Breastfeeding and all its glory

Ok this may not be interesting for a lot of you out there but since it’s pretty much what I do with most of my time these days, it just makes sense for me to talk about it.

Working with newborns and their mums, my job entitles me giving advice on breastfeeding. Hooooo, I thought I KNEW what I was in for, I knew how to troubleshoot problems if it were to occur. But I guess you’ll only really know when it happen to you.

Whats been happening since Zayan was born:

1. It hurt the first week. It came to a point that I was dreading his mouth going for a feed. Macam I want to put him to the breast bun internally dreading it jua. I talked to a few mums (family, friends, also my midwife) who gave me the impression that its normal in the beginning. But then googling on BF, lotsa websites were saying that it shouldnt hurt and if it does, it means the attachment’s not right.

Alhamdulillah, it doesnt hurt anymore. (My sis in law said that it hurt her for first 6 wks and there I was thinking – oh no! 6 wks of this pain!)

Moral of story: Good attachment and Lanisoh cream saves the day.

2. Baby is fussy during feeding. Crying during feeds, pushing me away but macam mau jua. I was getting stressy cos people were going ‘banyak kah susu mu? u sure you have enough milk?’

The paeds in me were comforted that he has plenty of wet and dirty nappies. So if I was the dr, I would be happy theres enough milk and baby’s taking his feeds. He also only lost 200 g (5% of birth weight) at day 5.

But doubts began to enter the more I hear people questioning re my milk. On so many occasions, I thought – heck, just give him formula feed already! But I knew I didnt want to really and would be utterly disappointed if I did start on formula so early on.

Then I began to learn of baby’s habits and cues. He’s crying may mean he wants to be burped or his nappy’s wet/dirty (which happens all too often during a feed DESPITE changing his dirty/wet nappy just before feed) or he simply doesn’t want to feed. In fact, he just wants to go to sleep but can’t on his own. (Macam mamanya jua – ada element2 demanding and insomnia).

When he was weighed at the 2nd week by the health visitor, he didn’t gain much weight. I was referred to the breastfeeding coordinator lady – yes, there is such a title and job – she came over to the house (she came 30 mins after I called her about the problem) and assessed ‘a feeding session’. Turns out that Zayan is not latching well despite my breasts now not sore anymore and explains a lot of things – him fussy during feeding, feeding takes a long time (can go up to 40 mins to 1 hour) and him not gaining much weight.

He’s still not latching well (cos he’s stubborn that way) but I’m so so glad to have her help. I’ve seen her twice now and she has given lots of good advice. She says that the reason Zayan is happy with his bad habit (he doesn’t open his mouth wide enough) is cos my let down supply is quite good. Therefore, in fact, I do have enough milk, in fact I have a good let down!! What a relief! There I was thinking I was a failure having not enough milk.

I’ve to work on increasing my milk supply: pumping to stimulate and increase supply, drinking plenty (this I forget to do to be honest a lot of times) and not to stress much!!! Oh yes, I’ve learnt too that when I start getting agitated when he’s being fussy, it’s not helping!

It makes me think….. throughout my labour, post labour stay and now post partum, the people who I am most grateful for aren’t the doctors. It’s people like Sam, the breastfeeding coordinator, and my health visitor. Don’t get me wrong… I’m grateful for the anaesthetist that came to do my epidural, the paeds that gave Zayan resuscitation breath, the surgeon that did my c section. In that early morning, I very well know how busy and tired they all were but was professional and did their job well all the same. I know that I was not their only ‘problem’ that night that they tended to.

But out of all of this, I’m happy that the NHS has people like Sam, who has the time to sit down, watch me feed properly and give practical advice. I’m actually happy with the NHS too – so many perks for the pregnant women and help after birth! Maternity allowance, free prescription, free dental service, frequent health visitor visit, breastfeeding coordinator! Salut ~

It’s nice to know my tax money is going the right way – or at least coming my way too. Alhamdulillah 🙂

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