Saturday, June 20, 2015

Life with a Baby: The First 3 Months

It has been a few months since my last update. And yes, we have given birth to a lovely baby boy that is why our world was put upside down. Life lately was like a roller coaster ride. There were sleepless nights (oh sleepless nights), breastfeeding related stresses, no nanny problems etc etc.

The first month was rough. We had to do it all by ourselves. We really didn’t know how to sooth a crying baby. We just figured out how to change nappies in the hospital. My husband had a crash course on how to bathe our baby. And I had a crash course on how to properly breastfeed my child. I just wish we were able to attend the breastfeeding seminar first. But experience is always the best teacher. We had “lungad” issues to which I was afraid we had GERD. But through the help of a breastfeeding peer counselor we were able to address the issue. I was able to keep my calm and became accustomed to it. We still have “lungad” problems sometimes but it has become bearable.

Our baby’s birth weight was 6lbs and 1 ounce. He weighed 6lbs and 2 ounces after 2 weeks. I don’t know if I was just me (or the mother in me) but our pediatrician insinuated that “maybe” he is not getting enough milk. [We are exclusively breastfeeding so you could just imagine how negative it was to hear something like that from his pediatrician.] To the extent that she asked me if I have milk. I said I have milk. She asked me to pump to know how much milk our baby is getting. I was insulted but I kept my cool. We were just starting our breastfeeding journey then and to insinuate that I don’t have enough milk for my child is just selfish practice.

To satisfy our child’s first pedia, I tried to pump milk from my breast. I got a little depressed because I could only express 1-2 oz in one session. That made me uncomfortable thinking that I am not providing enough for my baby. I drank 4-5 liters of water and popped 3 malunggay capsules each day to boost my supply and my confidence. Later I found out (from lurking in Breastfeeding Pinays facebook page) that the amount of milk I express is NOT equivalent to the amount of milk my baby is getting. Babies are better at sucking milk than any breast pump in the market. And it is NOT recommended to express milk on the first 6 weeks because it may cause oversupply, plugged ducts and worse mastitis.

We continued with our baby’s first vaccine with his first pedia but actively sought help from friends who could recommend a true breastfeeding advocate pediatrician. Thank God Mica dear suggested her son’s pediatrician to us. We transferred to Dra. Elizabeth on our second vaccine and we were happy because she is very accommodating and really takes time to discuss things with her patients. She really responds well to our questions and I think she really cares for her patients. I’m so glad we found a great one.

Lesson learned: DO NOT be afraid to breastfeed. All women have milk supply that is ample for her child.

Here are a few tips I gathered from exclusively breastfeeding our son:
  1.  Milk will not come out dripping on the first few days. Mature milk will come on th 3rd -5th day. SO RELAX.
  2. Baby is getting the colostrum on his first few days. (While mature milk is not yet there.) Colostrum is the most nutritious milk the baby can get from his mother so JUST LATCH ON.
  3. Breastfed babies pee more than 5 times and may poop every after feeding. Remember to count wet and soiled nappies and contact your pediatrician when you noticed that the baby is not peeing or pooping as much. This is NOT because mothers don’t have enough milk. It may be that the latch is wrong and other factors.
  4. Forget the clock and feed on demand. If the baby wants to latch for hours and hours then let him be. Our breasts are not just his source of food. It is also the source of his comfort.
  5. The first few weeks of breastfeeding are never easy. But it is doable. Just have the firm decision to breastfeed your baby.

Our child’s first 3 months progress is good. He is happy, gaining weight and eager to learn new things every day. But he still sleeps on my chest each single night. There was never a time when he slept on the bed on his own. So I had to sacrifice and carry him through the night. Well I hope he learns to sleep on his back [during the night] soon. I am just enjoying our bonding moment till it last.

As I write this our little boy is enjoying his crib mobile and is about to sleep. I hope I get to write our first time parents experiences soon.

Till next time. J