❤ Breastfeeding Diary

I started a breastfeeding journal since day 1 using Philips Avent's Baby Feeding Diary book that I got for free from the Prenatal Class.

The Avent free diary's template

But after a few days using the diary, I created a diy-journal which I thought it will be easier and simpler way to record the baby daily schedule, not only for feeding, but also stool, and sleeping pattern.

Diy-journal template

How to use it:
Pink color : Feeding time with approx. time (15 mins or 30 mins) - I used a ruler to create the lines
S/A : Sleep/Awake or play in between feeds
Stool : Mark the time of pass motion
You can also add bath, pumping time, etc.

The actual journal result : untidy, black & white,
and it is feeding by demand, no exact time before baby is 4 months old,
 but still works perfectly fine for me :D

Breastfeeding diary highlight :

❤ First day
I am so blessed I have the chance to nurse my baby immediately after she'd cleaned. It was a very precious moment to see a tiny mouth slowly sucks and then right away drank like there's no tomorrow. (´ε` )♡

❤ Fourth day
After brought home for 2 days, baby's back to the hospital due to jaundice. Because of my milk supply haven't built up and I have nipple sore problem, baby was given formula as addition of the breast milk. I was with her at the hospital to do pumping and nursing, at night time, I went back home. It was a very hard time to be separated with my new born baby, I almost cried all the time.

❤ Tenth day
After 2 days admitted to the hospital, baby's bilirubin count was stabilized, and able to went back home. Due to the situation, I didn't give attention to my own body. When I was 6 months pregnant, I started to feel itchy on my skin, and rashes appeared, the gynae said it was hormonal and quite common for pregnant women. On the first day after delivery, the rashes re-appeared and on the 10 tenth day after delivery, there were a lot of blisters appeared on my lower limb. The doctor suspected it was gestational pemphigoid, a rare skin disease cause by pregnancy hormones. I was given a steroid medicine, therefore I must stop breastfeeding :((

❤ The Longest 15 days
Just after I got the hang of sore nipple, waking up every 2 to 3 hours at night time, I must stop breastfeeding, I felt very-very sad, but one of the advice that gave encouragement was from the pediatrician, that a mommy to be able to take care the baby is to be healthy first. For 15 days I wasn't able to nurse, I pumped (and discarded) the breast milk so I could still maintain my milk supply and avoided breast engorgement.

❤ Day 28-37
The rendered part is for formula (bottled) feeding
This was the transition days when I mixed the breast milk and formula. As we can see on the record, the amount of formula was lesser and lesser every day. I am very grateful too that the baby was easily adjusting from the breast to bottled feeding.

❤ Day 39 to 81 ( 1 month + to almost 3 months old)
Successfully total breastfeeding.

❤ The longest 14 hours
"Milk Marathon"
Started from the 44th day her feeding is like almost non-stop. It is like what hungrypapa called "milk-marathon". In the morning she will nurse from 8am to 3pm (7hrs), at night she will starts at 6pm to 11pm (5hrs), after one hour nursing, resting only 15 minutes in between.

14 hours of nursing .. hungrybaby!
It was exhausting.. Even there's one time she wanted to fed from 9am to 11pm non-stop (14 hrs).

This quote was my expectation in feeding a newborn

What I had in mind was lesson from Prenatal-Childbirth Class that a newborn feeds about 20-30 minutes every 3 to 4 hourly. Even this free journal's quote said so. Ok, I was prepared to do that, but nursing more than half day non stopped? 

I've read about cluster feeding, but hungrybaby seemed to took longer nursing hours.

Was it growth spurts when it last for weeks? Some mothers said that a baby girl likes to drink little by little. One opinion that made me feel discouraged was my baby is spoiled and wanted to use the nipple as a dummy/pacifier.

But hungrybaby shows the sign that she is hungry, she's rooting, and cries the hungry cry.

My hunch was my milk supply is not built yet, and also because I am using one side of breast only. The reason is...

❤ Flash back to year 2010
Two years back when I had a breast mastectomy : removal of all the milk duct in the right breast, since they found early stage cancerous cells called carcinoma.

Again, I am so blessed that not only I am totally recovered from the operation without drugs, chemotherapy, or radiation treatments, but also because I was given the chance to breastfeed after all that I've been through.

I've searched the internet for fellow breast cancer striver with keywords "breastfeeding" and "breast cancer". The result was articles about the benefit of breastfeeding in preventing breast cancer. Maybe because breast cancer mostly diagnosed at the age of 45 to 55, I am walking the silent road here.

Then I put other keywords "one side only breastfeeding", there are result for mothers who experienced this too ... some with inverted nipple or because the baby prefers one breast only. So in the breastfeeding context, I am not alone.

Thanks to my lactation consultant at Mt. Alvernia hospital who was encouraged me to try total breastfeeding although with this condition. If the baby shows the sign of dehydration (pink colored urine, sunken fontanels, etc) then I can give formula supplement.

She also encouraged me to share my experience to other mothers, she said if you can do total breastfeed with one side only, then fortunate mothers with both breast should not have reason to say they can't.

❤ Day 81 - to 4th months
Baby was not gaining weight, her PD was very concerned and asked me whether I am willing to add some formula. Baby's needs was increasing as she's growing, and nursing for long hours was tiring both for baby and mommy. I agreed to do so. His advice was to start with breastfeeding for 15 minutes then top up with formula (60ml-90ml).
Started with 15 minutes breastfeeding then top up with formula, about 30-90ml
❤ 4th - 6th months
Her feeding schedule was more regular and predictable. She was also able to sleep through the night ヽ(´ー`)ノ
Her feeding was 3-4 hourly.

 ❤ Sixths months onwards (Solid food introduction)
She has breakfast, lunch, dinner  and snack time
After introduced to solid food, this past 3 weeks, hungrybaby's milk intake was became lesser, but I still nurse her in between feeding times.

❤ Conclusion :
Breast feeding is the best and natural way to feed our baby, but it is not always easy. My expectation was to give total breastfeeding, but due to my health history, I am not able to do so. I used to feel that I was not a "mother enough", but it was all feeling and emotion, no use to puddled in a miserable situation. The rational way was to give what's best to our baby, and there are other ways than total breastfeeding.

Here are some links to interesting articles about the truth behind breastfeeding, for mothers who have difficulties, but sometimes mainstream media or other successful mothers in breastfeeding is not giving encouragement, but adding guilty for not being a "mother enough":
Mentioned in the article that some mothers thought that breastfeeding is cheap, the fact is not. I agree with the articles that I spent quite some amount of money for breast pump, storing bottles and other equipments, comfy nursing chair (this one I got for free from a dear friend :P), breastfeeding pillow, and nursing tea, nursing wear, baby sling and don't forget the daily nutritious and healthy food intake. 
The ups and downs, roller coaster ride of breastfeeding

I am expecting to breastfeed my baby until 1 year old. I hope my milk supply will continue flowing :)

Phew! This is a long post indeed.


PS : A4 format of DIY breastfeeding diary


Clar, keren postingnya. Pas awal2 aku sempat catet waktu breast feeding bayiku cuma manual pake tabel gitu. Ga kepikiran pake gambar jam hehe...ternyata akan lebih mudah baca dan memantaunya ya...thanks for the inspiration *hug*
hungry mama said…
Thanks Wi for the compliment :)

but oh no! I missed the big news, udah lahiran yaaa?

Selamat ya wikk, udah sebulan lebih si baby namanya siapa, sehat-sehat yaa and melimpah susuu ;)

Panggilannya Bagas tante :) lahirnya tanggal 12 Agustus yang lalu. Kapan2 main2 ya sama kakak Tabitha ^_^