Friday, August 10, 2007

On breastfeeding and tandem-nursing

I decided that the final part of my confinement series can wait a little while. I just feel like writing on this topic, for 3 reasons:
1. Got to know that now is the Breastfeeding Week
2. I received a check, another surprise for me. It is royalty payment from the sale of a breastfeeding book. I contributed by sharing my story in one article. I realized that I have not really written in my blog properly. I shared about tandem-nursing.
3. A journalist friend went to Netherland to visit a huge formula-manufacturing plant, and asked me to help to write an article. From the interviews, brochures etc, I realized more and more the benefit of human-milk that I just got to share with others.

On the second day of Hari Raya last year, while having breakfast, hubby got a phone call. It was from a mutual friend, also a geologist. Hubby said something like “Oh, that you have to ask the expert…” and passed the phone to me. Thinking that it was about work, I thought that guy was crazy to work on Hari Raya. But it turned out that his wife just gave birth to their second baby, and he, on behalf of the wife was asking about stuffs related to breastfeeding. I smiled and thought, it was good to know that hubby considered me an expert;).

A lot of my readers are MMB members (cheh...macam ramai sangat;)), where I’ve shared my stories and also gained a lot of info from other moms. So there might be repetitions, so if you have better things to do, don’t bother to read;).

Think I was all-prepared to breastfeed my baby even when I was still pregnant with Bea1. Without a single soul to share, or to ask for info about expressing at work, I learned all about it through Babycenter. I was delighted to know there was such a thing as breastpump, and I thought that was the second best invention after er…sliced bread, maybe.

She was fully breasfed for the first 6 months, and continued getting only my milk with solid food till we decided that we wanted to give her a little playmate. That time there was only one idea, I had to stop nursing her if I wanted to get pregnant. I never knew about nursing while expecting.

Anyway, I did some research and what a surprise to know that it was safe to continue nursing. There are certain conditions, though such as there is no history of miscarriage, premature birth and no excessive weigh lost. A good source of info about it I got from kellymom.

Msianursingmom (subsequently MMB) was formed around this time, and I learned from 2 moms there.

So, without worries, we moved ahead with “Project Baby No 2” and I continued nursing Bea1 throughout the smooth pregnancy and she shared nen-nen with Bea2, and later with Bea3 till she decided it was enough for her. She fully weaned herself when she was 4 year and 2 months old.

Bea3 came as a surprise, but it was also an easy pregnancy and my ob-gyn never discouraged me against tandem-nursing. Anyway, being frank she didn’t encourage either, as long as my pregnancies ok, it would be up to me.

A lot of people disagreed with it. Some said the milk was meant for the baby, that I would give birth to an unhealthy baby etc. Alhamdulillah, all my kids are happy, healthy and thriving. I tried to look for info if it is not allowed in Islam, but I found none.
Mom was almost terrified earlier, but now she does not say anything about it. As for mother-in-law, she listens to her son, and I can say my husband is quite well-versed about it, of course after listening a lot from me. Well, think I must stop thinking that he does not listen enough;)

On that Friday the 27th, I spent about two hours in the early morning with Bea3 at my breast. I was a little tired of getting the pain for days, and hoping the suckling would speed things a little, I just let her suckled in her sleep. Not sure if it worked though, but I found many stories saying that it helps to induce labour.

Now, I’m nursing the youngest 3. Ok, I hope that does not make anyone's eyeballs to fall from the sockets;). It is not that difficult, as the older ones do not nurse that much as all my kids are easy-eaters. Nursing is more for comfort most of the time, but still tandem-nursing can be challenging. It was more uncomfortable nursing Bea2+Bea3 simultaneously compared to Bea1+Bea2, as the former were a little rougher to each other. Most of the time, I nursed separately. Other challenges include sore nipples during pregnancies, that makes me refuse to nurse and find ways to distract my nurslings.
During pregnancies, of course they nurse for comfort, but they consumed the colustrum at the later stage of the pregnancies. Bea2 nurses less nowadays, and does it for comfort but Bea3 now suckles happily now that I got plenty of milk.

I still have a little regret though, in the sense that all of them do not get my milk continuosly till they are 2 years old as suggested by the Quran and WHO. Though they continue nursing, there is certain time that it is solely for comfort when I don’t have milk during end of semester 1, beginning of semester 2 of pregnancies.

But I’m just grateful to still have them close to me, staring straight into my eyes and falling asleep while suckling. Think I would never ready to wean them, so I let them decide if that’s enough. Ok lah… a bit of me also gives the maximum: 5 years old;). After that I may resort to Minyak Cap Kapak, or tumeric powder on my nipples...hehe.

As for the new product that the formula-manufacturer is about to launch, I got to know that they are doing extensive research on how to get the closest to human-milk. I’m sure we are aware that since the last few years, we see that those DHA, ARA thingy are added in formula said to help with kids’ intelligence. The new product emphasize on immunity, they came out with a substance almost similar to human milk that plays the role in providing immunity to the infants, right till adulthood. Part of the studies involves comparison with infants fed with human milk, their new product and some other formula. Looking at the results, I could not help myself but to smile in satisfaction that I had made the right choice for all my kids. And I’m so grateful that I had all the perseverance, especially during the first few days after Bea1's birth.

Part of me felt like I was betraying my own principle by helping my friend to write about some infant formula, but she really needed my help and I tried to emphasize that human milk is still the best, the best I could. I’ve yet to read the article, my friend said it took one whole page in a major daily, don't know how it looks after being edited etc. and the new product has not reached here but I hope all moms would make the best decision for their babies.

Now, in a few weeks time, I will be back to expressing, stocking up milk again, the 4th time...argh, hate it! But for baby, I just have to.

Thought of putting this in two parts, like this pun ok lah me thinks. Thanks for reading!


Blogger D said...

wow... long time not here. You're really all geared up for the baby, eh?

5:04 AM  
Blogger chanelwong said...

Ros, you are one of the motivator on breastfeeding..I use you as an example to all my friends...Keep it up !!!!!

4:43 PM  
Blogger bluewonder said...

my youngest is abt 8 months...and I'm still breastfeeding him though not full time. Would like to, but susu tak banyak. trpaksa supplement with formula. anyway take care.

10:23 PM  
Blogger ninuk said...

i got my royalty cheque too :)
not that much but excited still. mine was not specific to BF but more on pregnancy. anyway ... Go Go BF !

9:23 PM  
Anonymous mrs b said...

its a combination of knowledge and determination I suppose and having a group of likeminded (online) friends definitely helps.

B once lamented of my bf the baby at 2 in his blog but most of the comments came back with bf till 3 - 4 - 5! hehe, so thanks for convincing him too. and baby still suckle to sleep till now at 3.2 yrs

5:59 PM  
Blogger Mama22Beas said...

Yes d...another round of having a small baby again!

chanelwong..thanks for the kind words!'s better than othing. To me it's ok to supplement after you try and try.

Ninuk...I've been wondering on which part is yours. Yeah, not that much but I'm excited knowing the sale is better than last year, hopefully it reaches out to more moms.

Yeah Mrs B...though I consider myself lucky to have all the info with Bea1, having likeminded friends helps and more fun, I suppose.
Oh, your baby is still at it? Yes, I remember reading somethin like that in B's blog, if he is worried about not getting his other 'property' (hehe) returned to him soon, tell him that the baby would have it for a few years only, he can have you of the rest of his life. How about that?

12:22 AM  
Blogger Lian said...

Aiyah, haven't congratulated you yet. CONGRATULATIONS. Lovely name. As usual, you are a wonderful 'cow'. Hehehe. So, have you gotten over the difference of cleaning up a baby boy instead of baby girls yet?

11:27 PM  
Blogger KittyCat said...

Hi Ros - you've just got my vote for Rockin' Girl Blogger!

9:55 AM  
Blogger Mama22Beas said...

lian...thanks and yes, think I'm ok with it, just to remind myself that the fountain can shoot anytime!

kittycat...thanks, heard about that but I thought I'm not qualified la, will check it out.

11:20 AM  
Blogger sophie said...

thx ,i wanted 2 know about Islamic ruling on tandem nursing but found none.Family and relatives say its taboo and dangerous,but its all cultural upbringing rather than medical evidence

8:38 PM  

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