When I gave birth to our second baby – Lauren, I was extra confident that I’ll be nailing the breastfeeding game this time. I mean, coming from that “initiation” we experienced with our eldest daughter, Brianna, I thought things will be a lot easier the second time around. I thought I would have more milk too! Turned out, I was right AND wrong!
I was right because, yes, I was a lot calmer this time. I knew what to expect and I already hired a Lactation Doctor as soon as I gave birth to make sure I was properly guided. Lauren caught on easily and somehow we managed to survive together with lesser drama. I decided to exclusively breastfeed as I didn’t want to obsess over the amount of milk I pump. I remember the nights I pumped milk for Brianna, and only got 1 oz of milk per boob. I stressed about the amount of my milk every single day. So yeah, no more pumping for me. Made me more at peace.
I was wrong because I still struggled with weight gain issues. Lauren was gaining pretty well on her first 3 months. She filled out slowly, my milk was steadily producing what she needed. But she was a little underweight for her age. I’ve always wanted to have a fat baby with rolls for days. Blame it on the genes.
On my 6th month of breastfeeding exclusively, the lactation doctor discovered Lauren had a fungal infection on her tongue and I had a milk plug on my nipple which may be the cause of the infection. It could have been the reason for her slow weight gain and so I also agreed to start mix-feeding her with formula milk. I did feel all sorts of “mom-guilt” at the time but I’m happy that my lactation doctor reassured me that IT’S OK TO GIVE FORMULA MILK. I have reached the 6-month-breastfeeding-milestone anyway and that is enough. FED IS BEST and at this point my concern is to get Lauren’s weight up the orange line! Besides, it will be just a top-up after I empty both breasts.
I continued mix-feeding until about 9 months when I finally decided to wean her from the boob. I felt good about it coz I know I can slowly get my life back. I needed that space, that me time and that freedom to get things done without having to carry a baby all the time. Lauren was eating solids well and she got used to the bottle already. Thank heavens for Comotomo bottles!
Lauren did not completely let go of the boob actually. She still needs me every night to fall asleep. Yes, I became a human pacifier for quite some time and still working on completely weaning her off comfort nursing. I guess it’s about time! I’ll save that for another blog!
So with my experience in breastfeeding 2 kids, I know I’m still no expert but I’d like to share some golden tidbits I’ve learned throughout my journey:
Stop comparing yourself to other mommas. We all have different bodies. Some make more milk, some make just the right amount.
Don’t panic, you have milk! According to my lactation doctor, Breastmilk (colostrum) usually comes out on Day 3. She explained very well what to expect:
Day 1 – practice your latch, make sure it’s deep into the areola and not as shallow as the nipple. Seek help from the experts while you’re still in the hospital.
Day 2- it may be the worse day as the baby will keep latching like there’s no tomorrow. She may be cranky and clingy. Just let her latch, let her keep sucking. This helps stimulate the hormones to start the milk flow.
Day 3 – 4 – milk comes out and it’s the most nutritious and packed with immune strengthening components.
Day 5-7 – your breasts may engorge, keep latching on demand.
3. Newborn stomach is the size of a quail egg. Don’t be too obsessed about how much milk you have. They only need a few drops of your breastmilk at a time and your body will adjust the milk production according to the baby’s needs.
4. Always have the nipple cream in handy. Start applying during labor. I recommend Lansinoh or Pigeon!
5. It’s ok to mix feed with formula, it’s ok to formula feed if you don’t want to breastfeed, and it’s ok to ask for breastmilk donations from friends while you don’t have milk yet. Let go of the mom guilt. FED IS BEST.
I hope this helps fellow mommas out there! These are based on my experience so when in doubt, ask your doctor and not Google! 😉
I’d love to know about your breastfeeding experience too! Feel free to leave a comment or ask me anything!
Wife | Super Mom of two | Traveler | Social Entrepreneur
Read about my journey as a stay-at-home mom, love for anything self-care-related, and other life adventures!
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