Today's breastfeeding story is from Jenny, who blogs at I'm A Full-Time Mummy. If you are a breastfeeding mummy from Malaysia, you should check out Jenny's baby room review. She does a very good job at reviewing baby rooms in the Klang Valley.
#2 - Remember the 3 Rs!
This come out of the blue, but I decided to call it the 3 Rs!
The 3 Rs are: Research, Read up and Rehearse!
Research all you can find about breastfeeding (why do it, benefits of breastfeeding, common breastfeeding myths, techniques, how to avoid any problems, what to do if there's any problems etc)
Read up all you can, be it from books, hospital/clinic leaflets on breastfeeding etc. The reason why I don't lump this into Research is because you can research all you want but if you don't read it, then it is pointless. Thank God I love to read!!!
Rehearse - go for antenatal classes where they teach you how to breastfeed and the different methods to breastfeed. If you don't attend the classes (please please do!), then look it up in the Net, Youtube or anything that shows you pictures or videos on how to breastfeed correctly.
# 3 - Choose your birth hospital correctly!
Now, you may wonder what is the place I'm going to give birth at has anything to do with breastfeeding. Well, it has everything to do with breastfeeding! You can research, read, rehearse all you want but if you deliver at a place where they immediately introduce your baby to bottle-feeding then all your efforts would have gone to waste!
Choosing the right birth hospital helped in making my breastfeeding work out!
# 4 - Get encouragement and support from other people
OK, we don't have a confinement lady. We did our own DIY confinement. There may be things we did wrongly. What we did was asked around from other in-laws and friends who have kids to check whether we are doing the right thing and then we compared our methods to theirs.
Hubby and I also got the postnatal home visits service from the people who conducted the antenatal classes we attended 2 months before I delivered. They will come in 3 times (depends on your schedule and their availability) each visit lasting for 1 hour and they will check your baby and your progress and condition. They will also observe and advice on your baby care methods, breastfeeding, and everything you wanted to find out about on newborn care.
For us, we know we are doing the right thing, just that we need some other people to acknowledge and confirm our thoughts. When you hear from the mouth of experts like them telling you that you are doing a great job and your baby is progressing very well, that sure does a lot of help with your motivation level! :D
# 5 - Quitting my job
One of the reason I quit my job is so that I am able to continue breastfeeding my baby since I am not able to extend my maternity leave. On the 1 month I'm serving my notice (and paid off the other 2 months), I had to force myself to express my breastmilk at office every 3 hours - reason why I said force is because, if I didn't do that, I could be sitting at my cubicle and doing work non-stop, not even going to toilet (until lunch time). And there are times when I only remembered I had to go express when I felt my breasts swollen hard and painful.
On my last week at the office, my supply dwindled down to 2 oz per day... from the beginnng when I returned back to work and start expressing at office I could express about 12 oz per day... down to 2 oz per day... the pressure and workload took its toll on me of course (I could even remember one time I didn't express from 12pm-8pm... total 8 hours...the reason? I was stuck in meetings after meetings and after office hours ended at 6pm, I was again stuck in conference calls with vendors and bosses until 8pm) So the decision to quit my job really helps alot with making my breastfeeding work.
# 6 - Pray!
Pray for God's will on whatever you have put your mind to. If it is His will, He will settle the bill :) Meaning, if its meant for you to breastfeed, no matter how hard it is, you must persevere.
The first few days before the breast milk comes in is critical. It will make or break a new mummy. Old folks and people who do not know better will tell you that your baby needs to feed, he cries because he is hungry, you don't have enough breast milk so you must give formula milk.. Pray for strength and patience and comfort in times of pain and stress like this. The breast milk will come! Babies do not need to feed for the first few days of their life! (This is because they still have storage in their bodies)
And when the breast milk comes, still there will be people telling you its not enough. Do not give up! The more you breastfeed, the more milk your body will produce. During the first 2 weeks after delivery, I will keep on breastfeeding Ben every 2 hours. Even the wee hours of the morning, I'd wake up and just latch him on. Suffer now, and reap the benefits later.