With the experience and knowledge that I gathered with my eldest son Jaydern whereby I breastfeed for 2 years, I determined to exclusively breastfeed my 2nd son. Juulian was breastfed exclusively without water for 6 months and is still on breast milk till today. He is 2 years and a month old now.

As soon as I delivered Juulian, my hubby told the nurse to put the baby on my chest. To my surprise he took just a few minutes to get to the nipple and start nursing by himself. Despite the pain, I felt the joy and warmness when I saw him holding tightly to the breast. It is hard to say in words and I believe each mum have to go through to experience it.

Since I had a normal delivery, I was called within 2 hours to breastfeed the baby. Despite the pain and knowing that the baby will be hungry and there is none other than my milk, I walked to the nursery with so much determination. It was not once or twice, I had to walk up and down to the nursery whenever the baby cries, be it any time of the day.

On the first day, I felt only air coming out and yet my son was happily nursing. On the other hand, I was really annoyed with some of the nurses as they kept saying my baby’s lips were dry and not enough milk and asking me to supplement with some formula feedings. I was not discouraged and knowing the fact that the milk will start flowing after 2nd or 3rd day, I kept feeding the baby on demand. It really helps to stimulate the milk productions.

On the 2nd day, cloudy water started to flow and I was really excited to see milk started to flow in the 3rd day. I made it!

Well, now the next thing that worried me was the jaundice and the readings were high and he was kept under the light for a day before he got discharged from the hospital. The jaundice fever was up and down and really worried me. Again I was not discouraged. I went to search the net for information on jaundice and hoping that it was only breast milk jaundice, whereby the fever will come down in a slower pace compared to bottle fed. The baby tends to sleep continuously so we need to wake them up for frequent feeding. He had it for 6 weeks which is beyond the normal timeline. He was referred for further blood test and later was confirmed that it was breast milk jaundice. So advice to mothers out there: Keep breastfeeding no matter what as that is the best ever milk you can give your baby.

On the first day to work after my confinement, I felt the engorgement at 11 am, I went to the nursing room to pump and to my surprise I collected 18 ounce at one go and another 10 ounce at 5pm before I left the office. It really motivates me and the determination, mental courage and positive thinking that I had really gives me abundance of supply.

Few other facts that I personally experienced was weight loss within the first 2 months after delivery, I went back to my pre-pregnancy weight. This can be done if you exclusively breastfeed the baby on demand. I did experience the womb shrinks back to its non-pregnant size. Although it was a painful situation when the baby sucks heavily but the recovery was fast and it helps the uterus contract after birth to control postpartum bleeding. Lastly not to forget babies weight gain was wonderful!

I found that breastfeeding kept me closer to my children, as they went with me to workshops and meetings. It is also my determination helped me ignore the occasional strange looks and comments. With minor exceptions (forgetting the occasional cracked or sore nipples), the breastfeeding times remain in my memory as some of the most relaxing minutes and hours in my busy professional life.
Nobody would disturb us, whether at home, or outside, and while my son was totally occupied with breastfeeding, I could pick up a book and relax or work.

Now I do my best to convey the joys of breastfeeding and the multiple benefits for new mothers. I think I saved by experiencing fewer illness episodes with my children.

From : Jennifer Anthony, Malaysia

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