Hello everyone! It is another wonder-full Wednesday, full of amazing, awesome things, as well as questions and puzzles.
If you aren’t familiar yet, I recently started sort of a new portion here at Wanders and Wonders. Due to the volume of questions I get on my different social networking accounts (as well as email), I’ve decided to consolidate them all by asking these people to course their inquiries through an email made specifically for that (firstname.lastname@example.org) instead. This way, I am able to efficiently answer interesting and helpful questions by women from different walks, seasons, stages of and in life. (By the way, men can ask, too. I just haven’t received any from you guys yet. Haha.)
Today’s bunch is a great one! Varied and thought-provoking, I hope you will find both questions and answers to be of help to you somehow.
On Breastfeeding (I get tons!!! I really should buy a good book on this ASAP, for surer answers.)
“I’m a new nanay and gave birth to a baby boy last feb 14. I’m also breastfreeding him since day 1 and I find it a challenge to look for nursing wear whenever we go out. Whenever I look into your ig account, it seems that you’re wearing usual clothes and i wonder how you nurse with it. What clothes do you recommend that are not really mahal but can be nurse-able? Nursing wear brands are also expensive kasi. Salamat.”
What an awesome, truthful, helpful question!
Totoo yan, nursing wear is expensive. I have not yet seen a nursing top that is lower than 600 pesos, and truth be told, that amount is not sustainable. Although I have to admit that nursing wear makes a huge difference in your breastfeeding experience, specially when you are doing it in public.
So my advice is to get perhaps 2-5 nursing tops (or maybe you can get 2 dresses out of 5 items…), specially if you are still planning to have more kids in the future. Treat it like an investment if you have the means to purchase some today. You will use them for a long time, anyway.
Then mix it with your old clothes that are nurse-able. What I did was to sort through my cabinet and noted all tops and dresses that would be easy to lift up. Preferably, those that do not ride up far too high in the back. (Better if it does not at all.) I see some women use cardigans on top of their shirts so when they ride up in the back, nothing will be exposed. This is the cheapest alternative ’cause you don’t have to buy anything new except for a good breastfeeding cover. That is actually my last advice for you: INVEST IN A GOOD NURSING COVER. When you have one, you don’t even have to buy a nursing top or dress at all if you don’t want to!
“I want to ask, what do you take and do to increase your milk supply? I am a member of _________, however, I no longer subscribe to such because some members were too passionate about EBP. I feel as if I am feeding a poison to my baby just because I opted to mix feed already.”
I already answered the first concern, which was about increasing milk supply in last week’s post. (Please click this for the link )
But there is something very important about what you said. We actually share the same observation about the group you mentioned in your email (which I have kept anonymous here so to protect its members), and I think that concern is valid enough to make space for in this post.
Like you, I was also a member of that group for a while and though I think it is an amazing thing to create support groups for things such as breastfeeding, we should also be careful not to make others feel like they’re wrong or worse, like evil, when they choose not to do so.
In my very short time of subscription to that group, I’ve witnessed 2 posts that were arrogant and condescending in tone towards those who do not breastfeed. Those 2 posts made me decide to just leave the community.
Because although I believe that breastmilk is best for babies, it isn’t the only way to feed and show our love to them. Some women have real, valid concerns for not doing so- such as not producing enough milk, work, and even the overall stress we go through when it comes to stabilization of milk production, latching, soreness, wounds, late nights, etc.
My take on the whole thing? If breastfeeding takes away more than it adds joy of your overall experience of caring for your baby, then you have a valid reason not to do it. The relationship of mom and child is more important than the performance of breastfeeding, which today’s society subconsciously turned into a standard by which moms are rated with.
Of course I still would insist on making breastmilk and direct breastfeeding as your first choice. But if one finds this is not best for her situation, I would not take that as a license to prove I am the better mother for choosing otherwise. (This is the way I feel about natural, unmedicated birth, too. Make it our first choice. But if we can’t, then it doesn’t mean we’re failures. What matters is that we tried, and I think that is more than enough love we have shown for our babies.) And really, if we want to educate or enlighten mothers about the benefits of breastfeeding, being prideful certainly isn’t an effective way to do it. Lalo lang natu-turn off tuloy ang ibang mga nanay.
“Are you feeding philip directly on your breast everytime? Or nagpupump din po kayo minsan?”
I direct feed Philip (at 2.5 months) all 5 times in the day, then bottle feed him once before he sleeps. So I always pump for the last feeding of the day, though I still give him the breast right before he goes to sleep so to soothe him. He nurses for only a few minutes and dozes off to sleep.
I pump twice in a 24-hour cycle. At the time when he feeds from the bottle, and the moment I wake up and my breasts are full of milk. This is usually an hour before he direct feeds in the morning.
“Till when are you planning to breastfeed him?”
They say it is good to have a breastfeeding goal or plan. I honestly haven’t thought about this yet. Maybe 1 year, max? But who knows, I might like to extend it. I’ll just cross the bridge when I get there.
“Ilang hours ang gap ng feeding nya?”
I have trained him to eat every 3 hours. (That means 3 hours from the start of our feeding, to the next. And this is at 2 months and a half as his age. Intervals and amount of milk per feeding will change when he is older.)
“What time does he usually sleep at night?”
At around 10 to 10:30PM. And then I wake him up at 7:00AM to eat. When he can sleep longer in the night, I will move bedtime earlier. To maybe around 8 or 9:00PM
“Are you feeding him in public? What clothes are you usually wearing? Dyan kasi ko mejo hirap hindi ako gaano makapag-dress kasi dapat laging on the go ang boobs ko. Hehehe.”
Yes I do. See question above about clothes I wear and recommendation for overall nursing comfort in relation to your nursing outfit inquiry. But yeah, true, it can be challenging to be fashionable while nursing. Rule of thumb for me is to always be out in something like a battle gear. Ready to fight anytime, anywhere! Haha.
“Does your baby Philip also try to play / pull your nipples while feeding (properly latched from the beginning then after doing so its not correct anymore)? Do you train him to feed continuously and not fall asleep? I’m starting to wonder that these things my baby does causes her to be ‘gassy’ & doesn’t make her satisfied & full after feeding. I’m trying to learn about my baby’s personality, natutuwa na lang din ako, ka-cute eh!”
So true. When I watch my baby eat, I learn more about who he is! Eating is very personal. Some adults may like catsup on their fries, while others don’t. Each and every one of us has a unique way of eating and I think it is the same for babies.
To answer your questions:
Yes, Philip does that sometimes, pulls away from the nipple then latches back. Specially when he is in a playful, super awake mood while feeding. If he lands back and the latch is not correct anymore, I simply unlatch then latch again to fix it.
Yes, I trained him not to fall asleep while feeding. Especially in the beginning, when newborns just want to sleep instead of eat. Now, he efficiently eats even though he is sleeping. I really don’t know how babies do that but Philip does and I can see naman he is able to “empty” the breasts.
There really are gassy babies, and there was also a time that Philip was gassy because he swallowed so much air every time he fed. But he’s become more mature in the area of feeding, and he no longer does that gasping reflex. However, he still farts A LOT. The difference though is that the gas doesn’t cause him discomfort anymore. I think gas also has something to do with the baby’s maturity and development in his internal system.
Maybe you can ask your doctor for relief if it really bothers your baby. Mine said Gripe Water is okay, and even bigkis. I also tried massaging his tummy with calming oil, and I thought that worked.
“You’re exclusively breastfeeding Philip right? He seemed to gained weight already. I’m a little concerned with my baby’s weight, medyo slim pa din kase sya, not sure how much a breastfed baby should gain. And do you also avoid dairy products & sweets? These affect the baby daw kase according to one lactation consultant I’ve asked. Not quite sure how true it is.”
Yes, exclusive breastfeeding. His massive weight gain is because he went through a growth spurt. Usually occurs at certain ages supposedly. But not all kids have it the same, so if you think yours isn’t gaining just about yet, baka naman it will happen later on. My standard here is that as long as my pedia is okay about my baby’s weight, then there is no need to worry. Did you ask your pedia already?
It is the same with the sweets thing. Yes, I eat sweets. And even take coffee. When I asked my pedia if it was okay to have coffee while breastfeeding, she said to take it and see if baby will react. Philip didn’t have any reaction towards it so I can continue having coffee. Ask your pedia what she thinks about the sweets thing. Because it is safer to get advice from a pro, and someone who knows your baby’s history, too.
“When did you start to pump? What do you use for the pumped breastmilk, bottle or softcup feeder? My baby is almost a month old. I am not sure if it’s ok na to pump and to feed my baby using a bottle.”
I started to pump in the early weeks of Philip’s life because I didn’t know what to do with my engorged breasts. Looking back, maybe I could have done it better. Like hand express and massage for engorgement, and pump only when giving Philip the bottle (which is equivalent to the time of feeding him on the breast) or only after he feeds, and mix that with milk leaks I gather from my breast shells.
In the first few weeks of the baby’s life, our milk supply isn’t established yet and I think, pumping out of time, rhythm, and volume (as dictated by the baby), messes more with the signals our bodies send to the brain for milk production. I think it can possibly affect the way our body produces milk.
But since I introduced Philip to the bottle at 3 weeks old, I was already pumping regularly since then, in order to replace the feeding I lose over to the bottle and also to store milk for the next.
Obviously, I use the bottle. Others say to just use a teaspoon or cup feeders but my philosophy (which I also got from somebody else) is to introduce bottle before baby turns one month so he/she won’t refuse it when he/she is older and is already so used to just taking the breast.
There are different ways on how to go about this and you have to find what suits you and your baby. I don’t think using the bottle is bad. So far, it is working for me and Philip. Of course there’s that chance he’ll like the bottle more and equally so, that he’ll like the breast more. I know of a mom whose baby quit direct feeding and opted the bottle after 3 months, and another mom whose baby quit the bottle and opted to be fed entirely from the breast at 11 months! So really, we can’t tell what would happen. Best advice I can give you is, if and when you choose the bottle, choose a really good one with nipples that simulate the human nipple to encourage sucking and not just passively drinking your expressed milk. (Click this for stainless bottles which I highly recommend instead of the plastic ones.)
On Mom-Newborn Baby Bonding
“Will you suggest rooming in the baby while at the hospital or is it better if baby stays at the nursery? What are the benefits and disadvantages of rooming in the baby?”
Is it still an option? I am not sure but I think all hospitals in the Philippines already room in the baby with you upon birth unless baby is in a critical condition.
But if it remains a choice, better would mean a matter of weighing the pros and cons against the backdrop of your own experience. I might be very different from you in terms of personality, birth experience, overall condition, etc. So let me just answer the benefits and disadvantages that I see about it.
Rooming in means you get to have your baby right beside you and accessible at all times instead of being dependent on viewing hours at the nursery. Breastfeeding is also easier as you can grab the baby anytime he/she is hungry, instead of getting out of bed and out of your room each time the nurses call you and say you need to feed the baby at the nursery. (Newborns feed every 2-3hrs, so imagine getting out every so often…) And of course, you can do an unli-stare or unli-hold this time since baby is just within your reach, with no glass separating you from each other. Now personally, I like that better. However, be ready to hear your baby do his/her unli-cry also, if and when that time ever comes in your first few nights in the hospital. This time, you’d hear everything instead of just the nurses and other babies going through it in a separate room.
On Personal Views: About [alleged] “Heretical” Creative Interpretation, & Modern Day Practices Associated with Pagan Origins
“What do you think of the movie Son of God?” (And she gave me this for reference: SON OF GOD review)
I haven’t seen it so I basically cannot give you my opinion or review of it.
Basing it on the link you gave me though, I would say that the review made some very good points and I can see why he would call it “heretical.” I have also seen the “Bible Series” which he mentions in the review as well, and I also thought that the series sometimes makes light of Jesus’ power. (I loved the whole series except for the way they created Jesus, haha!)
But at the end of the day, for me, the Word of God is the final authority. I will never use movies for theological discussions and even topics for devotion because they are movies and are entitled to creative liberty. Being from that industry, I understand why they sometimes have to deviate from the book or script, so to produce something more cinematic. I guess this boils down to a management of expectations then. I personally enjoyed watching the Bible series, but never relied on it for theological reference and accuracy.
“What’s your point of view regarding kids celebrating Easter and joining Easter egg hunting?”
I honestly hadn’t thought about it until you asked. So I asked my husband about his views on it and he said he wouldn’t like to do it with Philip if there really is no need to anyway.
Researched a bit about it and here is an interesting things I found: History of Easter.
I still don’t know what to feel about it when the time comes I get an invite for Philip to join the Easter Egg Hunt. But really, I don’t think I even have to choose anyway because I am pretty sure we’d be making our own Peralejo-Bonifacio Easter tradition where Jesus and His great love and power will be its focus. But when it comes to other kids who do it, they have their own parents and I wouldn’t want to impose things they should and should not be doing in their families. The most I will do is give my opinion when they ask for it.
On Time Management
“Paano mo po na-oorganize ang day mo? Having that ministry, family, self, husband and etc. Any practical tips of organizing your day?”
Actually minsan hindi ko na nga din alam! Hahaha!
Seriously speaking, organizing our days is really more like a skill. It takes great effort and mastery to be able to come up with an efficient schedule. And I think it helps that you keep a calendar- not only of your month, but even of your day to day schedules.
To give you an example, I have a calendar that gives an overview of my month, and a pad that has Monday-Sunday columns. The big picture month view tells me of the big block offs, like ministry invitations, or a day out with the Bonifacios, visiting my mother, out of the country trip, etc. Then I break them down in my day to day calendar; in bullet points I write my errands or things to accomplish for the day, like phone calls, bills to pay, etc. Then when I need to be out of the house for something small like getting groceries, I try to synchronize it with big block offs according to the area- para hindi sayang sa gas or cab money. Haha! Basically, the logic behind this is plotting ahead of time and scheduling every single thing you have to do, even rest! Honestly, if we don’t schedule rest or vacations, they might never end up happening!
Plus the main guideline of finishing everything I can, like my column and blog articles before my husband gets home for work so I can spend my whole evening with him. Joe and I have made it a rule not to accept more than 2 ministry invites in a month, and we also see to it that we take time to relax- have a date, see our friends, sleep in, watch a movie.
Of course the schedule I am describing here is the one before Philip, our son, came. Right now, since he is just almost 3 months old, my days basically run on the routine of Feed-Play-Sleep-Repeat. When he naps, that’s when I do everything I can, like write, fix the house, call people, etc.
On Hair Care
“Hello Ms.Rica, I’d like to ask regarding your hair care. I know you’ve been fond of blowers and curls, too. What are the products you apply before you style it and what other practical tips can you suggest when constantly styling using heat? Your reply would be very helpful for me.”
Yes, very fond of blowers and curls. I love styling my own hair! But really, I think there is no way that our hair can be kept healthy if it is constantly put under so much products and heat. The most you can do is go for treatment and trims regularly. So I don’t really put any protection anymore,but once I feel like my hair’s gotten too dry already, I go for treatment, trim or sometimes even a big chop. My hair philosophy is that it will always grow back so I shouldn’t be afraid of styling or cutting away!