Monday, November 14, 2011

:: Making breastmilk: How your body produces Nature's perfect baby food ::


The process starts during pregnancy

If you're pregnant, you have no doubt noticed the huge metamorphosis occurring in your bra cups. Those physical changes - tender, swollen breasts, and darkened nipples and areolas (the circle of skin surrounding your nipple) - may be one of your earliest clues that you've conceived. Experts believe the colour change may also be a helpful aid to breastfeeding. It's nature's way of providing a visual guide that helps newborns feed successfully (hey, dinner's over here!). Another pregnancy signal: the appearance of tiny bumps around your areola called the glands of Montgomery (named after the British obstetrician who first described them), which also play a role in breastfeeding. These bumps produce an oily substance that cleanses, lubricates, and protects the nipple from infection during breastfeeding. 

What's going on inside your breasts

Perhaps even more remarkable than this visible transformation is the extensive changes taking place inside your breasts. Your developing placenta stimulates the release of oestrogen and progesterone, which in turn stimulate the complex biological system that makes lactation possible. 

diagram of milk production in the breastBefore pregnancy, a combination of supportive tissue, milk glands, and protective fat makes up a large portion of your breasts (the amount of fatty tissue varies among women, which is why breasts come in such a variety of sizes and shapes). In fact, your newly tender, swollen orbs have been preparing for your pregnancy since you were a 6-week-old embryo in your own mother's womb. By the time you were born, your main milk ducts -- a network of canals that transport milk through your breasts -- had already formed. Your mammary glands stayed quiet until puberty, when a flood of the female hormone oestrogen caused them to grow and swell. During pregnancy, those glands shift into high gear. 

By the time your baby is born, the glandular tissue in your breasts doubles in size, which accounts for your bigger-than-ever breasts. Each one may get as much as 1½ pounds heavier! 

Nestled amid the fat cells and glandular tissue is an intricate network of channels or canals called milk ducts. Pregnancy hormones cause the milk ducts to increase in number and size; the ducts then branch off into smaller canals near the chest wall called ductules. At the end of each one is a cluster of small, grapelike sacs called alveoli. A cluster of alveoli is called a lobule; a cluster of lobules is called a lobe. Each breast contains between 15 and 20 lobes. 

Milk is produced inside the alveoli, which are surrounded by tiny muscles that squeeze the glands and push milk out into the ductules. Those ductules converge and lead to a bigger ducts that end in your nipple. (You can think of the nine or so milk ducts in each breast as individual straws that all end at the tip of your nipple and deliver milk into your baby's mouth.) Your milk-duct system becomes fully developed sometime during your second trimester, so you can breastfeed your baby even if she arrives prematurely. 

Production heats up after the baby is born

Milk production and prolactin 

You'll begin full-scale milk production within 24 to 48 hours of giving birth to your baby. Scientifically speaking, this period is called lactogenesis. Once you expel your hormone-producing placenta, the oestrogen and progesterone levels in your body start to drop. The hormone prolactin, which has been rising throughout your pregnancy, is released to do its work. This pituitary gland hormone signals your body to make lots of milk to nourish your baby. Laboratory studies also show that prolactin may make you feel more "motherly", which is why some experts call it the mothering hormone. 

As your body readies itself for lactation, it pumps extra blood into the alveoli, making your breasts firm and full. Swollen blood vessels, combined with an abundance of milk, may make your breasts temporarily painful and engorged, but breastfeeding frequently in the first few days will help relieve any discomfort. 

First comes colostrum 

During the early days of breastfeeding, your baby will enjoy a concentrated, creamy-looking, high-protein, low-fat substance called colostrum. You may have leaked a few drops of this thick, whitish substance during the final weeks of your pregnancy (some women have this happen during their second trimester). The precious, easily digestible liquid is full of disease-fighting antibodies called immunoglobulins that strengthen your baby's immune system. Your breastmilk changes throughout the feed to suit your baby's needs. 

breastfeeding flow chartFor your baby to enjoy your milk, it must be "let down" or released from the internal alveoli. Here's how it happens: As your baby sucks your nipple, she stimulates the pituitary gland to release oxytocin - as well as prolactin - into your bloodstream. When it reaches your breast, oxytocin causes the tiny muscles around the milk-filled alveoli to contract and squeeze. The nourishing liquid is emptied into the ducts, which transport it to the milk ducts just below the areola. When she feeds, your baby presses the milk from the ducts into her mouth. 

During the first days of feeding, you may feel some contractions in your abdomen as the baby sucks. The usually mild discomfort signals the release of oxytocin, which helps shrink your uterus back to its pre-pregnancy size. (This same hormone caused your uterus to contract during labour.) Another signal: You may feel calm, satisfied, and joyful as you breastfeed. No wonder some people call oxytocin the hormone of love! 

As your milk flow increases, you may also feel some tingling, stinging, burning, or prickling in your breasts. Some women say their milk drips or even sprays during letdown. And it helps if you can create a peaceful environment - if you're relaxed during feeds, your milk will flow more freely and easily. In fact, many women compare breastfeeding to learning how to ride a bike: It may be tricky at first, but once you - and your baby - get the hang of it, it becomes second nature. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

:: 70 Dosa Besar ::

Mengikut imam Azzahabiyy dalam kitabnya “Al-Kabaair” beliau menghimpunkan jenis dosa-dosa besar sebanyak 70 perkara:

01 – Belajar ilmu dan sembunyi pengetahuan
02 – Bersaksi palsu
03 – Berjudi
04 – Bersumpah palsu dan bohong
05 – Berbohong
06 – Bergambar di baju (bila sembahyang)
07 – Perempuan pelacur
08 – Berbuat buruk terhadap yang lemah
09 – Berdebat dan memusuhi
10 – Bersifat dayus
11 – Bercakap kasar dengan orang tua
12 – Dusta atas nama Allah dan rasul-Nya
13 – Derhaka pada suami
14 – Derhaka pada hamba Allah, anggap baik dirinya
15 – Hakim derhaka
16 – Homosek (hubungan sejenis)
17 – Mengurangi timbangan
18 – Lari seorang hamba dari tuannya
19 – Lelaki menyerupai wanita
20 – Lari dari medan perang di jalan Allah
21 – Membunuh manusia
22 – Membunuh diri sendiri
23 – Mengamalkan sihir
24 – Meninggalkan sembahyang lima waktu
25 – Meninggalkan sembahyang jumaat
26 – Menderhaka kepada kedua ibu bapa
27 – Memutuskan hubungan silaturrahim
28 – Melakukan zina
29 – Makan harta anak yatim secara tidak betul
30 – Makan dari kekayaan haram
31 – Memberi dan menerima rasuah
32 – Melabuhkan pakaian kerana berlagak sombong
33 – Makan riba
34 – Minum arak
35 – Mencuri
36 – Merompak
37 – Melalukan kezaliman
38 – Melakukan pengkhianatan
39 – Menyebut-nyebut pemberian
40 – Mengingkari janji
41 – Memfitnah
42 – Mengutuk orang Islam
43 – Merasa aman dari kemurkaan Allah
44 – Menipu harta rampasan
45 – Melampaui batas
46 – Menuduh zina terhadap orang baik
47 – Memakai emas dan sutera (bagi lelaki)
48 – Mempercayai nujum dan sihir
49 – Menjadi bapa sanggup
50 – Mencari kesalahan orang lain
51 – Menganggu orang lain
52 – Menganggu tetangga
53 – Menyakiti dan memaki orang islam
54 – Mengintip dan membuka rahsia orang
55 – Mencaci sahabat Nabi
56 – Mengurangi wasiat
57 – Mengingkari takdir
58 – Putus asa dari rahmat Allah
59 – Penipuan dan kezaliman terhadap rakyat
60 – Riak dan mempamerkan diri
61 – Syirikkan Allah dengan sesuatu yang lain
62 – Sombong serta angkuh
63 – Sembelih untuk selain Allah
64 – Tidak mengeluarkan zakat
65 – Tidak berpuasa di bulan Ramadhan
66 – Tidak mengerjakan haji jikalau mampu
67 – Tidak istinjak selepas kencing
68 – Tidak mendengar cakap ibu bapa
69 – Tipu daya
70 – Wanita menyerupai lelaki

p/s: Artikel diberi oleh seorang hamba Allah kepada temanku.. Sekadar berkongsi dengan sesiapa yg sudi. yang lebih penting, ini cuma peringatan buat diri saya yang serba kekurangan.. Again, tak berniat untuk melukakan sesiapa..

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

:: Motherhood and Breastfeeding ::

Salam dear friends,

Being a mother is totally not what I expected. Its not just having a little person depending you for everything, not just having a precious person as a symbol of love between you and your husband.. Its a whole new different realm, which cant be explained with words. Just talking about my baby and thinking about him tugs my heart strings.. I never felt a love this pure and deep. Only now I truly understand the sacrifices and the love of my own mother. I feel like hitting my own head with a hammer for every time I refused to do what my mother asked of me, or simply acting like a spoiled brat. (Ya Allah ampunkan dosaku.. Mak, ampunkan jah..)

Anyway, I will talk more about my precious little boy whom we named Faizal Ziqri bin Muhammad Farid in my next post perhaps.

Important thing first. Breastfeeding. Ever since before I was even pregnant, I have always wanted to breastfeed my baby because I truly believe that the milk created by god is the best milk. The bonding between a mom and her baby when he's breastfeeding is priceless. Thats the time when the baby is truly connected with his mother and thats the best time for a mother to talk to her baby, read him doa or simply stare into his eyes and send him loads of love.

I am now breastfeeding my son exclusively. But it was not easy getting here. First few days after birth, my son cried a lot. I didnt know how to feed him and he was still getting used to sucking for food. (versus getting food constantly via umbilical chord, without any effort). We struggled. It was very frustrating for him and extremely painful for me. I mean physically painful. My nipple bled and I cried a lot during that time. No, it was not Postpartum depression, i was crying because of the pain. But I didnt give up. I was determined to keep on trying everything under the sun, so that my son can get the best he can get. I was not ready to deny my son of his birth right to breast milk. People say I need to pump so that the milk keep on producing.. I did that. Still my milk was too low. Then people say I should take herbal tea.. I did that and still didnt work. People told me I should eat papaya, bak choi, soy, fresh milk, anmum milk, I tried everything! Finally my sister in-law recommended a tukang urut to help me massage for milk. In a heartbeat I wanted to try. Syukur Alhamdulilah, that worked. With the help of Allah of course, my milk was flowing, and still is.. i am praying that my milk would be sufficient for him until he's 2 years old. 

To new mothers out there, I know it can get very frustrating. You dont know where to go, who to ask and what to do.. I know! trust me, I know!! The key is to relax. Find & read as much as you can on the net. Sites like and are really helpful. Buy books, look out for flyers in clinics, gather as much information about breastfeeding as possible. If you can afford it, go see a lactation specialist. If you cant, try asking a breastfeeding mother. To me, breastfeeding mothers are the best teachers. They know what works and what not. For example, for working moms, doctors would advice you to pump your milk and ask the caretaker to feed your baby using a cup or a spoon. This is to avoid nipple confusion. To me, this doesnt work at all. My son is a hefty eater. He wont accept spoon fed milk. So i bottle feed him my expressed breast milk. Yes, at one point he was nipple confused. But after some reassurance and persistence, he accepts mine. In fact, I believe that babies actually prefer the real nipple, no matter what. 

Try deep breathing when breast feeding or pumping, think of your baby, look at his pictures, that really help the flow. I know it sounds ridiculous but it works. Keep on pumping and feeding as frequent as u can. Its ok if you only get an ounce. Keep at it. It will hurt as hell at first but u've been through labour.. so?

It is extremely important to surround yourself with positive people, those who are supportive of your decision to breastfeed. Coz trust u me, even family members are sometimes pro formula. I am blessed to have a mother who is very supportive of my decision. A father who is very protective and a husband who, like me, wants only the best for our child. There will be those who come to you and say, "anak ko ni tak cukup makan ni.. bagi je la formula" or "ko tengok anak orang tu.. gemok je.. tu la bagusnya minum susu tin.." or "ko bagi je la susu botol.. senang ko nak gi keje nanti.." or "jangan biasakan anak ko ngan susu badan.. nanti breast ko londeh.. kita pompuan kena jaga badan.." Tell them all to get lost. 

In my office, one particular colleague is very supportive of breastfeeding. He gave me support and endless encouragements. I would ask him questions and he would go back and ask his wife, and would come to work the next day with an answer. His wife, who is also a breastfeeding working mom, loaned me a book yesterday. A book I think every malaysian working mother should read. I dont know where to get it but I think the information is very useful. Apparently this book is very hard to get. (I wonder why!!!) So thank you so much Mr & Mrs Asba!

Ok so here's what I'm gonna do.. I'm gonna attach pictures of the book which I copied. Its not as pretty as the book but you can still read it. The information in it is the most important. Print these pictures out and read it and re-read it until u truly understand the content. 

I've done my part. If by publishing this post, I could persuade 1 mother to fully breastfeed her child, I would be very happy.. So good luck! Be patient and pray a lot!

p/s: Everything written here is of my own opinion and is not meant to hurt anybody. I believe that a mother knows whats best for her own child. Every child is unique so what works for me may not work for you. And most importantly, its your prerogative  if you choose not to breastfeed for whatever reason. I was not breastfed and I know I turn out great.. because I have great parents.. now thats a whole different story..