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During my pregnancy, I was very particular about everything I did, starting from my diet to exercise, sleep, etc. Generally, I am a foodie and have an inclination towards junk food, but just for my baby, I made sure to eat only healthy food for the entire duration of nine months. I am a person who doesn’t like to work out, but I made sure to walk for one hour daily. I read a lot of articles and books to keep my pregnancy and baby healthy. And all the hard work paid off when I delivered a baby girl of 3.6 kgs. I was very happy and felt I achieved everything so smoothly.
But then came the most challenging part of motherhood for me. I never knew that breastfeeding would completely change my happiness to sadness and stressful days.
I did not know how to latch my baby onto the breast properly; she would suck only the nipples, and that resulted in low supply. Due to this, she was formula-fed. I then started to read articles and posts and realised that I made a huge mistake by not being prepared for the breastfeeding journey at all. I wish I would have read articles, watched videos on latching during my pregnancy.
My heart cried every time I fed her formula. She was never satisfied with breast milk at all. Due to bottle feeding and excess formula feed, she had reflux for weeks and weeks. Her weight gain was very slow due to excess spit-up.
I knew that ‘fed is best’, but I wanted my baby to be breastfed and not bottle-fed.
I did a lot of research tried pumping, had lactating foods, kept her on the breast for long, but nothing was really helping.
I was very stressed about the fact that my baby was never satisfied with breast milk; she would cry after feeds for formula. I cried for days cursing myself for not satisfying my baby’s hunger. But finally, I decided to wean off formula slowly. I had immense support from my family, and they encouraged me to wean off formula.
I decided to consult a lactation consultant who said that her latch was fine but made some minor corrections with the position I was holding the baby.
All I wanted was to exclusively breastfeed my baby, and I was ready to do anything to achieve that.
I started to pump after every feeding session to increase the supply. My baby used to cluster feed for hours. I did not give up. I sat for hours and hours to feed her. I had sleepless nights of cluster feedings. But I did not give up. I realised that supply can be increased only if the baby latches onto breast. Neither foods nor tablets can increase the supply.
With all the courage and efforts, I weaned off formula after 1.5 months of formula feed.
Now I can proudly say that my baby was exclusively breastfed, and I will continue to breastfeed her till the time she wants to.
To all the mothers who are worried about low supply, I just want to say- “Hang in there. This is just a phase, and it will pass soon, and you can make it through…”
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