My Friend’s New Baby

December 5, 2005 at 9:30 am

On Sunday morning, we went to the hospital to visit my friend, Sandy, who’d just given birth to a baby boy.

I’d forgotten how fragile and small a new born baby is until I have the little fella in my arms. The little fella was quite a busy body though, scanning his surrounding with only one eye, as the other had some discharge which has stuck the lids together.
(I felt so bad, when I took this photo, the flash just went off and gave him a startle, sorry little fella)

I was carrying him half the time we’re there, while Daddy entertained Zara. Zara was very curious about the baby. When she was near the baby, she tried to poke her finger into the little baby’s mouth when he yawned, and also tried to poke his eyes. After that, we have to make sure she’s far away from the baby, just in case she hurt him without realising.

She also tried to imitate the baby’s whimpering, and laughed at herself after that. For the ~2hrs we were there, she was very well behaved, playing with Daddy, looking at the baby from a far, walking about the room and checking out things, and of course eating (the bread my friend baked before she went into labour). When she became too chatty, and raised her voice, Daddy brought her out of the room for a walk.

I have been encouraging my friend to breast feed, and sharing with her all the benefits (my experiance with Zara). My friend who didn’t breast feed her first baby because of lack of information, is trying to do it for this little boy now. She was telling me the Pediatrician told her that it’s best to mix feed the baby for the first few days so that the baby won’t get dehydrated, and then get jaundice. Although I think that’s crap not true, I don’t want to discourage her as well, and just said do what she thinks is best. It’s better for the baby to consume even a little breast milk then totally none at all like her first child.

After we left the hospital, while in the car, Daddy & I were chatting about how small and helpless new borns were, and it’s hard to imagine 12months ago, our boisterous little girl was just like that, it’s just amazing how much she’d grown. It would be nice to relive those days of caring for a new born, so, we’ll have to work harder on the ‘project’. I just hope it won’t take us another 6 years to get there.

I hope my friend’s journey to breast feeding will be a successfully one, and all the best with her new born baby!

Added at 11:05am :
Breastfeeding does cause jaundice, but this is mainly due to insufficient milk for the first few days, and it’s not life threatening. Readings :
website 1
website 2

Fertility and Breastfeeding don’t mix?

October 27, 2005 at 10:34 pm

I went for a health screening today in SJMC (egghead’s post ‘inspired’ me to quickly went to make an appointment), the company is paying for it (entitled yearly), but I added cancer marker test, and had to fork out RM200+ extra to do it .

When I was doing my pepsmear test, the gyny, looking at my age, asked me how many kids I have.
Me : “One”
Gyny : “How old is your child?”
Me : “11 months”
Gyny : “Not going for 2nd one?”
Me : “Want to, trying” (have to join in the current trend, so many mummies who have babies born in the year of monkey are pregnant)
Gyny : “Good, because for your age, you should not wait too long.”
Me : “I’m still breast feeding, is it ok to try?”
Gyny : “11 month old?? So long, better stop already! (aren’t medical practitioners supposed to promote breast feeding?). Moreover, if you want to try, you have to, because you may not have eggs released if you are breast feeding.”
Me : “But WHO advises mothers to breast feed their child till 2yrs old”
Gyny : “This is for children in Africa or Cambodia, who are under nourish.”
yada yada yada..

Hmm.. I’ll have to do more research on the fertility and breastfeeding don’t mix part. Going to check with my own gyny in Sunway Medical.

Breast Feeding – a bit 18SX

October 20, 2005 at 12:42 pm

Although I’m pro-breastfeeding, I believe it’s a lifestyle choice whether you want to breast feed your baby and how long you want to do it. It is good to get as much information as you can before deciding which path you want to take.

On my breast feeding journey, I’d heard encouraging and discouraging words. However, you know someone has little knowledge of breastfeeding when they say such things (people have asked me these questions or say these things to me):

1) You are still breast feeding your baby at 10months? Wow, you must have saved a lot of money from not having to buy milk powder.
Yeah right, what about the money I spent on buying
– breast pump
– extra bottles or disposable bags for storing milk
– breast pads

– nursing bras
My reply : I don’t save money that way, but I hope to save money in NOT having to bring my daughter to see a Dr.

2) Can’t you stop half way during pumping (milk expression) and come … (to do whatever)
Sure I can, and I will leave 2 wet patches on my blouse
My reply : Can you come (and do whatever) next time mid way dumping for peeing?

3) No wonder your baby is so clingy!
And so..?
My reply : Don’t think this has got anything to do with breastfeeding, but more of the time I spend with her.

4) When you go out, isn’t it very inconvenient?
I don’t have to bring 1) hot water 2) sterilised bottle(s) 3) milk powder, and you still need to find a quiet place to feed the baby breast feeding or not.
My reply : No, I just bring myself and lift my blouse up to feed her whenever she’s hungry

5) You are feeding your baby directly from the breast? Won’t your nipples be elongated?
Yeah right, my nipple has stretched all the way to my waist with all the sucking from Zara.
My reply (to non-virgin women): Your husband/boy friend sucks on your breast during foreplay, did your nipple get stretched?
(to virgin women)or : Then don’t let your boy friend or future husband play with your breast, the effect is the same.
(to men): You think your ‘thing’ will get longer with people sucking on it? Dream on

So, for those who didn’t already know, it is very convenient to breast feed (especially night and morning feeds), although it won’t save any money immediately, hopefully it will cut down medical expenses in future.

It does not cause any damage to your breast(if done correctly), if it did anything, it would be to increase your cup size by 1 or 2 sizes (which is a good thing, isn’t it?).

And yes, Zara clings to me, and I love it.

Breastfeeding Journey

September 14, 2005 at 8:46 pm

Before Zara was born, I was set to breastfeed her as long as I could. She is coming to 10months old next week, and I’m glad my commitment has not deterred despite the problems I faced from different sources.

I have very good support from the hospital I delivered Zara. The mid wife helped me to latched her on immediately after she was born (right after the mucus has been sucked out from her mouth and nose). Zara was hungrily sucking away. I have to say it was pure bliss, after the hard labour, holding her in my arms, and seeing her suckling.

The first 2 days was tough. After 10hours of labour, all I wanted was to rest, but the little fella had another agenda. She was hungry most of the time, if she’s not sleeping, she would be crying and the nurse would bring her to me to be fed. Being a first time mum, not knowing how to position her or handle her, added to the difficulty. Normally the nurse would helped me position, and I would then hold Zara in that same position, not daring to move, afraid she might be uncomfortable or unlatch and then I wouldn’t know how to position her back. She would be nursing at 2am, 4am, 6am, 8am, imagine. I was at the brink of giving up, to ask for formula supplement, but I reminded myself about the importance of nursing in the first few moments (to ensure my milk supply is established), the nipple confusion, all the benefit of breast feeding (endless..), and I persisted.

When we were discharged, I was faced with another challenge, the confinement lady we have. Oh, she was so discouraging. First, she asked us to move the cot back to our room (from hers) if I wanted to breastfeed. “It’s for your good, you have quicker access to the baby if she needed a feed.” she said. Yeah right, it’s more for her (to sleep uninterrupted by the cries) than me.

I have very little milk and Zara was hungry and crying all the time. Instead of boiling me soup or advising me what to take to increase milk supply, she summoned Daddy to get a tin of formula to supplement my feed (we did sneak out to get a tin of formula JUST IN CASE). We told her no, no supplement, I wanted to breast feed exclusively. The confinement lady was wailing all the time when Zara was crying for her feed and couldn’t get enough. “Oh, poor girl girl, mummy naughty, mummy no milk, my girl girl have to get hungry”. “Oh poor girl girl, mummy don’t want to give you supplement” Oh, how I wish I could give her a slap and asked her to shut up! How can she be so discouraging and so ?? (sampat – closes I could translate to is cuckoo)??!!

Because of all the other nuisance she’s causing (well, that would be another story), we fired our confinement lady the 2nd day. I continued to breast feed Zara, even though it was still tough (fatigue, sore nipple), and she was still crying most of the time because of hunger, at least I fed her in peace now.

We got the hospital to send us a nurse to teach me how to care for Zara, as well as provide support for breast feeding. This was great. Nurse Chee was very supportive. She told me not to give up even though it’s very tiring, and it can only get better. She taught me how to feed Zara lying down, that will give me time to rest or nap while Zara nursed.

My milk supply was established after a few days and Zara was starting to have a routine, feeding every 3hourly. Daddy too helped out by doing the midnight feeds using expressed milk so I got to rest 6hours in a stretch. I was beginning to be more confident about breastfeeding.

Zara stopped waking up middle of the night for feeds when she was 6 weeks old. Daddy still helped me with the early morning feed, allowing me even longer rest time. Things really got better (and another advantage is I returned to my pre-pregnancy weight after 2months).

After 3 months of staying home to care for her, my next problem cropped up. Zara was refusing the bottle, and I had to go back to work. People were offering advice to ask me to switch to formula; she might not take the bottle of breast milk, but she may take formula milk; 3 months of breast feeding is more than enough, I should start formula now; blah blah. Well, I’d gone this far, I won’t quit now.

While at work, I continued to express milk. Zara cried, and screamed every time the bottle appeared, we tried spoon feeding her, cup feeding her but she only took a few sips, then repeated her crying bout. She took very little milk while I was at work. When I got back home, she, like an addict, would latch on, and spent an hour or more on the breast, practically sucking me dry.

Then the crying lessened and the drinking (from bottle) increased, eventually, she has this same excited look every time she’s hungry and saw the bottle coming. After 1 month, she finally accepted the bottle as another source of nourishment. We crossed another hurdle.

She has a taste of formula when I was away for business trip, and I didn’t have enough stocked up for her 1 week feed. I was so worried she’ll refuse my milk when I returned. Well, when she saw me, the first thing she wanted to was to have her fix and she took her own sweet time enjoying the breast.

KL is not a very friendly place for nursing mums. Only a few shopping malls have facilities. I try not to go to those places without when I have Zara with me. I am not shy to feed her in the presence of my family, or my female in-laws. Sometimes in public, I have to do it as well, although I try to be as discreet as possible (well, if you asked me why I don’t wear nursing clothes, you should come and have a look at what KL has to offer, all the clothes are just so ‘aunty’ looking). I feel proud, being able to be the source of nourishment to my baby.

I am glad the office has nursing rooms for mums and I have a very supportive manager who will not send me on business trips longer than 1 week (as I’d told him I’ll have ‘stock’ issue). Daddy is also all out to support me.

I feel very contented every time Zara is in my arms nursing, I like stroking her soft hair, kissing her small hands. I like the feel of her head resting on the nook of my elbow. Sometimes she rewards me with a satisfied pouting of her lips or, when she knew how to, a smile after a feed. All these, and a healthy her, makes me want to continue nursing her.

Some people were shocked that at this age, she’s still not on any formula milk, and commented good heartedly that I should start switching to make my life easier, but I always tell them breast is best.


August 20, 2005 at 9:41 pm

While folding the day’s laundry, I kept Zara occupied by giving her smaller pieces of clothing to play with.

She was busy pulling pieces of her own clothing out from the laundry basket, checking it, flapping it (to see what sound it can make). When she’s done with one piece, she reached into the basket for another. This went on for a while, until she got hold of my breast pad in the basket. The minute she held it in her hand, she started sucking her thumb, a natural reflex, as this is her favourite comfort object.

She has this look in her face like she’s ‘high’ on something, like the Cantonese saying, “吹鴉片“ (taking opium) which depicts the addiction of a baby to the bottle, breast and in this case thumb/breast pad.

Zara Being Ill

August 11, 2005 at 6:38 pm

It was Zara’s turn to be ill. I had passed on the virus to her, not sure by being near her, or by nursing her.

She started just like me, a cough. We brought her to the Pediatrician on Tuesday. She was still so full of energy, trying to reach and touch all the babies, toddlers, older children in the waiting room. When it was her turn to see the Dr, she marched in (with daddy holding on to her arms helping to support her).

In the middle of Tuesday night, she started running a temperature. I was awaken by her moaning in her sleep, she was as though in some kind of pain. I was worried sick, taking her temperature every 15mins, trying to sponge her or keep a cold towel on her forehead throughout the night.

On Wednesday, I took the day off to look after her at Karen’s place as I need Karen’s maids to help out. Her temperature was a constant 38.3~38.5. She didn’t want to have anything to eat, and didn’t want to have any water. All she wanted was to nurse.

The whole day, she was glued to my breasts. She would be sucking and when I try to sneak off to go to the toilet or go for a munch, she would wake up crying.

Giving her medicine was another big challenge. She would wail and scream when we try to feed her the medicine. She would hold the medicine in her mouth and not swallow it, while screaming on top of her voice until her voice turned horse. When we try to close her mouth to force her to swallow, she screamed even louder with big drops of tears streaming down and face turning all red. After that, she would throw up, milk, medicine and everything else.

My breasts sore, my muscle ache (from all the carrying), my body exhausted (from lack of sleep) and my heart broken (to see her at this state).

I was so glad in the night, her temperature was back to normal. Her fever has gone.

When babies fall ill, mummies suffer more than when they themselves are ill.

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