Monday, September 28, 2009

Breastfeeding after puasa

My breastmilk production decreased during Puasa month. I could not pump more than 2 - 3 oz a day at work during Ramadan. When I got home, Salma seems to nurse as usual, which means I was producing on demand, but lately I can tell that I am not producing enough, even though Puasa is over and I can eat and drink (and replenish my stock) as much as I want. I can tell I am not producing as much milk as before because she will stop drinking to do other things and then continue to drink again.

A lot of moms at my office were worried their breastmilk production would decrease during Ramadan, and some even stopped fasting so they could feed their babies. I fasted on all the days I could, though, and as a result, I think my body is producing less milk now. Tomorrow marks the day that Salma has been exclusively breastfed for a total of 1 year! What an achievement! I give myself a pat on the back for that. Exclusively breastfed means that my baby does not drink any formula milk, and only breastmilk. As a result of that, she is slim and not overly fat, healthy, gets sick less frequently than other babies, and seems to have a healthy appetite! We have also saved a lot of money since we do not need to buy tins and tins of formula each month! Some of my colleagues who are also moms tell me that their babies can drink up to 5 large tins of formula each month! That's approximately MYR 350 a month! Whew... I'm glad I don't have that extra expense!

But, as a result of being exclusively breastfed, my baby girl is extremely attached to me. Whereas other babies her age can sleep through the night, she still wakes up at least once each night to nurse. And she steals my bodily calcium through the milk, and my nails are brittle now and break easily. I feel like my teeth ache a lot more than before, too. I have calcium tablets, but I worry that they cause me to get headaches, so I have stopped taking them. I have to consume more calcium rich foods, but I am lactose intolerant, so that limits it a lot as I can't consume dairy products. But I read that brocolli is high in calcium, so I will try to eat more of that everyday.

The doctor that delivered my baby encouraged me to breastfeed til 2 years old, but maybe that's too long. My husband thinks we should stop now and try feeding her milk from a bottle, but I know she won't want a silicone teat. Maybe as my production slows, she will just know, and stop asking for milk completely. Then maybe we can supplement with formula milk in a cup.
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