BREASTFEEDING: A Challenge

Posted: July 19, 2011 in Misang's Motherhood Journey
Tags: , ,

Every mom wants the best nutrition for their babies, and nothing beats the good old breastmilk. I, myself was never breastfed, nor I saw anyone in the family breastfeeding their little ones. When I was still pregnant with Iya, I never had a role model, a breastfeeding mother or friend who would help me out in these challenges. The only one BF mama I knew and talked to was my brother-in-law’s wifey. Seeing their kid grow healthy, I decided to breastfeed also.

I was really determined to breastfeed, even including in my prayers that I may have abundant supply of milk to feed my baby. Sure, God heard me and allowed me to nourish my little one with my own milk. But breastfeeding is not as easy as ABC. You may see other moms holding and nursing their babies but you didn’t see all the hardships she went through. I, myself, experienced some breastfeeding challenges, which, I am glad I surpassed.

1. Oh no, my milk hasn’t come out yet.

Most of the mommies experienced the same thing. The baby’s out but milk hasn’t. Breastmilk won’t just flow out of you the moment your baby comes out. During my prenatals, my OB would tell me to massage my breasts and my nips to stimulate milk production and for the nips to have the baby to latch on. I followed his advise wholeheartedly. But when the moment came, uh-oh….no milk! Iya was roomed-in a few hours after the delivery. The nurses told me that she was fed formula in the nursery. I immediately tried to feed her and tried to make her latch. Still, no milk has come. There was one instance in the hospital that we cup-fed Iya with formula because she hasn’t taken anything yet since she was roomed-in. The breastfeeding people (I don’t know how to call them) assisted me in massaging my breast. She told me to wait a few days and be patient. On the third day of Iya’s life, I woke up with engorged breasts and yes, I have milk! Truly, patience is a virtue.

Me trying to nurse Iya, while hubby gives me moral support

2. The baby won’t latch

Another problem with first time moms – the perfect latch. When we were still in the hospital, I tried to feed Iya but she won’t latch the way I see on the pictures and articles I researched. I thought maybe my nipples are small, or the position is not right. She would even cry (out of hunger I guess) and still won’t take my breasts. I tried to pump and give her the little milk I got because I don’t want her to starve, thinking that she’s not getting milk from me. And yes, I was also guilty of giving her formula because I’m not sure if she’s getting any. When we came home, we stayed in my mother-in-law’s house, where Dulce (brother-in-law’s wifey) also lives. Maybe she’d seen that I’m having difficulty in breastfeeding Iya and offered to nurse Iya for a while. And Iya took her breast and started drinking from her. When she returned Iya to me, I immediately tried to nurse her, and it was a success. Problem solved. She learned to latch, although not from me, and I was thankful that we have another breastfeeding mama in the house.

I also experienced having sore nipples but I didn’t bug me at all. I just let her feed from me even though it’s really painful, more painful than my stitches actually. I was never tempted to quit breastfeeding because the pain was quite bearable and it would last for only about 5 seconds. (Sigh…all for my little one)

Two breastfeeding moms with two breastfed babies: my Sis-in-law Dulce with her baby Calian

3. My milk is not enough

Establishing my milk supply is another thing that challenged me. She already learned to latch but I’m not sure if she’s getting enough milk. But how enough is enough? I don’t know. So I pumped and produced less than an ounce. I thought my milk supply is not enough for my baby and again, I thought of buying formula. But thank God I did not because I observed that as my baby feeds, she goes to sleep feeling contented and then wake up again after a few hours to feed. She wouldn’t cry anymore because she’s hungry. In between her feedings, I feel my breasts becoming full. I never bothered to pump again because at that time I was already gaining confidence with my milk supply. I guess pumping early will give you the wrong impression that your milk supply is not enough. And in a few weeks before my baby turn one month,  I was already confident that my little one is not getting hungry anymore.

4. Where to breastfeed

Since then, I began to enjoy breastfeeding Iya, but only in the comforts of our home. Even inside the house, I would still go to our room when it’s time to feed Iya. I was just not used to people seeing my breasts. And on our check ups, I would ask the pedia’s assistant if I can use the other room (there are 2 rooms in our pedia’s clinic) for me to nurse Iya. I’m not really fond of the idea of nursing in public, firstly, because I’m not used to seeing moms nurse in public except for those times when I see some random mom breastfeeding her child in the jeepney which is a not-so-good sight to see, and I don’t want people staring at me because I am breastfeeding.  The first time we brought Iya to the mall was the shortest mall visit ever. She started crying and when we asked the staff where the breastfeeding station is, they answered me with “wala po ma’am”. I was shocked to know that it was the biggest mall in Pasay but they don’t even have a BF station, or if they do (which I know now that they have), the staff doesn’t know about it. So the malling was cut short and we went home.

There were other malling experiences but they were all different. I already learned my lesson. We carefully chose the places we go to. It has to have BF Station, or family lounges. Then I  bought a pump again (this time, not the glass-with-the-red-bulb-end pump) and started to store milk in the freezer so that we’ll have something to bring when we go out. I also started to teach Iya to  drink from the bottle so that it would be easier to feed her when we’re out. The only problem is the milk getting spoiled, and again, I resorted into buying formula. This time I really bought one small can and trying to feed it to her. Good thing she doesn’t like it so I stopped. But still I bring extra powdered milk whenever we go out, for emergency purposes.

Eventually, I got used to nursing Iya in front of my family, and they never mind at all. I think it was just me whose bothered to breastfeed in front of them. When I became a member of N@W, a lot of doors opened for me. I discovered different mommy items for nursing – the nursing cover, nursing wears, etc. Thanks to several online stores like Mama.Baby.Love and Indigo Baby being my top favorites when it comes to nursing items. Now, I can nurse anytime, anywhere, and I don’t mind if people are looking at me coz I know in my heart that I’m doing the most wonderful thing in the world – that is to give my baby the best nutrition.

5. The COMMITMENT

Sure enough, breastfeeding is the easiest way to nurse your baby. You don’t have to wash bottles, sterilize them, and I don’t have to buy those expensive formula. All I need is to lift my shirt and give it to Iya and that’s it, my “MommyLac”. It also saved me from the tedious job of getting up in the middle of the night to prepare milk. I just give my breast to Iya and we fall asleep together while she nurses.

I can’t imagine myself not breastfeeding Iya. But it can be tiring sometimes, and time-consuming too. I’m a stay-at-home mom and it’s only me and Iya in the house. I cook my own meal, wash our clothes, clean the house, etc., and when Iya is hungry, I’ll stop whatever I’m doing and rush to her side (read my previous posts – How Motherhood Changed my Life and A Day in the Life of a Stay-at-home-Mom so that you can understand my sentiments better). There were times that I thought of weaning Iya early or do the mix feeding so that I can go on with the usual stuff. Plus, now that she’s already teething, she’s already starting to give my nipples her love bites. That’s when the blog came. It’s a long story – from attending the N@Wies Babywear Meet to writing my own blog. I also started reading other mom’s blogs especially The Chronicles of a Nursing Mom, which is my most favorite of all. It is  where I get all the valuable info and inspiring and eye-opening posts about breastfeeding. Her posts are even linked to other blogs -the more blogs I read, the more information I get. Reading these stuff inspired me to continue breastfeeding and dropped the idea of formula totally. I even planned on breastfeeding Iya until she no longer wants to. And besides, what’s the point of me staying at home if I don’t breastfeed my child?

For every problem there is a solution. And for my case, I have everything to help me sustain and be committed to my breastfeeding. I have the resources, the inspirations, supportive people beside me and my breasts full of milk  to offer to my baby whenever she’s hungry. 🙂

Iya in her wierd nursing positions (too shy to show my nipples in public..hihi)

Feed me, Mommy!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s