Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Breastfeeding with Khye - Part 1

This time around, it was a totally different breastfeeding experience from Shern's.

My breasts were super super engorged for 2 days when my milk kicked in on Day 3. From experience, I knew better and did not use the strong hospital grade pump, and I only used my trusty old Avent Manual. Thus I had no nipple cracks and I applied nipple balm religiously all the time to keep it moist.

On Day 5, I already managed to express about 5oz and I was elated. It was way way better than Shern's time when I could barely reached this amount even in Month 2.
18 September 2012 - Day 5

Then it continued to get better and better. After I direct latch Khye, I expressed and drained my breasts and manage to build up my ebm storage in the freezer. I don't express after every feed. I expressed only when Khye couldn't drain both my breasts.

Below are my ebm storage in my freezer:
26 September 2012 - 2 Weeks

4 October 2012 - 3 Weeks

13 October 2012 - 4 Weeks

20 October 2012 - 5 Weeks

However, all these are short-lived because suddenly I have many nipple cuts and tears after Khye reaches 1 month old. I even had a milk blister. It started off with one cut, and then new cuts when the old one healed.

It is very painful even with just one cut. Because the cut is near the side of the nipple line, I could not express as I would be tearing it more with each pump. And yet I still need to let Khye suckle to drain my breasts and if I still wants to maintain the milk supply. I couldn't let the cuts rest for long because I couldn't afford for my breasts to get more engorged. Once engorged, my breasts gets fuller and bigger and thus forces the cuts to 'open' and that hurt even more.

We guess all this started after we give Khye the pacifier. The pacifier was given so that Khye wanted to suckle and we didn't want Khye to treat my breasts as a pacifier. But Khye wasn't very good in differentiate the different suckling motion like Shern did last time. I think Khye has nipple confusion. Khye latches well initially, but after some time, especially during the night when I'm half asleep, Khye switches from suckling to sucking, and that it a big difference! Suckling is the right way to go, and sucking makes my nipples bleed and tear. Anyway, this is just our guess.

I hope to adress the root cause, so as our guess it latching problem, as of yesterday, we stopped giving Khye the pacifier. I hope this will teach Khye to re-latch properly all the time.

I haven't been expressing for nearly 2 weeks now. Initially I did hand express but I sucked in it, only managed to hand express 2oz max each time. Then slowly my milk supply dwindle down and now I only let Khye suckles, that is all. So I guess my milk supply now only matches Khye's demand, and I have no extra for storage.

As of now I have a cut on my right nipple. And three cuts plus a milk blister on my right nipple.
Imagine my pain everytime I direct latch Khye. Ouch!


Serenely said...

You are so strong to keep it up despite the challenges. Not sure if a nipple guard might work to help offer some protection until the cracks heal up a bit more? Either way eventually Khye needs to learn the right latching on and suckling technique... a learning process for all babies. Hope you heal up soon!

tanshuyin said...


It is very painful indeed. I am trying to find out the root problem and see if I can solve it.
Hopefully so.
If not, i dont know how long I can last....:)

Julia said...

Last time I had to hand express coz dermatologist said pump made my eczema prone skin go bad to worse. My best harvest was 3oz. I heard there are lactation consultants who are very good at this, like the one in adventist