Apr 20, 2014

My Thoughts of Breastfeeding

I haven't been around for quite sometime in blogger.. I love my tumblr lately but I keep blogger for a more serious stuff... tumblr is more to fun everyday things.. I hate it with a fact that I can't label my post.. ;D that's my life story and here is what I wish to write ;))

OK..back to the mummy's story.. Breastfeeding.. I'm sure you already find this topic all over the internet and lots of mummy giving tips on it.. ;) I like it that these days lots of people choose to breastfeed.

It's my second journey in breastfeeding.. up to this point, I'm happy and feel better than my first journey. My daughter Khayra was breastfed for 6 months exclusive and until 1 year alternately with formula. I have to stop due to health condition.. Ilman is already 4 months and 1 week.. and still in exclusive breastfeeding and Insya Allah will reach his 6 months milestone soon. ;))

It's true that knowledge and experience help so much in breastfeeding journey..

Here.. I want to share my thoughts on breastfeeding and maybe some tips.. some stories and try to be honest as much as I could... I'm an ordinary woman.. I'm not superwoman..

Honestly, breastfeeding is both difficult and easy. We need to have a mountain height of desire to really make it trough.. it involves everything from desire.. determination.. striving and spiritual to the Muslim. It wasn't just a simple science that most people make it sound like (Just feed the baby when they want to be fed) .. It's honestly a strive of a mother for her child in their early life.. once for every child life.. and you'll never meet this time again. Ever.. And the one who usually successful to complete the 2 years time exclusive while working is Subhanallah.. a really great mother that have all the positive thoughts.. and great amount of desire to complete this cycle.

First... the niat. Just like any other thing we do in life.. Niat! People usually come up with they want to breastfeed because..
a) Allah told us to because it's written in the Quran
b) We want to give the best to our baby because it is the best milk
c) It's the comfort that we can give to our baby..

But please.. don't decide that you want to breastfeed because the best milk in town Enfalac is RM80 per 600gm...  and it's way off your monthly budget. I think you'll find the journey a bit difficult if money is the reason. Yes, breastfeeding help you save but always remember every drops of mother's milk is rezeki from Allah.. it's Allah gift that we should say thanks.

There's no end if there's no beginning.. The beginning of this journey is really 100x important..

The start of breastfeeding is already a battle to a mother...
~ we didn't know how to hold a baby..
~ we didn't know how to put the nipple inside baby mouth..
~ we wonder why can't they open it wide..
~ and if the nipple flat, we wonder how the baby ever latch (get help from the nurse if you see your nipple flat... they can use cut out shringe to pull it out or you just pump with breastpump to make to nipple comes out..)
~ we wonder if they get milk coz they seems like want to latch all the time...
~ we start loosing sleep and feel like zombie..
~ and at the same time feel so hurt from the birthing process..
most of us cry.. Some surrender at the first week coz they didn't think they can do it. This is what all new mother should expect.. Everyone face this.. I hope by putting this down new mom can get the view of what will come and be ready mentally to start this journey.

Before you decide to surrender... look at that beautiful baby.. she or he is ours and if we didn't do it now.. we won't have that chance again.. to hold our baby lovingly in our arms... feeding him and feel the close bond between.. a baby that truly wants his mother for comfort..  and who else we hope to really comfort him to replace us. Are we replaceable.. ;D a difficult starting will always bring joy at the end. ;)) Strive... soon everything easier..

I teach my baby latch while laying on my side on my 2nd week.. ( bigger baby better at feeding with this position) coz I cannot stand feeling dizzy sitting down.. and I worried if I slip my baby from my lap... ;D I This position allow me to easier comes back to sleep after feeding and my baby co sleep with me.. This style work for me. :))  I use nursing pillow in first few weeks... it is helpful that time because baby just start learning to latch so it is easier for controlling. To me laying on side position allow me to relax.. just don't fall asleep totally .. ;D It's a bonus if we have a good seat for breastfeeding comfortably and allow us to doze off few minutes after baby let go of breast during day time ;D

Things will get better over time.. I think when my baby around 1 month.. I start to get 3 hours sleep straight.. it depends on baby but baby usually can fall asleep when nursing so I think breastfed baby is easier to comfort to sleep.. formula fed baby sometimes need pacifier, needs to rock or cradle sway.. it really depends on baby but breastfeeding is usually comforting so baby usually sleep afterward.

Breastmilk can last in fridge for 3 months like that.. I did pump out milk 2 months before going back to work to start on stock. Just once a day to have few stock that make my mind peace while working. I cannot breastfeed while working and thinking I didn't have enough milk in fridge. So this stock help a lot.

Talking about pump.. I would say.. it usually depend on person.. I use Ameda for my first baby and borrow my sister's swing in this 2nd breastfeeding journey.. I feel better with medela 2 phase expression... Ameda can have manual 2 phase expression but it is comfortable and easier to me with medela.. I talk to some friends that try medela and others  they say the same too.. medela is comfortable but it doesn't mean we should buy that to breastfeed.. my friend use unimom and she still breastfeed until her baby 2 years... lots successfully pump with spectra..  It just I love comfy medela and it is small and quiet, ;D If you feel uncomfortable with your pump.. check your breastshield size..  I make a mistake in my first journey.. wrong breastshield can hurt nipple and can lead to difficult situation like bruise, crack.. or breast not empty as it suppose to. Check out this link.
The important thing is the tunnel size.. not the shield.. so the nipple size is important.. not the breast size.

I work 8.30 to 5.30 everyday.. and Alhamdulillah have to only drive 30 minutes going to the office and another 30 minutes from office to home. Meetings is common in my job so at times it is difficult to pump.. I try to think positive.. The breastmilk is rezeki from Allah to my baby.. Pray everytime that Allah give rezeki to my baby to always have enough milk... the milk will be enough for him, Insya Allah. Positive thought really help.. Ilman usually has 5 bottles of 3oz and I usually can provide that. Sometimes I got extra 2 oz.. sometimes he drink 6 bottles.. but I got 5.. It is all rezeki.. usually overall in 1 week I had just enough for him if let say I didn't have stock. But of course having stock is to ensure some peace of mind..

My pump schedule.. I told you I wasn't superwoman.. and I got pretty high pile of works and meetings.. I didn't pump every 2 or 3 hours.. I didn't have that time.. I wake up early.. to allow time for morning pumping.. I feed Ilman before going to work.. I only pump again at 11a.m if I didn't have meeting.. If my meeting end at 1.00.. so there's nothing I can do.. I just pump at 1.00. I pump another round at 5.00 before going back home.. and if I have time.. slightly earlier.. My math is simple.. baby fed every 2 hours with one breast.. so I can stretch my pumping time around 4 hours different.. assuming one breast for 2 hours different.. and Alhamdulillah.. up to now.. I still can manage that. If total milk in that one week is not covered by usual everyday pump.. add one or two on weekend to cover the difference.. :) We make the schedule.. we arrange to fit us..InsyaAllah.. we can make it through. I just want to make it sound possible to every working woman.. I have my 2 other friend having this same schedule like me.. and we all doing fine. One of my friend.. her baby is already 5 months plus.. just another week before she complete the milestone of exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months.. Alhamdulillah.

And even if you can't manage a schedule to exclusive breastfeed your baby... pump whenever you can, breastfeed your baby while at home.. and give whatever you manage to pump to the caregiver.. don't feel bad about not exclusive breastfeeding your baby. You have try your best.. :) One of my friend manage to part timely breastfeed all her kids until 2 years old.. she manage to complete the 2 years time.. Unlike me who strive and hurt myself for completing 6 months exclusive breastfeeding and had to stop earlier due to the damage.. ;( But still Alhamdulillah I can manage to breastfed my baby.

I ask my friends on tips of how they can manage to complete the breastfeeding cycle... They told me that the 1st six months is really critical... that's the time most mother will strive to provide enough milk.. there are probably days that we'll face lack of sleep to cover on pumping.. but remember, our body is different from others.. and relaxing is important too.. that's for our health.. make sure you still have some rest and not overdue it.. adding pumping time is commonly a solution when we get less milk. Most of my friends wake up at night if they didn't have enough milk. UnLike me.. when I breastfed my 1st baby.. I didn't get much in the middle of the night.. My body didn't coorporate well when I'm tired and sleepy ;D So, find something that suit you. Baby usually feed less when he start on solid.

Hubby's coorporation is really... really important if you breastfeed while working.. We will spend lots of time sitting down nursing and we need hubby to help with house chores or tolerate a take away food and willing to look after baby when we deal with housework.. Their support and understanding is really needed in breastfeeding journey. Tell him that things will get better over time.. once the baby feed with solid.. he usually nurse less then we will have more time.. ;)) and we will worry less too.. coz if the milk is not enough.. just feed him food.. ;D

There's lots of supplement to get enough milk.. I do take vitamins because I'm lack of veggies.. I want my milk to be more quality that's why I take vitamins to cover on food that I'm lack of. I also use ESP shaklee for protein addition.. I usually add ESP with goat milk and some horlicks for my morning drink.. and ESP.. goat milk with milo before bed.. I didn't take alfafa because my baby had tummy problems when I have it.. So we're all different in our reaction to food.. My friend.. she didn't take ESP because her son shows some allergy to it.. maybe allergic to soy things.. Different to me.. I found Soy to be a great milk booster apart from Horlicks.. But the most important things are.. drink plenty.. plenty.. plenty of water. So try varied stuff.. there always something that will work for you ;)

Another thing is.. if you're doing nothing while pumping.. why not use the smartphone to read a few words of holy Quran.. I found that we usually focus and relax when we read Quran.. It gives peace.. and peace is needed to produce milk.. Instead of listening to music.. why not read the Quran.. We also add value to the milk.. :) We give our baby something we recite Quran with.. hopefully they grow up to be Solleh and Solehah.. AMin..

Ooh... what's the best part about breastfeeding...
~we didn't have to bring all the making milk stuff when travelling
~we didn't have to go to kitchen in the middle of the night..
~we will be so close to our babies... ;)
~it's the best milk!! helping with our baby immune system..

Ok.. I'm done with my thoughts.. remember that breastfeeding is all Rezeki from Allah.. Pray hard.. It's all His Gift..