Breastfeeding: One Year & Beyond

Breastfeeding, to me, is a love-hate affair. At times, I dreaded having to share my breasts with a little person round the clock. I disliked feeling sweaty, engorged and worried about plugged ducts wherever I went. On the other hand, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

Nonetheless, breastfeeding has knitted a special tie between Ewan and I. A bond so precious only those who have breastfed and have been breastfed before will understand. It has always been and will always be a mommy’s fool-proof way to soothe a fussy baby. Hungry? Unwell? Teething? Or just plain cranky? Pop your breasts and everything’s in total control 🙂 

A Memorably Meaningful Journey

March 2010:
~ Due to complications, I couldn’t direct feed for the first three weeks after Ewan was born. Squeezed and collected colostrum via syringe while he was warded and continued to pump every two hours throughout the clock with the single-pump Medela Swing.
~ Kept trying various nursing positions to no avail. Ewan was an impatient, loud baby. 
~ Almost gave up several times and cried buckets of tears enduring the commitment and hard work required. Set my goal to breastfeed for three months and told myself I would be done with it then.
~ Rented the double-pump Medela Lactina to save time and increase milk supply.

April 2010: 
~ Breastfeeding seemed easier. He latched on easily as if he’s been doing it forever.
~ Exhausted from caring for him on my own back in hometown, I started nursing him lying down (and to sleep!). That was how he associated nursing with sleeping *never do this at home*

May 2010:
~ Sold my Medela Swing and bought a double-pump Spectra 3 in preparation for going back to work.

June 2010:
~ Ohh, three months ALREADY? I can breastfeed with both eyes closed now!
~ Went back to work. Pumped twice in office, once at 11.30am and another at 4.30pm. Highest amount reaped was 11oz from both breasts. Left was always more active than right.

August 2010:
~ Ewan still wakes for feed 2-3 times per night. Went to work looking and feeling like a zombie every single day. On really bad days, I hid in the office toilet and napped.
~ He was taking 4oz at each feed. 

September 2010:
~ Achieved my goal to breastfeed for six months! I’m the (wo)man!!
~ We enjoyed it so much I did not hesitate to continue. Another 3 months, I said.
~ We had quite a lot of milk supply that some were donated to other babies. 

October 2010:
~ Quit my job to become a stay-at-home mom. Ditched the milk bottles.
~ Ewan started solids and reduced his milk intake. Pumped whenever I felt engorged. 

Dec 2010:
~ Found out that Ewan’s eczema was triggered by egg, cow’s milk and peanut – all of which were my must-haves. Began a strict no-egg and no-dairy diet. 

Jan 2011:
~ My weight went from 46kg to 43kg. Termed underweight according to BMI calculations. I need my milk and egg! 
~ Cousin from Canada came and brought me a Medela Freestyle.

Feb 2011:
~ Started looking for milk alternative. Tried Isomil and Mamex Gold soy formula. All were rejected and gone to waste. 

March 2011:
~ Omigosh…I have breastfed my boy for one freaking year! Reminiscing how I cried and resented it at the beginning, I can’t believe myself, honestly. Maybe this is what a mother’s love is.
~ Continued searching for milk alternative. A cousin suggested to try oatmilk. He likes it!  

April 2011
~ OK I’m so reclaiming my boobs. You go have some oatmilk and leave me alone. It’s daddy’s turn now 🙂 

All good things have to come to an end.  To regain an ideal body weight and nourish Ewan with a great sense of independence without mommy’s “nen nen”, we have begun weaning him off breasts this week. Besides, I do not foresee myself tandem nursing if we are blessed with a second child. 

As he is so used to being nursed to sleep, this change of lifestyle has kept us all awake for the past few nights. Although it has been a exhausting, tough week, he is making a very good progress in trying to learn how to fall asleep on his own. We’re taking one step at a day and are very proud of him because he’s adapting it with a fuss-free manner.

To decrease my milk supply, I am using natural remedies such as cabbage and sage tea. No progress monitored so far; my boobs are still as hyper as ever although they’re lopsided now.  

In due time, we hope that our weaning effort will bear fruit where I can eat without feeling any guilt while Ewan’s eczema will be under better control. *fingers crossed*

If I can turn back time, I will breastfeed him all over again without a doubt.

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9 thoughts on “Breastfeeding: One Year & Beyond

  1. mikichua

    i so agree with u ” Pop your breasts and everything’s in total control ” i’m so missing that moment every time i’m too lazy to get up in the morning to make milk for him… (even tho it’s already 7-8am :P)

    wish u and E all the best on the weaning and… way to go.. u did very very very well dy.. compare to me :”)

    1. joeyllhow

      Miki, we both did very well in breastfeeding. We deserve a pat on our backs for persevering & enduring the commitment. Kudos to us ya! I’m dreading abt waking up to make him milk in the morning. That’s the last feed of the day I’ll tackle 🙂

  2. angeline

    Now I understand why I like reading your blog. I can relate so well…. it feels as if I am walking down a path that you have walked. 🙂 My baby can’t latch on initially. I gave up trying for the first month and was pumping exclusively. During the second month, baby latched on as if she has been doing it forever. Third month, went back to work and was zombified most of the time (I still am). Wow, 11 oz!!! I can never get that much. Haha, my right is more productive than my left though. Baby has been taking 4oz since she was 2 mths old. My goal now is to breastfeed for 6 months (another 2 to go). Now, if I may ask, what made you quit your job and be a stay-at-home mom? I am toying with the idea but it takes courage to give up a salary…. hmmmm

    1. joeyllhow

      The thing about breastfeeding is, it’s tough at the beginning and as such, it’s important to make short-term goals and move on gradually from there. Before baby, I said 6 months. Now I’m reaching the 13th month mark. I salute all moms that breastfeed. In short, if you can persevere and breastfeed for 6 months, you’re great! If you can do it more than a year, you’re the best. All in all, if you breastfeed successfully, nothing is too hard for you to handle 😉

      Why did I become a SAHM? Long story but mainly because we couldn’t find a caregiver that could give him proper attention plus I wanted to see him grow up, at least for the first 1 year. For more granny stories, read my posts under “Becoming a SAHM” category or https://itaintthathard.wordpress.com/2010/09/07/becoming-a-sahm-part-1-making-the-decision/

  3. hey what’s an oatmilk? what brand did u try? i stopped bfeeding coz i got H1N1 and then i was too lazy to pump yada yada and I was too happy to feast on the cheese and chocolates. besides my boy dont direct feed back then so I have been pumping for 10 months coz he was exclusively breastfeeding. what’s the term.. ah exclusively pumping.

    anyway if i can turn back time, i wish I wasnt that lazy and stop. coz eczema baby is best being breastfeed. build the antibody bla bla (am sure u know better) and now since he’s allergic to soy (but its quite low, so still ok) ah nvm. i will consider it as desensitization

    1. joeyllhow

      Oatmilk is a kind of milk like soymilk, rice milk etc. Ewan is currently taking O Kids from BMS Organics. Good thing he enjoys it. We have tried soymilk formula as well as goat milk to no success.

  4. Julianne

    Hi dearie,u r great i’m currently breastfeed my gal too but she too lazy to suck everytime she latch on will go to Zzz land.My milk supply also running low only 2 oz from both breast.Wonder any remedy to increase the supply besides demand n supply theory.

    1. joeyllhow

      Hi Julianne,

      Thanks for your comment and sorry for the delayed reply. Things have been really hectic lately.

      I don’t really have any remedies to increase milk supply. All I did was eat, drink and sleep well. Before my boy turned 1 year old, I was pumping twice a day at work and once I quit my job to stay home, I fed him on demand. During the early months, I took a lot of fish and raw papaya soup which works wonders! You may also try the Earth Mama Angel Baby’s Milkmaid Tea or just any fenugreek tea or tablets (I think GNC sells). Oh, the pump you use matters too. Ideally, those with two-phase expression feature like Medela and Ameda as well as double pumping help to increase milk supply.

  5. Julianne

    Thx for the info wil try to buy the supplement.Actually i pumb round the clock too now wit Medela Swing but still only 2 oz every 3 hours.

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