Sunday, March 3, 2013

Got Milk?

We got actual breastmilk yesterday, 5 days after giving birth. I knew our milk will come in later because I gave birth via C-Section. Versus those who give birth vaginally, our bodies need more time to process the fact that the placenta has been expelled from the body before the milk-producing hormone prolactin is produced (Thank you, Google).

Malik and I got milk on the 5th day as well. So for the first five days after giving birth, Izik and I just kept at it to trigger the let-down. I doubted whether he was getting anything from me at all. Nothing resembling milk came out of me. But here's what he looked like after one feeding -

He looked fine and content naman. And he was regularly passing off urine and stool, which the Internet says are signs that a breastfed baby is well-fed (Baby should at least "gift" you with 6 wet diapers and 3 diapers with poop a day). [Photo courtesy of Malik Hehe]

The milk is just enough to feed Izik, I think. I'm not lucky enough to be able to store milk and even donate some to charity. But I've resolved not to torture myself over not producing more milk. Not this time. I just want to be able to feed Izik on demand direct from the breast like my grandmother did with her kids. But in case I decide I can't handle the exhaustion anymore, we have formula somewhere in the house that we can use. No pressure.

I hope we don't have to give Izik the formula though, until I have to return to work. To do that, I will have to do my best to manage the two horrible things about breastfeeding in my experience:

(1) It deprives me of sleep. Breastmilk is more quickly absorbed by a baby's system than formula, which means they have to be fed more often. By that, I mean at least every 2 hrs. And by this, I mean I haven't slept for more than 2 hrs. at a time since giving birth AND while recovering from major surgery.

(2) TMI: I have developed blisters in my nipples that make breastfeeding plain torture. They may be due to clogged milk ducts or an improper latch. All I know is that it stings and burns like hell everytime Izik feeds. Like HELL.

I know this period in our lives when I can still hold Izik against my chest and he can get all the nutrients that he needs from me is short and irretrievable when lost. I want to be able to cherish it, not dread it. I at least scheduled a session with a lactation masseuse tomorrow. I hope that in addition to increasing our milk supply, she can also help us with our latching technique.

- posted via BlogPress for iPad

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