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breastfeed, feeling drained, especially at night

  1. #25
    jamiexchan is offline Registered User
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    Thanks Gataloca replying for me!

    My confinement lady is using the same approaches as Bonita's did. Iwonder if they are actually trained this way... I fought with her about feeding baby more frequently, however, her point is ,if i don't sleep well,i won't have milk. I was too weak to fight alot with her, as I myself is not too confident in my milk supply...
    Now she is gone, and i can switch to a frequent feeding schedule. Just not sure if it is too late, as my baby girl is already 5weeks now...

  2. #26
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    From what I've seen of confinement ladies, their practice often goes against what is needed for a successful breastfeeding relationship. In those first 4 weeks, the mother and baby need to be together as much as possible and the baby needs to be able to be fed at any time day or night. If the confinement lady looks after the mother's needs and leaves the baby completely alone, I think that could be the best of both worlds - but when they want to take over the feeding and rocking to sleep of the baby, it can really interfere with successful breastfeeding.

    I know that maybe for most Chinese, it is not a big deal - even my Chinese father in law who is in his 70's was not breastfed, his mother had a "wet nurse" for her kids. So perhaps many of the confinement traditions developed are not breastfeeding-friendly because it is not as important, I don't know...

    Many of my friends who had every intention to breastfeed their babies were given advice that was completely wrong by their confinement ladies and of course, they were not able to breastfeed long-term. It kind of fizzled out within a month or two.

  3. #27
    catan is offline Registered User
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    The chinese place huge importance on confinement. It is said that good confinement can reverse previous health issues, and bad confinement create permanent problems. Because breastfeeding takes effort, it's seen as an impediment to recovery. My mother insisted that I stay lying down 24/7 and sleep most of the time. She didn't even like me carrying baby. I can imagine if a confinement lady lets the woman "work" at breastfeeding, especially on demand, the mother/in-law wouldn't be happy.

  4. #28
    bonita is offline Registered User
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    Now with my second kid, I just have my helper do the diaper changing, bathing, burping, and I do the nursing. Of course I'm a lot more confident this time around with breastfeeding, but it still took several weeks to establish a good supply. I breastfed baby #1 till she was 16 months old. Now baby #2 is 3.5 months, and I intend to nurse him till at least 1 year.

  5. #29
    Gracey is offline Registered User
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    Depends on the person, but confinement ladies are known to be pretty anti-breastfeeding. Some may "tolerate" it for the first month or so, but they generally push formula. Don't forget that confinement ladies are not certified like nurses and midwives. Many have no medical training, and rely on old wives' tales. That's why I refused to have one.

    Telling the mother to "rest" instead of feeding is the worst thing you can do. No wonder the OP's milk supply is going down. She needs to solve the problem quickly -- the human body doesn't wait. She has to stand up to the confinement lady -- SHE's the mother, and she should feed as much as she can.

    Constant feeding is the best solution -- and works better than medicine or pumps.

    Yes, rest and good food can help, but they are of secondary importance.
    The human body is very simple -- no feeding baby on the breast = no milk production.

    PS. The maternity nurses at Baptist made the same mistake as this confinement lady. When I asked for my baby to be brought to me for the midnight and 4 am feedings, they'd say "Oh, you're tired. Better to rest. If you don't rest you won't make milk." What a big mistake. It meant that my breasts got used to not making milk from 8 pm - 8 am. And I had a hell of a time trying to reverse that after I got home from hospital. It meant even MORE night feedings in the beginning.

    BTW, pumps will never be as effective as a baby.

    The confinement lady should be HELPING the breastfeeding -- by taking care of other jobs, by bringing the baby to the mother in bed, etc.

    The idea that a new mother is some sort of useless, weak invalid is very old fashioned. In the West, women are up and moving around in a day or two -- taking their babies to the park, breastfeeding all day, and they are fine.
    Last edited by Gracey; 01-30-2012 at 03:26 PM.

  6. #30
    Gracey is offline Registered User
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    "her confinement lady would not allow her breastfeed the baby, stating that she need to get more sleep. Her confinement lady would then rock the baby back to sleep.............."

    Um, this is probably one of the reasons why the baby is not gaining well or wetting enough diapers. Babies know when they are hungry. If the confinement lady "does not allow" breastfeeding when the baby is willing and able, of course the baby won't get enough milk. If the baby cries from hunger, feed the baby -- don't just coax back to sleep.

    At 4 weeks, the baby should be feeding at least every 3 hours.
    Last edited by Gracey; 01-30-2012 at 03:36 PM.

  7. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by catan View Post
    The chinese place huge importance on confinement. It is said that good confinement can reverse previous health issues, and bad confinement create permanent problems. Because breastfeeding takes effort, it's seen as an impediment to recovery. My mother insisted that I stay lying down 24/7 and sleep most of the time. She didn't even like me carrying baby. I can imagine if a confinement lady lets the woman "work" at breastfeeding, especially on demand, the mother/in-law wouldn't be happy.
    My MIL wasn't happy that I didn't do confinement - she's Chinese and I'm white so we come from very different backgrounds. Knowing what I do about confinement though, I think that many of the principles are good, but some of them are also quite bad - depending on what is important to you as a mother. For me, I chose not to get a confinement lady and never regretted that decision. I also did not allow my MIL to "look after me" (she lives in Australia so we just told her when we thought it would be good for her to visit). She was not happy with my choices and let us know - but ultimately, it's not her choice to make. It's ours (mine and my husband's).

  8. #32
    evgreen is offline Registered User
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    It's funny...my mother is local Chinese and she said confinement ladies were not that popular in her day. She says it's an emerging trend and it was traditionally reserved for the wealthy in her day, so when I decided not to have a confinement lady, I didn't get any flack for it. My mom said she had a confinement lady when she had me and resented it. She was never successful at breastfeeding me either. When she had my younger sister though she didn't have a confinement lady and was much more successful at breastfeeding.

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