Why I Breastfed for 12 Months

I still remembered quite clearly about my first breastfeeding journey 5 years ago as a full-time-working-mum.

I was a Kiasu and Kancheong mum-to-be who researched everything on baby bearing, offers on baby stuff, etc. AND I left out research on breastfeeding. I took for granted as I ASSUMED that it was a natural thing to do when the baby arrived that evening. The only exposure I had on this topic was during the prenatal class (only 1 lesson) and which brand of pump to buy. I did not have friends who shared openly on this too.

Opps! I was so so Wrong. Big time!

I was tired after the C-sect but eagerly wanted to give my Big E the best gift immediately. I said NO to formula milk and opted for 100% breastfeeding.

The first latching was amazing as the nurse came to guide me. I loved the suckling sound made by her too. (sound like "zhu-zhu") However, she was a still a sleepy baby. I had to try to wake her up by stroking her side hairline, base of her foot, etc.

On the second night, I had to opt for formula milk for her night feeds as I had fever due to inflammation of the wound and too tired to feed her. Luckily, the next morning, we tried practising again. We went back home on the fourth day, happily as new parents.

The challenges came on the first night. I had no confinement lady so we had to figure out why she was crying all the time even though I nursed her. Then I realised I never burped her. A newborn could take a very long time to burp. Some said for breastfeeding babies, there was no need to burp. I recommend new mummies to burp their babies, just in case.

Through the first month, she cried a lot and at a specific timing too. I asked my friends what I can do in such situation. I began to feel the pressure to pump out the milk and offer bottle for feeding so that I knew how much she drank. However, my milk bank wasn't a lot. I was sad when I saw the volume. I also asked my friends how to increase the volume (drink papaya and fish soup, latched more, drink lots of fluid, etc). We suspected she had colic and might have not enough to fill her stomach. We tried feeding her with the bottle. Failed! She refused and just wanted my boobs.

When will mummy feed me again?
I started to train her to drink from the bottle after 6 weeks (that's the recommended period to try) as I had to go back to work after the maternity leave ended. The best part was, she refused to be bottlefed even though she was crying for milk. (Poor me, I had to throw away my precious gold.) I changed a lot of different brands and finally after tries, she managed to drink. Sometimes, you can try asking your hubby or caretaker to feed her with the bottle cos babies are smart to recognise the milk bank -> ME if I were to feed her myself.

Hubby in action
Slowly and steadily, my milk volume increased but not a lot to store inside the freezer. I envied mummies who had lots and lots of milk to store in their freezer. They are super hardworking and up in the night to pump (I did not know I need to pump at night too.)

The night before I started to work I made a checklist on the items I needed to bring:
1. Pump machine (quite heavy)
2. Adaptor (works better than batteries)
3. Storage bags/bottles for the milk
4. Ice pack
5. Nipple cream
6. Breast pads
7. An airtight container to store the pump parts and sterlise using hot water
8. Plus all my personal stuff , eg wallet, makeup, etc (a lot of items)

You can image the BIG bag I had to carry inside the train and bus to work everyday. I had no regrets as I wanted to give the best to Big E. I was determined. I latched her when I was home in the morning before work and at night.

My volume dropped drastically as I could not stick to the routine (every 3 hourly) during work hours. Was sabotaged by meetings, occupancy of the room, workload, events, etc. Soon, I was only able to pump just enough for the next day's feed. Then slowly, I had to substitute 1 feed on formula and then 2, then 3, so on. Gradually, I stopped pumping on the 11th month and no longer latch by the 12th. Big E had to stop drinking my milk and cow's milk. We changed to soy milk for a week due to lactose intolerance. The stoppage of latching was quite abrupted and I was feeling sad. I had to let go the sense of "lost" and moved on.

I missed the special bonding with Big E even till today.

Small E came 4 years later. I was a better and more experienced mum the second time. I did more research on breastfeeding.

My milk did not came fast enough during the first days. I was more flexible and allowed the nurse to top up with formula milk if she cried again. Back home, I also topped up with formula milk whilst establishing my milk volume in the first month. Thank goodness, she is on total breastfeeding milk after the first month. As a stay-at-home-mum now, I could feed her on demand, any time and any place. I don't have to pump anymore (I dislike pumping and lazy to sterlise the parts and bottles.) I also have more mummy friends whom I knew from the forums and facebook. They are very supportive on breastfeeding issues and response quickly on questions I posted. Even now, there are more and more nursing rooms inside the shopping malls as compared to the past.

Big E asked: Full already?

I am still nursing her and will continue till she weans off. Hopefully she will be gentle and not bite me with her teeth. Ouch!

This post is part of a Blog Train hosted by Madeline at MadPsychMum. Head on over to read the other 23 breastfeeding stories by Singapore Mom Bloggers!


Tomorrow, Cheryl will be sharing her story at Privi-Kids.com.

Cheryl is a full time working mom as Brand Manager for a multi brand beauty retail concept. Founder of Privi-Kids.com, a kids apparel online store offering unique, stylish and affordable apparel to privileged one to eight year olds. Mom to two kids, 3 year old Aiden and almost 4 month old Ava. Read more about our family of four at privikids.blogspot.sg as we share stories of Aiden & Ava growing up, our parenting tips & views and how to enjoy life in stressful, costly Singapore.


  1. I can totally relate to lugging everything to work to pump! And u r right, we really need to be disciplined in our pumping otherwise our supply will drop!


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