Friday, January 1, 2016

Breastfeeding tips during housemanship

picture from

Assalamualaikum wbt

Previously I shared a post about pregnancy while doing housemanship, and I can't help but to share too the aftermath of delivery- the breastfeeding journey!😃 

As everyone already know, breast milk is the best thing ever for your newborn. Every mother wishes to breastfeed their baby and only after I had my first baby I realised that it wasn't that easy to continue breastfeed and working at the same time. It was a challenging journey, but really worthwhile alhamdulillah. 

First, I had no one shared this experience with me after I delivered Hamzah, because my HO colleagues that time were either going through the same difficulties with me (being pregnant + struggle to breastfeed their baby) or they are still single. So we mothers had to figure this out together and supported each other the best we could. 

As other people always say, it is difficult during housemanship and things will get better once you become a medical officer. Well, it depends on your departments and working environment. But I do think it's easier during MO, hmm. 

So here are few tips on how to maintain breastfeeding your child during housemanship period:

1. Mind setting

As Stephen Covey said in his book 'The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People'- begin with the end in mind. As soon as you find out that you are pregnant, be positive that later you will be able to breastfeed you baby to provide them with the best nutrition. Having this mind setting will prepare you, your husband, family and friends earlier so that they will support you fully after your delivery later. Breastmilk production fluctuates with our emotion too. Being stress will make our body produces lesser milk- so try to maintain a balance emotion. 

2. Invest in a good breast pump

As a working mother, you will need a breast pump to maintain in breastfeeding. Maternity leave is only 3 months for HO ( MO is allowed to take longer leave- it is called cuti menyusu anak. HO can't take leave longer than 4 months, or else you will need to repeat the whole postings that you've done before..err you don't want to go through the same things again, right?😣) 
Do some research on types of breast pump (manual or automatic) and different brands available on the market with special features etc. Oh, buying breast pump will need you to buy the accessories too: milk storage bottles or bag, ice pack, cooler bag, pump spare parts etc. During baby fair usually all of the companies selling breast pumps will have special price for the item with all of the accessories too. 
It is best to buy your breast pump before delivering your baby. 

3. Establish breastfeeding early

Right after your delivery, try to start latching as early as possible. Preferably within 1 hours after delivery to stimulate the milk production and to learn on the perfect position for latching that is suitable to your baby. It's okay if you find you still don't produce milk after delivery, it may take few days in some cases. 

4. Drink plenty of water
Yes, a loooot of water please. No matter what kind of pantang you've chose, make sure you drink plenty of water and healthy, balance diet.  
5. Introduce bottle and teats early
Once you already established breastfeeding, start to introduce your baby with bottle teats so that he can learn to drink your expressed breast milk(EBM) from the bottle. There are various types of newborn teats available, you need to try whether your baby likes it or not. Preferably, use the teat that is soft and resembles nipple with anti colic bottle. 
How early to introduce bottle? Depends on your baby. Some said after 1 month old, to avoid nipple confusion. I started to teach Hamzah with bottle teats as early as 1 week old, and alhamdulillah he adjusted very well both breastfeeding and EBM from bottle. (Remember your maternity leave passes very fast- so don't delay to introduce bottle or else you are in trouble!)

6. Educate your husband/family/babysitter on how to manage breastmilk
You need to study about EBM management ie how to store the EBM, how long does it lasts, how to thaw the milk, how to warm the milk etc. As your EBM stock grows, your husband and family need to learn how to manage it too as a preparation for you to start working again. If you have a babysitter, then she needs to learn about it. Sorry I wouldn't cover this topic here, you can just google it :)

7.Keep pumping! 
To make EBM stocks, you need to pump regularly. Make a routine to pump every 3-4 hours, or in between baby feeding time. Remember that you have to fully use your maternity leave to make the EBM stocks, because after you start working you wouldn't have time to pump regularly anymore. 

8. Inform your superiors about your decision to breastfeed
Once you start to work again, if possible let your specialists/bosses know about your decision to continue breastfeed your baby- which means that every 3-4 hours you may need to go somewhere/not be around to pump your milk. However this is very depending on the working schedule and workloads. 

9. Pump or solat or makan?
Usually pumping will take about 20-30 minutes, so in a very busy day somehow you will find yourself juggling between which one to choose first- pump or solat or makan? I used to eat light snacks while pumping because it's difficult to eat lunch (my hands fully occupied to hold the breast pump) although I was starving😂. If you finish your work early you'll have extra time to pump.

10. Pack your oncall bag
If you are oncall for 24 hours, make sure you bring complete set of breast pump with extra milk storage bags and ice packs. You can use a special bag to keep your EBM in the pantry's freezer. Ouh, the freezer may be not so nice and clean since everybody is using it, so having a special sealed bag will keep your EBM safe inside there. 
( By the way you do need a big handbag/backpack since you will bring your breast pump to work everyday) 

11. Manage your time
Like I said before, you need to pump regularly to keep milk production. For example you can pump early in the morning at 4am, breastfeed your baby at 5am or 6am, off to work, pump again at 10am after finish ward round, pump at 2pm just before the afternoon ward round, and after office hours at 6pm. Sounds very ideal but the truth is not as simple as this😣
Usually I only managed to pump once during working hours😭

12. Wash your hand- and body! 
Once you reach home, I know you can't wait to see your baby and feed him. It's a big NO. Take a bath first and change your clothes- then only you can go near your baby. You don't want to spread all of the germs from hospital to him, right? 

13. Freemie, anyone?

If anyone thinking of using freemie (kind of EBM collector, hands free) while working, I personally think that it is not suitable in our working environment. First your breast pump may not fit into your white coat pocket, second it is only suitable for those who works in the office that mostly sitting down. Patient may collapse anytime and you may need to jump on the bed for CPR so...yes, freemie is not that suitable. But you can use it at other time :)

Ops I've been talking too much I think. 
So that's it, enjoy your breastfeeding journey! 
You can do it, insyaAllah!

P/S: I was not as successful as other mothers. I only managed to make it up to 8 months only. I had a lot of EBM storage during my confinement period alhamdulillah, but the storage ran out very fast (healthy chubby little baby hehe). I was doing my medical posting few months after my delivery and it did cause my milk supply dropped so much. Oncall 24-36 hours, reached ward at 5.30am and only managed to pump at 12am midnight (after 19 hours!). Working with engorged breasts, it was very very painful😭 
Yup I felt sad, but insyaAllah will try again my best for my next children. 

By the way I used Spectra S9 plus and Avent Philips bottle and teats for my baby. 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Our bundle of joy

Assalamualaikum wbt

Alhamdulillah, tsumma alhamdulillah.

After 38 weeks and 3 days, by Mercy of Allah our little bundle of joy arrived into our world. 

We are officially ayah and ibu.

Introducing Hamzah Fahimi bin Hussein 'Azeemi, may you always surrounds by His guidance and kindness, may you grows up as a good servant of Allah and becomes daie in His path. You are the best thing that Allah had gave us and we will take care of you with all of our heart.

22 April 2015, 1202H.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Pregnancy and housemanship

Photo by evybaby

Assalamualaikum wbt

(This is a retrospective blogpost, date and time of publishing are adjusted to reflect the story time)

Since I started my compulsory housemanship in Hospital Ipoh, I have not been posting anything in my blog. Have I stopped writing that time?

No, I am not.
In fact I diverted to pregnancy diary that my husband bought me😍
I continued writing my reflections, excitement or sadness in the diary while literally talking to my baby in my womb.

Subhanallah, it was never easy being a house officer + pregnant mother.
I underwent one and a half postings ( O & G and surgery ) before I delivered my baby.
It was very tiring, but I never regretted it. Alhamdulillah I had went through it biiznillah, with the overwhelming supports from my husband, families and friends.

Below are few tips that I can share with you if you are considering about being pregnant during housemanship. By the way I am not literally encouraging you to get pregnant during this period, this is just in case 😃

1. Mutual decision
Discuss in depth with your husband about the challenges being pregnant while undergoing the 2 years HOship. If your partner is not in medical field, explain properly regarding the workload, extended hours, skipped meals, standing for long hours etc so that he could support you accordingly.

2. Choose your posting if possible
This is actually very subjective because the workload in each departments are different between hospitals and number of patients. If you are pregnant, you are not suitable to assist in operation theatre especially those involves with the xray radiation ie orthopaedic OT and certain surgical procedures in surgical postings. Other than the radiation issue, they need 'strong' assistant who can help them with the maneuvre during the procedure or simply to run to blood bank asap for the patient on table! So definitely if you are pregnant, you'll do more ward work ie clerking and less exposure in OT.

3. It's okay to tell others about your pregnancy
Yes, it is okay to let them know. They will understand you better and will make few adjustments on the schedule and shifts to suit your needs. It may not apply to all departments/ hospital, but letting them know it far more safe for you and baby.
By the way, some people can tell whether you are pregnant or not. My medical officer knew I was pregnant by seeing my enlarged veins on my hand while writing😂

4. Never forget to eat!
This is the super most important part. Please, eat your meal. Get some snacks in between. Yes you wouldn't have time to eat obviously but try make time. Like seriously need to make time. My husband will text me every meal time to make sure I take my lunch and dinner especially during oncall or he will drop by at the hospital with some food if I don't get the chance to buy food on my own(due to trying to finish the job until the cafe is closed).
I have many kind of snacks inside my bag (and white coat too sometimes) just to fill in my tummy very quickly if time not permits for proper meal. Your baby growth is very important so don't starve yourself.

5. Proper footwear
Invest some money to buy comfortable shoes as you need to walk many kilometres although just within the hospital area. As you tummy gets bigger, you can't walk so fast (don't ever think of running!) so good flat shoes will help your pace better.
Ouh, I am a big fan of Skechers during my housemanship time 😊

6. Plan your pregnancy check up or appointments
Your working schedule as a house officer will need you to work outside office hours and over weekends. So if you are planning to do the check up with the local health clinic that operated during office hours, you may have to plan to get the appointment done during your off day or postcall. Sometimes the timing of appointments in local health clinic may not be favourable to you, then you may need to consider to go to private clinic that offers more flexible time.
We had our monthly appointments in the private clinic because my husband was only available during weekend and sometimes we can come at night too for the check up and baby scan.

7. Plan you maternity leave
As government servant, you can start taking your maternity leave from 38 weeks onwards. As long as there is no sign and symptoms of labour, you can continue working if you want but having rest at home would be better I think.
 I was planning to start my maternity leave near my due date (40 weeks) but I delivered at 38 weeks 3 days. The day I felt like about to deliver I texted the leader in our ward and took an emergency leave since I haven't apply for the maternity leave yet. He had to rearrange the schedule due to the short notice.

Well, that's some bits of it.
There are a lot more actually because I have many friends who can share their experience too.

There are incidents of miscarriages, antepartum haemorrhage, premature delivery, fainting, excessive fatigue etc while working and pregnant at the same time.
Know your body very well and stay healthy.
Get proper rest.

And take care💚

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Rintihan Nuh

photo from generalwaruchi.blogspot

Di dalam kalangan para Rasul, dia memiliki umur yang paling panjang.

Sebagaimana para Rasul yang lain, dia berdakwah kepada kaumnya siang dan malam.

Siangnya dia di kampung lain menyeru penduduknya agar mengesakan Allah, pada malam hari dia di tempat yang lain, setia menjalankan amanah yang sama seperti hari dan waktu sebelumnya.

Barangkali, jumlah pengikutnya antara yang paling sedikit berbanding rasul-rasul yang lain. Tempoh dakwah antara yang paling lama, bersama jumlah orang beriman yang paling sedikit.

Dia juga mempunyai keluarga. Namun tidak semua anak-anaknya beriman kepada agama yang dibawa oleh Nuh. Tak pernah ada sehari pun dia berputus asa untuk memujuk anaknya agar mengesakan Allah, hinggalah di saat-saat genting tatkala bah besar melanda, harapannya masih ada. Namun Allah lebih mengetahui, anaknya angkuh untuk teruskan pendakian ke tempat tinggi tetapi akhirnya gagal menyelamatkan diri.

Hati Nuh merintih.

‘Dia (Nuh) berkata, “Ya Tuhanku, sesungguhnya aku telah menyeru kaumku siang dan malam.
Tetapi seruanku itu tidak menambahkan iman mereka, malah mereka lari daripada kebenaran.
Dan sesungguhnya setiap kali aku menyeru mereka untuk beriman agar Engkau mengampuni mereka, mereka memasukkan anak jari ke telinganya dan menutupkan wajahnya dengan baju dan mereka tetap mengingkari dan sangat meyombongkan diri.”

Dia mengadu sepuas hati kepada Allah. Menangis semahunya merayu kepadaNya. Kebimbangan yang dibebani oleh Nuh teramat besar. Sama ada kaumnya beriman atau kafir, itu lah yang akan menjadi corak kepada generasi yang akan datang. Generasi yang beriman dan bersyukur dengan nikmatNya atau generasi yang tidak gentar melanggar perintah Tuhan. Allahuakbar..

Janji Allah pun berlaku. Langit melimpahkan kandungannya, dan bumi memancarkan airnya. Bah besar berlaku dengan sangat pantas. Tiada tempat berlindung, melainkan golongan yang telah dilindungi oleh Allah, di dalam bahtera bersama pelbagai jenis haiwan atas arahan Allah SWT.

‘Binasalah orang-orang yang zalim’.

JanjiNya disempurnakan, banjir surut seperti sediakala. Namun hati Nuh  tetap hiba terkenang anak tersayang yang turut sama ditimpa azab. Kesedihan dan harapan Nuh yang tidak berbelah bagi pada anaknya ditegur oleh Allah kerana memohon sesuatu yang tidak diketahui Nuh akan hakikat sebenarnya.

“Ya Tuhanku, ampunilah aku, ibu bapaku, dan semua orang yang beriman lelaki dan perempuan. Dan janganlah Engkau tambahkan bagi orang-orang yang zalim itu selain kehancuran”.


Surah Hud, 12: 25-49

Surah Nuh, surah ke 71 daripada mula sampai habis.


Mari muhasabah kisah Nuh yang mulia. Setiap barisan cerita dan rintihannya di dalam Al-Quran, setiap satunya memberi ibrah yang berbeza.

Suratul Hud berkisar berkenaan arahan Allah dan suasana yang berlaku ketika itu.

Suratul Nuh khusus berkenaan rintihan Nuh pada Allah, tiada kisah sirah walaupun seayat.

Ibrah yang sangat terkesan pada jiwa kita tentang kesungguhan Nuh menyampaikan dakwah- kecintaan Nuh pada keluarga dan kaumnya agar terselamat daripada azab Allah- fitrah manusia yang punya limitasi dan akhirnya kembali pada Sang Pencipta untuk memohon kekuatan- juga takdir-takdir Allah yang berada di luar pengetahuan kita sebagai hamba…

Hentikan tangisanmu, adikku. Allah sentiasa bersamamu. Orang-orang mukmin sentiasa bersamamu.

Mari, kita bersabar seperti Nuh. Berusaha seperti Nuh. Bertawakal juga seperti Nuh.

May Allah loves you more than I do.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Mirror is us.

“Seorang mukmin itu adalah cerminan kepada mukmin yang lain"
( Hadis Riwayat At-Thabarani)

Tenang suami tercinta berbicara. Pandangannya tetap fokus kepada pemanduan. Sesekali dia menoleh menatapku yang sedang menadah telinga untuk mendengar sambungan kalamnya sebentar tadi.

“Cuba sayang beritahu abang apa sifat-sifat cermin?”, dia menduga.

“Hmm, cermin boleh pantulkan cahaya. We also can see ourselves dalam cermin. Dan cermin ni sangat penting dalam hidup seorang perempuan..hehe”, balas saya sambil berseloroh.

Si dia tersenyum lebar. Sengaja saya tidak memberikan jawapan yang lebih relevan kerana mahu menghayati jawapan yang bakal diberikan olehnya nanti.

“Betul la tu jawapan sayang. We can see ourselves dalam cermin. Sifatnya; cermin akan beritahu kelebihan dan kekurangan sebenar yang ada pada diri kita. Mana yang berlebih, kita rapikan di hadapan cermin. Mana yang terkurang, kita perbaiki supaya lebih elok. Dan satu lagi sifat cermin yang paling penting…cermin tak akan sebarkan kelebihan, kekurangan atau aib yang dilihat itu kepada orang lain.

Maka begitulah simboliknya kepada hadis yang abang sebut tadi. Dalam rumah tangga, suami isteri adalah cermin kepada satu sama lain. Kita saling meraikan kelebihan yang ada pada diri masing-masing, dan saling membetulkan kekurangan yang ada. Dan semua ini adalah di antara kita berdua sahaja, tidak disebarkan kepada orang lain”.

Subhanallah. Saya terpegun mendengar nasihat di sebalik simbolik cermin daripada hadis tersebut.

Hikmah(bijaksana) seorang suami dalam menyelitkan nasihat ketika permusafiran kami berdua.

Alhamdulillah, manisnya lanjutan taaruf pasca-nikah.

Dalam diam, saya berdoa kepada Allah agar memberkati suami tercinta dan agar Allah memelihara ikatan di antara kami berdua. Sungguh, ku mahu dia menemaniku di syurga kelak..


p/s: like my blog's name. mirror of life. juga ilham daripada hadis yang sama..