One Hectic Weekend: Breastfeeding 101 and Expo Mom 2012

Saturday's almost done and half of my hectic weekend has already gone by. The day started pretty early. I was up by 6 to make breakfast for Big C and was out of the house by 7:45 to pick up my mom for today's Breastfeeding 101 session.

Luckily, J woke up in time for me to sneak in a quick cuddle session with my little rugrat before I left for the day, and I was able to kiss him good-bye. Like I mentioned in a previous post, I don't like leaving the house without letting him know and telling him when I'll be back. Sometimes it seems like the good-bye ritual is more for me than for him, because he manages just fine without me, but I like to think that the routine and the kept promises help build a relationship of trust between me and my son. I just hope that I'm right. :-)

So anyway, I picked up my mom and we headed to the Medela House to attend the Breastfeeding 101 class facilitated by Abbie Yabot. I've been looking forward to this class for a long time. First, because I was really excited to bring my mom to the class in the hopes of helping her understand why it's so important for me to breastfeed my son. Second, because it's been a while since I last breastfed a baby and I needed some pointers to increase the chances of succeeding with exclusive breastfeeding. To this day, I still regret being unable to exclusively breastfeed J, but today's session helped me pinpoint some of the mistakes I made then, that I will hopefully be able to avoid with Little C.

Certified Lactation Counselor Abbie Yabot doing her thing!
For one thing, I was mistaken in thinking that my son was crying because he was hungry. According to Abbie, hunger is only one reason why newborns cry. They may also cry because of the sudden change in environment, from the warm, squishy, squeeze of Mommy's uterus, to the big, cold world, and they're looking for familiar things, like the sound of Mommy's heartbeat, or Mommy's unique scent.

Maybe then, all I needed to do was to hold my son and give him the comfort he needed to get him to stop crying. And I remember now, that by the morning after that first terrible night, I was so exhausted and frustrated and anxious that I just laid J down on the bed beside me and told him, "I'm sorry, baby. Mommy doesn't know how to help you and we're both so tired. Maybe we just need some rest," and I laid down beside him. A few minutes later, my baby stopped crying and both of us fell asleep.

On this note, I'd like to stop and pose a question. The books and the experts and our elders all tell us that the baby should be trained to lie on his own and comfort himself and I was told to leave him in the isolette and not fuss over J so much, so he doesn't get used to being held all the time. But then again, I can't help but agree with attachment parenting advocates who say that babies will innately want comfort from their parents and will seek them out. Isn't it unnatural to ignore my child when he clearly needs me? So maybe with Little C, I'll take a different approach and see what happens.

I also realized that my positioning and latch were both wrong, two things that any lactation counselor will tell you are primary in establishing a successful breastfeeding relationship. I didn't observe the tummy-to-tummy position and I laid J down on a pillow and kept hunching my back, which led to a lot of pain for me. The back pain I experienced may have been a milk inhibitor, which affected my milk supply and contributed to the doom of my breastfeeding journey with J.

J was also most likely nipple confused. Due to my desperation to ease my son's distress, I gave in and fed him formula, which meant that he was bottle fed and breastfeeding at the same time. For mommies who have attended breastfeeding classes, you know that the motions of the mouth and face needed for direct feeding are vastly different and far more complex compared to the motions needed to get milk from a bottle. This time, I'm taking the safer route and I purchased a Medela Calma teat, to use on bottles if I should decide to bottle feed Little C, so that he won't get confused by the bottle and the breast.

But as every breastfeeding class will teach you, patience is the key to establishing a good breastfeeding relationship with your child. My previous experience has already taught me that it won't be easy, and I like to think that I'm going into this mentally and emotionally prepared for the challenges. With every session I attend, I am reminded of the reasons why I should do this for my son and my resolve is strengthened.

As the day winds down, I have another hectic day planned for tomorrow. A hearty lunch, then we're off to Rockwell Tent to check out Expo Mom 2012. This is an event that I've attended since 2010, and I never fail to find all sorts of goodies for my little ones. This year, I need to find a cute outfit for Little C's one month birthday, which is a special event in the Chinese culture.

I also need some natural and organic baby wash/shampoo for J because I recently found out that Johnson's baby products use ingredients that are known carcinogens. We've switched back to Aveeno for the time being, but it's no match for my son's sweaty little head in the summer heat, which smells more like a teenager's sweaty head now. In addition to that, we've run out of mosquito repellant, so I'll need to pick up some of that tomorrow.

Apart from that, I'm attending this year's Expo with two friends who are also expectant mothers and I'm looking forward to taking them to meet my favorite mompreneurs: Jenny of Mama.Baby.Love, Jonie of Mamaway (who's been super helpful with teaching me how to use a ring sling), Paola of Mommy Treats (who supplied the yummy, yummy treats for the past two Medela House sessions I've attended), Maricel of Medela Moms. These are the mommy businesses who I regularly buy items from, but I'm also excited to check out what the other sellers have in store for us. I'll definitely be stopping by the Medela Moms booth to help one of my friends pick out a breastpump, and the Mamaway booth to snag a ring sling for Little C.

Whew! That was a lengthy post and I hope I didn't bore you. Today's session was very fruitful for me in terms of learning and it got me thinking about a lot of things. Now, I'm looking forward to applying all the things I learned when Little C arrives in, yikes! Less than 21 days! (Or less than a week as Big C counts it.)

Till then, there's Expo Mom 2012 tomorrow! I hope you mommies can drop by!


Jenny @ Chronicles of A Nursing Mom said...

you practice ge-lai pala? there's a booth - hatch and latch - helen - she sells shampoo and conditioner for ge-lai ;) see you tom!

quakermommy said...

Hi Jenny! Yup, I saw Helen's stuff na before, kaya lang it was early in my pregnancy pa lang kaya I didn't buy. I'll probably stop by her booth later din. :)

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