Sunday, 9 September 2012

10 Things I Wish I Knew About Breastfeeding Before I Delivered

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The early days and weeks of caring for your little nursling is not only a very special time of adjustment, but a very crucial time to establish the nursing relationship. There’s alot to be learnt but I want to highlight the ones that are not so intuitive, and is not stressed upon enough by well-meaning friends and relatives who may not have been fully-breastfeeding moms.

(1) Check for special situations such as flat or inverted nipples, and find out what you need to pay special attention to for these situations.

(2) Bring your baby to the breast if possible within the first hour after birth. The sooner you put your baby to the breast, the better. Most babies are ready and eager to nurse within the first hour, and the suckling reflex of a fullterm healthy newborn is usually at a peak about 20 – 30mins after he is born, provided he is not drowsy from drugs used during labour. If this prime time is missed, the baby’s suckling reflex may be less acute later.
Because of my caesarean delivery, I only managed to nurse Umar 2 hours after his birth, and he was not so eager maybe due to the epidural. But we had our first successful nursing session a few hours later. Nurse brought him to me when he was still calm, instead of waiting for him to cry, so he was not impatient and slowly took his time to latch-on. The feeling during the first nursing was absolutely incredible. Yes it wasn’t easy getting him to latch on, and my arms were aching holding my 3.7kg baby in a football hold, barely 5 hrs after surgery… but I felt like I could fly…… must be all the oxytoxin (happy hormones) at work.

(3) Be prepared to nurse baby frequently the first few days, and expect your ‘real milk’ to ‘come in’ only on baby’s 3rd or 4th day. You won’t see or feel your milk immediately after you deliver, which is what I expected! Baby actually has enough reserves to last him a couple of days after birth…
but the first few days of frequent nursing are crucial to
(a) help him learn how to latch on properly,
(b) stimulate your milk production like crazy (so yes, the frequent need to feed for a breastfed baby is by Allah’s grand design.. pls pls dun subject ur baby to scheduled 3hr feeds.. that only applies to bottle-fed babies).. and
 (c) most importantly, help him get the nutritious colostrum (sticky, white substance) that is sooo crucial for baby’s immunity in his first few days of life. You will likely never see how this colostrum look like, but rest assured, if you are feeding your little one on demand the first day or two, he is getting the best food ever. Don’t let anyone tell you that you need some “help” with formula. Allah has designed our bodies to produce what our little one needs.

(4) Inform hospital staff that you intend to fully breastfeed. If baby is not rooming in with you, the nursery will put a special tag on his cot that says “I’m fully breastfed”, or something similar, will ensure they bring baby to you when he wakes up for his night feed. Refuse all helpful suggestions of “you need some rest, perhaps you can partially breastfeed for the first few days”. The first few days are crucial, and I can’t stress that enough.

(5) Burping is not always necessary. You will inevitably have an elder who will tell you to burp you little nursling. Burping is not as necessary for breastfed babies as it is for bottle-fed babies. The reason is that bottle-fed babies swallow alot of air during feeding, and hence need to be burped. Breastfed babies do too, especially if they are crying before the feed, or if the mother’s milk supply is so plentiful it makes baby gulp during a feed. If your baby falls asleep during a feed, there is no need to wake him up by burping him… cos it will only make him want to feed again and the whole cycle begins alllll over again. Umar regurgitated quite abit in his first month, and the most useful tip I received was to hold/put him in an inclined position (like on a pillow) so that the milk settles, before burping him.

(6) Meet all your baby’s suckling needs at the breast. This means no water, no pacifiers, no bottles (even if its expressed breast milk). Its all about demand and supply… Allah has designed for a little baby to want to suckle all the time, so that he gets the warmth and comfort of his mother, and also help stimulate the mother’s milk production.

(7) Try different nursing positions. Depending on you and your baby, there is no one recommended position. Personally, as a caesarean mommy, I don’t know how I would have survived without the lying down position, which is made more comfortable with pillows tucked between my legs.

(8) Invest in a good double pump and express as much as you can during the first month whe you milk is plentiful. This applies to working moms only. Once u have settled into your routine at home, its a good idea to start “practice pump”. The first few sessions will yield very little milk, but don’t worry, you get more skilled with time. The first few months is the best time to build your stock so that you won’t have to worry when you go back to work. There is no such thing as an empty breast, the more often you completely remove milk from the breast the more you will produce, so don’t worry about not having enough for your baby if you express in between feeds. I usually feed on one side and express on the other. When I’m done expressing, I put aside the pump and put baby on the breast that I just expressed from, so he can “empty the breast”. [Note: Don’t pump when you are suffering from sore nipples… feed your baby as often as you can instead

(9) What you express is NOT an indication of what your baby is getting. Many moms feel insecure about whether their baby is getting enough. Don’t worry, your baby is getting much more than what expressing would yield. Your baby is the best pump on the market!

(10) Last but not least, babies cry all the time, and if offering the breast doesn’t work, there is always another reason. The commonest reason when you feel that you are having insufficient milk is because your baby cries a lot. I feel sorry for any mother who is made to feel this way by those around her, cos ultimately it undermines her confidence in her ability to breastfeed. Babies cry for many reasons. The sound of a baby crying is not easy to ignore. It is not intended to be. I read that a baby’s cry is meant to be disturbing, for it is his most important means of communication which Allah has given to him. Only by crying can he let you know that he needs you to help him – to come to his rescue. It may be that he is hungry, or he may be lonesome for you. He only knows the security of your presence when his body is next to yours; as far as your baby is concerned, you might as well be on Mars as on the other side of the house. Another quote from the Womanly Art of Breastfeeding:

When a baby cries, a nursing mother’s immediate instinctive response is to offer her breast. Whether it’s been ten minutes or two hours since baby was fed, a few minutes of sucking may be all he needs to settle down. Baby’s appetite can vary from day to day, so he may really be crying because he’s hungry. Or perhaps he just wants to comfort of being close to you. Either way, nursing him may be the answer. But what if that’s not what he wants after all? Then you need to check into other solutions. Perhaps its a wet diaper, perhaps he’s too warm, or maybe he’s too cold. Perhaps something he is wearing is causing the problem. It could even be something so tiny such as a rough label on baby’s clothes.


Semoga ini dapat memberi serba sedikit info pada semua ibu terutamanya yang tengah mengandung... Namun saya ingin menambah sedikit berkenaan pentingnya pemakanan sepanjang Breastfeeding Journey anda.. Ingat keperluan kalori adalah penting kerana penghasilan susuibu memerlukan sekurang-kurangnya extra 500 kalori harian. Selain dari itu, janganlah bergantung pada kalori kosong iaitu makanan yang tinggi kalori tetapi nutrisinya tidak sempurna contohnya seperti makanan ringan. Nutrisilah yang menjadi ingredient dalam susuibu. Jika kita tidak makan secukupnya, maka nutrisi diambil dari tubuh badan siibu....

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Last but not least, saya share kata-kata seorang pengguna Shaklee ya...

My mum bought this set for me after i gave birth recently. I must agree that it definitely increased my milk supply. I took it religiously til a point i had to cut back coz supply exceeded demand and caused me engorgement. I now halve the dosage and it works just fine =)

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