• My breastfeeding journey

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    BETTINNA CARLOS

    Since July is dubbed as “nutrition month,” allow the “momma” in me to share with you how I took care of my daughter’s nutrition and mine for the past six years of her life, including the nine-month pre-natal period. Today let’s talk nourishment!

    When I was pregnant…

    • I had periodic morning sickness but I was never the type to throw up. What helped me combat the sickness as well as benefited my body and baby greatly was my intake of vitamin c.

    Citrus at that time was my number one antidote to nausea and manifestations of morning sickness. I loved anything sour back then, primarily sinigang (sour soup), pomelo, lanzones and mangosteen. Now, here’s a bit of trivia: Did you know that it is Vitamin C that makes skin whiter, not Vitamin D?

    • I forced myself to eat carrots and liver—two food items I abhorred my whole life. I didn’t like the taste of carrots and I hated the texture of liver. However, when a woman is pregnant, the baby steals the nutrients from her body so she has to double the amount of nutrient-rich food.

    In my case it, had to be vitamin A and iron. I was anemic and my eyes started failing. As such, even though I did not like eating carrots and liver, I added it to my diet because it was best for me and my child. I am thankful that to this day, I still eat those to as I have learned to love them.

    • My Mom and Wowa took care of my food. They ensured that I ate a variety of vegetables and good lean protein like steak. I was able to take wheatgrass shots daily because my Wowa also planted wheatgrass for me and juiced it herself. Wheatgrass is rich in nutrients particularly vitamins A, C and iron thus helping manage my anemic tendency. Because it is also rich in fiber, it aided the constipation problem common in pregnant women.

    • I ate different kinds of food so that my daughter would get a taste and memory of them. For some moms, they do this so that when they breastfeed and wean their children, they will not be a picky eaters for they the tastes are already familiar to them. And it truly was the case—Gummy never picked on her food. I never had a difficult time feeding her and introducing new tastes to her palate.

    When I was breastfeeding…

    • First of all I was blessed with an abundance of milk. While some women biologically could not or could barely produce any, I had an oversupply. I breastfeed Gummy for three and a half years. I initially only wanted to feed her for 6 months so that I could go back to work but I felt I was depriving her of the best nutrition available for my selfish convenience (it is quite a hassle pumping when you are out). I delayed weaning her until it took us to three-and-a-half years.

    • I had a lot of soup with malunggay (moringa). I alternatingly had tinola, sinigang and shellfish. Breastfeeding also helped me lose weight—even though I was eating more than usual—because I consumed only good food.

    Always remember that your baby eats what you eat—when you eat junk, you feed your baby junk. I easily burn 1000 calories per day because of breastfeeding. Also, the motion of suckling causes the uterus to shrink faster.

    • I also made sure to empty one breast before offering the other. The hind milk is more nutrient-packed than the foremilk, which is mostly water. The fat and good stuff come at the later part of the feeding session.

    • Because of breastfeeding, Gummy is rarely sick—even when I have flu, she remains strong and protected. I would also like to believe that her academic performance is due to my protein intake when I was pregnant and her being breastfed.

    Six years ago, lactation treats were not yet as big as they are today. If I remember correctly, pardon the anesthesia, breastfeeding supplements only came in the form of malunggay capsules. At that time, however, I still preferred the fresh leaves on my soup. I could have unlimited of those!

    So as a treat to breastfeeding moms, my brother—who is making Milking Bombs to supplement and help further increase those who could barely produce golden milk—is offering a special deal for this nutrition month: instead of paying P450 per dozen of lactation cookie sandwiches, get it for only P400 each for a one-time order of 5 dozens. That’s only P2000 instead of P2250. Just send the promo code MB5JULY to 0917 885 5572.

    Finally, remember that the first 1000 days of the life of a child (including the nine months in the tummy) are crucial to their physical and mental development. Poor nutrition for a pregnant mother increases the risk for stunted kids, which is irreversible.

    So moms, mind your nutrition even before conception!

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