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Sunday, May 24, 2015

Postnatal period (breastfeeding? depression? no bathing? confinement lady?)

Postnatal period

Breastfeeding? depression? no bathing? no washing of hair? massage? confinement lady?
So many things to cope and learn in such a short period of time.

*warning. This will be a pretty long post. It will take some time to finish reading.


Postnatal period lasts 6 to 8 weeks, beginning right after the baby is born. During this period, I went through many physical and emotional changes.


The moment I'm home, I felt my house was a mess. Having lotsa stuffs all over, baby clothes, our clothes, flowers, balloons, freebies, bags. I can't stand untidiness. I'm not blaming anyone, I know there's no time for that, cos taking care of baby is more important at that time.


 






















My confinement lady who was supposed to be there on my first day home couldn't make it. She said she had a great fall and couldn't really walk. We were kinda worried, wondering if she can be trusted. And if its real, then will she be able to take care and carry baby after that?


Oh, guessed I forgot to mention that, Samuel almost couldn't get any parental leave, as he was previously a contract staff. After he switched to perm staff, he need to serve another 3 months, then he will be entitled with the parental leave. So, in the end I have to spare my 1 week of maternity leave to him, which is known as the shared parental leave. And a week before I gave birth, his HR rejected saying that he ought to serve 3 months also for the shared parental leave. However, there was some debating, and I told Sam, worse case just get unpaid leave. But just nice, on the Friday, when I delivered, the good news came, that he will be able to use the shared parental leave.


It is really HIGHLY needed for DADs to be around for the first week. Sam needs to run a few errands; like getting the birth cert done, do some groceries for my meals (although most groceries are done by my parents), bringing Val to polyclinic to check for jaundice (baby needs to visit a few times until her jaundice reach the approved results). Sam really played an important role during that first two weeks. I really thanked him very much. I'll elaborate more later.

 
 

So, however, we manage to survive the first day. Sam's mother came over, Aunt Amy cooked some food for me. The confinement lady - Xiao Yan came to our house the next day. She really have bruises on her legs, but overall still look fine. She's about age 50 but doesn't look like one.


How I got to know about her? I went forum and found a confinement lady called Lan Jie who received a lot of good feedbacks. But she was already long ago taken. Please try to make your decide on your confinement lady probably 6 months before your due date. It may seems kiasu, but really those good ones always got taken very fast. Initially I was still dilly dally, thinking that I can still just wait for a while. I heard a lot of good and bad stories of confinement lady. Am pretty lucky to have a not bad one.
 
 
In case, you guys want her contact number:
Xiao Yan
SG number +65 91577712
MY number +60 196609405

$2,300 for a month.
 
Of cos, I'll elaborate more below about her.
 
 
I have long decided to hire the confinement lady for 2 months. Many asked why?
Why? Simply because I don't wanna tire myself out during the first month, and also I'll need someone to help me during the First month celebration for Valerie. Someone ought to help to take care of bb's needs, while we entertain the guest, also while we do the clean up after the visitors leave. I felt that during the confinement period, a new mother should really have proper rest and nutrition.


So, to be really frank, I totally did not clean Val's poop and bathe for her during the first month. I only carry her when I on bed or sofa. Was told not to stand and walk too much during confinement, not to carry heavy things too. You should sleep when the baby sleeps. But in the beginning, like first two weeks, I haven't been sleeping well, don't really feel tired, probably cos I'm taking my placenta pills? haha... So, in the afternoon, I'll just watch TV with the confinement lady in the living room. So, one fine day, suddenly I think I really got tired out. My head was spinning! Super dizzy and I vomited at least 5 times that day. When to see a doc, given paracetamol, but I decided not to take it since I'm still breastfeeding. After which, I sleep whenever possible. I leave the baby to my confinement lady to take care.
 
 
She cooked well and helped us with some housework everyday. She helped to clean the kitchen after cooking, took clothes down and folded clothes for us. She also swept the living room for us. She's quite an optimistic person and quite knowledgeable. She told me what food to avoid, what to take more. She bathed for Valerie very carefully too.
 
 

 
 
 

 


We were of cos pretty nice to her also lah. Sam will always buy an extra share for her, if he's buying something for me. Also, remember to give an angbao when your confinement lady comes and leaves.
We gave slightly more in the beginning, a way of like bribing to make her do a better job for us, haha.

Below are some of the dishes that she cooked.


There's also actually like when to start to eat different dishes, e.g vinegary pork. First week, to eat lean pork. Then after the second week, then you start to eat vinegary pork, etc. I can't really recall already.
 

She woke up early in the morning, even before Val woke up. She went to prepare the food and my red dates longan tea.
 

Its mostly sesame oil pork with ginger and green leafy veg for the first week.
 

It's really 三菜一汤. 1 meat, 1 fish, 1 veg, 1 soup!
And it's really delicious, esp the soup! She started cooking the soup early in the morning.
 
You may also let her know what dishes you or maybe your family or hubby wants?
You can cook curry too.
 
 

Vinegary pork. She asked how sour we want before cooking
 
 
 
 
 
Dad brought over a whole pot of Pig maw(stomach) soup, asked me to finish the whole stomach by myself.
I was like arghhh!!! Lame de lah, heard that eating it on the 15th day, next baby will be a baby boy...
Lame right?!!!
 
 
But still, I'm really thankful to my parents, who sponsored the expensive fish, pork, chicken and herbs for my everyday meals. Please be prepared that your confinement food gonna cost at least 1.5k. I had fish for lunch and dinner. Its said to help with the breast milk.


During the baby first month celebration, my confinement lady have realty handled well with Valerie. She helped to change diapers and feed baby, while I entertain the guests.

During the 2nd month, I started to learn a lot from her (from bathing for Val to changing diapers, feeding and burping, etc). During the daytime and even midnight, I sneaked out to meet my friends for lunch and supper. I felt she can be trusted la. My family members also felt she was not bad, after hearing a lot of bad experiences from their customers confinement lady, etc.
 























Ok, apart from the confinement lady, let me now talk more about myself after giving birth.

 
I got into a depression.
I cried and cried and cried non stop every day and night. Why? For no reason.
I didn't want anybody to visit me. I have rejected all visiting. When my family members came, I burst out tears again.


But I think its an accumulation of everything I'm gonna mentioned below.


-Untidiness











As mentioned earlier already, house was a little mess in the beginning. And I can't really stand untidiness. But, am not blaming anyone, as there's too many other important stuffs to handle at that moment.




- Breastfeeding


 
It wasn't as easy as I thought. Initially, Val was like sucking for 45 to 90mins each time. Can you imagine that? And because I have a short and long nipple. So, I always just let her suck the easier one. So, the other side I got to pump it out.

It became sore and painful. Not sure if I'm doing it right. And then, I got a little crack and bleeding. Am lucky that it wasn't too bad and I did not have infection.

When your breast is engorged, don't bother the cabbage. It's useless. Just get a hot towel and place it over your breast. After that, breastfeed the baby or pump the milk out. You will feel much better. So, slowly, you will learn the momentum, to quickly squeeze it out before it engorge.

Some times, when its engorged, no matter how hard and how long you try to pump it out, it just doesn't seem to be helping. Magically, just let your baby suck it out for you, and it's flowy again!

Don't bother to get nipple cream too, don't think it helped much. Just use your breast milk to rub around the nipple will do.


Not able to latch well, my sister in law recommended a lactation consultant from NUH to me.

Sister Wong Lai Ying
Contact: 97220376


She was really good and patient. She taught me how to latch correctly, and everything just seems so easy from the way she did it. I felt much better seeing Valerie sucking and drinking well.

The lactation visit costs around $50.



p.s. Breastfeeding is really a good and fast way to lose your weight. Additionally, its definitely better and more nutritious for your baby. Lost 17kg just by breastfeeding.

* also if you are breastfeeding, please take note some of the food that you shouldn't be taking. e.g. coffee, tea, alcohol, etc.





Seriously, I can't imagine my friends who breastfed TWINS!
You are seriously AWESOME!



 
- Pump out milk
In the beginning, I really don't know how should it be done. I pumped milk every 3 hours( even throughout the night) and I pumped for a WHOLE HOUR!

I didn't know how much and how long should I be pumping. I just wanna see more milk, so I pump longer. So, can you imagine, for every 3 hrs., I pumped for an hour, which is like I just rest for 2hrs and then I gonna start pumping again.

So, actually just have to pump 15mins for both breasts at a time. Then, you may either give it to your baby fresh (which at stay at room temp for 4hrs), or keep it in the chiller (can store for 3days), or lastly store it in the freezer (can store for 3 months).

For chilled ones, you may just take it out and placed in a cup of hot water until the water is no longer warm. Normally, would take about 5-7mins.

For the frozen ones, please bring it down to the chiller the day before to thaw it. After which, same thing, just placed it in a cup of hot water.

Basically, I don't think a warmer is needed, so don't bother to get one.

And of cos, fresh breast milk is better than chilled ones and chilled milk is better than the frozen ones. But still, frozen ones are still better than powdered milk no matter what.
 



















Anyway, I bought Ameda double pump which was recommended by my colleague. It's really good and affordable. The suction was good and its pretty affordable. I bought during the baby fair at $299, and gotten an extra funnel for bigger size breast cups.



And then, slowly getting the hang of it. I'm pumping more and more each day.


It's really an accomplishment seeing the volume increasing.
 

Start to freeze the extra milk.
 

 
More and more. Till the extend that I almost gotten an extra freezer just to store the milk. But decided to give up cooking, leaving the freezer part of my fridge just for Valerie's milk.
 

Some people kept telling me, wah you got so much milk. I last time want also don't have, and not everybody also have so much milk one lah.

Well, to me, I personally feel that every mothers should have breast milk, cos it's a mother nature thing right? Stop thinking that you have no milk no milk, did you try?! Stop saying oh my baby is so big, my milk is insufficient for my baby!

When you first pumped out the milk, really don't expect too much, don't expect to see a big volume coming out. Its supply by demand. If there's a demand, there ought to be more supply coming. Your newborn's stomach size is like a cherry.

You got to have the right mindset to begin with. I have been always telling myself that I will have breast milk for my baby.

Of cos, some food were told to help in increasing the breast milk, like fish, papaya, fenugreek, etc.
Check out more online.





















Breast pads are needed all the time. The first thing I do after bathing is to put on my bra with breast pads first. I'm not exaggerating, it kept dripping, I felt it was such a waste as I could have given those to Valerie.

Some may get the breast milk collector kinda pad, and save it for your baby. Well, I didn't bother though, too lei chei.




-Not enough sleep/rest















All the pumping milk had tired me out.



- Val started to drink more volume, and I started to worry if the milk is sufficient for her
I started to get a little crazy. I always open the fridge to check if the milk is sufficient for her.
Calculate the amount of milk to see how many feeds left in the fridge. Once the stock is low, I started to panic and told myself I need to go pump now... and I need to pump MORE.
我疯了.




-Baby did not poo for 2days after leaving the hospital
You will be given a notebook to note down the feeding and pooping time of your baby.

Valerie have been sucking all day long. But ever since she got discharged from the hospital, she hasn't pooped for 2 days. Feeling worried, not sure if she did latched correctly and did drank the milk.

I'm really a kan chiong, "always worrying" mother. Confinement lady was good, as she never once asked me to stop breastfeeding. Instead, she helps to position the baby to me. She suggested to bottle feed the baby. Initially, we were pretty reluctant to do so, as we were told that baby might get confused with between nipples and the bottle teats. But, I'm glad that I made the correct move. I started to bottle feed Valerie. At least, by doing so, I'm able to see that she's drinking the milk.

From then, I only do latching in the daytime. After 10pm, the confinement lady will heat up the milk that I stored at the chiller. That would also mean I can have more rest at night. I gave her some chicken essence, so that she won't be tire out too.

Not sure is Valerie very smart or what. But she was still able to latch well and also to feed by the bottle. So, it didn't confuse her after all.




- Can't bathe, Can't wash hair
I mentioned that I have got some heat rashes after giving birth ya. Not sure if it's the heat rash or the allergy. Whatever it was, I was itching all over. And then imagine with all the itch but you can't bathe. I have to keep applying calamine lotion to cut down on the itch. And then, I don't wanna apply on my arms as I'll be feeding the baby, don't want her to come in contact with.


 


No joke, my rashes was all over my body even my arms. Got pretty itchy and upset over it. Afraid I might having scars later on.



My confinement lady was slightly lenient to me. She said I can have a hot water wash up once every 3 days, and a quick hair wash once every week. ONCE EVERY WEEK?!

I was having the heat rash, and I can only use hot water to cleanup?!

On top of that I was given the massage for 7 days consecutively with all the herbs and oil, but I can't bathe?! I'll talk more about the massage later below. Anyway, I ended up telling the lady, please don't massage my hair, if not it's gonna be oily and I can't wash my hair.

At that time, I always wash my hair on the Thursday. So I told my friends who wanna come for a visit to not choose on the Wednesday(worst state).



- Have to wear long pants, socks and slippers
Do you know how HOT is Singapore?! 32-34*C?!!! And I have to cover up myself. Am really glad that I have placed an air conditioner at the living room. Some say during confinement no Fan no air con, some say aircon ok but must cover up. Aiya, aircon is a MUST man. I cover up lo, but sure must on the aircon.  But after having the meals, all the heaty food made me sweat.


 
- Given meds to soften your stool
 For mothers who had natural delivery, will be given some meds to soften your stool so as not to the stitches will still be there, fine and you won't be so painful. But seriously, I just wish I don't POO. It's a hassle. Think about it yourself. You can't BATHE and WASH. ok, shall not elaborate, go imagine yourself.
But, for me, I cannot la, I just spray and use wipes. Hack la. Hygiene more important.
 


- Fat
I looked at myself everyday in the mirror. I see a fat old auntie. I gained about 28.5kg (was 85.5kg) in all. After delivered, prolly another 24kg(about 80.8kg) to go.

Breastfeeding seems pretty magical. Able to lose weight just by breastfeeding. But that was not enough for me. I lost about 5 to 6 kg in the first month.

After I finished my first month of confinement, I went straight to dye my hair, hair treatment and a good hair wash. Went around to look for some decent nice clothes for Valerie's first month celebration the next day. I felt so lost suddenly. There's no clothes for me. All the sizes are too small for me. It's really depressing. From a L size to S-M size. Then now not even XL?! I have to get PLUS SIZED clothes.

Can no longer fit my rings, shoes, old clothes.


80kg fatty with ugly stretch marks.
 



 
 
 


































- Massage from Bodywork Medicare Pte Ltd

Thanks for the readers out there, cos you guys have been reading my posts on Baguan slimming, and have been patronizing the slimming centre and of cause I believed many have slimmed down already. Thanks to you guys, I was given a free post natal 7 days massage service. I didn't know that they actually provide post natal massage services too. So, if you guys out there who are interested, please do check out with them for more info.

But for your information, all the baguan sessions, I have paid fully all by myself.

The 7 sessions cost $750. Since I was already told that I was going to have this free massage, I didn't bother to go outside and checkout for massage prices and to sign any other packages anymore.

When to start going for massage? For natural delivery, you may start after 7days. For C-sect, you may start after a month.

Each session lasts about an hour. The masseuse was a Malay lady, and if I'm not wrong, she was from Indonesia. A pretty nice and thoughtful lady. She even tried two different kinds of wrap for me to see which suits me better. And during the first few days, she did not apply herbs on me, as she's afraid it might trigger my heat rash. You will have to leave the wrap on the body for at least 4 to 5hrs. I normally just leave it till night time before I have a quick clean up.

On my first day of massage, I really felt so DAMN SHIOKS. Cos, I haven't been going for massage for more than a year!! It was very relaxing. That moment, I forgot about breastfeeding, forgot about the fats, forgot everything. Just relax and sleep, wahahahhaha.

She gave a full body massage, also to focus on the tummy of cos, massage to push the uterus back up there! lol. She also ask if you wanna have a massage on the breast, meanwhile also teach you on how to massage to prevent blocked duct. But I tried once only, after which I do it myself. As, I doesn't want my breasts to be oily, difficult to breastfeed later cos need to wipe clean.

She also massage the head, but I immediately said stop the next day. Cos I can't wash hair, so I rather have a less oily hair.

I find her not bad, and since it was my first post natal massage, I have no one to compare with either. So, I'll just say how I feel about the massage. Overall, I find it was quite alright, I did managed to have a slightly flatter tummy. Actually after the 7 days, I was supposed to continue to wrap my tummy, but I got lazy.

 



 

 


 


 


 


 
 
 
Sorry, as I was browsing my photos, I realized I did not take any with the wraps. Not very drastic difference, however for probably the first few days, I dropped my waistline from 42" to 40.5". Ok, still sounds Fat!
 
 
Anyway, please pardon the ugly stretch marks and rashes. I know they are really ugly. :(
Very sad... No more bikinis :(



So, if you are interested, please do give them a call,

Bodywork Medicare Pte Ltd
Ms Siow Siew Lee
6734 1344


 
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I guessed all the above experiences are enough to SCARE you already?! Not referring to the massage, of cos. Haha. Well, when you see your little baby, you will feel 一切都是值得的 everything is worth doing for your little cutie.


So, during the first week after giving birth, I experienced all these and went into depression. I cried and cried whole day. When I received a message, I cried. When my family members came, I cried non stop like water tap. I didn't want people to visit me. I got upset for no reason.


I got slightly better after my sister-in law recommended the lactaction consultant to me. Somehow, after I saw Valerie drinking well, putting on weight, I felt much better. Also, ever since I started with bottle feeding, able to rest more during the night, I feel less stressed.


Am really grateful to have Hubby with me throughout my pre and post natal, he really helps a lot. He always try to keep cool, so as not to add any more stress to me. Thanks my buddies who are always there for me before and after birth. They have been tolerating all my nonsense. But well that's what friends are for!


























From 80 to 68kg purely by breastfeeding.
Although still far from my pre-preggy weight.



Thanks for reading. Next post will be on Valerie's full month celebration.

 


 

7 comments:

Guest said...

Hi, I so glad to found your blog when doing search on CL xiaoyan.
I'm like you, wanted lan jie from forum but already booked. She too, recommended me xiaoyan.
Just to check how you find her experience with baby handling, a help to you when bfeeding was tough initially? Did she wash your pump after each used 3 hourly? Did you wake her up to wash the pump at midnight? Did she train your baby sleeping n feeding routine? Is she open to feedbacks or she is the kind that insisted her ways.
After hearing many horrible tales about inexperience cl out there I'm just skeptical about xiaoyan jie that is recommended thru another cl.
The questionable part is xiaoyan's charges is decided by lan Jie instead.

Apple said...

Hi,

I have replied you in email. Hope I have clear your doubts. She was pretty good.

Apple:)

Des said...

Thanks for sharing all about your post-partum period: from the physical change to the emotional upheaval!! You're a brave and beautiful mama... All these marks are evidence of your victory of bringing life to this world. Hope I can be as strong as you when I deliver next month..

Anonymous said...

Hi dear, able to share lan jie's contact please?

Unknown said...

Hi really enjoy reading your blog, can you share lan jie's number pls? Thanks

Apple Ng said...

Hi,

The contact that I had was 82587522.
You guys may try contacting, that was 3 yrs ago ler~

Thanks.

Manasa Manu said...

Good advice for expecting mothers.
Aaraike is best Pre & Post Natal Care center for mother & Newborn Baby which provides therapies & bathing services in Traditional manner.