May 3, 2011

The one with pumped milk…

Category: Baby Food

…is about to retire.

Up until now, Spud has been on exclusive pumped breast milk and only recently did I consider of switching to the dreaded powdered milk. I’m (still) in two minds about going on formula, but I guess, 7 solid months has been a really long time to be pumping whilst at work since the breast-feeding days.

With what I have done, I am now a firm believer of demand and supply of breast milk. Relating from my own experience, it no doubt, requires a great deal of commitment, dedication and discipline.

The only way to regulate the supply is frequent pumping, and for me, that could be up to 8x-10x a day, just to keep up with Spud’s demand. I had a very rough start at breastfeeding, which had convinced me that I was being manipulated to go straight to formula. It was highly frustrating and I can only empathise as to why most women tend to give up, as it is only too easy to convince oneself that they really did not produce enough.

Merely from my experience alone though, I’d like to stress that it is possible to produce (more than) enough and that the notion of “just not having enough milk” can be overcomed. Only, one has to really have to work hard at it. That being said, I can now attest to the fact that, unless one is diagnose with a medical condition or just happened to be in a very unfortunate position that is beyond one’s control, I have to say that I agree with the sentiments of “Never think you don’t have enough milk or let anyone tell you that you don’t have enough”.

While I cannot tell you enough that commitment, dedication and discipline are the biggest component of it all, my feat will also not be possible without the help of a very good pump and a very supportive spouse to cheer you on. I am also glad that for my cause of advocating breastfeeding, I managed to get the much needed support from various Moms’ groups, as well as my employer who provided me a place to retreat for a pumping session and colleagues understanding and flexible enough to accommodate to my frequent pump breaks.

Daunting as the task of having to pump may be, I feel very fortunate to be able to experience this journey and certainly glad that I have been able to supply Spud with my own milk for more than 6 consecutive months. Imagine the money I saved on formula milk as well!

With a little bit of chagrin, I have slowly started introducing the Stage 2 formula into the pumped breast milk in the last few days. While Spud appears to have no problem taking in the formula-breast milk combo, it did take a bit of persuading to get Spud to ingest the 100% yukky formula. She hated it and literally spat it out the first time I gave it to her whole. I can’t blame her, that darn thing tastes horrid!

My supply should last for a few days more if I continue mixing them , but nevertheless, I am glad that she eventually took the 100% powdered gunk.

With the eventual introduction of formula, I believe, it does mean that my pumping days will soon be over. I wonder how long before I begin to dry out as I start decreasing my pumping frequency.

It is almost nostalgic to begin thinking that very soon (I hope), there will be no more breast milk bags to fill up. You can say that I have mixed feeling about this…somewhat slightly sad I’m not ploughing on (isn’t it best to give breast milk till one year old?) but at the same time, “lifted” (my boobs are mine again and I can do other things!). Looking back, I cannot believe I managed such a feat.

I guess it is probably about time to get a little bit of freedom and put my milk-machine superhero duties and part-time pumping job to rest.

I reckon I have done my dues.

[Glorious caffeine, here I come!]

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