Read Why This Singaporean Mum Still Breastfeeds Her 6-Year-Old!
What motivates her to keep going? What are the benefits of extended breastfeeding?
She never even planned on breastfeeding her baby.
Precious baby born after many tragedies
Michelle Ng's story is one of loss and hope. Her desire to have a baby was met with many a struggle and tragedy. She tells us, "When I learnt that I was pregnant again, I felt nervous. It was my fifth time conceiving.
My first pregnancy ended in a stillborn baby. I lost my second and third babies in twin miscarriage. And the fourth baby was found to have no heartbeat. I had lost 4 babies before this girl, so my only prayer to God was, please, let me have her..."
"A month into my pregnancy, my doctor told me I needed to be admitted to hospital as the cervix was already open by 0.02 mm. So I had to stay in the hospital for the next 3 months to do a cervical stitch surgery.
I couldn't even get down to walk. I was either on the bed or on the wheelchair. I had to stay in the hospital for most of my pregnancy actually.
I had developed diabetes in my first pregnancy and it was quite bad; so every day I had to eat around 32 pills and 10 injections. I was worried if they would harm the baby but my doctor assured me that it was fine.
And then my baby girl decided to come out earlier than the due date.
Should I breastfeed?
When I gave birth the nurse asked me if wanted to breastfeed. I instinctively said 'yes'. From there on, many nurses and breastfeeding specialists advised me.
For the first few days, there was no milk. I felt worried and disheartened, but I read from books and the internet that for some mummies, milk will start flowing a bit later.
So I decided not to give up but keep trying. The nurse at the hospital kept carrying my baby every 1-2 hours for me to try. I felt very tired but did not lose hope.
On the 3rd day, milk started flowing.
When I breastfed I felt extremely tired and hungry.
I also realised that when I did not eat rice, I was not able to produce any milk that day. So, I ended up eating a lot of rice. But as a diabetic, I wasn't allowed to eat too much rice, so it was really hard.
Night time was super tiring as well, considering breast milk is not as filling as formula. My baby would wake up many times to feed. Also, when teeth started growing out things got a bit more painful; she bit and I bled. But that never stopped me from breastfeeding.
I am a working mum. When my baby was a few months old, I would breastfeed her directly and also pump out. But once my helper spoilt the breast milk kept in the fridge by forgetting to close the freezer. My baby smelt the foul smell and decided to reject the bottle forever. From then on, the feeding is purely through latching.
Once you are used to things actually, it is not too bad. As the child grows up, the breastfeeding frequency also decreases.
Why this Singaporean mum still breastfeeds her six-year-old
I wanted to stop breastfeeding when my baby turned 1, but couldn't bring myself to do it. Also when she was a baby she was quite weak, so I felt it was better to breastfeed longer.
I had finally had a baby after so much hardship, so I told myself, why not continue breastfeeding? I could really feel a strong bond with my baby when I breastfed. I also read in books that is best to breastfeed up to 3 years old.
Again, when she turned 4, I tried to stop breastfeeding. I tried in many different ways, but failed. Maybe I just couldn't bear to stop the bonding... only a breastfeeding mother can relate to it.
What people say about extended breastfeeding
I understand a lot of people will talk behind my back but I tell myself, not everyone can understand it and not everyone has the gift to breastfeed.
Luckily, I have some friends who encourage me, though most of them tell me to stop. Some even say that I am stupid and out of my mind. Others think that I am wasting time and ask me, "why not spend time to have fun or sleep rather than breastfeed?"
I ignore everything and continue. As long as my husband supports my decision and I know that it is good for my daughter, nothing else matters.
Benefits of extended breastfeeding
My daughter's health is good (touchwood!). She is a bit slim but has never been overweight. Also by breastfeeding for so long, I noticed that she seldom gets sick from fever, flu, etc. She only gets sick about 1-3 times a year but recovers fast.
She sticks to me like super glue. Our bond is super strong and I feel very happy about it. Hopefully, the bond will stay on until I am old. Even if I stop breastfeeding, I believe the bond will stay.
Advice on breastfeeding
I will advise every mum to try to breastfeed. It is an extremely special bonding that only mums get to have; one that dads can never experience.
Whether it is 3 months, 1 year or more, breast milk gives your baby a strong foundation. When your baby looks at you and you hold her close to your body, it's a feeling to be cherished.
Yes, breasts may look slightly different after breastfeeding, and it may be tiring, but even if there were a thousand other reasons, I would still choose to breastfeed my daughter because I love her to bits.
I am sure many other mummies would agree!"
This experience was shared with us by Michelle Ng, a design manager doing interior design, commercial design and reconstruction of landed property. Her husband Brandon Lim, works as a project manager in the same company. Their adorable daughter Amelia Lim will be 6 this year, and is currently studying in K2. We wish this lovely family good health, happiness and a glorious new year!
What is your opinion about extended breastfeeding, readers? Let us know your opinion in the poll below!
*This article is from our archives.
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