Wednesday, June 18, 2008

On breastfeeding

*this was something i write quite a while ago but didn't manage to post it cos i couldn't finish writing it. but here it is.

I was very sure i wanted to breastfeed Eliza from the start and thank God that despite being a HepB carrier, I was able to do so. (i did a blood test and the results were ok, so my gynae gave the green light..i think for some people they may not be able to, like for my mum's case)

Breastfeeding is quite a popular thing now, esp with all the better facilities and things (ie clothes, shawls, etc) and all the publicity. But of course it's cos it's the best 'food' for baby, after all God thought of it, else how was Eve able to provide for her baby? There's much to read online about the benefits of breastfeeding online so i don't really want to write here.

Anyway i was aiming to BF at least 6 months and if possible, as long as i can. We had a thought that we could sell away the electric pump after 6 months. I had thought and planned how i was going to wean Eliza to FM (formula milk) at 6 months (it's like yays, i thought, i can try the sample FM). Now that Eliza is 6 months old, and i have 1/3 of my freezer filled up with frozen BM, i am thinking of continuing till she's at least one year old.

What's great about BF?
1. Save money.
I really don't know how much will i have to spend if i bought FM. i heard it's one tin a week? I absolutely got no idea. Anyway what have i spent so far?
- The electric pump is about $600. I have a manual pump which was a gift.
- I bought the Lanisoh milkbags, 4 packs (100 pieces) for about $48. (buy online!!! it's so much cheaper than buying from retail stores in mine from SingaporeMotherhood forums for $11-$12 for each box of 25) i still have 1 pack unused.
- Electricity to boil water to heat up chilled BM
2. In the first 3 months, it was convenient. Baby hungry, latch on, baby filled. no need to heat water, sterilize bottles, etc etc. but i started transiting to bottle feeds quite early on to prepare for my return to work.
3. Bonding with baby.
It's a mummy & baby thing and it was quite nice to be wanted. Though i don't think bottle-feeding makes bonding lesser...we gaze into each other's eyes and i'll talk to her or sing to her while she drinks. moreover, bottle feeding allows different family members to help care for Eliza and let her get to know them. Even Ww's dad fed her...his first time feeding baby.
4. Slimming down
Really, like what they say, it takes 9 months to gain that much weight, so don't expect yourself to lose weight in a month. I can safely say that now i'm back to my pre-preg weight (and 1kg lighter!). That's what breastfeeding does...transfer good fats and nutrients to a growing baby..and helps mummy 'work out'. Needing to eat 500calories more a day is quite good too...but since i eat as i used to (ie. just enough), i get to lose weight. Another thing is...i get to eat more!!! buahahaa...but more healthily lah.

The downside?
1. Spending time expressing milk
I knew i had to start practicing preparation for my return to work. At first it was how to use the pump. Then it was how to express milk when there's no one around to take care of Eliza. ie. how to keep her entertained and happy for 15-30min or to express while she's asleep...and then hope she doesn't wake up until i'm done.
Then it was spending precious time expressing at work. When i returned to work, i expresed at 5-6hr intervals, which means twice at work and 1hr in total. Not too relaxing when you have work at hand you want to get done quickly. Now i've gotten used to expressing at 8hr intervals, i wonder if i can stretch to 12hr intervals.
2. Limited time outside
If you have to calculate when is the next mid-day timing to express milk, that just cuts short your time you can hang out outside, unless i bring the manual pump along, express in the toilet and throw the milk away. time to hang out outside was shorter in the earlier months cos the pumping intervals were shorter, i could just bear with the engorgement or worse, worry whether it will affect supply.

anyway, i wonder whether i can last till 1yr now...wondering whether i should start introducing formula milk in case she rejects it. my aunt whose baby is 2 months older than Eliza is encouraging me to continue as long as i can. So i will, for my cute lil gal.

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