Mums give their best to babies in one-minute feeding (The Star 8th Aug 2010, page 5)

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Sunday August 8, 2010 (http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=%2F2010%2F8%2F8%2Fnation%2F6820830&sec=nation)

Mums give their best to babies in one-minute feeding

By WINNIE YEOH
winnie@thestar.com.my

GEORGE TOWN: It was a joyous atmosphere when a group of 17 mothers gathered here to simultaneously breastfeed their babies for a minute in an event to promote breastfeeding.

Their 40-odd family members sang “give your best to your baby, give your breast” to the tune of popular song “If you’re happy and you know it”.

Another 158 mothers in the northern region also took part in the “One-Minute Simultaneous Breastfeeding” event which took place at 3.30pm.

Moms at MMPS WBW2010 celebration

Moms at MMPS WBW2010 celebration

 A mother’s love: Two mothers holding their babies during the event held at Disted College by the MMPS group in conjunction with the World Breastfeeding Week 2010.

The World Breastfeeding Week 2010 event was organised by Mother-to-Mother-Peer-Support (MMPS) group at Disted College here yesterday.

MMPS adviser Dr Balkees Abdul Majeed said the event, which was held for the third year, was aimed at creating awareness on the “10 Steps To Successful Breastfeeding Programme.”

She said the programme was an international guideline for all maternity hospitals.

“Among the 10 steps are helping mothers to initiate breastfeeding within a half-hour of birth and to give newborn infants no food or drink other than breast milk unless medically indicated,” she said in her speech at the event.

Among the participants at the event were Tasha Lee, 31, and her two-month old baby girl Joey Tan.

The mother of two said breastfeeding helped her to slim down after she gave birth.

“After delivering my first baby, I lost the extra weight within six months. I was even fitter than before my pregnancy,” the yoga facilitator said.

State Youth, Sports, Women, Family and Community Development Committee chairman Lydia Ong Kok Fooi said she could not breastfeed her two children many years ago as her body did not produce enough milk.

“I hope to see more mothers breastfeeding their young as it benefits both the mother and the child,” she said.

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Breastfeeding Success Story : My Baby Wanted to Nurse Almost Every Hour!

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My experience in breastfeeding my one and only daughter Divinaa born on 1st June 2006. Here comes my story…..

 

Why did I choose to breastfeed?

The answer is simple: I wanted the best for my baby. It had taken us three years to conceive this little miracle. I started reading all about pregnancy and baby care and joined discussion forums on the internet if the topic was pregnancy. I also enrolled myself in ante-natal classes. One of the topics covered was breastfeeding. I found it useful and very informative. As the pregnancy advanced, so did my knowledge of breastfeeding. By the end of nine months, breastfeeding was no longer a matter of choice. I realised even the pamphlets produced by formula companies said breast milk is best!

 

Then came the birth, and the beginning of my battles. First, I opted for total breastfeeding and so the hospital staff did not offer the bottle to my baby. When my milk flow did not come in by the end of the second day, I was really anxious but was told this is normal and that a newborn with a good birth weight always had “reserve”. Next the paediatrician, who had earlier supported my decision to exclusively breastfeed, suggested formula supplementation for my baby for few days because my baby had high jaundice. He said it was necessary to help clear the bilirubin from the baby’s system. So, glucose was introduced with two feedings of soya based formula. I felt low and distraught.

 

Even though, there was no milk supply yet, I let my baby suckle at my breast to stimulate the milk flow. Initially, my newborn needed a little guidance while latching on. Then much to my relief, my milk supply started in the late afternoon on the fourth day.

 

But when I went home on the fifth day, a new set of problems cropped up. My baby wanted to nurse   almost every hour! She would not only cry but “scream” if I did not put her to the breast fast enough. I felt like a milk dispenser and wondered whether my baby getting enough milk. I even wondered whether there was any milk! Luckily, I called my ante-natal class instructor Mdm. Teoh from the Lam Wah Ee Hospital. She calmed me and said my milk was coming and that the baby was just doing her job, latching as much as she could to increase my milk supply. The best advice she gave was in reminding me to RELAX and enjoy my baby. It was such a relief talking to her.

 

I will not say breastfeeding is a breeze, especially during the confinement period. While still physically recovering from childbirth, I had to get up an average of four to five times every night to nurse my newborn. Breastfeeding babies move their bowels more often and so my husband and I found ourselves waking up a few times each night to clean our girl and change her diapers.

 

I also received a lot of comments like “Is there enough milk for the baby?”, “How long do you want to breastfeed?” “Are you still breastfeeding her, is she getting all the nutrition?” the list goes on. The worst was from a sales girl in a hypermarket who promoted formula milk. She commented that my girl is already old enough and I should’nt still be breastfeeding, in fact breastfeeding should now be replaced with formula which, according to her, helps to improve her IQ, EQ and all kinds of Qs! I could’nt spend time explaining to her the higher quality of mother’s milk over formula. Later I filed a complaint to a breastfeeding support group on the type of false campaigning being done in the market.

 

But then again, I have set my mind to give my child what I know is best for her and so nothing will allow me to give up breastfeeding. Not when I see my newborn becoming such a natural at the breast as each day goes by. Not when I see those cries being soothed immediately when she is nursed. Not when I see that contented smile on her face after her hunger has been satisfied. Not when I feel our bond getting stronger each day.

 

Weaning

My original target was to breastfeed my baby for at least a year, then it was increased to 2 years but finally I only weaned her when she was 2 years and 8 months. The reason of course, is because breastfeeding just gets easier with time, especially since I’m a stay-home mum. However, I intended to gradually wean her off since I decided to go back to work.

 

What is it that I enjoy most about breastfeeding and mothering? Breastfeeding is wonderful as it’s free, convenient and hassle free. It has also helped me lose weight fast, made me feel ‘indispensable’ to my baby and of course, it’s great to hear comments from others about how strong and healthy my daughter looks because of the fact that she’s breastfed! Mothering is tougher than going out to work, but it’s definitely much more rewarding too. Though the rewards are mostly, if not all, intangible, her spontaneity, smile, hugs and kisses more than make up for all the lost sleep, her naughtiness etc. Not only that, mothering is fun as I get to see her taking her first step, get to know her really well as I’m with her so much.

 

If a new mother were to ask me how to succeed at breastfeeding, I will advise her to equip herself with knowledge on the subject by reading, attending talks and talking to experienced mothers before the baby arrives. Latch the baby on frequently to stimulate the milk supply. Have skin to skin contact. Most importantly, have the determination and conviction that breastfeeding is best for your baby!

 

I am very happy that I made the decision to breastfeed my daughter even though I regret few times for weaning her off too soon. I am also thankful and fortunate to have a supportive husband. I also received lots of support from my mum and one more person that I will never forget in my life is my sis-in-law Adeline Jayshankar who was there to share her experience, clear all my doubts and queries. Adeline was my role model who had successfully breastfed her two kids who are 19 and 16 now. I hope all mothers will try to breastfeed their babies and enjoy the wonderful bond breastfeeding mothers have with their babies. Here, I end my story with Go Green! Go Green! One way is through Breastfeeding.

 

Last but not least a poem for my darling daughter Divinaa Aravinthan…here it comes;

 

I’m blessed;

Breastfeeding is so special to me

It’s just between Divinaa and me

It’s an art we learn together

That we can share whatever the weather

 

I’m blessed;

To remember the first suckle of my baby

It’s an excellent moment for her daddy

He knew that we were going to succeed

Since he’s there for all our needs

 

I’m blessed;

Though there have been hard times along the way

I could never quit, knowing she’s getting the best anyway

 

I’m blessed; 

The months have flown by

Divinaa’s 4th birthday just passed by

50 months of her happiness and smile

Have made breastfeeding all worth while

 

Divinaa;

Sometimes you have asked me why ‘amma’ stopped

Remember dear when there is a start there is a stop

I sit and dream and I hold in my heart

The time I spent giving her the Best it’s actually a good start

 

I love you my darling….

I love you Divinaa….

Being a mum is a promotion;

Being a breastfeeding mum is a graduation. 

 

 

From : Jeya Aravin, Malaysia

© MMPS. All rights reserved. All images/text cannot be republished.

Breastfeeding Success Story : Breastfeed Baby with Low Sugar and Jaundice

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Mother of two year old Alisha Saffana and one month and three weeks old Atikah Saffiya

 

Breastfeeding was not a serious issue for me until I began a short working stint at the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA). I had hardly thought that a woman’s act of nourishing her baby with clean and pure food from her body could actually be endangered! Why “endangered” one might ask? Just look anywhere, your TV, the billboards, the newspapers and magazines, a walk down supermarket aisles, the sponsors for any child related or children’s event or a medical professionals seminar or event, on hospital walls, flyers in your children’s bag, baby toys with a “cute” little baby doll and a bottle – you name it – they all promote formula feeding, and, feeding with a bottle. This artificiality is so in your face you begin to think that it is normal to formula feed with a bottle and that women who breastfeed are doing something abnormal and hugely difficult!! Thanks to the WABA experience I acquired something of an all round view of the challenges to breastfeeding. So when I was pregnant, I knew for sure along with my husband’s support, how and what we wanted to feed our baby. We were also prepared for a phase when I would possibly have to be a stay-home mother with occasional desk-based research and writing work to keep my brains oiled and updated. We would have to be more economical than we already were with one person’s salary, but then we could never buy the time we would spend in nurturing and watching our babies grow. This is a 24/7 occupation but the rewards are worth more than a fantastic well-paying job!

 

My first daughter Alisha Saffana was a tiny wonder with a huge cry!! I had read that sometimes a first time mother may not get milk the first two to four days, but I still felt distressed that I did’nt produce any milk the first day. My husband calmed me with his characteristic humour and there was wonderful Sr. Quah who kept my spirits up. But I was getting a bit desperate as the nurses informed me the very next morning that my 2.1kg daughter was in danger of having low sugar and consequently jaundice. She was below the normal weight range but her reflexes and response to stimuli were good. They sent a rather stern looking lactation nurse, who unfortunately scoffed at me for being a breastfeeding advocate but not being able to breastfeed my own daughter. She knew me from the World One-Minute Breastfeeding Wave for 2007 World Breastfeeding Week. I felt horrible, here I was looking for quality help, absolutely exhausted from the labour and sitting on a painful episiotomy, having spent most of the night on a workable latch-on with my daughter and under dimmed night lights of the ward surreptiously practicing skin-to-skin contact.

 

I began to think that perhaps I don’t have the natural motherly instinct that is supposed to jog the love hormone called oxytocin to influence the milk to flow. Just then friends from WABA came in with cheerful faces and a dear friend and lactation consultant Chris Mulford – cheerful faces really brightens up any hospital setting! She listened to my woes, tried to understand what was the core problem, showed me how to massage my breast and help the milk flow out. In a few minutes I got a few drops and I was so thrilled and relieved that I could now feed my baby – and I do have Oxytocin!!

 

Just as we were trying to get the important “latch-on” suitable to baby and me, the nurses had to take away my daughter to the neo-natal ward as her glucose level had dropped considerably, even after I requested for one more try. However, though they felt for me, they were obliged to follow set hospital procedures. I was close to tears, but Chris counseled me to relax and go with the flow, and not to blame myself and get overly stressed. This interaction with her and how she responded perfectly to my feelings and needs guides me when I give support to breastfeeding mothers.

 

At the neonatal ward my little Saffana had already been given formula – no waiting or trying again to breastfeed eventhough I asked and wanted to do it. They themselves seemed powerless and bound by hospital procedures. She was also undergoing phototherapy for jaundice and had to stay in that phototherapy contraption for long periods. So now my and husband and I had to figure out how to balance the time she had for breastfeeding and the time that she had to stay in phototherapy. It was’nt easy and I was soon moving towards having a painful engorged breast; however, Dr. Balkees a very committed breastfeeding advocate and lactation consultant did her utmost to help under the circumstances. She gave me “technical” guidance on how to latch-on properly and the emotional confidence in my ability to feed my daughter.

 

Having developed a sort of feeding and phototherapy schedule, I would do my utmost in breastfeeding her and when my husband came from work he would patiently coax her to drink from the cup or spoon, sometimes staying on till 2:00am or 3:00am. We stayed close to her, hugged her, talked to her, and sang to her gently – today we know that such contact by both parents helps the baby recover faster. It increases her innate instinct to survive.

 

Eventhough I had equipped myself with all the facts about breastfeeding and was determined to breastfeed my daughter, there were times when I felt undecided as to whether I am giving her “enough” milk, whether I am doing the right thing for her under the circumstances. The health professionals, the doctors, the opinions and hospital procedures overwhelmed me. I questioned myself about whether I am more concerned about breastfeeding being her unspoken right and my right as a woman or whether I was just allowing my tired body to take over my mind. I wished so much to just be with my baby in my cozy bed at home allowing all the natural hormones and chemicals to do its job in breastfeeding my baby and removing all the niggling leftover pains of labour; but here I was, tired, aching all over, cold, bedraggled and rather despondent. This is when my husband would listen to my ramblings patiently and without ever uttering a negative or a harsh word he would constantly encourage me to stick to breastfeeding first and appreciating the efforts I made. He reminded me that God provides what is “enough”. I am grateful to him for that kind of gentle and encouraging stance.

 

We were out of the hospital but we had a new problem, little Saffana grew a tooth at two weeks!! She was uncomfortable when feeding and I was getting bitten; we had a different type of “latch-on” problem and there are no books or Wikipedia references to turn to!! In addition, her tooth hurt the hemangioma that she was born with on the upper lip. A hemangioma is a reddish skin formation that disappears over time and can occur for no specific reason, it is sensitive and unfortunately her tooth cut into the hemangioma and caused blisters. We resorted to spoon and cup feeding as the blisters hindered latching, and sucking was painful for her. The dentist had to extract her sharp little tooth; she was his youngest patient in his 30 year practice! In her third month she had another tooth but by now we had established the “latch-on” that we were both comfortable with and the hemangioma was reducing. Saffana is a very active and happy girl with a sweet smile and an ear for music.

 

My second daughter Atikah Saffiya latched on easily and would not let go! She was 3.2 kgs at birth and at 1 month was 4.65 kgs. The second time round, I was a lot more confident and my husband and I were more aware. So when my second little one was diagnosed with low sugar levels, due to my insulin-dependent diabetic condition, I stepped up the breastfeeding without any doubts about whether I am doing the right thing. Despite this, she had to be put on a glucose drip. Procedures were beginning to take power again! The neo-natal ward for rooming-in mothers was fully occupied and there was a long waiting list too. So once again I was this super exhausted mother walking up and down from my ward to the neo-natal unit, sitting on a hard plastic chair and breastfeeding my baby along with another determined mother for two days and two nights. It was back-breaking but I was confident that I had “enough” milk for her needs.

 

On the morning of the third day, I saw a doctor shake her head in worry and mention that this glucose level is not good. Apparently, little Saffiya’s levels had gone up so high that there was no number reading!! I was very upset, just the night before I had asked if it was necessary to continue the drips since the reading seemed to be normal; but was told that they would consider it in the morning when the specialist would be in. Now they were talking about giving her insulin to bring the levels down. My husband and I had had enough experience to say no more and requested them to stop any treatment. We knew we just had to bring her home and breastfeed her. We know that mother’s milk responds naturally to the exact physical needs of a baby and all we had to do was to breastfeed her in a comfortable and caring environment. She improved that very evening and was fine in a few days.

 

I currently breastfeed both my daughters, though the older one does it more to ensure her connection with me. Sometimes she would just move in for a “sip” while her sister is also feeding and then scramble off to continue playing. It’s her way of saying thanks for the little sister but don’t forget I still need your attention!! In the beginning tandem nursing was uncomfortable and difficult, sometimes it still can be, until Novia a working mother and an MMPS mother kindly shared her experience with me and offered some simple tips. She had tandem nursed her daughters for two years and she is a full time working mother. I felt encouraged to continue.

 

Now it’s amusing to watch the two sisters bond while feeding. It gives me a great sense of contentment to see my older daughter play with her little sister’s hands and cheeks while feeding and the little one responding with little gurgling sounds and happy little kicks. I hope and pray that this effort will help them develop a lasting bond and friendship with each other.

 

Breastfeeding is a family commitment, a commitment that a community and country must protect, promote and support. I hope that some day soon, Penang will be the first Baby-Friendly state inMalaysiaand perhaps the whole country will. It just needs the kind of determination that mothers have when they breastfeed their babies against all odds.

 

From : Sabrina Sunderraj, Malaysia

© MMPS. All rights reserved. All images/text cannot be republished.

Breastfeeding Success Story : C-Sec Mum

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I am the mother of Nyaalan Sivakumar, whose name means the Illuminator. I am proud to say that at 5months plus he is Exclusively Breastfeeding and I will continue to feed him as long as possible.

 

Giving birth to him and breastfeeding him was a challenge at first. Although I was preparing to give birth naturally I had to eventually undergo a caesarean, this caused me pain in getting up and holding my son for feeding. It was a great challenge to breastfeed my son during the recovery stage.

 

Exclusively breastfeeding Nyaalan would not have been successful without the encouragement and support from my husband and sister. Mrs Vasumathi a friend from a mother support group called Mother-to-Mother-Peer-Support (MMPS) had been a great help and guided me during this difficult period. She still shares with me tips on breastfeeding or guides me to someone who can help me with my questions, and here I would like to take the opportunity to thank her.

 

I enjoy feeding my son who is growing well and each day the bond between us is also growing stronger. Each time I feed my son we have close eye contact and a sensual experience which I believe is a kind of language that only a MOTHER and CHILD can feel and understand. The key factor for my successful breastfeeding is my determination and perseverance to nurture a healthy and happy child. I feel that the real challenge for us mothers is in overcoming our own fear and misguided thinking on breastfeeding.  Oozing breast milk is a grace and blessing from GOD for the mother and child. We need to remember that nature will never fail us. As breastfeeding mothers we must ensure that breast milk – the great gift of nature – does not go to waste.

 

Dear mothers, I appeal to all of you, for the future benefit of your child please try your best to breastfeed them. God will bless all breastfeeding mothers.

 

From : Tamil Selvvi Sivakumar, Malaysia

© MMPS. All rights reserved. All images/text cannot be republished.

Breastfeeding Success Story : Improper Latch On

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It was never an easy job for mummy… Mummy can recall the moment when Baby Zheng arrived, it was really a blessing that he is a healthy and demanding baby. This is going to be a long story that starts from the failure mummy encountered when trying to breastfeed En En 3 years ago.

Lack of knowledge and support from family members is the major cause of mummy’s stress and depression to breastfeed successfully with En En. Mummy never knew breastfeeding is a demand and supply cycle until mummy met with a few successful breastfeeding mothers on an internet forum. The chance of becoming a blogger also widenedd up mummy’s network to get more information and tips from other mummy bloggers.

Mummy joined MMPS group through Facebook and attended the monthly meeting as much as possible. Lots of experience sharing moments reinforced mummy’s awareness about many different ways to handling problems that may occur during breastfeeding time.

On the first day when baby Zheng was delivered, he was passed to mummy immediately after wrapping to start suckling in order to stimulate breast milk production. Mummy was very proud and surprised that he did know how to suck! I never had this experience before with En En; because at that time I didn’t know that this is the first stimulation that is very important for establishing breastfeeding.
Mummy was worried baby won’t be sent to me every 2 hourly and thus mummy kept reminding nurses and the midwife to help in sending baby Zheng to breastfeed.

During the 3-days stay in the hospital, mummy was very alert in making sure baby Zheng is kept by my side most of the time. Baby Zheng is a nibble baby… he sucked for as short as 15 minutes to 3 hours… mummy was having a breastfeeding marathon with him on the first 2 days and nights. Some mothers told mummy normally babies will have 1-2 hourly interval of feeding but this is just an average as baby Zheng fed almost every half hourly! Different baby has different feeding pattern, mummy just has to observe and offer the breast even though it was so tiring.

Mummy went back to hometown with baby Zheng for confinement. By Day 3, the milk was already dripping like the tap water! Mummy was delighted as this means the milk is abundant. Luckily the confinement lady is experienced with breastfed babies as her daughter-in-law was a breastfeeding mother too. Mummy was able to learn how to identify baby’s poo during the early days from her.

Nipple pain – this is what mummy felt from Day 1 until Day 11!!! Definitely, this is a WARNING sign of baby’s latching on problem. During the first 3 days mummy thought it is normal if nipple feels pain as it will toughen up after baby sucks. Things went terribly wrong after 7 days as the pain was so severe till mummy felt scared and tensed whenever it’s feeding time. Baby Zheng nursed very frequently during the day but mummy was reluctant to offer both the breasts since they were cracked and bleeding. At that time, the confinement lady and Po Po also advised mummy to give bottle for the baby. Mummy insisted to pump and feed by spoon or cup with help from them. (Mummy got spare milk bottle, but Mummy hid it away!!)

Mummy fell sick twice during the first 2 weeks of confinement due to lack of proper rest. However, mummy was still very persistent yet was very sad when both nipples were bleeding and baby was screaming for suckle! Finally, mummy sms mothers from MMPS and went to see a lactation consultant in Penang immediately.

Now mummy knows that poor breastfeeding position led to baby’s improper latching on. Luckily with the help from Dr.Balkess, the lactation consultant, mummy was able to learn all over again on cradle-hold position and side-lying position to ease the back when feeding. Mummy was very surprised with the correction on feeding positioning and checking on baby’s lips (to be turned out like the mouth of a gold fish!) there’s no more pain!!!

Mummy had a log book to record how many times baby was fed, how many times baby pee and poo as well as how many cups of water intake for mummy per day. This is to ensure mummy have enough fluid throughout the day to avoid dehydration from breastfeeding. Baby had jaundice for over 2 weeks but fortunately didn’t need to admit to hospital. During this time, mummy kept on feeding baby on demand and monitoring very closely on baby’s daily output. Finally by the end of baby Zheng’s third week, the jaundice had disappeared.

Mummy believes breastmilk is the best for baby eventhough there were so many challenges and difficulties. It feels so rewarding to breastfeed my own baby!

 

From : Sharine Cheah, Malaysia

© MMPS. All rights reserved. All images/text cannot be republished.

Breastfeeding Success Story : A Noble and Pure Act of a Mother

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BEFORE THE JOURNEY

 

Well the journey started from my husband, Mr. M (actual name has been disguised to avoid embarrassment!) who was breastfed up to 3 years old. He is fully aware of the benefits and importance of breastfeeding. I have read that breastfeeding instills good bonding between mom and baby. I started to believe it when I saw the fantastic relationship which my husband and his mom have till today (which I’m jealous of sometimes!).

 

So, even before marriage, he had requested me to be a homemaker. I did not know that his “hidden agenda” was to get me to breastfeed our would-be babies. I agreed to all his requests – as how all “good Indian” girls are supposed to.

 

Exactly 9 months after marriage we received news, not a very encouraging one…I had to go through a surgery for ovarian cysts. It shocked everyone, especially me because I was really trying to conceive a baby at that time. After I recovered from the surgery, the doctor informed us that I had very minimal chances to conceive naturally. For 3 years we went through a tough time emotionally and physically, we sought both medical treatments and prayers. After a few failed attempts, I finally conceived my first baby through IUI treatment. I was ‘on top of the world’ with joy and excitement the day I saw the heartbeat of my baby on the ultrasound. (Probably as excited if not more than how James Cameron felt winning the Oscar award for Titanic!)

So, that was the moment I really thought hard of giving something special for my precious baby – BREASTFEEDING. My husband supported me and later he ‘revealed’ to me his “hidden agenda” of keeping me at home from beginning of our marriage.

 

My mother-in-law gave me good support and shared her experience and knowledge about breastfeeding. She stressed a lot about the baby’s health and the bonding that the baby has with the mom. I read a lot about breastfeeding. I sought information from my friends who breastfed their babies. Susthitha Menon was one of them. She was like a mentor and gave me wonderful and invaluable support. I equipped myself with sufficient knowledge about breastfeeding from wherever possible.

 

Before I headed to the labor room I was 100% sure that I was going to breastfeed my baby. I signed up the form at the labor room and firmly ticked – EXCLUSIVELY BREASTFEEDING thus, totally avoiding any scenario of the milk bottle being given by mistake!

 

 

THE REAL JOURNEY

After 3 hours of labor pain, out came my son weighing 3kg at 9.40pm on Monday 11th Apr 200_. The moment the nurse called me for the first feeding; I immediately got up and tried to walk. It was so hard. The nurse advised me to have a drink and to walk slowly because the baby was not crying yet.

I went to the feeding room where my baby was sent to me. I carried him with a gush of indescribable emotion with my eyes brimming with tears of sheer joy. The nurse taught me how to hold my son and do the feeding, but he was sleeping and was not in the mood to latch on. She said that this is very normal and that he would drink once he feels hungry. I had to go back to my room, I did not have the heart to leave him there – alone in the nursery, without me, his mother.

 

The sad part was that my son was unable to latch on properly; he tended to put the nipple under his tongue when it should be above. (Now I know that there are several reasons as to why this can happen, come to our MMPS meeting to know why!!) I started panicking on Tuesday morning. Tuesday evening the situation became worse – sometimes he would latch on, sometimes not at all. Tuesday night – the situation became critical. The whole night I sat in the feeding room because he was very hungry and crying. But at the same time he was having trouble latching on. The nurses tried all kinds of positions. They panicked too. I had a terrible backache from sitting all night. I totally broke down. But at no point during this situation did I even think of negotiating my decision of breastfeeding him. My husband was also a great support for me throughout this time.

 

On Wednesday morning the pediatrician came, spoke to me and understood my sense of anguish and helplessness. She gave me good guidance and support to continue to breastfeed. She checked my breast and assured me that there is already some milk and that my baby would have got some. I followed her instructions and by evening he was drinking well. But up to 3 months he was struggling for the first latch on of every feeding session. Sometimes it was very painful for me to see him ‘suffering’ to latch on. I had to guide and help him to do it.

 

Well, I thought I could go back home on Thursday but he got jaundice. So, I stayed a few more days at the hospital just to ensure that the breastfeeding process was not interrupted.

 

THE JOURNEY CONTINUES

Later the journey was so nice, smooth and sweet. I fed him up to 2 years and 2 months, until I conceived my second baby (I did not know about tandem feeding at that time).He was a healthy baby all the while. He is very close to me and is always cheerful.

 

Then came my second son on 27th Jan 200_. What a different experience! He was able to latch on at his very first feeding session. A mom at the feeding room thought he was more than a day old baby – because he sucking very well. Like his brother, he is still enjoying his mother’s milk at 2 years and 6 months. Maybe he will break his father’s record of having been breastfed by his mother for 3 years.

My advice to all new mothers is breastfeeding is not difficult as how people make it out to be. You just need a little bit of determination to do it. It is the greatest gift of a life time that you can give to your baby.

 

From : Vasumathi Muthuramu, Malaysia

© MMPS. All rights reserved. All images/text cannot be republished.

Breastfeeding Success Story : Yeast Infection

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I live on a sailing boat, on a fixed budget.

When I became pregnant I hadn’t even thought about feeding the baby. I had been bottle-fed, same as my husband. What other choice was there?

During the antenatal classes at the hospital, the paediatrician spoke about breastfeeding. It is THE totally natural way to feed your child. It is designed to meet your baby’s needs perfectly, there are no chemical additives, no shelf-life and it cannot spoil.

Breastfeeding as a way of saving money short-term and long-term appealed to my husband: no need to buy bottles, teats, formula, sterilization kits, flasks etc., etc. in the short-term and in the long-term both baby and mother will be healthier and so will need to visit the doctor less.

Okay, it is a sacrifice of the mother’s time and it takes quite a bit of effort initially but the rewards of giving your baby the best start in life will be reaped for years to come.

So, as we don’t have much room on our boat for all the “formula stuff”, the fact that it would save us a bundle and the fact that it was the best for our baby were the reasons why we decided to breastfeed.

When my son, Oscar, was born it all happened so fast. I was a shy, newbie mum that didn’t really have a clue about my rights and my hospital wasn’t quite there with being a child-friendly hospital so, before I knew it my baby was whisked away and I was told I’d see him when I was in the maternity ward. Approximately one hour later I was up there and they did bring him to see me briefly. He was asleep and they said they’d call me when he cried for a feed. I kept asking if he needed a feed but they said he was still sleeping. They didn’t call me to BF until the next morning. He must have needed feeding and so they must have fed him formula from a bottle. All to let me rest? Fortunately he took to Breastfeeding quite well and pretty fast, considering we were both new to it. My husband was amazing and told me if I looked after Oscar, he would look after me. He cooked all our meals, cleaned and tidied and even bathed, changed nappies or rocked him to sleep when I was just too exhausted and close to tears.

Just after three weeks Oscar started not wanting much milk, crying lots and my nipples were painful during feeding too. I wondered whether this was “cracked nipples” and so I persevered. The crying was driving us to distraction and at the “wetting the babies head” party, all the guests were questioning why Oscar was crying. Had we done this and were we doing that! Then a small group decided he was full of air and so went off to get some local oil. We thanked everyone for their concerns but didn’t use anything. The next day was Oscar’s one month check-up. Our paediatrician instantly noticed white blobs in Oscar’s mouth and raised lumps on myMontgomeryglands (coloured area around the nipple) confirmed I had a yeast infection which had spread to Oscar’s mouth and throat. It was too painful for him to swallow and so he was crying because of the pain and because he was hungry. A gel, for us both, cleared things up within three days.

The reason I contracted the infection was due to the fact that I was producing so much milk and leaking at any baby stimulus that my reusable breast pads couldn’t cope so I had two face clothes shoved in each bra cup. The humidity of Malaysian weather plus the moisture within my bra was the perfect breeding ground for such infections. I am obviously susceptible to such things as the complaint came back several times. Fortunately I knew the early symptoms of slight pain for me when I fed Oscar plus I had a ready stock of the gel to clear things up quickly.

I could never get to grips with a breast pump. I tried using one to help wean Oscar, after six months of exclusive breastfeeding. I wanted to express milk and mix it with solid food; to help ease the transition. It was as if the breasts knew there was no baby there. I had to give up and just kept to direct feeding alternated with pureed fruit and vegetables.

I have since learned that I should have massaged the breasts to stimulate them, prior to pumping plus the recorded sound of your baby, the smell of their clothes and a picture of them can all add to stimulation and then the pump can, theoretically, do it’s job.

When my second son, Jack, was born I had more knowledge of breastfeeding and was more confident because of it. Fortunately my hospital had become more baby-friendly. I made sure everyone at the hospital already knew I wanted to fully breastfeed my baby and I also requested that my baby and I have skin-to-skin contact for the first hour.

The staff did take Jack away briefly, to clean and weigh him and check his responses. I accepted this but was not 100% happy. Other than that he stayed with me, even in the ward. I kept him on my chest (skin-to-skin) all the time I was in hospital. It kept him calm and meant I learnt his actions and noises very quickly. The only time we were separated was when I wished to use the bathroom or if I wanted to sleep myself. Then I would call the nursing staff and sign the baby over to them until I had finished in the bathroom or had awoken.

The only time I had a problem breastfeeding Jack was after I used a new shower gel. It had a rather strong but lovely perfume. Jack refused to go to the breast and was screaming and crying. This went on over the course of two feeds. I was getting worried about him dehydrating plus we were going on holiday the next day. I called our paediatrician in the evening and she came up with the theory that the strong perfume of my shower gel had washed away and overpowered “my” smell. He couldn’t smell me or milk! She advised me to go and shower again but this time with just water and to concentrate on the breast area. By then Jack had cried himself to sleep. I slept fitfully, with very full breasts. Jack woke in the night for his next feed and although I was worried, he took to the breast as if nothing had happened. From then on I never put soap directly onto the breast area when washing. There are natural, antiseptic oils secreted by theMontgomeryglands. These help keep the “latch-on” area clean and give you your unique smell.

Breastfeeding does take time and effort but is very rewarding. Consider an average life-span of seventy years. Breastfeeding, even to two years, is less that 3% of your life and it is certainly not wasted. I consider it a small sacrifice which becomes an investment. What or who better to invest in than your own children!

 

From : Deborah Lee, Malaysia

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