Sunday, February 12, 2012

My Breastfeeding Advice


 "Welcome to the Milk Mama Diaries Carnival (February). For this month, we focus on back to basics. Participants will share advices - either the best breastfeeding advice they received OR/AND the best breastfeeding advice they can give to new moms.  Please scroll down to the end of the post to see the list of carnival entries."


Breastfeeding in NOT easy.  Let me say this not to discourage you but to give you the truth – plainly.  Some people have it easy and some people don’t, and I belong to the later.  You see, I was clueless on breastfeeding.  I only knew from what I saw with my sister in law.  I remember it clearly, as it was just yesterday – we were in Subic for the long weekend, and she was breastfeeding Shobe at that time.  I remember her going up to me and telling me that she was experiencing clogged ducts (then, I understood it as may matigas sa boob) she was telling me how painful it was that she didn’t know what to do already.  I can remember seeing her face in agony.  I thought to myself – what kind of pain was she experiencing?  Now that I am breastfeeding my Kailee – I understood what she meant, what she felt, what she was going through.  At that time – I could only offer her moral support – now, I understood that it needed more than that.
So for this month’s Milk Mama Diaries – here are a few (I’m sure they will be lengthy) advice and tips that I can give you.
First is to arm yourself with a good pump.  It doesn’t matter what brand it is – as long as it serves it purpose.  I will not name a brand (so to seem unbiased!  Hahaha)  but I will tell you to get an electric and a manual pump.  The electric pump will serve as your main pump – this will be the pump you will use when you are home or at the office.  So, what’s the manual pump for?  I learned that it is useful – whenever you go out.  This manual pump will serve as your back up ‘just in case’ you go beyond your time in between pumps.  I realized this the hard way.  I was out for lunch at a kiddie party, what was planned as a two hour ‘lakwatsa’ turned out to be a 6 hour lakwatsa.  My boobs felt really stiff and it was beginning to be painful.  I wasn’t armed with a manual pump then, I left my electric pump at home because I thought that I would be home in time for my next pumping session – but I went overtime.  Had I brought my manual pump, I could have gone out longer!  Just kidding – but I wouldn’t have experienced the stiffness and the pain.  After that experience, I was paranoid – so I brought my manual pump with me wherever I went.  And I tell you, it was one of the best things ever – because that meant that I could pump anywhere and anytime.
Next is to surround yourself with breastfeeding friends.  I know, some friends might have already passed that stage – but even if they did, I’m sure they can help you out with encouragement and advice!  You need the breastfeeding vibe – to help you go on with your struggles, to share your breastfeeding insights, to help and tell you that you are doing the most natural thing – breastfeeding your baby.  I was amazed with all the help I got!  It seemed like when you seek for a breastfeeding answer, your breastfeeding friends offer not only advice but their helping hand and more!  I have to thank my breastfeeding friends – my HS batchmates, especially to Joy – who created the egroup where I source advice and tips from – and let me tell you, a question is IMMEDIATELY answered over there!  Thanks guys!
Breastfeeding friends need not be your physical friends – they may be online friends who share the same dedication as you.  I have met them online – I don’t know them personally but in cyberspace I consider them my very good friends because of the things I learned from them (reading their blogs and articles).  There’s this thing that connects you to them – and its breastfeeding, whether you do direct feeding or pump exclusively.  You form this bond because you understand where the other is coming from.  And I’m glad that at this day and age, you have a support group – online!  There are a lot of sites to visit – just look at the bottom of this entry and I’m sure you’ll see what I mean.
Next is to pay it forward.  I can never say it enough – learn to give back, pay forward what was given you.  I am a walking breastfeeding advocate, I’m not the hardcore one – but I encourage friends to breastfeed.  I was helped out by friends and I realized that I wanted to help out friends – as a way to pay back and give thanks to what was shared to me.  Help out those who seek for help and encouragement when it comes to breastfeeding.  Saying the simple words ‘You’re doing a great job’ goes a long long way.  I have to be honest, during the first few months of breastfeeding – I felt unappreciated.  I was direct feeding, I was pumping, I was working, I was tired – and no one understood what I was going through – but when a friend told me that I was doing a great job (because they saw how healthy and happy Kailee is) I felt that finally - somebody appreciated me!  That’s why when I meet breastfeeding moms – I tell them they’re doing great and compliment them every way I can – because I want them to feel good about themselves and know that there are people out there who believe in them.  Remember, a small amount of encouragement goes a long, long way!

Some say that they don't have enough milk - let me tell you that you have enough - its just about scheduling.  Some prefer direct feeding (I prefer this) while some prefer pumping exclusively - both methods are great, it will just depend on what you're comfortable with.  I prefer direct, because there's the 'forced' bonding time that you share with your baby, I say forced because you have no choice!  I like direct feeding because it eliminates the time spent assembling your pump and pumping the milk out.  But when Kailee hit 3 months, I was forced to pump exclusively - Kailee seemed more gassy when we direct fed.  I was in denial the first week, but as the weeks progresses I got more comfortable with the idea.  I mean I was sad, but then I thought to myself that the important thing was that she was taking my milk - nevermind losing the forced bonding time.

But if you pump exclusively, you need to create a schedule - I was told to pump round the clock for every 3 hours that was when Kailee was 3 months+ old.  So I followed the schedule 12 - 3 - 6 - 9, I followed this to the T.  I would wake up in the middle of the night to pump even if I was super sleepy.  I'd stop working just to pump.  Remember reading my pumping experience while in Hong Kong?  Well, even while travelling - I pumped religiously.  With this schedule, I was able to store a LOT of frozen breastmilk - and I even donated so many of them away!  Some take for granted the schedule thinking that they can do away with a session - but for me, its better to store for a rainy day rather than be stressed and play catch-up.  Its not worth the stress - believe me!   Another advice is to eat a LOT.  I must admit that the theory of losing weight while breastfeeding - not applicable to me!  As I have not yet lost my pregnancy weight.  I am speaking from experience when I say that I can't produce enough milk when I eat little.  And so to continue my steady milk production - I eat and eat.. the good thing is... I am not gaining any wieght.  Hahaha!
I have a lot more that I want to share, but they’re all over my head as of the moment!  Let me organize them and I will update this entry as soon as I can.  Lots of things to say so little time to organize!  Hahahaha…

Read on what my fellow BREASTfriends have to share!!

The Articulate Pen's Breastfeeding needs Patience
Diapers and Stethoscope's Back to Basic
My Mommyology's What I've Learned About Breastfeeding
Ms. Masungit's From One Mom To Another
The Odyssey of Dinna's Breastfeeding Words of Wisdom
Mrs. Bry126's We're All in this Together
I Am Clarice's Paying it Forward
My Mommy Kwentos' Sharing My Favorite Breastfeeding Advice
Planet Marsy's Better Than None
Mommy {T} Coach's Saved by the Nursing Mommas
Mama Drama's Patience and Breast-friends
Adventures on Planet Mom's Stubborn Me! Sure Glad I didn't give up
Nanaystrip's Eat Malunggay, Say "I Have Milk" and Love your Baby
Starting at Twenty-Five's My Husband's Best Breastfeeding Advice
Nanay *Loves* Purple's Why Attend Breastfeeding Class/Seminars
Truly Rich Mom's My Top 5 Breastfeeding Tips for New Moms
Legally Mama's Take it from the non-expert!
Mommy Mama Rat's My Breastfeeding Mantra
Mr. Jacob's Mom's Breastfeeding Tips from a Non-Breastfed Mommy
Hybrid Rasta Mama's Breastfeeding Lists, Advice, Links and More
Apples and Dumplings' One Word of Breastfeeding Advice
Touring Kitty's Just Do It
EthanMama's Only the Best for My Baby
the canDIshhh tales' My Breastfeeding Advice
Mec as Mom's Enough is Enough
Chronicles of a Nursing Mom's On Breastfeeding Number Two - Redux

10 comments:

  1. I just came across the term BREAST-friends in this carnival and I love it!
    But I feel the same way about paying it forward: I was fortunate to get the help that I needed and because I know that it's not easy if you do it alone, I am happy to help and encourage other breastfeeding moms too!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Consistent and frequency makes a difference in supply. If you pump frequently but only when you feel like it, your body will not be able to adjust. But if pump consistently but not frequently, your supply will not increase.
    CONSISTENCY and FREQUENCY is the key.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Happy to have found breastfriends on the web! I'd rather read real experiences than just researches!
    I know what you mean by paying it forward.. I made a facebook group for my high school batchmates who are now mommies. There we share tips and words of encouragement in our new journey! Of course, I shared the link list to those who are still breastfeeding!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Pay it forward! I shall do that :-) Like you I was able to find a lot of support even online so yes, I will make it a point to help my nursing friends :-) It doesn't need to be any technical advice, affirmation may all what they need :-)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Paying it forward is really the way to go! ;-) Kudos to you for this post! God bless always!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Mommy T! You're right on the affirmation!! :) It makes us moms feel appreciated!! :)

    Thanks to everyone who visited and left a comment!! :)

    Kudos to all of us!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. eating well is a great advice to breastfeeding moms. but eat in moderation, too. :D affirmations are great - and i love it every time my husband S tells me that E is getting bigger everyday and all because of my milk! thanks for joining the carnival.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I admire you hands down, for following the three-hour regimen to the letter. I did that, too but only during daytime. At nighttime, I couldn't get my lazy ass to get up and pump milk!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Jenny! Thanks! Hehehe.. Eat in moderation - YES! hehehehe.

    Hi Legallymama! Thanks so much for your affirmation!! :) I was lazy before but I'm super afraid of the plugged ducts kaya I really wake up talaga..

    ReplyDelete
  10. Great! Love this kind of posts because you end up knowing more people and find out great inspiration!   Online Travel Agencies

    ReplyDelete