Breast milk is the best food for your baby and is all the nutrition your baby will need for the first six months of life–Healthy Kids Healthy Futures (Kaiser)
I was determined to breastfeed my first born. After all, it is easier (no bottles to sterilize), cheaper, and can even help me lose weight.
I was on a mission to make this work– I took an extended leave from work (6 months), had soup with Chinese herbs with every meal, stocked up on tea (with fenugreek, thistle, and fennel) to help me lactate, and got myself a breast pump.
I did everything that my lactation nurse said I should. When I wasn’t feeding, I was pumping. I thought it was working because my son fell asleep and woke up every few hours (just as the books said).
Imagine my total shock when we went for his first checkup and discovered that my son lost 10% of his body weight.
My pediatrician wasted no time in getting me a sample formula bottle from the back room to give to my son right away. Then he suggested doing mixed feeding– supplementing breast milk with formula.
I failed my mission. I thought I was going to be a cool mom with total breastfeeding under my belt. But I didn’t.
I don’t think it made me less of a mom though.
Although I didn’t lose the weight I wanted, and I did spend extra for the formula milk, I did not completely give in to the appeal of the bottled milk.
Even with the formula milk supplement, I did not stop breastfeeding. I breastfed until my son was a year old (and my daughter 18 months).