Thursday 9 January 2014

My Breastfeeding Diary: Week 2

*Warning: Detailed documentation of breastfeeding and its related terms ahead. Reader's discretion is advised; please do not read if you feel uncomfortable =)

Day 8:
Start of my Malay massage sessions at home. My therapist helped to massage and remove any "stony" milk ducts in my breasts. I told her one breast is more engorged than the other and she noticed that the nipple does not seem to be releasing milk at its full potential. She suspected that the pores of my nipple could perhaps be blocked by left over milk which had dried up. She then suggested that I use a small, thin bristle toothbrush (such as those used by children) and very lightly brush away the dirt to clear the pores.

I used those soft bristle toothbrushes you get for free from hotels

I was half skeptical of its efficacy but decided to try it anyway. To my amazement, it really helped to increase the milk flow out of my nipple! Great tip =)

Day 9:
Am still expressing most of the time and only latching the baby occasionally. Although I'm mostly expressing every 3 hours, I feel like I'm more tired than when I was latching baby every 1-2 hours in the hospital. I'm finally beginning to feel the effects of a lack of sleep because expressing is really a lot more tiring.

First, I have to express (while massaging my breasts to relief the engorgement) for about 20 minutes.

Expressing in the middle of the night with my Avent single breast pump

Then comes the distribution of expressed milk (approximately 160-180ml) into 2 containers: 1) Baby Boy's milk bottle and, 2) storage container (I have so much milk that I think I can feed 2 babies!).

Half to feed the baby, half to store

If the milk in the storage container in the fridge reaches 180ml (which is the maximum capacity of the storage bags), I'll have to transfer it to a storage bag for storage in the freezer.

Pigeon storage bags are flat-packed to saved space in the freezer

After washing all the individual parts of the pump and bottles/storage containers, they are then sterilised in my 3-in-1 Pigeon steriliser.

The many parts of the pump and container/s that I have to disassemble to wash and sterilise,
only to reassemble for use again later

If the baby is awake by this time, either the hubby or mum-in-law would feed him and this can take 15-45 minutes! If not, I'll usually keep the bottle of expressed milk at the side of his cot till he's ready to drink it. Thankfully freshly expressed breast milk can be kept at room temperature for about 3 hours, another one of the many benefits of breast milk as compared to formula. I can't imagine having to soothe a crying baby and prepare the bottle!

Repeat this another 8-10 times everyday and you'll understand.. it's exhausting! (>.<)

Thankfully I've got efficient tools to help me (check out my must-have tools for breastfeeding) or it will take even longer.

Day 10:
Last day where I will be getting help from the hubby as he's returning to work the next day. Add "feed baby" to my pump-store-wash-sterilise-pump cycle! *sigh*

Ratio of latching vs expressing is 1:4. Took a lot of short 1-2 hour naps the whole day to recuperate from lack of sleep especially at night.

The baby slept most of the afternoon and evening and finally woke up at 9pm with a ferocious appetite that lasted till 2am. He is now able to drink 120ml (as opposed to 80ml previously) relatively quickly every 2-3 hours. I think his growth spurt has just begun!

Day 11:
Hubby returns to work and gives me a lift to the hospital for my follow up appointment with my OBGYN (to check on my stitches).

Since I might be away from Baby Boy for more than 3 hours, I packed my pump, storage containers and washing liquid with me in a cooler bag for expressing on the go (just in case). One of my containers of stored milk will be thawed for the baby while I'm gone. 

Although I'm really thankful for the abundant supply, I can't help but worry if my boy is drinking enough milk. I remembered that my girl drank a lot more frequently than him, albeit in smaller amounts. But he's peeing well and gaining weight so I think I'm just being paranoid. Side effects of being a mum.

Chill ma.. chill.

Day 12:
Baby Boy drank about 130-140ml of milk over 2 hours last night and slept from 1am to 5am! He went on to drink only 80ml before sleeping again till 7.30am where he drank another 100ml. Although I had a good rest because he is able to sleep longer at night, this meant that I still can't transition to latching him directly as his unpredictable feeding frequency and volume is not helping my engorgement.

There are generally 5 Nursing Styles of newborn babies. I'm used to the Barracuda that my girl was; she was able to finish each feed in 10 minutes flat (which is great when nursing at night)! So it took me a few days to get used to Baby Boy's nursing style, which you might have guessed is Rester as he likes to take a lot of breaks in between while nursing (and even coming back for dessert).

No matter what nursing style your child has, I think the most important thing is to accommodate him and not cramp his style! =)

Day 13-14:
By now, night feeds are getting increasingly tiring. My eyes almost can't open long enough to feed the baby, much less express and feed. Baby's feeding pattern is still the same, although the amount he's drinking has returned to 80-100ml.

It has only been 2 weeks and I have 4 litres of breast milk stored in the freezer! That's enough to feed my baby for 5-6 days! *gasp*

There are about 20 packets of 180ml milk here!

My large milk storage will come in handy for our Sydney trip in May without the baby. Unfortunately, as frozen breast milk can only be kept for 3 months, the current packets have to be used by March and replaced with fresh ones, which can then be kept for our trip. Of course it's a lot more inconvenient to replace every packet of milk but I guess it's better than not having a milk store to start with.

Maybe I should consider selling my milk.. I heard that breast milk can cost even more than gold! *grin*

Continue to >> My Breastfeeding Diary: Week 3
<< Back to My Breastfeeding Diary: Week 1

This post is part of my series on My Breastfeeding Journey.
Follow me as I battle the perils of milk production and boob-related pain all over again.

My Breastfeeding Diary
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