Breastfeeding tips (long list)

I have an almost 15 month old little girl and I’m just gonna share a bit about breastfeeding. A lot of people find it difficult and some mothers want to but cannot. It is currently advised and popular to breastfeed a baby because, well, you can search the internet for that or this link: (https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/breast-bottle-feeding.html)

Breastfeeding doesn’t work for everyone, and if you can’t, it’s okay, FED IS BEST.

So back to breastfeeding. It was difficult at first, as a new mom, with all the uncertainties, anxiety and fear that anything could happen to that little life. You’re unsure how to hold that baby and more so how to feed the baby. The hardest part is the first week. First, the latching, sometimes a baby finds it hard to latch because it’s a new thing for them, like it is for you.

I am very lucky with my Pediatrician, she’s been mine when I was a child, and now, my daughter’s. I’ll list the facts I’ve found helpful here for first time breastfeeding experience. These are things that worked for me, either from my mother, my doctor or the internet (but as I searched these more than a year ago, I don’t have sources to share).

• Newborns feed every 1 1/2 hour to 3 hours during the day, up to 4 hours at night.
• Newborns feed approximately 30 minutes, sometimes they don’t let go for an hour. You should change sides every 30 minutes.
• Stay hydrated and well-fed, what you eat will be their milk and if you’re hungry, you have low quality and quantity milk. (You can try lactation cookies)
• In my country, Philippines, it’s common to take malunggay (moringa) capsules as supplement to aid in milk production. You can try searching for lactation cookies or supplements for breastfeeding available in your country
• Depending on your nipple type, it’s usually suggested that baby should be sucking on your whole areola or a part of it because they have to push with their tongue there to get the milk out.
• Make sure there is no loud sucking sound as it means air is being sucked too, it will make your baby gassy and uncomfortable.
• Break their latch when they’re not sucking properly as they will get gassy and gassy babies are fussy babies.
• Break their latch by inserting a pinky in their mouth or if you find it easier, push the side of your breast near the latch to break the vacuu
• This is the best time to use nursing pillows because when they’re bigger, it’s not that helpful anymore. They do get in the way sometimes but they help you keep your posture.
• Make yourself comfortable, it helps to have lots of pillows to help you position yourself. It also helps to have someone nearby to help you arrange pillows or the baby.
• Experiment on feeding positions and find your most comfortable position. Of course, both of you should be comfortable.
• Baby’s face should be facing the same direction as baby’s body. As a guide, his/her ear should be aligned with his/her shoulder.
• It’s not usually suggested because of risks as every person has different sleeping patterns, but if you’re desperate for some Z’s, you can try lying your baby on your chest to sleep at night. Make sure that the baby won’t fall and that you are aware enough of your baby even in your sleep.
• Be aware of food and drinks not meant for lactating mothers. Apparently, citrus fruits can make babies gassy. Some food can make baby uncomfortable or can change the taste of your milk. Too much sugar can also keep your baby awake and fussy.
• Know that what you eat affects your baby, but not immediately. Some food can cause gas, constipation, diarrhea or different colored poop.
• Spit-ups are normal but if it happens everyday with too much milk spit out, or if you are concerned, consult your doctor.
• Your first week breast milk is VERY IMPORTANT, it contains colostrum (google it). If you want to give up breastfeeding, at least get through the first 2 weeks.
• A newborn only has around 2 ounces of milk capacity but will stick to your breast for comfort even after feeding.
• drinking cow milk is not suggested, it’s like digesting animal’s milk to make human milk and some babies react weirdly to it.
• Remember to make your baby burp, you can google how to.
• DO NOT DILUTE BREAST MILK OR FORMULA, baby’s do not have to drink water so soon, consult your doctor on when it’s best to introduce water. Your breast milk is enough to hydrate them, you’re the one who should drink more water, not the baby. Your milk glands will regulate it for them.
• There are 2 kinds of milk, foremilk and hindmilk, hindmilk comes out only after 15 min of breastfeeding. Foremilk is almost clear and watery, hindmilk is white. (colostrum is yellowish and thick) hindmilk is more nutritious.
• The first few days or weeks can be hard to adjust to with all the things you have to remember, sometimes, it helps to download an app to help you keep track, search for one with a screen widget.
• Warm compress and massaging can help if you want to produce more milk. it also helps unclog milk ducts.
• It hurts at first, but it gets better.
• Don’t neglect yourself too much, pee and poop as soon as you need to. If you get an infection, your baby will also drink your antibiotics through your milk.

Things you should google:
• food and drinks that are not okay for breastfeeding
• breastfeeding positions
• food for more milk production
• positions for baby burping
• how to sooth engorged breasts
• benefits of breastfeeding
• breastfeeding apps
• mastitis

Lastly, enjoy the experience and the bond. It’s a bittersweet experience full of surprises and new things. Every mother is different, and every baby is different, if you have something to share, share it, it will help others who might be going through the same thing. I hope this helps a bit. 🙂

(please comment if you’re a professional and anything is wrong)

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(NOT) Burning Bridges

I was talking with a friend about burning or keeping bridges earlier and she encouraged me to go back to blogging, although few people pass by my page, I’ll just leave this here in case anyone needs it.

My father is a businessman, and in business where connections are always wanted and a necessity, we grew up with his example and encouragement not to burn bridges. But in life, you meet all sorts of people, some of them are good for you, some not, so it’s inevitable that you won’t like everyone you meet. It will also happen that you outgrow some friends and the old memories just seem so childish and naive that when that friend wants to revisit those old memories, you might just scoff and mostly be stiff or plain unfriendly with them. You’ll also meet people who are downright nasty, people who will suck you dry either monetarily or mentally. Not all people you meet will be nice or good for you.

What do we do with the not-nice people? Do we abandon them and burn bridges? Block them on social media or pretend to not know them? – Of course not. even though you must not burn bridges, it doesn’t mean you have to maintain all connections. Maintaining friendship takes effort and not all friendships are worth the effort (yet) but that doesn’t mean breaking it off. You will maintain the friends who help you grow, of course, but you shouldn’t cease to be friends with someone just because they don’t fit you right now. People change, those people might change and be your guides someday, but if you burned the bridge, any future friendship might be sour or bitter.

It might sound cold, but you can put those less than pleasant friends on-hold if they are too draining. But also try to understand them, find out why. Some people are just temporarily draining due to recent unpleasant events like unemployment, disease or family problems, while some just suck you dry of your good vibes for any reason no matter how shallow. Know who to keep in touch and who to mute until further notice, but that doesn’t mean you should turn cold to a person who’s going through a hard time just because he/she can’t help at the moment. Try to be kind but not too kind that you get taken advantage of.

My advice for you is to make connections, as much as you want. Meet all kinds of people and make friends or acquaintances. Knowing one of those people might just be your meal ticket in the future, your mentor, or future partner. Connections open opportunities that might otherwise be unavailable to you. Because that friend will know other people who might need you and if you are a good person then they will help you and think of you. Meet and talk to the kind of people you want to be but don’t forget to be yourself, you don’t have to please everyone.

This is not a black and white rule, burn bridges with a person who abuses you.

From Near to Far

From near to far,
Lovers to strangers,
We were together once,
Until I chose to leave.

Do you live well?
Did you take my advice?
Do you miss me?
I sure hope you don’t.

We went our ways,
And I hid things,
With this one unknown,
We are forever tied.

A bond I hate,
A bond that cannot lie,
But I chose it anyway,
I chose to let live.

You’ll find out one day,
But this secret is mine to keep,
Mine to cherish,
And mine to adore.

I sure hope you live well,
That you changed your ways,
That you have finally learned,
When you used to ignore my advice.

But for my past grudges,
I chose to keep this secret,
I hope you live well,
Because I care, but not for you.

And she’s happy now

Would you have stayed if she was poor?
Would you have noticed her if she was ugly?
If her legs didn’t catch your attention,
Or your pride taken over your logic?

You have never really loved her,
All she was to you was a trophy because she looked pretty,
She was useful because you lust for her,
She was rich, so you used her to get what you want.

She willingly gave you options and her help,
The resources she could’ve spent for herself,
And time she could’ve been happy with another,
All this were just wasted on your arrogance.

She might have done almost everything right,
But your eyes only see your insecurities,
You called your few sincere actions “effort”,
And all her actions, you turned to selfishness.

You lost her, and she’s better off now,
She’s happier alone than when she was with you,
You will never learn who she truly was,
Because you were just in love with your idea of her.

Stoic from anger suppression

There were times when I looked back,
Where I regretted my inaction,
Because you convinced me to stay,
And take your side all the time.

I looked back and found things,
Where I regret not walking away,
When your temper bursts,
Using my well-being as your excuse.

You were shouting at someone and making a scene,
And when I tried calming you, you turned on me,
“Why aren’t you on my side? You’re my girlfriend!”
I should’ve walked away back then.

You also once reminded me too much,
That if I leave you you will kill yourself,
That I am your only reason to live,
I should’ve told you, “your life is not my responsibility.”

When I was breaking up with you in private,
Because of my sympathy for your reactions,
You pushed me down and cried while begging,
“Just one last sex, because it might never happen again.”

I should’ve slapped you then,
But my emotions shut itself down,
I couldn’t understand what I was feeling,
Was it pity, was it anger, or was it disgust?

You tried your best to get me pregnant,
I knew then but I was feeling lost,
I didn’t know whether to stop you or just let you,
Because I was so confused because I’ve told you not to.

I regretted that I didn’t push you away,
Because you convinced me from the start it was your right,
Your right as my boyfriend, to have sex often,
Because I’m your girlfriend, and I should let you.

Why didn’t I realize the signs in the beginning,
When I rejected you and you didn’t stop,
Spreading rumors and pressuring me,
To stop me from resisting so you can get what you want.

I really wish I was stronger back then,
To see the signs of your wrong actions,
But the society brought me up with misogynist views,
I didn’t know better, no one could’ve told me.

I wish I’ve woken up sooner,
To know that your control is only because I let you,
Because I was strong but too kind to you,
When you never deserved my kindness from the start.

I am stronger

I was too kind to you,
I forgot to be kind to myself,
I was too concerned about your happiness,
That I forgot about mine.

We have been happy too,
But you hide from your issues,
You shun my words because I was nagging,
Because you forgot to be self sufficient.

I am again thinking back,
Because I was sincere with you,
I tried my best to be good and kind,
But you’ve never done the same to me.

It was regretful that I was too worried for you,
That I didn’t notice me destroying myself,
Twisting hard to things I don’t want,
Because you kept on telling me your false truths.

You made me think it was alright,
It’s what I should do and my responsibility,
But your life is yours, and my life is mine,
I will not be swayed by your beliefs that shatter my soul.

I am my own person, I’m not in charge of your future,
You manipulated me to stay, to use me,
But I am free now and I looked back,
You only seemed strong because I let you.

Just stay safe

We are alive and we learn,
Nothing has ended yet,
Our pains might be difficult,
But struggle is a sign of life.

If you need a stranger to listen,
To problems you can’t tell your friend,
I’m here, I’ll listen,
But let me do the same with my poems.

We might be islands separated by seas,
But we have bridges and ears,
We suffer and we push through,
We are not alone and we are loved.

We are not invisible,
But our struggles might go unnoticed,
So we reach out,
To faraway ears.

We are not alone,
We are in pain but we are alive,
There is tomorrow when you reach out,
Talk to a friend or stranger.

Sometimes we need protection,
Not from external injuries,
Sometimes for emotional pain,
Often, from our own selves.