Like motherhood, nothing quite prepares you for your breastfeeding journey. Honestly speaking, I never thought of making breastfeeding an option. Somehow, I just decided that I was going to breastfeed my baby from the beginning. Possibly because, I am surrounded by moms who never give up on breastfeeding and it just encourages me to want to try it. Moreover, the prices tagged on formula milk in supermarkets are pretty horrifying. I’m better off squeezing my own milk.
It is true that breastfeeding is not easy. The constant battle with yourself of not producing enough milk is real. Is the baby feeding enough? How many times has he pooped today? Why is he still crying? It doesn’t help when relatives or random strangers come up to you and tell you that the baby is still hungry. Oh no shit! And there’s me, poor, poor me, trying my very best to keep my supply going for my milk-monster baby.
If you read my labour story, you’d know that I had an emergency c-section. Naturally, I thought that breastfeeding would be doubly harder due to the surgery. But before I could talk myself out of it, the nurses at the hospital shoved Adam to my nipple and got him to latch immediately. Oh hey, looks like I’ll be breastfeeding after all. I didn’t quite remember what it felt like the first time he breastfed because I was still drowsy from the surgery. All I could remember was a nurse squeezing the hell out of my breast to get the colostrum out for my baby. Good god, I feel for the cows.
Seeing how I was producing colostrum as soon as I gave birth certainly encouraged me to continue breastfeeding. I was pretty lucky that Adam could latch very, very well too which made breastfeeding easier for both of us. I need to write a thank you note for him on his eighteenth birthday.
When I thought I was doing pretty fine nursing Adam, one of the doctors told me he looked dehydrated on his third day. I remember feeling crushed. To make things worse, one nurse scolded me for not feeding him enough (harlow, so rude). I was trying so hard to keep myself together when all I wanted to do was … cry. Of course, that only pushed me to keep breastfeeding.
In the last 6 weeks, I’ve busied myself by researching on how to up my milk supply. I’ve tried taking Fenugreek capsules which made me smell like onions, lactation brownies which were delicious but caused an oversupply which led to breast engorgement (super ouchie!), eating oats and dates. Most importantly, drinking a lot of water every day. This journey is also made less stressful with a supportive partner. I don’t know if I’ve bored Luqman of my breasts and nipples tales yet. It took him a while to understand that breastfeeding is tough on me. He thought it was as easy as just sticking out my sore nipples to Adam’s mouth and that’s it. Ok la, he’s not all that wrong about it… just a little bit of empathy here.
I’m still finding my routine between pumping and breastfeeding. This is something that I need to work on since I’ll be going back to the 9-5 grind soon. Can I not? As of now, I try to pump twice daily – morning and night – and let Adam latch in most part of the day.
Lastly, nothing makes me happier to see my darling baby growing well. Yesterday at his check up, the doctor confirmed that he’s in the 50th percentile of the baby’s growth chart. He’s now weighing at 4.6kg at 6 weeks. Mumma is so proud.
To all moms out there, whether you are breastfeeding or not, keep doing your thing!