My baby is 6 months today and this also marks my 6 months journey of total breastfeeding (latch on 99% of time)! Hooray! Never thought that I could survive this far and achieve this target. Next, aiming for one-year target so long as I still can do :)
Really appreciate my hubby for the unwavering support and understanding, as well as good friend Carol for her advice and encouragement, otherwise I wouldn't come this far during those moments of uncertainties and desperation.
I must say that breastfeeding is really not easy and no amount of theory could beat the practical experience. I read up, watched latching videos, attended classes by private lactation consultant and BMSG... but when the baby arrived, it's a different thing altogether. Luckily my hubby was there to help with the latching position and the nurses at the hospital I delivered in were able to provide advice. I insisted not buying any formula at all (though my confinement lady kept commenting that if my milk not enough must supplement, and kept asking whether baby drinking or not).
The first 2+ months were quite ok, apart from a blocked duct during 1st 2 weeks (it sure was painful, every session felt like needles poking during first 20 secs when the baby started suckling).
However, approaching 3 months, my baby suddenly reduced his milk intake (used to take about 8 feeds). I didn't know what happened so sort of forced him to drink and as a result, he went on a nursing strike and subsequently a milk strike (could went on 5-6 hours without milk or very little milk). After about 1 week, I was totally desperate and broke down as the baby kept rejecting me, won't even allow me to cradle him! Had to get my mother in law over to help with bottle feeding for 3 days. My milk supply also dropped due to the stress and coz I didn't express when baby refused to nurse. After the good break, I picked up myself and read up on nursing strikes and slowly coaxed the baby back to my breasts (had to rock him till drowsy or pump till let-down then quickly latch him). Also took nursing tea to help get back supply.
It took several weeks before it got better. I learnt to ditch the clock and my record book (yes, I was quite a stickler for amount of time baby spent on each breast and such) and learnt to trust the baby. If baby doesn't want to nurse, I let him be. His feeds during 4 months were only 5 times over 24hrs (now also still 5 to 6 times, I guess he's drinking more per session). In addition, he was very distractable which made nursing more challenging.
Frankly, I'm still constantly paranoid over his milk intake whether enough (really dont't know how much he drinks since latch on) and also my milk supply. My hubby keeps assuring me that dear son is growing well and looks stout, though his weight is always on the 25 percentile range. I just have to assure myself that it's ok since he's achieving his milestones (able to lift his head while on tummy by 3 months, able to roll over both ways by 4 months, able to sit unsupported for a while by 5 months, and now demonstrating pre-crawl moves).
These days, he's still very distractable and would keep latching and unlatching during some feeds (especially hearing sounds and movements). The improvement is, he would whine when hungry and search for me/my breasts. Most of the time, he would only nurse when really hungry and sleepy and would fall asleep immediately after. I would prefer him to Eat, Activity and Nap but his pattern is Activity, Eat and Nap... he just wants to play upon waking!!! No choice, will see whether he will change this pattern as he grows older and starts to eat more solids. I've just started him on semi-solids (organic brown rice cereal) and will see how it goes. Weaning is another learning journey for me! Come to think of it, if counting from the start of my confinement, I've been a SAHM for 6 months as well. Wow!
Well, just a little sharing of my breastfeeding journey so far. Besides learning to trust my baby and my breasts (for supply), I learn to take things more easy and accept that baby pattern keep changing. Sometimes, just as I thought we have settled down into a comfortable pattern, he changes again. Really need lots of patience, perseverance and determination.
On another note, we brought him to KL (self-drive) when he was 5 months and just returned from Krabi (his first flight!). Will blog about both trips when I have more time :) *sigh* so many things to blog about, so little time.
Here's a photo of him in our hotel at Krabi :)