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

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