrs, and cause soreness at my underarm/hand but still bearable. I have also started latching my girl back, but only at night. There’s no way she can clear my boobs for me, so I still got to pump before or after she latches because now night time I don’t follow the 3hrly timing strictly. I pump whenever I wake up feeling engorged or after she latches either.
This is how much I have pumped in my 2nd week. I didn’t even have so much during Yi He’s time in 2nd week of pumping.
So now at 3rd week, my fridge’s 2nd freezer compartment is already full and got a freezer in a rush.
So now my supply is maintained in 190-210mls for each pump. I hope I can keep it this way once I go back to work.
Seriously, my case compared to some which I have known is a really small case. I don’t have bleeding nipples, pus etc, but just all this alone enough for me to pull hair.. So really kudos to all mommies who experienced worse than me but still want to breastfeed.
My girl is trying to pump milk too. I asked her who she wanted to pump the milk for. She said she wanted to give Xin He.. Awww.. So sweet…
My girl drinking small slips of breast milk. Actually, I tried asking her to suck my breast to solve my problems, but she happily just put her mouth on my nipple but not sucking -.-
If you ask me if I have thoughts of giving up. Yes, I have. But only a few seconds I gave up the idea. Because,
1. Since young my mom told us the benefits of breastfeeding and encouraged us to breastfeed for a year (but she didn’t stress us and yes, my siblings and I are breastfeeding babies).
2. I only breastfeed my girl for 7-8 months, which I feel kind of bad.
3. Tmd… I suffer until I want to give up? No way… So (self slap) continues to “suffer”
4. Formula milk damn chor leh… Tahan… -.-“
I couldn’t stress enough, like I mentioned before in my 1st breastfeeding post (link on the left), even if u feed formula milk or decide to give up breast milk, the decision doesn’t make you a bad mom or irresponsible mom. If you are too stressed, it’s hard to build up supply and postnatal depression is worse than the guilt of feeding formula milk.
Your mental and health well-being is the best gift you can give to your baby in their growing-up process.
To clarify, I have taken no boost supply milk stuff yet except papaya soup which is one of the Confinement soups which I had for my #1.
Those who are keen to boost their supply can check out the following suggestions:
> lactation cookies
> granola cereal
> Mother (milk) tea
> Pump every 3 hours. The best is to pump after you have latched your baby to boost supply.