Last week, I was invited to share my breastfeeding experience and tips at a Beautiful Mums Event that’s jointly organised by Spring Maternity & Mustela Singapore at Hoi Hup Building where Spring Maternity’s biggest outlet is.
It is an honour and a real pleasure to share my experience on breastfeeding with pregnant moms out there. This is the reason why I started this blog – to share my knowledge and experience with fellow moms. If you were there at the event, do say hi on my Facebook.
Remember this poster below? That’s me on the top left. Believe me, I don’t even recognise myself. That’s how awesome my maternity photographer from Cottony Photography made me look.
Peter was there to give me his support too and here’s him on his first attempt at using the Babysafe Carrier! :) So proud of him! Good jobbbb!!
My Breastfeeding Experience
I have been breastfeeding since Dec 2013. Many people have asked me how long I intend to breastfeed him for, and my answer is always “for as long as possible”. Beyond the cost savings and how good breastmilk is for your baby, the bonding that breastfeeding promotes between you and your little bub is priceless.
Here’s some breastfeeding tips that I have to share:
1) On your wardrobe
Ever since I started breastfeeding, I started to see the importance of good nursing wear. Usually as a new mom, before I go out with Baby Daniel, I will search for nursing rooms reviews at wherever my destination is, plan my outfit to be breastfeeding-friendly, and bring a lot of baby stuff along (check out what’s usually in my diaper bag) with me.
No surprises there that as a new mom, I was worried about leaving home with Daniel. There were many what-ifs in my mind. But you can conquer all those worries and fears by taking baby steps. First to the nearby shops, then cabs to shopping malls, then MRT to shopping malls.
One of the biggest problems I had was my wardrobe. My wardrobe was full of clothes that aren’t very breastfeeding friendly at the early stages of breastfeeding. Fast forward 3.5 months later, I have quite a few pieces of clothing (review coming up soon) from Spring Maternity that’s pretty, and makes breastfeeding such a breeze with in built nursing access.
Breastfeeding outside your home is a pretty scary thing for a new mom, the last thing you want is to add on the pressure by wearing clothes which don’t make the process easier. Oh yes and don’t forget maternity bras!! These are some that I got from Spring Maternity and Qoo10.
2) Sore, Cracked Nipples?! OUCH!
The most common cause of sore or cracked nipples is poor breastfeeding technique. When you are breastfeeding regularly, your breasts are particularly sensitive as well. Prevention is always better than cure. Make sure you protect your nipple well or breastfeeding is just gonne be a nasty business.
So I have 2 advice for you. Make sure you learn EVERYTHING you can on proper latching with your hospital’s lactation consultant before you discharge with your baby. Baby Daniel was really good at latching but I wasn’t good at guiding him to my breast. My lactation consultant at TMC was patient and helped me learn a lot.
The second piece of advice I can offer you is the use of creams that are edible and will protect your nipple. The one that I am using regularly is the Mustela Nursing Balm. It soothes, nourishes and helps restructure delicate breast skin thanks to its combination of vitamins and naturally-derived ingredients. I apply after every breastfeeding session and no need for rinsing after application too. :)
3) Is my baby full?
Many first time mummies ask this question and I asked this at my TMC Parentcraft Teacher, Fonnie, too. Speaking of her, she was at the event too! Peter and I were so excited to see her! It brought back so many memories of our weekly classes with her! :) Hi Fonnie!! :)
Ok sorry, back to topic. You will know if your baby is full. Your lil one will pull away and fall asleep when he’s full or he’ll keep crying and make sure you know he’s still hungry. Do consider supplementing with formula milk if you have insufficient supply especially during the early days when your supply hasn’t kicked in yet.
4) Care for your breasts
Oh honey, you may enjoy having fuller breasts but be sure to care for them against skin slackening, loss of elasticity, skin tension and dryness. I often hydrate the skin around my breasts with the Mustela 9 Months Specific Support Bust cream so that when I do stop breastfeeding one day, I won’t find myself with stretch marks/saggy boobs, hopefully! :X
5) Going back to work
Before you go back to work, do plan ahead to see what you need to bring. Here’s what I bring to work to express milk:
My reliable Medela PISA, 4 Medela Bottles (because I pump twice), a sponge, 2 pump heads (sealed in plastic bag), my ice bag and ice block from Medela.
So I wake up earlier everyday and pump at 7.30am (before I leave home), then once more at 2pm (after lunch) and once more at 6pm (before I knock off). It’s NOT easy trying to keep to the schedule because of how fast paced my work is, but I try and hope I can keep this up for very long.
I wash my pump heads and run it through hot water before using for the 6pm pump session.
Oh yes one more thing on this, make sure you pump regularly in the first 3 months (it takes about 3-4 months for your milk supply to be established) and start storing milk as soon as possible in the freezer so that when you go back to work, you will have enough in the freezer for times when you’re not around. The amount in every milk bag doesn’t matter (I realised this on hindsight) cos you have to use it within 24 hours. This site is my bible when it comes to what’s best for breastmilk storage and handling.
6) How to increase Breastmilk Supply
One of the best advice that my friend gave me was to START PUMPING asap. I thought that since I didn’t have much milk, so I shall not pump cos the washing and sterilising thereafter is a PAIN. But that was such a mistake. Just understand ONE THING. SUPPLY = DEMAND. As long as you keep demanding your body of milk, your body will naturally produce more.
I also didn’t pump much in the first month because I wasn’t sure what I’m going to do with all the milk! Silly me, I should have pumped and whatever excess that Daniel couldn’t finish should have been frozen and gone into the freezer. -.-
And above all, latch as much as possible (and then empty your breasts by pumping after every latch). It will be tiring and it will be discouraging if you only manage to pump a little out every time, but hang in there. :) Breastfeeding is a very rewarding journey.
Oh yes, I also take red date tea and fenugreek capsules regularly till date.
You must join this Facebook Group that’s exclusively for breastfeeding mummies only. There are many people in there who are passionate about breastfeeding and will chime in to help whenever anyone has a question. Do also go to mummy forums and make friends there because they are such a valuable group of peers that will support you through your entire pregnancy, infant-stage and right through. Every little worry or query is shared and addressed amongst these mummies.
Do remember to give back to the community by answering questions too when you are more experienced. :)
8) A breastfeeding friendly diet?
There are many people who are worried about what they eat during breastfeeding. You should know by now that the colour and taste of your breastmilk varies with your diet. I strongly advocate a healthy balanced diet and everything else in moderation. I don’t really avoid anything in particular except cow’s milk because I realise that Daniel gets rashes whenever I drink cow’s milk. But other than that, I think eating a variety of foods will expose your child to a variety of flavours. I practice trial and error. I avoid only foods which causes Daniel to have rashes. Just my humble opinion. :)
Thank you, Spring Maternity and Mustela, for the opportunity to share my breastfeeding journey as a guest speaker at the event. :) If you’re looking for a Singapore mom blog to be a guest speaker for your event, I’ll be happy to share my experience. Contact me at email@example.com :)
This is by no means an exhaustive list to refer to when it comes to breastfeeding, but I do hope you have gained a little knowledge by reading. One last note to end off this article… breastfeeding is meant to be a beautiful and enjoyable journey. There are many people with strong opinions on whether you should or should not breastfeed. It’s a personal choice and don’t let anyone judge you. Being healthy, sleeping well, drinking lots of water and enjoying your new baby should be your priority. :)
I’m available on Facebook should you have any queries or if you’d like to share your story too. :)
P.s.: Oh yes, I mentioned that TMC was there to let the mums-to-be sample their confinement catering food and after hearing so much about them before, I finally got to try it!
Seriously, the Pork Trotters in Vinegar and the Hong Zao Chicken was soooo good!!! I had very plain food and Pork Trotters in Vinegar (which was SUPER SWEET) for my confinement! Apparently every pot of Pork Trotters in Vinegar tastes different in every household. Some are very sweet, some are very bitter. It takes a lot of experience from the team at TMC to create a version that is most palatable to the masses. You can check out more information about them here.