I was having difficulties on breast feeding during confinement as my baby admitted into hospital due to jaundice. During admission, I was only able to express out 20ml  breast milk 2 hourly for both sides. However, my baby needs around 70ml @ 3 hourly in 1st day, 110 days @ 3 hourly in 3rd day. I would never ever managed to catch up such volume. Hence, my husband and I made a wrong decision by top up formula for our baby. When my baby came home, he was crying day and night and I was not able to satisfy him as my breast milk never able to flow out as much as bottle. I was carrying my baby almost 24 hours just to let him latch on but was the same.

The situation become even worst as I ate and drank a lot of herbs soup,  black dates ginger drinks, multivitamin, calcium, folic acids and spirulina.  My breast milk almost dried up as I tried to expressed out 2 hourly and it  only left few drops. I contact friends and pediatrics’ doctor tried to overcome the situation and their advised was to continue latch on. I managed to contact Dr Jamie in day 20 and she told me to stop taking multivitamin as it contain B complex. B Complex is heaty and may caused the breast milk dried up. She also advised to take fenugreek which can help to increase the volume of breast milk, use Avent Manual Pump to express breast milk 2 hourly as it may help to increase volume. I did all as told unfortunately there’s no increment at all, my breast milk still few drops, never up to 10ml.

In day 27 after taken fenugreek 6 tablets a dau for 1 week, it seems not effective to me. I did not know the reason even I had stop taking all the vitamins  and reduced all the herbs soup and drinks to  lighter taste. What I knew was I always had headaches and sore throat during confinement period. I taught I was not enough sleep as taking care of baby and fed him day and night without resting. What I remember was my baby continued to cry and cry, day and night and he looked skinny. In day 27, my baby was crying from 10pm till the next day morning 7am. During that time, what I only knew was I should not continue to let my baby starving any more. Hence, I had top up formula to my baby.

Since that day top up formula, every time I tried to fed my baby and follow by top up formula. I continue to take fenugreek 6 tablets daily and always hope that my breast milk and increased in one day. Unfortunately, my breast was always soft and never have any engorgement. My baby become high demand on formula and started to reject on breast feeding. He will cried loudly until I top up formula every time.

In week 6, I went to see Dr Balkees and she told me that I had missed the golden chance to increase breast milk. She said I should see her in week 2 and the situation may not so worst as what I faced. She asked me to use a syringe to pump in formula while breast feeding in order to let my baby to continue latch on and stimulate more. She also gave me medicine to increase the breast milk, and also MMPS support group contact. I had taken 1 tablet each for 3 times a day until 2 tablets each for 4 times a day in the following weeks. During  that period, I was continue to top up formula by using syringe and later changed to the feeding tube. What I knew was my baby was very smart. He tends to suck the syringe or feeding tube and reject to suck on my areolar area. I was so up sad and frustrated at the end and contacted Ms Connie. Ms Connie was very friendly, nice and patient listen to me and she told me that ancient times never have formula and all mother can successfully breast feed their babies. They can do it, we also can do it.  After talked to her, I managed to settle down my negative taught and continue to breast feed my baby even though I had to top up with the formula by feeding tube.

In week 8, day 56, I went to see Chinese Physician due to I was having headache seriously and my whole body was painful.  The Chinese physician immediately did“qua sha” for me as my body was too heaty. I never know that my body was under category “Warm”. What I know was  I always felt cold and freezing during confinement till I went to see Chinese Physician. My husband and I taught that I was “weak” after delivered baby and I continue to take Chinese herbs soup, DOME chicken essence, and black dates drinks up to day 56.

After “Qua Sha” and ate the Chinese medicine, the next day I found that my breast milk had increased and had a little engorgement. I was so happy and I taught my breast milk will be increased without problems anymore.

Unfortunately, due to I over drank the herbs for so long, the heat was always in my body. When I taken the Chinese medicine, I have no problem on breast feeding for whole day except top up  1 ~2 times formula a day. However, I had the headache, cough, sore throat or body pain  whenever the Chinese medicine finished. Whenever I was not feeling well, my breast milk dropped significantly and I had to top up formula 4~5 times in a day time and night time no engorgement feeling. This problems was occurs for almost 2 months and I was wondering why sometimes managed to breast feed for few days and then breast milk dropped again until few drops. During these period, I always called Ms Connie even though it was night time. Ms Connie was so patient and never feel uncomfortable to answer my calls. She really helpful and courtesy to give me a lot of advice and encouragement!

I continued to feed my baby until 3 weeks ago I ordered Chia Seed from my friend. After taken Chia Seed for 2 days, it had solved my constipation problem and I found that my body heat has slowly back to normal and I am more healthier and fresher.One week later, I managed to fully breast feed my baby until today without any problem. From the past experience, I found that breast feeding mum should not over taking heating food and must drink a lot of cooling remedies after confinement as what been advised by Dr Jamie. For example, Soy bean, coconut drink,  almond drink. I had personally tried out the soy bean. Personally home cook warm soy bean is much efficient compared to ready cook soy bean that we bought from the hawkeror supermarket. The engorgement comes every 2 hours after I drank the warm soy bean cooked at home.

Last but not least, I really thanks to all doctors, friends, MMPS group and especially Ms Connie on her passions on the breast feeding support. Without her supports, I think I may not able to success in breast feeding.

Thank  you very much!

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