People talk about increasing milk supply all the time, but here I am leaping to tell you the story and how it all ends.
I started my breastfeeding journey right after my little one was born. I felt so happy being able to breastfeed my son without having any problem with my milk supply.
Even though I gave birth via cesarean, I practiced direct latching on my breast and delayed bottle feeding because I thought it would be best for the baby to bond with me (his mom) through breastfeeding for the first couple of weeks.
I’m proud to breastfeed my son, but I won’t deny the fact that it was challenging for the first three months. I almost give up, especially when I experienced mastitis for the first time when high fever, chills, and painful sharp tingling feeling on my breasts dominated my body. I almost took the medicine that the OBGYN gave me to lower the milk supply, but I persevered.
Whether you have enough milk or you have plenty, I know that it’s a struggle but believe me when I say that it will get better, especially when your little one turned six months old and starting to eat solids.
TRANSITION TO FORMULA MILK
I exclusively breastfed my baby for ten months and introduced him to formula when he turned 11 months. He was very picky when it comes to milk formula, so it took us two trials before I found the perfect one for his taste.
I started giving him a formula bottle once a day for one week. Then twice a day for another week until I transition to milk formula fully. If you’re planning to transition, the clue word here is, slowly do it. Slowly but surely introduce formula milk to your baby.
From 11 months old until he turns almost 13 months, I am mixed feeding my baby.
HOW TO REALIZE WHEN YOU’RE READY TO STOP BREASTFEEDING
It took me a while to know that I’m ready to stop and let go.
Since I was breastfeeding for the whole year and created a habit of feeding my baby to sleep during the night, it was hard for me to let go because I already made a routine for us, especially during the night. Whenever he cries, his dad takes him out of his crib and brings him beside me to breastfeed him to sleep. I was hesitant to disrupt that comfort or the routine that we used to do for several months. But when we realized that baby of his age was only drinking milk during the night for comfort or security and could fall asleep through the night without drinking milk, we decided to change it up.
To break the habit, we talked to the pediatrician, and she recommended that we give warm water instead of milk if ever he wakes up in the middle of the night. It worked! I did this during the transition period, about three months until I fully felt that I was ready to let go and stop.
Also, I noticed that my son was ready to stop because when he turned 11 months old, he started to play with my breasts and started ignoring them, which shocked me. So actually, it was me who couldn’t let go easier and faster. But it helps to see that your baby is also ready and does not cling to your breast anymore because it will give you the natural feeling of letting go. It’s like a sign saying, “Momshie, your baby is ready to free your breasts; you should too.”
So overall, the transition was smooth, and my boobs were also ready to stop because I didn’t have breast engorgement or pain at all when I stopped. There was a little bit of discomfort or leaking, but I think they are also ready to stop and let go. I guess they needed some rest too.
A year of breastfeeding brought me so much joy and satisfaction as a mom. I am beyond grateful for the antibodies I’ve shared with my son, especially when the coronavirus infected us. However, I also feel so relieved when I decided to stop because I know that my son and I were ready to let go of breastfeeding. He’s still a happy baby and clings to mommy whenever he wants. So if you will compare him before and after breastfeeding, no difference at all. He still grows at an average pace and getting smarter each day.
Also, I am so proud of myself for doing the best I can to provide milk for him, even if it is from my breasts or the formula milk I am buying. So momshie, if you’re reading this, whether you’re a BF mom or a formula mom, whatever you chose, I believe that you did the right thing for you and your family.
I hope this story helps those transitioning to formula milk because I know that this is something that only rare people shared or talked about.