Critical Phase For Successful Breastfeeding Journey : 1st Day...

~ Posted on Monday, December 02, 2013 at 8:02 AM ~

I started my breastfeeding journey since March 2009, when our 1st child was born and I never stopped breastfeeding since then. I breastfed our 1st child past 1, 2, 3 years old, throughout my 2nd pregnancy, then went on to tandem nursed our first 2 kiddos for 1.5 years until our 1st child self-weaned at 45 months old. As for 2nd child, she is still nursing right now at 2 years old, I nursed through my 3rd pregnancy and currently tandem nursing our 2nd and 3rd child since 1st October 2013.

With all these experiences gained in my breastfeeding journey, I decided to pen down the critical phases which I think contributed to a successful breastfeeding journey.

To read my 1st post, you can click the link on this post: Critical Phase For Successful Breastfeeding Journey : 1st Hour.

For my 2nd post, I will start off with: the 1st day after giving birth to your baby.

This post is pretty much similar to the critical first hour after giving birth to your baby. I am just going to repeat the advice given which is to keep on latching and inform the hospital staff that you want your baby to be on breastmilk only.

What differs in this post with the previous post is, in the critical 1st day, you get to experience a day and night spent with your baby.

For my case, my birth hospital is pro-breastfeeding and baby has to be room-in with mum at all times (unless baby is premature or require constant monitoring under neonatal ICU unit due to some health complications) So with baby rooming-in with you, you get to experience for yourself how to handle your newborn, to get used to bay's cues for hunger, stress, etc.

On my first night with baby and being in a pro-breastfeeding hospital, there is no other options to comfort and soothe baby other than breastfeed (after you have checked diaper, swaddled and ensure environment is comfortable) You just gotta latch, latch, latch. With frequent latching, your brain will get signals you really need breastmilk fast!

Picture below showing Carolyn breastfeeding at 3.51am in the morning (I did not have any sleep at all until about 5am on the first day)

I also believe the first day is critical as you'll finally realised this is important and there is no other person but you and baby who can make this work.

Some new mums will be discharged from hospital on day 2 onwards and once you leave the hospital, there will be other factors affecting and influencing you. Husband, in-laws, older children, and in our culture confinement ladies (if you did not hire the breastfeeding friendly ones, they will affect your breastfeeding plan!)

So, yes, the 1st day after giving birth is a critical phase in ensuring a smooth path to your successful breastfeeding journey.

To sum this post up:

Critical Phase For Successful Breastfeeding Journey : the 1st day after giving birth to your baby.

  • Latching early will also help baby to practise his latching technique

  • Latching early will help YOU in your breastfeeding techniques too

  • Please make sure you inform the hospital staff beforehand that you want your baby to be breastfeed and no formula feeding whatsoever

  • If possible, room-in with baby after birth.

  • Only YOU and BABY can make breastfeeding works. Do not let other factors influence your plan!

 

That's all for my 2nd post in the critical phase for a successful breastfeeding journey!

Feel free to ask and share if you have questions or feedback!

Newborn Infant Hearing Screening

~ Posted on Friday, November 22, 2013 at 8:42 AM ~

Yesterday we had an appointment for baby Carolyn's audiology test. She failed her hearing test right after birth for her right ear. So she had to do the test again and thank God she passed it.

During the first test when she was a day old, the hospital staff suspected amniotic fluid went into her right ear which blocked her hearing. Hence they scheduled another test which was yesterday.

What happened during the test, the critical criteria is the child must be sleeping when the test was carried out. Luckily Carolyn was sleeping throughout the journey (almost an hour car ride) and was still sleeping when we reached the audiology department so we immediately proceeded with the test. I had to switched Carolyn so that her right ear faced outwards, easier for the hospital staff to place the test equipment on her right ear. We can immediately see the results of the test once it reached the passing level.

Thank God the hospital has such test now as we never had this test for our earlier 2 kiddos. That's all for now, thank you for reading this post of mine. Feel free to ask and share if you have questions or feedback!

Our Experience with Jaundice in Our Children

~ Posted on Wednesday, November 20, 2013 at 8:31 AM ~

I thank God for the 3 wonderful children we are blessed with. I thank God that although they have jaundice, we know and have experience through 3 times and know what to do and how to handle the jaundice episode.

Please google around if you do not know what is jaundice. For Asian babies - especially us Chinese who have fair skin, the first thing to confirm that your child has jaundice is to look at the whites of his/her eyes. That's the first AND last place to see the bilirubin still in your child's body. Another method is to gently press your child's skin and the imprint left after you pressed will show you whether she/he has jaundice or not.

With our first child, Benjamin started having jaundice on day 5. Being a first-time parent, we don't know what to do and upon advice by the antenatal class trainer who did a post natal home visit for us, we sent Ben to his birth hospital for further check-up. The results showed he had high levels of bilirubin but due to the insufficient rooms/beds in the NICU unit, we stayed overnight at the peadictric ward. That night, Ben roomed in with me, his metal cot underneath the bili lights next to my bed. The moment he cried, I picked him up and sooth him and nursed him. 

It goes on and on that the next day, I was told to go back home and expressed my breastmilk instead and Ben was placed in the NICU unit as his bilirubin levels shot higher (due to me keep taking him out of the bili lights the night before) At home, I keep expressing every hour, as much as I can, just so we can packed as much breastmilk as possible to feed Ben while he was in NICU. His level dropped back to normal the next day and he was discharged and we came back home.

With our second child, Alyson started having jaundice on day 5 as well. But this time, we decided not to bring her to the hospital as she is nursing, sleeping, peeing, pooping as normal and active alert as well. Her prolonged jaundice lasted nearly 2 months. The mistakes we did with our second child is not having enough faith to believe that the jaundice is going to go off. We were not able to contact our pead for days (he was involved in an accident) and hence not able to consult his advice.

At my 6 weeks post partum check-up, my gynae said that we should get our child tested as she is still yellow. Results showed she had bacterias in her urine (I have no idea how the urine was collected) and we were given antibiotic for her to finish off in 5 days course. Few days later, we managed to get hold of our pead and brought our 2nd child to see him. He checked her and confirmed everything is fine, notihng wrong with her liver or anything and explained to us that urine test results can be easily compromised if the collection method is not thorough.

Meaning, if the hospital staff just collect the urine over the child's diaper then for sure there will be bacteria. The right method is to use a syringe/needle to suck out the urine from the bladder itself but this process will be painful for the child. Anyway, we did not finish the antibiotic after that. Coincidence or not, Alyson's jaundice went off a week after that.

With our third child, Carolyn started having jaundice on day 5 as well. This time the signs are all same as her sister. Nursing, sleeping, peeing, pooping all normal, active alert as well. So we decided to let it run its course. The annoying part of a prolonged jaundice is everytime I posted some pictures of Carolyn, there will be people commenting she is still yellow. Yes, we know that and as a parent of 3 kiddos, all whom had jaundice, we know well enough this is breastmilk jaundice and it will go away on its own, in its own time.

Look at the pictures of Carolyn below, how the yellow in her eyes and skin shows and slowly goes away week by week. I am happy to share that her jaundice is going off soon!

 

** Disclaimer: Do note that this post is my sharing of our experiences with jaundice in our 3 children, we do consult with the pead to confirm there is nothing wrong with our kiddos' liver or other factors such as blood incompatibility etc and most importantly is our kiddos were nursing (exclusive breastfeeding), sleeping, peeing, pooping, active and alert as usual so there was no cause of alarm for us.

That's all for now, thank you for reading this post of mine. Feel free to ask and share if you have questions or feedback!