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Mrs. Beautiful Skin 2016/17 Blogger Mom of 2 Beautiful Angels Wifey Fitness Instructor Happy & Contented

Thursday, January 18, 2018

My Breastfeeding Journey As A Low Supply Mummy_8 Months And Going On

I’m proud to say that I’m a breastfeeding Mummy and I’ve made it 8 months far and still going on! It may not be the longest comparing to some Moms who breastfeed for 1-2 years, but to me it is already a huge achievement being able to breastfeed past 6 months (which is the recommended duration by WHO). I did not set out a fixed goal to follow b'cuz my goal has always been "to feed my baby for as long as I can, and for as long as I still have breast milk". So I guess this has already surpassed my own expectations since the last couple of months I've considered to be a low supply Mummy (I'll explain more later on). 

"8 months into my breastfeeding journey and still going on..."

Issues Of A Breastfeeding Mom
Be it having low supply, over supply, having unsupportive family or even an unsuitable work environment, I know each and every breastfeeding Mother would have our own set of problems we have to deal with during our breastfeeding journeys. For me being an entrepreneur and a freelancer I work at different places all the time and I have to travel around from place to place throughout the day. That also means that I'll have to rely on whatever public spacing I could use as a nursing room and even the ones that aren't the most pleasant. I have used normal public toilets as my temp nursing room countless time already. Having to lay toilet paper & tissues on the floor just to have a clean place for me to set up my pump station, followed by cleaning the toilet covers to have a clean place to sit in the tiny cubicle b'cuz I'll be in there for a good 20 minutes!? Talk about desperate times calling for desperate measures huh?

"My very first Moo-duty"

First Time Using A Breast Pump
I still recalled the day where I was put in a situation where I was desperately searching for a breast pump b'cuz this Mother of two didn't own any. I was lucky that both my baby girls could latch well since their first attempt and that both times I did not require any breast pump to help express b'cuz both girls worked pretty well as my little human breast pump. LOLs. Or probably my supply wasn't that overwhelming to begin with? I really do not know. Hmm.. Anyways back to my story.. Baby H. failed her jaundice test during her 1-week old PD check and had to be admitted for phototherapy treatments. I remembered breaking down in uncontrollable tears b'cuz the thought of having to take my baby away for even just a night made me feel extremely uneasy, and on top of that my postpartum blues did not help with easing any painful feelings. Right after leaving the hospital without my newborn and in pain, I tried to clam myself down and started searching high & low for a good breast pump. I was clueless about these things but thankfully for a friend who was able to get me a very good one.

""My first week of EBM stash"

I was really worried about using the breast pump for the first time b'cuz I was clueless to the extent I didn't know what each parts was for and how to even install/set up the whole thing. Hubby came home 8 hours later (from Baby H's last feed) and slowly unboxed the brand new breast pump set showing me how to set it up. Good thing he was taught by the staff on the "How-Tos" during the collection. It was easier than expected and I soon became more excited than anxious when I slowly gained a little more confidence knowing that it's not gonna be that difficult to learning how to use the breast pump. See my blog post on the breast pump I’ve been using.

"Such a tiny one but still like a milk monster.. latching onto Mama every hourly!?"

Preemie Baby Turns Milk Monster
I’m not sure if it’s b’cuz Baby H. was born a preemie (@ 35 weeks) that makes her wanna latch all the time. She practically demanded for latches every hourly round the clock for at least the first 3 months. Yes!!! That means I had to latch her like at least 24-27 times a day!! No joke!! That was why in the end she slept with me on my bed since 2 weeks old b’cuz at the rate my nanny was bringing her in and out especially at nights, I told my nanny to just leave Baby H. with me otherwise it’ll tire her out. I thought of saving her the hassle and so that my nanny could get a proper night’s rest to help me take care of Baby H. during the day. I even stopped using her cot b’cuz if I did my back would probably break from bending over 50 times a day.

"My tiny little precious.."

Breastfeeding On The Go
Baby H. had to latch every hourly to the extent that I had to learn how to latch on the go with her in the carrier. Just so I won’t have to keep going into the nursing room for feeds, otherwise I’d have been stuck in there most times when we were out. Everything was new for me b’cuz even though I breastfed Fayth preciously, I never latched her when I was out so that means I’ve never used a nursing cover nor stepped into a nursing room before. FYI I only breastfed Fayth for 2.5 months before stopping due to personal reasons. So I was as good as learning all the basics of a breastfeeding Mummy all over again. Thank goodness for friends who taught me how to nurse on the go b’cuz it made my life & breastfeeding journey so much easier. For those of you keen to learn you may check out my link for the demonstration video. Please hor, I mentioned “breastfeeding on the go” not “handsfree breastfeeding” k so please do not judge my video/demo if you’re a professional in this area b’cuz how I call it is based on layman terms. Xie Xie.

"Every moment with you is the sweetest moment"

I remembered back in the days where my EDD Mummy friends and I started to catch up again after our deliveries and everyone only had to latch their babies every 2-3 hourly so everyone would head to the nursing room together. I was the only one who had to pull my nursing cover out mid way of our meals and shopping times b’cuz Baby H. would scream away yelling for Mummy to feed her. I would then walk and nurse her on the go and my Mummy friend even told me how differently she looked at me after seeing how I dealt with this all the time. This friend was so sweet she said that she’ll tell Baby H. next time when she’s grown up how much Mummy has been through just to keep going on. Better be a good girl ah! Haha..


"Finally! A booster that worked for me!!!"

My supply had all along been sufficient for Baby H. and I could even store up FBM whenever I pumped. I was fully latching Baby H. and I only pumped when I had to be away, e.g. massages during confinement where my nanny would bottle feed Baby H. and I’ll pump before & after that. My FBM stores were all collected from my let-downs using the Haakaa pump and I didn't pump at any other times b'cuz my human pump was already demanding I had no other time to squeeze in extra pumps. As such I guess my supply was considered to be okay? Earlier on I said that I’ll explain why I called myself a low supply Mummy right?... I think b’cuz after I started going back to work I realized that my outputs were not catching up with Baby H’s daily intake. Slowly I saw my FBM stash getting lesser by the days until I started feeling super stressed. And you know stress is a HUGE supply killer!? I think most Mummies face this issue after started working right? Vicious cycle man... I was told that babies actually take in more milk when bottle fed and actually take lesser when they direct-latch. So this was my issue lor... Since then I was on a quest to try out "highly-raved" milk boosters recommended by breastfeeding Mummies. One of the first ones I tried was the Milk Up Candy.

God-Sent Milk Booster

To my surprise it worked well for me and was the one and only supplement that helped with my supply other than what my Gynae prescribed to me. IDK why my boobs have no reaction to what ever supposed milk boosting foods & supps I took, damn strange. Everytime I went for buffets all my friends would tell me how full their boobs felt after downing all that Salmon Sashimi but I didn't feel a thing. Even those which my LC recommended did not work on me at all. Sigh. Anyway I won't talk about the Milk Up Candies too much here but you can read my review here.

"The 2nd highly-raved 'milk booster' product I tried"

From there I actually took up another sponsorship from another highly-raved-by-Mummies product which was these essences from Haoyikang. I heard soooo much about them and I thought I was gonna have hope for another milk-boosting product so at least I'd have options. Sadly, they didn't work for me.. not as a milk booster. But of course the results were just for me, perhaps it worked for other Mummies? 

"If you'd like to read about my review on the essences by Haoyikang, click here.
They didn't work for me as a booster but I'm sure there are other health benefits of these essences. Plus they're super tasty!!"

Other Issues After Going Back To Work
After I started going back to work, I realized my daily output couldn't quite catch up with her daily intake.. My FBM stash started to get lesser and lesser as weeks passed even though I was able to boost that little bit with the help of the Milk Up Candies. But one fine day my FBM was used up and I switched to giving her EBM on a daily basis. Whatever I expressed for the day was meant for her to consume the day after at my MIL's place when I was at work. As soon as this happened, I was so stressed 'cuz I wasn't sure if there was gonna be a day where she didn't have enuff to drink and OF COURSE I wouldn't want to deprive her of her milk right!?!? So kanjiong me went to check with my LC on mix feeds and how I could do that. And turns out that I could mix EBM and FM tgr in a bottle just that I'll have to throw the whole bottle away if baby couldn't finish up. So I planned to let her try FM to see if she's okay with it, and if she is gonna be okay with it I intend to mix 90ml of EBM with 30ml of FM to make up to her usual 120ml intake per 2-hourly.

"Capturing her first taste of formula milk"


Formula Milk Supplementation
It is still fresh in my mind of the night I fed Baby H. FM for the first time. Baby H. just turned 5 months old two or three days later and I decided okay it was time I could introduce her some FM. I was feeling pretty excited to try b'cuz I've heard from Mummy friends that BF babies do reject FM sometimes, so if Baby H. were to reject the FM then it's really GG for me 'cuz then I won't have anything to supp her milk feeds. Feeling nervous and excited I made 100ml for her and stuffed the teat to her little mouth - she sucked on the teat!! After 2 suckles later, she gave a weird reaction and pulled away from the bottle. Hahahahaha.. I think she could really taste the diff!! Damn shen qi.. So anyway I tried again, and this time she took the whole bottle on a go and finished all 100ml in 5mins. Bravo baby girl!! 

"Look at her satisfied face after her first bottle of FM"

Relieved But Emotional
At this point I was feeling quite a relief that Baby H. could take the FM and within such a short timing 'cuz then I know I won't have to worry about her not having enough in future. But at the same time when I was feeding her the bottle, my heart sank a little bit looking at her suckle knowing that my breastfeeding journey will come to an end some time later.. I know it will def end but just thinking about it makes my heart miss all about it already.

"I used to give her milk showers on a daily basis - LOL"

Life as a breastfeeding Mama from 5 months postpartum became much easier and happier after I started supplementing Baby H. with FM. It was one of the best choices I've made at that very point. I knew that giving her FM to supp her milk feeds was nothing wrong since the utmost priority was to keep baby from being hungry and not only focus on exclusive breastfeeding. So I'm still proud to say that I am a BF-ing Mummy even though baby needed some supplementation of FM. So BF-ing Mummies out there, jiayou even if you have low or over supply issues. For low-supply Mummies do rem, do whats best for you & baby and not focus too much on the wrong priorities. Not being able to BF baby exclusively doesn't make you any less of a good Mom, not being able to BF your baby or to the duration you wished you had also does not mean anything. I'm sure all of you Mummies were great and did well to keep baby healthy & happy.

"Throwback 11 days old.. and out first BF pic for memories"


Engorgement Issues - Blocked Milk Ducts
Two months down the road and I thought I was a happy BF-ing Mama b'cuz I didn't have to stress about supply issues and my supply was kept going by my new found milk booster, one fine day my boobs suddenly got engorged.. It was just a random day at home after I took the usual day naps with Baby H. and after 3 hours into her nap (it was one of those good days where she slept so long) I felt something different with my right boob. I got up as she got up, felt my boobs and to my horror it was engorged. Super random can!! Already my supply was not overwhelming and I could get engorgement?? Super strange right? And FYI, during the 3-hour nap i alternated my boobs to side latch her while dream feeding. The left side was okay but right one was half swelled up. FML.


I started texting Mummy friends to ask for help on how I could treat the engorgement b'cuz I tried to latch Baby H. and still my boob was the same. Every half an hour passed and I got more and more worried b'cuz I didn't want to end up in a state of mastitis. I never had it before (thankfully) but heard so much about it I was so scared, TBH. In the midst of worrying and trying ways to get rid of the swelling, I had to continue with my Mummy duties like fetching Fayth from school, getting dinner, feeding the little one her solid meal... so the issue dragged on until night came... 6 hours after I found out about the engorged right boob, I had some solutions and I was about to get down to trying all of them.. I tell you, after I tried what ever I did my boobs returned to being soft again.. Woahhhh!! Such a relief!!!!


My Remedy To Solving Blocked Milk Duct Issues
So JTS my remedies... and FYI when I went into the shower and undressed myself, the state of my right boob was already swollen to the extent my nipple down turned. Like what thheeee....?!?! It was that bad lah.. So here was what I did...
  1. Check for milk blister. It looks like a blister on the nipple with pus in it.
    > For me b'cuz I had a milk blister and that prob was the cause of the blocked ducts, I had to get rid of the blister first before I could carry on with the next steps.
  2. Prepare a sharp needle and make sure to wash & sterilize the needle before use.
  3. Puncture the outer layer of the milk blister (like how you would to a normal blister on your feet for example, poking into the dead skin and not our flesh ah).
  4. Squeeze out the pus with clean hands then using a damp towel to rub in circular motions to make sure you remove the blister and pus thoroughly.
  5. Take a hot shower, letting your engorged boob run under the shower.
  6. Using the back of a comb, massage the engorged boob with the comb from your chest combing towards your nipple. Repeat for as long.
    > It may be painful but def works well for me b'cuz after I did the massage I tried to express and milk shot out!!! Happy!!
  7. Lastly, after coming out from shower hurry get your human pump to latch on the engorged boob in a downward position.
    > Meaning baby lying flat on the back and Mummy is a "doggy" position right over baby. This technique uses gravity to draw weight down towards baby while feeding making the latch more effective.


"Perks of being a breastfeeding Mama - I get to see angelic milk drunk baby all the time"

This was probably the one and only time I had a hiccup with my BF-ing journey, besides the stressful nights of worrying over supply issues and if baby had enough. I thought I jot these memories down to share with Mummies with similar sentiments or problems as a reminder how resilient we are and have each other as support. Mummy groups are just wonderful and so powerful. Sometimes Mummy friends who probably isn't the closest to us in reality could make us feel like someone's always there just being helpful or lending a helping hand. Motivating one another to keep our sanity going on. Super shunqi (amazing)

"I'm sure you mummies have loads of your angel's sweet sleeping milk drunken face as well..."
Being determined to continue breastfeeding under certain circumstances like mine may not be what some Moms would do but I carried on without any second thoughts and to be honest time has just flew past me like that. 8 months already..... this little one is turning 8 months old on 18 January 2018... so fast.. I'm not sure how long more my liquid gold will keep producing for but I am just giving her what ever I have until my milk factory shuts down. 

Her Daily Feeding Routine
These days when she goes to my MIL's place for the day, I'll give her a full bottle of FM in the morning before she goes and another one after she gets back and before bed. While at MIL's place she'd have 2 solid feeds, puree/cereal in the day and porridge for dinner. In between her solid meals she'd have 3 milk feeds, 130-140ml each with 90ml of BM and the rest supp with FM. During sleep time, I'll just latch her while dreamfeeding. And during the day I'll pump 3 times, every 3-4 hourly. So thats how my daily routine during a work day is like.... on days I do not work, I'll just latch her and give Baby H. her solids as usual but at home I mix puree/cereal with BLW. These days b'cuz she's drinking more milk I'll sometimes give her half a bottle of FM and I'll latch her to nap after.. just to make sure she's hap enough. Sometimes I wonder how she survives on DL these days, but my friends say look at her size now.. Hahahaha.. Oh yes if you'd be keen on my sharings of BLW & FM topics, do keep a look out on the next few post for it. As soon as reviews are up I'll link them back here kay. *wink wink*


"My premmie baby back then..."

This journey of mine is def something I'll remember for the rest of my life. I'm not sure if I'll have another baby, so it is the last time I'll be able to feel like this (for now)... B'cuz of this thought and these feelings, I am def a happier and more determined Mummy this time round. My MIL and I did have a talk before and she says that from outsiders POV it may seem that I dote on Baby H. more than Fayth.. this is def untrue b'cuz I love both my girls the same when they were at the same age. Just that now JieJie is at a stage where she can be super unmanageable plus b'cuz she's becoming extremely attached to Daddy it makes things hard for other care takers to help when he's around. So that also means more scoldings & discipline time of course. MeiMei is a baby so its not time YET.. but time will catch up soon.. I'm sure this Mama will be screaming at both of them in a year's time or so..

"Look at her now.. Mama's efforts all paid off"!


Memories Made...
I am uncertain of how long more this can go on for but I'll go on until I have none or (sadly) she doesn't wanna DL anymore. Baby H. is exactly 8 months today and this little sharing post is just a little journal for Mama to keep in memory of our precious journey together. Besides this I'm definitely making another set of keepsakes for us like how I did with her older sister (see pic below). Will be wearing them for now until both girls grow up to understand, then these will be priceless gifts to them on super special occasions. Maybe their wedding day or as their delivery gifts?? I know its a looooooong way but I'm sure the moment of presenting them their keepsakes will be really special.


"Keepsakes from Precious Lifetime Memories.. a def must-have!
Memories like these last forever..."

That's all for today & I hope you liked my little sharing session.  Do feel free to leave comments in the comment box below if you have any question/s regarding the topic and I'll try my best to answer them if it's not already stated in my blog above. Stay tuned for more reviews, bye~! ; )

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Do stay tuned for my reviews on:
1. Formula Milk
2. Baby-Led Weaning

Cheers and see you soon! : )

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