Contributor: Anahita Wassan
I like everything planned. I feel secure in knowing that I have a game plan to deal with a situation, so obviously when I got pregnant I started planning. From my baby’s nursery to my birth plan to my feeding him for atleast a year …I had everything planned. And then it happened!
That’s when I realised you can NOT plan anything around a baby. While I was doing my Lamaze and kegels hoping for a normal delivery, Yuuvansh decided he dint want to wait any longer and came a month before his due date!
They called him a late pre term as he was born at 36 weeks. And me in my half zoned anaesthesia state, was at a lost! My baby was in the NICU and my husband not in the country (that’s a story for some other time), feeding was not a thought that occurred to me at that moment. After a few hours when I came around to being myself ( I was under General Anaesthesia, hence a little woozy) I asked when I could see my son and most importantly when do I feed him. That’s when they told me that the nurses had already fed him formula as he was born early and my milk hadn’t come in. There went all my #breastfeeding goals. I was disappointed but looked at the larger picture that my child was fed which was of the utmost important!
Two days later my son was in my arms (out of the nicu ) and latching on like a pro! But this was the easy part. He was very underweight and my doctor advised me to feed him every 1.5 hours! I adhered to it, but that’s when the postpartum depression came in as well. I was stuck to my room, waking my child by applying wet wipes on his face just so he could feed. Those three months were the most difficult months of my life! I ended up pumping so that my Mil could help me feed him. Yet I was stuck in a room, with a wailing baby, who was hungry and tired all the time. I also started pumping and freezing because Yuuvansh would hardly drink before he could fall asleep and I would have excess milk.
At our three months checkup, my doctor told me I should introduce him to formula as he was still under weight and would get tired while breastfeeding hence stopped even if his hunger wasn’t met ( such a lazy child!). And hence started formula… even though I hated the idea of formula, it was such a boon. We were both much happier. Yuuvansh would sleep much longer because he would get formula twice a day, and the rest of the time he would breastfeed for much longer because he now had the energy to latch and stay there till he had a full tummy.
At 6 months, my baby had a complete makeover. From a tiny underweight baby, he went to a healthy happy baby. We started with solids at 6 months …one meal at a time, formula twice and breastfeeding (pumped or direct ) on demand. Once he started with all his three meals at about 7.5 months , I cut down his formula to once and was still breastfeeding him 3-4 times through the night and on demand during the day. We were well settled in this routine. I also took a trip with my husband during this time. I had enough milked pumped and stored and Yuuvansh was a happy baby for 5 days with his grandparents and his parents came back rejuvenated!
At the 9th month mark, Yuuvansh refused to latch. He now had enough energy to push himself away and no matter how much I forced him, he would just not latch. He at 9 months decided food was a much better option and completely refused milk. He would still take his formula twice. Hence my breastfeeding journey came to an end, not when I wanted it but when my baby wanted it.
I have heard weaning stories and how Mother’s struggle with it, but in my case it was thankfully easy and overnight. My child was not Ebf, and though there are definitely advantages of ebf, in our case I felt we were both happy with the routine we formed. At 2, my child is healthy, hyper, naughty with a decent immunity just like any child his age!
Would I EBF my second child, as and when I have one? I would definitely try to, but I would also not hesitate to give formula if I feel my child needed it. A happy mother is a good mother and a well fed child is a happier child.