Because it is what my days and nights revolve around.
So how did I decide on being an exclusively pumping mum (almost), despite not buying a pump until 2 days post-partum? Well, here’s the low down.
- Nat did not have any problems latching, in fact he latches probably too well. The lactation consultant from Thomson Medical Centre (TMC), the hospital which I gave birth in, called him a piranha so go figure.
- In the initial first two weeks, he was latching every 3hours and I was pumping on my Spectra S1 (massage mode) to try and main stimulate milk supply. I really respect moms who choose to exclusively breastfeed because I could not continue being latched on every 2-3hours. I felt like a cow, an unhappy one, with not much milk to offer.
- Then there was the formula talk with HJ whether I should go 100% formula since Nat was already being supplemented with it and we are very blessed because despite being given formula in bottle as a supplement, Nat did not reject the idea of direct latching. He basically will eat from anything. So back to the formula talk, HJ genuinely felt that breastmilk has its benefits (which I am also inclined to believe) and that the right thing to do was to breastfeed until at least 6 months (in line with WHO’s recommendations). So fine, I decided to suck it up and persevere because I knew that Nat would benefit from breastmilk. To balance things, I chose to then pump out the milk so that he could still have the benefits without me having to deal with a piranha.
- The hard truth came when I did more researching and read that there was also apparently a distinction between babies who are breastfed directly vs. breastfed through a bottle via pumping. Nonetheless, I stuck with the decision to pump majority of the time and have Nat latch occasionally because as long as these conditions were met, it was good enough for me. Nat would be drinking mostly breastmilk supplemented by some formula in the night or when we went out and I would be comfortable with his on and off latching (1-2x a day or when it is too troublesome to pump).
So I guess the morale of my story is really about making a decision that both mother and baby is comfortable with. And father too because as a result of my pumping routine that may or may not sync with Nat’s feeding time, HJ has been the one helping with most night feeds while I’m either resting between pumps or pumping.
Am just glad I’ve got 4months of this journey to go. As to how we’re going to manage the night time feeds and sleep training – that’s another post for another time.