My 8 Realizations About Breastfeeding And Some Quick Tips

Hi there!  My youngest is turning one year old next month and I can proudly say that he's exclusively breastfed as I write this.  It'...

Hi there!  My youngest is turning one year old next month and I can proudly say that he's exclusively breastfed as I write this.  It's a decision I made with my husband and I'm happy he's very supportive of this route because it's every breastfeeding mom's ultimate wish to have their husband's full support.

But getting to where I am right now was not an easy feat for me.  There were a lot of pains, sacrifices, semi-embarrassments, lifestyle adjustments, mental and emotional stress, and physical changes to get to the stage I am now.
I think in my blog, I've written about this topic once or twice pa lang.  I wrote about my experience on breastfeeding the first few months of my baby's life, my breastfeeding essentials, and my painful experience when my baby was confined due to my spoiled breast milk.  And since then, I carried on my breastfeeding journey and shared about it through my Instagram photos or stories.  You may view some using this hashtag on my Instagram Account: #MPBreastfeedingJournal #MPBreastfeedingJourney

I'm no breastfeeding expert and I don't know if this is right or wrong, but I've set sort of an end goal to my breastfeeding journey.  I said to myself and to practically everyone who asked, that I'm giving it a YEAR.  And time flies indeed really fast because that timeline I've set is coming in a few weeks from now.  It's tearing me apart, should I continue, should I stop.  I feel guilty if I would stop but ONE YEAR of exclusive breastfeeding is already great and a milestone to celebrate!  I'll let you know once I cross the bridge.
For now let me share with you my thoughts and experiences on breastfeeding.
  1. It's a choice.  Oh yes, it definitely is.  A mother or an expert cannot impose to another mother how she plans to feed her baby.  Para sa akin, having breast milk is indeed a blessing!  I can say I am blessed just enough to feed my baby and give him the nourishment he needs while growing up from newborn to an infant.  It's a choice I made with my husband to embark on this journey.  It's a choice I carefully made to endure some pain (sometimes on my breasts at my back, etc), adjust my lifestyle, and whatever breastfeeding would require me to be.  Not all moms have milk.  Not all moms who have milk want to do it.  Not all moms who have milk and breastfeeds are able to do it with a breeze.  I can say, to each her own.  It's a choice.  Whatever a mom's choice is, as long as baby is well-fed and of course loved, it wouldn't make her less of a mother.  Right?
  2. It is a solid commitment.  Waahh!  Totoo super!  I work full time and still exclusively breastfeed.  Some say superwoman.  No.  My ONE year breastfeeding goal is what kept me going and kept me committed to this choice, this journey.  It's not easy.  For a working mom like me, imagine my daily routine:  Direct latch at home - Bring office bag and breast pump to work - Pump three (3) times a day - Store breast milk properly in the office - Bring home the bacon the milk - Store in the ref (transfer to bottles) - Clean and sterilize the breast pump accessories - Direct latch at home.  REPEAT for five days.  There were days that I had to pump in my post because the lactation room is blockbuster full, pila balde!  There were days I had to pump during meetings kasi puno na talaga and I cannot defer my pumping schedule.  There were days I attend an event and had to request a quiet corner to pump.  There were days I missed on a pump schedule and feel guilty or pain in my breasts.  You get what I mean?  If you're committed to breastfeed you really have to adjust schedule, sacrifice some normal activities to give way to your new normal, be extra clean because you're going to handle your baby's food, and just stick to your goal to make it all happen.  This commitment also sometimes may cost you to buy supplements, lactation treats and anything that will help you boost or at least sustain your milk. 
  3. Experience differs from one mom to another.  I couldn't stress this any further.  Every dede is different from another, to say it bluntly.  Some over-produce, some (like me) just enough or struggling to get enough, and some, drops na lang per mommy-boobie.  So if you have breastfeeding kumares who are nailing it and producing more than 20 oz a day, don't feel bad about yourself.  The mere fact that you've committed to breastfeeding and is producing the liquid gold is enough to say that you're doing your best for your baby and giving him/her the best.  And when you feel bad, just think of this, my right breast is gigantic while the left is an average,  My breasts are lopsided. As in super halata and there are times I really feel bad looking at the mirror and staring at my breasts, I know that this phase too shall pass.  At least, my baby gets the best nourishment from me.  Yun na lang.
  4. Thankful for a supportive company and colleagues.  Here I am, pumping in my post. and it's okay. 
  5. It is easier when you have full support of family, friends and colleagues.  I am happy I'm blessed with a supportive environment.  My husband, my dad and sibs, my in laws, my friends (both married and single), and lalo na colleagues are supportive of my decision to breastfeed.  Imagine at work, I had to be late at times in meetings because pumping is not yet done.  I also excuse myself three times a day to pump.  With supportive people around you, not only you get to adjust with your new normal, but they too.  Imagine if I don't have their approval, paano na?  I might just leak in meetings or feel so guilty for excusing myself to pump or feel embarrassed. So I really wish this for all breastfeeding moms!
  6. Breastfeeding in a salon and many other public places and it's all good!
  7. It is now widely accepted publicly and digitally.  Oh yes!  I feed my baby in restaurants, in cinemas, in just about anywhere na maabutan ng gutom my little one because he's hungry for crying out loud.  I don't wait til I get to the nearest lactation or nursing room in the mall.  I practically strike anywhere.  Though there's still a percentage of the population who find breastfeeding in public a taboo, I really don't care. hahaha!  Well, I bring a nursing cover with me everywhere so I could discretely breastfeed.  My husband is quite conservative as well and he's not comfortable for other people to pleasurably (LOL!) view my booby skin.  Digitally, it's widely accepted.  You'd see blogs, websites, online communities, groups, online shops, forums, and classes on everything breastfeeding.  Compared to a decade ago, ibang iba na ngayon.  That's why it's easier to feed just about anywhere right now because there's a higher level of awareness and acceptance on breastfeeding. Hello, mga artistas nga diba?  They proudly post about it online.
  8. It helps you with attachment parenting.  My little one is the most attached among his brothers at his age and I can feel just how much he adores me and NEEDS me.  I guess it has a lot to do with the scent of the breast milk on me, the precious direct latching moments, and the skin-to-skin closeness during breastfeeding.
  9. It saves you thousands of pesos.  This is so true.  Need I say more?  Want to be practical or economical or you're very budget conscious?  I suggest you also breastfeed.  Let me do the math (kahit hindi ako magaling sa math, slight lang.)  If let's say conservatively, a can of milk which usually lasts a week would cost around 900, then in a year of breastfeeding, I had saved a total of (P900 x 4 weeks x 12 months) = Php 43,200.00.  Not bad!
  10. A well-performing breast pump extends a working mom's breastfeeding journey. Choose wisely.  Naku, I've heard a lot of both horror and beautiful stories about a breastfeeding mom's relationship with their breast pumps.  I hear about these stories from the lactation room in the office, from forums and groups online as well.  More than 70% of the stories from moms use and are all praises about their Medela breast pump.  I am a part of that joyful percentage!  I've flooded my IG stories, my IG feed, and my Facebook page as well about how much I looooove my Medela Swing Maxi double electric breast pump (for all of you asking, I got it from The Parenting Emporium).  The choice of breast pump for me shouldn't be based on the price or on the level of force to suck out all the milk in your breasts but leave you injured or in pain.  Important: Your choice of breast pump should be based on 1) Quality; 2) One that mimics the natural sucking motion of your baby; 3) Has personal fit of breast shields available for you - again, not all dedes are the same hehe! (Read #3); 4) Has a friendly and even very personal customer servicing and caring; 5) Has FREE breast pump cleaning during its warranty period; and 6) Yun nga, should have a warranty.  Medela breast pumps bought at The Parenting Emporium passed all these 6 personal qualifications.  I had a great experience when I went back to have my pump checked when I noticed that the other side isn't working optimally (not pumping enough).  Thorough diagnosis was done and the tubing was replaced without any charge!  And if your pump motor needs to be fixed, they will let you borrow a working unit!  Grabe the full support of The Parenting Emporium to breastfeeding moms, they even have series of Breastfeeding Class!  I'll share more about this on another post.  Anyway, a breast pump could actually make or break your breastfeeding journey (especially if you're a full-time working mom like me who heavily relies on breast pump in the office to produce breast milk).  A good breast pump is definitely a great partner in your journey.  A good breast pump will help you prolong your breastfeeding timeline even if there may be many challenges a long the way.  I'm happy with my choice of breast pump, the Medela Swing Maxi double electric breast pump.
My trusted Medela Swing Maxi Double electric breast pump
Notice that my left and right outputs aren't the same?  It happens, it's normal and it's okay.  Here's my ever dependable Medela Swing Maxi double electric breast pump which I bought from The Parenting Emporium.
In this photo, I used HoneySuckle breastmilk Storage Bag available at The Parenting Emporium too.  But I've also used other brands such as Avent, and SunMum,
Soooo, now that my little one is turning one in a few weeks, let me sum up my exclusive breastfeeding journey in one word: FULFILLING.  I feel so fulfilled as a mother that I know in my heart and my mind that I am giving the best nourishment, the best milk there ever will be in the universe to my baby, that I am giving him a miraculously produced milk from my own body.  Nakakakilabot because it's God's gift to us mothers, to be able to feed our babies with a personally designed milk for them coming from our very own bodies.  That's how breastfeeding has been for me and still is as I write this and I feel joy in my heart right now that I am able to share my journey with you all.

QUICK MOMMY TIPS TO BREASTFEEDING:
Before I end my post, here are some of my quick tips lang to moms who want to breastfeed or is already breastfeeding, NEVER COMPARE YOURSELF to another mom.  Each breastfeeding mom is different from you and me and comparing ourselves to others would sometimes just make us feel down.  So please don't.  

Just stay committed to breastfeed, eat well (you may try lactation treats such as Mommy Treats!), drink a lot of water and eat more soup-based food, take malt-based drinks/food (there are a lot available in the market in forms of chocolate drinks or treats) GO for fresh Malunggay or malunggay capsules (I take Mega-Malunggay by V-Pharma for those asking), proper storage and expiration of breastmilk should be strictly observed (I learned this the hard way, huhuhu!), direct latch more often if you can, stay stress-free as much as possible, and lastly, celebrate yourself for doing this for your baby!

HAPPY BREASTFEEDING!!!! :) 

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Mommy Practicality is a home and lifestyle blog that's about positive, informative, 
inspirational and helpful sharing of life experiences of a working mom 
with topics on motherhood, relationships, events, food, travel, shopping, and finances. 
It hopes to influence moms and women to realize 
that it's possible to live a quality life while choosing a practical lifestyle.



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