Our First Year of Breastfeeding Journey
When I was pregnant, I never thought of breastfeeding my child. Back then, I looked at breastfeeding as something oppressive, very inconvenient, awkward, and almost taboo. I already bought the idea of providing the best-powdered milk for our child. I was so engrossed with the trend. Everyone around me was formula-feeding so I never thought of doing otherwise, until the day of my delivery came…
Right after my daughter Skye eased herself out to this world, my pedia carefully placed her on my breasts. To my surprise, she latched on! Still groggy from the whole-day labor, I immediately fell asleep. Hours later, the nurses gave me the baby again to feed. For the first few hours, Skye kept on crying. I thought maybe she’s hungry and my milk is not enough. In my thought, I’m screaming:
“Come on, people! My baby is hungry and she’s crying nonstop, she might die (first-time moms are crazy, eh?)! You must allow my husband to buy milk so we can feed our daughter for heaven’s sake! I am a first-time momma and you do not expect waterfalls of milk from my breast don’t you?!”
I bugged them, medical practitioners; I nagged them – to no avail. When the baby cried, they offered my breasts – that practice continued during our hospital stay. They made everything seemed natural. They didn’t bother asking me if it’s okay with me or if I like what they’re doing. They didn’t ask if we want to formula-fed Skye; no milk prescription from the pedia either. They never asked for the feeding bottles we brought with us. They robbed us the liberty of deciding on how we intended to nourish our child!
But you know what? I thank God that they treated me that way. That they did not allow my emotions, as a first-time mother, to cloud my rational thoughts in proper decision making. Back then, I had no idea how much my mothering would be entwined with breastfeeding, or how important breastfeeding would be to my child at that point. Now I wish all hospitals practice the same. I wish that doctors, nurses, and other medical practitioners will encourage (force if needed) mothers to breastfeed their children instead of pushing them to go for formula milk.
After we were discharged from the hospital, Skye continued to nurse but I still doubt myself if I am giving her enough of her much-needed nutrients. I am still not sold out to the idea of breastfeeding. The process was so painful (my nipples were all sore) that I had to cry several times in-between feeding so I can somehow comfort myself. I promised myself the pain won’t take long, I just had to endure it for a month or two and I will switch Skye to bottles.
In order to cope up with all the struggles I encountered in nursing, I started reading breastfeeding articles intensively and extensively. I asked breastfeeding mothers about their experiences and joined several support groups so I can be equipped with the proper knowledge and right attitude. Hours became days and days became months. As time goes by, as I learned tons of interesting facts about breastmilk and gained proper erudition about breastfeeding, I learned to fully embrace this practice.
Now, after a year of breastfeeding, here we are happier, stronger, and more satisfied!
I never thought breastfeeding can be this liberating, convenient, and exciting! I can never be proud of myself as a mother if I didn’t breastfed Skye. I know I provided and continuously providing the best for my daughter. I realized how stupid I was for not taking breastfeeding as my first option of nourishing my child. It’s so disgusting how blinded I was with today’s trend. I feel ashamed of myself and my views before about breastfeeding. I feel so sorry for my old self.
I cannot describe the bond I have with my baby or the love I feel for her each and every time I look down at her sweet face while she nurses. Breastfeeding has given me and my child memories that will last a lifetime. I love breastfeeding! Let’s normalize breastfeeding!
Now, after a year of breastfeeding Skye, the question I usually get from people is, “When are you going to stop?”
My answer: Why do I have to stop? Should I really have a date in mind as to when I should wean my child? Skye loves to nurse. She loves to be close to me. Someday she will no longer choose to nurse and I trust my daughter enough to tell me when that will be.
I am so grateful to the hospital where I gave birth. I will forever be indebted to Dasmarinas City Medical Center, to my pedia (Dra Yrastorza), and my OB (Dra. Aguinaldo). I love that they did not give us the option of providing formula milk for our child. I know some friends and relatives who resigned to formula feeding because the hospitals where they gave birth were the ones that introduce them to cow’s milk.
Note: This is a re-post article from 2 years ago. The original one was deleted when we changed our website domain provider. Skye is turning 2.5 years old now and shows no signs of weaning. Missy, with her passion to influence mothers to breastfeed, attended a 16-hour seminar workshop about breastfeeding. She’s now a breastfeeding counselor whom you can message about your breastfeeding concerns for free.
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[…] held this child and nursed her every single day since she was born. Our first year of breastfeeding journey is nowhere near easy. I’ve been through all unimaginable painful experiences (engorgement, […]