Since medical school, I’ve learnt about the benefits of breastfeeding. From how it reduces infections and allergies/eczema in babies who are exclusively breastfed, to how it helps prevent uterine and breast cancer in the mother as well as help in involution of the uterus, to name a few. Even as a houseman and medical officer I’ve been advising patients on exclusive breastfeeding.
Well, until I went through the process myself I understood the challenges of breastfeeding. My daughter had jaundice from Day 3 of life and while she was admitted I remember so vividly trying so hard to pump so she can get enough breast milk (90% of jaundice is due to breastfeeding jaundice, meaning not enough supply or intake of milk). The nurse told me to just supplement with formula milk first. I said no at first as I learnt earlier that persistent and consistent direct latching and pumping is the best way to increase milk supply. I was in a dilemma and so so stressed up. I didn’t want to give in to formula feeding. And at that point of time, thinking of my child I just caved in. I said ok. So from first week of life she started formula feeding + whatever breast milk I had. Her demand was so high I couldn’t keep up. I tried everything under the sun-all those food which were supposed to increase your supply , Lactational cookies, herbal blend drinks etc(you name it!), NOTHING WORKED. And imagine at that time you see breastfeeding groups with other mommies who exclusively breastfeed posting up bottles and bottles of milk overflowing. Having so much of extra milk they make soaps out of it. And seeing comments of people linking ‘thin’ babies to formula-feeding and ‘chubby’ babies to ‘breastfeeding’. To make matters even worse, my daughter rejected breastfeeding(direct-latching) totally because she was already used to bottle-feeding. That’s coz the milk from a bottle flows faster, milk from nipple required more effort and I had lesser supply. I was so depressed I thank God I had my mum with me at that time. We went around finding solutions to revert breastfeeding. Finally we found a Lactational consultant who taught an amazing way I’ve never seen or heard of before. The time when I almost gave up breastfeeding, that method worked like a miracle. *I hope to share the method in the future so mothers who are undergoing this same problem would benefit from this. So once I reverted it, I started myself on Domperidone tablets which is known to increase milk supply. Only that worked for me(with pumping every 3 hours of course). I took domperidone for months and managed to breastfeed for about 10months on top of formula feeding and I’m glad I didn’t give up. My daughter is now 2 and a half years old❤
This is to let you mothers know that it’s ok if for some reason you are unable to exclusively breastfeed your baby. It’s doesn’t make you an incapable mother.
Also, it doesn’t make your child any less smarter than a child who is exclusively breastfed.
There are a lot of formula-fed babies who are chubby and breastfed babies who are thin.
There are many other ways to bond other than breastfeeding. You can still bond well with your child even if you supplement with formula feeds.
There are many babies who are breastfed but still have allergies, infections and eczema. It has also got a lot to do with environmental/genetic factors and food intake. *I will share soon on great supplements for kids/pregnant mothers to help prevent allergies/eczema/asthma.
When other mothers tell you how successful they are in breastfeeding, be happy for them and look at it as inspiration, not competition.
Don’t stress yourself up coz you are unable to exclusively breastfeed. Stress itself decreases milk supply. Stress also gives out a negative vibe to your baby and in turn makes them more irritable. I really do believe they ‘know’ when you’re in a good mood and when you’re stressed even when you don’t say anything.
Be at peace with yourself and your own capabilities. If you are unable to breastfeed due to personal/medical reasons, there’s nothing wrong with having to supplement with formula feed. Don’t worry about who judges you. I know there may be so much of peer pressure seeing breastfeeding groups and how successfully other mothers can do it but this is not a race. Do what is right and comfortable for you and your child at YOUR OWN PACE.
Whatever choice you make, no one has any right to judge you Mommies! Don’t worry about what others will think of you. You should worry about your needs and your child’s. To your child, you are his/her world❤ I know you will do the best for your kids! 😘😘 Have a great day mommies!