Monday, November 12, 2012

Blogwalking and..hope

Alhamdulillah... my milk production for today is 28.5 oz. Yay!! That's 1.5 oz increase after getting 26.5 oz for three consecutive days. Alhamdulillah. Allah has grant my wish. Allah memberi ilham supaya aku masak lobak putih yang aku beli since last week. Hehe. Alhamdulillah.

Ok, that's not the story that I want to write today. I just finished pumping for today and while pumping, I did some blogwalking. And from blogwalking, I knew there are still hope that Shakir will be able to fill his hungry stomach thru direct-feeding. These days, he did latch on. But, it lasted for 5 minutes....max. Then, he would let go my B, resulting in mommy giving up in trying to get him to the B one more time. Ya Allah... berilah aku kesabaran. Kena banyak berdoa dan bersabar. Remember .. Allah is the best of all planners.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

My fourth breastfeeding journey

Alhamdulillah... I'm still expressing my milk for my baby Shakir@52 days old. Alhamdulillah ... because he no longer needs the help from formula milk since he's at 41-days-old. Alhamdulillah.. that I managed to pump a constant figure between 26-28 oz per day. And Alhamduillah ... that I even managed to get my EBM stock in the freezer (a lifetime achievement! never managed to do it before! (",)v.
Muhammad Shakir Azhad @ 1 month old

My fourth journey here didn't start out well. I've planned to start expressing one week before my EDD because I want to stimulate my B, so that as soon as I delivered, I will have milk for my baby (learnt from previous experience). However, Allah is the best of all planners. I've delivered Shakir 10 days earlier than my EDD. So, as expected, no colostrum until Shakir is 4 days old. So, by that time, Shakir has already consumed FM. And yes... I gave him my B, but, after a minute or two, he would be furious. I got sore nipples at the end.

So, this means that he's already developed nipple confusion. Aiyaaa.... not again! Hence, whether I like it or not... I have to express regularly, every three-four hours to create demand for milk (breastmilk is based on supply-and-demand). And, after feeding, I tried to make him latched on my B. He did try...but my baby is still learning. He had poor latching technique, and I myself find it hard to force the aerola into his mouth. So, the result is, he didn't get the milk which made him furious, and I got cracked sore nipps. It was bleeding, and there were times when my expressed milk turn to 'peach' colour instead of 'off white'. There's blood in my milk. Hmmm....
Shakir's sleeping beside my 9-years-old Medela Pump-In-Style. This picture was taken in the wee hours of the norning while I'm doing my pumping routine.

Therefore, I've decided to wait until he's a little bit older like Aisyah (start nursing at the age of 2-months). But, at the same time, I've mentally prepared myself to be an EP-mom (exclusive pumping mom). Yes, who knows... he would still reject my B in the future even at 4 months old like Nadya. So, I did a lot of reading on EP mom's blogs.. and even this article from Kellymom which helps a lot. So, ganbatte ne! I did pumping religiously and here's the result:

End of week-1 : 4.5 oz per day (had to top up with FM)
End of week-2 : 14.5 oz per day (had to top up with FM)
End of week-3 : 17.5 oz per day (had to top up with FM)
End of week-4 : 20 oz per day (had to top up with FM)
End of week-5 : 24 oz per day (had to top up with FM but vey minimum, 2 oz at most)
End of week-6 : 27 oz per day (no FM)
End of week-7 : 27 oz per day (no FM)

Some people consider this as 'Liquid Gold'. Why...? Because it's very precious.

Alhamdulillah.. and I'm really praying to Allah that this journey will continue until baby Shakir is 24 months old, insyaAllah. This time, I have the highest motivation as compared to the other three. During my previous journey, I only knew that it was stated in the quran, but, I never bothered to look at which sentence is it. I was ignorant. Memang jahil. So, this time, aku ikhlas ingin menyusukan anak kerana Allah, bukan kerana permintaan suami semata-mata, because it is mentioned in Quran twice.  One is in surah Al-Baqarah  ayat 233 (2:233)

Dan ibu-ibu hendaklah menyusukan anak-anak mereka selama dua tahun genap iaitu bagi orang yang hendak menyempurnakan penyusuan itu; dan kewajipan bapa pula ialah memberi makan dan pakaian kepada ibu itu menurut cara yang sepatutnya. Tidaklah diberatkan seseorang melainkan menurut kemampuannya. Janganlah menjadikan seseorang ibu itu menderita kerana anaknya, dan (jangan juga menjadikan) seseorang bapa itu menderita kerana anaknya; dan waris juga menanggung kewajipan yang tersebut (jika si bapa tiada). kemudian jika keduanya (suami isteri mahu menghentikan penyusuan itu dengan persetujuan (yang telah dicapai oleh) mereka sesudah berunding, maka mereka berdua tidaklah salah (melakukannya). Dan jika kamu hendak beri anak-anak kamu menyusu kepada orang lain, maka tidak ada salahnya bagi kamu apabila kamu serahkan (upah) yang kamu mahu beri itu dengan cara yang patut. Dan bertaqwalah kamu kepada Allah, serta ketahuilah, sesungguhnya Allah sentiasa melihat akan apa jua yang kamu lakukan.
 And Al-Ahkaf ayat 15 (46:15)
Dan Kami wajibkan manusia berbuat baik kepada kedua ibu bapanya; ibunya telah mengandungnya dengan menanggung susah payah dan telah melahirkannya dengan menanggung susah payah. Sedang tempoh mengandungnya beserta dengan tempoh menceraikan susunya ialah dalam masa tiga puluh bulanS. Setelah ia besar sampai ke peringkat dewasa yang sempurna kekuatannya dan sampai ke peringkat umur empat puluh tahun, berdoalah ia dengan berkata: "Wahai Tuhanku, ilhamkanlah daku supaya tetap bersyukur akan nikmatmu yang engkau kurniakan kepadaku dan kepada ibu bapaku, dan supaya aku tetap mengerjakan amal soleh yang Engkau redai; dan jadikanlah sifat-sifat kebaikan meresap masuk ke dalam jiwa zuriat keturunanku. Sesungguhnya aku bertaubat kepadamu, dan sesungguhnya aku dari orang-orang Islam (yang tunduk patuh kepadamu)".

So, I'm highly motivated to do this, because not only that I will get rewards from Allah for following His qalamullah..I get my husband's blessings,  I also get healthier baby and it is cost-saving. That's 4-in-one huh? So, if I'm destined to be Ep-mom... then, EP-mom it is. Takpe. Ganbatte!

So, in order to make this journey a successful one.. there're many things to do to boost your milk supply/to ensure you milk is sufficient for your baby. Direct-breastfeeding mothers don't have to worry about milk supply, but, for EP-moms...that's the greatest concern/problem because babies who are bottle-fed tend to require more milk since there's continuous and easy milk flow from the bottle. . One- pray to Allah s.w.t. The following are the dua's that you can make ...

1. Al-Baqarah aayah 60 (2:60)
And (remember) when Mûsa (Moses) asked for water for his people, We said: "Strike the stone with your stick." Then gushed forth therefrom twelve springs. Each (group of) people knew its own place for water. "Eat and drink of that which Allâh has provided and do not act corruptly, making mischief on the earth." 
2. Recite one of Asma'ul Husna which is YA MATIN (The Firm One) 70 times a day.

Number two... get help from galactagogues. These are the galactagogues that I've used and I think works for me. From food :

1. Dried longan + red dates drink
2. Soy milk
3. white radish soup
4. oatmeal
5. unripe papaya (made into soup)

And I also get help from pills ...
1. Pil ASI (fenugreek's base)
2. Moringa pill (based on Moringa leaves)
3. Alfalfa

Notice the Motillium pills there? That one is given by my gynae and will be needed during under emergency times only. Hehe

Let me remind you, during my third BF journey, I only took Alfalfa and at that time, I think my production got stagnant after I got 15 oz per day on week-4. Then, upon seeing the amount was not increasing and I still had to top up with FM, my motivation level went down, so did my production level. So, this time, I'm taking various kind of galactagogues so that when it become stagnant, I will change the dose/galactagogues used. I believe that this style suits me because I managed to put aside FM now. My baby is now on full EBM. :)

Number three ... make sure you have an expressing schedule. And note down the amount you get after each pumping session. So, you will know whether your supply is increasing/decreasing. And, if you notice any extreme changes in the difference, you will be able to find out what causes it.

An example of my pumping schedule
Phew... that's a long one. And I've done this on and between two pumping sessions. I need this to motivated myself. InsyaAllah... I can do this (",)v

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

My third breastfeeding journey

Nadya @ 2 months-old
My third baby, Nadya, was born five years after we had his brother Syazwan. She's the first baby I had working as a teacher. And being a teacher while carrying her in my womb, teaching in SMK Telok Panglima Garang some more, I would be furious over the smallest matters. At that time, I was teaching 3KRK2, 3D, 3G, 3K and 3P. That was classes ranking from number 3, 8, 11, 15 and 17 (this is the last class). Phew!! No wonder-laa I was so garang (fierce) back then. Some naughty students from 3K and 3P would came in and out of the class whenever they please. Haish... apalagi, teacher pun cubit la diorang. I was so much into action at that time because yelling rarely gave an impact, unless you yell at the top of your lungs, but it was tiring of course!

On her Akikah cum Cukur Jambul Day@20 days old
So..tadaa..the result is, I get I very 'fierce' baby. Nadya would throw tantrums everytime she didn't get the things that she wanted. She would even pinch and bite everyone including me. And her tantrums is getting worse as soon as I delivered Baby Shakir. On top of that, she would just irritate me by unplugging/dismantling the wires of my Pump-In-Style while I was expressing my milk for Shakir. Duh! this kid is always testing my patience limit. So, reminded not to be too fierce while u're pregnant, ok?

Nadya, as I've mentioned in one of my entries before, only managed to drink my EBM until she's four-months old. Pity her because I gave up expressing milk way earlier than I should. Reason being is lack of knowledge and stress. One, I didn't know that exclusively pumping-mom exists until I stumbled upon some EP (exclusively pumping) moms' blogs recently. At that time, I never thought that expressing throughout the two-years duration is possible. I expect that Nadya would latch when she turned 2-months-old like Aisyah, so expressing milk will only be part-time. Direct feed is not as tiring and stressful as expressing. After four months of waiting.. I gave up. I was also stressful at that time because ten days after I delivered Nadya, Syazwan broke his leg. Haii... macam-macam hal.

As a result, despite being the prettiest, Nadya had always been seeing Dr Selva, our paed, because of asthmatic symptoms. So, that adds to the guilt. Sedihnya.....

I'm sorry Nadya sayang...

My second breastfeeding journey

Today, Shakir is 49-days-old. And I'm still an exclusive pumping mother. He would latch at times, but mostly for comfort, not to fill him up. How I wish he would be able to latch on...hmmm.

Ok, enough abt Shakir. I'll save that for "My fourth bf journey". My second BF journey, on the contrary to the first one, is very easy. Muhammad Syazwan latched on the day he was born and had no problem afterwards. But, (haish...why there must be a 'but' eh?), I was called to report to IPTeknik for my KPLI programme 21 days postpartum. Yup, we decided that I should take a career change when I was expecting my second baby. At that time, I was an engineer mother, and having to spend 12 hours outside our home for work was not tempting anymore. Our babysitter always told us that by 6 p.m. Aisyah would stare at her front door and ran towards it whenever she heard 'Assalamualaikum'. And she was upset to find that it was not us. At that time, I  only came home at 7-7.30 p.m. Upon arriving home, we would be occupied to pray, eat, bathe and sleep. So, how much time is left for our lil' Aisyah?On top of that, MDH's new scope of work is he had to be out stationed a lot. So, we decided that I should resign my post as an engineer and became a teacher, in order to be able to spend more time with my kids. So, I went for my KPLI and had to left Syazwan to my husband and Emak for one week because of orientation programme. Thus, he was on formula milk. I was so sad back then, but decided that I have to be strong for our better future. I brought my PIS to college and expressed my milk eventhough I knew the EBM (Expressed Breast Milk) went straight to the drain afterwards (no place to store them). That's a must to maintain my milk supply. But, miraculously, after that one week, he still wanted to latch on like he used to be before that one-week separation period. Alhamdulillah.

So, there goes my second BF journey. Latching on went smoothly, but, since I was studying, I don't have time to express due to the packed schedule. So, when I was in college during daytime (7am - 2pm), Syazwan will be on FM and on the rest of the day, I will breastfeed him. That went on and on until he was 20 months ++. I had to wean him because of his teeth (he loved biting my B, urghh!)

So, in a nutshell... I was quite satisfied eventhough I had to mix with FM.

 Ok, since I'm writing abt my BF journey with Syazwan, today (06 Nov 2012) he receives his first academic excellence award on Hari Anugerah Kecemerlangan S.K. Methodist. This is what I call from zero to hero (he started in Standard One January this year as an illiterate kid because he still couldn't read after spending three years in kindy and we even suspected him of being dyslexic). Tahniah Muhammad Syazwan and I'm really proud of you. ^_^

Syazwan on the stage for the second time for 'Terbaik MP'. I couldn't get the picture when it is his first time on stage with Dato' Shafie Salleh because I had to sit at the back.
Showing his prize

Nadya's expressions while waiting for Abang