Thursday 16 January 2014

My Breastfeeding Diary: Week 3

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

Day 15-16:
Just when I thought breastfeeding was going great and that I might not have anything interesting to update this week, well, I was wrong.

Last Friday, I was still expressing milk every 3 hours as usual but the fatigue from the pump-feed-wash-sterilise cycle was taking a toll on my body. That night I was too tired to wake up to express and ended up expressing every 4 hours instead of 3. As a result, I woke up the next morning to a tugging pain and several hard lumps in my right breast that no amount of expressing or latching seems to get rid of. Even massage by my therapist could not get rid of the mastitis entirely (when previously it could).

After my therapist left, I started to develop a fever and realised that my mastitis could have caused it. I felt really cold and shivered a lot even though only the windows were open. I took some paracetamol, slapped on a couple of baby cooling patches on my forehead and slept the whole afternoon. It was really an uncomfortable nap as my body oscillated between cold and hot the whole time. As I still felt unwell in the evening, I ate more pills and drank more water to flush out the toxins.

Decided that it was also the right time to switch back to latching the baby directly for 3 reasons:
1) Baby Boy was experiencing a growth spurt and finally drank about 120-160ml every 2-3 hours
2) Baby Boy did not choke on the strong flow of milk
3) I was too sick and tired to express

I almost gave up nursing because I felt so sick. But the irony is when the mother is sick, that's when the breast milk is the best for babies because it contains all your antibodies to protect him! So sick as I was, I pressed on.

Opening his mouth wide to let me know that he is hungry.. VERY hungry!

Day 17:
I was still feeling ill even though the fever subsided a little. However, when my mum and sister came to visit me in the evening, I was once again shivering even though I was covered with a comforter and only the ceiling fan was switched on. When we checked my temperature (for the first time too if I might add.. I think I was too sick to remember to take my temperature the day before), it was 39.5°C! I quickly took another 2 pills of paracetamol and after sweating it out, I felt so much better! It helped that my mum was there to take care of me. This is why we need mothers when we are sick =)

Day 18:
As a result of the fever, the body reduced the amount of milk that my breasts produced (by a little bit) in order to cope with it. So for once since I started breastfeeding, my breasts did not produce enough milk for the baby! *gasp* 

Thankfully I have milk in the fridge. I'd have to admit though that I was really worried my supply would keep dropping but I knew that as long as I kept latching the baby, it would increase again. I simply have to persevere!

Anyway, the reduction in milk supply meant that my left breast was no longer engorged and my left nipple no longer hurt when I latch the baby! Yeah! On the other hand (or breast actually *laughs*), my right breast was still engorged and my right nipple was still sore. I think the difference was because my right nipple has always been sort of inverted and did not look or act like a normal nipple at all so Baby Boy instinctively preferred the better twin. It was the same with my girl but I overcame it by insisting that she drank from the "problematic" breast first as she is less picky when she is hungry. I did the same with my boy and so far, it has been working =)

Day 19:
My massage therapist has been massaging my breasts and getting rid of my mastitis every session and today is the last day that I'll be getting her help with it. Thanks to her, my tummy has reduced (that's another post) and my engorgement has improved! =) I was honestly sad that it was my last session.

Day 20-21:
So far breastfeeding has been good. I've managed to transition completely to latching Baby Boy, who has been feeding every 2-3 hours (sometimes every hour if he's feeling especially hungry!).

The face he makes when he's crying for milk!
I'm keeping this real folks =P

Night feeds are less torturous and I'm feeling a lot better. I can't wait for the day when nursing no longer hurts and I can really enjoy my bonding time with my baby =)

Continue to >> My Breastfeeding Diary: Week 4
<< Back to My Breastfeeding Diary: Week 2

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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