I've been meaning to write this entry for so long, but keep holding back because I don't feel comfortable about it because I know it's a sensitive issue to certain people.
But forgive me, I want to keep this as a memory in my blog even though if you think this is a gloat entry. Gloat or no gloat, I think I deserve it, for now hehehehe
Anyway it's about my breastfeeding journey.
Not everybody is showered with abundant milk immediately after birth and it takes a lot of effort from mommies. Especially first time mommy - totally clueless about baby. If you guys read my blog since early days, you know how I had troubles with my milk. And Zahra wasn't exclusively breastfed on the first 2 weeks, we mixed it with some formula milk.
But I am lucky to have friends around me who is pro-breastfeeding. Wanting something without knowledge is like walking blindly in the dark road. So I start preparing myself since early days, seeking for knowledge about BF. I read a lot of blogs, forum, Q&A, about breastfeeding. Everything is from internet - dunia di hujung jari anda! From there I know, it's not easy!
When I was confirmed pregnant, I set in my mind "I WANT TO EXCLUSIVELY BF MY BABY". I even proudly (believe me, with big smile and chin up ok!) tell everyone who asked me (this will include my o&g and nutritionist) that I want to BF my daughter for at least 2 years! Talking about being ambitious!
After a month being a mom, reality knocks my head macam tak mampu je nak BF 2 tahun, and I said, ok since dah beli pam mahal2 I have to make sure this thing work, kalau tak MrComot marah (boleh tak? I gigih pam sebab takut my hubby marah hehe), so I set my target to exclusively BF Zahra for at least 6 months.
Alhamdulillah after a while (Zahra almost 4 months now), my milk supply is getting stable and strong, than I want to cry! Like seriously! I never thought I will do it this far. I feel so proud of myself when the storage bag finished last week (18 April). I packed my milk 8oz for each bag and that means I already produced 800 oz!! It will be more because I also store my milk in the BumbleBee bottle (5oz each) *pat on my back*
Again as I said, it's not that easy. You have no idea how many nights I feel so tired and sleepy and lazy but I still have to wake up to pump out my milk because if I don't, my body will tell my brain that I don't need the milk, so my supply will drain slowly and I am so scared it will happen that soon. Supply & demand concept. I know this is hard to believe but trust me, been there done that. I religiously pump my milk since the first week and I got only 1oz each time (that will be 1/2oz each breast, very sad), then it started to increase 2oz per session..then 4oz, then 6oz. Time tu dah happy gila..wait..6oz was last month I think (March). It maintained at 6oz for quite sometimes that I thought "ohh that's it, this is the maximum my breast can produce, so okay lah". But after a while, I'm making 8oz per pump and then since last week occasionally I can get 10oz! OMG nak pitam ok. Macam tak sangka.
Anyway it's not all rainbows and sunshine. I still remember on the early days, it was really hard for me. With Zahra asyik nanges macam tak cukup susu, orang pun tell me the same, and I have to watch my diet takut nak makan jamu la, takut nak makan ni nanti Zahra panas/colic..penat sangat! There are days when suddenly Zahra crying and MrComot will ask me "What you had for lunch/dinner?" thinking it might because of my milk. Can you imagine how you will feel about it? I mean, you are doing your best here ok and it's not working as per plan, you are very tired as well, not a good time to get criticized right? I became snappish and rude sometimes that I said "I don't know! pergilah bancuh susu tepung". But I know he didn't mean it that way, it is just we were too confused and tired.
Even though susu dah banyak still I have to watch what I eat, I still afraid to take a lot of sodium, junk food, potatoes, glutinous rice, takut Zahra kembung.
Just few tips for young mommies who are seeking for tips regarding breastfeeding:
1) Set your mind that you really want to bf
2) Gain your knowledge - how bf works (supply&demand), how to store/handle/thaw ebm
3) Prepare mentally when people said your milk is not enough. Have faith..your milk is enough but maybe not now..you have to make it enough
4) Eat right. It's important for you and baby.
5) Stress free. Very important. My milk supply will decrease when I am in stress. Have enough rest.
6) Make sure you are healthy. If you are not, maybe your body can't produce the milk. Like my case, my normal production 3 oz of that breast went down to 1oz only for a few days. But remember the other rules, stress free! So relax, calm and keep on pumping as usual, it will catch up in no time.
7) Get support from your loved ones. Yes MrComot awal-awal tu bitchy jugak ok, cakap my milk tak cukup hahaha..but after a while, he gets the picture and 100% on my side. Now he does most of the thing everyday, wash my pump after balik ofis, cut fruits and make fruit juice for me, prepare anmum lacta, make sure I take my vitamin pills, prepare my pump bag every morning, etc. Part wash my pump tu yang best sangat because I have to bf Zahra after dinner and most of the time I fall asleep straight away, forgetting about my pump. Thanks baby!
Another tips that might work for you - my food intake:
I take milo, horlicks, Anmum Lacta, apples, nestum, sawi, longan (canned and dried - boil and drink it), obimin and calcium lactate as supplement. This is not my everyday food but that what I've tried lah. Apples and milo I take everyday sbb it's my comfort food hehe.. (after deliver I mcm crave over sweet thing, my mom cakap it's normal for a BF mommy)
And yes daddies, breastfeeding is tiring. Somehow rasa penat sangat, so please please please understand your wife ok, it's not like, nahhh suck my boob and that's it! Because you are burning the calories when BF. Don't expect your wife to do all the work.
Btw, you don't have to feel bad if you give your child formula. In the end it's up you you. If you want BF, work for it, kalau tak berjaya it's ok, you have tried your best. If you don't, then don't have to justify yourself. It's your choice :)
Again it's not easy, that's why you have to know what you want, the determination and patience, insyAllah it will work.
Macam cloth diaper ni..I still not ready for it even I know most of my friends already using CD for their babies since 2 months! Ohh how I envy them. I wish I can do the same..but not now. Still not ready mentally ;)
To my breastfeeding friends, happy BF and stay chirpy ok! *hugs*