“Breastfeeding is the feeding of an infant or young child with breast milk directly from female human breasts (i.e., via lactation) rather than using infant formula. Babies have a sucking reflex that enables them to suck and swallow milk. Experts recommend that children be breastfed within one hour of birth, exclusively breastfed for the first six months, and then breastfed until age two with age-appropriate, nutritionally adequate and safe complementary foods.” Source: Wikipedia
I think this is a very apt explanation of what breastfeeding is factually. The other part of it not described is the emotional and mental portion of it which is the bonding and the mental struggle for new mummies trying to latch properly, producing enough supply and ensuring the caretakers know the proper way of handling the bm so that it would at its most optimum condition for the child consumption.
I became a first time mummy way back in May 2006 and never regret since. The amount of joy and blessings I received from each of my every child gave me the motivation to move forward each day with strength, courage and positivity. I breastfed Jayden for 6 months and he weaned off automatically without any fuss. The initial phase was nearly on depression mode without any friends/family strong support in breastfeeding. Nevertheless, I manage to push away the negativity and move on to feed Jayden who I believe as a mummy this is the least I could do for him. My journey in expressing is a pain for a start. I was using single pump from Medela and the manual Avent pump which did not work for me. I was very lucky to met a female GP who showed me exactly how to do hands expression and shared with me that it is alright to latch the baby as long as they need whether its for fulfilling hunger pangs or comfort reasons as baby born to this world deserved all the love they need especially in the initial 6 months. I latched fully whenever I am with the Jayden so that he will never associate or compare me with the bottle. I will never feed him bottle during breastfeeding period. This is to tuned to that if he needs milk, he needs to latch. Breastfeeding had never deter me from any of my vanity sessions. If I am doing my hair for a few hours, I will hand express and bring back the milk. If I am shopping with Jayden, he will be in Baby Bjorn while I covered him with a nursing shawl and continue with my shopping. Breastfeeding can be anywhere in MRT, taxi, bus, walking to any destination. It definitely allowed my diaper bag to be much lighter without any need to bring hot water, milk bottle and formula. Plus I am NOT affected to get stares and proud to share that I am feeding my baby which is a proper thing to do.
This was Jayden happily latching away…
When I had Chloez on 18 March 2008, I was determined to do even better. I managed to breastfeed her for a good 18months and went Europe trip with hubby for an immediate cold turkey. I was more actively involved with the Singapore Motherhood forum mummies during this birth and we had several play dates with our babies. Its a blessing that I found a few good mummies friends whom we confide in each other on our daily issues. Getting support and encouragement is very important for especially breastfeeding mummies as we need to juggle between work and milk expression and sleepless nights.
|Mummies Gathering at my old residence in Jurong West
|All the mummies trying to put the babies together for a group photo. Look at their faces. They could barely sit up straight and we are “torturing” them to pose already. LOL.