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Breastfeeding – The Ugly side April 26, 2007

Posted by Zara's Mama in breastfeeding, parenting.

I’m pro-breast feeding, I know there are lots of benefit for the mums (reduce risk in breast cancer, getting back in shape faster, savings on future medical expenses etc) and the babies (better immunity, better DHA absorption). I enjoy feeding the kids, the way they look at you when they suckle, the smile they give you after they are full. The most satisfying feeling I have is knowing I’m the nutrient provider for my kids, I’m in control! For Zara I did it until I was conceived with Zaria, i.e. when Zara was 18months. And with Zaria, I plan to at least do it for 1 year, and see how we go from there.

Zaria Feeding

As much as I enjoy it, it’s not all rosy though. Here is the ugly side which I experienced. (Potential breast feeding mums out there, you know you are not alone if you too experienced this when you start breast feeding your kids)

1) Painful nipples for the first few days – Some people stop breast feeding because of the pain. I thought it would be better the 2nd round, but since I’d stopped for 6months before Zaria arrived, the nipples got tender again. I had to bite my lips and endure the pain, and I could see the layer of skin coming off, sometimes pieces of them found in Zaria’s lips. Blech.
Luckily, it was only for 2, 3 days and the nipples ‘toughened’.

2) Rock hard super big breasts – I don’t mind being super big (think 2 cup size increase the least), but when you get an engorgement, fuyoh, the breasts become rock hard (and of course big) and pretty uncomfortable until they are emptied! After Zaria drank from one side, I can see my 2 obviously different size breasts, a funny sight!

3) Block Ducts – Hate it, but it happens sometimes. I have to put warm AND cold compress on the breast, massage it, COMB it (supposed to unblock the duct). Daddy won’t help to un-clog it, but he wouldn’t mind bringing the warm and cold towels.

3) Breast leak – I used reusable breast pads for economic reasons (disposable pads per pair are more expensive than a piece of Mami Poko diaper!). When Zaria feeds, and let down happens, the other breast will start to leak big time. My breast pad can’t hold the milk, and it sips through the bra and I get a wet patch on my top. Oh boy, not a pretty sight especially when I’m out.

Sometimes in the night, the breasts get so engorged that they start to leak even though there’s no feeding taking place. I wake up feeling a cold draft on my chest, caused by a big wet patch; and I get milk stain on my bed sheets and bolster. The room smells of milk!

4) Can’t be away from the baby too long – We sometimes leave Zaria at home and go out with just Zara in tow. Maybe this is a good thing, I can’t be away from Zaria for more than 6 hours (i.e. 2 feeds). If we do go out, I have to pump before we leave the house, and pump again immediately after I get home. If we leave her longer than that, my breast will get engorged and uncomfortable, and I can’t pump when I get home as it’s too near Zaria’s next feeding time (or she’ll not have enough to drink during her feed).

5) Pump and Pump and Pump – I like to direct feed more than pumping out. But if we need to go out, or if I need to go to the office, I have to pump. I hate it more when I come back from an outing, no matter how tired and sleepy and late, I have to pump; just so the bottle of milk taken can be replenished (and also to maintain supply). Zzzzzzzz.

And have you seen the nursing clothes available in Malaysia? Totally utterly ugly! So I just wear normal clothes and when I have to breast feed in public, I’ll cover myself with a nursing cape.


1. my2lovelyrays - April 27, 2007

aiyo, I remember the sore nipples part. Mine didn’t only sore, it cracked and bled big time. The milk I pumped out, not the usual milk colour but machiam like bandung…..muahahaha…..then after a few days, the skin hardened liao then it was ok liao….but boy, did you bring back some scary memories…..woahahahah

2. LB - April 27, 2007

Thank you for all the insights into breastfeeding! I still remember the question I posed to 2LittleFellas’ Mom yesterday.. *grin*

3. Vien - April 27, 2007

Reminded me of those days…in a way, I’m glad I’m over and done with it (for now.) 😛

4. Susu Cap Junjung - April 27, 2007

Dear ZMM,

Please contact us. We need people like you.

Yours Faithfully,
Susu Cap Junjung Dairy Farms

5. Annie Q - April 27, 2007

hmmm..i only breast feed my sons for five days, because me not enought milk. *sigh* how i wish i can bf them longer!

6. chanelwong - April 27, 2007

You are doing great…a hug for you…
Have you tried wearing a breast milk collector instead of breastpad? You can collect the leaking milk and pour into bottle.

7. Hijackqueen - April 27, 2007

For item no. 3, when you feed on one side, use your finger to press your other nipple. I gurantee, you won’t have anymore leakage. Just remain your finger there till the let down subside.

8. whoisbaby - April 27, 2007

brings back memory of bf my boy. i remember sometimes i purposely woke up my boy so i could feed him directly from the source due to engorgement, especially in the middle of the night. it was so uncomfortable.

9. Misha's Mum - April 27, 2007

me breasted Misha for about 24 months 🙂 … hehehe

10. domestic rat - April 27, 2007

This is frightening and it doesn’t help to allay my fears with not just you, but several gfs bemoaning about breastfeeding their babies!!!! Die lah… how to survive???? To think I told the man that I will persevere for 6mths.

11. irra - April 27, 2007

i totally feel u!! hehe…my other ‘ugly side of BF’ would b,hubby cant help ‘make the milk’!

12. syn - April 27, 2007

so spot on! i felt the same way too and every time i feel so down from pumping, i’ve to remind myself that it’s for the goodness of my baby. i can understand why alot of moms gave up earlier and you’re the rare ones that have endured the ugly sides for so long. keep up the good work! 😉

13. huisia - April 27, 2007

you’re a great mother…i hope this post can inspire me to bf my No.2 exclusively till he is 1 yr old.
reminded me about my last time, i had very very bad engorgement till i got the fever..stupid la..nobody told me and taught me even my MIL..

14. chooi peng - April 27, 2007

I wish i can exclusively bf my no 2 although i m fail to do it with kw.

15. dancing queen - April 27, 2007

Good to see another breastfeeding mum! I bf my last one till she was 2 & half. I can just identify with all of the above. Once I was pumping in the office & the milk came out so much I had to pour some away cos I only brought 1 milk bottle. At times, during shower, the milk would just spurt out like a fountain & I couldn’t do anything to save it! 😛

I used to buy those cheap sanitary pads, cut them into 2, sealed up the sides with micropore tape and used them as breast pads. Make sure it’s adhesive so can also stick onto your bra. A bit bulky lah but it was alright to me. Cheap & leakproof! 😀

16. jazzmint - April 27, 2007

haha i must agree with u, the rock hard feeling is no joke. and my hubs will attempt to touch it just to make me shout at him and tell him don’t…cause it’s darn pain!!!

17. Meeya - April 27, 2007

First time I heard of a nursing cape. Where do you get one?

18. may - April 27, 2007

hmmm… I wonder if my mom ever breastfeed me? I’m sure she did, somehow! and I thank her for it, for all the troubles that she would’ve gone through like you did… I salute all brest-feeding moms!

19. kingswife - April 28, 2007

You breastfeed until dunno how to count already ah?

20. babykhong - April 28, 2007

Yea..tell me about it…I really hate the wet pad during let down when I’m sleeping…

21. shoppingmum - April 28, 2007

I’m the Pro Moo, and you got all the points right! LOL!
However, I have no regret, even if I’m still using disposable breastpads like diapers. LOL! Yes, they are really expensive, and sometimes I think I’m spending as much $$$ as on formula milk. Not really saving up loh…
And as for nursing clothes, I made my own
but last time, I shopped at mothersenvogue.com. They have better designs.

22. shoppingmum - April 28, 2007

Opps….my comment disappeared again. OK, I type again…

I agree with all your points about the ugly side of breastfeeding, but still, we moos have no regrets in doing so. 🙂 BTW, I’m still using disposable breastpads 24/7, and talking about the cost of it, I think I’m spending the same as feeding formula!!! Really didn’t save much.

As for nursing clothes, I used to buy from mothersenvogue.com, they have nicer designs. I tried a few malaysian brands, really not for a hot mama like me. 😛

Or else, “make” your own, like I do.

23. mom2ashley - April 28, 2007

yikes…..my turn coming soon!

24. eve - April 28, 2007

I feel so ashamed…* go away quietly*

25. cookie - April 28, 2007

I am considered lucky as I did not suffer as much as you do. Probably my supply is not as much as you have. But I sure agree with shoppingmum that although it is tough, we will never formula feed our babies. 🙂

Just like you, I don’t wear nursing clothes, only normal Ts and I will head to the nursing room to feed. 🙂

26. a-moms-diary - April 28, 2007

My worst experience was the blocked ducts – and the first time that happened and you see the bottle of milk become like bandung…my, that’s scary! You are so spot on on the nursing clothes, most of them look like what an ah soh would wear to pasar malam, so i’ve not owned a single nursing top for the last 18 months. And the pumping bit can be such a drag!

27. 2littlefellas' mom - April 28, 2007

love the baby bonding part but dislike every other thing that goes with it especially the maintenance part…

28. Desperate Mummy - April 28, 2007

Em.. I’m so regret I din really breastfeed wif two kids. I tell myself if I really have 3 kid I will fully breastfeed the baby juz like u and shoppingmum. Hope u gals can give me some tips then 😀

29. sue - April 29, 2007

Ahh… the trials of breastfeeding. Add another one for when they have teeth. Izac like clamp down now, specially if someone moves him when he’s feeding. Totally sore :S

And I find some of the breastfeeding baju from TheBabyLoft looks quite good what…

30. laundryamah - April 30, 2007

oh dear one more downside for me, both my kids bit my nipple! kylie was even worse, she bit & pulled at the same time! shiaks!

31. mom of cairo - April 30, 2007

hie, i have been a follower of your blog for more than a year now n i found your candid n uncensored postings funny and most informative. will recommend my pregnant friends and relatives to your site cos then i dont have to rack my brain for half remembered facts :p good luck with the breast feeding… (i bled throughout my 7 mths, yuck!)

32. zara's mama - April 30, 2007

Aiyo.. air bandung? Blech!
Luckily mine never got so bad.

Psst.. Actually the last paragraph was specifically for you, any chance Iceberg going to do some nursing clothes?

Yeah.. when it’s over, we normally feel quite glad.. 🙂

Susu Cap Junjung,
I’ll be pleased to work for you.

Annie Q,
Mmm…better than nothing actually. A few days will give them a very good start up.

Milk collector, never thought of it. I wear my pad 24hrs, can’t wear a milk collector for 24hrs right?

Yeah, I sometimes do that, when I have free hand.

Yeah, yeah, I do that as well. Better than climbing out of bed and getting the breast pump set up right?

Misha’s mum,
Well Done.

Domestic Rat,
You’ll survive, if you can endure the first week, things will just get better!

Haha.. but hubby can help bottle feed baby if he wants to..
But my kids don’t like EBM from bottle. 😦

Thank you thank you. I think if you can stand the first week, you’ll be able to last. 😛

Yes yes, I hope you’ll be able to bf no.2 if not for 1 year, at least for first 6mths. Just find out from the internet next time you have problem, or if you are in KK, give me a call.

Chooi Peng,
If you are better informed, you’ll be able to do it longer. 🙂 Can always call me for support.

Dancing Queen,
Wow, you must be one of those who have such good supply.
I like your cheap sanitary pad method. Next time when I didn’t bring my breast pad, I know what to do.

Your husband so so naughty.

You can find it in The Baby Loft.
I use the one which costs RM38 from Jonas Jody.

Now, when you see her, you’ll have to give her a hug.

King’s wife?

Hey, your comments keep going to SPAM you know.
You make you own nursing clothes?
Mothersenvogue.com? I’ll have to go check out. Thanks.

Yes! Join the club, use the facilities in the office!

Hey, Come back come back, You did for a few days also right? Good enough.

Oh, actually my milk supply is just normal. I’m not one of those lucky one where you can pump out huge amount. But still, I have these problem.

2little fella’s mom,
Haha.. and aren’t you glad it’s over for you?

Desperate Mummy,
Sure.. when you have no. 3 we’ll be your support.

Zara was good, she never once bit me.
Eeeee.. I hope Zaria won’t do what Izac did.

Ouch! Your kids naughty huh?
Last time when Zara tried biting, I gave her a loud shout, and she didn’t dare to do it after that, EVER.

33. Sasha - April 30, 2007

my gynea asked me to ask my hubby to unclog it for me not using hand. ekkkkkk

34. mott - April 30, 2007

i hear you.

did u know that even if u adopt a kid, you can still breastfeed the kid?

ah…the wonderful way our bodies work!

35. Eileen - April 30, 2007

I remember the sore nipple part…and like Jan…mine cracked and even bled..

Now i gotta go through it again…*shivers* but after reading this, i know i’m not alone..so i hope i can persevere for at least 6 months! 😉

36. michelle - April 30, 2007

Not to mention the downsizing of breast size after stopping. I think I must have pump to hard…:( . I must say that it is worth it for my children.

37. Samm - May 1, 2007

I experienced all that u wrote with Gordon. With Malcolm, none of the above, lol. Malcolm will be turning 10 months old soon, and still exclusively breastfed. Doesnt want solid 😦 But this time, my breastmilk is not as much as when i had Gordon, funny hoh. I dont even wear bra at home. Doesnt leak. Not even big…. aighhhh. Are you planning to wean Zaria?

38. simple american - May 1, 2007

Very eye opening post for me. 0.0

I cannot comment without being too cheeky and so I will just slap my hand and move on.

39. Nancy - May 1, 2007


I totally agree with you. I had the same bfeeding experience as you. I stopped bfeeding 6months ago and am preparing for my newborn next month. Praying hard that I will not get blocked ducts and cracked and bleeding nipples which I had when I had no 1. Sigh… going to start the milking biz once again. Need to perservere cos Bmilk is still best milk for the bb 🙂

40. Ms Fair Face - May 2, 2007

wow 18mths and 1 yr! I wish I can do that in future too!

and your tips are really good. I shall keep those in mind when it comes handy for me 🙂

41. sesame - May 2, 2007

It was those problems that kept me nursing for a very short while. In hindsight I should have persevered but ah…

42. zara's mama - May 2, 2007

Mom of Cairo,
Thanks and welcome!
Oh boy, you had it tough huh? Salute to you that after all the problem, you still went on for 7 months.

Wah.. your hubby shiok lar? Or you? Hee hee.

Yes, so I heard. You just need to keep stimulating the breast to let it know that it needs to make milk!

Good luck!
Just think about the goodness of breastmilk!

Yeah yeah. I forgot about that. Downsizing after the fact.
Those D-cup bras have to be chucked away. Booo hooo hoo.

Simple American,
Haha.. or you can pretend like Cocka, and comment as someone else. 😛

Hi, welcome.
Oh boy, I didn’t know some people have it so hard and yet they persevered. Kudos to you.

Ms Fair Face,
Sure you can if you set your heart to do so.

I thought you did go on for quite a while. No?

43. My Lil Venture - May 3, 2007

I was going to say “WAH! Super size!!!”. Then, I thought twice else Mott will get that spidey sense. Oops, did I write that???

44. allyfeel - May 3, 2007

What a wonderful mother. How I wish I could breastfeed up to 1 year. Hat’s off to you. Totally enjoyed reading this post. So many familiarity, a recape for me perhaps. Haha, I used to leak big time when I went out to the hospital for check up. Luckily I had a scarf to cover my wet patch. eeee…;)

45. beckysmum - May 4, 2007

First 6 months is tough, i think. After that bf will become much more easier. Ganbatte, mummy!!

46. jasmine - May 5, 2007

i experiend al this before (im giving joelle breast feeding untill her 10mths old), and i almost forgot how i get through this…. and im prepared to breast feed my 2nd one too.

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