Photo credit: Latch On NYC
I didn’t know saying Goodbye to breastfeeding can be so difficult. I had no problem when I stopped breastfeeding Alyssa. She was only 8 months old and I had to take a gastric medication which is not suitable for breastfeeding mothers. I already stopped latching Alyssa after she stopped waking up for night feeds when she was 6 months old. Hence, stopping breastfeeding was not difficult at that time. In fact, I was happy to stop expressing my milk as I was very busy and stressful in my sales job at that time.
I latched on Asher most of the times during my maternity leave. Hence, when I went back to work, I pumped at least 2 times in office. I latched Asher for night feeds at least 1-2 times in the middle of night. I also latched Asher sometimes in the morning or night if he was hungry, if not, I would expressed my milk. So I would normally pump 4 times in a day and latched 1-2 times in the night.
When Asher was about 6 months old, I had to stop latching Asher as I had eczema problem on my nipples and had sore and cracked nipples. I can only expressed my milk during that period and the nipples bled. They were so painful that my milk supply reduced greatly. I had to reduce my pumping in office to 1 time.
I went to see a skin specialist when Asher was about 8 months old. The eczema problem was solved in 1 week time and my milk supply increased. However, Asher doesn’t want to latch on anymore. I was hurt by his rejection and felt upset over it for a long time.
Asher had diarrhea for a long time during that month. Hence, I continued to express my milk for him and feed him together with Dumex Soy milk which his diarrhea improved. However, I stopped pumping in office and only expressed 2 times a day.
When Asher was 11 months old, I only pumped once in the morning. I wanted to stop breastfeeding when Asher reached 1 year old. Expressing my milk was like part of my daily schedule. I was surprised that I had breastfed for more than 6 months and I intended to stop breastfeeding when Asher reached 1 year old.
However, when Asher reached 1 year old, I decided to express once every 2 days. I just couldn’t bear to stop breastfeeding. Sometimes, I envy those who still latch their 2 years old.
I was going for a travel trip when Asher was 12.5 months old and I didn’t want to bring my pump over. I was scheduled to travel from Tuesday afternoon to the following week Wednesday. Hence, I pumped on Tuesday noon before I left. I only hand expressed my milk twice on the trip and threw the milk away as Alyssa didn’t want to drink it and I didn’t bring Asher along for the trip. I also had Kimchi everyday when I was in Korea for 3 days and my milk supply dropped to less than 20ml when I came back. Previously, I could still express 50ml, although it was insufficient even for half a feed.
I tried to pump but it was less than 10ml. I had to stop pumping and perhaps stop hand expressing my milk out too. I didn’t know it is so difficult for me to make the decision to stop breastfeeding.
I already felt the bonding between Asher and me was gone when he stopped latching. Now, I felt lost, knowing that I won’t be giving him any more of my milk.
I didn’t know saying goodbye to breastfeeding was so difficult. Breastfeeding was like my friend. It was my “me” time when I had time on my own, working at my desk at work or surfing Internet using my iPhone when I was at home.
I remembered we were inseparable and I even pumped in the open concept diaper changing room (which people would pass by when they walk to the lift) at Vivocity when I went to watch a movie. I had to cover with a nursing cover and I was so stressed as there were men walking pass me that I produced very little milk.
Saying goodbye to a friend for 13 months. One that had bonded me and my son. I never thought it can be so difficult. I felt like I’m losing a part of me.
Once lost, it will never come back unless I have another baby. I encourage all mothers to breastfeed. You never know what it is like unless you been through it.
Although breastfeeding can be a hassle, but knowing that my child is getting liquid gold and a lot of antibodies which will help him, it was worth going through the hassle.
My breast friend, I will miss you. Liquid gold is indeed the most precious.
If you need a Mother’s Guide to Breastfeeding, you can check out the NYC version by clicking on the link.