Sunday, 22 November 2009

A Breastfeeding Battle

I am having a REALLY TOUGH time breastfeeding this time around. Hubby is out getting a bottle of fenugreek, the confinement lady is making the green papaya soup again and I'm pumping every 2 hours in the hope of catching up with the baby. And I'm ordering the milkmaid tea online and searching for recipes to increase the milk supply! Breastfeeding with the boy was easy because:
  • he was put to my breast immediately after birth;
  • he latched on fast and sucked voraciously on colostrum for 5 days;
  • he would just scream loudly until you pop the nipple in, suck like a barracuda and scream again once he emptied the breast and waited for you to switch sides;
  • he was a textbook baby i.e. feeds on the dot every 2 hours (1st and 2nd month), 3 hours (3rd month) and 4 hours (4th month onwards)
Ironically, I faced many breastfeeding challenges then:
  • My milk came in late on Day 5 (we were worried until one day Hubby noticed liquid gold dripping from the other breast as the boy fed on one);
  • My mother and the confinement lady would repeat their,
"You don't have enough milk, you don't have enough milk. Give him formula. Give him formula"
mantra EVERY time they see me breastfeed or pumping;
  • I was really, really tired from a heavy lochia  and fever (due to imbibing brandy and DOM before the 12th day and really heaty confinement food and drink);
  • I didn't have any nursing bra or nursing tops and
  • I was struggling with the Medela Mini Electric Pump.
With the girl, I've got my nursing bras, nursing tops and nursing accessories (e.g. AVENT Breast Shells you should get them because they a. ease engorgement and b. save every precious drop leaking from the breast The confinement lady is familiar with breastfeeding and can even help assemble my AVENT Manual Isis Pump. But the problem is that baby is not co-operating!!!
  • She was whisked away to NICU for 24 hours - I was stuck in the ward sleeping off the sedative alone and couldn't get up to walk;
  • She was fed Similac both from a spoon and a bottle (not a very baby-friendly hospital);
  • When she was finallybrought to me, she is a poor suckler (she's full-term at 38 weeks but she's tiny and underweight at 2.3 kg) and sleeps at the breast;
  • My milk came in early on Day 3 and I was seriously engorged but I couldn't use the Medela industrial breast pump at the hospital. I could only start pumping the next day after Hubby brought me my pump (pack the pump in your hospital bag!!!)
  • She sleeps during the day and wakes up every 1-2 hours during the night. I could breastfeed her during the day which is every 3-4 hours but my milk supply runs low at night that she's too impatient to wait.
  • I've been pumping out almost every night feed (pathetic 1 oz or less each time) but I'm seriously exhausted by her night wakings.
I can rest during the day(after breastfeeding, feeding, cleaning myself up, eating, drinking and spending some time with the big brother) but the nights really make me worn out. Imagine this: We try to go to bed at 9.30 pm but she'll wake at 10 pm to feed. If she breastfeeds, I try to give both breasts so she'll be satisfied. The tot will get all excited and refuse to sleep because he wants to: a) soothe the baby: "Please don't cry, it's ok, it's ok" b) help wake the baby: "Wake up! Please wake up! Time to drink susu!!!" c) help me lift up my blouse, fetch my pump accessories box, handkerchief etc If the breastmilk isn't enough, we'll make up a 2 oz bottle, which she will S-L-O-W-L-Y drink (I've ditched the MAM anti-colic because the flow is too fast and gone back to AVENT). By the time she finishes 1 oz, it's already 11 pm. Then, she wakes at 12 midnight and we repeat the same drama. Last night, she kept me awake from 3 - 5 am because it was F-E-E-D, then poop! and then F-E-E-D again. I was sooooo sleepy I nodded off holding her and the bottle (bleagh). When she woke at 6 am, I had to call Hubby for rescue (I want him to sleep so he can manage the boy during the day) and didn't even lift her up this time. I fed her on her pillow and I just fell asleep! This morning, the half-finished bottle is on the side and the poor little mite slid off her pillow :P HELP!!! If you know of any way I can increase my milk supply, please contact me immediately!

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