Thursday, August 8, 2013

My Breastfeeding Journey

I think I have announced the end of our breastfeeding journey prematurely. I just realized that, though my little one seems to be liking the milk not from mommy, she still needs me and my milk... Specially at night. I guess our breastfeeding journey will still go on.

I was underweight before I got pregnant. I (and maybe my OB too) thought that I won't be able to breastfeed even if I wanted to. My body is just too small to hold milk, or anything at all. But I really think breastfeeding is the most normal/natural thing to do. And the benefits of breastfeeding both for the mom and baby are priceless. I also think breastfeeding truly completes my womanhood. I told myself, even for only a short period, I will try to breastfeed.

So before I gave birth, I tried to attend all those free breastfeeding and parenting seminars for pregnant women. I will arm myself with all the theoretical and evidenced based facts of this breastfeeding just in case I am given the opportunity. At least I know what to do.

I had a smooth delivery. I had the chance to have skin to skin time with my newborn. But it is not enough to have a successful latch on. As per the hospital's policy, my baby was brought to the nursery for a night (or at least a few hours to finish some tests and lab works). I can go to her if i wish to breastfeed her. I think my baby only received some glucose. No formula because my OB knows that I will breastfeed. So the very next morning (I gave birth around 9:30 pm), I forced myself to stand and walk so I can go to my little one for breastfeeding. She must be hungry by now, I thought. I went in to the nursery, very confident that I know what I'm doing. But clearly I do not. My baby just wont latch properly and I think nothing is coming out of my boob. I tried to hide the way I hold and bf my baby because I'm too embarrassed to be seen by other nursing moms. I tried peaking on the idiot boards and posters of how to breastfeed. And I just can't seem to do it right. So I just gave my baby back to the nurses and said that she's too sleepy to drink milk... Which is half true. I went for another try after 3 hours. This time I was alone and can focus on doing it right this time. But still no success.

During those times, I wasn't worried that I wont be able to breastfeed. I was just too confident that I'll be able to do this, after all, I attended every seminar offered by Mothercare. I think, believing in yourself that you can do something, actually helps.

I was only able to successfully feed my baby approximately 24hrs after she was born until now that she's almost 2 years old. We had our joys and pains... but really, it's all worth it.

So there's really truth to those things they taught me:
> that it's possible that your milk supply will come out maybe a little later after your baby is born,
> that baby is tired and sleepy and maybe will not latch or feed right away
> that baby will only consume what she needs; no need to strictly follow recommended feeding schedule/amount
> that baby knows when and how to latch... Just hold him properly
>  that your body will produce enough to nourish your baby (no formula supplement needed)
> that your baby will be healthier (in the long run), leaner and less likely to get sick
> and her poop are not as bad smelling as formula fed babies

My breastfeeding journey is successful because:
> I really wanted this to happen
> my husband was supportive in my decision even if he has his own way or opinion in feeding our child
> I have family, mostly in laws, who help me, specially with chores, and sending me treats and snacks, so I can focus on nursing and taking care of my baby
> an OBGyn and midwife who gave me tips in nursing positions and increasing milk supply
> my kinda expensive avent breastpump (but it's worth it)
> moringa supplements, oatmeals, soups and other food that increases milk supply
> nursing wears and accessories
> support groups that share their triumphs and boo-boos in breastfeeding
> free seminars for new mommies
> internet, blogs, Facebook support groups for the breastfeeding
> and a the cutest and most loving baby that needs and wants my milk

Okay, time to breastfeed again.

Happy breastfeeding month!

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