Crying over spilt milk…was exactly what I did.
Whoever invented the idiom "No use crying over spilt milk" was obviously not a breastfeeding mother.
Back home after work, it was my usual routine of nursing him on one side and expressing milk on the other. After 10 minutes of latching on, he decided that he was full and that his toys were more interesting than mummy’s silly gurgling. So I put him down beside me, while I continued expressing. I was particularly happy that the let down reflex was not a let down (pun fully intended). The milk was flowing out through the funnel at top speed! Within that span of 15 minutes, I had been able to express out 140ml.
Now here's what got me wailing next…
Out of sheer exhaustion or perhaps plain carelessness, I had toppled the bottle over when I was about to put it down. In that split second, more than half of the contents spilled all over the table and down the floor quickly forming a milky puddle.
For a brief moment, I just froze and stared at the puddle in shock. And then I started crying. Really loudly. I felt such an immense anger at my own stupidity & carelessness. All that was left was barely enough for 1 feeding. I felt my efforts literally washed down the drain (except in my case, it was down the table and onto the floor).
Was I being too hard on myself?
But only a mother in the same situation as me would have understood. It's no easy feat being a working AND a nursing mother. Despite our busy schedule at work, we have to somehow squeeze in time to express milk at least twice a day. Coming home is also not the end of our duties. In order to keep my supply up, I feed him directly whenever I'm with him. It's less pressure since I don't have to reach a “quota” for the feeds. This and the rest of the stuff I have to do when I get home – bathe, pray, dinner, laundry and the list go on.
So excuse me for being highly emotional over spilt milk.
The Husband was taking a bath when this happened. By the time he got out, all he saw was a sobbing me, desperately soaking up the milk puddle with a towel. I thank the Heavens for blessing me with a supportive Significant Other. All it took was a hug from him to comfort me. He knew how strongly I felt about this whole breastfeeding issue.
I had made this commitment to give him only the best - full breast milk. And I will do it for as long as I can. I'm not setting any target dates to stop. Each day that I continue to breastfeed my son, it is a milestone for me. I am glad that I’ve managed to overcome all the initial odds – Poor latch on, Engorgement and Mastitis. Some days, I even experience a dip in supply but that has not deterred me at all.
The fact that I am still breastfeeding my son up to his 9 months of age and hopefully beyond, is testimony to the strong & supportive network that encourages me to carry on – my parents, husband, fellow breastfeeding mummies and understanding bosses and colleagues have helped to contribute to this success.
I pray that the milk spillage episode will never repeat itself. I just got to wipe off the last milk stains and carry on…
Written 4 August 2006 (from WBW2006 blog)
© BMSG (Singapore)