I gave birth four times already and had missed abortion once. Odd as it may seem but its with my fourth that I am able to experience breastfeeding. A first time for this mom of almost thirteen years.
So when we marched to the Baby Company’s Grand Baby Fair 6 at SM Megamall last Saturday, I really paid attention to the lectures of the kind doctor on stage. I wasn’t able to catch her name as I was engrossed, by that time, fitting a baby carrier just a few steps away from the stage.
Any how, I took note of some of the important details of the lecture. Those new moms complaining they don’t seem to have enough milk or worst, no milk to offer their baby, are wrong. As explained during the short talk, breastfeeding is a normal physiological process.
It is very rare for a mother to have limited milk supply as the breasts start to feel full a couple of days after giving birth. This signals that milk is coming in.
The culprit perhaps to the thinking of no milk or low milk supply is the lack of support on or knowledge about breastfeeding. This has been true to my part as when I gave birth to my first born, I know nothing about breastfeeding. Though I tried a dozen times to latch my baby, he just didn’t want to or so I thought. No one taught me how, not even my mother, and so I have to content myself referring to breastfeeding journals and books. I lost interest and eventually gave up.
I love reading this slide repeatedly. One may find it too self-serving but I just agree with it. I have read and heard from a number of health organizations, dozens of doctors, and even my own pediatrician that breast milk is the best choice for babies. Breastfeeding helps defend against infections, prevent allergies, and protect against a number of chronic conditions.
The question then is, how can a nursing mom have a steady milk supply?
Breasts work in demand.
- The frequently we nurse, the more milk we produce. I have been exclusively nursing my little munchkin for more than five months now and thank God for the steady milk supply. At night, we often do unlilatch to boost my milk production.
- Another helpful tip is to pump after nursing even for stay-at-home moms. This all the more increases milk production and also gives our baby a milk on hand should we mothers would want to go out for a quick breather or even a nap.
Before, I regularly pump at 4:30am, another one in the afternoon and one just before bedtime. But because Y doesn’t want to use a feeding bottle, the milk I store inside the freezer would often go to waste. I stop then. But now that our little boy will be turning six months, I plan to express milk again and let him drink it in his new sippy cup.
- Proper positioning of the baby as well as latching are important factors to consider, too. Sometimes, mothers do not want to breastfeed their babies because they reason out that it hurts. And because they do not nurse, their milk supply dwindle. Nursing hurts when good position and latch are not achieved.
Breastfeeding is such a wonderful experience between a mother and a baby and it’s crucial that they achieve good position and latch to both enjoy the experience.
The kind doctor ended her talk with a recommendation to exclusively breast feed a baby until six months. By that age, we mommies can introduce complimentary food but still with continued breastfeeding.
Out Y will be turning six months this Sunday and we are just so excited to introduce new food flavors to him. But I promise myself to continue breastfeeding him until such time he prefers other nourishment.
Though I’m already old, I thank God for giving us another baby to take care of. And He is indeed great as He lets me experience breastfeeding my son.
And so to conclude this post, I would like to share a quote I so love. (I am a person who would write down phrases, sayings, and quotes on my journal should i find them amusing or simply when they hit me in the heart.) This one I got from Pamela K. Wiggins, a lactation consultant and author of Breastfeeding: A Mother’s Gift.
“Breastfeeding is a mother’s gift to herself, her baby and the earth.”
Unlike our last weekend, we wake up rather early this Sunday hoping to still catch some rays. Our little munchkin is again flashing his toothless smile and we just need to celebrate. His fever has subsided, his stuffy nose about to clear up. Oh, thank you, dear Lord.
My thoughts when I saw this?
It should be me sleeping like this as the little munchkin’s cough disturbed both our night sleep, woke us between 2 and 4am.
The morning after that restless night, I asked husband to look after the sick baby so I could have a quick bite. I returned seeing them in this position.
Both must be enjoying the bed. I wonder why we didn’t have this kind of peaceful sleep last night.
WHY DOES A BABY TENDS TO CRY MORE AROUND HIS MOM?
Past pieces of literature I’ve read about babies and tantrums explained that a baby cries to relieve stress and he cries around people whom he feels safest. So my little munchkin’s crying that night was his way to express “I trust you, mama.”
He cries because he is comfortable with me around. But that does not mean he is not comfortable with his papa. He, perhaps, considers me his primary companion aside from the fact, his main source of food.
A baby is indeed very interesting. Even at a very young age, he knows what trust means and whom to give that trust. He is not afraid to share his truest emotion.
And so to end this post, I would like to share to all mothers a quote I so love very much not because it is self-serving but for the reason that I find it sincerely true. I read this from one of the beautiful masterpieces of American author Jodi Picoult.
“The best place to cry is on a mother’s arms.”
* our Yael at five months and 16 days old. His first time to have a fever, cough, and flu. 🙁
I am 38 years old and I have always thought I will be at my prime when I am at this age.
I start to feel back pain and my right hand would ache, perhaps because of too much scrubbing (scrubbing the floor tiles, the bathroom tiles, the lavatory, and even the carpet). Then the discomfort I am feeling for my right hand seems to be a permanent thing. I guess carrying my little munchkin too much triggered the pain. And my right hand would ache more when I cook. The boys are already used to hearing my sudden “aray” whenever my right hand aches. Then there will always be somebody to rush by my side to help.
Never mind then if my right hand is weak. That it cannot anymore carry heavy loads. I always have a husband who offers to chop the hard-to-cut vegetables any way. He carries the heavy casserole and even scrubs it for me. More often than not, I always have my first born to sweep and mop the floor. He comes ready, too, to stir that soup I am cooking. Or my second son is at my side to open that bottle of vitamins or that jar of my favorite nata de coco. Big bunso is always there to fetch me water and even carry my water jug upstairs.
I am aging. Time will come I may be unable to stand and would depend on someone to do things for me. I fear losing control of the things on my grasp. But my heart says otherwise.
As I recall all the years I have spent with my boys — those sleepless nights I would carry them all in my arms and cradle them to sleep; those first stumble and get-up-you-can-do-it exercises; those first day at school walks; and those frequent carry-me-I-am-too-sleepy-to-walk episodes – the more I am encouraged that I should not worry.
Because those efforts boost my confidence for my boys.
In all those efforts, I use my hands to steady my three boys as they toddled. And these are the same hands I am using to nurse my five-month old little munchkin.
And this early, with the help I am getting from the boys, the everyday responsibilities I am doing for them are all worth the effort – worth the love – because they are being given back to me a hundredfold.
Lesson learned today, cliche as it may sound, but truly —
Love and you shall be loved.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
I had a discovery last Saturday. Aside from mom friends, my boys read pala my blog.
My Big Bunso asked so much about The Nook Cafe. When I questioned him where he learned about the place, he told me he read about it in my blog post. My first visit to the cafe was last October with my best buddy Smash.
My Big Bunso was so curious he kept on asking about the food and the Harry Potter paraphernalia I have seen and touched. He even asked how the butterbeer tasted and if there were chocolate frogs available.
By 6 pm, after the three boys had mentioned they were done with school works, I told them to dress up. We will have our dinner somewhere. On our way to Maginhawa St., the boys kept on asking us where are we heading. I told them in an a matter-of-fact tone that we will be trying The Nook Cafe. And once more, their seemingly endless amount of energy filled the car.
We reached the place at 7:15 pm. As usual, the cafe was jam-packed, and we waited for about 20 minutes to get seats. Once inside, they could not conceal their excitement from my prying eyes. They fitted some of the Hogwarts robes, read some HP books, chanted some spells, and recalled the movie scene of Hermione with her Time Turner. They were just so thrilled about almost everything inside. They talked animatedly. They ate enthusiastically. Their eyes were all enlivened with everything Harry Potter around them.
I, too, was happy.
We tried all the food. As for the drinks, my three boys all wanted to have a taste of their first butterbeer.
While the boys were all too busy chatting, playing, and eating all at the same time, their mama was preoccupied with the little munchkin.
And after a few singing and dancing in between bites, thank God the handsome prince finally decided to sleep.
If only I could drive, I would love to stay a little longer. The boys were enjoying everything — too hard to break their heart in telling we need to leave in 20 minutes. Queen Mother (how I address my mother without her knowing it) has some difficulty driving at night, so we need to exit the place by 9:00 pm.
On our way home, the boys requested that we return at The Nook anytime soon. I reassured them that we will visit Maginhawa Street some time again, but will look for a new restaurant to try. I explained that dining out is more exciting if spent with loved ones AND IN NEW PLACES. Then I ended our conversation with a nice quote I once read —
Try new things, do new things, find new ways of doing things… It’s a beautiful way of learning.
Perhaps, aside from birthdays, children appreciate Christmas the most. They get to receive gifts, and food is just overflowing.
Christmas is also the time for reunions and meet ups. Visiting friends and relatives not only gives us the time to catch up, but gives the boys — much to their delight– the opportunity to receive gifts either in cash or in kind. For my boys, they mostly received cash from these visits.
Usually, I let them spend their Christmas money, but still under my supervision. Last December though, husband and I encouraged them to open a bank account and start saving. Part of the money they deposited were their own savings from their school allowance. To encourage them all the more, husband promised the boys he will double the money they invested in the bank.
So a day before the bank closed for the holidays, we paid a visit to a bank and opened an account for each child. The boys were just too giddy counting their coins and paper bills in front of the bank manager. They even compared how much they have saved and recalled their most expensive, useful, and even wasteful purchases. They also laughed at each others’ signatures!
We spent about three hours inside the bank. After our transaction, the kind bank manager each gave the boys a pencil case. She even congratulated the boys for having their own bank accounts. But she asked this mother, “Why only now?”
WHEN IS THE RIGHT TIME TO TEACH THE KIDS ABOUT BANK SAVINGS?
In our family, I guess now is the right time. For the longest time, the boys go to school with baon already tucked inside their bags. They don’t need money. Last school year though until today, we give them school allowance on certain days which they need to budget. They also each have a jar where they would put lose change from their school allowance. I just want to know if they would put something in it.
Last school year they didn’t.
But this year, I see changes. They would drop coins inside the jar. Then I would see paper bills. And just before Christmas, their jars are almost half full. Indeed now is the right time.
I would want my boys to grow up with the proper perspective on good financial habits, saving their money included. But I do not want to rush them and talk serious about it.
Why? Because it was only last school year that they were given money as baon and I would want them to feel how to handle their own money. I remember first born would buy ice cream instead of sandwich or rice meals at school. From his Christmas and birthday money, he would again buy ice cream. And I let him eat all the ice cream he could until such time comes he is tired of buying and eating them.
My boys are just kids so I let them be. At their stage, they are impulsive buyers so let them enjoy their purchase and learn from it. Childhood is a special stage, and for the most part, it should be filled with fun. Though I remind them about spending wisely and saving money once in a while, there is no point articulating everyday the pros and cons of splurging. They just are not ready for it. That time.
Now, changes happen real fast. Perhaps, because first born had had too many ice creams in his life. Or my two other boys completed their book collection from the Christmas money they have saved. Or their parents buy them rewards and gifts that there’s nothing left to buy.
So again, when is the right time to teach kids about bank savings?
As a parent, you would know. Their actions and spendings would tell you. Sometimes they would even tell you, “Mama, I miss your Spaghetti. Instead of giving me money, may you cook spaghetti? I want that to be my baon to school tomorrow.”
So when the kids show excitement to open a bank account act fast as well. They might see in television commercials or read in magazines the latest Sphero, the BB8 app-enabled droid from Star Wars, and would want to have that instead.
Thank you, Lord, for the gift of children.
As a parent, I would want my children to succeed in everything they do. And sometimes, I am the mean mother who pushes her boys past their limits because she believes they can.
True enough, they can! Our Big Bunso is grade four’s over all first honors. His grades greatly improved as well as his conduct.
As for our grade six lad, his academic average likewise improved. It’s just that those in the honors roll also studied doubly hard to better their chances in the class standing. Our boy placed fourth. He told me though he will make up for this coming quarter. I believe in him.
Our teenage kuya, on the other hand, earned an average worthy to be considered for third honors this first trimester. But, he had an Approaching Proficiency grade in Science which disqualified his eligibility for the said honors. Still, it only proves that he can be part of his new school’s honors list without his parents’ help. We do not tutor him any more because we could see that he had already developed good study habits and can study well on his own. He could still approach me though and consult on complicated topics. Also, before he retires for the night, I check his notebooks and make sure he has completed his homework.
So again, to my three diligent boys, congratulations and we are happy of your achievements. Even at your young age, you three show that you can handle well your responsibilities and studies.
Firstborn needed damath for his Mathirx club about two weeks ago. Damath is a two-player educational board game combining the board game “Dama” (Filipino word for Checkers) and Mathematics. From research, I have learned that damath is used as a teaching tool for both elementary and high school mathematics. Every piece has a corresponding number and each even (white) square on board has a mathematical symbol. The game was invented by Jesus L. Huenda.
He gave his parents a seven-day lead time to look for damath in bookstores. This mother though can’t leave the house without her new-born with her, thus asked husband to buy one. Husband, however, failed to secure any board game for firstborn. Come fifth day and firstborn, realizing that there was still no damath, took the initiative to make his own board game. He reassured his mother that he can do it himself, making it clear to her that he just needs to cover the even squares with mathematical symbols.
As I watch firstborn design his own damath, I can’t help but cry. Cry not out of pity because we were not able to buy him one, but because he took charge. He did not even follow up with his father, perhaps he knew that his papa was so busy with work.
Thank you, firstborn, for being so understanding. And thank you for acting independently.
We are not rich. There are a number of times that we prioritize what to pay first, even disregard those that can wait, and most often set aside our own needs just so to provide for the boys.
It’s only husband who works for the family while I am left at home to look after the three boys and now our new born baby. Aside from the daily cleaning and cooking, I am also in charge of the weekly marketing and helping the boys with their school works. Husband helps with the ironing of clothes. Getting the services of a house help will surely add up to our expenses, thus we do the cleaning ourselves. Even the boys share some household responsibilities. I know they would want to complain sometimes, wondering why they need to work at home while their classmates could play COC all day on weekends. But because they are courteous and responsible, they would rather keep to themselves their displeasure or perhaps, even resentment.