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15 March 2014

Why I Breastfed my Firstborn for 7 months

It was supposed to be the postnatal checkup for 6 months after delivery of my firstborn, Pei Pei. It turned out to be the first prenatal checkup for my second pregnancy.

"To play safe... better not."

That was my gynaecologist's reply to my question - Can I continue breastfeeding Pei Pei during pregnancy?

A few days later, when we brought Pei Pei to the pediatrician for vaccination, the pediatrician gave me the same reply when I asked that question.

When I did researches online, some articles commented that it is ok to continue breastfeeding during pregnancy, and I knew some mothers who did that.

I was in a dilemma.

The final decision to whether I should continue breastfeeding during pregnancy was then made. The person who made this decision was Pei Pei.

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Why I Breastfed for 6 months and stopped...

When I was pregnant with Nicole, I had many (Read: MANY) friends who gave me many (Read: MANY again) advices on breastfeeding. They were those who were hell bent on converting me to fully breastfeed. And they were those who listed out the pros and cons and let me decide. And in the end, I made a decision… I will listen to the official voice of World Health Organisation (WHO):
So that’s how that magic 6 MONTHS figure got stucked in my mind. I told myself, that’s the least I have to do for my kids (if possible!)
Here’s my stats: Nicole – 6 months of breast milk, Nathan – 7 months of breast milk, Nadine – 9 months of breast milk. Yeah!!!

But I was a unconventional breastfeeder. I didn’t believe in latching. With Nicole, I latched for 1 month. Each time before I latched, my body would tense up. As I see that goldfish mouth coming closer and closer to the nipple, I’ve to shut my eyes in anticipation for the ‘OUCH’. I was probably doing it wrong, but it was really something I don’t look forward to.

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Why I Breastfed for 3 months...

I was a first time mom, beaming with pride and joy when my baby boy, Blake, entered our lives in September 2010.
Little did I know that the very first thing that I would ‘fail’ as a mother was being unable to provide him with milk.
You see, my milk didn’t kick in till more than a week after giving birth. I had a terrible, terrible time trying to breastfeed him, even though he latched on well. And, he had the cutest way of latching on. He would shake his head with his mouth wide open before attacking my breasts. I never knew how he could aim so well, even though his eyes were closed most of the time!
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Why I Breastfed for 2 Months

Well technically, I have breastfed my kids for a total of 30 months.

30 months.

3 kids.

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Why I Breastfed for 1 Month

HiroshiBreastfeed zps8464b33e Why I breastfed for..... One Month | 5 Lessons Ive learn from Breastfeeding
Unlike most new mother who struggled with supply problems. I had plenty to feed a village. I started producing milk shortly after 2nd trimester and had soaking wet tee shirts all the way till I delivered Hiroshi. I was a nervous wreck as a first time mother. But, I was AMBITIOUS! I insisted for Hiroshi to be totally breastfed.
Throughout the 9 months of pregnancy I was certain that I wanted Hiroshi to be totally breastfed. I’ve watch every single Dr Jack Newmen videos on Breastfeeding over a gazillion times. Running dry drills at the back on my head,
tummy to tummy,
tickle baby’s upper lips with nipple,
WAIT for the GAPE,
then straight on.
As I lay paralysed from waist down from the effect of epidural, accompanied with a fresh cesarean wound right across the bikini line. I wasn’t sure if I was able to breastfeed Hiroshi as planned.
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Why I breastfed for 1 week

...There are lucky mums who can breastfeed their babies without any problems. Though I knew of some mums (real life examples!) who had to go through a very tough time, put in a lot of effort, before their breastfeeding journey became smooth sailing. Those really really lucky mums, they cannot and won't be able to understanding why mums like us are not able to breastfeed. Because to them, most of them who has never faced any problem with milk supply, their milk factory works so wonderfully well, it's like they just need to press a button and the milk would flow as much as they want to. Sure, there are other issues like over supply, milk leakage, sore nipple, engorgement, mastitis, etc, I won't go there because I am totally not qualified to talk about that. 

Let me tell you why I wanna breastfeed. 

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Why I breastfed for...

When I first started out breastfeeding, my aim was to breastfeed for at least 6 months (because WHO says so) and to stop at about 12 months (because society says so).

I know you think this is Baby Boy but this is actually Baby Girl at 2 months old after a session of breastfeeding!
(They look similar don't they?)

I didn't manage to stop at 12 months because my girl simply refused to stop so I continued on and only stopped at 18 months when my girl decided that she was not interested in breastfeeding any more (I was both sad and happy..).

On hindsight, I wondered why I felt the need to "force" my girl to stop breastfeeding at 12 months. Because society says so? Because I'm tired of breastfeeding? I don't know. And as I talked to different mums whose breastfeeding journey was either shorter or longer than mine, it seemed that there was always a story behind why mothers breastfeed for 1 week, 1 month, 6 months or even 48 months! Driven by choice or by circumstances, we all have a story to tell and I would love to hear it!


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