Breastfeeding Tips from a Non-Breastfed Mommy


“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.”

Even before I got pregnant with Jacob, I knew for a fact that I would be breastfeeding. I wanted to, for both my baby and me.


You see, I am a menopause baby. My Mom gave birth to me when she was about 48 years old. I am the youngest of six children. I guess it was too much for her to still breastfeed me. She said she only got to breastfeed our eldest sister. I don’t know if I even did a little but I know that I was formula fed. Look at me now, I’m not exactly looking healthy and I get sick a lot. Also she was working full time as a professional dentist. I don’t think back then Mothers thought of bring breastpumps to work and having pumping breaks. Were there even breastpumps then?! She also told me that she had (sorry gentlemen, too much information coming) inverted nipples. I guess back then they were not informed or encouraged to keep on trying because it is still possible. READ MORE OF BREASTFEEDING TIPS AFTER THE JUMP!
So anyway, I watched a lot of TV when I was a kid, and whenever I’d see milk or formula commercials, there would be that PSA that “Breastfeeding is best for still best for babies.” That kind of stuck in my head. Also I somehow knew and felt inside of me that breastfeeding and breastmilk are really created for newborns to enjoy and benefit from. I even made a poster, did not own the photo though, back in college promoting breastfeeding.


The list goes on on its benefits for both mothers and babies. I also read up on what to expect with breastfeeding so I was sort of prepared.

The tips I’m about to share you Mommies, Mom-to-Be, and all my readers, are all honest and definitely based on my experience. They are tried and tested by me, given the fact that I am still breastfeeding my 8 1/2 month old son.

Here we go:


1. Patience.
This has got to be the first, and the most gasgas advice you’ll ever hear from your Mom, sister, doctor, or fellow moms especially when you’re complaining of pain and the thousand times you have to wake up and breastfeed your newborn baby. Breastfeeding does take a lot of patience. I kid you not that there will be a point during your new breastfeeding routine that you’ll feel like you’re doing nothing else except having this tiny baby latched on to you and sucking you dry.

 

One of my entertainments after breastfeeding Jacob to sleep.

When this happens to you, consider finding entertainment as you breastfeed. You don’t have to stare at your baby as he/she sucks along. You are still bonding with her even if you’re watching TV, or reading a magazine. For me, I had my iPhone bedside, so whenever we nursed I can browse the web, check Facebook and Twitter and complain how I am up again at 3:30 in the morning. Lol! Oh I remember how I prayed out to God to give me more patience and strength.

You also might get frustrated when you baby won’t latch properly or latch at all. Patience, my fellow Mommy. He/she will get so much better at this soon! Consult with a lactation consultant if you need it.

Seriously, patience. It really gets better and shorter! Just ride it out for the next 3 months. You’ll be a pro in no time!

2. Endurance. Are you ready for a breastfeeding marathon? Prepare yourself because it’s coming. Some babies breastfeed for 10-15 minutes on average. Jacob on the other hand breastfed for 30-45 minutes on each breast. You can imagine how I tired I was. I always, always had a pitcher of water on my bedside table, my phone or remote for the TV, and other breastfeeding essentials that I may need for marathons. During these times, you need both patience and endurance.

For the first 2 months of Jacob’s life, I couldn’t breastfeed him side-ways because my incision from the c-section still hurt. Yes, I’m a sissy! So I would always be sitting up back against the head of the bed frame. But before we even get to latch on, I would first need to roll over to my side, get this big throw pillow and out it against the head of the bed frame, put a pillow on my lap/arm to support him and then latch him on. Same routine, night after night, round the clock, for 2 months. Then he’d breastfeed for about 45 minutes, he’d be asleep by then. That’s the only time I could lay him back down on his sleeper, go to sleep and rest until 2-3 hours later we’re at it again.

3. Inform Yourself. Read up on breastfeeding so you know what to expect. I went to BabyCenter online and read What To Expect When You’re Expecting. You can also go to breastfeeding forums/talks and events. Most hospitals host them for free. I know The Medical City and St. Luke’s Medical Center does it a lot. Child birth classes also include lessons on breastfeeding. Also, don’t forget your Mom or sisters. They have experience! By informing yourself, you won’t get scared, same as when giving birth. You will feel more comfortable with the idea and act of breastfeeding, you will be more empowered!

4. Equip Yourself. Well, you don’t really need any equipment when breastfeeding. Just your breast and baby. But if you will be returning from work soon after giving birth, you’d want to get a breastpump. They are readily available at the mall and they come in different prices. I believe drugstores and pharmacies sell really cheap manual ones. Figure out if you’ll be needing a manual or automatic one. I got the Avent Isis IQ Duo one and it was such a big help. I had lots of milk and really helped out building stocks for Jacob.

Remember, it is advisable to not introduce the bottle to your newborn at least 4-6 weeks to really establish breastfeeding into your baby’s life and to avoid nipple confusion. It also gives your body enough time to know that it needs ti produce this much milk because your baby needs it. I waited for about 6 weeks before I gave Jacob his first breastmilk on a bottle. Oh, I was scared as hell, i was worried that he might choke because it’s fairly easy to suck out the milk. But he was okay, he didn’t have nipple confusion or anything,

You might also need some breast pads for those leaky milkers. You’ll never know when they’ll come out and ruin your top. There are also nipple shields and some aid device for those with inverted nipples. Nursing bras may not be necessary, but it helps a lot for easy access when breastfeeding. I got my nursing bras from the US and I love them!

The next best thing I got after the breast pump was my nursing cover. I actually have two kinds but I loved the one that had some sort of supporter/spine by my neck to I can see Jacob and he can breathe. I’ll do a review later.

Breastfeeding Jacob before eating some Chinese food at Borgata, Atlantic City using my nursing cover.


5. Get Support.
Find comfort, encouragement, and support from your husband, family and even friends during the hard times. You’d need some place to vent out your frustrations. Go ahead. But keep you head up high and remember your goal, “Must feed baby!”. I know, I know. It gets pretty rough at one point. But if you have a great support system that is also pro-breastfeeding, you can do anything.

I am very lucky that my husband supported me all throughout. He was by my side, although asleep, during those wee in the morning nursings. He would help me get comfortable so that I can last longer. He would encourage me when I’m in agonizing pain. He even offered to breastfeed Jacob. Of course he couldn’t. He doesn’t have magic milk!


So what I’m saying ladies, as you inform yourself on breastfeeding, tag along your husband and talk about it with your family. Tell them about your goal with breastfeeding, whether it be lasting for 3 months, 6 months, a year, or two or even more. It’s good to let others know that you’re really “in it to win it” so that they can encourage you as you go along this journey.

And lastly…

6. Enjoy What You’re Doing. I mean, it’s not really hard to. I found joy and comfort with breastfeeding Jacob. Comfort with the fact that I know I’m giving him the best milk in the world. Joy because, I get to hold him a lot and he’s very close to me. Ladies, you’ll fall inlove all over again when you see that little boy/girl smiling at you after your nursing session. I’d like to see that as a “Thank you for your milk, Momma!” :)


My advices may not be much but they come from the heart. I continue to breastfeed because it helped me grow into a better a person. One habit I got from this experience is that I sort of feel like an advocate of breastfeeding when I talk to my girl friends and even guy friends. I talk highly of breastfeeding because it’s what’s best, it’s beneficial, and it’s normal. I get so irritated with naive minds that complain/rant about anything breastfeeding.

So to end this Milk Mama Diaries Carnival entry, I encourage every one to breastfeed your babies, be pro-breastfeeding and don’t be ‘grossed out’ by it. You were breastfed once too.

All my love,

Mommy Roxi

P.S.
Photos to follow later on. I’m writing this on my iPad. :)

=============
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

Comments 24

  1. Adventures on Planet Mom

    Being patient is the most gasgas advice but it is important. Looking back you can actually find a LOT of reasons to quit but if you hang in there, it does get better.
    Kudos to all breastfeeding moms!!! Oh yeah did i mention i was formula fed too?

  2. Tracy Balderach

    Great post! I loved nursing all three of my babies and I had the hardest time quitting, as it was the end of such a precious time. Found you on VB Members to Remember. Your son, Jacob is also precious! Tracy

  3. Everyday Mommy

    I am so glad for iphones! it’s probably my breastfeeding buddy. before, i used to time caitlin’s feeding (as in how long a, addict!) with my phone that’s why my husband knows too well to hand the phone to me asap. and i always enjoy browsing the net, composing a journal entry or reading ebooks while she’s feeding. ang daming pwedeng gawin. i am sooo happy with my phone.

  4. Roxi Santiago

    Maria, true. But also it’s sad because a lot of people are not that informed on the benefits of breastfeeding that’s why some people aren’t too accepting with longer breastfeeding and breastfeeding in public.

    Mommy T, don’t they just?! I want to buy a couple more so I don’t have to wait out for the other one to dry out. I want a variety! 😀

    Mrs. Bry126, the gas wasn’t too bad and rarely smelled bad before the solids! My gosh! It was cute back then. Hahaha!

    Chowdie, thank you! Go breastfeeding Moms!

    Anne. hear hear!

    Smiley, true! It’s hard to watch TV while breastfeeding because sometimes they’d want to finish nursing with a nap. How do you suppose you do that while you’re watching an action-packed flick? Haha!

  5. Jenny @ Chronicles of A Nursing Mom

    good for you that you resolved to breastfeeding even when you were still single!! i must admit that i only ever thought of breastfeeding when i was pregnant with my own child and only when i was about to give birth. so i can’t say that i was really supportive to my nephew’s mom who gave birth before i became pregnant!

  6. Roxi Santiago

    Emily, thanks! They’re pretty simple and a bit shallow actually but I hope it helps others!

    Mama Tina, hahaha! That is very true! Should have said that breastfeeding is some sort of training for the rest of our lives as mothers.

    Jenny, look at you now! You’re one of the best advocates of breastfeeding! 😀

  7. Mom On Duty

    All so true! I’m cooking up a post on my breastfeeding journey. I wasn’t able to breastfeed our eldest because I was such a sissy then. Lol! I had her via c-section too and all the pain and discomfort (plus lack of support) made me resort to formula feeding. I’m more patient with our second, though. Hubby and I read up on breastfeeding articles before I gave birth so we’d know what to expect. The little one is three months now and still breastfeeding. :)

    Kim, Mom On Duty

    1. Roxanne Santiago

      Hey Kim! I really think the support is the second most important factor in breastfeeding. A Mom’s confidence can easily be lifted/increased if she’s surrounded by people who is encouraging and giving her support during the tough first days/weeks of breastfeeding when she and baby are still learning to do things the right way. Congrats on making the decision with your husband on breastfeeding your second child! 😀

  8. Pingback: Better Than None | My Blog

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  10. Pingback: Breastfeeding Lists, Advice, Links, and More Hybrid Rasta Mama

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