My breastfeeding journey: Building up breast milk supply
I did it! I finally did it! Ayden is fully on breastmilk now! I know, I know, it’s a bit late but late is better than never, right?
My breastfeeding journey isn’t a smooth one. With Ethan I was determined to breast feed him but because I was ill-prepared and lacking in knowledge, I failed miserably. I only managed to mix feed up to 3 months old and then I dried up :'(
I regretted it each time he falls sick, thinking about how I could have put extra effort in trying to boost my milk supply and more but did not. But there is no point crying over spilt milk or rather in my case, no milk to spill >_<
Six years ago, there was no internet to help me out. Ok, so maybe there was but it was not widely used… at least by me! -.- There was no such thing as Facebook and the many support groups in it. There wasn’t The Breastfeeding Advocates Network to guide me but all that is easily available now and I used all that I learned to help me out in my journey.
The first mistake I repeated with Ayden was to sign the consent form in the hospital to supplement Ayden with milk formula. It wasn’t the hospital’s fault. It was mine. I thought Ayden wasn’t getting enough milk from me and his cries were getting louder by the second day so I requested to supplement milk formula so that he won’t get too hungry. The paed did advise me that once Ayden is used to the fullness of milk formula it is even harder to make him survive on breastmilk alone but I insisted.
When I am finally home by day 3 I thought it will be smooth sailing since my breasts have started to engorge. I thought engorged breasts means oversupply of milk but boy was I wrong. Ayden still wasn’t satisfied after each feed and my breasts hurt like hell!
Ayden cried a lot the first week we got home. I translated cry with hunger so I kept feeding him more and more formula not knowing that each time he is drinking formula, he is depriving my breasts of that much needed stimulation from the lack of latching on. I found out now that newborn babies will cry. They’ll scream their lungs out and not just because they are hungry, but because they are learning to adapt..
The best way to stimulate milk production is to get the baby to latch on our breasts. The more they latch, the more the brain will tell our breasts to produce more milk as it takes it as a sign that the baby is still hungry. My problem was Ayden refused to latch on. He would cry out murder if I get him to try latching so I resorted to pumping. I became an EP mom and that was darn tiring and what is worse is I did not manage to pump out enough.
I learned later that we are supposed to get the baby to try latching on at the first sign of hunger and not wait until they bawl like crazy coz by then they’ll be too hungry and impatient to even try anymore. So I tried, I took Ayden when he is calm and tried latching him on eventhough he isn’t hungry. He latched on a few seconds on my first try. I kept trying and trying and each time he latched on a little longer and longer!
Night time is most challenging coz by the time I realised he is awake crying for milk, he would be too impatient to even try latching so I resorted to formula and once he is done I will go downstairs to pump my engorged breasts. That really exhaust me to the max! One night, I tried to dreamfeed him eventhough he did not cry for milk. He took it calmly and slept soundly after. I fed him again at 3am and he slept through the night! I repeated that routine, dreamfeed him at 12 midnight and 3 am every night and it worked!
It is such a bliss! By doing this he sleeps through until 7-8am and I am more refreshed too as I do not need to wash bottles and pump my milk!
I ate everything believed to be milk booster. From fenugreek to green papaya soup. Nothing works for me. Fenugreek even made me smell like one! It made me gassy too. What I did not know was no matter what we eat, the most important is to direct latch the baby. Direct latch and keep doing that to increase the milk supply. I sat down with Ayden and get him to latch on and continue letting him doing so until he has had enough and repeat as many times as he wishes.
Thank goodness I am a SAHM so I have all the time in the world to just sit down and let Ayden latch on. Of course that also means that housechores were put on hold until night time when Ayden is sound asleep. Darling would help me out with the housechores too at times.
After a week of hardcore latching, my milk is finally flowing like a river! I can feel the milk letdown each time Ayden feeds and he no longer cries like as if he has not enough after each feed.
Ayden is 3 1/2 months now and it has been two weeks since I last fed him milk formula. I felt like I have just won a war battle. It felt that good! I am finally all the cow that he needs and for that, I can moo happily. Moooooooo! ^_^
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I am a mother to two boys; Ethan and Ayden and a wife to Darling William. I'm a stay at home mum who blogs to break the monotony of life and to avoid feeling jaded. Would love to get to know all the Super Mommies and Daddies and Babies or Singles out there with the hope that we can learn more from each other. Most of all, I am a happy person, and I hope YOU are too.
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