Motherhood | A Choice - To BreastFeed

Okay..this is sure one heck of an awkward post that i am gonna share with you guys lol, a little warning for guys please don't click "read more" if you are easily disturbed by breastfeeding which i am sure a large populations of Asians are as we aren't too open like our peers the Westerners. Well technically this post is meant for mothers to relate to or soon to be first time moms looking for insights on what to expect once they have delivered.

Please..please it's not too late to turn back and don't say i didn't warn you guys before hand ya. And please don't report my site as "improper content" lol, i'll make sure to track you down to your house and burn it to the ground :D #imserious

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Here it goes.. every mom is given "A CHOICE" in how she wants to raise her child, it's usually society that puts us on so much pressure to be the "perfect mom" by like fully breastfeeding their kid past 24 months which i honestly find it abit gross la but heck why does my 1 opinion mean to the whole group of nazi moms. If a kid has teeth, can talk and able to eat solid food i would probably just express my milk and feed her through a bottle but not let her latch on anymore because i believe in training my kid to be independent at a young age. If anyone shares this blogpost into those mommy groups confirm i kena flame left and right liao haha but i do hope someone does share it so that my views can crash my server again like what happened last year during my pregnancy announcement lol.


Yep my oppai are too "sassy" for ya'll lol.

I choose to breastfeed, yes because i am a cheapskate (do you know how damn expensive baby formula is these days!), delay period (doesn't work for all, bugger) burn more calories and partially yes i did let that society pressure rub unto me of having to fully breastfeed my baby. 
First of all let me share with you guys a little about my breast feeding journey, i can honestly tell you- IT'S F***ING DIFFICULT. 
I apologize for the vulgarity but that's the truth

Being a mother is already a challenge itself physically and mentally and having to force your boobs to produce milk to feed your little one requires EXTRA dedication.
Remember when people tend to have this misconception of big sized people with bigger breasts have more milk supply than those who are skinny? Here's a news flash for ya, it doesn't work that way because i know quite a number of skinny mom friends of mine who have more than enough milk supply to breastfeed their child up to 2 years and still ongoing! I'm talking like stick thin kind of mom that weighs probably 45kg at most and can eat whatever they want without getting fat like me :(
I on the other hand fits the average size people scale as i am neither thin nor fat but i have to control or else i can easily gain weight as my family unfortunately don't have a very metabolism to begin with but at least we have height to compensate lol, the rest of my family are giants and i'm the puny one.

So what i am trying to say here is your breast milk supply is NOT determined by your size, it's a combination of hormones, mindset, and lifestyle. From all those advice they give on "supply on demand" let me share with you this, i did try that method but it still did not work for me in fact it just left me worn to the bone and as a result affected the milk production because when you are lacking of sleep (which all moms are) your body switches to survival mode, basically every damn thing goes haywired, Makes me seriously wonder how to the word "PERFECT MOM" even exists?
You can barely catch enough sleep, let alone fully breastfeed (latch every 2 hours) on your own while trying to get house chores done. Not possible even a housewife would find this challenging without an extra pair of hands, that's why i envy some people as their mothers/ mom-in-law/ maid can help around while the mother only focuses on her baby. Such luxury man, something i as a full time working mom can't afford to do that.


she doesn't like people seeing her feed lol, smart baby.

milk drunk face AHAHAHA!


After my confinement i did notice my supply has been slowing down alot from everyday being engorged (worst breast pain ever) and able to pump extra 2-3 bags full while latching on lil parasite to being able to feed her enough with no extras to spare for rainy days like when you have to go back to your desk job leaving your baby in the care of others. Sounds devastating right especially when you already set your goal to BF at least for the first 6 months as recommended by the paediatrician. But just so you know if you did not manage to reach your goal, don't be too hard on yourself like how i was as there are many mothers out there who couldn't even provide their baby with milk at all no matter how hard they tried that's why they have these breast milk donation banks for those who are blessed with abundant of milk and are willing to share it with the rest. 
The mind is a powerful tool, it definitely makes and breaks a person whole i thought i was reaching the end as well despite my vain efforts of trying to eat more of those foods that's said to increase BM (breast milk) supply and proven effective such as fenugreek seeds, oats, red dates, fish, brown rice,  well they did technically 'work' but not as much as i expected them to (guess i was desperate).

From my little experiment, here is some verdict on some of the foods i ate, but do take note that what works for me might not work for you as we are all different. So a little experimenting is needed till you find the right solution :)

1. Fenugreek
Can be consumed directly, one teaspoon a day with tons of water and results will start to kick in around 48 hours. However some mothers do complain it only produces more foremilk (it's semi transparent) from the usual hind milk. More deets on BM read HERE
But for me that wasn't the case, it was perfectly balanced, the milk wasn't too yellow-ish (hind milk) nor too semi transparent (fore milk). However i must forewarn you (so many "fore" in one context lol) that funugreek does make your baby GASSY!
So do expect tons of burps with pukes in it or massive farts, these might cause discomfort for you little one, do have the Yu Yee Oil on standby. You can easily get this oil from the pharmacy shelves, with the right usage technique, it works miracles to soothe the baby.

Milk score: 2 bags full (within 24 hours)

2.Oats
I am eating oats like 2-3 servings a day and noticed these doesn't do much for me but at least it keeps my raging appetite in check.

Milk Score: 1 bag full or lesser

3. Red Beans
The results from this takes longer to kick in than expected by the increase was slight but noticed when i combined red bean powder with oats the results are better.

Milk Score: 1 bag full or lesser / with redbean powder- 1.5 bags full

4. Red Dates
Nothing much if drank 1-2 days, guess you have to be constantly (everyday) drinking red dates water everyday in order to see the results as during my confinement i was drinking this like water and my milk supply rocketed from there.

BF can be quite pricey too actually, from having to invest in a suitable breastpump brand (trial and errors), milk storage bags, a deep freezer, sterilizer, bottle warmer and last but not least a collection of comfortable breast feeding friendly bras.
When you calculate the total cost, you too would faint and not to mention all the time dedicated to direct latching and pumping which can easily take up your entire day and the same cycle continues again and again daily. That's your life now, can you imagine that?
If i've know how difficult it was from the start, i would have mentally prepared myself for this rather than taking the blow right now which is quite frustrating. Sigh, we learn new things everyday.

So i had to bid goodbye to my gorgeous sexy lingeries as i can no longer fit them anymore *sobs* my breasts grew like 1-2 cups bigger depending on when it's empty or engorged. The decision to part with those pretty laces was heart wrenching because some of them are brand new lol but we mothers gotta do what we mothers gotta do, so i bid them my last goodbyes and toss them deep into my closet and another thing that caught me off guard was not having enough and how important it is to always have extras because you'll never know if you baby is gonna puke on it or your oppai suddenly decides to leak (always wear a breast pad/ breast shield during BF period).


lol common sight when you accidentally bend down while using a breast shield, sure it collects leaking milk but if you are not careful with it this is what happens, i prefer to use breast pads as they are like pantyliner for oppai, keeping them dry.


Since our BF journey isn't that long, most paeds recommend 6 months at least, so it only made sense to get the "cheapest" nursing bra in the market so once you are done with BF you can just discard it without feeling the pinch. That's one of the mistakes i made as i went and got an expensive nursing from one of those famous lingerie store and they were super uncomfortable as heck.
Little did i know there were actually more affordable alternatives like this local brand Bmama and they are so much more worth it compared to what i spent for my first nursing bra.

Previously my idea of nursing bras is the old grandma type of frumpy designs, totally unflattering lol because they say for comfort you gotta sacrifice something and if you noticed the most comfortable outfits are none other than your super old worn out cotton T-shirt that you still wear to sleep lol.


Guess i was wrong because there are some really nice nursing ones!


Now finding the right comfortable nursing bra can be a challenge as well despite having so many BF bras out there including those from well known lingerie brands but how many of them are actually well designed for BF?
All this while i was thinking probably i am just fussy with the minor discomforts but actually learned that the nursing bra i bought from this famous brand isn't designed that well designed hence that's why i am experiencing all these pains. After getting consulted by maternity wear experts in Bmama shop at Kepong, i finally found a perfect bra fit that doesn't cut my skin.
From my experience of buying those nursing bras with underwires, is a big NO-NO (avoid it if can) because they restrict your oppai during engorgement so if possible my advice for you mom-to-be ladies, go for those non wired cotton bras, they are hell lot more comfortable and it doesn't make your oppai feel suffocated.

I got a few new nursing bras from Bmama to replace my 2 sad existing ones that doesn't provide much support nor were comfy which i previously took turns washing it every night lol so now i wash only once every 2 days rather than everyday. Well under-stocking sometimes can be a good thing, gives you more reason to shop afterwards and also you don't usually know how many cups you'll jump until AFTER you deliver (for first timers), it depends on your milk production.

And i always thought that nursing bras only came with one design which is the one with the snap on the strap, didn't know they had one with front snaps which is easier to access to if your are wear button down shirts!

This memory foam nursing bra can be easily rolled and packed without distorting its original shape! Great option for travelling, also it comes with duo buckle allowing you to access your oppai from the top or middle, whichever is more convenient based on your outfit of the day.

Bmama carries quite a number of pre and post natal products, and these bras are just one of it there's also maternity clothes, body support girdles, etc.
Here are some of the brands carried in their store, there's quite a few Japanese brands too-

  • Inujirushi Maternity 
  • Kawaii Range of slimming wear
  • Satine Range of slimming wear
  • Canmake Tokyo cosmetic
  • Sleep-well Ginger powder
  • Energizing Ginger Honey Vinegar

However their bras come in 3 different categories based on price range like "low range/ medium range and premium range" but rest assured the quality isn't compromised from the low and medium range as the price is determined by the designs and materials used.
Premium range has much more elaborated details using materials like lace and embroidery on them hence making them look very exclusive.

Top left photo: medium range bra compared with premium range
Much more elaborate designs and delicate fabrics used, come with breathable mesh inside to provide better air circulation for your oppai, this is from the premium range and it's available in other designs and colors too.


This is part of the low range, price is very affordable and as you can see its somewhat of a shirt bra. I prefer bras that buttons from the front so i don't have to struggle with the back hooks lol!

Think once i am done nursing i would still continue to use these bras because i can't stress enough how comfortable they are, can sleep in it without feeling it at all. If you are wondering why not just simply remove bra before sleeping? Refer to the top of this post when i mentioned about leaks.
Also whenever your baby is latching on to one side, the unoccupied oppai will somehow leak as well, not sure if it happens to everyone but for my case it does.
They do come with matching panties too, there's hip huggers, low cut and seamless type to choose from and no i am not gonna show you a picture of my butt modeling the undies because it's filled with allergy scars and saggy now 😭

Hope you guys found this post useful, if you have mommy friends do share with them this post! Or if you are looking for a congratulations gift for your soon to be mom friends, Bmama can suggest a few products that would be suitable, just let them know what you are looking for and they'll be more than glad to assist you. 
You know how they always give pregnant moms baby hampers but never once a mom hamper? Mothers deserves a gift she can use for herself too! Now you can get them customized here at Bmama on special request :) 

G, 34, Jalan Medan Putra 4, 
52200 Kuala Lumpur.


But i really think my breastfeeding journey wouldn't be as long as i expected it to be, lil parasite's appetite is increasing day by day and my body can't seem to keep up with her no matter how hard i try. Guess if i had to turn to formula as a substitute then so be it, i just want my daughter to know it's been a tough 2 months together from the bleeding, sore nipples to swollen rock hard breasts, and sleepless nights all those were just for her and wish i could have fed her longer but some people aren't so lucky. It's a wrong move to train my daughter to sleep through the night early as that could be one of the reasons why my milk supply is weaning off on its own though i am glad she's independent enough to sleep on her own without needing me already.

Thank you for allowing me to nurse you Mariko, it's been my pleasure as a mother and i only wish i could have done it for 6 months at least because that's what i wanted for myself too and to see that i am unable to do so just makes me cry for being such a failure.
There's nothing wrong with formula milk, it's just that all i ever wanted was to give you the very best and if i can't do that just means i did not put much effort so i am angry with myself.

I'll forever hold this experience close to my heart, it was one of the most beautiful moments of my life but it got cut short too soon.

Breastfeeding is never easy and it will never be, i salute mothers out there who persevered this difficulty for years just so they can feed their child with the best milk they can provide.
If only i could as well.
Right now i am just counting down whatever days i have left with my low supply, using up my frozen stock that's supposed to be saved for rainy days (well technically it is now lel).
If you guys know any other solution that can make it increase again, please by all means do share with me in the comment section below.



XOXO,

CONVERSATION

13 comments :

HaZe said...

What a great post! Very detailed and helpful for mom-to-bes. Breastfeeding is definitely an eye-opening experience. Some have it harder than others. What's important is to know that it is not a measuring stick for perfection in motherhood simply because therenis no such thing as a perfect mom. We all make mistakes. Whats important is that we learn from it and try our very hardest to be and give the best for our kids.

If you're keen to try my tip for BM booster: Milk+Oat+Dates. Overnight oats worked best for me. Whatever you decide, all the best to you babe!

HaZe said...

What a great post! Very detailed and helpful for mom-to-bes. Breastfeeding is definitely an eye-opening experience. Some have it harder than others. What's important is to know that it is not a measuring stick for perfection in motherhood simply because therenis no such thing as a perfect mom. We all make mistakes. Whats important is that we learn from it and try our very hardest to be and give the best for our kids.

If you're keen to try my tip for BM booster: Milk+Oat+Dates. Overnight oats worked best for me. Whatever you decide, all the best to you babe!

EreneChea said...

Enfamama milk did help me to increase :) but my supply is dropping also even during my confinement time now�� It's just Sooo difficult to maintain the schedule(I pump instead of direct latch) of my pumping and my baby drink milk schedule... Was planning to stop BF once I return to work(one and half month from now)��It's sad but at least I get to feed the first batch premium quality milk to my daughter.

Andrea said...

Hi Arisa! I've been following your post and I really enjoy reading the behind the scenes!i recently found out I'm pregnant and am a bit lost. I know you're busy but I hope you can consider making a
1) tips for new mamas to be
2) pregnancy diet
3) affordable brands to try
4) your journey throughout the pregnancy

(I've stalked all your pregnancy post and cheeserland's posts but would like to read more!)

Please don't write if you're tired! But do consider writing it for the benefit of other readers too. I'm sure there are many who would love to hear more

Arisa Chow said...

Thanks hun! Exactly, especially when some choose not to breastfeed and are immediately judged it by all these nazi moms who think they are perfect. In reality that word shouldn't even exists at all. I do take milk and oats but haven't tried with dates. Will try it out soon!

Arisa Chow said...

I have a box of enfamama given to me, probably should open it up and try now lol.Yea, some of us working moms don't have the luxury to breastfeed put babies more than 2 months, but at least do know you have tried and that's all that matters:)

Arisa Chow said...

Hi Andrea, gosh congratulations on the big news!! Hope you are taking the morning sickness well. Sure will most definitely take those suggestions into consideration as I too wanted to post about it during my confinement period but hardly have the time as babies are defining handful! But I'll try my best to get it out soon k :) keep the suggestions coming in babe!

Arisa Chow said...

*definitely a handful

Sunshine Kelly said...

Good choice! breast feed is always the best although its a lot of hard work for the mom but noting beats knowing that you are feeding your baby the best food. Plus its bonding time also.

aitrend said...

I enjoyed reading your post, it's good to see an active lady like you promoting breastfeeding.

Aqalili Azizan said...

Such a great post! Hoping that I used this tips and info when I'm being a mom!

Rawlins GLAM said...

Don't know much about breastfreeding but I do admire the working mums that breastfeeds - the work, the dedications and the sacrifice. You ladies are the wonderwomen

Sebrinah Yeo said...

I agree with u on nazi moms on this topic lolx... I also gave myself short goals and extended it. 3m, 6m, 12m,24m, but there's one thing I know is dont stress, trust in your body, have confidence, don't judge the amount of your Breastmilk based on what you pump out. Find your booster, u can try salmon fish (sashimi/sushi) or salmon fish head boil with red dates and green papaya soup. Your favourite food that makes u happy can even be your booster. Let LO direct latch after midnight and just be positive. Got then good, don't have then no worries. Breastmilk or not it does not define what kind of mother we are and even if we don't breastfeed, it's not wrong. It's a CHOICE like u said so don't beat urself if u're unable to breastfeed. Breastmilk may be the best but HEY! We created a life inside of us and brought them into this world! Nothing can be greater than that!

I'm still breastfeeding my 2yo & 4mo, I don't pump cos I'm working from home. However I am prepared for alternatives like biogreen oatsmilk instead of fm, sometimes I give my 2yo farmfresh milk when he was 1yo for breakfast. Just do what u can, if can't don't force it and find alternatives, it's not the end of the world. U did ur best and it's a great job well done! Just choose, that's all it takes...

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