My journey into motherhood & breastfeeding... by Elaine Chan
While preparing for our wedding, hubby’s sis-in-law was about to give birth. I chatted with my future mum-in-law & discovered she’s anti-breastfeeding. She didn’t allow her daughter & daughter-in-law to breastfeed. When they had engorgement, she instructed them to pump out & throw away! From then, I know I wont approach her when I’m doing my confinement.
During my first trimester, hubby’s brother told us they’ll be giving us hand down clothes. I was so happy. He reminded us that we have to buy our own milk bottles. I just told him nicely that I may not need them so early because I’ll be giving breastfeeding. The ‘bomb’ exploded. The whole family bombarded me, telling me I must be crazy to even think about giving breastfeeding, blah, blah, blah………………….I scanned through the hand downs & realize they were so old(at least 13 years since their eldest son is already 13). The breastfeeding issue & engaging confinement issue soured my relationship with my in-laws. They were just strongly object to them. But I chose to be rebellious because I know what I’m doing is right. They didn’t give up. Throughout my pregnancy, even until the day before I deliver, my mum-in-law was still telling me to get 3 different types of formula to let baby try. I repeat my story all over again. When she realize she failed to convince me, she walked away with a face as black as soot.
I didn’t encounter problems like sore/crack nipples. But I’m not sure about blocked ducts. The first night after I delivered, my in-laws visited me in the hospital. The moment I saw them, I felt so stressful. To make things worse, the first thing my mum-in-law told me the moment she saw my baby was “I think give formula better.” I didn’t respond. I just gave her a very weak smile & let them admire my baby. More family & relatives poured into my room. My neighbor has gone to delivery suite. Soon after, the nurse came to ask if I’ve nurse my baby, she wants to push him back into the nursery because he had jaundice. I told her I didn’t because he didn’t make noise. My mum-in-law quickly told the nurse “I think it’s alright, just give him formula”. I was so upset & disappointed. The nurse was sensible enough to ask me if I’m sure I’m giving him formula. I told her “No, I’m breastfeeding”. My mum-in-law quickly rebuked me “Impossible so fast got milk lah! Why don’t you just give him formula?” Luckily my mum was there for me. The nurse drew the curtains. Most of the visitors waited outside while my mum stayed to teach & guide me to latch him on. My mum-in-law walked in & out umpteen times. One was guiding me lovingly while the other keep telling me not to breastfeed. My mum ignored her too. She actually raised her voice to tell me, everyone in the room could hear her say “your left nipple so short how to breastfeed? Give formula lah!” Well, it just don’t get into my head.
Heard from my dad that my in-laws were very unhappy that I insisted to breastfeed, especially my mum-in-law. She keep asking hubby’s sister “Why she so stubborn? Breast milk not filling enough for baby one lah!”
Just before I was discharge, my mum advised me to feed him before leaving. I heed. My mum-in-law looked at my baby & “asked” him indirectly “Breast milk so nice meh? You drink so ………..”
Back home(I’m lucky I don’t stay with my in-laws), everytime I nurse, she’ll find all kinds & all sorts of stupid reasons & excuses & tell me not to breastfeed. I do have a CL with me. My CL is not very pro-breastfeeding but she’s not anti to my mum-in-law extent.
I cried a lot during the first 2 weeks of confinement. I feel very stressed up whenever my mum-in-law come over because I worried I don’t have enough milk for my baby. I’m very upset with my mum-in-law but I don’t dare to tell my hubby.
In-laws suspected I could have post natal blues unknowingly because I’m so stubborn where breastfeeding is concerned.
Now I let negative words fall on deaf ears. I think I successfully breastfed & hope to continue for as long as possible.