23 October 2011

5 Tips for Unsuccessful Breastfeeding

AKA What I did wrong with my first two kids, thus resulting in just under a month of breastfeeding, and causing them to be illness magnets. 
I'm not saying I'm successful now. Not yet anyway. It still remains to be seen. Ask me after 6 months. But so far,  I have been exclusively breastfeeding Cayla directly for one month and two days without supplementing with formula. I'm so relieved to know that she gained weight and grew longer. Yey!
Baby Caleb with a bottle, photo taken by Elle
  • Lack of information. I'm thankful to Beth for inviting me to go with her to several talks regarding breastfeeding when we were still pregnant. It helped a lot! It also helped that she briefed me on what to expect after she gave birth. She was ahead of me by about a month.
  • No resolve to be committed and determined to breastfeed. It is a big factor to want to breastfeed and see this decision through. Even if it meant not bringing formula to the hospital with me, to avoid temptation.
  • Mixed feeding at the very beginning. Before, I supplemented with formula right from the start and this was a wrong move. 
  • Not believing I have enough milk to nourish my newborn. One thing I learned from attending the talks is that I should believe that my milk is and will be enough for my baby, despite what naysayers claim. I should not let anyone discourage me. Or anything. It seemed that she's not gaining weight or retaining any fats was disheartening. I always kept in mind that formula-fed babies really become chubby faster.
  • Stopping breastfeeding when mommy is sick. I also learned that breastfeeding while I was coughing and sneezing will prove to be beneficial for my baby because she will get the antibodies that help fight these sicknesses, although it was very hard for me to see Cayla being sick too, at that time. Because she was so fragile, I cannot help but cry when her nose was stuffy and she would also cough. I am so grateful to God for healing her.
There are of course many challenges still. There were a few people dissuading me from breastfeeding. And there's the pediatrician of my two kids who seems to discourage breastfeeding. I don't know what she gets out of recommending formula. It boggles my mind. Then there's the discomfort of having a C-section. Let's not forget the sore and cracked nipples (ouch!) and the engorgement of the boobs. Plus, breastfeeding on demand demands a lot of energy and time, especially at nights. I miss uninterrupted sleep. *sigh*

So, if you would want to breastfeed, really, really want to breastfeed, think about these tips and do not follow them. :-)
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