My daughter is 18 months old and I am proud to say that I am still breastfeeding. When my friends and titas find out that we haven’t weaned yet, they’re shocked, telling me that it’s time to stop. I don’t know if they understand the bond that my daughter and I share when we breastfeed.
Starting Off With Direct Feeding I hardly pumped because whenever I did, the milk I got was close to pitiful—unlike those lucky mothers who pumped for a few minutes and got ounces and ounces of milk, I was lucky to get two. I tried everything—watching comedy shows while pumping to relax, buying a new pump, and taking tons of water and malunggay pills. I even saw an OB GYN lactation consultant who prescribed Motillium to increase my milk supply (do not take this unless you see a doctor first). This is why we mostly direct-fed.
The Dreaded Roadblock: Not Gaining Enough Weight My breastfeeding journey has been a very difficult one. When my daughter was born, she latched right away. It was the most wonderful experience. But things got difficult when we got home (don’t all the stories go this way?) because she would feed almost every hour—and for what felt like hours at a time! This wouldn’t have been a problem had my pedia not said that my daughter wasn’t gaining enough weight.
Then the issues about my milk supply started. I wanted to exclusively breastfeed my daughter and I did not want to mix. No matter what everyone said. This was my choice and something I was going to do right. I felt that I was informed enough and was at an age where I was confident in making the right decision for me and my child—and that was to exclusively breastfeed.
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The Magic Of Incredible Support And Solids The stress was driving me crazy. This is where all the research (and the tears) came in. My husband was incredibly supportive and so were my lactation consultants and friends. But each time we went to the pedia, I got the same spiel. It was time to mix. Finally, I begged her to wait till six months. Eventually, my daughter started to gain enough weight to get my pedia off my back. I think it was the time when she started eating solids.
The Result: A Happy, Healthy Toddler I finally weaned from the pump when my daughter hit one. If I had to leave the house, I’d give her fresh milk, but when we were together and she wanted to nurse, I let her. I sometimes wonder why I was so passionate about breastfeeding my daughter. Surely, it would have gone better for me had I just listened to my pedia and everyone else and mixed at the start? Call it hormones or a very determined maternal instinct, but I am incredibly proud to say that I stuck to it and didn’t give up. Today, I still am unsure about weaning. My daughter doesn’t show signs of it. Sometimes I wonder if I’m the one who isn’t ready to wean. But when I look at my happy, healthy little toddler who spontaneously kisses me and puts her arms on her chest (sign language for love), with a smile, I know that I definitely made the right choice.