In essence, the majority of people in our community are still ill-informed when it comes to breastfeeding. Despite efforts to promote breastfeeding amongst new mothers (especially), many are still in the dark about this beautiful bonding practice, which ought to come as second nature to all mothers.A common problem we hear people have is whether or not the mother “has enough milk” for the baby. In fact, several days ago, this very same topic came up among my breastfeeding group at work about why some mothers claim that they do not have enough milk to breastfeed their babies.
With all due respect, I DO NOT believe the authenticity of this claim. I believe that all mammals will certainly have the ability to produce milk and breastfeed their babies. In the same vein, humans, being mammals, WILL have enough milk to provide for their babies. For those who claim they do not, there will surely be a good enough reason why they eventually can’t.
Some of the reasons why the “not enough milk” mentality came about:
- Failure to nurse baby on demand: a newborn demanding milk every hour or so is wrongly “believed” to be “still hungry” and hence, formula is introduced. Breastfeeding works on a supply-and-demand concept. When there is demand (from baby), there will be supply.
- Not drinking enough water
- Lack of confidence. Off and on, I meet pregnant women with whom I would ask “Are you going to breastfeed?” An answer along the lines of “See la, if I have enough milk…” shows that they are ill-informed and do not have the confidence to breastfeed fully. From the onstart, one must already have the confidence and think and KNOW that they can breastfeed exclusively.
- Being told that one does not have enough milk
A common misconception is that all mothers will NATURALLY (read:automatically) produce sufficient milk for their babies, when this in fact, is not true at all. All breastfeeding mothers, including myself, can confidently attest that breastfeeding takes a LOT of effort, countless sleep-deprived nights and persistence. Oh, and how could I forget the support of the people close to me?
Ethan is now 10 months old and I am extremely proud of myself for being so persistent and perseverant in exclusively breastfeeding him. My 6-month target for breastfeeding was altered to a respectable 1-year target when he was about 3 months’ old. And now that I have about 1.5 more months to go to reach the 1-year breastfeeding contract with Ethan, I can’t help but consider a contract extension. After all, if I have the ability to give him the best, why should I settle for less?