Hello everyone, my name is Suja and I ll write about my experience because I m more comfortable in that. I have to say that before delivery I thought breastfeeding as a quite natural process and spend no time on learning about it. I did buy clothes and other things for the child.i wasn’t prepared for this. Now I think that a minimum awareness should be passed on to pregnant women about this.

After delivery it took almost 5 days for milk to come. But the process of feeling full or milk ” coming in ” never happened for me. My breasts never felt full. Both my mother and sister didn’t face this situation. And my only reference was them. The child was crying most of the time. It was mentally and physically exhausting at that time. So we thought it’s about the milk. We were giving formula as the hospital staff taught us .And I became depressed that I couldn’t breastfeed him. Which is again a bad thing for milk supply. Because stress reduces the milk supply. I did try exclusive breastfeeding for one week. But his weight went down when measured in the next visit to paediatrician. She advised us to supplement formula. You never know the breastmilk the child drink. So tensed about his weight we began to give more formula. Which also works against milk supply. Because milk supply is demand driven. Less demand, milk supply will go down again.I began to read about breastfeeding hoping to find a solution. Because I really wished to breastfeed him for it is the bond between the mother and child . And also it s what gives the antibodies and immunity to the child which the formula will never do. I felt it is important especially in the current situation. I read articles and lot of stuff in the internet. It s how I came upon the specialisation called lactation consultant. I haven’t heard about the term before or the certification IBCLC. Such a person was not there in my hospital. I searched for lactation consultants in thrissur and came upon Dr Soumyas name in a website. I called her and visited her in the last week of November. By then my child was two months old. The only good thing I did was I had a breast pump and was using it twice a day, though not everyday, gving whatever milk I got to him. And he was breastfeeding occasionally. In the initial tension i was trying to feed him 750 ml formula needed for the child of his age.

Thinking back all we need is someone who is knowledgeable about breastfeeding. Because as this is an easy process for most, there won’t be enough information to pass on, or the right information. It was when my mother told me that it wasn’t like that for her and my sister that I began to worry about my milk supply. So I consulted the doctor ,she analysed and advised to powerpump for 3 days every 3 hour. Which is pumping for 20 minutes, relaxing for 10, pumping for 10, relaxing 10, again pumping 10. Total 40 minutes pumping in one hour. I reduced the formula, began to breastfeed him more. By day 6 I began to breastfeed him exclusively. It wasn’t an easy transition. Because we were feeding him on bottle. He was used to it. It took patience and persuasion to bring him back to breastfeeding. By few days he was ok with it. He stomach was really upset while giving formula. He was always cranky at night. When I began to breastfeed he was calm at night and he began to sleep through night waking at intervals to feed. Because breast milk is easier to digest than formula. One mistake I did is that I stopped pumping when I began breastfeeding. One should do that atleast 4 times a day or whenever you can. If you have a double pump electric then it’s good. I am also taking foods to enhance milk supply daily, oats with milk, fenugreek grinded and powder mixed in it, lactation tea in the morning, water. Now I am taking two supplements mamolact powder in milk, morning and evening. And also sunflower lecithin which eases milk flows and adds fat content in milk.

Some of the reasons for low milk supply are cited as polycystic ovary, breast surgery and giving formula in the beginning before milk supply is established. Well, I have polycystic ovary, I had a previous breast surgery for fibroadenoma which is harmless tumors in breast, and I was giving mostly formula in the beginning.But for the last one and half month I am breastfeeding him and not giving any formula. Had I got the guidance and proper information in the beginning it would have saved my child and me from a lot of pain. I don’t know any of you, but if you are going through a difficult stage now, it s worth trying to exclusively breastfeed your child because in the long run you are doing the best thing for you and for your child. There will be times you will get dejected, have doubts, keep going and even if you fail you can be proud you tried. Thank you and good luck all.