If there is one thing I truly regret about, it is not being able to breastfeed my son exclusively. At least until before resuming work in May. I wanted to breastfeed not because of the “hype” but primarily because of the convenience it offers (and the other benefits, of course). Nothing feels good about waking up in the middle of the night and getting out of bed just to prepare your son’s milk while telling him “Don’t cry baby, mama’s preparing your milk already o” (which you know is just pointless since your little one wouldn’t understand you and all he thinks about is being fed and his cries definitely tells you to “Hurry up mama!”) Wouldn’t it be more convenient if I just move closer to him and let him latch onto one of my breasts and voila, he’s already fed.
I wish I had read more on breastfeeding during my last trimester instead of watching videos about labor and delivery endlessly. I was so caught up in those things (especially during the 8th month!) that I lost sight of what’s ahead aka taking care of the baby, my husband, and myself.
Breastfeeding during the first week was extremely difficult (low milk supply + sore nipples). I had no idea what I was doing and I was always told that “I have milk” and that my baby has just to latch properly. At first I think the nurses and doctors were only telling me that in order to get me going (all the mothers in the baby-friendly hospitals have no choice but to breastfeed as formula is restricted). Just imagine having to feed every 30 minutes to one hour with a cracked nipple. The pain was so unbearable that I’d start to cry whenever my baby cries. The husband would keep telling me that I should just think about our baby. But how about me? I asked selfishly. I asked my husband to buy a manual pump (which is not a good idea; should have invested in a motorized one and although the one we got wasn’t that expensive, it wasn’t that cheap either). If there’s one thing that the pump has helped me with, it was letting me know that I indeed have milk, just not enough.
I got my eyes all set on breastfeeding right from the start of my pregnancy; didn’t even bought bottles except for a small one for water (but at the hospital I was told no water for up to six months, oh well). But when I saw a pink tinge on my son’s diaper, I panicked when I read that it was often a sign of dehydration in newborns. I decided then that I should give up all thoughts of exclusively breastfeeding and just supplement with formula. The husband was hesitant at first, but agreed anyway. I don’t know why he’s so adamant about me breastfeeding my son. Are husbands supposed to be that involved in their children’s feeding choices? Haha.
As of this writing, I am doing a combination feeding: formula and breastmilk. It is also a good thing my son wants to nurse whenever he is sleepy so I don’t have to feel guilty about him not wanting to nurse anymore. Also, I have found these nipples with crisscross cuts. They are truly a life-saver! There was this one time when my son doesn’t know how to properly latch (and I suspected because from the bottles he gets “easy milk” compared to the sucking he has to do while nursing).
I don’t know how long I will be nursing my little one, but I am sure that either way, I know that I should not feel guilty about my choices as long as they’re for my baby and not just for me.