August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month and I would like to take this time to share my journey with you.
Breastfeeding was not easy for me, at first. Unlike how it is in movies, it didn't come naturally to me. Each day that God gave me during the first few weeks of my daughter's birth meant sore nipples, less sleep, constant hunger, and a lot less mobility. It is literally like having a parasite eat at you, except it comes in the form of a bundle made with love.
I didn't direct feed exclusively. I pumped milk for the hours I would be away and I was so anal about every drop of milk that came out of me. It was hard work. I also hated it when she would drink from the bottle. So my baby girl was with me almost everywhere I went and drank from the breast for as long as we were together.
I was the kind of mom who didn't care about breastfeeding in public (in restaurants, church, the airport, the mall, you name it!) And it was through breastfeeding while we were out that i learned about and appreciated lactation rooms for moms. (Did you know that S&R in BGC has one? Kuddos to them!)
|Lactation Room at S&R BGC|
My goal was to just get through the first year and then stop, but I found myself loving the bond we shared when i would put her to the breast. There was a special closeness that only we shared. I was also a firm believer in all the benefits of direct breastfeeding (read about it in my previous post Human Pacifier), so I wanted her to be able to take advantage of those benefits for as long as I could give it to her.
|My Breastfeeding staples|
I breastfed her until her 18th month when she, herself, decided to stop. I felt sad that she had graduated into a new chapter of her life, yet I was glad that I was free to work and do errands without having to worry about pumping milk or finding a place to breastfeed.
Meanwhile, I wouldn't have made it through my breastfeeding journey without my tools of the trade:
My Next9 nursing bibs were my best friends. I could never leave home without them. They’re very affordable and I couldn't resist their cute designs.
Lansinoh nipple cream got me through the first two weeks of sore and cracked nipples. I actually started using it a week before I gave birth to ease in the sensation.
Natalac, as prescribed by my doctor, helped to increase my milk supply. So I religiously took it after every meal.
My Medela Freestyle breast pump (which I received as a gift in exchange for photographic services from The Parenting Emporium) and Orange and Peach milk storage bags which I used to collect and store my milk. I was very picky with breast milk bags but I was very happy with this one so I stuck to it through my pumping days.
My Snug-a-Hug pillow made life easier from the moment I hit my third trimester. It made supporting my baby’s weight and my posture through the breastfeeding journey much more comfortable.
|My baby girl enjoying the Snug-A-Hug pillow|