MY BREASTFEEDING JOURNEY
No one said breastfeeding would be easy but I didn’t think I would feel like a glorified cow either. During the time I had my first child (Danielle), breastfeeding wasn’t as popular or rampantly practiced. I figured since I never received a drop of breast milk myself and I turned out fine (or so I think), Danielle would be just as healthy if I fed her formula. And so the cycle continued, I tried to breastfeed & pump for 4 days until I gave up and succumbed to the temptation and convenience of baby formula. I didn’t know any better!
Now-a-days, people are more aware and are educated with the health benefits and advantages of breastfeeding. When you choose to breastfeed, you make an investment in your baby’s future. Breastfeeding allows you to make the food that is perfect for your baby. Your milk gives your baby a healthy start that will last a lifetime. Breastfeeding protects babies from illness and allergies, boosts your child’s IQ and helps mother’s health and healing following childbirth. From my experience, it definitely helped me shed all the baby weight that I gained during my pregnancy and I even lost more lbs/inches than my pre-pregnancy weight.
My breastfeeding journey was tough, long and challenging. I really felt like a cow!!! What made it more difficult was that I was back in school and frequently travelling. I had no shame and was pumping in the car during my breaks in school, I did everything from breastfeeding in public, dinner parties and inflight on an airplane (wearing a fabulous nursing cover, of course!). But this time around, I was dedicated, determined and wanted nothing but the best milk for Asher that I soaked in all the struggles and went through the process one day at a time.
I’m proud that I’ve earned the bragging rights to say that I DID IT! I was able to EXCLUSIVELY breastfeed Asher for a year, a little over his first birthday!!!
(Note: “Exclusively breastfeed” is purely breastmilk without any supplements/formula.)
MY TOP 10 BREASTFEEDING ESSENTIALS
1. Medela Pump In Style Advanced Breast Pump Backpack (appx. $300) Invest in a good pump. The more you empty the milk from your breast, the more milk you’ll produce.
You can purchase it on AMAZON or locally: Medela House (29 1st Street, New Manila, Quezon City)|Contact Person: Ms. Maricel Cua or Ms. Being Feliciano|Contact Number: (0917) 561.4366, 725.3723, 738.6272
2. Fridge-to-Go (appx. $45) Perfect for travelling and mommies on the go. It will keep the milk chilled for 10-12 hours.
You can purchase it on AMAZON or locally: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Fridge-to-Go/443738895668963 | Tel: (632) 506-9757 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bags (appx. $17) I liked using it compared to all the other brands because the bags were bigger, thicker and freezes flat.
4. Lansinoh HPA Lanolin (appx. $7) Soothes and protects sore, dry and cracked nipples. It was my best friend!
5. Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pads (appx. $13) Amongst all the brands I tried I liked it the best because it was ultra-thin but still kept me dry.
6. Moringa or Malunggay (avail. in the grocery/market) It definitely increased my milk production. I mixed it in everything! I made it into a shake, ice cream and even a cookie.
7. Milo (avail. in the grocery) I just learned it from a friend but apparently, the malt is suppose to help increase milk production. It worked for me!
8. Natalac (avail. in the drug store) I was taking this before I gave birth. Every little thing helps!
9. More Milk Plus by Motherlove (appx. $35) I discovered this during my trip to Medela House. I started to take this 3-4 months into breastfeeding. It worked wonders!
10. Organic Mother’s Milk Tea (avail. in Healthy Options or Amazon) My sister in law (Jackie) was the first person to introduce this tea to me and since then I was hooked. Perfect for breastfeeding mothers!
Through my breastfeeding journey, it was very important for me to have a strong support group and be around breastfeeding mothers. Another key person who helped me through was Coach Zeny, my lactation consultant. I called Coach Zeny a couple of weeks after I had given birth through the recommendation of my friend, Andrea. I was having a hard time getting the milk to flow and was always in a lot of pain. I had so many concerns and was frustrated with my milk supply. That is when I knew I needed the help of a professional. I needed advice on how to get Asher to latch on properly and tips on how to make the process less painful. I also wanted assurance that I was giving Asher enough milk. And true enough, Coach Zeny guided me though my journey. She visited me 1-2x a week and helped unclog my milk ducts. She gave me a lot of effective tips and was able to increase my milk supply and milk flow. I can now laughingly say, I was one happy cow!
Now that Asher is 2 years old, like any breastfeeding mother, I feel that all the hard work paid off. Physically, Asher rapidly increased his 5.2 lbs birth weight and grew quickly in height. Fortunately, he caught up with the other kids his age (a little over weight now!). Mentally, he wise above his years. He started singing medleys, speak in a sentence and could name/identify all the planets by 1 year 9 months. Emotionally, he’s secure, confident (maybe a little over confident) and very happy. It may sound like a cliché, but breast milk is best for babies.
Cheers to all breastfeeding mothers. Breast milk is truly a bottle of liquid gold!
(For breastfeeding tips and lactation concerns please contact Coach Zeny +63.920.966.9369 or purchase a copy of her book Breastfeeding Journeys available in National Bookstore)
- Cat Arambulo-Antonio
Categories: Asherstyle, Motherhood
Tags: #AsherStyle, Asher Antonio, Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding Journey, Cat Antonio, Cat Antonio Blog, Cat Arambulo, Cat Arambulo Blog, Cat Arambulo-Antonio, Cat Arambulo-Antonio Blog, Coach Zeny, Freezer to go, Lansinoh, Liquid Gold, Medela