Nearing the end of the milk journey

Little Foot turned 20 weeks old yesterday… and today, we realised that as days turned to weeks and weeks turned to months, she had slowly but surely outgrown colic. Today, we were pleasantly surprised when realised that she didn’t have a bloated tummy anymore.

Nothing brings more joy than knowing that the worst is over.

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Happy Little Foot showing off her flat tummy this afternoon

Over the last couple of weeks, I also noticed that her appetite had increased, and suddenly, we were digging into the modest frozen milk stash we had to make sure she had enough to drink.

All the signs are showing that our days of breastfeeding are numbered.

Little Foot was only a fully breastfed baby from 2 month old, after we figured out that formula milk was adding to her tummy woes. Thankfully, somehow, there was just enough to feed her on a normal day, and on her milk strike days, we stored the excess. To Little Foot, I can only say, it was love that gave me enough determination to keep pumping, latching, trying until there was enough milk. It was love that made me wake up in the middle of the night walking like a zombie to the living room to pump while the world and my baby slept soundly.

What a long way we had come.

At 1 week old, she pushed me away and opted for milk bottles. Miraculously, at 6 weeks old she pushed away the milk bottle for the first time and wanted to latch again at the nursing room at the Baby fair in Suntec. By 2 months old – she refused her milk bottles. It was her way of telling me “Mummy, hold me tight and I’ll be fine” while the colic raged. I took on the challenge, and like my older sister said, how ironic things could be. Everyone expected me to be the cool mama who would be happy to just do “enough” and then give formula milk. Who would have known we would be in this situation that milk powder was a no no?

In the four months, I’ve seen two ends of the spectrum – mummies with too much milk (and some still unsatisfied and keep listening out for and loading up on foods that could bring up supply), and mummies like me, who have too little milk, with some stopping as early as the first couple of weeks.

To both ends of the spectrum, I can only say, time will equalise everything. Certainly, there will be a time when the milk runs dry, and we are no longer judged by whether we are breastfeeding mums or not. Then, we will be judged on other things – time and effort spent on our child – not judged by something that is decided mostly by nature.

As my breastfeeding journey is nearing an end, I can safely say I have done my best, and done what I can. I may not have been a milk fountain, and my baby may not look like a Michelin tyre mascot, but I have done my best. And it has been a wonderful time of bonding.

In a way, I’m thankful that I can stop the constant worry over the last two months that we might run out of milk (and then what can she drink???).

I’m also getting pretty excited as we now start preparations in anticipation of weaning and starting Little Foot on solid food (read: bought many things).

The day of returning to beer, coffee and spicy food is near. Yay!

To all mummies and mummies to be, whether it was 1 drop, 1 day, 1 week, or a Kallang river of milk, whatever we can give, we have given. Don’t feel bad about peer pressure, and definitely don’t feel pressured to the point of eating any damn thing that is touted as a milk booster. Quality over quantity. That’s what I will continue to advise anyone who asks. I learnt it the hard way when I took Fenugreek and only realised weeks later that it was one of the culprits that made Little Foot’s stomachache worse (if not the root cause).

To drive the point home – my mother never breastfed me, but that had never hindered my connection and relationship with her. Life is more than just milk. Anyway, by 18 months when they are of playgroup age, we won’t be comparing milk anymore, but what sort of “enrichment” classes  our bubs are signed up for, and milk will be just a distant memory.

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