Sunday, July 1, 2012

Breast Feeding : Tips, Obstacles & Challenges

Am starting this entry where I left off in my last entry. While I was waiting to be warmed up after the surgery in an isolated room, I can't wait to see my baby again because I didn't see his face clearly in the operation theater. I also hope that hubby has arrived. It is the hospital policy that husband can't be in the OT during the procedure.

So after 30 minutes, finally the nurse push my bed back to my ward. I was anxious! I have waited for this moment for 5 years (7 years if I count the age I actually want a child). Once I am back at my cubicle, I saw hubby walking vastly towards me with a smile. He came and kiss my forehead and said "Yang, baby kita comel mcm muka awak. Mula-mula saya ingat anak cina mana tadi". (Dear, our baby is cute and looks you and at first I thought it was a chinese baby) I can't help to smile hearing that. Did he actually forget that his wife has chinese blood and looks like one? :-P My friend told me that when the nurse called hubby to see the baby he immediately left all his things and followed the nurse. LOL

Few minutes after that, the nurses brought our precious baby to us after they gave him his BCG and Hep B shot. And now, my story on breast feeding starts. Some women are kind of lucky to have milk early as in even when they are pregnant. Well, I am not that some. I am one of those normal women who has no sign of milk during pregnancy. If you are one of these women like me, do not worry. If you are determine to breastfeed, the milk will be there. If you read my previous post, you would know I have gestational diabetic. So, my baby was born with low sugar reading. When he was brought to me, the nurse told me his condition and said they want to give him formula milk to raise the sugar level. That is my first challenge. At that time, I didn't even think whether I have milk or not, I just immediately said "NO!" and I want to breastfeed 100%. They told me to do it every hour and if the sugar level is still low, they might have to feed formula milk.

Right after that, I immediately hold Wildan and breastfeed him. What do you know?! I have milk. Well, colostrum to be exact. Colostrum has the highest amount of nutrition and antibodies you can ever give to your baby which you normally have for the first 3-4 days after giving birth. After 3 hours, they check Wildan's sugar level and it has rose a bit even not to the normal level yet. I was so happy and kept on breastfeeding him. One thing that helps is, Wildan is also a baby that knows how to suck the nipples the right way. midnight (I gave birth at 9.50am and met Wildan an hour later) the sugar level has rose to the normal level it should be. yey!! I did it!! NO FORMULA MILK!!

However, here comes my 2nd challenge. Something happened the next day that made me so stressful that I almost didn't produce milk at all. Wildan was crying the whole night because the milk was insufficient. Am not going to reveal what happened here but if you want to know, you can PM me in facebook (that is if you are in my friend list). I called my hubby crying while I told him what happened because I was so frustrated. In fact, I called him a few times that night. Thank God I have composed myself by the next day and milk started to pour back as usual. It is true when people said don't stress yourself because it might effect your breast milk production.

My 3rd challenge was cracked nipples and it hurts like hell! It started on the 5th day. Maybe because Wildan was breastfeeding quite frequent. Thank God I recovered by day 8 but before that, I would shout in pain each time Wildan starts sucking. Seriously, I don't want to experience that anymore. When you go to ante-natal class, they teach you about breastfeeding but didn't actually tells you how to take care of the tool which is your nipples.

Tips on how to PREVENT cracked nipples:
1) Once you are pregnant, wash your nipples with only warm water. Please avoid and make sure you do not use any soap (any kind) and protect your nipples from it. How to do it? Apply some nipple cream to your nipples after you wash and wipe it clean before you bathe. The cream will protect the nipples from any soap water to touch it.
2) Make sure you do No 1 even when you starts and are breastfeeding. Make sure you buy nipple cream that is baby friendly which do not require for you to clean it first before breastfeeding you baby.

Tips on how to HEAL cracked nipples:
1) Press some of your milk and apply to your nipples area and let it air dry. You will need to repeat this a few times. Feed you baby with the less painful side first at least until the other one heals.  OR
2) Wash you nipples with salt water (soak it of possible), wipe dry and then apply some of your milk to the nipples area and let it air dry.

This is the nipple cream I use
'Pigeon' Nipple Care Cream @ RM39
You can find it at any pharmacy

My 4th challenge starts when Wildan was diagnosed with jaundice. Beside the lack of sleep because I need to breastfeed him even more frequent (every one hour to be exact), I have to go to the clinic every two days to check his bilirubin level. And with just after 5 days of surgery, I was quite strong to handle it. Thank you Allah. However, one day, Wildan's reading went high and he had to be admitted for phototheraphy treatment and I was admitted with him. While waiting for the transport ambulance to transport us to the second facility of the hospital, Wildan was put under the blue light. We were waiting what seems like forever and Wildan kept waking up wanting milk. Once he cool down and sleeps, I told the nurse am going to eat for awhile. The nurse said ok and if the baby wakes up, she will "top up". Okay....let me tell you. I am superbly annoyed  and pissed off with the terms 'top up'. Why? Because 'top up' means they are going to feed your baby with formula milk. My 2nd challenge had something to do with it!! I was mad when the nurse said that and immediately said NO! I told hubby to go eat first and then take turn to watch over Wildan. I was so afraid that they are gonna feed him with formula milk. What the hell is this? Aren't government hospitals are all about 100% breast milk? Why are they assuming I want to feed formula milk to my baby? I am okay if the nurse asked me whether she can feed formula milk to Wildan but she simply said she will feed Wildan with formula milk and assume I will be okay with it. So yes, the terms 'top up' pissed me off!!

After one night of phototheraphy treatment, Wildan's bilirubin level has gone down but here it comes again. The doctor told me that his weight has gone down. His birth weight was 3.16kg and now he is 2.81kg. I know for a fact that baby looses their birth weight at first but will start to gain it later but the doctor made it seems like it is a big deal. He said normal for a baby to loose about 10% of their birth weight but Wildan is loosing about 11% and it is advisable to feed him with formula milk. Oh come on!! What the hell is wrong with this hospital? Do they have a conspiracy against breastfeeding or are they just testing me? 10% and 11% is not to far off. Again, I feel like slapping the doctor for even suggesting that. FYI, this is not the same hospital I gave birth in. And as usual, I told him NO and said I will breastfeed and check his weight again for the next two days and see if there is any increase. What do you know?! It did!! So again, NO FORMULA MILK!! Now, the last time we check his weight was when he is 22 days and he weight 3.6kg.

This is my advise especially for first time mothers who want to breastfeed. Be committed and don't simply surrender to any kind of challenges or obstacles. Just believe that you will have the sufficient milk your baby needs. Trust me, now my milk is pouring and if Wildon doesn't feed every half an hour, it will start to leak. Think happy thoughts and believe. 

Before I end my entry for today (which took me almost a week to finish because Wildan kept on waking up wanting milk), I would like to share the best thing I have ever bought to help me ease the tiredness of breastfeeding. I know you will have sore arms after holding your baby for so long, so nursing pillow really helps. This item was recommended by my dear friend Lana and I really thank her for that. I also love Medela milk collection shells that I bought. It helps me to collect the leaked milk and then I can store it.

'Safe N Sound' Nursing Pillow @ RM119 each
You can buy it HERE

'Medela' Milk Collection Shells @ RM69.00
You can read more about it HERE or can buy it HERE

This might have been the longest post ever. Hope if anyone reads it, you will find it useful. :)

Until next time..ciao!


Anonymous said...

Stupid me do not understand the word top up..N the paed also ask me to feed fm to baby..i pissed off until now..Stupid gov hospital..rakan bayilah sgt..Grr.

Azlina Ilzdaf Cullen Pattinson said...

Pelik bila hospital rakan bayi galakkan FM. Gov hospital plak tu. Y do they go for 'rakan bayi' in the first place if they don't intend to follow the policy? Uurghhhh....

kawaii_desu said...

Hahaha i x layak komen iena uhuk