It’s August and it’s National Breastfeeding Awareness Month. I think nothing deserves more acknowledgement than breastfeeding mamas who choose to breastfeed their babies no matter how hard it is.
Everybody knows that breastfeeding is best for our babies. Aside from the fact that breast milk contains all the vitamins and minerals that our babies needs in their first six months of life, it also contains the disease-fighting anti bodies that help protect our babies from illness and germs or bacteria.
This is one reason why experts and the government encourages mothers to breastfeed. Another is that breastfeeding can save more money than you think. Well, because it’s free.
When I first got pregnant with Ykaie my initial worries about breastfeeding was if I would produce enough milk for her. I didn’t give it much thought because what could be easier than breastfeeding? It’s a natural process that every mom and child goes through.
When Ykaie was born, she had trouble latching on. I remember feeling like a failure because I couldn’t make her latch properly. Also, my nipples that wasn’t inverted when I wasn’t pregnant suddenly became inverted after giving birth. I didn’t know it could happen! My simple thoughts about breastfeeding were immediately replaced by frustration and worries.
With Twinkle, it was more of the same. She had a weak latch when she was born. She was feeding a little but what she wanted more of was to sleep beside my breast and she didn’t wanna let go of it. Each time we take her away, she would scream and cry and she won’t stop until she’s back beside my breast. Come feeding time, she would have trouble latching and when she finally did, I’d wonder if she’d gotten enough.
A few moments later, she would wake up crying again and we would have trouble latching. When she finally gets to latch it would seem like she isn’t getting enough milk. It was a vicious cycle which left me feeling frustrated. We finally found out that I had low milk supply and that she really isn’t getting enough milk that she’s supposed to.
This is when I felt really guilty that I wasn’t able to breastfeed as easily as other moms. I felt guilty that I had low milk supply for my baby. I felt guilty that I wasn’t experiencing that calm, connected feeling they are saying you experience whenever you breastfeed your child. I wasn’t gonna let that guilt eat me from the inside, though. My little angel is depending on me.
So first and foremost, I tried to get as much rest as I can. I ate well mostly soupy ulams like Tinola (with lots of Malunggay leaves) and Nilaga. And since I was drinking for two, I remained hydrated by drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day. I drank Absolute 100% Distilled Water, of course. I also took malunggay capsules.
We were able to latch properly too. Soon, I was able to breastfeed but not for long. It didn’t turn out like I hope for but I’m proud of myself for doing all that I could do. I did the best thing I could do and I think that makes me a great mom.
One of the lessons I learned throughout my breastfeeding journey is to give respect to all moms out there — whether they were able to breastfeed for 1 month or up to 2 years, whether they were able to breastfeed easily or exclusively, whether they pumped or had their babies on unli-latch. Breastfeeding a baby is not a walk in the park and when doing so, a mother is giving their all to their babies… their Absolute Love. And nothing could be more important than that.
Hats off to all #padedemoms out there!