Eight chunky months into my pregnancy with my first born, Chelsea, I decided that I was going to breastfeed. Based on books, reviews, testimonies I read (..and I’ve read quite a lot) they all came down to this one liner– BREASTMILK is the BESTMILK. And being a very excited first time mom, I was going to give nothing but only the BEST to my baby. Note the word “chunky” over there? Yep, I read that breastfeeding is nature’s lipo (BEST milk talaga…even for Mommy). So for the above mentioned reasons, this was a MUST! :p
I started taking malunggay pills on my 34th week. As I got closer to my due date, I would take 2x a day. I was fully aware that there are mother’s who are not able to produce milk therefore I wanted to do everything I could to make sure that I will have milk but never to the point of stressing out about it. I consistently lifted it up in prayer and just took it easy.
I was DETERMINED. I mean, how hard can it really get?!
I gave birth. Chelsea immediately latched. No problem, easy-peasy! I was happy to be on the road back to my “slim” self. But the next day, my breasts became as hard as stone. It was soooo engorged. My nipples started to crack. It was HOR-RI-BLE! It was so painful. I did not understand why nobody ever told me on how challenging it would be. I remember my husband’s sister, Chesca, helping me because I just could not function well. I was in tears as I would make Chelsea latch. Even when she would latch well, she would keep crying because she wasn’t getting enough milk from me. I was able to get a lactation specialist to help relieve me of my engorged breasts. As soon as my ducts were unclogged, Chelsea complained less and I felt so much better.
After 2 weeks of pain, my nipples healed and I got my daughter’s feeding rhythm. I had days when I just wanted to give up but Chelsea refused to drink from the bottle (parang we tried ALL the brands in ALL the stores in the Philippines). There was a time when I left the house to see if she would drink my milk from the bottle but nope, she waited for me until I got home. I had a lot of stored milk (around 70 bags of 4-7oz) that I eventually donated because she just refused to take the bottle. Looking back, I am happy she didn’t want to drink from the bottle. And I am proud to say that I breastfed her DIRECTLY and PURELY for a year. My bond with Chelsea is incredibly strong and I believe that breastfeeding has helped strengthen this bond that we have.
Because of this experience, I was committed to breastfeed our second child, Patrice, as well. She is now 7 months and I still breastfeed her. Though my milk supply is not as plenty, I make Patrice latch as often as possible. But unlike Chelsea who refused to use the bottle, Patrice doesn’t mind and is not choosy with the nipple bottle. I still take malunggay supplements, eat a lot of malunggay leaves, take “halaan” soup, and my daily Milo drink (I don’t know why but I really think this works! Perhaps because of the malt? I’m not sure. But it’s yummy so yeah I drink it often). I know that what mother’s feel affects the kind of milk produced which is why I try my very best to always stay positive and try to stay out of a stress-free environment so that I can keep producing yummy happy quality milk.
I am very proud and grateful to be able to breastfeed my girls. This is something I wish and pray I can continue doing for the entire first year of Patrice.. and for all our future babies! <3
(Photo taken right after I breastfed Patrice!)
I know that there are Mamas who are not breastfeeding because they don’t have milk but that’s okay. No judgments here. Each child is different and has specific needs. I believe that mothers know what is best for their child. I believe this is what worked with my girls but won’t necessarily be the same with yours. So don’t stress! Not breastfeeding your child does not make you any less of a mom. You are so blessed to be able to have a child as a blessing! …and that is all that matters! <3
Happy. Healthy. Breastfed! <3