Guess who I am?
Someone said to me;
Are you sure you are going to eat that spaghetti carbonara? Do you know there is a lot of cheese in that? And do you know what cheese is? It is mucus. And since you are breastfeeding your baby – the mucus will be transmitted to your baby via your breast milk.
SOMEBODY! ANYBODY! JUST! SHOOT! ME! ALREADY!
Mucus transmission to baby via breast milk possibly containing cheese consumed by mother eating spaghetti carbonara.
It’s been more than 2 months since I ranted about the challenges of breastfeeding here.
Since then – things have definitely improved.
My breasts are still somewhat public domain as people still want to look at the baby feeding… I am still the last one to bed every night as I still have to pump before I go to sleep… There is no such thing as lying in; by 7am the boobs are like ripe melons ready to burst, and I still don’t know how much baby is eating. And that one time when my breasts were so engorged because of a blocked duct and I thought I was going to die while baby and I were crying simultaneously – me from the pain, her from hunger and difficulty in drinking from a totally swollen nipple!
That – and the fact that I can’t fit into most of my clothes because of my now Double D boobs!!!
However, it did get easier… and I don’t feel like my baby is still craving for more… and nor do I feel like I don’t have enough for my baby anymore. My body has adjusted according to baby’s needs and I hardly ever wake up drenched in milk anymore.
To all new mums who are breastfeeding – it will get better… being patient will pay off.
I am still not one of those mums that have excess or unlimited supply of milk… but I think I have got the hang of it now. Plus, my friends shared with me that I will never need to produce 8 ounces of milk for my baby because the milk I produce will be according to baby’s needs, and will adjust in fat and nutrient content automatically – and all baby will ever need is just 4 ounces (thereabouts). Only formula fed babies may need up to 8 ounces. PHEW!
And it all literally happened overnight.
Suddenly… it just clicked and everything fell in to place… ‘cha-ching!’….. ba-da-bing! ba-da-boom!
One important change I made that really helped as well … I waited till my baby is really hungry – or somewhat hungry before I fed her. That way, she feeds more efficiently and less frequently, so my breasts actually have time to fill up. I previously always thought I did not have enough because I was allowing my baby to snack, so it felt like my breasts were empty all the time.
Again, to all breastfeeding mummy’s out there… happy feeding, good luck continuing, remember patience – it will pay off… and it gets better and better!
I am certainly so happy I persevered!
And now… I want to breastfeed my baby as long as I can, and have her only on breast milk before the next stage/challenge comes along – introducing solids! I can already imagine the oncoming nightmare where everyone will want to have a say on what solids I have to feed my baby.
I finally made it! I can now officially claim my baboo is a 100% breastfed baby! Has been for 32 days now!
Well, for now at least. Fingers crossed and crossed and crossed! I hear about this growth spurt that babies go through where they will suddenly need more milk and I am suppose to have enough for the baboo.
And I hear of women who can express 3 ounces of milk from ONE BREAST! And this is even before they start feeding….. and they still have enough to feed the baby after that. And I also hear of women who can produce 8 ounces of milk from ONE SINGLE BREAST!
I have enough for baboo now – but she’s still taking in about 4 maybe 5 ounces (my estimate – and I would never really know)… and I need both my boobs to satisfy her.
When she’s about 6 months – she will need 8 ounces. I am trying to prepare for that by ensuring I express milk even when she’s not drinking but I am not close to getting 8 ounces! Demand and supply theory.
Maybe, as I was told – old cows just don’t produce as much milk. Ahhhh, well….. I will definitely try to get there.
Some of the stupid remarks I have had to put up with? “Are you sure she’s sucking correctly?” – and this person knew baby had grown 500g’s. My eyes rolled out of my head and on to the floor before I was tempted to reply, “Nay – not really… babies have a tendency to grow sucking on fresh air these days.”
“The way you are holding her while feeding is too comfortable – so she is not eating properly.”
“Hey – she’s still awake, she must still be hungry.” In some countries – I think babies do stay awake to play if they are alive.
“Oh – she is fast asleep soundly, are you sure she has had enough to eat?” Like any baby would go to sleep so peacefully when hungry.
Sod off and leave me alone already! Unless one has breastfed exclusively before, for more than a year (or at least 6 months) I don’t think they are entitled to any opinion whatsoever on what I am doing and how I am breastfeeding.
I totally underestimated the patience and dedication involved. If my baby eats slowly – I could be feeding for over an hour. If the milk flow is slow, my baby could get impatient and start throwing a fit and the feeding will also take over an hour. If baby is going through a growth spurt and needing to eat more I will be feeding for up to 3 hours (sometimes more) with only short breaks in between.
If baby doesn’t finish all the milk – I will have to express the remaining. During a middle of the night feed, I will be feeding baby for an hour… and after putting her back to sleep, it’s part two for me while I express the balance before I can go back to sleep.
I will also have to express before going to sleep or risk being woken up when I am lying in a damp patch of milk.
Honestly – it is a full time job. Then again, it may just be harder for me… and somewhere out there, a alot women actually have an easier job with breastfeeding. Where it just comes naturally and easily to them.
Nevertheless, I have the utmost respect now for any woman who tells me she breastfeeds exclusively.
For anyone else who has not breastfed exclusively – leave me the eff alone and don’t tell me it is easy.
I think my biggest challenge – if you haven’t already figured it out from what I have written – is with people telling me what to do and how it should be done when they don’t really know how I am feeling (what with the hormones and all, and this being my first time) and especially when they don’t know what I am already going through.
Well, that and the fact that I never really know how much the baboo is eating. Being the control freak that I am… I would really really like to know how much she is actually consuming in 24 hours… And then I can ascertain whether the amount she is consuming is indeed the average amount that other babies her age and weight is consuming. I find comfort knowing this information.
Then again perhaps it’s just my hormones writing here; and one day looking back on this I would think to myself what an idiot I am for stressing myself out.
Eventually I would like my breasts back to myself and I will breastfeed for as long as I can.
Thank you dear Lord for a wonderful year. I have so much to be thankful for this year.
A wonderful family who loves me unconditionally. Thank you – and I love you.
My husband, my friend who has been supportive, patient and kind. My husband who has always been there for me. I love you so much.
I am healthy and happy.
We are so blessed to have Little Miss Seow, whom we will be meeting soon. I love you already.
Wishing everyone a joyous and wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Thank you Lord Jesus.