Breastfeeding is best for my baby and me

I decided I’d breastfeed long before I got pregnant. I think it’s primarily because of effective advertising. The people behind it succeeded in making sure people will remember the message like a song: “Breast milk is best for babies up to 2 years.” Additionally, I’ve seen campaigns emphasizing how our babies are not cows so they should be feeding on breast milk.

I’m writing about breastfeeding because I saw on Twitter that August is National Breastfeeding Month, and August 1-7 is World Breastfeeding Week. I want to share my experience without simply echoing what’s already common knowledge for everyone.

ABOUT MY MILK PRODUCTION

I’m very thankful I have a good amount of breast milk. I’m not sure if it’s just my body or I guess the Natalac capsules I’m taking is doing a great job. I’ve been prescribed by my mother-in law who’s also an OB-GYN to take the said food supplement since I was six months pregnant, and I still do until now. If you’re still in your pregnancy stage or currently breastfeeding your little one, I suggest to ask your doctor about Natalac if you want to try it.

When you have a good amount of breast milk, it’s important to empty your breasts. A nurse warned me about this, but I didn’t expect to actually experience it. On the fourth night after giving birth, I woke up in the middle of the night because of chills. It was scary and I did panic. Apparently, it’s because I have so much milk. Tala wasn’t with me yet, hasn’t learned to latch correctly, and I haven’t pumped. Oversupply, if not dealt with immediately, can lead to a condition called mastitis.  

HOW I LEARNED TO BREASTFEED

We most definitely didn’t want Tala to be confined in the hospital after she was born but at least one of its advantages was that I was able to get a 7-day crash course from the nurses on the basics and necessary things to do in taking care of my baby. Tala was not allowed to room in with me. I got discharged ahead of her, so I just visited her at the nursery to feed her. The nurses and resident doctor guided me on how to do it. They also gave me tips on how to pump and store milk. Most women will get these information from their moms, mom friends, or the Internet. It was convenient and helpful that I got instruction from health professionals. I even think hospitals should actually have breastfeeding education programs for first time moms before they get discharged. Perhaps some hospitals are already doing it. That would be great!

MY BREASTFEEDING LIFESTYLE

Not only is breastfeeding cost efficient, it’s travel friendly. I remember when my younger brothers were still babies, we would bring bottles and portioned formula milk. I think it’s pretty bulky to pack and bring. Tala goes wherever Melo and I go, and we’re kind of always on-the-go. It’s convenient to not have to do the extra step of sterilizing bottles, packing up, making sure there’s enough portioned milk. I just strike anywhere! I’m not even the type to get shy. I believe breastfeeding is natural and to normalize it, moms should have the freedom to do it without being embarrassed.

I can’t talk much about pumping milk because I only did it when Tala was still in the hospital and when I mixed it with her solid food on her 6th month. I first tried hand express after I gave birth, because we haven’t bought a pump yet. What we got is a Looney Tunes Manual Pump, the type that was recommended by the nurse at the hospital. Since I’m a stay-at-home mom and we’re practically together 24/7, Tala just feeds directly.

WHAT I WEAR AS A BREASTFEEDING MOM

What I spend on are breastpads which I buy from Lazada. Baby Moby Disposable Breastpads is extra absorbent. It costs me Php 6.50 per piece. In terms of clothing, I’ve used maternity bras and slim breastfeeding tank top with built-in maternity bra. However, right now I’ve switched to wearing tubes instead. It’s much cooler to wear and easier to use for breastfeeding. Wearing tube was actually a suggestion of a mom friend, but I only tried it just recently. I found tubes costing Php 60 per piece. I used breastfeeding cover before but it became more of a hassle for me. It’s an extra object to pack and I have to wear it before I can feed an already crying and impatient baby. Plus, Tala pushes the cover away so I may get exposed. I tried the suggestion of my sister-in-law to just wear two layers of clothing, which is really more efficient for me. There are a lot of breastfeeding clothes brands which have really stylish and nice designs. I bought a few myself and received some as gifts. But I never got a hang of it. I end up just lifting the shirt because it’s faster. 

With all the talk about breastfeeding, I know moms can’t help but feel pressured if they don’t have enough milk. I don’t think it’s right to make moms feel guilty if they can’t breastfeed, if they choose not to, or if they choose to mix feed. Our generation grew up on formula milk and I think we turned out fine. Breastfeeding campaigns are there to inform and encourage moms to do it. At the end of the day, what’s important is what will be good for your baby’s health and what works for you. Nonetheless, I really, really hope all moms are able to breastfeed and will choose to do so. Happy national breastfeeding month!

Netflix shows to binge watch while you breastfeed your little one

It’s always been my plan to quit work when I decide to have children, that’s why I resigned when I found out that I was pregnant. I really want to be hands on with taking care of my baby for at least the first two years, if possible. Luckily, I got the privilege to do so when I moved to Biliran to live with my husband in their family’s resort. Since I’m far away, I can’t just meet up with friends and likewise, they can’t easily visit to chat and catch up. So aside from my husband, Netflix has been my best friend.

Below are my personal picks of Netflix shows that I enjoyed watching while breastfeeding my daughter. These are not ranked, just a simple quick list.

TRAVELERS

This one really got me hooked. Some episodes I even watched a third time. Too bad it looks like the show’s not going to renew for Season 4. The story is about, well yes, time traveling; and what I really liked about it is it was done in a very futuristic way minus a tacky time machine (you can consider that old tech now). Check it out and imagine what if their kind of time travel happens in the future. Travelers is able to present a lot of global issues we experience today in a very creative and sci-fi way. It sends a reminder of how the people of the future will blame the 21st century for seriously damaging the world. The suspense is neatly done, it never failed to surprise me. I fell in love with the characters in a way that I felt like I am already part of their lives and Season 3 just kind of left me hanging. Can I see more of them please? I’m not really giving away parts of the story. No spoilers. I will let Imdb give you the synopsis here

HOUSE OF CARDS

I only watched until Season 5, because sadly they had to remove Frank Underwood‘s character, played by actor Kevin Spacey, and he’s basically the heart of the whole story. Though my mistake was Googling what to expect in Season 6. I never gave it a chance, because I got affected by the bad reviews. The thing about Frank Underwood is he’s evil but he speaks the dirty, dark truth, so you don’t really know whether to hate him, admire him, or respect him for his no-bullshit, ambitious personality.  House of Cards follows the story of Frank Underwood as a congressman playing politics, the dirtiest it can possibly get, to become the president of the United States. Watching the series reminded me of real world politics, and it just disgusted me how real politicians can actually do what the characters in the series do. The show successfully captures attention and curiosity with the suspense, intrigues, deceit, and conspiracies it presents. You’ll keep wanting to find out what’s going to happen next. More information in Imdb here

LOVE, DEATH & ROBOTS

It’s like an animated Black Mirror, just much shorter. The different animations are just so impressive and amazing. It’s like futuristic art. It’s like watching a painting while it triggers all these emotions and thoughts. All of the short animated films in this series did not fail to tease my thoughts. Since the stories only take a few minutes, it’s a quick binge watch, and at the end you’ll feel like asking for more. Like ‘Hey Pixar, can you do an extended version?’ More about Love, Death & Robots here.

SUITS

It’s about days in the lives of corporate lawyers. Very, very good pilot episode. It’s like it had me at hello. The good thing about series with an office setting is it’s something I can relate to. It’s a window to the familiar (but, no, I’m not a lawyer). Since it’s a show, so you really just expect things to turn out well at the end of the episode. I enjoy watching it, because it’s an alternate universe where the perfect is the norm, and the bad things just happen so things don’t get boring. I’m so jealous of Mike Ross‘ super memory skills like it’s some sort of mutant power. And everything about Harvey Specter is just so smooth. Actually, I’m still watching this series, and like the House of Cards, I’m not sure whether I’ll watch till the end. As far as I know Mike Ross’ character also left the show when her love interest Rachel Zane, played by now Princess Meghan Markle, wife of Prince Harry, got married and quit the show. Check out Suits on Imdb.

You know how they say books will take you to places. Netflix does that job now. So stay entertained while you stay at home to take care of your newborn baby. Pick the show of your interest or try the shows I’ve mentioned if you still have not seen them. I would also love to hear what you think about these shows or if you have recommendations, just leave a comment below.