Thursday, 8 May 2014

My Breastfeeding Journey.....

I should be asleep but I really wanna share my Breastfeeding Journey,
With women who are planning to breastfeed, or is already breastfeeding but having difficulties....
I just hope my story might at least give you an idea what Breastfeeding is like, and what you can do and who you can turn to when you needed guidance and help.
I know every baby and every women is different so what might work for me, might not work for you.
so you got to bear that in mind.

I still remember when I was pregnant with Kayliss, my 3rd baby.
I told myself this time I must be really determine to Breastfeed her, at least for more than a month!
As for my breastfeeding experience with my 2 elder kids was pretty bad :(

For my 1st child,
I had Kayson when I was 17, and at that time,
I did not have any knowledge or whatever info about breastfeeding.
I didn't know there's even this thing call Breastfeeding.
I still remember before delivering him, I already had breast-milk leaking(that's prob colostrum) and I didn't care much.
After delivering him, the first 2 weeks was HELL!
Besides me still recovering from the stitches (stitched as I had tear from the Natural Birth)
I had bad bad engorgement!
It was so bad that my cup size increased from A- D,
and I'm not kidding!!!
I had to wear my mum's bra because mine couldn't fit...
On top of that, my milk ducts were so clogged that I had lumps on my armpits, and it was so painful I can't close my arms.
I tried latching Kayson but I couldn't get him to latch...
And I started to develop a fever.
Body was aching so badly too!
My mum couldn't help as she didn't Breastfeed me and my sis.
I basically had no one to seek for help.
The doctor I went to didn't give me any guidance nor help, except medicine to stop the milk.
And because I was in so much pain, I had no choice but to stop Breastfeeding....
To me then, it was a relief !

For my 2nd child,
I told myself I will try to breastfeed (even though I was still having phobia from all the pain that I remembered!)
Of course, breastfeeding didn't last as I had to go through the same thing once again.
It was the same nightmare!
Kaylene not latching well, bad engorgement, lumps under my armpits, blah blah blah...
And it was even worst as I delivered without any pain relief( no jab no epidural) and my body was so weak after all the pain and aches.
Not to mention I had bad skin allergies and the skin around my tummy was itching badly, that it was on the verge of tearing.
It lasted since my 2nd trimester to 2 months after I deliver.
(so many months!)
It was just horrible!
The family doctor I went to wasn't encouraging at all.
I can still remember clearly he told me to just stop breastfeeding as I was in so much pain and having fever too.
I had no one to turn to for any guidance.
And I really don't want to cry to myself since I already had opinions which can save me from the pain. 
So I stopped breastfeeding.

I did not managed to Breastfeed both elder kids for more than a month.
But to me, I wasn't too upset or anything as then,
I was in so much pain from the body aches, the stitches, basically in a lot of pain!
I only feel guilty for not being able to give them the best, Breastmilk.

Now, when I was pregnant with Kayliss,
I got really determine to Breastfeed Kayliss!
I can't find any reason to why I was so determine then, but in my head I know if I really want to do it, I can!
I google info about Breastfeeding, really prepare myself to know what I will be expecting and going through.
Also, my gynae scheduled me to see a lactation nurse a few weeks before I go deliver.
Which kinda surprise me as for my previous 2 pregnancies, I don't remember being scheduled to see one.
The visit to the lactation nurse at KKH was pretty informative.
I was being taught how to Breastfeed the correct way...
And I know who I can look for when I need help!

During my 1 day stay at the hospital after delivering Kayliss, I do have nurses coming over to my bed to check on me during feeding time.
And helping me with the latching every feed,
But somehow, I still couldn't get the hang of it.
Even after I was discharged...
I continue to latch Kayliss for every feed,
and it was about the 3rd day before I started to feel engorge.
Despite me latching at every 2-3 hours, my breasts are hard and painful.
Tried to massage it, but still I feel pain.

And 6th day after delivering Kayliss,
I got my hub to go get me the milk pump.

He got me the Medela Freestyle and I have to say, this milk pump is really good!

This was the amount I initially pumped.
and this was after 12 mins of expressing.

 The amount,
After close to 30 mins of milk pumping!
 I was feeling so engorged and even after milk expressing, I was in so much pain.
My breasts was hard, and I started to feel feverish.
All the same symptoms like my previous breastfeeding experience.
Kayliss is also grouchy and I think because she didn't latch too well, thus she's not full.

I know this time I cannot give up Breastfeeding...
I know where I can go to for guidance and help and there should be NO EXCUSES anymore to not breastfeed.
So I called the Lactation clinic at KKH,
>6293 4044
and scheduled for an appointment.
I think it was like 2 days ltr.
In between the waiting, I continue to latch Kayliss, and pumped milk to build my milk supply.

 My visit to the lactation clinic this time, was PAIN PAIN PAIN!!
The lactation nurse checked my breasts, and told me my milk ducts are all clogged.
I got to massage, and pushed hard, to release the breast-milk.
But because she know most breastfeeding mums are afraid to do so as touching the breasts, is already painful.
So she did it for me,
and I have to say,
After massaging my breast, from the top of my breasts to the nipples, she got to press it hard to release the breast-milk.
I did feel better after it, but still feel engorged.
It was only after 2-3 days, I started to feel really better and not that painful anymore.


Day by day, I feel so happy to see my milk supply increase!

On the 22nd May,
I'm finally able to save up my breast- milk in the fridge :)

On the 27th May :)

28th May :)

On the 29th May,
I went to get the larger bottles from Medela at the pharmacy at KKH ( since I need to register for Kayliss's birthcert)
as my milk supple is increasing and the smaller bottles can't contain all my milk after
 one session of milk pumping.

As for milk bags, I'm using the ones from Nanny.

It's good as it can contain more than 250ml of breast-milk.
My milk was about more than 250ml each breast then :)
I also went out of the house to get my hair done on the 4th June, just a day before baby turns one month old.
And the first thing I look for after I reached the mall was,

my barang when I have to Pump Milk when I'm out.
  1. my hot longan red dates tea ( I drink it up to 40 days of confinement )
  2. tissues ( a lot of wiping and cleaning to do after milk pumping)
  3. nipple cream (my nipples was crack from all the latching and milk pumping so it was a essential to have the nipple cream!)
Medele freestyle and bottles (in zip lock bags!)

 I made sure to pump milk before leaving the house, so my breasts are empty and then pump milk after getting my hair done.
I was still keeping to the every 3-4 hourly milk pumping schedule.
And sad to say, I disposed the milk which I pumped after doing my hair as I was afraid that the chemicals will do bad to Kayliss.
I know I don't have to dispose but I was scare la.

Back to my milk supply.

 Increasing and increasing :)

17th  June

I have so much milk that I can even let Kayliss do Breast-milk Bath....

  And because I have so much milk, my freezer is running out of space :(
I will rather bless other mummies and babies with my milk than having to dispose them.

 And I can proudly say,
I have donated 4 times,
blessing babies with my breast-milk :)

I even had to borrow the freezer at my mum's place for my breastmilk.
and totally didn't get to use them...

 I donated the batch which are still months away from expiring,
and kept the ones which are going to expire,
to let Kayliss bath!

 Here is my diet, for mummies who wanna know.
I usually take this for breakfast,
 wholemeal bread with milo/cereal.
 I will also take Oat,
and it is super easy to make.

I also try to eat more eggs, fish and drink more soup.
Drinking lots of water to keep myself hydrated,

I also take this occasionally.
 that's when I am too busy to take a decent meal.

For my weight wise,  
I lose weight despite eating and eating, and feeling hungry all the time. 
I also have huge cravings to sweet sweet stuffs.  Like chocolate,  milky ice-cream, almost all the time. 
Those were never my thing in the past. 
I tried to eat lesser but I couldn't do it. I feel so so light and as if I'm about to faint anytime. 
I'm sure currently weighing at 52 kg and I love this weight. 
I love that I look so much healthier, not skinny and sick!  
Most important is I must make sure I eat well and is able to provide good breast-milk for Kayliss :) 

During the initial stage of breastfeeding,
I spend so much time pumping milk every 3-4hours, 20mins each session, after every feed as I wanna build up my milk supply without taking any milk boosting supplements.
And I did...
Can you imagine me, besides having to take care of 2 elder kids, and still got to do all that....
I remember sitting in the room, expressing milk before having to prepare my son for school at 5am
(he was taking school bus then so got to wake up at 5am to prepare for school)
It's really exhausting as I really don't get to rest much, and I got over supply of milk.
I just wanted to make sure I have enough milk for Kayliss....
As Kayliss grow older, I decided to slow down.
I dragged my pumping session to once every 5-6 hours, 10-15 mins each time.

To now..
I have stopped using the Medela machine( 3weeks back, before Kayliss turns 1)
and is only Direct Latching now.

Latching with Nursing Cloth when out.

 I can't tell you how convenient it is to be breastfeeding,
 (even though it's a different thing when you need to warm up the breast-milk when out.)
And I can't believe I have come this far.
From all the phobia, the pain, to now,
Kayliss is ONE (and counting) and I'm still breastfeeding.........
So thankful that I also have really nice mummies who keep encouraging and giving me advises...
I really appreciate all of that!
You really need a lot of determination to Breastfeed.
My advise is,
don't give up.
Remember to look for help when you need to!
Be it your mum, friends who are nursing and professional help from the Lactation nurses.

I always believe, if you are determine to do what you want to do,
you will succeed.
Last but not least....


  1. Hi Maggie i just gave birth and would like to bf my baby. But she is just 7 days old and im on the verge of giving up! My nipple is just so pain bcos of her poor latching. I've seen e lactation consultant, she helped me massage the engorgement but the way of latching when im alone is still wrong. My baby just like to pull her miuth away from my breast leaving her to suck the nipple only. Its so bad that when she is latching i just hope time pass faster and even felt to just stop the latching even though she is not full yet. I really dun want to giv up but the pain is killing me. Lactation nurses says i should massage my breast b4 feeding but its very time cobsuming. By then i massage, baby is already cryingg for milk badly. I hope you can have some pointers for me cos u mentioned you had poor latching too.

    Also what fo you think if i just express and not latch at all and bottle feed her instead, is it the same still?

    1. Hi dear!

      For the first 2 weeks during Breastfeeding, my nipples are sore and painful because of all the latching and milk pumping... Did you buy a nipple cream? I suggest you to get one and leave it in the fridge. and apply right after you latch/milk pump.
      It will make you feel better.

      Usually, we don't ned to massage our breasts before feeding Unless you feel really engorged.
      We can just directly latch when baby is hungry.
      Maybe you can just press your nipples for a few times to have the breastmilk ready so when your baby suckle, she won't get so fussy.

      You can choose to milk pump and feed her via bottle. But I feel that since we are breastfeeding, we can try to Direct latch so we can feel the baby so close to us :) and Baby will feel more secure...
      And also, when you choose to bottle feed, baby might not get used to breastfeeding later on.

      Whenever you feel pain, use cold compress :)

      I know it's really painful now, but persevere ok?
      I know that feeling because I went through that......