When I was pregnant, I was so sure that I was going to be a full breastfeeding mum… we bought a nursing cover, nursing-friendly clothes, a Hakka pump, supplements and other breastfeeding-related items before the baby came.
After N was born, I was faced with low milk supply. Yet I did not want to give up despite having the masseuse giving me massage to boost milk production, despite downing supplements after supplements, despite having half-clutched eyes pumping on a 2-hourly schedule, despite having nutritious confinement food, despite buying another breastpump, despite pumping less than 1 ounce of milk from both sides, despite having a screaming baby who was being ‘forced’ to latch and for not getting the amount of milk he expected…. I did not give up.Many advised me to keep my efforts going since I have ‘all the time’ during maternity leave and don’t get me going on the pros of breastfeeding.
Because of my low supply, we mix-fed him with Mamil milk formula which costs $54 per tin of 850g. It was costly but something that made him poop smoothly (the milk formula before that caused him constipation). Still, I was ambitious and looked forward to saying bye-bye to milk formula once my milk supply becomes better.
Until one night, N cried so hard as if I was about to breastfeed him poison, because he kinda knew he was not going to get enough milk that he expected. And that was my breaking point.
WHO’D KNEW BREASTFEEDING COULD BE A STRUGGLE???
Goodbye pretty nursing cover.
Goodbye cool-looking Hakka pump.
Goodbye powerful Spectra pump.
Goodbye at the thought of saving money on formula milk.
I was so discouraged. So demotivated. I felt so down. I became envious towards family, friends and other ladies I knew who could breastfeed so easily. I was afraid that I would be stripped off from this special bond with my child that people say exists when you breastfeed. I feared being labelled as the incapable mum who could not provide the best nutrition for my child through breastfeeding.
Until one day I saw @jamieyeo’s IG post (I can’t find that post now). It was a chunky post, but it was these lines that changed my mindset completely.
“Don’t beat yourself over it.”
“Fed is best.”
Low milk supply was not the problem. Beating myself over it all the time – THAT was the problem. I beat myself too much over it that I became easily stressed. So D & I decided to make the complete switch to milk formula after I confirmed that I was almost no longer producing milk.
Fast forward to 9 months later, N is healthy and happy. And most importantly, he poops normally.
If you are a new mum facing the first 8 paragraphs of this post, you are not alone! It is not easy to shut your ears and emotions to all these evil comments and thoughts about not being able to breastfeed… but what’s more evil is not giving your child enough and be oblivious about it!
Undeniably, breastfeeding has its pros. But so does milk formula – it has its own set of pros. Most importantly, YOUR CHILD IS BEING FED WHEN IT’S THEIR FEEDING TIME. And your mind tak jadi gila. Maybe it’s not our rezeki to produce enough milk, but our rezeki comes in other forms. Don’t worry babes, Allah kan ada.