I remember when I was about 10 years old, I asked my Mama if I was breastfed when I was a baby. She told me no, because she has no milk and maybe it’s in the genes. Is it really possible to have no milk to feed your baby? I wondered. From then, I told myself that when I have my own children, I will really try hard to breastfeed them. This became a challenge for me to start my breastfeeding journey.
Fast forward to 2014 when I gave birth to Reilly. The first few days were the hardest. I was so engorged and no milk was coming out when I pump! I lack knowledge in breastfeeding back then and I really thought that I have no milk and I just wanted to give up. Maybe, Mama was right. It’s in our genes. We cannot breastfeed because we cannot produce milk. But lo and behold, my milk came in around day 4. But the problem is, Little Reilly does not know how to properly latch. I went through all the dilemmas of a BF Mom — sore breasts, cracked/bleeding nipples and I was crying while breastfeeding because it really hurts!
Finally, milk supply was established at around 7 weeks. I am still working that time and it was really a struggle for me when I went back to work. I would pump milk during breaks and bring home ounces of milk everyday but that was never enough to sustain my stash. This resulted to mixed feeding. We gave her formula milk whenever there is no breastmilk left and she cannot directly latch to me. I also underwent management training when she was around 4 to 5 months old and I cannot religiously pump every 2-3 hours. Reilly weaned from breastfeeding when she was about 8 months old. She would not latch anymore maybe because of my decreased milk supply. My dream of exclusively breastfeeding her failed. That was the end of my breastfeeding journey with Reilly.
This time with Eliana, I was more equipped and knowledgeable with breastfeeding. It was another chance to fulfill my dream. Good thing that she was roomed in with me the next day after I gave birth. And again, no milk was coming out. But this time, I am not panicking. I just let her latch and latch and latch. I counted her poos and pees and I knew she is getting enough milk from me. Milk came in at day 5 post partum (longer this time).
Since I was a stay-at-home mom now, I knew I can do it this time. Thank God for new products (Haakaa is a genius invention!). I was able to build my stash as early as 2 weeks. At present, we are going 3 months of exclusive breastfeeding! I’m one happy momma. It was hard, but seeing a smile on her face after each feed is the best feeling in the world.
Here are some tips that worked for me and maybe can help you too in your breastfeeding journey :
- Latch, latch and latch! It’s tiring and it hurts but unlilatch especially in the first few weeks after giving birth will help establish your supply. Warm compress and massage helps the milk flow. I use La Vie Lactation Massager which I got from Mothercare Trinoma.Click the image to buy LaVie Lactation Massager in Amazon
- Trust yourself. This is the most important thing. You have to trust your body that you can provide the milk needed by your little one. Do not stress yourself and do not compare your output with others! Our babies have different needs and we can provide it to him/her.
- Eat well, diet later. You have all the time in the world to remove that momma pooch after your baby weaned from breastfeeding. And did I mention that breastfeeding helps lose your baby weight faster? I lost about 36 lbs. in a span of 8 weeks. Now, I’m just 5 lbs. away from my pre-pregnancy weight. For now, eat well so that you can provide all the nutrition that you and your baby needs. Sabaw is life!
- Try one supplement at a time. Stick to the ones that you think helps you increase your supply. For me, what works is taking 2 capsules of mega malunggay each day, drinking M2 Malunggay Tea and Mother Nurture Coffee and Choco drink . I also eat lactation cookies which I bake and share thru @milkookiesph.
What about you? Share your BF journey in the comment section below. Breastfeeding is best for babies but it does not mean that formula fed babies are less. Remember, Fed is best.