Breastfeeding is a beautiful journey that creates a special bond between a mother and her offspring. It’s a hard one to start for some mothers, but mine started rather easily. The moment they gave my baby for me to feed at the hospital, I was amazed at how he properly latched at the first try. And Ezra suckled pretty strong, too.
I chose the right hospital, I guess. Thomson Hospital Kota Damansara effectively translates its breastfeeding advocacy into a very practical and efficient service to mothers, especially the new ones, in its labour ward. Their nursing attendants brought Ezra to our room at the right time. He was hungry but not too hungry. And they sure gave clear instructions on how get that proper latch at each nursing time throughout our 2-day stay there.
This experience did not spare me from the typical breastfeeding dilemmas, though. Four days after his birth, we found out that Ezra lost more weight than what’s expected of a newborn to lose. I may have had a low breastmilk supply. To ensure that Ezra gets what he needs, I agreed to complement his feeding with formula milk. But as soon as the paediatrician saw how good his body was responding, he advised me to go back to exclusive breastfeeding (EBF).
The first week of EBF was challenging. My boobs never worked that hard before. LOL. And seeing that my baby wasn’t as satisfied as before, I began doubting my mamary glands. Compiling pieces of advice from my OB Gyneacologist, friends who are mothers, articles, and online forums, I was able to increase my milk supply. Here are some of it:
Breastfeeding consultants will advice you to nurse your newborn at least 15 to 20 minutes at each breast after every 2 or 3 hours. In unlit-latching, you feed the baby as often for as long as the baby would want it.
- Skin-to-skin contact
This works like magic. Did you know that holding your baby increases the levels of the oxytocin — the love hormone that is responsible for milk ejection? Do it every night to give the baby a deeper sleep.
- Pumping milk
Pumping out milk after every breastfeeding session empties out the milk in the breast. This makes the body thinks that the baby needs more, and will consequently produce more milk to meet the demand.
- Pre-natal vitamins
The baby gets nutrients from mothers through the milk. It only makes sense for breastfeeding mothers to meet nutrition requirements, which are similar to what they needed during pregnancy. Continuing to take prenatal vitamin guarantees this.
- Milk-boosting foods There’s a plethora of food that are known to boost your breastmilk. But not all of them will work for your body. Brown rice, wholemeal bread, oatmeal, oatmeal cookies, moringa and fenugreek seeds did the trick for me. I was so satisfied with my yield every pumping session that I didn’t feel the need to buy lactation goodies.
- More liquids
I tried to drink a glass of water, milk, or juice after every nursing session to replace the liquid that I just donated to my baby. Milo also worked for me.