Once you become a breastfeeding momma, reality sinks in. You’d probably think, “Yung sa commercial where we see babies and their mommas having happy and tender moments, half of the story lang pala yon!” We can’t blame you, momma. Alam namin that your sweet cupcake can turn sour when you can’t feed her right away. That ball of sunshine can be the reason for your sleepless nights because she demands to be carried while you nurse her during wee hours.And in between worrying about your supply, you need to contend with having sore nipples.Yes, those are just some of the many things you will discover and you will endure as you go through your breastfeeding journey. Pero ok lang yan, momma, once you’re able to cruise along smoothly, joy and fulfillment follows.
To make your breastfeeding adventure more bearable, here are some secrets to surviving the first few months :
1. Don’t strive for perfection
Setting high standards for yourself is ok. But when you seek perfection, that’s when things can go downhill. This is because things do not always go as planned. Those milk bags that you promised to fill, most likely nasa momma drawer pa rin. The selfie-ready breastfeeding momma that you’ve visualized can end up not taking a bath until late in the evening. Sometimes, your to do list for the day ends up as your to do list the following day because feeding time ate up everything. Minsan, nakaka-frustrate talaga, diba? But try not to be hard on your self. We know you’re going through tough adjustments and you’re doing a good job, momma.
2. Take things one at a time
When things get tough, determine which are your stressors and tackle these one at a time. Is it one feeding at a time, one crying spell at a time, or one expression session at a time? This way you do not unduly overwhelm yourself with tasks and worries. Once you get used to it, mas magiging manageable, momma.
3. Ask for volunteers
A lot of times, people around you are willing to help but are just not sure exactly how they can make things easier for you. Be willing to tell them what your concerns are so you can work out the best solutions. One very busy momma we know got much-needed support from her husband. He knew that nursing the baby is going to take so much time, energy and tears. Thus, he took it upon himself to take care of other stuff like making sure his wife has proper back support when side-lying feeding, changing nappies, or bathing their little one.
4. Make friends with fellow breastfeeding mommas
You may have a thousand social media friends but once you become a nursing momma, it takes one to help one. Dahil pareho kayo ng pinagdaraanan, they know exactly the challenges and the stresses you’re going through. Thus, you are more likely to get the right information, emotional support and assurances that you need. With them, you will come to know the most practical pump, the best strategy to store your “output”, or the most apt sleepwear during your nursing days. Only them can tell you the difference between a 40C and a 38D. You will also be at peace knowing that it’s normal to go through a roller coaster of emotions, it’s ok to feel exhausted and it’s perfectly alright to make mistakes. Best of all, your nursing momma friends can also give tips that can have a great effect on your “production”.
5. Find some momma time
In the busyness of motherhood, you can actually lose yourself and forget about your needs. This is especially true for Pinay mommas who grew up seeing the unselfish women in their families. Try to catch some sleep when your hubby’s around to play his daddy role. Be kind to your spine and do some stretching when you wake up in the morning, specially after nursing your little one during the night. Better yet, find some much needed me time even with just a warm mug of Nestlé MommaLove, a low-fat lactation milk drink that is rich in iron, folate and calcium and packed with 1,200 grams of malunggay, a galactagogue known for its ability to help in lactation.
Amidst all the challenges that come with being a breastfeeding momma, it is still the most fulfilling job in the world. So, when you feel like you’re about to faint from exhaustion, remember to do self-care, momma, try to practice the insightful tips above, and be comforted in the thought that there will be better days ahead.
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