Breastfeeding and dreams of Cherry Garcia

I’m in my tenth month of breastfeeding baby J, and while I must confess I’ve got it quite cushy this round, I feel my goal of breastfeeding him till 18 months is slowly slipping away.

Reason? Well, baby JJ can’t take dairy, which means I can’t take dairy. Yup, no cow’s milk, no yoghurt, no cheese, no ice-cream… I haven’t had my favourite Ben & Jerry’s for what seems like a lifetime. Okay 10 months, but still, that’s even longer then it took to grow a baby in the womb!

Most days, I feel like there’s an internal battle going on.

<<– Go on, just take a sip of that cup of teh-si (tea with evaporated milk), you know you want to. And while you’re at it, down some Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia.

–>>June, you know that’s a no no — baby will keep pooping and it’s not the kind of poop you wanna be cleaning at 3am in the morning.

Yes, it’s like a tug o’ war in my head, but still I’m determined to press on.

Well, there are lots of good factors that I can dwell on. After all, JJย is a pretty good feeder. He learnt to latch on well since the early days, which helped a lot in getting those nipples ‘seasoned’ without any bleeding or cracking. (Of course Medela Purelan cream was my best friend during those first few weeks.)

At first I was worried that he would develop a reliance on nursing to get to sleep (like Vera) but it turned out that he is quite different – he never fell asleep without finishing his feed.

I had virtually no blocked ductย episodes this time, well…at least nothing so major that I could not clear by myself anyway. During my first breastfeeding journey, that was a major sore point and I remember running to my lactation consultant many times, each time with tears shed due to frustration and helplessness (sister Kang at Mount Alvernia was such a blessing during those times).

Then of course, there is that precious, irreplaceable feeling of being needed by my little baby. (I secretly think this is really what keeps me hanging on anyway). You know that part of you that just doesn’t want to let go? (Yeah, silly me, I know.) One of the highlights of breastfeeding for me is that it never fails to chase away the blues and worries of the present.

I know deep down that I really have nothing to complain about. After all, it’s just sacrificing some calorific ice-cream and teh-si, right?ย Okay, there’s still the tight schedules and disciplined routine I’m bound to — you know, expressing milk at work, a self-imposed 10pm curfew just so I can make my date with the baby. But really, I amย thankful that we’ve been able to enjoy a smooth breastfeeding journey thus far and I hope that at the end of it, I will still be able to say: “I wouldn’t have traded this for anything else in the world.”

If you’re a breastfeeding mum, I hope you’re enjoying your journey as much as I am. If you have any success stories or struggles to share, please do so in the comment box. Meanwhile, if you need some tips on breastfeeding do check out these posts:

8 tips for breastfeeding success

10 essentials for breastfeeding mums

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  1. says

    I just had Cherry Garcia yesterday. And also hoping for a much more successful breastfeeding journey this second time round! The first time was a disaster ๐Ÿ™ gave up too early and was in post natal depression too. Arming myself with more information and prepping my body well too!

  2. says

    I managed to bf E for only 3 months so I am glad that my breastfeeding journey with C is ongoing. I was thinking of weaning her at 18 months but I have a feeling that she is too attached to let go!

    And yeah I know what you mean. It feels good to be needed haha ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. says

    Wow! This is such a blessing for baby J. My first breastfeeding journey was horrid, teary and painful. I tired very hard to hang on but gave up ard the 5th month. I definitely have to take my hats off your determination to stay dairy-free for like what, 10 months?!?!?!? We know how hard is it to fight cravings. This is definitely a useful post and gonna bookmarked it in case I do embark on it a 2nd time. Now when I looked bad, it still send me the chills when I thought of the sore nipples and engorgement. I’m really keeping my fingers cross that it will get better the 2nd time round. Oh yes, I did share my struggle on my blog – Confession of a formula feeder (and why I did it). ^^

    • says

      Hi Yvonne, thanks so much for sharing your post, I can really relate to your struggles and I also wish things could have been smoother. I know it wasn’t easy to go through what you did, and I respect your decision to go the formula way.

      Just to share, for my first one, I also introduced formula to supplement breastmilk during the first few weeks, on days when my supply was insufficient, though I tried to use only when necessary (when she had not managed to get a full feed, or when I was frazzled and needed time-out). If I supplement the 7pm or 11pm feed, I would try to rest and drink lots of soups (and eat oats) the next day, and try to go full breastmilk again. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t. I also expressed a little milk after the night feed and morning feed, to help get supply up for these important feeds.

      At the end of the day, I believe we do what we believe is best in that particular situation. No judgment required, as this is also a very personal decision.

      Thanks again for sharing (and yes I do believe things get better the second time around)!

  4. says

    Hey I know how u feel about being needed! I blog about it recently too heh. I think u are doing a heck of a sacrifice staying away from dairy! But I’m sure when baby j can count to 10 at 18 months (my baby girl is getting there too Haha) you’ll be so glad u did ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. says

    I really admire you for your persistence! Can’t imagine not having dairy products for ten months. I am a mother to a four month old baby girl and am enjoying every bit of my breastfeeding experience. I only hope I can continue once I return to work next week. I do have a problem similar to the one you had with Vera though. My baby is super reliant on nursing to fall asleep and I know it’s a huge no-no but I have had no luck trying to change this habit of hers. She just refuses to fall asleep! So I’m just wondering if you mind sharing what happened with Vera ultimately and whether you had any problems when you stopped breastfeeding.

    • says

      Hi Zee, I know how frustrating this can get, especially when the baby has bad nights. Vera used to wake every hour between 7pm (bedtime) and 11pm (supper-feed) so I had to nurse her practically each time she woke. (I wondered if the nurse-to-sleep habit contributed to her not sleeping well.)

      I tried the pacifier and it worked for a while, until she rejected it completely at 4 months.

      I tried dislodging myself whenever she seemed drowsy enough but it was 50:50 (sometimes she woke and cried for the breast, sometimes she drifted off to sleep.)

      I tried not to co-sleep as it would make it even easier to nurse. And during really bad times, hubby will take over by rocking her to sleep in the ergo carrier.

      Usually it’s the night-time that has the most fuss. (I weaned her off middle-of-night feeds by about 4-5 months so that’s okay.) But at 11 months, I threw in the towel because I just felt so tired and debilitated. I didn’t have many issues weaning, she took about a week to get over it. And thereafter, her sleep patterns improved.

      This time round, I prepared myself by reading The no-cry sleep solution by Elizabeth Pantley – she advocates gentle removal methods such as unlatching when the baby is drowsy, and basically repeat for about 4-5 times until baby gives up (also depends on her persistence). You may not get anywhere for the first few nights, but the time spent nursing should hopefully decrease over time.

      I shared a bit about the book here:โ€“-tips-from-the-no-cry-sleep-solution-by-elizabeth-pantley/

      Hope this is helpful, and all the best!

  6. says

    When I attended Caden’s baptism briefing recently, Fr posed a question which no one in the room got the right answer to. He asked: “You love your child. What does ‘Love’ mean to you?”

    One word answer, to a seemingly simple question – which means so much.


    Thank you for illustrating how beautiful love is.

  7. says

    Baby doll is as young as your son, or maybe few weeks older. Which means, we have been breastfeeding for the same period of time! I thoroughly enjoy bf, it’s unexplainable. There’s no doubt I’ll go on as long as I can and she wants to. But then again if I’ve to give up my teh Tarik then…..erm……eeeeee……eeeeeerrrrrr……maybe, perhaps..

  8. says

    June, you are such a dedicated mother. I am so encouraged by your example! Reading your post makes me treasure all over again the breastfeeding experiences I have. Thanks! And thanks for linking up ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • says

      Thanks for dropping by, mama J. Aww…I believe every mother tries her level best for their children. Thanks for sharing your breastfeeding experience in those posts, I found them helpful and practical. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. says

    Hey June, Naomi has dairy intolerance too, do I fully understand your pain! I didn’t take milk or drinks with milk for nearly a year, but at the tail-end, I started cheating, with cheese and yes, ice-cream. She always preferred the bottle tho (I trained her too well), so when she was almost 1, I introduced her to soy formula and she’s been drinking it for the past month or so. I feel a bit bad because I breastfed Noah for 18 months, but I must say I’m really glad not to be expressing anymore! My Paed says Naomi should outgrow this intolerance, but I tried cooking her oats with milk for a couple of days and she had diarrhea for a week. I’m holding off the dairy for her for now. I hope J outgrows the intolerance too. And good luck with reaching your goal of 18 months!

    • says

      Hi beanbean, thanks for letting me know, now I don’t feel so alone. ๐Ÿ™‚ Vera had the same condition and when I weaned her I also started off with soy. Then I moved on to goat’s milk powder which I actually found that it suited her system pretty well. Now that she’s 3, she’s drinking fresh goat’s milk from the farm, and me too! Took a while to get used to the taste but it actually isn’t too bad! Just fyi in case you are thinking of alternatives. Thanks for well wishes, will press on! ๐Ÿ™‚

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