Challenge of a Nursing Mama..

I decided to breastfeed my baby right after knowing I was carrying my first child.  It was not even a question.  I want to do it, it was what a mother should be doing and it should be second nature to a woman whom after 9 month carrying precious cargo in her womb, going through intense labor experience should be able to do.  My mother brought up 5 kids and we were born naturally without pain killers, so I should be fine.  Little did I know how wrong I was, having imbedded such high expectation in myself made it so difficult when things doesn't go the way we plan it to be.

When I was told by my pediatrician that I have to supplement my baby with formula,  I was floored.  I feel like such a failure.  "Don't do it!"the whole internet pro-breastfeeding forum chided over my first attempt on bottle.  My son did not have soiled diapers for two days, what should I do?  My nipples cracking and bleeding, pumping didn't yield much at all.  "Try this herbs, it should increase milk production"  Perhaps it does work on someone else, but as much as I wished it to work, it did not.  I finally relented to supplementing formula on top of my struggle breastfeeding my child.  It was so hard, will it ever get better?  The questions keep coming up my head.  It is so frustrating because I wanted my breastfeeding experience to be magical, like other mom.  It did not happen immediately, nor did it happen months after.  It took a good 3 months before I start enjoying the beautiful bond between myself and my son.

I weaned my son after finding out I am expecting another child 2 years after that.  It was a little sad for me, because I truly enjoy the quiet bond between just the two of us.  Nobody can take that away from us. Deep in my thoughts, I dreaded the early month of birth when my new baby start nursing. Will it be as hard as the first time?  The early week of breastfeeding for my second baby was easier than I anticipated, truly, I do not set high expectation on breastfeeding.  Thing does get better, to my relieve and my husband.  Formula is expensive and a second child in daycare would most likely burn holes in our pockets.

Lactation cookies as milk booster is still up for debate, but they are extremely delicious!
The minute my second child took the nipple, I knew it is going to be different.  His latch is better, stronger.  I also feel my let down is faster and longer. Now, I am very analytical person. So I went on comparing my two birth, two babies and finally my diet during their nursing age. My first born, I had cesarean surgery due to last minute complication.  My second baby is born normally.  Both I have requested epidural although my second wasn't administered until my active labor.  My bad,  I thought I am getting good at pain management.  That was a bad call.  My diet wasn't anything different, but the second time, having normal birth means I have faster recovery and I get to take all my normal Chinese confinement diet completely.  It consist of lots of nourishing tea and soups.  I am trying to promote any kind of diet but I believe drinking lots of soup and tea helps increase milk production.  This tea consist of Chinese herbs and spices.  I simply follow the direction on its package and drink them sparingly with the soup.  The first month of my baby birth,  I simply establishing nursing routine. I breastfeed every two hours or at least 8 times a day.  I counted wet and soiled diapers, making sure they hit the minimum target for the day.  The hospital provided me a checklist to keep all these on track for the first 24 days.  I think this was very helpful, although it does make me paranoid if it nearly did not hit the target at times.  Another diet food which I have been taking is simply oat in a jar.  I made few changes to the original recipe, I keep it simple and easy to make due to hectic schedule.  There is only 3 basic ingredients, one part rolled oat, 2 part almond milk and a dash of brown sugar.  I added craisin and banana if I feel a little fancy for the day.  Add the ingredients in a mason jar and leave them in the fridge overnight.  It will be ready for breakfast or mid day snacks.  I also start taking oatmeal cereal as my snack, minus milk. I just keep them in ziplock and munch them at work.  So far my son has been getting enough milk, he isn't as fussy as my first born and he has some baby fat on him that just makes me want to nibble his chunky arms at times.

Lansinoh bottle

Oatmeal in a jar left overnight in the fridge.
You will need supplies stock for time when you are away from your baby.

Breastfeeding babies actually need Vit-D.  But if your baby get at least 15 min of sunshine a day, it should be adequate.

There has been other challenges with my second born although breastfeeding has progress well.  My baby has rejected bottle after 4 months of taking them at daycare with no problem.  It did concern me in case he might be starving at daycare.  But fortunate for him, he did not starve. Unfortunate for me, he has been getting his daily milk intake in the wee hour of the morning when everyone else is getting their beauty sleeps.  This took few weeks of figuring out but I finally get a right nipples for his bottle to make it easier for him to get his expressed milk at daycare.  Again, this is not an advertisement and I did not get compensate for anything I write in my blog.  If it helps put some mamas mind out there at ease, it is already a reward for me.  I digress again, sorry.  I went through few nipples on bottles, many forums, googling to get the right ones for my child.  Finally, I found that Pigeon brand (peristalsis plus) or Lansinoh brand works the best for him.  Pigeon brand is distributed in Asia and Australia while Lansinoh is sold in US region.  It also helps to have lots of patience and not sweat over it if he push the bottle away the first few times.  Having some kind of distracting like TV or toys also helps with bottle feeding.

Don't forget to take Pre-Natal supplement
If I have a do-over for my first child, what would I have done differently?  I think I shouldn't have stress over bottle aka formula feeding.  My son is fed and he's thriving, that's all that matters.  Breast is always the best if you are lucky to be able to provide them but it is also vital that your child is healthy and happy.

I am not sure but those tiny feet just so cute.


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