Bringing Aidan home

I'll be writing a 4 piece series with Philips in conjunction with World Breastfeeding Week in August.

This is my second piece: Bringing Aidan home. 

You've probably read about my pre-preparation before Aidan arrived and Aidan's birth story. Here's my experience after giving birth.

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After giving birth, I was disappointed that my milk supply hadn't kicked in. Thankfully I had very supportive nurses, lactation consultants who kept encouraging me to have skin to skin contact with Aidan and to continue latching him.

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Mummy pinky promise that I'll try my best to produce milk for you!

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At every opportunity, I made sure to have lots of skin to skin contact with Aidan. I had also informed the nurses that I had wanted total breastfeeding. They then brought Aidan to me every 3 hours to try latching him.

While my milk hadn't kicked in, the nurses assured me that I was producing colostrum. For those who are new to this, colostrum is what we mothers hold very very precious! Colostrum is high in protein, carbohydrates and antibodies. It is sufficient to feed babies of the first few days of their life. It helps babies' digestion easier and less susceptible to allergies and food tolerances due to it's protective and strengthening effect.

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Latching was painful. Burning actually. But I persisted. My hubby and the nurses encouraged me and that also helped me to persist further.

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After 4 days, on the day I was to be discharged, my milk finally kicked in.

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We brought Aidan back home, that day.

I understood that the milk was referred as transitional milk which was why it was extremely creamy white in colour. It contains high levels of fat, lactose, vitamins and actually have more calories than colostrum. My breasts had felt extremely swollen, heavy and painful due to the transitional milk kicking in. Baby suckling and latching actually helped to empty my breasts and building a good milk supply.

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While I tried latching as much as possible, there were days where my nipples were on fire.

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Thankfully the Philips Avent Comfort Double Electric Breast Pump helped for days where latching was unbearable.

The pump had soft massage cushions that gave comfort to my breasts and mimics a baby’s suckling motion. I would latch on one side and pump on the other and swop for the next session. Breastfeeding was made easy and I could sit back comfortably with no need to lean forward. I liked that they had 3 pumping settings which helped stimulate let down.

Best part is that it’s also BPA free and completely safe for baby!

I chose to use their products for both myself and Aidan because Philips Avent is a trusted brand recommended by mums.

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I was grateful to have the support of a confinement lady who helped cooked nutritious soups and dishes to help boost my milk supply.

Some of the items that worked as a milk booster for me were:

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  1. Salmon
    • Salmon contains Omega-3 which is highly nutritious for baby. For me, salmon works really well! Usually after eating salmon (which is a personal favourite of mine), I am able to pump almost twice the amount I usually do! Bonus side effect: Salmon is good for baby and us! Great lactation hormones boost!
  2. Oats
    • I personally love eating oats and oats biscuits. Not only are they a quick fix to curbing my hunger pangs (which happens a lot after breastfeeding!), they also contain fibre and helps with digestion! Plus they work as a quick energy boost!
  3. Lots of water
    • It's very important to keep yourself hydrated. You'll need lots of water to produce milk! Once I was out running errands and was extremely dehydrated! My milk supply also dipped tremendously! I try my best to keep a water bottle with me at most times. Keep yourself hydrated mamas!

But of course, there are many other boosters! All you'll have to do is try different food and see what works for you! I've also read that some chinese herbs can really help with boosting milk supply. For example, Mrs Wong Boh Boi, a famous lactation consultant from Thomson Medical Centre have mentioned that chinese herbs like chinese ham, dandelion, luo lu and yi mu cao can help enhance milk production. Many of these chinese herbs can be made into soups or cooked together in your dishes! I personally believe to find a booster that you'll really enjoy, so that it won't be a chore eating it. Like for me, I LOVE salmon. It being a milk booster was just an added bonus. 😉

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While I mainly latched, Skai helped to take care of Aidan and coax him at times where I needed to rest. Honestly, I think I'm very blessed to have a very hands-on husband. He helps out very often especially during my confinement period.

He encouraged me to breastfeed for as long as I could and also helped to make it entertaining. Like in the beginning where I had a hard time getting Aidan to latch, there were times where I felt tired. Skai would encourage me and in the end, we both would laugh at certain scenarios e.g. milk would spew at Aidan because he chose to unlatch during a letdown.

There were also days where I would feel extremely exhausted from taking care of Aidan. It felt like I was only breastfeeding, pumping all the time. Plus I had aches and pains from my c-section wound. Skai would always help out. While he couldn't help much with the night feeds as I was latching at night, he would take over for diaper duties. He would also coax Aidan to sleep. During the day, he would help with washing and sterilising my pump parts and helped with milk storage.

Also, because I was afraid of nipple confusion, Skai took the active role of bottle feeding Aidan. Mama = boobs. Papa = bottle. HAAHAHA.

I'll share more about this in my third piece soon. Also, Skai will be sharing some tips from a husband's perspective! Do check it out soon!

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