Mommy Antics: My Breastfeeding Story
That being said, let me take this time (and blog space) to share with you my breastfeeding story...
When I was pregnant, I never really had the chance to attend a breastfeeding class (I wish I did!) and I just relied on books and the world wide web for information. Truth be told, I never showed priority in considering breastfeeding. I was one of those clueless women who isn't sure if she has the ability to breastfeed. I was preoccupied with my pregnancy and was anxious to give birth and never really planned on nursing, but I somehow had it at the back of my mind. That "what if" I could breastfeed, then good!
It was a good thing that I gave birth in St. Luke's Medical City, Global City. The doctors and nurses there encourage and educate new moms on breastfeeding.
When baby was born, we were together from the delivery room up to our semi-private unit. Baby didn't end up in the nursery and no feeding bottle has ever touched his little lips! I appreciate the program the hospital has on Maternal and Childcare: The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, as well as their Lactation Unit initiative:
"The Lactation Unit is a hospital initiative unit under Maternity and Child Nursing Service Line and Breastfeeding Working Group, which caters to all expectant and breastfeeding mothers, newborns, infants, and their families. The unit extends lactation services and support to the institution''s associates, in-patients, and previously admitted visiting patients who are happily breastfeeding or having difficulties in breastfeeding. Also, it serves as a lactation station where breastfeeding mothers may be given a private area to breastfeed their babies...
...Meanwhile, as part of the institution''s breastfeeding advocacy, the Breastfeeding Working Group has been created to better educate and communicate to the healthcare team, associates, pregnant women, and breastfeeding mothers the benefits of breastfeeding..."
The doctors and nurses reiterated that I feed baby every 2-3 hours, and assured me that milk will come eventually because the baby will be the one to stimulate it. It usually takes 3 days postpartum before the actual milk comes out. All mothers apparently have the ability to produce milk, you just have to commit to nursing altogether. My mom was the one who was worried that baby wasn't getting any milk the first time and even insisted that I give him water. But I went with my gut-feeling that I should just continue on nursing. The nurses said that baby still has stored food and that his stomach is as big as a calamansi, so I need not worry if he's getting hungry, and if he is pooping, that's a good sign that he's getting something from me.The nurses also said that giving baby a feeding bottle or pacifier would cause nipple confusion and might not latch to me eventually, and I was afraid of that!
The first few weeks of nursing, it hurts (a lot) when baby latches. I even grasp my husband's hand at the start of the latch and close my eyes. What's more, the uterus contracts during breastfeeding. This is because the uterus is getting back to it's normal size, a baby was there after all! Also, you feel engorgement, which hurts too! And you leak milk unexpectedly, sometimes in your sleep! This I recommend getting breast pads, washable is better. And since your not using the bottle, every other hour you feed your child, alternately on each breast. The only way hubby can help is when it's time to change the diaper or firmly hold his hand during latch time again.
I wish I had prepared myself more on nursing the baby, but then I just learned along the way. I guess maternal instincts just kicked in! Breastfeeding takes a strong will, an open mind, and a ton of commitment. You have to prepare your mind and body into becoming this nourishing vessel for your child. You and your child learn together as you develop a routine. Breastfeeding, as it turns out, is also a special bonding moment between mother and child. I believe that breastfeeding is more of a mother's obligation to her baby, rather than a choice.
Breastfeeding is healthy not only for the baby, but for mommy too! It lessens the chances of breast cancer. And since it's your obligation to stay healthy for your baby, you'd want to eat lots of fruits and veggies so that baby drinks healthy milk as well. You're sure of what your baby is getting because it's coming from you. And baby will gain weight healthily because there are no empty calories like the ones in formula milk.
|My newborn baby (pic above) who was so thin, and then after |
just three weeks (pic below), I can say he's a bouncing baby boy!
It's also important to get a support group while breastfeeding, because sometimes you'd want to give up because of the stress and sore nipples to boot! Or in my case, I am happy to have a very supportive husband. We were in this together from the very beginning. He was present when the lactation nurse explained breastfeeding to us. He also reminds me to feed baby every other hour and takes care of me too (aside from being the hand to
grasp hold, haha).
Being the avid researcher that he is, he was the one who looked for a reliable breast pump for me, so that I can store milk before going back to work, and pump milk at office too. At first, our friend, Mia, lent us her manual pump so that I could try it out and have a go at pumping. Mia also taught us (yes, hubby too, because the preggy forgetful hormones haven't totally diminished at the time) how to properly store milk and even gave a few milk bags to get us started. I love her for that! (Mia if you get to read this, you are a life saver!). After that, we decided on getting a double electric pump to make milk production more efficient.
|Mia lent me her Medela Harmony Manual pump.|
I got a lot of milk from this too! But it takes you about
10-15mins of manual pumping on each breast!
|We got this Medela Pump In Style Electric pump for a discounted price|
from Mia's friend, since it was barely used. Her friend had apparently
bought the Freestyle electric pump. Medela pumps are the most ideal
because they are hospital grade and they liken a baby's suckle
and so stimulate better to make you produce more milk!
Locally, these pumps can be bought at Medela Moms.
When I got back to work, I had about 15 - 5ml milk bags in the freezer in stock. I also needed to pump milk every 4 hours in the office. I did my pumping inside the bathroom. The milk I produce for the day is for tomorrow's feeding.
A stored milk in the freezer can last up to 6 months, it's helpful to label your milk bags on the date they were stored. Milk stored in the ref can last up to 5 days, if the milk is nearing it's date, store it in the freezer! Milk thawed from the ref can last up to 6-10 hours, but when it's been heated or is at room temperature, can last up to 4-5 hours.
|My happy breastfed baby :)|
It's also helpful that we have a very supportive Pediatrician. Dra. Vienne de Lou Saulog is always happy when we visit when I tell her that baby is still breastfed! She insists that I continue as long as I produce milk, or when baby has naturally weaned. I also appreciate how she supports all natural parenting: baby wearing, cloth diapering, and feeding baby organic, homemade foods. I might share something about all of that in my later posts.
I never would've thought I'd have much success breastfeeding my baby. I'm happy I "stuck to the program!" Baby is now 8 months and we're still happily nursing!
How about you? Care to share your breastfeeding journey? Feel free to leave a comment below.
|I love this quote! |