Breastfeeding Diaries tells the stories of moms, dads and supporters of breastfeeding to inspire others to embrace their own journey in breastfeeding. To share your story, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our breastfeeding journey started while Kate was still in my womb. It began when I decided that I will breastfeed. And fight depression at the same time.
Before becoming pregnant, my hectic schedule led to burnout, failed expectations, and severe depression.
I had been on medication for four months when we found out I was pregnant, and I had to stop it immediately. Luckily, I carried a cooperative baby inside my tummy and had an uneventful pregnancy despite of my many medical conditions (thallasemia, hormonal imbalance, thyroid problem, PCOS, spondylosis, etc.)
My OB, Nerissa De Jesus, was extremely supportive of my breastfeeding that I started malunggay supplements at seven months. Wyda Pandy, our pediatrician, also encouraged me to breastfeed. Our hospital, St. Luke’s Medical Center, was likewise reassuring. YouTube videos also proved helpful.
I was glad we didn’t have latch issues and it felt right the first time, but the journey wasn’t perfect. When we switched to bottle-feeding because I had to go back to work, Kate would go on hunger strikes. I had supply issues especially when I couldn’t squeeze pumping time in between meetings, and also because of health and emotional issues.
I am thankful I have supportive people around me. My husband’s support was all-out throughout this journey. He brought home Kate’s pumped milk when I had to come home late. He sterilized my flanges when I couldn’t.
My bosses and my associates, meanwhile, endured the whirring noise the pump made when I turned it on every three hours.
I’m also lucky to have support groups: Girltalk Moms, Mommy Talk Philippines, Breastfeeding Pinays and L.A.T.C.H. They kept my worries away, sent positive vibes my way, and inspired me to keep on breastfeeding despite my condition.
I had ups and downs of depression during pregnancy and post-partum, but I believed that my decision to continue breastfeeding instead of taking anti-depressants had more benefits for me and, of course, Kate.
When I was asking myself whether I should continue breastfeeding or stop to take my medicine, I saw the figure of Our Lady of La Leche and felt enlightened.
With diligent research and proper support, I learned that I could take anti-depressants while breastfeeding. I presented these studies to my doctor and she has seen that breastfeeding complements my therapy.
Kate is now three years old. She still breastfeeds wherever, whenever.
About the author: Kaice works for two hospitals and as an events planner, while juggling the role of student, daughter, wife, and mother. She is also a L.A.T.C.H. breastfeeding peer counselor.