Wednesday 1 August 2012

World Breastfeeding Week

World Breastfeeding Week has just begun and to my pleasant surprise, it starts on the same day as my birthday. Somehow, that makes me go "Eh! Got link's gotta mean something.." Yes, I'm that kinda person. The kind that likes to link things up and make things up in my mind to prove that what I'm doing is fulfilling or has some sort of meaning/meant to be.

*warning!* this is gonna be quite a long post. If you aren't a mommy, you probably won't care much about breastfeeding, so you might want to skip this post.

I have been breastfeeding Kaitlin for close to a year, and honestly speaking, I think even by her first birthday I would still be breastfeeding her.

When are you going to stop breastfeeding? Don't you think it's about time you should stop breastfeeding already? You've breastfed for so long, you can transition to formula milk alr, afterall there have been reports about nut allergy etc etc Are you sure you have enough milk supply for your toddler?

To answer the above...
1. I don't know when I am or will stop breastfeeding. I honestly thought my breastfeeding journey would have ended earlier. To be frank, the 6 month mark was my goal. But having gone beyond that, I'm just like hey! why not continue? So, we'll see I guess. When the time is right..when my babygirl is ready and it doesn't seem like I'm trying to break some bond that I share with her. The only other reason I could possibly think of why I would stop breastfeeding her is cos I have another baby, in my tummy. Sometimes I do fear that one day I might get into an accident or something happens and I can't breastfeed Kaitlin anymore then what's gonna happen? It's gonna be like a total shut down of milk supply, how is she gonna feel? I don't want her to have to deal with that trauma. Yet, I really don't know how I should go about the whole weaning process. I've read online on ways to..but I just can't. Simply cos, I'm not ready.

2. This is gonna sound rude and possibly a little wilful and barbaric. I don't want to stop breastfeeding my child. Can? Yes, I know the existence of formula milk. Heck, I used it since she was a tiny one, no thanks to the older generation (seriously, I won't be fooled or taken it anymore!), but my babygirl does not want formula milk and since I have the resource running..why not? Plus, that saves me some moolah to buy her toys and whatever. Plus, why not longer? Before the invention of milk powder, did people not breastfeed their babies? Is that not how we have generations and how each and everyone of you around? Regarding the nut allergy, I don't have a history of nut allergy, neither does Lihai, so I'm not really that concerned. At most, I'll cut down on the amount of nuts I consume till I stop breastfeeding her.

3. Sorry, I don't have a bloody measuring cup or whatsoever attached to my boob, neither does my baby's mouth serve as some measuring gauge tool, so I can't tell if I have enough milk. To be frank, I don't even think I do, but hello! She is alive and kicking, no? Plus, she is really heavy, so I'm not too worried about that. Plus, she takes solids. Nothing to worry about yah? Seriously, of all things that people ask or comment about when you have a baby and tell them you are breastfeeding, I HATE THIS QUESTION. If you do not know me, and try to strike up a conversation asking me this, I will seriously walk away without replying and hate your guts and tear you apart in my head. If I know you, I will probably ask you to go and die and eat shit in my head as well..#civilisedlikethat

My point is..It was not easy breastfeeding at first. I had no clue. Kaitlin was a tiny little baby, it was so hard to carry her in the right position and get her to latch on the right way. There came a point in time where I had mastitis. A point in time where I got really tired from expressing my milk. Just so you know, I did this with no pump, but pure traditional form of expressing, using my hands -.- Why did I not get a pump? Cos I thought my breastfeeding journey was gonna end early so no point getting. I'm glad I didn't anyway! Perhaps in the future I might. Continuing on, there came a period where I felt like I had no milk/not enough milk and everyone was all against me. (Yes, I remember this period so clearly, I felt like murdering everyone including the husband *stares*) No matter how much I read and tried to increase my milk supply it just didn't seem to work, but look now! HELLO HELLO! I've been breastfeeding for almost a year! Since I've been lucky enough to still be able to breastfeed Kaitlin, so why not continue? Why go against something that is part of nature? Makes no sense to me. I'm gonna be thick skinned and say that it's the best gift that anyone can give to my babygirl and only I can do that hurhur. Makes me feel important in Kaitlin's life as well.

No seriously, breastfeeding your child has so much benefits:

- protects babies from diseases/illnesses
- saves you money
- helps you and your baby nurture a bond
- helps mommies lose weight
- reduced risk of SIDS
- less risk of childhood obesity
- reduced risk of breast/ovarian/cervical cancer for mommies
- protection for mommies against osteoporosis

and..this one I love the most

- delays the return of your period!!!

might be #tmi but I've been period free since last Jan - I think that means I've been period free for about 20 months?

I still remember when I just first gave birth to Kaitlin, the nurses asked if I was gonna breastfeed, and I just said yes. The hospitals were advocating it, it seemed like a natural that everyone does for their kid, so okay, I will do it too. More like a "okay lor, seems normal and quite okay, shall join in the fun too" kinda thing. It was really something totally new and different to me. Now, it's like a routine. I got to admit, I've this bad habit that I've kind incalucated into Kaitlin. Whenever she cries, and I try a few things and she won't stop and it drives me nuts cos I hate noise, I would latch her. IT WORKS LIKE MAGIC! Gives me my peace and calms her down. Win-win!!!!

I seriously strongly encourage all mommies to give breastfeeding a try and persevere on even though it initially can get quite tricky.

As a mom living in Singapore, I do hope that our society becomes more open about breastfeeding.      Sometimes, it's not easy finding a baby room to feed an impatient and hungry baby, and what's worse, more often than not, there usually already is someone occupying the room and you've to wait. One of the many baby buys I've made, and am actually quite relieved I bought is a breastfeeding blanket. It really is just a piece of cloth but it makes my life so much easier. I've used it on so many occasions like feeding Kaitlin on a cab, in a cafe in full view of people and in the middle of a supermarket. I did get quite a few looks from people who weren't parents themselves yet. So here's where I'm hoping people start to accept breastfeeding as something natural and not vulgar or inappropriate to be done in public. We are just as concerned about flashing our boobs to feed our babies in public, but if there is a crying baby, what needs to be done, needs to be done. Just as how you need to eat to fill your tummies, our babies need to do as well, so calm yo tits people! It's just breastfeeding!

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