After Thylane was born via CS, we spent some time in the hospital and as early as then, I kind of figured I wasn’t going to be one of those moms who would be lucky when it came to breastfeeding. I just wasn’t producing enough milk, even if I ate the right food and had the right nutrition. And I had to face and accept the fact that there are just women who have an easier time producing milk and some who don’t. Whether you are one of the luckier moms or the not-so-lucky moms (like me), I think we still go through the same thing. Breastfeeding is fulfilling, but it is also so painful. Your nipples get sore, you can even get mastitis, and if it’s a tough journey for you, there’s that feeling of constant exhaustion and defeat—especially when you feel like you cannot meet the needs of your baby. That was a source of self-doubt for me and I imagine that it’s the same for a lot of other moms. I’m realizing motherhood is like this constant back and forth between bliss and self-doubt. And I guess I’m just sharing my experience, because I want you to know that you aren’t alone in your journey. Don’t feel too guilty (it’s easier said than done, I know), because it’s a learning process for all of us.
My experience with breastfeeding can be totally different from yours, but we can all learn from each other—without having to compare. We are all different and our babies are also different. It’s true that breastfeeding is best for babies, because your milk is like customized to suit what your baby really needs, but there are times when moms really cannot breastfeed and they feel guilty for not being able to. However way you are getting food to your baby, whether that’s by breastfeeding, mix feeding, or formula feeding, just remember that it’s really you who knows what’s best for you and your baby. Don’t let anyone tell you that you are doing it wrong. If you can breastfeed, then that’s amazing. I had a really bad supply at the start, but I also fought for it. There are times when it puts you in a better headspace to mix feed and if that’s the case for you, then great. That means you can take care of your baby better.
After a month of trying to exclusively breastfeed, I really couldn’t take it anymore, and I switched to mix feeding with the help of my friends’ breastmilk. I was crying all the time during that first month. Thylane was attached to me 24/7 and she was still hungry. But like I said, it was an upward climb for me, but I really wanted to be able to say that I did all I could. Thankfully, it’s somewhat easier now for us to breastfeed, so it’s definitely important to work hard for it, but also to find the balance.
Here are some of the things that helped me:
1. I started taking Mega-Malunggay pills (available at @vpharmaph on Instagram), which has malunggay that’s famous for helping increase breastmilk supply. It’s good for breastfeeding moms and still good to take even if you are a non-breastfeeding mom. What I like about Mega-Malunggay is it uses pure and fresh malunggay leaves and it also uses non-acidic vitamin C to help your body absorb the iron in malunggay better.
2. I used a hospital-grade pump (it’s in the video below) so it’s stronger than regular ones. I have a Hegen and a Medela portable pump, and I rented the Medela hospital-grade pump from @theparentingemporium on Instagram.
3. I also added breastfeeding tea and turmeric from Herbilogy to my diet (also available at @vpharmaph on Instagram). Turmeric is anti-inflammatory so it helps prevent mastitis and also boosts your immune system and your baby’s.
So it would be fun for me to take the breastfeeding tea and turmeric often, I created two recipes with it, which I’m sharing with you guys below and in the video.
Breastfeeding Milk Tea Recipe
WHAT YOU NEED:
– Hot water
– 1 or 2 packets of Herbilogy Breastfeeding Tea
– Milk of your preference
– Honey or maple syrup (to taste)
– 1 tsp of Herbilogy Sweet Leaf Powder
– Chia seeds
HOW TO MAKE IT:
1. Steep the breastfeeding tea in hot water. Add your milk of choice and some honey or maple syrup (as much or as little as you prefer).
2. Stir in with ice and top with sweet leaf powder and chia seeds.
Golden Milk Recipe
WHAT YOU NEED:
– Coconut milk
– Soy milk
– 1 tsp of Herbilogy Turmeric Powder
– 1 Tbsp virgin coconut oil
– 1 Tbsp maple syrup
– Herbilogy Cinnamon Extract Powder
HOW TO MAKE IT:
1. Heat coconut and soy milk in a small pot on your stove. Add the turmeric powder, virgin coconut oil, and maple syrup. Top with cinnamon powder.
To the mommas reading this, I hope whatever I shared helps your own breastfeeding journey. Watch the vid below for more tips 🙂