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My Breastfeeding Essentials From New Born to 12 Months Post Partum
Last week was the National Breastfeeding Week, I was supposed to join the BIG Latch on Cebu 2021 virtually yesterday at 10 AM but when I realized that it conflicts with our church service, I didn't proceed with the registration. I wanted to join that event but this is just not possible. Hopefully, I can join in the next year.
I have mentioned before in my previous blogs that I have set my mind that I will be breastfeeding my baby even when I was still pregnant. And so, I never purchased anything related to bottle feeding, no bottles, no milk containers, nothing, it was all for breastfeeding so when I was told by the nurse and the pedia at the hospital that I have to buy formula, my heart just sank.
Thankfully, I was able to breastfeed my baby a week after until today.
Breastfeeding is the best for our babies and it requires pure dedication. Don't think that breastfeeding the baby is just for saving money because no amount of formula milk can surpass the nutrients that our babies can get from breastmilk. Breastfeed to provide the full nutrients and antibodies our babies could get.
Don't get me wrong, I have no issues with moms who give formula milk to their babies due to several reasons. You do you mommies and whatever you think is best for your babies, you do it.
Even if you inspect the box of formula milk, it will have the note that breastmilk is still best for babies. So, whenever I have a friend or relative who is pregnant, I would always encourage to breastfeed.
Today's topic is all concerning the things that I had bought and invested for my breastfeeding journey. Some of them were given to me and thank God for fellow "padede" mom friends for their encouragement to breastfeed.
Aside from milk blebs, one of the challenges I had with breastfeeding is back pain. This is caused by prolonged position in breastfeeding. When Matti was still a newborn, I would be sitting on our bed the entire night. He would always ask for milk now and then, I had to endure a specific position that would keep the latch well and painless but then my back was also being tortured.
I put a lot of pillows at the back and on the sides, even in my arms. Then, I realized I need to buy a nursing pillow. It was a saver, I was able to hold Matti and position him well in the pillow and I am also able to relax my back!
I regret not buying it beforehand, I thought that I am all good with all the pillows I had at home.
Another breastfeeding mom problem is leaking boobies. If you have this problem, high five! Mind you, I spent the first few weeks of my breastfeeding journey always soaked! I wake up and find my shirt wet, I had to change shirts a lot of times within the day.
I wonder why this was not mentioned during the growing baby class that I attended before giving birth! I also didn't research well enough about the necessities so I ended up looking for a nursing pads seller within Cebu City that could deliver the items to me within the day.
I am super thankful to Baobao Babies for accommodating my purchases and had it delivered within the day.
Having nursing pads helped a lot in saving me from the piles of dirty shirts.
One thing that I noticed though was that today, 12 months after, I don't leak too much but still, I am using a breast pad because sometimes, the breastmilk would just flow without me noticing.
Back when we were in Oslob and I ran out of breast pads, I was very uncomfortable and I always worry about getting my shirt wet with breastmilk (breastmilk when dried becomes smelly you know). I had to endure two days without it while waiting for my order to be delivered.
One thing that I regret though is not investing in reusable nursing pads. It somehow is the opposite to my cloth pantyliners and nappies and I am sorry to mother nature for it. The reason for this is because I use nursing pads without a nursing bra like I just stick them into my shirt right away and I don't know if reusable nursing pads can do that. Yes, I don't wear a bra at home!
Although I did say that I don't wear a nursing bra at home, I do have nursing bras on hand in case we needed to go out of the house.
Nursing bras are quite expensive in malls but I found some affordable ones on Shopee and I bought three pieces. I don't like wearing bras at home though because it's hot and I can't seem to breathe. Also, it takes effort in detaching the cover and the baby becomes impatient.
But if I have to go out, then there's a need to wear this of course. Although, I also had tried not wearing one.
Back when my letdown was still strong, I use a haakaa to catch the breastmilk on the other boob. This was super handy and I love seeing the milk drip and gather in the haakaa.
I used to be able to catch around 2ml of breastmilk each latch and I use the breastmilk for my baby's bath.
Unfortunately, I didn't use any of the milk for Matti's consumption. I almost tried but I thought direct latch was better for him since we are inseparable.
Today, I stopped using the haakaa, I don't get to have a lot of supply now, it is just enough for Matti, we just do direct latch.
Here are some of the things that I purchased or items that I have been gifted with but I wasn't able to use:
Since it's pandemic and we don't go out often especially when Matti was still a newborn, the nursing cover that was given to me by my discipler was not used at all. I still have it with me though.
I did try to use it during those rare times that we are out of the house but my baby just doesn't like it when he is covered. He usually looks at me during feeds so if he can't see me, he gets grumpy, he'd usually just pull the cloth out.
I did purchase a cheap breast pump because I wanted to try pumping and see if I can store the milk and offer it to Matti in the bottle. I thought this would be great because I can leave Matti with my mother or anyone else and they can feed him with it but then, I was scared of improper milk storage that I ended up using the milk I pumped for his milk bath instead.
Also, I realized that it takes a lot of effort when feeding in a bottle. I have to wash the bottles and the pump parts, sterilize them, store them in a very secure place and a lot more things to consider.
I got lazy thinking about those things that I just ended up with direct latch. Also, I became so attached to Matti that I don't want him to feed in a bottle.
When I had a milk bleb twice, I thought I must need a nipple cream to help with healing the wound but then, after a few research, I realized that my baby's saliva and virgin coconut oil can just do the trick so I gave the nipple cream to my sister in law. I am not sure if she was able to use it too.
That's it, folks, I hope I didn't miss anything. Today, Matti continues to direct latch, I have no plans of stopping yet. Whenever I am asked when will I wean Matti off the breast, I would answer, it would depend on my baby. Most people would raise an eyebrow, my mother was the first one who did it because all four of us were weaned at 11 months but I am not stopping breastfeeding just yet because of the nutrients that the baby would get from the breastmilk even after two years and beyond continues.
The antibodies present in the breastmilk change and adapt to what the baby needs and in times like this that there's a pandemic, I feel that he needed it more.