breastfeeding

Breastfeeding Is A Pain When…

…your milk hasn’t come through yet and your boobs become engorged

…your baby does not latch on properly

…your baby does not latch on properly AND does not let your finger break the latch

…your nipples become sore, cracked and bleeding because of all of the above

…niplash

…you get nipple thrush which feels like you have broken glass inside your boobs which takes weeks to clear up

…you have to get up multiple times in the middle of the night to use the breast pump because your baby decides to sleep through the night but your boobs didn’t get the memo

…you get mastitis

…your baby releases your nipple when the let-down reflex happens so your breastmilk squirts everywhere and into your eye even though you wear glasses

…you’re out in public but you’ve forgotten to put on breast pads so you’ve now got wet patches around the boob area.  SO ATTRACTIVE!

…you’ve spent too much time looking down admiring your baby’s squishy face and tiny fingers and then you look up and just like that – you’ve put your neck, shoulders and back out!

…you’ve just breastfed your baby, passed your baby to your partner to wind her, but he returns within 5 minutes because she’s crying so she’s “hungry again”.  NO SHE ISN’T!

…Netflix asks if you are “still watching” but the remote control is not within reach but you can’t move because breastfeeding.  Dear Netflix, the answer is YES.  Always!

…the baby is cluster feeding so you feel that your boobs have been sucked high and dry and there’s definitely no milk left and your boobs looks extremely sad and deflated

…you cannot be physically separated from your baby because they can only feed from your boob AKA “The Breastaurant” and not from expressed breastmilk in a bottle

…you accidentally feed from the same boob as the previous feed and you’re feeling rather lopsided

…your baby treats your nipple as a teething toy

…you can’t find any nice-looking nursing tops to buy

…you finally find something decent to wear but your baby decides to vomit all over you whilst feeding

Breastfeeding definitely has its challenges { and I know some mums have it even worse! }

That said, I am grateful that I have been able to breastfeed again { here are some of my personal tips on breastfeeding }

However, this time round, I have been able to enjoy it more.

I think it definitely helped when little Dainty did the breast crawl and made her own way to my nipple and fed when she was newly born.

With Bunty, I lost consciousness from blood loss and the midwife had to use a syringe to feed her.  FYI, as helpful as they are, it was not pleasant when the midwife { i.e. a stranger } hand expressed milk from my boob!

Another great help was this Lansinoh gift pack { you can win this!!  READ ON! } that I received from a Kids Business event I attended last year before giving birth.

{ Disclosure :  This is NOT a sponsored post.  Just a shout out to a brand that I really love! }

Lansinoh HPA Lanolin :  Helped heal up cracked and sore nipples as well as being a fantastic lip balm

Lansinoh Ultra Thin, Stay Dry Nursing Pads :  Love these for absorbing up milk leakage

Lansinoh Thera Pearl 3-in-1 Breast Therapy :  It can be used as a heat / cold pack for your boobs but I have mainly used it as a heat pack.  Helped with engorgement and mastitis, as well as helping ease sore neck and back muscles

Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bags :  Great for storing breastmilk for deep freezing

And thanks to Lansinoh, they have offered a gift pack containing all of the above for one of my blog readers.  As I am paying for the postage costs, I’m only opening this giveaway to Australian residents.  All you have to do is fill in the form below with your details – I promise I will never spam you! – and I will randomly pick a winner.  Giveaway ends at 23:59 on 24th March 2017.  Feel free to share this post too!  Good luck!

10 Tips For Successful Breastfeeding

Every new momma out there has to decide whether she wants to breastfeed or bottle feed her new bubba.

Anyway, a number of my friends have recently started popping out babies left, right and centre – yay, welcome to my world! – and they’ve been asking me for breastfeeding advice and tips as I had successfully breastfed for over a year { I didn’t think it was for me and I didn’t really want to do it.  I even brought formula milk to the hospital but I gave it a go…and it somehow continued… }

breastfeeding tips

So I thought it would be a good idea to share my experience if there are newbie mamas out there who are needing a little bit of help with nursing.

1.  Newborns only need a few drops of breastmilk so if you cannot latch on properly, use a syringe as a temporary measure.

Immediately after giving birth, I decided to blackout and I couldn’t hold my baby and let her naturally latch onto my nipple and suck colostrum.  The midwife came round with a little syringe and…well…she milked me!  You lose all dignity when you give birth!  She then squirted the few drops of golden-syrup-like substance into Bunty’s mouth.  They only need tiny amounts at the start.

2.  Don’t be afraid to give formula milk if you need to.

So I struggled with breastfeeding for the first 2 days.  I let her suck directly onto my nipple but the problem is, she didn’t latch on properly.  She sucked for ages and ages till my nipple hurt like crazy.  My nipple got all cracked and bleedy.  I decided to stop then and there.  I refused to breastfeed her until my nipples had healed.  Instead, we gave her formula milk in a little plastic cup.  Yep, the nurses make you feel like you are committing a heinous crime and I had to sign a form to give myself consent to feed my child formula!  I did, however, try to hand express milk but it was only a few drops but I figured it was better than nothing.

3.  Use Multi Mums to allow cracked nipples time to heal

Your body is healing after childbirth so it may not deal with sore cracked nipples straight away.  Instead give it a helping hand by applying this oh-so-soothing compresses.  My cracked nipples would heal within 24 hours with these miraculous patches.  And I would sometimes use them in between those crazy growth spurt phases where they nurse constantly.  Yeah they are rather expensive but so worth it.  { Alternatively, you could try cold cabbage leaves }

4.  Get a good electric breast pump to express

Around day 4, my milk came in and my breasts were engorged but my nipples were still extremely sore.  I was still reluctant to have baby feed straight from boob.  Instead, I put my electric pump to good use to express milk into bottles and let others feed her.  I had the Medela Swing and it was good but it had its crazy moments where things went slightly haywire but that’s another post for another day.  { Please let me know if you want a more detailed review on it }  Yeah, I know people worry that newborns get nipple confusion but seriously, they aren’t that smart yet!  Well, at least, Bunty wasn’t…HAHA!

5.  See a breastfeeding consultant to identify issues and rectify them

No matter how many times you read about breastfeeding and watch videos on it, it doesn’t come as naturally as some people think it does.  I definitely needed a helping hand and after speaking to my maternal health child nurse and seeing a breastfeeding consultant – things started to click.  They helped me get into a more comfortable feeding position and supervised me during a feed to evaluate if I was doing anything wrong.  I couldn’t grasp the football position but I got the cradle position – and I started to understand why I needed to bring the baby’s mouth to my entire boob and not just bring my nipple into her mouth.  It’s all about latching on properly and all that jazz.  They are also not judgemental about anything which helped tons.

6.  Feed one side each feed

So I used to switch feeding sides every 10 minutes.  However, that was super annoying because it would mean having to break the latch with my finger inside bub’s mouth.  This would make her cry.  Instead, I felt it was better just to let her completely drain one boob per feed.  It meant that she was getting the real good creamy hindmilk stuff and not just the watery foremilk.

7.  Increase breastmilk supply by doing whatever works best for you

For me, this meant a lot of skin-to-skin contact with the baby, hot towel compresses on boobs before feeding and drinking lots of warm soy milk.  I occasionally supplemented with formula but even when I felt she sucked me dry, I still let her keep sucking on the boob because it helped increase my supply for the next feed.  And if I had extra milk, I would express it out and freeze it for later.  I have heard that fenugreek tablets and some magical cookies help but never tried them.

8.  Try and get comfortable during feeds because you should enjoy it too!

Do whatever you need to do to relax and get comfy because sometimes bubs will nurse for aaages!

We bought a rocking, reclining chair which I used for nursing during the day.  At night and the early hours of the mornings, I got comfy with lots of pillows and TV shows.  Now that there is Netflix, I highly recommend subscribing to that!

9.  It’s okay to be nervous about breastfeeding in public

I know some mums are loud and proud about nursing in public.  Rightly so.  But not everyone feels the same way.  I was nervous about breastfeeding in public.  Especially when we went travelling in Hong Kong where the culture is totally different.  For example, there are rarely any kissing scenes in Hong Kong TV series!  Anyway, this was resolved by using a nursing cover – which was a hand-me-down from my friend Di.  Unfortunately, it got stolen along with my handbag a few months ago – gurrrr! – so I can’t even save it for our next bub.

10.  You are in control so don’t let anyone or anything affect you

For example, if you fall ill and you want to stop nursing, do it.  But if you are worried if your illness will affect your breastmilk, it shouldn’t.  I continued nursing when I had nipple thrush, food poisoning times two and hand, foot and mouth disease.

Also, if want to to keep nursing your child till they are 5, then that is your choice.  I stopped when B turned one and if you want some weaning tips, I’ve written a post about my experience here.

That concludes my tips on breastfeeding but if you have anything to add or ask, please feel free to share in the comments section.

How to Stop Breastfeeding in 5 Days

Farkkkk!  My nipples are SO SORE!!!!  I can’t do this anymore!

12 month old Bunty had 4 teeth – 2 on the top and 2 on the bottom – and using my nipples as a chewing toy!  My nipples were cracked, sore, bleeding and yanked to exhaustion.

And don’t even get me started on the backache from crouching over to breastfeed my 9kg plus bubba.

And just like that, I decided to stop breastfeeding!

weaning tips, stop breastfeeding

I was ready to stop, but she wasn’t.  She was still feeding 5-7 times a day.  Straight from the boob because she refused to take a bottle.

“Nen nen” was what she would say when she wanted boob, followed by the baby sign language where they clench their fist like they’re milking a cow!

Anyway, after 5 days, I successfully stopped breastfeeding { except for the 7am I-just-woke-up-so-feed-me-now feed } and here’s how I did it :-

STEP ONE
Decide to stop.  It’s a great first step because it got me into the right mindset and attitude.  I didn’t feel guilty and I didn’t have any regrets.  I was ready.

STEP TWO
More cuddles and kisses during feeding.  I told her that she was a big girl now and that we would have to stop breastfeeding soon, but it didn’t mean that I would love her any less.  You think babies can’t understand anything, but they are a whole lot smarter than you think!

STEP THREE
Shorten the feeds.  Instead of feeding from one boob exclusively, I got her to nurse from both boobs but with shortened feeding times.  To get her to unlatch, I used to use my finger but she learnt to pull my hand away and proceeded to punish me by biting down hard!  I told ya they are too smart!  Anyway, I got her to unlatch herself by saying, “Finish.  Drink Nen Nen from other side” and used baby sign language to show her.

STEP FOUR
Introduce her to cow’s milk.*  As I mentioned earlier, she refused to take a bottle so I played a game with her.  I poured some milk into a plastic cup and taught her how to sip from it.  Yes, it got very messy and wet very quickly!  She slowly started liking cow’s milk more and more.

I repeated these 4 steps for 3 days.  I was still breastfeeding but with shorter feeding times.  The more cow’s milk she drank, the less breastmilk I gave her.  But it wasn’t till the next step where we made a breakthrough…

STEP 5
Warm cow’s milk and put it in a bottle.  Something clicked and she started drinking cow’s milk from the bottle.  My feeds dropped down to 2 and then 1, on the 4th and 5th days consecutively.  SUCCESS!

BUT.

There’s always a but!

When babies reach 1, they are discouraged to drink from a bottle as it can cause bottle caries where their baby teeth are damaged from decay.

So I taught her to drink with a straw.  I cheated by placing juice / ginger beer / Diet Coke into a cup to get her sucking the straw { instead of biting it }, but hey ho, it worked! #dontjudgemeplease

She’s happy.  I’m happy.  And the Husband’s happy now that he can reclaim my { now very droopy and deflated } boobies!

*Note :  Babies can drink cow’s milk as replacement breastmilk when they turn one year old.  Any younger than that, they should be put on formula.  If in doubt, please speak to a professional before weaning.

If you have any additional breastfeeding tips, please feel free to leave them in the comments section 🙂