Our Breastfeeding Journey Has Ended

 "Ayoko boob, Mama."

I never thought how three words could hurt. 

Ouch. 

After breastfeeding nonstop - with tandem feeding - for 5 years and 4 months, it has finally come to an end. My mammary glands are retiring from its main use. 



The Beginning and Struggles

When our eldest was born, my husband and I were both clueless on how to take care of a baby. It didn't help that the hospital where Kuya V was born was not a breastfeeding-friendly hospital then. In 2011, breastfeeding was not as important and widely encouraged as it is now. Facebook then was a busy booming website that is (I think) mainly used by people to communicate and play Farm Ville. There were no breastfeeding groups then. No advocates to look up to. I was a new mom with little support for breastfeeding. The little information I know about colostrum and its importance to a newborn was from my education and experience as an agribusiness major. 

Yes, I learned it from the cows. 

The nurses in the hospital where I gave birth to Kuya V did not teach (or at least encourage) me how to breastfeed my child, not even how to hold him properly! There I was a new mom that underwent an emergency CS, with a baby inside a dome, oxygen, and stuff injected on my poor baby. He was in the ICU for a week because he had pneumonia due to meconium (also known as nakakain ng poopoo si baby) and whenever I visit him in ICU I would hold him but was panicking inside because I don't know what the heck I was doing! 

I tried my best to pump my liquid gold and the very tiny liquid that came out was brought by the husband to the NICU everyday for V. I learned after a few years that using a hand pump was not necessary  and I could actually do it with just my hands.

When he was released by the hospital and got home, I did my best to breastfeed him for a month. But being clueless and with very few people near me who knows how to breastfeed, I was unsuccessful. From mixed feeding for a month, we moved to formula milk.

It came to a point where I experienced post-partum depression and questioned my capacity as a mother. 

Hindi na nga ako nakapanganak ng normal, hindi pa makapag breastfeed.

I felt so low and so unsure of myself. 

It was a blessing in disguise that I gave birth in January and the weather was cool. My baby was not a gassy, or a cranky one that eventually I found my footing in this motherhood voyage and was out of post-partum melancholy soon.


The Shift to Exclusive Breastfeeding

My mommy blogging journey that started in 2014 has given me the opportunity to meet moms who breastfed their children and were amazing advocates. Learning through their blogs and by talking to them helped me understand more about breastfeeding. 

Ang dami kong hindi alam. Sana na-meet ko sila bago ako nanganak sa panganay ko.

Hence when we became pregnant with Baby Number 2, I was determined to breastfeed exclusively.

I joined breastfeeding groups, read blogs, testimonies, medical journals, watched videos, and attended at least a couple of workshops on breastfeeding. Heck I even chose The Medical City to give birth because it's a breastfeeding-friendly hospital. I knew in my heart that this time I won't falter. This time, these boobies will be working 24/7 and I would embrace it wholeheartedly.

I even allotted budget for nursing clothes so that I can still breastfeed even while we are out.

Breastfeeding newly born Z in 2015

And I did just that. I breastfed Ate Z exclusively for 1 year, had to mix-feed her when I became pregnant with Baby Number 3, tandem fed Ate Z and Bunso for 4 months, and then eventually weaned her at age of 2 years and 2 months.

Bunso on the other hand was exclusively breastfed for at least 1.5 years, and mix-feed until recently. He finally weaned from me at age of 3 and a half years.

Attended our 2nd Hakab Na event at Araneta Coliseum in 2017

Breastfeeding meant I need to bring this bub everywhere I go including parties.
This was his 2nd time to join my work's Christmas party

Ate Z and Bunso didn't like using the bottles and were introduced right away to sippy cups. 

I owned two manual breast pumps but didn't use them that much because I was more comfortable using my hands expressing those liquid gold.

Cloth diapering and babywearing worked hand in hand with our breastfeeding. 


The End of the Journey

In 2020, Bunso would nurse with me only when he is anxious or sleepy. At the back of my head I knew that soon he would wean from me. But I never thought that it would come too soon.

It was an ordinary night, he sleeps at the leftmost part of the kids' bed so he can sleep side by side with me as I lie in our own bed. He would cuddle and nurse with me but on that fateful night of November 2020, he finally said, "Ayoko boob, Mama." At first I thought maybe he just wants to sleep on his own. But the next nights were the same. He doesn't want to nurse anymore.

Our non-stop breastfeeding journey has ended at 5 years and 4 months. 


My Takeaways

Breastfeeding has helped me recover faster from c-sections. When I was tandem feeding Ate Z and Bunso, I could already take the stairs with caution after a week, unlike when I gave birth with Kuya V where the recovery time was waaaay longer.

Breastfeeding can save you hundreds of thousands of pesos. Need I say more?

Breastfeeding can help you lose the preggy body. BUT.. Yes, there's a but. After you lose the weight, be careful of overeating. Your body will go on a plateau and without exercise, breastfeeding will not be enough to burn those calories. 

It is true when they say that breastfed kids are clingy with their moms. Yep. True to the bone. They are still clingy as of writing. They still want to be with me and I have no complaints unless of course I need some alone time in the bathroom at may pa-rally sila sa may pinto. Ha! Ha!

Breastfeeding my children has given me a unique connection that is something I can cherish until my last breath. Feeling them close to me, being in need 24/7 for these babies may have been too stressful but I wouldn't miss it for the world. 

Ate Z and Bunso who were breastfed for years have and will benefit from my breastmilk as evident in their health. They rarely get sick and when they do, it passes through in just a few days.

To breastfeed successfully, it takes a mother and father to decide that they can successfully do it. There are a lot of information at this time and age and any new or soon-to-be parents should consider learning from advocates and bust myths about breastfeeding. You owe it to your body and your children. 

The boobies are signing out.


Comments

  1. May part talaga ng breastfeeding natin na daoat natin tanggapin yun ay ang umayaw at sabihin ng anak natin na ayaw na nila dumede kasi iba yung pakiramdam pag nabibigyan mo ng sustansya ang anak ko na galing mismo sa gatas mo pero yun Lang talaga oag tumigil na sila need natin tanggapin na big nadin talaga sila

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  2. As first time mother mommy before ung baby pa anak ko akala ko mahina ako mgproduce ng milk ang sakit nung una pero masasanay ka lng pag tumagal na until 6months biglang ayaw na ng anak ko mgmilk saken kahit meron pa kong gatas. Mas prefer ko talga ang breastfeeding mas healthy kasi to sa bata kaya if ever mgkaroon ako ulit ng baby pure breastfeeding kahit minsan pagod kasi my gawain pa sa bahay pero para ikakahealthy nila ito

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  3. As first time mother mommy before ung baby pa anak ko akala ko mahina ako mgproduce ng milk ang sakit nung una pero masasanay ka lng pag tumagal na until 6months biglang ayaw na ng anak ko mgmilk saken kahit meron pa kong gatas. Mas prefer ko talga ang breastfeeding mas healthy kasi to sa bata kaya if ever mgkaroon ako ulit ng baby pure breastfeeding kahit minsan pagod kasi my gawain pa sa bahay pero para ikakahealthy nila ito

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ouchhhhhh...tagos sa puso tong article mo Mommy Kat!
    May kirot talaga...aray..I'm also a Breastfeeding mom for 3 and a half now. Hindi ko pa naiimagine ang magiging reaction ko pag mangyari na ang weaning moment ni lo. Huhu pero for sure iiyak ako!!! Feeling ko di pa ako ready...😭😭😭

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  5. Sa totoo lang po hindi ko gaanong ka love mag breastfeed po. Pero nitong sa bunso ko po talagang napatunayan ko na napakahalaga ng breastfeeding. Kaya hanggang ngaun po eh breastfeeding pa rin po pero kapag gusto niya lang po at matutulog din..

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