Let me go back to the time when i was starting to breastfeed, my early term (37 weeks and 4days) baby girl had a hard time latching on me due to my inverted nipples. I sought help from a lactation consultant whom i met in our house in Manila had to travel back to Manila from Angeles,Pampanga 3rd day post partum. Both my breasts were already engorged i can remember the visible veins on my breasts which made it even harder for the tiny mouth of my baby to latch on me. During the 4-hour home visit my baby didn’t latch on me i was left with heavy breasts that felt they were about to explode anytime soon. I was advised that i need to pump to empty my breasts so that my baby can latch on. Contrary to a baby’s latch is the most effective and efficient way to empty our breasts thus establishing our supply. Because breastfeeding works on “Law of Supply and Demand” .Whilst frequent pumping will work in protruding my inverted nipples.
So i ended up buying the Medela Swing Maxi Double electric pump which is Php 13,500. On top of this i was advised to use Nipple Shield (Php 855 pair) to help address my inverted nipples which without batting an eyelash added to my cart. Then we were advised to get breast milk donation but was forewarned that the donors of those breast milk weren’t screened. My thinking then was out of desperation, i would get the breast milk holding on to the feeling that no mother would give something harmful to her own. When we get to the Medela House I was sales talked about Calma bottles that i need those to simulate a mommy’s breast and milk flow and then eventually my baby would latch on me which were all LIES. My baby got used to bottle feeding and refused my breasts even more. I would pump religiously getting less than an ounce of milk na napupunta lang sa paligid ng bote dahil sa napakakonti dahil my breasts weren’t stimulated by my baby’s latch until at one point i thought my milk was gone. I came to a corner that i want to give up breastfeeding because despite our empty pockets (had to pay the LC 1,500/hour rate, the consultation lasted for 4hrs, we paid 4,500php 1hr was free na daw), we spent Php17,905 our baby still wont latch. But iam eternally thankful and grateful to a lot of moms who shared their precious breastmilk to my daughter while i was trying to “up my supply” through pumping which is not sustainable. I will be always thankful to the mommies whom Pippa and I have cross nursed with to help evert my nipples and stimulate my supply. But only then that i sought for other help from mom and baby support that really paved the way to be successful in breastfeeding. These will be my forever regrets- buying a Medela pump thinking they are the enablers in breastfeeding with all their gadgets only to find out they are violators of Milk Code. My daughter’s father remorse the thought that breastfeeding is free, because there are professionals who are making expensive and worst not for all mothers who wants to breastfeed. Let me say this again, SAVE your breasts, LEARN Hand expression.
Talk about where I’m coming from, it’s very deep and very hurtful to recount my early horror days when i was pumping and I’m truly hoping that no more family will be put in this nightmare and embrace the simplicity and blissful breastfeeding.
So how i started my beautiful days of breastfeeding? I was given a chance to attend a breastfeeding moms support group of Arugaan for relactation. Again, i dragged my then husband and 2-months old Pippa to Arugaan Creche in Philippine Information Agency in Quezon City (from Angeles, Pampanga). Pippa was able to cross nurse with all the moms and wetnurses as for me Baby Brandon latched on me and really helped a lot in protruding my nipple. I had Lactation Massage with Nanay Rich and VOILA! breastmilk flowed out while being massaged. We went home with the right support, our expectations were carefully set- drop the bottle and cup feed and that relactation is possible.
With these on hand i strictly followed an informed decision on breastfeeding and what we as a family have to undergo (relactation). Correcting the damage done with consulting a certified Lactation Consultant wasn’t easy but it took all of me and my family.
As they say it takes a village to become successful in every endeavor and in every village there’s always a villain. Information about breastfeeding is everywhere, some are true and evidenced based and some are greed and marketing driven. I have met a pediatrician who happily called me to be a “pumper mom” when she couldn’t figure out how to make my baby latch on me. God knows how dis-empowering, undermining and disrespectful this is.
All of my breastfeeding struggles are all worth going through, had i known and stick to the physiologic of simply breastfeeding, nothing through the breasts.
Medela, the Villain in my breastfeeding journey.
Please find time to read this link “Yes, Medela Violates the Code”: http://ibfan.org/upload/files/Yes,%20Medela%20violates%20the%20Code.pdf