Thursday, January 24, 2013

Breastfeeding Help

freedigitalphotos by papaija2008

When I was pregnant with my first child, I had an image inside my head of what kind of mom I was going to be.  I was going to take care of her, love her like crazy and of course, I will exclusively breastfeed her. 

Breastfeeding scared me though.  A whole lot.  Women I work with told me stories of how breastfeeding hurts and how I would need to stop breastfeeding my baby anyway after my maternity leave would be over in two months.

I had to undergo emergency C-section after efforts to induce labor because of oligohydramnios, a condition wherein there is a deficiency of amniotic fluid and because there was meconium in my amniotic fluid.   Meconium, which is a baby’s very first poop, is expelled by the baby usually after birth.  Meconium in the amniotic fluid is a sign that the baby is in fetal distress.  The normal fetal heartbeat is between 120-180 bpm, but my baby’s fetal heartbeat would go above 200, which was a sign that she was in fetal distress.

After walking around Burnham Lake for 20 minutes and doing “Yoga for Pregnant Women” practically every day with dreams of going through normal labor, I went under the knife.

She had to stay at the nursery for a day, because she ingested her meconium.  Luckily, the stuff didn’t get into her lungs, but still, she has to get antibiotics.

I made it clear that I was going to breastfeed.  However, this was sixteen years ago, and the breastfeeding campaign here in the Philippines was not that big yet.  Multi-national companies actually gave hospitals samples of baby formulas!  When the nursery staff gave formula to my baby and my hubby approved, because the baby was crying and needed to feed, I wasn't able to object.

This developed nipple confusion, and when I tried to feed my baby with breasts hard as rock, she refused.  Not knowing any better, I finally gave in and agreed to give her formula with a heavy heart.

I tried to re-introduce breastfeeding to her, since I have read that you can battle nipple confusion, but me being young and scared to see my baby screaming hungrily and refusing my milk, formula won.  And here’s the downside, when she finally decided to breastfeed, I no longer had milk.

Had I known there were ways to increase milk supply, I would have persisted. I had Nicole, my second daughter, one year and ten months later, but I knew a whole lot better.  I persisted in breastfeeding her, giving clear instructions to the hospital staff that I will breastfeed even if I gave birth through C-Section again.  I breastfed her until she is around seven months, and I only have to stop because I had to be at work on field full time (breast pumps during those times cost a fortune.)  With my third child, I breastfed him for over three years, and that was while working full time on field. 

Breastfeeding is not easy, though.  Problems like blocked milk ducts, a bout with mastitis, and problems on how to boost milk supply almost pushed me to quit.  Had I read about Milk Up! Secrets to Increase Your Milk Supply, I would probably be able to re-lactate and re-introduce breast milk to my first child.  This breastfeeding book includes ways to solve low milk supply, what to do when you cannot feed your baby right after giving birth (like what happened to me with my first child), and methods on how you can produce sufficient milk.  It is like your own support group, because this book addresses a lot of your breastfeeding questions.  This elevates your belief that, yes, you can breast feed and dispels doubts that you are not producing enough for your child.

Breastfeeding is not just about milk or nutrition.  It is a moment of connection, that special moment when your child looks at you, with milk dribbling on her chin, with a smile especially for you.




25 comments :

  1. Breastfeeding isn't easy and I salute Moms who are able to breastfeed their babies for more than a year. I myself breastfed only about 3 months. No matter how much pumping I did to stimulate milk supply and taking malunggay tablets, the milk just dried up.

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    1. Ay, sis I tried everything!Malunnggay, oatmeal and motilium tabs! Yes, motilium, yung pangtiyan, because there is a lactation expert in Canada who prescribes this. Side effect kasi ng motilium is to stimulate breastmilk production.

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  2. It's really good that support for breastfeeding mothers is there now, and there's a lot of information out there already. Para yun sa mga susunod na mothers so what happened to you need not happen to them. Ako i don't even know if I will be blessed with a baby. I hope I do. And I also hope to be willful enough (tamad tamaran kasi ako) to do it.

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    1. You will be blessed with a baby, sis. Lahat ng may matris, puwede hehe. Pero, yes, you need to be willful enough, because the pictures you see of moms breastfeeding their babies serenely? That is sooo not true. First time the baby latches on you, ang saaaakiit, you would want to throw him hehe. And you have to do it every hour, at least, until you get your rhythm and sked.

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  3. My mom said I was never breastfed. Not really sure if her case was the same as yours. I still couldn't relate to this, but I'm looking forward to being pregnant, giving birth and breastfeeding as well.

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    1. I think most of the 70s and 80s generation were not breastfed, because those are the decades when formula was popular and moms are working na. Believe me, when I set my mind on breastfeeding, my older friends were discouraging me. Mas matalino daw and mas malaki ang formula-fed. But, of course, my reason is I am giving my baby the best and I am not spending anything, plus mablis ako pumayat

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  4. We were breastfed, my siblings and I. Perhaps, it's the very reason why we feel so close to our mom.

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    1. I think there is a strong connection between moms and kids nga when breastfed. My not-so-little boy adores me, and I breast fed him till he was 3, no, actually 4

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  5. I did breastfeed my children but only upto 4mos :( I have lack of milk and for personal reasons on why I stopped. I got depressed for some time kasi. I didn't know that there's a table that can help boost those milk out, huli ko na nalaman :(

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    1. Me naman, andami kong na-read, but all those didn't prepare me of the pain haha. Although I was a veteran breastfeeder after my second child, I had to go through the whole motion on my third child. My boy wanted to feed hourly, I am sore and he even developed nipple confusion, but once we had our rhythm, he cant get up breastfeeding until he was four

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  6. nice post up there. my mom never breast fed us since she gave birth to us (my sister and i ) via c-section ans she told us konti daw gatas nya.

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    1. Those times kasi walang lactation consultants (I dont know if there are na, actually hehe). But I also experienced kaunting milk

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  7. Out of my seven kids, five were breastfed and one daughter lasted for as long as 11 months. I was a stay at home mom then and with the help of my mother I was able to prepare myself for breastfeeding and not only that, I even encouraged my sister to do the same , not believing that women who have "inverted" nipples may not be able to do so as me and my sister were gifted with those.

    Breastfeeding was one of the most wonderful experiences a mother could ever have. It is not just about saving money or being close to your kid , for me it goes beyond that. It is knowing that I can get to feed my baby and with just my milk, her day would be complete. It is the inexplicable bond between mother and child whose image goes beyond words and the realization that every woman was gifted by nature to produce milk wether in abundance or not. It is indeed a blessing to be able to breastfeed.

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    1. Such beautiful words Sarah! I breastfed my third, a boy, for four years. I think I was still breastfeeding him when the controversial Time cover photo came out.

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  8. aww, i share the same problem when i breastfeed my panganay, ganun yata talaga ang mga bagong mommy hahaha

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    1. Yup, Max, so true. So full of dreams, pero takot haha

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  9. I'm still breastfeeding my baby, Marie, and we've been exclusively breastfeeding for 10 months now! Whew! I also underwent CS and my baby also ingested meconium, but he had to stay in the hospital for 6 days. :-(

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    1. Wow, Maan, keep it up! I actually breastfed my son (my third) till he was four, and that was while working full time too. hehe. When he was one, people were actually asking me when I should stop, but I was enjoying our bonding so much and he was thriving. He is now a smart, seven year old who rarely gets sick :)

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  10. There are a lot of advantages in breastfeeding... that's why I really breastfed my babies. :) Some moms however are not very lucky to be have a lot of milk. So it's important to prepare also for lactation even while pregnant. :)

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    1. Yes, Meikah, andaming benefits ng breastfeeding, and I think that when we claim we have no milk, that is not entirely true. It is law of supply and demand at work, everytime the baby feeds because her body demands it, our body will supply sufficient milk (although ang hirap mag breastfeed especially if you are thinking you are late na for work hehe)

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  11. My baby is 8 months now and I am still breastfeeding exclusively. You are right that its not really easy. When I established my milk supply sabi ko" after 4 to 6 months, tama na. Its hard and it is a commitment". But you know what after months and months of breastfeeding, I become addicted to it as much as my baby. Tama ka that its also about the connection and experience. Breastfeeding is so rewarding for me. Kaya when i learned that you bfed until your baby is four, i am determined to do the same too!

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  12. There's definitely good benefits with breastfeeding and the most rewarding part is that connection only a mother and child can share. I remember 15 yrs ago with my first child, I was young and had no knowledge about breastfeeding. My breasts were hurting like crazy and my baby was crying because he was so hungry. I got frustrated and confused because milk won't come out from my gorging breasts..only to find out that I had inverted nipple. My OB had to massage my nipples for me and my baby and there my milk came out like "gripo" sobrang dami. :-)

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  13. I want to experience breastfeeding too, I mean I know that it's good for the baby so baby will have a better immune system and so forth

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  14. I failed in breastfeeding the first time also. I promise to exclusively breastfeed my next baby. I just hope I am SAHM by then. Luckily, my son even if just breastfed for just 3 months grows up to be so smart and healthy. But still, I will exclusively breastfeed my next baby by hook or by crook. Hehe

    Mommy Maye
    www.momaye.com

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  15. There are limitless benefits of breastfeeding as studies showed them all. If I will have a baby, I would also do this.

    -anne lei

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