Have you ever felt embarrassed about doing something you think is totally right but wrong for others? I felt that way back when my first child was a newborn baby. But not anymore! I now have all the necessities to do it with poise, pride, and happiness. I am talking about BREASTFEEDING my child.
Breastfeeding is one of the advocacies I have as a Woman and as a Mother. This is, in fact, my second blog about it. Four years ago, I wrote a blog about the struggles I encountered when I was breastfeeding my firstborn, Lexi. I never thought I would breastfeed for the second time around. With Noah now, my second child. Lexi was breastfed for two years and four months. She is now turning five in October. Noah is being breastfed for 13 months and counting.
(Photos from Lexi’s breastfeeding photoshoot in September 2015)
To me, it is a big deal, it is something to be aware of, it is something to share, to inspire and be proud of.
Breastfeeding is not easy, yet, it will always be a beautiful and wonderful thing.
While there are a lot of struggles that hinder a mother to breastfeed her child, there are also gears that can drive us to successfully breastfeed our babies.
Let me share with you some of my Breastfeeding Must-Haves every mother can use:
This is similar to Devotion, Commitment, Enthusiasm, and Perseverance. When we badly want to achieve something, don’t we just give our 100% Dedication? No matter how we fall, we still stand up tall after all.
Breastfeeding is tiring, painful and difficult.
Every night is a sleepless night because no one can be there as a reliever. It is also only the mom who can give the milk when baby is hungry. Or even when the baby is hurt, uncomfortable, irritated, sad, feeling sick, and name it all… A breastfed baby’s answer to all is mommy’s boobs, that is simply all. How can I not feel tired and jealous of my husband having a good night’s sleep while my baby is on my boobie all night long?
It is painful. How can I forget all those sore and cracked nipples? The engorgement whenever I’m having too much milk supply! It feels like anytime my boob is going to pop! And the biting when they start teething!
It is difficult. It is even frustrating. How many times did I feel angry and cranky for having a feeling that I can never accomplish anything other than breastfeeding? Countless.
Yes, it is tiring, painful and difficult, but it is doable. It is possible. It takes a lot of strength and patience. Just think about the main reason why you want to breastfeed your little one. You want to give your best so be dedicated to not settle for less!
With Lexi, I was always shy to breastfeed her when she was a newborn baby. My nursing cover was always handy. I would even hide in restroom every time we go to public places. I was afraid to be judged. I was afraid to be perverted.
All of these can be overcome. I realized that it is all in the mind. Even before I gave birth to my first child, I started reading about the benefits of breastfeeding. It isn’t just good for my baby’s health. It is also a big help for a mother’s health. Later on, I started being confident that it is normal. It is natural. It is our right. Focus on the positive. Do not mind the negative. I then became assured of the health benefits, with the bonus that it is free and another way to save a lot of money! Just think that you will get the hang of it, you can do it, mommy!
3. SUPPORT FROM FAMILY AND COMMUNITY.
“Cindy, hindi na uso ang magpasuso.” (Cindy, breastfeeding is not IN anymore) “Takpan mo yung dede mo, baka nasisilipan ka na.” (Cover your breast, they might see it) “May pambili naman kayo, bakit di mo I formula kahit paminsan-minsan lang”. (You have money to buy, why don’t you just give formula milk once in a while?)
These were just some of the unsolicited pieces of advice I would normally get. But you know what? I do not care at all.
Because I have chosen to listen to positive people who inspire and let me be on the right path.
This is actually the main problem I see why a mother easily gives up breastfeeding – Lack of Support from people around them.
In my case, I am blessed to have my husband, parents, and sisters who support me from Day one. My oldest sister is breastfeeding her baby as well. I did not know much about it so I read a lot and I even found a group on Facebook called “Breastfeeding Pinay” who became my support system. If only we surround ourselves with positive and knowledgeable and supportive people, we cannot go wrong, mums!
4. COMFORTABLE CLOTHES.
It is truly a struggle to choose what clothes to wear. It always has to be accessible. Of course, it will be hard to breastfeed if you’re wearing a top that is too tight. So, I got used to wearing V neck type of shirts and dresses. If you have a budget for nursing clothes, there are a lot of online shops that sell Nursing Wears. I bought some from Kaypee Baby and Nursing Mommyiesph A nursing cover will help too depends on how comfortable you and your baby are. Or, the easiest and cheapest is to wear a tank top inside any shirt so you can lift your shirt anytime you want to breastfeed. As for me, I am comfortable now. I breastfeed anytime and anywhere, I breastfed on my wedding day, I breastfeed when I am in church, when I do shopping, eat out. I will never let my baby be hungry especially his food comes in handy. If people look, who cares? They can look but they can’t touch anyway. They will never have a say!
5. HAPPY MOOD.
You always need to avoid being stressed. This is to keep yourself healthy and to prevent the slow flow of your milk production. Stress can certainly slow the milk flow. But I know, with all the possible post-partum sadness and depression, sometimes stress is unavoidable. So, when sad times occur, trust the law of demand and supply. Do not be discouraged and do not stop. Plus, did you know that aside from all the breastfeeding health benefits, research has found that breastfeeding lessens negative moods and stress – so nursing your baby can infact help you get through a stressful time. And when everything still feels difficult, all you have to do is pray. Pray for strength, pray for confidence, pray for your milk! I can still remember how many times I asked my kumareng EM to help me always pray for my stable milk supply. It is answered! And oh, I almost forgot, one of breastfeeding mommy’s happiness is FOOD! I know we always feel hungry so do not ever starve yourself, eat what you feel like. Apparently, any nice food is allowed.
So, to all breastfeeding mothers out there, always be reminded that you are doing an amazing job! You surely must be proud! It may not be that easy but keep on giving only the best yourself and your baby.
HAPPY WORLD’S BREASTFEEDING MONTH, MOMMIES!