It’s been awhile! 3rd month into motherhood and I would say that I’m sorta getting the hang of things, and yet, many times it feels like I’ve barely dipped my toes in the water. Baby throws us curveballs and surprises every other day, and it’s really all about learning on the job all the time.
Breastfeeding is getting better!
With breastfeeding, it has definitely become much, much better. In terms of overcoming the initial challenges of getting a good latch, baby falling asleep at the boob, finding a comfortable position, and of course the sore nipples and boobs, it has reached a stage of being pretty comfortable now, I think.
I have (almost) nipples of steel now haha. So thankful that they’re no longer as sore and sensitive as before! I still use my silverette cups quite frequently, but I can actually go without them sometimes. And I don’t really have to use nipple cream these days except when I feel like I’d like to give the boobs some love and moisturise them. It’s much more convenient cos less stickiness and I don’t have to worry about having to wipe it off before latching etc.
With latching, it has definitely gotten much more comfortable – both baby and I knowing what to do. After experimenting with the different positions in the 2nd month, I concluded that the cradle hold still worked best for us in the end! Since I have a comfortable armchair to nurse baby in, that’s the most convenient, compared to having to bring her to another room/set up pillows etc for the laidback/sidelying position. Also, it’s easiest to hold on to the haakaa when I’m seated. But bb is really growing much bigger & longer, and I have a feeling she’ll soon outgrow the width of the chair! I wonder what we’ll have to do then, hmm. Since she has stronger sucking power these days, it’s much more obvious when she fully clears the boob and now I really feel that the boob is completely soft when it’s cleared! Compared to the first month when my boobs constantly felt semi-hard/lumpy, but that’s also because the supply is just coming in and everything is just haywire, so that’s normal too! It feels kinda good to pen all these down, so that I can read it again the next round because I’m pretty sure I would’ve forgotten how it was like then.
There have been new challenges though! Bb has become so much more active and loves kicking against the armrest of the chair, and wriggling around. She’s super inquisitive and alert to her surroundings, which makes her distracted while feeding, especially after the initial flow of milk slows down. She’s also been bobbing off the boob so often these days when there’s less milk flowing! Which has been pretty uncomfortable on my nips and really drives me nuts sometimes. Oh, and since she’s discovered the skill of grabbing, she’s been pinching me all over while feeding! It’s no joke when those sharp baby nails dig into my skin!
Supply has regulated
Also, at this point, my supply has regulated. And while I was initially kinda bummed that my supply dipped quite a bit, I guess it’s not a bad thing too that I’m no longer dripping milk all over the place all the time and my boobs are rarely rock hard unless I haven’t pumped/latched for maybe more than 4-5hrs. And I constantly remind myself that as long as I have enough to feed my baby, that’s really what’s most important. It’s not a competition. Hearing how some mummies can pump 300-400ml at one go, it really sounds amazing 😮 mine has hit a maximum of ~260ml, and it’s so easy to think “I wish I had more”. But to be honest, it’s really enough. Oversupply is relative. Because I’m mostly latching, I’ve been accumulating so much milk in the freezer despite cutting down my pumps to only twice a day – once before I go to sleep, and another in the MOTN. I have a freezer FULL OF MILK, that is literally bursting at the seams, and after 3 months, hubs & I conceded that we do need to get an extra freezer after all. My freezer has been so full that at one point I couldn’t even shut the door properly and the cold air actually leaked out. That gave me a huge scare cos I was so worried that my milk would spoil (hopefully it didn’t, I think we discovered it quickly enough). But while a freezer full of milk is a happy problem, it is still a problem because we literally have no space for any other food! I’m thankful that even with the haakaa, I can collect quite a decent amount of letdown on the other boob while latching, so that’s how I built up my supply even with only 2 pumps while I latch for the rest of the day. Not sure how things will change when I resume teaching classes outside the home again though, so I do think the stores will come in useful, and I’ll probably start drawing down on them more when the time comes.
I decided to give away some of my milk anyway because even with my separate milk freezer, I still had some more left in my main freezer! Thanks to other mummies who shared with me on IG, I found these two options for donation – a Facebook group or KKH Human Milk Bank. It seemed like the Facebook group was a much more convenient option (the milk bank requires screening, and you have to bring the milk there yourself! (Erm which mummy has the time to do that…). And indeed, within a day, a low-supply mummy contacted me to request for my milk, which I was happy to give! It was nice to be able to help other mummies who need to feed their babies :’) So now I have a bit more space in my freezer for food haha!
Despite my supply regulating, I did still have a pretty bad case of clogged ducts this month though – just when I thought that I was over it after the 2nd month!! It was actually quite difficult to clear and after that, possibly because of over-massaging the wrong way, I had a really sore spot on another part of my boob. So thankful for Rachel from The Milk Society who came to my rescue to massage away the clogs, and taught me the correct way to do the massage on my own. Well….I hope I never have to use it again, but you never know!
So this wraps up my 3rd month of breastfeeding! Things are stabilising now, but I’m probably gonna be teaching more classes out of home in the next month, so will have to figure out a new arrangement for pumping/latching when that time comes!