Welcome to the Milk Mama Diaries Carnival (February).  For this month, we focus on back to basics.  Participants will share advices – either the best breastfeeding advice they received and/or the best breastfeeding advice they can give to new moms.  Please scroll down to the end of the post to see the list of carnival entries. 

The best breastfeeding advice I received during the early days of nursing N was that it will get better and to take breastfeeding a day at a time.  And this advice was also most helpful during my experience with nursing baby E.

Early in my pregnancy, I wrote about my worries about breastfeeding baby E (nicknamed Flower at that time).  S and I were joking about how I had to live up to my blog (being a breastfeeding mom with Baby E) – otherwise I would have to rename it!
Baby E came on 21 December 2011 at 39 weeks and 2 days.  Labor and delivery was uneventful and although my wishes for a delayed cord clamping were not met, we were eventually put skin to skin and he latched within the first 30 minutes.  I kept him roomed-in during my entire hospital stay and nursed him round the clock.

With my experience with N who nursed until she was 3 years and 5 months, I was confident that I had milk.  While nursing E during the early hours of his life, I did breast compressions and was even able to see some colostrum leaking out!  By Friday, my transitional milk had come in and over the weekend, my mature milk came.

breastfeeding E at 21 days

Given that this is my 2nd baby plus the fact that I run this breastfeeding blog, you would think that I had it easy this time around? Well, not exactly.  I knew that I had the position and latch correct but I still had sore nipples.  So what was the reason for it?  I think it was the learning curve – that E had to “learn” how to breastfeed even if it was natural and instinctive.  E’s mouth was also small that he could not help but latch just on the nipple.  He was also quite stubborn.  I position him and we get the correct latch initially then he would reposition himself to his preferred but incorrect latch!

My sore nipples started on day 4-5 and lasted for about 1 week. The soreness was worse this time since E drew out blood!  I just kept at it and kept repositioning him to teach him the correct latch.  The soreness subsided at around day 7 and by day 10, E was nursing like a champ!
Aside from issues with the latch, I also had issues with jaundice.  I previously wrote about my experience with N who was diagnosed with breastmilk jaundice at day 14.  With E, I was worried about his yellow color and asked the pediatrician to keep a close watch.  During our first doctor’s visit on day 6, E’s bilirubin levels were checked and it was at a high 18.7.  The pediatrician asked us to come back the next day to do another test.  At day 7, the levels were at 18.4.  According to the pediatrician, the levels were still high but since it didn’t go higher, it was possible that the highest level had been reached and the bilirubin levels were tapering off.  She said to continue observing E and when we return for his 2-week check-up, she will decide whether another bilirubin test would be needed.
E’s 2-week check-up was scheduled on January 5.  The pediatrician noted that his color was better and she didn’t see the need for the test that day.  She said that since E was on pure breastmilk, it was normal for his jaundice to be prolonged.  Plus, I think the fact that E gained almost 2 lbs since hospital discharge also helped! When he was discharged, he weighed 6lbs, 5oz.  At day 15, he weighed 8lbs and 2.6oz.  The pediatrician informed us that the jaundice resulted in cosmetic issues (E’s yellow color) and that if we were still worried when E turned 1 month, we can bring him for another bilirubin level test.  She said that the only way to eliminate jaundice would be to stop giving E breastmilk (which I definitely won’t do) at this point.
Compared to my breastfeeding experience with N, this time with E, I was more informed and more confident about my capacity to produce sufficient milk for my child. During the first day (Wednesday), I constantly put E on my breast and did breast compressions.  By Friday, my transitional milk had come in.   I also knew tricks such as breast compression to hasten milk flow and taking lecithin to avoid plugged ducts (since my milk was quite viscous).
What about N?  During E’s early days, she was asking to breastfeed and I was holding her off since I had sore nipples.  She asked me if I could express milk for her instead for her to drink in a cup.  Finally on new year’s day, I was able to express milk for her.   She was so excited and asked her dad to put it in a glass for her.  After 1 sip, she made a face and said that it was different from her old milk! She still attempts to breastfeed directly albeit half heartedly and comments that she can’t seem to draw out milk anymore — they really do forget how to breastfeed!
To end, I really do encourage first time moms to persevere and get help when the breastfeeding challenges seem insurmountable.  Breastfeeding each baby is a different experience but knowing how to face the challenges is a huge step in breastfeeding success.  As you can read from my experiences with N and E, I experienced similar challenges whether or not I was a first time nursing mom or an experienced nursing mom.  Thus, I can only tell moms the same advice that was given to me – that breastfeeding does get easier each day and to take it a day at a time.

=========Check out these other carnival participants==========
The Articulate Pen’s Breastfeeding needs Patience
Diapers and Stethoscope’s Back to Basic
My Mommyology’s What I’ve Learned About Breastfeeding
Ms. Masungit’s From One Mom To Another
The Odyssey of Dinna’s Breastfeeding Words of Wisdom
Mrs. Bry126’s We’re All in this Together
I Am Clarice’s Paying it Forward
My Mommy Kwentos’ Sharing My Favorite Breastfeeding Advice
Planet Marsy’s Better Than None
Mommy {T} Coach’s Saved by the Nursing Mommas
Mama Drama’s Patience and Breast-friends
Adventures on Planet Mom’s Stubborn Me! Sure Glad I didn’t give up
Nanaystrip’s Eat Malunggay, Say “I Have Milk” and Love your Baby
Starting at Twenty-Five’s My Husband’s Best Breastfeeding Advice
Nanay *Loves* Purple’s Why Attend Breastfeeding Class/Seminars
Truly Rich Mom’s My Top 5 Breastfeeding Tips for New Moms
Legally Mama’s Take it from the non-expert!
Mommy Mama Rat’s My Breastfeeding Mantra
Mr. Jacob’s Mom’s Breastfeeding Tips from a Non-Breastfed Mommy
Hybrid Rasta Mama’s Breastfeeding Lists, Advice, Links and More
Apples and Dumplings’ One Word of Breastfeeding Advice
Touring Kitty’s Just Do It
EthanMama’s Only the Best for My Baby
the canDIshhh tales’ My Breastfeeding Advice
Mec as Mom’s Enough is Enough
Chronicles of a Nursing Mom’s On Breastfeeding Number Two – Redux