Wednesday, 13 March 2019

My Breastfeeding Diary (Baby #3): First Month

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

The moment after I had delivered my baby girl in the delivery suite, she started puckering her lips and sticking out her tongue, which was a clear indication that she wanted to breastfeed. As usual, I latched her directly as I had done with baby boy when he was born and fully remembered how to do it despite not having breastfed for the last 4 years!

When I got transferred to the ward, the nurse in the ward immediately checked, as is their SOP, on how I am doing with breastfeeding. She proceeded to squeeze my nipples very tightly (ouch!) before exclaiming, "wow, that's very good, a lot of colostrum!"

Tip: make sure you start breastfeeding as early as possible and as many times as the baby wants in order to develop your milk supply.

The nurse checked my latching and was equally impressed by the baby's strong sucking. I think it makes a huge difference choosing to give birth without epidural because the baby is not drowsy after birth as compared to an epidural assisted birth.

Seeing that I was a very experienced mum (not to brag but I have done this three times!), they left me alone for the rest of my stay in the hospital. If I were the nurses, I would love having me as their patient as I made their job really easy! *laughs*

As usual, I requested that the baby room in with me (and not return to the nursery) so that I can feed her on demand. This is so that I have full control of my breastfeeding and can learn about her breastfeeding style from the start. Of course, this is only possible if you stay in a single-bedder room so please consider it if you can afford it.

Tip: Keep the baby with you as much as possible so that you can learn to recognise the baby's cries for milk (which is different from the baby's cries for comfort and pain), and respond to him/her before those cries become uncontrollable and stress-inducing. Don't be over-reliant on the nurses or your confinement nanny otherwise you won't be able to do it on your own. 

The first day of breastfeeding went well but the night was terrible. Baby wanted to feed every 15 minutes but only drank for 5 minutes before falling asleep. I did not sleep AT ALL for 24 hours since the delivery and was so exhausted that by 6am in the morning, I was slightly hallucinating!

Me and baby alone in our room in the morning

Thank goodness I decided to ask the nurse to bring the baby to the nursery for her vaccinations so that I have some alone time to freshen up. I felt so much better after that. Breastfeeding a newborn with a tiny stomach is not easy!

After discharge, I realised that my baby was still not pooping after 4 days since the first poop. Her paediatrician suggested feeding longer at each breast (10-15 minutes, instead of 5-10 minutes) so that baby can take in more of the fatty part of the milk. I had totally forgotten that the fore milk is made up of mainly water and that the hind milk which comes at the back is made of the fats that the baby needs to poop, stay full and gain weight. I did what the paediatrician recommended and viola, she started pooping a lot! 😄

Tip: If your baby is like mine and tends to sleep after sucking for 5 minutes, you can try burping the baby and then continuing to latch the baby from the same breast rather than switching breast. This is to ensure that the baby gets enough of the fatty hind milk. 

Happily sleeping soundly after a feed

As with all my babies, my breasts started to be engorged by the time my baby was 4 days old. However, I decided not to pump like I did with my baby boy as it could make the engorgement worse. Pumping was also more exhausting than latching and gave me a lot of problems with mastitis when I forgot to pump during the night due to exhaustion! (You can read all about my experience here). I was keen to not repeat the same problems I had with pumping too early in my breastfeeding journey hence, I decided to hand-express excess breast milk instead of pumping.

So far, baby girl is drinking far more breast milk than her brother so hand-expressing has been sufficient. This has worked so well for me that by the time my massage therapist arrived on the 10th day of my confinement, my breasts are no longer engorged. Although my breasts will get full and slightly hard before breastfeeding, they will be easily emptied by the baby after feeding.

A selfie of me breastfeeding my girl at home!

The biggest difficulty that I have with direct latching is the soreness of my nipples. Despite having mastered the correct latching position, I still experienced pain simply because my newborn baby's mouth is very small and my nipples were, well, not. The pain can be so bad that I had to bite my lip to endure it for the first 10 seconds every time my baby latched. Thank God that the pain subsided by the fourth week of birth once baby grew bigger in size.

My baby's drinking pattern: drink from both breasts at least three times on each side at a go and then sleep undisturbed for 2.5-3 hours after that. It can be very stressful for me when she wants a lot of milk in a short amount of time but my breasts needs time to produce the milk!

But all my hard work is worth it when I get to see all my hard work getting translated into baby fats! 😍

Love spending quality time with her!

My eldest girl was a whooping 95 percentile by the time she turned 2.5 months old so I'm hoping that it will be the same for my littlest girl! At the rate that she is going, she is definitely on track! 😁

After 28 days of confinement, I could finally go out with baby girl for the first time! Breastfeeding on the go has also been really easy 😄


Tip: The key to breastfeeding is PRACTICE! Make sure that you have useful tools that help you with breastfeeding as well. 

I'm really enjoying my journey breastfeeding and bonding with my baby! Cherishing every moment, the good and even the painful because I know that it will not last long! ♥️


This post is part of my series My Breastfeeding Diary, where I document the highs and lows of my breastfeeding journey. 


Past posts in My Breastfeeding Diary series:
Breastfeeding Baby #2: 1 Week
Breastfeeding Baby #2: 2 Weeks
Breastfeeding Baby #2: 3 Weeks
Breastfeeding Baby #2: 4 Weeks
Breastfeeding Baby #2: 2 Months
Breastfeeding Baby #2: 3 Months (Back to Work)
Breastfeeding Baby #2: 4 Months
Breastfeeding Baby #2: 5 Months
Breastfeeding Baby #2: 6 Months (Weaning)
Breastfeeding Baby #2: 8 Months
Breastfeeding Baby #2: 10 Months (Battling bronchitis)
Breastfeeding Baby #2: 12 Months
Breastfeeding Baby #2: 13 Months (End)
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