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When I was pregnant, I read a lot about breastfeeding. I know it is difficult for the first few months, I know the baby might not latch well, I know the supply will increase with demand. Little did I know, it is even more difficult in practical.
I am lucky to have a baby who latches well, but I am not so lucky because the supply does not increase much in the first month and I have to mix feed with formula milk. Yes, I was depressed, I was worried and I felt guilty for giving formula milk. Until one day, my friend told me: “Formula is not poison.” That really relieves me from guilt!
Later, when my baby is a toddler, I have learnt that a lot of new mummies face the same problem as me. Some have more serious depression until they need to seek medical help or worse, commit suicide.
- Cannot drink plain water during your confinement — You actually can. So, drink a lot of water and fluid. Warm water is preferred.
- Formula milk is bad — This has caused a lot of new mummies into “die die must breastfeed” mindset. Breastfeeding has its benefits, but if the supply is not sufficient, topping up with formula milk does not mean you are a bad mum or whatsoever. There are mummies who top up with formula milk until the supply catches up and fully breastfeed.
- Breastfeeding means the baby won’t get sick — NO! The baby will be sick when he or she is growing up whether you are feeding him or her with breast milk or formula milk. The difference is the baby who takes breast milk will recover faster.
Having said the misconceptions, I do not encourage new mummies to go for 100% formula milk by any means. Breast milk is still the best food for infants under six months old and mummies are encouraged to continue breastfeeding until the baby is two years old or as long as the breast milk is still available.
The purpose of writing this post is to ease the minds of new mummies who freak out during the first few months when the supply is low. Things will get easier after the third month and by the baby’s first birthday, you will be glad that you have not given up breastfeeding.
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