Hello, readers! It feels nice receiving messages telling me that my preggy and mom blog series are somehow helpful especially to those that can actually relate – young moms, single parents, those who are expecting, and even those who are not yet there but are uhmm… interested…. in reading. Well, a big thanks to everyone. Sana hindi kayo magsawa kahit na minsan walang tulong yung mga sinusulat ko. Hehe.
Today, I’m sharing some of the things I learned about breastfeeding. We’ll not have a deep dive on each of the sub topics, but I’ll try to have specific, more focused article about each one.
Yesterday, I met with my old friend. She’s also a first time mom of a bouncing baby boy. I just learned she can’t breastfeed her baby. As in walang lumalabas. I realized it’s true that not all moms can breastfeed, not all moms can easily produce milk. Thankfully, her baby boy is okay with formula, and growing healthy (even healthier than expected).
I honestly thought I won’t make it. Naku magugutom ang anak ko sakin. Funny but I actually got worried. I was not blessed with bigger boobs, directly speaking. So I was worried I won’t have enough milk for my baby. Turned out I was wrong. It isn’t about the size, it’s about the ability to produce.
I feel veey lucky I’m having enough for Toyang. I even reproduce fast. How do I do that?
- MMC (meaning my doctors and nurses in Makati Medical Center) made Toyang latch right after her birth. Okay, right after she’s cleaned up. It helped, as Toyang and my breasts familiarized each other agad agad, on the time of birth.
- On my first week back at home, my OB prescribed Natalac. It’s an herbal supplement for nursing mothers to help them produce more milk. I was producing enough already, but she didn’t want to miss anything, also, she wanted to help boost the production. I took it for only a week, and it really was effective.
- I drink Milo every morning. Yep. Milo, the chocolate energy drink. Malt is also a booster. I’ve actually read an article online that beers also help (again, malt), but of course, in a very limited amount. I don’t drink beers, even before I got pregnant, I hated beers.
- I haven’t tried drinking/eating malunggay soup. But everyone is saying and everyone knows malunggay is the most effective booster. Saving it for when my breasts get tired~
- Have enough sleep. Nah. I don’t think new moms can’t and won’t have enough sleep, but we can rest and that is very important. When breastfeeding, I make sure I am relaxed both physically and mentally.
- Skin-to-skin breastfeeding is the best at least for a month, but as my lactation advisor said, it’s better to do it the whole duration of my maternity leave. #hearttoheart #bonding
- Make sure to empty your breasts. Emptying your breasts triggers your body to produce more milk. Toyang is very much of a drinker, so I have no issues on emptying mine. Unless she’s asleep, and my breasts are in the mood to produce a lot. It’s okay to use breast pumps and store your milk, for when baby needs a top-up or when you’re not around (busy on shaving your whole body, busy at the groceries, busy sleeping, etc.)
Benefits of breastfeeding
Even if you’re the biggest producer of breastmilk, breastfeeding is still your decision. After giving birth, you’ll notice everyone’s asking you “will you breastfeed?” or “are you willing to continue breastfeeding?”. When I was first asked the same questions, I thought, “of course, I mean diba dapat lang naman?” Until I learned it’s still mom’s personal decision.
I’m not (yet) a breastfeeding advocate, but I honestly find it really helpful. Not just because it provides a loooot of nutrients to your child, it helps minimize the risk of you and your child of getting particular viruses. It also helps give your child higher IQ (we’ll see, Toyang, we’ll see haha!) and boosts bond between you and you baby.
When Toyang was still inside my belly, my most favorite thing was feeling her move, and she moved a lot. Same here today, she moves a lot. Like she’s already a toddler. And it’s very rewarding whenever I see her like omg I gave life to this little thing!
My newest favorite is that feeling when I feed her. There is pain, of course, but it’s also the happiest minutes of my every day.