April 05, 2007

From exclusive to mixed feeding

The last few months, my production has really dropped and I've had to resort to using my freezer stash to supplement Yiu Yiu's daily intake. As I was to be away in the USA for two weeks and my stash in the freezer would not last two weeks, I started asking the babysitter to introduce her to formula in February. I got samples of formula from different companies and asked her to experiment to see which brand my little princess will agree to. The first time she tried, she mixed ½ formula and ½ breast milk to help Yiu Yiu get used to the taste, which according to other moms, doesn’t taste nice at all, what with a metallic aftertaste! True enough she rejected the feed. Babysitter then extended the time for her next feed and perhaps due to hunger, she finished the feed this time. As I had also been busy and neglected to express most days, whatever little I brought to the babysitter's place was insufficient for her daily intake, so that’s plenty of opportunities for her to experiment with formula milk. Gradually she took to taking a full feed of formula without complaints, so I needn't have to worry about her going hungry while I was away.

I brought my pump along with me to the USA and was planning to keep expressing to maintain supply but as the yield got lesser and lesser by the day, I totally stopped expressing after about 10 days. I did worry whether my supply would dry up completely by the time I returned but I comforted myself with the fact that at least Yiu Yiu was on breast milk exclusively for 15 months.

Upon my return, Yiu Yiu still remembered to ask for nen-nen. The first time I put her to my breast, she suckled and immediately pulled away, with a confused look on her face. It's as if she tasted something horrible. She then turned away and refused to nurse anymore. Some time later, she pointed to the breast once more and said nen-nen, but yet again, she responded the same way. The hesitancy continued and I felt really sad, though the rational side of me told me that I should take this opportunity to wean her. I was having this internal tug of war but I eventually succumbed to the emotional side and continued offering her the breasts. I finally understood why some moms said weaning is traumatic for the mother as much as it is for the child. Anyhow, on the third day, she finally accepted the breasts again and has been happily suckling away whenever I'm around at night and during weekends.


Zara's Mama said...

It's never easy to be a working mum who has to travel and then breast feed as well.. but you are doing very well to be able to breast feed for so long.

A Mom's Diary said...

thanks for swinging by, zara's mama. what an honour ;-) yeah, it's not easy at all. i'm now known in the company for lugging my ice box along on business trips. even my customers know it.