Went to a breast feeding class yesterday. There were 5 other 'new' mothers there. Getting to know that they also have similar worries and problems made me feel a bit easier. The midwife taught me how to breastfeed without using a nursing pillow and how to wind, personally in a separate room. I feel much more confident now. The photo was taken when I was winding Arata. He looked like a monkey....
It was not an easy start for me. Just 3 hours after the Caesarian operation, I was asked to breastfeed Arata, for the benefit of the first milk to baby. But I did not even know how to hold a new born baby. Arata was really wobbly... My first question to midwife was, 'How can I hold the baby?'
During my 2 and half day stay at hospital, I tried hard to breastfeed him. I had no idea if any milk was coming. Arata would keep sucking my breast for nearly one hour but as soon as I put him in the cot, he started to cry. I then had to walk to the nurse station to get a bottle of milk. I was still in a great pain of the cut from Caesarian operation..... I kept asking the same question to every midwife, 'How can I hold the baby to feed him?' At night, I even took off my top and tried to feed him.
After I came home, I always became half naked to breastfeed, even during day time. Well, from the windows of our living room, we can only see the river Thames. Probably some tourists on a Thames river cruise could catch a sight of my breasts! Never mind! Even I tried that hard, 30 minutes after Arata sucking breast, he still seemed not happy and cried very hard. He sucked very strong for long and my nipples became cracked, which was really painful. Once I was literally crying and complaining to Jason, 'Why are you forcing me to do this!!' He later told me that he thought it was a part of my 'baby blues'. No! It was really hard for me!!! I was about to give up breastfeeding but it was Jason who was patient enough to encourage me to keep doing. Thanks to Jason, I am now 100% breastfeeding Arata. From about the 5th day of the birth, breastmilk suddenly started to flow.
I later learnt that about 3 days after normal birth and 5 days after Caesarian birth, the milk start to flow. I see... I'm now quite sure that there was not much milk before and that's why Arata was sucking so strong for a long time. He must have been really hungry. Once the flow has started, my breasts sometimes become so full and I have to use a breast pump to express some milk. Looking at my breasts being expressed is quite amazing. I can understand cow's feeling now.
I had another problem. I felt really scared to wind baby. It's simply because baby was too wobbly and I felt so frighten to hurt him by holding him to wind. I always asked Jason to wind Arata but during night, I had to do that by myself. If I didn't wind him, he vomitted a bit of milk during sleep, which made me feel so scared... I thought he was going to choke one day.... I asked so many friends for advice. It was really a trauma for me. Arata is now 3 weeks old and day by day he is getting stronger and he is now not as soft as before. Probably that's the main reason why I feel less scared now. In addition, breastfeeding class I attended yesterday was so helpful. I can now put him on my shoulder to wind. He usually makes a big burp as soon as I put him that high position!
My next objective is to be able to feed in public!