The woes of breastfeeding

My boss had told me that the pain women experience from birthing is nothing compared to the pain they experience from breastfeeding. Truer words were never uttered. Somehow, whenever I imagined being a mom, breastfeeding my baby was always in there.

The pressure to breastfeed is also incredibly great. Every pregnancy website, book, pamphlet you read when preggers goes on and on about why breastfeeding is best. Your doctor, nurse, relatives, friends, and even the stranger you just met will advise you to breastfeed.

So when I was pregnant, I was absolutely determined to breastfeed and by the time Felix came, I had worked myself into a full I’m-gonna-breastfeed-and-nothing-else-will-do frenzy. I did not buy formula just in case, and just talk of feeding Felix formula upset me (it still does). I know it is bonkers. Plenty of babies are formula fed only, but I just wound myself up too much to unwind now on the matter.

As I had blogged previously, I had a burst blood vessel and was not able to sit or lie down directly on my butt. I therefore had to use the side lying position when feeding Felix for about 10 days after Felix arrived. I was not getting the right latch and it hurt like crazy! Just imagine sandpaper meeting nipples. Although I knew I wasn’t supposed to feel any pain when nursing, I was so anxious to breastfeed Felix that I just told myself to ignore the pain as I just didn’t know how to get the right latch.

At about 3 weeks in, the pain was so bad that I just couldn’t bear to let the baby latch as I could feel the pain before it actually occurred. It was pure mental torture, like every 2 hours, I had to work myself up into putting my finger into an electric pencil sharpener.

Due to this, I wanted to allow latching as seldom as possible, so I did not switch breasts at each feed. Eventually, my sister heard about all my breastfeeding woes and she advised me to switch. I did and the additional times latching helped me practice getting the correct latch. About 6 weeks in, the cracked nipples were gone, and now at 11 weeks I can happily say that I’m not afraid of breastfeeding anymore ๐Ÿ™‚ I love how convenient it is to go out, no bottles to worry about and at night, no need to drag myself to the kitchen at all. Most of all, I love bonding with Felix.

 Course I also had lotsa pumping breastmilk drama. I started pumping in February so that when I go back to work, I would have extra stock in case of wastage and Felix needs more than I can produce because I’m back at work. I was given a Tommee Tippee Electric Breastpump, and it was really not for me. Too many parts to assemble and wash each time, and it was slow as hell. It took me at least 40 minutes to get 2 oz at one sitting. I then bought the Medela Swing Breastpump and only one word, “HALLELUJAH!”. I usually spend about 10 to 15 minutes per sitting and I can get about 4 oz. Unfortunately not all days are good days and I’ve recently reverted back to 2 to 3 oz per sitting. ๐Ÿ™ I don’t know why. Hopefully things will improve. I’m trying to drink more water etc. I was stuffing myself, but it just made losing weight harder.

 *Fingers crossed* Felix will be breastfed only up to the minimum WHO recommendation of 6 months.

1 Comment

  1. You are doing great. Felix is getting chubbier every day.

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