Of Nursing and Self-awareness

Welcome to the first Milk Mama Diaries Carnival (March). To celebrate National Women’s Month, our participants share how breastfeeding has changed them as a woman. Please scroll down to the end of this post and check out the other carnival participants.
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I’m a first time mom to a lovely little boy we so adore.Even before I got pregnant, even when I was still single, I somehow already resolved upon myself that I’m going to breastfeed. It wasn’t because of any prodding from anyone. I just knew that’s how I wanted to feed my baby.And then when finally when it was my time to be a mom-to-be, I learned that my Mom supports breastfeeding and strongly advises Moms to be to breastfeed their newborn. Being an officer from the Health Sector, just recently, her eyes were opened to the many benefits that breastfeeding gives to both Mommy and baby. I was not a breastfed baby, by the way. My Mom said she didn’t have any knowledge on the subject when she was a new Mom. She just listened to the advice of the elders. During those times, it was a question of what infant formula you are feeding your baby. That was the Status quo. And of course, she didn’t know any better. Oh, how she abhors what the milk companies did during her time.

Anyhow, I was on the right path, I have a supportive Mom advocating breastfeeding. I have a loving husband who also agreed with me at the onset that our baby will be breastfed. I read and researched a lot about breastfeeding. I even attended a breastfeeding class by L.A.T.C.H in Medical City. I was uber confident that I can pull it off. I rehearsed the latching techniques and feeding positions in my mind 24/7. I was super excited to breastfeed.

Then came D-day. Lyndel was born via emergency c-section so he wasn’t roomed in right away. I panicked because I was only confident and prepared to breastfeed after having a normal delivery. Having a c-section meant my baby won’t be roomed in with me right away. I feared that my milk let down won’t be stimulated. I’m so grateful that our pediatrician, Dra. Cristina Bernardo (The Medical City) is a Lactation Consultant. She was there when I gave birth and helped me with my first feedings. She also positively encouraged me and even applauded me for being so determined to breastfeed my baby.

The first two months were the hardest. As breastfeeding is a learning process, we both had to deal with our learning curve. Day in and day out, I had to best figure out how best to hold him in my arms so he will be comfy. We used a nursing pillow and even other pillows of all sizes just to make it work for the both of us. For Lyndel, he had to learn how to latch properly. Since he didn’t know any better yet, I would cry everytime he latched because it was so painful. My toes would curl or sometimes, I’d need to have a pillow or an object that I could kick to somehow ease the pain. We also dealt with nipple confusion. During his first weeks, there was time when I pumped and fed the expressed milk on a bottle. We did this because we were scared he might not be getting enough milk. This just led us to nipple confusion. It was really terrible. There was even a time when he didn’t want to feed from me; maybe because he felt that the milk letdown when feeding on the bottle was faster than when he fed with me. I sought help from L.A.T.C.H and thankfully, I had Bessie Campillo as my counselor. She has been very gracious with all my concerns and worries.

I went back to work five months ago. And I can say it hasn’t been the easiest. I have to balance working, meeting deadlines with pumping and night feeding. On days when I have to be on meetings, I always lug my pump bag with me and pump wherever I can. I have pumped in all sorts of places actually – at a client’s super immaculate restroom, inside the car while on the way to meetings, in a quiet corner during our Christmas party. All these made me more determined to express milk as often as I can.

Breastfeeding made me a responsible adult. I’ve become more conscious now of what I eat and drink as this interferes with my milk quality. I have also realized that I am a determined and persevering person. This learning can also be applied to other things – that with the right attitude and determination, you can really achieve whatever you want to achieve. The road may not be all rosy at the start but surely, you’ll find this overwhelming fulfillment in the end.

Please do read the other blogs of the Milk Mama Diaries Carnival Participants

The Choice to be More Than a Woman at Mec as Mom [@delisyus and Facebook]

Breastfeeding made me a better and stronger mom…and woman at Ethanmama:The Working Mom…Finding Balance [@ethanmama and Facebook]

Feeling Fab at 40 at I’m Perfectly Created

Supercow Isn’t Sexy at Rainy Days and Mom Days[Facebook]

Of Nursing and Self-Awareness at Changing Nappies in High Heels[@Lilly_padand Facebook]

Same Old Brand New Me at the odyssey of dinna

Juggling Mommy Act: Fully Breastfeeding while Caring for “ME” atHandy Mommy

Breastfeeding and my self-image at Topaz Mommy [@FrancesASales and Facebook]

My Breastfeeding Story at Manila Fashion Observer [@cd_mfo]

Breastfeeding and My Career atSoprano Mom Writes[@touringkitty]

Joining the milkwagon atdomestication of dotty b

A Love Story atMisis Teapot[@stellapastores]

Breastfeeding Has Made Me a Better Woman at Truly Rich Mom [@tinasrodriguez and Facebook]

Please think before you comment at Chronicles of a Nursing Mom [@MamaBabyLove and Facebook]

Comments

  1. LATCH also empowered me as a mom when it was my first time… it’s just that, being a volunteer group, we can’t always really be there for mommies who need us, which is why I hope there will be more groups like us to really be there for other moms 🙂

  2. i agree with responsible adult! not only being conscious about what you eat and drink but being conscious that you do have a baby at home. i think our culture is too reliant on yayas, help that we tend to forget that the primary caregivers of our kids should be us!

  3. Mec, hopefully there will be a network of Moms that will educate fellow Moms about breastfeeding. A lot still has to be improved with the way breastfeeding is perceived.

    Jenny, I totally agree with you on that! I work in an office and I sometimes I go home late at night. It really makes me feel uneasy knowing that my baby is waiting for me at home. My schedule has been revolving around him. In my social obligations (ie friend’s birthday dinner etc), I bring him with me. I have also learned to do errands with him while i wear him in my SaYa. A lot really has changed and I love everu single minute of it! 🙂

  4. I love that you are an attachment parenting mom! 🙂 I totally agree, we need more groups like LATCH and more moms who can educate and support fellow moms about breastfeeding. 🙂 Let’s pray and see what we can come up with in the future ey? 🙂

  5. LATCH is a great support group, I guess! “I guess” because I didn’t go to any breastfeeding seminars. I thought, quite arrogantly, “Breastfeeding is natural. It’s like eating. I don’t need anyone to teach me to feed my kid!”

    Well, I wish I went to a few classes because the first few weeks were truly terrible! Good thing there’s a wealth of information on the Internet =D

  6. I admire you for going through with breastfeeding despite the challenges! It really is a blessing to be surrounded by supportive family and friends. =)

  7. oh i can empathize with the toe-curling pain! it was like that with my second daughter too. and since it was so hard to get her to latch and feed, once she started i wouldn’t shift a muscle until she was done lest she stop feeding, so i had to endure the pain without moving as well. but yey to us, we made it through!

  8. Ohhh the pain in the first two weeks, I was silently screaming “ayoko na, ayoko na!”. But I powered through! I lug around my pump too! When I went back to work, I had to look at the clock every time so I won’t miss a pumping session. All this is really worth is knowing that we’re giving the best baby food! 🙂

  9. mam chrissy i super salute you!!! such a wonderful mommy!!!

  10. aww, thanks Star 🙂

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