My desire to breastfeed my very first baby came after learning that this is probably the most beautiful nature gift that i could give my dear baby. Not knowing much about breastfeeding, I went to a talk and was further encouraged by Connie Mooi reassuring me that there is no such thing as mum without supply. This is because my mum and aunts mostly tell me that they do not have milk and all the pains associated with trying to breastfeed.
On 29.1.11 just less than 2 hours after the arrival of my lovely daughter I gave her first direct feed. It’s was the most memorable moment of my life, the beauty of bonding between us. Then and hour later I almost lost my life when I collapsed into a state of shock and shiver and a temperature of 39.8 degrees.
It was with God’s blessing that I survived that ordeal however I had to be on drips and antibiotics plus medicine to ease my episiotomy pain. I could hardly sit up on my own and was very weak after a lot of blood loss during labour (practically bed ridden). However on confirmation that my condition does not affect me breastfeeding my baby, I endured the pain as the nurse held my baby to my breast for feeding.
On the third day I was told that my baby is dehydrated & there are blood in her nappy probably from the kidney from he dehydration. Hence they have to give her formula for top up as my supply has not come in yet which is worsen by my anemic situation. I had no choice but to give in. But I continued to let my baby suck and express after to keep stimulating my breast.
On that night itself my supply came in. However as my baby is still dehydrated i was told to supplement with formula which I did till we came home from hospital and my baby refuses to drink the formula.
So I was on an 2 hourly direct feeding routing and sometimes after an hour. As I am still very weak and being overseas without any help I could hardly sit up due to severe pain so I was about to give up breastfeeding. This is especially when i had to bath my baby, do other babies chores till my husnad come home from work. However my baby asthough she knows what is best for her only take breastmilk and rejects formula milk. So I persisted on breastfeeding.

 

Then our nightmare begun when her colic sets in at week 2 old and we had to carry her to sooth her pain almost 10-15 hours a day. Her bouts of crying after I feed her was so pitiful. I had altered my diet to be completely dairy and soy free so everyday I only take hot rice milk and plain bread made without dairy or soy during my confinement and only had plain meat and ginger and rice for meals no soy sauce! Dispict that, her condition did not improve.
So again I wanted to give up and I rung the Australian breastfeeding association and my pediatrician for advise. They were all very supportive of breastfeeding and kept encouraging me to be strong and breastfeed my baby.
It was then I realized that she was overfed and had lactose overload. So I put her on a 3 hourly feeding routing & did a 6 hourly x 2 days block feeding on single breast to reduce my supply and feeding her. This helped and settled her colic after that it was so easy for us to care for her from 9 weeks till 12 weeks old.
My nightmare returned again with painful bouts of sudden crying almost night when we return to MAlaysia for our holiday. During the day she would sleep for short naps and wake up with tummy pain and had about 4-5 runny poos with mucous a day at 3-5months old and there were few occasions with blood.

Having rung and seen the pediatrician, GP, lactation consultant, maternal nurses. I still couldn’t resolve this problem. Then I was pressured by my family to stop breastfeeding and just give her soy milk. So I tried drinking soy milk myself then breastfeed my baby and she has rashes all over her body.

I came back to Melbourne and sort more help and to make matter worst she had very bad eczema due to winter. She hardly gets any sleep and wakes up every hour at night which i had to feed her for comfort. Again family pressure builds up because my family and husband do not see the goodness of breastfeeding and reckons that it causes my baby to suffer and that i should just give her formula milk and gripe water (which is banned in Australia for its alcholic contents).

So I went on a salicylate elimination diet plus avoiding soy, dairy, citrus, berries & shellfish. I lost 5kgs that month & was 6kgs off my prepregnancy weight.

So tired & frustration I went to an allergist to test out what’s my baby’s real problem so I could give up breastfeeding and put her on Neonate. Then thank God again she isn’t allergic to any food. It is an in hereditary condition. Further to that I was advised breastmilk is the best for babies with allergies. This is because the antibodies & nutrients in it help strengthen their already weak immune system.

I went back to my GP for second opinion of which she said why give formula when breastmilk is God’s gift & is so healing in it’s natural form!

I had been breastfeeding my baby until now knowing & assured that there is nothing better than breastmilk to help reduce my babies allergies, provide her comfort when she is in pain, gives her assurance & relief when she is scared or lonely. Most of all when i hold her close to me she feels safe & comfortable which keeps her happy knowing mummy loves her and is giving her the very best gift she could possibly have.
It has been such a rough journey for me having to persist and stay strong when my family would not support my decision to continue with breastfeeding. But it is so rewarding when I see her smile as she cuddle me and pull my breast when she wants her feed 🙂 which I believe feeding formula will not give me this type of opportunity. Best of all I know that in future her immune system will benefit from what I give her today through breastmilk.

 

 

From : Claudine Chan, Australia

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