Am taking a breather from the 3rd week of confinement. (Confinement period seems to last forever here!)
The confinement food is driving me nuts. After a while, even the most nutritious food such as steamed fish is nauseating. Sigh. Although I’m looking forward to its end, I’m also going to enter the 2nd month of many unknowns and challenges – no more helper! The confinement nanny has been a great help but I want to run the house my way. Yang says that I’m a cleanliness freak. Many friends who have been through this journey told me in advance that it was a very tiring process for them after delivery and how a helper/care-giver really come in handy.
My well-meaning mother and aunts have been stressing me up initially. They were full of do’s and don’ts for the confinement period. And because I persisted in doing certain things the way which I think is proper and sane, there had been some tension in the air whenever they visit. Yang has been my moral support all this while – which I’m very thankful for. Guys outta there, I have this message for ya: Be prepared to be a pillar of support to your wives, a strong shoulder to cry on, during the confinement period.
After the tension has somewhat eased, I hit another road block. Hannah cannot get enough milk from breast-feeding alone. Then it was tug-of-war with the confinement nanny as to how much formula milk to supplement. I’m worried that too much bottle-feeding will cause Hannah to become lazy at sucking from my breasts. It took me sometime to break out of my fears to see that it is more important to ensure that Hannah has a full tummy than which type of milk fills the tummy. Both breast and formula milk have their pros and cons. Of course, breast milk is best where nutrition, convenience and cost (oh yes, it is very expensive) are concerned. But feeding formula milk reduces actual feeding time, gives the mother more time to rest in between feeds and the baby sleeps longer throughout the night.
I also went to see a lactation consultant about my milk supply problem. Basically, I have to down more fluids (e.g. soups, red dates drink and milk), rest more and take a prescribed herbal supplement. Hannah’s weight gain has not been ideal. Hence, the consultant recommended that we supplement about 6 times of formula milk per day.
Going back to my apprehensiveness about managing on my own once the confinement lady has left. The confinement nanny did good as she made an effort to pass me tips on managing a crying baby, taught me how to prepare nutritious meals and stocked up the refrigerator with items for me to use for cooking.
I hope that Hannah will get used to me soon. She likes the confinement nanny as she really has a way with babies. Hannah would smile at her whenever the confinement nanny play with her, tell her stories and sing to her. Talk about this mother being jealous! Ha ha.