As much as a new baby brought joy & happiness to our family, of course there are some challenges too, one of them is breastfeeding.. It's seriously a big business! Calysta has been on total breastfeeding/direct latching with no bottles or formula. She's literally on my boobs 24/7 & there's no fixed timing yet when she's gonna eat. She eats whenever she wants!
She's fed every 1.5-3 hours and there is certain timing she wants to be fed all the time.. Other mothers call it cluster feeding. It's like feeding her for 2-3 hours non stop for a few minutes and during feeding, she sleeps for 15 minutes or less then she wakes up again and latches on again for a few minutes and the cycle goes on and on for many hours.. She has a few times of cluster feeding in a day, sometimes day & night and I'm seriously really tired! I haven't slept for 3 hours straight yet!
Other mums may think breastfeeding with direct latching is so easy because there's no need to wash bottles, no need to pump & sterilize and more bonding time with the baby but everything comes with a price too!
The problem I'm having with direct latching apart from having sore nipples is engorgement and there's a need to pump to relieve some level of engorgement. Calysta is taking one breast at a time and she can't finish the other breast and this is why I still have to pump at least once or twice a day when I feel really full. The other problem is Calysta seems unable to handle fast flow milk from my breasts, therefore it leads to frustration, crying and pulling off from the breasts. Yes it takes efforts to latch her on again! Even I can latch her on again, there will be so much milk leaking from her mouth that literally wetting all my shirt and her shirt.. It's really stressful sometimes! Of course there is certain timing, she can control the milk flow well! She can control my fast milk flow and thus less fussiness during midnight feeding. To me, midnight feeding is the best and more relaxing although I feel tired & sleepy. The milk leaking makes me wonder if she's getting enough milk or not but looking at her diaper outputs, I think she's doing just fine! Just that mommy is too afraid she's getting not enough!
Calysta at 2 weeks old plus only nurses for averagely 5-10 minutes and most of the time, she feels contented! At first, it worried me if she's getting enough but as long as she's producing more than 10 wet diapers and 3-4 soiled diapers, I think she's doing fine! Perhaps my fast milk flow makes her an efficient nurser :)
Seriously breastfeeding direct latching is not easy at all, it can be really stressful especially when your newborn is fussy or crying during feeding! And when I don't know what to do facing certain situation, luckily I have lactation consultant support to advise & encourage me to carry on. (So far I have engaged lactation consultant twice and she came for home visit once), lactation consultant really helped! I would say it's much more challenging than exclusive pumping. I hope things will get better after the 1st month. Many times, I feel like giving up, just pump combined with formula and feed the baby! That's it, easy! But deep inside, I don't want to give up yet! I have faith in breastfeeding & I know it's going to get better & better as time passes by! All I need is encouragement :) luckily my husband has been very supportive :)
Breastfeeding really helped me to slim down my belly fast & I'm glad to say that my belly is back to pre-pregnancy belly and it's even flatter than before I got pregnant with Calysta.. Weight loss wise, I have lost 10 kg and I have about 7-8 kg more of baby weight to lose :) I believe I'm reaching that target fast due to breastfeeding :)
I'm lucky that I don't experience postnatal depression (touchwood I won't!) with this baby.. I'm pretty much calm & relaxed emotionally. Of course there was once I shed tears because of breastfeeding frustration but luckily lactation consultant came in time to help me! :) silly me I know!
I'm still doing my confinement and I have a confinement lady who helps in cooking & washing baby's clothes.. So far I'm ok with Chinese confinement, I can bear with whatever foods they want me to eat but one thing they can't restrict me, it's my hygiene! (meaning there's no way I don't take a bath or wash hair for 30 days, it's simply madness!) I shower twice a day and wash my hair whenever I like to!
I will update more again next time, hopefully after Calysta's full moon :)
2 week + post delivery belly ~ breastfeeding works like magic!
I manage to keep 120 ml of breast milk in my deep freezer every day. It's time to build the stash slowly, one pack by one pack!
Why are you so tiny, Calysta?