Monthly Archives: March 2011

Breastfeeding is hard!

I’ve been thinking alot about breastfeeding lately, which isn’t surprising since I seem to be breastfeeding almost ALL the time. Well, that’s not quite so true now as it was when Ollie first stepped onto the scene. Still, I’m still feeling quite exposed in public as feeding time invariably happens when we’re out and about somewhere. Normally I find using a wrap tucked into my bra and draped across the breast helps. But sometimes Ollie is so very not helpful and can’t decide whether he wants to check out the scene or whether he’s hungry enough to drink.

At the moment, I’m trying all different sorts of options for breastfeeding clothes as I’m in the process of test-driving new items for our maternity nursing wear. In general I prefer wearing normal clothes that have been adjusted to work with breastfeeding. Wearing nursing clothes with big holes under the top layer just makes me feel so unsexy. I also doubt that I’d ever wear them again after I stop breastfeeding. I mean, some of us only breastfeed for a really short time as we have to get back to work.

I am also keen to give up breastfeeding around 6 months as I have the most painful letdown once my milk starts coming through. Added to that, my milk flow goes crazy after Ollie’s had a few sucks. If it weren’t for the fact that the milk goes absolutely everywhere, it would be almost comical – milk squirting out in Ollie’s face and anyone who happens to be walking by! My husband certainly think its funny.

I know it could be more difficult than simply having an uneven milk flow. I’ve seen some of my friends get mastitis and it sounds sooooo painful. And some babies almost chew their mums nipples off when they feed. Good thing they have nipple guards these days. I almost had to try one out with Amber as she wasn’t latching on properly at first. Having cracked and bleeding nipples is also pretty painful. We got there in the end though with some nipple cream and teaching her to latch on the right way. The great thing about the second time round is that all these problems from the first somehow melt away – no bleeding nipples this time and my friends seem to have avoided getting mastitis.

breastfeeding baby

A gorgeous image of a baby being breastfed by its mum.

However, breastfeeding is a wonderful chance to just slow down, fall in love with your baby all over again and practice mindfulness (living and appreciating the present moment). And, I believe you can feel this way even if you are bottle feeding your baby too. I say this as I’m so aware of the pressure to breastfeed these days and I know not everyone is either physically able to or emotionally able to. I gave up breastfeeding with my first child Amber at around 4 months as I was so messed up from the insomnia and post-natal anxiety. It was hard as I’d had it drummed into me about how great breastmilk is for a baby. But how lucky am I to have had this chance to savour being a parent the second time round!

Weird Chinese pregnancy traditions

Things seem to have settled down now for a bit. We’re at the 2-month mark with Ollie and I am having a chance now to enjoy our two gorgeous kids. We’re down to one feed a night and he’s also sleeping well during the day now. Yay! He’s also smiling now which is just lovely to see. Baby smiles with no teeth always look a bit odd though don’t you think?

Anyway, I was doing a bit of reading on Chinese culture and found some really funny Chinese pregnancy myths. I hadn’t heard many of them before which is strange seeing as I’m from a Chinese family. Thought it would be fun to share them with you.

1) Using sharp objects around a bed can cause your baby to be born with a cleft palate or lip
2) Don’t touch glue or sticky things as your baby may end up with birth marks. (Well, I’d have to say this might be true – I’m forever doing arts and crafts with my little girl and Ollie does have a faint birth mark on his back.)
3) Don’t criticise others as your baby will act and look like the person you are criticising – I find this hard to believe but I’m interpreting this as more a message about karma. Plus, being calm and happy while you’re pregnant is the best state to be in.
4) And what many people believe, Chinese or not is that eating too much will produce a big baby – one that will be a real pain to push out. Well, I really wasn’t all that hungry during my pregnancy and still ended up with a large baby (4kg) so I’d say that’s a definite furphy.
5) Last but not least is that the father should be the one to give the baby its first bath. Well, I say dads should always do the bath and clean up all the stinky poos too.

There’s plenty of other interesting old wives’ tales about pregnancy and babies. I’d love to hear about any other funny cultural superstitions.