The No. 1 Challenge for new mommies is always the breast. Aaaaannnnndddddd... the feeding.
Well, what do we expect? The first thing our little infants need is milk. And the first result of change after popping... not the champagne but the baby... is our breasts...
I wont forget... after 2 days oaf delivery. My breasts became foreign to me.
Breastfeeding can be a bitch. This is the truth.
After we give birth, our body will start to produce milk. I recall how I did not even realised that my body was already producing breastmilk from the first hour. Sigh... I am noob. I remembered how the nurse 'threw' my baby to me 2-3 hours after I came back to the ward from C-section to nurse him.
2days later... engorgement. Oooouchhhhhh ....
You need to bring a pump if you have not given birth. The truth is the habits of expressing breast milk should already start during the first or second day after delivery. (Say, you are too tired on the first day.)
The amount of milk which will fill your breasts and how your breasts will enlarge even more? Oh my gosh... on the 2nd day, when I stood in front of the mirror for my first toilet visit after C-section, my reaction was like 'Wow!' I thought that the boobies upsized during pregnancy were big but never did I knew that the twins could go even BIG-GER!
ENGORGEMENT... she may not scar your life. Haha... She will surely make most cry. The most difficult thing throughout after delivery was not that 15cm wound but was actually the engorgement. I was in so much pain that I dare not touched myself. Erm... not in a sexual manner. I meant.. like even showering... was 'OH MY GOD!!!'
And the lack of technique of squeezing the milk out and the pumping did not seemed to work because of the blocked ducts. And noob again...
So women!!!!!!!! Start expressing if you can starting from your first evening. You can bring your own pump or rent from the hospital but of cuz, subject to availability and its extra cost. So just bring........
Also, there is no harm trying to pump your breast early. Because the expressions help to stimulate your breasts for the need to produce more milk for your baby which is most new mommies' struggles.
Before you go for delivery, arrange your massage lady;- specialised in breasts engorgement to come over. You will not regret it. You can reference my recommendation below. (I AM NOT EARNING!) https://mommyclucker.blogspot.sg/2018/03/the-woman-who-saved-my-breasts.html
I was so engorged and pained, I totally wanted to give up breastfeeding. The nurses in Mount Alvernia ain't so proficient to help with engorgement. After my massage lady came and save my breasts, it totally felt like salvation has come! So girls, prep it!!!
The real challenge after having milk, is maintaining milk supply. In my initial 2 months, I had so much milk and oversupply that my freezer capacity became a problem. I threw out all my tubs of ice-cream into my stomach and got rid of every single thing to make space for milk and more milk.
Suddenly at my 3rd month, I noticed a significant drop in my milk production. I realised that in order to keep the supply going on strong, regular expression or rather the emptying of the breasts is so important. Like 3hours-4hours interval.
Yet it is an absolute pain to have to always take out close to 45min to 1 hour from my day-to-day schedule to express milk etc.... the drop happened so fast and the supply became so low, I got petrified that I might not be able to breastfeed my boy till at least 6 months of age. So I did power pumping.
About Power-Pumping. It is also commonly known as tricking our body to think that we are doing cluster-feeding. So you pump each side for 10min each and then continue to 40min to an hour for 5min each side.
It did helped me. And of cuz, I ate a couple of Fenugreek pills (available at all GNC stores). I decided not to take the soup because the soup is quite fishy. And the memory is still fresh. But my massage auntie did mention that Fenugreek may caused babies to be colic.
Recently at my son's 4month, I realised that I don't seemed to have enough milk for him again. So I went back to power-pumping and even opted to drink the fish head papaya soup to increase supply. I checked out on lactation cookies in hope to make my journey of increasing supply more pleasant but I was very turned off by the fact that they told me to eat 10 cookies and 1 muffin everyday to increase supply and that adds up to 1.6K to 2.2K calories. And this is excluding of my daily meals calories intake. So I decided not to pick up such luxurious and convenient method.
In order to be even more determine, I wake now every 3.5hours, inclusive of 30min of struggling and snoozing, just to express milk to increase supply.
Breastfeeding is a pain. The devotion to this activity has to be like 100%. I am often dozing off and around, waking with all the body ache every other night.
So why do mommies around the world still persevered in breastfeeding? I believe that there are many reasons. But, I think know the main reason which keeps us 'alive'. The bonding.
I cannot deny that I cant bear to stop breastfeeding. Because it means to stop the 'watching-him-latch-is-so-satisfying' moments. One of my most cherished moments I believed will be about latching my son. He looks so cute when he suckles. He looks so cute when he behaves like savage when he is terribly hungry. He looks so peaceful falling asleep while latching.
Such moments seemingly made all the pain and tiredness go away. So if you are like me, a new mom? I want to encourage you. Cherish these horrible moments because they will be one of the sweetest and fondest ones when we walk down the memory lane.