Breastfeeding has been time and time considered as the best way to feed your baby. Nothing is more pure, natural and healthy than the liquid gold a mother provides after giving birth. I’ve been breastfeeding for a total of 4 years now and we are not close to weening our youngest anytime soon. Honestly, I never imagined myself as a breastfeeding mother simply because I was unaware of the benefits it can give to my baby. My mother told me that I was only breastfed for 2 months because she needed to go back to work, so I didn’t have any background about breastfeeding from my own mother. I was clueless, pregnant and impulsive. I started buying baby bottles, researched on what brands were the best, and spent a lot of money for the “non- colic baby bottles” which ended up to be a waste.
MY BREASTFEEDING STORY
My first sign that I had milk was a little over 8 months into my pregnancy when I was having white- yellowish secretions, my aunt (who was the only person I knew who breastfed her kids) told me that my milk came early and that’s a good sign. As soon as my first born came into our lives he was a breastfeeding champ, latched perfectly on his first try the nurses were amazed. I remember the first few hours of me breastfeeding my son, it was magical. Finally holding my son in my arms and seeing him healthy was the best feeling in a new mom’s life. Our son had to be in the NICU for a couple of days because he had an infection while I was in labor, which meant I had to stay in the hospital and get up every 2 hours for me to walk to the NICU to feed him. It was exhausting, my body was still recovering from my cesarian surgery and I didn’t get sleep at all. I remember hating waking up every 2 hours but loving the moment as soon as I have my son in my arms. Eventually, my mother asked us to come home and leave Aiden in the NICU while he finishes his last 2 days of antibiotics because she advised us to rest comfortably at home. My husband and I hated the idea but we needed a couple of hours rest from the hospital life. It was heartbreaking to leave our son behind but we had to make a decision that would help both of us in the process. Because I was constantly feeding my son, my pumping was not doing well. I couldn’t store enough milk for him when we left and lucky for me, and angel helped us. My best friend’s sister was so kind enough to give me 2 full bags of milk for Aiden at the hospital. It was enough for him to be fed for 2 full days.
The first day we got home was emotional, I broke down in tears because I was missing my son who was only 3 days old. It was sad to drive home with an empty carseat even though we knew he was safe in the hospital. I felt like I was already abandoning my son at an early age (I realized my post- partum hormones were coming in) but my husband assured me that we will be at the hospital as soon as I get enough rest. True enough all I needed was a good 8 hour nap, because I woke up to rock solid breasts and a wet t- shirt because my milk supply has kicked in. I ran to my mom and asked how to relieve the pain and so we pumped. I pumped 2 full bottles of milk that day and everyone was shocked. I felt like a human cow but was relieved that the pain from my breasts was finally gone. We went back to the hospital to drop my bottles of milk and the nurses were in aw. They didn’t expect that rapid production of milk in less than 24 hours. After that it was milk monster for me, I had enough milk supply for my son to direct latch and still had to pump twice a day.
Our fridge was full of frozen milk and it was getting out of hand. My son wouldn’t take milk from the bottle even if I tried so hard to get him used to it. So I ended up donating all my milk to numerous babies in Davao city. I would post on my Facebook that I have 2 insulated bags full of milk for pick-up and people would be happy to take it from me. The same happened when I gave birth to my second son, and it was a lot easier the second time around. I gave up on bottles and sticked to direct latching, donated weekly to hospitals and sick kids in Davao city. At some point, my milk was being delivered to Siargao Island for a baby who needed milk! I was happy to donate and help other moms, I was part of their journey to breastfeeding and I will forever cherish that. 18 months after my second baby is born and my son is still latching for milk. We don’t exclusively breastfeed anymore because at some point I wanted to give myself a break and have my husband take over for a couple of hours. Currently my son still breastfeeds mainly at night and for comfort. I try not to pressure him because I know he will eventually not need to latch anymore, and I want him to take his time.
Here is best part of this blog, where I spill all my secrets on how I maintain to have a good milk supply. A lot of moms have asked me about my diet and pumping schedules but I simply don’t have one. I eat what I want to eat and I don’t restrict myself from the food that I love. I used to pump once a day because I was helping a mother with a premature baby get healthy but as soon as they didn’t need my assistance anymore I would only pump when needed. So here it is, my secret to a successful breastfeeding journey..
- WATER- Imagine having to extract so much liquids in a day to feed your baby and not filling it back in with water? You will most likely get dry and lose your milk supply. Before, during and after I feed my son I always drink a glass of water. I made it a habit to have a water bottle nearby so I can grab and take a gulp here and there throughout the day.
- SLEEP- Our body needs to be healthy for us to sustain our milk supply and the best way to be healthy is to get enough sleep daily. I know it’s hard to get any sleep when you’re a mother but when I get a chance to take a nap, I grab it. I don’t make excuses to watch Netflix or watch Instagram stories because I knew my body needed to be prepared for the next feeding.
- LACTATION CHOCOLATE DRINK- Unlike the my first breastfeeding journey, my breastmilk didn’t come in right away when I gave birth to my second son. Probably because it was harder to get enough sleep because even when the newborn is asleep, I have to give attention to my toddler. So I called an old friend to deliver my favorite chocolate drink that has always helped me with my breastmilk supply. Mother Nurture ensures the safety of the breastfeeding mother when they sell their products. All their ingredients are locally and naturally grown which makes it safe because they don’t use chemicals and pesticides. The drink is formulated with herbs that can sustain and increase milk supply. I always recommend Mother Nurture to my breastfeeding friends because it has helped me in so many ways, when I feel sick and still need to feed my son I am assured that this drink will help my milk supply be enough for his consumption.
4. LACTATION TREATS- I also purchase lactation treats from our local lactation baker, mommycuddlehub , her treats are not only good for my milk supply but they are also tasty and delicious. It serves as a healthy treat for mommies craving for something sweet while breastfeeding. These goodies have malunggay which is known to be good for milk supply which helps our body generate breastmilk.
My obsession! Mommy Kristal’s Lactation Brownies come in different packs, good for 7 days or 12 days but to be honest I can finish the whole pack in 3 days! It’s so addictive!
This is a new edition to her lactation goodies and it is divine! Perfect for quick snacks.
If you’re a cookie lover you will absolutely love Mommy Kristal’s Crinkles. Not too sweet and not too heavy, a perfect reward for that 20 minute feeding session with your baby.
5. CHERISH THE MOMENT- Last but not the least, you have to enjoy your breastfeeding journey. It may not be easy, it will always be a challenge but I promise you it is worth it. You will have that irreplaceable bonding with your baby that a baby bottle can never give. Always make breastfeeding sessions a bonding activity for the two of you and play with your baby. I always cuddle, play with his hands and interact with my son when he is feeding because sometimes that’s all he wants. He may not always be hungry, but just needing a little Baby- Mommy time to make him feel good.
That’s it, that’s all my secrets to keeping my baby happy and providing him with the best milk that money cannot buy. I hope you learned something about this blog and feel free to comment below your own breastfeeding story. I’d love to hear from you! If you want to try the products I use message Mommy Kristal on her Instagram account @mommycuddlehub 🙂