The success of breastfeeding relies heavily on your knowledge, patience, and support of those around you. It’s natural but does not come easy. You have to learn so much in so little time.
The midwives at the hospital helped me in incredible ways. I can press the green button anytime I need help with latching and they’d be glad to oblige. Breastfeeding is truly supported in this country. With their own 24/7helpline. Visits from the midwives after hospital discharge. And so on. In Singapore, blah! The nurses are very impatient and would gladly offer formula milk.
And with all the knowledge, support, and patience around me, it made the journey smooth and successful! But the first two weeks was the hardest, especially when I started to have sore nipples and engorgement. I would want to give up breastfeeding every time I have to breastfeed because it was really painful.
Every time my nipples get sore and baby and I could not get the correct latch, I try harder. The website breastfeedo dot com truly is a great source of information. I realized that some of what the midwives said was not exactly hmmm exactly accurate. They would say I have a perfect latch because on the outside it looks like one, but underneath, the baby seemed to be biting my nipple.
There was one midwife who truly was an angel. Her name is Alyssa. She would hand express my nipple and put my colostrum on a syringe for baby. It was painful urgh but truly worth it. Bless her!
Going four months now. I still breastfeed. Nipples are no longer sore after every feed. The initial hardships were all worth it. And the baby is gaining weight.
If you are trying to breastfeed exclusively as well, let me share you some things to remember:
- Baby will always suck on the first few weeks – And this could go from every 1-3 hours, mostly every 1 hour. Yes, it will be hard at the beginning but let me let you, it is all worth it in the end. You will lose sleep a lot!
- Milk is based on supply and demand – The more you breastfeed, the more your body makes milk.
- Do not overthink that you have no/ low milk supply OR that the baby is not getting enough milk – Sometimes you have to stand alone and not listen to those who insist that you have no enough milk. Remember that in the first few days, the baby will only need colostrum, a thick milky substance that is very rich in antibodies. It is only about after three days that your liquid milk will come.
- Nipple confusion is real – The first few weeks should be about establishing your milk supply, latching positions of baby, and mother learning to position the baby on her breasts. If baby regularly takes pacifiers or milk bottles at this period, the baby may learn to use it more than the breasts.
Check out Breastfeedo.com for a lot of infographics showing how to position baby on your breasts in multiple ways.