Please Don’t Tell Me…

Please don’t tell me that breastmilk is best for my baby… because I know.

When I finally got pregnant after three years of trying to conceive, part of my fantasies about motherhood included breastfeeding my baby exclusively for the first three months while I was on maternity leave. However, at the back of my mind, I had a fear that I wouldn’t have milk because my mom didn’t have milk and was unable to breastfeed any of us.

I read a lot of literature and websites about breastfeeding to prepare me for the task, but when I had my baby, my baby couldn’t latch. I had nurses and a lactation consultant to help me breastfeed, but she would just start screaming every time. Perhaps it is because my milk did not come in until after about a week or so, at which point she was already used to drinking formula in a bottle. It is the most heartbreaking thing in the world.

I bought a breast pump before leaving the hospital and have tried to pump as often as I can, and finally I have some milk coming out, which I feed her in a bottle (although I still try to get her to breastfeed everyday). However, the amount of milk my body produces is not enough for her daily feeds. She’s six weeks today and takes about 90 ml of formula every 2 hours or so, but the maximum amount of breastmilk that I have pumped is 80 ml. Call me obsessive but I actually have an Excel file with the following information:

Date
Time
Interval Between Feeding
Formula (in ml)
Breastmilk (in ml)
Total Formula for the day (in ml)
Total Breastmilk for the day (in ml)
Total Milk for the day (in ml)
Frequency of Feeding
Average Interval of Feeding
Frequency of Pumping
Percentage of Breastmilk

Yes, I log in the details of what my baby has taken every single time. She usually consumes about 800 ml of milk in a day, about 180 ml would be breastmilk or about 22.5%. It’s very tiring to have to pump and sterilize the pump every few hours, but I do what I can to get more milk for my baby because I know it’s healthier.

It just frustrates me when people find out that I feed my baby in a bottle, and they automatically assume that I don’t breastfeed for whatever reason, and would immediately start to lecture me about the benefits of breastmilk. Please don’t tell me that it’s best for my baby, because I know. And it pains me that I can’t breastfeed my baby – I want to have that special bonding time with her. But I can’t. So I do my best. Please don’t judge me.

One Comment Add yours

  1. M + H says:

    You aren't the only one! I didn't breastfeed my son at all, and I struggled with my daughter. I was able to somewhat, but had to supplement with formula. Doing is your best is all you can do, and it is the best!

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